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My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)
September 21st, 2012
09:28 AM ET

My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

A few years ago I wrote a book about Jesus in the American imagination. What I learned along the way is that the American Jesus is a Gumby-like figure who can twist and turn in almost any direction.

Our Jesus has been black and white, gay and straight, a socialist and a capitalist, a pacifist and a warrior, a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klansman. Over the American centuries, he has stood not on some unchanging rock of ages but on the shifting sands of economic circumstances, political calculations and cultural trends.

Part Proteus, part Paul (who called himself "all things to all men"), he became during the Victorian period a sentimental Savior. During the Progressive era of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, he flexed his muscles and carried a big stick. During the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, he grew his hair long and strummed his guitar for peace.

Now, in an era in which Americans are debating who can marry and have sex with whom, we are given a Jesus who has given his body and soul in marriage, at least if we are to believe the scrap of ancient papyrus soon coming, via Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King and the Smithsonian Channel, to a television set near you.

“Jesus said, ‘My wife,'” this Coptic papyrus reads, and since King announced her finding at a Coptic studies conference in Rome on Tuesday, the world is trying to imagine not only what manner of man (and god) this might be, but what sort of woman he might have taken into his marriage bed.

As for the question everyone is asking — was Jesus married? — the only correct answer is that we do not know.

There are all sorts of reasons to be skeptical about this find. First, according to King it is owned by an anonymous dealer who is willing to give the fragment to Harvard, but only if it buys other parts of his collection.

Second, we don’t yet know anything about where this fragment was supposedly found or by whom, and the world of ancient Jewish and Christian manuscripts is replete with fakes and fakers.

Third, even if the papyrus is genuine, it points only to one author quoting Jesus as referring to his wife. Perhaps that author was simply trying to push the early Christian tradition away from a preference for celibacy over marriage.

Or perhaps the reference is to some symbolic or spiritual “wife,” rather than one of the flesh-and-blood type. (In the New Testament Jesus already refers to himself as the bridegroom.)

In the end, what intrigues me about this tiny fragment (it measures roughly 1.5-by-3 inches) is the huge hype. The original Belief Blog piece on this story has over 4,000 comments and counting. And a Smithsonian documentary is in the works for September 30.

Jesus may be one of the best attested figures in the ancient world, but we still know hardly anything about him. And because he is the key figure in the largest religion in the world, we are keen to fill in the blanks.

The Jewish tradition has a name for this: midrash, which refers to a way of storytelling that fills in the gaps. This is what Americans have been doing for centuries with Jesus. Not sure where he was during his “lost years” from the end of his childhood to the beginning of his ministry? Send him off to India. Not sure how he looked? Draw a painting or carve a statue.

What is going on here, as I see it, is a reluctance to say, “I don’t know.”

The truth of the matter is that we don’t know what Jesus looked like. We don’t know where he was or what he was doing when he turned 18. And we don’t know if he was ever married or divorced.

What we do know is that we live in a country besotted with Jesus and in an age obsessed with marriage and sexuality and the body, which is why this tiny papyrus is making such big waves.

As for me, I don’t much care what Jesus thought about marriage, or whether he engaged in it. I think we as a society tend to collapse religion far too readily into bedroom questions, as if Jesus came into the world to tell us with whom we should be having sex, and how.

I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor. And there is plenty in the available record to read and heed, "if only we have ears to hear."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Coptic • Jesus • Sexuality • United States

soundoff (2,026 Responses)
  1. Mo Hawk

    @truth be told

    Let me ask you another question then. Why, when god condemns naughty humans who don't praise him enough, do they go to hell? Is that the only form of punishment available?

    If satan enjoys working his evil ways and torturing souls, would this not be a gift to satan? Something he enjoys?

    Seems like god would find a different contractor for the soul banishment business so he wouldn't have reward the red guy...

    September 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • truth be told

      If you want to reference God then say God, god, small g is an idol. God is sovereign. Are you asking about idols or God?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      @truth be told

      So your answer to my question is to correct my grammar? Ok, God (since it is a proper noun, by bad). Now, please continue and thank you.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • truth be told

      Assuming you are inquiring about God, Satan has no authority and no reward. The lake of fire will be his eternal dwelling place, designed to contain spiritual beings in a nether gloom in unimaginable solitary agony. Satan does not reign over hell, hell is a total separation from God and everyone else. No human being should ever go there.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      @truth be told

      Who designed hell if not God? And if God designed it, how can it be a total separation from God and everyone else?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • FDromm

      You make "Hell" sound like an existential singles bar. LOL

      September 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Huebert

      FDromm

      That is the most terrifying description of hell ever.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • truth be told

      That's part of what makes it hell. Even if hell was so populated that you were shoulder to shoulder in there you would have no knowledge of anyone but yourself and the incredible agony and insanity you were in. You could not recognize your best friend if they were standing in front of you. Jesus said it would be better to go through life self blinded than to spend eternity in hell.

      September 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      now truth – "The lake of fire will be his eternal dwelling place, designed to contain spiritual beings in a nether gloom in unimaginable solitary agony. " Really?? That's why they let you go from the
      Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co..

