Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers
Jesus depicted healing a sick child.
April 8th, 2012
09:37 PM ET

Your take: Comments on Jesus deniers

Our story on a small cadre of authors challenging the existence of Jesus Christ drew almost 5,000 comments on Easter Sunday, with some upset that we did the story, others objecting to its publication on Easter, and plenty of others defending the article and the run date and debating the merits and implications of the debate.

Of course, most comments had nothing to do with our story, revolving instead around the debate about legitimacy of religion itself.

A sampling of the criticism:

Easter on CNN

You've gone too far.

While I am an advocate of spiritual exploration – by atheists to disprove or by the faithful to validate – running an article questioning the very core of a religious belief system on a holy day is indelicate, to say the least. Will you question that Muhammad received the word of God, running similar articles during Ramadan? Or on Yom Kippur, draw on conjecture to argue that the Book of Life is for fools?

This is not journalism. This sensationalist pander.


I would like to see if CNN would dare run a story saying that Muhammad was a "myth" on the Muslim' s holiest holidays and that Abraham was a "myth" on the Jewish holidays. Go ahead CNN and give it a try and see what happens.


Every Easter?...I mean why a negative story every Easter?? It has become a running joke.



Many other readers took aim at the critics:


To those who are insulted by this article,

If your faith is so weak that it cannot stand up to being looked at from an objective, historical, evidence based perspective, then this article is the least of your problems.


It is ironic that so many christians are "offended" at a dialogue about religion sponsored by CNN instead of greeting the opportunity to express their views. Perhaps they are shamed that we all know they are surfing the web when they should be worshipping on Easter Sunday.

Others weighed in on the merits and upshot of the debate over Jesus' existence:


I do not doubt that a man named Jesus existed, and that he probably did preach about God. But I believe he was no different than any cult leader today that preaches about their own religious beliefs and gains a small number of followers. The difference with Jesus is that Christianity was already more wide spread, and the general population was very uneducated and easily influenced by a great orator. Do I actually believe their is a God, and Jesus is his son? No. But I'm sure the man existed.


It is actually more reasonable than not to conclude that Jesus was an actual living person. Whether or not he was "the Christ" is the only worthwhile point of debate. Regardless, many of the teachings of Jesus are worthy of people to take to heart whether they are Christians or not. As an agnostic, I take those things that are wise from any and all religions, and leave behind those things that are destructive.


I don't care whether he really existed or not. It's his story that never happened, at least the son of god part and dieing and coming back to life stuff. What matters to Christians is that he is a support system that is able to take the blame for all the bad stuff in your life so that you can move past them and continue living.

I was thinking about it the other day, and I think Jesus really is a great thing, because it allows people to psychologically take pressure, grief or guilt and remove the effects of anxiety and pressure that those feelings create. On the flipside it possible allows someone to conjure up Love by themselves.

I think Jesus is a psychological whipping boy for all things that people don't have or can't (don't want to?) deal with. So I think atheists and non-Christians (heck, maybe Christians themselves) are missing the point about the importance of Jesus to some people.

The Twitter conversation over the article was mostly complimentary:


Interesting debate from CNN's site about whether or not Jesus was a real person: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c1


CNN asks: Did Jesus exist? http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/?hpt=hp_c2 Honestly, this is a topic I don't know much about. I'd like to learn more.


CNN interviews two Thoughtful Christian authors for this intriguing question–Craig A. Evans... http://fb.me/1idvhPxXD

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jesus

soundoff (2,443 Responses)
  1. johnboy

    "I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is".

    April 10, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Elliot

      Agnostic quote.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Primewonk

      Pacal's Wager was refuted long ago, regardless of what Camus wrote. Sorry.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • JT

      This single quote is a great example of the brain damage that religion causes. Only the truly deluded and non-thinker can't see the blatantly failed logic.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  2. Elliot

    It really is scary how many people actually believe all this mumbo jumbo religious stuff. I think most people don't really believe it, they either just want to believe becuase death is scary or feel that they have to believe or they will offend their families. In other words I'm willing to bet most are agnostic and just aren't comfortable enough with themselves to admit it.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • craig

      I believe because I believe by Faith that Jesus died for my sins and I asked him for forgiveness. I have seen a mans finger grow back after it was cut off in an accident, after we prayed for him. I have seen babies healed. I have seen how much Jesus loves us. this gift of salvation is for all who choose to repent from our sins and accept him.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  3. reason

    The gods of all organized religions, if true, would all be horribly unjust and evil deities to send billions of people to eternal suffering for choosing the wrong one or being born in the wrong place. Looking at organized religion objectively, they are myths from iron age societies that were trying to explain the world, and there is virtually no chance any one is truth.

