home
RSS
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. Steve (the real one)

    This dude really a scholar? He seems clueless on the term SCRIBE!

    May 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Artist

      Steve (the real one)

      This dude really a scholar? He seems clueless on the term SCRIBE!
      ---------
      So this is the only thing you question regardign what he states? Interesting....

      May 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Artist,

      I have more, just not sure if you can handle it! After all it is pimp slap an artist day, is it not?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      I'm sorry artist, "pimp slip" was not neccessary. I retract that and instead add "Three stooges slap". Now I feel better!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Rick

    You mean to say the Bible is not real?!? What a surprise!!

    May 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  3. craven

    This is just your typical average case of a jew(Ehrman) disavowing anything to do with the new testament in order to boost his own beliefs or lack of them. Those commenters here who mock, taunt, or call crazy those who have a belief are just walking in the dark wearing thier own evil on thier sleeves for everyone to see. Of course it could just as easily be Mr Ehrman's gay viewpoints that brought this about rather than his jewish background. These two things seem to go hand in hand now days thanks to our Obamination of a president.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chris

      also, c0cks

      May 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Alverant

      Well luvin'jesusandlife, please explain this and why you go after Atheists for being "mean". How can you blame Atheists for fighting back against this?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • saf62

      My gosh, what ridiculous comment you had to make! First of all, you displayed your prejudice against Jews, then you included gays. The writer of the article, on the other hand, was not mocking, nor was he boasting. He was stating observations from his study into the writing of the new testament. You, on the other hand, would have never gotten that far as you will never allow yourself to see any other viewpoint, or even consider another side. You appear not as a believer, but as a narrow-minded prejudiced human being.

      May 24, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Xuxun

      craven: Why is it that those who question God walks in the dark?

      It is absolute possible that those who question the concept of 'God' are the ones who sees the light, and those who accepts it without question and on faith are the ones who walk in darkness.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • Dave Martrin

      Thats good name to represent your belief system. The Bible was not assembled unitl Athenasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, identifies the 27 books of the New Testament which are today recognized as the canon of scripture. The canonical Christian Bible was formally established by Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem in 350 (although it had been generally accepted by the church previously), confirmed by the Council of Laodicea in 363 (both lacked the book of Revelation), and later established by the aforementioned Athanasius of Alexandria in 367 (with Revelation added), and Jerome's Vulgate Latin translation dates to between AD 382 and 420. Latin translations predating Jerome are collectively known as Vetus Latina texts. So there was a lot of human editing and politics involved in what became Gods inspired book.

      June 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  4. Elizabeth

    None of this is news. I've been taught for years that the gospels were mostly written a century or more after the events they describe, and were therefore subject to the human tendency to 'craft' a better story. That many of the Pauline letters, in whole or in part, were not Pauline is common knowlege.

    Only 'inerrantists' who believe the Bible is the Word of God, as spoken by God (in all the various translations and versions) find this troubling. Those of us who believe that the scripture is a record of human interaction with God, subject to all the limitations of human memory and reason, are not particularly concerned. My faith is not dependent on every preacher (Paul or my local priest) being able to speak with God's voice, nor on every squiggle in every copy of the Bible being the perfect record of God's speech. We are HUMAN and therefore fallible; our faith, therefore, will be also.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Ugh...

      "Those of us who believe that the scripture is a record of human interaction with God, subject to all the limitations of human memory and reason, are not particularly concerned."

      That is why you are using this bogus book to block the civil rights of gays and lesbians while quoting scriptures. Typical Christians twisting everything so they don't have to face the fact it's all lies.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • hmmmm

      English Bible Mistranslation / Ho-mo-s-ex-uality

      Before anyone deems this post to be heretical, at least read it first. All of it, please.

      And by the way, this is not my theological essay.

      English Bible Mistranslation / Ho-mo-s-ex-uality
      For years, many doc-uments have described the mistranslation of the Bible into English from the original Hebrew and Koine (ancient Greek) New-Testament writings. Issues of incorrect translation concern many areas, such as: the word "virgin" (Isaiah 7:14); the name "Yahweh" (YHWH); descriptions of angels; the term "Sons of God"; and incorrectly translating forbidden s-ex-ual practices.

      There are several passages often mistranslated as forbidding ho-mo-s-ex-ual activity; however, those Bible passages can be correctly translated by considering many aspects of the Bible, as a whole: literal translation, rarity, priorities, sanity-test and reality-test.

      Literal Translation- . In the New Testament, the two verses 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy 1:10 are often mistranslated as condemning ho-mo-s-ex-uality in English Bibles (but not in the Roman Latin Vulgate Bible or the 1545 German Bible of Martin Luther). Mistranslation is based on two ancient Greek words "malakoi" & "ar-senokoitai" (Greek letters "AR-SENOKOITAI " literally, "male-beds"), which was a new word used by Paul (Saul) at the time and not a common term for ho-mo–s-ex-uality. Because Paul was speaking in a religious context, the word "ar-senokoitai" has been translated as referring to male-pimps or customers in temple prost-itution, a common practice in so-called pagan rituals widespread in Temple Cult worship of the time. [The minor term "malakoi" (used to describe "soft" clothing) is non-s-ex-ual and has been translated as "effeminate" (KJV), although others state "weaklings" or "morally weak, lazy" men.]

