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. Trouble in the playground

    I see there are a whole lotta Christians taking their toys and stomping off because they didn't get their way.

    Bye bye.

    April 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Ironic actually

      They are angry because Jesus never actually suffered on the cross.

      They REALLY want the blood and agony part to be real!

      It's a supper drag to lose out on the Virgins and the Cross and the Spear and all the morbid details.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • DavidE7

      I have always wondered what happened to turn 12 frightened cowards, hiding to save their lives, into 12 fearless men, ALL of whom were ready to sacrifice their lives in the service of some profound event. One or two psychotics? OK. But all 12 witnessed something that changed their lives forever, and those of tens of millions of people after them. What was it?

      April 10, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  2. Garuu Popka


    Basically the majority of the comments

    April 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  3. danoid1

    "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."

    This comment pretty much nailed it. Well spoken.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Second that.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Cold hard fact

      I agree also and I glad its' the first post...

      to those who do have weak fatih I suggest a real intorduction to God himsefl ...The Holy Spirit...See???

      you been missing him...if he were there woudl you ever be challenged by unbelievers....They're funny! 🙂
      Tehy are in the dark adn so are you if yoiu are offended by them....The first thigs out of Jesus' mouth was on Christian behavious and conduct , saying things like bless them that curse you pray for them who dispitefull misuse you , give to them who ask of you forgive ....
      Moast of Jesus sharp criticism was agsinsst religious leaders whom he called serpents and warned them of the judgment to come ...because their hearts were not right with God .

      April 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Glen

      Out faith is not weak it is stronger than you can imagine we just don't appreciate the mockery and the ridicule of our Lord and Savior and are just expressing our opinions, its seems it is you that is intolerant. In a way its like me cursing your parents saying they were good for nothing and saying they never exisited, even though I never met them or knew them. I'm sure you woudn't not just sit there and take it; you knowing them would do whatever you could to defend their legacy heritage and when you make you argument for your case I say you just can't handle the scrutiny and mock you. Get the picture Einstein...

      April 10, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Person of Interest

      @Glen: I'm remembering something from School...Turn the other Cheek. Did Jesus shout and yell when he was rediculed and mocked? Nope. He smiled and died for our sins.

      If you care that much it sounds like the beginnings of fanaticism. You never need to defend a legacy, especially Christianity. It will be around for all of time whether or not you defend it. Let Rome have what is Rome's and God have what is God's. It's not your legacy, it is His. Pride is a deadly sin.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  4. William Demuth

    The photo headline is enough to make anyone with a third grade education laugh!

    Nine European looking white folk, and not a Semite anywhere to be seen!

    They want you to think Palestine is in Norway!

    April 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Glen

      What is your point William Demuth there are Black represenations of Jesus too I'm sure you would not go to their website and say not a white folk in site now would you? Every perceives Him to be what they would like Him to look like but that still does not take away from Who He Really IS and what He expects from you.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  5. False Dichotomy

    Strangely, I was just recently assured by Christians in this forum that absolutely no scholar doubts the historical truth of Jesus. None, period. It would appear that exaggeration and truth-stretching has again reared it's ugly head among the apologists.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Cold hard fact

      then lt me tell youy the truth.. by the way I agree with you ...

      but this is the truth Christ lives inside me.. speak to me and directs my way in his path of righteousness whether I like it or not... 🙂 🙂

      April 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • mandarax

      "lives inside me.. speak to me and directs my way...whether I like it or not"

      Sounds like a tapeworm with mind control powers. You should totally get that looked at.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam

      The smiley faces are kind of disturbing...

      April 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Glen

      Perhaps because both the Old and New Testament attest to this fact and it has been corroborated by outside sources so chances are you are probably biased in your view seeking the real Truth. Read some of what Jesus said and tell me if such words can come from ordinary men or from the one who created the Universe who came to become a man so he could identify with mankind suffer and die for their sins and promise us ever lasting life, not other religion teaches this. We were created to be Eternal being...

      April 10, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  6. Marilyn

    A Middle East leader recently proclaimed the Holocaust never happened? Do you believe that?

    April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nah, he is a religious leader, and therefore a liar.

      Any other questions Sherlock?

