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The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth
Does Easter celebrate a man, a savior, or a myth? Some say Jesus never existed and was a myth created by early Christians.
April 7th, 2012
08:32 PM ET

The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN)– Timothy Freke was flipping through an old academic book when he came across a religious image that some would call obscene.

It was a drawing of a third-century amulet depicting a naked man nailed to a cross. The man was born of a virgin, preached about being “born again” and had risen from the dead after crucifixion, Freke says.

But the name on the amulet wasn’t Jesus. It was a pseudonym for Osiris-Dionysus, a pagan god in ancient Mediterranean culture.  Freke says the amulet was evidence of something that sounds like sacrilege – and some would say it is: that Jesus never existed. He was a myth created by first-century Jews who modeled him after other dying and resurrected pagan gods, says Freke, author of  "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?"

“If I said to you that there was no real Good Samaritan, I don’t think anyone would be outraged,” says Freke, one of a group of mythicists who say Jesus never existed. “It’s a teaching story. What we’re saying is that the Jesus story is an allegory. It’s a parable of the spiritual journey.”

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

On Easter Sunday, millions of Christians worldwide mark the resurrection of Jesus. Though Christians clash over many issues, almost all agree that he existed.

But there is another view of Jesus that’s been emerging, one that strikes at the heart of the Easter story. A number of authors and scholars say Jesus never existed. Such assertions could have been ignored in an earlier age.  But in the age of the Internet and self-publishing, these arguments have gained enough traction that some of the world’s leading New Testament scholars feel compelled to publicly take them on.

Most Jesus deniers are Internet kooks, says Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar who recently released a book devoted to the question called “Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.”

Your comments on Jesus deniers

He says Freke and others who deny Jesus’ existence are conspiracy theorists trying to sell books.

“There are people out there who don’t think the Holocaust happened, there wasn’t a lone JFK assassin and Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.,” Ehrman says. “Among them are people who don’t think Jesus existed.”

Does it matter if Jesus existed?

Some Jesus mythicists say many New Testament scholars are intellectual snobs.

“I don’t think I’m some Internet kook or Holocaust denier,” says Robert Price, a former Baptist pastor who argues in “Deconstructing Jesus” that a historical Jesus probably didn’t exist.

“They say I’m a bitter ex-fundamentalist. It’s pathetic to see this character assassination. That’s what people resort to when they don’t have solid arguments.”

 The debate over Jesus’ existence has led to a curious role reversal. Two of the New Testament scholars who are leading the way arguing for Jesus’ existence have a reputation for attacking, not defending, traditional Christianity.

Ehrman, for example, is an agnostic who has written books that argue that virtually half  of the New Testament is forged. Another defender of Jesus’ existence is John Dominic Crossan, a New Testament scholar who has been called a heretic because his books challenge some traditional Christian teachings.

But as to the existence of Jesus, Crossan says, he’s “certain.”

He says some Jesus deniers may be people who have a problem with Christianity.

“It’s a way of responding to something you don’t like,” Crossan says. “We can’t say that Obama doesn’t exist, but we can say that he’s not an American.  If we’re talking about Obama in the future, there are people who might not only say he wasn’t American, but he didn’t even exist.”

Does it even matter if Jesus existed? Can’t people derive inspiration from his teachings whether he actually walked the Earth?

Crossan says Jesus’ existence matters in the same way that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s existence mattered.

If King never existed, people would say his ideas are lovely, but they could never work in the real world, Crossan says.

It’s the same with an historical Jesus, Crossan writes in his latest book, “The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus.”

“The power of Jesus’ historical life challenges his followers by proving at least one human being could cooperate fully with God. And if one, why not others? If some, why not all?”

The evidence against Jesus’ existence

Those who argue against Jesus’ existence make some of these points:

-The uncanny parallels between pagan stories in the ancient world and the stories of Jesus.

-No credible sources outside the Bible say Jesus existed.

-The Apostle Paul never referred to a historical Jesus.

Price, author of “Deconstructing Jesus,” says the first-century Western world was full of stories of a martyred hero who is called a son of God.

