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Your Take: Commenters on doomsday leader's end of world revision
May 25th, 2011
09:49 PM ET

Your Take: Commenters on doomsday leader's end of world revision

This week's Belief Blog story on doomsday leader Harold Camping claiming he still expects the world to end on October 21, even after the apocalyptic events he predicted for Saturday failed to materialize, fetched nearly 5,000 comments.

Lots of you left tongue-in-cheek ripostes to Camping's insistence that he merely misinterpreted the Bible's guidance about Judgement Day:

Cleveland
The end of the world is a big deal. Preach on, brother. Since the end is surely coming, I would like to help you and your congregation by accepting all of your money since you won't be needing it. I imagine that all of us sinners will be buying & selling right up to the end, and I for one would like to relieve you of the trouble. Besides, I saw the new SLS this year & have a pretty good idea that I could have it if all of you paid for it.

johnmenacherjr
So when is this nutbag running for the Republican presidential nomination?

Many commenters used the May 21 doomsday movement to whack Christians or to make a case for atheism:

Richard Cheese
Is it really going to take the rapture for Christians to go away? Can't they just take a hint?

Kathleen
Alone in a dark room ... sad ... depressed or whatever is ailing our heart. That is the time we are most vulnerable to believe that god is there. But wishing doesn't make it so. If the world is too complex to have been created by god, then how is it that god, who is supposedly far more complex than the whole universe, came to be by accident? If I could get a logical answer to this question, I might believe that god exists.

Jesus
The Bible is a fairy tale. It's make belive bs for people who are not leaders, for followers, for sheep.

Such attacks brought out defenders of religion:

bob
Can't see gravity either, but you would say that we can measure it by its effect. After all it is scientific truth that for there to be an effect, there must be a cause. We can't see God but logic must prevail when we see the effects of everything around us. Creation. It's orderly and incredible. Yet, you would probably say it came about by mere chance or accident. If this is true, why can't we with our intelligence duplicate something that came about by accident? Why can't we create something from nothing? Why can't we create life from nothing? Wow, which takes more 'blind faith'? Believing something happened by chance just so perfectly to result in this universe - something we cannot duplicate, or admitting that there is someone a lot smarter than mankind that has done this?

Tim
Your assumption about all Christians being ignorant fools is actually all based on the actions of a minority of lunatics and uneducated "so-called" Christians. Yes, a lot of people claim and think they are, and believe ridiculous things, cause more problems in the world and do get in the way of medicine and science and are basically just crappy people. However, there are those that take things for what they are, are intelligent, good people, who don't impose their beliefs on the world, politics or other people. The so-called Christians that believe in ghosts floating around (being watched by a guardian angel or dead relative), those that think when a child dies, they float up to heaven and become "angels" and think the end of the world is coming in our lifetime or that of their children's generation, are really just the ignorant ones that don't understand or lead the lives they claim they are leading. People like that are easily duped.

A normal, sane and intelligent Christian does ask questions, accepts facts and they simply have faith in a higher power and the association with Jesus Christ. The man did exist, for example, but one could easily debate if he was the son of God. The only difference between a normal, everyday decent person and one that's a Christian (a true Christian), is their belief in a higher power.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Comments • End times

soundoff (351 Responses)
  1. LinCA

    One more reason to leave your bronze age supersti.tions behind. Atheists have better se.x:
    http://www.alternet.org/se x/150978/atheists_do_it_better:_why_leaving_religion_leads_to_better_se x/?page=entire

    May 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  2. Muneef

    OMG....I do not believe what I hear ....Where one man saying would cause a whole nation or race be suspected and discriminated all over the world...!!! This is not fair not fair at all... This one man just with few word has thrown atomic bombs against all Muslims in the name of Taliban Pakistan by their speaker (Mahsood)...
    This man not only thrown the bomb on Islam but even against Christians,Jews and those whom he called Infidels...!?

    How can a man execute nations bringing distrust,fear and hate among them in the country as well as to those aboard working or citizens in other countries!!!?.this is unfair and unbelievable.... He has made of the late Ossama as the Prince of believers!! 
    Now only I understand what these blogs were talking about...what's happening to the world is far more dangerous Plague than any Birds Flu... Pigs Flu...or Cow Madness..!!!!  This is madness from some one speaking in the name of Islam to do any believers or non believers for a crime they have not committed...that was one of the commandments made to Children of Israel;

    Grossness of Murder
    [5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

    May 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  3. Yaj T

    At the end of the day, the Bible, whether you believe in its words or not, is something that is held to high reverence in some peoples lives, and if it keeps them from breaking into my house and killing me and my family...let them believe. On the other hand, yes, there are extremist but we can say that about EVERYTHING! Religion is a subject that will be forever argued and never agreed upon therefore lets agree to disagree and allow those who put all there trust into man, reap the consequences that are sure to follow, no matter if you believe in God or not!

    May 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Brian

      Morality Requires God ... or Does It?

      http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=schick_17_3

      May 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      Yaj T
      Yes, religion can't be agreed upon... however I must state that there are two kingdoms at battle here in the world... good vs. evil....
      'From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.' – Matt.11

      May 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • LinCA

      I have no issue with anybody believing whatever they want to believe. That is really their own problem. There is an issue, however, when that belief is imposed on others.

      Beliefs, unsupported by any evidence, have no place in any part of the public space. Therefor, references to a "creator" have no place in public education and references to any god have no place on any national symbol.

      As soon as christians start arguing to remove Intelligent Design from all curricula, and to remove "under god" from the Pledge of Allegiance and all US currency, etc. will I stop pointing out how idiotic their belief is.

