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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. ElmerGantry

    @dissidenfairy

    dissidentfairy stated,
    "Vilan, I mean AnVil: Actually Vilan was a typo but I sort of thought it had a nice ring to it since you always like to play devils advocate:)"

    It's villain, not vilan.

    I have a better anagram for you,

    Evangelist = Evil's Agent. : )

    December 1, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • dissidentfairy

      Seriously did you really think I can't spell? I was only being facetious with AnVil, having a little harmless fun. It may surprise you to know that I actually agree with you regarding Evangelical preacher's! Religion and God I believe for the most part couldn't be further apart:) As far as twists on words go, I always found it rather ironic that funeral....reconfigured is 'real fun!"

      December 1, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • the AnViL

      yooz gaiz better quit callin me names and junk

      December 1, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • dissidentfairy

      AnVil: What does God have to do with me teasing you? Lighten up! I wasn't calling you names. It was only an affectionate tease! Where is your sense of humor AnVil? Besides, "AnVil" isn't your Real name is it? If you decided to call me "airy" instead of "fairy" should I come unglued? No! I do have a light hearted airy side to me at times:)

      Actually this is a good analogy to the bad rap God gets all the time. People do all sorts of bad things to each other and God is always the one to get blamed. I still might take you up on your challenge....I've just been busy:) p.s. I think the names you've called me have been far worse.....do we have a double standard going on here......."doofy?" that's equivalent to dufus, dumb, stupid, moron....and I wasn't offended over you calling me "doofy"....I usually go with the flow!

      December 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • the AnViL

      1. never mentioned gods
      2. yes i can take a joke
      3. i was being comical with that post – i know "yooz gaiz" were not "callin me names"
      4. there are no gods
      5. yes, you are a dufus.
      6. sheesh
      7. ?????
      8. there are no gods
      9. you're still a dufus.
      10. sheeesh

      p.s.
      if you have time to post messages like this, doofy – then you have time to refute all the failed biblical prophecies i lovingly provided your doofy butt with.

      p.p.s.
      sheesh

      December 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      AnVil: I'm sorry if I misunderstood what you were trying to say. I admit that I read it sort of fast:) Now that I have re-read it I see that you meant "you guys" not "your God." Sorry about that! I promise to answer your other requests but seriously.....I really have been busy!

      December 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    Very nice to hear such reasonable thinking in a sea of incoherent an illogical religious arguments. Probably the best I've read.
    - an Atheist.

    November 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • right4life

      You a are not an atheist, only fool. Psalms 14

      November 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • the AnViL

      right4life – might i direct you to the book of matthew – chapter 5, verse 22.

      "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire"

      December 1, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • right4life

      Anvil wasn't angry with him just pointing out what God has to say about non believers.

      2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

      December 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      no, right4life....the fools are the ones who purport to know what god thinks

      December 3, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • sam stone

      right4life: f you and your iron age comic book.

      December 4, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  3. Brimstone

    I thought this article was going to be about natural disasters (disasters of biblical proportions!).

    Boy, was I disappointed...

    November 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  4. K Kim

    Bible is full of exapmles of people who did wrong yet remained loved by God and considered faithful and even righteous by God. The reason that being single is better (I am married with 2 children) as Jesus and Paul said is that a single person can focus solely on fulfilling the Great Commission. In my opinion (inspired by HS or not), with the new (or renewed) covenant under Christ, God's command to be fruitful, multiply and rule the earth (Gen 1:28) is renewed and transformned as Yeshua's command to go out and make disciples of all nations. God's original command to man (repeated to Noah later and at least one additional time) to multiply and fill the earth having been fulfilled physically, the spiritual aspect of the command (The Great Commission) now remains to be fulfilled.

    November 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Bring'em young

      When someone writes fiction, they can put in it whatever they want, as the bible is a prime example of.

      November 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • rbud

      The Bible is also full of examples of things people did that were not considered wrong by Biblical standards, yet we would label them wrong today. In regard to this article, the entire idea of Biblically defined marriage or family values is totally a modern evangelical phenomenon, and has no validity in the Holy Scriptures. Not there. Zip. Nada.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  5. elklram

    Given that there are so many contradictory bible verses on the same subject matter, wouldn't it just make more sense to toss the book aside and live your life according to what you deem to be moral and true? Clearly, the bible is not a good source for direction on morality or any other aspect of life or iiving

    November 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • mac

      But they are in every hotel room drawer.

