Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's as claimed, scientists say
A reliquary box thought to have been used to carry the bones of John the Baptist.
June 22nd, 2012
07:55 AM ET

Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's as claimed, scientists say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)– When the tools of modern science are applied to religious relics, the results are almost always the same: Science says the relics aren't what their supporters claim.

The most famous of them all, the Turin Shroud, is widely regarded as a Middle Ages forgery, and even the Catholic Church does not insist the shroud was actually used to wrap the body of Jesus himself.

So when Bulgarian archeologists announced two years ago that they had found the bones of John the Baptist, Tom Higham was skeptical.

He got a surprise.

Higham, an Oxford University scientist and an atheist who doesn't believe in "any kind of religion or God or anything like that," was asked to test six small bone fragments found on an island named Sveti Ivan - St. John.

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The bones turned out to be from a man who lived in the Middle East at the same time as Jesus, Higham said.

"We got a date that was exactly where it should be, right in the middle of the first century," said Higham, a radiocarbon dating expert.

It's not proof that they belonged to John the Baptist, since there's no DNA database of early Christian saints, the archeologist who found the bones said.

But the mere fact that the testing didn't prove the bones are fakes is unusual.

Archeologist Kazimir Popkonstantinov led the team that found them under the altar of a fifth century basilica on Sveti Ivan, a Black Sea island off Sozopol on the south coast of Bulgaria.

The bones were in a reliquary, a container for holy relics, with a tiny sandstone box.

Written on the box in Greek were the words, "God, save your servant Thomas. To St. John. June 24."

Scientists take samples of the bones for radiocarbon and genetic analysis.

The date is the Christian feast day of John the Baptist, believed to be his birthday.

When the bones were found in 2010, Popkonstantinov said it was "logical to suggest that the founders of the monastery did their best to bring relics of its patron saint."

Higham, the deputy director of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, got involved because a colleague knew the Bulgarian archeologists. National Geographic was also interested, so it provided funding for more extensive testing than Higham originally planned, and made a film about the project.

Radiocarbon dating showed that the bones were from the right period to be from John the Baptist, Higham said, while genetic testing showed it was a man and all the bones were from the same person.

DNA testing by colleagues at the University of Copenhagen suggested that the person was most likely to have been from the Middle East, he said.

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More detailed nuclear DNA testing could pin down his location even more accurately, Higham said, but "does cost quite a lot of money."

There is reasonably good historical evidence that John the Baptist, whom Christians believe baptized his cousin Jesus, did exist, said Paul Middleton, a senior lecturer in Biblical studies at the University of Chester.

All four gospels and the contemporary Jewish historian Josephus say he was beheaded on the orders of the ruler Herod Antipas, Middleton said when the bones were found.

The six small bones are far from the only relics purporting to belong to him.

Four locations, from a mosque in Damascus, Syria, to a museum in Munich, Germany, claim to have his head, while the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, has a relic alleged to be his right arm.

A monastery in Montenegro says it has his right hand, while another in Egypt has a crypt containing relics of the saint.

Tom Higham says he can test them to see if they match.

"We have a complete genome. It's possible that we could step this a step further and see if there is any similarity," in the genetic material of all the relics.

"We've sort of got interested in this. It's not beyond the realms of possibility, and we know that there were relics moving out of the Middle East in the fourth and fifth century," he said.

But for him, the project remains a purely scientific one.

"I'm an atheist," he said. "I perceive this as an archeological dating problem. We have some bones and we're trying to get as much information out of them as we can."

CNN's Simon Hooper and Susannah Palk contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity

soundoff (1,475 Responses)
  1. bxgrrl

    Or Joe the Schmo.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jeff

      Yeah...or someone's Mother in Law from the 2nd century.

      You just can't get rid of those women!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  2. RickBangkok

    How can any church muzzle people in the 21st century when science and technology prove so many of their tenets to be false? Pope Gregory was met with Martin Luther because the church was only interested in money and held the power of life or death over believers and non-believers.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  3. bob

    Inspired by.....God, ergot poisoning, heat exhaustion, untreated manic/depression, starvation, cactus juice, imagination, or whatever.
    Belief in a book like the Bible is dangerous, because it is colored by our perceptions, whether we write it, or read it.
    What do you feel?
    Feel it all you want, but don't try to convince me.
    I have my own feelings.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Kris

      Well said Bob!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  4. Kris

    " Romans 1-20. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, ..." Wow! Well doesn't this clear-up things for us devil-worshipping atheists?