    Rationally speaking if there is a just god and an afterlife, you will be judged on how you live your life. Rejecting reason and deluding yourself in blind faith does not help your case.


    April 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  4. brobin

    The irony is that some of the huge Christian defenders on this site would be huge Islam defenders if they were born in the most areas of the middle east. They would be huge defenders of Hinduism if they were born in India. If they were born in Israel, they would be huge defenders of Judaism.

    The belief in any given religion is mainly dependent on what you were taught by your parents / community. In fact, you don't even have to be taught. If you grew up having Christmas parties, etc, you would tend towards being a Christian, even if you didn't come from a very religious family.

    There is zero evidence that God is directing any one belief. If he is, he is doing a rather poor job of revealing any obvious "truth".

    April 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  5. La Rager

    Jesus Christ the the deepest love and sweetest joy in my life. He is my hope, my savior and with His Holy Spirit living in my heart, I have the promise of forever in Heaven with Him some day. I feel sorry for people who doubt His existence. They have no clue what they are missing out on. It is sad. So open your hearts and read the book of St John in the Bible. Ask God to open your eyes to The Greatest Truth ever told. He will. He wants to be your best friend and give you true peace, hope and purpose in life. He is the only answer to true Joy in life.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Graham

      Thanks, I'm fine!

      April 10, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • UncleM

      Yep, so am I. I enjoy my intellectual freedom.

      April 10, 2012 at 11:24 am |

    So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of GOD! And this faith is not of your selves: it is the gift of GOD.
    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it!

    April 10, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Which one is the "TRUE CHURCH" again?
      Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, oriental Orthodox, As.syrian, Byzantine, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptism, Brethren, Methodist, Pietism, Apostolic, Pentocostal, Charismatic, African Initiated, United, Quakers, Couthcotti.tism, Millerism, British-Isrealism, Latter Day Saints, Mennonite, 7th day Adventism, Kelleyism, Co.oneyism, Shakers, Methernitha, Strigolniki, Yehowism, Christadelphians, Christian Science, doukhobors, Iglesia ni Cristo, Makuya, Molokans, Subbotniks, Ebionism, Martinism, Rosicrucians, Rastafarianism, Santo Daime, or Umbanda .....
      So many Christian sects to pick from!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Double R

      @ Doc

      The "True Church" is not a religion or a building with a cross. The true Church are the followers and worshipers of Christ Jesus. Those who believe in Christ and obey his word, they are the body of Christ, the True Church.

      April 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  7. Ray

    regardless of whether you are a Christian or not. Posting garbage like this on the most holy day of any religion is in bad taste and NOT newsworthy. Tacky Tacky CNN

    April 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • BRC

      IT's not bad taste, it's a topical post. If you are not a believer in the divinity of Jesus, or if you doubt his very existence, then Easter is a very reasonable time to discuss it, because the topic is brought up about every 30 seconds. If you do believ ein the existence and teh divinity of Jesus, then instead of getting offended that other people don't believe the same thing, because that will always be the case no matter what the calendar says, why not use the timely discussion to do what the holiday is supposed to be about; commemorating Jesus. Use the time and the discuss ion to make your case, explain why the time is so important, why you believe it to be true. Christians are supposed to be thinking about it at Easter anyway, would it be so much of a burden to write it down?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      To you it’s garbage to others its mind opening and possibly educational. Only the weak and close minded fear knowledge.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • brobin

      Filling kids minds with fairy tales to control them is unhealthy. Try teaching ethical behavior instead. No God required.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • just sayin

