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Actually, that's not in the Bible
Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden right? Nope. That's one of many phantom passages that people think are in the Bible.
June 5th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Actually, that's not in the Bible

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season.  “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches - all types of people  - quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.

These phantom passages include:

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

And there is this often-cited paraphrase: Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.

None of those passages appear in the Bible, and one is actually anti-biblical, scholars say.

But people rarely challenge them because biblical ignorance is so pervasive that it even reaches groups of people who should know better, says Steve Bouma-Prediger, a religion professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

“In my college religion classes, I sometimes quote 2 Hesitations 4:3 (‘There are no internal combustion engines in heaven’),” Bouma-Prediger says. “I wait to see if anyone realizes that there is no such book in the Bible and therefore no such verse.

“Only a few catch on.”

Few catch on because they don’t want to - people prefer knowing biblical passages that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs, a Bible professor says.

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” says Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who once had to persuade a student in his Bible class at Middle Tennessee State University that the saying “this dog won’t hunt” doesn’t appear in the Book of Proverbs.

“They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in,” he says, “but they ignore the vast majority of the text."

Phantom biblical passages work in mysterious ways

Ignorance isn’t the only cause for phantom Bible verses. Confusion is another.

Some of the most popular faux verses are pithy paraphrases of biblical concepts or bits of folk wisdom.

Consider these two:

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

Both sound as if they are taken from the Bible, but they’re not. The first is a paraphrase of a 19th century hymn by the English poet William Cowper (“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform).

The “cleanliness” passage was coined by John Wesley, the 18th century evangelist who founded Methodism,  says Thomas Kidd, a history professor at Baylor University in Texas.

“No matter if John Wesley or someone else came up with a wise saying - if it sounds proverbish, people figure it must come from the Bible,” Kidd says.

Our fondness for the short and tweet-worthy may also explain our fondness for phantom biblical phrases. The pseudo-verses function like theological tweets: They’re pithy summarizations of biblical concepts.

“Spare the rod, spoil the child” falls into that category. It’s a popular verse - and painful for many kids. Could some enterprising kid avoid the rod by pointing out to his mother that it's not in the Bible?

It’s doubtful. Her possible retort: The popular saying is a distillation of Proverbs 13:24: “The one who withholds [or spares] the rod is one who hates his son.”

Another saying that sounds Bible-worthy: “Pride goes before a fall.” But its approximation, Proverbs 16:18, is actually written: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

There are some phantom biblical verses for which no excuse can be offered. The speaker goofed.

That’s what Bruce Wells, a theology professor, thinks happened to Ditka, the former NFL coach, when he strayed from the gridiron to biblical commentary during his 1993 press conference in Chicago.

Wells watched Ditka’s biblical blunder on local television when he lived in Chicago. After Ditka cited the mysterious passage, reporters scrambled unsuccessfully the next day to find the biblical source.

They should have consulted Wells, who is now director of the ancient studies program at Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania. Wells says Ditka’s error probably came from a peculiar feature of the King James Bible.

“My hunch on the Ditka quote is that it comes from a quirk of the King James translation,” Wells says. “Ancient Hebrew had a particular way of saying things like, ‘and the next thing that happened was…’ The King James translators of the Old Testament consistently rendered this as ‘and it came to pass.’ ’’

When phantom Bible passages turn dangerous

People may get verses wrong, but they also mangle plenty of well-known biblical stories as well.

Two examples: The scripture never says a whale swallowed Jonah, the Old Testament prophet, nor did any New Testament passages say that three wise men visited baby Jesus, scholars say.

Those details may seem minor, but scholars say one popular phantom Bible story stands above the rest: The Genesis story about the fall of humanity.

Most people know the popular version - Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life. It’s been downhill ever since.

But the story in the book of Genesis never places Satan in the Garden of Eden.

“Genesis mentions nothing but a serpent,” says Kevin Dunn, chair of the department of religion at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

“Not only does the text not mention Satan, the very idea of Satan as a devilish tempter postdates the composition of the Garden of Eden story by at least 500 years,” Dunn says.

Getting biblical scriptures and stories wrong may not seem significant, but it can become dangerous, one scholar says.

Most people have heard this one: “God helps those that help themselves.” It’s another phantom scripture that appears nowhere in the Bible, but many people think it does. It's actually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation's founding fathers.

