Actually, that's not in the Bible
Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden right? Nope. That's one of many phantom passages that people think are in the Bible.
June 5th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

Actually, that's not in the Bible

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - NFL legend Mike Ditka was giving a news conference one day after being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears when he decided to quote the Bible.

“Scripture tells you that all things shall pass,” a choked-up Ditka said after leading his team to only five wins during the previous season.  “This, too, shall pass.”

Ditka fumbled his biblical citation, though. The phrase “This, too, shall pass” doesn’t appear in the Bible. Ditka was quoting a phantom scripture that sounds like it belongs in the Bible, but look closer and it’s not there.

Ditka’s biblical blunder is as common as preachers delivering long-winded public prayers. The Bible may be the most revered book in America, but it’s also one of the most misquoted. Politicians, motivational speakers, coaches - all types of people  - quote passages that actually have no place in the Bible, religious scholars say.

These phantom passages include:

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“Spare the rod, spoil the child.”

And there is this often-cited paraphrase: Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden.

None of those passages appear in the Bible, and one is actually anti-biblical, scholars say.

But people rarely challenge them because biblical ignorance is so pervasive that it even reaches groups of people who should know better, says Steve Bouma-Prediger, a religion professor at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

“In my college religion classes, I sometimes quote 2 Hesitations 4:3 (‘There are no internal combustion engines in heaven’),” Bouma-Prediger says. “I wait to see if anyone realizes that there is no such book in the Bible and therefore no such verse.

“Only a few catch on.”

Few catch on because they don’t want to - people prefer knowing biblical passages that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs, a Bible professor says.

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” says Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who once had to persuade a student in his Bible class at Middle Tennessee State University that the saying “this dog won’t hunt” doesn’t appear in the Book of Proverbs.

“They have memorized parts of texts that they can string together to prove the biblical basis for whatever it is they believe in,” he says, “but they ignore the vast majority of the text."

Phantom biblical passages work in mysterious ways

Ignorance isn’t the only cause for phantom Bible verses. Confusion is another.

Some of the most popular faux verses are pithy paraphrases of biblical concepts or bits of folk wisdom.

Consider these two:

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

Both sound as if they are taken from the Bible, but they’re not. The first is a paraphrase of a 19th century hymn by the English poet William Cowper (“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform).

The “cleanliness” passage was coined by John Wesley, the 18th century evangelist who founded Methodism,  says Thomas Kidd, a history professor at Baylor University in Texas.

“No matter if John Wesley or someone else came up with a wise saying - if it sounds proverbish, people figure it must come from the Bible,” Kidd says.

Our fondness for the short and tweet-worthy may also explain our fondness for phantom biblical phrases. The pseudo-verses function like theological tweets: They’re pithy summarizations of biblical concepts.

“Spare the rod, spoil the child” falls into that category. It’s a popular verse - and painful for many kids. Could some enterprising kid avoid the rod by pointing out to his mother that it's not in the Bible?

It’s doubtful. Her possible retort: The popular saying is a distillation of Proverbs 13:24: “The one who withholds [or spares] the rod is one who hates his son.”

Another saying that sounds Bible-worthy: “Pride goes before a fall.” But its approximation, Proverbs 16:18, is actually written: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

There are some phantom biblical verses for which no excuse can be offered. The speaker goofed.

That’s what Bruce Wells, a theology professor, thinks happened to Ditka, the former NFL coach, when he strayed from the gridiron to biblical commentary during his 1993 press conference in Chicago.

Wells watched Ditka’s biblical blunder on local television when he lived in Chicago. After Ditka cited the mysterious passage, reporters scrambled unsuccessfully the next day to find the biblical source.

They should have consulted Wells, who is now director of the ancient studies program at Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania. Wells says Ditka’s error probably came from a peculiar feature of the King James Bible.

“My hunch on the Ditka quote is that it comes from a quirk of the King James translation,” Wells says. “Ancient Hebrew had a particular way of saying things like, ‘and the next thing that happened was…’ The King James translators of the Old Testament consistently rendered this as ‘and it came to pass.’ ’’

When phantom Bible passages turn dangerous

People may get verses wrong, but they also mangle plenty of well-known biblical stories as well.

Two examples: The scripture never says a whale swallowed Jonah, the Old Testament prophet, nor did any New Testament passages say that three wise men visited baby Jesus, scholars say.

Those details may seem minor, but scholars say one popular phantom Bible story stands above the rest: The Genesis story about the fall of humanity.

