July 1st, 2010
01:49 PM ET

Gospels don't say Jesus was crucified, scholar claims

Update July 2 8:04 a.m. After this article posted Gunnar Samuelsson got in touch to stress that his research focuses specifically on the narratives of Jesus's execution in the four Gospels, not on the entire New Testament, so "Gospels" has been substituted for "Bible" in the headline.

There have been plenty of attacks on Christianity over the years, but few claims have been more surprising than one advanced by an obscure Swedish scholar this spring.

The Gospels do not say Jesus was crucified, Gunnar Samuelsson says.

In fact, he argues, in the original Greek, the ancient texts reveal only that Jesus carried "some kind of torture or execution device" to a hill where "he was suspended" and died, says Samuelsson, who is an evangelical pastor as well as a New Testament scholar.

"When we say crucifixion, we think about Mel Gibson's 'Passion.' We think about a church, nails, the crown of thorns," he says, referring to Gibson's 2004 film, "The Passion of the Christ."

"We are loaded with pictures of this well-defined punishment called crucifixion - and that is the problem," he says.

Samuelsson bases his claim on studying 900 years' worth of ancient texts in the original languages - Hebrew, Latin and Greek, which is the language of the New Testament.

He spent three years reading for 12 hours a day, he says, and he noticed that the critical word normally translated as "crucify" doesn't necessarily mean that.

"He was handed over to be 'stauroun,'" Samuelsson says of Jesus, lapsing into Biblical Greek to make his point.

At the time the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were writing their Gospels, that word simply meant "suspended," the theologian argues.

"This word is used in a much wider sense than 'crucifixion,'" he says. "It refers to hanging, to suspending vines in a vineyard," or to any type of suspension.

"He was required to carry his 'stauros' to Calvary, and they 'stauroun' him. That is all. He carried some kind of torture or execution device to Calvary and he was suspended and he died," Samuelsson says.

Not everyone is convinced by his research. Garry Wills, the author of "What Jesus Meant," "What Paul Meant," and "What the Gospels Meant," dismisses it as "silliness."

"The verb is stauresthai from stauros, cross," Wills said.

Samuelsson wants to be very clear about what he is saying and what he is not saying.

Most importantly, he says, he is not claiming Jesus was not crucified - only that the Gospels do not say he was.

"I am a pastor, a conservative evangelical pastor, a Christian," he is at pains to point out. "I do believe that Jesus died the way we thought he died. He died on the cross."

But, he insists, it is tradition that tells Christians that, not the first four books of the New Testament.

"I tried to read the text as it is, to read the word of God as it stands in our texts," he says - what he calls "reading on the lines, not reading between the lines."

Samuelsson says he didn't set out to undermine one of the most basic tenets of Christianity.

He was working on a dissertation at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden when he noticed a problem with a major book about the history of crucifixion before Jesus.

What was normally thought to be the first description of a crucifixion - by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus - wasn't a crucifixion at all, but the suspension of a corpse, Samuelsson found by reading the original Greek.

The next example in the book about crucifixion wasn't a crucifixion either, but the impaling of a hand.

Samuelsson's doctoral advisor thought his student might be on to something.

"He recommended I scan all the texts, from Homer up to the first century - 900 years of crucifixion texts," Samuelsson recalled, calling it "a huge amount of work."

But, he says, "I love ancient texts. They just consume me." So he started reading.

He found very little evidence of crucifixion as a method of execution, though he did find corpses being suspended, people being hanged from trees, and more gruesome methods of execution such as impaling people by the belly or rectum.

The same Greek word was used to refer to all the different practices, he found.

That's what led him to doubt that the Gospels specify that Jesus was crucified.

At the time they were written, "there is no word in Greek, Latin, Aramaic or Hebrew that means crucifixion in the sense that we think of it," he says.

It's only after the death of Jesus - and because of the death of Jesus - that the Greek word "stauroun" comes specifically to mean executing a person on the cross, he argues.

He admits, of course, that the most likely reason early Christians though Jesus was crucified is that, in fact, he was.

But he says his research still has significant implications for historians, linguists and the Christian faithful.

For starters, "if my observations are correct, every book on the history of Jesus will need to be rewritten," as will the standard dictionaries of Biblical Greek, he says.

More profoundly, his research "ought to make Christians a bit more humble," he says.

"We fight against each other," he reflects, but "the theological stances that keep churches apart are founded on things that we find between the lines.

