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December 13th, 2013
09:30 AM ET

Call Jesus (or Santa) white? Expect a big fight

Opinion by Edward J. Blum, special to CNN

(CNN) - Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly sparked outrage this week by insisting that Jesus and Santa Claus are both white, saying it's "ridiculous" to argue that depicting Christ and St. Nick as Caucasian is "racist."

"And by the way, for all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white," Kelly said, "but this person is arguing that we should also have a black Santa."

Kelly was responding to an article in Slate that said St. Nick needs a makeover from fat, old white guy to something less "melanin-deficient."

The Fox News host would have none of it.

"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change," Kelly said. "Jesus was a white man, too. It's like we have, he's a historical figure; that's a verifiable fact. As is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy, in the story, and change Santa from white to black?"

Arguing about St. Nick, who was originally Greek before Currier & Ives got their hands on him, is one thing. But as for Jesus, people have been arguing about his skin color since the earliest days of American history. You might even call it an American tradition.

What's new about this latest brouhaha is how swiftly Kelly’s remarks were attacked. Thousands of people have rebuked her through blogs, articles, Twitter posts and Facebook updates.

Comedian Jon Stewart accused Kelly of "going full Christmas nog."

“And who are you actually talking to?" Stewart said on "The Daily Show." "Children who are sophisticated enough to be watching a news channel at 10 o’clock at night, yet innocent enough to still believe Santa Claus is real — yet racist enough to be freaked out if he isn’t white?”

It seems that now, if you want to call Christ — or even Santa — white, you should expect a fierce fight.

The immediate and widespread rebuttal showcases how much America has changed over the past few decades. The nation not only has a black president, but also has refused to endorse the Christian savior as white.

Since the earliest days of America, Jesus was thought of as a white man.

When white Protestant missionaries brought Bibles and whitened images of Jesus to Native Americans, at least a few mocked what they saw.

Taking the imagery seriously, the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh asked future President William Henry Harrison, “How can we have confidence in the white people? When Jesus Christ came upon the earth you kill’d and nail’d him on a cross.”

It was not until around 1900 that a group of white Americans explicitly claimed Jesus was white.

Concerned that large numbers of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, especially Jewish immigrants, were “polluting” the nation, anti-immigrant spokesmen like attorney Madison Grant asserted the whiteness of Jesus to justify calls for exclusionary legislation.

READ MORE: From science and computers, a new face of Jesus

Making Jesus white was a means to distance him from Judaism.

“In depicting the crucifixion no artist hesitates to make the two thieves brunet in contrast to the blond Savior,” Grant wrote in his xenophobic best-seller "The Passing of the Great Race."

“This is something more than a convention,” Grant continued, and suggested that Jesus had “Nordic, possibly Greek, physical and moral attributes.”

Even Martin Luther King Jr. claimed that Jesus was white, after being asked why God created Jesus as a white man.

King responded that the color of Christ’s skin didn’t matter. Jesus would have been just as important “if His skin had been black.” He “is no less significant because His skin was white.”

READ MORE: Turkish town cashes in on Saint Nick legacy

Challenges to Christ’s whiteness have a long history, too.

Famed evangelist Billy Graham preached in the 1950s, and then wrote emphatically in his autobiography "Just As I Am," that, “Jesus was not a white man.”

But Graham was far from the first American to contradict the whiteness of Jesus. That honor goes to Methodist and Pequot Indian William Apess.

In 1833, he wrote to white Christians, “You know as well as I that you are not indebted to a principle beneath a white skin for your religious services but to a colored one.”

Almost 100 years later, the Jamaican born, “back-to-Africa” spokesman Marcus Garvey told his followers, “Never admit that Jesus Christ was a white man, otherwise he could not be the Son of God and God to redeem all mankind. Jesus Christ had the blood of all races in his veins.”

In our age, the color of Christ has become both politically dangerous and the butt of jokes.

In 2008, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s words “God damn America” and “Jesus was a poor black boy” almost derailed then-Sen. Barack Obama from winning the Democratic primary.

Now, Kelly bears the brunt of attacks and, in no surprise, was pilloried by comedians like Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Few Americans went on public record against King when he asserted Jesus had white skin in the 1950s. Today, thousands upon thousands from virtually every race and tribe of Americans have taken Kelly’s words seriously and seriously disdained them.

All the chatter about Jesus being white (or not) shows how much America has changed. There used to be “whites’ only” restaurants and schoolrooms. Now, even Jesus cannot be called white without repercussions.

What the debate hides, however, is what Jesus of the Bible actually did and how he related to people.

