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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. David

    "I am a person of faith. But sometimes I like to step outside of faith and just think about things rationally." That sounds nice and likely makes sense to someone who believes in a talking snake or that it is actually possible to seperate their religion from their rationality -or lack there of. The author may have conveniently reached the conclusion that the author of the bible doesn't matter, but he has that luxury after having reached middle age and become more solid in his convictions and now wants to lecture those who disagree with his conclusions. He reached the age of reason years ago and now wants to act like he'd have given the bible so much credence if he hadn't grown up thinking the inky finger of god itself reached down through the clouds and penned the bible directly.

    April 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      David.

      If I may about the serpent or the snake, it is not mentioned in the Quran about any snake but rather was about Satan who mislead and deceived them in to eating from the forbidden fruiting tree out of jealousy from mankind...his always appeared to mankind to mislead into evil, it doesn't really matter how he appeared either as animal or mankind or just inspired misgivings into heart obsessing the soul of mankind for the sake of evil towards misleading all mankind from the straight righteous path as the ought he made to God in stubbornness...

      April 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      The verses supporting that;

      The Creation of Mankind
      [7:11] We created you, then we shaped you, then we said to the angels, "Fall prostrate before Adam." They fell prostrate, except Iblees (Satan); he was not with the prostrators.

      The Test of Mankind Begins
      [7:12] He said, "What prevented you from prostrating when I ordered you?" He said, "I am better than he; You created me from fire, and created him from mud."

      [7:13] He said, "Therefore, you must go down, for you are not to be arrogant here. Get out; you are debased."

      [7:14] He said, "Grant me a respite, until the Day of Resurrection."

      [7:15] He said, "You are granted a respite."

      [7:16] He said, "Since You have willed that I go astray, I will skulk for them on Your straight path.

      [7:17] "I will come to them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right, and from their left, and You will find that most of them are unappreciative."

      [7:18] He said, "Get out therefrom, despised and defeated. Those among them who follow you, I will fill Hell with you all.

      [7:19] "As for you, Adam, dwell with your wife in Paradise, and eat therefrom as you please, but do not approach this one tree, lest you fall in sin."

      [7:20] The devil whispered to them, in order to reveal their bodies, which were invisible to them. He said, "Your Lord did not forbid you from this tree, except to prevent you from becoming angels, and from attaining eternal existence."

      [7:21] He swore to them, "I am giving you good advice."

      [7:22] He thus duped them with lies. As soon as they tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them, and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. Their Lord called upon them: "Did I not enjoin you from that tree, and warn you that the devil is your most ardent enemy?"

      [7:23] They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged our souls, and unless You forgive us and have mercy on us, we will be losers."

      [7:24] He said, "Go down as enemies of one another. On earth shall be your habitation and provision for awhile."

      [7:25] He said, "On it you will live, on it you will die, and from it you will be brought out."

      [7:26] O children of Adam, we have provided you with garments to cover your bodies, as well as for luxury. But the best garment is the garment of righteousness. These are some of GOD's signs, that they may take heed.

      [7:27] O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.

      [7:28] They commit a gross sin, then say, "We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it." Say, "GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?"

      [7:29] Say, "My Lord advocates justice, and to stand devoted to Him alone at every place of worship. You shall devote your worship absolutely to Him alone. Just as He initiated you, you will ultimately go back to Him."

      April 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  2. Iqbal khan

    Watch and learn...

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

    April 25, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Muneef

      Iqbal khan.

      Been some time now since last.
      Watched but was very long could not watch the questioning time but really was rather depressing to me since I had the though as per what been tought that it wasn't Jesus who was on the cross but rather the person who double crossed him but now this has been turned upside down with the story that it was all the time Jesus on the cross but rather came back from death than that he was not crucified nor buried being some one else...and that he died some where else,purified and raised leaving behind flesh...
      Totally confused when I thought I knew most of the right answers...this has changed the whole thing and idea !!?

      April 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  3. Muneef

    For peace;
    From reading some of the various posts i may have reached a few  conclusions but not sure of therefore might just write and ask few questions now to see if they were correct or not :

    For Atheists might ask any of them to give me an honest answer although am sure the answer will vary from one to another ?

    Q1) Do you atheist believe even if slightly that there is a superpower of a creator but deny existence because of Religions, Doctrines  and their Complexities as on a state of rejection ? 

    Q2) Do you feel as being special as Atheists in not believing in God and that what ever you do good or bad will neither be rewarded or punished for it by any Divine because you do not believe in Divine nor resurrection or judgment day but rather you think we are here by a mere coincidence and not been created to serve a purpose in life ?

    To Christians:
    Q3) To those considering Jesus being the Son of God: Do you feel as being more special as if you were as sons of God and that what ever you do good or bad you will not be held accountable for but rather will go streight to the heavens, paradise directly with out any judgment or any punishment ? 

    Q4) To those considering Jesus God being in Trinity : Do you feel as being more special as if Gods on earth and that what ever you do good or bad you will not be held accountable for but rather will go to straight to the heavens, paradise directly with out any  judgment or any punishment ?

    Q5) Do all Christians think that in this life, God has not created us for Testing us as to who will do as told,warned and who will not ?

    Q6) You do all Christians believe in this life, God has created us for Testing but think you are exempted from it and ever your deeds were ?

    Q7) Do you consider any none Christians "Religious or not Religious",as Slaves of God and not as Godly as you are ? 

    Q8) Do you as Christians accept any other Race converts as equal as you are in your Earthly life and at the After life what ever their Race is or Christian Doctrine ? 

    Q9) Do you as Christians and Atheists wish at times if you had a sperate state for each to live in,where each of you can do as they please as in their favorite way of living,where each can impose his own laws and beliefs,and would that mean accepting to live among the mass Races of that belief or rather would favor a state or county for each mass of Race within the same belief ?

    Sorry for being hard asking sensitive questions but that is the only way to find out more of what is going on,and what really man wants.

    Beside I feel that the same descriptions might be required to be asked or be questioned to Muslims of Different Doctrines,Races and Cultures, who might have among them that who are similar to your nations,such as those who are Atheists,Agnostics or even Satanic but there still will be those who are considered as religious believers "Moderate or Extremes".. ! Surely you will find like those in every Nations,Faiths and Beliefs.
     
    Hope have been clear that these were intended as to help us realize our inner "Thoughts and Wants" beside the real understanding of each other, and was not meant or intended for hurt or for dispute.... Peace to All.

