My Take: The 3 biggest biblical misconceptions
The Bible presents us with an evolving story, writes John Shelby Spong.
December 29th, 2011
09:10 AM ET

My Take: The 3 biggest biblical misconceptions

Editor’s note: John Shelby Spong, a former Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, is author of "Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World."

By John Shelby Spong, Special to CNN

The Bible is both a reservoir of spiritual insight and a cultural icon to which lip service is still paid in the Western world. Yet when the Bible is talked about in public by both believers and critics, it becomes clear that misconceptions abound.

To me, three misconceptions stand out and serve to make the Bible hard to comprehend.

First, people assume the Bible accurately reflects history. That is absolutely not so, and every biblical scholar recognizes it.

The facts are that Abraham, the biblically acknowledged founding father of the Jewish people, whose story forms the earliest content of the Bible, died about 900 years before the first story of Abraham was written in the Old Testament.

Actually, that's not in the Bible

Can a defining tribal narrative that is passed on orally for 45 generations ever be regarded as history, at least as history is understood today?

Moses, the religious genius who put his stamp on the religion of the Old Testament more powerfully than any other figure, died about 300 years before the first story of Moses entered the written form we call Holy Scripture.

This means that everything we know about Moses in the Bible had to have passed orally through about 15 generations before achieving written form. Do stories of heroic figures not grow, experience magnifying tendencies and become surrounded by interpretive mythology as the years roll by?

My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?

Jesus of Nazareth, according to our best research, lived between the years 4 B.C. and A.D. 30. Yet all of the gospels were written between the years 70 to 100 A.D., or 40 to 70 years after his crucifixion, and they were written in Greek, a language that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples spoke or were able to write.

Are the gospels then capable of being effective guides to history? If we line up the gospels in the time sequence in which they were written - that is, with Mark first, followed by Matthew, then by Luke and ending with John - we can see exactly how the story expanded between the years 70 and 100.

For example, miracles do not get attached to the memory of Jesus story until the eighth decade. The miraculous birth of Jesus is a ninth-decade addition; the story of Jesus ascending into heaven is a 10th-decade narrative.

In the first gospel, Mark, the risen Christ appears physically to no one, but by the time we come to the last gospel, John, Thomas is invited to feel the nail prints in Christ’s hands and feet and the spear wound in his side.

Perhaps the most telling witness against the claim of accurate history for the Bible comes when we read the earliest narrative of the crucifixion found in Mark’s gospel and discover that it is not based on eyewitness testimony at all.

My Take: Yes, the Bible really condemns homosexuality

Instead, it’s an interpretive account designed to conform the story of Jesus’ death to the messianic yearnings of the Hebrew Scriptures, including Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

The Bible interprets life from its particular perspective; it does not record in a factual way the human journey through history.

The second major misconception comes from the distorting claim that the Bible is in any literal sense “the word of God.” Only someone who has never read the Bible could make such a claim. The Bible portrays God as hating the Egyptians, stopping the sun in the sky to allow more daylight to enable Joshua to kill more Amorites and ordering King Saul to commit genocide against the Amalekites.

Can these acts of immorality ever be called “the word of God”? The book of Psalms promises happiness to the defeated and exiled Jews only when they can dash the heads of Babylonian children against the rocks! Is this “the word of God? What kind of God would that be?

The Bible, when read literally, calls for the execution of children who are willfully disobedient to their parents, for those who worship false gods, for those who commit adultery, for homosexual persons and for any man who has sex with his mother-in-law, just to name a few.

The Bible exhorts slaves to be obedient to their masters and wives to be obedient to their husbands. Over the centuries, texts like these, taken from the Bible and interpreted literally, have been used as powerful and evil weapons to support killing prejudices and to justify the cruelest kind of inhumanity.

The third major misconception is that biblical truth is somehow static and thus unchanging. Instead, the Bible presents us with an evolutionary story, and in those evolving patterns, the permanent value of the Bible is ultimately revealed.

It was a long road for human beings and human values to travel between the tribal deity found in the book of Exodus, who orders the death of the firstborn male in every Egyptian household on the night of the Passover, until we reach an understanding of God who commands us to love our enemies.

The transition moments on this journey can be studied easily. It was the prophet named Hosea, writing in the eighth century B.C., who changed God’s name to love. It was the prophet named Amos who changed God’s name to justice. It was the prophet we call Jonah who taught us that the love of God is not bounded by the limits of our own ability to love.

