The secular high priest of SXSW
Bijoy Goswami is the founder of Bootstrap Ausitn and has become a secular pastor to Austin start ups.
March 9th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

The secular high priest of SXSW

By Josh Rubin, CNN
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Austin, Texas (CNN)– As the Catholic world focuses on Rome and awaits a new pope, the secular world has turned its attention to Austin, Texas, for the annual pilgrimage of tech and music.

This weekend marks the start of the 20th annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival, an event with the goal of “fostering creative and professional growth.” For five days, some of the world’s brightest minds will commune, collaborate and experiment.

With its live music, free-flowing alcohol, and hook-up culture, SXSW has developed a reputation as being a spring break for nerds. There’s even an app by Qpid.me that lets attendees share medical records to prove their STD-free status.

But there is more to it than pure bacchanalia.

For Bijoy Goswami, this is a high holiday with as much virtue as vice. He sees SXSW as a secular celebration where people join together to take the tools of technology and transform them into world-shaking culture. It's no accident that Twitter was released at SXSW.

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At 39-years-old, Goswami is the quintessential Austenite with long hair, a casual style and a computer science degree. He has made a home and built a career around the Austin ethos. He's introspective, relaxed, hip and weird - in a good way.

Goswami describes Austin as a place of becoming: “I’m trying to figure out what to do in my various aspects of my life - spiritual, work, relational - things like that. Austin gave me the communities to work through those questions for myself,” he says.

Moving to Austin from Silicon Valley in the mid-'90s, Goswami started a software company before finding what he says is his true calling. Taking what he learned during his own self-discovery, he now makes his living helping other entrepreneurs find their own path.

Successful startups are often built by people who know who they are and what they want, said Goswami who tries to provide a platform for people to find those answers for themselves.

It’s that message of personal exploration and responsibility that local leaders like Heather McKissick find so appealing. “If there is a secular guru, it's Bijoy. His message is one of self-enlightenment through the hard work of bootstrapping and chopping wood.”

Through years of friendship, SXSW panels, and her work as president of the Austin Leadership council, McKissick has experienced all sides of a man she calls a brilliant secular humanist. “He has his disciples, but there is also a trusted inner circle that sees past the charisma and understands him as a brilliant, articulate and equally flawed human as the rest of us.”

Born in India to a Hindu father and Catholic mother, Goswami was a child of both Eastern and Western philosophy. “I always had exposure to Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. They were all in the water and air I was breathing. “

Goswami’s mother, however, wanted her children to be raised Catholic.

“My dad said, ‘Fine.’ So all the way through 18, Catholicism worked for me. I didn’t question it - I just liked it.”

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His father’s career moved the family from India to Taiwan and then to Hong Kong. Goswami’s mother began teaching at the American Hong Kong International School, allowing him and his brothers to attend for free. Goswami’s life in Hong Kong was a happy one - at home, school, and in church.

“I was an altar boy. I had no problems with priests. I read the Gospels. I was a student of the Bible. I believed I had a personal relationship with God … all of that stuff. “

But long before Pope Benedict resigned, Goswami had already fired him.

While attending Stanford University, Goswami began studying the history of the Catholic Church, and long held beliefs began to erode. “My mind's getting blown. Every single thing that I believed, like the sacraments, were just invented by various popes and people.”

Like many, after leaving home for college, Goswami had a crisis of faith. By the end of  his sophomore year, he came to a realization “that not only were Christianity and Catholicism invented by people … but so was every other religion. Take the Catholic Church - it’s caught up in old conversations that aren’t relevant. They’re still fighting the battles of 50 years ago within themselves rather then helping people on their journey or path.”

For Goswami, not being a Catholic meant more than shrugging off the teachings of the church. It meant fundamentally changing his relationship with his mother. “That was a really hard moment for my mom and me. I went back to Hong Kong for summer break and I said, ‘Hey Mom, I’m not going to go to church with you.' ”

The beginning of Goswami’s story isn’t unique, but that didn’t make his religious disillusionment any easier. It hurt him to hurt his mother. “I was her blue-eyed altar boy who had done no wrong, who she thought would be a priest … and I am a priest, just differently,” he says.

As a secular priest of sorts, Goswami has officiated weddings and provided council for hundreds in the Austin startup community. He received his ordination online through the popular Universal Life Church, which according to its website ordains, "ministers, priests, rabbis and clergy worldwide who are totally non-religious or even anti-religious."

