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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. Yakobi

    How can he be a god when he was supposedly the son of a god? Oh, right–he was magic.
    If he wasn't filthy, he wouldn't need his feet washed constantly.

    Remember, there are no gods or goddesses, demons or devils, ghosts or goblins. Religion was invented by man to control the masses.

    January 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Kim

      A lot of those old gods got randy for human women and left little god-men around. Zeus must have had a dozen of em.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • amy

      What if you pull back all the layers of goverment to find out that the officials in high authority has a god called Lucifer and they have been brainwashing us through education, music, politics- you name it- to keep us divided and separated and from the truth.

      Isaiah 5:20 says Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkeness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

      January 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  2. For pete's sake

    What in the world is wrong with you CNN?

    January 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Kim

      If you want to quit thinking and bask in in the wonderful glow of obedience then move back to Faux News.

      January 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  3. Buster

    Life is predetermined to the extent that the outcome of our eternal living arrangement is based on whether or not we accept Christ into our heart, and live according to the word of God. We have free-will, but outcomes have predetermined results based on the condition of our heart. God knows our heart, and can clean it out for us if we call on His name, and humble ourselves in prayer, and seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways. Then, and only then will we see a sign from Heaven, and not rely on faithless requests for proof that harden our hearts and lock us out of the Kingdom of Heaven.

    January 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • End Religion

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

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

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

      January 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      "God knows our heart, and can clean it out for us if we call on His name.."

      Where did god do his cardiology residency? Does he/she/it use MIS techniques or go old school with the scalpel & rib spreader?

      January 9, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  4. Just call me Lucifer

    Professor of religion = Oxymoron. Heavy on the moron.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Lou

      Yup, it's like "Witch Doctor."

      January 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  5. Buster

    I was not there, and I did not know Apostles during their lifetimes, but the point of my post is that they were reliable, honest, and authoritative sources. They had Jewish backgrounds, so they would have followed the ten commandment in not lying. Also, I'd like to add that due to ritualistic bathing and cleansing practices, Jesus would not have been dirty, so the author of this post is dead wrong.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • End Religion

      I was not there, and I did not know The Seven Dwarves during their lifetimes, but the point of my post is that they were reliable, honest, and authoritative sources. They had Dwarvish backgrounds, so they would have followed the Dwarvish commandment in not mining others' gold. Also, I'd like to add that due to ritualistic bathing and cleansing practices, Snow White would not have been dirty, so the author of this post is dead wrong.

      January 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      This reasoning is imminently sound.

      I've never known anyone who claimed to use the ten commandments as a guiding principle to ever break any of them (fortunately, "thou shalt not diddle altar boys" is not on the list). Also, no one in recorded history has ever been shown to have lied after claiming otherwise.

      January 9, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  6. Buster

    God is real. Heaven is real.

    January 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Lou

      Fantasy is real.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      Buster: Which god?

      January 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Buster

      The true and living God. The Lord of all Heaven and Earth. The God that sits up high and looks down low to execute righteous judgement.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      Thor?

      January 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Lou

      Buster
      And this just happens to be your god? Boy, what are the odds of that happening?

      January 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  7. wesmantoddshaw

    Reblogged this on The Nonconformist.

    January 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  8. dreamer96

    Believe what you want..Just do not force your belief onto others...basic point of Freedom of Religion....

    January 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  9. anne

    Johnnie Moore your "take" is your opinion. There was no historial Jesus. It is a metaphysical conceit, mirrored on every dying-resurecting god-man savior of every other religion that came before. there is no evidence a real Jesus lived. The bible was complied hundreds of years after the supposed fact. In fact, christianity was the first mystery religion to try to pinpoint a time when their mystical mumbo jumbo occured. The bible is highy contradictory so even in there you wont find an historical record. So, no, Jesus wasn't a dirty god. He never was at all.

    January 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • pointed@u

      Look, you are just wrong, plain and simple. there was a historical Jesus, no matter what you believe about him as a religious figure. He did exist. Plain and simple, look these are quotations taken from the wikipedia article on the historicity of jesus. These are all PUBLISHED authors and people who have spent years analyzing this stuff, and even atheists and agnostics agree there was a historical figure.

