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My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality
February 9th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality

Editor's Note: Jennifer Wright Knust is author of Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire.

By Jennifer Wright Knust, Special to CNN

We often hears that Christians have no choice but to regard homosexuality as a sin - that Scripture simply demands it.

As a Bible scholar and pastor myself, I say that Scripture does no such thing.

"I love gay people, but the Bible forces me to condemn them" is a poor excuse that attempts to avoid accountability by wrapping a very particular and narrow interpretation of a few biblical passages in a cloak of divinely inspired respectability.

Truth is, Scripture can be interpreted in any number of ways. And biblical writers held a much more complicated view of human sexuality than contemporary debates have acknowledged.

In Genesis, for example, it would seem that God’s original intention for humanity was androgyny, not sexual differentiation and heterosexuality.

Genesis includes two versions of the story of God’s creation of the human person. First, God creates humanity male and female and then God forms the human person again, this time in the Garden of Eden. The second human person is given the name Adam and the female is formed from his rib.

Ancient Christians and Jews explained this two-step creation by imagining that the first human person possessed the genitalia of both sexes. Then, when the androgynous, dually-sexed person was placed in the garden, s/he was divided in two.

According to this account, the man “clings to the woman” in an attempt to regain half his flesh, which God took from him once he was placed in Eden. As third century Rabbi Samuel bar Nahman explained, when God created the first man, God created him with two faces. “Then he split the androgyne and made two bodies, one on each side, and turned them about.”

When the apostle Paul envisioned the bodies that would be given to humanity at the end of time, he imagined that they would be androgynous, “not male and female.” The third-century non-canonical Gospel of Philip, meanwhile, lamented that sexual difference had been created at all: “If the female had not separated from the male, she and the male would not die. That being’s separation became the source of death.”

From these perspectives, God’s original plan was sexual unity in one body, not two. The Genesis creation stories can support the notion that sexual intercourse is designed to reunite male and female into one body, but they can also suggest that God’s blessing was first placed on an undifferentiated body that didn’t have sex at all.

Heterosexual sex was therefore an afterthought designed to give back the man what he had lost.

Despite common misperceptions, biblical writers could also imagine same-sex intimacy as a source of blessing. For example, the seemingly intimate relationship between the Old Testament's David and Jonathan, in which Jonathan loved David more than he loved women, may have been intended to justify David’s rise as king.

Jonathan, not David, was a king’s son. David was only a shepherd. Yet by becoming David’s “woman,” Jonathan voluntarily gave up his place for his beloved friend.

Thus, Jonathan “took great delight in David,” foiling King Saul’s attempts to arrange for David’s death (1 Samuel 19:1). Choosing David over his father, Jonathan makes a formal covenant with his friend, asking David to remain faithful to him and his descendants.

Sealing the covenant, David swears his devotion to Jonathan, “for he loved him as he loved his own life” (1 Samuel 20:17). When Jonathan is killed, King David composes a eulogy for him, praising his devotion: “greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (2 Samuel 1:26).

Confident claims about the forms of sex rejected by God are also called into question by early Christian interpretations of the story of Sodom. From the perspective of the New Testament, it was the near rape of angels - not sex between men - that led to the demise of the city.

Linking a strange story in Genesis about “sons of God” who lust after “daughters of men” to the story of the angels who visit Abraham’s nephew Lot, New Testament writers concluded that the mingling of human and divine flesh is an intolerable sin.

As the New Testament letter Jude puts it:

And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and went after strange flesh, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire (Jude 6-7).

The first time angels dared to mix with humans, God flooded the earth, saving only Noah, his family, and the animals. In the case of Sodom, as soon as men attempted to engage in sexual activity with angels, God obliterated the city with fire, delivering only Lot and his family. Sex with angels was regarded as the most dangerous and offensive sex of all.

It’s true that same-sex intimacy is condemned in a few biblical passages. But these passages, which I can count on one hand, are addressed to specific sex acts and specific persons, not to all humanity forever, and they can be interpreted in any number of ways.