      Rarity of Words- . The ancient Greek word "ar-senokoitai" occurs in only those 2 verses, 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy 1:10. Logically, if ho-mo-s-ex-uality were considered a sin, there should be many verses about it, and the word "ar-senokoitai" would occur more than twice if it had referred to a major issue, such as ho-mo-s-ex-uality; the rarity of the word fits the logical translation: the word "ar-senokoitai" refers to the rare practice of temple prost-itution, not general ho-mo-s-ex-uality. (See: 73 references to ar-senokoit* found in TLG E Feb/2000, ) Yet, precisely because the word is so rare and had no formal definition, the word "ar-senokoitai" is crucial in fostering misinterpretation of the Bible: a more common word could not be so easily redefined.

      Priorities – . The verses in the Bible follow certain priorities: for example, the words "adultery" or "adulteress/adulterer" (Greek "moixoi" ) occur 47 times in the King James Version; however, the word "ar-senokoitai" occurs only 2 times, and the common terms of that time period about ho-mo-s-ex-ual activity are not mentioned in the Bible at all (such as man-boy pairing, Greek "erastes-eromenos"). Condemning ho-mo-s-ex-uality in Biblical times was not an issue, not a priority, at all.

      A Sanity- Test – . Since adultery & adulterer are mentioned 47 times in the King James Version, it could be expected that a sin would be mentioned many times in the Bible: the condemnation of lying/liars occurs over 70 times ("liar" 21 times, "false witness" 19, "lying" lips/tongues 31 times); murder is prohibited 35+ times ("murderer" 20 etc.); and stealing is condemned 73+ times ("steal" 23 times, "thief/robber" 50+, except stealing for food: Proverbs 6:30 "Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry." [KJV]). However, the common terms (used in those days) to describe ho-mo-s-ex-ual activity are not even mentioned. It doesn't make sense to translate a few rare words & phrases as condemning ho-mo-s-ex-uality, when specific sins are mentioned many times in the Bible–it simply doesn't pass a sanity-test.

      A Reality- Test – . During the time period of 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 1 Timothy^ 1:10,:the word "ar-senokoitai" occurred in only a few religious writings, such as a later text describing Adam deceived to have s-ex with serpent-god Naas. The erotic literature of the period never used the word "ar-senokoitai" but used other ancient Greek terms ("erastes-eromenos": man-boy pairing) to describe ho-mo-s-ex-ual practices, and those Greek terms were never mentioned in the Greek texts of the Bible. To try to re-interpret & translate other Bible verses into condemning those specific (unnamed) acts is just not realistic–it doesn't pass a reality-test ("reality_check"). The translation of the ancient Greek New Testament must fit the language & cultures of the time period. The translation must match the reality of that era.

      Old-Testament Literal Translation – . The infamous verse Leviticus 20:13, often used to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality, is about a married-man with another male, in the "marriage-bed" as with his wife. See the Latinized Greek for Leviticus 20:13 below:

      Kai hos an koimEthE meta ar-senos koitEn
      gunaikos, bdelugma epoiEsan amphoteroi;
      thanatousthwsan, enoichoi eisin." [Lev 20:13 in Greek Septuagint LXX].

      The translation of the Greek term 'gunaikos' is interpreted to mean: wife. Hence, the verse actually forbids male-male adultery, pertaining only to a married man.

      Similarly, for Leviticus 18:22, the wording of the original Hebrew is very different from the KJV form:

      "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind:
      it is abomination." [Leviticus 18:22, King James Version]

      However, the original Hebrew for Leviticus 18:22 reveals a different 3rd meaning:

      We-et-zakar lo' tishkav mishkevey 'ishshah" [Lev 18:22 Hebrew, Latinized]
      ("And-with a-male NOT lie-down in beds-of a-woman") [Lev 18:22 literal translation]

      So, the Hebrew Leviticus 18:22 mentions: someone + a male + a woman; hence, a forbidden 3-way.

      Those 2 infamous Leviticus verses actually mention other women or wives, rather than male-male relationships, as is often the misinterpretation & mistranslation.

      When many aspects of Biblical issues are considered, there is no textual basis for misinterpreting & mistranslating Bible verses to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality: the original Hebrew & Greek texts of the Bible do not condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality at all, and so, ho-mo-s-ex-uality should not be considered a sin by today's society.

      Finally, the question arises: In 1611, did the Bible translators/scribes for King James purposely mistranslate Bible verses into English because they had intensely resented King James, with his open ho-mo-s-ex-uality & various male lovers? The answer might never be known.

      In the new book: A Gathering of Angels by Larry Dean.Hamilton, several incidents of God's approval are described in detail, including several spiritual events similar to visions. Note: That book is a true story, not a hypothetical religious sermon, but rather an accurate description of some astounding ways in which God actually works His plan. In:A Gathering of Angels, the author describes many real-life events in vivid detail as they happened, so there was too little room for ideology, and that book contains very few Bible quotations. The book is, in essence, a detailed secret revelation of divine approval for same-s-ex love.

