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. Refugio Lorensen

    Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


    November 15, 2013 at 11:58 am |
  2. Und Lend

    Best selling book in the world...hmm sounds like jealousy has infected the masses...including Ms. Moss, again.

    November 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Brent

      This article has no credibility whatsoever. To say Paul was not a Christian shows the ignorance of Ms.Moss. Furthermore,her comment about Catholics and Pharisees is confusing. The Pharisees did believe salvation by works. Ref the many passages criticizing Christ for healing on the Sabbath. Also Christ's ref about the Pharisees cleaning the outside of the bowl (caeing careful to carry out the letter of the law), instead of cleaning the inner part (what is in our heart that matters).
      Ms Moss...go to Blue Letter Bible .com and sign up for the History and Authenticity of the Bible. I think you'll find you have things quite wrong.

      November 11, 2013 at 4:11 am |
  3. norman ravitch

    One can only marvel at the utter arrogance of O'Reilly. For 350 years scholars have written about the historical Jesus. Can O'Reilly really have anything valid to say?

    November 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • frank

      Who made you the final judge of others?

      November 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • Und Lend

      Are historical scholars not influenced by their environment and paycheck? Read the book, then judge, lest you be mistaken for a foolish prude.

      November 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  4. XrisM

    It's not extra ordinary to talk while crucified, why is this author not challenging physics? People survived for days being crucified. They were able to talk, yell, curse. So to assume without proof or facts that Jesus diet not say Forgive Them.....is ridiculous. In a few countries men reenact the crucifixion physically, going as far as spikes through feet and hands. Doing so as a penance and tradition. THEY ARE ABLE TO TALK AND YELL. They even recite the scriptures including the FORGIVE THEM parts. S for Oreilly to miss that is pretty ridiculous. I think he did it as a little attempt at thinking he knew better than others, but it didn't work. More research should have went into this book if he wanted the make assumptions as grand as rewriting scripture. But what do you expect from Oreilly whom their is no evidence that he has EVER actually read the Bible. When thee only scripture ever recited on his show from his mouth is "render onto Caesar", you know that the guy is Biblically illiterate. But he shouldn't speculate on things as obvious as this.

    November 6, 2013 at 7:01 am |
  5. llinn




    November 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  6. Raleigh C. Perry

    I found gthe book written on about a 5th grade level, the level where he is academically and just three or four references proved to me he should have chosen a better "translation" of the Bible than Zondervan

    November 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  7. Art

    Of course the Jews killed Jesus. We never read in the Bible that the Romans sought out Jesus for persecution because of what he taught. Here are just a few verses in the Book of John to prove that the Jews are responsible for the Death of Christ.

    And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he
    had done these things on the sabbath day. John 5:16

    After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry,
    because the Jews sought to kill him. John 7:1

    Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. John 7:13

    Did not Moses give you the law, and [yet] none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye
    about to kill me? John 7:19

    Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?
    John 7:25

    I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath
    no place in you. John 8:37

    But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have
    heard of God: this did not Abraham. John 8:40

    Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of
    the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8:59

    Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. John 10:31

    [His] disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and
    goest thou thither again? John 11:8

    November 3, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Mark

      Being Jewish myself I want to let you know I in no way pardon you of your sins. You se Art, it is repeated that Jesus died for your sins. Well then if his death was at the blood-thirsty hands of the Jews then through linear logical the Jews fulfilled prophecy to absolve you of your sins. Of course since Jesus and all his disciples, his followers, his mother, father, brother, extended family and such were all Jews then you are saying he is responsible for his own death? Tell you what Art, how about I take credit for your....I wont say death.....how about I pound some basic sense into you. The New testament was written in many sections in purposeful manner to separate the fledgling Christian faith from the ancient Jewish one. This after the reign of Emperor Constantine...who actually considered Judaism as a choice of official religions as means to regain political power among the masses. It is during these times that the very same Jewish persecution that got Jesus killed in the first place rose up again crucify the Jewish people. Seeing as how I have His blood on my hands a little of yours wont be noticed much will it Art. Write back and we can make arrangements to meet.

      November 7, 2013 at 2:09 am |
      • Nanasvi

        As a Christian I am profoundly ashamed of anyone claiming to be Christian who says that others are evil/guilty/were responsible for the Crucifixion! I cannot believe this nonsense. If anyone is guilty it is Pilate! Please don't think all Christians are such fools. God's love embraces us all.

        November 7, 2013 at 9:18 am |
        • Bob Jackson

          Nanasvi, I know it isn’t very pretty nor is it at all politically correct, but the Bible says all have sinned. That includes you and me and “others”, too. It isn’t nonsense. It is easy to understand and makes perfect sense.

