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July 31st, 2013
09:07 AM ET

What Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) - As you might have heard, Lauren Green at Fox didn’t do a very good job interviewing Reza Aslan on his new book about the historical Jesus.

Instead of asking him about "Zealot," she asked him why, as a Muslim, he would presume to write a book about Jesus. He responded by citing (and re-citing) his academic credentials.

The interview went viral, and Aslan went to No. 1 on Amazon.com (ahead of J. K. Rowling).

But what does the book actually say? Here are seven of Aslan's key arguments in "Zealot":

1. Jesus was a violent revolutionary

Many scholars have argued that Jesus was a political figure. After all, he was crucified by Rome, and crucifixion was at the time a punishment for political offenses. But these scholars often claim, as John Dominic Crossan did in "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography," that Jesus was a nonviolent revolutionary.

Aslan portrays Jesus as a man of war who worshiped the "blood-spattered God of Abraham, and Moses, and Jacob, and Joshua” and who knew full well that “God’s sovereignty could not be established except through force.”

2. Jesus’ kingdom was worldly

In the Gospel of John, Jesus famously says, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Aslan begs to differ. Jesus’ kingdom was neither purely nor predominantly spiritual. He preached “a physical and present kingdom: a real kingdom, with an actual king that was about to be established on earth.”

3. Jesus revolted against Roman and Jewish authorities

Jesus didn’t just take on Rome. He took on Jewish authorities, in particular those who ran the Jerusalem Temple.

“There can be no doubt,” writes Aslan, “that Jesus’s main antagonist in the gospels is neither the distant emperor in Rome nor his heathen officials in Judea. It is the high priest Caiaphas, who will become the main instigator of the plot to execute Jesus precisely because of the threat he posed to the Temple’s authority.”

4. Palm Sunday is the key moment in the Jesus story

Every Jesus biographer has a key moment in the life of Jesus when his essence is revealed. For Aslan, that moment comes when Jesus mounts a donkey and rides into Jerusalem.

In this celebration, commemorated in the Christian world every year on Palm Sunday, Jesus is not demonstrating his humility. Instead, he is announcing his kingship.

The “unmistakeable” message of this scene, according to Aslan, is that “the long-awaited messiah — the true King of the Jews — has come to free Israel from its bondage.”

5. The early church turned Jesus into a pacifist preaching a spiritual kingdom

In 66-73 CE, a bloody Jewish revolt against Rome left Jerusalem in ruins and chastened the early Christians, who reinvented Jesus as an apolitical figure in order to make nice with Rome.

Those who wrote of Jesus in this way (Paul included) never met the man, and, in Aslan's view, they badly mischaracterized him, turning “their messiah from a fierce Jewish nationalist into a pacifistic preacher of good works whose kingdom was not of this world.”

6. The idea that Jesus was God also originated with the early church

As a Jew, Aslan observes, Jesus would have rebelled against any notion that God is incarnated in human flesh.

Therefore, the elevation of Jesus to divinity must have come after his crucifixion, at the hands of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians who “transformed Jesus from a revolutionary zealot to a Romanized demigod.”

7.  The Bible isn’t to be believed (as history)

In "Zealot," Aslan repeatedly refers to passages in the New Testament as “preposterous,” “fanciful,” “obviously contrived,” “riddled with the most basic errors,” “simply ridiculous,” and “absurd to the point of comedy.”

Here the Bible is a source for data about Jesus’s life, but that data must be carefully sifted through a scholarly lens, and in particular through the socioeconomic realities of life in the ancient Mediterranean at the time of Jesus.

At least as Aslan sees it, Jesus probably didn’t tell his followers to turn the other cheek. He probably did say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword” (Matthew 10:34).

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Islam • Jesus

soundoff (854 Responses)
  1. Maani

    "Jesus was a violent revolutionary."

    Really? "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

    "Jesus' kingdom was worldly."

    Really? There are over 100 passages in the NT – most spoken by Jesus Himself – which make it clear that this is not the case.

