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My Take: It doesn't matter who wrote the Bible
April 1st, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Take: It doesn't matter who wrote the Bible

Editor’s note: David Hazony is the author of "The Ten Commandments: How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life," published recently by Scribner.

By David Hazony, Special to CNN

I am a person of faith. But sometimes I like to step outside of faith and just think about things rationally. Usually this oscillation between faith and skepticism serves me well, with faith giving reason its moral bearings, and reason keeping faith, well, reasonable.

It’s a nice balancing act — except when the question of who wrote the Bible comes up. My Jewish faith tells me that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch. Reason tells me to be open to the idea that somebody else had a hand in it.

And there are definitely a few glitches in the text that back up those suspicions - notably the last eight verses of Deuteronomy, which describe Moses’ own death.

But try as I might, I just can’t believe that the Five Books of Moses were written by J, E, P and D – the four main authors whose oral traditions, biblical scholars say, were cobbled together to make the Torah. (The letters stand for the Jahwist, the Elohist, the Priestly source and the Deuteronomist. Those, we may assume, were not their real names.)

Call me an academic infidel.

I know, it’s been generations now that Bible study scholars at universities around the world have accepted as true that:

(a) the Pentateuch was composed over many centuries through these four oral traditions, which were later written down;

(b) these main texts were woven together by an editor or series of editors living around the 6th century B.C.E.; and

(c) these different traditions are detectable by scholars today, to the point where you can justify entire conferences and an arena’s worth of endowed chairs to figure out not only the source document of every scrap of biblical text, but also the gender, political inclinations, subversive intentions, height, weight and personal traumas encumbering every one of its authors.

The first two are plausible, I suppose. But the third has always struck me as pure fantasy, the point where idle speculation gives way to heavily funded hubris. Of course, if I’m right about the third, the first two lose their authority as well.

Why don’t I buy it?

It’s not just because of how stark, uninspiring and vaguely European those four letters look in a byline. Nor is it the fact that in more than a century’s worth of digging up the Middle East by archaeologists, not a single trace of any of these postulated “source texts” has ever turned up. And it’s certainly not because the scholars’ approach contradicts my faith — after all, it was the willful suspension of faith that led me to consider it in the first place.

No, faith and skepticism dwell together in my confused bosom like pudding and pie.

Rather, my rebellion against these scholars comes from experience. Specifically, my experience as an editor.

It all started a few years back when, as the senior editor of a Jerusalem-based journal of public thought, I ran into trouble on a 10,000-word, brilliantly researched essay about Israeli social policy composed by the sweetest man on earth who, unfortunately wasn’t a stellar writer.

I spent a few weeks rewriting, moving things around, adding and cutting and sweating. Finally I passed it up the chain to Dan, my editor-in-chief.

"Hey Dan," I said. "Could you take a look at this? I added a whole paragraph in the conclusion. Tell me what you think."

A few days later I got it back, marked up in red ballpoint. On the last page, in the conclusion, he had written the words “This is the paragraph you added,” and drawn a huge red arrow.

But the arrow, alas, was pointing at the wrong paragraph.

You see, it turns out that it’s not very easy to reverse-engineer an editing job. To take an edited text and figure out, in retrospect, what changes it went through — it’s about a million times harder than those tenured, tortured Bible scholars will tell you.

Language is fluid and flexible, the product of the vagaries of the human soul. When an editor has free rein, he can make anything sound like he’d written it himself, or like the author’s own voice, or something else entirely. It all depends on his aims, his training, his talent and the quality of his coffee that morning. A good editor is a ventriloquist of the written word.

That’s when I started to suspect that what Bible scholars claim they’re doing — telling you what the “original” Bible looked like — might be, in fact, impossible to do.

Think about it. My case was one in which the author, editor and reader are all known entities (in fact, they all know each other personally); the reading takes place in the exact same cultural and social context as the writing and editing; and the reader is himself a really smart guy, Ivy-league Ph.D. and all, who had spent a decade training the editor to be a certain kind of editor, with specific tools unique to the specific publication’s aims.

