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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. Cody

    The bible is a book of FAITH, not FACT.

    Who's religion is the PROPER/CORRECT religion? There are 1 Billion Muslims in the world. There are 13 million Jews. Does Christianity trump their religion? Be careful – you true believers are treading on very thin ice. Just look at all the wars going on based on religious beliefs.

    February 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Bdub

      All the wars? Are you referring to the conflict in the Middle East?

      February 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      That's a big problem about religion, people are so convinced that their "truth" is more true than everyone else's that they treat other religions as inferior.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  2. Brad

    The fact that this woman has infiltrated a seminary and even more horrifying, she claims to be a "bible scholar and Pastor" is deeply disturbing. But as Paul said in 2 Cor. 11:14:15, "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. so it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds."

    February 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Bob.

      Then how do you know the bible isn't written by Satan?

      Check and mate. Put some thought into your posts.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      The Bible was written by men. The Bible has been translated and re-translated by men. The Bible is a WORK of MAN, not God. Does "God" have pens and paper in the sky?

      February 10, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  3. Steve

    Lover the sinner, hate the sin. God knew what he was doing. You dont.

    Feel free to email me and I will elaborate.

    February 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • sealchan

      It is often said, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." But where does sin reside? Isn't sin an act by the sinner? And if you say to a sinner that you hate their act and they do not see what you hate is a sin, but rather is love, then what do you accomplish?

      February 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Lover the sinner, hate the sin. God knew what he was doing. You dont.

      Assuming that the bible is even correct. If God knew what he was doing, I doubt he'd have made his edicts so widely available to interpretation. I also doubt a being with 8,000,000 IQ would conclude that the best way to send a message is via a burning bush to a lone individual.

      The bible shows that it's not correct due to the sheer idoicy of it. God wouldn't act like a child and be internally inconsistent with his powers and intellect.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      "Sin" is a made-up concept, used to control people and keep them afraid. What is more scary than eternal hell fire? What ignorant person would grasp at anything to save themselves from that?

      February 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  4. End Here

    Current Posting

    February 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  5. Esther David

    II wish to get in touch with Ms. Jennifer Knust....there's some things she has to be made aware of concerning the Word of God, ii.e., the Holy Bible. Her concepts are very conflicting when it comes to the proper interpretation of the scripture....and she says she is a "Pastor"!!! How so....???

    February 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • SJB

      It's easy. Your interpretation is wrong.

      February 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Comatose

      Esther- My thoughts exactly!

      SJB- Does this mean your putting all your faith in what this "One" self-proclaimed expert is saying or are you just replying out of spite?

      February 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • SJB

      Hardly. None of us have died yet, so none of us are experts.

      I know as about the afterlife (or lack thereof), as you do. But as a gay man, I can assure you that I'm functioning exactly the way I was designed to....by God, or by pure chance. To lecture me that some book written two thousand years ago says it's wrong, shows that it's not me who has the distorted world-view.

      February 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  6. LJR

    1-7 sums it up: http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/2-tim/3.1?lang=eng#primary

    February 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  7. Comatose

    This article is ridiculous on so many levels. For those claiming that there is no God and heaven or hell I have a statement...If I die and I'm right about God I get to heaven. If you're right I die and nothing happens. If I'm right about God and you die you go to hell. If you're right and there is no God then nothing happens. It appears the odds are in my favor no matter what happens. Granted becoming shouldn't be based on this reasoning alone, but it's a good starting point.

    February 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • SJB

      Play the odds if you want, about believing in God. But the Bible itself is pure fiction. AND to impose YOUR beliefs on everyone else, is unforgiveable. Yours is a vengeful God. Beware.

      February 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      SJB

      Play the odds if you want, about believing in God. But the Bible itself is pure fiction. AND to impose YOUR beliefs on everyone else, is unforgiveable. Yours is a vengeful God. Beware.
      ------
      You seem to know that God is vengeful, yet you are still playing games! Not too smart, especially since you know!

      February 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Magic

      steve the real one,

      "You seem to know that God is vengeful, yet you are still playing games! Not too smart, especially since you know!"

      Oh, come off it, steve - you know darn well that SJB means "your purported God". And if you don't know that, you are obtuse beyond comprehension.

