August 3rd, 2010
01:49 PM ET

Remains of John the Baptist found in Bulgaria?

John the Baptist, right, as depicted in this 14th century painting at the National Gallery, London

Archaeologists in Bulgaria claim they have found remains of John the Baptist while excavating the site of a 5th century monastery on the Black Sea island of Sveti Ivan.

A reliquary – a container for holy relics – discovered last week under the monastery’s basilica was opened on Sunday and found to contain bone fragments of a skull, a hand and a tooth, Bulgaria’s official news agency BTA reported.

Excavation leader Kazimir Popkonstantinov lifted the reliquary’s lid in a ceremony in the coastal town of Sozopol attended by dignitaries including the Bishop of Sliven, Yoanikii, and Bozhidar Dimitrov, a government minister and director of Bulgaria’s National History Museum, BTA said.

Further tests on the fragments are due to be carried out. But Popkonstantinov is convinced the relics belong to John the Baptist because of a Greek inscription on the reliquary referring to June 24, the date when Christians celebrate John the Baptist’s birth, according to the website of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

A later monastery on the island, built in the 11th century, was dedicated to John the Baptist – "Sveti Ivan" means "St. John" in Bulgarian and other Slavic languages. Popkonstantinov told Bulgarian news agency Focus that it was possible the earlier basilica was also dedicated to the saint.

Fabrizio Bisconti, superintendent of the Vatican Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology, told CNN that the commission "will wait until a more thorough study has been conducted, including anthropological analysis, before it will express an opinion on the finding."

Bisconti also said there are thousands of alleged relics of John the Baptist scattered around the world. He said the pontifical commission has not been contacted by the Bulgarian archaeologists, and that it normally does not get involved in the sacred archaeology studies carried outside of Italy.

Christians believe John the Baptist heralded the arrival of Christ and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. According to the Gospels, John was put to death by beheading on the orders of the local ruler, Herod Antipas. He is considered a particularly significant figure in the Orthodox Church.

The newly discovered reliquary is made of alabaster and dates from approximately the middle of the 5th century, Popkonstantinov told reporters. The southern Black Sea coast was then part of the Byzantine Empire, ruled from Byzantium, now Istanbul in Turkey.

Popkonstantinov told Focus the reliquary was the first to be discovered in the region.

Dimitrov told Focus the relics may once have been donated to the monastery by the Byzantine church. The Topkapi Palace museum in Istanbul is one of several sites claiming to house relics purported to be those of John the Baptist.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (1,093 Responses)
  1. fanta

    Yes...well of course it's believable.....he walked all the way from palestine to bulgaria just to be buried there........yeah right gimme a break !

    August 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • MJ

      How could he walk? He was beheaded. Maybe it rolled.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  2. tacopaco

    Friar Boris would secretly nap in the hidden chamber under the basilica, until one day the latch became stuck...

    August 3, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
    • bozo

      LOL.. very Gary Larson..

      August 3, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
    • Jim

      @bozo ^^Like^^

      August 4, 2010 at 12:13 am |
    • GodIsForImbeciles


      August 4, 2010 at 1:19 am |
    • DangerMouse

      I mean, really....

      August 4, 2010 at 1:53 am |
    • DanUSMC

      Dude whered you go? I wanna know what happened after the latch got stuck to Friar Boris!!

      August 4, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  3. Carl

    Yeah sure, and in a strange coincidence the tooth fairy's wand also found in a dig in Narnia.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
    • TpSnow

      The tooth fairy surely exists. Adulthood merely robs us of the ability to see her.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:32 am |
  4. Lucifer83

    There is no such thing as a Slavic languages!!! Bulgarian language is Slavic languages. Bulgarian language is the beginning of the Slavic languages!!!! Slavic languages was devised by Cyril and Methodius, and they are not Slavic!!! they are of Byzantium! Their father was an officer in Byzantium! Tsarist Russia created the Slavic nature of the lie! That is why Russia will burn forever!... and then USA. CIA and KGB are the same!!!! One system controls the world from the beginning! Father Lord God is the enemy of humanity! He killed his son Jesus! He arrested Lucifer, the brother of Jesus! And he constantly kills THE man! The Man is like a god!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Jim

      Ummm... Dude?!

      August 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • Ivan the not so gret.

      KGB is dead, replaced by the FSB

      August 4, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • DangerMouse

      Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

      August 4, 2010 at 1:55 am |
    • twerzian

      Byzantium...the CIA and KGB...Lucifer the brother of Jesus? It's all starting to come together...

      August 4, 2010 at 2:20 am |
    • b_ron

      Father Lord God-–I'd like to see where you got that from! You been listening to too many prayers! I wonder who people are talking to when I hear those kids of prayers!

      August 4, 2010 at 2:21 am |
    • Missy

      Lucifer the Lucid. Lordy lordy. Daddy Issues. Delusions. Dissonance.

      No dissonance for me, but lots of consonance. We were poor and could only afford a few letters of the alphabet, so I can't help that I'm alliterate.

      Good gravy, gotta get going!

      August 4, 2010 at 2:52 am |
    • Langkard

      Wow, Lucifer83, you appear to be confusing the word language with the word alphabet. Cyril and Methodius invented an alphabet for the Slavic peoples to use for writing. Thus... Cyrillic. It enabled them to write down their languages in a systematic way and led to a conformity of language which coalesced into what is now known as Old Church Slavonic, which was indeed a language, in much the same way that modern English is compared to Elizabethan English . But there are and were other Slavic languages, not affected by commonality of using Cyrillic lettering. So check the date on your meds, they might have expired.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:20 am |
    • Arglebargle

      Whoa, Luci, dude...take a pill, man.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  5. EdwardM

    It aoppears from the comments here that atheists can be just as dogmatic as Christians. Tone it down a little, gentlemen!

    Two points: 1. The journalist may have slightly misunderstood Mark 1: 7-8 "There cometh one mightier than I after me (etc.)" as a prophecy of the birth of Christ rather than of His imminent arrival (standards of Biblical literacy being, alas, far from what they once were); and 2. The story reports the discovery of a fifth-century reliquary containing remains which may have been believed, in the fifth century, to be relics of John the Baptist, and to assert anything more at this point (either pro or con) is mere jumping to conclusions.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      A dogma of no belief? Of questioning and examining everything in sight? Is this a bad thing, do you think?

      August 4, 2010 at 1:58 am |
    • Dawkins

      Using the Bible to Prove the Bible is like using a Superman comic to prove Superman existed.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:41 am |
    • Hawaiikaos

      Gentlemen?! I'm sure you're half right. Rrrrr.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:45 am |
    • Arglebargle

      Zounds, Knave! How dare you doubt the Mighty One! Superman DOES live! Those aren't comics, they're holy scripture depicting Kal-El's birth and life on Earth before traveling o the Phantom Zone to atone for our sins!

      August 4, 2010 at 7:32 am |
    • Zeke2112

      Sure thing, Edward. I'll just sit back while Christians brainwash another generation with fairy tales and rules meant to restrict their one human existence – of course, while also pushing for legislation to limit the rights of others based on the same fairy tales and using religion as a shield for their own horrific crimes. Seems perfectly benign to me.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:46 am |
    • Shane

      Calling "Atheism" a religion is like calling "barefoot" a type of shoe style.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Jones Foyer

      There were plenty of fake relics scattered around the churches of Europe during this period- done with the intent of bringing faith travelers into their church. Labeling a relic does not make it real.

      On the topic of faith, of course, Christianity is not something that needs to be proven, analyzed to have merit.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Doug

      It's not about being dogmatic but rather an agenda which comes from the atheistic righteousness which is a religion wherein religion is defined as a set system of beliefs. Whereas Christianity comes with Evangelical Witness the new atheistic agenda includes a different moral code which includes in your face argumentation as they are no longer "in the closet". Mispell a word, forget a period, don't captialize etc. and if you are a Christian you will be crucified on internet blogs by the Atheists who will even try to fabricate a story that Jesus never really existed. Get used to it brother. It's an agenda. They will not listen to anything you say as Rush Limbaugh says they are like the drive by media. They are not your 50's, 60's or even 70's atheists.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • One Whose Name Means Beloved of God

      As an atheist who is not a gentlemen, your statement has me a little annoyed.

      And not all atheists are in-your-face. I happen to believe that there is no God. But one belief is just as verifiable as another. I do not feel superior to anyone else on that basis.

      August 8, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  6. LeeR

    Much of religion is hogwash. Shroud of Turin – fraud; Bones of Joan of Arc – dog bones; Herod had John the Baptist beheaded for Salome (She swung the head around while dancing in Palestine) – and it winds up in Bulgaria ??? And 2000 years later, it is still in one piece ?? Who will they compare the DNA with ?? The supposed sites of the crusifictions are now known to have been outside the walls of Jerusalem – makes sense – and not at the site of the Church of Holy Scepulchre, which is inside the walls of Jerusalem. Aren't there some John the Baptist bones in Damascus, too. These bones in Bulgaria are more likely the bones of some hapless monk...or the village drunk. Sorry to say, but modern forensic science is blowing the roof off traditional religious beliefs.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      LeeR, where have you been all my internet life?

      August 4, 2010 at 2:01 am |
    • TheBossIsOut

      Actually the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was outside of the wall. The current wall in Israel today was not the wall 2000 years ago. The northern part of the wall has been modified extensively over the centuries.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:10 am |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Don't forget that bogus hack, Padre Pio.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:15 am |
    • ConfucianScholar

      Man, I am a Scientist, but I don't need DNA or carbon dating to realize that some chick getting knocked off and claiming that "the spirit touched her and now she carries the child of God" is hogwash. And the poor people who need mythology to give meaning to their lives. Poor Bulgarians.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:15 am |
  7. Geirge Johns II

    Jesus was a person like you and I.. not the son of a god and certainly not god.. as you people normally refer to him. Just an average Joe who happened to get some strong suport.. all you religious stuff is rediculous

    August 3, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • Arlene

      Geirge Johns II, how much of the Bible have you actually read? Usually people read a book before they report on it.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • Christ follower

      For all of you non-believers who think that we as Christians are brainwashed, obviously have never experienced the true living God who lives inside of each of us who claim Him as our savior! It's sad that your mind is so closed that you can't believe or have faith that some things exist without scientific proof. You can feel the wind but you can't hold it in your hands, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. There are some things that exist everywhere in nature and even in our human bodies that scientist can't explain. That's called Faith. But since you don't believe why are you even reading the article about the remains found?Is it so you can spread your evil seed wherever you go? Everybody believes and worships something, what do you worship? Money, Television celebrities, the government? The government and the media can claim anything and you will believe it without question. Our president can't even prove his American citizenship, his original birth records or his College degree. But you were probably stupid enough to vote for him too. That's ok though, just remember you reap what you sow and when Christ returns " Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord" Even you!

      August 4, 2010 at 9:47 am |
    • J P

      Well, I guess you will find out when you leave this earth..... I plan on going to heaven since I have been redeemed by my Saviour, Jesus Christ !

      August 4, 2010 at 9:58 am |
    • Teri

      CHRIST FOLLOWER – Thank you for your reply.

      First, this article is about an archeological find, so why you non-believers have the need to turn this into a religious debate and criticize Christians shows your lack of maturity and ability to discuss the subject at hand. Clearly, you just wanted to take advantage of the situation and spread your ignorance.

