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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.

edeveryday

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.

rbsrs

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

ANGRY AT CNN!!!

CNN: IF YOU READ THIS GO TO HELL FOR YOUR ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIGOTRY THIS EASTER SUNDAY!!!!

Many other readers took aim at the critics:

JHC

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.

nomdefaitour

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:

JBOO

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.

Keith

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.

gimmeslack12

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:

@JoshTheLink

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

@CommonDescent

CNN asks: Did Jesus exist? https://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.

@TTCNews

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. James PDX

    The bibles are full of hypocrisy and contradiction. Example: "Thou shalt not kill", yet God kills regularly in the Old Testament and leads his favorite children on killing sprees to take the lands of other nations. This is adequate proof that the bibles do not contain the words of a perfect and infallible deity, which is what Christians claim their God is. So if these books weren't written by God, then they must be written by man. We already know how corrupt man can be, especially when in a position of influence or power over others, and we can easily see how the New Testament especially was designed as a method to increase the numbers of the church as well as increase the church's influence over their flock. The story of Jesus is a nice tale, but it was taken 2nd hand from writings centuries after Jesus of Nazareth had died, as the church constantly made changes they thought would give them more power. These same people decided on which ancient writings they discovered would be included and which would be excluded. People decided that, not God. Therefore, the bibles are constructs of man and not the word of any god.

    Did Jesus exist? I don't know and I find it irrelevent, as there is no way to prove he was in any way divine. Not to mention the pointlessness of his "sacrifice". Christians are of 2 beliefs.

    1) He died for our sins so all we have to do is believe he is the son of God and our savior and we are allowed to enter Heaven. This doctrine allows for good men who question the Christian religion to go to Hell and evil men who believe in Jesus' divinity to be rewarded with eternity in Heaven. I personally would rather have rewards and merits handed out based on whether a person was good or bad, not based on whether they were born/created with the ability to believe in something without proper evidence.

    2. Some Christians say that you can't be a bad person and get into Heaven because we will all still be judged for our sins. If that's the case, that we are still culpable for our sins, then explain again exactly what it was that Jesus died for. What a silly and obvious contradiction of your own faith.

    Bottom line; if God exists and is good, he will reward me based on my merits as a human being. If God exists and does not judge me based on how I conducted myself on Earth, then he is not a good and just God, and I want no part of him. So keep your religion if you need it. Just don't use it as an excuse to do harm to others, physicially, mentally or spiritually.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  2. ScottH

    Dear CNN. How about some fair play here? How about during the month of Ramadan (Muslim Holy Month) you guys do an expose critical of the basics of Islamic faith (as you do every Christian Holy week). Lets see how that plays out? Might be a welcome diversion from your left-leaning P.C. drivel.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • James PDX

      Is there some reason why you sound so angry, Scott? Does CNN questioning your religion weaken your faith? If God is perfect and infallible, as your religion claims, then everything that happens is a part of his plan and should not be questioned by a mere sinner such as yourself. If you have no faith in you god's plan, then perhaps you aren't such a good Christian after all.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  3. Bill Watson

    CNN uses something called a belief blog to constantly and consistently attack Christians. People have been trying to stamp out Christianity for 2 thousand years. it's never gonna happen. I have literally cast out demons in the name of Christ. I have literally had the presence of God to fall on me so strong that it rendered my facilities useless. There is a personality in the bible called "the accuser of the brethren". It would seem that you and Satan have the same job description. You will hurt the week, expose the faker, and accuse the brethren but, as with is all, you will give an account for your actions. Not as a corporation but as the individuals you are hiding behind the brand.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • jimtanker

      Ha ha, good one. Oh mentally unstable one.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • James PDX

      Bill, I think you need to put down that bottle of Jesus' blood before your facilities are rendered useless again.

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

      " I have literally cast out demons "

      No you haven't.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • closet atheist

      Wow... meds for Bill, stat!!!

