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Prosecutor: Parents' belief in faith healing led to infant's death
May 24th, 2013
05:22 PM ET

Prosecutor: Parents' belief in faith healing led to infant's death

By Sarah Hoye, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='SarahHoyeCNN']

Philadelphia (CNN)–When Brandon Schaible got a rash, his parents prayed.

When the 7-month-old became irritable with diarrhea and lost his appetite, his parents, Catherine and Herbert Schaible, prayed again.

When Brandon had trouble breathing and gasped for air, his parents called a pastor - this, in spite of the fact that a judge had ordered them to call a doctor.

Brandon Schaible died on April 18 from bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and strep, according to the district attorney’s office – all treatable with antibiotics.

On Wednesday his parents were charged with third-degree murder.

The Schaibles are lifelong members of the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia, one of several religious groups in the U.S. that relies on faith, and eschews most medical care.

Founded in 1925, the First Century Gospel Church is an offshoot of Faith Tabernacle Congregation, also in Philadelphia. Both churches believe that God - and God alone - heals the sick.

“Herbert’s a father like anyone else. He’s hurt and he’s mourning the death of his son,” said Bobby Hoof, Herbert Schaible’s attorney. “He’s not snubbing his nose at the court. He’s incarcerated because of his faith.”

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams says the Schaibles’ failure to seek medical attention resulted in the death of their son.

“Instead of caring and nurturing him,” Williams said, “they ultimately caused his death by praying over his body instead of taking him to the doctor.”

The Schaibles are also charged with involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. In April, the couple admitted to police that their son had exhibited symptoms for several days before he died.

On Friday, Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner ordered the Schaibles held without bail out of fear they were a flight risk.

“When this happened the first time around, the Schaibles had every reason to believe that, because of their faith, they had done nothing wrong,” Lerner said. “I know they’re not ‘sophisticated criminals’ … but the circumstances have changed.”

The Schaibles are already on probation for the 2009 death of another son, Kent, who died from bacterial pneumonia. A jury convicted the couple of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced them to 10 years probation.

Lerner said he was concerned that pastors and members in “churches like the Schaibles” would harbor them.

In a media interview last month, Pastor Nelson Clark of the First Century Gospel Church, said the Brandon and Ken Schaible died because of their parents’ “spiritual lack.”

Mythri Jayaraman, Catherine Schaible's attorney, called her a "completely devoted mother."

“The charges suggest a level of callousness that doesn’t fit who Catherine is,” Jayaraman said.

In addition to Pennsylvania, faith healing deaths have been prosecuted in Michigan, Indiana and Massachusetts.

According to Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), a nonprofit child advocacy group, at least 30 children have died since 1971 in Pennsylvania as a result of a parent's refusal to seek medical treatment because of their belief in faith healing.

Among the 30 are six children who died in 1991 from a measles outbreak in Philadelphia, all whom were born into families that belonged to either First Century Gospel Church or Faith Tabernacle.

“It’s a terrible conflict for these parents. They love their children and can see their child suffering,” said Rita Swan, president of CHILD. “If the laws were clearer, many of these parents would be relived of the pressure. As for the Schaibles, they are remarkably stubborn and extreme.”

Swan began advocating for the removal of religious exemptions from immunizations and parental legal requirements after her son Matthew died in 1977 from bacterial meningitis. She and her husband had relied on Christian Science practitioners to heal him.

“The poor child couldn’t lift an arm,” Swan said. “We prayed, we went to the practitioner. We trusted them.”

For members of faith-healing sects, it is common to believe that sickness is a result of unresolved sin or lack of faith, said Anthea Butler, a professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Faith-healing sects often interpret the Bible literally, citing, for example, Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul … Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.”

First Century Gospel Church’s website reinforces that theme, citing the New Testament’s Book of Acts, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name, and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.”

Other religious groups believe that God can heal the sick, and many believers pray to be delivered from illness. The difference is that they, unlike the Schaibles, often seek medical attention in addition to prayer, Butler said.

First Assistant District Attorney Edward McCann says the Schaibles’ actions, not beliefs, are the problem.

“How many kids have to die before it becomes an extreme indifference to the value of human life?” McCann asked. “They killed one child already.”

If convicted of third-degree murder in Brandon’s death, the Schaibles could face a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison, Lerner said. They also face an additional 7 to 14 years if a judge decides to revoke their probation in Kent’s death.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christian Science • Christianity • Crime • Culture & Science • Faith & Health

soundoff (2,002 Responses)
  1. TheRationale

    You can "believe" what you want, but that doesn't change any facts. Prayer does nothing, and these parents should be locked up because they willfully ignored reality and it cost their children their lives. And that's plural – I was shocked to see they had done this before! These people are unfit to be parents.

    May 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  2. lionlylamb

    God is in the details of the gaps within all humanisms parroting accolades. For without pretenses of equitable somberness were we all made manifested in parental augments thru embodied mimicking of the atomically instilled cosmologies prone to bimolecular magnetics resolutions conceived thru cellular declinations weighing in upon situational physiologies portrayals. What then are resolute meaningful episodic potentials of all humanisms without there being Gods to be portended upon? Does not humanisms of Godliness potencies portray upon the masses our continuations for survivability and prophetical wisdom sharing of allotted mannerisms toward being beneficial around the general welfares of unending onwards marching onto the yet unknown boundaries of inner and even outer spatial revelations? Without Beliefs upon one issue or another issue there would be no issuances to make an issue upon.

    May 29, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • .

      LL is the belief blog pseudo intellect, don't bother reading their nonsense, just laugh and move on.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Infidel, INC.

      Are we sure that this is not some radicalized muslim who is trying to send coded messages to his cohorts in America? Nobody talks like this so it can only be a poor attempt at obfuscation.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  3. John Stemberger

    "fred

    John
    Unicorns were real animals known for their power."
    --------------------------------
    Folks I give you average Christian mindset.

    May 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • empty faith

      Hey now, Unicorns are in the bible so we know they existed, just like the Nephilim.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      It would appear that you do not know the average Christian mindset at all.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Christians (55%) strongly agree that the Bible is accurate
      .
      I guess 55% is not considered a majority

      May 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Correction...not average but majority

      May 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    perfect example of how religion warps the mind.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Speaking of warped mind
      .
      "fred

      John
      Unicorns were real animals known for their power."

      May 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  5. mama k

    In the News

    by KING 5 News

    Posted on May 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Updated yesterday at 12:40 PM

    ROY, Wash. - Pierce County sheriff's deputies arrested a 25-year-old man after, they say, he put his 6-week-old daughter in a freezer.

    They believe she was in there for about an hour.

    The man's girlfriend called 911 after she saw her boyfriend take the baby out of the freezer at their Roy area home.

    The man told detectives he put the infant in there to stop her from crying.

    Doctors expect the baby to recover.

    May 29, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Science

      Looks like it posted to Google 5 days ago .

      Christianity – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/category/christianity/‎

      5 days ago – By Sarah Hoye, CNN Follow @SarahHoyeCNN. Philadelphia (CNN)–When Brandon Schaible got a rash, his parents prayed. When the ...

      May 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Science

      Mama k...............can not forget faith you know.

      The MATRIX faith........................great mind game..............all between the ears.

      Hey bible thumpers it is all between your ears that red horn-y beast.........look what the little blue box has to offer .too !

      My take: A word to Christians – Be nice – CNN Belief Blog ...

      religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/09/my-take-a-word-to-christians-be-nice

      Feb 09, 2013 · Hey all creationists ... No horn-y red beast needed ... bible thumpers ? Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought.

      http://www.bing.com/search?q=Hey+bible+thumpers+it+is+all+between+your+ears+that+red+horn-y+beast.&form=HPNTDF&pc=HPNTDF&src=IE-SearchBox

      Other links there too faith at Bing.

      June 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Testing. Tested. Testosterone.

    May 29, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Testes, Testes, One, Two...

      LL is the soft sack in which I rest, protected from the world in a hovering beige bean bag...

      May 29, 2013 at 11:51 am |
  7. Arnold

    Not all religious people act this way.

    I’m religious and I probably go to the doctors more than most people my age.

    May 29, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You are still succeptable to the delusion that there is a god that exists. Still crazy, just not as much as these two nuts.

      May 29, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Arnold

      Didn’t you ever feel that there was something more out there? A reason for our existence beyond our natural lives?