Bijoy Goswami preforms the wedding of Bruce Krysiak and Gigi De Leon in April 2012.

One such person counseled by Goswami is Josh Baer, manager of Austin’s Capital Factory incubator. Goswami was a crucial part of his development as an entrepreneur.

Goswami “has this Zen quality and personal confidence that makes people feel comfortable sharing their dreams and aspirations,” Baer says. “He guides others on their path.”

To Baer and hundreds like him, Goswami is like a high priest for Austin’s entrepreneurs, a role he built over the years by leaning on the lessons of the faith he left.

He created a congregation of like-minded entrepreneurs by founding bootstrap Austin, an informal group of founders coming together to share experiences. His message is that just because you’re going it alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone, and it permeates the Austin start-up scene.

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That deep understanding of the importance of community is one of the reasons he isn’t bitter towards Catholicism. “I’m grateful to religion. In the march of history, it has served a very important purpose,” he says, pausing and smiling slightly. “Now we start to take that back.”

Participating in the 10-day SXSW festival is part of what Goswami calls his self-curation. It’s one of the ways he has found meaning without God.

“We’ve recreated those structures, we need celebration, we need community, we need conversation about meaning and identity, all those things we need,” he says.

For Goswami, religion is of his past, and now it’s time for him to move on.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church • Texas • United States

soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. mick

    Hmm....so why didn't Rubin ask Goswami what he believes? This is the "Belief Blog" right? Goswami apparently rejects religion but does he believe in a source of physical reality? He talks about his spiritual life so he obviously isn't a naturalist. Goswami sounds like an interesting dude. Too bad Rubin missed the boat on this piece.

    March 12, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  2. HarryGP

    Another one fell away.

    March 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  3. Brian

    I don't know why I read these comments since all it does is raise my blood pressure, but here I have a question for the religious extremists on here, What is wrong with love? Isn't love, any love a good thing? Isn't all love supposedly come from God? Wouldn't that mean that 2 people, even if they are athiests, fall in love with each other, mean to you that while they may not believe in Him, that He still loves them and gives his love through them? I thought that Christianty was all about forgivness and acceptance of others, as Jesus says in the Bible.

    March 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Ken

      You see, Christianity sells itself as the only way to real happiness. So, when many Christians see nonbelievers actually happy, or good without sharing their faith, they just have to become buzzkills.

      March 11, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • lkjljlJ@yahoo.com

      "Christianity sells itself as the only way to real happiness. "


      March 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • ..

      Yep. Sorry, but it's true.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  4. lol??

    Picture:"Bijoy Goswami preforms the wedding of Bruce Krysiak and Gigi De Leon in April 2012." Jesus has a different opinion on that.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:14 am |
    • ReligionIsBs

      My toaster has an opinion on it too, but my toaster isnt a predjudiced jerk like jeebus

      March 10, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Brian

      Christians are the only religion that marries? Interesting, you might want to let the people in all the other religions know that their marriges are just shams. Good luck with that.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Hubert

      Jesus is dead. Therefor he has no opinion.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Akira

      And what opinion would Jesus have about a man and a woman getting married?
      Are you against that, too, in addition to everything else you hate, lol??

      March 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Len

      I'd have thought that you at least have heard of Jewish weddings? You know, like the one where Jesus made more wine for a bunch of people who were already drunk? It's in the Bible, you know?

      March 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • lol??

      Adam and Eve should have waited til the Beasties were issuing licenses. All that livin' in sin, tsk, tsk. For them and the preformers!! See caption again.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • clarity

      Poor uncomfy Puritan lol?? idiot. (Yes, it seems bigotry has a representative on the BB.)

      March 12, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  5. lol??

    ".................His message is one of self-enlightenment through the hard work of bootstrapping and chopping wood.”

    That's the wight-wing part of his bwain speakin'. Pull yersef up by yer bootstwaps, so the "wegodians" can chop yer legs out from under ya.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • ..


      March 10, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Brian

      Soooooo what are you saying? That people should just lay around and not do for themselves, but let others do for them? That sounds alot like Communism. Are you a Commie?

      March 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  6. lol??

    ".........For five days, some of the world’s brightest minds will commune, collaborate and experiment.........."

    "Psa 64:5 They encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?" Da whole wurld is there test tube. You are the specimen.

