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March 28th, 2011
03:16 PM ET

Tiny church finds original King James Bible

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Hilmarton, England (CNN) - A little English village church has just made a remarkable discovery.

The ornate old Bible that had been sitting in plain view on a table near the last row of pews for longer than anyone could remember is an original King James Bible - one of perhaps 200 surviving 400-year-old original editions of arguably the most important book ever printed in English.

In fact, the Bible at St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, was sitting right under a hand-lettered sign saying it was an original.

The sign said it had been found in "the parish chest" in 1857, that the cover had been added, and that it was the second of the two impressions published in 1611 - the year of first publication.

But no one knew whether to believe it, parish council member Geoff Procter said. As the anniversary of publication in 1611 approached, they decided it was worth investigating.

"We had no way of knowing whether it really was a 1611 Bible so we had to get it verified somehow," he said.

He and two other church members took it to a specialist, the Rev. David Smith at the Museum of the Book in London.

Smith knew immediately what he was looking at, Procter said.

"We put it on his table and he opened it and immediately he said, 'Yes, this is a 1611 Bible,'" Procter remembered.

Geoff Procter of St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, reads from the church’s King James Bible.

Smith identified it thanks to a printing error - a place in the Gospel of Matthew that should say Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane and spoke to his disciples instead says that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, entered the garden.

That the St. Laurence Bible had that error, but not another one in the Book of Ruth, enabled Smith to pinpoint exactly when the book had been printed, Procter explained.

"We realized that this is quite an important find," he said, and last month the church quietly announced the discovery in the diocese newsletter.

They hesitated before going public, Procter said.

"It was one of those discoveries that we wondered if we should tell everybody or tell nobody," he said. "And we thought that as it was the 400th anniversary, we should talk about it."

St. Laurence Church is far from the only one talking about the King James Bible this year - the Globe Theatre in London is planning a reading of the whole thing in the days before Easter, and a literary festival has already done one. Cambridge University has an exhibition, and the King James Bible Trust lists dozens of special events planned this year to mark the anniversary.

The reason is simple, said Moira Goff of the British Library.

The King James Bible is "so embedded in us that we can't overstate the significance of it," she said.

It's the source of dozens of phrases and concepts that have become part of the English language - "an eye for an eye," "born again," "eat, drink and be merry," "God forbid."

The church recently discovered that its old Bible was a rare 400-year-old original King James Bible.

Experts point out that the King James is based on at least two earlier major English translations, so its creators were editors as much as originators of these phrases, but it is the King James Bible that the great English writers knew, Goff said.

"It's passed entirely into the English language, into the thinking of English speakers around the world," she said.

Its influence has been greater than that of Shakespeare, she argued.

"I think it's permeated the language in ways that we can't count as we can count Shakespeare, influencing people's religious thinking, influencing people's social thinking in a way that Shakespeare probably does now - but that's a more recent development," she said.

"It's the Bible that was read to people in church every week," she explained. "The great literary figures from the early 17th century onwards, this was their daily reading. It passed into their works," she said, citing John Milton and John Bunyan among others.

But the King James Bible shouldn't be reduced to merely its influence on writers, she said.

"I think we have to be very careful in looking at the Bible only as a work of literature. It is also Holy Scripture and I think that makes it a different sort of book than the great works of literature," she said. "It will be read by people who will possibly never read Shakespeare or Milton."

The St. Laurence discovery is very unusual, she said. Perhaps 200 copies of the 1611 printings of King James Bibles are known to exist, she estimated. No one knows how many were printed, she added, but she guessed that the number was probably around 1,000.

Most of the surviving copies are in institutions, such as major libraries at universities, colleges and cathedrals in the United Kingdom and United States, she said.

"Some of them may be in private collections," she added, saying there is no way to know how many such copies there might be.

The sign hanging above the Bible, announcing its origins.

The St. Laurence discovery is technically a fragment, not a Bible, since it is missing a few pages (including most of the first pages of Genesis, up to chapter 4, verse 17) and has been trimmed at the top to fit the wooden cover added in Victorian times.

But it fits a pattern, she said. As King James Bibles got old and needed to be replaced, many were tucked away as church treasures, as seems to have happened with the St. Laurence Bible.

The people of St. Laurence Church are now trying to raise money to build a special case so they can keep their Bible in use and on regular display.

That would make the church more or less unique so far as Goff knows, although she speculated that there just might be a few village churches still using their 400-year-old Bibles.

"It's possible there are one or two churches that have gone on doing it and they just haven't thought to say," she said.

"People are now beginning to realize the value of this particular edition. This is the 400th anniversary and there is a lot more emphasis on it," she said.

"They value it. They want to keep it and they want to use it."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bible • Books • Christianity • Easter • Houses of worship • United Kingdom

soundoff (1,211 Responses)
  1. Observer

    The historical significance of this find cannot be disputed, whether you personally believe it to be a work of fiction or not.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • getalife.com

      Agreed. If you don't believe in the Bible or God, SO WHAT?? This article is about the historical significance of a 400 year old book, NOT an article arguing about the truth of what is inside. SMH. Simple minded idiots.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Joe

      Slen

      Paper made from Hemp can last thousands of years. SO can my farts if I can them.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Norm

      Really? No mention of value in terms of dollars?
      Or did I miss that.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • mb2010a

      Norm: It's worhtless...

      March 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Norm- Unlike what some might say, it's priceless for a number of reasons. Those that say it's worthless are merely swine who wouldn't know what to do with a pearl if it hit them in the head.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Lycidas – Toss a pearl this way, swine, and I'll show you what to do with it.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • SYLVIO

      I HAVE TWO BIBLE ONE 1854,NEW AND OLD TESTMENT,THE SECUND ONE IS 1870 ORIGINAL GREEK NEW TESTAMENT

      March 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Sum Dude- you would probably shove it up your nose or the other hole you no doubt get pleasure from.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • freewords

      Ditto

      March 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Ed

      good point

      March 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  2. keylargo

    If you believe this is legit, let me talk to you about some ocean front property in Kansas.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Vulpes

      Really? How much? I have always wanted ocean-front property. I bet it is cheaper in Kansas. Contact me here: godslove777@yahoo.com looking forward to hearing from you.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  3. Carolyn

    Awesome! What a find!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  4. Daniel

    Reading so many here blindly bash Christianity for being intolerant and closed minded, reminds me just how much I love irony...

