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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. Mark Ashe

    This is a test post.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • niknak

      This is a test response.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Jason

      Atheists are stupid. This is a test troll.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  2. crabman

    holy crap --

    January 7, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  3. k

    I guess my question for the author is: "what's your point?" Ok. Christ may have been dirty (i.e., he had experiences common to everyone on earth). Great. What deep theological insight are you offering? How does this inform how I should live my life? This is a crap article by a guy trying to sell a book.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • MagicPanties

      He's a "cool" young prof out to impress the millennials by talking about... gasp... Jesus' poop!

      Epic, but hilarious, fail.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • niknak

      Sure he is trying to sell a book.
      He is no different then your preacher at your choosen communicator to god selling the babble.
      They are all trying to make a buck off of you, the religious sheep.
      And you go happily along with the scam, just so you can keep your get into heaven free card valid.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • HAHAhahaHAHA

      @k...wait so you life your life based on the teachings of the CNN belief blog...i dont even have a funny quip for that im just speechless...bahahahahahahahahahaha

      January 7, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Forgiven

      The point is... to show us that Jesus can relate to the every day life we live. Most people won't listen, much less believe, someone who hasn't experienced what their going through when they say, "I know what your going through." He portrays Christ as an actual human being doing everyday things, something most religious people have never done. Like he states above, they only see the Jesus dressed in white with a halo over his head, most (if anybody) can't relate to that. It's a eye opening article.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  4. hOT cARL

    Holy crap!

    January 7, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  5. WakeUp48

    I can smell your kind a mile away, you should be bullwhipped

    January 7, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      What kind is that?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  6. Ax

    "God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance that's getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on"

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson

    January 7, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • k

      Ok ... I'll say what so many people want to say but are hesitant to say: Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a lightweight physicist. Moreover, he is unable to make any kind of cogent philosophical/theological argument (his comment is self-righteous and self-serving ... imagine!).

      January 7, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • HAHAhahaHAHA

      hahaha k just went there! he says what we are all thinking but are too afraid to say! thank the lord for him! (i hope the sarcasm is not lost on you...)

      January 7, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Ax

      Neil DeGrasse Tyson never said anything profound. He merely took the time and looked at history of mankind and reported what happened.

      January 9, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  7. Ax

    I haven't found any evidence that Jesus actually existed much less whether he was clean or dirty.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • rgates1940

      Read Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived in that time frame. He mentioned Jesus in a remarkable way. Check it out.......

      January 7, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Captain Jones

      Yes! Religion, clean or dirty is just dope for the masses. Death=worm food.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Racktree

      Then you haven't looked. The evidence for the existence of Jesus is overwhelming. Regardless of whether you believe that he is a deity or just a "good person", the historical evidence for his existence is huge. Both Christian and secular scholars alike agree that he lived. The only thing in question (by some) is whether he was divine.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ rgates – Josephus was born years after jesus supposedly died. The very few references to jesus are of a different literary style and were probably added 300 years or so after Josephus died. His works, only were uncovered in the 1500's, and then only imperfect translations, which were retranslated again and again.

      That is the BEST evidence available – and as evidence it sucks.

      Think about if for a second: if the stories of jesus were true – miracles, rising fro the dead, etc – there would be a mult-itude of contemporary EYE-WITNESS accounts available. The most likely reason that there are none of these is that there was nothing miraculous to witness.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • The Brown Note

      rgates, there is one flaw with the Josephus accounts. They were written, like all other accounts, decades after the alleged existence of the god-hippie.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • niknak

      The jeebus myth is just that, a myth.
      Various religions that existed in that area of the world had the exact same stories about thier "savior."
      Many of which were hundreds to thousands of years BEFORE the mythical jeebus was said to exist.
      Face it fundies, you have been sold a big lie and you have bought it hook line and sinker.

      A mind is a terrible thing to lose, to religion.......

