Christian author questions Murdoch's ties to Bible publisher amid ethics storm
July 22nd, 2011
10:46 AM ET

Christian author questions Murdoch's ties to Bible publisher amid ethics storm

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)—It just so happens that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which is weathering a storm of criticism around newspaper ethics, also owns the rights to the world's best-selling English Bible, the New International Version.

Zondervan, a U.S.-based Christian publishing house that’s part of the News Corp. empire, has 300 million copies of the popular Good Book translation and is also home to some of the biggest names in Christian publishing, including megachurch pastor Rick Warren.

The phone hacking scandal has become a sticky wicket for at least one Zondervan author, who says Murdoch's ownership could create an "ethical dilemma."

Shane Claiborne, Zondervan author, Philadelphia-based Christian activist and occasional CNN Belief Blog contributor, recently told a Christian blogger:

"The current issues . . . in England raise all kinds of ethical questions and I would hope that a company whose mission is explicitly Christian, as Zondervan’s is, would take the opportunity to bear witness and to speak into the culture which is so terribly fallen.”

Other Zondervan authors have apparently stayed mum on this issue.

Claiborn’s comments came in an interview with Will Braun, who blogs for Geez, a magazine he co-founded “for the over-churched and out-churched.”

"For those us of who care about the Christian scriptures, what are we to make of this mix of billionaire media tycoonery, allegations of phone hacking and bribery, and the Holy Word of God?” Braun wrote. “What are we to make of the fact that every time we buy a Zondervan product we contribute to Murdoch’s mogul-dom, which includes a personal fortune that Forbes pegged at $6.3 billion last year."

Braun makes no bones about his dislike for News Corp. "Perhaps I overstate the link between News of the World and Zondervan,” he wrote. “It’s just that I believe there should be absolutely no link at all. Bald greed has no place in Bible publishing."

Braun's piece is getting a lot of attention after it made the rounds on popular blogs this week and getting picked up by USA Today and the New York Observer.

Zondervan spokeswoman Tara Powers reacted to questions about Murdhoch’s involvement with the publisher in a Friday statement to CNN:

“Throughout our 80-year history as a leading Christian publisher, Zondervan has always operated with autonomy, editorial independence, and the freedom to fulfill our mission to meet the needs of people with resources that glorify Jesus Christ and promote Biblical principles.”

She added that Murdoch is not involved in the marketing of Bible: “As CEO of News Corp, Mr. Murdoch is not involved in the day-to-day business operations of Zondervan.”

That assertion was backed up by Lyn Cryderman, a former Zondervan publisher.

"In my role as publisher of the book group I do not recall anything that could even be remotely considered 'involvement in day to day operations' by Rupert Murdoch," he said. Cryderman was Vice President and Publisher at Zondervan from 2004-2007.

Zondervan operates under the banner of HarperCollins, a News Corp. company, which acquired the Christian publisher in 1988.

Zondervan is also the go to publishing house for many popular Christian authors, especially on the evangelical side.

In addition to the NIV Bible, it published 200 other Christian themed books a year from authors like Warren, Claiborne, C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, Karen Kingsbury and Rob Bell.

Zondervan took a principled stand earlier this year when it declined to publish Bell's latest book, “Love Wins.” The Grand Rapids pastor had published several other books with Zondervan, selling over a million books.

When Bell wrote "Love Wins," which led to a firestorm of controversy, Zondervan passed, saying the work did not meet their editorial mission. HarperOne, another News Corp. property, scooped up the book, which debuted at #3 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity

soundoff (334 Responses)
  1. Version

    Lost in translation or lied to for gain. Either way , having the propaganda king publishing anything religious brings its message under scrutiny........I wonder if in his version Jesus will smite the evil liberals and illegal immigrants before sending them to hell for questioning the status quo.....

    July 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      This figures! Murdoch is a scammer and a crook. Kind of in the same league as Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, the Bakkers, Swaggert, Osteen, and a host of other religion businessmen who trade religious entertainment for cash.

      July 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      ALL This Blogging whereupon goes Un-Noticed are what Big Christian Pockets are Doing in Their Searches for the Religiously New and Upcoming Virtuosos of Prophetic Individualisms with Bright Ideas and Seemingly Sound Ways of Taking The Globalists Into the Future,,,,,,(Still Please pass me the salt and Pepper for My Foodstuff and then a Fine Filtered Cigar Afterwards)

      July 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Jesus writes; “This figures! Murdoch is a scammer and a crook. Kind of in the same league as Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, the Bakkers, Swaggert, Osteen, and a host of other religion businessmen who trade religious entertainment for cash.” on July 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      All These Televangelists Speak and Preach in Their godliness’ Ferment in Orders to Swagger the Mainstay of Rooted-In-Sins of Economic Candor. The “Behind The Scenes” Religious Conferences are Nowadays Reaping a Harvest from Deep Pockets Of Devoted Christians Looking for Virtuosos’ Prophecies Regarding the Globalists of Today who are Gathering Together To Make a Hailstrom Out of Today’s Rooted Economies which are Barely Afloat.

