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My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?
Tim Tebow’s penchant for kneeling in prayer has birthed a new word: Tebowing.
November 29th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In 1966, John Lennon famously claimed that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Today that title may belong to Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback more famous for praising Jesus than for throwing touchdowns.

As anyone who has visited Dallas or Atlanta on any recent weekend can attest, America’s two great religions are Christianity and football. In recent weeks, these two great faiths have come together in Tim Tebow, the new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and America’s latest merger of faith in Jesus and faith in the Almighty Touchdown.

When viewed from the perspective of “the world,” Tebow is, at best, a mediocre NFL quarterback. When viewed through the eyes of faith, however, he is something like the Second Coming of Joe Montana. And maybe Something More.

On this burning question of Tim Tebow, I must confess to being an agnostic. But I understand the fervor on both sides.

Skeptics generally concede that Tebow, an outspoken Christian, was an extraordinary high school and college football player. After all, he won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, and led his University of Florida team to two NCAA football titles.

But those who refuse to bow down before Tebow insist that NFL football is another game altogether, and when it comes to that game Tebow is a passing fancy. They attribute Denver’s near miraculous 5-1 run during his reign as a starter not to his offense but to the Broncos defense.

They point out that he throws about as well as Peppermint Patty, and that in one of his wins he completed only two passes more than Charlie Brown (which is to say two). His completion percentage (45.5%) is last in the league.

Skeptics are also turned off by Tebow’s public displays of religion. Tebow used to cite Bible verses on his eye black. And his tendency to be found praying while his teammates are strutting has added a new word—“Tebowing”—to the lexicon.

True believers say to hell with all that. What matters are the intangibles. Tebow is a winner. He may allow his team to fall behind, but in the end he leads the Broncos to victory, often in a fashion that can only be termed miraculous.

Which is to say, when it comes to the Almighty TT, you gotta have faith (or not).

In his book “Faith and Belief,” the Religious Studies scholar Wilfred Cantwell Smith describes how the notion of “faith” changed over the centuries from something like “trust” to its modern-day meaning of “belief in the unbelievable.”

And that, it seems to me, is what we are witnessing with Tebow.

It is simply not believable that a quarterback who cannot throw would turn a team from a 1-4 also-ran to a 6-5 playoff contender. But Tebow has done that, in part by running and in part, well, by faith.

There is, to be sure, Tebow's faith in Jesus. But perhaps more importantly, there is the faith of his teammates in him. Not to mention the adoration of legions of University of Florida alums, and of fans in Denver and beyond.

As a scholar of religion, I have little expertise in football, NFL or otherwise. But I cannot help weighing in on a few comparisons between TT and JC:

Jesus: turned a ragtag band of 12 apostles into the number one religion in the world

Tebow: turned a ragtag squad of 11 football players into an NFL juggernaut

Jesus: prayed a lot (to God)

Tebow: prays a lot (to Jesus)

Jesus: ran the money changers out of the temple

Tebow: runs the  spread option

Jesus: miraculously saved a wedding at Cana by turning water into wine

Tebow: miraculously led the Broncos to last-second victories against the Dolphins, the Jets and the Chargers.

Coincidence? You be the judge. As for me, I'm sitting back and waiting for Tebow to do something truly miraculous. Like winning a game without completing a single pass, or running back a punt for a touchdown, or kicking a 50-yard field goal to win a game.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that Jesus is still more famous than Tebow. At least for now.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Sports

soundoff (1,398 Responses)
  1. drp146

    Sooner or later, a defensive player on the opposing team is going to slam Tebow to the ground on one of his many rushing attempts and his career of trying to play college football in the NFL is going to be over. And God is not going to stop it from happening.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  2. Reality

    Please note the timing of the following references. Said references are on-line. Read them and then respond.

    2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 T-itus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter

    November 30, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • drp146

      What did your list have to do with Tebow performing miracles or not?