Most people know the popular version - Satan in the guise of a serpent tempts Eve to pick the forbidden apple from the Tree of Life. It’s been downhill ever since.

But the story in the book of Genesis never places Satan in the Garden of Eden.

“Genesis mentions nothing but a serpent,” says Kevin Dunn, chair of the department of religion at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

“Not only does the text not mention Satan, the very idea of Satan as a devilish tempter postdates the composition of the Garden of Eden story by at least 500 years,” Dunn says.

Getting biblical scriptures and stories wrong may not seem significant, but it can become dangerous, one scholar says.

Most people have heard this one: “God helps those that help themselves.” It’s another phantom scripture that appears nowhere in the Bible, but many people think it does. It's actually attributed to Benjamin Franklin, one of the nation's founding fathers.

The passage is popular in part because it is a reflection of cherished American values: individual liberty and self-reliance, says Sidnie White Crawford, a religious studies scholar at the University of Nebraska.

Yet that passage contradicts the biblical definition of goodness: defining one’s worth by what one does for others, like the poor and the outcast, Crawford says.

Crawford cites a scripture from Leviticus that tells people that when they harvest the land, they should leave some “for the poor and the alien” (Leviticus 19:9-10), and another passage from Deuteronomy that declares that people should not be “tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.”

“We often infect the Bible with our own values and morals, not asking what the Bible’s values and morals really are,” Crawford says.

Where do these phantom passages come from?

It’s easy to blame the spread of phantom biblical passages on pervasive biblical illiteracy. But the causes are varied and go back centuries.

Some of the guilty parties are anonymous, lost to history. They are artists and storytellers who over the years embellished biblical stories and passages with their own twists.

If, say, you were an anonymous artist painting the Garden of Eden during the Renaissance, why not portray the serpent as the devil to give some punch to your creation? And if you’re a preacher telling a story about Jonah, doesn’t it just sound better to say that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, not a “great fish”?

Others blame the spread of phantom Bible passages on King James, or more specifically the declining popularity of the King James translation of the Bible.

That translation, which marks 400 years of existence this year, had a near monopoly on the Bible market as recently as 50 years ago, says Douglas Jacobsen, a professor of church history and theology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

“If you quoted the Bible and got it wrong then, people were more likely to notice because there was only one text,” he says. “Today, so many different translations are used that almost no one can tell for sure if something supposedly from the Bible is being quoted accurately or not.”

Others blame the spread of phantom biblical verses on Martin Luther, the German monk who ignited the Protestant Reformation, the massive “protest” against the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church that led to the formation of Protestant church denominations.

“It is a great Protestant tradition for anyone - milkmaid, cobbler, or innkeeper - to be able to pick up the Bible and read for herself. No need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” says Craig Hazen, director of the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University in Southern California.

But often the milkmaid, the cobbler - and the NFL coach - start creating biblical passages without the guidance of biblical experts, he says.

“You can see this manifest today in living room Bible studies across North America where lovely Christian people, with no training whatsoever, drink decaf, eat brownies and ask each other, ‘What does this text mean to you?’’’ Hazen says.

“Not only do they get the interpretation wrong, but very often end up quoting verses that really aren’t there.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Faith

soundoff (8,604 Responses)
  1. AndyF

    Misquoted or not, the Bible is the most abused book in human history. Be it perverse interpretations, or clinging to arhaic and expired principles, the books were ultimately written by men who perceived a world that was flat and the center of the universe. Hence, the perception of man as the center of all being is contrary to what we have learned as a species that is an integral part of a web of life. To think the book was closed thousands of years ago on understanding our relationship with God/Creation/Allah/That-which-is-beyond-understanding is perhaps the greatest flaw of modern humankind. The Bible, Torah, Koran, do offer key insights into the historical development of civil relationships and how they still have bearing on today's world. But concepts like be fruitful and multiply, be them in the Bible and not a misquote, had a place when 1 in 5 (at best) newborns had a chance to see year 2, but now that we know we are a biological symbiot on earth, any species that overpopulates crashes, hence such a concept of wanton baby making has no place in this already overpopulated earth. And that is just one biblical concept that is counterproductive to humankind. The list is numerous, but like Thomas Paine was forced out of this country for doing, to downgrade the value of the Bible and organized religion on a public level can really hurt your career. If anything, the Bible should be used to call out and shun conservatives for putting profits and way excessive lifestyles ahead of human life, of the well being of fellow Americans, of marginalizing people because of race, for thinking they can just live and consume with no thought of the future b/c the rapture is coming, even if they need to make it happen themselves.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • MarkyMerlot

      Very articulate and well said!

