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Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity
Religious Jews at Jerusalem’s Western Wall earlier this month.
September 25th, 2012
02:30 PM ET

Internet intensifies Jewish squabbles over Israel, identity

By Dave Schechter, CNN

(CNN) - Forgive those who have sinned against you. Seek forgiveness for your sins against others. Forgive yourself.

In a nutshell, that is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which begins at sunset Tuesday.

There are many forms of sin, to be sure.

In their sermons some rabbis will no doubt voice concern about the way American Jews talk to each other about Israel, about politics and even what it means to be Jewish, lamenting an often divisive and sometimes caustic tone.

These rabbis may suggest that on Yom Kippur some among their congregants may wish to atone, at least symbolically, for the nasty language and name calling too frequently employed in discussions that turn to argument, whether in-person or online - notably in the comments sections after articles at Israel and on social media platforms such as Twitter.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Twitter provides abundant examples of caustic exchanges. Without naming the offenders and focusing instead on the type of language used, there was the Jewish organizational leader who suggested that a politically liberal Jewish commentator might be a registered lobbyist on behalf of Nazis, while that same liberal Jewish commentator referred to an organization well-known for its attention to hate crimes and anti-Semitism as “flatulent frauds” and to a well-known Jewish academic as “dementia-struck.”

Old-fashioned, face-to-face discussion also has become problematic. “When it comes to talking about Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian situation, that heat can burn up even the most well meaning friendships, community relationships, family connections,” observed Rachel Eryn Kalish, an organizer of the San Francisco-area Year of Civil Discourse Initiative that was “designed to elevate the level of discourse in the Jewish community when discussing Israel.”

Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles was asked by Rob Eshman, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, why he would deliver a benediction at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month, given the polarized political climate. “I see this not as politics but as prayer,” Wolpe said. “It’s a chance to present Judaism on a national, if not international, stage. It’s a shame some see it otherwise.”

Eshman followed with a comment of his own: “Yes, a shame — but a predictable one. Hyper-partisanship has infected the Jewish community, as it has America. Too many of us have bought into the idea that our side has all the answers. But no party, like no person, is invested with perfect insight and far-seeing wisdom. Fixing Medicare? Boosting unemployment? Defanging Iran?

To quote Woody Allen, most of us don’t even know how a can opener works.”

The idea that argument is central to the Jewish experience is not new. Serious debate over the meaning of phrases within the holy books has existed almost since the beginning – and this is the year 5773 on the Jewish calendar. The old joke about “two Jews, three opinions” did not originate without some measure of truth behind it. But the most modern communications technology has brought a new intensity to disagreements.

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Ron Kampeas, the Washington bureau chief for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a news service utilized by Jewish newspapers, online services and other media, offered CNN this perspective: “American Jews are eager to attach their Judaism to their broader ways of thinking - political, social mores, even what and how they eat. America's is the first society in which Jews, like other minorities, were encouraged to take pride in their difference from others.”

“It took decades for American Jews to figure it out,” he said. “But when they saw what ethnic pride did for the American Irish, the American German, the American Italian, they embraced it with a vengeance. By the 1960s, cultural refractions of Judaism through literature, movie, pop culture, song became de rigeur. And then, with the ascension of political figures like Bella Abzug, Ed Koch and Jacob Javits this was true of politics. So real differences in outlooks - from what's funny to what role government should play in out life - become enshrouded in Jewish rationales.”

And as these differences in outlook extend into discussions of politics or Israel, there is strain. “Because Jewish identity is so fraught - even as it has evolved into an outright pride, Jews are still acutely aware of the humiliations that once attached to being Jewish - these arguments are more prone to become bitter exchanges over self-definition,” Kampeas said.

That theme of a community tearing itself apart also was evident in a piece written last year in The Jewish Daily Forward by David Hazony, author of “The Ten Commandments: How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life.”

“With so many Jewish ‘umbrella’ groups, Jewish community centers, federations and so on, it’s easy to believe that, at least on the face of things, Jewish peoplehood in America is thriving,” Hazony wrote. “Yet, something does seem to be dying in the American Jewish fire. The infighting among Jewish groups, the polarization on Israel and the willingness to demonize whole communities of fellow Jews have become so extreme that one begins to wonder what, exactly, is left of the Jewish family.”

Hazony went on to say that “the problem may be at its worst when it comes to politics. Here, American Jews are ferociously divided, with each side accusing the other of fraternizing with a perceived enemy. For Jews on the left, conservatives have joined forces with that most fearsome part of America, conservative Christians, to undermine the liberal, secular space that Jews have worked so hard to carve out for themselves as the real solution to the Jewish problem. For Jews on the right, liberals have joined forces with pro-Palestinian activists, universalists and others who threaten the Jewish state that we worked so hard to create and protect as the real solution to the Jewish problem.”

