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June 14th, 2013
04:05 PM ET

Superman: Flying to a church near you

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

Baltimore, Maryland (CNN) - As the new Superman movie takes flight this weekend, filmmakers are hoping the Man of Steel lands not only in theaters, but also in pulpits.

Warner Bros. Studios is aggressively marketing "Man of Steel" to Christian pastors, inviting them to early screenings, creating Father’s Day discussion guides and producing special film trailers that focus on the faith-friendly angles of the movie.

The movie studio even asked a theologian to provide sermon notes for pastors who want to preach about Superman on Sunday. Titled “Jesus: The Original Superhero,” the notes run nine pages.

“How might the story of Superman awaken our passion for the greatest hero who ever lived and died and rose again?” the sermon notes ask.

(Disclaimer: CNN, like Warner Bros., is owned by Time Warner.)

Similar campaigns to corral the country's large number of Christians into the movie theater have been used for "Les Miserables," "Soul Surfer" and "The Blind Side," all of which had at least some faith angle.

Baltimore pastor Quentin Scott is among dozens of ministers who received an e-mail invitation from Grace Hill Media, a Hollywood-based Christian marketing firm, to an early screening of “Man of Steel.”

“There was an actual push to say `We’re putting out something that speaks to your group,' ” said Scott, one of the pastors of Shiloh Christian Community Church in Baltimore.

At first, Scott said, he didn’t buy the religious pitch. Then he decided to attend a free midweek screening in Baltimore.

“When I sat and listened to the movie I actually saw it was the story of Christ, and the love of God was weaved into the story," said the pastor.

"It was something I was very excited about that with the consultation of our senior pastor, we could use in our congregation.”

CNN Entertainment: 'Man of Steel' director Zack Snyder on Superman's Christ-like parallels

Grace Hill’s sermon notes are specially designed for churches like Shiloh that integrate multimedia into their services.

“Let’s take a look at the trailer for `Man of Steel,’” the notes suggest after briefly introducing the movie’s history and themes.

The man behind the notes, Pepperdine University professor Craig Detweiler, has prepared similar material for films like 2009’s "The Blind Side" and "The Book of Eli" from 2010.

The spiritual themes in “Man of Steel” are abundant, Detweiler said, and his notes enable Christians to thoughtfully engage with pop culture instead of shunning it.

“All too often, religious communities have been defined by what they're against. With a movie like `Man of Steel,’ this is a chance to celebrate a movie that affirms faith, sacrifice and service,” Detweiler said.

It will be hard for even casual Christians to miss the messianic metaphors in "Man of Steel.”

The movie focuses on the origins of Superman, who was sent from the planet Krypton as an infant to save his species.

He is raised by surrogate parents who help him grapple with his special powers, even though they don’t fully understand the source of his extraordinary abilities.

When he turns 33, Superman must willingly sacrifice himself to save the human race.

Sound familiar?

If that’s not enough, as a boy Clark Kent is shown wrestling with his superpowers, and asks his earthly dad, Jonathan Kent, “Did God do this to me?”

“Somewhere out there you have another father and he sent you here for a reason,” says Jonathan Kent.

Even the visuals hammer home the messianic motifs.

During a fight with his archenemy, General Zod, Superman plunges down to Earth, his arms outstretched as if he were being crucified. Of course, he rises again.

Detweiler writes in the sermon notes, “What Jesus and Superman both give us, through their `hero’ actions but also their `human’ actions – is hope.”

“I think it’s a very good thing that Hollywood is paying attention to the Christian marketplace,” said Ted Baehr, who runs Movieguide, a website that reviews family friendly films from a Christian perspective.

“Where it gets sticky is when they try to manipulate the market and when Christians try to manipulate Hollywood. But here I think we have the right balance.”

But other Christians are heaving a supersized sigh at the movie marketing.

"Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources' is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s word and God’s spirit," writes P.J. Wenzel, a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Dublin Baptist Church in Ohio.

