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WWJD...about taxes?
December 3rd, 2012
03:43 PM ET

WWJD...about taxes?

By Libby Lewis, CNN

(CNN) Dig under the rhetoric over taxes in Washington now, and you’ll find one question: should the wealthy pay more in taxes than other people?

It’s a question that goes back to the Bible. Geoffrey Miller is a law professor at New York University who’s written about taxation in the Bible.

He writes about the Temple Tax, the one God told Moses to impose in Exodus 30. It’s the one where each person, rich and poor, pays half a shekel – for the Temple – and God.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. gman tello

    great article and please

    sipport our troops

    http://www.airsplat.com/Items/ER-GG-M4-R8L-B.htm

    December 5, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  2. Atheist Hunter

    If my taxes were going to the temple of Jehovah God I wouldn't have a problem with paying 50%, however they are going to the temple of Obama, abortion, hom o se x, etc. etc. etc. Big difference!

    December 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Wow

      You just showed that your one stupid person with that statement.

      December 6, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • sam stone

      You could always eat the business end of your sidearm, AH...would not have to pay a thing afterward. You could be on your knees in front of Jeebus in no time. No time like the present, punk

      December 6, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  3. Rynomite

    "That is my point. Romes rejection of Christ destroyed them."

    Good thing you are not a history teacher because that's an illogical response to my comment.

    Rome was doing just fine as an inclusive Pagan nation:
    It was the primary regional power as of the conclusion of the 2nd Punic was in 202 B.C.
    It was the Supreme power in the World by the time th eprincipate was established by Octavian in 27 B.C.

    Xtianity had its first Roman Emperor in 313, but Xtianity didn't become the offical oppressive Reliigon of Rom until 391.

    Rome fell in 476.

    So lets count... Rome was the dominate world power as a pagan nation for 500-600 odd years.

    It adopted Xtianity (not turned away from as you state), and poof it was done for in less than 100 years.
    I think it is pretty clear that Jebus was a cancer to Rome.

    December 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  4. Atheism is healthy for children and other living things

    if god told moses to pay tax then Sheldon Addelson CAN'T be a jew ;-)

    December 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  5. so sad.

    what? where are all the comments from yesterday? I made a bunch of carefully thought out extremely intelligent points and I came back to see if any of them had recieved any equally intelligent responses, but all of yesterdays comments are gone. What's up?

    December 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  6. kaligaclark

    I guess jesus would do the same as Santa Claus or the easter bunny!! They are ALL fictional beings and nothing else!

    December 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Great News, now prove it.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bring'em Young

      mike
      You want someone to prove the easter bunny is fictional?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      Proving a negative?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      BY, no, I have the Easter Bunny and Santa covered through the testimony of my parents.
      Can you prove God is fictional?

      Sam, that is just lazy and intellectually dishonest. There is no negative in the statement God is fictional. It is an assertion, and must be backed up. By the way you can prove a negative, otherwise you would be haul off to jail for crimes you did not commit. Or be afraid to live in your house because of the tiger that may be there since you "can't prove that he's not"

      ------------------------------–
      How do you know your belief is true?
      It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian
      belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens.
      In fairness you must doubt your doubts.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "Can you prove God is fictional?"

      The bible is. The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      so i talked it out with every one and here is their tax policy

      Santa Claus;... non-existent Santa is a slave driver every thing goes to him and all the people of the north poll work for nothing.

      Easter bunny;.... is a socialist and thoroughly believes in high taxation for the rich

      Sand man;... ZZZZ [was asleep]

      Tooth fairy; .... Fiscal conservative thinks to overly tax business reduced innovation and job creation
      that's why most fairies don't talk to her, them being Communist and all

      Jack frost; ... doesn't care as long as he gets cake,..hee-ho

      damn that guardian movie would have been so much better with Jack frost

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

      December 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      "The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically."

      So first, this is not true, the sediment layer* of the earth's core point to a global flood but even if that could not be verified was is it automatically false?

      *that fossils are generally found in deposits, (somewhat like a sieve), and not spread out over all the earth support the idea that they were all lifted off the ground and then deposited en ma.sse as the waters subsided

      "The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from?"
      Great, provide your evidence that these are folk lore and not historical fact. Again, not being able to find the history does not preclude history from ever happening.

      " If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages?"
      According to Gen 11

      Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
      (Genesis 11:7-9 ESV)

      "It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith"
      The Bible is a collection of books, like reader's digest, that include letters, historical narrative, poetry, and other types of literary styles. These books are centered around who God is and what He has historically done.

      " it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science."
      Economics, no. Science, in the sense of the definition of science, yes. I covered History (Kings, Samuel the Gospels, Acts) and poetry (Psalms mostly)

      " It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind."
      Now your back tracking, so it uses all sorts of genre, but History and poetry are not two of them?

      " Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible"
      If that were true, first please provide evidence. Two, as the first pope, don't you think Peter as the first pope would have taken out the part were Jesus calls him Satan? That would be close to the top of the list.

      " The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history;"
      But then please explain these sections in Luke

      Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
      (Luke 1:1-4 ESV)

      In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
      “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
      make his paths straight.
      (Luke 3:1-4 ESV)

      That's great detail in the recording of historical events. Again, to make the claim you are making please provide evidence.

      "It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. "
      IF that were true, then your whole post to disprove it goes out the window.

      " not an historical doc.ument."
      It pa.sses all the test for historicity, that you would use on any other doc.ument.
      the bibliographical test, the internal test, and the external test. There is no contradicting doc.ument by those reference in the bible

      And they compelled a pa.sserby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
      (Mark 15:21-23 ESV)

      Just as an example

      ----------–
      How do you know your belief is true?
      It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian
      belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens.
      In fairness you must doubt your doubts.

      December 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Say Wha?

      "I have the Easter Bunny and Santa covered through the testimony of my parents"

      The word of your parents is sufficient evidence? May I point out that they are the same people who once testified that Santa and the Easter Bunny were real?

      Sorry, but mommy and daddy are not the final word.

      How old are you? 12?

      December 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Sorry that went over your head please let me try again

      " testimony of my parents"

      It's not that my parents are always truthful. It is their confession that they are not truthful that holds the weight. The evidence provided through receipts and inside knowledge of what presents I receive that firmly attributes to the establishment of fact that Santa did not buy those wonderful presents.

      Testimony is so powerful that we still use it today, in investigation, courts and news reporting.

      So why do we believe the bible. Well part of the test of reliability is the testimony

      Prima facie (Presence of Eyewitnesses) it would seem that a strong case could be made for the fact that much of the New Testament, including the Gospels and the sources behind them, was written by eyewitnesses. This is mentioned explicitly in a number of places (Luke 1:1-4; Gal. 1; 2 Peter 1:16).

      December 5, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • sam stone

      "By the way you can prove a negative, otherwise you would be haul off to jail for crimes you did not commit."

      Talk about intellectually dishonest. You are not hauled away because you cannot prove you didn't commit a crime. You are hauled off to jail because a jury was convinced you did.

      December 5, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Stone, example: Zimmerman went to jail and the jury has yet to be as.semble.

      December 5, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Huh?

