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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. Capercorn

    AARON RODGERS >>> TIM TEBOW.

    GREEN BAY FOREVER.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  2. S33k33r Hyd3

    Psalms 137:9
    "How blessed will be the one who grabs your babies and smashes them on a rock!"

    Your way of distorting verses in the bible is impressive but not quite yet. Your cunningness is not enough to hide your utter ignorance.

    December 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  3. Golden Bear

    The number of religous people is fading.
    When the BABY BOOMERS die off you will see a big drop in religous people in the US.

    By the end of this century only a small pertage will be religous and will looked apond as NUTTERS!

    All Religons = CULTS

    December 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Capercorn

      I just love the irony when militant atheists make messianic claims. Sociological data points to the decrease in religiosity being more due to globalization of markets than anything else.

      In the Academy [including the natural and formal sciences], the trend is reversed; the younger generations tend to be more religious than the older generations.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Golden Bear

      Not saying I want any harm to come to these people. I have many loved ones in that age bracket. Check the polls and trends.
      http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7513343&page=1

      http://www.ourweekly.com/spiritual-living/young-people-are-losing-their-religion

      People are so much more informed now, and being so much more honest about our place in the universe.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Brass Tarsier

      @Golden Bear

      Boozos like you with the rest of your kind never cease to make me laugh when they make claim on anything but can't afford a descent spell checker.

      I think nothing else but your level of intellect that is fading away in a dash.

      December 2, 2011 at 2:47 am |
    • zAZENfreethink

      @brass tarsier

      Sorry Zealots, you are deluded. Whereas there isn't one tiny iota of concrete court admissible evidence to support any gods, there is tons and tons and tons of concrete court admissible evidence to support evolution.

      You can ignore that if you want and pretend, but ask yourself why you would want to?

      lowly 'disingenuous fools' lacking moral character with limiting faculty eh? What religion is that you follow that preaches insulting people?

      December 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • liam.lah

      @Brass Tarsier

      "but can't afford a descent[sic] spell checker."

      Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, eh?

      Either way, Golden Bear is correct. We are seeing a decrease in the number of young religious people, the ones who are left appear to be getting more desperate and vocal. I'd say the internet has probably played a big part. It is very difficult to shelter your kids from reality when they have a cornucopia of knowledge and information at their fingertips.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  4. Muneef

    In Reality ;

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9ACplWecvA&w=640&h=360]

    December 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Reality

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Muneef

      In Reality....
      Haha I knew you will be coming running with your cut and paste with what make no sense....

      December 2, 2011 at 6:51 am |
    • Reality

      And from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      December 2, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Muneef

      In Reality as it seems your cut and paste has brainwashed you more than any other readers... 🙂

      December 3, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  5. Neil

    "And his tendency to be found praying while his teammates are strutting has added a new word—“Tebowing”—to the lexicon."– Steven Prothero

    Two observations Mr. (Dr.?) Prothero:

    It cannot really be said that Tebow is "praying while his teammates are strutting." What can be said is that Tebow is kneeling while his teammates are strutting. Whether or not Tebow is praying is known only by Tebow.

    Please also consider that Tebow's kneeling (praying?) in front of the cameras is a form of ostentatious strutting. Couldn't Tebow take care of his praying off camera, maybe before coming to the stadium?

    Neil

    December 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Chris W

      Neil
      I liked your comments, True just like most people at a table in a rest. before eating, its between them and God
      your second point struck me because I had thought the same thing, I think if he is praying to God or giving his glory to God for his abilities is a good thing, but I think as well this can be done before the game and after, even making a reference after the game in a reporters column, but during so manytimes to make a show, I wuld have to as a pastor, throw caution to this type of behavior.. and only God has the right to judge, and some might say wait a minute Chris are you not judging, no, I am merely saying to a brother of the same faith, what the bible says to help my fellow brother in Christ and pray that God shows him favor and correction when and if needed.. He could be a powerful tool for God, but I pray that the more attention he gets that he is now not doing it only for that attention with false pretenses. by Saying, " Its for Gods Glory". Thanks for the post.. I look forward to reading other post by you.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  6. Reality

    The Letters/Epistles of Peter are reviewed in detail by Father Raymond Brown is his epic, 894 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 705-724 and pp. 761-772.

