Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'
October 4th, 2013
07:09 PM ET

Five things Bill O’Reilly flubs in 'Killing Jesus'

Opinion by Candida Moss, Special to CNN

(CNN)--Bill O’Reilly’s "Killing Jesus: A History" is the best-selling book in the world right now. But it’s far from flawless.

The Holy Spirit may have inspired "Killing Jesus," but he didn’t fact-check it.

Here are five ways it shows: 

1. Not everything Roman historians tell you is true

Of the first 80 or so pages of "Killing Jesus," only 15 are about Jesus himself. The rest is history, biography, and politics of the ancient Mediterranean. Much of this is gleaned from Roman and Jewish historians like the imperial biographer Suetonius and the Jewish general Josephus.

These are authors that O’Reilly trusts implicitly. Maybe it’s because Suetonius reads like the National Enquirer, maybe it’s because the Romans loved eagles, but whatever the reason, O’Reilly gives them too much credit.

The Romans were fantastic record-keepers but had different standards for their history writing. O’Reilly refers to the acta diurna – a sort of proto-newspaper recording political events, marriages, and divorces that was read aloud in public – as evidence for accuracy in Roman record-keeping.

But he is wrong to see these as transparent statements of fact.

They were propagandistic: the Roman orator Cicero complains that he is misrepresented in the daily reports, and the Roman governor Pliny retells a story he had heard in which a dog jumped in the river after his deceased owner. It’s a little more Buzzfeed than Wall Street Journal.

2. Paul was not a Christian

According to O’Reilly, Paul was “a former Pharisee who became a convert to Christianity.” Paul was not a Christian; he was a Jew who moved from one branch of Judaism to another.

He never uses the word Christian. It seems that the early members of the Jesus movement referred to themselves as followers of “the Way.”

The word Christian wasn’t used until the end of the first century C.E. The first generation of Jesus' followers lived and died as Jews.

3. The Pharisees were not self-righteous bloviators.

The same old caricature of Pharisees as “arrogant,” “haughty,” and legalistic pervades the book. There is biblical support for this view from the Gospels, but O’Reilly and Dugard claim to be writing history and separating ”myth” from “fiction.”

For the past 30 years, scholarship on the Pharisees has shown that the Pharisees were not hyper-legalistic hypocrites. To make things worse, the authors seem to think that John the Baptist told the Pharisees either to burn or be condemned to hell (a rather peculiar reading of Luke 3:17).

The irony here is that our modern stereotypes of the Pharisees are grounded in Protestant critiques of Catholicism. Protestant Reformers saw Catholics as just like the biblical Pharisees, championing faith through works, and lumped the two groups together as legalizers and hypocrites. O’Reilly and Dugard, being Catholic, are actually stereotyping themselves.

4. Jesus was/wasn’t political

Any follower of Internet memes knows that Jesus can be made to say anything. O’Reilly has vacillated between saying (on his television show "The O’Reilly Factor") that Jesus was not political and arguing in his book that Jesus died to interrupt the revenue stream from the Temple and Rome and that "Jews everywhere long for the coming of a messiah ... [because] Rome will be defeated and their lives will be free of taxation and want."

Even though there’s no evidence for a direct financial link between the Temple and Rome, there’s no doubt that Jesus advocated for the poor. But O’Reilly needs to make up his mind. Is Jesus the man of the people seeking to liberate the oppressed from a heavy tax burden, or is he a peaceful man of God just trying to make a difference?

5. History isn’t just a word, it’s a discipline

O’Reilly acknowledges (correctly) that it’s difficult to look past the agendas of his sources and separate the myth from the history.

Historians prefer early sources and events that are documented in multiple (preferably independent) sources. O’Reilly puts all of this aside and cherry-picks episodes from whichever Gospel version he seems to prefer.

He will sometimes omit stories if they seem historically implausible, but he doesn’t do this consistently. He omits Jesus' words, from the Gospel of Luke, as he is being crucified: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  In his CBS interview he explained that it was impossible for people to speak audibly while they were crucified. Fair enough; but then why does he include Jesus’s final words from the Gospel of John: “It is finished”? Is there something about the word “forgiveness” that sticks in the throat?

Apart from the methodological problems, the entire book is written in the style of a novel, not a history book. We hear the thoughts of Herod as he orders the execution of the male children of Bethlehem, for instance. It’s entertaining, but it’s historical fan fiction, not history.