      November 30, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Mark L Holland

      –Impress me by refrencing some thing written by Jesus in his own hand writing prior to his death.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Mike from ct

      Reality buddy do you want me to use the one source is not reliable argument that you hold to or would it be enought to tell you the dates are bogus. Especially Matthew gospel and first and second Peter

      November 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Said response was misplaced. Scroll down.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  3. Lil Wayne has the HIV but thats still underwraps.

    Tebow b prayin for a case of malt licka.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  4. Mark L Holland

    –A single living god cannot be traced any further back than 1800 BCE when Abraham invented it. The virgin birth prophecy in the KJV should have been fulfilled 600 or so years before the very normal out of wedlock birth of Jesus.
    –Jesus did not and could not have fulfilled the virgin birth prophecy; Jesus is not and was not Jehovah the god made flesh. Jesus was not and is not a part of the trinity; Christianity is no more valid or invalid than any other belief.
    –Modern humans have been around for about 200,000 and in that time there cannot be found a monotheist belief in a single living god with one name, image or persona that can be linked to Judaism, Christianity or Islam until Abraham invented one in 1800 BCE.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • Mike from CT

      "very normal out of wedlock birth of Jesus."
      Yeah that is right, it was so normal it still held the death penalty. Please cite a source

      "–Jesus did not and could not have fulfilled the virgin birth prophecy; Jesus is not and was not Jehovah the god made flesh. Jesus was not and is not a part of the trinity; Christianity is no more valid or invalid than any other belief."
      bold declaration of faith, similar to Christian faith... can you at least cite a source.

      " persona that can be linked to Judaism, Christianity or Islam until Abraham invented one in 1800 BCE."
      Translation:Monotheism did not exist until Monotheism existed.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Mark L Holland

      ( Mike from CT "very normal out of wedlock birth of Jesus." Yeah that is right, it was so normal it still held the death penalty. Please cite a source)
      –Well lets try it this way, Jesus conception out of wedlock, now Joseph apparently married Marry before she gave birth but until the marriage is consummated the marriage is not validated, unless you are willing to admit that Joseph was knocking it out with Marry while she was pregnant with Jesus?
      ( Mike from CT "Jesus did not and could not have fulfilled the virgin birth prophecy; Jesus is not and was not Jehovah the god made flesh. Jesus was not and is not a part of the trinity; Christianity is no more valid or invalid than any other belief.")
      –This is the easy one, just read the virgin birth prophecy, before the virgin birth child was old enough to know to reject the evil and embrace the good, the two kings attacking Ahaz and Jerusalem would be killed. Ahaz and the two kings lived 600 years before Jesus birth. I/E Jesus could not have fulfilled the virgin birth prophecy.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Mark L Holland

      You lost me, you started saying that out of wedlock was normal for that time period, then you shift your argument to was Joseph married without conception
      So which point are you trying to make, that this was normal for the time or that Joseph had s.ex with mary prior to the birth.

      You have to remember your history in that Joseph could have Mary stoned to death but
      "Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly."
      "and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son."

      As for the prophecy

      15He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.

      No where in that text does it say immediately after you die but it says "and whose two kings you dread will be deserted", so the question is at 0-5 AD is that a true statement.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Mark L Holland

      (“Mike from CT (“You lost me, you started saying that out of wedlock was normal for that time period, then you shift your argument to was Joseph married without conception”)

      “Normal out of wedlock birth” was meant as sarcasm, also I only deal with the King James Version since it is the oldest and most mass produced bible and is what my book is based on. If Mary was knocked up prior to being married or knocked up by someone other than Joseph Jesus would have been considered illegitimate.

      Definition of ILLEGITIMATE

      1: not recognized as lawful offspring; specifically: born of parents not married to each other

      As for the virgin birth prophecy, the prophecy clearly says: Isaiah 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. Isaiah 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings

      Now forsaken probably can be interpreted several ways, I interpret it to mean being killed. But whether they were killed, removed or lost in some other way. They would have been forsaken while the virgin born child was alive and while the child was young enough not to have learned to reject the evil and embrace the good.

