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July 20th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

Reza Aslan: Why I write about Jesus

Opinion by Reza Aslan, special to CNN

(CNN) - When I was 15 years old, I found Jesus.

I spent the summer of my sophomore year at an evangelical youth camp in Northern California, a place of timbered fields and boundless blue skies, where, given enough time and stillness and soft-spoken encouragement, one could not help but hear the voice of God.

Amid the man-made lakes and majestic pines my friends and I sang songs, played games and swapped secrets, rollicking in our freedom from the pressures of home and school.

In the evenings, we gathered in a fire-lit assembly hall at the center of the camp. It was there that I heard a remarkable story that would change my life forever.


Two thousand years ago, I was told, in an ancient land called Galilee, the God of heaven and Earth was born in the form of a helpless child. The child grew into a blameless man. The man became the Christ, the savior of humanity.

Through his words and miraculous deeds, he challenged the Jews who thought they were the chosen of God, and in return he was nailed to a cross. Though Jesus could have saved himself from that gruesome death, he freely chose to die.

Indeed, his death was the point of it all, for his sacrifice freed us all from the burden of our sins.

But the story did not end there, because three days later, he rose again, exalted and divine, so that now, all who believe in him and accept him into their hearts will also never die, but have eternal life.

For a kid raised in a motley family of lukewarm Muslims and exuberant atheists, this was truly the greatest story ever told. Never before had I felt so intimately the pull of God.

In Iran, the place of my birth, I was Muslim in much the way I was Persian. My religion and my ethnicity were mutual and linked. Like most people born into a religious tradition, my faith was as familiar to me as my skin, and just as disregardable.

After the Iranian revolution forced my family to flee our home, religion in general, and Islam in particular, became taboo in our household. Islam was shorthand for everything we had lost to the mullahs who now ruled Iran.

My mother still prayed when no one was looking, and you could still find a stray Quran or two hidden in a closet or a drawer somewhere. But, for the most part, our lives were scrubbed of all trace of God.

That was just fine with me. After all, in the America of the 1980s, being Muslim was like being from Mars. My faith was a bruise, the most obvious symbol of my otherness; it needed to be concealed.

Jesus, on the other hand, was America. He was the central figure in America’s national drama. Accepting him into my heart was as close as I could get to feeling truly American.

I do not mean to say that mine was a conversion of convenience. On the contrary, I burned with absolute devotion to my newfound faith.

I was presented with a Jesus who was less “Lord and Savior” than he was a best friend, someone with whom I could have a deep and personal relationship. As a teenager trying to make sense of an indeterminate world I had only just become aware of, this was an invitation I could not refuse.

The moment I returned home from camp, I began eagerly to share the good news of Jesus Christ with my friends and family, my neighbors and classmates, with people I’d just met and with strangers on the street: those who heard it gladly, and those who threw it back in my face.

Yet something unexpected happened in my quest to save the souls of the world.

The more I probed the Bible to arm myself against the doubts of unbelievers, the more distance I discovered between the Jesus of the Gospels and the Jesus of history – between Jesus the Christ and Jesus of Nazareth.

In college, where I began my formal study of the history of religions, that initial discomfort soon ballooned into full-blown doubts.

The bedrock of evangelical Christianity, at least as it was taught to me, is the unconditional belief that every word of the Bible is God-breathed and true, literal and inerrant.

The sudden realization that this belief is patently and irrefutably false, that the Bible is replete with the most blatant and obvious errors and contradictions — just as one would expect from a document written by hundreds of different hands across thousands of years — left me confused and spiritually unmoored.

And so, like many people in my situation, I angrily discarded my faith as if it were a costly forgery I had been duped into buying.

I began to rethink the faith and culture of my forefathers, finding in them a deeper, more intimate familiarity than I ever had as a child, the kind that comes from reconnecting with an old friend after many years apart.

Meanwhile, I continued my academic work in religious studies, delving back into the Bible not as an unquestioning believer but as an inquisitive scholar. No longer chained to the assumption that the stories I read were literally true, I became aware of a more meaningful truth in the text.

Ironically, the more I learned about the life of the historical Jesus, the turbulent world in which he lived, and the brutality of the Roman occupation that he defied, the more I was drawn to him.

The Jewish peasant and revolutionary who challenged the rule of the most powerful empire the world had ever known became so much more real to me than the detached, unearthly being I had been introduced to in church.

Today, I can confidently say that two decades of rigorous academic research into the origins of Christianity has made me a more genuinely committed disciple of Jesus of Nazareth than I ever was of Jesus Christ.

I have modeled my life not after the celestial spirit whom many Christians believe sacrificed himself for our sins, but rather after the illiterate, marginal Jew who gave his life fighting an unwinnable battle against the religious and political powers of his day on behalf of the poor and the dispossessed – those his society deemed unworthy of saving.

