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January 26th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

California exorcist's life depicted in new film

Father Gary Thomas's story is portrayed in "The Rite."

A South Bay priest who has performed dozens of exorcisms is having his life story portrayed on the big screen in the new Anthony Hopkins movie "The Rite" which opens later this week.

The movie is about a priest who travels to Rome to learn how to become an exorcist. Father Gary Thomas, the priest who the film’s main character is based on, preaches at a San Jose church on Saratoga Avenue.

Read the full story on KTVU.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church

soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. CatholicMom

    the darker side of Christianity,

    Did Jesus caste out demons? Of course, when a Priest castes out demons, he is standing in for Jesus Christ…it is not of the Priest’s own power in any way….he is the tool in 'persona Christi'. Jesus Christ is our High Priest and He is still working as a Priest through His ordained Priests.

    January 27, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Reality

      Obviously, our attempts to "exorcise" CatholicMom" did not work. One more time:

      O ye CatholicMom and friends and family of said possessed soul, bow your heads and repeat after me:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      "Heaven is a Spirit state" as per JPII and Aquinas i.e. there can be no bodies. i.e. there was and never will be any physical resurrection/ascension of human bodies."!!!!!

      January 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Magic

      "Did Jesus caste out demons?"

      There is no evidence for this. So, I would say, "No, he didn't", until and unless proved.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Anglican

      Magic. Even the most liberal New Testament scholars take the Lord's miracles as true. (I know what you will say) There was no news networks in His time.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  2. the darker side of christianity

    im glad no-one believes in demons -the devil or god – and they try to rationalise everything – and discredit the bible – just shows me where we are at in the holy book – see if i remember, the end times come when "scorners and scoffers abound"
    when – wrong is called right and right is called wrong – and people would be married and given in marriage as in the daysd of noah – -sodom and gammorah had gay issues badly - im just gonna laugh and alaugh and laugh when ya"ll burn -do me a favor – at least read the bible once – see what it says before you – go against it . i ain t worried – god is happy with me – you on the other hand judgement day – i worry about . :} oh and if you die and have an out of bdy experience – better hope god tells you it aint your time yet – and you are sent back – i truly hope you get this chance . if not your done folks – stick a fork in ya :}

    January 27, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • the darker side of christianity

      my appologies folks – im a lousy christian – but still im a christian -i seen enough miracles in my life "personal life to " to show me there is a god that is there and does care – nad he deserves more than hes getting here on this blog site – – if no one else will ill say it – thank you god – in jesus name – please show these folks that when it comes to things – you dont play – thx .

      January 27, 2011 at 8:52 am |
    • the darker side of christianity

      as for the priest guy – catholic or not – i hope you are casting demons out in jesus name – cause if your doing these thing in your own power – and not in jesyus name – it aint established and the demigods will just laugh at you ..

      January 27, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • the darker side of christianity

      sorry typos – jesus name

      January 27, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Peace2All

      @the darker side of christianity

      You Said: "I'm just gonna laugh and laugh and laugh when ya'll burn !"

      You're right, you've convince me, I agree... you 'are' a lousy christian.

      Peace...

      January 27, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Anglican

      So much for removing the tree from your eye before you remove a speck from your neighbors'.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Anglican

      Curious... you didn't reference who you were posting to, -me or -the darker side of christianity...?

      Peace...

      January 27, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • Anglican

      Peace2All. Sorry. was directed to that dark-sided person.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Anglican

      No worries... And, thank you for coming back and clarifying your statement, as to whom it was directed too.

      Peace...

      January 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dork side: Any god who is happy with you isn't much of a god. I think the truth is that you think you found a golden ticket to the afterlife with no real effort on your part. You really love the idea of other people burning for eternity because they don't think like you. In fact, it seems very much that you simply like the thought of other people suffering. For what ever reason.

      When I die, the only burning that will happen to me is if I planned to get cremated, however I really like the trend that just puts a body in the ground and lets it decompose naturally. My brain, my personality, my being, will no longer exist. That's death: the great equalizer.

      January 29, 2011 at 1:54 am |
  3. deepwater805

    Question: What happens if you don't pay your exorcist?
    Answer: You get repossessed.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:22 am |
    • Reality

      Good chuckle on a very cold and snowy morning!!! Danke Schoen!

