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Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says
May 13th, 2011
11:47 AM ET

Half of New Testament forged, Bible scholar says

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - A frail man sits in chains inside a dank, cold prison cell. He has escaped death before but now realizes that his execution is drawing near.

“I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come,” the man –the Apostle Paul - says in the Bible's 2 Timothy. “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

The passage is one of the most dramatic scenes in the New Testament. Paul, the most prolific New Testament author, is saying goodbye from a Roman prison cell before being beheaded. His goodbye veers from loneliness to defiance and, finally, to joy.

There’s one just one problem - Paul didn’t write those words. In fact, virtually half the New Testament was written by impostors taking on the names of apostles like Paul. At least according to Bart D. Ehrman, a renowned biblical scholar, who makes the charges in his new book “Forged.

“There were a lot of people in the ancient world who thought that lying could serve a greater good,” says Ehrman, an expert on ancient biblical manuscripts.In “Forged,” Ehrman claims that:

* At least 11 of the 27 New Testament books are forgeries.

* The New Testament books attributed to Jesus’ disciples could not have been written by them because they were illiterate.

* Many of the New Testament’s forgeries were manufactured by early Christian leaders trying to settle theological feuds.

Were Jesus’ disciples ‘illiterate peasants?'

Ehrman’s book, like many of his previous ones, is already generating backlash. Ben Witherington, a New Testament scholar, has written a lengthy online critique of “Forged.”

Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”

All of the New Testament books, with the exception of 2 Peter, can be traced back to a very small group of literate Christians, some of whom were eyewitnesses to the lives of Jesus and Paul, Witherington says.

“Forged” also underestimates the considerable role scribes played in transcribing documents during the earliest days of Christianity, Witherington  says.

Even if Paul didn’t write the second book of Timothy, he would have dictated it to a scribe for posterity, he says.

“When you have a trusted colleague or co-worker who knows the mind of Paul, there was no problem in antiquity with that trusted co-worker hearing Paul’s last testimony in prison,” he says. “This is not forgery. This is the last will and testament of someone who is dying.”

Ehrman doesn’t confine his critique to Paul’s letters. He challenges the authenticity of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John. He says that none were written by Jesus' disciplies, citing two reasons.

He says none of the earliest gospels revealed the names of its authors, and that their current names were later added by scribes.

Ehrman also says that two of Jesus’ original disciples, John and Peter, could not have written the books attributed to them in the New Testament because they were illiterate.

“According to Acts 4:13, both Peter and his companion John, also a fisherman, were agrammatoi, a Greek word that literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate,’ ’’ he writes.

Will the real Paul stand up?

Ehrman reserves most of his scrutiny for the writings of Paul, which make up the bulk of the New Testament. He says that only about half of the New Testament letters attributed to Paul - 7 of 13 - were actually written by him.

Paul's remaining books are forgeries, Ehrman says. His proof: inconsistencies in the language, choice of words and blatant contradiction in doctrine.

For example, Ehrman says the book of Ephesians doesn’t conform to Paul’s distinctive Greek writing style. He says Paul wrote in short, pointed sentences while Ephesians is full of long Greek sentences (the opening sentence of thanksgiving in Ephesians unfurls a sentence that winds through 12 verses, he says).

“There’s nothing wrong with extremely long sentences in Greek; it just isn’t the way Paul wrote. It’s like Mark Twain and William Faulkner; they both wrote correctly, but you would never mistake the one for the other,” Ehrman writes.

The scholar also points to a famous passage in 1 Corinthians in which Paul is recorded as saying that women should be “silent” in churches and that “if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.”

Only three chapters earlier, in the same book, Paul is urging women who pray and prophesy in church to cover their heads with veils, Ehrman says: “If they were allowed to speak in chapter 11, how could they be told not to speak in chapter 14?”

Why people forged

Forgers often did their work because they were trying to settle early church disputes, Ehrman says. The early church was embroiled in conflict - people argued over the treatment of women,  leadership and relations between masters and slaves, he says.

“There was competition among different groups of Christians about what to believe and each of these groups wanted to  have authority to back up their views,” he says. “If you were a nobody, you wouldn’t sign your own name to your treatise. You would sign Peter or John.”