    April 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  4. AGuest9

    I find it interesting to claim that "it doesn't matter who wrote the bible." If that's actually the case, then how does one decide what is canon and what isn't? At that point, the gospel of Mary Magdalene and the gospel of Thomas should be considered. The likely opium-induced book of Revelation somehow made it by the Council of Nicea in 325CE. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were suppossedly written long after the apostles with these names were dead. In addition, Mark 16:9-20 appeared to have been written by a different author than the gospel leading up to that point.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  5. Jackie E

    All scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16. God wrote the bible and there is no other way around it. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Timothy 2 chpt 3 ver 16. God wrote the bible, not man.

    April 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • docja

      What exactly do those verses mean? (Why did you quote them twice, with slightly different translation?) How do they prove that God wrote the Bible? How, when, and where did God write the Bible? Did he also write the holy books of other religions?

      April 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Don't Fence Me In

      All existence is God-breathed. I Am. The truth shall set you free, not shakle you with the limitations demanded by humans.

      April 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Muneef

      Not sure if the above posts were addressed to me! But should say yes the contents of the holy scriptures were inspired&revealed by God directly or through his spiritual messengers...only that man had to write them into scriptures...
      At latter generations as seems were rewritten by men who for their benefit or rulers benefits had as stated in the above verses were concealed...while in other verses it said that few were for the money writing verses stating it to be of the words of God while they were not of God's words.
      These verses came to show the truth disputed within the holy books of Children of Israel (Whom were then the Jews&Christians) and as well to warn the (People of Islam at that first Generation) not to repeat such acts and what awaits them if they did...!

      Therefore we can say that the elder holy books are of the words of God and no dispute on that, only that what ever was concealed or distorted God had send another messenger with another holy inspired&revealed words that were not much latter written in scriptures&memorised to insure nothing is missed...

      Al-Hijr sura 15:
      Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian. (9) We verily sent (messengers) before thee among the factions of the men of old. (10).

      An-Nahl sura 16:
      And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men whom We inspired – Ask the followers of the Remembrance if ye know not! – (43) With clear proofs and writings; and We have revealed unto thee the Remembrance that thou mayst explain to mankind that which hath been revealed for them, and that haply they may reflect. (44).

      Al-Anbiya sura 21:
      And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men, whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not? (7) We gave them not bodies that would not eat food, nor were they immortals. (8) Then we fulfilled the promise unto them. So we delivered them and whom We would, and We destroyed the prodigals. (9) Now We have revealed unto you a Scripture wherein is your Reminder. Have ye then no sense? (10).

      Fussilat sura 41:
      Lo! those who distort Our revelations are not hid from Us. Is he who is hurled into the Fire better, or he who cometh secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do what ye will. Lo! He is Seer of what ye do. (40) Lo! those who disbelieve in the Reminder when it cometh unto them (are guilty), for lo! it is an unassailable Scripture. (41) Falsehood cannot come at it from before it or behind it. (It is) a revelation from the Wise, the Owner of Praise. (42) Naught is said unto thee (Muhammad) save what was said unto the messengers before thee. Lo! thy Lord is owner of forgiveness, and owner (also) of dire punishment. (43) And if We had appointed it a Lecture in a foreign tongue they would assuredly have said: If only its verses were expounded (so that we might understand)? What! A foreign tongue and an Arab? – Say unto them (O Muhammad): For those who believe it is a guidance and a healing; and as for those who disbelieve, there is a deafness in their ears, and it is blindness for them. Such are called to from afar. (44) And We verily gave Moses the Scripture, but there hath been dispute concerning it; and but for a Word that had already gone forth from thy Lord, it would ere now have been judged between them; but lo! they are in hopeless doubt concerning it. (45) Whoso doeth right it is for his soul, and whoso doeth wrong it is against it. And thy Lord is not at all a tyrant to His slaves. (46).

      Az-Zukhruf 43:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Ha. Mim. (1) By the Scripture which maketh plain, (2) Lo! We have appointed it a Lecture, in Arabic that haply ye may understand. (3) And Lo! in the Source of Decrees, which We possess, it is indeed sublime, decisive. (4) Shall We utterly ignore you because ye are a wanton folk? (5) How many a prophet did We send among the men of old! (6) And never came there unto them a prophet but they used to mock him. (7) Then We destroyed men mightier than these in prowess; and the example of the men of old hath gone (before them). (8).

      The above verses are quoted from "Quran Explorer" which I found easier to utilize than it is with "Submission" and which i found that it was at times difficult to pass moderation and that's why I had to go back to the use of "Quran Explorer" although it's translation is in classic English and not in simple English as is the "Submission" translations.

      April 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  6. purplepuppy

    Maybe you all should look into the Aramaic text of the New Testament

    April 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  7. xnay

    Why believe. Because in the words of Fox Muldar when asked why he believed in spite of all the pesuasive evidence to the contrary. Because all the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  8. docja

    I agree that for its importance and influence in the world it doesn't matter who wrote the Bible. But it is important to realize that somebody - somebody human - wrote it as an effort to explain the world and guide people, which are things that humans naturally want to do. The belief on the part of many that it is the unadulterated word of God, perhaps dictated to Moses and others, is dangerous and misleading on many levels.
    And the fact that a "really smart guy" with an Ivy League PhD couldn't identify David Hazony's added paragraph hardly invalidates the work of many scholars over many years on the authorship of the Bible. Maybe Hazony is just really good at mimicking the style of the author of the pieces he edits.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  9. the servant of the Lord Jesus

    The Holy Bible says "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16.
    Please before you leave your comment here first, go and read the Bible FIRST. It is the only TRUTH ever esp in these times of deception, the END TIMES. If you are totally ignorant about the Bible or this subject as yourself this question:
    How can any book like the Bible be forged given that it is 1900 years old, comprising of 66 books and letters, written in span of 1500 years, by more than 40 writers (regardless of their names) in different parts of earth, quoted from for various occasions from preaching, letters, to wall or tree writing and STILL BE IN ONE BINDER (I mean the thoughts are preserved all over the book through prophesies from Genesis to Revelation without contradictions) ? ! PLUS the book didn't make any mistake in any of the prophesies foretold and we are waiting for the rest of the prophesies to be fulfilled. Note also that the Bible is the only book which is BOLD enough to tell prophesies in a considerable size, THIRD of it are prophesies. Who can dare and talk in doubt about this Holy Book, examine other books and see the difference, if for this huge difference one cannot tell then there is no hope in him/her.
    N.B. There were no mobiles 1900 years ago and no internet so that the forgery men could agree and no one can live the span of 1500 years or have a control. It is the seal and proof that this book is divine so that no CNN in the future can put this in a debate like other issues. God knew that such empty talk will happen one time and he preserved his WORD. The best copy of his WORD came us in the King James Version (KJV). Please imagine what I have said and not only read it superficially, at least if you are honest with yourself to know the truth.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • C.Chambers

      I've read the Bible front to back, and that furthered my atheistic views even more.