"We have put a lot of things in the Bible that weren't there in the beginning that keep us apart. We need to get down on our knees as Christians together and read the Bible."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (1,530 Responses)
  1. Ken

    Look at all the controversy over a single word in the Bible. These posts go on and on. Yet people claim to 'know' what the bible means and have been willing, throughout history, to kill over their particular viewpoint. Shame.
    Thousands upon thousands of words, most with multiple meanings, all of the them translated by humans many times. Think of the combinations and permutations. Think of the errors and omissions......and yet each religion claims to know the 'truth'. Defies logic how any thinking person could base their life on something so obviously flawed......obviously man-made. The truth never needs interpretation, wars, or faith. 2+2=4.....done. If it isn't that clear, then it is opinion. And if you force your opinion via wars -- or the voting booth -– then you aren't worthy of what you seek.

    July 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  2. zann

    He died – why does it matter how it happened?

    I understand scholars wanting to be precise, but for the rest of us – why does it matter how He died? Isn't the why more important than the how?

    July 5, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  3. nsn1946

    Let me be more specific. There is not one shred of historical evidence of his existence, or the events of his life, recorded by any historian of that period, and not for two hundred years after that period.

    July 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  4. nsn1946

    Actually there is not one shred of historical (as written by historians) evidence of Jesus' existence. Not one!

    July 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • Mike

      Josephus was an historian. Doesn't he count?

      July 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  5. Dylan

    I am non religious so I look at religion using my logic and what I can understand. I see Christians basically saying to me that if I don't take Jesus into my heart and ask for forgiveness then my soul is destined for Hell. However if God created us in His image then he gave us the ability to question his existence. Most Cristians would then interject and say that no, Satan puts the doubt in my head and is therefore influencing me. My position is that I am not a pawn of neither God nor Satan and that they are only figments of a primitive Human mythology and a means to try to explan things that simply cannot be explained. I say that my conscious only exists for as long as my body can support it and when my body is no longer able to support my brain then it dies. People want to believe that their life means something, that "it's all worth it" and want their memories to live on forever. I say that's very selfish and is a primitive form of humans wanting to be special or powerful. I think that something that clouds people's view of the real world is the actual existance of their conscious. Their ability to control their body. I cannot control anyone else's body but my own. I see out of my eyes, hear with my ears, and feel with my skin. It's that sense of self that is hardest to let go of. I believe that when I die there will be no more memory of myself but there will be another being born that will have its own conscious. That person (or animal) will see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and feel with their skin and that being will be me. It's very different than reincarnation. It's not a transfer of spirit or a transfer of consciousness. It's a new being with a new conscious that will be self aware. It could be in the past or the future. I could be a dog, giraffe, a human, something on another planet, myself again, or even Jesus. Perhaps there is only one consciousness and it's been reused by everyone at everytime. I don't know, it's unexplainable and religion shouldn't be used to explain it because it's too easy for people to join sides. We should recognize the flaw in humans to pick sides to wage war (violent or otherwise) with other humans and we should try to eliminate as many of those possibilities as we can and simply realize that there are things we cannot explain and we don't need to find a way to explain them. We need to spend more time here on Earth being nice to each other and less time trying to explain the things that cannot be explained.

    My other problem is that all religions are preached to childern at a time when they are most vulnerable and impressionable. It is no coincidence that when the children are left to believe whatever they want to believe they choose to be non religious as the existance of multiple religions defys logic and therefore they all must be rejected as one cannot be chosen without disregarding the others. I also disagree with "the big bang" and feel that it is a convenient way to explain the existence of our universe but does not explain the beginning of time. Humans (including myself) cannot fathom time always existing, no beginning and no end, forever. But this has to be the case. Something as big and monumental as pure existance of anything cannot have a beginning or an end. And Christians believe that their 100 or less years on earth will dictate what they do for the next trillion trillion trillion, etc years? Really?

    July 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
    • sting

      I was adopted at birth and raised roman catholic and went through the normal religious indoctrination. Joined the military, served four tours in vietnam, and raised three sons without religious training, and when they became of age, they could decide what they wanted to believe in. One son is an agnostic, one son attends catholic mass because of his wife, but has stated that he will raise his children agnostic. My third son attends Protestant services and goes because he feels a bonding. That's his right. I have seen too much death and destruction to believe that there is a god, let alone multiple gods. We are born, we live, we die, and hopefully there is something else after that, whatever it is. But science and the human writings of bible lead me to one conclusion. The ideas of the commandments are excellent ways to lead your life without having religion become your all knowing, all perfect way to live. All the time we hear all religions say it is the word of god that you do this or that, even though it may be against the 10 commandments. So if the 10 commandments are the words of god, then why is it that we are told to disregard those words and do what god purports to tell you through your religious leaders? The Vatican is a prime example. Israel is a prime example. God is the word, and doubt that word, you are lost. Religion is a control factor. Control through religion, you have power. It doesn't make a difference which bible you read from, it is man-made and fiction. Interpretations upon interpretations. How can one believe in a deity that let's innocent children die horrible deaths, and then says, "oh, it's the will of god." What a joke.

