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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. isiah

    Ms Knust is way off base. She has created something that is not bible based. It is just more feel good false religion.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Kathy

      Amen and Amen.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Tom

      The bible is totally subjective and interpretive.. You gay rights people are nuts to think that anyone should listen to anything you have to say anymore.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • VinoBianco

      This article is written as though the bible and the story of genesis actually happened. It's a story, I don't base my beliefs on stories.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • bob

      Agreed. False religion.
      Warping the bible for ones own needs/wants.
      Speaking of these things. I'd recommend reading the book "When Jesus became God"
      http://www.amazon.com/When-Jesus-Became-God-Christianity/dp/0156013150

      February 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • GW

      i bet she has more knowledge of the bible than you do, or ever will claim to have

      February 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  2. Sarah

    Please read this

    I think 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 sums this up. Yes God and Jesus shows love by forgiving us of our sins and giving us the chance to change and forgives us when we do. I dont like when people use the bible out of contends to cover sin. Jesus did teach love in forgiveness but if we dont change he will not forgive! Please follow 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and dont be Mislead!

    9 What! Do YOU not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes,NOR MEN WHO LIE WITH ME, 10 nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom. 11 And yet that is what some of YOU were. But YOU have been washed clean, but YOU have been sanctified, but YOU have been declared righteous in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the spirit of our God.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Corinthians also says: (I Corinthians 7:36) “But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry.” and ( I Corinthians 11:6) “For if a woman does not cover her head (while praying), let her also have her hair cut off”

      So what is your point?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Cat

    Bottom line, READ the bible. Why doesn't she support her argument with quotes from the bible? If you want to know what the bible says just read it. I suggest starting in New Testament to hear what Jesus says. Jesus says to LOVE your neighbor as yourself. No where does he say to hate anyone except Satan. The bible teaches love but love is not the same as tolerance. All who believe in Christ and accept him will be saved. Gay and straight alike. A sin is a sin.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Brandon

    Yet another proof that people will find excuses to like certain groups by even editing the meaning in the bible if they are liked my masses. Nothing against gays, just a comment on how hypocritical people are.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Yes, the bible has regularly been used to promote or destroy various groups of the moment. Very flexible book, eh?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Nathan

      She's not anymore hypocritical than the Bible itself. Have you noticed that everyone is counter attacking one bible verse with a different bible verse. It's all in how you perceive the message. If we were all meant to perceive a message one way, then what is the point of going to church. We could all just stay at home and read the same thing and accept it for its literal meanings all the time. People choose to hang on to certain scripture that they feel best suits their own personal moral guidelines. When someone else uses a verse contradictory to those of which they hold so dear, they get all up-in-arms about how that person is anti-Christian or incompetent in reading. In all actuality they are simply defending the Bible for how they interpret it. The Bible and hyprocrisy are one in the same.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  5. Suz

    I am Jewish... but I'm not so exclusionary as to appreciate other faiths.

    In that vein, I'd like to bring up the fact that Jesus had some fantastic advice: Love one another. Note, this statement is not one with any qualifiers like gender, race, faith, etc. – it is simply to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

    Simple. Not always easy to practice, but simple enough to understand. And could you imagine a world where everyone at least TRIED to do that? Wow! 🙂

    February 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jason

      Suz: Thanks for the comment. Even though you're not Christian, you certainly know what it means to be one much more than most of those who have responded so far.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  6. ?

