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4 big myths of Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation has terrified and confused readers for centuries. Few agree on its meaning, but many have opinions.
March 31st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

4 big myths of Book of Revelation

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – The anti-Christ. The Battle of Armageddon. The dreaded Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

You don’t have to be a student of religion to recognize references from the Book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible has fascinated readers for centuries. People who don’t even follow religion are nonetheless familiar with figures and images from Revelation.

And why not? No other New Testament book reads like Revelation. The book virtually drips with blood and reeks of sulfur. At the center of this final battle between good and evil is an action-hero-like Jesus, who is in no mood to turn the other cheek.

Elaine Pagels, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, first read Revelation as a teenager. She read it again in writing her latest book, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy & Politics in the Book of Revelation.”

Pagels’ book is built around a simple question: What does Revelation mean? Her answers may disturb people who see the book as a prophecy about the end of the world.

But people have clashed over the meaning of Revelation ever since it was virtually forced into the New Testament canon over the protests of some early church leaders, Pagels says.

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“There were always debates about it,” she says. “Some people said a heretic wrote it. Some said a disciple. There were always people who loved and championed it.”

The debate persists. Pagels adds to it by challenging some of the common assumptions about Revelation.

Here are what she says are four big myths about Revelation::

1. It’s about the end of the world

Anyone who has read the popular “Left Behind” novels or listened to pastors preaching about the “rapture” might see Revelation as a blow-by-blow preview of how the world will end.

Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation was actually describing the way his own world ended.

She says the writer of Revelation may have been called John – the book is sometimes called “Book of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine” but he was not the disciple who accompanied Jesus. He was a devout Jew and mystic exiled on the island of Patmos, off the coast of  present-day Greece.

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“He would have been a very simple man in his clothes and dress,” Pagels says. “He may have gone from church to church preaching his message. He seems more like a traveling preacher or a prophet.”

The author of Revelation had experienced a catastrophe. He wrote his book not long after 60,000 Roman soldiers had stormed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., burned down its great temple and left the city in ruins after putting down an armed Jewish revolt.

For some of the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus, the destruction of Jerusalem was incomprehensible. They had expected Jesus to return “with power” and conquer Rome before inaugurating a new age. But Rome had conquered Jesus’ homeland instead.

The author of Revelation was trying to encourage the followers of Jesus at a time when their world seemed doomed. Think of the Winston Churchill radio broadcasts delivered to the British during the darkest days of World War II.

Revelation was an anti-Roman tract and a piece of war propaganda wrapped in one. The message: God would return and destroy the Romans who had destroyed Jerusalem.

“His primary target is Rome,” Pagels says of the book’s author. “He really is deeply angry and grieved at the Jewish war and what happened to his people.”

2. The numerals 666 stand for the devil

The 1976 horror film “The Omen” scared a lot of folks. It may have scared some theologians, too, who began encountering people whose view of Revelation comes from a Hollywood movie.

The Omen” depicted the birth and rise of the “anti-Christ,” the cunning son of Satan who would be known by “the mark of the beast,” 666, on his body.

Here’s the passage from Revelation that “The Omen” alluded to: “This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.”

Good movies, though, don’t always make good theology. Most people think 666 stands for an anti-Christ-like figure that will deceive humanity and trigger a final battle between good and evil. Some people think he’s already here.

Pagels, however, says the writer of Revelation didn’t really intend 666 as the devil’s digits. He was describing another incarnation of evil: The Roman emperor, Nero.

The arrogant and demented Nero was particularly despised by the earliest followers of Jesus, including the writer of Revelation. Nero was said to have burned followers of Jesus alive to illuminate his garden.

But the author of Revelation couldn’t safely name Nero, so he used the Jewish numerology system to spell out Nero’s imperial name, Pagels says.

Pagels says that John may have had in mind other meanings for the mark of the beast: the imperial stamp Romans used on official documents, tattoos authorizing people to engage in Roman business, or the images of Roman emperors on stamps and coins.

Since Revelation’s author writes in “the language of dreams and nightmares,” Pagels says it’s easy for outsiders to misconstrue the book’s original meaning.

