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. Bible Fun

    God tells the Israelites to smear some blood on their doors. That way when he's going around killing Egyptian children, he'll remember not to kill their children too. He probably said to himself when he saw the blood, "Oh yeah, I remember now. I'm not supposed to kill the children in this house." Exodus 12:7, 13

    Sounds legit.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Bible Fun

      God gives detailed instructions for performing ritualistic animal sacrifices. such bloody rituals must be important to God, judging from the number of times that he repeats their instructions. Indeed the entire first nine chapters of Leviticus can be summarized as follows: Get an animal, kill it, sprinkle the blood around, cut the dead animal into pieces, and burn it for a "sweet savor unto the Lord." Leviticus Chapters 1 – 9


      April 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  2. JM

    Well, prepare to flip out because I pray that if God exists, He will reveal Himself to each of you and to me today. =>

    God Bless!!!!!!!!

    Peace, love and joy.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • No need to believe

      Kind of like the Great Pumpkin?

      April 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  3. Mark

    To those who believe in something greater than man, explaining faith is not necessary. To those who can believe in nothing other than man, explaining faith is not possible. Faith is more than a wish or a hope, and it is more than just a comfort or a shield. Unfortunately, those who are incapable of faith or who choose to deny it often rationalize it away because it is beyond them.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • s

      You're right, there's an invisible man in the sky who sees what I do and knows if I've been good or bad. And will punish me for my wrong-doing. His name is Santa Claus.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Faith is an emotion and there is no rational answer to an emotional argument.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Sy2502

      Very poetic, but at the end of the day, faith is nothing but believing something without proof. You can call it faith, I call it gullibility. That you'd use some fortune cookie phrase to feel good about being gullible is quite fine with me. That you'd use it to put down people who demand a reason to believe something is not.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Lol Worthy

      Faith is the substance of things Hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Much like many early Christians were extremely upset and left the faith behind because the only reason they wanted to believe in Christianity was for the destruction of the Greek Empire. There are many Christians that only believe in Christianity for self improvement, building confidence, and apocalyptic reasons. Those Christians are the true meaning of Pseudo Christians.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  4. Lol Worthy

    As a Christian I have many questions on the teachings that have been passed down through our religion. Alot of things feel off and if you are a Christian that is too lazy to do your own research and read for yourself you are actually hurting the religion more than these articles. I speak and converse with Atheist (well the one's that are open to an Adult conversation) and I enjoy reading about all religions. I believe in God and I believe Jesus was the Son of God. I have seen and felt God's presence on many occasions and I have also seen him work in everyone's lives.

    One thing Christians have to realize is WE ARE THE BIGGEST CONTRADICTORS OF OUR RELIGION!!! Why focus on eggs and rabbits during easter? I mean I understand it's for the kids, yet we continue these pagan rituals. Santa Clause...? Really, I still haven't gotten a sensible answer on the reason for a Christmas Tree. We hurt our own Religion and in turn lose respect and lose arguments due to the fact we have no clear cut path much like Muslims and Jew's do.

    As a Christian if you want to be taken seriously, outside of the SUNDAY sermon and Saturday night bible study (preparing for Sunday morning), go read for yourself and study things about the Christian faith on your own. That way things like this would not bother you and you could go on with your lives. Don't just read the Bible study the history of the happenings in the Bible and research what has been discovered through SCIENTIFIC (I know that scares alot of Christians) exploration and religious scholars as well.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  5. Buhasy

    heheheh....you'll find out soon enough.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  6. Leucadia Bob


    April 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  7. Pipe-Dreamer

    My Father and I are One,,,,,,,

    Could this justly mean that I and my Father THINK as One Mind thinks? I cannot rightly believe that they are of physical sameness!

    April 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • HellBent

      And if they are of the same physical sameness, why does the father keep secrets from himself?

