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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. Chad

    Read the Holy Quran. You'll see another but more familiar and rational version of Jesus' story. I say, that's the least u can get. Good luck!

    April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • 1word

      Yeah right, read something that cause it's women and men to blow themselves up. The God I serve would not tell someone to blow themselves up to kill other people.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  2. toadears

    Reuters and the AP wire services are owned by the Rothschild banking cartel family. In particular, they are owned outright by Sir Evelyn Rothschild. I doubt very seriously if that family believes in any god other than money. Take all these stories with a grain a salt. It's all about ratings not revelations.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  3. Scott S.

    While I generally believe a man named Jesus did live, I struggle with the idea that he was the son of God, performed miracles and rose from the dead. ( I struggle with the idea of God at all ) but the point should be this: there is not a soul on earth who can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, the existence of God, but neither can we prove that he doesn't exits. Therefore we should believe what we choose to believe and let others choose what they want, and let those that believe differently from us live in peace without trying to shove our beliefs down the others throat and certainly NOT SAY that their belief is wrong. In the end, you will find out whether your belief was right or wrong and until then as long as you live a life of honesty and love of your neighbor (no room for hatred in this life ) then you will be ok. "Learn how to love, forget how to hate" "There's a man over there, what's his color, I don't care, he's my brother, let us live in peace."

    April 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • 1word

      Scott you're close, we should love one another. I will say a prayer for you tonight that you will see the light though, God is real. I might not be able to show you him but I can sure tell you how to prove it to yourself. I know for a fact that he's real and living in me. Before I became saved I was just like you, I had a good heart but I didn't know the truth. I was given a Bible for Christmas and instead of throwing it in a box and not reading It I chose to read it and try to understand everything in it. I got consumed by Gods Word after giving my life to him. I was visited by angels who annointed me into the ministery. I'm not a pastor now, but I know it's my calling. I am seeking God with all my heart and his hands is on my life. God doesn't want any of his children to be lost, so when you come to realize that you were wrong we won't point at you and say we told you so.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  4. Martin

    Hitchens would be proud of all the "nones"

    April 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
  5. JHC

    My Christian friends,

    My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Leviticus.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Leviticus. 20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • wrob

      Christians aren't required to live according to The Law. That issue was settled almost 2000 years ago. You know that...

      April 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • 1word

      JHC, you need to read a little bit more before quoting scripture.

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

      wrob But it's in the Holly Bible and everyone knows that God is unchanging.

      God is unchanging or immutable.
      (Psalm 102:25-27; Hebrews 1:10-12; 13:8)

      April 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Yes, JHC. The words aren't "the words" because you aren't "capable of interpreting them correctly".

      April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • AGuest9

      ;)

      April 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • wrob

      Well Christians are comfortable with the notion that the law of moses applied only to the generations before Christ. Not sure what your issue with it is.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • MandoZink

      Excellent questions JHC. Unfortunately there are literally thousands more just like it. Personally, I like the fact that you always have Satan to blame your shortcomings and lack of integrity on.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • edmond kwan

      the followers of Jesus are no longer under the Law of Moses, because by that same Law, they are cut off from God..for Jesus taught his disciples that unless they ate his flesh and drink his blood, they would have no part of Him..the eating of blood is forbidden in Lev 15, that is why when Jesus first taught this, all of his disciples except the 12 left Him (John 6:66) Followers of Jesus have no access to God except through faith in Him, the works required by the Law are not available for us. We uphold the Law for those who are still under the Law, but the Law itself has no power over a disciple of Christ, because we have eaten His flesh and drunk His blood, by faith..and by that faith we are cut off from God according to the Law.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  6. Aezel

    "John E. Remsburg, in his scholarly work on "The Christ," compiled a list of forty-two writers who lived and wrote during the time or within a century after the time of Christ and not one of whom ever mentioned him."

    – Marshall Gauvin

    April 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Chad

      Lucian (circa 120-after 180) Greek writer and rhetorician
      "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account..."

      Thallus (AD 52,)
      "On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."

      Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian)
      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."

      The Talmud
      "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!"

      Pliny the Younger governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. AD 112.
      "They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."

      Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?)
      "Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done."

      April 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Aezel

      The Talmud is not referring to Jesus when it says Yeshu. This is a generally accepted fact in the academic community and even the most casual scholarly search in RILM will tell you that. Fail.

      Tacitus is simply retelling what he has been told, at BEST, two to three generations after when Jesus supposedly lived. This holds no historical weight amongst historians. Again, even the most casual search amongst academic journals would reveal this.

      The rest of your sources are not even close to primary. Just people recounting what they have been told generations upon generations later. This doesn't even meet this most simple requirement of historical accuracy. The fact remains, there are ZERO primary sources from Jesus' time that confirm he existed.

      Fail.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Mateo

      Aezel; tormented creature; I know your true form, and I know your master. You cannot hide your true origin. Speak no poison here; In the name of Christ I command you to return to your master in hell.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:02 am |
  7. toadears

    Atheist story on Easter, which is indeed a pagan holiday. Passover is next, I guess. Does it exist or is it just a silly ancient Jewish ritual and Moses was a cartoon?