      April 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  10. Muneef

    Guess you have to brainwash all to become as you would like it to be?

    http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm
    http://www.adherents.com/adh_branches.html#AllBranches

    April 24, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  11. Muneef

    Guess you have to brainwash all to become as you would like it to be?

    April 24, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  12. Jack

    . All religions were invented by Men trying to make sense of a very sinister and cruel world. No loving parents would create sibling rivalry based on different competing ideas. No Creator would endorse any religion that finds fault with any of his/her children. All religions find fault with some of GOD'S Children. If we all cast off our religious beliefs and just cherish one another we would be creating a heaven on earth.

    April 24, 2011 at 5:42 am |
  13. Muneef

    The reason for which the Quran was revealed ;
    The Quran came to conceal and correct the distortion that has taken place in previous scriptures;

    [5:15] O people of the scripture, our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you many things you have concealed in the scripture, and to pardon many other transgressions you have committed. A beacon has come to you from GOD, and a profound scripture.

    [5:16] With it, GOD guides those who seek His approval. He guides them to the paths of peace, leads them out of darkness into the light by His leave, and guides them in a straight path.
    ----
    Quran: The Ultimate Reference
    [5:48] Then we revealed to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming previous scriptures, and superseding them. You shall rule among them in accordance with GOD's revelations, and do not follow their wishes if they differ from the truth that came to you. For each of you, we have decreed laws and different rites. Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny – all of you – then He will inform you of everything you had disputed.
    The Quran: God's Message to the Jews and Christians
    __________________________________________________
    (01) Distorting the Word of God
    [2:75] Do you expect them to believe as you do, when some of them used to hear the word of GOD, then distort it, with full understanding thereof, and deliberately?

    Concealing the Word of God
    [2:76] And when they meet the believers, they say, "We believe," but when they get together with each other, they say, "Do not inform (the believers)of the information given to you by GOD, lest you provide them with support for their argument concerning your Lord. Do you not understand?"

    [2:77] Do they not know that GOD knows everything they conceal, and everything they declare?

    [2:78] Among them are gentiles who do not know the scripture, except through hearsay, then assume that they know it.

    [2:79] Therefore, woe to those who distort the scripture with their own hands, then say, "This is what GOD has revealed," seeking a cheap material gain. Woe to them for such distortion, and woe to them for their illicit gains.
    __________________________________________________

    (02)  Make no Distinction Among God's Messengers

    [4:150] Those who disbelieve in GOD and His messengers, and seek to make distinction among GOD and His messengers, and say, "We believe in some and reject some," and wish to follow a path in between;

    [4:151] these are the real disbelievers. We have prepared for the disbelievers a shameful retribution.

    [4:152] As for those who believe in GOD and His messengers, and make no distinction among them, He will grant them their recompense. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
    _________________________________________________

    (03) About the Crucification;

    [4:157] And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him.

    [4:158] Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

    [4:159] Everyone among the people of the scripture was required to believe in him before his death. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them.
    __________________________________________________
    (05) about being the Son of God...     
    Az-Zukhruf sura 43:
    When Jesus came with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), he said: I have come unto you with wisdom, and to make plain some of that concerning which ye differ. So keep your duty to Allah, and obey me. (63) Lo! Allah, He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is a right path. (64) But the factions among them differed. Then woe unto those who do wrong from the doom of a painful day. (65).
    ---–
    Al-Baqara sura 02:
    And they say: Allah hath taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth is His. All are subservient unto Him. (116) The Originator of the heavens and the earth! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. (117).
    ---
    Yunus sura 10:
    They say: Allah hath taken (unto Him) a son – Glorified be He! He hath no needs! His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Ye have no warrant for this. Tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not? (68) Say: Verily those who invent a lie concerning Allah will not succeed. (69).
    ----
    Al-Isra sura 17:
    And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. (111).
    ---–
    Al-Kahf 18:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Praise be to Allah Who hath revealed the Scripture unto His slave, and hath not placed therein any crookedness, (1) (But hath made it) straight, to give warning of stern punishment from Him, and to bring unto the believers who do good works the news that theirs will be a fair reward, (2) Wherein they will abide for ever; (3) And to warn those who say: Allah hath chosen a son, (4) (A thing) whereof they have no knowledge, nor (had) their fathers, Dreadful is the word that cometh out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie. (5).
    ----
    Maryam 19:
    They will have no power of intercession, save him who hath made a covenant with his Lord. (87) And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. (88) Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing (89) Whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall in ruins, (90) That ye ascribe unto the Beneficent a son, (91) When it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should choose a son. (92) There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (93) Verily He knoweth them and numbereth them with (right) numbering. (94) And each one of them will come unto Him on the Day of Resurrection, alone. (95) Lo! those who believe and do good works, the Beneficent will appoint for them love. (96).
    ----–
    Al-Anbiya 21:
    And We sent no messenger before thee but We inspired him, (saying): There is no God save Me (Allah), so worship Me. (25) And they say: The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son. Be He glorified! Nay, but (those whom they call sons) are honoured slaves; (26) They speak not until He hath spoken, and they act by His command. (27) He knoweth what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot intercede except for him whom He accepteth, and they quake for awe of Him. (28).
    ----–
    Al-Furqan sura 25:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Blessed is He Who hath revealed unto His slave the Criterion (of right and wrong), that he may be a warner to the people. (1) He unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, He hath chosen no son nor hath He any partner in the Sovereignty. He hath created everything and hath meted out for it a measure. (2).
    -----
    Az-Zumar sura 39:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    The revelation of the Scripture is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise. (1) Lo! We have revealed the Scripture unto thee (Muhammad) with truth; so worship Allah, making religion pure for Him (only). (2) Surely pure religion is for Allah only. And those who choose protecting friends beside Him (say): We worship them only that they may bring us near unto Allah. Lo! Allah will judge between them concerning that wherein they differ. Lo! Allah guideth not him who is a liar, an ingrate. (3) If Allah had willed to choose a son, He could have chosen what He would of that which He hath created. Be He glorified! He is Allah, the One, the Absolute. (4).
    ------
    Al-Jinn 72:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Say (O Muhammad): It is revealed unto me that a company of the Jinn gave ear, and they said: Lo! we have heard a marvellous Qur'an, (1) Which guideth unto righteousness, so we believe in it and we ascribe unto our Lord no partner. (2) And (we believe) that He – exalted be the glory of our Lord! – hath taken neither wife nor son, (3) And that the foolish one among us used to speak concerning Allah an atrocious lie. (4) And lo! we had supposed that humankind and jinn would not speak a lie concerning Allah – (5).
    -----
    Al-Maeda 05:
    And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I had ever said it, then Thou wouldst have known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden? (116) I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things. (117) If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them (lo! they are Thy slaves). Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Mighty, the Wise. (118).
    ----
    Quran came to unvail many disputed or concealed facts of many other things  although still elder books are considered part thereof the Holy Quran because it is only complete with it as sura:verse 05:48 states.

