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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 Religion Editor

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

soundoff (4,311 Responses)
  1. Puzzled in Peoria

    First, thanks to all the atheists for their clever copy-and-paste work. We appreciate your closed-minded shallowness.

    Second, let's be clear about this article. Mr. Aslan wants a philosophy, not a faith. Jesus very clearly stated that he is God. If you try to separate the man from the God, you are creating an idol.

    And third, CNN seems to delight in these offbeat, bizarre takes on Christianity. I'm convinced that it does this only to score Page Views and is not interested in representing the faith accurately.

    As the cops say, "Nothing to see here. Keep moving."

    July 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • snowboarder

      @Peoria, depicting jesus as a philosopher is not creating an idol. where do you come up with such childish nonsense?

      July 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Puzzled.
      No wonder you are puzzled. Which of the 40,000 denominations portray the faith accurately?

      July 21, 2013 at 11:35 am |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        The one that puts LOVE first and formost.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  2. shane

    wow. I cant believe CNN put this anti Christian garbage on the front page of their website. Satan is a liar and the father of lies and is still at work deceiving. Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through him" and of course the enemy is still trying to deceive people about the divinity of Jesus Christ. don't listen to CNN. Dig into Gods word for yourself. and learn to read the bible in context ...not guys that take verse out of context and try to say the bible is in conflict. You don't read any book that way. You read the bible in the context of the book you are reading.

    July 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • cjeddie8

      so all the Jews are wrong?

      July 21, 2013 at 11:21 am |
      • cjeddie8

        (crickets)

        July 21, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  3. Mark

    I just love seeing these editorials from people who try to set themselves up as once educated and scholarly Christian believers who learned "too much" and ended up overeducating themselves to the point of finding out the bible is a fictional book.
    If you believed in the Trinity or thought Jesus WAS god (which this writer clearly did) then you were taken by man's tradition and not the biblical narrative. You never even bothered to question the most obvious misteaching's or seek out clarification on what the original language verse's actually said as opposed to what your church taught.
    This person's not an authority on Christianity. He's an example of what happens when a person doesn't bother to pursue truth and understand things for themselves rather then taking someone else's word for it.

    July 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • snowboarder

      the irony of your post is that the supposed verses are exactly someone else's word for "it".

      July 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Mark

        That's not irony. That's just you saying the bible is written by someone else. Why bother debating how reliable the biblical account is when we're talking about how unreliable the religious account of what's actually written in the bible is.
        It's really up to each individual person to read the bible and decide for themselves how useful the book is and how literal or reliable it might be. It seems the height of ignorance to ignore any evidence that the bible IS accurate historically and instead choose to believe it's not based on no evidence whatsoever.
        The gospels were clearly written by contemporaries of Jesus who spent a great deal of time with him. Anyone who says otherwise just doesn't want to know the truth.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No, Mark, you failed to understand snowboarder's point. What do you think a denomination is and why are there so many?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • cjeddie8

          I just hope my INDIVIDUAL take on it jives with St. Peter...

          July 21, 2013 at 11:27 am |
        • snowboarder

          the gospels were not written by the contemporaries of jesus. the stories are nothing more than embellishments to the life of a decent philosopher.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:28 am |
        • Mark

          There are denominations because it really doesn't take much coaxing to get human beings to believe something that has no basis in fact. For instance I would imagine it would be quite easy to convince you to believe that a literal person named Jesus never even existed at all. The evidence however indicates that historically speaking Jesus did exist.

          What I fail to understand is what that has to do with anything in the article or that I've said. It's basically a typical example of atheists trying to drag a debate down to a level where they feel they can attack someone's absurd belief in the divine.

          July 21, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Diane Manville

      Pehaps he did that because he was exposed to evangelical Christianity as a child. At least this person had an opportunity to question and to educate himself to further become a believer in the wonderful teacher that Jesus is. I have a very BASIC problem with people who live by the BIBLE in a literal way. It seems that kind of faith is born of fear and the more fear is at the base of such a belief, the more virulent the faith is and has to be. Jesus is a wonderful teacher; we are all a piece of God ourselves. If we recognize that in ourselves and each other, where would be the need for war? Or any of the divisiveness the religious sectarianism generates? Hey, John Lennon was pretty insightful...just IMAGINE** Blessings.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • Mark

        Religion has done a horrible job of explaining the bible to the masses. They've misrepresented virtually everything written in it. After the death of the apostles it wasn't long before Christianity spread throughout the inhabited world and then turned political. They went from being a persecuted minority that were "no part of the world" and followed Jesus teachings closely too a politically motivated state sponsored religion who's teachings could be corrupted and changed whenever they had reason.
        They ended up teaching people about the Trinity and hell and making god seem like some sort of monster out to punish anyone who doesn't support his worship on earth. They further diluted their teachings in order to expand and incorporated pagan beliefs and customs into Christianity to placate potential converts. Wars were fought in the name of Christianity and genocides were committed. People were tortured and killed on a level that completely dwarfed the persecution of Christians in Rome.
        Now we're at a point where these religions have lost their foothold and their control over the people is coming to an abrupt end. Unfortunately many people still take their teachings as being the most enlightened and educated interpretations of what the bible teaches. That couldn't be farther from the truth. They never had a clue.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  4. Grant

    Nice story but, no different than the purported convictions of a Muslim that , they also "love" Jesus but do not believe he is the son of man. You can't pick and choose from the Bible. It's all or none.

    July 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • cjeddie8

      that why most rationale minds say "none"

      July 21, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • snowboarder

      but of course it is not "all or none" as we can plainly see by the thousands of christian denominations.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You MUST pick and choose with the bible because you can't believe two contradictory things and the bible is full of contradictions.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
      • Wrong

        Capt Obvious – seriously bro, what was the name of the priest? I think its messed up too and I'd like to help justice be served. Don't victimize yourself again by staying silent. We need your voice

        July 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • SamB19

      I disagree completely. Faith is supposed be something deeply personal; it's a relationship one has with his or her god. Of course it comes in all shades of gradients. "All or none"? How do you even get that idea.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
      • cjeddie8

        all or none because for non-believers seeking a rational way to believe this nonsense we're frustrated with all the contradictions and different ways to interpret it. What's the real story, who is right? Mormons, Baptists. It's such a mess of information to people who weren't blind followers from childhood.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          any religion that teaches love is a good one.There are many different religeons because there are many different personalities and needs.we are all individuals and different.

          July 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • G to the T

      Grant – you do realize that the "son of man" (which Jesus did appear to think he was) is a VERY different thing than being the "son of god" that he's since been portrayed as?

      July 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        is that why he prayed"OUR FATHER " ?

        July 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Did he? Paul of Tarsus, who supposedly visited directly with the guy didn't know that prayer...

          July 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
        • G to the T

          You said it yourself "our father", not "my father". It is very feasible to describe Jesus' philosophy as saying "we are all children of god". Well jews at least – gentiles were "dogs"...

          July 26, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  5. Sam

    "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."

    So true. Such an amazing quote, I think.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • SamB19

      Agreed (not because we seem to have the same name).
      I have met a lot of religious church-goers with self-acclaimed "values" who are narrow-minded, unkind, prejudiced bigots. I also have met a lot of non-religious people who are of great integrity, open-minded, fair, and a great sense of social justice. One's value is determined by one's character, not which religion if at all one subscribes to.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • cjeddie8

        the best Christians I've ever met are not Christian.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Well said.

        July 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  6. Dennis

    How does a person follow Jesus and not believe what Jesus said. Case in point it states in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"? It is disingenuous to say you follow one but not the other.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Dennis, it's possible to hold any belief at all and still claim to be a Christian. All you have to do is find a few verses/interpretations that can be read in such a way as to support your view. Then, you utilize faith. It's what Hitler did to say he was a Christian and it's what the Westboro Baptist Church folks do, too. It's pretty easy. You should try it. Pick a weird thing that you wouldn't expect any Christian to believe and then challenge yourself to find the scripture interpretations and muster the faith and you'll see I'm correct.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      Matthew 19:17
      "Why do you ask me about what is good?"
      Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good.
      If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

      Nothing about following, or believing anything.
      "One who is good" was Yahweh, for a Jew. Not Jebus.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • snowboarder

      once you learn that not a single word supposedly uttered by jesus during his mythical life was written down within decades of his death, the veracity of any quote is seriously questioned.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Theamologist

      Just read the bible rationally. Whoever told you it was an infallible book misled you, probably because he or she was so misled by somebody else. The bible is but one of many hundreds of books you should be reading. It might have truths, it might have errors, but at the end of the day it is your critical mind that has to decide.

