How King David predicted modern Judaism
Modern Jews are precisely the community King David envisioned, says scholar Joel Baden.
October 12th, 2013
09:05 AM ET

How King David predicted modern Judaism

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - Most American Jews consider Judaism to be mainly a matter of culture and ancestry, according to a recent poll. An even higher percentage describe themselves as emotionally attached to Israel. For this we have one person to thank: King David.

The Israel we know today is a nation that David created virtually out of thin air. Before David, there were two territories, Israel to the north, and Judah to the south.

By sheer force of personality—and, to be fair, substantial military strength—David combined these two lands under a single crown (his). Not only had this never happened before; no one had ever thought of it before.

Although the Bible makes it sound as if everyone loved David, and were desperate to follow him, this wasn’t really the case. David took power by force.

The people of Israel and Judah became part of David’s kingdom because he conquered them—they had no choice in the matter. Their only option was to abandon the land that they had held for centuries. And in a tight real estate market—every family believed that they had eternal rights to their property—moving was pretty much out of the question.

We tend to think of Israel in biblical terms: the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the land of the 12 tribes. These concepts were created in the wake of David’s reign.

Everywhere that the Bible speaks of Judah and Israel together—the stories of the patriarchs, the Exodus, the conquest—we encounter the ramifications of David’s actions.

The borders of the modern state of Israel today are, roughly, David’s borders, or at least those attributed to him by the biblical authors. (For the record: the West Bank was part of David’s kingdom; the Gaza Strip was not.)

And at the center of Israel, both ancient and modern, is the holy city of Jerusalem. This, too, is David’s doing. Before David, Jerusalem was a long-standing independent city-state, belonging to a long-lost people called the Jebusites.

MORE ON CNN: Why everyone fights over Jerusalem

Recognizing that its central location would be perfect for the capital of his newly united state—the ancient equivalent of Washington—David conquered it and wiped out its former inhabitants.

Because David is credited with founding the Temple in Jerusalem—although Solomon built the actual structure, David chose the site, set up an altar, and laid the conceptual groundwork—it’s natural enough to assume that there was some religious motivation at work.

But, in fact, David’s aim in inaugurating a site of worship in his capital was more economical than spiritual. Temples were sites of commerce—Jesus knew this—and having a culturally significant relic, in the form of the Ark of the Covenant, was sure to draw the people in.

Every lamb sacrificed in Jerusalem meant profit for the sanctuary, and for the king who controlled it. Every pilgrim meant a night’s stay in a local bed and breakfast (all fully taxable, of course).

David used belief as a lure to draw in the masses. But he didn’t care much what his people believed. The creation of the unified kingdom of Israel wasn’t based on shared religion.

The inhabitants of the north had very different practices from those in the south. And none of them was following Jewish law—the laws hadn’t been written yet, and wouldn’t be for centuries.

What united the people of David’s kingdom was, quite simply, that they lived there. It was a political state, not a religious one.

Israel then, like today, was primarily a political entity, and only secondarily a religious one. Those who considered themselves attached to Israel believed and practiced a whole range of things, or not; just like those who are attached to Israel today.

A Pew poll released earlier this month demonstrates the continuing pull of David’s Israel. Millions of American Jews financially support the modern state of Israel, either through donations or through tourism.

MORE ON CNN: Study: American Jews losing their religion

We feel the pull of the land, the sanctity of the ancient streets of Jerusalem. We fly El Al, we stay at the hotels, we eat at the restaurants, we pay to enter various sites.

That is: We’re still doing just what David wanted us to do. We are precisely the Jews who David envisioned—believing whatever we want, just so long as we spend our money in Israel.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Middle East

soundoff (869 Responses)
  1. Guy who can read

    How does this guy have a seat at Yale University?
    Unless he is using a data set that completely ignores the Bible/Torah, almost every statement in this article is either completely wrong or pure conjecture.
    David was not the first king of Israel : Saul was.
    Israel and Judah weren't separated until after Solomon died (which was well after David died.
    David did not conquer Jerusalem; Joshua did it centuries before David was born.
    There's a lot more, but I have run out of time for this nonsense.

    Joel Baden should have any educational credentials revoked, and be put on the stand-up comedy circuit.