      "" not an historical doc.ument."
      It pa.sses all the test for historicity, that you would use on any other doc.ument.
      the bibliographical test, the internal test, and the external test. There is no contradicting doc.ument by those reference in the bible "

      Mike why don't you take all your lame arguments to the actual Smithsonian, since they issued that statement. Go ahead and try to argue with the world's largest museum and research complex. I am sure they are far more qualified than you are. ;-)

      December 6, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  7. catholic engineer

    Jesus would probably have done an end-run around the tax question. He would have said YOU (and me) feed the hungry, cloth the naked. And not only feed and cloth them. He would also have us sit at the table with someone who hadn't bathed in three weeks, have some coffee, and listen to the person's story. Jesus was about Radical love. Let the politicos and cultural revolutionaries deal with ordinary love.

    December 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Yup, believe in me or be tortured forever. So loving.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Jesus

      Sending people to lake of fire for all of eternity is most certainly “Radical Love”.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @hawaii and Jesus. I can't speak for others. But the Catholic church teaches that hell exists – in some form or condition. It does NOT teach that anyone is in there. In my long years as a Catholic, I've never even heard it suggested that Hitler is in hell.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Jesus

      C’mon CE. If nobody goes to hell then what is its purpose?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @CE

      So you think that no one goes to hell? That goes against the bible a lot. Then again, the RCC says to read the catechism not the bible, so I'm not surprised.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      "If nobody goes to hell, then what's the purpose." A lot has been written about hell over time. But I would put it this way: some people might hate God so badly that they put themselves out of His presence. Or maybe the eternal presence of God is a hell for them who reject Him. Or maybe hell is the very love of God, experienced as fire by those who hate Him.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      All conjecture and spin with no substance.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @hawiiguest Do I think that nobody goes to hell? I don't know. It's not my call. If you find youself face to face with God, you might hear yourself saying, "So YOU'RE God! Your nor what I expected." To which God might reply, "Of course not. Want some coffee?" Actually, hell is a good idea. Some people simply refuse to act human unless faced with consequences. If not hell, then jail or lethal injections.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @CE

      What a lovely non-answer. Well, it's good to know you go against the bible when it suits you, but then again, so does every believer I've talked to.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  8. { ! }

    Did Jesus exist? We might as well ask if a particular homeless person existed. At that particular moment in history, Jesus, his followers, his mother, some very close friends were small stuff. Nobody would have noticed. The Jerusalem Post didn't make shekels by reporting on "nobodies". People were still people even then. So the Sanhedren Chronical would have been reporting on the latest antics of Barack O'Herod. Such tabloids would have been reporting on how many Greeks were being slaughtered with taxes rendered unto Caesar by those who hadn't heard the Sermon on the Mount.

    December 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      But I would think that on Pharisees Blotter in the Jerusalem Post you'd have at least ONE reference to the hippie dude trying to kick the bankers out! Or maybe the scribes who kept records of meetings in Pilates Gubernatorial Palace would have written something like;

      Tuesday, Mar 4, 5th year of Pontius- meeting, 9.30 am, Jewish hippie, condemned to crucifixion....
      Tuesday, Mar 4, 5th year of Pontius- meeting, 10 am, Pharisees, collection issue with Jewish hippie, property turned over to Pharisees...
      Etc...

      Right? I mean, I get your point, jeebus wouldn't have made the front page over Mitt Pilate, but maybe section C, Local Happenings...once at least? How about the Jerusalem Post reporting on the sun being shut down on crucifixion day? You'd think there would be, I don't know, a letter to the editor at least?

      Nothing...

      December 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Well, Mr. Maximus, if it's movements of the sun you're interested, read about the events at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. It made the papers. Even communists and atheists had to admit what they had seen. The American author John Dos Pasos saw the events out at sea.
      Never mind, Sir. If you are an atheist, you already have your mind made up.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bring'em Young

      catholic eng.
      And what proof do you have that this event had any connection to anything divine?
      unexplained should remain unexplained, not trying to leap from ignorance to god, like your religion does.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @Bring'm Leaping from ignorance to God? Let me explain a little Catholicism. The church is EXTREMELY slow in passing judgement on such events. Sometimes, it takes hundreds of years before the church will canonize a saint. In the case of Fatima and other apparitions, the church studies and interviews to great depths. Then it usually pronounces such events as "worthy of belief" and leaves it at that. I'm not detecting any "leaping" in these processes.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Bring'em Young

      cath eng.
      continue lookiing. Just because it takes them a long time doesn't mean the don't still make that leap. The deciding factor normally is, we don't know what else might have done this. In this case, it is now impossible to get first hand reports and cross-examine people who "saw something". It is easy to make that leap from we do not know to "god did it" when nothng can be examined by todays standards. SOMETHING happened that day, we will never KNOW what, so we don't know means it must have been divine. Religious rediculousness.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ Catholic Engineer

      Professor Auguste Meessen of the Inst itute of Physics, Catholic University of Leuven, has stated sun miracles cannot be taken at face value and that the reported observations were optical effects caused by prolonged staring at the sun.

      Despite these as sertions, not all witnesses reported seeing the sun "dance". Some people only saw the radiant colors. Others, including some believers, saw nothing at all.[27]

      No scientific accounts[clarification needed] exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have "danced", and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than 64 kilometres (40 mi) out from Cova da Iri

      Once again you miss the point. Bow to ME, I am the only god that matters and your continued path of folly concerning this yahweh/adad/yeshwah thingy will only lead you to the Mt Olympus skeet range.....

      PULL........................ka POW........................ha ha ha puny humans.........................

      December 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ CE
      The beauty of being atheist is that you keep looking for the true answers, and when you find them you are usually amazed at what nature is capable of. That's my system.

      Your system is...
      "Oooh look at that! Daddy, what makes that?"
      "God, stop asking stupid questions!"

      Child abusing fantasy-as-fact teachers....

      December 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ CE
      Not to mention that the point of my original post in this string is that there is no contemporary 3rd party confirmation of the existence of the Fabulous Jesus, THE BIGGEST CHRIST OF ALL! No mention of THAT particular solar event at his crucifixion, or any other event in this non-persons non-life.

      You really follow the teachings of the sociopathic murderer Saul/Paul...and don't forget that...

      And you haven't done anything to refute that cuz you can't....

      December 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Professor Auguste was mistaken. Knowbody, including him, stares at the sun for very long. Additionally, those 70000 witnesses had no expectation of a solar event. They had no reason to stare skyward. Professors who were there in 1917 had a better take on the events that did Auguste. Also, neurologists are discovering that the brain cannot locate the mind. The brain cannot understand the mind. Most science occurs because information is taken in through the senses, then processes (infallably?) by the brain. If reality is more than what science proclaims, greater realities may bypass the senses and make a direct impression on the mind. In this case, your instruments are useless.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ CE

      Scatalogical nonsense. Again, a spuming fumarole of inanity. There were half the people you are stating, and you just offhandedly threw away the opinion of the person who made the most in-depth study of the event.

      I'm sorry, I can't continue cuz gotta go back to work, but I do counsel you to fight the fear that was driven into your mind from youth, see the truth, and become a functioning, TRUTHFUL, member of society. Quit throwing lies at children, it's harmful. Remember, morality, no matter what a 3000 year old book says, is NOT supernaturally derived. Just like the bibble itself, morality is human-created. Good luck with your new responsibility...

      December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  9. Mohammad A Dar

    if Jesus saw rich and poor difference in people based on their wealth, not spirituality then he was no more than Obama of his time, a community organizer.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  10. Eric G

    If the Jesus of the Bible existed today, I would not bother asking what he would do about taxes. I would want to know important things...... Like why do we have to wait until February for new eppisodes of The Walking Dead?

    December 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • rAmen

      YES! what's up with that?