The passage is popular in part because it is a reflection of cherished American values: individual liberty and self-reliance, says Sidnie White Crawford, a religious studies scholar at the University of Nebraska.

Yet that passage contradicts the biblical definition of goodness: defining one’s worth by what one does for others, like the poor and the outcast, Crawford says.

Crawford cites a scripture from Leviticus that tells people that when they harvest the land, they should leave some “for the poor and the alien” (Leviticus 19:9-10), and another passage from Deuteronomy that declares that people should not be “tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.”

“We often infect the Bible with our own values and morals, not asking what the Bible’s values and morals really are,” Crawford says.

Where do these phantom passages come from?

It’s easy to blame the spread of phantom biblical passages on pervasive biblical illiteracy. But the causes are varied and go back centuries.

Some of the guilty parties are anonymous, lost to history. They are artists and storytellers who over the years embellished biblical stories and passages with their own twists.

If, say, you were an anonymous artist painting the Garden of Eden during the Renaissance, why not portray the serpent as the devil to give some punch to your creation? And if you’re a preacher telling a story about Jonah, doesn’t it just sound better to say that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, not a “great fish”?

Others blame the spread of phantom Bible passages on King James, or more specifically the declining popularity of the King James translation of the Bible.

That translation, which marks 400 years of existence this year, had a near monopoly on the Bible market as recently as 50 years ago, says Douglas Jacobsen, a professor of church history and theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

“If you quoted the Bible and got it wrong then, people were more likely to notice because there was only one text,” he says. “Today, so many different translations are used that almost no one can tell for sure if something supposedly from the Bible is being quoted accurately or not.”

Others blame the spread of phantom biblical verses on Martin Luther, the German monk who ignited the Protestant Reformation, the massive “protest” against the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church that led to the formation of Protestant church denominations.

“It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone - milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper - to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

But often the milkmaid, the cobbler - and the NFL coach - start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

“You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

“Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Evangelical • Faith

soundoff (8,604 Responses)
  1. Jake

    Good article but no mention of a more defining characteristic of the bible when it IS read correctly: that it contradicts itself. Where was Jesus born? Good luck with that one.

    June 7, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • brenda

      Matthew and Luke both place his birth in Bethleham

      June 7, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • Jon

      if you ever actually read the bible you would know that it does not contradict itself.
      I challenge you to read and study God's word for one year and then tell me that it contradicts itself

      June 7, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Jon

      You said: "if you ever actually read the bible you would know that it does not contradict itself.
      I challenge you to read and study God's word for one year and then tell me that it contradicts itself"

      I don't want to wait for a year. Spin this one:

      Matthew records that Judas “went and hanged himself” after betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (27:5).

      Luke records that “falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out” (Acts 1:18).

      Cheers!

      June 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  2. Marie Kidman


    )

    June 7, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  3. Reality

    More updating of the bible

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    "New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    June 7, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  4. Sean

    "That's not a moon. That's an apple!" – Han Solo, Garden of Alderan

    June 7, 2011 at 7:24 am |
  5. FairGarden

    Man cannot corrupt God's Word. Man corrupts himself.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:44 am |
    • MM

      Seeing as man wrote God's word, yes, man can corrupt it. Also, it's not God's word, but what some have claimed is God's word.

      June 7, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • BabbleOn

      Words are Man's feeble attempt to communicate with each other. God doesn't need them.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  6. noles

    Craig said "There are not versions of the Truth, there is only truth or error.
    Men have been corrupting God's Holy Word since the days of Paul, the apostle.
    2Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. KJB"

    You cannot use a passage within the book in question to support the veracity of said book.

    June 7, 2011 at 5:25 am |
    • Sean

      Don't bet on it. People have done nothing but that on here for days!

      June 7, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Reality

      Way beyond one passage:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. "

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      June 7, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  7. Marie Kidman

    "

    .

    June 7, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • richard

      The NFL Coach was actually right when he said “Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,”. The author of this article ASSUMED he may have meant "This too shall pass". The coach was right because scripture infact tells us in 2Peter 3:10
      "10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. "

      Lord have Mercy on me and bring us into salvation in your Son Jesus Christ.
      Amen

      June 7, 2011 at 3:59 am |
    • Vee

      richard,

      Just because the word "pass" is in that quote, doesn't mean that it has anything to do with the meaning of this quote.