    October 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Jim

      Note at the top of the article... OPINION.. and indeed it is just an OPINION which, as you pointed out, appears to be absolutely historically incorrect...

      October 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • MennoKnight

      I so agree with you on every point you made. This man knows nothing about Bible.
      Another issue is the following quote: The inhabitants of the north had very different practices from those in the south. And none of them was following Jewish law—the laws hadn't been written yet, and wouldn't be for centuries.
      The Torah (five books of Moses) were already written down. Yes they hadn't gone through the final redaction that we have today, but to say the laws of Moses were not written down until hundreds of years after? Give me a break!

      Here is one of my biggest beefs with the liberal university establishment: They hold the bible to a different standard than they do any other ancient text.
      What I mean is that they teach that what ever oldest copy that we have today must be when the original was written.
      The oldest copies we have today come from the time of Josiah, who lived around 600 BC (400 years after David) when many copies were produced on mass and sent out over the whole land to every town so every town had a copy of the Torah. It only makes sense that we have some saved fragments from this first mass production of the scripture.
      Yes, maybe the final redaction happened at this time, but that hardly proves that it was written at this time. Tradition holds that much of it was written my Moses. This is a good logical conclusion because Moses would have been one of the few literate people of his day.
      It also makes sense that there were not more than a few copies floating around at that time because most people were not literate and the cost of copying was very very expensive. To back up this claim we have fragments of the Old Testament Law from the 8th century BC.
      My problem lies with the double standard held in dating ancient historical texts. Homer's Odyssey original story is dated to around 1200BC yet the oldest fragment we have of the text is only from 3rd century BC. Yet nobody claims that it was only written around the 4th century BC.
      Yet men like Joel Baden will say that about the Bible even though we have much more proof of ancient writing than we have for the Odyssey! (And by the way, I agree with the scholarly dating of the Odyssey.)

      October 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • G to the T

        There is zero evidence for most of Exodus (no jews in Egypt, no plagues, no huge population of slaves) and more and more the archeaological evidence is showing that the orginal "conquering" of the holy land didn't happen either. What they're finding instead is evidence that a segment of nomadic Canaanities eventually settled in the southern portion of the land.

        All of the evidence we have points to Moses not being the original author (indeed the idea of a single author for these books has been dismissed for the better part of 2 centuries in scholastic circles).

        October 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Rett

      The town known as Jerusalem was part of Benjamin's territory but was occupied by the Jebusites until David captured it.

      October 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Stewart Wolpin

      While it appears that Mr. Baden's description of David as the first king of a united Israel is demonstrably incorrect (although I may be missing some semantical caveat in his description), Israel WAS divided in half before David became king – 2 Samuel 2:10-11. I actually didn't know this – like you, I thought the kingdom's split after the death of Solomon. But after a tiny bit of research (I couldn't accept the author could have made THAT huge of a blunder) there was a temporary division before David took over.

      According to the OT, after Saul's suicide and the death of three of his sons, his surviving son took control of Israel and David took control of Judah for seven+ years (2 Samuel 5:5) until David reunited the two kingdoms. I'll have to read the author's book to see if he repeats his assertion in this article that David created a united Israel, implying (but not overtly saying) he was the first to do so.

      And, while Joshua might have conquered Jerusalem, it was not the capital of Israel under Saul, and wasn't the capital of a united Israel until David re-conquered it (2 Samuel 5:5-8).

      As to the many posts here decrying the author's assertion of different laws in Judah and Israel: Moses may have received the Torah at Mt. Sinai, but the whole structure of the priestly (rabbinical) caste wasn't firmly established until the First Temple of Solomon, and nothing was really written down until the Babylonia exile in the 6th century BC. Until then, Hebrew/Jewish law was a hodge-podge of oral traditions interpreted locally, hence the creation by God of the unifying prophets. In 1 Samuel 3:1, the Bible says that "the word of the Lord was rare," implying lack of adherence – again, according to the OT.

      I'll reserve judgement on the rest of the author's assertions until after I've read his book, which sounds fascinating regardless of whether David was real or not.