By most estimates, only 20-35% of American Jews have visited Israel, although a survey of more than 1,000 American Jews by the American Jewish Committee found that 41% said they had visited Israel. “That a majority of American Jews have never been to Israel, and that those who have are, for the most part, infrequent visitors, is an old and sad story,” the American Jewish Committee’s media director, Kenneth Bandler, wrote in The Jerusalem Post.

This could be interpreted as meaning that a significant percentage of the American Jewish community is getting hot under the collar and on their keyboards about a place that exists firmly in their hearts, without ever having been there.

Last month, author Daniel Gordis referenced the response he received to adding his name to a petition on an issue related to Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Gordis, who has written that “Fairly or not, I’m seen as slightly right of center on Israel,” did not foresee the response to his signature. What “genuinely shocked me has been the level of vitriol, blatant intellectual dishonesty, and expectations of conformity,” he wrote.

“As the Jewish world prepares to commemorate Tisha B’Av, the date of the destruction of both Temples, the second of which the Talmud claims was destroyed because of baseless hatred among Jews, I find myself despondent about the way we Jews talk to one another and what it means for our future. If the ugliness that the rabbis said led to the destruction of the Temple is now the tone we take for granted, why shouldn’t young Jews just walk away?” Gordis said.

Ambassador's killing shines light on Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed

“Comments sections are, of course, the province of those with too much time on their hands, and our culture of Web anonymity invites terrible excesses,” Gordis wrote, adding “Have we learned nothing at all about the dangers of language run amok from the horrors of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination? Are we wholly unchastened by where we’ve been in the past as a people? Do we not believe that there should be limits on what we can and cannot say to one another?”

Scientific American recently published an article titled “Why Is Everyone on the Internet So Angry?”  in which Art Markman, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas characterized online comments as "extraordinarily aggressive, without resolving anything.”

"At the end of it you can't possibly feel like anybody heard you. Having a strong emotional experience that doesn't resolve itself in any healthy way can't be a good thing,” Markman wrote.

Among those who, depending on your viewpoint, inspire or provoke online is M.J. Rosenberg, who is active on Twitter, where, as in the writings on his website, he pulls no punches. Rosenberg’s resume ranges from working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, widely regarded as among the most powerful advocacy organizations in Washington, to a stint as a foreign policy fellow at the Media Matters Action Network, a politically liberal organization.

Asked why American Jews have such difficulties with civil discourse over matters related to Israel, Rosenberg told CNN: “The answer is that both sides take this issue very seriously and, frankly, believe that the other is risking the survival and security of Israel and the Jewish people. I know I feel that way about the right and I know that people on the right feel that way about my side - the left. I think both sides feel that the other is jeopardizing a basic part of our selves, our Judaism and the Jewish state.

“And that produces anger and even fury,” he said. “Those on my side are particularly angry because the right tends to act as if it is speaking for all Jews. It isn't. We need to speak all the more forcefully to be heard. Additionally, they have resources we don’t have. We only have our voices.”

From what might be termed the other side of the political spectrum is this perspective from Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, who told CNN: “There's a reason for the old adage that one should never discuss politics or religion in polite company. These topics often lead to impoliteness, and it's no less true of Jews discussing Israel and religion as anyone else.

“I spend a lot of time in my job arguing about Israel, and the fact is (as verified by polling) that American Jews are pretty unified on a range of Israel questions – they are firmly on Israel's side in matters of war and diplomacy,” Pollak said. “However, there is a small minority of left-wing American Jews who dissent from this consensus, and they have an unfortunate tendency to invoke their Jewishness in the course of denouncing Israel, as if their religious affiliation lends some higher credibility or insight on the question of what to do about Hamas or Iran or the peace process.”

“Me, I'm fine with heated arguments,” he continued. “Jews have been arguing for thousands of years - we privilege and enjoy debate, and as far as my side is concerned, I'm pretty sure we have the winning case.”

But if everyone believes they have the winning case  ...

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Internet • Judaism

soundoff (495 Responses)
  1. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    Psa 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

    September 18, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  2. Urafkntool

    Blah blah jew, blah blah k-ik-e, blah blah jew, blah blah k-i-k-e....

    September 18, 2012 at 3:06 am |
  3. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    'Mat 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.'

    September 18, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  4. OppositeCultures

    90% ill will, 10% diiscussion, and zero resolution

    September 18, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • 200 TON HAMMER

      Whats so sad is where are all the past empires
      Where are they????

      September 18, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  5. 2357

    Greek is a bare, pithy language, with gaping spaces in between for mischief or marvel. It opened my eyes to the anglo fluff that often muffles the wild energy of the spirit.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • toad

      James 3:11? So you fart lavender?

      September 18, 2012 at 1:02 am |
    • 2357

      Sorry, I meant James 3:12.
      My farts smell like cr4p, what do yours? Butterflies?