I wrote my newest book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" in order to spread the good news of the Jesus of history with the same fervor that I once applied to spreading the story of the Christ.

Because I am convinced that one can be a devoted follower of Jesus without being a Christian, just as I know that one can be a Christian without being a follower of Jesus.

Reza Aslan is a bestselling author and a scholar of religion. This article was adapted from his newest book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth." The views expressed in this column are Aslan's alone.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (4,311 Responses)
  1. Reza Islam

    The only time CNN agrees with any muslim is when a muslim is going after christianity. Period. And you really wonder if CNN is really happy when there's a fight among religious groups?

    Now one step up... you really wonder if CNN (and other like-minded folks) are inflaming the conflicts? Maybe even started it? I maybe a little paranoid. Because I think all the current problems USA is facing is Bush's fault.

    July 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Austin

      well that and all the people who were intertained by the war on fox. and then voted for more. they were duped at many churches.

      this is a secular country.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  2. chris

    Why does CNN defend this nutjob and his recent interview? ...If you wanna know what a real liar he is, google " reza aslan ihadwatch ", and see what the REAL religious scholars say about him...

    July 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Eternal One

      Right on! Reza as z lan is a stealth jihadist akin to the rotten fascist CAIR, the MB. Hamas, HEzzbollah and of course the iranian mullah's. It is shameful and sipicable CNN, being the currupt islamophilic media news outlet that it is, that it sees no problema in promoting islamofascist lies and garbage from these criminals.I think next time they will allow the syrian al-qaeda jihadist who eated human parts to post an article here. This shows how dumb, currupt, dishonest CNN really is..a never ending ruthless islamic propaganda machine.Oh wait...the BBC almost did that in an apologetic absurd boot-licking interview/pro-islamic/pro-jihadist propaganda piece.

      July 30, 2013 at 4:52 am |
  3. mzh

    Thanks to all for your postings on this regards… I know there are no answers… but I was more likely expecting that you would answer from what you believe in… I mean your faith book i.e. Bible, Torah, Ghita, Tripitak or any others if there is any…

    I am a proud Muslim and I live each and every step of my life by reflecting the teaching of Quran… I study other religions too to know it… and when I know something new, it helps me compare my own faith and also it elevates my level of faith in Islam much more… that I do not submit myself to a creature or any material objects but to The One worthy of Worship who is unseen and towards whom we are returning…

    Here is what I found from Quran and I believe this the best answer and more importantly the truth… now if you want me to show the proofs that you want to touch or see mathematically, no one can at these days but I am definitely absolutely positive that if you study Quran with patience and go to someone who has knowledge of it, you will find yourself something that you have perhaps been looking for your entire life:

    1. WHERE DID WE (or I) COME FROM

    There are 2 elements of human body:
    1. The body which has been created from dust – from the earth
    2. Soul breathed in to it which makes the body to move or ability to think and so on – from up and no one knows more details about it

    # 1: The body which created from dust
    40:67 – It is He who created you
    1. from dust, then
    2. from a sperm-drop, then
    3. from a clinging clot; then He brings you out as
    4. a child; then [He develops you] that you reach your [time of]
    5. maturity, then [further] that you become
    6. Elders (old age).
    7. And among you is he who is taken in death before [that], so that you reach a specified term; and perhaps you will think.

    4:1 – O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.

    # 2: Soul breathed to the created body
    32:7 – Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his posterity out of the extract of a liquid disdained. Then He proportioned him and breathed into him from His [created] soul and made for you hearing and vision and hearts; little are you grateful.

    There are 4 ways of human creation:
    1. Adam from dust
    2. Eve from Adam
    3. Off-spring of Adam from the mixing of sperm and ovum which we all are
    4. Jesus The Son of Marry – created from only mother without father and this is a miracle or a sign for mankind to know that when God wishes to create anything He only says ‘Be and it is’…

    2. WHY ARE WE HERE (WHAT IS OUR MISSION IN THIS EARTHLY LIFE):

    We are here with a mission and this mission will decide what would be the end result. As we all know that nothing we do without a purpose and so human creation…

    51:56 – And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

    4:36 – Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbour, the neighbour farther away, the companion at your side, the traveller, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are arrogant and boastful.

    7:158 – Say, [O Muhammad], "O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, [from Him] to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death." So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be guided.

    3. WHERE ARE WE HEADING TO
    When we end our life the human body stays in the earth as it was created from the earth and the soul goes up where it came from which of course no one knows, and this soul and human body will be merged again on that day for accountability and that human body will not be the same as this earthly life as the environment will be totally different.

    32:11 – Say, "The angel of death will take you who has been entrusted with you. Then to your Lord you will be returned."

    45:26 – Say "Allah causes you to live, then causes you to die, then He will assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt, but most of the people do not know (meaning do not use their intellectual to know.)

    45:27 – And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. And the day the hours appear – that day the falsifiers will lose.