      Secondly, if you've never had a personal encounter with Jesus then don't speak of something you know nothing about. I can't speak for all, however, my belief is not based on "stories" or the fact that I'm weak and have to believe in something. I KNOW Jesus is real. I have been physically healed and have seen the puzzled look on my doctor's face when he couldn't use his knowledge to explain why he didn't have to perform surgery, I have experienced His power and His goodness is manifested in my life every day. Have you really tried to know Jesus? I'm not talking religion, I'm talking relationship. If not, please keep your mouth shut because your opinion is based on complete and utter ignorance.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Shane

      "obviously have never experienced the true living God who lives inside of each of us who claim Him as our savior"

      The mind is a funny sort of thing. The fact that someone has a delusion doesn't alter reality for anyone other than the person who is delusional. You'd do well to learn this.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:04 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Our president can't even prove his American citizenship, his original birth records or his College degree.'
      Yes he can, and yes he has, time and again. See there is such as thing as faith but there is also such a thing as putting your fingers in your ears and going la la la I cant hear you when shown evidence.

      As for you cannot hold the wind so you must go on faith that it exists.....what a complete load of nonsense. And because science does not know something does not mean it becomes a faith issue either.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Grant

      @ Christ Follower – you said "our president can't even prove his American citizenship, his original birth records or his College degree. But you were probably stupid enough to vote for him too."

      So are you saying it's stupid to support things that aren't proven?

      August 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
    • Grant

      @Teri – 2 things

      1) The root of this archeological find is Christian lore, so really this is a debate of religion because the claims of this find are based in religion.

      2) Your experiences should be up for as much scrutiny as anything else. Just because you believe it to be authentic doesn't make it so, and citing your personal (unverifiable) experiences as proof of anything is entirely invalid.

      Sorry, but religion (and its personal experiences) should not be free from analysis and scrutiny.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • Mekhong Kurt

      Christ Follower, when you invite me over for coffee with you and Christ AND I'm convinced that's really Christ, maybe I'll pay attention.

      As for your anti-Obama rant - please get off it. This is an article about a claimed religious relic, not contemporary American politics. Why don't you start your own rant website - maybe http://www.Trolls-R-Us.com?

      August 5, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  8. Kerry Berger

    So many Saint's fragments were allegedly gathered during the Middle Ages. Most are not genuine and can never be proven to be from the purported person. This is fine for Roman Catholics to believe, but it isn't serious journalism or even that news worthy.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:32 pm |

      Yes, and if they say they found Jesus bones you will be the first one to say that's proof that Jesus did not rise from the dead and everything about religion is hogwash.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jim

      Yep, I should think that would be appropriate, given that Jesus ascended to heaven... So, finding his bones would kinda mess up the credibility of one of the parties.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • Zeke2112

      Jim, you win 9000 internets for your epic response. Awesome!

      August 4, 2010 at 7:41 am |
    • Mekhong Kurt

      Redfrog, I wouldn't say that. I would say it was going to be one heck of a stretch to prove it in the context of science, not stories recorded many centuries ago, sometimes long after the facts they purport to record.

      Read Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces." It explores monomyth globally.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:22 am |
  9. Ziltoid the Omniscient

    sure ... all brought to you by Salome with authentic grave markings 1 BCE to 3 AD.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  10. Sure They Were

    "Remains of John the Baptist found in Bulgaria"

    ...right next to the Gospel According to Judas.

    (Sheez, can't those Bulgarians accomplish something credible for their claim to fame?)

    August 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  11. Chris

    Give me a break. Every cathedral and holy building has some "relic" there to sanctify it. Next this guy is going to claim to have chunks of the "true cross."

    August 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm |

      You know a lot of these things. I guess we should just simply ignore all the scientists and listen to you then huh.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      Agreed. This story is pure BS, it reminds me of Padre Pio. Religitards will stoop to new depths to lend veracity to their superstitions.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:18 am |
    • Langkard

      Nothing scientific about claiming relics found in a Bulgarian church are those of a specific person, and some 500 years after the life of that person. There was a huge market for relics in that time period. Every church had its relics. Enough pieces of the "true cross" to build an ark. Bits and pieces of saints. Holy relics of this and that, all sold and resold and marketed by the same type of people who would later sell snake oil to unsuspecting fools in the U.S. west and invent things like chiropracty and healing with crystals and other inane silliness.

      It's poor science on the part of this clearly gullible "achaeologist" to assume that something written on the reliquary makes it true. Even as recently as just a few years ago, scholars were completely fooled by a whole series of religious antiquities in Israel, later discovered to be clever forgeries. How much easier to fool a true believer Christian monk of the 6th century? How can anyone take this supposed archaeologist seriously? Of course, the true believers don't need facts. They're quite used to believing total nonsense, often completely contradictory nonsense and ignoring the inconsistencies entirely. Like all of the Christians out there who claim with straight faces that the Gospels are the word of God, and thus all completely true, and yet seemingly oblivious to obvious contradictions as simple as who was present at the discovered of Jesus' empty tomb, something which the two Gospels which mention it and a later letter of Paul all disagree about? Or who was the father of Joseph, husband of Mary the supposed virgin mother of Jesus'? Two accounts, two entirely different names for Joseph's father. And yet, the true believers insist that the Gospels are absolutely true. Insane.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:12 am |
    • Andy

      @GodIsForImbeciles Sorry that you were picked on in high school.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:46 am |
    • Dennis in AZ

      Actually, I saw pieces of the True Cross selling on E-Bay. On the other hand, I thought the skull of john the baptist wast buried at the well of souls in Jerusalem. More myth?

      August 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Derek

    People will say anything to get funding these days....

    Look! These photos were taken by Ansel Adams! Wait.. over here! This hand belonged to John The Baptist...

    August 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  13. cinny

    the ignorance of the lack of reading the Bible wow. I guess it will all come out in the DNA right!
    I guess this world becoming blind to the light and living in the dark is very true, how sad!!
    Does no one not remember: Mary arose in the day and went to the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, that the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She called out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!"

    Luke 1:39-45

    August 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
    • verify

      A couple of possibilities:

      1. Hormonal hysteria of pregnancy.

      2. Made-up story.

      (I am embarrassed to relate this, but my mother told me that an angel appeared and told her to have me... aaarrgh!)

      August 3, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • peace2all


      Oh my gosh.... Verify, buddy..... you shouldn't have let that one out.... we will have to 'needle ya' about this angel bit for awhile..

      Just kidding ya'.....


      August 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
    • RookFeather

      Awful lot of leaping for a fetus. Hope she didn't have miscarriage.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • Cocopuf

      Are you quoting verbatim or are you paraphrasing? It makes a BIG difference !

      August 3, 2010 at 8:42 pm |

      @verify Hey Bud you want to call your mother crazy just say so.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
    • Ron

      If today a young girl came and said she was a virgin and pregnant, we would all chuckle and tell her, "Nice try girl, but nobody buying that crap. And if she managed to pass that story on to her fiance Josef, we would all call him a gullible idiot. Yet even today, in the name of faith, otherwise intelligent people swallow that story hook, line and sinker. By the way, did you know that story was already legend in India five thousand years before the birth of Christ, the woman was called Devaki and she gave birth to Krishna. World is getting smaller and these stories are now out there for all to read and understand

      August 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
    • verify

      peace2all: Heheheh, I truly am mortified by that story; but I only put it out there to show how delusional some folks can be.

      REDFROG: Yes, she was a bit 'emotionally fragile', but only once in a while slightly more delusional than most religious people. I loved her a lot for other reasons, however.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
    • tacopaco

      and then the magical purple dragon pranced across the rainbow sky singing "Behold, yay and verily and so forth." And a fungus did sprout in Mary's armpits and there was joy and frolicking in the land of the Marmelade Princess.

      August 3, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • verify

      Oh cripes, peace2all, I forgot to tell you the rest... it will really put you on the floor ... I was born on Good Friday! (can prove that with my driver's license and an old calendar, in case you think I have gone over the edge!)

      August 3, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • peace2all


      You have GOT to be kidding me...!? Good Friday to boot...!!!???

      Oh VERIFY.... This one will follow you for awhile on the blogosphere my friend... 🙂

      Peace to you Pal.....

      August 3, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
    • swest

      Ron, Jesus was Krisha.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:22 am |
    • Xaris

      @verify I was like you before.
      "I once was lost but now am found,Was blind but now I see.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:29 am |
    • peace2all


      I think you have a new friend @Xaris...... I think you finally 'have seen the light'...my brother..! 😉

      Oh VERIFY.....This is getting way tooooooo good.... We are definitely going to have to somehow talk/have a beer and share some stories...!!!

      Peace to you....

      August 4, 2010 at 1:35 am |
    • ustink0815

      @verify I think it's alright that your mom believes an angel told her to have you. Even if she was delusional, it was a good thing she did, concieving you.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:43 am |
    • NOTW

      @CINNI I agree with you! People have become blind to the light and are living in darkness;0( May God Have Mercy On Us All!

      August 4, 2010 at 1:47 am |
    • peace2all


      Oh my, my friend.......look at what you started......;-)

      BTW.....your post about loving your mother...that is cool...


      August 4, 2010 at 2:15 am |
    • hoeech

      That's her story and she's stickin' to it.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:03 am |
    • Scootsy

      Feel better?

      August 4, 2010 at 4:09 am |
    • Hawaiikaos

      At first I thought "leaped" meant the baby somehow was transported into Elizabeth's womb, but on re-reading, it sounds like the fetus just kicked, which is at least plausible - I bet that trips up a lot of people. And she took that as a "sign"? Please. It's all hokum. It's annoying when people correlate coincidence with cause and effect.

      Someone should do a DNA test on the remains to see if they came from Middle East or Bulgaria.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:40 am |
    • Arglebargle

      Hey, Verify...an angel??? LMAO!!! Methinks it was just gas!

      August 4, 2010 at 7:26 am |
    • nkl

      Ya, babies do that, it's not a miracle they grow bigger and bigger in a cramped little space and kick around, bet she had heartburn really bad too lol

      August 4, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Russell in Texas

      @ swest – Was he Horus too?

      August 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • Will

      I don't seem to remember Christianity ever saying, lets talk condescendingly to everyone that's not a Christian and make them feel like crap because then they will definitely want to be a Christian OH BOY! Maybe you should get back in that book and figure out what it really says instead of running around posting insulting things on random message boards which do nothing but drive people away from the message you so desperately want to put forth.

      August 25, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  14. frenchbugler

    more and more insane nonsense will come out of this region as Muzlims are being given rights to build mosques at fround ZERO by Obama facists!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • Hanif

      Excuse me, but you Sir, sound like some neurotic person ! ! !

      August 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
      • John

        It was just a question about the lack of reporting current religous events.

        Radical Islam and other extreme religions make any sane person neurotic, sir. Read some history books and see the Dove's web site..

        August 4, 2010 at 8:29 am |
    • RookFeather

      What's muslims and Obama got anything to do with this? Are you on drugs?

      August 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • Ten Thousand Bears

      You're saying that Obama has a secret plot to force Michael Bloomberg to cover ground zero in Mosques? There isn't a straight jacket big enough for you buddy.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
      • mktpdj

        Just about as crazy as Bush creating ground zero, wouldn't you agree????!

