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March 15th, 2014
11:23 AM ET

Five things you didn't know about Jesus

Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, special to CNN

(CNN) - With Easter approaching, and the movie “Son of God” playing in wide release, you’re going to hear a lot about Jesus these days.

You may hear revelations from new books that purport to tell the “real story” about Jesus, opinions from friends who have discovered a “secret” on the Web about the son of God, and airtight arguments from co-workers who can prove he never existed.

Beware of most of these revelations; many are based on pure speculation and wishful thinking. Much of what we know about Jesus has been known for the last 2,000 years.

Still, even for devout Christian there are surprises to be found hidden within the Gospels, and thanks to advances in historical research and archaeological discoveries, more is known about his life and times.

With that in mind, here are five things you probably didn't know about Jesus.

1.) Jesus came from a nowhere little town.

Nearly all modern-day archaeologists agree the town of Nazareth had only 200 to 400 people. Jesus’ hometown is mentioned nowhere in either the Old Testament or the Talmud, which notes dozens of other towns in the area.

In fact, in the New Testament it is literally a joke.

In the Gospel of John, when a man named Nathanael hears the messiah is “Jesus of Nazareth,” he asks, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” He’s dissing Jesus’ crummy backwater town.

2.) Jesus probably didn’t know everything.

This is a thorny theological question. If Jesus is divine, wouldn’t he know all things? (Indeed, on several occasions Jesus predicts his death and resurrection.)

On the other hand, if he had a human consciousness, he needed to be taught something before he could know it. The Gospel of Luke says that when Jesus was a young man he “progressed” in wisdom. That means he learned things. (Otherwise how would he “progress”?)

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus initially refuses to heal the daughter of a non-Jewish woman, saying rather sharply, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

But when she replies that even the dogs get the crumbs from the table, Jesus softens, and he heals her daughter. He seems to be learning that his ministry extends beyond the Jewish people.

3.) Jesus was tough.

From age 12 to 30, Jesus worked in Nazareth as a carpenter. “Is not this the carpenter?” say the astonished crowds when he begins to preach.

The word used for Jesus’ profession in the original Greek is tekton. The traditional translation is “carpenter.” But most contemporary scholars say it’s more likely a general craftsman; some even translate it as “day laborer.”

A tekton would have made doors, tables, lamp stands and plows. But he probably also built stone walls and helped with house construction.

It was tough work that meant lugging tools, wood and stones all over Galilee. Jesus doesn’t simply stride onto the world stage after having dreamily examined a piece of wood when the mood suited him. For 18 years, he worked—and worked hard.

4.) Jesus needed “me time.”

The Gospels frequently speak of Jesus’ need to “withdraw” from the crowds, and even his disciples.

Today by the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus carried out much of his ministry, you can see how close the towns were, and how natural it would have been for the enthusiastic crowds to “press” in on him, as the Gospels describe.

There’s even a cave on the shoreline, not far from Capernaum, his base of operations, where he may have prayed.

It’s called the “Eremos Cave,” from the word for “desolate” or “solitary,” from which we get the word “hermit.” Even though Jesus was the son of God, he needed time alone in prayer with the father.

5.) Jesus didn’t want to die.

As he approaches his death, and prays hard in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus says, “Remove this cup.” It’s a blunt prayer addressed to the father, whom he affectionately calls Abba. He doesn’t want to die.

Unlike the way some Christians portray Jesus as courting death, and even desiring it, like any human being, the idea of death is terrifying. “My soul is sorrowful even unto death,” he says.

In other words, “I’m so sad that it feels like I’m going to die.” But once Jesus realizes that this is somehow the will of the father, he assents to death, even on a cross.

It’s natural to want to know as much as we can about Jesus; that’s one reason I wrote my new book. But beware of the more outlandish claims about the son of God (he fathered children, he was married to Mary Magdalene, he spent time in India and so on.)

Many of these claims tend to project our own desires on a man who will always remain somewhat elusive, hard to fully understand and impossible to pin down.

In the end, as theologians like to say, Jesus is not so much a problem to be solved as a mystery to be pondered.

The Rev. James Martin is a Jesuit priest, editor of America magazine and author of the new book "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" (HarperOne). The views expressed in this column belong to Martin. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Easter • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (3,128 Responses)
  1. Salero21

    There's only One thing you need to know about the Idolatry of the RCC, that is Total stupidity.
    Only One thing you need to know also about atheism, that is Total stupidity.

    March 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • doobzz

      LOL, this coming from the idiot who thinks when Jesus said "dog" it was a code word for "homosexual".

      March 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        You ever come across a dog who doesn't think he is a "dog"? Hmmm...I guess it kinda makes sense in a strange way.

