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My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God
January 5th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God

Editor’s note: Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

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What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

He was the teacher from a small town who knew and understood the economic insecurity that was common in the first century. Times must have been rather tough for Jesus at points in his life, for he even spoke of being homeless, having to sleep on the ground with no roof over his head.

He also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.

'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article

The real Jesus had dirt underneath his fingernails and calluses on his hands. He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem, and Jesus was, without a doubt, rumored to be a hypocrite or absolutely mad for all the time he spent with prostitutes and those afflicted with leprosy.

Not exactly have a clean-cut image.

He had a rather shady reputation.

Some people thought he was a revolutionary. The religious leaders called him a heretic, and others even accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton - in no small part because of the vagabond group of disciples he had with him. No serious religious leader of his day would have ever recruited such people.

For his core 12 disciples, Jesus included a tough-as-nails, bombastic fisherman (Peter), a chief tax collector named Matthew (the most hated popular figure of the time), an eventual traitor who was stealing money out of the offering bucket (Judas), a prolific doubter (Thomas), two jocks nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder” (James and John) and Simon the Zealot, a member of a radical political party which believed in using violence to kick out the Romans.

Jesus was sarcastic, too.

He often snapped back at the Pharisees with a tone fit for late-night television, and in a terribly embarrassing moment for all those around him, Jesus even called these respected religious teachers “snakes” that were probably sons of “Satan.”

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That’s not exactly the behavior of a sweet, self-help teacher with a halo over his head.

It’s the behavior of a frustrated man who might also be divine, but sure knows how it feels for annoying people to get under his skin.

Christians believe that Jesus chose to be born fully human, too, but why?

Lots of theologians have laid out opinions over the centuries, and in their opining they have tried once again to hijack Jesus’ humanity by defining it in philosophical terms. I believe it’s simpler than the philosophy and church councils and centuries of argument.

The brilliance of Christianity is the image of a God, named Jesus, arrived with dirty hands.

Jesus came in a time period when Greco-Roman gods were housed in gigantic temples and portrayed with superhuman powers and with superhuman physiques. Gods were believed to be far away from people on their mountains or hemmed up in their sanctuaries.

Jesus arrived in defiance of this prevailing imagery.

Jesus didn’t come flinging lightning bolts from a mountaintop, or playing politics in Rome. He came to live in a typical Middle Eastern village called Nazareth that was home to a couple hundred typical people. He didn’t decide to brandish his power, but to spend most of his time with the powerless and disenfranchised. And when he started a religious movement that reshaped history, he did it in the most profound and anticlimatic way:

He let himself be killed, and then he busted open a tomb.

In Jesus we meet a Savior who understood the desire to sleep just a few more hours, and who had to control his temper sometimes. In Jesus we find a God we can relate to because he chose to relate to us.

He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Johnnie Moore.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (7,741 Responses)
  1. ROGER D. ALIEN

    Josephus Flavius, the Jewish historian, lived as the earliest non-Christian who mentions a Jesus. Although many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius), Josephus' birth in 37 C.E. (well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus), puts him out of range of an eyewitness account. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 C.E., after the first gospels got written! Therefore, even if his accounts about Jesus came from his hand, his information could only serve as hearsay.

    Pliny the Younger (born: 62 C.E.) His letter about the Christians only shows that he got his information from Christian believers themselves. Regardless, his birth date puts him out of range as an eyewitness account.

    Tacitus, the Roman historian's birth year at 64 C.E., puts him well after the alleged life of Jesus. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals (Book XV, Sec. 44), which he wrote around 109 C.E. He gives no source for his material. Although many have disputed the authenticity of Tacitus' mention of Jesus, the very fact that his birth happened after the alleged Jesus and wrote the Annals during the formation of Christianity, shows that his writing can only provide us with hearsay accounts.

    Suetonius, a Roman historian, born in 69 C.E., mentions a "Chrestus," a common name. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ" (a disputable claim). But even if Seutonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus. Just like all the others, Suetonius' birth occurred well after the purported Jesus. Again, only hearsay.