      July 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  2. AthyistRAnoyng

    the world would be better today if H!tler had an atheist art teacher.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually if Mary had admited the night she spent with that hunky Roman Centurion, the world would be a FAR better place.

      I mean Jesus would have cut his hair, gotten a job with the army and knoced up Magdeline.

      Instead he end up some transgendered loon hiding in caves with little boys, telling them he was the son of God so he could get under their loin cloths.

      Being the illegitimate son of a Roman, borne to one of the cast of the Wives of Palestine" obviously gave him a complex.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • JA

      yeah i think this william dude is goin through man-o-pause. always making annoying defensive comments because he himself agrees with athystRannoyng.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  3. kd

    This is no different than clothing manufacturers using child and slave labor over seas. We buy their products. Does that mean we support using child labor???? I doubt very much that Murdoch new what was happening with this hacking scandal.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      IF Murdock DID Know and it does Become Known legitely then, The Vultures and Eagles Of Humanity Would set Their Sights Upon His Riches and devour it ALL Up Until Only Bones would be Left and then The Hyhenas would take over.

      July 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  4. Dave Harris

    All this proves is that crooks and con men stick together, at least when they're not trying to destroy each other.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  5. Realist4200

    I can't believe somebody would use religion for their own personal gain.....

    July 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • kevin


      July 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • David


      July 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Scoxy

      Expel the immoral brother or forgive him 70 x 7?

      July 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • lalose

      Religion might warn you against the golden calf but has no problem being a cash cow

      July 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm |

    "Shane Claiborne, Zondervan author, Philadelphia-based Christian activist and occasional CNN Belief Blog contributor, recently told a Christian blogger:

    The current issues . . . in England raise all kinds of ethical questions and I would hope that a company whose mission is explicitly Christian, as Zondervan’s is, would take the opportunity to bear witness and to speak into the culture which is so terribly fallen."

    Talk about creating news, a CNN sourced person mildly related to the publisher is the only one who speaks, and does so by "speaking to another blogger". LOL


    "I, Eric Marrapodi, dislike News Corp because they are conservative and I am liberal. So i will find a person with ties to my parent company who also dislikes News Corp because they are liberal like me, and get them to speak to another blogger, possibly myself or a mutual friend, then write the article I want and pretend like I am reporting news. Gotta keep the hits up on my blog posts, or I might lose my overpaid job, and actually have to do something with my life."

    July 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Sam

      Been hittin' that Koolaid again, eh? Just put your tinfoil hat on and everything will be better.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • LOLZOR

      yes tinfoil and koolaid.....

      read the article, clearly you are the author posting under an alias cause you mad at being outed :DD


      theres some koolaid for you chief

      July 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  7. Charles

    If Murdoch is interested in spreading the word of his God, let him distribute them on his dime. If not, accept that he is selling books to make money.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • William Demuth

      CNN communist?


      Do you have a clue who owns it?

      July 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • LOLZOR

      @ william denith

      You think you actually know anything about who owns it and what they really want/believe. Keeping BAAAAAAAAAAHing little sheep

      July 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Off your meds again? Conspiracy loons and Christians

      A match made in hell.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • wesleyapril

      CNN is Communist? I thought it was a progressive democrat – and we know who owns it – the White House! But then again, they own much of most news organizations. 🙂

      July 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  8. james

    One again, CNN proving it's communist agenda. Murdoch owns a minority stake in a $100 billion dollar Empire. They print news, bibles, books – so what? Only CNN would turn this into an anti-Christian story.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  9. CD6910

    Any opportunity for CNN (the Crap Nonsense Network) to use religion in an article to promote themselves and start controversy.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  10. Alex

    oh my goodness! Where are the haters? An article that mentions Christians and there's not a gazillion people on here bashing? It's a miracle!

    July 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually I for one think its appropriate.

      The biggest liar of all time, selling the biggest book of lies of all time!!