    2:28 – How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.

    Then Quran gives lot of pictures after the judgement and there will only be 2 ways, either heaven or hell and there are no third options.

    I hope it will make us to think about the human creation, the purpose of the creation and the end…

    I would ask the mankind to accept Islam as your way of life but its up to individual as there are no compulsion in choosing religion.

    Peace!!!

    July 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Johnmpls

      Thank you mzh for being honest about where you are coming from. (I only wish Reza and CNN would have been also.)

      How do you explain the fruits of your religion, as practiced by many? Many of your fellow Islamic believers are convinced that those who don't believe as you are to be killed. And/or those who change their beliefs from Islam to another religion are to be killed. Or that no country should exist without having the most fundamental of Islamic beliefs as their basis.

      I know that those who believe these don't represent all Muslims, but they DO represent a sizable percentage.

      I know that others (Christians and Jews for example) have in the past had periods of harsh beliefs to others, but I am looking at say, the last 200 years. (Also there is no denying that Muslims were the ones who created the need for the Crusades.)

      So if the fruits of a religion are the truest measure of what the religion is about, than there is no denying that the fruits of Islam have been of war, torture, and intolerance of all those who do not believe the same. By the same token, most of the world's education and medical care have come from those who follow Christ and have been given to those who do not profess the same beliefs.

      .

      July 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • I AM

        Most methods of medicine and learning have spread from the East to the West. The practice of medicine was taught to people in trade caravans coming out of China. Middle Eastern countries picked up many innovations from the far east and perfected them in the West.

        July 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • mzh

      Dear Johnmpls

      I guess all I could say is that I am not the one to judge as this is not given to me… one should be worried about him/herself…

      I think you answered your question “I know that those who believe these don't represent all Muslims”

      And regardless of our faith, we all will be judged by the one Who Created us and one should ask himself about himself rather being judged by others, also we only know the external part and internal part is not known to anyone but the who created…

      I would not justify the entire faith by the followers but I would go and try to learn and if I find anyone doing wrong then I would try my best to stop it whether its my own brother…

      I appreciate your reply…

      May the peace and blessings be upon you…

      July 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  4. I AM

    It would be hard to be a christian without following Jesus. Don't know how that would work.

    July 29, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • myweightinwords

      And yet, so very many people do it every day.

      July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
      • DS

        Actually, no. If they're not following Jesus, they're not a Christian. It's like me claiming to be Santa because I dress in a red suit. Too many people are claiming to be something they're not.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
        • myweightinwords

          Yes, I think that is EXACTLY the point.

          The word Christian has become a catchall phrase that includes a lot of very disparate beliefs and behaviors.

          July 30, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Tope

      Jesus said it Himself that, He is the way,the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Him. Christianity without Jesus is no Christianity at all.

      July 30, 2013 at 4:40 am |
      • Abie

        .... Honestly. without Jesus, there's no Christianity. the author is trying to separate the Annointing from Jesus.

        The Christ means the ANNOINTED ONE AND HIS ANNOINTING without which you cant be a Christian.

        July 30, 2013 at 6:31 am |
  5. Johnmpls

    CNN: Be clear on these points:

    – Reza Aslan is a devoted Muslim. Read his other books, or hear him speak.
    – These radically new views expressed in this new book are really the core Islamic beliefs about Christ. Nothing new.

    If a devoted Evangelical Christian were to say he was influenced by Islam during his youth and has now found all these radical things wrong with Islam, you would not let him write a piece like this.

    Be fair.

    July 29, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  6. Cat

    The author is a Muslim. Enough said.

    July 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  7. GOOD NEWS

    Be a true follower of Jesus Christ, in this Final Age,
    based on real Knowledge and true Miracles.

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    July 28, 2013 at 5:02 am |
  8. revvyb8

    Reza, I'm sorry to inform you but you cannot actually know one without the other. If you are believing history because it tells you of a revolutionist, I'm sure you can find as many as you can count in several lifetimes. But that is FARRRRR from the Truth that He is. He is The Christ, the Son of the Living God. Christ mean Messiah and Jesus is definitely that! PLEASE, don't stop yet, just because fundamentalists want to force you to believe every word literally. God's Word is true, just not literally every word with a cultural void. Read the whole history (again if you haven't).

    July 28, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Rick

      So, we're just supposed to take your word on that?

      July 28, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  9. MIKE HOWELL

    BROTHER, The bible clearly says without the spirit of Christ..your none of his. When he wept at the grave of Lazarus that was the man, but when he shouted Lazarus come forth... that was more than a man.. That WAS "Christ" which means the annointed... . God Bless you..Mike Howell

    July 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • revvyb8

      Thank you for writing your thoughts, my thoughts exactly!

      July 27, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Rick

      Then Lazarus just died again a little while later, right? Big whoop!