    Talmud: Amazingly some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, (a collection of Jewish civil a religious law, including commentaries on the Torah), as evidence for Jesus. They claim that Yeshu in the Talmud refers to Jesus. However, this Yeshu, according to scholars depicts a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus or it may refer to Yeshu ben Pandera, a teacher of the 2nd centuy CE. Regardless of how one interprets this, the Palestinian Talmud didn't come into existence until the 3rd and 5th century C.E., and the Babylonian Talmud between the 3rd and 6th century C.E., at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion. At best it can only serve as a controversial Christian or Jewish legend; it cannot possibly serve as evidence for a historical Jesus.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      LETTER TO TIBERIUS CAESAR FROM PONTIUS PILATE

      (The original of this letter is in the library of Rome. An authenticated copy is in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.)

      A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day, I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multi.tude. I was told that his name was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected, so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden coloured hair and His beard gave to His appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about thirty years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His hearers with their black beards and tawny complexions. Unwilling to interrupt Him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he read in the words of all the philosophers, anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble, and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews – not the poor but the rich and powerful.

      Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with Him at the Praetorium. He came. When the Nazarene made His appearance I was having a morning walk and as I faced Him my feet seemed fastened with an iron band to the marble pavement and I trembled in every limb, as a guilty culprit, though He was calm. For some time I stood admiring this extraordinary Man. There was nothing in Him that was repelling nor in His character, yet I felt awed in His presence. I told Him that there was a magnetic simplicity about Him and His personality that elevated Him far above the philosophers and teachers of His day. All in all He made a deep impression upon me and everyone because of His kindness, simplicity, humility and love.

      Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have taken tirne to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man who could convert water into wine, change death into life, disease into health, calm the stormy seas, is not guilty of any criminal offence and as others have said, we must agree truly this is the Son of God!

      Your most obedient servant,

      PONTIUS PILATE

      January 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      @BobbyB: The Catholic encyclopedia doubt the authenticity of the New Testament Apocrypha (AKA Gospel of Nicodemus) as expressed here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01111b.htm note this passage:

      "The "Acta" consist of three sections, which reveal inequalities of style. The first (i-xi) contains the trial of Jesus based upon Luke 23. The second part comprises 12-16; it regards the Resurrection. An appendix, detailing the Descensus ad Infernos, forms the third section, This does not exist in the Greek text and is a later addition."

      Here's some more info: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/actspilate.html

      Apparently this whole book was thrown out due to a rather "poor" light it cast on the early formation of Christianity and dubiousness of its origins.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • ME II

      "He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection."

      Such a nice guy that Pontius. : )

      January 6, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  2. Robert De La Ross

    I've made $84,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I do, Big44.cøm

    January 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Jason

      $84,000 in 6 days?
      Yeah, that's "user friendly" !!
      That calculates into 5.1 million dollars per year, "working online".
      (Do you really expect anyone to believe that?)

      January 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  3. john johns

    Well a wordsmith I am not and my life is governed by my simple desire which is to be the man God and Jesus would want me to be, whether they exist or not I want to be that man. What you decide to do or believe is of no consequence to me as I will treat you as I would want to be treated irregardless.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  4. ROGER D. ALIEN

    The consensus of many biblical historians put the dating of the earliest Gospel, that of Mark, at sometime after 70 C.E., and the last Gospel, John after 90 C.E. This is 40 years after the -alleged- crucifixion of Jesus that we have any Gospel writings that mention him!

    January 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  5. David

    One evening after Jesus had been resurrected,
    when the disciples were together, Jesus appeared
    and stood among them holding his pipe and said,
    “Peace be with you!” Then he showed them his
    wounds in his hands and his side. The disciples
    rejoiced at seeing him.
    Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father
    has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he
    breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy
    Spirit.” – John 20

    January 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • OOO

      I guess this passes for a paragraph. But reality? No way.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Later that same evening , Jesus walked into the Inn, put some big spikes down on the counter and asked the Inn-Keeper "Can you put me up for the night?"

