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Spain moves to correct 500-year-old 'error'
Andres Rosenberg Benadretti, shown here in Barcelona's Sagrada Familia Cathedral, hopes to soon have Spanish citizenship.
June 14th, 2014
04:30 PM ET

Spain moves to correct 500-year-old 'error'

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

(CNN) - Being gay in Chile, Andres Rosenberg Benadretti once thought he could never get married. But his family's past may help him tie the knot some day.

Spain, where same-sex marriage is legal, has been considering a law that would make it easier for Jews of Spanish descent like Rosenberg Benadretti to get dual citizenship.

"This is something that can actually happen for me – it would be a dream come true just to have the option," said the 27-year-old. "Every human being should have the option to get married."

That isn’t the only reason Rosenberg Benadretti wants a Spanish passport, though. Mainly, he wants acknowledgement of his Spanish heritage, which goes back more than five centuries.

“My ancestors would be proud of me, and if one day I get to have children of my own, I’d love to pass on this beautiful cultural baggage,” he said in an e-mail.

Centuries after Spain formally and sometimes violently prevented Jews from practicing their religion, forcing them to convert or leave the country, the proposed law would open the country's doors to the dispersed descendants of Sephardic Jews.

On June 6, the country came one step closer to correcting what one Spanish official called a 500-year-old "error."

"Simply remembering it wasn't enough," Spain's Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón said in an e-mail to CNN, who called the country's expulsion of Jews a "historical error."

Spain wants to “recover the identities of those who retain a strong cultural affiliation” with the country, the justice minister added.

“How many petitions will arrive from this moment is a question we can’t answer,” he said. “But anyone who is Sephardic Jewish has the right to be Spanish.”

Spain's cabinet has approved the citizenship bill, but it still needs to pass in the parliament to become law. The government press office says there is no official estimate on how many people would be eligible for dual citizenship.

According to Spain's Justice ministry, the requirements for dual-citizenship suggest that the opportunity will be offered regardless of the applicants' religion or beliefs.

The bill suggests a variety of ways that Sephardic Jews could prove their eligibility, including certification from their local rabbis or the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, or just having heritage tied to the names of Jews who lived in Spain centuries ago.

Applicants must also pass a test on Spanish language and culture, according to the Justice Ministry.

Despite the expulsion in 1492, Spain’s well-preserved medieval neighborhoods retain traces of juderías, the medieval Jewish quarters.

The winding, narrow streets of such historic cities as Girona, Cordoba and Barcelona hark back to a time known as the "Convivencia," when Jews, Muslims and Christians coexisted in the country in relative peace - although there were some pre-Inquisition attacks.

In 1492, everything changed. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordered the country's entire Jewish population to convert to Christianity or leave the country.

The expelled Jews spread out across Europe, North Africa, Arabia and the Western hemisphere. Today, their descendants, called Sephardim ("Sefarad means "Spain" in Hebrew) are everywhere.

Some of the Jews who stayed in Spain continued practicing their faith in secret, and to this day there are some Spaniards who were born Christian but believe their ancestors preserved Jewish traditions.

Words such as "crypto-Jews," "judios-conversos," "marranos," "xuetas" and "anusim" are used to characterize a complex legacy of forced conversion and secret religious practice among Spanish Jews.

Now, the Spanish government is hoping to right its historical wrongs.

"They say that they want to make good for what they did bad in the history now," said Israeli lawyer Maya Weiss-Tamir, an expert in citizenship applications.

But she also thinks that Spain may be motivated by its flagging economy. "Maybe new money will help them," she said.

Whatever the motivation, Weiss-Tamir has gotten more than 1,000 emails and phone calls since February from people who want to know more about how to gain Spanish citizenship.

"This is very popular in Israel to have a second citizenship," she said. "Our grandparents were born in other countries and had a life over there."

Lynne Winters, director of the American Sephardi Association in New York, said she has been getting dozens of inquiries.

"Does it change the fact that Jews had to leave Spain in 1492 or die or all the other horrible things that happened? It doesn't change that," said Winters, who has met Spanish lawmakers behind the proposed law.

“I think there is on some people's part a sincere desire to make amends."

Currently it is possible for Sephardic Jews to seek citizenship, but the process is complicated, and may involve a two-year residence in Spain or renouncing one's current nationality.

Under the citizenship criteria currently in force, Spain has seen about 3,000 applications from Sephardic Jews, Ruiz-Gallardón said.

The new law would not require anyone to stay in Spain for two years or give up their current passports, making this attractive to people who are not looking to move.

Leon Amiras, a lawyer in Jerusalem, has ancestors who sojourned from medieval Spain to Salonika, Greece (also known as Thessaloniki) and Turkey, and then to Argentina, where his parents live and speak Ladino.

Proving his heritage won't be hard, Amiras says. He has a document with a black and white photograph of his grandmother and her mother, with the signature of the Spanish consulate in Istanbul, stating that they were part of Turkey's Jewish community.

"For others it will not be easy," Amiras said. "They just remember many things and many traditions."

Amiras wants to apply for Spanish dual citizenship so that his children, age 14 and 17, have that affiliation as well."They are also part of the chain of the Sephardic people," he said. "My heart is not just in Israel but also in Spain."

Rosenberg Benadretti also spoke of a divided heart – for him, it’s between Chile and Spain.

His connection isn’t just ancestral: He completed a master's degree in Barcelona, where family members live.

A Spanish passport could allow him to apply for scholarships to Ph.D. programs in Spain, where he hopes to get an advanced degree in communication or education.

As part of his case for citizenship, Rosenberg Benadretti will note that he had a Bar Mitzvah in a Sephardic synagogue, and his grandparents are buried in a Sephardic cemetery in Santiago.

Recently, he stopped by a Spanish consulate in Chile, looking for more information on the proposed law, but nothing official was available, he said.

The Chilean is hopeful he’ll get to embrace a Spanish identity, and the practical advantages that come with it, including access to jobs in the European Union.

But if Spain's parliament approves the law, Rosenberg Benadretti said those kinds of perks will fall lower on his list of priorities. Ranking higher in his heart are the fulfillment of romantic love, and love for Spain.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Europe • Foreign policy • Israel • Judaism • Religious violence • Spain

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Science Works

    Hey Dala – Really hilarious.

    Science Works
    Hey Dala and topher – you get there from the front page of CNN – funny or die – hilarious !

    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/showbiz/2014/06/16/fod-creationist-cosmos.funny-or-die&hpt=hp_c3&from_homepage=yes&video_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F
    J
    une 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm |

    Dalahäst
    Science Works,

    Does it seem strange to you that Cosmos is produced and distributed by the same company that produces and distributes Fox News? And both are categorized under the "entertainment" wing of the company.

    June 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm |

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/14/spain-moves-to-correct-500-year-old-error/#comments

    June 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
  2. His Panic

    The very roman-catholic Spain; really! The one that centuries ago claimed to be the "Defender of the faith". Now however, the king has abdicated in the middle of an economic crisis. They lost against Germany and has been eliminated by Chile. Is still part of the PIIGS group of countries Hom.ose.xuals. marriage and the biggest bordello in Europe in Junquera. Some of the most aberrant forms of idolatry all over the place. And that's just the present, let's not even get into the past. That's the rewards of Idolatry.

    I would not be surprised at all, if they soon fell into a State of Panic. That's because they don't Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son.

    June 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      So His Panic....THE BURDEN OF PROOF LIES ON RELIGION…..
      If you propose the existence of something such as a god or Jesus, you must follow the scientific method in your defense of its existence, otherwise I have no reason to listen to you.....and yes there is NO EMPIRICAL PROOF of any of it.

      June 19, 2014 at 11:19 am |
      • Dalahäst

        That is why he rejects love and compassion from others.

        If you propose the existence of something such as a love or compassion, one must follow the scientific method in one's defense of its existence, otherwise he will have no reason to listen to you.....and yes there is NO EMPIRICAL PROOF of any of it.

        June 19, 2014 at 11:22 am |
  3. idiotusmaximus

    "Every human being should have the option to get married."......

    Not only is he right....he's also beautiful in his thinking.

    June 18, 2014 at 10:54 am |
  4. Dalahäst

    Vic

    Are you familiar with Bryan Enderle? Check this out and let me know what you think. "What if there is a possibility that God doesn't overstep the bounds of science, but actually works within the bounds of science and nature?"

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn7YQOzNuSc&w=640&h=390]

    June 17, 2014 at 11:37 am |
    • bostontola

      Dr. Enderle, by all accounts is a fantastic Chemistry Professor. His student reviews are excellent. I have little doubt that he is an excellent scientist.

      That said, I don't see conflating what/how with why as productive. What/how is science, why is philosophy and theology. Using science as analogy to theological assertions doesn't lend them credibility at all.

      Scientific hypotheses can be tested. Dr. Endele's theological hypotheses are not testable, so they remain opinion even if they are dressed up in scientific analogy (btw, the analogies are pretty loose).

      Does God work within the bounds of science and nature? That is a philosophical question. How about; Is God bounded by science and nature?

      In the end, I think questions like those miss the point. Science does not bound nature, scientific understanding models nature. Nature itself operates within it's own bounds, we recognize that and describe them with scientific models (theories, laws, etc.). If there is God(s), it isn't bound by science, but it may be bound by nature.

      June 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • guidedans

        Hey boston,

        I think you raise some good points regarding the nature and purpose of science. Science is great as attempting to predict what will happen based on past observations. I feel like we give science a lot of credit (as we should, it has helped humanity immensely), but I sometimes think we give it too much credit.

        The Scientific Method relies on the assumption that things will be the same as they have been in the past and that things we observe today can develop models to explain things that occurred in the past. Seeing as how we, as conscious humans, have only been here for a very short while, and seeing as how science and record keeping has been around an even shorter amount of time, I think that that base assumption of science is very questionable.

        If you think about the amount of time we have been tracking nature versus the amount of time that nature has been around, we are talking an immense difference. Let's say we have been tracking nature for 2000 years. That compared to the 14 billion years that the universe has existed is a very very very small sample size. That is like taking a thousand people from a particular part of the world, studying them, and then making statements about the entire world population.

        I just think that science, though useful, is overly praised a lot of the time even if it is not entirely appropriate.

        June 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Hey guidedans,
          I am biased regarding science and what credit it deserves. The track record of science in medicine, engineering, exploration, etc is remarkably good and as you said, has yielded an immense amount of things beneficial to humanity.

          Interestingly, there is the ability to test whether physical law has varied over time and space. We can tell a lot from telescopic analysis of the universe throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. We can detect light that is billions of years older than our solar system. The evidence is consistent with almost all constants remaining constant. Not proof, but then science never proves things and it's products still work.

          Contrasting that with philosophy and theology, the vast majority has not yielded what it claims, truth. At best, 1 God based religion is correct, all others being false. Most philosophies are not very useful and have been supplanted by science where possible.

          As I said, I'm biased on the matter, but I think my opinion is backed up by some pretty persuasive facts.

          June 17, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • Vic

      First time with Dr. Bryan Enderle. Here is what I got from the video:

      The nexus of Science & God, we need both for understanding our own reality.

      Please note that Dr. Bryan Enderle is not explaining God in scientific terms, for that's not possible, rather, he is intelligently reasoning God in scientific terms by means of analogies. Here are three examples:

      Probability

      As everything pretty much has probability, whether it's normal or abnormal. In scientific terms, there is a probability that a particle in nature can violate the Laws of Physics it's bound by, namely Conservation of Energy, aka First Law of Thermodynamics, in this case, and exit its atom without any form of energy. Therefore, if there is a probability that something in this physical nature can violate its laws, what seems to be magic, then theologically, so can God act in seemingly miraculous ways.

      "If Modern Science tells us that there are examples of unusual activities with finite probabilities, then technologically we are not as surprised by miracles which may merely be low probability events."

      Relativity & Omniscience

      Also, by examining the Time & Velocity facet of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the faster an object goes the slower time progresses until it stops at the Speed of Light, hence, light is outside of time. That has been experimented with through the Hobble-Keating Experiment using two synchronized atomic clocks that went out sync by nanoseconds due to speed travel one of them in space.† Therefore, if light, which is of this world can be outside of time, then theologically, so can God be outside of time, hence Omniscient.

      "If Modern Science tells us that light is "outside of time," then we are not as surprised that God maybe "outside of time."

      Entanglement & Omnipresence

      Any change to one of two entangled particles affects the other no matter how far apart they are. In 2012, two particles were separated by 88 miles, and they were still connected and interacting with each other. That was a case of instantaneous proton teleportation from one place to another. Therefore, if a particle can entangle and teleport instantaneously, then theologically, so can God, hence Omnipresence.

      "If Modern Science Science tells us that particles can interact over viable distances, then we are not as surprised that God can interact with humans over viable distances."

      Now, proofs by analogy are not proofs, that's not the point, rather, what seems magic yet possible in physical reality, is very much possible in the case of God.

      "These seemingly mystical qualities about God that we thought were magic, actually have an interesting precedent in Modern Science."

      In all of that, I myself believe that God works outside as well as the bounds of nature according to His Sovereign Divine Will, Wisdom and Command.

      † I read a while back about this experiment, and some scientists believe the nanoseconds out of sync between the two clocks is negligible. I would have to research that to find references.

      June 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Vic

        "In all of that, I myself believe that God works outside as well as within the bounds of nature according to His Sovereign Divine Will, Wisdom and Command."

        June 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        "As everything pretty much has probability, whether it's normal or abnormal. In scientific terms, there is a probability that a particle in nature can violate the Laws of Physics it's bound by, namely Conservation of Energy, aka First Law of Thermodynamics, in this case, and exit its atom without any form of energy. Therefore, if there is a probability that something in this physical nature can violate its laws, what seems to be magic, then theologically, so can God act in seemingly miraculous ways."

        - Completely wrong. Particles do not "violate the laws of Physics". Highly improbable events happen all the time, and they are not "miracles". "Unusual" is not the definition of "miraculous". Fail.

        "Also, by examining the Time & Velocity facet of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, the faster an object goes the slower time progresses until it stops at the Speed of Light, hence, light is outside of time. That has been experimented with through the Hobble-Keating Experiment using two synchronized atomic clocks that went out sync by nanoseconds due to speed travel one of them in space.† Therefore, if light, which is of this world can be outside of time, then theologically, so can God be outside of time, hence Omniscient."

        Wrong again. Light does not exist "outside time". You do not understand Relativity. Fail again. Modern science does not "tell us" anything of the sort.

        "That was a case of instantaneous proton teleportation from one place to another."
        It was not. The mechanism of "sp'o'oky action at a distance is not understood, but it's not "teleportation". Fail for the third time. INFORMATION apparently is transmitted in a way that as of this time, is not understood. It says nothing about gods.

        Then theologically, so can God, hence Omnipresence.
        Perfect example of a non-sequitur. Thank you.