      It has never been "all or nothing", that one untruth has been the cause of so much human sorrow. People fight and kill each other in the name of their infallible book. Whole segments of society, women and children mostly, are cut off from education and human rights in honor of some misguided men's belief that a book is infallible.

      The concept of the infallible book is one of the most horrid concepts ever to be coerced upon the family of man, and it is time we all grew up, embraced some courage, and acknowledged it.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  7. bruce mcmorrough

    I for one think organized religion and spirituality is just B.S. like the author stated in this article the first believers (disciples) were simple people who listened and believed. They are not spiritual or organized while spreading the words of Jesus and yet these same simple people will sit beside Jesus and help judge the world

    July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  8. Mirta F. Rodriguez

    I was loving the story until I realized that the author accepts the man Jesus but rejects Jesus the Divine. I was dissappointed. I hope in his studies he begins to find that both are one and the same.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Austin

      Yes and he should leave the name of Jesus Christ out of his ti.tle. He does not deserve to use this name in His ti.tle of such a deceitful load.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Is that possible? How does one arrive at Jesus is God?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:58 am |
      • Austin

        trust Him first, seek Him, and don't do it with the contemptuous att.itude.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:07 am |
        • snowboarder

          I am unable to suspend disbelief. it is impossible to force yourself to believe something.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • JR

          In other words, stamp out all reason and become delusional then you will also believe such absurd nonsense.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:15 am |
        • cjeddie8

          I decided not to believe when I took "thou shalt not lie" to heart. I can't lie to myself so until I can believe it on my terms I will not "sin" lol.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      No one studying anything has ever found evidence of " the divine".
      How exactly is studying going to help find that a man was ever anything more than a man?
      It is wild speculation, it is belief, not something that studying will help, unless you are studying fictional stories, and believing they are noon-fiction.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Austin

        I have a lot of evidence, straight from God. these experiences were supernatural.

        Looking back on them, I wonder why I backslide. but the experience is still there and that will never change. I will always be able to acknowledge that God is who He says He is because He is the living God. He has given me that experience.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • cjeddie8

          why does God chose you Austin and not AIDS babies in Africa?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • niknak

          Sorry Autism, but god just told me he has never spoken to you.
          In fact, he said he does not even like you all that much.
          Oh wait, another message from god.......
          He said that not only does he not like you all that much, but that you will definitely NOT be getting into heaven.
          Sorry bro, but it was god and all, so it must be true.
          Su cks to be you I guess.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • snowboarder

          the aids babies are not as delusional.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  9. Arcy Carr

    More than any other religious writer, Reza Aslan has expressed my disconnect with fundamental Christianity. I have always said I could have been a Christian if it didn't require me to believe in the mythology I was taught as a child.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  10. mom of 4

    You know, I just love it when articles like this mention the contractions of the Bible, and yet the author does not mention even one. I find that with every person I speak to about the Bible. They tell me it's full of contractions, but when I ask them to show me just one, they stutter and sputter and quickly change the subject because they are only parroting what they have been told by others or read in some article or book.

    Jesus did not give the option of believing that He was just a "good may" or a "good teacher" or a "radical". Jesus clearly said "I and the Father are one". He clearly stated that He is the Son of God, that He would conquer death by rising from the dead and that He would return again. A good man does not tell such lies. Either Jesus was a liar, He was nuts and delusional, or He is Lord of all. You can only choose one.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • mom of 4

      OOPS I meant a "good man". not may. 🙂

      July 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Colin (the original)

        You might also like to look at this.

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB3g6mXLEKk&w=640&h=360]

        July 21, 2013 at 11:02 am |
      • Austin

        you guys are playing games and saying, God would have to be like this.................and you are wrong.

        if it clearly states that God regretted making man, and obviously no one enjoys being crucified, then obviously God makes decisions and has an opinion on matters. God is also patient, and can move from patience to judgment.

        He doesn not have to be one or the other. He is wise and just.

        Once Adam sinned, God would have had to wipe man out, but He provided Himself as the intercessor and scapegoat for what evil and Satan represent..........

        death and destruction.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
        • cjeddie8

          Austin, why is being good so important to God? Does the definition of good change?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • niknak

          No Austism, god just regretted making you.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • G to the T

          A perfect being would not "regret" anything. Also – how much sense does it make to try 3-4 different ways to make humanity "work"? Why not just scrap Adam and Eve when they "failed" his test and start over fresh? Why wait a thousand years and kill thousands with a flood? And then condemn millions more after trying again with Jesus?

          July 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Colin (the original)

      Here's 20

      Theological doctrines:

      1. God is satisfied with his works
      Gen 1:31
      God is dissatisfied with his works.
      Gen 6:6

      2. God dwells in chosen temples
      2 Chron 7:12,16
      God dwells not in temples
      Acts 7:48

      3. God dwells in light
      Tim 6:16
      God dwells in darkness
      1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2

      4. God is seen and heard
      Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
      Ex 24:9-11
      God is invisible and cannot be heard
      John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16

      5. God is tired and rests
      Ex 31:17
      God is never tired and never rests
      Is 40:28

      6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things
      Prov 15:3/ Ps 139:7-10/ Job 34:22,21
      God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all
      things
      Gen 11:5/ Gen 18:20,21/ Gen 3:8

      7. God knows the hearts of men
      Acts 1:24/ Ps 139:2,3
      God tries men to find out what is in their heart
      Deut 13:3/ Deut 8:2/ Gen 22:12

      8. God is all powerful
      Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
      God is not all powerful
      Judg 1:19

      9. God is unchangeable
      James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
      God is changeable
      Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
      Ex 33:1,3,17,14

      10. God is just and impartial
      Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
      God is unjust and partial
      Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12

      11. God is the author of evil
      Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
      God is not the author of evil
      1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13

      12. God gives freely to those who ask
      James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
      God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
      them
      John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17

      13. God is to be found by those who seek him
      Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
      God is not to be found by those who seek him
      Prov 1:28

      14. God is warlike
      Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
      God is peaceful
      Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33

      15. God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious
      Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19
      God is kind, merciful, and good
      James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/
      1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8

      16. God's anger is fierce and endures long
      Num 32:13/ Num 25:4/ Jer 17:4
      God's anger is slow and endures but for a minute
      Ps 103:8/ Ps 30:5

      17. God commands, approves of, and delights in burnt offerings,
      sacrifices ,and holy days
      Ex 29:36/ Lev 23:27/ Ex 29:18/ Lev 1:9
      God disapproves of and has no pleasure in burnt offerings,
      sacrifices, and holy days.
      Jer 7:22/ Jer 6:20/ Ps 50:13,4/ Is 1:13,11,12

      18. God accepts human sacrifices
      2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
      God forbids human sacrifice
      Deut 12:30,31

      19. God tempts men
      Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13
      God tempts no man
      James 1:13

      20. God cannot lie
      Heb 6:18
      God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits t deceive
      2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9

      July 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • cjeddie8

        lol

        July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • Jim

        As in all forms of literature, context, context, context. If you examine those "contradictions" in context, they become less of a contradiction.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
        • Colin (the original)

          Oh bullsh.it, Jim. What utter bullsh.it. It is overflowing with contradictions because it was written by over 100 people over about 1000 years.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • cjeddie8

          Christians can rationalize anything. They use science and logic in ALL other aspects of their life but this one..

          July 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Edwin

        Most of your so called contractions are just things taken out of context. Many times people say things in one manner due to the context of that situation and then the situation changes and the same expression is expressed the opposite. Also, where many view contractions if serious study is done, they find not contraction but greater insight to a situation. Most of your flooding comments are not real contractions. You are simply flooding the comment section.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:20 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Well, show us the ones you'll be ignoring because you use the excuse of "context" on them, and then deal with some of the ones that you can't use that excuse on.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Wrong

          Agreed – the examples are disingenous. At least he's not pointing out History Record and trying to pawn them off as Biblical Suggestions on how to live life. He's exceeded my expectations...

