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Jerusalem’s biographer explains a city steeped in holiness, violence
Author Simon Sebag Montefiore has written a new biography of the city of Jerusalem.
December 9th, 2011
11:01 AM ET

Jerusalem’s biographer explains a city steeped in holiness, violence

By Todd Leopold, CNN

(CNN) -– Its name translates from Hebrew as “abode of peace,” but for more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been anything but peaceful.

Ancient civilizations conquered it. The Romans left it a slaughterhouse. Muslims, the Crusaders, the Ottomans, the Israelis and the Palestinians all have left their mark, often in blood.

And that’s not even to bring up the religious disputes, the clashing neighbors, the fanatical pilgrims and the earthquakes. (Yes, earthquakes.)

Yet Jerusalem maintains its status as perhaps the most important and holy city in the world. It is here that the three great monotheistic religions lay their claims, that countless cultures have built centuries-old shrines, and where arguably the world’s biggest geopolitical conflict, between Israelis and Palestinians, plays out every day.

British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of the new book “Jerusalem: The Biography,” knows the city well. His great-great uncle, financier Moses Montefiore, was a major philanthropist who founded one of the city’s first “new” neighborhoods in the 1860s.

Montefiore spent three years on the biography, which chronicles the city’s evolution over more than four millennia, from a Canaanite development to the modern city splintered between Israelis and Palestinians.

Montefiore spoke to CNN from his home in London. The following is an edited version of the interview.

Why Jerusalem? Why this place, which is not a port and didn’t seem to have much strategic value – how did it become a world capital?

It’s both tradition and evolution and also the decisions of a series of powerful men, who for their own reasons made the decision to intensify Jerusalem’s importance. Some of them did it by destruction, [such as] Nebuchadnezzar and Titus. Other people did it by building – Herod the Great, or Suleiman the Magnificent. And others did it by political decisions, such as Lloyd George and the Balfour Declaration promoting Zionism. So all for different reasons, different times, and often for political reasons.

How did you know what sources to trust, including religious texts such as the Bible?

One has to look at every source. So in that sense it’s not that different reading the Bible [than other documents]. I treat it as a historical source, and you have to make judgments about whether it’s sound or not.

But in Jerusalem everything is more fraught and there’s more sorts of disagreements and more vicious hatred about every one of these arguments than anywhere else.

Did you find yourself challenged on your details of historical events by religious leaders?

I’ve been challenged by everybody. Every sect, every group tried to intimidate me into doing it their way, and it’s something you have to be very cautious about. But I wanted to make sure I included every sort of sect. It was a very hard book to write.

I had it read by both the [Palestinian] Fatah organization and the Israeli government, and both of them gave me a list of corrections that they wanted changed, and gave me guidance about what they thought was right and wrong. And both of them gave me absolutely the opposing corrections. If I’d really wanted to negotiate this book, it would have been as complicated as negotiating the Oslo accords.

Is Jerusalem now a political city, with the religious stuff tourist bait?

I think the Christian stuff is tourist bait, but [with] the Muslim and Jewish stuff, the religion and politics are completely interlocked. It’s impossible to separate them.

There have been other great cities that have vanished or turned into shadows of what they once were. Why did Jerusalem succeed where they failed?

It’s part of the alchemy of power, the combination of so many different things. It’s the geopolitical, geostrategic position of the Middle East, partly. Every conqueror has had to march through it. That’s a circumstance that has nothing to do with religion at all, but imperial and continental geopolitics.

But one thing over many centuries has made return to Jerusalem much more likely, and that’s the ascendancy of the Bible, which is really Jerusalem’s story in many ways. Anyone who believes it’s fundamentally God’s word will naturally return to Jerusalem, and that’s happened many times throughout history, and that more than anything has made Jerusalem the center of the world.

Jesus’ story is as much political as it is religious. What was it that made him special among all the prophets of the time?

What was special in part among the early Christians – and not just Jesus, but St. Paul, as well – was that they were two extraordinary men. Another thing was that the Gospels were written down, so the Jewish-Christian sect … [had] a far longer life than many of these short-lived prophets who rose up and were destroyed.