        June 17, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          And BTW, "so can god" is utterly ridiculous. If your deity "can" only do what "nature allows" it to do, it's no god and SUBJECT to nature. It can't both be the creator of, and subject to nature. Existence itself (your god does "exist" right ?) REQUIRES you deity to participate by definition in Reality. Where did Reality come from ? Your god can't have created Reality and yet be required to participate, by definition, in it.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • Vic

          Obviously, you missed the boat on Analogy, Probability, the Double-Slit Experiment, the Theory of Relativity, Entanglement, and the whole premise of the video of the Nexus between Science & God, mind you with severe simple-to-complex non-critical analysis.

          Also, I concluded with my belief that God does operate outside and within the bounds of science and nature according to His Divine Will, Wisdom and command. The "so can God" expression is regarding the "probability" of [a] God that Dr. Enderle is referring to and NOT the "ability" of God, it is to explain to the non-believer that God is possible.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I "missed the boat" on nothing. If that's all you can say to support your nonsense, it's very clear who missed what. YOUR statements reveal your utter lack of knowledge in what you were talking about. You NEED to twist science to make your deity look reasonable, as science is now what humans value most. You can't even do an an'alysis of what you think was wrong, Tricky Vic, nor did you even try. How pathetic.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      "What if... " "What if... " "Eerily similar..."

      What if... God did not exist? Not one law of nature would need to change. Eerie!

      June 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      "What if there is a possibility that God doesn't overstep the bounds of science................

      Since GODS, and there have been many that have come and gone AS THE PRESENT ONES WILL SOMEDAY, are created by humans...they have no power except the power that one believes they have in their OWN HEAD.

      June 18, 2014 at 10:57 am |
      • Dalahäst

        No. God existed before you. And will exist when you die.

        Your theories did not exist before you. They will die when you die. They are just in your OWN HEAD.

        June 18, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          SCIENCE HAS PROVEN no god was necessary for the beginning of this universe...in fact gods didn't appear on this planet for 4,500,000,000 years until the day that MAN CREATED THEM...and then this god was not created until around 400 A.D...so this is the latest NEW GOD....except Mohamed was created in 700 A.D. so hes even NEWER.

          June 19, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Science doesn't prove anything. It takes people using science to prove something.

          Some scientists claim using science they can prove God doesn't exist. Most scientists don't believe that though.

          God created man. Man created gods out of the created things of this world – which were actually idols. And these things were described as being created after the world was created. Thus were not the Creator.

          Mohamed was a prophet. Not God.

          It sounds like you think you are a god. Or that science is your god. Good luck with that, idiotusm.

          June 19, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          Sorry I meant Allah...not Mohamed....and maybe you need a lesson in history...not the so called BIBLE HISTORY FOR THAT IS NOT HISTORY.....it wouldn't hurt you to study the origins of religions and why and what purpose they serve for the uneducated....and history goes back to the accretion of this planet 4,500,000,000 years ago...start there!

          June 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          God was there 4,5000,000,000 years ago. Where were you?

          June 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  5. truthfollower01

    Rosenj,

    I've been trying to get your opinion on this.

    Isaiah 53:9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,and with the rich in his death,though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

    Would you say that the nation of Israel had done no violence nor been deceitful?

    June 17, 2014 at 11:00 am |
    • rosenj72

      Truth,
      This is actually quite simple to explain. Numbers 23:21 in the Hebrew Bible says – He (God) hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. Since obviously Israel sinned before and after this sentence was written, how can a person "understand" the verse?

      The "ideal" version, the "concept" of Israel is without sin or iniquity. Yes, individuals sin, and yes, large portions of the nation sins but God does not view that as a defect in the nation of Israel itself. So to answer your question, Israel (the nation) is sinless in God's eyes (as a son is to a father, hence why the Bible openly time and again refers to Israel as God's "firstborn son"). Christianity basically took these concepts which applied to Israel and moved them to a Jewish man named Jesus. If you want to discuss further, I'd be happy to converse with you via email. Thanks

      June 17, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        I'm curious how you read the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 which foretells the coming of "Messiah the Prince" in 32AD?
        Sir Robert Anderson did a wonderful job of expositing this passage in his work "The Coming Prince."

        The interpretive challenges of the Old Covenant are best understood through a proper understanding of the New Covenant as spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31:31-34 (see also 2 Corinthians 3:14-16 ).

        Israel did not receive their Messiah as was predicted by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 49:7, 53:3, as well as by the psalmist in Psalm 22:6-8 and 69:7-9.

        This is what we gather of the hardening of the Jewish hearts regarding their Messiah:
        John 3:32 – What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.

        John 2:13-24 – The Jews begin to first feel threatened by Jesus when He cleanses the Temple of the money changers
        > Jesus was not received by the Jews as the Messiah because He exposed their hypocrisy (Matthew 23:13-36) and they feared that they would lose their influence and power over the people

        John 7:13, 30, 44, 9:22-24, 12:42, 19:38, 20:19 – the people feared the power of the religious leaders who could put someone out of the synagogue (they believed that the religious leaders had charge over their eternal souls, their destiny, and their place in the Kingdom), so they desired to please their leaders and honor their decisions, and anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.

        John 5:1-16, 7:1, 14, 19, 25, 11:53 – The Jews used the reason that Jesus “violated the Sabbath” (by miraculously healing on the Sabbath) as reason to begin their persecution of Him, then Jesus uses that opportunity to proclaim to them that He is God, and even though the Jews were first astonished at His teaching, because He claimed to be God, (and He exposed the hypocrisy of the religious leaders), they desired from then on to kill Him

        John 5:18, 8:52-59, 10:19-33 – even though the deity of Christ was attested to by many signs and miracles, and the Jews openly said that they recognized that He was from God because of His miracles (John 3:2), because He had constantly exposed their hypocrisy, when He verbally made Himself out to be God to the Jews, they wanted to kill Him

        Oddly enough, although the people overwhelmingly regarded John the Baptist as a prophet (Matthew 3:1-17, 11:9, 14:5, 16:13-14, 21:25-26, 6:20, Luke 1:76, 20:6) – which meant that they regarded what he said as coming from God – because they felt threatened by Jesus, when John testified to the deity of Jesus (John 1:1-51, John 3:26-30), they still would not believe him – revealing even more of the Jewish leader’s hypocrisy

        Deuteronomy 13 – since the penalty for a false prophet is a death sentence, if they regarded John as a true prophet of God, why didn’t they believe him when he testified to the divinity of Jesus? If they felt that John was a false prophet, why didn’t they kill him?

        John the Baptist’s qualifications as a prophet:
        Isaiah 40:3; Luke 3:2-6; John 1:22-23; Matthew 11:10 – Isaiah prophesied about one who would be a voice in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord. Both John and Jesus repeatedly stated that John's work was a fulfillment of this prophecy. (Malachi 4:5-6, Matthew 3:1-3, 11:14, 17:10-13, Mark 1:2-4, Luke 1:17)

        Luke 1:5-22 – Before John was conceived, the angel Gabriel appeared to his father Zacharias and predicted that John would be great in the sight of the Lord, would turn many to the Lord, and would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah.

        Luke 1:59-80 – At the time of John's birth, Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied (v67) that John would be a prophet of God to prepare the way of the Lord and give people a knowledge of salvation by remission of sins

        June 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Wow... I just saw how long that post was... Sorry about that.

          June 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Theo, here's the traditional Jewish interpretation of Daniel 70 – http://rosenj72.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/daniels-70-weeks/

          June 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Rosenj,

        Rosenj,

        "The “ideal” version, the “concept” of Israel is without sin or iniquity."

        This is not reality. Israel was very rebellious to God, as all created humans are at some point. See Hosea 9:1
        Rejoice not, O Israel!
        Exult not like the peoples;
        for you have played the who-re, forsaking your God.
        You have loved a prost-itute's wages
        on all threshing floors.

        "Yes, individuals sin, and yes, large portions of the nation sins"

        Not just large portions. Everyone. Even Isaiah himself says in Isaiah 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
        Notice that Isaiah includes himself as a sheep who has gone astray. Everyone has gone astray except the One whom God laid the iniquity on, Jesus.

        "but God does not view that as a defect in the nation of Israel itself."

        Apart from the sinful people who make up the nation of Israel, how are you identifying the nation?

        I do have a few questions I'm interested to get your perspective on.

        1. What do think about the historical Jesus?
        2. Are you still looking for the Messiah?
        3. Do you live under the Mosaic regulations?

        June 17, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    The King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway. Instead they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve. So.... 21st century christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from the 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    June 17, 2014 at 1:09 am |
    • awanderingscot

      says who? no one believes the crap that comes out of your mouth.

      June 17, 2014 at 7:55 am |
      • igaftr

        How ironic scot, claiming people don't believe him, when you have been caught lying, citing sources that even the source says not to cite, posted known hoaxes as if they were real, and then your standard insults when you finally realize that you are wrong. You clearly do not understand the science you try to debunk.
        Simply pathetic. Get some education, and grow up.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:18 am |
        • awanderingscot

          ig
          still haven't figured it out have you, you're baseless rants mean nothing to me

          June 17, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          @igaftr

          I think our problem as Atheists on this forum has always been that when swapping posts with wandering scots and finishers and dalahasts and tophers, we always stick to facts and reality and are bound by those parameters. Unfortunately, in the magical fantasy world of "belief" that they live in, their posts quite naturally wander off into magic and fantasy and mysticism because they believe it. They are not bound by facts and reality. Their cognitive dissonance allows them, without shame, to lie endlessly and ignore facts totally for what they see as the greater good. Their belief.

          As history has shown, our victories over wandering scots and followers and dalahasts and tophers will be the exception rather than the rule. Even though we have the facts and the truth overwhelmingly with us, it's a pointless battle sometimes.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          Baeless rant?
          I said you posted hoaxes as if they were real...YOU are the one who claimed chariot wheels in the Red sea...a known hoax.
          YOU are the one who cited a resource that specifically said NOT to cite it.
          YOU are the one who is constantly name calling, changing peoples names and showing no respect for anyone.

          That is not a rant, and it is based on YOUR posts ( which themselves are baseless)
          Again. Get an education and grow up.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • igaftr

          Yeah Doc, I get it, it is just amazing how these people claim to be Christians, and then do so many things that go against his alleged teachings.
          The childish name calling, the blatant lies, the self delusion, non-logic, false logic, claims of "knowing" god exists and then claiming to have an open mind...fascinating from a psychology standpoint. What is really scary is when one of these guys gets into government, like the guy on OK that wants to stone gay people, the rep in NC that wants a state religion. or GHW Bush who claimed athesists are not patriots and should not be citizens...really scary stuff.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • rosenj72

          To my Atheist friends – Just as an FYI, I am a man of faith however I truly believe in science (i.e. Big Bang is a fact, evolution of species is a fact) however I see no contradiction between Science and the Jewish faith. Unlike Christianity, Judaism accepts that science is how the world operates. In fact, one of the Hebrew words for God is (Sha-ddai) which quite literally means "sufficient" as in through nature. This was always explained to us to convey that God works within the bounds of nature. In fact, the splitting of the sea in the Hebrew Bible shows that a wind blew over the Red Sea which in and of itself was not "miraculous" which is why the Egyptians followed according to the story.

          In essence, I think you'll find a very different conversation when speaking with Jews as we inherently understand that many of the Jewish texts were not always meant to be taken literally which is why Christians have such problems connecting science and Christian doctrine. I hope this makes sense. Thanks

          June 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
        • igaftr

          rosen
          You do realize that no a single one of the supernatural events in the bible have ever been verified and some have even been proven false. The alleged parting of the Red Sea, there were many iron wheeled chariots that should have been lost, but no matter how many people have looked ( some with extremely advanced sensing equipment) no trace has ever been found. There was a well known hoax, but nothing real. ( the hoax even recently used as evidence by one miguided believer...what a laugh)

          There continues to be absolutely nothng verifying any of the supernatural claims of the bible, or any other religious text.

          June 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @igaftr

          "there were many iron wheeled chariots that should have been lost"
          ------------
          Egyptian chariot wheels were wooden. There was no metal used in the construction at all.

          And Rosen is telling you that he interprets the 'parting' of the sea as some kind of natural phenomenon, not a miracle. If you want to stipulate that the 'escape' in Exodus is historical, the dramatic accounts of Pharoh's army being on the heels of a mult.itude of Jews straggling along with their tents and their goats and their pots and their food is absurd in any context.

          Imagine a hypothetical origin of the story where they crossed over on an isthmus / sand bar that was uncovered at low tide. Long after they cross, the Egyptians arrive as the tide starts to comes in with a long way around. Then the story grows with repeated telling.

          June 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          In any case the most plausible answer is Lake Timsah – a reedy bog.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Red_Sea

          June 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • bostontola

          Mr. Rosen,

          I appreciate that most Jews don't perceive the bible literally. That is a good thing since it conflicts with some basic scientific facts. But I'm more curious about things like the bible condoning slavery. How do Jews reconcile that?

          Another question is, if the bible must be interpreted by people, then there is no absolute truth. If there is no absolute truth, then how can the existence of the biblical God be regarded as true?

          June 17, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Ugh... I wrote an entire few paragraphs in response but of course CNN deleted it and I don't have it saved. Can you send me your email address and I'll write up my answer when I have a chance. You can put it on my blog page under a comment. Thanks

          June 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Boston,
          Since It's towards the end of the day and I'm tired🙂 and my long response was deleted by CNN I'll shorten it up a bit...
          Judaism has never condoned slavery and the "slavery" spoken of in the Jewish Bible is actually indentured servitude. Indentured servants owed money or property to their lenders but didn't have the means to pay so they worked for a maximum of 7 years at which time the sabbatical year absolved them from their "bondage". The servant had the same status as a member of the family because the scriptures demanded that the Israelites feed them, clothe them and not let them work on the Sabbath or festivals. The Israelites were not allowed to mistreat them, it's one of the 613 Mosaic commandments. It's really not much different than servants today who work for wealthy people. Judaism has never condoned slavery and the Jewish scriptures are clear on this. I would argue that we are all indentured servants today; we work to pay off debt to the bank for our house, our credit cards, our cars, it's no different today than it was back then.

