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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. jman11112014

    Maybe this guy should go watch the movie Moses with Charlton Heston or read the Bible. Moses was a Jew raised by Egyptians. That explains the name. I do however find it funny though these Ivy League school "religious studies" majors. None of them actually believe in anything so it is add that they feel the need to choose this is a field of study. My guess that they are simply lost people searching to belong somewhere. It is very sad.... However this guy gets the easiest things wrong in the article above. Somebody should check to make sure he graduated.

    April 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
    • grahamginsbergnaples

      Moses was no Jew. he had his own religion, that given to him by God Creator. The Jews, from the tribe of Judah, created their own spin off that religion as did the Christians and Muslims.

      April 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      Many, indeed, get their notions regarding the history of their religion from movies such as the one starring Charlton Heston. If someone wishes to become a biblical scholar with a greater breadth of knowledge and a more accurate understanding than imparted by watching movies on the subject aimed for a mass market audience and from simply sitting in a pew on a Sunday morning and, perhaps, reading parts of the Bible occasionally, one has to be willing to learn of the historical context in which it was developed and read the writings of not only the Early Fathers of the Church, but of others writing during the period in which the religion developed.

      Many may go into a seminary with the simplistic, inaccurate notions imparted by popular culture, but develop a more complex, nuanced view during the process of their education. There's also the seminarian joke that anyone who completes a seminary education still believing the Bible is the inspired word of God probably wasn't paying attention in classes.

      April 19, 2014 at 9:16 am |
    • Keith

      The Christian invented a completely different god and still use the Moses books too.

      April 22, 2014 at 9:38 am |
  2. mygoshjosh

    I find it incredible how many of you consider written history invalid. You have to view them as fishing stories. How big the fish that was caught and how long the struggle might not be entirely accurate, but the fishing trip and the fact there was a fish caught is true. That would mean any written or oral history is invalid by many of your accounts as it can all just be made up. Santa was a real person, the story has become embellished. Valentine was a real person, he's slightly misrepresented today. Heck, look at the Captain Phillps movie that just came out or any of many hollywood representations of "true stories", they are wildly inaccurate despite the fact the stories did happen.

    It's wonderful though to see everyone argue about the earliest form of government and population control about a book that has never been fully released to the world and has been translated out of it's original language and context to fit a new medium. Let's lastly not forget that the times have great changed in the past 2,000 years and our collective intelligence (for the most part) has increased even if we all concentrate and focus on the size of the fish

    April 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
  3. berniemargo

    All discussion as to whether or not Moses actually existed or not aside, Mr. Baden's assertion that Moses was Egyptian by virtue of his name is at odds with the Biblical account. It's no surprise that his name was Egyptian; he was named by the Pharoah's daughter! According to his origin story he was born a Hebrew slave but placed in the river by his mother so that he would be found by the Pharoah's daughter and raised in safety. Even if his name was Egyptian his ethnicity was not. It looks like Mr. Baden has a few things to learn about Moses himself.

    April 18, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
    • berniemargo

      I'm also confused as to why Mr. Baden had to point out that Moses did not write the laws himself; they came from God. I thought most people knew that. In fact, according to the Bible when Moses shattered the ten commandments in a fit of rage at the unworthy Israelites who were worshipping the golden calf, God made him go back up the mountain to inscribe them again. There were times when Moses got a little big for his britches and God sat him down. For instance, God commanded Moses to ask a rock to produce water for the Israelites, but Moses struck it instead. That was the reason he was never allowed to enter the promised land. If anyone was ever under the impression that referring to Moses as the "Law Giver" implied that he was the author as well, then they clearly had never read their Bible.

      April 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • otoh2

        Hah. This "Author" you speak of was more interested in haircuts, correct clothing fabrics, dead dove's blood to cure leprosy, a magic water/dust combo to unmask unfaithful wives and ooooh, "coveting" stuff than in forbidding OWNING people and abusing children!

        The Laws of Moses were obviously from a man (or a group of men).

        April 18, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        After Moses shattered the first set of commandments, when they were inscribed again, Yahweh, apparently decided to give him a quite different set of ten commandments, so there's the set of ten commandments in Exodus 20:1–17 and Deuteronomy 5:4–21 known as the "Ethical Decalogue" and then the second set of ten commandments known as the "Ritual Decalogue" in Exodus 34:11–26. In Exodus 34, Yahweh tells Moses:

        “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai."

        But, apparently, Yahweh forgot what was written on the first set, so gave Moses a different set of commandments on the second set, which contains among its commandments the following ones:

        "You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven, and the sacrifice of the festival of the passover shall not be left until the morning."

        And

        "The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem."

        Some scholars believe the the Ritual Decalogue was a conservative reaction to the Ethical Decalogue, whereas others believe the Ritual Decalogue was written first, while others believe they were developed in parallel. The docu_mentary hypothesis ascribes the Ritual Decalogue to the Jahwist, one of the Old Testament writers/collectors, from the Kingdom of Judah. According to the docu_mentary hypothesis, Jahwistic material was combined with material written by the Elohist from the Kingdom of Israel by a redactor producing a text referred to as JE. The Priestly Source, another writer or group of writers contributing to the Pentateuch, then later substi_tuted the Ethical Dialogue for the Ritual Dialogue. A century later another writer, the Deuteronomist, objecting to the Priestly Source version of events, rewrote the material yet again producing a second slightly different copy of the Ethical Decalogue. And still later another redactor reworked the JE, Priestly source, and Deuteronomist materials to produce the text found in today's Bibles, which make it appear that Yahweh forgot the first set of ten commandments when he gave Moses the second set.

        April 19, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • Keith

      It seems the Hebrew slave story is not true either. There were plenty of slaves, but the whole nation of Israel were not slaves.

      April 22, 2014 at 9:40 am |
  4. aslamproductions

    Here is something else you didn't know about Moses: HE NEVER EXISTED. These are all myths, not unlike ancient Greek and Roman myths. There isn't even a shred of evidence that Jesus existed. NONE. I cannot believe people still believe all of this garbage.