“There are ancient novels from that period where the hero is condemned to the cross and even crucified, but he escapes and survives it,” Price says. “That looks like Jesus.”

Those who argue for the existence of Jesus often cite two external biblical sources: the Jewish historian Josephus who wrote about Jesus at the end of the first century and the Roman historian Tacitus, who wrote about Jesus at the start of the second century.

But some scholars say Josephus’ passage was tampered with by later Christian authors. And Price says the two historians are not credible on Jesus.

“Josephus and Tacitus – they both thought Hercules was a true figure,” Price says. “Both of them spoke of Hercules as a figure that existed.”

Price concedes that there were plenty of mythical stories that were draped around historical figures like Caesar. But there’s plenty of secular documentation to show Caesar existed.

“Everything we read about Jesus in the gospels conforms to the mythic hero,” Price says. “There’s nothing left over that indicates that he was a real historical figure.”

Those who argue for the existence of Jesus cite another source: the testimony of the Apostle Paul and Jesus’ early disciples. Paul even writes in one New Testament passage about meeting James, the brother of Jesus.

These early disciples not only believed Jesus was real but were willing to die for him. People don’t die for myths, some biblical scholars say.

They will if the experience is powerful enough, says Richard Carrier, author of “Proving History.”

Carrier says it’s probable that Jesus never really existed and that early Christians experienced a mythic Jesus who came to them through visions and revelations.

Two of the most famous stories in the New Testament – the conversion of Paul and the stoning death of Stephen, one of the first Christian martyrs - show that people seized by religious visions are willing to die, Carrier says.

In both the Paul and Stephen stories, the writers say that they didn’t see an actual Jesus but a heavenly vision of Jesus, Carrier says.

People “can have powerful religious experiences that don’t correspond to reality,” Carrier says.

“The perfect model is Paul himself,” Carrier says. “He never met Jesus. Paul only had an encounter with this heavenly Jesus. Paul is completely converted by this religious experience, but no historical Jesus is needed for that to happen.”

As for the passage where Paul says he met James, Jesus’ brother, Carrier says:

“The problem with that is that all baptized Christians were considered brothers of the Lord.”

The evidence for Jesus’ existence

Some scholars who argue for the existence of Jesus says the New Testament mentions actual people and events that are substantiated by historical documents and archaeological discoveries.

Ehrman, author of “Did Jesus Exist?” scoffed at the notion that the ancient world was full of pagan stories about dying deities that rose again.  Where’s the proof? he asks.

Ehrman devoted an entire section of his book to critiquing Freke, the mythicist and author of “The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?” who says there was an ancient Osiris-Dionysus figure who shares uncanny parallels to Jesus.

He says Freke can’t offer any proof that an ancient Osiris figure was born on December 25, was crucified and rose again. He says Freke is citing 20th- and 19th-century writers who tossed out the same theories.

Ehrman says that when you read ancient stories about mythological figures like Hercules and Osiris, “there’s nothing about them dying and rising again.”

“He doesn’t know much about ancient history,” Ehrman says of Freke. “He’s not a scholar. All he knows is what he’s read in other conspiracy books.”

Craig A. Evans, the author of “Jesus and His World: The Archaeological Evidence,” says the notion that Paul gave his life for a mythical Jesus is absurd.

He says the New Testament clearly shows that Paul was an early enemy of the Christian church who sought to stamp out the burgeoning Jesus movement.

“Don’t you think if you were in Paul’s shoes, you would have quickly discovered that there was no Jesus?” Evans asks.  “If there was no Jesus, then how did the movement start?”

Evans also dismissed the notion that early Christians blended or adopted pagan myths to create their own mythical Jesus. He says the first Christians were Jews who despised everything about pagan culture.

“For a lot of Jewish people, the pagan world was disgusting,” Evans says. “I can’t imagine [the Gospel writer] Matthew making up a story where he is drawing parallels between Jesus’ birth and pagan stories about Zeus having sex with some fair maiden.”

