home
RSS
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.)

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. Da King

    When I read the belief blog comments I am always amazed at the utter blindness of the nonbelievers. I am so sad for them.
    My guess is that about 4% of them will be saved someday. Sometimes it is the most rebellious that accept the love of God through his son. I love to see that happen. A completely new person is born of the Spirit of God. I is a beautiful thing to observe. A new creature in Christ.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Richard57

      JESUS HAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL HEART. HUMBLE AND LOVING. THE STORY RINGS SO TRUE...ESPECIALLY IN THE IGNORANT RESPONSES PEOPLE HAD TO HIM....WOW...THE RING OF TRUTH IS IN IT. MUCH MORE SO THAN ANY OTHER BOOK.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Steve

      You need to open your eyes and mind a bit. Humans have been in existance for much longer than the religion of today. Many religions and Gods have come and gone. There are over 3500 religions in the world today. I can assure you that where ever we are going after life, I will be there to shake your hand. The real God, if it exists, does not discriminate.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • anonfemme

      hallelujah Steve!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • anonfemme

      my guess is that Jesus will turn away from you when you proclaim your salvation through him. he was sent by God with the message of Unity- that God is One and only through Him Almighty may a soul be saved. your concepts of trinity and resurrection will boggle his mind and he will be ashamed.

      it is only God Almighty to whom we should turn.. He who has no dependents, no worldly relations, who created the the heavens and the earth, who has power over all, who is the Most Gracious. come closer to Jesus by worshipping only God Almighty, not His most humble Prophet.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Da King

      Steve you are correct about one thing. God our creator loves all people but you do not know or love Him. This blog is about his book. Go to a Bible based nondenominational church next Sunday and see it live in action, enjoy and learn. His Spirit will be there to greet you. It will help you understand this topic much better. Just go and see. You will be loved there.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Steve

      Da King – You may not understand people who do not accept your views. Thats Ok. Love has nothing to do with Christ. God does not need your love to operate or to accept you into the after life. It does not matter what you do Here, you will be There afterwards. If God exists, that is your destiny.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  2. Dan

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edl-2HUZYSQ&w=640&h=390]

    February 27, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Da King

      Dan,
      How neat of you to put that there.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:11 am |
  3. Brian

    The church has been changing "God's word" to their liking since the beginning of time. Did you guys and ladies just hear what I said? They have been omitting God's original words in the bible for centuries and tell people that is what God actually said. Sounds like hypocrisy and and a big NONO. How watered down in Christianity nowadays from the real truth that it first once was? Very........

    February 27, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • anonfemme

      thank you Brian! how can the Bible be cherished by anyone in the state it is today.. it's absolutely mind-boggling..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • Richard57

      FUNNY. that must be why they found the dead sea scrolls....in a jar....in the desert....which validate what is written as authentic....some people will do anything to tear down a book written by 66 writers over 2 thousand years....hmmmmm.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Brian

      anonfemme,
      That is the question that I ask myself all of the time. Add the Torah, too. It has changed a lot throughout the centuries. I hate to mention this but Quran is somehow the only unchanged scripture. May be we got to read it to find actual truth.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • anonfemme

      you know.. i can't stand it when people with bad experiences within the Church make the decision to bash all faiths instead of using it as an opportunity to search for the truth.. God is all about common sense and practicality, without all these bells and whistles invented and added on by humans! do your research.. God has not left us without guidance..

      February 27, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • joefar62

      You come to bash Christianity with verses about the Quaron. That is hilarious, you do not believe in one but will say the other is real. Funny. You are great with your girl anonfemme. Have fun ya all.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • anonfemme

      glad you got a good laugh at this.. may your ignorance complete you..

      February 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  4. Damien

    The best quote of this article: "...the truly spiritual life is one marked by freedom rather than compulsion (John 8:36)." Going to church habitually? Doesn't sound like spiritual freedom to me.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • anonfemme

      well, there's no compulsion if you're going at your own will.. and how are you ever going to learn the fallacies of the so-called religion of Jesus if you don't hear it from the exalted Church?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  5. Reality

    Only for the new newbies: --–>>>

    Welcome to the 21st century:

    And only for the those interested in a biblical update:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah/OT 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 docu-ment. “

    2. 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!!!!

