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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. Robert Hagedorn

    Allegory REQUIRES critical thinking. Do a search: The First Scandal. Then click twice.

    April 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Frederica

      Robert, non-believers don't apply any literary techniques when it comes to the Bible. Six graders do better job on Shakespeare.

      April 6, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  2. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    MOSES WAS A MAN WHOM DOUBTED THE LORD AT FIRST AN SEARCHED FOR SIGNS TO REASSURE HIS FAITH......ELOHIM TOLD MOSES TO PALCE HIS HAND ON HIS BOSOM ..........

    REMOVE HIS HAND FROM HIS BOSOM......IT THEN BECAME WHITE AS SNOW/LEPROSY.....HE THEN TOLD MOSES TO PLACE HIS HAND AGAIN ON HIS BOSOM ....AND REMOVE IT AGAIN....TO ONLY SEE HIS SKIN COLOR BECOME ITS ORIGINAL PIGMENT .......WOW.........HOW CAN HE BE PALE SKIN ......AND BE ABLE TO SAY HIS SKIN CHANGED COLOR AND BECAME WHITE AS SNOW.....HE MUST BE OF DARK NATURE

    April 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • MANY ROOTS AND BRANCHES

      THERE ARE MANY BIBLES. YOUR VERSION IS NOT THE ONLY ONE.

      THE FACTS ARE NOT SIMPLE. STATING THEM, WHICH YOU HAVEN"T FULLY OR COHERENTLY DONE, DOESN'T MAKE THEM SO. BEING RACIST ABOUT THE SUBJECT ONLY DISCREDITS ANY KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND INDICATES ANCIENT TRIBAL THOUGHT, NOT A WELL DEVELOPED UNDERSTANDING OF GOD.

      I DID FIND BETA ISREAL IN WIKI AND WILL INVESTIGATE THE REST LATER – I KNOW THERES MUCH MORE AND I REMEMBER HEARING ABOUT THE ARK POSSIBLY BEING IN RHODESIA (THANKS – ALWAYS NICE TO LEARN A LITTLE MORE – A LITTLE HUMILITY GOES A LONG WAY THOUGH). IF YOU HAVE OTHER SOURCES LET US KNOW.

      April 5, 2011 at 3:03 am |
  3. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    ANOTHER THING ENLIGHTEN ONE......THE LEMBA TRIBE IN SOUTH AFRICA ....I MIGHT ADD WHERE THE NILE ROVER STARTS .....WHOM IS RECORDED TO HAVE THE BLOOD LINE OF AARON MOSES' BROTHER IN THEITR VEINS.......THERE IS ONLY ONE ISRAEL .....THE BETA ISRAEL.

    ASHKENAZI JEWS ADAPTED THEIR WAY OF LIFE.......U CANNOT BE ASKENAZI AND SEMITIC AT TEH SAME TIME MODERN ISRAELIS ARE MOSTLY CONVERTS.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  4. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    ALL NOW NOONE HAS DISPROVED WHAT WAS SAID EARLIER ABOUT THE COUNCIL OF NICEA ALTERING THE BIBLE IN 325 A.D.. ......GREECE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH TEH BIBLE.....IN FACT NEITHER DID EUROPE.......AFRICA ....ITS PENINSULA ....WHICH IN FACT WAS ONCE ALLLLLL CALLED ABBYSINIA IS WHERE PRIMARIL MOST OF THE BIBLE TOOK PLACE..........BUT IT CAN NEVER BE RECOGNIZED IN THAT WAY .....WHY GIVE POWER TO THE NUBIANS...RIGHT ??.....I STATE THE FACTS .......SIMPLE.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  5. Michael

    The Bible? Pure fiction and by the most illiterate writers of all time well except maybe for Snookie.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Scott Free

      "illiterate writers"

      Are you just dumb?

      April 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Missed Point

      Are we critiquing typos, oxymorons or content.

      If typos: man I hate that. I've seen people write the most intelligent lenthy items only to have some one "dumb", miss the whole point and get all tangled up in some mispelled word, trying to make the wrieter look dumb while being so stupid as to miss the whole intent.

      If oxymorons: "Illiterate writers" is pretty funny in the context.

      If overall intent: Michael are you just dumb?

      April 5, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  6. Mephisto1

    What theological credentials does this guy have, besides having written one book?

    April 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • TRUTH DOES NOT REQUIRE SHOUTING OR VIOLENCE

      I would ask which book, but the same could be said of many of them. Just like all orators there has to be some truth in what the man says, but I believe it was Hitler who said that the purpose of oratory was not to tell the truth but to get people to see your view and people will believe a bigger lie quicker than they will a little one.

