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John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus
February 27th, 2011
09:06 PM ET

John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus

By John Blake, CNN

One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared:

"If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you."

Other critics have called him "demonic," "blasphemous" and a "schmuck."

When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he's spreading about Jesus today isn't the kind that would endear him to many church leaders.

Read the full story on Jesus scholar John Dominic Crossan
- CNN Writer

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Culture & Science

soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. NL

    Geri-
    That would be a bunch of 'no's and a yes to the baptism question but, in all fairness, I was a baby at the time so I don't remember being baptized, and I was raised Catholic so I escaped all that 'born again' indoctrination. Would I be correct in as.suming that you didn't escape?

    March 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Then what line of work are you in NL, that you want Jesus' teachings not preached to the masses? Something is up with you non-believers that you are not coming clean about.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  2. Geri

    Reality

    "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

    Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

    Gee, thats really sad. Its one of the most important books, because its prophecys have not yet been fulfilled. Many don't understand the book, that is why the reject it. Its called "Revelation", Its t'itle is quite self explanatory. That book will have an effect on every person in the world.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Geri, don't waste your time with these non-believers. I think most of them have new Ph.D.s in the mental health field, so of course, they want sinners coming to their offices and wanting Jesus' spiritual teachings to benefit mankind not being taught in the churches.

      Something is fishy with all these folks that won't type their hands to why the bashing of Jesus' teachings.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • yeshua1

      Amen, HeavenSent. I have noticed atheists love to assert they have no use for God, yet they rabidly troll the religious articles trying to fill the void. And they think we have a problem.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Geri and yeshua1, I wonder if any of the non-believers will figure out that the Book of Revelation means to REVEAL.

      Maybe that's what scares them?

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      yeshua1, the non-believers don't know they can ask Jesus anything they want. Jesus will send answers their way. They just don't know that He answered them because they don't comprehend how He did so because they don't yet, have eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

      Peace.

      March 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • LJ

      "Something is fishy with all these folks that won't type their hands to why the bashing of Jesus' teachings."

      No, but you feel justified in bashing other peoples posts. – EGO

      March 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  3. Geri

    NL, Just curious. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior> Have you confessed to him you are a sinner, and want to be saved, by his death on the cross for you?
    Do you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God?
    If answer is yes, were you ever baptised?

    March 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Geri..why accept any supernatural being to be your saviour. You all practice safe faith, to put your life in gods hands if it was in immediate danger is foolish as you know what will happen..I have asked this question before but would you and 200 of your most devout friends.. they can be any religion, but I would expect that they would all be the same as religions don't play well with others, take an airplane ride knowing that the pilots would bail at 40,000 ft and you all would have to pray to god for safe return..I would wager it would end badly with a hole in the ground some distance from the airport.. or do you think it would be good.. would you be wiling to test it ?..

      March 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • yeshua1

      @evolvedDNA – Why should I test my faith with your ridiculous test? Anyone that stupid deserves to die.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • HeavenSent

      evolvedDNA, I suspect you are very young and wet behind those ears due to your remarks thinking you know so much more than the elders in life. Most of your comments are that of a younger person in their 20s. Self assured, positive that you, and, you alone, know all the answers to life and you are going out in the world to fix them. Did it ever enter your mind that Christians from around the globe have had others engrossed in this exact debate? Yet, you believe that you are the only one posting your non-beliefs. Fact is, you and all your fellow non-believers have posed actually, posted nothing new under the sun regarding Jesus and what He teaches.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  4. Geri

    Isaiah 52, verse 1
    The uncirc-umcised and the unclean – The idea is, that those only should enter Jerusalem and dwell there who would be worshippers of the true God. The uncirc-umcised are emblems of the impure, the unconverted, and the idolatrous; and the meaning is, that in future times the church would be pure and holy. It cannot mean that no uncirc-umcised man or idolater would ever again enter the city of Jerusalem, for this would not be true. It was a fact that Antiochus and his armies, and T-itus and his army entered Jerusalem, and undoubtedly hosts of others did also who were not circ-umcised.

    But this refers to the future times, when the church of God would be pure. Its members would, in the main, be possessors of the true religion, and would adorn it. Probably, therefore, the view of the prophet extended to the purer and happier times under the Messiah, when the church should be characteristically and eminently holy, and when, as a great law of that church, none should be admitted, who did not profess that they were converted.

    --------------------------–

    March 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  5. Geri

    David Johnson

    @Jesus

    As you said, there are many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.). Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
    Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps He does not exist.

    Why would the the one true god leave room for confusion? Doesn't He want everyone, or most everyone, to know He exists and is the one true god?

    1. If God existed, this fact would be more obvious.
    So obvious in fact, that EVERYONE, or nearly everyone would believe in His existence. There would be only worshipers of the one true god.

    2. God's existence is not, in fact, as obvious as we would expect, if he existed.
    This fact is evidenced by all the different religions, plus us nasty atheists.

    3. Therefore, God does not exist.

    That was a great observation you made!

    Cheers!

    Here you go:

    James 3:16-18 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

    Psalm85:8 I will listen to you, LORD God because you promise peace to those who are faithful and no longer foolish.

    1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    So, that concludes that the God you are talking about, is not the God of Christians.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • NL

      Geri-
      "So, that concludes that the God you are talking about, is not the God of Christians."
      That might work on folks who are only 99.99% atheist, like Christians, but not on 100% atheists. We don't believe that any gods are real, so that automatically applies to whatever it is that you worship. There is no evidence to suggest that anything that qualifies as a god actually exists.

      See, aren't you glad we cleared that up?

      March 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      People will find and comprehend Jesus' spiritual teachings, once they humble themselves and shelf their EGOs. Oh, egos, the sin of PRIDE that leads to the other sins that blind a person.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:45 am |
  6. Geri

    David Johnson

    @Geri

    Do you think the stars are going to fall to earth?

    Revelation 6:13 – And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

    The bronze age people believed the heavenly bodies were about the size as they appear in the sky.

