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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. Iqbal Khan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyLvYNUxoRA&feature=related

    April 9, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  2. Daryn

    The author of the bible doesn't matter because it's a work of fiction from multiple authors over a long period of time. Go back 1000 years and show your bible around, you'll see it doesn't look anything like the bible of that time and region. Other things that don't matter because they are imaginary: Harry Potter, God, Thor, Zeus, Hungry Jack, Mr. Clean, Noah, Clean Coal, Heaven, Safe Nuclear Power, Satan, etc.

    April 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Eddy

    All you bible thumpers crack me up. Regardless not one of you can verify the validity of the source of the bible so stop argueing what you think you know. Whether you believe in the bible or not you can still have faith. God is all forgiving so all you really need to do is apologize for your sins and heaven you's a go...However I dont' think there is a real heaven or hell, merely what you create for yourself once you die. You condemn yourself when you die if you feel that you are unforgiven well then thats what ya are. So be forth and be blessed because I love everybody ignorant or not of the true faith!

    April 9, 2011 at 4:28 am |
  4. Christian Adeline

    @Be-Kind-Why-Not and NL, Truth has plenty counterfeits, and falsehood must be addressed both within and outside. Love cannot be everything. Holiness, wisdom and justice are important as well. God's love is holy.

    April 9, 2011 at 4:03 am |
    • NL

      Christian Adeline-
      Wisdom and justice I can understand completely, but why do people need holiness?

      April 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Gods Justice; Judge Not; Who Shall Cast the First Stone?

      Romans 12:19
      Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, VENGEANCE [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

      April 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  5. Eric of Reseda

    HERE IS THE TRUTH: Nobody knows NUTHIN'! It's all conjecture. The Bible is a good read, PERIOD. Christ on a stick! Reading these posts is genuinely disturbing. Far too many religious nuts walkin' around....

    April 9, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Phil

      Agree. But religion is a mental illness anyway

      April 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Stuck in the Middle with You

      No but unbridled extremist conceit is no matter where it comes from.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  6. Cythara

    The Torah was written only after 536 BC – basically, by politically motivated Judean ward hacks of the King of Persia. There is a lot of evidence to show this. The calendar of Pharaohs of Egypt, placed against the biblical calendar for Exodus show it is impossible that Hebrews were conquering Canaan at the same time Egyptians were fighting and eventually settling the Sea Peoples (i.e. the Philistines) in exactly the same place where the supposed Hebrews were conquering all before them. There is a sea of evidence of a completely different history to the Exodus in real archaeology of the area. There is none to support the Torah's account.

    Beyond that, the books of Kings and Chronicles are inconsistent to both this well established Egyptian history and internally to each other. The writers of these books COULD NOT have been contemporaries to the events they describe, since they consistently get them wrong when cross-referencing dates of ascensions and deaths of kings of one kingdom against the concurrent reign of kings in the other. They even get the names of characters wrong. Beyond that, the dates of the 4 books tally up to take Solomon's death far back before Pharaoh Shoshenq (bible Shishack) is born. This is more than 'problematic' when that Pharaoh is specifically mentioned in relation to Solomon and Rehoboam. Again, this is inconsistent with what would have been written by priests merely recording dates 'at the time'.

    Now, the ancient Egyptians had no agenda of seeking to fool people of later millennia. The Stella of Merenptah was erected to commemorate the recent Egyptian victory over the Philistines (and their small ally, Israel) and this stone was made in the years of Merenptah's reign at exactly the time Joshua was supposedly conquering Canaan. Nor could Moses, Yahweh or Joshua have been particularly brilliant in leading the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery...back into Egyptian slavery in Canaan! The Egyptians ruled Canaan consistently from at least 1500 BC down until roughly 950 BC, the supposed reign of Solomon!

    More over, in the 12th century, the Egyptians renamed Canaan, ever after, as Palestine, 'the land of the Paleset', their word for PHILISTINE. THE LAND WAS NEVER CALLED ISRAEL by anyone outside of the bible. This is attested to as late as the 5th century BC by no less than Herodotus (Greek Historian and 'Father of History' ). The Mesha stone (9th century BC), also contemporary and validating the existence, but locking the reign of King Omri to around 850 BC, but the Kings and Chronicles accounts have him reigning from 936 to 924 BC!

    There is much more evidence which is contrary to the bible accounts. It is clear to a rational person that the records of these ancient people was very sketchy at the time of its being written down in the torah. We know more of the ancient history of Palestine now, than they did when they first wrote the Torah after 536 BC.

    The purpose of the Torah, was not to record a miraculous event between 'god and man', but to establish a satrapy of Judean elite rule over Judea and Samaria in the name of the King of Persia. The first elements of what was to eventually become Judaism were written as tools of political justification and intimidation. The continual 'misses' with actual historical events clearly show this. But to the Fantasist, no amount of reality can deter them from bending reality to fit their dangerous fantasy.

    This means that biblical 'scholars' are always employing 'what if' tricks and trying to warp all natural historical scales to fit the bible, exactly as one caught in a lie tries to 'explain' yet another inconsistency. The bible is a book of lies. Judaism is based on lies and Christianity, based on Judaism, is a lie as well, by one of its own tenets...concerning the building of houses on sand.

    April 9, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • Truth or Consequences

      And yet the Persians were not known for dictatorial religious tendencies like we might suspect would happen today. Persian Kings were known as King of Kings (sound familiar), pretty much because they ruled a confederation of kingships. So long as taxes and soldiers were provided, they saw the value of letting the locals keep their own beliefs.

      Instead of the modern conspiracy theory we like to push so much in OUR times, it seems much more likely that the Hebrews taken into captivity for more than two hundred years (Nothern Kingdoms by As-syria in 8th century and rest in the 6th BC) did as all normal humans do and learned from Persian/Babylonian/Sumerian traditions while they lived amongst them, adopting some of their stories and modifying their own as a result.

      The same happened regarding the influence of the Egyptian conquerors ruling Palestine for so long previously.

      What is much more fascinating is how Constantine, after more than three centuries of almost constant Roman war with the Persians over the Middle East, could adopt the bible with all its Persian and Egyptian influences. Perhaps he thought the Greek, Roman and mystery religion influences written into the later books of the Old Testament and the New Testament sewed together all the loose ends, at least as far as binding the peasants back then together?

      Anyone seriously looking at the Bible and the history involved as written in it and known now, can only learn properly from it; as a partial guidebook to understanding the evolution of these roots into branches of their resulting religious thought as it exists today.

      There is a difference between a lie and something not true. A lie is an intentional effort to deceive. The Bible may have a lot of misunderstandings and may have been used a lot later to deceive, but that does not necessarily mean the writters were lying. Like all humans they told the truth the best they knew, and there is truth in it. Its not all lies or it wouldn't have lasted. Anyone that thinks otherwise seems to have no respect at all for the majority of their fellow human beings, and that seems worse than what concerns them.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  7. Be Kind! Why Not?