      January 7, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Forgiven

      Unfortunately, it's a walk by faith not by sight way of living...But I will tell you this, my life has been enriched greatly since I made the decision to accept his love and follow him...I still go through tought times like everyone else, but I now have a wonderful savior to rely on in times of pain and suffering...I've also become a more caring and compassionate person...I pray in times of strife, and praise him in times of triumph...Isaiah 40:31 says it best...I wish I were a better teacher, I could probably explain it better...anyway, I'll truly pray that God reveals his love to you.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • John A

      This issue is not if Jesus existed, the issue is you don't want to change your lifestyle/morality. People try to spin into a intellectual issue (i.e. people who have higher IQ's must be telling the truth).

      January 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Ax

      @rgates1940; Jesus allegedly died in 30-33 AD, Josephus was born in 37 AD and didn't start writing until approx. 20-30 years after Jesus' alleged crucifixion. How could he possibly be used as evidence? He didn't know Jesus anymore than you or I.

      January 8, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  8. ElderJefferson

    The Son of God was never touched by any infirmity or disease, thus no dysentery or other ailments. As far as cleanliness is concerned, all you need to know about my Jesus is this – He lived for over 30 years on this earth and never sinned once. Not once. And He's powerful enough to cleanse me of MY sins. How's that for some cleanliness.

    I do, however, agree with the author's take that we sometimes forget about Christ's humanity. He lived, He worked, He sweated, He hungered, He cried, He suffered, and He even died once.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Bob

      Age clearly hasn't given you wisdom, Elder. See if your addled old brain can comprehend this:

      The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. How come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 7, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Elder – if he was never touched by any infirmity of disease ie immune to earthly pains and conditions that afflict everyone else, then his flesh must have been immune to everything, and therefore he would not have suffered on the cross. Which, if you believe the stories in the Bible, he didn't – not really anyway, because he came back 3 days later.

      Hey, a good magician's trick, nothing more.

      By the way, Elder, are you a follower of that fraudster Joseph Smith?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • Ax

      And you know this how? Were you running around earth 2000+ years ago?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Justinian

      Not to mention that the son that was "sacrificed" was back a few days later (which, of course, he already knew would happen).

      January 7, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Rightfield

      Bob, where does Christianity say you can't keep up to date with technology or medicine? You realize the renaissance and age of reason were developed by Christians, right? God doesn't o all the work for you otherwise there'd be no point of living. You have to choose and believe. You don't have to and that's fine that's your choice. The very choice god lets us make. So we'll live with our silly " myths" and feel bad you don't. But we'll both live our lives and I bet the man you just sarcastically besmirched probably will just turn the other cheek and not be as mean spirited as you have just shown yourself to be.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Jake

      SO you believe that god killed jesus for your sins? Then he brought him back. So much for a sacrifice; he didn't loose a thing.

      Break the social chains that foster these silly beliefs. Its just a made up story with no basis in reality. You disbelieve every other religion and silly nonsense, but believe this story? Be your own person, and think for yourself.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Bob

      Rightfield, your post is nonsense. Christians have opposed scientific advances and held back science and medicine for centuries. The latest example is re stem cell research, but there are many others. Furthermore, the bible gets much of science wrong, particularly re biology and including how diseases propagate.

      Next time, try to present some facts instead of your typical Christian party line lies. So, again, read and try to comprehend before you respond:

      The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. How come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      January 7, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Rightfield

      Sorry bob my post didn't post. Damn secular technology (see we Christians can joke). Your stereotyping all Christians. That's the problem. I believe in evolution, germ theory, gay marriage, even some abortions. Not all Christians take the bible literally. Don't bash it just because you don't understand it all.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry "Elder Jefferson" and "Rightfield", but "God", "Son of God", "Christ", and "He" are elements of mythology, therefore all of your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 7, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • Rightfield

      Hal: fair opinion and now please prove it?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • hal 9001