"As they entertain their congregants with material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers, lives are kept in bondage, and people’s souls are neglected," according to Wenzel, who said he was e-mailed information about the movie.

Scott, the Baltimore pastor, said he knows that Warner Bros. Studios has a financial incentive in pushing the film to pastors.

But he said that’s fine with him. “They’re using us but in fact we’re using them,” he said.

His church won't show clips from the movie this weekend because it had already planned out its service. But he plans to use them later, during meetings with the church’s men’s group.

“If you give me another opportunity to talk to someone about Jesus Christ, and I can do that because of your movie, that’s a win for me, because it is about spreading the Gospel.”

CNN's Erin McPike contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Entertainment • Media • Movies

soundoff (6,545 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Putting the kibosh on all religions and their supermen in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

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

    e.g. Taoism

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

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

    June 21, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • james

      keep searching, there is one, Eph.1:4-6; 1 Cor.8:5,6 and if you really want more just ask and you will receive but it must be with a complete heart, Matt.22:37-39, peace, j

      June 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      james, No need to be proud of the fact that you need a sky fairy to complete and validate you and no need to project your delusion onto the rest of us.

      June 21, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • Reality

      As with all NT passages, Matt 22:37-39 has been thoroughly analyzed for historic authenticity by many contemporary NT scholars.

      Matthew 22:37-39

      New International Version (NIV)

      37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

      Some results:

      Professor Gerd Luedemann

      Luedemann [Jesus, 85f] suggests that Mark was handing on the tradition he had received without any significant change, but he sees the two fold summary of the law as a reductionist and anti-cultic development from the early Christian community, rather than as a saying of Jesus:

      The historical yield of the tradition is nil, since it is firmly rooted in the community and is to be derived from its needs. This community has detached itself from the temple cult and justifies this with reference to 'Jesus.' Moreover at another point Jesus gives a completely new definition of the term neighbour (see on Luke 10.30-37)."

      See also http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb201.html

      June 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • james

      your professor suggests wrong and you should read and apply the scriptures as they are and the "parable" in luke is just that, an illustration, a story for you to get a point and the point of the law that Jesus said "to love etc.." is just that so why do you spend your time trying to negate the faith of people instead of learning what the Bible really teaches and apply it to better yourself.

      June 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      james
      When people of faith can satisfactorily explain why they believe in a god for which there is no evidence, why they believe in a bible that is wrong in its foundation, and why they persist in pushing their delusion onto the rest us, maybe there would be no need to "negate".

      June 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Reality

      Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity, the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" are converging these religions into some simple rules of life. (e.g. Do No Harm), koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired.

      Ditto for houses of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues.

      June 22, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • james

      reality; I feel for you since at one time i too believed as you but if you go to jw.org and check it out you may learn what the bible really teaches. check back here and let me know if you did and if you are even serious about the subject. I would like the chance to discuss it further.

      June 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Reality

      Added details as requested by james:

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

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

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

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

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

      p.4

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

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

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

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

      June 24, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Reality

      More details for james:

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
      "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

      June 24, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Reality

      And more details for james:

      http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      June 24, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • james

      so sorry you could not find anything new and I am sure you have not even thought about what I said but you are following the wrong path and I know I am wasting my type but everything you parrot has been prophesied to come about in these days and I just hope you will reconsider who you are following. "when the blind follow the blind they both will fall into a pit", Matt.15:14, peace, j

      June 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • james

      also you are right on many of your points but you should do a little more research to see which of these responses are accurate and which are not. please, if you are serious and I think you are or I would not be doing this do some contrasting reading and see if you can discern what parts of your comments are true. it could be good for you and those who are paying attention to you but do not just pass on quotes from someone with credentials, they come easy.

