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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. Promote Peace

    In all honesty, as people alive today, we will not uncover the truth until we die. However, this whole issue of Jesus being real or a pagan myth is not as Obsured as many make it seem. In a World History class I took once, we studied a Sumerian story about a man named Gilgemesh it was a story parallel to the biblical story of Noah and the Arc. Being that Sumerians were apart of the worlds first civilization, obviously they were not monotheistic. The idea of Jesus being this mythical hero is not too over the top, in fact many of the people are opposed to this disbelief have to open up their mind set instead of arguing through the use of ad hominem. Now I am not a conspiracist or a devout monotheist (mostly because I disagree with all the hatred a judgement taught to beleivers, and this 'judgement' happens to be a fundamental to these faiths... Considering 'Judgement Day' and all) but I have studied many monotheistic faiths for a long time trying to fit them into my life. If you ask me, the perfect religion is the one that fits you best and your needs, and the existence of Jesus should not obstruct your faith if you're a firm believer.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      @ Promote Peace,,,,

      Kudos to you for an enlightening sermon! I salute your psychologic ingenuities for writing such a good Work!

      April 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  2. Anastazio

    This sen-sor-ship so-ft-wa-re us-ed on this site is gar-ba-ge. Your tactics are older than you may be able to co-n-cei-ve atheists.I would lo-ve to have a de-ba-te with all of you atheists on national tv, so the people you are trying to decieve for various reasons ( simply to relief your own con-sci-ous-ne-s-s, and co-nvi-nce yourselves that God does not exist against your own con-sci-ous-ne-s-s, or simply because you have other more co-mpli-ca-ted motives will see through your ancient old tactics, though talking through the blog and trying to ci-r-c-um-nav-ig-a-te it to make a point on fixed minds and deaf ears, is a waste of time. I rather write on a brick wall.

    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 10:21 pm |
    • momoya

      You're and idito who wouldn't be able to tell when his azz was beaten solid in a debate..

      Atheists don't have to have an answer.. We don't have to believe that there ever was a "nothing" at any time any where.. The universe just came from some other other.. Oh well.. Just because you've got a story doesn't mean it's true.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Prove there is a god. You won't because you cannot.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • 1word

      Voice of Reason
      You want me to prove God exist, you just proved he does by existing!

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Bible Bob, Knight of Infallibillibabbity

      1word speaks the truth! You exist because God exists. Hitler existed because God exists. Stalin exists because God exists. Jack the Ripper, Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, all proof that God exists.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  3. Apotropoxy

    Did Jesus exist? Sure
    Was he a god or even a messiah? No

    There are no gods.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  4. Father

    Forgive them father for they kow not what they do

    April 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • nomdefaitour

      This being the plea of the Zoroastrianism demigod when he was put to death by his own kind centuries BEFORE the same events were alleged to have occurred in the New Testament. The story was clearly borrowed from a pagan religion.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  5. christiantruth

    Funny, how no Christian is arguing the fact that it is completely unbiblical to call the day of Resurrection, Easter and keep the customs of a pagan culture. In addition, Christmas Dec 25 is NOT the birthday of Christ!!!!

    I believe the story of Jesus Christ is absolutely true, but the arguments here just show ignorance on behalf of a good number of the Christian responders.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  6. Bill

    Momoya

    Maybe there is no such thing as up and down or good or bad. Maybe it's just thinking and consenses that makes those things a belief.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  7. jl20grand

    One thing I know for sure, Without the Birth of Jesus, The Death OF Jesus and the All Important THE RESURRECTION of Jesus.> We wouldn't have all these UNBELIEVER Talking about Jesus. THE only living GOD, who seat at right-side of the FATHER. HE LIVES FOREVER!!!!!!!!!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Theophilus

      right on. unbelievers try to "enlighten" Christians by trying to explain how to be "open minded" by limiting life and faith to only the things that are seen, when in fact, the doubters and the atheists are closed minded by not wanting to admit that God is real and that they are in open rebellion against the only Person who truly loved them. Before he came to know Christ, apostle Paul thought he was going a service to society by persecuting Christians. Meeting Jesus face to face made him despise what the world has to offer and to proclaim the truth of the resurrection of Jesus to the entire world. The reality is – you will all meet Jesus, but I hope it will be a moment of welcome into His presence, not a condemnation for being an accomplice with the devil.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • apostate

      You are a doubter and an atheist when it comes to Thor and Vishnu.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  8. b4bigbang

    Will the atheist s be having a spring gathering in DC or elsewhere every year?
    Which rules of conduct apply? American Humanist? Gee, ya think you could write up a big Bible of Everything according to.....