          Now, with regards to scriptures. Please understand that the Jewish Bible was written by Jews for Jews and can only fully be understood properly within this context. The Bible was never designed to be a self interpreting book and the reason that God chose a nation to convey his message is similar to the DMV who hires driving instructors to explain the written exam. I happen to have a commercial and flight instructor license from the FAA. If I were to give you a flight manual, could you start the aircraft, taxi to the runway and take off without guided instruction from me? I don't think so. The Jewish scriptures were not meant to be taken by every Johnny come lately religion and self interpreted, they were designed to be taught by the people who wrote them. I have been a Jew all my life and my father and his father and his father, all the way back have been Jews. The knowledge that I was taught didn't change during the reformation, it was passed on for thousands of years. This is why there are 3 Jewish denominations today (2 started only a couple of hundred years ago) but 31,000 different Christian denominations all fighting on who has the "correct" version. So in short, there is a moral authority and an absolute truth when the Bible is explained by the people who wrote it. When you study from a Christian, the Hebrew scriptures and New testament contradict themselves on a fundamental level which makes it very hard for people to take seriously. I truly respect and admire my Christian friends but I resent how they each believe they possess the only true interpretation. Of course, none of them can read, write or speak Hebrew or Aramaic like I can (and 99% of Orthodox Jews) because if they actually did, they would realize how foolish the notion of Jesus within the context of Jewish scriptures sounds. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions. Shalom

          June 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Boston,
          Since It's towards the end of the day and I'm tired🙂 and my long response was deleted by CNN I'll shorten it up a bit...
          Judaism has never condoned sla.very and the "sla.very" spoken of in the Jewish Bible is actually indentured servitude. Indentured ser.vants owed money or property to their lenders but didn't have the means to pay so they worked for a maximum of 7 years at which time the sabbatical year absolved them from their "bon.dage". The ser.vant had the same status as a member of the family because the scriptures demanded that the Israelites feed them, clothe them and not let them work on the Sabbath or festivals. The Israelites were not allowed to mistreat them, it's one of the 613 Mosaic commandments. It's really not much different than serv.ants today who work for wealthy people. Judaism has never condoned slav.ery and the Jewish scriptures are clear on this. I would argue that we are all indentured serv.ants today; we work to pay off debt to the bank for our house, our credit cards, our cars, it's no different today than it was back then.

          Now, with regards to scriptures. Please understand that the Jewish Bible was written by Jews for Jews and can only fully be understood properly within this context. The Bible was never designed to be a self interpreting book and the reason that God chose a nation to convey his message is similar to the DMV who hires driving instructors to explain the written exam. I happen to have a commercial and flight instructor license from the FAA. If I were to give you a flight manual, could you start the aircraft, taxi to the runway and take off without guided instruction from me? I don't think so. The Jewish scriptures were not meant to be taken by every Johnny come lately religion and self interpreted, they were designed to be taught by the people who wrote them. I have been a Jew all my life and my father and his father and his father, all the way back have been Jews. The knowledge that I was taught didn't change during the reformation, it was passed on for thousands of years. This is why there are 3 Jewish denominations today (2 started only a couple of hundred years ago) but 31,000 different Christian denominations all fighting on who has the "correct" version. So in short, there is a moral authority and an absolute truth when the Bible is explained by the people who wrote it. When you study from a Christian, the Hebrew scriptures and New testament contradict themselves on a fundamental level which makes it very hard for people to take seriously. I truly respect and admire my Christian friends but I resent how they each believe they possess the only true interpretation of the very scriptures my ancestors wrote. Of course, none of them can even read, write or speak Hebrew or Aramaic like I can (and 99% of Orthodox Jews) because if they actually did, they would realize how foolish the notion of Je.sus within the context of Jewish scriptures sounds. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions. Shalom

          June 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          Mr. Rosen,
          I don't give out email, but if you respond on your blog and let me know, I'll check it out.
          Thanks.

          June 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • igaftr

          GOP'r
          You are mostly correct, for the most part metal was not used, but there were quite a few improvements that were implimented such as metal on the axles to reduce wear, but during the alleged exodus, they would likely not have had those improvements. I stand corrected.

          June 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Rosenj,

          "When you study from a Christian, the Hebrew scriptures and New testament contradict themselves on a fundamental level"

          Do you care to elaborate on this?

          June 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          'The Bible was never designed to be a self interpreting book'
          ----------------
          I like this observation very much. Our Protestant friends here will struggle with it.

          Catholics and the Orthodox would agree with the observation, though as you point out, they have the same interpretation issues you note.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          By the way – I suggest that you don't use the smiley emoticons. They were abused by some particularly abusive posters here and now warrant instant moderation.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          rosenj72
          God didn't choose a nation. The nation chose the god. Yahweh Sabaoth was the 70th son of the Babylonian chief god, the god of the armies, They wanted help in their battles, That's why they chose him, All the rest is cooked up BS.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Bucky,
          I've noticed on your posts sometimes that you appear to be hostile to those who profess a belief in God. While I understand that it can be frustrating to speak with fundamentalist Christians, all people of faith are not ignorant or stupid. I can't use other groups as examples, however I think that most people would agree that the Jewish nation, albeit the smallest of all nations (about 16 million people in the world) is disproportionate in our contribution to society. Some of the greatest philosophers, doctors, lawyers, artists, scientists were all members of the Jewish faith. If Judaism was a "stupid" B.S. religion that produced idiots, why are 1/3 of all Nobel Prize winning scientists Jews? Where is the logic that produces some of the finest lawyers in the world? The answer is in the study of the Jewish scriptures and every Jew would tell you that analysis of the Bible, our tradition and our faith is what motivates Jews to be the best we can be. It is the complexity and beauty of the Hebrew Bible that has an impact on the people who study it. Of course there are many other intelligent nationalities in the world that each have their own reason for their success but for the Jew, we believe it to be God's blessing that is the cause of our success. Science and religion (Judaism) can coexist very well and I would encourage you to read Dr. Gerald Schroeder, world renowned MIT Scientist, Nuclear Physicist and Orthodox Rabbi about how Science and Hebrew Scriptures are in perfect harmony. You can find one of his articles here – http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html – Thank you for the conversation, Shalom

          June 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Actually, the history of the King James Bible's authorship is fascinating.
      The King decreed that 54 of the greatest, most learned scholars in the kingdom would be divided into groups, each tasked with translating different sections of the Bible.
      At Westminster, 10 scholars were given Genesis through 2 Kings and 7 worked on Romans through Jude. A group of 8 did 1 Chronicles through Ecclesiates while 7 translated the Apocrypha at Cambridge. 7 did Isaiah to Malachi at Oxford alongside 8 others who did the Gospels, Acts and Revelation.

      Though they referred to the original Greek (especially Erasmus' type-o ridden work) and Hebrew text as much as they could when they were available, they frequently went back to other translations for help since they had all of them at their disposal.
      Their list of sources was extensive! They went to the Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, Greek, or Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch, the Greek editions of Erasmus, Stephanus, and Beza were all accessible, as were the Complutensian and Antwerp Polyglots, and the Latin translations of Pagninus, Termellius, and Beza.

      For years they toiled with the meticulous translations until 2 representatives from each group assembled at Stationers' Hall in London for the final review and revisions.

      400 years later, it stands as arguably the most accurate of The Holy Bible praised for its simplicity and poetry.

      June 17, 2014 at 8:57 am |
  7. rosenj72

    Have a good night everyone, it's been fun. Till later, Shalom.

    June 16, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      Goodnight. Thank you for the open conversation.

      June 16, 2014 at 11:53 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      I'm interested to know how you understand Isaiah 9:6,7

      "6 For to us a child is born,
      to us a son is given,
      and the government will be on his shoulders.
      And he will be called
      Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
      7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
      there will be no end.
      He will reign on David’s throne
      and over his kingdom,
      establishing and upholding it
      with justice and righteousness
      from that time on and forever.
      The zeal of the Lord Almighty
      will accomplish this."

      June 17, 2014 at 12:26 am |
      • rosenj72

        Truthfollower1,
        Let us look at two translations of the Isaiah 9 prophecy, the original Hebrew version of Isaiah 9:6 says “For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us, and the authority is upon his shoulder, the wondrous adviser, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, called his name the prince of peace.” Next, let us look at the Christian King James Version of the Bible Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” There are multiple errors in the translation of this passage which we shall now discuss. First of all, let us look at the tense in this sentence. Isaiah lived 800 years before the birth of Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 says a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us and the authority is upon his shoulder. Had this prophecy been referring to Jesus, the birth would have been future tense, a son will be born a son will be given to us and the authority will be on his shoulder. Instead, the Hebrew Scriptures speak of an event that already happened, eight hundred years prior to the birth of Jesus. Even the KJV says “unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given” however the tense following that sentence was modified for “the government to be [future] on his shoulders” which is inconsistent with the rest of the text in the passage. In addition to the translational error in tense which changes an event that already happened into one that will happen; the KJV also changes the punctuation so that the child is called “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. The correct punctuation in Hebrew says that this child who IS the wondrous advisor was called the Prince of Peace, BY the mighty God, the everlasting father. In other words, it was God who called the name of this child, the prince of peace. By repositioning the Hebrew punctuation, the KJV misleads the reader into thinking that God himself is being born by being called, the mighty God. In fact, the reason this event is in the past tense [800 years before Jesus] was because this was speaking about the birth of King Hezekiah in the previous chapter [Isaiah 8]. King Hezekiah was called ‘Sar Shalom’ which means prince of peace in Hebrew. In addition, he was also called Immanuel or “God is with us” since the name Hezekiah means God is my strength. If one reads Isaiah Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 together, one will see that the Child that was born was the child in the previous chapter and not the birth of Jesus eight centuries in the future. The use of past tense on a future prophecy, as well as the repositioning of punctuation proves that this prophecy could not possibly be referring to Jesus born centuries later from the time this was written. This is nothing more than an error in translation and punctuation which is obvious if one reads the entire chapters 8 and 9 in succession.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:01 am |
        • bostontola

          Mr. Rosen,
          I enjoy your posts, they are well founded and not antagonistic.

          I am curious about your assessment of how well Jesus would be scored by the OT criteria for the Messiah. My understanding is there are many messiahs, it just being an anointed one, but there are specific criteria for the 'Davidic' Messiah.

          My reading of the criteria in the OT leaves me with a clear impression. The criteria are concrete, i.e. they are directly observable as having been met or not. They aren't va.gue, or poetic metaphors, they are very pragmatic definitions that are either met or not.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • rosenj72

          Boston,
          Thank you for your kind remarks. You hit the nail on the head with regards to the Messiah and how Moses showed the Jewish nation what to look for. "Faith" is not a viable criteria for determining the Messiah. Faith is only used in the Christian understanding of Jesus because he failed to fulfil any of the criteria for being the Messiah. According to Jewish scriptures the Messiah will change the world for the better, a person won't need faith to see this, they will open their eyes and see a changed world. Since the concept of "Messiah" was created by the Jewish people, it amazes me how Christianity has consistently changed our criteria. In essence they hijacked our meaning and tell us we don't understand it. There are dozens of verses that support the "Jewish" view of the "Jewish" scriptures but when Christians start to twist the meaning, it all falls apart. Actually, this is one reason why many Christians become Atheist. Once they start to look at how weak the threads are holding together the Christian faith, they start to fall away completely and deny the existence of God altogether. My point is that is one reads the scriptures using the Jewish interpretation (since we actually wrote the scriptures) one would find significantly more symmetry and harmony between the various books and not the jumbled mess a person finds when he examines Christianity.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • rosenj72

          Boston,
          Thank you for your kind remarks. You hit the nail on the head with regards to the Mes.siah and how Mo.ses showed the Jewish nation what to look for. "Faith" is not a viable criteria for determining the Mes.siah. Faith is only used in the Christian understanding of Jes.us because he failed to fulfil any of the criteria for being the Mes.siah. According to Jewish scr.iptures the Mes.siah will change the world for the better, a person won't need faith to see this, they will open their eyes and see a changed world. Since the concept of "Mes.siah" was created by the Jewish people, it amazes me how Chr.istianity has consistently changed our criteria. In essence they hija.cked our meaning and tell us we don't understand it. There are dozens of verses that support the "Jewish" view of the "Jewish" scriptures but when Chr.istians start to twist the meaning, it all falls apart. Actually, this is one reason why many Chri.stians become Atheist. Once they start to look at how weak the threads are holding together the Chri.stian faith, they start to fall away completely and deny the existence of God altogether. My point is that if one reads the scriptures using the Jewish interpretation (since we actually wrote the scriptures) one would find significantly more symmetry and harmony between the various books and not the jumbled mess a person finds when he examines Chri.stianity.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Rosenj,

          So to clarify, what you are saying is that English translations (NASB, NIV, ESV, etc) have mistranslated this section? Do you care to expound on this punctuational misinterpretation that is causing this?

          "In addition, he was also called Immanuel or “God is with us” since the name Hezekiah means God is my strength."

          This is a non-sequitur.

          I noticed you left out commenting on verse 7.

          7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
          there will be no end.
          He will reign on David’s throne
          and over his kingdom,
          establishing and upholding it
          with justice and righteousness
          from that time on and forever.

          Would you say this is true of Hezekiah's reign? Surely you know it's not.

          Also,

          "According to Jewish scr.iptures the Mes.siah will change the world for the better,"

          Jesus did change the world for the better. It is through Him and and what He accomplished on the cross that one can have hope.

          June 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "“In addition, he was also called Immanuel or “God is with us” since the name Hezekiah means God is my strength.”

          This is a non-sequitur."

          After consideration, non-sequitur may not be the best term to use here. To drive home the point, imagine if you said to someone, "You are God is my strength". Now imagine if you said, "You are God with us." I hope you can see the difference. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.

          June 18, 2014 at 1:00 am |
        • rosenj72

          Truth,
          Here's the issue I have with your explanation, first of all Jesus was never called Immanuel "God is with us". The Hebrew name Jesus (Yeshua or Yehoshua) means to deliver. Yehoshua (Joshua) was a common name and Joshua ben Nun led the Jewish people into Israel from Egypt, no one considered him to be God or the Son of God even though he had the same name as Jesus. Second, if you read Isaiah Chapter 8, you will clearly see that the young boy named Immanuel was born in that Chapter. So to put Isaiah in context, Chapter 7 prophecies the birth of Immanuel, Chapter 8 the boy Immanuel is born and Chapter 9 is his mission. You claim that Jesus is Immanuel but in Chapter 8, Verse 8 God himself calls the new born boy (from verse 3) Immanuel. The young boy was given two names, one by his father (Maher Shalal Hashbaz) and one by his Mother, Immanuel. Isaiah was written 800 years before the birth of Jesus. The child whose destiny falls on his shoulders in Chapter 9, is the son of the King born in Chapter 8. Also, if you say that the woman was a virgin, then Jesus becomes the second virgin birth as the woman who this story is referring to must have also been a virgin (which she was not). So, please explain to me, who is the baby Immanuel born in Chapter 8?

          June 18, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          You're involved in a discussion of FICTION.....the BIBLE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REAL WORLD HISTORY....SO WHAT DOES any of this matter...it's like asking why Santa Lives at the north pole where its so cold and there are no raw materials for him to make all the things he delivers to children.....do you know why he lives there???? I do!

          June 19, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • truthfollower01

          rosenj72,

          Here’s the issue I have with your explanation, first of all Jesus was never called Immanuel “God is with us”.

          Matthew 1:22,23

          Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

          Concerning Isaiah 7:14, I'd like to get your opinion on the following video which can be seen on YouTube.