So people claiming to be Peter and John - and all sorts of people who claimed to know Jesus - went into publishing overdrive. Ehrman estimates that there were about 100 forgeries created in the name of Jesus’ inner-circle during the first four centuries of the church.

Witherington concedes that fabrications and forgeries floated around the earliest Christian communities.

But he doesn’t accept the notion that Peter, for example, could not have been literate because he was a fisherman.

“Fisherman had to do business. Guess what? That involves writing, contracts and signed documents,” he said in an interview.

Witherington says people will gravitate toward Ehrman’s work because the media loves sensationalism.

“We live in a Jesus-haunted culture that’s biblically illiterate,” he says. “Almost anything can pass for historical information… A book liked ‘Forged’ can unsettle people who have no third or fourth opinions to draw upon.”

Ehrman, of course, has another point of view.

“Forged” will help people accept something that it took him a long time to accept, says the author, a former fundamentalist who is now an agnostic.

The New Testament wasn’t written by the finger of God, he says - it has human fingerprints all over its pages.

“I’m not saying people should throw it out or it’s not theologically fruitful,” Ehrman says. “I’m saying that by realizing it contains so many forgeries, it shows that it’s a very human book, down to the fact that some authors lied about who they were.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Culture wars • Faith

soundoff (2,204 Responses)
  1. v

    I've noticed that CNN publishes a great deal of anti-scripture/anti-religion articles, reporting and blogs.

    May 15, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  2. AlexBP

    The bible is crap.

    May 15, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  3. michael jude

    Please go to YOUTUBE and watch The Real Reason Why People Defend Religion

    May 15, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  4. Adelina

    The Jewish males were not to be illiterate in Jesus' time. Reading the Pauline Epistles, it's clear a single person(Paul) wrote them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Any dishonesty was detestable to the NT Christians and they died for being honest and authentic. People should read the Bible, both OT and NT, for the firsthand investigation. The quality proves it as the eternal Word of God.

    May 15, 2011 at 6:16 am |
  5. Name*Richard Laumaillet

    The wisdom of man is foolishness to God, and the wisdom of God is foolishness to man.

    May 15, 2011 at 4:03 am |
    • Magic

      Name*Richard Laumaillet

      "The wisdom of man is foolishness to God, and the wisdom of God is foolishness to man."

      Now, isn't *that* just enough to drive one crazy? Like the endless mirror effect...

      The statement, by sounding wise, cancels itself.

      May 15, 2011 at 4:25 am |
  6. Callista Maris

    >>"The New Testament wasn’t written by the finger of God, he says – it has human fingerprints all over its pages."

    I and my friends have our fingerprints all over the pages of my favourite comic book as they also read it, does it mean we're the one or one of us write it?<<

    LOL WOW yay for having zero understanding of the word "metaphor."

    May 15, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  7. Q

    Who knew the "proof" of God and Intelligent Design would be floating around here on the interwebs in a simple equation. One would think the ID proponents would have brought this up at the Kitzmiller v Dover School Board trial? Perhaps then, they wouldn't have lost so completely on the concept of ID being a scientific endeavor. Or maybe, just maybe, crucified only sipped from the Pierian Spring. I can't say. I'm no physicist/mathematician, but if his/her knowledge of physics is a flawed as their knowledge of biology, this would certainly explain a lot...

    May 15, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  8. S1N

    Seriously Witherrington? "it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things"?

    That's the best you can come up with while teaching about a man who supposedly walks on water, comes back from the dead like a bad zombie flick, and whose mom gets knocked up by a magical man in the sky?

    Which part is outrageous again? That half is "forged", or the claim that this Buddy Jesus guy was actually divine?

    May 15, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  9. Jesusfreaker

    Dr. Ehrman probably knows more about the Bible and it's history than anyone ever, certainly more than anyone in modern times. Seeking the truth about the Bible is not something that pastors or followers care about. The only thing pastors are concerned with is instilling fear in the minds of their followers and keep the money coming in. God can never get enough cash.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • HAL9000

      "Dr. Ehrman probably knows more about the Bible and it's history than anyone ever, certainly more than anyone in modern times. "

      That's not saying much. Satan knows the Bible even better than Ehrman. He even quoted passages to Jesus.

