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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. Following Jesus

    Is the new testament of Lord Jesus Christ overlooked? The work of God is to believe that He sent His Son Jesus to save us.
    If you know better than all of that – so be it.
    Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.John 18:37

    June 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Did they mean by forged that it's contents were sherry picked from the old testament or meant that the actual words,verses were twisted or what since the word Forged is an elastic word and does not explain how was the act of forgery within it!!?

    June 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  3. Justin Time

    The first couple of books I read by Bart D. Ehrman truly impressed me: “Lost Scriptures” and “Lost Christianities.” I was hospitalized at the time and I don’t know how much that might have to do with anything, but I truly could not put the books down. His writing style may also have been an influence. However, I have studied comparative religions for some 40 years. My education background includes degrees in history and guidance counseling. Ehrman’s books just naturally appealed to both those areas of interest. I cannot count the times I said “WOW” to myself from my hospital bed. I wanted more; so I purchased all of his books that were available at that time. What I witnessed was Ehrman’s transition from fundamentalist Christianity to agnosticism. Because of how well written the books are and because of the extent of his research, the student in me was reawakened. Gradually, however, the books began to show what I can only call fanaticism. Without all the fire and brimstone, the books took on the tone of a fundamentalist preacher on a hot Sunday morning. I still have a couple of his works that I have not read, but I will get around to doing so eventually. The new work, “Forged,” sounds very much like something I would like to read.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  4. Michele

    If you study culture in that time in history, only temple and royal scribes, and people rich enough to send a son to scribe school, were literate. Fishermen were not literate.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  5. NoWrittenInfoSurvived

    funny how some posts disappear. real nice...

    June 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  6. PhooBar

    The one question that I have never heard a good answer to is; "Where is the book of Jesus?"

    If all the other dudes could leave some kind of a record, surely the new testament's main guy could too.
    Or was he just another illiterate peasant?

    And, yes, the bible is on my bookshelf, right next to 'Fairie Tales by the Brothers Grimm."

    June 6, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Scholar

      The book of Joshua is actually the book of "Jesus" that you are looking for. Etymology of the name Jesus will show that Yahshua was his original name, which was translated to Joshua around 400 years ago. However, my understanding is that the law and the prophets, or the "Old Testament" is testifying of the Messiah. "Luke 24:27And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. " "Luke 24:44
      And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me."

      I also find that the Christian religion and the Bible really have little to do with one another, and in most cases the customs and fairy tale ideas of the religion directly contradict the actual contents of the book itself, causing confusion. Because of this, I have found most Christian scholars and Churches to be unreliable sources of accurate information regarding the scriptures.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Jesus name in the Quran came up as Issa son of Maryam....
      We were tought that the Holy Heavenly Scriptures were 4 the (Torah by Moses or Musa), the (Zaboor by King David or Dawoud), the ( Angeel by Jesus or Issa), the (Quran by Muhammed)...
      Tell you the truth i would love to read the 3 which were before the Quran if found available as good as the original scriptures.... Although the Quran has served the purpose but for detailed stories might need to read the older scriptures..

      June 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  7. B

    -the scale

    -hold the reichter scale

    June 6, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  8. Cythara

    I don't know why people are so upset that some of the New Testament is forged....ALL OF THE OLD TESTAMENT was first dreamed up after 536 BC. Both Judaism and the Judeo-Christianity built upon it are fake religions, as far as 'telling the truth' goes. Far more interesting, but of course, not pursued, is the strong likelihood that Christianity initially had nothing to do with Judaism, but rose out of Persia with Greek Neoplatonists adapting Zorastrianism to their regime of logic. This new religion came out of Persia along with Mithraism and probably made its way down into Palestine where John the Baptist and Jesus were its first teachers, but not it's initiators. The rest was garnishing the new religion with the trappings of Judaism as a way of worming into non-Jewish minds and turning them into 2nd class Jews to be ruled by the Temple elite in Jerusalem. Judeo-Christianity probably began as a cynical attempt to subvert the cultures around Palestine to control them. The evidence of all this is that for the first 400 years of Christianity, the church was divided into two camps GNOSTIC CHRISTIAN and JUDEO-CHRISTIAN. The Gnostic Christian church was distinctly Persian in its influences. Even parts of Judeo-Christianity carried critical concepts foreign to Jews, but native to Zorastrianism, such the concept of the Holy Spirit, Baptism and Eucharist. The entire Christmas story was actually lifted word for word from Mithraism after the 2nd century AD.