      Sort of like Michelle Bachman selling the Idiots Guide to the Klu Klux Klan

      July 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Alex

      That's what you believe. Are you sure you don't believe a lie? Until you provide proof that what you say is undoubtedly true, your words are nothing but white noise. So is the message of the Bible to you. So I respect you for not believing, so have some respect as well.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • LOLZOR

      @ william denith

      A book is just a book, it can neither lie nor tell the truth. At best you could claim that people who say the bible is true are liars. But logic isnt your strong point. You have made a religion out of hating a religion. get a clue

      July 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
    • Frogist

      @LOLZOR: Books can spread the lies of those who write them. That is virtually the same as saying "Books lie." And there is absolutely nothing logically erroneous about the phrase "book of lies"... You are splitting hairs and your post demonstrates a lack of logic itself. Maybe you shouldn't criticise.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Ryan


      You can't prove something exists if it does not from the start. For that reason, we go 'round and 'round etc. I saw big foot....prove that he does not exist. Get my point?

      July 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Any book that is presented as truth, that at best is a fable is book of lies.

      Virgin Births? Zombie Saviors? Ritual cannibalisim?

      Is it a book of faith, or merely a script for a bad movie on the Sci Fi channel?

      Its like basing your life on the Avengers comics, but Jesus doesn't have a cool spandex suit.

      Besides, the Hulk would whoop his scrawny Palestinian read end!

      July 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Alex


      That is exactly my point. I can never prove to anyone that God is real and that Jesus was his son. But I reserve the right to believe it. It's a pointless debate. I just don't like when people think that because I believe something that they do not, it immediately makes me "stupid" or "irrational" or whatever. It's my "silly" belief system.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Ryan


      Unfortunelty, then your a victim of what has happened to people who have either believed in another god or do not believe at all in gods. Religion over thousands of years has been slammed down peoples throats...I believe most people are just tired of it. Most importantly, I think folks are tired of religion having a place in politics which effects believers and none believers. Don't take offense to someone on here frustrated with diests. IMO, people are finally realizing that it's ok to not believe in such a figure and finding a voice now. 30 years ago, it was not so common to hear from an Atheists.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Alex


      People who feel like religion is being pushed down their throats are weak. There are a million ideas that are "pushed" on me every day, but as an intelligent human being I have a choice to make: to believe or not to believe. And guess what? I don't have to hate anyone who believes differently than I do. Your point fails, since I will never stand by and let people slander my beliefs, I'm very territorial, it's a Russian thing.
      Also, we now agree on a point. If I could wish for one thing in politics, only one thing, is the complete and total separation of Church and State. I do not want my beliefs tarnished by politics, get it? What could I possibly gain from trying to force people who don't want believe? It's actually completely against the beliefs. I'm going to shock you and quote a verse of the Bible, it's in the NASB version which is a "literal" (or as close as can be) translation:
      "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:12-13
      If this is the message I live by, why would anyone hate me? (please don't mention the crusades, that's old)
      Furthermore, if someone knew that the Bible is sacred to me, what satisfaction could they possibly gain from wiping their ass with what I hold so dear? Do you see the irony?

      July 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Ryan

      I also want to add....that although everyone has the right to believe in whatever they want to believe in, Christianity is not designed to keep something like that private. It's designed (and most religions are) to gain favorable attention with the masses. So although you might say you can believe whatever you want and it only effects me....the bigger picture is the system is designed to recruit or "push" people into believing this story. And the reason that is............is for control. It's a tool and it began that way long ago. Still to this day, missions are set up in places all over the world to convince more people to their belief. It's so bad, that in places that are hit with terrible tragedies such as an earth quake or tidal wave dstroying parts of a country....you can bet the diests are there a day after trying to capitalize on distrought people. Which is a terrible thing to do.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Ryan


      We must have been writing at the same time but I believe I answered a few of those questions with that very last post.
      Happy to hear you believe in a seperation of Church and State.

      But about the weak comment: Missions are designed to take full advantage of those "weak" people in time of need. And what ends up happening... is they end up changing a culture that has it's own unique outlook on the world. And they were "sold" to change. Happens all the time. What I'm getting at, is religion is not and never was an innocent idea. It has always been aggressive (and yes, crusades might be old....but does not change the fact that it happened and was terrible). Not to mention...the crusades are still going on. countries are still fighing in the name of their diety today. No difference.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Alex


      Unless you speak from experience, your comment on missions is just an idea that was given to you by either a book, a professor, a conversation, a movie, etc. In other words, you got that idea not because you went on a missions trip and helped someone out, but because you heard an opinion. Or perhaps you formed an opinion without consulting anyone. And I tell you truthfully that I've been on a missions trip, quite a few times. We built homes for orphans in the Ukraine, not because we wanted to control them for our own army, but because my faith commands me to love children and to care for them. We also didn't do it to collect money from the children, since you can imagine they might have a pair of shoes and a set of clothes, but that's it. We also didn't do it because we were forced to, nobody "controlled" me into helping those kids. We also visited hospitals where people were dying from cancer and other ailments, and found that we couldn't collect any money from them and since they were barely conscious we couldn't force them into believing anything, we could only pray that they would have an easier time passing away. They asked me then, why are you doing this? And I could only tell the truth, that I don't know how, but I feel loved and therefore felt compassion. A person who doesn't feel loved cannot feel compassion for others, because that involves love and a hardened heart cannot experience that.
      Also, of course any belief system only grows because more believers are added. Christianity teaches that we have to tell others about ourselves being saved, but it also tells us that those on the other end of the message have a choice. Nobody is being forced into anything. All we do, according to our beliefs, we help others interpret the world around them. Once again, our interpretation is just a belief, not a fact. But I do not hate you and I do not say mean things about those who do not believe the same as I do. I will always come back to that. Why hate Christians?

