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February 27th, 2013
11:35 AM ET

Fill in the blank: Jesus is____

(CNN)– Justin Bieber's pastor, Judah Smith, says his book 'Jesus Is" challenges people to have a discussion about who Jesus was.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (2,732 Responses)
  1. Ahappyfarmer

    LORD

    February 28, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Ahappyfarmer

      ...OF THE DANCE

      February 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  2. Sam Yaza

    a narcissist who believed he was a god.

    February 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  3. Austin

    Some kid threw a roll of tp and racked me as I was taking a nap. I looked up in pain as a group of guys were laughing at me, and I said to myself, I wonder I a y of them has "the light in their eye".
    Then I stopped myself and decided not to judge or be angry. The next morning,one of those kids came up to me and said
    "I had this dream I was going around to see who had "a special " light in their eye to see who was possessed."

    This is an example of a spiritual influence in ones mind. I was tempted with this thought as an angry reaction, the thought was later transcribed on the other kids dream, and further more God willed the kid to tell me about the dream, completing a 3 part event ofo sovereign, genius spiritual revelation.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Science

      looney toones !!!!!

      February 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • sam

      Austin. Every time you post this nonsense, the devil gets access to your house through your computer. You should unplug everything and salt all your doors and windows, and then make yourself a hat from aluminum foil.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Austin

      Ya that was 1 of 6 in 3 Months.

      He is risen.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • James

      Again you are trying to twist reality to fit your definitions of a spiritual world. The kid saw you, the light hit your eye and the kid noticed. He then went to sleep and his brain processed the day, which we interpret as dreams. Doesn't mean it's proof of a spiritual world or a god.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      I suspect that this is an example of the delusion in your own mind

      February 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Carl

      " I was tempted with this thought as an angry reaction, the thought was later transcribed on the other kids dream, and further more God willed the kid to tell me about the dream, completing a 3 part event ofo sovereign, genius spiritual revelation."

      Fanciful dreams are methods of compensation for events that occur in our waking lives and dreams can also reflect underdeveloped parts of your personality. The other thing about dreams it is your brains way of trying to establish relevance as an effort to cope with your inner turmoil. Most dreams incorporate recent events and occurrences we've experienced. Some scientists also propose that while we sleep, our brains continue to process issues of concern in our waking lives and constantly attempt to come up with answers and solutions.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      That is, if this claim isnt just a bold faced lie.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • sam

      Nutty nutcake.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Austin

      No the light was simply in my thoughts as a reference to spiritual light, Christ as the light of the world. The eye is the lamp of the body, if your eye is good your body will be full of light. But if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.

      The light in the eye was my thoughts, and then his dream. That is a spiritual manifestation.

      Spirits are alive, angels are near

      He is risen.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Science

      Austin are you Chad's evil twin ?

      February 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • sam

      The meds aren't for filling shelf space, Austin, you need to actually take them.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Austin

      Carl, I had plenty of dreams to support what I am talking about. This case, was the reverse scenario, where it was someone else's dream that related to my inner thought. This is another scenario, and important consideration as to the spiritual ability angels and demons, or the Holy Spirits ministry.

      The holy spirit is a sanctifying spirit that bears the truth of Gods word in a persons heart mind or soul

      February 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Karen

      " This case, was the reverse scenario, where it was someone else's dream that related to my inner thought."

      Coincidences and connections occur all the time in our daily lives for all of us, but it doesn't mean it's a god.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Karen

      " This is another scenario, and important consideration as to the spiritual ability angels and demons, or the Holy Spirits ministry."

      There are billions of people across the planet. How many people, right now, are thinking about old friends? Most of them will not have that friend call or visit in the next day or so, but a couple of them will. We only hear about a few who fall into this latter category and it seems amazing to us. It certainly seems amazing to them, but their experience is not statistically unexpected and their subjective perception of events does not match reality.

      Selective memory also plays an important role in how people perceive these coincidences, you want to believe that these events have some supernatural or paranormal cause, it is also true that it occurs much more often that such matches fail. People just don’t remember them. The more normal and expected an event is, the less likely it is to be remembered. The more odd and unexpected it is, the more likely it is to be remembered. It still doesn't mean it's proof of a god.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Austin

      Karen. It does mean there is a God when it's a demonic message, or thoughts that the other kid had no biblical background or concepts to produce. It happened 6 times in four months, by grace. It says in acts in the last days that your sons shall dream dreams and prophecy. There will be a pouring out of the spirit.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Karen

      " It says in acts in the last days that your sons shall dream dreams and prophecy. There will be a pouring out of the spirit."

      LOL! Another nut thinking we are in the last days again. Do you know how many Christians before you have made these same unfounded claims century after century, and it's still not true.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Pete

      "thoughts that the other kid had no biblical background or concepts to produce"

      More lies from the xtians – 210!

      February 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Austin

      Everyone in the bible who did have proof, still fell away and sinned. Proof is never enough to sustain your faith because of your insanely wicked curse. Unbelief, is your hobby because your fall is complete in its evil course. The proof would not fix you, only one dependent daily on Gods mercy and grace is acceptable. Proof is unnecessary.

      Faith is the concept, desperation for Gods communion given to you upon need and request, not knowledge or merit. This is the Way God has given to us as communion with truth. Dependence on him. You don't earn it, He gives it to the humble and needy. Pride is not good

      February 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      You truly are a pathetic, hateful, bigoted little shit.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Pete

      "Pride is not good"

      That's why you're on here blogging your stupidity and reacting to others posts because you're an ego maniac full of pride. LOL!

      February 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      "It does mean there is a God when it's a demonic message."

      And you know it was a demonic message how? How do you diferentiate a demonic message from a run of the mill dream/nightmare or a psychotic break?

      February 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Austin

      Because I immediately discerned what it was as there was a demonic voice, an inverted body in the dream, and a bloody cat. It could not possibly be more obvious for a demonic dream.

      You all are in denial.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Karen

      "Because I immediately discerned what it was as there was a demonic voice, an inverted body in the dream, and a bloody cat. It could not possibly be more obvious for a demonic dream. "

      No, it's not it means that you have internal turmoil going on that you don't want to deal with in your real life. It has nothing to do with gods or spirits. Seek professional help for your denial.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • .

      Austin = lol?

      February 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Austin

      Devotion to Freud, sigmond, if excessive is worship.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • .

      "Austin" who degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      February 28, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • nope

      Austin = Live4Him

      February 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • LOL!

      "No, it's not it means that you have internal turmoil going on that you don't want to deal with in your real life. It has nothing to do with gods or spirits. Seek professional help for your denial."

      He's gay and can't come out of the closet.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Austin is presenting classic symptoms of schizophrenia.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Austin

      No this involves dreams , not schytzo....but you sound smart enough to even write classic before schytzo so you should have been smart enough to know what it is.

      Sin is a disease of the flesh, evil goesmbeyondmthemflesh.

      February 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • There are some who call me . . . Tim?

      We are sart enough to spell "schizo" correctly.

      February 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      Austin doesn't it concern you that dead cats make your penis arise?

      February 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  4. NGB4M

    A blue eyed European.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  5. NGB4M

    But I have to cut my hair.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • End Religion

      Which one?

      February 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  6. NGB4M

    The drummer for Fog Hat.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Doobs

      LOL!

      February 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  7. NGB4M

    Dead. Somewhere in outer space. The main character in a haphazard collection of writings from 2000 years ago. A figment of people's imaginations. A Jew, who said he came to save his fellow Jews but failed, only to have a different faith started In his name. A magician. The reason people spend a lot of money in December. Legend. Possibly a composite of any number of messiahs from the first century C.E. A symbol of love, sacrifice and redemption which is compromised by all the accompanying nastiness. The reason elephants are being slaughtered by the thousands. Weeping. Confused. A defender of slavery. A misogynist.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  8. Reality

    Jesus Is?? No, Jesus WAS possibly mentally unbalanced as noted below:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    February 28, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Austin

      I have witnessed demonic activity, and genius ministering angelic message or the Holy Spirit. I have experienced it. I have personal data. Resurrection power is alive, and the reason your soul exists, so you might experience the glory of beingborn twice, never dying. And going from this corruption into a glorified presence with God .

      This is truly a life of spiritual war, between truth and the lies of this fallen earth. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ.

      He is risen, Prepare ye, the Way of the Lord!

      February 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      @Austin
      I have witnessed demonic activity, and genius ministering angelic message or the Holy Spirit.

      No you didn’t!

      February 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Nope

      No Austin, it's all in your head, you should seek professional help for your delusional mind.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Austin: "Nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else desire power. For within these rings was bound the strength and the will to govern over each race. But they were all of them deceived............."