    April 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
    • ricardo1968

      It happens very often in the study of history, that all you have is an old story. History is almost never a matter of hard facts. That is true even with recent history.

      April 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
    • honeykira

      Wow! Well then, somebody (I don't know who the person is) wrote about me the other day. That must mean that I don't exist and never did. I'm just a made-up story, just another hallucination in somebody else's mind. Thank you for clarifying this for me.

      April 19, 2014 at 8:45 am |
  5. Reality

    The only thing you need to know about Moses is that he was another character invented by the Jewish scribes. Details previously given. Ditto for Abraham.

    April 17, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
  6. kermit4jc

    I want to say it was from mark or Matthew...try using one of the Gospels at a time

    April 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      I am guessing that Brian H Edwards may be claiming a date of 68 A.D. for the earliest Gospel fragment in his book "Why Twenty Seven?: How Can We Be Sure That We Have the Right Books in the New Testament?" based on the assumption that 7Q5 (Cave 7 + Qumran + Papyrus 5), a small Greek papyrus fragment discovered in Qumran Cave 7 among the Dead Sea Scrolls, was deposited in the cave in 68 A.D. and is a fragment of the Gospel of Mark, which many scholars believe was a source used by the authors of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. I'd note that though the Spanish Jesuit Catholic priest, papyrologist and Biblical scholar José O'Callaghan Martínez and the German archaeologist and New Testament scholar Carsten Peter Thiede believed the fragment to be from the Gospel of Mark, their view is not shared by a majority of biblical scholars. See the Wikipedia article 7Q5 for reasons that other scholars are skeptical of that claim.

      He may also be using the date assigned to Papyrus 64, aka the "Magdalen" Papyrus by Carsten Peter Thiede as support for that claim that fragments of the Gospels have been found dating back as far as the 1st century. The P64 fragment has been identified as a fragment of the Gospel of Matthew. Thiede assigned a date range for the fragment of 37 to 70 A.D. But that date is much earlier than the consensus date assigned by biblical scholars of circa 200 A.D.

      For an overview of the claims that some early papyri, see the Wikipedia articles with the following ti_tles:

      7Q5
      Magdalen papyrus
      List of New Testament papyri
      Carsten Peter Thiede
      José O'Callaghan Martínez

      April 17, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
      • honeykira

        Thank you for your studied response! =)

        April 19, 2014 at 8:52 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      I believe that the Rylands Library Papyrus P52 fragment, aka the St. John's fragment, is generally regarded to be the oldest fragment with a probable date range of 100 to 150 A.D.

      April 17, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
  7. Vic

    I guess we can sum it up with this question:

    Why worry about the caterpillar when we have the butterfly?!

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/14/five-things-you-didnt-know-about-moses/comment-page-4/#comment-2990158

    April 16, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • Doris

      "Why worry about the caterpillar when we have the butterfly?!"

      Goodness, Vic. You really should have considered what might have transpired in Justin Bieber's childhood on his way to fame before you got all googly-eyed over him....

      April 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
  8. MadeFromDirt

    Surprisingly Baden doesn't wander too far off base this time, other than his bizarre theory that Moses was born Egyptian (and we can only imagine Baden's motivations for asserting that). Moses was certainly raised as an Egyptian, and certainly his Hebrew family did not want the Egyptians to suspect Moses' true heritage. Baden's theory raises some questions he conveniently ignores: if Moses was Egyptian, why would he have killed that Egyptian to rescue the Hebrew slave, and why would Moses abandon his privileged status in Egypt and risk his life to confront Pharaoh and lead the Hebrews out?

    April 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • new-man

      These are great points, and I especially agree what would be Moses' motivation for killing the Egyptian, and for giving up his royal heritage.

      What I've been trying to figure out is Baden's motivation for ascribing outright lies to the Biblical narrative – one of the worst was from his previous piece where he wrote this doozy: "The God of the Old Testament does not love humans; he barely tolerates them. The relationship is not one of affection but one of necessity and of obedience..... We are promised that there will never be another Flood because God wants and needs our sacrifices."

      April 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
  9. kermit4jc

    The other issue is this....just because someone wrote that Moses was humbled...and maybe even wrote his "obituary" at the end of the Deuteronomy..Doesn't mea n he did not write the rest...certainly..even TODAY we have people putting in a forward in a book not their own....for example...john writes a book and Joe adds a forward to the book..this in no way denies that John wrote the book...Joshua could have added that mMoses was the humble man..and added Moses' "obituary"

    April 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
  10. Jill

    Dull, dimwitted, and bigoted Rainer Helmut Braendlein, sequester your mustard and abolish your putrid leotards. Don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer.

    Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

    So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea. Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband.

    Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance.Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

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

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

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

    April 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
    • aslamproductions

      Thank you! Your response is just as logical as the bible.. and just as logical as the idiots that believe these ancient myths.

      April 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
  11. Russ

    @ Joel Baden:
    so you believe the miracles (God gave the law)...
    and the rest of the narrative (exiled, returns, leads Israel out of Egypt, Cush.ite wife, etc.)...
    but you refuse to believe the account of his childhood?

    isn't that swa.llowing the camel & straining the gnat?
    if you believe the miracles & the rest of the account, why object to his childhood?

    April 16, 2014 at 11:31 am |
    • Akira

      Of that's the only thing you got out of the article, aren't you straining the gnat yourself?

      April 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Akira: there's very few larger or more foundational to critique for a bible scholar than to call his hermeneutics into question. if you don't believe the Bible, that's not a big deal for you. but for believers & scholars, it's often the whole of the argument.

        so no, i'm not straining a gnat. i'm exposing a major flaw in his foundation.
        or to keep the metaphor – i'm pointing out his entire sifting mechanism is broken.

        April 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Akira

          I'm sure you feel qualified to criticize his education. As I don't have a B.A. from Yale University, 1999 (Judaic Studies), a M.A. from the University of Chicago, 2002 (Northwest Semitics), or a Ph.D. Harvard University, 2007 (Hebrew Bible), I'll not only refrain from over criticizing his opinion, I'll defer to it over yours.