      A Gathering of Angels (by Larry Dean.Hamilton) describes actual spiritual events in modern times, and those incidents match the teachings from the original texts of the Bible, before the King James.Version mistranslated some verses to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality.

      Addendum – . Many of the English-language Bibles have been mistranslated to condemn ho-mo-s-ex-uality, not only the 1611 King James Version. Below is a list of several English Bibles along with the phrase that translates the ancient Greek word "ar-senokoitai" (1 Corinthians 6:9), which many scholars now believe means "male-pimps" or "molesters." Note the year of each Bible & its translation of "ar-senokoitai":

      – King_James_Version (KJV 1611) "abusers of themselves with mankind"
      – Wycliffe_New_Testament (WYC 2001) "they that do lechery with men"
      – American_Standard_Version (ASV 1901) "abusers of themselves with men"
      – New_Life (NLV1969) "people who do s-ex sins with their own s-ex"
      – 21st_Century_KJV (KJ21 1994) "abusers of themselves with mankind"
      – New_American_Standard (NASB 1995) "nor effeminate, nor ho-mo-s-ex-uals"
      – New_International_Version (NIV 1984) "ho-mo-s-ex-ual offenders"
      – Amplified_Bible (1987) "nor those who participate in ho-mo-s-ex-uality"
      – Darby_Translation (public domain) "nor who abuse themselves with men"
      – Young's_Literal_Translation "nor effeminate, nor sodomites"
      – New_Living_Translation (NLT^ 1996) "male prost-itutes, ho-mo-s-ex-uals"
      – Contemporary_English_Version (1995) "behaves like a ho-mo-s-ex-ual"
      Holman_Christian_Standard (HCSB 2003) "male prost-itutes, ho-mo-s-ex-uals"

      Whereas the original Greek text of 1 Corinthians 6:9 apparently condemns cult male-pimps and child-molesters, it has been perverted in many English Bibles to condemn all ho-mo-s-ex-ual behavior.

      Similarly, Deuteronomy 23:17 is often mistranslated, about the prohibition against ritual temple cult/shrine prost-itution, specifically by either the "daughters" or "sons" of Irsael, by mistranslating the Hebrew word "qadesh" to be "sodomite" or "pervert" etc. For instance in the Amplified Bible, the verse of Deuteronomy 23:17 reads:
      "There shall be no cult prost-itute among the daughters of Israel, neither
      shall there be a cult prost-itute (a sodomite) among the sons of Israel." [Deut 23:17]

      The Hebrew text contains no word for "sodomite" but uses the male & female forms of the same word "qadesh" ("holy one") referring to either a male or a female holy s-ex-slave in the shrine ritual.

      Proper translation of Bible texts requires cultural knowledge of the time period, including pagan temple/shrine rituals of cult prost-itution & also knowledge of same-s-ex relationships during the period.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Is "Hmmmm" Latin for Reality? Man, was that long!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Reuben Kincaid

      "Holy s-ex slave in a shrine ritual"? Now that would be a religion that I would join! I still wouldn't believe in God, but a se-x slave ritual would be infinitely more entertaining than going to church is now.

      I bet if that kid from a few pages ago did a holy se-x slave ritual festival instead of a Christian rock festival, he would sell a lot more tickets. Of course, he would sell a lot more tickets to a squirrel-juggling contest also.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Elizabeth: I long held that position when I still called myself a Christian rather than an agnostic. Then I asked myself how do we know which parts in the Bible are right and which just man's fallibility. For me, I simply didn't ask that question. But I am curious how you would answer it.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  5. Billie

    Because those that profess to believe in god are only interested in judging others and forcing their view down people's throats. It's hard to respect someone who believes that god lives up in the clouds and the devil is just around the corner. All religions are based on equally impossible events invented by people who had no scientific knowledge to understand the world around them, so they made up stories about gods in the sky making thunder, etc. It's not uncivil to debate and defend a position. But, to be respected, one has to base their views on legitmate arguments, not blind faith.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • LivingInVA

      You are incorrect. It may seem that way because they tend to be the most vocal, but it not true of every person who believes in God. Several of my relatives are deeply religious, they don't judge others (we also have several atheists in our family) and you'd have to ask them about their beliefs to hear about them – they consider religion highly personal and don't push it on others. My sister who is a minister, if asked to give a prayer to a group of people outside of church, will give the shortest and most generic one you can imagine (Creator rather than God or Allah, for example).

      May 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All you non-believers scream the same rant. I could close my eyes and you all sound the same as you come off an assembly line of the same cookie cutter.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Artist

      HeavenSent

      All you non-believers scream the same rant. I could close my eyes and you all sound the same as you come off an assembly line of the same cookie cutter.

