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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 • My Take

soundoff (7,741 Responses)
  1. abelr3142

    Great article, Johnnie!

    January 7, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • MagicPanties

      Yes, great poop!

      January 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
  2. JCMars

    Great! Now we are going to have to fund an archeological expedition to seach for holy poop between Capernaum and Jerusalem. Just watch for some university to ask for a grant. Then they make the money off selling the relics.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • John P. Tarver

      Want to buy some poop?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • MagicPanties

      Yes please.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  3. John P. Tarver

    I have identical twin grandsons, born December 7, at the new moon, 2 years ago, with Mercury retrograde for the next 30 days. Perhaps there is something to Genesis 1:14. No breech like Tamar either.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • snowboarder

      i suppose astrology is equal to religion.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • I AM

      Wait a minute here. You believe in astrology and god ? Is there a contradiction there ?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • John P. Tarver

      Astrology is based in the notion that the universe revolves around the Earth, a notion rejected by Christians centuries ago. However, Jewish and Islamic spiritualism is still based in the Capernican model.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Doubleyou Tee Ef!

      Are you being sarcastic or do you think that the book of Genesis was written to predict your grandsons birth? If it's the latter than you need +/- meds sir.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Bet

      Astrology is based in the notion that the universe revolves around the Earth, a notion rejected by Christians centuries ago.

      Galileo would probably disagree about that "centuries ago" part. Pope John Paul II only admitted that the church could have handled that one better in 1992.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • amazing...

      How many other "believers" had twins that same day where there were complications, or one died, or maybe the mother died? I'd wager quite a few given the average daily birthrate / infant mortality rate across the world. But in order to reinforce your bias you've gotta count the "hits" and disregard the "misses," right? Coincidences happen because so many things happen, and enough things are happening in the universe that you can find an association for just about anything that happens in your life. This does not mean that it was "destined" or "ordained" or "blessed." It means something happened and it happened to you this time.

      January 7, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  4. snowboarder

    at the very best, jesus was a philosopher who's life was grossly embellished by his followers after his death. a tale grown taller with the retelling.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  5. JC

    There is more historical evidence for Santa Claus, The Loch Ness Monster, Unicorns, and Alien Visitors, than there is of Jesus's existence.

    That's because there is no historical evidence of Jesus's existence.

    If he did exist, he was just a man and is very very dead.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      o
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

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

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

      January 7, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Russ

      Read Richard Bauckham's "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" for a thorough statement of the evidence.

      Or even just read the introduction to Bart Ehrman's (a self-proclaimed "agnostic with atheistic tendencies") new book "Did Jesus Exist?" (here posted online for free...)
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/30/the-historical-evidence-of-the-existence-of-jesus-of-nazareth/

      January 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • JC

      Reality

      Wow that's a lot of fluff.

      Where's the historical evidence?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Reality

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

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

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

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

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

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

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request- some are listed in the previous commentary)

      January 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • JC

      Reality

      Everything you've posted has been completely debunked.

      If you were looking for the truth, for anything other than confirmation of your beliefs, you would find it.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • labrat

      You need to check your data a bit better. Whether you believe Jesus claims or not, there's plenty of evidence for his existence starting with Josepheus. There are copies and pieces of copies of the Gospels dating back to within the life times of many people who witnessed the events who could have easily have said no way, but didn't. Conversely the earliest writings of Homer date to some 500 years after he lived and he is accepted as fact. So Jesus did exist. What you do with that information is up to you.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Reality

      JC,

      As recommended, please read the Ehrmann book. If you don't want to buy it, I am sure your local libray can get you a copy for perusal.

      Some added references:

      10.The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf

      January 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

      January 7, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      January 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

    If you were talking about the Profit (with this useless drivel), you your family would be dead. Another silly American with too much time on their hands.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • sam

      Sure, Americans love to talk about profit. Were you referencing PROPHET, fake idiot wannabe muslim?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • truth will out

      precisely why your religion is a primal, violent one that wishes i'll will on anyone who expresses his free will contrary to your beliefs. this is why followers of islam my be controlled and subdued like the wild animal heathens they are

      January 7, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  7. Yuulmir Steelblade of the Steelblade Clan

    He was just like any other person at first sight, but you know he was God.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • psych ward staff

      who are you talking about, Joe Pesci?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  8. DavidInNC

    All Christians believe that Jesus was the son of GOD, but Jesus being GOD is nonsense. When asked if He was GOD, He asked who do you believe I am, and was told the Son of GOD. Jesus did not correct this answer. Most of the evidence in the Bible supports this. Jesus was a human being so of course he had human needs. This is nothing new. Those who have faith know GOD and don't have to offer prove. GOD has answered my prayers many times and has helped me through hard times.This is reality!!!