      June 25, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Reality

      For james' added perusal:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

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

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

      June 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Reality

      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      June 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • james

      one more time real.., you just keep pasting the same things and I thought you were serious but evidently I was wrong. you have not read what you post since if you did you would know what Josephus said about Jesus and his writings back up the scriptures and most of everything else you post is a bunch of nonsense but you already knew that since you really read it right? no you did not and so I will not waste any more time. if you do not read what you post how can I expect you to read what i suggest. peace, j

      June 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Reality

      Actually, I have read it all and the neat thing is that most of the reading material is free. Get back to me when you are finished.

      June 26, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • james

      I am so done with you, sorry I thought I made that clear. now go ahead and have the last word and make it good for those who read it since I will not be one of them. you feed that nonsense all over the place. we can see it anywhere. bye, j

      June 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  2. Catalyst

    Yes, Jesus hung out with the tax collectors and the sinners to make a radical change in them ; which of course, only he could do.

    June 21, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  3. faith

    Candiano
    Gays are born that way. If you posit that God made man, God also made gay men.

    If you posit that god made man. god made murderers.

    god made man. god made preeverts like lil fatso sambo

    god made man. god made slothful, smelly punks like anvil head

    simple minded deviants, the kind demons adore, cannot inject the greatest trauma of all into history, between paradise and paradise lost

    June 21, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      faithy: You idiot, your opinion is not trusted...you should know this by now. You just don't like anyone bursting your bublble or taking down your buybull. Try to stay on topic...this article is about SuperMan not your fixation on other peoples personal lives.

      June 21, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • Mark

      TP you're getting defensive again. No name calling! You will come back in time.

      June 21, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  4. o

    The secret is, the apostles told the truth

    June 21, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • o

      It's a secret to those that don't believe God

      Mat 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

      June 21, 2013 at 3:44 am |
    • o

      Words from people who knew

      June 21, 2013 at 4:35 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You do know that the writers of the gospels are not known. You're just a crazed religitard too gullible to live in the real world.

      June 21, 2013 at 5:16 am |
  5. Shiloh

    Jesus is the Savior of mankind, He is God incarnate, His mission was to offer salvation to mankind, to offer reconciliation between God and a fallen world. Jesus is not a demigod .

    June 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      No, Demi's god will always be Bruce. Ashton was just a young pretender.

      June 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Shiloh, why did your purportedly omnipotent sky fairy need to sacrifice anything to "save" us? Why not just do that job without all the silly Jesus hoopla?

      And for that matter, how could Jesus' death be a sacrifice when a truly omnipotent creature could just create a new Jesus with less than a snap of its fingers, or just roll back time?

      Ah, you've got one of those less-capable, imperfect gods. Better make yourself a better one next time.

      June 20, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Writing in bold letters is not a valid argument.

      June 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Mark

      Hey Bob, God became man so you'd get it. We can not even grasp what he true God is. Apparently you missed it even when he simplified for you Thanks for making his point.

      June 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Pete

      Actually the way he did it makes no sense whatsoever. Being all powerful, all god had to do to forgive the sins that he created us with is forgive them. He didn't need to send a part of himself to Earth to live for 30 years so that he could then sacrifice himself to himself to forgive sins that are his fault in the first place.

      June 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • OTOH

      Mark,
      " Apparently you missed it even when he simplified for you "

      Would a real smart, powerful, loving and just god have so many of 'his' creatures miss the message? Wouldn't this god know precisely what it would take for each and every one of us equally?

      June 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Mark

      Pete/OTOH are you part of that generation that just wants everything given to them. It takes sacrifice, hard choices to not self gratify and like. He doesn't give participation trophies even though you didn't work hard in practice, or show up for games when your team needed you. Proper parenting is done by guiding and not giving your kids everything. You sound like a couple spoiled children.

      June 22, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • OTOH

      Mark,
      " He doesn't give participation trophies even though you didn't work hard in practice,"

      Listen, kid, I "participated" wholeheartedly for nearly 50 years (I'm sort of embarrassed to say). I finally had to admit to myself that there is no trophy giver there.