    April 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • beyond human ego

      Thanks again Muneef. Wish we all had faith in the one and only one, true God, enough to consider properly the truths contained within your wise texts provided by the Koran as well as those in the other revelations too.

      I'm curious. When Mohammed was noted as the last prophet, could that mean that he was the last at the time of his revelation or that last for all time? The more of the Koran I read and see by your posts, the more I have to believe, that it noting the all powerful mercy of Allah would alow for further revelations as man became able to understand them, bounced against those earlier evelations that were before, as your post acknowledges.

      Again I try to have faith, based on my previously experienced mercy of God, that God would not expect us to restrict ourselves to very old words without using the brains God blessed us with to always work towards better understandings based those earlier words and on how to treat our fellow humans better, to also better honor God's creation.

      I also know we humans, myself include, make errors in understanding, that God/Allah/Brahma will forgive so long as we keep trying with pure hearts.

      Hope all is still going well for you. Heard of more violence in your home country, with possible hopes for improvements. So sorry to hear how bad things are getting elsewhere. Perhaps in time we will all learn better how to treat and help one another. Thanks again for helping towards those understandings.

      April 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Muneef

      beyond human ego.

      Pleased to note some one is reading and trying to understand and that my efforts are not going in vain...thanks.
      Now about the Prophet Muhammed,he was the last of a line of Prophets since as seems the set of Holy Books are complete and the course been corrected by the last book...The only thing that is awaited now is the landing of Prophet Jesus from the heavens to fight the corruptor....

      About us here are up's and down's but lately seems it is slowly being dragged to become a civil war since we have many corruptors who seem to have plenty of money to throw around challenging the president of the country,creating hatred among the one population dividing them against each other....any way God is great and what ever happens is with his own will and nothing could happen if has not willed.
      Thank you friend for asking and may God bless you and family.

      April 24, 2011 at 3:55 am |
  14. gary

    Doesn't matter who wrote the bible, nor who wrote the graffiti on the warehouse wall .. both are about equally meaningful.

    April 23, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • kdawg

      I would disagree. Sometimes graffiti can contain a few nuggets of wisdom.

      April 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Trimoor?

      What if, what you understand or not and how much, is your limitation?

      April 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  15. Fokjou

    "I like to step outside of faith and just think about things rationally" ???

    I like to stay outside faith and stay rational indefinitely, thanks...

    April 23, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • Groughupbigbadwords

      So your rationality leads you to believe in nothing, further than you already know for sure? Why bother using rationality, without the faith it will be productive?

      I think what you mean, is you like to step outside of required superst-ition and not imagine anything beyond what has been proven rationally to you personally; but I must be wrong, because that's got to be tough. It eliminates any possibilty of personal growth, by eliminating consideration of possibilities based on already known truths, without having actual proof before making the effort of thought to get there. Real faith is the stimulus to triggers such rational efforts and its based on prior truths proven, not dictated superst-itions.

      There is more than one definition of faith. Try using the one that does make sense. It makes life easier.

      April 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  16. Tosis

    You lost me in your first two sentences. Why wouldn't you look at things rationally all the time? You're basically saying that to be religious, you can't think logically.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  17. Jack

    Endorphins are present in all animate creatures. Insect, reptiles,marsupials and mammals all produce endorphins, No creature feels pain when it is being burnt alive or eaten because the endorphins protect the victim from the pain of these horrible experiences. There have been accounts of people who have survived lion attacks as well of passengers on planes that crashed surviving the fires that engulfed them. Each of these witnesses describe the suspension of pain during these traumatic moments. No theory of evolution can come to a mechanistic explanation for this.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Evolution?

      How about the traumatic shock shorting out the electronic nervous system with an overload of sensation? There's also proof that when a plant's branches are cut on the other side of a room, that electrical impulses are picked up by monitors on other plants in the room. Maybe the mechanisms you are looking for, are a bit more subtle than auto mechanics 101?

      April 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • kdawg

      You're kidding of course. Being able to temporarily block out pain would be a HUGE evolutionary advantage to any member of s society. Pain distracts, pain confuses, pain causes you to react to it. If you can put that all aside and focus on the problem (escape, defending yourself etc.) then you will stand a much better chance of living and hence passing on their trait to your offspring.

      April 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Info

    @Who was Gabriel?

    so where's the proof science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct? You haven't answered his question yet.

    Extraordinary claims, requires extraordinary evidence – Carl Sagan

    April 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Who is Gabriel?

      Lack of Info:

      How can anyone prove something correct or incorrect that is interpretted on so many many levels, by each according to their own abilities? What level of truth are you looking for? The exoteric or the esoteric? Do you know what that even means? Are you refuting the primitive human understanding or the modern literary scientifically influenced philosophical critique?

      Carl Sagan also had an explanation of flat land. Do you undertsand? Someone explained it above, pages ago, if you know how to search like you forced me to do. I think the following was my answer the first time, but I'm not sure since your response didn't attach properly.

      I think I said the following:
      ––
      You want simple answers and concepts which you can easily shoot down to to feel good about your own half thought out assumptions. Unfortunately you have been spoiled in your over estimated perception of your ability to do so, by so many others who are only so happy to oblige you, because they themselves don't know any better. You also have allowed others to program you into what to expect for standard responses, limited to bible only evidence. So when someone suggests you have to search elsewhere as well....well that's just to far out of the box for your own scripted defense.

      Unfortunately its too difficult to give you any advanced understanings when you can't seem to grasp the elementary and do not desire to evolve beyond those concepts. You want Chemistry, Psychology and Quantum Physics etc. explained by addition only. So of course under your predetermined restrictions you will never get the answers you need to underatnd those complex subjects, without a whole lot of effort on your part, which you consistently show you have no desire to make. There are plenty of evidentiary items in these posts to this one article if you only read with half an attempt to understand. The point is, you don't want to. Its more fun to zero in on the easy pickin's and leave as the conquering hero in your mind.

