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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. Marie Kidman

    huh

    June 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  2. An Atheist

    Believers' only "proof" is the bible(which is just a story of morals) and faith. Neither of which prove anything. However, atheists have tons of science to disprove many parts of a deity. Which makes more sense? Please just think. If your parents raised you in Buddhism would you believe it? Most of you would because you don't think. You just accept what you are told. Please just think. Stop having "faith" and just think.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Atheist

      Amen.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ,...and how many times has some science been proven only to have another multi-billion dollar lab debunk the first?

      How about if yall' can just get on the same page about the possible links between cell phones and cancer before you even challenge those of faith.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      And after they "think"...if they still believe in their faith will you respect that? Or is this really about them believing the way you do?

      June 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • LEE

      Show me ONE place or ONE thing in and of the Bible that is not true.

      Please don't Quote something some scientist wrote about what happened 18 gizzilion years ago, tell me something that you found or experienced YOURSELF that disproves the bible and God.

      And Yes. I will gladly tell you about the many many things God is doing in MY life and in the lives of many people around me and around the world..........as soon as you answer me....I will be waiting a long long time my friend.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      MFMR. not sure what your point is,,, science is, and always will be, self correcting..The bible has never told us anything that the human race did not know before it was written, and as far as being on the same page.. that is some thing most of the religions on earth are not on either. Definitions of the bible are constantly argued to make them fit into recognized scientific fact. Notice how many times lately we have been told that a day in the bible was not the same as day on earth... no one really believes anymore that the universe was created in 7 days.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Lee..tell us how you know it was god doing these things for you.. and why he did not do it for the Ja-panese tsunami victims, or the 120 kids buried in mud in a school in Aberfan, Wales back in the 60's ?

      June 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • ScottK

      "tell me something that you found or experienced YOURSELF that disproves the bible and God." That could also be "tell me something that you found or experienced YOURSELF that disproves the Lord of the Rings and Gandalf."

      June 6, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • LEE

      Stop saying science science science and answer my question, and stand on your own two feet.

      You are the ones BELIEVING a lie and lies and more lies and you don't even realize it. Please don't be offended but that is the truth.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Lee ,,,,,so you are saying do not use science to prove the bible has errors? because why?

      June 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • ScottK

      By the way Lee, most of us are never offended by those apologizing for the fact that we can't see their invisible six foot rabbit. It's called pity, and sometimes shame since there are so many of our peers and friends who refuse to give up on the "Harvey" security blanket.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • LEE

      By the way I forgot to say...................Before you people try to argue about the Bible and what it says you should read it FIRST. because it is totally obvious that most of you don't have a clue what the bible says and what it is all about. because if you would 99% of the your (out to get me) questions would not be asked.
      I know some come and post to argue and some are sincere, but oh so wrong.

      So Long

      June 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      This is a religious practice that the science agrees with ;
      http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/menshealth/facts/circ-um-ci-sion.htm
      Take out the separations within the link word....

      June 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • ScottK

      Just so you know Lee, I have read the bible cover to cover 3 times in my life. I was an ordained minister for 15 years. This has nothing to do with a lack of bible education (unless on your end) but has everything to do with not letting your faith fog your view by not looking at any evidence that contradicts your beliefs.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • Muneef

      Mark from Middle River.

      Give it a thought before you approach any Jewish or Muslim families for marriage if you still having the thought....:-)

      June 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Atheist

      If we all need to read the bible to argue then I say that you need to know every up-to-date scientific fact to argue against us.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • LEE

      Up to date lies don't change the truth.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
    • ScottK

      Out of dates lies don't either!

      June 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • ScottK

      Odd's of me spending tonight with Angelina Jollie are about the same as you ever being raptured or going to heaven, just so you know Lee. It's not like one of those "if you believe hard enough it will come true" things, it's just reallity.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • LEE

      ScottK, Yes one can read the bible and not believe what it says, millions have done it and still doing it. you are just one of them.
      deceived and being deceived. if you actually were an ordained minster shame on you.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • ScottK

      I was glad to be rid of the shame and guilt when I left the Church and started thinking for myself thanks. Now I just do my best for my family and those around me without having to apologize for being human when I err. Leaves me more time to spend with those I love. You do whatever makes you feel superior to others (like claiming a relationship with a power that supposedly created the universe you special special boy), but I'm done with that life.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • LEE

      ScottK
      I absolutely do not think myself better then anyone else. Just because Jesus invited me (and I came) just like he does EVERYONE, does not make me better.