      July 28, 2013 at 12:15 am |
      • I AM

        To be fair, Lazarus was murdered by zealots.

        July 29, 2013 at 11:19 am |
      • TomD

        But Lazarus is saved from the second death! That's the whole point of Christianity. Those who believe in Jesus spend eternity with God, and are saved from the second death.

        July 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
        • sam stone

          do you seriously want to spend eternity with the being from whom you have to be saved?

          July 30, 2013 at 6:14 am |
        • sam stone

          While we are at it, it seems absurd to believe there is more than one death

          July 30, 2013 at 6:22 am |
  10. wkb2texans

    Why would Reza have the audacity to think we should accept his invented account of Jesus over the “invented” account of the gospel writers? Seriously?

    July 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  11. Vic

    Isaiah 53 is definitely about Jesus Christ.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/Isa.53.1-Isa.53.12

    Jesus Christ was prophesied in many parts of the Old Testament that were written during 4000, 1000, 700, 500, and 400 BC. That include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Micah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Over 300 of those prophecies were fulfilled, and the total fulfillment takes place during the Second Coming of Him.

    http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html
    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Miscellaneous/messianic_prophecies.htm

    July 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Ken

      The prophecies about the actual Jewish Messiah include:
      * The Sanhedrin will be re-established (Isaiah 1:26)
      * Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance. (Isaiah 2:4)
      * The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:17)
      * He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via King Solomon (1 Chron. 22:8-10)
      * The Moshiach will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2) (In other words – this must all be accomplished in a human lifetime)
      * Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4)
      * Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9)
      * He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)
      * All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)
      * Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)
      * There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)
      * All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19)
      * The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)
      * He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 52:7)
      * Nations will end up recognizing the wrongs they did to Israel (Isaiah 52:13-53:5) (Ironic, considering how Jesus ushered in anti-Semitism)
      * The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)
      * The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)
      * Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)
      * The Temple will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 40) resuming many of the suspended mitzvot
      * He will then perfect the entire world to serve God together (Zephaniah 3:9)
      * Jews will know the Torah without Study (Jeremiah 31:33)
      * He will give you all the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)
      * He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13-15, Ezekiel 36:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9).

      Again, all supposed to be accomplished by a human, during his long lifetime. No "second coming". No divinity. No getting himself nailed to a cross at middle-age. In order to make Jesus into the Messiah, you have to redefine who the messiah is, which changes everything.

      July 27, 2013 at 12:43 am |
      • lol??

        "Isa 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?"

        July 27, 2013 at 9:02 am |
        • Ken

          These are actual messianic prophesies. Can you honestly say that they match what Jesus did in his lifetime?

          July 27, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • TomD

          Ken, Jesus is still alive, resurrected, and the end hasn't come yet....... there's still time to repent :)

          July 29, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • DS

        Please specify in the Bible where it says ALL these events will take event DURING Jesus's time on earth. This is how versus are taken out of context to "prove" contradictions.

        July 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
        • Observer

          DS,

          Verses don't need to be taken out of context to prove contradictions. There are plenty of straight-forward ones.

          July 29, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
      • Armen Gevorkian

        Ultimately the jews wanted a war mongerer that would slaughter the romans and whatever tribe tried to breath around them and Jesus turned out to be a hippy preaching the golden rule. What an anti-semite jerk.

        July 30, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Reality

      The "New Torah for Modern Minds":

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. 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."
      ==========================================================================================

      July 27, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      So the various authors of the NT knew what to aim for when creating the Jesus mythology; there is little evidence that Jesus existed and none that he was divine.

      July 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
      • Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        From ask.com,

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

        Then there are these scriptural references:

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

        Added suggested readings:

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

        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.
        10.The Gnostic Jesus
        (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
        by Douglas Groothuis: equip.or-g/free/DG040-1.htm

        July 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  12. austin

    Ken
    Austin
    Again (and again, Oy!) if you read all of Isaiah you'll see that it identifies the nation of Israel as the Suffering Servant.

    Ken this is true probably . And it still doens't matter because it is also who Christ is. The New Testament is the fulfillment to the foreshadowing that God gave moses of the Messiah with the festival calander, Christ fulfilled the calendar with the passover, the unleavened bread, and the first fruit of the harvest. and the day after the sabath seven weeks later, with the feast of weeks we received the Holy Ghost as omnipresent God, our Spirit Savior.

    Now Ken, this is why I have the internal testimony of The Holy Spirit, who is God. This is life in Him.

    July 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • austin

      Jehovah Shammah
      The Lord Provides

      July 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Ken

      austin
      Why is this so terribly difficult for you? Isaiah is not talking about Jesus, or even the Messiah in ch. 53; he is talking about Israel, the nation. How can he possibly be talking about both?