    "Jesus revolted against Roman and Jewish authorities."

    Half-right. He never revolted against CIVIL/POLITICAL (Roman) authorities: "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's." He did most certainly revolt against the hypocrisy of the RELIGIOUS (Jewish) authorities. Indeed, this was one of the "reasons" He came in the first place.

    "Palm Sunday is the key moment in the Jesus story" because "Jesus is not demonstrating his humility. Instead, he is announcing his kingship."

    Really? There is not a single passage that supports this, while there are multiple passages that disclaim it.

    "The early church turned Jesus into a pacifist..."

    Really? "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also...Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

    "The idea that Jesus was God originated with the early church."

    Really? "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"; "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him"; "He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

    "The Bible isn't to be believed (as history)."

    Well...it depends on what you mean. If you mean that it is not "inerrant," then yes. However, if you mean that it does not pretty accurately describe certain genealogies, events, etc., then no.

    For a "scholar," Aslan makes some pretty "rookie" mistakes – unless they are deliberate misreadings to support a personal agenda.

    August 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      You do know that the NT is not a contemporaneous account of Jesus' life.. It was written between decades and centuries after the events, it has been copied and revised. In fact there were so many different texts, King James felt the need to produce a "standard" bible. So the bible is not a reliable source for history – a few people and places, but not much else.
      The historical Jesus was likely a revolutionary but there is no evidence that he was divine.

      August 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
      • lol??

        How do you explain the entire ruckus He caused. Charlie Manson really, really tried and had no effect.

        August 1, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
        • M.R.

          Gospel of John Paul. Helter Skelter! Repent!

          August 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • Maani

        Santa:

        A few facts are in order. First, of the gospel writers, Matthew and John (at least) were contemporary with Jesus; they knew Him, and lived alongside Him. It is also probable that Luke was a contemporary disciple, and likely that Mark was also alive at the time. Certainly Simon Peter and others were as well.

        Second, the first of the Gospels to be written was Mark, dated to ~60 A.D.; thus, only 30 years after Jesus. However, also keep in mind that some of Paul's writings are even earlier (though, of course, Paul did not know Jesus personally). As well, all of the books of the N.T. were written within ~60 years of Jesus' death and resurrection, with Revelation dated to ~90 A.D. So the accounts related in the various books are not so "far from the source" as to be unreliable. After all, if I wrote a biography today of a friend of mine who died 30 years ago, it would still be pretty darn accurate.

        Finally, I am not sure what you mean by "copied and revised." The earliest original remnants that we have of NT texts conform fairly closely to the forms in which they appear in the NT. That is, even if SOME copying and/or revising was done, it was not by any means substantial.

        August 1, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
        • A Frayed Knot

          Maani,
          "A few facts are in order. First, of the gospel writers, Matthew and John (at least) were contemporary with Jesus; they knew Him, and lived alongside Him."

          Nope, those are not facts. The authorship, and the real ident.ities of "Matthew" and "John" are not verified.

          August 2, 2013 at 12:03 am |
        • Johnny

          So when the story of Jesus coming back from the dead was added to the gospel of Mark you wouldn't call that substantial?

          August 2, 2013 at 9:42 am |
        • Maani

          Knot: Where are you getting your info? I have studied this for over two decades. I have probably read more books on the history of Christianity, apologetics, and related subjects than you have read books total. My sources are the top scholars in Biblical history, including both secular and religious experts. Trust me, I am going to trust all of them before I trust someone on a website thread.

          August 2, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • Johnny

          Actually, most scholars believe that the Gospel of John was not written by an eyewitness, neither was Luke, or Matthew. Mark perhaps was, but it originally left out that whole Jesus coming back from the dead thing.

          August 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Thandie

          Maani, are you published? I would be *very* interested in reading some of your scholarship, since you have studied this for the last two decades. And I notice that you listed no actual sources. Could we have some of those citations, please?
          Thanks in advance.