Still, they take heart from Revelation’s larger message, she writes:

“…Countless people for thousands of years have been able to see their own conflicts, fears, and hopes reflected in his prophecies. And because he speaks from his convictions about divine justice, many readers have found reassurance in his conviction that there is meaning in history – even when he does not say exactly what that meaning is – and that there is hope.”

3. The writer of Revelation was a Christian

The author of Revelation hated Rome, but he also scorned another group – a group of people we would call Christians today, Pagels says.

There’s a common perception that there was a golden age of Christianity, when most Christians agreed on an uncontaminated version of the faith. Yet there was never one agreed-upon Christianity. There were always clashing visions.

Revelation reflects some of those early clashes in the church, Pagels says.

That idea isn’t new territory for Pagels. She won the National Book Award for “The Gnostic Gospels,” a 1979 book that examined a cache of newly discovered “secret” gospels of Jesus. The book, along with other work from Pagels, argues that there were other accounts of Jesus’ life that were suppressed by early church leaders because it didn’t fit with their agenda.

The author of Revelation was like an activist crusading for traditional values. In his case, he was a devout Jew who saw Jesus as the messiah. But he didn’t like the message that the apostle Paul and other followers of Jesus were preaching.

This new message insisted that gentiles could become followers of Jesus without adopting the requirements of the Torah. It accepted women leaders, and intermarriage with gentiles, Pagels says.

The new message was a lot like what we call Christianity today.

That was too much for the author of Revelation. At one point, he calls a woman leader in an early church community a “Jezebel.” He calls one of those gentile-accepting churches a “synagogue of Satan.”

John was defending a form of Christianity that would be eclipsed by the Christians he attacked, Pagels says.

“What John of Patmos preached would have looked old-fashioned – and simply wrong to Paul’s converts…,” she writes.

The author of Revelation was a follower of Jesus, but he wasn’t what some people would call a Christian today, Pagels says.

“There’s no indication that he read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or that he read the gospels or Paul’s letters,” she says. “….He doesn’t even say Jesus died for your sins.”

4. There is only one Book of Revelation

There’s no other book in the Bible quite like Revelation, but there are plenty of books like Revelation that didn’t make it into the Bible, Pagels says.

Early church leaders suppressed an “astonishing” range of books that claimed to be revelations from apostles such as Peter and James. Many of these books were read and treasured by Christians throughout the Roman Empire, she says.

There was even another “Secret Revelation of John.” In this one, Jesus wasn’t a divine warrior, but someone who first appeared to the apostle Paul as a blazing light, then as a child, an old man and, some scholars say, a woman.

So why did the revelation from John of Patmos make it into the Bible, but not the others?

Pagels traces that decision largely to Bishop Athanasius, a pugnacious church leader who championed Revelation about 360 years after the death of Jesus.

Athanasius was so fiery that during his 46 years as bishop he was deposed and exiled five times. He was primarily responsible for shaping the New Testament while excluding books he labeled as hearsay, Pagels says.

Many church leaders opposed including Revelation in the New Testament. Athanasius’s predecessor said the book was “unintelligible, irrational and false.”

Athanasius, though, saw Revelation as a useful political tool. He transformed it into an attack ad against Christians who questioned him.

Rome was no longer the enemy; those who questioned church authority were the anti-Christs in Athanasius’s reading of Revelation, Pagels says.

“Athanasius interprets Revelation’s cosmic war as a vivid picture of his own crusade against heretics and reads John’s visions as a sharp warning to Christian dissidents,” she writes. “God is about to divide the saved from the damned – which now means dividing the ‘orthodox’ from ‘heretics.’ ’’

Centuries later, Revelation still divides people. Pagels calls it the strangest and most controversial book in the Bible.

Even after writing a book about it, Pagels has hardly mastered its meaning.

“The book is the hardest one in the Bible to understand,” Pagels says. “I don’t think anyone completely understands it.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Devil • End times • Faith • History • Jerusalem

soundoff (8,460 Responses)
  1. JA

    Redemption is nigh, my brothers and sisters. Just remember that the world may hate us, but they hated HIM first. Glory to the Almighty!