      September 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • truth be told

      You are dismissed hal and will probably not be responded to any more.

      September 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but it appears you have responded in the wrong place. I do not seek response. My mission is strictly to identify and illuminate unfounded assertions and falsehoods, and to catalog items identified for further analysis and processing.

      September 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • ....

      @hal
      BULL SH IT

      September 22, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  2. truth be told

    God and Satan do not work together on anything. They are opposites.

    September 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      The only way Satan can be the Opposite of God is to be a God himself, that would make you at least Polytheist.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • patch vader

      They are the yin and yang of christion monotheism. Their mutal existance gives relevance (and personality) to each other.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      @JohnQuest and patch vader

      Good points.

      I don't think truth is clear on this mythology.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • FDromm

      LOL
      If your "god" is omnipotent, omnipresent, etc. there is no "opposite" that can exist anywhere. LOL
      Your logic fails big time. Change your name to "lies be told".

      September 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • truth be told

      God being God has attributes that Satan does not have. Satan impersonates God and is the opposite in that where God saves and builds, Satan tries to deceive and destroy. Satan like atheists, is a liar and a murderer from the beginning of mankind.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      @truth be told

      Sounds like you are describing my ex-wife. Are you sure all this mythology doesn't stem from hatred of women? If you read the old testament, you might come to that conclusion.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • FDromm

      If your "god" is everywhere then we are all part of it and there is nothing that is holy.
      If your "god" does everything then we do nothing, there is no "Satan", and all we have is the illusion of self-awareness.
      If nothing happens without your "god" planning it all out, then we have no choices to make – only the illusion of choice.
      If your "god" is omnipotent, then no one, not even some "Satan" would be able to oppose it in any way.

      You fail logic so bad it's hard to keep from listing the thousands of different ways you are wrong. But I don't want to waste that much time here.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "truth be told", but your assertions regarding atheism are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent correct statements is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do..... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Dan

    It doesn't matter to me if he was married or not, he's still Jesus. I would like to think he was married though. It was the appropriate thing to do for a Jewish man to do at that time in history. Besides, wouldn't it be cool if there were descendants running around today!

    September 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      So you don't think Jesus was God?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  4. Mo Hawk

    Question for Christians with all do respect:

    When you say that people need to be saved, please explain what we all need to be saved from? I don't understand.

    September 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • truth be told

      The fate reserved for Satan and the fallen angels.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Mo

      They think we need to be saved from hell. What they fail to realize is that it is god who supposedly d@mned us in the first place.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      Truth, please explain how god and satan work together to condemn human's souls if they are not saved by Jesus.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • truth be told

      God and Satan do not work together for anything.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      truth, this is a contradition. If they don't work together how does satan know who god has condemned? And why would satan care to listen to god when he despises god. Seems more likely if God condemned someone, satan would say, to bad, they are all yours.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • truth be told

      Satan doesn't know who will be condemned, he knows what will bring about condemnation and works his evil to that effect. Satan is not omniscient.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • FDromm

      So here is someone saying they know what this "Satan" knows! Did he call you up and breathe heavy, too?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • truth be told

      @fdfromm
      Here is someone saying what Satan does not know.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Huebert

      @TBT

      So why doesn't god simply refuse to condemn anyone? He does want all souls to go to haven right?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Mo Hawk

      @truth be told

      I understand that have faith in the bible. I don't understand why, but I understand that you do. However, you are making up things now that are not in the bible. Therefore I have to ask, is there another divine book you are using or are you offering us your opinions?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Good day

      Saved from sin. From death from hopeless eternity. Saved means God has given you grace and love that you accept because you recognize you are not God and you will die. Saved from shortcomings and fallen nature when the Holy Spirit comes dwell in you if you believe in the One who gave his life for whomsoever believeth. Jesus Christ the Son of God. Lord and Saviour. Read the Gospel of John. 4th book of the NT. in chapetr 3 Jesus explains to Nicodemus. In ch 4. 5. 6. 10. Very well explained.

      September 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  5. save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

    Clean-up need on Osteen article. looks like "Good day" might have re-invented themselves over there.

    September 22, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  6. Good day

    ..For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen

    September 22, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Huebert

      I see you like that threat so much you decided to post it twice.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      How boring. A religion that says that it is correct and all other ways of thinking wrong, and that those who believe in it are wise and those who don't are fools...yawn,,,

      September 22, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  7. Atheism is Great for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and lets them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, were just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago. (Yes, charlatan folklore and spam started long before the Bible; what would make you think they hadn't??) And they need to be taught that other things, like God, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds and don't need a religion. Many religious folk have the best intentions. But too often, religious folk run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, they disserve society). And too often, religious folk are easily offended when someone mocks their make-believe characters – and, as we can see they can get really CRAZY!

    Although there are many religious folk with good intentions – some selflessly helping others, religions and religious organizations are, as a whole, just big old clubs – each trying to out do each other and inspiring hate and division (often disguised as love) along the way. The problem is that people too easily buy into religion and don't realize how unfounded it all is. And when they buy into it, they buy into a lot of really old, really weird tenets that are nothing but harmful for the human species.