    March 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • midwest rail

      t – h – e – i – r

      March 10, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • lol??

      i saw it b4 u rail.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • midwest rail

      Sure ya did.... lying is a sin.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  7. Science


    Hey Bobie and As-stin Chad/rachel l4h fred Robert Brown loony bethany etc etc All creationists !!!

    Was the bible around back then ?

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    March 10, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Science

      Topher too

      March 10, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • lol??

      you need a teensie bit more power to change yer lead into gold. Try clumpin' with da socies, bigot.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • lol??

      Aren't there any pure High Priests of Science? They are always w*h*o*r*i*n*g* with the Beast and his children.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
    • Science

      Hey lol??

      Always fun to find gold not made by the fairy in the sky.

      Just find where the stony iron meteorites came in !!

      Easy maybe if you know what you are looking for !


      March 10, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • midwest rail

      Hey lol?? Good mornin', ya batsh!t crazy fundiot !

      March 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • .

      Speaking of whores, here's lol??! Syphilis has rotted her brain...missed a few appointments at the free clinic.

      March 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
  8. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 10, 2013 at 7:45 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      March 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      March 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  9. errybody's problem

    This guy looks so g a y!

    March 10, 2013 at 4:25 am |
    • End Religion

      Why did you send CNN your picture to use?

      March 10, 2013 at 4:48 am |
    • lol??

      "....“I was her blue-eyed altar boy who had done no wrong, who she thought would be a priest … and I am a priest, just differently,” he says......" Are those blue eyes in the picture?? Call the FBI.

      March 10, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • .

      The term "cliché" means nothing to a person who hasn't grasped the basic tenets of spelling and English.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Ken

      Stupidity, such as yours, really is Everybody's Problem! 🙂

      March 10, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Akira

      I think he looks very happy and relaxed. And I don't gender preference is what makes him so.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  10. Jim

    A secular high priest is teaching something more far more useful in such a short time than a violent, pedophile Mohammed could ever in his entire life.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Answer

      That pedo Moh only lived to around 30 or 40 years... that was the best!

      March 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

      hinduism stink of a hindu stinky from hindered gutter of hindu secular ism, kenjer ism india, expect nothing better from a hindu secular, filthy self centered, but follower of way of animals called hindu dog ism, filthy secular ism by faith.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • STFU

      in today's standard, Mohammad could have been locked up for 30 or 40 years, for terrorism charges, for raping minors.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
    • Tim

      By today's standards many of our ancestors going back even less than a century would be judged the same way. Girls were routinely married off in their early teens right here in America, and if you "tarred and feathered" someone today like the Revolutionaries did to Loyalists you'd be charged with attempted murder, most likely.

      It's just as senseless to judge people from the past by our modern standards as it is to judge modern people such as ourselves by ancient standards, such as those found in the Bible, wouldn't you say?

      March 10, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • lol??

      The judgment was, is, and will be perfect.

      March 10, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • .

      The judgement was, and is, all in your imagination, lol??.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm |


    By book of Mithra savior ism, bible.
    hindu, fabrication called Jesus claimed to be, like personality of Hebrew teaching's, Jonah. if true,
    Jonah jumped off of a ship, HE WAS ALIVE,
    Jonah swollen by a fish, HE WAS ALIVE,
    While in the belly of fish, HE WAS ALIVE,
    Spitted out by the fish, HE WAS ALIVE.

    Fabrication Jesus arrested, HE WAS ALIVE,
    Put on a so called cross, HE WAS ALIVE
    while on a cross, HE WAS ALIVE,
    While in belly of tomb, HE WAS ALIVE.

    hindu, fabrication Mithra savior of followers of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism Jesus transfigured in to another person in front of his disciples, or became some one else, or he changed his form to their amazement.
    Time of last supper, before his so called arrest, he smiled on Judah, and Judah smiled in kind,
    hindu, fabrication Jesus, kissed him, and Judah kissed him in kind.
    Judah transfigured in to Jesus and Jesus transfigure in to Judah.
    Judah was arr rested as Jesus and Jesus escaped as Judah,

    March 9, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • OOO

      Word salad...yummy yummy!

      March 9, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Answer

      This freak and Austin can just get a room together and then fvck each other silly.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Correctlycenter

      "Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons." 1st Timothy 4:1

      "Then Jesus said to them (after His death and resurrection on the 3rd day) You are such foolish people! You find it hard to believe all that the OT prophets wrote in the scriptures. Wasn't it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His time of glory? Then Jesus Christ quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the scriptures said about Himself." Luke 24:25-27

      Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Lamb of God, Savior, Redeemer, King of kings, Lord of lords, the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, the Rock of Ages, Emmanuel fulfilled 108 specific prophesies written some 1000 to 400 years before His birth in 3 BC...