          August 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Maani

          Thandie:

          I am a learner, teacher, preacher and counselor, but have not published because that is not my goal. The best I could do is provide a list of the dozens (possibly hundreds) of books in my personal library that speak to this issue. But I'm not sure that would make much sense, since I doubt anyone (including the most scholarly of atheists here) is going to read all of the books I have read over a more than 20-year period.

          You (and others) are certainly free to question my claims, and I don't blame you for doing so. (This is setting aside the fact that most of the others here – both atheist and believer – fail to offer THEIR sources either.) Nor do I expect you (or others) to simply take me at my word. However, I stand on the very intensive reading and research that I have done – and continue to do. That is what I have.

          Peace.

          August 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  2. krhodes

    Aslan portrays Jesus as a man of war who worshiped the "blood-spattered God of Abraham, and Moses, and Jacob, and Joshua” and who knew full well that “God’s sovereignty could not be established except through force.”

    That is pure nonsense. It is actually Islam that that expands by force and Muhammad actually engaged in such things.

    August 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      How can you read the bible and not come to the conclusion that the god portrayed is "blood-spattered. If god's sovereignty could be established without force, why have god's representatives used force so frequently?
      Most religious people use force and many of the conflicts (past and present) have a religious component.

      August 1, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
      • lol??

        The problems started when the gubmint adopted "Christianity". Before that it was the Christians getting blood stained from their own blood.

        August 1, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  3. children of Israel

    John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. (Genesis 18:23) (Romans 10:3) *John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. *Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: (Exodus 3:14)

    August 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Dyslexic doG

    @Children of Israel

    Please explain to me how you can keep quoting lines from your book given that the King James version of the new testament was completed in 1611 by 8 members of the church of England. There were (and still are) NO original texts to translate. The oldest manuscripts we have were written down 100's of years after the last apostle died. There are over 8,000 of these old manuscripts with no two alike. The king james translators used none of these anyway. Instead they edited previous translations to create a version their king and parliament would approve. So.... 21st century christians believe the "word of god" is a book edited in the 17th century from the 16th century translations of 8,000 contradictory copies of 4th century scrolls that claim to be copies of lost letters written in the 1st century.

    the book is a fraud!

    August 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • fred

      Dear Dyslexic your problem is in reading the Bible not the Word of God.

      August 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • fred

      The Word of God cannot be contained in mans' translation regardless of the one you choose. The Word of God is that which strikes your heart and reveals truth when you read it. The Word of God is written on the hearts of believers where no man, government or godless fool can take it away.
      The Bible when read with a heart seeking truth will find it every time. The Bible when read by the godless will find contradiction, error and foolishness.
      The Bible when read by the skeptic will deepen his or her skepticism.
      The Bible when read by the scholar will find a never ending academic exercise.
      The Bible when read by the theologian will find never ending religious positions on divinity.
      ˙ǝsuǝs ǝʞɐɯ ʇou llıʍ פop ɔıxǝlsʎp ʎq pɐǝɹ uǝɥʍ ǝlqıq ǝɥ┴

      August 1, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        ¿ʇı ʍouʞ ʎǝɥʇ ǝʌǝıןǝq sʇsıǝɥʇ ʎuɐɯ os op ʎɥʍ 'suɐɯnɥ ʎq pǝʇɐןsuɐɹʇ ǝq ʇouuɐɔ pob ɟo pɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ɟı
        pǝɹɟ

        August 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • fred

          Santa
          A "born again believer" believes that the Word of God is translated by the Holy Spirit who reveals the truth. When the Holy Spirit speaks into our "heart" we cannot help but believe it.
          Now, the misguided Phelps for example claims the Holy Spirit directs him to attack gays so how do we know which translations and interpretation is correct? There are many examples such as during the Slave Trade days of the U.S. misguided people claimed the Bible said it was ok.
          The words of the Bible clearly do not suggest the African Slave Trade was ok and attacking gays is ok. The Holy Spirit never seems to go against the clear themes of the Bible For example; the clear theme on slavery is that God frees the slaves. Believers are to love others and threat them right. Religions and religious leaders add their nonsense to the simple truths expressed.