      January 27, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  4. DAVINCIKODE

    The last people on earth that will understand anything about religion, spirituality, God are Americans. They are too busy playing with their material gadgets. Probably need a bunch of magnitude 9.0 earthquakes to wake up out of Hollywood, then let's talk scripture, God, spirituality. It's no use arguing serious matters with spoiled materialists. Just wait when it hits ya, son. Then let's talk, if you still have a voice by then.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  5. Reality

    A short exorcism of CatholicMom:

    O ye CatholicMom and friends and family of said possessed soul, bow your heads and repeat after me:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    "Heaven is a Spirit state" as per JPII and Aquinas i.e. there can be no bodies. i.e. there was and never will be any physical resurrection/ascension of human bodies."!!!!!

    January 27, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  6. Amalia Sheran Sharm

    Pfffttt. HA HAHA HA HA HA HAHAAHAHA

    January 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  7. Reality

    "Exorcising" all Christians:

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
    http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).
    p.4
    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."
    o p.168. by Ted Peters:
    "Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    January 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  8. Konrad

    All jokes aside, I hope everyone who reads this will be stirred to seek the Lord while he may still be found. Seriously, God have mercy on you all.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      Is there some danger of your lord getting lost then? I most certainly do want any part of the mercy that god shows...why cant god do his own jobs anyway... is he so shy?

      January 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Anglican

      Evolved. No, God is not going to get lost. He is with you now, believe it or not. Peace.

      January 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  9. Konrad

    I have experience with "exorcisms" or "delieverance" or whatever term you want to use. Anyone who has the Holy Spirit can cast out demons. That's part of the package.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  10. Konrad

    He and Verizon struck up some deal about how since he created the wavelengths or radiowaves or whatever then he can get unlimited anywhere minutes. But seriously, the Kingdom of heaven is near.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Eric G.

      Hate to dissagree.. (no, I don't). But the kingdom of heaven is not near. I just did a search on my Garmin and it said the location does not exist. Sorry.

      January 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  11. Eric G.

    If you know someone who needed an exorcist, would you call this guy? I think I would call Chuck Norris.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  12. Konrad

    Eric,

    I should have put "to Dave" on my post. It wasn't really a post to "god" as you call him. And there's really no set protocol; the Holy Spirit guides us on how to pray. Sorry for the confusion. But God certainly doesn't have an iPhone; he's more of a Droid fan.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Eric G.

      What do you think they do about his international calling plan?

      January 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  13. Eric G.

    I love when the believers make statements to their god in post form on this blog. Like their god reads the "belief blog" on cnn.com If their god is all powerful, why do they need to type it at all? Can't he read their minds? Does their god have reception problems? Does he use the Iphone? Can't they just send a text? I am unclear on the protocol on this one. Do they do it to scare me? Is it like some kind of cosmic "I'm tellin Dad what you said!"? Am I supposed to be thankful? Please let me know if you have any insight.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • "The Rationale"

      Please give me back the 15 seconds I just wasted reading your post.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  14. Konrad

    I look forward to it every day. It's like I'm waiting to get married or something; it's crazy. When He comes to set up his kingdom I am going to absolutely love it. I mean there is nothing more I look forward to. My entire life is wrapped up in this stuff. I get excited at the mention of that day. It's going to be a beautiful day in Jerusalem.

    January 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  15. Konrad

    He won't be much longer... he's just being patient with us.

    January 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Konrad

      You said: "He won't be much longer... he's just being patient with us."

      No, He just has a bad case of being really, really dead. LOL!

      But I love the fact you are expecting him. I thrive on fundie disappointment!

      Cheers!

      January 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @David Johnson
      Seventh Day Adventists must make you grin ear to ear.
      I sure get a chuckle out of the "Great Disappointment" story – and then marvel at the fact that the religion is still around!

      January 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    All those rituals, incantations, prayer beads, phials of holy water etc. aren't necessary.
    I'll exorcise any demon for the low low price of $29.99 using the tried and true method of drilling a hole through the skull to let the evil spirit escape.
    Blessed be Black & Decker.

    January 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  17. doctore0

    Exorcist = fancy name for mental illness; The sad part people have to suffer because religion is selling this madness.
    The pope calling for an army of these crazies

    January 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    And if you pinned this priest down, you would find he has no proof that he ever exorcised anything.

    Give it up people! Let's go have a beer!