      "This too shall pass." just means that situations change... like: "Tomorrow is another day!", from "Gone with the Wind".

      June 7, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Vee

      p.s. Those guys who wrote the bible were sure hung up on fiery destruction, weren't they? I guess that's the only way they knew back then for things to be destroyed. Today's horror/fantasy authors have quite a few more creative ways for stuff to be demolished. Besides, if "God" is all-powerful and mystical 'n such, he could just say, "Poof" and it would all be over.

      June 7, 2011 at 4:32 am |
  8. Elaine

    What I don't like about this article is that at the end it is implied that the average person can't read the bible unless they have 'training' to be able to interpret it correctly. Excuse me, but at the beginning of this article it is mentioned that not everyone reads their bible and shouldn't be quoting what they don't actually know. This infers that we should be reading the bible and not just listening to what our pastor tell us. Then at the end you tell us that we need someone trained in bible study to interpret the bible? Sheesh. By the way, you forgot to mention the NAB version.

    June 7, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • healdog70

      Who is the "serpent" in Genisis 3? If not, satan then who?

      June 7, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Eli

      No, it doesn't say that. What it suggests is that average people don't read the bible, but get their information second hand. It also suggests that those wishing to quote the bible ought to read it carefully and quote it accurately.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  9. Oso

    Wow, almost six thousand comments and still growing. I guess some people have opinions, eh?
    Good trolling, CNN!

    June 7, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • Muneef

      Yep just check how many times "Marie Kidman" posted the same butterfly musical clip in different names....!

      June 7, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • Muneef

      >>Surah 9:11 But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail our revelations for a people who have knowledge.

      June 7, 2011 at 4:43 am |
  10. Eliteamericans

    June 7, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Muneef

      Why shaking?

      June 7, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Eliteamericans

      the gun is huge i have to try to get a grip on it lawlz

      June 7, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Muneef

      Eliteamerican.
      Sure it looks a big pistol for a grip but was just kidding with you...unfortunately for us we do not have such places for shooting training in Yemen although Islam tells us that it is important to teach our children "Swimming,Shooting and Horse riding" but although Islam says it our people are only interested in gathering quick money than investing it in such useful projects for developing our new generations...
      Remember once in Thailand on business trip in the Crocodile farm there was a simple shooting place so I loved to try shooting and I did scoring well before the Thai I was accompanying not to carry on trying all because as a good shooter I could be questioned if I was being a jihadist or terrorist...then I though OMG am in a foreign country If get suspected I might end up in trouble,so had to give up and tear the score paper into pieces...
      Any way thank you for the chat.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:16 am |
  11. Amy

    What about all the people who think that there were 2 of each animal on the ark, one male and one female...

    June 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Muneef

      Read what others say here;
      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/nuh.htm

      June 7, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • cw

      Genesis 6:19-20 says two of every kind, male and female, Genesis 7:2 sevens of the clean animals, twos of all the others.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • Muneef

      Amy.

      Well as per the Quran in Arabic I can read that it say two of each pair....(a Male & a Female make one pair) so it means by two of each pair that they were four Two males and Two Females) while reading it in English translation it is written one pair of each only....
      But am more into that it was meant to say Two pair of each since marriage or breeding would be required therefore was healthier to have cross marriage or breeding between two pairs of springs rather than that happen between of springs of one pair....!!! Any cattle raring man would understand what I mean by that...

      June 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Amy.

      Same thing applies for human families...we have as an example a study that was carried about Hadramout, Mukalla area where families only marry from among there family bloodline which had been found to have caused a lot of distraction to family line...

      June 7, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  12. Tina Hanlon

    "The gods help those who help themselves" is in Aesop's fables. Thus it's many centuries older than Benjamin Franklin.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Diane Manu

      "This too shall pass" is from The Lord of the Rings, if I am not mistaken.....

      June 7, 2011 at 5:17 am |
    • Muneef

      [9:105] Say, "Work righteousness; GOD will see your work, and so will His messenger and the believers. Ultimately, you will be returned to the Knower of all secrets and declarations, then He will inform you of everything you had done."