    March 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • pat carr

      there's nothing blind about it at all. I bash this cult with a functioning mind.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      irony is good for you. It shows you how stupid you are, giving you a chance to become a better person.
      And it can make you laugh, too. Good all around stuff, that irony....

      March 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • deter

      pat, atheism is a cult too. A cult is a group that shares a belief. Your being extremist.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • deter

      pat, atheism is a cult too. A cult is a group that shares a belief.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  5. DrKnife

    Um, regardless of how you feel about the Bible, you can't really say this particular church is the brightest group in the bunch. A 400 year old book has been sitting in plain sight longer than anybody can remember and nobody knew what it was? Amazing.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Toph

      Anyone willing to let their mind be enslaved by the idea of an imaginary friend in the sky for adults really isn't the brightest person in the first place.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  6. Observer

    Is it autographed by the author?

    March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  7. Alphanso

    What a joke! Auction it!
    Or may be insert a few more stories (oops historical artefact!) that were forgotten all this time.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  8. CoverUp

    Next headline .. Church Destroys Book – Says its not real .. Cover up of the 1,000's of years of the church changing .. perverting .. bible text for their and political gains!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • kckaaos

      OR "muslim leaders want bible burned-obama to light fire in support of religious freedom, hillary to douse the gas"

      March 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • GodRules

      What an idiot! Senseless comment to attack Christianity

      March 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Elflander

      You betray woeful ignorance here.

      I'll leave you to do the homework to discover why.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  9. TomD

    Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away but God's Word would never pass away! I'll put my money on what He says rather than those trying to run from their guilty conscience!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Joe

      Yes and religion is BASED ON GUILT people are so busy being GUILTED that they never enjoy their lives. People need to realize that you can live without being guilty.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • John

      Actually Christianity is supposed to be about love. The very foundations of the religion stem from a man who loved his fellow humans so much he was willing to die for them.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • TomD

      I have no guilt, because Someone already paid for my guilt! If the Bible is just stories and not real then I'll be alright when I die because there is no afterlife, but if the Bible is true I'm still alright but those who die without the Lord are forever lost!

      March 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • july4th1776

      Well played!

      March 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      I am without guilt where your god is concerned. There is no god, there never was an "original sin" and no need for Jesus to die for something that did not exist.
      Don't blame me for what other people do! You guys have no idea how crazy you look from the outside of your cult.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • AlreadyInUse

      @TomD... dude, that argument about if there is afterlife and if there isn't...... that's exact same argument a Muslim threw at me.... and I was like, FU.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • nowpepe nwanjesus

      Whether any one living or dead likes it or not....hahahahah..".THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD AND IT STANDS SURE....THE WORD OF GOD ALMIGHTY HAS BEEN SETTLED IN HEAVEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THIS WORLD...IF YOU LIKE BELIEVE IT OR NOT,"and i am so happy to tell you that WHETHER ANYONE BELIEVES IT OR NOT...ITS TOO LATE TO CHANGE GODS WORD...IT CAN NEVER BE BROKEN,ITS UNSHAKEABLE.....IT DOES NOT FAIL EITHER,hahahahaha, thats when is so sweet.....LET ALL MAN BE LIAR BUT GOD REMAINETH TRUE, i would never force anybody or kill myself because the Devil has blinded hearts of men from believing the truth ...HALLELUYAH,,,,NO ONE CAN CHANGE GODS STANDARDS, NO ONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  10. Andrew Brunner

    Some harsh words which teaching of Jesus offend you so. I myself love your neighbor as yourself... seems like that would cut down on most of the worlds right away.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  11. Susan

    Regardless of any religious views, what a cool historical find!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • deter

      I can agree with that even more then you ;D

      March 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  12. Sybaris

    IOW, it's the oldest KJ version of myths and legends utilized to control a population, immerse it's followers in a false sense of purpose, embed a fear of an invisible daddy figure and coddle the fear of death.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • deter

      Respect us for our faith please...

      March 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Quit trying to turn the U.S. into a Christian theocracy and I will

      March 28, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Will

      Really?!!! That is what my problem has been all these years of "loving my neighbor as myself" and "give of anyone who asks you" or "Truth in Love". Have you ever read the Bible? I haven't read Harry Potter, but I am not going to bash it just because it is a fairy tale if someone wants to believe in magic because they saw it, but if that person says I have to believe in magic, that it is real, simply because he alone saw the movie, then I would say "let me see for myself". You sound like you are just simply repeating what you have heard. I have read the Bible front to back, and no where does it speak like you do. I have seen and heard others use it for evil though. Just like someone could use a gun to kill, or use it to protect. WE, PEOPLE, use things, even something Holy like scripture for evil. Not because scripture, guns, etc are evil, but because people have evil inside them. Read for yourself!

      March 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  13. former atheist

    how awsome is it that during the 400th aniversary year of the King James, an original would turn up in such a humble way? God is always right on time 😀

    March 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Amen, souls of those that believe will be spared. Souls of non believers are going to burn in hell.

      March 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Jcork25

      @HeavenSent

      A crystal clear example of the unsupported, judgmental, idiotic delusions of believers. I guarantee that I will NOT suffer for all eternity in hell just because I don't believe in your god. I also guarantee that you won't be going to heaven for all this "good" you are doing in the name of your Lord. It may make you feel better every night before you go to bed thinking about all this, but it would truly help us all out, including the future of humans, if you let it go.

