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My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’
The author argues that there are many meanings of the adjective 'biblical.'
November 17th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: The danger of calling behavior ‘biblical’

Editor's Note: Rachel Held Evans is a popular blogger from Dayton, Tennessee, and author of “A Year of Biblical Womanhood.”

By Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

On "The Daily Show" recently, Jon Stewart grilled Mike Huckabee about a TV ad in which Huckabee urged voters to support “biblical values” at the voting box.

When Huckabee said that he supported the “biblical model of marriage,” Stewart shot back that “the biblical model of marriage is polygamy.”

And there’s a big problem, Stewart went on, with reducing “biblical values” to one or two social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, while ignoring issues such as poverty and immigration reform.

It may come as some surprise that as an evangelical Christian, I cheered Stewart on from my living room couch.

As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God, I hate seeing it reduced to an adjective like Huckabee did. I hate seeing my sacred text flattened out, edited down and used as a prop to support a select few political positions and platforms.

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And yet evangelicals have grown so accustomed to talking about the Bible this way that we hardly realize we’re doing it anymore. We talk about “biblical families,” “biblical marriage,” “biblical economics,” “biblical politics,” “biblical values,” “biblical stewardship,” “biblical voting,” “biblical manhood,” “biblical womanhood,” even “biblical dating” to create the impression that the Bible has just one thing to say on each of these topics - that it offers a single prescriptive formula for how people of faith ought to respond to them.

But the Bible is not a position paper. The Bible is an ancient collection of letters, laws, poetry, proverbs, histories, prophecies, philosophy and stories spanning multiple genres and assembled over thousands of years in cultures very different from our own.

When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.

Nowhere is this more evident than in conversations surrounding “biblical womanhood.”

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

Growing up in the Bible Belt, I received a lot of mixed messages about the appropriate roles of women in the home, the church and society, each punctuated with the claim that this or that lifestyle represented true “biblical womanhood.”

In my faith community, popular women pastors such as Joyce Meyer were considered unbiblical for preaching from the pulpit in violation of the apostle Paul's restriction in 1 Timothy 2:12 ("I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"), while Amish women were considered legalistic for covering their heads in compliance with his instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:5 ("Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head").

Pastors told wives to submit to their husbands as the apostle Peter instructed in 1 Peter 3:1, but rarely told them to avoid wearing nice jewelry as the apostle instructs them just one sentence later in 1 Peter 3:3. Despite the fact that being single was praised by both Jesus and Paul, I learned early on that marriage and motherhood were my highest callings, and that Proverbs 31 required I keep a home as tidy as June Cleaver's.

Opinion: What all those Jesus jokes tell us

This didn’t really trouble me until adulthood, when I found myself in a childless egalitarian marriage with a blossoming career and an interest in church leadership and biblical studies. As I wrestled with what it meant to be a woman of faith, I realized that, despite insistent claims that we don’t “pick and choose” from the Bible, any claim to a “biblical” lifestyle requires some serious selectivity.

After all, technically speaking, it is “biblical” for a woman to be sold by her father to pay off debt, “biblical” for a woman to be required to marry her rapist, “biblical” for her to be one of many wives.

So why are some Bible passages lifted out and declared “biblical,” while others are explained away or simply ignored? Does the Bible really present a single prescriptive lifestyle for all women?

These were the questions that inspired me to take a page from A.J. Jacobs, author of "The Year of Living Biblically", and try true biblical womanhood on for size—literally, no “picking and choosing."

This meant, among other things, growing out my hair, making my own clothes, covering my head whenever I prayed, abstaining from gossip, remaining silent in church (unless I was “prophesying,” of course), calling my husband "master,” even camping out in my front yard during my period to observe the Levitical purity laws that rendered me unclean.

During my yearlong experiment, I interviewed a variety of women practicing biblical womanhood in different ways — an Orthodox Jew, an Amish housewife, even a polygamist family - and I combed through every commentary I could find, reexamining the stories of biblical women such as Deborah, Ruth, Hagar, Tamar, Mary Magdalene, Priscilla and Junia.

My goal was to playfully challenge this idea that the Bible prescribes a single lifestyle for how to be a woman of faith, and in so doing, playfully challenge our overuse of the term “biblical.” I did this not out of disdain for Scripture, but out of love for it, out of respect for the fact that interpreting and applying the Bible is a messy, imperfect and - at times - frustrating process that requires humility and grace as we wrestle the text together.

The fact of the matter is, we all pick and choose. We’re all selective in our interpretation and application of the biblical text. The better question to ask one another is why we pick and choose the way that we do, why we emphasis some passages and not others. This, I believe, will elevate the conversation so that we’re using the Bible, not as a blunt weapon, but as a starting point for dialogue.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (4,657 Responses)
  1. Apple Bush

    Here are several examples of mythological saviors just like Jesus. Enjoy.

    Horus:
    Born of a virgin, Isis. Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Birth heralded by the star Sirius, the morning star. Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (about DEC-21). In reality, he had no birth date; he was not a human. Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Handling the threat: The God That tells Horus’ mother “Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child.” An angel tells Jesus’ father to: “Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.” Break in life history: No data between ages of 12 & 30. Age at baptism: 30. Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. Was crucified, descended into Hell; resurrected after three days.

    Attis of Phrygia:
    Attis was born on December 25 of the Virgin Nana. He was considered the savior who was slain for the salvation of mankind. His body as bread was eaten by his worshippers. He was both the Divine Son and the Father. On “Black Friday,” he was crucified on a tree, from which his holy blood ran down to redeem the earth. He descended into the underworld. After three days, Attis was resurrected.

