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Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own
Some Jewish leaders are encouraging Jews to see Jesus as one of their own.
April 5th, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Jews reclaim Jesus as one of their own

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - The relationship between Jews and Jesus has traditionally been a complicated one, to say the least.

As his followers' message swept the ancient world, Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah found themselves in the uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous, position of being blamed for his death.

Mainstream Christian theology's position held that Judaism had been supplanted, the Jewish covenant with the divine no longer valid, because of the incarnation of God as Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.

Jews, for their part, tended largely to ignore Jesus.

That's changing now.

In the past year, a spate of Jewish authors, from the popular to the rabbinic to the scholarly, have wrestled with what Jews should think about Jesus.

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And overwhelmingly, they are coming up with positive answers, urging their fellow Jews to learn about Jesus, understand him and claim him as one of their own.

"Jesus is a Jew. He spent his life talking to other Jews," said Amy-Jill Levine, co-editor of the recently released "Jewish Annotated New Testament."

"In reading the New Testament, I am often inspired, I am intrigued. I actually find myself becoming a better Jew because I become better informed about my own history," she said.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a media personality who recently launched a bid for a U.S. House seat, argues in his own new book, "Kosher Jesus," that "Jews have much to learn from Jesus - and from Christianity as a whole - without accepting Jesus' divinity. There are many reasons for accepting Jesus as a man of great wisdom, beautiful ethical teachings, and profound Jewish patriotism."

And Benyamin Cohen, an Orthodox Jew who spent a recent year going to church, admitted that he's jealous that Christians have Jesus.

"He's a tangible icon that everybody can latch on to. Judaism doesn't have a superhero like that," said Cohen, the author of the 2009 book "My Jesus Year."

 

"I'm not advocating for Moses dolls," he said, but he argued that "it's hard to believe in a God you can't see. I'm jealous of Christians in that regard, that they have this physical manifestation of the divine that they can pray to.

"There could be more devout Jews than me who don't need that, but to a young Jew living in the 21st century, I wish we had something more tangible," he said.

The flurry of recent Jewish books on Jesus - including this month's publication of "The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ" by Daniel Boyarin - is part of a trend of Jews taking pride in Jesus, interfaith expert Edward Kessler said.

"In the 1970s and 1980s, Christian New Testament scholars rediscovered the Jewish Jesus. They reminded all New Testament students that Jesus was Jewish," said Kessler, the director of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge, England, which focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

A generation later, that scholarship has percolated into Jewish thought, he said, welcoming the trend: "It's not a threat to Jews and it's not a threat to Christians."

For Jews in particular, he said, "It's not so threatening as it was even 30 years ago. There is almost a pride that Jesus was a Jew rather than an embarrassment about it."

Boteach agrees, writing in "Kosher Jesus" that "Jews will gain much from re-embracing him as a hero."

"The truth is important," Boteach writes. "A patriot of our people has been lost. Worse still, he's been painted as the father of a long and murderous tradition of anti-Semitism."

Boteach aims to claim, or reclaim, Jesus as a political rebel against Rome and to exonerate the Jews of his death. But Boteach's book has attracted plenty of criticism, for instance for blaming the Apostle Paul for everything he doesn't like about Christianity, such as hailing Jesus as divine and cutting his ties to Judaism.

"Paul never met Jesus, and Jesus certainly never would have sanctioned Paul's actions and embellishments," Boteach argues about the apostle who wrote much of the New Testament. "Jesus ... would have been appalled at how his followers would later define him."

"Jews will never accept his divinity. Nor should they," Boteach writes, in one of many instances of presuming to know what Jesus really thought and meant. "The belief that any man is God is an abomination to Judaism, a position that Jesus himself would maintain."

He cherry-picks the Gospels to to suit his arguments, writes in casual modern idioms (calling Pontius Pilate a "sadistic mass murderer" and comparing him to Hitler), and gets wrong the most basic details of the Passion story, such as the amount of money Judas took to betray Jesus.

Other experts in the field label Boteach's book "sensationalistic," and call him a "popularizer," but Kessler sees "Kosher Jesus" as part of the trend of Judaizing Jesus. Cohen, the "My Jesus Year" author, offered some support for Boteach even as he expressed doubts about the book.