      My function here, "Rightfield" is to illuminate unfounded statements and falsehoods. Proofs are not appropriate for concepts about things that are unknown to mankind.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Rightfield

      Therefore the origin to life on earth is an unknown to man, correct? Jesus wasn't a myth. But I can see your point on his divinity as myth and that's fine with me if others believe that.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Bob

      Rightfield, present what it is that you claim that I don't understand about your fairy tale, and explain why you think that is the case, or retract your presently unsupported statement.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • ElderJefferson

      I'm curious as to why non-believers are spouting nonsense on an article aimed at discussing the humanity of Christ? Does His righteousness spur your hatred that much that you have to take every opportunity to spout your foolishness disguised as wisdom?

      My comments are for those who desire to discuss the article. If you want to perform mental exercises for pride's sake, there are ample other forums for you there. I know the power of God, as I'm a living testimony, so please take your comments elsewhere.

      I will answer the question regarding Jesus' disease-free life, though. Being beaten and hung on a cross is not a disease. He felt pain. And you have me yoked with the wrong faith, man. Nice try, though.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • ElderJefferson

      Jake, our Heavenly Father didn't kill Jesus. Interesting that you attempt to attack my ignorance when you, yourself, ask a question laced with error and ignorance. As far as Him not losing anything, I'm not sure how you draw that conclusion. He lives, but He suffered far more than you and I ever will. If that's not losing anything to you, so be it.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're welcome to your beliefs, Elder, but how was there any real suffering when God knew he'd resurrect his son? How was that any sacrifice?

      Sorry, but that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
    • LinCA

      @ElderJefferson

      You said, "I'm curious as to why non-believers are spouting nonsense on an article aimed at discussing the humanity of Christ?"
      If the dude ever existed, he was most certainly human, and only human.

      You said, "Does His righteousness spur your hatred that much that you have to take every opportunity to spout your foolishness disguised as wisdom?"
      I'm entirely indifferent towards the dude. I couldn't care less what he allegedly said or did. My issue is with the dimwits that fail to see that their fairy tale is noting more than that. It's the followers of the dude that are the problem.

      You said, "My comments are for those who desire to discuss the article. If you want to perform mental exercises for pride's sake, there are ample other forums for you there. I know the power of God, as I'm a living testimony, so please take your comments elsewhere."
      You don't get to pick who can, or can't, should, or shouldn't comment on this article. And, unless you have evidence that your god actually exists, you've got nothing better than a fairy tale.

      You said, "I will answer the question regarding Jesus' disease-free life, though."
      Who gives a rats-ass. His disease free life was over before he was a month old.

      You said, "Being beaten and hung on a cross is not a disease. He felt pain."
      If he truly was the god you seem to think he was, he choose that path deliberately. What a miserable god that must be, if it can feel pain.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "ElderJefferson", but "Christ", "God", "He", "Him" and "Heavenly Father" are all elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  9. JMakoul

    As 100% man and 100% God, His humanity was real, as is also His divinity. The whole going to the bathroom thing- why spend time on it? My 6 year old talks about that stuff. Concerning the sarcasm, etc...really no evidence for it. In order to teach Jesus used parables and analogies to expose the hypocrisy of others, ultimately for their salvation and own good. Sarcasm has no such benevelent objective.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Not being sarcastic, but you claim he was 100% man and 100% god. How did you do in math class? What you describe is impossible. The larger question is, what do you base your statement on. You present is as a fact, as opposed to saying, "it is my belief that" or "it is my opinion that"

      January 7, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Attack: The more frightening thing here is this person admits to having children. One can only hope the child is not being brainwashed to accept the bible as fact.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ truth – I agree 100%. If it was illegal to brainwash children about religion, and let them decide for themselves at 18, it would disappear within a couple of generations. Education and free thinking are religion's greatest threats.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • mk

      Your six year old probably believes in Santa too.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • frank

      evidence for sarcasm? Do you know what both words mean? I do believe there is evidence of sarcasm here. And the sky is a bit cloudy today.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  10. Mohamed

    I love Jesus my lovely prophet
    In the Quran : " And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. " , O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]." That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you, [O Muhammad]. And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Mary. Nor were you with them when they disputed. [And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous."

