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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. Todd

    Great article!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  2. Yordei Merkava

    I don't think the author of this article reads the bible either.
    Here is where the Serpent / Satan thing came from, at least for the Christians...and it was written by a Jew!

    Rev. 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.
    Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that OLD SERPENT, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

    June 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Jacob

      That's New Testament. The Old Testament (aka the Hebrew Bible) makes no direct reference to Satan at all.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Mark

      He's read it plenty. On the other hand, you didn't read the article, or have the brains to understand it plenty. The mention of Satan you quote is from the New Testament, written many centuries after Genesis. And while it's not clear who wrote it, it was an early Christian, not a Jew.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Bonnie Half-Elven

      Mark, most early Christians WERE Jews. Hello?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Hal Summers

      Sorry Jacob but the old testament mentions Satan many times. In Job, Zechariahl, Psalms and more. Look it up.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • CaraLynn

      @Mark and @ Jacob: So then who is the serpent referred to in the Genesis account?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Ogre

      CaraLynn: "So then who is the serpent referred to in the Genesis account?"

      Who is the tortoise referred to in "The Tortoise and the Hare"? It is a fable... just like Genesis is.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Scholar

      @Jacob – The Old Testament makes several references to Satan, one of the more prominent of which is in the book of Job, where Satan challenges God to remove his protection from Job.

      Also, @John Blake – Interested article. But simple logic tells us that Eve was indeed in the Garden of Eden when she was tempted by the serpent. Genesis 3:1 states: "So it (the serpent) began to say to the woman: “Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” Note "the garden" here is, logically, the garden of Eden, as Adam and Eve didn't leave the confines of their original home until ousted from it after their fall.

      Additionally - and here's where some fact-checking might have given you another nugget for your story - Eve did not eat from the Tree of Life. This is an oft-confused piece of info even amongst most Jews and Christians. Amongst all of the vegetation of the garden of Eden, God planted TWO special trees, both mentioned individually in the Genesis account: the Tree of Knowledge, and the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve were permitted to eat from the Tree of Life. Some scholars speculate that is what actually sustained their bodies for however long they were in the garden prior to their fall from perfect life (potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of years–altho no exact time is mentioned in the Bible). However, the tree from which Eve ate was the Tree of Knowledge. This is evidenced in Genesis 3:22 where God pronounces, "and now in order that he may not put his hand out and actually take fruit ALSO from the tree of life and eat and live to time indefinite."

      June 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Ryan

      LMAO @Ogre. That was good, man.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  3. J

    It was obviously not a regular snake in the garden of Eden. Regular snakes don't talk

    June 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Todd

      As far as the snake not being regular....You have to think about the fact that this was before the fall. Eve didn't seem surprised that the snake was talking to her. This snake could have had legs as well.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • Jacob

      And people don't live to be 900 years old and still bear children. Some things in the Bible have to be... taken on faith.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  4. Litmus Boogliner

    As Matthew said to Luke in Psalm 9: "Just look it up on your phone Butt Hole."

    June 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Now, now, wait a minute! I looked it up! This is another one of them there phantom verses, isn't it?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  5. Kristina

    The exact phrase, "spare the rod spoil the child" may not be in the Bible but it is Biblical: "He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24) and "Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)

    Using Scripture to interpret Scripture we can come to the conclusion that it was Satan who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, in the form of a serpent. Satan is referred to as a serpent many times elsewhere in the Bible. Ezekiel says that Lucifer was in Eden until iniquity was found in him. The Old Testament is filled with foreshadowings of how Christ would defeat Satan; the seed of the serpent bruising the heel of the "seed" of the woman (the virgin birth), and the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent has more than one meaning.

    Also, it was not the Tree of Life that was forbidden, but the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    I guess it all depends on whether you look at the Bible as the inspired Word of God or just a religous book of myths and proverbs.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Jennifer

      I would hate to be your kid.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Kay

      No...Ezekial does *not* say that. Not even close. The verses were specifically what someone was supposed to tell the KING about HIMSELF and his OWN behavior. God wanted the king to be told that he had everything and blew it. That he had a virtual Garden of Eden but things went to his head and he decided he was a god himself. That it was *his* wicked ways that cost him getting tossed out of his own personal paradise. Read the whole thing, not just a line or two.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  6. Jan in NorCal

    Jesus is coming! Look busy!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  7. L.V.