      There are some historical facts about the evolution of Christianity or Christology that he has dead on. However, because Muslims have a way of permanenetly disposing of dissenters, its safe to guess that the same kind of manipulations were much more easily covered up in remote desert kingdoms. Anyone reading the history of Islam would learn that it is just as fraught with divisions and sects an internal wars as Christianty was. Just this weekend a Sufi Shrine was bombed. conversion takes on a whole new meaning when considering such. Still there has to be some truth to be believed, so take what you need and leave the rest behind...and don't break any of God commandments to convince others you have the truth alone, even after saying over and over man isnot capable of fully understanding.

      April 4, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • NL

      Mephisto1-
      Care to question Matthew's or Mark's theological credentials as well? They supposedly only ever wrote a single book too, right?

      April 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • In the beginning etc.

      And actually you know they weren't the ones to write the books as well right? Weren't they supposed to be written by others who used desciple names to make them look more authorative?

      April 5, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  7. Iqbal khan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrYeP49CQPQ&feature=watch_response

    April 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  8. Iqbal khan

    Improve Ur knowledge...

    .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrYeP49CQPQ&feature=watch_response

    April 4, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  9. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    MOST HISTORIANS WOULD DEBATE THAT THE BIBLE IS ABOUT 7000 OR SO YEARS OF HISTORY .......WE ARE NOW IN 2011..........THERE ARE PYRAMIDS PEOPLE .......IN AFRICA WHICH PRE-DATES THE BIBLE .......KING JAMES.......ENGLAND ......THE LAND CALLED ISRAEL .....SHOOT THE SO CALLED =CZARS THAT CALL THEMSELVES JEWS BUT ARE NOT!! I MEAN THERE IS A HISTORY THAT PREDATES EVERYTHING GREEK BY THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS ...........DONT BELIEVE ME ??? CHECK YOUR HISTORY BOOKS .....IF YOU CANT FIND ASK ME AND I WILL SHOW YOU .

    IM SO SICK AN TIRED OF THE TRUTH BEING DISTORTED BY WEAK MINDED GOYAM.

    April 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      1) Turn off your caps lock. It's annoying, and no one will read your rant when you type like this.
      2) There's three sides to every story: yours, mine and the truth. I would offer that you don't know the real truth either, whatever that's supposed to mean.

      April 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • ENLIGHTEN US PLEASE OR STOP RANTING SENSELESNESS

      ARE YOU USING CAPS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T READ LOWER CASE ENGLISH?

      YES PLEASE READ HISTORY BOOKS, BUT MORE THAN JUST THE ONES PRODUCED BY YOUR FAITH AND CULTURE. IT'S GOOD TO BE PROUD OF YOUR PEOPLES ACCOMPLISHMENTS, BUT NOT TO THE POINT OF SHUTTING ALL OTHERS OUT.

      PLEASE EXPLAIN GOYAM.

      I SEE THAT IT WAS A CITY IN CENTRAL ASIA, POSSIBLY WHERE THE JEW WERE DRAGGED OFF TO BY THE ASSYRIAN/BABYLONIAN/PERSIAN EMPIRES AND WE KNOW SOME WERE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO JERUSALEM AFTER CYRUS THE GREAT RULED PERSIA BUT THEY WERE NOT CZARS. THAT TERM REFERS TO CAESERS RULERS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND IT WAS PASSED ON TO RUSSIA MUCH MUCH LATER. HOW DID THE NUBIANS EVERY GET THERE FIRST BEFORE THEM TO BE PUSHED OUT?

      SO WHAT RELIGION EXACTLY ARE YOU, WHAT ARE YOUR HOLY TEXTS AND WHY LIVING IN AFRICA DO YOU HATE THE JEWS SO MUCH? DIIDN'T THE QUEEN OF SHEBA RETUREN TO ETHIOPIA WITH THE ARK, SUPPOSEDLY, BUT NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO SEE IT?

      IF YOU'RE SO SICK AN TIRED OF DISTORTION PLEASE OFFER UP YOUR VERSION OF THE TRUTH AND TELL MORE ABOUT IT THAT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE?

      AND IF YOU WANT TO READ HISTORY PLEASE PAY A LITTLE MORE ATTENTION TO THE DATES OR AT LEAST INCLUDE DATES IN YOUR HISTORICAL DESCRIPTIONS.