"I understand what Shmuley is trying to get at there," he said, but added: "I don't think anyone has the right to say 'This is the definition of Jesus,' especially a rabbi. He's not ours to claim."

Levine, who teaches New Testament and Jewish studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, also framed Jewish efforts to study Jesus in terms of mutual respect.

"Speaking personally as a Jew, if I want my neighbors to respect Judaism, which means knowing something about Jewish history, scripture and tradition, I owe my Christian neighbors the same courtesy. It's a matter of respect," she said.

She urged Jews to "become familiar with the material and make up their own mind as to how they understand Jesus."

Ironically, she added, Jews can understand their own history more thoroughly through studying the life of Jesus.

"The best source on the period for Jewish history other than (the first-century historian) Josephus is the New Testament," she said.

"It's one of those ironies of history that the only Pharisee writing in the Second Temple period from whom we have records is Paul of Tarsus," she said. " 'The Jewish Annotated New Testament' is designed in part to help Jews recover their own history."

But she also wants Christians to use it to understand Judaism more deeply, she said. While many Christian leaders acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew, she said, not many know much about what that means.

"Many Christian ministers and educators have no training in what early Judaism was like," she said. "Not to take seriously first-century Judaism seems to dismiss part of the message of the New Testament."

Cohen, the "My Jesus Year" author, found that Christians were very interested in Judaism during the 52 weeks he spent going from church to church.

"Many Christians look on Judaism as version 1.0 of their own religion. Because of that historical relationship, they're interested in a lot of the theology of Judaism," he said.

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For his part, Cohen learned much that surprised him. "I was shocked when I went to church and heard them give sermons about the Old Testament," he said. "I had no idea Christians read the Old Testament."

"One week, I went to church and the pastor gave exactly the same sermon my rabbi did the night before about Moses and the burning bush, and the pastor did it much better," he continued.

Cohen came away from his Jesus year with a clear understanding of what he believes.

"People ask me all the time if I believe in Jesus. Do I believe he exists? Sure. Do I believe he's your God? Sure, I have no problem with that," he said he tells Christians who ask.

"I understand Christians' love for Jesus and I respect that," he said. "If anything, I learned a lot from them and did become a more engaged Jew, a better Jew, and I appreciate my Judaism more because I hung out with Jesus."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Jesus • Judaism

soundoff (2,641 Responses)
  1. USnotIsrael

    Oh here we go again with Jews this Jews that

    April 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      I find it amazing that many Christians blame Jews for the death of Jesus, then they stand up and scream their support for Isreal. Anti-Jewish sentiment is so prevalent in the US, it is almost as bad as their hatred of Atheists.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "I find it amazing that many Christians blame Jews for the death of Jesus, then they stand up and scream their support for Isreal. Anti-Jewish sentiment is so prevalent in the US, it is almost as bad as their hatred of Atheists."

      Oh, more ridiculous over generalizations with no substantiating facts.

      How unsurprising.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • greg

      Christians who blame the Jews for Christs death don't understand why Christ died on the Cross, Understanding why he died on the Cross is part of salvation, This says a lot about those Christians. The Romans Killed Christ, There the actual ones who killed him, Yes the Jews were near rioting wanting him dead, But the Romans new he was innocent yet killed him to please the Jews. They could have said no. They chose not to.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  2. jasonevans76

    Why do atheist tend to be so defensive? They have it easy considering they don't have to have faith in anything that cant be proven by science....which is great for the physical world...because thats what we live in....however, its the troublesome fact that we will all die....hmmm.....I wonder what total nothingness is like.....well, i wont waste my time imagining it, ill go on living with faith in God and that we humans are not simply animals, but have purpose beyond this uncomfortable physical life.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      "Why do atheist tend to be so defensive?" I'm sorry but I think that most Christians are defensive. Most Atheists are not defensive, at least none I know. We will argue our point, and try to do so as rationally as possible. I try my best never to make it personal when I debate, but I find that most Christians resort to adhom attacks NEARLY 100 percent of the time. Atheists do NOT have it easy as you claim, when we admit our disbelief, many of us lose our family, friends, and sometimes our jobs.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • greg

      We hitch our wagon to the bible they hitch there wagon to scientists they dont even know and hypotheses and theory. I say good for them, Don't insult my hunch and I wont insult your theory!