And the other part of it was timing. The fact that the early Christians survived 40 years after Jesus’ death and were already considering St. Paul’s work appealing not just to Jews but to gentiles, and the fact they were doing that when the Jews were defeated and Jerusalem was destroyed meant that they separated from the Jewish religion abruptly, and meant that the religion had a life outside Judaism.

Those are the decisive reasons a historian would name. Obviously a Christian believer would simply believe that Jesus spoke the truth and he was the real thing.

You talk about Jerusalem Syndrome, the mental delusion triggered by the city. Is it possible prophets were affected, as well?

It all depends on your definition of holiness and madness, doesn’t it? There are a lot of holy people that secular people think are mad, and religious people think are observant. This is one of those judgments I tried to avoid making in the book, for obvious reasons. And people tend to think that their own religion is kind of sensible and rational, and think that everybody else’s is totally nuts.

What are your impressions of Jerusalem after having chronicled its history? Did your opinion of the city as a city change?

It did in a way. The more time you spend there the more you realize what an angry place it is. It’s angry, it’s dirty, it’s chaotic, it’s bigoted, it’s fanatical – as well as being the most holy, most beautiful, most exquisite, most fascinating, most complex city in the world. Again and again you return to the fact of how extraordinary and beautiful it is, as well as how bigoted and tense it is. It becomes more contradictory the more you know it.

It’s becoming even more religious. For a start, the Muslims of Jerusalem are becoming even more observant than they ever used to be. And at the same time, the Jews are becoming much more Orthodox, too. Nationalism is still very powerful, but religion has become even more so.

Are you optimistic about the future of the city?

Not in the short term. I just hope the quality of leadership on both sides improves. I hope that somehow some leaders come to the fore that are more far-seeing. In Israel it’s not helped by the political system which is becoming disastrous, and on the Palestinian side it’s not helped by corruption, division and extremism – which are also very present on the Israeli side.

The peace deal is already kind of known. It’s just a question of accepting it, and both sides have to have the will. There has to be the right moment and there has to be the right leadership. That’s a lot of conditions, isn’t it?

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Israel

soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. a

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_hfgUcK-voH4/TAQYb6RphVI/AAAAAAAAAHw/GwgaQgAgua8/s1600/coexist.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_hfgUcK-voH4/TAQYb6RphVI/AAAAAAAAAHw/GwgaQgAgua8/s1600/coexist.jpg

    December 12, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  2. David Black

    Religon and politics DON'T mix. Its about time religon stayed in the church and kept there noses out of everyones business.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  3. Mad The Swine

    This is hilarious!!

    http://io9.com/5865503/satanic-christmas-light-display-irks-tennessee-motorists

    Much better than the content of this drab excuse for news.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  4. Reality

    Maybe not so important historically based on the New Torah for Modern Minds:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."

    December 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Why would folks making their way through the dessert have pottery? It's not as if they road covered wagons. I do believe what they used for hauling water and other goods was tanned skins. If so, said skins would have been destroyed by man or nature.

      Amen.

      December 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Mad The Swine

      How convenient.

      December 10, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Mad The Swine

      Wait a minute, they were walking through dessert? Like delicious cheesecake? Which dessert was it?

      December 10, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • .........

      maybe not so important at all hit report abuse on reality bull

      December 10, 2011 at 11:59 am |
    • Kathleen Wagar

      Many events in the Torah have been found to be true. The wars fought by ancient Jews are corroborated in the records of the Assyrians and Babylonians. A scholar translating Babylonian cuneiform tablets found the name of a Babylonian who is also mentioned in the Torah as having been present at the razing of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Ancient sites have been found using the descriptions in the Torah. If Abraham did not exist who was it then that laid the foundation for the three religions of the Abrahamic tradition? The search for Moses continues. The Harvard scholar Frank Moore Cross put forth that Mt. Sinai was in northwestern Arabia, and supposedly archaeological ruins have been found on the mountain Jebel Lawz. I guess the Saudis will have to inform the world what was found there.

      My opinion is that much of the Torah is based on historical events The Torah scholar James Kugel said that many of the stories in the Torah were popular all over the Middle East, and it may have been a blessing in disguise that Babylonians took captured Jews back to Babylon, for Babylon had vast libraries for the Jews to peruse.