      June 5, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • US Patriot

      Wow... you really don't know what the Bible actually contains! The Bible itself speaks of a round earth and stars so innumerable they can't be counted... even speaks about the gravity of the moon controlling our tides... it's in the book of Job, in case you were wondering... There is SO much wrong with what you said it's almost laughable really... it's sad just how many people will speak on a subject and have NO CLUE what they are talking about. How about reading the Bible yourself instead of speaking from hearsay.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  2. James Black


    June 5, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • humberto


      June 5, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  3. FlGuy

    Who would believe a bible that was written and rewritten by kings of england and european clergy in the dark ages just to keep the power in the churchs' hands?

    June 5, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  4. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    As it says in the Book of Bruce 6:22 " Shyt happens".

    June 5, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  5. billy

    I also love the misquoted "to be absent from they body is to be present with the lord". You hear that at every funeral by "educated" pastors. When the quote really says "We are confident and willing, RATHER to be absent from the body and present with the Lord".
    Nowhere in the bible does it say people go to heaven right after death. Not only is the "going to heaven" part a huge misunderstanding but probably the biggest lie told in the church. Christians should read their own book. Heaven is talked about as an ultimate abode, but not an immediate destination upon death. Jesus is even quoted in John as saying "no man has entered heaven". Interesting how nobody touches this subject because of the fear congregations would experience if they found out that they don't go straight to heaven (at least according to their own scripture).

    June 5, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • US Patriot

      YOU need to read the Bible, friend... read the passages about Lazarus and the rich man... both died, rich man went immediately to hell. He looked over to heaven and begged Abraham to come down to hell and give him a drop of water to cool his tongue. The bible does NOT teach contrary to this. We DO go to either one of 2 places immediately following death. The place of eternal torment is the default location (meaning- for all those who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior). Heaven is the reward for those who have put their trust in Christ.

      You are misreading, misunderstanding, and misinterpreting God's Word. Also, I would highly suggest the KJV translation. I can be a little challenging to read at first, but it is by far the most accurate to the original Hebrew and Greek texts. Over time, you will get used to how it reads and it will be much easier to understand. Sadly, the other translations have changed small words which in turn changes the context of verses.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • billy

      Interesting thing about lazarus and the rich man, they were separated by a gulf. Look at the definition of "hell". our english language has screwed up the word. There are 3 words that were all translated into hell, even in the precious KJV. This will clarify ones understanding of where you go when you die. Why did Jesus say that no man has entered heaven? Surely Jesus didn't lie? Also remember in Ephesians we learn that Jesus first descended before he ascended. If all those in the grave are to rise to greet Jesus at the last trump, then why would God put them back in the graves if they are already in heaven? "OK guys I'm going to send my son back to harvest the earth, I need you to go back in your graves and act surprised when Jesus comes back".
      Scripture never says that the first resting place is heaven. All dead Christians will meet Christ in the air, then the ones who are alive and remain will meet him. Why does Revelation talk about those who are under the altar (dead) telling Jesus to hurry up? He gives them white robes and tells them to hang on and he'll come back.
      I don't find any verses that say Christians go immediately to heaven. Granted it is the final resting place when a new heaven and new earth are established, when heaven is brought down. But I think Bible readers need to deal with the verse where Jesus says No man has entered heaven. Also study the words SLEEP, HELL, and HEAVEN in scripture. Heaven can mean several things, space, sky, and the actual dwelling place of God.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Leon

      As God once told us (before the time of Jesus) , there is nothing in death .
      As Jesus once said after His death , and then the earth and the seas will give up the dead to be risen .
      I could be wrong in the translation , since my Bible is not english .
      Jesus also said , that all should be risen from the dead , to be judged . Judged either to eternal life or eternal death .
      There is only 1 place , as far as I know , where Jesus speaks after His death , and that is the revelation . But He speaks not His own words , but the words of God , as said in revelation 1:1 .
      Since the word hell is being maipulated in our days , take a look at the world we have right now .
      That is hell . And no one takes any action to make it better . And when revelation goes on to the 6th seal , then what we have now , is nothing compared to what will come .
      God has said so , and so it shall be .
      Death is death , there is nothing in it .

