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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. eeenok

    this is not news. it is standard scholarly opinion ... anybody expressing surprise or outrage is revealing their ignorance that this is a very old and unremarkable opinion. it is that ignorance, rather than the disagreement with ehrman, that marks people as unqualified to weigh in with their silly viewpoints: they have spent their lives marveling at the magical Word of the Lord without seriously grappling with the common criticisms. Ben Witherington is a nobody with a very minority position, generally held by people employed by the sort of bible colleges where one must sign a "faith" agreement that they will NOT conduct an unbiased examination of the facts, but rather only arrive at conclusions convenient to supporting previously held religious beliefs. fundamentalist apologetics has descended into a meta-faith of well-advertised but little-read arguments: christians who used to just believe in jesus or the bible, now believe "the work of X has reassured me by proving that my beliefs are true. i can't explain the theory myself, but the book was really thick with proper references and everything". the fact that this work is just a totem to be waved around, rather than a critically read work that informs useful debate, is illustrated by the number of fundamentalist commenters here who can't even spell the X they refer to

    May 17, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  2. Reginald Selkirk

    The article introduces Ehrman as a "renowned biblical scholar" and Witherington as a "New Testament scholar," with no mention of their academic affiliations or their comparative status in the field of New Testament studies, nor of how widely these views are known or accepted among biblical scholars. I.e. it sets up a phony balance.

    Ehrman is author of some of the most widely used textbooks on the New Testament. He is a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

    Witherington works at Asbury Theological Seminary, which posts this as part of their "Statement of aith" on their web site: "Scripture In the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both the Old and New Testaments, the only written Word of God, without error in all it affirms. The Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice. The Holy Spirit preserves God's Word in the church today and by it speaks God's truth to peoples of every age;" I.e. Witherington is contractually obligated to support the inerrancy of the Bible. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating his objectivity.

    The claims of forged status of several books in the New Testament should not be news to anyone who has undertaken academic textual studies of the Bible in the last century. This is widely known amongst academics. What is new is that Ehrman is taking this message to the masses. It should be shameful to Christianity that learned clergy have not made this known to their flocks already.

    May 17, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  3. Tad Winiecki

    Luke wrote twenty-seven per cent of the words in the New Testament. Paul wrote 25%. The author of Hebrews is unknown. If Paul wrote Hebrews then he wrote 29% of the words in the New Testament. This is based on a word count of the New Revised Standard Version. It is inaccurate to say, "Paul wrote most of the New Testament".

    May 17, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  4. Wes

    I think it is a leap of faith in it self to say that all or most of these people who wrote the Bible where illiterate. The Gospels point out that Jesus went to Synagogues and taught from the Bible. You also assume to much if you think the Disciples were illiterate. John and James the fisherman were sons of a rich fisherman, he own many boats. They could afford an education. Other of the disciples came from very reputed back grounds.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  5. JD

    So lets just take the gospels. It has long been believed by many "biblical schoolers" that the gospel of Mark was actually the "memoirs of Peter", which if true, we can be quite sure Peter would have picked someone who knew how to read or write to dictate his first hand account of Jesus's life too! Of course Luke was educated as a Doctor, so we can be pretty sure he had the capability to write his own gospel account based on his research. Furthermore, are we to assume that most of the disciples of Jesus were to stupid to learn how to read and write based on the "Biblical fact" that Jesus, their Rabi (teacher), and live with companion for three years, could obviously do so, when he was found by his parents taking on the greatest educated religious minds of the day, at the age of twelve, in the temple! If nothing else is believed about the "historical Jesus', it is at pretty easy to believe he was certainly no dummy, and probably had close to a"genius IQ", regardless wether one wants to believe "it" was greatly misguided or not! So lets have none of this "self called" biblical scholar's poorly thought out "pathetic" attempts to discredit the writing of the Bible! The 'REAL" debate is wether it is to be believed or not!

    May 17, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  6. Jumpin' Joe Hasaphat

    .