      July 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Ryan


      "Unless you speak from experience, your comment on missions is just an idea that was given to you by either a book, a professor, a conversation, a movie, etc"

      ? I don't understand that statement. Your telling me that I would only get that from a movie or a book? That's a fact. You just said you did it. You just told me where you went. I have plenty of friends that were sent to parts of the world that were torn up be disaster and were there for the obvious reasons of gaining more supporters. Which you also just said thats how religion works. It's not innocent. Although you feel good....it's designed to take FULL advantage of a person that is in need! There is no such thing as true alturism. You just stated in a well written paragraph to me....EXACTLY what I was mentioning. I think I can pass on a mission. This is not a secret that I just discovered.....that is the design of any belief system. And you agreed to that fact in the end of that last paragraph.

      July 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Ryan

      If you want to do something trully pure for those poeple....go there...help them.....and never imply anything about any religion or god. EVER. Infact....don't even let them know what you believe in.

      Then, and only then, are you doing something with no "strings attached". Otherwise....your no different than a car sales man.

      July 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Ryan

      And by the way....I did what I just said I did. Helped out a part of Costa Rica when I was in my teens. Never once did I bring a higher being into the equation. Now that is an amazing feeling.

      July 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Alex

      All I said, Ryan, is that there is not an alternative motive. The motive is pure.
      Also, not sharing would be against my beliefs. If you found a man dying from thirst, and you knew of a well where the water never runs out, would you not point him to it? The man has a choice to go and drink, or to dye of thirst, or to find an alternate source. However, as a human being, you would be compelled to share the good news, if you had compassion for the man and if you weren't selfish. The attribute of "sharing the good news" is a completely human attribute of religion. As humans we cannot help it, but to let others know of where our happiness comes from. If you believed with 100% certainty that the water in your tap cures cancer, would you not try to get the news out to as many people as possible? It's the same way we see it, a diseased world needs healing, and in our view we bring the cure. But you are not forced to take it, we simply tell you this is what we've done, and this is the results we have experienced, take it or leave it...
      Just because I agree with you that religion thrives on growth, especially in areas where life is hard, doesn't make it wrong. When life is tough people turn to the unknown, they try to find a reason beyond their own understanding of the world, because nothing logical can possibly account for what happened.
      I recommend a fantastic book, "The Human Condition" by Hannah Arendt, it's not a Christian book, actually quite the opposite. But it will answer a lot of questions for you about what is natural for humans and how humans have incorporated their animal instincts into their beliefs. Once you understand human beings better, you might learn to be more tolerable of the individual choice.

      July 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Ryan


      That's just it. I feel that I understand human beings (animals too) better than most. My father was a professor at cornell univerity for 30 years and social biologist. Infact....this is my fortie.

      The problem is...religious people tend to NOT understand the human condition because they look at themselves as something HIGHER than animals. You keep saying that we feel we need to tell people about good things because we are human. FALSE. Animals do what is in the interest of what best suits there gene pool. The idea....of any animals is to better the chances of spreading your genes. Everything you do....weather you know it or not (most people never realize half of the things they are doing and why they are REALLY doing it) is the better the chances of helping your gene pool or offspring.

      Back to the thirsty man. One thought on this is that...by telling the thirsty man about the water..is that you just gained favorable attention with him and there will be more of a chacne for him to help YOU out some other time....again ensuring your own survival. (You would never look at it this way since that's not what you say to yourself when you actually perform the act....you just do it. But it's a survival tactic as many things are)

      This topic is my absolut favorite. I will gladly read that book. I have heard of it as well. While we are at it. check out "mean Gene" by Richard Dawkins. "Sand County alminac". "Orgin of species"

      July 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Ryan

      Alex- I didn't mean to sound full of myself, just funny since this really is my area of specialty. Of all the people you could have made that comment too on here.....the one guy that knows more about it than probobly anyone you have ever talked to. Ironic!

