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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 • Faith • History • Jesus • Uncategorized • Virgin Mary

soundoff (8,773 Responses)
  1. Pipe-Dreamer

    Martin wrote on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm to Jill stating, "it is lack of respect for the rational that is disrespectful to the human brain. most of theistic religion is just plain fairy tales, crammed down the credulous brains of little children...irrational religion divides and create hatred...honest inquiry, doubt, science, music, art, unites."

    What Martin is your perceptions regarding what "rationalism" truly is? Is it rational to think that "our" universe is the Celestial Cosmos' only universe as science now stands upon? Is it rational to think we are all made up of "non-living" particles of matter science calls atoms when the ancient phiolosophers of Greek and Roman Theologies said that the basic building blocks are but "elemental gods"? Where do you Martin draw the boundaries around thoughts of rationalism?

    April 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • doughnuts

      You know little of philosophy, and even less of cosmology.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • archimedes109

      If you think you just made sense, well...that's just a pipe dream.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      My post was for Martin and not a bunch of dil-do wannabes,,,,

      April 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Martin

      boundry? there is no supernatural IMHO. everything is natural, real. the natural is more than super enought. thanks for the read and question.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  2. Anastazio

    There is no proof that others before Christ had lived and died in a similar manner, other than the con-spi-cuous writings by individuals belonging to con-spi-cuous organizations, or because of other selfish motivation. Even if that was the case, who’s to say that beings who knew about the prophesies where not trying to deceive humanity in advance by a false messiah, of whom nothing was first foretold by the prophets (Socrates had declared that he was listening to a "dea-mon"), or that God or beings acting on Gods behalf were not preparing the world with predecessors, before the one and only True Messiah (Jesus Christ) of whom the prophets had foretold and who fulfilled all prophesies to the letter, had co-me?

    April 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Allen

      So you saying everything is a lie and the only truth is the bible. Even when NASA brought information that state the sun is the center of the planet. That Dinosaurs bone are fake etc.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • archimedes109

      Living and dying in a manner similar to Jesus' story seems to have been a popular theme during, and prior to, the first century. Just a minimal effort to use the internet as a research tool will prove this to you in a convincing fashion.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  3. Phosphorus

    Why did the blond think she was Jesus? She was nailed three times on Good Friday!

    April 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • archimedes109

      wow...that is fantastic!

      April 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  4. Anastazio

    1. The reason Christ was crucified, was to make an impact in history with His crucifixion that would not be forgotten so that the Truth about God would not be forgotten ( especially at a time that humanity had reached its lowest point as displayed in the times of the Roman empire ( de-ba-u-che-ry, murder for sport etc.).

    April 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Allen

      crucified,... thought he was crucified by force, not freewill. So you saying he trick the roman to crucified him as a statement....

      April 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • archimedes109

      Murder for sport? You mean like the Inquisition?

      April 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • momoya

      I already won on the one, Stazi.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Dennis

      Promethus was chained to a rock and Suffered a thousand years. compare that to a little ouchie and a 3 day dirt nap.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  5. Mahmud from Iran

    I live in Iran and if I had the chance I would convert to Christianity any time! I cannot believe those people who live in freedom of religion in America don't convert to Christianity..... it's a shame. Christianity is the only truly peaceful and true religion.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • archimedes109

      But, since you haven't already converted to Christianity...those very same peaceful Christians will gleefully explain how you will suffer for eternity in the blast furnace of hell. You know...because God loves you...

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • YeahOk

      I am friends with a girl in Tehran. :)

      April 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  6. archimedes109

    Christianity is a set of allegorical myths sprinkled over earlier pagan solar religions. It is exactly what I would employ, as emperor/pope/dictator of the hour, to keep the commoners from rising up and slaughtering me in my sleep. Once I convince them to turn the other cheek and endure their lot, and that their true reward will come in a 'next life,' I will truly be the shepherd, and they the sheep.

    Baa...baa...get back with the flock, Christians!

    April 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  7. mickey weedon

    I lost my amazing wife to a Christian cult. It is like she is brain dead now. I had to divorce her.
    Religion sucks! Wars.....the USA is lost to me. I got so sick of all the evangelicals taking over my country I left the USA for ever.
    Bye bye you Christians nut jobs!

    April 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Mahmud from Iran

      Be happy you live in Christian countries..... In Islamic countries you get killed if you disagree with the Quran or Islamic law (Sharia).