    Cheers!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Anglican

      I am amused. If all this God stuff is so unreal to you, why does it offend you so? It is like you are frustrated with the Faithful, few I would bet you really know.

      January 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Christian

      David, do you ever think what will happen when you die? Do you believe in hell ? Hell is enternal and there is no way out. I will pray for you to see the truth.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Anglican

      You said: "I am amused. If all this God stuff is so unreal to you, why does it offend you so?"

      God is unreal. Unfortunately, believers are not. I am offended at any gross stupidity.

      If you believers were content to keep your religion in your homes, churches, and communities, then I really would not care. But, too many want to force their religion upon all.

      Cheers!

      January 27, 2011 at 7:33 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Christian

      You asked: "David, do you ever think what will happen when you die?"

      When I experience brain death, I will simply be no more. There is no immaterial soul residing outside our bodies. All that we are, is contained in our very material brain. The brain, upon death, immediately begins to decay.

      You asked: "Do you believe in hell"

      There is no proof that either Heaven or Hell exist. Do you have evidence?

      You say: "Hell is enternal and there is no way out."

      Depends on who you ask. The followers of Judaism don't believe in Hell. The Hindus and the Buddhists do not believe in an eternal Hell. Why is what you believe any more credible than what others think?

      Christian Believers get to thinking that they have some special knowledge, wisdom, prescience. And, they insist on sharing it with the rest of the world. I haven't seen one fundie refuse to give advice on life.

      The problem is, that the advice is often poor and full of superst_itions.

      Without evidence, you are just a person with an opinion.

      Question for you: What would have to happen, to make you give up your belief in god?

      Cheers!

      January 27, 2011 at 8:51 am |
    • Obadiah

      David,
      Please forgive me for intruding on your dialogue with @Christian but if I may; If is my belief that I am more than physical, that I also have a spritual component to my being. As such, my faith in Christ provides my spritual soul with salvation upon the demise of my physical being. If you don't believe in the components of the spritual world, then faith would have no relevance to you because it is based on evidence unseen. Christ taught us to love unconditionally. Love allows us to live life more abundantly and peacefully in the physical world and it prepares our spritual selves for eternal life. And to your question, nothing can separate us form the love of Christ. Neither death or life, not angels or principalities or powers, not things present or things to come shall be able to seperate us form the love of God which is in Christ our Lord.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Obadiah

      All your words, are just words. You have no proof of an afterlife. No proof of a god.
      You are just expressing your hopes and dreams.

      If god really existed, wouldn't his existence be more apparent? Wouldn't God want everyone to know He exists?

      God's existence is not apparent. It is hard to imagine, that the world would be any different without god, if he exists now.

      If god existed, it would be obvious to everyone. Since it isn't, He doesn't.

      Cheers!

      January 27, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Obadiah

      David,
      God is real to His believers. To those that open their hearts to Him. Anyone who opens their heart can receive Him and the perfect peace that comes from understanding His will: to fear God and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man. His secrets are revealed to his believers and those that are faithful stewards of His word.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Anglican

      David. I have never forced my faith on anyone. I do not say you are stupid in you unbelief. I am not offended by your unbelief either.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  19. David Johnson

    Well my fundies, another day, another Jesus no show. I'm telling you a fellow could get a neck crick looking up, waiting on him.

    I bet it stings that Jesus never has come back. You must feel like 'ol Linus waitin' on the Great Pumpkin', in the patch. Him never coming. LOL 'till my sides ache!

    Cheers!

    Love and Prayers!

    January 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      Actually, Dave – I wouldn't be surprised to find out that CatholicMom and her friends want to hire this guy to exorcise you from this blog !

      January 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Let Us Prey

      –LOL...!

      Peace...

      January 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      @ Peace2All

      Check my exchange with DJ at the end of the abortion rally string. I hope Dave is ok. Really. Extremism in any flavor is both distasteful and disquieting. Or was I actually right about him 6 months ago?

      Regards.

      January 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Let Us Prey,
      I could hardly wait to finish reading Reality and then by the time I finished reading David Johnson, I’m thinking ‘there is a real need for Father Gary Thomas’ right here, and then Let Us Prey reads my mind!

      January 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • tallulah13

      How swell that the "faithful" want to get rid of dissenting voices. Rather typical. I bet they miss the good old days when they could just burn heretics, witches and scientists at the stake.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  20. Reality

    Just like the topic priest, Jesus was a bit "touched in the head". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infalliable, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices.

