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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. PAUL

    the lord giveth!

    July 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  2. jedi gong

    http://www.lastjudges.com/1/post/2012/02/the-hermit-and-the-traveler-debate-religion.html

    July 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Paul

      I read an interesting article in Awake magazine the other day about Jesus, "Was Jesus really a historical person", it quoted from a book 'Evidence for the historical Jesus'. "Most scholars will admit that a certain man known as Jesus of Nazareth did live in the first century."
      Secular historians, including Josephus and Tacitus of the first century also mention Jesus as a real person.

      Of course there are those who would prefer not to believe that Jesus existed. Their motive however is questionable.

      July 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Paul

      Oooops, that was WatchTower magazine not Awake. Printed by the same organization.

      July 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Paul

      This site is absolutely worth having a look at if you want to do Bible research; http://www.jw.org

      July 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And The Watchtower doesn't have a motive to bolster the jesus myth?

      July 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • PAUL

      why we are here!!

      July 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Paul

      Only the truth.

      July 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Paul,
      The two Josephus references do not reference Jesus, as you as'sert.
      The first one is clearly a forged later "insertion", as anyone can see, (in the Museo Ambrosiano in Milan), and the second one is a reference to James. The Tacitus text references the "chrestus", and since Tacitius in other places gets "christians" correct, there is good reason to think he was not talking about Jesus, the Nazorene, or the christ.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:22 am |
  3. Paul

    Jesus had such an impact on the world like no other man. Even the basis of law and justice is founded in the Bible, which in itself gives evidence of its reliability and coming from a higher source, far above our understanding and considering it was written over a period of 1600 years and was completed nearly 2000 years ago.
    You may point to recent discoveries of scientists, which I agree are amazing and have proved to be useful. However they are only “discoveries” of what was there in the first place. Giving evidence of our Grand Creator and the design of humans to discover and utilise what he has made for us. Man could do nothing without the abilities we have been endowed with. You don’t see birds trying to figure out bird flu’! You don’t see monkeys having summit meetings and discussing the problem of deforestation! So why does mankind?
    We are unique, we were made in God’s image with an ability to ponder, discover, design and create in imitation of our God. We look at the thing made by God and wonder why? and then how? We even replicate and say how clever we are. But who made the original?
    Jesus is not a legend, he is real and you reject him at your peril.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  4. Paul

    Wake up: Catholic Church and the Bible.
    The Bible has been around a lot longer than the Catholic Church my friend. Although I agree the Church did considerable damage to the reading and distribution of the Bible. In fact they actively discouraged it’s reading and had regular Bible burnings. They also lit up those that tried to read it too. Why would they do this? Basically they kept people in the dark so as they could control them.
    However they did not win this war of concealing the truth about God and his purpose. God’s spirit is much stronger than any church and the truth did become known in time. Gods Word has been preserved for us to read today by the power of God and devoted men who gave their life to preserve the truth.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  5. Paul

    PaxChristi2U: The shroud of Turin?
    The greatest proof that Jesus existed is that there were over 500 eye witnesses to his resurrection 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. The book of Corinthians was written by the apostle Paul in the year 55CE, only 22 years after the event and there would have been plenty of those witnesses still living to contest this claim, but never did.
    I think over 500 eye witness accounts gives more credit to Jesus existence and resurrection than any old piece of material with wild claims. No DNA for absolute proof.

    July 16, 2012 at 3:38 am |
    • Get Real

      Paul,

      "there were over 500 eye witnesses to his resurrection"

      – Really? Name them.

      "only 22 years after the event and there would have been plenty of those witnesses still living to contest this claim, but never did."

      – Really? How could unnamed people contest it? And how do you know that no-one contested it? Not many could write in those days, you know; and even if they did, the powerful Church could have destroyed any contrary writings.

      "I think over 500 eye witness accounts gives more credit to Jesus existence and resurrection"
      – You don't have 500 eyewitness accounts. What you have is an unverified claim by Paul of Tarsus that they existed.

      July 16, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • Paul

      Get Real: Eye Witnesses
      The Bible list a number of them by name, the 12 apostles, James and Paul. Then there was the women, Mary X2, Martha just to name a few. Paul said that he appeared to upward of 500 at one time and added that “most of whom remain to the present”, 55CE.
      Not many could write in those days?? What a load of rubbish, the Jewish people were very literate and were able to read and write from an early age. The powerful Church did not exist until much later around 400BCE. Christians were not much thought of in the Roman world and were despised and persecuted. Any evidence that Christ was not real would have quickly gained ground. Even the enemies never doubted the existence of Jesus.
      So not only Paul’s account but many others, including secular historians.