    June 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Mitchell Pearce

      Liked your comment on the bible story. Are you Gnostic yourself? Your grasp of history of the era is quite good. Do you have an outside of CNN posting to direct me to for further discussion?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • NoWrittenInfoSurvived

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraic_mysteries

      How could the christmas story be quoted almost word for word if there is no written text?? Read the wiki above...

      June 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Len B

      Judaism and Christianity are fake religions you say? As opposed to all those religions that aren't?

      June 7, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  9. buffoons

    Islam is a religion that subjugates women. It's a pile of dung! Given a chance, I'd pee on a Koran – urine mixes well with dung! 🙂

    June 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • arjen

      You're no better than a muslim. Christianity isnt exactly good to woman either, its through secularism that woman now have equal rights. You uneducated hating religious people make me feel sick to the stomach.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • Muneef

      Guess the screen name that you use specifies how confident you are from your self of being not worth a nickel....

      June 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  10. Robin Hershberger

    Even your own article is flawed, In the King James Version it explicitly says Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights. Matthew 12:40

    June 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • the dizzle

      Ummmm.... It says "great fish", not "whale". So the article is correct.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Robin Hershberger

      You'd better go back and check that, "the dizzle". King James version DOES say "whale". OTHER versions say "great fish".

      June 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • NoWrittenInfoSurvived

      Robin is correct: http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+12:40&version=9

      June 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Quranic prayers;
    "Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!" (2/201)

    "Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience and make us victorious over the disbelieving people." (2/250)

    "Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maula (Patron, Supporter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people." (2/286)

    "Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower." (3/8)

    "Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire." (3/16) 

    "O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation." (3/38)

    "Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger; so write us down among those who bear witness." (3/53)

    "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions (in keeping our duties to You), establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk." (3/147)

    "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. *Our Lord! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him, and never will the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers) find any helpers. *Our Lord! Verily, we have heard the call of one (Muhammad p.b.u.h.) calling to Faith: 'Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed. *Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness along with Al-Abraar (those who are obedient to Allah and follow strictly His Orders). *Our Lord! Grant us what You promised unto us through Your Messengers and disgrace us not on the Day of Resurrection, for You never break (Your) Promise." (3/191-194)

    "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers." (7/23)

    "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrong doers)." (7/47)

    "Our Lord! pour out on us patience, and cause us to die as Muslims." (7/126)

    "Allah is sufficient for me. Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne." (9/129)     

    "Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the folk who are Zaalimoon. And save us by Your Mercy from the disbelieving folk." (10/85-86)

    "O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers." (11/47)   

    "O my Lord! Make me one who performs As-Salaat (Iqaamat-as-Salaat), and (also) from my offspring, our Lord! And accept my invocation." (14/40)

    "Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established." (14/41)

    "My Lord! Let my entry (to the city of Al-Madinah) be good, and likewise my exit (from the city of Makkah) be good. And grant me from You an authority to help me (or a firm sign or a proof)." (17/80)

    "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!" (18/10) 

    "O my Lord! Open for me my chest. * And ease my task for me. * And make loose the knot from my tongue, that they understand my speech." (20/25-28)

    "My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (20/114)

    "None has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) are You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers." (21/87)

    "O My Lord! Leave me not single (childless), though You are the Best of the inheritors." (21/89) 

    "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they may attend (or come near) me." (23/97-98)

    "Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (23/109)

    "My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!" (23/118)

    http://www.islamicfinder.org/supplication.php

    June 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • buffoons

      Islam subjugates women. It's a pile of dung! Given a chance, I'd pee on a Koran – urine mixes well with dung! 🙂

      June 5, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      That just specifies how low you are and it is shame for America to claim being a modern civilization world when they have people lowest of low using such language to some thing considered holy for others....
      Any way as it seems you will be suffering a lot and for very long from the areas you mentioned as "Pee&Dung)....
      You have wronged your self by such unneedful comment...