    January 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Reality,
      For a non-believer it seems as though you have quite a few negative comments on articles and stories located on a 'belief blog'. If you are trying to convince those who are believers that they should not believe, your efforts are futile since we know not to let anyone take us captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. If you are searching for God for yourself then open your heart when you read His word and His secret things will be revealed to you.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • BAH

      Hi there,
      You would't be writing this if you'd ever experienced a miracle yourself. I've experienced–witnessed personally–miracles in response to prayer. I suggest you do some real research as opposed to just academic reading. If you did, I know you would be sad you'd ever written the above paragraphs.

      He reigns.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Reality

      Suggest reading materials for Obadiah and BAH: (get back to us when you are finished)

      1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter
      100-200 Odes of Solomon

      101-220 Book of Elchasai

      105-115 Ignatius of Antioch

      110-140 Polycarp to the Philippians

      110-140 Papias

      110-160 Oxyrhynchus 840 Gospel

      110-160 Traditions of Matthias

      111-112 Pliny the Younger

      115 Suetonius

      115 Tacitus

      120-130 Quadratus of Athens

      120-130 Apology of Aristides

      120-140 Basilides

      120-140 Naassene Fragment

      120-160 Valentinus

      120-180 Apocryphon of John

      120-180 Gospel of Mary

      120-180 Dialogue of the Savior

      120-180 Gospel of the Savior

      120-180 2nd Apocalypse of James

      120-180 Trimorphic Protennoia

      130-140 Marcion

      130-150 Aristo of Pella

      130-160 Epiphanes On Righteousness

      130-160 Ophite Diagrams

      130-160 2 Clement

      130-170 Gospel of Judas

      130-200 Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

      140-150 Epistula Apostolorum

      140-160 Ptolemy

      140-160 Isidore

      140-170 Fronto

      140-170 Infancy Gospel of James

      140-170 Infancy Gospel of Thomas

      140-180 Gospel of Truth

      150-160 Martyrdom of Polycarp

      150-160 Justin Martyr

      150-180 Excerpts of Theodotus

      150-180 Heracleon

      150-200 Ascension of Isaiah

      150-200 Acts of Peter

      150-200 Acts of John

      150-200 Acts of Paul

      150-200 Acts of Andrew

      150-225 Acts of Peter and the Twelve

      150-225 Book of Thomas the Contender

      150-250 Fifth and Sixth Books of Esra

      150-300 Authoritative Teaching

      150-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Paul

      150-300 Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

      150-300 Melchizedek

      150-400 Acts of Pilate

      150-400 Anti-Marcionite Prologues

      160-170 Tatian's Address to the Greeks

      160-180 Claudius Apollinaris

      160-180 Apelles

      160-180 Julius Cassianus

      160-250 Octavius of Minucius Felix

      161-180 Acts of Carpus

      165-175 Melito of Sardis

      165-175 Hegesippus

      165-175 Dionysius of Corinth

      165-175 Lucian of Samosata

      167 Marcus Aurelius

      170-175 Diatessaron

      170-200 Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony

      170-200 Muratorian Canon

      170-200 Treatise on the Resurrection

      170-220 Letter of Peter to Philip

      175-180 Athenagoras of Athens

      175-185 Irenaeus of Lyons

      175-185 Rhodon

      175-185 Theophilus of Caesarea

      175-190 Galen

      178 Celsus

      178 Letter from Vienna and Lyons

      180 Passion of the Scillitan Martyrs

      180-185 Theophilus of Antioch

      180-185 Acts of Apollonius

      180-220 Bardesanes

      180-220 Kerygmata Petrou

      180-230 Hippolytus of Rome

      180-250 1st Apocalypse of James

      180-250 Gospel of Philip

      182-202 Clement of Alexandria

      185-195 Maximus of Jerusalem

      185-195 Polycrates of Ephesus

      188-217 Talmud

      189-199 Victor I

      190-210 Pantaenus

      193 Anonymous Anti-Montanist

      193-216 Inscription of Abercius

      197-220 Tertullian

      200-210 Serapion of Antioch

      200-210 Apollonius

      200-220 Caius

      200-220 Philostratus

      200-225 Acts of Thomas

      200-250 Didascalia

      200-250 Books of Jeu

      200-300 Pistis Sophia

      200-300 Coptic Apocalypse of Peter

      203 Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas

      203-250 Origen

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      January 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Reality,
      Once again, 'see to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ'. Christ is the author of my faith. No other help do I need.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Reality

      Obadiah,

      To the point one more time:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      "Heaven is a Spirit state" as per common sense, JPII and Aquinas i.e. there can be no bodies. i.e. there was and never will be any physical resurrection/ascension of human bodies."