    The sun and moon about the size of basketballs. The stars, very small. They had no idea, that the stars were actually "suns".

    If it starts raining stars, it is going to break a lot of windshields. It is good that I have free glass.

    Cheers!

    @David ...Geri

    Do you think the stars are going to fall to earth?

    LOL...Your here aren't ya David? Or don't you consider yourself a star? 🙂

    March 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  7. RevealtionBeliever

    March 1, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    HeavenSent

    I find it said when you can't accept what I told you what is meant by selling one's possessions to follow Him being His telling us not to pay attention to the material things of this world ... to put our focus on Him, which is important to our salvation

    I agree Heaven Scent. There is also a scripture that says, It is easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God..Matt 19:24

    Barnes notes on the bible :

    It is easier for a camel ... – This was a proverb in common use among the Jews, and is still common among the Arabians.

    To denote that a thing was impossible or exceedingly difficult, they said that a camel or an elephant might as soon walk through a needle's eye. In the use of such proverbs it is not necessary to understand them literally. They merely denote the extreme difficulty of the case.

    A rich man – This rather means one who loves his riches and makes an idol of them, or one who supremely desires to be rich. Mark says Mark 10:24 "How hard is it for them that trust in riches." While a man has this feeling – relying on his wealth alone – it is literally impossible that he should be a Christian; for religion is a love of God rather than the world – the love of Jesus and his cause more than gold. Still a man may have much property, and not have this feeling. He may have great wealth, and love God more; as a poor man may have little, and love that little more than God. The difficulties in the way of the salvation of a rich man are:

    1. that riches engross the affections.

    2. that people consider wealth as the chief good, and when this is obtained they think they have gained all.

    3. that they are proud of their wealth, and unwilling to be numbered with the poor and despised followers of Jesus.

    4. that riches engross the time, and fill the mind with cares and anxieties, and leave little for God.

    5. that they often produce luxury, dissipation, and vice. that it is difficult to obtain wealth without sin, without avarice, without covetousness, fraud, and oppression, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:17; James 5:1-5; Luke 12:16-21; Luke 16:19-31.

    Still, Jesus says Matthew 19:26, all these may be overcome. God can give grace to do it. Though to people it may appear impossible, yet it is easy for God.

    Thats exactly what Jesus was talking about. Laying your treasures in heaven, and not placing them on the things of the earth. Many people have wealth, and give it away, for Gods work, He was making a point here.
    I think you said it well, Heaven Scent.

    A rich man – This rather means one who loves his riches and makes an idol of them, or one who supremely desires to be rich. Mark says Mark 10:24 "How hard is it for them that trust in riches." While a man has this feeling – relying on his wealth alone – it is literally impossible that he should be a Christian; for religion is a love of God rather than the world – the love of Jesus and his cause more than gold. Still a man may have much property, and not have this feeling. He may have great wealth, and love God more; as a poor man may have little, and love that little more than God. The difficulties in the way of the salvation of a rich man are:A rich man – This rather means one who loves his riches and makes an idol of them, or one who supremely desires to be rich. Mark says Mark 10:24 "How hard is it for them that trust in riches." While a man has this feeling – relying on his wealth alone – it is literally impossible that he should be a Christian; for religion is a love of God rather than the world – the love of Jesus and his cause more than gold. Still a man may have much property, and not have this feeling. He may have great wealth, and love God more; as a poor man may have little, and love that little more than God. The difficulties in the way of the salvation of a rich man are:

    March 1, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • RevealtionBeliever

      Sorry for the repeti-tive post.

      March 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Thank you for your explanations. Well said , RevealtionBeliever. I'm tired of explaining His righteous teachings to those that have no clue what they are complaining about.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:42 am |
  8. Gary Shop

    Hell, just take Crossan outside and stone him. That'll make God happy.

    March 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Geri

      Gary Shop

      Hell, just take Crossan outside and stone him. That'll make God happy.

      That won't make God Happy.
      And I don't think Crossan needs to be stoned, I think he already is!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  9. Jesus

    Jesus is a false profit. If her were true why so many other religions?

    March 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Jesus

      As you said, there are many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.). Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
      Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps He does not exist.

      Why would the the one true god leave room for confusion? Doesn't He want everyone, or most everyone, to know He exists and is the one true god?

      1. If God existed, this fact would be more obvious.
      So obvious in fact, that EVERYONE, or nearly everyone would believe in His existence. There would be only worshipers of the one true god.

      2. God's existence is not, in fact, as obvious as we would expect, if he existed.
      This fact is evidenced by all the different religions, plus us nasty atheists.

      3. Therefore, God does not exist.

      That was a great observation you made!

      Cheers!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • yeshua1

      Why do atheists troll the religious articles? Are you trying to fill the void? You just can't close that door.

      March 2, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • Something

      yeshua1

      Atheists and agnostics and others of varying beliefs participate in this discussion as a learning experience, and as a teaching one... and to challenge you and remind you that you are not the only game in town. Your actions affect us all.

      March 2, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Je'sus, learn who Cain is. Learn who his offsprings are. Then you get a glimpse to who is re-writing Jesus truth to claim as there own.

      Did you ever wonder what in Jesus' truth evil folks are so busy for you NOT TO SEE? And after you see His truth, how they are busy confusing you so you won't believe what He wrote? You folks are proving that fact as we post. All having your minds made up already, not to read His truth.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Something, challenge? Only game in town?

      Matthew 7:6 if you believe your own thoughts.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  10. The Truth

    ***"@HeavenSent: Tallulah13, what religions predicted May 14, 1948 and what happened?"****

    LOL... that was only one of the worst days in history. Truman's advisors begging him not to do this, but Harry wanted the Jewish vote here in his re-election bid (the famous election where he holds up the Dewey Defeats Truman newspaper).

    And now where are we at today? A bunch of radical religious freaks fighting over religious land. And not only that, the three major religions fighting for it (Jews, Christians and Muslims) all believe in Abrahamic religions... thus they are fighting over the same God. That is INSANE.

