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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. Carter Mobley

    To children who are forced to believe: When adults were young many of them were scared into believing that scripture is perfect truth and now they are trapped by fear that the horrible god might actually exist. The truth is that the god of the Bible, Quran and Torah has never existed. You can prove this by observing the decisions of God with your own eyes. Every day she creates babies and entrusts them to us to love. If God exists, she is very beautiful. Have patience and courage, study science.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Carter Mobley sayz
      To children who are forced to believe:"...........become a Hindu and pick a different mama next time around.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  2. John Diomitron

    @Tom Tom the Piper's Son

    I have not changed my name and neither have you. I follow my Father and His righteous and just ways, and you follow your father and his wicked ways. My Father is Eternal, and your father is temporal. In fact, his time is short. Even he knows that Elijah is here and what is about to happen. Unfortunately, you don't see nor understand this because you have been blinded by his lies and deceits.

    Indeed, Elijah will restore everything, and the Lord Jesus will return when His enemies have been made His footstool. I pray that you repent and change your wicked ways so that you are not a part of that footstool. My Father and Lord and I wish no one to perish! Not even you. I would prefer to call you, even you Tom Tom, my brother in Christ. Your choice!

    March 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Geesh

      I doubt the dude will respond, but nice try. He's got nothing to say unless he can stay angry bitter reveals so much more than he knows....

      March 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Really. You haven't changed your name. Do tell.

      Liar.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Geesh, I KNEW you'd show up. Funny that you answered a post immediately when you were nowhere else on the blog.

      Don't you get tired of being so stupid?

      March 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Oh the humor in watching someone push forward a fairy tale that doesn't have a shred of evidence to back it's claims, tell someone that doesn't believe it, for that very reason, has fallen for "lies, and deceits".

      March 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Run, Run

      to jesus, elijah, he's a coming, and he one nasty mother in the image of the lord; gonna turn five billion non-believers into his footstool. Fvck you are stupid even for a born again.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Geesh

      Fishy fishy fishy took the bait thanks for a laugh tommie boy!

      March 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • lol??

      rabidatheist, I'm gettin' tired. Too much jerry lee lewis. How 'bout a flow chart??

      March 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • End Religion

      @JohnnyD:

      You follow a myth. There is nothing righteous about the mercurial and immoral wrath of your god, and even less righteousness in your assertion that imaginary creatures such as this should dictate morality. What boundless stupidity would make you think an atheist "follows a father" of any kind - for goodness sake, Your Thickness, don't you understand atheists don't believe in any of that claptrap?

      How do you know whose time is short? Are you arrogantly assuming to know the mind of your god? And what does Elijah Woods have to do with this? You don't worship Hobbits, do you?

      LOL, why would jesus make a footstool out of someone? Can't jesus just make his own furniture out of wood or something by snapping his fingers, unless he prefers furniture made out of humans, in which case I'd say he sounds vaguely German and not someone I'd want to hang around with. John, you don't have lamp shades made of human skin in your house, do you?

      If your god truly wished no one to perish, why the fuck did he purportedly create the universe in such a away that EVERYTHING dies?!? You make no sense. If he didn't want us to die, we wouldn't. And again, how do you know god and jesus don't want people to die – do you know their thoughts? You realize your religion is polytheistic, right?

      March 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Hello

      a brain programed with mythic krap is no brain at all.. may the Borg be with you in your journey of stupidity.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  3. TiredOfFalseProphets

    A well-fit endeavor for a producer of so-called "reality" tv. We all know that "reality" tv is actually scripted and edited by a production team, which has the goal of presenting a skillfully prepared product that appears raw and genuine but which is really just a commodity designed to appeal to a target audience.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  4. Wallace

    check out the fool's on a blog who try and say that Roman History is a lie, fake, & not real. Coming from American's who live in a country built 1800 years after Rome killed Jesus. Where is Rome today? Not a nation its a city, and inside that city is another city. Joke is on the fool this time! Rome killed a man for being the King of the Jew's and his name was Jesus. Three day's later no one could find the body, and Rome beheaded the guards. As the Roman people turned to Christianity Rome fell!! This is not bible, this is history.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You deem yourself knowledgeable about history but can't manage to figure out plurals and apostrophes? Give me a break.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • EvidenceBased4

      So, according to your theory of history, what is it that the Egyptians did wrong in order to deserve to collapse? The Greeks? The Mesopatamians? The Maya? The Olmec? The Indus Valley? The Han Dynasty? The Moche? The British Empire? The Minoans?...

      March 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • EvidenceBased4

      Like so many aspects of religion, you can convince yourself it makes perfect sense as long as everything you know about the world is centered on your particular holy book. It's called "confirmation bias."

      March 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Do you really think your argument holds? So some Roman account of guards being punished for dereliction of duty somehow lends credence to your resurrection story? Just how far down the Roman military ranks do you have to be to get assigned corpse watch duty? Were they whoring it up instead of making sure the tomb wasn't raided and the body removed? Of course your version sounds SO much more plausible.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      Please, please provide a historical link to the Roman record where I can read this. And remember it can't be a much later writing by Christians, or someone repeating what Christians believe to be true. It must be actual historical record.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • lol??

      Wally, this is the Beaver. Watch out for Pipe. She'll be claiming you're me if you don't tighten up..........."can't manage to figure out plurals and apostrophes?"

      March 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Hello

      The only part that the jesus character played in Roman history was when the Roman Flavian family created the christian myth out of the Jewish one.... both myths by the way are fake and were created as political tools...for several reasons.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Rome fell about a hundred years after it became Christian and it was due to the west and east empires fighting each other and basically collapsing.