    She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      The Quran ripped off the Bible which ripped off other religious texts.

      Nothing to see here, folks – keep on moving along.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  11. Brrryce

    Liberty University, huh? Well, johnnie, I bet Jesus was dirty, but still white, right? Can't have a brown Jesus at Liberty – despite him living on the continent of Africa.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • jamlammin

      Wow Brrryce... you got some hang up huh... wher did that comment even have revelence?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • anniet

      he didn't live on the continent of africa. he lived in the middle east in what is now israel. that is not africa.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Jason

      Anniet:
      Point of order:
      He went to Egypt for a few years and that is in Africa. Was not born on the continent though.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • anniet

      @jason – point taken. however, as far as we know, he was raised in israel.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  12. the AnViL

    lol @ all the xian primates who are offended

    January 7, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • rgates1940

      Just another symptom of the times. No respect; nothing is sacred; unwholesome speech takes the place of honest and sincere investigation. None of this is factual but rather the speculation of one who has a god of his own imagination. Have you ever read Jesus' teachings? Is there error in what He taught? Is loving God and your neighbor such a horrible challenge? I'm glad to announce to the irreverent and "dirty" people among you (of which I was previously in that number) that in spite of our sin, He died and rose again from the dead even for us. One day I hope you realize this and repent and begin to live in a right way according to His gospel (good news of the kingdom of God). Then you will be less apt to please yourselves but rather worship Him and do something helpful for someone in need.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ rgates: What "honest and sincere investigation" have you undertaken to determine and as-sess the validity of the Bible? Or do you just take it as the truth because it says its the truth and that's what you've been taught to believe?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Bob

      rgates, why does your omnipotent sky creature demand worship, and why does he condone slavery and threaten eternal punishment for stuff you did wrong in your short mortal life? He sounds like a vain, vindictive ass hole and human rights abuser, frankly, so no thanks; please keep your delusion to yourself -quietly, please.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • The Brown Note

      rgates, there are notable errors, actually. Have you ever read the "good" book?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, rgates1940, but "God", and "son of "God" are elements of mythology, therefore your assertions are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      January 7, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • the AnViL

      something comical: the long list of failed biblical prophecies and predictions.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:46 am |
  13. Truth behold

    How is this news? Like the state or govt. this should remain separate. No different then talking about Zeus or any other myth. Lets get to the real news! Western media is so sad.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • manycatsonekid

      Dude, you're reading this in the Religion section. No one is making this out to be news as it IS, after all, a blog entry.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • waldo

      Which is why there should not be a religion section in the news dude, bro, rad.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  14. Captain Jones

    Jesus, muhammad, Buddha, Shiva,Satan,Santa, ect.ect.. SAME ROACH

    January 7, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • John A

      Only one will give you eternal life. Choose wisely.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ John – and you believe in the existence of "eternal life" based on what?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      John A: Given that there is no guarantee of anything once you die, choosing wisely would be living in accordance to the updated information and not according to a book that hasn't been updated in 2000 years. I'll take reality over the myth of the christian god or any god for that matter....makes life so much more fun to live.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Pat

      You are so sadly deceived, Captain, I will pray for you.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  15. Rightfield

