My Take: 5 reasons Christians should love 'Twilight'
The stars of the movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn at the UK premier of the film.
November 18th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

My Take: 5 reasons Christians should love 'Twilight'

Editor's Note: Jane Wells is the author of Glitter in the Sun: A Bible Study Searching for Truth in the Twilight Saga. She blogs (almost) weekly at www.glitterinthesun.com.

By Jane Wells, Special to CNN

(CNN)–The books and movies of the Twilight Saga have launched a firestorm of debate as to whether the vampire-human love story represents eternal love at its finest or glorifies misogynistic and abusive relationships. I am a proud member of the first camp, seeing epic and eternal themes in the books as worthy of discussion and the violence as a part of the fictional world that tells the story.

With Breaking Dawn, part 1, opening nation-wide this weekend, here is my list of the top five spiritual lessons from the first three movies in the Twilight franchise: Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse.

First, some background. Turns out, not all vampires are Bram Stoker monsters concerned only with their own impulses and appetites. Author Stephenie Meyer created the Cullen coven, respectful of human life, living off the blood of carefully culled wild animals. It is one of these “vegetarian” vampires, Edward, which the very human Bella Swan has fallen in love with. There is enough conflict in that one sentence to carry the story through four huge novels, one novella, a partial draft and eventually five movies.

#1. The supernatural surrounds us whether we’re aware of it or not.

In the first novel and movie, Twilight, Bella moves to her father’s home in Forks, Washington from her mother’s home in Phoenix, Arizona. Soon she meets Edward Cullen, and learns that vampires are not only real, but walk daily among the residents of the small town. Her awareness of them, or previous lack thereof, does not affect the reality of their existence.

In Hebrews we read that we are to entertain strangers because we might be entertaining angels. From Ephesians we also know that our battle is not against a physical foe but against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” An awareness of the unseen is a big piece of walking in faith.

#2. Love results in, and even requires, sacrifice.

In the second book and movie of the series, New Moon, Edward concludes that including Bella in his vampire world is unhealthy. He attempts to save her by breaking up and moving away. It is, he says later, the hardest thing he’s done in 100 years. Although it nearly kills him, he is willing to die if it meant she would live a normal, happy, human life.

It was no less than Jesus himself who said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this – that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

#3. Humans crave divine perfection.

Throughout the series, Bella notes how perfect she finds Edward in every way. The gaping hole Bella feels when Edward leaves (see #2 above) is very much like the one we spend our lives trying to fill with relationships, food, status, or any other of a million different things – but can only be filled by a relationship with God.

No one captures this better than David in Psalm 42, which opens with an image of a deer searching for water – just as David’s soul desperately seeks out God. In this psalm of heartbreak, David cries out to the only perfection that can heal him. Later, in verse seven he says, “deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls, all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” Our human spirits recognize and respond to the call of the Spirit of God, even if in the weak echo of nature’s beauty.

#4. A drastic change of direction may be exactly what you need.

In the third novel and movie, Eclipse, we learn about Jasper Cullen, Edward’s adopted brother. He was second in command of a vampire army during the American Civil war. However, after several decades of constant conflict, the violence began to weigh heavily on him and he left. Eventually he found peace with the Cullen coven.

Every disciple Jesus called turned his back on one way of life to embrace another, none more drastically than Matthew who had been a tax collector. But the choice is yours, as illustrated by the rich, young man of Matthew 19. Jesus looked on him and loved him, yet he walked away from Jesus’ offer of eternal life because it hurt too much to give up his wealth.

#5. You’ll only really fit in after you accept what it is God has designed you for.

All of her life Bella was a misfit. In Arizona she was a pale geek. In Forks, she is the newcomer. Her mother doesn’t get her, her father is clueless. She is a square peg to everyone’s round hole – until the end of Eclipse where she realizes she’d been fighting to fit into everyone’s expectations which, although well intentioned, were far too small.