      March 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • pat carr

      "Amen, souls of those that believe will be spared. Souls of non believers are going to burn in hell."

      and this is your cult's doctrine, yet believers how for "tolerance". What amazing Gall

      March 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • CW

      @ Jcork25,

      I feel for you...your so blind that you can't see. I can't convince you that God exist's....just like you can't prove....in anyway shape or form that he doesn't exist. The fact is that we all have a choice....choose to ask God into our hearts...have the faith to believe.....OR....Don't believe. Here's hoping that before you have to find out how wrong you are that someone helps you see the truth.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Laughing at it all

      Everyone needs to watch Bill Maher's Religulous. It will pretty much explain exactly how Christianity came about. Most people who deny the truth, and actually believe in it, are too scared to agree with pure rationality because they don't want to come to terms with the fact that all the time and effort along with emotions that they have invested into religion is a pure sham. Christianisty didn't even come about until 300 years after "Jesus's" death. Sounds like a well thought out campfire story to me that got twisted over 3 centuries.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Smite Me

      Uh, is the number 400 lucky, or something?

      March 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'HeavenSent – Amen, souls of those that believe will be spared. Souls of non believers are going to burn in hell.'
      Ah the ever loving and forgiving god. lol.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Rene

      Amen and Amen.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • deter

      Heaven, thats not what most of us believe.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • deter

      Guys, do not listen to what Heaven is saying. Thats only what the BAPTIST church believes. All the other churches understand that God is only for those that search for him, and that if you don't he still loves you.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • deter

      Don't listen to that ignorant comment above. There are only a few radical Christians that believe that. God is only for those that search for him, and that if you don't he still loves you.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Jcork

      @Laughing at it all

      Couldn't agree with you more.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Jcork

      And also, Religilous is a great film that tells it to you straight, just like every single person who is trying to enlighten you.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • Ed

      @Laughing at it all,
      We should get all of our relegious points of view from a comedian who makes his money making you laugh not giving you facts? Who is an athiest and not bound to give facts just make you laugh. Thats like getting your news from the SNL news skit.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Darren

      "getting your news from an SNL skit"? There's a scene in the movie where he goes to a Bible amusement park where there is a singing and dancing Jesus. Now THAT is funny.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Darren

      And the funniest part of the movie is how rediculous he makes every religeous person in the movie look when arguing with them. Sure, hes a comedian, but his arguments are based on logic, evidence, historical facts, common sense and everything else that religeon is not. The rebuttal is always, "...but it says so in the book.".

      I find comfort in the fact that the worlds fastest growing religeon is "none". Its only a matter of time before it fizzles away. The world will be a better place when it does.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      JCork, I didn't write that. One of you weenie non-believers stole my handle and has been posing as me ... because you are all cheats, liars, thieves with no breaks. Always whining, never doing except when you cheat and lie.

      Amen..

      March 29, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • Observer

      @HeavenSent,

      All the juvenile name-calling is the mark of a true hypocrite who preaches but DOES NOT practice what the Bible says.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:58 am |
    • nowpepe nwanjesus

      Heyyy Former Atheist...I LOVE YOU DEARLY...GOD IS RIGHT ON TIME SWEETY....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  14. greenbird321

    and here come all of the intolerant, Christian-bashing trolls.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jcork25

      @greenbird321

      I'd like to point out that I am not only a "Christian-basher" but rather a religion basher. Personally, I want to see humanity succeed and reason, truth and science take over the deluded minds of those who believe nonsense passed down to them through family. Think for yourself.

      March 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @greenbird321 – You sound a little intolerant yourself. Is there some way we can be of service instead of rubbing you the wrong way?

      March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • pat carr

      "intolerant christian bashing trolls"

      He who lives in glass houses should not be bring rocks home. As if christianity was in any way "tolerant". remember the central doctrine of this cult? if you don't believe in "jesus" you're going to "hell".

      Hey you guys dished it out for centuries...but can't take it!

      March 28, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • greenbird321

      ah, yes, I'm being totally intolerant...how? by pointing out that, wherever there is an article even referencing Christianity(and, to a lesser extent, other religions), you find those who comment simply to mock and belittle the faith or religion of others. it's a fact; a sad fact, really, when you consider that those showing cruel intolerance toward the faith of others are those who campaign for tolerance elsewhere.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Shaunathan

      MOTE – EYE

      March 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • kckaaos

      Pat Carr, you DO realize that no one here is a few centuries old. Let go of your hatred for the bad-touch priest and start thinking logically. Do you really blame the people on this board for killings that happened a few hundred years ago? If so, you need to see a shrink.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • LJ

      It's so interesting to watch those that call themselves Christians to ignore the teaching in the bible.

      Here is a few sins to consider.....

      Arguing: pv 17:14; 18:6; t-itus 3:9; 2 tim 2:23 12.
      Arrogance (swel-lings) (proud): mk 7:22 niv; isa 2:17,11 niv; ro 1:30; 2 cor 11:20; isa 13:11 13.
      Vain babblings: 1 tim 6:20; 2 tim 2:16 18.
      Bitterness: acts 8:23; ro 3:14; eph 4:31; heb 12:15 23.
      Busybodies (med-dling): pv 20:3; 1 tim 5:13 59.
      Not having comp-a-s-sion: 1 pe 3:8 78.
      Complainers: jude 16 79.
      Conceited (pride): 1 tim 3:6; 2 tim 3:2,4 82.
      Condemning: lk 6:37 83.
      Speaking boastful words: 2 pe 2:18 niv 87.
      Speaking about other people’s e-vil: eph 5:11,12 96.
      Speaking evil of brothers (one of another): ja 4:11 97.
      Not being meek and quiet: 1 pe 3:4
      Professing to be wise (pride): ro 1:22 111.
      Not being courteous: 1 pe 3:8 121.
      Fear (being afraid) being fearful: gal 2:12-14; 1 jn 4:18; rev 21:8 196.
      Getting involved with foolish questions: 2 tim 2:23; t-itus 3:9 205.
      Not forgiving others: mt 6:14,15; mk 11:25,26; lk 17:4 212

      March 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Caroline

      Pat carr.. the doctrine of Christianity is the divine mystery. And since you obviously don't know that either simply put it's that God sent his only Son, Jesus, to earth to die for the sins of ALL mankind. Jesus as both man and God forms the foundations of the religion.. not that you go to hell if you don't believe.

      Educate yourself.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • John

      Jcork... you believe the stuff in science books?

