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February 28th, 2014
12:24 PM ET

Homeless Jesus statue sparking debate

(CNN)–A sculpture of Jesus as a homeless man installed outside a church causing some controversy, as WCNC's Tony Burbank reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Episcopal • Houses of worship • Jesus

soundoff (528 Responses)
  1. saggyroy

    Benny Hinn, The Crouch Family, Peter Popoff, Joel Olsteen et al should build him a mansion/compound. Oh never mind Jesus was Jewish, and they probably don't allow those kind of people in their communities.

    March 2, 2014 at 7:32 am |
    • derado8

      Half a years salary each could probably eradicate homelessness for good. Same thing with pro athletes and senators who can vote themselves raises.

      March 2, 2014 at 7:53 am |
    • Vic

      The message and purpose of the sculpture were inspired by Jesus Christ's saying:

      Matthew 25:40
      "40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’" (NASB)

      The churches are already helping feed and shelter the homeless. So, in essence, if you feed and shelter the homeless, you are feeding and sheltering the Lord Jesus Christ. That's the message.

      March 2, 2014 at 9:12 am |
  2. Reality

    Continuing the terror and horror with body counts:

    o WHERE WAS YOUR GOD(S) WHEN THE FOLLOWING TOOK PLACE:
    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

    M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

    The Muslim Conquest of India

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

    Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Centuries……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

    1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

    8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

    13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

    18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

    20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    March 2, 2014 at 7:10 am |
  3. Doris

    Why do some Christians from the U.S. travel to other countries and incite violence against people?

    Why do some Christians officially categorizes the Pope as the Antichrist?

    Why do some Christians help spread disease (because of the unrealistic stance on contraception)?

    Why do some Christians let sick child die rather than seek medical care?

    Why do some Christians treat women still as inferiors in their organization?

    Why do some Christians still sacrifice people?

    Why do some Christians believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri?

    Why do some Christians believe that Americans are being killed at war because America is tolerant of homosexuals?

    Why do some Christians believe the OT is superseded by the NT and some not?

    =====

    "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." –Thomas Jefferson

    March 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Why do non-Christians mostly do those things, too?

      Why do some Christians from the U.S. travel to other countries and provide aid to those in need?

      Why do some Christians not consider the Pope an authority in their life, but still show respect?

      Why do some Christians help prevent the spread disease?

      Why do some Christians build hospitals and become world-class doctors?

      Why were some Christians groups in America allowing women to serve and lead before secular society?

      Why do some Christians sacrifice their lives for others?

      Why do some Christians believe that certainty leads to arrogance?

      Why do some Christians believe that Americans fight for equal rights for gays and lesbians?

      Why do some Christians believe the Bible is a book inspired by God and written by man?

      March 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • Doris

        "Why do non-Christians mostly do those things, too?"

        Some non-Christians do some of the things listed. Is that Christianity's excuse for inciting violence in other countries, for instance?

        (You might want to define "mostly". I think you'll be hard pressed to find a non-Christian who believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri, for instance.)

        Yes some Christian do the things you mention. I guess that's why I wrote "some".

        March 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          People, both Christian and non-Christian, have the capacity to do very wonderful things. But also the capacity to do horrible things.

          March 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • Doris

          The net effect of conflicted belief is what is most worrisome, though, and thus the quote from Jefferson.

          But what is the net effect in say Uganda and other parts of Africa currently – as in today? Well, I guess when Pope Benedict accepted the Christmas gift from Uganda's senate representative that they would "kill all the gays" in Uganda, I think that speaks a lot to the result we see today – widespread panic and fear for homosexuals living in Uganda, knowing that they can be jailed or killed at any time since this recent bill passed there. I think it also is very telling about Catholicism – I mean if you start from the top down...

          I suppose when the only Anglican bishop that was making a different to quell hysteria and fears there over gays was stripped of his position, that only contributed to the result we see today. I think that is also very telling about Anglicanism.. if you start from the top down….

          I suppose when Scott Lively and his team of evangelicals from the U.S. traveled to Uganda and incited hysteria and violence against gays, that had a lot to do with the situation we see today. That's a bit different. There doesn't seem to be a "top" of evangelicals. And so we just see more divisions, more conflict of interpretation, more difference in judgment upon one another.

          Why should we be at all surprised at what is going on in Uganda and elsewhere?

          March 1, 2014 at 9:38 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course there are the Pentacostals – we certainly wouldn't want to leave them out if we are wondering how things got so INSANE in Uganda. How did the Pentacostals come by their information on homosexuality and the certainty that their God that encourages them to pass such judgment on people? Where did they get that?

          March 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

          March 1, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
        • derado8

          Good people do evil things because of alcohol too, it doesn't mean I advocate total abstinence.

          March 1, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          For some people the first step is admitting you have a problem.

          March 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • hotairace

          At least alcohol is an actual physical thing, there are many known cures or mitigation for alcohol abuse and society more than frowns upon alcohol induced actions with bad consequences. Religion on the other hand causes people to do evil because of alleged but never proven supernatural beings, and while religion is in decline, it is still considered bad manners to call it into question.

          March 2, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • derado8

          Ace, that is exactly it. It is considered bad manners to call it into question. I suspect the reason for that is a lot of times people have religions to cope with the harsh reality of death. People use the religion that works best for them and having to question it would push them out of a denial state and force them into an existential crisis when they may not be ready to process all of that. On a belief blog when the topics are debates about religion that is one thing, but it isn't an ideal conversation for dinner.

          March 2, 2014 at 7:37 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "but it isn't an ideal conversation for dinner."

          Exactly but it should be. But the very nature of religion shuts down this type of dialog and in the end that slows human social evolution. These are the topics that should be questioned and talked about.

          Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

          March 2, 2014 at 11:00 am |
        • derado8

          It would be nice to have open conversations about these types of things, but not everyone is ready to focus on their mortality making civil discourse impossible in some cases.

          March 2, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Agreed, but evertime religion or the religious get the opposition to shut up they win and everone loses. If it really was the "truth" it wouldn't have a problem with scrutiny.

          March 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
      • hotairace

        Dalahazz pretty much just deflects questions about the stupidity or negative aspects of religion by saying "atheists do that too!" How childish, but then that goes with believing in alleged but never proven supernatural imaginary buddies.

        March 1, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • derado8

          The behavior of atheists is not a reason to reject atheism. The behavior of Christians is not a reason to reject Christianity.

          March 2, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • derado8

          PS Never proven supernatural buddies is a valid reason to reject Christianity.

          March 2, 2014 at 7:49 am |
        • Dalahäst

          I say some atheists do that. Most don't.

          March 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
  4. joeyy1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w
    =

    March 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
  5. idiotusmaximus

    Homeless Jesus statue sparking debate.....................

    Since there was no person named Jesus except in the fictional bible....does a fictional person in a story really matter?

    March 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • Russ

      @ idiotusmaximus: here's Bart Ehrman, one of the most (if not THE most) liberal NT scholar on the planet.
      in other words, if you wanted to find someone to advocate your position, this would be your guy...

      here's the introduction to his book "Did Jesus Exist?"

      ********

      Every week I receive two or three e-mails asking me whether Jesus existed as a human being. When I started getting these e-mails, some years ago now, I thought the question was rather peculiar and I did not take it seriously. Of course Jesus existed. Everyone knows he existed. Don’t they?

      But the questions kept coming, and soon I began to wonder: Why are so many people asking? My wonder only increased when I learned that I myself was being quoted in some circles—misquoted rather—as saying that Jesus never existed. I decided to look into the matter. I discovered, to my surprise, an entire body of literature devoted to the question of whether or not there ever was a real man, Jesus.

      I was surprised because I am trained as a scholar of the New Testament and early Christianity, and for thirty years I have written extensively on the historical Jesus, the Gospels, the early Christian movement, and the history of the church’s first three hundred years. Like all New Testament scholars, I have read thousands of books and articles in English and other European languages on Jesus, the New Testament, and early Christianity. But I was almost completely unaware—as are most of my colleagues in the field—of this body of skeptical literature.