      June 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  13. C. Dasilva

    The King James Version speaks of the Lord God Almighty in a way that glorifies HIM in His truth. There are OVER 2000 omissions from the modern day Bibles have culiminated to a grand total of just over 64000 words missing in the NIV Bible.. These verses were REMOVED before writing these modern day Bibles for a reason. PLUS there are countless "rewrites" that make it clear that "... Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word..." Mark 4:15, so you have an idea. Now Muneef, with all due respect, why would you recommend a fellow man to seek GOD and HIS Love and HIS Truth in such passages as this: Surah 5:51 "Believers, take neither the Jews nor the Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. God does not guide the wrongdoers."

    Surah 9:73 "Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate."

    Surah 9:5 "When the sacred months are over slay the idolators wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them."

    Surah 5:33-34 "Those that make war against God (Allah) and His apostle (Muhammad) and spread disorder in the land shall be slain or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the land."

    Surah 47:3-6 "This, because the unbelievers follow falsehood, while the faithful follow the truth from their Lord. Thus God lays down for mankind their rules of conduct. When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take a ransom from them, until War shall lay down her burdens. Thus shall you do. Had God willed, He could Himself have punished them; [but He has ordained it thus] that He may test you, the one by the other."

    Surah 4:99 "He that leaves his home in the cause of God shall find many a refuge in the land and great abundance. He that leaves his dwelling to fight for God and His apostle and is then overtaken by death shall be recompensed by God. Surely God is forgiving and merciful."

    Jesus Christ said " Thou shall not kill" Exodus 20:13. "Do violence to no man" Luke 3:14.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      C. Dasilva.
      Thanks for explaining although was already explained in the Quran that this happened...
      Any way you asked me something and quoted few verses of the Quran that are being disputed for several reasons related to as when the verse came and for which case it came at those old times when wars and survival for the new religious belief was at jeopardy by other religions that are heavenly and non heavenly.

      There are many other verses which tells us many other things related to communicating and meeting preaching,teaching, all people and tribes....
      Beside you have to be careful with the English translation of the verse that could be made to reflect some thing else because we were not told not to take Jews and Christians as friends but rather were told not to take them as allies because they are more allies to each other than would be with us... Those other verses you quoted to say slay this and that it was about the time transgressors were attacking Islam and Muslims a times of it's birth and the verse speaks that Muslims are not to fight them in return during the Holy months but rather be after the Holy Months...and so on so please do not misjudge verses due mistranslation and the with out the knowledge of for which reason each verse landed there and then..

      June 7, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Muneef

      Strange though to see what Jesus supposed to have said when his people country doing the opposite ?!

      June 7, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Andy B.

      Those are interesting, Mr. Dasilva, but I'm not sure pointing us at the Bible is a good counterpoint. I know the Old Testament tends to get mostly labeled as being in sort of a limbo where it's still technically in there but a lot of it doesn't count or apply for people, but it's worth pointing out that God endorses child murder and genocide. Sticking only to the New Testament, though:

      Matthew 10: 34-35 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
      For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

      Luke 12: 46-47 "The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

      Luke 12: 51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division."

      Acts 3:23 "And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."

      Acts 12:23 "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost."

      Romans 1: 31-32 "Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

      2 Thessalonians 1: 7-9 "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power"

      Hebrews 10: 28-29 "He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"

      Revelations 2: 20-23 " Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
      And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
      Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
      And I will kill her children with death"

      I could go on. There are a number of other verses where Jesus threatens to have God take an active hand in burning all unbelievers alive. Just like in the Quran, there are also a number of other lovely verses about being merciful and peaceful that don't have anything at all to do with killing children. A measured approach to both books that embraces the good ideas and the rejects the violent ones seems pretty healthy to me.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Muneef

      Wow in't that terror....!!

      June 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  14. Muneef

    Watch out you are being targeted;

    [15:28] Your Lord said to the angels, "I am creating a human being from aged mud, like the potter's clay.

    [15:29] "Once I perfect him, and blow into him from My spirit, you shall fall prostrate before him."

    [15:30] The angels fell prostrate; all of them,

    [15:31] except Iblis (Satan). He refused to be with the prostrators.

    [15:32] He said, "O Iblis (Satan), why are you not with the prostrators?"

    [15:33] He said, "I am not to prostrate before a human being, whom You created from aged mud, like the potter's clay."