      July 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      It's good to see you two having an intellectual debate and not one of name-calling. But Ryan, I'm sorry, I can't ascribe to Richard Dawkins. That man is so anti-religious, that he's willing to go to extraordinary lengths to say ANYTHING happened as long as "God" was not involved. . Here's a quote from an interview with Ben Stein from his movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed:

      BEN STEIN: "What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?"

      DAWKINS: "Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer."

      July 22, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Yes, that's right. Space aliens. Even better, from the same movie:

      STEIN: “Professor Dawkins seemed so convinced that God doesn’t exist that I wondered if he would be willing to put a number on it.”
      DAWKINS: “Well, it’s hard to put a figure on it, but I’d put it at something like ninety-nine percent against or something like that.”
      STEIN: “Well, how do you know it’s ninety-nine percent (“I don’t,” Dr. Dawkins interjects.) and not, say, ninety-seven percent?”
      DAWKINS: “You asked me to put a figure on it and I’m not comfortable putting a figure on it. I think it’s… I just think it’s very unlikely.”
      STEIN: “But you couldn’t put a number on it?,”
      DAWKINS: “No, of course not."
      STEIN: “So it could be forty-nine percent?,”
      DAWKINS: “Well, it would be… I mean I think it’s… it’s… it’s unlikely, but… but… I… and it’s quite far from fifty percent.”
      STEIN: “How do you know?,”
      DAWKINS: “I don’t know, I mean, I put an argument in the book."

      July 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban

      DAWKINS: "Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer."
      Interesting, he is open to the idea of a gods/creators. He sounds agnostic to me. Creator does not have be a magical wizard in the sky. The truth might not be what most believers think.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Alex


      I do not doubt your knowledge, and to DamianKnight, we're having a civilized conversation because neither Ryan nor myself have lowered ourselves to a point of trying to make each other angry, since we're both probably really interesting people and could undoubtedly be friends, regardless of our view on religion and politics.

      I have read the Origin of Species and it's a fascinating read and I ascribe to Darwin's theories in many areas of development when it comes to adaptation, as are many works of Richard Dawkins. The man deserves respect for standing up for what he believes in, but he does not for bashing the beliefs of others.

      I think the main belief where me and you disagree is of Darwinian origin, the fact that humans are animals and care not for others but only for themselves. In that case, maybe some of us are "weird" and according to Darwin, something happened that changed my DNA, and this mutation then caused a change in my behavior, which in turn made me act unlike others and feel genuine sadness at the sight of fellow suffering "animals".

      Explain it how you want, Ryan, but I strongly believe that when we open our mind to the possibility that we are here to care for each other, be friends, be accepting, and to put others before ourselves, all of a sudden our "instinct" changes from being self-caring to caring of others.

      As your father was a professor at Cornell, my father was a missionary his whole life. Can you imagine the difference in world views that we have? It's astounding. Can we be friends? Can we be tolerant of each other? Can I help you when you're down and you help me when I'm flat on my face? Why the hell not? But it isn't possible as long as I hold prejudice against your beliefs and you feel this strongly about mine.

      Kindest regards,


      July 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Ryan


      Oh I have no problems talking about this in a perfectly calm manner. I'm sure you and Alex find this as interesting as I do!! It's amazing really. All of it!

      When reading that quote of Dawkins and Stein though, I'm not sure what I was suppose to take away from it exactly. He's 100% right. How do you put a number to that? Loaded question and perfect for cutting and pasting. He has said many times, that you can't. And to be a true scientist...you could never really say 100% chance that their is no dieties. But you also apply that exact logic to the lockness monster, big foot, demons etc. There is no difference. Something that is not real can not be proved as not real. So it's a pointless discussion in that manner.

      Alex- And again...I understand the feeling for compassion towards others. I really do....But what I'm suggesting is that you are having that compassion for a reason that you are not aware of as well. Self-purpose. But that does not mean it's a bad thing. You are still helping someone out right? It does not need to be looked at as a wrong/right issue.

      July 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ryan


      And of course people of different belief can be freinds and get along. I guess that is not my argument. You sound like a very calm individual who knows how to handle a discussion without being upset about the topics raised. My point I guess is: Do we really need all of those feel good stories of how to live your life and to buy into what was handed down to you without any supportive data? Or can we get past that and prosper in a new, better direction without the cruch of such an anchient idea? I believe we will do just fine with the later portion of that question.

      Have a good weekend!!

      July 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Ryan


      Last point then I will stop gabbing. I as well will always go great lengths to not attribute anything to a diety. Think about it....that little hot rock (the sun) was once thought of as something magical too....because it could not be explained. Science figured that out along with countless other "mysterious" that were once attributed to a diety.

      July 22, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • DamianKnight


      My only point was really that for being so ADAMANT that Intelligent Design couldn't have happened, he will ascribe to space aliens instead. Because he has any more proof of space aliens than he does God. Just for a scientist, he nearly rules out God (99%) but then he offers no other solution as to "Where did the first, living cell come from?"