It was the prophet Micah who understood that beautiful religious rituals and even lavish sacrifices were not the things that worship requires, but rather “to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” It was the prophet we call Malachi, writing in the fifth century B.C., who finally saw God as a universal experience, transcending all national and tribal boundaries.

One has only to look at Christian history to see why these misconceptions are dangerous. They have fed religious persecution and religious wars. They have fueled racism, anti-female biases, anti-Semitism and homophobia.They have fought against science and the explosion of knowledge.

The ultimate meaning of the Bible escapes human limits and calls us to a recognition that every life is holy, every life is loved, and every life is called to be all that that life is capable of being. The Bible is, thus, not about religion at all but about becoming deeply and fully human. It issues the invitation to live fully, to love wastefully and to have the courage to be our most complete selves.

That is why I treasure this book and why I struggle to reclaim its essential message for our increasingly non-religious world.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Shelby Spong.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (6,068 Responses)
  1. kendallpeak

    So the Bible is not the word of God, is not accurate, and it's teachings are just the legends of dead shepherds. Why would you possibly want anyone to even know about it.? Sir, when you lose your faith, at least be man enough to accept it and move on.

    February 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  2. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit, like Nii Croffie does.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer is completely ineffective.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Oh God thank you! You answered my prayer. He has written something different and even added my name. Glory be to your name.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  3. Paul

    Lorraine; Thank you for your comments I found your view interesting. Yes you are right YHWH is the Hebrew name for God as the Hebrews did not use vowels only consonants. A bit like we use LTD for limited. However it is well recognised that Yehowah, Yehwah, Yehwih are possible ways of spelling it, Hebrew scholars favour Yahweh as the most likely pronunciation. Jehovah (English) has been the well-known form for centuries, therefore the most recognised version of the name of God.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  4. Paul

    Lorraine; A long standing principle in the Bible is the, a ‘eye for an eye’ and ‘life for a life’. This principle was established by Jehovah. He himself keeps his own laws. So when Adam as a perfect man sinned it needed another perfect man to die faithfully to pay the ransom price. That’s why the apostle Paul referred to the ransom as a ‘corresponding ransom’. We can come from under the yoke of sin and death (Adams family) and choose to be part of Jesus family by accepting his teachings and believing in him and accepting his ransom.

    February 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Paul, YHWH has never changed His law or ordinances, He says this in Malachi 3v6, and in Isaiah 24v5 we did this, and angered Him until this day. There is no mentio. Of Jesus anywhere in the OT. NOT doing the law, is not what YHWH wants,, for us as He says in Malachi 4v4,do the law the 10 Commadments and Sabbath. In Isaiah 43v13,14,15, no man can be delivered from His hands, He is our redeemer and King. And in Isaiah 43 v18,19, He assures us not to çonsider this days of old this is a out today that He wants us to do the law. In the new covenant in Jeremiah 31v31-40, this same law will be put in our hearts,future,making all else is not true.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      CoCo I like your new style. much better.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      CoCo there are three different languages Arabic , Aramean (the ancient language of Syria) and Aramaic. Aramaic is pidgin Hebrew and was used to complete the OT.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  5. Lorraine

    Michael, Yes the gospel was written in Greek, but from Genesis- Malachi, this was in Hebrew and was translated by Jewish writers in 200bce in Greek. They tried to put the spin on it by saying it was Arabic or a combination of Greek originally, but, Greek was only dominate after the Babylonian conquest, after Alexander the Great, and Ptolemy II. Otherwise it was in Hebrew maybe some Arabic then, of those who came out of Egypt from bondage, Moses,Joshua.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Hi CoCo I know its u! Anyway the shorter posts make more sense. Love your neighbor as yourself.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  6. Lorraine

    Sunny 62, Sam, The book is the OT which tells the truth, the Word of YHWH, He says that He is our only Savior and Redeemer in Isaiah 49v26 and in Isaiah 60v16. And in Jerimiah 31v30 it tells us that no one can die for anyones sin. In Ezekiel 14v14, even Noah, Daniel, and Job had to live by their own righteousness.,

    February 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  7. Lorraine

    MyGodrocks, The newt was written by the hellenistic Jews in 200bce changing the Word of the Creator YHWH, and he says that he changes not in Malachi 3v6. That means not his law or ordinances.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  8. Lorraine

    S.62. I know finding out that jc is not the son of the Creator and that Israel the son and firstborn its in Exodus 4 v22,23 of the chosen children.

    February 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Still talking like a cultist.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  9. momoya

    Prayer is talking to yourself; it can be a healthy exercise. Meditation is better. 15 min cat naps really hit the spot, too. If DMT is ever legalized, that'd be the way to go, though.