    April 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  8. Peteyroo

    Is Torquemada in heaven? Do pedaphile priests go to heaven? I'm willing to bet the majority of murderers on death row in any given state are Christians. Are they going to heaven? If I remember correctly from my Sunday School days, the only requirement for entrance into paradise/heaven is a belief in God the father, his son Jesus, and some form of the Holy Ghost/Spirit. Good deeds will not get you in. Leading a good life is likewise insufficient. Your heaven is filled with a slew of unsavory characters. And you get to spend eternity with them.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • 1word

      You have to be Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. You have to believe Jesus was the Son of God. You also have to repent for your sins and accept Jesus Christ as you Lord and Savior. You also have to diligently seek God with all your heart, and truely love him and do what he says. Some people will get in if they turn away from Sin even though they were sinners. That's what being Born again is all about, you repent for your sins and his Blood washes you clean of your sin. When God see's you he will see the Blood of Christ. I love these topics, it gives me a change to minister to lost souls.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Nii

      PETEYROO
      God basically defines faith as trust and obedience. Of the two obedience is most important. However we do not get to judge on Earth who has obeyed or not. There are Bhudhists, Hindus n Atheists who obey God and Christians who don't. Accordingly keep ur mind at rest. All in Heaven r godly

      April 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Jacob

      You can be Proxy-Baptized at this site Jesusfoodcross com if you need to get to heaven.

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

      Let me get this straight. If Hitler had asked for forgiveness moments before commiting suicide, and if he had accepted God et al., he'd be in heaven?

      April 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  9. JHC

    My Christian friends,

    Leviticus. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

    April 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  10. JHC

    My friends,

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev. 15:19-24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  11. Aezel

    Before the Gospels were adopted as history, no record exists that he was ever in the city of Jerusalem at all– or anywhere else on earth.

    -Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle," p.141

    April 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • JHC

      True

      April 8, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • wrob

      Honestly, what kind of "evidence" would you expect to exist?

      April 8, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  12. Aezel

    The Synoptic Gospels employ techniques that we today associate with fiction.

    -Paul Q. Beeching, Central Connecticut State University (Bible Review, June 1997, Vol. XIII, Number 3, p. 43)

    April 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  13. xirume

    Imagine a world where people apply all the time, effort, money and energy they presently waste memorizing their bibles, fleecing their pastors and worshipping fairly tale characters, to actually work to improve the lives of disadvantaged people, here at home and across the globe. That would be true religion. That would absolutely please any and all gods, existing or imaginary. That would make a real difference. Too bad the religious majority rather have mental orgasms Wednesdays and Sundays, masturbating their brains to justify their idea of righteousness. Religion is a cruel abomination not fit for the present. It’s Time to end it.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Peteyroo

      Amen, Xirume!

      April 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • MandoZink

      Imagine when humans finally realize that the existence of good and moral people are the results of good examples you experience in your upbringing. Churches project a subconscious divisiveness that infects the core mentality of supposedly "god-fearing" people who think they have the moral upper-ground. Raised Catholic, we were taught to love others, but that we were also lucky enough to be the one true religion. Understanding the inheritance of blind belief before you ever have the chance to think is important to our continued survival as humans on this planet we share. See the whole picture, if you dare.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Jacob

      Spot on, but you have all these elderly people that are getting ready to die, that want to believe there is going to be an afterlife with a God that wears all White and everything is going to be better than they ever dreamed of. This going to make it easier to die when they know this dream world is coming for them.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • edmond kwan

      I couldn't agree more, that is why the first thing Jesus ever said was not about religion but about relationship..'Why are you looking for me, Did you not know i have to be in my father's house?" Jesus never came to start a religion, but to reveal the relationship we can have with God, and with one another..as He taught, 'Love your enemies" and 'Love one another as I have loved you.' Men started the 'christian' religion, because they were not interested in the relationship.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
  14. Aezel

    When it comes to the historical question about the Gospels, I adopt a mediating position– that is, these are religious records, close to the sources, but they are not in accordance with modern historiographic requirements or professional standards.

    -David Noel Freedman, Bible scholar and general editor of the Anchor Bible series (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p.34)

    April 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • JHC

      All he's saying here is that he takes it all on faith and ignores all factual information that contradicts his beliefs.

      Delusion – a belief held with strong conviction despite all evidence to the contrary.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • xirume

      You can't possibly be that stupid.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Aezel

      "religious records, close to the sources, but they are not in accordance with modern historiographic requirements or professional standards."

      Translation: religious records are not historically reliable.