        August 4, 2010 at 3:28 am |
    • Mekhong Kurt

      I had to burst out laughing at the claim the "Obama fascists" are allowing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero.

      In the first place, it's not AT Ground Zero, but around some corners and not even visible from Ground Zero.

      In the second place, it was a CITY BOARD that declined giving the bui8lding historical status, which, according to what I read today in several sources, wouldn't have stopped the religious use of the building.

      In the third place, the center is slated to include far more than a mosque. Like a swimming pool and a restaurant, among other things.

      Just what IS Obama, anyway? I've read everything from fascist to socialist to communist to secret dictator to Islamofacist born i n Kenya/Indonesia - take your pick. And I'm sure he is just sitting in the Oval Office foaming at the mouth unable to contain his eagerness to have his "Obamas fascists" authorize the use of an existing building as a religious structure.

      And that's despite the fact that some MUSLIMS, including some from the Islamic world, were *killed* in the 9/11 attacks. If Christians, Jews, atheists, and others can remember the victims of those attacks can remember people at a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue, a secular setting - then why can't Muslims remember people in a Muslim setting?

      Here's what I would suggest: declare a religion-free zone for some distance around Ground Zero then forbid ALL religious structures and activities within that zone, and don't allow atheists to hold a secular remembrance, either. Stomp on EVERYBODY.

      August 5, 2010 at 6:10 am |
  15. frenchbuggerer

    i bet those remains stunk to the high heavens!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • Cocopuf

      Just give it a little more time, and you'll find the answer yourself.

      August 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Doug

      Ohh no, the maggots and other critters by now have eaten all the stink away... Besides, its only a head as far as I know..

      August 4, 2010 at 5:31 am |
    • Doug

      I would not be surprised if his head shows up on fear factor...

      August 4, 2010 at 5:32 am |
  16. Grant

    I'm a bit confused...Did "June 24th" exist back then?

    August 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Luke


      August 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
    • J. T

      yes, the same gregorian calender was in place then as is today...

      August 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • J. T

      apologies, the gregorian calender replaced the nerely identical Julian calender that was in place in the 5th century, making up for the quarter day difference at the end of every year which is technically 365.24 days. This is where the leap year comes into place, though it is a horrible way of making the correct...

      August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
    • Luke

      Ah yes, 5th century. My bad. Julian calendar was similar, but not identical to the current gregorian.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bromista

      No, but Cinco de Mayo did.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:05 am |
    • Doug

      Actually they make this all work as we go... As for you, well son, you are not supposed to know things like this and you should keep your stupid mouth shut or you will go to hell in a hand basket..

      August 4, 2010 at 5:29 am |
    • calendarguy

      from Wikipedia: "The Gregorian calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582." Thus, no Gregorian calendar in the 5th century. Fact check....

      August 4, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  17. peace2all

    Wow.... I'm convinced. Looks and sounds like absolute proof to me....? Give me a break...

    And by the way.... @Bill Gilman, @Ben and @Bobo.....' please don't lose your (heads)over this whole thing' Yeah, I know...I just couldn't resist... all in good fun...


    August 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  18. Reality

    And the Virgin will appear to verify the find!!! Add it to the list of other RCC ripoffs aka Lourdes, Fatima, Pio, and the gal from Guadalupe.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Aidan

      Reality, this is typical ant-Catholic bigotry. Please be a little more open-minded and accepting of the beliefs of others. You wouldn't say insulting things about Jews, African Americans, or Homosexuals, so why would you blatantly insult Catholics?

      August 4, 2010 at 1:03 am |
      • in study

        Did I use the word Catholic? R U talking to me?

        August 4, 2010 at 11:50 am |
        • Anon

          Me? No. Shane? I have no clue about that guy. Hes way crazy. :0P

          August 4, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • NOTW

      I feel sorry for you poor poor soul if you only knew.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:36 am |
      • Anon

        Concept of your statement I get. Sarcasim not really needed. Try again.

        August 4, 2010 at 11:32 am |
    • Shane

      "I feel sorry for you poor poor soul if you only knew."

      Condescend much?

      When it all boils down, all you have is faith. You do not KNOW what you pretend. At least not according to MY definition of Knowledge - which is apparently a bit more strict than yours.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  19. Bobo

    To "prophesy" also can mean to "foretell" or to "predict the coming of a future event". Check Websters so you'll understand that you don't have to be able to talk to "prophesy" ... John's mere birth was the "predicter" of Jesus' coming, therefore John's birth was the prophesy. Get it, Bill & Ben ??

    August 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • Tom

      A Scientist can predict the outcome of an experiment but they would never call is a prophecy. There are differences between the two. But it should like you would like to blur the lines.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
    • GodIsForImbeciles

      His birth was a predictor? You really need help.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:12 am |
    • Gordon Daily

      Bobo... good name you chose there, because you are indeed a clown. The dictionary defines prophesy as: 1. to make predictions; 2. to make inspired declarations of what is to come; 3. to speak as a mediator between god and humankind or in God's stead. The act of being born does not a prophesy make.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:30 am |
    • Arlene

      The prophetic aspect of John's birth that relates to Jesus was the fact that his father, Zacharias, lost his voice while ministering in the temple, and then recovered his voice right after John was born. This losing and regaining of Zacharias' voice prophetically indicated that John was to be a "voice in the wilderness". During John's ministry, when Jesus was baptized, a voice was heard, speaking from heaven, saying "This is my beloved son."

      August 4, 2010 at 8:29 am |
    • Rich


      "from prophetes (see prophet). Meaning "thing SPOKEN or WRITTEN by a prophet" is from c.1300."

      Emphasis mine.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:52 am |
    • Danielle

      That's not what the article said, though. You don't really believe that the CNN writer is so deep that he understood John's birth itself as a prophecy, do you?

      August 4, 2010 at 11:13 am |
    • Jim


      Jesus was already on the planet so Messiah was already on site. This means john did not prophesy, he heralded Messiah's arrival on the scene.


      August 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • r j sledge

      All science vs possibility of virgin birth please read this article. If man can produce this what do you think a supreme being could do?

      In vitro meat
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
      In vitro meat, also known as cultured meat, is animal flesh that has never been part of a complete, living animal. Several current research projects are growing in vitro meat experimentally, although no meat has yet been produced for public consumption.[1] The first generation products will most likely be minced meat, and a long-term goal is to grow fully developed muscle tissue. Potentially, any animal's muscle tissue could be grown through the in vitro process.

      A few scientists claim that this technology is ready for commercial use and simply needs a company to back it.[2] Cultured meat is currently prohibitively expensive,[1] but it is anticipated that the cost could be reduced to about twice as expensive as conventionally produced chicken.[3][4]

      In vitro meat should not be confused with imitation meat, which is vegetarian food product produced from vegetable protein, usually from soy or gluten. The terms "synthetic meat" and "artificial meat" may refer to either. In vitro meat has also been described, somewhat derisively, as "laboratory-grown" meat.

      August 5, 2010 at 4:06 am |
  20. Bill Gilman

    John the Baptist did NOT prophecy the birth of Christ ..... They were born just six months apart .... yeesh.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Ben

      Totally agree. Whoever wrote this article has no idea what they are talking about.

      August 3, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • J. T

      are we forgetting that John said "there is one who is coming whose sandals I am not worthy to untie?" I'd call that a prophesy, based on the definition of prophesy..

      August 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
    • frenchbuggerer

      John the Baptist was one of the first recorded cases in history of Schizophrenia....in other wurds, he wuz CRAZY!!!

      August 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
    • Joe

      None of you know anything about anything. John the baptist did not prophecize the birth of Christ, he prophecized the coming of a messiah. Remember, Christ did not become the important man that he was until his early 30s, John the Baptist prophecized just that.

      Anyway, I don't believe in Jesus, John or Joe blow, these are all stories in books, if Jesus truly existed, trust me, actually no, trust him, he would have come again by now.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:11 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      You Christians would be amusing, if your belief system wasn't so tragic. You ridicule the author for missing some fine detail about the births of Jesus and John the Baptist, completely oblivious to the fact that NOBODY KNOWS WHEN EITHER OF THESE PEOPLE WERE BORN, OR EVEN IF THEY EXISTED AT ALL!

      You're all obsessing about a simple fairy tale. It's really quite pathetic ... like watching Star Wars fanboys argue about whether Luke Skywalker really had the hots for Princess Leia or not.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:12 am |
    • Bob the Historian

      Actually we know thru the records of the Romans that both men did in fact live and that both where put to death. The existance of Jesus has never been in question only his divinety.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:20 am |
    • Chris

      Actually, you're wrong. John the Baptist jumped in his mother (Elizabeth's) womb when Mary visited her. This jump-though an inaudible prophecy was what inspired Elizabeth to proclaim Mary as the "Mother of her lord." One should be versed in events before criticizing another so rashly.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:07 am |
    • Lily1

      @mpking – Josephus, a Roman historian wrote of Jesus during his life. He saw him and also gave a discription of him.

      August 4, 2010 at 4:41 am |
    • Langkard

      While Bob the "Historian" is entirely incorrect in his statement about what we "know" from the Romans, it is also not quite correct to assert that there was no reference to Jesus prior to A "Pseutonius" writing "three hundred years later." Seutonius mentioned a Jewish agitator named Chrestus (a common Greek name of the time and the correct spelling of that name. And he wrote it circa 120 AD, since he died circa 130 AD, not 300 years later. Is that meant to be Christus instead? Who knows. But it certainly isn't concrete evidence of a historical mention of a Jesus, and is much disputed as being evidence.

      There is also the two very small references to Jesus in Josephus' nearly contemporary historical writing. Josephus lived only a few decades later. However, the paragraphs clearly appear to have been at least partially inserted at a much later date, and so must be considered a later forgery by Christian scribes meant to be "proof" of Jesus.

      Oddly, Josephus makes no mention of events in the Christian Bible which surely would have been noted, especially since they allegedly occurred in Josephus' own neighborhood of Jerusalem and Galilee. Josesphus says nothing about any order by Herod to kill any children under the age of two, surely something someone born only a few decaded after Jesus was supposedly crucified would have noted. Josephus was accurate and detailed about everything else, down to noting who married whom in Bethlehem. Surely he would have known if children had been ordered killed by Herod. All of his other details about the time are incredibly accurate. Using Josephus' descriptions, archaeologists were able to find Herod's tomb recently.

      It is interesting to note that at the very least the timeline in the Christian Bible is utterly in error, using actual Roman records, as Bob the "historian" erroneously tried to do. We know that Herod died in 4 BC. The records are exact. So he couldn't possibly have ordered the Magi to locate the annointed one as the Bible claims, nor ordered the deaths of children 2 years later, some 6 years after he was already dead. We also know that Quirinius was appointed legate of Syria in 6 AD, which makes it impossible for his census to have been ordered, and there was such a census, 6 years earlier than he was even in charge to do so. The facts don't match. It leads reasonable and rational people to conclude that the major events in the life of a possible young Jesus' were invented and then mismatched to actual events in order to give it credibility. A mismatch made by Christian "scholars" of the early church who knew details but not as accurately as we do today, after 2000 years of studying Roman records.

