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Saving Thomas Jefferson's scrapbook Bible
Smithsonian paper conservator Janice Stagnitto Ellis displays the cover page from Thomas Jefferson's Bible.
March 11th, 2011
08:52 AM ET

Saving Thomas Jefferson's scrapbook Bible

By Sally Holland, CNN

Thomas Jefferson literally cut passages on the chronology and moral teachings of Jesus out of several Bibles and glued them into what historians have termed the Jefferson Bible.

The founding father completed the book that he called "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" during his retirement in 1820.

Conservationists at the National Museum of American History are currently working to preserve the almost-200-year-old book so it can go on display in November.

Paper conservator Janice Stagnitto Ellis said the main problem is the way the book was bound. Over time, the paper has become less flexible, and bending the brittle pages caused the paper to tear, she said.

"Without doing modifications to the binding, we could open the book [to] about a 30-degree angle before the paper would be required to bend, which it couldn't do," she said. "It became un-exhibitable."

The goal is to display the book opened to a 90-degree angle.

The 86-page book was bound in high-end red Moroccan leather with gold tooling. Inside, passages from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in English, French, Latin and Greek are pasted side by side so Jefferson could compare the various translations of the story of the life of Jesus.

"He puts them in chronological order and ... extracts those parts that can be identified through reason and thought," museum curator Harry Rubenstein said. "So out goes the miracles, out goes the resurrections and what remains is what he thinks is the life and morals of Jesus, the true teachings."

Jefferson used six different "source" Bibles to create his version: two in English, two in French and two that included both Greek and Latin. He needed two of each so that if he cut a passage out of one side of a page, he would still have the back side of that page in case he wanted to include a passage from there.

A curator handles one of Jefferson's source Bibles.

The museum also has the two English "source" Bibles which show the cutout holes of the scripture Jefferson included in his version.

Jefferson also changed the grammar. On one page, he apparently didn't like the number of prepositions in a verse from Matthew that started, "For as in the days that were before the flood ..." He cut out the word "as," changing the scripture to "For in the days that were before the flood ..."

The Smithsonian acquired the book from Jefferson's great-granddaughter in 1895 for $400.

In 1904, Congress authorized printed photocopies of the book that were given to all of its incoming members. This practice ended in the 1950s when they ran out of copies.

Currently, preservationists have removed the binding for the Jefferson Bible and are doing digital scans of all of the pages of the book to be included as part of the display later this year.

They are looking at various ways to provide more flexibility in the binding.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • DC • Politics • United States

soundoff (657 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    E.DNA.
    Q.

    You had asked me some thing about evolution to which I have gaven some answers at;

    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/10/wrath-precedes-radicalization-hearings/comment-page-1/#comment-301383

    Thanks,

    March 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      Actually what you gave was a rambling, mind numbing statement that really didn't have a point or any evidence to support it.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Muneef

      Maybe because it was not meant for you...

      March 11, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
    • Q

      Muneef – I'm sorry, but you did not in the least offer an actual response. Again, the variation in pre-human ancestors is beyond the variability associated with diet and single life-time environmental effects. Your scriptures and your links simply don't account for their distinct morphologies and their concordant order in the fossil record. Furthermore, as modern genetic sequencing has revealed for H. neanderthalensis, their unique and distinct genomes also indicate these extinct hominids were absolutely not modern H. sapiens.

      March 12, 2011 at 3:12 am |
    • Muneef

      Q.

      Oh well just have shared with you my limit of knowledge,as have explained I am no scientist and worrying about making my and my family living does not allow me to really dive into such knowldge.

      Although would wish if you would provide me with a link that explains what you are trying to tell me but in a form of drawings or pictures rather than complicated words that I am not aware of....that is if no trouble to you and thank you so much about your responses....

      My appologies as well to (The Bobinator) if I had been rude in my answer...