    Everybody can scoff and sneer at Christianity all they want, but the Bible (and therefore Christianity) is never. going. away. It has been predicted over and over again over hundreds of years that the Bible would go away, but not only has it not gone away, it is FAR more prevalent today than any other book. Say all the nasty, hateful things you want, but that won't change the fact that people want it. Learn to deal with it, or remain angry, miserable people who spew vitriol around the internet or anywhere you can. It won't change a thing. You're just wasting your time.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      It's all over the place, sure, because missionaries keep foisting it on everyone all over the place. The Gideon Society makes sure it's in every hotel room, where it sits unread. Clearly, very few people read even a significant fraction of it and quite a few don't even begin to understand the fraction they do read. And many of those who read it most closely come away appalled by much of it.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Jacob

      Actually xtianity has been on a significant decline for the past 15 years. For many decades xtians comprised 86% of the population in the US but it has recently dropped sharply to 75%. In Europe only about 30% of the population are practicing xians.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • GodIsNot

      Vitriol? Miserable? When did these become associated with standing up for human rights and taking a stand against Biblical hate?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • G. Carlin

      Oh trust me, it's on it's way out (Christianity). The U.S. is one of very few developed nations that still has a Christian majority. All of Europe is going Muslim, which makes sense considering Islam is the latest Abrahamic religion. Let's just hope it doesn't take us as long to get over Islam as it did Christianity. There's no way we can survive another 2 millenniums of universally accepted nonsense.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Someone

      I'd really, really like to know how, exactly, this article is suggesting that Christianity is going away. All the article is saying hat things we attribute to Biblical verse may not be, but have been interpreted or distilled from Bibi cal text ). The Bible and Torah have LONG been subjected to interpretation and discussion – it doesn't invalidate the discussion or the content – it simply reinforces the notion that the Bible and Torah has been translated.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  8. T.J.

    Dear John Blake: the Bible does not say that Eve ate an apple. Please read your Bible before writing an article about how people don't read their Bibles.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  9. Dale

    Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly..."

    June 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Jacob

      Why does Jesus think a whale is a fish?

      June 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Kevin

      lol!

      June 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • bobjones

      II once spent three days at a bar called the Whale's Belly. Almost drowned.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  10. Eric

    This article is so stupid. Most of those says do appear int he bible, just spoken in words as used a couple thousand years ago. Weve simply shortened many of them into catch phrases because they are so powerful, true and good principles to live by - today as well as a thousand years ago. Again, just terrible and misinformed article here, obviously no real knowledge of the scripture. They probably had a digital copy of the bible and did a "find" for certain phrases expecting them to be there word for word, lol.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • L.V.

      Agreed. The author of the article was biased from the start, and just as ignorant about the Bible as those he's writing about.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  11. Yordei Merkava

    This is where the Serpent / Devil theme comes from, at least for the Christians...
    Rev. 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.

    Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that OLD SERPENT, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

    June 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  12. WowWow

    Wow... This should be called the non-belief blog. It consistently has anti-religious themes. Particularly anti-Christian themes. Shame on you CNN.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Ian

      How is this anti-Christian? Actually it read to me as pro-Christian. Great information to encourage us to learn the true Bible and not embellished with our own revisions.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • aj

      being realistic and factual isn't being anti-religious

      June 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  13. J

    Actually, "this too shall pass" is a corruption of the meaning of a line in the (very pagan) Aeneid. The Latin is actually "dabit deus his quoque finem", or, "A god will give an end to these things also." I.e., these things will pass as a result.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  14. Roelof

    Faith – action – result. Thats why I think the mission Libya is wasted. Why? Democracy is a tool and not a solution. Muslims might think it's a solution. Why do they all run to western countries and can't make it on their own? Islam (sharia) is dictatorship. Communism is dictatorship. Doesn't seem to work anywhere.

    The west should get rid of oil.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Roelof You're babbling.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  15. Expertia

    Every English version of the Bible has been translated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Therefore, it's the meaning of the words, not the exact wording, that is important.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  16. Eric G

    Why, in the name of Zeus's hairy Greek butt, does it matter what is or is not in the bible?

    The only conversation that matters is if the bible, or any of it's readers can provide any evidence that their god even exists.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Conversations that only matter to one side of the arguments.

      The other side, those of Faiths side,... your authority to determine what matters is yet to proven :)

      June 5, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • Joe

      The fact that you were apparently breathing when you typed your ridiculous response....actually proves that God does exist...and furthermore proves his patience with us by putting up with ignorance spewing out of your brain that you would think He doesn't exist. Monkey.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Nat

      Well, Eric, let's see your evidence that God does not exist.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Joe Nope. There's no way you get a proof of God's existence out of that post. That's just stupid. Really, really stupid.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • MRinLA

      Eric G, it's relevant because too many politicians cite false verses to justify their agenda. Proof of existence is irrelevant when you're able to convince 50.1% of voters you share their belief systwhir en if it has been twisted and warped to encourage degregation of the impoverished and immigrants while rewarding the persuit of self-interests at the expense of others.