    If we dropped 30 nuclear bombs on Jerusalem tomorrow and eradicated it off the face of the earth, these three lunatic religions would STILL be fighting over the radioactive land. It is insanity.

    Peace.

    March 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  11. Alan

    I agree he's study allot, but not sure why or who called him a top scholar on Jesus – Case and point: Jesus is a King, in the line of King David and never was a peasant as Crossan states "And he cried, saying, Jesus, [thou] Son of David, have mercy on me. (Luke 18:38, KJV)". We learn this in Sunday school and every Easter " After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.(Matthew 2:1-3, NIV)”

    March 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  12. Geri

    Well, then if thats what you believe, then mayby you all should read the Book of Revealtion to find out whats gonna happen, and soon. Listen, It was not fulfilled by Nero, or any of the others, before anybody crosses that path.
    Mayby you all need to look at what Jesus said would be going on, and know how to intterpeat some of these things, before you sing your same ole song///"its just a fairy tale".

    It may read like a fairy tale, but trust me, its not gonna end like one.

    March 1, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Tallulah13

      In your opinion. Again, you have no proof. Many religions have end of the world scenarios. Check out the Norse, for one.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Tallulah13, what religions predicted May 14, 1948 and what happened?

      Go back and have them write this in their babble.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • tallulah13

      HS, I will grant you that there are a lot of prophecies about the restoration of Israel in the bible. Many of them are in the old testament and as I recall it was supposed to happen before the birth of Christ. I did see some very creative math that tried to show that the bible predicted that it would happen in modern times, but I group that sort of forced effort with the whole Nostradamus thing. Twist things around enough, and you can "prove" anything.

      I think that Israel was restored because Jews have always known about the prophecies and decided to use what international leverage they had after their abominable treatment by the nazis in order to make sure that they would be able to return to their historic homeland. Voila! A self-fulfilling prophecy!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Geri

      Do you think the stars are going to fall to earth?

      Revelation 6:13 – And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

      The bronze age people believed the heavenly bodies were about the size as they appear in the sky.

      The sun and moon about the size of basketballs. The stars, very small. They had no idea, that the stars were actually "suns".

      If it starts raining stars, it is going to break a lot of windshields. It is good that I have free glass.

      Cheers!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • The Truth

      ***@tallulah13 HS, I will grant you that there are a lot of prophecies about the restoration of Israel in the bible.***

      It also says that no uncirc-umcised person will ever enter Jerusalem. From Isaiah 52:1 - "Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircu-mcised and defiled will not enter you again."

      Thus, this has been unequivocally proven to be false since uncirc-umsized people have entered (never to mind live in) Jerusalem. Muslims have also entered Jerusalem and so have terrorist bombers, so I guess they aren't "defiled" because the Bible is supposedly inerrant. lol

      Cheers!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @HeavenSent

      While the establishment of the state of Israel was seen by Christian Zionists as a sign that God was fulfilling his promises to Abraham and Jacob, the early political leaders of Israel were primarily secular. David Ben Gurion, Israel's Prime Minister from the founding of Israel until 1963, represented the secular Ideals of the early Zionists.

      For practical reasons, Ben Gurion accepted the boundaries that excluded the ancient Jewish lands of Samaria and Judea in the West Bank. The early Israeli leaders also agreed to a divided Jerusalem.

      There was no miracle here, or Jerusalem would not have been divided.

      Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget.

      The United States is the reason Israel survives. Not the desert hobgoblin.

      Cheers!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      tallulah13, you wrote "HS, I will grant you that there are a lot of prophecies about the restoration of Israel in the bible. Many of them are in the old testament and as I recall it was supposed to happen before the birth of Christ. I did see some very creative math that tried to show that the bible predicted that it would happen in modern times, but I group that sort of forced effort with the whole Nostradamus thing. Twist things around enough, and you can "prove" anything.

      I think that Israel was restored because Jews have always known about the prophecies and decided to use what international leverage they had after their abominable treatment by the nazis in order to make sure that they would be able to return to their historic homeland. Voila! A self-fulfilling prophecy!"

      Answer: You are correct. Israel was restored because of the Germans.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      David Johnson, there were many parties involved for the state of Israel coming to fruition. German played the major role.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  13. RevelationBeliever

    This is an anti christ movement, setting up right before our eyes. Secularism, non belief in God. The days are short, you had all better repent now, while you still have time. Laugh if you want, but this is far from funny. Your "logic" will find you out.

    March 1, 2011 at 7:13 am |
    • The Truth

      I am laughing because there have been people saying exactly what you are saying for centuries now. And guess what? Yep, they were all wrong.

      Just curious... have you sold all of your possessions and either given them to the poor or you are out traveling? If you really believe the days are short, shouldn't you be doing one of those things? Of course not because deep down inside you know it isn't going to happen either.

      http://www.fbcgstudent.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/repent-for-the-end-is-near.jpg

      In any event, good luck.

      Peace.

      March 1, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Reality

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      March 1, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The Truth and Reality, how ironic it is that the Bible written thousands of years ago covers the end of days and the generation of non-believers ... how many are deceived and blinded not to believe in Jesus truth (the Bible) ... and here you folks are, blogging against the Bible (Jesus' truth).

      Coincidence?

      March 1, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I find it said when you can't accept what I told you what is meant by selling one's possessions to follow Him being His telling us not to pay attention to the material things of this world ... to put our focus on Him, which is important to our salvation.

      "The Truth

      I am laughing because there have been people saying exactly what you are saying for centuries now. And guess what? Yep, they were all wrong.

      Just curious... have you sold all of your possessions and either given them to the poor or you are out traveling? If you really believe the days are short, shouldn't you be doing one of those things? Of course not because deep down inside you know it isn't going to happen either."

      Therefore, the truth, every practicing Christian that actually reads the Bible can tell you this same explanation and you will ignore it and insist on debunking Jesus' truth just as it is written.

      End of days, end of days and it's your generation scriptures is referring to. All written 1000s of years ago by God (the Christ Jesus).

      Amen.

      Peace.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • Reality

      And all those words written 1000's of years ago disappear in a flash with the following:

      There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!!!