    Zoroaster/Zarathustra
    Zoroaster was born of a virgin and “immaculate conception by a ray of divine reason.” He was baptized in a river. In his youth he astounded wise men with his wisdom. He was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. He began his ministry at age 30. Zoroaster baptized with water, fire and “holy wind.” He cast out demons and restored the sight to a blind man. He taught about heaven and hell, and revealed mysteries, including resurrection, judgment, salvation and the apocalypse. He had a sacred cup or grail. He was slain. His religion had a eucharist. He was the “Word made flesh.” Zoroaster’s followers expected a “second coming” in the virgin-born Saoshynt or Savior, who is to come in 2341 AD and begin his ministry at age 30, ushering in a golden age.

    Glycon
    In the middle of the 100s AD, out along the south coast of the Black Sea, Glycon was the son of the God Apollo, who: came to Earth through a miraculous birth, was the Earthly manifestation of divinity, came to earth in fulfillment of divine prophecy, gave his chief believer the power of prophecy, gave believers the power to speak in tongues, performed miracles, healed the sick, and raised the dead.

    Heracles
    Heracles is the Son of a god (Zeus). It is recorded that Zeus is both the father and great-great- great grandfather of Heracles, just as Jesus is essentially his own grandpa, being both “The root and offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16) as he is part of the triune God which is the father of Adam and eventually of Jesus. Both are doubly related to the Supreme God.

    Diodorus writes that, “For as regards the magnitude of the deeds which he accomplished it is generally agreed that Heracles has been handed down as one who surpassed all men of whom memory from the beginning of time has brought down an account; consequently it is a difficult attainment to report each one of his deeds in a worthy manner and to present a record which shall be on a level with labours so great, the magnitude of which won for him the prize of immortality.”
    Jesus is also said to have done a very large number of good works. John 21:25 says that: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

    Hera tries to kill Heracles as an infant by sending two serpents after him, yet Heracles survives by strangling them. This parallels Herod’s slaughter of the innocents in an attempt to kill Jesus (Matthew 2:13-16).
    Heracles makes a descent into Hades and returns from it with Theseus and Peirithoüs, just as Jesus descends into the “lower parts of the earth” or Hades (Ephesians 4:7-8); Though Jesus does not bring anyone up from it. Heracles’ body is not found and he is assumed to have been taken by the gods: “After this, when the companions of Iolaüs came to gather up the bones of Heracles and found not a single bone anywhere, they assumed that, in accordance with the words of the oracle, he had passed from among men into the company of the gods.”

    Romulus
    Romulus is born of a vestal virgin, which was a priestess of the hearth god Vesta sworn to celibacy. His mother claims that the divine impregnated her, yet this is not believed by the King. Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, are tossed in the river and left for dead. (A “slaughter of the innocents” tale which parallels that of Matthew 2:13-16). Romulus is hailed as the son of god. He is “snatched away to heaven” by a whirlwind (It is assumed that the gods took him), and he makes post mortem appearances. In his work Numa Pompilius, Plutarch records that there was a darkness covering the earth before his death (Just as there was during Jesus’ death according to Mark 15:33). He also states that Romulus is to be known afterwards as ‘Quirinus’; A god which belonged to the Archiac Triad (a “triple deity” similar to the concept of the Trinity).

    Odysseus
    Homeric tales about Odysseus emphasize his suffering life; just as in Mark Jesus said that he, too, would suffer greatly. Odysseus is a carpenter like Jesus, and he wants to return his home just as Jesus wants to be welcomed in his native home and later to God’s home in Jerusalem. Odysseus is plagued with unfaithful and dim-witted companions who display tragic flaws. They stupidly open a magic bag of wind while Odysseus sleeps and release terrible tempests which prevent their return home. These sailors are comparable to Jesus’ disciples, who disbelieve Jesus, ask foolish questions, and show general ignorance about everything. It’s amazing that either Odysseus or Jesus ever manage to accomplish anything, given the companions they have, but this simply demonstrates the power and ability of the one true leader who has a divine mandate to lead the people out of darkness and into a brighter future.

    Krishna
    According to Bhagavata Purana some believe that Krishna was born without a sexual union, by “mental transmission” from the mind of Vasudeva into the womb of Devaki, his mother. Christ and Krishna were called both God and the Son of God. Both were sent from heaven to earth in the form of a man. Both were called Savior, and the second person of the Trinity. Krishna’s adoptive human father was also a carpenter. A spirit or ghost was their actual father. Krishna and Jesus were of royal descent. Both were visited at birth by wise men and shepherds, guided by a star. Angels in both cases issued a warning that the local dictator planned to kill the baby and had issued a decree for his assassination. The parents fled. Mary and Joseph stayed in Muturea; Krishna’s parents stayed in Mathura. Both Christ and Krishna withdrew to the wilderness as adults, and fasted. Both were identified as “the seed of the woman bruising the serpent’s head.” Jesus was called “the lion of the tribe of Judah.” Krishna was called “the lion of the tribe of Saki.” Both claimed: “I am the Resurrection.” Both were “without sin.” Both were god-men: being considered both human and divine. Both performed many miracles, including the healing of disease. One of the first miracles that both performed was to make a leper whole. Each cured “all manner of diseases.” Both cast out indwelling demons, and raised the dead. Both selected disciples to spread his teachings. Both were meek, and merciful. Both were criticized for associating with sinners. Both celebrated a last supper. Both forgave his enemies. Both were crucified and both were resurrected.