      So what would be the purpose of anyone attempting to help you, when its plain you don't want to help yourself?
      -
      Beyond that response:

      The fact is, most who claim there is no evidence about the history in the Bible, must still be reading 17th, 18th or 19th century history books. Go to the library or bookstore, in the History section, not the religious or philosophical. If perhaps reading is too much to expect, turn on the History Channel, National Geographic, PBS, use Netflix or similar secular hisorical sources that cover the history of Biblical times, the church and other religions; and don't believe or judge by just the first thing you encounter or what sounds cool, but bounce them off each other including the Bible, philosophy, science and atheistic guide books.

      Its an effort you most likely don't want to make, but until you do, you're like the child that doesn't believe in Algebra or Chemistry or Biology or Philosophy etc., because adding and subtracting their marbles, is all they think they really need to get by. You may also not find proof in the Bible that you think you know, but rather proof in the Bible that you can know as truth. Or is the real issue that you aren't interested in understanding the truth and don't want anyone else to either?

      Don't forget Carl's flat land as influenced by 3D and remeber he was the scientist you chose to reference; an extremely intelligent one discussing the extraordinary. Understand?

      Extraordinary evidence also requires extraordinary effort. I don't think those who use Carl's quote want to make that effort, so they should stop repeating it like just another herd of sheep, until they do make such an effort.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Evolution?

      Found It – Flat Land – Enjoy

      "Universe" originally meant, "everything that ever was and is and will be"; before scientists started getting all cute with their own faith driven beliefs. Don't say scientists don't have faith. They base it on experience just like honest religious people and yes, there are some deluded scientists as well as some religious people. Sometimes they are pretty good at determining what they can do, but not so good on knowing whether they should or not. So they aren't delusion free as some might see here. Maybe not.

      "Uni" in universe means ONE and was meant to mean ONE and only ONE. Sound familiar.

      Now scientists postulate alternate universes etc. (by the way which some speculation considers might be the origins of what some see as the spirit world, ghosts, UFO's and leprechauns etc. Those things that just drive you guys crazy:).

      Ever hear of 2 dimensional flat land. Carl Sagan, a very famous scientist, used flat land in his TV show COSMOS, to help us understand these possible alternate dimensions. If we all lived on flat land, we'd be 2 dimensions instead of 3 we perceive now. We would be points, lines, squares, circles and other 2 dimensional figures. We would only experience other flat landers however, as points and lines.

      We would of course all be the various 2 dimensional shapes mentioned earlier, but our fellow flat landers would not be able to perceive that... unless they somehow rose above flat land and were able to look down on it, to see the squares, circles etc. Outside of that, even though sharing the same dimension as other flatlanders, we would never be able to see how things truly are, though we might be able to imagine it with effort like scientists imagine how distant galaxies etc and sub-atomic matter, both of which they have no complete picture.

      Now the "spiritual" part comes in, when a three dimensional object floats through flat land. To flatlanders it would just look like a flatlander suddenly appearing, possibly doing something no one had ever seen before; changing shapes, and then disappearing as it moved through flatland. It might even move through or appear all around a flatlander. If a flatlander were simultaneously blown above flat land, they might even get a glance of what a three dimensional object looked like.

      Either way, whether the flatlander remained on flat land and saw the apparition pass through change shapes mysteriously, or rose above flatland and got a glimpse of the full 3 dimensional object.... if they told a fellow flatlanders who had never seen such a thing, they would surely be derided and called delusional. Sound familiar. Now remember its scientists not priests who are postualting such alternate or multiple dimensions. Reconcile that.

      Scientists also postulate anti-matter just like your negative number analogy. So perhaps the old analogy didn't quite fit modern mathmatics. Still you should be able to understand the intent, with just a little brain effort.

      So what are called alternate universe's (additional dimensions) and anti-matter are still part of that ONE universe. Just because we open another book of things we didn't know, doesn't actually mean we discovered a whole new universe. That's just dumb limited perception, if I we're actually thinking that way. All we really did was discover a part of the universe that always existed, we just didn't know about it before.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Info

      oh wow it did post! Cool! Thanks for taking the time to post and dig up your response. I couldn't find it and assumed it was buried.

      so the question was "where's the proof science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct" Right? I also added the quote from Carl Sagan "Extraordinary claims, requires extraordinary evidence" The fact is, if someones gonna make an extraordinary statement such as that, (science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct) there needs to be extraordinary evidence to back it up. (the quote was for the situation, a statement needs evidence though I did enjoy rereading flat land again but it was mostly a distraction from the answer, it holds no merit to the question or who wrote the bible). Questioning the validation of the said statement is how we gain knowledge. I'm not interested in simple answers and concepts I can easily shoot down nor do I care if the answer lies in facts or evidence within the Christian community or outside in the scientific field. If someone is gonna make a claim such is that, there should be evidence to back it up.

      "How can anyone prove something correct or incorrect that is interpreted on so many many levels, by each according to their own abilities?"

      Then why was "science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct" treated as fact if it can not be proved and be subjected to interpretation individually? What a cop out, don't you know the bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God? In Psalm 119:130 we read that the bible says "The word of God is understandable even to the "simple"." There shouldn't be individual interpretations, it's suppose to be a bible that could not be misinterpreted, That everyone's comprehension of God's want for us would be the same, that he is the one true God, yet it's not that way at all, It's ambiguous, leaving it's followers to interpret according to their own abilities, the fact given there are over 38,000 denominations of Christianity, Many are contradictory with each other and say they alone are correctly interpreting the bible. How can science and the bible prove the bible correct when the bible itself is ambiguous, contradictory, inaccurate, inconsistent, and full of impossibilities?

      Hotair and myself simply asked for evidence to support this claim yet the answer you posted was nothing more then a cop out, filled with insults and insinuating that we should prove you wrong when in fact the burden of proof always falls on the person who made the statement. "Extraordinary evidence also requires extraordinary effort" as you put which is solely on the person who made the statement not those who asked for proof. Trying to turn the burden on us to prove you wrong is masking the fact you haven't answered nor can you.

      We know Genesis is not literally historical, The books from Judges parts of Exodus through Esther are CONSIDERED history, but they often don't match other histories of the time and place and/or aren't supported by archaeology (such as it's more commonly accepted that Moses crossed the sea of reeds and not parted the red sea, also no archaeological evidence found such as remains, pottery, nothing to support the walk through the desert or even historical evidence of Moses ever existing or his people were every in eygpt to begin with!) At best most of the stories can be given credit as what people recalled about a specific time or instance.

      so is the bible historically correct? Not entirely, though it does contain details of some historical events which can be verified from other sources. To say "science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct" is an inaccurate statement,especially with no real evidence to back it up, the bible cannot be proven 100% accurate. It's not a history book, the Bible was claimed to be inspired by God, but was written down and transmitted by PEOPLE.