      ^ a b c In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (now a secular agnostic who was formerly Evangelical) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285

      ^ Robert M. Price (a Christian atheist who denies the existence of Jesus) agrees that this perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars: Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61

      ^ a b Michael Grant (a classicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Micjhael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200

      ^ a b Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34

      ^ a b c d Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"

      ^ a b James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"

      January 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • End Religion

      Every scrap of "jesus existed evidence" has been refuted, debunked, tarred and feathered over and over. You just don't want to see it. I get it. You want to wallow in ignorance. Just don't expect anyone to respect your petulant insecurities.

      January 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  10. 2011 Eyes

    If human beings evolved from apes, where did the FIRST male and female ape come from?

    January 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Pete

      What created your God?

      January 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • Annrafnk

      This is one of the great philosophical. questions that has plagued man forever. Too deep to understand , really.

      January 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      You really should educate yourself just a little bit about the theory of evolution before posting totally ignorant questions like this. You haven't a clue, and it's really not worth the time to try to set you straight, especially since you're probably not interested anyway.

      January 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Ben

      We share a common ancestor with apes, like you share a distant ancestor with cousins many times removed. If you could line up photos of every direct ancestor you had going back millions of generations you would notice that you most closely resemble those closest to you in line but, the further distant into the past you go, your ancestors would look less like you and finally less human even. You wouldn't be able to create a child with someone from that generation because we would have drifted far enough apart to be separate species. See how it works?

      January 8, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • sam stone

      The idea is that we evolved alongside apes, from apes.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • dsmacguffin

      Actually, that's a misrepresentation of evolutionary theory. Apes and humans had a common ancestor.
      If you're curious about the evolution of pre-hominid primates, go here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution#Early_evolution_of_primates

      Here's more on evolution:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

      You may misunderstand what evolutionary theory means, so check this out:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_fact_and_theory

      Finally, this article on what scientific theory is might help you become more scientifically literate, in general:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

      January 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  11. Lauren Huff

    What I and my colleagues were wondering was whether Jesus ever got sick like humans do. Our argument was that sickness is the result of a fallen, sinful world and since sin wasn't passed down to Jesus through his father did he have the ability to get sick? Tiredness, sure, but I don't really know what to think about sickness...

    Great article by the way! It really helped me to see Jesus in a different and probably very accurate light. Our modern day depictions of Jesus are so unrealistic and idealized into what we WANT Him to look like, not what he actually did look like. I feel like I became closer to God in a different way than I ever have from reading this so thank you Johnnie Moore!

    January 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • A Teen Who Doesn't mean to be biased

      Im pretty sure Jesus could gget sick physically. after all the point of the entire article was that Jesus was a HUMAN BEING just like us, not an ancient suuperman. but he did have powers to heal. he never used them for him self. except rising from the dead. mentally sick, i dont think so, because if he could cancl out satan, im pretty sure he could cancel out any other voice in his head

      in other words,
      could he get sick?
      Physically: Probably
      Mentally: Probably Not

      January 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • End Religion

      Debating what colour underwear imaginary creatures wear makes little sense. Same for whether imaginary creatures get sick, or dirty, or poop alongside the road.

      January 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      @end

      It doesn't matter until imaginary poop gets onto someone's real shoe.

      January 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  12. LB Colorado

    The author looks a little dirty.

    January 8, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  13. Buster

    Jesus is real. He lived, died and was raised from the dead. This is an historical account provided by men who were honest, save Judas. They were Judaic Christians with a Judaic background, and would have never ever broken the commandment: Thou Shalt Not Lie.

    January 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Bet

      How do you know this? Were you there? Did you know them personally?

      January 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      As you believe this was god's will why blame Judas (or the Romans or even the Jews)?

      January 8, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Buster

      I was not there, and I did not know them during their lifetimes, but the point of my post is that they were reliable, honest, and authoritative sources. They had Jewish backgrounds, so they would have followed the ten commandment in not lying. Also, I'd like to add that due to ritualistic bathing and cleansing practices, Jesus would not have been dirty, so the author of this post is dead wrong.

      January 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Justinian

      Buster–You don't even know that the "eyewitnesses" existed.

      January 8, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • End Religion

      Buster, you may be the purest simpleton I've met here. You're like a wide-eyed child who's never witnessed anyone lie, steal or cheat. Is it possible you are older than 8, because after that pretty much the basic bright glossy view of the world begins to fade away. You learn santa is not real, meaning your parents lied. You hear stories in the news about a politician lying, about a thief stealing, about murderers killing. Kids at school are mean to each other. One of them smokes. The varnish wears off.