    2 b., 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,

    February 27, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Dan

      Nice Atheist spam rambling that has nothing to do with the article.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • Richard57

      some of what you say about misuse and disrespect of religion is true. of course, you neglect anything good about it..your position is not supported..just recitation of other's works. 66 writers....2000...years....more sophisticated than you know. in imperfect language , about imperfect man struggling with good and evil...oh, just because you don't believe it doesn't mean it isn't the truth.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Reality

      For those who are reading challenged: (from a PowerPoint slide)

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.

      February 27, 2012 at 8:06 am |
  6. Dan

    Excellent article Steven James, and thank you CNN for posting it!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  7. Katharine

    I feel compelled to point out that the painting depicted in the article photo is actually derived from the Apocryphal story of Judith slaying Holofernes. Curious that the author would select a scene that isn't found in the Biblical canon.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Ajhuman

      Don't be so sure the author selects the accompanying photos. I would venture to guess he's as surprised as you.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  8. Betsy

    Great article!!!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  9. Steve

    The Church will continue to 'sugar coat' anything if they feel it will bring extra $ on Sunday. It has nothing at all to do with Religion and everything to do with Marketing. That's because Religion is a human-born sham. The truth hurts.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So when many churches give back to the community in the way of outreach and homeless ministries, activities that are generally viewed as good in the community, you still think those churches are a sham?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • anonfemme

      there's a difference between THE Church.. and local churches..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Steve

      @Mark from Middle River – Many, many businesses and charitys are very giving. That is not the point I am making.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:03 am |
  10. Ricky

    My take: the bible, as all the other so-called "holy" books, are a mixture of fairy tales, half-truths, and hearsay. They are an interest read, because as other works of fiction, they do include some accurate historical references that give us some light of how people lived back them. However, just like other fictional works, they should not be taken seriously, and much less as the word of a god(s).

    February 27, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Da King

      Ricky, God may reach out and touch you someday. He would like you to know He loves you but you will have to get over your rebellion against him so you can know he is there for you. He sent his son because he lover YOU.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • anonfemme

      Ricky: kindly keep your opinion to books you have read.. do not try to over-generalize. you'll be closing your senses to some great inspiration..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Ricky

      Well, if he/she/it wants to talk to me, I would like that; I'm a very approachable individual, and for I read about Jesus, he and I would have gotten along well.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Ricky

      I have read the bible anonfemme. A few times actually.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Da King, maybe Jesus will help Ricky get over his addiction to oil cans due to his condition of dry bones.

      Amen.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • HeavenSent

      GIAR Ricky, you're suppose to read the Bible throughout your life.

      Amen.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • anonfemme

      i trust that you have read the Bible (hopefully not to anyone under 18.. it's quite uncensored in its choice of words).. just don't use your experience with Christianity to defame other faiths.. that's all.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Ricky

      HeavenSent (LOL), it is not by far the biggest book I've read, and I'm a fast reader. I've read it twice while in catechesis. I cannot imagine how it would take you a life long?! I guess then that I have read it more than you. Don't worry, i wont tell you how it ends, but there is a twist at the end 🙂

      February 27, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  11. TheMiddleWay

    You can read the bible anyway you want because it is a work of fiction. Who gives a flying monkey's /\s$ how you read the bible. Just don't read it like the Quran or else we'll have some christian taliban issues that we all could do without right about now.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      That would contend with the bigoted view that everyone who reads the Koran are Taliban.

      Wow Middle, your definition of the Middle is very biased.

      Also, the Koran reading Taliban were not a problem when we, the United States were fighting the Soviets. Then they were our friendly Koran reading ..Allies 🙂

      February 27, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • anonfemme

      i love you Mark from Middle River.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Da King

      It was written by God. Seem like you are stuck in the middle of the way there.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Ricky

      I agree. I enjoyed reading the bible because I like fiction. The same with the qur'an, torah, vedas, etc.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • anonfemme

      wow.. i'd love to see Ricky's book collection.. easy to say you've read them all.. much harder to actually do that tho..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • Richard57

      66 writers over 2000 years. they concur and they speak accurately of a future. every year the validity and reliability of the scriptures is strengthened through archaeology. Dead sea scrolls. every argument is refuted. stopped as though someone expected it and planned for it. it even speaks of scoffers and fools People who don't want it have the freedom of rejecting the promises and directions toward a healthier life. a relationship with god in Christ Jesus has been working in my life. ELIJAH, ISAIAH.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Middle, we have the likes of you dry bones that believe in the fairy tale that you derived from apes so you can use the excuse to act like animals or the big bang theory, so you can explode at any given point throughout your life ... to contend with.