      March 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Achmed the non-terrorist

      Oh, Muneef, how much you have missed by not reading up on science!
      Your time in university must have been spent on other things. Your children and grandchildren should have a better education than you were able to get –simply because science has discovered more things in every scientific field.
      But are your countrymen busy building new colleges and universities? Nope. They are yelling in the streets and screaming about Allah.
      They are angry that their country has been governed badly by bad men. Where was your religion when your country was taken over by these bad men? Oh, these bad men only had to say that Allah had given them victory and other things like that.
      All they had to do was mention your god and you believed anything they said or did.
      That is why religion does not help educate your children or run your country. Religion is a way of distracting you while your wealth is being stolen from your pocket.
      Arguing science from a religious standpoint is foolishness. A wise man only speaks of what he actually knows, not what he believes.
      Hey, I'm not perfect either. No one is. And neither is anyone's faith. No religion is perfect because they were all made by humans. Don't let them fool you. Or is it too late?

      March 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      Due to moderation will try to post in bits and pieces ...

      Achmed the non-t
      First of all the name should be written as Ahmed and not Achmed....
      Secondly our countries were effected far more by WW1&2 than it is by our own people,then again it was effected longer by the cold war between Cap&Com.

      March 12, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Muneef

      Our country remained as one of the poorest countries for very long because the Cap,told us that our oil was not in a com-mer-cial qua-nti-ties, it was like that until the Com,  have become to find it was not as the Cap, told us,who must have been br-i-bed to say so by a richer neighboring country....

      March 12, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Our country knew revol-u-tion and was freed from the rules of the Imam's at 1962 where since then our presidents were being killed one after another until the present president took over and had been ruling now for over 38 years and only because of that our country was allowed to modestly grow and prosper...
      My line of eduction was based on economics and commerce rather than science.
      Science couldn't be achieved as an education since we do not have the capabilities nor the teachers for it there and then, but now we have modest capabilities although not enough....

      March 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Our highly educated ones preferred to immigrate to other richer and more advanced countries rather than staying to serve their own country....
      Our Islamic conquests was behind the transactions and transfers of most knowledge that was then available to those who were then living in the dark ages there and then which has became the base of all the knowledge of today. 
      Islam being feared by most of what could become of our people, we had to face wars coming to us from the west and from the far east.... Finally Islamic science was effected very badly by the Osman empire which was called (The Sick Man of the East),but although they are no longer here today, we are still not left alone to advance our lives or to try to create any thing for our selves or for humanity....
      All the knowldge you speak of is there in the Quran but non is yet wax capable to break open it's codes although few codes were broken open that are called the (Miracles of the Quran)...
      Majority having been poor have decided to leave education and look for work or business for making out their living and only those richer ones had the chance to make it to higher education inside or abroad since had no worries about making a living...
      So I can say that there was no shame on our part but the whole shame would be on those who had all the possibilities and capabilities surrounding them and had no worries about making a living but still they have not utilized that and just preferred to remain as ignorant as they are !?

      March 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Achmed the non-t
      First of all the name should be written as Ahmed and not Achmed....
      Secondly our countries were effected far more by WW1&2 than it is by our own people,then again it was effected longer by the cold war between Cap&Com.
       Our country remained as one of the poorest countries for very long because the Capit-a-lists ,told us that our oil was not in a com-mer-cial qua-nti-ties, it was like that until the Com-mun-ists have become to find it was not as the Capit-a-lists, told us,who must have been br-i-bed to say so by a richer neighboring country....
      Our country knew revol-u-tion and was freed from the rules of the Imam's at 1962 where since then our presidents were being killed one after another until the present president took over and had been ruling now for over 38 years and only because of that our country was allowed to modestly grow and prosper...
      My line of eduction was based on economics and commerce rather than science.
      Science couldn't be achieved as an education since we do not have the capabilities nor the teachers for it there and then, but now we have modest capabilities although not enough....
      Our highly educated ones preferred to immigrate to other richer and more advanced countries rather than staying to serve their own country....
      Our Islamic conquests was behind the transactions and transfers of most knowledge that was then available to those who were then living in the dark ages there and then which has became the base of all the knowledge of today. 
      Islam being feared by most of what could become of our people, we had to face wars coming to us from the west and from the far east.... Finally Islamic science was effected very badly by the Osman empire which was called (The Sick Man of the East),but although they are no longer here today, we are still not left alone to advance our lives or to try to create any thing for our selves or for humanity....
      All the knowldge you speak of is there in the Quran but non is yet wax capable to break open it's codes although few codes were broken open that are called the (Miracles of the Quran)...
      Majority having been poor have decided to leave education and look for work or business for making out their living and only those richer ones had the chance to make it to higher education inside or abroad since had no worries about making a living...
      So I can say that there was no shame on our part but the whole shame would be on those who had all the possibilities and capabilities surrounding them and had no worries about making a living but still they have not utilized that and just preferred to remain as ignorant as they are !?