The words of Jesus also offer proof that he actually existed, Evans says.  A vivid personality practically bursts from the pages of the New Testament: He speaks in riddles, talks about camels squeezing through the eye of a needle, weeps openly and even loses his temper.

Evans says he is a man who is undeniably Jewish, a genius who understands his culture but also transcends his tradition with gem-like parables.

“Who but Jesus could tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan?” Evans says. “Where does this bolt of lightning come from? You don’t get this out of an Egyptian myth.”

Those who argue against the existence of Jesus say they aren’t trying to destroy people’s faith.

“I don’t have any desire to upset people,” says Freke. “I do have a passion for the truth. … I don’t think rational people in the 20th century can go down a road just on blind faith.”

Yet Easter was never just about rationale.

The Easter stories about the resurrection are strange: Disciples don’t recognize Jesus as they meet him on the road; he tells someone not to touch him; he  eats fish in another.

In the Gospel of Matthew, a resurrected Jesus suddenly appears to a group of disciples and gives them this cryptic message:

“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

And what did they see: a person, a pagan myth or a savior?

Albert Schweitzer, a 20th-century theologian and missionary, suggested that there will never be one answer to that question.  He said that looking for Jesus in history is like looking down a well: You see only your own reflection.

The “real” Jesus, Schweitzer says, will remain “a stranger and an enigma,” someone who is always ahead of us.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Belief • Books • Church • Culture wars • Easter • Easter • Evangelical • Faith • History • Jesus • Uncategorized • Virgin Mary

soundoff (8,771 Responses)
  1. Sylea Wertz

    April 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  2. GOD

    So many posts here dear sons and now I am back, tomorrow is the day where you will receive the message through our leaders, follow them.

    And please donta sk for money or jobs, I am not a bank, and the must important i do not exist.

    April 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  3. levy214


    The Day After The Rapture..funny

    April 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  4. Robert Brown

    1 John 5

    1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:

    April 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      SO WERE HINDU, INCEST RIAL PTOLEMY OF EGYPT. HINDU MITHRA'S, SAVIOR'S OF THE HINDU'S IGNORANT S.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    Justified by faith and saved by grace.

    Romans 5
    1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
    2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    April 14, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      NO ONE EVER EXISTED BY THE NAME OF JUSUS, WORD IS A FABRICATION OF ROMAN HINDU'S. PAGANS, WITHOUT ANY MEANING'S, NOR IS WORD CHRISTIAN PART OF FOUR GOSPEL'S, SHEAR HINDUISM, FABRICATION OF HINDU MAGGIE'S, PAGAN TRICKSTER'S.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  6. Mohammad A Dar

    Word Jesus is corruption of the name of son blessed Mary, Easu, Anointed one, Letter Jesus is added to make him a Jew, but he was a Hebrew, dedicated one to truth absolute 360*, not a hindu Pharisee, pagan hypocrite Jew, letter A is deleted to conform it to hindu, pagan trinity, and Letter S is added according to Hebrew language to show respect, Christianity is nothing but hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, son of blessed Mary had nothing to do with, nor with hindu sanatan, pagan goon ism labeled as Saint ism. No one is above the law, neither are these hindu santan's, pagan saints nor was son of blessed Mary.

    April 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • kjnm

      You demonstrate a clear example why atheism is a mental disorder

      April 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • momoya

      kjnm

      You demonstrate how ignorant it is to generalize..

      April 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Word Atheist means nothing but, self centered,secular, Jew, hindu or a pig, in denial of truth absolute 360*, pretending to be truth absolute 360* himslf, god. Nothing but hinuism, stupidity of a hindu, stupid, claiming to be what no human can be, god himself like a hindu sanatan, ignorant goon saint, hindu's, ignorant pray to as their man god.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      No need to be a hindu, deceptive, hinduism, pagan ism, labeled as Christianity is nothing but hindui Mithra ism, pagan ism, known by hinduism, pagan ism aa sanatan ism, saint ism.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Flatts

      u belong to a satanic cult

      April 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Question for you

      Dear. Mohammad A Dar

      I have been using toilett paper with tha name Ala on it, do you consider it as balasphemi?