      March 1, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • civiloutside

      Every generation has been a generation of non-believers. There has never been a period in all of human history when the majority of people on the planet were Christians.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, Easter is a pagan belief incorporated into Christianity to bring the masses into Church to hear Jesus' truth and stop hoping like bunnies for their fertility rituals.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Is that your facts you believe Reality. Why does Revelation explain what did transpire (here's one of the predictions you were looking for) on May, 14, 1948. Then the famine. You non-believers are proving this to come true. People refusing to go humble believing in themselves that they have no eyes to see, no ears to hear His truth. Also, written in Revelation.

      Keep blogging folks, you are proving more and more scriptures from His truth to be what He's written.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Reality

      Obviously, HeavenSent's Three B Syndrome is beyond any cure as he trapped behind those thick walls of his bible box.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • The Truth

      ***@HeavenSent: The Truth and Reality, how ironic it is that the Bible written thousands of years ago covers the end of days and the generation of non-believers ... how many are deceived and blinded not to believe in Jesus truth (the Bible) ... and here you folks are, blogging against the Bible (Jesus' truth).***

      You mean the generation of non-believers where we have produced the highest standard of living in the history of the world? When the Internet II launches in the not too distant future, we'll be able to download every movie ever made in 2 seconds. We'll be able to download every single thing in the Library of Congress in 2 seconds. Yep, our generation has no idea of what it is doing.

      ***I find it said when you can't accept what I told you what is meant by selling one's possessions to follow Him being His telling us not to pay attention to the material things of this world ... to put our focus on Him, which is important to our salvation.***

      First off, please stop pretending that you KNOW what this means because you don't. Here's a dose of reality: My suggestion that Jesus literally wants you to sell everything you own versus your opinion stated above are EQUALLY plausible... as are countless other interpretations of it. You pretending that you "know" is delusional because you don't know for sure.

      However, in this particular instance, you have missed the logic behind what I was saying which has nothing to do specifically with those Biblical references. If the original poster REALLY believed the world was going to end soon, then why hang onto your worldly possessions? You might as well give everything to the poor and hope to score some positive brownie points with Jesus who is coming "shortly" or you should sell them and go see the beauty of the world before it gets destroyed. Still doing the 9-5 if the world is really going to end makes no sense.

      The reality is that the OP knows the world is not going to end shortly, but has become so delusional due to the brainwashing of religion that he says one thing, yet his rational actions in terms of him selling his things for the two reasons just mentioned say another thing.

      As the phrase goes, "Actions speak louder than words." These are clearly rambling words that people for century after century have been saying. Considering that the world still exists today, those people decades and centuries ago look pretty stupid right about now don't they?

      Peace.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • LJ

      HS again it's about how you are interpreting the scriptures. You are so set that there is only one truth, one way, your truth, and your interpre-ta-tion. Has it even crossed your mind that you are part of the problem that revelations is talking about, that you are on the wrong spiritual path because of your righteous atti-tude towards other peoples interpretations and beliefs.

      Revelation mostly refers to the events of the apostolic era, or it is historic which you can view Revelation as broad view of history or Revelation describes future events or Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is a metaphor of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • The Truth

      @LJ: "HS again it's about how you are interpreting the scriptures. You are so set that there is only one truth, one way, your truth, and your interpre-ta-tion."***

      You have so eloquently hit the bullseye with that statement.

      ***Has it even crossed your mind that you are part of the problem that revelations is talking about, that you are on the wrong spiritual path because of your righteous atti-tude towards other peoples interpretations and beliefs.***

      Of course not. HS displays classic one-dimensional thinking. Instead of stopping and really trying to let what you say sink in and analyze it objectively, HS instead immediately begins to think of response to prove you incorrect.

      Much of this is because HS has been brainwashed about religion. And when I'm referring to brainwashing, it doesn't mean that some magician is sitting in front of you hypnotizing you with a swinging watch. It also doesn't mean that all parts of their lives are brainwashed. Instead, this can be everyday things. For instance, many/most people here have probably heard their mother say, "Put a coat on outside or you'll catch a cold" and many people repeat that wisdom to their kids. Yet that is a form of brainwashing because it is an untrue belief that our mothers beat into us repeti-tively. Thus, one has two options:

      Option A: Realize that going outside without a coat on won't cause you to catch a cold and change your belief system to incorporate this new reality.

      Option B: Ignore the reality and continue to believe that it will cause you to catch a cold because you have heard it a million times from your mother.

      One option is healthy and the other is unhealthy.

      In the case of organized religion, they repeti-tively beat certain "truths" into us (which may or may not be actual truths). Combine that fact along with many people start off in the Church as children when they are most mentally vulnerable along with the threat of going to hell along with the power of groupthink and it becomes an amazing recipe for brainwashing.

      When I come across a belief of mine that might be incorrect, instead of running and hiding from it, I confront it and try to understand the reality as holding false beliefs is not beneficial to me in any way. HS on the other hand has shown to do the opposite consistently on here.

      I'm not saying it to be mean, but rather the opposite in order to hopefully spur a "light bulb" moment for HS and perhaps others.

      Peace!

      March 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LJ

      "Only those that don't want to give up their sinful natures can tell you."

      HS the problem with this statement is that you are a sinner as well, so for you to point to everyone else saying they are sinners is not Christ like either. You are using your interpretations of the scriptures to make assumptions about other peoples sins, especially if they don't agree with you. Righteous is one word that a Christian should not use since it means to be “Morally upright; without guilt or sin.” We all know there is no Christians alive today who has not sin and continues to sin. Remember no one can meet God's standard for righteousness. Since righteousness is not from what we do, but the result of what God has done for us, Which is why a Christian should never act morally superior to other people. Again you continue to think you are right, that you know the truth and this is not righteousness, it's your ego.