      August 4, 2010 at 4:57 am |
    • Freond

      Lily1, your post is full of errors. Josephus, by his own description, was "an ethnic Jew, a priest from Jerusalem," not a Roman. He was born about 37AD, to late to have ever seen Jesus. The Christian embellishments to his writings have already been referred to. He could only have been reporting what he heard from contemporary Christians, which hardly makes his reports authoritative.

      August 4, 2010 at 5:39 am |
    • yusakhar

      There are in Israel two (count 'em, two) tombs of John the Baptist, one in Jerusalem and the other in Sebastia. With apologies to Mark Twain ("The Innocents Abroad"), one of these contains the body of St John as a young man, the other holds his remains when he was older. I see no reason whatever that Bulgaria, or indeed any other enterprising country, should not have its own Tomb of Saint John.

      August 4, 2010 at 6:13 am |
    • Gordon Daily

      I was going to leave a post about this very point. Elizabeth, Mary's cousin, was pregnant with John the same time Mary was. The child in Elizabeth's womb lept with joy at the recognition of Jesus in Mary's womb.

      I do believe that the writer intended to convey the idea that John prophesied the COMING of Christ, but unfortunately thinks that his birth and his coming are one and the same.

      It would be nice if someone with a little more detailed knowledge of Christianity would report on such things.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:22 am |
    • Arlene

      That is correct.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:35 am |
    • cmeyer

      you guys are so funny!! dont you know bible??jonh came to PREPER THE WAY OF THE LOORD JESUS! all the O.T. profecy the come of jesus,jonnh,said ,im the one that go before him,to preper his way.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:54 am |
    • blue922

      To Chris, saying that 'one should be versed' in these matters. Ha ha. As if memorizing written words makes you an expert on truth. C;mon. Without a living witness no on knows what happened 2000 years ago. Written history, holy books, etc. are always manipulated to suite the current rulers. Most of the wisdom in the Mediterranean was burned by the then forming Church to consolidate it's mental and political hold on the masses. And if those alternate views still persisted down through the centuries and you were found out you got tortured and burned. The Bible is a cookie cutter for your minds, has been for thousands of years.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:02 am |
    • GladToBeWrong(according_to_the_government)

      This is what happens when people who don't believe the Bible try to report about it. They always screw something up! lol

      August 4, 2010 at 8:05 am |
    • blue922

      To cmeyer on NT matching OT prophecies. I wonder how the NT would have turned out if the writers of the NT had never heard of the OT writings. Chances are NT would not exist. These guys were Jews and they knew the prophcies. So using old stuff to peg your man, or neo-fictional version of your man, to shore up his image, is too easy. The Jesus character is likely at least a conglomeration of two different 'real' persons (one prophet, one zealot) plus alot of polish. But the appearance of such personages is know to the Hindu as an Avatar. They always appear when the world is going downhill. And we are in quite a mess now. If you are awake then you would see Cameron's Avatar movie and the Nickelodean Last Airbender cartoon series as shimmers of this Avatar being coming near. And it's likely he will not go by the name Jesus nor be Jewish.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:08 am |
    • jesus

      I think this an effort by Kazimir Popkonstantinov to bring tourism to the coastal town of Sozopol. Many devout Christians will make the trip to that small village to be close to the bone fragments supposedly of John. Nothing really new. Just another way to make a buck off the Christianity myth.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:12 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      I find it very interesting that people that claim to be TOO SMART to believe something in "just a book" always seem to be finding themselves asking God why this happened to me or to someone I love. Or when the road really gets desparate they ask God for assistance to help them get through it. I guess the good thing is at least at some point these smart people have to accept the fact that there really is only ONE God.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:13 am |
    • Gerold

      Where are the dental records for I.D. and or DNA. I'm a Christian, but come on!

      August 4, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • Headless Horseman

      It's nothing to loose your head over.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:44 am |
    • Bill

      John the Baptist DID INDEED prophecise the comming of Jesus. 1) When Mary when to see her cousin also Mary John the Baptist kicked in the womb, and Mary the cousin said, Bessed is the fruit of thy womb. 2) John the Baptist said, I baptise you in water but the one who comes after me will baptise you in the holy spirt.

      Two example off the top of my head. I think you need to go back to CCD instead of some foolish Born Again church or other gimickie church where we all sing and give our money to Blaphsmiers.

      August 4, 2010 at 8:57 am |
    • rich

      @ bob the historian... Oh really? Please... do tell where the Romans record of Jesus and John are... I would LOVE to see those...

      August 4, 2010 at 9:03 am |
    • JustMe

      @ Lankcarg- Herod the Great died in 4B.C, NOT Herod Antipas as the article clearly states. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:05 am |
    • huff

      Bob the Historian, Nobody, the Romans or anyone else ever wrote a single word about Jesus contemporary with his own time. Every single known word was written long after his death.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:15 am |
    • Tiff

      He did prophesize about the savior, but not specifically about his birth.. as we all know they are too close to the same age for that to be true

      August 4, 2010 at 9:18 am |
    • nkl

      I know exactly what this proves!!!!!!! We know absolutely nothing! He was born then...no he wasn't born at all...no he was born at this time...no he is dead...no he isn't...yup exactly...

      August 4, 2010 at 9:37 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'I find it very interesting that people that claim to be TOO SMART to believe something in "just a book" always seem to be finding themselves asking God why this happened to me or to someone I love. Or when the road really gets desparate they ask God for assistance to help them get through it. I guess the good thing is at least at some point these smart people have to accept the fact that there really is only ONE God.'
      No they don't. Non-believers do not go round asking why god why? when something bad happens, or ask for god's help when things get rough. Total stuff and nonsense.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:47 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "Josephus, a Roman historian wrote of Jesus during his life. He saw him and also gave a discription of him."

      Josephus was born until 37 CE. Jesus died somewhere around 30 CE.

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus.

      More wishful thinking on the fundies part. LOL!

      August 4, 2010 at 9:49 am |
    • Stephen

      I would just like to encourage everyone to treat each other like you would like to be treated. If you are not a Christian, it is not necessary for you to ridicule those who are. If you are, you do not need to disrespect those who do not share your beliefs. Either way, your comments and remarks should be respectful and considerate, not mean and biting. Mean comments are not helpful, they only make others angry.

      August 4, 2010 at 9:52 am |
    • chris

      @ Joe, the bible states that HE will come to judge both the living and the dead. And no man will know when judgement day is. So he can come at any time, and when he does I hope you believe then or he wont have mercy on you

      August 4, 2010 at 9:57 am |
    • jaykaysr

      A truly Christian-like response, Stephen. Thank you.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • Ryan

      "John the Baptist did NOT prophecy the birth of Christ"

      Are you sure he didn't "prophecy" that?

      August 4, 2010 at 10:15 am |
    • Shane

      "The existance of Jesus has never been in question only his divinety."

      You are simply incorrect. The so-called 'historical Jesus' is not as much a certainty as you pretend. The logic used to sustain such a position is really rather faulty. Indeed, many scholars are of the opinion that Jesus never actually existed as such.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • chitownlady

      you can all debate this and you all sem to be but.....just how can they ever truly know for sure its him? Yeah I know about DNA but do they actually have his entire familes DNA? And whats the real point of all of it? They are still fighting over the results of the Shroud of Turan. Jesus or not Jesus...Is it not up to one's own belief? Either way...NO ONE actually knows.....its all based on a science that is not foolproof. The next thing yeah know, they are gonna find the HOLY GHOST!

      August 4, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Russell in Texas

      @ Chris. While you are correct the Bible states we won't know when the [fictional] Jesus is to return, Jesus himself is quoted as saying that "this generation will not pass" before the so-called second coming. So according to the words attributed to Jesus, he was supposed to have returned long ago.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Shannon

      He was and He is and He will be – forever and ever. Skeptics have existed as long as faith – seems so odd that they are so insecure in their lack of faith that they have to try to destroy the faith of others. But do not worry – every eye will look upon Him and every knee will bow. Unfortunately, it will be too late for many. If you only knew Him. To those who believe, please quit trying to defend Him – He doesn't need you to now any more than He did when he carried the cross for the sins of the world. He only wants you to love your neighbor and live a Christian life – THAT will draw others, not arguments of "faith".

      August 4, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • troy

      you cannot read obviously because john point blank prophisied it

      August 4, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • Shane

      "seems so odd that they are so insecure in their lack of faith that they have to try to destroy the faith of others"

      Not odd at all. Some of us prefer to base out model of reality on things that make sense. And we further recognize that mythology plays an important part in most every religion known.

      August 4, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • sm

      Quick and random question. How many of you celebrate Christmas who are not Christians?

      August 4, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • Morty62

      To Bob the Historian. There is no Roman corroboration that Jesus or John the Baptist lived. Scholars consider the mentions of Jesus in the writings of Josephus to be interpolations likely put in by the Catholic Church. There is not one eye-witness account of anything Jesus supposedly did. The earliest mentions of Jesus came several decades after his supposed death. It is myth-making, pure and simple.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Danielle

      Good catch, Billy Gilman. John and Jesus were about the same age. John's prophesy was that Jesus was going to be great, not that he'd be born at all. But I don't think there'd be any real relics of John, it's not like his remains were handled with tender loving care after he was killed.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Don't close your eyes

      @ langkard: You forget to mention the gospels themselves, which were written by eyewitnesses of the events. It's okay, I was skeptical at first, but when I dug deeper the door was opened.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:18 am |
    • Cindy

      It doesn't say he prophesied it says "heralded". Which btw John the Baptist did do. Matthew 3:1-3 is one example.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:19 am |
    • LeelanauGuy

      I don't think "heralding the arrival of Christ" has to be construed as prophesizing the birth of Christ, considering the fact that Jesus lived near to 30 years prior to being identified as the Messiah, most commonly attributed to John the Baptist as the influential person responsible for this designation. Aren't you nit-picking this article just a bit?

      August 4, 2010 at 11:20 am |
    • TheOracle8191

      @ Russell in Texas

      You have to look at the passages before it to understand it properly:
      "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

      Many biblical scholars and pastors believe that the Fig tree symbolizes the rebirth of the state of Israel, God's chosen land. It was established in 1948, (re-established, rather) and if you read the passage, Jesus' return, (the coming of Summer), will occur sometime soon and Jesus' words will indeed be truth.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:26 am |
    • John

      To say that because there are no contemporary Roman records or accounts of Jesus, we cannot assume that he existed as a historical figure is quite laughable. Jesus was a poor man of Jewish decent who lived most of his life without ever directly contributing to Roman society.
      Of course there would not be many documented Roman accounts of his existence; nor were there many specific documented Roman accounts of the thousand of other poor ‘criminals’ that were crucified by Roman law.
      Jesus made an impact during short his life on the few people he was able to directly touch with his teachings and miracles. These are the people that passed along the accounts of his powerful existence.
      A poor man named John lived in the New York City in 1892. During his life he taught his children many valuable lessons on life. Those lessons have been passed along from generation to generation and his descendants and relatives still talk about him and those lessons today. There are no ‘authoritative contemporary accounts’ of his existence, other than a few documents which are debatable because of misspellings and possible mistakes dealing with a common name. Can we really tell his family that John is a mythical figure based on the lack of ‘authoritative evidence’?
      Or is it completely logical that the teachings of a poor man will be most authoritatively documented by those that were closest to him during his short and humble existence?

