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Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey on the set of "The Bible," the 10-hour miniseries Burnett produced and directed.
March 2nd, 2013
11:00 PM ET

Reality TV Goliath takes up Bible miniseries challenge, hopes for better outcome

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - Mark Burnett is the king of reality television. His shows and spinoffs command hours of prime-time television real estate. The seal of his production company One Three Media appears at the end of “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” “The Job” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?”

He will tell you each show was No. 1 in the time slot. He will tell you he will take on all comers in his bare-knuckle, ratings-driven world and beat them. He will tell you on any given day he has 150 video-editing systems churning through edits on his dossier, which spans the three major broadcast networks.

But if you suggest he may not have the chops to take on a massive scripted dramatic presentation of the Bible as a 10-hour miniseries, his eyes will tell you he wants to throttle you.

My bad.

Burnett and wife, Roma Downey, have been barnstorming the country like roving preachers on horseback trying to evangelize the West. Their gospel is spreading the news of “The Bible” - their ambitious project that aims to tell the story of the Bible in 10 installments. It begins its weeklong premiere on the History Channel Sunday night.

We met in the lobby of the Washington Hilton the night before last month’s National Prayer Breakfast. They were in town to speak to Washington journalists and show clips from their project.

Burnett and Downey’s project tackles the narrative of the Bible, a story woven through 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament. It’s a story revered by billions as divine revelation – and one they’ve compressed into 10 hours of television. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot.

Many have taken aim at dramatizing the stories of the Bible. Few of those productions stood the test of time. They knew all that going in 3 1/2 years ago when “the light bulb went off,” as Downey puts it.

“It’s been a great fun journey right, Roma?” Burnett said to his wife of nearly six years.

“And we’re still talking to each other,” Downey said, smiling.

Both Downey and Burnett were raised Catholic, Burnett in England and Downey in Ireland. They still regularly attend Mass in Los Angeles. Growing up, both watched the classic Biblical films that the Hollywood of yesteryear churned out, like “The Ten Commandments” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

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“In Ireland, we used to sit up and wait for John Wayne to say, ‘Surely that man was the Son of God,’ at the end of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' every Easter,” Downey said, with her thick Irish brogue dipping into a delightfully terrible John Wayne impersonation.

After showing their kids "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston, their three teenagers had one request for the Bible project. They told their parents, “Please don’t make it lame.”

Making it work

The project is personal for Burnett and Downey, coming from a deep spiritual desire for more people to see and experience the stories of their faith. As Europeans, now naturalized U.S. citizens, they are stunned the Bible is not taught in public schools.

“It was time for an updating. Adding fresh visual life to a sacred text,” Burnett said.

“People have great hearts and great knowledge but no experience of filmmaking and no budgets,” Burnett said of past telling of the stories on film and television.

“Or the resources,” Downey chimed in. “We wanted to create something that was gritty and authentic. We certainly didn’t want everyone to look like they stepped out of the dry cleaners.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wir4fH6hUxw&list=UUt_Q-xP9pUFpalCF-e_ZhtA&index=18]

Burnett and Downey may not have been high on the list of many studios as producers and directors to put a massive scripted project like this together. "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" starring Donald Trump and Gary Busey is not exactly" Ben-Hur," and Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green spinning in chairs on the singing competition "The Voice" isn’t often (or ever) compared to the "Ten Commandments."

When I asked Burnett about this, he seemed genuinely insulted.

“Based on viewership, maybe I should be giving a few lessons to the people who are doing stories. Because we have five nights of No. 1 wins on prime-time television,” he started. “As a family we’ve made over 2,000 hours of American television and 8,000 worldwide.”

As he cooled down, ticking off a list of reasons why he and his wife were best suited for the job, he delved into how this project was made.

The production, he insisted, was a lot more like the production that goes into "Survivor" than nearly any feature film or television show in production.

"Survivor" typically includes a cast and crew of 400 people in a remote location with multiple helicopters and boats.

To film the Bible series, they set off for the southern tip of Morocco in Africa with a similar-size crew and hundreds of extras. Not to mention the chariots and horses.

“It was epic,” Downey said.

“Our experience with large-scale productions was very, very important,” Burnett said.

To help further bring the story to life, they brought in Lola, an Oscar-winning CGI team from London who created similar scenes for the film "Gladiator."

They went with an international ensemble for the cast because they didn’t want to distract the audience with recognizable celebrities.