          "Episode 18 – "Objections based on Messianic Prophecy: The Messiah in the Torah? Isaiah 7:14"

          Please watch times 12:10 – 25:27.

          June 20, 2014 at 12:24 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          The problem i have with all of it is that it is fictional fantasy crap....like discussing whether Santa had 8 or 20 reindeer ....it doesn't MATTER.

          June 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • observer

          truthfollower01,

          Why should ANYONE think you have any credibility when you HIDE from answering questions and just keep spamming the same Hitler-obsessed nonsense?

          June 20, 2014 at 12:28 am |
    • Vic

      From my Christian perspective:

      Some of Isaiah's main prophecies of the Lord Jesus Christ:

      Isaiah 7:14
      "14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." (NASB)

      Isaiah 9:6
      "6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
      And the government will rest on His shoulders;
      And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
      Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (NASB)

      & Isaiah 53

      Besides Isaiah's prophecies, David described the promised Messiah as his Lord.

      Psalms 110:1
      "110 The Lord says to my Lord:
      “Sit at My right hand
      Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”" (NASB)

      Mark 12:35-37
      "35 And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself said in the Holy Spirit,
      ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
      “Sit at My right hand,
      Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet.”’
      37 David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him." (NASB)

      June 17, 2014 at 12:33 am |
      • rosenj72

        Check out my answer on http://rosenj72.wordpress.com/

        June 17, 2014 at 8:06 am |
        • Vic

          I really appreciate your thorough examination of Isaiah's believed by Christians prophecies concerning Jesus Christ—I read your posts here as well as your entire WordPress post.

          While I believe you have a good grip on the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6, I still believe the verbiage of Isaiah 53 is most certainly clearer in favor of the Christian interpretation of one person being the subject.

          Here is an excerpt:

          Isaiah 53:3-6

          "3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
          A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
          And like one from whom men hide their face
          He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

          4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
          And our sorrows He carried;
          Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
          Smitten of God, and afflicted.

          5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
          He was crushed for our iniquities;
          The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
          And by His scourging we are healed.

          6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
          Each of us has turned to his own way;
          But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
          To fall on Him." (NASB)

          I couldn't find anything in your posts explaining David's description of the promised Messiah as his Lord.

          At any rate, I would like to ask you, who do you think Jesus of Nazareth was, and why did he appear to the Jews?

          June 17, 2014 at 10:00 am |
      • idiotusmaximus

        It's all crap....don't you people get that the bible and gods have nothing to do with reality?

        June 20, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  8. unsername1

    “My ancestors would be proud of me, and if one day I get to have children of my own, I’d love to pass on this beautiful cultural baggage,”

    I thought he said he was a gay!!! Or he is confused.

    June 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Time to join the 21st Century dear.

      June 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
  9. rosenj72

    http://rosenj72.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/isaiah-53/

    June 16, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      I have to be honest. It appears to me that you are really reaching to try and make the nation of Israel the suffering Servant.

      Question.

      Isaiah 53:9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,and with the rich in his death,though he had done no violence,
      nor was any deceit in his mouth.

      Would you say that the nation of Israel had done no violence nor been deceitful?

      June 16, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
      • rosenj72

        So I'm reaching because Isaiah says Israel is the Servant about 12 times but the name of Jesus isn't mentioned once? The fact is that throughout history, innocent Jewish men, women and children have been brutally and senselessly murdered in the name of "Christ". The inquisitions, pogroms, holocausts were all against many Jews who had ended up being buried with the wicked. Understand that Isaiah was written 800 years before Christianity. To assume that Christians have the "right" interpretation but the very people who wrote it don't is nonsense. It was the Jewish people who wrote and translated the scriptures. The King James version was written in the 1500's, over 2,000 years after Isaiah. You can certainly translate Isaiah any way you want but to ignore Isaiah's own words show how Christians try to squeeze in a false narrative. Why else would Jeremiah 16:19 say: O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the Gentile nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit".

        June 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          "The fact is that throughout history, innocent Jewish men, women and children have been brutally and senselessly murdered in the name of “Christ”. The inquisitions, pogroms, holocausts were all against many Jews who had ended up being buried with the wicked."

          Just because something is carried out in the name of Jesus doesn't mean that it aligns with Jesus and His teachings.

          "Understand that Isaiah was written 800 years before Christianity. To assume that Christians have the “right” interpretation but the very people who wrote it don’t is nonsense."

          What was the people who wrote its' interpretation? Where are you getting your information from concerning their interpretation?

          "It was the Jewish people who wrote and translated the scriptures. The King James version was written in the 1500′s, over 2,000 years after Isaiah."

          What does this have to do with translating the Dead Sea Scrolls, of which we have the Isaiah manuscript.

          "You can certainly translate Isaiah any way you want"

          An obvious glance at this shows it is Jesus. There is absolutely no way around this.

          Question.

          Isaiah 53:9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,and with the rich in his death,though he had done no violence,
          nor was any deceit in his mouth.

          Would you say that the nation of Israel had done no violence nor been deceitful?

          June 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
        • Akira

          TF, rosenj is Jewish. S/he made that plain in the blog post on Isaiah.
          I hardly think that a) your standard Christianity conversion quiz is going to change anything, and b) you have any better understanding of the Hebrew Bible than he does; it IS his Bible, after all.
          You are viewing it through a Christian lens, and s/he, a Jewish one.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Akira,

          "TF, rosenj is Jewish. S/he made that plain in the blog post on Isaiah."

          I know h/she is a follower of Judaism.

          "I hardly think that a) your standard Christianity conversion quiz is going to change anything,"

          This uses everyone's God-given conscience and shows all their need of a Savior for rebelling against God, Jewish or not.

          "it IS his Bible, after all."

          It is also my Bible. H/she rejects the New Testament.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
        • Akira

          And you reject Judaism.
          Stalemate.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Why stalemate?

          June 16, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Akira,

          I believe God can change Rosenj's heart.

          June 17, 2014 at 12:00 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz
          After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction. "By his knowing [pain and sacrifice], my righteous servant makes many righteous; it is for their sins that he suffers. – Isaiah 53:11, Complete Jewish Bible
          After this ordeal, [Christ] will see satisfaction. "By [Christ] knowing [pain and sacrifice], my righteous servant (Christ) makes many righteous; it is for their sins that [Christ] suffers. – paraphrased correctly
          After this ordeal, [Israel] will see satisfaction. "By [Israel] knowing [pain and sacrifice], my righteous servant (Israel) makes many righteous; it is for their sins that [Israel] suffers. – your version
          – Read the full chapter for the entire context, it is clear Isaiah is speaking of the Messiah. It is through His bearing their iniquities that many are saved.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:01 am |
        • rosenj72

          Scot,
          The suffering Servant isn't Jesus. His name isn't mentioned a single time, not once in all of Jewish scripture. However Israel as the metaphorical "Servant" and "son" is listed dozens of times all throughout the Bible. To think that Isaiah would write an entire book about Israel which is what he did and then in the middle of it all magically change the story to be about Jesus but not tell anyone and never mention his name is utter nonsense and shows how desperate Christians are to fit Jesus into scriptures. If you Read more than one chapter it's obvious who he is talking about. The reason that Christians cherry pick a single chapter is because that's the only way you can infer Jesus into the storyline. Read the book, not just the chapter.

          June 17, 2014 at 8:19 am |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          What does the Bible say about Christian HYPOCRITES like you who LIE about people?

          June 17, 2014 at 1:11 am |
        • observer

          awanderingscot,

          Still CLUELESS?

          June 17, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Ob
          didn't lie about you at all, you're an unregenerate dog.

          June 17, 2014 at 8:00 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          "didn't lie about you at all, you're an unregenerate dog."
          That is an obvious lie. First, dogs don't type so he must not be a dog, and as far as unregenerate, that is a ridiculous word based on your BELIEF that you are "born again" which is something you cannot show to be anything more than imagination, so you can't show anyone or anything had been regenerated. insults based on YOUR bel;ief only are always going to fall short of the mark.
          What is it in you that feels the need to insult everyone continuosly, did you learn that from Jesus?

          June 17, 2014 at 8:23 am |
      • rosenj72

        The concept of Atonement is another point of disagreement between Christianity and Judaism. Christians believe that only the shed blood of the perfect Lamb of God [Jesus] is capable of washing away sin. Besides the logical problems with this concept, such as God creating a world with sin and having everyone go to Hell until after the death of Jesus some 4,000 years after creation, the Hebrew Bible never required human sacrifices for atonement. It is incomprehensible how one can believe that a loving and merciful God would create a world containing sin, yet would not give mankind a way to atone for it until a 4,000 year waiting period was completed for the death of his son. This is tantamount to creating an office building and not putting fire exits in the structure until an actual fire broke out, by then it would be too late. The means [repentance] was built into the very fabric of creation. The fire exits were built, before the office building opened for business. In Judaism, repentance has always been a necessary and accessible means of atonement since the very moment of creation.

        Judaism has always held belief in the biblical concept of Teshuvah, which means “return to God”. When someone is penitent and feels remorse and regret for the sins they have committed, they are immediately returned to favor with God and all their sins are forgiven. To a Jew, the most important question is not “how are we saved?” which is what Christians ask, but how can I best serve my God? As such, God gave the Jewish people 613 commandments to help us improve our lives and build a stronger connection to him. The more we strive to follow the commandments, the closer we come to understanding God and his role in our lives. Let us look at how the Torah instructs both Jews and Gentiles on the proper way to get saved.

        Isaiah 1:16 – Wash, cleanse yourselves, remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes, cease to do evil. Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the robbed, perform justice for the orphan, and plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us debate, says the Lord. If your sins prove to be like crimson, they will become white as snow; if they prove to be as red as crimson dye, they shall become as white wool.

        God requires more than just faith; he also requires that we stop doing evil and perform acts of kindness. In fact, Isaiah 3:10 says “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds”. As Jews, we believe that what we do in this world, directly impacts us in the next which is why God is so concerned with how we live. A Gentile who lives a life of kindness and love for his fellow man is guaranteed a place in Heaven.

        Hosea 14:2 “Take words with you and return [Teshuvah] to the Lord. Say to him: Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the bulls [sacrifices] of our lips”. Here, Hosea shows us that words enable us to return to the Lord If we ask him to forgive our sins, he will; this is the concept of repentance.

        Psalms 51:16 & 17 “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”. King David shows us that sacrifices are not needed or wanted; God requires only a broken heart. If one is truly repentant, God always forgives. We do not need anyone’s shed blood to atone for us.

        Hosea 6:6 “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings”. Once again, no sacrifice needed or wanted. God just wants our acknowledgement.

        Jonah 2:1 & 9 “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord”. Again we see that Jonah’s song of thanks to the Lord was considered a sacrifice. God heard his call and saved him.

        Psalms 50:14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me”. God desires the “sacrifices” of prayer and thank offerings for salvation. He does not desire the blood of goats or of men.

        Psalms 40:6 “You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I understand you do not require burnt offerings or sin offerings.” It doesn’t get clearer than this.

        1 Samuel 15:22 “But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams”. Here, Samuel clearly shows that “faith” is only part of the equation. Obeying the voice of the Lord is better than sacrifice.

        The Hebrew word for sacrifice is ‘Korban’ which is a derivative of the word ‘Karov’ meaning to ‘come close’. The concept of sacrifice is not that the blood itself atones for you; the concept of a sacrifice is that you feel remorse that it should have been you that is punished to die, but instead, an innocent animal is being killed because of you. The blood provides a way to help you atone and ‘come closer’ to God. The purpose of the sacrifice was that when you participate in slaughtering an animal, you commit yourself to try and sin-less because you don't want to take another creature’s life. The sacrificial process was designed to develop compassion, remorse and sensitivity in the offender; however, since the intentional sinner is unapologetic and lacks these necessary characteristics, the sacrifice cannot absolve him of guilt. This is why the Bible specifically states that the sacrifices were only for unintentional sins [Leviticus 4:2, 4:13, 4:22, 4:27, 5:15 and 5:18]. This is extremely logical because if someone sins intentionally, knowing full well that they would need to slaughter an animal, they really don’t care that another living creature must die and therefore the sacrifice itself will not expiate the sin.

        The only way to completely atone for intentional sin is through repentance and this is the concept of the sacrifice. Now, blood was the best way for atonement because it required the sinner to play an active role in the sacrificial process by giving up and slaughtering his own animal, however not everyone owned animals which is why God arranged alternate processes to give flour and money as atonement offerings. Exodus 30:15 states “The rich shall give no more, and the poor shall give no less than half a shekel, with which to give the offering to the Lord, to atone for your souls. You shall take the silver of the atonements from the children of Israel and use it for the work of the Tent of Meeting; it shall be a remembrance for the children of Israel before the Lord, to atone for your souls." The fact that the Bible says that the money was atonement for your souls, shows that blood alone was not needed. In addition to money, when people were unable to give an animal they were permitted to use fine flour for the sin expiation process. Leviticus 5:11 “But if he cannot afford two turtle doves or two young doves, then he shall bring as his sacrifice for his sin one tenth of an ephah [measurement] of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall not put oil over it, nor shall he place frankincense upon it, for it is a sin offering. However, the flour and money also only worked when repentance was part of the process. In fact, money is still used as an offering today in conjunction with other forms of repentance. God provided Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, [Leviticus 16:30] once a year to atone for our sins. We are to afflict our souls by fasting, which is abstinence from eating or drinking for a 25 hour period. The Torah says in the passage that the day itself atones for our sins, once again, only if we are penitent.

        Using this logic, it now becomes crystal clear why all the prophets above said God doesn't need sacrifices. It was because the whole purpose of the sacrifice was only to make you repent, if someone repents than that is truly what God wants. Active participation in the sacrificial process was the means through which the person was able to ‘come close’ to God in order to feel remorse. The concept that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and that the sinner had no part in the atonement process completely contradicts the entire point of the Korban Sacrifice. If however, we actively repent and feel remorse for our transgressions we come close to God through our own actions and do not require an animal sacrifice. Human sacrifice and specifically the sacrifice of the Messiah was never part of the Jewish atonement or salvation process. This concept was born from the integration of other cultures and beliefs into the Christian faith. This has never been part of the Jewish belief system and runs contrary to its very foundation.

        June 16, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Great post. But there is no "sin" to repent from. The concept of "evil" is also absent in Judaism other than "chaos" which Martin Buber explained in "Good and Evil", which they appropriated from the Northern Mesopotamian myth systems, (Tiamet/Marduk etc). There is no god. Certainly not the 70th son of El Elyon from the Babylonian pantheon, Yahweh Sabaoth, the war god.

          June 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Just in your first paragraph alone, there are some major misunderstandings.

          "Besides the logical problems with this concept, such as God creating a world with sin"

          God gave people free will to choose.

          "and having everyone go to Hell until after the death of Jesus some 4,000 years after creation,"

          This is a misunderstanding on your part. Jesus's blood covered followers before his death and after. God can apply His sacrifice pre-cross and post-cross.