    An excerpt, p. 706, "Date: if written by Peter, 60-63 CE: more likely 70-90 CE"

    "Authenticity: Possibly by Peter using a secretary: more likely by a disciple carrying on the heritage at Rome.

    From earlychristianwritings.com:

    Estimated Range of Dating: 80-110 A.D.

    Chronological List of Early Christian Writings

    Online Text for 1 Peter
    •American Standard Version
    •King James Version
    •World English Bible
    •Bible Gateway (NIV/KJV/NASB/RSV/NIV-IBS/DARBY/YLT/WE/NKJV)
    •Perseus NT (English/Greek/Latin)
    •Blueletter Bible (English/Greek)
    •HTML Bible (Greek/YLT/KJV/ASV)
    •The Online Greek Bible (various Greek fonts)

    Online Resources for 1 Peter
    •e-Catena: 1st Peter 1
    •Edgar Goodspeed: The First Epistle of Peter
    •NAB Introduction
    •Daniel Wallace's Introduction
    •NT Gateway: 1 Peter
    •An Introduction to the New Testament: The First Epistle of Peter
    •Catholic Encyclopedia: Epistles of Saint Peter
    •The Apostle Peter on Civil Obedience: An Exegesis of 1 Peter 2:13-17
    •Soft Difference: Theological Reflections on the Relation Between Church and Culture in 1 Peter

    Offline Resources for 1 Peter
    •Burton L. Mack, Who Wrote the New Testament? : The Making of the Christian Myth (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1996), pp. 208-210.
    •Raymond Edward Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Doubleday, 1997), pp. 705-724.
    •Udo Schnelle, translated by M. Eugene Boring, The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998), pp. 398-415.
    •Andrew Chester, The Theology of the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude (Cambridge Univ Pr 1994).

    Eric Eve writes: "Despite 1 Pet 1:1, the author is unlikely to have been the apostle Peter. The cultured Greek of the epistle makes it perhaps the most literary composition in the NT. The apostle Peter probably knew some Greek, but 1 Peter does not look like the product of an unlettered (Acts 4:13) Galilean fisherman. It employs a sophisticated vocabulary incorporating several NT hapax legomena, and its author appears to have some command of the techniques of Hellenistic rhetoric. He is also intimately acquainted with the OT in the LXX, whereas we should have expected the Galilean Peter to have been more familiar with an Aramaic Targum or the Hebrew." (The Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 1263) "

    December 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Ooops, wrong placement.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  7. Love you Tebow!

    Continue praying on and off the field.
    God Bless!

    December 1, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Golden Bear

      Praying and Wishing is the exact same thing.

      He is just wishing he was much better at passing!

      December 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tebowite

      Prayer is not wishing, Prayer is connecting to your creator God!
      There is
      P Praise God
      R-reverence God
      A-adoration for God
      Y-you
      E-Exalt God
      R-Respect
      The you in only in Y the rest is all about HIM!

      December 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • liam.lah

      It seems the Self help movement has banded together with Christianity to give us something twice as banal and vacuous. and probably four times are profitable

      S-Self
      H-Help
      A-(and) Acutalisation
      M-Movement

      December 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  8. Matt

    This article is total drivel. Stephen Prothero wows us all yet again with his meaningless commentary.

    I feel dumber having read even part of this trash.

    December 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  9. hippypoet

    God doesnt listen to nig gers cuz they arent human.

    December 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    And please pass the doo doo plate. Im hungry.

    December 1, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • hippypoet

      imitation is the highest form of flattery but if you can't come close to the intelligence of what your imitating then you should find a new toy to occupy your small mind.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  11. Muneef

    Just wonder if any person was to become infected with AIDS....would that drive him/her to become rather a Rebelint Atheist or as a Extremely Religious ?? Would it be that those at both extremes have a similar problems that drive them to become so extreme...??

    December 1, 2011 at 7:08 am |
    • Impatience is a virtue

      Oh, hurry up and die already!

      December 1, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • Muneef

      Oh you cruel thing...