      Ahaz and the two kings lived 600 years before Jesus was conceived out of wedlock. As for contradictions do a Bing search, keywords Challenging Christian Authority the contradictions for the sepulchre, baby Jesus and the virgin birth are there. I have a book filled with the contradictions and inconsistancies

      December 1, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Ok now I understand that. Mary was not knocked up by the Holy spirit. What is in her was conceived by the Spirit there was no act, hence virgin.

      " For BEOFRE the child shall know to refuse the evil,", taken as the temptation in the dessert...

      "the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings"

      So again did this event occur before the temptation in the dessert, and I will use your answer: Yes 600 years before Jesus

      (Mark:"As for contradictions do a Bing search, keywords Challenging Christian Authority the contradictions for the sepulchre, baby Jesus and the virgin birth are there. I have a book filled with the contradictions and inconsistancies")

      No that is why I wanted you to put it in your own words because you assume because you found a website with "700 contridictions" even though the first two dozen are statements that you understand and studied the passages

      I do like your method of bringing out previous quotes

      December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Mark L Holland

      ("Mike from CT")("No that is why I wanted you to put it in your own words because you assume because you found a website with "700 contridictions" even though the first two dozen are statements that you understand and studied the passages")
      –I do not post other peoples writings, I post my own work. Challenging Christian Authority is my blog where I posted some of my material. I wrote a book on the king james version I do not need to reference other peoples work. As for the virgin birth prophecy, the prophecy was intended as a validation for Ahaz. Meaning it should have been fulfilled during Ahaz's life time.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  5. Mike

    Amazing how many faith haters abound these days. They judge people by their faith instead of their character. I think even Martin Luther King would be shouted down today if he spoke.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Faith does speak to you're character. You want to believe something because it makes you feel good. You're not being honest with yourself.

      And I would booo MLK. He was a racist. Welcome to reality.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Captain Obvious

      Yes, it's only the haters that judge people on their faith.

      All the rabid Christians saying Tebow is a good guy because of his faith doesn't exist. *rolls eyes*

      You are pathetic.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • I can see your dirty pillows...

      MLK was a worthless piece of horse manure. And a communist, liar, manipulator, using religion as a way to further his anti-USA goals. I would boo the living hell out of him and enjoy every minute.

      Just excert from MLK tapes while he was a screwing white women..."Im F king for Jesus."

      November 30, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • tallulah13

      I find his behavior to be selfish. He can privately pray all he wants, but when he takes attention from his team by personal grandstanding, when he so publicly thanks "god" instead of his teammates on the field who are doing the real work, I am not impressed. Why do some christians need to make such a big public production out of their "personal faith"?

      It's not just christians displays. I am not a fan of any type of ritualized celebration from athletes during games.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  6. vel

    always great to see that this god loves football more than oh actually helping people praying for things that would really help, like healing real disesases or amputations(that never happens only things that no one can confirm), food, an end to war, etc. Tebow certainly knows how to get attention, pandering to the ignorant masses.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  7. Tim Tebow: God's True Son

    I'm personally thankful that God answers my prayers to win football games and lets all those worthless children in Africa die of starvation.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  8. Drama freak

    What is with athletes feeling a need to thank god or pray for their every little action...especially with big public displays?
    They are playing a game; get over yourself. Can you imagine a CEO or the president or a mother making dinner dropping to one knee and praying before their every action? Religion is a private matter; keep it to yourself. Athletes turn god and their religion into a cheap and cheesey display...save the praying for something important and meaningful. Please! Cut the crap.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:45 am |
    • jed

      We need a lot more CEOs and Mothers dropping to their knees and praising Jesus and God the Father every day!