      February 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • James

      " I have experienced it."

      Our 'minds', 'souls', 'spirit' and consciousness are all physical in nature. Thousands of years of research have shown that our brains comprise and produce our true selves. Souls and spirits do not exist. Our bodies run themselves. We know from cases of brain damage and the effects of psychoactive drugs, that our experiences are caused by physical chemistry acting on our physical neurones in our brains. Our innermost self is our biochemical self.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Which God?

      @ Reality. No it wasn't P,P, M, L. It was P,P & M: Peter, Paul and Mary, singing Puff the Magic Jeebus.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Austin

      There were 5 dreams that were dreams about things in real life, which happened after the dream. These happened during the few months that I had dreams about scripture before I read it, or dreams that were proverbs about struggles I was praying about.

      The dreams that were followed up by real life confirmation, involve fore knowledge of things outside my mind. You would be lacking faith to simply call it premonition. The fact is, only God can reveal the future unless an omen was revealed to the devil. The devil knows your plans, and could communicate them in someone else's mind, he knows your thoughts. He also knows the scripture.

      I didn't happen once , it happened 3 nights in a row, and 6-8 times in about 3 months. I was all ready writing my dreams down, and I have personal confirmation that it isn't just in my head.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Doobs

      Good gravy, don't get him started on diseased kittens and dead children again.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Austin

      Kitten? The demonic singing, inverted vision of the bloody cat, And then waking up to a dead cat outside.

      Is that not obvious ? Don't insist on being a fool. That's a bad bad choice

      February 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • James

      "Kitten? The demonic singing, inverted vision of the bloody cat, And then waking up to a dead cat outside. "

      There are coincidences all the time, it's not proof there was a god or spirit. You could have heard the cat dying outside while you were sleeping, which is why you felt you dreamed about it.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Austin

      James, it was a demonic dream, inverted body, bloody cat. The highway is 550feet from my house, with walls, insulation, grass trees wind......it was a message buddy.

      This is real.

      He is risen.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Austin
      The things you describe are symptoms of a brain tumor....better go get a CAT scan done.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Karen

      ".it was a message buddy. "

      It's a message that you are not a fully mature person, who's dealing with some sort of serious inner turmoil that you are not willing to face. Seek professional help.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Austin

      Waking up at 2 in the morning and writing down a dream before you forget it? That's a brain tumor? Or data?

      February 28, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • sam

      It's the part where you think the dream has big deep meaning. Maybe take a holy water enema and clear out the end you keep speaking from.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I have witnessed demonic activity." No, you haven't. You have never seen a demon and you haven't witnessed any "activity" by one because demons are nonexistent.

      Morons, however, are plentiful. Thanks for showing you are among the ranks of those.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Austin
      If you think something from a dream is data, then you likely do have a brain tumor.

      February 28, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  9. Which God?

    jesus is: A joke. And xtians fell for it, hook, line and sinker. The so-called fisher of men hooked a bunch of... wait for it...blowfish! So, blow hard, fish, your savior is coming.

    February 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • Holy Mackerel

      Heh. Yeah, and here alone we have Shad, Robert Brown Trout, LiveBait4Him, Austingray, John Dory Fish, etc!

      February 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Austin

      What about people like me with personal experiences with spirituality that confirms the presence of God. And evil. If I were you I would simply say I don't believe rather than antagonize the Lord God. But I was also that guy who did as you say, and was saved by grace. Through the faith that I begged for. Knew I was dying from sin and I cried out for help and it was heard. Jehovah Shammah , the Lord is There.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Which God?

      Austin, you need professional help. I cannot buy you story. It doesn't ring true. Maybe you think so, but god didn't do a thing for you, or anyone else. He never stops war, never helps children in dire need, never helps the maimed. But, he did help YOU. Why just you? Delusional thinking. As for antogonizing god, I do it all the time. I'm healthy, have a good job, good family and friends. I was in the rice paddies, and never sought your god to get me out of trouble, yet my comrades died calling out to be saved. Where was your fukking god then? Grow up, lose the delusion that you are special. You are not. You put your pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Nope

      Austin you are only taking things in your life and applying it to a god, it doesn't meant it's real. There is no proof of a god and it's all in your head. There are people walking around that believe they've been abducted by aliens, that they are Elvis, that they are Christ, it doesn't mean it's real or fact.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • James

      "What about people like me with personal experiences with spirituality that confirms the presence of God. "

      Physical feelings, our emotions are deeply tied to biochemistry and neurology. Neurological causes (especially in the limbic system) precede emotions, and that cognitive events precede conscious awareness of feelings and emotions. This means that our qualia and fundamental experience of life results from our brain chemistry.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Austin

      That is an assumption James. Bit true chemically. However explain the chemistry of the soul and spirit.

      It isn't a physical topic. Either is evil . Nor angelic ministry, or the HolynSpirit. I am a biochem major.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Austin

      Was a biochem major.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • James

      "Was a biochem major."

      Where being the word there.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Was a biochem major." For how long? Where? Did you earn a degree? Was it an undergrad degree? From an accredited university?

      February 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Austin

      Of course. You know what is odd is people insisting on a coincidence when the mundane coincidences in life are obvious. But not spiritually charged per visions of things that transpire. That is not o coincidence. A spiritual vision is way different because the spirit reveals itself, or a dream is a for thought of tomorrows scripture?

      Unbelief is a stubborn hobby . It goes right along with the crucifixion, enmity towards God, hatred of God.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • I wonder

      Austin,

      If this "God" is real, why would 'he' send such a nutty representative as you? Frankly, if there is even a chance that 'he' exists, the idea becomes more and more far-fetched with each one of your outrageous posts.

      February 28, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Austin

      Oh ya God exists but not evil or spirits........right? Invent a religion.a

      February 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  10. AtheistSteve

    Jesus is a gross exageration.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Austin

      Spirits are real. You have a soul

      February 28, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Spirits are make believe and what makes you think you have a soul? That's an extrsordinsry claim to make without evidence. What exactly is a sou? How does one recognize it? If your only answer is that the Bible tells you so then we are done talking.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Oh dear, it seems little Austin failed science 101...silly child, imaginary friends are for kids.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • sam stone

      You have a soul? What makes you think this?

      February 28, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Father Malachy

      Proof of spiritual powers. I have personal data and proof. Take me at my word I am not lying I put it on my life.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  11. ME II

    @Chad,
    (In response to a posting on page 5)

    ME II: "in most cases hearsay about what happened"
    Chad: "Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, James, Jude, all eye witnesses"

    I am not a Biblical scholar, but Wiki, at least, seems to indicate some debate yet on NT authorship, not to mention the OT.
    "Some scholars today maintain[30] the traditional claim that Luke the Evangelist, an associate of St. Paul who was probably not an eyewitness to Jesus' ministry, wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles.[29] Scholars are also divided on the traditional claim that Mark the Evangelist, an associate of St. Peter who might have been an eyewitness to Jesus' ministry, wrote the Gospel of Mark.[31] Scholars are more divided over the traditional claim that Matthew the Apostle wrote the Gospel of Matthew[32][33] and that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John.[34][35][36] Opinion, however, is widely divided on this issue and there is no widespread consensus"

    Paul, of course, didn't witness anything except his own supposed vision(s).
    James and Jude I'm am less familiear with.

    Also, the part you didn't quote is still valid, I think, "Historical evidence, or at least what we have of the timeframe in question, is only evidence of what someone reported as happening,... it is not definitive evidence that it actually happened."

    =====
    ME II: "timing and order of "creation", worldwide flood, Joshua's stopped sun, the birth year of Jesus, etc."
    Chad: "only thing I am aware of in Genesis potentially being out of order that I can recall is the flowing plants.. Flood, we've been thru before, we dont know when it was, nor do we know how widespread it was. Stopped sun could simply be light for 24 hours straight, birth year of Jesus?? Not sure what you are talking about there

    As has been said before about Genesis; birds (or flying creatures) before land animals, flowering plants before land animals, morning and evening before the sun and moon, earth and the universe being "created" at the same time, are all inconsistent with what the evidence tells us.
    This seems pretty clear on how widespread the flood was, "...all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered."(gen 7:19). As to when, there is no evidence that supports a world wide flood in the geologic record and it would be apparent with such a major catastrophe.
    "The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day." (Joshua 10:13) Or is the Bible just wrong about the "sun" part?
    As has been said many times before, two gospels disagree on the timing of Jesus' birth, one places it in the "in the days of Herod the king", I think, and the other serveral years later, when "Quirinius was governor of Syria," which historically is impossible for both to be true.