      Amen.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  12. Rob

    So nice to see an article like this one on CNN. Thanks for not giving us LZ's take on things. I think after his race card article last week, that should be enough on the subject. So sad to see so many splintered ideas. Seems odd but I never meet the Christians that the Athiests always speak of in posts. Please the ram their beliefs down other people's, well you know. If the Ten Commandments have been on the wall in a court house for 50 or 60 years. Why is it now that you are so offended? What was it about the previous half century that made them Ok? Most would agree that the 10 commandments are a good moral code to follow for all of mankind at the least. So if I like a good moral code to be displayed where criminals and lawless people are taken to go before a judge and jury, I am imposing some kind forced religion on you. Pretty silly. Very sad.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:24 am |
  13. Sick and...

    Let's see if we can't get this discussion to 72 pages...

    Place your bets everyone, how much internet rage shall be posted before the day is out? Do I see *73* pages? *74*? Over 9000?

    February 27, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • Da King

      Yea, all the hype about the verbiage seems petty. The writer seem to be a believer, but the masses have been fed by the Word
      just the way it is for 2000 + years. I think the writer wanted to draw attention to himself.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:32 am |
  14. REE

    Amen... I don't think I would go so far as to say Jesus was a "partier", but the point is that unlike the strict piety of the supposed Holy men of the Sanhedren He was approachable and He knew the frailties of man. Because frailties are born into man He knows them to be acceptable until THE better way is seen. One very important point: You really need to read it in order to state opinions of The Word. Most do NOT.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  15. HappyMadison

    Bible editing is nothing new. The oldest bible is the Codex Sinaiticus. There's a whoooooole lot of difference between that and the current one. For one thing, there's nothing in it about the resurrection of Christ. Pretty big difference.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • CJP

      However, the resurrection is even referenced in extra biblical sources and it is also the one really good explanation as to why Christianity flourished in the first century.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • HappyMadison

      What 'extra bibllical' sources are you speaking of? And are you saying that a story must be true in order to be propagated?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • anonfemme

      i agree.. the story of Jesus' resurrection was a political tool used to propagate the political party of Christianity to overcome the Romans..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Inoculated

      Are you just a big Adam Sandler fan or what?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Codex Sinaiticus has the Resurection Story in it.

      Try Wikipedia or the website for the Codex Sinaiticus. There is not much difference between modern Bibles and this one. Why post your stupidity when it is so easy to verify a statement. You must not really be a happy person.

      February 27, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • anonfemme

      no sir.. the Codex Sinaiticus does NOT say anything about a resurrection.. it merely says that the disciples found an empty tomb! try again..

      February 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • anonfemme

      p.s. "try wikipedia" ..really? lol

      February 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  16. impressed

    Great article! This cuts through religious mumbo jumbo and gets closer to the heart of God. The world has had enough of religion, let's focus back in on the love of Jesus!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  17. anonfemme

    so.. the actions of your "Lord" Jesus were such that observers called him a drunkard and a glutton? ...great role model you got there!

    February 27, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Sick and...

      But we must remember that, at the time, if you drank wine or had any kind of unnecessary celebration, you were a drunkard an a glutton.

      I would hate to live back then, wouldn't you?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • CJP

      It wasn't that he was a drunkard and a glutton. These were accusations. There were many more. However, they were all bogus. The same criticism is directed at Christianity today by people who want to discredit it.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • anonfemme

      but you must also remember that the wine referred to in the Bible is not the alcoholic wine you drink of so freely. we must also remember that Jesus lived in a time of excess and illiteracy and immorality.. so no, you would not be considered a drunk or glutton by having a few sips.. also, what sort of unnecessary celebration was Jesus a part of.. I can't think of any he did "unnecessaril." he was a great Prophet of God, one who maintained a righteous and model life on earth..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • ryan l

      some how i think you missed this point "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."