    Take Christianity, for instance. Just look at all the things that Christians argue about amongst themselves today – abortion, men's and women's roles in the church, celibacy, contraception, acceptance of gays, etc. Most of these issues have their roots in the conflicted, unfounded tenets of early Christianity. Non-Mormons harp on Joseph Smith these days. But we really don't have any more proof at all to believe that Paul, the self-proclaimed "apostle" was anything more than an ordinary man who needed to make up religious "sales literature" to survive and spread his own personal beliefs. And yet a good chunk of the NT is attributed to Paul and accepted by many Christians. And a lot of what he wrote about has to do with many of the issues I mentioned above that have Christians fighting amongst themselves hundreds of years later. It's way too unfounded to argue over.

    Get a good cup of tea, and sit down and collect your thoughts. If you find it helpful to pray to a god (something you know nothing about), fine. But it is really healthier for the mind to leave behind all the characters that people over the centuries have invented or given powers to, for which there is little or no foundation. Because with those invented characters and powers – that's where division and hate join the little party in your mind. That's where, in your mind, you are inheriting the division and hate from ordinary politicians, lobbyists and salesmen from long ago. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  8. Merc

    Stevie P-You happen to know nothing about Jesus. Why make a fool of thyself by writing an article with no content whatsoever????

    September 22, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  9. Mario A

    For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,
    I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

    September 22, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Huebert

      Were the grudge like a crown.
      Negativity, Calculate what you will,
      Will not tolerate.

      See I can quote lyrics too. 😉

      September 22, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Bravo

      Yes, Indeed!!!

      September 22, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • FDromm

      O Nobody, listen to this idiot mumbling happily over his delusional wish-fulfillment fantasy that he makes up in his own head how it all works. He will never understand what is real because he doesn't want to understand. He just wants to pretend nothing is wrong with the world.

      O Nobody! How you are not listening is wonderful!

      September 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      I praise the Lord with frequent use of my shift key, even though He has cursed me with this painful Bible wart.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      "Bravo's" posts are quite enlightening, quite revealing. It must be so. LOL

      September 22, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Good day

      For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen

      September 22, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Uh oh. I think we done woke up Carrie's grandpappy (Good day – lol).

      September 22, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Huebert

      @Good Day

      I love it when Christians degenerate into empty proxy threats.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  10. FDromm

    I think this author is desperately trying to cover up his loss of faith. Why pretend you still believe the lies? There is no "god".

    September 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  11. Mario A

    Yes. Mother nature ....mother nature...forgot to give you a body that does not rot or that lasts 1000 years or millions like a star. She also made your brain or your eyes and she causes life for sure. Your mother nature also dies.

    September 22, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Huebert

      Mario

      Even the universe will die one day. Nothing is eternal so enjoy what you have, there isn't any more.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • mama kindless

      I didn't say we all don't eventually die. Of course we all do. No one really knows what's after that, but I would suggest living your life to the fullest, and stop catering to religion, because all of it's intentions came from men – men that were politicians, lobbyists, charlatan salesmen, men that were eating bad food or poisonous plants. There are all kinds of things in nature that can give us visions and stunt our powerful minds.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • FDromm

      There is no bill that we must "pay", no sin that we have done, and no reason to believe in your guilt-ridden masochistic fantasy.

      I am not responsible for what an imaginary couple of people did thousands of years ago, and I have not seen any evidence that anything in any religion is true whatsoever.
      Your concepts of sin depend on stuff that makes no sense. Your belief depends on nothing but your own gullibility.
      Some guy who might have lived 2000 years ago might have been married. Who cares what some idiot did back then?
      They were all primitive ignorant crazy people who thought weather, earthquakes, volcanoes, and personal health issues were caused by supernatural beings for "mysterious reasons". It's all BS and your "Jesus" does not exist and will not be "coming back" because he is dead. Any brains he might have used to think with are long destroyed.
      Are your brains any better if you follow the words of a long-dead communist? No. Think for yourself.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  12. Felix el Gato

    Not important.

    September 22, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  13. Mario A

    If the Jesus story is not true. What is gonna save you..?Who will take your place in the death that happens to all humans?. for our sin? or in other words.:. Who will be capable of paying the bill what you owe that can not pay. All you have don wrong. All the pain in life and yes. The death that awaits us all in this world. If you can not stop this what makes you think you can provide eternal life later on for yourself?. Only Jesus can. That is the will of the Father. Dont you and all need forgiveness. Grace. What is the source of love then. If the Jesus story is not true then there is no hope. But it is true because He is Risen. Period. That is the truth. Accept it or not. It is what it is. And if you appropiate of that. his Grace. By faith will save you. .

    September 22, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      There is no "bill" idiot. If god exists, and is a loving god, she would just say "I forgive you". If she can't, that means she is subject to a structure she does not control. Use your head for a change, and dump religion.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Mario A' contains the False Dichotomy fallacy and a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 22, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Bob

      Mario, Jesus is long dead and rotted away. Get over that delusion already. So much evil has been done within what your religion dictates that it is high time for the world to put it in the past and leave it behind. Seriously, think about it; the whole Jesus sacrifice and love thing is a big load of crap. The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of “sacrifice” and was required to deal with “sin” is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are talking about.