        March 17, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
  2. JohnRJohnson

    I would like to know how anybody can say they actually KNOW this 5 things about Jesus.

    March 17, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  3. bullwinkle88

    Here's one thing you didn't know about Jesus: He never existed.

    In truth he was a composite of many different "holy men" at the time combined with several mythic deities.

    March 17, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  4. David

    JESUS is the most mentioned name on planet earth!

    March 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
    • David

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=865HKtIB8to

      March 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • Alias

        I'd bet the truth behind the propaganda is that Mohamad is used more often.

        March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • LinCA

      As in: "Jesus H. Fucking Christ! Do people still believe these ancient fairy tales?"

      March 17, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
      • doobzz

        LOL.

        March 17, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • observer

      And 70 years ago the most mentioned name was likely Hitler.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
    • David

      At the mention of His name, watch satan convulse and froth in the mouth.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
      • David

        Also, at the mention of His name, watch the demon possessed convulse and froth in the mouth.

        March 17, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • new-man

          this was going to be response... how right you are!

          March 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          LOL...you believe in demons?

          March 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
      • David

        Demon possessed are somehow drawn to these articles. The kind of frothing and fuming is the demon acting out in those possessed. Sadly, these people don't even realize that they are under the control of the demon. Sadly as the demon controls their actions , they find it funny.

        March 17, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          You're so cute...awww

          March 17, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
  5. kermit4jc

    baptism does not save

    March 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • Alias

      Neither does asking imaginary friends for help.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
  6. Vic

    Just like some wonderful posters noted earlier, Jesus Christ was testing the Canaanite woman's—a gentile—faith; Jesus Christ was setting a precedent for "Faith in God" AND the "Universality" of the "Good News" of the Kingdom of Heaven, early on.

    The Canaanites—gentiles—were bitter pagans and enemies of Israel who spread idolatry. Also, Jesus Christ was born in the flesh under the Law of the Old Testament, during which the Jewish people were still the "chosen people" by God to carry out His message—Matthew 15:24 "24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”" That's why while His disciples asked Him to send the Canaanite woman—a gentile—away, Jesus Christ put her to the test of faith first—Matthew 15:28 "28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once."

    Jesus Christ was setting the stage for the "Good News" of the Kingdom of Heaven, "Salvation by the Grace of God through Faith in Him as Lord and Savior," to become "ecumenical." Jesus Christ spoke of that characterizing His sheep—the Jews—and the other fold of sheep—the gentiles. Apostle Paul followed suit.

    John 10:14-18
    "14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”"

    Ephesians 2:14-16
    "14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity."

    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/

    Early on:
    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/03/15/five-things-you-didnt-know-about-jesus/comment-page-1/#comment-2963555

    March 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
    • observer

      Vic,

      Since Jesus NEVER mentioned gays and the Bible NEVER mentions abortion, why are these the two HOTTEST topics for Christians to protest?

      March 17, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
      • rpc0609

        Unfortunately most Christians don't understand the bible. We are all sinners, especially Christians. The gay person, the person having the abortion, the drunkard, the Christians gossiping, they all need to repent! I am tired of the pious Christians pointing their fingers at a group of people, which is not right! We are all sinners in need of a savior!

        March 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • ksocreative

          no. we are not. and, no, we do not. you know...since there was no original sin.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • ksocreative

      you talk about idolatry, but have no idea that the image of Jesus you worship is an idealized image of a man that through art history and natural history has no actual carvings, paintings, busts, edifices, or artifacts of the actual person that existed. if he did. hmpf.

      March 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
    • ausphor

      Vic
      You and the others that post in his name are true addicts. Addictions are not restricted to drugs, alcohol, money, s&x, etc, but to a belief system that acts as a crutch for your existence. Your need is so obvious, just wish you could shut up about it.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • doobzz

      Jesus was testing her faith by demeaning her? Sounds like the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

      March 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  7. rpc0609

    For those that believe there is no God, I really do not understand how you can view the mountains, the creation of the naked eye, the oceans, the universe, etc., and believe there is no God. Before Darwin came along with "his theory" of Evolution, everybody believed that there was some soft of God in prior societies. The fact of the matter is that, yes, there is a God and there is a Devil out there. That is written in scripture and all you have to do is look at the world system, that 60 million people were killed in world war 2, to realize that the devil is in control of this world system and will be until Christ returns. That was the whole purpose of Christ coming, to save us from our sins and the worldly system!

    March 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • LinCA

      @rpc0609

      I have a hard time understanding that there are still adults in 2014 that cling to ancient superstitions. I have a hard time comprehending that anyone with an IQ above room temperature doesn't grasp that it's all just a fairy tale based on the figments of ignorant dessert dwellers.

