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My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God
January 5th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Jesus was a dirty, dirty God

Editor’s note: Johnnie Moore is the author of Dirty God (#DirtyGod). He is a professor of religion and vice president at Liberty University. Keep track of him @johnnieM .

By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Jesus was a lot more like you than you think, and a lot less clean cut than this iconic image of him that floats around culture.

You know the image. It’s the one where Jesus is walking like he’s floating in robes of pristine white followed by birds singing some holy little ditty. He’s polished, manicured, and clearly – God.

But despite the Christian belief that Jesus was both fully God and fully man, Jesus was a rather dirty God.

He was the “earthly” son of a carpenter, and life in the first-century was both more lurid and unfinished than our collective religious memory seems to recall.

To that end, I suggested recently to several astounded colleagues of mine that Jesus actually had to go to the bathroom, perhaps even on the side of the road between Capernaum and Jerusalem.

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

What tipped them over the edge was when I insinuated that Jesus, like almost every other human being living in the rural world in that time, might have even had dysentery on an occasion or two.

Someone said, “You mean that Jesus might have had severe diarrhea?”

“Yep,” I replied, “That’s exactly what I mean.”

It seems like an obvious statement if you believe that Jesus was “fully God” and “fully man” (as most evangelicals believe and call the Incarnation), but to some of us it seems in the least, inappropriate, and at the most, sacrilege, to imagine Jesus in this way. We might believe that God was also man, but we picture him with an ever-present halo over his head.

But, actually, the Jesus of the Bible was more human than most people are conditioned to think.

I call this the dirty side of Jesus. He was grittier, and a lot more like us than maybe we believe, and that’s one of the reasons why so many thousands of people followed him so quickly.

They could relate to him.

He was the teacher from a small town who knew and understood the economic insecurity that was common in the first century. Times must have been rather tough for Jesus at points in his life, for he even spoke of being homeless, having to sleep on the ground with no roof over his head.

He also knew what it was like to have his message rejected and how it felt to be misunderstood. Jesus was regarded with such little significance in his hometown that one of his critics once remarked sardonically, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Jesus eventually had to move to different city (Capernaum) because his teachings so infuriated the people living in his hometown that they drove him out of Nazareth and even tried to throw him off a cliff.

'Jesus Wife' fragment gets more testing, delays article

The real Jesus had dirt underneath his fingernails and calluses on his hands. He probably smelled badly from sweating profusely in the Judean sun on his long hikes to Jerusalem, and Jesus was, without a doubt, rumored to be a hypocrite or absolutely mad for all the time he spent with prostitutes and those afflicted with leprosy.

Not exactly have a clean-cut image.

He had a rather shady reputation.

Some people thought he was a revolutionary. The religious leaders called him a heretic, and others even accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton - in no small part because of the vagabond group of disciples he had with him. No serious religious leader of his day would have ever recruited such people.

For his core 12 disciples, Jesus included a tough-as-nails, bombastic fisherman (Peter), a chief tax collector named Matthew (the most hated popular figure of the time), an eventual traitor who was stealing money out of the offering bucket (Judas), a prolific doubter (Thomas), two jocks nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder” (James and John) and Simon the Zealot, a member of a radical political party which believed in using violence to kick out the Romans.

Jesus was sarcastic, too.

He often snapped back at the Pharisees with a tone fit for late-night television, and in a terribly embarrassing moment for all those around him, Jesus even called these respected religious teachers “snakes” that were probably sons of “Satan.”

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That’s not exactly the behavior of a sweet, self-help teacher with a halo over his head.

It’s the behavior of a frustrated man who might also be divine, but sure knows how it feels for annoying people to get under his skin.

Christians believe that Jesus chose to be born fully human, too, but why?

Lots of theologians have laid out opinions over the centuries, and in their opining they have tried once again to hijack Jesus’ humanity by defining it in philosophical terms. I believe it’s simpler than the philosophy and church councils and centuries of argument.

The brilliance of Christianity is the image of a God, named Jesus, arrived with dirty hands.

Jesus came in a time period when Greco-Roman gods were housed in gigantic temples and portrayed with superhuman powers and with superhuman physiques. Gods were believed to be far away from people on their mountains or hemmed up in their sanctuaries.

Jesus arrived in defiance of this prevailing imagery.

Jesus didn’t come flinging lightning bolts from a mountaintop, or playing politics in Rome. He came to live in a typical Middle Eastern village called Nazareth that was home to a couple hundred typical people. He didn’t decide to brandish his power, but to spend most of his time with the powerless and disenfranchised. And when he started a religious movement that reshaped history, he did it in the most profound and anticlimatic way:

He let himself be killed, and then he busted open a tomb.

In Jesus we meet a Savior who understood the desire to sleep just a few more hours, and who had to control his temper sometimes. In Jesus we find a God we can relate to because he chose to relate to us.

He was the God who became dirty so that the world’s souls might be made clean.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Johnnie Moore.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Jesus

soundoff (7,741 Responses)
  1. Science

    NOVA Earth From Space

    Published on Feb 14, 2013

    Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    Category

    Science & Technology

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPRofVIQ5io

    Thanks Nova

    Peace

    Great show !

    February 20, 2013 at 7:30 am |
  2. Bob

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LRCvIbMKQec

    February 20, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Science

      Bob Facts below

      How Predictable Is Evolution?