      April 23, 2011 at 5:29 am |
    • OM

      Info: so the question was "where's the proof science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct" Right?

      OM: Nothing or no one is totally correct, other than things as they truly exist, which no human is capable of fully knowing. You are correct therefore that the Bible can not be proven 100% correct because it was written by human beings, the same as you or I can not be proven to be 100% correct. That does not mean that we have no truth or that we are not increasing our known truth. It also does not prove the intent of the statement at issue, was 100% as you perceived it.

      We are learning more about the history and perspectives that the Bible was written under, therefore helping us understand how more of it is correct, than many want to give credit.

      So again you are correct, in either a 100% true or a 100% wrong judgement, but that's not truly the way things work and you know it. Those you take issue with, won't admit that either, if they limit themselves to just literal interpretation of only specific verses as many unfortunately do.

      However, its a gross mistake to think that everyone who uses the Bible or any other religious text, takes it all literally as if written by the hand of God no matter what you wrote above and others might say. Inspiration is not infallibility and a whole range of personal perceptions based on the wide variety of all our personal experience, including new scientific and historic knowledge, along with the more educated understandings of literary devices like allegory, metaphor, parable etc.; all these help our understandings of science, history, the Bible, other religious texts, and everything else "coming together" more, in how they impact and relate to the truth in each other. That helps us better understand the truths, that perhaps we didn't see earlier, before we looked using such new perspectives.

      That is still not the 100% you might require, but I think most know that nothing is known to be true in the extreme of 100%; other than perhaps arguing that such extremes in either direction are indefensible from the perspective of God's Logic (not word). Logic that manifests itself in everything, not just limited books or concepts no matter how "holy"or "scientific".

      Info: I also added the quote from Carl Sagan "Extraordinary claims, requires extraordinary evidence" The fact is, if someones gonna make an extraordinary statement such as that, (science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct) there needs to be extraordinary evidence to back it up. (the quote was for the situation, a statement needs evidence though I did enjoy rereading flat land again but it was mostly a distraction from the answer, it holds no merit to the question or who wrote the bible). Questioning the validation of the said statement is how we gain knowledge. I'm not interested in simple answers and concepts I can easily shoot down nor do I care if the answer lies in facts or evidence within the Christian community or outside in the scientific field. If someone is gonna make a claim such is that, there should be evidence to back it up.

      OM: Simple answers and extreme views are much the same. Perhaps your perception of the statement is only extrordinary to you and therefore only requires extrordinary evidence for you? "coming together" indicates a movement towards, though you are correct again that the conclusion of "proving the Bible true", if 100% was the intent as a current result, has not and cannot happen, as you perceive it was meant and it may have been meant – but it also was a breif statement that could have meant "proving more of the Bible to be true than was thought before". People do not always write or say exactly what they mean – even and especially sometimes literalists – its Zen.

      This is the issue we always have. People do not communicate precisely, much as we stomp our feet and demand they do; much as I may be intentionally doing now to make a point. Communication demands the efforts of both the sender and the receiver. The sender can state things as explicitly as possible, but if the receiver is a wall, then there is no communicatiion. Since both sides are necessary, sender and receiver both, for communication to be effective; its especially important that both sides try their best not to be a wall and make a respectable effort to understand.

      The point was "extrordinary evidence requires extrordinary effort". You don't really think you are going to have your demands for such extrordinary evidence answered in a simple blog do you? Even if someone did, you would still have to make the extrordinary effort to understand. Continuing to split the scientific and religious into two separate extremities (simplistic thought again) with no relation to each other, implies you are not ready or capable of understanding the psychological, philosophical, historical or other connections that link the two methods of searching for truth, that must be complimentary for either to get as close to that 100% goal as possible.

      Flat land was relevant in understanding the perception issues involved in any human understandings and the fact that the scientist you referenced was used to illustrate that, was to enforce that relevance. The fact that you missed that says something.

      Literal limited extreme scientific language is no better than literal limited extreme religious language.

      Who was Gabriel?: "How can anyone prove something correct or incorrect that is interpreted on so many many levels, by each according to their own abilities?"

      Info: Then why was "science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct" treated as fact if it can not be proved and be subjected to interpretation individually? What a cop out, don't you know the bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God? In Psalm 119:130 we read that the bible says "The word of God is understandable even to the "simple"." There shouldn't be individual interpretations, it's suppose to be a bible that could not be misinterpreted, That everyone's comprehension of God's want for us would be the same, that he is the one true God, yet it's not that way at all, It's ambiguous, leaving it's followers to interpret according to their own abilities, the fact given there are over 38,000 denominations of Christianity, Many are contradictory with each other and say they alone are correctly interpreting the bible. How can science and the bible prove the bible correct when the bible itself is ambiguous, contradictory, inaccurate, inconsistent, and full of impossibilities?

      OM: Review the extremes in your response above and realize they are no different than what you are arguing against and as such imply just as many untruths as you wish to critcize others about. Your extreme interpretation of how everyone views the Bible are just that – your extreme simplistic interpretation. True, some might also hold those extremes to heart, but arguing that we all must or do, is no less proper and greatly dellusional or intentionally misleading as well.

      Since your statements seem to imply you have not read much about the translations of the Bible, perhaps you need to understand that LOGOS was translated as "word", instead of what seems much more obviously correct, the LOGIC of God (cause and efect), which is all around and is understandable by the simple and scientific, but only if they want to. Nothing is simple for anyone if they convince their self it isn't. Cause and effect impact history, writing, sociology, psychology and many other things not proven 100% in scientific labs, but containg truth none the less. Obviously the LOGIC of God was also easier to understand in limited tribal environments because they were simpler times and the statement reffered to was an observation of one man.

      Again its that question of the wall in communication. If people do not understand, it does not necessarily mean that the sender is the one that is wrong, or that the receiver is wrong either.

      Info: Hotair and myself simply asked for evidence to support this claim yet the answer you posted was nothing more then a cop out, filled with insults and insinuating that we should prove you wrong when in fact the burden of proof always falls on the person who made the statement. "Extraordinary evidence also requires extraordinary effort" as you put which is solely on the person who made the statement not those who asked for proof. Trying to turn the burden on us to prove you wrong is masking the fact you haven't answered nor can you.