      Please don't tell other people that God is a lair just because you don't and didn't want to believe in him and obey his commandments and live your wicked life.
      Following Christ is not for the pleasure seekers and those who give in to peer pressure.There are many many people professing to be Christians BUT are NOT.

      P.S I don,t believe you know the Word as well as you say you do. The word kills but the SPIRIT GIVES LIGHT. do you remember that?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • Alex Vintner

      LEE...you are so wrong! You are deluded!

      I have spoken to Zeus...in fact just yesterday he materialized in my kitchen and we had a few beers together. I asked him why people still believe in the abrahamic god and Jesus and he just laughed and said that he and Dionysus have had a bet for a bit that he could make people believe silly stories with an old book and that people would buy that for a couple thousand years. So far Zeus is winning though he tells me he might have to stop this silly bet because good old Dio is too drunk and doesn't even remember the bet....Zeus figures he'll just start tossing massive lightning bolts at people while laughing maniacally for a bit.....didn't give me a timeline on that but said I should avoid metal roofing for a few decades or so.

      Then Hera materialized in my kitchen and chewed Zeus out so they both returned to Mount Olympus.

      It actually happens quite often...just last week I had a date with Artemis. You wouldn't believe how uptight she is! Tried to get to second base but she's just not that kind of girl. I'm supposed to meet her next week...going hunting.

      This is all true by the way. Not a word of a lie. You are completely wrong and it's the Greek Pantheon enacting those things you think come from jesus or whatever....

      June 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • LEE

      Hee he he

      June 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  3. John

    GOOD-BYE TO VANITY-

    June 6, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  4. Marie Kidman

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]

    June 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • jame

      oh, OK

      June 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  5. HeIsGod

    Please read Atheists Exposed by Robert Lee and A Divine Revelation of Hell by Mary Baxter.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Cindy Looloo

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHRP0I2SrVs&w=640&h=390]

    June 6, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • TheOracle8191

      Simply amazing, praise be unto you, God!!

      June 6, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Chris Mankey

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK7P7uZFf5o&w=640&h=360]

      June 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  7. tobyspeeks

    "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."

    This person sounds like they're saying the bible reads today exactly as it did 2000 years ago. The word "devil" is only about 1000 years old and wasn't introduced into organized religion as a scare tactic until about 200 – 300 years ago.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "The word "devil" is only about 1000 years old and wasn't introduced into organized religion as a scare tactic until about 200 – 300 years ago."
      But the concept of angels, and demons, and evil angels is many thousands of years older than200-300 years ago. Don't know about the actual word "devil", or how it was translated in various languages, but Elaine Pagels, (Princeton) talks about many forms of the "evil spirit" thing.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Normon (aka, Dormon)

      Is it true that 'devil' was formed, similar to Chicago's football, Da Bears... Da Evil... D'evil... Devil?

      Just curious?

      June 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  8. LEE

    10 seconds after you are dead YOU WILL BELIEVE

    But it will be too late

    June 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • doctore0

      Yea, and gawd is what.. something like that primitive HUMAN in the bible; At best your god was some tyrant crazy human who got gawd status...
      Saying god is anything like the bible/koran say he/it it, is saying gawd is nothing but just that,

      June 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Alex Vintner

      Can't wait to see your face LEE when you realize you were praying to the wrong god!

      LOL

      Hades will have a field day with you!

      June 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  9. DontSmokePipes TheyAreBadForYourLungs

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it! 😀

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkBD20edOco&w=640&h=390]

    June 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      That is awsome

      June 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      I love it when people post Craig's failings. This video has tons. 😀

      June 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • jorMhamma HasTonsHhahaAhaOhjuSTKidding

      haha! ummm.... ok. if you say so.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      William Lane Craig's Fail...

      1) Mathimatical and Logical Proof cannot be proven by science.
      That's not true at all, they can. The operate consistently when examined, just like how gravity operates. If I have two apples and I put two more in the bunch, I have four apples. Science does not presuppose the 4, the four is a result of direct observation. Logic is how the universe operates and can be scientifically proven.