The book of Leviticus, for example, is directed at Israelite men, offering instructions regarding legitimate sexual partners so long as they are living in Israel. Biblical patriarchs and kings violate nearly every one of these commandments.

Paul’s letters urge followers of Christ to remain celibate and blame all Gentiles in general for their poor sexual standards. Jesus, meanwhile, says nothing at all about same-sex pairing, and when he discusses marriage, he discourages it.

So why are we pretending that the Bible is dictating our sexual morals? It isn’t.

Moreover, as Americans we should have learned by now that such a simplistic approach to the Bible will lead us astray.

Only a little more than a century ago, many of the very same passages now being invoked to argue that the scriptures label homosexuality a sin or that God cannot countenance gay marriage were used to justify not “biblical marriage” but slavery.

Yes, the apostle Paul selected same-sex pairings as one among many possible examples of human sin, but he also assumed that slavery was acceptable and then did nothing to protect slaves from sexual use by their masters, a common practice at the time. Letters attributed to him go so far as to command slaves to obey their masters and women to obey their husbands as if they were obeying Christ.

These passages served as fundamental proof texts to those who were arguing that slavery was God’s will and accusing abolitionists of failing to obey biblical mandates.

It is therefore disturbing to hear some Christian leaders today claim that they have no choice but to regard homosexuality as a sin. They do have a choice and should be held accountable for the ones they are making.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jennifer Wright Knust.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Homosexuality • Opinion • Sex

soundoff (4,235 Responses)
  1. Jonathan

    *claps* Thank you for a logical explanation that avoids ignorance and hatred.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  2. Crady

    Right. And I could interpret Obama as a right-wing hard-liner who secretly longs for the Reagan years, segregation, and the return of 8-track, but that doesn't make it a universal truth. The Bible does not exist to be "interpreted" by Jennifer Wright Knust, Billy Graham, or Jim Jones. If it is indeed God's Word (and I believe with all my soul that it is) then it must be accepted on face value or not at all. Accepting it "as" is" is a leap of faith that Jennifer Wright Knust (sadly) is unwilling to take, but without which diminishes the Bible to just another book. Shame on you, Jennifer! Love the sinner, hate the sin, or look elsewhere.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Ian

      The Bible.. is not a universal truth

      the Bible is a book, written by man thousands of years before modern science and reason were a part of our culture.

      Also beliefs around the time The Bible was written

      Spitting on a wound could heal it

      Constellations were celestial beings

      Sea Monsters were a legitimate threat to sailors

      the world was flat

      All these beliefs were thrown out ages ago yet the giant man in the sky who wrote a book still holds true.

      Get real

      February 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Quest for Truth

      agreed

      February 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Mark

    Ms. Knust, upon reading your "journalism" I can conclude at least two things (aside from the most obvious fact that you have absolutely NO idea what you're talking about).
    1. Your reading and study of the Bible is obviously of a strictly acedemic nature. People like yourself read the Bible like they would read Gulliver's Travels, or The Gra-pes of Wrath, or any other literary work.

    2. You are among those people who have the uncanny ability to twist and distort the scriptures to make them say absolutely ANYTHING they want them to say. It's actually rather frightening to know that you claim to be a
    "pastor". All I can say is God help those that are numbered among your flock. A clear case of the blind leading the blind.

    3. You have no concept of what "absolute" truth is. You are clearly what I would call a "relativist". All truth is relative. Your truth may not be my truth, etc etc.

    As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ in a clearly unbelieving world, I'm totally aware that there are many many people who do not share my beliefs. There are many people who are down right hostile to the Gospel message. What I can't stand and what turns my stomach, Ms. Knust, are those individuals like yourself who claim to be "pastors" but who are clearly preaching a "gospel" message that is in complete contrast to what the Bible actually teaches. Those people who RE-interpret the Bible message to explain away, or dismiss, or justify actions that any 5 year old in Sunday School can see the Bible clearly condemns. There isn't ONE, not ONE instance of ho mo-$exuality in the Bible that isn't condemned. Not ONE!! And the fact that you would make the statement that the Bible promotes, or at the very least is unclear on the matter is clearly 100% a lie. You're either a bold-faced liar, or completely ignorant, or both. And the condemnation of the act is so clear, and unambiguous that it boggles my mind that someone can be so spiritually blind as not to be able to understand it. The Bible clearly, plainly, unashamedly says, "ho mo-$exual offenders will not inherit the kingdom of heaven".