      December 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jesus is the O.Z. (original zombie)

      December 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Eric G

      LOL ! :D

      Hope that you are well, my friend.

      Peace...

      December 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  11. Reality

    Only for new members of this blog:

    Forget about WWJDAT and concentrate on the following:

    One way to pay down our $16 trillion debt, is to redirect money used to support religions especially the Jesus-based and islamic cons and put it towards paying off our debt.

    To wit:

    Redirecting said funds and saving a lot of "souls" in the process:

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    - One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    - Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    - Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    - The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    - the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.

    - Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    - Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    - All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

    P.S. Annual contributions to the various religions in the USA is ~$100 billion i.e. $1 trillion in ten years.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    December 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Even though your post doesn't make sense to begin with I thought it may be helpful to point out you confusing foreign aid with missionary work

      and you are double counting saying that
      - the faith-based federal projects
      are all Christ related work

      ------------------------------–
      How do you know your belief is true?
      It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian
      belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens.
      In fairness you must doubt your doubts.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, the post makes a lot of cents:

      To wit:

      Stop supporting the religion cons and pay down our $16 trillion debt with the savings of over one trillion dollars.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      But now here is the problem, which is obvious to you. You don't pay a religious con-man, so how much of your income did you put toward the national debt again?

      ----------–
      How do you know your belief is true?
      It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian
      belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens.
      In fairness you must doubt your doubts.

      December 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, I still pay a weekly sum to the Jesus-con group my wife belongs to. I redirected my contributions a few years ago.

      Summarizing once again with a prayer:

      The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      December 5, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Reality, sorry that you and your wife are not on the same page and you have this internal struggle to live in disagreement

      Now the Apostle Creed, why do you trust the "historians" 1800 years removed from the event than the historian 30 years from the event while witnesses were still alive to be cross examined.(namely Luke)

      Questions: Would you trust the writings of Ben Franklin or a historian today when it comes to what occurred during the signing of the const.itution. I mean a historian today is only 230 years removed from the event.

      Do you trust what Eisenhower doc.umented about the Holocaust or what Iran says about it today?

      I am really curious why you dismiss contemporary historians in favor for people that automatically support your presuppositions, just doesn't make logic sense to me?

      By the way Historian and Theologian William Lane Craig, CS Lewis, Tim Keller to name a few would not agree with the above post.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Mike from CT

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      The grave was a famous grave of a known person of the time:Joseph of Arimathea

      December 5, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Congrats, you got me going with you hypocritical statement post: So if the tomb is unknown how do you know with fact that the body is their. I know that this post is in jest, but I am interested to know what you really believe?

      ----------–
      How do you know your belief is true?
      It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian
      belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens.
      In fairness you must doubt your doubts.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • Reality

      A few studies that should help:

      Mark 15: 43

      “Professor JD Crossan [Historical Jesus, 391-94] includes a discussion of Jesus' burial in his treatment of the death tradition. After rehearsing the usual Roman practices (see below) and the occasional exceptions that serve only to validate the norm, Crossan continues:

      "The unspoken hope and the unspoken assumption behind the Cross Gospel is that Jesus would have been buried out of piety, by the Jews who had crucified him. It never actually describes that burial, but it presumes that those who executed Jesus are totally in control of death, burial, and tomb. ... Nobody knew what had happened to Jesus' body. ... by Easter morning, those who cared did not know where it was, and those who knew did not care."

      Professor Gerd Luedemann [Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 108-111] notes that the burial tradition may be simply a postulate—derived from the fact of Jesus' death or knowledge of Jewish purity concerns—rather than the memory of an historical event, Luedemann's own preference, influenced in part by John 19:31-37 and Acts 13:20, is that Jesus was buried by Jews who were not his followers. There was no act of affection or devotion involved in the disposal of his remains. His body was simply removed from the cross and buried in some unknown location by Jewish people wishing to protect the imminent festival from the desecration of a dead body remaining on the cross over night (cf. Deut 21:23):"

      p. 111, ..... from a historical perspective, Joseph of Arimathea would have been the one commissioned to see to the burial of Jesus. It is improbable that he was a disciple or a friend of Jesus. The opposite conclusion, that he was one of the enemies of Jesus, would be just as unlikely, since- from a historical perspective, there are serious doubts about the condemnation of Jesus by the (Jewish) Supreme Council. We can no longer say where he (or the Jews unknown to us) laid the body."

      December 5, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Mike from CT

      We've been through this before my friend Crossan has been discredited by his peers for not having the proper studies in NT writings or writing of that time (forget the technical word at the moment) His book The Historical Jesus along with the Jesus seminars have been rejected on both sides by all scholar as bad bias scholarship. For example: for giving credit to the Secret gospel of Mark, which was written in the two or three hundreds.

      See: The Case for Christ, Metzger's opinion of Crossan.

      Again, the question goes unanswered that you believe Crossan, only because he lines up with your current beliefs, both of you 1900 years removed but you do not believe Luke, Peter Paul, irenaeus or Clement. just curious why?

      December 5, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Crossan doesn't even qualify as a exegetic for having a lack of discipline in his "studies" and lack training in the Semitic background of the NT

      December 5, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Mike from CT

      Crossan also gives credence to what he calls the Cross Gospel "Does that fare any better?" I asked.

      No Most scholars don't give it credibility, because it includes such outlandishly legendary material. The much more sober gospels are more reliable than anything found in this account. In fact it's [The Cross Gospel] is dependent on biblical material so it should be dated later"
      – Boyd

      It's funny how you, and Boyd use the word "Most" you both can't be right.

      December 5, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Reality

      And once again, we give some references used by contemporay NT exegetes who continue to study the historic Jesus.

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      o
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–A MUST READ – click on each doc-ument reference as it will take you to a detailed review.

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

      When finished with your review, added references will be listed for your perusal.

      December 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Reality

      Why Professor JD Crossan is a NT exegete:

      "John Dominic Crossan

      Some of his published studies:

      •Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts (Harper San Francisco 2001)
      •The Birth of Christianity (Harper San Francisco 1999)
      •The Jesus Controversy : Perspectives in Conflict (Trinity Pr Intl 1999)
      •Who Is Jesus? (Westminster John Knox 1999)
      •The Essential Jesus (Book Sales 1998)
      •Who Killed Jesus? (Harper San Francisco 1996)
      •Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (Harper San Francisco 1995)
      •In Parables : The Challenge of the Historical Jesus (Polebridge Press 1994)
      •The Historical Jesus (Harper San Francisco 1993)
      •An Inventory of the Jesus Tradition by Chronological Stratification (online)
      •An Inventory of the Jesus Tradition by Independent Attestation (online)
      •Common Sayings Tradition in Gospel of Thomas and Q Gospel (online)
      •Seminar: HJ Materials & Methodology (online)
      •A Closer Look at the Mustard Seed (online)
      •Was Jesus Buried? (online)
      •Alchemy and Accuracy (online)
      •A Review of John Dominic Crossan's The Birth of Christianity (Harvard Theological Review 2001, reproduced online)
      •Danny Yee's Book Reviews: The Historical Jesus (online)
      •Simple Choices? A Response to John Dominic Crossan

      In the work of John Dominic Crossan, there is a refreshing emphasis on methodology. To this end, Crossan has compiled a database of the attestation for the Jesus traditions by independent attestation and stratification, provided by Faith Futures Foundation in the links above. Crossan in The Historical Jesus explains that his methodology is to take what is known about the historical Jesus from the earliest, most widely attested data and set it in a socio-historical context. The bulk of the common sayings tradition shows itself to be specific to the situation that existed in the 20s of the first century in Galilee in which the agrarian peasantry were being exploited as the Romans were commercializing the area. The historical Jesus proves to be a displaced Galilean peasant artisan who had got fed up with the situation and went about preaching a radical message: an egalatarian vision of the Kingdom of God present on earth and available to all as manifested in the acts of Jesus in healing the sick and practicing an open commensality in which all were invited to share. The historical Jesus was an itinerant whose mode of teaching can be understood on analogy with the Cynic sage but who was nonetheless a Jew who believed that the kingdom was being made available by the God of Israel to his people. The revolutionary message of Jesus was seen to be subversive to the Roman vision of order and led to the fateful execution of Jesus by Pilate on a hill outside of Jerusalem.

