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April 14th, 2014
11:44 AM ET

Five things you didn’t know about Moses

By Joel S. Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - Moses: the main character of the Torah, the paradigmatic law-giver and the star of multiple motion pictures.

As Passover rolls around again and Jews the world over retell the story of Moses’s big moment, it’s worth remembering that there are aspects of Moses that haven’t made it to the big screen or into public consciousness.

For example, here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Hebrew prophet.

1. Moses was probably Egyptian.

The most important piece of evidence for this is his name.

In the Bible, it is explained that his name is derived from the Hebrew word mashah, “to draw,” as in “to draw him from the waters of the Nile,” where he had been hidden as an infant.

Unfortunately, it is awfully hard to get from that verb to the name Moses, which would probably mean something like “the one who draws," which isn’t how the story goes.

The name Moses is in fact a good Egyptian name meaning “son.” It’s a common element in the names of many pharaohs, such as Tuthmoses and, most famously, Ramesses (“son of Ra”).

That well-known narrative in which Moses’ mother hides him in the Nile until he is found and raised by the pharaoh’s daughter looks a lot like a heavy-handed attempt to explain that despite all the indications that Moses was Egyptian — especially his name — he was actually Israelite.

There’s also the little passage in Exodus that suggests that Moses was uncircumcised, as was his son — unexpected, to say the least, for a native Israelite.

2. Moses wasn’t anti-slavery.

He has a reputation as the great liberator. And it’s true, he did liberate the Israelites from Egypt.

But Moses didn’t have anything against slavery as an institution, only against the enslavement of the Israelites by the Egyptians.

The Israelites themselves were expected to have slaves of their own: both their fellow Israelites, who were to be treated relatively well, and non-Israelites, who received no such kindness.

Moses tells the Israelites that if they hit a slave so hard that the slave dies on the spot, that’s bad. But if the slave survives for a day or two and then dies, no punishment is required, “since he is the other’s property.”

3. Moses had a black wife.

True story. And not his first wife, either; that was Tziporah, the daughter of Jethro, a Midianite priest.

This is his second wife, a Cushite, Cush being the ancient name for Ethiopia.

If you’re bothered by this, you’re not alone. Aaron and Miriam, Moses’ own brother and sister, think it’s a bad thing, too.

But if you think that their objections justify your discomfort, there you’re wrong.

God reprimands Aaron and gives Miriam a skin disease for speaking out against Moses.

To be fair, Aaron and Miriam are bothered by inter-ethnic marriage, not interracial marriage. Since, in all likelihood, Moses — being Egyptian and all — was probably pretty dark-skinned himself.

4. Moses didn’t come up with a single law.

Moses is the paradigmatic law-giver, not the paradigmatic law-maker.

There isn’t a single law in the Torah that Moses claims to have come up with all by himself. Every law he gives the Israelites was dictated to him by God.

The New Testament refers to the law, usually in a negative sense, as something that Moses commanded. But this is deceptive (intentionally or unintentionally).

It may be that the laws of the Old Testament were all consigned to the dustbin when Jesus came along. But they weren’t commanded by Moses; they were the word of God.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

5. Moses didn’t write the Torah.

Despite the well-established Jewish and Christian tradition, the Torah never says, or even remotely suggests, that Moses wrote it.

The Bible does refer to the Torah as “the book of Moses.” But this doesn’t mean that Moses wrote the Torah, any more than “the book of Job” was written by Job or “the book of Kings” was written by Kings. “The book of Moses” means the book in which Moses is the main character — as in Job, or Kings.

The Torah is written in the third person from start to finish. Even the great speech of Deuteronomy is a reported speech: It begins with “These are the words that Moses addressed to all Israel” and ends with Moses’ death.

The verse in Deuteronomy that states that “Moses wrote down this Torah” isn’t proof that he actually wrote the Torah. Again: He’s a character, and in any case he’s taking dictation, not composing anything himself.

A final note on this point. If Moses did write the Torah, then consider this verse in Numbers: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more so than any other man on earth.”

If Moses wrote that, he’s at worst a liar and at best a serious humblebragger. It’s probably fortunate, then, that he didn’t write that verse, or any other, for that matter.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero” and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Egypt • Holidays • Israel • Judaism • Moses • Opinion • Passover • Torah

soundoff (582 Responses)
  1. hubert39

    Interesting article. The real fact is, we don't really know anything about Moses, and the people who lived back then.
    But the movies, TV shows, and books make good entertainment. You can asked 1000 Theologians, Pastors, Rabbis, Clerics, historians, etc. the same question and they will all give you a different answer.

    April 15, 2014 at 6:26 am |
  2. newzjunkie123

    Here's what CNN needs to know about Moses.
    1. He was black and a child of Israel.
    2. Ancient Egyptians were a black/brown people that looked just like the Hebrews.
    3. There were NO Europeans in that region in those days.
    4. Those in Israel now are coverts to Judaism and not the descendants of the ancient Israelites.
    5. Finally, the direct descendants of the ancient Israelites are those you call African American, Mexican, Native American, West Indies, Afro Cubans, Haitians, etc.

    Learn history before you fall to HIStory. Shame on you CNN for not doing your research.

    April 15, 2014 at 5:14 am |
    • newzjunkie123

      How is it that leprosy was a sign of uncleanliness during the bible days, yet today and for some time, all of the prophets are painted as lepers? This sounds harsh, but the lies are even harsher. The beauty of this is that every eye one day is going to see for themselves. Do you recall when Moses put his hand in his bosom, removed it, and it turned WHITE as snow?? And once he did the same task it was restored to match his other skin! The lies always seem to be exposed. If Moses was white as most seem to think, his hand sure wouldn't have turned white. And Moses black white was black just like Moses was. They were simply two different nation of people w/ the same skin tone. Sorta like Scottish and Italian. Two different groups of people w/ the same skin tone. What you think God only allowed Europeans to have various groups within the same skin tone? smh ...

      April 15, 2014 at 5:23 am |
  3. jcs6

    1. He's a fictional character.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:36 am |
    • hoeech

      This is supposed to be about things we DIDN'T know about Moses.

      April 15, 2014 at 3:24 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      The article states "He has a reputation as the great liberator. And it’s true, he did liberate the Israelites from Egypt." But the truth is that the exodus from Egypt story is a legend not an historical event. Over a century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence to support the story and it is widely regarded as a legend by archaeologists and historians due to the complete lack of evidence for it. The number of Israelites exiting Egypt in the Exodus story seems wildly implausible, since according to Exodus 12:37-38, the Israelites numbered about 600,000 men on foot along with women and children, plus many non-Israelites and livestock. Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,500 men twenty years or more of age who could serve in Israel's army, excluding the Levites whom Yahweh directed Moses should not be counted. The more than six hundred thousand men twenty years old or older who could serve in the army, plus, wives, children, the elderly and the many non-Israelites said to have accompanied them would have likely numbered some two million people. The population of Egypt in 1250 BCE was around 3 to 3.5 million.