      March 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • Q

      Hi Muneef – First let me say, that while I routinely disagree with your theistic perspective and arguments, in my readings of your posts, I find you to be one of the most respectful posters here at the Belief Blog and I sincerely appreciate this.

      I also appreciate that life requires we can't always invest the time learning the specific details of complicated topics given our family and work commitments. That said, to appreciate the science involved in evolution does require some significant effort and will invariably require reading materials for which you'll have to reference other sources to understand definitions and concepts. Two websites you may find useful are:

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/
      http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence

      The first site is a collection of information linking to other sites and resources but will a particular focus on addressing creationist claims with the actual science. The second is slightly more friendly to non-science trained people but may still require some referencing of other sources to understand various details (e.g. the difference between mitochondrial and nuclear genetic sequencing). This second site has a number of nice interactive images.

      March 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Achmed

      Muneef, I replied to your reply but forgot to press the right button. It is on the last page of this article – page 5 ? Sorry.

      March 13, 2011 at 4:07 am |
    • Muneef

      Q.

      Thank you so much for your kind compliment...and again thank you for the links which I hope just to find the illustrations of those you named for me as ealier humans of evolution....

      March 13, 2011 at 5:26 am |
    • Muneef

      Achmed.

      No problem I will follow it to there and thanks....

      March 13, 2011 at 5:30 am |
  2. Akhan

    MM22

    – Yup, you're right Geocentric. I got my models mixed up. However I do remember Galileo getting in some heat with the Church over his proposal that the earth was not at the center of the Universe. My point was that a lot of ignorance has been the result of religious domga – which is the opposite of what faith is supposed to create.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  3. true-messenger

    The very Bible that the founding fathers had in their possession CONDEMNED THEM! Thomas Jefferson
    and his fellow founders had the "truth" of God's word in their POSSESSION but did they follow it? God's word says: "Therefore, if one KNOWS how to do what is right and yet DOES NOT DO IT, IT IS A SIN FOR HIM." (James 4:17) Did the founding fathers KNOW how to do what was right? THEY MOST CERTAINLY DID!
    Thomas Jefferson himself said, " Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is JUST, that His justice cannot sleep forever" These words clearly testify AGAINST the Founding Fathers showing they KNEW FULL WELL what they were doing and that their GROSS SINS would someday mean PUNISHMENT for how this nation was ESTABLISHED. They KNEW that one day The Almighty's righteousness would demand JUSTICE!
    All nations must receive their REWARD, GOOD OR BAD for what they have done in the SIGHT OF GOD! America is NO EXCEPTION! JESUS SAYS, "YES I AM COMING QUICKLY"

    March 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • False Reality

      And what sin did they commit exactly? Or were you just trying to peddle in fear?

      March 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Medardus

      "JESUS SAYS, "YES I AM COMING QUICKLY""

      He should fap more often. I heard that helps with that particular... problem.

      March 11, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @true-messenger

      You really don't want to get into quoting Jefferson, and what he thought about the Christian religion, etc...

      Plus, your posting just reeks of pure unfounded crazy fear-based babble.

      Respectfully...

      Peace...

      March 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Medardus

      "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between slave and master is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate that these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan."

      – Thomas Jefferson, inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial

      March 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  4. Chris

    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” – Steven Roberts

    "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." – Mohandas Ghandi

    Can humanity please get past this ancient fairy tale crap? I cannot believe that in this day and age we still have those gullible enough to believe these fairy tale tools of oppression. Your religions are a curse upon humanity.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Chris

      “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived” – Isaac Asimov

      March 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • False Reality

      "Can humanity please get past this ancient fairy tale crap? I cannot believe that in this day and age we still have those gullible enough to believe these fairy tale tools of oppression. Your religions are a curse upon humanity."