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

How about you? Are the expectations placed on you really right for you? Are bits of your soul and psyche rubbed raw by the assumptions you have accepted as your own? Perhaps it’s time to broaden your scope of vision. Because even your biggest dreams pale in comparison to what the God who created every good thing has dreamed up on your behalf.

I can’t wait to see Breaking Dawn. If it follows the books as the previous movies have we will see one of the toughest spiritual lessons of all – when Bella learns that sometimes it is after we’ve made the right choice that things are hardest of all.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jane Wells.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Movies

soundoff (995 Responses)
  1. Katie

    True Christians HATE twilight and see it for the garbage that it is. And any wise parent wouldn't iet their children see the movies or read the books or let them read anything like it. Go ahead and believe what you want. This truly shows the fallen world we live in.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Clara Fie

      Yes, Katie, they should only be allowed to watch the "(My) Left Behind" series.

      November 19, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • HellBent

      "And any wise parent wouldn't iet their children see the movies or read the books or let them read anything like it."

      No, Katie, any wise parent would recognize such books as a work of fiction. Any Christian parent wanting to raise their children in teh same faith would hopefully have enough strength in their belief that they wouldn't think that some fictional story about vampires are somehow going to change their children's mind. Perhaps the parents you're talking about are just amazingly insecure.

      Do you think people dropped their faith in droves after Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? Or Bram Stoker's Dracula? Get a grip.

      November 19, 2011 at 1:06 am |
    • jwas1914

      Great job Katie, I agree with your comment. Stay focused and don't let anyone say different. God and vampires have nothing in common, so you’re absolutely correct...a true Christian would not be seeing these types of movies; stay the course.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Smite Them


      I wouldn't be surprised that if you talked to Katie for a bit longer you would find one 'fact' or another about her which would cause you to declare that she is not a "true" Christian... you self-righteous prig.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • tallulah13

      I believe that anyone who enjoys good writing should hate Twilight, not just christians.

      November 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • true christians are stupid

      so your saying that a true christian won't watch a movie because there is vampires in it. Thats totally biased and stupid, its just a movie, get over yourselves. Do you fear what doesn't exist? Oh wait, i already know the answer to that. Go and keep living the life of fear and keep the sits open in the theater for others with open minds – the movie has nothing to do with god, its about a glitterly g@y vampire and a hairy young teen werewolf fighting over a girl new to her period – sounds like highschool to me! Blood suckers are everywhere and hairy angry beasts are as well, you are just too stupid to see that.

      November 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  2. Occupy Belief Blog

    Twilight sucks.

    November 19, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • doughnuts

      ...and so do most organized religions.

      November 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  3. Don

    Reason 1 for no one to like it: it's vapid garbage bereft of any merit.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Passive Aggressive

      No. You just don't have any taste.

      November 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  4. Iqbal Khan

    Check out...
    http://www.Islamhouse.com .....and


    November 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • doughnuts

      Islam is just as stupid a belief system as Christianity. It couldn't be otherwise since it is a "spin-off."

      November 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  5. Talita


    November 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  6. Snow

    Oh I heard the story from my 12 yr old niece.. A guy loves a girl, but the girl marries someone else. And then the heartbroken guy realizes the girl is pregnant his soul mate??? How sick is that.. wouldn't a sane man view his lost-love's child as a his own child?? yuck..

    Come to think again in the context of stories from bible, I guess I can see why Christians would love Twilight!!

    November 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • jwas1914

      Sorry Snow but a true Christian would not. Theres a difference.

      November 19, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  7. Chad

    Me and my twelve cats are part of the first camp too

    November 18, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • What

      Enjoy your toxoplasmosis. I know I will.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  8. dunktank

    The best part is reading all of the collective word-noise. Couple things: Stephanie Meyer attended university at ____________? She is also a practicing member of _______________________. She has mentioned previously the connections to the story with her own personal beliefs which are closely tied to ________________.
    Now, little sheeple, go googling. See what you find. Then come back and squawk some more with your thimble's of wisdom. -Pointless debate. Please challenge yourselves to being informed before publishing your thoughts publicly.