      I question these things and feel that there is a higher power.

      May 29, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Arnold
      Just be sure not to mistake feelings for evidence.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      So if you "feel" like there is more and that we must have a purpose, what about God? What is God's purpose? Was it to create us? Is that his purpose? And if so, who gave him that purpose?

      May 29, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Arnold

      @ Doc Vestibule

      Of course I have no solid facts and evidence. I derive my belief based on feelings.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Arnold

      Happy Atheist
      I do not know the answers to those questions. I’d assume God gave Himself the purpose to create.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • George Karlson

      It is far more evident that before everything else existed, there was nothing.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Arnold

      George Karlson,

      Do you mean before the big bang? If so, where are you getting this info from?

      “What happened before the Big Bang? The conventional answer to that question is usually, “There is no such thing as ‘before the Big Bang.’” That’s the event that started it all. But the right answer, says physicist Sean Carroll, is, “We just don’t know.” Carroll, as well as many other physicists and cosmologists have begun to consider the possibility of time before the Big Bang, as well as alternative theories of how our universe came to be.”

      http://www.universetoday.com/15051/thinking-about-time-before-the-big-bang/

      May 29, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Seriously?

      "“What happened before the Big Bang? The conventional answer to that question is usually, “There is no such thing as ‘before the Big Bang.’” "

      And we go round and round in a circle. Let's guess you googled anything to support your claim without looking at anything else. Typical of an uneducated xtian.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Arnold
      you said "Didn’t you ever feel that there was something more out there? A reason for our existence beyond our natural lives?

      I question these things and feel that there is a higher power."

      I have been studying for many years, various religions and beliefs, as well as many sciences both theoretical and practical.
      I have an issue with the term "higher power"... since it is undefined what that power is, assigning an adjective that implies something that may not be true to be wrong. I use the term energy...the as yet undefined energy that is life. We have some of that energy, as does all life. It does not seem to have any separate sentience as those who believe in gods would say, more akin to the other known ebergies, just as yet undefined.
      So not a higher energy, just an undefined energy. I think that we, and all life is just a focal point for that energy. The same energy that makes a blade of grass alive, is the same energy that makes me alive.
      My theories line up directly with known science, too time consuming to explain all on this blog.

      We do not know all about the universe, we cannot account for the apparent effects of mass...missing 2/3 of the mass, or whatever is causing a mass like effect in the universe. Much is left to learn.

      In all of my study, in all sciences and religions I have scrutinized, there is no evidence of a "higher power" or any sentience to the universe whatsoever...not saying it isn't there, just there is absolutley no sign of it anywhere.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      " I’d assume God gave Himself the purpose to create."

      So before God gave himself a purpose, he was just an all powerful, all knowing, always existing super complex being with no purpose?

      May 29, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • George Karlson

      Sorry, I was being sarcastic.

      May 29, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Arnold

      Seriously?,
      You omitted the part where the physicist said we don’t know what predates the big bang.

      Here is a quote that states there was something before the big bang:
      “According to the big bang theory, one of the main contenders vying to explain how the universe came to be, all the matter in the cosmos - all of space itself - existed in a form smaller than a subatomic particle.”

      http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/astronomy-terms/before-big-bang.htm

      Richard Cranium,
      Of course there is no evidence; I specifically said there were none before.

      Happy Atheist,
      I have no idea. Maybe there are other life forms on other planets that predate life on earth.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "I have no idea."

      Finally, we have an honest believer. I too "have no idea" what came before the big bang, it's all I can do to study the data we do have instead of spending time hypothesising about what we don't. Most believers are unwilling to leave it at "I don't know" and want to fill in the blank with their brand of deity. Others say they figure believing with no evidence is a small price to pay for the possibility of an eternal afterlife, which would be valid if there were not endless possibilities but were only two. Most religious persons are a lot like me in fact, they have discounted many many Gods, most often after they have decided on the one their parents told them was the true God. I have just taken it one step further and discounted that God as well since there is just the same amount of evidence for him existing as there is for Vishnu or Odin or Zeus. But I also know the absence of evidence is not itself evidence, so it does nothing to discredit any God theory, it just keeps them in the realm of theory and not fact, requiring faith to bridge the gap accross the chasm of what we don't know. I'd prefer to keep my feet on the ground and not imagine what could be and spend my time worrying about what is while accepting that we don't know everything yet.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Arnold,

      Unlike in religion saying “I don’t know” in science is a good thing. That is what drives discoveries. If science were like religion then they would make up some wild azzed guess of an opinion of a 4000 year old book and then say that anyone who doesn’t believe like they do are just plain wrong.

      Dogma is a brain kiIIer.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • mama k

      Richard Cranium: [ "I have an issue with the term "higher power"... since it is undefined what that power is, assigning an adjective that implies something that may not be true to be wrong. I use the term energy...the as yet undefined energy that is life. We have some of that energy, as does all life. It does not seem to have any separate sentience as those who believe in gods would say, more akin to the other known ebergies, just as yet undefined." ]

      I suspect the same. I think Spinoza would have a great affinity with this view were he alive today.

      From Wikipedia page on Spinoza:
      ===============================
      Spinoza viewed God and Nature as two names for the same reality, namely the single substance (meaning "that which stands beneath" rather than "matter") that is the basis of the universe and of which all lesser "enti-ties" are actually modes or modifications, that all things are determined by Nature to exist and cause effects, and that the complex chain of cause and effect is understood only in part. [..] That humans presume themselves to have free will, he argues, is a result of their awareness of appeti-tes while being unable to understand the reasons why they want and act as they do.

      [..] Spinoza's system also envisages a God that does not rule over the universe by providence, but a God which itself is the deterministic system of which everything in nature is a part. Thus, according to this understanding of Spinoza's system, God would be the natural world and have no personality.
      ===============================

      May 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Zechariah 12:1
      The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

      So now we know that the universe is expanding while back in the bc’s God told Zechariah that he stretcheth forth the heavens.

      The bible is evidence, you don’t accept it as such because you don’t like what it tells you.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Science also recently confirmed that the earth has "foundations," that stars are "lesser lights," that the moon is a "light," tha bats are really "birds," that pi =3, that the sky is a hard dome holding back water, that rabbits chew the cud and really aren't ruminants, and that donkeys can talk.

      At least I'm pretty sure I read that in some scientific journal recently.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      robert brown
      The bible is wrong.. If you haven't figured that out yet, maybe you should take a few classes in logic, genetics, meteorology, oceanology, physics, quantum physics, astrology, biology, ichthyology, and many more. They will show you how wrong it is.

      Reality will get you much farther.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The bible is evidence, you don’t accept it as such because you don’t like what it tells you."

      Hearsay is not evidence

      May 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • mama k

      RB: "The bible is evidence, you don’t accept it as such because you don’t like what it tells you."

      Can you be any more ridiculous, RB? The message means it's true? Lol.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "The bible is evidence, you don’t accept it as such because you don’t like what it tells you."

      So what about the Koran? Or the Book of Mormon? Or the Vedas? All claim divine origin, are they also evidence? Or is it that you don't accept them because you don't like what they tell you?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Richard Cranium,

      Sorry for the delay, had a bad word in there.

      There is nothing in the bible that has ever been proven wrong. It was written over hundreds of years by multiple authors, many who never knew the others. If you will be honest and hold the bible to the same standard you hold any historical doc.ument you will find it far superior to any other. New discoveries only confirm its accuracy. It contains the recorded observations of people led by God’s holy spirit.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,

      If someone makes a written statement you could call it hearsay. What about when 2 or more unrelated people relate the same facts, still hearsay?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Joey

      No part of the bible has ever been proven wrong? That is dam funny.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Joey

      Anything and Everything written by people who were not eye witness to Jesus is hearsay, this includes everything written in the New Testament about Jesus.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      Sure it conveys one very important message, but consider each book independently first.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It is more persuasive when truly independent accounts are given of some event, Robert. Do you have anything like that to share?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Atheist,

      Haven’t read them.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Joey, instead of snide comments....maybe it would serve your pov better by giving an example of how the Bible (or which specific book) has been proven incorrect on something. I would recommend sticking with history instead of science.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Joey,

      Some of the writers were the apostles. You have been deceived.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Robert
      The bible has been proven wrong...you just won't accept the proof.