      January 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  6. DanEden

    Wow. so this is the direct effect of the new owner of CNN/Time-Warner – Zuck... we will no doubt see more of these anti-christian stories in the future.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • I Am God

      Its an opinion piece. Stop whining and crying and deal with it.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Merc

      Explain how this article, which happens to challenge the image of Jesus by providing a little perspective, is "anti-Christian?

      January 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Brian

      The article is certainly not Anti-Christian. The writer is only asserting Jesus' humanity. You think, probably, that you are defending Jesus' otherworldliness, but we don't know what that looked like, except that he performed miracles. A practical question: If Jesus ate and drank, where did it go?

      January 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Anti-christian? It's written by a member of the faculty of Liberty University – founded by Jerry Falwell, and so obnoxiously fundamentalist that they don't allow guest speakers on campus who disagree with their bizarre view of religion.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  7. ayalar1

    THe author of this article is an idiot. We all know that jesus was subjected to the same living conditions of any human. Jews continually washed. There were wells every where in the Holy land, and it wasn't rare for town's people to offer water for washing and drinking to foreigners. There weren't any reports in the Bible about dehydration for lack of water. If there was plenty of water for drinking there was plenty for washing. There's nothing in the Bible that says Jesus reeked.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Brian

      Don't be so defensive. Ever been on a three day walkabout with no water?

      January 6, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Tide

      My mom used to say, "those jeans are so dirty, they could stand up by themselves!" Maybe that's how the walking on water trick was done! And what caused those pigs to run away off of a cliff (too much even for them)!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  8. GateKeeper

    What is the article about? Nothing..

    iI indoctrinated image of jesus as one's imagination is not inept then what is it?

    The images of jesus are FALSE, for one he was not blond haired or blued eyed either.

    Who with any sense of education or common sense would not KNOW that Jesus lived as we do and as the people of that time.. however i do believe he was vegan for certain... and followed jewsih customs with regard to jewsih livilihood...

    Who cares if jesus was dirty from time to time?,,and all the other things mentioned in this article.. its not rocket science..and doesn't take away of those FACTS we know for sure as the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and finally the lamb of GOD..truly the son of the Living God..

    January 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      Until I see your extraordinary, tested and peer-reviewed proof of God, proof of every absurd assertion in the bible and proof of Jesus, it is entirely a fraud.

      The abrahamic god does not exist. That, plus zero independent proof for jeebus means his "son" never existed either. The christian church itself admits the bible is a fraud. On 2013-01-05 anglicans allowed gay priests to become bishops when Leviticus 20:13 (the supposed word of an inerrant god) clearly advocates killing gays. If the fact your bible advocates such killing isn't enough to keep you away, perhaps its hypocrisy will?

      Religion is nothing but a pathetic, incongruous shell game that exists now only to sustain the power of its top echelon, to keep controlling sheep and to keep reeling in the tithes.

      And once you prove he exists, you'll need to submit the diary he kept of his food intake so we have an idea of he was vegan. I was under the impression vegans need to take vitamins to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

      January 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  9. ROGER D. ALIEN

    again...READ.
    there is NO, NONE, NADA, historical writings outside the Gospel of a JC.
    Not even from Jewish historians.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • tualatinweb

      There are references to Jesus by Jewish historian Josephus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

      January 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      tualatinweb,

      Perhaps you should read the entire wikipedia article that you cited... and follow some of the reference links to get a better understanding about Josephus and his writings.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • End Religion

      Josephus: known fraud. Sorry.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      End Religion,

      Just to be clear - it wasn't that Josephus himself was a fraud; it was the suspected fraudulent abuse of some of his writings by the early Church... and the s–t–r–e–t–c–h made by Christians about some of his other comments.

      January 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  10. Truth

    Atheists claim religion is the source of the world's major problems, while in the same breathe they purposely try to offend anyone who doesn't believe as they do. They sit here spouting hatred while many Christians are out volunteering to help the needy in the world.

    Ironic isn't it?