    January 7, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Russ

      already posted this... assuming you actually care about the biblical accounts:
      http://carm.org/bible-verses-show-jesus-divine

      January 7, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Bet

      @ Russ

      You can't prove the bible by quoting the bible. It doesn't work that way.

      That's like saying Scarlett O'Hara was a real person because in "Gone With the Wind" it says "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were."

      January 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • coinrat2

      Amen- finally someone who understands God. It is not the physical being that made God, but the willing to have faith. Their is only one God. And through him our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ you can be accepted into the kingdom. But I like many others of true faith do not need to see proof or a person to believe. Just call upon the lord in your most troubled times with a pure heart and you will find the answer.

      January 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Bet: the discussion here was not "proving the Bible," but the question of what the Bible teaches about Jesus. and – as i said *above* – all of that is assuming you care to engage the only eyewitness accounts we have.

      January 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  9. kd

    wow. All this commentary (including mine) on a myth.

    I saw an exhibit at my city's natural history museum on Pompeii. People might be shocked at just how nice and clean so many people actually were. One of the exhibits was of a cleaners (for clothes). A big factory, actually (and this real world predates the myth of Jesus). The cleaning was done in giant shallow pools, filled with water and clay. The clay removed the grease and grime and then the clothes were rinsed again to remove the clay. But what about making them bright and brilliant looking. There was no bleach. But there was a high alkaline substance – urine. Very big urns were on the side of the roads that people could 'go' in and then the cleaners would pick them up when full and pour the urine in another big, shallow pool. The after-clay cleaned clothes would be put in, the employees would walk on them in the urine, then the clothes would be rinsed again and hung up to air-dry. Worked as well as today's bleach.

    So maybe your mythical Jesus wasn't so dirty after all. Funny thing about studying actually researched history – it blows giant holes in all this wacky theological nonsense.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  10. dwight

    In between all of the teachings Jesus had to eat, sleep and do all of the other things that we do on a day-to-day basis.
    And to the "New Athiest" – As opposed to many things in this world the Bible makes very good sense. God didn't set up Adam, but allowed Adam to make choices on his own and this isn't held against everyone else in that we all make choices just like Adam did.
    The Bible is very clear and accurate. Archaeologist have been using the Bible to find ancient lost and forgotten locations for years and the only contradictions are how we fail to understand the complexities of people.
    The old school RCC did not change the versions, but rather made a Catholic version from the writings of the other versions. There are many hundreds of papyrus, complete and partials that have very little change to them.
    Christianity should not be judged on the basis of the Roman Catholic, as it was only an off shoot of the original. The Bible was never kept secret except by man who wanted to control it, otherwise the OT was read in the synagogues daily and the NT writings were circulated widely resulting in those many copies and pieces.
    There is no such writing that has such a striaght narrative over the space of many thousands of years, except the Bible. The Book of Morman and the Koran is a qualified mess, going off in many directions and having no unified theme.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • choices

      Dwight “God didn't set up Adam, but allowed Adam to make choices on his own”
      That’s like leaving a 2 year old with a bowl of razor blades and then saying he chose to make a bloody mess of himself

      January 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'God didn't set up Adam, but allowed Adam to make choices on his own and this isn't held against everyone else in that we all make choices just like Adam did.'

      dont be silly, of course he did, what other purpose would there be for the tree?

      January 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  11. Charles Buzbee

    And your point is? Only on CNN.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Russ

      "Whatever wasn't assumed, wasn't healed." – Gregory of Nazianzus
      If Jesus wasn't fully human (dirty), he doesn't fully heal our brokenness.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  12. New Athiest

    Jesus was not poor. His father had a valuable trde – Carpenter.
    Mary had a mule to ride when she was pregnant. That was a sign of wealth at that time.
    We all know Jesus associated with prost.itutes. The upper class little boy could afford them.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • nutthb

      Please show evidence than Mary had a mule to ride. That is never mentioned in the Bible, and there is no other historical evidence of their trip from Nazereth to Bethlehem.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  13. dorkdoodle

    Jesus was a rabbi that did not wipe his azz except on Mondays! Consequently, he stank of shytt!