      September 18, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • 2357

      Sorry, I meant James 3:12.
      My farts smell like crap, what do yours? Butterflies?

      September 18, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • toad

      Not as familiar with my farts as I might be. There are people aspiring to high office who fart in the bathtub and bite the bubbles. Mitt's thinking about it when he's smiling for no apparent reason.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • 2357

      I don't know whether Mormons take baths. I'm betting that's you in the bathtub. Toad.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I guess I am straying back to the original question (4:56 PM): "I think the Trinity is a curious digression in the evolution of a particular concept of God. I don't think it's working well. The sense in which the three are one is rolled up in a mystery. What do you believe about it, Chad?" Wait, at 4:07 PM I asked "Is this something you believe, Chad?" regarding the Athanasian Creed excerpt.

    Perhaps you are wasting your time answering questions about your God and what you believe – or avoiding it as best you can.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  7. Reality

    Judaism continues to evolve. –>>>>

    To wit:

    Only for the newcomers:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses.
    (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    September 18, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • What?

      The Jews were the first to be deceived after Eve. Your writings states they still are.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  8. Chad

    @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I wouldn't want to deprive you of a scriptural basis – you may actually accept 1 John 5:7-8..."

    1 John 5:7-8 "7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

    how does that point to a "triune" God?
    what exactly is a "triune" God?

    September 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Derek

      Still haven't learnt html yet, Chad? I think you are too fucking stupid to even get that.

      September 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Are you actually saying you don't believe in a triune god, and you're a christian? That's pretty mutually exclusive.

      September 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Chad

      wrong spot...

      September 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaiiguest "Are you actually saying you don't believe in a triune god, and you're a christian? That's pretty mutually exclusive."

      @Chad "define "triune God"...

      September 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It's easily done replying to posts at the bottom of the page – like my three misposts earlier.

      September 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Chad

      and, when you do that.. be sure to tell me who Jesus is talking to here:

      My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" Matthew 27

      And, who was God speaking to here:
      "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Matthew 3

      September 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      by Odin's beard: (from the OED)

      triune, adj. and n.
      A. adj. Three in one; const'tuting a trinity in unity.
      a. of the Godhead; also of heathen deities.

      September 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      World English Dictionary

      triune (ˈtraɪjuːn)
      — adj

      1. constituting three in one

      September 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Religion of Piece

      @ Chad most Name Brand christian denoninations believe in: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holly Ghost ... Triune...Others dont...go figure.... even within Christainity nobody can agree on even the defining points of the faith. Dont like this version, jump to another...or start your own...because why not? ...rake in that cash. btw ...its ALL been funneled through Rome...thats what cracks my up...for hundreds of years they were the sole peddlers of 'The Word'.... Amazing that anyone can still be duped into believing this lunacy.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Chad

      and, when you do that.. be sure to tell me who Jesus is talking to here:

      My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" Matthew 27

      And, who was God speaking to here:
      "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Matthew 3

      September 18, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Religion of Piece

      @ Chad thats the big question – isnt it...... or it could have been some poor monk bored outa his skull, many decades after the supposed events, tasked with scribbling down the rantings of some Cardinal .... and things got kind ogf garbled......

      September 18, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Chad

      @Religion of Piece " thats the big question – isnt it...... or it could have been some poor monk bored outa his skull, many decades after the supposed events, tasked with scribbling down the rantings of some Cardinal .... and things got kind ogf garbled......"

      =>right..
      except it was written down less than 20 years after (to be fair, you did say "decades", which is ok, so i'm not correcting you), when first hand witnesses were still alive, and Jewish leaders were persecuting this upstart messianic sect and would have leapt on any distortion of historical facts that they had been around for.

      The first Christian monk was apparently in third century..

      September 18, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Religion of Piece

      try 70- 120 after the fact.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Religion of Piece

      It was written in a very modular fasion - is why there are so many conflicts in the first fout books.... all discribe many of the same events..but many times contradict the accounts in the other books,,,, and over time the bible was rewritten many times to reflect current church policy. probably wasnt easy getting all involved on the same page...and as only priests and monks read latin, it wasnt much of an issue.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • What?

      Religion of Piece, the reason the lesson is repeated is because of different writers describing the same event and it's worth repeating so it sinks in.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      True. Once they learn to pray, children learn false hopes and learn to fear God.

      September 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      September 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer 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, DUDE".

      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 19, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • What?

      hat, you're correct in the fact that atheists are zero.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  10. just sayin

    I played squabbles online with someone who goes by elmer, but I didn't realize it was a jewish game.

    September 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • just sayin

      Hear O Israel the Lord our God the Lord is One. God bless

      September 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  11. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    it's 10:00pm and do you know where your God is?

    September 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Jack-O

      last time I heard my God was in Hoo ters with Muhammed drun k and bending over to see what was under the waitresses skirt!

