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Your Take: Comments on misquoting the Bible
June 6th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Your Take: Comments on misquoting the Bible

Our Sunday post about oft-quoted biblical lines that don't actually appear in the Bible struck a chord, with 5,000 comments so far.

Lots of atheists and critics of religion used the piece to ridicule believers, taking several different lines of attack. Here are a two:

Amanda
Because most people would prefer to be ignorant rather than think for themselves. That is what the whole of organized religion is based on, especially Christianity and Catholicism. Organized religion has never done anything good for humanity in history.

Atheism is Great!
Actually, the bible is nothing more than a collection of stories and moralities written by human beings thousands of years ago who's max age was maybe 30, who thought the Earth was flat, and who did not have access to scientific or medical science/information. It's not from "god" people, god doesn't exist either. Whatever helps you get through your life I guess. I personally don't need that crutch. Have a nice day.

There was also more nuanced criticism of organized religion, with some commenters arguing that the prevalence of biblical misquotes suggested that religious folk have been overly dependent on religious authorities for a long time:

Witchytiger
The point to remember here is that just up until very recently, the masses believed whatever their clergy told them. They either didn't have the skills to read (for whatever reason), or simply didn't believe they should read the bible themselves.

I once asked an elderly Catholic where her bible was ... (I love old books and thought her bible would be a real treat to look at ... ) She was horrified that I thought she'd even HAVE one ... Her thought, at the age of 90, was that Catholics are not supposed to read the bible on their own. It was their job to believe what the Father told them, and it was the Father's job to know the bible.

So many times it's either just plain ignorance, or the situation that they come from (IE: can't read, etc) that produces these types of situations. Thankfully we're coming out of those situations, if only little by little.

All the criticism of religion brought out plenty of faithful. One responded to Amanda, the religion critic whose comment is above:

Zach
Really, Amanda? I would encourage you to try to prove your statement about no good ever coming from organized religion. I can think of a few well-known and recent organized religionists who have done quite a bit of good – Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandhi. I can also think of a few anti-religious people who have done a lot of bad – Stalin, Mao, Hitler. "Never" is a big word.

Others believers lobbed ad hominem  attacks on atheists:

Bottom line
Atheists/Agnostics have nothing of substance to do on weekends. Also since they are empty when it comes to faith or beliefs they have to make the attempt to urinate on ones who do so they can feel full and superior.

A fair number of commenters, meanwhile, criticized our piece, arguing that some misquoted scriptural lines have biblical roots:

David
Many of these phrases many not be in the bible verbatim, but their intent is very much contained in it, specifically "Spare the rod spoil the child". This phrase is a direct distillation of Prov 13:24 & 23:13-14 "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).

I find it disingenuously nit-picky to state that a faithful paraphrase of a verse is "not" in the bible.

Mahanaim
I find it very disturbing that the "CHAIR" of a "SCHOOL OF RELIGION" would go record as say that the "the devil was not in eden". Kevin Dunn is right in saying that the word "devil or satan" was not mention in Genesis but if Mr. Dunn is "BIBLICAL SCHOLAR" then he should be familiar with the "BOOK OF REVELATIONS" which equates "THE SERPENT, DEVIL & SATAN" as one and the same: Revelations 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:". And you wonder where people get the wrong impression about things that are "IN" the Bible. Mr. Blake, apparently you did not know your Bible well enough to call Mr Dun on that one.

And, as always, there were plenty of attempts at humor, including this on Adam and Eve eating that apple:

Sean
If he didn't want man and woman to eat it, he should have made it broccoli or spinach.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Comments

soundoff (1,118 Responses)
  1. Peter

    John Blake did a 'not in the bible ' himself. He said, "... a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life."

    But in Gen 2:17, it says, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

    In Gen 3:22, it says, "and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:"

    Whether you believe any of this or not (I don't), it seems pretty basic to get your own Bible facts straight in an article about ... getting your Bible facts straight!