    [15:34] He said, "Therefore, you must get out; you are banished.

    [15:35] "You have incurred My condemnation until the Day of Judgment."

    [15:36] He said, "My Lord, respite me until the day they are resurrected."

    [15:37] He said, "You are respited.

    [15:38] "Until the specified day and time."

    [15:39] He said, "My Lord, since You have willed that I go astray, I will surely entice them on earth; I will send them all astray.

    [15:40] "Except those among Your worshipers who are devoted absolutely to You alone."

    [15:41] He said, "This is a law that is inviolable.

    [15:42] "You have no power over My servants. You only have power over the strayers who follow you.

    [15:43] "And Hell awaits them all.

    [15:44] "It will have seven gates. Each gate will get a specific share of them."

    [15:45] As for the righteous, they will enjoy gardens and springs.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Gabriel never existed!!!!!! No Gabriel, no communiques from heaven and therefore Islam has no foundation and no validity as a religion.

      June 7, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  15. cruise

    there is only one way to God is that is through Jesus Christ. I dont care what if any one contradicts, Bud-ah and Mohammed aint gonna help you, yourself and your positive thinking aint gonna help you-only He can save you period!

    June 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Muneef

      Keep on Cruising....why would God give you mind and senses if you are not supposed to use them to figure right from wrong? Trust with out knowledge is not that wise specially with so much translations errors if not claimed forgery...!?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Don

      Jesus died..........and stayed dead.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Muneef

      Don.
      Of course they are all dead on earth physical body but are alive at God's Heavens....what am saying here that those came to teach and preach us from the wisdoms they gathered or inspired or revealed to....that is the thing we should not let go or leave behind but that rather should be our compass in earthly life....
      Out of all those prophets and messengers of God that generations from the ancient had met or known of "Only Issa the son of Maryam the Mesaih would return to earth from heavens although not sure if God in the Quran mentioned that his physical body was raised to heavens or will he be sent as a soul and spirit resurrecting his physical body if on earth...

      June 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • B1itsjustme

      Brucerus 4:6

      And lo, it is all bullspit. As invented by man to control man, and to make fear and guilt so that all may cower to the bullspitter. And thus, all religion was made, and it was bad. And it laid waste to the lands by guilt, and claiming that only my religion is the righteous and noble, and we must slay all the non-believers.

      And so, the earth was cast into darkness, until the facts and law of reason won out over myth and fear.

      So sayeth me.

      June 7, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  16. Nate-Dawg

    I guess the best Bible I've found as of yet is the ESV Study Bible. But I have several translations including an NIV, and a NLT Bible. I'm not sure what Bible I would say to buy, but if you go to a Christian bookstore and ask for help in finding a decent Study Bible I'm somewhat confident that an associate with the store would be able to help you make a selection. Hope this helps. God Bless,

    Nathan

    June 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Are those similar in words of contents with the orthodox bibles of the east say Coptic or of those in Palestine or are they different ?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  17. Moonglade

    The serpent in Genesis in the Hebrew Scriptures is Nehushtan, either a Canaanite, Egyptian or Midianite god, who is also mentioned at 2 King 18:4 in reference to Hezekiah's removal of artifacts from the Temple and the area around Jerusalem: "He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)" This is the same bronze piece noted in Numbers 21:5-9 during the time of wandering. The people had been complaining about the length of the journey, and G-d sent venomous serpents to bite them. So Moses prayed for intercession and G-d commanded Moses to make a bronze serpent figure and place it on a pole so that anyone bitten by a viper could look at it and live.

    The entire story in Genesis is an allegory of the triumph of the priesthood of El/Yahwah over the priesthood of Nuhushtan. This rivalry is revealed again in Exodus at the court of Pharoah, with Aaron's rod/serpent defeating and consuming the rod/serpents of Pharoah's magicians. Satan as a archetype hadn't yet been conceived of (that wouldn't happen until the Hebrews were taken to Babylon and exposed to Zoroastrianism and its dual god concepts) at the the time that the Hebrew Scriptures were put into writing (circa 450 BCE) and even then, the concept was one of G-d's court as shown in the book of Job. Nor did Hell exist as conceived of by the latter-day Christian interpretation of sheol as a place of endless torment, unless one considers it logical for Job to beg to be sent to such a place to escape the conditions of his life in Job 14:13.