      October 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
      • Anonymous

        Samuel 2:10-11 is referring to the fact that David was "King of Hebron over the House of Judah." This indicates that Judah was still a tribe and part of united Israel. After Saul's death Judah proclaimed him their King and there was a brief coup for power between the House of David and House of Saul, namely Abner and Ishbosheth,. Eventually David (one could argue mostly thanks to Joab) was able to quickly defeat the different nobles seeking Saul's throne, and became the ruler of Israel. Judah was not formally its own nation at this time, merely David's base of operations in the brief power struggle following Saul's death. I think this is why it is referred to in these passages as the House of Judah instead of the nation of, indicating this is a civil war, not a war between two different nations. For example in the English civil war called the War of the Roses there was the House of York and House of Lancaster, but it was still one England at war with itself as opposed to say the Kingdom of England fighting the Kingdom of Scotland during William Wallace and Edward Longshank's time.

        Though I'd like to add that the passages listed by you additionally carries a curious portent of things to come for Israel, written hundreds of years before the formal division of Judah and Israel. If not an outright prophecy I can certainly see the foreshadowing therein. Perhaps this is both a history and subtle prophecy which would come true hundreds of years after its writing thus lending more credibility to Samuel as a true prophet.

        Also I enjoyed your comment, you are a keen thinker Stewart!

        October 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Anonymous

      You are correct sir.

      This isn't a bad article though, it exposes the Belief Blog and the Ivy League alliance with Ignorance and war on belief pretty well.

      October 12, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  2. BUT none prophesied the internet

    strange how none in any holy book prophesied the internet the worlds greatest instant communication method,one would think a superior one would have made sure to outline it would happen just to reinforce the divinity

    October 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Yisrael

      You are completely blind. The TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. By the way, this article that paints our greatest King in this manner, is evil.

      October 13, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  3. eflows

    This article is a perfect example of the kind of writer who makes up or distorts history to support a particular modern ideological position, secure int he knowledge that most of his readers will never bother to question his evidence or interpretations and just take it as truth.

    October 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • ted

      Exactly!...There was no King David and nothing in that region except sheep at the time he was claimed to live.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • usmedia

      You're totally right. I'm 100% sure the two didn't split into two kingdoms until after Solomon's death...so King David had a unified country the entire time. And those two kingdoms were never unified.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  4. its gobelets

    Well, that was a waste of time. More opinion disguised as facts by some pinhead who works at Yale Divinity school – a school that is ILLEGAL by taking our tax dollars and cranking out cranks like this one.
    This idiot should be shot out of a cannon and Yale Dvinity BS should be obliterated. Same old crap.

    October 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  5. jasonsatterwhite

    Hard to take the author seriously since he didn't bother to do much research. The first three paragraphs are just completely wrong. David did not "unite" Israel and Judah. He always had a united kingdom (although he expanded on what he inherited from Israel's first king, Saul). After David's son's death, King Solomon, there was a civil war which created Israel (northern kingdom) and Judah (southern kingdom).

    October 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Robert Leonhard, Ph.D.

      Exactly, Jason. That surprised me, too. Only a reader ignorant of the history would be taken in by this guy. Makes you wonder who edits this stuff!

      October 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  6. Bootyfunk

    there is no proof David ever actually existed. much likes Hercules.

    October 12, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Robert Leonhard, Ph.D.

      Actually there is solid archaeological proof of David's existence: the Moabite Stone, currently on display in the Louvre.
      The idea that the existence of David had no historical proof is way out-dated. Even atheistic scholars know that. Indeed, there is far more proof of David than there is of Plato!

      October 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        no, that is not good evidence and it is not widely accepted. critics actually scoff at the Moabite Stone. you should read archeologist and historian findings, not theologists. for instance, you are referring to the letters DWD found on the stone, right?

        A more widely accepted instance of the word DWD appears in line 31. This section is badly damaged, but appears to deal with Mesha's reconquest of the southern lands of Moab, just as the earlier part dealt with victories in the north. Line 31 says that he captured Horonen from someone who was occupying it. Just who the occupants were is unclear. The clearly readable letters are BT[*]WD, with the square brackets representing a damaged space that probably contained just one letter. Andre Lemaire has reconstructed this as BT[D]WD, "House of David", meaning Judah. This is not universally accepted – Nadav Na'aman, for instance, reads it as BT[D]WD[H], "House of Daodoh", a local ruling family

        October 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
        • Modern Reader

          The crucial question is "What counts as evidence?" One side makes their case and the other says "that doesn't count". The other side makes their case and the first says "that doesn't count". What a person considers as evidence that counts is derivative of his presuppositions, including this reply, and therefore all responses to this reply.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          for the moabite stone, you are referring to a single inscription (DWD) which, depending on the translator. some say it translates to david - some say it does not. for you to say it is definitive proof and the matter of david's existence is not up for debate is disingenuous. david's existence is by no means solidly proven.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
      • tallulah13

        The moabite stone does not directly mention David. There are controversial translation that think that certain sections imply David, but the king referred to on the stone is Omri.