          " the Hebrew Bible never required human sacrifices for atonement."

          The animal sacrifices that had to be committed over and over again could never take away sin. Jesus' sacrifice was once and for all.

          Hebrews 10:1-4

          10 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

          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.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
        • Akira

          Place correctly (I hope)

          TF, rosenj is Jewish. S/he made that plain in the blog post on Isaiah.
          I hardly think that a) your standard Christianity conversion quiz is going to change anything, and b) you have any better understanding of the Hebrew Bible than he does; it IS his Bible, after all.
          You are viewing it through a Christian lens, and s/he, a Jewish one.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz
          All of us are like someone unclean, all our righteous deeds like menstrual rags; we wither, all of us, like leaves; and our misdeeds blow us away like the wind. – Isaiah 64:6, Complete Jewish Bible
          – There is no way deeds could have been acceptable to God as part of salvation and this verse sums up the reality of our relationship to God. No justification by deeds.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:10 am |
        • awanderingscot

          "Why didn't you eat the sin offering in the area of the sanctuary, since it is especially holy? He gave it to you to take away the guilt of the community, to make atonement for them before Adonai. – Leviticus 10:17, Complete Jewish Bible
          – The only thing atonement in the OT could do was take away GUILT and it had to be done every year. Only the blood of a perfect man, the Messiah would stand for all time.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:13 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz – according to the Torah
          For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life.' – Leviticus 17:11, Complete Jewish Bible
          – "it is the blood". Only the blood of a perfect man is sufficient, given willingly and according to His purpose, according to His mercy, according to His grace..

          June 17, 2014 at 1:17 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz,
          "Come now," says Adonai, "let's talk this over together. Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will be white as snow; even if they are red as crimson, they will be like wool. – Isaiah 1:18, Complete Jewish Bible.
          – Divine reasoning, accepted by faith, teaches that there is cleansing from sin, but that this cleansing is totally apart from human merit or effort.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz – concerning Messiah
          Therefore Adonai himself will give you people a sign: the young woman will become pregnant, bear a son and name him Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14, Complete Jewish Bible
          – Because Ahaz refused to choose a sign, God chose for him. [almah] is Hebrew for virgin, Immanuel of course is ‘God with us’. Clearly a prophesy about Christ.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:21 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Modern neuro-science has demonstrated there is no such thing as "free will". Decisions are made before humans are conscious of them. Proven by MRI and PET scan. Free will is debunked.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz – concerning Messiah
          "Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me," says Adonai. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the young ones. – Zechariah 13:7, Complete Jewish Bible.
          – My shepherd … God spoke of the true Shepherd, that mighty man who is His intimate associate; thus, He identified Christ as His coequal, affirming the deity of Christ

          June 17, 2014 at 1:25 am |
        • awanderingscot

          What is more, their minds were made stone like; for to this day the same veil remains over them when they read the Old Covenant; it has not been unveiled, because only by the Messiah is the veil taken away. Yes, till today, whenever Moshe is read, a veil lies over their heart. – 2 Corinthians 3:14-15, Complete Jewish Bible
          The "veil" here represents unbelief. Those Israelites did not grasp the glory of the old covenant because of their unbelief. As a result, the meaning of the old covenant was obscure to them. Paul's point was that just as the old covenant was obscure to the people of Moses' day, it was still obscure to those who trusted in it as a means of salvation in Paul's day. The veil of ignorance obscures the meaning of the old covenant to the hardened heart. Without Christ, the OT is unintelligible. But when a person comes to Christ, the veil is lifted and his spiritual perception is no longer impaired. With the veil removed, believers are able to see the glory of God revealed in Christ. They understand that the law was never given to save them, but to lead them to the One who would

          June 17, 2014 at 1:26 am |
        • rosenj72

          Isaiah 8:14 And it shall be for a portent and a stone upon which to dash oneself and for a rock upon which to stumble for the two houses of Israel who came to be for a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Christians refer to Jesus as the foundation stone and believe that he is a “stumbling block” to Jews. They use this passage in Isaiah to show that he [Jesus] causes the two houses of Israel to stumble as stated in the above passage. This verse however is not referring to Jesus but the story unfolding in Isaiah Chapters 7, 8 and 9. As mentioned in an earlier prophecy the Nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms, Israel to the North and Judah to the South. King Ahaz, the ruler of Judah was under attack by the Northern Tribes of Israel under the leadership of King Pekah son of Remaliah and his allies.

          The “stumbling” block spoken of in this passage is Jerusalem which Isaiah foretold to King Ahaz that the invading armies would not be able to conquer. What Isaiah is saying is that the Northern tribes will try and vanquish Ahaz but will stumble on Jerusalem and will not be able to conquer him. This passage has nothing to do with a stumbling block for Jews with regards to Jesus but speaks of the battle that Ahaz fought with Pekah and ultimately prevailed based on Isaiah’s reassurance from God that he would succeed. This is nothing more than an isolated passage from scripture pulled out of context to fit a Christian interpretation. It is not the Jews who have stumbled, but Christians who continue to mistranslate and misinterpret Jewish scripture in order to fit their own religious agendas.

          June 17, 2014 at 8:10 am |
        • awanderingscot

          bucky
          indeed, science has only confirmed what scripture has taught all along. It is the heart that originates free will and not the mind. God has made this known to us thousands of years before science could confirm it. good job in bringing this to our attention bucky.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:33 am |
        • observer

          Science has confirmed that the Bible contains lots of nonsense. Like the ratio pi is NOT equal to 3.0 like the Bible says. Science also confirms that the moon and sun could not have suddenly stopped in their orbit, etc. etc.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:37 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Ob
          science=knowledge, and you just think you have some. you know nothing.

          June 17, 2014 at 8:05 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz
          that prophesy concerning Jerusalem IS being fulfilled, but it's being fulfilled today. look at all the turmoil in the middle east since Israel became a nation in 1948 because of what? oil? no, minerals? no, strategic location? no. It is a stumbling block because God said it would be. Roz, you would freely admit that a Messiah is prophesied yes? and yet you deny Christ. you are one of those men in the crowd crying we are Abraham's descendants and have never been in bondage, how can you say "you will be made free"? remove the veil Roz and be free.

          June 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Grow up. Hearts pump blood. Nothing more. Go get an education.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • Akira

          Mr. Rosen is Jewish, therefore he doesn't believe Jesus IS the Messiah of his Hebrew Bible.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          " look at all the turmoil in the middle east since Israel became a nation in 1948 because of what? oil? no, minerals? no, strategic location? no. It is a stumbling block because God said it would be."
          -----------------------
          Hogwash. You actually suggested the correct answer. The stretch of the Mediterranean coast in Asia between Africa and Europe is a critically strategic location. It has been since the dawn of 'civilization'.

          It was part of the ancient Egyptian empire and fought over by the Assyrians, Hitti.tes and Babylonians. It was part of the Empire of Alexander and the Romans and the Byzantines and the Muslim conquest and ultimately the Ottomans. It was a major theater in the First World War. Why? Because it is the intersection of Africa, Asia and Europe.

          The most notable, primarily religious turmoil in the area were the Crusades. And who were responsible for those?

          June 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
  10. truthfollower01

    Historical fact 1

    Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the ruling council who pushed to have Jesus killed buried Jesus in his own tomb.

    June 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      The Sanhedrin never once in all of history was called in to session on Passover weekend. Never. Your gospels are total myth.

      June 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
      • rosenj72

        Even though I don't agree with everything you say, I still enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for a good discussion.

        June 16, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        bucky
        you have absolutely nothing to substantiate that claim. yours is just more drivel from an unregenerate heathen.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:08 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Actually I do. And BTW, Jebus told you not to judge. Yet here you are doing just that. I realize the facts threaten your fairy tale.Get over it. IF the temple curtain had been "torn", and if the Sanhedrin HAD been called into session, (and there are records to prove it did not happen), a Jewish historian would have said something. Not one did. Nor did they mention the zmbie invasion of Jerusalem, (in Matthew on Easter). It's all lies. Every bit of it.

        June 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
    • Doris

      Is this a binary list where #0 was not really a fact at all?

      June 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Crucified Jews were left on their crosses to rot, and have their flesh pecked at by birds. It was as much a part of the sentence as the actual crucifixion. Just more proof your myths are just that.

      June 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        bucky
        how would you know? were you there? you're ignorant and you've proven nothing in your rants.

        June 17, 2014 at 8:12 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Well you see, unlike you, I have studied this little thing called "history". It tells you a lot. Calling what people say a "rant" and not refuting it further, belies the fact that you have nothing to refute it with, and know nothing about the history of the period. What I said, is not questioned by historians. Maybe someday, take a class or something.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
  11. TruthPrevails1

    So Obama is planning on making it a federal law that you can't discriminate against LGBT. I'm wondering how many Christians intend to flee the country now, this is yet another battle they will have lost...kudos to Obama for being the bigger person and not giving in to the bigotry.

    June 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      None. Jesus taught you to love the outcast and the "other". You are not a Christian. You are a self-righteous ignorant bigot.

      June 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Oops. I'm afraid you are right. Sorry. My sarcasm detector is in the fritz.

        June 16, 2014 at 10:03 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        wow, you're really lashing out with your heathen hatred aren't you?

        June 17, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • igaftr

          and there goes scot , lashng out with his christian hatred again.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  12. rosenj72

    I find it fascinating watching Christians argue over who's belief is correct but the sad part is that the way Jesus became god was because of translational errors between the Greek and Hebrew scriptures. There isn't a single passage in the Hebrew Scriptures that corroborates Jesus as being the son of god, Messiah, or anything else for that matter. The "prophecies" in Isaiah don't talk about a virgin birth. In fact, the child which was prophesized in Isaiah 7: was born in chapter 9. Christians would be wise to study Hebrew scriptures from someone who actually speaks Hebrew but unfortunately if they did they would realize how poorly the Christian faith holds up. 300 times 0 on Amazon goes through every mistranslation, it isn't conjecture, the mistranslations are fact.

    June 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      What do you do with Isaiah 53? And please don't use the old rhetoric of it referring to the nation of Israel. This certainly doesn't hold up.

      June 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
      • rosenj72

        I just tried posting a lengthy reply but CNN doesn't appear to have posted it. I'll keep trying...

        June 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • rosenj72

          Truthfollower, I posted it on your blog page... enjoy

          June 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Do you know about the word filter? Maybe someone on here has the list of restricted words.

          June 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Do you know about the word filter? Maybe someone on here has the list of restricted words.

          I don't see any comments on my blog.

          June 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          if you use fragments of words the automatic filter has determined as vulgar, your post won't appear.

          There are a lot of these word fragments like t.it and c.um such that posts containing inoffensive words t.itle or doc.ument will not appear.

          June 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
      • rosenj72

        http://rosenj72.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/isaiah-53/

        June 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          I have to be honest. It appears to me that you are really reaching to try and make the nation of Israel the suffering Servant.

          Question.

          Isaiah 53:9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,and with the rich in his death,though he had done no violence,
          nor was any deceit in his mouth.

          Would you say that the nation of Israel had done no violence nor been deceitful?

          June 16, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
        • kudlak

          Would overturning the tax collector's tables not been a violent act?

          June 17, 2014 at 8:25 am |
      • kudlak

        Why doesn't it hold up that it's just continuing the referral to the nation of Israel from earlier in the text? When does the author say that he's switching?

        June 17, 2014 at 8:17 am |
    • realbuckyball

      That's actually not true AT ALL. See Bart Ehrman's "How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee". It's a LOT more complex than "mistranslation". It's also complete ignorance of what "divinity" meant to the apocalyptic Jews. There were many divine beings in their thought. In no way did they equate with Yahweh.

      June 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Since you like to quote Bart Ehrman, what do you posit as the best explanation for the below daya?

        In a debate between Bart Ehrman and Michael Licona, 3 facts are given pertaining to Jesus's fate and what occurred afterward that nearly 100% of all scholars studying this subject at the time of the debate accepted. This includes Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.

        1. Jesus' death by crucifixion.

        "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

        2. Appearances to the Disciples

        This is short for saying that shortly after Jesus's death, a number of Jesus's followers had experiences both individually and in group settings that they perceived were of the risen Jesus who appeared to them.

        "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

        3. Appearance to Paul

        Short for saying that Paul had an experience that he perceived was of the risen Jesus appearing to him.

        ""there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."
        – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

        June 16, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Name the non-believers....

          June 17, 2014 at 1:12 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Nothing has to be explained. They made it up. No human (and Jesus, if he even existed was a human) ever rose from the dead. Ever. It says they "experienced" a risen Jebus. Many grieving people "see" people that have died, and are convinced it was real. there ia no reason to take them at at their word. They were ignorant, illiterates. It also says many others rose. What happened to them. It says the temple curtain was torn. No Jewish historian even mentions that. They also saw him yet did not recognize him. Matthew says they "doubted but they worshiped". THAT is no "seeing" anything. Nothing requires an explanation. In "The Trouble with Ressurection" CHRISTIAN seminary professor Dr, BB Scott explains that correctly translated, the Greek, (in Paul) means "exalted", (passive) NOT "risen". Oops.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • kudlak

          A funny story that illustrates how the New Testament writers could have easily “created” Jesus’ fulfilled prophecies.

          “While traveling through a forest, a person noticed a circle marked on a tree with an arrow shot perfectly into the center. A few yards away he noticed several more targets, each with arrows in the center. Later, he met the talented archer and he asked him, "How did you become such an expert that you always get your arrows into the center of the bull's-eye?" "It's not difficult," responded the archer, "First I shoot the arrow and then I draw the circle."”

          The NT authors had access to the prophecies before they wrote, didn't they?

          June 17, 2014 at 8:28 am |
    • realbuckyball

      No one cares about "mistranslations". ANYTHING they could use to promote the new cult was used, including deliberate deception. It's not "accidental". It was purposeful. Of course you are totally correct about the "virgin birth" mistranslation. Ever scholar knows that from Bible 101. However the ENTIRE canon is replete with errors and is entirely humanly devised, mostly for human political reasons. There is nothing uniquely different or authentic about ANY religion, including Judaism. The Torah of Moses was assembled in Babylon at the behest of Artaxerxes before HE allowed the return from Exile (which the Docu'mentary Hypothesis has demonstrated). Almost ALL of "Jewish history" is myth, (as Jewish archaeologists have demonstrated). No Moses, no Abraham, no Adam, no Noah. The earliest known historical figure with evidence for her, is Deborah, the Judge. SHE is the Mother of that nation. The Northern Kingdom hated the Southern Kingdom, and THAT is what most of the OT is about. Hate, and political rivalry.