          And yes, no matter how you rationalize your OP, you were absolutely straining the gnat.

          And knock off your ridiculous assumptions about me. They are absurd, and make you sound rather childish.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • Akira

          And I find it appalling that everyone is criticizing a Jewish man, who has made his line of study his own Bible, on his Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew Bible.

          Of course his view is different than yours. You're Christian, and basically incorporated his Bible into your faith, then call him out on the different interpretations?
          Yoy.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ Akira YOu have to understand that not all Jews think alike..especially todays modern jews who are nowhere near luike the Jews of Biblical times...I know of other Jewish scholars who have different ideas..even to the ones who agree with Christians..

          April 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira:
          1) again, hermeneutics is the foundation of biblical discussions – not peripheral, but foundational.

          2) i have a postgraduate degree in this field. despite your repeated talk of assumptions, you are the one making them here.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          So your christian interpretation differs from his jewish interpretation. Thank you for demonstrating how holy wars start.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • Akira

          Russ.

          He is commenting, as a Jewish man, on his Hebrew Bible.
          Of course you're more knowledgable that he is as a Christian man.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira: race is immaterial to the conversation. you are bringing in race.

          Both Christians and practicing Jews believe the Hebrew Scriptures to be God's Word – the Pentateuch notwithstanding.
          Again, the argument is hermeneutics – and the inconsistency with which he is reading the account.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Akira

          Exactly the point I was trying to make, tallulah.

          People wonder why there aren't more diversity of faith in the articles here? I would say this kind of thing is one reason why.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Akira

          His. Religion. Is. Judaism. His denomination is Jewish.
          It is entirely relevant.

          Your looking at it through your Christian lens. He isn't.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira & talullah:
          i didn't say a word about race. you have raised a red herring.

          note well: rabbinical scholars (do i have to say it? who are JEWISH) make the same point.
          again, race is immaterial to this debate.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira: is there a difference between ethnic Jews and those who practice Judaism? technically, yes.
          is that the point here? absolutely not.

          again, this is a huge red herring.
          as i said before, rabbinical scholars make the same point i'm making.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Ah, Russ. I never said a word about race. Are you not aware of all the wars fought over theological differences, even between denominations of your own christian faith? Have you never heard of the wars fought between catholics and protestants, wars that split nations and even families? Have you ever studied real history?

          April 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah:
          you said: "So your christian interpretation differs from his jewish interpretation."
          but then you said:"I never said a word about race."
          are you saying "jewish" isn't a race?

          April 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • Akira

          Why are you so unwilling to concede that Baden interprets his Hebrew Bible from a Judaic point of View?

          I didn't being up race. You did.

          The red herring is yours. Enjoy it with mustard.

          April 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • Akira

          And just to make my point clearer: my comment said "he is commenting, as a Jewish man, on his Hebrew Bible."

          Just as I figured you were commenting as a Christian man. On the Christian Bible.

          April 16, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira:
          re-read the thread. you brought up "Jewish" 2 or 3 times before I ever referenced it.
          it's there in plain type to be read.

          and as I've said *multiple* times now, rabbinical scholars (read: OTHER JEWISH SCHOLARS, past & present) make this same point. race, ethnicity, and – to some degree – even faith have nothing to do with it. it's simply an inconsistent way to read the text.

          April 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
        • Akira

          Only because he is Jewish commenting on the Hebrew Bible, a fact you seem to miss.

          And other scholars agree with him. So?
          You don't. Okay. Whoopee.

          April 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira:
          no, actually most scholars DO NOT take this stance. most take a line *consistent* with their hermeneutic...
          whether that be exceedingly skeptical (doubting it all), higher critical (doubting the miracles) or accepting the basic narrative. but VERY few accept the miracles & doubt one particular facet of the narrative – especially those who are articulating that the narrative was given by *God*.

          and that's the issue. it's not one of race, ethnicity, denomination, etc. it's one of consistency.
          his hermeneutic is not consistent. and that's something scholars from VERY different viewpoints would agree is a major problem.

          April 16, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I don't really consider jews to be a different race then gentiles. Perhaps because I only see a human race.

          April 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
        • Russ

          @ tallulah:
          one the one hand, yes.
          on the other, there are probably some Jews who would find such reductionistic views of their heritage insulting.

          diversity is not diversity unless it honors our differences enough to recognize them.

          April 17, 2014 at 11:06 am |
  12. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    What about Easter?

    Actually we should celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. The death and resurrection of Jesus are the foundation of Christianity. No salvation had been possible without Jesus' death and resurrection.

    Why?

    Jesus has borne our sinful flesh when he died for us on the cross. All religions of the world save Christianity stuck in the sinful flesh of man. They provide no means to overcome the natural sinfulness. They just meddle with man, but using no effictive tools. They don't cure you from cancer, but only give you painkiller. This is no solution.

    Jesus cures us from spiritual cancer. He kills the cancer. Our old man of sin got crucified together with Jesus. If we believe in Jesus and get sacramentally baptized in Jesus, the sin gets dethroned, or we die for the sin. Furthermore we have resurrected with him. After baptism we are in Christ, and able to love God and our neighbour. (note that the sin gets only dethroned; by daily remembrance of our baptism we have to overcome the sinfulness of our body; our sinful nature got declared dead, but is still there; we are responsible that the promise materializes in our life)

    Let us thank Jesus that he underwent the baptism by John the Baptist where he accpeted to get labeled as a sinner though he was no sinner at all. However, he wanted to join the community of the sinners for the sake of their salvation. Jesus loves us, and wants to cure us from sin.

    Let us thank Jesus that he overcame in the garden Gethsemane in the eve of crucifixion: The human will of Jesus Christ submitted to the will of Christ. Jesus submitted his will to the will of the father. This was the birth of a new mankind because Adam and we always forsake our state of health in God, even if there is pleasure and joy (Paradise). Jesus remained in God, despite terrible tribulation – Jesus, the first born of a new mankind ever remaining in God.