      Sadly we are a long ways away from this, it will take patience, understanding and reason to get to a place where we understand our own delusions so that we can progress as a society.

      Religion provides the cure for a poison it invented, that each of us is born flawed and that we must submit to a power higher than ourselves in order to be whole. This is a difficult mental block to overcome, we must stop blaming the religious for the beliefs that were instilled in them through generations.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Chris

      Thanks, False Reality, I need to learn the tact that you display. My anger at the state of the world and my fellow human beings gets the better of me at times. Cheers.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • False Reality

      "Thanks, False Reality, I need to learn the tact that you display. My anger at the state of the world and my fellow human beings gets the better of me at times. Cheers"

      My words weren't meant to come across as scolding you, I apologize if it came across that way..I was speaking to myself as much as anyone. It's easy to get passionate and not recognize the progress we have made as a society, there more people today that use reason and sense than ever.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  5. False Reality

    "But he still believed in God..."

    Depends on how you define God, most likely he was a deist but did not believe in the exact Christian God of the Bible. But more likely a God that does not directly intervene in the world aside from creating it.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Akhan

      Regardless of his theology – He believed in the almighy – which in turn is a vastly different reality than that promoted by atheists.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      So what, who cares what he believed? Belief regardless of source is by definition, unreliable.

      I prefer to fill my head with facts rather then thoughts founded on nothing.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Akhan

      Maybe we are all missing your point here...? Because at least for me, I'm not sure of the relevance of your assertion...?

      Peace...

      March 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  6. False Reality

    "You can NOT take away from the Word of God and only take what you want. You either abide by every Word that proceedeith out of the God or just keep wasting your life away without ever knowing God through His Word"

    I can say that what is written is not the Word of God though as there is no reason for me to believe such a God exsists and instead written by man. Also, just because I don't take the Word of God does not mean I am waisting my life away I have a very productive and fufilled life without any such God.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  7. Eugene Grubbs

    I believe that his first conscious thought after his death was ...OOPS! Wish I would've left 'em in.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Q

      Yeah, because once you're dead, you're prone to "conscious" thoughts...right...

      March 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Eugene Grubbs

      You Said: "I believe that his first conscious thought after his death was ...OOPS! Wish I would've left 'em in."

      When one uses the word 'believe' typically in relationship to unanswerable metaphyisical concepts, like... some kind of life or existence after bodily death, it becomes mere 'unfounded speculation' on your part.

      And, even what you suggested that Jefferson's first conscious thoughts were after his death, seems ridiculous in my, humble opinion.

      But, to be intellectually honest here... I have to say... you certainly 'may' be right. But, I highly doubt it.

      Peace...

      March 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  8. Gezellig

    "In 1904, Congress authorized printed photocopies of the book that were given to all of its incoming members. This practice ended in the 1950s when they ran out of copies."

    They had photocopying in 1904?

    March 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Gezellig

      Then again, Wikipedia says there were processes such as Calotype introduced in 1841, so maybe so....It would be interesting to specify what type of process was used.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Maya

    Jefferson was quoted many times as saying that he disapproved of Christianity and considered it to be a destructive force. He considered Jesus to be a great moral teacher, but did not believe in his divinity.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Akhan

      But he still believed in God...

      March 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Akhan

      Hey -Akhan...

      That 'may' be accurate that he (Jefferson) believed in some form of a Deity. But, as I understand it, he did 'not' believe in the literal 'Christian' biblical version of 'God.'

      And also, even if he did believe in a God, again as I understand it, he was not especially keen on organized (Christianity) religion, but certainly for the 'rights' of people to have their respective beliefs... respected.

      Peace...

      March 11, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Akhan

      My point being that Jefferson was a brilliant individual – one could say a polymath. His capacity for reason was well beyond mine – and it was reason, not belief, which led Jefferson to see God's work.

      March 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Akhan

      Whether your assertion is true or not. Whether Jefferson, 'may' have through 'belief' or 'reason' it doesn't matter. They would still be only *opinion* on his part. Doesn't make it necessarily true however, he(Jefferson) arrived at his *opinions*

      Respectfully,

      Peace...