    Where does it say that God created one form that was a he/she? I can't find that in any Bible anywhere. Why would you use a lie to attempt to expose the truth? Also, David and Jonathon shared Agape, or unconditional love, completely platonic. That is the same love that Christ has for us.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Suz

      A good point. We throw around the word "love," which has many, many meanings ("I love cheeseburgers!" vs. "I love my wife!" vs. "I love my father"). What this article comes up short on is looking at the original Greek text instead of English. The Greeks had many different words for the different kinds of love (yes, agape, and also philia and eros and I think more besides that). Interesting, though, that agape is the word that Greeks would both associate with a good meal AND with the love of a spouse.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  7. Patricia

    Mankind will never evolve if we cling to fairytales to comfort us in the face of certain death. Religion does not promote individual thinking nor does it promote critical thinking.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • BillyBird

      Surely you aren't implying that "Holy Writ" is some how crimping the creative thinking of modern day Americans? Where have you been? The majority of Americans have long since cast off any "morale restraint." The result? We've about "evolved ourselves" into oblivion. The irony is that when the next terrorist attack arrives, and it's coming, the whole crowd will gather on the Captial steps and cry out to God for His "blessing." Good luck with that. We're so educated and sophisticated and successful we don't need God and have all but ask Him to leave. I, for one, think He has. Give it a few decades and see how history records that decision. May not go down as one of our smartest choices.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Gail

    1) Pick sacred, non-controversial topic

    2) Write absurd, simplistic book that takes an outrageous position but gets a special interest group on your side

    3) Profit!

    February 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  9. Ali

    Pure and simple heresy!

    February 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  10. El Kababa

    Every tenth grade dropout who attends the Holy Roller Tabernacle of God's Blessed Truth as Revealed in the Holy Word in a strip mall off the Mansfield Highway believes he or she is an expert on the Bible.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Mikey

      I know!!! And most of the "pastors" of these hole-in-the-wall churches have no religious studies education or history education. There are plenty of things found in the Bible that were likely the result of the writer's personal beliefs and customs. How on earth does a thinking person NOT want someone more highly educated than themselves teaching them? Of course I don't want anyone "teaching" me but still...

      February 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  11. Paul K McConnell

    hoc primum intelligentes quod omnis prophetia Scripturæ propria interpretatione non fit. Enough said.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  12. Ali

    Pure and simple heresy.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Thank god for heresy!

      February 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  13. wow

    Some of you really need to think about what you're saying.
    I mean come on people! You're telling me that you're anti-ga-y, pro- slavery, and do not support women having jobs that "meant for men" such as being a pastor?! Worry about your own life before you make harsh judgements about other people's life styles.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Suz

      Very true, and spot-on.

      If people are going to cherry-pick a few verses out of the Bible, then they should also be punished for wearing beards and borrowing loans with interest.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  14. Allen

    Are you kidding me? A scholar, one who does not even know how to interpret Genesis 1 and 2, that is no scholar. This is a classic case of deciding what you believe, then going to the Scriptures and twisting the words until they say what you want them to say, eisegesis. Verses exegesis, letting the text speak for itself. In chapter 1 it clearly states that God made male and female. There is not hint they are one. In fact the text screams out, they are different. Genesis ch 1 is an overture, then ch. 2 gives us more detail.

    Jesus died for all of us, to pay for our sins. Our sins are not defined by what our relative minds tell us is a sin. We all have sinned and fallen short of God's standard. I am thankful, as a sinner, that there is hope in Jesus. But make no mistake, there is hope no where else.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • dr. daneeka

      Your post only serves to prove you are guilty of your own accusation.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Jay

      Really? You're going to go with that argument? Any religious scholar, to include rabbis and priests will tell you the bible is open to interpretation. But because this interpretation goes against what you think, you're going to go ahead and ignore it. She may have a point. Have you researched any of her claims, or do you pretend to know every word of the bible and have god's intended interpretation clear in your head? Genesis states that god created Adam. And only after Adam asked god for a companion, did god create Eve from his rib. That alone is enough to argue that god did not intend for women, and that Eve was an afterthought after getting feedback from Adam. What if Adam didn't ask god for a companion? Then where would we be?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • ML

      Allen, It think you said it better than myself. Bravo!