    Hail Satan!

    June 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  5. Larry

    Determining that bones are likely from the time of a man who may or may not have existed is certainly enough proof for me.


    Santa Claus

    June 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Hot Carl

      Santa? Is that really you?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Insanity Claus

      I talk to God and they call it prayer.
      God talks to me, and they call me insane.

      June 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  6. jim

    Once they map the entire Gnome sequence go John the Baptist, they could combine his DNA with that of a T-Rex and soon we'd have this bearded & robed, sandal wearing T-Rex walking around knocking on doors and handing out flyers to praise the Lord. Oh wait, maybe that's not a good idea.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Jesus Rex, he went extinct for your sins.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Not an entire gnome!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Insanity Claus

      I have gnomes in my backyard.
      Nasty little buggers.

      June 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Primewonk

    Angel wrote, " therefore, science will always prove the Bible to be true. Just as it has in many instances before this."

    Your bible claims the god first created the heavens and the earth. Science show that the earth didn't form until the universe was already 9,000,000,000 years old.

    Your bible claims the sun was formed on the "4th" day after the earth poofed in existence. Science shows that the earth formed from the accretion disk that formed the sun.

    Your bible claims that liquid water existed on earth before the sun was made by god. Science shows that this is false. There is not enough geothermal energy in the earth for there to be liquid water without the sun.

    Your bible claims that vegetation existed on the surface of the earth before a photon source to drive photosynthesis (sun) existed. Science shows that vegetation could not exist on the surface of the earth without the sun.

    Your bible claims that birds existed on the earth before land based animals. Science shows us that birds evolved from land based animals.

    Your bible claims that all humans originated from a single breeding pair of humans about 6,000 years ago. Science shows us that modern humans have been here for 200,000 years. And that if the breeding population was a single pair where would have been insuffient genetic diversity for the species to exist more than a handful of generations.

    Do you need more?

    June 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Larry

      Their response will be either god works in mysterious ways, or how could you, a mere mortal, understand god's plan. In other words, they've been brainwashed into believing anything they're told.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • KeepYourHopeAndChange

      Sadly, your assumptions are all wrong. I suggest going back and reading the entire Bible without your obvious bias. Then re-evaluate your theories.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • omar

      how about history channels "ancient astronauts series"?? do atheist believe in that?? in aliens? im curious i wanna learn from atheist they are very similar to christians...christians always annoy you trying to force you to convert to christianity and atheist trying to take away your will to believe in anything even if its fiction they just dont want you to believe in it period!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @KeepYourHopeAndChange –

      Very well. We now come to the point in the program where I ask you for the peer-reviewed scientific research that refutes what I wrote.

      I assume that as per usual fundiot behavior, you will either –
      A. Tell me I misinterpreted your bible.
      B. Tell me I cannot know the mind of god.
      C. Tell me to go to the AIG website.
      D. Damn me to hell.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      It is only Fundamentalist Christians that take as literal truth the first eleven chapters of Genesis, treating it as history. Devout Jews, recognize Genesis as allegory, not history. They would never use Genesis to support a claim of the World being only 6000 or so years old. Arguments like theirs make sense of the RC Church's policy to NOT allow their lay followers to read the Bible, as it could and would be subject to misinterpretation.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • iam

      nothing you said is correct.aliens created like on earth and many other planets science shows us this is true from all over this planet the oldest text known to man Sumerian text tell us this all the way to the mayan

      June 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Grynch

      Where did all of this open space come from for all of these events to occur? The further back you go and try to prove how something was created you’ll eventually have to realize that there has to be some force out there that has never had an actual beginning, it was never created by anything, it was just there for an infinite amount of time…. scientifically explain that beeaaatch!!!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      I go with the Sumerians.
      At the very least, it explains "Earth Gods".
      The story of the Anunnaki reads like a space opera, yet it explains
      almost everything in the bible.
      We are not what we think we are.