      Muslims are latecomers to the Holy Land. What they have they took by force, and the Jews gaining back their territories was done in the same manner that Muslims used to take it.

      December 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Mad The Swine, thank you for your fee services in correcting typos.

      Amen.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  5. Todd Needs A Real Job

    THIS ARTICLE SUCKS.

    December 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  6. Ryan

    There is no Scientific Evidence that proves God exists. The point of Christianity is having faith in God and having free will. There is very strong evidence that God exists and proof that the BIble is true. I found a website that talks more about this: http://bibleistrue.net

    December 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Answer

      "I found a website that talks more about this: http://crap site.com "

      There I've fixed your entry. See it's much better and shows what religion really is.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      And here's one that proves that there is no such thing as free will. There ya go. Have a good day :)

      December 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Ryan, there is still a seat at the kid's table for you. Please don't try to sit with the grown ups.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Oh, and Ryan, according to the Bible, there is no free will. At least learn your own religion before trying to convince others.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
    • Todd Needs A Real Job

      RYAN, THERE'S NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE YOU EXIST EITHER. I HAVEN'T SEEN A WHITE PAPER WRITTEN ABOUT YOU IN ANY SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.

      December 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      That experiment proves nothing other than that the there are brain special brain functions going on just before moving our bodies.. not surprising at all. It certainly doesn't prove that the decision is redetermined. As we consider our choices, brain functions prepare to execute for us, that is all.

      December 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  7. Ungodly Discipline

    Fred and George, for you:

    There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:

    • God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.
    • None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either.
    • God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.
    • The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone.
    • The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God.
    • When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers."
    • Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.
    • And so on…

    Let's agree that there is no empirical evidence showing that God exists.

    If you think about it as a rational person, this lack of evidence is startling. There is not one bit of empirical evidence indicating that today's "God", nor any other contemporary god, nor any god of the past, exists. In addition we know that:

    1. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, we would talk about the "science of God" rather than "faith in God".
    2. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, the study of God would be a scientific endeavor rather than a theological one.
    3. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, all religious people would be aligning on the God that had been scientifically proven to exist. Instead there are thousands of gods and religions.

    The reason for this lack of evidence is easy for any unbiased observer to see. The reason why there is no empirical evidence for God is because God is imaginary.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Will none of you wait with me? Peter? John? James?

      December 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Chad

      • God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth
      =>hmm, how about earth itself? is that physical? What about Jesus, is he physical?

      • None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either.
      =>?? they did at the time, those people have been dead almost 2000 years..

      • God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.
      =>God doesn't work that way

      • The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone.
      =>Jesus appeared to more than 500 people 1 Corinthians 15

      • The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God.
      =>example please... you would be the first to do so! :-)

      • When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers."
      =>how exactly are you analyzing prayer with statistics?

      • Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.
      =>You are falsely assuming that nothing bad ever happens to Gods people. See the Bible for reference..

      December 9, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad, you are one of the dumber people I have run across on these blogs:

      God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth
      =>hmm, how about earth itself? is that physical?

      The Earth was created by the Sun, like all the planets.

      What about Jesus, is he physical?

      No, he is dead.

      None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either.
      =>?? they did at the time, those people have been dead almost 2000 years..

      Proof please.

      God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.
      =>God doesn't work that way

      Why not, he used to. What happened?
      The resurrected Jesus has never appeared to anyone.
      =>Jesus appeared to more than 500 people 1 Corinthians 15

      Why doesn’t he appear to you or me?

      The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God.
      =>example please... you would be the first to do so!

      Have you read the Bible? It is horrifying, both in how it is written, it’s contradictions and it’s violence.

      • When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers."
      =>how exactly are you analyzing prayer with statistics?

      Easy. People pray, nothing happens.

      • Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.
      =>You are falsely assuming that nothing bad ever happens to Gods people. See the Bible for reference.

      Why would God let bad things happen to people? What a jerk!

      December 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Ungodly Discipline "The Earth was created by the Sun, like all the planets."
      =>The earth was created by the sun? That's a new one :-)
      The earth was created by the gradual attraction of gaseous matter, the result of the big bang.. The big bang was a singular point where all matter in the universe and even time itself was created.
      There was nothing before, no time, no matter, nothing. Then that nothing exploded. Genesis 1.