      April 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Greg, the ONLY reason I speak about religion is that many Christians are now wanting to impose their beliefs on the general population of this country. Christianity has been the most destructive religion the world has ever known and someone must protect this country from the radicals who wish to impose their will on all of us.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "the ONLY reason I speak about religion is that many Christians are now wanting to impose their beliefs on the general population of this country."

      Ah, yes, of course. And therefore you, instead, may impose your beliefs onto them.

      How logical.

      "impose their beliefs"

      You do realize that anyone who advocates for some position or policy to become law wants to impose their beliefs onto others, right? Otherwise why would they want their beliefs to "be" law?

      "Christianity has been the most destructive religion the world has ever known and someone must protect this country from the radicals who wish to impose their will on all of us."

      Lol. Your bigotry is cute.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • greg

      I only know you by what you say, So everything Ive said is based on that, Have I got you wrong, You came to a belief site about Jews and Christ to learn more about Christ and Jews, If that is so then Im sorry, I truly apologize.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Controle Altdel

    Interesting ! Christian zionists outflanked, co-opted, "Kosherised" ;-)

    Disturbing : A country founded only 236 years ago spends so much time transfixed with pointless debates :

    –Would Jesus approve of fried turkeys for Thanksgiving ?
    –When He walked on water, did He get his feet wet ?
    –Etc...

    Sad : Mainstream media plays like an echo chamber to all that silly religious chit-chat : The Silence of the Blands

    April 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      AGREED!

      April 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • greg

      Yet here you are...your enlightened life must be boring for you to come here and throw eggs at the believers.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Greg, I LOVE the fact that you know so much about my life. Wow! Tell me more about me, please.....

      April 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "@Greg, I LOVE the fact that you know so much about my life. Wow! Tell me more about me, please....."

      Pot, meet kettle.

      It's ironic that you criticize the assumptions he makes about you when you, in turn, make absurd assumptions about religious people as a whole.

      Funny how partisan bigotry works, eh?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  4. JeryNol

    Jesus was NOT a Jew. He brought Chrisianity so he converted to Christianity. Why do crappy Jews drag this out all the time? Don't they have Arab babies to kill? and Arabs' lands to steal?

    April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      How exactly did Jesus "convert" to a religion that did NOT exist yet? How did he convert to his own religion? Did he worship himself? Jesus explicitly stated, according to the Bible, that he WAS a Jew.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • $12 bagel

      thecollegeadmissionsguru,

      I thought the Bible was made-up? You can't have it both ways, bro. Jesus was a JUDEAN - hence a Jew (one from Judea).

      jesuswasnotajew.com

      April 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Rocky

      Jesus WAS a Jew who gradually built a new movement based on laws and principles higher than the Law of Moses. His followers gradually became known as Christians and became independent of mainstream Judaism following the council at Jerusalem. His movement of "Christianity" grew and morphed over the centuries. Unfortunately, man has turned much of it into something less than what Jesus would have likely wanted.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @12, my claims remain what they are. The bible is MYTH, but the MYTH story is what it is. The MYTH claims that Jesus was born at JEW, the words that were attributed to Jesus, though I often wonder how uneducated individuals remembered what Jesus would have said, some fifty years AFTER his death.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • greg

      You sound offended, Read your Bible, Jesus was a Jew and Died a Jew. The Christian faith sprang from his death.

      Your faith is fed by the word of God, Read the scriptures or your faith will fall away and you will find yourself as angry and spiteful as these natural men who haunt the fringes of this belief site.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Rocky

      Jesus was a Jew because he was a descendant of Judah (the fourth son of Jacob, later known as Israel). Judea is the place where most of the Jews (descendants of Judah) settled. Not all Jews lived in Judea, and Judea also had residents who were non-Jews. In other words, Judea is a place, while Jews are descendents of Judah.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • greg

      May seem strange but people could read and write in Jesus Time and Jesus was a superstar to the Jews of Jerusalem, Some hated him some loved him but they all new of him,

      April 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • AngryJew

      Jesus was a Jew. Live with it.