          July 21, 2013 at 11:25 am |
        • Wrong

          Capt Obvious – we really dont have time to look at all your examples (especially in light of your anti-logic). Here's a proposal – you pick out the STRONGEST most IRREFUTABLE example of contradiction and shove it in our face. My guess is we'll be waiting a while

          July 21, 2013 at 11:31 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          It doesn't matter what example you're provided. The only thing it will prove, even if we go through all sixty, is that the Christian in the room will always find a way to excuse it through claiming "context" "god works in mysterious ways" or some other excuse. Why don't you prove your ability to find any old excuse and show which excuse you would use for each of the contradictions? Interestingly enough, Christians use different excuses depending on which denomination they are and what their particular viewpoint is, so it's not like the bible provides a definitive answer anyway.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |
      • Counter

        The first one for instance. Man had not been created yet, he called the earth good and and then after he made man. Then you use genesis 6 like it was a contradiction. ... God called the earth good BEFORE. Man was made... And he subsequent created man and THEN. He said he was sorry. NOT. Contradiction.

        You obviously don't understand chronological sequence .....LOL is right.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:34 am |
        • Wrong

          Uh, your second sentence might as well be a different language – comma splice, typo, no logic...but I'll try to understand what you're saying, but I doubt I will succeed.

          Yes, i'll use your "chronological logic" to explain – At first, God was happy with what he'd done. Then, after men had become wicked, he regretted it – to a degree (save for Noah). Not sure what your point is...you have another one?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • Bill

        You left one off:

        II Samuel 24:1 - And the anger of the LORD was rekindled against Israel, and HE moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
        I Chronicles 21:29 - Satan rose up against Israel, and he incited David to take a census of Israel.

        So, who did it? God or Satan?

        July 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
        • Wrong

          Bill – kudos for actually providing a solid example. Not being a biblical scholar, I will admit that one has me stumped. I'm looking into it. Refreshing when someone can concede certain points isnt it? Truth and fact. Nothing else. I know how much atheists hate the concept of "context" (we all know how useless context is LOL) but I will try to find some – if there is any.

          July 21, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
        • Wrong

          I'll point out something you missed and throw you an extra bone to further your argument – The description of the census taking in Chronicles lists a different count than what is listed in Samuel. If you love truth and fact – the truth NEVER bothers you...no matter how ugly it may be. I myself am now very interested in hearing from any biblical scholars out there as to how they would explain the discrepancy (if there is one...I myself may be taking it out of....wait.....wait for it....CONTEXT)

          July 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Colin (the original)

      Here's another 20

      21. Because of man's wickedness God destroys him
      Gen 6:5,7
      Because of man's wickedness God will not destroy him
      Gen 8:21

      22. God's attributes are revealed in his works.
      Rom 1:20
      God's attributes cannot be discovered
      Job 11:7/ Is 40:28

      23. There is but one God
      Deut 6:4
      There is a plurality of gods
      Gen 1:26/ Gen 3:22/ Gen 18:1-3/ 1 John 5:7

      Moral Precepts

      24. Robbery commanded
      Ex 3:21,22/ Ex 12:35,36
      Robbery forbidden
      Lev 19:13/ Ex 20:15

      25. Lying approved and sanctioned
      Josh 2:4-6/ James 2:25/ Ex 1:18-20/ 1 Kings 22:21,22
      Lying forbidden
      Ex 20:16/ Prov 12:22/ Rev 21:8

      26. Hatred to the Edomite sanctioned
      2 Kings 14:7,3
      Hatred to the Edomite forbidden
      Deut 23:7

      27. Killing commanded
      Ex 32:27
      Killing forbidden
      Ex 20:13

      28. The blood-shedder must die
      Gen 9:5,6
      The blood-shedder must not die
      Gen 4:15

      29. The making of images forbidden
      Ex 20:4
      The making of images commanded
      Ex 25:18,20

      30. Slavery and oppression ordained
      Gen 9:25/ Lev 25:45,46/ Joel 3:8
      Slavery and oppression forbidden
      Is 58:6/ Ex 22:21/ Ex 21:16/ Matt 23:10

      31. Improvidence enjoyed
      Matt 6:28,31,34/ Luke 6:30,35/ Luke 12:3
      Improvidence condemned
      1 Tim 5:8/ Prov 13:22

      32. Anger approved
      Eph 4:26
      Anger disapproved
      Eccl 7:9/ Prov 22:24/ James 1:20

      33. Good works to be seen of men
      Matt 5:16
      Good works not to be seen of men
      Matt 6:1

      34. Judging of others forbidden
      Matt 7:1,2
      Judging of others approved
      1 Cor 6:2-4/ 1 Cor 5:12

      35. Christ taught non-resistance
      Matt 5:39/ Matt 26:52
      Christ taught and practiced physical resistance
      Luke 22:36/ John 2:15

      36. Christ warned his followers not to fear being killed
      Luke 12:4
      Christ himself avoided the Jews for fear of being killed
      John 7:1

      37. Public prayer sanctioned
      1 Kings 8:22,54, 9:3
      Public prayer disapproved
      Matt 6:5,6

      38. Importunity in prayer commended
      Luke 18:5,7
      Importunity in prayer condemned
      Matt 6:7,8

      39. The wearing of long hair by men sanctioned
      Judg 13:5/ Num 6:5
      The wearing of long hair by men condemned
      1 Cor 11:14

      40. Circu.mcision insti.tuted
      Gen 17:10
      Circu.mcision condemned
      Gal 5:2

      July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • cjeddie8

        mom of 4 just found another site to browse...

        July 21, 2013 at 11:01 am |
      • Wrong

        I just analyzed # 21 on your list – I picked that one b/c it was right at the top and the verses were close enough together that it seemed it would be a quick find.

        You are being completely disingenuous. In Gen 6 – God says he will wipe out the human race for their wickedness (this is pertaining to the Flood of Noah). AFTER he has done that...he says in Gen 8 (listen, this is very important) – that he will not do it AGAIN. Important word there. If the Bible is so easy to upend – then why do you have to use "examples" that aren't coherent or logical?

        I am not going to look at anymore b/c I assume all of your examples follow the same anti-logic.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • Colin (the original)

          How did Judas die?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:10 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          So you find one example that you don't like and assume for all the rest. Yep. Sounds like typical Christian reasoning to me. But trust me, as a Christian, you'll always find a way to ignore the contradictions and problems with your bible. It's the one thing that thinking Christians are required to learn and become adept at–finding ways to ignore the uncomfortable portions of what they believe.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:11 am |
      • Wrong

        Instead of playing "gotcha" why dont you just point me to the two verses regarding Judas' death that you feel contradict eachother and I'd be glad to look at it.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You reason away a whole list of contradictions because you looked at one example, and you want us to ask for more of your reasoning???? LOL!

          July 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
      • Wrong

        Capt Obvious – I didnt find one example "i didnt like." I found one example – the first one of that post – that is UNFACTUAL.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:14 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You stopped with one example. That's horribly illogical. Out of the sixty contradictions provided, your sample size is "1?" LOL!

          July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • Wrong

        Capt Obvious – your unwillingness to acknowledge the illogical example is very typical. I'm not surprised. You are so quick to want to just forget about your anti-logic and move on to the next point. Remember, I'm not the one worried about it. You are – and I'm trying to provide some education. I'll be the first to point out inconsistencies in the Bible, but I will cal them as I see them, and #21 is false. Give me a stronger example b/c this is boring

        July 21, 2013 at 11:23 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Wrong, your brain virus is unattractive and can always be counted on to supply an excuse for you. Since I'm interested in tangible, sensible reasoning, not excuses, I'm not interested in you. As for you, any excuse will cover your cowardice, so that's what you'll continue to do. Excuse, excuse, excuse, wrong.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:32 am |
      • Wrong

        Capt Ovious – well, this is embarrassing lol. ONCE AGAIN – you have FAILED to refute ANYTHING i have said. You have FAILED to provide a STRONG example. You have no argument – therefore you call names. Good luck to you and...I'll be praying for you. LOL

        July 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No, I didn't fail. I proved that you will always find an excuse to declare victory. I'm not concerned about whatever excuse you want to provide for any contradiction I would describe. I'm concerned about your lack of courage. If you had courage, you'd read the bible fairly, without the compulsion to excuse away any uncomfortable portion at any cost.

          I'm not interested in debating you for the same reason I'm not interested in fist fighting someone with Down's Syndrome.

          July 21, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Wrong

        Aaaaand THERE! again, you have failed to provide any evidence, argument or logic. Also, despite the fact that you say to the effect "I'm wasting my time with you" you continue to do it. Lame.