      DO you really think the absurd story of Noah's ark is true? ( so many issues with this one, I can on for much longer than you have time)
      Adam and Eve, where the entire human species is from the one set of DNA, even though it has neanderhal DNA in it, a species that could not exist if the bible were true?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      If I may, thinking something is incorrect is not the same as proving it is incorrect.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      By truly independent accounts, I think you mean another book besides those included in the bible from the same time. If that is what you mean, then no I don’t have another book to back up those books.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Joey

      Why would I want to waste my time on you? The bible has been proven to be wrong about a lot of stuff, if you don't want to admit that then your are most likely a complete moron.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Robert Brown

      Happy Atheist,

      Haven’t read them
      ------–

      No surprise there

      May 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • mama k

      RB: "Sure it conveys one very important message, but consider each book independently first."

      That, I have done, RB. And I don't find any of it convincing as evidence, especially in light of the unoriginality of the "magic" within the stories combined with the CONvenient lack of definitive authorship of most of the key works. Does not one have to put their faith ultimately in Paul and his words in the same way that one puts faith in the claims of Joseph Smith to trust Christianity?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      By truly independent accounts, I think you mean another book besides those included in the bible from the same time. If that is what you mean, then no I don’t have another book to back up those books.
      ----------
      And this is why you must have faith in man.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      RB,

      The EARLIEST books of the NT were written AT LEAST 30 years after the character Jesus supposedly died. When the average life span of people at that time was only 35 years that means that none were alive to see it. All of the books of the NT were written by ANONYMOUS authors. We simply don’t know who they were. Many of the books were written by multiple authors and many things were changed after the fact.

      Your moldy book means absolutely nothing.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      I have read them, and the bible as well. I was unwilling to just accept that the first book that was placed in my lap by my parents was just luckily the true divinely inspired book. I can tell you from my studies that they have many things in common, not the least of which is that they rely on the readers trust in the messenger based on the messenger telling them this is from God. Even you must recognize the flaw that is inherant in this logic. If all books have the same claim and the same evidence but differing divine accounts as to the origin of the universe and where we are all going, and logic dictates that they cannot all be correct, then none can claim a monopoly on truth and thus you must regard all with, as they say, a grain of salt, which means to me none were perfectly seasoned by a real deity that would not make mistakes or contain errors.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Joey- "Why would I want to waste my time on you? The bible has been proven to be wrong about a lot of stuff, if you don't want to admit that then your are most likely a complete moron."

      So, instead of wasting time with constructive information...you rather waste time showing what you do not know. Ok.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Richard Cranium,

      I do believe that Noah was a servant of God who he saved from a flood.

      I do believe that Adam and Eve were the first humans created in the likeness of God.

      Unfortunately for folks who need to know everything, there are a lot of details left out of the first 12 chapters of Genesis. How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden? Who were the husbands and wives of their children?

      Because God decided to omit the details doesn’t make what he did tell us through the bible wrong.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Honey Badger Don't Care- Being written years later does not prove they are incorrect. Being written by people you do not know does not mean they are incorrect.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • mama k

      Dan Dennett on youtube:

      Free Will Determinism and Evolution
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrCZYDm5D8M

      This is excellent. Looks like it was at CalTech in 2011.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      "Because God decided to omit the details doesn’t make what he did tell us through the bible wrong."

      The stories found in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1-12, such as the flood story, the record is quite different: the time period under consideration is much more ancient. The factual bases of the stories are hidden from our view archaeologically. The stories remain a part of folk traditions and were included in the Bible to illustrate and explain theological ideas such as: Where did humans come from? If humans were created by God (who is perfect and good), how did evil among them come to be? If we are all related as children of God, why do we speak different languages? It must be remembered that the Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "Because God decided to omit the details doesn’t make what he did tell us through the bible wrong."

      You are right, it't not proved wrong by what it omits. It's proved wrong by what it contains. The bible claims a global flood covering the entire earth. Geologist have shown this not only did not happen according to the geological record, but could not happen based on physics. The believers want to retreat into some kind of regional flood excuse, but that is not what the bible claims.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      You may have already done this, but have you compared Pauls writings to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the OT prophets? I think this is the key to the Bible, use it, to interpret it.

      I haven’t read Joseph Smith, but if I did I would subject his writing to the same criteria.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      US,

      No it doesn’t make it incorrect, but it does mean that, as RB stated, that the apostles wrote them. They simply did not do it. That is either a lie or complete ignorance.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • mama k

      Uncouth: "Being written by people you do not know does not mean they are incorrect."

      True – but it gives plenty of reason to be skeptical. What else supports such writings? What kind of evidence of editing/tampering with such writings is there throughout their known history?

      This page has some good things to consider:

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ

      May 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Honey Badger Don't Care,

      You are deceived. In many of the books the author tells explicitly who they are. We know who wrote every book in the bible. Those who recorded what Jesus said, heard those words. You are welcome to your opinion.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      RB,

      Paul didn’t write to them. Anonymous authors are attributed to manuscripts that state those things. No one knows who wrote those books.

      You said that Noah was part of “a” flood. Do you think that it was a global flood that left only 8 people alive?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Robert
      So you beleve, even though genetics proves both Adam and Eve, and Noah's ark wrong...you simply will not accept the proof.

      Noahs ark must have been like the TARDIS from Doctor who for the physics to work out for all of the animals, insects, microbes, and all other forms of life to exist in one place. Not to mention the food and required, then the water required. and the sanitation required.

      Then lets look at the metoerology. In order to cover the earth to above Mt. Everest, it would have had to rain 6 inches a MINUTE in all areas of the world simultaneously for 960 hours to reach over a peak of 29,000 feet. That's 30 FEET of water an hour simultaneosly in all parts of the world for 960 hours.

      Oceanology, Ichtyology and biology. Now what about all the fresh water fish... the over all salinity of the water would be less than the ocean, but still more salt than most species could survive for short periods of time, let alone the lenght of time it would take for the waters to recede. And what about all of the species of salt water animals, the overall salinity of the water would be less than they could tolerate., which would kill nearly every animal in the oceans, lakes, river and tributaries of the world. Any that survived would have nothing to eat for the lentgh of time needed for life to begin anew from whatever remained. Also every species of plant in the world would be dead.

      Genetics. Now the entire population would need to start from the 3 breading pairs of humans (still does not account for the neanderthal DNA)...another impossibility.Genetics has proven 600 pairs or so WERE the start of present day man.

      If you can't see what a farce that whole story is, it is you who will not accept the proof.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Atheist,

      I can see how the Koran and the book of Mormon would have similarities, since I think they claim the God of Abraham. It is healthy to be skeptical, well informed, and to search for the truth.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      If you find yourself reading about some new scientific discovery and the first thing you are thinking about is how to reconcile the new science with your faith, then not only are you missing the point of the science, you are actively pigeon holeing yourself to come to a preconcieved conclusion which you will eventually reach. The only question is how many feats of logic defying mental gymnastics did it take to get you back to your preconcieved conclusion of God.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      RB, The foundational parts of the bible have been proven to be incorrect. As to the Jesus story, there is little evidence that he actually existed and none that he was the son of a god, performed miracles, was placed in a tomb, or resurrected.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "Being written years later does not prove they are incorrect. Being written by people you do not know does not mean they are incorrect."

      The fact that multiple PEOPLE, not god, wrote the book and edited the book many years later shows that its is in fact a fallacy. If you trust people when they say they were inspired by god to write the book, then I have 100acres of beach front property in arizona to sell you.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Emerald

      "You are deceived. In many of the books the author tells explicitly who they are. We know who wrote every book in the bible. Those who recorded what Jesus said, heard those words. You are welcome to your opinion."

      Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      After Jesus died, Mary Magdalene and two other women came back to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, according to Mark 16:1-2). They were met by a man in a white robe who told them that Jesus had been raised and was no longer there. The women fled and said nothing more to anyone out of fear (16:4-8). Everyone knows the rest of Mark’s Gospel, of course. The problem with the remainder of the story is that none of it was originally in the Gospel of Mark. It was added by a later scribe.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • mama k

      RB: "You may have already done this, but have you compared Pauls writings to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the OT prophets? "

      I have compared portions of Paul's writings with the Gospels, but why compare anything to the gospels? I view the gospels all as summaries of earlier stories. That they are virtually anonymous is no surprise. So then doesn't one have to put total faith in Paul's earliest letters which also sounds like a lot of hearsay?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @mama k- "but it gives plenty of reason to be skeptical."