Jesus was played by Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado. Many other actors came from the Theatre District in London.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus in 'The Bible' miniseries

The most recognizable face to most in North America will be Downey herself, who stepped into the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is portrayed in the series as a young woman at the Nativity, then later in life.

“It was a privilege to play it,” Downey said. For nine seasons, Downey starred in the CBS show “Touched by an Angel,” then went on to star in a number of TV movies.

“The scripts at one point just said Young Mary, and then as the scripts progressed it said Old Mary. I said, ‘OK, we have to change that right now.’ The last thing I need to see is ‘Old Mary’ played by Roma Downey,” she said with a laugh. “So we changed it to Mother Mary.”

The budget for the 10 hours was under $22 million, Burnett said, a small price tag for a production on such a grand scale. (NBC paid $4 million per episode for the show “Smash” this season, according to an estimate by the New York Times)

“It’s not easy, even for us, to sell and get placed on prime time television, 10 hours – Genesis to Revelation,” Burnett said. “Do we wish we had 25 or 100 [hours], yes but we got 10. We got a great budget. It looks like it’s a $200 million movie. Of course it’s not. It’s just our combined experiences, our hearts and efforts that make it look like that.”

Getting it right

As they considered which parts of the Bible to shoot, they had to pare down hundreds of stories.

“The first decision was, it’s one story,” Burnett said. “It’s not a series of unconnected stories, it’s one grand narrative.”

“You could call it the meta narrative.”

The series encompasses five hours of the Old Testament and five hours of the New Testament.

They took many artistic liberties to compress the story lines while hoping to remain true to the story.

A public relations manager for the project described the liberties to me as “extra-biblical but not contra-biblical.”

For instance, in the series opener, the Book of Genesis stories of Adam and Eve and Noah unfold together. Noah and his family are already on the ark while the flood waters batter their boat. To calm his family, Noah tells them the story of creation: “In the beginning! ... ” Noah bellows as he runs around plugging leaks and comforting his family and the animals.

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

An actor portrays an Egyptian slave driver in 'The Bible' miniseries

Similarly, in the story of David and Goliath, when David heads out to face the giant Philistine foe, he clutches his sling and quietly begins to recite the 23rd Psalm, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.” David is considered the author of the psalm, but nowhere in the text of the David and Goliath story does it address what he said as he walked out to battle and slay Goliath.

The dialogue in much of the story is similarly constructed along the lines of the bare-bones text. When Jesus calls Peter to be his disciple, Peter asks, “What are we going to do?” Jesus answers, “We’re going to change the world.” Those lines never appear in the Gospel accounts, but Burnett and Downey insist it is consistent with the text.

“Every step of the way we’ve had scholars and theologians working with us,” Downey said.

Burnett and Downey consulted a wide range of pastors and academics, including a major evangelical leader and a Catholic cardinal.

Their advisory panel consisted of many people from varied backgrounds familiar with sharing the stories of the Bible rather than of a "who’s who" of Biblical academics.

Joel Osteen, a popular television preacher and pastor of the 30,000-member Lakewood church in Houston, was among those consulted. Osteen and Burnett are friends and were developing a television series together that went on the back burner during the production of this series. Osteen even took his family to Morocco during some of the filming.

“[Burnett] would send scripts our way and ask doctrinal or Bible questions about it, but a lot of it was a friendship and an advisory role,” Osteen said.

CNN Belief: Five things we learned from Joel Osteen's visit

Osteen said much of his work was confirming if the extrabiblical material stayed true to the Bible.

His encouragement to Burnett was to “use your creativity to fill in between the lines.”

Another consultant was Rabbi Joshua Garroway, an assistant professor at the Hebrew Union College and an expert on early Christianity and the Second Jewish commonwealth (circa 530 B.C. to 70 A.D.) Judaism. He was a paid consultant on the project.

“One of the issues that came up frequently in the comments was the goal of the production was to remain faithful, or at least as faithful as possible, to the narrative and text of the Bible, as opposed to a historical critical approach,” he said.

“The series is not meant to be a historical feature but as a representation of the biblical narrative which is at times historical and at times not,” Garroway said.

One reason Garroway thought he was brought in was because in parts of the New Testament, “there are less than generous depictions of Jews, Jewish leaders and Jewish traditions.”

One of several Jewish scholars involved, his role as a New Testament scholar was to help the production stay faithful to the text but also “diminish as much as possible scenes or statements that could be construed as overly negative toward Jews and Jewish judgment.”