Editor’s Note: Candida Moss is a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame and author of The Myth of Persecution.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Jesus • Opinion • TV

soundoff (2,100 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    This is funny, like O'Rielly cares. He's acting on his program to play to the audience, same with the book. He makes a ton of money on him show, now his book is a best seller. He has made making money off the gullible an art form.

    October 5, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • jo2

      Only the gullible would be persuaded by him.

      October 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Ally

      all of the money made from his books goes to charity Bostontola all of it.

      October 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Ally

      all of the money made from his books goes to charity, all of it

      October 23, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Just Checking


        Please provide evidence that ALL of his book sales money goes to charity?

        Hint: Some of us have looked for it. All we could find was that he donates some *books*. It does not say that on his web site, nor on the book jackets, nor the Amazon selections.

        October 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • Ally

          He says it all the time on his program the factor. And so many liberals and dems hate him I believe if this was not true they would be all over it and taking him down for being a fraud. I guess if you want to really know you could email him and he would tell you what charities the money is donated to. And when you find out let the rest of us know if he's a fraud or if he's telling the truth.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
  2. realbuckyball

    O'Reilly got a lot more than 5 things wrong.
    O"Reilly is no historian, and apparently neither is the person who actually wrote the book onto which he slapped his name to make it sell.

    There were tens of thousands of Roman crucifixions in Jerusalem during the years of the Roman occupation. They were all done in the same way. Almost all who were executed were executed with no trial, by "standing order" during the Pax Romana. Jebus was in NO way unique. He was a common crook/trouble-maker, (if he even existed).

    The entire economy of Jerusalem was built and focused for centuries, on the temple and the festival cycles. Kind of like a Disney World. The Jerusalem political and religious authorities had, over the centuries, purposely engineered/limited the Yahweh cult, to a central worship site, (mostly as a result of the "Persian Imperative" brought back from exile by the prophet Ezra from the Emperor Artaxerxes), who specifically worked hard to close down and devalue the many other centers of worship for reasons of economic and political centralization. The temple business was HUGE. The entire city's main business was the temple; sacrifices, animals for sacrifices, places for ritual purification before making the offerings, priests who were PAID to do the sacrifices, places to stay over-night for the Jews who were expected at least once during their lives, to come to Jerusalem to do the sacrifice thingy, animal feeding and bartering businesses, "currency converters" whose legitimate role was to change Roman currency to Jewish currency, for ritual reasons, as Roman currency was not allowed for use in any of the ritual payments, etc etc.

    Along comes one of many wandering apocalyptic preachers and causes a ruckus with the currency converters.

    Is that "innocence" ?

    A common trouble-maker, who would have very well, known the risk he took, in threatening the temple economy ?
    I think so.

    A "messiah". No way. He completed not one of the tasks Jewish apocalyptics expected from that person. Even Jebus' followers thought he had a POLITICAL role.In Acts: "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Isra-El" ...

    October 5, 2013 at 6:55 am |
    • realbuckyball


      October 5, 2013 at 7:00 am |
  3. Skippy

    As their comments here endlessly prove, religious people are the inmates at an insane asylum who think it's everyone else who is crazy. And have a reality-proof delusion to insulate them.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:50 am |
  4. children of Israel

    Salvation is only for Israel the twelve tribes of Israel. What is your nationality? You cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven without a tribe. (Revelation 21:12-13) this is crystal clear (Ezekiel 48:31) *Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. *Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. *Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. *Jeremiah 51:50 remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. *Psalm 85:11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall looked down from heaven.

    October 5, 2013 at 3:10 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullsh?t. . .

      October 5, 2013 at 3:20 am |
      • karl from az

        Elegant response. You have a true gift for the english language! Public school indoctrination (oops, meant education), right?

        October 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Salvation is not for the Welsh, then. I suspected as much.

      October 5, 2013 at 6:14 am |
  5. children of Israel

    When you read the Bible, you must take the I, my and we out of your heart because that is pride, being proud knowing nothing. Christ he will tell you who the I is, and who the we is, *Jeremiah 4:22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; *Mark 14:62 And Jesus said, I am: *Psalm 100:3 we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. *Revelation 3:22 He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    October 5, 2013 at 2:04 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullsh!t. . .

      October 5, 2013 at 2:14 am |
    • Mirosal

      When you read the bible, treat it as any other work of fiction .. after all, there's a lot of magic being performed in it, there's good vs. evil, and even a talking snake .. sounds a LOT like a Harry Potter book doesn't it? Both are products of an active imagination.