        October 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • Shlomo Karni, Ph.D.

        Also, the recent discovery of a stone near Tel Dan, in northern Israel, with the clear inscription "Beit David" -"The house of David."

        October 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • usmedia

          @Bootyfunk As a non-Christian, I'm shocked at how uneducated you clearly are. King David is historically accepted as solid fact because he interacted with a variety of different cultures, all of which record his existence. If you haven't been educated, I recommend, you not interact with those who have been and shame us like this.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Actually, that "clear" inscription is just as disputed as the inscription on the Moabite Stone. But that's neither here nor there.

          I have no reason to doubt that at one point there was a ancient jewish king named David. But the existence of a man does not equate to historical reliability of all the tales told about him.

          October 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  7. Robert Leonhard, Ph.D.

    Odd that this highly biased article is posted without some explanation, as if it's news. The author embraces one viewpoint–one that dismisses the existence of God and the relevance of the Biblical narrative. I and many others have an altogether different viewpoint–one with strong archaeological, historical evidence: that God called out Israel, that David worshipped and loved God and was blessed in a unique way by Him, and that the Biblical narrative is a true account that culminates in the arrival of the greater son of David: Jesus Christ. And by the way, the author makes an obvious and silly mistake–one easily detected by anyone with the slightest knowledge of the history of the Jews. The two kingdoms of Judah and Israel did not exist until the time of Rehoboam, Solomon's son. Before David there were only tribal divisions. David and Solomon ruled over a single united kingdom (Israel), which later split into two kingdoms.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i always thought it funny that jesus is considered to be from david's lineage. joseph was supposedly from david's line, but he didn't get mary preggers - god did. so jesus isn't related to david at all.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Robert Leonhard, Ph.D.

        Actually, the genealogy of both parents come into play. Mary was the descendant of David through his son Nathan, and Joseph was descended through Solomon. Joseph adopted Jesus, becoming his legal father, while Mary, his mother, ensured the genetic link to David.

        October 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          funny, they have the genealogies for david leading to jesus in the bible, but not mary. where did you get your information that mary is from david's bloodline?

          October 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
        • Yisrael

          FACT: According to Jewish Law, Halacha. a Jewish child only has tribal lineage through his BIRTH FATHER!!! Under Jewish law, Tribe ONLY passes through one's biological father.

          If a family adopted a child, the child's tribe comes through ONLY their biological father's tribe NOT the adoptive family's tribe.

          Here’s an example… Let’s say that Yonatan is a Cohen (of the priestly line) and he marries Rivkah and they have a son named Yosef. Yosef is a Cohen (he inherited it by birth from his father), and when he grows up he can serve in the Temple. Now, let’s say that Yosef’s father Yonatan dies. Can Yosef still serve in the Temple when he grows up? Absolutely – he’s still a Cohen – still of the priestly line. Now let’s say his mother Rivkah marries Shlomo, from the tribe of Yehuda. Shlomo can one day serve as a King. And let’s say that Shlomo loves Yosef and decides to adopt him. Is Yosef still a Cohen? Yes. Can Yosef still serve in the Temple? Yes. Can he serve as a king? No. Even though his adopted father is from the tribe of Yehuda, Yosef is still a Cohen. Adoption doesn’t change a fact of birth.

          Therefore, If Joseph was not his biological father, Jesus would not have been of the Tribe of Yehuda. Numbers 1:4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe, every one head of his FATHERS' house. According to Jewish Law, an adopting father does NOT pass on his tribal lineage to his adopted son. PERIOD. End of Discussion.

          October 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Reviewer

      Yeah, Rehoboam, beat with "the rod" by ol' Solomon, and turned out so well, eh?