      December 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  12. Reality

    Dear Tim,

    What they forgot to teach you at the University of Florida:

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    December 1, 2011 at 12:31 am |
    • rob

      Reality is the last name you should use....you my friend have been reading to much of The National Enquierer

      December 1, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Reality

      Some of the references used to prepare the summary on Christianity and the historic Jesus:

      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.

      Continued below:

      December 1, 2011 at 7:31 am |
    • Reality

      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm

      Continued below:

      December 1, 2011 at 7:32 am |
    • Reality

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf

      Continued below:

      December 1, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • Reality

      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      December 1, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Mike from CT

      reality posting things 10 times does not count as "multiple" sources

      Still waiting for you to identify that "only about 30% of Jesus' sayings "
      Which 30?

      December 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      and please spend the time to respond to the large note on 1 peter on Page 18 of this blog, it would really help all of us.

      December 1, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Reality

      The sayings deemed authentic by Professor JD Crossan can be found on line at http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory (make sure you remove the hyphen in t-itle before accessing the references.

      By Professor Gerd Ludemann, see his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 694-695.

      By the Jesus Seminar, The Five Gospels, The Gospel of Jesus and also The Acts of Jesus:

      Note: The Jesus Seminarians: Contemporary NT scholars specializing in historic Jesus studies. Requirements to join, typically a PhD in Religious History or Religion with a proven record of scholarship through reviews of first to third century CE scripture and related docu-ments

      By Thomas Jefferson in his Jefferson Bible

      December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Reality

      The Letters/Epistles of Peter are reviewed in detail by Father Raymond Brown is his epic, 894 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 705-724 and pp. 761-772.

      An excerpt, p. 706, "Date: if written by Peter, 60-63 CE: more likely 70-90 CE"

      "Authenticity: Possibly by Peter using a secretary: more likely by a disciple carrying on the heritage at Rome.

      From earlychristianwritings.com:

      Estimated Range of Dating: 80-110 A.D.

      Chronological List of Early Christian Writings

      Online Text for 1 Peter
      •American Standard Version
      •King James Version
      •World English Bible
      •Bible Gateway (NIV/KJV/NASB/RSV/NIV-IBS/DARBY/YLT/WE/NKJV)
      •Perseus NT (English/Greek/Latin)
      •Blueletter Bible (English/Greek)
      •HTML Bible (Greek/YLT/KJV/ASV)
      •The Online Greek Bible (various Greek fonts)

      Online Resources for 1 Peter
      •e-Catena: 1st Peter 1
      •Edgar Goodspeed: The First Epistle of Peter
      •NAB Introduction
      •Daniel Wallace's Introduction
      •NT Gateway: 1 Peter
      •An Introduction to the New Testament: The First Epistle of Peter
      •Catholic Encyclopedia: Epistles of Saint Peter
      •The Apostle Peter on Civil Obedience: An Exegesis of 1 Peter 2:13-17
      •Soft Difference: Theological Reflections on the Relation Between Church and Culture in 1 Peter

      Offline Resources for 1 Peter
      •Burton L. Mack, Who Wrote the New Testament? : The Making of the Christian Myth (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 1996), pp. 208-210.
      •Raymond Edward Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Doubleday, 1997), pp. 705-724.
      •Udo Schnelle, translated by M. Eugene Boring, The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1998), pp. 398-415.
      •Andrew Chester, The Theology of the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude (Cambridge Univ Pr 1994).

      Eric Eve writes: "Despite 1 Pet 1:1, the author is unlikely to have been the apostle Peter. The cultured Greek of the epistle makes it perhaps the most literary composition in the NT. The apostle Peter probably knew some Greek, but 1 Peter does not look like the product of an unlettered (Acts 4:13) Galilean fisherman. It employs a sophisticated vocabulary incorporating several NT hapax legomena, and its author appears to have some command of the techniques of Hellenistic rhetoric. He is also intimately acquainted with the OT in the LXX, whereas we should have expected the Galilean Peter to have been more familiar with an Aramaic Targum or the Hebrew." (The Oxford Bible Commentary, p. 1263) "

      December 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Reality,

      Mike already talked about why Peter's writing was better in 1 Peter. It's probable that his scribe, Silas, wrote it for him. Just like Paul, who has been thought to have eyesight problems, had a scribe many times.