      July 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
  13. A New diety

    **typo corrected**

    Greetings,

    I have come to spread the word of the one true god. One day while I was sitting on the crapper I realized I was Severely constipated. I did not want to push, yet could not help it... the pain was immense. I prayed to this new shiny god, who is as white as the driven snow. cool and calm this porcelain god took pity on me and accepted all of my crap. then it magically washed away my sin leaving my body clean and fresh. His direct apostle Charmin, was soft and caring, had a sent with just a touch of aloe. together this one true god and his apostle healed my aching and made me well. this god is everywhere, you can find him in every home just waiting to cleanse you of your sin. the only form of worship this god requires is that you lower the lid when done. truly he is a miracle. you can even receive healing when you are drunk on the fermentation of grain. lift up his countenance lid, and place your head within his large tapered orifice. allow your sin to spew forth and he will never complain. in the end after you have confessed your sin, you can rest your head on him and it will be cool like the spring rain..... all hail the porcelain god... the one true god.

    July 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • IHAVESEENT THELIGHT

      Once again proof that Atheist have intellectual superiority on their side...LOL

      July 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • fyi

        The plural of atheist (no capital 'A' is used) is atheists.

        July 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • IHAVESEENT THELIGHT

          Thanks FYI that was very helpful "atheists" is that better? I am sorry after all I am a believer, which makes me pretty braindead anyway!

          July 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • fyi

          The same goes for scientist – scientists... and biologists, psychologists, numismatists and all of the other -ist nouns.

          (Do y'all who mess up these words have lisps or something?)

          July 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      **typo corrected**

      Not the most glaring one (check your name, Bud).

      Please don't grace us with this cr@p again, though. Satire can be effective, but this one is just silly and gross.

      July 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  14. A New diety

    Greetings,

    I have come to spread the word of the one true god. One day while I was sitting on the crapper I realized I was Severely constipated. I did not want to push, yet could not help it... the pain was immense. I prayed to this new shiny god, who is as white as the driven snow. cool and calm this porcelain god took pity on me and accepted all of my crap. then it magically washed away my sin leaving my clean and fresh. His direct apostle Charmin, was soft and caring, had a sent with just a touch of aloe. together this one true god and his apostle healed my aching and made me well. this god is everywhere, you can find him in every home just waiting to cleanse you of your sin. the only form of worship this god requires is that you lower the lid when done. truly he is a miracle. you can even receive healing when you are drunk on the fermentation of grain. lift up his countenance lid, and place your head within his large tapered orifice. allow your sin to spew forth and he will never complain. in the end after you have confessed your sin, you can rest your head on him and it will be cool like the spring rain..... all hail the porcelain god... the one true god.

    July 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  15. Deborah Mitchell

    So Mr. Aslan, then, is an atheist? He respects Jesus the historical figure, but not the mythical figure?

    July 26, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Philip

      Um, maybe he's just not Christian?

      July 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  16. myweightinwords

    A question. Okay, a couple of questions.

    Consider for a moment what you believe. Just pick one thing that you believe. Think about that belief. When did it begin? Can you remember consciously choosing to believe? Can you articulate why you believe without falling back on rhetoric or quoting a book or person?

    What event caused you to begin to believe? Has anything caused you to re-evaluate that belief? Change that belief?

    Can you separate what you believe from what you know?

    July 26, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Vic

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/18/the-story-behind-the-six-types-of-atheists-study/comment-page-18/#comment-2483502

      July 26, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I'm not interested in jumping around the boards to find comments made to other posts, Vic.

        If you would like to converse, use your words (as I say to the kids).

        July 26, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • leonardo

        MILACRES OF JESUS

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqYm-9B3WWI&w=640&h=390]

        July 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • IHAVESEENT THELIGHT

      One flaw with your post, and my assumption is your a non-believer, is that you are talking about knowing, as in concrete knowledge. Faith is a major part of belief. For instance, Atheist believe there is no God. They have faith that there is no God...but they don't KNOW it as fact, that is impossible. Christians or Muslims or any person of faith, do not KNOW there is a God, we have faith that God exist. I know that I have revisited my faith multiple times. Became an agnostic, never went atheist...but I came back to my faith. I own it, it is not inherited and it is not out of ignorance, as so many atheist assert. It is a journey of reading and learning and experiencing life that keeps increasing my faith. As I read these blogs, I am more convinced than ever that God is real and a life in faith is far more joy filled than a life of skepticism and non-belief...

      July 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Ken

        When more than 10,000 gods have been abandoned as myth, and none have ever been proven to be real, then it's more a matter of confidence in gods being a false idea than faith.