      Without God there is no ethics. The worst form of child abuse would be preventing a child from obtaining eternal life. God bless

      April 10, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Primewonk

      Sorry just sayin, but that's just another lie.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Jesus

      `Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~,~ ;-P

      April 10, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  9. Boris

    I'm jewish, not cristian, but even I feel offended. If some people are disoriented, or have no sentiments to other people values it is disqualifying factor for mass media job. Not good.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • JT

      Too bad that you're going to roast in eternal flames right along side evil atheists, muslims and anyone who is not a True Christian®.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  10. Halaluya

    Jesus had to suffer being beaten like a dog, then nailed to a cross. Then, our savior, who died for our sins had to suffer being turned into a freaking zombie because of you sinners!!! I hope you're happy!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Whatever

      Myth...fairy tale....story....whatever!

      You are nuts!

      April 10, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • sam stone

      Actually, it was his daddy who was responsible for the blood sacrifice

      April 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • denisrobert

      Actually, crucifixion was a relatively common means of execution in those days. Normally it took days for people to die from it, which means that they suffered for much, much longer periods than the few hours Jesus did in your stories. Jesus, compared to other people killed in this manner, got it good.

      Add to that the fact that, being God and all that, he wasn't *really* dying, since he knew he'd come back a few measly hours later (in fact, some of the people crucified at the same time as he would still be on the cross in agony when he woke up from his sleep).

      So even if we admit everything the Bible claims (and I certainly am not prepared to do that), the whole premise of Christianity is laughable.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Double R

      Really? You can say that Jesus our Savior was had to suffer being turned into a "freaking zombie," really? Wow. I don't even know what to say to that. Wow. Please, study the scripts before you make comments about the Lord Jesus.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • Double R


      Actually, if you study the story of the crucifixion, you'll see that the reason Jesus didn't take a few days to die as most who were crucified normally did, was because he committed his soul to God. He felt his job was done and told God, "Father, into your hands I commit my soul." In essence, he let go. He knew his mission on earth was complete. When Jesus died, the sky became black and the earth shook, and the Roman soldiers decided to break the legs of all three to speed up the process. They weren't about to stick around while all this was going on. They didn't break Jesus' legs because they realized he was already dead. The two men who were crucified with him had their legs broken immediately after Jesus died on the cross. After they pierced Jesus' side to make sure he was dead, water mixed with blood poured out of Jesus' side leading the soldiers to proclaim that he truly was the Son of God.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  11. Ray

    I challenge CNN or ANYONE to write articles questioning Mohammeds existence during Ramandan or Moses existence during Passover. Why is it that Jesus is always the target? It is NOT journalism...this is tabloid sensationalism

    April 10, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • denisrobert

      Maybe because CNN is an American media conglomerate, and the U.S. is 70% Christian? People claim that Muhammad was not the "Prophet" all the time, on every channel, including during Ramadan. You know why? Because those people are not muslim. And people who are not Christian will, naturally, not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. It's kind of the definition of the thing. Can I get a DUH, brother?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • FYI

      Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc. are regarded as Islamic prophets as Muhammad was. So this article could be offensive to some Muslims. As a matter of fact, Muslims believe (as Christians do) that Jesus will come from Heaven for the final battle between good and evil. It's interesting how much people don't know, yet assume they do ...

      April 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Double R


      I am a Christian and I know that you are absolutely... correct. In fact, Jesus is mentioned more times in teh Quran than Muhammed is. Jesus is considered one of God's greatest messengers, sent to lead the people of Israel. It also agrees in some respect with the Bible about the birth of Jesus, being born of a virgin named Mary. However, they do not believe him to be the Son of God as Christians do.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  12. mo

    CNN is Irrelevant news station, they are nothing but garbage news, and with atheist hateful point of view to Christian religion, it’s very obvious they like to promote Islam for example, even Moslems all over the world killing other people in the name of Islam .. I’m boycotting CNN completely .. send e-mail of support to maidny80@hotmail.com if you agree

    April 10, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • reason

      What did you find to be hateful in this aricle?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Double R


      Not trying to be funny or anything, but if you think CNN is garbage, then why are you on a CNN website commenting on this article? Why even waste your time. Instead of reading something you believe to be garbage, read something that will feed you, like the scripture. Just saying. Again, not trying to be funny. Just find it kind of ironic, really.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • denisrobert

      I find it hateful that you spell muslim "moslem". How about them apples?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  13. Stephen

    Dwight Schrute is King of Kings. See for yourself.