      You seem to be under the impression the varnish not only doesn't wear off but is permanent.

      January 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  14. RAM

    The usiasl vulgar boasting:

    "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."

    As always, claiming TOTAL virtue for yourselves and pretending all had been hellish before.

    What was wrong with Judaism? It was good enough for Einsten. And the Jews left other religions alone, unlike the Christians.

    January 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Bob

    While your article is a interesting concept it is not fully rational nor probably accurate. While the Apostles were truly a less than desirable lot, between the arguments between themselves.The fact that they had Jesus there but never believed Him till He rose from the dead always gave me hope for my salvation knowing I was not a model of holiness that Jesus taught. But with this Jesus and the apostles had some important differences that are important and somewhat disturbing that you don't take into account. One is Jesus cast out demons and healed the sick as did the Apostles. We are also commanded to do this today if we are truly His with the Holy Spirit inside of us. This is the walk with power and authority that was taught by Jesus so many times. So in knowing this and the fact that Jesus and the Apostles when they saw a lame person or disease asked what sin did this person commit or his parents commit that allowed him to be like this. This teaching is very important even today because sin is still a opening for all kinds of things. Why is it we look at the words and take into account all the things that are achievable in the flesh but dismiss the things that require a true relationship with God in the spirit to achieve.? It is so easy to take religion and make that the important thing but without the power of the Spirit to truly energize and electrify the Christan walk. This is really what the bottom line to this article. while Jesus indeed did need to wash and so did the Apostles the dirt on the outside of their body we would be denying the power of God over all life if we did indeed say that disease did have its way with them. But the real dirt was just as Jesus preached in the heart of man. While this dirt truly required a healing from as all the Apostles had some form of this and required a change of heart to heal from and sometimes supernatural change of the bondage's that caused people not to see the truth this was the real dirt. Just as Paul on the road to Emaus had a supernatural encounter with Jesus that changed his life it was very clear that this was a heart issue. He was not healed of anything except the blindness and not human blindness but spiritual blindness. When the scales fell off his eyes and he could see his healing was total and complete just as we should be today. It is kind of a shame to me that the VP of a school could be like the Pharisee that Jesus taught and saying how could you being a teacher not know these things and yet teach others. It was a case of the blind leading the blind and they both fell into the pit. We as Christians not powerless but powerful through the Lord but those who would deny its power and yet teach the Gospel are actually mislead and the Bible teaches is really the spirit of the anti christ. Just reposting it

    January 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Bob

      No one cares what you think.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • niknak

      Too long, too boring.......

      January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Bob

      The fact that they had Jesus there but never believed Him till He rose from the dead

      That isn't true, according to the bible.

      "Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16

      "And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ." Mark 8:29

      "He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God." Luke 9:20

      "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:68-69

      All four gospels contain Peter's declaration that Jesus was "the Christ" well before the crucifixion.

      You either don't know your bible very well and are making stuff up that sounds good, or you heard this somewhere and are regurgitating it, or are lying about what the bible says.

      January 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Bob

      Bet You who doesn't know is trying to discredit, you fool.
      Joh 20:25 So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
      Joh 20:26 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you."
      Joh 20:27 Then He *said to Thomas, "Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing."
      Mar 14:29 But Peter said to Him, "Even though all may fall away, yet I will not."
      Mar 14:30 And Jesus *said to him, "Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times."
      Mar 14:31 But Peter kept saying insistently, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And they all were saying the same thing also.
      Mat 17:17 And Jesus answered and said, "You unbelieving and wicked generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me."
      Mat 17:18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
      Mat 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?"
      Mat 17:20 And He *said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
      Mat 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
      So Bet care to revise your words I will take apology now thank you

      January 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • End Religion

      Bob you seem to forget the bible is a known fraud and your god does not exist.