      Welcome to the "can't think for yourself" club!

      March 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • elliemae

      It's not bashing. It's just challening blind faith in the face of refuting evidence.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • April Lane

      Refuting evidence? The was the dumb statement of the century. You can't prove or disprove religion...

      March 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Void

      Well, if your side has been burning mine at the stake for centuries, beheading us for blasphemy, sentencing us to prison because of our doubt, only to cease in the last few hundred years, then I think it's entirely fair to allow us the freedom of conversational discourse in the face of the rampant persecution and murder we've historically been subjected to.

      You intolerant atheist-bashing troll.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • George

      Ok, fine, prior to that Jews and Christians were subject to the exact same treatment. Burning, hanging, torture, animals bouts... so quick to limit historical context when it fails to benefit you.

      So you want to talk? Let's talk, because in the grand timetable of humanity.... violence "through" the Church was relatively short compared to violence through other paganistic religions.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Kevin

      Religion does not exclude thought, science, nor logic. The bible was not a science book nor was it ever meant to be one.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'John – Jcork... you believe the stuff in science books?
      Welcome to the "can't think for yourself" club!'

      Oh that has to be amongst the silliest posts here.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Void

      @George

      Persecution has been wrought in the name of religion since the foul little concept first arose, and atheists have always been on the receiving end. Sure, Jews and Christians took their lashings at the hands of other religious powers, but atheists and agnostics have always been on the receiving end, even today in militantly Islamic countries.

      No, I'm not confining the breadth of history to where it is convenient for me, as you libelously imply . In fact, I'm doing the opposite. I'm taking all history into account, and yes, atheists have always been on the receiving end, or does that not fit within the frame of history that's convenient for you?

      March 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Karen

      Void........ atheists haven't been around as long as you think.

      I think you're confusing pagans and polytheistic religions with atheists. Also, Agnostics doesn't lump in with Atheists, since they believe in a higher power.

      Atheism developed alongside scientific advances, which is fine, but you don't really start seeing true atheism until more modern times. Even non-religious thinkers like Socrates had a concept of "afterlife". And truth be told, as ugly as it is, throughout history Religions didn't target your so called atheists, they targeted eachother.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @greenbird321 – Yet I have not deleted any religious post unlike all you thin-skinned believers.
      My post at the beginning of this thread has been deleted thanks to you or your unAmerican friends.
      THAT'S intolerance! Real and in action. All I have done is state my opinion of your stupid book of lies, wishing it and all like it were burned up in God's own hell-fire.
      Do you deny that you are one of those who hit the "report abuse" button on my post?
      And now this thread is likely going to be messed up because you can't restrain yourself.
      You have no self-control even with your book of lies.

      You dare preach to me of intolerance? I have never hit the "report abuse" button.
      No matter how bad your posts may be, I don't mind letting them remain as examples of religious stupidity.
      And I have killed no one. Your religion has killed so many that they are numberless, uncounted millions or billions dead.
      Because of your book of lies.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Karen – You speak as if there were records of atheists to go by, yet there is a decided lack of information about the old days.

      Julian the Apostate wrote three books in which he mocked the early Christians for many of the same contradictions and nonsensical passages that we atheists do today. He wrote them during the last days of Rome, I think.

      And just because an atheist does not declare his/her lack of belief in a religion-dominated society, you think this proves none existed? Why say such a silly thing? Science doesn't make atheists – honesty and truth do.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @LJ- I like it when ppl nitpick the Bible. Of course you ignore that many of the scriptures you cited were about how to treat others in the faith, but you probably assume no one would notice.

      You probably also think that no one would remember Jesus calling ppl swine or vipers. Told his followers to knock the dust off their feet of any city not to hear the word and compared them to Sodom and Gommorah. Or that the prophets bascially called for the downfall of their own nations.

      But hey, just keep judging ppl you don't understand on a belief system you don't understand. It is most amusing.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Sharon

      Lycidas you realize you just attacked another Christian over those stupid scriptures that makes you a hypocrite. It's why people like you are such a complete joke and what is wrong with religion.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Ed

      @Kevin

      Thank you I've said that on several of these blogs. Science and relegion are compatable

      March 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Ed

      @Sum Dude,
      I have never hit report abuse either, but I have been tempted for comments by both beleivers and non believers. One I would like to see stopped is claiming relegion as killed anyone. No relegion has every actually killed anyone. Intolrant fools have killed using all relegions as their excuse. Stop blaming God for the evils man do and stop assuming all faithful are fanatic evil a______es. We are not

      March 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • deter

      patt: only a few Christians believe that. Most believe that God loves you, even if you don't believe in him. Hell is for people of pure evil. However, I cannot say who went to Hell because it it is not my place; only God knows. Humans do not have the right to judge others. If other people rant about non-Christians going to hell, they are wrong for doing so because it is not their place to say that.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • deter

      LJ: You are trolling because you are not explaining the meaning of each passage entirely.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Sharon- No Sharon, it shows that I understand the scriptures better than some others on here. Perhaps you could be included in that long list.

      Are you familiar with the story about worrying about a splinter in a person's eye and a beam in yours? Just curious.

      March 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • LJ

      @deter – exactly my point and why I posted it.

      March 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Here, Jcork, something for you to read and figure out.

      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?

      Amen..

      March 29, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Sum Dude, have you read these passages? All you non-believers belong in this category.

      For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

      1 Corinthians 1:21

      For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

      1 Corinthians 1:22

      Amen..

      March 29, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • Observer

      @HeavenSent:
      answers: anyone watching objects swirl in the ocean knows there are currents. Claiming man is made from dust offers more illogical reasoning than logical. Anyone who watches anything dry in the sun can assume that the water rises upward when water is not found below the object. Anyone watching feathers floating in air know that it swirls.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • LJ

      Observer, plus the Greeks wrote about many of those things that were written. Arotstile wrote about the currents of sea for example.

      March 29, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • brandy

      LJ, that's a great list. Thanks!

      March 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  15. Sam

    I'm not religious at all...I haven't attended church except for funerals for 30 years and I don't get on with God all that well.