      Answer: Yes, we are all sinners. Learning and applying Jesus’ truth cured any sinful ways in my life. If another sin comes into my life, I know I can refuse it’s evil allure by using the tools I learned from His wisdom. Righteous thoughts, beliefs, actions is His teachings. Christians know this and apply His righteous teachings to our life. I think you protest too much for Christians doing as Jesus asked All of us to do.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality

      Obviously, HeavenSent's Three B Syndrome is beyond any cure as he trapped behind those thick walls of his bible box.

      Answer: Positive, loving, peaceful outlook towards life due to comprehending and applying His teachings to my life. If that offends you. You own it.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The Truth

      ***@HeavenSent: The Truth and Reality, how ironic it is that the Bible written thousands of years ago covers the end of days and the generation of non-believers ... how many are deceived and blinded not to believe in Jesus truth (the Bible) ... and here you folks are, blogging against the Bible (Jesus' truth).***

      You mean the generation of non-believers where we have produced the highest standard of living in the history of the world? When the Internet II launches in the not too distant future, we'll be able to download every movie ever made in 2 seconds. We'll be able to download every single thing in the Library of Congress in 2 seconds. Yep, our generation has no idea of what it is doing.

      Answer: I majored in MIS. I stay up on the latest in the field. Thank you, just the same.

      ***I find it said when you can't accept what I told you what is meant by selling one's possessions to follow Him being His telling us not to pay attention to the material things of this world ... to put our focus on Him, which is important to our salvation.***

      First off, please stop pretending that you KNOW what this means because you don't. Here's a dose of reality: My suggestion that Jesus literally wants you to sell everything you own versus your opinion stated above are EQUALLY plausible... as are countless other interpretations of it. You pretending that you "know" is delusional because you don't know for sure.

      Answer: Positive versus negative mindsets. Learn what Jesus teaches and He will reveal His truth to you too.

      However, in this particular instance, you have missed the logic behind what I was saying which has nothing to do specifically with those Biblical references. If the original poster REALLY believed the world was going to end soon, then why hang onto your worldly possessions? You might as well give everything to the poor and hope to score some positive brownie points with Jesus who is coming "shortly" or you should sell them and go see the beauty of the world before it gets destroyed. Still doing the 9-5 if the world is really going to end makes no sense.

      Answer: I told you what those scriptures mean but you refuse to accept it. You own not wanting to see what is written. I am not bogged down in my life with the few possessions I have left not be able to focus my love for Jesus. If it does, then I’ll release myself of everything man-made. By the way, he does tells us that those that don’t believe Him, hence do not know Him (by reading the Bible) can’t read what He writes aka no eyes to see, no ears to hear.

      The reality is that the OP knows the world is not going to end shortly, but has become so delusional due to the brainwashing of religion that he says one thing, yet his rational actions in terms of him selling his things for the two reasons just mentioned say another thing.

      Answer: Obviously, he got to the point in his life that he wanted to unburden what he collected in life and be free as Jesus tells us to follow Him. If everyone followed suit, could you imagine how free and fulfilled with His truth we’d all be? Again, non-believers aren’t going to do this. It’s a great Truth of Jesus’ though, to rid the world of all the negativity possessions cause in people’s lives. As I stated, the few possessions I have don’t block my love for Jesus. If they ever do, well, I told you my answer.

      As the phrase goes, "Actions speak louder than words." These are clearly rambling words that people for century after century have been saying. Considering that the world still exists today, those people decades and centuries ago look pretty stupid right about now don't they?

      Answer: The Book of Revelation means to REVEAL. What are you afraid of that is written in His truth. That’s the question you need to answer. Not to me, to yourself.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LJ

      HS again it's about how you are interpreting the scriptures. You are so set that there is only one truth, one way, your truth, and your interpre-ta-tion. Has it even crossed your mind that you are part of the problem that revelations is talking about, that you are on the wrong spiritual path because of your righteous atti-tude towards other peoples interpretations and beliefs.

      Answer: Positive mind set versus negative mind set. Jesus teaches us Truth. It is up to the follower to read, comprehend and apply His teachings to their lives. The more they do what He asks, the more He reveals His truth.

      Revelation mostly refers to the events of the apostolic era, or it is historic which you can view Revelation as broad view of history or Revelation describes future events or Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is a metaphor of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

      Answer: The book of Revelation is His truth about the end of this earth age. Revelation means to Reveal.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LJ

      HS again it's about how you are interpreting the scriptures. You are so set that there is only one truth, one way, your truth, and your interpre-ta-tion. Has it even crossed your mind that you are part of the problem that revelations is talking about, that you are on the wrong spiritual path because of your righteous atti-tude towards other peoples interpretations and beliefs.

      Answer: Positive mind set versus negative mind set. Jesus teaches us Truth. It is up to the follower to read, comprehend and apply His teachings to their lives. The more they do what He asks, the more He reveals His truth.

      Revelation mostly refers to the events of the apostolic era, or it is historic which you can view Revelation as broad view of history or Revelation describes future events or Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is a metaphor of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

      Answer: The book of Revelation is His truth about the end of this earth age. Revelation means to Reveal.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      #
      The Truth

      @LJ: "HS again it's about how you are interpreting the scriptures. You are so set that there is only one truth, one way, your truth, and your interpre-ta-tion."***

      You have so eloquently hit the bullseye with that statement.

      Answer: You own how your mind sifts information. Just as I do.

      ***Has it even crossed your mind that you are part of the problem that revelations is talking about, that you are on the wrong spiritual path because of your righteous atti-tude towards other peoples interpretations and beliefs.***

      Of course not. HS displays classic one-dimensional thinking. Instead of stopping and really trying to let what you say sink in and analyze it objectively, HS instead immediately begins to think of response to prove you incorrect.

      Answer: I think you protest too much about my answers that don’t sit right with your beliefs.

      Much of this is because HS has been brainwashed about religion. And when I'm referring to brainwashing, it doesn't mean that some magician is sitting in front of you hypnotizing you with a swinging watch. It also doesn't mean that all parts of their lives are brainwashed. Instead, this can be everyday things. For instance, many/most people here have probably heard their mother say, "Put a coat on outside or you'll catch a cold" and many people repeat that wisdom to their kids. Yet that is a form of brainwashing because it is an untrue belief that our mothers beat into us repeti-tively. Thus, one has two options:

      Answer: Good advice loving mothers give their children. It’s freezing rain outside, put your coat on. You refuse, you freeze. You agree, you’re nice and warm.