      March 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • STFU

      Mohammad/Austin, it is evident from your posts that more your types move towards 1400 years old books, more you destroy yourself. How sad !!

      March 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Bob

      I hate to get in to Austin's discussion but this is a serious matter
      Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).

      The following twenty-five Old Testament prophecies deal with events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ including His betrayal, trial, death and burial. They were uttered by many different voices and over a period of 500 years, yet they were all fulfilled within twenty-four hours on the day that He died for the sins of the world.

      Prophecies Relating to Christ’s Crucifixion
      1. Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver
      Prophecy: Zechariah 11:12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 26:14-15 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?” And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver.

      2. Betrayed By a Friend
      Prophecy: Psalm 55:12-14 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend. 14 We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God in the throng. (See also Psalm 41:9; Zech 13:6).

      Fulfillment: Matthew 26:49-50 And immediately he went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50 And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

      3. The Money Cast to the Potter
      Prophecy: Zechariah 11:13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:5-7 And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they counseled together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers.

      NOTE: Notice that in both prophecy and fulfillment we find stated that (1) it was silver; (2) there were 30 pieces (Matt. 27:3); (3) they were thrown down; (4) they were cast down in the House of the Lord; and (5) the money was used to purchase the potter’s field.

      4. The Disciples Forsook Him
      Prophecy: Zechariah 13:7 "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, And against the man, My Associate," Declares the LORD of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd that the sheep may be scattered; And I will turn My hand against the little ones.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 26:56 “But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled. (See also Mark 14:27)

      5. Accused by False Witnesses
      Prophecy: Psalm 35:11 Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 26:59-60 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, . . .

      6. Smitten and Spit Upon
      Prophecy: Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:30 And they spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.

      NOTE: Note here the details that correspond in both prophecy and fulfillment (1) He was to be smitten, (2) He was to be smitten on the face (as well as the other parts of the body). See Luke 22:64. (3) He was to be spit upon, and (4) He was to be spitten upon in the face.

      7. Dumb Before His Accusers
      Prophecy: Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:12-14 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.

      8. Wounded and Bruised
      Prophecy: Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:26, 29 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified. . . . And after weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they kneeled down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

      9. Fell Under the Cross
      Prophecy: Psalm 109:24 My knees are weak from fasting; And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness.

      Fulfillment: John 19:17 They took Jesus therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Luke 23:26 And when they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.

      NOTE: Evidently the Lord was so weak that His knees gave way under the weight of the heavy cross. So they had to put it on another.

      10. Hands and Feet Pierced
      Prophecy: Psalm 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

      Fulfillment: Luke 23:33 And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

      NOTE: Christ was crucified in the customary Roman manner, the hands and feet being pierced by huge spikes which fastened the body to the wooden cross. See John 20:25-27 “ . . . except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails . . . Then said He (Jesus) to Thomas, reach hither thy finger and behold My hands,” etc.

      11. Crucified with Thieves
      Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

      Fulfillment: Mark 15:27-28 And they crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 28 (And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with transgressors.")

      12. Prayed For His Persecutors
      Prophecy: Isaiah 53:12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. (emphasis mine)

      Fulfillment: Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

      Here Jesus, as foreseen by Isaiah, “interceded for the transgressors” who nailed him to the cross.

      13. People Shook Their Heads
      Prophecy: Psalm 109:25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads.

      14. People Ridiculed Him
      Prophecy: Psalm 22:8 “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:41-43 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him, and saying, 42 “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we shall believe in Him. 43 “He trusts in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

      15. People Astonished
      Prophecy: Psalm 22:17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;

      Fulfillment: Luke 23:35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

      16. Garments Parted and Lots Cast
      Prophecy: Psalm 22:18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

      Fulfillment: John 19:23-24 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. 24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”

      NOTE: How exact the inspired prophecy! The garments were to be parted among them, but the vesture was to be awarded to one by lots. These were statements that would appear almost contradictory unless explained by the record of the scene at the cross.

      17. His Forsaken Cry
      Prophecy: Psalm 22:1 For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? “that is, “ My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ?”

      18. Gall and Vinegar Given Him
      Prophecy: Psalm 69:21 They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

      Fulfillment: John 19:28-29 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth.