      September 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  12. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Islam is Christianism, religion of Thin Allah, consti pation of truth absolute 180* and foundation of every consti pation on earth, heaven, and beyond where no man has ever gone before. TO LEARN MORE VISIT http://www.unlimitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on Fatima to open file.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  13. Just Me

    You forgot to add all of the ungodly people.

    September 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  14. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Chad,

    you and I both know that this silliness:

    atheist: "The bible is wrong because it says God created the earth in 6 consecutive 24 hour periods."
    atheist: "The bible is wrong because all those animals could never fit in the ark"
    atheist: "the bible is wrong because there are contradictory versions of the resurrection"

    is reductio ad absurdum on your part.

    Most of your interlocutors here do not respond like this and you know it.

    Plus don't you think its a bit disingenous for someone like yourself, who is not a young earth creationist, to mock the notion that at best, Genesis should be taken allegorically.

    September 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – I did it again! Multi-tasking fail!

      September 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      filthy denier of Allah AL, the, LA, the limited, H height, absolute 180*, your Hind hurts; your belly like a pig. TO LEARN MORE VISIT http://www.pigisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on Bacon to open file.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • What?

      I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV, you do realize you just proved that you haven't a clue to what the bible teaches. Thanks for playing.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  15. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Chad,

    Implicit in your response is an acknowledgement that atheist understanding of the bible is very poor(as I said).
    No – I just chose not to argue with you on this point.

    You know full well that atheists who formerly were Christians are familiar enough with the bible – some more, some less depending on their former tradition. Your measure of knowledge appears to be of the chapter and verse, read your bible every day kind. Why on earth would an atheist do this?

    Atheists who were not raised in a Christian tradition indeed know almost nothing about the bible in exactly the same way that neither you nor I know next to nothing about the Bhagavad Gita. Why should they want to?

    September 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Ooops – wrong spot – AGAIN!

      I keep forgetting to reply at the bottom of the page.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  16. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    @Chad,

    after all the back and forth you engage in here, do you really believe this statement you made: "How little atheists know about the actual bible"

    or are you just yanking chains again to start an argument?

    September 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      oops – wrong spot. Posted correctly below.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • tuvia suks

      Not a GOP'er. Of course Chad is yanking everyone's chain It called a circle- jerk, and he's the pivotman. He is so obtuse, he doesn't even realise that the B. Gita is far older than his xtian babble book. Chad is brainwashed, so we shouldn't pay him too much attention.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  17. conniemerie

    Creating a national holiday for the believers in judaism in America is an affront to all of the Christians in this nation. We have endured our beliefs being attacked on all fronts; so much so, that alot of people are afraid to wish anyone a "merry christmas". This country was founded on christian principles as a christian nation. The first article of the Bill of Rights guarantees that congress shall pass no law respecting any religion. Christianity is not a religion....it is a belief system. However, Judaism is a "religion". To create a national holiday for Judaism would be just another assault on our government. I want to know just why such a small faction of self-interested people (kazars from Israel) can have such influence in the once great nation of The United States of America!

    September 17, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @conniemerie,

      where do you construe a serious movement to create a Federal holiday based on one of the Jewish Holy Days?

      Nor is the United States a "christian" nation. The United States is a secular country where free worship of any religion (including Christianity) or no religion is welcome.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      @connie,
      If this were a xtian nation founded on xtian principles, one would think that congress would have expressed reluctance in unanimously ratifying Treaty of Tripoli, you know, given the whole denial of America a a xtian nation language...

      September 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @conniemerie

      I agree with the posters above me, in their responses to you.

      There is **no** mention in the consti tution of: God, Jesus, Christ, Savior, Christianity, Bible, Christian Nation, etc... 😀

      Was that a big oopsy by the founders ?

      Peace...

      September 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  18. The Informer

    I am asking you to ask God. I know I bet for you that is so weird to actually talk to something that's not real to help you believe that it is real. What? The really scary part is that I am praying for you right now.

    September 17, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Bad Dog No No

      The stupid part is that you really seem to think your imaginary friend will actually do anything for you.
      Crawl back under your rock, O serpent of religion! Begone forthwith and darken not these blogs again or suffer our extreme displeasure!

      September 17, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  19. Bad Dog No No

    Jews are racist, otherwise they would not call themselves "Jews" at all. Jerusalem should be evacuated and turned into a giant crater so no one can use it for anything so stupid anymore.