      March 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
  10. John

    Evan,
    While Christians offer state that the US was founded as a Christian nation, you are the first person I have heard suggest that democracy was inspired by Jesus. Can you please provide me with chapter and verse on that? Thank you.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  11. Phil

    Jefferson had Bibles? Thought so much of the teachings as to compile them in his own book? How is this possible when the secular among us tell us that Jefferson was secular, and not an adhearant to faith?

    March 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • IronV

      Jefferson was a Deist, not a Christian, and emphatically rejected the divinity of Jesus, he did however respect some of the teachings attributed to Jesus.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Q

      A secularist is one who believes faith resides between individuals and their deity of choice and that the State has no legitimate role anywhere in this relationship. Jefferson was a deist and a secularist.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Phil

      Hey -Phil...

      From what I understand, Jefferson appreciated some of the lessons and teachings in the Bible, but obviously, a lot of it he considered to be just plain irrelevant, or crazy talk.

      Peace...

      March 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • airwx

      Remember that a Deist believes that they are or will become a god, therefore Jefferson was not a secularist. The "freedom of religion" amendment was to protect Jefferson from the state madated religions in several of the new states.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Harry Ball

      If you had read the entire artilce, you would have known that he was taking out what he considered the BS. Resurrection, miracles, crap like that so he could focus on Jesus's actual teachings and ignore the easter bunny type stuff. He was simply trying to get to the truth while removing the made up stuff.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Medardus

      @airwx

      "Remember that a Deist believes that they are or will become a god, therefore Jefferson was not a secularist. The "freedom of religion" amendment was to protect Jefferson from the state madated religions in several of the new states."

      That's the dumbest thing I've read all day and I've been reading quite a bit about republicans and labor.

      A deist believes that the universe and humanity had a creator but that creator does not involve itself in the affairs of men. For example, it doesn't care about the marital status or gender of whoever I decide to have intimate relations with.

      On top of this, saying that Jefferson wrote the First Amendment solely to protect his own religious beliefs is beyond stupid. The man wrote the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom for crying out loud.

      Please, read a book. Preferably one with few pictures and tiny print

      March 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @airwx

      Say...what...? 😯 ??

      Peace...

      March 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  12. HeIsGod

    You can NOT take away from the Word of God and only take what you want. You either abide by every Word that proceedeith out of the God or just keep wasting your life away without ever knowing God through His Word.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Q

      By "God", of course you mean the deity character in the collection of mythologies known as the bible and by "His Word", you clearly mean the words written by men (but of course they were magically dictated by the deity character because, despite its omnipotence, it was incapable of simply "poofing" "His Word" into existence in the same manner alleged for the rest of the universe). Makes perfect sense as long as you don't try to think about it.

      "You can NOT take away from the Word of God and only take what you want." Given that men wrote the stories and their bias cannot be discounted, it's certainly reasonable to subjectively (though logically and rationally) remove what was undoubtedly subjectively (and illogically and irrationally) penned in the first place.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of course you can. Your beliefs are not facts. People can and do take what they need from the Bible. What's it to you?

      March 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  13. willy

    Photocopies? Now I have to google when the photocopier invented.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • roccofury

      The authorization of photocopies in 1904 seems to be an anachronism, unless the author meant that they took pictures of the pages of the book and developed them.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  14. AGuest9

    First off, you are assuming a universe. The big bang has likely happened many times, just as there are multiple planets supporting life just in our arm of the galaxy. How do I "know" this? Statistics, physics, gravitation and thermodynamics.

    I don't need some hypocrite to stand in front of me every Sunday morning spouting off his version of a fairy tale to feel good about myself and my place in the multiverse, while he steals from the collection plate, ignores the sick, aged and needy of his "flock", and sleeps with his secretary/molests his altar boys.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • airwx

      The concept of a repet-itive universe cycle has a serious fault. Recent doppler images of stars at the limit of being observable indicate they are exceeding the speed of light and excelerating. Based on this, scientists are considering the increased possibilty of the big bang being a singular event.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • airwx

      correction...accelerating

      March 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Chris

      Airwx, that is the beauty of science, isn't it? We question that which is perceived as fact and update it according to the best of our observations. Religion is static, and don't you dare try to question it!

