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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. Chuck E.

    This world will fade away, but the Lord Jesus Christ and all his believers will flourish in heaven for eternity.

    No more sorrow in heaven. No more anger. No more persecution. No loser demons to ignore. No loser satan to reject.

    Lord Jesus Christ will love all his family for eternity.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • JT

      Thanks for the classic example of what religion does to the human mind.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Veritas

      Chuck E should be exhibited as proof that religious delusion is a mental disease.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • grist

      Ah, to have such happy delusions! So far from reality. When you die, you are dead. Face it. Make the best of the life you have. Be thankful not to mythological gods, but to our ancestors who worked so hard to invent nice things and practice artificial selection to produce the great food we have.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Scott

      Just an eternity in church

      June 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  2. Duce

    I see the wolves are here in full effect. And the wolves aren't the ones trying to talk some sense in to you about foolishly interpreting the bible. I'm talking about folks like Chuck E. Get real people, the bible contains plenty of good stories of morale. But as Jordan said, people don't seem capable of interpreting these stories any more.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  3. Jacob

    Chuck, remember when Lot offered his virgin daughters to rapists and then later screwed both of them himself? How'd you feel about that?

    June 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Veritas

      Wonderful passage in the bible, sounds almost islamic.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • JD

      Every person named in the Bible (with the exception of JC) was a sinner. Among intelligent parties, there is no dispute about that. Therefore , Lot also was a sinner, and he was wrong to have done what he did. It is easy to point out ostensible contradictions in any voluminous work. It is not so easy to examine in-depth those potential problems and seek answers. Not everyone has the stomach or the intellect to go the extra mile, as it were. For those who have read Genesis Ch.19, and also 2 Peter, Ch. 2, it becomes apparent WHY

      June 6, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  4. James Good

    Just because the bible book of Genesis does not specifically mention that the Devil or "Satan" was behind the actions of the "serpent", does not mean that this thought is not in the bible. You just have to know where to look. In Ezekiel 28:13-17 The haughty King of Tyre is compared to a beautiful cherub that was placed over the earth in "Eden" this cherub was faultless until unrighteousness was found in him (vs.15) This cherub would be thrown onto the earth (vs.17). Revelation 12:9 shows that Satan is the original serpent that was hurled down to the earth. Verse 12 states the result is "woe for the earth ... because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time." Could this be what is going on in the world today?

    June 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • Kay

      Your response was EXACTLY what this guy was talking about...people talking verses (assuming they exist) out of context and using them as "proof" of something. Ezekiel 28:13-17 most certainly is *not* saying that a cherub was cast down into the original Eden, much less turned into a serpent. Rather, it is saying that the King of Tyre was given everything, but began to think himself a god and became a jerk, so now God wants him told that God is casting him down. All the text you are quoting is what is supposed to be told to the King of Tyre, NOT a description of what happened in the original Eden.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  5. DB

    Um....when it says 'rod' it means it as a symbol of discipline....not to actually beat. Every parent around the world knows kids need disclipline and boundries and thrive on them. 'Abuse' is an entirely different thing altogether.

    Matthew 24:35 says Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away...this is what I think he was quoting in this article.

    Genesis 3:6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

    About the other scriptures I actually can't be bothered showing people where they are. REAL believers in Jesus know that God's word is true through the Holy Spirit who lives in them. Hold strong together ^_^
    I believe we are in the generation that sees His return because of all the signs in the world and what's happening to Israel. It's exciting that His return is so close, but like labour pains.....you don't look forward to the process, lol. Only the end result.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Delly

      Its not what your eyes sees that is all about life.
      There are three realms. the physical , the mind and the spirit.
      Just as you cant see anyones mind by physical means, so you cant see the Spirit by the eyes.
      I can connect with your mind...Its called being of one mind. So can I also connect with God who is Spirit.
      That which is Spirit is spiritual. That which is soulish, is mental. That which you see is physical.
      God is not at all a mystery ...He is a mystery to the physical senses only.
      Dont be blind in your Spirit. He is not far away from those who genuinely seek Him.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  6. Jim