        July 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      A vast list can be found here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

      Given that you probably won't be bothered to go there, here is a small sampling:
      Order of creation

      Here is the order in the first (Genesis 1), the Priestly tradition:

      Day 1: Sky, Earth, light
      Day 2: Water, both in ocean basins and above the sky(!)
      Day 3: Plants
      Day 4: Sun, Moon, stars (as calendrical and navigational aids)
      Day 5: Sea monsters (whales), fish, birds, land animals, creepy-crawlies (reptiles, insects, etc.)
      Day 6: Humans (apparently both sexes at the same time)
      Day 7: Nothing (the Gods took the first day off anyone ever did)

      Note that there are "days," "evenings," and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim," which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods." In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good."

      The second one (Genesis 2), the Yahwist tradition, goes:

      Earth and heavens (misty)
      Adam, the first man (on a desolate Earth)
      Plants
      Animals
      Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib)

      How orderly were things created?
      #1: Step-by-step. The only discrepancy is that there is no Sun or Moon or stars on the first three "days."
      #2: God fixes things up as he goes. The first man is lonely, and is not satisfied with animals. God finally creates a woman for him. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

      How satisfied with creation was he?
      #1: God says "it was good" after each of his labors, and rests on the seventh day, evidently very satisfied.
      #2: God has to fix up his creation as he goes, and he would certainly not be very satisfied with the disobedience of that primordial couple. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)

      July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • cjeddie8

        when was the Earth ITSELF created so you could measure the first day? It took Day 1 to create the sky, earth, and light? They forgot that part the silly sheep herders.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:07 am |
      • Matt Slick

        The vast list? LOL... I've seen so many of those lists. The critics barely do any homework, don't look at context, and don't give a flying rip about logic. First of all, define exactly what a contradiction is (they don't). Second, read context (they don't). Third, don't just repeat a list of contradictions unless you've examined them. Are there answers, of course. Do they care? Not at all. What they want, is to not believe. http://carm.org/bible-difficulties has a lot of answers. I need to get a T-shirt that says, "So much heresy. So little time."

        July 21, 2013 at 11:11 am |
        • Colin (the original)

          Yes Matt, If a Bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a Bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either; (i) taken out of context; (ii) symbolic, allegorical or otherwise means something other than it says; (iii) referring to another verse somewhere else that rectifies the error; (iv) a translation or copyist's error; (v) a mystery of God not discernible by we mere humans; or (vi) just plain magic. With a panoply of excuses like that available to the believer, there is little doubt they maintain their faith. There is no biblical inconsistency too obvious, no biblical error too clear and no biblical absurdity too manifest to be explained away by one of the above excuses.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Matt, Christians are very skilled at dealing with scriptures that challenge their viewpoint. All the believer has to do is throw it away for any excuse that will work. "Oh, that's god moving in mysterious ways on that one..." "Oh, that's not literal, but the one over there that I like is literal..." "Oh, you're not reading that in context. In those days they slaughtered whole cities and r.a.ped the little girls all the time. They expected you to do it.."

          July 21, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Colin (the original)

      Here's another 20

      41. The Sabbath insti.tuted
      Ex 20:8
      The Sabbath repudiated
      Is 1:13/ Rom 14:5/ Col 2:16

      42. The Sabbath insti.tuted because God rested on the seventh day
      Ex 20:11
      The Sabbath insti.tuted because God brought the Israelites
      out of Egypt
      Deut 5:15

      43. No work to be done on the Sabbath under penalty of death
      Ex 31:15/ Num 15:32,36
      Jesus Christ broke the Sabbath and justified his disciples in
      the same John 5:16/ Matt 12:1-3,5

      44. Baptism commanded
      Matt 28:19
      Baptism not commanded
      1 Cor 1:17,14

      45. Every kind of animal allowed for food.
      Gen 9:3/ 1 Cor 10:25/ Rom 14:14
      Certain kinds of animals prohibited for food.
      Deut 14:7,8

      46. Taking of oaths sanctioned
      Num 30:2/ Gen 21:23-24,31/ Gen 31:53/ Heb 6:13
      Taking of oaths forbidden
      Matt 5:34

      47. Marriage approved
      Gen 2:18/ Gen 1:28/ Matt 19:5/ Heb 13:4
      Marriage disapproved
      1 Cor 7:1/ 1 Cor 7:7,8

      48. Freedom of divorce permitted
      Deut 24:1/ Deut 21:10,11,14
      Divorce restricted
      Matt 5:32

      49. Adultery forbidden
      Ex 20:14/ Heb 13:4
      Adultery allowed
      Num 31:18/ Hos 1:2; 2:1-3

      50. Marriage or cohabitation with a sister denounced
      Deut 27:22/ Lev 20:17
      Abraham married his sister and God blessed the union
      Gen 20:11,12/ Gen 17:16

      51. A man may marry his brother's widow
      Deut 25:5
      A man may not marry his brother's widow
      Lev 20:21

      52. Hatred to kindred enjoined
      Luke 14:26
      Hatred to kindred condemned
      Eph 6:2/ Eph 5:25,29

      53. Intoxicating beverages recommended
      Prov 31:6,7/ 1 Tim 5:23/ Ps 104:15
      Intoxicating beverages discountenanced
      Prov 20:1/ Prov 23:31,32

      54. It is our duty to obey our rulers, who are God's ministers
      and punish evil doers only
      Rom 13:1-3,6
      It is not our duty to obey rulers, who sometimes punish the
      good and receive unto themselves damnation therefor
      Ex 1:17,20/ Dan 3:16,18/ Dan 6:9,7,10/ Acts 4:26,27/
      Mark 12:38,39,40/ Luke 23:11,24,33,35

      55. Women's rights denied
      Gen 3:16/ 1 Tim 2:12/ 1 Cor 14:34/ 1 Pet 3:6
      Women's rights affirmed
      Judg 4:4,14,15/ Judg 5:7/ Acts 2:18/ Acts 21:9

      56. Obedience to masters enjoined
      Col 3:22,23/ 1 Pet 2:18
      Obedience due to God only
      Matt 4:10/ 1 Cor 7:23/ Matt 23:10

      57. There is an unpardonable sin
      Mark 3:29
      There is no unpardonable sin
      Acts 13:39

      Historical Facts

      58. Man was created after the other animals
      Gen 1:25,26,27
      Man was created before the other animals
      Gen 2:18,19

      59. Seed time and harvest were never to cease
      Gen 8:22
      Seed time and harvest did cease for seven years
      Gen 41:54,56/ Gen 45:6

      60. God hardened Pharaoh's heart
      Ex 4:21/ Ed 9:12
      Pharaoh hardened his own heart
      Ex 8:15

      July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • tony

      Exodus 14:19 ??? God needed help from the weather, and couldn't kill the Egyptians until later?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Colin (the original)

      Here's another 20

      61. All the cattle and horses in Egypt died
      Ex 9:3,6/ 14:9
      All the horses of Egypt did not die
      Ex 14:9

      62. Moses feared Pharaoh
      Ex 2:14,15,23; 4:19
      Moses did not fear Pharaoh
      Heb 11:27

      63. There died of the plague twenty-four thousand
      Num 25:9
      There died of the plague but twenty-three thousand
      1 Cor 10:8

      64. John the Baptist was Elias
      Matt 11:14
      John the Baptist was not Elias
      John 1:21

      65. The father of Joseph, Mary's husband was Jacob
      Matt 1:16
      The father of Mary's husband was Heli
      Luke 3:23

      66. The father of Salah was Arphaxad
      Gen 11:12
      The father of Salah was Cainan
      Luke 3:35,36

      67. There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David
      Matt 1:17
      There were but thirteen generations from Abraham to David
      Matt 1:2-6

      68. There were fourteen generations from the Babylonian captivity
      to Christ.
      Matt 1:17
      There were but thirteen generations from the Babylonian
      captivity to Christ
      Matt 1:12-16

      69. The infant Christ was taken into Egypt
      Matt 2:14,15,19,21,23
      The infant Christ was not taken into Egypt
      Luke 2:22, 39

      70. Christ was tempted in the wilderness
      Mark 1:12,13
      Christ was not tempted in the wilderness
      John 2:1,2

      71. Christ preached his first sermon on the mount
      Matt 5:1,2
      Christ preached his first sermon on the plain
      Luke 6:17,20