      May 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • Scott

      With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. For example George Bush
      -Steven Weinberg (quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999)

      The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.
      -Mohandas Gandhi (Young India, 1927)

      Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
      -Blaise Pascal (Pensees, 1670)

      [R]eligious faith can give people a sort of hyperbolic confidence, an utter unconcern about whether they might be making a mistake, that enables acts of inhumanity that would otherwise be unthinkable.
      –Daniel Dennett (Is religion a threat to rationality and science?)

      You do not need the bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify
      hate.

      May 27, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Scott.

      Don't forget: “When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” – Sinclair Lewis

      May 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      @ Scott
      religion is religion... following customs, traditions, etc. example: man following legalism
      relationships are relational....a bond, friendship, etc. example: man following a Father
      When will people recognize the difference???
      religion is DEAD, yet relationship alive

      May 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • i wonder

      @KingdomCome,

      So, are you fine with those who have a 'relationship' with Allah?...or Vishnu?... or any of the other purported gods?

      May 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      I'm afraid I'm not familiar with any god except The Living God which I have come to know only as God the Father, The Son, and Holy Spirit.... Are there more? LOL I've not had a need for any other...

      May 27, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      I'm sorry... am I okay with others having a relationship with allah? Yes, I'm fine with that...freedom of religion, free will, right? It's no me that people answer to... right? who am I? But I might question them... What does allah promote? Love? Hate? Tolerance? I honestly don't know.
      So I guess I would have to ask... to understand their beliefs

      May 27, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • i wonder

      I guess that I have a relationship with reality then... I need no other.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      Why settle for reality when you can experience the supernatural? 🙂

      May 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • KingdomCome

      Are you bored yet?

      May 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • i wonder

      The Fantasy world is enjoyable and is a nice place to visit... one cannot successfully live there. I can go there anytime I wish... and return.

      May 28, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • i wonder

      p.s. and, no, I never get bored with reality.... waaay too much to discover there.

      May 28, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • KingdomCome

      Why visit when you can LIVE there? Have LIFE there... have room to breathe and be one with the LIVING God 😉 You can actually CREATE there....
      What could be more intriguing in your natural world? Reality. really? pfff! Reality is for wimps!

      May 28, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  4. Ed across the Atlantic

    To all agnostics and atheist, Everybody has a choice. You could either believe that an intelligent, loving creatior exist or you could believe that we exist because of chance. To believe that we came into existence because of a couple of random accidents takes a big leap of faith. To big for me though, since there exits a lot of proof that God exits and that he is patient allowing humans to prove that they cannot rule by themselves. I am not going to mention any proof because you all with throw the Steven Hawking bible at me to disprove the facts. I emplore you to, while there is some time left to make sure of your belief of the non existence of God, be open-minded.

    May 27, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • Eric G

      To all agnostics and atheist, Everybody has a choice. You could either believe that an intelligent, loving creatior exist or you could believe that we exist because of chance. To believe that we came into existence because of a couple of random accidents takes a big leap of faith. To big for me though, since there exits a lot of proof that God exits and that he is patient allowing humans to prove that they cannot rule by themselves. I am not going to mention any proof because you all with throw the Steven Hawking bible at me to disprove the facts. I emplore you to, while there is some time left to make sure of your belief of the non existence of God, be open-minded.

      @Ed: Facts cannot be disproven. Evidence in support of hypothesis can either be verified or not. If your evidence cannot be verified, it is not valid.

      The universe does not exist due to chance. The form of the universe exists due to the laws of physics. This theory is supported by verifiable evidence that has been tested. The theory works without the need of a "god variable".

      For you to insert said "god variable" into any equation, you must first clearly define your god. This definition must be supported by verifiable evidence.

      Please provide the evidence you claim proves your gods existence for verification. It will be subjected to the same scrutiny and rigorous testing that scientific evidence has endured.

      Science makes no claims of knowledge without evidencial support.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:45 am |
    • Stevie7

      Via quantum physics, we can see things are created from nothing. At random (so far as our current theory is able to tell us). No leap of faith required – we just need to use verifiable repeatable phenomenon to inform a model – theory – of creation of the universe. I have not yet seen one 'fact' or proof of any higher power that holds up to any scrutiny. As the great Carl Sagan once said, extraordinary claims required extraordinary evidence. Proof negates faith – if you have proof, you don't need faith.

      Also, in reading the bible, if that's the book that informs your view point (not saying that it does), I find it hard that anyone could describe god as loving.

      May 27, 2011 at 7:49 am |
    • daniel

      I was a die hard rebel/atheistic/agnostic/skeptic about all things "God" until He knocked me off my "high horse" with the revelation of His Son. I refused to believe until i saw. Now i realize that believing is seeing. I blamed Him for all that is wrong in the world from abuse to natural disasters. Now i realize that what is wrong in the world is about inner deviance in the human race-otherwise known as sin-and NOT about God. Turn to Him and SEE, He is drawing you to do so. He is waiting for you in Forgiveness and Love.

      May 27, 2011 at 8:22 am |
    • Fordham Jock

      @Ed Across the Atlantic
      (corrected version) : "To all agnostics and atheistS, (e)Everybody has a choice. You could either believe that an intelligent, loving creat(i)or existS"
      Wrong.
      a. This is not one, of the many options available to me, because, (for argument's sake only , in your world), it created me with a brain, and it, (the brain it created), does not permit me to make irrational "choices".
      b. "or you could believe that we exist because of chance. To believe that we came into existence because of a couple of random accidents takes a big leap of faith." Again your "Two-Option" model is faulty. If by "chance" you mean that probabilities observed in this region of this universe favored the abundance of matter over antimatter, star formation, super novae, (in which the heavy elements such as carbon and silicon were formed), planetary systems, and the evolution of self replicating DNA structures, then I agree with that, but it takes no "leap of faith". It takes, apparently, about 13.7 billion years.
      c. "ToO big for me though, since there exits a lot of proof that God exits and that he is patient allowing humans to prove that they cannot rule by themselves." That string of words is neither logically nor grammatically, ( the dependent clause "hangs" there without referencing anything), meaningful. You could offer at least one proof that it exists. The idea that it exists in a time dependent state, ("patience") as the creator, inside the dimension of it's creature, (time), is ludicrous. The "cannot rule themselves" part is beyond being a "waste of time", as the obviously do so, everywhere, on earth anyway, all the time.
      "I am not going to mention any proof because you all with throw the Steven Hawking bible at me to disprove the facts."
      So you concede the discussion then ?