      Amen.
      ----–
      Assuming it is the real one. You do have a sense of humor. lol

      May 13, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Theo

      "All you non-believers scream the same rant. I could close my eyes and you all sound the same as you come off an assembly line of the same cookie cutter."

      This is not from the bible so I guess you were wrong when stating you only speak your "God's" truth.

      By the way you're the one ranting. LOL!

      May 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  6. Dr. F. C. Ellenburg

    What some will do to sell a book.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  7. Ben

    If only half of it's forged, what's the OTHER half? Am I missing a fine distinction between "forged" and "made up" here?

    May 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  8. Bobby

    If you really want to see another interpretation of the Bible( Old) and Creation check out Zechariah Sitchen.. Now that really would change everything if True!

    May 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  9. luvin'jesusandlife

    I wonder why people who do not believe in God seem to be so angry at those who do? And why nonbelievers often feel obliged to insult believers? What is it about others' belief in God that makes you so uncivil?

    May 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Artist

      Sometimes it is just darn fun to poke delusional people and today is Friday which is kick or slap a christian day. You didn't get the memo?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Natalie

      The same could be said of those of several religions.

      Could it be that it is a human trait and not one assigned to a particular belief?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Chris

      Because religion, in all of its forms, is essentially a philosophy that advocates willful ignorance. As such, it is a negative influence on our society and on our species as a whole. Religion was developed as a coping mechanism for ignorant and uneducated people to explain what they could not understand through rational thought and logic. We have progressed beyond that stage, and religion is now nothing more than a collection of philosophies that espouse intolerance and exclusion. It is long past time that we cease to accept and tolerate religion and start actively working to eradicate it.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I wonder why people who believe in god seem to be so angry at those who do not? And why believers often feel obliged to insult non-believers? What is it about others' non-belief in god that makes you so uncivil?
      --
      It works both ways. Which would you be – the pot or the kettle?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Billie

      Well stated, Chris.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • LivingInVA

      I'm not angry at people who believe – some of the people I respect the most are deeply religious. I get angry at people who think that anyone who doesn't believe exactly as they do are somehow lesser beings.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Artist.... glad to see you ....while you may think you are "having fun" remember there are others in the world who would call your pattern of behavior a form of cy-ber bul-lying.....You can lambast me all day I know you well enough to spar with you, but others aren't so thick skinned

      May 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Chris... remember that the inverse of your arguement is that atheists practise willful arrogance......

      May 13, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chris

      @airwax – Since when is arrogance the "inverse" if ignorance? Get a dictionary.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • luvin'jesusandlife

      Its a shame that religion is the only area (that I am aware of) where it is apparently acceptable to stifle the opinion (of the believer). This is a country that supposedly prides itself on freedom of speach, thought and expression... except when it comes to Christianity. The majority of posts by professing Christians have not been attacking the nonbeliever or trying to stifle their voices – but the converse is not true. Try to engage in healthy, mature dialogue, people.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Alverant

      Well it's when the believers in God feel they have the right to force other people to believe as they do and punish those who do not. It's when the believers in God act elitist and act like they own the concepts of "good" and "right" and try to give their own prejuices divine authority. It's when the believers in God feel secular law doesn't really apply to them. It's when the believers in God don't apply basic human standards of behavior to the deity they worship.

      Get the picture?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Hell

      Hi Luvin. I do not hate or get angry at anyone. If fact I do not close my mind completely that there may be a God. My issue is with the Bible. It is flawed in so many ways. If I have anger it is toward God who in my mind is simply not doing a very good job "managing this world".

      May 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Chris.. inverse used in the sense of a ratio....a over b becomes b over a thus cancelling each other in validity. You glittering generalities were just too inviting to ignore

      May 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Alverant

      Ahh more of the persecution complex from christianity. Let's see you dominate the "religion" section of bookstores (even having your own section at times) while non-christian religions are often shunt off to "philosophy" or "new age". You have your own TV channels where non-christians are frequently demonized and their victims aren't given the chance to defend yourselfs. Is that what you really want? To be unchallenged and free of being questioned?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Chris

      @airwx – if you're under the impression that arrogance cancels out ignorance or vice versa, you've obviously never met a Yankees fan.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Alverant... You raise an interesting point. Could it be that religion sections, bookstores and TV channels exist because of market forces and not religious feelings? If you feel there is a market niche...put up some cash and open an atheist bookstore!!!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Chris.... touche`

      May 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • YaThink

      "Could it be that religion sections, bookstores and TV channels exist because of market forces"

      Religion is a billion dollar industry.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • airwx

      @ Ya Think....Yes it is....and atheists are quickly adopting the church model for their own profit center. How many copies of the Atheists Bible, The Skeptics Bible and the Skeptics field guide have been sold. How much does it cost to attend the seminars of late. Both sides are guilty on this one....gotta run ...will check back later for your response

      May 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I bet all you non-believers got passing grades for being such KAs!