      72. John was in prison when Jesus went into Galilee
      Mark 1:14
      John was not in prison when Jesus went into Galilee
      John 1:43/ John 3:22-24

      73. Christ's disciples were commanded to go forth with a staff
      and sandals
      Mark 6:8,9
      Christ's disciples were commanded to go forth with neither
      staffs nor sandals.
      Matt 10:9,10

      74. A woman of Canaan besought Jesus
      Matt 15:22
      It was a Greek woman who besought Him
      Mark 7:26

      75. Two blind men besought Jesus
      Matt 20:30
      Only one blind man besought Him
      Luke 18:35,38

      76. Christ was crucified at the third hour
      Mark 15:25
      Christ was not crucified until the sixth hour
      John 19:14,15

      77. The two thieves reviled Christ.
      Matt 27:44/ Mark 15:32
      Only one of the thieves reviled Christ
      Luke 23:39,40

      78. Satan entered into Judas while at supper
      John 13:27
      Satan entered into him before the supper
      Luke 22:3,4,7

      79. Judas committed suicide by hanging
      Matt 27:5
      Judas did not hang himself, but died another way
      Acts 1:18

      80. The potter's field was purchased by Judas
      Acts 1:18
      The potter's field was purchased by the Chief Priests
      Matt 27:6,7

      July 21, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Colin (the original)

      Here's another 20. That makes 100. I trust that makes my point.

      81. There was but one woman who came to the sepulchre
      John 20:1
      There were two women who came to the sepulchre
      Matt 28:1

      82. There were three women who came to the sepulchre
      Mark 16:1
      There were more than three women who came to the sepulchre
      Luke 24:10

      83. It was at sunrise when they came to the sepulchre
      Mark 16:2
      It was some time before sunrise when they came.
      John 20:1

      84. There were two angels seen by the women at the sepulchre, and
      they were standing up.
      Luke 24:4
      There was but one angel seen, and he was sitting down.
      Matt 28:2,5

      85. There were two angels seen within the sepulchre.
      John 20:11,12
      There was but one angel seen within the sepulchre
      Mark 16:5

      86. Christ was to be three days and three nights in the grave
      Matt 12:40
      Christ was but two days and two nights in the grave
      Mark 15:25,42,44,45,46; 16:9>

      87. Holy ghost bestowed at pentecost
      Acts 1:8,5
      Holy ghost bestowed before pentecost
      John 20:22

      88. The disciples were commanded immediately after the
      resurrection to go into Galilee
      Matt 28:10
      The disciples were commanded immediately after the
      resurrection to go tarry at Jerusalem
      Luke 24:49

      89. Jesus first appeared to the eleven disciples in a room at
      Jerusalem
      Luke 24:33,36,37/ John 20:19
      Jesus first appeared to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee
      Matt 28:16,17

      90. Christ ascended from Mount Olivet
      Acts 1:9,12
      Christ ascended from Bethany
      Luke 24:50,51

      91. Paul's attendants heard the miraculous voice, and stood
      speechless
      Acts 9:7
      Paul's attendants heard not the voice and were prostrate
      Acts 26:14

      92. Abraham departed to go into Canaan
      Gen 12:5
      Abraham went not knowing where
      Heb 11:8

      93. Abraham had two sons
      Gal 4:22
      Abraham had but one son
      Heb 11:17

      94. Keturah was Abraham's wife
      Gen 25:1
      Keturah was Abraham's concubine
      1 Chron 1:32

      95. Abraham begat a son when he was a hundred years old, by the
      interposition of Providence
      Gen 21:2/ Rom 4:19/ Heb 11:12
      Abraham begat six children more after he was a hundred years
      old without any interposition of providence
      Gen 25:1,2

      96. Jacob bought a sepulchre from Hamor
      Josh 24:32
      Abraham bought it of Hamor
      Acts 7:16

      97. God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed
      forever
      Gen 13:14,15,17; 17:8
      Abraham and his seed never received the promised land
      Acts 7:5/ Heb 11:9,13

      98. Goliath was slain by Elhanan
      2 Sam 21:19 *note, was changed in translation to be
      correct. Original manuscript was incorrect>
      The brother of Goliath was slain by Elhanan
      1 Chron 20:5

      99. Ahaziah began to reign in the twelfth year of Joram
      2 Kings 8:25
      Ahaziah began to reign in the eleventh year of Joram
      2 Kings 9:29

      100. Michal had no child
      2 Sam 6:23
      Michal had five children
      2 Sam 21:8

      July 21, 2013 at 10:59 am |
      • niknak

        You can't point out the inconsistencies in the babble Colin, because the fundies will tell you those are just mistakes by the scribes.
        See how easy it is to make the babble fit anything?
        When you are in make believe land, anything is possible......

        July 21, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  11. Matt Slick

    As someone who defends the Christian faith daily (carm.org), I noticed the lack of logic and counter explanations so easily available, yet so patently absent in the posts (and article) in this thread. I often challenge critics of Christianity to call my radio show and discuss their complaints. On the rare occasion when they do, I find their thinking to be off, their facts skewed, and their rejection of Jesus to be emotionally based. In my opinion, God has removed his protective hand from our land and allowed deception and error to sweep so many into the abyss. God is hated, mocked, maligned, and regularly attacked on sites like this all over the world. But, he will be vindicated on that day when all will face him. Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      Ah yes. "Only my version is the correct one". "Only I understand Jebus correctly".
      Yawn.
      You're so special.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:50 am |
      • Matt Slick

        Your post is an example of misrepresentation. I said no such thing. Nevertheless, at least I have done my research, serious research as carm.org is my 17 year old project. Have you done research or do you just repeat what you hear without cross examination? Think. I challenge you to read the New Testament for yourself. Do your own thinking. Don't be a mere follower of half-baked, poorly researched, puerile arguments. And, if you have the time, call my radio show and let's talk. carm.org/radio

        July 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • ^^^

      LYING SACK OF SHIT. CARM.ORG LIES

      July 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Matt Slick

        That was an amazingly competent response filled with intellectual fidelity and factual information. Oh wait... wrong response. Look, if you want to insult me, go to my "Pick Your Insult Page" at carm.org/pick-your-insult-page. Pick a number and email me (its at the bottom of the site). But, just whining like a kindergartener isn't going to impress anyone.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Christian condescension. Get upset at a sinner for sinning and swell with pride at your ability to point it out. Nice.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • tony

      Ahh At last! Someone who can tell us how it is a loving god can part the red sea 3000 years ago for good(?) and then massacre 250,000 innocents in the last coupla tsunamis/

      July 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Which god? There are over 3700 invented by humans.
      Oh, the one in the bible?
      Which one? There are 64 gods mentioned in the bible.
      Oh, the one who Jesus worshiped and who made the Garden of Eden?
      Those are two seperate gods. El made the garden. His son Yahweh talked through a burning bush.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • cjeddie8

      these fear based threats are why we have so many people lying to themselves these days.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "Eternity is a long time to be wrong"

      So you go on a pointless rant and then finished with the weakest argument with your version of Pascals Wager.

      You'll need to step up your game, so far, very weak.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      The problem is with you, Slick. You have a brain virus that has made you feel that poor reasoning is good reasoning and that good reasoning is poor reasoning. I could demonstrate this to you with about five minutes of your time, but your brain virus has taken over so much that as soon as the experience was over, you'd find a way to rationalize it away. All the progress we made in that five minutes would be ejected as soon as the conversation was finished.

      And hey, Slick, when is the last time you changed your mind about something where you thought you were correct, but you followed someone else's argument and realized you were wrong and so you changed your perspective? If it hasn't happened in a while it's because your god is your own opinion and your god is never wrong so you're never wrong. Convenient how that works out, isn't it?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • snowboarder

      lol! fear of imaginary eternal punishment, the greatest tool in the christian toolbox.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:14 am |
  12. Violet Weed

    At least this writer can WRITE, unlike most of the 'journalists' on cnn. But he appears to have bought into some bull manure fed to him by the 'professors' at his college. I mean your journey as a Christian can include reading books on Religion, but you do not find any answers there and since he went to a secular college he did not study the Bible in depth at his school. (True, whether non-Christians want to agree or not. I've been a professor at several secular colleges, I just never bought into the 'I'm a professor you should worship me AND my thoughts no matter how 'out there' they may be' philosophy.) There are not 'blatant' errors in the Bible. The author is mistaken and he also is NOT, as he admits, a Christian. I'll go one step further... he never was a Christian. God calls His Children to Him, but you have to be a Seeker too. This man is not. He simply wants to say, what all Muslims say, that Jesus was a 'good man' and sometimes they add 'a prophet'. Sorry muslims. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I'll keep praying for you nonbelievers, but it is your journey through this life and your gamble that you are right and I am wrong. I am right, but I support your right to be wrong.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      There are not blatant errors in the Bible? Really? I as-sume that, at the colleges you teach at, the biology department teaches that bats are birds, that hares chew their cud, and that insects have 4 legs? Leviticus makes all of these claims.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:54 am |
      • Bob the Builder

        So the fact that the definition of all these things came well after these books were written does play in here?

