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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. THE BROWN NOTE

    A little closer to reality.

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

    March 4, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  2. Nietodarwin

    Muslims kill xstians and Jews, and around it goes. There is NO difference in believing that Jesus loves you, that there is a "loving god" than there is believing that you should not eat pork and that you will get 70 virgins in heaven if you kill several thousand people by crashing a plane into a building. THAT'S why they call it FAITH. That's why atheists call it all mental illness and delusion. Most people who hurt kids were hurt themselves as kids. Most "believers" were taught their "faith" as children, and continue the cycle. It's sad, it's ignorant, and religion perpetuates itself by means of brainwashing (and murder of "non-believers" THAT'S what the EVIDENCE shows. THAT'S why they call it "FAITH" because it lacks all EVIDENCE.
    You can't REASON with religious people because they have "FAITH" That's why religion has always gone against science first, and then religion recants and adapts to keep itself going and in power. Like Galileo said, "They can lock me up but I'm still moving."

    March 4, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Humble_Hearted

      All this debate about "FAITH" and "RELIGION" and "BELIEVERS" running around saying, ITS IN GOD'S WILL...or IT HAS BEEN PURPOSED FOR YOU. Does sound like brainwashing doesn't it? (Rhetorical Question)

      Religion or as I like to call it FAITH is stereotyped just like the LGBT community, or the pudggy kid in school. It once believers begin to FORCE the truth down the throats and minds of people that it looks bad. I don't knock an atheist or a scientist / christian (whatever that denomination is called) for what they believe in, its once they begin to shove their FAITH on me that I end the conversation. Thats it, why can't this all just be conversation. Sharing ideas, and opinions about our personal FAITH.

      People have faith in their cars, and chairs. Of course because that's what it made for and its proven that if you drive or sit that it will provide the service that has been guarenteed. That's no different then the call to discipleship. People who have tried God (in whatever denomination or compacity) and He has came through for them. So lets not attack anyone's faith, because any day, the car could break down, or the chair could collapse...think about it.........

      March 4, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  3. tony

    So Bible readers and believers. What is the consensus of the message god sent by the visible meteorite and visible close asteroid pass last month? Clearly, you all would receive the same meaning, so what is it? See Genesis 1:14 if you haven't read your bible much lately.

    I should have gotten millions of correct replies by now. Are the god given signs not clear????

    March 4, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • Humble_Hearted

      tony –> So Bible readers and believers. What is the consensus of the message god sent by the visible meteorite and visible close asteroid pass last month? Clearly, you all would receive the same meaning, so what is it? See Genesis 1:14 if you haven't read your bible much lately.

      I should have gotten millions of correct replies by now. Are the god given signs not clear????

      Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

      How about you explain first. I am ignorant to this question, and unclear as to why you chose Genesis 1:14 as scripture reference. So please, help me understand.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:30 am |
  4. JEV1A

    "The Bible" my ass! This slockmaster "Reality TV" mogal will take a evangelical role and try to push versions of the Scripter only found in the deep "redneck" south. 400 crew needed to Shoot Surviver? How about putting this dude on an island for a month and coming back when he calls in a couple of days because he has run out of expresso. Lets leave this genre of programming to The History Channel (A&E) PLEASE!

    March 4, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  5. Lemuel H

    The last place I'd be going to get direction on stories about the Bible is to a Cardinal, because they can't seem to get their story right. Furthermore, many of the things Jesus commanded us not to do the Catholic Church does; therefore. the story was doomed from it's beginning.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  6. tony

    So Bible readers and believers. What is the consensus of the message god sent by the visible meteorite and visible close asteroid pass last month? Clearly, you all would receive the same meaning, so what is it? See Genesis 1:14 if you haven't read your bible much lately.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Russ

      If you read the Bible like a book on astrology, you miss the whole point.
      Jesus said the whole thing was about him (Jn.5:39-40; Lk.24:27,44)

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

      March 4, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • tony

      Nope. Gensis1:14 is God's word, according to the bible. So the heavens displays signs, and you are ducking the sensible question. You must be religious 🙂

      March 4, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Russ

      @ tony: i'm guessing you read poetry that way, too?
      "the fog comes on little cat's feet" means the fog is made of cats.

      ever notice the elevated prose of Genesis 1? the repeti.tion of key phrases? how it reads almost like a song?
      read with an eye for genre. the bible is not one continuous genre.
      Gen.1-2 has a similar relationship as judges 4-5 & Exodus 14-15.

      being literal or literary is not the same as literalism.
      many commenters here fail to note the difference and purposefully straw man the text more shallowly almost any believer – Jewish or Christian.

      here's a little help...
      http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf

      March 4, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  7. lin

    The bible stories being told, are not factually true because all hebrew were, are and will always be black.