    Let us thank Jesus that he finally accepted the crucifixion. He had sweated blood in the garden Gethsemane when he thought of the crucifixion, he was frightened. Cetainly it was an extremly gruesome experience for Jesus.

    April 16, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Are we aware of the following?: The human will of Jesus had prefered to get spared from the terrible crucifixion. Jesus was indeed a very normal human being; he tried to avoid pain and suffering. Pain and suffering are not valuable in themselves. Yet, God had a purpose: Our salvation. Bottom line, Jesus accepted pain and suffering for the sake of our salvation.,

      However, he got "no positive" answer from the Father, and then he accepted his fate according to his Father's decision. In other words one could say that Jesus submitted his human will to the will of Christ, his divine nature.

      April 16, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • tallulah131

        Wow, Rainy. What kind of person are you, that you would allow another to be tortured to death (even willingly) so that you wouldn't be accountable for your own actions?

        And what sort of god would need more than honest contrition? What sort of brute requires human sacrifice? Your god is just like every other bloody pagan god - and as imaginary.

        April 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • sam stone

          he is a cowardly bigot.
          next question

          April 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
    • mythless

      Why? It's nothing more than myth. No eyewitness accounts (the books written about him were written 50 to 70 years after his purported death. All of it is hearsay.

      April 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Christianity is very deeply rooted in the real history of mankind. In the Old Testament we can read of very many historical events. The main object of these events, the People of Israel, still live amongst us. The feasts they celebrate are older than Christianity. Yet, at the time when Jesus was crucified they celebrated Passover. Easter is the real Passover because the blood of animals can save nobody, only the blood of the Holy Lamb can save us.

        Christianity or the New Testament again is deeply rooted in the Old Testament or the history of the People of Israel. Christianity did not burst in history, but is the continuation of very old tradition. The Christian Church is the heavenly Israel, the real children of Abraham, heirs of his faith.

        Islam has absolutely no roots in the history of mankind and God's People. A mentally ill idiot, called Muhammad, burst in history without refernce to any older faith, and made-up some ridiculous stories. Your criticism is certainly applicable to Islam.

        Christianity cannot be fiction because it has too much reference to the real world we live in, to the things which surround us including history, and the spiritual state of man.

        April 16, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Akira

          "Easter is the real Passover because the blood of animals can save nobody..."

          Once again you show that you are uneducated about the Torah. If you do not know what Passover is about, don't speak about it.

          You are best suited to proselytize about the NT. You should probably stick to that.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • mythless

          That does nothing to explain why we should continue to have faith in a myth. Being made an official religion by the Roman government went a long way towards establishing it into the history of western civilization. That does not make it anything more than a political tool. Power and greed are powerful aphrodisiacs and the impetus behind most religions staying power. People believe that the Angel Maroni appeared to Joseph Smith, there are people who believe Scientology has the answers but both are creations of human minds. Christianity and Islam are just older examples of human imagination and gullibility.

          April 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        written 50 to 70 years after his death...this is improbable..first of all..to say such would mean the Gospels were written 80-100 AD..yet we have the early church fathers before 100 ad ALREADY quoting from the Gospels....second..fragments of the COPIES of the Gospels have been found to be dated to 68 AD......sorry..but evidence shows that the Gospels were written well before 70 AD (less than 40 years after Christ)..you need to update your information sir

        April 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Akira

          Kermit,

          ...second..fragments of the COPIES of the Gospels have been found to be dated to 68 AD……
          I asked you for this before; perhaps you didn't see it; maybe I missed your answer.

          Link your your assertion that fragments dated to 68AD?
          That's only 8 years after the earliest estimate of 2 of the 4 Gospels being written.
          I'd like to investigate further.
          Thanks in advance.

          April 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          It is not from a link,..but a number of books...one I read most recently and remmeber is Brian H Edwards "Why 27?"

          April 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • Akira

          Thanks.

          April 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Akira

          Kermit, do you happen to remember what Gospel the fragment was from?
          When I entered Mr. Edward's name and fragment fro 68 AD, I got your post.
          Perhaps knowing what Gospel it's from will help me search.

          April 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          What Gospel fragment does Edwards use to support the assertion that fragments date from 68 A.D.? And which early Church Fathers and Gospels are you referencing? Without more detail, you shouldn't expect the person to whom you replied to consider those statements authoritative. For anyone like myself who has not read his book, throwing out a date without supporting information doesn't provide any means of assessing the credibility of the claim.

          April 16, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • mythless

          Still hearsay. None of it was written at the time. Myths don't require very long to be created especially within a population that is ignorant.

          April 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Christians do celebrate Easter. Don't know what you do in your country.
      Jewish people celebrate Passover. Don't know what you do in your country.

      Let us thank Jesus that he finally accepted the crucifixion.

      He had no choice. It was predestined.

      April 16, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
      • mythless

        Supposedly.

        April 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Many years ago, a friend and I discussed what would happen if Steve Perry (of Journey) were god. I don't remember much of the conversation, only that "Easter" would become "Stevester". Amazingly enough, this conversation took place at work, with both parties completely sober (though tired; It was on the closing shift at a fast food restaurant when I was working my way through college.)

      (Disclaimer: I am not now, nor have I ever been a Journey fan. I have no recollection of where the conversation came from)

      But anyway, happy Stevester.

      April 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
      • Akira

        Oh, the bad 80's. I have very fond memories.
        But the music...the music...lol.

        April 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
  13. Jill

    Dull, dimwitted, and bigoted Rainer Helmut Braendlein, sequester your mustard and abolish your putrid leotards. Don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat

    presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not

    green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

    So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced

    with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

    Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance.

    Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the

    pancreas.

    Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the

    escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor

    can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

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

    Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

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

    April 16, 2014 at 10:54 am |
    • mythless

      Whoa! Past time for your meds.

      April 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
  14. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    "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."

    Unquote.

    Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible. My new t-itle for him: "Associate professor of biblical confusion."

    Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah (how should God reject his own words).

    Matthew 5:

    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one ti-ttle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    The New Testament writers are only opponents of "keeping the law of the Torah in the Jewish manner". The Jews (or Jewish leaders) did not really understand the law of the Torah and kept it litarally, but not according to God's, the law-givers, intentions.

    Who keeps the law according to God's intentions?

    This is the man who FULFILLS the law.

    What does that mean?

    If somebody is simply led by the Holy Spirit or in Christ, he or she fulfills the law of the Torah. The Holy Spirit causes LOVE of neighbour and LOVE of God within us, and love is the fulfillment of the law as St. Paul says:

    Romans 13: 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Jesus and St. Paul teached exactly the same. And even Moses, if the old people of Israel had asked them how they could get the power to keep the law, he had told them of the Redeemer who could set them free.

    Gospel of Jesus Christ, Amen!

    P.S: The Jewish leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees, extremly stressed the keeping of the Sabbath according to the law. They considered it as work when Jesus cured sick people at the Sabbath, and therefore Jesus broke the Sabbath in their eyes. Yet, what Jesus did was no work, but divine service: Jesus forgave sins, and that became visible through cure. Jesus fulfilled the command of Sabbath according to God's intention. By there litarally keeping the Jewish leaders broke the Sabbath command in fact: They did not rejoice in God's (Jesus') presence.

    Mr. Baden will face some trouble at Judgement Day.

    If all theologians of the US are on the level of Mr. Baden, I have no great hope for the spiritual progress of the US. I rather fear decline down to the bottom of the pit.

    April 16, 2014 at 10:39 am |
    • Jill

      Rainer Helmut Braendlein, you dull and dimwitted bigot, sequester your mustard and abolish your putrid leotards. Don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat

      presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not

      green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced

      with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance.

      Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the

      pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the

      escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor

      can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

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

      Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

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

      April 16, 2014 at 10:55 am |
      • Akira

        If all theologians of the US are on the level of Mr. Baden, I have no great hope for the spiritual progress of the US. I rather fear decline down to the bottom of the pit.

        Don't worry about the US. We are none of your business. You are unqualified to speak about anything American.

        April 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • Akira

          Misfire. Meant for Herr Braendlein.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • midwest rail

          Not really a misfire. He posts his standard drivel anywhere, so anywhere is an appropriate spot for a rebuttal.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Saleh Bbumba

      Mr Braendlein, I am sorry that you received such a poor teacher to help you understand the correct way to understand the Torah. Mr. Baden has a very good understanding of Moses. It is the same understanding that has been in my family and many families I know for many generations. It is quite clear from what you wrote that you have a need to change Moses into something that answers your strange view of other ideas about Christianity. In doing so, it is quite clear that you sound like a "drama queen" to use some modern words. There is no wonder why you think the day of judgement will be soon with such panic and misunderstanding fear and confusion about the sacred texts. I will pray that you will calm down and get a better teacher to teach you about Moses, Mr. Braendlein.

      April 16, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Akira

      Do you think your post was so good that you had to post it again on these pages?

      Want to tell us again how you are so more educated in the Torah that you think Abraham was really a Christian??

      Mr. Baden shows again that he has absolutely no notion of the Bible. My new t-itle for him: “Associate professor of biblical confusion.”

      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)
      Notice the last one. What's your Torah education? You disagree with Baden? That's not an education, that's a difference of opinion.

      Jesus Christ never rejected the law of the Torah (how should God reject his own words).

      Baden never said that. So why are you lying about him?

      April 16, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        Just read the text in quotation marks!

        April 16, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Akira

          What? I'd say Baden has a better grasp if the Torah than you do.

          You proved it by saying Abraham is really a Christian. You seem so desperate to make everything Christian that you want it's Jewish roots forgotten.

          Why?

          April 16, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Christians and Abraham share the same faith. Jews are just the biological descendants of Abraham.

          May they also become heirs of his faith. Amen.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Akira

          No they don't; that is like saying Abraham and Muslims are the same faith, because Christianity and Islam are Abrahamic faiths.

          Stop trying to co- opt history. It's ridiculous.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Akira

          Jews are just the biological descendants of Abraham.

          Just the biological descendants? Merely related to him, that's all? No more important to Jews that sharing a bit of DNA?

          You've got a very perverted view of religion, and the import of the Jews to the Christian faith. You need to be re-educated some place other than Germany.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
  15. Saleh Bbumba

    Thank you again Mr Baden for a great article about the real Moses. The peoples where I live know Moses well in the way you describe for many many generations. All peoples must read the Bible the right way and study how to know the things you write about. It is not an easy thing and they need help to get it the right way. Some of the peoples replying like Rainer Braendlein are quite wrong in their view of the real Moses. They will try to use God's name and they will twist God's real purpose for everyone to satisfy their own desires and their fears. They will be judged most severely by God for misuse of His divine Word. We can only hope that before time runs out that people like Mr. Braendlein will meet a good teacher who will teach them the Bible the right way.

    April 16, 2014 at 10:34 am |
  16. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    Jesus said: "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:" (from Matthew 5, Sermon on the Mount)

    What does that mean?

    The Jewish leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees, did not tell the People of Israel (the ordinary Jews) of a redeemer, but required them to keep the law (by natural power which is impossible). When the ordinary Jews failed to keep the law (nothing else was to expect), they were cursed, and insulted by the Jewish leaders. The Jewish leaders also were angry with the ordinary Jews. The Jewish leaders did not love their people.

    In Matthew 5: 21-26 Jesus interpreted the commandment "You shalt not kill!". Jesus tells us that we yet kill somebody, if we are angry with him, curse him, or insult him. If we are angry with people, curse and insult them, then we will face God's education: Prison and bankrupt and finally eternal punishment.

    Probably the Jewish leaders were not aware that they constantly broke the law of the Torah, the 5th commandment: You shalt not kill!