      July 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  6. JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

    The shape of the cross had its origins in ancient Chaldea and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and ancient Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd century AD the church had departed from or had travestied certain doctrines of original Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system, pagans were received into the church apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted to retain their pagan symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross piece lowered, was later added to stand for Christ." An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (London, 1962) W.E. Vine, p 256.

    July 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  7. Truth2You

    For this cause did Christ tell us that the truth is hid from the wise and prudent (i.e.scholastic achievers), because they shall always seek to think above that which is written, which is only and always exaggeration, for the petty sake of seeking recognition for themselves. Though I myself am an academic, yet I have learned humility through Christ, and know assuredly that we must bow our hearts and minds under God´s Word when we come to God´s Word. Any scholastic achiever can make what he will either legitimate, or illegitimate; authentic, or if he will, also not authentic. It is to the babes which the truth is revealed; those who simply believe the Word of God, and obey it. As for me, I will hear God´s Word, while they of the world speak of the world, and the world hears them. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; and has not God made foolishness the wisdom of this world. In the end God shall have the last Word, not us, and so if we go about to discredit God, then shall we receive our due reward. Undoubtily some will say that I´m speaking into the air, or I am merely giving an emotional response, but no I am not to both. The simplicity which Christ set forth to us-ward was for this very reason, that we should not end up as the scribes and Pharisees, who are the very examples to not follow. If we set out to be a friend of the world, then shall we be most miserably the enemy of God. Until now, many are deceived into supposing that our attaining academic intellect somehow gives us license to examine the Truth according to God; it does not. Do you not know that without having received the gift of the Holy Spirit of Truth, the things that belong to God cannot be found out. I´m sorry, but it is most unsettling to behold those of influence causing doubt among the masses. Isn´t it enough that you have your credentials hung on the wall, and to be called of people, "Professor" or "Doctor" or "Sir", along with your salary; isn´t that not enough?

    July 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
    • JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

      Why is it important to understand this? Because of the following reasons:

      According to The Encyclopedia Britannica "Various objects dating from periods long anterior to the Christian era, have been found, marked with crosses in almost every part of the world . . . the use of the cross as a pagan symbol and object of worship in pre-Christian times is regarded as almost universal, and is typically connected with phallic worship or nature worship." Encyclopedia Britannica (1946) Vol 6, p. 753. (next post continued)

      July 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
    • JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

      Just as the ancient Boreans in The Apostle Paul's day sought to prove their faith by "searching the scriptures" it is of this same humble spirit that I do the same. I believe firmly that Christ died for our sins as the Bible has said. I also believe, as the Bible says, that after the apostles died, certain men slyly worked their way into the congregation" and that the truth would not become clear until after the separating of the wheat from the weeds in the conclusion of the final part of the days, which I also believe is happening. This does not in any way diminish my faith but makes it stronger because I want to understand the truth that the original Christians had at the time of the apostles. I do believe that the Bible gives us strong warning not to believe just the things we are told, but to do as I Thessalonians 5: 21 says: "Make sure of all things." It stands to reason to me that Satan would do whatever he could to water down Christianity after the apostles died. What better way to do that than present half truths, such as the story of the cross, when really it was the story of Jesus giving his life for us on a simple upright torture stake.

      July 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  8. JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

    . . . it is not a little misleading on the part of our teachers to translate the word staur-ros as "cross," when rendering Greek texts into native tongues, and to support such action by putting "cross" in our lexicons as the meaning of staur-ros without carefully explaining that was not the the primary meaning of the word when the apostles wrote the gospels and did not become its primary signification until later, and so because of the absence of corroborative evidence, for some reason it was assumed that the particular stau-ros' upon which Christ died had the shape of a cross beam." Pp23, 24.