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

      Amazing! We're all arguing over the writing arguably attributed to a primitive culture who thought the Sun orbited the Earth, that the cure of many ailments was to bleed out a patient, and that people lived 600 to 900 years. Many of these homillies were of Greek origin well before the Christ myth (based entirely on the Mithra and Horus tales) was created.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      lol, i agree, i've read several versions of the bible, some refer to two trees, one of knowledge one of life, and not always is it referred to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I've also seen some older Bibles translated that seem to say the 'garden east of Eden' and not the 'garden of eden.'

      The fruit of the tree i've heard referred to a fig over an apple, but I believe there is still some debate about this, an apple it is not though.

      My favorite from genesis is the whole Lillith part and how she mysteriously disappears from the christian version of the Bible. We all know Lillith, right? the lady god made before eve?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      @jesus, amen brother for mentioning Mithras, is not as well known as it should be. Also another favorite of mine, gilgamesh : )

      June 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Estevan

      "Jesus: Amazing! We're all arguing over the writing arguably attributed to a primitive culture who thought the Sun orbited the Earth, that the cure of many ailments was to bleed out a patient, and that people lived 600 to 900 years. Many of these homillies were of Greek origin well before the Christ myth (based entirely on the Mithra and Horus tales) was created."

      Hear! Hear! Now this is a Jesus who makes sense!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  2. Art

    As a Muslim scholar once told me when I asked him why, if the Qur'an has been hijacked, do so few Muslims seem to know what the Qur'an actually says: "Because education is a luxury."

    June 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  3. Michael

    Colin, you're wrong about scientists. Check your facts. I have a PhD in theoretical physics and Jesus is my Lord, and I understand about half of scientists have some faith.

    Dan Gilgoff: if you write a blog about mistakes in the Bible, you should check your facts carefully. The Bible says nothing about Eve eating an apple. Just a detail – but details are your schtick on this article, right?

    June 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • YBP

      Perhaps you need a degree in Religious Studies. Then you'd have a more informed idea of what you claim to believe.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I like the Wiki description of this issue:

      "The demographics of atheism are difficult to quantify. Different people interpret "atheist" and related terms differently, and it can be hard to draw boundaries between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs. ... Despite these problems, one study classified 2.5% of the world's population as atheists, and a separate 12.7% as non-religious."

      June 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Colin, you're wrong about scientists. Check your facts. I have a PhD in theoretical physics and Jesus is my Lord, and I understand about half of scientists have some faith.

      There you have it. Even scientists can be wrong in their reasoning.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  4. Brian

    This proves how easy it is to scam a buck in the name of religion. I'm almost tempted to pick a book off my bookshelf and start quoting it. Chapter 3, Sentence 97, "My girl don't like the job, and my secretary don't like my ways." Chapter 8, Sentence 32, "The art of pitching is the pitcher's ability to change pitch speeds and locations in order to keep the batter off balance." Now if everyone who reads this puts a dollar in the box, we can spread "The Word" around the world and bring peace and happiness to everyone..........or not!

    June 6, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I like to quote Marvel Comics as my rational for everything in my life!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • indievoter

      @William Demuth,

      That explains a lot about your comments. The sad thing is, you are probably not joking.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      indievoter

      You are correct, I find them a means to an end.

      You see, comic books are where the washed up Gods get sent to when no one falls for the nonesense espoused by the zealots.

      Just as once men where killed in the name of Thor, YOUR God shall be downgraded to fairy tale status.

      And rest assured, the Hulk will whoop JC's skinny little rear end!

      June 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  5. paxman2

    Still no reasonable explanation from any of you non-believers as to what has been going on in Medjugorje for 30 years now. In this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSbN0T6rAIc&feature=fvsr, Mirjana says as children they were arrested by the then communist police, they were put in an insane asylum and told they would live there for the rest of their lives, then they were brought to a mortuary and were left in a room with dead people and told they would have to live there for the rest of their lives. The threatened teenagers, the youngest one 10 years old never backed down from the 'story' they were telling – and still are 30 years later.