      Feb. 19, 2013 — Understanding how and why diversification occurs is important for understanding why there are so many species on Earth. In a new study published on 19 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers show that similar – or even identical – mutations can occur during diversification in completely separate populations of E. coli evolving in different environments over more than 1000 generations. Evolution, therefore, can be surprisingly predictable.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219172155.htm

      February 20, 2013 at 6:56 am |
  3. Science

    Creationists are predictable too..... also true.

    How Predictable Is Evolution?

    Feb. 19, 2013 — Understanding how and why diversification occurs is important for understanding why there are so many species on Earth. In a new study published on 19 February in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers show that similar – or even identical – mutations can occur during diversification in completely separate populations of E. coli evolving in different environments over more than 1000 generations. Evolution, therefore, can be surprisingly predictable.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219172155.htm

    February 20, 2013 at 6:38 am |
    • Bob

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CvDqrSTCcmA&feature=related

      February 20, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • Science

      Soory bob no can do .

      Peace

      February 20, 2013 at 6:50 am |
  4. Bob

    To all Christians how about we make save a atheist days. Since they are here crying for attention how about we seek them out and start to evangelize them? We can do this all over and it will be a great way to practice what we preach. If we start praying for them and do thins we would be doing them a favor. The ones here are not the only ones that need salvation and a friend.

    February 20, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • Phillip

      "The ones here are not the only ones that need salvation and a friend."

      The fact that you spend so much time on this blog is a sure sign that you do not have a real life or friends. You're nothing more than a troll.

      February 20, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  5. True Dichotomy

    Even though consciousness is not well understood, it could be scientifically reduced to computational science. What may be happening in these NDE experiences is that conscious is not functioning or completely, and this opens the gateway to other worldly experiences. It's almost as if the physical computational ability of the brain ceases, and there is no longer a filter there. Science might also be able to explain vivid lucid type dreams, and limited forms of OBEs. The fact that a person sees themselves above their own bodies does not automatically lend itself to a Spiritual explanation. However, if a person sees something during their OBE that is in the natural realm, and they could not have possibly seen this without actually being outside themselves, this is a violation of known science. In other words, it is not possible. This often happens during the OBE component of NDE. The best scientific explanation that I've seen for NDEs is from a researcher that claims they are essentially the dream mechanism taking over while the person is "awake". This never made sense to me because dreams are generally not very coherent, or continuous in nature. Here are a few properties of NDEs that are not explained by science:

    Coherency: these experiences are very vivid and real. The NDEers often claim that they feel more alive during the experience than their normal waking state. If the put their "hand" in front of their face, it does not morph into something else.

    Contingency: the experiences have a start, middle and ending that often terminates with them being sent back to their body.

    Content: the experiences have important messages for their lives, and the NDErs return with a conviction to change their own life and the lives of others.

    So, I think these experiences may have some sub components that could be explained by science, but in aggregate they are unexplained by existing science and technology.

    February 19, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still not proof, doofus. Not even evidence. You simply choose to believe in it.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Doesn't it ever dawn on you that nobody ever comes back after, say, a week in heaven? Why is that, if it exists?

      Don't you realize that people think they see UFOs all the time? Bigfoot? Nessie?

      February 19, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • True Dichotomy

      The question here is not so much "Do I believe in NDEs"? That's kind of a silly question to ask. No doubt, these experiences are real. A better question to ask is: what are they and what causes them to occur?

      UFOs are just what the name implies: unidentified flying objects, nothing more, nothing less. So, a person can be very sincere in stating that they've seen a UFO.

      Bigfoot and Nessie are dog shight.

      February 19, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • End Religion

      We understand NDE well. It has nothing to do with imaginary creatures. It is sometimes the fight or flight release of adrenaline or the body's release of dopamine during trauma that cause hallucinations perceived by @3% of the general population. Half of the people experiencing it aren't actually near death. One can experience the same effects with various drugs.
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=peace-of-mind-near-death

      Scathing review from Sam Harris on the Eban Alexander NDE book:
      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/this-must-be-heaven

      February 20, 2013 at 6:26 am |
    • True Dichotomy

      Eban does not prove the existence of Heaven, but he tells a very convincing story. Also, it's hard to ignore the fact that he is a Harvard neurosurgeon. Proof of Heaven is in God's word, not Eban's book.

      February 20, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  6. True Dichotomy

    Agnostics and atheists want more proofs, more evidence; what they really lack is love for God and submission to His will. The world needs not more proof of divine authority, but more obedience to the divine will. It is true that if we are afraid to accept the logical conclusions of God's word in the Bible, we can never hope to discover truth.

    February 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then stop pretending you HAVE "proof" and admit that all you have is faith. I have no objection to that, as long as you don't demand that I live by your beliefs or acknowledge them as anything other than beliefs.

      February 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Any half way observant or intelligen god would realize that more evidence would lead to more obedience. If you're honest with yourself you would realize this was true, too. In order to maintain your belief in this story you are conning yourself with an argument that makes no sense. Of course people respond to evidence; to think otherwise is to avoid reality.

      I don't want to take the idea of god away from you. Who knows if a god or gods of some sort exist or if believing in one is something you personally need to be happy. But this image you have of the God of the secrets is incoherent and dangerous. All I ask is that you reexamine these ideas and look closely at the god you have formulated. Does that god eally make sense?

      February 17, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Careful of the God that makes sense as it says things to you that seem to be independent of things you might say to yourself, that ask you to do things you would not ordinarily allow yourself to do.