    February 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • David

      Spoken like a true brainwashed person. I will bet you buy and sell on Sunday whether it be groceries, gas, or going out to eat and thats just one commandment you break every day of the week.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Jose Head

      "You are among those people who have the uncanny ability to twist and distort the scriptures to make them say absolutely ANYTHING they want them to say"

      Kind of like what the Spanish did in the Inquisition, like the KKK did to blacks in the 60's, like Henry VIII did to get 6 wives, like it was used to justify slavery, like Westboro Baptist Church does when it protests at funerals of US Soldiers.....etc, etc, etc.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Mark

      Mark

      You said:
      "Your reading and study of the Bible is obviously of a strictly acedemic nature. People like yourself read the Bible like they would read Gulliver's Travels, or The Gra-pes of Wrath, or any other literary work."

      The bible is a work of fiction. Harry Potter has more credibility.

      You said:
      "You are among those people who have the uncanny ability to twist and distort the scriptures to make them say absolutely ANYTHING they want them to say. It's actually rather frightening to know that you claim to be a
      "pastor". All I can say is God help those that are numbered among your flock. A clear case of the blind leading the blind."

      All fundies engage in theological gymnastics.
      Evangelical Rule of Thumb: If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernable by humans; or is just magic .

      You said:
      "You have no concept of what "absolute" truth is. You are clearly what I would call a "relativist". All truth is relative. Your truth may not be my truth, etc etc."

      But you know what absolute truth is. Huh, Sparky?

      Absolute truth is what you believe in your deluded mind. And along your trip to find absolute truth, you found these things:

      God created Adam from a handful of dirt; Talking snakes; trees that bear fruit, that imparts knowledge and eternal life; a global flood, that required a pair of each organism on earth, be stuffed onto a boat; people who lived hundreds of years; a man who was swallowed by a fish, only to be spit up 3 days later, unhurt; a tower god was afraid might reach heaven; a woman who is turned into a pillar of salt; talking donkeys; unicorns; satyrs; a leviathan god creates and then does battle with; a zombie messiah, who predicts his return in the 1st century and hasn't been heard of for 2000+ years; belief in a circular, flat earth.

      I'm sure believing in this trash, would lead a person to the truth. LOL

      You are deluded!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • kait

      Dude, there are so many bizarre spelling and grammatical errors in this ridiculousness that hopefully people will immediately see that there's no credibility to it. What is "ho mo$exuality"? Is that like Ke$ha's little sister or something?

      And really? Her "journalism"? What? She owns it all? Perhaps her "article" would have a more logical, less idiotic way of putting that. And yes, I'm picking on your wording and structure because the rest of it is too impossible to make any sense out of.

      I feel bad that you are so full of hate and that I allow myself to be so full of anger when I read your angry words.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  4. instant gratification

    I think it's great how so many people try to interpret the Bible their way to justify their acts. Why not do what the Bible says, which is to first and foremost pray to God and draw close to Him and then let Him guide you. people think that the Bible is a buffet to them, I can like this passage, but not that one. This passage applies to me, but not that one. No, the Bible is God's word and it applies to everyone at all times until the end of time. By saying that it is only certain instances and to certain people is saying the Bible is general for that time. If that is the case why not kill and have abortions now? I mean fresh water and food are going to be scarce, so why not move on to survival of the fittest? Why not steal from our neighbours and have affairs all the time? There's recessions all the time and someone might be sick of their marriage right? I mean clearly that's what we are saying here, that it only applies to the people in the old testament all the way up to around 90 a.d. when Revelation was written right?

