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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. King's Bard

    I believe the confusion about Satan tempting Eve comes from Milton's "Paradise Lost" – the epic poem.

    In that story, Satan (angry and bitter after losing his battle in Heaven and being cast into the sulfurous pit) swears vengeance on everything that God loves. He enters the body of the serpent and masterfully manipulates Eve. Milton borrows much from Genesis, but it is a deliberate piece of fiction that actually makes Satan out to be somewhat sympathetic as a character. (I am NOT discussing the veracity of The Bible here, so please no attacks.)

    Anyway, can't see but a few previously posted comments, so I may be repeating something already said.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  2. DAdolfo

    The Devil will use the most sophisticated tools to make people believe that the good is bad and the bad is good. Don't pay attention to these evil plans to have the Holy Bible discredited.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • antonio

      Its not being desicrated. Its being read instead of thrown at somebody for once. Thanks for the article!!!!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:16 am |
    • dave

      Using that logic, could not the "good book" itself be "bad" masquerading as good?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  3. Rui

    I like how atheists are the first ones to jump on stories like these and leave bizzare comments, lol
    they are so empty they come here looking for a path but can't find one and leave the blog feeling as sad as when they came in.
    Here is a message for all you empty and lonely atheists......"Your parents raised you wrong" Nuff Said.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Bill

      Actually, I come here for the same reason people go to the zoo. The only difference is that faith-apes can actually respond. The great thing about not needing God though is that I am happy all the time, considering I have no fear of Hell, no concern for His Divine Judgment, or any worries about some massive flood/plague/end-times (we all see how that worked out, didn't we). Here is a testament to God's supposed Love:

      After Joshua died, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Which tribe should attack the Canaanites first?" The LORD answered, "Judah, for I have given them victory over the land." The leaders of Judah said to their relatives from the tribe of Simeon, "Join with us to fight against the Canaanites living in the territory allotted to us. Then we will help you conquer your territory." So the men of Simeon went with Judah. When the men of Judah attacked, the LORD gave them victory over the Canaanites and Perizzites, and they killed ten thousand enemy warriors at the town of Bezek. While at Bezek they encountered King Adoni-bezek and fought against him, and the Canaanites and Perizzites were defeated. Adoni-bezek escaped, but the Israelites soon captured him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. Adoni-bezek said, "I once had seventy kings with thumbs and big toes cut off, eating scraps from under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them." They took him to Jerusalem, and he died there. The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem and captured it, killing all its people and setting the city on fire. (Judges 1:1-8 NLT)

      Gotta love that God of War.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • dave

      Speak for yourself. No emptiness here.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Re: Bill

      God is just. There are consequences for our actions. If you smoke for 50 years, find out you have terminal cancer, and decide to get 'saved'...you still have terminal cancer. In this lovely story you quoted, those people killed by the children of Israel were wicked. I come back to consequences of actions. Yes, God is love, but He is also JUST.

      'If you do the crime, be prepared to do the time.' –It's not scripture, but it fits perfectly. I know you've heard this argument before, but I'll try anyway...

      If I live my whole life believing in God, only to find out after I'm dead that He doesn't exist, what have I lost? Nothing. I have lived a life just as full as anyone else, and probably more so, because I was able to fill the longing within me with something other than alcohol, drugs, or immorality.

      However, what do you do if you die, only to find out He does exist? You've missed everything, and WILL suffer the consequences for your actions for all eternity. There is no forgiveness after death, contrary to what some may say.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Sean

      No, Rui, I'm not sad at all! Your comments made me laugh, so thanks!

      June 6, 2011 at 9:30 am |
  4. Wiccan

    Matthew 10:34-36...Some people asked about finding a passage where Jesus promoted violence and there it is. Oh and for those who said Atheists are sad for commenting here is an idiot, you'd be surprised to know that most Atheists and people like myself who converted away from Christianity actually know more about the Bible than people who blindly follow the Church and Bible. It's because we ask and question what is actually being told to us. In my own opinion the Bible has been twisted and contorted to suit the needs of the Church and imposing virtues even they don't follow. Just take one look at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, I don't think the Church takes much stock in Povety.

    Anyways, here is the quotation from the Today's English Version of Matthew 10: 34-36 since I know few of you will whip out your Bible to actually check on me.

    34. Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughter-in-law against their mother-in-law; 36. your worst enemies will be the members of your own family.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:05 am |
    • humberto

      Maby the deciples turned the tables overs as Christ scorned the merchants of deceit. -

      June 5, 2011 at 9:12 am |
    • Spirit rules

      To me that verse speaks about faith and personal beliefs. Look at the strife this simple blog does let alone from people who are in your family. When you believe and stand firm in something that others deny or cannot grasp expect chaos. I am sure being a witch you have had your battles when it comes to your faith.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Wicci-Wicci-Wicci-Wicci...Shut up!