    March 4, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Lenora

      Where in the BIBLE is this stated?

      March 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  8. Truthbetold

    Atheists act like its more reasonable to believe our universe just appeared out of nowhere and the incredibly complex balance that is required for our current existence all came to be purely by chance...even though the slightest variance would make the universe totally sterile and nothing like our own. But I'm crazy for believing in something bigger and greater right?

    March 4, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Atheists do not believe that the universe "came from nothing." You idiots keep posting that crap; it's no wonder others laugh at you. You can believe whatever you want, but you don't have any evidence that an invisible creature created anything.

      Yapping that the earth was created perfectly just for us is the height of arrogance. You are assuming that had anything been different, life wouldn't have occurred. That's not a given. Different life forms might very well have arisen. We are here because of adaptation to the environment, not the other way around.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • tony

      Would you buy an obviously old, fairly worn and slightly battered used car, with the engine running and the lights left on, if the salesman told you it was deliberately made brand new that way yesterday????

      March 4, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Humble_Hearted

      Not crazy at all. Your faith is what matters. I actually dated an atheist, and the conversations we had were GREAT (of course we are no longer together lol). I believe if we would stop trying to "convert" and just walk OUT our faith in love, people may change their mind, and/or begin to see God (through our actions, exuding Christ like behavior). They may come asking, what must they do to be saved.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:19 am |
    • sam stone

      and theists constantly make the logical leap from the possibility of a creator to the certainty that it was God

      March 4, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • JJ

      Right.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      The foolishness is to believe that something estimated to be approximately 92 Billion light yers in diameter was specifically made to support life on a tiny, blue dot somewhere in the middle of it. Were you aware that the Earth's atmospheric conditions were different when life first formed here? It means that life can exist in different conditions. Not just what we have today. Therefore, the chance of life existing elsewhere in the Universe is actually quite high. We might be as intelligent as ants in comparison to alien life, or vice versa. But the fact of the matter (which can come from nothing–research it–without the need for a sky hostess) is that belief in a diety is something we have outgrown the need for. It's time to move on.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • End Religion

      Sounds like Humble's significant other got out just in time. "Don't date crazy," is sound advice.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Truthbetold

      The truth is that even with the advances of science we still know next to nothing. As we learn more, it just reveals how little we actually know. Life and the universe becomes increasingly complex the more you study it and the more you learn about it. One may conclude there is a God or greater spirit that exists outside of the natural world...someone else may conclude otherwise. But it would be nice if atheists stopped acting like they have all the answers or are somehow smarter. Many scientists also believe in God, they just don't parade it because of the venom of many atheists. I'm not absolving religious people either...many have shown over and over to be quite ignorant and violent at times. I get just as annoyed at people that believe the earth is 10,000 years old. But that is a human problem and not a problem with God.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Those who act as though they have all the answers are the ones who claim that God created it all, that evolution is a lie, that the Bible is inerrant. That would be the fundie theists.

      I have said repeatedly that I have no problem with acknowledging that I don't know. No one does. It's just the fundies that won't admit it.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Humble_Hearted

      In response to –>Truthbetold
      The truth is that even with the advances of science we still know next to nothing. As we learn more, it just reveals how little we actually know. Life and the universe becomes increasingly complex the more you study it and the more you learn about it. One may conclude there is a God or greater spirit that exists outside of the natural world...someone else may conclude otherwise. But it would be nice if atheists stopped acting like they have all the answers or are somehow smarter. Many scientists also believe in God, they just don't parade it because of the venom of many atheists. I'm not absolving religious people either...many have shown over and over to be quite ignorant and violent at times. I get just as annoyed at people that believe the earth is 10,000 years old. But that is a human problem and not a problem with God.

      I agree with you comment 100%. I feel like we when it come to theology, its the I'm right and you're wrong on both sides. There are so many questions unanswered on both ends. I have a Hebrew Isrealite friend who is great. He asked me, "How is it that Solomon, the wises man in the bible, and of life itself, still felt empty and incomplete? With all his wives and side chicks (lol), riches, wisdom and knowledge, he still felt beneath at times?" I answered him, "thats because Solomon showed that he was still human. Not immortal. While he received what he only asked for. In Ecclesiastes he makes a great point that the poor should learn from the rich. That the rich should learn from the poor.

      I am not implying that anyone should back down from what they believe in, but we just need to find a better way to talk about, even if we do get passionate and over zealous about it...What we do once the "debate" and/or conversation is over is the important part to me.

      Everyone has limits..............