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • luvin'jesusandlife

      Alverant – I love a good challenge and a healthy dialogue! I'm a lawyer by trade – its in my blood. I just see a lot of invective in these posts. Challenging is one thing – insulting and calling someone stupid because they believe in God is something entirely different. And I will agree there are a lot of professing Christians who act anything-but...I hope that a bad experience with a professing believer is not your only reason for denying God. Everyone has an obligation to search the for the truth before making a decision. And no one should be persecuted (yes, bashing anyone because of their beliefs is persecution) for their faith.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Rick

      Maybe it's the centuries of oppression that religions have exacted on the populations of the world? Or maybe because so many religious types insist on trying to force their views on the population to this day via legislature? Or maybe because the scam that is the business of religion does not pay taxes like any other money making endeavor? I could go on and on, would you like me to? Keep you religion to yourself and have the churches pay taxes and I'd have far less problem with religion.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Frogist

      @luvinJesusandlife: Tell me, how have your religious views been stifled by non-believers? I genuinely want you to answer that. Because IMO, this is the biggest fallacy touted by believers in this country. I can understand you feeling persecuted if you lived in Iran or North Korea. But honestly, in these United States, Christians have the majority voice. Thankfully, we have within our const!tution something that says you must use it appropriately and within its own boundaries. Is that what you consider "stifling"?
      BTW believe you me, there have been just as many and worse comments made to non-believers on this forum by Christians. And not just non-believers... Infighting between Christian sects... Catholics and evangelicals and baptists... Sure, this does not make rudeness ok for either side, but it does make your comment sadly one-sided. I believe the proper position for a Christian would be to remove the beam from his own eye. Then you might see clearer.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • saf62

      Obviously, you have not read the other posts from believers. Turth is that many of the comments from unbelievers have been very civil and sensible–just as many from believers have been. But many of the "believers" have been hateful in their comments to those who do not believe.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Xuxun

      luvin'jesusandlife: Speaking for myself, I simply suffers fool poorly!

      I have the greatest respect for believers in all-things-religious and God. But when those believers started claiming they 'know the will of God' and impose those wills as they interpret it as a guidline for society, that's when my need to question and challenge - or what you termed anger - kicks in.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  10. Billie

    The idea that there is one creator is delusional. People believe because they are indoctrinated (brainwashed) by their families. Afterward, they are too scared to believe that anything else can be real – too scared to accept the possibility that this life might be all there is. What really makes me angry is when those that are religious claim that religion makes one moral. I am an atheist and I am moral because it's the right thing to do and because it allows me to look in the mirror and not feel ashamed. Question: if 95% of the world believes in god, why is there so much violence and hatred? I wish everyone would wake up and realize that religion is what divides and hurts us. Religion is the root of all evil.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Billie, from personal experience, non-believers destroyed my career and a non-believer destroyed my personal life. I never met a Christian who harmed me.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Know What

      HeavenSent,

      I am sorry that you had misfortunes in life. People can be nasty. Some were to me also, both on the job and personally - they happened to be Christians – hmmmm. I don't hold that against all Christians... and it has not one iota of bearing on the reasons that I am a non-believer.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Frogist

      @HeavenSent: When you condemn all non-believers because you didn't like one of them that's just bias. And that's reflected in your posts which seem to be filled with prejudice and personal vendetta. That doesn't sound very Christ-like or moral. There are quite a few non-believers in the same boat as you who spit venom at believers because they were hurt by one too. But you would condemn them for that, wouldn't you? Here's a thought: there is a difference between choosing between philosophical positions and rejecting something merely out of spite.

      May 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  11. Harold E. Hill

    I[1] I wish personalities were left out of "letters to the editor" (i.e.: 'name calling') and logical arguments only appeared there.

    [2] It is my theory that philosophy's goal is 'Truth" and science's is 'facts'. Philosophers use logic to build from assumptions as their basic method. Scientists gather facts (sense-perceptible phenomena), test the validity of facts by attempting their reproduction, and–using logic–make generalizations about the cosmos and its discrete elements. They do not claim their finding and genralizations to be Truth and expect that the gathering of new facts and re-examination of old ones will always challenge the generalizations.

    [3] wish that all who plan on teaching–particularly on teaching 'elementary/'grammar' school chldren–were required to have successfully completed courses in the history and philosophy of science and the 'academic' (that is:'scientific 'rather than 'proagandistic) study of religious phenomena. [I believe that the experience of a prepubescent child should be one devoted primarily to learning social skills and to becoming literate and inqusitive. The other subjects need not be taught except by 'osmosis' from the contact of educated–not merely trained–teachers.
    [4] I think of 'fundamentalism' as the product of ignorance and fear. Therefore, the first task of a democracy is to overcome ignorance and, consequently, fear of the world in which the ignorant believe themselves to be.

    [5] etc., etc., etc.!!

    May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      So facts and truth have nothing to do with one another? Awesome. That makes things easier.

      NOMA is nonsense.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Reuben Kincaid

      Sean, if you call religion "truth", then facts and truth indeed have nothing to do with one another. They are only related in the real world.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Theo

      "Sean, if you call religion "truth", then facts and truth indeed have nothing to do with one another. They are only related in the real world."