      April 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Correct

      That is the correct interpretation of that verse. The idea of Jesus and the Father being one person was a ridiculous concept created by the Nicean Council. Otherwise, God isn't a trinity, he's a conglomeration of at least 15 Beings in one, since Jesus' disciples were to be "one" with him as well.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  8. Em's Momma/Sister

    must apolagize for my daughter/sista...she missed her electro-shock therapy appt today...daddi and i are gona hafta lock her up in the basement again with duck tape on her mouth...she is a mouthy little one and slightly on the dumber side of life but that mite be do to her being my sista and daughter...yes our daddi is the sam man

    April 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Em

      Lol, I just saw this. I guess you are also one of those incapable of an adult conversation and listening to the perspectives of others who hold opinions and views different than yours.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  9. s

    Here's some interesting info for the believers out there: The Jesus "Story" of the Solar Messiah (Being born of a virgin on Dec. 25th, star in the east, 3 kings, being a teacher at age 12, baptism at age 30, healing the sick, performing miracles, having 12 disciples, being betrayed, crucified, and resurrecting after 3 days) has been used for a LOT of Messiah figures throughout history. The earliest example is: Horus, from Egypt (He was called the lamb of god, the light, the good shepherd, etc.) There's also Attis of Greece 1200 BC, Krishna of India 900 BC, Dionysus of Greece 500 BC (interestingly there are carvings of him on the cross that look just like Jesus if you didn't know better), Mithra of Persia 1200 BC (Worshiped on Sunday, pictures show him wearing a crown of sun rays or thorns), and there are quite a lot of other "messiahs" or solar deities who use the exact SAME background as Jesus. Even if Jesus was a real man who preached to people, the factual details of his life that are used to justify his divinity and works, are copied from other religions that came centuries or even millennia BEFORE he was born. What's up with that?

    April 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Nancy

      This question of yours and these facts have been stated hundreds of times on this thread. Funny thing is no Christians can or will answer your post. I think that, in and of itself, could have been the jest of the entire article. Don't worry though, 19% of the American population are non believers and that number is growing because of intelligent good people like you and me. Have a great day!

      April 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Lol Worthy

      And your exactly right. The Bible has hid alot from us and has misconscrewed (sorry if I spelled that wrong) so much of our history. As believers we are raised up to NEVER question God, the Bible, or our Elders but as time past and Generations become more intelligent and learn at a faster rate they raise these same questions. Christianity was one of the last major religions to be created yet people hold it above all others. So to keep us in the dark alot of Christian churches look down and at times shun these youth because they can't answer these questions. Well as a Christian I am sick of following blindly and I choose to research, read, and critically think about what's going on.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Arjun

      I dont know about others. But I have seen the comparison between Krishna and Christ. Apart from their names there is only one comparison. All the kids born along with them were ordered to be killed. Renaming all comparisons are just twisting things. It is never said that Krishna was born to a virgin. Krishna is the 8th son of his mother.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • s

      Ok to clarify: several of the messiah figures of history share some of the details but not all. Of course you'd pick out Krishna to invalidate the argument, because there are others that can't be questioned. Seriously, look at carvings, amulets, and other images of Dionysus for instance: It looks like Jesus on the cross. And he lived in 500 BC. So at least one other person who lived 500 years BEFORE Christ already was running his con game. Also, if you read the old testament, Joseph is a clear literary prototype for Jesus. He was one of 12 sons (12 is a big number in the bible) who was betrayed for 20 pieces of silver (Jesus was betrayed for 30). Face facts, the Jesus story is just that, a story.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  10. Pipe-Dreamer

    Should "anyone" believe in an eternalized Life where death no longer comes a knocking are as fools and side tables with atheisms' candor! Having life and having it MORE ABUNDANTLY does in no way or shape or form give anyone but God Himself Eternal Everlasting Life! We of humanisms' origins may only have hope and be faithfilled to have life after one dies. An after-death-life does not mean one will not die in the afterwards' life from 1st dying! We are granted and abundancy of Life in that we live and then die and then live and then die for as long as God wants us to so be doing!


    I turned the ripe ol' age of 57 earlier this year,,,, Because I have much free-time on my hands nowadays, I am left to consider God and His Majestic Realm(s) that He and His generations and Brethren inhabit. Looking around here upon Earth does seem to be void of any Godliness whatsoever so, one may conclude this Earthly realm is not inhabited by God nor His Kind. Where then might one avail themself to look for God's Realm(s)? Should one look toward the Holy Gospel in searching for God's Realm(s)? Okay, let's delve into the Gospel of the Holy Bible,,,,,

    Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    Mathew's 6th chapter, 33rd verse says to "seek first" God's Kingdom,,,,, Okay,,,, Let's search the Holy Bible Scriptures in search of God's Kingdom,,,,

    Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is "inside" you.