      February 27, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • anonfemme

      piety is as much a part of the teachings of Jesus as honesty. if we stop striving for piety.. no level of honesty will allow us into the Gates of Heaven..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Sane Believer

      No, self-righteous, pretentious religionists called him a drunkard and a glutton. Not unlike the way modern-day Pharisees behave.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Glen

      The Pharisees called Jesus a drunk and a glutton because he dined with sinners. He went to the house of Matthew the tax collector. Jesus was not in fact a drunk and a glutton..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • anonfemme

      yes.. he absolutely was not! he was religious, he was mindful that his actions would influence those around him.. he would never have "partied" so much that people would have even falsely accused him of any indecency!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • TR6

      @Me:” God is all loving and forgiving, but he is also a just God. He can't be just if the unrepentant don't get punished.”

      So because your god is just, he is prevented from being mercyfull.

      February 27, 2012 at 7:55 am |
  18. Pastafarian

    Fact: the bible was written by ancient, uneducated men to control the masses through fear and guilt.

    February 27, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • anonfemme

      maybe not originally.. the council of nicea really messed things up tho by giving this elite group in the Church pick and choose what would become a part of the Bible.. since then every new version has brought about changes.. if the Bible was so true and pure.. it should have been left untouched.. the original words of Jesus' disciples are nowhere to be found!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Missouri Boy

      Nope: Fallacy. The Bible was NOT written by ignorant and un-educated men. Only parts of the Bible were written by "unlearned and ignorant men".....but the "educated" took knowledge that these ignorant and uneducated men" had "been with Jesus"!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • anonfemme

      correct.. it was the "educated" that decided which of the teachings of Jesus to mess around with ie. drinking alcohol, consuming swine, incorporating pagan symbols and traditions. all things things added to appeal to the ignorant masses to bring them within the political fold of Christianity..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Obvious

      You love conspiracy theories, don't you? The texts written by these "uneducated men" are still being read by billions of people thousands of years after they were written. What have you done that one person will talk about even 100 years from now?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • anonfemme

      not only are they being read but criticized for the inaccuracies WITHIN the texts.. for holy books LEFT OUT of the texts.. not one version matches with another.. how can you defend a text that has no similarity to its original! this is not what the disciples of Jesus wanted to convey.. it is mish-mash of hundreds of thousands of human minds who thought they knew better than Jesus himself!

      February 27, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  19. Butters

    If god is all-loving and all-forgiving, why did he have his followers commit genocide on many of those nations?

    February 26, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Syman Pons

      People who truly understand what the Creator desires do not kill or try to kill other spiritual beings. People who do such things do not understand or know the Creator.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • SciGuy

      God is not all-loving and not all-forgiving. That's popular, but not biblical, theology.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • anonfemme

      Syman: didn't the writer just say that Moses is a murderer in the Bible.. did Prophet Moses not truly understand his Creator?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Me

      God can only forgive those who want to be forgiven. Those people didn't acknowledge or worship Him as their creator and savior. God is all loving and forgiving, but he is also a just God. He can't be just if the unrepentant don't get punished. There's your answer.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Jimmy

      God's primary job is to bring about salvation. Sometimes it is necessary to wipe out a few (for instance Al Queda) in order to promote good. Here in America we lock up in jail the bad apples. Should we say then, why are. Americans so cruel by imprisoning people who get their kicks doing bad?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Observer

      Syman Pons,

      "People who truly understand what the Creator desires do not kill or try to kill other spiritual beings."

      So for THOUSANDS of years before Christ, believers were NOT to follow the long list of commands from God to kill people?

      February 27, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Observer

      Jimmy,

      "God's primary job is to bring about salvation. Sometimes it is necessary to wipe out a few"

      It's been estimated that the Bible directly references the killing of over 1,000,000 people by God's DIRECT commands.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • anonfemme

      a "follower" does not merely have to verbalize his position.. he must also follow God's commands and live by the examples of His Prophets.. otherwise, he is insane.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • anonfemme

      ultimately it is for God to decide who was following His Commands and who was using His Name to propagate his own insanity.. we must not turn away from faith because of someone else's actions.. there will be not pointing fingers on the Day of Judgement..

      February 27, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  20. Paul

    My Take: toss the Bible where it belongs, in the Trash can together with the Koran.

    February 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Syman Pons

      Paul:
      Try asking the Creator to establish a relationship with you. You will be surprised with the result. You will then understand what the value of the Bible and the Koran are to yor fellow spiritual beings who read and study them and why.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:02 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91
Advertisement
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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.