      March 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Medardus

      @airwx

      An object breaking the speed of light, violating the universal speed limit, would've been very big news indeed. Hmmm, a quick google and every result I see for "farthest observable object speed of light" says that they're only moving at 90% of c.

      Care to try again? Perhaps with a comment about something actually physically possible?

      March 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Landruu

      @Chris. Chris, if religion is static then why are those so many different versions of the bible?

      March 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • airwx

      @Chris...Yes it is the beauty of science....which has no effect on faith. For each fact that science discovers it creates more questions that it must answer. Your conclusion that all faith is derived from an ancient text is anathma to me.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Landruu

      Correction. Why are there so many different versions of the the bible?

      March 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • airwx

      @Medardus....exceeding the speed of light has long been a problem in Einsteins' theory...because no one can explain a tachyon....it's not "Big News"

      March 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Medardus

      @airwx

      Of course, tachyons are also hypothetical. I do, however, hear they do awesome things to ships named "Enterprise."

      March 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • CallHim Jmmanuel

      @ Landruu there are so many version of the bible because man wrote it as his own. How did the original old testament become a new one for Christians? Why is there a King James version of a bible? Why are there so many different sects of Christianity? There was no science behind revising the bible just what suited the author own interpretation. Religion is what controls the masses into a false reality.

      March 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Landruu

      @ CallHim Jmmanuel...I agree with you. It was a rhetorical question my man.

      March 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Surely, you don't take Genesis 2:7 seriously? Do you?

      Psalm 8:8: ". . . whatsoever passeth through the PATHS OF THE SEAS." How did David (the writer of Psalms) know, over 2,000 years ago, there were "paths in the seas"? David probably never even saw an ocean!

      Ecclesiastes 1:7: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the water cycle of condensation and evaporation in 1000 B.C.?

      Job 38:19: "Where is THE WAY where light dwelleth?" How come Job didn't say where is THE PLACE where light dwelleth? Because light is always moving. How did Job know something in 1500 B.C. ?

      Ecclesiastes 1:6: "The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again ACCORDING TO HIS CIRCUITS." How did the writer of Ecclesiastes know the wind traveled within circuits? How did he know with their so-called limited knowledge thousands of years ago?

      Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood. What Moses wrote in 1490 B.C. written thousands of years ago, by men with such limited knowledge?

      March 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Magic

      HeavenSent,

      I can play the quote game too...

      It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Mirror of Erised," Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1997, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain. ~J.K. Rowling, "Dobby's Reward," Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999, spoken by the character Arthur Weasley

      It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      In dreams, we enter a world that's entirely our own. ~Steven Kloves (screenplay), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      It's a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Hungarian Horntail," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000

      Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Egg and The Eye," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Mad-Eye Moody

      If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals. ~J.K. Rowling, "Padfoot Returns," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Sirius Black

      I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.... At these times... I use the Pensieve. One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one's mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one's leisure. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Pensieve," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      Curiosity is not a sin.... But we should exercise caution with our curiosity... yes, indeed. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Pensieve," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Parting of the Ways," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      You place too much importance... on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be! ~J.K. Rowling, "The Parting of the Ways," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      It is my belief... that the truth is generally preferable to lies. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Beginning," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Beginning," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      There was no point in worrying yet.... what would come, would come... and he would have to meet it when it did. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Beginning," Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000

      According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else... ~J.K. Rowling, "The Second War Begins," Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2003

      No, I think I'll just go down and have some pudding and wait for it all to turn up.... It always does in the end. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Second War Begins," Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2003, spoken by the character Luna Lovegood

      Time is making fools of us again. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Secret Riddle," Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on. ~J.K. Rowling, "A Sluggish Memory," Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew – and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents – that there was all the difference in the world. ~J.K. Rowling, "Horcruxes," Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005

      It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more. ~J.K. Rowling, "The Cave," Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005, spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

      March 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Maybe she was listening to FDR's First Inaugural Address “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”.

      Or she could have read it in the following scriptures.