      Yet no evidence has ever been found that indicates Egypt ever suffered such a demographic and economic catastrophe or that the Sinai desert ever hosted, or could have hosted, that number of people and their herds. Instead, the archaeological evidence points to the Israelites having Caanite origins rather than coming to the area from Egypt. The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their early cult-objects are those of the Canaanite god El, the pottery remains reflect the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet used is early Canaanite.

      April 15, 2014 at 7:40 am |
  4. realbuckyball

    5 more things you didn't know about Moses :
    1, He never existed. The Exodus did not, and could not have happened as the Bible described it. Moseh came from the mythic origins in the texts of the Northern Kingdom. There is not a shred of evidence for someone named Moses, (or Joshua or the other "patriarchs" either). The journey of Abraham for Ur to Israel was a mirror of the journey the returning Jews would be making in returning from Exile.
    2. The texts supposedly written by Moses describe the death of Moses. Obviously he couldn't have written about his own death.
    3. The text describe him as "the humblest man who ever lived", "and a greater prophet never arose in Israel" ... A truly humble man would never say that, AND clearly it's written from the point of view of someone looking back, not the present.
    4. The first verse in Deuteronomy says that "these are the words that Moses spoke to the children of Israel ACROSS the Jordan". Woops. Moses was never supposed to BE on the West side of the Jordan.
    5. There are many many other contradictions and errors, (not least of which was the Israelites saying "who brought us *up and out* of Egypt, when they were "down and over" in the Sinai Desert. The list of the Edomite kings is in the wrong order, (Genesis 36), and they lived LONG after Moses died. He could not have known about them.
    There is nothing "literally true" about the Pentateuch. It was assembled during the Exile, and as the Book of Ezra recounts, FIRST presented to the Jews in the Fall Festival described in Ezra. Ezra came back from the Exile with two things in his hand. a. The "Torah of Moses", (seen for the first time in human history), and b. the letter from Artaxerxes describing how Isra-El was going to run, and who was going to be in charge when the leaders HE appointed, came back from Exile. The Persian Emperor, more than any other person, is responsible for Israel and the first 5 books of what centuries later came to be called "Ta Bibla", or The Bible.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:31 am |
    • tiglathpileser1

      And atheists accuse christians of 'selective interpretation' and 'cherry picking'!

      April 15, 2014 at 3:40 am |
      • alonsoquixote

        So what has he written that is untrue or which you can refute by providing a broader context or reinterpret to make the stories about Moses seem plausible as historical events rather than being simply part of Israelite origin legends? E.g., archaeologists and historians have long known that the exodus from Egypt story is legendary and not an historical event.

        The Exodus story in the Bible claims that over 600,000 men 20 years of old and older who could serve in Israel's army left with their wives, children, and a host of non-Israelites, plus their herds, which would have meant probably about 2 million people plus their livestock. Egypt with a population of 3 to 3.5 million at the time the biblical exodus from Egypt would have occurred, couldn't have sustained a loss of over 1/2 its population and there's no archaeological nor historical evidence for the biblical tale.

        April 15, 2014 at 7:55 am |
      • islamistheanswer

        Gets better. Please watch this 45 second video that sums up Atheism!

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

        April 15, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
  5. malcolmtbm

    Cush is the ancient name of Sudan, not Ethiopia....smh

    April 15, 2014 at 12:29 am |
    • hoeech

      Some say Ethiopia, others say Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran...the borders weren't very well defined and they floated depending on who you talk to.

      April 15, 2014 at 3:23 am |
  6. otontisch

    Never saw so much ignorance and and false references in an article.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:18 am |
    • otontisch

      Only a button: Obviously, as Moses was in the Bible narrative, a findling by a Egyptian princess, she gave him an egyptian royal sounding name!!!

      April 15, 2014 at 12:24 am |
      • realbuckyball

        It's a complete myth. There was no Exodus. There were ALREADY Canaanite settlements in what came to be Israel. The Mernepteh Steele is the only historical reference to anything remotely like an "exodus".
        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qalTJzk4kO0&w=640&h=360]

        April 15, 2014 at 12:36 am |
        • otontisch

          realbuckyball

          Your logic is really overwhelming!! 

          The not existing Exodus has a historical and hardware reference!!

          By the way: Obviously, as many biblical narratives transmitted verbally during centuries before written down ,is idealized and adorned by the imagination of the transmitters, but the underlying facts are still visible . Complex stories as this one, reflecting basic historical facts and customs. always have a core of truth

          A good example is the ILLIAS of Homer, which was dismissed as pure literature until SCHLIEMANN found TROY. He was wrong identifying the archaeological TROY of Homer's narrative as the more ancient level No.2, as subsequent excavations showed it was the No.7, but this does do not changed that ILLIAS is the poetic version of the FACTUAL War of Troy!!!

          April 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          The mythical figures in the Greek myths were mythical. Just because an historical city is referenced, it does not make the myth true, you idiot. By your logic, the fact that Harry Potter references London makes Harry Potter true.

          April 15, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
      • observer

        otontisch,

        The Bible's support for slavery is right on.

        April 15, 2014 at 12:51 am |
      • joey3467

        The Exodus never happened. If it had happened as described in the bible even the Egyptians would have needed to leave Egypt because according to the story god pretty much wiped out anything that one could eat during the plagues. So I would think that if that happened either all of the Egyptians would have left the country or starved to death, and at the very least someone living in Egypt would have mentioned the plagues, and all of their slaves leaving.

        April 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • otontisch

          You should read what the bible tells

          The Jew didn't leave Egypt because there was hunger for them or the Egyptians, just the contrary, as the EXODUS narrative tells, the complained and rebelled against MOSES because they yearned for the FLESHPOTS of EGYPT and wanted to return!!!  The reason was that Jews were enslaved, a the narrative repeatedly represents!! And the Egyptians didn't want them to leave, as they needed the slaves!!

          The increased grave plagues were warning shots to achieve for the Jews permission to leave

          April 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
  7. edgebarton

    In today's world, Moses would have stood trial in an international court for genocide and other crimes. Numbers 31:17-18

    April 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
    • dcarr454

      In today's world, Moses would be an exempt politician, dictating laws that apply to everyone but himself.

      April 14, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
    • tiglathpileser1

      In today's world Moses would have been shot by a zealot or killed by Pharoa's gaurds long before he got to the first plague.