      February 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • El Kababa

      I think Jesus was stunned and bewildered when he was arrested and executed. I think he fully expected an army of angels to rescue him. His bones are still buried somewhere under the streets of Jerusalem.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Viola

      Ah, there is no hope anywhere else. I guess Jesus' God was not thinking straight when He created all those 'others' that people worship?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • tkogrady

      The bible says that God made Adam, then took a rib from him to create Eve. If you want to be technical, then God's design for reproduction was cloning. After all, He is infallible.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  15. Sean

    Since the modern church in America is now a political wing–including massive donations and political pulpits, it's time to tax every church that tries to effect national change. Tax them all.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • numbnut

      I agree.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  16. so what.

    it does not matter if you are gay or straight! the bible says many things we do today are sins! you like lobster? crab? oysters? the bible says its a sin to eat them!!! (leveticus 11:9) what makes eating a shellfish less of a sin than being gay? yet i don't see any of you protesters outside a Red Lobster demanding that they stop going against the word of god! if you believe in god or if you don't it is not up to you to pass judgement on other people who do you think you are that you have the right to pass judgement on anyone besides yourself.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • What the Bible has to say

      Once you read the entire Bible with a heart seeking for truth rather than seeking to reading to defend your own views, you will see in the new testament how Jesus and the apostles provide us a new covenant, and they specifically deal with the issue of unclean foods.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Aaron

      Once you read the entire Bible seeking the truth you find it is nothing but fiction, written to control the masses.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • missj

      lev 11:9
      9 'These you may eat of all that are in the water: whatever in the water has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers–that you may eat.

      it says you may eat, can you read?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • BillyBird

      Could it possibly be that we no longer see eating shell fish as sin because The Spirit of God declared it to be clean; entirely suitable to eat; Acts 10:12-15? You might consider "the facts" before passing judgment on spiritual matters.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      And all the other BS in Leviticus?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Moshe Roberts

    Go ahead and leave the Bible out of it, as there is more than enough non-Biblical evidence available to support the claims of the scriptures. The problem is, most non-believers have never taken the time to do any research. They don't want to believe it's true, as they're afraid they'll have to "give up" something, or "change" their ways, so simply going along with the rest of the "cool," "intellectual," horned-rim glasses wearing, hangin' out in coffee shops crowd is the route they choose (that was a bit mean-spirited, and stereotypical, but I couldn't resist). Archaeology alone provides ample support for the claims of the Bible; evidence so powerful that only a fool would choose to ignore it. And what about the Jews? This minuscule group of people at the heart of the Bible's drama, who are to this day the center of much of the world's drama; and surrounded on all sides by their enemies, just as the Bible prophesied over 2,000 years ago. The scriptures state, "Now therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised Me..." The 'house' that is referred to is the house of David; i.e., Israel. To this day Israel is bombed daily by the Palestinians; i.e., the "sword" definitely hasn't departed from their house. Do you really think that's simply a coincidence; really? How is it that a group of people whose enemies have repeatedly tried to exterminate them (and still desire to do so today), who represent a mere .2% of the world's population, account for 22% of all individual Nobel prize recipients since 1901, 30% of the Forbes 100 list, and control every major movie studio in Hollywood? Because it was God's will, perhaps? God did say of the Israelites, "You will be blessed more than any other people..." Furthermore, how is it that the United States, an infant relative to the rest of the world, has been so ridiculously blessed? Maybe because God said, "I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you"; 'you' being Israel. I mean, it certainly appears that the nations who most despise Israel – nations where Islam reigns – have been cursed; e.g., women are treated like dogs, illiteracy runs rampant, and poverty is the norm and not the exception. The irony of it all is that the "intelletual," "open-minded," "tolerant," and "liberal" left appears to be anything but. Quit basing your views of Christianity on the actions/words of a few dipsticks – yeah, we've got our fair share of 'em – as what demographic is void of that class of folks? Besides, isn't it always the dipsticks that get all the air time? I didn't really believe for the longest time either, but when I finally took the time to do some research, apart from the Bible, the truth was obvious. But don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself; it will blow your mind...and change your life.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Al

      You are sadly mistaken. There is zero (0) evidence in support of your bible. In fact, all the evidence points to the fact that your bible simply repeats the myths and stories of earlier religions. It's 2011 and time to drop this religious pap.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Aaron

      Just an absurd post with no truth or credibility to it whatsoever. Shameful in fact.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • El Kababa

      I've read the Bible a few times and I've read afew books about the Bible.