      I should say at the outset that none of this literature is written by scholars trained in New Testament or early Christian studies teaching at the major, or even the minor, accredited theological seminaries, divinity schools, universities, or colleges of North America or Europe (or anywhere else in the world). Of the thousands of scholars of early Christianity who do teach at such schools, none of them, to my knowledge, has any doubts that Jesus existed. But a whole body of literature out there, some of it highly intelligent and well informed, makes this case.

      These sundry books and articles (not to mention websites) are of varying quality. Some of them rival The Da Vinci Code in their passion for conspiracy and the shallowness of their historical knowledge, not just of the New Testament and early Christianity, but of ancient religions generally and, even more broadly, the ancient world. But a couple of bona fide scholars—not professors teaching religious studies in universities but scholars nonetheless, and at least one of them with a Ph.D. in the field of New Testament—have taken this position and written about it. Their books may not be known to most of the general public interested in questions related to Jesus, the Gospels, or the early Christian church, but they do occupy a noteworthy niche as a (very) small but (often) loud minority voice. Once you tune in to this voice, you quickly learn just how persistent and vociferous it can be.

      Those who do not think Jesus existed are frequently militant in their views and remarkably adept at countering evidence that to the rest of the civilized world seems compelling and even unanswerable. But these writers have answers, and the smart ones among them need to be taken seriously, if for no other reason than to show why they cannot be right about their major contention. The reality is that whatever else you may think about Jesus, he certainly did exist.

      Serious historians of the early Christian movement—all of them—have spent many years preparing to be experts in their field. Just to read the ancient sources requires expertise in a range of ancient languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and often Aramaic, Syriac, and Coptic, not to mention the modern languages of scholarship (for example, German and French). And that is just for starters. Expertise requires years of patiently examining ancient texts and a thorough grounding in the history and culture of Greek and Roman antiquity, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, both pagan and Jewish, knowledge of the history of the Christian church and the development of its social life and theology, and, well, lots of other things. It is striking that virtually everyone who has spent all the years needed to attain these qualifications is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure. This is not a piece of evidence, but if nothing else, it should give one pause. In the field of biology, evolution may be “just” a theory (as some politicians painfully point out), but it is the theory subscribed to, for good reason, by every real scientist in every established university in the Western world.

      Still, as is clear from the avalanche of sometimes outraged postings on all the relevant Internet sites, there is simply no way to convince conspiracy theorists that the evidence for their position is too thin to be convincing and that the evidence for a traditional view is thoroughly persuasive. Anyone who chooses to believe something contrary to evidence that an overwhelming majority of people find overwhelmingly convincing—whether it involves the fact of the Holocaust, the landing on the moon, the assassination of presidents, or even a presidential place of birth—will not be convinced. Simply will not be convinced.

      And so, with Did Jesus Exist?, I do not expect to convince anyone in that boat. What I do hope is to convince genuine seekers who really want to know how we know that Jesus did exist, as virtually every scholar of antiquity, of biblical studies, of classics, and of Christian origins in this country and, in fact, in the Western world agrees. Many of these scholars have no vested interest in the matter. As it turns out, I myself do not either. I am not a Christian, and I have no interest in promoting a Christian cause or a Christian agenda. I am an agnostic with atheist leanings, and my life and views of the world would be approximately the same whether or not Jesus existed. My beliefs would vary little. The answer to the question of Jesus’s historical existence will not make me more or less happy, content, hopeful, likable, rich, famous, or immortal.

      But as a historian I think evidence matters. And the past matters. And for anyone to whom both evidence and the past matter, a dispassionate consideration of the case makes it quite plain: Jesus did exist. He may not have been the Jesus that your mother believes in or the Jesus of the stained-glass window or the Jesus of your least favorite televangelist or the Jesus proclaimed by the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the local megachurch, or the California Gnostic. But he did exist, and we can say a few things, with relative certainty, about him.

      March 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • Vic

        Well, thank you for this genuine testimony. And, I respect that a lengthy post is in your own words as opposed to copy/paste, for the latter is percieved as spamming.

        Also, regarding this:

        [
        Serious historians of the early Christian movement—all of them—have spent many years preparing to be experts in their field. Just to read the ancient sources requires expertise in a range of ancient languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin, and often Aramaic, Syriac, and Coptic, not to mention the modern languages of scholarship (for example, German and French). And that is just for starters. Expertise requires years of patiently examining ancient texts and a thorough grounding in the history and culture of Greek and Roman antiquity, the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, both pagan and Jewish, knowledge of the history of the Christian church and the development of its social life and theology, and, well, lots of other things. It is striking that virtually everyone who has spent all the years needed to attain these qualifications is convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure.
        ]

        I highly respect Pastor Melissa Scott for following that methodology and expertise in her pastoral work.

        March 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
      • hotairace

        The important question is not whether some desert dwelling dude called jesus actually existed. The real question is was some desert dwelling dude called jesus actually divine? Unfortunately, for believers, there is not a bit of actual evidence for a divine jesus or any other alleged but never proven god. Until there is some actual evidence, the appropriate thing to do is to withhold affirmation, to remain skeptic. In any other domain, other than mystical, mythical bullsh!t aka religion, given the amount of time and energy that has been spent looking for such evidence, with zero success, the claim would have been discarded centuries ago. But no, religious cults enjoy a special, undeserved place in society. Fortunately, believers are losing market share, at least in most developed countries.

        March 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • Russ

          @ hotairace:
          1) yes, you've rightly deduced Jesus' claim to divinity is the central issue.

          2) there is evidence. even Bart Ehrman would admit there is evidence to be discussed, though he ends up on the opposite extreme regarding that evidence.

          two recent, scholarly examples:
          Richard Bauckham, "Jesus & the Eyewitnesses" (closely examining the earliest sources we have: the Gospels)
          NT Wright, "The Resurrection of the Son of God" (a rather exhaustive scholarly work on the resurrection)

          3) Christianity is still booming worldwide. your comments here come across as rather ethnocentric.

          March 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          3) Christianity is not booming in hardly any developed country.

          March 1, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola: many economists regard China as the next great economy rising.
          China had less than 10 million Christians after Mao kicked the missionaries out in 1949. now, by even the most conservative estimates, there are over 60 million (if not hundreds of million by other estimates).

          again, if you are only prepared to count the West, that is a rather ethnocentric view of 'who matters' in the world.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • hotairace

          Russ, if I was to read those articles, would I find pointers to actual evidence, physical, objective, independent, factual, verifiable evidence that would stand up to the scientific method or the justice system's rules if evidence, of will I find just a mountain of words without any actual evidence? Put any label on it you like, religion globally is losing market share to "The Nones." The only places were delusion continues to grow are underdeveloped countries with high birth rates, and among Morons in the USA, if I remember correctly.

          And of course the number of people who believe something is not a perfect indicator of the truth of those beliefs. But do continue to enjoy your delusions, but please keep your crap away from children.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          92% of the US says they believe in God/universal spirit (69% absolutely certain, 23% say yes, but not certain).

          7% do not believe in God/universal spirit.

          Some are leaving traditional organized religion. But still believe in God. Most Americans do not believe that belief in God is delusional.

          Atheism continues to stay is a very small minority. Only about 2.4% of Americans are atheist. And probably less than 1% of those consider religious belief delusional or make hostile remarks about keeping knowledge about God away from kids.
          (Thank goodness).

          March 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Hotairace: those are not articles. they are scholarly works (so yes, evidence is *highly* important).
          Bauckham's book is about 500 pages.
          Wright's is about 900.

          but if you're feeling lazy, google a good scholarly review of either for an overview.

          March 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • Russ

          @ hotairace:
          1) yes, majority rule is a fallacy – i agree.
          though numbers do warrant a second look. and a complete lack of numbers makes something virtually irrelevant.

          2) you said: "But do continue to enjoy your delusions, but please keep your crap away from children."
          i hope you recognize that position is both self-contradictory & a double standard:

          a) self-contradictory: why want someone to enjoy a self-destructive belief if you believe strongly enough to want to keep it from being passed on? seems like that's not really caring for the original person in question.

          b) double-standard: your opponents could make the same critique of your position. and in terms of the debate at hand: it begs the question.