      Christians, think this through a bit: how come your ‘omnipotent’ creature couldn’t do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit anyway? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you’ve made for yourself there.

      Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Sue

      Bob, that was in pretty harsh terms but I agree with the gist of what you said.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • mama kindless

      That's being mighty disrespectful to mother nature, thinking that the universe somehow owes you something besides the life that you have. Maybe it does have something else in store for you that we are not yet able to perceive. The important thing is to not second guess something that you know nothing about. I am agnostic when it comes to mother nature and deities. But it is also foolish to believe charlatan sales literature from hundreds and hundreds of years ago. We know man fools himself and each other way to easily to put stock in any religion. And it's pretty easy to sell to someone that you can promise them something after death or that some higher power is listening and they know your suffering (as you continue to physically suffer I might add). Atheism on religion is the healthiest att!tude toward religion because it is all nonsense – it is unfounded.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Bravo

      Mario- Great Post!

      September 22, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Zeus

      Great post of fallacies, Mario. Try to squeeze even more in next time. ROFL

      September 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  14. Mario A

    If the Jesus story is not true. What is gonna save you..?Who will take your place in the death that happens to all humans?. for our sin? or in other words.:. Who will be capable of paying the bill what you owe that can not pay. All you have don wrong. All the pain in life and yes. The death that awaits us all in this world. If you can not stop this what makes you think you can provide eternal life later on for yourself?. Only Jesus can. That is the will of the Father. Dont you and all need forgiveness. Grace. What is the source of love then. If the Jesus story is not true then there is no hope. But it is true because He is Risen. Period. That is the truth. Accept it or not. It is what it is. And if you appropiate of that. his Grace. By faith will save you.

    September 22, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Bob

      Mario, get over your pathetic delusions already. This whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of "sacrifice" and was required to deal with "sin" is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are discussing. Christians, think this through a bit: how come your 'omnipotent' creature couldn't do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you've made for yourself there. Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      September 22, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Huebert

      Mario

      No one is going to save you. One day, you are just going to die. But that is ok, you were dead for 13 billion years before you were born.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  15. God is a man made delusion

    This question ranks right up there with "are unicorns born white?"

    September 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  16. mama kindless

    Mother nature gives us a decent soul. It comes to us biologically.

    Some people think they need to dress up their souls. Adopting Christian fable is like trying to dress up your soul with accessories from K-Mart. Adopting Islam fable is like trying to dress up your soul with junk from a flea market. (And Catholics shop at the K-Mart too, they just spend too much time at the costume jewelry department.) No matter how much you try to dress yourself up with religion, you are just making yourself outdated, false, and cheap. And you look that way too.

    September 22, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • 2357

      You who wantonly slanders Christ and his beloved. You will stand bare and in terror at the judgement if you continue to fabricate your own salvation.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by '2357' contains a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 22, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • truth be told

      the post by2347 has nothing to do with Pascales wager and the poster fallacy spotter is a fraud who knows nothing of which it speaks.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  17. Russ

    @ Stephen Prothero:
    you make the classic liberal mistake. As Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones (and many others) have pointed out: the focus of the New Testament is not *the ethical teachings* of Jesus, but THE PERSON of Jesus.

    This question is only moot to someone who fails to understand the focus of our faith. We worship Jesus, not his teachings. His teachings are an overflow of his person. And – unlike virtually every other religion on the planet – in Christianity, we are not saved by what we do (following his teachings), but by who he is & WHAT HE DID.

    Let him who has ears hear...

    September 22, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • 2357

      Martin Lloyd Jones is pearls for these pigs. They worship in the halls of postmodern pandemonium . They drink from the fountain of the occult. When you mention judgement, they already feel the heat like it's a cast iron skillet.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Jeus is every thing

      it's true but you had better do what he says to get any traction with him. What he says is not an over flow of him ; what he says is what he is.. 🙂
      I said all this to be contrary ..there are so many angles and dementions to this person who is blessed forevermore.. 🙂

      September 22, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Russ' contains an instance of the Secret Decoder Ring fallacy, a form of ad hominem.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by '2357' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 22, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • Russ

      @ Fallacy Spotting: do you actually understand the terms you use?

      ad hominem is "an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or unrelated belief of the person supporting it." in other words, stating something irrelevant to distract from the point at hand.

      no, FS101, you are mistaken. this is a matter of scholarship. the question at hand is not Dr Prothero's belief at all. the question at hand is the SCHOLARLY question of the NT authorial intent. that is entirely relevant.

      and this is not a "secret decoder ring" / 'only if you're in the club' answer. ANYONE can read & wrestle with that question. But good SCHOLARSHIP makes it clear. repeatedly, throughout the books of the NT, the PERSON of Jesus takes primacy. the teachings flow out of the person. Jesus is the central focus: of their worship, lives, thought, etc. That's just doing your homework – not joining a secret club. In other words, you don't have to be a Christian to discern that. Hence my criticism of Dr Prothero initially – and now my criticism of you.

      if anything, your attempts to sidestep that clear literary fact by falsely alleging logical fallacies is actually an example of an ad hominem fallacy. Or to put it in philosophical terms: your point is self-refuting because you do the very thing you are criticizing.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Russ' is an instance of the ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 22, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Round John

      Part of what you need to consider in looking at the bible as well is that 2000 years is indeed a long time; generations have passed, no eyewitnesses are alive now, and the stories have changed many times with re-telling, new edits, and a series of translations. One might think that a 'god' could do better for evidence, and such a being really can't reasonably expect us to go on such aged stories that are now nth hand at best. So, I think it's pretty clear that the Christian god does not exist, and the whole Christ back from the dead thing is just a mix up and blend of a whole lot of stories from people who were really very primitive in their understanding of the world around them.