    These self-righteous people were extremly guilty, they were no servants of God.

    Better they had told the people in a kind and friendly manner that there was a redeemer who could enable them to live a life of love of neighbour and love of God which would not be in conflict with the law. That way they had fulfilled the law both the leaders of Israel and the ordinary Jews.

    Ain't there a greater love than to teach the releasing gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Prayer: May God open up the eyes of the current Jewish leaders, so that they may realize that Jesus from Nazareth is their Messiah. All their current "divine service" is in vain!

    April 16, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • Saleh Bbumba

      Each society will face the issues of inequality. This is not the concern of God. In the same way, the Holy Bible should be understood properly and not in the way of Mr. Braendlein who has a very perverted view our most sacred text. The author of this article has the proper understanding of the Bible.

      April 16, 2014 at 10:33 am |
  17. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    I am really convinced that the second coming of Christ is at hand.

    Why?

    It is not only the secular world legalizing gayness and fornication, but also nearly all churches. That is the great apostasy St. Paul predicted.

    Furthermore, nearly no more Gentiles convert to the faith in Jesus. Seemingly, the plenty of the Gentiles has entered the kingdom of heaven, and within a short time God will open up Israel's eyes that they may realize Jesus as their Messiah.

    We will face significant changes soon. Are you ready?

    Even if we would have most pleasant weather in Europe (actually the weather acts up), I would hold this opinion.

    God, the Almighty, will never tolerate gay marriage, gay clergy and gay church goers, and a general society legalizing gay lifestlye or fornication.

    Be careful, my friends!

    2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12

    1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    There is still time to repent, to believe in Jesus, and getting sacramentally baptized. The releasing power of Jesus is greater than any bad inclination. Get reborn through Water and Spirit = sacramental baptism. The sin gets dethroned, and you enter Christ. Hard to imagine that in that state you will not overcome.

    April 16, 2014 at 10:26 am |
    • mythless

      Believe what you want. However, it is still unproven myth.

      April 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      really, rainy? i am convinced that are a bigot with a bible jammed way too far up your rectum.

      April 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • Keith

      Waiting 2000 years is pretty stupid.

      April 22, 2014 at 9:45 am |
  18. colin31714

    Few Christians know the Ten Commandments from the Bible. There is the original, familiar set given to Moses, but, as the Exodus story continues, after receiving this set of commandments from God, Moses descends from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshiping a golden calf. Moses’ anger “waxes hot” and he smashes the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments in a fit of rage.

    He later returns to the mountain and God orders him to “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” Unfortunately, it seems God’s memory was off that day, because the replacement tablets he gave Moses contained the following Ten Commandments:

    Thou shalt worship no other god.
    Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
    All that openeth the matrix are mine.
    Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
    Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
    Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
    Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
    The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
    Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

    Both a beast that “opens the matrix” and a “firstling” are the firstborn offspring of a Jewish farm animal. If one believes Exodus, the Jews perambulated the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev for the rest of their forty years of wandering, lugging the Ark of the Covenant weighed down with these timeless pearls of wisdom! They don’t exactly sound like the universal laws applicable to the entire human race that a god would give, do they?

    Indeed, while the Ten Commandments (at least the first two sets) are well known, there are, in fact about 613 commandments sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. If you are a Jew or Christian, they contain rules from the creator of the Universe on how we human beings should live our lives. I don’t know that they are particularly helpful, though. They include rules for tending crops indigenous to the Greco-Roman Middle East; raising domesticated animals common in the Greco-Roman Middle East; sacrificing these animals; preparing and eating food that was consumed in the Greco-Roman Middle East; (not) having s.ex with virgins, slaves, non-Jews, animals and relatives; cross-dressing and prohibitions against eating maggots, non Kosher insects and worms that have fully left the fruit.

    Interestingly, while these 613 laws laid down by the creator of the Universe go into painstaking detail on how late Bronze Age Jewish farm life should be lived, none of them address how the Apache or Sioux of North America should hunt bison, how the ancient Russians or Chinese should treat any Mongol slaves they take or how the Australian Aboriginals should hunt and prepare kangaroo. The ancient Scandinavians, Celts and Sub-Saharan Africans were also left totally in the dark about whether it is acceptable to God for them to seethe a deer in its mother’s milk and the ancient Inuit had to take a stab in the dark as to whether any first born reindeer should be sacrificed to God. The rules from God also say nothing of how any aspect of life that developed AFTER the Old Testament was written should be conducted, such as modern communications, computing, medicine or transportation.

    It is clear beyond any rational doubt that the Jews made God in their image and not vice-versa.

    April 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Few Christians know the Ten Commandments from the Bible........

      Who gives a crap...

      .Moses was a fictional person......this like saying few people know what Harry Potter really thought about anything.

      April 16, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • henrystockwell

      This has to be one of the few rational comments here – along with Akira's comments.

      I'm of the belief that the Old Testament was a guidebook written by Israelites in exile, their race/faith dwindling, in order to perpetuate Judaism. While to me there are myriad reasons why God came down to earth as Jesus, I feel quite deeply that one of those reasons was to let people know that the Law has been fulfilled with the arrival and eventual death of Jesus. Living by the two commandments Jesus gave us makes us Christians (Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor). We are not Christians because we tend our fields in a certain manner. We are not Christians because we sacrifice certain animals on certain days. We are Christians because we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, which was LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

      April 18, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
    • glenn1062

      and even today no one asks what happened to the ancient Romans or Greeks or other tribes of the ancient world. Instead they give fancy medical terms to psychological disorders never understanding how these people would live in their natural state. If one believes in genetics and the science and the diversity of humanity, then one must ask why are these people being labeled mentally ill while continuing to raise children in Christian tradition. If the Christians had the one right answer for all of humanity and not just the answer for their own tribe and like minded tribes, then the principle of policies that work would hold true and the mentally ill would cease to exist. They do it in the name of God but no one one seems to fair better than their own children.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:00 am |
      • glenn1062

        Non-Christians should be careful not to subject their own children to the psychological and emotional development of christian children embedded in the Bible. Religion and culture is innate to the people who created it. Don't teach a "piglet to fly" in the name of God, you will only end up with a very confused pig. Confused pigs often become parents to deeply disturbed children who don't even recognize their own parents. I feel bad for Adam Lantz. He was not the maker of his own destiny.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:08 am |
  19. Robertson

    Hope the movie "Moses" stays true to the narrative in the Bible.

