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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. jackenstien

    Some say when you die "it all turns to BLACK".
    So how does one know it's "BLACK" unless they are "AWARE".

    April 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • just me

      Wow. This is kinda like a Zen koan, only different.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  2. Richard Aberdeen

    What this author doesn't say is the following: According to Revelation, there will be a future time on earth that is worse than any time previously in history. The earth will loose 1/3 of it's plant life and all of the grasses we depend on to eat. The earth will be struck by a large space object and, something apparenlty described as a volcano will erupt out into the sea, causing significant harm. The sun, moon and stars won't give their light and there will be significant famine, insect plagues, loss of drinkable water supplies and, there will be exotic living being/machine creatures created especially for war and, a great army of 200 million soldiers will participate in a great war. While none of this was remotely possible prior to the 20th Century, now all of it is not only scientifically possible, but scientifically probable. Additionally, the world is obviously moving towards a global money supply system as Revelations predicts and, banks are already planning to implant people with special computer codes that, you guessed it, add up to three rows of six digits each on a modern compputer chip, exactly as predicted by Revelation. And, banks plan to implant them in foreheads and forearms or hands, again exactly as predicted by Revelation. This author obviously hasn't done her homework very carefully.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • jwarino

      ive read it a few times and never come to those conclusions. conspiracy much?

      April 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Jon

      Anyone who actually believes Revelations factually predicts anything, seriously needs a cat scan.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • GAW

      Put your tin hat on Richard!

      April 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      The mark of the beast has nothing to do with computers in brussels, microchips under the skin of the forehead (and the hand????). The mark of the beast is not a tatoo or any other literal marking on the body, or implant, etc. It is an ACTIVITY that seperates a believer-worshipper of the true God from false worshippers of the true God and any others that do not worship the true God, or any god, etc. It is something that is in the forehead in the sense that it is accepted in some level of belief and it is in the hand in the sense of going along to get along but with no conviction or care if right or wrong. The activity does the distinguishing as real and as certaintly as if it were an actual visable to all mark on the body. The controversey over this activity is already escalating and will result in something that the masses could never believe would happen. Also, the antichrist power has already plainly said (published to the world) that the MARK is the basis of "our authority". Get into the bible my friends...wondrous things are about to transpire.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  3. GAW

    This is a refreshing article that presents most of the findings of competent Biblical scholarship to the popular world. Unfortunately much of Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christianity has interpreted the Book of Revelation to conform to their theology by forcing jigsaw puzzles to fit where they never intended to.. But here in America sensationalism sells and that is why scholars conclusions have been gagged for the sake of popular opinion. BTW the last myth "There is only one Book of Revelation" fails to note that many scholars believe that the Book of Revelation was written in stages and later collected and edited to form the text that we have today not to mention that the book was considered to be 'disputed' among much of the early church in the years following the 1st century (Even placed in an appendix by Martin Luther during the Reformation)

    April 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  4. Dinosaur

    We're all supposed to be grateful that Jesus gave his life to save the souls of everyone ever? Who wouldn't do that? I die, save everyone ever, then go to heaven. People pray to me for thousands of years. And if they don't accept that I'm real my daddy will torture them in a fiery pit.. Is this accurate?

    April 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • just me

      Yeah, but, that crown of thorns thing hurt like the dickens. And honestly, how'd you like to have a dad that put you to death? That's just mean.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Dinosaur

      My dad used to make me stay outside all day. He didn't want me lounging in the a/c all day. It got to like 109 degrees outside, so I can kind of relate.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • just me

      I see, poor guy. I'd say you're a good candidate to be worshipped. I'll spread The WORD and we'll split the profits.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Dinosaur

      See that everyone? Now that's a history lesson!

      April 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Boast Busters

      Actually, according to the thesis, it was a suicide... to appease his own bloodthirsty desires and rules which he could have changed with the blink of an eye, against humans whose "hearts" he could have "softened" with a whisper.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Tom

    Everyone realizes that these fairy tales were written by people who thought the world was flat right?

    April 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • akhil

      Everyone knows that this comment was written by a person who has spoken of the sun rising and setting, right?

      April 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  6. erich2112x

    The apostle John was the first action adventure writer that we know of. Today he'd be a very rich man.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  7. JesusChristIsLORD!

    JESUS HAD NO SERVANTS, YET THEY CALLED HIM MASTER. HAS NO DEGREE, YET THEY CALLED HIM TEACHER. HAD NO MEDICINE, YET THEY CALLED HIM HEALER. HE HAD NO ARMY, YET KINGS FEARED HIM. HE COMMITTED NO CRIME, YET HE WAS CRUCIFIED. HE WON NO MILITARY BATTLES, YET HE CONQUERED THE WORLD. HE WON NO MILITARY BATTLE. HE COMMITTED NO CRIME, YET THEY CRUCIFIED HIM. HE WAS BURIED INA TOMB, YET HE LIVES TODAY!