      Perhaps more significantly, there is no more recent evidence for activity that can be attributed with any certainty to a god. Therefore, a just god cannot reasonably blame modern humans for doubting his existence. All that you are left with, if you accept the consequences that the bible presents, is that your god is either unjust, or just ain't there. The latter case is a lot stronger.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Sue

      Round John, that's a brilliant, thoughtful post. Thank you.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Russ

      @ FS 101: thank you for making my point.

      Self-refuting: doing the very thing you are criticizing in others
      Why not engage the discussion? Or do you just post links to your site?

      September 22, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Russ

      @ Round John: you should actually engage the scholarship (take note: FS 101). your claims are inaccurate.

      the Bible is the most attested, most scrutinized, most read book in history. here's a brief article on its reliability from the scholarship:
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

      September 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Steve

      Russ, just go back to your mental and physical masturbation. FS does a great service here. Check out that site he links to, too. I did. Unlike AvdBerg's frequent spam, it's not an ad monster and is very informative.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Russ' is an instance of the ad populum fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      September 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Russ

      @ Steve: posting links & logical consistency are two different things.
      FS 101 fails his own tests.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Steve

      FS just nailed you again. Ouch.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Huebert

      @Russ

      Are you a theologian? I"m curious because you seem to be asserting that your interpretation if the bible is the only correct one.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Russ

      @ FS 101: it's laughable. you either don't know what you're posting or you're not reading the link I posted.

      go read my link. it cites the scholarship – not popularity, but the research.
      the argument was not "what do most people believe" (b/c, as is obvious 2B out of 7B on the planet is NOT a majority), but what does the scholarship show? and considering the scientific nature of the study of historical doc.uments, greater numbers of inquiries does bring a greater reliability.

      again, you seem unable to understand the categories you are yourself using.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Russ

      @ Huebert: the question at hand is not 'my opinion' but rather the literary question of the central theme or concern of the NT manuscripts. And ANY scholar, Christian or not, can find – mathematically/practically/theologically/etc – that the PERSON of Jesus is the central concern.

      For a blog that so often wants basic, tangible claims: there is rarely an easier point to make. Read the texts. You don't have to believe them. What is the clear, primary authorial concern – of the Gospels, the epistles, even Revelation? Just do the research.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Bravo

      Russ-Fantastically smart root post and retorts.
      2357-Spot on!

      September 22, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • FDromm

      The prime "concern" of the people who wrote the books of lies in the Bible are clear enough: terrorize the ignorant and stupid people into obeying a mysterious "spirit" that is not really there. Scare them with the unknown so that they have no reference to judge your words and accept whatever you "interpret" as "magical truth".

      September 22, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Russ

      @ FDromm: continuing the theme here, on what do you base that assertion?

      Again, going to the sources: what does it say?
      Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-3; 1 Cor.15:1-3; 1 Jn.1:-3
      These passages are all pointing to an event. Something that happened. Something they saw. Sources they pursued (if they weren't eyewitnesses themselves, they went to them).

      They used the term "Gospel" which means "Good News." It certainly seems you come to directly opposite conclusions from what the texts themselves advocate. so, again, on what basis do you make that claim?

      September 22, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Huebert

      @Russ

      Obviously not all scholars agree with your position. Prothero is a professional religion scholar at a prestigious university. While other scholars may agree with your position that Jesus, the man, is the central focus of the NT, some, such as Marcus Borg and Reinhold Niebuhr, focus far more on the teachings of Jesus.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • FDromm

      Russ, I base my opinion on many things. The Bible is made up of baseless propaganda. All the assertions within the Bible are unsupported by any facts whatsoever. Anyone can make a fantastical claim of supernatural "events", but without anything whatsoever to back them up, they remain baseless claims.
      You seem all too willing to ignore the fact that your ideas of "faith" actually require all your religious claims to be baseless as a matter of course. Should you ever try to substantiate any Biblical claim, you will find that there is no truth to any of it and your "faith" is proved to be a delusion.
      You can't prove the Bible is true because it is all lies made up to scare people into doing whatever any priest might want done. That's all any religion has behind it – the personal agendas of the liars who made it all up to fool ignorant and gullible people.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Russ

      @ Huebert: as I said above, my concern is what the texts say.
      yes, there are always scholars to be found who disagree on some aspect. but what does multi-disciplinary research bear out?