The gospels are full of discussions about Jesus and bodies. He healed the blind and those who suffered from disease. He touched and was touched by the sick. His body was pierced by thorns, a spear and nails. And he died.

READ MORE: What all those Jesus jokes tell us

The phenotype of Jesus was never an issue in the Bible. Neither Matthew, nor Mark, nor Luke, nor John mentioned Christ’s skin tone or hair color. None called him white or black or red or brown.

Obsessions about race are obsessions of our age, not the biblical one. When asked what mattered most, Jesus did not say his skin tone or body shape. He instructed his followers to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

Maybe this Christmas season, we can reflect not so much on whether or not Jesus was white and instead consider what it meant for him to be called the “light” of the world.

Edward J. Blum is the co-author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. He can be followed on Twitter @edwardjblum. The views expressed in this column belong to Blum alone.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Art • Belief • Bible • Billy Graham • Black issues • Christianity • Discrimination • Faith • God • Jesus • News media • Opinion • Persecution • Prejudice • Race • United States

soundoff (7,485 Responses)
  1. guest

    This is too much. Santa Claus as we know him today is purely fictional. You can not say anything is FACT about a purely fictional character. It is true that there is renditions showing a white santa claus, does that make it fact that he must be white? I mean I can find you renditions of it being a black santa, so it is tough to argue that some artist rendition of something is 'FACT'. It is a figment of our imagination, and can be imagined however somebody wants.

    This reporter lady needs to get the can, and then shunned by society for being repugnantly nasty and racist.

    I guess though he could be portrayed as a slave owner producing goods for the affluent for no cost due to savings on not having to pay for labor. In that scenario it makes sense that he is white, probably republican, and probably owns a stockpile of automatic weapons in his basement, cuz you know, safety from them brown people.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  2. terry beaton

    It wasn't so much the deeply disputable 'facts' she was stating so stridently, as the barely veiled sentiment that was behind them. Such a knee jerk and irritably intolerant reaction to a call for racial inclusivity is pure Foxnews. This idea that white people and culture is under attack ,(especially since Obama became president) is transparently "racial". Megyn Kelly is as guilty as the rest of her colleagues at Fox in this regard. You know this kind of stuff when you hear it and everyone can hear it. Do you think an apology is coming? That would be a Christmas miracle.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • lol??

      The Big O and his followers look down on Bible and weapon clingers. He wants you to cling to his.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • name

      Jesus was Jewish; Jewish folks have light skin.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  3. Imagine No Religion

    Funny that! I've always considered jesus to be clear. As in, he never existed.

    Was born an atheist. Still an atheist. Will die an atheist.
    -–
    "There ain't no jesus gonna come from the sky.
    Now that I found out, I know I can cry." – John Lennon

    December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Jeff

      Historic jesus or God Jesus?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Imagine No Religion

        Both.

        -–
        "There ain't no jesus gonna come from the sky.
        Now that I found out, I know I can cry." – John Lennon

        December 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Josh

      You're just as idiotic and opinionated as your comment leads us to think. You should have looked up the evidence from Tacitus or several other sources before ignorantly spamming your stupidity, I meant atheism, on this blog. Please educate yourself and then learn to play with the other children.

      January 14, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
  4. swohio

    I once read an early description of Jesus as having a ruddy complexion....ie. reddish-brown in color.

    The man was a Jew. Jews have neither white skin nor black skin. To think there should have EVER been a question about this is beyond ludicrous, and ultimately should not matter anyway. In all the years I've been a Christian, I don't think I ever once really believed he was white, nor did I believe he was black. I envisioned him as having the reddish-brown complexion of most Jews of that time.

    And as for Santa? Seriously, GET REAL!

    December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  5. SAtireBound88

    He was born in the middle east....Jesus was most definitely brown.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • LittleBabyJESUS

      Are Jews brown?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
      • Satan Claws

        In Israel? Kind of.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Jeff

        Jews have been mixing with europeans for about 2000 years.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  6. wydok

    Well, St. Nicholas was white, Greek or otherwise. Jesus was Jewish. It's not that hard.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  7. ironwolf56

    Last I checked Greeks were considered white...funny how the goalposts change when it's most convenient for the "I'm offended!" crowd.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Maleficent

      2000 years ago they were brown.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • Dubhly

        no actually they would have been even less mediterranean closer to the base mycenaean stock. In the past 2000 years greece has seen a lot of influx of peoples who were not original european invaders.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Right

      So you think that Santa is an accurate depiction of Nikolaos of Myra?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Hubris

        'Santa', as we know him, was a creation of Coca-Cola and Haddan Sundblom. Before that, he was looking a little skeevy.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • Dubhly

        No, but he is a better depiction of thor who santa is based off of.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Jeff

      White but also Mediterranean. One thing is almost for sure Jesus no doubt had dark hair and brown eyes.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • KellyP

        Yup, more "eyetalian" than Swede.