Not only that, but he was even told what kind of edit to look for, in which section. And still he couldn’t identify the change.

Now compare that with what Bible scholars do when they talk about J, E, P, and D. Not only do the readers not know the writers and editors personally, or even their identities or when or where they lived. The readers live thousands of years later and know nothing about the editors’ goals, whims, tastes, passions or fears — they don’t even know for sure that the whole thing really went through an editorial process at all.

(If anything, the same textual redundancies, narrative glitches, awkward word choices and so forth that the scholars claim are the telltale signs of an editing process are, in my experience, very often the opposite: the surest indicator that an author needs an editor, desperately. If the text was edited, it was done very poorly.)

As with any field of research that tries to reconstruct the distant past, biblical scholars get things wrong on a daily basis.

And that's OK: Getting things wrong is part of the nature of reconstruction. Whether you’re talking about the origins of galaxies, dinosaurs, ancient civilizations, medieval history or World War II, the conclusions of all historical research come with a big disclaimer: This is the best we’ve got so far. Stay tuned; we may revise our beliefs in a couple of years.

With biblical scholars, however, you often feel like they’re flying just a little blinder than everyone else. At what point does a scholar’s “best guess” become so foggy as to be meaningless?

The Five Books of Moses take place somewhere in the second millennium B.C.E., centuries before our earliest archeological corroborations for the biblical tales appearing in the Book of Joshua and onward. We have no other Hebrew writings of the time to compare it with. So all that scholars really have to go on is the text itself — a wild ride on a rickety, ancient, circular-reasoning roller-coaster with little external data to anchor our knowledge of anything.

This would be fine, of course, if there weren’t so much riding on it.

With other fields, we usually don’t have our own dinosaur in the fight. But with the Bible, it’s not just the scholars duking it out with the clergy. There’s all the rest of us trying to figure out what to do with this stupendously important book — either because it anchors our faith, or because it contains enduring wisdom and the foundations of our cultural identity.

Where does that leave us? Some people, sensing their most cherished beliefs are under siege, will retreat to the pillars of faith — whether that faith is religious or academic. Either it was Moses, or it was J, E, P, and D. End of discussion.

As for the rest of us, it may raise questions about whether we really ought to care that much about authorship at all, or instead just go with Mark Twain’s approach. “If the Ten Commandments were not written by Moses,” he once quipped, “then they were written by another fellow of the same name.”

Using our reason means sometimes admitting there are things we just don’t know, and maybe never will.

Maybe that’s all right. After all, isn’t it enough to know that the book is really important, that it has inspired love and hate and introspection and war for thousands of years, that it is full of interesting stories and wisdom, poetry and song, contradiction and fancy and an unparalleled belief in the importance of human endeavor - in the possibility of a better world - despite the enduring and tragic weaknesses that every biblical hero carries on his or her back? That it is an indelible part of who we are?

Isn’t that enough to make you just read the thing and hope for the best, forever grateful to Moses, or that other fellow by the same name?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Hazony.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • History • Judaism • Torah

soundoff (2,549 Responses)
  1. Johny Lovebone

    repeat a lie enough times and it will be acepted and believed; write that lie down and you have a religion.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  2. MALAKA

    "On the first day, man created God." – Anonymous

    April 1, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  3. sam b

    A well thought out article, however you left out that one theory that God inspired the texts and throughout history what he wanted imparted still remains. One other note. Those who claim the bible is "fiction" are those who never studied it, or its impact on society, culture, history, science and of course Faith. Example, many say on these posts, Jesus never existed.History proves he did (apart from the bible as well). One misunderstanding of Faith is that faith is to believe in something blindly. The bible's interpetation of Faith is to trust in the God who's credibility speaks throughout history, as recorded in the bible and in the testamony of believers into the New Testament. All I can say to t hose who want to dismiss the scripture as no relevancy or truth is, your not at all open to new ideas or to "truth". Then again, you never said your were did you.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  4. David, CA

    Of course it matters- if certain "groups" are going to constantly shove their faith in your face, pass laws that treat tax paying citizens differently using this vile book as an excuse, and feel that this book lets them behave like total AHLs- even to the point of justifying murder- then it certainly matters where the nonsense comes from.