      @Ungodly Discipline "No, he[Jesus] is dead.
      =>was dead, now resurrected.

      @Ungodly Discipline "Proof please.[of Jesus miracles 2000 years ago]"
      =>er,, as I said, those people are dead. Bodies decomposed.. no physical evidence remains.

      @Ungodly Discipline "Why not, he used to[take over radio stations and broadcast]. What happened?"
      =>He did? man, I must have missed that.. when was it?

      @Ungodly Discipline "Why doesn’t he appear to you or me?"
      =>He does, all you have to do is search for Him and He will be found.

      @Ungodly Discipline "Have you read the Bible? It is horrifying, both in how it is written, it’s contradictions and it’s violence."
      => read it many times. Violent? undoubtedly yes. Contradictions? no.

      @Ungodly Discipline "Easy. People pray, nothing happens."
      => my experience has been vastly different, as has billions of other peoples.

      @Ungodly Discipline "Why would God let bad things happen to people? What a jerk!"
      =>why does God allow us to be as bad as we want to be? free will..

      December 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Chad, when you get old enough to go to school, you can take a logic course. You can't use the bible to prove the bible. It's called "circular reasoning". Now run along and play.

      December 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Well Chad, thank you for proving my point that you are an idiot.

      1. It is a fact that the Earth was created by the Sun. Wow you are stupid. As were all other other planets created by their stars.
      2. People don't rise from the dead except in zombie movies.
      3. Exactly, so know proof. I don't get your point.
      4. My bad, copy and paste error. I was simply saying why doesn't he commuicate with us today. So much easier with the technology.
      5. Where? I don't see him anywhere and neither do you.
      6. There are at lease 700 contraditions that I am aware of, and how can you just dismiss the violence. Are you a sado-masochist?

      December 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad, sorry I skipped a couple:

      You can 't prove prayer. that is just idiotic.
      Finally, your own religion dictates that there is no free will. Note the following:

      "God's plan" is the way that Christians traditionally explain things like amputations, cancer, hurricanes and car accidents. For example, if a Christian dies a painful and tragic death because of cancer, she dies as part of God's plan. Her death has a purpose. God called her home for a reason. Even if something bad happens to a Christian, it is actually good because it is part of God's plan.

      “Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death.
      The Bible says, "You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breath. Every day was recorded in your book!" [Psalm 139:16]

      There is also this:

      Regardless of the circ umstances of your birth or who your parents are, God had a plan in creating you.

      Under this view of the universe, God plans everything.

      He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death."

      Let's examine one simple implication of this statement. What this means is that God has pre-planned every abortion that has taken place on our planet.

      December 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mildred the Mouth "Chad, when you get old enough to go to school, you can take a logic course. You can't use the bible to prove the bible. It's called "circular reasoning". Now run along and play"

      =>actually, pointing out that what we know of the origin of the universe (the big bang) corresponds with the Genesis account it known as "corroboration" and is actually the exact opposite of circular reasoning.

      December 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      So Chad, no free will and every argument you made has been debunked. What say you now Einstein?

      December 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Chad

      regarding free will: the fact that God exists outside our time and space, and has already "seen" the rest of the your life and mine, even the end of this world as we know it, and is therefore able to tell us in advance, what our life will be, doesn't obviate our free will.
      It merely means He already has witnessed it and knows. It doesn't mean we are puppets on strings.

      @Ungodly Discipline "It is a fact that the Earth was created by the Sun. Wow you are stupid. As were all other other planets created by their stars"

      =>read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_nebula#Formation_of_planets
      "The formation and evolution of the Solar System is estimated to have begun 4.568 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud.[1] Most of the collapsing mass collected in the centre, forming the Sun, while the rest flattened into a protoplanetary disk out of which the planets, moons, asteroids, and other small Solar System bodies formed."

      =>the rest of your comments were addressed already..

      December 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      whatever

      December 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Mad The Swine

      Chad, I highly recommend some research on the bible. You'll be able to find plenty of scripture that proves the bible false. That is, the bible itself is evidence against its own validity. These are facts that cannot be disputed in any shape or form.

      December 10, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Chad, you are incorrect.