      In The Birth of Christianity, Crossan re-iterates an emphasis on methodology in laying out his presuppositions about the gospel texts as forming the basis for all of his other judgments about the historical Jesus and early Christianity. Among these are the existence of an early Cross Gospel reconstructed from the Gospel of Peter as elaborated in his tome The Cross that Spoke as well as his belief that the Gospel of John is dependent upon Mark. Crossan also explores the development of two different traditions from the historical Jesus, the Jerusalem tradition in which Jesus is believed to be the resurrected Christ, and the Q Gospel tradition in which Jesus is remembered as the founder of a way of life. For the former, Crossan reconstructs a group in the city of Jerusalem who shared everything in common and awaited the coming of Christ in power. For the latter, Crossan identifies Q, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Didache in which itinerants preach the teachings of Jesus and are supported by sometimes-critical communities. Both traditions are connected in their practice of share-meals and their origins in the historical Jesus."

      December 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      Crossan also gives credence to what he calls the Cross Gospel "Does that fare any better?" I asked.

      No Most scholars don't give it[The book Historical Jesus credibility

      ------------------------

      Again, the question goes unanswered that you believe Crossan, only because he lines up with your current beliefs, both of you 1900 years removed but you do not believe Luke, Peter Paul, irenaeus or Clement. just curious why?

      So if the tomb is unknown how do you know with fact that the body is their. I know that this post is in jest, but I am interested to know what you really believe?

      ----------–
      How do you know your belief is true?
      It would be inconsistent to require more justification for Christian
      belief than you do for your own, but that is frequently what happens.
      In fairness you must doubt your doubts.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Reality

      Obviously some here have not perused the referenced source material used by contemporary NT exegetes to evaluate the historic authenticity of the NT passages but as a matter of completeness, some added source materials:

      10.The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links

      December 6, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/

      December 6, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      December 6, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Mike from CT

      "Obviously some here have not perused the referenced source material used by contemporary NT exegeses to evaluate the historic authenticity of the NT passages "

      So you only use sources from the 20th and 21st century and not the contemporary writings of the time and the works of the early fathers?

      Now be mature and address the questions:

      Again, the question goes unanswered that you believe Crossan, only because he lines up with your current beliefs, both of you 1900 years removed but you do not believe Luke, Peter Paul, irenaeus or Clement. just curious why?

      So if the tomb is unknown how do you know with fact that the body is their. I know that this post is in jest, but I am interested to know what you really believe?

      December 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  12. Honey Badger Dont Care

    @{ ! }

    "If Jesus didn't panic when they laid him on a cross and drove nails into him..."

    That's funny, I thought that some of his last words on the cross were:

    “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
    (Mark 15:34)

    Sounds like panic to me.

    December 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Like a delusional p ss y

      December 4, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      You've missed. If God became human, it would be an act of compassion, living the human experience even to the point of feeling abandoned by God.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Jesus

      If Jesus felt abandoned by God (aka himself) then maybe he had some underlying psychiatric issues that needed dealing with.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  13. .

    .

    December 4, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  14. Honey Badger Dont Care

    What would the fictional character of Jesus do about taxes? This is completely irrelevant in modern society. He would probably panic just seeing a car, train, or airplane go by.

    December 4, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • { ! }

      If Jesus didn't panic when they laid him on a cross and drove nails into him, he'd have been unimpressed by airplanes. He would probably have noted the belligerence among airplane passengers. And if Jesus is a manifestation of a Supreme Mind, whatever man has done would be small potatoes to him.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Bring'em young

      {!}
      You missed the point. Jesus is a fictional character. You might as well ask what Superman would do.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • sam stone

      Why would he panic? He knew he would come back to life, right?

      December 4, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • { ! }

      @Bring-em If Jesus was fictional, then you have another problem: Who was the master psychologist who invented him? After all, this fictional character has inspired more radical love ( example: Mother Theresa, Maxamilian Kolbe, others), more art, music, and architecture than anyone you or I could think up. In addition, this master psychologist has kept atheists busy for two millenia yelling "IRRELEVANT". (If this is irrelevance, I wonder what relevance would look like.)

      December 4, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Which God?

      WWJD is a totaly made up, rhetorical question, that the xtians have come up with, to justify their inane belief in a fictional person. Then they ask a real question, to a fictional character, then answer themselves. Delusional state at its peak. Circular reasoning, for those who love to go around and around with themselves, trying to explain the goofiness of their position. They hve meds for this, I believe.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Jesus being a carpenter, he would have overjoyed to see Home Depot.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Bring'em young

      {!}
      I don't have a problem at all. The authors of the bible created this character. They worked on it over centuries until he is in the present form. Many additions and alterations happened to these stories over time. No "master psychologist" wrote all of it. You should study the actual history of the bible which can be found in the writings of the jewish people, as they created the largest parts of the bible, drawing from jewish traditions and modifying them for non-jews.
      You should also look into what happened to gods wife. She disappeared from the story after people started taking the " thou shall have no other god before me" part of things.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      {!}, how do you know Jesus didn't panic? Accounts of the crucifixion weren't even written until long after the event, and you have no idea if those who wrote them were truthful or that their accounts were copied and translated accurately.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Guy

      Which God?
      You post is a perfect description of the Chad, where is the old fraud, anyway?

      December 4, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Russ

      "Did Jesus Exist?" by Bart Ehrman
      The Foreword to his new book

      ********

      Every week I receive two or three e-mails asking me whether Jesus existed as a human being. When I started getting these e-mails, some years ago now, I thought the question was rather peculiar and I did not take it seriously. Of course Jesus existed. Everyone knows he existed. Don’t they?

      But the questions kept coming, and soon I began to wonder: Why are so many people asking? My wonder only increased when I learned that I myself was being quoted in some circles—misquoted rather—as saying that Jesus never existed. I decided to look into the matter. I discovered, to my surprise, an entire body of literature devoted to the question of whether or not there ever was a real man, Jesus.

      I was surprised because I am trained as a scholar of the New Testament and early Christianity, and for thirty years I have written extensively on the historical Jesus, the Gospels, the early Christian movement, and the history of the church’s first three hundred years. Like all New Testament scholars, I have read thousands of books and articles in English and other European languages on Jesus, the New Testament, and early Christianity. But I was almost completely unaware—as are most of my colleagues in the field—of this body of skeptical literature.

      I should say at the outset that none of this literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world). Of the thousands of scholars of early Christianity who do teach at such schools, none of them, to my knowledge, has any doubts that Jesus existed. But a whole body of literature out there, some of it highly intelligent and well informed, makes this case.