    You know where it comes from? A bunch of verbal stories passed down from ignorant goat herders who threw rocks at the moon, thought shrimp were evil, and it was "assembled" and edited from various sources by the money and power hungry RCC, translated, mistranslated, interpreted, misinterpreted, abused and is ridiculously held up as a standard of how to live in modern times by a completely ignorant, hypocritical, pack of psychopaths. Quote me on it.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  5. Kevin

    Also there are large amount of evidence and archeological evidence. The bible is real for the most part. And everything happens for a reason. The authors of the bible wrote the bible because they are passing on a message that is real. People write for a reason and usually for good reasons. The bible is written for good reasons.

    Don't deceive yourself and say that the bible is not real and is fictional. Look deeper and find the meaning.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  6. George Greek

    "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one." – Richard Dawkins

    April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  7. Ken

    These men may have physically wrote the Bible, yet The Lord spoke to them what to write. So God actually wrote the Bible.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • TinKnight

      Because men have never misinterpreted the word of God, or misappropriated it for their own usage.
      Think about the priests who loved themselves some little boys "in the name of Our Lord."

      I'm not bashing on religion or Christians, but to say that men are quite prone to err, but that they are error-free in translating "the word of God" into a thousand languages, or even just one, is foolhardy.
      Think about a circle of people; one person whispers something to the person on their right, who repeats it to the person on their right, and around in the circle. By the time it reaches the original speaker, the message has completely warped into something unrecognizable...and those are people speaking the same language and from relatively the same cultural background, not someone or multiple someones translating from a deity into a human language.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  8. JD

    It was written by mortal, fallible, men. what's the argument?

    April 1, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  9. JESUS IS ON HIS WAY BACK

    THE GREATEST MISTAKE INDIVIDUALS DO WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORD OF GOD IS RATIONALIZE, YOU CAN'T PUT THE BOOK INTO MAN'S FINITE THINKING(LOGIC), IF MAN IS SO GREAT WHY DON'T WE KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW, WHY CAN'T WE STOP TSUNAMI'S, EARTHQUAKES, WARS, FAMINES, PESTILENCES, FLOODS, HURRICANES, I COULD GO ON AND ON. THOSE WHO RESIST AND DENY GOD AS THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE ARE ON A PATH OF DESPAIR AND TORMENT. NOBODY MADE THE BIBLE UP TO LEAD PEOPLE INTO MIND CONTROL, IT IS HERE TO INFORM US OF WHO WAS IN THE BEGINNING "IN THE BEGINNING GOD" AND MY GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, NOT ONLY THAT BUT HIS NAME IS JESUS AND JUST AS HE DID WITH NOAH AND SAVED THOSE WHO BELIEVED FROM THE FLOOD THE SAME HE IS DOING NOW, BY SAVING US WITH THE HOLYGHOST! BELIEVE IT OR NOT THATS YOUR DECISION AND EVERYONE WILL ANSWER TO HIS CHOICE, I CHOSE TO LIVE, LIVE OUTSIDE MY LIMITED THINKING AND BELIEVE IN THE ONE WHO SAID TO MOSES TELL THE PEOPLE "I AM THAT I AM" GOD DON'T NEED TO PROVE HIMSELF TO ANY OF US, WE SEE THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD IN THE CREATION ALONE! THE SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF WILL CAUSE YOU TO MISS OUT ON SALVATION..YOU MUST REPENT, BE BAPTIZED IN JESUS NAME, AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLYGHOST THE EVIDENCE IS SPEAKING IN TONGUES...SO ALL ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS CHOOSE THIS DAY WHO YOU WILL SERVE...THE SAD THING IS YOU THINK ITS YOUR LOGIC THAT KEEPS YOU FROM SALVATION BUT YOUR WRONG, ITS A DEMONIC SPIRIT THATS CONTROLLING YOU, ITS THE SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF....I PRAY THAT WHOEVER READS THIS HARDENS NOT THEIR HEART...