      July 16, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Get Real

      Paul,

      It sounds like you were easily convinced about this legend.

      2000 years have gone by and still 2/3 of the world does not believe this story. The legend goes nowhere that indoctrinated men do not carry it. It took nothing near that amount of time for heliocentrism to be accepted world wide, or the benefits of penicillin, or an abundance of other things that are fact.

      I think that, for an alleged omniscient god, Jesus left very poor evidence of his existence and of his godhood.

      July 16, 2012 at 5:29 am |
    • jim

      Get Real, the doubt you're expressing is exactly the same as the expression of doubt that all the disciples of Jesus had at one time or another. They ran when Jesus was crucified and when there were reports of his resurrection, they didn't believe it until he appeared to them personally, even though he told them repeatedly that he was going to die and be resurrected. Those same disciples were witnesses to many miracles too. Speaking from personal experience, to believe is itself a miracle, but it certainly happened for me, but not without facing many doubts along the way and not just sweeping them under the carpet.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  6. Daniap Navinl

    I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

    July 11, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  7. Nook Faith Books

    Wonderful! Thanks for posting this.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  8. PaxChristi2U

    The Holy Shroud of Turin is increasingly considered empirical proof of Jesus existence and resurrection. Check out: The Discovery Channel, "Shroud of Turin, New Evidence" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YEivEc6KcI

    July 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Sakuntala

      This little guy is amiazng. He is so intense in some photos and then so smiley in others. He just radiates energy! Cool shoot. LOVE the little story behind it that you share in the beginning. Brings tears to my eyes as well.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  9. Paul

    Bill Deacon: Easter is the central holiday in Christianity!
    Not of true Christianity. True Christians reject this festival as pagan. What do bunny rabbits and chocolate eggs have to do with Christ?

    July 9, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Paul

      The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us: “A great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring. . . . The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility.”—(1913), Vol. V, p. 227.

      July 9, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      First, Pascha — or Easter if you prefer — is the most important Holy Day of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and many other Protestant Churches because the Resurrection of Christ from the dead is the essential, central truth of Christianity. If there is no Resurrection, then there is no new covenant or relationship with God, for mankind. Every covenant that God made with His children was always ’sealed’ in blood. The last and greatest covenant is ’sealed’ not with the blood of sacrificial animals, but the Blood of God Himself-Jesus Christ.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Who invited me?

      Easter was stolen from the "pagans" because the church could not have anyone celebrate festivals that did not have anything to do with their god. That is why bunnies, flowers, eggs, etc. are assoociated with it. It was a festival of fertility, welcoming of spring and celbration of nature. The church hijacked it and bent it to their own needs in an effort to more control the people.
      Christmas is the same: Jesus the man was actually born in summer, but the church could not have people celebrating the winter solstice ( a pagan festival) with no association to their god. so they bent the holiday to their own needs again. That is why the christmas trees and wreaths are still associated, remnants of the festival before the church hijacked it.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Paul

      Bill Deacon: You are absolutely right. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is crucial to Christianity and our hope for the future. However this celebration has nothing to do with Easter in anyway. Do you think we can worship God in truth and relegate his son equal to a pagan god of fertility? We are told to touch nothing 'unclean', in our worship to God. You could not get more unclean than worshipping God and at the same time rendering honour to a s@x mad god.

      July 10, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Glynis

      AnonymousGreat idea for the cape, my daughter loves to play dress up. Thanks for a lot of great ideas of how to reuse items and make them new. We need more of this today! Robin, Plainfield, IL

      July 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  10. Beth

    "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

    This is the last verse in the gospel of John. I've always wondered why John would write something so fantastic at the end of his gospel. I'm referring to " If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written". Sounds like a fairy tale ending, you know... "and they all lived happily ever after."

    June 24, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Yeah, i thought it was a bit of hyperbole as well. But then i thought of the fact that Jesus is the creator and so if that's figured into the equation, well then the statement isnt hyperbole.