    Those who would hijack the scriptures of one religion to base their own on should at least have the courtesy of getting the original (older) religion's concepts correct.

    And its Book of Revelation, NOT Revelations.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Yeah

      Careful there Moonglade. You're touching on the Evolution that they're really afraid we'll all understand someday. Maybe one day history, science and religion will merge properly into the one true philosophy we all need.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Muneef

      Moonglade.
      Story of prophet Moses
      http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Articles/Prophet/musa.htm

      June 7, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Wyatt

      What you have said is false. The story of Adam and Eve in Genesis IS EXACTLY AS IT READS. If you believe in the bible, then you KNOW that it is the TRUE WORD OF GOD- it is not a "an allegory" of anything.

      Genesis 3:4 – Then the serpent said to the woman (Eve), "You will not surely die.5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

      There is no mistaking this passage; a serpent tempted Eve into eating of the forbidden fruit. An allegorical depiction of two seperate nations fighting against each other wouldn't include one nation being represented as a serpent and the other as an unknowledgeable woman. If it was in fact a representation as you have stated- each party would already be knowledgeable of both good and evil, because they have the ability to quarrel. This is not so with the history of Adam and Eve presented in the word of God.

      The serpent of Moses eating the serpents of Pharoah in Exodus is also not an allegorical tale- this was an actual event that was meant to prove that the God of the Hebrews was the true God, as his single snake was able to eat all of the Pharoah's serpents.
      And Satan has ALWAYS been the one purposefully causing humans to stray from God as it is revealed in Revelations 12:9 "SO the great dragon was acast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;he was cast to earth , and his angels were cast out with him." This is also mentioned in other areas of scripture, and in the book of Enoch, non-biblical scripture written by the only man of God's favor from the Land of Canaan, it is revealed that Satan was the leader of an angelic revolt on God, because God had created man in His Own image, some of the Angels were jealous, because man was given greater dignity than they, and so Satan was cast out of heaven to the earth, and he has forever since sought to ruin man's favor with God.

      it is important to look at the word for what it is, not reading into it as a "story" or a representation of something else, for God gave us his word that we might UNDERSTAND, not that we should be shrouded in confusion by allegorical representations of various events. The Bible is truly the History of Our world, in truth, so that we might learn from our ancestors mistakes and seek to grow closer to Our Father In Heaven.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Yeah

      See what I mean, Moonglade? It much too hard for most to study actual history. Just givem a tune they can march to and they'll follow you anywhere, but please don't ask them to think any more than they want to.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • Moonglade

      Yeah, yeah, it was too much to hope for actual enlightenment, but I can only hope that my information will reach at least a few open brains in the world. I shall not be back to this thread – no reason (literally). Be well. :)

      June 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Cresent to Full rather than No Moon at all, Sun of God.

      Don't give up so easily. We need more level headed moderators on here to try and help the folks on both side stay real and relevant, instead of pridefully ignorant. In respectfully challenging both sides, sometimes we learn even more about the truth.

      June 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  18. BC

    Revelation 12:9 identifies the ancient serpent as Satan...

    June 6, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      Yes it was Satan who misguided Adam and Eve...but in Quran it mentions him being Satan but did not give in which for he approached them meaning as he should look like or as a Serpent....

      June 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Correction; Yes it was Satan who misguided Adam and Eve...but in Quran it mentions him being Satan but did not give in which form or shape he had approached them meaning was it as he should look like or looking as a Serpent....

      June 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Wyatt

      The Quran isnt the word of God. it is a host of ramblings by a self proclaimed prophet. if you believe in jesus Christ as a prophet then you must also believe John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, No one comes to the Father except through Me."- this passage alone proves that Christ IS the only way to have a relationship with God our Father, and any subsequent teachings by any supposed "prophets" are meaningless deviations from the truth of Christ caused by Satan. and it is obvious that Satan has been fairly victorious in turning hearts away from the true Son of God, as a HUGE amount of the worlds population is Muslim.

      You cannot be Muslim (Which teaches Christ as a prophet of God, and NOT believe what he taught.) Read the truth in his word in the Bible.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Muneef

      Wyatt.

      [2:135] They said, "You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided." Say, "We follow the religion of Abraham – monotheism – he never was an idol worshiper.