      November 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  6. Satanluv

    next time my wife gets her period...I am getting the tent out of my basement..putting her in the yard and throwing party in the house

    November 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  7. Satanluv

    way more rediculous

    November 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  8. Satanluv

    Sorry I didn't read this before I commented...i figured the article was about like "biblical storms" etc...this article is way more ridicules...she camped in the yard on her period...yeah great...that makes sense...at least she admits that the bible is a mishmash of nonsense and contradictions written by vastly different peoples and cultures...she fails to mention, it has No overall message, NO thesis statement, NO overarching themes and is of NO use to anyone living in the 21st century except historians, paleontologists and .archeologists…she also fails to mention that it is a book written by goatherds who didn't know why the sun came up in the morning and were this god to exist, believing in him or worshiping him would have little effect as his adherents are subject to his "will" so that our needs and desires are fulfilled at an equal rate to hoping and wishing. Regardless of your belief, faith or sect the believer is still subject to death, tragedy, disease, loss etc at the same level/rate as the nonbeliever. Everyone you know will die, many tragically as will you

    November 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • rbud

      But, if a woman during her menses camped out on the lawn, wouldn't that make the lawn unclean for anyone walking through? Just curious.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  9. Satanluv

    Biblical just means that the people who wrote the bible...those clever goatherds...didn't understand the natural processes of this planet like earthquakes and tsunamis so they atributed them to god...'cause they didn't know jack...now of course we know better and morons in the media use terms like "bibical" to add to the confusion and terror of those simple-minded folks who still believe in this ancient semetic mythology

    November 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • right4life

      We attribute earthquakes to God because he caused them.

      Ac 16:26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened

      Mr 13:8 "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places,

      November 30, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • sam stone

      wow.....predicting that sometime in the future there will be war and earthquakes.....now that is going out on the limb, no?

      November 30, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Why did god put the bulls eye of tornado alley on the buckle of the Bible Belt?

      December 1, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • the AnViL

      right4life – actually earthquakes are caused by the release of tensional or compressional stresses along faults in the lithospheric plates of the earths crust. isn't that wacky and nutty!?!??!

      and here all this time you thought it was your imaginary god doing it! i can only imagine your surprise at finally learning the truth of the matter...

      you're welcome!

      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • fintastic

      LOL

      December 3, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  10. Augustine

    The article points out something that Christians, non-Christians, and people in general have grappled with for a long time: The Bible (whatever a person's belief in it may be) can be very confusing. People have always struggled knowing which verses/doctrines apply today, how they are meant to be applied, or what the ancient writer actually meant when they penned the verse itself. It has for years been more battleground than common ground at times. Despite our best intentions, we often (unintentionally) pick and choose which part of the Bible to emphasize. The result is that almost no one has any idea what God (through the Bible) means to say.
    In ancient times there were prophets/inspired men who defined and interpreted what God meant. They put in a context that everyone could understand. Today with hundreds (maybe thousands) of different denominations, there is no single prophet/leader/sage to interpret the Bible the way God wants it to be understood. A difficult situation to be sure.

    November 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  11. Mac

    Stalagmite in Oregon cave tells tale of 13,000 winters

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50014049/ns/technology_and_science-science/

    November 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  12. Pravda

    We have made such amazing progress as humans since we have thrown Biblical Beliefs out of our schools.

    We only execute about 40 people a year for capitol crimes.
    Slavery is a thing of the past
    and we have removed God from our classrooms, Science is the new guiding light!

    Too bad that we also murder about 1 Million unborn babies a year in the name of choice, our prisons are overpopulated and we release hard dore criminals back onto the street to make room for others. We abuse and mistreat Chinese workers so we can have cheap iPads and iPhones (Check out Foxconn). School suicides, and shootings are at an all time high. Oh, and our education level compared to other nations slips further behind every year.

    Yup, we are so much better off now...

    November 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • the AnViL

      the idea that religions hold the monopoly on ethics and morals would be comical if it wasn't so entirely tragically untrue.

      those countries which are almost entirely theistic have by far the lowest education rates and the highest murder rates, while european countries that are highly atheistic have much higher education rates and drastically lower murder rates. comparative studies on people with religiosity and various social ills has shown higher rates of belief in a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion.

      that's evidence of the complete ineffectiveness of religion to affect peace, prosperity, well-being, and strong moral values (or any, it would seem) – and strong evidence – (perhaps the strongest) of the complete and total lack of divinity in religion. it doesn't work – in fact – it does the exact polar opposite of its supposed intended effect.

      in relation to religion and morals – again – if anything has been shown to be the case – it is that religious bodies are incredibly immoral and malevolent... so much so – that it boggles the mind how anyone in the 21st century could possibly be blind to the abject harm religion does to humanity.