    Instead of picking and choosing and tearing the Bible apart, get to know the One who wrote it. Get to know God and ask Him to guide your life. If you disagree, then question whether you are a Christian by name or action. God knows we sin, that was the whole point of Jesus Christ coming to save us. What He says is that if we stay in sin, if we do not struggle against it, then that is when we will be judged check this website out if you're not to busy

    http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-1-corinthians-6-9-11(2).htm

    it's all about the struggle and not accepting the lifestyle. Maybe on judgement day God won't ask why you sinned, knowing we are sinners, but rather why didn't WE repent. I sin to and WE ALL fall short of the glory of God, but that doesn't mean we accept our lowly state.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jose Head

      How do you know the Bible is "God's Word?" How does anyone know? What if the Koran, or the Torah, or the Dead Sea Scrolls are also "God's Word?" And what if each of those books has a contradictory statement on the same issue? Maybe God does have a sense of humor.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Ian

      cool, I'll be sure to stone your disobeidiant child to death then if thats the case.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @instant gratification

      You said: "I think it's great how so many people try to interpret the Bible their way to justify their acts. Why not do what the Bible says, which is to first and foremost pray to God and draw close to Him and then let Him guide you."

      When you pray, you are only talking to yourself. God does not exist.

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • blkgko

      @instant gratification. ya know...there is just so much to say. the reason most of us do not do the things that you mention is not necessarily because they are written in the bible, it is because we subscribe to and are influenced by the golden rule, common sense, love, respect, etc. a lot of these principles (honesty, faithfulness, valuing life, etc.) are pillars in probably all religions. so you cant say they are exclusively christian. the problem comes in exactly what you take the bible to be. face it, not even you subscribe to EVERYTHING in the book. dont even try to go there. and on those items you don't you have your reasoning. in which case ill ask you what you asked everyone else...why dont just do what it says?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  5. abraham lincoln

    religion has served its purpose and now should be considered fable... folk tales... time to move on.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  6. Citizentobe

    The author of this article is so lost about the teachings of the Bible that I doubt she even reads it.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • abraham lincoln

      maybe you missed the first sentence that says she is a scholar and pastor her self!

      February 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Ian

      Bet she has.. The Bible is up for interpretation. You can't have your cake and eat it to.

      Either the bible is to be taken as moral lectures and stories or the bible is to be followed word for word.

      WHICH is is?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  7. Realistic One

    Yes, let's all follow the Bible word for word:
    Psalm 137:9 “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”

    So according to the bible, it is OK to throw children against stones. Niiiiice!

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Donmo

      while you are taking the bible word for word, try taking the words in context with the rest of that passage, it might make a little more sense if you actually read the entire text and not just pull out the words that attempt to make your point. There is also a passage in the old testament that has been used to teach against the practice of women putting their hair up in "topnots". It goes like this. "Topnot come down" check that one out, it makes as much sense as yours does when isolated.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  8. Alan

    Most of you people are so certain that your interpretation of the Bible is truth you cannot even comprehend a scholar that may have studied this in more detail than you is what is wrong with Christianity today. Minds set in concrete that are threatened by diversity of belief. Get a life!

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Alan

      That's why they are called non-thinking sheep!

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  9. Eric

    You know I've always wondered why women weren't allowed into seminaries for so long... now I understand... so at least this moron taught me something.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  10. Liz

    It's odd how we as Christians pick and choose the sins we obsess about, but it's usually a sin we don't commit. For example, the Bible states clearly that love of money is the root of EVERY evil and yet we never stop people from coming to Church in Prada or driving in a BMW. Gluttony is listed as one of the deadliest sins, yet the obese in our churches are never turned away from marriage or told they are burning in hell. In fact, many of our preachers today are both obese and driving around in Bentleys(are you reading this, Bishop Long?) and no one seems to bat an eye. Maybe it's easier to focus on the sins of others than our own, glaring, horrific sins of pride, greed, and gluttony.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Ari159