      April 15, 2014 at 3:43 am |
  8. Andy Christensen

    1. It is the Exodus claim he was Israelite versus the speculation that Moses is an Egyptian name. I am going with the Biblical account, with all due respect to Dr. Baden.
    2-4. Knew that.
    5. I think Moses wrote the Pentateuch because I can't think of a better candidate. He was an eyewitness to much of what is describled. The first 40 years of his life he lived a priviledged life in the Egyptian royal family with access to some of the greatest stores of knowledge and learning in the ancient world, some of which he could have used in the composition of portions of Genesis. He had plenty of time to do research. The next 40 years, he lived in relative isolation and had plenty of time to finish Genesis. The final 40 years were mostly spent with the Israelites as God forced them to wander in the desert. Again, plenty of time to compose and write - with inspiration of the Holy Spirit - Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Other individuals could have finished off the small sections which could not have been penned by Moses as he died just before the Israelites entered Canaan.

    April 14, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
    • colin31714

      Well, no. Moses likely didn't exist. The fact is that the Pentateuch was written by 4 principal authors, known as the Yahwist, Elohist, Priestly and Dueteronimist sources. We have no idea who they were and only a general idea when each of them lived.

      April 14, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        There were multiple writers and editors of each of those sources, (as all scholars know ... it's called the Docu'mentary Hypothesis, and scholars have really not questioned it in about 75 years), and it is known they were assembled in Exile in Babylon, as they all contain so many Babylonian references and concepts. The very word "El" (as in Isra-EL) all the angelic beings end in "el", many places are named "el" (such as Beth-El) and El Elyon was the father (in Babylonia mythology), of both Yahweh and the god Sin, (who eventually became Allah).

        April 15, 2014 at 12:43 am |
  9. dcarr454

    Here is what I know about the story of Moses:

    So he comes down from the mountian with these commandments, the most notable being "thou shall not kill".
    But when he finds that some people in his group have rum amok, what does he do ?
    He orders his soldiers to kill them – men, women, and little boys, only sparing the virgin girls for himself and his soldier men.

    This is not someone that I would admire.

    April 14, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
    • tiglathpileser1

      hahahah, might want to see if what you "know" lines up with the actual story before typing it out...not even close to the actual story.

      April 14, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
      • dcarr454

        Numbers 31:

        "17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him."
        "18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

        So disgusting.

        April 15, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
  10. shawbrooke

    Every child who regularly attends Christian Sunday School knows items 2, 3, and 4. As to 1, we can all guess, but many point out that Aaron and Miriam accepted Moses as their brother, and the Biblical passage concerning Moses' finding out that he was Israelite is well known too. As to 5, what law are you talking about? The 10 commandments that as you mention Moses did not write, the instructions in the first 5 books of the Bible, or the mountainous list of rules that grew after Moses and that Jesus spoke against?

    April 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
  11. snowr14

    The author is forgetting one pivotal rule of any religion. Blind Belief.

    First you must believe blindly that what is written in the book is the absolute, unequivocal, unquestionable truth.

    Now, since the book is absolute, unequivocal, unquestionable truth, and it clearly says in the book that it is written by god himself, it is of course written by god himself. In the book since he clearly says the above 5 things about moses are not true, the author must OBVIOUSLY be making up stuff and god will smite him for it.. prepare to be smote, you heathen joel!!

    Simple logic, isnt it?

    April 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
  12. Doris

    Christian bloggers doing what they do best...

    new-man: "Mr. Baden, even though this is an opinion piece, you will have more credibility when you begin to write about what you know and understand- the OT and the NT (for that matter) are clearly not your forte."

    scaloni19: "Let's look at the Word of God for the truth in this matter, ok Joel?"

    Rainer Helmut Braendlein: "Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible."

    kevinite: "So, Baden is pushing the point about Moses being an Egyptian just because he finds it hard derive the name Moses from the Hebrew mashah without addressing other points in the Old Testament pointing to Moses being an Israelite?"

    Salero21: "O here they go again!! Joe Biden and the 5 things you don't know about this and about that, and that, and that."

    April 14, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
    • The Answer is 42

      I doubt if collectively they have his education on the Hebrew Bible. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

      April 14, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
  13. new-man

    A narrative of Jesus speaking with two of His disciples on their way to Emmaus who were sad about what had taken place. They didn't realize the resurrected Jesus was the one speaking with them. Upon relaying their dismay at what had happened, Jesus basically told them – if you had read and believed Scripture, you would have known and expected what was going to take place and therefore would have no need to be sad. Luke 24:14-27
    (And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.)

    "Jesus was showing them as He is showing us today, that He is the Living Word revealed in the written word, and we have the written word in order to get acquainted with the Living Word and know what the Living Word wants to do if you'll let it get in you, it will change your life. It will take you to the place you need to go.
    When you read the word, you will learn the mind of God, the will of God, the plan of God and what pleases God." – Wendell Parr

    Believers, it's very important to be grounded in the word of God. So read the word, keep it before your eyes, let it not depart your eyes. Joshua 1:8

    April 14, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
    • Madtown

      grounded in the word of God
      ---
      God has not written any word we're aware of. The bible is the creation of human beings. God is powerful. If he desired to write word, he's certainly powerful enough to make sure all his human creations have a copy of it, so they have a chance to learn and follow it.

      April 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
      • new-man

        speak for yourself.
        The Bible is the written word of God. Jesus is the Living Word of God, the very Word made flesh/manifested in the physical.
        Because you are limited in your thinking of how God can make Himself known to all creation, doesn't mean He is. He clearly isn't and has His ways (which are not your ways).
        Every man will sit under their own vine and fig tree, so what you choose to do with the written and Living Word are your business only.

        April 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • Doris

          newman: "..your thinking of how God can make Himself known to all creation, doesn't mean He is."

          you are correct – He is not – He, most likely, does not exist...

          April 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • new-man

          then there's no point in you discussing a "non-existent" being, is there?

          April 14, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Bible is the written word of God
          --
          No, it's not. It's the written word of men. Men who THINK they know what God would say, if he were to write word. Why do you doubt the power of God? God didn't need human help to create the universe, but he needs human help to write a few words?! Silly.

          April 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
        • hotairace

          new-man may be getting on the right track. No point in discussing, following or sucking up to a non-existent being.

          April 15, 2014 at 12:45 am |
        • realbuckyball

          new man,
          Your disingenuous rationalization that those who disagree with your childish Fundie views are somehow "limited" is preposterous. In fact the only thing here "limited" is your ability to actually see reality, and not re-write history to suit your NEED for "literalism" ... an common street level American Fundie anti-intellectual bias.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:08 am |
      • tiglathpileser1

        Actually what you are really saysing is, if you were God you would have done it diferently. Thankfully you are not.

        April 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • Madtown

          Yeah, thank goodness, I guess. To actually treat all those you create equally? You're religion would look nothing like it's current reality, and whatever would you do with yourself then?