      January 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  16. ginkirk7256

    For hal9001
    It's not truth driving the anti-Christ. The rejection of Jesus comes from one's will, not one's intellect. Everyone knows God from His magnificent creation. Our hearts know Him. Our souls know Him. Moral rebellion is at the root of atheism. Atheists choose to suppress the Truth which is Jesus. Due to sin, our minds are morally and spiritually depraved, causing us to reason incorrectly. The more sinful choices a person makes, the more his mind is corrupted. Atheists do not want God to be real; therefore they claim He is not. Simply put, those who reject Jesus are bent on living for themselves. They do not want to be held accountable for any wrongdoing on their part, or feel the shame and guilt that comes with sin. Nor do they want to live for God and others. A foundation for disbelief in God is "free love." Everybody believes what they want to believe, no matter the truth.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      Sin does not exist. Go ahead and play with yourself. It feels good!

      January 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
  17. tae

    People are missing the beautiful message Christ preached....the forgiveness of sin for all humanity once and for all.

    To invest as much time as the author did on describing how dirty Jesus was shows me that he missing the main point of the scripture. He seeks to boast of his own opinions to the world by publishing something irrelavant while missing the main point.

    January 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • sam stone

      what makes you think that man is sinful?

      January 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • ME II

      People are missing the horrible message Christ preached....that humanity needs to be forgiven for things which they had no control over.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      anyone care to answer that?

      January 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Dude

      You are missing the truly horrible nature of your god. I suggest you read the bible.

      January 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
  18. Buster

    @Robert Brown

    Is the letter you posted from Pilate to Tiberius authentic? If so, that would be extra Biblical historical proof of Christ. To my knowledge there was no historical proof of Pilate until an inscription of his name was found at Cesearea.

    January 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      The letter is a forgery.

      January 8, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  19. meifumado

    Always makes me crack up when i read something by a " Professor of religion"

    What a joke, this man has wasted his life studying and teaching fairy tales and myths

    January 8, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      hey, it's a living

      January 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Yeah, somebody's paying him!

      January 8, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  20. Reality

    Putting the kibosh/ six feet of dirt on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    (only for the new members of this blog-–>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    January 8, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • We are Jesus

      Why don't you check out Bethel church in Redding, CA and many others around the nation and the world to see the Jesus power in us as a Christian. Why don't you ask Jesus to tell you how much He loves you for who you are and you will know His loves and His power for everyone. Blessings to you.

      January 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Why Not?

      WRJ
      why not? Because then they wourld have to allow Jesus Christ to clean them up. Some just like to stay dirty.
      But of course, in some churhes you don't have to let Christ clean you up.... ... you just join them, staying as you was before and keep going....

      January 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Some added details as requested:

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

      The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • chacha vaughn

      finally........RATIONAL THOUGHT

      January 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Who is Jesus Christ?

      He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was thirty, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city.

      He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial.

      He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He owned on earth: His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and placed in a borrowed grave.

      Twenty centuries have come and gone, yet today He is the light that lights the hearts of the human race, the adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth's inhabitants.
      All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that were ever assembled and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the rulers that ever reigned – combined – have not affected the life of mankind upon this earth so profoundly as that One Solitary Life, Jesus Christ, the Lord of life, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, the King and ruler of all creation, whose Kingdom shall have no end.
      Maranatha! even so come Lord Jesus!

      January 8, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bob

      "yet today He is the light that lights the hearts of the human race, the adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth's inhabitants."

      Only 30% of people on this planet believe in your God, so your statement is false.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bet

      @ Who is Jesus Christ

      Nice cut and paste job, with no citation. The author of this is unknown, but you should have said that. Not even a lousy quotation mark.

      Posting someone else's work as your own is stealing, and stealing is one of the Big Ten Sins. Better get on your knees and grovel, or you're going to hell!

      January 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Who is Jesus Christ?

      Why don't you worry about the meaning of the message posted instead of petty issues those who want to divert the attention of real meaning of what was said like to do!? I never said it is my own work, and whether is mine or someone else's, it is all the same because even the whole Creation testifies of the truth of its message, and your assertion is drowned out by the witness of it. I am no more then a voice that joins with multi-tude of others, as well as the one of my brother or sister who wrote it, understanding the same thing that I do. But sadly you don't and resort to foolish pettiness! JNow think, how comendable is that ?!

      Prism

      January 9, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • a reasonable atheist

      "The whole creation testifies.."

      Really? Was adam lanza testifying to god's glory as he murdered children in Newton?

      Do you take a dump for Jesus every time you have a BM? "PTL! *plunk* "PTL!, PTL!"

      January 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.