        December 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Luther

      HE IS WHITE................IF SANTA WAS BLACK; HE WOULD HAVE GOLD RIMS ON HIS SLED; HE WOULD BE DELIVERING CRACK; AND PIMPIN OUT HIS NAPPY HEADED ELF CRACK HOES...

      December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Chicken and ribs and watermelon and purple drank

        Is dat any way to talk about yo sistah's?

        December 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Jeff

        He also probably wouldn't name his raindeer Rudolph

        December 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • KellyP

          Because reindeer males lose their antlers well before Christmas, making all of Santa's team have to be females, if the pictures are to be trusted.

          December 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • bribarian

      Libs will try to make George Washington black one day.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • Satan Claws

        Libs are going to win the next election. Try to be considerate and not make too much of a mess when you kill yourself.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Dubhly

      Greeks are, they are off the same base stock as the rest of the Europeans...Proto indo european.
      Besides that st nick might have been greek, but santa was nordic and based off thor thats the reason the first two reindeer ( north european animals, not greek) are donner and blitzen meaning thunder and lighting. Thor was also known and the friend of man. Just another example of christianity taking from a native pagan religion to help spread itself by using native gods as their saints.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  8. Imagine No Religion

    Funny that! I've always considered jesus to be clear. As in, he never existed.

    Born an atheist, still an atheist, will always be an atheist.
    -–
    "There ain't no jesus gonna come from the sky.
    Now that I found out, I know I can cry." – John Lennon

    December 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Imagine:
      interesting article on Lennon & a letter he supposedly wrote to a televangelist...
      http://thislandpress.com/03/07/2011/the-gospel-of-john-lennon/?read=complete

      December 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • Imagine No Religion

        @Russ

        The operative keywords here are supposedly and televangelist.

        The supposed letter was never seen by anybody but the televangelist, because he read it out loud. There has never been any other proof that this letter ever existed. And given the track record of Oral Roberts (and xian televangelists in general), I conclude with 99.9999999999999% certainty that the supposed was just another manipulative fraud for which xianity is famous.

        -–
        "There ain't no jesus gonna come from the sky.
        Now that I found out, I know I can cry." – John Lennon

        December 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Dubhly

      Jesus has a pretty clear reality basis, even as an atheist you should know there is enough historical evidence to back him up. Now was he a man, or the son of the jewish god...THAT is an entirely different question. To deny he existed at all is contrary to even most atheist, who hold that he was simply a man because there are not gods or goddesses.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • KellyP

      Imagine
      Jesus was "clear"? You mean, a scientologist?

      December 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • Imagine No Religion

        LOL!

        -–
        "There ain't no jesus gonna come from the sky.
        Now that I found out, I know I can cry." – John Lennon

        December 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  9. Daniel Price

    "He was a historical figure, verifiable by fact"...... Fact: something that truly exists or happens. Oh and please try and find a white guy in the Middle east. If he did exist, which is open for debate, He probably wasn't white.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Jeff

      Honestly Who Really Cares What Color he was. We all have better things to talk about.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • Satan Claws

        Fox cares, Jeff. Fox cares.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Right

      No references of any knid in his lifetime.

      First Christian reference: a decade or so after death.

      First non-Christian reference: about a century later, and it only repeats Christian claims.

      Then again, "verification" has never been big at Fox

      December 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • quidestveritas

        not true, the records kept by Pontius pilates' scriveners mention him. you don't have to believe he was the son of god to believe he was a real person.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • KellyP

          Reference?

          December 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • tv22

      Jesus certainly lived and was a Jew. Seems to me it's pretty clear he was "white".