    January 7, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  14. Marco

    How about, if the prophet Daniel is to be believed (nothing physically out of the ordinary about Christ), that Jesus was five and a half feet tall, black beard,hair and dark skin/eyes - a Palestinian Jew! Not that six foot tall, light brown haired, blue-eyed, pale as an English lord image that seems to be everywhere. Talk about high jacking the image!

    January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • John P. Tarver

      The prophesy of Christ saiys the Redeemer will be half Ephraimite, black as coal. The author is perhaps using the word "dirty" to mean "black". Be careful how you treat the Ephraimite, for they have reconsiliation to God and will be the majority of Jews in God's house.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  15. Grammar Gal

    "He probably smelled badly...." AAAAGGGHHHH!!!
    The correct word is "bad." He "smelled bad." To "smell badly" is to, literally, not smell well with one's nose. It's the same as "feel badly" vs. "feel bad." If one "feels badly," something is wrong with their senses. If they "feel bad," they are ill, or remorseful, or whatever. PLEASE, CNN, HIRE SOME DECENT COPY EDITORS SO YOUR "WRITERS" DON'T LOOK LIKE IDIOTS.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Russ

      @ Grammar Gal: so you read an article about a man who is either the Savior of the all existence or the worst deception in all of history... and your concern is using adverbs properly?

      January 7, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • sam

      What?? Badly's an adverb. Who taught you grammar? Go, vanish.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Which God?

      @ Russ. Grammar: The difference between knowing your schitt and knowing you're schitt.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Bet

      @ Russ

      Using poor grammar as a literary device is fine. In research, journalism, and even in an opinion piece, grammar, spelling and sentence structure does count.

      If the author didn't bother to learn third grade grammar skills, why should anyone take his "higher learning" (and I used that term very loosely) seriously?

      January 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Bet:
      1) language (& thus grammar) is in flux. otherwise "oftener & oftenest" (which were once clearly wrong) would not be accepted as legitimate in modern English textbooks.

      2) appropriate adverbial forms are definitely higher than third grade, and – more pointedly – the author's intent is in no way made unclear here by mistaken grammar. or do you think all these responses were because he was unclear on his claims? which drives at the main point again...

      3) grammar gal read an article discussing a topic of immense weight (whether as truth or a horrible delusion), and she comes away wanting to rant and rave about adverbs. there's plenty to rant & rave about on the belief blog. grammar objections are RARELY germane or substantive. it's either naive or purposefully avoiding the point.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I’m usually annoyed by the grammar police on comments. Really, who cares whether someone posting a comment makes a typo? I’d rather read people’s ideas than have them waste time checking grammar and spelling.
      But in the case of something published even as a blog on CNN I do think it’s fair to call them on it. Maybe not so emotionally (it is just an evolving cultural form as Russ points out), but the article should stick to standard grammar as long as it a) provides a difference in meaning and b) is still an important aspect to model for students whose grades depend on it. I’m a little surprised that a grammar policewoman would write in all caps and call people idiots though…kind of loses credibility there.

      January 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  16. OpposingView

    Most atheists were probably raised by their mommies and not their daddies. Because if they had been raised by their daddies they would have learned some respect (particularly, to have respect for God). Their daddy would have gone up side their head if they had mouthed off or said the wrong thing back to him. Whereas, their mommy only tolerated it. And that's the problem in the world today, too many people have been raised by their mommies and feel they can say anything at all about God, Jesus, or anyone else, and feel it's all okay and people should tolerate it. Some people even go so far as cursing and swearing when talk about others. Clearly such people must have been raised by their mommies, because they have no concept of what respect is. But one thing is clear, whoever it was that raised them, they clearly wasn't raised right…

    Matthew 12:26 – But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • hal 9001

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

      January 7, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • snowboarder

      opposing, do you say these things to make yourself feel better? how childish.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Which God?