      2) Science cannot prove concepts of reality. This is correct, but it's silly to argue this because Dr. Craig is not saying God is a concept. Craig is sying God exists. So whether or not science can comment on thought is beside the point.

      3) Morals are not accessable by the scientific method. Wrong. We can see the starting of a moral system for animals. Animals stick up for their kind, defend their young and so forth. Some mammals even mourn for their lost young. This is a naturalistic proof of the origin of morals and emotions.

      4) Science cannot ascertain beauty. Yeah, science has a real time pinning down rules to a subjective analysis. Fail on Craig's part.

      5) Science cannot be justified by science. Yes it can. The observation is "what process has led to more advances with a reasonable degree of certainty".

      Craig's arguments are a joke.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  10. LEE

    The Bible has never been disproved not even once........and it never will.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Helen

      Have you even read about other pagan religions during that time period? They stole ideas from those religions to create christianity, throw in a few pieces of history and you've got one believable story, only it's not true. It's a work of fiction.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Amen, Lee and no matter how they try, it will never work. Satan, the deceiver is roaming like a hungry lion looking to see who he can devour even the scholars, philosophy and some scientist.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bob

      I'd ask if you were serious, but I'm afraid I know the answer...

      June 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      @ Helen. Did you know that Obama was born in Kenya! You see I can quote stupid people too!! Let's do it some more. Should I quote you!?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > The Bible has never been disproved not even once........and it never will.

      Noah's Ark did not occur. It has been proven. Welcome to science.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • ScottK

      I believe you meant "The Bible has never been proved not even once........and it never will." I know, I know, thats what "faith" is for, but thats like saying magician's must do real magic because they never reveal their tricks.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  11. HeIsGod

    What is it about God that is so unfulfilling that it attracts atheists, agnostics, and those who deny the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God? Why do unbelievers fight so hard against a God whom they will never have VICTORY over? Why do they spend their time talking about Him so much when they keep saying that there is no God? I don’t believe in Allah, therefore, I will not waste my time arguing with a Muslim about their god. It just doesn’t make any sense for me to fight against something or some one who doesn’t exist.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Why do Christians keep asking the same stupid questions?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      John Richardson – Why do atheists and agnostics keep making the same stupid statement: There is no God? What prove do you have there there isn't one? Besides if you want to know if there is a God, the burden of proof is on God, not on us, and God has already given you the proof, but you refuse to see and believe because every single one of you are very CLOSED MINDED.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > John Richardson – Why do atheists and agnostics keep making the same stupid statement: There is no God?

      Agnostics and atheists are not mutually exclusive. Look up the definition. I'm an agnostic atheist. That is to say that I don't believe in a God (atheist) and that I don't think we'll ever know for sure if there is one or not (agnostic).

      > What prove do you have there there isn't one?

      What proof do you have that I'm not God?

      > Besides if you want to know if there is a God, the burden of proof is on God, not on us, and God has already given you the proof, but you refuse to see and believe because every single one of you are very CLOSED MINDED.

      No, because we're smart enough to see why it isn't proof. Why is it that rates of belief in God decrease as intelligence increases? Should it not be exactly the opposite if what you are saying is true?

      June 6, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Atheist – First of all, I can NOT save anyone, only God can do it. What you don't understand is that the Gate of heaven were shut do to the sins of humanity and God sent His Son to die for us and it was only through Christ that the gates of heaven were opened for us in order to return back to our Creator. It was His mercy that was given to us through Christ, why would you want to turn it down? Think about it, what if there is a hell and a heaven? Where would you want to spend your eternity after you die? God will NEVER send anyone to hell; the individual makes that choice be rejecting His FREE GIFT of SALVATION.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      The Bobinator
      > John Richardson – Why do atheists and agnostics keep making the same stupid statement: There is no God?
      Agnostics and atheists are not mutually exclusive. Look up the definition. I'm an agnostic atheist. That is to say that I don't believe in a God (atheist) and that I don't think we'll ever know for sure if there is one or not (agnostic).
      > What prove do you have there isn't one?
      What proof do you have that I'm not God? Since you are claiming that you are god, than, the burden of proof is on you, not on me. I am not claiming that I am god.
      > Besides if you want to know if there is a God, the burden of proof is on God, not on us, and God has already given you the proof, but you refuse to see and believe because every single one of you are very CLOSED MINDED.
      No, because we're smart enough to see why it isn't proof. Why is it that rates of belief in God decrease as intelligence increases? Should it not be exactly the opposite if what you are saying is true?
      LOL, Bob, really? So you are saying that people who believe in God are not intelligent? We have Christian scholars, philosophy, and scientists. So how do you determine that you are smarter than us? What evidence do you have that there is no God?