    That being said, this is still an awesome find! I'm under the impression that this Bible basically sat out in the open....400 years old and in that condition?? Very well constructed....and yes, it's an important find from both a literary and religious standpoint. Hopefully it stays in good condition.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Hal

      Hey, Sam.
      Please read the Bible just one time. Ask God to help you to understand what it means. It will forever change your life.

      March 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jcork25

      You don't need to ask anyone to help you understand the words in the bible. Instead, read it for yourself, interpret for yourself, and then really analyze if you actually can take everything in it as fact or truth. Just don't be like the countless "virtuous" believers when they say "I just have faith" because we all know faith is ABSOLUTELY NOT a virtue.

      Just the other day, I turned to a random page in the bible and low and behold the 5th or 6th line I read was about God endorsing slavery. Ahhh, you gotta love that!

      March 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Hal is simple-minded, I'm afraid. Somebody replace him with a computer and shoot him out into space 9000 times. lol

      March 28, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • pat carr

      "Ask God to help you to understand what it means."

      you have to ask "god" because the book is so bad LOL

      March 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Shaunathan

      Sam: IAWTC This is an incredibly awesome find. Imagine taking THAT into Antiques Roadshow! Consider the number of historical artifacts that are out there that have been kept in private collections for centuries. Not to defend "rich people" to any degree, but the folks who can afford to buy stuff like this are the ones who help preserve it for the benefit of future generations.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Sam- Though I wish we agreed with each other on issues of faith, I want to thank you for saying what has to be the nicest comment I have ever seen from someone that is not on speaking terms with God. Most non-believers on here just want to declare there point of view that there is no God and dares everyone to prove them wrong. Again, thanks for being a standup person with your comment.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • deter

      No, the book is wonderful actually. You just have to understand what the phrases really mean.

      Christianity is only for those that search for it. If you don't like it, then I respect your belief. Please, respect mine.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • nowpepe nwanjesus

      Well Sam, if actually it stayed for 400 years and in good conditions...hmmmm, dont you think GOD has made it so, so that we can see it just like the way it is???....Gods words always stand you know !...

      March 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  16. Hal

    That is incredible. Fantastic. I love the Authorized Version in the King James Bible.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tom

      I also think it's funny how a Bible can be "Authorized" So the previous versions were not... authorized?

      March 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  17. George Sr.

    Ebay!

    March 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • deter

      lol, i don't think you can sell items on ebay for over 1 million dollars...

      March 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Tom

      Yeah would fetch a nice sum on eBay. Would best be donated to a museum though.

      March 29, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  18. Lycidas

    It's sad that there are ppl that cannot appreciate even the artistic and historical value of such a book. And even though "Reality" didn't give his opinionon on the most important book ever printed in English, I would consider the KJV Bible high on the list. It represents a unifying force for Christians throughout the English speaking world and directed theology in those nations for centuries.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Lycidas – So we sell it for big bucks to some clueless person like yourself or put it in a museum where it can't be used to brainwash innocent people.
      What do you care? Are you a Christian or something?

      March 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Reality

      Put the New Torah for Modern Minds on the top of the books of religion:

      : http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument. "

      Followed by: Professor JD Crossan's book (with Watts), Who is Jesus?, Professor Gerd Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, JD Crossan's books, The Historical Jesus and Excavating Jesus, Father Edward Schillebeeck's , Church: The Human Story of God and Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament.

      March 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • JackoB

      @ Reality, "Probably" doesn't mean much.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Sum Dude- What do you care about it? Are you a historian? Christian? Or some little jerk that just wants to grab attention?

      If you are too weak minded to determine Christianity is for you or not, don't blame the book.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Reality- Two things stood out in that copy/paste you threw up. One is the word "probably"....wow, that's scientific.

      The other revolves about archaeology. Go reference the Biblical Archaeological Review. It has been around for decades using archaeology to get a better historical view of the timeframe and people in the Bible.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      @Lycidass – I not only blame the book, I blame those who think they know god exists because some greasy tribesman wrote this crap down.
      Nothing but lies and a few bits of good advice.
      Not worth saving, really. But if the money were put to good use....maybe you'd buy one? I don't mind seeing dumb believers wasting their money. We gotta get that cash into circulation to help the economy.
      Why, did you have a problem or something? Maybe I can help. I have all sorts of great advice for people like you.
      Or do you prefer to come to your own conclusions?

      March 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "..greasy tribesman wrote this crap down."

      That just shows you know nothing of the history of how the Bible came down to us. Curious, would you call Socrates a greasy little Greek hillbilly?

      Oh I am sure a thin skinned person like you have all sorts of blabber to say and will no doubt say it.

      March 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • abby

      I concur -

      March 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • deter

      Atheists, respect our beliefs. I respect yours, so you should respect mine. You are being radical and rude. You are acting no different then the extremists in religions...

      March 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • deter

      reality: what a stupid comment. Whats your point, to gain more atheists? Please respect us for what we believe, and stop being an extremist for your beliefs.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      "Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably (adv.-most likely; presumably) never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      "When I grew up in Brooklyn, congregants were not sophisticated about anything," said Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" and a co-editor of the new book. "Today, they are very sophisticated and well read about psychology, literature and history, but they are locked in a childish version of the Bible."

      "Etz Hayim," compiled by David Lieber of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, seeks to change that. It offers the standard Hebrew text, a parallel English translation (edited by Chaim Potok, best known as the author of "The Chosen"), a page-by-page exegesis, periodic commentaries on Jewish practice and, at the end, 41 essays by prominent rabbis and scholars on topics ranging from the Torah scroll and dietary laws to ecology and eschatology.

      These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh.

      Equally striking for many readers will be the essay "Biblical Archaeology," by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel's sojourn in that country," he writes, "and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect." The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, "are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account."

      Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, "clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua." What's more, he says, there is an "almost total absence of archaeological evidence" backing up the Bible's grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "litany of disillusion" about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      The reaction to the rabbi's talk ranged from admiration at his courage to dismay at his timing to anger at his audacity. Reported in Jewish publications around the world, the sermon brought him a flood of letters accusing him of undermining the most fundamental teachings of Judaism. But he also received many messages of support. "I can't tell you how many rabbis called me, e-mailed me and wrote me, saying, 'God bless you for saying what we all believe,' " Rabbi Wolpe said. He attributes the "explosion" set off by his sermon to "the reluctance of rabbis to say what they really believe."

      Before the introduction of "Etz Hayim," the Conservative movement relied on the Torah commentary of Joseph Hertz, the chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth. By 1936, when it was issued, the Hebrew Bible had come under intense scrutiny from scholars like Julius Wellhausen of Germany, who raised many questions about the text's authorship and accuracy. Hertz, working in an era of rampant anti-Semitism and of Christian efforts to demonstrate the inferiority of the "Old" Testament to the "New," dismissed all doubts about the integrity of the text.

      Maintaining that no people would have invented for themselves so "disgraceful" a past as that of being slaves in a foreign land, he wrote that "of all Oriental chronicles, it is only the Biblical annals that deserve the name of history."

      The Hertz approach had little compet-ition until 1981, when the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the official arm of Reform Judaism, published its own Torah commentary. Edited by Rabbi Gunther Plaut, it took note of the growing body of archaeological and textual evidence that called the accuracy of the biblical account into question. The "tales" of Genesis, it flatly stated, were a mix of "myth, legend, distant memory and search for origins, bound together by the strands of a central theological concept." But Exodus, it insisted, belonged in "the realm of history." While there are scholars who consider the Exodus story to be "folk tales," the commentary observed, "this is a minority view."

      Twenty years later, the weight of scholarly evidence questioning the Exodus narrative had become so great that the minority view had become the majority one.

      Not among Orthodox Jews, however. They continue to regard the Torah as the divine and immutable word of God. Their most widely used Torah commentary, known as the Stone Edition (1993), declares in its introduction "that every letter and word of the Torah was given to Moses by God."

      March 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Jeff

      @deter: I have no problem with you believing whatever helps you get up in the morning and tackle the day, but respect? Some ideas are simply not worthy of respect. If I told you I believed in flying blue elephants, or leprechauns and unicorns, or faeries, would you consider those ideas that you should respect? Or would you, under your breath, just call me crazy?

      March 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • deter

      Wow, this is a real cult war: Christians vs. Atheists. Why should you care about what someone else believes? Respect us. If you question one of our beliefs, do you really think that we care?

      Many stories in the Old Testament are not factual, but they explain more about what we believe. Jesus was a real person because historians can prove it.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • JackoB

      @ Jeff, is respect really too tall of an order for you? How do you get by at the office?

      March 28, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Reality- Show us who supposed to have created God? Based on your theory that there is no God, the result is that you must believe someone started the who thing. So show us who, prove to us someone made him up.

      Don't try and hide behind the proving the negative argument either, this is not that. I am not asking you to prove God does not exist...I am asking you to prove someone made him up.

      March 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Sildenafil

      @deter – Nobody can "prove" he existed. Did a man named Jesus live during Biblical times? Sure. Can they prove that the Jesus of the Bible lived? Nope. Sure he's mentioned by historians, but there's a lack of contemporary records. We can prove Caesar lived as he is mentioned numerous times by contemporaries as well as a huge amount of archaeological evidence.

      March 28, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • Reality

      Lycidas,

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab by astrophysicists and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

      March 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Reality

      Sildenafil,

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      10. 7. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:
      mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      etd.unisa.ac.za/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-08022006-125807/unrestricted/02dissertation.pdf
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.org/
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      members.aol.com/DrSwiney/seminar.html
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
      faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf
      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.org/empires/peterandpaul/history/timeline/
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      March 28, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Lycidas, Reality, as with Observer and the rest of the weenie whiners on this blog only complain about life and want everything changed to their way of thinking or not thinking, for doing absolutely nothing in life.

      Amen..

      March 29, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Observer

      @HeavenSent,

      One reason for atheists and agnostics to be irritated with some Christians is the sheer hypocrisy of them. Juvenile name-calling is certainly nothing that Jesus would do. Next time you read the Bible, remember what it says.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Lycidas

      @reality- "Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by..blab blab blab..."

      So what you are avoiding is to say that you cannot prove your theory that "God" was created by a human author. See, it's really easy to say I can't prove it. You should try it.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Magic

      Lycidas,

      "See, it's really easy to say I can't prove it."

      So what? Neither you nor I can prove that an invisible flying unicorn is or isn't headed our way from far beyond our galaxy. Shall we lay in a supply of sparkly oats, a silver saddle and reins and build a golden stable in anticipation?

      March 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Magic- I wouldn't compare your inability to prove something with me. The constraints on what is evidence to prove the divine is usually dictated to by those that have no ability or desire to be proven wrong.

      But of course faith does not need scientific evidence to be faith and if your faith revolves around a flying pink invisible unicorn or what have you, I hope it brings you the spiritual joy you are searching for.

      Curious, by your comments are you putting atheists and believers at the same level?

      March 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Magic

      Lycidas,
      "...if your faith revolves around a flying pink invisible unicorn or what have you, I hope it brings you the spiritual joy you are searching for."

      Thank you. I hope the same for you. If, however, I insist/demand that my unicornism should influence the law of the land, public education, tax structure and how everyone else lives, there is a problem.

      The default position on something that is not proved is NOT that it IS true until further notice.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Well, I agree that ruling by religion is not the way to go. Though I don't think anyone is saying that we should on here.

      And I am not a proponent that if something cannot be proven that the inability to prove it counts as evidence that it exists. I am a proponent that if there is no evidence then one cannot say that something does not exist. In the case of faith, it can only be proven to the individual with the faith.

      March 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Magic

      Lycidas,
      "...if there is no evidence then one cannot say that something does not exist."

      True. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But we really must try to discern what is real... otherwise anything, *anything* that can be dreamed up can be given equal possibility of being true. L Ron Hubbard's alien space ships, Hindu's elephant god, Islam's jinns, unicorns, leprechauns, auras, channeling... anything.

