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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. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    CHANCELOR JENKINS......EVEN YOUR JESUS CHRIST LOOKED UPON A WOMAN AND SCOFFED AT HER WITH RIDICULE IN HIS EYE .....TO THEN CROSS HIS EYE AT HER SAYING IM NOT HERE FOR YOU BUT FOR THE LOST SHEEP OF ISRAEL SO EVEN YOUR CHRIST SAW THAT WE ALLL CANT GET ALONG .....LOLOL

    April 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Entil'zha

      Caps off is a nice way to express one's thoughts.

      April 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chanselor Jenkins

      I guess you are right...time has indeed shown that we humans can not get along.

      April 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • God

      Okay Satan, take the horns off and turn in your tail. You're starting to make everyone laugh. That's not quite how you explained you'd handle your job. Pick up your check and don't forget to file for your unemployment. Good luck finding another job. I hear your skills are a dime a dozen now days. They're all done by the same men.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  2. TomD

    So God's not big enough to write a book? So He used men to write it wouldn't the all powerful One be able to sustain it? And yet He left just enough in the way He wrote it so the proud and the arrogant would turn away from it, so the humble would find a treasure beyond all treasures! As it says in Hebrews 11:6 that it is impossible to please God without faith. If I live my life by His word and as the scoffers say it isn’t true then I have nothing to fear. But if it is as the Bible says the VERY WORD OF GOD! I’m still okay but the scoffers and the proud will be lost forever! And I think it is fitting that so many scoffers and God haters are writing today on this article, because today is National Atheist Day! Thant’s right April 1st, also known as April Fool’s Day… Psalms 53:1 The fool has said in his heart there is no God.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' If I live my life by His word and as the scoffers say it isn’t true then I have nothing to fear. But if it is as the Bible says the VERY WORD OF GOD! I’m still okay but the scoffers and the proud will be lost forever!'
      You left ouf the 3rd option Tom.....there is a god but it isnt the one you are worshipping, In which case you are just as screwed as the rest of us, maybe you should worship them all to hedge your bets.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  3. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    YOU ALL MAY CARRY ON ABOUT TEH BIBLE MASS MURDERERS SWORE BY ......RAPISTS ........DEVIL WORSHIPPERS .........PLEASE THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON BLOOD BY THOSE WHO CLAIMED IN JESUS NAme ..........u wiped out races cuz of jesus' name...........IN SOUTH AMERICA........WEST INDIES.....AFRICA ...INDIA I CAN GO ON AN ON ........THE SAME MAN WHO WROTE TEH BIBLE ARE THE VERY SAME MEN THAT CRAETED THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE .....WHO INVADED AFRICA AND OTHER CONTINENTS ......THE SAME WHO KILLED OFF THE NATIVE INDIANS IN AMERICA ......THE SAME MEN WHO RUN OUR WORLD TODAY ......THE SAME MEN WHO DROPPED THE ATOMIC BOMB .......I DIDNT KNOW MINORITIES HAD WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION .....DIDNT KNOW THAT ..........lololol true goyam ........for who have eyes to see will see.....i REALLY AND TRULLY FEEL SORRY FOR TEH MASSES WHO THINK THE POWERS AN STRUCTURE THAT BE IS CORRECT .........LOLOLOOL WAIT AND SEE WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT RISE UP KEMIT!!!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • MLK

      Your SAME MEN is starting to sound a lot like THOSE PEOPLE. That hate gonna eat you up inside if you don't start finding some REAL TRUTH. I pray for a day where men will not be judged by the color of their skin and racists don't go around calling other people racists before they look in the mirror first.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  4. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    YOU NOTICE THAT WHEN INFO IS TOO HEAVEY FOR SOME THEY JUST WANT TO JUST GET ALONG??? ........LOLOLOL

    WHEN U HAVE HAD YOUR WHOLE LIFE DECIDED 4 YOU AND TAKEN AWAY ....CULTURE ....BELIEFS ....LANGUAGE ....AN EVERYONE JUST WANTS TO GET ALONG RIGHT??? ISRAELIS WERE GIVEN THAT LAND ......THE SAME LAND THE ARABS INVADED AND STOLE FROM THE NUBIANS..........JEWS RECEIVCED REPERATION FOR HOLOCAUST .....FUNNY ENUFF SO DID THE GERMANS WHO INFLICTED IT ON THEM ....WHAT ABOUT THE AFRICAN DIASPORA ???? 6 MILLION JEWS WERE KILLED AND A COUNTLESS AMOUNT OF AFRICANS JUMPED OFF THE SHIPS WHILE BEING TRANSPORTED TO THE WEST IN FEAR OF TEH TREATMENT THEY WILL RECEIVE ONCE OVER THE AMERICAS .......SO U SEE ITS HARD TO JUST LET GO OF A PAST THAT WAS NEVER TREATED TO.....