    He that glories, let him glory in the Lord. 1 corinthians 1:31

    April 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • just me

      Apparently, Jesus did not teach about lower case

      April 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • mandarax

      Not true:

      Then little letters were brought to him, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Allow the lower case letters, and don't forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these." He laid his hands on them, and departed from there.
      Matthew 19:13-15

      April 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • James

      What king feared Jesus?

      April 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Open-minded

      This response is related how?

      April 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • James PDX

      And that is only 1 of many accounts of Jesus' life. I prefer the one where he cornholes camels and claims the anti-Christ will be named Kirk Cameron.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • preacherman

      dang, sounds like he wasn't very qualified for anything.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • GAW

      Quit shouting or better yet get a new keyboard since your caps-lock button seems to be stuck

      April 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  8. BLOCKthisCOMMENT

    Most people can`t bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?

    April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  9. Dw

    There are a lot of different views expressed here, but the only one that should matters to you is yours; regardless whether you believe in God or not, whether you have read the Bible or not, or whether your a liberal or a conservaive...be an individual, be yourself, and who cares what others think.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  10. adam

    how can you pick out myths when the whole book is a myth. remember zeus? he was a myth too. peace.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jon

      Zeus is real, what are you talking about? C'mon, a big old guy on top of a mountain or a poor carpenter nailed to a piece of wood. It's not a hard choice to see who the real God is.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  11. BelovedRod

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtquNNEO7Fw&w=640&h=390]

    April 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    The whole world adores the Mammon, the God of materialism and capitalism. This world of idolatry wants to destroy the faith of the true Christians and bring them back to idolatry. Dearly beloved, remain faithful and the Lord God will raise you to glory soon.

    Revelation 1, 1-8:

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8 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.

    The great topic of the Bible beside salvation is the suffering of the Christian Church, which she has to bear in an antichristian world. A man, who remains in his redeemer Christ, will face hostility in this godless world.

    However, Jesus Christ, who has suffered like no one before him and after him, has overcome the demonic world. Christ had a free human will and a divine will (two wills). Despite cross, rejection and suffering Jesus remained "in God". The great merit of Jesus was it that he remained in God, although he had to bear superhuman sufferings. Christ has rolled back the Fall of Adam.

    Adam abandoned God voluntarily, although he was made in a blissful state. Jesus remained "in God" despite infinite sufferings. Hence, Jesus is a "new Adam" or the first born of a "NEW MANKIND", a mankind, which has returned to its Creator and loves him on every condition, even if she has to suffer. Jesus is the beginning of a new creation, a creation in God.

    Jesus Christ is yet in the "Future of the Lord". Jesus has overcome the profane world by the Holy Spirit and God has honored him and confirmed him with the resurrection from the death and has made him ruler of the universe. The meek and humble Jesus, who sweat blood in the garden Gethsemane, because of endless trouble and horror, is ruler of the universe right now and his dominion can manifest very soon.

    "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

    God, the Father, delivered God, the Son, for the sake of our sins. He raised him from the dead for our justification. Everybody, who believes that and gets sacramentally baptized, becomes righteous: His sins are forgiven and he lives a life of practical righteousness. Despite the attacks of the godless world, the believer remains within his saviour and does works of righteousness. The meek and humble people on earth living in righteousness, will finally manifest as kings and priests of the Most High. God will reward them with very high ranks, because they kept the faith on a hostile, godless earth.

    The majority of the mankind will never believe in Christ, at least not in the true Christ. The majority will believe in the false Christ or Antichrist (The Wicked, Mohammed, the popes and others).

    The revelation is nothing else than an account of the intergalactic war, which blusters on earth between the true Christian Church and the profane world (secular society, churches, which have turned apostate, false religions like Islam, cults like Mormons).

    God tells the true believers through the Revelation: "Don't become worldly again, but remain faithful; I have overcome the world and will come soon and raise you to glory!"

    April 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • just me

      Maybe. But I doubt it.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Dinosaur

      You realize nobody is going to read this?

      April 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • BLOCKthisCOMMENT

      "It has served us well, this myth of Christ". – -Pope Leo X

      April 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Dinosaur

      ep, I was wrong.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • TC

      Heretical ranier – you are harming christianity. Please stop with your crazy posts.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • jimbo

      wow, so if you take the word so literally, then how do you feel about your chances of being one of the 144,000 people of jewish descent allowed into heaven? Do you know the number of people who have lived who led reasonably good lives free of "sin"? Must be somewhere in the billions. The number of those people who were jewish must be smaller, but still in the millions.
      Odds are, you'll have to fry in the lake o fire like everyone else.
      Or go Mormon. Then you can go live on the planet Kolob with all the virgin wives you want. Or go with Islam... very similar ending.
      Better yet, stop trusting in myths and legends.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • just me

      @ Dino.
      You were right – we can comment without reading it since we already know what it's going to say, blah, blah, Jesus, blah...