      June 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  8. cbinal

    "It will be amazing to see what it will take to bring these folks to such a state." The same thing it took in Luke 8:28 and John 18:6. Attempting to stand before him. But by then it will be too late.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • cbinal

      woops – sorry meant to go under a different post

      June 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Huebert

      So an event that god used to convert two of his prophets will now only occur after it is to late to convert. Thank goodness that your god is a myth otherwise he would be a huge @sshole.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  9. G. Baez

    Believers in the New-Testament are just reading what the Catholic pope decided they should read. Roman Pagan worship mixed with Judaism. Shroud of Turin? Jesus? All inventions without any base in fact or history. You can't quote the New Testament as your source, that is the fiction you believe in.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Chance

      Actually there is evidence of the existence of Jesus. Even the most renowned atheist don't stand on the belief Jesus didn't exist. Don't take it from me, do some research and you will see. I'm not saying they believe He was the son of God but they believe he existed.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  10. Reality

    From p. 1:

    The existence of JB is one of the few certainties of the NT. JB's life to include his execution however like everything in the NT got twisted to suit the likes of the NT authors.

    To wit:

    "Professor JP Meier, University of Notre Dame, [Ma-rginal Jew II,171-76] reviews the material relating to John's execution, before concluding:

    When it comes to the imprisonment and death of John, Josephus, not Mark (6: 14-29) must serve as our main source. Receiving a folkloric legend already remodeled as a pious account of a martyr's unjust execution, Mark used the story for his own purposes. The tradition he inherited preserved the most basic facts: sometime after Jesus' baptism, John was imprisoned and executed by Antipas. Mark's story also had a v-ague recollection that Antipas' irregular marriage to Herodias was somehow connected with the Baptist's death, but lively imagination and OT allusions had long since developed the nexus in a different direction from what we read in the Antiquities. Coming as it does from a diverse matrix and being developed in a very disparate fashion, Mark's account supplies valuable independent confirmation of the most basic points of Josephus' report. Beyond those, Josephus is to be preferred for history; Mark is to be mined for tradition history and theological intent. (p. 175)"

    Add this to the "dismemberment" of the rest of John's sacred body and one is very skeptical about having said bone relics scattered all over the globe. Smells to "high heaven" of tourist traps.

    See added discussion at http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb197.html

    June 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Kae

      Atheists worship Satan. Nothing but a bunch of lovers of the devil.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Atheists worship Satan. Nothing but a bunch of lovers of the devil."

      Lying is a sin. Duh!

      June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Peter

      @Kae you can't worship something you don't believe exists. 😉

      June 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth

      Kae is a "Poe"....

      June 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      All of you who worship God, in fact really worship satan.
      Your own book tells you that you will be decieved, and you have.

      June 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  11. Honey Badger Dont Care


    "Honey...what type of evidence would you like? What evidence would satisfy you?"

    ANY contemporary, extra-biblical evidence would go a long way. You have NONE.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Respectfully, that's a non-answer. You want something modern and something outside of the Bible. O.k. Such as?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • AngelaL

      Honey did not say "modern". He/She said "contemporary", as in – in that same time period. Big difference.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Misinterpreted–my bad. Still,what evidence?

      June 23, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  12. Delusions 3:15

    The irony is they are actually using science to date and place the damn peices of dead carbonaceous material.
    What ? Jeebus is too busy to stop by and tell em.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  13. Brett

    Josephus was NOT contemporaneous with Jesus and John the Baptist. Do some research please. Josephus was born years after their alleged deaths.

    Anyway, Jesus and John the Baptist are both imaginary, so it really doesn't matter.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Delusions 3:15

      Actually there is some evidence that Jeebus existed. Bart Ehrman has a new book on it. The fact that the myths were based on an historical figure in no way validates the claims about him.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Hammer Of The Gods

      Jesus has a fourteen year void in his life, why ?
      Jesus was "Cesearean" son of Julius Ceasar (JC) and Cleopatra.
      Cesearean disapears from history, and re-appears as Jesus Christ (JC).
      The whole virgin birth thing was borrowed from "Horus" and Baby Jesus story inserted into history.
      Jesus was real (Cesearean) but biblical Jesus was a lie.

      June 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  14. Smako

    Can't be his. All of the "I'm happy with my life as long as nobody mentions religion, but don't cheat me out of Christmas vacation" crybabies would sue

    June 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • SlayFalseGod

      Nah- I wouldnt sue. Happy Holidays.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      IO Satrunalia!