      There isn't a single shred of evidence that supports the existence of your imaginary friend. That makes it just as likely to exist as the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, and a belief in it just as reasonable as a belief in other imaginary creatures. The core belief is no more rational than the belief of a 5 year old in monsters under his bed. It's infantile.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      "For those that believe there is no God, I really do not understand how you can view the mountains, the creation of the naked eye, the oceans, the universe, etc., and believe there is no God."

      Before Darwin came along with "his theory" of Evolution, everybody believed that there was some soft of God in prior societies.

      Yeah, funny thing about science, it only goes forward

      "The fact of the matter is that, yes, there is a God and there is a Devil out there"

      You trivialize the theory of evolution (the most tested theory in science) and refer to God and Satan (unverifyable premises) as "fact"?

      "That is written in scripture"

      Oooh, a book

      "and all you have to do is look at the world system, that 60 million people were killed in world war 2, to realize that the devil is in control of this world system"

      Or, we are just vindictive apes with toys that go BOOM.

      "and will be until Christ returns"

      Yep, annnnnyyyyy day now

      "That was the whole purpose of Christ coming, to save us from our sins and the worldly system!"

      Sin is a man made concept, as are god, satan, heaven and hell

      March 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
    • nojinx

      I smell Poe.

      March 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
  8. sniffy45

    Fairy tales...

    March 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    it's hard to concentrate on the article when the pic of Jesus is so hawt. i wonder if the Messiah was into P90X?

    March 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
    • joey3467

      I have heard that they found traces oh HGH on the Shroud of Turin.

      March 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
  10. alakhtal

    Five things you didn't know about Jesus:
    1.) Stateless.
    2.) Unlearned.
    3.) Terrorist.
    4.) Selfish.
    5.) Wholesome.
    Jesuit Priest Rev. James Martin must quit Organic Ganja.

    March 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  11. jamesfbarry

    #6.........He wasn't real.......There is no 'God/Deity".......

    March 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
  12. Bootyfunk

    jesus - lunatic or lair?

    there is no such thing as god.
    jesus went around telling people he was the son of a non-existent god.
    he was a cult leader, no different than david koresh or any of the others.
    so did he actually believe he was the son of an angry sky-god?
    if he did, he was a lunatic.
    or did he know he was merely human and not divine in any way?
    if he did, he was a liar.
    which one was it - lunatic or liar?

    March 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
    • likklehero

      I say he was a she. If it truly was a virgin birth, then where did the human Y chromosome come from?

      March 17, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • Russ

        @ likklehero: so you believe in the possibility of a spontaneous, virgin birth, but not a spontaneous Y chromosome?

        March 17, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • likklehero

          It is biologically possible for a female to give birth to her "clone".

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis

          Do I believe that a Y chromosome magically appeared in her .... womb? Of course not!

          March 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          another theory is that when Joseph was away, Mary got a visit from the local blacksmith, the one with the brawny arms...
          "Mary, you said you were a virgin and since we haven't had s.ex yet - look at your belly, how are you preggers?"
          "Well, Joseph... God got me pregnant! That's right. God knocked me up and you can't be mad at God, right?"
          "Hmmm.... I guess so."
          *blacksmith quietly climbs out the back window*

          March 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
        • Russ

          @ likklehero: so you are citing something that happens in amphibians & plants – but which has NEVER happened in humans (apart from something *induced* in laboratories with stem cells) – and claiming somehow a spontaneous, unprecedented human occurrence would be normal, but (for you) a spontaneous y chromosome somehow stretches credulity?

          March 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bootyfunk: b/c Joseph was an idiot, right?
          he just went along with it because *nobody* has ever lied when they cheated on someone?

          your argument was stronger when you claimed Joseph was in on it.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • likklehero

          I guess my point is that Jesus could not have been divine and male at the same time. God (only capitalized because it starts the sentence) supposedly created DNA and therefore does not need it him/itself, but he needed at least a tiny bit of it to make impregnate Mary, so in creating it, does that not imply that a "father" of Jesus was created? Where is this "father" of Jesus now? Is it the same place that aborted babies go?

          I really don't want to be confrontational to true believers,but honestly how do you answer questions like this?

          March 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "b/c Joseph was an idiot, right?"
          +++ sounds like a much more likely explanation than a woman was made spontaneously pregnant through divine magic,doesn't it?