While he thinks the project has an overall Christian orientation, “I think they did well.”

“I don’t think it will run into the same problems that Mel Gibson’s movie ("The Passion of the Christ") did because the producers have been somewhat conscientious about forestalling some of the things that could produce that effect in the Jewish community,” he said, referring to perceptions of anti-Semitism from the 2004 film.

Osteen thinks the project will have a lasting impact in churches. He plans to use pieces of the project in his services to help illustrate points he’ll make in his sermons.

“I know I’m biased because I’m their friend, but I think it’ll be something that will live on for generations because it’s done with excellence, not knocking anything else, it’s just this is production 50 years past where some of the other films were made,” he said.

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

Burnett and Downey also think this project will be their most lasting and most viewed.

Burnett said the couple have deferred all their fees for the project. They probably don’t need the money anyway. Forbes lists Burnett as among its 100 highest-earning celebrities with an estimated income of $55 million in 2012.

While the History Channel owns the exclusive North American rights to the project, Burnett and Downey own the rights to global distribution and theatrical airings, which are in the works. There is also a book tie-in, games and apps attached to the project.

For the couple, the project was not about turning a profit, though they likely will. Instead, it was about bringing new life to the stories of their faith for a new audience.

“Will it be screened in movie theaters? Yes, for sure. "Already been approached. Arenas, churches, every way you can imagine,” Burnett said.

Burnett ticked through the shows he and Downey have put together over the years. “Over the next 25 years," he said, "more people will see this than all the others combined.”

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Entertainment • TV

soundoff (2,068 Responses)
  1. tony

    another "must see" religion bio.....lol. seems everyone believes they have some important news to share about the oldest bs storyever told

    March 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • lol??

      tony, tony, Paul wasn't known for being handsome either.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:40 am |
  2. ArthurP

    There is no proof that the Bible is not in fact the work of the Devil himself.

    And no, you cannot use the content of the Bible to prove it is not because the Devil just had it written that way to confuse you. Come to think of it, it being the work of the Devil would explain all the killing which is attributed to God.....Done to give God a bad rap.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  3. palintwit

    Chester the Molester = the next pope

    March 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  4. pilo

    So, this creator is moving out of the reality genre...

    March 3, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • David

      Exactly what I was thinking. The trailer was enough to show me that it is another pathetic try.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • lol??

      His own power scared him. Ye ol' life imitating art fiasco. Remember the gubmint employee called the Joker??

      March 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  5. End Religion

    Mark, why are you abandoning your claims?
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/02/the-reality-of-the-bringing-the-bible-to-life/comment-page-2/#comment-2195554

    March 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  6. lolol

    the insecurity of atheists is strong today

    March 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Tea Clown

      ...as is the stench of "Christian" self-righteousness and sanctimony. 😉

      March 3, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Melissa

      Sounds more like the religious are the ones that are running scared. Because their fiction is being proven a fiction.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  7. Never2Late

    It's easy to come on this site and ridicule believers of God. While I do wish many of the non-believers would open their eyes to a higher being, it is also somewhat satisfying to hear the words devoted to bashing the religion. God says Christians will be persecuted. How many other religions out there are in the spot light as much as Christianity? Muslims are the most violent, non-forgiving, extreme people in the world. Yet, there religion isn't persecuted by the majority of people. It is Christianity, and that right there in itself is enough proof I need, which I didn't need anyway, that God is our almighty King!!!!!

    March 3, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Tea Clown

      ...and it's easy for the sanctimonious and self-righteous to espouse their superiority and arrogance too

      March 3, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • tony

      When there are people whose beliefs consist of circular impossible logic, good folk sometimes try and help them understand that. But the important work, is to expose prevent those who are determined to terrorize and groom others with such immoral thinking, especially when it involves our innocent children.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Poor little picked on christian. You clearly did not grow up an atheist in USA, where I dealt with more persecution and prejudice from christians than you can imagine simply because I cannot turn off my logic, reason and other cognitive functions in order to make a leap of faith.