    ========
    ME II: "The fossil record fully supports the modern Theory of Evolution and has over 100 years of research and evidence to support it. If you want to think that a deity 'orchestrated' certain things, then fine, but the theory of evolution does not require it."
    Chad: "there is simply no credible naturalistic theory on the table that supports stasis and rapid change. Cladogenesis gets no research at all that I can see, and there isnt anything else on the table.
    So, theistic evolution is the only credible explanation of the fossil record.
    I suspect you kept your response general, just referring to "evolution" because you know precisely that..

    Sure, there is a "naturalisic" explanation, the modern Theory of Evolution.
    Google Scholar returns ~9000 hits from a search on "Cladogenesis", this being one:

    "Rapid Cladogenesis among the Pecoran Ruminants: Evidence from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences" (http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/2/117.short)

    ==========
    ME II: "Ultimately we don't know what the origin of the universe is. But not knowing is not evidence of a creator god, or whatever you call it. We know certain things with some amount, though not complete, certainty, but beyond a certain point we have little if any evidence and much speculation."
    Chad: "we know it had a non-natural origin, pretty "head in the sand" not to acknowledge that, dont you think?

    1) If by "non-natural" you mean within our current space-time, that is one thing, but implying that it originated from a supernatural intelligence something else entirely.
    2) Stephen Hawking, for one, has a hypothesis on spontaneous creation of the universe, I think.

    ========
    ME II "Often in nature the appearance of design or fine tuning is misleading"
    Chad: "the universe is fine tuned, that's just a fact.
    '

    Implying that specific universal constants were "set" by some intelligence is unsubstatiated. There may very well be "naturalistic" reasons for the apparent design. Additionally, I think, there are simulations that have shown that different constants may support life as well, not just our current constants.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Austin

      I have experienced the miraculous ministry of the holy spirit and or angels, good or bad. Spirit. Spirit and truth.

      When I was reading through the old testament I had a series of dreams about the scripture I was going to read the next day. It happened six or so times.

      That's real.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • ME II

      @Austin,
      Congrats.. I guess.
      What's your point?

      February 28, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • ME II

      oops, Austin appears to be a troll, never mind.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • JMEF

      Austin
      There is medication for your condition.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Science

      ME II

      Austin might be a pis-sed of Chad

      February 28, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Father Malachy

      But there is not medication for in belief. There is spiritual healing and victory already available through resurrection power.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Austin

      No I have experienced spiritual , demonic and angelic revelation. It was a calling. It was otherworldly. Incredible, powerful, alive, sovereign, genius. It was of God.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • JMEF

      Austin
      Are you sure it just wasn't a wet dream?

      February 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It seems few people have such experiences, Austin. Direct revelation of God by God would certainly be convincing to a lot of people. Why does God use it so seldom?

      February 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Austin

      Direct revelation ended with John. But there is general revelation, the word.....and special revelation.

      I don't claim to have revelation from God. Demonic activity is revealing, not really "the revelation" you refer too. However a dream or vision can be a type of revelation, in my case I had scripture coming to my dreams in pictures, very detailed and graphic, and marvelously in proverbial pictures of actual proverb. It was so unbelievablely amazing .

      I did not in any way earn it. I don't know why faith is such a hard thing . I used to hate the freaky bible story, I wish it was not true sometimes and who cares if I just die. That is fine with me. I hope he'll is not real, but I have experienced the demonic activity and the ability for some spirit to take my thoughts and put them into my peers dreams that night. I consider it a serious. Serious call to proclaim the gospel. I will be held accountable. It says inthe end days, there will be a pouring out of the spirit and I believe this is what am experiencing. I wish it did not come downtown faith, but god is forming a literal kingdom through faith in the souls of people.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Vex

      Do emotions result from us having a soul, or merely from the laws of nature? Degenerative diseases of the brain that erode personality, and cases where brain damage causes sudden changes in character, are both only possible if character itself is biological. Mood disorders and mind-altering drugs indicate that the sources of feelings are biochemical. Inherited mood disorders and developmental diseases show us that personality is driven by biology. Depression, love, niceness, politeness, aggression, basic drives, abstract thinking, judgement, patience, considered behavior, instincts, memories, language construction and comprehension, and every emotion, have turned out to have biochemical causes, not spiritual ones, and can all be radically affected by brain damage and brain surgery. If there was a soul, brain damage could not also damage our emotional feelings, but it does. Electrical stimulation of the brain causes actual desire to arise instantly. If memory, behavior and emotions are all controlled by the physical brain, what is a soul for? It seems that there isn't anything for a soul to do – it certainly does not control behavior or character, and, any free will it exerts is promptly overridden by biological chemistry, hence why so many diseases have an uncontrollable effect on personality. Modern science proves that the idea of souls is misguided. Everything is biological

      February 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Jesus

      @Austin
      No I have experienced spiritual , demonic and angelic revelation. It was a calling. It was otherworldly. Incredible, powerful, alive, sovereign, genius. It was of God.

      Did it come in the form a small piece of paper about ¼ inch square that you placed under your tongue and had a whimsical drawing, or cartoon character stamped on it? If so , then I too have experienced what you’re talking about.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Austin

      Vex. No. Sin has consequences. Your physical assertions are indeed outside the parameter of the spiritual realm. Physical consequences will always effect a persons behavior, and also have spiritual effects.....harder to live by the spirit if you are overpowered by a disease, which sin is.....a disease. god has pity those who are mentally insufficient. Are you insufficient?

      Forgive them, they know not what they do. I know his will is for you to receive forgiveness and healing. Faith is a godly concept, not a knowledge driven virtue. But it is a spiritual and Godly virtue.

      He is risen.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      It truly is pathetic how you need to post passive aggressive, condescending bullshit like what you just posted in order to reinforce your own insecure beliefs.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      Here's a tip, when all you do is make assertions and preach, it shows that you don't care about anything but your own thoughts. It shows you to be a selfish, self-righteous, prideful moron with absolutely no interest in any kind of dialogue.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Austin

      Knowledge is meaningless. Wisdom is better. The only power you can rely on is through the word of God, getting the word into a persons mind and letting the holy spirit reveal the truth in faith.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Austin, you make religion sound like an ear worm. Are you sure you want to be peddling this stuff?

      February 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Austin

      Thank you for the perfect demonstration of what I was talking about. Good bye you useless, selfish little tool.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad: "Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, James, Jude, all eye witnesses"
      @ME II “ some debate yet on NT authorship, not to mention the OT…. Paul, of course, didn't witness anything except his own supposed vision(s)…. James and Jude I'm am less familiear with.
      @Chad “I see no reason to ignore the identification of the authors by the early leaders of the Church. Paul did not have a “vision”, his companions heard the voice as well. James/Jude authors of letters included in the New Testament were half-brothers of Jesus.
      =================

      @ME II “Also, the part you didn't quote is still valid, I think, "Historical evidence, or at least what we have of the timeframe in question, is only evidence of what someone reported as happening,... it is not definitive evidence that it actually happened."
      @Chad “as long as you apply that same criteria to all history :-)

      =================
      @ME II: “As has been said before about Genesis; birds (or flying creatures) before land animals, flowering plants before land animals, morning and evening before the sun and moon, earth and the universe being "created" at the same time, are all inconsistent with what the evidence tells us.”
      @Chad “I don’t think that is correct. Who knows what they meant by “birds”, does that include archoptyerx (150million years ago)? Does land animals include reptiles, or is it limited to what we know now as mammals?” No way to know.
      “morning and evening before sun” should clearly indicate to you as the reader that the author was referring to epochs. No one would make up a story that on the third day the sun was created, even an ignorant goat herder knows day needs the sun.
      “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Simply does not indicate how long that process took. It just doesn’t.
      Same with the flood, we simply do not know when it happened.

      ========
      @ME II “As has been said many times before, two gospels disagree on the timing of Jesus' birth, one places it in the "in the days of Herod the king", I think, and the other several years later, when "Quirinius was governor of Syria," which historically is impossible for both to be true.”
      @Chad “The exact date simply is not known, but claiming that we know for sure that there is no overlap between those two spans of time as the authors used them is just not accurate”

      ========
      @ME II: "So, theistic evolution is the only credible explanation of the fossil record.”
      @Chad “correct”

      ==========
      @ME II: "If by "non-natural" you mean within our current space-time, that is one thing, but implying that it originated from a supernatural intelligence something else entirely.”
      @Chad “non-natural means non-natural. Two examples: multi-verse, the God of Israel.

      ==========
      @ME II: " Stephen Hawking, for one, has a hypothesis on spontaneous creation of the universe, I think.
      @Chad “you are mistaken.. his no boundary model might be interpreted to mean that the universe “always” existed. He has also discussed quantum tunneling – multi-verse.