      April 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      All shamans should be considered con-men until they prove otherwise.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • captain america

      All canadians should be considered ass holes until they mind their own F'n business . There's your sign

      April 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      Copied from the main article's comments:

      Oh, this could be fun. Let's make it into a game – Jesus v. Holocaust. Ready? Here we go:

      Recorded first hand accounts:
      Holocaust: 1 Jesus: 0

      Supporting primary source:
      Holocaust: 2 Jesus: 0

      More than one text on subject matter:
      Holocaust: 3 Jesus: 0

      Political and Ideological motivations for deniers:
      Holocaust: 4 Jesus: 0

      One shouldn't believe anything someone else said. For those that postulate that Jesus never existed, they present evidence to support their claims. Big Difference.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      You refer to Mahmoud Ahmadjenijad (or however his last name is spelled)... I think he's right.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Glen

      Marilyn lots of people say outrageous things it up to you to check out if such things are true or not. I have found the Word of Jesus to be be the Way the Truth and the Life the burden of proof lies on you if you wish to know the Truth. I don't have to proove anything to you but God can and does show himself to be true if you seek Him with a humble heart. If you seek me you will find me...Jeremiah 29:13

      I have found a priceless treasure and I am saying there is more where that came form, you never experienced it and have never seen, it its up to you to seek and see if its true, not to tell me what I believe is untrue... Its like a blind man asking for proof to see things he cannot see. You need to see it for yourself I was once blind like you but now I see.... God took away the blindness.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  7. Soothsayer1232

    Amulet artifact huh? It would be best to determine age of amulet and source origin prior to mythical assumptions of JESUS presence on earth.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  8. Michael D'Angelo

    "Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence. ..."

    To follow an ordinary man's pursuit of happiness, click on the link:

    -Life among the Ordinary

    April 9, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • William Demuth

      Sinister Passive Aggressive Christian above

      April 9, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  9. Lee

    Asking whether or not Jesus existed is just as relevant a question as whether or not Hercules existed. There may have been men with those names who have stories attributed to them, but the stories are certainly fable.

    To those who say CNN has some sort of bias against Christianity, but not other religions – I think it has much more to do with money. If they publish a piece questioning the existence of Zoroaster, how many mouse clicks are they going to get? Not very many. 75% of the American population claims to be Christian, so an opinion piece questioning Jesus will get LOTS of clicks along with 5000+ comments.

    April 9, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • hellodollyllama

      They don't even have his name right. Joshua, not Jesus.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Glen

      I agree Lee CNN does have a bias they purposely do this every Christmas and Easter, go out of their way to ridicule and mock Christian and then pretend its a coincidence, why can't they do this any other time of the year because no one would give a damn or care to read it. We can read right thru it

      To hellodollyrama Its more accurate to call Him by His Hebrew name Yeshua the Jewish Messiah, His name means Salvation how cool is that ! Only God!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  10. Rev. Rick

    Regarding the existence of Jesus, Mohammad, Abraham, etc...The much larger issue, it seems to me, is that if God intended that we know unequivocally that He (or She) exists, God could do that with a single act, a single and commonly shared appearance to all of humanity. Instead, we rely on ancient texts written my poorly educated prophets, fishermen, carpenters, etc. In the end, humans fight, kill, murder and destroy each other while arguing over who is right and who is wrong with regard to belief. If you believe "scripture" written by man, it seems that God has used poorly executed methods for revealing Himself to mankind. I do believe in God, just not the Abrahamic one, and I certainly do not believe that any particular religion or denomination can claim to hold the truth.

    April 9, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • 0BS3RVER

      So it's humanism for you then. Do you belong to a Unilateralist church? It doesn't work that way.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Rev. Rick

      0BS3RVER said, "It doesn't work that way."
      Work what way? You mean it doesn't work the way you believe?
      Also, I don't know what a Unilateralist Church is. Did you mean Unitarian Universalist? No, I'm not one of those.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • hellodollyllama

      Observer - who died and made you the referee?

      April 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • BG

      " a Unilateralist Church "

      Welcome to the "First Atheist Unilateralist Church of Us." All who are believe in the nonexistence of deities are welcome to decry all emotions, needs, or weaknesses with Us. There is no room for doubt among us. The unsure will be educated until they agree with Us. Those who disagree with us will be marginalized and taunted until they either change their minds or just shut up. This will give Us the satisfaction of knowing that we are morally superior in intellect, word and deed (notwithstanding our inherent contradictory behavior which we'll choose to ignore.)