    April 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bored

      We do have a book...its called Logic for First Graders!

      April 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • AGuest9

      There, obviously, is no need for a bible.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Never heard of 'logic for 1st graders', but i do still have my critical thinking textbook from the *university where i graduated w/honors.
      *One of Business Week's 'world's top 100 business schools'.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yah, sure ya did. And I'm the Queen of England. Come on up to Buckingham Palace for tea tomorrow, b4.

      You're so stupid it sits on you like the stink on a skunk.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I love it: "From the university where I graduated with honors."

      Obviously, you didn't get those honors for your ability to write.

      You're such a moron, bfart.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  9. Varr

    Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • pythagoreanvegancommunity

      for they are truly stupid. Isn't that how the sentence ends???

      April 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      John 20:29
      Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      You're a queen alright Tom Tom.
      Tell me, why why why do you insist that you're not gay after plainly telling another poster that you were the other night?
      Were you lying to the poster then?

      April 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do produce the post in which you imagine I did so, dip wad. Thanks in advance. I'll be waiting with bated breath, you dolt.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It cracks me up that bfart can't even manage to reply to the post intended.

      Brilliant!

      April 8, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Know What

      b4bigbang,

      "You're a queen alright Tom Tom.
      Tell me, why why why do you insist that you're not gay after plainly telling another poster that you were the other night?
      Were you lying to the poster then?"

      Oh my, b4, you are the gullible one aren't you. It does explain a lot about you, however.

      To spell it out for you: There is no lock on screen names here. Some joker posted under Tom, Tom's name. Guess what... I have seen some doozies posted as b4bigbang too.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  10. Blashphemy

    What a sordid, blashphemous, totally inappropriate article to publish on Easter Sunday of all days.

    For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
    Matthew 24:27

    April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Tom tom, if i was in the habit of saving your posts, i would be just as creepy as you, ole queen.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, if you can't produce it or find it, it doesn't exist, moron.

      Thanks for playing! Johnny, tell him what he's won!

      April 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
  11. 1word

    Jesus lives in me everyday. Everyday I wake up Jesus is resurrected! BELIEVE THAT!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Does that then mean that Jesus is cancer?

      April 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  12. † In God We Trust †

    the Pope today urged peace to the world at Easter Sunday mass in the Vatican. What do other religious and particularly Atheistic leaders do?

    April 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Who really cares?

      April 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Shepard

      Atheist? Are you as retarded as you are ignorant?

      April 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • pythagoreanvegancommunity

      And what else have Christians done? Well, let's see. They had an Inquisition that lasted over two centuries. They burned non-believers at the stake. They tortured heretics. They organized Crusades where hundreds of thousands of innocent people were slaughtered. They are guilty of genocide of the Cathars and Waldenses. Today they bugger young boys in the sacristies of their churches and their bishops cover up the crimes and protect the criminals. As far as I'm concerned the Christian church is the most wicked and evil organization that the Western world has ever known. And anyone who enters the door of such a cult should be ashamed.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Mr. J

      Well, I'll tell you what this Atheist did. This Atheist did some yard work and drank a daiquiri. No time for imaginary friends who tell us to hate our families.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Nancy

      Atheistic leaders? I am an atheist and didn't know we had any "leaders". We have proponents, we have authors, we have groups, but leaders? Even though we are good morally sound people, I do wish we had a "leader" who would be willing to run for POTUS. I know it will happen some day as our numbers are rising, but not in my lifetime.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  13. Andy Christensen

    "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

    John 20:30,31

    April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • pythagoreanvegancommunity

      Sorry Andy! It's just a myth, a fairy tale! The whole story is absurd.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Mr. J

      And everyone lived happily ever after. The end.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Nancy, you atheists are also good at splitting hairs. No leaders? By the words of the atheists on the cnn Hitchins obit news board, you'd think St Steven had just died, and the guy wearing the Hitchins (his face in black against a white shirt, blown up BIG, looking like the shroud of Turin face) t-shirt at the atheist nat gathering...
      ok, go on believing you are not a religion.....

      April 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      W T F is wrong with you, bigfart? You can't even manage to reply to the posts you reference, you idiot.

      Get a clue, you microcephalic blob.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  14. Aezel

    There is no "debate." A debate implies there are two sides who each have valid points to argue. The only "debate" is in the minds of Christians. In the reputable archaeological and historical field, the "debate" has long been over. Jesus is a figment of your imagination.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Prove your statements Aezel, showing academic references please.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Pipe-Dreamer

      Aezel,,,,,,,

      Please either point me to a web address backing up your point(s) or prove them to be as truth!