      ========
      @ME II "Implying that specific universal constants were "set" by some intelligence is unsubstatiated. There may very well be "naturalistic" reasons for the apparent design. Additionally, I think, there are simulations that have shown that different constants may support life as well, not just our current constants.”
      @Chad “The fact is that the universe is fine-tuned, as I have noted many-many-many times in the past, there are posited naturalistic reasons for that.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is NOT a fact that the universe is "fine-tuned," Chard, it's an opinion. And nowhere can you find anyone who has shown that any "fine-tuning," if it exists, was caused by a being.

      Stop pretending that any of these statements you are making are based on facts. They are not.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You never did answer, Chad. Your method for persuading – who? us? yourself? – that God is real is becoming increasingly elaborate. If you arrived at the belief that God is real by a method that you can define and understand, is the method such that if God were not real, it would cause you to believe that God is not real?

      February 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      TTTPS has a point, Chad. Particularly since opinions on the fine-tuning of the Universe derive from only one real example. Show us some Universes that are real and not as apparently well-tuned.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      1. The authors of the bible has always been contested. The Pauline letters alone supposedly have its fair share of authors and was not written by Saul of Tarsus as presented.

      2. ME II never said in his statement that "Theistic evolution is the only credible explanation", That was you quoting yourself and saying ME II said it.

      3. "non-natural" only applies to our current universe. We have no idea what kind of laws (if there were any) existed before the great expansion, why do you not understand this? Whether that means there was a universe that exists outside of our current model, or something else, or Nothing (which is different from the nothing we currently define) we have no idea, but trying to apply universal laws to something pre-universe is silly and is a fallacy.

      4. You haven't adequately explained how the universe is "finely-tuned" other than pointing out that laws are constant, which is hardly evidence nor does it imply anything. You've taken a fact and run with it to an absurdist level. If you want to ask "why the universe obeys natural laws" then talk to a philosopher, not a scientist.

      5. Genesis starts off with "in the beginning god created the heaven and the earth" but you haven't explained the "beginning" of what, was it the beginning of earth? the universe? gods creating phase? You are applying the beginning to mean the beginning of the universe, but again its implication, which might be your best friend, but doesn't actually hold up to real scrutiny.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @TTTOO

      Chad has actually answered the question. There is absolutely nothing a person can do to prove that god does not exist to him. I have pressed him (along with many of his fellows) on what "proof" they expect when they ask an atheist to prove there is no god. Chad, like many others, believe they can turn the table so whenever an atheist says, "Prove there is a god" they can say, "prove there isn't" but are at a loss when an atheist asks them how one would go about proving that.

      February 28, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chuckles- what I've asked Chad for is not proof, but something that might work in place of justification for his belief in the reality of God. Even with that, he can't know whether God is real.

      February 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Chad is amazingly stupid. He claims that Genesis is absolutely correct, but only after you totally devalue any of the words in the book. As long as "day" can mean anything, and "sun and moon" can mean anything, and "birds" can mean anything, then Old McDonald is the only true bible. What a dipsh!t. If you make the words meaningless, of course you can claim that the text is anything you want.

      Chad may as well say that the following statement is correct because the values of the integers can be set to anything the interpreter wants: 4+9=pineapple.

      February 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Chad

      Fine Tuning of the universe
      In the past 30 or 40 years, scientists have been astonished to find that the initial conditions of our universe were fine-tuned for the existence of building blocks of life. Constants such as gravitational constant have been found, the variation of which to even the smallest degree, would have rendered the universe utterly incapable of supporting life.

      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life". However, he continues, "the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires." - Paul Davies

      "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the mas ses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life - Stephen Hawking

      : "If you change a little bit the laws of nature, or you change a little bit the constants of nature - like the charge on the electron - then the way the universe develops is so changed, it is very likely that intelligent life would not have been able to develop." Dr. Dennis Scania, Cambridge University Observatories

      "If we nudge one of these constants just a few percent in one direction, stars burn out within a million years of their formation, and there is no time for evolution. If we nudge it a few percent in the other direction, then no elements heavier than helium form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. No complexity at all." - Dr. David D. Deutsch, Insti tute of Mathematics, Oxford University:

      "The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly. You see," Davies adds, "even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life - almost contrived - you might say a 'put-up job.'" - Dr. Paul Davies, Adelaide University:

      "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintendent has monkeyed with the physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars Sir Fred Hoyle

      "how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quanti ties had slightly different values." - Dr. Gerald Schroeder, former professor of physics at M.I.T.

      beryllium isotope having the minuscule half life of 0.0000000000000001 seconds must find and absorb a helium nucleus in that split of time before decaying. This occurs only because of a totally unexpected, exquisitely precise, energy match between the two nuclei. If this did not occur there would be none of the heavier elements. No carbon, no nitrogen, no life. Our universe would be composed of hydrogen and helium. - Professor Steven Weinberg

      The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bullseye one millimeter in diameter on the other side." - Michael Turner, astrophysicist University of Chicago

      the likelihood of the universe having usable energy (low entropy) at the creation is even more astounding, namely an accuracy of one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full, in our ordinary denary (power of ten) notation: it would be one followed by ten to the power of 123 successive zeros!" That is a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros. Penrose continues, "Even if we were to write a zero on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe - and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure - we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. The precision needed to set the universe on its course is to be in no way inferior to all that extraordinary precision that we have already become accustomed to in the superb dynamical equations (Newton's, Maxwell's, Einstein's) which govern the behavior of things from moment to moment." - Roger Penrose University of Oxford

      February 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Chad

      "ME II never said in his statement that "Theistic evolution is the only credible explanation", That was you quoting yourself and
      saying ME II said it."

      =>oops, right you are.. apologies to ME II

      February 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Fine, Chad. Scientists enjoy a game of "what if" as much as anyone. Show that the Universe could have been other than it is. There is no example of a real Universe that would not appear fine tuned to you, Weinberg, Davies and the rest. Perhaps the only possible Universe is precisely this one and it occurs without fine tuning by anything or anyone.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is ZERO empirical evidence of a miracle-wielding medieval carpenter named Jesus. Chad's "mountains of evidence" (you'll note is not empirical) includes such gems as "the historicity of an empty tomb" which of course is proof of nothing. Chad's "evidence" is a redefinition of "fervent belief".

      Chad's "scientific evidence of god" is that science changes as it uncovers more truths about our reality.

      '"The history of physics has had that a lot," says [Lawrence] Krauss. "Certain quantities have seemed inexplicable and fine-tuned, and once we understand them, they don’t seem to so fine-tuned. We have to have some historical perspective."'

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/blog/2012/03/is-the-universe-fine-tuned-for-life/

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      Debunking William Lane Craig and the misuse of Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe

      http://debunkingwlc.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/borde-guth-vilenkin/

      Chad's "archaeological evidence"? Chad said, "http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28162671/#.URw1Fh082Js"

      This is your archaeological evidence? Oh, Chad...
      8 paragraphs of "maybe" with some of the maybes hinging on previous maybes, and the final paragraph comprised mostly of statements against the fable of Masada. The "hinge" of these discoveries is some pottery which "contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found." Hooray mankind found some evidence of our past - that's a good thing - but there's no reason at all to claim it goes to shore up anything Biblical.

      And in the end even if all this points to a city that existed during the time of the Bible, what does that prove? That a city existed during a time period. It doesn't mean a single event attributed to that city ever occurred unless it can be independently verified. We keep telling you over and over that the Spiderman stories are based in New York so by your logic that makes Spiderman real.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirbet_Qeiyafa

      "[Excavactor] Garfinkel, who said in 2010 that the debate [about the veracity of the Biblical account of the United Monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II] could not "be answered by the Qeiyafa excavations."

      February 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @End Religion,

      With thanks to the AnVIL

      Historians focusing on this era generally accept that there was likely some fellow named Jesus who lived in Palestine roughly two millennia ago, had a very small following of people studying his views, was killed by the government for some such reason, and whose life became pivotal to some of the world's largest religions.
      ..
      ..
      Using the Bible as partial biographical evidence of Jesus is not as completely insane or wall-bangingly circular as it may first seem. Although the gospels are generally published in one compendium known as The Bible, they are separate doc uments and almost certainly were written by separate authors
      ..
      ..
      Because of the way cultures have told their religious and mythic stories over time, and based in no small part on studies of modern "new" religions (especially cult religions) and how they deify their own leaders,[13] most scholars of Biblical history believe that the gospels of the Bible are sufficient evidence to say that Jesus, or some human seed for the stories who we may as well tag "Jesus", did exist, and his existence can be as sumed from them.[14][15] And if such a person existed, it is equally likely that major broad themes are based in reality; he likely would have been one of the many teachers or self-proclaimed prophets of the time[16] and he probably ticked off the wrong people and found himself dead.
      ..
      ..
      What most historians and scholars think (as stated above) is that a human named Jesus was the seed for the Christian myths

      Source: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ
      Read at the urging of "the AnViL"

      February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is ZERO empirical evidence of a miracle-wielding medieval carpenter named Jesus. Chad's "mountains of evidence" (you'll note is not empirical) includes such gems as "the historicity of an empty tomb" which of course is proof of nothing. Chad's "evidence" is a redefinition of "fervent belief".