      I doubt that you perform animal sacrifice to a god - why? It was widely practiced for a long time (maybe still is somewhere?).
      Do you do rain dances during dry spells? Do you burn incense to banish demons? Do you carry a lucky rabbit's foot?

      Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      March 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Magic- "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

      Too true and I have had some first account extraordinary experiences in my life that proves to me that God exists.

      March 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • brandy

      HISTORY?

      Let's just start with Exodus because it is the book that really stands out to me – there is NO evidence of Moses in Egypt. And the gospels? Give me a break! Those four books aren't even aligned in their account of the alleged virgin birth.

      March 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • nowpepe nwanjesus

      You are so Right my dear Lycidas..GOD BLESS YOU,and for you Sum Dude...THE BIBLE IS TRUE ,ITS NOT USED TO BRAIN WASH ANYONE, the ones that dont believe the Bible are actually the ones that are brain washed..ITS REAL,,,,BLESS YOU MY DEAR SUM DUDE..One day you will become a preacher ( PASTOR)of the word...well i am happy to let you know that i am a christian !

      March 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @brandy- PSST, there are only two gospels that even discuss the virgin birth. Go read the book before you make silly comments.

      March 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Huh

      Psst...Lycidas....The story of Jesus was copied from the Persian sun-god Mithra, a story dating back to about 1400 BC, talks about a hero born of a virgin in a stable on the winter solstice. He was attended by shepherds who brought gifts. He was said to have taken a last supper with his followers before returning to his father, the god of all. Mithra was believed not to have died, but ascended directly to heaven. Followers believed he would return at the end of time to raise the dead in a physical resurrection, for a final judgment. At that time, the world would be destroyed by fire. And yes, followers of Mithra were granted immortal life following baptism.

      March 29, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Huh- Psst, Mithra came from a rock. He really had a virgin birth, no man or woman at all. Go check your resources.

      March 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • Spencer

      RESEMBLANCES BETWEEN MITHRAISM AND CHRISTIANITY
      1. Both Mithras and Christ were portrayed as young and bea-rdless; both sometimes appeared in the shepherd's role, and both saved mankind by performing sacrifical deeds.
      2. Both Mithras and Christ had virgin births in the sense that they were conceived without any s-e-xual union between man and woman. Christ's father was said to be God, while Mithras was said to have had no father or mother, having emerged as an adult from a large rock.
      3. Both Mithraism and Christianity celebrated the birth of their god on the winter solstice, the 25th of December according to the Julian calendar. Both featured the sharing of presents, the use of Christmas trees with candles, and nativity scenes that included shepherds attracted by a sacred light. The special importance of this solstice ceremony to Mithraists would be indicated by the name Mithras, which derived from Meitras, which in Greek numerology refers to the number 365, the last day of the solar year at the winter solstice.
      4. Both the Old Testament and Mithraic legend told of the first human couple having been created. Mithra supposedly kept a watchful eye over their descendents until Ahriman caused a draught that caused such thirst that they begged Mithra for water.
      5. Both told of a major flood, in the case of Mithra through his having shot an arrow into a stone cliff to quench mankind's thirst. Unfortunately, the entire world's population was drowned in a flood produced by the water spout that gushed from the hole his arrow produced. One man alone (a Noah figure borrowed from the earlier Sumerian myth of Atrahasis) was warned in time and could therefore save himself and his cattle in an ark.
      6. Both Mithraism and Christianity emphasized mankind's redemption resulting from a sacrificial death followed by the god's ascent to heaven. In the case of Christ, it was the god himself (or his son) who was sacrificed; in the case of Mithra, it was a sacred steer that Mithra sacrificed.
      7. Both featured resurrection through sacrifice. Mithraism more obviously drew upon spring equinox fertility myths by depicting Mithra's sacrificial bull with a tail that consisted of sheaves of wheat that were supposedly scattered throughout the world once it was slaughtered. Also, the bull's blood formed the milky way, allowing human souls both to be born and to return to the heavens after death.
      8. Both told of a Last Supper linked with the blood sacrifice whose symbolic recreation by eating bread and wine provided salvation for all worshippers. After Mithra killed the bull depicted in Mithraic art, he feasted upon it with the Sun God and other companions before ascending to the heavens in the sun god's chariot. The sequence was slightly different in the New Testament: Christ's Last Supper necessarily preceded his crucifixion rather than following it, after which he ascended to heaven.
      9. Both emphasized purification through baptism, Mithraists by washing themselves in the blood of sacrificial oxen. While dying oxen bled to death on lattice floors built over their heads, initiates both drank and washed themselves with the blood that dripped on them.
      10. Both featured secret temples located underground. For Christians it was a temporary expedient to avoid persecution, but for Mithraists it became a permanent insti-tution, each small chapel, called a Mithraeum, having seated no more than fifty worshippers and having been constructed to point from east to west. Rounded ceilings were painted blue and imbedded with gemstones. There were no windows except for a few chapels in which tiny holes in the ceiling that had been bored to let in the light of certain stars at particular times of the year.
      11. Both held Sunday to be sacred.
      12. Both encouraged asceticism. Mithraists were expected to resist sensuality and to abstain from eating certain foods.
      13. Both emphasized charity. Mithra was identified as the god of help who protected his worshippers, whatever their tribulations in life.
      14. Last and probably least, both emphasized a rock, Mithra having been born from one and the Vatican having been built on one.

      March 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Again, similarities does not equal a connection.

      March 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Susanna

      The connection is when Constantine made Christianity the national faith,all he did was copy Mithraism but give it a different name.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Susanna- I believe you are a bit wrong with that. The main reason would be, why do it? If it was all a ploy he could have easily said Mithra gave him the victory but he didn't.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Susanna

      Mithra, the sun god was celebrated in the solar paganism and their day of rest and worship was on the day of the sun. Constantine issued laws conflicting with the fourth commandment, changing the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday to coincide with the sun worship day of rest. Constantine’s motives for promoting the pagan influences on Christianity are not certain. His mutual compensation was possibly for political purposes of gaining favor or out of ignorance of the laws of the Bible. One mystery is The Arch of Constantine, built to honor his triumph in the name of God. The monument displays no symbolic relevance to God, but does have images of Mithra.