      December 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • ironwolf56

        @tv22 Don't think that what we mostly mentally picture as Jews here in the US is what Jews looked like back then. Most Jews in the US are Ashkenazi jews, where the Jews in the Middle East in those days would have looked probably much more Sephardic or something.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Lucille

      Jesus the Christ was Jewish.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
      • Hank Peters

        He would have stopped being Jewish just as soon as he started seeing himself as God, because that's blasphemy.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  10. Mateoinso-cal

    seems like a moot argument since both are fictional characters inspired by a combination of real people and myth. The idea of a white Jesus has always been laughable, but since conservatives continue to mode Jesus in their own political image anyway, it's no wonder. Soon pictures of Jesus will show a dude with short hair wearing a business suit. The red-state American Jesus.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • quidestveritas

      jesus was a real person (the romans kept records on him). whether he existed and whether he was the son of god are completely separate issues, but there's no doubt that he was a real person.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  11. Junebug

    Every time one of these idiots opens up their pie hole, it's pretty much guaranteed to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my entire life. Santa Claus is based on a myth that was created in Germany. Germans are white. So that is why he appears as white and always has. If he's a myth, it's OK if he's depicted as being black it makes no difference; in fact if he were to be depicted as being purple that would be OK too. As to Jesus, last time I looked all people from the Middle East were brown. And they probably always will be. The people who painted his image have always painted him as being white because they were too ignorant to look at a map. This is OK. Jesus is cool with it, I'm sure. What he isn't cool with is stupid morons like those on Fox news who spout misinformation as fact, and try to look smart and well-informed in the process. Megyn Kelly is stupid, but that being said, that is an insult to stupid people.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Gino

      As you point, just consider the source of this verbal garbage, laugh a hearty Santa laugh, and go to the toilet.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Junebug

        Ho Ho Ho! 🙂

        December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • jane

      Hope you are sending black santa christmas cards to all this year....yeah, right, you coward.......

      December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  12. Dan G

    The only thing that sounded racist to me was: "an article in Slate that said St. Nick needs a makeover from fat, old white guy to something less "melanin-deficient."

    December 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  13. mary

    America is ridiculous... racism against whites is becoming an issue. White people can't say anything about being white or being black because it's racist. But nothing is heard the other way. Obama stands up for Trayvon, but not for a white hero... disgusting...

    December 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Cry Me a River

      Boo-hoo-hoo. Careful honey, you'll flood the trailer.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • jane

      Because obama is majorly racist!!!!!!

      December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • ikadshi

      No it depends on what is being said. Jesus was from the middle east he's tanned. He's not white. Do you consider Middle Easterns today white? No. The ignorance.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  14. The Truth

    Why is it so hard for people to just face the fact that Jesus was a man of color with melanin in his skin, as his lineage was comprised from the 12 Tribes of Israel also known as Hebrews whose images were closer to that of African Peoples from Ethiopia and Egypt (Before the Persian, Greek, and Roman Invaders).
    People, I sincerely hope you wake up one day and realize that Jesus was nothing like the images you have been deceived into worshipping. Heck, even the cuacasian population of Jews who currently occupy Israel are not true Hebrew Israelites but are instead Europeans whose ancestors are from Germany and Russian, but converted to Judaism.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chris

      You are uneducated and ignorant like all blacks.

      Jesus is a European creation, he never existed and certainly wasn't a black african.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • quidestveritas

        totally wrong, the roman scriveners who worked under Pontius pilate kept records on him.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  15. quidestveritas

    the original anthropological definition of "Caucasian" included Europeans, east Africans, middle easterners and even Indians.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  16. bribarian

    libs cant even leave christmas alone, such a sad and miserable groups of marxists

    December 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Right

      FOX starts a story and it's the liberals fault?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • Hubris

        Ya gotta love it.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • jane

        Of course...republicons own the blame game rhetoric

        December 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Love from Russia

        Seems those on the right are learning how to play by the liberal game book. Example I continue to hear 5 years into the first black, or white, or whatever he is, presidents term. Everything wrong in the US today is Bush' fault, right? You lefties are really interesting little creatures. Spin whenever you can. Too funny....

        December 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
        • Satan Claws

          How do you like those CIA controlled 'uprisings' (Ukraine, Georgia) in your backyard?

          December 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Lux14

      Please explain your comment because I am not understanding. How do people responding to the historical biblical Christ not being white but actually Jewish make them liberal and marxist? I'm not trying to provoke an argument. I just want to know your line of reasoning.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • KellyP

      Yup, like we couldn't leave racism alone either. We are just so horrible, aren't we?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Sausage Frenzy

      you scared bro?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  17. Jesus Claus

    If they were any other color they wouldn't be popular. Who wants a brown Santa or Jesus?

    December 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • frankiesweep

      You make a good point.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • KellyP

      I get a brown Santa every year. He's chocolate, of course, but soooo good.