    I grew up with my grandfather being a Protestant preacher and have some thoughts on this truly interesting article. First, I never heard anyone in my church ever say Jesus never had dirt on him or never had dysentery. In fact we never really thought that as remotely important. The image the "journalist" has of Jesus is when he decends from heaven not after getting off work as a carpenter and never is unspeakable cleanliness mentioned about daily life in the bible. I'm confused on why any of this article would upset fellow Chistians who should note that its just opinion and judging sarcasm 2000 years later isn't a solid foundation for diminishing a philosopher. Second, is this really on CNN? When will we see the articles bashing Budhha or Muhhamed or "showing the real lives" of other religious founders on CNN? (I say that sarcastically because I hope they don't). Leave people's religions alone even the Christians. Why does CNN bash only Christianity? In short they're too afraid to bash Islam and too "PC" to take on Budhha or the Hindu religions. Why? The same reason a vast majority of "Human Rights" groups are based in the US and not in China, Africa, South America, etc...because they only go and "fight" where they know their opponents won't harm them. And for the people who say we have to bring down religion because it causes war just actually read the texts fully understand them and you may grasp that it's not the religions but mere fallable mortals that misuse it to cause death and destruction (not unlike cars and drunk drivers.) so calm down Christians as the other posters have said but not because our religion is a lie but cause its just a man's opinion. Does he have proof that Jesus had dysentery? Does he have proof of anything in this article? Nope. But we live in the greatest country and he's fully free to make and state his opinion even if he would be far too timid to make them about any other religion. So just remember sometimes its hard to find "news" on CNN.

    January 7, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • the AnViL

      there is just as much evidence that jebus had dysentery as there is for his existence....

      none

      and why should anyone 'Leave peoples religions alone' ?????

      why should anyone respect any religion???

      what have religions ever done to earn an ounce of respect from humanity???

      zoop!

      January 7, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • JJ

      CNN concentrates on Christianity because the US is 80% Christian and Muslims make up probably 1%. Also, Christianity has always interfered with everyone's liberty; forcing "under god" in our pledge, "in god we trust" on our currency, trying to force proselityzing back into our public schools (coerced prayer), spreading lies that evolution isn't valid and trying to force the teaching of creationism, Earth is 6000 years old, etc., etc. If another large cult were doing that here in the US they would be getting attention as well.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Pat

      Christianity is bashed, by CNN and others, for the same reason Jesus was persecuted and crucifued. Jesus, God in the flesh, is Truth and the world, i.e. CNN, wants to counteract the Truth with lies.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • JMakoul

      As 100% man and 100% God, His humanity was real, as is also His divinity. The whole going to the bathroom thing- why spend time on it? My 6 year old talks about that stuff. Concerning the sarcasm, etc...really no evidence for it. In order to teach Jesus used parables and analogies to expose the hypocrisy of others, ultimately for their salvation and own good. Sarcasm has no such benevelent objective.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Rightfield

      Christianity "forced" under god onto things or were the founders Christian? Just because you don't agree with it doesn't make it forced. The church I grew up in never said evolution was false. But find evidence about the origin of life on earth. Life can only come from life, correct? That's a scientific principal not Christian. So in fact how life began on earth through chemicals and compounds is a "theory". A theory is not proven by definition. Why forbid creationism if it to is a theory of how life began if there isn't a proven one?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Rightfield: "Life can only come from life, correct? That's a scientific principal not Christian."

      Which scientific principle is that? Please cite your references.

      As to your assertions about evolution, the nature of theory (in science, not common usage), and what is or is not "proven," you really need some remedial science education. Go read a few books, I really don't have the time or interest (since you undoubtedly aren't listening, anyway).

      January 7, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • Robert

      I didn't interpret this piece as a "bash Christianity" article. Now if you're referring to previous articles by other writers then I understand your point. You should notice that a lot of the writers are Christians or former Christians so I can see how they have a lot of Christian based articles (Western Christians analyze and question everything it's just our nature). I imagine CNN doesn't have many Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist bloggers so that could explain things.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rightfield
      A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis."
      In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

      The theory of evolution and it's 5 laws have nothing to say about abiogenesis.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Rightfield

      Uncle Benny: I'm all ears and listening for your proof on how life started on Earth. You are correct though I didn't study science in college, but rather history in grad school. But do tell me is it the fact of evolution or the theory? And please try your best semantics to show how scientific theory is fact? And for some reason still called a theory.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Bob

      Rightfield, stop being such a sarcastic ass hole.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • JJ

      Sounds like you need to put down your bible, listen to someone other than your pastor and crack open a 2nd grade Science text book. Once you understand what Science, the scientific method and scientific theories are then you can start with a basic education. Do you accept the germ theory or still believe illnesses are caused by demons?