      More verses about the issue can be found is you scroll down to my comments to "Nate-Dawg.".

      June 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  19. BZ

    Hate to be pity but who cares?

    June 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
  20. Phil

    Why does God, the almighty and omniscient, not provide us with a single accurate Bible in our own native language? Seems easy enough.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Phil.

      We were tought that there are 4 Holy scriptures named as the (Torah by Moses) the (Zaboor by King David) the (Angeel by Jesus) and the (Quran by Muhammed). If you start reading in the same order they were mentioned you may then get the whole picture...since such knowledge comes with efforts overcoming obstacles to serve your purpose or intentions..

      June 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Craig

      He has, the King James Bible!

      There are not versions of the Truth, there is only truth or error.

      Men have been corrupting God's Holy Word since the days of Paul, the apostle.

      2Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. KJB

      June 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Al

      Because "native language"? Has been evolving and changing since the Old and New Testaments were written. It is the errors of man and the limitations of language when translating these books from an ancient language to a modern one that makes it difficult to "get it right".

      June 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al.

      Language translation errors cannot be considered forgery since forgery means it was done with intentions to forge somethings or facts which makes it a crime but errors with out intentions are not a crime of forging some thing?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Beyond Human Ego

      Why doesn't God just do everything for us? Is that what we're asking? Kind of self centered don't you think?

      The King James Bible was translated from a very poor Greek copy, so what do you expect? Perhaps a good Greek or Aramaic copy would have been better, but language always changes with time and culture and translation, so there will always be differences.

      Even if God wrote out one book with all his laws exactly as they are, do you really think there would be a human capable of understanding it all?

      If God knows more than we, perhaps we should try to understand why there are so many versions and work out what our tiny human brains can. Perhaps it just isn't possible for men living in many different conditions to require the same guidance as those living in totally different conditions. Of course the jet plane and television, challenges us all to reconcile with God a little better than we may have been allowed to get away with in the past. Live and learn. At least lets hope we do.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Beyond Human Ego.
      Yes hope we learn...
      Actually do not know what makes of the Bible complicated, when I see the Quran as simple as could be...my first attraction to the Quran to study was the reading the stories of the prophets with their people and what they had to face...the only thing I found complicated in the Quran and not because it is complicated but rather I couldn't or had no interest to consume it...it was the laws of dividing the inheritance only but that it limited to sura number 4 but the rest are all easy and clear.

      June 7, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • Beyond Human Ego

      Hi Muneef: Your easy understanding may be because you can read the Koran in its original language and perhaps the culture that you live in is not as radically different as the culture it was written in originally. Of course I'm just guessing. The Christain Bible has been translated into many diverse cultures and languages hundreds of years before the Koran, by monks who if i remember correctly had done away with advanced learning, seeing it unnecessary since the world was to end at any time. Such urgency by ignorant translators probably led to more conceptual and literal errors in translation. If I remember correctly Muslim scholars took more advantage of the advanced learning inherited in the countries they conquered, rather than discarding it like the early Christains. Then the Church didn't want people to have the Bible in their own language until the 1500, forcing amatuers to do the initial translations; amatuers who had no feel for the mideast culture the Bible was written in 2500-1500 years earlier. Still I've read that there were differences in Muslim interpretations about the same time, between the Ottomans, the Safavids in Persia and the group I can't remeber in India. We all usually tend to think that the way we view our personal religious books are the same way every one else does, because that usually holds true so long as we stay in our circle of freinds. That why the airplane and television and computer is forcing us to reconsider so many things that often some would rather not.

      June 7, 2011 at 2:01 am |
    • MM

      "He has, the King James Bible!"

      Would God care to verify that this is His Official Version?

      I can wait.

      June 7, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Muneef

      Beyond Human Ego.

      Actually think there are disputes or differences in the understanding of some verses in it's Arabic Form...but not as complicated as for those non Arabic speakers who had received the Quran translated into their native language God knows what they understand of it and whether we have the same understanding....but honestly such as those who are easily manipulated through intended or non intended differences or errors of translation,explanation....
      So you see Islam might have become a global language but might as well that each nation understood it the way it was translated or explained to them but whether it is the actual Islam that God wanted us and them to understand is only in the knowledge of God him self....

      June 7, 2011 at 7:31 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.