    July 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  9. JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

    The book "The Non-Christian Cross," by J.D. Parsons (London, 1896), says: "There is not a single sentence in any of the numerous writings forming the New Testament, which in the original Greek, bears even indirect evidence to the effect that the stau-ros' used in the case of Jesus was other than an ordinary stau-ros'; much less to the effect that it consisted, not of one piece of timber, but of two pieces nailed together to form a cross . . . (continued next post)

    July 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  10. JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

    Was this the case in connection to the execution of God's son? It is noteworthy that the Bible also uses the word "xy'lon" to identify the device used. A Greek/English Lexicon, by Lidell and Scott, defines the meaning: "wood cut and immediately ready for use, such as firewood, timber, a log, or a stake on which criminals were iimpaled." It does also say "in NT , of the cross," and cites Acts 5:30 and 10:39 as examples (Oxford, 1968, pp. 1191, 1192) However, in those verses the King James Version, Revised Standard Version, Jerusalem Bible, and Catholic Douay versions transate xy-lon as tree (compare this rendering with Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21: 22, 23).

    July 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  11. JoeH, LCP, PsyD, MHSP

    Cross Definition: The device on which Jesus Christ was executed is referred to by most of Christendom as a cross. The expression is drawn from the Latin "Crux."

    The Greek word rendered "cross" in many Bible translations is stau-ros'. In classical Greek this word meant upright stake or pole with no cross beam. "The Imperial Bible Dictionary" acknowledges this saying: "The Greek word for cross (stau-ros') properly signified a stake or upright pole . . . even amongst Romans the crux (from which cross is derived) appears to have originally been an upright pole with no cross beam." - Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol I, p. 376.

    July 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  12. jesus

    its surprising how everyone who took the time to post a comment turned in to a historic/biblical scholar after reading this article. You all are retarded.

    July 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
    • Eric

      Hey when did you find the time to look at all our medical records?

      July 5, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Eric

    Hey, I found a mistake! Check this out.
    “At the time the apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were writing their Gospels, that word simply meant "suspended," the theologian argues.”

    Mark and Luke were not part of the group of the Twelve Apostles.

    “We need to… read the Bible." Gunnar Samuelsson
    "reading on the lines, not reading between the lines." Gunnar Samuelsson

    July 5, 2010 at 10:27 am |
    • HeIsGod

      This is why I told you yesterday, Eric, that I refuse to put my trust on mankind. Just before I came to this blog this morning, I felt to share this scripture again.

      (1 Corinthians 1)

      18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
      19 – For it is written:
      "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
      The intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."[c]

      20 – Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
      22 – Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
      23 -but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
      24 – but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
      25 – For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
      27 – But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
      28 – He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.

      Thank you so much for reading the article and sharing this with us...God bless you!!

      July 5, 2010 at 10:54 am |
    • Eric

      HeIs – Yes, that is a powerful section of scripture.
      Just consider me a fellow fool for Christ.

      July 5, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  14. Eric

    So, In regard to the actual CNN article on the crucifixion of Jesus.
    This is eye witness testimony from Matthew and John that what ever “crucifixion” is, it indeed happened to Jesus.
    Matthew 27:35 ...when they had crucified (stauroósantes) him...
    Matthew 27:38 ...crucified (stauroúntai) with him...
    Matthew 27:40 ...come down from the cross (stauroú)…
    Matthew 27:42 ...come down from the cross (stauroú)...
    Matthew 27:44 ...crucified (sustauroothéntes) with him...
    John 19:18 …here they crucified (estaúroosan) him …
    John 19:23 …When the soldiers crucified (Estaúroosan) Jesus …
    This is what I found in the Bible (NIV with Greek (UBS) transliteration inserts):

    “We need to… read the Bible." Gunnar Samuelsson

    July 5, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • Randy Chard

      As the earliest written of the four gospels was written about 30-40 years after death of Christ and the other three were written two or three decades after the first I doubt that there were any real eye witnesses to the deed. So crucifiction or not the death and resurrection of Christ in spirit if not body is the central tenet in Christianity.

      The manner of his death is not important except in the sense that he died for our sins.

      July 6, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  15. bob

    There's actually a mountain of compelling historical evidence, not anecdotal or circumstantial, that Jesus the historical figure portrayed in the Bible may not have existed at all, and that he is simply a representation of "good" in a story about christian beliefs in order to justify the validity of the teachings in the new testament. That doesn't mean that the book is a lie, it is the story of the christian faith, created by people in around years 100-300 in order to assert the power of their new growing faith.

    July 5, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Sanjose Mike

      As an atheist myself, I certainly think it possible that Jesus may not have existed, but there is reasonable evidence to assume that he did. The man (if he existed) was considered just a Rabbi, but a dangerous one by the Romans and (some) other Jews. Crucifixion was common during that time, and Jesus, if he existed, almost certainly would have been crucified. But the man never considered himself anything but a Jewish person, who was also a Rabbi. Obviously I agree with you that religion is simply a matter of "mind control." Like you, I choose not to be controlled. sanjosemike

      July 6, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  16. brian williams

    The battle between the faithful and the faithless rages on.The end will come and satan will never triumph over GOD.