      April 10, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • JT

      Bill, I believe what you are really experiencing is Schizophrenia. You should seek help from a mental health facility right away.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  4. Daniel B

    Jesus is a sun god not a man (a myth). Just like Horus the Egyptian sun god. The story of Horus predates that of Jesus by 6000 years. The same thing!!! Born of a virgin birth, 12 disciples, virgin birth, three kings, etc. Ever noticed how they are both shown with a yellow disk around their heads.....THE SUN!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 10, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • James PDX

      Everything in the Christian Bible was stolen from other religions to make conversion of the "pagans" easier. That includes the holidays.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  5. AJR

    PLEASE ANSWER THIS:

    It is well established that Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God. This fact is indisputable. Christians adopted the Jewish bible (i.e., the Old Testament) and therefore adopted the Jewish God. Muslims belive that Jesus Christ was a prophet of God (just not the son of God). Thus, each of the major religions worship the SAME God.

    However, each of the 3 major religions have fundamental differences in the way in which they believe God should be worshipped. The differences are so engrained in the respective believers that millions upon millions of people have been killed throughout history because of those differences. They each believe the others are going to be punished by God (the same God they all worship) because they are worshipping him "wrong."

    If religion is to be believed, only one religion's followers will find favor with God. The others will be punished.

    So here's the question. Which of the three religion's followers will be "saved by God?" Or, conversely, which two religion's followers will be eternally punished, despite having spent their lives worshipping the same God, for doing it "wrong?"

    And, if you're truly religious, you can't equivocate and say "God will accept them all," because that's NOT what these religions teach. Christianity certainly doesn't teach that.

    So, despite being acknowledged, adored and worshipped – as "he" requested – which billions of people will God choose to smite at the end of times regardless of their worship? Christians, Jews or Muslims? There can only be one (according to these religions anyway).

    April 10, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • jimtanker

      It's not even that simple. There are tens of thousands of sects of Xtianity alone. Each and every one of them born from the same obvious work of fiction. Many of them dont believe that they others are true Xtians and that they will be burning in heII as well.

      All one big delusion.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • just sayin

      The Muslim god is not God, allah is an idol. God bless

      April 10, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Bill Watson

      I would go with the one who is not dead and consequently, the only one who thought it not robbery to consider himself equal to God. Jesus Christ.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • AJR

      just sayin':

      You're wrong. Just as with "Yaweh" (sp?), "Allah" is simply another word for the "one true God" worshipped by Christians. It is the same God. You're pastor, priest or minister may try to pain "Allah" as an idol, but that's just ignorance. The muslims worship the same God as you.

      But I can see why you'd be so eager dismiss "Allah" as an idol, because if you accept the facts, it makes the decision I've presented awfully difficult for a "believer," doesn't it?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • AJR

      Bill Watson:

      Interesting answer, but Jesus Christ has nothing to do with this. The worship of Jesus is the equivalent of worshipping "God," because Jesus was nothing more than the spirit of God incarnate. Thus, it's simply another example of how Christians beleive that Jews and Muslims cannot be "saved" despite the fact that they are worshipping the same God.

      So, despite the fact that Muslims and Jews worship the same God as you (and, likely in some instances, are much more devout than you), you still believe that they will be condemned to eternal damnation? Huh, so God doesn't like the "way" they worship him and prefer your way?

      Again, interesting.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • vik

      you know im pretty sure that hinduism is a far more widespread religion than judaism. and you didn't include it.
      in answer to your question, i think that all three of those religions are wrong in saying that there is only way. i think that all followers of all of those religions will go to heaven if they led a good life. when you think about it, all religions are fundamentally the same. the only differences are the traditions. religion was created for people to have a peace of mind. they would feel that someone is watching over them and feel safe. at the same time they would have civility because they would want to go to heaven.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • AJR

      vik,

      I didn't include hinduism because it has no relationship to any of the "big three religions." By that I mean that hindus do not worship the "one true God" promoted by Christians, Jews and Muslims. As for the "acceptance" of the followers of those religions by "God," I agree that a loving God should accept them all. The irony is that they don't preach that way and they don't spread that message. Instead, hey draw lines in the sand and they divide people. The question is meant for those believers who spread THAT dividing message that you must do "x, y, and z" or you will be eternally damned.