      February 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      The proof is God's word which is the Holy Bible and His Son.

      February 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      And if I offer God's Holy Word and his Son as a proof to the Goldbach Conjecture then everyone will say how swell that is and I'll be in all the textbooks?

      February 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • clarity

      As Saraswati said, who knows what kind of deities may be running around out there (or maybe for this universe there was an initializing deity that has already skedaddled down a black hole to initialize some other universe). But what you need to examine more closely, TD, is what you just wrote: "God's word which is the Holy Bible and His Son"

      Did you know that early Christian apologists had to excuse the fact that the gospel stories were so much like earlier stories by saying that the Devil had performed plagiarism in anticipation? That's the only way they could explain the stories looking like copies. That's not mentioned so much on this page, but I would urge you to read all of this page:
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ

      February 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Logical Conclusions?

      February 18, 2013 at 3:54 am |
    • sam stone

      True Dich: Aren't you supposed to be on your knees, begging for salvation?

      February 18, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • The Truth

      Dear Saraswati –

      “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

      22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

      25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

      27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

      29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

      30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

      31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31

      February 18, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • End Religion

      ...and the nutter sticks his fingers in his ears and runs away to hide in his bible passages.

      February 18, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • Science

      To True Dichotomy

      The END IS NEAR and HERE !!! Facts work Best

      A War Without End, With Earth's Carbon Cycle Held in the Balance

      Feb. 13, 2013 — The greatest battle in Earth's history has been going on for hundreds of millions of years – it isn't over yet – and until now no one knew it existed, scientists reported Feb. 13 in the journal Nature.

      Peace
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213132323.htm

      February 18, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • OTOH

      @The Truth,

      Your god is not very smart nor creative then.

      An omniscient "God" would know *precisely* what proof is acceptable to each and every one of us individually.

      An omnipotent "God" would be able to provide it.

      An all-loving "God" would do so.

      February 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • OTOH

      "31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:19-31"

      Odd that he allegedly did not apply that philosophy to Saul of Tarsus, Doubting Thomas, and a few other legendary characters who needed convincing and who were allegedly given real live proof?!

      February 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      To OTOH:

      Stop telling God what to do.

      February 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • OTOH

      Then you need to stop saying what this fantasy "God" character did, does, or will do (without a shred of verified evidence). Ok?

      February 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      The evidence is in the Bible.

      February 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  7. ricardosamudasinclair

    Jesus Christ or God should not be illustrated as dirty or in a negative sense because Mahatma Ghandi is considered a example of Jesus Christ and he was pure!
    @sinclairricardo, monstersinclair, #ricardosamudasinclair

    February 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • End Religion

      logic at its pinnacle...

      February 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I agree to a point. Clean it up if you must bring it in here. You don't know where it's been.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Off this topic, but TTTOO, I owe you a big thank you. You paid me a compliment on somewhere on this blog, and I want you to know I'm grateful and flattered.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, there was one too many "ons" in that sentence, but I hope you get the drift.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      TTTPS-

      Friday? Akira and I agreed that you do good work here. I know a lot of people feel the same.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • clarity

      mama agrees TTTOO

      February 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Golly, I've hit the jackpot. Thanks to you both for the compliment. I think very highly of both of you.

      February 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  8. True Dichotomy

    Science has a few conjectures about NDEs, but no proof or majority opinion on what they really represent.

    Lawrence Krauss is a childish moron.

    February 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • the AnViL

      you may or may not be trolling – don't really care. this is for others who are no doubt reading.

      --
      flat fact: people from different cultures/religions report NDE's differently.


      ""One of the near-death experience truths is that each person integrates their near-death experience into their own pre-existing belief system."" –jody long

      on the matter of NDE's – science does have some pretty good explanations of why and how – and they're definitely too difficult for uneducated, delusional xians to comprehend. 🙂

      the bottom line is – if you perceive anything at all – or retain any memories about anything – it means you were not dead. it means your brain was still functioning.

      neuroscience is hard – that's why everyone doesn't have a ph.d. in it.

      also

      Lawrence Krauss is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay smarter than you.

      February 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Kiko McGregor

      Kiko McGregor

      CHRISTIANS TAKE ON OPRAH WINFREY, IF YOU EVER DOUBTED OPRAH'S TEACHINGS AND THE TEACHINGS OF HER NEW AGE GURUS, PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO, GO TO THE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION, AND THEN READ THE BOOK. YOUR SOUL IS ON THE LINE, WHY LET OPRAH LEAD YOU WITHOUT KNOWING THE TRUTH. IF YOU READ ALL OF THE ABOVE AND YOU STILL CHOOSE TO FOLLOW HER, THAT'S YOUR CHOICE, BUT PLEASE! THINK ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN! THEY TRUST AND RELY ON YOU TO LEAD THEM THE RIGHT WAY! Find out more at http://www.imchristiantoo.com
      "I'M CHRISTIAN TOO" Why Oprah, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Joel Osteen, Deepak Chopra, AND All New Age Spiritual Leaders and Gurus Need To be Questioned About Their P.L.A.N.S to Mislead Christians"
      February 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |

      Satheesan Kochicheril

      February 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      That's true Oprah and Deepak are misleading other people. Oprah tells us there are many paths to God, but the only way to GOd is through Jesus Christ.

      February 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      As if you know, TD.

      You're as clueless as anyone else. You don't know that there IS a god, much less whether there's only one path to him.

      Stop lying.