      SJB – we must speak v-e-r-y slowly and clearly to these people.

      February 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Majic,
      Oh, come off it, steve – you know darn well that SJB means "your purported God". And if you don't know that, you are obtuse beyond comprehension.
      ----------
      I know exactly what he means. I don't have a "purported" God. I do however have a Heavenly Father, the God of the Bible!

      February 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      "The absence of God will bring you comfort..." Being without religion has been an eye-opening an liberating experience for me. I was raised in the church, considered myself a devout Christian until I was 15 and realized the Bible made no sense, nor did the faith.

      When people are good for the sake of being human, and not to please an imaginary man in the sky, we will all know peace and happiness. As long as religion exists, we will have war. Do you know, more people have died in Jesus' name, than any other in history? Including Hitler?

      February 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Comatose

      B.J.,

      I have heard that quite a bit...That freedom from religion is freeing. And you know what? I agree with you completely. I don't view Christianity as a "religion." When I view it as a relationship with God rather than a list of rules that I have to follow it has been much more fulfilling.

      When you say, "When people are good for the sake of being human, and not to please an imaginary man in the sky, we will all know peace and happiness" I can't help but wonder where the "good" comes from or why we have morals at all? How does man judge what is good and bad? Who am I to put someone in jail for murder when there is no point of reference for goodness? To me, morals would have to come from a higher being (God) otherwise there is no way to dictate what is good or bad among all beings.

      As far as more peopled killed in the name of Jesus....Unfortunately I do know that. And if i'm not mistaken even Hitler claimed he was a Christian. Does that mean Christianity is wrong? Absolutely not. It does, however, show that humanity is sinful and that there is evil in the world. It is unfortunate and sad to think about, but it is true. This actually supports my previous comments on good and evil. If there is evil, which many claim, then where does it come from if there is no driving force behind it?

      The thing I hate about forums is that whenever a point is refuted or commented on it sounds very negative and when I'm commenting I'm just stating my views, not imposing them. I hope everyone understands that and the way you commented on mine was done in the same, respectful manner. I enjoy, very much, hearing what people believe compared to my own beliefs. If anyone would like to talk more through email just reply to me and I will give you my email. Thank You.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      Christianity is a religion. I'm not eve going to bother arguing that, because in it's definition, it IS a religion. Your personal relationship with your idea of God is separate from that, I agree. So why do we need preachers and such to tell us what to believe and how to interpret the Bible? People here are peeved because this lady is a preacher and her take is very different from theirs. Her relationship with God, her understanding of him is different, so why is everyone so upset?

      Good and bad is both inherent (i.e. we're born that way, naturally, and I truly don't think any higher power has anything to do with that and I find the idea somewhat laughable, I'm sorry!), and objective. What I think is bad could be very different from what you think is bad. I don't need a book or a higher power to know that helping people is good. Hurting people is bad. It's simple.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  8. Comatose

    This article is ridiculous on so many levels. For those claiming that there is no God and heaven or hell I have a statemen...If I die and I'm right about God I get to heaven. If you're right I die and nothing happens. If I'm right about God and you die you go to hell. If you're right and there is no God then nothing happens. It appears the odds are in my favor no matter what happens. Granted becoming shouldn't be based on this reasoning alone, but it's a good starting point.

    February 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Magic

      So, we should pretend to believe, just to cover our bets?

      What if you have chosen the wrong god - Allah or Zeus would punish you severely.

      What if the real god likes freethinkers better and relegates you worshippers to a lower place?

      Read (google, if you like) arguments against Pascal's Wager for more info.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Godless

      If I may borrow from the brilliant Bill Maher, that argument (the "if I'm wrong, nothing lost, but if I'm right, I've gained everything") is kinda like the lotto – you can be saved if you don't play, right?

      It's a ludicrous argument. How do you know you've chosen the right god? It's a silly argument made by silly people.