      @daniel
      "Now i realize that what is wrong in the world is about inner deviance in the human race-otherwise known as sin-and NOT about God. Turn to Him and SEE, He is drawing you to do so. He is waiting for you in Forgiveness and Love."
      Ok, so the dead babies in Missouri this week are part of that, right ? They were deviants and sinners, as were their parents and grandparents, and brothers and sisters ?
      I don't think so.

      May 27, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  5. Sir Craig

    "Can't see gravity either."

    Wow. That is some weapons grade stupid right there. With comebacks like that, I'm amazed some Christians have the capacity to reproduce.

    I'm betting on dumb luck in that regard.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  6. Muneef

    Times will be becoming harder for believers by the deprogramed robots who live among them with emptiness...

    Holding a Burning Ember

    Anas bin Malik (radi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “There shall come upon the people a time in which the one who is steadfast upon his religion will be like the one holding onto a burning ember.” (Hasan) [Chapters on Al-Fitan: Jami At-Tirmidhi]

    This hadith informs us that the Muslim Ummah shall pass through periods when wickedness, lewdness and sinfulness will hold sway in society, and the believers shall find it extremely difficult to preserve their faith, and swim against the surging tide of worldly benefits and gains. Holding onto one’s faith under these conditions will in fact be like holding on to a live coal in the palm of one’s hand, which will be a highly challenging and trying task.

    http://dailyhadith.adaptivesolutionsinc.com/hadith/Holding-a-Burning-Ember.htm

    May 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  7. KingdomWork

    @San Onofre Surfer

    It's nice to meet you, San Onofre Surfer! 😉
    I'm trying to understand whether Paul met Jesus... If you have a conversation with someone... does that mean that I've MET you?

    May 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      Holy cow. We were talking about what happened to you ! And here you were, all along, hiding in plain sight.
      After he meets us in CA there will be proof of our 5 separate ident-ities, so be careful. You on the other hand will only have your psychiatrist's reports to establish your multiple personalities. Wow, how could we be so blind ? Have a good evening, HS.
      The least you could have done was to be a little more creative. I mean, come on. The names are virtually identical.

      May 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Jason the Pendleton Rat

      Dude. Hey man, they all disappeared at the same time. That was SO obvious.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      Alrighty then. So, did Paul meet Jesus ? Well, Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus, and describing it he said that he was looking for members of the the cult called the "Way", and as I recall, he said he heard JC talking as a "voice". So I guess that would mean he didn't actually meet him, if all he heard was a voice. I'm not really much into Pauline stuff, as the Jerusalem community was surely the more authentic, (and Paul started "preaching" immediately after his baptism, without any "training"). No wonder the Jerusalem people thought he was a nut case. I'm wondering if he was ever "ordained", and if not why he thought he should be telling everyone what to do and think, when he never knew what the founder had been talking about. Hm. A fraud. Never thought of that one either.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      @ San Onofre Surfer
      Thank goodness Paul didn't wait to be ordained... He might haven't gotten himself a little confused with that nuisance I refer to as "religion"... instead Paul chose to go straight to the Father for his teaching/preaching style... Seems to have worked for him... here we are years later debating his sanity... Isn't it crazy how we are debating paul's "delusions"
      "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you." (John 14:26)
      "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH ..." (JOHN 16:13)

      May 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  8. Muneef

    They will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [2:37] Then, Adam received from his Lord words, whereby He redeemed him. He is the Redeemer, Most Merciful.

    [2:38] We said, "Go down therefrom, all of you. When guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
    --–

    [2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    --–

    [2:112] Indeed, those who submit themselves absolutely to GOD alone, while leading a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    -----

    [2:262] Those who spend their money in the cause of GOD, then do not follow their charity with insult or harm, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [2:263] Kind words and compassion are better than a charity that is followed by insult. GOD is Rich, Clement.

    ----–

    [2:274] Those who give to charity night and day, secretly and publicly, receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ------

    [2:277] Those who believe and lead a righteous life, and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), they receive their recompense from their Lord; they will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    -----

    [3:169] Do not think that those who are killed in the cause of GOD are dead; they are alive at their Lord, enjoying His provisions.

    [3:170] They are rejoicing in GOD's grace, and they have good news for their comrades who did not die with them, that they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

    [3:171] They have good news of GOD's blessings and grace, and that GOD never fails to reward the believers.
    ----–

    [5:69] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the converts, and the Christians; any of them who (1) believe in GOD and (2) believe in the Last Day, and (3) lead a righteous life, have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ---–

    [6:48] We do not send the messengers except as deliverers of good news, as well as warners. Those who believe and reform have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ---–

    [7:35] O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----

    [10:62] Absolutely, GOD's allies have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----

    [39:61] And GOD will save those who have maintained righteousness; He will reward them. No harm will touch them, nor will they have any grief.
    -----

    [46:13] Surely, those who say, "Our Lord is GOD," then lead a righteous life, will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
    ----–

    May 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Steve

      To those that can only quote scripture to make their point the world has had enough dark shinning on this subject for too long.