      Talk about a great job of twisting so typical of Christians.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  12. Frogist

    Just a thought since I'm not really versed in bible history or the history of that time period... but if we accept that, as illiterate as the disciples might have been, they could always have used scribes (which is a fair argument)... why didn't Jesus use a scribe and just dictate the whole "bible" clearly so that no one would misinterpret it? If it was so important, why did the Son of God not just do it himself, rather than leaving it to others? At least a foreword... a dedication... something! Him taking a couple hours out of his day to write down the most important things that happened... like Jesus' Diary. And its not like he couldn't do miracles. He could have miraculously learned how to write and left the whole scribe out of the picture. All the other dudes could still scribe down what they saw. It wouldn't negate the need for faith. We would still have to believe he really was the son of God. All the hearsay just seems unnecessary. It feels contrived. It feels like a lie.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Hell

      I am hearing that Frogist. I don't get the whole secrecy of it. Why the secrecy if God exists. He's testing us through faith simply doesn't make sense. At some point you have to blame the messenger. If you believe that Jesus was God's son then I have to say he needs a new PR guy. His message just wasn't convincing enough. he left too much left unsaid and his children are suffering for it...

      May 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Frogist, when was He suppose to do this? He only preached truth for about 3 years before they brutally tortured Him on the cross.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Reuben Kincaid

      Of course Jesus didn't write anything. He expected the end of the world to happen within a few years – within the lifetimes of some of his listeners. They didn't get the book thing going until after his prophesy turned out to be wring (which they handled by ignoring what he said and came up with this really tortured argument that Jesus meant the transfiguration.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Know What

      HeavenSent,
      "He only preached truth for about 3 years before they brutally tortured Him on the cross."

      "God" can do anything, remember?!

      He could have turned out pages in the flick of the wrist – presto, pronto.

      He could have had himself live 500 years or more and have plenty of time to make his message irrefutable.

      No, this supposed omnipotent, and omniscient being left very poor records of his existence and of his credibility as a messenger of truth.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Frogist

      @HeavenSent: Know What answered that question for me. But I will add, that if his disciples, mortal men, managed it, why would it be beyond the Son of God? I wonder about your lack of faith in God's abilities.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  13. David

    As to the "forgery" matter, it is common knowledge that many of the biblical writers used scribes. This often accounts for differences in literary style. For example, The Book of Romans closes with the following statement: "I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord" (Romans 16:2).

    As far as the discrepancies in Corinthians, it was desirable that if women had questions or wanted more information about a subject, that such questions be directed to their husbands in private. This was done to preserve order during public worship. This was not intended to discourage women from attending worship services.

    May 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      @David: That does not explain why one passage tells women to be silent but the other has conditions for women speaking in church. BTW Do these rules still stand? Are women still supposed to keep their mouths shut in church and only ask their husbands to interpret sermons for them? Are these God's rules that we cannot disregard ever?

      May 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  14. Artist

    Interesting, quiet from the skitz on how their bible is the true word of god????????????? I wouls expect a toddler response of "he is a liar and doesn't know the truth!"

    May 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Go to hell Artist
      Amen..

      May 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Now, now phony heavensent, don't get out of sorts.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  15. abby

    ah, Luke was a physician - I doubt that he was "illiterate" - and actually if you pay attention Paul was literate; he was a Pharisee originally; Matthew was originally a tax collector and had to be literate to do his job. Peter and the rest had other people with them who were literate.... Regardless, we all should realize that at best we are dealing with compositions created over time....

    May 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Hell

    Have you ever thought about how often God gets angry in the Bible. He gets Angry! Can a perfect being get angry?? How about the fact he had a chosen people. So he's a bigot too? So lets get this straight, he helped the jewish armies, so other armies (and presumably their children) got killed? Does that sound like a perfect being (father on man)?

    May 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • LifeinHell

      Excellent points all! Inculcated from early life in many families. Dogma rules! NOT

      May 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Stevie7

      He's also REALLY obsessed with genealogy. You miss most of that in mass, because they skip over it, but there's verse upon verse upon verse of who begat who. If god really wanted to impart his omniscient wisdom upon us, why did he have his authors concentrate so much on the begatting? Weren't there better things to relate to us?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Can a perfect being get angry?"
      Excellent question.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • andrew

      An important note to add: God is determined to redeem his creation... That's why we are still here, and why he has become involved.
      But maybe he could have been like many inept fathers today and not be involved with what he created? Think about that!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Lancee

      So a perfect being only has positive emotions? To me, something perfect is something complete and balanced. This would require a full range of all emotions and their perfect execution. You are looking as a human seeing death or being "killed" as a bad thing because you assume it is an end. God answered a plee which shifted some people around from one side of existance to another. Whether or not this will be good or bad depends completely on the individual when he/she gets judged. He was simply moving them from earth to "heaven" seperating the playing pieces. I don't think God would see people coming home as bad. Thus I doubt death was a punishment. Only final judgement for those who were wicked would be a punishment.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Stevie7

      god wasn't really all that concerned with his first go around at creation. He kept the sun and stars and land at all that, but then apparently used a flood to kill just about every living being on the planet – man, woman, child, infant, and the unborn. Now THERE'S an abusive father for you!