      I want to know, of all the believers in the "one, true God" which group is "right" and which other two groups are "wrong."

      I like your reponse though. Wish more people thought like that.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • closet atheist

      @ vik ~~ The sad part is that many need the threat of eternal damnation to be good poeple (maintain civility, as you put it). What is wrong with wanting to do the right thing for no other reason than to live a good life?

      April 10, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • vik

      AJR,
      hindusim actually preaches of one true god. hindus believe in many forms so that different people can understand god. for example, a farmer might pray to the god of rain. while a business man would pray to the god of wealth. hindusim has different interpretations of one god, so that the religion can apply to the diverse groups of people in the world. its actually just one god, which im sure is the same that christians, jews, and muslims pray to.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  6. brad

    I've left two post on here and realized I never left my real message. I do not believe in God, but not because of what one side or the other side said. I did my own research, really looked for the truth, and came to my own conclusions. As far as God goes, you can't listen to me, or him, or her, you need to find these things out on your own. It is your life, your decision, if you are wrong, only you are wrong, it's not hurting someone else. Libraries are free, you can learn about symbols from jesus erea which you will need to translate revelations for example, and so on. Learn, then make your decision. Cause everyone on here, including me, has their own opinion, and that will come accross in any post.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • AJR

      That is a great post. Thank you.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  7. louie1112

    Good to see some of society is finally growing up. Two thousand years ago the world was still flat

    April 10, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • colleen

      actually, the ancients knew the world was round. Stand on a high mountain, and you'll see the curve of the horizon. It was only the medieval Europeans who forgot all that. Hence "Dark Ages".

      April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Luis

      Actually standing in any mountain and looking at the horizon will give the perspective of a round landscape. The main problem here is that the world is not round but spherical.

      Also, apart from a brief comment about a round landscape, the bible is constantly talking about the world edges and earth not moving around the sun. So really, stop "Cherry Picking" the idea that the bible knew the shape of earth.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  8. Ron Hulsebus

    Here's what bothers me. Let's just take three of the world's major religions...Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Take one devout believer from each group, and sit those three human beings on chairs in a room. Each in turn will passionately explain to you why they believe in their heart of hearts that their particular beliefs make up the one and only real truth. In fact, their arguments will be so passionate, that throughout history, millions of people have either tortured and murdered others, or been tortured and murdered themselves, based on the heart-felt believe that theirs is the "only" true way. YET...if we are to believe that God really does have just one set of rules in mind, then, in the absolute, best-case scenario, two of the three MUST BE WRONG! That means, if we were to say there are 100 different religions in the world, then 99 of them would be wrong! The interesting (and, in many cases, frightening) thing is that absolutely every single devoutly religious person in the world absolutely believes that they are that 1% that is right. Well, folks, you can't all be right...so I would respectively ask that you all believe whatever in the world you want to believe, but, for God's, Mohammed's, or Yahweh's sake, don't hate, bully, intimidate, or legislate others into joining you.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • jimtanker

      Well said Ron.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • reason

      That is very rational. Every religious person should read it.

      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.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4or90cmyhk&w=640&h=360]

      April 10, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Nat

      Great point. which is why Christ said that with the preaching of His word which is infact that 1 truth, signs and wonders shall follow. Even then He was aware that christianity would be duplicated, falsified and maligned. It is the only word that lays claim to the truth.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • gcamacho

      That was the greatest most logical post of all time

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

      So because your bible says that it is the only true religion then people should follow you? That is circular reasoning. The bible is true because it says that it is true.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • VT