      Actually, you've really missed the mark on this one. The 'sword' Jesus is referring to in this scripture is the Word of God. The message of the Gospel does set 'son against father' Jesus isn't abdicating violence in this passage. He's just letting everyone know that those who follow Him will have a long road ahead of them, filled with trials.

      Atheists and tree-huggers are no different that anyone else, although they claim to be 'enlightened'. They take the pure Word and twist it to prove whatever they want to believe. You sound just as idiotic as the rest...

      June 5, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • humberto

      Therefore, do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and nothing hidden that will not be known....

      and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops

      June 5, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  5. meep

    meep

    June 5, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  6. Joe

    Yawn

    June 5, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  7. hih

    Eve just wanted what she could not have...the first bad girl.."And the rest is history"(not in the bible either)

    June 5, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  8. JWH

    Be fair...maybe murder of ALL others and attacking the world is not in the Quoron?
    Answer that Oh brave one.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:04 am |
  9. David Johnson

    NOTE HEAVENSENT and CW and Whoever else!

    The article said:

    “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.”

    Damn, I love reality!

    Cheers!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • BibleMan

      Why criticize something far greater and more lasting than yourself, when you haven't even read it!? Incredible!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  10. Robin

    Lets discuss Torah–the Jews book. And see how CNN and the jews people react.

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

      I believe that would be " Jewish people." And you can watch any TV Evangelist spout every one of those verses at the top of their lungs. Or in any church for that matter.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • ben

      the 'torah' is the first 5 books of the bible. this article DOES talk about the torah.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  11. Drake

    GREAT POST! I hope people have the time and mental capacity to read it!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:03 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Drake

      It is a great article. Unfortunately, the people who have already drank the Kool Aid, will ignore, spin, and deny anything that hints their thoughts and interpretations might be wrong.

      Cheers!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  12. chris

    What about verses that are in the bible but people don't believe they are? My favorite is 'as a dog returns to his vomit' Proverbs 26:11. Any time someone tosses out a bible verse that I'm suspect of I toss that one out. The verse ends 'so a fool returns to his folly' which makes it particularly apt.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  13. BibleMan

    It's a shame that the author of this article doesn't know the Bible himself, yet somehow makes himself out to be some kind of authority. Case in point – while Genesis 3 does not mention Satan, he is clearly identified as the "serpent" in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2. (Folks, read it for yourself!) As one who has prayerfully studied the Holy Bible *daily* for the past 15 years, I can tell you that you don't need a theological degree – or a journalism degree either for that matter – to understand the Scriptures. What is needed is a humble heart and the Holy Spirit. If you want references for my assertions here, please see: Acts 4:13, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Peter 3:16, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Blessed are those who read and hear (Revelation 1:3). Maranatha!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • ben

      nor do you, apparently. 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

      Satan is described as a dragon, not a snake. Dragons qualify as serpents in mythology. The snake in the garden of eden was NOT satan nor was it ever meant to be. the story was supposed to be about why snakes crawl on their bellys and are feared and distrusted. Satan in the OT was in heaven, and rather friendly with god (read Job)

      June 5, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • David Johnson

      @BibleMan

      You said: "It's a shame that the author of this article doesn't know the Bible himself, yet somehow makes himself out to be some kind of authority."

      Dude! Are you simple? The author of this article stated that Satan as a tempter, came about 500 years after the story of Adam and Eve. Revelation was written after the myth of Satan as a tempter was established.

      But wait! If evolution is true...and it most certainly is, then the Adam and Eve story is fiction. So it really doesn't matter.

      If all the organisms on the planet evolved, then the Creation story is just that – a story, a fable, myth, crap.

      If the Creation story is just a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.

      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.

      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.

      If there was no need for a redeemer, then why is there Christianity?

      If evolution is true, and it most assuredly is, then there is no soul.

      If there is no soul, then how can there be an afterlife?

      You god is no more real than Ra, or Isis, or Allah. They are all products of man's imagination.

      Cheers!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Bman

      There is no way the author of the book of Genesis meant for the serpent to be Satan. Revelation was written centuries later, after Judaism had borrowed the idea of having an opposing evil force to God from the Persians' Zoroastrianism. You are probably correct that Revelation's author thinks the serpent and satan are the same, but he is just making the same mistake that many people today make. You have to treat the books of the bible as just that, separate books.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • Kristina

      "“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."

      Pretty sure this covers what you had to say. It's obvious that Revelations, or any of the New Testament, wasn't written for hundreds of years after Genesis. The concept of Satan is actually a relatively new concept, in terms of the Bible.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • sad

      How sad for you. What part of contextualizing history and culture don't you understand? All of it, apparently. A serpent is mentioned in Genesis, and a serpent is equated to Satan in Revelations. Do you really not see the difference in time between the writing of these two texts? They were written by two very different groups of people at two very different periods of time (I would like to point out that the author of this piece, who does not pretend to be an expert on the subject, but is reporting and citing biblical scholars who are experts, correctly points out that there isn't a concept of Satan at the time Genesis what written, and there wouldn't be for many centuries to come). BibleMan, maybe you should put down your bible and pick up some real social, religious, and cultural histories on the subject you love so much. The bible can be much more meaningful and interesting if you make the effort to understand to background (and historical contexts) in which the individual parts were written.