      March 30, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Lycidas

      @Susanna- Beyond the fact that the Arch in question was not made from scratch and used older friezes to decorate it, would you care to show one image if Mithra on it.

      If you will pay attention to Acts, you will also see that the church had already started to leave it's jewish roots centuries before Constantine and held Sunday in high regard.

      If you also pay attention you will not find Mithra mentioned on the arch but the divine. It stands to reason that a Roman Emporer would not do a instaneous political 180 and slowly shift the empire from the pagan to the Christian. You also neglect when you mention Mithra that he wasn't the only sun god, did your forget Apollo?

      March 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  19. Siobhan

    Just because you might not believe the contents, and I don't, that doesn't undermine the importance of the bible as a historical artifact or the influence of the King James Bible on world history. It's an incredible discovery.

    March 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Joe

      Undermine? All the bible has brought to history is war, hatred, and intolerance. All you sheep keep blindly following this garbage without ever thinking about the harm you cause. Your money goes to war, and continues this cycle of hatred.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Your full of It

      So "Joe", there has never been any bloodshed or war caused by non-Christians or religious people of any faith? I can think of dozens of wars off the top of my head that had nothing to do with religion as the cause of warfare. People like you see and hear what you want and ignore the rest, it's easier for you to remain ignorant.

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

      What's the matter Joe, the military didn't accept you? Or, are you avoiding going to serve for our country?

      Amen..

      March 28, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • brandy

      the bible is not a history book, it's a discordant mess of violence and inhumanity

      March 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • nowpepe nwanjesus

      THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT MY DARLINGS...NO DOUBT ABOUT IT....ITS A SETTLED WORD ALREADY...YOU WHO ARE AGAINST THE BIBLE CAN NEVER MAKE IT NOT TO BE SETTLED,ITS SETTLED IN HEAVEN LONG BEFORE WE ALL WERE BORN,BLESS YOU ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 29, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tom

      Definitely a great artifact should be preserved and put on exhibit in some museum. These things need to be preserved just was ancient Greek and Egyptian artifacts are preserved and studied in Anthropology classes.

      March 29, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  20. Doc Vestibule

    The infallible Word of God was identified as an original by an egregious error.
    Kind of a stake through the heart of biblical literalism, isn't it?

    March 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Michael

      Not a problem if your not a protestant. Catholics don't buy into that heresy – "sola scriptura."

      March 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • kckaaos

      That's too bad, we all want to be like the catholics...except for the altar boy part.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • cg10

      God is so way ahead of man, that he would allow an mistake to happen as a way of identification to the age and the uniqueness of this work form His Holy Word.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'cg10 – God is so way ahead of man, that he would allow an mistake to happen as a way of identification to the age and the uniqueness of this work form His Holy Word.'

      Oh thats too funny, that has to be one of the best excuses i have heard in a long time. I will have to remember that one.

      March 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • deter

      The bible was written by man and inspired by God. Man makes mistakes...

      March 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tiffany Hurst

      The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact. (Grudem- Systematic Theology) Yes, there are small mistakes in the copies, but unlike early manuscripts of Plato's (30 remain) or Homer's Iliad (650 remain), there are 24,000 New Testament manuscripts! Because there is such a vast number of manuscripts, we are able through textual criticism to compare them and find that 99.5 percent of the manuscripts content lines up. The differences between them are composed mostly of minor mistakes in spelling and the addition or subtraction of "the", etc. The result being that any manuscript that contains greater variant writings has a vast collection of manuscripts to which it can be compared and we can determine which is the most accurate to the original. Now, this KJV Bible is not a manuscript, but a translation from a somewhat late manuscript (early manuscripts are generally better, since they are closer in time to the original), since the time that the KJV was written, much earlier and more accurate manuscripts have been discovered. Typos that are found in copies (and translations from less reliable manuscripts) do not have bearing on the inerrancy of the original. In addition, we can be very comfortable in trusting our current translations (NIV, ESV, NKJV, etc.) that have made use of the wonderful wealth of early manuscripts and textual criticism to bring us texts that provide God's Word in a way that is sufficient and clear for His intended purposes of communication to us. And if you want to get even closer to the original text than reading a translation- Learn Greek! If you are interested in looking into textual criticism of the New Testament for yourself, "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration" By Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman is a wonderful resource.
      Blessings!

      March 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • deter

      Wow, i'm amazed on how much information is in the reply above. Are you a theology major or something?

      March 28, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • FifthApe

      Tiffany, you need to read Ehrman's (you referenced him) Misquoting Jesus. This will open your eyes (mind).

      "In the introduction to Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman writes that when he came to understand this process 30 years ago, it shifted his way of thinking about the Bible. He had been raised as an Evangelical Christian."

      March 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • deter

      Well, i'm not surprised in these rude comments against my faith. People have hated us for a long time, and mostly because they don't understand the real meaning. Or, they just like to troll.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Tiffany Hurst

      @ deter
      No, I'm actually a psychology major. But I have encountered this information from a variety of sources over the years. Some of what I shared (the number of manuscripts of various works) came from "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel, but most of the information about manuscripts and text criticism I read about in the book "How We Got the Bible" by Neil Lightfoot. It was a very good book, but most of the info he uses is from the book I suggested above, so that is probably a better place to go.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • deter

      Jeff: I understand what you mean. Christians are perfectly sane people, and our beliefs do not hurt anyone. In fact, they help others. If our beliefs were dangerous, then you don't have to respect us.

      March 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Tiffany Hurst

      @FifthApe
      Thanks for the suggestion.

      March 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tiffany Hurst

      Correction to previous statement: Lightfoot references Metzger, but this does not make up the majority of his sources. The way I worded my comment was misleading. I would highly recommend Lightfoot's book. It was very clear and informative.

      March 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • brandy

      ridicule is an effect method for convincing people to give up their silly beliefs

      March 29, 2011 at 4:00 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.