      How many of these so called christians that spoke to me about my "lack of faith", when Iwould point out to them that I am not lacking faith, it is they who are lacking in logic and reason.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Never2Late

      I have no superiority. I am on par with every other man created by God. We live by the same rules laid out in the Bible. Some, will realize that God is our king, some will not. If one person gets saved by watching this series, the entire thing is worthwhile. I try not to judge others, because according to scripture, how I judge others will be the measuring tool used against me on my judgment day. However, we're all sinners and God sent his son Jesus to die on the cross to forgive us of our sins. It was a gift from God to all of us. If we accept that gift, and recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we accept a future in heaven. If not, your future is hell. Scripture, not my words.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • End Religion

      never2late, i see why you're religious. You're incredibly stupid, so it suits you. Take a few moments and think through why it is you hear mostly about Christianity and not Islam. As a hint, take a guess what religion folks in Muslim countries hear most about?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Jeff

      Why do you not require proof for your beliefs? Why would God create a creature, such as you, with incredible intellect, a huge, biologically expensive brain, then command you not to use it to its full capacity?

      As for other religions, such as Islam, I agree about you characterization, but your insistence on blind faith only gives their hatred more power. After all, it's fueled by blind faith (in the same God, no less). Blind faith is the problem, not the particular religion.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Anton

      "Muslims are the most violent, non-forgiving, extreme people in the world."
      Muslim extremists kill 2,000 people in New York and "Christians" (pre-emptive war is very Christ-like) respond by waging a war that has caused around 111,000 civilian deaths in Iraq and another 17,000 in Afghanistan. Please explain how Muslims are worse than Christians, because you both look like a bunch of lying, hypocritical idiots to me.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Never2Late

      @end religion- Christianity is the dominant religion in the US. Islam is the dominant religion in the middle east. Muslims are not persecuted over there, or over here. Christians are persecuted over there and over here, just look at your posts. The truth is in front of your face, you just have to accept it.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Nvr2l8
      blah, blah, blah...pascals wager...blah blah blah.
      Men wrote your bible. no gods required.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Never, how are you being "persecuted?" If you think being ridiculed on a blog is "persecution," you're mighty thin-skinned.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Melissa

      I will not make myself a voluntary slave to someone as hateful and cruel as the fictional christian god. What a horrible way to live life.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Never2Late

      persecute- Subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, esp. because of their race or political or religious beliefs.

      I would say this is exactly how I am being treated on this board. As far as me being thin skinned, your pointed words do not bother me at all. Like I said earlier, they are actually somewhat satisfying.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you think it's persecution when people disagree with believers who espouse hatred of gays and the denial of legal rights to others? You think it's persecution when people call believers on their outright lies?

      If so, maybe you should tell your pals to stop lying and stop using their beliefs to discriminate.

      I don't see anyone discriminating against you.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • JMEF

      Never....
      Islam is where christianity was 500 years ago, speak out and you would be persecuted. With the so called Arab Spring, things may slowly change. Untill all aggresive religion is eliminated the world will continue to be a mess and even then the demise of religion might not relieve humanity out of its death spiral.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • End Religion

      n2l, the beginning of my post to you was "never2late, i see why you're religious. You're incredibly stupid, so it suits you." Note I didn't say "i see why you're christian". You and Muslims are equally stupid. Congrats on that.

      What do you want? Your god supposedly r@ped a 12 year old to give birth to himself. Mohammed married a 9 year old. All your religions are twisted as fuck, and the fact you find any of it virtuous speaks volumes for your lack of character.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Never2Late

      @TomTom- if a Christian is truly living by God's word, they should not be discriminating toward anyone, no matter their choices. No sin is greater than the next in God's eyes. It is all in opposition to him. If a Christian is judging others, he will then be harshly judged on judgment day. It is my duty, as a Christian, to spread the word of God. Not to point out another person's sin. We are all sinners; Christians and non-believers. God sent Jesus, his son, to die on the cross to save us from our sins. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. For who so ever believed in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. So basically, if you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior, and try to live your life according to his word, you are guaranteed a spot in heaven. If you reject Christ, you're doomed to the lake of fire (Revelations 20 14,15

      March 3, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Oh please, enough of the persecution nonsense.
      Christians during Nero's time were feed to lions, covered in tar and set alight as human torches.
      That was persecution.
      Being ridiculed on a message board? ......not so much.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Science

      Never2Late

      Sounds like l4h

      March 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Never2Late

      @JMEF- if Islam is where Christianity was 500 years ago, then explain why Christians are still the ones being persecuted today? Christians will be forever persecuted. Jeremiah 20:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. John 15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

      The Bible was written a long time ago. It's prophecies still hold true today. To me, it is easier today to have faith than ever before.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Never2Late