    Blakes last sentence should include himself as he misinterprets wrongly. You don't have to be a scholar to read and interpret the Bible correctly, but you need to take everything in context, no isolate verses etc.
    No, a whale isn't mentioned with Jonah but a "great fish." The fish isn't the point, Jonah was swallowed, lived for 3 days in the belly, and was spit out....ALIVE. It probably was a whale though if it could swallow a man whole and keep him alive in his belly.
    And no, Genesis doesn't state the serpent is Satan. But in context with the entire Bible, Satan is refered to as a serpent in Revelation 12:9, and is also called "The father of lies" in John 8:44 so I would say it definitely was Satan taking the form of a serpent in the garden of eden tempting Adam and Eve.
    And lastly, again no, the Bible doesn't mention 3 wisemen but Blake again misses the point that the saviors birth was prophesied and the wisemen were acting on this with gifts, and focuses on the point it didn't say 3. I think we say 3 because 3 gifts were given – gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but the number of wisemen is irrelevant.

    So in my opinion, none of these claims by Blake are true inconsistencies but rather an attempt to discredit the Bible and those who read it.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Kay

      He's not trying to discredit the Bible. He's simply trying to point out that far too many people who claim to know the Bible have actually never even read the whole thing, and actually don't know what it says even in the case of things that, supposedly, we all "know".

      He also points out that people too often use non-existent Biblical quotes and interpretations to justify things...and that sometimes they are things that shouldn't be justified.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  7. Skytag

    All the Christian haters on here sound like a bunch of radical muslims. Why does others beleifs threaten you so much?

    June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  8. Chuck E.

    The Lord of all heaven and earth is Jesus Christ.

    The ONLY God is Jesus Christ.

    The hateful chants you read are merely persecution by loser demons and their king loser, satan.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  9. Jacob

    Chuck how do you feel about Solomon's 700 wives and three hundred concubines?

    June 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • no kidding...

      Solomon, as well as many other people in the Bible serve as examples. Since there are no sinless people in (or outside) the Bible besides Christ himself, we get to see the terrible pitfalls of sin as well as the blessings of repentance and forgiveness, for often horrendous things. The Bible isn't saying its ok to have 700 wives, just says Solomon did. BTW his sin caused the downfall, separation and eventual capture of his entire kingdom.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  10. willy wag

    Chuck e sound like a troll or a worker at fox news.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Chuck E.

      Jesus Christ is Lord of all.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  11. Chuck E.

    The author of the article is correct.

    We all need to read God's Bible every day. We need to understand it.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  12. Chuck E.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for forgiving me of my sin.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for helping me understand the hateful chants are being directly from satan himself as persecution.

    Thank you, Lord Jesus, for offering an eternity of peace and joy even as those who reject you suffer in hell.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Scott

      When the LORD your God delivers it[city] into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies.
      –Deuteronomy 20:13

      However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them
      –Deuteronomy 20:16

      June 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Jacob

      Chuck tell us about how Jepthah sacrificed his daughter for god.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Delly

      There are three realms. the physical , the mind and the spirit.
      You are 3. Physical, mental and spirit.
      You do not feed you mind with potatoes, neither do you feed your mouth with thoughts.
      Hod made man in His image.
      God is 3. Like the body or government.
      1.Father (The Executive/ covering like your body is a covering for your soul/mind and spirit)
      2.Son (Legislative /Soul of God / The emotional side. Why Chuck E calls him Love. tHIS IS THE SIDE OF GOD THAT IS LOVE)
      3.Spirit (Judiciary/ spirit/ responsible for the keeping of records, knows the deepest side of God/ regarded as the Wisdom of God)

      This father is the side of god that is responsible for the judgment. He represents Justice. God is 3 and balanced, so although jESUS IS loVE, THE FATHER IS JUSTICE. The Spirit like the judiciary interprets the law. This is why when you believe in Jesus, you ask the Spririt for guidance, as He is responsible for all knowledge.

      Just as you cant see anyones mind by physical means, so you cant see the Spirit by the eyes.
      I can connect with your mind...Its called being of one mind. So can I also connect with God who is Spirit.
      That which is Spirit is spiritual. That which is soulish, is mental. That which you see is physical.