    April 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • kso

      luvs it when people bring demons into rational conversations

      April 1, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  10. FOXTON

    The middle east is quietly.......building it self up. Mosques are poping up everwhere in the US and the Jews in America are going back to Israel. Can anyone explain why this is happening. We can barely tell the difference between the seasons any more???????????? Muslims hate Christians and non belivers.

    Qur'an (5:51) – "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."

    you are reserching the wrong book. whether you belive or not you will be a muslim or dead in the future that what they belive read it please.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Dave

      Yeah the context of that passage in the Qu'ran doesn't actually read the way you portray it now does it. It's talking about those who revile Islam (okay maybe that is you), but the OTHER Christians and Jews, who don't (and follow the same God) are okay.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  11. JESUS IS ON HIS WAY BACK

    THE GREATEST MISTAKE INDIVIDUALS DO WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORD OF GOD IS RATIONALIZE, YOU CAN'T PUT THE BOOK INTO MAN'S FINITE THINKING(LOGIC), IF MAN IS SO GREAT WHY DON'T WE KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW, WHY CAN'T WE STOP TSUNAMI'S, EARTHQUAKES, WARS, FAMINES, PESTILENCES, FLOODS, HURRICANES, I COULD GO ON AND ON. THOSE WHO RESIST AND DENY GOD AS THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE ARE ON A PATH OF DESPAIR AND TORMENT. NOBODY MADE THE BIBLE UP TO LEAD PEOPLE INTO MIND CONTROL, IT IS HERE TO INFORM US OF WHO WAS IN THE BEGINNING "IN THE BEGINNING GOD" AND MY GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, NOT ONLY THAT BUT HIS NAME IS JESUS AND JUST AS HE DID WITH NOAH AND SAVED THOSE WHO BELIEVED FROM THE FLOOD THE SAME HE IS DOING NOW, BY SAVING US WITH THE HOLYGHOST! BELIEVE IT OR NOT THATS YOUR DECISION AND EVERYONE WILL ANSWER TO HIS CHOICE, I CHOSE TO LIVE, LIVE OUTSIDE MY LIMITED THINKING AND BELIEVE IN THE ONE WHO SAID TO MOSES TELL THE PEOPLE "I AM THAT I AM" GOD DON'T NEED TO PROVE HIMSELF TO ANY OF US, WE SEE THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD IN THE CREATION ALONE! THE SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF WILL CAUSE YOU TO MISS OUT ON SALVATION..YOU MUST REPENT, BE BAPTIZED IN JESUS NAME, AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLYGHOST THE EVIDENCE IS SPEAKING IN TONGUES...SO ALL ATHEISTS AND AGNOSTICS CHOOSE THIS DAY WHO YOU WILL SERVE...THE SAD THING IS YOU THINK ITS YOUR LOGIC THAT KEEPS YOU FROM SALVATION BUT YOUR WRONG, ITS A DEMONIC SPIRIT THATS CONTROLLING YOU, ITS THE SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF....I PRAY THAT WHOEVER READS THIS HARDENS NOT THEIR HEART...LOVE YOU IN JESUS NAME..

    April 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • George Greek

      Pathetic MORON!

      April 1, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Sirena

      If god was so great we would not have "TSUNAMI'S, EARTHQUAKES, WARS, FAMINES, PESTILENCES, FLOODS, HURRICANES"

      April 1, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • turingskj

      I hope he doesn't get lost on his way back here and come to right place... things are quite different from place to place on earth....

      April 1, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Chris F.

      Good to see another Pentacostal on here to try and spread some seeds, i had a guy ask me the other day "If Adam is the reason we all die then why should i accept Jesus" well nobody knows how long adan & eve where in the garden of eden but it could of been thousands of years and something wore off of them and because of that we have to pay for it, it is what it is, gods way is greater then ours, we cant comprehend what he has for us in heaven or what goes on in his head, he gives us free will to make our own choices because he only wants the "elect" why are things in the bible coming to pass and have passed. Ex. the 4 horseman, we are in the era of the green horse (islamic) the roof of the buildings are tinted green and the flags have green color, the red horse (communism) russia and china have red flags. it can go on and on, you have to read the bible and not just read but read until you understand, obey acts 2:38

      April 1, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • RedBaren

      Then why weren't germs and bacteria mentioned in the bible. Apparently god doesn't know everything either.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • TinKnight

      Wouldn't it have been funny if the Bible were written in all caps like this?