    Starting in June of 1981 6 kids, ages 10 to 15 dropping to their knees at the same time, focusing on the same spot (even though they have side –blinders on), bright flashing lights and hot skin probes not showing up on their EEGs, all raising their heads simultaneously when she leaves. Being arrested by the communist police and threatened with jail and torture and refusing to change their testimony. And now 30 years later, still going to church daily, praying many hours every day, all sticking to their ‘story’ while raising families. Six pathological liars? I guess the proof will be if they die without the signs happening that they say will happen in their lifetimes. Search vimeo for Mirjana or Medjugorje. Look how young Jakov is in the 1984 vimeo video 10286499, how they all raise their eyes at the same time. Someone said there's no sound (which is true) so maybe there was an audible signal so the children would synchronize their looking up. Well, there's a crowd of hundreds of people all around them, don't you think they would have heard the signal. They've done this in front of crowds of hundreds of people hundreds of times. Search u-tube videos of Mirjana. Please reply with your explanation. She says in one of her videos that Our Blessed Mother doesn't refer to atheist as non-believers but as ‘those who do not yet know the love of God’, so at least there’s hope in the way she puts it, sounds like you'll eventually come around. But she also says you'll regret waiting until the great sign, don't let your hearts become too hardened. Keep an open mind and look into it. Also, how do you explain similarities and out of body experiences in people who have had NDEs? I almost drowned as a teenager and I know what I experienced wasn't just my brain failing from lack of oxygen. I’ll keep praying for you.
    Pax.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Thor

      So you need parlor tricks to prove the existance of your God?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      there's a difference between almost drowning, and drowning and then being resuscitated. Also, if the video evidence of god is only some kids looking up at the same time, after close to a century since the technology has been in use, I would highly question your reasoning and logic.

      I find it hard to believe god would need any tricks to make himself known.

      Sadly, you sound like you'd be a believer of a common magician doing some card tricks, with the amount of critical thought you are bringing to bare on the subject matter.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Edward

      Just because someone doesn't believe in Christianity which is completely man-made fiction doesn't mean that they don't believe in some type of Creator or Universal intelligenc or consciousness. We just don't believe in the ridiculous man created fairy tales of the bible and christianity........the more intelligent and spiritually evolved have moved way beyond that.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • YBP

      How pathetic. Venerating poor oppressed trash. Mary, if that was even her name, was clearly a woman of ill repute, the exact opposite of what the third gospel (Lk) finally claimed she was (to throw critics off the scent of an obvious scam). The gospels are full of such lies. Jesus may have been executed, but then he rose again. Yeah. That happens all the time. The gospels were written to persuade people that the End Times had begun. I think we recently had a similar scam in the news (like about a week ago!). Jesus, if he existed, was clearly conceived out of wedlock. That is actually there in black and white in Luke. The first gospel (Mk not Matt) makes no mention of a husband for Mary whatsoever, just that she has a small brood. Where did all these kids come from? How were they clothed an d fed? You do the math. And while you're at it, read a book or two on current New Testament studies. A lot has changed since the Church had a strangle hold on the rest of the world.

      And I do have a bridge in Brooklyn that you may want to purchase. I'll give you a very good price, because clearly, you are an intellectual. Not a fool.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  6. Edward

    You want to make God smile?.......Throw the bible in the trash can. Stop attrubuting that man made fictional garbage to him.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Grammar

      man-made

      June 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Phage0070

    "And, as always, there were plenty of attempts at humor, including this on Adam and Eve eating that apple:"

    It wasn't an apple, it was a "fruit". The writers may not have even ever *seen* an apple at that point.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  8. jude

    to the guy zach in the article i can name something that has done more for humanity in a yea than religion has done in its history, its called science. everything in our lives, the very reason we are here now and living comfortable lives is because of science, science has allowed us to feed earths population, bring clean drinking water everywhere, curing deadly diseases, entertain us, etc, etc, etc oh religious people may do good things but its scientific work and progress which lets them be able to do such things. and i wont even mention the blind bigotry in comparing atheism to power hungry dictators.