      January 7, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Rightfield

      I didn't realize I was and it appears you're the one being rather rude. I don't believe I ventured into name calling? Plus, apparently Jesus was very sarcastic. I must have chosen a poor role model (ok, that was sarcastic). Just present your scientific proof on how life began on earth, that's all.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Rightfield

      I believe in germs, evolution, technology, modern medicine, gay marriage, even some abortion. Just tell me if its now a fact about how life started on earth or a theory? I understand that a theory is our best known idea to date, but its a theory cause there was no one to observe or confirm how life began. You could be completely or react and that would be cool with me, I just don't like bashing religious theories when you don't have proof of how life started either

      January 7, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rightfield.
      Once again, the theory of evolution addresses the development of life on Earth, not its creation.
      Abiogenesis remains a mystery.
      Personally, I find the idea that an anthropocentric, omnipotent Creator fashioned the entire Universe simply to have us in it as His predilect objects to be patently absurd, not to mention egotistical.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • the AnViL

      Rightfield – you claim to have attended grad school yet you offer evidence to the contrary:

      "But do tell me is it the fact of evolution or the theory? And please try your best semantics to show how scientific theory is fact? And for some reason still called a theory."

      what a laugh

      January 7, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Rightfield
      Should we give equal credulity to all creation myths?
      There is a Chinese creation myth that says the ancestors of mankind were the fleas and lice on the body of the God Pan Gu.
      In the beginning, Pan Gu escaped from the great universal egg by cracking it open with a broadaxe. The light part of the yolk floated up and became the heavens while the cold, hard part stayed below to form earth with Pan Gu standing between them like a pillar to keep the separated. When He died, His breath became the wind and clouds, His voice thunder, His eyes the sun and the moon, his beard and hair turned to the stars in the sky, His blood the water. His veins became roads and his muscles fertile land.

      According to Shinto Mythology, at the beginning of time, the heavens and the earths were mixed together in a great cloud. Slowly, the clearer, lighter parts of the cloud rose up and became heaven. The heavier parts of the cloud descended and became an ocean of muddy water. Between the heavens and the earth, a pale green sprout began to grow. It grew swiftly and was extremely strong. When the plant’s flower burst open, the First God emerged. This First God then created Izanagi, is the god of all that is light and heavenly. Izanagi, whose name means "the male who invites", and his wife and sister Izanami, whose name means "the female who invites". The First God gave Izanagi the task of finishing the creation of the world including the creation of all Life, inccluding Mankind.

      If the One True Deity, shaper of The Universe, wishes their words to be transmitted and adhered to, they should have been a bit less ambiguous. Expecting people to select The Truth out of limitless possibilities on faith alone seems a sloppy way to run things – especially if the punishment for a wrong choice is eternal torment.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Rightfield

      Doc: you could be completely correct and from a psychological perspective that does make sense. I agree with evolution, I just disagree with people who think they know all the answers and bash those who see the beginning of life in a different and yet also unproven light.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Rightfield

      Anvil I totally missed your point to your post. Doc: I believe in the theory I chose. Perhaps they are all wrong and soon all proven false. Ambiguity was the point so that life was worth living and not robotic only following the obvious. That's why it takes faith, and in all honesty I have no problem admitting I could easily be wrong, but I've seen no proof proving me wrong. If I'm wrong ill just have good morality to fall back on and I'll be okay with that. I love science and all the cool advances.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • the AnViL

      by the time you get into grad school you should already have a working understanding of the scientific process and the difference between wild guesses and scientific theories.

      you're a dolt, asking dolt questions making dolt assumptions about a dolt subject.

      dolt.

      get the point now, princess??