    April 10, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  14. reason

    Watch what anthropologists, archeologists and religious historians seeking the truth have to say about where god came from:


    April 10, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  15. gwunderlich

    As a professional historian I was shocked at the original article. No matter what you think of Jesus from a belief standpoint, the idea that a historical Jesus did not exist is simply poor scholarship. There are many period references from non-believers who confirm a historical Jesus./

    Faith or no faith in a deity, Jesus did exist as a historical (real) man. My problem with the article was that it gave credence to people for sensational purposes that were no backed up by any type of actual scholarship. Badly handled CNN.

    I also agree with many on the timing. It has become a joke. This is not news, it is pure pandering. CNN, you should rise above this type of thing if you are to retain credibility.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • reason

      The question is was Jesus a folk hero like Davie Crockett, who actually lived and could leap the Ohio River and ride a streak of lightning, or was he pure folklore like Paul Bunyan.

      Either explanation seems possible when you look at how religions evolve and how Christianity apparently ripped much of its folklore from previous pagan religions.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • nomdefaitour

      You are no historian if you believe there are ANY contemporaneous records that memorialize the existence of Jesus during the period he was reputed to have lived. This is what makes me angry with christians, the deliberate forgeries and falsehoods designed to sway uninformed minds; you people will tell any lie to buy credibility for your religion.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • codepwned

      I think the problem comes when people expect Jesus to be A or B. In most probability he was a real person that stories got quickly out of control with. IF he existed, his ability to connect to people and orate made him legendary among people and a symbol of hope for a people who were lucky if 1 out of 4 kids lived passed age 12 due to disease, hunger, etc. Hope is a powerful thing.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • warmesTghosT

      Actually gwunderlich, as a "professional historian" you should know that there exists no verifiable archeological or historical evidence for the existence of a man named Yeshua at that period in time. If such evidence did exist you had best believe that Christians would be crowing it from the rooftops. The "most important man to ever exist" and we have absolutely no verifiable information about him whatsoever.

      Couple that with the falsity of Genesis, the Exodus, the Flood and countless other important stories in the Bible and a rational human being almost cannot help but throw the whole thing out as rubbish.

      For such a popular lie, Christianity has almost no material substance to back it up.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • PumpNDump

      Let me clue you in. You're lying. There is no academically accepted, peer reviewed data from valid source and analyzed by professionals to confirm "jesus" existence. Why? Because it's a myth.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • JT

      Professional historian?...lol.....you should demand your money back.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  16. sisi

    I agree with many of the posters! CNN would NEVER run a story like that during Ramadan or Yom Kippur!

    April 10, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  17. Doledart

    I think your all suckers. The folks at CNN are just sitting back touching themselves at how easy it is for them to get people so riled up.

    CNN- Certainly Not News

    April 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  18. chuck

    I got a message for you So Called Arrogant Christians!!! You all just keep pushing the Middle Eastern people around and treat them badly and even keep branding them as the bad guys!!! Even bomb and kill them!! Those people will reach right up into heaven and they will drag JESUS right out of heaven along with the LORD!! At that point they will seperate the Good Guys from the not so GOOD guys!! Too many pretenders in this world!! Starting off with the corporate CEO'S who make millions and pretend they are the good guys!! Or the Judges who manipulate man made laws to serve themselves!!

    April 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • txrj

      too much dope, dude, too much

      April 10, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • sloppyj30

      Tell it, Chuck, the So Called Double Exclamation Point Guy!! That there is some right purdy unfocused rage!!

      About the So Called Arrogant Chrisitans . . doesn't "so called" imply there's a group running around calling themselves by that name, or there exists a commonly recognized group that has been labeled as such?

      You were so close. Your post was compelling and coherent except for that one compositional mistake. DOUBLE EXCLAMATION POINT!!