    and to bottom line guess what? i get to sleep in on sundays, relax after a long week of work, school and working out, i get to be with my friends, family day is monday for me oddly, watch some sports also, play games, and be lazy, it is a productive day of relaxation without worrying about waking up early to worship some god in the most boring way possible

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Really?

      and yet athiests still cannot tell me how life begins from non-life.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • tommas

      The absence of evidence is not evidence for its absence. All the evidence points to life from normal matter, everyday we are filling in the gaps you worship (simple RNA molecules are already being made in labs, from "nothing")

      June 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • ORLY

      Right, and this is the train of thought that religious people have on the topic:

      How did life begin? God made it.
      How do you know God is real? Because of the bible.
      How do you know the bible is fact? Because it's the word of God.
      How do you know God is real? Because of the bible.

      etc, etc, etc...

      June 6, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Thor

      Wet hair thouroughly, apply shampoo, rinse, wash, repeat.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Really?

      tommas, those RNA creations are worthless, they cannot do anything with them. They do not live up to the quality of the real stuff, do your homework.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Joe

      My sincerest thanks to Thor for ridding the world of Ice Giants.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Thor

      Joe, You are welcome. It was fun!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Really?

      tommas, just goes to show that the RNA had to have someone create it.....you just disproved your theory in one statement.
      Why is man having to create it in labs........does it not just happen?!!!!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Joe
      June 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • ORLY

      Because they are recreating them in the environmental settings WHICH THEY ARE FOUND IN, YOU DOLT.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Thor

      Really, Have you considered enrolling in summer school science class? That experiment was done long ago! Yes, it "just happens". (Of course, you'd have to understand a bit about how it did, so, .... that would be back in 7th grade science class.... again.)

      June 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • YBP

      Why do believers insist on ignoring the fact that Hitler was a Roman Catholic, and that his entire Nazi army was made up of like-minded Catholics and Lutherans? It was centuries of their anti-Jewish religion that informed and fueled their decisions to willfully commit the atrocities of the Holocaust. It's only now that these so-called faiths give lip-service to possibly having a bit of respect for the Jews. Clearly they still hate them, but saying that they don't makes it OK. The best part was that Jesus himself was a believing, practicing Jew, with ideas and beliefs that run counter to the pagan-based Christianity that prevailed after the Jewish-Roman War (66-70 CE). Jesus believed the complete opposite of what Christians believe! It's a joke. Believers have no idea about what they claim they believe, what they are supposed to believe, the history of their beliefs, or the origins of their beliefs. If they had even the slightest clue, they probably wouldn't believe any of it at all. Or maybe they would. If it allowed them to continue to judge, hate and destroy others, any religion would suffice.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Really?
      and yet athiests still cannot tell me how life begins from non-life.'
      So the answer is magic?

      June 6, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • tommas

      Really, we can create whole genomes now in labs... they created the RNA under "natural" conditions. ie sunlight and evaporation. Keep on hiding your god in gaps, that is a "really" good idea

      June 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  9. Mike in SA

    Colin, I do not take the Bible literally, but more in a story fashion to pass on a belief system. I agree with the expanding universe, I agree with DNA, and I agree (don't really understand) quantum physics...none of which has been able to tell me what exactly caused the "Big Bang". See, I don't think religion and science are that far apart on many things; you can't tell me what started the Big Bang, I think God lit the fuse. I don't decry your non-belief and I accept the vast maority of scientific theories and ideas so why must you denegrate those who beleive? I have always found that fascinating.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Phage0070

      Now hold on Mike, you say you have no idea how the universe started and then in nearly the same breath say you believe that your god "lit the fuse"? For what possible reason would you believe that? Science can get us to a few fractions of a second before the Big Bang event and you are jumping all the way past that on FAITH?

      Don't be crazy.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Edward

      Because it is never good to pass on lies to the next generation.....that is why. Lies, misinformation, and ignorance are never good things to pass on to our children and the next generation....that is why. Many things in the christian belief system and dogma are damaging and wrong...that is why....it has damaged many lives. Truth matters, not the lies that is indoctrinating our children. Thank God christianity is slowly dying.....we all need to grow up and join together to help end these primitive belief systems.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Scowl

      This is a very clear example of "God of the gaps". The problem with "God of the gaps" is that the gaps keep shrinking as we learn more and more.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Really?