      November 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  13. Mac

    radiometeric dating of EARTH facts.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12853798/ns/technology_and_science-science/

    November 29, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • dissidentfairy

      Radiometric carbon dating is not as accurate or set in stone as one would like to believe! Due to rapid decay of C-14, it can only accurately produce dates in the thousands of years, not in the millions, or billions. This type of dating is not derived from empirical evidence but merely an interpretation of observational science.

      Once a living thing dies, the dating process begins, and the amount of C-14 in a dead organism becomes less and less potent over time. Scientists now use an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer to determine the ratio of 14-C to 12-C, which increases the Assumed accuracy to 80,000 years.

      A critical assumption used in Carbon 14 dating has been to do with ratio. Science has assumed that the ratio of C-14 to C-12 in the atmosphere has always been the same as it is today. If this assumption is true then the AMS C-14 dating method is valid up to 80,000 years. If this assumption in not true, then the method will give incorrect data.

      If the production rate of C-14 in the atmosphere is not equal to the removal rate (mostly from decay) this ratio will change. It's known as "Equilibrium." If it's not balanced then it's impossible to accurately date. In Dr. Willard Libby's, original work, he noted that the atmosphere did not appear to be in equilibrium. That was upsetting to him since he believed the earth to be billions of years old, and enough time had elapsed to achieve equilibrium. Dr. Libby chose to ignore the discrepancy (the non equilibrium state) and chalk it up to experimental error. He was wrong! The discrepancy turned out to be very real.

      The ratio of 14-C/12-C is not constant. The SPR of C-14 is known to be 18.8 atoms per gram of total carbon per minute. The SDR is only 16.1 disintegrations per gram per minute.

      What does this mean? If it takes 30,000 years as science has suggested to reach equilibrium and C-14 is still out of equilibrium in coal, diamonds, and deep layers of strata, then maybe the earth isn't that old! Also the magnetic field is decaying and getting weaker. Since 1845 it has lost 10% of it's energy. If the production rate of C-14 in the atmosphere was less in the past, dates given using the carbon-14 method would incorrectly assume that more had decayed out of a specimen than what actually occurred, and would result in faulty data. The history of the earth's magnetic field agrees with Barnes basic hypothesis that the field has always freely decayed….the field has been losing energy despite it's variations, so it cannot be more than 10,000 years old.

      Another factor to consider, the Great Flood: It would have buried large amounts of carbon from living organisms. This means the biosphere just prior to the flood might have had 500 times more carbon in living organisms then today. This would dilute the amount of C-14 and cause the ratio to be much smaller today. If that is the case the C-14/C-12 ratio would be 1/500 of what it is today. So when the Flood and the magnetic field is taken into account, it is reasonable to believe that the Assumption of equilibrium is a false one. Because any age estimates using C-14 prior to the Flood will give much older dates than the true age. Pre-Flood material could be dated at 10 times the true age.

      A team of scientists and Ph.D's, known as the Rate Group, gathered fossilized wood samples (some specimens previously aged at 250 million years) and coal, from the Department of Energy Coal Sample Bank. And here is the clencher……they All contained measurable amounts of C-14! This is a significant discovery! Why? Since half-life of C-14 is relatively short (5,730 years) there should be No detectable C-14 left after about 100,000 years. The average C-14 estimated age for all the layers, from three time periods, that were analyzed were approximately 50,000 years. However, using a more realistic pre-Flood C-14/C-12 ratio reduces that age to 5000 years. Carbon-14 found in fossils at all layers of the geological spectrum, is evidence, which confirms, the Biblical account of the earth being thousands, Not, billions of years old!

      November 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • the AnViL

      the article mac posted doesn't reference radiometric dating.

      and – df: radiometric dating includes waaaaaaay more than just carbon. inaccuracies of c14 dating do not negate all the other methods.

      zoop!

      November 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • the AnViL

      dissident fairy – since you love to argue inarguable subjects and points...

      get to work on showing inconsistencies and errors in measurements of dating igneous rocks using the K-Ar method.

      SNAP!

      November 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      Vilan, I mean AnVil: Actually Vilan was a typo but I sort of thought it had a nice ring to it since you always like to play devils advocate:) Radiometric dating involving C-14 seems to be the method of choice. I don't think K-Ar dating using an isotope of potassium, or U-Pb is any better do you!