    Most of you are brighter than the average 13-year old. you know, those little people who react to whatever stimulus hits them? Behave better.

    See you all in the next post. Hopefully with better vernacular's, cited facts, and/or stated-as-opinion comments, and kinder more mature responses to someone else's remarks. Self-govern when you read and write, and help others do likewise.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      she's a mormon, everyone knows that-what's your point?

      November 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  9. stoutfiles

    As soon as I saw this link I knew a woman wrote this article. They'll go to any length to defend this stupid book series.

    November 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  10. Melony

    I find it troublesome that this is the viewpoint showcasing Christianity. Twilight is filled with spiritualism, vampirism, mysticism...all deep components of witchcraft/satanism (regardless of how you wanna put it/twist it/bake it..whatever). This is not Christian even out of the mouth of a "christian".

    November 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • Chad

      I think the series' tie to christianity is through the viewpoint of the author, no more or no less. The whole virginity safeguarding thing is definitely a religious viewpoint.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Melony

      Hey Chad.. I get that it's 'her' viewpoint...but she is coming from a Christian perspective. She can be compared to a representative or employee of a company misrepresenting what that company stands for. I'm glad it's 'her' perspective and she has every right to it. But it certainly isn't the perspective that would be maintained by the author and founder of her faith. The core values of Christianity are quite clear.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      I would have to disagree a little bit there, because christianity is open to the interpretation of each person. THere is no one person besides Jesus to represent the views of christ. Problem is, he never addressed the vampire issue, as far as I remember.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      that being said, her eamples are absurd and downright contradictory (ie saying that Bella's worship of Edward's perfection is somehow representative of humans craving the divine. Last I checked, idolotry of anything OTHER than God would be a direct contradiction of the scriptures.)

      November 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Melony

      @ Socky,

      Yeah, I agree that the interpretation is between an individual and God. However there are absolutes.. I mean, you just named one...it's clear that Christianity teaches that idolatry is wrong.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      im such an IDIOT! i cant even speel examples write!

      November 18, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      yeah funny, it's called a broken keyboard. I don't feel like copying and pasting every time I need a letter that doesn't work. Most people are able to figure out the difference between typos and misspellings

      November 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      then again, most people just know I am a complete moron.I can't hide it

      November 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  11. sockpuppet

    what a stretch–I mean really, just say you like the books, don't try to justify reading them with Scripture

    November 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Melony


      November 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      no one asked you

      November 18, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  12. someoneelse

    yep, the Twilight books are a good representation of the quality of most religious books, so why not?

    November 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  13. Leaf on the Wind

    Lesson #6: curb your enthusiasm. Really, look at the photo of the three stars of the Twilight saga – here they are at the premiere of another in a string of very successful movies, movies that have made them all household names, and riches beyond their little imaginations, and still not one of the able to crack a smile. That's why I couldn't get through even half of the first movie – too much angst, everybody relentlessly morose.

    The only vampire I ever really enjoyed was Spike. He may have been a blundering fool at times, but he was fun! Real vampires only come out at night.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Check out Alucard.

      The most bad@ss vampire that's ever existed (ok obviously he doesn't exist but stfu and watch Hellsing OVA)

      November 18, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  14. Beth

    This has to be the stupidest piece of tripe I've ever read. The Twilight saga is trivial fantasy at best and that a 'reputable' Christian compares Christianity to it is just beyond belief. I pray no one actually paid for either this article or its publication. I pray that those critical of Christianity (and there are many of those) do not cite this as any sort of example of Christian theology or scholarship. Oh. My. God.

    November 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Agreed. I sure hope she doesn't actually get paid for this drivel.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Melony

      Thank you. I certainly do not agree with this article as an accurate viewpoint of Christianity. Vampires, glorifying the dead, and wierd/quirky shows mixing blood and intimacy should be a repellant to ppl watching this stuff. WWJD still applies in this day and age.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      no it doesn't. that's stupid

      November 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  15. BL

    There is no God who is separate from us. There is no plan. There is no lesson. There is no sacrifice we need to make. We are already perfect. We have always been perfect and cannot be anything else. There is only right here and right now, each moment already whole and complete. We get lost only in striving for something we already possess. We are like fish swimming in a vast ocean, desperately seeking water. We are already "that."