      October 5, 2013 at 6:07 am |
      • Ally

        Jesus said in the last days there will be scoffers and mockers, that statement doesn't sound like a fairy tale too me

        October 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • Hear This


          There have been "scoffers and mockers" since that legend first hit the streets - most of the populace living at the time, even near to the alleged "action", did not buy it.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  6. gods humble servant

    To all you non believers and too all you athiests i wud like to say first of all I will be praying for you. secondly I would like to leave you with a statement for you to sit and think about. And dont just read it and move to the next. Really sit and think about this. I live a happy life serving God. Going to church and worshiping Jesus and trying to raise my kids in a Godly home. A home with some morals and according to Gods word when we leave this earth we go to heaven to live for eternity and will be united with past family and friends in paradise. Now if im right and i have served god and accepted him as my personal savior i have everything to gain. BUT IF YOUR WRONG AND YOU HAVE NOT ACCEPTED CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR YOU HAVE LOST FOR AN ETERNITY. JUST THINK ABOUT IT

    October 5, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      What if you believe in the wrong god, think about it, REALLY THINK ABOUT IT, all you are doing by worshiping the wrong god and teaching the wrong religious morality to your kids is ticking off the REAL god!

      October 5, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • James

      This is not an original, thought-provoking or clever question. It is called, 'Pascal's Wager.' Please research it. Believing in a God based on this approach shows you and your religion for what you/it is: morally inferior.

      October 5, 2013 at 3:57 am |
      • Rita Mueller

        Then I would much rather be morally inferior believing in my Lord and Savior and go to heaven, than be morally superior and go to hell. Just saying!!!

        October 8, 2013 at 11:30 am |
        • Glenn

          Rita: Read Matt 7:6
          You are not preaching to the choir but of course you know that !

          January 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
    • Colin

      You have to love the “believe or burn logic.”

      You don't have to kill, you don't have to rob, heck, you don't even have to litter. All one need do is have an honest, rational and reasonable disbelief in the Christian god, and he will inflict a grotesque eternal torture on you a billion times worse than the death penalty. And he loves you.

      The logic of the choice you posit is called "Pascal's Wager."

      This is why it is a fallacy:

      a) Pascal's Wager assumes that there are only two options – believe in the Judeo-Christian god or nothing.

      b) Pascal's Wager assumes the Christian god doesn't care whether someone actually believes, or simply goes through the motions;

      c) Pascal's Wager vastly overestimates the likelihood of the risk times the gravity of the risk.

      a. Positing only two options is ridiculous and a Christian prejudice to value the likelihood of the existence of the Christian god over all others. There are, of course, thousands of possibilities when it comes to gods. A non-exhaustive list of gods that various human societies have believed in at one time or another includes Azura Mazda, Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Allah Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Atehna, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, God, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, Zeus, Mathilde, Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Ganesh, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Shiva Thuno, Tir, Vishnu, Weyland, Woden, Yahweh, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Forseti, Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mon, Njord, Norns, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, Vor, Herne, Holda, Nehalennia, Nerthus, Endovelicus, Ataegina, Runesocesius, Apollo, Bacchus, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, Vulcan, Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Isis, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Endovelicus, Anubis, Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma’at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, Thoth, An, Anshar, Anu, Apsu, Ashur, Damkina, Ea, Enki, Enlil, Ereshkigal, Nunurta, Hadad, Inanna, Ishtar, Kingu, Kishar, Marduk, Mummu, Nabu, Nammu, Nanna, Nergal, Ninhursag, Ninlil, Nintu, Shamash, Sin, Tiamat, Utu, Mitra, Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, Hotei, Quetzalcoatl, Tlaloc, Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac and Zaramama

      To increase the odds of a positive outcome of Pascal’s Wager to the point where it is even plausible, the believer would have to believe in many, many gods, including the ones that haven't been invented yet. This is obviously impossible – particularly as most of them require(d) monotheistic devotion!!

      b. One cannot “choose to believe” something. That has to be an honest conclusion drawn from the facts. I could not “choose” to believe in the Hindu god Shiva or Leprechauns, for example, as that would make no sense. What I can do is SAY I believe or PRETEND to believe. But going through the motions and pretending to believe may fool your community, but it can't fool an all-knowing god. It is very unlikely that anyone would gain the ultimate reward for simply faking belief.

      c. In estimating whether the cost of any given action is worth it, an evaluation the likelihood of a negative outcome and the gravity of that negative outcome must be performed. Here is where proponents of the wager say they have a leg up, as an eternity of perdition must be valued very highly. However, if the concomitant likelihood is close to infinitely low, it balances out to close enough to zero to be ignored. Given that the evidence for the existence of the Judeo-Christian god is zero, much less for the vindictive personality you posit he has, the likelihood must be valued close to zero. If one were to take the believer’s approach, one should live about a mile down an abandoned coal mine to avoid a very, very unlikely, but fatal meteor impact.