        I see what you are saying, but as a somewhat partial observer, if you're going to go on a rant like that, I'd prefer you think it all the way through. Beyond that, the Greek word for insect is overarching.

        Damning a book for it's english translation doesn't undermine the root, does it?

        I'm not saying it's true, I'm saying try to argue it from an accurate perspective.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:16 am |
        • shane

          When the religion is primarily based on the translations, the version(s) do matter.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
      • Bob the Builder 45

        So the fact that the definition of all these things came well after these books were written does play in here?

        I see what you are saying, but as a somewhat partial observer, if you're going to go on a rant like that, I'd prefer you think it all the way through. Beyond that, the Greek word for insect is overarching.

        Damning a book for it's english translation doesn't undermine the root, does it?

        I'm not saying it's true, I'm saying try to argue it from an accurate perspective.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:17 am |
        • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

          So then the bible is entirely open to interpretation. Which, of course, it is. There are countless versions of the bible, countless translations. My point was, and is, that in Leviticus, bats are referred to as birds (they're not), hares are described as chewing their cuds (they're not ruminants), and insects go about on all fours (sorry – 6 legs). Those are clear and unequivocal errors in the bible. They are wrong. No dispute. If those aren't errors but "mistranslations" or "Misinterpretations" then anything in the bible is subject to the same interpretation, which means the bible can mean anything to anybody.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "There are not 'blatant' errors in the Bible"
      How about the adultery test in the bible, complete with abortion drink (only works on the woman if she has been unfaithful) Number 5:11-31. You don't think that it actually works do you?...clearly a blatant error.
      How about the blatant error that we all come from one set of DNA, which has been completely disproven by genetics?

      That the world had an all encompassing flood, something we also know never happened, not since after life began on this planet anyway?

      How about the blatant error that we all are descendants of Adam and Eve, then after the flood that never happened, we all are descendants of the 8 humans that were left alive, yet nearly all humans have some neanderthal DNA, which is impossible if the bible is correct.

      It is blatantly obvious that the bible is wrong. The examples I have above are just the beginning. To believe it, when all of our actual knowledge disproves it is simply illogical and unreasonable.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • Austin

        really because we know that Josephs mother conceived him using a narcotic mandrake

        July 21, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Austin

      good call violet.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  13. jesus christ is lord

    sorry, if jesus was just a nice guy who said help people, he is no different than any self help book. fortunately, he is the christ with all authority and paid for our sins . i kinda of laugh at how atheists spend so much time on these blogs. just goes to show that the lord works in mysterious ways and even atheists at their core seek God....

    July 21, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • tony

      So why does he need missionaries 2000 years too late?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • faith

        excellent question tony. what it implies is further proof that all the silliness found in the word of god is preposterous, contrived garbage, written down for purely economic gains

        July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • cjeddie8

      After Jesus wiped the slate clean, when did Sin start up again? And who is God to judge anyway have you read the Old Testament!

      July 21, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • faith

        powerful cj.

        just because no further animal slaughter was required, butchering jesus is hardly a way to address the "sin" problem once and for all

        July 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • niknak

      You have interpreted it wrong.
      We atheists could care less about your fairy tales and your magic book of spells.
      What we care about, and the reason we are on these boards is to tell you yet again, to keep your beliefs out of our government, our medicine, our schools and our courtrooms.

      But you fundies just won't take that and insist on injecting your imaginary friend into our lives.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Stop lying about atheists.
      I do not seek god, that would be illogical.
      I seek what there is, and do not go in with preconceived notions of what I should find.
      My search has proven to me that there are no gods, at least none that would fit any definition of god that exists today.
      There certainly are energies that we have yet to be able to define, and as yet, we have found no energies that are sentient.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      cjeddie8,
      Exactly. Humans are exactly the same as they were before the *so called* "salvation" events. Not a bit of difference is seen. Some good people. Some bad people. "Wipe the slate clean" is just historically completely inaccurate.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Antoino

      "if jesus was just a nice guy who said help people, he is no different than any self help book."

      You're getting so close! Keep thinking my friend, you'll get out of that prison cell eventually.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Isabel

        In my simple understanding and logic, Jesus is so much more than self- help. In fact there is no self in Jesus at all. It's all about God and His son, and what they have done. My instructions are to trust God, put my faith in God, help other people. Evidently, this is the path, and "self-help" is the by product of helping others. Weird, unexplainable, but it works. Its like a reverse Machivellian law of the means justifys the end, but instead of evil, its "Faith in God and a Personal Relationship with Jesus brings a fruitful life and a wonderful joy."

        July 21, 2013 at 11:08 am |
        • niknak

          Why do you need the crutch Izzy?
          Why can't you be a stand up gal, find happiness and have a wonderful life without the fairy tale?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Isabel,these things are spiritual and can't be seen by people who wont look and wont listen.

          July 23, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  14. One one

    After reading comments from believers, it seems the cornerstone of their religion is the hope of living forever after death and avoidance of eternal torture in hell. All the other accompanying accessories are just window dressing.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • tony

      That's the difference between piety and goodness. Religion needs the first but redefines the second.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • niknak

      Most believers want you to believe because it makes them feel better about their belief.
      If everyone believed that two plus two was five, then that would make it true, to a degree.
      That is really what religion strives for, getting everyone on board with the fairy tale.
      And they will use force if/when they can.
      We are fortunate to not live in a religious theocracy, yet anyway, like Iran or Saudi Arabia, where they will kill you if you don't follow whatever the Imams say.
      But if the fundies have their way, we will become the Christian version of those Islamic theocracies.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Isabel

      All I can relate to you is that before I accepted Jesus there was no relief from the worries and pressures of this world; but after I accepted Jesus, I gained understanding. Yes, knowing that God has made a place for me in his kingdom is a real comfort. My needs as a human being are security and love, and God supplies those in abundance. So in the midst of all this worldly stuff from politics, wars, weather, business, gas prices, yada-yada - I now have a place I can go to get refreshed. That sounds great to me! I like it! No, I love it! Its free and open to everyone. That appeals to me too!

      July 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • niknak

        Again, why live in a fantasy land?
        You made your pressures go away, not some made up stone age myth.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • faith

      the fact is, god doesn't exist. every sane person knows this. no one has proven otherwise. there is no evidence anywhere. in fact, reality demonstrates that we need nothing. science proves that the universe is here. questioning why it is here is irrelevant. we atheists deal in the real world of science and verifiable facts.

      July 21, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        Even the native americans believed in the great white spirit . He reveales himself to all who listen or seek him.In order to seek him you have to want Love in your life,that is what he is LOVE

        July 23, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  15. Austin

    i had a dream that there was a detached arm, pulling a bag of gem stones out of a whole chizzeled out of the ground. This was in the middle of a splendid tile patio with an arch entry way.

    the next day, i kept reading in Jeremiah. this is what i read the day after the dream.

    8 In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 9 “While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      And?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • cjeddie8

      you forgot you had read that or heard the story before and your subconscious conjured that weird dream up. Happens all the time.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:47 am |
      • Austin

        Eddie, this is where the other ten times it happened in the same spurt are relevant and turn into the proof that God intervenes in our lives.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      At least it is not his dead cat dreams this time...as crazy as the others but not dead fur baby dreams. His Doctor's must have changed his dosage.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • niknak

      Seek help Autism.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:58 am |
  16. Scoche

    Jesus of Nazareth is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Lamb that was slain from the foundations of the earth, the propitiation for all sin, the author and finisher of faith. If He is anything less then He is neither worthy of honor nor following for He becomes a lunatic, a liar and a fraud.

    John 3:16-21 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • tony

      So why does he need missionaries 2000 years too late?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • Vic

        Romans 10:17

        "17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."