      Please leave your donation to Us at the door. It costs money for Us to keep reaffirming in the absolute to ourselves. We like to go out for Dairy Queen once in a while and berate people who don't agree with us. It's kind of like believers 'testifying', only we call it 'reasoning.'

      April 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Sarah

      The second coming of Jesus will be the common appearing to everyone,
      Matthew 24:30 "And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

      April 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Leo

      BG THis is one of the most accurate statements that I have seen for the revelation of truth on the heart of the Polemic Atheist ... scary but so true.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  11. They Call Me Mellow Yellow

    I'm not sure why there's even such calamity over this. Beliefs are exactly that .....what one believes to be true. Pretty simple to me. Why does either side feel the need to 'prove', and in some cases 'disprove', His exiatance? Either you believe or you don't. Period. I recently read this in a book ... 'It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.'

    April 9, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • William Demuth

      Because Christianity is an evil force that poisons mens minds and keeps the blessings of modernity from the masses.

      They feed on mens minds like parasites in the planets guts, pumping poison into our culture by claiming a special relationship with a non exsistant God as a rational for their bigotry.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  12. BoldGeorge

    This article wasn't enough to really make it worth defending or standing up for Christianity (as I always have and will). It does, however, make it evident that CNN and the media alike have an agenda against biblical Christianity, against the biblical Christ and against any bible believing Christian.

    This bias and ridicule haven't been seen toward Islam and other anti-biblical belief systems.

    April 9, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • *facepalm*

      So, should CNN not publish articles based upon modern religion studies that conflict with your personal beliefs? Or would you rather ban academic inquiry that conflicts with your beliefs? Do you consider any ideas, evidence, or information that conflict with your understanding of an ancient text to be personally offensive?

      Here's a hint: No one is out to get you. No one has a personal vendetta against you or is persecuting you. If you want to live in a society that suppresses thought, research, and new ideas, your more then welcome to find some place to form your own theocracy. There are several prime examples in the Middle East that would seem to model what you're looking for. For those of us that aren't scared of new information or ideas, we'll stay right here.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • William Demuth


      Your plagiarism of the Jewish persecution complex directly parallels your plagiarism of their faith.

      Is there a single cult member among you that has EVER had an original idea, or do you intend to spend the waning years of your faith continuing to cobble together a bulwark to defend yourself from terrors of modernity, living as a parasite within a religion stolen from the graveyard of ideas?

      Grow up man, the world is leaving you behind.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • BoldGeorge

      @ Facepalm & Demuth

      It's bad enough that one of you didn't get my comment, but both of you? My comment clearly denounces the bias of this and the general media. But I basically understand why this is so. Joking, scoffing or publicly going against Islam or any other similar belief system is not done out of respect but it's clearly not done because of fear. Besides, it wasn't Christians who orchestrated 9-11 nor is it Christians who chop peoples heads off if you go against them.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Oh, we got your comment, you obviously missed ours: the bias isn't real – it's in your head. Get Over Yourself.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • William Demuth


      No, but it WAS Christians who orchestrated the invasion of Iraq, the future invasion of Iran, the Spanish Inquisition, the slaughter in the Balkans, the Holocaust, gayphobia, racial bigotry and the collapsing society we all live in.

      You persecute, you are NOT persecuted.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • BG *not BoldGeorge

      @ George

      Demuth and facepalm's responses (indeed if they're not one in the same) are typical agenda-driven propagandist rhetoric designed to denigrate Christianity at every opportunity, and in the absence of any rational correlations ("Iraq was invaded by Christians" :lol:) to fabricate hate. Most of the 'atheist antagonism' on this board (and currently in society in general) has little to do with actual religion, rather it's simply a futile effort on their part to undermine and denigrate conservatism.

      Whether aggressive/antagonistic atheism is practiced solely by pin-headed, insecure and abrasive 15-25 year-olds is an unknown. I've been on and off these forums for a while now, and I've observed more than a few posters pounding on Christianity who are self-proclaimed Muslims.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • sam

      Wow, BG, a passive/aggressive jackass response, plus a smiley face.I guess you win.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • ...