    November 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      You must be on some really good drugs. Can I have some?

      November 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • GodPot

      It's the appeal to all the "fish out of water" that makes the little guppies flock to Twilight. These little girls have the world, their parents, the Cosmo magazines, the freaks they watch on "reallity" TV, all telling them that they have to be "This" or "That" which only makes them feel outcast when they don't fit into the mold, which then let's their emotional honeypot overflow for the invented dark and brooding outsider hunk who should be out there with the popular kids but isn't because of his dark and mysterious past which makes him less than perfect, allowing for the girls to fanats... did I mention his darkness?

      November 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  16. Emily

    To address certain points:

    2. I don't understand how Twilight teaches this. Bella never once has to sacrifice anything in exchange for a perfect eternal life with Edward. Becoming a vampire to be with Edward forever should have entailed sacrificing several things – the ability to have children, her relationship with her family, her friendship with Jacob. But no, she gets all of those things. She gets everything she wants, and gives up absolutely nothing. Yes, Edward left to try and keep her safe, but it didn't last, all it did was set the plot for the most insufferably horrible book in the series.

    5. Bella doesn't fit in in Forks because she basically makes it her mission to be an outcast. Go back and read the first book again. Her first day at school, no less than 4 boys are fawning over her, and everyone she meets is super friendly to her and tries to get to know her. She, however, spends the entire time rolling her eyes, looking down on everyone, and giving everyone the cold shoulder. Bella doesn't have trouble fitting in because she's a misfit, she has trouble fitting in because she's a snob.

    Obviously I'm part of the second camp discussed in the beginning of the article. I read the series and thought it was ok for what it was – cheesy paranormal romance. I simply don't see Twilight as a place to find valuable life lessons – if anything, it's more of a guide to making poor life decisions. I also find it interesting that some of the same people desperately trying to extract valuable lessons from Twilight are the same people that hated the Harry Potter series, which had many more valuable lessons and admirable characters.

    November 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Wow. Thank you for summarizing the story so that I never, ever have to read it. I'm not his biggest fan, but when Stephen King said that Twilight was garbage, I took the man at his word.

      I don't judge you for liking it, I've read plenty of books one could call mediocre at best and still enjoyed them. The weird cult-like fanaticism of its enthusiasts is a bit alarming though.

      Sigh...and both my mom and my sister like it =/

      November 18, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • GodPot

      To address certain points:

      "Bella never once has to sacrifice anything in exchange for a perfect eternal life with Edward" FYI, Bella doesn't exist.

      "Her first day at school, no less than 4 boys are fawning over her, and everyone she meets is super friendly to her and tries to get to know her" There was no first day of school and there are no boys.

      "Bella doesn't have trouble fitting in because she's a misfit, she has trouble fitting in because she's a snob." Bella can fit in anywhere, as imaginary things are want to do. Can she fit in my pocket? Of course! Can she make a rock so big she couldn't lift it? Of course she can...

      November 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • daveyo

      That writer is an idiot. Dont get me wrong, i read the books and listened to the audiobooks countless times. its a love story that penetrates through the differences they share. I dont believe in jeezus but i think its idiotic to try to look for these kinds of messages in this story. I wont watch anything that tries to indoctinte, like passion of the christ or even narnia.

      To me, its really all about Edward.

      besides. the movies sucked, they didnt really tell the story. I cant wait to see how they butcher breaking dawn

      November 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Daveyo, you've read the books "countless times"? Did you know there are other books? Some of them are quite good. Good grief, please get a life.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      haha Warm I didn't have any interest in reading it for the same reason–Stephen King has been pretty vocal about her awful writing. But alas I did read a bit of one of the books, just because some of my family members are fanatics. Well, I can tell you, Stephen King is right. Just plain terrible.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I like romance novels. The books with Fabio on the cover. God knows I'm such a bitter old hag I'd never land a guy like that.