    Let ye who hath faith in that crap ye call the Word keepth reading it soeth those who hath Faith in He shall live.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  7. BulMoose

    I rejected religion and belief in God growing up. I have an Engineering and Physics degree and now semi-retired.
    I accepted God as real when I was led to avoid life threatening situations on 3 occaisions. Each time I avoided the
    danger by listening to what was a silent voice in thought that preceded the event. It guided me to safety. Some may call it
    the voice of an angel. It took a personal experience to convince me of the supernatural. I have never heard the voice or had
    these thoughts outside these close calls with death. I realize that like quantum theory and the uncertainty principle, God lies outside the confines of our physical world and can move about it at His will. Time is defined by the positions of matter, matter is frozen energy, and the supernatural isn't bound by this. Be still and hear the voice of God. Keep searching beyond the arrogant western thinking and Greek method that pidgeon-holes one's conclusions regarding God. Take it from a former Agnostic existentialist, it is the most powerful experience and communion of thought I've ever experienced. Jesus is a man of peace. I study His word and be a living example of how he treated others. I have shed myself of things that have held me back like materialism, drugs, and pleasures of the flesh. I'm not a recluse, I work in the community and have a family. Lastly,
    If you don't believe in the good manifestations of the spirit, just look around and witness the spiritual evil that rules this world.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ BulMoose

      It's peculiar how those who gather themselves here to belittle those of us who speak of faith in God, circle around a post like yours, and pretend not to see it!
      I find your post being inspiring , and offering much wisdom to a reader.
      But you will find that this type of forum , after it becomes overrun by certain type of people, resembles more to a camp of fools wallowing intoxicated with their folly, then a place where sound minded, decent people would gather to talk about things worthy to talk about!
      Yes you are right in all you said... But the last line of your post is profoundly sobering, when you said " If you don't believe in the good manifestations of the spirit, just look around and witness the spiritual evil that rules this world"
      But that is what they don't want to see, because of the love of their own sin, which is in their hearts...

      May 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  8. satanlovesvulva

    Hi everyone, satan here. I'm just very happy that none of you have brought me in to this little conversation. I know that the bible is full of crap. You want to know how I know that the bible is full of crap? I helped those forgers write those books. I also had them give me a more prominent role in your religious stories. I made them make me look as important as the other god that most of you worship. Oh to be gullible, what a wonderful feeling. Till we meet again, hopefully not too soon, satan.

    May 17, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  9. guitarharry

    As others have noted in this thread, the only people who actually believe the Bible was written by the apostles are fundamentalists. This is old news. Who wrote the Bible is less important than what it says.

    May 17, 2011 at 8:37 am |
    • Plop

      God exists. This is an obvious fact, proven by the fact that matter/energy cannot be created, nor destroyed. When life begins in a human form, it is direct energy coming from both the mother and the father. And when that life is dying/dead, that same energy MUST go somewhere. There's only one place for it to go, logically/scientifically, and really cannot be disputed. 🙂

      May 17, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • BR

      Who wrote the bible is extraordinarily important because its words are claimed to be divinely inspired. So the individuals who wrote the words must be called into question for their motives and understanding of the world around them. The bible is claimed to relay ultimate truth but the petty, prejudiced, bigoted people who wrote the words, whoever they were, cannot help but imbue those words with their own skewed notions of the cosmos.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  10. Allen

    All that I have to say about this is conspiracy theories are big money when it comes to writing books. just look at the Davinci Code! Mr. Ehrman isn't searching for the truth hes just looking to get payed! "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God".

    May 17, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  11. greytunes

    Hate to burst your bubbles, but Jesus the Nazerene was "of the House of David". And as such he and his brother James were the line for that house to regain the throne and High Priest position in the Temple. The Romans were not happy about this nor were the Pharisees,etc. Jesus was crucified for political reasons, not for his relgous stance.

    May 17, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • ar

      Uh, no.
      1) Matthew and Luke both show a geneology tracing from Joseph to David. And they both have completely different names for all of the figures not appearing in the Old Testament. Whoops! Looks like somebody had to prove that the Messiah was "of the house of David" and they couldn't agree on how. (By the way, Matthew's list isn't even a particularly good fake; he's got far too few names in it for the length of time between David and Jesus).

      2) Joseph wasn't that baby's daddy, remember? You can't have it both ways! Even if Joseph's lineage can be traced back to David, you can't say that Jesus does without admitting that Joseph was the father.

      May 17, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  12. SW

    I'd love to see CNN and its experts tackle the Koran's authenticity. After all, scribes wrote illiterate Mohammed's words. So where's the CNN-sponsored and peddled research? Inquiring minds want to know. And while your scholars are dissecting religious works, how about the Hindu and Buddhists texts too. But first, show some courage and apply your scholars and scholarship to the Koran, since CNN has had Hajj coverage for years now.