      19. Committed Himself to God
      Prophecy: Psalm 31:5 Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.

      Fulfillment: Luke 23:46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last.

      20. Friends Stood Afar Off
      Prophecy: Psalm 38:11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off.

      Fulfillment: Luke 23:49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

      21. Bones Not Broken
      Prophecy: Psalm 34:20 He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken.

      Fulfillment: John 19:33, 36 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; . . . 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “

      NOTE: It is profitable to notice two other prophecies concerning His bones which undoubtedly had an exact fulfillment, although such is not stated in Scripture in so many words. We draw our conclusions from honest inference. (1) Psalm 22:14 “All my bones are out of joint.” Hanging on the cross by the hands and feet would easily disjoint the bones, especially when we remember that the body was fixed to the frame while lying on the ground. (2) Psalm 22:17 “I may tell all My bones.” He was left hanging on the cross naked (John 19:23) and all His bones could thus easily be seen. The extension of the body and the wasting pangs of crucifixion would make the bones more prominent than usual.

      22. Heart Broken
      Prophecy: Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.

      Fulfillment: John 19:34 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.

      NOTE: The blood and water running out of the pierced side presented an evidence that the heart had literally burst.

      23. His Side Pierced
      Prophecy: Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.

      Fulfillment: John 19:34-37 but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. 35 And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled,” Not a bone of Him shall be broken. “ 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

      24. Darkness Over the Land
      Prophecy: Amos 8:9 “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.

      NOTE: The Jews reckoned twelve hours from sunrise to sunset. This would make the sixth hour about noon, and the ninth hour near three o’clock.

      25. Buried in a Rich Man’s Tomb
      Prophecy: Isaiah 53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

      Fulfillment: Matthew 27:57-60 And when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given over to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

      Old Testament Prophecies
      Relating to the Person of Christ
      1. His first Advent
      The Fact: Gen. 3:15; Deut. 18:15; Psa. 89:20; Isa. 2:2; 28:16; 32:1; 35:4; 42:6; 49:1; 55:4; Ezek. 34:24; Dan. 2:44; Micah 4:1; Zech 3:8.

      The Time: Gen. 49:10; Num. 24:17; Dan. 9:24; Mal. 3:1.

      His Divinity: Psa. 2:7, 11; 45: 6-7, 11; 72:8; 102:24-27; 89:26-27; 110:1; Isa. 9:6; 25:9; 40:10; Jer. 23:6; Micah 5:2; Mal 8:1.

      Human Generation: Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 21:12; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10; 2 Sam. 7:14; Psa. 18:4-6; 50:22-23; 89:4, 29-30; 132:11; Isa. 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15.

      2. His Forerunner
      Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1; 4:5.

      3. His Nativity and Early Years
      The Fact: Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Jer 31:22

      The Place: Num. 24:17, 19; Micah 5:2

      Adoration by Magi: Psalm 72:10, 15; Isa. 60:3, 6

      Descent into Egypt: Hosea 11:1

      Massacre of Innocents: Jer 31:15

      4. His Mission and Office
      Mission: Gen. 12:3; 49:10; Num. 24:19; Deut. 19:18; Psa. 21:1; Isa. 59:20; Jer. 33:16

      Priest Like Melchizedek: Psalm 110:4

      Prophet Like Moses: Deut. 18:15

      Conversion of Gentiles: Isa. 11:10; Deut. 32:43; Psa. 18:49; 19:4; 117:1; Isa. 42:1; 45:23; 49:6; Hosea 1:10; 2:23; Joel 2:32.

      Ministry in Galilee: Isa. 9:1-2

      Miracles: Isa. 35:5-6; 42:7; 53:4

      Spiritual Graces: Psa. 45:7; Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 53:9; 61:1-2

      Preaching: Psa. 2:7; 78:2; Isa. 2:3; 61:1; Micah 4:2

      Purification of Temple: Psa. 69:9

      5. His Purpose
      Rejection by Jews and Gentiles: Psa. 2:1; 22:12; 41:5; 56:5; 69:8; 118:22-23; Isa. 6:9-10; 8:14; 29:13; 53:1; 65:2

      Persecution: Psa. 22:6; 35:7, 12; 56:5; 71:10; 109:2; Isa. 49:7; 53:3

      Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem: Psa. 8:2; 118:25-26; Zech. 9:9