    February 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  10. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  11. 4commonsensenow

    B.I.B.L.E. Basic Information Before Leaving Earth

    February 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
      Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
      Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
      Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
      Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
      Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
      Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
      Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
      Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
      Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
      Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
      Prayer dulls your senses so that you actually almost believe the idiotic crap in the bible.
      Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
      Prayer makes you hoard cats.
      Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
      Prayer wastes time.

      February 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • dmjk

      I second that!!!!

      February 10, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • dmjk

      I second that!!!!

      Please disregardt the statement posted after prayer is a watse of time- I got click happy and selected the wrong comment to reply to. Prayer works. Ask my husband lol

      February 10, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  12. longhorn

    Monty Python said it best

    "Blessed are the cheesemakers"

    February 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  13. KC

    This man is not an atheist. He's a progressive Christian. Geez. Can you people read?

    February 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • cbinal

      No, he's a fool.

      February 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  14. ThermalJockey

    Atheist being mass murdered? Yep. Nazi Germany. It was policy.

    Also, it happens more often on a small-time basis to Atheists, because they don't have any religious command to spread the gospel of atheism. They generally just keep their mouths shut about it and pretend. But that doesn't mean they beleive, only that converting the religious isn't worth dying over for most of them.

    February 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Were these atheists coincidentally the same Communists Hitler hated so much. Then why complain? Separation of Church and state is good. How would you feel if the Evangelicals took over the GOP and Democrats?

      February 10, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  15. Mark

    I haven't seen a chat room light up like this in a long time. Why is it that we have to tear each other down and not find common ground to believe in? I know that the "educated" or "enlightened" will always think they can explain or disect religion or faith but it can't happen. Belief is personal and not subject to anyone or anything. I won't go further because there are few here that want to hear anything good or uplifting. Enjoy the dark cloud this man has created, I am off to enjoy my family.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  16. Deezee1

    It is amazing that John Spong still preaches yet does not believe in Jesus Christ – how confused is that. He sees no hope. He doesnt see or feel the Love. He is not worth listening to. Speaking at best from his own darkened imagination, which he considers as more reliable in discerning the truth of the gospel account. Even the liberal anglican Archbishop of Cantebury knew he was a heretic.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  17. Ralph

    @POT or KETTLE
    I long ago ceased to try to prove the existence of God when all the time proof was self evident and not necessary. That being said: The notion that God has a inferiority complex because he has proven his existence is pretty comical. When throughout all the years man has attempted to live apart from his creator doing everything in his limited mortal power to prove his worth and coming up short EVERY TIME! I do believe history backs me up on that one! So I ask you, who has the inferiority complex. Here's something else to consider my friend when it comes to inferiority complexes. Why are Christians and Christianity constantly under attack and scores of them killed at the hands of leaders who who demand attention and worship directly at them and failure to do so would meet sever consequences? I ask you again, who has the inferiority complexes? When God showed his power over the false gods to the worshipers of those false gods, it was not for show! It was for their benefit. Because they failed to realize that their false gods would always come up short and leave them empty to which many are eternally grateful for that bit of enlightenment. Now that may not mean squat to you and you may very well be indifferent to all that. But if your'e going to challenge the validity of God be prepared to go to battle and accept the consequences of your accusations. And I do not mean that in a violent way not am I advocating violence for unbelief as some religions do. Oh and BTW! Have you addressed your concerns about "The only God Problem" with a Muslim yet? Hmmm! I'm just curious! Oh! and one more tid bit If I may, You see, contrary to what you may believe, we ALL have a god or god's in our lives. It doesn't matter how independent or intellectual we may be, we all worship something or someone. And you do NOT have to be prostrate before it to show your devotion. It's in your heart. And if Atheism is your belief system then that is your god. And all things being equal, you obviously believe that your god is the only god!

    February 8, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • momoya

      Dude, christians aren't "under attack" any more than any other religious people are under attack. In the US, 88% of people are christian, all the presidents have been christian, and there's christian churches on every street corner and christian ideology in every political building between the two seas. Where christians are being persecuted is where christians are not the dominant belief–small Asian countries and that sort of thing. If you want to know what persecution is, tell people you're an atheist, then you'll see persecution.

