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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. peter

    No man has ever seen him. His only born son explains him to us. But not to everyone. To this you bloggers attest. Sorry lot. You have no plan that will save you from this state you are in.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Right On Bye

      You see part of It all the time, including yourself. No human has seen It all. Aren't you a blogger? What do you need saved from? What's your plan?

      April 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  2. emptyspaces

    The first two sentences say it all, really. So in order to think rationally one must step outside their faith? Take that step and keep on walking.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Right On Bye

      See above.

      April 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  3. therearenogods

    best line, "I am a person of faith. But sometimes I like to step outside of faith and just think about things rationally"

    April 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, and it should have continued, "and when I see that doing so leads me pretty quickly to a deep questioning of my faith, I drop logic retreat back to my faith, like a frightened child."

      April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Right On Bye

      Faith without logic is delusion. So faith cannot equal delusion. It is simple Algebra. Its amazing so many who profess faith have been brainwashed to believe faith and science/logic are in opposition. What a sick world we've made doing so.

      April 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  4. Pastor Evans

    Unfortunately a lot of what people witness here on earth in the name of God is not from God. I thank the only true and living God that I have a personal relationship with Him!!! Anyone can have the God kind of life, if they want it and seek it!!! Amen!!!

    April 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Eliot Rosewater

      I'm not a Muslim, but I would bet they lump Christianity into the things "people witness here on earth in the name of God is not from God", just as you lump all other religions into that bucket.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Right On Bye

      Silly people. It's all God. No matter what name Its called, humans never have the capacity to fully understand it all.

      April 3, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Shamrock6

    I love the first two sentences of this piece. "I am a person of faith. But sometimes I like to step outside of faith and just think about things rationally." I think that pretty much sums it up. What else needs to be said except....of course he doesn't think that it matters who wrote the bible. Why would something so basic and logical have any bearing on his thought process.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  6. Blue

    Read the first two sentences. Qoute "I am a person of faith. But sometimes I like to step outside of faith and just think about things rationally." I think that about sums up the intelligence of this article.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Seer

      So you are saying that good Christians are irrational? In that case, should we allow them to be in government, business, or education?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Shamrock6

      @Seer.....of course good christians are irrational and no, they should not be allowed in government, business or education.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Red

      Seer,
      Dude...you gotta see that one coming...I mean, like...read other comments before posting.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Shamrock6
      @Seer.....of course good christians are irrational and no, they should not be allowed in government, business or education.
      -----–
      That is a silly statement! Who built most hospitals and schools in this nation? Christian business people! One day you will have the opportunity to experience life without christian businessmen, politicians, and educators soon enough. I highly doubt you will enjoy it!

      April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Miranda

      ROTFLMAO! Well said. I've never met more prejudiced, closed minded, irrational people as those calling themselves Christians. The worst things to have ever happened to me were done by people calling themselves Christians. I am not one nor do I ever want to be one. I like thinking rationally.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Right On Bye

      Seems like there was more discussion in the negative sense above about bad Christains than good ones. There is a difference, just like there are bad non-Christains and good ones. We're all a work in progress.

      April 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  7. crucified

    I do not believe in Atheist

    April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Colin

      No, you do not believe in "atheism" or "atheists". Yes, it is much more likely that a 15.4 billion year old creator of the entire universe will give you life after death and is watching your every move and keeping you safe from evil.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • crucified

      @cOLIN I suppose you believe in a 15,6 billion year old cosmic chaotic Boom that everything came from..of which violates 3 laws of science including Thermal Dynamics... remember Albert Eistein said "God does not play Dice" Yes I believe there is a Creator. there is overwhelming proof of Design... However, you go ahead and try to prove there is Not one..

      April 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Red

      Colin,

      If you do the math there, it's actually equally as likely that a creator did it all versus it doing itself...that's what she said?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Krreagan

      Cruc... I suggest you read and try to understand the theories before trying to debunk them. They do not violate any laws, But it shows your ignorance of the theories you try to disavow. Which probably means you are all to swallowed up in you own fairy tales to have an open mind.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  8. Pastor Evans

    We are all flawed, imperfect, and lost, that's why we need a Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, who left us His Holy Spirit and His Word which provides and produces in us, the life He created to have!!!