    July 5, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  17. J. M. Heskett

    We can certainly be glad that, as we celebrate our independance, we can freely express our comments!
    I am an ordinary person who believes that God loves us first, and even when we are His enemies, that Jesus, because of His love for us, died on the cross, shed His perfect blood, and rose again the third day, and believed this when I first heard it; my overall belief is grounded from my personal study of the Bible without references for years, and using prayer; then years with references, including several tranlations of the Bible and also going into the Greek language, and more prayer. I was able to see and believe, because God enable me too! God promised that He will bear witness with our spirit to back up His truth. Proof? Not to some of you. He did bear witness to my spirit that Jesus is real; His love is real; He died for my sins, shed His blood, and rose again! I know its true that He loves us, wants to forgive each person's sins, and give us a good future and hope! It is even stronger than that. Just look at what Jesus says about Himself; He is the "I am", in John, which caused the people to want to stone Him, along with other things He said because He declared Himself equal with God; He was declaring Himself as always being God with no beginning or ending, even though He was appearing in human form at the time. John 1:1- 1:14 also states this; Phillipians 2:5-8; and many more! The Bible has proven to be true in my lifetime; God never fails, but man does; if we people were perfect, we wouldn't need a Savior! Denominations are people's creation, not God's. At the same time, God has set up some to lead, some to follow, all to build each other up, the strong to help the weak and each other.
    In Romans God states that man has no reason to doubt His creation and existence by looking at His creation! In Gensis it states that living created things will bear seeds reproducing after their own kind. I just love the apple seed as an example! How many apples are in an apple seed? How many apple trees are in an apple seed? It doesn't take a scholar to know that an apple seed can produce an apple tree, which in turn produces many apples with many more trees, and on and on! And the sea creatures each have their seeds; each kind of fish produce its own kind; each animal, each plant! You don't have to be a rocket scientist here, or fall for great theories! May this be a happy and blessed year for you all!

    July 5, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  18. JokerOC

    Watching people debate a fairy tale is funny. I think Darth Vader killed him.

    July 5, 2010 at 9:29 am |
    • gerald

      Spending eternity where the worm never dies will not be funny. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

      July 5, 2010 at 9:45 am |
    • Eric

      Joker – I think I missed something. Who do you think Darth Vader killed?
      Could you use a proper noun instead of saying "him"? Thanks

      July 5, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  19. bluenote

    You guys, arguing over myth and conjecture.lol Stop wasting your time... Argue over something a little more concrete, like who the best guitar player that ever lived was. In the end, this will turn out to be a much more important argument, anyway, because it will be based on fact. 🙂

    July 5, 2010 at 7:53 am |
    • gerald

      Should we argue about the revolutionary war or did it really happen? How do you know it happened? You read it in books. Can it be "proven" any more than the historical facts of the Bible? ACtually less, because there is nothing prophetic about the history books. We call themy history books and that seems to give some level of authority to them. But what is recorded in scripture is written by historians as well.

      July 5, 2010 at 9:43 am |
    • Eric

      Tell you what, anyone who believes that Hendrix existed has some explaining to do.

      July 5, 2010 at 10:16 am |
    • bluenote

      @ Eric: That's pretty funny, man. Not only do I believe that Hendrix existed, but I believe in Eternal Feedback, through the Power of the Holy Strat. The bridge is my Shepherd, I shall not Coil Tap, through sonic landscapes He leadeth me, the Roger Waters by. With bright Chrome He releaseth my tone, soulful and improvised. Etc. You get it. lol

      July 5, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Eric

      Blue – Thanks for checking in.
      So, what source would you cite to convince a person that Hendrix was a real person of history?
      How could someone be certain that he really lived?
      (The reason I picked Him was he was a truly talented guitar player. Never will I arise to his level.)

      July 5, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      The best guitar player and singer is [google] ‘John Michael Talbot singing Holy is His Name’

      July 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  20. HeIsGod

    LOL, do you know where your lack of knowledge has taken you? No where. How little you know about my Savior, your God.

    : – D

    July 4, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      My reply was for someone who said that he/she thought that Jesus drowned in as He walked on water. Didn't get the name on time and it was deleted......GOOD!!!

      July 4, 2010 at 10:21 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.