      June 22, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Bob

      Mark, seriously, what OTOH said. Read it and think. Why should I have to work or sacrifice to please or believe in an omnipotent being who has everything and apparently made me with many flaws including my apparent inability to believe in him?

      And more seriously, your Christian beliefs are just absurd and harmful. Get over them already, please. Time the world moved on from your hateful, bigoted religion.

      June 22, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Bob

      Mark, another problem with your statements is that you do claim to know god's will and characteristics, while claiming at the same time that they can't be understood. If you can't see the contradiction there, well, you have some significant problems.

      June 22, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  6. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    Let's teach alchemy along with chemistry, astrology along with astronomy, and faith healing along with medicine.

    June 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Wrong spot.

      June 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
  7. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    Like Gil Scott-Heron said, "There ain't no such thing as a superman!"

    June 20, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Bill

      Well, mebbe, but Dumbledore >> god. And Gandalf and Frodo are great dudes too compared to that Christian god guy who keeps threatening to burn people -what a jerk that guy is.

      June 20, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
  8. Secular Humanist from Ohio

    There is a peti tion at "We the People" to ban Creationism and Intelligent Design in the science classroom as federal law.

    June 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • ME II

      Didn't SCOTUS address this in Edwards v. Aguillard and in Kitzmiller v Dover BOE

      June 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ME II

      Sorry, Kitzmiller v Cover wasn't SCOTUS, but the decision about ID was based on the SCOTUS decision in Edwards v. Aguillard,

      June 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      So will you sign MEII? Go to Richard Dawkins twitter to access the site.

      June 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • ME II

      "Therefore, we peti[]tion the Obama Adminstration to ban the teachings of these conjectures that contradict Evolution."
      ( https://petiREMOVEtions.whitehouse.gov/petiREMOVEtion/ban-creationism-and-intelligent-design-science-classroom-federal-law/pNY6mCBg )

      While I abhor the laws attempting to "teach the controversy" or supposedly supporting "critical analysis" while, in effect, doing the opposite, I am also not a fan of legislating science.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I wouldn't call it legislating science, I'd call it legislating against anti-science in compulsory child education.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @Sorry Dave...,
      6 or 1/2 dozen.
      Isn't legislating what is not science also legislating what is?
      While more difficult to explain, I think court precedent and the Lemon Test is sufficient for the moment.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • ME II

      For example, shall we put Anthropogenic Climate Change up for a vote? I'd hate to see those results.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      There's still a debate in meteorologic, climatological and geological circles regarding the extent of humanity's impact on the climate. There is no debate in biological circles regarding evolution (in terms of creationism, obviously. There is plenty of debate regarding how evolution operates).

      June 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I should just point out that I actually agree with you. This stuff shouldn't have to be legislated. One hopes common sense can prevail, although this sadly isn't always the case.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Athy

      Particularly in the bible belt.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Science

      Texas and the text books ?

      June 20, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • ME II

      @I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that,
      "There's still a debate... regarding the extent..."
      "There is no debate in biological circles regarding evolution."

      Agreed, but if we vote on one, what's to stop the vote on the other? More legislation?

      "One hopes common sense can prevail, although this sadly isn't always the case."

      Agreed, ...sadly.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Science

      Big MONEY in text Books............if I remember correctly it was a BILLION dollars in the Texas budget !

      June 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      ME II

      You're correct I guess, it's just the prospect of non-evolutionary biology being thought in public schools fills me with despair.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Dawkins was right . Getting atheists together is a bit like trying to herd cats

      June 20, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Secular Humanist from Ohio

      The fact that atheists only have one common characteristic should be indicative of this. Atheist organizations as a whole are fairly pointless, other than being a self-congratulatory circle-jerk.

      June 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Let's teach alchemy along with chemistry, astrology along with astronomy, and faith healing along with medicine.