      "Demuth and facepalm's responses (indeed if they're not one in the same) are typical agenda-driven propagandist rhetoric designed to denigrate Christianity at every opportunity, and in the absence of any rational correlations ("Iraq was invaded by Christians" 😆 ) to fabricate hate. Most of the 'atheist antagonism' on this board (and currently in society in general) has little to do with actual religion, rather it's simply a futile effort on their part to undermine and denigrate conservatism. "

      Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot – what a hypocrite.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • William Demuth

      BG *not BoldGeorge

      Being half a century old, I am pleased you percieve me as 25 (perhaps your wife will as well?)

      Enjpy the embers of your faith as they fade from the world stage.

      Humanity is evolving even if you are not.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • BG

      @ Sam

      "I guess you win."
      The truth always wins. Your problem is that you just don't like being called on it. Tough.

      @ ...

      "Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot – what a hypocrite."
      I've read some of your posts – considering that you can't tell your ass from a hole in the ground, I'm hardly concerned about your as sessment of anyone or anything. Your 'arguments' are vapid – your 'opinions' inconsequential.

      @ William Demuth

      "Being half a century old, I am pleased you percieve [sic] me as 25..."
      I could give a shlt what you 'claim' to be. What I do know is that you present yourself as kid.

      "(perhaps your wife will as well?)"
      If you're 50, don't forget your blue pills. My guess is that you couldn't shut up long enough to get your dik in gear before the women walk away.

      "Enjpy [sic] the embers of your faith as they fade from the world stage."
      What's that? A threat from the non-religious 5 percent? Or just wishful thinking.... Either way, I'll bring popcorn. Or cheesecake. But definitely beer.

      "Humanity is evolving even if you are not."
      You are clueless about what consti tutes humanity. Evolution is science. Humanity is behavior. You confuse the two.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "one AND the same", you dimwitted dolt.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:27 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! ..

      April 9, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Thank you "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" for all the life changing proofs of prayer you posted the other day ! Thanks again !

      April 9, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Jesus

      "Alfred E Neuman

      Thank you "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" for all the life changing proofs of prayer you posted the other day ! Thanks again !"

      More lies since you are one and the same person using different handles....cough..cough..."just sayin" LMAO! What an idiot.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      With a handle like Jesus how did you miss the conclusive proofs offered by "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" the other day? They have really discounted all the lame bs you have been posting.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      April 9, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Jesus

      "With a handle like Jesus how did you miss the conclusive proofs offered by "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things" the other day? They have really discounted all the lame bs you have been posting"

      More lies and desperation too funny, Thanks for continuing to prove my posts are correct. What an idiot.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't an Angry Pervert Neuman
      Link to this proof?
      You make the claims over and over again and yet thorough searching through archives of this blog has yet to reveal a single instance in which you provide any proof whatsoever.
      Note: Stating ex cathedra "proven" is not proof.
      Note 2: Re-iterating that you've all ready provided the proof without linking to it is a deflection tactic.
      If you've given the proof, link to it.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      I really enjoyed the celebration of Mithras yesterday.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      April 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fraud alert . God bless

      April 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • captain america

      Nobody needs your input doc or will respond to it. Screw your own country. There's your sign

      April 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • LOL

      The 'real' @just sayin or the imposter(s) = equally humorous.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Hey, Captain Asshole, you proved yourself wrong – again! I can only imagine how embarassed your fellow Americans are at having you pretend to represent them.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • captain america

      Your opinion ain't worth day old dog crap here hotair. Nobody wants you there no body wants you here either. There's your sign

      April 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • captain america


      I apologize to you and to my fellow countrymen. I am just an ornery old goat, and Jesus ignores me, so I come on here to needle folks just to get some attention any way that I can...

      April 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      God alert fraud bless

      April 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  14. johnfrichardson

    These CNN highlight reels almost never contain the real highlights. The responses to the Biggest Losers are the part of the debate that are always the most fun!

    April 9, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  15. Aezel

    Most Christians don't even know that much of the Old Testament was paganism. Only in the Latin and English translations are they talking about a single "God." If you read the original Hebrew writings that came from the time of the Caananites, and came to comprise the Old Testament, they talked about many Gods: Yaweh, Baal, Ashtoreth, etc.