      April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Dinosaur

      And when TC calls you crazy... that's real bad..

      April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • James PDX

      FYI – No one read your entire post. Nice work wasting your time over a book that was edited by politicians who thought the Earth was flat.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • sick of republican phonies

      You got way too much time on your hands.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Ben

      Well written and thorough with the explanation, Rainer! Great Job with these posts. Keep posting the Truth!

      April 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • GAW

      I feel asleep by the 3td paragraph...if it was a paragraph.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  13. jackenstien

    An interesting book review about "Revelations" by author Elaine Pagels:
    “The book (Revelations") is the hardest one in the Bible to understand,” Pagels says. “I don’t think anyone completely understands it.”
    So, by her own admission, she doesn't understand it either. Intellect doesn't cut it when reading the scriptures.
    Elaine Pagels is a Professor of Religion at Princeton. All her 11+ religious books are Christian related.
    If Elaine Pagels had critiqued any part of the QURAN, she would be labeled a heretic and would be receiving death threats.
    So, why doesn’t she critique the Quran? Scared?

    April 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • OS

      Your points are irrelevant. She is imparting historical and scholarly information.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • mandarax

      So, are you proud that when religious people go unchecked they can become so violent and out of control that others would be afraid to even talk about their beliefs? Don't pretend Christianity is above that – it has been just like that in the past.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • whynotlisten

      Pages analysis is not about critiquing the Book from the Bible. Where did people get that from? It is about putting the book of Revelation into time and historical, political prospective in order to understand why it was written the way it is and what it may have implied at the time. It also has nothing to do with atheism. It tell you that original intension was not to use the book as prophesy for all time to come, as modern church tries to tell you and is a common believe. If people are not willing to listen to why it was written the way it was and what the intent was based on historical evidence, they can as well believe in Dragons and there is nothing to discuss-its blind faith.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • James PDX

      I re-dub you jackinsteins. Because you've clearly jacked a dozen too many.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  14. Dinosaur

    I would like to know what christians think of the rapidly growing number of atheists? It's the fastest growing group.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Dinosaur

      Also the smartest and most peaceful.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • OS

      Smartest and most peaceful! I wonder. All kinds of people are Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc etc. These labels tell you near nothing about a person.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • mandarax

      and the snappiest dressers.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • KoolD

      Don't care what they believe...I know what I believe simply is that is what matters. Jesus Christ is who He says He was..Enjoy your belief.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • JA

      what i think? its prophesy. simple as that. The falling away- the apostasy will come first

      2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (KJV) " 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. "

      April 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • James PDX

      KoolD, who does Jesus say he is? Did you hear him make any claim as to his origins? Do you personally know anyone who has? So you are saying you believe Jesus is who a bunch of politicians in religious garb say he said he was. Very naive of you.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  15. TC

    As usual – Just another article and another opportunity for closet atheists to troll and be intolerant and divisive – such good and logical human beings aren't they? Funny how you never see any in the real world? So cowardly bigots they are it seems

    April 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jon

      What do you want atheists to do? Go to your church and convince you your religion is wrong?

      April 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • just me

      You need to get out a bit more.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • BLOCKthisCOMMENT

      Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • TC

      Probably they just need to worry about their topics and not focus so much on beleivers. Atheisits could have parties and everyone could tell each other how smart they are and how they know everything and act like a bucnh of racists – hmmm sounds just like KKK or nazism.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • just me

      Uh-oh. Racism? TC is going off the rails now. It always happens with those folks.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • TC

      See how intolerant you are of CHristians – why are you here, the topic doesn't even concern you. If you cared so littel for religion you wouldnt be here.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • reason

      Wow, TC is kind of an asshole. Let me guess, you are exhibiting your Christ's love TC?

      April 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • jimbo

      have you tried crossing the county line?

