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My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible
The 17th century painting Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Artemisia Gentileschi, depicts a biblical scene.
February 25th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Stop sugarcoating the Bible

Editor's note: Steven James is the author of more than 30 books, including "Flirting with the Forbidden," which explores forgiveness.

By Steven James, Special to CNN

(CNN) - The Bible is a gritty book. Very raw. Very real. It deals with people just like us, just as needy and screwed up as we are, encountering a God who would rather die than spend eternity without them.

Yet despite that, it seems like Christians are uncomfortable with how earthy the Bible really is. They feel the need to tidy up God.

For example, look in any modern translation of Isaiah 64:6, and you’ll find that, to a holy God, even our most righteous acts are like “filthy rags.” The original language doesn’t say “filthy rags”; it says “menstrual rags.” But that sounds a little too crass, so let’s just call them filthy instead.

And let’s not talk so much about Jesus being naked on the cross, and let’s pretend Paul said that he considered his good deeds “a pile of garbage” in Philippians 3:8 rather than a pile of crap, as the Greek would more accurately be translated.

And let’s definitely not mention the six times in the Old Testament that the Jewish writers referred to Gentile men as those who “pisseth against the wall.” (At least the King James Version got that one right.)

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The point?

God’s message was not meant to be run through some arbitrary, holier-than-thou politeness filter. He intended the Bible to speak to people where they’re at, caught up in the stark reality of life on a fractured planet.

Dozens of Psalms are complaints and heart-wrenching cries of despair to God, not holy-sounding, reverently worded soliloquies. Take Psalm 77:1-3: “I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help” (New Living Translation).

And rather than shy away from difficult and painful topics, the Old Testament includes vivid descriptions of murder, cannibalism, witchcraft, dismemberment, torture, rape, idolatry, erotic sex and animal sacrifice. According to St. Paul, those stories were written as examples and warnings for us (1 Corinthians 10:11). So obviously they were meant to be retold without editing out all the things we don’t consider nice or agreeable.

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I believe that Scripture includes such graphic material to show how far we, as a race, have fallen and how far God was willing to come to rescue us from ourselves.

God is much more interested in honesty than pietism.

And that’s what he gives us throughout Scripture, telling the stories of people who struggled with the same issues, questions and temptations we face today.

Peter struggled with doubt, and we hear all about it.

Elijah dealt with depression; Naomi raged with bitterness against God; Hannah struggled for years under the burden of her unanswered prayers.

David had an affair and then arranged to have his lover’s husband killed. Noah was a drunk, Abraham a liar, Moses a murderer. Job came to a place where he found it necessary to make a covenant with his eyes not to lust after young girls (Job 31:1).

It’s easy to make “Bible heroes” (as Protestants might say) or “saints” (as Catholics might refer to them) out to be bigger than life, immune from the temptations that everyone faces.

I find it encouraging that Jesus never came across as pietistic. In fact, he was never accused of being too religious; instead he partied so much that he was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton (Matthew 11:19).

Jesus never said, “The Kingdom of God is like a church service that goes on and on forever and never ends.” He said the kingdom was like a homecoming celebration, a wedding, a party, a feast to which all are invited.

This idea was too radical for the religious leaders of his day. They were more concerned about etiquette, manners, traditions and religious rituals than about partying with Jesus. And that’s why they missed out.

That’s why we miss out.

According to Jesus, the truly spiritual life is one marked by freedom rather than compulsion (John 8:36), love rather than ritual (Mark 12:30-33) and peace rather than guilt (John 14:27). Jesus saves us from the dry, dusty duties of religion and frees us to cut loose and celebrate.

I don’t believe we’ll ever recognize our need for the light until we’ve seen the depth of the darkness. So God wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty with us about life and temptation and forgiveness. And grace.

Only when the Bible seems relevant to us (which it is), only when the characters seem real to us (which they were), only then will the message of redemption become personal for us (which it was always meant to be).

We don’t need to edit God. We need to let him be the author of our new lives.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Steven James.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (5,744 Responses)
  1. J Brouillette

    Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
    Commentary on the Song of Songs, III, 27-33 ; SC 376

    "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand"
    Mortal life is full of obstacles to stumble over, covered with the snares of deception... And because the enemy had spread out these snares everywhere and caught practically everyone in them, it was necessary that someone stronger should appear to master and break them and thus destroy the path of those who were following them. For this reason, before coming to unite himself with the Church as his bride, our Savior was also tempted by the devil... In this way he taught the Church that it is not by luxuriousness and pleasure but through many trials and temptations she must come to Christ.