      Atheists in Christian countries are spoiled

      April 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Liz

      Thank God she left you.... you don't deserve her since you agree and decides to live unGodly which will lead you to hell

      IN GOD WE TRUST is our motto and you should never touch your feet in American land your moron

      April 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Proud Christian forever

      I'm happy and glad she left a bigot like you. Go to hell

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Momiz

      You divorced her because of her Christian faith? Wow you must have had the devil inside you.
      Shame on you and DON'T COME BACK TO AMERICA EVER

      April 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Bye bye troll

      April 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Shepard

      So much for being tolerate and forgiving. You indoctrinated fools are ridiculous. You realize that "IN GOD WE TRUST" started in the 50s, right? Your country was never founded "under god," in fact, your founder, Mr. Washington, was not a believer in your invisible deity. It's sad that you know so little about your own country..

      April 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  8. nomdefaitour

    The Persians had a religion which predated the new testament by centuries. It involved a demigod who was in a battle between good and evil, and who when put to death proclaimed "Forgive them father they know not what they do". Coincidentally, these remarkable similar accounts were found in the New testament following the enslavement of the Jews by the Persians.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are correct but the christians will not hear of it.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Dennis

      Hercules ...father a god. Mother a human. Ascended as a god after a tormented death.

      Horus is a reborn god, depicted and worshiped as in both adult and infant forms.

      You could never write the bible today, the copyright infringements would shut it down.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • nomdefaitour

      This pagan religion is called zoroastrianism and it STILL exists today; yes there are people in the Middle East who still follow this faith.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  9. † In God We Trust †

    Atheists feels so lonely on Christian holidays...... 'poor' gothics..

    April 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Dennis

      Naw, it's just like Halloween.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Allen

      Not really computer programming homeworking that why i am posting, but why you here?, posting, alone?

      April 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • On my knees for God's pleasure

      Not really, here in Tokyo, no one is bothered by loony holidays.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Not really. All the good "christian" holidays were stolen from pagans, so we just hang out with some of our pagan friends.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  10. deano

    the only way the can write these people off is by comparing them to others such as jfk, holocaust and other deniers, but they have no real way to disprove them except for slander.... figures, most religious people use slander or the sword to get you to "believe" in "their" religon... basically its die, or be a social outcast if you don't believe what i believe...

    April 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  11. Martin

    blood sacrifice, the killing of a son, is a sick idea from ancient twisted minds. Eat my body, drink my blood. sick sick sick...humans are nuts,,, virgin birth, levitation, zombie back from the dead, etc. etc, are just plain ol' lies.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • nomdefaitour

      Don't forget God rA ping a young woman and forcing her to carry his child.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • saburwulf

      god forced who to do what??????
      mary was never to do anything, she was the perfect vessel to carry the savior

      April 8, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • nomdefaitour

      Yeah and the ra Pe of Mary was borrowed from pagan religions too. Numerous ancient religions described their pagan gods producing offspring, called demigods, with humans. Hercules, Achilles, and even Alexander the Great were all proclaimed to be demigods, i.e. partly divine.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  12. reason

    The gods of all organized religions, if true, would all be horribly unjust and evil deities to send billions of people to eternal suffering for choosing the wrong one or being born in the wrong place. Looking at organized religion objectively, they are myths from iron age societies that were trying to explain the world, and there is virtually no chance any one is truth.

    Rationally speaking if there is a just god and an afterlife, you will be judged on how you live your life. Rejecting reason and deluding yourself in blind faith does not help your case.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4or90cmyhk&w=640&h=390]

    April 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • saburwulf

      another way to justify your sinful wants out of life, just admit to that and stop all this jesus bashing

      April 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      "Rationally speaking if there is a just god and an afterlife, you will be judged on how you live your life."

      The subtle one and father of lies would love for you to buy this.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Dennis

      Robert – Anyone can spot a domestic abuser. Love me or else!

      April 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • doughnuts

      “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful – just stupid).”

      –Robert A. Heinlein

      April 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  13. Jill

    I think what you need to look at is how to be more tolerate of people with differrent views or religions.Just because some one beleives in any religion does not make them stupid. i think to put a article about how jesus never exsisted is very disrespectful..To do it on a holly day for chrsitans is even more disrespect full. The same for any other religion.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Get over yourself and religion.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Oh ! Btw. . .I'm celebrating the birth of the first unicorn today! Happy Unicorn Day everybody! Weeeee !

      April 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "Just because some one beleives in any religion does not make them stupid."