      These sundry books and articles (not to mention websites) are of varying quality. Some of them rival The Da Vinci Code in their passion for conspiracy and the shallowness of their historical knowledge, not just of the New Testament and early Christianity, but of ancient religions generally and, even more broadly, the ancient world. But a couple of bona fide scholars—not professors teaching religious studies in universities but scholars nonetheless, and at least one of them with a Ph.D. in the field of New Testament—have taken this position and written about it. Their books may not be known to most of the general public interested in questions related to Jesus, the Gospels, or the early Christian church, but they do occupy a noteworthy niche as a (very) small but (often) loud minority voice. Once you tune in to this voice, you quickly learn just how persistent and vociferous it can be.

      Those who do not think Jesus existed are frequently militant in their views and remarkably adept at countering evidence that to the rest of the civilized world seems compelling and even unanswerable. But these writers have answers, and the smart ones among them need to be taken seriously, if for no other reason than to show why they cannot be right about their major contention. The reality is that whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.

      Serious historians of the early Christian movement—all of them—have spent many years preparing to be experts in their field. Just to read the ancient sources requires expertise in a range of ancient languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and often Aramaic, Syriac, and Coptic, not to mention the modern languages of scholarship (for example, German and French). And that is just for starters. Expertise requires years of patiently examining ancient texts and a thorough grounding in the history and culture of Greek and Roman antiquity, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, both pagan and Jewish, knowledge of the history of the Christian church and the development of its social life and theology, and, well, lots of other things. It is striking that virtually everyone who has spent all the years needed to attain these qualifications is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure. This is not a piece of evidence, but if nothing else, it should give one pause. In the field of biology, evolution may be “just” a theory (as some politicians painfully point out), but it is the theory subscribed to, for good reason, by every real scientist in every established university in the Western world.

      Still, as is clear from the avalanche of sometimes outraged postings on all the relevant Internet sites, there is simply no way to convince conspiracy theorists that the evidence for their position is too thin to be convincing and that the evidence for a traditional view is thoroughly persuasive. Anyone who chooses to believe something contrary to evidence that an overwhelming majority of people find overwhelmingly convincing—whether it involves the fact of the Holocaust, the landing on the moon, the assassination of presidents, or even a presidential place of birth—will not be convinced. Simply will not be convinced.

      And so, with Did Jesus Exist?, I do not expect to convince anyone in that boat. What I do hope is to convince genuine seekers who really want to know how we know that Jesus did exist, as virtually every scholar of antiquity, of biblical studies, of classics, and of Christian origins in this country and, in fact, in the Western world agrees. Many of these scholars have no vested interest in the matter. As it turns out, I myself do not either. I am not a Christian, and I have no interest in promoting a Christian cause or a Christian agenda. I am an agnostic with atheist leanings, and my life and views of the world would be approximately the same whether or not Jesus existed. My beliefs would vary little. The answer to the question of Jesus’s historical existence will not make me more or less happy, content, hopeful, likable, rich, famous, or immortal.

      But as a historian I think evidence matters. And the past matters. And for anyone to whom both evidence and the past matter, a dispassionate consideration of the case makes it quite plain: Jesus did exist. He may not have been the Jesus that your mother believes in or the Jesus of the stained-glass window or the Jesus of your least favorite televangelist or the Jesus proclaimed by the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the local megachurch, or the California Gnostic. But he did exist, and we can say a few things, with relative certainty, about him.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      Russ. A person called Jesus may have existed. He is not the Jesus as portrayed in the bible and we have no idea what the real Jesus would say. According to the bible, fictional Jesus would want to look after the poor and shun wealth (even though that is not the message of the church over the centuries), so presumably fictional Jesus would want the wealthy to contribute their fair share.

      December 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ Russ...........seriously dude. You could have ended that screed right after the words "biblical scholar"...

      The author lies. There is actually NO 3rd person concurrence in the existence of jeebus. No archeology supports it, no writings by the scribes of the Roman governors, no writings by the Pharisees- themselves threatened by this non-person, you'd a thought they'd say SOMETHING about it! No contemporary writings by historical or cultural compilers, just NOTHING. Like Exodus, which is becoming more and more accepted as complete fabrication because there is no contemporary evidence. NOTHING. You study a book of fables and call it TRUTH! EVIL!

      I find the term "biblical scholar" to be a contradiction in terms. How is it scholarship to study ONE book all of your life? Can I be a "Lord of the Rings" scholar? All it takes is studying and commenting on every word in the book as though it were the truth. How is that scholarship? Fraud. Just like a degree from Liberty University has the same weight as a degree from the Subway School of Sandwich Making.

      I hate "biblical scholars", the evil purveyors of supersti tion-as-fact. You wanna do some scholarship? Disprove the existence of me, Zeus, the Greatest of Them ALL!!!

      December 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Zeus: before dismissing entire fields of scholarship, you might want to do some research.
      Bart Ehrman is on the far left of biblical scholarship. He's an agnostic (as he plainly states).
      In other words, if you had a friend in the field, it'd be him. And he's debunking your position.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Akira

      ZeuzDeuce:
      What a sensible post.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ Russ,

      I am actively trying to find the YouTube posted by an attractive female scholar whose fields of expertise and study include the fields I mentioned. She does read the contemporary materials in their ancient languages and has done extensive research into all of the various possible cross-reference opportunities and has found NOTHING. As soon as I find it I'll post it. She cites sources and again, works in the contemporary vernacular and specializes in myth-sourcing and research...I believe her cuz I researched her bona fides and see no reason to refute her findings.

      And I understand that Bart comes from an agnostic position, but he also states his trust in biblical scholarship rests with people who do biblical scholarship. He dismisses offhandedly the fact that the refuters are NOT biblical scholars. That's my point, the people we SHOULD be trusting are the people who ARE NOT biblical scholars but REAL researchers.

      Color my religious affiliation as "antagonistic", as even an agnostic acknowledges the possibility of supersti ition as fact, he just doesn't actively participate. I believe supersti tion is the enemy of mankind.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Zeus: the American Academy of Religion has all religious affiliations, including atheist (or even – as you might put it – antagonistic). And the point I was making is that Bart Ehrman falls as much in your favor as anyone. Because you are unwilling to actually engage the scholarship, you are missing the point:

      You are trying to recreate the wheel. The field of biblical scholarship is not a bunch of evangelicals sitting down affirming what they believe. It IS what you are looking for – researchers that have to do peer-tested reviews from all different positions & religious views. That's the irony. You're casting aside the very thing you're attempting to do.

      Look back at Ehrman's foreword to his book (which I posted above). That third to last paragraph is what we're talking about... a blunt refusal to deal with the facts.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  15. Pete

    Jesus would probably end up paying no taxes due to his charitable deductions.

    December 4, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And form a church and apply for tax exempt status!

      December 4, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • PaulB

      Pete
      Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:17

      December 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Akira

      PaulB: then there's your answer. He'd pay taxes.

      December 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  16. Rynomite

    What would Huck Finn do about taxes?
    What would Edmond Dantes do about taxes?
    What would Achilles do about taxes?
    What would Rand Al' Thor do about taxes?
    What would Darth Vader do about taxes?
    What would Boo Radley do about taxes?
    What would Sherlock Holmes do about taxes?
    What would Bilbo Baggins do about taxes?
    What would Hermoine Granger do about taxes?
    What would Scarlett O'Hara do about taxes?
    What would Jay Gatsby do about taxes?
    What would Colonel Walter E. Kurtz do about taxes?
    What would Jean Brodie do about taxes?
    What would Robin Hood do about taxes?