      The rest of your post is filled with similar stupidity that it refutes itself without any counter arguments. Your religion and god is one of thousands, and it will die like the rest of them have or will. If god does exist, he's a poor communicator because everybody has a different idea of who god is and what he requires. God believers argue incessantly about what he really is while they all use the same math day in and day out. Why is your god so easy to dismiss while math and gravity can't be? Try thinking for a change.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Believer

      Do you see people being killed because of there beliefs of atheism? Your right, here in America we have it easy with the persecution, you do too. No one is killing you or me for our beliefs, but in those countries in Asia people are being killed everyday because the believe in God.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • momoya


      It's a cultural phenomenon when people are killed or persecuted for their beliefs. There have been plenty of cultures that tortured and killed atheists, just like there have been plenty of cultures that have killed christians, muslims, whatever for their beliefs. Sure, some christians are getting killed, some muslims are getting killed, and atheists are getting killed–in those places on the planet that have that sort of bigotry expressing itself in those extremes. Because it's a cultural phenomenon, it varies from place to place within country boundaries. For example, in the US it's a lot easier to be an atheist in the northwest and a lot tougher in the southeast. Time and again I have witnesses "Christians" lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead, and you should see their blood-lust whenever they think somebody's an atheist!

      Christians have no monopoly on persecution. Go do some research on the facts.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Believer

      Your right christians do lie cheat and steal, but that is because we are still human. We still fail in our religion all the time, however I have been doing research and I can find no example of people being mass murdered because they are atheist, could you show us some examples?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • momoya

      I never said mass-murdered. Don't put words in my mouth. Do your own research if you really care. You have a search bar; use it.

      Do you have a point that you want to share, or are you just trolling?

      February 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Believer

      I did use my search bar, couldnt find any examples. My point is that you said christians being killed is just like all other beliefs being killed. However I cannot find an example of athiests being persecuted to the degree that christians were in Rome and how they are currently being treated in China. Even when Hitler was killing atheists he was killing Protestant christians too. He was pretty much killing everybody so hes a moot point. Anyways all of this is because you said Christianity is not under attack, because we are.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • momoya


      Atheists are more hated and persecuted/killed in strict Muslim societies than Christians are. They'd prefer a god believer over a non-god believer any day.

      Christians aren't being persecuted more than you would expect. People get pretty violent over god-customs. Christians aren't being persecuted by easy-going societies; they're persecuted in very harsh societies. In such societies, when a particular god-belief is in vogue in a certain time and place, the believers of other gods get jacked-up. Look at the inquisition. In that example, Christianity was in vogue and believers of other gods were tortured and killed.

      Persecution and killings don't amount to evidence of the belief being targeted; persecution and killing is evidence of a particular type of society–a society that allows persecution and killing.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  18. Ralph

    I saw this coming a mile away when the writer began attempting to punch holes in the accounts and dates of these events. The slippery slope that this writer is climbing on is when you date something way after it's occurrence with the attempt to give the reader the assumption that a lot can be distorted, taken out or put in over a period of time. And now that we see that the writer is denying that this is the Word of God because of HIS Moral view or outlook on things, flies in the face of Gods word that plainly states: "MY WAYS ARE NOT YOUR WAYS NEITHER MY THOUGHTS YOUR THOUGHTS". And as for the statement that the bible was written in Greek a language that did not exist until a certain time, is deceptive research. First of all, the OLD testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The NEW testament was also Hebrew AND in Greek. The obvious proof is that the Apostle Paul was Bi Lingual (probably Tri-Lingual) in both Hebrew and Greek and made many statements distinguishing Jews and Greek. So it's obvious that the Greek language existed. Jesus was crucified by the roman authority DUH! Here's whats going on with people like Mr. Shelby..Mr. Shelby is trying to make the Bible palatable to the intellectual masses and probably the elitist as well. Anything that would take the so called shame of the name of Christianity and make it more presentable to these groups of people. A scriptural word of advice for Mr. Shelby and others: "WHOSOVER SHALL BE ASHAMED OF ME AND MY WORDS IN THIS ADULTUROUS AND SINFUL GENERATION, OF HIM SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE ASHAMED, WHEN HE COMETH IN THE GLORY OF HIS FATHER WITH THE HOLY ANGELS".

    February 8, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Michael

      Or maybe he was just using logic. You need to accept the fact that the whole bible was written by men. It was compiled by men. It was edited by men. The words of the bible are interpreted by Christians in a way to suite their beliefs all the time. By the way, he didn't say that the whole Bible was written in Greek. He clearly stated that the original Gospels were written in Greek.

      February 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      As a minister in the same denomination, if I was the one being praised by atheists in this manner, I will just hang myself. Judas did the same!