      April 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • moonster

      Sorry JeryNol you are mistaken. Jesus was a Jew.

      April 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • David A.

      Jery. Of course Jesus was a jew. What are you thinking? Where can you find support that
      Jesus denied his religion of birth? I would love to see that

      April 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  5. ZamZam

    All of the hateful comments toward Jesus and God break my heart. I read all the stories and the comments everyday and never post. Why do you all feel the need to speak hatefully toward God? Have you belief or your non belief. That's fine. Just keep you hate speak to yourself.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Why is it when people speak out against religion, it's called Hate Speech? When Christians speak out against Atheists, it is acceptable, and when they speak hate toward Jews, Muslims, and other religions, it is acceptable.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • gayjesus

      you are the hate spewing christian right wacko

      April 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • $12 bagel

      Why is it okay to deny Christ but is a criminal offense to deny the Holocaust in Europe?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • ZamZam

      I'm actually a moderate Democrat. Reread your posts. Those posts are hate filled. I did not type one hateful word in mine.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • ZamZam

      and I voted for Obama... stereotypes make no sense...

      April 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • gayjesus

      Why do you lie and break your sacred jewish laws, zamzam? Stop with the hate and let the loving embrace of Zoroastrianism into your heart.

      April 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  6. Rick7777

    I am sorry that was mean of me. God bless you

    April 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  7. robertopp

    An American analogy:

    Seventy years from now, America completely destroys itself in an all-out civil war. Most of the population is killed. But before this happens, millions of Americans managed to emigrate in time, and lived in as exiles in Europe, Asia and other places, while only breeding with other Americans and continued to practice American traditions. Then, 2,000 years from now, a group of people who have never been Americans claim that Barack Obama was a god. But those of American descent insist that he was human and never claimed himself as god. etc.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • gayjesus

      good one. Ashkanazi jews are something like 90% European. They are more italian than jewish. Palestinians are probably more closely related to the old testament jews than the people we call jews

      April 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  8. cantilever

    "' It's hard to believe in a God you can't see. I'm jealous of Christians in that regard, that they have this physical manifestation of the divine that they can pray to. ...to a young Jew living in the 21st century, I wish we had something more tangible' he said."
    --------–
    so, like, whatever happened to the Golden Calf?

    April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  9. Rob

    It's funny how all the atheist run to read an article on Jesus and then are even faster to post useless posts on an article that is clearly about Jesus. What are you people afraid of? Are you worried that someone may read about him and decide on their own to do a little research and find their own answers? If you don't believe then why would you even read an article about him? I don't believe in Bigfoot and when I see an article about Bigfoot I never even have the interest to read anything about the subject? So the real matter at heart is you are searching and deep down you hope that with your tyrannical postings that someone can offer you the real hope of who Jesus is! No other figure in history has stirred as much emotion and call to arms as the Great I Am.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • AngryJew

      I don't believe in Martians but I like reading science fiction.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • JeryNol

      Jesus was NOT a Jews. He brought Chrisianity so he converted to Christianity. Why do crappy Jews drag this out all the time? Don't they have Arab babies to kill? and land to steal?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Nah

      jerry: "Jesus was NOT a Jews. He brought Chrisianity so he converted to Christianity. Why do crappy Jews drag this out all the time? Don't they have Arab babies to kill? and land to steal?"

      Lol. You are the worst troll ever.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @ NAH, YOU lose all credibility when you say atheists make hateful statements about religion and then you make very hateful comments about Jews. What a bigot you are.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "@ NAH, YOU lose all credibility when you say atheists make hateful statements about religion and then you make very hateful comments about Jews. What a bigot you are."

      Oh dear. Reading comprehension isn't your forte, either.

      The "hateful" comments were quoted from the original poster. They weren't from me.