    And also to all Christian believers who feel the need to bash other Christian believers. I cannot understand how you need to spend your time being being malicious to other Christians! Teach LOVE, practice it! Don't give Jesus a bad name. There are other places out there for you to do that.

    April 9, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • NL

      A chief preoccupation of Christians since the beginning has been to first identify who the heretics are, and then eliminate them. They do this a bit in the US now, but imagine how the long knives would come out if they didn't have Muslims and atheists around to call enemy?

      April 9, 2011 at 12:24 am |
    • Muneef

      NL.

      You are right it is like a Triangle that each feared one
      Say;
      -Islamists of all branches...
      -People of the Book of all branches...
      -Atheists,Aganostics,Pagans...
      May be if any had nothing to fear they would have pulled knives against each other it will start as faith,then branches,then races,tribes,including parties&politics...

      April 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • NL

      Muneef-
      Oh, I wouldn't limit this to just Christians. I think every ideology has in-fighting over degrees and details. Within a group of atheists there will be arguments over how certain one can actually be that God cannot exist, and even within Islam there seems to be the radical sector who are not shy about bringing out the long knives. If this were not so then we would certainly hear more from the moderates in denouncing terror, yes? No, no large group is hom.ogeneous, or without factions.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  8. Upon this rock

    And thank you CNN for opening this Blog and allowing open comments. In the previous post please forgive me for the mi-spellings. I was so excited about this topic I did not check for errors, In moust kases I spel extremmelly well.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  9. Upon this rock

    To the ones who portray Satan as evil looking beaware of the fact that he has extrem power and to change his appearence.
    Once the highest Archangel in heaven he was a glorius figure. He has the ability to become a diferent form. You don't think for a moment that in The Garden with Eve that he was in his serpent mode? Eve was a God inspired angelic woman whose
    attire was not clothes but the Shekina Glory of God was her covering. Satan turned himself into an image of an Angel and thereby able to deceive Eve with THE LIE which was then and is now "God did not really say that". he isn't out to make us smoke and chew and hang with folks that do, he has set this lie in place through Adam AND Eve and for six thousand years
    it has penetrated the hearts and minds of humans. This is why the Apostle Paul declares that you may believe by the "renewing of your mind! That's why you can choose or not choose to believe this lie, you can choose or not choose to believe the teachings of Jesus. He is the Good Sheperd and Shepherds do not drive sheep they lead them, no one is forcing you into believing.

    April 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • NL

      If Satan can change into the image of an angel then he could have been any of the angels reported seen by biblical figures, right? He could have been the angel who told Mary that she was to be the mother of the savior. He could have been the angel who moved the tomb stone and spirited Jesus' body away. He fooled a woman before, so why not these women? Who knows what mischief he could have accomplished with this ability?

      April 9, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • myklds

      @NL...there's zero possibility for those chances to occur. Yes Satan can be in any form, except of other's heavenly form. Just like Upon this rock playing like Satan, as an Atheist con (as) Christian.

      April 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      "there's zero possibility for those chances to occur."
      See, that's the essential difference between rational and irrational thinking. A rational view of the situation would concede the possibility that Satan could have behind a plot to delude Jesus and his mother into thinking that he was divine. What you want to say here is that you have faith that something like this never happened, which still isn't really rational, but is at least honest.

      "as an Atheist con (as) Christian."

      And some Christians can be playing at being atheists in this blog too, right? The poor spelling and grammar of some of the really flaming anti-Christian posts here smell more of an inside job than what I usually see coming out of a confirmed atheist. You usually have to do a lot of research into the reasons why gods aren't actually real in order to be a confident atheist, and that usually rubs off in a person's writing.

      April 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • myklds

      "and that usually rubs off in a person's writing."

      Maybe but definitely not in spelling and grammar as what most (if not all) Atheists are bragging in every blog but the idea and context of what is written.

      let me cite an example by quoting the con-Atheist, I mean..artist, he said and I quote "Satan turned himself into an image of an Angel and thereby able to deceive Eve with THE LIE which was then and is now "God did not really say that".

      He was making an assumption which directly contradicts what is written. No Christian would make such, as foolish as that.

      Somethings really fishy...it's "Maybe" you "upon this rock".

      April 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • myklds

      I made such claim based on reason, but the million dollar question is, would it be acceptable with Atheist like you? But, I would cite here still.

      As I've said that Satan could be in any form, except with the other heavenly beings form.

      Thus, Satan could NOT take Archangel Gabriel's form and deceive Mary, simple as that.

      April 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      "Thus, Satan could NOT take Archangel Gabriel's form and deceive Mary, simple as that."
      In a culture that forbade all graven images how was Mary to know what Gabriel looked like?

      Besides, wouldn't she have been incredibly old by the time the writer of Luke ...ah 'interviewed' her? Luke is referring to an eyewitness account with the Annunciation story, right? Tell me, do you think that a 100 to 120 plus year old would be able to tell one glowing figure from another?

      "I made such claim based on reason, but the million dollar question is, would it be acceptable with Atheist like you?"
      Well, considering what passes as reasonable within Bible-world is there any pas.sage that describes how Satan can't impersonate other angels, or is this just your humble opinion? Personally I, of course, don't really believe any of this stuff, but like a fan of Star Trek knowing that transporters were never used to bring the dead back to life in that universe, atheists who know what's in the Bible know what's possible within that fantasy too.

      Supposedly, the fantastically old Mary was able to tell Luke that she saw Gabriel, right? If she just remembered seeing a shiny guy who claimed to be Gabriel that doesn't cut it as Satan is supposed to be a good lier. If we tested her, or you for that matter, with a set of archangel mug shots do you think that Gabriel could be picked out? All I'm saying is that the possibility exists.

      April 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • myklds

      Honestly, I can't give you a passage. I'm not saying that there was none but if I knew one I should have said on my previous reply that "I made such claim based on the bible." rather than "reason".

      If we go back to square 1, the discussion originated from the baseless assumption of a con-artist citing that Satan was in a form of an angel rather than a serpent when he beguiled Eve.

      Now, If Satan could take anybody's form or image, then, why he didn't simply took God's image to deceive both Adam and Eve? Or, took Adam's form to deceive Eve and vice versa?

      I'm pretty amazed how (it seems) well-verse you are with the bible and stroke that question to counter my claim, but took a happy ride with the con-artist's assumption which was completely baseless and a contradiction to what is written in Genesis.

      I was trying to apply logic in balance with the text, likewise making attempts to make Science and Religion meet coz I believe that only by it, we may achieve absolute truth.