      June 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • An Atheist

      HelsGod: Please look up Russel's Tea Pot. The Burden of Proof is on you believers, not us atheists, nor "god". If you can prove a deity exists we will agree. Until then, we will keep proving bits and peaces of the bible wrong.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • LEE

      You are spot on.
      People believe what they want to believe. If its a lie or not.

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

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9NlRKJBKt4&w=640&h=390]

    June 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  13. Ed

    The most common error is the linear interpretation of the bible, especially the New Testament. Without considering the considerable outside cultural and religious influences that help shape the gospels as the early church expanded an incorporated different cultures ideas of good and evil into Christianity. For example it is highly unlikely that the early Jewish sect that Jesus believed in the devil as described in revelations a text that was written at least 100 years after the death of Jesus. It is more likely that early Christians were guided by a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus and a parable describing how those who say they interpret God's laws and words, the scribes and the pharisees, were incapable of seeing the next messiah (human leader) if he was standing in front them. This is probably true of "religious leaders today" we just changed one set of scribes and pharisees for another starting around 30 AD.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  14. HeIsGod

    Here is the thing, if an atheists and agnostics or an ubeliever who denies the diety of Jesus Christ, I will still befriend you no natter what. At least when we die, we will ALL know who was right and who was wrong. If we, Christians are wrong, guess what, we lose absolutely nothing, but if you who deny the diety of Jesus Christ as being the Son of God, you lose everything, which is your soul that's very precious and valuable to God.

    Lord, please save us humans.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Bob

      "At least when we die, we will ALL know who was right and who was wrong."

      No we won't. We'll be dead.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • GiveMeABreak

      Here's that fire insurance again. God I hate that... 😉

      By this statement you're professing that your devotion to your god only goes as far as your self preservation instinct.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Atheist

      This is what I don't understand about religions (one of the things). If your God truly is merciful then why would He condemn someone to Hell for all eternity just because he didn't say "I believe". What you're saying is that a kind person who follows all the moral rules in the bible even if they have never read it can be sent to Hell forever, whereas a stone cold killer who repents can go to heaven. I just don't understand...

      Also, if you truly were a 'good Christian' you would want everyone to believe so you can save their souls.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Here is the thing, if an atheists and agnostics or an ubeliever who denies the diety of Jesus Christ, I will still befriend you no natter what.

      So what? What a meaningless thing to say.

      > At least when we die, we will ALL know who was right and who was wrong. If we, Christians are wrong, guess what, we lose absolutely nothing,

      You lose the time you could have spent living paying homage to nothing. If this is the only life you have, your time is squandered on nonsense.

      > but if you who deny the diety of Jesus Christ as being the Son of God, you lose everything, which is your soul that's very precious and valuable to God

      You're assuming that there's only two options. What about the Norse Gods? What about Ra the Sun God? What about Shiva or Brahman. What about the great tiki in the sky?

      What if God isn't relying on the bible, the torah, the quran or any other holy book. What if God is sitting and waiting to see if you figure out that it's all nonsense? What if God values intelligence over blind worship?

      I can say with honesty that I have looked at what was presented and made the best choice I had with the availble information. You on the other hand believe in something because "you want to." If there is a being who gave us our capacity to think, which one do you think he'd value more.

      > Lord, please save us humans.

      If there is a God, I would say he is. We're quite literally pulling religions kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Atheism is on the rise. We're coming out of our dark ages, tossing aside the mental shackles of primitive men and moving forward.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • John Richardson

      You come in with both guns blaring, flinging accusations and offering your friendship? Why can't you at least be honest?