      August 4, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • Gloria

      Read the Holy Bible. It has all the answers you seek.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • Friar Edmund

      A Note to all: "heralding" the coming of Christ does not mean prophesying the birth, it means to go before and proclaim the appearing of Christ which is exactly what John the Baptiser did. Read things more carefully folks.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • J Mogielnicki

      All this talk about what dates or who wrote what or when something or another was transcribed is not in the least important.
      What IS important is to live by what Jesus tauight.
      01 We need to seek happiness for all and we prevent wrong by speaking up.
      02.Passive resistance to violence
      03.The life we lead following the teachings of Jesus will fill us as we realize that a pure and simple life without riches will be the most satisfying and honest life.
      04.We should prevent wrongs passively and those that have will be brought around to our point of view.
      05.There is a season for all things and do not fear for the purity of life will be with you eventually. Life contains all emotions, and the pure life will contain the most laughter.
      06.Do not forget the power of love to heal and change. Speak of your love and call happiness and companionship around you.
      07.True happiness will come from following all of the teachings of Jesus.
      08.Be prepared to meet resistance to the teachings of Jesus.
      09.Do not fear the ramifications of the teachings of Jesus, as the truth will be evident by leading the pure life.
      10.The damnation will be eternal for the rich as they will be denied true happiness.
      11.Do not fear the Jews, as they are with us in the Kingdom of heaven.
      12.Few will take the path of Jesus.
      13.Punishment and revenge do not endure. Focus on simplicity and honesty and living pure. Grace will be your reward, and grace is incompatible with the hoarding of riches.
      14.The gifts of Jesus will come of the pure life. The righteousness is standing up for fairness and honesty, passively resist wrong and all things will be added to you.
      15.God is with you always, even in the worst of times.
      16.Peace and love are found on the path that Jesus leads us.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
    • jim day

      read it again

      August 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • J-Dizzle McHammerpants

      Not that I'm an expert (oof, better dust off my Bible) but pretty sure they were born about the same time. It's written John had "leaped in the womb" when pregnant Mary visited her pregnant cousin. Also, I remember seeing/reading something once that Jesus was more likely born in the spring season. Something about the shephards sleeping out in the fields with their sheep (they wouldn't be doing that in december, can't remember why – Cold? Sheep were birthing?) as well as the timing of the census that Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem for. Anyone can feel free to enlighten me. Just sharing what I encountered once. Now, off to reacquaint myself with The Word. All this talk has made me realize how much I've forgotten. =0

      August 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Jim

      True, John herlded Messiah's coming onto the scene.


      August 4, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Many biblical scholars and pastors believe that the Fig tree symbolizes the rebirth of the state of Israel, God's chosen land.'
      They can interpret it anyway they like, but their guess is as accurate as yours or mine.

      Why does god play favourites anyway? why does he have a chosen land and people? and why there? Surely there are better places in the world? I thought he was supposed to love all of us, guess some are more equal than others huh?

      August 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
    • Darren

      I shake my head when reading these self-professed experts who even suggest that Jesus never existed... what a laugher. History is loaded with the history of Jesus and those who followed Him. Were there no Jesus would there have been a Peter, Paul, Andrew, etc.? Would Scotland's flag bear the St. Andrew's Cross were there no Jesus?

      Look at how ridiculous you make yourselves. You are the same people who will beat the drum of not just man but ALL LIFE evolving from the same organism (which somehow appeared and survived from a black hole, which surely must not have been able to support life), which has NO evidence to support it, yet you would not only state but would actually BELIEVE that Jesus, who's name is known the world over and fills the history books, did not exist?!?

      Thanks for the laughs. But at the same time, I'm sad for you.

      August 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
    • Cactus Jack

      Man’s God is nothing more than a junior high school student named Dogma from a distant world. His travel is managed through space and time bending. This has allowed for Dogma’s science project, earth, to have a reached a real time life of 4.5 billion years while Dogma completes his 8th grade studies. Dogma has the physical appearance of a young man.

      Dogma created life on earth and has observed the process of evolution. During his latest field trips, he met and guided great philosophers such as Aristotle, Buda and Confucius. He also met great leaders of men such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. However, there were bumps in the experiment due to man’s free will. Man has used politics, religion and science to do more than just guide his fellow men. Many have used these things to control others and take possession of land and wealth.

      Dogma wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol. However, he shared many a glass with Michael Angelo.

      Dogma took a great liking to Nostradamus. They had many long conversations and Dogma clued Nostradamus into the future. However, he insisted that any writings by Nostradamus of known predictions be hidden within word puzzles and drawings.

      Dogma is the father of peyote.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Grant

      @Darren: Scientology is around despite its questionable stories and teachings. Clearly an example of how a large movement can spring up from a well-written story with just as much evidence for it as Christianity. And Scientology is young – who knows where it will be 2000 years from now.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Russell in Texas

      @ Darren – There is no history about Jesus other than the Bible. And the Bible cannot be proof for itself. So if you plan on convincing anyone the Biblical Jesus existed, you need to produce the evidence. Good luck with that!

      Were there no Zeus, would there be followers? What about Apollo? What about Osiris, Isis, Horus, etc.... If you're saying that Jesus existed because there are followers, then you are admitting Roman and Greek mythology is true. What were you saying about looking ridiculous? As far as Scotland's flag is concerned, yeah, so? I wear t-shirts with crosses, so what does that prove?

      Regarding evolution, the evidence is overwhelming. Just because you don't get it doesn't mean this is not how life came to exist on this rock. Heck, antibiotic resistant bacteria is evidence for evolution in action! And I have no idea where your cosmology comes from? Life originating in a black hole? There is not a single theory that makes such a claim. And if you're really referring to the big bang, no one knows what caused it, so I have no idea where your black hole idea came from? Although I do believe in God, our universe did not need a creator. It's quite possible the big bang was nothing more than a quantum fluctuation.

      So do us all a favor and keep your pity because it's not warranted. And until you can produce hard core, contemporary evidence for the Biblical Jesus, your faith system will remain just that, faith, not fact. Oh, and for the record, the historical Jesus does not fill history books, opinion does. Opinion is not the same as historical fact.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Darren

      @Grant: Well, a lot of "religion" can attest itself to a well-written story. Yet they are all just that, a religion. Time is the true test and, as you say, we'll see in 2,000 years (however long) what has withstood the test of time and the test of darkness.

      Truth is absolute. There is no variable in truth. Truth is light and darkness has no option but to flee light. It is the law of existence and the law of reality.

      When man is inserted into anything, be it an ideology, a charitable cause, whatever.... ultimately, man (some man) will vary from the right thing to do and will succumb to the lure of pride, be it in the form of added material gain, lessened requirement of self-effort, self-notoriety, whichever it may be, man in the capacity of his own power will succumb somewhere along the road and will in doing so taint whatever it is in which he is involved.

      Only the through the power of God will we be able to refrain from sin/wrong. If a religion purports otherwise, they are admitting the weakness within their story and message they are trying to convey.

      Truth will rise and withstand the test of time... always.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Joe

      "02.Passive resistance to violence"

      Um... that was Gandhi.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • Grant

      @Darren – I hardly call less than 2000 years a test of time, all things considered. And given the options in the past (the persecutions, the excommunications, the religious overseeing of the world), there wasn't much choice but to be religious. The question is, given free will and knowledge, how long will such religions last?

      Your "truth" (quotations because it is really more of your opinion than anything) may be proven wrong.

      August 4, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • jeff

      @Langkard – Excellent synposis of the available "evidence". I agree with you completely. Everything I've read is consistent with your reply.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • Darren

      @Grant: Yes, we'll just have to wait and see. I'm not concerned, though, concerning what the outcome will be.

      August 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • D. Gilmore

      The article says heralded the arrival...that's a bit different than prophecy.
      John "did" announce His arrival. As a Herald , the Baptist did his job well.
      ....gotta read a little closer.....the 8th paragraph holds the answer.

      August 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
    • reef

      Quotes –

      For the unbelief, no explanation is possible. For those who believe, no explanation is needed.

      If you choose to live, talk and think as if there is no God, you better be right!

      August 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
    • Brent

      How would they be able to tell who the bones belong to anyway? Do they have his DNA on file?