      July 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • Ryan

      Alex- (then I'm done I promise!!!)

      "In that case, maybe some of us are "weird" and according to Darwin, something happened that changed my DNA, and this mutation then caused a change in my behavior, which in turn made me act unlike others and feel genuine sadness at the sight of fellow suffering "animals"

      You have the right idea...but missed the point a bit of how this works. That mutation....occurs which allows for your offspring to have a better chance. So IF a mutation occured in your brain to alllow you to do this or feel for suffereing humans, (and we all do by the way...not just you) then that most likly is helping you spread your gene!! But say this mutation was a new thing...that no human in the world EVER cared for another human UNTIL you came about with your new mutation.....then only time would tell if it helped you or huindered you. Does that make sense?

      EX: Giraffe's used to have short necks, but a long neck was a mutation once and it helped that specific Giraffe survive while the other short necks died out and the long neck was able to keep spreading his long neck gene! Apply that to your logic.
      I think many humans want to believe they are more than just another species. That they are "chosen" and favored in the animal kingdom. And for that reason as I mentioned earlier....they fail to see the simplicity of it all. The simplicity of the "selfish gene"

      July 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Ryan


      I believe Dawkins he was making a point by using the aliens as his sword. He is saying that it could be other factors or mystery then. Why does it have to be Jesus?

      July 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Ryan


      Meaning he is not being serious. He is just saying "sure...Aliens then....." But all it always takes is time. We figure pieces out of everything given enough time....so why attribute what we don't know at this TIME to diety??? That's what is so frustrating.

      July 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      But if you watch the context of the movie, he's not saying "It could be Jesus, or it could be space aliens. We have no idea." What he's saying in the movie is, "There's no room in science for intelligent design. There was no God. We have no idea what happened, but it is most certainly not Jesus and it wasn't intelligent design!"

      If he had said the first statement, I prolly would have nodded and agreed with him.

      July 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bucky Ball


      STEIN: “Professor Dawkins seemed so convinced that God doesn’t exist that I wondered if he would be willing to put a number on it.”
      DAWKINS: “Well, it’s hard to put a figure on it, but I’d put it at something like ninety-nine percent against or something like that.”
      STEIN: “Well, how do you know it’s ninety-nine percent (“I don’t,” Dr. Dawkins interjects.) and not, say, ninety-seven percent?”

      I KNOW that there is a 99.999999% chance that Santa Claus doesn't exist because there is 0,000001 % probability that something exists when there is "0.000000" evidence for it. 49 vs 99 is irrelevant.
      re : Dawkins vs Stein,
      Einstein said "God doesn't play dice, and LOST the argument.

      July 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Ryan


      Correct. You have to always leave a percent Damian. Always...or Dawkins could not call himself a "scientists". I would not get hung up on that.

      July 25, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  11. Artist

    I would like to create the bible in the form of toilet paper. It owuld be put to good use. I got the idea when camping and ran out....gideons came in handy. Since then I always make sure I have a back up bible in case I run out again.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Alex

      you're so kewl I can hardly believe it.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Ryan


      July 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban


      you're so kewl I can hardly believe it.

      Not kewl, just prepared.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Alex

      you're not invited.

      July 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban


      you're not invited.

      Now that was rude of you

      July 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  12. Iconoclast

    It doesn't make VW drivers anti semitic, but you won't find too many VW's parked at a Synogogue.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • james

      Actually, you will find quite a lot of VW's outside a Synagogue, that's one of the most foolish statements I've read all day.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Actually you doon't James

      Many Jews see them as complicit in the Holocaust

      July 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Back when I was in college, one of my friends (who happened to be Jewish) kept bemoaning the fact that other Jews we knew were driving BMWs. This guy was unfortunately still fixed on events that happened 30 years before, instead of the present.

      Now that the sidebar is over this article is not anti-Christian. It is about some Christian authors wondering about the morality of writing for a publishing company owned by another corporation where the heads of that corporation may have acted in an un-Christian manner. It is about that and whether they should continue their relationship with that publisher. For those of us who are not privileged to work in the lofty fields of academia and publishing and must work in the real world to earn the money to pay our mortgages, etc., I find this to be an amusing diversionary article that will not change the way I work or worship. Just the sort of pap I need to bring a smile to my face on an otherwise boring day.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
  13. Frogist

    I think the article is less about Murdoch's morals, which if it reflects what happened with News of the World would be pretty despi-cable. But more about the morals of an evangelical who supports his company by buying religious material through News Corp's subsidiaries. I think it's an important and difficult question for any consumer. What are the moral implications of where you spend your money? If a Christian decides to give Murdoch his money, aren't they supporting the morally repugnant things Murdoch's companies have done?