      It not only makes them stupid it makes them delusional, a mental disorder.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Martin

      it is lack of respect for the rational that is disrespectful to the human brain. most of theistic religion is just plain fairy tales, crammed down the credulous brains of little children...irrational religion divides and create hatred...honest inquiry, doubt, science, music, art, unites

      April 8, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Jill oh kind Jill,,,,

      Don't you let these billie goats of sillie willies mess with your wonderfully made Self! You are above them and do not let yourself backslide to their ever so smalled stature. :-)

      April 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  14. momoya

    1. The rest of this list is just some weird crap that I made up.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  15. Anastazio

    2. There are superior and inferior beings within the Infinite ( Infinite in any perspective – God ).
    3. The infinite is not mechanized, comprising by gears, machines and robots, but by free minded individuals with self – interest and the need for self – preservation implanted in them, in order for them to survive and function within the Infinite.
    4. With free – will and self – interest, selfishness and evil emerge, as emerging properties.
    5. Life is a learning experience and a proving ground which prepares beings for higher level of existence and function within the Infinite.
    6 Christ is the manifestation of the Infinite, the Administrative Force within our portion of the Infinite, the messenger, the Son of God, the Messiah.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Tell us that you are not this by definition:

      delusion |diˈlo͞oZHən|
      noun
      an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder: the delusion of being watched.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Yah. . mmmkay. whatever.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Way Out There

      Voice of "Reason"
      Tell us your are not this by definition:
      Arrogant, adj.
      Making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud

      April 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Way Out There

      You call providing a definition arrogant? It is apparent that you are just plain ignorant.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Voice of Reason: "Tell us that you are not this by definition: delusion |diˈlo͞oZHən|
      noun: an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder: the delusion of being watched.

      Hey Voice of Reason and other atheists, tell us that atheism isnt a religion by these definitions:

      1. A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially [Note: especially, but not limited to – see other defs] when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. [Note: atheists are generally into the humanist moral code].

      2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects. American Atheists, et al.
      3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: [Note: Atheist orgs.]

      Origin:
      1150–1200; Middle English religioun (< Old French religion ) < Latin religiōn- (stem of religiō ) conscientiousness, piety, equivalent to relig ( āre ) to tie, fasten ( re- re- + ligāre to bind, tie; compare ligament) + -iōn- -ion; compare rely.

      Note: conscientousness, humanism, the moral code of the atheist, where they remind us that they're as conscientous as the religious or even more so.

      Also note the root from Latin: To bind, tie and rely. They recently had a national 'coming-out' gathering together, a body in unity, celebrating their world-view. They've also had atheist and humanist org official membership for years.
      Conclusion: by definition, ALL the hallmarks of religion, just omitted the supernatural, that's all.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • merlinblack

      Atheism is a religion the same way not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  16. Anastazio

    7. Christ died on the cross to save humanity from the deception by beings who already had failed through their learning experience, failed in their duties, and out of selfishness (self – interests that disregards the self – interest of others) failed God. Beings who know that all is left for them to do is to take more beings with them in their doom, since they do not repent. Surely no being can go against the will of the Infinite God, and expect a positive outcome out of such a dire choice.

    "And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment." Jude 1:6. 1/3 of the God's angels was cast out of heaven because they abused their position of authority and administration within the Infinite. They were separated from the organization of beings which were still devoted to the Infinite God and served God's will and administered within their sector of responsibility for the Infinite God, and followed the concept of caring for one another and the well being of everything within the range of their duties ).

    April 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  17. Smako

    Myth? Arabs, Jews, Hindus and even Roman manuscripts all agree he existed. There is a huge disagreement over what he was, but they all say he lived. Being nailed to a cross was not used as a holy symbol. In their day it was the method for a cruel execution, used more as a threat than an actual manner for killing a criminal. The crime he was convicted of was not a reason for this kind of death, but the rich and powerful of his day demanded it. Pilate only agreed to it after washing his hands of it, a legal symbol in those days. The trial kept in records for centuries in the Vatican library.
    Myth? In a few decades they will try to say Martin Luther King Jr was a myth.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • CatSh

      So, how do you know of the existence of these records and the experts don't? I think you should examine the source of your information. Never trust what somebody told you unless you know the source of their knowledge. Too much hearsay floating around as fact....

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  18. Anastazio

    "Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity." John 12:25

    With other words those who prove worthy through the test of life will become beings of a higher level, to serve with their existence, administering within a sector of the Infinite, or having other duties according to their proven worth. Those who do not prove worthy, will be "recycled" back into the Infinite to serve by other form of existence (some particles have to become the Earth, the water and plants, and others the suns which provide planets with energy. We all serve within the Infinite, one way or another.

    April 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Allen

      so you saying, that if we join christian, we will never balance back the earth, or recycle back the planet, therefore turning earth to a dry up waste land with no nutrition to replenishment the earth therefore killing our grandchildren....Wow that sad, all take no return, no wonder you guy don't believe in global warming.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Bingo

      You hit a major point, Allen: the Bible is now putting out really bad advice. Go forth and multiply is only going to make the overpopulation problem worse. The world is already fast approaching the maximum occupancy level.