    Buddha
    Both went to their temples at the age of twelve, where they are said to have astonished all with their wisdom. Both supposedly fasted in solitude for a long time: Buddha for forty–seven days and Jesus for forty. Both wandered to a fig tree at the conclusion of their fasts. Both were about the same age when they began their public ministry:
    “When he [Buddha] went again to the garden he saw a monk who was calm, tranquil, self–possessed, serene, and dignified. The prince, determined to become such a monk, was led to make the great renunciation. At the time he was twenty–nine years of age… “Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age.” (Luke 3:23). Both were tempted by the “devil” at the beginning of their ministry: To Buddha, he said: “Go not forth to adopt a religious life but return to your kingdom, and in seven days you shall become emperor of the world, riding over the four continents.” To Jesus, he said: “All these [kingdoms of the world] I will give you, if you fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). Buddha answered the “devil”: “Get you away from me.”

    Jesus responded: “…be gone, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10). Both strove to establish a kingdom of heaven on earth. According to the Somadeva (a Buddhist holy book), a Buddhist ascetic’s eye once offended him, so he plucked it out and cast it away. Jesus said: “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, and throw it away;” (Matthew 5:29).

    Mithra
    Was born of a virgin on December 25th, in a cave, attended by shepherds
    Was considered a great traveling teacher and master
    Had 12 companions or disciples
    Promised his followers immortality
    Performed miracles
    Sacrificed himself for world peace
    Was buried in a tomb and after three days rose again
    Was celebrated each year at the time of His resurrection (later to become Easter)
    Was called "the Good Shepherd"
    Was identified with both the Lamb and the Lion
    Was considered to be the "Way, the Truth and the Light," and the "Logos," "Redeemer," "Savior" and "Messiah."
    Celebrated Sunday as His sacred day (also known as the "Lord's Day,")
    Celebrated a Eucharist or "Lord's Supper"

    Dionysus
    Dionysus was born of a virgin on December 25 and, as the Holy Child, was placed in a manger. He was a traveling teacher who performed miracles. He “rode in a triumphal procession on an ass.” He was a sacred king killed and eaten in a Eucharistic ritual for fecundity and purification. Dionysus rose from the dead on March 25. He was the God of the Vine, and turned water into wine. He was called “King of Kings” and “God of Gods.” He was considered the “Only Begotten Son,” Savior,” “Redeemer,” “Sin Bearer,” Anointed One,” and the “Alpha and Omega.” He was identified with the Ram or Lamb. His sacrificial title of “Dendrites” or “Young Man of the Tree” intimates he was hung on a tree or crucified.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      competing with God's Oldest Dreamer?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      End, perhaps in length, but I can't write as clearly and succinctly as G.O.D. Every paragraph a riveting testimonial to the genius of man.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • End Religion

      lol, cheers!

      November 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Do you think Satan and his followers are not fully aware of God's slavation plan for mankind? He has jumped in to couterfeit everything that God has ever done or ever plans to do. All of the above-mentioned "gods" were nothing more (or less) than demons posing as "gods" to lead God's childrent astray. Sadly, it has worked with the vast majority of people throughout the ages.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @was blind, but now I see

      Ok, now you are completely disqualifed for total ignorance.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  2. End Religion

    The next big leap in evolution could be man's evolution into machine. How will Christianity react when we find this Fountain of Youth?

    We're already replacing some organs with machine parts and animal organs. What happens when we trade in our brain for a computer chip? When we can exchange old body parts for newer machine pieces? When every human on the planet has the same color skin: gun metal silver?

    How will Christianity answer "man made in god's image" then, when we are machines? When our babies are only generated in Petri dishes? The sex of the machine will be indifferent; no more gender. How will this affect marriage and the idea of "family"? Would we even continue to have offspring when we ourselves begin living forever on a computer chip?

    And for the final whopper....
    ... how can we possibly survive long enough to make it to this Grand Time of the Machine without TWINKIES?!?

    November 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      End Religion, we will soon also be able to create life. Yup, we will be god. XNA

      November 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • End Religion

      Frightening times for thumpers, for sure....

      November 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  3. Fred Bloggs

    I fear that you miss the obvious: It is complete BS

    November 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  4. Doomed

    I guess we're heading for another 70+ pages of comments from atheists. Unbelievable how much hatred comes from their mouths.

    November 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • noodles doodles and toodles

      Why is is anything from an atheist's mouth talking about the nonsense of religion is "hateful" ?
      If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Doomed

      There's nothing positives ever comes out of atheists mouth, that's why.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      Says the guy with the alias "doomed"

      November 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      So you know all the atheists on the face other the Earth ?
      Didn't your Jebus tell you not to be so judgmental ?
      Didn't James say that "this is religion, to control your tongue" ?
      I see you are no Christian.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Doomed, what you call hatred we call common sense.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • mik73

      I told my mother I loved her last night. I'm an atheist. Grow up.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • End Religion

      Doomed, here is as much love as I can share with you over the internet: if you were here right now I would share my cocaine, booze and whores with you. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • RazMor

      Just like the old times when Jesus came to preach. A lot of them does not believe Him.

      Psalms 14:1 The FOOL hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works,

      there is none that doeth good.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • logan5

      And I guess with that 70+ pages of atheist comments we will see another 70+ pages of Christian responses many exhibiting this same "hatred' if that's what you want to call it. Silly comment, my friend!!

      November 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • rickinmo

      What you see as hate from atheists is the expression rational thought by people who don't believe in religious voodoo. People speaking out against bigotry and hate by people who use their religious beliefs to justify depriving others of the human rights the religious claim for themselves by virtue of their beliefs.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • The Truth

      "There's nothing positives ever comes out of atheists mouth, that's why."