      June 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Tara

      lankan soul come on my dear aniidn friends try to understand the reality u guys r not talented like srilankans ..india always wins a match with one man performance , with umpires help or with crowd support not as a cricketing team .no team spirit with you guys ..only anger and jealous.that's y u guys always have fights inside the team.. (0)

      April 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  6. zeus-z

    John Blake, what in the world are you talking about saying that Adam and Eve being seduced by the devil is not in the Bible? Great one trying to tip the people on the fence that are trying to have faith in the Lord. The Bible does say people like you will be busy making people not believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • HeavenSent

      The bible says god he a mean ole nasty and he gonna whup your ass with a tornado or beat you with cancer. Just because you there. Every human need a good beating now an then. Bible says.


      June 5, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • tomtom

      The only thing christians and I have in common we both hate gay people.

      June 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • X-believer

      Bible full of b.s. none of it is truth. God ain't real...get over it. Now you got politicians calling for christians to vote cause they know how gulible bellievers are.

      June 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Leon

      To tomtom - The Bible says clearly , he who hates his brother is a murderer .
      By reading the Bible , we should come to the understanding that every person on this planet is ONE BIG family .
      No matter the colorskin , no matter the eyecolor , no matter the language , no matter the customs of every area and region . We are all related .
      If you hate someone because he is gay , then you hate a brother .
      Love him as a person , but hate WHAT he does .
      Therein is the difference .

      June 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  7. Guy

    Why is there even a belief section on CNN, there's no reason for it to be here, and it serves no purpose.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • tomtom

      for fat ugly people to argue

      June 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Harry Potter

      It's so people like you who are afraid of honest debate can come here anyway, and leave their stupid opinions.

      June 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  8. Sarah

    Well duh, more people need to speak up about this issue – which is so intregrated into our society! There is no GOD in the Universe that is angry, vengeful, yeah sure blame women for the Garden of Eden deal – LOL Remind anybody of anything that's been going on forever? The Middle East – where most women are treated like trash and have no rights. Stories retold again and again by men, we know how stories get twisted and turned around after a few days, how about after over 2000 years? And Evolution has been going on since the beginning of time – common sense folks 🙂 wake up and enjoy your life with a Loving God, whatever you may choose to call him!!!

    June 5, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Leon

      Sarah , perhaps you should try read a bit in the Bible . The world is as it is right now , because Satan is ruling it .
      As God says in the revelation , through Christ , there will be a war here , that will imprison Satan , and thus make Christ the new ruler here . And those against God will pay for their crimes , but ALSO those with God , will pay for their crimes .
      We will all pay . This planet belongs to God , for He created it . WE humans are destroying the planet .
      If God love the dinosaurs better than us humans , I can certainly understand that . Never has there been a race so destructive and deceitful as humans . Do your homework before you critizise .

      June 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  9. sunny lovetts

    Are you kidding me... Adam and Eve being tempted by Satan is in the bible you morons. WOW how stupid do they think you are?

    June 5, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Shalisa

      No, it isn't. When the story of Genesis was written down by Jewish scribes, the snake did NOT represent Satan. That is a much later interpretation by Christians. Go get some education.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • AthensGuy

      and Alice fell into a hole, the little boy went to where the Wild Things Live, Santa came to town,and Aristotle wrote that the sun orbited the earth. all these are in books. are they true as well?

      June 5, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  10. Kevin

    I believe "God helps those who help themselves" was simply penciled in by Jerry Falwell.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  11. Pastor Jonathan

    Some of you all amaze me on this site. You atheists claim that you know the Bible better than Christians. Yet you twist it worse than we do (Yes there are many Christians who misquote and twist the Bible). Im not here to argue though cause you will believe what you want just as I will. About the article I am glad someone finally pointed this out. I constantly correct people on this. Now I will say this that some of the misquotes are implied. For instance the serpent, sure it doesn't say Satan but in Rev. 20:2 it calls Satan the ancient serpent (or serpent of old). This implies he was the serpent in the garden because that is the only true reference it is refering to. This too shall pass is just a statement people say partly because of 2 Corinithians 5:17 that the old things have passed away and behold all things have become new. People will quote this too shall pass meaning eventually it will pass as the old stuff does. I enjoyed this article and am glad it was finally put out there. I wish people would read the book – both Christians and Atheists before they try to argue. Just because you were raised in a christian home doesnt mean you know the bible. Just because you took a religion class doesnt mean you know the bible. Go read it yourself then come argue with me. I have read it all the way thru many times and have thoroughly studied it and still do.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Jacob

      "You atheists claim that you know the Bible better than Christians."