    July 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • james

      False. Lies. Get real. People who buy New World Bibles are simply buying books. They are not in any way providing political support for Murdoch. 99% of people don't even know Murdoch runs Fox News.

      Once again, CNN and their readers are blatant communists – please, move to Eastern Europe, and see how well that worked out.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Frogist

      @james: Does it matter whether you know or not? If you give your money to some organization and it does bad things with your money, you are supporting their bad deeds. Just the way it is. It might help us all to be a little more vigilant and knowledgeable about putting your money where your mouth is.
      Also james, just so you know, we're not in the 50s and there are no reds under your bed.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Ryan


      Well put reply. You got it.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  14. MB

    I've made my last purchase with Zondervan. It is particularly interesting that Tara Powers feels the company has autonomy yet Murdoch's corporation is reaping the reward. I think she has fallen victim to "Murdoch corporate speak" much like his son. Say words but mean nothing.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  15. RexCraigo

    Why in the world would anyone with a brain pay attention to this work of fiction?

    Oh wait, I said "with a brain". None of the people that read it have a brain.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Alex

      how original.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Jesus

      Whenever I am in a bookstore I always take the time to move the Bibles to the fiction section.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Alex

      That's great! Thank you Jesus! You see, all the Christian people already have Bibles, but it's nice of you to sneak it into the fiction section so that an unsuspecting shopper just might peek and believe in you. thx!

      July 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Jozi

    The bible should no longer be for sale as its Gods word and only He should receive rewards from it.

    July 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • I_get _it

      Ok... then let "God" print it.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Which one is his?

      So many official unauthorized versions its like the Paris Hilton's Greatest Hits DVD.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • LOLZOR

      @ william denith

      thats His, not his chump. And again your point fails.

      The old testament was written in hebrew, the new testament in Greek. The bible as a single book is an assembling of other books. The original bible if you want to speak of it that way, would be that which was borne from the council which set the Canon. Look up that word, it doesnt mean gun 😉

      Lastly, God doesnt write books, His words are put in one though, and clearly like it says in said book

      You love the darkness and hate the light,

      translation you can understand:

      "you mad, bro?"

      July 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Either it is divine or it isn't

      If it is, which one is? Lots of you indoctrinated are read a bul##it book if only ONE is real

      I guess you are too stoned to keep your dogma straight? Or just blustering because you can't answer a simple question.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  17. Faithfull

    Murdock knew he will make millions selling bibles...... do you think he did it to promote Christianity or spread the Word of GOD? NOT!!! Purely a financial descision for his own personal gain no doubt.
    Now, if he did this and spread the profits to the poor, homeless, hungry, needy then maybe it would be a different story. Maybe he does, maybe he does'nt....

    July 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So why else would you publish it?

      As a training manual for baby buggering?

      July 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • LOLZOR

      @ william denith

      Joke fail
      Hate win

      but keep trying....your mid-life crisis, and struggle for meaning, and fear of death will bring you back when you remember these words many decades from now

      God loves you, even if you hate him, (and have a low IQ)

      July 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • William Demuth


      Your God loves only little altar boys in thier bung holes!

      Have as much faith as you like, I shall still desecrate your grave.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • redeemed

      R u For real? Do U really think the man knew anything about the books that are being published,let alone half of anything else?
      get a life!

      July 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  18. AvdBerg

    We have studied the authenticity of the Bible for twenty six years and we can unequivocally state that it is the Word of God as has been revealed to us.

    Jesus Christ proclaimed that His true followers would be taught directly by God – Not by man. God is our Teacher.

    The following is an excerpt from the articles “Who is God and who is Satan?” and “Ye Need Not That Any Man Teach You” listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Isaiah 54:13. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord.

    Jeremiah 31:34. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother.

    Matthew 16:17. Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    John 6:45. And they shall be all taught of God.

    John 14:26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you in all things.

    John 15:26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

    Galatians 1:11,12. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    2 Tim. 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God.

    1 John 2:27. Ye need not that any man teach you.

    Mankind in its natural state is unable to understand the Bible and unable to receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).

    There is a natural body and a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). The only thing that separates the Natural body from the Spiritual body is the Baptism of Repentance (Mark 1:4). To repent means: to change spirits and to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan, whose spirit mankind is of (Luke 9:55), unto God (Acts 26:18). This is not an interpretation. Many people search the Bible for in them they think they have eternal life, but when we bring them the Scriptures they don’t believe us (John 5:38,39). Confused? There is no need to be confused any longer, as we explain the deep hidden mysteries of God on our website.