      Chad's "scientific evidence of god" is that science changes as it uncovers more truths about our reality.

      '"The history of physics has had that a lot," says [Lawrence] Krauss. "Certain quantities have seemed inexplicable and fine-tuned, and once we understand them, they don’t seem to so fine-tuned. We have to have some historical perspective."'

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/blog/2012/03/is-the-universe-fine-tuned-for-life/

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      Debunking William Lane Craig and the misuse of Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe

      http://debunkingwlc.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/borde-guth-vilenkin/

      Chad's "archaeological evidence"? Chad said, "http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28162671/#.URw1Fh082Js"

      This is your archaeological evidence? Oh, Chad...
      8 paragraphs of "maybe" with some of the maybes hinging on previous maybes, and the final paragraph comprised mostly of statements against the fable of Masada. The "hinge" of these discoveries is some pottery which "contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found." Hooray mankind found some evidence of our past - that's a good thing - but there's no reason at all to claim it goes to shore up anything Biblical.

      And in the end even if all this points to a city that existed during the time of the Bible, what does that prove? That a city existed during a time period. It doesn't mean a single event attributed to that city ever occurred unless it can be independently verified. We keep telling you over and over that the Spiderman stories are based in New York so by your logic that makes Spiderman real.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirbet_Qeiyafa

      "[Excavactor] Garfinkel, who said in 2010 that the debate [about the veracity of the Biblical account of the United Monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II] could not "be answered by the Qeiyafa excavations.."

      February 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Chad

      :-)

      looking for more evidence.. ok:

      Question that atheists are terrified of: "can you name any serious scholar that claims Jesus didnt exist?"

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

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

      =======================
      Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?, a Jewish historian) mentions John the Baptist and Herod – Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2
      Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions Jesus – Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 3.
      Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
      There is debate among scholars as to the authenticity of this quote since it is so favorable to Jesus. For more information on this, please see Regarding the quotes from the historian Josephus about Jesus

      Flavius Josephus (AD 37?-101?) mentions James, the brother of Jesus – Antiquities, Book 20, ch. 9.

      Tacitus (A.D. c.55-A.D. c.117, Roman historian) mentions "Christus" who is Jesus – Annals 15.44
      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a clas s hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superst ition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."
      Ref. from http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.mb.txt

      Thallus (Circa AD 52, eclipse of the sun) Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time. His writings are only found as citations by others. Julius Africanus, who wrote about AD 221, mentioned Thallus' account of an eclipse of the sun.
      "On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."
      Is this a reference to the eclipse at the crucifixion? Luke 23:44-45, "And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two."
      The oddity is that Jesus' crucifixion occurred at the Pas sover which was a full moon. It is not possible for a solar eclipse to occur at a full moon. Note that Julius Africanus draws the conclusion that Thallus' mentioning of the eclipse was describing the one at Jesus' crucifixion. It may not have been.

      Julius Africanus, Extant Writings, XVIII in the Ante Nicene Fathers, ed. by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), vol. VI, p. 130. as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

      Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ. Pliny was governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. Pliny wrote ten books. The tenth around AD 112.
      "They (the Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then rea ssemble to partake of food but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."
      Pliny, Letters, transl. by William Melmoth, rev. by W.M.L. Hutchinson (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1935), vol. II, X:96 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

      The Talmud "On the eve of the Pas sover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf." But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Pa ssover!"
      Gal. 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
      Luke 22:1-2, "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Pa ssover, was approaching. 2And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people."
      This quotation was taken from the reading in The Babylonian Talmud, transl. by I. Epstein (London: Soncino, 1935), vol. III, Sanhedrin 43a, p. 281 as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

      Lucian (circa 120-after 180) mentions Jesus. Greek writer and rhetorician.
      "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. . . . You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property."
      Lucian, The Death of Peregrine, 1113, in The Works of Lucian of Samosata, transl. by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1949), vol. 4, as cited in Habermas, Gary R., The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ, (Joplin, MO: College Press Publishing Company) 1996.

      Though Lucian opposed Christianity, he acknowledges Jesus, that Jesus was crucified, that Christians worship him, and that this was done by faith.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is ZERO empirical evidence of a miracle-wielding medieval carpenter named Jesus. Chad's "mountains of evidence" (you'll note is not empirical) includes such gems as "the historicity of an empty tomb" which of course is proof of nothing. Chad's "evidence" is a redefinition of "fervent belief".

      Chad's "scientific evidence of god" is that science changes as it uncovers more truths about our reality.

      '"The history of physics has had that a lot," says [Lawrence] Krauss. "Certain quantities have seemed inexplicable and fine-tuned, and once we understand them, they don’t seem to so fine-tuned. We have to have some historical perspective."'

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/blog/2012/03/is-the-universe-fine-tuned-for-life/

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      Debunking William Lane Craig and the misuse of Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe

      http://debunkingwlc.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/borde-guth-vilenkin/

      Chad's "archaeological evidence"? Chad said, "http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28162671/#.URw1Fh082Js"

      This is your archaeological evidence? Oh, Chad...
      8 paragraphs of "maybe" with some of the maybes hinging on previous maybes, and the final paragraph comprised mostly of statements against the fable of Masada. The "hinge" of these discoveries is some pottery which "contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found." Hooray mankind found some evidence of our past - that's a good thing - but there's no reason at all to claim it goes to shore up anything Biblical.

      And in the end even if all this points to a city that existed during the time of the Bible, what does that prove? That a city existed during a time period. It doesn't mean a single event attributed to that city ever occurred unless it can be independently verified. We keep telling you over and over that the Spiderman stories are based in New York so by your logic that makes Spiderman real.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirbet_Qeiyafa

      "[Excavactor] Garfinkel, who said in 2010 that the debate [about the veracity of the Biblical account of the United Monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II] could not "be answered by the Qeiyafa excavations..."

      February 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Chad

      still looking for more evidence?

      ok..

      • Ebla tablets—discovered in 1970s in Northern Syria. Doc uments written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. In use in Ebla was the name "Canaan," a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The tablets refer to all five "cities of the plain" mentioned in Genesis 14, previously as sumed to have been mere legends.

      • Greater proportion of Egyptian words in the Pentateuch (first five books) than in rest of the Old Testament. Accurate Egyptian names: Potiphar(Gen.39), Zaphenath-Paneah (Joseph's Egyptian name, Gen. 41:45),Asenath (Gen.41:45), On (Gen. 41:45), Rameses (Gen. 47:11), Oithom(Exodus 1:11).

      • Finds in Egypt are consistent with the time, place, and other details of biblical accounts of the Israelites in Egypt. These include housing and tombs that could have been of the Israelites, as well as a villa and tomb that could have been Joseph's.

      • Confounding earlier skeptics, but confirming the Bible, an important discovery was made in Egypt in 1896. A tablet—the Merneptah Stela—was found that mentions Israel. (Merneptah was the pharaoh that ruled Egypt in 1212-1202 B.C.) The context of the stela indicates that Israel was a significant enti ty in the late 13th century B.C.

      • The Hitt ites were once thought to be a biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered in Turkey.

      • Crucial find in Nuzi (northeastern Iraq), an entire cache of Hitt ite legal docu ments from 1400 B.C. Confirms many details of Genesis, Deuteronomy, such as: (a) siring of legitimate children through handmaidens, (b) oral deathbed will as binding, (c) the power to sell one's birthright for relatively trivial property (Jacob & Esau), (d) need for family idols, such as Rachel stole from Laban, to secure inheritance, (e) form of the covenant in Deuteronomy exactly matches the form of suzerainty treaties between Hitt ite emperors and va ssal kings.

      • Walls of Jericho—discovery in 1930s by John Garstang. The walls fell suddenly, and outwardly (unique), so Israelites could clamber over the ruins into the city (Joshua 6:20).

      • In 1986, scholars identified an ancient seal belonging to Baruch, son of Neriah, a scribe who recorded the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jer. 45:11).

      • In 1990, Harvard researchers unearthed a silver-plated bronze calf figurine reminiscent of the huge golden calf mentioned in the book of Exodus.