    April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Eliot Rosewater

      Uhhh....I think Mr. Hazony would take exception to the whole needing "a Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ" bit.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  9. Pope Benedict

    One thing we know is that the Bible was written by hopelessly ignorant men (not women) Maybe they knew something about moral values, killing, slavery, money, etc., but nothing about biology, nuclear physics, earthquakes, comets, gravity, electronics, etc. Nothing in the Bible about those things, why would schools be better with religion, when what we need are better doctors, engineers, and scientists? Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to civilization. Parents who take their kids to church before age 18 should be prosecuted for child abuse.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Colin

      Well said.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Red

      It's kind of ignorant to say that religion is the worst thing to ever happen to civilization. The fact of the matter is that 99% of communities...cities, towns, villages, etc...all started with the basis of religion. Religion is the basis for virtually everything civilized. Regardless of whether or not that would have undoubtedly happened without the presence of religion doesn't matter. It already did. Everyone has to live with that...

      April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Right On Bye

      Extremely well put Red. It amazes me how self centered people think just because everything doesn't go the way they think it should, including church, life and Biblical interpretation, etc., that there couldn't possibly be any value in any of it. Sad.

      What if God isn't all loving and rather is more all logical? What if an individual's life circ-umstance weren't entirely determined solely by their self. What if the big picture were more important than puny little individuals. Gee. Bad things might happen to me and others. I guess that means there's no reason to ever try and make sense of anything. Just crawl in a hole and die. What a waste of brain matter. It's always easy to be a disgruntled monday morning quarter back. Getting in the game and making a positive contribution takes a bit more.

      April 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  10. Ari

    what a ridiculous waste of resources and thought. who wrote the bible? it's well known that Constantine commissioned his scribes to bring together 12 of the more than 200 stories about jesus circulating around Rome during the time when Romes predominantly Pagan population were fracturing and turning towards the Jesuits. he did it for one reason – control. he wanted to use religion to reunify rome. so he took these stories, edited them, and consecrated Roman Catholicism. Invented it as to say, as a means to control a population. it worked beautifully. in fact it worked so well, the lies continue today. dont forget the roman catholic bible was literally the first example of "mass media" in the world. you had a relatively large (at the time) proportion of people who could read – spread across a large area (the roman empire), all under the influence of 1 book, 1 set of stories. It was the TV of the time. thats why it became so intrinsic.

    of course like all religion, it's nonsense – it's just nonsense that you believe. it's no different to the gods the greeks believed in, or the gods the egyptians believed in...all simple tools to control a largely uneducated mass of people, and to maintain order in society. today we should know better....

    April 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  11. John Pedant

    What a stupid editorial. Of course it matters who wrote the Bible. If it was inspired by God and dictated by the Holy Spirit, I ignore it at my peril. If it was cobbled together by "J" and "P" (with a bit of help from William Tyndale and uncle Billy-Bob), its claim upon me is diminished through infinite descents.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Seer

      The latest research – by a Christian Bible scholar no less – says that the Bible was forged or written by impostors: http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-the-new-testament-forged-49605/

      April 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    The first thing you must do, in looking at any written work, is question the veracity of the author/authors.

    Clearly, many things are written which do not report true facts, but rather the truth of the author......which might be very far from the actual truth.

    Those who believe in such things quite literally, are simply deluding themselves, as to the truth.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
  13. goldenangel

    The Bible says men of God inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote the books of the Bible. I guess what their names were does not matter much, but we do know that they wrote what they saw and experienced first hand. Those who put our canon together were careful to make sure the writers passed the test they had established as to whether to include the book or not. II Tim 3:16 is good enough for me.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Colin

      The chances of much in the bible being anywhere close to accuare, especially in the OT, are vanishingly small. Worldwide Floods, men living in a whale's belly, talking snakes, men living to 900 – I mean, come on!!