      June 24, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  11. Nawalm

    Christmas is a collection of pagan fsetivals that the church tried to hijack and failed!! They therefore celebrate a pagan festival and surely if Jesus existed he would be repelled by that!!But what of Jesus himself?There is not one single mention of Jesus in the entire Roman record that is right not one!!! At the same time as he was supposed to have been around there were a number of Jews claiming to be the messiah all of whom are well recorded!!He was supposed to have been a huge problem to the Romans and produced wonderful miracles but still not one contemporary record?Even the bible mentions of him like all other references were not written until many years after his supposed death!!At best he was an amalgam of those others!!

    June 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Paul

      Nawalm:
      You are absolutely right about Christmas. Nothing to do with Jesus. More to do with Sun worship. Part of the great apostasy when such things as the cross, hell fire, immortal soul became accepted doctrines to appeal to the masses.
      However, about Jesus being real! You say no one from the Roman perspective wrote about him?
      The writers of the Greek Scriptures were eye witnesses of the events they wrote about. As these books were written and circulated at a time when other eye witnesses were still alive, this would have been contested but there is no evidence this happened.
      Secular writers;
      The first-century Jewish historian Josephus referred to the stoning of “James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ.” (The Jewish Antiquities, Josephus, Book XX, sec. 200)
      Tacitus, a Roman historian who lived during the latter part of the first century C.E., wrote: “Christus [Latin for “Christ”], from whom the name [Christian] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”—The Complete Works of Tacitus (New York, 1942), “The Annals,” Book 15, par. 44.
      With reference to early non-Christian historical references to Jesus. The New Encyclopædia Britannica states: “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”—(1976), Macropædia, Vol. 10, p. 145.

      June 20, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Easter is the central holiday in Christianity. Christmas is the central holiday in America

      July 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  12. JohnBartram

    "A number of authors and scholars say Jesus never existed."
    For an archaeological view, I recommend these two articles:

    > The vacuum of evidence for pre-4th century Christianity
    http://historyhuntersinternational.org/2011/03/06/the-vacuum-of-evidence-for-pre-4th-century-christianity/

    > A new Chronology
    http://historyhuntersinternational.org/2012/05/18/a-new-chronology/

    There is much discussion there via Disqus.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  13. Lorraine Voss

    It never cease to amaze methat when I do post information that is so close to the heart of the truth of this myth jesus, with proven facts from the book of rememembrance. The way one can find this truth is that when all of the other prophets coincide with the others facts, and confess them unto YHWH is how one knows it is the truth. Its taught that YHWH does nothing without His prophets in Amos 3v7, and in Duet 18, of how one can trust in the truth of a prophet that is of the Creator YHWH. This kind of post is not allowed to be posted on this site, and they talk about freedom of speech, yeah right, lol.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  14. Kindness

    1. For you.
    A thought to consider without a typical ego response
    Accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....
    Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeing a new color. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transcend any selfism within you.
    Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
    The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
    Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both Christians and non are sinners.
    We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
    It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
    Try reading Corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
    See the truth...
    do we do what it says in today’s society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arrogance pride or vanity..
    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revenge, gluttony with food etc .
    Transcend the temporal world.
    Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat itself.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagiarized..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transferred back to the rulers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
    Transcend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change)
    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence.....
    Faith. Above. Reason. In. Jesus. Christ.
    Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible. Ask Jesus in faith for discernment and start reading the New Testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how Christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
    Read Ecclesiastes. Read Corinthians.
    You can’t transcend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy/s to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
    Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are in Christ.
    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
    Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
    Once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new color.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
    You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
    You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    It’s a personal free experience you can do it free anytime.
    Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >

    It’s awesome… and it’s just between you and Jesus..

    June 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "A thought to consider without a typical ego response"

      Your posts reek of ego so the rest of it is moot, especially since you keep posting this garbage over and over again. LOL!