      If you were to take a walk in the forest and come upon the most beautiful house......would you suppose it just got there because you do not see the builders anywhere........the proof that they were there is in the building.....you did not have to see them put it up to bellieve.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Mike in SA

      Ahhh...but it is those few seconds that really matter, Phange. If the "gaps" keep shrinking, at the very end I believe you will find God at hte end. We all have finite minds and we can not comprehend the infinite. You all don't believe? Good for you. I do, so why can you not just say "Good for you" back. I work daily in the medical field and I see where science and medicine fail and God step in. All of the time? No; from the day of birth we all know the outcome. Do i know why God stepped in with my grand-daughter when science failed? No. Am I glad He did? Yes. Would I rail against Him had He not done so? Sure. Why? Because I am human.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • ORLY

      Interesting argument.

      An architect takes materials, like bricks, mortar, and wood, which already exist and arranges them into a building. By your argument, god didn't create everything out of nothing, but rather took everything after it existed and arranged them into what we see today.

      So basically, I just debunked your argument of god made everything out of nothing.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Mike in SA

      And many things in the Christian faith are good, Edward. Please don't throw out all because of some bad. Science still goes on despite the "scientists and doctors" who worked avidly for the Third Reich, but by using your example I should throw out all science because there have been bad scientists? I think not.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • ORLY

      Well done, I did not see a Nazi reference coming.

      Godwin's law states you just lost the debate.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Really?
      If you were to take a walk in the forest and come upon the most beautiful house......would you suppose it just got there because you do not see the builders anywhere........the proof that they were there is in the building.....you did not have to see them put it up to bellieve.'
      Unless plants or trees had started to produce house looking flowers then we would recognise it as being an unnatural product.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Edward

      Mike SA: You are right, some things in christianity are good BUT the story of Christianity is based on a lie...yet it is passed on to our children as truth. The bible is a forged, corrupted, and error filled book, yet ignorant people believe it literally and attribute this fictional. The bible is not a good book, have you read it? No child should ever be allowed to read such garbage. I am not an atheist, I believe in a creator or higher consciousness but the " christian god " is completely fictional. Sorry I don't want my children and our future generations to be brain washed and indoctrinated into this cult. Just because chrisitianity had been around a long time doesn't mean it is not a cult.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Edward

      I need to type slower and proof read!
      Mike SA: You are right, some things in christianity are good BUT the story of Christianity is based on a lie...yet it is passed on to our children as truth. The bible is a forged, corrupted, and error filled book, yet ignorant people believe it literally and attribute this fictional nonsense to God. God is not a christian......that is a primitive, culture and time based belief system.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • Quantum Gravitational Fluctuation

      Two things.

      Re: that house in the forest. It could have "occurred there" by many different means, only one of which would have been "some builders". The conclusion is not necessarily logical that in seeing a beautiful house in the forest that the ONLY way for it to get there is by a Great Builder.

      Re: those "few fractions of a second left". "I think God lit the fuse". Lighting a fuse is a temporal act. The problem with that is it's NEVER gonna get you "all the way back", because when you get back to the singularity, it's not going to "lead you to anything prior", because space-time did not exist until it "fell out" out the bang itself. The idea of "prior" to time is nonsensical.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  10. q

    "(about 95% of whom are atheists) have discovered even more distant galaxies that formed about 13,500,000,000 years ago, delved into the biochemical complexity of the DNA molecule and are exploring the deepest particulars of quantum physics."

    ....scientists keep discovering, but God already knows! How many grains of sand are on the Earth? God knows...Scientists still trying to catch up....which they will never come close.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Phage0070

      Prove it. If your god knows, prove that he knows.

      Oh wait, you can't even prove it exists.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Q

      Interesting...does he know how many there are. I mean based on the fact that new sand is being created every second, every time he spouts out a number he would be "catching up" as well...