          April 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          "Yeah, thank goodness, I guess. To actually treat all those you create equally? You're religion would look nothing like it's current reality, and whatever would you do with yourself then?"

          Umm, what!?!?! If you were God everyone would be treated equally?!?! LOL Now thats funny, but I guess there have been many over the years with a Messiah complex. And you have no idea what "my religion" looks like as you do not know me.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • Madtown

          Equal treatment is funny to you? That's sad.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • ssq41

          If the 66 currently accepted books are any measure, one can only improve upon the monotheist God.

          My vote is with Madtown.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • The Answer is 42

          Yes, because righteous indignation is always punctuated with ?!?!?!? and LOL.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • ssq41

          I think he got that punctuation from one of those Chic Tracts...the one where the empty face Jesus is judging the sinners and the lake of fire burns just off to his left...

          April 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          "equal treatment is funny to you?"
          Quite the opposite actually, the fact that you think it could come through you is.
          As for the other comments, grow up children.

          April 14, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • incredulousmark

          An adult who believes in a talking donkey telling others to grow up? That's rich.

          April 15, 2014 at 6:41 am |
      • leecherius

        I don't think it was implied that those stone tablets were inscribed by Moses.

        April 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
  14. idiotusmaximus

    Five things you didn’t know about Moses.................

    If you know the FIRST THING you can forget the rest...like Moses is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER.....so forget the rest.

    April 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
    • cyprian2

      "IdiotusMaximus"...What a fitting name for a pseudo-theological dilettante.

      April 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
  15. new-man

    Mr. Baden, even though this is an opinion piece, you will have more credibility when you begin to write about what you know and understand- the OT and the NT (for that matter) are clearly not your forte.
    Yes, I know it says right there that you teach OT at a divinity school; I am 99.99% sure you do not teach from the Bible or using the Bible.
    You are way out of your league writing on these issues, and as such your articles are mostly pathetic and foolish.

    Mr. Baden, the Bible is the word of God.
    Mr. Baden, Jesus is the Word, made flesh.
    "we have the written word, and we also have the Living Word. Guess what (Mr. Baden), they're in total agreement. There is no disagreement between the Living Word and the written word."

    Moses is/was an Israelite! mr. baden.

    There are Bible Colleges/Divinity Schools that actually teach using the Bible, I suggest you enroll in one.
    When the Living Word of God starts to live in you, you'll be able to write truth instead of opinion.

    Blessings for a new job (outside of teaching 'divinity') paying you 3x your current salary, in Jesus' Name.

    April 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • fortheloveofellipsis

      You know how you can tell a Gud Crischin(tm) like new-man? The calm, gentle way they show their faith and don't insult and slander those they're trying to convert...

      /sarc off

      April 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • new-man

        where's the slander?

        we're not called to make converts... we're called to disciple nations... be a witness to them by demonstrating how the Kingdom of God operates. They can choose to accept and worship my God or they can choose to worship their god.

        April 14, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          Yeah, skippy, and belittling and insulting beliefs that aren't your sis SUCH a good way to win people to the Christ. To speak in a favorite metaphor, it's like a fisherman (does "fishers of men's souls" ring a bell with you?) going fishing with a ball-peen hammer; it doesn't catch any fish, but it does make the "fisherman" feel powerful beating on stuff with the hammer...

          April 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • kudlak

          And you see yourself as a positive spokesperson of this Kingdom in action?

          April 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • new-man

          Mr. Baden teaches students to be 'Bible Scholars'.... some of these students will eventually go on to pastor churches.
          What will they teach their congregation (multi.tudes of people) who are expecting to be taught the word of God, when clearly they didn't learn the word of God at their divinity school because their teacher did not know the word of God, and neither did he know the Living Word.
          What will these congregants of Mr. Baden's student pass on to their children and community, because they were not taught the Word of God, but rather a man's opinion, when that man is cloaked in the robe of "scholar of OT".
          It's sad I have to write Mr. Baden in this public forum, but it's the one presented to me. My goal is not to belittle him. I am sincere in wanting Mr. Baden blessed with abundance elsewhere.
          If he loves what he's doing – teaching divinity, that's the reason I suggested he enroll in a school that actually teaches the Bible.
          Would you want to fly with a pilot who doesn't believe the training manual is true or real?

          April 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • Akira

          You are unqualified to judge Joel Baden's scholarship OR his value as an educator based on an opinion you do not agree with.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          So I take it that you believe Moses a liar or a humblebraggart?

          Did Moses pen the words "“Now Moses was a very humble man, more so than any other man on earth.”?

          Maybe you should change your name to "new-tothinking".

          April 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          new man,
          "Scholarship" is not spouting and repeating LIES you NEED to tell to maintain your false cults. Presuppositionalists (not unlike yourself) are basically liars who NEED scholars to repeat the lies of the past to keep your cults alive. You are a dishonest judgmental troll. History is history. You don't get to make it up to suit your purpose and ignorance.

          April 15, 2014 at 12:48 am |
    • Doris

      newman: "When the Living Word of God starts to live in you, you'll be able to ...."

      Oh goodness no. The digestive tract was meant to flow, newman, not creep like some petrified dung embedded in ancient rock. Free yourself from that bondage. Have some prunes before bedtime if necessary, and get Gullible's Travels up there with the fiction where it belongs.

      April 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
      • new-man

        friend,
        you have your god, I have mine – Yahweh Elohim is His Name.
        Peace & Blessings!

        April 14, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • Akira

      Joel Baden's education:

      B.A. Yale University, 1999 (Judaic Studies)

      M.A. University of Chicago, 2002 (Northwest Semitics)

      Ph.D. Harvard University, 2007 (Hebrew Bible)

      What's yours?

      April 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
      • new-man

        "all that education" and no revelation.
        I'm not an "OT scholar".

        April 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Akira

          No. You are not am OT scholar. He is.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • new-man

          exactly! He's an "OT scholar"!

          April 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Akira

          So you feel more qualified than he is to interpret the Torah? Really?

          April 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • Akira

          And as he was commenting on the OT, what, precisely, makes you think he should abandon his area of expertise because you don't like what he said? Do you think you're more qualified to teach the study of the Hebrew Bible?

          April 14, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
        • ssq41

          Akira,

          Funny how they do despise the term "scholar" when said scholar doesn't comply with their "truth," but LOVE the term when their "scholars" preach their version of their gospel.

          The irony, new-man!....THE delicious irony!

          April 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Seems you missed the boat newman....the bible and all religious books are works of fiction....a waste of time....better to read Harry Potter....at least that's up to dateish.

      April 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
      • incredulousmark

        And the morality espoused in Harry Potter is vastly superior to that in the bible.