        July 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • IHAVESEENT THELIGHT

          Ken, I would love to see where you got the 10,000 number...but that is beside the point. This 1 God has not been abandoned. Millions, you can do your research on the numbers; have PEACEFULLY been willing to sacrifice their lives for this 1 God. What is the difference between Christianity and all other religions? We claim that God came here and spent time with us. He was fully man and fully God. We don't say he is invisible. Now if you can explain why all of us ignorant people follow some carpenter from a back water town in the middle of no where other than we are not smart and he is not God, go ahead, and explain it. Explain why more books have been written about a carpenter than any person in history??? Is everybody who wrote the books and did the research just DUMB??? Gullible? The arrogance that Atheist have to claim that literally billions of people over thlast 2000 years are ignorant, or misled or whatever insult atheist like to throw our way. blows my mind. Literally EVERY single president, even Jefferson, had faith. Once again, I have had my doubts, I researched and read about unbelief, but I came back. Guess like all of us believers I am just dumb and ignorant...but I am in good company. Read Rob Bell's Velvet Elvis, or Donald Miller; Searching For God Knows What...I don't like churches much and I am not a huge fan of many Christians, we have done a terrible job of caring on the work Jesus started, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water, please excuse the pun.

          July 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          IHAVENTSEENTHELIGHT
          The answers to many of your questions are just quirks of history. Ancient people did not understand natural phenomena and interpreted them as signs from gods; there have been many thousands of gods, the resulting religions evolved in christianity and others; christianity was spread by the Romans and then by the Europeans; most books read in the Western world were produced in countries that christians controlled with trials for heresy and the Inquisition if the bible or religion were contradicted. As science has improved, we have shown that all creation myths are incorrect and many people are questioning and rejecting the superstions that led to religion. There is no proof for any god. You reject all the other gods and chose the christian god with no more evidence than for, say Amaterasu.

          July 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • IHAVESEENT THELIGHT

          Sorry Santa, You are incorrect. Most of the books I am referring to are modern, written in the modern age. You may be correct that the people writing the books are in Christian dominated societies, but I haven’t heard of any trials for heresy. The original followers that spread the faith were Jews who were all tortured and killed for their beliefs. Western Europeans may have help spread it, but currently, the country with the most missionaries is S. Korea. The place they send the most missionaries, the U. S.. As for the quirks….what quirks are you addressing? And finally this idea of “proof”…it is called faith… (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust. Finally Santa; science is wrong often enough that I have less faith in it that I do in God, so please, stop acting as if Science is the end all be all… http://listverse.com/2009/01/19/10-debunked-scientific-beliefs-of-the-past/ is a simple easy to read site by an Atheist. There are tons of sites that talk about the numerous scientific theories that have been debunked…but before they were debunked they were accepted by scientist…As Pascal’s wager states, I’d rather ere on my side than yours. Ignorance may just very well be bliss, but you have no proof God doesn’t exist and I need no proof that He does.

          July 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
        • IHAVESEENT THELIGHT

          Sorry Santa, You are incorrect. Most of the books I am referring to are modern, written in the modern age. You may be correct that the people writing the books are in Christian dominated societies, but I haven’t heard of any trials for heresy. The original followers that spread the faith were Jews who were all tortured and killed for their beliefs. Western Europeans may have help spread it, but currently, the country with the most missionaries is S. Korea. The place they send the most missionaries, the U. S.. As for the quirks….what quirks are you addressing? And finally this idea of “proof”…it is called faith… (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust. Finally Santa; science is wrong often enough that I have less faith in it that I do in God, so please, stop acting as if Science is the end all be all… http://listverse.com/2009/01/19/10-debunked-scientific-beliefs-of-the-past/ is a simple easy to read site by an Atheist. There are tons of sites that talk about the numerous scientific theories that have been debunked…but before they were debunked they were accepted by scientist…As Pascal’s wager states, I’d rather ere on my side than yours. Ignorance may just very well be bliss, but you have no proof God doesn’t exist and I need no proof that He does. Sorry Santa, please bring me a new car anyway this year, a Bugatti please!!

          July 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Kerry

          Have God bring you a car, IHAVE. I have faith that He will. Why don't you?

          July 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
        • Ken

          IHAVESEENT THELIGHT
          The Hindus believe that their gods have visited Earth many times in the form of human Avatars, and the classical pagan religions are full of half-man/half-god hero figures coming to save humanity one way, or the other.

          Regarding the rest of your rant, I myself use to be a believer, and I hardly think that I'm smarter now than I was before. The difference came when I became willing to evaluate my faith equally with other faiths and, when I did that, I honestly had to admit that my beliefs were no better, or more believable than anyone else's. Once that became evident, it also became clear to me that all religions and gods were most likely just human constructs. All religions have their beautiful parts, and their own wisdom, but they're also based in supernatural precepts that simply have no basis in reality. So, no, I don't see people like you as dumb, only unwilling to seriously examine the validity of your reasons for believing.

          July 26, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
      • Jim P.