      August 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
    • r j sledge

      Please read in it's entirety
      [English equivalent of Jehohanan, meaning “Jehovah Has Shown Favor; Jehovah Has Been Gracious”].
      1. John the Baptizer, son of Zechariah and Elizabeth; the forerunner of Jesus. Both of John’s parents were of the priestly house of Aaron. Zechariah was a priest of the division of Abijah.—Lu 1:5, 6.
      Miraculous Birth. In the year 3 B.C.E., during the assigned time of service of the division of Abijah, it became Zechariah’s turn to enjoy the rare privilege of offering incense in the sanctuary. As he stood before the altar of incense, the angel Gabriel appeared with the announcement that he would have a son, who was to be called John. This son would be a lifetime Nazirite, as Samson had been. He was to be great before Jehovah, to go before Him “to get ready for Jehovah a prepared people.” John’s birth would be by a miracle of God, since Zechariah and Elizabeth were both of advanced age.—Lu 1:7-17.
      When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, she was visited by her relative Mary, then pregnant by holy spirit. As soon as she heard her relative’s greeting, Elizabeth’s unborn child leapt in her womb, and filled with holy spirit, she acknowledged that the child to be born to Mary would be her “Lord.”—Lu 1:26, 36, 39-45.
      At the birth of Elizabeth’s child, the neighbors and relatives wanted to call it by its father’s name, but Elizabeth said: “No, indeed! but he shall be called John.” Then its father was asked what he wanted the child to be called. As the angel had said, Zechariah had been unable to speak from the time of Gabriel’s announcement to him, so he wrote on a tablet: “John is its name.” Then Zechariah’s mouth was opened so that he began to speak. At this all recognized that the hand of Jehovah was with the child.—Lu 1:18-20, 57-66.
      Beginning of His Ministry. John spent the early years of his life in the hill country of Judea, where his parents lived. He “went on growing and getting strong in spirit, and he continued in the deserts until the day of showing himself openly to Israel.” (Lu 1:39, 80) According to Luke, John began his ministry in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. John would have been then about 30 years old. Though there is no record that John engaged in priestly service at the temple, this was the age for priests to enter into full duty. (Nu 4:2, 3) Augustus died on August 17, 14 C.E., and Tiberius was named emperor by the Roman Senate on September 15; thus his 15th year would run from the latter part of 28 C.E. to August or September of 29 C.E. Since Jesus (also at the age of about 30) presented himself for baptism in the autumn, John, six months older, must have begun his ministry in the spring of 29 C.E.—Lu 3:1-3, 23.
      John began his preaching in the Wilderness of Judea, saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” (Mt 3:1, 2) He wore clothing of camel hair and a leather girdle around his loins, similar to the dress of the prophet Elijah. John’s food consisted of insect locusts and wild honey. (2Ki 1:8; Mt 3:4; Mr 1:6) He was a teacher and was, accordingly, called “Rabbi” by his disciples.—Joh 3:26.
      Purpose of His Work. John preached baptism for forgiveness of sins for those repenting, confining his baptism to Jews and proselytes to the Jews’ religion. (Mr 1:1-5; Ac 13:24) John’s being sent was a manifestation of God’s loving-kindness toward the Jews. They were in covenant relationship with Jehovah but were guilty of sins committed against the Law covenant. John brought to their attention that they had broken the covenant, and he urged honesthearted ones to repentance. Their water baptism symbolized this repentance. Then they were in line to recognize the Messiah. (Ac 19:4) All sorts of persons came to John to be baptized, including harlots and tax collectors. (Mt 21:32) There also came to the baptism Pharisees and Sadducees, against whom John directed a scathing message of denunciation and to whom he spoke of the judgment that was near at hand. He did not spare them, calling them “offspring of vipers” and pointing out that their reliance on fleshly descent from Abraham was of no value.—Mt 3:7-12.
      John taught those coming to him that they should share things and not commit extortion, that they should be satisfied with their provisions and harass no one. (Lu 3:10-14) He also taught his baptized followers how to pray to God. (Lu 11:1) At this time “the people were in expectation and all were reasoning in their hearts about John: ‘May he perhaps be the Christ?’” John denied that he was and declared that the One to follow him would be far greater. (Lu 3:15-17) When priests and Levites came to him in Bethany across the Jordan, they asked if he was Elijah or if he was “The Prophet,” and he confessed that he was not.—Joh 1:19-28.
      John performed no miracles, as had Elijah (Joh 10:40-42), yet he came with the spirit and power of Elijah. He performed a powerful work in ‘turning the hearts of fathers to children and the disobedient ones to the practical wisdom of righteous ones.’ He fulfilled the purpose for which he had been sent, “to get ready for Jehovah a prepared people.” Indeed, ‘many of the sons of Israel he turned back to Jehovah their God.’ (Lu 1:16, 17) He went before Jehovah’s representative, Jesus Christ.
      John Introduces “the Lamb of God.” In the autumn of 29 C.E., Jesus came to John to be baptized. John at first objected, knowing his own sinfulness and the righteousness of Jesus. But Jesus insisted. God had promised John a sign so that he could identify the Son of God. (Mt 3:13; Mr 1:9; Lu 3:21; Joh 1:33) When Jesus was baptized, the sign was fulfilled: John saw God’s spirit coming down upon Jesus and heard God’s own voice declaring Jesus to be His Son. Evidently no others were present at Jesus’ baptism.—Mt 3:16, 17; Mr 1:9-11; Joh 1:32-34; 5:31, 37.
      For about 40 days after his baptism, Jesus was in the wilderness. On His return, John pointed Jesus out to his disciples as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (Joh 1:29) The following day Andrew and another disciple, probably John the son of Zebedee, were introduced to the Son of God. (Joh 1:35-40) Thus John the Baptizer, as a faithful “doorkeeper” to the Israelite sheepfold, began to turn his disciples over to “the fine shepherd.”—Joh 10:1-3, 11.
      While Jesus’ disciples did baptizing in Judean country, John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim. (Joh 3:22-24) When a report came to John that Jesus was making many disciples, John did not become jealous but replied: “This joy of mine has been made full. That one must go on increasing, but I must go on decreasing.”—Joh 3:26-30.
      Closing Days of His Ministry. This statement of John’s proved to be true. After a year or more of active ministry, John was forcibly taken out of the field. He was thrown into prison by Herod Antipas because John had reproved Antipas for his adulterous marriage to Herodias, whom he had taken away from his brother Philip. Antipas, nominally a Jewish proselyte accountable to the Law, was afraid of John, knowing him to be a righteous man.—Mr 6:17-20; Lu 3:19, 20.
      When John was in prison he heard of Jesus’ performing powerful works, including resurrecting a widow’s son at Nain. Desiring verification from Jesus himself, he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus: “Are you the Coming One, or are we to expect a different one?” Jesus did not answer directly; but before John’s disciples he healed many persons, even casting out demons. Then he told the disciples to report that the blind, deaf, and lame were being healed and that the good news was being preached. Thus, not by mere words, but by the testimony of Jesus’ works, John was comforted and reassured that Jesus was truly the Messiah (Christ). (Mt 11:2-6; Lu 7:18-23) After John’s messengers had left, Jesus revealed to the crowds that John was more than a prophet, that he was, in fact, the one of whom Jehovah’s prophet Malachi had written. He also applied the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3 to John, as John’s father Zechariah had previously done.—Mal 3:1; Mt 11:7-10; Lu 1:67, 76; 7:24-27.
      Jesus Christ also explained to his disciples that John’s coming was a fulfillment of the prophecy at Malachi 4:5, 6, that God would send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah. Nevertheless, great as John was (“Among those born of women there has not been raised up a greater than John the Baptist”), he would not be one of “the bride” class who will share with Christ in his heavenly Kingdom rule (Re 21:9-11; 22:3-5), for, Jesus said, “a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is.” (Mt 11:11-15; 17:10-13; Lu 7:28-30) Indirectly Jesus also defended John against the charge that John had a demon.—Mt 11:16-19; Lu 7:31-35.
      Some time after this occasion, Herodias carried out her grudge against John. During Herod’s birthday celebration the daughter of Herodias delighted Herod with her dancing, upon which Herod swore to her that he would give her whatever she asked. Influenced by her mother, she asked for the head of John. Herod, out of regard for his oath and for those present, granted her request. John was beheaded in prison and his head was delivered on a platter to the girl, who brought it to her mother. John’s disciples later came and removed John’s body and buried him, reporting the matter to Jesus.—Mt 14:1-12; Mr 6:21-29.
      After John’s death Herod heard of Jesus’ ministry of preaching, healing, and casting out demons. He was frightened, fearing that Jesus was actually John who had been raised from the dead. Thereafter he greatly desired to see Jesus, not to hear his preaching, but because he was not sure of this conclusion.—Mt 14:1, 2; Mr 6:14-16; Lu 9:7-9.
      John’s Baptism Ends. John’s baptism continued until Pentecost day, 33 C.E., when the holy spirit was poured out. From that time on, baptism “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit” was preached. (Mt 28:19; Ac 2:21, 38) Those who thereafter were baptized in John’s baptism had to be rebaptized in the name of the Lord Jesus in order to become receivers of holy spirit.—Ac 19:1-7.
      ///// John had displayed himself as a humble person WILLING to turn the reigns over to Jesus this do not denote a person suffering from schiezophrenia!

      August 5, 2010 at 2:09 am |
    • r j sledge

      Joe you may find this interesting especially if you have a bible present to follow the scriptures:

      When Will God’s Kingdom Come?
      “LORD, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” (Acts 1:6) The apostles were eager to know when Jesus would establish his Kingdom. Today, some 2,000 years later, people are still eager to know: When will God’s Kingdom come?
      Since Jesus made the Kingdom the theme of his preaching, you might expect that he discussed this question. And indeed he did! He spoke extensively about a marked period of time that he called his “presence.” (Matthew 24:37) That presence is closely tied to the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom. What is this presence? Let us consider four truths the Bible reveals about the presence of Christ.
      1. Christ’s presence would begin a long time after his death. Jesus gave an illustration in which he likened himself to a man who “traveled to a distant land to secure kingly power,” or to “secure a kingdom.” (Luke 19:12; footnote) How was that prophetic illustration fulfilled? Well, Jesus died and was resurrected; then he traveled to the “distant land,” that is, heaven. As Jesus foretold in a similar illustration, his return in kingly power would come only “after a long time.”—Matthew 25:19.
      Some years after Jesus ascended to heaven, the apostle Paul wrote: “This man [Jesus] offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet.” (Hebrews 10:12, 13) So a lengthy period of waiting followed Jesus’ arrival in heaven. The wait finally ended when Jehovah God made his Son the King of the long-promised Messianic Kingdom. That was when Christ’s presence began. Would humans on earth see this momentous event?
      2. The presence is invisible to human eyes. Remember, Jesus discussed the sign of his presence. (Matthew 24:3) If his presence were visible to human eyes, would a sign be needed? To illustrate: Imagine that you are traveling to see the ocean. You may see road signs directing you along the way, but once you are at the shore, standing at the water’s edge with the vast expanse of water stretching out to the horizon, would you expect to see a sign with a big arrow pointing ahead, emblazoned with the word “Ocean”? Of course not! Why have a sign to point out what you can easily identify with your eyes?
      Jesus described the sign of his presence, not to point out something that humans could see with their eyes, but to help them discern something that would occur in heaven. Thus, Jesus said: “The kingdom of God is not coming with striking observableness.” (Luke 17:20) How, then, would the sign show those on earth that Christ’s presence had begun?
      3. Jesus’ presence would be marked by a time of profound troubles here on earth. Jesus said that his presence as King in heaven would be marked on earth by wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, and lawlessness. (Matthew 24:7-12; Luke 21:10, 11) What would cause all this misery? The Bible explains that Satan, “the ruler of this world,” is full of rage because he knows that his time is very short now that Christ’s presence as King has begun. (John 12:31; Revelation 12:9, 12) Such visible evidence of Satan’s rage and of Christ’s presence has been abundant in our time. Especially since 1914, a year that historians acknowledge was a turning point, has this evidence appeared on an unprecedented and global scale.
      All of that may sound like bad news, but it is not. It means that the Messianic Kingdom is ruling now in heaven. Very soon, that government will exercise its rule right here over all the earth. How, though, would people know about that Kingdom in order to accept its rule and become its subjects?
      4. Jesus’ presence is marked by a global preaching work. Jesus said that his presence would be like “the days of Noah.” (Matthew 24:37-39) Noah was more than an ark builder; he was also “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) Noah warned people that a judgment from God was on its way. Jesus said that his followers on earth would be doing something similar during his presence. He prophesied: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.”—Matthew 24:14.
      As we saw in the preceding article, God’s Kingdom will destroy all the governments of this world. The preaching work alerts people that this heavenly government is about to act, giving all an opportunity to escape the coming destruction and become subjects of that Kingdom. The key question, then, is, How will you respond?
      Will God’s Kingdom Mean Good News for You?
      The message that Jesus preached was one of incomparable hope. After the rebellion in Eden thousands of years ago, Jehovah God purposed to form a government that would set matters right, returning faithful humans to the condition that God had in mind for them from the start—life eternal in a paradise here on earth. What could be more thrilling than the knowledge that this long-promised government is ruling right now in heaven? It is not some remote, abstract concept but a living reality!
      Now, God’s appointed King is ruling in the midst of his enemies. (Psalm 110:2) In this corrupt world alienated from God, the Messiah is fulfilling his Father’s desire to search out all who want to come to know God as he really is and to worship him “with spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) The hope of living forever under the rule of God’s Kingdom is available to people of all races, ages, and social backgrounds. (Acts 10:34, 35) We urge you to take hold of the marvelous opportunity before you. Learn about God’s Kingdom now, so that you can enjoy living under its righteous rule forever!—1 John 2:17.
      Jesus’ statement helps to correct the wrong idea conveyed in the way some Bible versions mistranslate the word “presence.” Some translations render it “coming,” “advent,” or “return,” all of which imply a momentary event in time. Notice, though, that Jesus did not liken his presence to the Flood of Noah’s day, an event in time, but to “the days of Noah,” a climactic period of time. Like that ancient era, Christ’s presence would be a period of time during which people would be too caught up in the day-to-day affairs of life to take note of a warning being given.