    April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Reality

      Again, the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis are way ahead of David Hazony. No mention of this in Dave's comments. One wonders why that is? And he does not mention The Code of Hammurabi or the Egyptian Book of the Dead both of which predate the Torah as "Ancient Moral Codes".

      To wit:

      origin: 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. "

      April 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chanselor Jenkins

      So are you saying you do not want everyone to get along? Why not?

      April 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Entil'zha

      Again the Real ity bitty feels copy/paste works for all situations.

      April 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • El Cid

      The slave ships and slavery were wrong, but you forget that it was mostly your African brothers that captured your ancestors in tribal wars and sold them to the slavers. That part get conveniently forgotten. And before that the Arab's and Noth Africans made quite a bit of money raiding ships in the Mediteranean and southern ports in Europe to capture white slaves, so what goes around comes around. However, we all should stop the dang wheel and learn more from the past instead of just ignorantly repeating it! An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

      April 2, 2011 at 1:24 am |
    • God is All aaahh

      The Arabs took the land away from the Byzantine Empire and Persian Empire who fought constantly for hundreds of years before they weakened theirselves so much, that the Arabs had an easy time of pushing them both out. Where in the world did the idea that the Nubians were pushed out? When did they ever get there? I can't wait for some coherant answers.

      April 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Scott J

    There's about 2 billion Christians, over 1 and a half billion Mulsims and only 14 million Jews. I cant really understand why the first two groups are so worried about the third.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • EZNY

      I Don't think Christians are worried about the jews. Muslims yes but not Jewish people.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Reality

      Scott J,

      How to deprogram all of these "believers" in less than 100 words:

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
      There never was and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam

      Saving 2 billion lost Christians:
      There was and never will be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity

      Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      Added details upon request.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Entil'zha

      @Real ity bitty- "Added details upon request"

      No one is requesting, go away.

      April 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  6. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    WHAT'S IMPOSSIBLE PAUL???

    April 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  7. MIK

    Let's believe in what each one of us want to believe without trying to impose our truth, We will have a peaceful life.

    April 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Chanselor Jenkins

      This is the priciple the nation was built on.

      April 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Paul

      Impossible.

      April 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Scott J

      "Let's believe in what each one of us want to believe without trying to impose our truth, We will have a peaceful life."

      There's always an "Unless..." that follows a quote like that.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • EZNY

      That principle was included in the Bill of Rights and then reinterpreted a hundred times in 200 years. Up until the 1950 there was no "God" in the pledge or on our money. The Christian right made sure we added it to scare away the commies.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @EZNY- Actually, the much of the nations money carried In God We Trust on it prior to 1950's.

      The Christian Right you are referencing was spearheaded by the Knights of Columbus which is Catholic. Not exactly what most ppl think of when they hear the term "Christian Right".

      April 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • LJ

      EZNY The first time "In God We Trust" appeared on our coins was in 1864 on the new two cent coin, and by 1909 it was included on most the other coins. During the height of the cold war, on July 11, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 140 making it mandatory that all coinage and paper currency display the motto.

      April 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
  8. MIK

    A superior mix between Politics and Religion = Mass control

    April 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  9. El Kababa

    No religion is accepted by a majority of people. If one religion is the truth, then others must be to some extent false.

    That means that most of the people on earth believe in a false religion. That means that between the two of us – you and me – odds are high that one of us is wrong. Odds are pretty good that both of us are wrong.

    Religion is a pathway to that wonderful spiritual feeling – the feeling that one is connected to a greater, grander world, a feeling of completeness and wholeness that is not even suspected until we discover it. What is that feeling? A change in brain chemistry. It has nothing to do with Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, or Jupiter. Drug users often have religious experiences or feelings.

    April 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  10. Jessie

    If you believe in a god, then you have to believe that he made me an athiest, and who are you to question his wisdom?

    April 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
    • Chanselor Jenkins

      Comming from a former Athiest I can tell you, you are exactly right. Sometimes you have to be blind to the truth to really truly believe in the end.

      April 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Faithiest

      God knows your foolish choice to be an athiest. He didn't make the choice for you.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • EZNY

      Correct God didn't make the choice just like the man that wrote the bible wrote it so that men were in control and everyone was subjugated to the will of the priests. Men could have multiple wives. Children are required to obey or be killed. Everyone who doesn't think the same as us is bad. Interesting how that works?

      April 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  11. Paul

    So the hebrew nation is really from ethopia that the russian czars are emulating?

    April 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • ScottK

      I think what he's trying to say, er shout, is that ancient Israelites had darker skin and that after the dislocation of the jewish people during the Roman occupation they became almost a nomadic people throughout Europe trying to find their place in the world during a very dark period in human history where many were blamed for anything bad that would happen in the region and either had to flee or were killed and persecuted. Not that allofyoualldontknowtherealtruth!!!! would know the real truth if it slapped him in the head...

      April 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  12. ScrnName

    The headline is slightly misleading considering that "the Bible" contains so much more than just the Torah/Old Testament. The more important question is "Who edited and published the Bible, and why?"