      June 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @Secular Humanist from Ohio,
      I'm not saying that at all. I'm just wary of starting a trend of voting, via legislation, on what is and is not science.

      June 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  9. Wake-up bomb with the Gospel of St. John

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1ovNZTpVcU&w=640&h=390]

    June 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  10. George Karlson

    I really didn't get the Christian aspect of it. I don't get how he sacrificed himself? For our sins? Resurrected?
    I suppose you can point things out if you are looking for them though.

    June 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Some Christians think that any medium of entertainment which has a character making a sacrifice is a direct reference to Jesus, as they believe Jesus is to only person to have ever sacrificed himself ever.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • looking upward

      No Dave

      Death was a means to the resurrection.

      JESUS is the only one who said he would die and come back in 3 days. And did.

      No other has before or since.

      Too many witnesses too, to deny it happened -many of which were nor followers.

      June 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @looking upward.
      "JESUS is the only one who said he would die and come back in 3 days. And did."
      "Too many witnesses too, to deny it happened -many of which were nor followers."

      What do you mean too many witnesses? Your book claims to have witnesses, but no where else is that confirmed.

      June 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens. Who came to earth... and then died... only to be brought back to life again. And his name was: E.T., the extra-terrestrial. I love that little guy.

      June 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  11. Science

    Hey fred how old is the BONE not from Adam.

    Bone Tumor in 120,000-Year-Old Neandertal Discovered

    June 7, 2013 —

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605190144.htm

    June 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • looking upward

      In the beginning GOD. created the heavens and the earth.

      Then, GOD said, "let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness. .."

      By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of GOD, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

      GOD is not a man, that can lie.

      June 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Science

      The bible is BS is lu...............is that Austin ?

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/biblical-marriage-iowa-scholars-op-ed_n_3397304.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

      June 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      looking upward: "Then, GOD said, "let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness. .."

      Who are THEY if GOD said 'let US make man in OUR image' and how did THEY get there is GOD was the only thing in existence prior to "creation"?

      How did "god" come into existence? Was there a SUPER-GOD before that who created little "god"?

      DOLT!

      June 20, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  12. mzh

    Thought to explain few points:

    – The word Allah derives from AL ILAH, meaning The Ilah and when you add these two words, it becomes Allah (there is no gender for this word and number as well – purely mono)

    – If the Quran was the word of Muhammad then why would he talk to himself (3:44 and there are many other veres)?
    – The deciples declared that they are Muslim as Isa was and any other prophet before him and after (which is only Muhammad)
    – The word Muslim means – the one who believes in One Lord and Submit to Him as well... not like I believe in One God and I also believe that God has a partner or son or daughter and so on
    – Jesus actually talked to his deciples that there will be a prophet coming after me and his name will be Ahmad and it is mention in John as well:

    61:6 – And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, "This is obvious magic."

    There are plenty of places of Quran that addresses that these are the verses for those who us their intellectual to think and they are the ones who accepts the truth...

    I hope it will help for the mankind, if not for all but atleast for those who strives to find the truth about Jesus and The Almighty...
    Peace...

    June 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  13. tony

    Just exactly who or what is the ten commandment god jealous of???

    June 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • looking upward

      All prayers are answered.

      YES

      NO

      NOT NOW – WAIT.

      every time.

      We just don't like the last two.

      June 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • G to the T

      Although sometimes you might get "Outlook Hazy – Try Again".

      Convenient how the outcome of prayer is indistiguishable from normal happenstance...

      June 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @looking upward,
      However it is odd how the number of "YES" answers is remarkably close to the number positive outcomes when left to chance.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • ME II

      @G to the T,
      Sorry for the redundancy and repeti.tion.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • George Karlson

      If you think there needs to be an exact reason for someone to get jealous, I suggest giving marriage a shot. You will be quite surprised.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  14. John Stemberger

    When was your Torah written Fred?