    April 1, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Likealion

      AMEN

      April 1, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • primatica

      All religion teaches to ignore sound logic when it's own logic is attacked and claim victomhood as a shield.

      April 1, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Dixon

      TO ALL THE C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N-S-:

      Just curious: How many homeless people do you have living in your homes? What? None?!? Jesus EXPLICITLY states whatsoever you do the least of his people, that you do unto to him. So why do you leave YOUR Savior cold, hungry and homeless on the street?

      Jesus also COMMANDS you to sell everything you own. Have you done that? Of course not.

      Jesus says the "first will be last and the last will be first." Too bad you don't listen to the person you claim to worship.

      Spare us all of your ridiculous hypocrisy.

      Peace!

      April 1, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Jason

      Dixon,
      I bet I give more of my time and money to the poor and homeless than you or your friends do. Don't bash something you don't understand. Yes, there are bad Christians out there, just as with any other group of humans. But most Christians I know have far more compassion and help more people than any liberal I have had the opportunity to know. God Bless!

      April 1, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Dixon

      @Jason: "I bet I give more of my time and money to the poor and homeless than you or your friends do."

      I'll bet you don't.

      But hey, that's great, you help out others. So why don't you have homeless people living in your house? They would just be in there when you were sleeping anyway if you just wanted to give them shelter from a cold night. Your actions are hypocritical as to what Jesus teaches... just admit it.

      **** "Don't bash something you don't understand."

      Don't jump to conclusions (a second time). I went to elite faith based schools for 12 years that cost more than most people pay for college. I've debated with countless theologians. But hey, apparently I don't understand it and you magically do. Cool!

      *** "Yes, there are bad Christians out there, just as with any other group of humans."

      Agreed.

      *** "But most Christians I know have far more compassion and help more people than any liberal I have had the opportunity to know."

      HAHAHAHA.... listen to yourself!!!! Jesus was the ultimate liberal!!! Do you know that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for years were the two richest men on the planet? Do you know they are both non-believers and yet have the world's largest private charity ever?

      As for your usage of the term liberal as a pejorative: Liberal policies have always been failures indeed. Hmmm... ending slavery was a pretty liberal idea. So was allowing women the right to vote. So was allowing blacks and whites to drink from the same water fountain. That list goes on and on and on and on and on. You are just too uneducated and daft to realize the obvious.

      Let me ask you: How many times have you attended a Mormon Temple? What about a Muslim Mosque? What about a Hindu Temple? What about a Jewish Synagogue? How can anyone possibly know for certain that you've found the "right" religion while not experiencing the others that millions upon millions of others find to be their salvation? If you haven't, then you are the person that sits there and insists that Pepsi tastes better than Coke, but you have only tried the Pepsi and never the Coke. Yet, you will be steadfast in your belief that Pepsi is better despite having no conclusive first hand experience to prove otherwise. Thus, the ENTIRE argument is invalid.

      When you come to the realization that if you were born in Iran that you would have the EXACT same zeal for Muhammad and Allah that you do for Jesus and God, then that will be a big awakening for you. If you were born in India, you'd have the same zeal for Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma that have for Jesus/God. If you were born in Tibet, you would have the same zeal for Buddha that you have for Jesus/God. So what does that say about the book Christians worship (when they wouldn't have worshiped it based solely on geographic location of birth and religion of their parents)?

      To deny it is to deny the truth. After all, the Truth Shall Set You Free...

      **** "God Bless!"

      Peace!

      April 1, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Jesus

      Another article which demonstrates the idiocy and irrationality of the Babble.

      April 1, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Deonte Ferguson

      AMEN!!!

      April 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Incarnate

      Die.