      For everyone that claims to be open-minded, please read:

      The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by D.M. Murdock (Acharya S), or

      The Christian Delusion by John W Loftus, or

      Biblical Nonsense by Dr Jason Long, or

      Christ in Egypt by D.M. Murdock (Acharya S), or

      Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are by Bart D Ehrman, or

      The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us by Victor J Stenger

      A careful reading of the above should be a great start to making us all less vulnerable to religious con artists and the plain delusional.

      May 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Muneef

      Steve.

      Who are those authors that I should believe against my belief in the Holy Quran being the words of God....?!

      You what me to stop my belief in God and adopt the belief of emptiness ?!

      You want me to give up this faith;

      "God Almighty said: "My servant draws near to Me with nothing more loved by Me than the acts of worship that I have enjoined upon him. My servant continues to try to draw near to Me with more devotion, until I love him. When I love him, I will be his hearing with which he hears, his sight by which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, his feet on which he walks. When he asks Me for something, I will respond and when he takes refuge in Me, I will grant it to him. I do not hesitate in doing anything I intend to do as much as I hesitate in seizing the soul of My faithful servant; he hates death and I hate hurting him. But death is a must for him"."(narrated by Bukhari)

      http://www.islamicity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11752

      May 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      That's from Harry Potter, right ?

      May 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • Muneef

      San Onofre Surfer
      That's from Harry Potter, right ?
      May 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |

      Well heard the other day the Harry Potter was based on some ancient religious stories...so if that is right then this is some thing similar although the difference here that it is free from magic tricks, wizards and witches that were in Harry Potter...

      May 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Steve

      Muneef

      I will let the work and information below stand:

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

      http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/

      May 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Steve.
      Thank you for the links which I will check tonight since we are in the morning 5 AM back here....

      May 26, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  9. Evan

    David Johnson,

    Read Josh McDowell's "Evidence for Christianity".

    May 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Steve

      About Josh McDowell's 'evidence':

      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

      May 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Brian

      Here are some of the better reviews of Josh McDowell's work:

      http://users.iems.northwestern.edu/~hazen/McDowellRebuttal.html

      http://www.islandnet.com/~luree/evidence.html

      http://www.dougshaver.com/christ/mcdowell.html

      May 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Evan
      David Johnson,

      Read Josh McDowell's "Evidence for Christianity".

      I have. I wasn't impressed.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Dave Dawson

      Read Josh McDowell's "Evidence for Christianity".

      David...you replied:I have. I wasn't impressed.

      They say that only monkey could impress fellow monkeys, so it's really true!

      May 27, 2011 at 2:47 am |
  10. Evan

    David Johnson,

    Jesus is mentioned by Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, Suetonius, Mara Bar Serapion, pre-Islamic Arabian writings, the Qur'an, the Early Church Fathers, etc. Even the most radical of NT critics (such as the Jesus Seminar) have no doubt that Jesus existed. A much better question at this point is "What Jesus God's Son?". To deny Jesus existed would be to deny that Homer, Plato, Alexander the Great, the Buddha, Confucious, Muhammed, Augustus Caesar, Charlemagne, Attila the Hun, William the Conqueror, etc. existed, as there is far less evidence that these people did. You may say "Oh, well we know where Charlemagne's tomb is". First off, that's irrelevant. Second, so where do you draw the line? In other words, how do you determine when there is enough evidence to believe something?

    In short, you are begging-the-question: You're assuming God does not exist, rejecting all the evidence for God, and then saying that He does not exist because of "lack of evidence". The Fallacy of Antisupernaturalism.

    May 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Evan

      You said: "Jesus is mentioned by Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, Suetonius, Mara Bar Serapion, pre-Islamic Arabian writings, the Qur'an, the Early Church Fathers, etc. "

      Well, lets have a look:

      Jesus died in about 30 CE. So anyone born after this date, could not have had first hand information about Jesus. Hearsay only. Hearsay is not acceptable evidence. Ever watch Judge Judy? LOL

      Josephus – The passage often quoted as proof of the existence of Christ is believed to have been inserted by a Roman Catholic bishop, Eusebius, in the fourth century A.D. Eusebius was a historian in his own right, but the bishop was more concerned with proving the legitimacy of the early Roman Catholic church than he was in historical accuracy. When the passage believed to be inserted by Eusebius on Jesus is removed, the text that occurs in Josehpus's The Jewish War flows in context. Josephus – born A.D. 37 died about 101.

      Tacitus – Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56 – AD 117) – Note the birth date. He was born after Jesus was in the grave.

      Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 69–140) – Note the birth date. And even if he actually mentioned Jesus is in dispute.

      pre-Islamic Arabian writings – Pre-Islamic Arabia (6th Century).

      the Qur'an – The recitation began one night in the year 610 A.D. Jesus was dust by then.

      the Early Church Fathers – All written after Jesus was in the grave. Sorry. Hearsay.

      Virtually all, lived after Jesus was...toast. Anything they wrote had to be told to them by someone else.

      Your secular writings are all hearsay or disputed. There is no eyewitness testimony about Christ.
      You would think that an all powerful, all knowing god, could have done better. Yet, He did not.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Eric G

      Not that David would ever need my as-sistance, but I think the question is what evidence is verifiable. The existence of your god has not been established through verifiable evidencial support. Without this verification, any claims made about this god are invalid.

      That being said, please provide verifiable evidencial support for your hypothesis about your gods existence

      May 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Evan

      You said: "You're assuming God does not exist, rejecting all the evidence for God, and then saying that He does not exist because of "lack of evidence". The Fallacy of Antisupernaturalism."

      There is no evidence for there being a god. If there is, please let me know.

      You have only that warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart and faith. And faith without evidence, is worthless.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Eric G

      I always need, and welcome your assistance.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • Hitch

      'Fallacy of Antisupernaturalism.'