      February 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  19. bobcat

    In the words of Thomas Paine: If Jesus Christ was the being which those Mythologists tell us he was, and that he came into this world to suffer, which is a word they sometimes use instead of to die, the only real suffering he could have endured, would have been to live. His existence here was a state of exilement or transportation from Heaven, and the way back to his original country was to die. In fine, everything in this strange system is the reverse of what it pretends to be.

    February 8, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      And in your own words... How can u put your life into someone's hands like that! Those mythologists you talk of how better did they die or live. Check out St Paul's testimony on his life. I think maybe our scholar shud try that for three years. That is science.Then come back to tell us. Speculation!

      February 8, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Paul

      Bob you really have to understand the Ransom to understand Jesus role in the Bible and why he had to die. If you would like a brief explaination I will give it a go?

      February 8, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  20. Paul

    Just to clarify just one point.

    The personal Name of God which has been clearly known from Adam on is Jehovah. It is not love or justice, they are qualities not a personal name.
    My name is Paul but I might be described as kind or unkind but this does not changed my name from Paul.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Pot or kettle?

      So how come there are names for so many other gods that we written down before Adam's god. Where other civilizations hard of hearing? Is Jehovah severely introverted? Soft spoken? Perhaps other civilizations tend to throw water on burning bushes?

      February 8, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Pot and Kettle see how smugly u display your 'knowledge'. When did you see them writing it down? Where did you see them? Speculation is only one book away from falsehood. I admire the contribution of historians n bible critics. Will I bet my life on their knowledge? Never. Do they? I don't think so.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:55 am |
    • Paul

      Pot and Kettle. Actually the Bible refers to a number of different Gods that other civilisations worshipped. But Jehovah the authur of the Bible humiliated all of them as he is the Only True God. All other gods are invented by humans and of course Satan and his demons.
      And by the way Adam was the first human, so there were no other gods before Jehovah, as he is the creator of the heavens and earth. Therefore has the right to our worship alone. Any other god is a fabrication to bring glory to ones self or Jehovah's enemy Satan.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:19 am |
    • Pot or kettle?

      So Jehovah had to humiliate non-existant gods? Your god really has quite the inferiority complex. Funny how every other god is man-made but yours isn't. Convenient. And yet there are written records (despite Nii's obviously ignorant response) of other gods that well pre-date the earliest books of the bible. So your god was very quiet for a long time while all of these other people were inventing gods, and decided to reveal himself to a relatively small group of people in a very isolated part of the world.

      But your god isn't invented and the other gods are. You certainly have me convinced. *eye roll*

      February 8, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Paul

      Pot or Kettle. I would like to see some proof of that. the book of Genesis contains writings of Adam the first man. These were compiled by Moses.

      February 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Paul, no one can die for anyones sins. This is taught by YHWH, in Ezekiel 14v14, and in Jerimish 31v30. Also, this name Jehovah is a transliteration, for Js were not into existence until the 1600s. The Creators name is YHWH. For in Ezekiel 36v22,23, YHWH explains of the profanity of His name. The Jewish writers took His name out 6800 times.

      February 10, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • GodPot

      "Pot or Kettle. I would like to see some proof of that. the book of Genesis contains writings of Adam the first man. These were compiled by Moses."

      "Rabbinical Judaism calculated a lifespan of Moses corresponding to 1391–1271 BCE"

      "The Early Dynastic period began with the unification of Egypt around 3000 BC. This event transformed Egyptian religion, as some deities rose to national importance and the cult of the divine pharaoh became the central focus of religious activity."

      The bible claims Moses came out of Egypt after he had been raised as a Prince of Egypt and would no doubt have been trained in their religion and creation story which strangely enough, has many details that mirror the version Moses comes up with during the 40 years in the desert, he just gives them Hebrew names.

      "In the beginning there was only the swirling watery chaos, called Nu. Out of these chaotic waters rose Atum"

      "The Pyramid Texts, tomb wall decorations and writings, dating back to the Old Kingdom (2780 – 2250 B.C.E) have given us most of our information regarding early Egyptian creation myths. These myths also form the earliest religious compilations in the world. The ancient Egyptians had many creator gods and a s sociated legends. Thus the world or more specifically Egypt was created in diverse ways according to different parts of the country. In all of these myths, the world was said to have emerged from an infinite, lifeless sea when the sun rose for the first time, in a distant period known as zp tpj, "the first occasion". Different myths attributed the creation to different gods: the set of eight primordial deities called the Ogdoad, the self-engendered god Atum and his offspring, the contemplative deity Ptah, and the mysterious, transcendent god Amun. The different creation myths had some elements in common. They all held that the world had arisen out of the lifeless waters of chaos, called Nu. They also included a pyramid-shaped mound, called the benben, which was the first thing to emerge from the waters. These elements were likely inspired by the flooding of the Nile River each year; the receding floodwaters left fertile soil in their wake, and the Egyptians may have equated this with the emergence of life from the primeval chaos. The imagery of the pyramidal mound derived from the highest mounds of earth emerging as the river receded." – Wiki