    Only after the fall of Judah to the Babylonians did the Yaweh cult of the Hebrews gain dominance in Hebrew society and espouse him as the "one" god they worshiped. Then they had to go start changing the writings, but fortunately the original pagan versions of the Old Testament survive.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • 0BS3RVER

      yes many gods, small "g". There was God "I AM" and then other god's the other nations worshiped that is why God " I AM" said to destroy them. So you are correct in saying there were many gods but don't miss out that God "I AM" was the only God the Jewish nation knew.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • *facepalm*

      "So you are correct in saying there were many gods but don't miss out that God "I AM" was the only God the Jewish nation knew."

      That is inconsistent with historical evidence. If that's what you believe because it's consistent with your mythology, then fine. But that's not historically accurate.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • hellodollyllama

      Catholics pray to hundreds of saints, for good health, good crops, everything. If that isn't paganism I'll eat my hat.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    Part of Christ's message was to reject dogma.
    Belief in the supernatural isn't a requirement for living a life of compassion, charity, honesty and humility.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • William Demuth

      Actually Doc, it's been my experience the opposite is true.

      Half a century has taught me the risk of trusting cult members.

      The dogma is a weapon they use against others, mainly outsiders, to rationalize their bigotry and hatred of those who reject their position.

      Imaginary sky faries do not make a man moral. They make a man blind.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • 0BS3RVER

      So you get your morals from man. That doesn't seem to work.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • *facepalm*

      "So you get your morals from man. That doesn't seem to work."

      Why not? Does getting morals from a god who equates puts murder and disrespecting your parents work? Would we be better off if we could just beat our slaves?

      April 9, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • sam stone

      OBS3RVER: if you get yours from the bible, you get them from man, too. only, you get them from iron age man. do you really think that the ethics of a iron age, agrarian, middle eastern society have any relevence in 2012?

      April 9, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I'm not saying that folk sould believe in sky fairies.
      I'm saying the exact opposite – that even if one rejects the supernatural (virgin births, resurrections, miracles etc), one can still live in a Christ-like manner.
      The character of Christ is a perfectly legitimate basis for a personal philosophy.
      And so is the character of Jean Luc Picard, for that matter – but belief in warp drive, the Borg and Klingons isn't required to endeavor to do no harm, refrain from interfering in a culture's development and to attempt diplomacy before aggression.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • William Demuth

      Doc Vestibule

      I was more a Kirk guy.

      Phasers first, and the hell with the Prime Directive!

      April 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Why am I not surprised you're a Kirk "cowboy diplomacy" kinda guy....
      It is hard to ignore the fact that Kirk got WAY more alien tang than Picard ever did.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  17. William Demuth

    Finally we break the bonds of the controlled debate.

    Many realized long ago this religion (read cult) was contingent o people believing the absurd.

    It is SO refreshing to see more and more summarily reflecting this diety as the outright fabrication it is.

    Sometimes the big lie waorks best, and I am amazed how many humans have been suckered by this con, but it is on its last legs!

    Palestinian zombies and canibalisim rituals are no way to run a planet.

    Grow up and put this fantasy to rest.

    April 9, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • We are hiring!

      We pay $ 8 an hour.
      Be a productive citizen and join the workforce.

      April 9, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • William Demuth


      Not sure I follow

      April 9, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Glen

      William Demuth you have no clue you sound like that guy who said God is dead – Nietzsche and Christianity will be no more who was that oh yeah John Lennon, where are they both dead awaiting Judgement while Christianity grows like never before. There is huge underground Christian movement going on getting ready to explode in China and India over a Billion in each of those two countries and even in the Middle East among disillusioned Muslims, how does that saying go, Oh yeah "you ain't seen nothing yet!" LOL Looks like Fantasy is coming to life... You can't hold a Good Man down and hide the Truth forever it will come out. – Let God be true, and every man a liar. Romans 3:4

      April 10, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  18. Reality

    Welcome to the 21st century with a bit of realism:

    Putting all holy weeks in proper perspective:


    Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Mormonism:

    • There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    Added references are available.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    April 9, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Rob

      You sure use the word probably allot. Pretty hard to be the final kibosh on something you have to use the word probably to refute.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  19. Rainer Braendlein

    Someone could remark that the Bible could not be neutral, because it was written by lousy Christians, and thus the stories about Jesus in the Bible may be invented. However, there are accounts about Jesus outside the Bible and the Christian Church. The accounts, I quote below, are even drafted by enemies of Christ and thus historically trustworthy. It should make us minding that Jesus was mentioned even by non-Christians or pagans, which hated him and had no interest to promote Christianity by invented stories.