    June 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • mzh

      The Torah that we see today has been travelled mouth to mouth for thousands of years by Jews.... and there has been addition and delition by the people who were author of it over the period... i do not have any evidence for that but i could tell you few examples...
      1. When Moses crossed the river with Children of Israel and escaped from pheroh and right after that they made a cow and started worshipping idols and Moses and Aaron were there alive... now you can think what could they have done while there were no prophets...
      2. Jews used also to believe as Christian believes now... the concept of 'Son of God'... here is a verse in Quran:

      9:30 – The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

      So, i do not think you will find any answer of ur question...

      June 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • George Karlson

      The 5 Books of Moses remains unchanged. The oral tradition was always changing until around 1500 yrs ago.
      There is no "Son of God" according to any Jewish tradition.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  15. looking upward

    Mr. Reality left off some names from his list who are very credible.

    President Obama, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

    All profess being a Christian, JESUS is Lord and Savior, King of kings, Prince of Peace, All mighty GOD and the only means to everlasting life in heaven, sins forgiven, washed by the perfect spotless Lamb, who knows JESUS lived and died and rose again and is coming back – very soon.

    Just a few of our highly thought of and reliable friends in JESUS.

    Must make you considered the company you are keeping?

    Maybe time to switch teams.

    John 3:16

    Trust and Believe. Confess and Repent. Receive the free gift of everlasting life.

    Today!

    June 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."

      June 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • tony

      A lot if people trusted Hitler (Christian), all the crowned heads of Europe (christians) for around a 1000 years of almost constant religious wars between the various catholic and protestant factions.

      So please stop posting "trust me" – I'm right" garbage.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • looking upward

      See, you missed my point. I was only helping Mr. REALITY. Complete his list. Yes, I then took the liberty to expand upon what these Christians believe in.

      You have FREE will, another gift from GOD. You choose whom you will serve each breath you take each day GOD gives you.

      Profess JESUS as your Savior before man, He will profess you before our Heavenly Father GOD Almighty . Deny JESUS before man, and HE will deny you before God Almighty.

      HE said, before you are two choices today. Life or death. I prefer you choose Life.

      HE said, Today is the day of Salvation.

      HE said, No man is promised tomorrow.

      It is your call. Totally. Accept or Reject.

      Make a decision when the spirit leads you. No one can force you. You make the decision. JESUS already made HIS.

      John 3:16

      June 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      It is difficult for a atheist to get nominated let alone elected, so I'm sure politicians profess religion for expediency.
      Just because smart people share your delusion, it doesn't make it less of a delusion. You have no proof of a god and no amount of diversion changes that reality.

      June 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • looking upward

      Respectfully Trust Santa

      It's no anyone's job to convenience you with every bit of hard evidence or you demanding getting a personal audience or visitation from your Creator.

      Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

      By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of GOD, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

      June 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Reality

      Obama says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian.

      And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics. Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

      And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

      Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!

      June 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Reality

      Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      June 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Reality

      Saying that Jesus being the savior will not make it so. John 3:16 by the way is a single attestation in the NT and many contemporary NT scholars ) have concluded that it was not said by the historical Jesus. It was, they conclude, an addition to embellish the life of Jesus to gain converts/money to/for the cause.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,
      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      June 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • looking upward

      Mr. REALITY
      Advocate for pro-life.

      Another surprise.

      Give others more of your insight.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • looking upward

      Reality

      Trusted authorities you should have considered were those on the ground, close to the action, near enough to touch the one others only have opinions about.

      Need a list?

      June 20, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Reality

      You talking about this list:

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

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

      June 20, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  16. tony

    Religion is the failure of goodness for it's own sake. Instead it is the well planned carrot and stick of obedience to the government of society.

    June 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Dippy

      Its, not it's.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  17. mzh

    The story of Jesus mentioned almost all over the Quran... here is one story about him (Peace and blessings be upon him):

    3:35 – [Mention, O Muhammad], when the wife of 'Imran said, "My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing."