    September 17, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • The Informer

      Oh, I love how you get so mad! Oh I have no power never said I did. I just love to watch you non-Christians squirm. Why does it bother you so much to what someone believe's? Why not let someone believe in a tree if they want.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Russell's Teapot

      Definition of Irony: American that gets upset with the Jews over the seizure of land by force that is subsequently occupied by aforementioned conqueror

      September 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  20. The Informer

    I am a Christian.
    If I am wrong in my belief's then I have lost nothing.
    If you that read this and do not believe then you will lose everything.
    Would it not be better to find out and at least determine wether to believe or not than the alternative?
    For those that must have this proof or sign have you ever asked God to show you. I mean at least for fun one day why not try it you might be surprised because believe it or not he is bigger than our little government and the people that fill this tiny little earth. Why are u so scared to test the faith? Are you afraid you will be swallowed up...

    September 17, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm not sure what you are asking. Do you want me to try to believe something that I don't currently believe? I need something to work with. Evidence that it is at least likely to be true.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Chad

      @The Informer "Why are u so scared to test the faith?"
      @Chad "good question!

      I am always astonished at 2 things:
      1. How little atheists know about the actual bible
      2. Despite that lack of knowledge, how confident they are that it is wrong.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      after all the back and forth you engage in here, do you really believe this statement you made: "How little atheists know about the actual bible"

      or are you just yanking chains again to start an argument?

      (reposted from above)

      September 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @'m not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV "after all the back and forth you engage in here, do you really believe this statement you made: "How little atheists know about the actual bible""

      =>absolutely!
      I will occasionally encounter an atheist with *some* familiarity (I can think of only two), but as a general rule the level of atheist biblical understanding is abysmal.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      so why does it astonish you that people who don't believe in God would spend time familiarizing themselves with the bible.

      Are you an eager student of the Bhagavad Gita?

      September 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "so why does it astonish you that people who don't believe in God would spend time familiarizing themselves with the bible."
      @Chad "A. Implicit in your response is an acknowledgement that atheist understanding of the bible is very poor(as I said).
      B. What astonishes me is the combination of that lack of knowledge, and that atheists are so vociferous about the bible being false.

      @GOPer "Are you an eager student of the Bhagavad Gita?"
      @Chad "nope, I dont care about it, I dont care if other people want to study and believe it, I dont spend any time on Bhagavad Gitas forums telling those people they are morons, that the Bhagavad Gita is completely false, and calling them names.
      That would be stupid behavior on my part, because I dont know anything about the Bhagavad Gita, and my criticisms wouldnt be based on any understanding of what they believe.

      Prior to criticizing the Bhagavad Gita, it would be inc umbent on me to learn exactly what the content is. Spending 3 minutes on BhagavadGitaInfidels.org would be utterly insufficient.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      "Implicit in your response is an acknowledgement that atheist understanding of the bible is very poor(as I said)."
      No – I just chose not to argue with you on this point.

      You know full well that atheists who formerly were Christians are familiar enough with the bible – some more, some less depending on their former tradition. Your measure of knowledge appears to be of the chapter and verse, read your bible every day kind. Why on earth would an atheist do this?

      Atheists who were not raised in a Christian tradition indeed know almost nothing about the bible in exactly the same way that neither you nor I know next to nothing about the Bhagavad Gita. Why should they want to?

      (reposed from above)

      September 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Of course I mean ... you and I know next to nothing ... not the double negative.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • I wonder

      Chad:
      "I dont spend any time on Bhagavad Gitas forums telling those people they are morons, that the Bhagavad Gita is completely false, and calling them names."

      I wonder what you would do if Hindus were trying to run the government, enact laws and public policies, teach Hindu prayers and creation stories in the public schools? I'm just betting that you would hit up those forums - not sure that you would actually call them "morons", but I'll bet you would have a thing or two to say (and your "research" would probably be Wikipedia based!).

      September 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "You know full well that atheists who formerly were Christians are familiar enough with the bible – some more, some less depending on their former tradition"
      @Chad " "familiar enough", no, I completely disagree (with the two exceptions in mind)

      @GOPer "Your measure of knowledge appears to be of the chapter and verse, read your bible every day kind. Why on earth would an atheist do this?"
      @Chad "not at all, my measure of knowledge is very basic: "do you understand what you are criticizing"

      atheist: "The bible is wrong because it says God created the earth in 6 consecutive 24 hour periods."
      atheist: "The bible is wrong because all those animals could never fit in the ark"
      atheist: "the bible is wrong because there are contradictory versions of the resurrection"

      all of those are made by atheists that have NEVER spent any real time looking at the text to see if their claim is backed up.

      if you are going to criticize, you need to have done some home work first. .right???

      ========
      GOPer "Atheists who were not raised in a Christian tradition indeed know almost nothing about the bible in exactly the same way that neither you nor I know next to nothing about the Bhagavad Gita. Why should they want to?"
      @Chad " I dont care if they do or they dont, but if you are going to criticize, you need to have done some home work first. .right???