    So before mankind is able to understand the Word of God, mankind requires to be converted and transformed by God (not religion) and only then mankind will be able to understand the Bible, as it is God (John 1:1). As long as mankind (including Rupert Murdoch) is separated from God, there can be 1000 translations of the Bible and someone can own the rights and have 300 million copies stored in a warehouse, the works of Rupert Murdoch and the Publisher Zondervan will be all futile. It is interesting to note that Zondervan publishes Books for all the false prophets like Warren, Claiborne, C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel, Karen Kingsbury and Rob Bell. For a better understanding about the False Prophets in this present world, we invite you to read the article False Apostles and False Christs listed on our website.

    For a better understanding of the recent revelations of phone-hacking and the challenges the media, as the voice of the world for the last hundred years is facing, we invite you to read the article “Influence of the Media” on our website. The challenges Rupert Murdoch is facing are no coincidence. We are living in a changing world and at a time of God’s judgment. The media most certainly will not be able to evade it.

    All of the other pages and articles on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca explain how this whole world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9. The Bible is true in all things and is the discerner of every thought and the intent of the heart (Hebrews 5:12).

    July 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • UncleM

      It's made up, not the word of an imaginary god.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      The Bible is the biggest lie perpetrated on mankind. I hope Murdoch makes another fortune on it. Just proves how gullible people can be.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • Charles

      Which Bible? Which translation? Are you fluent in ancient Aramaic? Do you have a first edition of the Torah? No? Then get of your high horse and admit that the Bible read by millions is the work of man.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      As already mentioned you cannot understand it (1 Cor. 2:14). The interpretation thereof is man's work as it is not to be interpreted (2 Peter 1:20). For this reason our message remains the same: Ye must repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan (whose spirit you are of) unto God (Acts 26:18). I know – you don't understand it. Seek, and ye will find (Matthew 7:7).

      July 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • I_get _it

      How much credence do you give to things that come out of the Middle East today? Why give a minute's thought to the words of primitive, ignorant, supersti.tious people of 2,000 – 5,000 years ago from that area? Oh yeah, and there's another popular book from another Middle Eastern guy from about 1400 years ago too... also full of delusions.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Troy

      The other 80% of us can say unequivocally that you are totally wrong, and lost.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      AdvBerg, I have an honest question. Are you trying to prove Charles wrong or are you trying to witness to him?

      The reason I ask is because of your method. If you are trying to prove Charles wrong by quoting a book he believes is, at best, suspect of being mistranslated, at worst, entirely inaccurate, then that's not going to be very effective. It would be the same as if he responded that you were wrong and started citing the Koran. He doesn't recognize the authority you give the book.

      If you are trying to witness to him, then while I congratulate your spirit, I disagree with your methods. The "turn or burn" method of witnessing doesn't work and actually dissuades people from your point of view. You offend them and they turn away. The best thing a Christian can do to witness is live a Holy and upright life, be generous and humble, answer questions regarding their faith, and hope that others seek to follow his example.

      July 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      We don't have to prove anything.
      God sent us out into the world to do three things. Reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).
      He that is spiritual judgeth (discerneth) all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor. 2:15).

      July 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      You're misrepresenting that scripture in John. Jesus is speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Judging is the job of the Holy Spirit, not of man.

      John 16:7-12: "But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. "

      And I recommend you go to 1st Corinthians 16:14 "Do everything in love."

      July 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  19. Doc Vestibule

    The Bible is the best selling book in all of history and Murdoch is in it for money.
    Does that somehow invalidate what the book says?
    Volkswagens were first produced by the Nazis. Does that mean that all VW drivers are anti-semites?

    July 22, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Waitwaitwaitwaitwait, Doc...that's logic...

      Lemmie try this one...hold on a minute....

      Yes? 🙂

      July 22, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • logikflux

      If more people knew the origins of VW, less people would own them. It doesn't make them anti-semetic, it makes them uninformed or apathetic to history.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Iconoclast

      It doesn't make all VW drivers anti semitic, but you won't find too many VW's parked at a Synogogue.

      July 22, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      That argument doesn't hold water, logik. That's like saying, "If more people really understood the origins of America, fewer people would live there or want to to live there. It doesn't make them anti-Native American, it makes them uninformed or apathetic to history."

      July 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • Frogist

      @DocV: VWs are built by Nazis?! I didn't know we had that many in Tennessee... 😉

      July 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jesus

      Interesting fact....only 6% of lay Christians have ever read the Bible from cover to cover and could pass (over 65% grade) a test on what's in it.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  20. J.W

    I dont think this is a big deal. It isnt like anything he does is related to the fact that he prints Bibles. He just prints and sells them to make more money. If he didnt do it someone else would.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:00 am |
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About this blog

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