      "God can never get enough cash."

      Dont confuse God with Man.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Jesusfreaker

      Hal9000

      What? Satan knows more about the Bible than Ehrman?

      That's like saying the Knight in The Canterbury Tales knows more about The Canterbury Tales than an English Professor. What does a fictional character have to do with it? I think you've been confined to that spaceship too long.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  10. Nicholas Voss

    Bart Ehrman is a disgruntled old man. Does anyone take his research seriously? He's misled and he is trying to mislead others. I believe he's insane.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Kay

      Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make him insane.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      And you base your opinion on exactly what?

      May 14, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  11. HAL9000

    To say the new Testament books are forgeries is to say the writers didn't practice what they preached. Truth and honesty are focal points of Christianity. Reading some of these comments all I can say is that all the criticism of all things Christian these days was prophesied long ago and will become more and more apparent as these "last days" continue.

    Times haven't changed. People spat in the face of Jesus then and they continue to do so now....but not for long.

    Armageddon wasn't predicted because everyone will be in good with God, it was predicted because God will one day "clean house" when He's had enough.

    May 14, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Kay

      Not very loving, then, is he?

      May 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Stanley Wilson

      Hello, Sodom and Gomorrah.... appreciate that post. Truly and well-spoken.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • HAL9000

      "Kay: Not very loving, then, is he?"

      It all depends on what your definition of "love" is. Take a parent who disciplines child for misbehavior. does that discipline mean the parent doesn't love the child?

      May 15, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Well said, Hal! The Earth itself is groaning in expectation of that day!
      Blessed be the Name of the Lord who will perform what He has promised! Those whose hearts ar e longing for His righteousness will rejoice and be glad! But there is no rock large enough nor deep enough where those who hate Him will be able to hide themselves from the brightness of His glory, and the sword of His word comming out of His mouth! What will then the mockers do ? ...but it is not His will that any should perish! He does not delight in the death of the wicked! Yet they chose their own way!

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      @Kay
      You said "Not very loving, then, is he?

      Well, dear, depends who you are, and how you responded to God while He still offered His mercy to you!

      May 16, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  12. Vegan

    I find this quote highly ironic:

    Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”

    May 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  13. Who Cares?

    Arguing over stuff that happened 2,000+ years ago = fail. Why not argue about real issues, like is Donald Trump's hair real or fake?

    May 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  14. myke

    Scary what a little college math and religious extreamism can become. i'd like to see the equation for that one
    C.C. (community college) RCC (Roman Catholic Church)=LT (LOONEY TOONS)

    May 14, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Myke...can't stay and discuss but look up Frank Tipler's work, thats where some of the math comes from...as well as Schroeder's formula....

      May 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      airwx wrote: "look up Frank Tipler's work'

      Is that the work he did before he lost his mind, or after?

      May 15, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Q

      Thanks for the tip. Definitely seeing all of Tipler crazy here...

      May 15, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  15. frank

    Why did God make Job eat caca? This God seems like a sadistic pervert, and hardly an imaginative one, for that matter. Other than the platypus, those are pretty cool, I suppose.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • airwx

      It might surprise you to learn that Job is not a book of scripture. It is a Jewish morality play, intended to teach the consequeces of self-righteous behavior. Satan never wagered, there was no caca, just a nice epic poem.

      May 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • HAL9000

      Self-righteous behavior is never mentioned in in the Book of Job. nor is there any wager by Satan. It was a challenge that man only loves God because of the things God provides. In the end Satan was proved wrong and all the things Satan took away from Job were replenished by God. Along with a renewed understanding by Job and his friends that we are not privy to all the going-ons in Heaven or God's ultimate plans...so we are in no position to question the Almighty.

      Moses is credited with writing the book of Job.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Kay

      I have often wondered why God cared what Satan thought. Instead of allowing all those horrible things to happen to Job, God should have simply told Satan "Believe what you want. I know better. You're just jealous."

      May 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • HAL9000

      "Kay: I have often wondered why God cared what Satan thought. Instead of allowing all those horrible things to happen to Job, God should have simply told Satan 'Believe what you want. I know better. You're just jealous.'"