          March 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
        • Vic

          Bible Verses About The First Coming Of Jesus Christ

          Isaiah 7:14
          "14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

          Isaiah 53

          Matthew 1:23
          "21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”"

          Luke 1:30-33
          "30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”"

          Micah 5:2
          "2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
          Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
          From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
          His goings forth are from long ago,
          From the days of eternity.”"

          Matthew 2:6
          "6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
          Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
          For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
          Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”"

          John 7:42
          "42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”"

          Scripture Is From:

          New American Standard Bible (NASB)
          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

          http://www.biblegateway.com/

          March 2, 2014 at 8:33 am |
        • Doris

          Yes Vic, it looks like they intended Gullible's Travels, Part 2 to be a sequel to Gullible's Travels, Part 1. 🙄

          March 2, 2014 at 9:50 am |
      • bostontola

        Russ,
        Even stipulating Jesus' existence and claim, he failed almost every criteria laid out in the OT for the Davidic Messiah. That's why there are still Jews. There was well defined objective criteria in the OT that was to be met by the Messiah in his lifetime, specifically defined so the contemporary Jews would know it was the actual Messiah. The OT anticipated false messiahs, and defined what must happen and be demonstrated. In fact, there were many false messiahs. Jesus uneqivocably failed to meet these criteria. The NT was written cenrturies after Jesus died and moved the goal posts to accommodate him. Sorry, but Jesus was there, he just wasn't the messiah.

        March 1, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola:

          1) the NT was not written centuries after Jesus died, even by the LATEST scholarly dates. furthermore, the vast majority of scholars recognize that the earliest NT writings fall within 20 (if not 15) years of Jesus death. plenty of the eyewitnesses were still alive. that's critical for corroboration.

          2) virtually ALL the Christians in the first generation WERE Jews. considering that ancient Jews who believed in a biblical resurrection couldn't fathom one in the middle of time (yes, one at the end of time, but they expected *everyone* would be raised then), it is virtually inexplicable that ANY would adhere to such claims. and yet thousands did – and almost solely in the lifetime of the apostles. why? if – as you claim – these were much later, it is *much more difficult* to explain that anomaly in the sudden yet brief explosion of Jewish Christians. historically & sociologically, it makes much more since if the resurrection was real.

          3) you claim Jesus did not fulfill the Davidic messiah, but it sounds like your argument is largely contingent on later datings of the NT (in which you claim they "moved the goalposts").

          a) in case i didn't make it clear before, MOST (if not all) of the major theological connections drawn to Jesus are found in the earliest sources we have – and most of those are UNANIMOUSLY dated within the lifetime of Jesus' eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians, for example: no one doubts it is authentically Pauline [prior to AD 64], and most scholars put it in the early 50s, if not late 40s). there simply isn't time for "moving the goal posts" because the eyewitnesses were still alive to contest such a move.

          b) what part of the Davidic kingship are you contesting? that Jews expected an immediate and immanent kingdom? (again, that presses the point: why would so many Jews be Christians AFTER he died?) that Jesus rather clearly fulfilled Davidic messianic writings (like Ps.22)? that the suffering servant passages of Isaiah would be applied to the Davidic messiah?

          your claims here about a Davidic messiah counter an enormous history of biblical scholarship. on what do you base your claim?

          March 1, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          Pieces were written but the NT was cherry picked to support the Jesus as messiah story. The NT was not finalized for centuries. Jesus simply failed the OT criteria. What other criteria would matter?

          March 1, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • bostontola

          “THE CRITERIA TO BE FULFILLED BY THE JEWISH MESSIAH
          Judaism understands the Messiah to be a human being (with no connotation of deity or divinity) who will bring about certain changes in the world and who must fulfill certain specific criteria before being acknowledged as the Messiah.
          These specific criteria are as follows:
          1) He must be Jewish. (Deuteronomy 17:15, Numbers 24:17)
          2) He must be a member of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10) and a direct male descendent of both King David (I Chronicles 17:11, Psalm 89:29-38, Jeremiah 33:17, II Samuel 7:12-16) and King Solomon. (I Chronicles 22:10, II Chronicles 7:18)
          3) He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel. (Isaiah 27:12-13, Isaiah 11:12)
          4) He must rebuild the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1)
          5) He must bring world peace. (Isaiah 2:4, Isaiah 11:6, Micah 4:3)
          6) He must influence the entire world to acknowledge and serve one G-d. (Isaiah 11:9, Isaiah 40:5, Zephaniah 3:9)

          If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, he cannot be the Messiah.”

          March 1, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola:
          1) you said: "the NT was not finalized for centuries."

          i can only assume you are referring to the Church making an official statement regarding the canon AFTER Christianity was made legal with Constantine (AD 312). note several things:

          a) the writings themselves were complete LONG before
          b) since Christianity was illegal, how could there have councils earlier? your standard is a catch 22 here.
          c) while Athanasius' easter letter (AD 367) may be the earliest complete listing of the NT we have, the Muratorian Canon (which has the majority) is much earlier (as in 22 of 27 books listed before AD 200).
          d) considering the Gnostic copycat "Gospels" are emerge after AD 180 (much later than the originals & with NONE of the detail of the originals), there was no reason to talk about authority prior to then
          e) the "canonization" of books was contingent upon: connection to an apostle (eyewitness) or church founded by an apostle (closest to earliest source) and consistency with the theology found in the earliest known sources.
          f) some NT writers quote OTHERS as Scripture (a MUCH earlier view of canon than you are asserting INTRINSIC to the text)
          g) the church viewed the Scriptures as self-authenticating

          along those lines, the NT canon was not decided at Nicea or any other council...
          http://michaeljkruger.com/ten-basic-facts-about-the-nt-canon-that-every-christian-should-memorize-8-the-nt-canon-was-not-decided-at-nicea-nor-any-other-church-council/

          2) you claimed again "Jesus simply failed the OT criteria." but that didn't address any of my questions asking you to NAME the criteria upon which you are basing that claim. simply saying it doesn't substantiate it. and as i noted before, there's an enormous amount of scholarship on the opposite end of your claim here, so i'm curious as the *content* of your objection.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola: i see you responded while i was with your content... but i don't see a single item which Jesus failed to address. which are you pressing?

          March 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • bostontola

          Failed 2,3,4,5,6

          March 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola: you don't have to be a Christian to understand the argument. the NT addresses everyone of those head on. it sounds like your argument is primarily contingent on claiming the NT "moved the goalposts" – but that requires a much later date for the NT. the scholarship is not there.

          for clarity:
          2) Christ's genealogies in Matthew & Luke
          3) the Church IS the new Israel; & freedom is not merely from human oppressors but the ULTIMATE ones: sin & death
          4) Jesus claimed HE was the temple – and he was raised after 3 days
          5) "my peace i leave with you, not as the world gives" (Jn.14:27)
          6) that's what the Great Commission is all about... and currently underway

          March 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • Vic

          Thank you Russ.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Vic

          Jesus Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament in so many parts which were written during the centuries 4000, 1000, 700, 500, and 400 BC. Over 300 of those prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

          Here is a prime example:

          Isaiah 53:3-6

          "3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
          A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
          And like one from whom men hide their face
          He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

          4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
          And our sorrows He carried;
          Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
          Smitten of God, and afflicted.

          5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
          He was crushed for our iniquities;
          The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
          And by His scourging we are healed.

          6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
          Each of us has turned to his own way;
          But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
          To fall on Him."

          1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

          "15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words."

          Psalm 22:14-16

          "14 I am poured out like water,
          And all my bones are out of joint;
          My heart is like wax;
          It is melted within me.
          15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
          And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
          And You lay me in the dust of death.
          16 For dogs have surrounded me;
          A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
          They pierced my hands and my feet."

          Reflection on that 'controversy' in the New Testament

          John 1:10,11
          "10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him." (NASB)

          References On Prophecies Of Jesus Christ:

          http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html

          http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Miscellaneous/messianic_prophecies.htm

          http://www.bibleprobe.com/300great.htm

          http://www.jesusiscoming.com/Scripture.htm

          All Scripture Is From:

          New American Standard Bible (NASB)
          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

          http://www.biblegateway.com/

          March 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Vic

          Clarification:

          Sorry about the misplacement.