      September 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @I wonder "I wonder what you would do if Hindus were trying to run the government, enact laws and public policies, teach Hindu prayers and creation stories in the public schools? I'm just betting that you would hit up those forums – not sure that you would actually call them "morons", but I'll bet you would have a thing or two to say (and your "research" would probably be Wikipedia based!)."
      @Chad "A. I wouldnt live there
      B. if for some reason I had to, I would learn that book backwards and forwards, and I would base all my arguments on a thorough understanding of it.

      after all, the more you know about the subject you are opposing, the more convincing you can be.
      Arguing against it while knowing next to nothing about it, just convinces the other side that you're scared that it might be true.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      you and I both know that this silliness:

      atheist: "The bible is wrong because it says God created the earth in 6 consecutive 24 hour periods."
      atheist: "The bible is wrong because all those animals could never fit in the ark"
      atheist: "the bible is wrong because there are contradictory versions of the resurrection"

      is reductio ad absurdum on your part.

      Most of your interlocutors here do not respond like this and you know it.

      Plus don't you think its a bit disingenous for someone like yourself, who is not a young earth creationist, to mock the notion that at best, Genesis should be taken allegorically.

      (reposted from above)

      September 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad is getting a bit twisted up over how misinformed so many of us are concerning his understanding of his Bible. I think he may actually be saying now that his God is not triune, proving that his theology more mysterious than I thought. Figuring out what Chad believes is like playing Battleship. I think he has claimed to teach young people, but what on earth is he teaching them? I hope someone somewhere is teaching them to be skeptical.

      September 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer,
      are you seriously trying to argue that atheists dont continually make those arguments??

      September 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I think he may actually be saying now that his God is not triune.."

      @Chad "lol, TTTOO strikes again, latching on to some concept he is clueless on, and trying to make a baseless point as a result..
      🙂

      no, what I am saying, and said on the other thread is, "do you actually know what is meant when people refer to a "triune" God?"

      since you dont, you have no clue, and are attempting to make a baseless as sertion..

      always the same with you...

      September 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I think he has claimed to teach young people, but what on earth is he teaching them? I hope someone somewhere is teaching them to be skeptical."

      @Chad "where did I ever say that?

      now.. dont go off point here

      where did I ever say that?

      I do not teach children, never have.

      Tom, you are the absolute worst example of someone that is utterly willing to continually make baseless as sertions.. Time and time again you do it..

      so.. you just make stuff up.. and you're comfortable doing it. man.. dont know how you rationalize that bush league behavior.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      You said: are you seriously trying to argue that atheists dont continually make those arguments??

      Doubtless you can even provide examples with similar wording, but most of the people who will debate you here won't be so simplistic. I objected to two aspects of your generalization that "atheists know little aboutt the bible".

      While there are certainly some for whom that comment is accurate (which is hardly "astonishing" as you put it, given that atheists are the least likely people to read the bible every day) but also not a sufficent number for that comment to be true of a discernable majority.

      September 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'm glad to hear you aren't feeding this stuff to young people Chad. You'd mentioned 7th grade Sunday School a few weeks ago and I was concerned.

      Regarding "triune":

      So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords.

      Is this something you believe, Chad? My assertion was and is that this is not something Jews believe in, unless they have converted to Christianity, and it's enough to make your God distinct from theirs (if it is something you believe).

      Be brave, Chad. You've a ways to go, but I know you're up to it.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @TTTOO, you dont even have any idea what that means, so you arent capable of even knowing what to do with an answer.

      Here's the question that you refused to answer last time because you are a bush league troll (pardon my language, but you most definitely are precisely that). Answer the question, and I'm happy to discuss. You will not answer the question, because you have no desire whatsoever to learn anything about that which you propose to discuss..

      "upon what scripture is the notion of a "triune" God based. When was this notion developed, and who developed it"

      I look forward to you waffling around, trying to get me to respond to other questions.. but no dice. demonstrate you are willing to engage in discussion or go away.

      September 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The term Trinity and the concept of the triune God came from the thoughts and writings of the early church fathers beginning in the 2nd century, I think. People who believe in it see it even in Genesis 1:1-2.

      I think the Trinity is a curious digression in the evolution of a particular concept of God. I don't think it's working well. The sense in which the three are one is rolled up in a mystery. What do you believe about it, Chad?

      September 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chad

      You need better bait.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      "1. How little atheists know about the actual bible"

      Again, merely your own interpretation of the bible, and you constantly refuse to even respond to this point. I'm pretty sure I can sum up what your interpretation is though. "The bible says what I want it to at that particular time."

      September 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It is ironic. I wonder how Chad would feel if he actually knew the people he is talking to.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Chad

      and, once again TTTOO bails out of doing his work..

      September 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I guess I don't follow you, Chad. Bailed out of what?

      September 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Chad

      Disingenuous, thy name is TTTOO

      "upon what scripture is the notion of a "triune" God based. When was this notion developed, and who developed it"

      September 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I wouldn't want to deprive you of a scriptural basis – you may actually accept 1 John 5:7-8 as the King James Bible presents it. Not something I endorse.