      April 1, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • transformed 4eva

      dixon,
      If Jesus chose to COMMAND anything, we'd be doing it. Something I've taken out of my studying of the Bible is that God gave us free will (why all mankind is stained with sin). Sorry, did I say is? Meant was, because I'm forgiven and free of my transgressions! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

      April 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  2. Paul

    I have never heard so much rubbish in all my life. And she calls herself a scholar??
    Most ancient historians agree that the apostle John was the writer. Papias who wrote in the second century, held the writer to be the apostle John. Justin Martyr of the second century and Irenaeus also speaks explicity of the apostle as the writer, as do Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian of the late second century and early third century. Origen of the third century does the same.
    In fact it is well recognised it was written in 96 CE before the apostle John wrote is gospel by his name and 1st , 2nd and 3rd John. Emperor Domitian was assassinated in 96CE and John was released by Emperor Nerva evidently after he had written Revelation in 96CE. John was rearrested by the Romans and died in 100CE as a martyr at the hands of Nero. But not before he wrote the other books that bear his name.
    What about the style? Well John along with his brother James in their younger years were known as the “sons of thunder”. However as he said he only wrote what Christ Jesus told him to, so it is not his words and style, but that of Christ.
    So who is Elaine Pagels??

    April 1, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Boast Busters

      Paul,

      Why such thin, sloppy, weak evidence for the purported most earthshaking event since the beginning of time?

      April 1, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Mighty7

      Someone I woud trust much more than some random guy rambling non-sense...

      April 1, 2012 at 3:31 am |
    • Maxim

      Well said, Paul. My thoughts echo your thoughts. It is one thing to interpret history, but Pagels has done nothing less than rewrite it. Even those hostile to followers of Christ have held the view that you and I do.

      April 1, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • JackoB

      Nero died in 68, bub.

      April 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Question

      Slight problem. If Nero killed John in 100 CE, that means a dead Nero killed John since Nero died in 68.
      Get your history right.

      April 1, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • mark99er

      YES A BIBLICAL SCHOLAR NOT A CHRISTIAN BIGOT!

      April 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Andrew

      not sure Nero was alive 100CE. Some of your history dates are off.
      double check.

      April 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • A Alvarado

      If you google her, she is has agnostic background and doesn't really believe Jesus is the Messiah

      April 6, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  3. migeli

    You may not be ready for the best one of all! Introducing-tat ta da-The real Housewives of Gommorah!

    April 1, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Jesus

      How about the Real Housewives of Religion Hucksters?

      April 1, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Andrew

      I think they were all men. The real husband wives of...

      April 1, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  4. migeli

    The spirit of the beast.Would that be Shrek? Oh please don 't everyone go to bed all at once now.I need a few more chuckles before I turn in.How about The Real Housewives of Judea?Or a talent show called"False Idol". Wait a minute. I've got it! CSI Golgotha.Or "The Art of Micro-waving Sacrifices"

    April 1, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  5. Enoch

    The same exact spirit of the beast, that Apostle John is talking about is driving the atheist-fools to spew their venom during The Holy season of Lent. The prophecy of Apostle John coming 1000% true. Amazing!

    April 1, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • migeli

      What'sa lenten feast without venom.I love it with chives over a hot potato.Unless you gave it up for lent-enjoy!

      April 1, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • James in SC

      "1,000 %", huh?? lol

      April 1, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • Ahmad

      1000%; surely you mean 100%!

      April 1, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Phosphorus

      Not even Richard Dawkins (whom I greatly admire) spews as much venom as the Christians I've met in my day and seen in the media. Pat Robertson is a shining example.

      April 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  6. Enoch

    I have never heard a Christian debunking the works of Einstein. Why don't the so-called scholars leave faith, theology and belief to the ones who know a lot better than them?

    April 1, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • GH

      Because Einstein's theories are supported in all realms of observation, mathematics, and logic that can be observed, calculated, and reasoned. Your fairy tales are based on faith, which is in turn the last sanctuary of the small mind.

      April 1, 2012 at 3:32 am |
    • Mighty7

      Because most "Christian" theology in America is actual blatant heresy created by hundred of years of uneducated charlatans posing as pastors and preachers and thus....dismissible

      April 1, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • Heywood Jablome

      This is the kind of ignorant horse hockey that keeps me reading the comments. I get my best laughs reading the garbage below the articles.

      April 1, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • Ahmad

      Because the scientists do not try to push their findings on masses, but religious people try to push their faith on people. Just listen to Santorum!