      You can't really be this stupid, can you..?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  10. Robert

    Why is it that religious articles seem to attract Atheists like a magnet? They can't just leave it alone. They are consumed with an irresistible desire to respond to it. It's like there's something deep-down, sub-conscious that they are trying to squelch.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Why can't Atheists address the writtings of others? We are well within our right to read anything we want, in fact MOST of us know more about the bible and religion than Christians EVER will. For those like myself, I believe that it is in this country's best interest that we have a debate about religion and the affect that it is having on our nation. I often wonder why Christians are so defensive?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • reason

      They are trying to help make the world a better place.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "Why can't Atheists address the writtings of others? We are well within our right to read anything we want, in fact MOST of us know more about the bible and religion than Christians EVER will."

      Alas, you missed the point again.

      He was addressing atheist's bigotry, not any "commentary" they might make on religion.

      "in fact MOST of us know more about the bible and religion than Christians EVER will."

      Nah. Reading biblical quotes online and following people like Dawkins hardly counts as being knowledgeable about religion or the bible.

      "I often wonder why Christians are so defensive?"

      You meant this to be ironic, no?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • $12 bagel

      Guess what hasbaRAT, this country was founded by white christian men! Not Jewish intellectuals like you! Get a clue, bro.

      p.s. - accept Christ! You will be saved :)

      April 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      @nah – someone feels persecuted today! 'Bigot' this and 'bigot' that LOL Why do you use 'bigot' to describe someone who doesn't agree with you that's not the same as hatred

      Help me find my pants

      April 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • reason

      @nah, according to Pew Research the more people know about religion the less likely they are to believe. Agnostics and atheists, according to their research, are some of most educated folks on religion.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Nah

      just: "someone feels persecuted today! 'Bigot' this and 'bigot' that LOL Why do you use 'bigot' to describe someone who doesn't agree with you that's not the same as hatred"

      Nah. It's more a simple fact about militant online atheism.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Nah

      reason: "according to Pew Research the more people know about religion the less likely they are to believe. Agnostics and atheists, according to their research, are some of most educated folks on religion."

      Oh, another fallacy. Dear me.

      People who know more about religion are less likely to be religious. Therefore atheists know the most about religion.

      That's akin to arguing, "If it rains the ground gets wet. The ground is wet, therefore it has rained."

      Logic really isn't your strong point, is it?

      All the statistics show is that one may be a subset of the other.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • reason

      @Nah, I am relaying Pew Research's findings.

      If you have a problem with it direct your infantile insults at them.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Nah

      reason: "If you have a problem with it direct your infantile insults at them."

      Lol. The irony in your comment is astounding.

      "Pew research"

      You're right. And yet he quotation you gave misstated the study, and, hence, created a fallacy.

      Saying, "The more educated you are the less likely you are to be religious" and concluding, "If you aren't religious, you're more educated about religion" is fallacious. Why? Because it's like arguing, "Basketball players are, on average, taller than normal people" and concluding, "Therefore, taller than average people are all basketball players."

      Try again?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  11. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    "$10 bagel

    Seriously, everything you're spouting came DIRECTLY from zeitgeist. You're a Peter J worshiper, and you're spewing Jew poison. Wouldn't be surprised if you WERE a Jew. Think for yourself you kosher swine. As Jesus said, "The truth shall set you free....."

    THIS is your argument? REALLY, "kosher swine" THAT is your best? You, my friend, are a radically, angry Christian.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • $12 bagel

      You, my friend, are a particularly spiteful Jewish supremacist.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • thecollegeadmissionsguru

        You really have some issues, don't you? It is wonderful that you are here, you do little for your faith, except to continue to prove that Christianity attracts radicals.

        April 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • $12 bagel

      Seriously - are you Jewish? Yes or no? We can settle this right now! It would explain all of the Christ-hate you're spewing.....

      April 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
      • thecollegeadmissionsguru

        I am an atheist. I was born in the State of South Carolina, in the Bible Belt. I was indoctrinated into the Christian Church for many years. So, to answer your childish question, I am NOT Jewish, though if I were, it would Change Nothing. I do NOT hate Christ, I simply do not believe in him. It is hard to hate something that never existed.