    3:36 – But when she delivered her, she said, "My Lord, I have delivered a female." And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, "And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah ]."

    3:37 – So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, "O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?" She said, "It is from Allah . Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account."

    3:38 – At that, Zechariah called upon his Lord, saying, "My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication."

    3:39 – So the angels called him while he was standing in prayer in the chamber, "Indeed, Allah gives you good tidings of John, confirming a word from Allah and [who will be] honorable, abstaining [from women], and a prophet from among the righteous."

    3:40 – He said, "My Lord, how will I have a boy when I have reached old age and my wife is barren?" The angel said, "Such is Allah ; He does what He wills."

    3:41 – He said, "My Lord, make for me a sign." He Said, "Your sign is that you will not [be able to] speak to the people for three days except by gesture. And remember your Lord much and exalt [Him with praise] in the evening and the morning."

    3:42 – And [mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds.

    3:43 – O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer]."

    3:44 – That is from the news of the unseen which We reveal to you, [O Muhammad]. And you were not with them when they cast their pens as to which of them should be responsible for Mary. Nor were you with them when they disputed.

    3:45 – [And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ].

    3:46 – He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous."

    3:47 – She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is.

    3:48 – And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel

    3:48 – And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

    3:49 – And [make him Jesus] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah . And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah . And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.

    3:50 – And [I (Jesus) have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me (Jesus).

    3:51 – Indeed, Allah is my (Jesus) Lord and your (companions) Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path."

    3:52 – Then when Isa (Jesus) came to know of their disbelief, he said: "Who will be my helpers in Allah's Cause?" Al-Hawariun (the disciples and the companions) said: "We are the helpers of Allah; we believe in Allah, and bear witness that we are Muslims (i.e. we submit to Allah)."

    3:53 – Our Lord! We believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the Messenger ['Iesa (Jesus)]; so write us down among those who bear witness (to the truth i.e. La ilaha ill-Allah – none has the right to be worshipped but Allah).

    3:54 – And they (disbelievers) plotted [to kill 'Iesa (Jesus) ], and Allah planned too. And Allah is the Best of the planners.

    3:55 – And (remember) when Allah said: "O 'Iesa (Jesus)! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you [of the forged statement that 'Iesa (Jesus) is Allah's son] of those who disbelieve, and I will make those who follow you (Monotheists, who worship none but Allah) superior to those who disbelieve [in the Oneness of Allah, or disbelieve in some of His Messengers, e.g. Muhammad SAW, 'Iesa (Jesus), Musa (Moses), etc., or in His Holy Books, e.g. the Taurat (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel), the Quran] till the Day ofResurrection. Then you will return to Me and I will judge between you in the matters in which you used to dispute."

    3:56 – "As to those who disbelieve, I will punish them with a severe torment in this world and in the Hereafter, and they will have no helpers."

    3:57 – And as for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah) and do righteous good deeds, Allah will pay them their reward in full. And Allah does not like the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).

    3:58 – This is what We recite to you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Verses and the Wise Reminder (i.e. the Quran).

    3:59 – Verily, the likeness of 'Iesa (Jesus) before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be!" – and he was.

    3:60 – (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.

    3:61 – Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you – say, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us]."

    3:62 – Indeed, this is the true story. And there is no deity except Allah. And indeed, Allah is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

    June 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Reality

    How some modern day scholars classify Jesus:

    A sampling is presented at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    :Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
    Earl Doherty
    Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

    Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
    Alvar Ellegård
    G. A. Wells

    Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
    Gregory Riley

    Jesus the Revolutionary
    Robert Eisenman

    Jesus the Wisdom Sage
    John Dominic Crossan
    Robert Funk
    Burton Mack
    Stephen J. Patterson

    Jesus the Man of the Spirit
    Marcus Borg
    Stevan Davies
    Geza Vermes

    Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
    Richard Horsley
    Hyam Maccoby
    Gerd Theissen

    Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
    Bart Ehrman
    Paula Fredriksen
    Gerd Lüdemann
    John P. Meier
    E. P. Sanders

    Jesus the Savior
    Luke Timothy Johnson
    Robert H. Stein
    N. T. Wright

    June 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • looking upward

      President Obama says JESUS is his LORD and Savior.