      With that I agree.

      "What else supports such writings? What kind of evidence of editing/tampering with such writings is there throughout their known history?"

      Sometimes archaeology and other historical doc umentation can support certain aspects of the Biblical texts. Of course it is quite limited.

      Robert Brown- "You are deceived. In many of the books the author tells explicitly who they are."

      If I may, not all the book's authors are known. Also there is evidence that those who said they wrote did not but with a reason. Take the book of Isaiah for example. The author is suppose to be Isaiah and perhaps part of it is. But if one looks at the style of the text and it's language...then it becomes apparent that the same person could not have written the entire book. Is this evidence of fraud? No...it was common in the ancient days to belong to schools of thought and write in the name of a Master Teacher. It is quite possible, but not an absolute, that many of the books within the Bible carry this tradition.

      Also one should also consider the writing style of Genesis. Why have two creation stories? Why have one story of the Ark with 2 of each and then have a version with 7 animals each? If one looks at the original text it can be seen that Genesis is a collection of the same stories told from different perspectives of the Northen Kingdom and Southern Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The scripture written by the southern kingdom focuses on the laws (why else would Noah care what was clean or unclean if Moses hadn't came yet?) while the Northern version seems not to worry as much about the theology of the story.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Joey

      Happy Atheist, even then a religious person only has to claim that part of the bible was never meant to be taken literally which keeps the bible from being proven wrong.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " Those who recorded what Jesus said, heard those words."

      Um......no try again. Its widely accepted by people who actually study the bible that the MEN who wrote about jesus never knew him, only wrote about him 50-100 years after his death. Research.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The whole earth covered in water

      http://metro.co.uk/2008/12/31/early-earth-was-covered-in-water-274995/

      May 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @religion; a way to control the weak minded- you offer a understandable and skeptical opinion but you still offer not evidence.
      I see no fallacy simply because a person or persons wrote something. Sure one should be critical and open minded to all possibilities but dismissing something simply because it was written by people is illogical.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      "What about when 2 or more unrelated people relate the same facts, still hearsay?"

      If neither of them witnessed it, yes.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @religion; a way to control the weak minded- "Its widely accepted by people who actually study the bible that the MEN who wrote about jesus never knew him, only wrote about him 50-100 years after his death. Research."

      And your research citation is?

      Otherwise a person could just simply say that their research says the opposite of what you are saying and not have to show anything.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • LMAO!

      "http://metro.co.uk/2008/12/31/early-earth-was-covered-in-water-274995/"

      Hey look Robert is taking after Chad being deceptive. From Robert's article. "However, unlike in the movie, the oceans 2.5 billion years ago would have been devoid of fish, which had not yet evolved. Back then life consisted of nothing more complex than algae and bacteria."

      LMAO!

      May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      yes, Robert Brown, the bible most certainly has been proven wrong in several areas/statements. Read my post again.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Richard Cranium,

      Genetics doesn’t prove Adam and Eve and Noah wrong. We aren’t told who Adam and Eve’s children’s husbands and wives were. Obviously God created some more folks. It is all speculation, but consider Adam and Eve were in the Garden, and God created the Neanderthals thru evolution even if it makes you feel better. What then?

      The whole earth was covered at one time with water. It is the time that is giving you trouble.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      "The bible has been proven wrong...you just won't accept the proof."

      Really? Has Jesus made this much heralded return yet?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • mama k

      religion, a way...: "the MEN who wrote about jesus never knew him, only wrote about him 50-100 years after his death."

      Yes, and that's why I think that the closest thing to evidence for the "magic" in the NT comes with the claims made in Paul's earliest letters.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Pete

      Robert you don't get to just make up stuff to fill in the holes in the bible. Adam and Eve obviously never existed, and thus there is no basis for all of Christianity because without original sin there is no need for the sacrifice of Jesus to forgive it.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Atheist,

      That sounds familiar. I’m really not doing any kind of gymnastics, just making observations, but yes I do believe in God

      May 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      No, Robert Brown, the time frame gives you trouble beause there were no animals present; thus, no genesis type flood with Noah and animals and whatnot. The Noah account is pure myth as any rational person can discover with a few hours research into basic mathematics and physics. Pressure in the atmosphere, amount of food needed, etc.. If you'll excuse any impossibility because your god's magic can overcome it, then why worry at all about practical concerns and waht is or isn't possible?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • LMAO!

      "The whole earth was covered at one time with water. It is the time that is giving you trouble."

      And the article you used to prove it proves your Noah story wrong! LMAO! "However, unlike in the movie, the oceans 2.5 billion years ago would have been devoid of fish, which had not yet evolved. Back then life consisted of nothing more complex than algae and bacteria."

      May 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      That may be what is messing you up. The gospels were written by eyewitnesses.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      If the flood occurred in 2348BCE (Answers in Genesis) and the Exodus happened in 1444BCE (AIG) and the Israelites were in captivity for 400 years (AIG) isn’t there a problem?
      That means that in 504 years eight people went from being the only people on Earth to a population big enough to not only rule Egypt but to enslave themselves.

      Hmmmm……

      May 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      religion; a way to control the weak minded,

      Read something besides atheist propaganda, it is more like 30 years. You wouldn’t have much time to write either if you were running for your life.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,

      They were eyewitnesses Sam.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      sam stone,

      Not yet, will you be ready when he does?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • ?

      "The gospels were written by eyewitnesses."

      Matthew

      According to the majority viewpoint, this gospel is unlikely to have been written by an eyewitness.[62] While Papias reported that Matthew had written the "Logia," this can hardly be a reference to the Gospel of Matthew.[62] The author was probably a Jewish Christian writing for other Jewish Christians.[63]

      Biblical scholars generally hold that Matthew was composed between the years c. 70 and 100.

      Luke

      Some scholars[68][69] uphold the traditional claim that Luke the Evangelist, an associate of St. Paul who was probably not an eyewitness to Jesus' ministry, wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Others point out that Acts contradicts Paul's own letters and denies him the important title of apostle, suggesting that the author was not a companion of Paul's.[7]

      John

      In the majority viewpoint, it is unlikely that John the Apostle wrote the Gospel of John.[82][83] Rather than a plain account of Jesus' ministry, the gospel is a deeply meditated representation of Jesus' character and teachings, making direct apostolic authorship unlikely.[84] Opinion, however, is widely divided on this issue and there is no widespread consensus.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_reliability_of_the_Gospels

      May 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • mama k

      RB: "The gospels were written by eyewitnesses."

      Wow. OK, RB – try to prove that, but perhaps more importantly, try to provide reasonable evidence of such.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pete,

      I’m not making anything up. I clearly wrote that it was speculation and that is all anyone can do. You’re ok not knowing, aren’t you?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Pete

      Sorry Robert but most people who don't take the bible at face value would say that it is not very likely that the gospels were written by eye witnesses. According to wiki at the very best only Luke and Matthew were written by eye witnesses, while the majority of scholars believe John and Mark were not.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Cpt. Obvious,

      Why do so many cultures have a flood story? Why are there sea shells on mountain tops?

      Would you feel better about it if Noah was a parable rather than literal history?

      Could there be a God if he is incapable of doing what we think of as impossible?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • sam stone

      ready for what?

      salvation?

      to spend eternity with the vindictive pr1ck?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      RB
      That's the best you have in answer to all of the info I provided?
      A lame link to show that the world at one time was covered in water?...Billions of years ago, when the atmosphere would choke any that require oxygen?...that's the best you have?

      Clearly the stories are not true...men created the stories...god would have known this info and would have fixed the stories so they might even slightly jive with the information we now possess.

      Denying what science has proven and accepting what the bible says is just you not accepting that at least this one part of the bible is false, because then you would have to admit that it is not the infallible word of god, and that the rest of it is suspect at best. All part of the self–affirming nature of the propaganda that is the bible...created by men, from men's imaginations, and meant to be propagated to the people. Pure propaganda.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      LMAO!,

      That was in answer to the statement that water could not and never did cover the earth. I wasn’t using it to prove the story of Noah.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Pete

      I am perfectly o.k. not knowing. However, in this instance, everything we do know leads to the conclusion that Adam and Eve never existed. If you have some proof that they did lets see it.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Honey Badger Don't Care,

      That would be a problem. I think the flood was much longer ago.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Pete

      Why are there seashells on top of moutains?