      just consider the following categories in the NT manuscripts:

      mathematically: the frequency of the person of Jesus (Lord Jesus Christ, in Him, etc.) versus virtually any other topic

      textually: exegetically speaking, how are the teachings presented? do they point to something else or themselves? Gospels clearly point to Jesus as the Savior. the epistles open with theological statements about Christ which then are unpacked for application, repeatedly referencing the person of Christ.

      theologically: did Jesus claim to be God (Jn.8:58, etc.)? what are the teachings if not a way to understand the character of the one Christians worship? or are Christians supposed to divide the teachings from who God is?

      philosophically: do the teachings flow out of the person or the person out of the teachings? are you Aristotelian or Platonic? more importantly, which position does the text consistently take in that regard?

      it's VERY difficult in ALL of these categories to get away from the primacy of God – whom the text teaches to be Christ. Even the term "Lord Jesus Christ" is a NT application of YHWH ("Lord" in the OT) to Jesus. Over & over again, Jesus is God – and he is the central concern of the Bible.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk

      September 22, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Russ

      @ FDromm: you're basically saying "it's not true b/c I say so."
      I'd encourage you to actually engage some of the scholarship. they are multiple opinions (as in any field), but at least then you'd find some basis for what you think. a good start would be the article i posted above.

      for a more thorough treatment: Richard Bauckham, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" is a good recent book.
      And while I disagree ardently with him on most topics, even Bart Ehrman's new book "Did Jesus Exist?" scoffs at the popular (again baseless) claims that we don't have enough evidence to know Jesus existed. And he's writing that book as an agnostic who was surprised to find his name being cited in defense of that position.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Bravo

      Russ-That was a brilliant post!

      September 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Russ

      It is virtually impossible for a believer and a non-believer to communicate anything about the bible. The problem is, You an.alyze the bible as though it's claims are true. I look at it as a piece of literature, like Atlas Shrugged or Oryx and Crake. You think it's nonfiction I think it's fiction. I would agree that the protagonist of the NT is Jesus, but the protagonist is not always the central point to a story. Sometimes the point is the protagonist ideas, Atlas Shrugged, or events that happen around the protagonist, Oryx and Crake.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Russ

      @ huebert: well-noted. there is no doubt that as a Christian I do read the text differently.
      but what conclusion do you derive from Jesus' claims in Lk.24:27,44?
      textually speaking, he certainly seems to assert he is the center of all of Scripture. and simply from how the apostles teach & write the rest of the NT, they seem to agree.

      so, as a non-Christian, do you see that textually – even if you don't believe the claims personally?

      September 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • FDromm

      Hey, Russ, you asked me and I answered. Yes, I say the Bible is definitely untrue and this can be proven, unlike any of your claims to the contrary. What does that make your words? Nothing but a schizophrenic's desperate attempt to give his imaginary beliefs some sort of countenance.

      Your "god" can be proven to not exist. I have evaluated all the claims in the Bible and have found to my own satisfaction that they are all totally false. Your god does nothing and says nothing. No supernatural events happen anywhere in the world or even out in space. There is zero evidence to support the Bible, but overwhelming evidence to refute it.

      I do not need to read some lying apologist's book to know your delusions for what they are. That's the great thing about delusions – they are always completely unsupported by any facts whatsover and thus we know they are delusions.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Russ

      It's very difficult for me to see this your way. But I do agree, those passages do support the idea that the central message of the bible is Jesus the man. I concede that a reading of the bible, as a believer, could easily lead to your conclusion.

      September 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Russ

      @ FDromm: as I said, it'd be good to engage the scholarship. There are certain unavoidable, factual conclusions. They do not ensure you would become a Christian, but it would prevent some of the unfounded rhetoric. and that's why I gave you those two resources.

      for example...
      textual scholarship: we have manuscripts of an exponentially higher quanti.ty and proximity to the originals than any other similar ancient docu.ment. in other words, it's very difficult to claim we don't have the original content.

      philosophically: a finite agent (human) claiming infinite knowledge (there is no god OR there is a god) must be pointing to something larger than himself. for the latter, that's obvious: the finite claims to have encountered the infinite. for the former (your position), it is self-refuting.

      historically: not only has the historicity of the circ.umstantial claims of the Bible been repeatedly found to be true archeologically (even sometimes after being thought to be false: look up the Hitt.ites or the Pool of Bethesda), but there is no historically viable explanation for Christianity getting off the ground if the central miraculous claim of the resurrection isn't true...

      that last point is the center of Christianity. whole books have been written on that point (NT Wright, "the Resurrection of the Son of God"). i'll try to distill a little here for you.

      the writers called it "Good News." it was what changed history for them. Jews didn't believe in an individual resurrection before the end of time. They would have mocked it. For thousands of Jews to suddenly (remember, normally a theological shift happens over time & is demonstrable historically) start claiming this event occurred was unprecedented. why would so many people suddenly & radically shift their beliefs at great personal cost?

      the men who lived alongside Jesus went out & started telling everyone. and their accounts were almost completely self-effacing. who writes a book that is humiliating & then shares it with the world if their goal is self-aggrandizement (as some have claimed)? all but one of them died for their claims, and that one was imprisoned for it. who dies for a hoax? when you're told to recant so you can live, you do – unless you believe it to be true. others have argued it was a hallucination. but Jesus appeared to more than one at a time (Paul even points out that he appeared to over 500 at once in 1 Cor.15). you don't have group hallucinations.

      others have argued the miracles were added later, like myths. the problem is that myths arise 100s of years after the fact & completely separate from the events. Paul is writing as early as within 15 years of Jesus death. When he says 500 people saw it at once, he is inviting people to check his sources. Out of 500, plenty would still be alive 15 years later. And travel/correspondence within the Roman Empire was a regular thing. Also, textually speaking, there is no evidence of a separation of the miracles from the person of Jesus in the earliest manuscripts.