    May 17, 2011 at 2:31 am |
  13. Mike

    Even if the bible is 50% forged. The bible is still the greatest book ever written. And does it really matter that many of the stories are fabricated? Because there is not even one overall original thought, idea or concept in the whole bible. Anyone who thinks differently has not done their homework. Most religions in the United States are now faith based anyway. And we all know that faith is different for everyone. It is just too bad that the bible does not reflect the true religious beliefs of Jesus Christ himself. Thank god for people like John Blake who steps up and point out the obvious. Guys, wake up the earth is not flat.

    May 17, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Freeman

      What do you mean it isn't flat?
      Buckminister Fullers dymaxion projection proves otherwise. Flat or spherical are interchangeable.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • BR

      The premise is atrocious and the protagonist is somehow also the hero and is comically one dimensional. His nemesis is painted to be ultimate evil but ki ||s a minute fraction of people compared to the main character. It is repeatedly self contradictory and is unworthy of the worst sci-fi B movie.

      Greatest book? Hardly.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  14. Lizzy

    Why don't you start picking on the Koran instead of the Bible? Yeah, I know why. They'd call for your head!

    May 17, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Rarian Rakista

      Maybe what Muslims need to hear is that Allah is dead as well.

      May 17, 2011 at 5:30 am |
  15. Jillian Galloway

    Should we "question everything" and form rational conclusions, or should we "never question our faith" and believe only what we're told? If god was real then questioning "his word" would quickly prove it. The fact that we're told to never question our faith is a clear sign that we'd find the exact opposite.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Dawn

      Jillian... you should ALWAYS question your faith. It is important to know what you believe. It says many times in the Bible to test, to work out, to have an answer.... to do that, you must question... and there you will find the truth.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  16. Mike

    Ehrman's points are old news. Scholars have believed for decades that the four gospels were not written by the original disciples and that a number of the epistles attributed to Paul were written by others. Nor were the epistles of Peter and John written by those men. The same evidence cited by Ehrman has been used by scholars since the early 20th century in what is known as :biblical criticism." This means looking with a critical eye at things like "form" – poetry, prose, etc., or historical, sociological, etc. These scholars have seen the same things; differences in writing style, inconsistency in thelogy, to determine a later hand. Some, like Ephesians, are thought to have been written by a close disciple of Paul. Second Thessalonians was thought to have been written by someone who didn't quite like how First Thessalonians had put forth its theology. Another thing is the dating (historical) in that some occurences came much later, e.g. some illusions would have required knowledge of the destruction of the 2nd temple in 70CE. Most of the early disciples would have been dead by that time, seeing that life expectancy was in the upper 30s.

    I believe that the Bible is a collection of human expressions of encounters with the divine, thus, God can be found in powerful ways in its pages. The Bible isn't to be worshiped. It simply points to the one who is to be worshiped. I,ve said in sermons a couple of times that the Bible should carry a warning label, "Caution! This Product May Set You on Fire!" Errors with the Bible do not discount the reality of God. They're simply evidence of our own limitations in seeing and understanding that which is the Mystery.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Danny Holman

      Mike, That should be "some scholars" have alleged such arguments. The field of Biblical Criticism is larger than just turning a critical eye to the New Testament... as if only Biblical Criticism looks critically at the New Testament. Biblical Criticism studies the New Testament, how it has came to us, and how it is put together. There are scholars of Biblical Criticism who uphold the New Testament in its present form just as there are those you described. To make it sound like the scholars only represent one opinion is a common way of trying to persuade people who do not have a background in that field of study.

      May 17, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Joe

      Mike, this is a completely reasonable and well-though out argument. However, some people's interpretation of the Bible is predicated on the fact that it absolutely is nothing less than the Word of God – channeled through human hands, but perfect and divine in every way. Anything less than that means that the Bible is fallible – and therefore their view of God is fallible. Anything less than pure perfection means you cannot single out specific passages as "proof" of your interpretation of the Word of God. (Even the inherent contradictions are explained away as being part of a larger point that all in God's plan.) Belief is so much easier, so much simpler, when the Bible is 100% perfect. Challenging this notion seriously calls into question the core values of the faith of some people. And therefore, they cannot support your argument, regardless of its strength and reasonable nature.

      May 17, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  17. Alice

    Lee Stoddard has two great books that completely refute this man's shoddy scholarship. They are "The Case for Christ" and "The Case for the Real Jesus." I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to know the truth on this matter. All of the info comes from highly esteemed Bible scholars, historians, etc. And he takes on other authors who twist the facts, as well.