        April 15, 2014 at 6:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Morality in the bible?? Seriously...you consider forcing a woman to marry her rapist moral? Or perhaps stoning? Or perhaps beating innocent children? Or maybe it's the women remaining quiet part? Or the part where the vindictive god realizes it made mistakes and drowns everyone but eight people?
          If you need the bible as your foundation for morality, you're not moral to begin with.

          April 15, 2014 at 6:54 am |
    • henrystockwell

      You do realize there is a difference in teaching the Bible from a Christian perspective, the Old Testament from a Jewish perspective and teaching the Bible from an historical perspective, right? They are NOT all one in the same.

      April 18, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
  16. scaloni19

    Let's look at the Word of God for the truth in this matter, ok Joel?
    1. The Bible is clear that Moses was an Isrealite – "Let my people go."
    2. God is anti-slavery, however, knowing the wickedness of man's heart, he laid out rules of conduct for His people. Then there are the bond-slaves, willing servants, of which I am one to the Lord Jesus Christ!
    3. Black, white, purple, yellow – you show your ignorant, prejudiced self by even making this an issue. We are all descendants of the original two – Husband and Wife as God invented marriage – Adam and Eve.
    4. You got that right about Moses being a messenger of the law, God is the giver
    5. What's the point of arguing whether Moses did the actual writing? nonsensical.

    The real question here is how in the world do the modern Jewish people think that God is honoring of their adherence to the mosaic law? He fulfilled this with the coming of his promised Messiah – Jesus Christ. Where in the Old Testatment (the hebrew Bible) does God ever give the rabbis the right to change his laws? So how are they making atonement today without the sacrifice and shedding of blood? Are they willing to go to Hell for eternity on the shoulders of their rabbi? God will not accept any excuse for the Gospel is a command, not a request. REPENT and BELIEVE

    April 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • Doris

      "What's the point of arguing whether Moses did the actual writing?"

      I'm not sure about Joel, but I'd say there's a good chance, based on the oral tradition over many years that the end story is nothing like the beginning story. For all we know, Moses was some wimpy guy who liked to sponge off of others for free goat burgers.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • igaftr

      scaloni
      "Let's look at the Word of God for the truth in this matter"

      Where is the word of god...all I see is the bible that MEN calim is the word of god, but I see nothing from any gods. Trying to claim it is truth, when you cannot even verify how it was written is simply dishonest.

      You can say it is YOUR BELIEF that it is the word of god, and BELIEF it is the truth, but otherwise, you are misrepresenting the facts.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • scaloni19

        igaftr
        It's not for me to convince you that the Bible is the Word of God – it is spiritually discerned – if you possess the Holy Spirit then you will KNOW it's the Word of God. The Bible does speak to its inspiration – 2Timothy3:16. I pray that God will eventually awaken you, and all unbelievers, to the truth. Faith is what God requires. Faith in evolution is also required as there is NO evidence for it. If I'm wrong, then no big deal. If you're wrong – yikes! It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

        April 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • colin31714

          So, all one need do is have an honest, reasonable and rational belief that God does not exist, and he will punish them for all eternity, hey scaloni19? What a sick, vindictive bast.ard your god must be then. A disgusting being that I could never bring myself to worship.

          That's the trouble when you use the same sky fairy to be both the carrot and the stick, it leads to inherent, intractable contradictions.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • colin31714

          By the way, 2 timothy was a forgery written under Paul of tarsus' name in about 150 AD, about 80 years after Paul was dead

          April 14, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • igaftr

          " it is spiritually discerned – if you possess the Holy Spirit then you will KNOW it's the Word of God."

          That is your delusioin not mine.
          You make the claim, if you believe you will know. That is absurd. Belief does NOTHING toward knowledge.

          For all you know, satan inspired your bible, and considering the violent destructive history that belief in the bible has had, it seems far more likely. Also, god would not have gotten so much wrong.
          The greatest rick the devil ever pulled off, was inspiring the bible, and gave god the credit. You have fallen for satan's greatest trick.

          Face it, you believe, you do not know. You have not excluded all other possibilities so you have seduced yourself from belief to "knowing", by way of delusion.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • scaloni19

          For Colin31714
          The fool says in his heart "there is no God" You know God exists, you suppress the truth in unrighteousness. If you die in your sin you will get what you deserve. That's justice. You have been warned. However, God, in His love, has provided a Way out...Jesus Christ.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • igaftr

          also scaloni, look up the fallacy Pascals Wager. You have used that false logic to further seduce yourself.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • colin31714

          Scaloni19. You described my fate in hell for not believing as "justice." That's odd. I would not wish a bad sunburn on somebody just because they had a different religious view to me. I also would not withhold all evidence of my existence then punish those who did not believe in me. Once again, such an act is irreconcilable with a loving god.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          "If you die in your sin you will get what you deserve. That's justice."

          Wow. Just wow. Another Gud Crischin(tm) openly salivating at the prospect of eternal torture for other people. No wonder so many of them turn out to be into BD/SM...

          April 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • sam stone

          "If you die in your sin you will get what you deserve. That's justice."

          No, that is a hissy fit of a vindictive tyrant

          April 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Bible does speak to its inspiration
          ---–
          Yes, the bible says that the bible is the inspired word of God. How thoroughly convincing. Good grief......."facepalm".

          April 14, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
    • Doris

      "He fulfilled this with the coming of his promised Messiah – Jesus Christ."

      Your opinion. And evidently Paul's. But you know we can't really verify any of Paul's claims about the divinity of Christ. I suppose one could say that Peter added weight to Paul's claims in Peter 2 where he allegedly gives his stamp of approval for Paul's ministry as divinely-inspired scripture. The only thing is, most NT scholars agree that Peter did not author Peter 2. I'm afraid we're just left with hearsay "historians" when it comes to the one who may just as well be the Joseph Smith of his day......

      April 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Doris,

        What do you think Paul and Peter talked about for 15 days?!?! (Galatians 1:18,19) 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother.

        April 14, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
        • colin31714

          truthfollower, I answered your question about evoultion and asked you a few about creationism. Do you have an answer. Can you name a university biology, geology (or any other) department anywhere in the World that teaches genesis as literally true?

          April 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • Doris

          truthf: "What do you think Paul and Peter talked about for 15 days?!?! (Galatians 1:18,19)"

          You're trying to validate Paul from Paul?

          LOL

          April 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • joey3467

          I would say prove that what you wrote actually ever happened, and I would note that you can't use the bible to prove the bible is true.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Colin,

          I apologize. I never saw your post. Can you provide the link?