      @ Cedar Rapids- persecution is persecution. I did not create the definition. Like I said earlier, the words of all the posters do not bother me. I embrace them, for I have strength in my faith and in my Lord.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • End Religion

      Learn about hundreds of failed biblical prophecies. Kind of a lot of misfires for an inerrant "word of god", eh?
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Failed_biblical_prophecies

      March 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Melissa

      Never2Late, being told to stop trying to force your religion on others is NOT persecution.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You have yet to tell anyone how you're being "persecuted," you little pansy.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • mark

      Never. Great job in presenting the facts about our savior. Although we wish they would embrace Christ, even Jesus said dust off your sandals and walk away. They are being deceived by satan and are pawns in this world. They don't realize it, which is why we must have sympathy for them and pray for them. And remember as you said, Blessed are those who are persecuted in the name of Jesus.God Bless you brother!

      March 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Never2Late @ Cedar Rapids- persecution is persecution. I did not create the definition.'
      No, but you did decide that people commenting here matched the definition, which is nonsense.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  8. Mandor

    IEnjoy the show if you're into that. I'll stick with Doctor Who.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • lol??

      He's a has been, what with cell phones and all.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  9. eeenok

    oh my fairy godmother. the history channel, for crying out loud. guess we'll be seeing a whole bunch of invented narrative passed off as actual history, with all the usual carping assertions from people who know it's all true because that's what they were taught as children. typing this blind now, since my eyes have rolled unrecoverably back into my head at the list of consultants, who are largely fundamentalist, or the pretenders who are essentially in the business of extracting money from the gullible. gawd.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • End Religion

      sounds about right, even with your eyes facing the wrong way

      March 3, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  10. tony

    Two Profits, in their own prime-time.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  11. Hello

    There are no gods... never have been never will....
    Read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill to learn about the Roman Family who invented the Christian myth from the Jewish one and WHY.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • lol??

      M I C K E Y why??

      March 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  12. stephen K

    It will be by necessity inaccurate
    the Bible through the eyes of American culture
    and the myths Americans have built around the Biblical stories....
    it will be through Western eyes

    Jesus was not from the industrialized West
    if you want to grab hold of the stories, just read the book
    if you want more insight read books like "through peasant eyes" which help approach the stories
    from the culture of first century Palestine.

    As a Pastor I do not plan to either watch it, or encourage anyone to watch it....

    this is mostly about the money
    these people know you do anything purporting to promote the Bible and "they will come"
    It will be a money maker

    March 3, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Tea Clown

      So when is your next sermon about the wanton greed and profiteering behind organized religion?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  13. brickscity77

    The words "paid" and "jewish" seem to have an inherent ring to it.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  14. tony

    No business like show business, unless you start your own church or your own bank.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Tea Clown

      It's all about the Benjamin$ in religion. It's the oldest con game on earth.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • lol??

      The spirit of ol' Joe Kennedy lives!

      March 3, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Leave it to the t-baggers to mix politics and religion. 🙁

      March 3, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  15. The Truth

    Another attempt at white washing history, How stupid can you people be? You would think that you people would have came to your senses by now. The Father YHVH-and HIS Son Yeshua are not white nor European. The children of Ham and Shem make up the whole story of scripture. The wise men came from the EAST not west. If everyone who reads this, do me this favor, look up who Mary Magdalene was, then find out where Magdala is located "Ethiopia" Then how on earth can this woman be as white as she portrayed? Once you understand that, then move on to more truth. When it was Hebrew Scripture it was all truth, when it was stolen and re-written, removal of the true names and twisting of locations, the bible became a LIE. I don't think it's fair that Lies are projected and pushed on all of us as truth.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Hello

      Read Caesar's Messiah By Joseph Atwill for the details on the Christian myth.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  16. lol??

    holywood never has a pwoblem coming up with character actors for little people. What are they gonna do for the "mighty men of old"??

    "Gen 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown."

    March 3, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Wow, that sounds just like a quote from marvel comic book I used to have...

      March 3, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • lol??