      June 22, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  15. Brian

    I am a Gnostic Theist who studied at a Catholic University, and while I don't believe in alot of the church's hockum, I will say they haven't dispelled the Shroud. In fact, recent scientific research suggests that the Shroud isn't a hoax. They can't necessarily prove it to be Jesus' image on the shroud itself, however it's not a hoax. CNN is getting worse by the day. Lazy journalism.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • derp


      That debate is over. The shroud is 800 years old.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Reality

      Just reviewed the latest "findings". All were made by Italian scientists whose country depends on tourist dollars and euros. Hmmm??

      June 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Dandy

      800 years old... well ... maybe god stopped time for 1400 years.. and then restarted it.. why bother with facts when you can use religion! :-/

      June 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  16. Michael E. Maus

    This is cultural anthropology at its best. The more we know, the better we know. The religious figure of Saint John the Baptist is significant in the establishment of the Christian religion.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Dandy

      John the Baptist – Important to Christians sure .... But the guy was a little scattered after he died.. 😉 Nothing like having your parts distributed around the world!

      June 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  17. Trudybird

    Back in 1979 I went to Israel with a church group to tour the "Holy Land". The churches were enormous and usually built over the spot where "tradition" claims a certain religious event occurred. My fantasies were somewhat dashed. I didn't find the spiritual spark that I thought I would. I was facinated by the tremendous buildings and cultures hovering over special ground that made many claims... but where was the spirit of Christ? I'll tell you where I found it. I found it a year later when I was on a kibbutz working as a volunteer. It was not a religious Kibbutz. It was a hard working kibbutz with all kinds of people from all over the world working there as volunteers. The members of the kibbutz were Jewish. I found their kindness and generosity quite grand, just as I found tremendous friends from all over the world, that I still call my friends and communicate with after all these years. God is good. Yes... I believe there was a Jesus and JTB. I am a Christian. I see beyond the lables and religions and "turf wars". I see the people and I see the arms of humanity reaching out to one another. I take the good and do my best to leave the bad behind. Jesus preached to love one another. I do my bests to follow that advise and it seems to work for me.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Laurentius

      Nice story. Thanks.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      You have a serious case of confirmation bias. You should get that checked out.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  18. Twocentworth

    It's interesting to read how so many Athiests are adimate about falsifying claims on the existance of John the Baptist. In comparison, I never read anything along the lines of - "Aristotle (or Socrates) absolutely did not exist."
    From all of the historical writings that have been produced, I'm leaning towards the existence of all of them.
    They're beliefs are a different matter entirely...

    June 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • db

      No one is trying to disprove the existence of John the Baptist. Whether John the Baptist existed or not is of no consequence. His mere existence proves nothing, other than he was a man and he existed. That is it. It does not prove that there is a god. It does not proved that Jesus existed. It does not prove that Jesus is the son of God, etc., etc. Too many of you seem to think that if something out of the bible is thought to be historically accurate, then everything else must be true as well. Harry Potter lives in a place called England. We can verify the existence of this place called England...so everything else about the story must be correct as well 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Rynomite


      I'm sure JC,NT is probably better versed in Christianity than 99% of Christians.

      As for your argument: "man was made perfect and originally death did not exist nor immorality......Death and immorality came into existence because of disobedience. "

      Do you not see the inherent contradiction in your statement? A perfectly made man would never have been disobedient.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Chance

      correct my statement was: "man was made perfect and originally death did not exist nor immorality......Death and immorality came into existence because of disobedience. "

      You said: "Do you not see the inherent contradiction in your statement? A perfectly made man would never have been disobedient."

      Let me clear things up for you; there is no contradiction. The perfectly made man I'm referring to is the vessel, meaning the human body Adam was given was perfect. The perfection was the creation of the body; immune to death. When Adam's consciousness was inserted it was pure and innocent without blame or fault but most importantly free. Adam's consciousness wasn't confined to only act in restricted set of parameters, he wasn't robotic he was free and pure.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  19. Vermont Whig

    I'm surprised that no one's mentioned Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad and all of the "relics" he was offered on that tour. My favorite (and his, too, aparently) was "the skull of John the Baptist as a child."

    June 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  20. Cindy

    All these poor lost souls. They are getting more like communists everyday.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • ab


      June 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Huebert


      Do you know what a communist is?

      June 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Angel

      To @ Honeybadger, here's your proof. This is the Word of God.