        April 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "I am an atheist. I was born in the State of South Carolina, in the Bible Belt. I was indoctrinated into the Christian Church for many years."

      Aw, so this is why you feel an obsessive need to respond derogatorily to any religious article.

      You poor thing. Embarrassed about your past religious life.
      :(

      "I do NOT hate Christ, I simply do not believe in him. It is hard to hate something that never existed."

      Ooh, more fallacies. You can hate things that do not exist. All it takes is intense dislike for some object, real or not.

      Not to mention, your anger seems to be directed at Christians as a whole.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • $12 bagel

      Where is your proof, yid? You keep saying this, while offering debunked claims from a slapdick dope-head named Peter J. Seriously, facts please!!!

      If that's the case, how do we know anything exists? Really wanna go there, swine?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
      • thecollegeadmissionsguru

        I will no longer respond to you as you are obviously nothing more than a TROLL. I do not debate with idiots and fools, of which you fit both categories. I do not need to debate someone who, so far, has managed to do little more than attack personally, and offer NOTHING of interest to the conversation.

        April 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  12. Jews for Jesus

    Richard Allen Greene-Great article. Nicely written!

    April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  13. Robert

    "There are many reasons for accepting Jesus as a man of great wisdom, beautiful ethical teachings, and profound Jewish patriotism."

    How can you claim these things and still call him a liar when he declared his divinity? He's either divine as he claimed or a liar and a deceiver.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • sam

      He wasn't lying if he wholeheartedly believed it himself; it's not that cut and dry.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Or

      "He's either divine as he claimed or a liar and a deceiver."

      Or 'he' is the product of a snowballed legend...

      April 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  14. caeser

    You mean,centuries of bloodshed hate and animosity......for nothing !

    April 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  15. Natsarim, TX

    It would really be kewl if people just studied the word of Yahweh instead of guessing around with what they think it says. Jesus (Greek), Yahshua (Hebrew) was, is and still is Yahweh, by coming back in the flesh as Yahshua to get us back to the principles and instructions of his Word. Remember the "bride" spoken of in the Word? Those are the followers of HIS WAY. Another thing, Father Abraham, remember him the one who Elohim spoke to was NOT a JEW. He was first called Hebrew and from him came the children of Isreal....the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. A little history Jacob (Isreal) had 12 sons and the 4th son happened to be named Judah. It was that tribe (1 of the 12) that Yahshua descended from. Oh by the way Judaism is a practice set up after Judah came out of Babylon after the 70 years of captivity. Yes they brought pagan ways back with them (which also were if full effect before they were taken captive) and the chief religious folks made rules from the oral law or the Babylonian Talmud and wrapped them around the Torah where Elohim said DO NOT ADD or TAKE AWAY. Remember there were 12 tribes and Judah is just one of the 12 brothers and the others WERE NOT Jews, they were Rubenites, Asherites, Simeon and so forth. So there you have it, the mess continues but if you are really interested start studying for yourself..the Hebrew Bible. I do love true Isreal.

    April 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Certain

      You should watch the history of god video posted below, not the one right below this but the one further down.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  16. Jonah

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

    April 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  17. Snow

    funny watching religious fighting other religious about whose version of a fairy tale is more correct...

    April 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • greg

      Not near as funny as watching the same old tired responses to religion by Atheists. You Know Athiests by there responses show they are filled with hatred towards God, so much so they cant even be civil in a conversation concerning religion. I mean take a second and read through the responses from Atheists and see for yourself your all a bunch of jerks...LOL!!! It must really suck to live a life full of misery and hatred.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • sam

      Aw, greg, don't be such a self righteous downer.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Nah

      Funny that, as an atheist, you feel this overwhelming, compulsive desire to comment on religion at every turn.

      Why is that? The fear that you may actually believe in a god?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • sam

      ps: greg is magical and can automatically tell which posts are by atheists.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Nah

      sam: "ps: greg is magical and can automatically tell which posts are by atheists."

      Nah, it's called deduction of probabilities. Have you heard of it?