    Indeed, there was no one else who could have overcome these snares. «For all have sinned», as it is written (Rm 3,23)... Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is the only one who «committed no sin» (1Pt 2,22). But the Father «made him to be sin for our sake» (2Cor 5,21) so that «in the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin» (Rm 8,3). Thus Jesus walked into these snares but was not himself entangled in them. More, when he had broken and destroyed them, he heartened the Church to the extent that, from now on, she would dare to crush obstacles underfoot, climb over the snares and say, in all happiness: «Our soul, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowlers. The snare has been broken and we have been saved» (Ps 124[123],7).

    However, he himself underwent death, yet voluntarily and not, as we do, bound by sin. For he is the only one to have been «free among the dead» (Ps 87,6 LXX). And because he was free among the dead he conquered «the one who had the power of death» (Heb 2,14) and «took prisoners captive» from him (Eph 4,8), those who were held in death. It was not just that he himself was raised from the dead but, at the same time, he «brought to life those who were captives in death and seated them with him in the heavens» (Eph 2,5f.); «ascending on high, he took prisoners captive» (Eph 4,8).

    February 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Paul

      only a true ignorant miserable individual would believe such an amount of stupidity

      February 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @paul – Perfectly stated.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  2. anonymous

    probably better to ignore the entire thing together.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Paul

      u'd better off reading other books .. yes, knowledge is the worst enemy God and Devil (same thing with different name) ever had

      February 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  3. buffalo

    A book of folk tales written by frightened old men and zealots. I cannot believe that, by 2012, this drivel has not been exposed for the claptrap and idiocy that it truly is. I don't care if you want to worship a goat; a tree or a running shoe. Just keep your idiocy to yourself.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Paul

      it has been . only if the public is ignorant .. there is little you can do, but try educate them .. problem is religion has brainwashed them into hatred and permanent ignorance, like a Devil would do if it existed

      February 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Liberals Are Stupid

      Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Jesus)

      February 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  4. SHAIARRA

    WHEN YOU IMPOSE A CERTAIN RELIGION, WARS AND TYRANNY ASWEL AS SLAVERY JIM CROW BREAKS OUT, NOT PEACE AND LOVE, NO LIBERTY

    February 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  5. PsiCop

    I'm not sure I'd hang my hat on the word σκυβαλα (from σκυβαλον) in Phil. 3:8 meaning "crap" instead of "garbage" (or "rubbish" or what some other translations have). The English word "crap" is, itself, a bit loose in meaning, and is sometimes used euphemistically. It can, in fact, mean "garbage," and it might also mean something even more unpleasant, e.g. "feces." Translating σκυβαλα into "crap" is not necessarily more accurate or exact than "garbage."

    February 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You know PsiCop, you really know your shi.t

      February 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  6. Wisdom4u2

    Jesus said Here I stand

    Won't you please let me in

    And you said I will tomorrow

    Jesus said I am he

    Who supplies all your needs

    And you said I know but tomorrow

    Ooh

    Tomorrow

    I'll give my life tomorrow

    I thought about today

    But it's so much easier to say

    Tomorrow

    Who promised you tomorrow

    Better choose the Lord today

    For tomorrow very well might be today

    Jesus said here I stand

    Won't you please take my hand

    And you said I will tomorrow

    Jesus said I am He

    Who supplies all your needs

    And you said I know but tomorrow

    Oh Tomorrow

    I'll give my life tomorrow

    I thought about today

    Oh but it's so much easier to say

    Tomorrow

    Who promised you tomorrow

    Better choose the Lord today

    For tomorrow very well might be today

    And who said that tomorrow would ever come for you

    Still you laugh and play and continue on to say

    Tomorrow

    Forget about tomorrow

    Won't you give your life today

    Oh please

    Don't just turn and walkaway

    Tomorrow

    Tomorrow is not promised

    Don't let this moment slip away

    Ooh

    Your tomorrow could very well begin today

    February 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I get it now!

      February 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • taildragon

      And here I sit, brokenhearted.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "Your tomorrow could very well begin today"
       
      As, indeed, it does EVERY day, precisely at midnight.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  7. PLEATOGOD

    “‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW OTHER gODS TO YOUR OWN HARM. 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless. 😉

    February 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Paul

      Lord is not very smart .. if he was like u make it sound, then why are there so many ignorant people?
      Oh wait, it's because if all were educated, there would be no public for churches ... how convenient .. isn't it?