      It is called plate tectonics. Maybe you've heard of it?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • LMAO!

      "That was in answer to the statement that water could not and never did cover the earth. I wasn’t using it to prove the story of Noah."

      The story of Noah isn't true unless you can prove that people existed when the earth was flooded and you won't be able to do that which is why you can't use the article you did in this debate.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Robert, thinking about Noah brings something else to mind. Considering the profound effects of ice ages on earth and life on it, including us, why does the bible have little to say about it? Remember Robert Frost's poem?

      ...I think I know enough of hate
      To say that for destruction ice
      Is also great
      And would suffice.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "I’m not making anything up. I clearly wrote that it was speculation and that is all anyone can do. You’re ok not knowing, aren’t you?"

      I'm okay not knowing, but that doesn't mean i'm going to ignore the discovery's being made every day in the different fields of science, especially the geological sciences. And if what we are finding out about the planet doesn't fit with a biblical view should we be bending over backwards to try and reconcile them? Or should we let the evidence stand on it's own and say "Hey, I accept the earth is 4.5 billion years old and that plate tectonics explains the shells on mountains and deep earth core samples give us an amazing look into earths real history." instead of saying "Hey, carbon dating isn't exact, and besides God can do anything so he could have aged everything, and shells on mountains? Of course it's because a global flood covered everything within the last 9000 years. And the light in transit from star systems billions of light years away was placed there in transit, i mean, the bible has to be true!"

      Just a basic acceptance of reality foots your feet firmly on the ground with me and now you are just one God away from being an atheist.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      ?,

      This is the liberal viewpoint. I’ll post the correct one later.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      mama k,

      I’ll post some details later. Don’t have any material with me.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      There is no liberal viewpoint. There are claims that have evidence to support them and those that have NO evidence. Your claims have NO reliable evidence to support them.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Pete,
      2 eyewitnesses not enough, what about the millions of believers since, aren’t they witnesses too?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • What?

      "2 eyewitnesses not enough, what about the millions of believers since, aren’t they witnesses too?"

      Million of believers huh? So should we apply this stupid logic to other things like Santa Claus. There were many eyewitnesses that he was real and millions of believer too. Wow are you in 8th grade?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Richard Cranium,

      No, that is probably not the best answer, but it was what came up when I googled, “whole earth covered with water” a little while ago.

      You’re still claiming the bible is untrue because we aren’t given all the details.

      “Denying what science has proven,” that is a very strong statement. How about what science currently thinks?

      May 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • mama k

      From the evidence I've seen so far, I'm not even buying that two of the Gospel writers were eyewitnesses.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • nope

      "You’re still claiming the bible is untrue because we aren’t given all the details."

      It's untrue for the same reasons all the other hundreds of religions are untrue.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Colin

      Robert Brown, here is an outline of why Adam and Eve must be a myth.

      First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor likely wiped them out.

      The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years ago) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the 700 odd known species of dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths and hairy rhinoceros of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

      The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

      A Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark for the entire 360 odd days Noah supposedly spent on the ark. T-Rex was not even the largest carnivorous dinosaur we know of. Spinosaurus, Argentinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were all larger and ate more even meat. Even they were not large enough to bring down the largest sauropods we know of, many species of which weighed in at close to 100 tons and were about 100 feet long. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships larger than the D-Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the ark.

      Then, of course, there are the various races of human beings. There were no Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Australian Aboriginals, blonde haired Scandinavians, Pygmies or Eskimos on the Ark. Where did they come from?

      Second, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large, often Carboniferous Period forests, in the case of coal, or tiny marine creatures in the case of oil. For the fossils to develop into oil or coal takes tens or hundreds of millions of years of “slow baking” under optimum geological conditions. That’s why they are called “fossil fuels.” Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this.

      Third, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13, 700,000,000 years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see the collective, misty light of many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny accusatorial witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

      Fourth, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims, the Universe about three times the age of the Earth.

      Fifth, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed.

      Sixth, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ simplistic and patently absurd explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

      Seventh, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

      I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics. Even large parts of medical research would be rendered unusable but for the fact that monkeys and mice share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs.

      In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders copying then extant mythology were wrong. Creationists aren’t just trying to swim upstream against the weight of scientific evidence; they are trying to ascend a waterfall.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • ?

      "From the evidence I've seen so far, I'm not even buying that two of the Gospel writers were eyewitnesses."

      They weren't. Strictly speaking, each gospel (and Acts) is anonymous.[46] The Gospel of John is somewhat of an exception, although the author simply refers to himself as "the disciple Jesus loved" and claims to be a member of Jesus' inner circle.[47] During the 2nd century, each canonical gospel was attributed to an apostle or to the close associate of an apostle.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Tom, Tom, the Other One,

      I don’t know why the ice ages and a lot of other details were not included. (Speculating again) There are 66 books in the bible and most of the debate involves the first 12 chapters of the first of those 66. It seems obvious that the subject is not about how God created everything in the universe, but about our (human) interaction and relationship with the creator.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm |

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGrlWOhtj3g

      May 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Happy Atheist,

      It is ok with me if the earth is 4.5 billion years old and God formed man from the dust of the ground by the process of evolution. I’m obviously not a scientist, but I have nothing against it, I think it is awesome. At the same time, I believe in God because I have met him, in a spiritual sense, which by the way is the only way I think we can meet him in this age. Remember God is a spirit. I can’t deny that any more than you can deny whatever example of evidence you want.

      So, really it doesn’t matter if the earth is a trillion years old or six thousand. I still believe.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      @RB – "I believe in God because I have met him, in a spiritual sense, which by the way is the only way I think we can meet him in this age. Remember God is a spirit. I can’t deny that any more than you can deny whatever example of evidence you want."

      I'm not going to deny that you believe you have met God in a spiritual sense. I do want to ask, what made you believe that what you were experiencing was God and not just any God but the God of the bible, the ancient Hebrew God? Being a devout Christian for a very long time myself I believed I had experienced a spiritual connection with something, but try as I might I was unable to confirm that what I was feeling was in anyway related to the God of the bible, no tell tale sign it was anything more than electricity in the air when in the midst of large numbers of other believers.

      "So, really it doesn’t matter if the earth is a trillion years old or six thousand. I still believe."

      That is more than being fine not knowing, thats saying you know and then shutting your eyes and putting your fingers in your ears and humming confidently to yourself. He that thinks he is standing, beware that he does not fall.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  8. William Demuth

    Frankly, they should be beaten to death.

    Crazy can be an excuse for liking Polka music, or taking ones pants off at the company party.

    Once your actions, be they faith based or otherwise, cause an innocent child to suffer a horrific death, you need to be held accountable.

    I have always felt our legal system tolerates inmate molestation as an "off the books" means of punishment, and In the case of these two I can understand why.

    I hope they suffer as much as they child they murdered did.

    May 29, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I've often wondered how Jeffrey Dahmer's death at the hands of his cell mate went.
      I imagine the guards saying something like "Now Mr. Ice Pick, we're stepping outside for a cigarette while they test the video cameras. The ones pointed at you will be offline for the next 10 minutes, so please don't do anything silly like stab Jeffrey several times with the shiv under your mattress."

      May 29, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Doc
      More likely...I dropped a shiv somewhere around here, It might have fallen into your cell, let me know if you find it...I'll be looking for it in the next cell block.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • faith

      William Demuth
      Frankly, they should be beaten to death.

      very christin of u

      May 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  9. Doc Vestibule

    There are all sorts of religions that discourage adherents from seeking proper medical care.
    Scientologists believe that the fields of psychology and psychiatry are bogus. Instead of treating a serious mental disease like schizophrenia with modern pharmaceuticals, they instead encourage patients to cease their meds and take massive vitamin doses instead. This is led to a number of tragedies, such as when Jeremy Perkins killed his mother on L. Ron Hubbard's birthday after his Scientologist mother locked away his meds.

    Jehovah's Witness' interpretation of Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 17:10-14 has led them to reject blood transfusions. Members who donate blood or receive donor blood are shunned by their communities.
    Thanks to this belief, Emma Gough's twin children are growing up without their mother whose life could have been saved had she accepted a blood transfusion during the difficult birth.