      June 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
      • rosenj72

        Bucky,
        The Torah tells us in Leviticus 26:33 “I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.” Approximately 2,000 Years ago, the Jewish nation was exiled from the land of Israel by the sword of the Romans and scattered across the ends of the earth just as the Bible foretold 1,400 years earlier. Our holy city of Jerusalem was laid waste and the land of Israel was in ruins. As far as being conquered, the Jewish nation is certainly not unique. All throughout history, native people were conquered by others, hundreds possibly thousands of times throughout the ages. While most other cultures die out and assimilate into the nations they are scattered to however, the Jewish people has been the only nation in history to defy those odds and return to the land of their origin. The reason we survived as an independent people comes straight from Leviticus 26:44 “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the Lord their God.” It was God’s personal promise that we would not be assimilated like everyone else. It was only God’s faithful word to keep the covenant he made with our ancestors that allowed us to survive and defy the impossible odds against us. For 2,000 years through pogroms, inquisitions, crusades and holocausts the Jewish nation survived “never to be destroyed completely” just as promised in Leviticus. The Jewish people are living proof of these prophecies and proof that God exists.

        The Prophet Isaiah in Chapter 66:8 says something that should send shivers down your spine, he says “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” This prophecy was fulfilled on May 14th 1948 when the nation of Israel was reborn in an instant just as Isaiah had prophesized nearly 3,000 years ago. The Prophet Amos in Chapter 9:14 says “I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God”. The return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel was a fulfillment of prophecy that everyone in the world currently sees and the Bible openly predicted. This coincides with what we discussed earlier when we spoke of prophecy being a revelation that is clearly witnessed by everyone.

        There is no one alive today that can honestly claim the Jewish nation does not live in the land that God promised to us (except the Palestinians but I said "honestly"). In the 1500’s, the founder of Protestantism Martin Luther said that the Jews were so blinded as to be rejected and despised by God that they never had any hope of returning to the land of Israel. Apparently, Martin Luther was unfamiliar with his own Bible because time and again it openly rejects his statements. The Jewish nation living in Israel is a physical sign that everyone can see, this is not absence of proof like an empty tomb, but a visible manifestation of Gods promise to the Jewish people. It is not the absence of Israel, but its physical presence which is the sign. An absence of proof is no proof at all.

        The reason that we know dinosaurs once existed is because their fossilized bones are evidence of their once great existence. We have physical proof that ancient civilizations once existed because of the remains of the cities and artifacts they left behind. The ancient land of Israel and the remnants of our past culture bear witness that we have now returned to the land. In 1867, Mark Twain visited Israel and published his impressions in his book “The Innocents Abroad”. He described Israel as a desolate country devoid of both vegetation and human population: He said, “….. A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds… a silent mournful expanse…. a desolation…. we never saw a human being on the whole route…. hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.” However upon the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, God promised in Isaiah 35:1 “The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus flower. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing”. He continues to repeat this theme in Chapter 51:3 “The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden [lush gardens], her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.” In fact, the borders of Israel are commonly referred to as the Green Line which separates the dry desert lands of the Arab nations with the blossoming land of the Jewish people in Israel. For 2,000 years the land lay barren awaiting the return of the Jewish nation just as Mark Twain had witnessed in 1867, however less than 100 years later the same desolate land bloomed into a productive nation as God promised thousands of years earlier. This is tangible proof.

        In Deuteronomy 28:7 it says “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.” In 1948 when the United Nations recognized Israel’s independence, the nations of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen attacked Israel. Did you count how many nations that was? Seven. This is not speculation but historical, verifiable fact. The end result of the war was exactly as God promised; the attacking nations all fell before Israel. They attacked her as a unified coalition but retreated to their respective nations utterly defeated and humiliated. Time and again, the prophecies of the Hebrew Bible have been fulfilled and continue to be fulfilled just as the Bible states. Some in the Christian community ignore these prophecies when the fulfillment is right before their eyes but most Christians today have recognized that their ancestors were wrong about Israel and the Jewish people and that we are not “rejected” as they once believed. Many Christians today have recognized the importance of Israel in the world and know that God is not yet finished with the Jewish people. Had Martin Luther learned the proper way to translate and read the Jewish scriptures from the Jewish people instead of his own foolish interpretations he would have never come to such contradictory conclusions about us. It is only because he chose a different path, a non-biblical interpretation that caused him to openly ignore the incontrovertible evidence that Israel will once again exist as a nation. Israel is living proof that God exists.

        June 16, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Deuteronomy 18:10
          "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,"

          Your omen reading and sooth-saying is an abomination.

          The Torah doesn't "tell us " anything. The Torah was cooked up in Exile to politically unify a group of humans who were being allowed to return to their former land by the Persian Emperor, as he wanted a buffer state from the Greek invaders.
          The Bible never foretold a democratic (more Arab than Jew) nation. The English are responsible for the present state of Israel, not some deity. The Jews are certainly NOT the "only nation" to return to it's (somewhat similar region). There in no Kingdom of Israel. There is no temple. Every word in the Bible was put there by humans who had NO WAY of knowing what would happen. The "covenant" was that the Hebrews would worship only the war god, (among the many they believed in) IF he would help with their expansionary land ambitions. That was not unique. Everyone wants their neighbor's property. The horrible fate of the Jews in Germany is proof the is NO GOD. Prophesy is not "fortune telling". I see you have never really studied ancient Near Eastern literature. There are just as many failed prophecies as there are "fulfilled" ones. A prophet's role was not to tell the future. Only in the apocalyptic period did that become popular. So stop spouting your abominations and sooth-saying, and divination. The present state of Israel is proof of nothing, unless seen through your rose-colored glasses.

          Nothing you offer is "proof" of anything, except your Presuppositionalism.

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjPLJTAbk64&w=640&h=390]

          June 16, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          BTW, if any of that nonsense was really "proof" of something, as you say, then everyone would buy it now wouldn't they.
          So what's wrong with this picture ? Apparently it's not all as compelling as you seem to think, is it ?

          June 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Realbuckyball,

          Since you like to quote Bart Ehrman, what do you posit as the best explanation for the below data?

          In a debate between Bart Ehrman and Michael Licona, 3 facts are given pertaining to Jesus’s fate and what occurred afterward that nearly 100% of all scholars studying this subject at the time of the debate accepted. This includes Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.

          1. Jesus’ death by crucifixion.

          “One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.” – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia (“Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)”) on YouTube.

          2. Appearances to the Disciples

          This is short for saying that shortly after Jesus’s death, a number of Jesus’s followers had experiences both individually and in group settings that they perceived were of the risen Jesus who appeared to them.

          “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

          3. Appearance to Paul

          Short for saying that Paul had an experience that he perceived was of the risen Jesus appearing to him.

          “”there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus’ real but glorified body raised from the dead.”
          – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia (“Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)”) on YouTube.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          See above. No one has to explain anything.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:20 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Roz, what you have stated concerning Israel in the latter days is truth, but i would be interested to know how you interpret this prophesy by Daniel while Israel was still in captivity. It is not finished is it?

          “Seventy weeks are determined
          For your people and for your holy city,
          To finish the transgression,
          To make an end of sins,
          To make reconciliation for iniquity,
          To bring in everlasting righteousness,
          To seal up vision and prophecy,
          And to anoint the Most Holy.
          “Know therefore and understand,
          That from the going forth of the command
          To restore and build Jerusalem
          Until Messiah the Prince,
          There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
          The street shall be built again, and the wall,
          Even in troublesome times.
          “And after the sixty-two weeks
          Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
          And the people of the prince who is to come
          Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
          The end of it shall be with a flood,
          And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
          Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
          But in the middle of the week
          He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
          And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
          Even until the consummation, which is determined,
          Is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:24-27

          June 17, 2014 at 8:31 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Bucky,

          Do your good with Bart when he agrees with you but when he and the majority of the scholarly community don't, you resort to deny at all cost?

          June 17, 2014 at 10:57 am |
        • realbuckyball

          Show me your poll of the "scholarly community" ?
          Now. Put up or shut up.

          Unlike you, I think for myself.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
  13. Vic

    ♰♰♰ Jesus Christ Is Lord ♰♰♰

    Everyday, I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the "Gift of Salvation." It is my belief there is no other way.

    June 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Same old rhetoric, same old myth...

      June 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      ♰♰♰ Jebus Is Lard ♰♰♰

      June 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm |
  14. Akira

    – the Westminster Divinyls...

    Do they touch themselves?

    June 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Depends on who they are thinking about.

      June 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • Doris

      Probably more so than others..lol. You know, having to get around those long black robes...

      June 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
  15. bostontola

    The history of religion in Spain is more interesting than the author reveals. In the few centuries before 1492, Spain was split between Christian and Muslims parts (Muslim in the south). The treatment of Jews followed those borders, Jews were scientists, doctors, business people, etc in the Muslim parts, and were persecuted in the Christian parts. Back then, the Muslims were much more tolerant of other religions and assimilated other cultures relatively well. Their Golden Age was the result. In 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella finished the job of kicking the Muslims out and forced conversions as mentioned. Sadly, many Muslims are less advanced today than they were 500-10000 years ago. The Christians are better than they were, this act by Spain is a nice gesture.

    June 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sadly, many Muslims are less advanced today than they were 500-10000 years ago.
      -------
      Surely not quite 10,000? /pun

      June 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • bostontola

      1000

      June 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The apologias for the inquisition started fairly quickly.

      Teresa of Ávila, (Saint Teresa of Jesus) was baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada. Her paternal grandfather, Juanito de Hernandez, was a marrano (Jewish convert to Christianity) and was condemned by the Spanish Inquisition for allegedly returning to the Jewish faith. (wikipedia)

      She was born in 1515, died in 1582 and was beatified in 1614. See, we turned a marrano into a saint! It must have been a good idea!

      But it isn't confined to the 16th century. Another interesting Iberian 'burying' of Spain's Muslim past is the devotion of "Our Lady of Fátima". Fátima is in Portugal and is of course was a Muslim town named for the daughter of Muhammad. It is curious that this name (in Catholic circles) now has a primary association with Mary rather than Islam.

      June 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
      • bostontola

        Another interesting offshoot of that Christian-Muslim conflict in 1492 is the impact on the Americas. The King employed many (some would say barbaric) Generals in that war. When it was over, they were a threat to the King, so he commissioned some of them with ships to explore America with generous terms for what they plundered. We know how that worked out for the civilizations in Central and South America. Many of those 'explorers' were battle hardened warriors. It worked out well for the King, his state was stabilized and he made a few bucks.

        June 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          And they got to spread the 'good news' to the new world to boot!

          June 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          boston
          2 separate pursuits here have you and others confused. the conquistadors were in search of gold and didn't give a whit about the gospel. the jesuit priests on the other hand were interested in making converts. the deaths of the indigenous peoples of the new world were directly attributable to the the conquistadors and not the jesuit priests. we're not interested in a rewrite of history.

          June 17, 2014 at 9:59 am |
        • observer

          It was almost entirely Christians who stole and cheated the local inhabitants of much of the land that became the U.S.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • awanderingscot

          so what's your point? you can hang the Christian label on all the ills of history? taking Christians (or all religion for that matter) out of the equation would not this land have become populated with peoples from other parts of the earth due to population growth anyway? try to employ some rationale and start thinking like an adult.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:42 am |
        • observer

          awanderingscot

          Would other religions have also CHEATED and STOLE from the Indians like the Christians did?

          June 17, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • midwest rail

          "...would not this land have become populated with peoples from other parts of the earth due to population growth anyway? "
          Translation : our bad behavior is excusable because it would have happened anyway. Sad.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Scot
          Learn some history.
          The Conquistadores were Christians.
          Hernando Cortes, conqueror of the Aztecs, tried mightily to convert them to Catholicism before murdering them and taking their gold.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • awanderingscot

          no one is excusing bad behavior and you harbor a lot of angst. you also seem to be under the illusion that atheists hold moral high ground, you don't and there is plenty of bad behavior to go around. get over yourself.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • midwest rail

          " no one is excusing bad behavior ..."
          Indeed you are. Do try again.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • awanderingscot

          D0C
          one does not have to be a Christian to consider human sacrifice morally reprehensible. despite this, Cortez was an outlaw and was on a mission for gold, you're not going to rewrite history.

          June 17, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Human sacrifice is morally reprehensible.
          Unless you're Abraham.
          Or Jephthah burning his daughter (Judges 11:29)
          Or Josiah burning pagan priests for God. (2 Kings 23:20)
          Or if you're an Ammonite – then God can't wait to have you sacrificed. (Ezekiel 21:33)
          Or if a town turns apostate – then burn the town and everyone in it. (Deuteronomy 13:13)
          But other than that, human sacrifice is reprehensible!

          June 17, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "one does not have to be a Christian to consider human sacrifice morally reprehensible"
          -------------------
          I thought Christianity was *founded* on the concept of human sacrifice?

          June 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          D0C
          don't even try, you don't know scripture. Jephthah was a Gileadite, an original Caananite and not a Hebrew. Josiah burned pagan priests of Baal who were famous for sacrificing children to their god (demon(s)), they reaped what they sowed and it was not a sacrifice but rather a divine judgment. same for the Ammonites who worshiped and sacrificed humans to their deities (demons). What distinguished the Hebrews from the pagans around them is that they did not in their worship sacrifice humans. try actually studying the bible instead of professing to know what it says so as not to make a fool of yourself.

          June 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Gotcha.
          Burn someone alive as a sacrifice = evil
          Burn them as divine retribution = good

          June 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          cruelly torture and murder a helpless child after abduction from a schoolyard = EVIL
          cruelly torture and murder a helpless unborn child, ripping to pieces him/her from the mother's womb = GOOD

          i see clearly how your morality works, you just change definitions to justify your morality; and then hypocritically accuse the Lord of moral blunder. your daddy Satan must be very proud of you.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It was the God of the Israelites that invented the first abortion recipe:

          "16 “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. 17 Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. 18 After the priest has had the woman stand before the Lord, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. 19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had se.xual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having se.xual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse[d] among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.” Numbers 5:16-22 = Good, right?

          June 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • Akira

          Oh, I see we're playing the red herring game again.

          June 17, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Yes Scot. Because I don't believe in God I must therefore be not just pro-choice but pro-abortion.
          Abortions for all!
          Come on down to Ol' Doc Vestibule's Abort-O-Rama!
          Repeat customers get 50% off.
          No foetus can beat us!

          "Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks" – or sucks the embryo from your womb!

          June 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
  16. Vic

    Interesting twist to the Spanish Inquisition.

    Meanwhile, I was expecting a Blog post regarding a CNN Opinion piece by Professor Jay Parini last Friday on "Thought Police" on campus.
    [http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/13/opinion/parini-evangelical-college-clubs/]

    June 16, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • Akira

      Have I got this right? The college wants to kick a group out because the group wants to elect leadership from the group they're representing? And the college somehow has a problem with that?

      June 16, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Doris

        It sounds like more and more colleges just no longer want to support or officially back such organizations of any kind that, for whatever reason, have some kind of restricted requirements for the leadership. Could it be that they are not against such organizations from existing, but that they feel it inappropriate for them to supporters or representing such organizations?