      Its true taht if I die for Islam I will have tons of virgins in the afterlife?

      If so, I will asure you I will convert to it, just please send me in advance two virgins.

      thanks.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Only by hinduism absurdity of a hindu, absurd, Islam has nothing to do with hinduism, paganism of a hindu, pagan, Christian, but every thing with truth absolute 360*, hindu's deny in their hindu Judaism, filthy self center ism, secularism.

      April 15, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  7. Pope_Inquisitor

    jesus christ, what's the diff? He's dead and will stay that way. Who cares? Let's move into the 21st century, eh?

    April 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  8. Muneef

    The story of Prophet Jesus with the Children of Israel;

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/isa.html

    To read all the stories of Prophets of GOD as per the Holy Quran from Adam down to Muhammed (Pbuh) ;

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/

    April 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Enlightened

      Read the Bibe to know about Jesus.
      Above all confess your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior. The path to salvation is available only through Jesus Christ.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Enlightened

      Read the Bibe to know about Jesus . Above all confess your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior. The path to salvation is available only through Jesus Christ.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Really?

      Oh you foolish muslim. The Jesus you speak of is a construct by the Piso family of Rome. No doubt there were Christed ones that did many things in that time. No matter, what is real is the Christ mind, Higher Mind, etc that bit of our consciousness that does not need a body to exist, and no one gets to the Father without that. Your invented religion of islam does not even acknowledge this fact so how can you ever get in touch with God, the Universal Source?

      April 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Muneef

      Am not attacking here but rather asking you to read what you didn't know and it is up to you to take it or leave it,no harm meant. But really who wrote about Jesus if not him in the Bible and was the Bible written during the life of Jesus (Pbuh) ?

      April 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      About Bibles;
      http://www.injil.org/Kalimatullah/revelations.html
      http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Corruption_of_Previous_Scriptures_(Qur'an_2:79)

      April 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Flatts

      you are of satan

      April 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      No I am not but why you think that of me?

      April 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Cheshvan

      Muneef-You are worshipping satan because you do NOT know who GOD is and are blinded by your cultist teachings.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      No dear I worship the GOD of Abraham (saws) who are supposed to be worshiped by Jews,Christians and Muslims... In every prayers or reciting of the Quran we first seek refuge in GOD from Satan and his followers..;
      -–
      O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. 2:168

      He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know. 2:169
      --

      By Allah , We did certainly send [messengers] to nations before you, but Satan made their deeds attractive to them. And he is the disbelievers' ally today [as well], and they will have a painful punishment. 16:63

      And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe. 16:64
      ---
      So when you recite the Qur'an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy]. 16:98

      Indeed, there is for him no authority over those who have believed and rely upon their Lord. 16:99

      His authority is only over those who take him as an ally and those who through him associate others with Allah . 16:100
      --

      And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy. 17:53
      --

      And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing. 41:36

      April 15, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  9. kjnm

    Price is mistaken to say Josephus thought Hercules was real. Josephus was Jewish and he was trying to please Romans when he write about Hercules. It's one thing to write about Hercules and another to believe in him

    April 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • kjnm

      Sorry for the typo. I meant to type wrote

      April 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      It has also been proven that both references were added LATER by some over zealous Christian.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      So who was he trying to please, and how factual were his writings, when he was talking about Jesus?

      This is the core of the problem with Josephus – huge swaths of his accounts are pure drivel, and it's impossible to untangle his lies and exaggerations from whatever actual fact may reside in them.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • kjnm

        He was trying to please the general Pagans in the Roman Empire. They didn't take kindly to Jewish people either. It was only proven that part of his writings were edited and it has been generally accepted that a great deal of it wasn't

        April 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • kjnm

      Josephus was trying to get Romans to read his writings. He himself was a victim of the Jewish-Roman War and did not believe Hercules was a God. He was trying to appeal to the general Pagans in the Roman Empire.when he praised Hercules