      The difficulty with your position is this: the scientifically attested evidence presents you with a con.und.rum. In light of these facts, how can you better explain Christianity getting off the ground? Sure, it doesn't *prove* the resurrection beyond a shadow of a doubt, but what better, alternative explanation do you have that FITS THE FACTS?

      remember: schizophrenia/myths/lies/hallucinations/etc. do not fit what the scholarship already shows us. the enormous wealth of manuscripts from early dates, the radical social & theological shift happening so abruptly, the eyewitness accounts & their actions all lead to one natural deduction. What else fits the known facts? Just check into it.

      September 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • FDromm

      Russ, your fallacious arguments prove nothing but certainly do indicate that you are deeply brainwashed.

      Read a book on propaganda.
      Read a book on brainwashing and how it works.
      Read up on schizophrenia and other types of delusional thinking.

      All your claims to "historical" evidence are specious. If a bathtub is found to have been mentioned in the Bible, it does nothing to prove whether the walls of Jericho were destroyed by sappers or by supernatural magic.
      You do not understand what the word "evidence" means, how logic works, or how to tell when someone is lying to you or repeating someone else's lies, whether sincerely or not.
      In short, you are not making any sort of intelligent case for your assertions. You are simply passing the buck.
      Truth is not determined by consensus, popularity, or anyone's so-called "authority".
      Facts are demonstrable and verifiable. All you have are baseless assertions.
      Sincerity does not prove anything, nor does sacrifice prove anything.
      Any liar can be sincere, and any lies can be believed by a gullible person who then is very sincere about it to someone else.
      Your parents didn't know any better and neither do you.

      Read up on how propaganda and brainwashing work, and then apply that knowledge to your own experiences.
      The Bible was put together by the Council of Nicea 300 years after this "Jesus" guy was supposed to have lived.
      You fail to question their motives and methods. You fail to question anything about the Bible but have swallowed it whole.
      You, sir, are a schizophrenic, gullible fool, and that is my educated opinion. You refuse to check anything you say but only point to others as deluded as yourself as guides on what to think and believe.
      I do not believe anything without proof, without evidence, and so I will never be so simple-minded as to have "faith" like the simplest country hick with straw in his underwear.

      September 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Zeus

      Seems Russ just has lastworditis, but not really any case to make. The simple fact that we can sincerely argue both sides of the matter of Christian god's existence, with that centered around a very old book (and I won't even get into its n-generations and translation versions) is a pretty strong indication to me that the god in question does not exist or is pretty far from what is described.

      You just have to think that any reasonable, nice god would allow us to have very strong doubts about his existence given such clearly questionable (as we are doing) ancient "evidence", rather than punish us for not believing 100%, as the Christian one threatens. And as someone else recently pointed out here, why the heck can't this all powerful god produce his own web presence rather than expecting us to believe based on some musty old book? Even I can do a website, so little old me Zeus is more powerful at communicating than Christian god even though my lightning bolts ain't so good these days.

      September 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Bravo

      Zeus "Russ just has lastworditis." is brilliant. I'll have to remember that one. Interesting argument too. Well said.

      September 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Kell

      Russ, your post above did pretty much reference the popularity attribute, so I think you did get nailed there like a cheap p0rn star on that one. Is your boyfriend on the top side a lot?

      September 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  18. bassmaster22

    This is analogous to whether or not Darth Vader was Skywalker's father. It has no real impact on reality, will change nothing in anyone's day to day activities or future decisions. It's just another example of "we knew everything but here's something we didn't so we're going to retroactively work it into our beliefs to make it seem like we knew this all along also."
    If god revealed herself to be a black woman from the planet Voltar, they'd figure out a way to make that fit too.

    September 22, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  19. AvdBerg

    Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) and neither is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

    The Jesus figure portrayed by Stephen Prothero is not the true Christ. His books and articles are all heresies. He might be a so-called scholar at Boston University but he is spiritually blind and unless he repents he is unable to understand the Word of God as it is spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).

    For a better understanding we invite you to read the articles ‘Boston University – School of Theology and Stonehill College’ and ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca and learn how people have been deceived.

    Also, are those that are referred to as ‘Christians’ by the media really the followers of Jesus Christ or do they follow after a false Christ (Matthew 24:24) and why is there so much division amongst religions? Please read on.

    The above mentioned article by Stephen Prothero is a good example how distorted things have become in society with the media industry as the main culprit.