      When extrapolated to the extreme of a god, the math becomes meaningless. For e.g., if I posited a god a billion times more vengeful and gruesome than yours, would you drop your belief in God and run over to my super-god based on your Pascal’s Wager logic?

      October 5, 2013 at 7:33 am |
      • Rick Stoppe

        Perhaps in c) a. second paragraph you would want to replace "monotheistic" with "henotheistic" if you were writing to a more specialized audience.

        October 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      I am left wondering if those so called morals you claim to be raising your children with include denying equal rights to LGBT because that book you hold so close to your heart and as being a good moral guide dictates this. Do you tell your children that they either believe or else they risk eternal torture? Do you not see how what that book says is the equivalent of battered spouse syndrome...the whole 'do as I say or else'?
      Chances are you're seriously wrong and are simply wasting the only life you and your children are guaranteed of.
      People are capable of doing good and living decent moral lives without the need for living under some creature that can't be shown with evidence to exist. Morals existed long before your belief system did and will exist long after your belief system has taken its place in the history books as a dead religion.

      October 5, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • BigHammer

      To all you believers and to all you theists I would like to say, first of all – I can't pray for you. You see, my mind is based in reality. But I will say...Yo! Have a good week, a good life, cuz I mean you no harm. Secondly, I would like to leave you with a statement for you to maybe take some pleasure in, if you care to read it that is. If not – well, that's cool. I live a good life serving my friends, family, other loved ones and fellow man. I don't go to church to worship Jesus or anyone or anything else. But, I don't need a church or an ancient book to know how best to raise my kids – teaching them right from wrong, and impressing upon them the importance of service to others. We lead good, moral lives. We teat others with fairness, kindness and charity – and we accept, even take deep interests in different folks who lead their lives as THEY so fit. We don't hold up an ancient book in one hand while screaming quotations or bigoted slurs and pointing our fingers at those who may be different. We don't believe in an afterlife, which makes it all the more important to us that we live the best lives we can while we're here on this beautiful planet. NOTHING last forever, certainly WE don't, and we accept this to be true, and it's OK with us. We're not afraid. Now, if others are right, though I have served my fellow man and lived a good life, I'm STILL screwed! This is so, you see, cuz I never accepted Him as my personal savior. IF I AM WRONG AND I HAVE NOT ACCEPTED CHRIST AS MY SAVIOR I AM LOST FOR ETERNITY. WHAT AN ASS I'VE BEEN!

      October 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • The Truth

        You "hit the nail on the head", so to speak. You have to repent from your sins ask Jesus into your life to escape Hell. This is the truth... Just because you live a moral life dosn't mean you will be safe from Hell.
        As I read through these responses, it's disturbing to see how many people out there who don't believe in God and it's evedent how busy Satan has been in manipulating people into believing that all of this "religion" is a bunch of hocus pocus. The point that keeps getting overlooked and that continues to be the common factor is that all these people know about God but do not know God personally so they are blind to what is real and what is not. Satan has you so screwed up that you don't know up from down. You see, its a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with God that is missing. Your all blind but you think your not. You think you have all this "religious stuff" figured out but you really dont. Your all walking through life with the illusion that you just die and the lights go out just as if you were never born. THIS IS THE ILLUSION and as a Christian, its sad to see people live life this way.
        Let me give an example. Lets say you were born blind and you are at the age you are now. All of your life, all you ever new was darkness. When people talk to you about what its like to see you have no comprehension of what that means because you've never experianced what thats like therefore, you dont know the difference. When you ask God into your life, the light comes with him. Your eyes are suddenly opened and you wonder how you've made it though life as long as you have. Also, I've never met a person who has done this regret what he has done or be disapointed. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. Christians look at you blindly going through life and making statements like some of these and are sad that they can't help you. All we can do is try and let you know that you truely are blind whether you believe it or not. You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
        • Julie

          Standing right next to you!! Praise God for His gift. Great Witness!! All we can do is pray for the lost that they will let the Holy Spirit show them the Truth!!

          January 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • jpherling

          You can't anything from a human being who died and was buried 2000 years ago, and was never a deity or a son of a deity (and of course no one ever could have been either, since there are no deities, and never have been).