      June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  15. James Black

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGSvqMBj-ig&w=640&h=360]

    June 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  16. Bible Clown

    Well, time for a sermon: believe in a deity or not, we are all Americans together. No one can force us to believe or force us to give up our beliefs. If you hate America, then by all means try forcing your neighbors to join your mean little cult; if you love this country, then respect your neighbors' right to worship freely. You can sacrifice goats to the Number Zero if you believe that Nothing is Sacred.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  17. Ttscot:)

    Bible wasn't some book written in a few years it was written over 1000 years by many people of different age class slaves etc.what inspired these people to write about things that put most of them in jail and even put them to death.I wouldn't I admit..Yes many people have committed suicide in cults about religion .But Jesus said many will come in my name saying I Am he .don not believe see I have told you ahead of time..About the quoting the Bible you can always find some fault if you want to find it.being written over 1000 years it amazing how unchanged it is.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Unchanged? You don't see a wee little discrepancy between 'turn the other cheek' and the call to slaughter the Canaanites?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, you can find fault with it. Have a look at these. they are just a few.

      Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?
      (a) God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)
      (b) Satan did (I Chronicles 2 1:1)
      In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?
      (a) Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
      (b) One million, one hundred thousand (IChronicles 21:5)
      How many fighting men were found in Judah?
      (a) Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)
      (b) Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)
      God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?
      (a) Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)
      (b) Three (I Chronicles 21:12)
      How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?
      (a) Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)
      (b) Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)
      How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?
      (a) Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)
      (b) Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)
      How long did he rule over Jerusalem?
      (a) Three months (2 Kings 24:8)
      (b) Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)
      The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?
      (a) Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)
      (b) Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)
      When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?
      (a) After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)
      (b) Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)
      How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?
      (a) Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)
      (b) Seven (Genesis 7:2). But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9)
      When David defeated the King of Zobah, how many horsemen did he capture?
      (a) One thousand and seven hundred (2 Samuel 8:4)
      (b) Seven thousand (I Chronicles 18:4)
      How many stalls for horses did Solomon have?
      (a) Forty thousand (I Kings 4:26)
      (b) Four thousand (2 chronicles 9:25)
      In what year of King Asa's reign did Baasha, King of Israel die?
      (a) Twenty-sixth year (I Kings 15:33 – 16:8)
      (b) Still alive in the thirty-sixth year (2 Chronicles 16:1)
      How many overseers did Solomon appoint for the work of building the temple?
      (a) Three thousand six hundred (2 Chronicles 2:2)
      (b) Three thousand three hundred (I Kings 5:16)
      Solomon built a facility containing how many baths?
      (a) Two thousand (1 Kings 7:26)
      (b) Over three thousand (2 Chronicles 4:5)
      Of the Israelites who were freed from the Babylonian captivity, how many were the children of Pahrath-Moab?
      (a) Two thousand eight hundred and twelve (Ezra 2:6)
      (b) Two thousand eight hundred and eighteen (Nehemiah 7:11)
      How many were the children of Zattu?
      (a) Nine hundred and forty-five (Ezra 2:8)
      (b) Eight hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:13)
      How many were the children of Azgad?
      (a) One thousand two hundred and twenty-two (Ezra 2:12)
      (b) Two thousand three hundred and twenty-two (Nehemiah 7:17)
      How many were the children of Adin?
      (a) Four hundred and fifty-four (Ezra 2:15)
      (b) Six hundred and fifty-five (Nehemiah 7:20)
      How many were the children of Hashum?
      (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:19)
      (b) Three hundred and twenty-eight (Nehemiah 7:22)
      How many were the children of Bethel and Ai?
      (a) Two hundred and twenty-three (Ezra 2:28)
      (b) One hundred and twenty-three (Nehemiah 7:32)
      Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66 agree that the total number of the whole assembly was 42,360. Yet the numbers do not add up to anything close. The totals obtained from each book is as follows:
      (a) 29,818 (Ezra)
      (b) 31,089 (Nehemiah)
      How many singers accompanied the assembly?
      (a) Two hundred (Ezra 2:65)
      (b) Two hundred and forty-five (Nehemiah 7:67)