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

      Nat: "... let's see your evidence that God does not exist."

      The one making the claim (that "God" exists... or whatever else) is the one who must provide the proof.

      If I claim that I have an invisible polka-dot penguin sitting on my left shoulder... I must prove it. You cannot disprove it.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • Ryan

      Nat you ignorant CLOWN. Proof that something doesnt exist? Sorry buddy. You dont prove a negative. You need to prove that God DOES exist.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  17. NYSofMind

    Y'know, Jews don't make most of the Old Testament mistakes. Maybe Christians should rethink some of their interpretations of the OT based on how it's read by the people who actually believe it.

    Satan in the garden of eden? Hilarious!

    June 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Tom

      If you talk to Mail a few lines down he thinks it's a Dragon as per Revelation 12:9

      June 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  18. Jennifer

    SATYRS, UNICORNS, AND DRAGONS
    Here are some Bible verses that you have never heard of, nor read in Sunday school. I am sure that most “followers” avoid difficult passages found only in the King James Version of the Bible. Isaiah 34:7, “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.” Isaiah 34:13-14, “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.” I am a woman of great faith; nonetheless, let us get real about Bible verses.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Jacob

      Don't forget about the talking plants and animals.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • dan.

      Amen.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • wrmwood

      Not sure what you are smoking but I looked up the passages you mentioned and there is nothing in them about unicorns or any mythical creatures you're talking about.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
    • Kay

      Then, @wrmwood, you weren't reading the King James Bible...where it most definitely says that.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Yep. I checked it out in my Dollar Store KJV bible and it is exactly as claimed: Unicorns, dragons and satyrs. Amazing.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  19. tina noelle

    Well John Richardson, the thing is, a lot of people start their religous life when they are children so they listed to the minister and listen to their parents and they have no judgement yet and would not even think to question what they have been taught and by the time they are old enough, the damage so to speak, has been done. I have gotten into some really scary arguments with Catholics when I tell that Purgatory is not in the Bible and that Mary was the mother of Jesus, not Holy Mary Mother of God as they say.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Tina – I grant SOME of your point, especially re minor matters like 'great fish' versus 'whale'. 'Whale' is even in some widely used translation, Including I believe King James, at least in the Matthew verse. To excoriate people for saying the bible said things that the bible they grew up with DID say is totally unfair and ridiculous. But at some point along the way, people really ought to be questioning. What you are talking about is the danger of credulity and the potential damage of indoctrinating the young. These are precisely two of the points we non-believers make constantly. (NB- I'm not an atheist but believe in neither the reality nor the worship-worthiness of the Abrahamic god in any of his attested doctrinal guises.)

      Also, if you want to play "not in the bible" doctrinal games. where is the trinity even mentioned in the bible? And we are discussing the case of Satan in the Garden of Eden. That's plain and simply not what the text says and the fact that some vastly later text says it means nothing.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • wrmwood

      There is a purgatorial concept in there... As a boat captain its always been common practice to refer to porpoise as porpoise and not dolphin as a general term since we dont know the species. I can easily see how sailors of the time would call a whale a really big fish and then a few hundred years later call it a whale. The whining about semantics on this poorly researched and written opinion piece is boggling. The evidence is out there and its not rocket science.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  20. Justin Observation

    It's a collection of stories some guys wrote many centuries ago. I doubt anyone knows what's in the originals anyway. Most people think the "real" bible is whichever one they are reading.

    June 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Duce

      Thank you!!!! What people are reading has been skewed. You cannot form an educated opinion without an education.

      June 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • pam

      I've yet to meet a college educated Pastor who can't read Hebrew and Greek which are the original languages that the Old and New Testaments were written in. When I question something I've ready in my NIV Bible, I can simply call my Pastor and ask for the original meaning. Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

      June 5, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • wrmwood

      Wow you guys clearly speak without knowing what you're talking about.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • wrmwood

      Do you think the Iliad is a scewed bunch of pieced together stories? Does the mythical town of Troy exist?

      June 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      An ancient city was found following clues in the Illiad. Whether it is Homer's Troy or not, who knows.

      http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/Troy/

      June 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Duce

      @wrmwood – If you take any of these "stories" literally, you quite obviously have been drinking from the product of wormwood...

      June 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • Ogre

      Mount Olympus exists in Greece. So, that *must* mean that Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Hermes exist, along with all of their siblings and all of their half-god/half-human offspring.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:57 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.