      November 30, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • jed

      Also, being a disciple of Jesus is not 'a private matter'. Jesus commanded all of his followers to go and make disciples of all nations. A person that is a Christian will always tell everyone they can about how much Jesus can mean in their life and will respond to people with love. Tebow is doing what he is supposed to do. Going to church, being born in a certain family or place, having water sprinkled on your head as an infant - none of these things make one a Christian. A personal relationship with the living Christ is the only thing that makes a Christian. Tim Tebow has this relationship and even if he never played a game of football in his life, you would probably be able to tell this about him. He's not a role model for being a football player. He is a role model for his relationship with Jesus.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Jesus

      Prove I said anything like that. You can't. I never knew you. Because I was dead before you were born. If I even existed.
      Where's the 12 books I wrote? The letters to my family? All the stuff I built when I was a young man?
      I never knew Paul either. You are all fools for believing all the fake stuff Paul wrote.
      Get thee to a nunnery!

      November 30, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • vel

      religion is always a cheap and cheesy display with people claiming to be such special snowflakes. Oh and, Christians, your supposed holy book says to pray quietly, to not stand on "street corners" and show off. Seems that you forget that constantly. Of course, it does say to convert nations. Funny how again it contradicts itself. So much for a magic book.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Jesus

      Is that you hippypoet? Get thee to a nunnery! Now! Run! Hurry!

      November 30, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • tallulah13

      I agree with the initial post. I think much less of those christians who make a great public show of their faith than those who simply behave as christians, without fanfare or need of praise.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  9. claybigsby

    Seek and you will find

    "I'm not threatening you, God is. And he will destroy those who don't turn to him. Its in the Bible. Read it."

    Yeah and that bible you quote was written by fallible human beings, not god. No one who quoted Jesus actually knew him, saw, him or spoke to him. Research your bible.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • Lucy

      Dude, you're wrong. Take just one Bible writer, John, who knew Jesus personally, was there as an apostle, was there when He died, and was there when He rose. Credible witness. And there are many, many more. Or if you don't believe the Bible, then read Josephus, a historian.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Ironicus

      Lucy, all that stuff has been debunked quite easily. So where are the words written by Jesus himself? Gee. Better think about it a while and get back to us, okay?

      November 30, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • claybigsby

      Sorry Lucy, but CNN wont let me post my rebuttal. Essentially, it stated that there is a plethora of information out there that contradicts your statements. Since I cannot post my argument, I would suggest researching your Jesus further than just what you read in the bible. And you are right about one thing...I do not believe in that book as the word of god, even after studying it in college, and I never will.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Helpful Hints

      Clay – Look over your post for any of these:

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Really?

      "Take just one Bible writer, John, who knew Jesus personally, was there as an apostle, was there when He died, and was there when He rose. Credible witness. "

      So the fact the bible stories were written 30 to 50 years after Jesus died makes it so there was a credible witness? LOL! They had to embellish the story because there were other gods during that time period that had also died and risen again.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      So the fact the bible stories were written 30 to 50 years after Jesus died makes it so there was a credible witness?

      Written, not discussed and even so, yes 50 years is still a creditable witness. You know we have been down this road, with the mobster they caught in LA a couple of months back and charged him with crimes in the 50s & 60s.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Really?

      How did you come up with 30 to 50 years after Jesus resurrection? what dating calendar are you using?

      November 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Steve

      The gospel of Mathew could have been written anywhere from AD37 on

      November 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Mark L Holland

      ("Mike from CT ("So the fact the bible stories were written 30 to 50 years after Jesus died makes it so there was a credible witness?")
      –Credible witness do not contradict each other on every major event contained within the new testament.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Mike from ct

      Mark how about you give us an example, in your own words, of one of these contradictions

      December 1, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  10. HotAirAce

    I like jig a boo men.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • TheRealHotAirAce

      I have *never* made a racist statement here. I must assume you are the asshole who made the disgusting racist post that has been removed, along with my condemning reply. I thought of hitting the "Abuse" link but did not so that your disgusting statement remained for all to see. Based on your previous post and this additional racist post I further assume you would claim to be a christian.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Jesus: prayed a lot (to God)..???

    I though they said Jesus was God on Earth so how can he pray for him self if so??

    November 30, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • El Guapo

      You know, that's almost creepy when you think about it.

      "Ya, I was praying to myself because I'm awesome."