      To list the three major religions as Christianity, Islam and Judaism and not talk about Hinduism and its off-shoots like Buddhism itself exhibits ignorance. Hinduism is the only religion to accept the fact that there is more than one path to salvation. As Sri Vivekananda, the great reliogion hindu philosopher of 19th century said "There is no such thing as false religion. If one religion is false then others must be false too". Hinduism professes the multiplicity of path to God (in my opinion even an Atheist can gain entry to heaven by being a good person and meeting all his social obligations of being Good Father, Good Son, Good husband and a good member of the society (it is called Karma Yoga)

      April 10, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • @youignantdotcom

      @nat: "which is why Christ said that with the preaching of His word which is infact that 1 truth, signs and wonders shall follow"

      Those words written in the bible are words of mere mortals not the words of god or Jesus. Learn the history of your religion please.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • vik

      well said, but there is truth in most relgions, so you cant say that only one is right. and if there is only one right, than how should we know that a group on earth practices it. the true way might not have been discovered yet, going with your logic.
      also, you forgot about hindusim, is it not a major relgion? you include judaism a very small group, but not hindusim which is a far larger group...

      April 10, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • closet atheist

      @ VT ~~ I think people tend to leave Buddhism and Hinduism off because their philosophies are a bit more "peaceful" and harmonious. I think Christianity, Islam, and Judaism get singled out in these threads more because they tend to preach the "if you're not one of us, then you're wrong" philosophy.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  9. poulose

    There were many Jesus like people existed throughout the history of mankind, many of them were executed.
    He was single.
    He had drinking buddies.
    He had at least one girlfriend.
    His ideas were out of main stream.
    He challenged the religious authorities.
    He was killed because of his outrageous claims.
    Sounds familiar?

    April 10, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  10. AverageJoe76

    CNN, you are hilarious if not anything else. So you write an article that creates an uproar with thousands of complaints – then you keep that ball rolling by giving the first round of complainers/ philosophers/ kooks a second round to duke it out again. Lovely. Like the rooster fights and dog fights. LOL

    April 10, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  11. Bill Watson

    Only CNN would use something called a belief blog to constantly and consistently attack Christians. It does not matter what you think. I have literally cast out demons in the name of Christ. I have seen it with my own eyes. I have literally had the presence of God to fall on me in such a way that it rendered my facilities useless. You will not stomp out Christianity.. Because you absolutely can't. All you can do is expose frauds and fakes. Unfortunately most of the time you are attacking the innocent. There is someone else who does this. He is biblically refered to as the accuser of the brethren. So, it would seem, you have the Sam job function as Satan himself. You could show respect for those you fuss agree with but you have chosen to be the accuser. Now we know who your father really is.

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

      I've yet to see any kind of attack article here. Rather, the comment section seems to be filled with extremely thin-skinned readers who take umbrage at even the tiniest critical examination of their beliefs. And although that seems true for all religions examined, christians seem to be far and away the most hypersensitive.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  12. 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 its folklore from previous pagan religions.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg&w=640&h=360]

    April 10, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  13. docwetherby

    People died (both men and women) in the past, and still do today, for what they believe to be true. People do not die for what they know to be false based on personal experiences; nevertheless, they will die for something they know to be true. All of the apostles, except perhaps John, died horrible martyrs deaths for their refusal to deny Jesus as the Christ. They knew him personally. It is a phsychological fact that men will not die for something they know to be false. Amen.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • reason

      Like all organized religions Christianity started out as a cult and there are many examples of members of cults committing suicide for their cause.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • docwetherby

      Dear Reason,
      Cults are based on belief, not on first hand knowledge and experiences.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Taliban suicide bombers must have "the Truth" then.
      Marshall Applewhite and The Heaven's Gate folk must be quite happy in their new bodies after boarding that spaceship.
      All the people from the Order of the Solar Temple were correct is thinking that killing themselves was the way to Sirius.