    April 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
    • Robertson

      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.

      Matthew 5 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven

      April 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
      • Sister Bear

        What did he say that was incorrect? Oh. Nothing.
        He's talking about the OT. You know, the one Christians co-opted from the Jewish people for their own use.

        April 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
      • Vic

        http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/03/31/how-evangelicals-won-a-culture-war-and-lost-a-generation/comment-page-9/#comment-2978878

        April 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Akira

          What did you say there? I'm not going to do that.

          April 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Why......it's all fiction and fiction can be rewritten any way one wants.

      April 16, 2014 at 10:22 am |
  20. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    Whatever the case may be with how the Old Testament Law, aka Mosaic Law, came about, what really matters is that it was only the shadow of the Messiah and Savior Lord Jesus Christ to come, as is clearly explained in the New Testament.

    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)

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

    April 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • hotairace

      Bullsh!t! You don't have a single fact to back up your silly, childish beliefs. Why do you believe the things you do? Are you pretending to know things you do not? Have you sought the help of a mental health professional?

      April 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
    • alonsoquixote

      Vic, your comment that the Old Testament deity gave man "the Law", which no man could fulfill matches the view of the Marcionites, an early group of Christians led by Marcion of Sinope (c 85 – c 160 AD), the son of one of the early Christian bishops. The Marcionites, like the Gnostic Christians, viewed the wrathful god of the Old Testament as an evil demiurge, not the ultimate god. Joan O'Grady writes in "Early Christian Heresies":

      "According to Marcion's system, man was the creation of this stern and wrathful God, who gave him a Law which was impossible to keep, so that he lay under a curse. The Higher God of Goodness – the First Principle – took pity on man and sent his Son to rescue him. This manifestation of the Supreme God was clothed in the phantom body of a man of thirty-three years of age, whom the 'Demiurge' caused to be crucified..."

      He also writes:

      "The Marcionites, unlike the Gnostics, formed a Church. This they claimed to be universal, based on the authentic insti_tution of Christ. Marcionite numbers grew rapidly, until in some regions, it seemed that they would outnumber the Great Church. Irenaeus wrote against what appeared to him to be as great a danger to the unity of Christianity as was the teaching of the Valentinian Gnostics. The Marcionites are often depicted as a Gnostic sect, but, though many of their tenets were the same, the kernel of their belief was totally different. The aim of Gnosticicism was to teach those, who could be taught, the true knowledge that would restore them to their origin. Christianity was one of the ways to do this. The Marcionites considered themselves to be the only true Christians, and their aim was to teach pure Christianity, which alone could bring salvation. They aimed at a simple ascetic form of Christianity – a reaction against the speculative and 'mystical' ideas that seemed to them to be spreading everywhere."

      If the Marcionist view had prevailed, Christianity, of course, would like quite different today. But even the prevalent form of Christianity today owes much to Marcion as the competi_tion with the Marcionists provided a catalyst for the development of the New Testament canon to serve as an alternative to Marcion's canon, which contained Paul's epi_stles and a version of the Gospel of Luke. The Marcionists felt that the Old Testament scriptures, which were read in the "Catholic" churches were opposed to the teaching of mercy, which the Marcionists regarded as the hallmark of true Christianity.

      It took several centuries for those competing against the Marcionists to stamp out Marcionism as a rival to what became the orthodox Christian church.

      April 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
      • Vic

        Well, that's interesting.

        I suggest reading the Gospel of John, the main Epistles of Paul, about the Protestant Reformation, and about Mainline Protestantism.

        April 15, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • Akira

          Protestantism wasn't established until the early 1500's. Why is that THE form of Christianity?

          April 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          The Gospel of John, which was composed in stages by a Johannine community rather than a single author, likely reached its final stage by about 90 to 100 A.D., so could have been available to Marcion. Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD), who has been called "the father of Latin Christianity" charged Marcion with setting aside the Gospel of John in favor of the Gospel of Christ, which was Marcion's version of Luke, which the Marcionites attributed to Paul. Marcion's canon included ten of the Pauline Ep_istles, but not the Pastoral Ep_istles nor the Ep_istle to the Hebrews. There was also, according to the Muratorian canon, a Marcionite pseudo-Paul's ep_istle to the Alexandrians and an ep_istle to the Laodiceans. The latter is often identified with the Ep_istle to the Ephesians, which is the 10th book of the New Testament, as being possibly a rewriting of that material. Though found in the Bibles of Protestants, Roman Catholics, and those of Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, and Syriac Christians, Ephesians is widely regarded by biblical scholars today as Deutero-Pauline, i.e. pseudepigraphical written by someone purporting to be someone else, in this case Paul the Apostle. There is also debate among scholars regarding the authorship of Colossians. Ti_tus, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy are also widely believed to be pseudepigraphical.

          Marcion regarded Paul as the foremost apostle. His version of Christianity rejected the Old Testament. He didn't claim that the Jewish Scriptures were false, but, instead asserted that they were to be read in an absolutely literal manner, thereby developing an understanding that YHWH was not the same god spoken of by Jesus. For example, he argued that the account of YHWH walking through the Garden of Eden asking where Adam was proved YHWH inhabited a physical body and was without universal knowledge (omniscience), attributes wholly incompatible with the Heavenly Father professed by Jesus.