      August 5, 2010 at 2:32 am |
    • r j sledge

      Bible true or Not that is the question? Read and decide for yourself as this is the only thing that matters. .

      Authenticity. The veracity of the Bible has been assailed from many quarters, but none of these efforts has undermined or weakened its position in the least.
      Bible history. Sir Isaac Newton once said: “I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.” (Two Apologies, by R. Watson, London, 1820, p. 57) Its integrity to truth proves sound on any point that might be tested. Its history is accurate and can be relied upon. For example, what it says about the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians cannot be successfully contradicted (Jer 51:11, 12, 28; Da 5:28), neither can what it says about people like Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 27:20; Da 1:1); Egyptian King Shishak (1Ki 14:25; 2Ch 12:2); Assyrians Tiglath-pileser III and Sennacherib (2Ki 15:29; 16:7; 18:13); the Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius (Lu 2:1; 3:1; Ac 18:2); Romans such as Pilate, Felix, and Festus (Ac 4:27; 23:26; 24:27); nor what it says about the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Areopagus at Athens (Ac 19:35; 17:19-34). What the Bible says about these or any other places, people, or events is historically accurate in every detail.—See ARCHAEOLOGY.
      Races and languages. What the Bible says about races and languages of mankind is also true. All peoples, regardless of stature, culture, color, or language, are members of one human family. The threefold division of the human family into the Japhetic, Hamitic, and Semitic races, all descending from Adam through Noah, cannot be successfully disputed. (Ge 9:18, 19; Ac 17:26) Says Sir Henry Rawlinson: “If we were to be guided by the mere intersection of linguistic paths, and independently of all reference to the Scriptural record, we should still be led to fix on the plains of Shinar, as the focus from which the various lines had radiated.”—The Historical Evidences of the Truth of the Scripture Records, by G. Rawlinson, 1862, p. 287; Ge 11:2-9.
      Practicality. The Bible’s teachings, examples, and doctrines are most practical for modern man. The righteous principles and high moral standards contained in this book set it apart as far above all other books. Not only does the Bible answer important questions but it also provides many practical suggestions which, if followed, would do much to raise the physical and mental health of earth’s population. The Bible lays down principles of right and wrong that serve as a straightedge for just business dealings (Mt 7:12; Le 19:35, 36; Pr 20:10; 22:22, 23), industriousness (Eph 4:28; Col 3:23; 1Th 4:11, 12; 2Th 3:10-12), clean moral conduct (Ga 5:19-23; 1Th 4:3-8; Ex 20:14-17; Le 20:10-16), upbuilding associations (1Co 15:33; Heb 10:24, 25; Pr 5:3-11; 13:20), good family relationships (Eph 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col 3:18-21; De 6:4-9; Pr 13:24). As the famous educator William Lyon Phelps once said: “I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without a Bible.” (The New Dictionary of Thoughts, p. 46) Regarding the Bible, John Quincy Adams wrote: “It is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy.”—Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son, 1849, p. 9.
      Scientific accuracy. When it comes to scientific accuracy the Bible is not lacking. Whether describing the progressive order of earth’s preparation for human habitation (Ge 1:1-31), speaking of the earth as being spherical and hung on “nothing” (Job 26:7; Isa 40:22), classifying the hare as a cud chewer (Le 11:6), or declaring, “the soul of the flesh is in the blood” (Le 17:11-14), the Bible is scientifically sound.
      Cultures and customs. On points relating to cultures and customs, in no regard is the Bible found to be wrong. In political matters, the Bible always speaks of a ruler by the proper title that he bore at the time of the writing. For example, Herod Antipas and Lysanias are referred to as district rulers (tetrarchs), Herod Agrippa (II) as king, and Gallio as proconsul. (Lu 3:1; Ac 25:13; 18:12) Triumphal marches of victorious armies, together with their captives, were common during Roman times. (2Co 2:14) The hospitality shown to strangers, the Oriental way of life, the manner of purchasing property, legal procedures in making contracts, and the practice of circumcision among the Hebrews and other peoples are referred to in the Bible, and in all these details the Bible is accurate.—Ge 18:1-8; 23:7-18; 17:10-14; Jer 9:25, 26.
      Candor. Bible writers displayed a candor that is not found among other ancient writers. From the very outset, Moses frankly reported his own sins as well as the sins and errors of his people, a policy followed by the other Hebrew writers. (Ex 14:11, 12; 32:1-6; Nu 14:1-9; 20:9-12; 27:12-14; De 4:21) The sins of great ones such as David and Solomon were not covered over but were reported. (2Sa 11:2-27; 1Ki 11:1-13) Jonah told of his own disobedience. (Jon 1:1-3; 4:1) The other prophets likewise displayed this same straightforward, candid quality. Writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures showed the same regard for truthful reporting as that displayed in the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul tells of his former sinful course in life; Mark’s failure to stick to the missionary work; and also the apostle Peter’s errors are related. (Ac 22:19, 20; 15:37-39; Ga 2:11-14) Such frank, open reporting builds confidence in the Bible’s claim to honesty and truthfulness.
      Integrity. Facts testify to the integrity of the Bible. The Bible narrative is inseparably interwoven with the history of the times. It gives straightforward, truthful instruction in the simplest manner. The guileless earnestness and fidelity of its writers, their burning zeal for truth, and their painstaking effort to attain accuracy in details are what we would expect in God’s Word of truth.—Joh 17:17.
      Prophecy. If there is a single point that alone proves the Bible to be the inspired Word of Jehovah it is the matter of prophecy. There are scores of long-range prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled. For a partial listing, see the book “All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial,” pp. 343-346.
      Preservation. Today none of the original writings of the Holy Scriptures are known to exist. Jehovah, however, saw to it that copies were made to replace the aging originals. Also, from and after the Babylonian exile, with the growth of many Jewish communities outside Palestine, there was an increasing demand for more copies of the Scriptures. This demand was met by professional copyists who made extraordinary efforts to see that accuracy was attained in their handwritten manuscripts. Ezra was just such a man, “a skilled copyist in the law of Moses, which Jehovah the God of Israel had given.”—Ezr 7:6.
      For hundreds of years handwritten copies of the Scriptures continued to be made, during which period the Bible was expanded with the addition of the Christian Greek Scriptures. Translations or versions of these Holy Writings also appeared in other languages. Indeed, the Hebrew Scriptures are honored as the first book of note to be translated into another language. Extant today are thousands of these Bible manuscripts and versions.—See MANUSCRIPTS OF THE BIBLE; VERSIONS.
      The first printed Bible, the Gutenberg Bible, came off the press in 1456. Today distribution of the Bible (the whole or in part) has reached over two billion copies in upwards of 1,800 languages. But this has not been accomplished without great opposition from many quarters. Indeed, the Bible has had more enemies than any other book; popes and councils even prohibited the reading of the Bible under penalty of excommunication. Thousands of Bible lovers lost their lives, and thousands of copies of the Bible were committed to the flames. One of the victims in the Bible’s fight to live was translator William Tyndale, who once declared in a discussion with a cleric: “If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou doest.”—Actes and Monuments, by John Foxe, London, 1563, p. 514.
      All credit and thanksgiving for the Bible’s survival in view of such violent opposition is due Jehovah, the Preserver of his Word. This fact gives added meaning to the apostle Peter’s quotation from the prophet Isaiah: “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like a blossom of grass; the grass becomes withered, and the flower falls off, but the saying of Jehovah endures forever.” (1Pe 1:24, 25; Isa 40:6-8) We, therefore, do well to pay “attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place” in this 20th century. (2Pe 1:19; Ps 119:105) The man whose “delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night” and who puts in practice the things he reads is the one who prospers and is happy. (Ps 1:1, 2; Jos 1:8) To him Jehovah’s laws, reminders, orders, commandments, and judicial decisions contained in the Bible are “sweeter than honey,” and the wisdom derived therefrom is “more to be desired than gold, yes, than much refined gold,” for it means his very life.—Ps 19:7-10; Pr 3:13, 16-18; see CANON.
      [Chart on page 309]
      (The order in which the Bible books were written and where each stands in relation to the others is approximate; some dates [and places written] are uncertain. The symbol a. means “after”; b., “before”; and c., “circa” or “about.”)
      Hebrew Scriptures (B.C.E.)
      Book Writer Date Time Place Written
      Completed Covered
      Genesis Moses 1513 “In the Wilderness
      to 1657
      Exodus Moses 1512 1657-1512 Wilderness
      Leviticus Moses 1512 1 month Wilderness
      Job Moses c. 1473 Over 140 Wilderness
      1657 and
      Numbers Moses 1473 1512-1473 Wilderness /
      Plains of Moab
      Deuteronomy Moses 1473 2 months Plains of Moab
      Joshua Joshua c. 1450 1473– Canaan
      c. 1450
      Judges Samuel c. 1100 c. 1450– Israel
      c. 1120
      Ruth Samuel c. 1090 11 years Israel
      of Judges’
      1 Samuel Samuel; c. 1078 c. 1180-1078 Israel
      2 Samuel Gad; c. 1040 1077–c. 1040 Israel
      Song of Solomon c. 1020 Jerusalem
      Ecclesiastes Solomon b. 1000 Jerusalem
      Jonah Jonah c. 844
      Joel Joel c. 820 (?) Judah
      Amos Amos c. 804 Judah
      Hosea Hosea a. 745 b. 804– Samaria
      a. 745 (District)
      Isaiah Isaiah a. 732 c. 778– Jerusalem
      a. 732
      Micah Micah b. 717 c. 777-717 Judah
      Proverbs Solomon; c. 717 Jerusalem
      Zephaniah Zephaniah b. 648 Judah
      Nahum Nahum b. 632 Judah
      Habakkuk Habakkuk c. 628 (?) Judah
      Lamentations Jeremiah 607 Nr. Jerusalem
      Obadiah Obadiah c. 607
      Ezekiel Ezekiel c. 591 613–c. 591 Babylon
      1 and 2 Jeremiah 580 c. 1040-580 Judah/Egypt
      Jeremiah Jeremiah 580 647-580 Judah/Egypt
      Daniel Daniel c. 536 618–c. 536 Babylon
      Haggai Haggai 520 112 days Jerusalem
      Zechariah Zechariah 518 520-518 Jerusalem
      Esther Mordecai c. 475 493–c. 475 Shushan, Elam
      1 and 2 Ezra c. 460 After Jerusalem (?)
      Chronicles 1 Chronicles 9:44,
      Ezra Ezra c. 460 537–c. 467 Jerusalem
      Psalms David c. 460
      and others
      Nehemiah Nehemiah a. 443 456–a. 443 Jerusalem
      Malachi Malachi a. 443 Jerusalem
      [Chart on page 310]
      Christian Greek Scriptures (C.E.)
      Book Writer Date Time Place Written
      Completed Covered
      Matthew Matthew c. 41 2 B.C.E.– Palestine
      33 C.E.
      1 Thessalonians
      Paul c. 50 Corinth
      2 Thessalonians
      Paul c. 51 Corinth
      Galatians Paul c. 50-52 Corinth or
      Syr. Antioch
      1 Corinthians
      Paul c. 55 Ephesus
      2 Corinthians
      Paul c. 55 Macedonia
      Romans Paul c. 56 Corinth
      Luke Luke c. 56-58 3 B.C.E.– Caesarea
      33 C.E.
      Ephesians Paul c. 60-61 Rome
      Colossians Paul c. 60-61 Rome
      Philemon Paul c. 60-61 Rome
      Philippians Paul c. 60-61 Rome
      Hebrews Paul c. 61 Rome
      Acts Luke c. 61 33–c. Rome
      61 C.E.
      James James b. 62 Jerusalem
      Mark Mark c. 60-65 29-33 C.E. Rome
      1 Timothy Paul c. 61-64 Macedonia
      Titus Paul c. 61-64 Macedonia (?)
      1 Peter Peter c. 62-64 Babylon
      2 Peter Peter c. 64 Babylon (?)
      2 Timothy Paul c. 65 Rome
      Jude Jude c. 65 Palestine (?)
      Revelation John c. 96 Patmos
      John John c. 98 After Ephesus, or near
      29-33 C.E.
      1 John John c. 98 Ephesus, or near
      2 John John c. 98 Ephesus, or near
      3 John John c. 98 Ephesus, or near