      Betrayal by Own Friend: Psa. 41:9; 55:13; Zech 13:6

      Betrayal for Thirty Pieces: Zech. 11:12

      Betrayer’s Death: Psa. 55:15, 23; 109:17

      Purchase of Potter’s Field: Zech 11:13

      Desertion by Disciples: Zech 13:7

      False Accusation: Psa. 27:12; 35:11; 109:2; Psa. 2:1-2

      Silence Under Accusation: Psa. 38:13; Isa. 53:7

      Mocking: Psalm 22:7-8, 16; 109:25

      Insult, Buffeting, Spitting, Scourging: Psa. 35:15-, 21; Isa. 50:6

      Patience Under Suffering: Isa. 53:7-9

      Crucifixion: Psa. 22:14, 17

      Offer of Gall and Vinegar: Psa. 69:21

      Prayer for Enemies: Psa. 109:4

      Cries Upon the Cross: Psa. 22:1; 31:5

      Death in Prime of Life: Psa. 89:45; 102:24

      Death with Malefactors: Isaiah 53:9, 12

      Death Attested by Convulsions of Nature: Amos 5:20; Zech 14:4-6

      Casting Lots for Vesture: Psa. 22:18

      Bones not to be Broken: Psa. 34:20

      Piercing: Psa. 22:16; Zech 12:10; 13:6

      Voluntary Death: Psa. 40:6-8

      Vicarious Suffering: Isa. 53:4-6, 12; Dan 9:26

      Burial with the Rich: Isa. 53:9

      6. His Resurrection
      Psalm 16:8-10; 30:3; 41:10; 118:17; Hosea 6:2

      7. His Ascension
      Psalm 16:11; 24:7; 68:18; 110:1; 118:19

      8. His Second Advent
      Psalm 50:3-6; Isa. 9:6-7; 66:18; Dan 7:13-14; Zech. 12:10; 14:4-8.

      Dominion Universal and Everlasting: 1 Chron. 17:11-14; Psa. 72:8; Isa. 9:7; Dan 7:14; Psa. 2;6-8; 8:6; 110:1-3; 45:6-7

      March 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Austin

      Ok that should do for this topic. Thanks bob.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Anne

      You people just CAN'T seem to underst and that IsTIRELY ENlam and Hinduism are two ENTIRELY separate faiths. BOTH are peaceful religions. YES the men responsible for the heiness(terrible) acts of 9/11 WERE evil. But they are NOT indicitive of ALL Muslims(that's followers of Islam.) More to the point, Hinduism has NOTHING to do with Islam. No, we're not CHRISTIAN like you. However, we STILL believe in the same God as you. So get off your freakin' high horse and make SURE you have yourfacts straight before you go off on a rant at somebody!!!

      March 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Please

      Correctlycenter " fulfilled 108 specific prophesies written some 1000 to 400 years before His birth"
      Please list each of the 108 prophesies and it's corresponding fulfillment. Also please list any supporting evidence

      March 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • STFU

      Ann, just imagine these people are armed with nukes!!! USA, Europe, Israel are not tonally wrong in stopping these maniacs fundamentalists from getting nukes.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • Austin

      Please, did you notice the list of prophecies that were allready there?

      March 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • .

      Prophecies fulfilled? According to what? The Bible? That is not supporting evidence. And there is nothing, EVER, that has been proven that these events happened. You can't prove the OT, let alone use it to support the NT. Baloney.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • STFU

      Bob, list of prophecies you just mentioned are like shooting in all directions, hoping to hit the target, nothing more.

      March 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • OTOH


      Don't you know that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, (or the men who wrote under those names), and even Jesus (if he existed) READ or KNEW ABOUT those old-timey 'prophecies'? How easy to include their 'fulfillment' in their stories.

      There is no verified evidence outside of those NT writings that any of those things really happened.

      March 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • clarity

      And Bob, isn't it interesting that when challenged that those unauthored NT gospels were plagiarizations of earlier stories, all several early Christian apologists could come up with as an excuse was that it was the devil's fault. They said he put out the fake stories in advance of the "real" ones (the gospels). wink wink

      March 9, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Tim

      You don't think that the Gospel writers had access to the Jewish Scriptures when they were doing their writing, and weren't motivated to cast Jesus as the Messiah? Even with that they still ended up writing a Jesus who did not fulfill all of the Jewish messianic expectations. Some things are just impossible to fake, like:

      Did he build the Third Temple? (Ezekiel 37:26-28)

      Did he gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel? (Isaiah 43:5-6).