      February 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  8. toadears

    Going to church. Leaving all you kiddies to fight and whinge about it. Remember, tomorrow is a skeeewwwwllll day, so do your homework. Keep on hating. You're good at it. At least that's one thing you're good at, right? And I'm sorry you hate your parents, God, Christians, Republicans, America, Democrats, girls...well the list is endless isn't it?? Hope you get laid soon. LOL wahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Toadears domestic partner

      Honey, are you done playing on your computer, we have a gay pride parade to dress up for?

      February 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  9. Remnant of God

    We have known for many decades that the Roman Catholic church invented the religion of Islam so as to use the Muslim people to again kill Jews and Christians all around the world once their prophesied mortal wound was healed.
    Yassir Arafat, a leader of Islam bowed to the Pope and was photographed kissing his ring in 2003 proving a deep seated alliance with Rome.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Paul

      Now you are worse than the most stupid believer

      February 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I actually laughed when reading this. People of the RC aren't smart enough for that. Common now. If they were smart, they wouldn't be inside of a church.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Guest

      Hmm... Do you have a website? That sounds really neat.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • ThinkFirst

      Who, exactly, is "we"? One seriously misguided individual is not a 'we' ...

      February 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  10. NVRWRNG

    To those whom believe in a superior being

    Do you guys believe in other life forms?
    Do those life forms have a god?
    Are those life forms god your same god?
    Did god create other galaxies and planets?

    If you're going to explain or comment, please DO NOT say, god created all in your response. Please use intelligence and rational/critical thinking.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • ashrakay

      I think expecting rational/critical thinking may be expecting too much. I hate to say it, but it seems to be in short supply.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • hez316

      Readonable questions. I can only answer for myself, not the other "guys". In oder: 1. Yes. 2 &3. Same God who created the Universe (no, I can't explain it, but you asked what I believed), 3. Yes. We put God in a VERY small box if we believe we are the only life in the Universe (on solar system out of billions). He's a lot bigger than that.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I would just love for believers to be sensible for once. I'm not asking a lot. I would really enjoy hearing their opinions. I like to educate myself on how others think, so I can understand where they come from. I don't like to hear a mythological explanation for things or the "god does all."

      February 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @hez – Thanks for that.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Clarify

      There are no other "life forms" on other planets.
      There is only ONE God, one gospel, one truth.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      @clairfy – Hopefully that was sarcasm.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Clarify

      Lol! Afraid not:) I was quite serious.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Trae

      but God did create all.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      Why did god create single celled beings before he created humans?

      February 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • ThinkFirst

      Clarify,

      You say "There are no other "life forms" on other planets. There is only ONE God, one gospel, one truth." as a statement of fact. Here's another statement of fact: there is no god, just mans' self delusion.

      Hmn ... guess we both should have prefaced our statements with "I believe" ...

      February 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Clarify

      @ThinkFirst...You would be correct if there were no absolute truth. However, there is. So, I can very easily claim it to be fact. If you do not believe in absolute truth does not mean that, I, who do believe would ever make concessions to your unbelief. Clear as mud:)?

      February 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Clarify, If lifeforms were found on other planets, would you then give up your belief in god?

      @Hez, I think it's well stated. However you cannot arrive at the conclusion of god without applying reductive logic. You also enter a position of infinite regress (which you may be intending) "An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, ... , and the truth of proposition Pn-1 requires the support of proposition Pn and n approaches infinity."

      This would make it highly improbable that a being of such complexity would be the father of simplicity which is how the universe began or that in an infinite state there can be distinction between form and the insubstantial. "Reason" the concept, arises from our dualistic nature. Up is up because down is down and reasoning is always relative. Therefore an infinite ent.ity could not possibly "reason" a creation.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  11. Mystic Rose

    What I don't understand is why people still talk about the bible like it is fact. It is a very old fairy tale and has no foundation in facts, at least none that can be proven.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Paul

      ok, you are asking why people are stupid.
      Here is one way to explain it, because they are ignorant.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Adam

      Define Faith:
      "Faith the the confidence in things unseen"

      February 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Dave

      No one can "prove" that George Washington existed, but I assume that you like myself believe that he did. We have historical evidence that he was here, but that doesn't mean he really was here. Does it? Any thing in the past that happens outside of ones lifetime requires some degree of faith in believing that it actually happened. If we could put a finger on the person to have most likely have walked the face of this earth 2000 years ago the historical evidence would point to Jesus Christ.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • really?

      where do you get that information???? There is no scientific proof that goes against whats in the bible, for example, man and woman being created for another. scientifically proven...everything in a mans brain compliments that of a womans....there has been many studies...google it!!!