          January 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • Julie

          ""You can’t anything from a human being who died and was buried 2000 years ago, and was never a deity or a son of a deity (and of course no one ever could have been either, since there are no deities, and never have been).""
          You can't anything?? What anything? How are so sure there are no deities and never have been?? That's a pretty defiant statement to make unless you are are privy to information the rest of us are not. You'd have to be a god to know what deities exist and don't exist, wouldn't you? What qualifies you to make that statement, what is it based upon?

          January 3, 2014 at 9:37 pm |
        • jpherling

          Do you believe in the existence of unicorns and little green men from Mars? No, right? You don't have to be one to know there aren't any, do you? The reason for your disbelief is lack of evidence for their existence. The same applies to the existence of anything supernatural. There's no evidence for the existence of deities, therefore, none exist. To be fair, I keep an open mind, waiting for someone to produce empirical evidence for the existence of anything supernatural, but no one has yet produced any.

          January 4, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • Julie

          "The reason for your disbelief is lack of evidence for their existence."
          Please do not put words in my mouth or even begin to think for me. You are not qualified to do that for anyone.

          "I keep an open mind"
          Be careful having an open mind, garbage can creep in that is harmful to your soul and you won't realize it till its too late. I beg to differ when you make a statement such as this:

          ""was never a deity or a son of a deity (and of course no one ever could have been either, since there are no deities, and never have been)"
          Sounds like a mind and heart that has made a decision and has closed up shop.

          It's called faith (in something higher than my/your own pitiful existence). And/or a lack of faith as evidenced by statements as yours. I don't need to prove the existence of a deity, you need to prove there is no deity and by more than just your opinion. See there are facts, scientific facts that Jesus existed, Do some research, learn, then debate about the non existence of a deity.

          January 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • jpherling

          So, either you believe in unicorns and little green men from Mars,or you don't, and you avoided answering my question because doing so would raise doubts in your mind. Intelligent, educated people do keep open minds, because they always have to be willing to accept and evaluate new evidence. They're perfectly capable of determining what's garbage and what isn't. Yes, I have made up my mind that there are no deities and never have been, but, as I said, I'd be willing to consider new empirical evidence on this. But you don't have any, do you? The burden is proof is on the person who claims existence, not on the person who claims nonexistence. If it were otherwise, you'd have to prove that unicorns and little green men from Mars don't exist. So what are your scientific facts that Yehoshuah ben Yosef really did exist?

          January 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • Julie

        Who is "we". You start off writing in the first person and then it becomes plural. Jesus will only hold you responsible for your actions or lack there of, not anyone else's. Also, I see how you listed all the "good" and selfless things you do, but I ask what measuring stick, barometer do you use to discern what is right and wrong, specially since you do not believe in God or the bible, What is your standard for good and for bad?? Is there a standard, or its based on feelings at that particular moment. How do you know that what you consider "right and good" is actually right and beneficial for those you bestow it upon? I am interested in hearing how you discern these things without God.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • jpherling

          In the final analysis, each person chooses the moral standards by which he or she will be bound. That means that no one is bound by anyone else's moral standards, nor may anyone impose his or her moral standards on anyone else.

          January 4, 2014 at 9:38 am |
  7. bostontola

    The author gets lost in the trees. These technicalities may be true, but the big picture is the bible was written by men. Error prone, biased, supersti .tious men. Every book of every religion was written by men. All the rest is arguing about irrelevant details. The best evidence is the content of these books. Written in the style of the time, grammar of the time, limited by the knowledge of the time, morals of the time. A god being wouldn't have those limitations and wouldn't make a doc.ument with built in obsolescence. Rationalize until the cows come home, it's all B S.

    October 5, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • D

      Funny thing about the bible (and I am refering to the king james version) many people for centuries have tried to find even one error in it and they cannot. You say it was written by men and that is true but thier thoughts and minds were controlled by the holy spirit. I and not trying to convert you, that is not my job but I would challenge you to find an error in the king james bible.

      October 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
      • For D


        Argue with the folks on the following site:


        Me, I think it's sort of like arguing about what color the buttons are on Leprechaun's vests...

        October 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
      • Steven

        Obviously you haven't read the Bible if you claim there are no errors. It's filled with contradictions, misquotes in the NT from the OT and just blame errors in reporting historical events. It is not a magical book perfect in every way. It is very human, earthy and flawed exactly what the "Word of God" should be.

        October 8, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  8. children of Israel

    Christ for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. Now ask yourself again who is your God? *Mark 12:27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore greatly err. (Read aloud Matthew 22:32) *Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (Please read *1st Corinthians 8:6-7)

    October 5, 2013 at 1:06 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullsh!t. . .