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

      proving god one way or the other is impossible... arguing otherwise is disengenuous at best.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • TomMasspq

      So? Your point makes no sense. So your god knows these things, that's reason to stop delving into the natural world to figure it out? You're the reason so many people think an education in this nation is not truly important, but just something you do from age5 to maybe 20.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Really?

      The complexity of creation proves that God exists. God was the energy behind the big bang. Birth, the position of the earth, gravity, etc etc etc...........all points to a great architect not chance.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • ORLY

      Complexity points to a creator? Really, the claim is "I can't conceive that (fill in the blank)." Others might be able to find a natural explanation; in many cases, they already have. Nobody knows everything, so it is unreasonable to conclude that something is impossible just because you do not know it. Even a noted antievolutionist acknowledges this point: "The peril of negative arguments is that they may rest on our lack of knowledge, rather than on positive results" (Behe 2003).

      June 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Estevan

      "The complexity of creation proves that God exists. God was the energy behind the big bang. Birth, the position of the earth, gravity, etc etc etc...........all points to a great architect not chance."

      Yawn. Have heard that fallacy so many times before it's getting tiresome.

      The complexity of the universe proves that it is....complex. It in no way "proves" creation or a creator. That is an unsubstantiated leap of faith taken by believers. Nothing points to a cosmic architect or creator: you don't understand and instead of accepting that you don't understand everything you create a myth to satisfy your insecurities.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Yud-Nt Noh

      It's interesting how a lot of atheists get on blogs like these. Is it that they are really confused and not sure what to believe? I think that they really believe in God, they are just frustrated or mad at life for some reason. Something is eating at them.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  11. Brad

    Im a Christian and Ive never debated whether the talking snake was or was not the devil or what type of fruit was eaten by Eve. In fact distant galaxies that formed about 13,500,000,000 years ago and the biochemical complexity of the DNA molecule actually reaffirm my belief in a creator.

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Phage0070

      Why? Because you can't understand how it would come to be from the interaction of complex forces?

      If you were more ignorant would you be more religious?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why would knowing how complex and vast the universe is reaffirm your belief in a creator? And if there is a creator, then who created her?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  12. Thor

    ...and just how were Scandinavians converted to Christianity by "Saint Olaf"?

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  13. NickB5

    Really CNN? A story on peoples comments about a story?

    June 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • effelbee

      When CNN gets over 5,000 comments on one story, it is in fact worth a story. Religion is a very inflammatory topic, which is why our founding fathers (though most were quite religious) wanted to keep it separate from politics.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Jimbo

      Exactly what I was thinking!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  14. Neil

    i chuckled at the irony of amanda's comment about religious belief being based on ignorance an a refusal to think...

    June 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I chuckle at the irony of you thinking its ironic.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  15. TomMasspq

    That last post of Mahanaim is a classic of whats wrong with the interpretations of the bible. Satan was not the serpent, and it only became Satan in the retro-fitting of stories in the NT to the OT. It ignores the Fact that Satan, a devil, was a character that developed over time, was not a Jewish concept when Genesis was written. But of course this sort of mis-understanding of the Bible, and its stories is what Xtianity is built on – Xtians telling the Jews what their books mean...

    June 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  16. matt

    you wrote an article to get people to argue online, and then wrote a follow-up article about people arguing online, and opened that up for more discussion/internet arguing. good one cnn. the rest of you need lives

    June 6, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • TomMasspq

      And yet you posted a critique..?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  17. Mike in SA

    Believe, don't believe, absolutely a personal choice. In the end, one will be right and one will be wrong. If Athiests are right, no harm no foul to believers...if believers are right...oops to the Athiests.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Nick

      You're right!!! Now which of the thousands of religions to 'buy heaven insurance' in....

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

      Ah yes, Mike, because we will burn forever for not believing, right? One of the sillier Christian superst.itions. You don't have to kill, you don't have to steal, he.ll, you don't even have to litter. All you have to do is be skeptical of the existence of [the Christian] god and it will inflict a punishment on you an infinite times worse than the death penalty...and it loves you.