      November 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  17. MobiusEight

    What is this I don't even...

    November 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Beth

      Thank you.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Melony

      Ur comment really made me laugh out loud.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      doesn't take much to make an idiot laugh

      November 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  18. liz

    wow by no means! am i perfect. and i never said i was. (and i didnt say all hospitails) and guess what! the church is full of hypocrits! and people who do bad things and say awful things, their judgemental and some are really nuts! but. we dont go on websites of non belivers and harass them for believing in something good.....so! yeah, i admit i spoke out of the fact you said something hurtful and judgemental. and inturn i did too! so. your opinion does matter as a human being, but what i meant was effectivly it doesnt matter to christians who are happy, and have faith and have seen the hand of God.. thats why its called faith you have to believe..anyways im done here ive waisted too much of my time.....

    November 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • John Richardson

      This isn't a "believer website". It's a website that addresses questions of belief.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • liz

      omigosh! lol i gess i'll come on here an be emoshunal and mostly iliter-ate and post nothing 4 no reason lol

      November 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Liz, I think it's everyone else's time that you're wasting, and my comment has nothing to do with your personal beliefs. Please take a basic English Composition class. Seriously.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Liz, you're an idiot. Sorry to have to break it to you.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
    • Melony

      Liz, you're not an idiot. But on a real note, not all Christians are like you've descibed...

      November 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • What

      No, no! Liz is just wrapped up in her delusion like any stupid Christian. Idiots wouldn't be able to type clearly....oh, wait...

      November 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • JohnR

      @Melony Liz is an idiot.

      November 19, 2011 at 8:29 am |
  19. Reality

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would like, do or say?

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    November 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      Actually I very much admire Jesus' teachings about love, forgiveness and charity, even though I'm of the opinion that the man never even existed. If Christians actually acted like that then I'd have no problem with it. Quite frankly I believe modern day Christianity is not real Christianity, but Biblicism. Christians worship the Bible far more than they worship Christ. Jesus is just their free meal ticket into Heaven.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Gold26

      You realize that Jesus is referenced even by some of the most prolific historians of his age such as Tacitus, right? He was real, whether you are a believer of an atheist, he was as real as Julius Caesar and Augustine.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • warmesTghosT


      No, you are incorrect. Tacitus was born in 56 CE, decades after the death/resurrection of Yeshua/Jesus. He was not a first hand witness. No first hand witnesses exist. There is no historical record of his birth, life, ministry, works or death in existence. There are no artifacts or works of carpentry purportedly made by Jesus. The Romans did not even record his name in their annals, and they were meticulous record keepers for their time.

      Outside of the Bible, there is no evidence Jesus Christ ever even existed.

      November 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Melony

      @ warmesTghosT

      Tacitus (a non Christian) was amongst the generations that had eye witness accounts of Christ. His role as a historian would still be valid...even if his information was secondary knowledge. It is comparable to our knowledge of Osama bin Laden through our media...absolutely none of us have seen him in person, but we know he exists.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
    • Melony

      Sanhedrin 43a

      November 18, 2011 at 8:42 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      warm–as a "christian" I have to say you are absolutely right-you've hit it on the head. I have long become dissatisfied with the sort of Bible worship that goes on today. christians have long put all scripture and the words of various men on the same level as the words of christ, which doesn't hold water, in my opinion. To me, the essential Truth of what Jesus taught is all in the Gospels, and none of the rest stands on equal footing. If christians didn't worry so much about what Paul had to say and instead followed those basic precepts set forth by christ, there wouldn't be so much division and anger and hatred toward others.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • warmesTghosT


      Good for you, you're the type of person I like. You can discern the diamond from the dross. If you call yourself CHRISTian, you should do what CHRIST says. Nothing else.


      Sorry, you are wrong. It's nothing like Osama Bin Laden at all. Physical evidence exists for the reality of Bin Laden.