      The what? Evan, are you telling me you believe in ALL the other supposed supernatural events of ALL other recorded gods? Or, wait let me guess, in your own religion you make the exception since you have an affinity & are wedded to it?
      Talk about just shamelessly making it up as you go. Since when has that even been a standing? Yea, I am antisupernaturalism with respect to all gods, just like you are save for the god you think exists.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  11. RightturnClyde

    If you have not had enough Doomsday then send the dingaling some money and enjoy the show. He's happy making millio0ns .. send him check if it is burning a h hold in your pocket.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  12. Free

    "Can't see gravity either, but you would say that we can measure it by its effect. After all it is scientific truth that for there to be an effect, there must be a cause. We can't see God but logic must prevail when we see the effects of everything around us. Creation. It's orderly and incredible. Yet, you would probably say it came about by mere chance or accident. If this is true, why can't we with our intelligence duplicate something that came about by accident? Why can't we create something from nothing? Why can't we create life from nothing? Wow, which takes more 'blind faith'? Believing something happened by chance just so perfectly to result in this universe – something we cannot duplicate, or admitting that there is someone a lot smarter than mankind that has done this?" 'bob'

    Oy! Why can't we duplicate accidents? You might as well ask why we can't we 'make' someone win the mega lotto fairly? This, and the rest of this guy's post, is enough to make Spock's ears twist upside down in vexation.

    May 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  13. Matthew

    If he really was speaking the will of God, than he wouldn't have made a mistake in the first place. He is just one more false prophet in this world. ---Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many."

    May 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Lubiana

      Very true

      May 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • RightturnClyde

      Somebody is sending him money. You know somebody buys Roswell T-shirts, Area 51 insider reports, Wee-Gee boards, Tarot cards, E.T. cups, birth charts, Edgar Caycee books, Bermuda triiangle stories, Davinci code, Fatima pictures, Indian dream catchers, ... books, records, magazines, icons, statues, incense, candles .. and somebody else sells them by the THOUSANDS .. and there is DEMAND for an end date.

      May 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  14. SeanNJ

    @Lycidas: Though I better clarify...they were not among the 12 disciples of Jesus.

    Yes, that's what I meant. Those 12 are referred to as "The Apostles." I've never heard of them being referred to simply as disciples.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Disciple just means student or follower. The apostles were all disciples during the 3.5 year ministry of Jesus. They became Apostles on the day of Pentecost! It was then they started to teach.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Steve (the real one): Read down to the thread at the bottom of this page to see this in context. It makes no sense up here.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Free

      I think it comes down to Judas Iscariot being one of the twelve 'disciples', but not being included as one of the twelve 'apostles.' Kinda the difference between being a student of Jesus and a graduate leader carrying his message on after his death. How Paul can be called an apostle is a bit dicey.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  15. Eric G

    All Leprechauns drink Nyquil when they eat peas, and they all hate the Boston Red Socks.

    I have discovered this truth from coded messages on the back of a box of Lucky Charms.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  16. van

    to Eric G:

    Since you don't believe that God exist. Do me one favor, Ask God to prove Himself to you, and wait and see what happens.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Eric G

      Ok, I will bite.......

      I asked your god to show me a universe that it did not create so I can compare it to the one you say he did.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Eric G

      I guess I have to wait 6 days now, right?

      May 26, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Eric G: "I guess I have to wait 6 days now, right?"

      That may be the single most awesome thing I've ever read here. Well done, sir.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Eric G.

      Excellent !

      Peace...

      May 27, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Eric G

      Still, no non created universe to use for comparison. Looking forward to tomorrow.

      May 31, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  17. TheRationale

    I read "Can't see gravity either" and stopped reading.

    If you ever want to assure everyone in the room that you are a completely ignorant fool, start your theological argument with that phrase.

    I swear, the more people try to defend religion, the more they show how utterly ridiculous it is.

    May 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Free

      I know what you mean!
      It reminds me of that old chestnut they like to use about not being able to see the wind either, and alluding that God is something similar. I like to remind them that you can, in fact, sometimes see the wind because of all the pollution it carries and garbage it stirs up, and you can usually tell where the worse wind has been because of the destruction it leaves behind. 😉

      May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  18. Lycidas

    "No evidence that Jesus ever actually existed."

    You mean the fact that there is an entire religion that came about doesn't equal as evidence at any level? You think that some 1st century ppl just sat down one day and decided to create a Judaistic cult from nothing? I'm sorry..but to think there was no historical Jesus (regardless of one's view on his divinity) is quite foolish.

    Shalom!

    May 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Eric G

      I would agree. I think there is evidence to support the claim that Jesus did exist. Unfortunately, it is the divinity part that matters.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Free

      Jesus, yes, but it's not just the divinity part that's not kosher. Everything beyond the basics of his teachings is suspect, and most of the narrative is highly improbable. At best, any historical Jesus serves as just the kernel to the legendary figure featured in the Bible. The 'inspiration' to the myth, if you prefer.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > You mean the fact that there is an entire religion that came about doesn't equal as evidence at any level? You think that some 1st century ppl just sat down one day and decided to create a Judaistic cult from nothing?

      When you realize your argument works just as well for any God of any religion...

      May 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Free

      The Bobinator-
      I think he was meaning the human founders of religions, and not the deities. Jesus is the rare exception of being both. The major Jewish figures of the OT like Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and David are all lacking definitive proof that they actually existed as historical figures, however. Even if they did you'd have to peel away the legendary elements just as you should Jesus.

      May 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So the pantheons of the Greeks, the Egyptians, and the diverse cultures of the Americas all exist! Wow! The gods of the Assyrians, the Vikings,... everybody. Man! That's a lot of gods. How can anyone choose among them?