          August 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  5. children of Israel

    Job 32:10-11 Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say. *Isaiah 41:21 Produce your cause saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. (Matthew 19:28)

    August 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Ezekiel 23:20
      There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • flying spaghetti monster

        hallelujah!!

        August 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  6. children of Israel

    Uplift our people, by telling them the truth. God is love (John 14:15) Grace is a free gift of God not to be boasted of. The truth sets you free *Deuteronomy 7:6*

    August 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      It's not free if you have to Bow Down, deny basic facts, believe that as a human you are worthless, just to get it.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      more hokey, greeting card sayings.
      like safety blankets for Christians.
      they can spit them out on demand.
      and somehow think that they proved a point.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  7. Kevin

    And Satan rejoices as the deceived ones preach more lies about Jesus, my Saviour. Son of God one third of our triune God! Hallelujah! Praise His mighty name! My God is the God of Abraham! His name is the great Jehovah! He is the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit. Almighty God!

    August 1, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Kevin, it doesn't appear that you read the book. You really shouldn't criticize something you have not even read. To be fair, read the book check his sources and form your own opinion.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    John 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. *Matthew 22:32* (Isaiah 38:18-19)

    August 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      "And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)

      August 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  9. William D. Simpson

    I will ask that people read a book which gives undeniable evidence to the truths of the Bible against Reza Aslan's "THE ZEALOT" to show that he has absolutely no truth to back his false accusations of Christ's historical account. If you wish to read a compelling testimony to the transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I am offering a free eBook version of "LIVING IN THE HOPE OF MY IMAGINATION". He presents his argument as I have presented mine. Lets see whose witness is the more convincing witness of historical truth...

    Author, William D. Simpson

    http://wsimpson.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/living-in-the-hope-of-my-imagination-ebook/

    August 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • meifumado

      No thanks, I would rather read something from an educated man.
      The crap you suggest is pure hogwash by someone of no real credibility.
      The stuff Aslan talks about is actually pretty obvious and fits in with my research of a historical Jesus.
      I will buy Mr Aslans book.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Very little evidence that Jesus even existed and no verifiable evidence that Jesus was divine.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Johnny

      Living in the hope of your imagination indeed.

      August 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  10. children of Israel

    Say something about the God of Jacob, and watch what happens to the athesists, Christians, Muslims, Arabs, Chinese, Africans and all these other nations. (Genesis 31:29) *Isaiah 40:17* (Deuteronomy 14:2)

    August 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • MandaMoo

      S•T•F•U, kevobox. You're still absurd.

      August 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Psalm 137, 9:
      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      August 1, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Lycidas

        If cherry picking is wrong for the religious, it would also be wrong for the non-religious.

        August 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
        • MandaMoo

          I notice you're not saying squat to coi, Lycidas. Or his absurd take on Scripture.

          August 1, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
        • Lycidas

          Enough ppl already are.

          August 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  11. children of Israel

    Who put the Rabbi over Christ? *Matthew 23:8* Who put the Pope and his kingdom (Matthew 8:12) over the God of Jacob? *Psalm 59:13 and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah. (Psalm 77:15) The twelve tribes of Israel are scattered, (James 1:1) and the most high God is bringing Judah back first. *Zechariah 12:7*

    August 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
  12. children of Israel

    When death comes to the door, what will the people say then? (Matthew 22:32) *John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. *Matthew 25:33*

    August 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
  13. Reality

    Only for the eyes of our sister and brother Muslims:

    And we request yet again that "professor" Aslan respond to the following: (if he refuses he should be deported))

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim to include the professor can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    August 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Reality

      فقط من أجل عيون الشقيقة والمسلمين شقيق

      From Google Translate:

      ونطلب مرة أخرى أن "أستاذ" أصلان الرد على ما يلي: (إذا رفض وقال انه ينبغي أن يتم ترحيلهم))

      ما حرض على الهجوم على البرجين التوأمين، الرحلة رقم 93 والبنتاغون؟

      وما يدفع 24/7 مسجد اليوم / أعمال الإمام مخططة من الإرهاب والرعب؟

      القرآن الكريم، كتاب محمد من الإعدام بالنسبة لجميع الكفار والهيمنة مسلم في العالم بأي وسيلة.