      April 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      You can't give me a passage because there's nothing in the Bible to preclude Satan being any of the 'angels' mentioned. The only thing that omits this possibility is a person's faith (or hope) that it did not happen. You say that Satan could not have impersonated Gabriel at the Annunciation, but Gabriel (Jibrīl) is also the very same archangel that Muslims believe gave the Qur'an to Muhammad. Do you want to bet that there aren't Christians out there who believe that this wasn't Gabriel, but the Devil in disguise?

      April 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      I as.sume that Satan could not have taken God's form in the temptation because the original rule came from God, and it would have appeared susp.icious to Eve for God to flip-flop on one of his own rules. Besides, if Satan could take God's form, then Moses himself could have been deceived and all of scripture could be a lie. Likewise Adam could not have been the form taken because that would have taken the blame off of him for having listened to the woman. Eve had to be deceived by the (phallically symbolic) snake because the lesson of this part of the myth is that women are not to be trusted due to their pas.sions and general gullibility. It's basically the same lesson being taught with the Pandora myth which gives justification for the menfolk alone to be entrusted with all household decision making.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      NL.

      The Quran in all verses I have quoted earlier up there...no mention at all of any serpent but rather stating Satan did that and did this...but no serpent or any image other than his normal image....

      April 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • NL

      Muneef-
      Iblis reminds me of Satan in Paradise Lost, only with Adam switched for Christ. Tell me though, what is his 'normal' image? Is he good-looking and beguiling, or an ugly reflection of evil?

      April 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • myklds

      NL..Did you bother to ask yourself first if there's any passage in the bible that would support with "upon this rock's" version of Genesis, before illogically thinking those IFs and possibilities? I'm not into game of chances but I bet you didn't, however, you saw a lot of loopholes from (that verion) it and maximized them to bash the aparitions of holy beings by citing those IFs and possibilities.

      As for my first reply to you on (upon this rock's) this nonscenical post, it might be irrational as to speak, but I would firmly stand by it still, that, there's no chance of those (possibilities you mentioned) to occur. They're based on something which has no basis, neither on text nor in logic. And with that I could say that they're absolute fallacy, thus, they (would) never happen.

      And,

      April 11, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • myklds

      "Most Christians seem to have a view of Satan based mostly not on the
      I as.sume that Satan could not have taken God's form in the temptation because the original rule came from God, and it would have appeared susp.icious to Eve for God to flip-flop on one of his own rules. Besides, if Satan could take God's form, then Moses himself could have been deceived and all of scripture could be a lie. Likewise Adam could not have been the form taken because that would have taken the blame off of him for having listened to the woman. Eve had to be deceived by the (phallically symbolic) snake because the lesson of this part of the myth is that women are not to be trusted due to their pas.sions and general gullibility. It's basically the same lesson being taught with the Pandora myth which gives justification for the menfolk alone to be entrusted with all household decision making."

      Therefore, Satan can NOT be in all form and that would be more than enough to invalidate all you previous claims. Unless otherwise, you would force your "Milton and Dante or Paradise Lost and the Divine Comedy into the bible". Coz, should it be the case, I rather talk to my hand.

      April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • That Bitter John Guy Again?

      The Bible says serpent, not Satan, in Genesis. Satan isn't mentioned until Job and the only other Old Testament book mentioning Satan is in Zechariah. Both books were written most likely after the Jewish exile in Babylon and return to Isreal by the Persians, when dualistic religious diety thought was introduced in the form of Satan and God.

      Why if God wrote the bible would he wait until the last book of Revelations to tie the serpent and Satan together and try to make them one? Why deny this knowledge from everyone between Adam and 60 AD?

      Revelation 20:2
      And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and SATAN, and bound him a thousand years,

      April 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • I_get _it

      John,

      You are not allowed to question. You must believe any old thing that they say. It's a 'mystery', ya' know.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • That Bitter John Guy Again?

      It is a mystery.

      That's why we have to work so hard to figure it all out and use all the tools at our disposal to do so.

      It's also why none of us has the total knowledge of God,
      to say its exactly like this and you can't ask questions.

      The Bible does say the truth shall set you free. It just doesn't say that all of it is in the Bible, or that all of what is in the Bible is.

      April 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  10. Be Kind! Why Not?

    I'd like to post one part of the terms of service:
    You agree not to upload, post or otherwise transmit any User Content that is offensive to the online community, including blatant expressions of bigotry, racism, abusiveness, vulgarity or profanity.

    I am offended by the abusive remarks of Tracy and RealityChecker.

    I offer a message posted by "Reward for a Lifetime of Psychological Persecution" that I wish we could all be a little more respectful of, in deference to humanity, kindness, LOVE, and Christianness.

    "Father forgive them for the know not what they do...and say...and they speak as if they were you, knowing all of your mind and heart. Please grant me more humility, so that I may continue seeking your love and knowledge, not persecuting my brothers and sisters for knowing things differently, for they are surely growing too in your everlasting guidance. Grant me the patience not to give credit to Satan for the things I am not worthy of understanding yet, for I know all things come from you. May we all be one day properly thankful for your everlasting grace. Amun, Amen, Ameen."

    For all, I ask for kindness.

    For non-believers, why post mean messages? WHY? Why are you here? Why does it bother you so much that some people believe? I can't understand how it affects you so much, that you spend your time reading about the authenticity of the bible author and then interject on a conversation about the validity of the bible to say :You're stupid!" Surely there is something you care about that can use your time more lovingly than bashing anonymous people!

    April 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • NL

      "Surely there is something you care about that can use your time more lovingly than bashing anonymous people!"
      Un-believers, Muslims, gays, Democrats, Liberals, ... basically any group that is presumed to be Hell bound are all anonymous people too, but I don't see some Christians holding back either.

      April 9, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Goldurnit

      Would you be kind to a crazy person who thinks their god is telling them to kill people?
      You wouldn't even want to get too close, would you?
      I sure don't.
      That's why I'm here and not chasing you guys down with a lasso and straightjacket in hand.
      You people are insane. You will kill if your god commands it.

      Yet there is no god there. No one has ever proven a god to exist.
      Your "faith" makes you see random happenstance as proof of supernatural "conscious" intent, yet when asked to provide proof, not even prayers will work for you.

      What's up with that?
      Your "holy" texts are very obviously written by robber-barons and fraudulent posers.
      No god of yours can actually do anything, like exist.

      So you are insane, waiting for a voice inside your head to tell you when it's okay to kill.
      Admit it. Most religious people would love to have that happen to them.
      Authority by God! Given unto thee! What glorious massacre can we do for God today?
      Too far-fetched for you? Not for me.

      You people make me sick, but I won't get near you without worrying about your motives, for they are not based in reason, but in easily-twisted words that show no "supernatural" origin in any of it.