      February 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  12. MacMaven

    The Protestant church neutered the Bible long ago by discarding 14 books of the Bible, 5700 versus and 168 chapters, as they deemed Apocrypha unfit according to what they believed. Christians cherry picking what they want out of the Bible and discarding what they don't want has been the norm and not the exception.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  13. PLEATOGOD

    GOD NEVER MADE HELL FOR HUMANS IT WAS FOR DEMONS AND FALLEN ANGELS. BUT WHEN MANKIND CHOSE TO EXALT SATAN THEY CHOSE TO MAKE HELL THERE HOME. BY MANS REFUSAL THEY ONLY THROW THEMSELVES INTO HELL BY REJECTING. GOD NEVER WANTED HELL FOR HUMANS BUT SINCE MANKIND CHOOSES SATAN, THEY CHOOSE HELL FOR THEMSELVES. YES GOD HAS POWER TO THROW BOTH BODY AND SOUL INTO HELL HOWEVER HE NEVER INTENDED HELL FOR HUMANS NOR DOES HE WANT ANY HUMAN TO GO TO HELL. BUT IF YOU CHOOSE SATAN AS YOUR god AS THEY DID IN BEGINNING, YOU ARE ONLY DO IT TO YOURSELF....
    jesus2020.com if wanna get saved
    if already saved, be filled with HOly Spirit, confess sins, preach gospel and rescue souls with Love

    JEREMIAH 7: IF YOU BELEIVE IN OTHER gods YOU DO IT TO YOUR OWN HARM

    February 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Paul

      GOD made HELL for you only it's a lie.. and u are stupid

      February 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Godo save me from your followers who are too ignorant to locate their own caps-lock key.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  14. PLEATOGOD

    “‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW OTHER gODS TO YOUR OWN HARM. 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Paul

      I will meet you in hell and bang your behind for the rest of eternity ... and I will love it

      February 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Paul

      well, no I won' t meet you in hell .. I won't be there because there is no such thing as hell, nor such thing a heaven there is only life ... stop spewing BS on people, u are no better than anyone

      February 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  15. Paul

    Replace God with knowledge, rather than feed your religious belief with ignorance and you will no need to send your children to war. Satan will cease to exist and u will be happier and have the time think how to make this world a better world, rather than spending time worrying about how to better hate people and thing you do't understand only because you are ignorant.

    Believe in yourself before believing in God. and then anyway send God to hell

    February 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks Paul, I'd wondered about that. I think people really misunderstand and underrate hate and that's because they really don't have access to really pure hate. We should talk sometime. About God's Brother.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Paul

      are u having issues? not sure where you come from, if all he churches the world focused on educating their followers, rather than brain washing them and collect money from them, this world wouldn't need a God, we'd be a lot better already.
      Stop preaching love while teaching how to hate those who don't agree with you

      February 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  16. PLEATOGOD

    jeremiah 7 “‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

    February 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  17. Ted

    Let me get this straight; Jesus was not the Son of God, and was never really resurrected from the dead. So the 500 people who say they witnessed the resurrected Christ were lying. They did not really see him; is that what you're saying? So if they were making this up, why did so many allow themselves to be burned at the stake, thrown to the lions, and in some cases be forced to watch their own children suffer the afore-mentioned? To support their "fairy tale," their "hallucination?"

    February 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Well if everyone else is doing it .. it must me right.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      You need more acid? I know a guy, he'll hook you up. Where are these "500" people. Damn. I wish they had recorded that crap.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Ted
      There is a report of 500 witnesses, but that's not the same as there actually having been 500 witnesses.There are also reports of witnesses seeing the Emperor Vespasian performing miracles too. Anybody can claim anything and write about it. Just look at the tall tales written about Elvis and Davy Crockett, and that's while they were still alive.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • NVRWRNG

      I just saw god and have 35 people to claim it. Book that as FACT!

      February 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • ThinkFirst

      Ted,
      Nobody witnessed a 'resurrection'. After 3 days, all that was 'witnessed' was an empty cave. It was ASSUMED that he walked out of it but in no way was it witnessed. The simple absence of a corpse does not prove resurrection. It just proves that the body was missing, nothing more – biblically speaking, that is. There's no physical proof that the event(s) happened in the first place.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "... why did so many allow themselves to be burned at the stake ...?"
       