    By the author's own example, a writer's work is always subject to the Red Pen of Editorial Bias. In the case of the Bible, that editorial control cycled over several centuries through various Popes, Bishops, councils of rich/powerful men, kings and others with vested interests in 1) maintaining existing power, 2) increasing wealth, territory and power, 3) keeping control over the illiterate masses within their sphere of influence.

    "It doesn't matter" who wrote it initially because people today don't care & can't read ancient Greek or Hebrew anyway. The Bible's re-interpretation & continued evolution (into Graphic Novels, that Jesus snuff-film from a few years back, and corruption by the likes of Westboro Baptist & idiot doomsdayers in Florida) continues the proud tradition of twisting and contorting what people purport to be the "infallible Word of God" into whatever form & meaning fits their purposes.

    April 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  13. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    PAUL I AM GLAD TAHT YOU EVEN RESPONDED TO ME I THANK YOU FIRST OFF SIR........FIRST OFF WIKI WAS CREATED JUST TEH OTHER DAY ......WHAT I AM DEALING WITH IS B4 WIKI AND EVEN EUROPE ......ON THE PYRAMIDS IN AFRICA/KEMIT IT WILL TELL YOU ALLLL THINGS ........FIRST OFF THE JEWS WHO SAY THEY ARE JEWS BUT ARE NOT JEWS ARE RUSSIAN CZARS WHOM ADAPTED THE HEBREW WAY OF ;LIFE ......THERFORE THEY ARE NOT REALL....THE OLDEST REEEEEALES JEW WOULD BE THE LEMBA TRIBE AN THE FALASHANS FROM ETHIOPIA ...........I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THESE NOWADAYS JEWS ARE FALSE KINGS OF THE EARTH WHOM CONTROL AN IS WILLING TO DECEIVE ALL.......THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN BE A TRUE JEW AN SEMITIC

    April 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bless my Scroll

      What the heck are you doing? Throwing your history books into a blender and mixing in a little hallucinogenics? Czar was a term that on was develloped in Russia after the Byzantine Empire fell in 1540 something and the Eastern orthodox church and the "Roman" government was inherited in Russia with the leaders becoming Czar another name for Ceaser.

      Are you meaning most of the current Jews in Isreal now came from Russia after the Communists kicked the czars out? Even that seems a bit far fetched, though its true that some probably immigated at that time.

      Even so its well known that the Jews were spread to the four winds around the globe as conquerors paraded back and forth over their country in BC and Roman times. Some were also said to have returned to Ehiopia with the Queen of Sheba, but not all of them. So whats the big point?

      April 2, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  14. chuck

    Spurgeon said – "Defending the Bible is like trying to defend a Lion - just turn it loose – it will defend itself."

    April 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      and probably result in the death of numerous people.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Scott J

      I do believe that lions are endangered and protected by the efforts of animal rights and natural science foundations and government intervention

      April 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • EZNY

      So Scott you are implying that the "lion" (Bible) is being protected by the faithful to keep it from being extinct. Bravo. Well said. If the Bible could "defend itself" why do the faithful need to defends it's authenticity so often or at all it should be able to be above question.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  15. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    PAUL??? READY 1???

    April 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  16. Paul

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews

    That seems to sum it up better than I can 😉

    Who are the Jews today? in 100 AD?

    Where are you going with this?

    April 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  17. God

    Don't believe that other God. I am the real one. Much like Marshal is the Real Slim Shady.

    April 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bless my Scroll

      Stop it now. We all know you just suffer from split personality complex with a bit of oppositional defiant thrown in occasionally just to keep our attention.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Bless my Scroll

      Sorry I meant multiple not split. that would be way to simple, fundamentalist even.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  18. Ready1

    The Bible:

    Either it's all true or it's all false. Here is what it says about itself.

    2Ti 3:16 Everything in the Scriptures is God's Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.
    2Ti 3:17 The Scriptures train God's servants to do all kinds of good deeds.

    April 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Either it's all true or it's all false'
      Actually that argument is false. Some things can indeed be true but that does not mean that all of it is true, same as some could be false but does not mean all of it is false.

      April 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Ready1

      My point is not that it can contain truth. My point is that if it contains any falsehood, then it's claim for itself makes it unbelievable in total. But, it is pretty capable of defending itself.

      April 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Scott J

      " useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live"

      Useful to who?

      April 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bless my Scroll

      So if you got one answer on a test wrong in school, your teacher gave you a zero. Man that's tough judgement.

      And anything can be as useful or as unuseful as a person wants it to be or can make it to be. If you don't or can't it won't.

      April 2, 2011 at 12:51 am |
  19. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    @ PAUL....I ASK YOU PAUL........WHO ARE THE JEWS TO YOU ??

    April 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  20. 23

    hahahahahahahaha KALISTI

    April 1, 2011 at 2:40 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.