    Inside us is where the kingdom of God does lay? How can that be? We are made up of cells in the microscopic proportions. At least, this is what one sees when viewing structures thru a microscope. Can such cells be of God's Kingdom? How so?

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.

    C'mon Holy Bible! Now scripture is telling me that not only do we labour together with God, He is at the center of our being conceived! Not to mention, We are but buildings,,,,, For what purposes and why and how are our bodies as buildings and does God Himself dwell inside our bodies He says are buildings?

    April 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Arjun

      God is beyond your comprehension. Scriptures only express a bit of him in an indicative way. I am a Hindu and I believe Islam and Christianity also to be true.

      Now forget about God. Go back to big bang. They say entire universe was of the size of less than an atom. Within a fraction of second, It exploded to become an universe of this size. That makes the matter travel faster than light. So scientists say that time did not exists at big bang. It got created along with big bang. So the matter could travel so much distance in less than a second. I feel that might be true. But it is beyond my comprehension.

      If it is so difficult to understand material world, How difficult it would be to understand God.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Daniel Uzza

    Bad news for some of you. Job 42:5, I have seen Him in His glory and power. He is Who He says He is. Repent for He is coming back, soon.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
      —1 John 2:18
      Christians have been waiting on tenterhooks for the Second Coming since the Bible itself was written.
      Many have prophesied the exact time of date of His return and ALL have been wrong.
      George Rapp said it would be September 15th, 1829.
      William Miller predicted October 22, 1844. Jesus’ failure to arrive is known as “The Great Disappointment”. Many of his disillusioned followers went on the found the 7th Day Adventist Church, who are still patiently awaiting His return.
      Charles Russell, 1st President of the Watchtower Society told his fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus would be back in 1874.
      Rudolf Steiner maintained that from 1930 onwards, Jesus would grant certain people psychic powers to enable them to witness his presence in the “etheric plane”.
      Herbert Armstrong, Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God said 1975.
      Bill Maupin managed to convince his followers to sell all of their worldly goods in preparation for Jesus’ return on June 28th, 1981.
      Benjamin Crème stated that on June 21st, 1982 Christ would make a worldwide television announcement.
      Mark Blitz, Pastor of El Shaddai Ministries says it would be September 30th, 2008
      Jerry Falwell said it’d happen between 1999 and 2009.
      Harold Camping told everyone that the Rapture would happen May 21, 2011 after failing in his first predicted date of 1994.

      Conversely, many believe He’s all ready come in the form of Sun Myung Moon, Emanuel Swedenborg, Baha u llah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, David Koresh, Hailie Selassie, John Thom, Arnold Potter, William Davies, George roux, Ernest Norman, Krishna Venta, Ahn Sahng-Hong, Jim Jones, Mashall Applewhite, Hulon Mitchell, Wayne Bent, Ariffin Mohammed, Mitsuo Matayoshi, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, Inri Cristo, Thomas Provenzano, David Icke, Shoko Asahara, Hogan Fukinaga, Marina Tsvigun or Sergei Troop.

      It would appear that the much lauded Jewish carpenter has been thoroughly dead for 2000 years and will remain so.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • pat

      P.S. I always tell the truth.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Thank you for the random meaningless verses from your bible. In the interest of fairness, here are some random verses from the Primewonk Bible. I happen to think that my verses make a heck of a lot more sense than yours –

      ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Post May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. God Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

      PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Post, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Believer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

      Einstein 16:24 Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

      Gould 1:15-16 Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

      Bohr 2:11 Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.

      Szilard 88:16 I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

      Sagan 22:1 For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

      Feynman 110:55 …it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are - if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

      Hawking 41:61 A machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System-and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.

      Hippocrates 14:5 Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.

      Galileo 12:16 It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved

      Carlyle 2:2 It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

      Fermi 1:1 The weak nuclear force does not change over time.

      Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

      C. P. Snow 5:3 Innocence about Science is the worst crime today.

      Paul Valéry 3:6 One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall.

      A.C. Doyle 14:8 It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

      Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Daniel Uzza

      There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end of it is death.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  12. gateway

    Somebody said that Jesus 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" So true! I can't remember how many times I have heard religious people say "It was God's plan". Or "Everything happens for a reason".

    April 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • skills

      To the people commenting on how jesus is there to take the responsibility off of people for bad stuff. I like to call this the "Jesus Parachute". Such as a woman finding out her daughter who grew up in the church is pregnant out of wedlock and also say a crack head. Her response would be to pull the rip cord by saying the magic words. It is god's will. Instead of saying what did I do wrong as a parent. Happy zombie jesus day.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Lol Worthy

      Skills you sound like a dumb follower or your explanation for "Jesus Parachuting" is just a horrible one!!! No person would think it's God's will for their child to become a crack head or have a child out of wedlock. They would simply blame that on poor decisions. LOL!!! Nice try though..

      April 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  13. Phosphorus

    A little something to consider:


    April 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Leucadia Bob

      LIKE! And she's pretty hot!

      April 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  14. Eric G

    Do most Christians believe that the story of Adam & Eve is factual?

    April 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  15. pat

    When you study classical history in a college class, you don't study Jesus and your really not able to refer to him as an historical figure the same way you would mention Alexander the Great or any one who is actually a real person. What are we still talking about?

    April 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  16. Steve

    Please maintain true balance in your reporting and run the same article, but on whether or not mohammed was a real person. Just as the premise of this article, many books have been written on mohammed being a real person as well. Please run this article. Please maintain journalistic integrity.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      Feeling a bit defensive, Steve?

      April 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Magic Jew

      Mohammad may have been real, but he was a violent pedophile nonetheless.

      Jesus may have been real, but I sincerely doubt he was magic.

      Now for the talking snake...

      April 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • BRC

      @Steve, there is exponentially more evidece attesting to the existence of Mohammed than there is of Jesus. There is nothing saying either is divine, but as far as being born, and alive, Mohammed is far more confirmed.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • No need to believe

      None of it is real. So it does not matter who CNN does the report on because all of it is hear say with no factual evidence. In a 100 years the lines of L Ron Hubbards fabricated religion will be blurred and people will be fighting over that. So you see it is all not real.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  17. Nat

    Wow! people should learn to stop confusing the Roman church with the true christian church. Catholicism came about as a need to preserve the essence of the Roman empire in the face of the inevitable dawn of Christianity. Easter, Christmas are all pagan roman celebrations spawned due to the power of the roman empire. True Christianity only teaches the last supper and has far less practices. The defining difference is that it addresses the issue of man's spirituality with God

    April 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • ...

      no true scotsman fallacy...look it up you lazy ass

      April 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Person of Interest

      Nice job. Scholars have long debated that due to the way it was discribed in ancient writings that Christ's Birthday was more than likely in the Spring. Why celebrate it on the 25th? Winter Solstice was a celebrated pagan Holiday in the Roman Empire. To make Christianity more appealing it was fabricated to celebrate it near the same time. Gotta give it to the Roman Christians though, they new how to sell it.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  18. Communism - It's a party!