      • In 1993, archaeologists uncovered a 9th century B.C. inscription at Tel Dan. The words carved into a chunk of basalt refer to the "House of David" and the "King of Israel." And the Bible's version of Israelite history after the reign of David's son, Solomon, is believed to be based on historical fact because it is corroborated by independent account of Egyptian and A ssyrian inscriptions.

      • It was once claimed there was no A ssyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded in the palace walls! Even more, fragments of a stela (a poetic eulogy) memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.

      • Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named inDaniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablet was found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son.

      • The ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah have been discovered southeast of the Dead Sea. Evidence at the site seems consistent with the biblical account: "Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the Lord out of the heavens." The destruction debris was about 3 feet thick and buildings were burned from fires that started on the rooftops. Geologist Frederick Clapp theorizes that that pressure from an earthquake could have spewed out sulfur-laden bitumen (similar to asphalt) known to be in the area through the fault line upon which the cities rest. The dense smoke reported by Abraham is consistent with a fire from such material, which could have ignited by a spark or ground fire.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      There is ZERO empirical evidence of a miracle-wielding medieval carpenter named Jesus. Chad's "mountains of evidence" (you'll note is not empirical) includes such gems as "the historicity of an empty tomb" which of course is proof of nothing. Chad's "evidence" is a redefinition of "fervent belief".

      Chad's "scientific evidence of god" is that science changes as it uncovers more truths about our reality.

      '"The history of physics has had that a lot," says [Lawrence] Krauss. "Certain quantities have seemed inexplicable and fine-tuned, and once we understand them, they don’t seem to so fine-tuned. We have to have some historical perspective."'

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/blog/2012/03/is-the-universe-fine-tuned-for-life/

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      Debunking William Lane Craig and the misuse of Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe

      http://debunkingwlc.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/borde-guth-vilenkin/

      Chad's "archaeological evidence"? Chad said, "http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28162671/#.URw1Fh082Js"

      This is your archaeological evidence? Oh, Chad...
      8 paragraphs of "maybe" with some of the maybes hinging on previous maybes, and the final paragraph comprised mostly of statements against the fable of Masada. The "hinge" of these discoveries is some pottery which "contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found." Hooray mankind found some evidence of our past - that's a good thing - but there's no reason at all to claim it goes to shore up anything Biblical.

      And in the end even if all this points to a city that existed during the time of the Bible, what does that prove? That a city existed during a time period. It doesn't mean a single event attributed to that city ever occurred unless it can be independently verified. We keep telling you over and over that the Spiderman stories are based in New York so by your logic that makes Spiderman real.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirbet_Qeiyafa

      "[Excavactor] Garfinkel, who said in 2010 that the debate [about the veracity of the Biblical account of the United Monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II] could not "be answered by the Qeiyafa excavations...."

      February 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And yet, Chard, all those you quoted concerning fine-tuning are giving opinions. And none of them are able to attribute the fine-tuning they believe has occurred to an invisible being. Not one. None.

      You can keep right on posting quotes, and I'm am absolutely certain that you will, cutting and pasting ad nauseam, but that will not make any of the opinions in them anything more than just that-opinions.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard: "Question that atheists are terrified of: "can you name any serious scholar that claims Jesus didnt exist?""

      Question that Chard cannot answer in the affirmative: Can you name any serious scholar that can prove Jesus was divine?

      No, of course you can't. But you'll keep right on posting tripe about the "empty tomb" even though there's no evidence for it other than the bible.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Chad

      Guess @End Religion was still looking for some more archaeological evidence, happy to help :-)

      A Common Flood Story. Not just the Hebrews (Gen. 6–8), but Mesopotamians, Egyptians, and Greeks all report a flood in primordial times. A Sumerian king list from c. 2100 BC divides itself into two categories: those kings who ruled before a great flood and those who ruled after it. One of the earliest examples of Sumero-Akkadian-Babylonian literature, the Gilgamesh Epic, describes a great flood sent as punishment by the gods, with humanity saved only when the pious Utnapishtim (AKA, “the Mesopotamian Noah”) builds a ship and saves the animal world thereon. A later Greek counterpart, the story of Deucalion and Phyrra, tells of a couple who survived a great flood sent by an angry Zeus. Taking refuge atop Mount Parnas sus (AKA, “the Greek Ararat”), they supposedly repopulated the earth by heaving stones behind them that sprang into human beings.
      The Code of Hammurabi. This seven-foot black diorite stele, discovered at Susa and presently located in the Louvre museum, contains 282 engraved laws of Babylonian King Hammurabi (fl. 1750 BC). The common basis for this law code is the lex talionis (“the law of the tooth”), showing that there was a common Semitic law of retribution in the ancient Near East, which is clearly reflected in the Pentateuch. Exodus 21:23–25, for example, reads: “But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot…” (niv).
      The Nuzi Tablets. The some 20,000 cuneiform clay tablets discovered at the ruins of Nuzi, east of the Tigris River and datable to c. 1500 BC, reveal inst itutions, practices, and customs remarkably congruent to those found in Genesis. These tablets include treaties, marriage arrangements, rules regarding inheritance, adoption, and the like.
      The Existence of Hitt ites. Genesis 23 reports that Abraham buried Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah, which he purchased from Ephron the Hitt ite. Second Samuel 11 tells of David’s adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hitt ite. A century ago the Hit t ites were unknown outside of the Old Testament, and critics claimed that they were a figment of biblical imagination. In 1906, however, archaeologists digging east of Ankara, Turkey, discovered the ruins of Hattusas, the ancient Hitti te capital at what is today called Boghazkoy, as well as its vast collection of Hitt ite historical records, which showed an empire flourishing in the mid-second millennium BC. This critical challenge, among many others, was immediately proved worthless — a pattern that would often be repeated in the decades to come.
      The Merneptah Stele. A seven-foot slab engraved with hieroglyphics, also called the Israel Stele, boasts of the Egyptian pharaoh’s conquest of Libyans and peoples in Palestine, including the Israelites: “Israel — his seed is not.” This is the earliest reference to Israel in nonbiblical sources and demonstrates that, as of c. 1230 BC, the Hebrews were already living in the Promised Land.
      Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. In addition to Jericho, places such as Haran, Hazor, Dan, Megiddo, Shechem, Samaria, Shiloh, Gezer, Gibeah, Beth Shemesh, Beth Shean, Beersheba, Lachish, and many other urban sites have been excavated, quite apart from such larger and obvious locations as Jerusalem or Babylon. Such geographical markers are extremely significant in demonstrating that fact, not fantasy, is intended in the Old Testament historical narratives; otherwise, the specificity regarding these urban sites would have been replaced by “Once upon a time” narratives with only hazy geographical parameters, if any.
      Israel’s enemies in the Hebrew Bible likewise are not contrived but solidly historical. Among the most dangerous of these were the Philistines, the people after whom Palestine itself would be named. Their earliest depiction is on the Temple of Rameses III at Thebes, c. 1150 BC, as “peoples of the sea” who invaded the Delta area and later the coastal plain of Canaan. The Pentapolis (five cities) they established — namely Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Gath, and Ekron — have all been excavated, at least in part, and some remain cities to this day. Such precise urban evidence measures favorably when compared with the geographical sites claimed in the holy books of other religious systems, which often have no basis whatever in reality.10
      Shishak’s Invasion of Judah. First Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12 tell of Pharaoh Shishak’s conquest of Judah in the fifth year of the reign of King Rehoboam, the brainless son of Solomon, and how Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem was robbed of its treasures on that occasion. This victory is also commemorated in hieroglyphic wall carvings on the Temple of Amon at Thebes.
      The Moabite Stone. Second Kings 3 reports that Mesha, the king of Moab, rebelled against the king of Israel following the death of Ahab. A three-foot stone slab, also called the Mesha Stele, confirms the revolt by claiming triumph over Ahab’s family, c. 850 BC, and that Israel had “perished forever.”
      Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. In 2 Kings 9–10, Jehu is mentioned as King of Israel (841–814 BC). That the growing power of A ssyria was already encroaching on the northern kings prior to their ultimate conquest in 722 BC is demonstrated by a six-and-a-half-foot black obelisk discovered in the ruins of the palace at Nimrud in 1846. On it, Jehu is shown kneeling before Shalmaneser III and offering tribute to the A ssyrian king, the only relief we have to date of a Hebrew monarch.
      Burial Plaque of King Uzziah. Down in Judah, King Uzziah ruled from 792 to 740 BC, a contemporary of Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah. Like Solomon, he began well and ended badly. In 2 Chronicles 26 his sin is recorded, which resulted in his being struck with leprosy later in life. When Uzziah died, he was interred in a “field of burial that belonged to the kings.” His stone burial plaque has been discovered on the Mount of Olives, and it reads: “Here, the bones of Uzziah, King of Judah, were brought. Do not open.”
      Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. King Hezekiah of Judah ruled from 721 to 686 BC. Fearing a siege by the A ssyrian king, Sennacherib, Hezekiah preserved Jerusalem’s water supply by cutting a tunnel through 1,750 feet of solid rock from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam inside the city walls (2 Kings 20; 2 Chron. 32). At the Siloam end of the tunnel, an inscription, presently in the archaeological museum at Istanbul, Turkey, celebrates this remarkable accomplishment. The tunnel is probably the only biblical site that has not changed its appearance in 2,700 years.
      The Sennacherib Prism. After having conquered the 10 northern tribes of Israel, the A ssyrians moved southward to do the same to Judah (2 Kings 18–19). The prophet Isaiah, however, told Hezekiah that God would protect Judah and Jerusalem against Sennacherib (2 Chron. 32; Isa. 36–37). As syrian records virtually confirm this. The cuneiform on a hexagonal, 15-inch baked clay prism found at the As syrian capital of Nineveh describes Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in 701 BC in which it claims that the A ssyrian king shut Hezekiah inside Jerusalem “like a caged bird.” Like the biblical record, however, it does not state that he conquered Jerusalem, which the prism certainly would have done had this been the case. The A ssyrians, in fact, bypa ssed Jerusalem on their way to Egypt, and the city would not fall until the time of Nebuchadnezzar and the Neo-Babylonians in 586 BC. Sennacherib himself returned to Nineveh where his own sons murdered him.
      The Cylinder of Cyrus the Great. Second Chronicles 36:23 and Ezra 1 report that Cyrus the Great of Persia, after conquering Babylon, permitted Jews in the Babylonian Captivity to return to their homeland. Isaiah had even prophesied this (Isa. 44:28). This tolerant policy of the founder of the Persian Empire is borne out by the discovery of a nine-inch clay cylinder found at Babylon from the time of its conquest, 539 BC, which reports Cyrus’s victory and his subsequent policy of permitting Babylonian captives to return to their homes and even rebuild their temples.