      Clown, ya didn't get the part, but not to worry, there's an opening for a straight man. You could fake that as well as the others.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  17. Al Russell

    If they keep in all the brutal violence, incest and stuff it might actually be decent. Of course, then the "Christians" would all want to ban it.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Guest

      Actually there isn't just one flood story through time. There are others also. Look at this way now God is merciful, to die is an Earthly thing, but to have your soul go nowhere that's no mercy

      March 3, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • eeenok

      this is exactly right. christians tell themselves all sorts of stories to desensitize themselves from all the bible horror, but when i explain the passage when god requested the "hocking" of thousands of horses – big surprise, it means they were crippled by hamstringing – the underprepared christians tend to go a bit pale. i'd also recommend mark twain's observations in Letters From Earth (letter XI) on the biblical slaughter of the midianites

      March 3, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  18. RicktheBrick

    When I see the story of the flood, I see the horrible deaths that the women, children and men must have suffered. I see their bodies floating on the waters being smashed against the rocks and consumed by all sorts of marine life. This country executes people but they do it in the most humane way possible. I guess the infinite powerful god was incapable of doing that since it was not the last time it was done in that god's name. At least show enough respect for your own creation to give them a dignified death. If I would believe everything the bible teaches the only conclusion I can draw is to hate that god with every essence of my being.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • lol??

      Just shoot me and keep yer needles. Needles scare me.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Tea Clown

      Please seek medical help for your delusional nightmares before they manifest themselves in an act of gun violence. 😉

      March 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Mark in ct

      I hope you find God's love abiding over you when everything is gone and nothing else matters except your immortal soul. That's the only essential issue, and this extends to all who delight and obsess over diminishing the role of this great God they profess not to believe in. Isn't it amazing that He loves you still?

      March 3, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • End Religion

      mark, the "essential issue" is that there is no soul and therefore no need for a heaven or for your religion altogether.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • lol??

      That woman, ER, has been hangin' with her daddy too much. That woman has no soul.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • mark

      Mark End knows there is no soul. He is all knowing. He knows it. Although he could never prove there is no soul. But he knows it.

      March 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  19. mariosphere

    First of all, the Bible is a collection of stories by different (mostly anonymous) authors set around a tribal universe. The Bible is not historically accurate by any stretch of the imagination. So, any reference to some so-called reality inherent therein is sheer fallacy and false reasoning.

    Then again, we may see the reality of Santa Claus or leprechauns soon enough.

    March 3, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Hello

      not really... read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill.. the writers of the christian myth were the Roman Flavian family.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Tom

      This is exactly the problem with religion... A bunch of thousands of year old stuff written by anonymous, ignorant people, has more credibility than hard, scientific, modern facts. Remember... religion used to kill people for saying the earth was round just a few hundred years ago. Santa Clause is indeed coming to town... if you believe.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:35 am |
  20. ThinkerToo

    What is the wisdom that proceeds from God? Everyone knows Solomon was one of the wisest men that ever lived, besides Proverbs or the Songs of Solomon there is one story in scripture that reveals God’s wisdom, enabling us to understand what is meant by God wisdom.

    This story is found in first Kings, chapter three verses sixteen through twenty-eight. This story explains there were two harlots that appeared before Solomon, and it seems they must have roomed together or lived in close proximity. Both of them had suckling children, and in those days they, apparently, would sleep in bed with their children.

    One woman rolled on her baby when she was asleep and she smothered the child to death, so she crept in and exchanged her dead child with the other woman’s live child.

    When the other woman awoke she realized there had been a switch, and she knew the child was not hers so the two women appeared unto King Solomon for him to resolve this dispute. In those days, instead of a court room, the King of Israel was elected by God, and he would act as judge and reconcile all disagreements. So what King Solomon suggested was to cut the child in half so they could both share the child. Solomon realized the biological mother would not want to see her child killed and cut in half, and of course this turned out to be the case.

    So the wisdom that proceeds from God is common sense, but as we all know common sense is not all that common.
    And when I traveled around the world I found many different kinds of religions, all proclaim to be the truth. Everyone in their general location will basically adopt the religion of their peers.

    Regardless, when you dissect their doctrines [teaching] what they believe usually defies logic so where is the common sense, where is the wisdom?
    Jesus is God? Scripture says Jesus was tested so God was tested and could have gone to hell? Etc etc etc

    March 3, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Keith

      The story didn't say the women were harlots.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • mariosphere

      ThinkerToo, did you come with all that by yourself? Circular reasoning if you ask me. First, god is a fantastic creation (i.e. fantasy). Talking about the wisdom of god is like referring to the sapience or wisdom of Dr. Xavier of X-Men lore. The Bible is no more true than a well-written comic book.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • lol??

      Wisdom ain't easy when it comes to women.

      March 3, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • One Voice

      Why do you post lie's,

      1 Kings 3:16 – Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. KJV

      March 3, 2013 at 10:52 am |
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About this blog

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