      So stay away from me and keep your religious insanity out of my country's laws.
      I have rights. You don't get to take them away unless you do it illegally.
      And that's what you guys keep doing.
      Stay out of my government. Stay out of my private life.
      Your religion is just an excuse to do nasty things to other people, like taking away their rights and intruding into every bit of their lives in the name of whatever it takes.
      Whatever it takes, right?
      Are you really that clueless or are you just trolling? Well, have fun reading.
      Yeah. I've got you people pegged pretty good. That's why I'm talking here and not up on your church podium on Sundays.
      I don't trust you a damn bit. And I am justified in this distrust.

      April 9, 2011 at 1:01 am |
    • myklds

      goldurnit..Base on your drivel and tirade, it would be safe to presume that you've never had read the Ten Commandments even once of your entire miserable, wretched, dismal,pathetic and useless life.

      I would suggest that you should read it even once that you maybe enlightened, so that next time you post something in this thread you can type things better without that straight jacket wrapped around you.

      April 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  11. Artist

    Interesting how some people quote scripture as if it is relevent outside of their mythical believing. As if it has magical power/holy spirit reveals something. No different than trying to cast a spell. LOL

    April 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  12. myklds

    It doesn't really matter who wrote the bible as long as it foretells the coming of the (666) marked beast and his (Atheists) minions. That we could prepare and might spare ourselves and our love ones from the on-slaught.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      You now that Revelation almost didn't make it into the Bible because it was favored by a group of heretics, and many of the Church Fathers considered it too Jewish?

      April 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Maybe

      Perhaps it is time for a new Bible Council - they could add some H.P. Lovecraft science-fiction, horror, fantasy to it.

      If Prince Charles ever becomes King of England, he just might authorize a new edition.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Emperor Nero

      666 here. If I had known that atheistic hippie was doin' drugs and writing that tripe in Revelations about me, I would have done a better job of crushing all their minions. Who'd they think they were... not believing in the Gods like everyone else? Why'd they have to upset the order our children knew for centuries?

      I can't believe why that pansie left wing liberal Constantine was so weak minded he undid all the work of the gods just so he could rule. Why couldn't he just kill all his opponents, like me and my earlier fellow Ceasers and take power; like a real Emperor's would?

      Must have been all those long haired hippie barbarians from up north, that he allowed in his armies and frontiers as citizens. They obviously infiltrated into his circle of advisors with all their new age world is ending phoney baloney. Tree huggers. Slave lovers.

      I and all my fellow Ceasers, we were the Sons of God, not that mid-east Sol invictus Sun of God he worshipped for years and years until just before he died. And he thinks no one knows, that behind the scenes after gaining power he killed just as many to stay in power. He knew he couldn't be a good Chrsitain doing so. How fortunate he died in bed instead of battle, so he could be baptized at the last minute and make all his murders of family members etc. right with God. What an upstanding example for all of our kids.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • NL

      Maybe-
      Most Christians seem to have a view of Satan based mostly not on the Bible, but on Milton and Dante. Perhaps they should include Paradise Lost and the Divine Comedy into the Bible since they seem to believe that they were divinely inspired.

      Prince Charles is more into Eastern religions, Islam, and New Age stuff than the Church of England, they say. His dad is actually thought of as a god by some folks in the Pacific. Might make for an interesting version of the Bible, all right.

      April 9, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Maybe

      NL,

      Yes. That was the idea behind my Prince Charles reference. You always say it so much better.

      I don't think most believers really know how the writings were chosen to be in the 'final' version of the Bible. They seem to think that certain old manuscripts glowed with a heavenly halo and were thus selected without question by these councils and committees.

      April 9, 2011 at 1:35 am |
    • NL

      Maybe-
      Thank you for the compliment. 🙂

      I grew up Catholic, so I was taught the grand history of how Mother Church selected what was to be included into the canon of the Bible. Of course, I wasn't taught how it was necessary to begin writing all those books because Jesus failed to come back as expected, that the movement was spreading, and that these communities needed instruction.

      All this church history our fundamentalist friends dismiss as 'tradition', the ego-driven corruption of the 'true faith of Jesus', with no clue that the Bible they cite as being superior to this is, in fact, just another product of it. From talking to them many seem to have some hazy idea that Jesus ascended into Heaven and his followers went home that same day and read from Revelation, in English. Really, there is no excuse for living in such ignorance.

      I don't think most believers really know how the writings were chosen to be in the 'final' version of the Bible. They seem to think that certain old manuscripts glowed with a heavenly halo and were thus selected without question by these councils and committees.

      April 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • myklds

      @NL...Rev. 20:4..It doesn't matter if it made it last, what matters most it made it and it's there to warn the believers.
      @maybe...maybe NOT! Prince Charles can never be like his father, better to spare the love craft he needs it to be fantastic, unlike the horrific one that he had.
      @emperor nero..needless to mention the first statement of your post. It's pretty obvious that you're not, but one of his minions.

      April 9, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • myklds

      But wait...ey! NL did you quote maybe? Or maybe you were quoting yourself! OR! Maybe NL is Maybe, or Maybe, Maybe is NL! AHHH!!! Satan could really be in many form and deceive people.

      Atheists in desperation become Gremlins.

      April 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Maybe

      mykids,

      "@maybe...maybe NOT! Prince Charles can never be like his father, better to spare the love craft he needs it to be fantastic, unlike the horrific one that he had."

      What on Earth are you saying here? Do I need a Jabberwocky translator?

      April 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Maybe

      myklds

      "But wait...ey! NL did you quote maybe? Or maybe you were quoting yourself! OR! Maybe NL is Maybe, or Maybe, Maybe is NL! AHHH!!!"

      NL just pasted my quote for reference as he typed, then forgot to delete it.

      I WISH I could sound as good as he does. 🙂

      April 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • myklds

      Ohhh..really??!!Usually quotes were made in the beginning of a comment or reply. Either to counter or confirm a previous statement. AND!!!using qu-ota-tion marks is'nt a crime, however, failure to do so would consti-tu-te pliagrism, OR..expose duplication.

      April 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • NL

      myklds-
      No, maybe is correct, I usually past whatever post I'm responding to in the interest of not taking people out of context, and sometimes I forget to delete this material. Sorry if I confused you with that.

      April 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Constantine the Great

      My kids: Even we knew in my time, at the council of Nicea, that ol' Nero boy was 666 based on numerogy. Also that St. John, who wasn't the desciple, wrote Revelations to put down the Roman Empire's persecution of Christianity.

      Nero's post was a joke, if you couldn't figure that out. He's like that; fiddling while Rome burned; blaming it on the Christains as he dined by the candle light of their burning bodies after he blamed them for the poor section of town burning down;. All for his urban renewal plan for the inner city of Rome.