        Take Vanderbilt for instance, mentioned in that article. Although Vanderbilt was not founded by Methodists, during the first 40 years, the Board of Trust, and therefore the university, was under the control of the General Conference (the governing body) of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. But from the late 1800s, the Board moved toward a more secular representation. In 1910, the board refused to seat three Methodist bishops. The Methodist Church took the issue to court and won at the local level. On March 21, 1914, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, and not the Methodist Church, was the university's founder and that the board could therefore seat whomever it wished. In 1914 ties were severed between MECS and Vandy. I can see this change in policy as a logical extension of that split that occurred a century ago.

        June 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Akira

          Admittedly, Parisi's opinion was light on details.
          But it would be weird to elect a president of the chess club who had no clue about how chess was played.
          I dunno.

          June 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Doris

          I agree, Akira. And I'm only guessing about their rationale. If by support, that only means use of college buildings to meet in, then it does seem like such a policy is pretty harsh.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • Akira

          Ah. The plot thickens. The two advisors of that club were asked to step down because they refused to sign a non-discrimiatory agreement with the college.
          Guess why they wouldn't. It won't be hard.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Doris

          lol – ah yes, I just found the NY Times article on this. I found this line very interesting:

          "Some insti.tutions, including the University of Florida, the University of Houston, the University of Minnesota and the University of Texas, have opted to exempt religious groups from nondiscrimination policies".

          ( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/10/us/colleges-and-evangelicals-collide-on-bias-policy.html?_r=0 )

          June 16, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Akira

          Sanctioned discrimination. Fabulous.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
        • igaftr

          From the same people who brought you "affirmative action" AKA sanctioned discrimination. I never liked the fact that they hid the discrimination in that term. It is an action, but it is not affirmative, it is destructive. They try to put their normal spin on it, like when you buy a car...it isn't used...now it's pre=owned, like they did you a favor.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "The two advisors of that club were asked to step down because they refused to sign a non-discrimiatory agreement with the college."
        -----------------
        I figured there was some material detail that the OpEd piece omitted.

        June 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
    • Science Works

      Those flapping jaws eh Vic ?

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13414.html

      June 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • bostontola

      Thanks for the reference Vic, that is an interesting opinion piece.

      It is interesting that a liberal can get so far left as to circle back right. If we can let Nazis march in Skokie (which I agree), then college students should be able to have any group they want if it doesn't harm others. Of all places, the university should be the most tolerant and inclusive. Rather than barring ideas they don't like, they should debate them.

      I have many very close friends in Europe. They don't understand how we can allow Nazis to exist, much less march. Nazism is illegal in many places in Europe. I try to explain that while we both highly value freedom and security, freedom is number 1 in the US, and security is number 1 in most of Europe. They have a hard time understanding us.

      Sadly, the events on 9/11, the loss of privacy with cell phones, cameras, the internet, etc. are changing the expectations of freedom in many of our youth, we are becoming more European in that respect. The university thought police is another force in that direction.

      It is fascinating how the right can impose thought police via 'orthodox' thinking, the left via PC.

      June 16, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
    • Vic

      I am glad people are interested in the subject matter, it is one of those gray areas in implementing "Freedom of Speech."

      I don't want to change the topic, I was just hoping for the wonderful Editors of the wonderful CNN Belief Blog to take note. I really appreciate and adore the CNN Belief Blog, regardless of the abuses by many commenters—the irony of "Thought Police"—without naming names, where I believe the benefits outweigh the contrary.

      June 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
      • G to the T

        Hi Vic – my understanding was that no one was forcing leadership on anyone, they were only saying they couldn't discriminate. No one said they had to elect leaders that didn't believe the same as them.

        June 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @Vic,
        I agree it would be a good article for BB. Although, i'd disagree that it has anything to do with freedom of speech.

        The school isn't forcing them to elect a non-beleiver, just not restrict the candidates. Also, they aren't being forced off campus just losing school support, I.e. money, prime space, and promo benefits.

        June 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
  17. alonsoquixote

    Jews in Spain endured a long history of persecution by Christians. There were a number of massacres of Jews by Christians in the 14th century, e.g., in 1328 the houses of Jews were ransacked and Jews were killed in Estella followed by similar occurrences twenty years later in Barcelona and Catalan localities. In Toledo in 1355 about 12,000 were murdered. In 1366 many Jewish communities were destroyed. When Henry de Trastámara ascended the throne as Henry II he entered Burgos and demanded a huge ransom from the town's Jews. Those who could not pay would be reduced to slavery and sold.

    Persecution continued into the 15th century. From "The Spanish Inquisition" by Joseph Pérez, Yale University Press, pages 10-11:

    *** begin quote

    In 1412, Catherine, the Queen Mother, who was regent of Castile until John II came of age, decided to confine the Jews to ghettos. Thenceforward they had to let their beards and hair grow long and sew a red disc on their clothing. Outside the ghettos, a number of professions were barred to them. They could not longer practise as doctors, chemists, drug-sellers, blacksmiths, carpenters, tailors, butcher, cobblers, traders, tax-collectors...In 1415 this legislation was extended to Aragon, with the addition of further aggravating clauses: possession of the Talmud was declared illegal; Jews were allowed only one synagogue for each aljama; they were ordered to attend three Christian sermons every year: one on the second Sunday in Advent, one on Easter Monday and a third day left to the discretion of the local authorities. In the event, these rules were not applied, but they were indicative of a particular state of mind. People were no longer prepared to resign themselves to the presence of Jews. They wanted them to convert.

    Monks skillfully exploited the terror felt in Jewish communities and embarked on an intense campaign of proselytisation.

    *** end quote

    Jewish communities were known as aljamas.

    Those who converted to Christianity, the conversos, were not safe from suspi_cion that they still secretly clung to Judaism. In 1478 the Catholic monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand II and Isabella I applied to the Church in Rome for a tribunal of the Inquisition. In 1487 the Spanish Inquisition was launched. Conversos were targeted by the Inquisition. Many were deemed crypto-Jews, i.e., their allegiance to Christianity was doubted; after all many had been forced to convert under intense persecution. They were also called marranos, which means "pigs" in Spanish. In 1483 Tomas de Torquemada became the inquisitor-general for most of Spain. Also heading the Inquisition in Spain were two Dominican monks, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin. In Seville more than 700 hundred conversos were burned at the stake. Tribunals were also opened in Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. Between 1486 and 1492, 467 people were burned at the stake in Toledo. More than 13,000 conversos were put on trial during the first twelve years of the Spanish Inquisition.

    Finally, on March 31, 1492, the Catholic monarchs of Spain, Ferdinand II and Isabella I, issued the Alhambra Edict, aka the Edict of Expulsion, which expelled Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The punishment for any Jew who did not convert to Christianity or leave by the deadline was death without trial. Any non-Jew who sheltered or hid Jews was was subject to the confiscation of all belongings and hereditary privileges. The exact number of people that fled is not known, but is estimated to be between 130,000 and 800,000 people. More than 1/2 likely went to Portugal. But within 50 years, the king of Portugal, João III launched the Portguguese Inquistion in 1536 which targeted the conversos. The victim count in Portugual is estimated to be 40,000 people. In Portguese India, the Goa Inquisition was established in 1560 targeting Indian converts to Christianity from Hinduism or Islam who were suspected of returning to their prior religion.

    Before Ferdinand and Isabella expelled Jews from their lands, King Edward I of England issued the 1290 Edict of Expulsion expelling all Jews from England.

    June 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
    • Really Normal

      Naturally, that is normal.

      June 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
    • Akira

      You do understand that people will protest that it wasn't Christians that did that, but Catholics?
      Mind you, I am cognizant of the fact that Catholicism is a denomination of the Christian Church.
      Just watch and see, though.

      In any case, the persecution of the Jewish people is an abomination, although it will be argued that it is because they refuse to convert to Christianity. Someone will rationalize it that ultimately the Jewish deserve[d] their fate. I have already seen it thus, on the Belief Blog.

      June 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        Though it was Catholics persecuting Jews in Spain, Protestants persecuted Jews in Germany long before the Nazis rose to power. The view of Jews as deicides, i.e., "Christ-killers", was carried into Protestantism from Catholicism. Martin Luther, the German theologian who sparked the Protestant Reformation when he posted his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 was very antisemitic later in life. He advocated violence against the Jews including setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, and destroying their homes, so that these "poisonous envenomed worms", as he called them, would be forced into labor or expelled "for all time". Luther said "We are at fault in not slaying them", which amounted to a sanction for murdering Jews.

        He wrote an anti-semitic book On the Jews and Their Lies, which was influential in inflaming anti-semitic atti_tudes among Protestants. E.g., from Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church, 1532-1546, Volume 3 by Martin Brecht, page 349:

        "Luther's writings against the Jews were reprinted relatively seldom. This may lead us to the conclusion that they had little effect during his lifetime, but he himself did attempt to see that his proposals for harsh action against the Jews were implemented. Thus it is clearer than perhaps has previously been noted that his specific proposals were not a mere theory. The harsh mandate against the Jews in Electoral Saxony on 6 May 1543, which forbade any Jew to settle or to pass through the land and also ordered the confiscation of their property, referred specifically to On the Jews and Their Lies. Luther was a guest of the elector on the day it was issued. Luther thanked Prince George for expelling the Jews from Anhalt in June 1543. Influenced by Luther's book, Margrave Hans of Brandenburg-Küstrin also expelled the Jews, who however, were taken in by his brother, Elector Joachim II. When George Buchholzer, the dean in Berlin, preached against the Jews and advocated that Elector Joachim take action against them, this corresponded entirely with intention of Luther, who, regarding Bucholzer, again referred to the Jews' calumnies against Christ and Mary."

        Philip of Hesse, a leading champion of the Protestant Reformation and one of the most important of the early Protestant rulers in Germany, added restrictions to his Order Concerning the Jews. Luther's followers sacked Berlin in 1572 and the following year the Jews were banned from the entire country. Though no ruler enacted all of Luther's anti-Jewish recommendations, during the 1580s Jews were expelled from several German Lutheran states.

        In 1613 and 1617 Luther's works condemning the Jews were published in Frankfurt am Main in support of the banishment of Jews from Frankfurt and Worms. The Calvinist Vincent Fettmilch reprinted On the Jews and Their Lies in 1612 to stir up hatred against the Jews of Frankfurt which led two years later to riots in Frankfurt during which 3,000 Jews were killed and the rest expelled.

        When the Nazis rose to power, one leading German churchman, Bishop Martin Sasse, published a compendium of Martin Luther's antisemitic vitriol shortly after Kristallnacht, which was a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria on November 9-10, 1938. 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." He urged Germans to heed the words "of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews."

        June 15, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          That anti-Semitism was appalling. And it definitely reared its ugly head in the Protestant circles, too.

          June 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Historically correct and seemingly undeniable, but having made similar arguments myself in the past on this blog, I can tell you that Protestants here tend to ignore and/or deny Luther's virulent and violent legacy of anti-semitism, most especially when it comes to the 3rd Reich. The same folk will ignore and/or deny that Calvin was a raging misogynist.
          Somehow they convince themselves that the only opinions these theologians put forth that have had any influence on popular opinion throughout the ages are the ones with which they themselves agree.

          June 16, 2014 at 8:57 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doc

          I haven't personally studied much on Luther or Calvin, but perhaps I'm missing your point. Let's say they were both raging anti-Semites. What does that have to do with their contributions to the Gospel message?

          June 16, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Luther's position as a prominent theologian and author of the Protestant Reformation has given added credibility to his vicious slander.
          Some of his kind, forgiving, oh so Christian advice regarding Jewish people:

          "My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews' malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils. "

          "What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming...
          First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians.
          Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed...."

          June 16, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Luther used to defend Jews.

          “I would request and advise that one deal gently with them [the Jews],” he wrote. “ … If we really want to help them, we must be guided in our dealings with them not by papal law but by the law of Christian love. We must receive them cordially, and permit them to trade and work with us, hear our Christian teaching, and witness our Christian life. If some of them should prove stiff-necked, what of it? After all, we ourselves are not all good Christians either.”

          But then something changed.

          -Both Luther’s friends and his foes criticized him for proposing these measures. His best friends begged him to stop his anti-Jewish raving, but Luther continued his attacks in other treatises. He repeated as true the worst anti-Semitic charges from medieval literature. Jews killed Christian babies; they murdered Christ over and over again by stabbing Eucharistic hosts; they poisoned wells.-

          He went crazy and started violating what he had preached for so long.

          -Luther was but a frustrated biblical scholar who fell victim to what his friend Philipp Melanchthon called the “rabies of theologians”: drawing conclusions based on speculations about the hidden will of God. Luther erred because he presumed to know God’s will.-

          June 16, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • bostontola

          "Luther erred because he presumed to know God’s will."

          Many fall into that trap.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • Science Works

          Hey Dala and topher – you get there from the front page of CNN – funny or die – hilarious !

          http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/showbiz/2014/06/16/fod-creationist-cosmos.funny-or-die&hpt=hp_c3&from_homepage=yes&video_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F

          June 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Science Works,

          Does it seem strange to you that Cosmos is produced and distributed by the same company that produces and distributes Fox News? And both are categorized under the "entertainment" wing of the company.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Luther erred because he presumed to know God’s will."

          And yet – he claimed to know it when he began the Reformation... I'm just saying, if you can't trust what he said in "a", why would you trust what he said in "b"?

          June 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Science Works

          Dala – No it is about........http://elitedaily.com/money/the-worlds-10-largest-media-conglomerates/

          Fox got two channels showing Cosmos for one production run. = advertisers dollars = profit.

          But since you mentioned fox I went there and found this on front page-

          http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/16/human-ancestors-got-herpes-from-chimps – you know the evolution deal drives Billy off the deep end.

          June 17, 2014 at 10:19 am |
        • Science Works

          Hey Dala did you follow the money? TBS owns 10 % of FOD and they control/help with advertising.

          i see you found the other thread where they are making money >

          June 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Science Works

          Oops no god(s) required dala .- it is mabout the click = money eh !

          June 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        Akira

        "Mind you, I am cognizant of the fact that Catholicism is a denomination of the Christian Church."

        Actually, that's not right. Catholics are not a denomination. They are their own religion, complete separated from Protestant denominations.

        June 16, 2014 at 10:39 am |
        • Akira

          Actually, it is right. Because you don't care to recognize it proves my point nicely.
          Catholic and Protestant are two denominations of the Christian Church.

          June 16, 2014 at 10:44 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The Catholic Church was around for over a thousand years prior to the Protestant Reformation.
          All the myriad protestant sects are offshoots of Catholic Christianity.

          June 16, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          No. Baptists and Lutherans and Methodists, etc., are denominations of Protestantism. Together on the main issues, with disagreements on less-than-important issues. But Catholics and Protestants are completely separate. They disagree on the major issues. So much so that both sides say the other is anathema.