      October 5, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • children of Israel

      Apeshiiiiiiiiit !!!!

      October 5, 2013 at 1:28 am |
  9. children of Israel

    Jeremiah 3:23 truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel. *Romans 11:26-27 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. *Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. *Isaiah 60:16 and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. *Isaiah 65:9 and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

    October 5, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullsh!t. . .

      October 5, 2013 at 12:15 am |
      • jarhead333

        Nice retort.

        October 5, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • HotAirAce

          What more needs to be said about a quote from a book with no foundation as the word of some god for which there is no evidence?

          October 5, 2013 at 12:21 am |
        • jarhead333

          Your knowledge is deep.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  10. Reality # 2

    Then there is the following for those who do not want to waste their money on O'Reilly's "nothing new" book. Aslan's Zealot and also Ehrman's book Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
    are in the same "nothing new" category.

    The Apostles' Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of 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

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, 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.

    (references used are available upon request)

    October 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • jarhead333

      What has been proven about what you believe?

      October 4, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
      • Who cares

        Stories that were fishy smelling then are quite stinky now!

        October 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  11. children of Israel

    God gave the ten commandments to Moses, is that correct. Who did Moses give the commandments to?

    October 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Since Moses did not exist, the question is moot. Added details have been given previously.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
      • Art V.

        Oh, Moses did exist. Poor guy couldn't read a map and spent 40 years wandering around in the desert. It took him that long to find the only place in the entire middle east that had no oil.

        October 5, 2013 at 2:09 am |
        • GC

          Yeah, and then he let the Moops get all of the oil!

          October 5, 2013 at 2:30 am |
    • Apple Bush

      He through them down and broke them. But that is ok, there were two sets, although they weren't the same.

      Oh, then he commenced killing everyone.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And then he started working on a movie script.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
  12. lol??

    The Beast is a fake daddy.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  13. lol??

    Why do the Americans sing God Bless America?? He already told you He would bless the families of the earth.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Doris

      Blesses families? I suppose if you're a Sadist. I do think you and He have something in common. Your dropping of sour nonsense like some kind of pigeon with Turrets of the bowel does remind of of His alleged motives and choices.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
      • Doris

        remind *me* of

        October 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • *

        * Tourette's

        October 5, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  14. Miles

    Paul was a Christian. A Christian is defined by God in His Holy Bible as a person who, through His Grace, has placed their full trust and faith in Jesus Christ alone for their eternal salvation. Paul clearly trusted Christ alone and was therefore a Christian.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ironically, Christ was a jew.

      October 5, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  15. children of Israel

    When you deny Christ, you deny our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullsh!t. . .

      October 4, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • A Druid who likes Jesus

        Where did everyone go? I was just beginning to have I fun?

        October 5, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • Apple Bush

      When you deny Christ, he gets mad and cooks you. Nice guy.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • jarhead333


        October 4, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          What is ignorant about the truth? Or were you referring to yourself?

          October 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
        • jarhead333

          Many people that share your same belief have an ignorant idea about who God is.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          If you don't worship God, you fry. Yes or no?

          October 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • jarhead translator

          If you're this person, well it doesn't matter because it's my way or the highway!

          October 5, 2013 at 12:00 am |
        • jarhead333

          Your issue is how you perceive God. If you do not believe in God, which you have made clear, then I understand your point. If you believe in a creator, then you might understand. What makes you so angry about the possibility of a God?

          October 5, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • Apple Bush

          What makes me angry is that there are no gods that we know of but people like you dumb down the entire world with your iron age superstitions and mythology and it costs lives.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:05 am |
        • jarhead333

          Your attacking words tell me that you are angry. What is it that you believe? I see a lot of talk on these boards about hating the thought of a God, but not a lot of thoughts about anything else. Most people on here, in my opinion, are people who are knowledgeable about Christianity that were in some way hurt along the way and are now angry. How has Christianity "hurt" you?

          October 5, 2013 at 12:12 am |
        • True

          There are some hostile and bitter people that frequent this board. Good luck talking to them! Don't resort to their level.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Some of us are here because we do not, perhaps can't, feel whatever it is that makes you believe in God and feel the need for a Saviour, jarhead333. It's intriguing. Even your bible doesn't support your belief, but admits that your belief does not have a basis in evidence and fact. Why do you believe?