      April 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • OS

      I'm a Christian, and I thought it was a great article. People can choose any religion they want, or to not have a religion. That choice does not make a person good or bad. Some people, religious or not, are just trolls and enjoy making other people feel bad.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • mandarax

      TC, if you have never met a nonbeliever in the outside world, maybe it's you.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • OS

      I'm a Christian, and I thought it was a great article. Some people, religious or not, are just trolls and enjoy making other people feel bad.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      cowardly bigots? get back on yourknees, beyotch

      April 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Matthew Terhune

      Take a trip out of the bible belt and go to a bar–any city in the North East should do; see what the world is like. You shelter yourself so much that you don't think atheists exist. They are actually 14% of the population. More than blacks, more than Jews. And one day in a few dozen years, they will outnumber your dying culture of scared fools.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Emitr

      My guess is that you would not act this way in the real world, TC. You are probably polite when in face-to-face human company. I like people in real life better. We humans have better manners there, Christians or not.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Brad

      No, mohammad is not a prophet as you claim. Liar!

      April 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  16. Andrew

    The Bible was written, compiled, edited, translated several hundreds of years after the death of Jesus and his Apostles. Yet there are those who claim all revelation from God ended after the death of Jesus and the Apostles and that the Bible is the be all and end all of scripture. How can a book written, compiled, edited and translated by uninspired men, with no revelation from God, be the sole source of revelation from God? It makes no sense.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • TC

      Yeah, you actually have to live and pray it. Difficult to understadn or read something when you don't practice it or have a real education in it.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      One minister I knew had the opinion that Revelations was written out of bitterness by "John" because unlike the others of the 12, he was the only one not to suffer Martyrdom.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  17. BLOCKthisCOMMENT

    George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Fox

      You are like a self-licking ice cream cone.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  18. Nii

    As an amateur historian it sounds strange that atheist are always so happy with textual criticism results. I also find it funny that at the end of all that conjecture the woman who knew all about Revelations admitted not understanding it. APRIL FOOL ATHEISTS!

    April 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      Ho ho ho! You got us.. .........

      April 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Geezer

      Great logic there. Not possible for her to understand some of it without understanding the entirety.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  19. Believer of Christ

    Lets talk about Satan for a minute. Fallen angels as depicted in the bible and the book of Enoch They do not have HORNS or RED SKIN, they are Alien like creatures. Satan is already a fallen angel. an reins here on earth. And is relative to revelations. Satan only has so much power over the Earth and over man kind, YET he still doesn't have the All Mighty Power of God.

    Satan will need a lot of help to promote himself and his cause. Who? People like you and me along with other fallen angels. If you truly need evidence that Satan exist. He will most certainly show you if you ask! But he will not present himself in a form you expect – Just stand outside around 3am in the morning and ask to see him.

    3:00 am is the "devils hour" because it is the opposite of 3:00 pm, the hour Jesus died on the cross.
    the devil is at exact opposites with God.
    3:00 pm the hour of mercy
    3:00 am the hour of darkness, the devils hour.

    this "opposite" method is used through out satanic practices

    And give it a few days he will appear. Then you will begin your path towards God, or Satan.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Zombie Jesus

      That's psycho talk if I've ever seen it.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • connor4312

      But if God is all loving a more powerful then Satan, why doesn't he just get rid of evil and spare us all pain, suffering, and death?

      April 1, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Blogmudgeon

      There is medication that can help with these delusions...

      April 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • jimbo

      "satan" is nothing more than an ancient word meaning "anyone who opposes you". It was never meant to be personified into an actual person/god/angel/alien. Satan is just an early pronoun.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Todd

      You're an absolute moron

      April 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Amazing...

      That is mystical crap...God gave you a head to think with, and expects you to use it to discern truth from...mystical crap.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Nii

      Messiah means "The Anointed One". It was a special numeral never meant to be personified. I think the guy who posted the meaning of Satan is the most confused person today.

      April 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tony

      Smh...where do you people believe in stuff like this? Where do you get this knowledge from?..idiot

      April 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Pander Bear

      You need to lay off the crack pipe.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Geezer

      Satan you say? Here I was thinking that was the newspaper delivery boy making that noise around 3am.

      April 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • fleegor

      But 3am in Jerusalem would be the middle of the day in the US...would it not???

      April 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      "I think the guy who posted the meaning of Satan is the most confused person today."

      No, he's not, you are. Satan comes from the Hebrew ha-Satan, which simply means the adversary or the opposer. Something like a prosecuting attorney. In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is not even clear that it refers to a specific individual or is a proper name. In the Book of Job, Satan is actually a member of God's heavenly council, and his torments of Job are done at the direction of Job to test Job's faith. When Satan tempts Jesus in the desert, he nay be fulfilling the exact same role on behalf of God.

      It was later Christians who turned Satan into the devil. Christians should read their Bible a little more closely and not believe everything they hear about it.

      April 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  20. Blogmudgeon

    There you go. Believe it all, or perish in a lake of fire and be tortured for eternity. That in itself is contradictory...

    And some of our leaders claim that those who follow Islam are stuck in the 5th century....

    April 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
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About this blog

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