          April 14, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          "Why, then, did some of the disciples claim to see Jesus alive after his resurrection? I don't doubt at all that some disciples claimed this. We don't have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about twenty-five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don't think he is making it up. And he knew at least a couple of them, whom he met just three years after the event Galatians 1:18-19)." – from Bart Ehrman's book, Jesus Interrupted"

          So you disagree with Bart Ehrman?

          April 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • joey3467

          If you don't think is making it up then all you need to do is prove it. I see no reason to just take Paul's word for it, however.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • Doris

          I don't disagree with Bart E. but Bart E. is not speaking to whether or not supernatural things occurred, Bart E. is speaking to the consistency of the characters in the story. As an agnostic I think you'll find that Bart E does not consider what characters may have claimed as fact.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Paul proved it by his death. See The epistle of Clement. Liars make poor martyrs.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • Akira

          Once again, TF, the operative word is believed.

          As in, "I believe in unicorns."

          BE's take: "I have no reason to doubt you believe that."

          So you see the difference?

          April 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Bart Ehrman believes that Paul knew Peter and James.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Doris

          truthf – what are your sources for Clement witnessing Paul's death?
          (I think you did mention before about Clement being a witness.)

          April 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • otoh2

          truthfollower,
          "Liars make poor martyrs."

          The Mormons think that Joseph Smith was martyred for his beliefs. Does that make his beliefs correct?

          David Koresh and over 80 of his followers thought that they were martyred for their beliefs. Does that make their beliefs correct?

          April 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Doris

          truthf: "Bart Ehrman believes that Paul knew Peter and James."

          And today we can probably see by some documentation that some people have known Bernie Madoff.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Akira

          Paul probably DID know Peter and James.
          That's not what you're talking about though.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Clement is a first century source for the deaths of Peter and Paul.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Akira,

          Liars make poor martyrs.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Otoh,

          Have you ever looked up what the early disciples of Joseph Smith did, whether they continued in the Mormon faith? You really should.
          Also, the disciples were in a unique position to historically KNOW if Jesus rose from the dead. Their resulting lives testify that He did.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • otoh2

          truthfollower,

          Yes, I'm aware that some of Joseph Smith's "witnesses" recanted their testimony. That didn't stop the Mormon Church from thriving and raking in the converts.

          How do you know that some now unknown "disciples" of Jesus didn't recant their testimonies?

          April 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          Concerning Peter's "stamp of approval", see Galatians (one of the seven indisputable epistles of Paul according to Bart Ehrman) 2:1-10 (particularly verse 9). In addition, a strong case can be made for Peter being the author of 2 Peter. You seem to automatically write it off.

          April 14, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • Doris

          You keep referring to Paul to verify Paul, truthf. At this rate, I have a feeling you'll soon clench the next award for the Fundy Method of Inquiry & Verification.

          Now what about Clement being an eyewitness of Paul's death – do you have something on that?

          April 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Otoh,

          That's pretty va-gue. Who specifically are you referring to by "unknown disciples"?

          Also,

          According to eHow contributor Jessica Alzarana,
          "Joseph Smith eventually excommunicated many of the first apostles of the Church of Latter-Day Saints."
          "apostle Lyman E. Johnson left the church to become a merchandiser and lawyer."
          "Thomas Baldwin Ma-rsh left the church over a disagreement about ba-rtering milk and cream in 1839."

          Can you imagine if Peter left the church over milk and cream!?!?

          April 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          What's wrong with Paul? Please specify. Do you believe he was intentionally lying?

          I did not say Clement was an eyewitness to Paul's death. Clement is a first century source for the deaths of Peter and Paul. Josephus is a source for the death of James, the brother of Jesus.

          April 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • The Answer is 42

          "Liars make poor martyrs."

          Platitudes make poor arguments.

          April 14, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • The Answer is 42

          The disciples bickered with each other all the time. Paul, Peter and James, most notably.
          Get a clue, tf. The biggest reason we know so much about Joseph Smith is because it is fairly recent history.

          April 14, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "The disciples bickered with each other all the time. Paul, Peter and James, most notably."

          Please specify.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • otoh2

          truthfollower,

          1. I said *now* unknown disciples. Records of any recanting or leaving the cult quietly would not have been preserved and passed along to us. Besides, most of the disciples' ident.ities are unknown today.

          2. Note again, that Mormonism flourished (and still does) despite those recantings by several "eyewitnesses".

          April 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • ssq41

          "Please specify..."

          I'm telling ya'll, tf01 is a computer program down in William Lane craig's basement running on a constant loop.

          Wait for it...wait for it....WAIT FOR IT...."Doris, do you believe there is objective..."

          Your Honor...the Defense rests.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • ssq41

          BTW, tf01...

          Liars make the strongest believers because they are so deeply invested in their lie(s).

          April 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ssq41,

          Please interact with the data. Any objections?

          April 14, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ssq41,

          "Liars make the strongest believers because they are so deeply invested in their lie(s)."

          Please indicate the lies.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • The Answer is 42

          I did specify. They bickered.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          42,

          Please indicate verses.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • ssq41

          OMG! The ones and zeros of W. L. Craig has reached out and touched me...has spoken to me!!!

          I feel like breaking out into a song...an old communion hymn comes to mind..."He touched me, he touched me!..."

          Thank you, tf01...thank you!!!

          April 14, 2014 at 10:51 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Ssq41,

          Answer a few questions for me if you would.
          1. How many lies would you say you’ve told in your life?
          2. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value?
          3. Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? (called blasphemy)
          4.have you ever looked at a woman/man lustfully?(if so, Jesus said you have committed adultery with that person in your heart.)
          If you’re like me, you are a self professed lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterer at heart or some form thereof. A holy God must punish wickedness, otherwise He wouldn’t be just. Given your confession, will you be guilty or innocent? If you’re like me and everyone else on this board, you are guilty. However, God provided a way for salvation through the blood of His innocent Son who took the punishment on the cross, that we might be declared innocent. Think of it like this. You’re in a court room. you’re guilty as you’ve professed. Someone walks in and pays your fine for you. Now the judge can legally dismiss your case and let you go. This is the gospel message. What you must do is repent (turn from your sins) and follow Jesus as Lord. This following is enabled by God when He gives you new desires and a heart that wants to please God instead of the flesh.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
        • ssq41

          "...he touched me, and made me whole...."

          (Dear Bill Craig, you may want to call the Best Buy Geek Squad asking them to come in and clean your TF01 UNIT as he is asking me his C/P question selection he asked months ago...apparently his memory is malfunctioning...in advance, you're welcome).

          April 14, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • ssq41

          In all seriousness, tf01, after reading your "testimony" there at the end of your C/P (again)...I have to acknowledge that you are the first post-Christian post-human I've ever encountered.

          Fanscinating...to say the least...

          You must be a barrel of laughs during praise and worship service.