      June 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  15. Paul

    Wake up: Seekers of truth should read “The Jesus Mysteries”
    Had a quick look at a summary of this book, and frankly appears to be a lot of rubbish. Based on some views of men.
    Who were Gnostics?
    Gnosticism got its name from the Greek word gno′sis, meaning “knowledge.” Gnostic groups contended that salvation is dependent upon special mystical knowledge of deep things unknown to ordinary Christians. They felt that possessing this knowledge enabled them to teach, as The Encyclopedia of Religion says, “the inner truth revealed by Jesus.”
    As early as the first century, Christianity was influenced by false religious teachings, causing Paul to warn Timothy to turn away “from the contradictions of the falsely called ‘knowledge.’” (1 Timothy 6:20, 21) This may have been a reference to a movement called Gnosticism that gained prominence early in the second century but that evidently got started in the first century, possibly with a certain Simon Magus. Some authorities claim that this may be the Simon mentioned in the Bible at Acts 8:9.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Paul

      The Gnostics were not alone in twisting the truth about Christ. Nestorius, an early 5th-century patriarch of Constantinople, apparently taught that Christ was actually two persons in one, the human Jesus and the divine Son of God. In giving birth to Christ, Mary gave birth to the man but not to the divine Son. This view did not agree with Monophysitism (“one nature”), which held that the union between God and the Son was inseparable, and that although of two natures, Jesus was in reality only one, wholly God and at the same time wholly man. Accordingly, Mary would indeed have given birth to God, not just to the human Jesus.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:17 am |
  16. stephen

    The reality of Jesus in history is not in question Just as any other figure that we know about such as ceasar, pontius pilate, george washington. The gospels were written within about 25 years of jesus death. Back in the 1st century oral tradition was the means of transmitting information from generation to generation as they had no printing presses, video etc... if there was ever error the others in the community would have objected and made the correction to the event in question. there is other historical writings outside the bible confirming the reality of Jesus of Nazareth such as the jewish historian Josephus, the roman historian tacitus, also the talmud. Jesus is the most important person in all of history as he is the only one who can give you eternal salvation. The war rages on. the devil is decieving men more than ever with lies such as GOd does not exisist. Jesus is fake, Jesus is not the son of God. Life is a gift. The lord revealed himself to me when I was 12 years old. I grew up in a jewish family. I took a nap during the day which I never did because I was very active as most 12 year olds are. I saw a man in a white robe emanating light. Behind him were capitol letters also emanating white light that spelled out: JESUS CHRIST. Jesus is the lord over all. as he said before he ascended all power in heaven on earth is given unto me. Jesus Christ paid for your sins when he died on the cross. He was the only one who could have taken away your guilt.the bible states " there is none righteous. no not one." we have all broken GOds laws and are guilty. " the wages of sin is death but the gift of GOd is eternal life thru Jesus christ the lord. Gods payment for sins is a blood sacrifice by a sinless man. Jesus was the only sinless man who ever lived. The day is coming when all will stand before Jesus as judge. Only those who have surrendered their life to his lordship and recieved forgiveness of sins will enter into heaven. all others will be sentenced to eternal Hell. There is no escaped from hell forever. No second chances. God is the only one who can deliver and he has provided deliverance thru his son who he sent from heaven to earth to die for you. The bible states "if you confess with your mouth Jesus is lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved" then repent and read his word (the bible every day) to know him.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • tallulah13

      They were written more like 50 to 100 years, at least a generation or two. It's amazing how much a tale can grow, even in a single lifetime. Strangely, Jesus is missing from contemporary Roman records. You'd think that such avid record keepers would have written something about killing the "king of the jews" if he'd been such a big deal, but the Romans were silent on that matter.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Lorraine Voss

      stephen, yes this was from the jew johephus, and jesus is a jew according to mathew , and the Almighty Creator YHWH IS the Strong One of the Hebrew Israelites, according to EXODUS 3V18, not jews. Also, in Micah 5 it specifically states that this servant from the seed of David will be chosen by YHWH from the tribe of Judah Hebrew Isralites , from Bethlehem in Ephratah, but over in mathew they call jesus the king of the jews, and they say he was born in Bethlehem Judae, THIS CONTRADICTS WHAT IS IN THE OT, AND THE NT SHOULD FULFILL THE OT RIGHT? To add..Exodus 4v22,23 tells us who YHWH says His son is, and its 'ISRAEL' His FIRSTBORN SON at that, tell me can there be two firstborn sons?

      June 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Lorraine Voss

      stephen, sorry read this in mathew 2 of what jesus is, and where he is from. Also, many should get off of the Good Ship jesus fast, look it up this was the first slave ship, and it is still controlling the masses for gain, and is why the world is not any better since the 2000years of doing this idol; as was prophesied it would not in the book of Daniel, in Daniel 11v39-45, and of islam, vs.43, and all religions are pagan idolatry, not of YHWH the Creator of all life, in Isiah 44v24

      June 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • jim

      tallulah 13, if someone were desperate enough to want to find the way out of a cold dark cave, would he or she be consulting other sources to verify a map found in the cave, showing the way out? I don't think so. So if you're satisfied with your 'way out of the cold dark cave' of life, and where it all ends for everyone, then good luck with that. In that case, you don't need to rattle anyone's chain here and get them sputtering and defending their belief in Jesus' existence and divinity because you're absolutely and unequivocally, bet-your-life-certain it's all myth anyway and you know you'll be okay when your life is over. Right?