    The local media, including CNN, Fox and your local TV stations and newspapers are a very important element of social and political behavior, as society is shaped by what it sees, hears and reads and it is conditioned by the events that influence the mind of every person. You reap what you sow.

    To allow anyone to be directed by public opinion is dangerous because most public opinion is the view of the media. If the media does not like something, their bias taints information getting to the public, and this forms public opinion. Public opinion is never based on research and facts. The public uses the media for its sole source of information and for this reason social behavior will continue to deteriorate and wax worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13).

    For a better understanding of the role of the media we invite you to read the articles ‘Influence of the Media’ and ‘CNN Belief Blog – Sign of the Times’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    The media does not provide accurate information on ‘Religion’ as it continues to ignore the truth and the history of deceptions (John 14:17). They only report how they want you to hear things. They have created the big chasm that now exists without offering any solutions.

    Consider the truth about Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Judaism, Evangelicals and Christianity and all other religions and ask yourself the following question.

    Are so-called Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Israelites and Evangelicals and all those that call themselves ‘Christians’ followers of the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God, or do they follow after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8)?

    For a better understanding of the history of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Christianity, and Judaism and its spread throughout the world, we invite you to read the articles ‘The Mystery Babylon’, ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’, ‘World History and Developments in the Middle East’ and ‘Clash of Civilizations’, listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    Mitt Romney’s and Barack Obama’s faith does not stand in the teachings of Christ but rather in an image of the spirit and the god of this world and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Gal. 4:8).

    For a better understanding of the history of the Mormon Church and Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency of the USA, we invite you to read the articles ‘Mormon Church – Cult and Spiritual Harlot’ and ‘Barack Obama – President of the United States of America’, listed on our website.

    All of the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9.

    September 22, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      AvdBerg has, since long ago, been deceived by Satan. He has separated himself from God's mercy. AMDG

      September 22, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • midwest rail

      Among other things...

      September 22, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • AvdBerg

      Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Tom, Tom, the Other One

      As per your previous comments.

      They may be your brothers but not mine. In order to be brothers you have to have the same father. Please read John 8:43-45 and learn who your fatther is.

      But the natural man (like yourself) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:15).

      For this reason our message remains the same: Ye must repent and turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan (whose spirit you are of) unto God (Acts 26:18).

      But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (1 Cor 2:15).

      http://WWW.AWORLDDECEIVED.CA

      September 22, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • AvdBerg

      Explanation of revelations at saladandchips.com.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • John

      We all know what the Bible says, but can you prove that it's true?

      Didn't think so!

      September 22, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • AvdBerg

      John

      Yes, we can. We have been living proof for twenty eight years.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • mama kindless

      Everyone know that St John the Opium Addict was high as a kite when he wrote Revelation.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Jeus is every thing

      @moma kindness; 🙂

      john was high on the bread of life 🙂

      September 22, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Jeus is every thing

      @ John apparently you don't really know what the bible says if you cannot prove that it is true.. 🙂

      We prove that the bible is true by living it before you each and every day.. 🙂 🙂

      September 22, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Mario A

      Great response. Jesus is alive now people. He loves You. . The one who made the eye sees. And The One who made t he ear hears you.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Bob

      Jesus is long dead and rotted away. Get over that delusion already. So much evil has been done within what your religion dictates that it is high time for the world to put it in the past and leave it behind. Seriously, think about it; the whole Jesus sacrifice and love thing is a big load of crap. The whole premise of Christianity that the death of the son of god would have been any kind of “sacrifice” and was required to deal with “sin” is utter nonsense. This is a supposed omnipotent being that we are talking about.

      Christians, think this through a bit: how come your ‘omnipotent’ creature couldn’t do all that supposed saving without the loony son sacrifice bit anyway? And for that matter, how was it a sacrifice at all, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time it wants with less than a snap of its fingers? Pretty feeble god it is that you’ve made for yourself there.

      Give that some thought and maybe it will help you leave your delusions behind. You will remain a laughingstock otherwise, and the more you dwell in your silly delusion and ancient myths, instead of keeping up with advances in medicine and technology, the more America slips downward relative to the rest of the world in science and other fields.

      September 22, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • mama kindless

      "We prove that the bible is true by living it before you each and every day.."

      You make a fool of yourself each day, like you're carrying around your baby blanket still. Politicians, lobbyists, charlatan salesmen – they've been writing junk like the bible long before the bible. Do you think they just showed up yesterday? Lol.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  20. JanetMermaid

    Christians care because it would mean the basic premise of the DaVinci Code is right - there are descendants out there.

    I do not believe the Jesus story but for those who do... He was born this disappears from the story until he's around 30, at which time he has learned he's supposedly the messiah. That means his entire adult life (30 was pretty old back then) was spent in ignorance of his destiny. Do you really think he remained a bachelor? Jewish law would not have allowed that. Of course he was married. And of course he had kids. Get over it.

    September 22, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • Jeus is every thing

      If Christians do not know who the bride of Christ is then they might be concerned..but Jesus is married to the daughter of Zion come out of heaven. It is the city of our great King... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      September 22, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      That's right. and the daughter of Zion is a f-g hag.

      September 22, 2012 at 11:06 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.