      That's usually the case. Most atheists in America were raised in church. The more you learn about the Bible, the less plausible it becomes.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Jroni

      Jacob, you are my new hero.........and what you said is so true. I went to church for 18 years growing up, not because i wanted to, but because my parents made me go. That is one of the biggest problems with religion, kids are taught to believe it before they can think for themselves, kind of like brainwashing....exactly like brainwashing.
      And, most of the atheists I have met do know much more about religion than the bible pushers do, and they are not using to try and control people's thoughts, minds & of course, wallets.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Kevin

      A Pew Forum survey last September showed pretty conclusively that athiest know religion better than its adherents. They know the widest variety of facts about the world religions, and yes, they know specifically more about Christianity than Christians as a whole. Fortunately most religions thrive on the ignorance of their flock, the correlation between intelligence and non-belief is another solid statistic (Nyborg, 2008). This IQ to non-belief correlation was global and significant.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • tomtom


      can you say "GOD DAMN!", and that is how the cookie crumbles.

      June 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  12. brian

    Matt 7:3-5 ...and why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

    My interpretation: Do not accuse the author of ignorance if you cannot spell or form well-reasoned thoughts or even complete sentences.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  13. trixen

    Bibles make good rolling papers for joints.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • palintwit

      I keep one in the bathroom in case I run out of TP.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Kevin

      I use one to jam the window tight on my air conditioner. Perfect size.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  14. Architect

    Why would I let a fired football coach influence my opinion on the Bible. He misquote the Bible... 15 years ago. So what! And the same goes for CNN's interpretation of the Garden of Eden. There are references in the Bible's other books to Satan being the serpent (Revelation 12:9), but CNN doesn't tell you that.Revelation 12:9. And an "apple"? What legitimate pastor, or Biblical scholar said anything about an apple? It has always been a forbidden fruit in Genesis.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Leon

      For those who cares , what we know of this fruit , is that humans were forbidden access to eden after the betrayal .
      Eden itself vanish in the great flood , including the tree of knowledge and the tree of life .
      I dont recall the word apple in the Bible anywhere . People should do their homework before critizising anything .

      June 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Artist


      For those who cares , what we know of this fruit , is that humans were forbidden access to eden after the betrayal .
      Eden itself vanish in the great flood , including the tree of knowledge and the tree of life .
      I dont recall the word apple in the Bible anywhere . People should do their homework before critizising anything .
      hmmmm so the Earth was completely covered in water in the past 7000 to 10000 years....that is interesting and news to me. However I could be confused and this really did happen. And all the species we have today fit in a boat and spread to across the world and distant islands in less than 10,000 years. And all the types of plants regrew ...mass forests in the past 10,000 years and spread and completed grew and covered the world and islands and places like Australia. lol

      June 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Artist

      Clearly it is agood thing to see religion dying and being reduced as people step out of the darkness and ignorance. You guys are losing numbers...thank god....

      June 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  15. spottedsharks

    Watching believers argue about what is and is not in the Bible reminds me of guys at a comic book store arguing about what their favorite super hero did or did not do, say, mean, etc. Both are arguments about imaginary beings with supernatural powers.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  16. Jeff

    Actually, the Bible doesn't say it was an apple at all. It just says forbidden fruit, which could be a number of things.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  17. ann maree

    That is F U N N Y! Even one 'explanation' for where phantom verses come from...in an article about what is or is not in the Bible...is not Biblical! Quote, "need for a highly trained scholar or cleric to walk a lay person through the text,” vs Psalm 119:30 “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”

    June 5, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  18. The kid

    1) the bible came to be long before the bronze age.

    2) no one has proof that there is no god, but there have been miracles like the apparition of Mary in various places, one even whitnessed by hundreds of people. As have their been true cases of demonic possession.

    3) low iq college educated fools who think their intelligent because they had all A's in school constantly belittle those who believe in god. These same unintelligent clowns believe in evolution and the big bang – yet don't have the mental capacity to ponder questions like why is there space? Where did the elements that caused the big expansion come from? How could a universe including life spontaneously just form over time?

    You and all your unintelligent college educated people make me laugh. studying doesn't make you intelligent and doesn't make you high and mighty and the right to belittle people belief in god. so take all your sarcastic comments and shove them up your mothers ...