      Watch Religulous and open your mind.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Comatose

      Both of your comments seem hinge on the "What if You choose the wrong God?" My argument is merely a starting point. The same scenario still plays out. If you choose to put your faith in something rather than something is better odds than choosing to put your faith in nothing. To that you cannot deny. I have put my faith in God(The God of Christianity) and believe it to be 100% true. I am not saying that playing the odds is the reason to put your faith in God, but it is an argument worth thinking about.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Comatose

      ***If you choose to put your faith in something is better odds than choosing to put your faith in nothing.***

      February 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Godless

      That's still a pretty chickenS- way to live your life. "Well, at least I have a chance! Fingers crossed!"

      February 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  9. ChunckyMonkey

    Ms. Knust, can you also make it ok for me to be a jerk to the poor? Thanks.

    If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
    James 2:3-4 (New International Version, ©2010)

    February 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Magic

      ChunckyMonkey,

      So? This just proves that someone in the second century, named James, was a thinker about society and effective human relations.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • SJB

      And if you say to the straight man, you are my equal and you can marry. And you say to the gay man you are not my equal, you are evil, you shall go to hell and you may not marry, surely have you discriminated among yourselves, etc.....

      February 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      I'm certain Chuncky contributes a good portion of his/her earnings to charity or the church, as that's what it asks in the Bible.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  10. ChunckyMonkey

    What if Ms. Knust could explain away hell altogether?

    February 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Magic

      ChunckyMonkey

      "What if Ms. Knust could explain away hell altogether?"

      What if *you* could prove that hell exists?

      February 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Ron

      I can... Pslam 139:8... Even If I make my bed in Hell, you are with me. and Jesus say's in Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Magic

      Sorry, Ron, that only shows that David (Psalms) and someone named Matthew imagined such a place.

      February 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • DRM

      Ron – the Bible is full of verses about hell, or any number of names given to it. Jesus himself spoke of it several times. Matthew 13:49-50 "This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

      Doesn't sound like eternal rest or heaven...so it must be hell...or an otherwise less than desirable place that I'd rather not spend my eternity.

      February 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  11. Allure

    You're amazing Ms. Knust!! Thanks for sharing.

    February 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  12. Colin B

    I have never in my life read such out of context opinions as shared by the writer of the article. She has totally attacked the very values of the Holy Scriptures with a modernistic view point that is both void of knowledge and understanding of The Bible. Calling herself a pastor does not validate her as an expert on Biblical values.

    February 10, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Bob.

      But other people's subjective evaluation of the bible is far better then her subjective evaluation.

      It's not like the bible is well written and contains clear instructions. I mean, it says not to kill and yet says it's ok to kill a slave if they die a day later. Or how it's not ok to eat shellfish.

      The problem is that you consider the "correct interpretation" to be whatever agrees with your concept of the book. You're not looking at it from a strictly unbiased viewpoint. Ergo, your conclusions are suspect.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  13. Mardi

    First let me say this on the comments about Jesus ever existing, it's called Faith for a reason. Second, if I read a verse in the Bible and you read a verse in the Bible, I may get something out of it completely different then you do. I believe that God speaks to my heart with what I need at that point and time in my life. Third, I don't believe that I have the right to judge anyone, that's God's job. I try to live my life with the love of Christ and help my fellow man any way that I can. That's all that I can do as a human. For those of you who don't believe in God that's your choice. It's called free will. You ask for proof of God's existance, I say look around you! I think God loves everyone, that doesn't mean that we all won't be punished for our sins. But I don't believe that being gay is a sin. And if it is, well God will take care of it, not me, not you.

    February 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • rodeorulz

      Mardi – You got it!! 🙂

      February 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Bob.

      > Second, if I read a verse in the Bible and you read a verse in the Bible, I may get something out of it completely different then you do. I believe that God speaks to my heart with what I need at that point and time in my life.

      You're right. When I read about slavery, how a woman who has been deflowered unwillingly is sold to the offender, when I read about God torturing a man on a bet, or how he floods the world because peopkle "aren't doing what he wants" despite designign them to work that way, I get a very strong message.

      The bible is wrong. In any other sphere of your life you would consider the concept of a man living in a giant fish stomach absurd, but in the bible, it makes sense. You don't believe in zombies, but you believe that zombies walked the earth when Jesus was resurrected. Despite not being recorded by any historian.