        Scripture Is From:

        New American Standard Bible (NASB)
        Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

        http://www.biblegateway.com/

        July 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      Question: why would an all-powerful deity only have ONE son/ And it wasn't his son – it was a tiny piece of this god in human form. The reason the biblical myths go on about god's ONLY son is that the bible was written by men from a patriarchal society who consider nothing to be worse than having your lineage end by having your only son die. Why not god's only daughter? If it was a matriarchal society, it would have been the goddess's only daughter. And why couldn't god have more kids? Silly, silly story.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      So your deity, a timeless ancient angry god, required his son to die so he could feel better ?
      You bet your life he is worth of nothing. That is no role model of grudge holding for children.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Reality

      Hmmm, let us see what some of the NT scholars have to say about the "Son of God/the Father references :

      Matt 7:21
      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."

      Not said by the historical Jesus, but more embellishment my Matthew. See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/111_Invocation_without_Obedience

      Matt 9:6 Passage notes "Son of Man" not Son of God.

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/127_Sickness_and_Sin

      Matt 10:32-33, ""Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; /33/ but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven"

      "Ludemann [Jesus, 344] states " this is a prophetic admonition from the post-Easter community. For it, Jesus and the Son of man were 'identical in the future: Jesus will return in the near future as the Son of man with the clouds of heaven. In his earthly life he was not yet the Son of man, since he will come to judgment only with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7.13f) at the end of days' (Haenchen)."

      Matt 11:27 "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/045_Father_and_Son and

      "Lüdemann [Jesus, 330f] invokes the classic description from K. Hase of this passage as a "thunderbolt from the Johannine heavens." He notes the typically Johannine reference to mutual knowledge between Father and Son, and the absolute use of "Son" as a designation for Jesus. In dismissing the saying's authenticity, Luedemann also notes the similarity to ideas in the post-Easter commissioning scene at Matt 28:18, "All authority has been given to me ..."

      Matt 1:20- 225 (another "pretty, wingie thingie requirement)

      20/ But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. /21/ She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." /22/ All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: /23/ "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." /24/ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, /25/ but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."

      "Bruce Chilton

      In Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a ma-mzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural paternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest. "

      Mark 1: 11 And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/058_John_Baptizes_Jesus

      "Gerd Lüdemann

      Lüdemann [Jesus, 9] affirms the historicity of Jesus being baptized by John, but does not trace the theological interpretations back beyond the post-Easter community:

      ... Jesus did not regard his baptism as appointment to be the son of God. The underlying concept derives from the community, which believed in Jesus as the son of God (cf. Gal. 2.16; 4.4) and located his appointment within his lifetime. In the earliest period, for example, the appointment of Jesus as son of God came only after his resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1.4).

      "John P. Meier

      The second volume of A Marginal Jew devotes considerable space to a study of John as "mentor" to Jesus. The historicity of the baptism is addressed on pages 100-105, before considering the meaning of Jesus' baptism on pages 106-116. On the basis of the criterion of embarrassment, supported by a limited proposal for multiple attestation (relying on possible echoes of a Q version in John's Gospel and in 1 John 5:6), Meier concludes:

      We may thus take the baptism of Jesus by John as the firm historical starting point for any treatment of Jesus' public ministry. (II,105)

      Having established the historicity of the baptism event, Meier is adamant that the narrative must be seen as a Christian midrash, drawing on various OT themes to assert the primacy of Jesus over John. In particular, Meier insists that the theophany must be excluded from all attempts to understand the event, since it is a later Christian invention rather than a surviving memory of some actual spiritual experience of Jesus.

      Meier's discussion of the meaning of the baptism puts great weight on the fact that accepting baptism implied Jesus' agreement with John's apocalyptic message, and also engages at length with the question of Jesus' sinlessness."

      July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • niknak

      You can't prove any of that bull Smoochie.
      It is just more made up mumbo jumbo from your book of magic spells.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Zeke2112

      He loved the world so much he committed mass murder on several occasions. He drowned the entire planet in a fit of pique, when he could have, using his limitless powers, changed the human race with a snap of his fingers. Blah blah free will, except we were created in his image and upheld to his rules – hardly free will. When confronted between appearing before his creations and helping them change for the better, he drowned them like animals in a tank.

      Face it: Satan is responsible for far less bloodshed than your loving god.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    It is complete idiocy to appreciate the historical Jesus, and to deny Christ at the same time. Christ and the historical Jesus are the same person, therefore we call him Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ had got a human nature and a divine nature, he was man and God at the same time. His human nature was created in Mary's womb, but his divine nature was eternal (Jesus existed before he came into the womb of Mary, and, of course, before he was born into this world). Thus, one can say that the eternal Christ incarnated when he came into the womb of his mother Mary who was a virgin. First, this human being was simply called Jesus, but when he revealed his heavenly glory by miracles he was called Jesus Christ.

    Jesus was King of Israel indeed because he was a descendant of the Jewish King David. It is only that the royality of Jesus' family was no longer acknowledged by Israel at Jesus' time. Jesus was a man of virtue, he was a real king. He committed no sin, and cured people, and gave them the soul's health. And if the Jews (Jewish leaders) had not turned apostate from the ancient faith of Jahwe they had elected him King of Israel. Yet, the Jewish leaders were not concerned about their people Israel but only greedy for honor, power and riches. They used religion as a smokescreen for their malice. They were obsessed by the devil who gave them thoughts like: "let us do evil things in order to harvest good things". They uesed the law of the Torah as a cub in order to beat the ordinary Jews themselves breaking it. The Jewish leaders were angry with the ordinary Jews, insulted them and condemned them. The did not tell Israel of a Redeemer, and when the Redeemer became visible in the person of Jesus, they said he would be obsessed by the devil.

    The Jewish leaders were breaking the law, and condemned the ordinary Jews. Jesus kept the law, he even fulfilled it through divine love which is more than keeping, and he loved the ordinary Jews despite their sins. Hence, Jesus was the exact opposite of a Jewish leader. The Jewish leaders were let by the devil, Jesus was let by the Holy Spirit. This is the reason why they hated Jesus.

    Jesus told the truth by saying: I am the Saviour, and you need me in order to get delivered from your sins. Jesus confirmed the law of the Thorah but said that one is not pious through simply possessing the law, being circu-msized, and a descendant of father Abraham but through fulfilling the law. We fulfill the law when we love God and our neighbour. Yet, this love we don't possess by birth (by birth we a selfish, breakers of the law). This love is a divne gift which we gain through faith in Jesus Christ who is the love.

    This is the great mystery of faith: When we believe in Jesus Christ, we get a new divine nature beside our selfish nature which we have by birth.. The spiritual exersice we can fascilitate the new nature more and more, and thus we will come through at Judgement Day because we were really people who loved God and their felllow human beings.

    May Israel realize his Redeemer today. They are God's Chosen People.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    Forget Rousseau!

    July 21, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Rainer, if anyone were to come upon this God-man idea you are describing without knowing of it and believing that it is true, do you imagine it would seem like anything but lunacy? I don't think anyone can arrive at the notion by reason, or by hearing someone proclaim it. How did you come to believe it? Suppose Jesus is not the Christ. He is dead and long gone. Would you, in the same way you did come to believe he is the Christ, still have reached the conclusion that he is the Christ? I think so.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:46 am |
      • Rainer Braendlein

        The best proof for the truth of Christianity is the existence of the Christian Church. 2000 years ago the mankind was in a horrible state of darkness. The people of the Roman Empire were adherents of the Greek religion, that meant their Gods were Jupiter (Zeus), Hermes (Mercury), etc.. Yet, this Gods were evil and unjust. When a Roman citizen harmed his neighbour he could justify that through saying: Our God Zeus had done the same. In this dark age was born a child called Jesus. Yet during Jesus' lifetime many Jews become better people, and after his death the whole Roman Emire experienced a change. People changed from hate and murder to love and righteousness. These people were called the Christian Church.

        Never in history people overcame their wickedness through any method. At first, at the time when Christ came a significant portion of the mankind was transformed completely from hate and murder to love and rightesousness.

        Conclusion: When 2000 years ago the mankind experienced a great change, then there must have been a great power which caused this change. And what is more reasonable than to assume that it was the power of Jesus Christ.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • niknak

          Yeah, the god of the old testic le was so loving and just.
          That is why they had to rewrite the stupid thing to get people like you to follow it.
          Hey its Sunday, why aren't you with all the other sheep reciting your secret spells?