      December 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Really?

      You source that you quote is one that contradicts your own web site

      , "Date: if written by Peter, 60-63 CE: more likely 70-90 CE

      But you date 1Peter overlapping this 80-110 and 2Peter outside this range entirely so who do you trust more Brown who also says 60-63 or Crossan or yourself

      December 1, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Chris W

      Reality
      Im going to start off by the website you copied and pasted from, I noticed the part after the /, it said theories.. interesting I would have at least posted something with a little more clout. And yes there are many men who have claimed they were called by God to preach or be head of churches and not really been called to do that, they had other gifts, but their minds were not truly focused on God, but of thier own flesh. True that this continues today, but all this was prophesied way back, which I found no reference to any prophecy that has came true in your reference, or any prophecy that we are currently living in now in your reference.. oh thats right , it said / theories, mmmmm, I will stick with my Faith and His Word and as a preacher myself.. There are some of us who really do care about Gods Word, who have families and chrildren who know that they truly were called to preach, that did not self appoint to do so.. you see its not that we got a calling that we want to but that we have to as well. Theres the difference. You may not think the bible has any thing but useles words, and thats okay its something that you may not want, because it will change your life, you may not believe in anything but yourself and your own abilities, where I believe in the abilities God has blessed me with. I beleive in a truth so powerful that a millionth of second after I die, I will wake up in a far better place, and believe that one millionth of a sec. you wake up will be in a place where you wish you had believed. Many people will reject this "theory" but dont think that its a crock because those who think they were called set an example of the way they were suppose to live and chose not to do accordingly. May you find the peace you seek or think you have found. Its been a pleasure reading your post and look forward to reading more.

      December 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Reality

      The "theory" website is a compilation/summary of current studies/books concerning the historic Jesus. The categories listed in said website are good starting points in your own search for the truth about Christianity.

      The categories and those authors said categories:

      :Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
      Earl Doherty
      Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

      Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
      Alvar Ellegård
      G. A. Wells

      Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
      Gregory Riley

      Jesus the Revolutionary
      Robert Eisenman

      Jesus the Wisdom Sage
      John Dominic Crossan
      Robert Funk
      Burton Mack
      Stephen J. Patterson

      Jesus the Man of the Spirit
      Marcus Borg
      Stevan Davies
      Geza Vermes

      Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
      Richard Horsley
      Hyam Maccoby
      Gerd Theissen

      Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
      Bart Ehrman
      Paula Fredriksen
      Gerd Lüdemann
      John P. Meier
      E. P. Sanders

      Jesus the Savior
      Luke Timothy Johnson
      Robert H. Stein
      N. T. Wright

      December 2, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Reality

      An excerpt, p. 706, "Date: if written by Peter, 60-63 CE: MORE LIKELY 70-90 CE" vs. 80-110 CE in the more detailed review gives credence to the 80-110 CE as the better range for 1 Peter. Might want to review Father Brown's book in detail along with the other references previously cited to get the complete story about who wrote said epistle and when. And don't forget to review the studies on the authentic passages in the NT also as previously cited. Attestations, stratums and context are used to make said conclusions which is the rigorous approach used by contemporary historians.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  13. BlackisalwaysbeIslam

    There is two muslims, the one that "radicals" and the one that "moderate".
    Moderate Muslim such as Indonesia, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Turks, and Pakistan.
    Radicals such as Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghan,West Indonesia and North East Pakistan.
    Go find Muslim, ask them personally to clean this thing and they will probably say to you "we know this but we unsure what Koran said to us because we don't understand the Arabic translation at all, we relying on our imam (priest) on mosque. So when radical imam told us to kill, we will but when moderate imam told us to love, we will. We only pawn on submitting to Allah will whatever its good or bad for the world, if Allah said its good the it'll good for us but the problem we didn't know what Allah want us to do except through them (imam/priest), we only a pawn in submitting faith to Allah"

    Christians, on medieval age, had been on this way too, because what? because they didn't know the real bible because firstly they only listened to their priest on Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. This blind method can usually used (plotted) by the enemy to create division (know on network security as middle man- eves drove). But after all know the real message of Jesus Christ, they know that whatever it translate or said, the message only one, it is love, peace, and care.