      Option A: Realize that going outside without a coat on won't cause you to catch a cold and change your belief system to incorporate this new reality.

      Option B: Ignore the reality and continue to believe that it will cause you to catch a cold because you have heard it a million times from your mother.

      One option is healthy and the other is unhealthy.

      In the case of organized religion, they repeti-tively beat certain "truths" into us (which may or may not be actual truths). Combine that fact along with many people start off in the Church as children when they are most mentally vulnerable along with the threat of going to hell along with the power of groupthink and it becomes an amazing recipe for brainwashing.

      Answer: You know very little of Jesus’ Truth, with the exception of what you are learning on this blog by Christians that also know His truth. Other than that, you are comfortable with others beliefs that match your own.

      When I come across a belief of mine that might be incorrect, instead of running and hiding from it, I confront it and try to understand the reality as holding false beliefs is not beneficial to me in any way. HS on the other hand has shown to do the opposite consistently on here.

      Answer: Jesus teaches Truth about life and the hereafter.

      I'm not saying it to be mean, but rather the opposite in order to hopefully spur a "light bulb" moment for HS and perhaps others.

      Answer: Everyone is welcome into His light.

      Peace.

      March 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • LJ

      "Positive mind set versus negative mind set. Jesus teaches us Truth. It is up to the follower to read, comprehend and apply His teachings to their lives. The more they do what He asks, the more He reveals His truth." That's why you only see negative in everyone's posts – EGO

      "Revelation means to Reveal." Which means it's a metaphor it's about whether you are on the right spiritual path or not. Again you are choosing what fits you EGO – so that you are right. Oh come on now, you believe I am wrong in my interpretation.....and so now.. .write more negativity about my post. LOL!

      March 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • LJ

      "Positive, loving, peaceful outlook towards life due to comprehending and applying His teachings to my life. If that offends you. You own it."

      HS – Your posts prove you do not have a loving atti-tude which proves you do not understand and follow Christ's teaching. May Christ teach you the true meaning of love and understanding of personal relations-hips. Obviously you have been deeply hurt and betrayed by others and it shows in your self-righteous remarks. May God fill your heart with love, healing and compassion for those that are different than you.

      March 2, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  14. Rebecca

    Crossan's interpretation of Jesus is worth taking seriously if he can supply persuasive scholarly material or sources that would indicate that claims of Jesus's resurrection were parables and not eye witness accounts passed along through oral history (including via Gospel accounts). It would be very helpful if Crossan would explain his sources, and where others might take a look at them for themselves. When CNN or any other reputable news source does an article like this, they should provide as part of the article the subject's source material.

    I look forward to your informative reply. Thanks.

    March 1, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Read the Bible on your own. Then, and only then, will you understand what Jesus wants for us and from us.

      Amen.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • Reality

      Beyond Crossan's take on the Resurrection

      The Great Resurrection Con Game:

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

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

      To wit;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

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

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

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

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

      March 1, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Reality

      Some of JD Crossan's take on the Resurrection:

      from: http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=017_Resurrection_of_Jesus (might have to remove the hyphen in ti-tle in the web address)

      "Crossan deals with the key passage in GPet 9:35-10:42 when discussing the death and burial of Jesus [Historical Jesus, 385-87]. As argued in The Cross That Spoke: The Origins of the Passion Narrative (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988. Pages 297-334), Crossan holds that the "submodel" of innocence rescued - one of two forms of Hellenistic Jewish narrative about the suffering of the innocent one - was used to organise the disparate prophetic texts into a full passion narrative. He sees the Cross Gospel embedded within the Gospel of Peter as the earliest passion narrative and the ultimate source of the later Synoptic and Johannine accounts:

      I propose a single stream of tradition for the passion-resurrection traditions from the Cross Gospel into Mark, from both of them into both Matthew and Luke, and from all of them into John. But although, in general, all later versions accepted the Cross Gospel's passion sequence, none of them was willing to accept its resurrection account. Mark would not do so because his theology was based on a dyad of passion and parousia. The resurrection was simply the departure of Jesus pending a now imminent return in glory. [Historical Jesus, 396]

      Crossan suggests that Mark reshaped the resurrection narrative from GPet in the Transfiguration event and relocated it to an earlier point in Jesus' ministry where it pointed not to his resurrection but his parousia (see Mark 9:1,9-10). While Matthew, Luke and John do have traditions of Jesus' appearances, they involve epiphanies to the apostolic leaders rather than a risen Jesus leading the righteous dead into heaven.

      In the epilogue to Who Killed Jesus? (1995:217), Crossan writes:

      The resurrection of Jesus means for me that the human empowerment that some people experienced in Lower Galilee at the start of the first century in and through Jesus is now available to any person in any place at any time who finds God in and through that same Jesus. Empty tomb stories and physical appearance stories are perfectly valid parables expressing that faith, akin in their way to the Good Samaritan story. They are, for me, parables of resurrection not the resurrection itself. Resurrection as the continuing experience of God's presence in and through Jesus is the heart of Christian faith."

      Additional comments from other NT scholars concerning the Resurrection are also posted on the same reference.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:08 am |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      "Read the Bible on your own. Then, and only then, will you understand what Jesus wants for us and from us."
      I may not have spoken to you until recently, but I have been following your advice for decades nonetheless. I have been reading the Bible on my own. So, am I to assume then that Jesus wanted me to be an atheist?

      March 1, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  15. Reality

    Using the studies of Crossan, Ludermann, Borg, Fredriksen, Pagels, Armstrong etc., a 21st century synopsis of Christianity:

    Jesus was an illiterate, Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan se-cts.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hit-ti-tes, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    February 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus is the Alpha and Omega. He is I AM. The Bible, the story of God and why we are here is the most fascinating book ever scribed.