      I'm positive there is no God. And that is the best news mankind has ever had. That is unless we continue to choose not to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions and foolishly wait on an imaginary spirit creature to save us from ourselves...

      November 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Apple Bush wrote:

      "Doomed, what you call hatred we call common sense."

      no offense – but actually it's more aptly described as "uncommon sense". common sense held that the world was flat and that there is an imaginary man in the sky that listens to the whispers of people who believe in him.

      we need more uncommon sense.... common sense is what's sinking us.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Apple Bush wrote: "Doomed, what you call hatred we call common sense."

      no offense – but actually it's more aptly described as "uncommon sense". common sense held that the world was flat and that there is an imaginary man in the sky that listens to the whispers of people who believe in him.

      we need more uncommon sense.... common sense is what's sinking us.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  5. Apple Bush

    Witnesses said that they saw a man throw the infant from the Miller Street pedestrian overpass, but police said they are not sure if the child was alive or dead when the man threw the child. It appears the child was hit by at least two cars, officials said.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Doomed

      Where is you science now? Even your science couldn't protected her.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Science doesn't love and care for people. And neither do imaginary gods.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  6. RazMor

    This is not my opinion, these verses are not an option for the Christian. Just think about how Jesus went through the cross.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I just want to let you know Christian came from the root name Christ. All the commandments now for Christian are on the New Testament.

    Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    The Law and the Prophet are just until John.

    Luke 16:16
    The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

    After John, Christian will be Judge by the Gospel which is the New Testament only. Paul said "MY GOSPEL"

    Romans 2:16
    In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

    esoriano.wordpress.com
    theoldpath.tv

    ***ElmerGantry
    Matthew 5:17
    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    ***Raz Mor
    Elmer, you are right. To fulfill. But fulfill what? Do you know what will be fulfill when he said that?

    ***ElmerGantry
    @Raz Mor,
    You are the bible "expert"! Please enlighten everyone.

    ***Raz Mor
    Actually God does not want Christian to follow the Old Testament.

    Acts 13:39
    And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could NOT be justified by the law of Moses.

    Matthew 5:17
    17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

    Is Jesus under by Moses law?

    1 Timothy 1:8-9
    But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

    Is Jesus is righteous? He is, then the law of Moses is not for Jesus.

    And what about that Jesus need to fulfill?

    Luke 24:44
    Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything WRITTEN ABOUT "ME" in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

    ***theorycraft
    this is true. Jesus came and replaced the word. I forget, I think its in romans but basically Christ says don't worry about the old testament, God's new covenant with man is through Christ his son.

    ***Raz Mor
    Hebrews 8:13
    In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    Hebrews 10:7
    Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is WRITTEN OF ME,) to do thy will, O God.

    To prove more to you:

    Hebrews 10:9
    Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

    God bless.
    esoriano.wordpress.com
    http://www.theoldpath.tv

    November 18, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |

    November 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The usual picking and choosing :
      Paul said women must submit to their husbands "according to the (old) law. James' Epistle is full of requirements that the old is still in effect. You should really read your Babble.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      so? It's still fantasy, even if it is written in a book which has historical relevance.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • rickinmo

      Excellent use of mumbo-jumbo to make your point–whatever that is.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  7. Apple Bush

    A 17 month old boy who had cooking oil, heated in a frying pan, poured on his genitals as well as beaten to the point of sustaining spinal injuries is recovering, but the extent of his injuries and whether or not he’ll be able to walk again have not yet been reported.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Human hinduism, stupidity by choice, do not lay it on truth absolute GOD.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • jamie

      It was not God who abused this child but man.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Bill P

      Apple Bush – "Where is your God now?" Where He has always been, allowing man to exercise his free will. Imagine that God intervened upon all things such as this example you pointed out. But, then that example represents a threshold that does not satisfy the next person and God is "required", for you and others to believe, to intervene when, say, two kids get into a fight. You might say, well that example is trivial. Maybe, maybe not. God allows man to have free will. Man has the ability to obey God or not obey God – and that disobedience takes on various levels of bad behavior. Because you might think that the person that injured that baby is "getting away with something" or the God does not love that child has no basis in fact. Jesus pointed out what would be a better punishment for someone like that to point out the gravity of such behavior: "better that a millstone around be hung around his neck and be thrown into the sea". You appear to have judged God to be uncaring and not involved. Yet, he sacrificed His only Son to die for your sins and my sins. All sins of all people, including the child abuser. But rejection of Jesus will result in eternal punishment and the child abuser will get "special treatment" – according to Jesus. "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'? (Isaiah 45:9)

      November 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • I wonder

      jamie,

      Precisely what are the VERIFIED things that this "God" does do then?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @Bill P

      According to the bible, man does not have free will. In fact, it is impossible.

      God created pain and suffering. God is bad.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      jamie, was not man made in God's own image? Did not God create everything? It is God's will that children should suffer so.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • rickinmo

      Sometimes god takes a lunch break. Usually an hour around noon. If you loved jesus, you'd know that.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  8. Tim

    Everyone has their opinion. Which of them is more right or wrong...we all have our own oinion on that as well.:)

    November 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  9. Chris

    hey everyone, the bible is a 2000 year old comic book. shut up, go do some research in more credible places, we came from monkeys, atheism doesn't mean the universe 'came from nothing', and jesus and the ancient egyptian god horus did the exact same things and were depicted in the exact same way. my god, the religion section of cnn just corrals the nut cases that are allowed to have the internet.