          Paul makes a pretty broad statement: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 That is all of us. Not my opinion. Not Paul’s opinion. That is the Bible’s word. We are all sinners and guilty. That’s you, that’s me.

          Yes, God’s love does embrace us all. But He also holds us all responsible for the death of Christ on the cross. Remember that the Jews and the Romans were not the only ones involved in Jesus’s death. There was also a great crowd of people from every nation. Jerusalem was always full of people from every nation. And especially at Passover time. Those foreigners were involved. They loved Jesus on Palm Sunday, but by Friday they too had turned against the Son of God. The crowd that begged for Jesus’s death was all of us. We were all there at the foot of the cross. None of us is innocent.

          But Jesus on the cross cried out: “Father, forgive them!” And the Father forgave us. And that includes every one of us, including even poor Pilate.

          An old song put it this way:
          “Guilty, vile and helpless we,
          spotless lamb of God was He,
          full atonement, can it be?
          Halleluyah! What a Savior!”

          November 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Nanasavi

          You are right, of course. Lots of love is what it takes.

          November 11, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • jpherling

          Nobody but the Romans were responsible for killing Yehoshua ben Yosef, and you can't say they were guilty of anything in doing so, because execution by crucifixion was the prescribed Roman method for the punishment of rebellion against Rome.

          November 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
        • Julie

          We are ALL guilty of the crucifixion of Christ. He did what he did BECAUSE we are sinners and the only way the Father could look upon us, forgive our sin and be reconciled to us was IF and ONLY IF Jesus died. So we most certainly are the reason for his death, each and every person walking the face of the earth.

          November 28, 2013 at 12:53 am |
        • Lynn Mckeon

          Well said Julie. I know that I am responsible for His death

          November 28, 2013 at 10:48 am |
        • Julie

          Thank you!! Glory be to our God and only Him

          November 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • frank

        it isn't the race of someone that make them angry and vengeful, its lack of self control and a regenerated person.

        November 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
    • jpherling

      The gospel of John, from which you quote repeatedly, was based on oral tradition, but was written down decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author, whoever he may have been, had a distinctly anti-Jewish bias. He wrote his spurious "account" to further his vendetta against the Jews. It is far more likely that Yehoshuah ben Yosef was killed, not by the Jews because of his religious opinions that differed from the establishment leaders who were regarded by the patriot Jews as contemptible, corrupt collaborators (and the Jews had no authority to execute anyone for their religious opinions), but by the Romans because of his unsuccessful attempt to incite rebellion against them in Jerusalem.

      November 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
      • frank

        Those that killed Jesus did because they want to do their own thing; and not follow Lord. Race of sinners is no qualifier.

        November 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
        • jpherling

          Those Jews who would have wanted to kill did Yehoshuah ben Yosef (if any really did) because of his criticisms of the corrupt collaborators of the religious establishment had no authority, either civil or religious, to do so. The ones who did want to kill him, and did so, were the Romans, because that was the punishment for attempted rebellion against Rome. They didn't consider him any type of lord.

          November 8, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • jpherling

          The Romans were the ones who killed Yehoshuah ben Yosef, and they worshipped their own gods.

          April 18, 2014 at 12:25 am |
    • Bob Jackson

      The facts are plain: the Jews and the Romans and the crowd all crucified Jesus. Each had its part.

      But then, Jesus said: "Father, Forgive them." And we can be sure God answered that prayer.

      The Jews are forgiven for the crucifixion. The Romans are forgiven. I am forgiven. You are forgiven. That I call Good News.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
      • jpherling

        A person who was never anything but a human being and who died and was buried almost two thousand years ago can't love anyone. Creator of the universe? What empirical evidence have you that any such a being ever existed or even could exist? Of course Yehoshuah ben Yosef, who was a devout Jew his whole hypothetical life, obeyed the Torah, which was authored by many human beings. All Jews obeyed God, because they expected to be rewarded for doing so and punished for not doing so. Yes, he was a reformer. All of his preaching was in the mainstream of Jewish tradition in general, and in the mainstream of prophetic tradition in particular. He was an excellent teacher of ethics, but a miserable failure as an inciter of rebellion against Rome, and paid the price for his failure.

        November 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
      • jpherling

        Nobody needs forgiveness for the crucifixion, because the Jews were in no way responsible for it, and because the Romans carried out their prescribed method of execution of those who rebelled against Rome.

        November 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
      • Lynn Mckeon

        AMEN BOB!

        November 18, 2013 at 11:50 am |
        • jpherling

          Why not "amen" to me, Lynn? After all, logically, I'm right; or doesn't logic mean anything to you?