    Islam is the same, soon Muslims will realize the real message of Islam. Some radicals said that all peace will come when all the world is become Islam but look at middle eastern, the Iran, is there a one piece of peace there?

    Confucius once said, "one can't govern the whole country if he can't govern his own house."

    November 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  14. joshu

    Didn't you read my first posts? Guess not. God cares not only people who accept him but people who've lived a good life no matter their beliefs. God loves all, one of his tenets. Ghandi fits in this category, Hitler will pay for his actions.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • real prayers

      joshua – he does care what a persons beliefs are. God wants worshiped in HIS way not in the way people think they should worship him. They way to find out that is by reading the Bible. Even the Isralites did things that displeased God so we need to make sure our worship is acceptable to him.

      December 5, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  15. joshu

    Hitler may be a christian but he's paying for his actions. Your faith doesn't excuse one of his actions. Hitler was a christian officaily speaking but in reality he's more of an atheist. he hated the aspect of God and His power. He wanted total control and power and his hate resulted in him sacking several churches

    November 30, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • hippypoet

      hitler repented before he died so he is going to be in your heaven

      November 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • TR6

      @joshu: “Hitler may be a christian but he's paying for his actions”

      No he’s not. Not according to your NT. All he had to do is believe. Doesn’t matter how bad he was. Just another sinner washed clean in the blood of the lamb. Unlike Gandhi who is burning in hell because he didn’t believe even though he was a bit better behaved than Hitler

      November 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • joshu

      Nah hitler isn't going to heaven, i think God made in exception in his case to disregard his probably unregretful apology

      November 30, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Joshu, what do you mean that Hitler was more of an atheist? Hitler was more a pagan, but the German public that gave him power was mostly protestant and catholic. Without the backing of the German people, Hitler would have been just another street corner crackpot.

      I just think that you wish to believe that christians are not capable of evil, and you will lie to yourself and others just so you don't have to face facts. Why are so many christians on this particular blog such liars? Do you think that god made an exception for you, that makes it okay for you to break the commandment about bearing false witness?

      December 1, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  16. joshu

    that's the point you say God doesn't exist yet you give no evidence. Simply saying God doesn't exist isn't evidence. I've stated my reasons why I believe in God and why God exists if you actually read my posts. you keep calling the kettle black. You call me idiotic and you demonstrate stupidity through your words.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • hippypoet

      whatever!

      November 30, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • TR6

      “that's the point you say God doesn't exist yet you give no evidence.” There is mountains of evidence that your god does not exist. Here is an example.

      Your bible says jesus is the good shepherd who protects his flock and answers their prayers. According to insurance companies Christians no special luck, protection or faster recovery from sickness and accidents no matter how hard they pray.

      Here’s another piece of evidence. No amputee has ever re grown a limb. No matter how much they believed, how hard they prayed or how many others prayed for them… Not one…. So your god is either nonexistent, or totally impotent

      November 30, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If the fact that there isn't a single shred of evidence that points to the existence of any god won't convince you, I don't think anything will.

      December 1, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • S33k33r Hyd3

      "All my life I have been looking for evidence of a god (both before and after leaving the church). I haven’t found any, not one single scrap of real evidence; although I’ve found lots of evidence against."--Pls. take note the last phrase.

      Christians are very fond of claiming their god does everything; but, all they can show is a 2000 year old book of sadistic fairytales that can’t do anything.---also take note the last line

      There is mountains of evidence that your god does not exist. Here is an example.

      Your bible says jesus is the good shepherd who protects his flock and answers their prayers. According to insurance companies Christians no special luck, protection or faster recovery from sickness and accidents no matter how hard they pray.

      Here’s another piece of evidence. No amputee has ever re grown a limb. No matter how much they believed, how hard they prayed or how many others prayed for them… Not one…. So your god is either nonexistent, or totally impotent----Take time to read the entire post.

      @TR6

      Kindly read again your comments above (with the hints). Ponder about them a lil bit deeper and go back to tell me/us here that they're not a joke.