      You might also consider that you took this article to be an attack on your faith. It was not. It was an observation on the creation of false biblical passages as a cultural phenomenon. Maybe you shouldn't take things so personally, or maybe you should be a bit more secure in your faith.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  14. j . cetnar

    The Bible is the word of God as interpreted by man . These teachings are further interpreted by the reader .The Bible has been composed in a form that suits a particular religious agenda . Each religion professes that their version is correct . They pick and choose which ' books ' to include to promote their views. What about the gospels of Thomas , Mary Magdalen , and others that the churches refused to admit to the Bible ? You can't draw an informed conclusion without all the facts . Have all the books and gospels included in the Bible so everyone can get the full picture . As it is now , it is a book of propaganda foisted on us by the religious hierarchy and doesn't represent a full list of the teachings of the holymen ( women ) of the past . Someone should compile and print a complete Bible which includes all the ' forbidden texts ' .

    June 5, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • BibleMan

      Have you read the criticisms of these false books? You should before you form an opinion that they are equal to the actual Scriptures. Certainly anyone could write anything – even you or I. But, why should anything that anyone wrote be included under the same cover as texts that have been widely acknowledged by believers through the Holy Spirit as authentic?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • Fazool

      "The lord helps those that helps themselves" was something my parents said to me when I was growing up. They never said it was from the bible, but clearly they believed it was true.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:15 am |
    • ben

      bibleman – the books that were SELECTED (by human beings) to form the bible were not selected due to accuracy, reliability, or certainty of authorship. They were selected becasue the church wanted to manipulate the masses into believing what they wanted them to. It was about shaping christian belief. Have YOU ever read the infancy gospel of Thomas, for instance? Feel free to tell me why it's not included.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:25 am |
  15. former sheep

    this passage is the reason i no longer believe in bible. Cain slew Able, God found out and sent Cain out of the garden. But, before Cain left God put a mark on Cain's forehead so that when others saw him they would not harm him. Adam and Eve then Cain and Able, that is the gene line. Question, what other people could have been around to harm Cain. This question cannot be answered with bible text. Just preacher mumbo jumbo.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • gladly a sheep

      The other people were also created by God. Adam and eve were the first one created but weren't the only ones

      June 5, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • j . cetnar

      Good point . There had to be an incestuous relationship somewhere for the human race to grow . The gene pool was very limited back then . One of those things that make you go ...hmmmm .

      June 5, 2011 at 9:10 am |
    • j . cetnar

      To gladly a sheep–is that in the Bible ? In high school english class we read Genesis as a writing style and I don't remember anything mentioned about God creating other people . Your statement just proves the point of the article . People see the Bible as they wish to see it , just as the terrorist see the Koran as they want to see it .

      June 5, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • Bucky Ball

      @ j. cetnar
      "In high school english class we read Genesis as a writing style"
      Am curious. When they discussed that, did they examine the various writing styles, or did they present it as a monolithic style ?
      (ie for example, there are two distinct conflicting creation stories, in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 , clearly written by different authors.) Was that discussed in the stylistic analysis ?
      Good point.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • David Johnson

      @j . cetnar
      You said: "Your statement just proves the point of the article . People see the Bible as they wish to see it , just as the terrorist see the Koran as they want to see it ."

      You are right! The author of this article said: "Few catch on because they don’t want to – people prefer knowing biblical passages that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs, a Bible professor says."

      You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe. – Carl Sagan

      Cheers!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  16. chris

    Research... then tell me who King James is?

    June 5, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Sara

      It was King James I of England (ruled right after Elizabeth I) who had the bible translated into English.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  17. Munkyshein

    I won't dis your atheism if you don't dis my christianity. Respect all beliefs.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • humberto

      Beliefs are subjective, actions are objective – Thats the Truth .

      -

      June 5, 2011 at 9:07 am |
    • AGeek

      I'll respect your christianity when it's not crammed down my throat at every turn and used as political fodder to further ruin the US.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:09 am |
    • ben

      When atheists believe in such nonsense as talking snakes, living inside whales, walking on water, and rounding up 2 of every animal and putting them all on a boat...you may make fun of us. The truth is, if you believe this nonsense in the year 2011, you deserve to be made fun of, and you are a fool.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Sean

      @Munkyshein
      Fair point!

      June 6, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  18. jo

    Love thy neighbor as thyself

    June 5, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  19. hih

    What a shock the bible misquoted…. All the quotes are old sayings; I don’t hear them quoted as being in the bible ..more like a phantom article

    June 5, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  20. derp

    “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."

    Yep, you just basicaly described christianity.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • hih

      lol you basicly described the comment board on CNN

      June 5, 2011 at 9:01 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.