      November 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • the AnViL

      df: – your fondness for strawman arguments isn't very lady-like.

      i never mentioned U-Pb. i was specific... K-Ar.

      get busy.

      November 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • the AnViL

      while there are limitations to all types of radiometric dating....

      dissident fairy posits: "..C-14 seems to be the method of choice.."

      nope – not for everything, doofy.

      KAPOW!

      November 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • dissidentfairy

      AnVil: I am extremely lady-like! I was just having some fun in the midst of all the seriousness! It must be the gothic butterfly in me! The half genius-half insanity Aquarius syndrome I suppose! What can I say! I'm sorry if your sense of humor has eluded you:) Actually I would be far more intrigued if you enlightened me with your knowledge of K-Ar.....then I shall respond in a most unpredictable manner to your vast array of brilliance:) "doofy" ??? Now who's being rude! The last thing I am is "doofy:) And You know it!

      November 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      @dissidenfairy

      dissidentfairy
      Vilan, I mean AnVil: Actually Vilan was a typo but I sort of thought it had a nice ring to it since you always like to play devils advocate:)

      It's villain, not vilan.

      I have a better anagram for you,

      Evangelist = Evil's Agent

      December 1, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  14. trekie70

    Excellent article on an important, over-used talking point of Evangelicals. I don't know a single Southern Evangelical that would willingly give up pork-eating it is prohibited in...you guessed it, the Bible. I do know many Evangelicals who stammer and stutter when you point out an OT law that they aren't following. They look away and say, "Well, that's the OT. Those don't apply anymore." However, when I point out their rhetoric on gay marriage is taken directly from the OT, they change the subject. I have yet to meet an Evangelical with whom I can have an intelligent discussion on religion.

    November 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      The "good book" is good for keeping people ignorant (and hateful too at times) There's a great bible quiz on FFRF.org
      EVEN Xmas trees are forbidden in the bible, they are "heathen."

      November 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Pravda

      When will Atheists actually read the Bible? Then they will realize how absolutely silly they sound with their ridiculous arguments that they try to stand behind.

      November 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tony

      @Pravda:
      Atheists are generally more well versed in the bible than those who purport to follow it. There is an old saying that the best way to become an atheist is to read the bible. Anybody who actually DOES read it, and does so objectively, will notice it's full of flaws, inconsistencies, illogic and just plain nonsense. Only those who read and follow only those limited portions with which they agree consider the book of any reasonable value. An excellent example of this the 10 commandments. How many so-called Christians who whole-heartedly support their placement in public buildings, etc. actually follow and obey ALL TEN, and in the manner prescribed in the book? On Sundays, for example, you are supposed to do NO work at all. That includes pretty much anything beyond breathing. How many obey that? Or what about "coveting"? Who doesn't want the good things others have? If you're not going to FOLLOW all ten, why DISPLAY all ten? And if you're not going to follow all ten, who gets to decide which ones to follow and which ones not to?

      Then, of course, are the biblically prescribed punishments for "disobedience". This is usually death for even minor infractions. Yeah, this is worthy of reverence.

      Thereare MANY more reasons atheists discount the bible as a legitimate source of guidance, but I hope you get the point. Suffice it to say that the primary reason atheists are even AWARE of these issues is because they have actually READ and UNDERSTOOD the book.

      November 29, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  15. Michael S. Green

    Please take the time to read my blogs.
    I write about the “beginning” through GOD.
    I explain the machine that built the pyramids and coral castle. Less than twenty one pages.
    Free knowledge and a true explanation.

    November 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • fintastic

      @green..... Instead, how about some scientific evidence for the existence of god?

      December 3, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  16. Mac

    The Pope debunks IT

    November 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • wth

      IT...Infallible Televangelists?

      November 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  17. jknbtjknbt

    the toadies at cnn deleted my comments on page 60 and following....hmm, must have cut close to the bone, huh? so here is a recap of one of them....

    Chad buddy– I thought I would send an "amen" your way....I believe in what the Bible says about creation: He created the universe. Okay, when? And how long did this take? Seven days or seven ages. I go with the "ages" reading of the hebrew word for day. Why? because the scientific objections to creationism melt down if you take the Gen. chapt. 1 "day" to mean "age, epoch, era" and so forth. See 2 Peter 3:8

    And when did this take place? If you believe in the "long day" reading of Gen. 1, there is no problem with a 13.7 billion year old universe. So let's look at a few things to compare science and long day creationism:

    Reader: Please look at the scientific item, for ex. "1s", and then skip down to the creationist item, for ex. "1c", to correctly see the correlation here.