      Romans 1-20. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that men are without excuse."

      You have no excuse. Now prove to us that He doesn't exists.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Dandy

      To Angel:

      To @ Honeybadger, here's your proof. This is the Word of God.

      Prove it! Yeah.... that's what I thought. The bible was written by humans, revised by humans, edited by humans.. all to fit the times...

      June 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Kae

      Atheists, agnostic, no matter what they call themselves, all worship the devil.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Atheists, agnostic, no matter what they call themselves, all worship the devil."

      Lying is a sin. DUH!

      June 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Peter

      @Kae you can't worship something you don't believe exists! 😉

      June 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Angel

      To @ Dandy,

      You are to too ingnorant of the Bible to hold a conversation with. The men were chosen by God, and the writing were inspired by God. That's in the bible too, but I just can't spend my time. Do you really think God is stupid enough to leave His Word to imperfect men. Your problem is you have God on your ignornant level. He is Perfect; man is imperfect. You do the research yourself if you really want to know the truth.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth


      First, saying "the Bible is the word of god because the bible says it is the word of god" is circular reasoning. Before you call others dumb figure out why your logic isn't.


      A perfect god that created something imperfect cannot be perfect.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Chance

      @ JC,NT
      The Christian belief is that man was made perfect and originally death did not exist nor immorality. If you do some research on Christianity you will easily find this. Death and immorality came into existence because of disobedience. Man was given the choice to live as God intended or as self intended.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Of course, that sounds much more reasonable.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Rynomite


      I'm sure JC,NT is probably better versed in Christianity than 99% of Christians.

      As for your argument: "man was made perfect and originally death did not exist nor immorality......Death and immorality came into existence because of disobedience. "

      Do you not see the inherent contradiction in your statement? Would a perfectly made man have been disobedient? I think not.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      So, if there had been no disobedience, people would neither die nor be immortal? Schroedinger has nothing on this Yahweh dude.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • pinostabaum

      godless libertarian here. dont want fellow atheists planning my day to day business any more than i want christians, muslims, jews, zoroastrians, hindus, buddhists, or jainists.

      i think, therefore i am. i am not too sure about the rest of you, however....

      June 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth


      I submit that man was not given a choice. In order for the fall of man to happen man had to eat from the tree of Knowledge. If man did not have "knowledge" previous to his eating from the tree, explain how that was a choice? "free will" without knowledge is not free will.

      Also, why did a perfect god give man a choice to begin with, a perfect god would know what "choice" would be made beforehand. If god set up the whole situation then he is responsible for the result.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chance

      Don't make it harder than it is. Man was made perfect but had the option to live as God intended or as self intended. Its not a hard concept. The choice to live life as self indulgent brought on imperfection.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      And your god is not powerful enough to create an existance in which one can have free will yet all choices are still "good" choices?

      Not so powerful now huh?

      June 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Chance

      @ JCNT
      I agree man was not given the choice to fall, rather he was given the option to live life independent from God. A perfect God would know the outcome of such a proposition. Also a perfect loving God would let His creation chose their own path. Furthermore I would say man is responsible for their own choices the situation painted in the Bible was favorable for perfection to overcome the temptation of imperfection.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Chance

      @Honey B
      If that where the case our choices wouldn't be ours; they would be God's calculated choices for us.

      Power is irrelevant to your proposition.

      June 22, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Chance

      You know the bible and you know Adam was communicating with God directly, all the knowledge he could ever need was at his request. The tree of knowledge was the gateway to a independent life from God.
      Adam had all he needed including knowledge.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth


      I don't agree, a choice without understanding (knowledge) is not a choice.

      But lets say hypothetically I accept your version. I still did not get a choice, the choice was made forme by Adam and Eve and now I have to deal with the consequence. I don't even get the same information Adam and Eve based their decision on since they had direct interaction with god. To punish me for this set of circ.umstances is immoral. I am expected to come to the conclusion of a god based on a flawed, forged contradictory book. Only a monster would set up these conditions.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Don't forget, that if the tree of knowledge was the knowledge of good and evil (right and wrong) then how could one conclude that adam and eve be held responsible for something that they could not have known was wrong?

      June 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Chance

      If you read the bible God specifically told Adam don't eat from the tree. So your argument of responsibility is irrelevant.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Yet there would be no reason to think it was wrong without that knowledge before hand. This is analogous to telling a toddler not to touch the hot stove, then kicking them out of the house forever when they do. Congrats your god is an abusive parent (if it even exists).