      OM: So burden of proof is on everyone but you? Interesting concept. We don't ask that you prove us wrong. We ask that you find the truth, if that is what you want, but you seem to consistently speak in extremes no different than your percived antagonists and claim we can't answer, because you don't want to make an effort to understand the truth in the middle of such extremes.

      Info: We know Genesis is not literally historical, The books from Judges parts of Exodus through Esther are CONSIDERED history, but they often don't match other histories of the time and place and/or aren't supported by archaeology (such as it's more commonly accepted that Moses crossed the sea of reeds and not parted the red sea, also no archaeological evidence found such as remains, pottery, nothing to support the walk through the desert or even historical evidence of Moses ever existing or his people were every in eygpt to begin with!) At best most of the stories can be given credit as what people recalled about a specific time or instance.

      so is the bible historically correct? Not entirely, though it does contain details of some historical events which can be verified from other sources. To say "science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct" is an inaccurate statement,especially with no real evidence to back it up, the bible cannot be proven 100% accurate. It's not a history book, the Bible was claimed to be inspired by God, but was written down and transmitted by PEOPLE.

      OM: So we, and I suspect "Who was Gabriel?", probably agree more than you know, but your argument of the limited historical evidence that you just posted might require a little more research and it always will. "Exodus Decoded" is just one of many shows with perspective to be considered, but not the only one. It does include stone tablets referring to things you assert there is no evidence for what so ever. There are many other sources as well. Those that are really interested will seek them out. the one idea that SOME of the Isrealites or Hebrews, did not come from Egypt, but migrated from the civilization by coast to the mountains of Judea don't mention the fact that Egypt extended almost all the way to Turkey along the coast at that time. Perceptions, Perceptions.

      History after all is written by the winners and has its human perceptions written into it as well, no matter who wrote it. What influences do you think might have prevailed after the Age of Enlightenment and Humanism regarding religious texts? How much of our understanding is residue from those initial modern perspectives, misguided or incomplete as they may have been.

      Even the miraculous has natural explanation. Supernatural is only what we don't understand yet. How much more do we think was not understood when the Bible was written? How much was intentionally obscured in parable, allegory metaphor and other literary gimmicks used by the mystery religions and others before and after, to actually hide the truths from those who might be termed malicious in keeping others from understanding? Yes its well known that different levels of understanding were written into the bible and many other religious books and rites, to keep the unprepared out – a small key to understanding what is written; just one, but not all.

      So any small perception can be cut down, but those backed up by various unrelated sources are usually more reliable. I also think only those with extreme unbendable thought patterns from any extreme, were the ones intended to be insulted. The point is that oppositional discussion almost never leads to understanding. Efforts from both sides are required.

      Perhaps our misguided perception, was that by trying to cut down the statement at issue; what was really being implied, was that there was no truth in the Bible, since that is seen in so many other postings. That extrordinary claim would require just as much extraordinary evidence. Round and round we go. Any one who wants to hold beliefs pro or con, needs to prove those beliefs to theirselves if no one else, just to keep their sanity. Proof is not something required only of those, who believe differently than we do.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Magic Mirror

      HotAirAce: "it remains a fairy tale."

      No in your face insults there not requiring extrordinary proof, right?

      April 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Magic Mirror

      Wow. And after further inspection one of the the original phrases was " science and the bible are coming closer and closer to proving that there are stories in the bible that can now be proven..." not that one requested for proof: "science and bible are coming together to prove the bible correct?" Seems to be a major difference, if not just further evidence of the difficulties of communication/.

      April 24, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Info

      Sorry for the late reply, it was a long Easter and I was under the weather sorry about that.

      Of course, you are correct, same with neither of us can be proven 100% correct. The Bible cannot be proven 100% true but there are parts within that can be proven true or historically accurate, of course with something with the intent of the sad statement first reactions are who, what, where, when how? Where is the evidence and where are the facts? If something as the statement was true it would be a very good read with vital knowledge and facts

      While I understand that, from what I've seen and read for every one or two we find correct in the bible we find many more that are incorrect or inconsistent with history as our understanding and perspectives that the bible was written change depending on what was proven and what was not. Not that there is no credit there are facts and history within the text just not enough to back up such a statement. You also correct too that there are shades of grey in life nothing is black and white only life doesn't work that way, there is too much grey and too many possibles within it,

      Of course I don't think everyone who reads the Bible or any other religious text takes it all literal (though we can agree some do which is frightening on some levels) . Sometimes it's the word of God(s), sometimes it is taking literal, other times it's solely spiritual, sometimes it's the word of man or men, sorry that my words made that seem so. While it is true that Inspiration is not infallibility, you are correct that with our knowledge of history, science, religious texts, we can grasp ideas and theories how they impact the truth in new perspectives.

      I did see the statement as extraordinary, if such a statement was proven true and can be proven true, it would shake the very foundation of every religion before and after the bibles creation, other God's and holy text would be invalid and only one true religion would be left standing, and most if not all atheist and agnostics would reform satisfied their questions and evidence have been answered and proven, that is an extraordinary claim and the evidence to prove it should be just as extraordinary.

      "So burden of proof is on everyone but you? Interesting concept."
      Actually no that is incorrect. See if I make the claim that Apollonius of Tyana is the one true messiah, that the followers of Jesus noted and observed stories of him healing the sick, raised the dead, walk through walls and building, that he was persecuted for his religious beliefs and brought to trail by the local roman court, crucified, and after he died he came back to where his followers have found him and then he ascended to heaven. Jesus followers then told stories of Jesus doing the same feats which led to the same fate where they can calim he ascended into heaven. The burden of proof lies with me I made the statement so i must back it up. The burden of proof lies not with the skeptics, but with the believers who label it "truth."

      difficulties of communication are always a problem sometimes were not as clear as we should be, i would like to be more detailed but I'm still a little ill and dizzy gonna go lay down now, hopefully i can be more detailed to any replies between you two, see ya guys later and thanks for the discussion.

      April 28, 2011 at 5:05 am |
  19. DE

    It's mostly a forgery.

    April 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Decoded

      DE = dead end? Isn't a forgery something intended to look as close as possible as the real thing? That's all we can hope for. Only God has the knowledge to write the real thing and only IT would be capable of understanding the complexities within. What purpose would that serve to anyone? So we're stuck with the best we can do. We keep trying if we're honest about it; not swear its done or stop trying.

      April 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • richunix

      Decoded, seen Elvis lately....apparnetly you are willing believe in anything...without any supporting evidence to backup the claim.