    January 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Consider it payback for centuries of oppression, torture and death visited upon non-believers and those who believed differently by self-proclaimed christians.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      23,000 children die every day from poverty, and your posting your garbage from an expensive computer. Good work your doing.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • sam stone

      Pi$$ off, "Truth"....if you bible humpers would lay off sticking your nose in others' lives, there would not be this backlash.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      also, "truth", only one "e" in "breath"

      christians are on here, too......fvcking pompous d-bag

      January 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  11. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    CRUCIFIXION OR CRUCI – FICTION OF HINDUISM ABSURDITY OF FOLLOWERS OF HINDU MITHRA ISM, PAGAN SAVIOR ISM CALLED CHRISTIANITY.
    By book of Mithra savior ism, bible.
    hindu, fabrication called Jesus claimed to be, like personality of Hebrew teaching's, Jonah. if true,
    Jonah jumped off of a ship, HE WAS ALIVE,
    Jonah swollen by a fish, HE WAS ALIVE,
    While in the belly of fish, HE WAS ALIVE,
    Spitted out by the fish, HE WAS ALIVE.

    Fabrication Jesus arrested, HE WAS ALIVE,
    Put on a so called cross, HE WAS ALIVE
    while on a cross, HE WAS ALIVE,
    While in belly of tomb, HE WAS ALIVE.
    BY BOOK OF HINDU MITHRA ISM bible, JESUS NEVER DIED.

    ANOTHER HINDUISM, ABSURDITY IN BOOK OF HINDU MITHRA ISM, BIBLE, PAGAN SAVIOR ISM,
    hindu, fabrication Mithra savior of followers of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism Jesus transfigured in to another person in front of his disciples, or became some one else, or he changed his form to their amazement.
    Time of last supper, before his so called arrest, he smiled on Judah, and Judah smiled in kind,
    hindu, fabrication Jesus, kissed him, and Judah kissed him in kind.
    Judah transfigured in to Jesus and Jesus transfigure in to Judah.
    Judah was arr rested as Jesus and Jesus escaped as Judah,
    WHO WAS ON CROSS, JESUS OR JUDAH? JUDAH, EVERY HINDU IGNORANT FOLLOWER OF HINDU PAGAN SAVIOR ISM, CHRISTIAN PRAYS TO AS HIS GOD.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • OOO

      More word salad. You've got a good blender sir.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Gumbo.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  12. W Palmer

    The author takes a lot of liberties with things that he can't possibly know. There is scant information about Jesus.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • ME II

      rAmen

      January 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chad

      Can you name any serious scholar that claims Jesus didnt exist?

      Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[5][6][7][8] and biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[9][10][11] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[12][13] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[14][15][16] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek.[17][18][19][20][21] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal as sent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.

      [5] Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0391041185 pages 2-5
      [6] Christopher M. Tuckett In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus edited by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 122-126
      [7] Amy-Jill Levine in the The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. 2006 Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-2
      [8] Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman (Sep 23, 1999) ISBN 0195124731 Oxford Univ Press pages ix-xi
      [9] In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (who is a secular agnostic) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
      ^ Robert M. Price (an atheist who denies existence) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
      [10] Michael Grant (a cla ssicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
      [11] Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
      [12] Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and cla ssical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
      [13] James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
      [14] The Gospels and Jesus by Graham Stanton, 1989 ISBN 0192132415 Oxford University Press, page 145 states : "Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed".
      [15] Paul L. Maier "The Date of the Nativity and Chronology of Jesus" in Chronos, kairos, Christos: nativity and chronological studies by Jerry Vardaman, Edwin M. Yamauchi 1989 ISBN 0-931464-50-1 pages 113-129
      [16] The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, L. Scott Kellum 2009 ISBN 978-0-8054-4365-3 page 114
      ^ Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, I. Howard Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity Press, 1992), page 442
      [17] The Historical Jesus in Recent Research edited by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 ISBN 1-57506-100-7 page 303
      [18] Who Is Jesus? by John Dominic Crossan, Richard G. Watts 1999 ISBN 0664258425 pages 28-29
      [19] James Barr, Which language did Jesus speak, Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1970; 53(1) pages 9-29 [1]
      [20] Handbook to exegesis of the New Testament by Stanley E. Porter 1997 ISBN 90-04-09921-2 pages 110-112
      [21] Discovering the language of Jesus by Douglas Hamp 2005 ISBN 1-59751-017-3 page 3-4
      ^ Jesus in history and myth by R. Joseph Hoffmann 1986 ISBN 0-87975-332-3 page 98

      January 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad, why do you ask these sorts of questions when you are only going to dismiss any answer you get, no matter how well-thought out or in depth? Why do you lie so much?