      February 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Science has a few conjectures about the person posting as True Dichotomy and why they would accept the tiny minority (one guy) opinion in the scientific world in lieu of the majority that absolutely rejects the hypothesis of a supernatural NDE explanation. The primary conjecture is that True Dichotomy has a preconceived conclusion and thus attempts to fix any facts to fit that conclusion no matter how far they must stretch.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Len F.

      This is for AnVil, who quotes, "One of the near-death experience truths is that each person integrates their near-death experience into their own pre-existing belief system."" –jody long
      Dr. Melvin Morse has a message, AnVil, for jody long, and it's in his book, 'Closer To The Light.'
      He successfully resuscitated a 9 year-old girl named Katie from drowning.
      Morse is a highly respected Pediatric specialist who was an agnostic at the time of his encounter with Katie.
      He determined that she actually didn't have any religious or spiritual preconceptions prior to the drowning and that during the time she was profoundly comatose she nevertheless witnessed several salient events later recounted to Morse which were significantly corrosive to his agnostic worldview.
      Sorry, AnVil, there's MUCH MORE to a human being than just neuroscience.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There may be, but a sample of one isn't evidence of the existence of a god or heaven.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • End Religion

      When my daughter was 9 she still believed in Santa Claus and thought the Mickey Mouse at DisneyWorld was real.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • clarity

      Most kids will say whatever you want them to say if you dangle some chicken nuggets just out of reach long enough.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "Sorry, AnVil, there's MUCH MORE to a human being than just neuroscience."

      no, Len – there isn't.

      one fact remains; and it is indisputable... if a brain retains information of any kind (memories) – that brain was functioning.

      and;

      if a brain is functioning – on any level.... it's not dead.

      simple facts like that suck, don't they???

      sorry 🙂

      and yeah – i heard all about ol' melvin morse.

      he allegedly waterboarded his daughter...

      funny stuff.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
    • End Religion

      Why are religious people all so crazy and needlessly cruel? And they argue morality is only found via the bible?

      Melvin Morse
      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/48675789/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/#.USFpl4Xxgy4
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvin_L._Morse

      February 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I had no idea who Morse was until TD the boob posted here. I am so thankful to know that the azz is accused of child abuse. It gives me so much fodder for combating the idiot religiatards.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • clarity

      Wow – thank for digging that up, End. It is bookmarked nearby in case one of these idiots brings this up again.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Len F.

      What a great call, AnVil, now you're stuck with just how Katie explained the intimate resuscitation details to Dr. Morse including her statement that a tall, clean-shaven physician (Dr. Bill Longhurst) had initially worked on her prior to the bearded Morse taking over.
      Just how did Katie's brain GET that information when she was profoundly comatose?
      Are you now really willing to let your rebuttal include a comprehensive disclaimer against Morse's public statement in his book? Are you ready to call him a liar? Be my guest, AnVil.
      Again, AnVil, there is MUCH MORE than neuroscience can possibly account for.

      February 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • clarity

      So he was selling a book, huh? okee dokee. Like I said you'd be surprised what you can coerce a child to say for a few chicken nuggets.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • clarity

      And I suppose if you drag your step-daughter across a gravel driveway and then waterboarding her, there's a good chance you could get her to say anything you programmed her to say. I would most definitely call this man a liar.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Len... i really do not feel a need to explain what happened to katie. i do not know what happened beyond melvins account. i was not there – i cannot verify any of his claims. it is impossible for me to validate them – and it doesn't seem to me that he's able to validate his own claims either.

      if i were to venture some guesses – i'd have to conclude – 1) she wasn't dead and may have had some awareness. 2) she recalled things that were experiential and not a direct result of memories formed from an out of body experience. 3) (in my opinion – most likely and probable) – melvin (his character definitely in question) embellished or blatantly lied.

      if you choose not to question this singular account, then that's perfectly ok with me. it seems you've already drawn your own conclusion. 🙂

      if you do choose to look at it critically – i suppose you may be able to venture your own hypothesis and can only imagine what that might be. *chortle*

      in your case – and no doubt for many others – it looks like confirmation bias.
      i am assuming that you don't feel a need to question it as it appears you've accepted the account at face value.

      at any rate – the account was not your own – it's the account of another (possibly unscrupulous) person who was/is intent on making money selling books.

      the flat fact you will have to reconcile – and seem to be having a hard time with, is – memories are stored physically, and dead brains don't do that.

      good luck and happy hunting, sport.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Len F.

      Hey, AnVil, "Len... i really do not feel a need to explain what happened to katie" contains a subliminal admission, may I suggest, of, "Len...I really CAN'T explain what happened to Katie."
      And don't make me laugh by trying to insinuate that Katie's is a 'singular' account.
      You'll have to spend the rest of your natural life if you have any intention of debunking the thousands of NDE accounts, especially the NDEs of innocent children.
      These are especially corrosive to reductionists like neuroscientists.

      February 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • the AnViL

      Len, you need not assert that anything i wrote has some subliminal meaning, as i was quite clear:

      "i do not know what happened beyond melvins account. i was not there – i cannot verify any of his claims. it is impossible for me to validate them – and it doesn't seem to me that he's able to validate his own claims either.

      the only thing i'd add to that is you do not know either.

      deal with it.

      🙂

      cha cha cha

      February 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      "I had something similar about 15 years ago. I was asleep, felt a
      sensation of being lifted out of my body, down a long tunnel, spoke with
      someone at the end of it (a figure of Jesus), and then suddenly (after
      the figure said to return) felt a "electric" shock in my chest and
      "woke" up bolt upright in bed. Never felt anything like it before or since."