      Excellent point, Liz. Most Christ followers like pointing out others flaws instead of looking at their own and improving.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Donmo

      I kind of agree with some of what you are saying here, The love of money is the root of all evil, true. Gluttony is not conducive to a good christian life. and so on. the issue I take here is that the bible doesn't condem anyone for having money or eating too much or for where they live or what they drive, I live in a modest home and drive a gmc pickup, by choice. I an not wealthy nor do I need more than I have. That said, however, it is the "love of" those things among any thing else that a person places ahead of their love and service to God that is the sin. Remember the young rich man that went away sorrowfully when he was told to go and sell all that he had and give it to the poor? His sin was not being rich, it was the fact that being rich meant more to him than his committment to God and his soul's salvation. Remember another couple that came and told the apostles that they had sold all that they had and were lying? I think that the reply was something like this "Thou fool, this day shall thy soul be required of thee. It is the love of, covetousness, or anything that we put before God that makes it a sin, has nothing to do with how much we have in material ways, it is how much love we have in our hearts for God and his son and our total committment to making them king of our lives and first in all that we do.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • blkgko

      ouch! that one's gonna bruise.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • blkgko

      i hope DONMO reads this...youre totally missing the point of the post darlin'. said differently: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of god. sorry dont have a clever verse to some up obesity for you, but you get the point. it's a sin. now run along to confess yours.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  11. Jebuss T. Chrysct

    I found the article very compelling. To all you bible thumpers, get off of your soap boxes. I think it is funny how the "good, moral, honest Christians" are the ones that persecute, spread hate, and are quick to anger, just because some words in a book, written in a ...gasp...foreign language...many many years ago, talks about human life and the whimsical fancy of a majic man in the sky that grants wishes..and ice cream...if you bow down and kiss his......ring finger. if goD exists, may he strike me dead before i finish this sentanc............rbgmj,k.................................................................. got ya

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Andy

      One day we all have to answer for what we say. God does not need to prove Himself in a manner you determine – He already gave us Creation and His word and a million other things to prove that He exists.

      Your non belief and inability to currently see Him does not mean He does not exist.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Jose Head

      It also does not mean that he does.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • =)

      please excuse the term but .. "AMEN!" to that LMAO

      February 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Andy

      You said: "God does not need to prove Himself in a manner you determine – He already gave us Creation and His word and a million other things to prove that He exists."

      There is no evidence for Creation. There is tons of evidence for Evolution.

      You cannot prove that the bible is the word of god. There are errors and contradictions.

      Give me a few examples of "things" that prove god exists.

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Jebuss T. Chrysct

      The Churchs of the -Flying Spaghetti Monster-, or the -Invisable Pink Pony- makes more sence...and YES they do exist google them.
      Funny thing? i went to a Luthren Church school, and was a "warrior for Christ" all my life. I'm not worried though, cause my pastor told me that if i repent on my deathbead and truly mean it..i'll be saved..so pthhhhhhh!! after all we American Christians rule the world after all...(sarcasm)

      February 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  12. Marc

    Jennifer,

    Bible Scholar? So what? You studied the Bible and what? Passed the course? Pastor? Of a Christian non-denomination that you made up to suit your own disbelief's? There are countless such "Christian" groups. You are nothing but a Apostate fool!

    February 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • David

      Yea, a lot of people have "passed the course" including a lot of Ministers and still they do not preach the truth. It all goes back to the fact that we read into it what we want and if we dont agree with what someone else reads into it then they are wrong.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Marc

      Gee, Mark. I can tell you are not the run of the mill fundie. I would sure like to know if you think god is moral?

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  13. Billy

    You cannot change the Word of God, you can make your own book but God does not even consider it come your judgement.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Trillstone

      Who are you to say what God does and does not consider?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • DGirl101

      That's right. So, everything that we see called a Bible today, which has been proven to be a manipulated shadow of the original texts, edited and abridged and badly interpreted for the purposes of the editor, and then the meanings horribly mangled to substantiate some radicals' viewpoint, is not the word of God. So, its not trustworthy. Period. Thanks, I'm putting my trust in the Divine and try to do right by that, not in some words cobbled together and thumped by self-righteous mankind.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Ian

      you can't change the word of god.. but you can ignore the word of man who abused his status and education to mislead the masses in to a lifetime of misery and meaningless laws.