      "Sam" criticized all religion as being "fairy tales". Hence, he must believe they're untrue. Hence, he must not believe in any of them. Hence, he is, most likely, an atheist.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • sam

      We have a true fount of wit and wisdom in our midst, gang, and it calls itself 'Nah'. We all wish we could be half as self possessed and utterly convinced. Before the bragging starts, let me guess which letters you supposedly have after your name...PhD? Most likely several of those.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Jwhat

      watching you argue is like watching a little girl argue why Cinderella is more beautiful than snow white... how many times do you need to be told that it is fun to watch religious fundidiots like you dig logical holes and jump in them.. and still you do not understand.. no wonder you are still stuck with a 2000 yr old goat herders handbook..

      April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Nah

      sam: "We have a true fount of wit and wisdom in our midst, gang, and it calls itself 'Nah'. We all wish we could be half as self possessed and utterly convinced. Before the bragging starts, let me guess which letters you supposedly have after your name...PhD? Most likely several of those."

      Hmm..good one?

      Are you capable of coming up with a coherent, substantive rebuttal?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • sam

      Substantive...that's a gem. My mind is reeling. I can't handle your fascinating show of supposed education. Get back to me when you find an excuse to use 'paradigm' somewhere in this forum. I just know you're dying to.

      ps: not much to rebut when you haven't made any actual points. About anything.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Nah

      sam: "ps: not much to rebut when you haven't made any actual points. About anything."

      Lol. Yes, pointing out how and why your arguments are wrong, and how and why they employ fallacies, isn't "actually making a point".

      You're smart :)

      April 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • sam

      Right...it's called pointing out someone else's errors...that's not making a point.

      ....aaaaand passive aggressive smiley face makes an appearance! You really are my hero.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Nah

      sam: "Right...it's called pointing out someone else's errors...that's not making a point."

      Nah :)

      It is making a point :)

      How? :)

      By showing how and why your argument is wrong :)
      :)

      April 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Snow

      @Nah..
      It is one thing to say "I never.." and get away with it when there is no evidence.. but one simply has to scroll up to read your comments and see that you are LYING.. isn't that a sin according to your own rules?

      ad hominems: "Logic really isn't your strong point, is it?" "Are you capable of coming up with a coherent, substantive rebuttal?"
      anecdotal evidence and overgeneralization: "Reading biblical quotes online and following people like Dawkins hardly counts as being knowledgeable"
      conclusory statement rather than an argument: "It's more a simple fact about militant online atheism", and secondly, you decided god exists, don't you?

      Why do you have to be so hypocritical.. and why do you have to attack simply because someone disagrees your viewpoint? hasn't your god said anything about that being bad?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Nah

      snow:

      I'm sorry, but did you have a point amidst all your rambling?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • lol

      ad hominems again? You got caught lying and now you attack the person rather than his questions? let me ask his question a little differently.. what good is you following a god when you do not follow his teachings? when you need to be taught your god's teachings by an atheist? proves you know less about your own god than an atheist, doesn't it?

      April 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  18. Jeff

    It's ridiculous to read the New Testament and say Jesus was a great teacher and deny his divinity or that he is the Messiah. I think it was C.S. Lewis that coined the saying Jesus was either a liar, lunatic or Lord. You can not look at his life according to the Bible without coming to one of those three conclusions. Anyway, Jesus saves!

    April 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • greg

      Jews are trying to get a handle on Jesus, Of course they cannot accept his divinity, That would make them a Christian, LOL!!
      But Jesus and the new testament is powerful stuff, Read it up Jews, but becareful you might just find yourself saved!

      April 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • greg

      My points are all true because I end them with LOL!!!

      April 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  19. reason

    History of god:

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

    April 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Certain

      Great video, thank you.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  20. There. Are. No. Gods!

    Hard to reclaim someone who never existed! There. Are. No. Gods!

    April 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • aertzc

      If you think there wasn't a person named Jesus who lived in Roman Judea, you're wrong. Even most atheists and agnostics (such as myself) acknowledge that.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • sadam

      he was alos a living man idiot

      April 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Rick7777

      Next time you write your birthdate or the date try to think for example 2012 years after the birth of Christ.
      Also I should welcome you to earth

      April 5, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • turner1988

      I'm always fascinated that athiests read religious articles. What is it that you're looking for?