      May 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Jesus' kingdom is NOT of this world; thus, we see conversations written here amongst subjects that don't percieve the keys in which Jesus came to give us to unlock the mysteries of His kingdom. You must be a subject to the King to benefit from His royalties. Some people were never meant to enter the kingdom; as a result, they will never infer the hidden keys.

      May 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Free

      KingdomWork
      "Jesus' kingdom is NOT of this world;"
      That statement actually also works if his kingdom is purely imaginary, right?

      May 27, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • Chicken Little

      @KW
      His "royalties" ?
      Do you have to pay taxes on those ?

      May 27, 2011 at 8:21 am |
  19. bush limbush

    I didn't get to go see him on Sunday but I'll volunteer to go laugh in his crypt-keeper looking face on October 22nd.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  20. Joe R.

    @Yeah Righ, Bobinator, and others

    There is simply no way I can address every comment or question stated to or asked of me. There are several of you asking many questions, and making many points. For one, I am only one person. And two, as I said before, I am not an expert and am not able to answer every objection. It is also quite obvious that a discussion like this could go on for quite a long time. There are answers to many of your objections. I implore you to look for them in a source better able to communicate them than me. Perhaps in another setting these conversations would better be able to go on. I'll just say a few more things and that will be it for me.

    The disciples of Jesus were the contemporary writers of the day when it came to Jesus. At the time he lived, he had a relatively small band of followers. Sure, it wouldn't be uncommon for him to sometimes draw large crowds of pepole to hear him speak, but there would have been many popular religious teachers in that time. Most of the prominent historians alive then probably would have figured that he was just another teacher that had a following, and didn't think it necessary to write about him. The disciples did think it was important though. So they wrote from their own experiences, and the experiences of those that witnessed Jesus' ministry directly. The earliest books were written within 25 years of Jesus' death and resurection. And no, this actually isn't enough time for myth and legend to truly take hold, because there were still eyewitnesses alive. Yes, the average lifespan was shorter back then, but that is the average, not the rule. There were many eyewitnesses still alive at the time of the original writings to coroborate what was being said. There is some historical evidence to suggest that the only way for the author of the book to know certain details about areas and people was if they were actually alive and in those places at that time.

    Consider also this, the disciples (not all, but most) died horrific deaths for what they believed to be true. They did not believe it to be true based only on what they heard or read though. They based it on what they saw with their own eyes, and heard with their own ears. Would all of these men really have died for what they knew to be a lie? What would have really been their motivation? Certainly at least one of them would have recanted if he knew he was lying when he said he saw Jesus alive after he saw him crucified. Also, for all the hardships the early Christians faced: the efforts by the Jews and Romans both to squash their movement, all the people murdered simply for saying they were a Christian, the movement still prevailed. Perhaps God did make a way for us to know him? Wouldn't he want us to know how? What if the way to know him is indeed spoken of in Bible?

    In the end, it does indeed come down to faith. Everybody has faith in something when it comes to what happens after we die. I have faith that because of my relationship with God, I'll go to heaven. Others have faith that when they die, they will simply cease to exist. Others have faith that when they die they will be reborn in some other form. Some have faith that if they are a good person, then they will go to heaven.

    Here is one thing I know. If I am wrong in my faith, then I'll either cease to exist, or I'll have another chance, or I'll go to heaven because my the average person's standards, I am a good person living a good life, and I really have nothing to fear. If you have your faith in the wrong thing though, and I am right, then what would the consequences be? That is certainly a very large risk. Because there is truth out there. Truth is true no matter what. Something cannot be true for one person but not for another, otherwise, by definition, it would not be truth. So there must be something out there for which somebody's faith is correct. The only way we will find out for sure is when we die. But by then, it might be too late.

    The last two questions become: Is Jesus who he really said he was? And if he really indeed was, what will you do about it?

    Have a good day everybody. I hope and pray all of the rough weather does no more damage. Stay safe, and keep looking for the truth. Just remember, it is at least possible you have found it already without realizing it, and are now simply ignoring it.

    Bye Bye

    May 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • David Johnson

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus (He was probably illiterate).

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.
      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:
      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31

      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32

      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".

      I'm sure you will apply Evangelical gymnastics to these verses, but taken literally it would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

      Here is some more:
      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
      Yet not a single mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone. 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.
      Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people in the world, who are not Christians than who are. Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people
      .
      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Joe R.

      You said: "Here is one thing I know. If I am wrong in my faith, then I'll either cease to exist, or I'll have another chance, or I'll go to heaven because my the average person's standards, I am a good person living a good life, and I really have nothing to fear. "

      You are doing a poor man's Pascal's Wager. The Muslims believe people who do not believe in the Religion of Islam are going to hell. You can't avoid risk.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Have a good day everybody. I hope and pray all of the rough weather does no more damage. Stay safe, and keep looking for the truth. Just remember, it is at least possible you have found it already without realizing it, and are now simply ignoring it.

      Seems like he just wanted to preach and leave.

      If you're still on Joe, I have one question for you. If what I say is true, and dendrochronology does show the world existed at minimum 26,000 years into the past, would you be willing to say that Genesis isn't true?

      May 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Joe R.

      You said: "The disciples did think it was important though. So they wrote from their own experiences, and the experiences of those that witnessed Jesus' ministry directly. The earliest books were written within 25 years of Jesus' death and resurection. And no, this actually isn't enough time for myth and legend to truly take hold, because there were still eyewitnesses alive. Yes, the average "

      NOT BOOKS –> The earliest known writing was by Paul. Paul never actually met Jesus.