          April 14, 2014 at 11:15 pm |
        • joey3467

          As long as the liar keeps right on lying he or she will make a good martyr.

          April 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • Akira

      Let's examine this this linear the end of the article, shall we, scaloni19?

      The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

      What makes your view, expressed above, any more valid than Baden's?

      "... you show your ignorant, prejudiced self by even making this an issue."

      YOU made this an issue. Not him.
      You don't agree, so you slander.

      He has his interpretation, and you have yours.

      April 14, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        Apparently, Akira, scaloni/Salero/new-man/kevinite/noahtopher/etc. etc. etc. were taught at the First Bahble-Beatin' Baptist College that insulting and slandering people is the best way to win converts. Of course, that would also explain why the number of "nones" is going steadily up...

        April 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Let's look at the Word of God for the truth in this matter, ok Joel?....

      LOLOLOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLO....TRUTH???????

      April 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
  17. scaloni19

    Wow, this Doris and Emiliahhh are something. You should know that God will not hold you blameless for taking his name in vain – that's called blasphemy – and you should further know that He doesn't always settle His debts immediately. There's only one Way to cleanse yourself – the blood of Jesus Christ.

    April 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • Doris

      Is that as creative as you can be – make up a Latin-sounding name and put a number on the end of it? How did you manage to find a job watching paint dry by the way?

      April 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
      • scaloni19

        I don't seek the approval of man(or woman) so your opinion of me is meaningless. I do, however, doubt your intelligence when all you seem to be able to do is revert to ad hominem arguments. You are obviously living a life of sin that fortunately your conscience will not allow you to have rest about. There is hope for you...His name is Jesus Christ!

        April 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Doris

          " You are obviously living a life of sin that fortunately your conscience will not allow you to have rest about."

          Oooooooo – we seem to have a psychic in our midst! LOL (and huge eyeroll).

          April 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          Wowee, such a loving Crischin(tm) tone you have, scaloni! How can anyone miss the wellspring of CrischinLuv(tm) in you when you reply so gently to others?...

          /sarc off

          April 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • igaftr

      Scaloni
      Won't you feel silly when you are hanging upside down in front of Quetzlcoatl and he wants to know why you worshipped the wrong god all those years.

      For all you know, your bible was inspired by satan, and isn't it exactly the type of thing he would do.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
      • Doris

        Oh yes, especially since several Christian apologists were so convinced that Satan was able to perform plagiarism backward in time (diabolical mimicry) in making earlier stories seem like the Gospels. Who knows the extent of Satan's involvement in fooling mere mortals.....

        April 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • scaloni19

          satan is a deceiver, this is for sure. He mixes some truth with his lies. Kind of like a ying-yang approach. He knows scripture. He can quote it and misuse it. He has invented all the world's "religions" to distract. He has deceived the whole world – but he cannot deceive the elect. Be sure he HATES you and me. He wants nothing more than to destroy man – God's special creation. The true and living God is all about love and justice. He will not pardon the guilty but will give grace to those who accept HIS way, not your way. His way is through Jesus Christ – the saviour.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • colin31714

          Actually scaloni19, of all the silly superst.itions of the Christians, i think the myth of hell is my favorite. It is just so silly and childish.

          Let's subject this "cherished Christian doctrine" to the probing light of say.......fifth grade mathematics.

          Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by their all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

          About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell their “all-merciful” god set up and maintains.

          But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

          No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of their “infinitely benevolent” god.

          Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to the Judeo-Christian god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Their “all-caring” god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for all eternity.

          It is also odd that their all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager who breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.
          That is the problem with using the same deity to be both the carrot and the stick. It gets really silly really quickly.

          How you people believe this utter garbage in the 21st century completely eludes me.

          April 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • Doris

          Scaloni: "but will give grace to those who accept HIS way"

          sure sounds like a toll to me....

          I don't like tolls. I don't like slowing down for them either...

          April 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • joey3467

      scaloni, you should know that Doris most likely doesn't really care what you imagine your god is going to do to her.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • scaloni19

        Probably not but she needs to hear – faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. BTW, He is your God too for there is no other.

        April 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • joey3467

          I agree, all Hail Zeus.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • igaftr

          Scaloni.
          Even YOUR god claimed there are other gods. Why else would he have put in his 10 ten no-no list, that you are to put YOUR god before the others?

          April 15, 2014 at 8:16 am |
      • Doris

        " faith comes by hearing"

        lol – hearing from someone who leaves out some important details and makes up others perhaps.

        I shouldn't laugh as I consider it a form of child abuse when it comes to indoctrination.

        April 14, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
    • scaloni19

      Colin – who are you, oh man, to question God? Does the potter not have the right from the same lump of clay to make a vessel unto honor and a vessel unto destruction? You display the height of vanity to think that God somehow thinks like you. Our thoughts are not His thoughts. His ways are not our ways. If He sent every person on earth to hell it would be just and deserved. That He has chosen to save some is merciful. You cannot even begin to understand the holiness of God because you(we) are creatures of relative morality – He is not. Your depicton of hell is very, very acurrate and scary – keep on hating God and you will find out first hand. But there is a Way – Jesus Christ, the propitiation for your sin debt.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • colin31714

        Well you can't have it both ways. You cannot say he keeps torturing people for all eternity in a pit of hell then turn around and call him "loving" or "merciful."

        They other logical conundrum the sky fairy/ground devil Christian belief leads to is where a loving wife goes to heaven, but her husband and children, being unbelievers, go to hell. How could she enjoy all eternity in such a case, knowing her husband and children were being tortured.

        April 14, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • scaloni19

          It's a choice they make for themselves. Just like you are making every day, every minute, every breath. Every true Christian has a burden of love to share the Gospel and there is no rejoicing when someone dies without the truth and knowledge of Jesus Christ. What is it, Colin, that keeps you holding onto your sin? Pride? No one, no God, is gonna tell you what to do right? You are the god of your universe. Imagine how the real and true God feels when His creation rebels and refuses to acknowledge him, choosing rather to believe you descended from an amoeba that by some miracle came to be in a primordial soup. That's insulting. That takes more faith to believe. But God is long-suffering, waiting for you to realize His truth and join Him through His son, Jesus Christ.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • colin31714

          Odd, the only book I know that makes the ridiculous claim that there was miraculous intervention in the creation of man is the Bible. No evolutionary biologist I know believes anything like what you wroite.

          April 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
        • otoh2

          scaloni,
          " Imagine how the real and true God feels when His creation rebels and refuses to acknowledge him,..."

          Very few people rebel / refuse to acknowledge gravity. That this "God" character refuses (or is unable) to make itself as clear and present as gravity (for just one example) makes any hurt feelings it might have its own fault.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
        • bacbik

          @scabalony19

          Too much unnecessary capitalization... too boring... too much BS...