      April 10, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Double R

      @ sloppyj30

      "Come join our group, the Arrogant Christians." Haha. You are absolutely right about the "so called" however there is one thing you missed. Obviously you weren't paying close attention to his comment; he had a few TRIPLE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! in there too.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  19. greystonemanor

    Those that know scripture are not surprised by negative words and attacks from non-believers. Christ forewarned us that His followers would be persecuted for His Namesake. I bear no ill will towards those that choose not to follow Christ and His teachings...our faith or lack of it is a result of our gift of free will. I believe that atheists can be good citizens, good neighbors and good friends. But, as a firm believer in Jesus Christ as the son of God and a devoted disciple of His teachings, non believers have to understand that my devotion and obedience to God will always come first. And, nothing you could say or do is capable of breaking that bond. You are not even remotely that powerful. So, let the Christian bashing continue. It is both predictable and futile.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • nookster

      You're right. Its almost impossible to convince someone who is in a cult. Who has been programmed since birth to believe in ancient fairy tales. Who is so obsessed that they in turn indoctrinate their own children in a belief that forces them to live a life of fear, guilt and ignorance. Difinately a form of child abuse and just perpetuates the ultimate lie.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • sam stone

      persecuted? oh, poor, poor, christians...breaks my heart, it does

      April 10, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Double R


      The word "cult" has taken on such a negative connotation because of things we see in the media with certain groups, for example with what happened in Waco or with the Halebop comet incident. Much in the same way as if someone was to mention they were in counseling automatically someone else assumes something is off with that person. The definition of cult, especially in the context of a religious group is, "a group of people who share religious or spiritual beliefs, especially beliefs regarded by others as misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false." The only ones who consider Christian teachings to be misguided, unorthodox, extremist, or false are Atheists. I will never understand why Atheists believe that trying to teach our children to love one another, don't tell lies, don't live for worldly things trying to prove yourselves better than others, be forgiving, and be generous is misguided, unorthodox and extremist. These are all things that Jesus teaches.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Yes, Christianity is full of love.
      Psalm 137:8-9
      "O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us- he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."
      Revelation 2:22
      "So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead."

      Thanks to St. Augustine's doctrine of "cognite intrare" we have wonderful Christians like Aryan Nations, Aryan Republican Army, Phineas Priesthood, The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, The Army of God, the Manmasi National Christian Army and the National Liberation Front of Tripura who help maintain the Church's traditions of forced conversion.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Double R

      @ Doc

      I'm not even going to comment on the two verses you quoted because obviously you did not study the text. You took those two verses completely out of context without considering the rest of the Psalm or Chapter. If anyone has read these two verses, I urge you to go back and read the entire Psalm and Chapter, and you will get a clear view of what was written. As far as these other groups you metioned, for Centuries, civilizations have been waging war in the name of God, and not just Chirstians. And all these extremist groups have a sick, uneducated sense of what the word of God really teaches. They all feel justified in their actions and don't realize the are just a tool for Satan's amusement. Every civilization and culture have their extremist groups. Christianity, heck, the U.S. is no different.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  20. BigRed

    Christianity (or any religion for that matter) seeks to control the will and energy of people. Corporations rob people of their time on earth and that which the worked for. Laws curb joy and freedom. What would a world of utterly free and creative thinkers be like? We are all exhausted by control. True freedom has never been our lot.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • erich2112x

      I guess robbing 7-11's could be considered an art, depending on how you look at it.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Turth7

      "What would a world of utterly free and creative thinkers be like?"

      Sodom and Gomorrah
      Noah's time

      Placing belief in man, who's number in the Bible is "6", above God, was the downfall of every previous civilization. As God says "there is nothing new under the sun".

      Every single instance was marked by se.xual degradation, not following the commandments, following false idols, people coming together to build a tower or letting your head get so arrogant it reaches heaven. Look around – marriage is being corrupted, the po.rn industry is not being stopped, there is a "global community" with world trade (towers), and the outright attack on people who believe in God and have faith in Jesus Christ.

      Satan is in power, read the Book of Job to find out out the signs. He attacked Job's: housing, job, family, transportation and health...sound familiar?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:55 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.