    December 4, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Guy

      Rynomite
      What would Ronald Reagen do, oh sh*it, I forgot.

      December 4, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Hilarious!
      WWHFD?
      WWRHD?
      Equally valid questions. And then there's.....

      The most important question....WWZD....What would Zeus do?

      Answer=..............PULL.......................kaPOW.....................ha ha ha puny humans explode like shooting clays.....

      Still waitiing for a christard to disprove my existence....

      December 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Which God?

      What would Elmer Fudd do?

      December 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      Elmer, as usual, would hunt bunny wabbits

      December 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  17. catholic engineer

    The Bible was written over a period of perhaps 3000 years. It was written by disparate people and in various areas around the Mediterranean. It has been the subject of scientific, philosphical, theological, and cultural evaluation for a very long time. But we might as well look to the Bible for tax advise. After all, WWCD (what would congress do?) is a durned silly question.

    December 4, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  18. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    I don't care what the mythical jesus character would do – about anything. Ivcare what "his" delusional death-cult followers want to do, which is turn every country into a theocracy, one crazy Babble verse at a time.

    December 4, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  19. Robert Brown

    Saggyroy,

    You have the whole thing wrong. Fifty years ago the hearts of Americans turned from God. This turning away led to moral decay which continues to this day. The next step is political anarchy, then bye bye USA. The same three steps have been the downfall of most every great nation in history. The state of our mess is the Godless. See what you get when you leave God out?

    December 4, 2012 at 7:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      And just look at the coutries that left "god" in. Yeah, I wanna go to Iran ... or medieval England... or the last 100 years of the Roman Empire, or Saudi Arabia... If you want a theocracy, then you're a narrow-minded bigot who only thinks that people like YOU should live. Scr'ew you AND the "god" you rode in on.

      December 4, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Primewonk

      60 years ago we put you god on our money and in ou national plege. Things have gone to hell after that.

      December 4, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Are you seriously nostalgic for mid 20th century America?
      The land of insti/tutional se/xism and racism, McCarthyism, nuclear hysteria etc. ?

      December 4, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Mr. Brown, blame yourself, for not teaching your kids right things.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Rynomite

      Yes, Robert Brown. Secular countries are horrible. The rest of the world hates Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands for being peaceful and prosperous! (and having tons of beautiful women... well I kind of do hate them a little for that!)

      December 4, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • sam stone

      Robert: 50 years ago? What happened then? Perhaps we are not godless, we just see the absurdity of what religion claims is god

      December 4, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • sam stone

      Yeah, Robert, much better the good old days when we could own each other, or when women or black folks could not vote.....such nostalgia.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ RB
      Didja know Mr Brown, that during the Greek Renaissance when some of the greatest literary and artistic works in western history were being created there was a "we've lost our way" current advocating a return to the morals and teachings of the past when supersti tion ruled the day? Guess what happened- those folks got their way and Greek contribution to the enhancement of civilization ended.

      Didja know Mr Brown that for 300 years, from 800AD to 1100 AD, Damascus was the center of learning, commerce, discourse, literature and astronomy? Didja know what ended it? An islamic supersti tionist decreed that numbers and learning were the devil's work- and we haven't heard a danged thing positive from that culture since.

      So, you really advocate a return to the Dark Ages as history indicates will happen if you get your way. Lemme ask you this- were those dark age societies MORE or LESS moral than when they were open, secular societies? The answer is brutality increased, learning decreased, and more people were marginalized who otherwise were making or would make significant contributions to humanity. So more supersti tion = LESS morality....get it?

      Thanks for wanting us to fail. You suck....fyi.

      Oh, and I challenge you to disprove the existence of me, Zeus, god of thousands of years existence and still not disproven. Lemme repeat, you suck and the Enlightenment Founding Fathers would consider you the anti thesis of their great creation, ie THE USA....you suck...

      December 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Meant to put the above here.
      ZeusDeuce:
      What a sensible post.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Thanks Akira, you know what they say, even a blind clock finds a nut twice a day!

      December 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mirosal,
      I don’t recall Iran ever being classified as one of the worlds greatest nations, but they may feel mighty for a little while if the get away with nuking Israel. Medieval England and Rome are actually good examples of what I was talking about, they turned from God, morality decayed, and they went down.
      I don’t advocate a theocracy, but if our nation is to recover from our present course we must return to God.

      December 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      Correct, after world war 2, the nation was thankful for the mercy of God. A few years went by and we got prideful and turned from God. Then the moral decay began in the 60’s and continues.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Doc Vestibule,
      No I am very happy with the time we live in. What I am concerned about is the hearts of our people.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Mohammad A Dar,
      Amen, Proverbs 22:6
      Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Rynomite,
      Those are really nice countries, some of my ancestors come from one of them, but I don’t know if any of them would be classified as one of the worlds greatest nations.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      What stupidity are you spouting off about now Robert?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,
      What happened is that people began to turn from God.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ZeusDeusMaximus,
      A return to God will not take us back to the Dark Ages. Learning, commerce, discourse, literature and astronomy are all wonderful things and are not in any way in opposition to God. When we turn from God we lose our peace, hope, and joy. We lose our moral compass. We become deceived by people who talk a good game and claim they know the solutions to our problems. When in truth they are motivated only by their greed and lust for power. The decline in morality will lead to political upheaval and weaken our nation. The borrower is servant to the lender.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,
      Same old thing, God loved us first, let’s love him back.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Cmon Robert Brown, reply to my post....you dark age lover you!

      December 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Which God?

      RB, you stupid schitt. Medieval Europe was all about your fkking religion. It rulled, including Rome. The clergy ruled through threats, and ex-communication and other BS.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      ooops sorry, now i see that you did respond...here's my response to yours....FAIL! Advocating the teaching of supersti tion is to advocate lying to children who see through it, consciously or unconsciously, thereby undermining the structure of trust and creating an unstable foundation for those children to become fully-contributing members of society.

      I equate teaching about god as a retreat from moral teaching. Morality is not supernaturally derived and when you teach that it is, you lose a generation's trust. Just as my parents lost my trust in them by teaching obvious fantasy as fact. You advocate child abuse, pure and simple, because you are afraid to overcome your brainwashing...

      December 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Ah so the same old unjustified assertions and non-answers. Got it.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Again, Robert – the US is NOT a theocracy. Whatever it is that you think your version of a god wants, needs, desires, or demands is irrelevant.

      If you do waan to live in a theocracy, I suggest you move to one. Because if you fucking nutters try and make us a theocracy, you'd better be ready for a bloodbath.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,
      Oh, they had religion up to their eyeballs but their hearts were far from God.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ZeusDeusMaximus,
      Advocating morality through any other means is utter failure. Some things you must learn for yourself just as one of the wisest men that ever lived. Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes tried everything under the sun excluding God. He even tried being moral and doing good. He found that it was all vanity and vexation of spirit. Without God there is no real peace, hope, and joy.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Pete

      "Without God there is no real peace, hope, and joy."

      Talk about being a brainwashed cult member, that's a complete lie.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Huh?

      'Advocating morality through any other means is utter failure"

      Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      The bloodbath you suggest would be the extreme result of the direction we are headed if we don’t turn our hearts back to God. What other thing forces every human to make a choice like the name of Jesus?
      You have obviously considered and rejected Christ. I hope someday you have the opportunity to have a change of heart.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • mama k

      Robert Brown: "Then the moral decay began in the 60’s and continues." " . . . but if our nation is to recover from our present course we must return to God."