          "1 Thessalonians 4:15-18" is a reference for the "Second Coming."

          March 1, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          Of course the NT is after the fact and specifically papers over Jesus' failures.

          Simple fact, and I do mean FACT, Jesus failed the messiah tests, therefore he was a man and not the messiah.

          March 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bostontola:
          i can't speak for Vic's thoughts here, but i gave you a response to your contentions – including some quick overviews on the scholarship that directly rebuts it. all you have done is simply repeat your premise without substantiation.

          saying the NT "papers over" these theological contingencies for a Davidic messiah doesn't even take seriously the integrity of the text (which strives ardently to address those issues in a rather exhaustive way), much less the broader field of biblical scholarship. as i said before, you don't have to be a Christian to understand the arguments here. there are many non-Christian biblical scholars who readily see the NT is addressing these very points repeatedly and purposefully – as well as from an EARLY date.

          your argument still appears to depend on your claim that the NT was written entirely after (if not much later than) the eyewitnesses' lifetime – despite the the vast majority of scholarship to the contrary. do you have any basis other than your opinion for those claims?

          March 1, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          The Sadducees and the Pharisees certainly didn't think he was The Messiah. Of course, Jesus exposed them as being complete frauds and hypocrites who were more concerned about appearing righteous than actually being righteous.

          March 1, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • Vic

          Scholarly work Russ, indeed. You wrapped up the scholarly work nicely at 7:16 pm.

          March 1, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          Russ,
          I don't accept after the fact resetting of the criteria, by the guy that failed the original (OT) test. That is absurd.

          Imagine a new messiah comes along, time passes and a new New Testament is written that explains why Jesus is false and the new guy is the real one. The followers of the new guy get more populous than Christians. Does that mean that the new New Testament is right?

          March 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola:
          you've reversed the scenario. you want to favor a shallower reading of the OT.
          you were promised $100, but you've been given a $1,000,000 – so you're objecting it's not the same?

          a weak analogy: imagine someone promised your great great great grandfather a hot air balloon, a telegraph, and a horse. over 100 years later, the promise actually is fulfilled – but you get a jet, a cell phone and a sports car. what you are doing here is demanding the hot air balloon, telegraph & horse instead. it fails to understand how the promises are fulfilled in mind-blowing ways which were virtually inconceivable when the promise first was given.

          now i anticipate a response (in light of your last post) of "what if something better than jet/car/cell comes along?" but Christ didn't offer a quanti.tatively better fulfillment, he offered a *qualitatively* better one. they expected a king over a broken, sinful world. they got one who would heal EVERY aspect of it. they expected one who would never die – they got one who died to killed death so THEY would never die, too. it's a categorical fulfillment – the promise is kept, but in better ways than had been imagined.

          you are wanting so much less for the OT than the Jews themselves wanted. it's a very shallow reading of the OT. read Isa.11:6-9, for instance. do you really not see how much greater categories are being invoked here?

          a helpful video on how the NT fulfills the OT in completely unexpected yet qualitatively greater ways...

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk

          March 1, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • bostontola

          Russ,
          Your analogy is interesting but it doesn't apply at all.

          You are complicating for the express purpose of obfuscating. The OT had a criteria specifically because they anticipated false messiahs. In fact, there were many who claimed falsely to be the messiah. Jesus was one of them. Just because you love the idea of Jesus, and regard his gift as better than the original promised, doesn't make it any more true. It's not, it's false. Jesus straight up failed the tests. The tests were verifiable prima facia, and he failed them unequivocally. The NT can't change that, it is written to support Jesus after the fact. This is obvious. You are so biased you can't see the obvious. I don't care either way.

          March 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola:
          did the resurrection happen or not?
          if it didn't, then yes – Christians are idiots or liars or something worse.
          but if it did... if Jesus was who he said he was... then no, absolutely not. He completely and utterly fulfills the OT.

          again, it's not about an interesting argument of possibilities. Christianity is built on the *news* that God did something in history – that he came, he lived, he died, he rose. you want to take the Bible and say "no, he didn't fulfill this" in the shallowest way possible.

          yes, there were MANY other messianic claims. NONE of them made a claim of resurrection. Jews would have laughed at it. liberals (Sadducees) didn't believe in it. conservatives all mistakenly *assumed* that there would only be one resurrection at the end of time – and everyone would be raised at once. a resurrection in the middle of history did not compute. so why did so many Jews in Jesus day become Christians (note well: and so few after!)? the founders of Christianity were all Jews. they were all eyewitnesses. and only that generation of Jews came to Christ in any great number. the anomaly makes sense for history as described in the Bible, but not when you begin to change the claims & timeline as you have.

          as a lie, the resurrection doesn't make sense for Jews. it would not have been compelling. and yet Christianity was. your attempt to explain it away brings up MORE questions than Christianity itself does historically.

          in regard to this entire train of thought, here's resurrection scholar NT Wright:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVhgAiGihoA

          March 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • bostontola

          There was no criteria for the messiah to die and be resurrected in the OT. That was a new invention for Jesus. Obviously, you are free to believe it, but for all intents and purposes, Christianity is a new religion, not a second part to the OT. Jesus is your God, not the son of Yahweh.

          March 2, 2014 at 12:41 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          The gospels of the new testament certainly do everything the can to shoe horn the story to fit the prophacies...I don't know why any of that is compelling since there is no evidence of fullfillment outside the bible. Mormons are convinced by their books too but of course no one outside of that faith would consider them reliable.

          March 2, 2014 at 1:10 am |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola:

          1) you said: "There was no criteria for the messiah to die and be resurrected in the OT."

          a) so why did Paul, being the OT scholar that he clearly was, say "that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" (1 Cor.15:3-4)? he's writing one of the earliest books of the NT, so clearly he's talking about the OT in saying "Scriptures." no one contests 1 Corinthians is genuinely Pauline & one of the earliest books. so why would he argue that – especially TO JEWS he's trying to convince to become Christians – if there is no such basis?

          and Paul is not alone in making that argument. Jesus himself says the OT is all about him (Lk.24:27,44; Jn.5:39) and John explains their confusion at finding the empty tomb because they couldn't fathom the Scripture (referring to the OT) that He must rise from the dead.

          again, your argument raises MORE problems than it answers.

          b) so what is being referenced in the OT?

          as i already said, most Jews couldn't fathom that the suffering servant in Isaiah was also the Davidic messiah because they could not conceive of the kind of victory Jesus would bring through losing. but clearly they saw the prophecies in Isaiah – which were used to witness to Jews from early on.

          Jesus applies 'the sign of Jonah' being 'buried' for three days in the great fish to himself in prophesying he will be in the ground three days. the Apostles reference Ps.16:10 in their own preaching.

          but again, these are arguments that no 1st c Jew would find compelling *in & of themselves*. they would reject that interpretation. but here they are – historically verifiable realities, with all the awkwardness of the fact that THESE ARE the arguments the apostles put forward immediately following Jesus' death. so, remembering the early Christians were virtually all Jews, what made them compelling to them AS JEWS? why are they using these seemingly ineffectual arguments? only one thing explains it: the resurrection happened.

          they are not appealing in some scholarly vacuum here. they are appealing to an event. God came. he told them who he was. he proved it. he did what no one else could.

          2) you said "for all intents and purposes, Christianity is a new religion, not a second part to the OT."

          a) look up Marcion. he was an early heretic who made that claim. Christians categorically rejected that idea – with good reason. the OT is integral to the faith.

          b) why is the OT so repeatedly & pervasively quoted in the NT? if you are right, and Christians were just creating a new religion, why feel the obligation? why this undue connection to the past? again, the video above ("what is the bible basically about?") demonstrates why the OT is essential & Christ is its fulfillment.

          c) Jesus & his earliest disciples all stated that his message was FIRST to the Jews. Christians initially permeated the synagogues, arguing to the Jews from the OT that Jesus is the Messiah. Historically, we know from extra-canonical sources they were finally & permanently prohibited from doing so in roughly AD 66. The book of Acts references persecution beginning in Jerusalem in the late 40s – which pressed the Christians out. but they were not even called "Christians" until Antioch (a multi-ethnic city). why do that unless you regard yourself as faithful Judaism? it doesn't make sense if you think you are striking out in some radically new direction.