      June 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • nownow browncow

      Colin:
      Like any other perceived discrepancies in the books, if you will spend some time researching each one individually, you will find the answers. Do not be so quick to dismiss them just because you think something does not add up. Do some research on apologetics.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Ah yes, Christian apologetics: More accurately called hand waving, special pleading and just plain fabricating.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      @ Colin. You know that each of those has answers. There are plently of Biblical scholors that have done so. You just want to stir the pot. I get it. Your easy answer 'Contrdiction!'. I can give you a photo of a place taken the same day from two angles. You have two description. Neither is a contradiction. They reveal two facets of one thing (place in this case). This is a known philosophical truth, not a relgious one. To find contradictions, you need to look for two undeniably opposing concepts. In your list, there is none. Take the first one, God used Satan to spur David, thus both statements are true. It's not a unreasonable idea that God allowed Satan to do something for His purpose. Look at the Book of Job.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      @ John Richy! Well well, we don't read, do we? Ttscot was referring to the actual script remaining the same, not the message from the Old vs New Testament. As for your comment, I understand your confusion. Times change, God doesn’t. In addition, the commandments for us are not the same as for him. Mostly likely, it’s because he’s perfect and we’re not. He knows the heart of men and can pass perfect judgment. I can’t.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Joel My reading is just fun. Yours could use some remedial work. The person I was responding to was quite clearly remarking on the consistency over a 1000 writing period, which of course is nonsense. As for YOUR point, it's no more miraculous that some set text of Christianity remains physically unchanged (though perhaps interpreted very differently!) than it is that any other ancient text, secular or religious (and many go back farther than the old testament) remain unchanged. Indeed, what would be amazing would be if the physical texts actually changed into physical texts that said something else, no?

      June 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Gack!!!! My reading may be just FINE, but my writing can use some help!!!!! 😀

      June 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  18. Atheist

    I am an atheist and have never actually read the bible (or any other holy text for that matter). That being said, science is slowly weeding out the possibility that there is a God that influences us in the least. True, we still don't know what goes on outside our universe, but we know what goes on here, for the most part... But if you can agree that if you know everything about two atoms at one point in time, you will know everything about them at another, and what are we other than that just on a much larger scale.
    Saying we have free will is like saying characters in a computerized movie or cartoon are choosing to do the things they do in that movie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but if God does (or did) exist, all he did was set up the universe before the big bang, then He got bored and left.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Knowing of atoms hardly dismisses God.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Atheist

      I agree it doesn't dismiss him, but it does prove that he isn't doing anything. If anything he's watching us like a movie. He may hear your prayers, but he can't do anything about them without changing the laws of physics.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Lycidias

      Yes it DOES!!!!!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Atheist- What do you want? You want God to do some jumping jacks for you? I don't know what you want God to "do" but you not percieving him does not mean he is not in action.

      @Demuth- Perhaps you can explain why it does. We all need a good chuckle.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Yud-Nt Noh

      Science can also prove that there is a God.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Atheist

      I don't want him to do anything, I just want other people to realize that he isn't doing anything and stop saying it was God that helped them do something or helped them through some tragedy. Or in fact blaming God for something, He isn't there... it was your own fault, get over it.

      also, in response to what you asked Demuth. I though I described why atoms pretty much dismiss him, at least from doing anything now.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Atheist

      To Yud-Nt Noh:
      That I would like to see. If you can prove that there is a God, I will quit my job and become a priest.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "You cannot erase God with an edict."

      Or science. No, your atom information doesn' show that there is not God nor that he actually acts in the lives of ppl. I try not to speak for others on their faith because I am not privy to what they are experiencing. As long as it does not interfere with my rights or others....what is the harm?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • donteatsoggy worms

      Atheist:
      Here is one of your new favorite books my friend, 'There is a god – How the world's most notorious atheist changed his mind'
      By none other than, ANTONY FLEW

      Pick that up from your local library. Oh, and would you say that geometry doesn't exist, just because you may have never read a geometry book? You really should read the Bible some time, so that you know what you are disbelieving in. Because if you're going to be an atheist, at least be a TRUE atheist, and a strong atheist.

      🙂

      June 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Lycidas Yes, yes! I want to see god do jumping jacks!!!!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      "Science can also prove that there is a God." I call BS. Show your proof, right now.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Helen

      Seriously I loved to see some proof. LOL!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Joel Bryan

      @ John Richy 1 2 3 4 Go God! He just did them in my office. Disprove that! Seriously, stop trying to tell others what they have or havn't experienced. You loose, unless you follow them around with a camera. Wait. Was that you outside my window?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Helen

      "@ John Richy 1 2 3 4 Go God! He just did them in my office. Disprove that! "

      That proves you need to see a psychiatrist, nothing more.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Atheist

      It doesn't matter if I've ever read a book on geometry, it's been proven, there are proofs for it. You can see it in everyday life. And don't say you can see God in everyday life too, because all you're seeing is atoms reacting to each other.