      وقال هذا الكتاب إزالة المقاطع الاعتراف بأنهم تستند إلى أسطورة غابرييل، وبالتالي من الواضح أن الهلوسة و / أو أكاذيب محمد يجب على المسلمين تنظيف.

      ثم يمكن أن نتحدث عن السلامة، والمكان من المساجد وما يتم تدريسه فيها.

      حتى ذلك الحين، لا مسلم لتشمل أستاذ يمكن الوثوق في أي وقت أو في أي مكان.

      August 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
      • Reality

        As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

        The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

        ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

        and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

        and more recently

        1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

        1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

        2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

        3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. Iraqi civilians killed as of 05/10/2013/, 113,249-123,978 mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

        4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

        5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

        6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

        7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

        8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

        9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

        10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

        11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

        12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

        13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

        14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

        15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

        16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

        17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

        18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

        19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

        20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

        21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

        22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

        23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

        o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
        o
        BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
        The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

        25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

        (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

        26 ) September 12, 2012
        U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED
        Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

        27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life.

        August 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • NYOD

      Even dumber than the Fox News reporter who got her asz handed to her by Mr. Aslan. Just another clueless and illiterate waste of DNA.

      August 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • Lycidas

        You know, I saw the interview in question and can't really say that either person did a great job. The lady in question asked a straight forward question and Aslan went a little wierd and didn't really answer her. He could have but instead he kept going on and on about his credentials. Love the Forbes article on that btw.
        For her part, she should have just dropped it in the first minute and moved on.

        August 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  14. i like cheerios

    jesus was never a real person

    and his name wasnt even jesus

    August 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

       4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
      7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
      8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
      by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
      10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
      11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
      wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
      12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
      faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
      13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
      mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
      13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
      14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
      15. D-iseases in the Bible:
      http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

      16. Religion on Line (6000 articles on the history of religion, churches, theologies,
      theologians, ethics, etc.
      religion-online.o-rg/

       17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgateway.com/
      18. Writing the New Testament- e-xisting copies, o-ral tradition etc.
      ntgateway.com/
      19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
      http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
      20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
      21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
      in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
      22. NT and beyond time line:
      pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
      23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
      harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
      24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
      25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
      27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
      28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
      29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

      August 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Make up your mind....was Jesus real or not.
      If not, then he couldn't have another name.

      Anyway, you are in the minority on this. Most reputable scholars consider Jesus a real historivcal figure like Socrates was.

      August 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • Thinker23

        It is very possible that a PERSON named Jesus Christ really existed. It is VERY questionable, however, that this person was God's son or even God himself. After all, if Jesus was the God, God's son, the Messiah, etc. HE WOULD BE ABLE TO PROVE IT to the people.

        August 2, 2013 at 6:25 am |
        • Reality

          The Apostles' / Agnostics’ Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

          Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
          and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
          human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

          I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
          preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
          named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
          girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

          Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
          the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

          He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
          a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
          Jerusalem.

          Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
          many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
          ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
          Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
          grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
          and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
          called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

          Amen
          (References used are available upon request.)

          August 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Indigo Red

      If "his name wasnt even jesus", what was it? I won't bother with the never existed part because Winnie the Pooh never existed and he has a name. So, if not Jesus, what was his name?

      August 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
      • Lycidas

        Actually, Jesus did exist. Do you have any legit reasons to feel otherwise?
        The vast majority of scholars, historians and academics say he was a real historical figure.

        August 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  15. children of Israel

    The biggest cover up in world history, is mankind pretending to not know who the twelves tribes of Israel really are. Calling yourself an African American, you are worshipping canaanites the Devil. African Americans are required to learn spanish, why? *Matthew 10:4* (Judges 3:5-7)

    August 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have FOUND NO TRACE OF THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL - not one shard of pottery."