          3) you said: "Jesus is your God, not the son of Yahweh."

          there are tomes written on this topic, so i'll just highlight a few points...

          a) Jesus repeatedly referred to himself in reference to YHWH. the most obvious and direct references are in John, where he has 8 "I Am" statements – the meaning of the very name (YHWH) used in Ex.3:14.

          b) the term "Lord" was often used as a subst.itute for "YHWH" among Jews. that's the term Christians applied to Jesus.

          the Hebrew 'adonai' (Lord) was used instead of YHWH when read aloud – or often used interchangeably in the text itself. in the Greek OT (Septuagint), which was widespread among He.llenized Jews, 'kurios' (Lord) was used for 'adonai.'

          and what did the Christians call Jesus over & over in the NT? 'kurios Iesus Christos' – "Lord Jesus Christ." Remembering that Christ is the greek for Messiah, that's basically: "YHWH Jesus Messiah." Not only is that directly against your claim here, but that rather starkly stands in opposition to your claim of disconnect to the OT.

          c) most obviously, the reason for his death (at least among the scribes & Pharisees, though only indirectly in terms of Rome) is "blasphemy." what blasphemy? he claimed to be God – not among polytheists, but as a monotheist. by your reasoning, you must provide *another* reason for Jesus' death.

          March 2, 2014 at 1:38 am |
        • bostontola

          Russ,
          1. There was clear criteria called out in the OT for the messiah, Jesus failed that criteria miserably.

          2. Please refer me to the OT verse that defines the criteria for the messiah that he die and be resurrected.

          March 2, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "plenty of the eyewitnesses were still alive. that's critical for corroboration."

          Same with the golden plates of Mormon myth, so you believe their claims too right?

          March 2, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • Vic

          Bible Verses About The First Coming Of Jesus Christ

          Isaiah 7:14
          "14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."

          Isaiah 53

          Matthew 1:23
          "21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”"

          Luke 1:30-33
          "30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”"

          Micah 5:2
          "2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
          Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
          From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
          His goings forth are from long ago,
          From the days of eternity.”"

          Matthew 2:6
          "6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
          Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
          For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
          Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”"

          John 7:42
          "42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”"

          Scripture Is From:

          New American Standard Bible (NASB)
          Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

          http://www.biblegateway.com

          March 2, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • Vic

          http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+53&version=NASB

          March 2, 2014 at 8:44 am |
        • hotairace

          Vic, unless you can show that The Babble is in fact non-fiction, and the word of some (alleged but never proven) god, quoting it is pointless – it has no more validity than chanting voodoo or quoting a Harry Potter novel.

          March 2, 2014 at 8:49 am |
        • Vic

          You missed the argument.

          This is about the prophecies about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament and testified to in the New Testament. It is about Judeo-Christianity.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          It is you that miss the argument. Prophesy is va.gue and mystical, able to be interpreted in many ways. Yahweh defined explicit criteria for a man to meet to be unambiguously identified as the messiah. Those criteria were directly tied to the messiah, not va.gue prophesy. Jesus failed that criteria explicitly. His failure of black letter law can't be bailed out by poetry.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:12 am |
        • hotairace

          No I didn't. I'm pointing out that the basis of the argument is bullsh!t. You are merely hacking over the fine points to one of the world's oldest and biggest fantasy role playing games (with heavy emphasis on "fantasy"). But do enjoy your delusions.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:15 am |
        • James XCIX

          bostontola –

          I've found it does no good to point out to believers that they are ignoring the most probable explanation–that the stories of Jesus were written with the the need for him to fulfill Old Testament prophecies in mind. As for the prophecies that he didn't fulfill, they'll either say he really did fulfill them but in an unexpected way or he's going to complete his fulfillment of them the next time around–this explanation apparently satisfies them.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:31 am |
        • Vic

          Russ has scholarly addressed that argument, and he wrapped up his scholarly work to the point at 7:16 pm last night.

          I would confer with Russ regarding any circulation of the same argument.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:35 am |
        • James XCIX

          Russ seems to dismiss the idea that scholarly work that reaches a different conclusion than his exists.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:38 am |
        • Doris

          LOL -yes Vic – circular argument and circular method of verification.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:39 am |
        • bostontola

          Vic, Russ,
          I didn't ask those scholars, I asked you to explain why Jesus failed the test. Hiding behind a "scholar" to rationalize the failure is completely ineffective.

          If I didn't like the Theory of Relativity, I could quote Newton to justify Newton's Laws. Was Newton brilliant? Yes, but he wouldn't be right arguing against Relativity.

          The fact is, you can't argue against the failure of Jesus to meet Yahweh's defined messiah qualifications. Because of that, you scramble to find a rationalization.

          March 2, 2014 at 9:50 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "That doesn't happen with any other historical figure that I can think of."

          King Arthur...

          March 2, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Why is it impressive that a collection of books (NT) supports the position it is trying to prove....that Jesus fullfilled the OT prophacies. It is not like the writers of the NT didn't know about the scriptures and then later found how they matched...their very objective was to fit the evidence to support the conclusion and that is in no way impressive.

          March 2, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • Russ

          @ James:
          you said: "Russ seems to dismiss the idea that scholarly work that reaches a different conclusion than his exists."

          here's what i wrote to YOU just a couple of days ago after you refused to engage ANY scholarship... whether I agreed with it or not. you quoted me in this paragraph, so i know you read it. why are you directly misrepresenting me?

          ******
          there are scholars with whom I disagree but I recognize they are actually appealing to scholarship & making an INFORMED argument. you are not, and you display a great lack of awareness of the field of biblical scholarship. so it is not the mere fact of our disagreement i am pointing out, but that you are making a hugely uninformed argument. so yes, that is illegitimate.

          February 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/26/is-religion-under-attack-in-arizona/comment-page-3/#comment-2956233

          March 3, 2014 at 10:10 am |
        • fintronics

          Please site specific evidence OUTSIDE OF THE BIBLE to show Jesus performed miracles.

          March 4, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • James XCIX

          Russ – "you are making a hugely uninformed argument."

          I really don't understand where you're coming from You have no basis for concluding how informed I am, yet you feel comfortable doing so. You act as though all existing scholarship supports your point of view and that anyone who disagrees must not have read anything. You also act as though referencing a scholar somehow makes your view superior, when there are scholars available to support just about any view. That makes their input useful for forming one's own ideas, but their conclusions are just that–their own.

          I've read the Bible, most of it more than once, I've read what others have to say about it both supportive and not, and reached my own conclusions. I assume (which is all I can do) that you've done the same. It appears we've reached different conclusions, just like those scholars have.

          March 4, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Russ

          @ fintronics: why would you throw out the earliest, most well-attested sources in deciding an argument?

          March 4, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Russ

          @ James: you are acting as if we didn't have a full conversation just a few days ago. Go back to the link i provided. We talked at *length* – yet you refused to reference even ONE scholar or piece of scholarship (of any stripe) in response to what I gave.

          furthermore, the arguments you made (as I pointed out) showed a outright lack of awareness of the facts of the scholarship – again, facts that virtually ALL scholars agree upon, regardless of one's position on the theological spectrum.

          moreover (and most frustratingly), in your final entry of that day, you selectively quoted from me and claimed (as you are doing here) the exact opposite of the what I said in the *very same paragraph* from which the quote originated – which is why I copied & pasted that paragraph on this thread. AT NO POINT did I say "all the scholarship always supports me." as a matter of fact, EVEN the paragraph I quoted above from our previous thread states DIRECTLY the opposite.

          why do you persist in deliberately misrepresenting me in that regard? are you not reading what I've written or is it on purpose? here it is YET again...

          ******
          there are scholars with whom I disagree but I recognize they are actually appealing to scholarship & making an INFORMED argument. you are not, and you display a great lack of awareness of the field of biblical scholarship. so it is not the mere fact of our disagreement i am pointing out, but that you are making a hugely uninformed argument. so yes, that is illegitimate.