    November 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Mark9988

      ... and here you are.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Chad

      always makes me smile when I see atheists claiming that Jesus is a manufactured myth based on horus.
      First, because it is simply not true (see below)
      Second, because the atheist that makes the statement, nearly always accompanies it with something to the effect of "do some reading you Christian retards!!", when it is the atheist who hasnt done any research whatsoever, and is making the nonsense claim..

      The real story of the Horus nonsense

      Claim #1-Horus and Jesus are born from a virgin.

      Horus’s mother is Isis. Isis was married to Osiris. We do not know for what length of time, but presumably the marriage was consummated. Whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t matter though. After Osiris is killed, Isis puts him back together again (he was hacked into 14 pieces) except for his penis which was tossed in a river or a lake. Iris fashions a subst itute penis for him, humps him and here comes Horus. There is nothing virginal about that.

      Claim #2-Both Horus and Jesus were born to a Mary and Joseph. (Seb)

      As noted Isis is Horus’s mother’s name not Mary. In addition, Seb is not Horus’s father, Osiris is. Seb is Osiris’s father. Further, Seb is a distinct name from Joseph. Putting them side by side does not make them synonyms, and that appears to be what was done here.

      Claim #3-Both were born of royal descent.

      This is accurate.

      Claim #4-Both births were announced by angels and witnessed by shepherds.

      I can find nothing that mentions that the birth of Horus was announced by an angel or witnessed by shepherds. I have found that Horus was born in a swamp, which is a pretty unlikely place for shepherds. In addition Acharya mentions that Horus was born in a cave. Mas sey makes no mention of this, although he does represent that Mithra was born in a cave.

      Claim #5-Both were heralded by stars and angels.

      There is no star that heralded Horus’s birth nor is there any angel announcing it. Archarya in a footnote in The Origins of Christianity indicates that that there are three stars named the three kings in Orion and then relates this to the birth of Jesus. When we look to the stories regarding Horus, we find no star or angel announcing his birth. To the extent that Acharya S relies upon Ma ssey and Ma ssey relies upon what is depicted in the panels at Luxor see (from an atheist) further regarding virgin birth and pronouncement by angels http ://w ww.frontlin e-apologetics.com/carrier_luxor _inscription.htm

      Claim #6-Both had later visitors (Horus-3 deities and Jesus-3 wisemen.)

      There is no indication that there ever were 3 wisemen. The bible never mentions the number of wisemen, nor is there any docu ment that reflects 3 deities at the birth of Horus. See the website referenced in Claim #5.

      Claim #7-Both had murder plots against them.

      There is mention that Seth did want to kill Horus, and Herod wanted to kill Jesus. so this is accurate.

      Claim#8-Both came of age at 12, were baptized and their baptizers were executed.

      There is no indication that Horus was preaching in a temple when he was 12. In fact, Ma ssey indicates that Hours the child was depicted as a “weakling.” That doesn’t jive with story of Jesus preaching in the temple. Again this appears to have been a confabulation from Acharya and repeated by others.

      Horus was never baptized in any of the Horus stories. In addition, Acharya mentions that John the Baptist is actually Anup the Baptizer. This individual is never mentioned anywhere in any Horus account. There is not even a footnote in Archaya’s on-line work The Origins of Christianity to support this. There is nothing.

      Claim #9-Both had 12 disciples.

      According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers. There is some indication of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. Horus did not have 12 disciples. Jesus reportedly did. Acharya failed to give a footnote to support this.

      Ma ssey points to a mural in the Book of Hades in which there are twelve reapers. Horus is not present in this scene. For Ma ssey to make this connection he goes to a different scene within the same mural. In this scene there is a picture of a god whose name is the Master of Joy. Horus is never depicted although in other murals the artists do depict Horus. Had the artists ascribed 12 reapers in any relation to Horus all they had to do was put Horus at the scene. They did not.

      Claim #10-Both walked on water.

      Horus didn’t, or at least there is no record that I can find that he did. Ma ssey does not maintain that Hours did. Ma ssey uses wild conjecture to connect the story of fish man, Oannes, not Horus, to Jesus. Oannes came out of the sea during the day, and went back into the sea at ni ght. Ma ssey makes the two analogous because by his calculations, Jesus walked on water during the day.

      As to Acharya, she as usual provides nothing to substantiate this.

      Claim #11-Both performed miracles.

      This is true although the miracles were different in scope and nature.

      Claim #12 Both exorcised demons and raised Lazarus.

      The actual claim is that Horus raised Osiris from the dead and that the name Osiris morphed to Lazarus. It doesn’t matter because Horus did not bring Osiris back to life. There is no mention of this in any docu ment regarding the story. Horus did avenge Osiris’s death, but that did not raise Osiris from the dead.

      Claim #13-Both held a Sermon on the Mount; both were transfigured on a mountain, died by crucifixion along with two thieves and were buried in tombs where they paid a quick visit to Hell and then rose from the dead after 3 days time, both resurrections were witness by women, and both will supposedly reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

      These are the most damning claims if they were proven true in my opinion. Yet, I can locate none of this. No sermon, no transfiguration, certainly no crucifixion w/ two thieves, no trip to hell and no resurrection. There was an incident in which Horus was torn to pieces and Iris requested the crocodile god to fish him out of the water he was tossed into, which was done, but that’s it. I am at a loss to refute this because I can not find anything to support it.

      Ma ssey does compares a story about the Autumn Equinox related to Osiris, not Horus, as the symbolic crucifixion. There is no indication that Horus is involved in any way. There is no mention by Ma ssey of any Sermon on the Mount. No mention or any actual crucifixion, no two thieves, no burial in a tomb. Mas sey does not maintain that anything of the sort occurred with Horus.