      April 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • auntiechryst

      Rick...you idiot.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • greg

      An atheist cant say a thing to a believer with out mocking him or cursing him,Usually in the first few sentences of a conversation. Its why I, a pitiful example of a Christian laugh out loud at your antics and predictable responses.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      It may be possible that a number of men named "Jesus" lived, it was a fairly common name. The Historical Jesus of the BIBLE is MYTH, plain and simple.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • paul

      mic foley is god

      April 5, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Greg, I find it to be the other way around. I find that Christians nearly always resort to personal attacks during any discussion in which they find themselves being challenged.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • JM

      And you can prove that....how?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Snow

      wow.. ok Rick.. next time you use a cell phone, remember that the time it uses to make a call (called slot time) started at the instant that I was born.. so start getting your worship cookies ready, pray for my grace and glory of my name before you dial a number ..

      April 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Nah

      thecollege: "I find that Christians nearly always resort to personal attacks during any discussion in which they find themselves being challenged."

      No wonder you're an atheist. Logic is foreign to you.

      Let's count how many fallacies you've used: 1) an ad hominem, 2) an overgeneralization, 3) reliance on anecdotal evidence, and 4) giving a conclusory statement rather than an argument.

      Astounding, really.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Jwhat

      JM.. and opposed to that, I a$$ume you have the proof of god's existence.. ??

      April 5, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • sam

      Nah: you're so smart. There's just no point arguing with you. You have it all figured out, and what's more, you know it!

      April 5, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Nah

      sam: "Nah: you're so smart. There's just no point arguing with you. You have it all figured out, and what's more, you know it!"

      Nah. I just pointed out the obvious fallacies and illogic in his arguments.

      Nice try?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • sam

      Never has such a smug 'nice try' put me in my place so neatly. I am in awe.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Snow

      Read closely @Nah.. you did all those four fallacies and a couple more in your comments right on this page.. and you claim yourself to be different? There is a word for the likes of you.. starts with Hypo.. and ends with crite

      April 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Nah

      sam: "I am in awe."

      I know, my child. The simple minded usually are.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • greg

      Well what can I say, A christian who curses you or Mocks you for your non belief, Isnt a very good Christian, Probably not a Christian, Actually he probably is a person who was raised as a Christian and feels a need to defend a faith he doesnt understand or participate in, Probabaly more of a agnostic then a believer or a closet Atheist. A christian's job is to spread the word, I suck at it, A natural man is usually a waist of time for me because he finds anything to do with God foolishness, He loves himself much to much to allow room for God. I dont try, Today in this world the Word of God is everywhere if You have chosen to Ignore it Thats great I applaud your convictions, To look upon a flower and know without a doubt that the Flower won the odds of 1 trillion to one to exist out of nothing from nothing to be a flower. To have that strong of a belief in a therory, well, deserves some praise. I give it to you freely :)

      April 5, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Nah

      snow: "Read closely @Nah.. you did all those four fallacies and a couple more in your comments right on this page.. and you claim yourself to be different? There is a word for the likes of you.. starts with Hypo.. and ends with crite"

      Nah.

      I never appealed to anecdotal evidence, my arguments were not centered on ad hominems (or did you not notice?), they made no generalizations, and there were no conclusory statements. Why? Because the conclusions given were supported by evidence and arguments.

      Nice try?

      April 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Rick7777

      I should sorry, that was mean of me. God bless you

      April 5, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • sam

      It comes with the cutest insults, too! It's not even my birthday yet! I am in love with Nah.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • True

      It takes a very strong belief to continue believing that evolution is wrong.. even in the face of mountains of evidence.. even today there are a number of instances where mutations are observed in front of your very eyes and yet you believe that it was "made" by god ..

      April 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • hey man

      your screen name makes no sense, as "god" is described in WEBSTERS dictionary as something you devote your life to. So if football is your devotion, then by definition , football is your god. If TV is your devotion, then come on now say it with me, TV is your god. ETC. Hopefully you can comprehend dictionary, but I have my doubts :(

      April 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.