      Have you figured out yet how stupid you are to ask for reasons for belief/disbelief that are not also conclusions? Have you figured out why it is so ignorant of you to make the claim that the universe had a beginning...............and...............therefore.........BIG INVISIBLE SKY WIZARD WITH MAGIC SPELLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      No need to be a hindu, lair, there is no name recorded by Hebrew history as Jesus, nor they named their children with a hindu, meaningless name. hindu's ignorant s can only be scholar for hindu's, stupid's.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "Only late in 2005 did my continued research lead me to conclude that it was very probable Jesus never actually existed as a historical person..." (http://www.richardcarrier.info/SpiritualFAQ.html#ahistoricity)

      Richard Carrier
      BA, History
      MA, Ancient history
      MPhil, Ancient history
      PhD, Ancient history (Columbia University)

      January 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Chad

      Carrier has also questioned the historicity of Jesus in some capacity. Though originally skeptical of the notion, and subsequently more agnostic, since 2005 he has considered it "very probable Jesus never actually existed as a historical person",[1] yet he also said "though I foresee a rising challenge among qualified experts against the as sumption of historicity [of Jesus]... that remains only a hypothesis that has yet to survive proper peer review". [2]

      [1] Carrier, Richard. "Spiritual Body FAQ". Retrieved 2009-04-25.
      [2] Carrier, Richard (2009). "Comments at Richard Carrier Blogs". Retrieved 2009-04-25.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – re: Richard Carrier

      Correct – Carrier maintains his position is at present an hypothesis; however, you asked, "Can you name any serious scholar that claims Jesus didnt exist?. Richard Carrier doubts that Jesus was an historical person and he, Carrier, is certainly a serious scholar – as is Robert M. Price who also doubts Jesus existed.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Chad

      "doubts that he existed" is clearly different than "claims he didnt exist"

      January 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Carrier asserts it's it is "very probable" Jesus did not exist. Anyone who claims with certainty either way is on thin ice. You're splitting hairs here, Chad.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and just FYI...that's the kind of behavior that leads people to assert you're dishonest.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      And around we go herding translucent cats in a dark basement, landing back down on your belief versus my need for proof. So until I have that proof, jesus son of god did not exist. And since I know the bible is a book of lies concocted by men, and there exists nothing else that could even be considered "evidence", your god doesn't exist either. Since god doesn't exist it's a safe assumption any jesus mentioned was just a regular dude built up via myth.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @End Religion –

      You know you're just giving Chad fodder for another tear, right? And, just to be even-handed, your assertion that Jesus doesn't exist until it's proven he does, is not rationally defensible – skepticism is the most defensible position.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion: "So until I have that proof, jesus son of god did not exist"
      @Chad "stating that "jesus doesnt exist until it is proven that He does" is equally as fallacious as "Jesus existed until you prove he didnt"
      your failure to understand that just weakens your position.

      =======
      @End Religion: "And since I know the bible is a book of lies concocted by men"
      @Chad "what proof do you have?
      Is this case of "the bible is false until proven true"? fallacious.

      where is your evidence of any of your claims?

      =======
      @End Religion: "there exists nothing else that could even be considered "evidence""
      @Chad "origin of the universe, origin of life on earth, fine tuning of the universe, fossil record, empty tomb of Jesus Christ"

      you seem to have an endless supply of baseless assertions, and when challenged your stock response is "all my baseless assertions are true until proven false"

      which is nonsense of course...