      In short, of the claims outlined in this entry, I find the comparison between Horus and Jesus to consist of the following: they were of royal descent, they allegedly worked miracles and there were murder plots against them.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Answer

      "This is true although the miracles were different in scope and nature."

      Define what c-o-n-s-t-i-t-u-t-e-s as a miracle.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • FreeFromTheism

      Chad, so, was Horus did have super powers. He was a god too? Great.
      It is still irrelevant to compare mythological figures concluding that one is true (which is what you seem to be doing).
      Fantastic, so the two were different in some ways but similar in many. Who cares. None of that proves whether either one actually existed, or, for that matter, whether a god exists.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @FreeFromTheism " so, was Horus did have super powers. He was a god too? Great.
      It is still irrelevant to compare mythological figures concluding that one is true (which is what you seem to be doing).
      Fantastic, so the two were different in some ways but similar in many. Who cares. None of that proves whether either one actually existed, or, for that matter, whether a god exists."

      =>your response really tells it all, it demonstrates the personal investment you have in atheism, and the absence of evidence to support it.
      1. Jesus vs the horus myth: dissimilar on 10, similar on 3 is described by you as "different in some ways but similar in many"., revealing an utter inability to accept the facts as facts if they refute some position you hold.
      2. Jesus is a real historical figure, a viewpoint held by the vast majority of atheist, agnostic and believing historians, yet you cling to the illusion that He isnt in opposition to all the evidence to the contrary

      In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (who is a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285

      Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies existence) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61

      Michael Grant (a cla ssicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Michael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200

      Robert E. Van Voorst states that biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted. Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16

      James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35–36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"

      Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34

      November 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      See a dialogue from 7 years ago from Chad's cut n' paste:
      http://goo.gl/2QpTj

      November 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion See a dialogue from 7 years ago from Chad's cut n' paste: http://goo.gl/2QpTj

      =>yes, and thanks for posting that.
      All of that information debunking the Horus – Jesus comparison is from Les Jenkins, an atheist.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • End Religion

      The end of the thread is typical of religious behaviour. They cut it off because a crazy religious person was threatening violence for "taking away his religion." Very loving.

      November 19, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  10. paul

    the author and the two politicians need help, could suggest physiatric therapy, first of the bible being the inspired word of god is for each persons personal guidance, read it as it is, it is not for political debate or argument, it does not enter into politics, your bible is for your personal guidance and mine is for my personal guidance, a woman is a equal partner for her husband to be loved and cherished, a woman minister is as correct as a man minister they both have equaL VALUES, a womans head covering is her hair, some religions women wear a scarfe/hat head covering , i do not see any thing wrong with, it is simpley thier decision, the old testament uses harsh language against priests and false prophets and against women to raise the awareness of thier unacceptable behaviour, nothing in this world has brought more peace and respect than the ten commandments handed down by moses, the awareness used was the impending judgement, the the laws of marriage was different in old testament days, jesus the son of god brought the laws of the new and ever lasting testament and laws of marriage , the problem people have they really don,t read or understand the new testament as it is, it up holds the ten commandments and prophets and it warns us of the impending dangers of the judgement, there is a day appointed for all men to die,

    November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Non issues, made in to some thing, they should not have been made by hindu's, ignorant s.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Luke 17:21 "The kingdom of God is inside you."

      I take Luke 17:21 quite literally and so should all who believe in One God and His One Son of perhaps oodles upon oodles of otherly Sons and Daughters-in-Law too numerous to really expound upon! Christ is special because he was born to take upon his being the sins of those who were once and then were also and of times yet to come! God's Kingdoms being inside us and within our ownliness bodies can also be associated with another verse of scripture ,,,,

      November 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Truth absolute, constant has no partner nor a son by Quantum physics., get some education, knowledge please, before spewing your hinduism, absurdity.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  11. Get Real

    And Jesus said:

    Luke 14: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

    What a jerk this Jesus is who has an imaginary god for a father. Only a jerk has disciples that must hate their parents.

    Jesus also said he came to turn brother against brother.

    And Jesus's father, god, brings people into brining knowing full well that they will burn in the fires of hell for all eternity. Why would a just god ever make these people in the first place?

    How can anyone worship a jerk like Jesus and an imaginary baby killer god?

    November 18, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • jobseeker

      Get Real; You can call him Jerk all you want here. But someday, you'll call him 'LORD! AND you'll be on bended knees, wishing you had said 'Lord' instead of 'Jerk' just a few moments earlier!

      November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      By hinduism fabrication of moon shiner Jesus, hindu, Racist personality of southern style, calling human and their children dog's.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  12. Don

    Odd that the author starts near the beginning by stating "As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God," but then completely demolishes her argument without appearing to realize it. Clearly the Bible is not the word of God.

    November 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Yes, it is hinduism, absurdity of pot head hindu's, criminals.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      No kidding!

      November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Don "Odd that the author starts near the beginning by stating "As someone who loves the Bible and believes it to be the inspired word of God," but then completely demolishes her argument without appearing to realize it. Clearly the Bible is not the word of God."

      =>how do you know?

      It's a interesting truism that atheists, while professing to be open to data/evidence/truth, nearly universally have so much personally tied up with the belief, that they are in reality the most close minded, faith driven people I've ever come across..