          February 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/26/is-religion-under-attack-in-arizona/comment-page-3/#comment-2956233

          March 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Russ – You may be correct that I've misrepresented your view of scholarship, but I think it's because, in my view, you haven't represented your point clearly. I'll concede that you agree there are plenty of scholars who disagree with your point of view (right?). But I guess I'm at a loss as to why scholarship on the topic is so important to you, then, since it seems to boil down to opinion. As I said, one can find scholars to support just about any view.

          Scholarly work seems to be of great interest to you–that's great, but I've read all I care to and have no interest in continually reading such material. I'm guessing you don't read much scholarly work on Hinduism (neither do I) due to lack of interest in it, yet you probably have what you consider a sufficiently informed opinion about whether or not Hindu religious texts present a correct description of the spiritual realm. I suppose I don't see a big difference in me considering myself sufficiently educated about Christianity and you considering yourself sufficiently educated about Hinduism.

          March 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • Russ

          @ James:

          1) you said: "...in my view, you haven't represented your point clearly."
          all i've done is repeat the same points over & over. now, after quoting (copying & pasting) my OWN words three times, you are conceding i *might* have a point. i don't think it's an issue of lack of clarity on my part.

          2) misrepresenting scholarship in general

          a) you said: "But I guess I'm at a loss as to why scholarship on the topic is so important to you, then, since it seems to boil down to opinion."
          here again, you are mistaken. i pointed out that the position you took on Paul ignored almost ALL of the scholarly positions. You took a position that wasn't even on the spectrum.

          b) you said: "As I said, one can find scholars to support just about any view."
          You're invoking a variance among scholars, but using that variance to take untenable positions that virtually ALL of them rule out. (for example, virtually everyone acknowledges that Paul is one of, if not THE earliest author of the NT). it only goes to prove the point i made repeatedly on the other thread: you have a poor understanding/appreciation of the field of biblical studies. you don't have to be a Christian to appreciate the importance of scholarship – as many atheist & agnostic scholars make clear.

          an analogy: scientists argue over whether light is more waves or particles. there's disagreement here over which is a more apt summation of how light works. but NO ONE is using that disagreement to argue it doesn't matter or say "well, i like to think of light as tomatoes." yes, there is scientific variance in opinion – but there's a limit which the science makes clear.

          it's the same with the scholarship here. you are using scholarly variance (which still has set parameters) to simply disregard the scholarship (e.g., your original contentions about Paul on the other thread) because it undermines your position. it's a red herring.

          3) you said: "Scholarly work seems to be of great interest to you–that's great, but I've read all I care to and have no interest in continually reading such material."

          that is moving the goalposts. our entire debate (on the other thread) occurred because you made claims about Paul (pitting him against Jesus in light of the two greatest commandments). that is DOING the very thing you are claiming you have no interest in.

          now, when I pressed you to support your position, you (despite a lengthy set of posts) never gave any. you didn't mind making an argument (one that is notably contingent on scholarship) until confronted with the lack of scholarly support. then suddenly you "don't care." the change sounds both self-serving & self-contradictory.

          4) i have studied Hinduism in limited degree because i take these questions seriously (and i care what nearly a billion people think on ultimate questions). i have a postgraduate degree in religion. have i studied Hinduism to the level i've studied Christianity? no, but i have some exposure and am certainly invested in the underlying questions. like many on the belief blog, i consider these ultimate questions well worth our time.

          your argument on this point appears to be "i have enough knowledge to dismiss Christianity the way you dismiss Hinduism." but my entire response has been pointing out that your arguments about Christianity prove you are misinformed. note: i'm not making those sort of arguments about Hinduism. your analogy doesn't match.

          5) James, there are a lot people on this blog with whom i regularly disagree, but i do nevertheless generally respect them despite disagreeing – especially when they demonstrate they are knowledgable. what i find so offensive here is not simply that you changed your argument midstream (appealing to supposed facts, then ignoring the facts), but that you decided – days later – to find my comments on an unrelated posting and personally malign me by misrepresenting what i said here and in the past. that has nothing to do with the scholarship. it simply lacks integrity.

          March 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • James XCIX

          Russ –

          I really hadn’t wanted to revisit our earlier, confusing exchange, but since you press the point I feel I must defend myself and give you a summary of my view of our first exchange, which is somewhat different from yours. I started off commending the speaker in the video for apparently practicing what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments, which, in my view, should override anything else found in the Bible that might conflict, whether from Paul, Jesus, or anyone else. You took what I considered an odd position that true discussion can’t happen in middle ground, then went on to assert I must think those with a different position than mine are unintelligent, and that I’m misrepresenting the other side, even though I hadn’t really said anything about it, but I guess you inferred that meant I wasn’t aware of its existence? I was pretty confused about what you were getting at by that point, and it just got more confusing for me from there as you repeated unfounded and seemingly unrelated assertions. I suggested you do an internet search for the positions that differ from yours and you somehow took offense at that, too. I meant it as a simple way to gather information. You claimed I was being arrogant, but apparently didn’t see the arrogance in your own assertions.

          Now, back to this latest discussion.

          “all i've done is repeat the same points over & over”
          Can you not see how repeating something that isn’t clear might doesn’t make it any more clear? Trying to understand what’s not clear and rephrasing might be a better approach.

          “. i pointed out that the position you took on Paul ignored almost ALL of the scholarly positions. You took a position that wasn't even on the spectrum.”
          I don’t understand. My position on Paul was that some of the things he says seem to conflict with what Jesus says. Are you saying nobody thinks some of the things Paul says conflicts with some of the things Jesus says? If so, you are wrong. It seems you think searching the web for information is not legitimate, but it might widen your perspective to do so. There are people outside the American Academy of Religion who have legitimate points to make.

          “take untenable positions that virtually ALL of them rule out”
          I simply don’t think you can support that claim.

          “virtually everyone acknowledges that Paul is one of, if not THE earliest author of the NT”
          I didn’t say otherwise, but how is that even relevant?

          “to simply disregard the scholarship … because it undermines your position”
          I don’t understand your point. Disagreeing with a conclusion does not imply disregard for it or lack of knowledge of it.

          “now, when I pressed you to support your position, you… never gave any” “you didn't mind making an argument… until confronted with the lack of scholarly support”
          The discussion was about whether there were passages in the Bible that some see as contradictory. As I’ve said, they are readily found in an internet search, and I guess I don’t see the point of identifying specific areas that I think conflict since you’ve already said you don’t think there are any, or the need to point you to specific comparisons since they are so easily found. My point of view on the subject is the net result of my own processing of what I’ve read, not a result of reading any particular source. I imagine it’s the same for you.

          “your arguments about Christianity prove you are misinformed”
          No, they don’t. I just shows I have a different opinion than you. I’m sure you consider yourself much more informed than I, and perhaps you are, but as I’ve said, I consider myself sufficiently informed, even if you don’t. And I disagree with your response to the Hinduism question (which also applies to any other religion); I think its very applicable to our discussion.

          It seems I haven’t created a favorable impression with you–perhaps you can tell that’s gone both ways. You seem to want to do a lot of talking but not a lot of listening. I do see your point about the comment I made about you in this thread, and I can agree that it was unnecessary sniping, so I apologize for that. I did not intentionally misrepresent your position, though—I was truly confused about it.

          I consider myself finished with this topic, but feel free to post your final thoughts. Hopefully in any future encounters we can start fresh.

          March 5, 2014 at 11:24 am |
        • fintronics

          Russ... "why would you throw out the earliest, most well-attested sources in deciding an argument?"

          I would throw out fiction and mythology (the bible) in deciding an argument.

          March 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • hotairace

        Some desert dwelling dude called jesus may have been a historical figure but The Smithsonian has stated that The Babble is not historical.

        March 1, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I just finished reading a very good book on the histrocity of Jesus.

          Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All by David Fitzgerald

          While it does not claim to be definitive, it is interesting to read a historical refutation of top Christian claims.

          March 2, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • derado8

          It wouldn't make any sense to think that the bible was historical. Saying Jesus never existed, I don't know. It's weird that there is a debate back and forth on that. That doesn't happen with any other historical figure that I can think of. I always assumed that Jesus was a historical figure who got stuck with a lot of stories about him because people are willing to believe strange things due to denial.

          March 2, 2014 at 8:20 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "That doesn't happen with any other historical figure that I can think of."