      August 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  16. children of Israel

    Judges 3:8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them in the hand of Chushan risha thaim king of Mesopotamia: (John 8:24) *John 9:9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

    August 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • meifumado

      Thor was married to Sif, the lovely goddess. Sif had beautiful, long, golden hair. It was something she took great pride of.

      Loki, the mischievous fire-god, loved playing practical jokes on the gods. One night, Loki decided to cut off all Sif's hair.

      What Loki didn't count on, was Thor's temper. When Thor found his wife weeping over the lost of her golden hair, the thunder-god caught Loki and threatened to beat and break every bone in Loki's body. Loki promised Thor to replaced Sif's beautiful hair with hair of gold.

      Loki sought the master dwarven craftsmen, the sons of Ivaldi. The hair or wig was made out of finely spun gold. The magical property of the gold hair was that it was alive like real hair, which would grow naturally.

      The sons of Ivaldi also created two other splendid gifts for the Aesir. They created the indestructible spear, called Gungnir, for Odin. They also created a magical ship for Freyr, which was called Skidbladnir. The remarkable thing about Skidbladnir was that it was a collapsible ship, which Freyr could fold up to a size smaller enough to carry in his pocket.

      As Loki carried the gifts to the Aesir, Loki encountered another two dwarfs – Brokk and Eiti. Loki boasted of the gifts and craftsmanship of the sons of Ivaldi. Loki made a wager on his head that Brokk and Eiti and could not make better three gifts than those of the sons of Ivaldi. Brokk and Eiti agreed to the wagers.

      First, Eiti placed a pig's hide in the forge, he told his brother to keep working on the bellows, until he completed the work. As they started working, a fly (Loki?) tried to distract Brokk from blowing air into the forge fire, by biting into Brokk's left arm. Brokk ignored the fly and continuously worked on the bellows. From the hide, bristles of gold sprout out and giving life to a wild boar. The boar was called Gullinbursti, "golden bristles". The boar had the ability to run faster than any horse, across the sky or over water. The gold bristle ensured that it was bright enough to see where it was going, even at the darkness night.

      During the second piece of work, the fly landed this time on Brokk's neck, nibbling harder than before, but Brokk ignored the fly and kept working on the bellows. Eiti made a gold ring called the Draupnir. The ring had the ability to make eight other rings of the same size, every ninth night.

      When they were working on a third item, the fly now landed between Brokk's eyes, and nibbled on his eyelid. Blood dripped into his eye, so Brokk quickly rubbed the blood out of his eye and swatted the fly away, before he continued to work the bellows. Eiti had placed a large piece of iron in the forge and creating hammer called Mjollnir. Eiti told Brokk that he nearly ruined this work. The only flaw of the hammer was that the handle was quite short.

      The Mjollnir was the strongest weapon in the world. It would not fail to hit any target, either struck at or thrown at. If the hammer were thrown, it would always return to its hands, after striking its target.

      Eiti sent his brother with the gifts to Asgard. Loki and Brokk gave the gifts to the Aesir. Odin, Thor and Freyr acted as judges over the gifts, to see which was the best of them all.

      Loki gave the hair or wig of gold was given to Sif, to appease Thor's anger towards him. The collapsible ship, Skidbladnir, was given to Freyr, and Loki gave irresistible spear, (Gungnir), to Odin.

      Brokk gave the boar with gold bristles (Gullinbursti) to Freyr, the gold ring (Draupnir) to Odin, and the Mjollnir to Thor.

      The three judges found that the Mjollnir was the best gift, since it gave the person greatest chances against the giants at Ragnarok.

      Losing the wagers, Loki tried to flee, but was caught by Thor. Odin decided that Loki losing his head was a bit drastic, so Brokk decided upon a different measure. Brokk sealed Loki's mouth shut with wire.

      August 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Quoting from a work of fiction wont get you very far.