      January 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Chad

      Really-O

      the difference between believing something to be true, and claiming something to be true is huge.
      It's the difference between strong and weak athiesm for example.

      that's why I run up against Jesus deniers, I always ask them if they can name any serious scholar that claims Jesus didnt exist?
      I am asking them if they can find any serious historian that makes the same claim that they do, namely that Jesus didnt exist.

      neither Carrier or Price fit that category.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      Fair enough. Can you name one serious scholar that claims with 100% certainty that Jesus existed? Get my point? Claims of absolute certainty on either side of the fence are unreasonable. Carrier and Price are too disciplined to claim certainty or "belief"; they are working with probabilities, as rational scholars in all disciplines do. No offense intended, but continuing you current path in this thread makes you look (at least to me) defensive, dishonest, and immature (admitting fallibility and owning-up to mistakes is one of the signs of maturity).

      January 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • End Religion

      all my baseless assertions are true until proven false

      January 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      R-O: thx for your concern but i am here entertaining myself. I'm unconcerned about Chad's needs as he has previously displayed no respect on consideration for others' needs. If you're concerned about how I am representing atheism, please go ahead and write me off as a lost cause. My goal is to have fun here. I am not in debate club – I am on a public blog entertaining myself.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @End Religion –

      Understood. Enjoy yourself.

      Cheers

      January 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Can you name one serious scholar that claims with 100% certainty that Jesus existed? Get my point? "

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

      January 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • The Chad Response

      No one can claim anything with 100% certainty; therefore, I will stick with my a priori beliefs.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "only several hundred probably"

      Wow. For you to make that assertion leaves me with one of two conclusions (while admitting there may well be other options I've not considered) – you're either grossly ignorant or grossly dishonest. Seriously...you're really asserting that "hundreds" of "serious scholars" are 100% certain that Jesus existed – without one shred of conclusive evidence, archaeological or otherwise. And you wonder why poster after poster on this blog calls you names? I'd suggest some honest self-reflection, Chad.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I believe I'll reference this thread in the future anytime someone suggests Chad should be taken seriously.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Chad

      Guess you somehow missed this.. not sure how..

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

      January 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      If Ehrman meant "it is 100% certain" when he used "certainly" in that quote, I'd assert he is as big a fool as you, Chad.

      Just for the record, I'd wager Ehrman did not mean "100% certain". I'd also wager he's not as big a fool as you.

      Cheers

      January 6, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Chad

      In "Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth," Ehrman soundly refutes the arguments - sometimes made by atheists, agnostics and humanists - that early storytellers invented Jesus ...

      As for the so-called "mythicists" who argue otherwise, Ehrman has some choice words: "sensationalist," "wrongheaded," and "amateurish."....

      Ehrman said he had long received occasional emails from atheists and others asking him if he thought Jesus actually lived. Then last year, he accepted an award at a meeting of the American Humanist Association in Cambridge, Mass. While there, he was dismayed to find many humanists, who describe themselves as "good without God," adhered to widely discredited notions that Jesus never lived.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Hmmm...no idea how Chad's last post is apropos. Oh well, it's Chad.

      January 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  13. GallowsPole

    Those who are here having fun insulting and taking shots at Jesus will someday be calling on Him as they are laying in bed dying. I find that's often how that works in my line of work.

    No need for Him today, fun to insult Him as often as you like. But someday, when your end is near, you will be crying out for Him to save you – like pulling the ripcord on a parachute. So...should He?

    January 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • ROGER D. ALIEN

      hahaha JC can't touch me ....hahahha

      Like this ???

      January 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • JWT

      There is no need for such a creature ever although some may want.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      GallowsPole,

      Go work in Iran or Saudi Arabia, etc. and hear who the dying call out for.

      I'm not sure who the dying Hindus call out for, but it isn't Jesus or Allah; and neither is it so in 2/3rds of the world.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      yeah, yeah, we'll rue the day. Heard it plenty. What we will be doing is calling out for the thing that comforts us most. For you that's Jeebus. I will be calling out to the Hospice nurse for a blowjob.

      January 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • Typical christian, so predictable

      "The Death Bed Conversion" A favorite card of the christians , 2nd only to the "you're going to burn in hell" card

      January 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Hairy Johnson

      Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! You all are running out of time mocking the one and true living God Jesus Christ.

      January 6, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  14. ROGER D. ALIEN

    JC was very clean.
    That's cause HE never existed outside the gospel.
    Purely clean, purely myth. HE who NEVER WAS !