      No wonder that John guy, whoever he really was, wrote such a veiled flaming critcism. If Nero had read a straight forward version, he would have surely burned the rest of the Christains. Good thing he didn't or I would have had a harder time 200 years later, geting rid of those other three co-Emperors to rule the empire all by myself.

      My advisors thought it was pretty fuuny to to make that the last book or the Bible, saying the couldn't adde to it anymore, turning the tables on 'em you know. Scare their people into order, since by my time it was pretty clear they didn't respect the rightful government of Rome. I even had to move the capital from Rome to Constantnople just to keep a closer eye on them. You know. The ones who didn't think they had to talk to God through me. What a laugh? How's a poor man supposed to speak to God alone? Think God will listen if i don't get a big payment up front?

      Things would be so much clearer now, if those boys in Rome later hadn't played their cards so wrong, that they thought they could sell God's forgiveness through indulgences, and crusades. After that Protestants started thinking the knew how to read the bible, even though it was in Latin or greek, and their translations were poor on top of that.

      That part about never ever changing anything in the books seemed like a good way to keep power too. Once we threw out so many other beloved books to create the final version, we used that to kind of self justify our combination of the books and make sure the many other groups died out, even if we had to help them along. It was the Christain thing to do you know.

      April 10, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • NL

      myklds-
      "Rev. 20:4..It doesn't matter if it made it last, what matters most it made it and it's there to warn the believers."
      Point is, if it barely made it into canon what other books were just as close to being accepted, but rejected? A couple of votes here or there and the Bible would have been a different collection, and Christians would be unrecognizable to anyone living today, right? Christian 'truth' is largely the product of consequence then.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • The Doctor is Ready

      myklds

      But wait...ey! NL did you quote maybe? Or maybe you were quoting yourself! OR! Maybe NL is Maybe, or Maybe, Maybe is NL! AHHH!!! Satan could really be in many form and deceive people.

      Ah ha ha ha.... Ah ha ha ha...Ah ha ha ha...He he he he...

      Doc: Now slide your arms into this straight jacket before you hurt yourself or someone else.

      April 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  13. Be wary of that talking serpent !

    A few days ago, someone said that he finds it hard to take the bible seriously because it contains stories about mythical creatures like unicorns, satyrs, coc-katrices, dragons and a talking serpent. But we really should be wary of that talking serpent. During his forty days of fasting in the desert, before he began his ministry, Jesus' faithfulness to his mission was, on several occasions, tested by that talking serpent himself, the devil. The devil was trying to convince Jesus to compromise good with evil, just like what he did to Eve in the garden of Eden, where he convinced Eve to exchange the pure and good fruits of the tree of life for the beautiful but poisoned fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve fell for the flowery words of that talking serpent and she and Adam forsook the good fruits of God, which brings eternal life, and exchanged them for the poisoned fruits of the serpent, which leads only to death. But Jesus didn't forsook the good fruits of God. Even in his weakened physical state, Jesus never compromised with the devil. Three times the serpent tried and three times he failed. That is why Jesus is called the new Adam, because he never compromised good with evil.

    Thus Jesus began his mission to spread the Word of God, which is the eternal truth, and to once again allow humanity to partake of the good and pure fruits of the tree of life, which humanity forsook and exchanged for the poisoned fruits of the serpent. But that talking serpent never rests. Time and again the devil, through the men and women whose hearts he has enslaved, tried to subvert the works of Jesus. These demon oppressed men and women, whom the serpent has convinced that the lie that he has placed in their hearts is the truth, kept accusing Jesus of doing the works of the devil, of being in cahoots with satan, of being beelzebul himself. The serpent was in fact trying to prevent humanity from regaining its former glory, which it lost in the garden of Eden. It was the battle for Eden all over again. And the serpent's battle plan was the same old plan he used against Adam and Eve. His plan was for humanity to compromise good with evil. To convince humanity that what is good is evil, and to embrace what is evil as good. To embrace lie as the truth, and to discard the truth as the lie. This is the essence of the antichrist. And it is the same battle plan that talking serpent is using against you today.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • The Fruit of Knowledge to be like Gods in the words of God

      Actually Adam was punished for learning good and evil and becoming like Gods. A lot of your story isn't in the book, which would be okay, but is seems to have a radically differnt meaning, which may not be.

      First God says they can eat of all the trees:

      Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
      -----–
      The same is said again in the second creation story and identifies two trees as bearing life and knolwedge of good and evil:

      Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
      -----
      Then God changes his mind immediately after saying all the trees could be eaten from:

      2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

      2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
      ---
      Then Eve and the seprpent confirm the prohibition and the reason:

      3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

      4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

      5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
      ---
      Then God confirms that knowing good and evil is to be like Gods, though its unclear why such as staement would be made if there were only one God forever and ever, and implies that man should not live forever, contradicting the New Testament. I guess since there were Gods and this one seemed confused and couldn't make up its mind, it couldn't be the God who later is so sure of itslef that nothing should ever change again in its teachings? Also knowing good and evil was a reason not to eat of the tree and then to be kicked from the garden of Eden? I thought the whole point was to know good and evil and choose good. How can you do that if you can't tell the difference? Why prohibits man of that knowledge and then punishes him for finding out and seeking good, as Adam and Eve did when they covered theirselves? Or is it maybe the sin of onlly thinking we know good from evil. If so, that does happen a Lot (but Lot was another story).

      3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

      3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
      --–
      So again, Adam was punished for learning good and evil and becoming like Gods. A lot of your story isn't in the book, which would be okay, but is seems to have a radically differnt meaning, which may not be. Its sometimes very difficult to tell what lies are being embraced and who is embracing them.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • NL

      The Fruit of Knowledge to be like Gods in the words of God-
      "Actually Adam was punished for learning good and evil and becoming like Gods."
      Actually Eve is blamed for the unleashing of evil onto the world, like Pandora in Greek myth. Women get blamed for everything that goes wrong, it seems. Adam is more like Prometheus who stole fire from Zeus, except that the Greeks considered him a hero for bringing them knowledge that the gods were too greedy, or too afraid to share with us.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • The Fruit of Knowledge to be like Gods in the words of God

      NL:

      You are touching on the evolution that should scare all fundementalists the most. All religion, just like all life, evolved through the ages, many roots to many branches. Some of the seeds cross pollinated and created new roots and branches and like you said some fell where the foilage was already strong and well rooted, not needing replacement. Natural selection.

      The sin was not when men ate from such trees, but rather when they cut them down to make booken idols out of them; graven images of thoughts and ideas regarding God's logic perceived. Gods logic does not live in stone, papyrus, parchment or paper alone. Those who use such restrictive ideas to hold others back from greater understanding are sinning the most, because they are keeping others from learning more about God's logic, of which science must be a part.