      There are lots of stupid, delusional people out there who will kill themselves for stupid, delusional reasons.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • docwetherby

      Doc Vestibule, you are missing my point. The examples you provided are of individuals and groups involved in a belief system, as we are (or are not) today. I have no argument with the fact that people will die for a cause or a belief. I am talking about men (the apostles) who died for something/someone that they had first hand experiences with (i.e. miracles or not, raising of the dead or not, healing or not, etc.). They died for something they knew first-hand to be fact and truth. If they had observed any of these things to be false, they would not have been willing to forfeit their lives. Additionally, they did not commit suicide – they were martyred. They taught what they had seen, heard, and felt until the day they died. Could 12 sane men have been willing to die preaching a ressurection they knew was false? Were they all insane? I am jealous of the experiences that they had. What they experienced was tangible fact in comparison to the faith we must endure today. As Jesus said to the apostle Thomas, blessed are those who believe without experiencing what you have.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 10, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Are you running a program that dishes out these comments at particular time intervals, or are you really typing this over and over again? First guess = clever multi-tasker. The seond guess = 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest'. Which is it?

      April 10, 2012 at 9:44 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 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    Jesus from Nazareth was real!

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

    Scientifically seen, the accounts of the Bible of Jesus and the apostles are not as trustworthy as accounts from outside the Bible and the Church. The writers of the Bible were Christians and could have been tempted to invent stories about Jesus and the Church. However, there are accounts of Jesus and the Church from outside the Church, even drafted by enemies of Christ and the Church. Why should an enemy of Christ and the Church invent stories about Christ and the Church, which would promote the faith, which he hates. Hence, the texts below are very trustworthy, because they are drafted by enemies of Christ.

    Firstly, 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.

    Secondly, 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 10, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  16. brad

    Whatever, do what you want, just leave me out of it. You want to believe, go for it, but don't inforce your morals and your rules on me, and that is the problem with religion. If you so much as say anything against it, they say there is a war against their religion. Their religiouse leaders use their post for politics, money, and control. I guess my real beef with religion isn't religion, it's the priest, the religiouse leaders, they have more blood on their hands then any other people in this world.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  17. Lucy

    Jesus offers love, forgiveness and eternal life. History proved he was a real person and the empty tomb proves He is alive. Why anybody would reject Him is beyond me?!? They must love their sin more than the awesome experience of being holy, of the power He offers, of true freedom from striving. Praise God!

    April 10, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • brad

      What sin? Oh yes, that think you religiouse people lable others with when they do things you don't agree with, right, got ya, nice love there, judging others when your own religions says not to judge. You try to come off as loving and peaceful, but your final comment showed the real you. A judgemental hypocrit. Oh well, to each their own.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  18. jj

    I'm listening to Terry Gross/Fresh Air right now. She's interviewing someone who wrote 'When God Talks Back' To The Evangelical Community. It's interesting, and kinda creepy – as these people not only believe god is physically right in front of them, but they also regularly pour two cups of coffee to 'have a talk'. Churches are called 'vineyards'!
    If you believe in the divinity of Jesus, that's fine. But understand – he would not recognize or feel at home in any of the churches today, and would be alarmed at what became of 'his word'!

    April 10, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  19. HeHasRizen

    CNN will get what they deserve Rothchilds will get what they deserve. You would rather burn in hell then have everlasting life. F u all cnn and US Govt

    April 10, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Annrafnk

      Spoken in profanity like a true zealot !

      April 10, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    Jesus Christ was real!

    There are accounts of Jesus and Christianity outside the Bible and the Christian Church. Scientifically seen, accounts of Jesus and the faith from outside the Bible and the Church are more valueable, because Christian writers could always be tempted to invent stories about Jesus and the apostles, in order to promote the Christian faith.

    The text bellow is a conversation between two enemies of Christ and his Church. They had no reason at all to invent stories, which could promote the faith. Hence, the text below is extremly valueable, because enemies (Trajan and Pliny) of Christ tell of the Christian Church. The text below is a clear proof for the historicity of Christianity. Regard how close to Jesus' and the apostles lifetime the text emerged.

    Once, an officer, Pliny the Younger (reign 111-113 AD), of the Roman Empire had a conversation with his emperor Trajan (reign 98-117 AD):

    "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 oviously a real thing.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:29 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.