    June 5, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Jroni

      Believing in something with absolutely NO PROOF whatsoever is not exactly smart either Kiddy. Listen to you, you call college professors stupid, I think you really need to look in the mirror.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • John not the baptist

      Getting angry and making offensive statements to people who don't happen to share your beliefs is definately not biblical. The fact that in our culture we consider a book of mythology to be more salient than observable reality true empirical science) is very frightening. We are taught to not trust our senses even when validated with others I grew up very religious and remained so in to my twenties. Studying scripture made me into an un-believer. I thank GOD that I'm no longer a christian! In fact, I don't label my beliefs any more Haleleuja!....whatever. Take a hundred so called adherants of any faith and get to the root of their beliefs and you will find that their beliefs are as individual as a fingerprint. Being a "free thinker" has saved me from Hell! Praise God! It saved me from psychopathic ideas like: God loved me so much he tortured and killed his son for ME! Yay! I'd rather go to hell than have anyone, much less God, do me that favor. I love you all....

      June 5, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Kevin

      All of the questions you ask have answers if you just look. We also know why the sky is blue, in case that "mystery" still intrigues you.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • MarkyMerlot

      Kid, it looks like you could have benefitted from some college (or are you not old enough yet?). The bible came AFTER the bronze age which,occured between 3000 bc to 1200 bc in the middle east(up to 600 years later in Europe), whereas the oldest parts of the OT were written about 800 bc.
      Sorry posting responses like your, only makes you look foolish and you do the cause of Christians no good.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Leon

      To Markymerlot - I am not so much interested in ages , as much as I am interested in how long we have been here .
      From Christ and till now , we have had 2011 years .
      But from Adam and Eve , we had 80 generations . I dont recall where it says so , but it is in the old testament . I think it is about Abrams time (formerly known as Abraham) .
      So the kid does have a point , the educated is not as educated as they think .
      The educated mostly trusts in books and what other people says .
      Life however , teaches you to NOT trust in any book or in any other person .
      The Bible teaches us that we are ALL sinners .
      With this said , everyone who wants to critizise anyone , they should critizese themselfes for not being perfect .

      June 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  19. Mr 17.5

    I read the entire article, and it turns out the argument is trifling and misleading. Most misquotes pointed out are obviously paraphrases. Do you know how many different versions of the bible are available now? NIV, new king James, etc. The Jonah example is silly. A big fish is synonymous with a whale. And as for the genesis example, the bible clearly states Lucifer took on the likeness of a serpent, and told eve she would be like God if she ate the fruit. So stop misleading people.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Jroni

      Sounds like someone is still in denial. Anytime someone says something against religion, the religious people get all up in arms and of course, deny deny deny everything. If there really was a God,(which there is not), why would there be so many versions of his Holy Book? (answer that one)
      Also, maybe you didn't notice, but most of the folks interviewed for this story are religious professors. Not exactly the people who usually talk down about religion and how it has plagued humanity. And, last thought, are we still arguing about whether it was a whale or great fish. Anyone who really believes that story, no matter what kind of fish, should be sent to the Psych Ward for evaluation. Get real people, its 2011, we DON'T need religion to be good people....BE yourself.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Lindsay

      What's obvious to you might not be obvious to the vast population. I've caught quite a few who believe proverbs like "God works in mysterious ways" are biblical. People hear the word God and simply assume.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Silentsword

      Except that the name "Lucifer" (or Lightbringer, the English meaning of the name) doesn't even appear in the Bible.

      He's from the Kabbalah. Very few angels are outright named in the Bible proper; Gabriel is the only one I can think of, though Michael might also be – it's been a while since I last read the Bible, but I certainly don't recall the other "named" angels (Uriel, Raphael, Metatron, Sandalphon, Helel, etc.)

      Depending on your interpretation of the Kabbalah, Satan is either a fallen angel or another aspect of God, and he is *not* synonymous with Lucifer.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  20. Steve

    This story has a few things wrong as well, one being the tree of life, it was not the tree of life but the tree of knowledge.

    June 5, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • tosser

      Haha. You're deflecting.

      June 5, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • John not the baptist

      I think it's interesting how people get therre ego's all tied up in the correct interpretation of the bible. Being righteous and belittling others. It says this trivial thing and not that...Who cares! Are you peaceful? Do you treat others with respect? Have you made peace with the fact that you don't know what happens after you die? These are way more important than all the specifics of a book of mythology.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Nelson

      non so io credo poco agli srheenscot; lo srheenscot ti permette di focalizzarti un p su tutti i particolari (parlo di pixel visibili etc), cosa che durante il gioco naturalmente non vediamo.Per apprezzare un gioco, secondo sempre il mio modestissimo parere, bisogna osservare il video del gameplay.a me sembra davvero ben fatto.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158
About this blog

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