      April 1, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • God Illusion

      Why can't we stop tsunamis? Are you serious? We are intelligent mammals – nothing more, nothing less. You think we should be able to control plate tectonics?

      1. Learn to turn off your caps lock. 2 . Learn to turn on your mind – you will actually be happier without a life ruled by threats, promises and wish thinking. A book of garbled fables is nothing to base a life on.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Chris F.

      if god controlled everthing than the world would be perfect and you wouldnt blasphmeny his name, everything and everyone would be holy and you wouldnt be askig this, he gave us free will, this is earth and earth will be left behind and if over half the world wouldnt spit on his name and use it in vein maybe he would cut us more breaks, make your house a house a prayer and see that things dont start going good for you, stop denying , every tongue will confess and knee will bow wether it be in hell or heaven

      April 1, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • kso

      hahahahahahahah. another field trip around logic thinking.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Odie Colognie

      Chris F.
      1. Did you mean "then the world........
      2. Did you mean "blaspheme his name".......
      3. Did you mean "use it in vain"......
      4. Did you mean "going well for you".....
      5. Did you mean "knee will bow, whether".......

      Sheesh. Why would we care about the opinions of someone who didn't pass third grade ?

      April 1, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  12. George Greek

    "DEAR GOD" by XTC .... GREAT GREAT SONG!!! Check it out on 'YouTube'.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  13. Kevin

    You people sickens me. So sad. Everyone is looking into the bible literally. Why don't people ever think clearly? It's people saying the apple in the Garden of Eden doesn't kill you. It does kill you, just not instantly. It made you human and therefore you will die. So it does kill.

    The bible is just like this. Don't look at everything just on the surface There is a deeper meaning. Why do people always bash on religion? It's because NOBODY understands the message. Everyone is so literate. It doesn't matter who wrote the bible. As long as the message is out and people understand it, it is all that matters.

    God is almighty and powerful. He created this world and everything. You can't use science to tell the origin of the world. Only an absolute can create this world. The reason why there are all these bad things in the world is that, although, God created science, there is still Satan. There is good and evil. Just look at any religion and there is always the Good and the Evil. It's because of Satan the world is corrupted. You may ask why doesn't God stop Satan. Then you have to look deeper and think. God knows everything and has a plan. God knows what is right. You have to trust what he does.

    I believe God gives us a world. A world that has negativity. There is sin. There are bad things. God want us to persevere in this terrible world. We have everything, we are free. We do need to stop evil in this world.

    And many people including me have experienced God's presence. God is real and exist. And there are miracles and things that science just cannot explain. Only God is there for all of us. Look deeper and don't just look on the surface!

    There are too many atheist out there. Too many people that don't know right from wrong. Nobody thinks anymore. So sad. 🙁

    Remember to think and look deeper into the meaning. When you do, you will see the light and know God is real and exists. Think about it, we won't even be here if it wasn't for Him. We takes things for granted too much that materialism deluded us and don't know the truth anymore. The reason why we think modern day is better and more advanced is because of materialism.

    Life is simple. It's because of science and materialism that made our life complex and deluded.

    Look up for the bible and truth! Don't give in to evil!

    April 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Sirena

      Um being an atheist does NOT mean you do not know right from wrong.
      PS over 70% of the prison population identifies as christian...

      April 1, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Yahright

      Religion people are cult people, try to make other people following them.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • crucified

      Well that is because 70% of the prison Population Convert in Prison... also, Christianity is ONE Belief that recognizes the sincereness of a repentant Heart. and Christian goups reach out to Prisoners for their conversion.. The Methodist Church core foundation started on that..visiting prisoners. I have never heard of and Islamic Prison Ministry? or a Hindu Re-entry program?