      Of course we believe everything he says is true.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • looking upward

      Martin Luther King, Jr. Said JESUS CHRIST was his LORD and Savior.

      We all remember Martin as speaking the truth.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • looking upward

      Frederick Douglass was a born again Christian. JESUS was his salvation.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • looking upward

      Former president Clinton and former Senator / Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both profess to be Christian, that JESUS is KING of kings, Alpha and Omega, Prince of Peace, and the only way to the FATHER Almighty GOD and only by JESUS can one be saved and enter heaven.

      Two more truth tellers.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • looking upward

      Even Nancy Pelosi is convenienced JESUS is who he says HE is. Savior of the world / all mankind.

      Got to trust her.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • tony

      So why don't any prayers worK?

      June 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Obama, Clintons, King, Pelosi? Is that the best you've got? Four habitual liars.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      Sorry, five. Two liars for the price of one with the Clintons.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • This just in!

      So you are telling me that politician lie? No way! I don't believe it! OMG! Seriously? They can lie? Really? Really? Wow, that is news to most of us i'm sure... thank's for the late breaking news, "This just in, politicians occasionally lie to get votes and keep their jobs". wow, I know, quite the bombshell i'm sure...

      June 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      I'm kind of tired. I completely missed the irony of upward on first perusal. On second reading, it's fairly evident.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • looking upward

      If you concluded these are liars, and knowing from years of experience, you vote these into office each and every chance you get. Wonderful.

      That makes us laugh LOL.

      So, Mr. REALITY. list – makes it null and void too.

      I will only take GOD's word for truth. Not yours, your so called scholars of higher education so called trusted authorities on nothingness or Mr. Reality list of notable clients.

      JESUS CHRIST – Savior for the world. John 3:16

      Still love you. And can only share the truth in love.

      That will probably burn you up inside and post nasty remarks.

      Okay. Truth stands the test of time and people. It's absolute.

      June 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      looking upward

      Ah, so you lie to make a point (a point which I don't get at all).

      Also, I assure you that I have never and would never vote for any of te people mentioned.

      June 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that

      The

      June 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
  19. Terry

    ☎ Mithra For SALVATION ♰ ♰ ♰

    June 20, 2013 at 9:59 am |
  20. faith

    nothing

    zero

    June 20, 2013 at 7:51 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith ..............lmao ............the little blue box..

      My take: A word to Christians – Be nice – CNN Belief Blog ...

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be...

      Feb 09, 2013 · The e word wins all the time creationists ... not the nasty bible. and Adam and his bone. ... Hey Bobie and As-stin Chad/rachel l4h fred Robert Brown ...

      http://www.bing.com/search?q=Hey+creationists+.................chad+too..............evolution+wins+not+Adam+and+his+bone%2C&form=HPNTDF&pc=HPNTDF&src=IE-SearchBox

      June 20, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith.................you got to love that devil aye ?

      Scientists Identify Emotions Based On Brain Activity

      June 19, 2013 — For the first time, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have identified which emotion a person is experiencing based on brain activity.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619195137.htm

      June 20, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith what are they tracking ? Evolution ?

      'Tracking in Caves': On the Trail of Pre-Historic Humans

      June 3, 2013 — In remote caves of the Pyrenees, lie precious remnants of the Ice Age undisturbed: foot and hand prints of prehistoric hunters.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130603113353.htm

      June 20, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Psst...

      Nazis were Christians, faith. It can't be repeated to you enough, since you apparently do not know history very well. Listen to your betters, now.

      June 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
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About this blog

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