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

    BRAD SO I TAKE IT THAT YOUR SAYING SLAVERY IS OK THEN ???? IF YOU READ HISTORY .....SLAVERY IN AFRICA IS DEFINITELY NOT LIKE HOW THE PALE FACE MAN HAS PRESSED SLAVERY ON TEH MANY MASSES UP TIL THIS DAY ...............READ HISTORY PLEASE

    April 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • brad

      As a Catholic, I believe that slavery is evil. Many religious believers have done a lot to raise man's awareness of this evil. I am simply tired of everyone blaming every evil on the bible, when some of the science's great "luminaries" seem to present slavery as a part of nature.
      My appologies to you. By no means do I condone slavery.

      April 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • NL

      brad-
      The argument is that some religious people eventually rejected slavery in spite of the biblical support for it that other religious people held. Check your history, the anti-abolitionist movement claimed the greater biblical support for their side.

      April 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • brad

      @NL

      I've known for a good while that the bible has been used to support slavery. I am also aware that devout people have rejected slavery. I think you know this, too. An example from Texas history: before the war for Texas independance, Mexico, a Catholic country, attracted Americans by offering free land – on the condition that they become Catholic and divest themselves of their slaves.
      In the hands of the wrong people, anything can be misused be it science or religion. If someone wanted to make a case in favor of slavery, they could use Darwin.

      April 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • NL

      brad-
      I'm still looking into the ant question and there seems to be a species that may enslave it's own kind, but I can't seem to find definitive authority on this. It would still raise the question of why every human society did not engage in slavery instinctually.

      As to the Bible perhaps the movie The Book of Eli made the most poignant case for it being a terrible weapon, and a source for salvation. You're right, science can invent things such as atomic weapons, or atomic energy, but the point is that these things are handled and controlled by experts whereas the terrible power of the Bible is freely handled by everyone, including children.

      Some very devout people rejected slavery, which is true, but some equally devout people are currently rejecting the anti-gay stance of Christianity in a movement eerily similar to the abolitionist movement. The point is that the Bible is so plastic that it's message can be molded to fit just about any situation, or current evolution of social mores, or to reject them. Thus it's overall usefulness leaves much to be desired.

      April 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Lucy

      What the two of you don't realize is that modern day slavery is still happening to millions around the world. It hasn't stopped. Yes, the way it is done has but the the trafficking of people. Regardless if you are Christian or not it needs to stop. Trafficking has a broad global impact. It weakens legitimate economies, fuels violence, threatens public health and safety, shatters families, and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for progress. And it is an affront to our basic values and our fundamental belief that all people everywhere deserve to live and work in safety and dignity.

      April 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Lucy

      Oh, and yes it's happening right here in America. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that 50,000 people are trafficked into or transited through the U.S.A. annually as s3-x slaves, domestics, garment, and agricultural slaves.

      April 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • NL

      Lucy-
      So you would consider hiring an illegal and paying them a fraction of what a citizen domestic laborer would make as un-Christian?

      April 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Craz

      Right on, Lucy!

      April 5, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  11. brad

    I always see a lot of comments blaming the bible for permitting slavery and even encouraging it. Actually, slave-making occurs in nature. Read Chapter VIII of Origin of Species in regard to slavery among certain aunts. Religious people, especially the Quakers, did much to eliminate slavery, while a veriety of insect survives on slavery.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • NL

      If you're referring to how some ants keep aphids isn't that like how we keep cattle? Which ants or other animals enslave members of their own species?

      April 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • brad

      @NL –
      In "Origins" , Darwin does mention aphids. But in the reference I quoted, he has VERY much to say about ants enslaving other ants.
      (Gee. The article was about the authorship of the bible, and I'm going on about ants.)

      April 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • NL

      I asked of their own species? Ants keeping other ants of a different species is like our having chimps as pets, right?

      April 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Craz

      brad – What "version" of the U.S. Civil War do you subscribe to? The one that glosses over slavery or the one that shows it?

      April 5, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  12. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    ISLAM IS FALSE!!!!!!!!!

    ISLAM WAS CREATED BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH/& JESUIT PRIESTS

    April 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • NL

      The Jesuits were started in 1534 by Ignatius. That's almost a thousand years too late, isn't it?