      I know there are some who see no value in the history of how we got here, but I obviously disagree, though I know its not everyones cup of tea.. You must as well or you would know nothing about Prometheus. Keep up the good fight.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • NL

      The Fruit of Knowledge to be like Gods in the words of God-
      "The sin was not when men ate from such trees, but rather when they cut them down to make booken idols out of them"

      "They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
      And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see 'em
      Don't it always seem to go
      That you don't know what you've got till it's gone
      They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"

      Jodi Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

      To many Christians, the world is nothing more than a road they take to their real, intended destination: The parking lot that they call Heaven.

      Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂
      TTFN

      April 9, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • The Fruit of Knowledge to be like Gods in the words of God

      NL: Yes, like the Song of Solomon's erotic love poem, God speaks to us in so many other allegories, analogies, parable and metaphors, many of them where might least expect them. Joni. One of the many prophets of my generation. Thanks. Its refreshing just to think of some of her music. think I'll go listen to some.

      April 9, 2011 at 8:40 am |
    • NL

      The Fruit of Knowledge to be like Gods in the words of God-
      Yes, funny how our Bible-literalist friends usually also insist that some of the passages, usually the troublesome ones, are actually meant to be taken as analogies, or something else non-literal.

      Like a lot of the music of that era, Joni's is great. I'm more of a Simon and Garfunkel fan though, but the ultimate, if you're trying to get a handle on Jesus, is Leonard Cohen's Suzanne:

      Jesus was a sailor
      When He walked upon the water
      And He spent a long time watching
      From His lonely wooden tower

      And when He knew for certain
      Only drowning men could see Him
      He said,"All men will be sailors then
      Until the sea shall free them"

      But He, Himself was broken
      Long before the sky would open
      Forsaken, almost human
      He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

      And you want to travel with him
      You want to travel blind
      And you know he will find you
      For he's touched your perfect body with his mind

      April 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Muneef

      Adam and the Forbidden fruit tree;
      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And We said: O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and eat ye freely (of the fruits) thereof where ye will; but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (35) But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. (36) Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. (37) We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (38) But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (39).

      Al-Araf sura 07:
      And (unto man): O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden and eat from whence ye will, but come not nigh this tree lest ye become wrong-doers. (19) Then Satan whispered to them that he might manifest unto them that which was hidden from them of their shame, and he said: Your Lord forbade you from this tree only lest ye should become angels or become of the immortals. (20) And he swore unto them (saying): Lo! I am a sincere adviser unto you. (21) Thus did he lead them on with guile. And when they tasted of the tree their shame was manifest to them and they began to hide (by heaping) on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? (22) They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If thou forgive us not and have not mercy on us, surely we are of the lost! (23) He said: Go down (from hence), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. (24) He said: There shall ye live, and there shall ye die, and thence shall ye be brought forth. (25).

      Ta-Ha sura 20:
      And when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate (all) save Iblis; he refused. (116) Therefor we said: O Adam! This is an enemy unto thee and unto thy wife, so let him not drive you both out of the Garden so that thou come to toil. (117) It is (vouchsafed) unto thee that thou hungerest not therein nor art naked, (118) And that thou thirstest not therein nor art exposed to the sun's heat. (119) But the Devil whispered to him, saying: O Adam! Shall I show thee the tree of immortality and power that wasteth not away? (120) Then they twain ate thereof, so that their shame became apparent unto them, and they began to hide by heaping on themselves some of the leaves of the Garden. And Adam disobeyed his Lord, so went astray. (121) Then his Lord chose him, and relented toward him, and guided him. (122) He said: Go down hence, both of you, one of you a foe unto the other. But if there come unto you from Me a guidance, then whoso followeth My guidance, he will not go astray nor come to grief. (123).

      April 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Muneef

      Just why so much difference between the stories of Adam,the messengers of God in the Bibles them selves and with the Quran? Noticeably the Quran speaks of them more respectfully than it is in the Bibles that speaks of messengers committing sins that are not in the Quran...?!?
      We were to take the messengers of God as our examples to follow but if as the Bible and the sins brought on them to have committed then I do not know how we can make them our examples to follow?!?

      April 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
  14. Frederica

    The Bible is leading many Muslims to acknowledge Jesus as the Divine Savior as of today. @So-many-paths-, mansions are not paths or God's names. Jesus meant our dwelling places in Heaven will be spacious and abundant. * This is my last comment as "Frederica" as my user name is being hijacked by others.

    April 8, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Reward for a Lifetime of Psychological Persecution

      Yes you'll live in luxury for a reward of a lifetime of punishing others with your judgement and horror stories along with that air of "I'm so much better than you"; and you'll walk'll on streets of Gold forever, for doing without wealth in just one puny little life time. Yes I see the reward system. I just learned a long time ago there's no moral justice in it. It might clear your concience, but it doesn't erase you deeds.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:07 am |
    • Adeline

      @Reward-L-P-P- That's the stupidest thing one can imagine. It's your fault forever that you have rejected God and His ways knowingly like this, though He did everything for you. Get justice, since you choose to do so with your willful rebellion. You have received enough warnings. Judgment will be fair and only according to what the individual has done. I pray that you will repent and receive mercy. Salvation is not a reward but a free gift from God, and the blood of Jesus cleanses the sins of believers. The reason He is called the Savior. True believers live a new life of following Jesus while on earth.

      April 8, 2011 at 7:40 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Reward, I don't know who deceived you with this most outrageous lie. Christians care about everyone's souls. We tell you that Jesus Christ is everyone's Lord and Savior. There are many wolves out in the world pretending to be sheep that will lead you astray. Hence, why there are so many religions in the world that have basically the same theme as the Bible with different names to the characters. It's to deceive you aka the ways of satan (the lie) to capture as many of God's children as he can so that you go to the eternal flames with him. Blotted out. No eternity for you or him. He doesn't want to go to the lake of fire by himself. You need to read about Cain. Cain was the offspring of satan. Cain killed his brother Abel. Cain fled from the scene of the killing. Married, had offsprings and started all the false religions in the world to deceive the masses just like his father Lucifer did in the first earth age in Heaven, rebelling against God and took 1/3 of God's angels with him, going against God.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Reward for a Lifetime of Psychological Persecution

      Father forgive them for the know not waht they do...and say...and they speak as if they were you, knowing all of your mind and heart. Please grant me more humility, so that I may continue seeking your love and knowledge, not persecuting my brothers and sisters for knowing things differently, for they are surely growing too in your everlasting guidance. Grant me the patience not to give credit to Satan for the things I am not worthy of understanding yet, for I know all things come from you. May we all be one day properly thankful for your everlasting grace. Amun, Amen, Ameen.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  15. Iqbal Khan

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYMKQKSV0bY&feature=related

    April 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" Deuteronomy 6:4 (Zechariah 14:9)

      "Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord: and besides Me there is no savior." Isaiah 43:10-11 (Isaiah 44: 6-8, 24; 45:5-10, 18, 21-22)

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • So Many Paths; So Many People; One God Many Names

      God speaks to those as they are able to perceive. No human can know all that is true.