      Did he usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease? (Isaiah 2:4)

      Did he spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one? (Zechariah 14:9)

      Remember also that the Jewish people had no concept of the Messiah being anything other than an ordinary mortal man who would have accomplished all of these things within his lifetime, so Jesus fails and Jews are correct to be still waiting for the real Messiah to show up.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • End Religion

      Sorry Bob, the bible is proof of nothing. Do you not see a glaring error in that the books weren't even written until 100 years after Jesus's supposed death? How in the world is it "prophecy" to write AFTER an event? Wow, you'll believe anything.

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

      Hey Bobie and As-stin

      Was the bible around back then ?

      Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

      Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


      March 10, 2013 at 7:54 am |
    • HarryGP

      You've obviously never worked in the construction industry, science. They reuse all kinds of materials and things when constructing homes, commercial buildings, and others. It is rare to see a breakthrough new type of wiring, paint, or wall or roofing material. I'm not saying I know what God did, just that him doing similar things as we do when he's creating, doesn't surprise me at all given he made us in his image.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:46 am |
  12. Jim

    It is so nice to learn about the secular high priest of SXSW in Austin, TX. Compare and contrast it to the news about Pakistani Islamists who burned down the houses of Christians. This secular high priest deserves everyone's respect. Perhaps the Pakistani Islamists, looters, and butchers of Christians could at least learn something from the high priest.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm |

      If any one is not a hindu crook like you, hinduism terrorism against minorities is hall mark of hindu secular s, filthy self centered of hindu gutter of hinduism, terrorism india, not Pakistan, as you hind lie by your hindu secular ism, filthy dog ism about others.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  13. Answerman

    Others say 'Nay' to God's Word b/c religious leaders have twisted his word just as prophecied would occur. "Woe to anyone who adds to or takes away" from the Word is the warming found written in the book of Revelations.
    God's Word BANS the practice of using mind-altering pharmaceuticals, for example.
    MANY are the Christians who suffer from The Word "Pharmakia" being intentionally mistranslated as the practice of witchcraft, sorcery, or spiritism in ALL modern english translations of the bible.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • midwest rail

      There is no book of "Revelations".

      March 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • ..

      Next rant will be along the lines of: the reason why guns and bloody violence play a larger role in cases where people addicted to SSRI anti-depressants go on shooting rampages is due to SSRIs being designed to inhibit the REM sleep cycle and these addicts spend so many thousands of hours playing violent RPG video games that feature guns and so these are the thoughts pounded into the minds of addicts experiencing daytime induced walking nightmares.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Akira

      It's 'Revelation'. The Book of Revelation. My goodness, if you want to present yourself with an authority, at least get the name of the books in the Bible correct.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  14. Correctlycenter

    " Before the mountains were created, before You made the earth and the world, You are God, without beginning or end." Psalm 90:2

    God has always existed and will always exist! I see this is a extremely complicated idea for a intellectual atheist or humanist to comprehend!

    March 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      No, it's that it's too simple and completely unneeded and unverifiable.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Tim

      I guess the writer of that Psalm just couldn't have known that the universe was around for a very long time before mountains, or even the Earth. His God could have been created long after the Big Bang.

      March 10, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  15. Answerman

    However, God's Word condemns those sorts of things. Hence, the naysayers.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • ..

      End gay coitus now, eh, Douglas?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  16. lol??

    "...........Goswami’s mother, however, wanted her children to be raised Catholic................." Raising is for gardens. Ask Cain how that works. Training is from God the Father. Ask Jesus how that works.

    "Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Tyrants know this.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • .

      God being the biggest tyrant of them all, since clearly early indocrination is what you Christians advocate. Shut up, you old bat.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:18 pm |


      March 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm |


      March 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
  17. Answerman

    If God's Word commanded "Get drunk! Be gay! Do drugs! Party and do get an abortion! ENJOY violent sports and go to war with your neighbor!" many would be the converts.

    March 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • .

      You are quite frankly, out of your fucking mind. If you don't think Christians do that shit now, you're severely delusional. Something I suspect you are, anyway.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      It'd be awesome if "gawd's werd" said to "be gay!" Can you imagine all the christians forcing themselves to have gay s3x? LOL!!!

      March 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • Akira

      Are you a former linebacker lesbian heroin alcoholic war veteran who had an abortion?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tim

      Jesus drank, didn't he? Wasn't his first miracle making more wine for a bunch of people at a wedding who had already gotten drunk by going through all the wine too quickly? Clearly he was not the prude against social drinking that you all make him out to be.