          November 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  8. Rob

    Read your Bible. It states many times how pharisees were hypocritical and self promoting. It also says Paul was a follower of Christ. That is where the word Christian comes from. A Christ follower or little christ.

    November 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • jpherling

      The disciples were the followers of Yehoshuah ben Yosef whom they, as did he himself, regarded as a messiah, but the Jewish idea of a messiah, not a Christian one. He and they believed that it was mission to lead them in revolt against their Roman oppressors. Paul of Tarsus was the first Christian, as he was the one who fabricated the doctrines that made Christianity a distinctive religion.

      November 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Richard Fitzpatrick

    I don't believe Jesus was interested in the tax system at all, He was first and foremost the son of God and didn't need the approval of the Roman or Jew, When Jesus overturned the tables in the temple it wasn't because of taxes, it was because they were buying and selling in the Temple which was holy ground, they were buying the doves for sacrifice to God for the Passover. The killing of Jesus by the romans, that was provoked by the Jews by picking of Barabbas to live and Jesus to die, and that is when Pilate washed his hands The Romans carried out the sentence but the Jews sentenced him to death.

    November 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • jpherling

      If he ever really existed, he, as a devout Jew, would have rejected as blasphemy the idea that he or anyone literally be the child of God. That doctrine was, among other basic Christian doctrines, fabricated by Paul of Tarsus, then founder of Christianity.

      November 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • Bob Jackson

        If you ever really existed, jpherling, it would be only because Jesus loved you enough to create you. That took a lot of love. Jesus loves you still. So, I will too. But it isn't easy.

        The creator of the universe doesn't need to concern himself with following doctrines of men. He speaks and it is so. Jesus always obeyed the Law of God, which he had himself authored, but the traditions of men he often set aside without any ceremony. A good example is found in Mark 7:1-23. Look it up.

        November 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • Lynn Mckeon

        I will pray for you jpherling

        November 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • jpherling


          November 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
        • jpherling

          Fine, if that's what makes you happy.

          April 18, 2014 at 12:18 am |
    • jpherling

      The Jews had no authority to sentence anyone to death for an act of rebellion against Rome such as the one carried out at the Temple by Yehoshuah ben Yosef.

      November 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  10. Abraham Yeshuratnam

    Reza Aslan is a Muslim and his views are totally biased against Jews. He could have written about Muhammad and his exploits, instead of giving a garbled picture of Jesus in his book.
    Jesus was killed by selfish priests , capitalists and Romans.. Theocracy, capitalism and despotism joined hands to kill him. If we recall the events, Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday with a large crowd following him, shouting Hosanna, attracted the wrath of priests. They were afraid that the Roman government would turn against them. They were also hostile to Jesus because of his attack on the priestly class. Romans in Palestine were also alarmed. Till then Jesus was a preacher and a miracle- performer. Now with this procession, Jesus was looked upon as a political rebel. After Jesus entered the Temple premises, he turned against the mercantile community which was thriving in doing business by exploiting the people. He overturned their tables and threw away their goods. So the people that shouted before Pilate to kill Jesus were business men, and not the mainstream Jews. But the Romans killed Jesus with the support of the priestly class and Big Business. As it happened to the leaders of French Revolution, Russian Revolution, theocracy, capitalism and autocracy turned against Jesus which culminated in his death.

    November 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • jpherling

      The "events" are oral tradition, not history, and cannot be taken at face value. A far more likely explanation of the final days of Yehoshuah ben Yosef (if he ever really existed) is that his violence at the Temple was an attempt to touch off a rebellion against the occupying Romans that would have ended in their expulsion from Israel, followed by the immediate establishment of the international Kingdom of God in Jerusalem, with Yehoshuah ben Yosef himself as the earthly king. However, as it turned out, he was an excellent teacher of ethics, but a miserable failure as a revolutionary planner and instigator, and paid the price for his failure. The Romans executed him because of his failed rebellion, not because of anything the priests wanted (the Romans couldn't have cared less about the religious disputes of Jews, and certainly wouldn't have executed anyone on that basis).

      November 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
      • dianeou

        jpherling, you really ought to read the gospels and find out what Jesus says about himself. Paul did not come up with the idea that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus was very clear when he said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." The Jewish leaders understood what that meant. Jesus was declaring himself equal to God the Father. That's why they wanted to kill him.

        November 2, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • gjohnson

          dianeou. Even if we are to assume that the Jesus of the Bible did actually exist, the writers of the Gospels certainly never met him, did not even write their works for decades after his life ended so were incapable of accurately quoting what the man may or may not have said. Turning to what Jesus is reported to have said in the Bible as evidence to support any historical argument is a lost cause before you begin.