        "Atheist believe there is no God. They have faith that there is no God...but they don't KNOW it as fact, that is impossible."
        Bit of a straw man argument. Many if not most of us who are atheist simply do NOT believe any one god or group of gods exist because we have yet to seer convincing evidence of those claims.

        it's not a matter of 'faith". You do not need faith to not believe in Santa Claus or Invisible Pink Unicorns. You expect someone who claims you owe them $1000 dollars to provide some sort of proof before you pay up. You are in no way obligated to prove you do NOT owe some random stranger that money merely because he says you do.

        I simply remain unconvinced there are any gods despite such compelling Bible verses as

        Hosea 13:16

        16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
        because they have rebelled against their God.
        They will fall by the sword;
        their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
        their pregnant women ripped open."

        Or

        Blessed is the one who grabs your little children and smashes them against a rock. Psalm 137:9
        (NO sane human could have uttered that latter)

        Any god worthy of the name could convince all of humanity in a few moments with less effort than you use to blink. None have done so. A real god could write a holy book that is not subject to a thousand interpretations and endless confusion and argument. None have done so.

        The null hypothesis is no gods exist until some better proof shows up.

        July 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • A. E. SALMON

          Now you are dealing with the real sins of the Bible, in the words of Bishop John Spong.

          August 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        How is there a flaw in asking questions? How do you come to a conclusion about what I believe because I asked questions?

        One flaw with your post, and my assumption is your a non-believer, is that you are talking about knowing, as in concrete knowledge.

        No. I am asking you about what you believe and why.

        Faith is a major part of belief.

        Faith is a component of it, yes.

        That does not negate my questions.

        For instance, Atheist believe there is no God. They have faith that there is no God...but they don't KNOW it as fact, that is impossible.

        I'm not sure I would say that they have faith that there is no god. I think the opposite is true, that they have no faith that there is a god.

        Christians or Muslims or any person of faith, do not KNOW there is a God, we have faith that God exist.

        None of which negates my questions. Why do you believe? What causes you to have faith?

        I know that I have revisited my faith multiple times. Became an agnostic, never went atheist...but I came back to my faith. I own it, it is not inherited and it is not out of ignorance, as so many atheist assert.

        My questions have nothing to do with atheism vs Christianity or any other faith. They are open to all regarding any belief, including those that are not religious in nature. There is no hidden agenda, just questions.

        It is a journey of reading and learning and experiencing life that keeps increasing my faith. As I read these blogs, I am more convinced than ever that God is real and a life in faith is far more joy filled than a life of skepticism and non-belief...

        And my journey runs in a different direction, thus my questions. It intrigues me how so many of us take in all the same information and stimulus and come out in different places with different beliefs.

        Would you care now to actually take a crack at actually answering my questions?

        July 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  17. Joel Tucker

    "I have modeled my life not after the celestial spirit whom many Christians believe sacrificed himself for our sins, but rather after the illiterate, marginal Jew who gave his life fighting an unwinnable battle against the religious and political powers of his day on behalf of the poor and the dispossessed – those his society deemed unworthy of saving."

    Illiterate? We have one account of him debating scholars in the Temple at age 12, and another of him reading scrolls in the Synagogue. Where do we get this notion that Jesus was illiterate?

    July 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The mythical jesus is certainly literate, but the historical figures that the jesus myth is based on probably were not. It seems pretty fvcked up for a literate god to come to earth and not leave anything in writing, so..... Too bad there's no way to prove that jesus could write, or that he ever existed as the bible claims. It's a shame.

      July 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Larry Homes

      Every Jewish boy is taught to read some scripture, but how many can remember what they read at their bar mitzvah 10 years later?

      July 25, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  18. Joel Tucker

    "I have modeled my life not after the celestial spirit whom many Christians believe sacrificed himself for our sins, but rather after the illiterate, marginal Jew who gave his life fighting an unwinnable battle against the religious and political powers of his day on behalf of the poor and the dispossessed – those his society deemed unworthy of saving."

    The scriptures include at least one account where Jesus of Nazareth debates scholars in the Temple at age 12, and another where he reads the scroll of scripture in the Synagogue. Where do we get "illiterate" in descriptions of Jesus? We have no evidence that he was illiterate.

    July 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • G to the T

      Common misconception. "Illiterate" in this context means he couldn't write. About 95-99% of the people back then were illiterate and only a marginally higher percentage could read. They were taught as two completely different skills. It's only fairly recently that both skills are taught as a set.

      July 26, 2013 at 8:35 am |
      • Vic

        Among Israel's various antiquities, there are a lot of Jewish ossuaries from the time of Jesus Christ with writings on them. It was very common to mark them.

        July 26, 2013 at 9:26 am |
        • Ken

          Who did the writing though, and did they include anything more complicated than the person's name, something that most modern-day illiterates know how to do at the very least?

          July 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • Anita Nexcuse

          Obviously the person contained in the ossuary didn't do the carving themselves, Vic.
          Ken's right.