      2 Timothy 1:7
      Romans 8:15
      1 John 4:18
      Psalm 91:4-7
      Psalm 91:10-11
      Proverbs 3:25-26
      Isaiah 54:14
      Psalm 56:11
      Psalm 23:4-5
      Psalm 31-24
      John 14:27
      Psalm 27:1-3
      Romans 8:29-31,35-39
      Hebrews 13:6
      Psalm 91:10-11
      Proverbs 3:25-26
      Isaiah 54:14
      Psalm 56:11
      Psalm 23:4-5
      Psalm 31-24
      John 14:27
      Psalm 27:1-3
      Romans 8:29-31,35-39

      Yes, God does work in mysterious ways.

      March 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Magic

      HeavenSent,

      Perhaps she did; the Bible is a veritable treasure trove of magic, superst!tion, curses, incantations, fantasy and other imaginary stuff.

      March 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Erica

      Magic, your point would probably have been made better if you had used Nostradamus.

      Death of Henry II
      The Death of Henry II from a jousting accident is one of Nostradamus first and most famous fulfilled prophecies.

      The young lion will overcome the older one,
      On the field of combat in a single battle;
      He will pierce his eyes through a golden cage,
      Two wounds made one, then he dies a cruel death.

      2. The Fire of London
      This is one of the few prophecies in the quatrains where Nostradamus actually got the year dead on!

      The blood of the just will be demanded of London,
      Burnt by the fire in the year 66

      I could go on but I think you get the point.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  15. Gerard

    When Jesus was dying on the cross, the Pharisees shouted out to Him, "Come down from that cross and then I will believe!"
    They wanted physical evidence of Jesus' divine power and refused to believe because He didn't display it for them. There eyes were set on the natural world and not the spiritual world, as do atheist. A long time ago people thought the world was flat. People also thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Just because you can't see, hear or feel something right now doesn't mean it doesn't exist. On Judgement Day, the only thing the atheist will have to say to God is, "We would have believed if you would have shown us." That response is NOT acceptable to God. The definition of Faith is to believe in that which is not seen, but hoped for. We christians believe in God because of His message of hope and love. If atheist don't accept His message, let them be judged.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Johnnyb52

      Right.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Akhan

      The problem with Christianity – and for that matter religion in general – is that most "Christians" tend to accept/promote dogmatic worldviews. The closeminded Christian worldview is one that promoted ideas like the heliocentric nature of the Universe. God is found through reason and philosophy – the greatest tools of the faithful. Those who truly believe avoid dogmas in favor of free-thought, much like Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, the individual, rejected such notions as the divinity of Christ and the concept of the Trinity. Perhaps, in honor of Jefferson, you should spend less time worrying about athiests and more time opening your mind.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Maya

      If God didn't want to provide proof, he shouldn't have designed us to look for it. Giving us the desire to see proof, then saying "no, you can't have it" and punishing those who ask for it is just plain cruel.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • HeIsGod

      Amen!!!! Well said, Gerard, the Lord richly bless you and your family!

      March 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Chris

      *their

      March 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > When Jesus was dying on the cross, the Pharisees shouted out to Him, "Come down from that cross and then I will believe!" They wanted physical evidence of Jesus' divine power and refused to believe because He didn't display it for them. There eyes were set on the natural world and not the spiritual world, as do atheist. A long time ago people thought the world was flat. People also thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Just because you can't see, hear or feel something right now doesn't mean it doesn't exist. On Judgement Day, the only thing the atheist will have to say to God is, "We would have believed if you would have shown us." That response is NOT acceptable to God. The definition of Faith is to believe in that which is not seen, but hoped for. We christians believe in God because of His message of hope and love. If atheist don't accept His message, let them be judged.

      Faith is not a path to truth. If you look at faith's track record, you'll see thousands of religions each with different beliefs, Gods, practices and tenents. How can anyone rely on that given it's track record.

      How can a God except us to value faith given what it's done? You have to remember that God would have to judge us on our view of reality. It's the only one that makes sense. Would you punish a child for not understanding something that is outside their mental reach?

      March 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • MM22

      akhan: "The closeminded Christian worldview is one that promoted ideas like the heliocentric nature of the Universe."

      Not quite. Geo-centrism was accepted as the worldview of scientists period.

      Why? Because science was based, almost exclusively, on Aristotelian physics. Aristotle's physics posited that things moved according to their "inherent" natural motion. That's why heavy things fall and light things rise away. That's why there is "earth below" (matter) and "fire above" (stars).