      June 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Muneef

      The point here from my listing was that we should pray to God regardless of the Religion or the Path or the Branch and that we should not emigrate prayers to God because we dispute as faiths or branches...we should not emigrate God because mankind is a tyrant and abrasive to his brother's..

      June 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  12. Robert Byrne

    Now this is real progress. CNN is entertaining the possibility that half of the New Testament is genuine.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  13. buffoons

    A pile of dung is a pile of dung, regardless of how it's spread!

    Keep in mind that civilizations (hence morality/goodness/e vilness) existed way before any of today's religions.

    June 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Not bad as a source of organic agricultural soil fertilizer and as a clean source of biogas fuel... So it is not to be underestimated after all.....!!

      June 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Another thing you said;
      Keep in mind that civilizations (hence morality/goodness/e vilness) existed way before any of today's religions.

      I say; not sure about new religions but we are talking about (morality/goodness/e vilness) having been handed over from Adam to son and generation to generation and through chosen messengers of God as a path for the Rightous and for the love of God.. Otherwise how do you know right from wrong if you have no heavenly manual ??

      June 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      If God sent a religion, how would people who do not know of the religion believe in it? What means did God put in the human beings by which they can decide right from wrong? Surely the religion was not revealed to the whole of humanity at once. It must have started from one point. How would others know of it and more so accept it and believe in it? What is that one faculty that is shared by all human beings by which a message can be analyzed and determined to be right?

      The answer is quite simple; it is the human mind and the faculty of reasoning. It is the mind that helps us judge things and decides between right and wrong in every matter of our lives. The word of God, if it is to be transferred to other people who are foreign to it, must conform to the faculty of reasoning that God put in all of us. This is why in Islam faith in God is not the outcome of dogmas and doctrine but rather the product of reasoning and deep scrutiny of revelation.
      http://rashidaanurse.blogspot.com/2011_02_25_archive.html

      June 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Muneef

      The Teachings of Islam

      http://www.islamic.org.uk/I4WM/teaching.htm

      June 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  14. damo

    It's hard to make a name for yourself calling the book of athiesm a forgery, because it doesn't exist.

    It's dangerous to call the Koran a forgery, because a Mulsim might attack you physically.

    What's left..the Bible..go with the easy target.

    Yawn.. Bart D. Ehrman=lame of the week

    June 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Muneef

    [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed.

    [7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.

    [7:28] They commit a gross sin, then say, "We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it." Say, "GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?"

    [7:29] Say, "My Lord advocates justice, and to stand devoted to Him alone at every place of worship. You shall devote your worship absolutely to Him alone. Just as He initiated you, you will ultimately go back to Him."

    [7:30] Some He guided, while others are committed to straying. They have taken the devils as their masters, instead of GOD, yet they believe that they are guided.

    [7:31] O children of Adam, you shall be clean and dress nicely when you go to the masjid. And eat and drink moderately; Surely, He does not love the gluttons.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Muneef

      22:52. We did not send before you any messenger, nor a prophet, without having the devil interfere in his wishes. GOD then nullifies what the devil has done. GOD perfects His revelations. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.*

      22:53. He thus sets up the devil's scheme as a test for those who harbor doubts in their hearts, and those whose hearts are hardened. The wicked must remain with the opposition.

      22:54. Those who are blessed with knowl- edge will recognize the truth from your Lord, then believe in it, and their hearts will readily accept it. Most assuredly, GOD guides the believers in the right path.

      22:55. As for those who disbelieve, they will continue to harbor doubts until the Hour comes to them suddenly, or until the retribution of a terrible day comes to them.
      ------–

      [5:90] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.

      [5:91] The devil wants to provoke animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling, and to distract you from remembering GOD, and from observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Will you then refrain?

      June 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • buffoons

      If Islamic sheep don't pull their head out of that religious hole, how do they know right from wrong!

      Muhammad, the Koran, women subjugating Muslims are one big POS!