      I would rather burn for an eternity for not believing in such a shallow and selfish god then bask in heaven with him for being a mindless drone.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • JH

      If you are referring to the Bible as the Word of God, remember that it has been changed multiple times throughout its history, with a huge example being the Council of Nicea.

      If you would like examples of changes that have taken place, open your King James Version, and look at everywhere you see brackets. Every one of those is something that was added in by the translators who wrote the King James Version. Parentheses are similar. Remember too that every translation is impacted directly by the personal beliefs and knowledge of the human beings doing the translation. Shoot, just look at all the interpretations of this article, and most of us speak the same language as her.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Jerry

    The bible makes it clear in 2Timothy chapter 4 that people will turn from sound teaching and listen to made up stuff like what's in the article because they don't want to hear the truth.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • karma1959

      It's ironic how many believe their interpretation of the bible or god is 'correct' and all others are wrong.

      This is how most religions through time have felt – Muslims, Pharonic Egyptians, Greek, Norse, Celtic etc etc – all thought their belief was right and everybody else's was wrong. Soooo.. I guess they were all wrong and just YOUR god is right.. hmmmm..

      February 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Vince Capece

      Made up stuff? Like the Bible?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  15. rofwe

    THE SCRIPTURES HAS BEEN FUFILLED IN THIS WOMAN LIFE TODAY . I PRAY FOR THE BELIEVERS TO PREPARE THERE FAMILES. NOW AS WE CONTINUIE TO SEE AMERICA SLIP INTO DARKENESS..KEEP WATCHING THE NEWS,MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON THOSE WHO ARE TRYING.: READ BELOW FOR YOUR SELF

    " I WARN EVERYONE WHO HEARS THE WORDS OF THIS BOOK. IF ANYONE ADDS ANYTHING TO THEM GOD WILL ADD TO HIM THE PLAGUES DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK. AND IF ANYONE TAKES MY WORDS AWAY FROM THIS BOOK ,GOD WILL TAKE AWAY FROM HIM HIS SHARE IN THE TREE OF LIFE AND THE HOLY CITY WHICH ARE DESCRIBED IN THIS BOOK. YES I AM COMING SOON. " REVELATIONS 22:18 READ IT FOR YOUR SELF

    MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON US ALL..IT WILL BE WORST THAN THE DAYS OF NOAH!

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Yum for Men

      Were you around in the days of Noah?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • karma1959

      You need help.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Trillstone

      I guess we are all doomed then since early Christians removed books from the bible which are still omitted today.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Jose Head

      "I WARN EVERYONE WHO HEARS THE WORDS OF THIS BOOK." I assume that this is because the book must be targeted at people who do not know how to read. This makes sense given the premise of the book.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @rofwe

      Actually Jesus predicted He would be back in the 1st Century.

      I (Jesus) say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” – Matthew 24:34

      This controversial verse is in all three of the Olivet Discourse accounts. (These accounts are to be found in Matthew 24:1-51, Mark 13:1-37, and Luke 21:5-33).

      Jesus explicitly said here that all of the events prophesied in the Olivet Discourse, including His return, would happen before the last person living at that time died.

      Jesus promised, that He would return within that generation, but He did not.

      Since He was wrong, He could not have been God, so the Christian faith, is based on error.

      To bolster the argument, in all of the other places in the Gospels where Jesus used the term “this generation,” he was referring to people living at that time.

      Sorry, rofwe.