      Keep in mind there is always an audience whenever God acts. Both human and angelic. And both creatures have free will. Knowing this, there is a constant effort by Satan to undermine God and convince this audience that He is not needed and wrong about everything. It is part of the way he draws you away from God which is his ultimate goal.

      May 15, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  16. Thomas R Quinn

    Why is God so bad at record-keeping? Anyone know where they stashed The Ten Commandments? Why is the Bible so subject to debate? If a god wanted us to believe, why not just show up in the sky and say "Hey! It's me! Pretty impressive, eh? Now straighten up!" All debate would end. Instead, we're asked to have faith–which is what you ask of someone when you don't have the goods to prove your point. For laughs and facts, check out: http://TRQuinn.com "What Do You Do with a Chocolate Jesus?"

    May 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • airwx

      @ TR... OK already, we get that you're hawking a book.....

      May 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • HAL9000

      It was done. The miracles when Jews departed Egypt. The miracles that Jesus provided. For his trouble he was tortured and executed. There is this misconception that God's forgiveness is eternal. It's not. There is one sin mentioned in the Bible that has no forgiveness....sinning against the Holy Spirit. That is to say that when the truth or God's presence/existence/influence can become no more apparent and yet people still reject God, there is no coming back from that.

      God is interested in our salvation. He cuts us A LOT of slack...but it's not forever. Someday that "beyond the shadow of a doubt" proof will present itself ... then the real suffering will begin: to those knowing they have rejected God and there is no longer any redemption for your actions.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Unconvinced

      @ HAL, umm hate to break it to you there is no archeological evidence that the Israelites were ever slaves in Egypt.

      May 15, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • HAL9000

      "Unconvinced: @ HAL, umm hate to break it to you there is no archeological evidence that the Israelites were ever slaves in Egypt."

      The same was said about the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah. Thought there will always be disputes about the accuracy of anything....including archaeological evidence. How long was the origin of man pinned to Africa when evidence showed up in Israel to prove differently? Archeology is always growing, always learning. stay tunned for even bigger finds.

      May 15, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  17. Salah

    It is not the Words of that matters, it is the life of Christ which never left the Church.
    Christianity is not a "religion of the book", it is about how to live the life of Christ.
    Ehrman is good in his confusion of Christianity while making money in the process

    May 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Thomas R Quinn

      Your argument makes no sense. Since the only official account of Jesus' life is the New Testament, it's the only basis to "live the life of Christ." Your reasoning is a bailout for biblical blunders. Check out: http://TRQuinn.com "What Do You Do with a Chocolate Jesus?'

      May 14, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • man

      Salah,
      You seem to have missed a very important Biblical point. Deuteronomy 8:3 – "And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." (ESV) That verse was quoted by Jesus in Matthew 4:4, in fact it was His reply to Satan when Satan told him to prove that He was the Son of God by changing the stones in the desert to loaves of bread. Jesus taught His followers that the only good response to those who treat you poorly, or tempt you, was to love them and share God's Word with them. The words in the Bible are INCREDIBLY important.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • man

      Mr Quinn,
      Jesus is referenced throughout the Old Testament as well. In fact, He is seen in several places, Genesis 18 and Daniel 3 are but two.

      May 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • I Don't Get It

      @man: "The words in the Bible are INCREDIBLY important."

      It is unfortunate (and telling) that an all-knowing and all-powerful "God" wasn't able to communicate in words that weren't so vastly mis-written, mis-transcribed, mistranslated, misinterpreted and misunderstood.

      May 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Free

      man-
      Where does the name 'Jesus' appear in the Old Testament? You're referencing either God himself, in the purely monotheistic Jewish sense, or angels. 'Messiah' does not mean the demigod offspring of YHWH, it just meant anointed one.
      Any other interpretation is just something that some pastor told you to believe, and isn't biblical at all. Sorry to have to tell you that, but it's better that you learn this later than not at all.