      June 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
  16. Hedley

    Scripture is the unchanging word of God that’s been around for thousands of years. No one has a monopoly on its interpretation.
    When “John the Baptist saw Christ he said, “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” We would hardly expect anyone to look and see a four-footed animal. Jesus used many description for Himself, The Good Shepherd, The Light of the World, The Gate, The True Vine, The Resurrection and the Life, The Way, the Truth and the Life, etc.

    The story of the Fall also uses an animal symbolically to communicate Satan’s evil deceptive character. As intelligent people we should hardly expect a “talking snake.”
    John Blake misses the point though. It doesn’t matter where the conversation between Eve and Satan actually took place, what is important is that Satan came to her and convinced her to eat the forbidden fruit. As we can see from humanity mess today “forbidden fruit created a lot of jam.”
    Also the command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil was actually given to Adam. We assume he communicated God wishes to Eve since according to chronological order of the creation story in Scripture, Eve had not been created yet.

    Revelation 12: 9 clarifies that “The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan who leads the whole world astray.”
    Is it any doubt then that Satan was the one who tempted the first couple Adam and Eve?

    If God can speak through an “ass” (or donkey) to Balaam, imagine what He can do with His Bible in speaking to us.

    June 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  17. Jim Hirschman, MD

    Oh, Mercy sakes , Dan ! Shall we discard the words of Buddah, or Lincoln, or Des Cartes, or Tom Swift, or Mark Twain, just because they are dead ? To use the Bible to make or break you faith is a mistake.
    Use your brain, and your heart to make, or mold, or break your faith.
    The Bible may be a useful tool to some, a useless tool to other (if they don't know how to use it)
    If one does, somehow, believe in God, no comments by a frustrated atheist
    should alter that.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  18. Jim Hirschman, MD

    Ho Hum ! Every biblical scholor, and studious Christian know this, that many of the new testament "books" were not written by the names in the "by-lines" This fact does not make them less valuable, but rather should encourage ALL Christians to study biblical history, and their bible.
    The Christian leadership during the years 200 to 400 argues about the validity of each "book" and about which ones to keep in the Holy Group,
    just as we do today. LOOK FOR THE COMMONALITIES, THE BOTTOM LINE.
    NOTE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT WOMEN DID BECOME BETTER ACCEPTED IN SOCIETY AS A RESULT OF JESUS INFLUENCE. (In much later years the were suppressed again.
    until they began to emerge like Eleanor of Aquataine, and Elizabeth 1st.)
    The challenge to modern prostestants is they practice their biblical freedom but neglect scholorly biblical study.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • NoWrittenInfoSurvived

      Jim,
      "The challenge to modern prostestants is they practice their biblical freedom but neglect scholorly biblical study"
      SO your saying that there are no Protestant scholors? There are no Protestant pastors? I guess we should all go back to having church services in Greek or Latin? Protestants translated the Bible so that "us common" people can read the Bible for ourselves and not have the meaning relayed through Priests and Royalty meaning to enslave us. Your right, I guess the rest of us are too stupid to understand.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  19. Dan

    What is truly scary is that there are so many powerful people in this world making all sorts of decisions based on what they believe is the book of God, when in fact it was written by politicians of the day. I'm not saying there is no God, but let's stop using the Bible as some sacred text that dictates our morals and public policy. The book was written by men and it was written by men that lived thousands of years ago. It has absolutely zero relevancy today.

    June 5, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • NoWrittenInfoSurvived

      I agree with the first part. It is scary that people use religion to scare and incite so much harm in the world. Blame them. Not the belief in God. Saying that the Bible or any other theology is not relavant is off the mark. If you have not done so already, read some for yourself. Most of the text is about love, compassion, forgiveness, and hope. I dont think those things become out dated.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Sean

      @Dan
      I don't think they make decisions based on their belief. That's just the reason they give for doing (or asking for) something unpleasant.

      June 12, 2011 at 3:37 am |
  20. Seorsa

    When will he read the other half and realize it is fiction too?

    June 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • buffoons

      That's a good one! 🙂

      June 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
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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.