      Amen.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Reality

      "The term Alpha and Omega comes from the phrase "I am the alpha and the omega" (Koiné Greek: τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω), an appellation of Jesus[1] in the Book of Revelation (verses 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13)."

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      March 1, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  16. sealchan

    I have on my Amazon Wish List to read:

    http://www.amazon.com/Resurrection-Jesus-Dominic-Crossan-Dialogue/dp/0800637852/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=IFU69VU00X3Z2&colid=6JNFPD1VZXHE

    These are two scholars who are apparently able to respectfully discuss differing positions on the nature of Jesus' ministry.

    February 28, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Evil is as evil does.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:41 am |
  17. Trilogy

    Just another anti christ setting the stage.

    February 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Trilogy, I agree with you, it is amazing what the human ego can do when they refuse to humble (shelf that ego) themselves in order to learn the wisdom that Jesus teaches.

      Amen.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      I'm more concerned with the religious anti-humanity crowd... Christ/Thor/Ra/Allah/Hercules can look after himself i would think.

      March 1, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  18. JohnA.Evans3rd

    I'm not sure so I DONT think I'm qualified to render an opiniom Sorry

    February 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Reality

    John Dominic Crossan, Jesus and Divorce

    Item: 15
    Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
    Attestation: Multiple
    Historicity: +

    "Crossan [Historical Jesus, 301f] considers this complex as part of his discussion of Jesus against the patriarchal family. He notes the androcentric tradition of Jewish divorce laws at the time meant that the core issue was the defence of the man's honor. Drawing on the work of John Kloppenborg ("Alms, Debt and Divorce: Jesus' Ethics in Their Mediterranean Context" Toronto Journal of Theology 6: 1990, 182-200) Crossan highlights the significance of Jesus' teaching against divorce. In Jesus' novel ethic, the male who expels his wife and marries someone else has committed adultery against the rejected spouse; bringing shame on himself. Crossan concludes:

    The opposition here is not just to divorce. To forbid divorce one has only to say that divorce is never legal. That is exactly what happens in the much less radical 252 Moses and Divorce [2/1]. The attack is actually against 'androcentric honour whose debilitating effects went far beyond the situation of divorce. It was also the basis for the dehumanisation of women, children, and non-dominant males' (Kloppenborg, 1990:196)."

    February 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, among His other wisdom that Jesus teaches is that of righteous versus unrighteous thoughts, beliefs, actions and outcomes. Jesus accepts all righteous acts of a person as He allows them to reside with Him in Heaven and for those that continue to conduct themselves with unrighteous acts ... burn in the eternal flames for there is NO EVIL in Heaven ... which is the 3rd earth age on earth.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:35 am |
  20. Frogist

    One of my greatest joys with this blog is all the information. Finding out about this remarkable scholar is very enlightening to me. It gives me a whole new perspective on the pursuit of religious studies. I appreciate people like Mr Crossan. I freely admit that his perspective (as outlined in the article) is about as close to mine as it gets on the subject of Jesus. And that has colored my appreciation, I'm sure. Still it opens a door that was previously closed.
    I find it telling that when you do a search on him you will find people telling you not to read his books. In the tradition of religious feeling, why does there need to be such a fear of knowledge? Why tell people not to read and learn for themselves? It's confusing to me, and frightening. We're all adults. How can we have an informed conversation or even appreciation of the subject by telling people not to read a book? Religion does not have to be anti-education.
    On a side note, Reality must be pi$$ing his pants! An article on his fave guy! 😉

    February 28, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • NL

      Frogist-
      "In the tradition of religious feeling, why does there need to be such a fear of knowledge?"
      Well, at least they aren't burning his books. Not yet, anyway.

      It's just the way of the 'true believer', I suppose. Just look at the fallout from the Wakefield autism study. There are actually people who still staunchly support the man's research despite all the controversy, and are advising parents of autistic children to ignore any media coverage that may rise doubt that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism. It's just human nature to defend a belief that you have so much invested in, I guess.

      February 28, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @NL: I would have to disagree with your position on the Wakefield Autism study. The research was flawed, as were the conclusions published. This does not prove that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and ASD's. The official position of the CDC is that, at this time it has not been proved that there is a link between the MMR vaccine and the rise of ASD's.

      Despite that, your point of putting the greater population at risk with unsubstantiated belief is very well put.

      February 28, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • NL

      Eric G.-
      Is a sense parents may have 'felt in their gut' that there was some link just as ancient people felt in their guts that there must be a creator god. Wakefield's study served as the 'scripture' for that feeling, yes? The writing that believers could refer to as authoritative proof that their feelings were correct. For later generations it actually became as the source for that belief in many parents who, in their emotional tendency to as.sume personal guilt for causing autism in their child clung to this proposed cause to alleviate that feeling.

      Some time in the future a link may indeed be made between autism and the MMR, one fully endorsed by the scientific community, but until that time there will likely still be 'true believers' in the link and those who are justifiably skeptical because of this controversy. Similarly, God may be proven to exist some time in the future, a proof just as fully endorsed by the scientific community, but until that time there will likely still be 'true believers' in God and those who are justifiably skeptical because of controversies stirred up by work like Crossan's. See the similarity?

      February 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Frogist, In order to understand what Jesus wants for us and from us, read the Bible on your own.

      Amen.

      March 1, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, so blind you can not see. So deaf, you can not hear. So brainwashed, it will take an ocean to cleanse your soul.

      Pray to Jesus for forgiveness that you had no clue how conditioned they made you.

      I'm praying for your soul NL that you pick up the Bible and read His truth that will set you free.

      Amen.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:49 am |
    • NL

      HeavenSent_
      I think you must be projecting your own conditioning here because I reached my conclusions about the Bible and the likelihood of God long before I ever picked up a book about the Jesus Seminar, or ever heard the names Dawkins and Hitchens.

      I appreciate your prayers and offer my hopes that some day you may see truth as well or, at least, learn to accept that not everyone shares your exact feelings about God and scripture. If you ask us to read the Bible for ourselves, then please respect the individual conclusions we reach when we do.