      Geocentrism, obviously, was a product of that understanding. Heliocentrism, on the other hand, created a world where matter clumped randomly around the universe, which defied all reason, observation and scientific knowledge. Remember, Newton (and so gravity) wasn't close to being born when heliocentrism took its hold.

      Geocentrism had nothing to do with religion, it had everything to do with outdated, but massively entrenched, science.

      "God is found through reason and philosophy...."

      Exactly.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Howard

      "A long time ago people thought the world was flat. People also thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Just because you can't see, hear or feel something right now doesn't mean it doesn't exist."

      Here is your problem. People believed these things because the Bible told them, or because they didn't have the scientific method to discover they were wrong. Even after there was absolute proof that the earth was round and NOT the center of the universe, most people dismissed it and believed in the Bible version. This is the "God of the Gaps." As a Christian you are forced to deny facts about the universe so the universe can still fit in your preconceived "truth". You say that you can do this with "faith." Faith is no better than gullibility. Other religions have faith too. What makes you right?

      As science discovers more and more about our universe, your God gets smaller and smaller. You must deny certain aspects of science and hide behind your so called "virtue" of faith. Your method of faith holds back civilization, it causes stagnation, no new discoveries, no diseases cured, no new technologies. In your mind, you live in the Dark Ages. However, it is so easy for you to take advantage of the new technologies and medical advancement of science in our physical world. You speak of faith, but no doubt you would use antibiotics if you got sick. You speak of faith, but no doubt you have car insurance. I guess all faith does is get you into heaven.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • George6090

      And if an Atheist believes in hope and love, what then? Do you think Atheist hate and are pessimists? They actually have more love for their fellow human beings and try to make things here on earth much better for ALL not just Christens. Or does this come as a huge surprise to you? We don't hate like you do.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Kevin

      Twenty-three hundred (++) religions/cults/sects in the world, each with varying number of deities. In polytheistic religions, the "proof" of these deities are typically shown in the various aspects of nature they control.

      Most monotheistic religions teach that everything is proof of the deity; or that no proof is necessary, just faith. A common teaching in monotheistic religions is that either disbelieving, or acknowledgment of other deities, is a mortal sin (using Christian vernacular)

      Interestingly enough, Christian religions (particularly those using the new testament in teaching) are not particularly monotheistic in that "the devil" has been elevated to a deity status by its countervailing position to "god" in the teachings.

      Based on the number of religions that teach faith/everything as proof and that disbelieving is a mortal sin, just how sure are you that you've chosen wisely? After all, if it turns out the Hindus, or the Buddhist, Judaism, Islam, or any of the others turn out to be the "right one", you're just as toast as the atheists you damn

      March 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      To all the non-believers, Isaiah 40:22: "It is he that sitteth upon the CIRCLE OF THE EARTH." How did Isaiah know in 700 B.C. the earth is round?

      March 12, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  16. Tom

    This is early word processing!

    March 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • LKJ

      I'm sure Jefferson would love to live in the age of the internet. You probably couldn't pry him away from the computer.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • darkangelx

      @LKJ he would totally be trolling people in England.

      March 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  17. rjolay

    The nazarene taught that everyone can learn to vision, that is, to pray in such a way that the Universe causes the prayer to happen. He was crucified because that reality would destroy the worldwide order of the wealthy.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Johnnyb52

      Wrong.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > The nazarene taught that everyone can learn to vision, that is, to pray in such a way that the Universe causes the prayer to happen. He was crucified because that reality would destroy the worldwide order of the wealthy.

      You are ignorant to what a nazarene is. It's not someone from Nazereth. It's someone who didn't cut their hair and who didn't go around dead bodies. Perhaps a bit of research into the book you believe will assist you.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  18. osi 1

    that evil white devil

    March 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  19. Adam

    @airwx I must say I think it is more of a stretch to suspend everything that we have learned about ourselves and our universe thusfar...however I appreciate the civility you show in your argument. I appreciate your rational approach toward the subject 🙂

    March 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  20. well trickle down my #$%

    Ha

    March 11, 2011 at 4:51 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.