      November 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      @ Chad –
      I think the point was that TO HER, clearly the Bible is not the Word of God, even though she opens with that slogan. I actually disagree, in the sense that I think she THINKS the Bible is the Word of God, she is just confused on what that means. And, ironically, she's handling the Word of God in a contradictory manner to what she says she believes about it.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dismissing something for lack of evidence isn't closed-minded, Chad. It's realistic. If indisputable evidence for the existence of a god comes to light, then belief would be logical. Without that proof, believing in god, especially a specific god, is nothing more than superst.itious adherence to a cultural habit.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Chad

      atheists dont dismiss Judeo/Christianity for lack of evidence, for the vast majority there is simply no evidence that would cause them to rethink their position. They reject it without having a clue as to what evidence there is. Scroll up and down and you can see atheists embracing utter nonsense(like the horus nonsense), not because there is evidence for it, but because they feel it supports their position.

      That is because they have to much personally invested in the atheistic stance to ever abandon it, regardless of what evidence there is. It also explains why atheists rarely if ever use evidence to back up their arguments, preferring to engage in ad-hominem because it is the only avenue available to them

      November 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Answer

      @Chad

      Too much time personally invested... sums it up against the theists. But like all of your kind you like to throw it back at atheists because that way it takes the bitterness out of your own depraved life. Good for you. Use it more and keep on seeing if that helps your own hollowness.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's very difficult to list the lack of evidence for something, Chad. I confess I don't buy into the Horus thing. I believe that if a man named Jesus did in fact exist, his history was deliberately fabricated for the bible, in order to allow him to fulfill jewish prophecy. This is why so many of the very specific details surrounding Christ's birth have been shown to be utter nonsense.

      There is nothing in the contemporary Roman record to support his existence, In fact there is not a single non-biblical contemporary account of his existence. (This is the part where christians like to trot out their list of "accounts", which have all been thoroughly debunked.)

      The bible contradicts itself hundreds of times, and in fact, the bulk of the new testament was written by a man who never even met the person for whom he claims to speak.

      Your god (like all gods) is unable to spread word of himself without human intercession, and in fact is completely unable to cross oceans or find entire continents populated by millions of people without humans doing it first. To me, the 1500 years between the alleged death of Christ, and the discovery of a huge populations if the new world who had never even heard of your god is the most telling point of all.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "This is why so many of the very specific details surrounding Christ's birth have been shown to be utter nonsense."
      @Chad "really? name some 🙂 "

      =======
      @tallulah13 "There is nothing in the contemporary Roman record to support his existence. In fact there is not a single non-biblical contemporary account of his existence. (This is the part where christians like to trot out their list of "accounts", which have all been thoroughly debunked.)"
      @Chad "fascinating stance... you are claiming that Jesus isnt real?
      you do realize that virtually every classical historian (atheist, agnostic, believing) views the theories of Jesus non-existence thoroughly debunked?

      =======
      @tallulah13 "The bible contradicts itself hundreds of times, and in fact, the bulk of the new testament was written by a man who never even met the person for whom he claims to speak."
      @Chad "really fascinating stuff... can you list a few of these so called contradictions?
      The bible claims that Paul (author of 30-40% of the NT, not the "bulk", but you can be forgiven that error as you are operating with the handicap of never actually having read it)

      November 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  13. Matt Grotheer

    So you consider yourself an Evangelical Christian and don't think that the Bible is consistent? Doesn't make much sense to me. Also at least try and think about how to interpret some of those passages you mentioned. It's way too easy to try and show the Bible has inconsistencies by being a bad interpreter of it.

    November 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Forgive him please, he has reached limit of his hinduism, ignorance.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • DougNJ

      Matt, In Samuel after slaying Goliath David gets introduced to Saul, 1 Sam 17.55-58, why does Saul not recognise David as the dude that plays the music and carry Saul's weapons, 1 Sam 16.18-23? Also Matthew and Luke have different numbers and names for the ancestors of Jesus. Bible had no continuity checker.

      November 19, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  14. 2/8

    There is no danger of living by the Bible. Personally, I don't, and I don't like religion. But in America, there is so much arrogance both sides of the equation that printing an article like this is nothing more than an attempt to get controversy brewing. Nothing "ups" ratings like getting the opinions going from two sides who think they're the ultimate authority on what people should and shouldn't do. On one side, there's the "logical" and "rational" camp who think they know absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have the answers to everything. And on the other side, you have the ones who say that if you don't abide by an old, tattered book, you're going to burn in hell. Ridiculous, both sides, just shamefully arrogant and ridiculous.

    November 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Well, there are a couple of folks between those two extremes.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Of course it's dangerous to live by the bible. How many children have died in this country because their parent's interpretation of the bible precludes medical care? How many human rights abuses have been protected or even encouraged by bible verses? How many wars have been fought over which interpretation of the bible is correct?

      What is not dangerous is to live by common sense and simple human compassion. Isn't it time for humanity to grow up and start taking responsibility for our own actions?

      November 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bruce

      The danger is allowing one group to foist it's understanding of the bible on the rest of us. As an example, just look at the election season just past.

      November 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  15. was blind, but now I see

    @MashaSobaka; "If you beat a pregnant woman and cause a miscarriage (but don't kill her), you pay whatever fine the husband demands of you. If you beat a pregnant woman and kill her, the usual eye-for-an-eye, life-for-a-life laws are in effect and you are put to death. Exodus 21:22-24."

    You need to get a KJV Bible and concordance. Here is what it really says:

    If men 582 strive 5327 , and hurt 5062 a woman 802 with child 2030, so that her fruit 3206 depart 3318, and yet no mischief follow 611: he shall be surely 6064 punished 6064 , according as the woman's 802 husband 1167 will lay 7896 upon him; and he shall pay 5414 as the judges 6414 [determine]. And if [any] mischief follow 611, then thou shalt give 5414 life 5315 for life 5315,

    In other words, if the baby (H3206) flows out of her (H3318) yet no mischief follows (the baby does not die)..... but if mischief does follow (the baby does die)........then thou shalt give life for life.....