      And I stand by what I said, if you can prove (i.e. show a proof) that God does exist, I will quit my job and become a priest.

      Also, seeing God do jumping jacks would help me believe a lot.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Donteat, please tell us all about the first five chapter of the Book of Mormon. According to your logic, you have read it cover to cover. So sad . . . please tell me you were home-schooled or went to school in Mexico or something. So you have to be an expert on something to DISBELIEVE it? I need a seminary degree to be an atheist? And I must enter the priesthood to avoid turning Catholic? You are an insane person.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Knowing of atoms hardly dismisses God.

      Perhaps if you understood the point you'd be able to repeat it correctly.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Helen- Why?

      @Bob- In what way do you feel I am not understanding?

      June 6, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "But if you can agree that if you know everything about two atoms at one point in time, you will know everything about them at another, and what are we other than that just on a much larger scale."

      psssttt. You can't. Even about one of them. It's called Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. But point taken.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Atheist

      haha. I was wondering if someone was going to bring that up. The uncertainty principle pretty much just talks about the position of an electron in the atom (along with other smaller particles). But if it's generalized to a whole atom you can get almost a perfect picture.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Lycidas

      A lot of "ifs" in what you are saying.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Atheist

      There was only one "if". And that was just to generalize all the parts of an atom into an atom as a whole.
      And I think your argument probably has more "if"s. As in, if everyone who wrote the bible actually got their message from God and not from a brain tumor. That's one if that you can't prove.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "As in, if everyone who wrote the bible actually got their message from God and not from a brain tumor. That's one if that you can't prove."

      No more than you can prove if everyone who wrote the Bible actually got their message from a brain tumor and not from God. That is one you can't prove.

      Also, I was meaning at some messages above yours. Sorry you thought I was directing it to you.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Atheist

      haha. Touche. I know I shouldn't have added that... I didn't think that example all the way through....

      June 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Lol...we can have fun bantering back and forth can't we?

      June 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Atheist

      I do enjoy it. And this is one argument that could go on for quite some time.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • John Richardson

      So, do I get to see god do jumping jacks or what? I'll be REALLY disappointed if I don't!!!

      June 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Life is full of disappointments John...hopefully it makes you appreciate the special things when they do occur.

      June 6, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Lycidas Oh, darn it all. And I was SO in the mood. Oh well, yes, this disappointment will make me appreciate life's simple pleasures more. Always an upside, eh?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Oh I'm sure either the Simpsons or South Park will fulfill your desire in seeing "God" do something if your really needing it.

      June 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  19. Carl Butcher

    Have questions on the Holy Bible and Jesus? Check out my new book: Jesus Is Our Friend: A Common Man's Search for Jesus Christ, ISBN 1451514069. Book is available at Amazon.com. I studied the Holy Bible for thirty years to find God's guidance regarding suffering, personal fulfillment, the eternal purpose of life, and our relationship with God.

    The book is unique because I disclose tragedies, mistakes, and triumphs from my personal life to illuminate the relevance of the Bible in the life of common people. With humility, I share God's Word from the perspective as a common man. Jesus Is Our Friend takes the reader on a spiritual journey through creation, life’s struggles, life’s joys, and Heaven in a concise and clear manner with the words of Jesus as our guide. This book presents the teachings of Jesus Christ that prompt faith in God, contentment in your mind, and peace in your soul.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Another Christian fleecing his fellow fools.

      Sell your lies, all it does is prove you are all gold diggers as well as fools

      June 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      I like the "humility" part best. I bet he would be willing to accept the leadership of this country just like that.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  20. Nacho1

    that one Mormon Guy................thank you..................I shall endeavor to use more periods so you can follow the complete thoughts of my comments...........you are very helpful.........................

    June 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Bible Clown

      Throw, in a bunch, of commas, and apostrophe's, too. They make, reading, lot's more fun.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Bob

      Shot.gun, punctu'ation i's almost as funy. as lackofspacez – and mispelingz?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:56 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.