      A shoddy worker of thought does always forget to back there claims and even many of Christendoms. followers are short-sided which gives the fields up to the strugglings of rowdy atheists all wanting to clamour aboard each others' beckoning fallacies in thought progressives.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • wrob

      You see, this is why Christians view "articles" like this as attacks. As absurd as the claim that Jesus never existed is, it resonates with people who know nothing about history but have already decided against the faith.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Aezel

      Oh it's quite simple to prove. Simply go read any of the political records from Rome at the time when Jesus supposedly existed. Apparently Jesus was tearing it up in Jerusalem and yet no Roman politicians or Jewish religious leaders at the time ever bother to even mention him. The absolute fact is there is not a SINGLE contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. We know from historical events mentioned in the gospels that they were authored a minimum of 70-90 years after Jesus supposedly lived.

      "Although the gospels of the New Testament– like those discovered at Nag Hammadi– are attributed to Jesus' followers, no one knows who actually wrote any of them." – Elaine Pagels, 1995. Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Prove YOUR claims, bfarting, citing anything other than the Bible.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Aezel, stating that there was no Jesus:
      And yet, the VAST majority of accredited mainstream, yes mainstream academia continues to dispute your fringe viewpoint.
      Even LIBERAL professors accept that Jesus existed, as evidenced by another cnn article just a couple of days ago, where they called FAIL on your fringe theory.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      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.”

      How many people fitting the good Dr's description do we have here right now?
      So far, only 1 to my knowledge – that would be Aezel

      April 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Internet kooks"? Oh, the irony!

      April 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus deniers are "internet kooks"? Oh, the irony!

      How many posts have you managed to log tonight, befarting?

      April 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PipeDown, your posts are so entertaining. I love reading about people who "clamor aboard", "shoddy workers of thought" who don't back "there claims". Really, let me know when you actually graduate from your third-rate high school, dear. I'll send you a card.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention the "short-sided" folks you described. I'd LOVE to see someone with "short sides".

      Good lord, what a moron you are.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  15. Muneef

    Read all the stories from the link provided;
    --–
    [All] praise is [due] to Allah , who has sent down upon His Servant the Book and has not made therein any deviance. 18:1

    [He has made it] straight, to warn of severe punishment from Him and to give good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a good reward 18:2

    In which they will remain forever 18:3

    And to warn those who say, " Allah has taken a son."18:4

    They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie.18:5

    Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow.18:6

    http://quran.com/18

    April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  16. Pipe-Dreamer

    Phosphorus wrote on easter Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm, stating, "Over a hundred million are being born per year, and the pace at which nonbelievers is growing exceeds that of believers. The growth rate for believers has been shrinking for decades. Evolution is showing that this religion is becoming unfit for our current environment, which is such a relief!"

    Now we have a "Numerologist in our mdsts. Show us your papers before you continue stating any more about Numerology please,,,,, :-)

    April 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      To confuse social statistics and demographics with numerology is a rather remarkable mistake. Nice try, Pipe-Dreamer. Keep smoking your pipe, and leave the actual science and math to us adults. Besides, it's probably passed your bed time. With the lines I've seen you spitting out in this blog and some of CNN's previous religious blogs, you may want to brush your teeth for an extra few minutes. Talking that much (I'll be polite) can really make one's breath wreak. Nighty-night! :-)

      April 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  17. ana

    It's so sad to realize that nowadays most of the people live like animais denying God's existance. Of course Jesus existed. And He don't need to prove anything more. Now it is a matter of faith and most of you have none. Life is nothing without God.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Concerned Cizizen

      You are delusional and need mental help.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The Gospel is the only means God has ordained by which sinners are brought to Christ. I Cor. 1:21-24.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Bill

      Animals are Gods children too.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Animals living like animals – the thought!