      November 30, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  12. CJH

    Tebow's just a mediocre quarterback that nobody would be paying attention to, except for his religious theatrics. Take away the theatrics and he's just another meatball on the football field.

    November 30, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • Don Linguini

      That is an insult to meatballs everywhere! The Flying Spaghetti Monster's Ethics Committee shall hear of this!

      November 30, 2011 at 8:16 am |
    • Ironicus

      I second that emotion!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  13. The Bobinator

    A bit about myself. For many years I was a Christian, believing that Jesus Christ was my saviour and that he and God answered prayers. What really annoyed me was when there were people who would thank God for their performance on the field and pray for a victory. It's disgusting when you think about it.

    I mean, if you think prayer really works, how selfish is it of you to pray that your team wins rather then feeding starving children in africa. Or praying that an atheist's heart is touched by God so that they don't have to burn in hell.

    This is just another example of what religion really is, a person's own fantasy that they're special and that someone is looking out for them and has a plan for them.

    November 30, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Mike from CT

      " mean, if you think prayer really works, how selfish is it of you to pray that your team wins rather then feeding starving children in africa. Or praying that an atheist's heart is touched by God so that they don't have to burn in hell."
      It's not selfish, just an understanding that all three are capible for God. If you refust to ask for even the smallest item you deny He is omnipotent

      So because someone you witness abused there position, therefore Jesus doesn't exist. Either this is very illogical, that is like not believing in you exist because Reality is annoying
      Or you never had a belief in the person of Jesus but in the power to control the universe with your prayer.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  14. Tom

    You know, great success in a completely materialistic endeavor without any observable talent to produce that success is often attributed to selling your soul to the devil. I'm just sayin...

    November 30, 2011 at 7:45 am |
  15. Steve

    What a great article! Exactly what I've been thinking. Two American religions, what a true comment. I"m a Tebow fan and Jesus believer. If you ask Tebow, he'll probably say (and has I bet) he gives credit to 1) Jesus 2) His team 3) His family He is humble. I have yet to figure out why people are so taken back and try to tear him down. coincidence in my opinion is when God is working and doesn't want to take credit. This particular few weeks with Tebow has God opening the doors. Tim would ack that but also God choses to work through Tim, using football as the medium to reach the masses. This is all my opinion, my most favorite thing is the "football analysts" who can't explain it, I can and Tebow (I think) would ack it "Jesus is helping". Lets see what all the non-Jesus bible thumpers throw stones at this article. (and maybe my comment). The author seems to know more about the bible than he admits. Raa Raa Jesus and Tim Tebow (keep preaching brother!)

    November 30, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Steve

      I will add one follow-up. Tim is NOT performing miracles (IMO) by himself alone. His heart is open to Jesus and Jesus is "using" Tim to perform miracles. All the credit goes to God the father and Jesus (our savior) and LORD!

      November 30, 2011 at 7:42 am |
    • Fred

      Just read Matthew 6:5

      November 30, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Winning a football game is no miracle!

      How many amputees (that are fans of the opposing team?) have regrown their limbs while jesus is wasting time affecting the outcome of a game?

      November 30, 2011 at 7:47 am |
    • claybigsby

      Sorry steve, you have no idea what you are talking about. The broncos winning has little to do with Jesus or Tebow at QB and more to do with their defense playing so well, only allowing 14 points per game over their last 6 games. Any QB can win games if their defense is so stout, even with a 45% completion rate.

      November 30, 2011 at 8:19 am |
    • Steve

      I agree the defense are the silent heros, it's been a 'team' effort. Tebow hasn't "lost" the game by turnovers and fumbles, unlike other rookie quarterback. Tim is no Drew Brees (yet).

      Not sure what the poster is meaning by Matthew 6:5 unless you are saying tebow gets his reward in full by praying publicly. I can see that although Matthew 10:32 🙂 Not sure where you are going with it! :))

      November 30, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Tebow hasn't "lost" the game by turnovers and fumbles, unlike other rookie quarterback."