      January 7, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Rightfield

      Yes, thank you for that insightful explanation. You truly showed everyone who the "dolt" really is. By the way....still can't prove it, hu?

      January 7, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • the AnViL

      yes it's clear you're the dolt.

      scientific theories are based on facts. lots and lots of facts. facts are stacked on top of facts and all those facts become pillars supporting the theory.

      there is no religious theory. there are no facts. there's no evidence.

      theology isn't predicate on facts – it's predicate on ignorance.

      there's no evidence of gods. every account of jebus is hearsay – and every account of every account of jebus is hearsay.
      your belief is based on faulty knowledge. there are no facts supporting your knowledge... and that means your beliefs are founded on nothing.

      fortunately you have faith... and faith trumps all... because faith is belief in things for which there is no evidence – and even contradictory evidence – and there's plenty of that.

      to people of reason – this is unreasonable.

      you're a dolt, and you're delusional.

      evolve, son.

      January 7, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  16. JoeProfet

    The funny thing is even the discussion of Jesus will live longer than you or I. When you and I are dead and burried, people will still be talking about him. I mean, today we're reading an article about the dirt under his fingernails!

    January 7, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  17. Jason

    I love that the open-minded atheists come to the belief blog to troll. How very liberated of you. If we believers are so intellectually inferior to you why trouble yourself arguing with us?

    January 7, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • NickZadick

      What if 75% of the people around you believed in ridiculous fairy tales...would you not be exasperated and try to shock them into seeing the reality of life? All organised religions are myths and parables.... When we see people taking those stories as fact... we just can't believe that you are so gullible and want to snap you out of it.... I still can't comprehend how you people can trust the writings of total strangers of which you know NOTHING!

      January 7, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • brad

      Actually, I just came in here to see how offended christians would be by this article, and I wasn't disappointed. lol

      January 7, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Jason

      Again, If you are that exasperated by the 75% of the real world, why chase them down on the internet? I avoid annoyance. If you knew me you would know I am not gullible. I am have a BS and a MS with a heavy concentration in the natural sciences. I just happen to see an intelligent hand moving the process along. Your opinion is valid, I happen to disagree with it, but that does not frustrate me, nor should mine frustrate you.
      BTW, I win the troll game. Got ya.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • The Brown Note

      Really, it's no trouble at all.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Dave

      @Nick: And we evolved from primordial ooze too right? Perhaps when doubters like you get a clue, you may have a better understanding of your world around you. Fairy tale? How is it that the things foretold in the bible are coming true? i
      Is this fable as well? Get a clue!

      January 7, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Jason

      Brown Note:
      OK, well done. One point to the infidel.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • mk

      Are you saying you wouldn't troll if you saw an article denying the existence of "god"? I'm betting you would.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ dave – there is nothing in the Bible that was "foretold" with sufficient accuracy to be considered a true prophecy. For example, if someone had written something specific 2000 years ago, like "on September 11 2011 religious terrorists will fly airplanes into the World trade Centre" – well, that would be a prophecy that was fulfilled.

      But even IF there were such prophecies – and they are none – so what? That in no way proves the existence of god, or no way establishes that other things in the bible are true.

      All you could say is, hey, that's weird – maybe the writer had some type of pre-cognition, or a wormhole opened in time. The answer is "I don't know how how or what this happened? You cannot jump to "therefore god exists"

      January 7, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • servantofTHEWORD

      Good point Jason...It's obvious that 'ol Nickwit is hard of hearing...and devoid of understanding.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Jason

      That is EXACTLY what I am saying. I do troll from time to time for sport, but if something really annoys me, I ignore it.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • NickZadick