      March 4, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  9. Larian LeQuella

    So, he'll have all the slavery, r@pe, genocide, abuse, incest, misogyny, as well as saying bats are birds, and then show how someone got over a million species on a boat that was incabable of flaoting, etc....

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com

    March 4, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  10. mikey

    I wonder if they will include the part when Noah get hammered and sleeps with his daughters..

    March 4, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • End Religion

      I assume Noah had 2 pot plants on board...

      March 4, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Lenora

      I would just like to know if the people who produce these "BIBLE' epics /movies EVER read the bible. So much of what I saw last night was so woefully inaccurate. It makes me sick to my heart. Many people who have read the bible and know it's content can see around the errors and mistakes made, but what of the people who don't know any better? They will take this hodg-podge for truth and be more confused than ever. Do you all not take GOD into account when you do these things?
      Do you not know that you will be held responsible for mutilating HIS word?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Mark

      It was Lot who slept with his daughters.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • wrong guy

      That's Lot, not Noah.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • End Religion

      Noah slept with his daughters too, and most of the animals. That's the takeaway from the bible: kill whomever you feel like but be sure to r@pe them first.

      March 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  11. richunix

    Dwight,

    A couple of question?
    What was Adams first wife name?
    Where in the Bible, did it say HA-Satan was thrown out of Heaven?

    March 4, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Joel Kilgore

      richunix

      Dwight,

      A couple of question?
      What was Adams first wife name? Eve "Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living." KJV

      Where in the Bible, did it say HA-Satan was thrown out of Heaven? Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. KJV

      March 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Lenora

      Please read Luke 10:18; & Revelation 12:7-9

      March 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  12. Humble_Hearted

    Ohhhh the pleasure of free speech and theological debates. I have many suggestions. First, you can read the bible for yourself and study it (google and wikipedia if that's your thing). Second, enroll in a seminary school or course. Third, travel to the the places mentioned and see what kind of connection you get with the atmosphere. Fourth, you can try praying. Fifth, you can keep bashing and wait until the end of you existence to see if there is a God, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Sarah, Leah, Rachel, Lucifer, Jesus, Peter, Paul, Timothy, John, Philip, Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Samson, Jezebel, Jeremiah, three hebrew boys, and so many others.

    Well I believe I just solved everyone's mystery. ^_^ God bless

    March 4, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Aydin

      Have you done numbers 1-4 for every known religion just to check and see which works best? If not, you don't have a lot of credibility.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • End Religion

      The fact finding has been done. The Abrahamic religions are a fraud. This is a known quantity. All that's left is the wailing and gnashing of teeth as you let go of your tattered security blanket.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Humble_Hearted

      In Response to –>Aydin
      Have you done numbers 1-4 for every known religion just to check and see which works best? If not, you don't have a lot of credibility.

      Oh Aydin, you a missing my point. I have done 1, in the process of 2, saving up for three and four ABSOLUTELY (I've built my relationship with God from it). Please do not take my patronizing seriously. I don't have all the answer and would never protray, however, to have people think is all I am to do. I study different religions and find them all to be beautiful. I allow people to believe in what helps them get by. That's why faith and relationships are personal. I don't argue if the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the best route. I don't argue the accounts of the bible at all. I love to talk about. I believe that there is something in it for all of us to learn. From Muslims to Atheist. I am not closed minded and that is the main point of my comment. People have to open their minds before the discount ANYTHING.

      So, in conclusion, Yes, I have begun the process. Some people need to try it before they knock it.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  13. Spoken

    I find it interesting Atheists love to call the Bible fiction when everything about their belief is based on a purely Fictional, Racist, Murderous, unproven, and non-testabled, failed Hypothesis.

    You do realize Hitler was the perfect example of darwinism in action. Just read his book the Decent of Man. so hey if you approve of racism and genocide go be a an atheist.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • DaTruth

      I am agnostic because of people like you

      March 4, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Spoken

      Because I stand up for the truth of the Bible and defend it? that makes sense.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • End Religion

      Would be nice if your diatribe had a few facts in it.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so [Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]
      -1. “The greatness of every mighty organization embodying an idea in this_world lies in the religious fanaticism and intolerance with which,_fanatically convinced of its own right, it intolerantly imposes its_will against all others.” [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf" Vol. 1 Chapter 12]

      March 4, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • tony

      Atheists don't ave beliefs, just respect for proven fact and evidence. Seems like you have some really off the wall ones about people other than yourself. Voices in your head perhaps?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Aydin

      "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. .. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison" – Adolf Hitler

      Example of atheist thought, eh?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Spoken

      How about predicive prophecy from Isaiah and Daniel?

      how about Daniel written during the time of Babylon calling out that that Babylon would fall to Medo-Persia? or that Medopersia would fall to Greece? or how that Greece would fall interally and Rome would take over and during that time the Christ would be born?
      Daniel 2,7,8,9,10?