      January 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Reality,
      Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 15: 20 'but in fact, Christ has risen from the dead...'. This my friend is the reason for joy. He goes on to say that just as sin came into the world through Adam, so has eternal life come into the world through Christ. The Word of God made flesh is alive.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Magic

      Obadiah,

      Paul of Tarsus could *say* anything. Why do you believe him? Because he said he had a 'revelation'? So did Mohammad. So did Joseph Smith. So did L. Ron Hubbard, I guess. And they had and have oodles of people to 'testify' for them.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Magic,
      You are right, men could say anything and we cannot depend on words that men say. For it is written, ' it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.' This is where faith comes in, we must hide the Word of God in our hearts and meditate on it day and night. He will reveal his secrets to us if we put our trust in Him and our faithful stewards of His word. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and by walking in faith, God's glory is revealed to those that believe.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Magic

      Obadiah,

      "...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,..."

      Yes, and using one's imagination to fill in the blank spots. All things are possible in an unrestrained fantasy... that does not make them true.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Magic,
      God's words are made true in their fulfillment in our individual lives and in the lives this world. He said that the fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much. Believers can testify to this. Our prayers may not get answered when we want them answered or even 0how we want them answered, but they will be answered according to His purpose for our lives if we trust in Him. Prophets in the Old Testament warned the children of Israel of their behavior and dis-belief. It happened. They told of the coming of Christ. It happened. David wrote in the psalms of the crucifixion, resurection and ascension. It happened. And they even foretold of those that would come to sway our faith through philosophy and science. It's happening now. So everyday I witness God's words being fulfilled (right down to the conversation we are having now). And for this reason, I believe His words with all my heart and all of my soul.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Magic

      Obadiah,

      "They told of the coming of Christ. It happened. David wrote in the psalms of the crucifixion, resurection and ascension. It happened."

      Did it happen? Or did some 1st century evangelists make up a character who fit and fulfilled the fantasy story of those primitive men.

      If faith, by its very definition, requires no proof, it is futile to propose any facts to back it up.

      If your faith gives you comfort and peace, wonderful... as long as it does not harm others... but to proclaim that it is the one and only truth is not valid.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Magic,
      The fulfillment of the Word through my life is testimony enough. All the proof that I need is within and not without. Christ is love. He provides comfort and peace, not harm. My focus is only on His glory. I come to the 'belief blog' because I am a believer and stories of faith strengthen my soul. Why do non-believers come to the belief blog? What are they searching for? Efforts to sway a person's faith through science and philosophy are futile as well. Is there a burning desire to seek the truth and so they come here for nourishment? These dialogues are a blessing to me and I enjoy them, but I do wonder what motivates non-believers.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Kingfisher

      Atheism: The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

      Makes perfect sense.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • Magic

      Obadiah,

      "but I do wonder what motivates non-believers."

      Just keeping it real, I guess. Left unquestioned and unchecked, magical, mystical, supernatural beliefs can cause those who believe them to act irrationally regarding public and governmental activities - and that affects us.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Magic

      Kingfisher,

      Perhaps there is *someone* *somewhere* who thinks that, but I would say that generally atheists think that we don't know (yet, if ever) what the cause for the existence of the universe is - but that a "god did it" is not the default answer.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Obadiah

      Magic,
      Your point is well taken. Irrational behavior by a person, group or civilization will affect us all, believers and non-believers alike. It is for this reason that I put my trust in the Lord. Man is prone to irrational behavior, pride and a host of other sins which will lead to our ultimate destruction. Knowing this I find comfort in Christ who died for us and was without sin. Enjoy your readings my friend. Peace be with you.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Magic

      Obadiah,

      Thank you. Peace to you also.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • "The Rationale"

      Did you just cite Origen as a source that should bring into question the historical life of Jesus?

      January 27, 2011 at 4:08 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.