      August 5, 2010 at 3:05 am |
    • r j sledge

      Reuben you may find this interesting as well as others regarding question did Jesus exist and was he ALMIGHTY GOD OR A God? Was Jesus Christ a real, historical person?
      The Bible itself is the principal evidence that Jesus Christ is a historical person. The record in the Gospels is not a vague narrative of events at some unspecified time and in an unnamed location. It clearly states time and place in great detail. For an example, see Luke 3:1, 2, 21-23.
      The first-century Jewish historian Josephus referred to the stoning of “James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ.” (The Jewish Antiquities, Josephus, Book XX, sec. 200) A direct and very favorable reference to Jesus, found in Book XVIII, sections 63, 64, has been challenged by some who claim that it must have been either added later or embellished by Christians; but it is acknowledged that the vocabulary and the style are basically those of Josephus, and the passage is found in all available manuscripts.
      Tacitus, a Roman historian who lived during the latter part of the first century C.E., wrote: “Christus [Latin for “Christ”], from whom the name [Christian] had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”—The Complete Works of Tacitus (New York, 1942), “The Annals,” Book 15, par. 44.
      With reference to early non-Christian historical references to Jesus, The New Encyclopædia Britannica states: “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”—(1976), Macropædia, Vol. 10, p. 145.
      Was Jesus Christ simply a good man?
      Interestingly, Jesus rebuked a man who addressed him with the title “Good Teacher,” because Jesus recognized not himself but his Father to be the standard of goodness. (Mark 10:17, 18) However, to measure up to what people generally mean when they say that someone is good, Jesus surely must have been truthful. Indeed, even his enemies acknowledged that he was. (Mark 12:14) He himself said that he had a prehuman existence, that he was the unique Son of God, that he was the Messiah, the one whose coming was foretold throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Either he was what he said or he was a gross impostor, but neither option allows for the view that he was simply a good man.—John 3:13; 10:36; 4:25, 26; Luke 24:44-48.
      Was Jesus merely a prophet whose authority was similar to that of Moses, Buddha, Muhammad, and other religious leaders?
      Jesus himself taught that he was the unique Son of God (John 10:36; Matt. 16:15-17), the foretold Messiah (Mark 14:61, 62), that he had a prehuman existence in heaven (John 6:38; 8:23, 58), that he would be put to death and then would be raised to life on the third day and would thereafter return to the heavens. (Matt. 16:21; John 14:2, 3) Were these claims true, and was he thus really different from all other true prophets of God and in sharp contrast to all self-styled religious leaders? The truth of the matter would be evident on the third day from his death. Did God then resurrect him from the dead, thus confirming that Jesus Christ had spoken the truth and was indeed God’s unique Son? (Rom. 1:3, 4) Over 500 witnesses actually saw Jesus alive following his resurrection, and his faithful apostles were eyewitnesses as he began his ascent back to heaven and then disappeared from their view in a cloud. (1 Cor. 15:3-8; Acts 1:2, 3, 9) So thoroughly were they convinced that he had been raised from the dead that many of them risked their lives to tell others about it.—Acts 4:18-33.
      Why did the Jews in general not accept Jesus as the Messiah?
      The Encyclopaedia Judaica says: “The Jews of the Roman period believed [the Messiah] would be raised up by God to break the yoke of the heathen and to reign over a restored kingdom of Israel.” (Jerusalem, 1971, Vol. 11, col. 1407) They wanted liberation from the yoke of Rome. Jewish history testifies that on the basis of the Messianic prophecy recorded at Daniel 9:24-27 there were Jews who expected the Messiah during the first century C.E. (Luke 3:15) But that prophecy also connected his coming with ‘making an end of sin,’ and Isaiah chapter 53 indicated that Messiah himself would die in order to make this possible. However, the Jews in general felt no need for anyone to die for their sins. They believed that they had a righteous standing with God on the basis of their descent from Abraham. Says A Rabbinic Anthology, “So great is the [merit] of Abraham that he can atone for all the vanities committed and lies uttered by Israel in this world.” (London, 1938, C. Montefiore and H. Loewe, p. 676) By their rejection of Jesus as Messiah, the Jews fulfilled the prophecy that had foretold regarding him: “He was despised, and we esteemed him not.”—Isaiah 53:3, JP.
      Before his death, Moses foretold that the nation would turn aside from true worship and that, as a result, calamity would befall them. (Read Deuteronomy 31:27-29.) The book of Judges testifies that this occurred repeatedly. In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, national unfaithfulness led to the nation’s being taken into exile in Babylon. Why did God also allow the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and its temple in 70 C.E.? Of what unfaithfulness had the nation been guilty so that God did not protect them as he had done when they had put their trust in him? It was shortly before this that they had rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
      Is Jesus Christ actually God?
      John 17:3, RS: “[Jesus prayed to his Father:] This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God [“who alone art truly God,” NE], and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (Notice that Jesus referred not to himself but to his Father in heaven as “the only true God.”)
      John 20:17, RS: “Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (So to the resurrected Jesus, the Father was God, just as the Father was God to Mary Magdalene. Interestingly, not once in Scripture do we find the Father addressing the Son as “my God.”)

      August 5, 2010 at 3:44 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Bob the Historian

      You said, "Actually we know thru the records of the Romans that both men did in fact live and that both where put to death. The existance of Jesus has never been in question only his divinety."

      There are no Roman records of Jesus. No eyewitness accounts whatsoever.
      There are no written records, and no accounts of his life were written while he was still alive. The earliest Gospels date from maybe 70 AD, 40 years after his demise.

      There is no proof Jesus, if he existed, is the messiah, or the son of god. You have only the bible and that feeling in your heart.

      August 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • Kent

      People, people, people. First, get a grasp of the English language. Second, think.

      Reread the article. The words "heralded the arrival of" do not have the same meaning as "prophesized". Once you understand that, there go the bulk of the postings. Now, if we could only understand the word "niggardly" before we do violence to our neighbor's face. One step at a time; one step at a time.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:50 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "Many biblical scholars and pastors believe that the Fig tree symbolizes the rebirth of the state of Israel, God's chosen land. It was established in 1948, (re-established, rather) and if you read the passage, Jesus' return, (the coming of Summer), will occur sometime soon and Jesus' words will indeed be truth."

      Yep, thats what some say. A book was even written on this. It sold lots of copies. A biblical generation was said to be 40 years. So, the book said Jesus would come back in 1988. This date came and went. So people then decided that a "generation" shoud be 100 years. I'm sure when 2048 comes and goes, a new span of time will be selected for a generation.

      Jesus isn't coming back. If he existed, he died more than 2000 years ago. You have my condolences.

      August 7, 2010 at 11:49 am |
    • David Johnson

      @r j sledge

      You said, "Bible true or Not that is the question? Read and decide for yourself as this is the only thing that matters."

      Isaac Asimov said it best: "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."


      August 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Okay, so Jesus and John were poor and the poor don't normally get a lot of press. But...
      When Jesus died, Mathew states the following:

      Matt 27:50-54 “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God.”

      Earthquakes and dead people walking and converted centurions. Oh, My!

      Don't you think if this really happened, that the Romans might have made a note about it? A little note in the margins maybe? Sort of like: Funny thing happened when we executed that carpenter's son...

      August 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Scott in Texas

      You said, "I find it very interesting that people that claim to be TOO SMART to believe something in "just a book" always seem to be finding themselves asking God why this happened to me or to someone I love. Or when the road really gets desparate they ask God for assistance to help them get through it."

      Man invented god because he didn't want to die. Some say they invented Him, to explain occurrences that which they didn't understand. A god of the gaps. I believe this came later, but it doesn't really matter.

      Death is scarey. It is often said, "There are no atheists in foxholes". This may well be true. So what does it prove? It certainly doesn't prove there is a god. It only proves, we are afraid of death.

      I am an agnostic, because I cannot prove god does not exist. If you or someone else produces conclusive evidence, that god is real, I would believe. So far, there is more evidence against than for. A lot more evidence against than for.

      I would never think badly of a man who reaches out to god, in an hour of extreme need. I would just be sorry that his prayers would not be, could not be answered.

      You said, "I guess the good thing is at least at some point these smart people have to accept the fact that there really is only ONE God."

      Okay, let's accept the fact there is only one god. Which one do we pick? There are 5 major religions and over a thousand different Christian denominations. Can I count on you to tell the world which one we should embrace? Will your decision be based on a feeling in your heart? Will your decision be accompanied by charts and other visual aid? After your presentation, will we laugh that we ever considered any other god, but yours?

      August 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
    • Teresa

      Yeah, Bill, I am not sure if you are aware, but John and Jesus did not stay babies. Yeah, they grew up. And the Prophet Isaiah talked about how there would be one in the wilderness calling out to make straight the crooked path for the Messiah. That was a prophesy about John concerning Jesus ministry. So, maybe you are in the one in need of some more biblical study. He also was baptizing the people in preparation of Jesus' ministry regarding the kingdom of heaven, and then declared, "Behold, THE Lamb of God!" You know the entire thread of prophesy that the Old Test predictively said regarding the Messiah found its fulfiment when John announced his arrival? Heller- does any of that ring a bell?

      August 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • Rita

      Hey there, theology 101 would agree, they were born 6 months apart, but that has nothing to do with your incorrect
      assumption that John the Baptist fortold the coming of a Messiah, the coming of a messiah was nothing new to the
      people of God, of that time. Jesus didn't start his public ministry until he was around 32, but John had been prophesizing
      of someone greater than him for many years, and yes, people did think he was bonkers. he went out inot the dessert and lived like a hermit eating locusts and stuff, however you miss the main point, he was baptizing with water, God used him to
      introduce the basic idea of 'baptism', but Jesus baptized with the HoLY Spirt. John was a cool dude. you should read about him.

      August 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
    • Steve Hansen

      Please note: 'herald' means 'to announce', not 'to prosephy' ... the writer of this article is correct, you respond to your own misreading.

      As for Wes' question below: you can have a 'skull' in one place and some fragments of it elsewhere.

      August 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
    • nothingpetty

      The writer did not say phrophesize, he said hearlded. A hearld is a person or thing that precedes or comes before; forerunner; harbinger: the returning swallows, those heralds of spring.

      August 19, 2010 at 9:28 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.