      Dark Ages dogma at its best.

      Even the forgiving mind of the believer must get slightly sus.picious at the fact that credulitiy and unquestioning acceptance of Christian dogma are valued above any other personality traits by the various Christian churches.

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

      This is Pascal's Wager.

      If Atheists are right Theists, at best, have wasted a significant portion of their lives trying to please an imaginary friend and, at worst, offended the real God of Islam/Hindu/Greeks/Romans/Norse/1000s of other gods.

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

      oops to the believers fiyou believe any of a few hundred religions have it exactly right, or maybe close enough...?

      But since none of these religions ever allow for being close enough, but demand they are 100% accurate, the rules of horse-shoes wont play for any believers.

      Persinally, I might believe in a Supreme being, but he/she/it/them – have yet to be properly described/defined by any religion Humankind has fabricated from their imaginations. No way such a Being would resemble a Human teen-child in so much of its behavior.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Scowl

      You've used "God of the gaps" and Pascal's Wager; I wonder what other religious cliche you'll come up with next.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      But if ALLAH is right, the Christian Men who are virgins get used as boy toys by the Mujahjadin!

      June 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Mike in SA

      Colin, et al – It is by faith that I believe. I can not prove to you the God that I believe in, you can not disprove Him. I do have some very pertinent questions I plan on asking Him if I get to Heaven...no guarantee on that one there. Again, I believe by faith in my chosen religion; if another religion is proven at my end of times to be true, or no religion, then it's on me. I do not push my beliefs on others, but I given them if asked. Funny how Christians or other believers are constantly denegrated by the supposedly "enlightened" among us.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • Estevan

      Mike in SA you are SO wrong!

      Thor is the only true god (well, him and the rest of the true pantheon) and he will send you to Niflheim oe Hel where you will freeze with all the other worthless dead!

      Just like you it is by faith that i believe in Thor and I KNOW I am right and you are wrong! Thor has told me so!

      Checkmate.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Dilbry

      You show your ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills. This is not surprising. When it comes to the fear of death and the unknown most people leave critical thinking lessons in the classroom, if they're lucky enough to have received it or smart enough to seek it, and clamor to the supernatural for psychological support. When a believer is able to be intellectually honest and objective enough to critically question why one does not worship a different god then one currently does then one will know why the non-believer exists. For instance, if you are Christian, critically ask yourself why you do not worship Ganesha or Zeus. Why do you not believe Mohammad is God's true prophet?

      June 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' In the end, one will be right and one will be wrong. If Athiests are right, no harm no foul to believers...if believers are right...oops to the Athiests.'
      Actually no, you missed the third option......no one will be right, both are wrong.
      It turns out there is a god but its not the one you have been worshipping and you are in the same boat as us atheists.

      June 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • J0sh

      @Mike in SA – The "you can't disprove God" argument is ridiculous. You can't "disprove" ANYTHING that doesn't exist. i.e. – if I told you there was a washing machine circling the Sun beyond the orbit of Pluto, would you believe me? After all, you couldn't DISPROVE the idea that this washing machine doesn't exist; because we don't have the technology to detect such a small object so far away. But if I insisted it were there, and based my assumption on the idea that "no one can disprove my theory", I'd be a laughing stock of the scientific AND religious communities. Clearly, this washing machine doesn't exist, but there's no way to "disprove" or "prove" it one way or the other.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Edward

      First of all: The christian story is ridiculous. Would you want god to be that immature, petty, insecure, and neurotic as depicted in the bible?

      Second of all: What kind of God would punish someone for not believing? There is no evidence for it, the story makes zero sense....and falls apart when studied? It's a God I want no part of, because I would be the superior one.

      June 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  18. e

    the phrase "this too shall pass" is used to comfort people based on scripture that tells us to place our trust in Jesus. The bible says not to fret over what you have to eat or wear because G0D feeds and clothes the birds of the air and wouldn't he surely do more for his children? All this paraphrased...So these quotes are bits of wisdom based on bible principle...