      John 14:2 In my Father's house are many MANSIONS: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

      2 John 1:9

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • Dekf85

      This guy claims to have read the bible all the way through. But after listening for over an hour to him, it is clear that he never actually read the Bible. I'm not sure what he read, but it sounds like he just read and has studied well the Islamic "talking points" that make it a point leave out the key verses that actually make the story. To use an example he used, David did in fact murder Uriah so that he could have Bathsheba. That however is just the set up for the actually point of the story and if you read all of 2 Samuel chapter 11 and 12 you will see that God deals extremely harshly with David for this sin. The whole point of the the story is in the truth that Man alone cannot be righteous, but depend on the mercy of a loving God for our salvation.

      I challenge you to read the New Testament on your own and then listen to people like this man before you formulate your believes on who Christ is.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Holy Ghost

      Heaven Sent: Forgot me again?

      April 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  16. HeavenSent

    Magic, Why should I move on? For what? To give you and the phony heavensent clear reign to spew your lies. No thank you. And you? When are you going to move out of mom and dads, get a job?

    Amen.

    April 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  17. Burn the Turds

    I din't like the parable of the sewer. That one really stank.

    In the parable of the sower, it was an endless loop. A parable describing parables (seeds) ability to grow in some ground (people) and not others. Of course we know that to grow some seeds need a lot of fertilizing. So maybe it was the parable of the sewer and I missed the real meaning.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Burn, God does the watering of the seeds that fall. As I said many times on these posts, if you don't want to believe, you won't. Jesus will send delusions in your life to convince you that you are correct. But, your soul doesn't go through eternity because you did this to yourself. Jesus only obliges you of your wishes. However, if you want to believe, ask Jesus for forgiveness and ask Him to show you His truth. If your heart is true on this request, he will take the veil from you and direct you into searching His truth.

      Your choice. Free will.

      Choose wisely. Your soul depends on it.

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Rolls and Rolls of Toilet Paper

      Please read and apply your own words then come back when you understand.

      John 14:2 In my Father's house are many MANSIONS: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you.

      April 8, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Rolls, if you are speaking with me ... here's my answer.

      Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

      2 John 1:9

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Holy Ghost

      Hmmmmmm. Forget me did you?

      April 14, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  18. Tedd

    No, it isn’t "enough to know that the book is really important, that it has inspired love and hate and introspection and war for thousands of years".

    What is important is a true foundation for human endeavour, irrespective of unquestioning belief in parables. It is time to be inspired in love and peace, and positive endeavour.

    April 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      In the parable of the sewer, four seeds are sown. Some seeds just don't take root.

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      "In the parable of the sewer, four seeds are sown. Some seeds just don't take root."
      And some seeds can't take root because they were forcibly thrown into fertile fields that are already growing richer, more valuable crops. They either blow away in the wind, or are picked out like the weeds they are.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, here we go again with that gray matter of yours going (Thank God). The person decides whether they are fertile ground or a rock. Genius, how Jesus worded the Bible.

      I do believe Cher said it best for this generation "SNAP OUT OF IT"

      Smile.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      Well, thank you for acknowledging that my grey matter, at least, is working here. 😉

      If people decide whether they are fertile ground or a rock that implies that they have to be vulnerable to belief first, right? Parents with their children and preachers with their audiences, then, try to 'cult'-ivate people's minds, literally make them vulnerable to this belief system. That, my friend, is called indoctrination.

      That parable doesn't work so well anymore. Who broadcasts seeds so haphazardly anymore? Any modern farmer, or home gardener for that matter, would remove all the thorns and rocks first, and seed more thoughtfully.

      Remember that when Cher said the line "Snap out of it!" to Nick Cage's character in Moonstruck she was trying to snap him out of his irrational behavior.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x-fkSYDtUY

      Believe me, plenty of non-believers in this blog feel like doing a little slapping once in a while!

      April 8, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, so are you telling me that only non-believers can be insulting and Christians are suppose to turn the other cheek? Which actually means to stop explaining scriptures by the way.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I was a large gay woman until the bible made me understand that it was a choice.

      So I lost a lot of weight.

      Christine, I love you.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • NL

      HeavenSent (I presume, if not then please disregard.)
      "so are you telling me that only non-believers can be insulting and Christians are suppose to turn the other cheek? Which actually means to stop explaining scriptures by the way."

      Oh, I know that Christians can be insulting because I encounter it every day on this blog. If you're referring to the grey matter and Cher remarks may I remind you that you were the one who brought them up in the first place?

      Matthew 5:38-41 refers to Jesus' teaching against the taking of personal revenge, and I've never encountered a Christian who believed otherwise until now. Should I take your reinterpretation as a sign that you believe in personal revenge? If this is typical of your 'explaining' of scripture then, maybe, it's best that you leave that to others.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  19. Persecution Complex

    Heaven Sent: it really is just awfully dumb programming. My posts get zapped just as much as yours. Have a little more faith in God to watch over you instead of letting church leaders tell you everyone is out to get you. It is that persecution complex that leads to more evil than goodness, because it justifies you not having to understand.

    April 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Then these creeps programmed ahead of time what scriptures can't be posted. Either way, they are corrupt with perverted minds.

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tracy

      No, HeavenSent you are corrupt with perverted mind for saying something so stupid.

      April 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      So it's the handle of Tracy now. Another seed that falls on rocks, is scorched by the sun.

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tracy

      Ummm your brain has definitely been scorched by the sun making it shriveled like a prune causing you to babble nonsense.

      April 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Frying Pan To Fire

      Heaven Sent: One would think you're sitting on a hot griddle when you post. Is there any understanding and mercy in your belief or do the fire and brimstone judgements just make you feel good because nobody likes you? God's gonna get even for you. Is that it?

      April 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tracy and Frying Pan To Fire, I write Jesus' truth. All His truth. Sinners who refuse to give up their sinful natures hate ALL his truth and are lulled by the lies, love the sinner hate the sin. Which is NOT written in scriptures. That's a man made statement to stroke you sinners that know you will never give up your sinful natures and read ALL of Jesus truth.. I think you two protest too much. As for liking or disliking me. Your opinions don't count. Only Jesus' truth counts with me.

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • Blasphemous Persecution

      So glad you think so much of you self that you teach all the truth of God. That's quite a claim. I would be in fear of my own soul, if I made such a claim. No humility there.

      Guess we really know who we are dealing with now. Guess we also know who has been lulled by lies.