    One clear example of people making a man into a demi-god is the New Testament story of the loaves and the fishes.
    It is called a miracle but it was clearly nothing more than a religious cult member doing his best to demonstrate a communist ideal.
    He started the show by having everyone in the crowd to take only what they needed from the baskets of fish and bread and to put any extra back in the baskets. This included them giving away all of their own food that they did not immediately need.
    In this way, everyone was able to get a good meal.
    Like a communist food bank, and for the purposes of the demonstration, everyone who brought supplies gave most of them up to the communal baskets. Everyone who was hungry but who had not brought any food with them were able to eat from these rapidly filled baskets.
    There was no miracle. No miraculous growth of food out of thin air as many like to believe.
    Just people in a group pooling their resources under the command of their cult leader. They would not have done it without being commanded to do so, I would guess, or else Jesus would not have had to make such a big production of showing the people that sharing is better for everyone than not sharing.
    Communism at it's most simple. Sharing. That's all it was. Not a miracle, just a demonstration by a cult leader who wanted to educate his followers and show them that sharing is better than not sharing.
    And it was clearly no miracle.
    Yet by the simple omission of a few tiny details, Christians have long been led to believe that bread and fish meat suddenly appeared magically in baskets being handed out to everyone. They left out the details where Jesus explained what was to be done by each person, that each was supposed to contribute whatever they had with them and to only take what they needed.
    What is also left out is the fact that the starting amounts of bread and meat were what Jesus and his 12 disciples had for their own use, and not what was available to the group as a whole, for there were hundreds of people who brought their own supplies with them.
    The problem was to get these people to share what they had with their poorer and hungrier neighbors in the crowd.
    By making a demonstration out of it, Jesus turned what would have been an unhappy meal period into a teaching moment. Otherwise there would have been plenty of strife among the haves and have-nots as some had more than enough for one meal and others had nothing.
    Just going through the motions of doing the "blessing" on the food and sharing it amongst his followers was enough to give the audience the feeling of community, of sharing a single table with everyone else and of considering the food to be there for everyone and not just a few greedy people.
    There were traditions back then of people sitting at a single table to share what was on that table.
    By being their leader, their king, their high priest and teaching rabbi at that moment, Jesus did what few leaders ever did – he shared his own personal supplies with his followers. The novelty of the act surely helped him get the message across, as did the novelty of following his directions in how everyone was to contribute and partake.
    I would also guess there were some who refused to share, possibly prompting the whole dog-and-pony show in the first place.
    Nevertheless, it was clearly a lesson about sharing. Community sharing.
    How sharing what you don't need keeps the whole community alive and well. Blessed, you might say.

    Not a miracle. Nothing supernatural going on here. No magic. No spontaneous appearance of food out of thin air.
    Read the story and see where I'm right. Somewhere along the line, the story was changed to leave out certain details in order to make it seem like food magically appeared out of thin air and that this was what the whole episode was about.
    But it wasn't. It was about sharing, not magic.
    By attempting to make Jesus appear a holy magician here, someone also sought to destroy the original teaching moment of Jesus. This was done by someone who didn't want to share, did not like sharing, and enjoyed being rich and greedy.
    How convenient to remove the sharing lesson to remove any "sharing" from the picture by saying the bread and meat magically appeared. But read the story and you will see I'm right.
    Jesus was a communist. A community leader, a cult leader, a rabbi to his followers who wanted his personal group of followers to be as tightly knit as a family, pooling resources, helping one another.
    A community helps everyone within it. It doesn't need much in the way of communist rules for everyone to thrive, just caring, sharing, and helping others.
    Yet Jesus was also a bit of an extremist fundamentalist where some parts of Judaism were concerned, but that didn't stop him from trying to solve all the world's problems as he saw them in those days.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Nat

      And you can say for sure because you were there ???

      April 10, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Al D.

      One of the reasons Jesus had so many followers was that he was able to heal them, and this helped people see him as something more than just a cult leader. These people would then tell others, which is one big reason why so many people were drawn to him.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Communism - It's a party!

      Whether he existed or not, the story is clearly one that sought to teach sharing to people.
      Read the story. It doesn't matter whether he existed. The story was clearly originally about sharing and not about magic bread and magic fish meat suddenly appearing in all those baskets.
      Why have so many baskets if there was only a tiny bit of food to pass around?
      There are many clues as to why I'm right. And yes, it's just an educated guess. No, I was not there.
      Why would the story be written as it was and then no other mention of anything similar happening in any of the other stories about him? Because it was a teaching moment about sharing.
      If food had magically appeared, there would have been other things written in other parts of the story to support it, but there isn't.
      Just read between the lines, young padewan. If you are willing to suspend judgement for a few minutes, you'll quickly see where I am right.

      April 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Communism - It's a party!