      So it goes. This list of correlations between Old Testament texts and the hard evidence of Near Eastern archaeology could easily be tripled in length. When it comes to the intertestamental and New Testament eras, as we might expect, the needle on the gauge of positive correlations simply goes off the scale.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • End Religion

      There is ZERO empirical evidence of a miracle-wielding medieval carpenter named Jesus. Chad's "mountains of evidence" (you'll note is not empirical) includes such gems as "the historicity of an empty tomb" which of course is proof of nothing. Chad's "evidence" is a redefinition of "fervent belief".

      Chad's "scientific evidence of god" is that science changes as it uncovers more truths about our reality.

      '"The history of physics has had that a lot," says [Lawrence] Krauss. "Certain quantities have seemed inexplicable and fine-tuned, and once we understand them, they don’t seem to so fine-tuned. We have to have some historical perspective."'

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/blog/2012/03/is-the-universe-fine-tuned-for-life/

      If "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists, provide one or both of the following:
      1) A reference to a peer reviewed science journal that claims "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists and details the observations, experiment and resulting data that statistically demonstrates the existence of the god of Israel is probable.
      2) Provide a well designed experiment that would be able to test the hypothesis that ' "fine tuning" is empirical evidence that supports the claim that the god of Israel exists.' Remember, you have to actually test the hypothesis, gather data, and statistically analyze the data.

      Debunking William Lane Craig and the misuse of Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin’s Past-Finite Universe

      http://debunkingwlc.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/borde-guth-vilenkin/

      Chad's "archaeological evidence"? Chad said, "http://www.nbcnews.com/id/28162671/#.URw1Fh082Js"

      This is your archaeological evidence? Oh, Chad...
      8 paragraphs of "maybe" with some of the maybes hinging on previous maybes, and the final paragraph comprised mostly of statements against the fable of Masada. The "hinge" of these discoveries is some pottery which "contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found." Hooray mankind found some evidence of our past - that's a good thing - but there's no reason at all to claim it goes to shore up anything Biblical.

      And in the end even if all this points to a city that existed during the time of the Bible, what does that prove? That a city existed during a time period. It doesn't mean a single event attributed to that city ever occurred unless it can be independently verified. We keep telling you over and over that the Spiderman stories are based in New York so by your logic that makes Spiderman real.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khirbet_Qeiyafa

      "[Excavactor] Garfinkel, who said in 2010 that the debate [about the veracity of the Biblical account of the United Monarchy at the beginning of Iron Age II] could not "be answered by the Qeiyafa excavations....."

      March 1, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • clarity

      So Chad there are common stories about flooding. What was the estimated oldest date of a writing of the flood story? Is there a general consensus among the stories about what area this great flood covered? What kind of evidence is there to support that? You know, floods are not uncommon events, so something described in folklore might have represented something real – but I don't see any evidence to think it represented something global nor to think it represented something "magically" planned and implemented by the G of I from fable.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      On Chad's what terrifies an atheist about a historical Jesus of Nazareth, source of the Legend of the Risen Christ? Well, it's not one of my problems. I don't need to check under my bed before I sleep at night, either.

      I am curious about Chad's understanding of what goes on in the minds of ordinary people who are atheist. He may wonder about the people here who take the time to challenge him on his beliefs, who've taken the time to learn about the fundamentals of such things. He may think we have some special attachment to his God because we challenge him on it. But does he know that many people don't take the time, nor should they feel they have to, to learn anything about why anyone might think that any god is real? Gods are going the way of ghosts and curses and spells etc. No need to give them any thought except when trying to converse with the odd sort that believes.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      “I see no reason to ignore the identification of the authors by the early leaders of the Church."

      I see no reason to accept the identification of the authors by the early leaders of the Church.

      "his companions heard the voice as well"

      And who tells us that? Luke/Acts, who seems to be the least likely to be an eye-witness, i.e. hearsay.

      "James/Jude authors of letters included in the New Testament were half-brothers of Jesus."

      Perhaps, I'm missing it but I don't see James/Jude giving an eye-witness account of the resurrection of Jesus.

      ==========
      “as long as you apply that same criteria to all history "

      I think all historians deal in likelihoods, as in it is "likely some fellow named Jesus ... lived in Palestine roughly two millennia ago, had a very small following ... was killed ... and whose life became pivotal to some ... Beyond this, however, there is doubt over the accuracy of any of the descriptions of his life, as described in the Bible or as understood by his believers." (the rest of your RationalWiki quote)
      In addition, if we are to play historians here let's start with this criteria, "Do [the] statements seem inherently improbable: e.g., contrary to human nature, or in conflict with what we know?" (R. J. Shafer as represented on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method)

      =========
      "Who knows what they meant by 'birds', does that include archoptyerx (150million years ago)? Does land animals include reptiles, or is it limited to what we know now as mammals?”

      Irrelevant. Everything you mentioned is preceeded by some form of land animal, which the Bible says came after.

      "'morning and evening before sun' should clearly indicate to you as the reader that the author was referring to epochs. No one would make up a story that on the third day the sun was created, even an ignorant goat herder knows day needs the sun."

      If day = epoch, then "morning" makes no sense.
      If day = day, then the timeframes between events make no sense.
      Either way creating (or "making" or "doing") the sun on the third one, makes no sense.

      "Same with the flood, we simply do not know when it happened."
      Irrelevant. There were people, right? so it would have to have been within the last 10 million years or so, to be generous. There is no evidence of a world-wide flood (covering the tops of all mountains under heaven) within that timeframe.

      ========
      “The exact date simply is not known, but claiming that we know for sure that there is no overlap between those two spans of time as the authors used them is just not accurate”

      Do we know the date that "Herod the king" (Matthew 2) died? 4 BC
      Do we know when "Quirinius was governor of Syria" (Luke 2)? 6 AD

      ========
      “non-natural means non-natural. Two examples: multi-verse, the God of Israel.
      It might be argued that a multi-verse is "natural", since it would still be following a super-set of natural laws about universes which are the same laws our known universe follows, but I wouldn't commit to that position, just yet.

      ==========
      “you are mistaken.. his no boundary model might be interpreted to mean that the universe “always” existed. He has also discussed quantum tunneling – multi-verse."

      "Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something" Hawking (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11161493)
      I think he also has a no boundry model, I'm not sure if they are interrelated.

      ========
      “The fact is that the universe is fine-tuned, as I have noted many-many-many times in the past, there are posited naturalistic reasons for that."