          June 16, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • Akira

          Catholics and Protestants are both denominations of the Christian Church.
          It would appear that you want to exclude Catholicism because they are more unified in their message than all the myriad offshoots of Protestantism.
          It doesn't work that way. Sorry.

          June 16, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So Protestantism isn't an offshoot of Catholicism?
          Against whom were they Protesting originally if not the largest, oldest, and most influential arm of Christianity on the planet?

          June 16, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • noahsdadtopher

          Doc Vestibule

          "So Protestantism isn't an offshoot of Catholicism?"

          No. Offshoot would mean the two are related or are particularly close. Protestantism came about because the Reformers said the Catholic church was too far off from what the Bible taught. Not only did it teach things that weren't in the Bible, it taught things that were opposed in the Bible. Protestants aligned themselves with God's Word, not a governing body and its teachings. So no, they aren't an "offshoot."

          Against whom were they Protesting originally if not the largest, oldest, and most influential arm of Christianity on the planet?

          June 16, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          @Topher,

          you're suggesting that Protestants are an offshoot of Greek Orthodoxy then?

          Protestants "protested" what they saw in the Catholic church. Whatever tortured philosophical constructs you want to create, historically, Protestantism is an offshoot of Catholicism.

          June 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • Akira

          There is the Christian Church.
          Catholics are a denomination of the Christian Church.
          Protestants are a denomination of the Christian Church.
          Baptists are a denomination of the Christian Church.
          Anabaptists are a denomination of the Christian Church.
          JW's are a denomination of the Christian Church.
          Lutherans are a denomination of the Christian Church.
          Greek Orthodox is a denomination of the Christian Church.
          Russian Orthodox is a denomination of the Christian Church.

          This really isn't hard.

          June 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "Offshoot would mean the two are related or are particularly close."

          I have to admit, it is fun watching Topher try to argue points that are unquestionably wrong. Protestants came from Catholisism. But that's not an offshoot? Hmm...I guess offshoot doesn't mean what I thought it meant. And I guess the earth is only thousands of years old. And I guess Topher better take some advil given the amount of banging his head against the wall he must be doing.

          June 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The papists are semi-pelagians. That puts their doctrine at odds with the Bible in that it lowers God by robbing Him of His sovereignty, and elevates man by making him responsible for his own salvation. To put it simply, they view justification as a result of sanctification.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Papists, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Unitarians, et cetera ad nauseum are not Christian faiths. They use Biblical terminology, but not Biblical definitions for those terms.

          2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will acc.umulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • Akira

          And that's why you're Protestant, Theo. It doesn't negate the fact that both Catholic and Protestant are two denominations of the larger Christian Church.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • Akira

          And your "No True Scotsman" aside, Theo, they are all denominations of Christianity.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          What about the Orthodox Theo?

          Are they "not Christian" too?

          You fundamentalist Protestants are a hoot. Denial is not just a river in Egypt you know.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Akira,
          A Christian is one who is a follower of Christ's teaching – hence the word, it means literally "Christ's Ones." By definition, Catholicism does not follow the teachings of Christ as taught in the Bible, hence they are not Christians. Jesus taught that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The papists add works to that. So they negate what JEsus said, hence they are not Christians, no matter how bad you want to make them.

          Catholicism is a spinoff of Christianity that broke off from the true faith in 325 AD, and has been damning souls ever since.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Akira,
          Furthermore, the "no true scotsman" argument only works if you have no set standard against which to compare. In Christianity, the standard is the Bible, and it is VERY easy to use that to determine who is or is not a Christian.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "In Christianity, the standard is the Bible
          --------------
          Only to Protestants, and their bible is different from the Orthodox and Catholic churches.

          The Orthodox and Catholic churches have all kinds of theology that has no specific biblical reference. This (and the very secular behavior of the renaissance church) is largely the root of Protestantism.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Akira

          Sorry, Theo. Catholicism is every bit a Christian denomination as Protestantism.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "By definition, Catholicism does not follow the teachings of Christ as taught in the Bible."

          By YOUR definition Theo. Aren't you remotely embarassed by the extreme arrogance you regular display here? Do you really think your interpretation of the bible is any more valid than anyone else's?

          June 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • SeaVik

          I feel like at least once a week we discover a new completely insane position that Topher and / or Theo hold. I never would have imagined anyone would be dumb enough to try to argue that Catholicism isn't a denomination of Christianity. Then again, we're dealing with people who think the earth is thousands of years old, so I should stop being surprised.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Only to Protestants, and their bible is different from the Orthodox and Catholic churches."
          --------------------
          The Bible consists of the books of the OT that were collected by the scribe Ezra. And the NT is comprised of ONLY the writings of the Apostles themselves. (each of the books of the NT are authenticated elsewhere in scripture by the apostles)

          Orthodox and Catholic Bible include books that came out of the gnostic movement and have no apostollic authority. That lack of apostollic authority is not debated. Although they may be good references for culture and history of the time the book was written, as there is no authority due to it's lack of apostollic authorship, it is not inspired text, and therefore it is not necessary to heed their teachings.

          "The Orthodox and Catholic churches have all kinds of theology that has no specific biblical reference."
          --------------
          Exactly, which is why the teaching is not authoritative.

          "This (and the very secular behavior of the renaissance church) is largely the root of Protestantism."
          ---------------
          The name "protestant" came out of the reformation, sure. But the doctrine is the doctrine of the apostles.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Sorry, Theo. Catholicism is every bit a Christian denomination as Protestantism.
          --------------
          Please, enlighten me how a semi-pelagian belief system agrees with the Bible.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • Doris

          Theopatra: "And the NT is comprised of ONLY the writings of the Apostles themselves. "

          LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

          June 16, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "Theopatra: "And the NT is comprised of ONLY the writings of the Apostles themselves. "

          Theo must have got that from his fave group – the Westminster Divinyls.....lol

          June 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Akira

          Please illustrate where the Catholics deny original sin.
          Please illustrate how believing in Jesus and the Holy Spirit makes them non-Christian.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, let's not over-complicate this. The dictionary says you're wrong.

          Ca·thol·i·cism
          kəˈTHäləˌsizəm/
          noun
          noun: Catholicism
          the faith, practice, and church order of the Roman Catholic Church.
          adherence to the forms of Christian doctrine and practice which are generally regarded as Catholic rather than Protestant or Eastern Orthodox.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doris,
          you need to stop reading liberal theologians like Bart Ehrman and the JEsus Seminar – they are historical revisionists who would have the Bible correspond to the prevailing notions of political correctness, and that is their only motivation. Read instead from theologians who are dedicated to finding truth.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          SeaVik,
          I don't care what the dictionary says about theology. In this they are wrong.
          Catholicism is a semi-pelagian belief system. They believe that justification is a result of sanctification. They venerate and pray to the dead, they beg other intercessors who are not Christ, they place Mary in an authoritative place above Christ, and on, and on, and on.

          Let's not get into a drawn out discussion about how they are not Christians – they aren't. And a simple comparison of their beliefs against the Bible's teaching will bear that truth out.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Akira,
          Just believing in Jesus doesn't make you a Christian. For, even the demons believe, and they tremble, but they are not saved.

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

          Catholics and Protestants have been dissing each other since the Reformation began.
          And that still doesn't change the fact that they are both denominations of the Christian religion.

          It's not complicated at all.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "I don't care what the dictionary says about theology. In this they are wrong."

          Nope, sorry, you don't get to re-define words. You're wrong and your arrogance is disgusting. You actually think you are more authoritive than the dictionary.

          "Read instead from theologians who are dedicated to finding truth."

          Theologians don't seek to find the truth, they seek to find evidence or ways to believe what they've decided the truth is. Scientists seek to find the truth. That's why scientists know the bible is factually untrue whereas some theologians are able to delude themselves into ignoring the obvious reality.

          June 16, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
        • Doris

          Understanding the authorship issues with the Gospels goes well beyond Ehrman, Theo. Claiming as fact that the Gospels were authored by the Apostles is nearly as dumb as being a young-earth creationist.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "...nearly as dumb as being a young-earth creationist."

          Doris, I'm afraid I can't agree that ANYTHING approaches a young-earth belief on the dubmness scale.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • Akira

          Believing in Jesus's divinity is one if the Christian tenets. One cannot BE a Christian without that.
          Catholics are a denomination of the Christian religion. So is the Protestant denomination.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Claiming as fact that the Gospels were authored by the Apostles is nearly as dumb as being a young-earth creationist
          ------------------
          2,000 years of scholarly inquiry into the validity of the texts would say that you are the one who is in serious error here. Unfortunately, you have held on to the claims of probably less than two dozen liberal theologians who, through their own agendas, have attempted to rewrite the Biblical texts according to their ideas of political correctness.

          You have admitted to me before that your own research into this subject (lower and high criticism) is virtually non-existent, so how can you be so persuaded? The only answer that I can think of (because the case of the liberal theologian is so thin that you can read a newspaper through it) is that their notions agree with your worldview. And not for any scholarly reason.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "...their notions agree with your worldview. And not for any scholarly reason."

          It's. In. The. Dictionary. It is your worldview that doesn't agree with the dictionary. It doesn't take 2,000 years of "research" to look up the meaning of a word.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          If someone accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they are a Christian.
          All the various denominations can condemn each other from fiery pulpits over mythological minutiae, but it doesn't change that core fact.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "If someone accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they are a Christian"
          ------------------–
          And contained in that statement is that Jesus is their savior. No saint can contribute to it, I can't contribute to it, I can't be prayed into the kingdom... The papists, as semi-pelagians, believe that their good works allow them to participate in their salvation. In fact the whole system is built around works... That's why there are terms like merit, the treasury of merit, that's why they invented pergatory, and on, and on.

          The Bible tells us that we are DEAD in our trespasses and sins. And they completely ignore passages like Ephesians 2:8-9.

          They are not Christians.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          SeaVik,
          You are as.suming that the dictionary is the final authority on theology. It isn't.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          It is obvious that Theo is the foremost authority on determining whether someone is a full fledged wizard or just a mudblood...

          June 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Akira

          Catholics are a Christian denomination, as Protestants are.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "The Bible tells us"

          The Bible tells YOU, Theo. You can't claim as fact what it tells others.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          And there you are, arguing mythological minutiae from your fiery pulpit.
          The very first line of the Prologue to the Catechism of the Catholic Faith is:
          "FATHER, . . . this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved – than the name of JESUS. "

          June 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • Alias

          This string goes to show how the bible is flawed.
          Catholics and Protestants read the bible, and both conclude the other is so wrong that they are going to hell.
          The book is the problem.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          theo, You can't successfully use the "no true Scotsmen" argument, the term christian includes christ for a reason – that they believe in (the divinity of) Jesus.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo: "2,000 years of scholarly inquiry....blah blah blah"

          and how much "scholarly inquiry" of an independent nature, Theo? "Inquiry" from those that you find so valuable who've been in bed with the British government over the centuries? Please – give me a break....

          June 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "You are as.suming that the dictionary is the final authority on theology. It isn't."

          It is the final authority on the meaning of words. Catholicism is a Christian religion, by definition. The fact that you don't agree is irrelevant – you are wrong. Your religious beliefs do not give you any authority over the meaning of words.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
        • Doris

          And then to top it all off, Theo quotes from Ephesians. A good antihistamine will take care of that.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Catholicism is an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false belief system.

          The fact is, the most formidable, relentless, and deceptive enemy in Satan’s long war on the truth has been Roman Catholicism. Because the Roman Catholic Church has refused to submit itself to the authority of God's Word and to embrace the gospel of justification as taught in Scripture, it has set itself apart from the true body of Christ. It is a false and deceptive belief system—a thinly veiled façade for the kingdom of Satan.

          It has a false priesthood

          It has a false source of revelation through their church tradition and the magisterium (teaching authority of the church)

          It has illegitimate power – granted to it by this magisterium

          It engages in idolatry by the worship of Mary, saints, and the veneration of angels as well as religious relics

          It conducts a horrific exaltation of Mary above Christ

          It conducts a twisted sacrament of the mass by which Jesus is sacrificed again and again

          It offers false forgiveness through the confessional

          It calls for the uselessness of infant baptism

          Motivated by money, it has invented purgatory where through indulgences, one may obtain forgiveness to lessen their stay in it

          It buys into a works theology where one participates in his salvation by good works

          It engages in prayers for the dead

          It participates in the perversion of forced celibacy

          In short, it is NOT a Christian faith because it does NOT subscribe to the tennants taught in the Bible. Satan is a pervert in that he will take a morsel of truth and saturate it with lies, and that describes the amalgamation of faith and government known as catholicism.

          June 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Those religious beliefs about Catholicism is your opinion. Your claim that Catholicism is not a Christian religion is wrong. I already knew that it was wrong, but just to prove it, I looked it up in the dictionary.

          It is like you want to show everyone how in denial you are. I get it that you don't agree with Catholic views (and they surely don't agree with yours). That is completely irrelevant and doesn't change the fact that Catholicism is a Christian religion.

          June 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Doris

          SeaVik: "Doris, I'm afraid I can't agree that ANYTHING approaches a young-earth belief on the dubmness scale."

          Yeah – I have to agree – I did get carried away with that. At least with the Gospel authorship, there is the possibility that more information could come to light that could bolster the case for Apostle authorship – but I highly doubt it.

          June 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          SeaVik,
          I'll tell you what. If you can get a Catholic clergyman to say that they can do no works to contribute to their salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), and that salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, then and only then will I say that he is a Christian. Until then, that clergyman is not holding to a belief in the teachings of the Bible.

          June 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Akira

          Catholicism is a Christian denomination, just as Protestantism is.
          Sorry.

          June 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • SeaVik

          There's no onus on me to convince you that the dictionary is where you go to find what words mean. You think you have the authority to re-define words to mean whatever suits your position. You don't and as long as you act like you do, you come off as arrogant and self-righteos (not to mention completely delusional).

          June 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • Akira

          Catholics emphasize the part about Jesus, Theo.
          Works go with it.
          A part that is conveniently forgotten by those bashing Catholics.

          I don't know of one...ONE Catholic that says one can forget all about Jesus if they just do works.
          They go hand in hand.

          June 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Alias

          Theo
          I really do laugh at all the different 'bible scholars' who think they are THE ones who get the bible right. You all worship the same god/gods. you just interpret his 'perfect' word differently.
          You are too insecure to look objectively at the big picture of christians and see why you cannot agree.
          After all, if you are all reading the same 'perfect word' of god, right?

          June 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          @Dalhast,
          Cosmos was produced by Druyan, MacFarlan's Fuzzy Door, and the National Geogrphic Channel.

          Are you claiming that it is incorrect in some factual matter?

          June 16, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
        • Akira

          I am wary of anyone who has to denigrate another denomination of the Christian Church to bolster their own.

          June 16, 2014 at 8:06 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.