      April 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • rsqdvr911

      kjmn ~

      No problem with what you're saying, but is that the consensus opinion of historical experts? Citations? Or just the opinion of intelligent Christian democrats to sell and promote their own agenda? Josephus per your description/opinion sounds like a slick, two timing politician trying to run for office by playing both sides of the crowd, saying what people want to hear just to get elected. He would be totally  at home in the mudslinging political environment we have today. Unfortunately, he would also hardly be then a credible witness or source if his writings are put to the test in a court of law and/or scientific inquiry.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  10. kjnm

    Josephus and Tacitus were trying to appeal to the Roman audience when wrote about Hercules, who was worshiped as a God. Tacitus was also a believer in Roman Gods who criticized Jesus in his writing too.

    April 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  11. momoya

    April 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • John

      I don't know people don't hate atheists – they may pity them but don't know any that hate them. I know it's PC today to be a victim but when you are the ones always hurling insults with no respect for others beliefs then it sounds a little hypocritical.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • momoya

      John, you're a dovchenozzle, and you'd be one if you were muslim, hindu, or atheist.. See my reply to you below.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • kjnm

      Why atheism is a mental disorder? You're showing a clear example of this fact. Atheists would fit in better as members of the mentally impaired Republican Party

      April 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  12. John

    As a Christian, I can respect the beliefs of Jews & Muslims....I may not agree with them but I respect them. I can't find any respect for atheists – I hate to make sweeping generalizations but based on the comments in this blog, I would call them them most hateful, self-centered & self-absorbed people I have ever encountered. At first this moved me to anger but over time that has moved to sympathy and love.....atheists are a people lost within themselves and this anger seems to be the desperate flailings of a people trying to find something to fill the hole in their soul where God should be. So I say, do not hate them but instead, pray for them.....be like Christ, who prayed for those who persecuted & tortured him..."for they know not what they do".

    April 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • momoya

      John, strawmen diversions aren't impressive.. Anybody can do it, but only those who prefer childish noise to rational discourse continue their usage after about the age of 16 or so.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Wow John, you just may have made EVERY wrong generalization about Atheists there are. What saddens me is that you say you are a man of faith, and yet you show no respect to those who do not hold your belief. You would make a better old testament prophet than a new testament Christian. Just saying.

      April 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, John, how many atheists do you know in real life?

      Or are they unwilling to acquaint themselves with someone as prejudiced as you seem to be?

      April 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Word Atheist means nothing but, self centered,secular, Jew, hindu or a pig, in denial of truth absolute 360*, pretending to be truth absolute 360* himslf, god. Nothing but hinuism, stupidity of a hindu, stupid, claiming to be what no human can be, god himself like a hindu sanatan, ignorant goon saint, hindu's, ignorant pray to as their man god.

      April 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • John

      As I wrote below – I wish that atheists were spiritually healthy, giving, loving people who were able to give as much respect as they expect but I just haven't found them yet. I think that they must exist but I haven't seen one....I have much more faith in a God who has been affecting lives in a positive way, who has performed recorded miracles for thousands of years, who raised his own Son from the dead & showed him to thousands of people after the resurrection - I have more faith in this God than I do in the mythical creature called a loving, caring, altruistic, joyful atheist. I've known quite a few atheists and read the writings of many (including comments on this blog) and none of them fit that bill.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • momoya

      John, you say stupid sh!t.. It's no wonder you think everybody's against you.. If you want to be treated like an adult, then act like one.. Just because your god says more stupid sh!t on each successive page of the bible doesn't mean you have to try to outdo him..

      Any sensible person can see that you're lying, and that you're an azzhole.. You think your snide little cut-downs like that "mythical creature" crap is all clever and cute, but really, it just exposes the level of your mentality–that of a fretful child.. You attract sh!t to yourself because it's all you scream about.. Why don't you try treating atheists like human beings before you whine about their eye roll responses to your frothing-diarrhea-at-the-mouth stupid generalities about how awesome you are for having a particular brain pattern that other, non-believers don't share.. I mean, you might be able to put one over on the folks here, but do you really think your god is buying all your pathetic ego wa.nks in his name?