          April 14, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
      • fortheloveofellipsis

        I can practically hear the "mwahaha!" in your post as you consign everyone you don't like to Hell, scaloni. And then you wonder why people turn their backs to you...

        April 14, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, leave that judging up to God, hmmmmmm?

      April 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
      • scaloni19

        That's just it, He already has. Those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will not be judged. Those who do not believe have been judged already.

        April 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • otoh2

          scaloni,

          And your verified (or verifiable) evidence that this ever did or ever will happen is....?

          April 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          “You can tell a tree by its fruit. 21 None of those who cry out ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 When that day comes, many will plead with me, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? Have we not exorcised demons by its power? Did we not do many miracles in your name as well?’ 23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Out of my sight, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:20-23

          I know you don't see your arrogant self in this quote–but maybe you ought to look again, skippy...

          April 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Akira

          He is speaking through you, now?
          And, pray tell, are people to repent converted if their judgement has already been decided?

          You're speaking from both sides of your mouth.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • sam stone

          fvck you and your vindictive pr1ck god, baloney

          April 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • ssq41

          It's funny how the scaloni-sect of Christians fail to comprehend Matthew 25:41ff...Jesus ain't talkin' to unbelievers there, bud.

          And, scaloni...re-read (or read for the first time) 2 Corinthians 5:9-11. "Christians aren't going to be judged..."?

          You are forgiven for being like most of your fellow members of the Body of Christ who don't have a clue of what's found between Matthew 1 and Revelation 22.

          April 14, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • scaloni19

          There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Will believers be judged? No – and – Yes. We will not be judged and condemned for our sins for we have been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. However, the Lord will "judge" our works for the kingdom. Faith without works is dead. Not works to earn salvation – works as evidence of it. We are to be about the work of the kingdom, namely "preach the Gospel to every living soul." True Christians do not glory in the thought of others burning for eternity in hell. True Christians desire all to come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We know the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who believe, it is the power of God unto salvation. So regardless of how you all try to reason in your hearts, and hold onto the lie, this message will become life-changing to some. The word of God will not return to Him void. And there will be joy and celebration in heaven for one sinner who humbles himself and returns to the Lord! Is it you?

          April 15, 2014 at 5:55 am |
  18. Doc Vestibule

    Exodus – or "all I really need to know I learned from flaming foliage"

    April 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • Salero21

      See... you're a Prime example why I MUST keep saying that atheism/evolutionism/idolatry are all Absolute, Complete and Total Stupidity.

      April 14, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
      • Doris

        What's really stupid is someone that would use the expressions "evolutionism". lol.

        April 14, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Doris

          expression, not "expressions"

          April 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Huh you don't understand humor/sarcasm/irony don't you?

        April 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
      • Akira

        You MUST keep saying it because that's your tired schtick.

        April 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Scatalogical references to the burning bush aside (they have creams for that) it is odd to think that scorching shrubs would be the basis of a system of moral standards for billions of people.

      Why am I reminded of:
      "Listen - strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

      Flaming foilage distributing graven tablets is no basis for a system of laws. Morality is derived from a societal consensus of conscience, not from getting lost in the desert and talking to shrubs.

      Apologies to Monty Python.

      April 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        *slow clap*
        Bravo, sir.

        (after all these python references, I'm going to have to dust off the old copy of Life of Brian)

        April 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!

          – Wisdom of the Pythons

          April 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  19. Salero21

    O here they go again!! Joe Biden and the 5 things you don't know about this and about that, and that, and that. Of course Moses was an Egyptian "citizen" in the same way the Apostle Paul was a Roman "citizen". But as a direct descendant of Jacob (Israel) with both parents of the same tribe [levite] he was also of Israel. There is nothing else we need to know about Moses beyond what's already in the Bible, and those 5 things are already there. Nothing new in this article again. We need to know more about God and the Christ. Not about Moses.

    April 14, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • Doris

      Joe Biden??

      Aren't you supposed to wait 30 minutes after your medication before you try to read or write anything?

      April 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
      • Salero21

        Huh you don't understand humor/sarcasm/irony don't you?

        April 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Doris

          Oh now be honest Sal, you didn't even take the medication when you were supposed to, right?....

          April 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • fortheloveofellipsis

          You mean that was supposed to be a–OH! It's a JOKE! Sorry–I couldn't tell. Way too much arrogant sanctimony in there for me to see the punch line...

          April 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • Akira

          Try writing some, then, Salero. You never have.

          April 14, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
  20. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    Whatever the case may be with who wrote down the Old Testament Law, aka Mosaic Law, it is clear in the New Testament that the Law was the shadow of the Messiah and Savior Lord Jesus Christ to come.

    Through the Law, God showed man that he is sinful and needs Him to be saved since no man can fulfill the Law, and all fall short of the Glory of God.

    Colossians 2:17
    "17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." (NASB)

    Hebrews 8 (A Better Ministry & A New Covenant)
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+8&version=NASB

    Hebrews 10:1
    "10 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near." (NASB)

    April 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • Vic

      Romans 3:23
      "23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

      April 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • kudlak

        Meanwhile, the common sense observation that "nobody's perfect" is meant to console people when they make mistakes, as we all do. Now you're arguing that we really ought to feel guilty for even the slightest imperfection. Isn't that an impossible and unrealistic standard to hold people to?

        April 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
    • Doris

      Of course motor-mouth Paul wrote about many things that cannot be verified. And of course Peter allegedly gives his stamp of approval for Paul's ministry as divinely-inspired scripture in Peter 2, except that most NT scholars agree that Peter did not author Peter 2...

      April 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • Emiliahhhh

      Vic that's nice to see your first line the triple ♰ symbol repeated twice. We use ♰♰♰ to signify our great lesbian threesomes and doubling up those is even more fun because we can double chain series or parallel if we get a lot of friends over. It means extra mattresses tho.

      Do you do that too and are you a Vicky? We like to find new friends.

      April 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
      • Vic

        That's a 33 reference.

        The Lord Jesus Christ was 33 years old in the flesh when crucified.

        April 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Doris

          How cute. Now, you'd better go rub some more garlic around the door frames, Vic. Make sure to use a clockwise motion or it won't work – especially for the blood moon...

          April 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Emiliahhhh

          No, no, no, Vicky. When you use our symbol, it's pay up or put out.

          Although I hear Jesus gave good head. Maybe we could use him, except that he's been dead dead dead a real long time. We don't do necro but you seem to like it a lot.

          April 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
      • shawbrooke

        Is this some attempt to bully Christians by name calling? If so, then recall that bullying could well be the next cause celebre. If not, then what are you up to?

        April 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      Jesus Crist is Lord of the Myths.

      April 14, 2014 at 3:32 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.