      August 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Pickled Wolverine Cares

        About as far as your mindless prattle.

        August 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      August 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  17. children of Israel

    Jesus of Nazareth is a white lie (Matthew 21:11) *John 7:52 for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. *Luke 9:20-21*

    August 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • MandaMoo

      Kevobox changed his name.

      August 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  18. aallen333

    The animals have no concept of right and wrong. Nor do they ponder matters concerning life and de-th; good and ev-l; heaven and hell. The only species that contemplates such subjects are human beings. Why is this? Because human beings live on a higher plane of consciousness and have been endowed with a revelation of such higher realms of existence by their creator. It seems to me that those who strive to remove this part of man's consciousness from his being are not elevating the conversation. On the contrary their actions appears to have the goal of lowering us to the level of common animals. And I find it hard to understand how this benefits anyone.

    August 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You are wrong straight from the first sentence. Animals do know right and wrong, they build communities, they have language and culture, they co-operate, they love.

      You are a44uming you are better than them, claim to know what animals think.
      You are ridiculous. Get over yourself.

      August 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • aallen333

        Animals live on instinct. Only man received a revelation that a moral law exists and subsequently wrote it down. Your comment proves my point that those who deny Christ inevitably lose site of this revelation and are reduced to equating themselves to the animals.

        August 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Human morality is based primarily on the survival trait shown to exist in most social animals. Altruism is one of the most important of these and allows for a greater number of the genes of the in-group to survive in the next generation.

          Instead of reading a book of fiction why don’t you pick up a book of science?

          August 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Madtown

          Can you deny Christ if you've never heard of him?

          August 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Ram Rod Romeo

          Retards such as yourself should really look into self eugenics.

          And with all due respect and kind wishes, go fuck yourself up the ass with a big rubber dick.

          When you're done, be sure to click my name. It is a very useful link.

          August 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Animals live on instinct.

        Have you ever owned a dog?

        Have you not seen them dream? (Whimper or run in their sleep.)

        Have you not seen them make a choice – to come when called or bolt and make you chase them? They have a more developed sense of right and wrong than a human infant.

        They understand much more than you give them credit for.

        August 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Recent experiments indicate that children as young as 3 months understand the difference between right and wrong and typically show a preference for right. So religion is not required to introduce that.

      August 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Saraswati

      You must have missed this story on animal morality:

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/19/health/chimpanzee-fairness-morality

      August 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Here is an experiment that you can do to prove to yourself that animals do have a sense of fairness. All it takes is 2 dogs and a handful of doggie treats.

      Make both dogs sit in front of you.
      Get each of them to "shake hands" for a treat.
      Do this a couple times with each dog.

      Now – ask both dogs to do the trick, but only give a treat to one of the dogs.
      The dog not getting their treat will quickly learn and refuse to do the trick anymore.

      Simple – and it tells you that social animals (not even primates) have a sense of what is fair and what is not.

      August 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • LinCA

        @My Dog is a jealous Dog

        I guess that explains where you got your handle.....

        August 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  19. Lycidas

    @HotAirAce- "Why doesn't the Smithsonian consider The Babble to be a historical docu.ment?"

    @Bible Scholar- "Because it isn't."

    I bet the Smithsonian also doesn't consider the Bible a flavor of ice cream or a name of a crater on Mars. Who cares what they don't say it is....how about you tell us what they do consider it.

    August 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "On the other hand, much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the Old Testament, are as accurate historical doc uments as any that we have found in antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories. These Biblical records can be and are used as are other ancient doc uments in archaeological work. For the most part, historical events described took place and the peoples cited really existed."
      (National Museum of Natural History- Smithsonian Inst itution)

      ~There is more to the letter and I recommend everyone read it.

      August 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        Nice quote mine. Typical tactic for your side. You're kind is always saying "youre not reading it in context". How about you providing a link so that we can read the whole passage?

        August 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Lycidas

          I'm sorry...the immense level of intellectual laziness coming from you is quite overwhelming. I think what you are saying is that you can't google a quote?
          Did you not understand the citation? It came from the Natural History Museum of the Smithsonian?
          I'm sorry, I just don't see why you are having difficulty with this.