    Christian science eschew all modern medicine. The founder of the sect, Mary Baker Eddy, maintained that everyone can channel Christ's magical healing powers if they just follow her path to enlightment.
    Ian Burdick was a diabetic placed in the care of a Christian Science "Doctor". He weighed 87lbs when he died at age 15.

    Several members of the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon have been tried for neglecting their children's health by relying on prayer instead of treatment. Shannon and David Hickman's faith in God meant that their newborn was anointed with oil and prayed over instead of receiving a standard treatment that would have saved her life.

    And the list goes on and on.
    This is why faith is dangerous. Once a proposition (like loving, divine intervention) has been accepted on faith, that proposition is no longer subject to rational ana/lysis.
    The willing suppression of critical thought is not a virtue.

    May 29, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      Faith is dangerous like trying to avigate through life without any eyes is. It's not impossible, there are many blind people who are able to get through the day and live meaningful lives, but if you have two good eyes, why not open them!

      May 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • faith

      someday, when u step down from being god, i'll teach u some things about faith, u idiot

      June 1, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  10. lol??

    "Hbr 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

    May 29, 2013 at 6:05 am |
    • Science

      And do not forget your horn-y red devil lol??..................?

      May 29, 2013 at 6:14 am |
    • Science

      This might help you lol??

      http://www.cdc.gov/bam/

      May 29, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • faith

      bill nye, u r killin me

      May 29, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • lol??

      Science sayz,
      And do not forget your horn-y red devil lol??

      Get yer theology from holywood with their saturday morning cartoons??

      May 29, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • faith

      seriously science. i c your point of view. i agree. nothin 2 this god stuff

      May 29, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • faith

      amen science. u were right all along. sorry dude. thanks 4 helping me thru this

      May 29, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • lol??

      About this aristotle thing, Science,. So it was PLEASURABLE naming what he saw?? That's just copycattin' what Adam did. So why don't you read about aristotle and get back to us?? What scientific method did he use?? Yours??

      "James Lennox, who is the current expert on Aristotelian biology, has finally delivered his Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Aristotle's biology. Why should this matter?......................."

      http://evolvethought.blogspot.com/2006/02/aristotle-on-biology-by-lennox.html

      May 29, 2013 at 6:43 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith ..........sorry but i am NOT Bill Nye..........I am just some guy in the garage that understands.... E-mc2....(U-Pb)........

      Uranium lead dating. and stony iron meteorites. (chondrites) ..........you know lol??.............lead to gold deal.

      lmfao.

      May 29, 2013 at 6:49 am |
    • Science

      Or...........lol??.............green slime.................algae......................you know..............the stuff that eats bacteria.

      Or generates itself from what lol??..................clue one ingredient is water >

      May 29, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • Science

      And who do you want to be associated with lol??...................you know Laws of Association ?

      May 29, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  11. Science

    Chad/faith and creationists the bible was not around............over 250 million years ago !

    Rock Where India Crashed Into Asia And Pushed Up The Himalayas [PHOTO]

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/chris-hadfield-himalaya-satellite-photo-2013-5#ixzz2UdQgGr1G

    http://www.businessinsider.com/chris-hadfield-himalaya-satellite-photo-2013-5?nr_email_referer=1&utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Science%20Select&utm_campaign=1-SCIENCE_SELECT_NEW&utm_content=emailshare

    Peace

    May 29, 2013 at 5:18 am |
    • lol??

      Darwin was into "gods", err mediators to the mediator.

      "Even Darwin thought highly of Aristotle: in a letter to William Ogle thanking him for a copy of his translation of Aristotle's Parts of Animals on 22 February 1882, he wrote, "From quotations which I had seen I had a high notion of Aristotle's merits, but I had not the most remote notion what a wonderful man he was. Linnaeus and Cuvier have been my two gods, though in very different ways, but they were mere school-boys to Aristotle."

      http://evolvethought.blogspot.com/2006/02/aristotle-on-biology-by-lennox.html

      Your exuberance is misplaced.

      May 29, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • Science

      BS lol??

      May 29, 2013 at 6:35 am |
    • faith

      science, u r right. u win. jeebus was a huckster. my bad. please 4give me

      May 29, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • Science

      faith ...................... share bigfoot (print) from Texas..........Ok

      Peace

      May 29, 2013 at 10:18 am |
  12. faith

    poor dodo

    May 29, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • faith

      cause as long as u censor me in violation of ur policy and my const i tutional rights, u r gonna be sued dodo cnn

      May 29, 2013 at 3:25 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith you know evolution wins hands down or thumbs up !

      May 29, 2013 at 6:04 am |
    • TDM

      This is a private company running a private web site that can allow anyone they please to post. Or not. You're way off base, and if you tried to sue, you would not only be laughed out of court, you may be subjected to fines and court costs for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
      You also violate the terms of service on a regular basis, so clearly you do not have a case, either.
      If this web site displeases you, there are a plethora of other sites that you may visit.
      Your persecution complex is silly, and your threats are childish. Now, do you have anything of value to impart, or are you going to continue to play the "victim"?

      May 29, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • .

      Don't like it when the tables are turned and people report YOU, do ya faith? You reap what you sow, sweetheart. Enjoy.

      May 29, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      faith.
      you do not know what your const!tutional rights are, if you did, you would not post silly posts like you did above.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  13. faith

    DM MURDOCK

    May 29, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • faith

      2 smart 4 us dodo

      May 29, 2013 at 3:18 am |
  14. faith

    faith
    faith

    CNN is being sued for hate-speech and promoting terrorism. Individual posters will be defendants as well.

    no, just kiddin dodo

    May 29, 2013 at 3:13 am |
    • faith

      yea. u might as well give me ur address

      May 29, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • TDM

      Please post a link confirming this, because I could not find any evidence this is remotely factual. I believe this is a complete fabrication on your part. Doesn't this break the 9th Commandment?

      May 29, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • empty faith

      Everyone knows faith is just the empty promise of things hoped for. This faith hopes that the laws, the internet and other people will change into a single person that they can attempt to sue for damages because just existing out here is hurting little faiths feelings.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  15. Jimmy G.

    Nothing fails so consistently as prayer because there is no one on the other end of the line. There are no gods.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Athy

      Yeah, it's a one-way conversation. And there's no answering machine at the other end.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      I heah dem ole crickets a-singin again. Time for a weapon o' mass destruction or two. That'll take care o dem bugs.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • required

      Works fine here. You'll need a functioning belief module, did you get one of those? Without it your AV console isn't gonna work. Then connect up with the Prayer 1. If that doesn't work, read the instructions in the bible and try again. Visit your local NT store for more info. Ask for Paul.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • ET

      Paul? As in Paul of Tarsus?

      What makes you think he knew anything special?

      He's even supposed to have said "We don't know how to pray". Heh, Paul didn't even know about "The Lord's Prayer", allegedly straight from the lips of the alleged Jesus...

      May 29, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      @required
      I don't think you really want me getting anywhere near your bullshit centers of fraud and child abuse, as your survival rate is likely to experience a statistical anomaly were I to appear of a sudden.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:13 am |
    • required

      You can't stop anyone from praying to God and you can't erase billions of bibles saying prayer works. You can claim it doesn't work, and someone else can claim it does. It's always been that way.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      @required
      Since no one is actually praying to any god but only to their imaginary ideal of one, stopping them is only a matter of their danger to others, not what they are imagining in their poor sad examples of brainwashed brains.
      Did you need assistance in going to meet your god? We have assisted suicide in my state. I'd be willing to help.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • required

      Do I need suicide to meet God?

      May 29, 2013 at 2:30 am |
    • required

      I'm typing right now, right this second. You know why? Because God gives me the breath of life. Not just me, but every single person on this planet. I know who God is, by what he said, in the bible. And I know he sent Jesus to die for all our sins, if we believe him and repent. And likewise with prayer.

      If you want to stop prayer, you have to figure out how to stop billions of people that God is giving the breath of life to, otherwise they'll probably keep praying to him, like I will, because he's God, and I love him.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • ET

      @required,

      I prayed for nearly 50 years. I finally had to admit to myself that I was talking no-one but myself. The Bible is nothing as regards proof of any supernatural being(s).