      April 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  13. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GIVE PROPS TO TEH ETHIOPIANS .........WHOM CAN TRACE BACK THEIR WAYS OF LIFE BEYOND 7000 YEARS, OF WHICH THE PALE FACE MAN CANNOT DO .....IN KEMIT WE HAVE PYRAMIDS THAT SHOW YOU HOW NUBIANS WERE GREAT!....WHICH MEANT WE DID NOT NEED TO BE COLONIZED OR SHOWN HOW TO PRAY TO GOD ......WE HAD OUR OWN BELIEF SYSTEM .....LANGUAGE .....MEDICINES WAY B4 YOU ALL GAVE US AIDS.....CANCERS .......KILLING US OFF WITH YOUR PROCESS FOODS........LOL THINK ABOUT IT .......NO AS A MATTER OF FACT JUST READ HISTORY ./...........READ !!!!

    April 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • brad

      Sir, it seems clear that you are a black person. A life-changing book for me was "City of God" by St. Augustine of Hippo. Also, his "Confessions". Hippo is in northern Africa and so this great man is considered to have been a black person.

      April 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Mike

      Um, how does this article have anything to do with Ethiopia? Not to call you on it, but seriously: it's really not on topic.

      And . . . well, to quote the world-written encyclopedia – Wikipedia – "[citation needed]"

      April 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    It always matters who writes something. There's a world of distance between non-fiction and fiction, and all are written, by someone.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  15. brad

    Consider this admission: " I may here premise, that I have nothing to do with the origin of the mental powers, any more than I have with that of life itself." This is from Chapter VIII of the book "On the Origin of Species".

    April 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  16. Sina

    @hotandbothered,
    I agree with you on a lot. And for the verse that says "suffer not a witch to live" was changed from "suffer not a sorcerer to live" which is meant as a murderer. So man change"the word of god" to be their own word.
    ----------
    I believe in a higher being, but I definitely think the bible is b s for so many reasons. And to who ever said man wouldn't write the things in the ten commandments, I think you're wrong because there are plenty of good people out there that don't believe in god that believe you should be kind to others. It has nothing to with what someone tries to pound into your head. It has to do with how you were raised, what you've been through in life, and your own beliefs.
    Pagan traditions were around before christianity was and the churchs put some pagan traditions in their calendar just so people would conform. The bible was written by man for man. If people weren't afraid to go to hell because they did something "sinful" then more people would commit crimes everyday. And your rewarded for good behavior after you die? Yeah, sorry, but I call control lol.

    April 4, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  17. Stacy

    I believe that if you are questioning your faith because of the possibility of who wrote the Bible and who wrote each book is saying you have no faith at all! I don't think it matters who wrote the Book becaue the Word is God and it will forever be His even after the end of the world! I believe people are trying to uncover things that are not menat to be uncovered, thus, questioning the very existence of God.

    April 4, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Well...no...if you're proclaiming it to be the inerrant word of your god, then it really does matter who wrote it. What if you found out I wrote it? That would make a difference, right?

      April 4, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Mike V

      Let's hope you're right, Stacy. Stubbornly clinging to beliefs despite all evidence is one of the greatest sources of conflict ever to plague humanity. Case it point: Read your own thought process.

      April 4, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • NL

      Stacy-
      "I believe people are trying to uncover things that are not menat to be uncovered, thus, questioning the very existence of God."
      What kinds of things have been kept hidden? The truth, perhaps?

      April 4, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Eric

      What if I came to light that the bible started off just like the quran and was written by a narcissistic delusional warlord psychopath in a cave? Or the book of mormon being written by a guy who said he found golden tabled that he "translated" from some ancient language and whose story conveniently make those source tablet unavailable. I don't know about you, but I see right through those books as being total bunk but apparently many people don't. Their "faith" is just as unfounded as people's "faith" in the bible. Neither are based in actual reality. At least we know who to blame for the above books.

      April 4, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Wonder Why?

      It's hard to argue with any of you.

      April 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
  18. joe bob livingston

    this is totally biased

    April 4, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  19. derp

    Who wrote green eggs and ham? That is the real important question. Both books are fiction. So what's the difference between green eggs and ham, and the bible. Oh, wait we actually know who wrote green eggs and ham.

    April 4, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • VoipOfReason

      Both books are stories for children. Anyone believing either litterally should be locked up, for the safety of others.

      April 4, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  20. Eric

    Why did Solomon's temple require 153,000 workers to build a building that wasn't even 5,000 sq ft? If the home makeover guys can build a house in 7 days, 153,000 workers could build a temple in less than 7 years. And why was 75,000,000 pounds of silver needed? If you have a solid block of sliver it would be take up at least a 1/3 of the volume of the building.

    April 4, 2011 at 9:31 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.