      Yeah cuz he passes the ball 13 times a game. 45% completion rate when rookies are in the 55% range. He doesn't fumble because he is 260 lbs and can take punishment. He also has a great special teams and good running backs. How can you even mention Tebow in the same breath as Drew Brees as a QB? Do you even watch football? As soon as they run into a team that can put points on the board he will lose. period. end of story.

      November 30, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Godless

      "As soon as they run into a team that can put points on the board he will lose. period. end of story."

      Exactly. I can't wait for the Patriots to destroy them in a few weeks. Brady will pick apart their D, and the Pats awful pass defense won't have to worry about Tebow shredding them. 48-10 Pats.

      And BTW, Steve: you are crazy, man...Just, wow...

      November 30, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Steve

      HA do I watch football! I guess you didn't get the comment about Drew Brees and what masterful work he did on Monday night football against the Giants. The one lose Tebow had so far is against my "Lions". Yes, I publically admit I'm a Lions fan. I agree wholeheartedly when he runs up against a team like the Patriots, we'll see. My initial reaction would be it'll be similar to the Lions game although the other aspects of the Broncos can keep them into the game potentially. Tebow "isn't losing" the game for Broncos yet, his lackluster passing game is what gets most of the press and rightfully so, I'm not football genius, but it's darn fun to see how passioniate people get over his performance, he just wins baby. Give him a while (off season or 2) + some real talent in the wide receiver core. I'll take the intangibles anyday, with his worth ethic they can make him a "good quarterback", not a Tom Brady, Joe Montana (who was the best quarterback I've personally seen), Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers. I'd guage Tim's heart as big as anyone though! And now I'm a fair weather Broncos fan, as long as Tebow plays for them. And my poor Lions, through thick and thin!

      November 30, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  16. John

    I just gotta wonder ... If your ran up to Tim and yelled: "QUICK WHAT'S THE TEN COMMANDMENTS???" Could he do it? I'm willing to bet not. Most people who claim to be beleivers can't. Funny really. If people loved Jesus as much as they claimed, you'd think they'd read as much as they could about the bible.

    November 30, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  17. cosmo

    Lets pray for those children that have cancer, who are terminaly ill.... not a touchdown.... thats the part of religeon that disgust me... THANK YOU GOD FOR HELPING ME GET THAT TOUCHDOWN!!!! What a pathetic gesture.... iron age religeon..
    imaginary friend? Are we really asking an imaginary diety to help get a touchdown and then really thanking them. Oh the ignorant masses.... what if a muslim football player would stop and pray to alla... or any other rediculous iron age imaginary diety,,, We as a society are still in the age of ignorance....

    November 30, 2011 at 4:55 am |
    • Nope

      There is no god to hear you or answer you. Those poor children need medical help, not a bunch of idiots mumbling to themselves.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:02 am |
    • Nope

      Whoops nevermind

      November 30, 2011 at 5:03 am |
  18. jw

    All those whose god is science, be prepared to have science explain why, after you die, you find yourself swimming in the lava of an underground volcano, with intermittent but persistent torture sessions by evil spirits called demons. The science of cause and effect may explain why. No repentance and no faith in Christ, no home in Heaven.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:52 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Why should anyone who does not share your delusions spend any time preparing for what is not likely to happen, especially as you cannot show: there is any god(s), jesus was the son of a god, The Babble" is factual, that there is a heaven or hell, etc., etc? Until you (or your god) can establish the basics, I must assume that they do not exist and that you are delusional. it is not normal to follow delusional people's advice.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:03 am |
    • ha ha ha ha

      Swimming in an underground volcano? Are you serious? Ha ha ha ha ha!
      What a nimrod.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:45 am |
    • TR6

      If your god is half as merciful, loving and forgiving as Christians (on occasion) like to portray him then I have nothing to fear for living my life using the brains and good sense you say he gave everyone. But if he is that angry, jealous and vengeful god Christians also like to portray him as, you and most of your Christian friends are going to be in the lava with me because you do not keep the rules of the old testament.