      May 29, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • ET

      * ...talking to no-one...

      May 29, 2013 at 3:47 am |
    • required

      If you expect me to say I got a lot of zeros from praying to God, fine. Believe what ever you want about it. You won't believe anyeone about God anyway. There are some people you can believe, what they said is in the Bible, just believe it. If you don't, you got what you wanted. In my mind, I won the lottery 850 times over, and really, it could just as well be an infinite number of 'em. It won't make any difference to you or anyone else that doesn't believe. And anyone that believes, the point is to believe God, or the witnesses he sent to tell you.... not a bunch of zeros.... the zeros aren't where the answers are at.

      May 29, 2013 at 3:58 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Today we have competing websites and on the off chance that all of them are on the same page we have people that still doubt what they read or what they hear. Its just if you have Faith or not. 50 years, that's a pretty long time.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • ET

      Mark,

      I'm sure that faith is a comfort to many.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:31 am |
    • faith

      i have control of the fools who post here. watch this

      May 29, 2013 at 6:30 am |
    • TDM

      Prayer failed these children. This is not to say that one may not derive comfort from prayer; I'm sure it is helpful to people. Prayer does NOT, however, replace qualified physicians or life-saving medical treatment, and these parents are criminally negligent and need to be punished accordingly.

      The saying "God helps those who help themselves" comes to mind: I cannot understand why the devout here are not more outraged at the conduct of these parents. Indeed, the devout here are seemingly excusing these parents *because* they are devout.

      I have to wonder what these same good "Christians" would have to say if they read this exact same story, except the parents were devout Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists...I would bet doLlars to doughnuts that the opinions expressed by them would be very, very different.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED SO PRAY FOR THEM

      Hey there required, please show us evidence of ONE answered prayer. We'll wait while you spend the rest of your life searching.

      May 29, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • required

      Not Included, the Prayer 1 works fine here, I don't know what the deal is with yours there. Check your AV console. Do you see a belief module in there? Are the lights on? Are they intermittantly blinking, or are they all out? Hopefully you didn't back the truck over it when you got home. What else... check your Prayer 1 connection, the end that connects to the AV console has to be in good shape, clean off any evil gunk and such with some Jesus Christ of Nazareth. For sure, read the instructions in the bible after you get the belief module up and running, lights on and all connected up with Prayer 1, then go for it. Or ask Paul the NT store, he's an expert at getting people connected up with God.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED SO PRAY FOR THEM

      In other words you don't have any evidence. Thanks!

      May 30, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • required

      Not included, don't just take my word for it. The instruction book includes testimonials from everyday users of the Prayer 1, and there are sections where they go through quite a few solved problems. See those for additional help in troubleshooting. Many say they're so happy with the performance, that they'd rather die than give up their connection to God. I agree, he's the best. Make sure you get lots of Jesus Christ of Nazareth at the NT store, JC's a life saver. Get some for your friends and family as well.

      June 1, 2013 at 2:37 am |
  16. Jeff

    The crucifixion of Christ is really funny.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • Jeff

      The Christians can spin anything to make it sound good for them. If the leader of your cult was tried and exec uted by the state, it is safe to assume he was not the son of god, but the Christians see it as proof Jesus was the real deal.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • faith

      i no. 2 die 4 lol

      May 29, 2013 at 6:31 am |
    • sam stone

      "Always look on the bright side of life" – Monty Python

      May 29, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  17. Kilgore Trout

    In reality, this is what most of the faithful claim to believe, it's just that most of them are sane enough to not actually practice it. Deep down, sane people understand that it is not actually true.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  18. wjmccartan

    I read the article and then read it again and I still can't figure out how these two stay out of prison. It used to be that crazy people would say the devil made me do it, now its god told me not to do it. This is one mixed up world we live in. What ever is out there, whether its a pink elephant, or a checkerboard zebra, I sincerely hope it takes those little souls and holds them close.

    May 29, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  19. Jeff

    Religion is poison for the mind. God is a dirty band aid for wounded people. Reason and rationality are the natural antiseptic.

    May 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Jeff

      if "god's heart broke" why didn't he stop it?

      May 28, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @faith...............gods heart broke? With all the problems in this world, gods heart is broken because of something Jeff wrote? Wow Jeff you are the chosen one.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Jeff

      As Jesus 2.0, aka Jeff, I would like to apologize for my bipolar father. He means well... but then he da mns billions of people on a whim because he sees two men holding hands.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Huebert

      Austin

      You have a rather dubious understanding of the word "fact".

      May 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Austin..............Show us the spot where Jesus was resurrected.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      "its a fact. Jesus is resurrected."

      Um...no...it's a complete fantasy. Jesus, if he ever really existed, was merely a man. He died 2000yrs ago and that ends the story. Why would any sane person believe in zombies?

      May 28, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      I don't ahve proof. The Bible stories don't qualify as proof of anything. Just stories. All I'm saying is that IF he lived then he was just a man, nothing more. I don't need to prove that either because in every case we know of all men are just men. To make the case that he WAS more than human is your claim and something you would have to prove.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Colin

      If you think about it for even 5 seconds, Christianity is pretty much based 100% on the resurrected Jesus. If that is not true, Christianity is, at best, Judaism. So, what evidence do we have that Jesus was resurrected. Well, there are only 4 people who have written about this within 100 years of Jesus execution (30 CE). They are the authors of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.

      No author of any other book in the Bible gives facts about the event and no non-biblical author anywhere in the World mentions the event. So, it seems a pretty unavoidable conclusion that Christianity is based 100% on the word of 1 to 4 people. So, how consistent are they amongst themselves on purportedly the singular greatest event in human history? Let's see.

      Who went to the tomb?

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome.
      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – 2 women – Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.”
      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – at least 5 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna and other, unnamed women. At least five women.
      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – Only 1 woman – Mary Magdalene.

      What did they find there?

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – the stone has been rolled back from the entrance to the tomb. There is no mention of any guards. A young man in a long, white robe is inside. His identi.ty is not revealed. He tells the two Marys and Salome to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen and has gone to Galilee, where Jesus will appear to them.

      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone has NOT been rolled back from the tomb. There is a great earthquake and an angel from heaven appears, rolls back the stone, sits on it and stares at them a face like lightning. There are guards posted, who freeze with fear. The angel takes the two women and shows them that the tomb is empty and tells them Jesus has risen and will meet the disciples in Galilee.

      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. No earthquake, no angels, no young man in robe, no guards. Instead, two men are there in shining garments. They tell the group of (at least five) women that Jesus has risen as he foretold. No direction is given for the disciples to go to Galilee.

      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – the stone IS rolled back. Mary Magdalene, who is alone, simply finds an empty tomb and flees. No angels, earthquakes, men in shining uniforms or guards are mentioned. She gets Peter and one other, unnamed disciple and they return. They find Jesus’ robes discarded on the floor, but the garment from his head neatly folded. Peter and the other disciple leave, but Mary Magdalene stays, weeping. She looks back in to the tomb and sees two angels and Jesus appears. She thinks he is the gardener until he reveals himself. He gives no direction about Galilee but simply tells her to tell the others he is ascending to the Father.

      What happens next?

      Mark (written about 35 years after Jesus died) – Nothing. The original Gospel according to Mark ends with the women leaving the tomb frightened and saying nothing to anybody about what they saw.

      However, in the forged last 12 verses that were added to the end of the Gospel according to Mark a couple of hundred years later, Christ appears first to Mary Magdalene “out of whom he had cast seven demons.” She tells the others who do not believe her, but Jesus then appears to two (unnamed) disciples as they are walking in the countryside. They tell the others, who still don’t believe, but Jesus later appears to all 11 apostles (Judas is persona non grata at this point and/or dead) and rebukes them for not believing Mary Magdalene and the first two apostles who saw him earlier.

      He then famously tells them to go out and preach the gospel to every creature and that he who believes and is baptized will be saved and he who does not will be condemned. Those who believe will speak in tongues and be unaffected by poisons and will be able to handle snakes and heal the sick by the mere laying of their hands.

      This forged passage above is, by the way, where the evangelical tradition of “speaking in tongues,” the Appalachian tradition of snake handling and the Christian Science tradition of healing through “laying of hands” all come from – and it’s a complete forgery. Oh, the irony is rich!

      Having told them this, Jesus zaps up to heaven and sits at the right hand of God.