    Jesus was historical. It is proved by science of history!

    There was a very famous historian of the Roman Empire, which lived in the first century after Christ (AD 56 – AD 117), that means extremly near-term to the events, which had came to pass in Palestine. He, Tacitus, was a pagan, which had no reason at all to promote Christianity and to tell us lies about Jesus. We can be sure that it was historical, what he wrote about Jesus, because he was an enemy of Jesus:

    "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superst-ition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multi-tude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind".

    This passage is a clear evidence for the historicity of Christ Jesus.

    There was a famous Jewish historian of the first century, who gives acount of Jesus Christ. Jews have no reason to promote Christianity and thus we can be sure that Flavius Josephus told us the truth about Jesus:

    "And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus... Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned."

    A Jew confirms the historical reality of Jesus, the founder of Christianity. That is very great!

    April 9, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Aezel

      Tacitcus' writings are from the early 2nd century, again, almost a hundred years after Jesus supposedly existed. Complete hearsay.

      If Jesus was so real how come not ONE of the contemporary writers or Roman officials who were actually in Jerusalem ever mention him during 4 BCE – 35 AD? Hearsay ≠ historically reliable anything.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Woody

      Aezel, one of my favorite questions to ask belivers is, why not a word was written about Jesus' supposed miracles until decades after his death. Here's a person who could cure the deaf, blind, lame and lepers. He could walk on water and even raise the dead. If someone were to raise the dead today, that story would be on every TV station, newspaper and news website in the world. I guess instantaneous curing of leprosy, blindness, deafness, walking on water and raising the dead were common occurrences in 1st Century Judea, nobody seemed to get too exited about it.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • toxictown

      Exactly, Woody. He may indeed have existed but may not have been much of a player – more of a troublemaker and annoyance to the authorities (hence his arrest and execution) or been a composite of several messianic preachers in the area (of which there were many). It is the later writers, in an effort to "beef up" the story, that may have added the miracles and some of the other devices (in ancient times, magical elements could make stories *more* believable, not less). We need to remember who was writing this stuff and who the audience was and not try to look at these tales as if it was journalism circa 2012.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • tad pole

      "The science of history".. omg. Even I know better.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Glen

      Great passages Rainer blows every hater out of the water

      April 10, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    Once, an officer, Pliny the Younger (reign 111-113 AD), of the Roman Empire had a conversation with his emperor Trajan:

    "It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.

    Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.

    Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous docu-ment was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ–none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do–these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

    They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food–but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive supersti-tion.

    I therefore postponed the investigation and hastened to consult you. For the matter seemed to me to warrant consulting you, especially because of the number involved. For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both se-xes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this supersti-tion has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it. It is certainly quite clear that the temples, which had been almost deserted, have begun to be frequented, that the established religious rites, long neglected, are being resumed, and that from everywhere sacrificial animals are coming, for which until now very few purchasers could be found. Hence it is easy to imagine what a multi-tude of people can be reformed if an opportunity for repentance is afforded.

    Emperor Trajan to Pliny

    You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it–that is, by worshiping our gods–even though he was under suspi-cion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age."

    This passage is a clear evidence for historicity of Christianity. Consider it is from the beginning of the second century. Hence, Christianity could not be invented by any impostor later, but it was obviously a real thing.

    April 9, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Aezel

      You are a confused individual. Nobody is doubting that Christianity existed. It is whether or not Jesus existed, or if Hebrew cults made him up. Average lifespan in the Roman Empire? 25-30 years. So you are taking a writing from 5 generations and almost 100 years later to "prove" he must have existed.

      Yeah, you don't really get it do you?

      April 9, 2012 at 9:30 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33
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.