      April 1, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Rick

      GH–Only until we have enough knowledge to correct his theories, yes, theories. Einstein didn't have perfect knowledge. He knew more than most of us but his knowledge was still limited.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Edward

      Actually, Einstein essentially guessed, a very educated guess. The formula E=mc^2 wasn't proven as an accurate representative model or law of physics until much later through multiple experimental observations. As recently as in 2005, it was proven again, albeit, E differs from mc2 by at most 0.0000004. http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/einstein.cfm . . . this also means that the formula is not perfection, there is a possibility in the future that there is a more general law relating energy, mass and the speed of light.

      And yes I have posted here at CNN extensively about the Book of Revelation as being true and Jesus as real.

      I'm also a scientist and engineer and yes, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

      God Bless

      April 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Edward

      Note if you were to write 4+1 = 5.0000004 instead of 4+1=5 in your elementary school math class, you would very likely get a red x and no credit for your answer : )

      BUT, I "believe" in Einstein, I don't have any faith in Einstein, but I do believe.

      By comparing NIST/ILL measurements of energy emitted by silicon and sulfur atoms and MIT measurements of the mass of the same atoms, the scientists found that E differs from mc2 by at most 0.0000004, or four-tenths of 1 part in 1 million.
      This result is "consistent with equality" and is 55 times more accurate than the previous best direct test of Einstein's formula, according to the paper.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      There is not one single faith derived philosophy that can be properly tested and analyzed. Einstein operated in the realm of science, which attempts to disprove itself over and over again, and invites others to verify their findings and duplicate their results. Faith-based reason cannot even be elevated beyond the level of philosophy and become a hypothesis because it is incapable of asking questions that can be tested. This is why judges of struck down attempts to making Intelligent Design on equal grounds with science. The moment they understand why faith cannot generate a simple hypothesis worth testing, the gavel comes down, and the bible thumpers leave with their heads down low and their tails tucked between their legs.

      April 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Christians try to debunk science all the time! As for scholars not knowing anything about theology, faith and belief, you clearly need to leave your house sometime. Being a scholar does not exclude you from being religious, or from being a Christian for that matter. Although many modern day Christians make it hard to believe otherwise, someone can be both very well educated, scholarly, and Christian. More importantly, Christians DO NOT have absolute authority on belief, and faith as you seem to imply. That is just ignorant. Finally, if someone is a scholar of Theology, chances are they know a lot more about that one then you do.

      April 1, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Ridiculous article

      You may be surprised to know that Einstein abolutely believed in one universal and true God and said, quote: "I want to know how God created this world.... I want to know His thoughts"

      April 2, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Anonymous

      Edward, in actuallity the equation for E is not just E=mc^2, which is the non-relitivistic form of the equation which means that it is dealing with objects that are standing still. the real form of the energy equation is E=(m_0 c^2)/√(1-(v^2/c^2 )). this is where m_0 is mass initial (mass at rest). the way that you would get E=mc^2 from E=(m_0 c^2)/√(1-(v^2/c^2 )) is that when an objects velocity is zero you are dividing mc^2 by the √(of 1-(0^2/c^2)). This becomes E=(m_0 c^2)/√(1-0) which is now E=mc^/1.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • Tevii

      The truth cannot be debunked. So what are Christians afraid of when people want to do further research before believing something? Everything should always be questioned and truth should be all our pursuit. The religious just have the fear that proof may exist that they are wrong. That would mean they may have wasted their lives on something that does not exist.

      April 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  7. migeli

    The best part of the book is where the Mad Hatter jumps up to say something and accidently drops his toy truck in Alice's tea.I 'm not sure if was "Revelations"or "Clomps".

    April 1, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Maxim

      Were dropped on your head as a child?

      April 1, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  8. Anon

    Debunk what? It's been know for a long time that the bible is just a big book of jewish fairy tales.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • JLW

      Exactly, but you have to admit that the bible is one of the better collection of stories out there. As a book I even rate it above 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Green Eggs and Ham' (my daughters favorite). As far as the book of Revelations is concerned, had a vision the other night from Alfred E. Newman, he told me to buy AT&T at $28.50.