      – Lenny Flank

      February 17, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      maybe a different Len F...

      February 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
    • Len F.

      Hey, don't worry about it, AnVil, no neuroscientist is about to lose his job (at least not yet, anyway) just because neuroscience is ultimately a dead end and the NDE reveals the truth and potential of the human spirit well beyond the limited and shortlived confines of the human brain.
      Sleep well, AnVil, the neuroscientists will still pick up their paycheck at the end of this month, anyway.
      (chuckles and more chuckles)

      February 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You mean "chuckleheads and more chuckleheads," Lennie, and yer one of 'em.

      Gullible dolt.

      February 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • the AnViL

      "..neuroscience is ultimately a dead end.."

      biophysics and neuroscience are beyond your very limited understanding. they do not operate on faith... no sciences do.

      "the NDE reveals the truth and potential of the human spirit well beyond the limited and shortlived confines of the human brain."

      the NDE reveals nothing at all about a brain after it dies. it only reveals what happens during the process of dying.

      flat fact: there is no verifiable, credible, substantiated evidence to support the delusional concept of a soul or human spirit.

      flat fact: all human life is temporal.

      flat fact: when you die (and stay dead), and the oxygen stops flowing into your brain – all those neurons decay and disintegrate. the elecrochemical energy obeys the laws of thermodynamics and dissipates out into the surrounding system. there is no mechanism to cause any of that energy to remain coherent.

      🙂

      when you die – your brain will fall apart and you will never have any awareness of it – on any level... ever.

      you won't know you're dead – because you'll have nothing to "know" things with.

      take comfort in this good news!

      like everything else – you will meet oblivion – and you won't care – because you'll have nothing to care with.

      evolve, Len F... your stunted thinking is retarding all of humanity.

      and i assure you – i'll sleep like an adorably sweet italian baby when i lay my precious, gorgeous, brilliant head on my pillow.

      dismissed.

      February 17, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Bob

    These boards should be restricted access for only the US to post. Why, because a good portion of the harassment comes from other people in other countries. In Europe on even Canada for example religion which in no way equates with a relationship with Jesus is on the decline. Why because the rulers have for so many years used religion as a form of control. It is even today in the Churches the same way. Some here who have come from other countries have the same views they just relocate and try to stamp out the very thing this country was founded on. The US was formed different from other countries the pilgrims came here to get away from the religious persecution the state sponsored churches were dishing out. Which is why we see so many hateful comments and just snide little remarks because these people are stuck in this system that still today steeps itself in religion. I must admit this is a repressive system that uses the name of Jesus for gain and if I was in this I dont know how receptive I would be either. Especially seeing some of the atrocities done in the name of religion. Even our closest cousin Canada has restrictive speech rights that Pastors cannot present certain topics without fear of being arrested. This all differs from a real relationship with Jesus though these churches are actually on the rise and in repressive places like Iran and China where Christians have to go underground to worship. Where if you have a church they harass you and even kill people who accept Jesus. In England the real churches are on the rise also and preaches like Rodney Howard Brown in Africa have seen thousands come looking like a sea of people and accept the Lord and had many miracles even to raising the dead. So while I feel for others in other countries and would like to keep the boards open because there are some that really want to hear the good news I would favor stopping other countries from accessing this site.

    February 17, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • clarity

      The U.S. was founded by a lot more than your silly Pilgrims, Bob. And the people who founded the government included these key figures:

      Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

      Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

      If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

      Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

      All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

      February 17, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • clarity

      Also Bob – I don't think you understand the concept of the internet – what it's purpose is.

      February 17, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • sam stone

      translation: "there are too many people who disagree with me, and i don't like it....whah, whah, fvcking whah"

      pretty accurate, blob?

      February 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So in other words, Bob, you are a selfish individual who wishes to deny other people the freedoms you enjoy.

      February 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Bob: "So while I feel for others in other countries and would like to keep the boards open because there are some that really want to hear the good news..." Bob, you're forgetting the great commission:

      Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...

      And there is good news. No one needs to fear God or eternal torment or eternal anything. None of that is real. And all authority, on earth at least, is in us.

      February 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • small 'c' christian

      Bob, if I could block you on this board, I would. Seems fair, given you seem to want to block me. However, instead, I ask you to let me know which Canadian cleric was arrested and hauled away as you state in your post. And, what topics are forbidden by law up here? You're misquoting again to serve your narrow-minded, exclustionist end. I sentence you to six months on Liberty Island, memorising the script written on the beautiful lady you seem to have forgotten about.

      Peace, brother.

      February 18, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  10. Science

    The war is over !

    Science

    FACTS TOPHER WORK BEST !!!!!!!!!!

    A War Without End, With Earth's Carbon Cycle Held in the Balance

    Feb. 13, 2013 — The greatest battle in Earth's history has been going on for hundreds of millions of years – it isn't over yet – and until now no one knew it existed, scientists reported Feb. 13 in the journal Nature.

    Peace
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213132323.htm

    February 17, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  11. True Dichotomy

    #####
    At the present, there is no science explanation for NDE. If you don't believe me, read the book by the Harvard Neurological surgeon. He was a non believer, but had an NDE and went to Heaven. He claims to provide proof of Heaven in his book. In the book, he does not really provide proof, but makes a very convincing argument. His neocortical region was shut down.