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      April 22, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Decoded

      Poor Eunich: You talk about me believing in anything, yet you yourself have no supporting evidence to understand what exactly I believe, to back up your claim. As a result, I contend that your belief system is based on just as much of a lack of evidence, as the your perceived belief systems that you detest; and while you wish to believe in nothing, I prefer to believe in everything that is surely real and wonder about the rest to work at increasing my knowledge, while knowing no one can ever know it all; and that the more you know of what is real, the more the rest seems less irrelevant. So don't try. You get what your efforts provide. It's no reason to vent your ignorance to those that do try and cut and paste your own dogma while swearing dogma should be done away with. There is no consistency in your logic.

      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

      April 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Shin

      The bible is a story that accounts for a period in history long ago.. Not all of it is truth as it is a story and I am pretty certain that a lot of the bible was meant to be interpreted. The bible is also FULL of contradictions. Tosis is correct. The majority of religious people can't think logically. They make arguments about issues they can't prove when evidence points to an opposing view.
      Christopher Hitchen makes a good about religion and logic point every time he debates! The Religious person always gets owned in the debate because their debate is no based on sound logic and based on emotion.

      April 23, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Stereo Type City or Ignorance of Just Another Kind

      Not all religion and superst-ition are the same thing, even if thinking so does make it easier for lazy people to argue like CHRISTopherl and even lazier ones to just repeat his worshipful words without realizing the religious figure they follow.

      All hail CHRISTopher. Must have been tough growing up with that name, knowing where it came from, and knowing you couldn't live up to it.

      April 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well God does exist all around us the miracles can be felt and see except for those in the following;

      Al-Baqara sura 02:
      And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay? (87) And they say: Our hearts are hardened. Nay, but Allah hath cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they believe. (88).
          
      An-Nisa sura 04:
      Then because of their breaking of their covenant, and their disbelieving in the revelations of Allah, and their slaying of the prophets wrongfully, and their saying: Our hearts are hardened – Nay, but Allah set a seal upon them for their disbelief, so that they believe not save a few – (155).

      April 24, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  20. Muneef

    All that been mentioned about John (Yahia) in the Quran.
    The Birth of John
    [3:38] That is when Zachariah implored his Lord: "My Lord, grant me such a good child; You are the Hearer of the prayers."

    [3:39] The angels called him when he was praying in the sanctuary: "GOD gives you good news of John; a believer in the word of GOD, honorable, moral, and a righteous prophet."

    [3:40] He said, "How can I have a boy, when I am so old, and my wife is sterile?" He said, "GOD does whatever He wills."

    [3:41] He said, "My Lord, give me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three days, except through signals. Commemorate your Lord frequently; and meditate night and day."
    ------
    Zachariah
    [19:2] A narration about your Lord's mercy towards His servant Zachariah.

    [19:3] He called his Lord, a secret call.

    [19:4] He said, "My Lord, the bones have turned brittle in my body, and my hair is aflame with gray. As I implore You, my Lord, I never despair.

    [19:5] "I worry about my dependants after me, and my wife has been sterile. Grant me, from You, an heir.

    [19:6] "Let him be my heir and the heir of Jacob's clan, and make him, my Lord, acceptable."

    John
    [19:7] "O Zachariah, we give you good news; a boy whose name shall be John (Yahya). We never created anyone like him before."

    [19:8] He said, "My Lord, will I have a son despite my wife's sterility, and despite my old age?"

    [19:9] He said, "Thus said your Lord: `It is easy for Me to do. I created you before that, and you were nothing.' "

    [19:10] He said, "My Lord, give me a sign." He said, "Your sign is that you will not speak to the people for three consecutive nights."

    [19:11] He came out to his family, from the sanctuary, and signaled to them: "Meditate (on God) day and night."

    [19:12] "O John, you shall uphold the scripture, strongly." We endowed him with wisdom, even in his youth.

    [19:13] And (we endowed him with) kindness from us and purity, for he was righteous.

    [19:14] He honored his parents, and was never a disobedient tyrant.

    [19:15] Peace be upon him the day he was born, the day he dies, and the day he is resurrected back to life.
    -------
    Zachariah and John
    [21:89] And Zachariah implored his Lord: "My Lord, do not keep me without an heir, though You are the best inheritor."

    [21:90] We responded to him and granted him John; we fixed his wife for him. That is because they used to hasten to work righteousness, and implored us in situations of joy, as well as fear. To us, they were reverent. 
    -------
    [6:85] Also, Zachariah, John, Jesus, and Elias; all were righteous.
    --------

    April 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Maher

      Paul is the creator of today’s bible.
      Paul as the founder of Christianity, where he lived 400 years after Jesus disappearance. By the way his real name is Saul but changed by the westerner to Paul
      Jesus has no involvement with the today's Bible
      Just Google it and you will find it easily with so much material

      April 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • supremeamerican

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHjPVrEnR1g&w=640&h=390]

      April 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • Kind of

      Maher,

      Paul was probably the first to put the Greek/Roman mystery spin on the teachings and understanding of Jesus, though Jesus may have provided some stimulus to the ideas, without the thick minds around him realizing it at first.

      While Jesus did not write any of the New Testament and much of his truths and tales about him were regurgitated from other mystery religions of the Middle East of the time, it may be a stretch requiring proof, to say he had nothing to do with the NewTestament. He is kind of the main, though sometimes misunderstood, subject.

      Many were also claimed to be Sons of God, from all of Zeus' offspring in mythology through Alexander the Great and Roman Emperors, and Persia's King was known as the king of Kings hundreds of years earlier; so its kind of in the job description of important people of the Middle East of that time, to imply the virgin God derived birth and other claims. However, we do all come from God, so it could be a matter of realized perspective as well, that was trying to be taught but mostly missed as well.

      I also just read another great teacher 500 years earlier, told fishermen to through their nets in on the other side of their boat like Jesus did, with the same results. His name was Pythagoras.

      When we learn these things though, it should force us to look for the truth in these stories that did cause them to stick around for thousands of years. Its kind of like when Hollywood comes out with a good movie and then so many copies of similar tales come out, because the first worked so well. Some of the new ones are better and some aren't. Tthe ones that are, last a bit longer in our remeberance. 2000 years is quite a while, even though the message has been distorted in many ways since.

      April 23, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Actually, Maher, James (the brother of Jesus) led much of the organization of the Jerusalem church of Nazarenes, holding the Council of Jerusalem in 50CE, putting forth his Apostolic Decree. James was killed in 62CE. Paul then later expanded the influence of the followers of Jesus until after a Roman put-down of an insurrecton in Jerusalem occurred, driving them out of Isreal in 66CE. Church historian Eusebius wrote that many of the Nazarenes fled to Pella, east of the Jordan River. Many of them later refused to accept Paul as a "true" apostle.

      April 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.