    May 17, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Matthew

      Dear Alice, the man that you are referring to is actually named Lee Strobel. Mr. Strobel is at best misguided and at worst a willing shill for the religious zealots trying to bring us back into the Dark Ages. His arguments are quite weak and any rational research would show his "leaps of faith", a decent read would be Robert M. Price. I am also tired of hearing about this new age crap that god is part/outside/all of the universe and people twisting mathematics and science to fit the nonsense they believe in. Here is a request, if you are going to use science to back up your arguments, take the time to actually understand it, what the scientific method is and why 2000 year old books like the bible are fabrications of minds trying to make sense of patterns around them. That goes for the koran too, which is nothing but a runoff of christianity.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  18. hilobob

    If God made everything, who made God?

    May 16, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Daniel

      hilobob,

      God as He describes Himself in the Bible has always existed, has no beginning and no end. He created time, all matter and energy, but exists outside of the physical universe. He may at any time enter into our dimensions and time. He is also personally interested in every person that exists and invites each of us to call out to Him.

      May 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • JR "Bob" Dobbs

      Man made God, in his own image.
      An angry being. With little tolerance. Afterall, he wiped out the earths population (save Noah and his) once.
      He played mind games with Solomon.
      He made "his" children more important than everyone else.
      The God of the old testament comes across as an angry, controlling, abusive father. Perhaps a drunk too, as his behavior is difficult to predict.
      Would an omnipotent, omniscient being be so jealous? Jealousy is a weakness of character.
      There may well be a God, just likely not the angry, wrathful guy from the bible. His behavior is similar to tribal leaders from the desert- coincidentally, the people who would have written the bible.
      The 10 commandments are good rules to live by. They'll keep you out of trouble.
      The New Testament is full of hope and kindness- yet the fundamentalist neo-christians of today seem to have forgotten the New Testament.
      I see the hand of man in the bible.
      I see the hand of God in the beauty of the world around me, in the infiniteness of the universe.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • beelzebubba

      If god made himself and made himself from nothing... nothing must be something... what made it? Sounds like it's beyond human comprehension to me. Does that prove there is a god? no. Does that prove there isn't? no. People who can't accept it as an unanswerable mystery are those who only see issues in simple black and white terms. They can't handle unresolved issues. That's why they accept made-up stories about invisible friends.

      May 17, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Interloper1

      Who made God? Supergod, of course!

      Who made Supergod? Superdupergod, of course!

      So, maybe God as creator fails as an argument after all. It requires an infinite number of creators.

      May 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  19. PRISM 1234

    @conah
    It is God's Word and the Spirit of Truth, which is the Holy Spirit of God which are defining who heretics are, and NOT your long – robed catholic friars with their self – usurped authority! Blind leading th blind!

    May 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Rarian Rakista

      Than I assume you are reading it in the original Greek or Hebrew because you know that is your sky daddy's language. All English bibles are not the word of the God, that is why there is over 200 versions of it in English alone.

      May 17, 2011 at 5:29 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Rarian
      You said "Than I assume you are reading it in the original Greek or Hebrew because you know that is your sky daddy's language. All English bibles are not the word of the God, that is why there is over 200 versions of it in English alone."

      I will tell you a secret that will be only a riddle to you, but nevertheless I will tell it to you!

      The God of all creation, the Lord of all that was, is and ever will be, is the One who , not only gave His Word , sent it to this earth to live and dwell among mankind in the Person of Jesus Christ, to reveal Himself through Him, but ALSO has the power to preserve His written word, uncorrupted and unchanged.
      And every attempt to corrupt it, as many as they have been and still are, HE, by His Spirit of Truth reveals it to those who, in their earthly vessels, by their faith in His Son, have become His living temples... They, by the Spirit of their Father whom He sent from above, are able to discern what is of Him and what is not, better then if thousands experts who don't know Him gathered themselves to debate and conclude what is the right translation and what is not....
      And if and when one of those corrupted translations ends up in the hands of one of God's own sons or daughters , He will by His Spirit draw a red circle around every word and/or message with corrupt content which satan planted with intent to twist and decieve.... and His son or daughter will KNOW that it is not of Him!

      That's what it is like when one knows his/her God, whom you mockingly call "ski daddy", and presumptuously in your foolish arrogance make assumptions about things you know nothing about!