    February 16, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • clarity

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=peace-of-mind-near-death

      February 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      @
      obscuration
      The article talks about OBEs and not NDEs. Part of OBEs can be explained scientifically, but not NDEs. Read Eban Alexanders book.

      February 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      Great! A sample of one! And I bet you didn't spend a second reading any of the critiques of that book.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
    • redzoa

      @TD – The linked article does, in fact, discuss NDEs. You've just lost significant credibility on poor reading comprehension alone. The first paragraph clearly indicates the topic under consideration...

      "Near-death experiences are often thought of as mystical phenomena, but research is now revealing scientific explanations for virtually all of their common features. The details of what happens in near-death experiences are now known widely—a sense of being dead, a feeling that one's "soul" has left the body, a voyage toward a bright light, and a departure to another reality where love and bliss are all-encompassing."

      February 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      It has leading statements about NDEs, but the article is about OBEs.

      I've read Eben's book, and the critiques In fact, I wrote my own critique on the book. He does not provide proof, but I believe his story.

      February 17, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • redzoa

      @TD – From the article, again:

      "Recently, a host of studies has revealed potential underpinnings for all the elements of such experiences. "Many of the phenomena associated with near-death experiences can be biologically explained," says neuroscientist Dean Mobbs, at the University of Cambridge's Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. Mobbs and Caroline Watt at the University of Edinburgh detailed this research online August 17 in Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

      For instance, the feeling of being dead is not limited to near-death experiences—patients with Cotard or "walking corpse" syndrome hold the delusional belief that they are deceased. This disorder has occurred following trauma, such as during advanced stages of typhoid and multiple sclerosis, and has been linked with brain regions such as the parietal cortex and the prefrontal cortex—"the parietal cortex is typically involved in attentional processes, and the prefrontal cortex is involved in delusions observed in psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia," Mobbs explains. Although the mechanism behind the syndrome remains unknown, one possible explanation is that patients are trying to make sense of the strange experiences they are having."

      There is a link in the article to the actual study published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences. Yes, the article also discusses OBE noting the similarities and that both have been traced to replicable biological phenomena.

      You're inability to concede even this simply point only further destroys whatever credibility you believe you hold...

      February 17, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • the AnViL

      i find it comical that delusional xians have such a glaringly blatant problem with reading comprehension... an incredulous, obstinate stance when cleanly, clearly, and absolutely refuted.. with the uncanny inability to admit when they've made a mistake.

      funny stuff!

      February 17, 2013 at 1:32 am |
    • True Dichotomy

      The article does not provide a scientific refutation for NDEs. There are sub components of the NDE experience (like OBEs), that have been subjected to scientific conjecture, but there is no proof of the aggregate experience. You posted the link, and didn't read it carefully.

      February 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      There doesn't need to be a scientific refutation. There needs to be scientific proof of the assertion an NDE is someone going to heaven and coming back. The article simply points out that we have a good understanding of what is happening and it has nothing to do with what you claim, but as with "proving the non-existence of Thor," it can't be done. The burden of proof is on you to provide empirical evidence for your hypothesized NDE heaven vacation. There is no such proof, it does not exist, just like your god and your jesus.

      February 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      Read Eban Alexanders book and decide for yourself. The proof of Heaven is in the Bible.

      February 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • clarity

      "The proof of Heaven is in the Bible."

      . . . and that's why it is not proof at all.

      February 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      We don't need more books full of delusional garbage. The bible is a fraud. We understand the likeliest scenario for Eban's experience is delusion whether intentional or not. For goodness sake Sam Harris is *into* spiritual junk and he has a scathing review and refuses to debate the doofus since it is a pure waste of time:
      http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/this-must-be-heaven

      February 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • redzoa

      @TD – Why would someone accept your theological claims after you've already demonstrated no credibility on relatively trivial matters, e.g. the simple fact that your initial claim ("At the present, there is no science explanation for NDE") was shown to be incorrect, i.e. there are, in fact, scientific explanations? That you personally reject these explanations is, of course, a separate issue.

      Furthermore, you conveniently moved the goal posts from "explanation" to "refutation," but as suggested, you'd likely hide in the semantics here as well, interpreting "refutation" to mean only that showing of evidence which would meet your unreasonable standards. Lastly, there is no "proof" of heaven in the Bible. Were there "proof," religious conviction would not be an exercise of "faith." There is as much "proof" of heaven in the Bible as there is "proof" Hank will give me a million dollars if I kiss his butt: http://www.jhuger.com/kissing-hanks-butt

      February 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • TANK!!!!

      "He does not provide proof, but I believe his story."

      A fine example of good critical thinking, this is.

      February 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Mystical phenomena in general are becoming describable in terms of more mundane things than God and heaven: neurophysiology with the help of neuropharmacology. I am curious. If I gave a drug to a believer, with that person's full knowledge of course, and an encounter with the Risen Christ resulted, experienced by that person alone but with all the features that could ever be expected of such a thing, would the believer think the drug had been used by Christ to bring it about, or would the believer think the drug was responsible for all of it?

      February 17, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Dippy

      Redzoa. Last sentence. Your, not you're. Other than that, I agree.