      Faith is not a virtue, it's a flaw. Not unlike being gullible.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  14. ChunckyMonkey

    Let's get rid of this command too. (To be honest, I am tired of caring about how I should treat others.)

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
    Matthew 7:12 (New International Version, ©2010)

    February 10, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Bob

      You think you're making valid points, however, you're not. You're acting like a fool.

      The author (right or wrong) is making claims against something specific in the bible. In response, you foolishly list other things in the bible.

      It's akin to me saying "The trade of hockey player X to location Y was wrong" and you saying "Oh yeah, well it says that hockey is a sport, explain that smart guy".

      Please think before posting.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • B.J. Moritz

      WHY can't we treat people right, just because it's the right thing to do? Why do you need religion in order to be a good person?

      February 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  15. ChunckyMonkey

    Ms. Knust, please help . Can you explain away this passage of Scripture too? I am tired of being "productive."

    "Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need." Ephesians 4:28 (New International Version, ©2010)

    February 10, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • SJB

      You're not being productive, you're being an idiot. I've been to Ephesus twice, and the Ephesians were not God. However, suggesting that it's useeful to be able to help your neighbour, is not the same thing as saying you're going to hell because your neighbour hasn't asked you for help.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • B.J. Moritz

      You can't even spell Chunky properly so.... Fail.

      February 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  16. ChunckyMonkey

    I am tired of keeping my promises. Do you think that Ms. Knust could help me explain away this command?

    "All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
    Matthew 5:37 (New International Version, ©2010)

    February 10, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • SJB

      This is not a command. It's a commentary by some guy named Matthew, who last time I checked, wasn't God.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Elliesmom

      The bible is God breathed; therefore, everything that it exclaims...including what Matthew says...is truth.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • SJB

      Reread what you wrote. Doesn't it sound as absurd, to you...as it does to me?

      February 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  17. LJR

    Perfect answer to this article: http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/2-tim/3.1?lang=eng#primary

    February 10, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • DRM

      Come on now LJR...quoting scripture? You actually believe that stuff? I mean, this woman just pointed out how the Bible is silent on things like that. Sorry...sarcastic...I know. That is what I love about the Bible. It has an answer for everything that man throws up even when people try and call it an out-dated, irrelevant book written by man. Thanks for posting that. Very appropriate, and nice to see, especially on CNN.

      February 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  18. ChunckyMonkey

    While were at it, lets find a away to explain this command away too. (Surely, Jesus wouldn't care. Or would He?)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28 (New International Version, ©2010)

    February 10, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • SJB

      That's not a command, it's an observation by some guy named Matthew, who....last time I checked, wasn't even CLAIMED to be God.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  19. brad

    Those who wrote the books of the Bible were usually thinking somewhere outside of their pants. In Western culture today, most of our "thinking" goes on below the belt. Thus our obsession with what the Bible says about 6uality.

    February 10, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  20. ChunckyMonkey

    Just think, In a few years Ms. Knust might be able to change our view on other issues too. Imagine if we could do away with the following verse.

    “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ Matthew 5:21 (New International Version, ©2010)

    February 10, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Chris

      This message is for Jennifer Wright Knust

      Your comments regarding your wild and exaggerated belief that God was somehow confused on what he created in “Adam then Eve” as male and female and that the bible can be interpreted in any way you choose reminds me of some scripture that you (being a scholar and former pastor?) should know. It comes from 2 Timothy 3:1 thru 3:7. Especially verse 7 which reads from the (KJV): Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

      This is where you unfortunately have landed. May your continued study bring you to the truth and correct the errors of your own way.

      February 10, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Sku

      I just read the first chapter and it didnt take me long to realise this lady is VERY confused herself. Its a shame when people try to please the world. Clearly thats what sets us apart from Jesus Christ and what he taught. He offended so many people (pharisees) because he taught the truth and the truth can hurt sometimes.

      February 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • sealchan

      Is it always wrong to murder according to the Bible? Did God mean to say that killing is always wrong? And besides since the Garden of Eden have humans ever been able to escape judgment?

      February 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • oi vey

      ChunkyMonkey, I wrote you but the moderators will never post it for all to see. Typical!

      February 10, 2011 at 1:03 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.