      The bible was writtenin 3 dispensations. the Father was Lord (author) from Genesis to Melachi, and he operates pretty much like an Autocrat. He is all power, and justice driven. So the nations he asked to wipe out was the justice of the time.

      Jesus: From Mattew to John was the example of love. He was and still is the author of loVE. He came so that he may infect our souls with Love. All he did was loving. Till today he still advocates for Love in the seat of jusgemnt. Hence he balances the father's justice.
      Spirit: Acts to Revelation. I cant really talk about the Spirit on CNN, as it is very personal to God. God Spirit I have mentioned is the wisdom. all knowing, everywhere. The mother of all creation, as He is known. A bit of a deep one to share here on CNN.

      There is a scripture that says in Romans 1:20.
      For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead....

      Take a look at yourself, and the more you look into your 3 nature (bODY/SOULD/SPIRIT) IS TEH MORE YOU UNDERSTAND GOD. DONT JUST CONSIDER THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL TO UNDERSTAND GOD. LOOK AT YOUR SIRIT TOO.
      THANK YOU.
      P.S AS GOD IS SO DEEP, I CANNOT EXPLAIN ALL. EVERYDAY THROUGH THE HOLYSPIRIT FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS I HAVE LEARNT ONE THING AT A TIME. I AM GROWING IN MY KNOWELEDGE, SO I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOME OF TEH THINGS I HAVE SAID ARE ELEMENTARY. MAYBE AS YOU GET CLOSE TO GOD HE WILL SHARE MORE OF HIMSELF. GOD IS LIKE TH OCEAN, WE ARE LIKE CUPS, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOUS SCOOP FOREVER YOUW WILL SCOOP SOMETHING NEW

      June 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  13. Chuck E.

    Praise Jesus Christ !!!

    June 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • vfl

      so what about Jesus killing kids with bears? come on tell me that story....

      June 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  14. vfl

    2nd kings chapter 2.... JESUS KILLS CHILDREN WITH BEARS..... read all about it..

    June 5, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • Chuck E.

      Jesus Christ is Lord and God.

      demons are at work on this board and chanting their usual half truths and lies to deceive anyone they can.

      Praise Jesus.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Deep North

      Don't mess with a true prophet of God...Bald Head!

      June 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Karen Flanders

      The forty two boys that were mauled by bears were jeering and mocking a Holy man. Elisha. One and same who witnessed Elijah's going up to heaven on a whirlwind.

      The. Bible. Is. True.

      Just because we weren't there, didn't see it, doesn't mean we shouldn't believe.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Ryan

      Holy cow, Karen. You are really ignorant. Just because you were not there or didnt see it doesnt mean we shouldnt believe it......so you werent there, didnt see it.....why does THAT make you believe it? That is the most backwards, ridiculous logic ive heard in years. Congrats.
      Grow a brain and question things you know nothing about. It doesnt make you an atheist, just a thinker. But the church doesnt want that.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  15. Colin

    Do you people really believe in a 13,700,000,00 year old evil ground fairy whose job it is to lead you astray? Dear god, people, did you even graduate middle school. 12 year olds in Eurpope no longer believe in that krap.

    I am absolutely astounded at how just palin dumb most Christians are.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Chuck E.

      Jesus Christ is the ONLY God.

      Jesus Christ created the universe.

      Jesus Christ created satan and his demon buddies.

      Jesus Christ offers to forgive you of your errors (sin) while satan and his demons want to make you suffer.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Philip

      Collin, if you are really have a problem with Christianity, why don't you state your case and why "Christians are dumb"? Why is this 'fairy tale' unbelievable? Do you have an opinion at all, or are you just saying what you were always told? Hate speech doesn't convince anyone of anything, if it's crap then you should be able to make a solid argument.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Ryan

      Phillip.......OK. Why cant these fairy tales be true? Has anybody in the modern world ever seen any of this @#$% happen? Talking snakes, living in a whales stomach.....are you serious? Instead of asking me why I dont believe it, ask yourself WHY you believe it. Its cool, you can believe if you want, I could care less.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:45 am |
  16. Colin

    I am absolutely astounded at how just palin dumb most Christians are. And I truly do not mean that as an insult. Look at this site, for example. H.ell, just look at Chuck E's posts.