          July 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  19. Steve Finnell

    THE OPPOSITE OF A POSITIVE

    The opposite of a positive is always a negative. When the positive is stated it is understood that absent the positive, that the negative occurs or has occurred. Example: If a person is alive, that is a positive. The negative is the opposite, which is, a person is dead.

    Matthew 24:11-13.....13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

    The positive stated: He who endures will be saved.
    The negative implied: He who does not endure will not be saved.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    The positive stated: He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.
    The negative axiom: He who has not been baptized will not be saved.

    Luke 7:50 And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

    The positive stated: Her faith saved her.
    The negative inference: Without faith she would not have been saved.

    Romans 9:27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sands of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;

    The positive stated: A remnant of Israel will be saved.
    The negative understanding: The whole of Israel will not be saved.

    John 10:9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

    The positive stated: If anyone enters through Jesus he will be saved.
    The negative implication: By not entering through Jesus you will remain unsaved.

    Acts 2:41,47 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there added about three thousand souls. 47...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    The positive stated: The Lord was adding the saved to His church. (The saved were those who believed the gospel and were baptized.)
    The negative implication: Those who did not believe Peter's message and were notbaptized, were not saved, and they were notadded to the church.

    Romans 10:13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    The positive: If you recognize the authority of the Lord and appeal to His authority you will be saved.
    The negative implication: If you deny the authority of the Lord, and do not call on Him, you will be lost.

    1 Peter 3:20-21...safely through water. 21 Corresponding to that , baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The positive: Baptism saves you.
    The negative axiom: Those who are not baptized remain unsaved.

    THE OPPOSITE OF A POSITIVE IS ALWAYS A NEGATIVE!

    Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

    The positive stated: Remain faithful in order to receive the crown of life.
    The implied negative : If you do not remain faithful you will not receive the crown of life.

    THE OPPOSITE OF A POSITIVE?

    You are invited to follow my Christian blog at: steve-finnell.blogspot.com or google search, stevefinnell a christian view

    THE OPPOSITE OF A POSITIVE

    The opposite of a positive is always a negative. When the positive is stated it is understood that absent the positive, that the negative occurs or has occurred. Example: If a person is alive, that is a positive. The negative is the opposite, which is, a person is dead.

    Matthew 24:11-13.....13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

    The positive stated: He who endures will be saved.
    The negative implied: He who does not endure will not be saved.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    The positive stated: He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.
    The negative axiom: He who has not been baptized will not be saved.

    Luke 7:50 And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

    The positive stated: Her faith saved her.
    The negative inference: Without faith she would not have been saved.

    Romans 9:27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sands of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;

    The positive stated: A remnant of Israel will be saved.
    The negative understanding: The whole of Israel will not be saved.

    John 10:9 I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

    The positive stated: If anyone enters through Jesus he will be saved.
    The negative implication: By not entering through Jesus you will remain unsaved.

    Acts 2:41,47 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there added about three thousand souls. 47...And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

    The positive stated: The Lord was adding the saved to His church. (The saved were those who believed the gospel and were baptized.)
    The negative implication: Those who did not believe Peter's message and were notbaptized, were not saved, and they were notadded to the church.

    Romans 10:13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    The positive: If you recognize the authority of the Lord and appeal to His authority you will be saved.
    The negative implication: If you deny the authority of the Lord, and do not call on Him, you will be lost.

    1 Peter 3:20-21...safely through water. 21 Corresponding to that , baptism now saves you-not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    The positive: Baptism saves you.
    The negative axiom: Those who are not baptized remain unsaved.

    THE OPPOSITE OF A POSITIVE IS ALWAYS A NEGATIVE!

    Revelation 2:10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

    The positive stated: Remain faithful in order to receive the crown of life.
    The implied negative : If you do not remain faithful you will not receive the crown of life.

    THE OPPOSITE OF A POSITIVE?

    You are invited to follow my Christian blog at: steve-finnell.blogspot.com or google search, stevefinnell a christian view

    July 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Observer

      Is this from a Sunday school class?

      July 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Athy

      This comment might appeal to children, but a grown up with normal intelligence will find it rather silly.

      July 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
      • allfaith

        What is normal?

        July 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You used the correct article: "a" Christian view, not "the." Every Christian has a diferrent viewpoint and they all think that there's is the one god most agrees with.

      But no thanks, I will not be visiting your blog.

      July 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • UhOh

      Oh look Steve is stealing advertising again so xtian of you.

      July 26, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      " If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery." Deut 13:7-12

      The positive stated: If anyone you know trys to get you to worship another God you must positively kill them.
      The negative implication: By not killing them you will remain unsaved.

      July 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • allfaith

        Old school. The new testament does not say anything about killing anybody. Teach peace to learn peace.

        July 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.' "Exodus 31:12-15

      The positive stated: If anyone works on Saturday they positively must die.
      The negative implication: Only those keeping the Sabbath should be allowed to live.

      July 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.