      Pretending that you are no longer bound by the law of the Old Testament is the easy path to hell

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."Matthew 5:17-19

      "Heaven and earth will disappear before the smallest letter of the Law does." Luke 16:17 (CEV)

      What part of “UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH DISAPPEAR” don’t you understand? That doesn’t mean just until the resurrection.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:46 am |
    • fffffffffffffff

      I'd just like to point out that being called "least" while in heaven does not mean being sent to hell. Try using a different passage.

      November 30, 2011 at 5:06 am |
    • jw

      For those of you who don't believe hell exists, google 'visions of hell' and you will get first-hand eye-witness testimony from those who saw it in a near-death experience. The lake of fire is made of sulfur and brimstone, the same as the contents of a volcano. Hell is in the center of the earth, underground. Since Jesus said it exists, it exists. No one can keep the law perfectly, and that is why believers are justified by faith. "For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.Not of works, lest any man should boast." Romans 6:23 No one has ever kept the law perfectly, and that is precisely why Jesus had to offer Himself up for our punishment, so that by faith in Him we could be forgiven. My faith in Christ gives me a right standing with God, no matter how many laws I broke.

      November 30, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • HotAirAce

      More unsubstantiated assertions. Prove jesus existed and was the son of god.

      November 30, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Reality

      Existed? Yes. Deity? No.

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      November 30, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Count Chocula

      Reality, that is not proof that he existed. It is only third-hand reports and discussions of same. Better toss that crap in the garbage and get some higher standards for your research.

      November 30, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Reality, I believe David Johnston has posted material that indicates the historians you use to show the existence of jesus were wrong. Perhaps you can review previous DJ posts and update your "copy and paste." Not that it will change the essential fact that jesus was not the son of god ('cause there are no gods!)

      November 30, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • wayne317

      @ JW "The lake of fire is made of sulfur and brimstone, the same as the contents of a volcano. Hell is in the center of the earth, underground. "

      So it's here on earth? Well i plan to be cremated. So how will ashes with no working nerve endings burn and feel pain? Make sure you answer is supported with facts, not made up nonsense. Good luck!

      November 30, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Since Jesus said it exists, it exists."

      you do realize that the men who wrote the bible quoted jesus 40 years after his death right? How do they know that is what Jesus said?

      November 30, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • Matt

      LMAO, I love reading arguments against theology that also deny science. HotAirAce is doing a great job of debating from an existentialist point of view. Toothless, but funny.

      November 30, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Reality

      Please note the timing of the following references. Said references are on-line. Read them and then respond.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      November 30, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Mike from CT

      posting it 4 times does not make your website any more credible.

      Remember in the words of your god Crossan, you do not have the authority to tell anyone if they are right or wrong.

      [audio src="http://www.bringyou.to/CraigCrossanDebate.mp3" /]

      November 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      he author identifies himself as the apostle Peter (1:1), and the contents and character of the letter support his authorship (see notes on 1:12; 4:13; 5:1–2,5,13). Moreover, the letter reflects the history and terminology of the Gospels and Acts (notably Peter’s speeches). Its themes and concepts reflect Peter’s experiences and his associations in the period of our Lord’s earthly ministry and in the apostolic age. That he was acquainted, e.g., with Paul and his letters is made clear in 2Pe 3:15–16 (see notes there); Gal 1:18; 2:1–21 and elsewhere. Coincidences in thought and expression with Paul’s writings are therefore not surprising.

      From the beginning, 1 Peter was recognized as authoritative and as the work of the apostle Peter. The earliest reference to it may be 2Pe 3:1 (see note there), where Peter himself refers to a former letter he had written. 1 Clement (a.d. 95) seems to indicate acquaintance with 1 Peter. Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John, makes use of 1 Peter in his letter to the Philippians. The author of the Gospel of Truth (140–150) was acquainted with 1 Peter. Eusebius (fourth century) indicated that it was universally received.