      February 18, 2013 at 12:11 am |
  12. Accept Jesus Today

    My father had a ND-experience. As a child I had started to pray for his salvation. When I was about 24 years old my father was in coma for three days after an accident. There a voice spoke to him, reminding him that he never could stay in heaven unless his life would be cleaned and all sins forgiven by Jesus Christ. In horror he shouted 'please let me go back and in order to accept Jesus in his life and to put things in good order, especially terrible things he had done to my mother. After his return I visited him in hospital. He told me of his experience in heaven and the horror he felt,
    when he was turned off. A half year later he went to be with His Savior. It was one of my happiest days in my life.
    God gave us His word, the Bible. Read the New Testament and you will see, that it's true about eternal life and dead. There is no pollution in heaven. Our sins cannot enter this dimension full beauty of love. Otherwise heaven would soon be spoiled like earth. But with Jesus, who carries our sins away, if we are ready to let Him come in our heart and clean it, you and I will meet us up there and praise our Savior!
    Markus

    February 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • OhPlease

      "Otherwise heaven would soon be spoiled like earth. But with Jesus, who carries our sins away, if we are ready to let Him come in our heart and clean it, you and I will meet us up there and praise our Savior!"

      The ones spoiling the earth are people like you with your constant negativity. If we all worked together we can save our planet and make it an awesome place. The problem is you have people thinking their god will save them or too lazy to make the effort. Do us all a favor and put some rose colored glasses on because this earth is not spoiled and there is a lot of good happening. Get off your couch, get away from your computer and get involved.

      February 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • sam stone

      do you seriously want to be alive FOREVER?

      February 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      Life on this earth is ok (lots of ups and downs), but pales in comparison to what is to be revealed.

      February 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      seems like an awful lot of conjecture, TD

      February 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Bob

      You will be alive forever the only question is where

      February 15, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why don't you plagiarize something to prove your point, Blob?

      February 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Nope

      "You will be alive forever the only question is where"

      Nope, there is absolutely no proof of that.

      February 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      Those who continually demand proof fail to use their own ability to think and reason.

      February 15, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • End Religion

      We understand NDE well. It has nothing to do with imaginary creatures. It is sometimes the fight or flight release of adrenaline or the body's release of dopamine during trauma that cause hallucinations perceived by @3% of the general population. Half of the people experiencing it aren't actually near death. One can experience the same effects with various drugs.
      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=peace-of-mind-near-death

      February 16, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • Science

      To Accept Jesus Today

      Education works for children

      Earth From Space

      Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

      Program Description

      "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

      February 16, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Science

      The bible is as crooked as the pope maybe this is proof.

      Pope will have security, immunity by remaining in the Vatican.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/15/us-pope-resignation-immunity-idUSBRE91E0ZI20130215

      Do not pass go.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Law of Science

      The choice to believe in God of not is personal, but a proven Law of Science is that life can only be created by life. Science has never seen, observed or created life from a non-life form. You can think God and any belief in Him is hooey, but to believe in the non-exsistence of a Creator goes against a proven law of science.

      February 16, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • True Dichotomy

      At the present, there is no science explanation for NDE. If you don't believe me, read the book by the Harvard Neurological surgeon. He was a non believer, but had an NDE and went to Heaven. He claims to provide proof of Heaven in his book. In the book, he does not really provide proof, but makes a very convincing argument. His neocortical region was shut down.

      February 16, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • UncleBenny

      @Law of Science
      ... a proven Law of Science is that life can only be created by life. Science has never seen, observed or created life from a non-life form. ... to believe in the non-exsistence of a Creator goes against a proven law of science.

      OK, exactly which "Law of Science" are you referring to? One you made up?

      February 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      blob: fvck you and your empty proxy threats.

      February 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  13. True Dichotomy

    Wow, no refutations to my recent comments. I guess my work is done here.

    February 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
  14. derp

    I love watching the jesustards argue over how awesome jesus was. Was he the son of god, a prophet, the christ.

    Funny how no two jesustards can agree on what was apparently the absolute truth sent directly from the big sky wizard himself.

    It would funny if you freaks were not allowed to vote.

    February 15, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  15. Science

    In the beginning...

    "...we have a viable theory of the universe back to about 10-30 seconds. At that time, the currently observable universe was smaller than the smallest dot on your TV screen, and less time had passed than it takes for light to cross that dot."
    -George F. Smoot, Winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics

    February 15, 2013 at 5:52 am |
  16. True Dichotomy

    @LinC

    Umm. No, I was not alluding to Pascal's wager. You can't get into heaven unless you love the lord with all you mind, strength and Spirit. Making an intellectual choice to serve the Lord won't cut it.

    February 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • Zingo

      That reply button is really tricky, isn't it?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Andreas

      Hey, you seem to know the rules of the creator of all this. Where did you get to know this? From the Bible, a book that developed over centuries and was written by many (unknown) persons (with unknown intentions)? Or do you have a credible source? (credible from credere = believe 🙂
      When you just believe what you sell as truth, why do you do that? Are you not aware, that it is just you believing? Do you want to help your fellows, because the God you believe in threatens to punish non believers and judges even the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of those who hate him (her?) (5 Mose 5,9). That is very considerate of you. But please make it clear to yourself and to others, when you tell about your belief. It is just your belief and it is a terrible, jealous, punishing God. You intend to live forever with him. Whatever fear or guidance by whoever taught you brought you into this traumatic situation? You believe in a God who is almighty. He (she?) admitted that he failed when he sent in the flood. He created everything inluding diseases, aging and death. He puts us into this world without asking us, whether we want to be in this game. And he judges us by his rules – that where written by humans, who had intentions and who interpreted these rules to their whim. I find this a crude fantasy. A B-movie would get a bad rating for the storyline.