      August 22, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  17. Evangelicals are Crazy

    Truth is stranger than fiction. The Myth is Real people. The ancient Church Universal which became the Roman Catholic Church knows too well and is keeping it alive.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Paul

      At what point do real people become myths?

      May 23, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Wake up

      Myth has value even if not real. The Jesus in the Bible is a construct of several people and pagan myths. The Vatican was built over a pagan temple. Seekers of truth should read "The Jesus Mysteries". Look up Orpheus Bacchus or Osiris- Dionysus. The Early church destroyed most traces of the Gnostics until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which remain mostly hidden and inaccessible.

      May 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • jim

      Why would you decry the supposed lack of evidence that supports the existence of Christ? You seem to have a very low requirement for quality evidence when you believe what you claim to believe without providing any credible evidence beyond what the average conspiracy theorist buys into.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  18. John

    Every time I get to the comment section of the religion blog, I see two names, Reality (still laugh at the irony of that name for this wingnut) and momoya (who's so fully self-absorbed that it can't see it's own conflicted nature). Now I admit that I don't get to the comment section often but every time these two are here spreading their message of atheism with as much hate and vile, occasionally disguised as "logic and reason", as they can squeeze out. I guess this is an example of the new militant, evangelical atheism that is attacking religions of all kinds. All I can say is don't try to reason with them or get drawn into a "discussion" because it won't really be a discussion since they couldn't care less what you have to say. It's like the old adage about wrestling with a pig....you both get dirty and pig likes it. They are both so completely self-absorbed that they can't see anything except the dogma they have picked up on the atheism websites that reinforces their self-love over everything. Religion has survived much worse persecution than these two "intellectuals" so take my advice and don't sink to an exchange with either. P.S. Reality, at least, will go by other names but you can see the style so treat them appropriately. Peace be with you.

    May 20, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Paul

      Well said, well they can never say we didn't try. I had never heard the pig story, but very appropriate. Thanks for your comment.

      May 21, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  19. Paul

    Kindness: I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    So why did you put faith is Jesus? For what reasons?
    I personally have faith in Jesus and I have some very good reasons, which can be explained to convince others to believe as well.

    If you have a look through the book of Acts and Hebrews you will find the Apostle Paul spent considerable time reasoning with non-believers, with the effect of making many disciples. In Acts 9:22 it says, “he proved logically that this is the Christ.”

    May 9, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • Sanjeev

      Kambere Habasikiyake Posted on Dear sir/madamI am a congolese livnig in Uganda for 6 years now and want to benefit from the scholarship. I studied social sciences and social administration in my home country. But in Uganda i did some short courses like the International human right law and work with an organisation called the Refugee Law Project. I want to fufill all the requirements to quelify for the scholarship.Thanks. Kambere

      July 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  20. Paul

    Kindness: Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    How can you put faith in something you don’t know?

    This teaching goes against what the Bible teaches. Faith cannot be expressed unless you know what you are putting faith in. For example why would Christians need to preach and teach Matt 28:19. Part of making disciples is teaching. When Jesus preached to the Samaritan woman at the well he first gave her information about the messiah, based on this information the woman put faith in him. John chap.4.

    Please read Romans 10:14, “However, how will they call on him in whom they have not put faith? How, in turn, will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? How, in turn, will they preach unless they have not been sent forth?...” That is why Paul said, “faith follows the thing heard”. Rom 10:17.

    So you see evidence is very necessary for faith.

    May 9, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Wake up

      Dude, it is illogical to prove the Bible with the Bible. The muslims do the same with the koran. I would be most interested as to the people that wrote the Bible. What really happened at the Council of Nicaea and Emperor Constantine at about 400 AD. For Characters like the Piso family of Rome and another character by the name of Eusebius. The deception is long and large, mainly promulgated by the Catholic Church for reasons of money and control.

      May 25, 2012 at 5:34 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.