      @ Opposing. You are deluded, and your goD is a sham, just like you. Your goD is absolutely meaningless, and your life would be the same if you didn't have the crutch of belief. Your life must have been miserable to begin with, and "finding jeebus saved you." Sure. All it says about you is that you are a weak-willed person who cannot, will not think for himself. Sad, pathetic little man.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • mdwesterngrl

      I am atheist and I was raised by two parents in a very conservative religious household. My father was a strong man by your standards. Your little bw world has been shattered. Think.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      so oppossingview is either a troll or hes a believer who can look forward to a nice warm afterlife for spouting such hatred.
      either way he is a person to be pitied.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Bet

      I was also raised in a very conservative religious home by a strong man and a strong woman. I did get hit up the side of the head, and often, by my parents and parochial school teachers.

      Explain why you think it's okay for a nun to hit, shame and tell a five year old that she is going to hell for asking why god doesn't let unbaptized babies into heaven? That's what happened to me.

      That nun is the one who first planted the seeds of doubt in me more than fifty years ago, although I couldn't have expressed it at the time. It took several more decades of bible study and church attendance to bear fruit, but now, I'm blissfully guilt and god free. I suppose I should thank her, but she's probably dead.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  17. frank

    It must have been nice to be Jesus who could think for a moment after a good dump and, just by his own divine thought, be instantly "Purell"ed.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • UncleBenny

      That would save a lot of money on toilet paper.

      January 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  18. Larry

    The author might not be far from the truth concerning the humanity of Christ. He came to this earth as the seed of Abraham. This physical earth was created for humans to have dominion and since Adam lost it to devil, another man (a seed of the human race) had to regain this dominion for us. Jesus as such emptied Himself of His glory and took on Him the form of a servant and lived the everyday life of the people of those times. He got tired, went to the bathroom and was hungry just like us. He took the battle to the devil and defeated him and has brought us back the Blessing. While Jesus was on earth, He performed His miracles not with divine power but through the Blessing conferred on Abraham. If He did everything as God, He could not be our example.
    God did not create the physical earth out of nothing. He took spiritual substance and created the material world – a unique form of His glory. I still do not get how the evolutionary process can come out with creative power. Take the human eye for example. If the eye was created over a lengthy period, where was it kept and what was its purpose during its developmental stages? Our environment is not that friendly to guide the process of evolution. If I were to abandon a week old baby in the wild, what are its chances of survival? I would be considered a lunatic to claim the watch on my hand was created by the process of evolution. My hand is however more complex than the watch but “some people” think it is unscientific to claim the hand was created. Let’s try to use some of the intelligence God has given us. The theory of evolution requires more faith than creationism. Pseudo science and not real science disapproves the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Carbon dating can’t be used to disapprove creationism. Remember folks that sudden creation has age embedded in it. If you stood before Adam or the mountains a minute after they were created, how old were you going to determine they were? May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Bless us with wisdom.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Larry", but "Christ", "Abraham", "Adam", "God", "He", "Isaac", "Jacob", "the Father", "Lord", and "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" were all elements of mythology, therefore nothing can be "Bless" us and 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 11:38 am |
    • BU2B

      By your logic, your god requires a creator. And that creator then requires one as well. Your logic only leads in circles.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • UncleBenny

      It's turtles all the way down.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • UncleBenny

      "Remember folks that sudden creation has age embedded in it."

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      Oh, man, you're too much! That's got to be a joke. No one could possibly be that ignorant.

      Could they?

      January 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • amazing...

      ad hoc explanations, straw man arguments, arguments from incredulity, misrepresenting definitions, this is pretty much a textbook example of how not to debate...

      January 7, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  19. palintwit

    1969 brought us Woodstock. 2013 will bring us Teabagstock, a gathering of the "faithful". Every bagger, birther and southern toothless republican will be there.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • John P. Tarver

      All y'all gays have a nie day putting ball sacks in your mouths.

      January 7, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  20. Buster

    I'm sure Jesus was literally cleaner than most Americans (especially pet owners) due to the ritualistic bathing, etc... However, Jesus always emphasizes outward versus inward defilement. He stated that it's not what you put into your mouth that causes defilement, but rather what come out. One example is cleaning the outside of a cup, and leaving the inside dirty. We defile ourselves with our outward expression of words and behaviors, and now that we eat, or if we engage is ritualistic cleansing to remove dirt from our skin.

    January 7, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Akira

      We defile ourselves with our outward expression of words and behaviors, and now that we eat, or if we engage is ritualistic cleansing to remove dirt from our skin.

      I'm sorry, but what??

      January 7, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • sam

      What the hell is this....

      January 7, 2013 at 11:39 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.