      Rehoboam: "My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!” [2 Chronicles] and he proceeded to lose half of the kingdom...

      October 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  8. Corey Isaacs

    I think the Zionist ideals in Judaism are starting to fade away, personally. The generation that is currently coming to the forefront, today's 20 year-olds, are becoming increasingly disillusioned with Israel, especially as it relates to the oppression of the Palestinian people.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • tony

      Funny how religion always seems to rewrite history.

      I expect our great grndchildren will read about how the Tea Party Religion was so popular, the American People elected their kind, wise and good leaders as the first Kings of the United States.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  9. Minkowski

    King David didn't predict anything. He's a mythical figure. Likely based on a historical figure, but the legend and writings as is are folk fiction.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Buster

      King David was real, and there is physical evidence of his reign.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        what evidence are you referring to?

        October 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Robert Leonhard, Ph.D.

          As above, the Moabite Stone makes direct reference to the "House of David" in Israel. Seriously, folks–you may continue to deprecate Christianity and the Bible as you please, but the issue of the historicity of David is already resolved. Even atheistic historians admit he existed. The "myth" that David DIDN'T exist has been overturned by archaeology. You need to find yourself another issue.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          your reference is very much up for debate. only christians/jews are so sure. wanting it to be and true is not the same as it actually being true.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  10. Modern Reader

    Thank you for this fantastic fairytale. But this is the 21st century. The philosophic naturalism of the 1800s enlightenment along with its resulting higher biblical criticism is dead. There are looming dinosaurs still advocating these views as you have aptly demonstrated. But as the new epistemological presuppositionalism spreads the question for the modern reader is "Says who?" You have pitted your opinion couched behind your Ph.D. against God's opinion. Man always thinks he is smarter than God. But death will educate all men in their theology. We had better get it right.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • snowboarder

      of course, there is no legitimate reason to believe that to be true.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • Modern Reader

        And, of course, there is no legitimate reason to believe it to be true that "there is no legitimate reason to believe that to be true."

        October 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          there is good reason not to believe david ever existed. lack of evidence. there is no evidence that david ever lived, much like other figures of myth.

          if YOU make a claim, YOU must provide evidence. it is not up to the listener to disprove anything.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
        • eflows

          There is, in fact, solid archaeological evidence of David the King's existence, which you can easily find for yourself.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          eflows - what are you referring to? i've really only found the Moabite Stone. the supposed reference to david on the stone is very much up for debate by scholars and is not looked at as definite proof in academia.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Reader

      And don't try to confuse us with the facts.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Reviewer

      Modern Reader: "God's opinion"?

      You think that you (or primitive Israeli men) know it? Really?

      This "God" rates low in the negative numbers in communication skills. Trickster clues and eternal torture if you don't get it right? Really?

      October 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Modern Reader

        When God speak to man, there is no excuse not to know it.

        Romans 1: 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

        "This "God" rates low in the negative numbers in communication skills. Trickster clues and eternal torture if you don't get it right? Really?" – I'm sure God looks highly of your opinion of him. You have no excuse. You should not disbelieve something just because it doesn't make you feel good (ref. "lusts of their heart" cited above = "whatever makes them feel good".)

        October 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Reviewer

          Ah yes, Paul of Tarsus, well, he does rate high in communication skills. Excellent PR. Problem is, the lack of verified evidence for his claims of the supernatural.

          Conversely, just because his propaganda makes you feel special, powerful, holy and "saved", does not make it fact.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "Man always thinks he is smarter than God."
      +++ easy to be smarter than a fairy tale.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • isolate

      Thank you for your sesquipedalian pseudo-epistemological presuppositionalism. But arguing from an unproved assumption will always lead to false conclusions. You can want there to be a God and a picturesque Bible-style afterlife as hard as you want, but that doesn't make it so, just as no amount of belief can make Bigfoot or UFOs real. As it says in the Christian version of the Bible:

      "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ~ Epistle to the Hebrews, 11:1 (KJV)

      October 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Cassarit

    This areticle contrasts greatly with the mocking write-up about Antonin Scalia and his Christian beliefs.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  12. snowboarder

    has a literal king david been determined to exist or is he simply the stuff of legend?