      February 10, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      My local dialect Ga uses Nu for water. Yay! I'm speaking Egyptian! Frankly speaking however what is my evidence? God never said He spoke exclusively to Moses. Moses even records a period b4 the Great Flood when people worshipped YHWH. My battery is down but I shall return.

      February 10, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Lorraine

      Paul, also Adam was not the first man, there were others before Adam, for in Genesis 1v26-31, YHWH blessed the others on earth. It was not until Genesis 5 that the book of generations of Adam began. Adam was the chosen seed of the futures covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

      February 10, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • GodPot

      "My local dialect Ga uses Nu for water. Yay! I'm speaking Egyptian! Frankly speaking however what is my evidence? God never said He spoke exclusively to Moses."

      First point, as far as any humans can verify God has never "said" anything. Many claim divine inspiration from Moses, Buddha, Mohammed and many others throughout history.

      Second, if you are trying to say that God also spoke to ancient Egyptians and gave them part of the accurate creation story which then just looked as if it matched up with Moses version after the fact because God gave Moses the "right" creation story, then I have some beach front property in the Maldives to sell you.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Godpot I have experienced my God as I have told you before in ways that make it difficult to toe your line. Maybe if you were not an atheist you could be more open but your religion does not tie in with my experiences. As to fraud it seems u forget that I am more likely to scam u than vice versa.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Moses cud easily have edited the Creation story he was taught without it being untrue in God's view. Besides this the dynasty Moses was born into was after the Hyksos dynasty who cud have introduced the semitic story. Whichever way, it does not detract from the truthfulness of the narrative.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      LORRAINE CoCoDol- there are three semitic languages that are phononymous to an extent. Aramean(Syriac or the Syrian tongue dead now), Aramaic(pidgin Hebrew) which the Jews used to write the second part of the OT and Arabic(the languge of the Arabs or Ishmaelites closely related to Hebrew but not).

      February 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Lorraine

      Paul, what is your take on the scripture written in Exodus 4v22,23, of the son, and firstborn, of the Creator YHWH being 'ISRAEL'?, the chosen people of YHWH, and other nations have also been accepted as long as they do the law, the judgments, statues and ordinances of the 10 commandments, the sabbath in Leviticus 23, and the passover in Exodus 12. Also, to eat and live righteously in Deut. 14, and Leviticus 11. These again are not of any religions these are the (law) of our life, given to us in Genesis 2v7, to prolong our days as told to us by Moses in Deut. 32v45-47. Therefore, it cannot be two firstborn sons is a fact of proof that Israel is the true son of YHWH His chosen people with which YHWH made the covenant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with until this day. And from the seed of David is from this covenant as being the one to reign or work for YHWH to guide the flocks as a future prophecy, as told to us in Jeremiah 23v1-8, and Jeremiah 33v14-26. Also, the name of YHWH is what it is, but of course the jehovah name came from the Greek language but this is not His name it is YHWH found in the Hebrew written book. If you will, Js were not even in existence until the 1600s. YHWH of host is His name and because of the misleading teachings of the priest, rabbis, and popes and pastors, elders, is why YHWH says in Ezekiel 36v22,23 of the profaning of His name and that He will address by sanctifying it very soon, this is a prophecy to come. Why people will not use the name of the Creator YHWH, is beyond the truth, then to put the servant of YHWH before Him is another disrespect to YHWH, for He states this in Isaiah 40v18, for us not to do this, and YHWH says in Isaiah 40v10-17 the servant will work for YHWH, in which He continues to magnify Himself on through Isaiah 40v21-31, is who should be praised above all. Another future prophecy is in Jeremiah 31v31-40, this is the New Covenant of YHWH that He will put in the inward parts, and the hearts of the people is soon to come. For prayer to be accepted by YHWH is another issue, and this was established in Solomon's Supplement prayer, in 1Kings 8, 9, to turn towards Jerusalem, and bow to your knees and pray to be heard by YHWH is accepted.

      February 22, 2012 at 7:03 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.