      April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  14. Mike

    Read Joseph Atwill's Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. I think the question of who wrote the bible is an interesting one and something I believe we will hear more about in the coming years.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  15. Virginia

    We have freedom of religion, If you choose to believe everything in the Bible, that's your business. Every time I halfway start to consider the possibillity that the Bible may have some merit, I see a TV preacher trying to manipulate the brain dead to send money and lots of it. Their message is 'buy your way into heaven by filling my pockets'. Then I go back to believing religion is merely a way to control people.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Colin

      I suggest you read Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". HE gives way better reasons for rejecting christian superst-itions than mere financial abuse.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • GCG

      @Virginia
      You are conflating two different things. On the one hand you have the Bible, which may or may not be true. On the other hand you have money grubbing TV preachers who may or may not be speaking truth. The one thing you cant do though is say that because the TV preacher is BS that therefore the Bible is BS, because they are not the same thing at all. One could be true, the other false.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • BBQPork

      Yeah, I remember joining a church with my friend when I was a kid and the person in charge - preacher, father, db, whatever he calls himself - interrogated me about what my family does for a living and tried to size me up in terms of what I can donate, which he made very clear was a part of every church get-together. Churches and religion are sleazy.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  16. Shaneeda quit

    I've stated in other posts, "white people wrote the bible."

    April 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  17. Jeff

    "No, faith and skepticism dwell together in my confused bosom like pudding and pie." – Classic doublethink. (The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.)

    April 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  18. jayman419

    Your entire line of thinking is flawed, and the example you used to "prove" your point was erroneous, not only in its execution and conclusions, but also in that you failed to mention the obvious dissimilarities between your 'experiment' and what biblical scholars actually do. You let your personal bias come into play, and you set out to prove your conclusions regardless of their merit. You did exactly what you claim biblical scholars do, even as you trashed them for doing it.

    You gave your editor one copy of an article, which you and another person had worked on, and asked the editor to find the changes you had made. You and the other person who wrote it both speak the same language, you both have the same names for things and places, and you have similar levels of education and accomplishment. How would you expect anyone to know the difference? If the article was about Iran, and he called it Iran and you called it Persia, you'd be a lot closer to an accurate test.

    Bible scholars compare the similarities and differences revealed in multiple versions of the same stories, and then they are able to determine which thoughts had been plagiarized from other sources. If plagiarism was in any way difficult to detect, a lot of people would have unsullied college degrees.

    Also, you didn't bother to mention that the "J, E, D, and P" version of authorship was only popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, and that it was essentially discredited in the 1970s and is only used today as a basis for further thought. You characterized it because without it your thesis falls apart and you have no article, and thus no paycheck.

    You should have said that today there is NO consensus opinion as to authorship. But what we can know, and do know through paradoxes in the stories and their timelines, through changes in the common place names of historical regions and landmarks, and through the status of prophets and even the means which god was supposed to have used to contact us and how we were "allowed" to contact god, that differences in these descriptions prove that it was definitely not a single author, whether Moses or "someone with the same name" who wrote it in its entirety.

    April 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • jayman419

      mischaracterized, even.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Seer

      Well what about what this Christian Bible scholar says, from following the accepted methods you outlined: that the Bible was forged or written by impostors: http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-the-new-testament-forged-49605/

      April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  19. Joe Mahma

    .
    .

    No. It doesn't matter who wrote it (or how many people) because it's a load of derivative BS and anti-Goddess propaganda..

    .

    April 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • YBP

      I don't know why my comments are getting rejected by CNN. I don't use vulgarities, like this guy does.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Red

      I'd rather have a load of derivative BS scaring everyone into being nice, than have a bunch of people be intolerant of me...

      April 1, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • jayman419

      What if we were nice to each other without being scared? Is fear really a good basis for any relationship?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Red

      No, fear is not...but there-in lies the perspective of the bible.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • James

      Oh Lord...it's one of those "all things are equal" jokes.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Red
      No, fear is not...but there-in lies the perspective of the bible
      -----
      You misunderstand the meaning of the word. To fear God actually means to deeply respect Him.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Red

      Steve,

      You misunderstand my use of the word "perspective"...not the Bible's perspective, as there are several. Rather, many people's perspective of the bible.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • .

      @Steve (the real one)
      You misunderstand the meaning of the word. To fear God actually means to deeply respect Him.
      ------------–
      So "to love God" actually means to avoid certain actions because God will smite you for them?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Legal Eagle

      @Red – really? You find Christians/Catholics tolerant? As far as I'm concerned, they are THE most intolerant, although they profess to love God and allegedly believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. I've never seen more people justify their hate/intolerance/rejection of more human beings than a church going Christian/Catholic. People use religion, and whatever portion of the Bible that justifies their hatred and intolerance, to perpetrate truly hateful things against other people, and have been doing so through the ages. And not always necessarily violent things (although there's more than enough violence perpetrated in God's name in almost all religions through the ages as well), but just outright rejection of a person because he or she doesn't fall into the narrow-minded, stilted, self-righteous view "religious" people have of the world.

      I think a belief in God alone is enough to promote tolerance, not necessarily believing in the Bible. I don't believe the Bible represents anything more than the things that the men who wrote the Bible want people to think/believe. God is different – I don't need a book to tell me how to believe or what to believe. That I believe is what's important. The book isn't necessary for me to have faith in the fact that God exists and that I believe he exists and is omnipotent.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      .
      So "to love God" actually means to avoid certain actions because God will smite you for them?
      --------
      Just like one would respect a loving parent! The focus is not what happens when I disobey, the focus rather I'll will obey because I know you have my best interest at heart. Again, just like a loving parent! He is after all my Heavenly Father!

      April 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  20. JJ Luis

    Can someone please explain the moon, sun, skies, stars, rain, water, animals, vegetables, trees, pregnancy? The perfect creation for human existance. I guess scientists created these things right?

    April 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Joe Mahma

      Watch: Neil Degrasse Tyson – Stupid Design

      April 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Seer

      oh... and having an explanation for how something was created doesn't equal creating it. Otherwise, by your logic, the Catholic Church would have created the moon, the earth, vegetables, humans, etc.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • James

      Exactly. People act like Scientists have ALL knowledge...all they do is figure out something that was already there. They are not inventors. We pretend that Einstein created and then split the atom. All he did was manipulate and do what was already in accordance to God's laws.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • richunix

      I could get more scientific, but I’ll go with the more obvious… “The Big Bang” (theories), or the Science of Evolution (not a theory and yes you can from the same stock….primates..not created from some void)… It better than Simon Say’s..

      April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Seer

      Being uncomfortable with a lack of certainty and a lack of explanations for everything makes you the unwitting tool of those who create those explanations for you, no matter how unsupportable they are. You may accuse scientists of this, but science at least can support its conclusions with observations and logic that are testable by experiments. How about you run an experiment where you get God to create something brand new, like a new animal?

      April 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • jayman419

      The world is not perfect for us. We are perfect for the world.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • Seer

      Apparently, being a Christian requires that people turn off their brain. I guess God created all parts of the human except for the brain, since Christians seem to think the brain is so sinful. Oh, wait, they also think the p- is sinful, and the v-- and the mouth, and the b- and....

      April 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Benjamin

      What an idiot. "Faith" and "rationality" are mutually exclusive. Grow up, Mr. Hazony and accept the fact that fables and fairy tales are the creations of human beings, not your imaginary friend in the sky.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • James

      So Scientists prove their findings huh? The same scientists who thought the Earth was flat? The same scientists who cannot decide if I should eat eggs or not eat eggs, use artificial sweetener or not, or how much coffee I should drink? Are you talking about the same scientists who have created nuclear weapons. Quick everybody find a scientist to get your wisdom from...they do experiments.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Jon

      @JJ Do you really not know where these things come from? If not, read a Science book. PLEASE!!!