      February 16, 2013 at 2:57 am |
    • True Dichotomy

      @Andreas

      The rules come from God the Father. God works everything according to His purposes as illustrated in the Holy Bible.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Andreas

      If I weren't an atheist, I'd say Oh my God! What a brainwashed community unable to think outside it's dogma. God exists, because the bible tells us it (he, she?) does. Hello?! The bible is not older than 5000 years. Let's add some years for oral tradition. That definitely excludes any mentioning of Jesus at that time. What about our ancestors before the bible and before the concept of God was invented? Where will they end up not having worshipped the right idol?

      February 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • The Truth

      Dear Andreas:

      "The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD." Genesis 6: 5-8

      "The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though [a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. “As long as the earth endures, 22 seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:21-22

      February 18, 2013 at 5:59 am |
  17. True Dichotomy

    Here's one of the smoking guns:

    Modern scholarship has almost universally acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" [4] and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity.[5][1][2][6][7][8] Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5, 2 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist to also be authentic.[9][10][11]
    WIKI SOURCE

    Wow, in your face!!!!

    February 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      Why lie? It's obvious your Jesus never existed: Read on, oh delusional one:
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice/comment-page-51/#comment-2173770

      February 16, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • True Dichotomy

      @Start Religion

      Trust me, it's not worth it to dispute whether or not Jesus existed, He did. Now, the next step is to understand what he said.

      February 16, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • the AnViL

      something you're going to have to come to terms with:

      every account of jebus is hearsay. flat fact

      every account of every account of jebus – is hearsay. flat fact

      how can you reconcile these flat facts?

      🙂

      February 17, 2013 at 1:37 am |
  18. True Dichotomy

    In my opinion, the original text may have been altered, but I would not describe it as a direct insertion. In the writing, you can still see elements of Josephus writing style. The important part about this writing is that it demonstrates about 95% certainty that Josephus mentions Jesus (including other relational statements that are not disputed) in his historical account, but his original statement was probably somewhat underwhelming. It's unfortunate that this passage may have been changed, as an underwhelming paragraph would have been of more historical value, and consistent with the social, political and religious viewpoints of Josephus.

    February 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  19. The Dead Critic

    Seriously, You have waaaaay tooooo much time on your hands thinking about God's son going to the bathroom on the side of the road.

    February 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  20. True Dichotomy

    What do others think about this:

    Josephus:

    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

    February 14, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Check

      TD,

      This passage is called the "Testimonium Flavianum ".

      "Despite the best wishes of sincere believers and the erroneous claims of truculent apologists, the Testimonium Flavianum has been demonstrated continually over the centuries to be a forgery, likely interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century. So thorough and universal has been this debunking that very few scholars of repute continued to cite the passage after the turn of the 19th century. Indeed, the TF was rarely mentioned, except to note that it was a forgery, and numerous books by a variety of authorities over a period of 200 or so years basically took it for granted that the Testimonium Flavianum in its entirety was spurious, an interpolation and a forgery. As Dr. Gordon Stein relates:

      "...the vast majority of scholars since the early 1800s have said that this quotation is not by Josephus, but rather is a later Christian insertion in his works. In other words, it is a forgery, rejected by scholars."

      February 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bob

      Actually it has not proved a forgery and in fact this part is not contested at all fool

      February 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • clarity

      Then there were some other early Christian apologists who could only answer the claim that the gospels were copy-cat stories of earlier pagan stories by saying that Satan had set the whole thing up in advance to fool everyone. wink wink.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      $#%$#$%#

      In my opinion, the original text may have been altered, but I would not describe it as a direct insertion. In the writing, you can still see elements of Josephus writing style. The important part about this writing is that it demonstrates about 95% certainty that Josephus mentions Jesus (including other relational statements that are not disputed) in his historical account, but his original statement was probably somewhat underwhelming. It's unfortunate that this passage may have been changed, as an underwhelming paragraph would have been of more historical value, and consistent with the social, political and religious viewpoints of Josephus.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Check

      TD,

      Yes, Josephus mentions the new Christian cult and what the followers claimed about their hero. That's all.

      He also mentions Hercules. Does that mean that Hercules was real?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • End Religion

      Not one credible eyewitness.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      The Apostles John and Peter were credible eyewitnesses.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • redzoa

      "The Apostles John and Peter were credible eyewitnesses."

      So too, under whatever standard you are applying, were Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer...

      What we know from DNA exoneration of convicted felons and a broad range of research is that eyewitness testimony is simply not as reliable as most would have us believe.

      February 16, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • True Dichotomy

      @redoza

      completely irrelevant.

      February 17, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • redzoa

      @TD – Your statement suggested your alleged eyewitnesses were credible. It does not follow that an eyewitness who is otherwise credible necessarily renders a credible account. Your non-response failed to even remotely address this simple fact or the specific examples I offered.

      When you say "completely irrelevant," you clearly cannot sustain the point with respect to your post and my reply, rather, it is clear that by "completely irrelevant" you meant to say, "I refuse to acknowledge, let alone consider, evidence contradicting my position."

      February 17, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • the AnViL

      uncanny how monotheism hardens and atrophies the human mind... causing it to be resistant to truth.

      willful ignorance of this type is truly repugnant.

      February 17, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • End Religion

      http://youtu.be/UTedvV6oZjo

      February 17, 2013 at 2:13 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.