      When? 2nd century before 180 or so.

      Who? I'm aware of writings by Theophilus of Antioch, Tertullian and Origen (in order of when they lived and wrote).

      September 17, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I wouldn't want to deprive you of a scriptural basis – you may actually accept 1 John 5:7-8..."

      1 John 5:7-8 "7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

      how does that point to a "triune" God?
      what exactly is a "triune" God?

      September 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      triune adjective – consisting of three in one (used especially with reference to the Trinity): the triune Godhead

      The verses in 1 John 5 were modified at some point:

      (KJV) 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
      8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

      Early manuscripts don't read this way. The modification was probably intended to support the idea of three persons one God.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "The verses in 1 John 5 were modified at some point:"

      =>from what?
      source?

      September 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's the Johnnine comma. I think the changes occurred after Tertullian's time. I'd have to look it up. It comes up often in discussions of the Trinity.

      September 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      It can be well-argued that the King James translators restored verses that had been deleted by Origin and his followers.
      Those older texts are the corrupted ones – not the Textus Receptus.
      There's a LOT of scholarly work done to support this assertion; way too much to cover here (although the info is online and in libraries).

      September 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "It's the Johnnine comma.."

      =>I guess you misunderstood the question

      what did it change from? What was the original? What is your source for that?

      September 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Most likely there was a single original manuscript of 1 John. Probably all available manuscripts depart in some ways from that original. My source? I don't really remember where I first heard of it. There's some discussion of it here:
      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08435a.htm

      September 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One “”The verses in 1 John 5 were modified at some point:”
      @Chad “Source?”
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One “It's the Johnnine comma. I think the changes occurred after Tertullian's time. I'd have to look it up”
      @Chad “Source?”
      Tom, Tom, the Other One “Most likely there was a single original manuscript of 1 John. Probably all available manuscripts depart in some ways from that original. My source? I don't really remember where I first heard of it
      @Chad “ah.. so , “most likely” , “probably” “you heard it from somewhere”
      I see…

      In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[3]extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[4] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

      September 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It makes me uncomfortable to feel that I'm bringing out the worst in you Chad. I gave you an honest response to your question about what to me is a fairly obscure debate about a piece of ancient text. I also gave you a reference if you wanted more information about it than I have just now.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Chad

      1. “”The verses in 1 John 5 were modified at some point:”
      2. “It's the Johnnine comma. I think the changes occurred after Tertullian's time. I'd have to look it up”
      3. “Most likely there was a single original manuscript of 1 John. Probably all available manuscripts depart in some ways from that original. My source? I don't really remember where I first heard of it

      Doesnt bother me to call out a troll..
      As usual you start off so confident! See #1
      Then trails off when pressed for details, see #3.. That's your MO, that's what trolls do..

      September 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Chad

      Not only that, but your "the verse was corrupted", was an effort to avoid answering the original question..

      namely:

      how does John 1 5 point to a "triune" God?
      what exactly is a "triune" God?

      that's what trolls do.. they endeavor to waste other peoples time..

      September 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • 2357

      Don't get sour over quoting sources guys. This was shaping up to be a marvelous dialogue.
      The trinity is not a convoluted concept at all if you analyze personhood. There is God the Father, his son the Word, and the message of the two are brought to you by the Spirit who is constantly at work in the minds of people.
      Applied to your own personhood, there is you as who you actually are in essence, you as represented in the flesh, and thirdly you as the character known to others in the world.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • 2357

      Chad...are you Mormon ? JW?

      September 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I guess I'm not clear on what your problem is. If you've not heard of the Johnnine Comma that's really nothing to be ashamed of. I can't tell you exactly where I first heard of it just as I can't tell you exactly where I heard of the Banach-Tarski paradox. It's part of my background. Do educate yourself, though. Have a look at a few references at least.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @2357 "Chad...are you Mormon ? JW?"

      =>I guess I'm going to have to be a little more out there with my theology I would have hoped I would never be confused with either..

      I am a sinner, non-denominational Christian, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

      I actually quite enjoy discussion, I dislike trolls however.. TTTOO has a very well docu mented approach, try to get Christians to waste as much time as possible answering a never ending, ever changing series of baseless statements.

      I dont agree with the views of 'Q', or "MEII", or "GOPer", but they do have a belief, they can speak to it and bring some data to the table. "Colin" and "TTTOO" are pretty similar.. hit and run, no depth to them at all..

      September 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad TTTOO has a very well docu mented approach, try to get Christians to waste as much time as possible answering a never ending, ever changing series of baseless statements."

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One I guess I'm not clear on what your problem is. If you've not heard of the Johnnine Comma that's really nothing to be ashamed of. I can't tell you exactly where I first heard of it just as I can't tell you exactly where I heard of the Banach-Tarski paradox. It's part of my background. Do educate yourself, though. Have a look at a few references at least."