      I would add that if Jesus ever actually wrote anything down himself, it would almost certainly have included sections that read like Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto.
      And, of course, any cult leaders and politicians that came along later would be extremely against anything of the sort, being rich, privileged, and politically powerful and religiously powerful, they would have most certainly suppressed any such writings with all their strength!
      Constantine, the "Christian" Roman Emperor, would never in a million years openly support sharing all his wealth and power with the poor of Rome.
      Neither would any wealthy priest or rabbi be willing to openly support sharing with others what they thought was theirs alone. They are like the rich today, who refuse to help others, who lobby against welfare for the poor, who seek to stop all forms of community sharing or community support for the disadvantaged.
      Those people went to a lot of trouble and effort to get where they were with what they had. Nobody's going to tell them to share what they have! Hell no!
      Much easier to hijack the story and make it appear as if food will appear by holy magic to those who need food.
      This negates the command to share and blinds the eyes of believers from seeing how sharing helps a community.
      That way the rich keep what they have and the poor remain poor while believing that, contrary to reality, the god you worship will give you food if you do things in just the right way. No need to use common sense! Keep the poor ignorant and blind.

      So now we have the rich and powerful distorting and hijacking the original stories of a single popular Jewish cult leader, leading the ignorant away from the truth because they don't want to part with a single penny.
      Just think of all those pompous, rich, perfumed and spoiled priests and politicians who "decided" what "books" to include in the New Testament.
      They were raking in money by the ton. They did not like the idea of being on equal footing with poor people, having to share anything with them beyond a few tiny dribbles needed to fool the followers into giving more money.
      And despite all of history to the contrary, they made sure to put in stuff about "kingdoms" and leaders getting their authority from their god rather than from military power as has always been the actual case.
      This has the effect of suddenly removing all thoughts of equality and community and turns the poor and disadvantaged into mere subjects forced to submit to any authority.
      You can bet Jesus probably didn't support this view, as the history of Jews is filled with genocide and the destruction of whole states and cities – so worldly power did not come from any god as far as Jewish history was concerned.
      Even Cain, who was cursed by God, went to become a rich and powerful leader of a neighboring nation-state.
      That's some curse, eh?
      So Jesus, having this tradition of worldly authority being a crapshoot, would never have said that all worldly authority and power as being derived or approved by his god.
      Just more falsifications and distortions by the rich and powerful to the early writings of the Christian religion in order to maintain their power and wealth.
      If one looks for these threads in the New Testament, some of them are very clearly contradictory distortions of whatever the original stories might have said.
      Add to this the fact that all earlier doc.uments were hidden or destroyed, and the reasons for the only known gospels being written decades later makes a horrible and wicked sort of sense. All originals were hunted down, confiscated, probably destroyed forever, and new gospels were written – distorted towards keeping the rich and powerful safe.
      The status quo is more important to the wealthy and powerful than anything else for all the obvious reasons.
      Keeping the majority poor and ignorant, most of them unable to read or write, serves the interests of the rich and powerful and is maintained, even today, with all their strength and power.
      So Jesus probably existed. The real crux of the matter is the clear indications that Jesus and the facts about him have been systematically distorted and falsified throughout history.
      But just try talking sense to someone who thinks their god will help them with magic. They will not listen to reason.
      They will pray rather than take their child to a hospital. The child dies and they will say it was what their god must have wanted even though they prayed with everything they had.
      You can't reason with people like that. Even my pointing out the obvious fallacies and distortions will not do much good.
      They think their god will do certain things that were deliberately and falsely put into the Bible by scheming frauds for self-serving purposes.
      But just try and get them to see anything like real facts or clearly self-serving falsehoods and they will be quite unable to do so because they have been trained, strongly, to think otherwise and nothing more.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  19. Rob

    Please continue to show the lack of peace in your heart.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      Show us how you feel an inanimate object has a heart

      April 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  20. J.C.

    Jesus flat out didn't exist. Muhammad was a violent gangster and a pedophile.

    Which of the above statements would never (EVER) be the basis of a CNN story?

    April 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Roger Ramjet

      Well, you are one tall stack of stupid. If you had read the article, which so many of you kneejerk Christians did not, you would find that it is not "Jesus did not exist" but an intelligent debate with articulate, thoughtful authorityes on both sides presenting their positions.

      Since there were no accusations in the article about Jesus' improprieties, why do you demand one on Mohammed? You are changing the subject, and making an apples to oranges comparison.

      Why are Christians like you so angry?

      April 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
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About this blog

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