          August 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
        • Lycidas

          "Typical tactic for your side."

          You mean the factual side? Yes, we tend to use real quotes when putting forth info. Unlike those that say what isn't...I'm telling you what is. Don't be a hater.

          August 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • i like cheerios

        youre an idiot trying to look smart

        it isnt working

        August 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Lycidas

          What is your problem? That the info is from the Smithsonian? That is shows that much of the Bible is more reliable than other ancient histories?
          Btw, try using apostrophes once in awhile.

          August 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • i like cheerios

          try to just blow me sometime you mongrel idiot

          and before being a grammar cunt you should get your own in check first

          reread your comment you idiot

          August 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Lycidas

          Calm yourself troll-child. i'm not the one coming on here talking about "smarts" and screwing up grammar. That would be you.

          Now again, what was your problem with the info given? Or are you going to be honest and admit you are a troll and nothing more?

          August 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    The oft used christian argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to Atheists. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

    August 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • JimK57

      Nope you are not crazy at all. Truth can be a subjetive thing. When pilate asked jesus "what is truth?" jesus knew this and that is why he did not answer.

      August 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        You're quoting from a character in a work of fiction.

        August 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
        • GMAB

          Yes, Cpt. Ahab asked Moby Dick pretty much the same thing. Fiction can be thrilling...

          "Hermann Melville's novel 'Moby Dick' is based on true occurences. There was a sperm whale the whalers called 'Mocha Dick', named 'Mocha' as the animal's first attack happened off the Mocha Islands in Chile. It had an eight feet long white scar across its head. Between 1810 and 1859 this whale destroyed dozens of boats and even attacked large ships. In 1830 a chronist wrote that Mocha Dick's skin were 'white as wool'.
          In 1820 the bark 'Ess.ex' was sunk by a sperm whale that might have been 'Mocha Dick'. These two events inspired Herman Melville to write his novel 'Moby Dick'." - http://www.shipsonstamps.org/Topics/html/mobydick.htm

          http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/mobydick.html

          August 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          The historicity of Jesus is part of the subject of Aslan's book. While some people here will debate historicity, it's moot.

          The only question is whether you believe in miracles and resurrections – on faith – because excepting the biblical accounts there is zero cooroborating evidence of these things happening.

          Without the resurrection the myth of Christian divinity is indistinguishable from all other myth.

          August 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
        • Innocent Screen Name

          Jack Nicholson told Tom Cruise he couldn't handle the truth!!!!

          August 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        when Harry Potter asked Dumbledore about truth he didn't answer either. Hmmmm ...

        August 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      True dat!

      This is a textbook example of the argument from ignorance and shows that most religious people dont have the foundation in logic and reason to be skeptical.

      August 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Lycidas

      “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god."

      I find it odd that you equate "I don't know" to "we don't have that answer yet". But if a religious person says they don't know...do you claim then that they are wrong because they don't know? or will you give the benefit of the doubt that they don't know yet but will?

      August 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        How often do religious people claim that they don't know whether there is a God?

        It is logical to take the position of the agnostic theist, being "I really don't know and can't prove that there is a God but I believe there is" but few (at least around here) seem to be willing to state that clearly.

        August 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • FA

      Since you mentioned the Big Bang consider what that theory really means. The Big Bang means that at the begining the universe had just the right balance of force for formation of Galaxies etc (too much gravity than universe would be a black hole, a little less gravity we have floating gas and no formation of solids. As a scientist i am baffled when atheists use the Big Bang as the explanation of every thing. Lets not go to quantum mechanics, i double you understand them, lets take general physics in to consideration. What physics equations along with chemical quantum mechanics is that the universe operates within certain boundaries ie the universe is governed by a set of laws. The starting point of atheists is Random processes. No random process gives birth to ordered systems. Take it from me 🙂

      August 2, 2013 at 5:21 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.