      April 1, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • ttom

      Really fairly tales? Known according to who? Millions of people read the bible its not a fairy tale its the written word of God. If you have never read it how would you know and I am betting you never have. Jesus is the son of God and if you dont except him as your personal savour before you die, trust me you will find out what the bible means by crying and nashing of teeth because you will find out. We breath the air every day and we cant see it, We know that if we throw a stone up in the air it will come down and those who believe in Christ know that he is coming back soon to judge the living and the dead. So give your head a shake before its too late.

      April 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Anonymous

      ttom, first off stp trying to push you belifs on us because not everyone has to believe what you do. secind because of that i would only believe that jesus is the messaih and the son of god if he magically appeared on tv right now carrying,a very much alive, niels bohr, albert einstein, and erwin shrodinger on his back and singing whiskey in the jar by the dubluners and the pouges.

      p.s. whiskey in the jar is a great song so look it up.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:15 am |
  9. Me

    This poor scholar is having a hard time. Let's cut them a break.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  10. Reality

    Pagels today and before her the following:

    "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

    Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

    April 1, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Maxim

      So we see that people can be wrong.

      April 1, 2012 at 8:23 am |
  11. migeli

    Which version of the bible are we talking about? AESOPS OR THE BROTHERS GRIMM?

    March 31, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      migeli the vermiceli,,,, :-)

      April 1, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  12. Cristián

    Do not waste your time trying to cheat to real believers, almost everything the author says is false and nonsense, come on!!! what are you talking about?, the real believers MUST be informed, because our business is to follow up our God, YHWH, and, of course, our messiah, Yeshua. You talk about John, I know you are the only one who doesn't know that the apostol John is the same who wrote the book of revelation, that is why he introduces himself just saying "your brother", because everybody knew who was, and about Paul, only us, the real believers know that John did not accept Paul's false teachings, remember,... in order to be saved we MUST follow God's commandments and Yashua (Jesus) testimony, against that pharisee's doctrine called "christianity", maybe you can cheat lots of people, because just a few of them read the bible and they cannot see the truth, they are blind following other blind like you,...

    March 31, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Keep up with dinkering around with phonetics Cristian,,, You may well be on your way to the shoreline of justice's ebbing and flowing away the social shorelines of base playing inadiquacies. I too am hellbent to carry my writng way to its' utmost wherever and whenever the waves of civility tend to subside,,,, :-)

      March 31, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  13. ttwp

    "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!"

    March 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      ttwp,,, Who ya talkin' to?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Wholly Mary

    Everyone has to believe in something, and I believe I'll have another drink.

    March 31, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Wholly Mary,,,,
      Have one for me please,,,,, I quit the alcohol scene September 5th, 2,009 and haven't picked one up since :-)

      March 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Kadi

      I'm with you!!

      April 1, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  15. Pipe-Dreamer

    A Reading

    Religious mountains whose peaks are seen from afar off brings to bear the lights of religion to believers and not so much. The valleys of religious mountains are of social patterns where the living waters of livelihoods meander ever so onward while ebbing and flowing apart the shorelines of justice.

    March 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  16. b4bigbang

    I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
    Revelation 1

    March 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Shaun

      Well..that just proves everything..man how could I have been so blind?? MORON

      April 2, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  17. mikstov33

    Personally,I beleive the Bible because I beleive the writings were directed by the Almighty God. I also think some of the writers included a little of their own opinion in more than a few of the 66 books.
    In any case, as soon as digital currency becomes the replacement for hard currency in the marketplace of the world,and the only way to access or use that currency is a smartphone with a scanner app that would be necessary to buy or sell anything,then maybe more people will listen to the truth.Steve Jobs did make only 600 of the very first Apple Commodore computers, then sold them for $666.66....remember?

    March 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      I don't think Apple or Steve Jobs had anything to do with Commodore computers...

      March 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • mikstov33

      I stand corrected. Apple wasn't even a corporation back then, and Commodore just sprang up into my thought process......it was however the pre-cursor to todays PC's and handhelds.Google the history of Steve Jobs or Apple...