      June 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Chance

      Their irresponsibility messed everything up. Correct because of their failure the world was put in disorder, man along the way has made good history and bad history. We suffer the consequences of fellow man on a daily basis, some more so than others. God could have put a end to man-kind right after the fall but He didn't, He gave man a chance at redemption. Your existence isn't punishment; in Christianity you have the ability to be in communion with God. The conditions were set up for perfection.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Chance

      He knew that the tree would bring death, please read the bible, do some research. Satan, tempted the woman, saying God was keeping them from being like a god. They knew the tree was death but Satan told them other wise.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Rynomite


      "Don't make it harder than it is. Man was made perfect but had the option to live as God intended or as self intended. Its not a hard concept. The choice to live life as self indulgent brought on imperfection."

      Actually I was making it simple. You are making it hard.

      The original statement of logic by JCNT was:

      "A perfect god that created something imperfect cannot be perfect."

      You attacked this argument by saying that man was made perfect, but became imperfect through disobedience.

      I submit that a disobedient creation is not perfect.
      A perfect creation would not have commited the "original sin".
      A perfect creation would have not have chosen to "live life as self indulgent".
      A perfect creation would not have freely chosen to become imperfect.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Chance

      your argument is dead weight, Adam knew the tree spelled death.

      We should be arguing why didn't he ask for a fire or axe to destroy the tree.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Rynomite

      "your argument is dead weight, Adam knew the tree spelled death."

      So a perfect creation knew something spelled death, but still ate from it? Doesn't sound too perfect to me.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth


      It is a flawed fairy tale. I have read the bible and I have applied reason to what I have read. The god of the bible is an immoral, contradictory joke that doesn't make sense to children. There is absolutly no reason to think it is anything but a collection of bad bronze age myths. Even if I found out that the god of the bible was actually real I would not worship him, he is a tyrant. If god is all powerful anything Satan does is with gods permission. It is sad people actually take this seriously.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Chance

      He was made perfect, he was set up to live perfect. He also was his own person; able to make His own decisions, that is perfection.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Chance

      that is your opinion; despite your curl remarks to the God I serve it make no difference I can agree to disagree. One thing I always keep in perspective is I'm human, I'm finite, I could never fully understand the plan of a eternal being. I don't have all the answers as to why we only see a slice of time and not the big picture.

      June 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Rynomite

      We will have to disagree. Perfect. Without Flaw or Defect. If my child was perfect, she would not be disobedient. (Not that she always is... quite a good kid actually). I don't see how you can conceive of something being perfect yet being disobedient. Is disobedience not a flaw? Oh well. Moving on now.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Chance

      He was not disobedient, he was free...your describing a robot programed to do as told...

      June 22, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Just Claims, No Truth


      Yes it is my opinion, based on reasoning.

      You claim, there is a god you have no reasonable proof for.

      You claim, it is the god of the bible which you also have no reasonable proof for.

      You claim you have a correct interpretation of the flawed, forged contradictory bible.

      For someone who says they can never fully undertand the plan of an eternal being you sure seem to THINK you understand a lot. I am not saying I know 100% that you are wrong but I know it makes no sense when I think critically.

      June 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      That's some crazy rationalization. He was perfect but chose to be imperfect, then he wasn't perfect. He didn't die did he (cue the apologetic of "it was a spiritual death", in which case why didn't god say it would be a spiritual death? Pretty ambiguous for a perfect being).

      June 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Chance

      As noted in the other thread. The vessel Adam was given was perfect, vessel meaning human body. Adam's consciousness was pure and innocent, he was without fault but most importantly free.

      June 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Chance

      Reasonable proof is that their is something rather than nothing; that the precision required for intelligent life to exist is not by chance but by purpose. This is critical thinking, its not blind faith but claims based on what we see. Perhaps you are the one blinded by emotion. Your too emotionally attached to understand that I a Christian see the universe as intended not a form a blind chance. To many critical components in our universe are needed for life to exist, for me it is ignorance to turn a blind eye to the precision needed for life and chalk it up to blind chance; I see intention. Its critical thinking that brings me to my conclusion. Please try again.

      June 25, 2012 at 3:01 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.