          November 4, 2013 at 9:30 am |
        • Ally

          well said dianeou and so true

          November 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • jpherling

          The gospels are oral tradition, not history. Nothing in them can be taken at face value. As an observant Jew, any reference Yehoshuah ben Yosef would have made to God would have been to a deity that, as every Jew, including himself, believed could not be a human, just as a human could not be a deity. The idea that humans could be gods was a pagan one, rejected by the Jews, but revived by Paul of Tarsus, the founder of Christianity. The Jewish leaders who wanted to kill him (if any really did) were the members of the religious establishment who were favored by the Romans but regarded by patriotic Jews such as Yehoshuah ben Yosef as contemptible collaborators.

          November 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
      • LJones

        There is one glaring contradiction to your argument that Jesus simply was trying to incite a rebellion against Rome. "Render to Caesar things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" Mark 12:17. If you are trying to use an attempt at tax disruption as the basis for your rebellion, you clearly do not understand that Jesus never told the people tot to pay their taxes; he specifically told them to. As for the Jews not having authority to sentence him to death, you are correct, which is why they took him to the authorities (Pilate) and lied saying "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar" (Luke 23:2). They were so hardened of heart and mind, as you are now, to accept the Messiah for who he Was, Is, and always will Be, they did everything they could to be rid of him, using the Roman's system as a proxy. As for your outright denouncement of anything that comes from the New Testament, maybe you should pray that God open your heart, eyes, and mind to the Truth. Then upon his annointing you with your request (as God promises to do for those who honestly call out to him for wisdom/truth) read through the entire Bible, cover to cover and deeply consider how Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies of the Old Testament without ever contradicting a word of His law. My fear is that you will respond to this with such defensiveness and anger, that you will lose sight of the fact that God loves you enough to show you The Way, if you can be honest with yourself, and Him, when considering the status of your salvation. Lastly, what is noticebly missing from all of your arguments are any facts, or even slight references, about God himself, which only goes to the point made in Romans 1:28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind". If you are rely on your own wordly knowledge instead of the wisdom ascribed by our Holy Creator, you will forever be lost in the dark. I earnestly pray for enlightenment. God Bless

        November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
        • jpherling

          1) Yehoshuah ben Yosef couldn't openly incite rebellion before his arrival in Jerusalem, because he would have been arrested and executed before he could possibly succeed. Simple refusal to pay taxes wasn't part of his agenda – total rebellion was. 2) The priests didn't accept him as a messiah (the Jewish idea of a messiah – a secular liberator – not the Christian idea) because they were collaborators unwilling to risk the loss of their positions of limited power, not patriotic Jews. 3) The Romans couldn't have cared less about religious disputes, but they cared very much about attempted rebellion against Rome, which is why they executed him. 4) Your statements about "God" are all irrelevant, because there is no empirical evidence for the existence of one or more deities.

          November 21, 2013 at 11:26 am |
        • Nanasavi

          Could you help me to understand– by citing empirical proof that Jesus inciting or attempted to incite rebellion against anyone?

          November 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • jpherling

            Yehoshuah be Yosef's abortive rebellion wasn't about mere taxation.  No – it was about full-scale rebellion against the hated Roman occupiers and about the subsequent establishment of the Kingdom of God in Jerusalem, immediately following the ejection of the Romans, with Yehoshuah himself as king, and about his promise to make his illiterate, unworldly, and not terribly bright disciples his royal advisers and administrators.  The patriotic Jews were willing to accept him as their messiah on that basis, which he and his fellow Jews accepted as the proper role of the messiah.  The Romans, who held all the power that mattered weren't anyone's proxy.  On the contrary, the establishment Jews were collaborators who could only complain to the Romans about the patriots who were publicly and privately contemptuous of them, but to no avail.  When the Romans finally did arrest, (maybe) try, and execute Yehoshuah ben Yosef, it was for the crime of attempted rebellion against Rome, for which the prescribed punishment was crucifixion.  Sure, go ahead and pray (i.e., plead with and grovel before) your imaginary deity.  