      The letter was explicitly ascribed to Peter by that group of church fathers whose testimonies appear in the attestation of so many of the genuine NT writings, namely, Irenaeus (a.d. 140–203), Tertullian (150–222), Clement of Alexandria (155–215) and Origen (185–253). It is thus clear that Peter’s authorship of the book has early and strong support.

      Nevertheless some claim that the idiomatic Greek of this letter is beyond Peter’s competence. But in his time Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek were used in the Holy Land, and he may well have been acquainted with more than one language. That he was not a professionally trained scribe (Ac 4:13) does not mean that he was unacquainted with Greek; in fact, as a Galilean fisherman he in all likelihood did use it. Even if he had not known it in the earliest days of the church, he may have acquired it as an important aid to his apostolic ministry in the decades that intervened between then and the writing of 1 Peter.

      It is true, however, that the Greek of 1 Peter is good literary Greek, and even though Peter could no doubt speak Greek, as so many in the Mediterranean world could, it is unlikely that he would write such polished Greek. But it is at this point that Peter’s remark in 5:12 (see note there) concerning Silas may be significant. Here the apostle claims that he wrote “with the help of” (more lit. “through” or “by means of”) Silas. This phrase cannot refer merely to Silas as a letter carrier. Thus Silas was the intermediate agent in writing. Some have claimed that Silas’s qualifications for recording Peter’s letter in literary Greek are found in Ac 15:22–29. It is known that a secretary in those days often composed doc.uments in good Greek for those who did not have the language facility to do so. Thus in 1 Peter Silas’s Greek may be seen, while in 2 Peter it may be Peter’s rough Greek that appears.

      Some also maintain that the book reflects a situation that did not exist until after Peter’s death, suggesting that the persecution referred to in 4:14–16; 5:8–9 is descriptive of Domitian’s reign (a.d. 81–96). However, the situation that was developing in Nero’s time (54–68) is just as adequately described by those verses.

      The book can be satisfactorily dated in the early 60s. It cannot be placed earlier than 60 since it shows familiarity with Paul’s Prison Letters (e.g., Colossians and Ephesians, which are to be dated no earlier than 60): Compare 1:1–3 with Eph 1:1–3; 2:18 with Col 3:22; 3:1–6 with Eph 5:22–24. Furthermore, it cannot be dated later than 67/68, since Peter was martyred during Nero’s reign.

      November 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Wow, Mike, that's some pretty interesting information!

      Good stuff!

      November 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  19. Mary Ann T Jacoby

    Stephen, I am confused. You are a religious scholar as the bio reads yet you confess you are an agnostic. Why would an agnostic write a column about people who believe in God (covering all faiths)? You say you are not an expert on football so disqualifying yourself from judging the game professionally. Then why would your expertise be with God who you claim you don't know because you are indifferent toward HIM. HE by the way knows you and is not (as evidence of going to the cross for you) indifferent towards you. I did however enjoy your column on Tebow and am a fan of his God and of him. This is my first time reading what you think and your first time hearing my response.

    November 30, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • Settling In

      MaryAnn, I think you misread his use of "Agnostic." He was referring to his "agnosticsm" in Tebow, not the Almighty.

      November 30, 2011 at 3:54 am |
    • TR6

      “Then why would your expertise be with God who you claim you don't know because you are indifferent toward HIM.”

      You don’t need to have studied plumbing or be a master plumber to know that the toilet is broken

      November 30, 2011 at 4:50 am |
    • ha ha ha ha

      I can't believe anyone read the article. What a waste of time that would be!

      November 30, 2011 at 5:07 am |
  20. SE

    I don't give a crap about the Broncos or religious nutjobs. But I am laughing at the comparison of Tebow to Joe Montana. As a 49er Faithful of 30 years, I can assure you that Joe Montana was closer to infallible than Tebow will ever be, no matter how hard he prays. p.s. If football doesn't matter, then why are you posting comments on a story about football and then calling other people morons when you're the one commenting on something you don't care about? Who's the moron?

    November 30, 2011 at 1:50 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.