    Science says:
    1s) the universe resulted from actions of a transcendent causal agent from beyond the time and space boundaries of the known universe. (13.7 billion years ago)
    2s) the universe began at a single point in time and space called the Big Bang. Time had a distinct beginning. Plasma was continually expanding outward in all directions.
    3s) the universe was an amorphous energy plasma cloud for the first 300,000 years.
    4s) then photons erupted from this energy cloud (detectable today as the microwave background radiation)
    5s) photons and other particles form the bodies of the early universe (atoms, molecules, stars, planets, galaxies)
    6s) it rained on the early earth until it was cool enough for oceans to form
    7s) the first life form was blue green bacteria. Primitive plant forms colonize the dry land. (about 650 to 500 million years ago)
    8s) ???
    9s) animal life appears in the cambrian explosion (about 540 million years ago) The first Fish appear about 400 million years
    ago. The first Birds appear about 160 million years ago in the mid-jurassic.
    10s) The first large mammals appear about 55 to 40 million years ago.
    11s) The first hominids appear. Anatomically modern humans appear in Africa about 50-70,000 years ago. Cro-Magnon man
    appears about 40,000 years ago. (Ask God which one was the first Adam ???)
    12s) no new large plant or animal species show up in the fossil record after 100,000 years ago.

    Long Day Creationism reading of Gen. 1 & 2 says:
    1c) in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
    2c) the universe was created ex nihlo.
    3c) the universe was formless and void (tohu wa bohu in Hebr.)
    4c) let there be LIGHT (1-4 all the first day)
    5c) God next creates the heavens (what we call the sky) above (2nd day)
    6c) dry land appears as the oceans form (3rd day)
    7c) green plant life appears on land (3rd day also)
    8c) the cloud cover left over from the billions of years of rain finally condenses enough that a visible moon and sun
    can be seen from the earth's surface through the clouds (4th day)
    9c) God creates sea life including fish and birds (5th day)
    10c) God creates cattle and beasts (large land animals) (6th day)
    11c) God creates man. (also the 6th day)
    12c) God rests. (7th day)

    So Chad Buddy, maybe you are just right after all. What I have described above is the current scientific understanding in lay terms. It would seem that the Bible is a lot more scientific than your detractors give it credit for being. Can you see the correlation? Item for item there is a match in the bible for what the scientists are telling us about the history of the earth. And to think that a copper-age rabbi like Moses came up with this circa 1500 b.c. Why, it's enough to make you believe in the inspriation of the Bible. Amazing!

    intelligent replies invited, no insults please. People who don't have anything intelligent to say fall back on insults.

    November 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • NII

      Another remarkable thing Moses gave was the functional Architecture of the human brain also known as the Tabernacle years before we even knew what it was. He was the first to define the trinitarian human personality as a brain function. This model shows that either he was attacked by extreme genius syndrome or he was a Prophet of God as he said.

      November 27, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      jknbtj..... "the toadies at cnn deleted my comments on page 60 and following....hmm, must have cut close to the bone, huh?"

      There is no page 60 on the comments to this article. Your (numerous) comments are still on the other trending article, however:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/19/rubio-ignites-debate-with-answer-about-creationism/comment-page-60/

      (you are quite confused; and your insult against CNN is unfounded)

      November 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  18. Joheva Gira

    We need to get back to the bible. Every man should have many wives. Hell YEAH!!!

    November 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • midwest rail

      Some men don't have to be a bigamist to have one wife too many.

      November 26, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Miss Demeanor

      and may they never meet... seriously dude... you must not have multiple sisters

      November 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Satanluv

      one is enough bro

      November 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  19. Bob

    Biblical pharisee? Is that the level of debate in the USA? Shame on the American Catholic! Where is Jesus the Christ in this debate? Where is his Love? Where is his Compassion? Where is his trnasforming Love? Where is his Mission of Reconciling Love? And you have the timerity to call yourselves Christian and Catholic while you sow division and discord? All I read is the disgrace and dinial of the values Jesus came to teach Humanity.

    November 26, 2012 at 7:32 am |
  20. atomD21

    The number of people touting the belief that every word in the Bible is to be taken literally would drop in record numbers if those people would actually read the thing instead of claiming they do and just taking their pastor's word for what it says. That's exactly what happened to me...

    November 26, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • ElmerGantry

      Hit the nail squarely on the head!

      November 26, 2012 at 7:55 am |
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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.