      Revelation was written at a time when the early Christians were being heavily persecuted by Nero Caesar. Nero is the 666 referred to. It was not a prediction for 2000 + years into the future. LOL

      Fundies are funny!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • David

      The bible has already been taken apart. It was taken apart centuries ago by schollars and only a few books were decided upon to be used in todays bible so who knows what was left out.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  16. tkdefender

    Hypocrites!!! CNN claims to be objective but clearly it is not. The network gives a voice to all who believe in the sinful gay life style. The writer of this article does not provide any references to specific passages of the bible, writes in unfounded generalities and has no scholarly basis for her conclusions. CNN refuses to allow true evangelicals to voice their opinions on the issue.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Ian

      are you mental? You JUST gave your opinion you dolt.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • someguy

      It's because you evangelicals are stupid.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • kait

      Yes because all the 'true evangelicals' are spouting their hatred on FOX.

      CNN is simply allowing a SCHOLAR to write a feature/soft piece debating a topic that is highly discussed these days. How dare they allow someone to perhaps stand up for a group of people so hated on by Christians?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  17. billy v

    The HEBREW BIBLE is different than the EDITED english versions.
    EXAMPLE: the earth was created in 7 AGES, not Days....
    Another: Genesis 1:1 – In an AFOREtime, manifold god (LITTLE g) created the heavens and its' matter.
    – AFORE time is NOT the beginning. Manifold god means GROUPS OF gods. gods = angels, helpers, etc.

    There is way more. Research and listen to HEBREW pastors... Everything makes sense.!

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Mike Johnson

      Hmmm... As one with a Masters degree in Semitic languages, let me say that you're mistaken. The literal translation of day in Genesis 1 is 'day', not age. Those who say that 'day' REPRESENTS 'age' are saying just that – but the word means, nevertheless, day.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Stacey

      Am intrigued by your comment – would you post a site containing more similar findings?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  18. Beth

    Jennifer Wright Knust, may God have mercy on your soul.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Yum for Men

      sounds like you need to get laid

      February 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Ari159

      So, just because her faith isn't in line with yours, she needs mercy on her soul. You're a fool.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • kait

      why would you say something like that? who are you to request mercy for someone who may think differently than you? Because she accepts more people instead of condemning them?

      Do you know what it sounds like when people say things like that? The stereotypes of Witches and Muslims casting spells on people or casting a Jihad on someone. It's so inherently mean when you say that but because you can use God's name in defending it you're 'protected' from disagreement or retaliation.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  19. Big Joe

    And why is the bible the last word on anything? It has no cultural/ethnic bearing on the vast majority of Americans let alone the world – except perhaps those ethnically from the Levant. Come people, wake up already.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Mike Johnson

      You are joking right. No cultural influence? Study history and study Western Civilization. The Bible's impact on the Western world view is undeniable (even if one denies the Bible itself). Ignorance never helped anyone, Big Joe. Educate yourself.

      February 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  20. rickh

    Jennifer simply does Knust realize the error of her argument! Man would die without the woman was only true because once Eve had sinned by partaking of the fruit, having been beguiled by the serpent (Lucifer), she was to be cast out of the garden, making Adam the one loan man in the garden and therefore would be unable to procreate - the first and most important commandment Adam and Eve were given, that of 'multiply and replenishing the earth'. Adam partook of the fruit in order for man to be...that is to say, him also being cast out of the garden, remaining with the woman to have children, which carnal knowledge was hidden from them in the Garden of Eden UNTIL they partook of the forbidden fruit and gaining the knowledge of good and evil and becoming subject to mortal death - which is the event that allows Jennifer and I...and all the rest of us to...'be'.

    February 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • kimmi

      Yeah, I'm sure you know more about bible and religion than a bible scholar. Keep hating. What ever.

      February 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @rickh

      Genesis never happened. It is a myth about creation. Every culture has a creation myth.

      Do you realize you are believing a story of talking snakes, a god that forms a man from dirt, A woman from a rib, trees that yield knowledge giving and eternal life giving fruit?

      Come on! Harry Potter is more believable.

      Cheers!

      February 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • eliavaa

      Wait, who was Adam on loan from?

      February 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
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About this blog

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.