          October 5, 2013 at 12:21 am |
        • Apple Bush

          I don't know what attacking words you are referring to. I disagree with you. I am not attacking you. And I have answered your questions.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:26 am |
        • jarhead333

          I appreciate rational dialogue, so thanks. Why do I believe? I believe because I feel that the evidence is there. I believe because I love history, and I believe that Jesus was real. There is enough cultural and physical evidence to make me curious. I find it interesting that we take other information with similar distance from original script as fact, but as it pertains to the Bible, which is a controversial issue, we cast that aside. The question is whether or not he was who he said he was. I also love science, but for me, it leaves me empty. I have never found enough in science that "proved" anything to me. I understand that my faith has no "physical proof" for some of you either. That is why I do enjoy rational discussion. It just seems to be hard to find around here.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:31 am |
        • A Druid who likes Jesus

          Belief or disbelief in God is irrelevant. God either is or isn't, and the belief of an individual or society will not impact the existence of a/the God. If someone believes in God and that brings them comfort, then that belief is a worthwhile exercise. My only issue with the concept of God is when anyone tries to impose their beliefs on others. Not expounds their beliefs, but imposes their beliefs.

          October 5, 2013 at 12:58 am |
        • jarhead333

          I would not say, "belief or disbelief, God is irrelevant." I do agree that the issue is the perception is that Christians, and some do, impose their beliefs on others. In the same respect, I have had many atheists spend a ton of time trying to talk me out of my own beliefs. Isn't that the same thing? There is a delicate balance of walking in our faith, sharing our faith, and imposing our faith.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:04 am |
        • tallulah13

          I love history as well. One of the things that history has shown me is that when you look at the many cultures and many gods that are known, it is impossible to believe that the christian god is any more special than any other god. Gods are local constructs that mirror the values and morals of the culture that invented them. The christian god merely had a more aggressive marketing campaign than most.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • jarhead333

          I understand the cultural reference. Christianity has invaded every county in the world though. Call it aggressive, but isn't that somewhat telling? Maybe it makes sense to more people. I respect those who choose not to believe.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:18 am |
        • A Druid who likes Jesus

          My moniker aside, I was brought up a Catholic. I now consider myself spiritual without being particularly religious. I recognize that's a cop out, but it's also a topic for another discussion. That being said, I'm no more in favor of self righteous atheism than I am self righteous deism. It's obviously beyond the capabilities of man to prove the existence, or non-existence of the God head. Anyone who claims otherwise is self delusional. We should all embrace whatever belief brings us peace, as long as we don't cause others angst.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:24 am |
        • jarhead333

          I agree. There is NO WAY I can prove God. Also, I have never heard a legitimate argument against God. I think there is a stereotype about Christians that needs to be squashed. We should not judge others. I am aware that I do not meet the standards of my own faith. If I did, then I would be God himself.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:30 am |
        • A Druid who likes Jesus

          Would mankind be any worse off if there wasn't a God in the biblical sense? Do we really need a super natural hall monitor to enforce a code of ethics? The God of the Old Testament was useful when we were an immature race who needed simple answers to why the world behaves like it does. I'd like to think we've matured beyond that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stating unequivocally that there is no God. I'm just saying that I don't require one to proceed with my existence. If God really exists, HURRAY! If not, well no skin off my nose.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:41 am |
        • A Druid who likes Jesus

          Let's not confine this to Christians. I'm perpetually amused by the hyper religious of any belief that feel the need to defend their God. What poor excuse for a God needs the knuckle heads of the human race to defend it's honor. If my God needed me to abuse another human being for being disrespectful of it, then that God needs to grow a backbone.

          October 5, 2013 at 1:50 am |
        • A Druid who likes Jesus

          Where did everyone go? I was just beginning to have fun!

          October 5, 2013 at 2:12 am |
        • tallulah13

          I think it is utterly telling that the expansion of christianity mirrors the pattern of the expansion of first Roman and Byzantine cultures, then western culture as a whole. Many cultures were "converted" at the point of a sword, like the vikings, or as with the people of the Americas, because their populations were decimated by invaders and disease.

          There is nothing magical about the rise of christianity. It simply rode the coat tails of western culture. If you wish to understand the very mundane reasons for the rise of western culture, read "Guns, Germs and Steel".

          October 5, 2013 at 10:35 am |
      • jarhead333

        If Christianity was forced in years passed, then why is it so popular today. If science is so advanced, then why does it not persuade people today?

        October 5, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
        • The Truth

          Tom, Tom: "Some of us are here because we do not, perhaps can't, feel whatever it is that makes you believe in God and feel the need for a Saviour, jarhead333. It's intriguing. Even your bible doesn't support your belief, but admits that your belief does not have a basis in evidence and fact. Why do you believe?"