      For anyone born within the past 40-100 years ago, it's easy, in this information age, where our population has been growing by leaps and bounds to perceive the world as if it is falling apart. But one thing we know for sure. Religious folk each have their own view of what morality is. Christians in particular have been uncomfortable with other Christians' tenets in this country and elsewhere, frequently is disagreement with each other as much as with non-Christians. It goes back to the beginnings of Christianity. It's what cause one Christian to say:

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.

      That moderate Christian, heavily influenced by Deism, was James Madison, out 4th POTUS and chief architect of the U.S. Constitution and its 1st Amendment.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • mama k

      typo correction: in disagreement

      December 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • mama k

      typo correction: our 4th

      December 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pete,
      Be honest Pete, are you at peace?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " You have obviously considered and rejected Christ."

      I also considered and rejected Santa.

      I also considered and rejected the Easter Bunny.

      I also considered and rejected Ra.

      I also considered and rejected Amma.

      What, exactly is your point? That there will only be a bloodbath if you nutters don't get your way?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Huh?,
      Thanks for all the info. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
      The failure is that even if you are a do gooder, it will not give you lasting peace, hope, and joy. You might feel good about doing good, but in the end it is all vanity and vexation of spirit. It will not satisfy your need.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Rick

      " Fifty years ago the hearts of Americans turned from God. This turning away led to moral decay which continues to this day. "

      80% of people in America claim to believe in a god, yet you're claiming we are in moral decay, well start looking at your religion for the reasons. It's funny that's always the Christians making this claim so they can sell their religion. Yup, your religion sells negativity which is just one of the reason you view our society the same way.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      "What happened is that people began to turn from God."

      Seems to me that people have been turning from (your) god for quite a while

      Why did you specify 50 years?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Huh?

      "The failure is that even if you are a do gooder, it will not give you lasting peace, hope, and joy. You might feel good about doing good, but in the end it is all vanity and vexation of spirit. It will not satisfy your need."

      Sorry don't have that need at all, but you have to tell yourself that so you can justify believing in a myth because you are a weak man. I am just fine full of peace, love, goodness and joy just being me.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      "We become deceived by people who talk a good game and claim they know the solutions to our problems."

      Oh....like the faithful?

      December 4, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Pete

      "Be honest Pete, are you at peace?"

      Yes I am and I have been for a very long time.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,
      More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superst.ition, bigotry, and persecution.
      Very good quote and still true today, pride is one thing that God hates the most. Pride is the chief cause of two of the other complaints bigotry and persecution because could either occur unless someone esteems themselves as being better than another?
      Christ call us to love one another as ourselves and judge not. If more would do that then pride, bigotry, and persecution would be greatly reduced.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Primewonk,
      I don’t know what will happen if we don’t return to God, but based on the examples we have in history it doesn’t look like it will be good.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      @ huh?

      Thanks, that's awesome! But R Brown won't understand cuz the words are kinda big and being a Catholic engineer is a lot less intelligent than being an atheist engineer. What's worse is, if you make him realize there is no god, he'll instantly turn into a murdering/raping/pillaging animal with no moral compass or self-control. Cuz he doesn't act rationally, he gets his directions from an imaginary friend. Very suspect moral foundation if you ask me...

      December 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Please Robert Brown, address my main point;

      Teaching fantasy as fact to children is child abuse and undermines their ability to succeed by robbing them of a foundation of trust in authority figures, especially parents. Religion = supersti tion = fantasy...

      December 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Rick,
      They may believe he is, but their hearts are far from him.
      It is not for sale. It is free.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,
      The 50 years comes in because that is when sin became blatant, in your face, and out in the open. Sin has been around for a long time, but in this country it came out in the open about 50 years ago. Now people are proud of their sin. God will not be mocked. He judges sin.

      As for your “the faithful” comment. Try the spirits to see if they be of God.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Which God?

      @RB Your goD cannot love anyone or thing as it is not present. The invisible sky-fairy cannot pass on a warm and fuzzy to humans. If you feel it, you need help as your neurons are miss-firing.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pete,
      Good for you, if someday you find those things are no longer true, give God a try.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Rick

      "They may believe he is, but their hearts are far from him.
      It is not for sale. It is free."

      Wow are you one arrogant dude to pass such a sweeping judgement on 80% of Americans. That just shows you are not a follower of your bible with all that pride and arrogance. You're as bad as Romney with his 47% comment.

      December 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Pete

      "Good for you, if someday you find those things are no longer true, give God a try."

      I won't need too and that's a something you can't comprehend, I wouldn't want to end up like someone like you, you're disgusting human being.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Rick

      Arrogance is a prerequisite for the type of proslytizing that Robert Brown does. Not to mention a healthy dose of dishonest discussion.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Robert Brown,

      what was so special about 1962? "Fifty years ago the hearts of Americans turned from God."

      The mid-term election during the presidency of a Catholic is the beginning of the end for you?
      Your contention is that we need to return to an America that has not progressed through the civil rights movement, and that the civil rights movement is an example of "moral decay"?

      December 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • mama k

      Robert Brown: "Christ call us to love one another as ourselves and judge not." " If more would do that then pride, bigotry, and persecution would be greatly reduced."

      On that part I agree. And I agree that pride feeds the other two. But, as you can see from my post, the followers of Christianity frequently ignore those concepts that we agree on while claiming to adhere to Jesus' simple teachings. This points to the conflicted nature of Christianity as a religion. In my opinion, it takes a huge step back from the details of the Bible for a Christian to reach a level of understanding with other people *and* other Christians. I contend that much of the divisiveness that is evident in the U.S. today is a direct result of too many Christians being too hung up on the details of the Bible. Christians today should take a good look back to the time of our government's founding, when Christians were at each others' throats over their differences. And they should learn what it took to move things forward and not spiral into a religious war.

      December 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • mama k

      Robert Brown: "The 50 years comes in because that is when sin became blatant"

      Now, Robert, in light of what I just posted, what is a sin? Why do you feel your interpretation of the Bible is the correct one? See what I'm getting at, here?

      December 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Rynomite

      ..."Rome are actually good examples of what I was talking about, they turned from God, morality decayed, and they went down."

      Oh my. You may want to read your history a bit closer RB. Rome was at its PEAK as a country as a PAGAN nation. By the time it officially embraced Xtianity, it was already well on its way to decay due to immigration issues. If anything, the cult of Xtianity hastened Rome's downfall. If Rome fell because it turned away from a god, then that god was Jupiter Optimus Maximus!

      December 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ZeusDeusMaximus,

      I answer questions my children have about my faith and I don’t think that is child abuse. I give them honest answers. They will have to make their own choices and decisions.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,

      God is real and deep down all humans know it. Some just choose to reject him and if they reject him long enough he lets them have their way.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Rick,

      True, I should have qualified that with “some” or “a lot”. I don’t claim to know the heart of anyone much less 80% of Americans.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pete,

      The thing is Pete, someday you will have the need. Perhaps you can’t comprehend it yet, but for your sake I hope you have the opportunity.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Prove it.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      Your humble and honest servant.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,

      I think the civil rights movement was great. King was a fantastic preacher. The 60’s were also the beginning of blatant public sin on a wide scale in America.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      It requires sincere study of the word of God to achieve understanding. Differences among believers involving interpretation of scripture are what has caused so many different denominations to be formed. Some are Christian in name only. Why call yourself a Christian and deny the deity of Christ?