      The claim that you know all God's truth. Now that's quite an ego. Isn't that like the worst sin possible. Thinking you know all of God's truth, has to be right up there with calling yourself God; the true meaning of taking the lords name in vain.

      We'll pray for you. You need it. God bless you. Go and sin no more.

      April 8, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      "Then these creeps programmed ahead of time what scriptures can't be posted. Either way, they are corrupt with perverted minds."
      If God programmed ahead of time what signs each of us would see does that make him a creep, corrupt and have a perverted mind? In your view God is the ultimate 'modifier', right?

      April 8, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • HeavenSent

      OK Blasphemous Persecution, I stand corrected. I write all of Jesus' truth that I know of. However, I refuse to stroke the egos of the sinners because I happen to know a lot in the Bible. Only people who don't care about another soul does that. I happen to care if someone's soul doesn't go on through eternity. If that offends the person. So be it. Maybe they'll look into why it doesn't sit well with them and check into it further. If I stroke a sinner's ego, they have no clue there is eternity after this life. So, what good would it do to keep the person blinded to this fact?

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Tracy

      "Then these creeps programmed ahead of time what scriptures can't be posted. Either way, they are corrupt with perverted minds." This has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus's truth either, which is why you are nothing but another Antichrist and a bad one at that.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • NL

      Tracy-
      "you are nothing but another Antichrist and a bad one at that."
      Remember that the antichrist isn't supposed to be bright enough to even clue into what scripture says about him, so nobody is expecting him to be particularly intelligent anyway. You may owe the man an apology then. 🙂

      April 8, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • HeavenSent

      NL, actually, Lucifer was given incredible looks, along with high intelligence.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I was a large gay woman until the bible made me understand that it was a choice.

      So I lost some weight.

      Christine, I love you.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Artist

      HeavenSent you are a trip. You remind me of this old skitzo rambling person I ran into ont he street.

      April 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      No, actually, the devil is never called 'Lucifer' in the Bible. Isaiah 14:3-20 refers to a Babylonian king who is likened to The Morning Star (lucifer), meaning the planet Venus. Venus, being the most lovely of the Roman gods, may be where some of Lucifer's good looks come from?

      In the century before Jesus Jewish myth linked the two, and some of the Church Fathers carried on the link. It has since been passed on as part of Catholic tradition, being featured in Dante and Milton,but was never scripturally based.

      In Latin, Lucifer means "light-bearer" which better applies to Prometheus, the man who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. Unlike Adam and Eve in Christian mythology, Prometheus is regarded as a hero for bringing knowledge to people. Maybe some of this myth rubbed off on Christianity as it spread within Roman communities?

      Not convinced? Well look at these other instances in the Bible where the exact same phrase is used and try subst.ituting 'Lucifer' into it, OK?

      2 Peter 1:19
      "19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and LUCIFER rises in your hearts."

      Revelation 2:27-28
      "27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers : even as I received of my Father. 28 And I will give him LUCIFER."

      Revelation 22:16
      "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright LUCIFER."

      April 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  20. Quag

    I'm curious why all the artifacts in Egypt didn't get damaged by the flood. How is it possible that delicate items, like mummies, are found mostly in tact if the flood covered the Earth? I'm sure the mummies were there long before the flood and I've seen what a minor flood can do to a trailer after just a few days under water. I'll bet the devil is trying to decieve me again. I'll just keep believing because it makes me feel good.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • RealityChecker

      Your assumptions are off, so it's not surprising that you can't figure out the timeline involved.

      April 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Quag, which flood are you referring to? If it's Noah's flood, that flood wasn't global. It was regional. If it was the flood that destroyed the first earth age, everything was destroyed. God destroyed the first earth age because Lucifer rebelled and took 1/3 of the Angels with him. Genesis through Revelations is about the 2nd earth age that we live in now. Throughout the Bible, you will find references to the first earth age.

      Amen.

      April 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Quag

      My preacher told me it was global. I still can't figure out where all that water went.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • Scientific Evidence and conjectures

      Quaq: There is a thought that it may have been the result of polar shift, possibly caused by a near or possible collision of an asteroid with Earth. There is even an idea that the moon was created as a result of such a collision, though it may not be the same one. There is evidence that there have been polar shifts several times over the life of the Earth. In such a collision, near collision, or pole shift by other reasons; the oceans not moving as quick as the land mass, due to their fluidity and inertia would cause them to try and remain in place while the land shifted under them.

      The perspective to those on land would be that the waters rose up from the earth and washed over the land. Eventually the waters would return to the low points on earth though after such upheavals those low point would be different after than they were before. If you saw the tsunami pictures, after they were moving on land far from the sea where they had been, the waves just seem to smoothly rise up from the earth, as described in the Bible and relentlessly flood anything in their path.

      In a significant pole shift, or collision or near collision from space, were to occur, it could cause such a flood and "all that water" could move radically on to the land and settle as the earth settled. Even recent bad eathquakes each moved the poles a slight distance. How much more and how larger the tsnamis, if stronger causes?

      April 8, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Noah's flood wasn't global, but regional. Do you know the scriptures to cross reference this truth to see it for yourself?

      Let me know.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I was a large gay woman until the bible made me understand that it was a choice.

      So I lost weight.

      Christine, I love you.

      Amen.

      April 8, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Muneef

      HeavenSent.

      [39:53] Proclaim: "O My servants who exceeded the limits, never despair of GOD's mercy. For GOD forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful."

      April 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • NL

      HeavenSent-
      "Noah's flood wasn't global, but regional."
      You know that the folks over at Answers in Genesis would say that you bought into secular thinking by saying that, don't you? That's a step in the right direction. Good on ya!

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/really-a-flood-and-ark

      April 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Todd

      Regardless what you believe about the flood, the artifacts in Egypt you're talking about happened well after the the flood was supposed to happen. Sumerian and Babylonian texts discuss the flood as well. Sumerian texts go back to about 3000 B.C. and the flood happened before then which is before any of the pyramids and artifacts in Egypt were made or even thought of.

      April 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Victor

      The story implies it's global. People often try to re-write the Bible in their head to make improbably stories more probable, because they have an unspoken concept in their heads about what it would mean if the Bible wasn't literally true. It's a shame. I hate to see people lying to themselves and others.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Muneef

      Might believe that the Noah's Flood was Global but there were other floods that followed in different generations but were regional floods....
      Beside that believe the ship he built within his few hundreds years were planted and gathered to build an Ark that as big as was the T-it-an-ic or bigger...and believe he had take two pairs of each animal that lived regionally...many other global animals might have survived saved by floating woods or being able to swim or breath under water....!? After i suppose the earth was as with one continent that had s-cat-ter-ed in to many continents and islands...Still it is Changing...!

      April 10, 2011 at 7:55 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.