      Grow up and deal with the fact that if god wanted to be known he'd be as obvious as math or chemistry.. Nobody knows what happens when you die, and nobody knows if we have a purpose or what it is.. Either deal with it, or keep your stupid bull-sh!t fantasy world in your closet, and let more intelligent people deal with the real world for you.. Yeah, your god had to sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself to save everybody from a magical, invisible disease because a rib women listened to a talking snake and did something wrong before she knew it was wrong and so now we all have to say magic words that cure an invisible body part of undetectable disease.. Please, grow a neuron or two to rub together, you bigoted freak of Santorum.

      April 15, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  13. Muneef

    So have they not traveled through the earth and have hearts by which to reason and ears by which to hear? For indeed, it is not eyes that are blinded, but blinded are the hearts which are within the breasts. 22:46
    ---

     As usually happened in such events, the poor and needy were the steadfast believers from the community[7] and the suppressive were the rich and arrogant townsfolk. As Saleh took the side of the underprivileged, the chieftains of the tribe reviled the prophet and mocked his words.
    Although Saleh had told his people about God's mercy, they argued and demanded that he obtain a miracle. This showed a weakness on the part of the Thamud people, and represents in them a childish reliance on visual miracles rather than spiritual faith. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saleh

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thamud

    http://www.islamawareness.net/Prophets/salih.html

    April 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  14. John

    The "belief blog" here on CNN seems to have little to do with people talking about their religion and more as a forum to bash religion.....and give that very small minority – the militant followers of Dawkin's atheistic cult, a bully pulpit to spew their hate. Well done, CNN – fair & balanced indeed.

    April 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • momoya

      John, If that's what you really believe about atheism, then you deserve your disgusting religion for being so stupid.. Do you really think that your obviously false as.sumptions honor your god?

      April 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • John

      momoya – I wish it wasn't true but unfortunately it is....your people's words proclaim your hate for everyone to see. But it doesn't have to be like that....God loves you and Christians will love you if you will give them a chance

      April 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • momoya

      John, I don't want salvation from any being as disgusting as your god.. I don't worship torturers or want to hang out with beings who build and sustain torture lakes.. As I said, If you're so stupid that you can't do honest research into what atheists think and speak out on, then you deserve your perverted deity..

      April 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Really?

      That is BECAUSE ALL religion is MAN MADE and with a purpose to control people.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • John

      I wish that atheists were spiritually healthy, giving, loving people who were able to give as much respect as they expect but I just haven't found them yet. I think that they must exist but I haven't seen one....I have much more faith in a God who has been affecting lives in a positive way, who has performed recorded miracles for thousands of years, who raised his own Son from the dead & showed him to thousands of people after the resurrection - I have more faith in this God than I do in the mythical creature called a loving, caring, altruistic, joyful atheist. I've known quite a few atheists and read the writings of many (including comments on this blog) and none of them fit that bill.

      April 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • momoya

      @John

      John, you say stupid sh!t.. It's no wonder you think everybody's against you.. If you want to be treated like an adult, then act like one.. Just because your god says more stupid sh!t on each successive page of the bible doesn't mean you have to try to outdo him..

      Any sensible person can see that you're lying, and that you're an azzhole.. You think your snide little cut-downs like that "mythical creature" crap is all clever and cute, but really, it just exposes the level of your mentality–that of a fretful child.. You attract sh!t to yourself because it's all you scream about.. Why don't you try treating atheists like human beings before you whine about their eye roll responses to your frothing-diarrhea-at-the-mouth stupid generalities about how awesome you are for having a particular brain pattern that other, non-believers don't share.. I mean, you might be able to put one over on the folks here, but do you really think your god is buying all your pathetic ego wa.nks in his name?

      Grow up and deal with the fact that if god wanted to be known he'd be as obvious as math or chemistry.. Nobody knows what happens when you die, and nobody knows if we have a purpose or what it is.. Either deal with it, or keep your stupid bull-sh!t fantasy world in your closet, and let more intelligent people deal with the real world for you.. Yeah, your god had to sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself to save everybody from a magical, invisible disease because a rib women listened to a talking snake and did something wrong before she knew it was wrong and so now we all have to say magic words that cure an invisible body part of undetectable disease.. Please, grow a neuron or two to rub together, you bigoted freak of Santorum.