      You asked “what is sin?” I could fill up a page and just get started, so instead, just a couple of examples. God told the children of Israel that murder was sin. Jesus told us that hate is murder. God told the children of Israel that adultery was sin. Jesus told us lust is adultery. This isn’t contradictory, or disputable, it is explanation. Sins can be what we do, what we think about, or what we don’t do. The bible is God’s mirror. It allows us to see ourselves as he sees us. We are all sinners in need of a savior. See if any Christians would argue about that.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Rynomite,

      That is my point. Romes rejection of Christ destroyed them.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      Here's something that you seem not to care about. The people who already don't agree with you, don't care what assertions you make, they don't care what your bible says, and they don't care how many times you say the same thing over and over. Why is this Robert? You say the same assertions over and over and over, and accomplish absolutely nothing. Why? I've pointed this out to you before, but it seems like you just really don't care about showing the truth of your claims, and you really just seem to want to say what you want as if it's truth and not actually defend it at all (like 1 Peter 3:15 says you should).

      December 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      Ok, I will do my best. What would you accept as proof?

      December 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert

      I'm talking about evidence (proof is for mathematics). Let's start with this. What evidence is there that anything supernatural even exists?

      December 4, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • mama k

      Robert Brown: [ "It requires sincere study of the word of God to achieve understanding. Differences among believers involving interpretation of scripture are what has caused so many different denominations to be formed. Some are Christian in name only. Why call yourself a Christian and deny the deity of Christ?" ]

      I have studied the Bible – during childhood and much of my adult life. That is the reason I am no longer a Christian. But that does not mean I do not find merit in some of the teachings of Jesus, the ordinary man. When you say "Christian in name only", that goes right to the heart of the point I was trying to make. The other Christian that you say is a Christian in name only very well may say the same of you. And so on, and so on. That's the very nature of Christianity.

      Robert Brown: [ "You asked “what is sin?” I could fill up a page and just get started, so instead, just a couple of examples. God told the children of Israel that murder was sin. Jesus told us that hate is murder. God told the children of Israel that adultery was sin. Jesus told us lust is adultery. This isn’t contradictory, or disputable, it is explanation. Sins can be what we do, what we think about, or what we don’t do. The bible is God’s mirror. It allows us to see ourselves as he sees us. We are all sinners in need of a savior. See if any Christians would argue about that." ]

      There probably are not that many Christians that would argue with you about murder, but there are sure to be Christians that would argue with you about lust – they would say you are taking things too literally. And there are some that would say your misinterpretation is a sin. And when you get to topics like gay marriage, contraception, and other hot topics of the day, there are plenty of Christians with opposing views. Again, the conflicted nature of Christianity is built in. So how does one know if they have a "true" interpretation. That's my point. That's what makes any Christian look like a fool when they try to judge someone when they don't even have a straight story to tell.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Hawaiiguest,

      I have my own personal testimony, which was a supernatural experience and others could provide theirs, which would be evidence. But, I suppose you mean physical evidence. I don’t have any physical evidence, but I can tell you how you can put yourself into the position to have a supernatural experience. The problem is that in most cases you have to believe before you receive. We do have the example of Pauls conversion. Of course he believed in God, he just didn’t believe in Jesus.

      Do you think God is within the realm of possibility, or are you pretty well convinced there is no such thing? Do you believe that what we can currently perceive or detect is all there is, or could there be things that are present that we can’t see or measure in any way?

      December 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • mama k

      And by the way, Robert, regarding the quote from James Madison that I initially replied with, he was making that statement toward his fellow Anglicans as much if not more than toward the Baptists in Virginia at the time. Madison's fellow Anglicans were the aggressors and he didn't like it one bit.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,
      I agree that under the ti.tle Christianity there are sundry beliefs and I am guilty of expressing mine. Part of the problem with the hot topics is that some do attempt to usurp God’s authority and judge others, part of it is more or less are you for, or against. When you put it in the, for or against, a Christian reads the bible and God says this is sin. Then they put it on the ballot and the Christian thinks I have to vote if I am for sin, or against sin. The judgment of people doesn’t enter the thought process. As you pointed out, it is the definition of sin. If you ask a Christian if they are for sin, or against sin, many will say they are against it. Not only that, but they also feel it is there Christian duty to vote against sin. Not to judge the sinner, but to protect themselves and the nation from God’s judgment of the sin.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • mama k

      Well, no Robert, my point was not about people arguing over what sin in general means or is it serious, it was about no two Christians agreeing on what things constitute sin and to what degree. And because of the disparity on those different beliefs, a lot of hurt has been thrust onto the world since the beginnings of Christianity. But there are some who are very kind and generous Christians who know how to step back from the details in the Bible, and to not judge others and do a good job of following Jesus' simple teachings. There just are not near enough of those kind in the U.S. right now. There are plenty of the kind that do in fact judge people in many different ways from the next Christian.

      December 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • mama k

      Here's an example of the type of judgment I'm talking about, Robert – posted just about 20 minutes ago under another article:

      [ John Thomas Tolbert

      Just remember, all the priests who molested those young boys were f@gs just like the ones seeking gay marriage. Nothing more morally degenerate than a f@g.
      December 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply ]

      December 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert Brown

      Personal experience, no matter how many people, is heresay at best, and cannot be used as evidence for anything. What other evidence is there that has a methodology behind it for independent confirmation, standards of evidence and things like that? Sorry, but "believe then you'll get evidence" is completely stupid, not to mention immoral if true.

      Which god are you asking if I find possible? If you're talking about god of the bible, then no I don't think that being has a chance to exist as presented at all.

      December 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Bah posted in wrong spot..

      "That is my point. Romes rejection of Christ destroyed them."

      Good thing you are not a history teacher because that's an illogical response to my comment.

      Rome was doing just fine as an inclusive Pagan nation:
      It was the primary regional power as of the conclusion of the 2nd Punic was in 202 B.C.
      It was the Supreme power in the World by the time th eprincipate was established by Octavian in 27 B.C.

      Xtianity had its first Roman Emperor in 313, but Xtianity didn't become the offical oppressive Reliigon of Rom until 391.

      Rome fell in 476.

      So lets count... Rome was the dominate world power as a pagan nation for 500-600 odd years.

      It adopted Xtianity (not turned away from as you state), and poof it was done for in less than 100 years.
      I think it is pretty clear that Jebus was a cancer to Rome.

      December 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Pete

      "The thing is Pete, someday you will have the need. Perhaps you can’t comprehend it yet, but for your sake I hope you have the opportunity."

      This just shows how bad your religion is you are hoping some day I'll be without joy, love and peace in my life so I can convert to your religion. I don't need your god to have joy, love and peace in my life, that's the point. I am not a weak excuse of a human being like you are. It's disgusting you actually think that way and it explains why you think this country is in moral decay because you want it that way so you can try to convert others to your cult. Well, hate to break it to you but this country isn't in moral decay, they are simply waking up from all the brainwashing done by your cult.

      December 6, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  20. saggyroy

    Jesus should mind his father's business. For the past 30 years religion has been infiltrating our government with faith based initiatives, and putting people of faith in key roles. The state of our mess is the result of that.

    December 4, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • { ! }

      On the other hand, your secular society has been using drones to kill people at Iraqi wedding parties. Since churches are not taxed, these secular blunders have been financed by others, including atheists.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      Really? It was society who is calling for drone attacks?

      December 4, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Akira

      Unfortunately, it is the tax payers who pay for the drones; which political party is more prone to push for war, and claims to be the bastion of Christian vaues?

      December 4, 2012 at 10:01 am |
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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.