      March 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      You dream up a bullsh!t story and can't even get recent history correct and I'm the one that needs to google something?!? You would do better to throw The Babble and the god myth way.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      Have you mikstov33 ever been to any religion's mountain top peaks ti see for yourself why their light still shines on? You seem to be riding your boatish nature to hell only knows where,,,, :-(

      March 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      Have you 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins ever been to any religion's mountain top peaks ti see for yourself why their light still shines on? You seem to be riding your boatish nature to hell only knows where,,,,

      March 31, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Sorry mikstov33,,, I srewed up on namechange dynamics,,,, :-)

      March 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      I've done enough reading and thinking to determine that the probability of any god existing is virtually zero and that all religion is bullsh!t.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins ,,,

      Go right ahead and stay oaring your cunning smugness by verbally slandering those who have social engines of which to coast along and pass you by. :-)

      P.S. The tidal waves of righteousness is ever washing ashore upon the mountains' foragers of the religious and governed.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts or goblins

      Your drivel causes me to think you need to lighten up on the recreational drugs, or get back on your meds.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • JoeBlow

      If you actually properly read the bible you would know that 666 has nothing to do with the "devil" that you think, it is written with reference to Nero, the Roman Emperor who is accused of watching jews and such burn (and funny enough is in some places accused of watching christians burn which is hard to believe if Christ had not been born yet). Just like everyone assumes Frankenstein is the name of the monster you and don't worry MOST people don't realize the truth behind 666 either

      April 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  18. Denise

    The whole bible is fiction and myths with a few historical markers thrown in so it doesn't get tossed out outright. Next story...

    March 31, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Denise,,,,

      Fiction? Myths? Have you ever been to religions' mountain tops of their birth? Are you Denise too afraid to come ashore from your Life's meanderings amidst the living waters of socialism in order to find but a piece of the good shepherd's pie?

      March 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Last of the Jedi

      Myths and fairy tales?The Bible has been proven true by history.Don't let satan decieve you.
      Jesus died for you so you can be in Heaven.Trust him and live.

      March 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Last of the Jedi wrote to Denise's post on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 11, declaring,"Myths and fairy tales?The Bible has been proven true by history.Don't let satan decieve you.Jesus died for you so you can be in Heaven.Trust him and live."

      I salute you young Jedi! BUT,,,, Even that old serpent is let out by God once in athousand years or two. Therefore in an abstract sorta way, Satan, the serpent gets put on the proverbial payroll of servitude by God! :-)

      March 31, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • ttom

      You have no idea what you are saying. Every eye shall see him even those who pierced him and by saying these things lady you qualify as a percier. Woh onto you who are wise in your own eyes says the lord, you wiseness is foolishness in the eyes of the Lord. Jesus loves even you and if you dont turn to him before you die I guarntee you will burn for eternity!

      April 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    March 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Denise

      Abuse reported.

      March 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes things

      March 31, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • God

      Consider yourself on my "To be smitten" list.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Wow, I think that qualifies as Atheism's first actual response to anyone's comment about his posts! It had to happen eventually. And what, might you ask, were his first words? A copy/paste of his own name, intended to insult atheists, prior to puffing himself up with his piety about prayer.

      Let me ask you something Atheist. Do you really think that we see you as pious, when your own name is a reflection of your sour and cynical disposition, indicating clearly your vile and ugly hatred of those who don't believe in the same things that you do? I'll help you with this one. We don't.

      April 1, 2012 at 3:28 am |
    • Jablonski

      Yes, please report this annoying cretin's posts as abuse. Unless of course he actually has something of substance to say – but I'm not too worried about that!

      April 1, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  20. Mark

    Skip Pagels. Try Drs. G.K. Beale or Kim Riddlebarger on Revelation.

    The Book of Revelation (New International Greek Testament Commentary)

    A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times

    March 31, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Mighty7

      A bunch of Pharisees arguing over the meaing of a drop of water. These guys and EVERY SINGLE PERSON who makes theological doctrine based on conjecture and invention are imbeciles looking for a grain of gold on mountain of sand.

      Revelations was not Jesus's direct words, and thus.....to be dismissed completely.

      April 1, 2012 at 3:55 am |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.