      April 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  15. 640gen

    http://creativecounterpart.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/ending-the-myths-of-horus-jesus/

    April 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  16. Ivanka

    April 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  17. Teluu

    Image Jesus alive and been told he has no human father, how sad will he feel? They waited after 80 years of his dead and some psychos came out will false and fairy tales he is born by the so call "holy ghost" and some brainless believe it. Come On guys! Who will get pregnant without a sperm of a man. It makes one believe Christian religion is based on total lies and false. Jesus didn't write anything, but we have followers who have so far put so many words into his mouth. Who is Jesus

    April 13, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • kjnm

      Mary was impregnated by God. After all, he was known as the son of God The Bible talks about natural mating too.

      April 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  18. llnrox

    Why are we comparing Jesus to Obama? I don't think Obama ever claimed to be Messiah...

    April 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  19. Bender Armand

    I often find myself looking at these religious articles, mostly just to see the comments at the bottom. I am Christian, but that doesn't mean that I hate other faiths, races or nationalities. If I expect people to respect my beliefs, then I feel that I need to respect theirs, no matter if it aligns with my beliefs or not. Does this have limitations? I guess so, for example I don't condone organizations such as the KKK, even if they believe they are simply acting according to their faith. In that sense I agree that I am a hypocrite, but perhaps I will not be condemned for such a view, seeing as my thinking follows the human rights idea of "all created equal" and that every man has the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" (or property if you follow the original quotation, ha ha!) Back to my main concern: as viciously as religious fanatics attack those who choose to not believe, we find that the self proclaimed atheists bite back in similar kind, both parties creating a battle ground where there is no "victor" and no one can walk away without being hurt or perhaps hurting another human being. One would hope that the true "fruits" or "proofs" of religion would be found in the actions and characters of those who follow. I would also hope that those who follow the guidance of current secular understanding would be judged in a similar fashion: are they decent human beings? In the end, why should a fellow Christian hate me? Am I not a fellow brother, a child of God along with them? Or why should a Jew hate me? Am I not simply a Gentile that is trying to follow the law according to my understanding? And what of Atheists? Am I not just a fellow hairless monkey, trying to survive along with them? As I see it, every human being deserves a measure of respect.

    April 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Terry

      Well written.
      As an atheist and a scientist, I have no problem with how people express their religion in their churches and homes. Unfortunately, religion is currently the 4th Estate in our government. Public policy is tainted with the idea that this is a christian country. This philosophy states that every one be forced to adhere to a 2,000 year old biblical code. Our politicians are tacitly following the commands of the church and eschewing logic and science in order to gain the votes of churchgoers. LET CHURCH AND STATE REMAIN SEPARATE.

      April 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Follower of Christ

      Beautifully put, and well written. God bless.

      April 14, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Follower of Christ

      Terry, I agree. Christians should all want this same view anyways. "do NOT be equally yoked together with non believers". Ergo, We should stand off to the side, We should have our own private schools, and furthermore, Fellow brothers and sisters, stop judging non believers and shoving the faith down their throats. Look at it one of two ways, first of all, we cry for freedom and preach love, yet we scorn those who have just as much of a choice as we do, you want respect? Give it. Or, look at it from a biblical stand point.. Their blood is NOT on your hands, because you've warned them. So, why worry? In the end, we all have to share this world for now, why can't we do it in such a way that helps both parties, like fixing our economy, or feeding other countries.

      April 14, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Paul

      You mean like taking a bet each way??

      What happened to being no part of the world. Preaching God's Kingdom as the only hope instead of propping up something that is broken and under Satans control.

      April 14, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • Get Real

      Paul,

      And your verified evidence of the existence of "God's Kingdom" and "Satan" is....?

      April 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • John

      Great post, Armand

      April 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  20. Jesus Christ is God Almighty!

    Amen.

    April 13, 2012 at 4:58 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.