      How about the World is round when "science" said it was flat? perhaps would like me to list a long list of everything the Bible got right when science said it was wrong?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • bmurdoc

      What a bunch of nonsense, and like all religious nuts you don't offer any facts to support your ramblings

      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Spoken

      Any man can claim religion. you can tell by his actions whether he is a christian or not.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Aydin

      Spoken, you wrote "Any man can claim religion. you can tell by his actions whether he is a christian or not."

      So basically rather than looking at the evidence to see if Christians leaders have behaved well or not you are going to define as Christian only those leaders that behave well. I think we understand why Christian thinking can get a bit muddled.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Spoken

      Ha. I have yet to see any "facts" of evolution.

      In the Beginning there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing so nothing exploded and Billions of galaxies formed out of nothing. oh ya thats really factual..

      Evolution Breaks
      – Law of biogenesis
      – Laws of Thermodynamics

      March 4, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Spoken

      Actually thats what JEsus Said, If you love me Keep my Commandments. so Its pretty easy to tell.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • End Religion

      Spoken, maybe it will benefit you to know the the Theory of Evolution is easily confused with the more mundane 'evolution'. The Theory itself has nothing to do with galaxy formation. One may say "the universe evolved" meaning "it came about" but they wouldn't be referring to the Theory of Evolution. It is easily confused.

      It may or may not help you to know that every creationist argument was debunked 10 years ago and the only remaining proponents are only interested in selling backlogged books and T-shirts.

      Learn more about the flawed "broken thermodynamic law" argument:
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html

      March 4, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • JJ

      @Spoken...wow, you really need to get yourself a basic education before spewing anymore ignorance. Reading a bronze age text and asking your pastor is not an education.

      March 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  14. Itchy brain

    Why so many people feel threatened by the Bible actually ends up giving it more credibility. One certainly can't refute the historical accuracy of it. The things that require faith, well, yeah, if ya ain't got faith, I suppose you ain't gonna believe it. But to speak of the Bible like an ignoramus, just makes the rest of us laugh.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Can't refute the historical accuracy of it? Do you believe Noah built an ark and marched all the animals on it two by two?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • End Religion

      How anyone sees perpetrating human sacrifice as virtuous is incomprehensibly twisted. You're dancing in glee over human sacrifice. That you can't see your own ignorant sickness, and further find it "morally positive," is a marvel.

      March 4, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • tony

      So what message have you gotten from the meteorite landing in Russia last Month? Genesis 1:14

      March 4, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Joel Kilgore

      Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:11 KJV

      The trouble with discussing scriptures with non-believers is that no reference of a conversation is valid. It is impossible to use any biblical reference to non-believers and hard enough to rationalize with believers.

      I doubt anyone can refute that the earth had a coling period, scientifically. And yet most believers miss the cooling period as explained biblically.

      Take Genesis

      1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

      1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (without form and void, as if hit by a large asteroid, literally the earth burnt and scorched)

      1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (smoke dissapating)

      1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

      1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

      1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. (cooling period here. the waters had vaporized)

      1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. (vapor cooling and forming clouds and seas)

      1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

      1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. (again cooling and water levels going down from boiling seas to cooler seas)

      And why would i think the earth had been destroyed from the beginiing of Genesis...

      maybe a clue was in what God told to Adam and Eve.. Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth...

      So they were to replenish... It sounds like there was something already here and it was destroyed.

      Let us all remember, no matter what we believe, we are still at the mercy of God, and we are definately, whether you believe or not, at the mercy of the cosmos. In essence we all have less time to believe than to debate the belief.

      March 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  15. paul

    we will die one day then it will be too late to believe and obey God

    March 4, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why? Time is nothing to god, according to you. Why should it be too late?

      March 4, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  16. paul

    Hebrews 9:27

    27 And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment;

    March 4, 2013 at 10:52 am |
  17. Oxymoron

    The bible is as far from reality as it gets.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  18. THE BROWN NOTE

    I like a good fantasy series now and again, but this one isn't even remotely interesting.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  19. Dorian

    The fables of the bible are just as real as "Reality" TV anyway.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  20. palintwit

    Tea Party Patriots believe that early man rode dinosaurs to church every Sunday. Tea Party Patriots believe that early man parked their dinosaurs in the Roman coliseum while they were in church.

    March 4, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • fintastic

      Can you validate the parking on my dinosaur?

      March 4, 2013 at 11:25 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.