      May 14, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  18. xebob

    Witherington calls Ehrman's book " Gulliable Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things". Could not the same thing be said of the Bible itself? People rising from the dead, a donkey that talks, a burning bush that talks, food raining from the sky for 40 years, the sun standing still for a day,etc. That last one is a real kicker, because for the sun to stand still the earth would have to stop moving and then you would get a combination of no gravity and people and things being thrown off the planet. The Bible is a work of fiction filled with wondrous stories, and real life tends to be not wondrous but plain and drab and ordinary. This is why the Bible grabs people's attention. The more outrageous and wondrous the story, the more entertaining it is but also the more likely it is to not have happened.

    There is a reason why most people become christians when they are children or young teenagers. It's because they still have the mentality of children that they accept the Bible as being true. Having accepted the Bible as true, a defense mechanism forms when they are presented with proof otherwise. This is natural. But there is a verse in the Bible which says, " When I was a child I thought like a child, acted like a child, and spoke like a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things ".

    My mother was a devout christian and when she was in the hospital dying, did I try to convince her that the Bible was false? No, sometimes comfort is more important than truth.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      xebob wrote: "There is a reason why most people become christians when they are children or young teenagers. It's because they still have the mentality of children that they accept the Bible as being true."

      Why are you discriminating against Jews and Muslims (among others) ?? Their children are just as brainwashed as the children of Christians... (let's not forget the old saw: "God will punish you if..."

      May 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • man

      xebob – Gravity is a function of the mass of the earth, not its rotation. Should study your physics a little more closely before you try to use it to prove your point.
      Unfortunately for your scientific argument, you are hanging your opinion on a constantly changing set of standards. Before Einstein, the universe was thought to be eternally existent and was expected to exist eternally. After general relativity and the advances it led to via Hubble and others, it was determined that the universe had a beginning. That's a big change. For thousands of years "scientists" mocked the Bible for saying the universe had a beginning. Then about 50 years ago, they changed their minds. I am a patient man – some day science will get closer to the truth. After all,that is what they seek, isn't it?

      May 14, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Stanley Wilson

      What a shame that you don't know the God of the Bible. Or scientifically supported historical facts relating to your reference of the sun standing still.... yep, it's true, scientists have discovered (years ago, no less) that there is a missing day in the calendar of history – check it out for yourself. You ought to beef up your knowledge, somewhat at least, before you start criticizing something you don't understand. You can get in trouble pretty quick....

      May 14, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Reply to Stanley Wilson

      Stanley Wilson: What on earth does that mean? I doubt it was a scientist who discovered a missing day in the 'calendar of history' because scientists don't study ancient calendars. They study physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy etc. but not ancient calendars. Plus what missing day are you talking about. A date missing from some ancient calendar doesn't mean the sun stood still. It is physically impossible for the earth to have stopped rotating for a single day, and the started on its rotation again. Also Xebob is right about the physics issue, but wrong about gravity. The problem with the physics has to do with conservation of angular momentum.

      May 15, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Robert Johnson

      Stanley, we all know the god of the Bible: A God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell — mouths mercy, and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!

      May 15, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Get A Grip

      Stanley Wilson:

      This "Lost Day" myth is even debunked on Snopes . com.

      I sure hope that you have not responded to the emails of any former Nigerian princes about helping them reclaim their fortunes and making you wealthy in the process.

      Don't take any wooden nickels.

      May 15, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  19. Jeremy

    People who originally can't write can't learn to write later in life? Particularly where they are meeting with one of the foremost Jewish scholars of their age? Paul was certainly not illiterate by any account. Indeed, most scholarly evidence indicates that Jewish culture as a whole at the time of Christ was very literate. In any event, as a leader of the church in Jerusalem, developing literacy skills would have been an almost necessary part of Peter's job description.

    I also challenge the idea that writers can be identified 2000 years later solely by "style" or even doctrinal consistency. If you read the writings of John Wesley, for instance, they are not necessarily "doctrinally consistent" over time (although I would argue that Paul's are consistent). Sometimes we mature in perspective, or even simply in how we choose to present that perspective. Further, even contemporary writers change tone, structure, and context depending on their audience. A writer can write short sentences. A writer can also create Brobdingnagian fabrications of prolixity. The point is that sometimes style is a choice, and not simply a proclivity. Claiming to be able to determine authorship authoritatively from style and structure is a dangerous game. Good writers can adapt, and Paul was a master of adaptation to audience. He even claimed that it was one of his goals in presentation. "I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some."