          King Arthur...

          What is interesting is the lack of any contemporary accounts of Jesus. Absolutely none.

          March 2, 2014 at 10:18 am |
        • derado8

          King Arthur? Really? That's surprising. I've never once heard anybody say he was possibly a real person.

          March 2, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • otoh2

          derado,

          Oh yes, there are many who think that Arthur or an Arthur-like person existed.

          "The consensus amongst most historians is that Arthur probably did exist, either as an individual or a composite of several individuals. Since many of the Dark Age heroes were real men upon whom mythical talent and position were often thrust by storytellers, there is a strong possibility that Arthur was a Dark Age warrior of the Celts from which the rest of the mythological superstructure was formed."

          http://www.history.co.uk/shows/king-arthurs-round-table-revealed/articles/the-real-king-arthur

          March 2, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Reality

      The larger view for the new members:
      :

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

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

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current problems:

      The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

      5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      March 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
  6. bootyfunk

    i love that the story starts out with the blonde christian lady calling the police on what she thought was a homeless man sleeping on a bench. how very, very chrisitan of her.

    March 1, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
    • ihavetopushthepramalot

      Love thy neighbor... except if he's a smelly bum.

      March 1, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
      • idiotusmaximus

        Who says it's homeless....could just be a dead body with holes in his feet.

        March 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
        • derado8

          The important thing was that she called the cops to make sure no rich people were exposed to a dead body...or a living one.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
    • bostontola

      Yeah, it would have been completely different if she said she was worried about the homeless person's safety.

      It is a pretty powerful piece of art though. The lady doesn't seem to understand art, she was taking a literal interpretation.

      March 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Vic

      I watched that with a grain of salt!

      March 1, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • bostontola

        I agree, the media is skilled at showing people that elicit response. This lady is not representative overall.

        March 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          True. As much as I disagree with Christians on virtually everything, most of them ain't such bad people.

          March 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • bostontola

          It's a good thing, they are 75% of the US population.

          March 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Vic

          That's right, the lady was completely on a different page in that instance. The right thing to do is to reach out with help instead of trampling on the weak and destitute.

          I agree that the sculpture would've been better off showing Jesus Christ reaching out to a homeless person, though.

          March 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          That wouldn't be interesting art though, too literal. The artist wants to expose a unique idea. Asking, what if it were Jesus, gets one thinking.

          March 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
        • Vic

          More intriguing, I agree.

          March 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • bootyfunk

          "As much as I disagree with Christians on virtually everything, most of them ain't such bad people."
          +++ most people aren't bad, christian or otherwise.

          "the media is skilled at showing people that elicit response. This lady is not representative overall."
          +++ she may not be representative overall, but she does represent a large slice of the population. she's not putting forth a response that many of her christian neighbors wouldn't have done - call the police on homeless people instead of actually trying to help them.

          March 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          booty,
          I must be lucky but where I live the community helps the people that want it. This lady would be an outlier. She may be nominal in her community, who knows.

          March 1, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Akira

          This statue is brilliant.

          Jesus has been depicted in most ways already; as an allegory for a homeless person is just brilliant.

          A subtle reminder that the woman obviously didn't understand. We know where her sentiments lie.

          I hope it is as Boston says: she's an exception, rather than the rule.

          March 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
        • bootyfunk

          or she may represent the majority.
          probably somewhere in the middle though.

          March 2, 2014 at 5:32 am |
    • derado8

      I noticed that too, but her religious persuasion wasn't stated. Anyway it just shows how people view the homeless.

      March 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
  7. bostontola

    Why do Christians pay so much attention to and embrace idolatry?

    March 1, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • ihavetopushthepramalot

      To make church marginally less boring. Listening to a reverend/minister/pastor/etc. is far more tolerable when you can admire an Aryan guy's abs or look at some pretty stain-glass windows.

      March 1, 2014 at 11:48 am |
      • bostontola

        I am always amazed when I enter any church and see the array of idols. My favorite is the RCC and their relics of the bones of dead people. It's downright primitive. The effigies of Jesus are merely pagan.

        March 1, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Yup, Catholics do love dem idols. Still though, at least they understand the showbiz that is religion. When John Calvin formed his own church which disavowed idols, he surely lost the pizazz which makes Christianity so alluring.

          March 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • bostontola

          I agree. The RCC runs that enterprise like a modern business. They know they are competing for souls. Their last CEO wasn't doing a good recruiting job, and they made a move. The new guy is doing an amazing job in the big growth markets of Asia and Africa. In the past, they adopted pagan rituals to welcome the regional populations. They are a very shrewd enterprise, you have to admire them.

          March 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          I do. They run a very tight ship. If one were to take assets into account, the RCC must be the wealthiest corporation on the planet. Think of all that church land. They have their own country for Christ's sake (pun intended). As an ardent supporter of free market capitalism, I have in the past pondered getting in on the religion racket (although let's face it, religion in the US is anti-capitalism. Tax exempt status is the most anti-capitalist thing outside of communism. Either everybody pays tax or nobody does. I'd prefer if nobody did but us libertarian whack jobs will never get any power). So far, my love of money has been outweighed by my hatred of hypocrisy. Some day, perhaps....

          March 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          I feel very much the same, although I focus on ethical ways to make money, there's plenty of opportunity there.

          March 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Ethics are for liberals and conservatives. Libertarians prefer huge cash payoffs.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXPrrj2jHCY

          March 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • bostontola

          Gotta love the Simpsons.

          March 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • ihavetopushthepramalot

          Something just occurred to me. It's funny that it never occurred to me before. Is there a term for people who are completely opposite to libertarian; people who are extremely socialist economically and extremely conservative socially. Do those guys have a name? Do those guys even exist? I guess Stalinist communists are pretty close to that definition but it's not quite the same.

          March 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • bostontola

          To me, the opposite of a libertarian, would be a person that wants the Govt to get involved in all aspects of their life, economically and socially. It would be someone who wants an extreme nanny state. I don't know a name for that, probably because there hasn't been such a state (that I know of).

          March 1, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Some Christians really do practice in idolatry – they make an idol out of the Bible. Or crosses. Or statues. They "carve" false idols in their minds about their religion.

      March 1, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
      • bostontola

        Dalahast,
        Amazingly, it is the majority of Christians. The Jews take that very seriously, as do the Muslims. Any idea why so many Christian denominations are loose on idolatry?

        March 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Human nature? Politics? I'm not sure. I think the far-right fundamentalist preaching of "family values" is idolizing American culture. I think it has to do a lot with nationalism. People are trying to use Jesus or Christianity to maintain the status quo.

          Despite, in my opinion, what Jesus really taught, which opposes the status quo they are trying to maintain.

          I'm just glad I learned not all do that. And actually, it is quite funny to watch it unfold. Especially anti-gay Christians – who carve out an anti-gay stance, while totally ignoring what Jesus said about divorce and money.

          March 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          That is a perceptive observation, idolizing a culture. Interesting.

          March 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I can't figure out why right-wing Republicans idolize Jesus. Other than they think he must be on their side. Even though most of what he said and did suggest he wasn't.

          March 1, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • fintronics

          @dala "I can't figure out why right-wing Republicans idolize Jesus. Other than they think he must be on their side."

          Of course they think he's on their side, like most christians do...since much of what is written in the bible is extremely vauge and open to personal interpretation, interpret to fit your own personal agenda. The bible is the great book of "this means that"

          March 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
  8. Vic

    In the context of its message and purpose, I don't find the sculpture offensive.

    The sculpture was inspired by Jesus Christ's saying:

    Matthew 25:40
    "40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’" (NASB)

    March 1, 2014 at 10:12 am |
  9. Reality

    Instead of purchasing expensive "statues", the topic church should monetarily support organizations like Project HOME:

    "Project HOME empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness, address the structural causes of poverty, and attain their fullest potential as members of society. "

    http://www.projecthome.org/

    And the one of the largest financial supporters of Project HOME: USA taxpayers, bless us all !!! (guidestar.org)

    March 1, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • Reality

      "Residents living in Project HOME's permanent supportive housing come from emergency shelters or transitional housing for homeless persons and have a general pattern of stability in housing for approximately one year prior to entering PHPSH. These residents pay 30% of their income for rent, with the remainder covered by federal housing subsidies. Most of our permanent supportive housing units are subsidized through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, through either the Section 8 program or the Shelter Plus Care program. "

      March 1, 2014 at 9:53 am |
  10. Apple Bush

    It kind of looks like a huge turd or maybe a dead manatee All depends on the angle. Genius work.