      There is no proof that the disciples (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) wrote the Gospels. In fact, it is very unlikely.
      Mathew and Luke pretty much plagiarized Mark (Markan priority) . Mark probably got his info from a separate doc_ument (Q). John disagrees with the others. Hmmm... I doubt the actual disciples would have needed to copy from anything. LOL That is why eyewitness testimony is valuable. Hearsay is crap.

      You said: "There is some historical evidence to suggest that the only way for the author of the book to know certain details about areas and people was if they were actually alive and in those places at that time."

      Lots of books use real places in their stories. Homer's Odyssey uses lots of places that existed in history. Doesn't mean the god mentioned in the Odyssey are real.

      As far as eyewitnesses still alive at the time, who could collaborate...Too bad no one got their names and information. That is a worthless, unprovable assertion. Or do you know of a list of these eyewitnesses?

      You said: "In the end, it does indeed come down to faith. Everybody has faith in something when it comes to what happens after we die."

      No. My beliefs are not based on faith. Faith is worthless without evidence. Believers want their faith to be equal to proof, but that does not make it so.

      There is no evidence for an afterlife. No evidence for a soul. No evidence for a god. No evidence that Jesus ever actually existed.

      Like C.S. Lewis' Liar, Lunatic or Lord, the 3 choices aren't collectively exhaustive. Jesus may have been genuinely mistaken.
      People may not die for a lie, but the disciples might have died for a delusion. They may have actually believed Jesus was the Messiah. But, belief doesn't make it so.

      And yes, 25 years is a long time for story telling and myth building. Gunslingers of the Old West, developed awesome reputations in far less time.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "There is no proof that the disciples (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) wrote the Gospels."

      Hmmmm....you seem intelligent yet there is something horribly wrong with this statement? Do you know what it is??

      Could it be that Mark and Luke were not even disciples?

      May 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Paul never actually met Jesus."

      So what? Does this diminish what he was writing about?

      May 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Hearsay is crap."

      I am curious, do you think what Socrates said is crap? I mean, all that we know from him came from the memories of his student.

      Shalom!

      May 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Eric G

      @The Bobinator: No, he will not.

      He will reject your reality and conveniently substi-tute his own.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "No evidence that Jesus ever actually existed."

      You mean the fact that there is an entire religion that came about doesn't equal as evidence at any level? You think that some 1st century ppl just sat down one day and decided to create a Judaistic cult from nothing? I'm sorry..but to think there was no historical Jesus (regardless of one's view on his divinity) is quite foolish.

      Shalom!!

      May 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Lycidas: You said, "Could it be that Mark and Luke were not even disciples?"

      I would hope they were disciples. They weren't apostles, however, which is what I think you're trying to say.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @SeanNJ- Nope...I meant what I said. Mark and Luke were not disciples of Jesus. Though I better clarify...they were not among the 12 disciples of Jesus. If however you meant disciples as followers of Jesus's teachings...then they were.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      *sigh* Didn't "reply"

      @Lycidas: You said, "Though I better clarify...they were not among the 12 disciples of Jesus."

      Yes, that's what I meant. Those 12 are referred to as "The Apostles." I've never heard of them being referred to simply as disciples.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @SeanNJ- I hate when CNN has those wierd moments with replying.

      Ah..ok. The only reason I mentioned it was from David Johnson's comments above.

      May 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Lycidas: "Ah..ok. The only reason I mentioned it was from David Johnson's comments above."

      Fair enough. If he had said "apostles," then I would've agreed that he was incorrect; but I can't find anything wrong with the language he used.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Lubiana

      Thank you for trying Joe R.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Artist

      Lycidas

      "No evidence that Jesus ever actually existed."

      You mean the fact that there is an entire religion that came about doesn't equal as evidence at any level? You think that some 1st century ppl just sat down one day and decided to create a Judaistic cult from nothing? I'm sorry..but to think there was no historical Jesus (regardless of one's view on his divinity) is quite foolish.

      Shalom!!
      --------
      Is there any other evidence other than the biased writings in the bible? Don't all cults start from one's imagination? If Jesus did exist he was clearly delusional and could have benefited from medication most likely.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Free

      David Johnson
      "Like C.S. Lewis' Liar, Lunatic or Lord, the 3 choices aren't collectively exhaustive. Jesus may have been genuinely mistaken."
      Or, he may never have made any such claim personally. The whole thing may be an invention of Paul, or someone else, and the gospel accounts may just be added to reflect the belief current at that time. Jesus may have been a simple, devout Jewish teacher radically liberal in his take of the faith, but never intending to spread belief in YHWH to gentiles, much less claim to actually be YHWH. He may have been a complete innocent to someone else's misuse of him as a sacrilege, right?

      May 26, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist-The comments were not aimed to garner your biased opinions about the mental state of Jesus. It was however talking about Jesus being a historical figure. I think in all your blabber...you think he did exist historically..yes?

      May 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Free

      David Johnson
      "And yes, 25 years is a long time for story telling and myth building. Gunslingers of the Old West, developed awesome reputations in far less time."
      And, in the case of Davy Crockett and Elvis, fantastic stories were being told about them while they were still alive.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Eric G

      Memory and personal experience is not a good source for factual reference.

      An example:

      Ask people to name a famous line from Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca". Many will respond "Play it again, Sam". They have seen the movie, they know the line, they remember him saying it. But, he never said it.

      May 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Free

      Eric G
      Here's another:
      In the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs a line in the famous Hi Ho song is commonly rendered as

      "Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
      It's off to work work we go"

      Yet, they sing this song after they quit mining and head home to meet Snow for the first time. So, in reality, the lyrics go

      "Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho
      It's home from work we go"

      Funny how reality gets twisted to suit different needs, eh?

      May 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Fordham Jock

      @David Johnson,
      "The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture".