    One other possibility to consider is that at certain times Paul could have had an editor who simplified his structure, while at other times he did not. We would never consider a novel, which has almost certainly been edited, not to be the creation of the original writer.

    May 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Stanley Wilson

      EXCELLENT RESPONSE, JEREMY! You expressed my thoughts to the Nth degree. Very fluently spoken and well supported. thank you for taking the time to post your comments. When people forget the basics of the study of God's Word and get lost in the pomposity of their own meager understanding and prideful arrogance, they inevitably fall into apostasy and error. What a shame that someone who is self-labeled as a "Bible scholar", could be so foolish as to challenge God's Holy Writ. Again, thank you for speaking out and please, stay on the firing line!

      May 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Jen

      Pretty hilarious, since it's quite likely that Jesus and crew didn't exist at all. It's long been acknowledged by biblical scholars that most of the bible was written centuries after the events that allegedly took place. Not to mention the fact that it's been translated and re-translated umpteen times. When will you people accept that this book is a completely human fabrication, full of ideas and stories borrowed from earlier religions?

      May 15, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • humanbean

      LOL! You are both delusional seeing as how the whole thing is made up no matter who wrote it or what writing style they used.

      May 15, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Bea

      you've hit the nail on the head, jeremy, when you say who wouldn't edit a novel. which is what the bible is.

      May 15, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  20. Jesus of Nazareth

    This is obviously not true. Everyone knows the bible was written in God's own language... English. So all this talk of Greek and Hebrew seems to miss the fact that those people aren't Christian.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Thomas R Quinn

      As they saying goes, "If the King's English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me." Fact is, the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were given those names by the Church centuries after they were written. And it's been long established that they were written generations aftrer the events they describe by people who didn't see them. Luke admits right up front that the story is second-hand information. Matthew and Luke were based on Mark. John was the only independent Gospel, which is why it disagrees so often with the other three–though they all disagree with each other in many places. For laughs and facts about all this, check out: http://TRQuinn.com. "What Do You Do with a Chocolate Jesus?"

      May 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Maureen FitzPatrick Wilks

      Oh please, just ask any speech writer, executive assistant or other prefessonal who crafts another's words they must sincerely believe in as a leader into something clearer and more elegant to support the faith and vision intended. God speaks through many persons. Blessings to all, Maureen

      May 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • Gary L. Hammontree

      God's language is English? Give me a freakin' break. And I suppose that Adam was the first mortal to speak English? Just read that again and tell us just exactly how did that happen?

      May 15, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Gary L. Hammontree

      I can only assume that you are speaking tongue in cheek, because otherwise that would be utterly ridiculous. Did Adam speak English also?

      May 15, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • MSL58

      Brilliant satire – thanks!

      May 15, 2011 at 4:01 am |
    • artifactsofmars

      This is another case of a commie liberal trying to undermine the faith (and sell a book). They have torn crosses off war memorial walls and attacked the ability of Christians to worship at every step. Now the liberals are trying to undermine the faith by claiming the Bible is a fake. Incredible!

      May 15, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • CH

      Gary L. Hammontree is without clue.

      May 15, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • AlexBP

      This article is missing the point. The ENTIRE bible is forged, false, and crap.

      May 15, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • Dobro

      Snicker. Assuming you are not joking, you might consider that English derived from Germanic languages through Anglo-Saxon, the latter not being developed until the 5th century. My guess would be that you are calling into question the timing of biblical development, suggesting that Jesus was alive 500 years later than traditionally accepted. Does that make you an atheist?

      May 15, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      artifactsofmars wrote: "This is another case of a commie liberal trying to undermine the faith (and sell a book)."

      You forgot to add the word "Pinko"... rants like yours usually include it... as for selling a book... are you against private enterprise or are you against books? You appear to be opposed to education, but that shouldn't be surprising, given the rest of your comment...

      Oh, by the way, how do you know that the bible isn't "fake" (to use your terminology) ???

      May 16, 2011 at 12:22 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.