          In regards to the Protestant Reformation four centuries later, a seminal point in the creation of Protestantism was Martin Luther's posting of his "The Ninety-Five Theses" on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg in 1517. Although there had been attempts to reform the Church by John Wycliffe and Jan Huss previous to that time, it is Luther's posting of that docu_ment that is usually given as the start of the Protestant Reformation. Luther certainly favored Pauline Christianity, i.e., the version that rejected the Judaizer's view that the Mosaic Law still applied to the adherents of the new religion. Paul's Ep_istle to the Galatians is principally concerned with the controversy surrounding Gentile Christians and the Mosaic Law and Luther comments on that ep_istle verse by verse in his own "Commentary on St. Paul's Ep_istle to the Galatians". If you are interested, you can find Luther's "Commentary on St. Paul's Ep_istle to the Galatians" at Gutenberg.org in various electronic formats and Librivox.org in MP3 audio format, which I started listening to quite some time ago, but never finished.

          In addition to rejecting the Judaizer's view as does the author of the Ep_istle to the Galatians, Luther became quite anti-semitic later in life. In his "On the Jews and their Lies" he advised Christians "First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire...Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country..." Luther's view of how Jews should be treated remained prevalent in Germany and the rest of Europe for many centuries afterwards. In 1613-€“1614 during the Fettmilch Uprising in Frankfurt, 1380 Jews were driven into the Jewish Cemetery whilst their houses were plundered and partly destroy. The Hep-Hep riots in 1819 in the German state of Bavaria were pogroms against the region's Jews in which many Jews were killed and their property destroyed. Much later on Kristallnacht in 1938, the Nazis did as Luther had proposed killing Jews and destroying hundreds of synagogues. In Daniel Johah Goldhagen's book, Hitler's Willing Executioners, he writes:

          "One leading Protestant churchman, Bishop Martin Sasse published a compendium of Martin Luther's antisemitic vitriol shortly after Kristallnacht's or_gy of anti-Jewish violence. In the foreword to the volume, he applauded the burning of the synagogues and the coincidence of the day: 'On November 10, 1938, on Luther's birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.' The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words 'of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.'"

          April 16, 2014 at 9:20 am |
        • Vic

          Well, I suggested the reading for you. I have read what I suggested several times before. I am a born again Christian Protestant, mainline.

          April 16, 2014 at 10:33 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          I've read the Gospel of John and the Pauline ep_istles and, since I have an interest in history, I'be done some reading regarding the period in which the Protestant Reformation occurred (I mistyped "four" centuries instead of fourteen" centuries for the period between it and Marcion in my prior post), but I think it is important to understand some of the historical context for the biblical material and to understand that there were many competing views early in Christianity's history. The prevailing views today reflect the views of thosne that were most successful in promulgating their views, often imposing them by force on others, but even today there are widely divergent views on theological matters among Christians.

          April 16, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • sam stone

          really, vic?

          i suggest you eat a handful of psilocybin mushrooms and blow all that iron age crap out of your mind

          April 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
    • Madtown

      ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰
      ---
      "You've said this before, we still don't know who this guy is."

      – your human brothers who God placed by birth in a primitive Amazon rain forest tribe

      April 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
      • top8305

        All in God's Providence, Madtown; His Thoughts are not our thoughts, His Ways are not our ways.

        God's Irrevocable Call.
        [25] I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not become wise [in] your own estimation: a hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, [Pr 3:7 / Ro 12:16; Mk 13:10; Lk 21:24; Jn 10:16.] [26] and thus all Israel will be saved, [Ps 14:7; Isa 59:20-21.] as it is written: [Mt 23:39. ]

        "The deliverer will come out of Zion,
        he will turn away godlessness from Jacob;
        [27] and this is my covenant with them
        when I take away their sins." [Isa 27:9; Je 31:33-34. ]

        [28] In respect to the gospel, they are enemies on your account; but in respect to election, they are beloved because of the patriarchs. [15:8; 1Th 2:15-16.] [29] For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. [9:6; Nu 23:19; Isa 54:10. ]
        Rom 11:25-28

        [33] Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!
        [34] "For who has known the mind of the Lord
        or who has been his counselor?" [Job 15:8; Wis 9:13; Isa 40:13-14; Je 23:18; 1Co 2:11-16 ]
        [35] "Or who has given him anything
        that he may be repaid?"
        [36] For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
        Rom 11

        [8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
        nor are your ways my ways—oracle of the LORD.
        [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
        so are my ways higher than your ways,
        my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
        [10] * Yet just as from the heavens
        the rain and snow come down
        And do not return there
        till they have watered the earth,
        making it fertile and fruitful,
        Giving seed to the one who sows
        and bread to the one who eats,
        [11] So shall my word be
        that goes forth from my mouth;
        It shall not return to me empty,
        but shall do what pleases me,
        achieving the end for which I sent it.
        Isa 55

        [6] How great are your works, LORD! [Ps 131:1; 139:6,17; Wis 13:1; 17:1. ]
        How profound your designs!
        [7] A senseless person cannot know this;
        a fool cannot comprehend.
        [8] Though the wicked flourish like grass
        and all sinners thrive,
        They are destined for eternal destruction;
        [9] but you, LORD, are forever on high.
        [10] Indeed your enemies, LORD,
        indeed your enemies shall perish;
        all sinners shall be scattered.
        Ps 92

        [29] But the house of Israel says, "The Lord's way is not fair!" Is it my way that is not fair, house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not fair?
        Eze 18:29

        [34] Now, I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, all of whose works are right and ways just; and who is able to humble those who walk in pride.
        Dan 4:34

        [10] Who is wise enough to understand these things? [Ps 107:43; Je 9:11; Ec 8:1. ]
        Who is intelligent enough to know them?
        Straight are the paths of the LORD, [Dt 32:4. ]
        the just walk in them, [Dt 8:6; 11:22; Mi 6:8. ]
        but sinners stumble in them.
        Hos 14:10

        April 16, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • Madtown

          All in God's Providence
          ---
          God's providence? Sorry, but you've posted excerpts from the writings of men. They are 2 different things: you can know the thoughts of man, you can't know the thoughts of God.

          April 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Lololololololololololollo....why don't you quot Harry Potter...he's at least more up to date.

      April 16, 2014 at 10:24 am |
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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.