      May 17, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • me

      I can read Greek and Hebrew. I've also read the Bible four times in different English translations. Sometimes, subtle nuances are lost in the translation of the text, but the English translations we have today are about as accurate as you can get moving from one language to another... not if you read something like "The Message" of course, but there are plenty of good translations like the ESV or NASB.
      There have been alot of different English translations because Enlish is a living and growing language; The old King James version won't count as English forever for instance. Also, different translators have sought to bring out different aspects of the text that another translation might gloss over, so in that way different translations account for the fact that some things are always lost in translation. There are thousands of Christian scholars all over the world who are constantly working from ancient manuscripts to understand Biblical languages better, and this has helped us by giving us fresh insights into old words. Of course that leads to a need for new translations as well. We don't know everything and we never will, but English-speaking Christians can be confident in the Bible they have.
      For this one guy to say that half of the new testament is fake is rediculous. No one ever argues that secular ancient Greek literature is faked, but there are hundreds more ancient manuscripts of the new testament than anything else from the period. There were definately fakes in the early church, and we've pruned them out. The NT writers we have display consistency in doctrine and style. This is a sad case of a man looking for excuses, finding them, and bringing down those who know no better with him.

      May 17, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • satanlovesvulva

      To "prism1234" great speech, but it sounds to me like you need help. There are plenty of doctors that can help you with your delusional state of mind. Please seek out treatment.

      May 17, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      @ satansbondservant

      You said "To "prism1234" great speech, but it sounds to me like you need help. There are plenty of doctors that can help you with your delusional state of mind. Please seek out treatment"
      First of all, your words are contradicting.... those "way off" don't make "great" speaches...

      Secondly... I never denied I needed help, because if I denied it, I would be in the same shape as you and most God mockers on this blog! Because, unnless a man humbles himself befor his Creator, he will rot in his own deprivity... That's where man(kind) who declares his independence from his Life-giver is: laying in his own depravity!
      But you as the others here, can not understand the things of God, because you have denied your own soul, allowed it to die within you, so as a blind man who can not see the world around him, stumbles in darkness, yet he mocks those who can see and try to lead him out of his blindness. You, friend are the one who needs help, but not from the "experts of this world who are the blind themselves, but of the One who came into this

      "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it...... That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world....He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
      How you respond to those words written here, your very eternity depends on it....Now is the time of salvation, NOW is the time when man has a choice, but afterwards will be chosen for him!
      But you can write your belittling words toward me, yet nothing will change this truth! And you will find out that it is the TRUTH!
      Nothing else needed to say! !

      May 17, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      P.S.
      completing 2nd paragraph, which was cut off accidentally...
      .......not from the "experts of this world who are the blind themselves, but of the One who came into this world to give light to every human being born into it...
      Here is something for you to read and ponder.. It's from the Gospel of John ch.1, the Holy Bible.
      See and determine what it is telling you! Then look into your own heart!

      May 17, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • satanlovesvulva

      to Prism1234 you said " those "way off" don't make "great" speaches..." Does the name Hitler ring a bell? Stalin? Jim Jones, prism1234. All of the above mentioned weirdos were "way off", yet they manage to convince a large group of people by their "great" speeches. You're in that same boat buddy. You're also out there with your misguided views.

      May 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  20. Muneef

    Half of New Testment forged??
    What about political history ? It is all forged !!!

    Islam as a Religion has been forced now to pay for what American politicians had sown into earth. The genuine peaceful muslims have been polluted by those created and many innocents are being harvested among those created ones ...!!!  
    Old Investment was scapegoated for the sake of the new investment that is being created to replace it....!!!

    Listen & Watch this;
    "Lets be careful with what we sow because we will harvest".(US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton).

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2CE0fyz4ys

    May 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2CE0fyz4ys&w=640&h=360]

      May 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • rkh786

      Atleast we do not have suicide bombers waiting for virgins in paradise....the quran is just the ramblings of someone who copied the Bible. No matter who has written it, read the New Testament..you will find a better way to treat your fellow humans.

      May 17, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • redstorm

      Are these the genuine "peaceful" muslims screaming to behead everyone who "insults islam?"
      Give me a break.

      May 17, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • James M

      The real question is are you serving God or Not? In case you are serving God he will lead you the right way. If your not serving God it is time to repent of your sins and get your life in order. Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow is not promised.

      May 17, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • owlafaye

      The BABBLE? Ohhhh Nooooooo, not the BABBLE. So what else is new? You would think that these Christian morons would catch on after all this time. Essentially, there is not a shred of evidence for the existence of Jesus but rather a lot of evidence for the twisting and turning of a specious belief intio a good myth. Wake up you fools, you are not talking to a god, you are talking to yourself. The power is in YOU not in some invisible, magical zombie friend in the sky.

      May 17, 2011 at 10:42 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.