          December 21, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  11. Steven

    Not political? Crusifixion was reserved exclusivelly for political crilminals/crimes

    November 1, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  12. sszorin

    How can one take seriously Candida Moss ? Is she really candid or is she a hired and paid propagandist of lies ? How can one take seriously this woman who denies that a holocaust of christians took place in the Soviet Russia / Soviet Union ? Tens of millions of them were murdered and Candida as an official scribe and herald of today's Pharisees helps to keep the story of this genocide covered up. To this fact of her denial of the christian holocaust of the 20th century should be added her parallel denial of the persecution of christians during the first three centuries. It is in the form of a book that attempts to debunk until now accepted historical narrative of the persecution of the christians in the Roman Empire. This woman is a professional artist of denial. I would suggest that some mental trauma from childhood compels her to behave in a hysterico-contrarian manner.
    I will try to correct some of her wild statements.
    1 – "Not everything Roman historians tell you is true." – True, it is not possible to get all the details right, we do not live in a 100% world. BUT there is a catch, the Romans were in the position of the observers, they had no agenda in writing about the squabbles between the Jewish groups, they had no dog in the Jews vs. the christians fight and therefore we can trust their witness more than we can trust the witness of the modern historians with their progressivist, atheistic and fanatically pro-jewish agendas. Romans are more reliable historians and writers than the today's fabricators of history who pass themselves as historians.
    2 – "Paul was not a Christian". – Following this assertion logically, Moses was not a Jew. And that is a very big can of worms because it delegitimizes Judaism and the claims of the so-called Jews on the Palestine. Would Candida please go to a local synagogue and tell this wonderful news to the Jews present there ?
    3 – "The Pharisees were not self-righteous bloviators." – What does this sentence suppose to mean, Candida, please descend from your lunatic academia tower. If I can add, I have an inkling that she means to tell us that the admission and boast of the Pharisees that they killed Jesus has been preserved in the holiest book of the Judaic religion, in the Talmud.
    4 – "Any follower of Internet memes knows that Jesus can be made to say anything." – How is that possible ? We know all of his words. One cannot add or detract from his quotes in the New Testament. Maybe you wanted to say that the words of Jesus can be twisted to have different meanings ? "...made to say anything" implies that Jesus also approves of beating of the feminist professors.
    – "Even though there’s no evidence for a direct financial link between the Temple and Rome".- "Rome" means the state treasury / officials in Rome or does it mean the Roman administration at large ? Because we know of a conflict between the governor Lucius Valerius Flaccus and the Jews of diaspora, concerning shipments of gold to the Temple in Jerusalem.
    5 – "History isn’t just a word, it’s a discipline". – No, it is not like that. The ancient history is a discipline and science. The modern history is a pack of lies and ideological prejudices. Henry Ford used to say that 'History is a bunk'. Napoleon had said it better, he said that history is a fable that is agreed upon and taught. He knew because he was there when the history was being made and then written about. Shame on you modern scribblers, professors and historians. You lie.

    October 31, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • Bob Mosurinjohn

      Tens of millions of Christians murdered in the Soviet Union? Do you mean those killed in WW2? If so it is 20 million at least according to history I've read, but of course they were killed by German 'Christians' not Soviets. And how about the 50 million native aboriginals killed by 'Christians' in North America? Of course, just because someone wears a cross doesn't mean they are Christian, does it.

      January 18, 2014 at 11:22 am |
  13. George Little

    @Candida Moss You have to be one of the biggest losers on the face of the earth. You are an atheist who doesn't understand or know anything. Everyone disputes the Bible but mankind has received the majority of his knowledge from books being written on different subjects. Too bad you are so naive to understand that. Anyway as a Christian I wish you the best and may God bless you.

    October 30, 2013 at 9:28 am |
  14. Elav

    It doesn't tell you anything, because the gospels are oral tradition, not history, so nothing in them can be taken at face value.

    "nothing" meaning that we can't take the writings about Jesus to actually be about a real person- created by God?

    October 30, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • jpherling

      No. We can't.

      November 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  15. Elav

    "nothing" meaning that we can't take the writings about Jesus to actually be about a real person- created by God?

    October 30, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  16. cnn? who watches cnn?

    who cares what CNN thinks? CNN is made bill orielly has a great selling book. screw cnn.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Observer

      Guess the kids are watching Faux News rather than learning how to spell and punctuate. Grammar is a mystery, too.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
  17. frank

    The word "Pharisee" can be used as a term about a persons belief or as anyone who finds shallow arguments to put down others. This professor achieves this label.

    October 29, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Dean

      Frank I couldn't agree with you more. All I can say here is more CNN propaganda. Sad sad group of people.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  18. frank

    Paul was a "Christian" in every way from todays use of the word. How can anyone be so judgmental to find such a shallow argument.

    October 29, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  19. frank

    Jesus died. So how can objection # 4 have any validity. The rest of the objections demonstrate a lot of narrow minded opinions. Is this someone who is jealous or palling on to gain shallow creditability.

    October 29, 2013 at 12:12 am |
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About this blog

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