    February 28, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Some of you will find a sadly misshapen penis.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Looks like a body bag to me. Don't even want to guess at the funk 2000 years would elicit. Oh wait...it's completely polluted the world.

      March 1, 2014 at 12:44 am |
    • Apple Bush

      I am very sorry to those of you who recognized your own sadly misshapen penis, but you can't pick your parents. Just ask Jesus.

      March 1, 2014 at 4:09 am |
      • Apple Bush

        ....and just a quick PSA, don't throw your butts on the ground. Put your cigarettes out in the designated foot hole ash trays and dispose of the filters properly.

        March 1, 2014 at 4:14 am |
        • ausphor

          AB
          Good Jewish boys do not have a cover on the head.

          March 1, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Apple Bush

          Well there you go. lol

          March 2, 2014 at 11:47 am |
  11. Apple Bush

    This is all true:

    1. I prophesized the front-loading turntable.
    2. I prophesized the space shuttle.
    3. I witnessed the Earth turned inside out.
    4. I once made the phone ring.

    Yes, these and many other miracles were done be me, Apple Bush. So come on down and I will have a miracle for YOU! I am well over 30 now!

    February 28, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      You made the phone ring!!!!???

      I found my car keys!!!

      Between the 2 of us we could change the world.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        I dreamed you found your keys.
        Did I forget to mention it to you ?
        He is risen.

        March 1, 2014 at 12:08 am |
        • fintronics

          I found my drill....... on Blueberry Hill.

          March 4, 2014 at 11:35 am |
  12. joeyy1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w

    February 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
  13. Austin

    I had another dream hit today. On feb 2 i had a dream that my cousin bill was unconsciouss in the hospital. Today he is in the hospital with 85 percent heart failure.

    That one rings the bell! Never had another dream about bill. In fact i have seen him 3 times in the last 25 years.

    That puts me well over 30 spiritual revelations now. They are becoming much more frequent!

    February 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Austin is going to reach critical mass soon....

      February 28, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
      • Doris

        lol

        February 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      That's quite the imagination Austin. Do the nurses know you're out of your room?

      February 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      What hit percent did you have to "hit" to begin to ascribe it to Jebus ?
      You're really just so very *special*. Very very special. And you're just so sure of it.

      February 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Austin that is all you have had? 30 something? You are impressed with that? You've got a ways to go buster.

      February 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
    • tallulah131

      I once dreamed I was saved from a shark by Michael Caine. I have not been killed by a shark. Prophecy!

      March 1, 2014 at 1:15 am |
      • sam stone

        i was thinking one night that i wanted a pizza, not half an hour later, a guy shows up at my door with a pizza!
        praise jeebus

        March 1, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • sam stone

      i think the increased frequency of the visions means it's time to go meet jeebus

      do you have tall buildings where you live?

      March 1, 2014 at 11:16 am |
    • Akira

      Can you link your post from February 2nd where you told us you dreamt your cousin Bill was in the hospital? Can you give us his contact info where we can verify? Verification is a part of proof.

      Also, it seems dangerous to know you. People seem to get sick/die around you. I hope that's not a trend.

      March 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
  14. PsiCop

    Would have been nice of CNN to actually link to the story itself instead of to the station's home page.

    http://www.wcnc.com/news/neighborhood-news/Homeless-Jesus-sculpture-sparks-controversy-247134691.html

    February 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
  15. Dalahäst

    Weird list. Hmmm... some of those groups on the list are not secular. And some are not charities.

    February 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
    • derado8

      Sorry. That had to be my fault. There was one that was doing a toothbrush drive but I can't find it at the moment.

      February 28, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
    • derado8

      http://www.flatheadsecular.com/secular-charities/

      unicef.org

      amnesty.org

      February 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Doctors without Borders is a good one, too.

        February 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • hotairace

      richarddawkins.net

      February 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
  16. Vic

    We are homeless without Jesus Christ.

    February 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      Symbolism. On those cold deadly nights where the homeless need help and warmth do they drag that silly statue into the warmth of the vestibule or leave it out in the elements as so many of the REAL homeless are left?

      February 28, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • hotairace

      Not me!

      February 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Awwww Vic. So mushy today.
      Actually I have no Jebus, and I have a nice home.
      Wrong again.

      February 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Oh, Vic. That's just silly.

      March 1, 2014 at 1:17 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wrong Vic, we are homeless if we don't pay our mortgage...sorry you don't value humanity for what it is and give credit to REAL people....what a lonely life you must live if you need imaginary friends.

      March 1, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • sam stone

      Really, Vic? I got a nice home, a wee 1,100 square foot ranch. No jeebus necessary

      March 1, 2014 at 11:45 am |
  17. derado8

    I thought most of the posters here might appreciate this link too, a secular charities list.

    http://coreysviews.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/list-of-atheist-charities/

    February 28, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Weird list. Hmmm... some of those groups on the list are not secular. And some are not charities.

      February 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Care to clarify?

        March 1, 2014 at 1:17 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Some of the groups listed are atheist activists and inter-faith groups. Even the link says "atheist charities", not secular charities.

          March 1, 2014 at 11:34 am |
  18. ausphor

    Passing strange that with all the jesus joints around the world that the statute could not find a place in some bling bishops residence, the Vatican or the estate of a TV evangelist. Not surprising that jesus would find himself homeless in this day and age but the scam artists are princes of the church, comedy gold.

    February 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
    • derado8

      Excellent point, most churches have hot water, and a roof.

      February 28, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        In my city there are churches that offer shelter for the homeless. It is hard work. I know of some success stories where people were able to get back on their feet.

        February 28, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • derado8

          I've met five people who have been homeless and they all got out of it again when someone took them in.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Yes. It seems to be best when someone takes them in. Group homes serve as a good stepping stone, most are religious in nature though.

          March 1, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
    • derado8

      I wonder sometimes how many empty rooms are in the Whitehouse, the Vatican and Trump towers.

      February 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
      • ausphor

        derado8
        Good point also. I frequent the Hilton hotel chain and get constant offers to get my butt in a room with a great deal. Empty rooms if you can afford the warmth and comfort, the rest can go to ......

        February 28, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • derado8

          Insanity isn't it? They have to pay the heat bill anyway.

          February 28, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • ausphor

          It is a dilemma. Where I live they do offer heating and food centers in extreme weather but some do not accept the aid. Just wish they would drag the metal jesus into the church when appropriate, set an example.

          February 28, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
  19. Doris

    Let's see how the Catholics have faired on my pet issue today.

    from 6/12/2012:

    The Uganda Joint Christian Council, which includes Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox bishops, has called on parliament to move the notorious Anti-Hom-ose-xuality Bill forward. According to the Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor:

    Top religious leaders from across the country have asked Parliament to speed-up the process of enacting the Anti-Hom-ose-xuality law to prevent what they called “an attack on the Bible and the inst-itution of marriage.”

    from 12/12/2012:

    Pope Benedict XVI yesterday sent his first tweet from his new Twitter account, then turned around and blessed Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of the Uganda Parliament who promised to pass the “Kill The Gays” bill as a “Christmas gift” to Uganda’s Christians.

    from 12/29/2013:

    Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Michael Blume, has voiced his concerns about the Anti-Ho-mose-xuality Bill recently passed by the country’s parliament but yet to be signed by President Yoweri Museveni.

    Oh so once they see this little pet project is likely a done deal, suddenly they are concerned to put back on that shiny outer coating of Christian love.

    NOT IMPRESSED Catholics. Not impressed Pope Francis. Not one bit.

    February 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
  20. derado8

    I had this idea that maybe a fund raiser for land for a group of people who are homeless
    http://www.landwatch.com/Deals

    Then people could just kind of squat, or build homes from recycled material kind of like dignity village did but it would be their co owned land.

    February 28, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.