      December 2, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  17. hippepoet

    I don't have enough faith to be an athiest. Waaay too much evidence of intelligent design. My great great ..................................grandfather was an ape, fish or bird or whatever these over educated fools are teaching now.
    I dont think so.

    November 30, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  18. hippypoet

    where you aware that hitler was a christian?

    November 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  19. joshu

    There has been a lot of religion debate going on right now. i for one believe in God. Why may you ask? I like to think there is place after our lifetimes. I like to think there is a place to those who've committed crimes and hated without remorse or regret will go to a place where they'll face justice. I like to think there is a place where good virtuous people, it doesn't mater if you don't believe in God, will find a better place. Religion is flawed because man is flawed. The tenets of Christianity and many other religions teach us to be better people. there is no wrong in that. We live in a modern world that changes and religions evolve with it, but aspects of good and evil will still be the same. "The more things change the more they stay the same" God does exist.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • hippypoet

      god does NOT exist you dont even know what your talking about! the idea of god god existing is so stupid its not even funny that people believe in the afterlife did you know about that before jesus there was a guy that did the same thing? believers are so stupid stupid idiots!!

      November 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • joshu

      Sigh... Lets keep this civil. I'm not damning you. Religions assimilate that's a fact. But in reality they are all the same, live a good and virtuous life and no bliss, live a life of lies then pay for your actions. There are so many variations since the beginning of man's existence but they all point to the same thing. it is has the deepest reach in human history. For that reason I believe in a power greater than myself. Religion and the world will evolve but the message will always stay the same. Call me foolish, call me stupid, call me idiotic. We will al be judged of we live our life no matter what we believe in.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • joshu

      whoops meant to put live a good life and know bliss later.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • hippypoet

      whatever. beleivers are idiots. god never existed so cry about it.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • joshu

      You say God doesn't exist yet you yourself provide no evidence for it. I find that ironic, my evidence and many other people's evidence are open to debate interpretation but actually give a reason besides the he doesn't exist. I find your use of personal attack disturbing.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • hippypoet

      you dont need evidence when something dont exist. if you say it does then you have to proove it exists so its all on you buddy. like i said believers are dumb as bricks.

      November 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • TR6

      @joshu: “You say God doesn't exist yet you yourself provide no evidence for it. I find that ironic, my evidence and many other people's evidence are open to debate “

      You keep talking about evidence but don’t give any (or perhaps I need to read further back). All my life I have been looking for evidence of a god (both before and after leaving the church). I haven’t found any, not one single scrap of real evidence; although I’ve found lots of evidence against. If you have real evidence, testable, verifiable, falsifiable evidence I’d love to see it.

      Christians are very fond of claiming their god does everything; but, all they can show is a 2000 year old book of sadistic fairytales that can’t do anything. Very similar to the true believers in Brunei Madof, who gave him all their money and did their very best to convince their friends to do the same.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      joshu: yet another believer too stupid to understand basic logic, "you can't prove a negative" and that the onus is on believers for proving their extraordinary claim that god (and all things dependent upon the existence of a god) exists. If believers were the least bit honest, they would admit the non-zero probability that their cult's imaginary buddies do not exist, but they would rather cover their eyes and ears and run away wailing, as being honest would be a step towards atheism and the crumbling of their imaginary worlds.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  20. Mark L Holland

    ("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 ?")
    –Anyone can write a column on Christianity so long as they have studied the bible. One does not have to believe in the Christian god to challenge the Christian god and his religion. Now when I wrote my book on the KJV I was a Christian and then a Jesus follower and then a theist and then polytheist (because I read the bible).
    –But any Atheist or non-Christian theist can write columns or books by simply reading and understanding the bible and Christian doctrine. My being a theist and then polytheist gives me a different insight into invalidating Christianity, by invalidating their name, image and persona of God. Then say an Atheist would.
    –And just for the record “God” does not cover all faiths, there are many who have nature beliefs and spirit beliefs who do not believe in a “God” there are Goddess beliefs and Polytheist beliefs who do not believe in a single living god with one name, image and persona.

    November 30, 2011 at 9:49 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.