    June 6, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • TomMasspq

      And when you explore from where that phrase comes from, it really gets silly. God takes care of the wild creatures? Really? And as such he will feed and clothe his Human creations...? Last I checked no such thing is going on – for either the animals or their human cousins...

      June 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  19. SeanNJ

    I feel sorry for the person that had to read through those 5,000 to get the handful that are here. I can think of better ways to spend my weekend.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  20. Colin

    Meanwhile, as the Christians debate whether a taking snake was or was not the "devil" and whether or not the fruit he offered the first woman on Earth about 6,000 years ago was or was not an apple, and whether it came for the tree of life or the tree of knowledge, scientists (about 95% of whom are atheists) have discovered even more distant galaxies that formed about 13,500,000,000 years ago, delved into the biochemical complexity of the DNA molecule and are exploring the deepest particulars of quantum physics.

    Hmmm, yeahhh, real hard to figure out where the smart money is.....

    June 6, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • ScottK

      Speaking of smart money it reminded me of Enron. A big corporation that people just kept giving their money to based on promises of return without any proof they were actually making a product, just being told lies to keep the stocks rising but eventually people saw it for what it was, a hollow shell... much like religion.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • steve

      Hey Colin, way to throw in the 95% "statistic." Really adds credibility to your argument throwing in made up numbers.

      Signed, 100% of the population of the United States (98.4% of which do not consider themselves athiests (Pew Report 2007).

      June 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • smuzer02

      as a health care provider, scientist, AND Christian, I also find it very hard to figure out where the smart money is. I'm curious to know what your definition of an atheist is, not to mention a scientist. I think your number is greatly skewed. Basically, I hold two doctorates and a faith in God/Jesus Christ. It's not a matter of intelligence as you seem to be very passionate about proving. I would be very curious to see how well-organized an atheistic society would be. That would be a great experiment for you and your fellow "scientists". You can look up my articles and funding in PubMed. Unfortunately for your statistics, there is never a box to check for religious status when applying for research grants.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Colin

      Steve, there is research behind that figure. It comes from a survey of the American Academy of Scientists and The British Royal Society. The British actually came in at about 97% atheist. I accept that "scientists" is a va.gue term, but the broader poit is valid and supported. The vast majority of scientists are atheists.

      I mean, heavens, do you really think scientists would eng.age in debates over the sp.ecies of fruit handed out by a talking-de.vil-snake?

      June 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Colin

      Steve, just to check, I Googled it again. I was right. Perhaps it was something worth doing yourself before accusing me of making up statistics.......

      June 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve,
      "Signed, 100% of the population of the United States (98.4% of which do not consider themselves athiests (Pew Report 2007)."

      Not sure which is worse, made-up numbers or misleading numbers. "98.4% of which do not consider themselves athiests" may be accurate, depending on the question asked, but ~10% claimed 'unaffiliated' and nonreligious, i.e. Atheist, Agnostic, and 'secular unaffiliated'.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I like the Wiki description of this:

      "The demographics of atheism are difficult to quantify. Different people interpret "atheist" and related terms differently, and it can be hard to draw boundaries between atheism, non-religious beliefs, and non-theistic religious and spiritual beliefs. ... Despite these problems, one study classified 2.5% of the world's population as atheists, and a separate 12.7% as non-religious."

      June 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Quantum Gravitational Fluctuation

      Greetings !
      FYI : 50 % American can't answer : "around which celestial object does the earth revolve ?",
      50 % Lutherans don't know who Martin Luther was,
      50 % American Catholics can't answer "what is meant by transubstantiation ?",
      I like to remind myself, at one point < 0.00000001% of the earth population believed the earth was spherical. So this argument , ("Appeal to Popularity"), may not be the best way to take this.
      Love your posts !

      June 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @smuzer02
      "you can look up my articles and funding in PubMed"
      I tried. You didn't provide enough information to do that.

      "Unfortunately for your statistics, there is never a box to check for religious status when applying for research grants."
      Ever occurred to you there may be a really really good reason for that ?

      The question is begged : What is YOUR definition of a scientist ?

      June 6, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.