      April 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • P

      I wonder if Neanderthals first looked at Cro-Magnons as being stupid non-animal worshiping tool-makers.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • James

      No being a Christian does not require that I turn off my brain. However, Christian wisdom is not of this world, it is wisdom from above. Your wisdom my friends is of the world, so if somebody can't slap you in the face with something you won't believe it. However, you will not for one second just give a serious thought to your actual state...if you did you would be shaking in your shoes. So, let me help you out. You think you know it all, yet you are so weak and fragile, you will be lucky to live over 70 years. When you die, they are going to put you in the ground and you are going to become a worm and maggot buffet...wow you sure are special.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • JJ Luis

      Without GOD placing everything here, there would be nothing for the scientists to study.

      I'd rather put all my faith in Jesus Christ whom I cannot see before I put my faith in man who IS (for a fact) faulty. He paid the price for our sins so we can live with GOD forever, what more do you want?

      If you're against GOD, then you're on Satan's team.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Eliot Rosewater

      Sun goes up, sun goes down. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • CatchMe

      People invented God, people wrote bible, etc not the other way around. People existed before God came into picture. Think, IDIOTS !!!

      April 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • James

      Give it up JJ...you are speaking to fools. "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God"

      April 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Steve

      Your thinking is backwards because your assumption is backwards. You essentially ask "how did this world come together perfectly to fit my life?", when you should be asking "how is it that I am perfectly suited to live in this world?"

      Everything you listed has been explained...at the grade school level. Unless you were home-schooled with a religious indoctrination, in which case all of that would be explained in your post-doctorate.

      And if history has taught us nothing else, even if something can't be explained it does not mean the correct answer is "magic." Computers are very complex. Even though I work on them every day, I couldn't give you a satisfactory explanation for how they work. Just because i can't explain how it all works, that doesn't mean there are angels transmitting my post to a special book in heaven that you are able to read on your end.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • mat

      Hey seer, lets see scientists create something from nothing. Everything in the material has to come from something according to science. Im not a believer, but I know science is not the be all end all authority people think it is. Lets see them create something on their own, then I'll listen.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • James

      The two things I look at the most to strengthen my faith is DEATH and ISRAEL. We all die and many world leaders have tried to destroy the Jews yet they are still here. When one of your BIG SCIENTISTS can disprove Death and the fact Israel is still here...I might listen. In the meantime, I sure am glad I'm born again by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who loved me and gave himself for me...who knew no sin, yet became sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in him. I feel sorry for those who will never know his love because they rejected it and will be rejected themselves eternally.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • James

      Would you ever state the computers you work on just happened or would the conclusion you come to be that somebody "designed" it? Let's stop being hypocrites here. The fact is you all KNOW there is a God. The problem truly is that you hate him and are in open rebellion and rejection of him. That's fine, just have the guts to say what you really think.

      April 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • JJ Luis

      Jesus spoke to some Jews in the Temple, saying, “You are of your Father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn't stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

      April 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'The perfect creation for human existance.' –
      sigh, the world is not the way it is because of us, we are the way we are because of it.

      'The fact is you all KNOW there is a God. The problem truly is that you hate him and are in open rebellion and rejection of him. That's fine, just have the guts to say what you really think.'
      Oh another one of the you really all know there is a god posters. Ok here is what I really think ......the idea of an all powerful being with the power to do anything and know everything and somehow thinks that creating this planet with people on it is a good idea for some reason no one has ever actually managed to explain, is the most ludricious idea going. Its total and utter nonsense.

      'When one of your BIG SCIENTISTS can disprove Death '
      ok seriously? you actually posted this? you want scientists to 'disprove' death? yeah, thats not even worth spending more time on... next.

      'When you die, they are going to put you in the ground and you are going to become a worm and maggot buffet...wow you sure are special.'
      Is that it? you want to feel special? Sorry guy they is nothing any more special about you that any other life form on this planet. We can attempt to make ourselves feel special in a civilization interaction way but at the end of the day the universe really doesn't give a damn who you are or what you did.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
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About this blog

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.