      April 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • RedBaren

      ^ lol.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Commonman

      You say science can't explain the beginning of the earth. Except, yes, it can. And it does.

      You say that people need to starting thinking. Ignoring reality is really thinking...

      April 1, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Chris F.

      sirena- why is it when fammine or outrageous thins happen you still see people say " we are praying for you" people turn to god in tribulation, he shows up the most during that, and people claim to be christian but there not, read the closest translated bible kjv and get to understand it. and just because your in prison doesnt mean you cant be forgiven and saved

      April 1, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • crucified

      @Commonman ,, actually Science does not explain the beginning.. it can't because it violates 2 Laws when it tries.. The law of Thermal Dynamics which says entropy increases.. so comming from entropy would be impossible.. layman terms.. a big chaotic boom creates more chaos not order over time. 2. the law of causation.. which says something cannot come from nothing! oh and there is 3.. Time is a persistant illusion. Go ahead and keep taking the blue Pill and enjoy your life in Bliss believing all the invalid PH.d's who have to state they know the answer.. so they can keep their degree.. all the while humanity gets more confused.. ocmans razor.. the simpliest solution is the answer.. You were Created. and have a creator.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Odie Colognie

      I'd like to report Kevin's abuse of the English language. Amen.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Jack Krim

      The atheist and the right from wrong are two seperate sentences. They are not connected. Two seperate things. They are not meant to be related althought, it can.

      And no, like crucified said, people convert in prison.

      Religion cannot be seen as a cult and you don't have to follow it. It is best to follow b/c you identify yourself as a man of faith. People need faith in this world.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Jack Krim

      @Odie Colognie

      It makes no sense! You should be reported!

      April 1, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  14. Sockness Monster

    Question: who created God ?
    Answer: Man.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Lee

      Umm i can see where your comming from with the question, but your answer is really stupid. Man had nothing to do with God. man sure didnt make him. like the bible says he is has and always will be, how idk, but i do know that you just made yourself look silly by posting that. but you know what you have your beliefs and i have mine so.........

      April 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  15. Uncultured Swine.

    "After all, isn’t it enough to know that the book is really important, that it has inspired love and hate and introspection and war for thousands of years, that it is full of interesting stories and wisdom, poetry and song, contradiction and fancy *unparalleled belief in the importance of human endeavor**"

    Yeah, if you think there is no other book that presents comparable amounts of belief in the importance of human endeavor, you really need to go to your local library and pick up literally any book that has humans in it.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Yahright

      Sick people writing bible. Look what all religion people do. All they do is killing each other

      April 1, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Ray in Vegas

      It's amazing that so many can't see the Bible for what it is, which as you described, a book (actually a collection of books) written by human beings.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  16. educatedguess

    Jesus said he wasn't Christian if the Bible represented Christianity.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • crucified

      Actually Jesus did not say that.. Ghandi said he liked Jesus but not Christians. and it had to do with Christians not walking the path of Jesus. What Jesus did say is "I am Holy, so Be Holy"

      April 1, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  17. George Greek

    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence." – Doug McLeod

    April 1, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  18. Monk

    Not that I'm very religious, but all should consider; "There are more things in heaven (not the biblical heaven) and earth, than are dreamt of in our philosophy."

    April 1, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Ray in Vegas

      Nice one! And so true. Our planet is but a speck of dust in a possibly infinite universe. We can only speculate about ultimate reality. I personally believe the stories in the Bible were a good early effort but we should always search for the truth.

      April 1, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  19. turingskj

    Interpretation, this is the problem to me... The Bibile may or may not be telling the truths... but different people have interpreted it differently all the times... I once heard a foreign pastor talking enthusiastically about a phrase in the Bible based on his literal misinterpretation of English version of the phrase... it was hillarious...

    April 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  20. Neeneko

    What do you mean 'no source texts have been found'.... there have been plenty of examples discovered of biblical stories appearing in texts from other groups during earlier period.

    April 1, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • Reads

      Yeah, I as soon as I saw that, I knew the guy was an idiot...

      April 1, 2011 at 11:13 am |
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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.