      May 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Theo

      “God answered a plee which shifted some people around from one side of existance to another. Whether or not this will be good or bad depends completely on the individual when he/she gets judged. He was simply moving them from earth to "heaven" seperating the playing pieces. I don't think God would see people coming home as bad. Thus I doubt death was a punishment. Only final judgement for those who were wicked would be a punishment.”

      What a great example on how the human mind can come up with all kinds of factious things about a perfect God that doesn’t exist. Then think they can also speak for this so called god. What a creative imagination humanity demonstrates.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Stevie7, then I suppose you just wished He killed the fools that rebelled against Him and call it a day?

      What if you were one of the souls that rebelled against Him in the first earth age?

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • civiloutside

      "'t think God would see people coming home as bad. Thus I doubt death was a punishment. "

      That kind of takes the teeth out of the "death is the punishment for the Fall" argument, doesn't it?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Stevie7

      HeavenSent
      "Stevie7, then I suppose you just wished He killed the fools that rebelled against Him and call it a day?

      What if you were one of the souls that rebelled against Him in the first earth age?

      Amen."
      -------------
      Considering it's a made up story, I don't really wish much of anything. It's about as pointless as wishing that the tooth fairy had given my friend more money two decades ago. What strikes me as odd is that people think an all-loving god would take a mulligan by committing planeticide. And what strikes me as really really weird is that we have songs and childrens books and museums about this. We celebrate god's mass murder. weird.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  17. Ted

    Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”......ohhhh the irony in that statement is priceless!

    May 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  18. susansocal

    This scholar hasn't changed my mind or my heart. God speaks to each one of us, and we all have the choice to respond or not. I am thankful for God, his son and the holy spirit for the comfort and grace that I've been given and that I chose to give. It does seem funny that so many are offended by rightous living, choosing good and pure things.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Artist

      God speaks to you? Please get help....
      .
      Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
      As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
      • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
      • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

      May 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Steven

      Rightous living? You God commanded his followers to stone to death those who commited adultry. He gave direction to kill whole communities including the women and children just because he felt they were not worthy. If you really would open your eyes and read the whole Bible, you will see that you are following a God that is really a pretty cruel being who has stated many times that he is a jealous God. Wait, isn't Jealousy a sin? Oh! i guess it is ok if you are a God. And isn't murdering women and children a sin? Oh yes...Again, he is a God, so that makes it ok.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • susansocal

      I completely honor your choice to reject God. You should honor my choice as well. Best wishes to ya

      May 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      susansocal, these non-believers don't have eyes to see nor ears to hear His truth.

      Good post though.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Artist

      susansocal

      I completely honor your choice to reject God. You should honor my choice as well. Best wishes to ya
      -----–
      Yes you are free to live in your delusion. We are free to offer our opinion on this delusion. What is amazing is most people do not even verify the integrity of the book they are reading. Or at least understand how it was created. Of course they would need to go outside the realm of their church to get honest factual answers.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Steven

      Susan, I have not "rejected" God as you imply. Another reason as to why I don't follow fundamentalist beliefs...You all are far to preocupied in judging and makings statements like that. I never said that I don't believe in God. I just don't believe that God is as the Bible states. I don't reject God at all....I reject the teaching of a book that if you will again "Read" you will find is full of contradictions. I noticed you never responded about my comments about Gods past activities? Are you to say that you are willing to ignore the facts and just simply believe? If so, then more power to you! I wish you well and can only say that I am saddened to see that can overlook the cruelty of your God because I chose not to overlook it.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Tribble10

      Let's hear it for susansocal!!! Since god has been 'talking' to you, I'm sure you've read and follow his sequels: The Book of Mormon and the Koran- if you really want to lead a good life, you have to know what he has said and wants you to do? Right? Or, those books, dare I say, forgeries??? How does one believer dance around the holy books of another believer who believes in the same god, but says different things?

      May 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Natalie

      I am pleased for you that you have found faith that sustains you and gives meaning to your life.

      So have I. It just took me in a very different direction.

      To find good and pure things and righteous living, I had to leave religion, and in particular Christianity, behind.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Steven

      Heavensent really just said that? This person accuses me of not seeing or hearing the truth? I really got a laugh out of that one! ha 🙂 Again...People like Heavensent and Susansocal believe what they are told... They do not read the Bible in its whole...They pick and choose verses and follow their religion that does the same thing. I challenge them to read it all the open their eyes... Wishfull thinking though.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Steven

      To Natalie: I agree with your post... I too, had to leave religion as I knew it to truly find peace. It was a long journey, but one that I am proud that I found. I no longer live in fear of a God that will punish me if I am not perfect and a Devil that is waiting for those of us that "deny our God" with fire and brimstone. I also have found that the world is full of wonderful people in all faiths.... to even think that fundamental chirstians all believe that they are the only ones going to Heaven because they "accepted Jesus as their savior". It is truly sad... Again, I appreciate you post and my thoughts are with you on your journey as well.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • HeavenSects

      God just spoke to me and told me you all have too much time on your hands.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Steven, I haven't attended church since I was a teenager. I read the Bible on my own. It is the most fascinating book ever written. There are no discrepancies in the Bible, only flaws in the human reading it.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      HeavenSent wrote: "I read the Bible on my own. It is the most fascinating book ever written. There are no discrepancies in the Bible, only flaws in the human reading it. "

      Have you read all the other books ever written? I'm impressed !!!! As for your last sentence... there are no facts in the bible... only flaws in the humans who believe the fairy tales within...