      The original teaching of Jesus had entirely to do with enticing God to come to earth and establish His kingdom on earth and throw out the Romans. Jesus fully expected God to do just that when he entered Jerusalem in his mock parade. He must have been more surprised than anyone when he was summarily executed.

      Then the first Christians taught that Jesus was returning within the lifetimes of those who had known him, but after a few centuries that idea wore out. It became clear that He was not coming back.

      Then Constantine got sick of all the debating so he ordered a Bible assembled and a church established, so Christianity became Catholicism – a whole new faith with startling new concepts like the infallibility of the Pope, the trinity, etc.

      Then, Martin Luther got sick of Catholicism so we got Protestantism, which is a watered-down, disorganized version of Catholicism.

      Then, Protestantism morphed into televangelism where ministers learned how to really make the celestial cash register ring for them. They don't handle serpents any more, but they cast out imaginary demons and heal the healthy bodies of their hired shills.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Joshua-James Pentz, III

      What a brilliant, God inspired man you are. Thank you. Joshua

      February 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • luigixiv

      There are a number of explanations for what you describe, and when I have more time, I may set them forth. You are being selective, though, I think in cherry picking your history and presenting it in the light you deem most advantageous.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Bob

      I started reading the Bible a long time ago but after all the killing that God was doing I determined that the God of the Old Testament was so evil that I wanted nothing to do with him. I mean, the God of the Old Testament killed more Jews than Hitler.

      March 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  18. Troy

    Ms Knust is an idot and completely uninspired. If she truely was a pastor with any sense of moral direction, she would be the first to condemn her own words. If I were a member of her congragation, I would bolt as soon as possible. She's only leading them down the path to HELL!!

    February 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • luigixiv

      I think the point is that she is offering different interpretations. The thing is that you can interprete the Bible in many ways, and as Americans, we do not live in a theocracy. There is no reason why your view of morality, or your reading of the Bible, should prevail just because it is your view per se. Maybe your interpretation is 100% correct, but we just do not know, as with many passages, it allows for interpreatation. Further, have you modeled every single aspect of your life after the Bible, I mean im quite sure we could find some areas in which you have "convenientlly" elected to ignore certain biblical edicts(either because you think they are unimportant, impractical, or irrelevant; I mean for goodness sakes, the stories are set in the ancient near-east, there is no way you could mimic every aspect of bibllical life). Just asking.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • tkogrady

      At least she has put some points on the table. All you are doing is condemning her without offering your own arguement.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  19. someone2me

    this so-called "bible scholar and pastor" knust, has just succeeded in turning d bible up side.she is clearly a messenger with a message from satan's inner circle

    February 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Hmm

      What is more 'Christian', a message of love or one that calls for killing others?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • W247

      Jeremiah 14:13
      Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Nathan

      Yes, trying to prevent the happiness of others, those who also have no affect on your personal life, is an act of Satan. I think you've got your morals backwards....

      February 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      You just described 905% of Christianity.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Supposed to be " 95% of Christianity." In reply to W247. But maybe my first response to both comments works better?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • luigixiv

      Who appointed you the Oracle? Why is it that as soon as anyone disagrees with your interpreation they have to be condmened to hell? Are you that insecure that you cannot discuss?

      February 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  20. PJC

    Matthew 24:5
    Jesus said, "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." If you follow punctuation correctly you will understand that this means many false teachers/preachers will come teaching/preaching that Christ is Christ.

    February 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • El Kababa

      There was no punctuation marks in the ancient Greek and Aramaic languages. Those commas and periods were put there by the translators.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • History Buff

      It is true that punctuation is a relatively recent invention. Even spaces between words are modern in terms of linguistic history. Many languages didn't even bother writing vowels. They were assumed.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • VJ

      Proverbs 30:5-6
      Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

      February 9, 2011 at 2:46 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.