      March 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  5. AtheistSteve

    This sounds about as appealing as Honey Boo Boo...I'll pass thank you very much.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  6. ArthurP

    Soon to be the planets richest third world country.

    March 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  7. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    easy money

    fleecing the flock

    March 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      But one area involving religion that can't escape paying taxes.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    The rest of the civilized world has moved past this bronze age story book. America is becoming a laughing stock with its continued belief in this rubbish.

    March 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • ArthurP

      Soon to be the world's richest third world country.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  9. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    i want to see the scientology movie

    March 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      Battleship Earth, no?

      March 3, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  10. Bob

    Oh, the irony. A book of mostly fiction, depicted in "Reality TV".

    March 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • EvidenceBased4

      It completes the circle of irony created by considering reality TV "real." He went from fictionalizing real scenarios, to taking fiction and presenting it as reality.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  11. LoverofJesus

    "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God". – Psalms 14:1

    March 3, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • LoverofJesus

      Hell is full of fools.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Bob

      If you are going to dump bible quotes on us, then let's have a look at what's really in your Christian book of nasty:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

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

      March 3, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Wallace

      :))) Can you imagine how the fool's looked when Jesus body was gone!!! The Roman guards responsible were beheaded for failing to stop the resurrection!!! Then you have fool's on a blog try and say that Roman History is a lie, fake, & not real. Coming from American's who live in a country built 1800 years after Rome killed Jesus. Where is Rome today? Not a nation its a city, and inside that city is another city. Joke is on the fool this time!

      March 3, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • LoverofJesus

      Bob, according to Psalms 14:1...you're a fool. Bob Jesus loves you 🙂

      March 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Christian7

      Bob, Everyone of your quotes has a much better explanation that you imply.

      For example, the Bible does not condone slavery:

      “Anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death” (Exodus 21:16).

      And death is not murder; it is capital punishment.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Melissa

      LoverofJesus, your god is imaginary. Your god doesn't do ANYTHING.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • End Religion

      hell is full of Christians who've been turned into footstools.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Hello

      well lover.. if anyone would know it would be YOU..

      March 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  12. budshot

    blech! no thanks!

    March 3, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  13. bruce

    All these comments, all these atheist, all these christians, all these that believe all these that do not believe the bible isnt a fairytale it is a history lesson. Believe or not it has to be more entertaining than Survivor, and his other shows. At least with this we can see some action. Atheist hate ad Christians hate, in the end someday we all will be judged and man will not be that judge.we wonder why the world is such a mess.EVERYONE JUST HATES EVERYTHING. A little more care and it would be a much better place. But do unto others as you have them do unto you is UNKNOWN. Well that scripture alone sure would change the way people act ifeveryone did just that.

    March 3, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • jsteez

      The golden rule is actually borrowed from confucious analects....written b4 Jesus was allegedly alive

      March 3, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Hello

      as an Atheist i do not have Christians or others who are programed with myths... it is pointless to hate the mentally ill.
      Those captured by the Borg systems .. are brains slaves.... nothing more.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  14. Viper

    "Reality TV" is the perfect avenue for the Bible.

    Utter Bulls–t.

    March 3, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • GAW

      But no Snooki sniff sniff

      March 3, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • ShaneRa1n

      Couldn't have said it any better myself

      March 3, 2013 at 11:48 am |
  15. jsteez

    So he's gone from reality television to fictional television

    March 3, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Christian7

      How do you know it is fiction?

      March 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Melissa

      Christian7, have you bothered to read your bible? Then you know it's fiction. You don't get to pick and choose.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Christian7 Do you have any evidence of the magical events occurring outside of the Bible? Or is all the evidence you have the book, a book just the the books of Greek, Roman, or anything else we refer to as mythology? Unless you do, it's just as fictional.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Christian7

      rabidatheist, Prophesies have come true exactly as stated in the Bible. It is not me that has not studied these things sufficiently ; it is you.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      People said that about Jean Dixon's predictions, too.

      You must be really, really smart.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Hello

      7.. homework assignment.. read Caesar's Messiah by Joseph Atwill and then tell me you still believe in the christian myth.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • rabidatheist

      @ Christian7 When you write the story after the events occur, it's not really prophetic. The writers of the New Testament read the Old Testament then wrote their STORY to make it look like their invented messiah was predicted my the older religion. It's a real easy literary trick, I am shocked this doesn't even register with believers.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Melissa

      Christian7, prophecies of Nostradamus have come true but that doesn't make him a god.

      March 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  16. GAW

    You know when you consult Joel Osteen to make a Biblical Epic it's gotta be good. Jesus goes to the cross with a big smile on his face and says "It could be worse could be stabbed"

    March 3, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Osteen bears a marked resemblance to Ed, the talking horse.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • GAW

      Weill Wilburrrrr.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. Isaac Asimov

    March 3, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • ShaneRa1n

      Excellent quote

      March 3, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  18. MagicPanties

    The greeks and romans believed in their mythological gods just as fervently as today's christians (or jews, or muslims etc.).
    When you [believers] dismiss those gods, it is for the same reason(s) I dismiss yours.

    March 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    enjoy it while it lasts Christians. Another 10 or 20 generations and the human race will look on your God and Jesus the same way as we look on Zeus and Thor and Ra (and santa claus and the tooth fairy) today. What a giggle!

    March 3, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • GAW

      I think everyone was saying that over 200 years ago.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    Without Honey BooBoo or the Kardashians to watch 2,000 years ago, people had to make stuff up to entertain themselves. The Bible is just a collection of the best of those stories. It's like America's Funniest Home Videos from the bronze age. 🙂

    March 3, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • ShaneRa1n

      That "God" for fre speech

      March 3, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • John Famer

      Or your life now.

      March 3, 2013 at 11:54 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.