      @Chad "exactly as I said 🙂
      he is consistent..

      September 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Triune means three in one: tri- + unus It dates to the 17th century. The triune nature of God refers to the idea that God is three in person and one in something mysterious (essence?). If you agree with the placement of the Johnnine Comma you might take 1 John 5:7-8 to say precisely that: οι τρεις εν εισιν.

      BTW Only you and b4bigbang used the word "corrupted".

      September 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Consistently giving Chad the best advice I can: Do educate yourself, Chad.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Chad

      🙂
      @TTTOO "The triune nature of God refers to the idea that God is three in person and one in something mysterious (essence?)"

      1. what scripture says that God is "three in person"

      2. who was Jesus talking to here:
      My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" Matthew 27

      3. who was God speaking to here:
      "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Matthew 3

      September 18, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You've lost track of the fact that I don't subscribe to your religion or to one that opposes it. Just now I'm only curious. Perhaps you are not a believer in the triune God of the Athanasian Creed (it was quoted above). What do you believe about the Trinity, Chad?

      September 18, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • 2357

      I'm looking up this Johanine comma issue myself, and it points to Erasmus, who dug up and published old Greek texts for pure intellectual exercise, and bragging righs. He seems to have slipped in a note of his own to buttress the Greek text, passing it off as if it existed in the original manuscript. That sly dog! Not as voluminous as the verses added to the ending of Mark's Gospel, but just as offensive. These scholars were way too involved in disputation, their controversy became a carnal contest, ultimately undermining the faith of many. Good thing in heaven first will be last, and the meek will be exalted.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "You've lost track of the fact that I don't subscribe to your religion or to one that opposes it. Just now I'm only curious. Perhaps you are not a believer in the triune God of the Athanasian Creed (it was quoted above). What do you believe about the Trinity, Chad?"

      @Chad "avoid answering the question, check
      pose another question in an attempt to get the other person to waste yet more time. check

      troll

      September 18, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      2357-

      That's what I remembered about it and I looked it up also. One theory: It began as a note in the margin and worked it's way into the Latin text. Later Greek texts that were back-translations of the Latin picked it up. These were used in the KJV and other translations.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Chad

      @2357 "I'm looking up this Johanine comma issue myself, and it points to Erasmus, who dug up and published old Greek texts for pure intellectual exercise, and bragging righs. He seems to have slipped in a note of his own to buttress the Greek text, passing it off as if it existed in the original manuscript. That sly dog! Not as voluminous as the verses added to the ending of Mark's Gospel, but just as offensive. These scholars were way too involved in disputation, their controversy became a carnal contest, ultimately undermining the faith of many. Good thing in heaven first will be last, and the meek will be exalted."

      @Chad "every translation has it's issues. Some of my closest friends in the world would never touch anything other than KJV. Personally I prefer NIV, and I spend a great deal of time at blueletterbible.

      In any case, the important thing it just to pick a translation that you are comfortable with reading, and read it!!

      Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true Acts 17

      September 18, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I guess I am straying back to the original question (4:56 PM): "I think the Trinity is a curious digression in the evolution of a particular concept of God. I don't think it's working well. The sense in which the three are one is rolled up in a mystery. What do you believe about it, Chad?" Wait, at 4:07 PM I asked "Is this something you believe, Chad?" regarding the Athanasian Creed excerpt.

      Perhaps you are wasting your time answering questions about your God and what you believe – or avoiding it as best you can.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Chad

      right 🙂

      troll

      September 18, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • 2357

      This is the Erasmus who gave us "pandora's box", when in Greek it was a "jar". You can see where his mind was 😉
      Ironically, he inadvertantly set off the Lutheran revolution with this Greek text business, opening the jar of reformation and enlightenment. So thanks you dirty old dog of Rotterdam.

      I got tired of this translation bickering and got myself an interlinear Greek-English bible. It was in a clearance bin since no contemporary Christians buys such books. Tom Tom are right, Christians need to learn a lot more to cross swords with well read theists. I once heard Chris Hitchens describe qualifying biblical Christianity more clearly than any pastor I've met! It's a real crisis for church when atheists can smell goats and tares better than Christians can.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      All right, so you're coming out as a troll. These things come and go. Perhaps your God will move you to be straight with people someday. AMDG

      September 18, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      2357-

      How do you like the interlinear text? I was struck by how unadorned the language is. The Greek is very plain-spoken and colloquial.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • 2357

      I really enjoy the minimal expression, with wide room for interpretation. I refer to it often. James 3:11 is a favorite of mine, that never made it into any English translation accurately.

      September 18, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • What?

      Tom, Tom, the Other One, as with any Christian, Chad is reminding you that you're going to fry.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
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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.