      Golly, you mean they were given a CHOICE? Now I find myself wondering why so many Jews allowed themselves to be marched off to the ovens in WW2. Surely the Nazis asked politely, just like the Romans.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • DDanny1

      Answer me this. Why did they worship a God in Egypt named Horus who had royal linage, 1700 years before the birth of Jesus? Horus was born of a virgin, in a cave, father's name translates to Joseph, mother's translated to Mary. An angle heralded his birth. which was celebrated in late December, he performed miracles, including feeding the masses by multiplying what food there was, walking on water, healing the sick, and raising a dead man who's name translates to "Lazurus".... He became of age in a ritual when he was 12. There is no record of him between the ages of 12 and 30. He was transformed on a mountain, baptized in a river by "Anup the Baptiser", who was later beheaded. He had 12 disciples. He was called the Keynote speech was "The sermon on the Mount" (yes. the EXACT same name of the sermon), Was crucified along with 2 thieves, was buried in a tomb in the city of ANU (jewish called it Bethany), arose after 3 days, was first seen by women, ascended to heaven and was going to rule for a thousand years.
      Doesn't Horus remind you of Jesus? Yet the story dates back 1700 years before Jesus was born.

      February 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  18. Mattmchugh

    The articles righly points out the persistent earthiness of the Bible, the way its descriptions and language are firmly rooted in human experience, yet misses the obvious conclusion: it is the creation humanity. The Bible is the work of humans trying to understand their relationship to the infinite. Choose to believe what you will as to whether or not divine inspiration moved its authors, but every word of the Bible is the word of man.

    - mm

    February 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • orangeboy

      Exactly, the bible and all religious books are the attempts of primitive people (or modern people with primitive minds) who are trying to explain the universe. Science and philosophy have taken that role now, so religion can be tossed in the trash.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  19. lloyd

    Bible is the true word of God.If you don't believe it,one day you will regret like rich man and Lazarus.Luke 16:19-31

    February 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  20. PLEATOGOD

    GOD NEVER MADE HELL FOR HUMANS IT WAS FOR DEMONS AND FALLEN ANGELS. BUT WHEN MANKIND CHOSE TO EXALT SATAN THEY CHOSE TO MAKE HELL THERE HOME. BY MANS REFUSAL THEY ONLY THROW THEMSELVES INTO HELL BY REJECTING. GOD NEVER WANTED HELL FOR HUMANS BUT SINCE MANKIND CHOOSES SATAN, THEY CHOOSE HELL FOR THEMSELVES. YES GOD HAS POWER TO THROW BOTH BODY AND SOUL INTO HELL HOWEVER HE NEVER INTENDED HELL FOR HUMANS NOR DOES HE WANT ANY HUMAN TO GO TO HELL. BUT IF YOU CHOOSE SATAN AS YOUR god AS THEY DID IN BEGINNING, YOU ARE ONLY DO IT TO YOURSELF....
    jesus2020.com if wanna get saved
    if already saved, be filled with HOly Spirit, confess sins, preach gospel and rescue souls with Love

    February 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • PLEATOGOD

      gotquestions.org

      February 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • skepticoid

      Please stop claiming to know who is going to hell, or that the place even exists. Even the bible, flawed though it is, explains that what you are doing is a very serious sin against God, and the height of arrogance. Dude, you need to be deprogrammed and then allowed to discover the Gospel of Christ for yourself. Your views, and spreading them about, will only harm others.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • ViperGuy

      The Bible never said Hell is were Demons go. In fact, Hell is the common grave of mankind. Some Bible translations convey that even Jesus went to hell for three days. Hell was never made, it's where you go when you die, but you do not feel or suffer when there. In fact you are not even conscience in hell. Look up Ecclesiastes 9:10.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Liberals Are Stupid

      No skepticoid, the Bible is very clear that we can know we're going to heaven. Contrary to your beliefs, the Bible commands that believers witness to the unsaved and warn people of the dangers of hell. Do you know that Jesus talked about the judgment of hell more than any other subject? If people get scared, they should. Hell is a real place for the unsaved.

      February 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Lilith

      Libs are Stupid, you do realize that everything you just stated is nothing more than recruitment tactics!?

      February 26, 2012 at 5:25 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.