      I have no problem with "god created the universe and man" I believe in science and there IS a force that made the big bang come into existence...the part which is ridiculous is... that if you accept the scribblings of authors of of book written 2000 years ago...you...and you alone will get to go to disneyland in the sky....and those who do not believe in the stories will burn in hell foerever... if you truely believe that.... then I have no problem telling you thet you are a fool!....and claiming you have degrees in science only deepens my confusion that you believe in fairy tales.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Jason

      In that case, I would consider you closed-minded. I am open to the evidence of science, it has shaped my view of the world, and is an important aspect of my daily life. I devour scientific information. I just don't see where it disproves my beleif in God, Jesus or scripture (my silly name for all those scribblings). I also see no reason to call me a fool or my beliefs fairy tales. I am not and have ojective measures to prove my intellect. Yet I know I could be wrong. That is called being open-minded.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • HAHAhahaHAHA

      @brad...truer words have never been spoken i love this blog :-)

      January 7, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • NickZadick

      No Jason, I am not closed minded. I simply do not believe in ANY book of fables written by man. I believe in SCIENCE! The bible is pure nonsense written by clueless people thousands of years ago to try to explain the world they lived in...SCIENCE has shown that a lot of what they thought was wrong and cherry picking passages that you hope will give you eternal life is childish and stupid! The people that wrote it did NOT talk to god....again...not just you...but I can't believe any scientist believes this stuff... but I actually don't give a hoot what you believe... I just keep away from your kind as much as possible because you are completely brainwashed!

      January 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  18. Reality

    Only for the new members of this blog:------>>

    Based on the topic, some updating:

    Jesus was an illiterate, dirty, sometimes sick, Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from the dirty, sometimes sick P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the dirty Messiah from muddy Nazareth to a mythical clean character from mythical clean Nazareth to a dirty ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ unclean life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various dirty, sometimes sick, Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    January 7, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Jason

      Here-'s so-me "Rea-lity" for y-ou: You are over-hyph-enat-ing your wo-rds.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Reality

      The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there are words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

      • Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

      Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

      Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".
      Zeb’s alphabetical listing

      o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN "awaiting moderation" filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      --–
      ar-se.....as in Car-se, etc.
      ba-stard
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      do-uche
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      fu-ck......!
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      ji-sm
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sh-it
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      -
      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
      -–
      Allowed words / not blocked at all:
      anal
      anus
      ass
      boob
      crap
      damn
      execute
      hell
      kill
      masturbation
      murder
      penis
      pubic
      raping (ra-pe is not ok)
      shat (sh-@t is not ok)
      sphincter
      testes
      testicles
      -
      The CNN / WordPress filter also filters your EMAIL address and NAME as well – so you might want to check those.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Jason

      Touche. Well played, good sir.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  19. Joe

    He mentions we probably was sick on the side of the road. Well it was probably worse than that because he had a "jewish stomach" (yes this is a common Jewish thing to say look it up) so most dairy or tons of other things made him sick as well. :-)

    January 7, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  20. gaggedinusa

    maybe that's why he didn't have a girlfriend.

    January 7, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      No, he didn't have a girlfriend because he had 12 boyfriends. They liked him 'cause he was [insert gesture of arms spread wide] hung like THIS.

      January 7, 2013 at 7:50 am |
    • Jason

      Attack:
      Troll.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Jason – in what way? Elaborate, if you would be so kind.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • Jason

      Outlandish, offensive statements, made to elicit an over-the-top reaction by others = trolling. You did this and are therefore a troll. No offense was meant. I rather enjoy a good trolling session on occasion.

      January 7, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Jason – no offense taken, my good chap. I try to sprinkle a bit of humour from time to time in these comments. And yes – sometimes one must make strong statements. I agree the "Hung like this" joke was over the top, as there is no verifiable evidence that Jesus had a 6 foot schlong. However, the inference that he might have been g-ay? Who knows? he hung out – supposedly – with 12 guys?

      January 7, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Jason

      Uh-oh. I hang out with dudes from time to time... maybe... nope, still straight.

      January 7, 2013 at 9:04 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.