      Unless God has a nice pandemic to balance out the population. It's okay for God to mass murder like that.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Anastazio

      Prove me wrong Allen.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Anastazio

      Can you prove me wrong Allen.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Allen

      the part that earth need to recycle to continues life on earth or the something before that.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Anastazio

      What was before before Allen, and for what reason. At least I gave a possible, logical explanation, for there is always a reason you get something out of something and you never get anthing out of nothing, unless you are an atheist and claim that you possess scientific knowledge, but you cannot provide a simple explanation as to what make an enzyme perform a specific work, and why ions of hydrogen turn power ATP synthase to produce ATP in your cells so you can have the energy required to doubt Gods existence. If you do not know what I am talking about, read a biology book and then try to make a point.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  19. † In God We Trust †

    Reasons why Atheism is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things...

    † Atheism is a religion that makes you stupid, ignorant & blind.
    † Atheism is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Atheism makes you post stupid things (90% of silly comments here are posted by closet Atheists)
    † Atheist are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Atheists causes problem in our religious society.
    † Atheists are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Atheism won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.
    † Atheism making you agree with Stalin, Hitler (Denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders.
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † Atheists are angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Atheist try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    † Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people.
    † Atheists have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most Atheists are uneducated... No Atheists could run for presidency.
    † Atheism brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Atheism cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says atheism is wrong, and the Bible is always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)
    † Countries where Atheism is prevalent has the highest Suicide rate & Communist countries = Atheism!
    **Only 2-3% of the U.S. are Atheists/Agnostics VS. over 90% who believe in God (80% Christians) in the U.S.**

    †† Our Prayers goes to Atheists to be mentally healthy and seek their creator ††..

    April 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Jesus said that a lie told many times becomes the truth, so I am lying many times to make it my lies the truth.

      I THINK it was Jesus who said that. He also said something about telling big lies, so I do that too.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Smako

      In the scriptures, even the Devil believes in Christ. He spoke to him, he tempted him and challenged him.
      Personally I have nothing against Atheists, if I had a business I would hire them and have them work on Holidays. They can't say they object to working on holidays on religious grounds, just like Jehovas Witnesses. Choosing not to have a religion is not a religion, if they want they can put it to a jury.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Shayna

      Time to go night-night, story time is over.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • harrisonhits2

      Talk about psychotic religious fascists. You are no different than the Taliban and other extremists who think they know how everyone else should live and dictate it to them. Funny how often the supposedly devout turn out to be total hypocrites though. You can keep your bronze / iron age religion, I certainly want no part of your insanity.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • mickey weedon

      Dude, you worship some dead guy on a stick and believe in some invisible space daddy.
      Your the nut bag!

      April 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Dan

      Atheists also eat babies.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Dave 666

      † Atheism makes you post stupid things .....

      Seriously??? Is this not the stupidest posting ever seen???

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • doug

      I am an Atheist and also a member of Mensa. I am certainly not stupid and am most certainly much more intelligent than you. I celebrate the birth of Santa Claus every December 25th just like you and absolutely love Christmas music. If gawd exists, may he strike me down where I stand.................................................................Well, there it is then........I'm still here.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • daltxn

      I think you need to lookup the definition of 'atheist'. An atheist who believes in Satan is not an atheist since believing in Satan could imply monotheism or simply being a theist in general An atheist cannot convert someone to something else since an atheist does not believe in the existence of deities. If being atheist means one thinks like/agrees with mass murders, then being Christian must mean thinking like/agreeing with Jim Jones and David Koresh. I could go on an on with your goofy list of nonsense however I tire of this charade.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Dave 666

      ...Atheists do not really exist, they just pretend that they don't believe in God and argue with religious people...

      Nope... we really exist...scary huh?"

      April 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • T

      Hey, In God We Trust, not one thing you've said here is anything but your bigoted opinion. Nice crosses next to each one, though. Quoting the bible as proof of anything in the bible is ridiculous. God isn't real. Want proof? It's in my book "God Isn't Real."

      April 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Jamie K

      This is the most ridiculous post I've seen in a very long time. I'm not an atheist, but I still think you're a moron.

      April 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Shepard

      What do those "t's' stand for?

      April 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  20. Anastazio

    8. Surely we could not expect Christ to proclaim the gospel using complicated manners of expression, and phrases such as "quantum mechanics," as we cannot expect the Bible to declare that the world was billions of years old, since some people could barely understand simpler concepts, and would still count with their fingers (six days instead of 6 billion years – from the time perhaps the first materials formed in space).
    9. Christ told us not to worry about the inconceivable for our minds details. He said instead :
    "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can co-me to the Father except through me." John 14:6

    April 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Shepard

      Have you ever picked up a book other than the bible? You know, you can't just pull quotes out of passages and use them in your arguments. Last I checked, that book is not a bag a trail mix, you can't just pull a quote out and disregard the entire passage.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
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About this blog

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