    Do you people really believe in a 13,700,000,00 year old evil ground fairy whose job it is to lead you astray? Dear god, people, did you even graduate middle school. 12 year olds in Eurpope no longer believe in that krap.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Karen Flanders

      Colin,

      You said
      Do you people really believe in a 13,700,000,00 year old evil ground fairy whose job it is to lead you astray? Dear god, people, did you even graduate middle school. 12 year olds in Eurpope no longer believe in that krap.

      I say–
      No I don't believe in fairies. I do believe in God. And SATAN is real and on the loose, and wants your soul. He gives you this false sense of intelligence and superiority. What happens if you're wrong?

      And you say you didn't mean to be insulting, but you certainly were.

      What is wrong with Chuck E's posts? Can YOU prove that HE is wrong?

      Please, open your heart. God is love, and He knows all. He still loves you regardless with NO CONDEMNATION.

      What I find fascinating about it all is– the half has not yet been told!!! Do you know that there is definitely a sequel to your life-- and who knows...maybe a prequel that we aren't aware of. I don't limit God.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
    • Delly

      Its not what your eyes sees that is all about life.
      There are three realms. the physical , the mind and the spirit.
      Just as you cant see anyones mind by physical means, so you cant see the Spirit by the eyes.
      I can connect with your mind...Its called being of one mind. So can I also connect with God who is Spirit.
      That which is Spirit is spiritual. That which is soulish, is mental. That which you see is physical.
      God is not at all a mystery ...He is a mystery to the physical senses only.
      Dont be blind in your Spirit. He is not far away from those who genuinely seek Him.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm |
    • 0341

      Chuck E. is a troll. And this is optimistic. If he truly believes that Jesus did all these things (create the universe, Earth, Satan) then he's being sorely mis-educated. It doesn't take a believer to read and understand that the Bible states God, not his son Jesus, created everything and brings everything to pass. It's GOD's plan that drives everything (btw, I'm not religious nor a bible scholar, but how does everything happens by god's plan coexist with humans have total free will?). Jesus was just his liaison to humanity, spreading God's expectations of humanity if they wish to return to heaven.

      I'm no longer a believer in higher powers. I learned my lessons growing up and am better for it, but I don't need to dedicate any of my precious life to an organization that asks me for money and gives me lip service in return. I can just as easily feed the homeless, help my neighbor, and not kill people without said group's fear mongering.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Ryan

      Karen, you blithering idiot. YOU need to prove that somethiong is real, not the other way around. Its impossible to prove a negative. Can you prove that God is not a rabbit living in Wonderland? Can you prove that I havent in fact spoken to God, and he told me you are an idiot?
      Im sorry, but your logic is ignorant. Prove to me that God is real. You cant. Im not even anti-religious, just pro-logic.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  17. Cari

    “You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America .... ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

    And now you see why it is so important that Christian churches teach people Biblical Exegesis.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  18. Chuck E.

    My favorite, calming read is the book of Psalms in God's Holy Bible.

    You don't need to understand anything except that God wrote it through King David. Everything is so beautiful and calming. In ancient days, Psalms were sung by the ancient people of God.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • vfl

      and then the Lord killed 42 children with bears.... i find comfort in that...

      June 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Foxhole Atheist

      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones (Psalms 137:9). Yes, very calming indeed.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • Jacob

      "Happy shall he be, that takes and dashes your little ones against the stones." Psalm 137:9

      Yeah very calming Chuck.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  19. Jordan

    Christians are terrible at interpreting the Bible, especially the Old Testament. If you want a really good interpretation, ask a Jew.

    June 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Chuck E.

      Hateful chants against God's Holy family of believers are always demonic inspired.

      Reject hateful persecution of satan. Worship Jesus Christ.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  20. victoria

    Don't forget, "The Lord will never give us more than we can handle".

    June 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Chuck E.

      God is love and God loves his family.

      Reject satan and demons. They were losers and want you to suffer with them for eternity.

      "They cannot sleep unless they make you stumble."

      June 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Vance

      1 Corinthians 10:13? What does that have to do with phantom verses?

      June 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Scott

      @Chuck E.
      God gave us pain, science gave us anesthetics.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.