      You can cite Tacitus and Josephus and whoever else you like, the fact remains: there is no HISTORICAL evidence that Yeshua the Christ ever existed. No first hand accounts, no official records, no artifacts, no nothing. The only pieces of literature that claim he did were written collectively by large groups of MEN decades and sometimes centuries after the fact.

      I don't really understand any woman who defends Abrahamic religions, as they are so clearly misogynistic. I say this as a man.

      November 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      they must have censored my comment because I said pros t i t utes lol ok Jesus taught love and respect for even the shunned women, like those I just mentioned, the married 5 times types, etc. He treated women like equal humans in a time when most cultures did not (not just Abrahamic religions)

      November 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • warmesTghosT


      Like I said, 98% of the things Jesus ever supposedly said, I agree with.


      You cannot deny that Abrahamic religions are misogynistic. I will begin with the most glaring examples; God is a man, and so is Jesus. If "God" made "us" in "his" image, "he" would be a herm@phrodite or "he" would be gender neutral.

      God made Eve from the rib of Adam. She was made as an accessory, an afterthought. Not as good as the original model.

      Eve is responsible for eating the apple and "tricking" Adam into doing so as well.

      God r@ped Mary to impregnate her, and the entire Bible is filled with instances of men treating women like animals or worse. Who was the guy who offered up his two virgin daughters in order to protect his male guests again? I forget the name. He's in there though.

      The list goes on and on. At the most basic levels, if you've ever read the Bible and really thought about it...

      Jesus had some beautiful ideas, but Christianity as a whole doesn't make any sense.

      Of course, none of the world's major religions really do.

      November 18, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Reality

      From a number of contemporary NT scholars:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts in their book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      See below for added references:

      November 18, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Reality

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–
      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998

      November 18, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      10. The Gnostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
      by Douglas Groothuis: equip.org/free/DG040-1.htm
      11. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      12. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      13. Jesus Database with the example of Supper and Eucharist:
      14. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      15. The Journal of Higher Criticism with links to articles on the Historical Jesus:

      November 18, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      16. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      17. Diseases in the Bible:
      18. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      19. The Jesus Seminarians and their search for NT authenticity:
      20. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      21. Writing the New Testament- existing copies, oral tradition etc.
      22. The Search for the Historic Jesus by the Jesus Seminarians:
      23. Jesus Decoded by Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco (Da Vinci Code review)jesusdecoded.com/introduction.php
      24. JD Crossan's scriptural references for his book the Historical Jesus separated into time periods: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf
      25. JD Crossan's conclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:

      November 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality

      continued from above:

      26. Common Sayings from Thomas's Gospel and the Q Gospel: faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan3.rtf
      27. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      28. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?
      29. NT and beyond time line:
      30. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      31. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      32. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      33. The books of the following : Professors Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      34. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      35. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      November 18, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  20. liz

    you know what, your right! i didnt word things right and it all came out harsh, and I am truly sorry. but. if you dont believe in this whole thing. or your asking others about it why dont you just find out for yourself. i mean wouldnt that make sense....? i mean right, and yet your still here.....and btw.....this ladys messed up. twilight has nothing to do with God atall, and its completely the reason people hate christians. rediculious. but i love twilight!

    November 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Thaddeus

      What is it about people who love Twilight that they seem devoid of basic thinking skills? Surely the movie didn't cause this, but is only a magnet for these brain-damaged people.
      But enjoy it while you can. Those idiotic southern evangelicals just might decide to hate on Twilight like they did with the Harry Potter books.
      Crazy people everywhere and not a thought to think.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Passive Aggressive

      I've noticed a lot of idiots using the word "devoid" lately. Just like that dork from the princess bride that kept using the word "inconceivable."

      November 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Inigo Montoya

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      November 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • What

      Who could ever hate Christians when they are so judgmental, hypocritical, arrogant, bigoted, and stupid? Not me.
      I love stupid people. Especially when they get themselves killed. I really love them a lot then. More than at other times, you might say, but I digress...

      November 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
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About this blog

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