      I know, for a while, that Jesus was thought by some to have been a member of the Essene Community out in the desert near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, as well as maybe John the Baptist. Do you know if that is still considered to be a possibility. There were no NT scriptures found there, but there was some similarity between their and his eschatology. Thanks.

      May 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Free

      I was using the C.S. Lewis' Trilemma as an example to show the "Nobody dies for a lie" had problems. And yes, Jesus may have been a man, who was made into a god, without His being an accomplice.

      I actually think this is more likely, than that He never existed. I just grow weary of believers acting as if EVERYONE in the whole world believes in the New Testament. And that anyone who doesn't, just doesn't understand the evidence.

      Also: Yes, Elvis. I remember seeing like 3 different "guaranteed authentic" peanut butter and banana sandwiches just a few years after his death. Each was different. Thanks for reminding me.

      @ Lycidas

      Paul never met Jesus, so anything Paul has to say about Jesus is conjecture and hearsay. You might claim divine revelation, but I think it would be hard to prove. Joseph Smith made such a claim. You don't believe it right?

      Before Christianity, there was Mithra. This religion rivaled Christianity. Do you think Mithra actually existed? I guess you wouldn't argue too hard, if I said Mithra never existed. Right?

      Lycidas, you missed the most important part of my argument. If Jesus died for man's sin, then it is the biggest, most wonderful thing that ever happened to man. God was born a human and suffered and died for us. And then left no evidence that it actually happened. Wouldn't you expect that if god went through all that, He would have left so much evidence that no one could deny the event? Yet, only about 32% of the world's population is Christian. That means 68% of the world's people aren't convinced. I think that is odd. You?

      @Fordham Jock

      I have heard that Jesus and John the Baptist may have belonged to the essene community. I don't think anyone is sure. Your Evangelicals will probably vote "NO", since anything that smacked of Jesus being a normal joe is not acceptable.

      Cheers!

      May 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Fordham Jock

      @David Johnson
      "Your Evangelicals"
      Nuh uh. Don't give 'em to me.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @David-
      1)Paul never met Jesus, so anything Paul has to say about Jesus is conjecture and hearsay. You might claim divine revelation, but I think it would be hard to prove. Joseph Smith made such a claim. You don't believe it right?

      While Paul's meeting of Jesus does fit into the realm of "divine revelation", one must keep in mind that the vast majority of Paul's writings were not centered around telling the historical account of Jesus but expanding upon the theology of the church. As far as Joseph Smith, I have had no reason to believe in what Smith had to say. But I don't go around demanding Mormons to prove Smith as being right either.

      2)Before Christianity, there was Mithra. This religion rivaled Christianity. Do you think Mithra actually existed? I guess you wouldn't argue too hard, if I said Mithra never existed. Right?

      I've never seen the odd focus some ppl have with Mithra. That religion rivaled early Christianity but what of it? Isis, Emporer worship and other religions of the Empire as along side early Christianity. Maybe you can explain why not having faith in another religion somehow damages my faith in mine?

      3) Wouldn't you expect that if god went through all that, He would have left so much evidence that no one could deny the event? Yet, only about 32% of the world's population is Christian. That means 68% of the world's people aren't convinced. I think that is odd. You?

      Not at all because I don't believe group-think regulates truth. You don't think popular opinion makes something more or less true do you?
      As for the evidence, what is available sustains me and my faith just fine. I can't answer why it doesn't for the rest of humanity. I am answerable for my own beliefs and actions and no one elses as long as my beliefs do not interfere with others. Would you not agree that is a rational and logical manner to live one's life?

      May 26, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      Paul/Saul must have been having one of those "delusions" that people keep refering to....when God/Jesus spoke to him on the road when he was going to persecute Christians..... So it is debatable to state that Paul NEVER met Jesus. He met Jesus alright... Paul met Jesus in a scary way... God spoke to him and made Saul/Paul blind for 3 days... He was PERSECUTING Christians when Paul met JESUS! Interesting, right! They had a conversation.... does that mean that they officially met? Hmmm

      May 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      @KingdomWork
      Why is it that you folks keep rearranging the words in those new and semi-unique ways of presenting that same ole – same ole, sentimental clap-trap. It means nothing and I wonder if doing that really makes you feel better ?

      May 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • KingdomWork

      @San Onofre Surfer

      It's nice to meet you, San Onofre Surfer!
      I'm trying to understand whether Paul actually met Jesus... If you have a conversation with someone... does that mean that I've MET you? Maybe you are my "delusion" 🙂

      May 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Free

      KingdomWork
      "7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

      A tumor maybe? That would explain the hallucination of seeing Jesus and the vastly different writing styles in the contested letters. Would also explain his whacky thought patterns and hijacking of Christianity away from Judaism.

      Yes, he persecuted Christians, and then he became a Christian leader and led his churches away from Jewish practice. So, maybe the persecution never ended and this was his way of sabotaging Jesus' true teaching? If it was, it worked.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Excuseless Points

      To debate of Jesus Divinity is for life; while
      To debate of His Existence has no life.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:21 am |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      @KW
      Almost didn't recognize you without your "Amen".

      May 27, 2011 at 8:25 am |
    • KingdomWork

      @ Free
      Careful quoting scripture, Free... I might "hear" God speaking to me through His word, calling me to be humble in my speech. Thus, YOU would be infact teaching me to be a nicer person inadvertently through quoting scripture, right? That would be because His Word is Life & FREEdom.... sharper than a two edge sword... cutting through the darkness around us..

      “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. “(Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)

      May 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Free
      The retired Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, John Shelby Spong, wrote an interesting book, where he postulates that the "thorn in his side" was a same s-ex attraction, which he fought valiantly, but unsuccessfully, to suppress.
      "Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism," (published by Harper Collins). Very interesting.

      May 27, 2011 at 4:46 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.