      Why aren't there any chocolate Jesus's around, even during Easter when eating his body is so popular?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  18. jason

    Um okay. One, this is really petty. I mean who cares honestly. If this really upsets you then you obviously have too much time on your hands. Second, Jesus was from the middle east, so he's obviously not white. Santa Claus is derived from an old german legend, so he's white. This is simple geography, not rocket science.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • KellyP

      If you can buy the load of contradictions, inaccuracies and other faults within the New Testament then you'd probably also buy that Jesus was as blue as Popa Smurf.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • Love from Russia

        You must be what, 2000 years old to have all this data lying around to prove your statement? Very interesting how lefties always can qaulify their statements with such honest facts. Too funny...

        December 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
        • Satan Claws

          No, braindead, one needs only to consult the Old Testament.

          December 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  19. Howard

    Jesus was Semitic, an Israelite, and so brown skinned. Why isn't that even mentioned?
    The race issue is clearly displayed here by dancing around that obvious fact.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Dan G

      If he had shot Travon Martin he would have been called "White".

      December 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • James K

        Why would Jesus shoot anyone, igit?

        December 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • Dan G

      CNN, like MSNBC seems to like to push articles for racist purposes.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • Hubris

        I know!, right? Good thing Fox doesn't do anything like that. Oh, wait..................

        December 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Abalone767

      What race was Paul Bunyon?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
      • KellyP

        Mythical, like Jesus.

        December 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Jim Peters

      The definition of "White" used for the 2000 Census in the U.S is: "White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "White" or report entries such as Irish, German, Scottish, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish."

      Skin color is not the determining factor. "Race" is an label which is defined by some consensus. For the US Census, this is the whole list: White, Black or African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander or Other.

      My point is, the label is only as useful as the definition, and in this definition of "White" Jesus was white. In some other definition, maybe not. This is the problem with labels and why they are useless. We are all humans, and share that heritage. Why should we care which "race" or "ethnicity" a person is?

      December 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • KellyP

        But would he have passed Hitler's test of aryan purity, as most American depictions have him, or would he have been sent to the ovens like his fellow Jews?

        December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • Love from Russia

          Rhetorical question from the expert on Jesus and the New Testament. Did you know Hitler? Why not enlighten all of us on your expertise. please? I anxiously await your reponse.

          December 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  20. Abalone767

    First off, why care? Secondly, this is as ridiculous as speculating on the race of Gandalf.

    December 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • AllFantasyCharactersAreClearlyWhite

      Also white. Clearly.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Angus MacAngus

      Not when we're talking about historical figures, Jesus of Nazareth and St. Nicholas. Virtually no historian denies their existence.

      December 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
      • Abalone767

        The bible was heavily edited and re-written. The only outside source that claims to mention him is Tacitus, and he's looking back as far as we would be on some obscure person in the time of Martin Van Buren. Sure, there might have been historical seeds of some real guy or maybe a series of guys, but there was that also for Paul Bunyon. Jesus is as real as Paul Bunyon.

        December 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
        • Angus MacAngus

          Obviously you're a moron with a biased agenda.

          December 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • Abalone767

          From Wikipedia: "Local folklore in Chester, Illinois, Segar's hometown, claims that Popeye is based on Frank "Rocky" Fiegel, a man who was handy with his fists." So, just like Jesus and Paul Bunyon, Popeye was actually based on a real person. In the case of Jesus, though, the character that we have come to know and love may have been based on a series of characters.

          December 13, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
        • Abalone767

          From Wikipedia:
          The historical basis for the King Arthur legend has long been debated by scholars. One school of thought, citing entries in the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) and Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals), sees Arthur as a genuine historical figure, a Romano-British leader who fought against the invading Anglo-Saxons sometime in the late 5th to early 6th century. The Historia Brittonum, a 9th-century Latin historical compilation attributed in some late manuscripts to a Welsh cleric called Nennius, contains the first datable mention of King Arthur, listing twelve battles that Arthur fought. These culminate in the Battle of Mons Badonicus, or Mount Badon, where he is said to have single-handedly killed 960 men. Recent studies, however, question the reliability of the Historia Brittonum.

          December 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
        • Angus MacAngus

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

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

          Crossan, John Dominic (1995). Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography. HarperOne. p. 145. ISBN 0-06-061662-8. "That he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus...agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact."

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

          December 14, 2013 at 1:34 am |
        • Angus MacAngus

          I'm an agnostic with a postgraduate degree in Hellenistic and Semitic cultures. I call out stupidity on any and all sides.

          December 14, 2013 at 1:39 am |
      • Josh

        Really? Funny, because last time I checked there were multiple witnesses of Christ even during the Crucifixion, and the myth theory proposed by that man from 2004 has easily been refuted. You can sense stupidity? Why can't you sense it when it comes from you?

        January 14, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.