      April 8, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      C.C.
      what makes you think Ana is delusional? By your response to what she said, I gather that you live your life as an ostrich with your head in the sand. What Ana said is true! Most people do live like they are animals, because they are TOLD that they are, and that they have no souls. The kids are being taught it in schools,. the media is blasting it through the airwaves, brainwashing the guilble souls who sit like hypnotized, taking in the crap thrown at them, the "experts" are broadcasting their "finds" every day that prove that we are no more then animals.
      So when our society is sinking in deprivation and anarchy is overtaking it, and people can not live normal lives without the help of psychotic drugs that numb their minds to the point that they become like zombies, is it not true then what Ana said?
      You can pretend it isn't so, and claim that SHE Is delusional, but it is really YOU that is!
      Because Ana has come to realize that man without God who created him, can not be complete, and that we were meant to live our lives in union with Him, because HE is the only one who can fill the void in our hearts which He has created for Himself, and nothing in this world can take His place !
      You obviously don't know that, and you are the one who needs help. But I'm afraid that no shrink can do what Christ Jesus can do for a human soul, so until you allow Him to help you, you will be one delusional , incomplete and above all , a blind person, stumbling in darkness, not knowing where you are, where your road is taking you , and what the destination of it is. But those who acknowledge and know their Creator, they see and are walking in the light!

      April 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  18. ana

    It's so sad to realize that nowadays most of the people live like animais denying God's existance. Of course Jesus existed. And He didn't need to prove anything more. Now is a matter of faith and most of you have none. Life is nothing without God.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • pythagoreanvegancommunity

      Ana, having an imaginary friend in the sky will not make the world more moral. If it would, that would have happened a long time ago.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Allen

      life is always something, it never nothing. Life for human is more than living it about setting a example for future generation. If you want to make a better place for out generation, you have live life now and not the afterlife. Killing yourself is a coward way of running away. Anyone know that. Live your life, make the future a better place for your children so your children could do it yourself. Not wait till death so you can live your life at some place and leave your children with all your mistake.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If your life is nothing without some invisible being, that's your problem. My life is full, rewarding, and happy.

      I'm sorry you need some sky fairy to make your life worthwhile.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Allan,
      you do not understand... To know God, and live one's life in union and fellowship with Him IS living the fullness of life. Th Afterlife is the promise of Future, but the eternal life begins for us now, here, with Christ our Lord . There is so much that people who don't knwo Christ misunderstand..... But it is the talk of the enemy of human souls to keep those who don't know Christ in con'fusion and misunderstanding. Because if he can keep them from coming to Christ, then he knows that they have no protection over them, and he has them whee he wants them. There is no better nor more worth legacy that we can leave for future generation then what true Christianity teaches. But sad thing is that so many look at impostors who claim to be Christians, and that's how they form their view of Christianity. They never look at Christ Himself, so they miss it all together!

      April 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  19. Well done CNN!

    Jesus did not truly exist. He is a fabrication meant to teach. much like the Paperclip guy in Microsoft Word, he is there to guide us.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Bored

      I hate that Paperclip guy! Lol

      April 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  20. It's Zombie Day! Time For Some Infallible Tales From The Inerrant Biblical!

    Jesus died on Friday and came back to life three days later, on . . . Sunday. Three days after Friday. Sunday.

    Jesus was crucified at the third hour and survived to the ninth hour, even though he was still before Pilate at the sixth hour.

    The temple curtain ripped before (Mark, Luke) after (Matthew) Jesus died.

    Jesus' death was (Matthew) was not (Luke, John, Mark) accompanied by an eclipse, earthquake, and the rising of dead saints who walked into town.

    Jesus did (John) did not (Mark, Luke, Matthew) have his legs broken and his side speared.

    Roman soldiers were (Mark) were not (Luke, Matthew, John) at the crucifixion.

    One (Luke) two (Mark, Matthew) thieves reviled Jesus while on the cross.

    The three (Mark) two (Matthew) one (John) at least four (Luke) women who came to the tomb found – the tomb open and a man in white who told them Jesus had risen (Mark) the tomb closed and an angel who came down and rolled the rock away (Matthew) the tomb open and two men standing beside them who tell them Jesus has arisen (Luke) the tomb opened, and two angels and Jesus himself, who Mary does not recognize even though he is her son (John).

    Judas of course dies by hanging himself (Matthew) and falling in a field, bursting asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out (Acts).

    Praise Jesus! It just HAS to be true!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Well done CNN!

      Nailed it!

      April 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Keith

      Pretty silly isn't it.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • latenite

      Sorry, don't have time to research all your "inconsistencies", but just a some quick thoughts to consider-

      Just because a detail wasn't recorded in every gospel doesn't mean it didn't happen. Each author wrote from their own perspective and included details they each considered important. You can often read news stories by different reporters and one will include a detail that another doesn't.

      Speaking of perspectives, if Judas had hanged himself in the middle of a field and his intestines ruptured in the process, that would satisfy both accounts.

      These "inconsistencies" have been "discovered" and answered a long time ago. Nothing new here.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:30 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.