      This is equivocation. "fine-tuned" tends to conote that someone or something "tuned" it, however it can also mean that there is just a narrow range of values that are useful, e.g. the habitable zone, without any "tuner" being involved.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • ME II

      Re: Paul's conversion

      I'm not a Biblical scholar, but:

      Biblical translations of Acts 9:7 generally state that Paul's companions did, indeed, hear the voice (or sound) that spoke to him:
      And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
      —Acts 9:7, King James Version (KJV)
      The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one.
      —Acts 9:7, New American Bible (NAB)
      The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.
      —Acts 9:7, New International Version (NIV)
      By contrast, Catholic translations and older Protestant translations preserve the apparent contradiction in Acts 22:9, while many modern Protestant translations such as the New International Version (NIV) do not:
      And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
      —Acts 22:9, King James Version (KJV)
      My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
      —Acts 22:9, New American Bible (NAB)
      My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
      —Acts 22:9, New International Version (NIV)

      March 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • ME II

      Sorry, forgot the source. Just Wiki, I'm afraid...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_of_Paul_the_Apostle

      March 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  12. Austin

    Jesus is alive. Angels are ministering spirits. The holy spirit is a sanctifying spirit that bears the truth of Gods word on a persons heart.

    I was reading through the old testament and was leaning on the word for my well being, and the spirit started leading me . The spirit started revealing his presence in supernatural ways. It happened again and again and again and again and again and again. There was no room for doubt.

    But daily submitting to this truth and living by faith is hard in this world. Our flesh is so fallen and weak that it's as if we are bluntly rebellious and insane. Sin, is an act of insanity when you know he is there.

    Unbelief, and the pride of it, is a conscious state and choice. Overcoming this can only be done through Gods grace and through recognizing the need for a savior. Understanding the total helplessness of sin. Faith is a gift. Ask god for faith.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Science

      You better save your own Azz then !

      Mine does not need saving by the fairy in the sky !

      Paece

      February 28, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      " ... and the spirit started leading me "
      Isn't that messing with ones free will ? I thought that was a 'no no' for god.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Austin

      I have no reason not to fear the All mighty but sin is a deep insanity.

      This is why faith is such a huge concept. There is no saving knowledge. my knowledge will render me unto the highest accountability.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  13. Jesus is

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOHAGb3iwg8&w=640&h=390]

    February 28, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Austin

      Praise the Lord!

      February 28, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Bob

      Here's a far more accurate video:
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPOfurmrjxo&w=640&h=390]

      February 28, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  14. Terry

    Mithra is our savior, our redeemer,our lord, our king, a friend that sticks closer than a brother, the author and finisher of our faith, the righteous judge, the lamb of God, the word of God, our intercessor, our wisdom, our righteousness, the way, the truth, and the life.

    February 28, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  15. Science

    Truth Prevails :-) at least we........

    New science standards (stem standards) created by 26 states (majority) for 2013 and beyond and if you would like to read the transcricts for the Dover Trail copy the Dame :link John.

    TTPS

    lThat one always cracks me up 10 minutes left remerber 2 for 1 jist pay shipping for 2nd one.

    sort of like Chad Poke !!!

    Peace

    February 28, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Science

      oops

      Dover Trial Transcripts

      Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.

      http://www.aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/intelligentdesigncase/dovertrialtranscripts.htm

      February 28, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • lol??

      Rover Ben Dover??

      February 28, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • ..

      You would know, lol??.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
  16. Robert Brown

    Jesus is our savior, our redeemer,our lord, our king, a friend that sticks closer than a brother, the author and finisher of our faith, the righteous judge, the lamb of God, the word of God, our intercessor, our wisdom, our righteousness, the way, the truth, and the life.

    February 28, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • sam stone

      Free people do not need a savior, Robert.

      It is amusing that people desire to spend eternity with a being from whom they have to be "saved".....

      February 28, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Which God?

      RB. Jeebus is a myth. Am imaginary friend who is no where to be found. Who never spoke any words of his own, as they were made up buy fraudsters. Jesus is just a name, No special significance to it. None at all. And christ was never a last name. Your 'faith" leads to the loone farm with other folks who worship an imaginary sky-fairy.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Good morning Sam,

      We are saved from our sin. We were not free, we were in bondage and captive to our sin. When we were born again, we were freed. Free indeed. Peace.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Which God?,

      What would be the motivation of the writers of the new testament to lie? Whatever it was it was not very successful for them. Many were persecuted, tortured, and executed for their belief.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      @Which God – You are mistaken. There is historical evidence that a man named Jesus did live and preach in that time. Does that mean the words in the Bible are "his" or even any of the stories? No. Some events in the Bible have historical evidence for having occured, some do not. But he certainly did live and preached. You need to study a LOT more history before considering your opinions factually accurate. They are not.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • sam stone

      "We are saved from our sin. We were not free, we were in bondage and captive to our sin. When we were born again, we were freed. Free indeed. Peace."

      Again, a bunch of unverifiable claims.

      Why should anyone believe them?

      Because they were written in a book?

      February 28, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • lol??

      "...........Because they were written in a book?"............Answer you because you wrote a post on a blog?? bigot

      February 28, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • sam stone

      Robert: It would be a lie only if the writers knew it was wrong. If they believed it (through oral tradition), it would not be a lie. If they believed it really represented god, they would have an incentive to suffer and die for their god. The Heaven's Gate people committed suicide thinking they would be headed up to a spaceship. That does not mean that Marshall Applewhite was a prophet

      February 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Which God?

      9@yahoo. Dead wrong. There are no, repeat, no historical records of you mythical j man made sky-fairy. None. Check out Porphyry replies to xtians. His works were burned out of existance by the church, but Origen's replies to him are extant. Origen does a very bad job of refuting Porphyry's statements, observations and pointing out the fallicies of the religion caled xtianity.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,

      There will be no question in your mind when God convicts you of your sin. That is when you can be freed. God will reveal to you that his word is true and that you are a sinner in need of a savior. I don’t think you can believe until God deals with your heart.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • lol??

      wiki "..........Porphyry was, like Pythagoras, an advocate of vegetarianism on spiritual and ethical grounds......." Sounds like he was hangin' with Hindu spirits.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • sam stone

      Robert: "Blah, blah, blah"

      All you have is conjecture. Same with me..

      However, I cannot fear judgement from a being in which I do not beleve. Nor can you.

      If you want to believe you are a "sinner", have at it.

      If you want to beat yourself to punish yourself for your "sin", knock yourself out.

      However, I cannot fear the judgement of a being in which I do not believe

      February 28, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • sam stone

      Robert: You can only be freed by getting rid of this "sin", drivel. But, I suspect you are more comfortable in your sycophantry

      February 28, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,

      a servile self-seeking flatterer?

      A believer is humble and surrendered to God. We have surrendered our will to his. It seems this would be the opposite of self-seeking.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • sam stone

      "A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people"

      Yeah, how silly of me to equate that with Christianity.

      Humble is about the last thing that Christians are.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    February 28, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Atheism s the natural state of children and certanly everything nonhuman with a nervous system

      Prayer is like picking up a phone and, after dialing a number that is not in service, just talking – maybe about your innermost feelings and deepest needs.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!.`

      February 28, 2013 at 8:32 am |
  18. Science

    Reading the Human Genome: First Step-By-Step Look at Transcription Initiation

    Feb. 27, 2013 — Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have achieved a major advance in understanding how genetic information is transcribed from DNA to RNA by providing the first step-by-step look at the biomolecular machinery that reads the human genome.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227151306.htm

    Facts = Evolution = Truth

    Peace

    February 28, 2013 at 5:36 am |
    • lol??

      Energy?? OOooooh, oh. They're gonna be begging for more money for energy. bigots

      February 28, 2013 at 6:47 am |
    • lol??

      Ask not what the Public Servants can do for you. Ask what you can do to get them under control.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • ..

      Still looking for a baby in the cabbage patch, lol?? Still looking to the sky in anticipation of the stork, you moron?

      February 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  19. Kee?

    Jesus is gay.

    February 28, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • lol??

      You overpaid fer yer education.

      February 28, 2013 at 4:07 am |
    • Which God?

      Jesus is...make believe.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • ..

      You overpaid FOR YOUR education.
      See how much less illiterate that looks, lol?? Your message is still stupid, but at least you LOOK like you had SOME education...bigot.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  20. Walt

    Jesus is my Savior. Jesús is my gardner.

    February 28, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • lol??

      And yer the tumbleweed??

      February 28, 2013 at 4:08 am |
    • Science

      lol??

      Posting tp that fairy in the sky are you lol??

      Funny stuff !
      Paece

      February 28, 2013 at 4:53 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.