      The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." Matthew 11:19

      Jesus came "drinking", get it?

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

      Tim, the Socialists disguised as Christians in the WCTU didn't get it. They must have been mob clumpers deep in their hearts.

      March 10, 2013 at 7:26 am |
    • Tim

      What on Earth are "mob clumpers"?

      March 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • .

      Lollsabouttying, JESUS was a socialist, moron. Look up the word, already! You are so unbearably stupid. Your ignorance is astounding!

      March 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • lol??

      What on Earth are "mob clumpers"?............It's a communion of FEELINGS, a faux coalescing of agreement, found amongst a gaggle of Socialists destroying a member of the gang, so as to present a united affront.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Roger

      lol?? = the idiot who cried socialist wolf.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • lol??

      Roger that,

      I'm not crying wolf. It's too late for sowing. It's harvest time.

      March 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Tim

      "a united affront"?

      You really are in your own little world, aren't you?

      March 10, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Yes, Tim, lol?? lives in his own little world....and no one has yet figured out what color the sky is there.

      March 11, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • lol??

      Moby Schtick says,"
      It'd be awesome if "gawd's werd" said to "be gay!"..............

      Maybe you should revisit the movie, "Catch-22" if ya want to see how a Socialist org handles s*e*x*. 'Specially when the soldiers take their GI guns on leave.

      March 11, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  18. Answerman

    You aren't even puzzled by the fact that during your course of life, you will use less than 1/10th of 1% of your brains memory capacity as ALL other animal species use 100% of theirs! (something your ideas of human evolition simply do not account for, and so are ignored)

    March 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You see, when you say stupid sh!t like that--completely incorrect facts. It causes me to praise your wisdom and encourage your evangelism. I'd rather reasonable people understand where the idiots stand and what they feel the need to lie about

      March 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • ..

      The reason why guns and bloody violence play a larger role in cases where people addicted to SSRI anti-depressants go on shooting rampages is due to SSRIs being designed to inhibit the REM sleep cycle and these addicts spend so many thousands of hours playing violent RPG video games that feature guns and so these are the thoughts pounded into the minds of addicts experiencing daytime induced walking nightmares.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Answer

      If an idiot like yourself can't even spell the word "evolution" then just 'fvck off'.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • 1/10th of 1%

      So, we can cut out 99.9% of your brain without any noticeable effect. Well for some christians that's probably true.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • Ken

      It's a myth that we only use 10% of our brains.


      March 10, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Saraswati

      I see you get your psychology info from a 1970 bubble gum wrapper.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  19. Answerman

    You complain about Christians as they go-about spreading the Good News as you come here and try to convert us to your beliefs that things finer than Swiss watches came-about by accident.

    March 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I am never interested in converts. i'd rather a stupid moron remain christian and the reasonable discover more and more reason. Atheism is mere byproduct of reasoned investigation in the false claims of the believer in things supernatural

      March 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Ah, the ubiquitous 'you'. As Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son would say, who are you talking to, Answerman? Do you have a gerbil in your pocket?

      March 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      How many times do you need the watchmaker analogy refuted? Even monkeys learn. It has been refuted from many angles and in the Dover trial was found to be subjective and proof of nothing.

      March 10, 2013 at 3:57 am |
    • Tim

      When herds of watches can be seen in the wild giving birth to new models then you might have a point. Even in the sense that they were man-made things, watch making "evolved" from simple sun dials to Swiss pocket watches over thousands of years. Supposedly, your God just popped everything fully-formed out of his imagination in an instant. That really has nothing related with any human invention.

      March 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  20. lol??

    "..................“We’ve recreated those structures, we need celebration, we need community, we need conversation about meaning and identi*ty, all those things we need,” he says............."
    Try and quote the article without getting bumped. Sheesh, pwogwessives! Got milk on yer minds?? bigots

    March 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • lol??

      This dude is just bringin' 'round ye ol' "Wegodism Cult" all over again. But on the NEEDY flip hip side. Look out taxpayers.

      March 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • lol??

      You can get a piece of yer neighbor by gettin' a piece of the gubmint. That's luv, socie style.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • .

      Whereas lollsabout gets her love on the street corners of Vegas. Gotta love the government free clinic! Now if the slag could just get some free government education between penicillin shots.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
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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.