      Reading comprehension, get some.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  15. JHC

    Dearest Christians,

    I would very much like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    April 8, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Tim

      Hi JHC,
      I firmly believe that the Bible does not condone slavery. While I will admit that the laws in Exodus- Deutoronomy are tough to wrap a western mind around, keep in mind that later in the Old Testament prophets God was furious with both Israel and Judah for two things. 1, idolatry. 2, social injustice. Throughout the prophets, God chided his people for not taking care of the poor and the widow, for taking advantage of the fatherless, etc. Jesus said, "I have come to set the captive free," and Paul says that for those among Christians, there is no slave nor free...
      I understand your frustration with verses such as Ex. 21:7 in the Bible, they frustrate me as well and I am certainly a cynic. If you are interested in continuing a dialogue about this verse feel free to email me at matthewdomer@gmail.com (real email, not my real name.)
      Peace,
      Tim

      April 8, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • michael

      even though your sarcasm is obvious, but nevertheless i'll treat you as a decent human being and answer to your question: the price of daughter's slavery is paid by Jesus himself. so, you're daughter is priceless and you don't have to sell her. Jesus fully met the requirements of the Old Testament, so that you and your lovely daughter might be free. try to rap sarcastic your mind around that.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tim

      sorry JHC
      I gave you the wrong email. matthewscore@gmail.com

      April 8, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • edmond kwan

      You are asking the question to the wrong people...christians are not under the Law of Moses, but the words of Jesus..if you are interested, the answer for you from Jesus' words would be, "Do to others what you would want done to yourself, for this fulfills the Law and the Propehts." If you want others to enslave you, then you may enslave others. Simple..but have it done to yourself first.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  16. JHC

    Dear Christians,

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Leviticus. 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    April 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Tom Tom the Piper's son

      The ultimate sacrifice has been made....no need to burn animals at the alter anymore.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • dwerbil

      JHC said:

      "Dear Christians,

      When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Leviticus. 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?"

      Just dropped by for a friendly biblical reminder to not forget to "kill your disobedient childeren". (Matthew 15:4)

      April 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can tell I've gotten to someone when the little twerp uses my screen name to post its own inane drivel.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Jacob

      Yes I know we all Killed Jesus because of our Sins, but why do we have to forget the Old Testament if that was Gods word. The Jews had good food laws. Like don't drink Milk and Meat together, it's to hard to digest both. The don't even believe in Jesus and they are Gods chosen people.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  17. Aezel

    All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.

    -Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University in Toronto (Bible Review, Feb. 2000, p. 36)

    April 8, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  18. Allen

    One of the main problem i have with christian or any religion that target about afterlife is that they don't care about the currently life. All they care is about maintaining their stat to go to heaven, but never about global warming, lack of resource, social unrest by their religion, because it does not matter. It all about going to heaven, therefore nothing else matter. So all their mistake go to our children.

    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 our generation, you have live life now and not the afterlife. Killing yourself is a coward way of running away, so is waiting to kill yourself. 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 10:56 pm |
    • Tom Tom the Piper's son

      You must be kidding lol

      April 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      @Allen
      This post was posted on previous page, but in order for you to see it, I'm reposting it!

      Allen,
      you do not understand... To know God, and live one's life in union and fellowship with Him IS living the fullness of life. The 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 11:14 pm |
    • M.L.

      While I respectfully agree with your position that Christians (or any people of faith or nonfaith) should not live solely for a reward in the after life, I honestly as a Christian do not believe that most Christians adhere to an indifference to concerns about the future of life here on earth. I can speak for myself at least that my good stewardship on this earth is not solely for some heavenly reward in another life, but to leave this planet as a better place for those who come after me.

      I know there are self righteous Christians who worry only about their eternal salvation; however, please don't stereotype us as all falling into that camp of thinking.

      Thanks for listening or reading.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  19. Aezel

    Matthew 2 says that Herod killed all the children in Bethlehem. Yet, no religious or political writings from the time of Herod's reign around Bethlehem ever mention any massive infanticide.

    Fun fact, did you know no city named Nazareth ever existed in the ancient middle east?

    April 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  20. The truth about Jesus with EVIDENCE!

    in the year3000 BC The Egyptians had a sun god named Horus, this god was born Dec 25, born of a virgin, his birth was accompanied by the star of the east and was also adored by three kings, he was a teacher at age 12 and was baptized at 30. He also had 12 disciples and performed miracles. He was betrayed, crucified and was dead for three days before being resurrected, To break it down, Orion's belt has three stars named "The three kings" which aligns with the Star of the east which points to the Sun rise on DEC 25, Virgin Mary is the constellation virgo also known as "Virgo the Virgin". *note all these terms is what people used thousands of years ago. Many civilization used the Horus Story to teach people when to plant crops "too long to explain here", there are many other gods that has almost the exact story, The story of Jesus is proven to be thousands of years older than himself however as time went by people actually forgot that it is just a farmers story. I have nothing wrong with good Christians and other well behaved people that believe in religion. Please educate me if what i stated above is false using common educational methods.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • toadears

      You forgot Mithra, Mr., I am the smartest anti-Jesus freak here.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • mike

      I looked up Horus on wikipedia but didn't see anything so specific, are these details in other texts?
      Anyway, you don't have to look further than the Bible to find Jesus analogies thousand of years before Jesus.
      Genesis has the story of passover, and of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, until god provides an alternative.
      Isaiah 53 has "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment
      that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

      April 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.