    October 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • eflows

      There is physical archaeological proof of his existence.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  13. Vic

    It was brought up before on the CNN Belief Blog that "where you were born and/or brought up" pretty much determines what religion/faith you adhere to. That is true to a great extent. In the meantime, some get the chance to choose as adults what to believe in while multitudes remain influenced by what they inherited.

    October 12, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @vic, very true. it is no coincidence that the u.s. is a majority christian nation and iran is majority Islamic.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
  14. Lionly Lamb

    Confrontational are the mishmashes of each and all odoriferous fledgling becoming vociferously rooted via fervently honed stemmed depths within servile myopically pressured connotations unforeseen yet are they to be mindless drippings seemingly forever dropping within the embodiment's circumferences of emotional ramblings...

    and the beats go down...

    Love let us...
    Love lettuce...
    Lettuce love...
    Let us love...

    October 12, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • snowboarder

      ugh! what tripe.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • JeffinIL

      You won't find an entry for thesaurus in your thesaurus.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Rocco Cuteri

      You need to lay off those drugs.

      October 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I thought King David was a myth. Is there evidence of King David, ancestor of that trouble-making rabbi whose name escapes me?

    October 12, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • eflows

      There is physical proof of King David's existence. Jesus's lineage, on the other hand, was invented by the authors of the Gospels, because in the Bible it says that the messiah will be of David's lineage. Therefore they had to make Jesus a descendant of David.

      October 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  16. Reality # 2

    Then there is this: (only for the new visitors to this blog)

    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."

    October 12, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  17. bostontola

    Thanks for the objective article. This Davidian religioeconomic model seems to have been patterned in the other Abrahamic religions. It is more direct in Mormonism. It would be nice if more articles on this blog were scholarly based and with a long arc tied to current events like this one.

    October 12, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • AvdBerg

      @ bostontola

      You can meet your objective by visiting the 'Current Events' page of our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

      The latest entry is on 'Killing Jesus' by Bill O'Reilly.

      October 12, 2013 at 10:56 am |
      • bostontola

        "For two thousand years, scholars and theologians have interpreted the Bible to suit their own ideological perspective, while the Bible categorically states in 2 Peter 1:20 that it is not for any private interpretation. In fact, it is just the opposite. The Word of God is a discerner of all things and is the absolute and final answer to every question (Hebr 4:14).

        The Bible is unequivocally and without any doubt whatsoever, the Word of God. In fact it is God and to change any part of it, through interpretation or discernment, would be to change the image of God."

        That is the first 2 paragraphs of that site. If it said, "The Bible is unequivocally and without any doubt whatsoever, the word of man", it would be credible. As it is, it is just more hogwash. But thanks anyway.


        October 12, 2013 at 11:04 am |
        • AvdBerg


          The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness (hogwash) unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

          For this reason do we preach repentance (changing of spirits) to mankind everywhere.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:24 am |
        • bostontola

          That's your prerogative.

          October 12, 2013 at 11:32 am |
        • AvdBerg

          @ bostontola

          It is not my prerogative, it is the Word of God (1Cor. 2:14). Unless you repent you cannot understand it.

          October 12, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • eflows

          Example of circular logic: The Bible is the word of God because it says in the Bible that it is the word of God.

          October 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • eflows

      Except that his "scholarship" is factually wrong. He's making it up in order to support a preordained conclusion. For example: David did not unite Israel and Judah. I'll copy from a poster above instead of rewriting it all myself:

      David was not the first king of Israel : Saul was.
      Israel and Judah weren't separated until after Solomon died (which was well after David died.
      David did not conquer Jerusalem; Joshua did it centuries before David was born."

      October 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  18. AvdBerg

    For a better understanding of the above article and the history of Christianity and Judaism, we invite you to read the articles 'Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?' and 'The Decline and Fall of a Divided Nation (Matthew 12:25)' listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca

    All the other pages and articles listed on our website explain how and by whom this whole world has been deceived as confirmed in Revelation 12:9, and what mankind must do to be reunited with the true and living God.

    October 12, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  19. Listen to King David


    October 12, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Her Royal Highness, Princess of Peaceville


      October 12, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  20. Psalm 23
    October 12, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Canaan

      King David-

      A man after God's own Heart.

      A shepherd boy, courageous, had deep faith in God and had a deep love for God.

      October 12, 2013 at 9:58 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.