    January 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • dreamer96

      So Jesus was like Max Headroom.....

      January 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Bill

      Roger, you can argue that Jesus was just a man if you want... but to argue that Jesus never existed is to argue that Socrates of Homer never existed. Too much historic evidence. The belief that somehow in around 400 AD a group of religious leaders said "hey let's create a myth" is ludicrous on its face.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

      No serious historian, regardless of religious views, thinks that Jesus Christ is/was a myth. He was a real person that actually lived and walked the earth some 2000 or so years ago. Some people believe he was a messiah. Others believe he was just and ordinary man.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Jack Bauer

      You are a TOTAL JERK!!!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • ROGER D. ALIEN

      did Zeus exist?
      did Mercury exist?
      THEY were gods.
      We have more info on these Greek gods than on this JC
      who suppose to be the god of gods.
      The info (historical), I believe 2 sources that DO exist,
      One is faked – by some church bishop long ago
      and the other that was never written by a jewish historian.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @ManWithAcuteEncephelitis,
      There likely was a man named Jesus, but the activities attributed to him, i.e. the person most think of a Jesus Christ, may be completely mythical in nature.

      @Bill,
      I think there is some question about an actual person named Homer as well as whether Socrates wrote what is attributed to him. However, no one is claiming that they were divine or that we must believe in them or burn in hell. Therefore there actual existence is not quite as critical a question.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • ME II

      there -> their
      (how embarassing)

      January 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is no evidence for the existence of your jeebus. The typical offerings of such proof, which I do not consider evidence, can be found:

      http://tiny.cc/8nniqw

      January 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
  15. Norine

    AMEN! You hit the nail spot on! THis will shake many people's preconceptions that need to be shaken!

    January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  16. UNIDOS CONTRA LA LEY SB1070 EN ARIZONA

    Jesus was a perfect man and a perfect God, and as a perfect man he didt'n smell bad nor had any disease whatsoever because all the body's diseases comes from a body decay and this is the result of the original sins, as a matter of fact, if Jesus have been living lets say forty more years he looked like 30 years all always, eternal youth, you know this? Remember: Jesus was and is a Perfect Man a perfect God.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • ROGER D. ALIEN

      dumb

      January 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  17. ROGER D. ALIEN

    "he busted open a tomb".

    HE must've been a ZOMBIE too !!!!

    January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

      Not taking sides on the "Jesus" issue but I thought it was ironic that you called someone else's post "dumb." I have noticed that you have made numerous posts here and it is clear that your remarks are truly and consistently ignorant.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • End Religion

      I found it interesting that a man with such a large brain is attracted to zombie posts. Aren't you concerned for your health? BRAINS!!!!

      January 6, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  18. SamLynn

    Great article and analysis of how we wrongly sanitize Jesus. Only one little typo: "He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem,..." Should be "smelled bad". "Smelled badly" would mean that that his nose was not functioning properly.

    I feel badly and I feel bad are grammatically correct. However, they convey different meanings. The first describes a flaw in the way you feel (touch things). The latter describes your emotion. Think about the traffic sign. It says "Drive slow", not "Drive slowly". If you drive slowly, you turn the wheel slowly, you depress the brake slowly, you toot the horn slowly. Drive slow is talking about the speed at which you are travelling.

    January 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • paul

      Very true- In the last days will come scoffers.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      paul

      " In the last days will come scoffers."

      There have been scoffers since day one of this legend hitting the streets...

      January 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • Frank

      Dude, your an idiot. There are much worse grammatical errors in this article. Yet, you chose to waste your time explaining the distinction between adjectives that end in "ly" and those that do not. You are a moron. Don't quit your day job. Actually, you probably should write articles for CNN, you'd do much better than all these other buffoons on account of your exquisite use of English grammar!!! IDIOT!!!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • End Religion

      @SamLynn: thx for pointing out the grammar issue.

      i don't know if commenter was serious or not but "In the last days will come scoffers" made me laugh out loud! :)