    November 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      You wake up feeling amazing with Marie next to you. She finally spent the night. You can make out the curve of her buttocks beneath the thin sheet. Your groin reacts and you press against her, fitting neatly in the begging crevice. She smells like flowers and honey. You throb with anticipation and she moans in anticipation. You reach for a condom, but realize to your dismay that your dog is busy chewing and has something stuck in his teeth…

      Where is your God now?

      November 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      While I generally agree, there are some other translations which also make this clear (either in the text or in notes) which are MUCH more readable and clear to the modern reader. BTW, there is a textual variant involved, but I think you've pretty much captured what is going on and this would be in line with the majority of scholars on the subject.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Apple Bush has clearly capped out on reasoning ability and has now turned to saboteur. 😦

      November 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • DUMP HINDU ATHEISM, SELF CENTER ISM AND BE A TRUE AMERICAN IN FOLLOWING OF TRUTH ABSOLUTE GOD

      Please correct, you were hindu, blind in understanding and now you have means to understand, every hindu ignorant does not know the way to use his brain in positive way to see truth absolute GOD.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • frank

      You are incorrect. The "mischief" in Exodus 21 i not referring to the death of the baby but to injury to the woman. The bulk of scholarly work, and the opinion of the ancient commentators, on this section concludes that the attacker does indeed cause a miscarriage.
      You are not gaining any credibility by relying on the KJV, which is one of the least accurate translations of the bible.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      @frank; "You are incorrect. The "mischief" in Exodus 21 i not referring to the death of the baby but to injury to the woman. The bulk of scholarly work, and the opinion of the ancient commentators, on this section concludes that the attacker does indeed cause a miscarriage. You are not gaining any credibility by relying on the KJV, which is one of the least accurate translations of the bible."

      Explain your argument to me using the original Hebrew words please. Thanks. Actually, the KJV is one of the most accurate translations. Nevertheless, I still go to the Hebrew or Greek when critical words are used (such as in this example).

      November 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Was Yasa the only word that could be used to indicate a miscarriage? No. Two other words were available to convey this particular meaning, if that’s what the writer had in mind: nepel and sakal. These are used seven times in the Hebrew text.

      The noun nepel means “miscarriage” or “abortion,” and is used three times:

      Job 3:16 “Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, as infants that never saw light.”
      Eccl. 6:3-4 “If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things, and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, ‘Better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity.’”

      Psalms 58:8 “Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun.”

      The verb sakal means “to be bereaved” and is used four times, including one time when it’s actually translated “abort:”

      Genesis 31:38 “These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks.”
      Exodus 23:26 “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”

      Hosea 9:14 “Give them, O Lord– what wilt Thou give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.”

      Job 21:10 “His ox mates without fail; his cow calves and does not abort.

      Moses had words in his vocabulary that literally meant abortion or miscarriage, but he didn’t use them in Exodus 21:22. Instead, he chose the same word he used in many other places to signify a living child being brought forth.

      Yasa doesn’t mean miscarriage in the sense we think of that word. Instead, the combination of yeled with yasa suggests a living child coming forth from the womb. Nowhere else is this word ever translated “miscarriage.” Why? Because the word doesn’t mean the baby is still-born. It simply means the child comes out.

      November 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  16. MeAtheist

    Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity

    November 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Karen

      If your statement is true then most hospitals would never have been founded, people around the world would be less educated or uneducated, the poor would not have been fed, and worse, more would die without knowing Jesus as their Savior. Please research the founding a of these basics of life I have mentioned. They originated out a desire to share the love of Jesus Christ which they have personally experienced.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • .

      History tells us hospitals,charities schools etc.existed long before your Jesus did.You know that right?

      November 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    You are at a German “sparkle party”. You are wearing your party pants. You are ready to dancy dance. It is a hard-core German sparkle party and you are wearing your rubber boots. The music is pulsating and it feels good to dance. You notice a familiar face standing at the bar. You dance over to her as fancy as you please in your polished rubber boots. You bend low to smell her perfume and say hello. It is your father.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Same place He's always been. Why?

      November 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      A.B. sees only in the murky waters and cannot yet figure out how to make the waters clear. Sad. 😦

      November 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Wow

      That was brilliant

      November 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  18. L00kupRead

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88GTUXvp-50&w=420&h=315]

    November 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • MeAtheist

      http://Www.youarealoser.Com

      November 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Answer

      Youtube it.

      "Dan Barker – How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists "

      November 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  19. Apple Bush

    Your husband takes you to the company Christmas party. You have long been jealous of his very attractive co-worker Genevieve, and your jealous imagination suspects there is a spark between them. You dress to the nines and look great. The moment comes to say hello to her. She is beautiful, charming and smells intoxicating. You break a heal just as you reach to shake her hand. You spill your drink on both Genevieve and your husband. They look at each other and giggle, holding the gaze a bit too long.

    Where is your God now?

    November 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • davedave2

      you are the master of pointless crap

      November 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  20. Arnold

    Stick it up your ahss.

    November 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • MeAtheist

      Thats what you do to little boys

      November 18, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      What is an ahss? You mean ass?

      November 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Arnold

      Yaw ahss... like yaw mama's ahss. It's so beeg.

      November 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Oh I see, you are Arnold. That is SO funny!

      November 18, 2012 at 5:14 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.