      Peace

      March 1, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, think about these scriptures that were written thousands of years ago, talking about the generation of non-believers ...

      2 Timothy 3:12-4:4

      12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
      13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
      14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
      15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
      16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
      17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

      4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
      2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
      3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
      4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

      Pay close attention to #s 3 and 4 about His truth being turned into fables ... all the new age religions and beliefs.

      Amen.

      March 1, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      "about the generation of non-believers ..."
      There have always been non-believers, so I find your reference to a "generation" rather odd. That Paul, or whoever actually wrote 2 Timothy, would find the need to comfort his followers when their outlandish ideas failed to impress the more rational thinking, Greek educated people they encountered is not in the least surprising.

      Which brings us to verses 3 and 4 which, I presume, you take as some prophetic anticipation of today's 'new atheist' voice? My translation renders the last word a 'myths' instead of fables. Modern scholarship, or even science really do not fit the intended meaning of that word, do they? So, isn't it far more likely that the epistle writer was referring to the folk who still preferred to take their moral guidance from the Greek myths? Then again, perhaps the writer was referring to some of the wild tales that even Christians were telling, and had something like Revelation in mind.

      Now, may I draw your attention to verse 16?
      "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
      At the time of the writing of 2 Timothy there were other gospels and Christian works being circulated than those that eventually became accepted as canon hundreds of years later. Possibly even the Gospel of Thomas that the Jesus Seminar uses to compare with the canonical gospels was being read at the time, maybe even by whoever happened to write 2 Thomas.

      So, my question to you is what did the writer regard as "all scripture"? Did he include these extra-canonical books? Did he include books that weren't even written yet, like Revelation, or did he just mean the Jewish scriptures and, if so, which ones? Remember that even they were not standardized until about 100 AD. What is your opinion?

      March 1, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, I'm through with jumping hoops for your folks. Bottom line, it's ridiculous for anyone not to know that Jesus teaches righteous behavior versus unrighteous behavior. Righteous meaning what is good for the person, as well as all others (Truth). Unrighteous meaning good for the person only, and not for others involved (LIE).

      He teaches humans how to be morally pure in thought (mind), deeds, actions. Versus the opposite.

      Why all the hatred against His teachings to make a better world. Only those that don't want to give up their sinful natures can tell you. Since, they refuse to post their reasons on any of these blogs.

      March 2, 2011 at 2:35 am |
    • LJ

      "Only those that don't want to give up their sinful natures can tell you."

      HS the problem with this statement is that you are a sinner as well, so for you to point to everyone else saying they are sinners is not Christ like either. You are using your interpretations of the scriptures to make assumptions about other peoples sins, especially if they don't agree with you. Righteous is one word that a Christian should not use since it means to be “Morally upright; without guilt or sin.” We all know there is no Christians alive today who has not sin and continues to sin. Remember no one can meet God's standard for righteousness. Since righteousness is not from what we do, but the result of what God has done for us, Which is why a Christian should never act morally superior to other people. Again you continue to think you are right, that you know the truth and this is not righteousness, it's your ego.

      March 2, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • HeavenSent

      LJ

      "Only those that don't want to give up their sinful natures can tell you."

      HS the problem with this statement is that you are a sinner as well, so for you to point to everyone else saying they are sinners is not Christ like either. You are using your interpretations of the scriptures to make assumptions about other peoples sins, especially if they don't agree with you. Righteous is one word that a Christian should not use since it means to be “Morally upright; without guilt or sin.” We all know there is no Christians alive today who has not sin and continues to sin. Remember no one can meet God's standard for righteousness. Since righteousness is not from what we do, but the result of what God has done for us, Which is why a Christian should never act morally superior to other people. Again you continue to think you are right, that you know the truth and this is not righteousness, it's your ego.

      Answer: Yes, we are all sinners. Learning and applying Jesus’ truth cured any sinful ways in my life. If another sin comes into my life, I know I can refuse it’s evil allure by using the tools I learned from His wisdom. Righteous thoughts, beliefs, actions is His teachings. Christians know this and apply His righteous teachings to our life. I think you protest too much about Christians doing as Jesus asked All of us to do.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • LJ

      HS – Your continued effort to exonerate yourself by using your version of self-righteousness is a classic sign of being controlled by ego and not the teachings of Christ. Self-righteousness is alienates you from others; it blocks your true spiritual path and prevents you from loving your neighbor as you do yourself. Whenever you look on others or some situation in the world as having a problem, feeling you are better or know better than others you are engaging in self-righteousness.

      And you say I am protesting to much? LOL!

      March 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LJ

      HS – Your continued effort to exonerate yourself by using your version of self-righteousness is a classic sign of being controlled by ego and not the teachings of Christ. Self-righteousness is alienates you from others; it blocks your true spiritual path and prevents you from loving your neighbor as you do yourself. Whenever you look on others or some situation in the world as having a problem, feeling you are better or know better than others you are engaging in self-righteousness.

      And you say I am protesting to much? LOL!

      Answer: I told you before and I’ll tell you again. Righteous teachings are taught by Him. Whether you comprehend this truth of His teachings or not, is irrelevant obviously. Therefore, I take responsibility for my thoughts, beliefs, and actions in life. And, you?

      Being a non-believer that is still searching, is the alienation you mention when not convincing a Christian that found His Truth that we should live and think as you do.

      Amen.

      March 2, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, He gave us His truth of Matthew 7:6 for those that refuse to use their ears to hear, or eyes to see.

      Peace.

      March 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • LJ

      HS – Thank you for proving my point. You totally misinterpreted hat was written about alienation. . This proves how you interpret what you read is totally self-centered. Your self-righteous att-itude is actually turning many people in our society away from Christ and away from God. You are responsible for that. It’s clear now you are lost within yourself. I wish you well and may God have mercy on your soul.

      March 2, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • LJ

      I hate typos that was what not hat. My post got sent to moderation. LOL!

      March 2, 2011 at 10:24 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.