      Matthew (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – The two women meet Jesus and worship at his feet. He tells them to tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Meanwhile, the guards relate their story to the elders and the chief priests who bribe them to lie and say that the disciples took Jesus’ body away. Eventually the 11 apostles see Jesus in Galilee, some still doubting. Jesus tells them to go out and baptize people of all nations and that he will always be with them.

      Luke (written about 50 years after Jesus died) – Peter runs to the tomb and finds it empty with Jesus’ clothes discarded. Jesus does not appear to him, but does to two disciples who are walking in the countryside. They do not recognize him and he feigns ignorance as they recount the story of his death and of women encountering angels in the tomb. Jesus walks with them some more, rebuking them and then spends the night with them, breaking bread at which point they realize who he is and he vanishes.

      They tell the 11 apostles what happens and then Jesus appears to them. He explains the scriptures to them and that it was necessary that he die and be resurrected. He then leads them to Bethany and is carried up to heaven.

      John (written about 60 years after Jesus died) – This is the longest post mortem account of the four. Mary Magdalene recounts her story to the apostles. He appears to them that night when they are assembled, hiding from the Jews. He shows his wounds to them. Thomas was not there and when they tell him, there is the famous “doubting Thomas” scene. This scene does not appear in any other gospel.

      Jesus later appears to some apostles while they are fishing. They do not recognize him at first. They catch nothing, but Jesus tells them throw the nets out of the other side of the boat and they catch many fish. Then they know it is Jesus. Jesus eats a breakfast of fish with them and has a strange conversation with Peter. The Gospel ends with the comment that Jesus did many other things that the author did not mention as doing so would be too great a task. No mention is made of Jesus’ ultimate departure.

      If this is all they've got (and feel free to dispute me) I'm quite comfortable dismissing these stories as classic Greco-Roman Jewish myth.

      May 28, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • fred

      Colin
      We have the accounts of Flavius Josephus in Greek or arabic as to the resurection.
      We have the accounts of Paul, Timmothy, Peter

      May 29, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I'd encourage you to look critically at accounts of the Resurrection, fred. One thing about it that doesn't ring true: Paul's claim (that's Paul who was not a witness of Jesus' death and resurrection) that several hundred people had seen the resurrected Jesus Christ. Did he make that claim to people in and around Jerusalem where people might have wondered why they'd never met one of those witnesses? At any rate, give it all a careful read as one not predisposed to believe in the risen Christ might.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • fred

      Colin
      There is little doubt concering 7 of Pauls 13 letters as to authorship. Paul experienced Christ by revelation as do all Christians since Jeus assended into heaven. Hundreds of millions of conversions like Saul of Tarsus experienced, Jesus said that would be the way the truth was revealed and we have an abundance of proof that he was right.

      It actually makes no sense that any of these witnesses of the resurected Christ would make up such a story given they were on the run from Saul and other Jews because of what they saw. Saul of Tarsus a strong Jew is the most surprising witness of all and the strongest.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Also, regarding the conversion of Paul, you might look into something called Lima Syndrome, sort of the flip side of Stockholm Syndrome.

      May 29, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • fred

      Tom, Tom, the Other One
      I see it as a challenge to those of the church where the letter was read to step up. Hey, you knew Jesus and saw him resurected. Here is a list of all those who saw him....speek up.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • Dippy

      "Speek"?

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Jimmy G.

      @Jeff – antiseptic is painful, disillusionment can be a thousand times more painful because it affects our self-image and our world-view.
      Aren't our brains just wonderful? It's like trying to use a computer that's all buggy and keeps shorting out in weird places.
      This is another proof of no gods having a say in our evolution.
      Being prone to error and indelibly biased due to inherited and mutated brain structures better suited to sitting in a jungle eating berries and flinging poo at the nearest group separate from our own, is not indicative of an intelligent design at all.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, fred, the Josephus version of the resurrection is considered to be a forgery by people who objectively research historical references. And you can't use the bible to prove that the bible is true.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • Colin

      Fred, what you are referring to is the infamous Testimonium Flavianum of Josephus. It is often touted as the strongest non-gospel reference to Jesus:

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

      There are a few problems with this account. First, it appears for the very first time in a Medieval edition of Josephus works. It is no earlier version, even though Josephus wrote in the early part of the Second Century. Second, it is written by somebody with a very Christian outlook, but Josephus was a Jew and nowhere in any other writing of his does he give any indication he is a Christian or accepts that Jesus was the Messiah. Scholars are pretty unanimous in dismissing it as legitimate.

      Further, even if it were a legitimate writing of Josephus, it would not be very probative, as it would have been written about 90 years after the events it purports to record took place.

      I agree that it is often touted as the best non-Biblical reference to Jesus from the first 100 years after his death, but its dubious authenticity and lack of probative value make it totally unreliable as evidence of Jesus rising from the dead.

      May 29, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Fred sez:
      "Paul experienced Christ by revelation as do all Christians since Jeus assended into heaven."
      Why is this the standard to experience Christ?
      It is well known that Christ revealed himself in other ways.
      Why cannot the standard of revelation be what Thomas experienced? John 20:24-29.
      Direct empirical evidence ?

      May 29, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Rynomite

      "We have the accounts of Flavius Josephus in Greek or arabic as to the resurection."

      Josephus also wrote that Hercules was a real living person as well. So there is that....

      May 29, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • fred

      Brother Maynard
      I imagine it depends on how you read "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" in response to Thomas being skeptical absent confirming physical evidence. Is it not the Holy Spirit that pulls back the curtain to reveal the truth since the day of Pentecost? Do we know if Paul saw a physical manifestation of the resurrected Jesus or in that blinding light the reality of the risen Christ? My personal experience was one of seeing the reality not physical manifestation of the things of God (i.e. truth about talking serpents and Christ's atonement etc).
      In my case empirical evidence was foolishness until after experiencing God. But, I have spoken with many who believe based on empirical evidence or self evidence and never needing a conversion experience.

      May 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • fred

      Colin
      Ranking Jews and others bent on ending Christianity most likely outnumbered Christians through 70AD at least. Christians were willing to die for what they believed while others were willing to kill Christians. I would put my money on the powerful over the frightened believers of Christ when it comes to accessing doc uments and manuscripts.
      Since the days of Adam solid evidence remains hidden and from Moses to John’s revelations in the Bible it boils down to faith. When it comes to existence beyond our current physical trappings it is only reasonable that the way is not by means which fit into the natural as presented.
      The perspective of a skeptic or non believer limits awareness to what can be "seen". The Bible repeats itself in the area of seeing around the deception which limits man created in the image of God. Adam and Eve (careful not to allow the scales of philosophical naturalism cloud the fact we are not speaking about the physical dust from which they were created but the breath of life that was breathed into the creation) bought the deception (talking serpent) and could no longer live in the absence of that deception. In short your self- image and limit of your awareness is that of a physical being observing others having a spiritual experience. This is in contrast with Christ who was a spiritual being having a physical experience.
      I AM the way the truth and the life is what Jesus was saying loud and clear. NO ONE shakes the deception of this world but in Christ. How? Christ takes away your sins. What difference does that make? Blessed are the pure at heart for they shall see God.
      Perhaps you are right and someone buggered with the truth or made it all up for some silly reason. But, let there be no doubt when you ask Christ to help you find the way, help you believe so Christ takes on your sin you will be born again of water and of spirit. Jesus said that is the proof you seek and it is right in front of you.
      The proof is in the testimony of millions that took this exact step. I saw it in myself so I can relate to what Saul of Tarsus was talking about. Jesus said no proof will be given you but the sign of Jonah (entire town of Nineveh believed when Jonah said repent).
      Not that complicated you can continue to live by the words of the Serpent (even though you claim there is no such thing) or by the word of God. Interesting choice non believers and skeptics make.

      May 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  20. Khloe

    I hope the judge DOES revoke their probation and make them both serve the original sentence. They knowingly denied medical care on yet another child, even though that was part of the terms OF their probation. Reprehensible people.
    I cannot tell you all how much this sickens me.

    May 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Jail is tooooooooo good for them.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @lol?..............................I see you've run out of your medicine. Do us a favor. Go in the bathroom and drink what's under the sink. That should calm your nerves.

      May 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Topher

      Austin, is that me?

      May 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.