      You have some of it right, but gradually the sun grew in size and the dusty disc cooled. Over millions of years the dust clustered into grains, then lumps, boulders and eventually planetesimals – chunks of rock big enough to have their own gravitational field. Some of these planetesimals became the embryonic forms of the planets in our solar system today, the Earth being one of them.

      Your "Free Will" argument just doesn't hold water. If God knows everything there can't be free will. Common sense..

      You seem like a smart kid, keep learning.

      December 10, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Chad

      @ Mad The Swine "Chad, I highly recommend some research on the bible. You'll be able to find plenty of scripture that proves the bible false. That is, the bible itself is evidence against its own validity. These are facts that cannot be disputed in any shape or form."

      =>example please...

      December 10, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Mad The Swine

      Chad, are you so lazy you can't perform a google search?

      Search:

      Bible Contradictions
      Jesus 2000 years late

      Just for starters.

      Come back when you're educated on the matter.

      December 10, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • Chad

      @ Mad The Swine "Chad, are you so lazy you can't perform a google search? Search: Bible Contradictions Jesus 2000 years late. Just for starters. Come back when you're educated on the matter."

      @Mad "Jesus 2000 years late"
      =>"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" – Matthew 24
      Jesus himself said that He didn't know when He would return. Given that, how do you construct an argument that Jesus is 2000 years late?

      @Mad the swine "Bible Contradictions "
      => I have repeatedly addressed the nonsense that folks cut and paste from http://www.infidels.org, if you would like to pick a particular contradiction you feel is especially telling I'll take a swing at it.

      December 10, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard: all the fiber and no flavor.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mad The Swine

      Chad, you may want to check your bible again. Jesus did say when he'd return. He is quoted as stating when he's return on a number of occasions. Later on, another writer added the stupidity about not knowing the day or the hour when they realized that jesus was dead and long gone, never to return.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @Mad The Swine "Jesus did say when he'd return. He is quoted as stating when he's return on a number of occasions"
      =>"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" Mark 13
      that's what Jesus said.

      @Mad The Swine "Later on, another writer added the stupidity about not knowing the day or the hour when they realized that jesus was dead and long gone, never to return."
      =>That attempt always makes me laugh.. "Someone changed the text later", ok, so explain:
      1. When was the text changed? We know the earliest Gospel written 30-40 years after Christs death (60-70AD), earliest manuscripts 120AD.
      "Parts of the New Testament have been preserved in more manuscripts than any other "ancient" work, having over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. " – Wikipedia

      2. How do you know the text changed? What analysis are you applying to the text to come to that conclusion?
      You just "know it did"? lol

      December 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  8. hawaiiduude

    And to those of you who ARE Jewish, please accept my appologies. I have been having a rough month and taking it out on you. Sorry.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Israeli

      Your posts have been properly reported to CNN.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Hawaiiduude

      Thank you.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Hawaiiduude

      Stand down Israeli or I just might properly report your dum as s too.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  9. hawaiiduude

    I have been soul searching and really feel I am starting to lean towards agnosticism. I know, I have been obnoxious and anti-semetic but I really don't hold anything against anyone. Pease and love! Bless you all.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  10. Ungodly Discipline

    captain america. unfortunate.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  11. Ungodly Discipline

    Legalize Pot Already.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • Israeli

      I've never seen such childish behavior from a 46 year old male before.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Hawaiiduude

      I agree with UD, legalize pot already, jeez.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  12. hawaiiduude

    December 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  13. b4bigbang

    1 الله بعد ما كلم الآباء بالانبياء قديما بانواع وطرق كثيرة

    2 كلمنا في هذه الايام الاخيرة في ابنه الذي جعله وارثا لكل شيء الذي به ايضا عمل العالمين

    3 الذي وهو بهاء مجده ورسم جوهره وحامل كل الاشياء بكلمة قدرته بعدما صنع بنفسه تطهيرا لخطايانا جلس في يمين العظمة في الاعالي

    4 صائرا اعظم من الملائكة بمقدار ما ورث اسما افضل منهم

    5 لانه لمن من الملائكة قال قط انت ابني انا اليوم ولدتك.وايضا انا اكون له ابا وهو يكون لي ابنا.

    6 وايضا متى ادخل البكر الى العالم يقول ولتسجد له كل ملائكة الله.