      May 13, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Know What

      HeavenSent,

      1. You give your ego too much credit - that *you* can correctly interpret that book.

      2. You rely heavily on interpretations and comments from the Watchman group, Darwin Fish and others, so don't imply that you fly solo.

      May 13, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Steven

      Heavensent...The fact that you claim there our no flaws or contradictions in the Bible tells me that you really have not read it as much as you claim. I can fill a small book with the contradictions in the Bible. Some are so obvious that is is almost humorous that people don't see them until they are pointed out. Again.... Go back to my first statement Heavensent... Why do you believe in a God that says it is ok to kills whole villages, women and children?

      May 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Cam

      BTW Heavensent do you even know where the word Amen comes from? Your probably too stupid to realize your doing nothing but praising the Egyptian Sun God Amen Ra. That is where the word came from.

      May 14, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  19. Steven

    Great article... It is about time that people start questioning religion and all the traditions that seem only to lead to division and more hatred. I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist church and grew up fearing the world and believing that the world around me was full of evil. Come to find out, the evil was really within the church and the world was really full of great wonderful people. I just had to open my eyes, and my mind. It took some time, but I got there. This article is one of many that affirms what I have felt for years. The Bible is a great book... but is NOT the perfect word of God, as many believe.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Hell

      I agree Steven, good principles in the book for the most part, but now God inspired.

      May 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All you non-believers stoop to the same low ... pretending you were once a Christian. Just write the truth. Mommy and daddy didn't care enough about you to bring you to church to learn His truth.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Stevie7

      I spent decades in church and school reading and rereading the bible. It's when I took and step back and actually thought for myself, instead of thinking what my preist, parents, or teachers were telling me what I had to believe Or Else that I saw the light, as it were, and freed myself from the fear and ignorance that was surrounding me.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Theo

      “All you non-believers stoop to the same low ... pretending you were once a Christian. Just write the truth. Mommy and daddy didn't care enough about you to bring you to church to learn His truth.”

      Actually, I had to attend church every Sunday, take Sunday school classes, go to a Christian camp during the summer, read aloud scriptures and pray every night before bed. With all that brainwashing, I still was able to understand it was bogus

      May 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • LivingInVA

      HeavenSent: I'm sorry you find it so hard to believe that if you go to church, you won't question what you are taught. My parents raised 7 kids in the Presbyterian church – as adults our family is now: a Unitarian, a Jew, an agnostic, an atheist, and three Presbyterians – one of whom is a minister.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Attending church or not attending church has absolutely nothing to do with your responsibility to read His truth on your own.

      Amen.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Attending church or not attending church has absolutely nothing to do with your responsibility to read His truth on your own."

      -----–

      Reading the whole thing on it's own and not a small section packaged into some sermon or class lesson is what finally opened my eyes.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • sam

      Obviously your parents twisted views jaded you. Your remarks as well as the others on this post have proven that none of you have read tha Bible for yourselves or don't have a solid relationship with Jesus. The Bible was written for the followers of Christ. For others to read it looking for errors is foolish. Go on any quest looking for fault and you will find it. By the way, religion and the Bible have nothing to do with eachother. The religious leaders were the cause of the death of Jesus.

      May 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Nate

      All the same things I used to say when I had my relationship with Jesus. Just because I abandoned those beliefs doesn't make them any less valid than the ones you currently hold.

      May 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Joe

      Heaven Sent- you are right a person should read the bible and determine the truth on their own. Do not accept blindly another mans truth for it may not be your own. I have now been challenged to re read the bible to see if there is a writing style difference. If there is then I will be laughing a long long time as people swear to tell the truth on a book of lies... I hope I find the author of "Forged" wrong but that is a judgement I will make myself.

      May 14, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  20. Chris

    "Witherington calls Ehrman’s book “Gullible Travels, for it reveals over and over again the willingness of people to believe even outrageous things.”"
    Did anyone else find this to be enormously hilarious, coming from a guy trying to defend the veracity of the Bible? It made me lol.

    May 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Bill the Cat

      I'll take Witherington over Errorman any day. Bumbling Bart has been caught with his scholarly pants down so many times, that the mere mention of his name ellicits laughter in many circles. Ehrman has not a single shred of evidence for his claims, and then uses those baseless claims to make other claims. He also inflates things that he sees as problems while ignoring the work of other scholars in those fields he is questioning. Overall, Ehrman is busy creating chicken littles and providing skeptics more poor arguments.

      May 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
Advertisement
About this blog

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.