          Tom Tom,
          This is probably the most honest remark that I have seen from any other non-believers. When you say "feel" in your response, you are very close to understanding what this is all about.
          When you repent and ask God into your life, you get exactly that. He enters your life and for the first time in your life, you understand what life is all about and any question or doubt that you may have had, vanishes with absolutly no doubt that you have made the right decision. To answer your question of why I and other Christians believe, is that we have all asked God into our lives and God has entered our lives and we ACTUALLY FEEL his presents.
          "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Rev 3:19-21.
          Give it a try my friend. What do you have to lose?

          January 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
  16. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    In my research I have found that Mary Magdalene was in fact both consort and wife. A consort was simply a companion. If you read the scriptures, you will find that in the late BE and early CE, it was actually possible to both be married and single simultaneously.

    How you ask?

    You must refer to the Gnostic versus attributed to Phillip who said, "Be it spouse or alone, we are only that which our threshold allows on the Sabbath."

    Loosely translated it means a woman can be beholden to a man one day, and quite free the next. This makes polygamy possible without breaking God's law against Adultery.

    October 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
  17. MrHighMighty

    Whether they know it or not, the hidden purposes born of the spiritual insecurities of history writers always seeps through their work, doesn't it Candida?

    October 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      There is much that does not get told in popular biblical academia.

      For example, Jesus tells us that his father and mother "have not spaketh a single word in two years plus three. This sounds like a man scorned to me.

      How can we prove marital troubles in the home of Jesus? Reading from Mary (Magdalene), she says, "when Joseph's gaze met mine I felt a burning deep within...." She goes on to discuss Jesus' jealousy and rage.

      Is it possible Joseph never forgave Mother Mary for her affair, and Joseph and Jesus were competing for Mary Magdalene’s affection?

      October 4, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
      • jarhead333

        I notice you paraphrase a lot of scripture without providing reference.

        October 4, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          No time, I am a busy man.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • jarhead333

          I can make up fake references or "theories" too.

          October 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  18. children of Israel

    Christ is a Hebrew Israelite, he came in the flesh, reading 1st John 4:3. Is that a lie? (Galatians 5:19-21) When you read 1st Peter 2:24 it says Christ hung on a tree. Remember, Simon Peter the Canaanite carried the cross. There are two kingdoms, the kingdom of heaven and the children of the kingdom, the Devil children, read Matthew 8:11-12 it explains that. Now apostle Paul wrote he is an Israelite in Romans 11:1 These church Christians are worshipping the image of the beast, the long haired golden blond blue eyed red dragon portrait named Jesus (Daniel 3:12)

    October 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  19. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    In the Gospel of Truth, it states, "Jesus found the scribes to be ignorant and foul smelling..."

    These men were his employees and Jesus showed a discernible dislike for them. Perhaps out of jealousy that they were educated where he was not.

    The text goes on to say, "...and Jesus thought not of the female form, and from heaven came to remove ignorance"
    Again giving weight to the common thinking that Jesus was a homosexual.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Among other oddities, absolutely.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  20. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    The evidence would suggest that Judas, Mary, Jesus and others spent a great deal of their down time reflecting on the spiritual dichotomy of the soul vs. the physical and how that relates to the teachings of God.

    Jesus was attracted to Buddhism and often rested his decisions on the non-bias imaginings of one who would make sacrifice in this life only to be reborn in the next.

    In short, Jesus was a Jew by birth, but not by practice. He taught his own flavor of Buddhism and his closest disciples, Judas and Mary for example, were quite sure he was a snake in a previous life.

    October 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Dr. Gonzo

      You know, I'm thinking your life would have been a lot more fulfilling if you had chosen some other interest.

      October 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Dr. Donnel Johnson

        Jesus was quite real, and quite human. Even Timothy and Philip knew the true nature of Christ, as evidenced in this passage from the Gospel of Philip, "...and our Lord came unto me and witnessed as I behaved without intimidation."
        Scholars believe this is evidence of group s xual activity, common place at this time in history among men afield.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Meh. it's as likely as any other story I've heard. Why not?

      October 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • Dr. Donnel Johnson

        If you read both Timothy and Phillip, there are passages which describe in detail that Jesus was cremated.

        We know this because his friends were asked to take his ashes to the Sea of Galilee and deposit them over, "...the lapping waves of His Father's own sink basin".

        Furthermore we read in a passage from Timothy that, “…the ashes were as grains of sand. I have tasted his body.” This passage is thought to have been incorrectly translated into the last supper myth.

        October 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
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About this blog

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