    7 وعن الملائكة يقول الصانع ملائكته رياحا وخدامه لهيب نار.

    8 واما عن الابن كرسيك يا الله الى دهر الدهور.قضيب استقامة قضيب ملكك.

    9 احببت البر وابغضت الاثم من اجل ذلك مسحك الله الهك بزيت الابتهاج اكثر من شركائك.

    10 وانت يا رب في البدء اسست الارض والسموات هي عمل يديك.

    11 هي تبيد ولكن انت تبقى وكلها كثوب تبلى

    12 وكرداء تطويها فتتغيّر ولكن انت انت وسنوك لن تفنى.

    13 ثم لمن من الملائكة قال قط اجلس عن يميني حتى اضع اعداءك موطئا لقدميك.

    14 أليس جميعهم ارواحا خادمة مرسلة للخدمة لاجل العتيدين ان يرثوا الخلاص

    December 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Isn't that special.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Oh wait, I see a code in there. Quick, go get George.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      George! God is playing hide and seek again. It is so fun!! Marco.....

      December 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  14. One7777777

    "Jesus’ story is as much political as it is religious. What was it that made him special among all the prophets of the time?"

    Jesus was NOT a prophet. Please get your facts straight. Every single Word uttered out of His mouth was of God. Every single utterance can be found in the Old Testament. He came to find the lost sheep of the 12 Tribes of Israel (Jacob). He came to smite the shepherds in the synagogues for leading God's chosen astray. Those who recognize Jesus recognize God.

    Jesus is the THIRD ARK. He was crucified in the manner of the FIrst He Lamb in the Old Testament as a sin offering to God for our sins. No longer was the man in the pulpit your intermediary to God – He was. Why? Because the blind shepherds lead the blind to the pit as well as the evil shepherds.

    America wake up – He came to scatter the flock ABROAD – out of that land for it was infested with evil. Look to the prophet Elijah – his act on the hilltop shows that God prepared another land for Jesus to send the flock to.

    Three Arks:
    1. SHIP
    2. COMMANDments / LEVIticus
    3. CROSS / WATER / HOLY Ghost

    JerUSAlem

    Wake up to your inheritance. Call out to God today to show you.

    December 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      Three deluded nincompoops, who need more medication :
      1. you
      2. you
      3. you
      What if the city of Jerusalem wasn't always spelled that way ? It wasn't. It used to be Roshlamem or Rosh-ramen. There goes your code theory up in smoke. Sorry 'bout that.

      December 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
  15. Jerusalem


    We pray for your Peace!

    December 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  16. DougieT

    The governments of of Israel and Fatah and Hamas should legalize all drugs but only if they are partaken of by both Jews and Muslims at the same time with each other. There would be peace in the Middle East tomorrow and forever.

    December 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • yeahyou

      Drugs are tool of evil not good,..get your mind out of darkness and come to the light.

      December 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Hawaiiduude

      Don't tell that to a Hawaiin brudduh! Peace love dope and hari Krishna all you groovy freaks! Mahalo Nui Loa!

      December 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  17. Methusalem

    The devil is always close to things good and Holy. So, if you always live a quiet and a peaceful life it means God has forgotten about you. That's why wealthy nations have this "peacefulness", at least, for the time being.

    December 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Snow

      So you WANT war, suffering, poverty and desperate times? what kind of masochist are you?

      December 9, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  18. captain america

    Tom tom shuts up when the fake captain america posts.Could it be a thieving canadian bi tch?

    December 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If I were, so what? Since I'm not Canadian, I suppose that makes everything I say true, right?

      Good. You're an imbecile, capt. ass.

      December 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • captain america

      Current theory indicates that Tom,Tom, the Pipers Son is indeed a son.Tom tom is suspected of being a qu eer canadian who wishes he was a woman as per his/her posts and probably maintains that role in real life. The lack of moral compass allows tom tom to steal others names to vent his/her frustrations. It is Saturday tom tom time to put on womens clothing and hang around in bars.We got your number.

      December 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's the matter, little shadow? Feeling irrelevant?

      December 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • fua

      captan amerika wants ur body tomtom because he wants manlove in the ass he cant sit still when he sees ur posts

      December 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.