      January 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  19. paul

    The author needs professional help from the medical profession, his story is out of venting his self hatered for everyone around himself, Jesus never had a halo around his head, take that up with the people that claim he had, JESUS was not god, he was the son of god, a clean, kind compassionate man with the message the eternity was for all people includeing the poor , sick and lame, that through him is forgiveness for or sins, he gives us strength, encouragement, encouragement to help others in need as well as the sick and homeless, the ten commandments has given us the only really law and order as it is observed by all people not just the criminals but also the peace loveing peoples, his apostles are a example that people does not have to be wealth or of high stature to be acceptable to our lord and also our god, right now the author is on a roll with the scientific community of evolution, but he does not consider that even he has a day appointed to die, humans observe our selves from the outside , our god observes us from the inside, our inward thoughts, humans hear our speach of communication and judge us by that , but god not only hears our speaking words, but he also knows our thoughts, to god it is not only our natural voice of speech that is important but also our inward thoughts , our natural speech is natural as we now live , but our inward thoughts are spiritual, when we die our spirit and spiritual body separates from the natural body, the natural body goes to the grave, our spiritual body goes to judgement ,to enter into our eternal rest whether it be to eternal life or eternal death, may we all make a intelligent choice where we will be through out eternity, best regards

    January 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Bill

      Paul, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am."
      This enraged the religious leaders because they knew what it meant.
      He was claiming to be God.
      He was in fact "God with us."

      January 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      That is right Bill!!!!!!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Steve

      "his story is out of venting his self hatered for everyone around himself" makes absolutely no sense. How can "venting self hatered [sic]" be aimed at "everyone around himself [sic]"? Self hatred is, of obvious necessity aimed at one's self. The article bore much less venom (the so called "venting") than does your comment.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  20. AvdBerg

    Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and neither is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    The Jesus figure portrayed in the above article is not the true and living God that came into this world in the name of Jesus Christ to deliver people from the spirit of this world (John 17:16; 1 John 5:4).

    Please read the article ‘Repent’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca and learn what it means. It signifies a lot more than what by nature you have been made to believe.

    Are those that are referred to as ‘Christians’ by the media really the followers of Jesus Christ or do they follow after a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; GaL.4:8) and why is there so much division amongst religions? Please read on.

    The above mentioned article by Johnnie Moore is a good example how distorted things have become in society with the media industry as the main culprit as they are readily willing to print anything.

    He is spiritually blind and separated from the true and living God and the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:15).

    In order for anyone to be able to understand the Word of God they must repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18). Johnnie Moore does not know what spirit he is of (Luke 9:55).

    The Word of God is not to be interpreted (2 Peter 1:20) and it is the discerner of every thought and intent of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

    Seek, and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7).

    January 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Prove with facts, if any one ever lived bu the name of Jesus, If you can not, shut your hindu laying mouth and stop playing Magi ism, trickster with humanity, hindu, crook, follower of hindu Mithra sim, racist savior ism.

      January 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • OOO

      This sh.t is already written in the bible. Do you have to copy it here too?

      January 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • ROGER D. ALIEN

      ZOMBIES FOR JESUS...lol

      January 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      AvdBerg,
      Preach on brother or sister, preach on!!!!

      January 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      advberg posts will slowly get longer and longer. Within the next few days, if he gets sufficient motivation, you will all curse his existence because he will take up an entire page with 2-4 massive posts, page after page.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • End Religion

      Let's see if we can trigger him. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly sets him off.

      Until I see your extraordinary, tested and peer-reviewed proof of God, proof of every absurd assertion in the bible and proof of Jesus, it is entirely a fraud.

      The abrahamic god does not exist. That, plus zero independent proof for jeebus means his "son" never existed either. The christian church itself admits the bible is a fraud. On 2013-01-05 anglicans allowed gay priests to become bishops when Leviticus 20:13 (the supposed word of an inerrant god) clearly advocates killing gays. If the fact your bible advocates such killing isn't enough to keep you away, perhaps its hypocrisy will?

      Religion is nothing but a pathetic, incongruous shell game that exists now only to sustain the power of its top echelon, to keep controlling sheep and to keep reeling in the tithes.

      January 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
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About this blog

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