          July 21, 2013 at 11:06 am |
        • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

          Nope. The rise of the Christian church was due to Constantine declaring it the state religion. It was a political human expediency.

          July 21, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      Complete nonsense. But thanks for the fundie sermon.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • niknak

      Too long, too boring......

      July 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Reality

      See:

      John 6:42

      John 7:40-44

      John 8:39-41

      Luke 2:27,33,41,48

      where Joseph is reported to be the father of Jesus.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Reality

      A 21st century summary:

      Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

      As per most contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.

      http:// http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing/talking from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

      "Mark's gospel, the most historical of the four gospels, does not even mention the event.

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 269-272, "The historical yield of the Lukan infancy narrative in respect to the birth of Jesus is virtually nil.

      Matt 1:18-25: , pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

      "Lüdemann [pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

      Then there are these additional conclusions:

      Professor Bruce Chilton

      "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

      Professor John Dominic Crossan

      "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

      "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

      I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

      "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:

      Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
      Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
      Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
      Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

      And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

      "And the day will come,
      when the mystical generation of Jesus,
      by the Supreme Being as His Father,
      in the womb of a virgin,
      will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva”

      July 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  18. nancy

    Christianity is a choice given to us by God, so shouldn't we respect everyone's individual choice? Why should there be anger when someone choses a different path, or perhaps a unique path this goes beyond traditional understanding. I find this anger to be so un-Christian. Everyone talks about pursuing a personal relationship with God, but then become angry when people actually do it! Someone else's personal relationship with God probably looks different from my personal relationship by God! We should not let our differences be a threat to each other. Have confidence in your own belief journey.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • david

      AMEN TO THAT!

      July 21, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Isabel

        My only basis in relating to people is: Are they nice or are they not. Beyond that, its none of my business. But if they are hurting, well then, that is my responsibility to help in any way I can. Judgement is up to God. Jesus asks us to rise above the law with kindness, compassion, forgiveness and mercy. that's a way of life everyone can endorse.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • niknak

      Christianity is a complete rippoff from religions that existed long before your make believe jeebus was invented.
      Look up Mithra, an Egyptian god who was of a virg in birth, walked on water, raised the dead and rose from the grave after he died.
      Face it, you have bought into a great big lie.
      A lie that only exists to separate you from your money.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:04 am |
      • nancy

        Niknak- I totally respect your opinion. I think we are all created to have faith in our life. My faith is in God, which I acknowledge through the Christian faith. Your faith takes you in a different direction. Maybe you are an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, etc. Your path is different but I love and respect you without judgement.

        July 21, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • nancy

      I would also like to add that as a Christian, we are called, most importantly, to love our neighbors. When we try to cram Christianity down other's throat through threats of eternal hell, I believe that not only are we turning people off to Christianity, we are also dismissing the power of the Holy Spirit. It's just arrogant to think all people must believe in the same way. God is Love! "Do all you can to teach the gospel, use words if necessary." St. Francis of Assisi.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • niknak

      No it is not a choice Nancy.
      Had you been born in Saudi Arabia to a muslim family you would not have chosen xtianity, you would be a muslim.
      Had you been born into a buddist family you would be that.
      You are only a xtian because you were born into that myth.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:55 am |
      • nancy

        Niknak–are you saying that you were born into an atheist family, and are therefore forced to be an atheist with no choice? How sad for you. Atheism is a faith and therefore should be a choice. There is no proof that God does or does not exist, so it requires just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a Christian. Even my 14 year old son knows that where you were born and raised will greatly influence what faith you will adopt, and that most remain in that faith. So you are absolutely correct when you state that I would most likely be a muslim had I been born in Saudi Arabia. I am fortunate, in that I was raised to think for myself and choose for myself with unconditional love. I was raised in a Christian home with two other siblings. Two of us are Christian, and one is not. We all love and respect each other, and spend no time trying to sway each other to our personal set of beliefs. I am a Christian because I choose it. I hope you are an Atheist because you choose it.

        July 21, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • nancy

        Niknak–are you saying that you were born into an atheist family, and are therefore forced to be an atheist with no choice? How sad for you. Atheism is a faith and therefore should be a choice. There is no proof that God does or does not exist, so it requires just as much faith to be an atheist as it does to be a Christian. Even my 14 year old son knows that where you were born and raised will greatly influence what faith you will adopt, and that most remain in that faith. So you are absolutely correct when you state that I would most likely be a muslim had I been born in Saudi Arabia. I am fortunate, in that I was raised to think for myself and choose for myself with unconditional love. I was raised in a Christian home with two other siblings. Two of us are Christian, and one is not. We all love and respect each other, and spend no time trying to sway each other to our personal set of beliefs. I am a Christian because I choose it. I hope you are an Atheist because you choose it.

        July 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  19. Joe

    When one man hallucinates they call it insanity. When many hallucinate they call it religion.

    July 21, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Da King

      Joe, you should purchase a dictionary.

      July 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    It is complete idiocy to appreciate the historical Jesus, and to deny Christ at the same time. Christ and the historical Jesus are the same person, therefore we call him Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ had got a human nature and a divine nature, he was man and God at the same time. His human nature was created in Mary's womb, but his divine nature was eternal (Jesus existed before he came into the womb of Mary, and, of course, before he was born into this world). Thus, one can say that the eternal Christ incarnated when he came into the womb of his mother Mary who was a virgin. First, this human being was simply called Jesus, but when he revealed his heavenly glory by miracles he was called Jesus Christ.

    Jesus was King of Israel indeed because he was a descendant of the Jewish King David. It is only that the royality of Jesus' family was no longer acknowledged by Israel at Jesus' time. Jesus was a man of virtue, he was a real king. He committed no sin, and cured people, and gave them the soul's health. And if the Jews (Jewish leaders) had not turned apostate from the ancient faith of Jahwe they had elected him King of Israel. Yet, the Jewish leaders were not concerned about their people Israel but only greedy for honor, power and riches. They used religion as a smokescreen for their malice. They were obsessed by the devil who gave them thoughts like: "let us do evil things in order to harvest good things". They uesed the law of the Torah as a cub in order to beat the ordinary Jews themselves breaking it. The Jewish leaders were angry with the ordinary Jews, insulted them and condemned them. The did not tell Israel of a Redeemer, and when the Redeemer became visible in the person of Jesus, they said he would be obsessed by the devil.

    The Jewish leaders were breaking the law, and condemned the ordinary Jews. Jesus kept the law, he even fulfilled it through divine love which is more than keeping, and he loved the ordinary Jews despite their sins. Hence, Jesus was the exact opposite of a Jewish leader. The Jewish leaders were let by the devil, Jesus was let by the Holy Spirit. This is the reason why they hated Jesus.

    Jesus told the truth by saying: I am the Saviour, and you need me in order to get delivered from your sins. Jesus confirmed the law of the Thorah but said that one is not pious through simply possessing the law, being circu-msized, and a descendant of father Abraham but through fulfilling the law. We fulfill the law when we love God and our neighbour. Yet, this love we don't possess by birth (by birth we a selfish, breakers of the law). This love is a divne gift which we gain through faith in Jesus Christ who is the love.

    This is the great mystery of faith: When we believe in Jesus Christ, we get a new divine nature beside our selfish nature which we have by birth.. The spiritual exersice we can fascilitate the new nature more and more, and thus we will come through at Judgement Day because we were really people who loved God and their felllow human beings.

    May Israel realize his Redeemer today. They are God's Chosen People.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    The Anti-Rousseau

    July 21, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      How many times today are you going to post this trite, useless rambling Rainman?

      July 21, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • snowboarder

      the answer to the great mystery of faith is the indoctrination.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Jeeezus Chraaaist! Teach anyone hogwash at an early enough age and they'll likely believe it forever.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:48 am |
      • Da King

        Most become saved later in life, after they realize the Love of God applies to them. Most unfortunately never get over their own fear of judgement, a gift of satin. So, the will never know the peace of God. But it is never too late. Find and share with a Spirit filled believer. He/she can give you the seed. And then you will know he Peace of God, through Jesus.

        July 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Bippy the new lesser to medium level judging squirrel god

      Rainer, could you please limit your cut-and-pastes to one paragraph.

      July 21, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • jill

      Rainer Braendlein, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      July 21, 2013 at 11:12 am |
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About this blog

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