          March 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • likklehero

          @Russ

          As far as believing that parthenogenesis is possible in humans, I think that it is extremely unlikely, but there are over 7 billion of us. Do I believe that a Y chromosome can spontaneously come into existence? No, I do not. There are several variations XXY, XYY, X0, ... but they all require other genetic material, and it doesn't spontaneously appear out of nowhere.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bootyfunk:
          you said: "sounds like a much more likely explanation than a woman was made spontaneously pregnant through divine magic,doesn't it?"

          no, my point was that your argument is stronger if Joseph is in on it – not that he was simply that gullible. if you're going to argue this story was something Mary made up (which doesn't even address all that follows with Jesus), the story still is unlikely unless Joseph is in on it.

          and the Bible makes clear that it was Joseph's intention to divorce her quietly (which would have been the most honorable thing he do). in short, he was assuming she had cheated on him... until something dramatic changed his mind.

          March 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • Russ

          @ likklehero:
          so, to sum up: you believe that something absolutely unprecedented in humanity is possible simply because there are 7 billion of us... but you want to rule out other absolutely unprecedented things.

          March 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        good question.
        but it wasn't a virgin birth.
        it's a well-known translation error.
        the word mistakenly translated as "virgin" should have been "young".
        mary was a "young" woman - not a "virgin" woman.
        so jesus was not born of a virgin at all.

        but i still like your theory that jesus was a female...

        March 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bootyfunk:
          1) you seem to be mixing up Isaiah & the NT. the Hebrew for virgin can also mean "young woman" but not the Greek term (which the NT uses).

          2) notably, even the Septuagint (the Greek translation from 200 years BEFORE Christ) uses that same term – so clearly the Hel.lenized Jewish scholars who translated the Septuagint LONG before Jesus believed the word in Isaiah was "virgin" as well.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Akira

          If one is going to claim that Jesus's birth is one of the prophecies fortold in Isaiah, (which many have), one has to accept that the Hebrew translation of "young girl" is the correct one.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          NOT so....using culture as well..a young girl would be implied as a virgin..stop tryring to use the words according to TODAYS usages in the western society

          March 17, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          not mixing anything up.
          you are not accurately representing the original Hebrew of Isaiah 7, the Hebrew word "almah" does not mean "virgin". the original is "young" woman, not "virgin" woman.

          2) notably, even the Septuagint (the Greek translation from 200 years BEFORE Christ) uses that same term – so clearly the Hel.lenized Jewish scholars who translated the Septuagint LONG before Jesus believed the word in Isaiah was "virgin" as well.

          you seem to be unaware of all the information available on the issue. please see this webstie for a full explanation:
          THE SEPTUAGINT AND THE "VIRGIN-BIRTH" FRAUD
          http://www.harrington-sites.com/terms.htm

          it's a well-known mistranslation. you may not want to accept that, but if you look at the issue with an honest eye, you'll know you're wrong.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          "NOT so....using culture as well..a young girl would be implied as a virgin..stop tryring to use the words according to TODAYS usages in the western society"

          c'mon. "young" doesn't mean "virgin". they aren't the same thing. back then, you had to be VERY young to be a virgin, as brides were taken between 10-14 commonly. you're not being logical. mary was so young you think she was automatically a virign? she had a husband. so she was too young to have s.ex but not too young to get married?

          March 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • Akira

          Yes, so. You can't have it all ways, kermit.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Fact is..Mary was a virgin and gave birth to Jesus...thus fllfilling a prophecy told in Isaiah..the writer of Matthew had very clear understanding of Hebrew and OT..thus he is corret in using Isai as prophecy and thus utilizing young woman to imply a virgin as well....have to connect the dots

          March 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • igaftr

          Kermit
          Still having trouble ditinguishing fact from belief.
          "Fact is..Mary was a virgin and gave birth to Jesus..."
          You claim it is fact...prove it.

          Also, she was married. The marriage isn't a marriage unless they consumate the marriage, so she was not a virgin if she was married. That is a misinterpretation of the word. She was young. Not a virgin. As far as fact... as far as I have seen, there is no evidence of her anywhere, so please provide the proof that makes it fact as you proclaim.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Akira

          The fact is that young woman and virgin are two different things and you will cling to your version of the Truth™ Because that is what makes the most sense to you and you are comfortable with it. And that's fine, Kermit. But you zzz CANNOT have it both ways.

          I will, however, continue to ask questions, because that's kinda the way I roll. You didn't give an answer, you stated yet another opinion.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          factis..youcant seem to connect the dots using context

          March 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Bootyfunk: you didn't address the issue of "parthenos" (Greek: "virgin").

          1) you may want to call the NT a "mistranslation" – but it is the CORRECT translation of the Septuagint. the Greek word "parthenos" means virgin in the ancient world.

          2) it was HEBREW scholars who translated the Septuagint – making the argument of the link you posted *anachronistic.* it wants to claim that Hebrew scholars "knew" that couldn't be right with "almah" and yet that is the Greek word they chose to use. your frustration here is not with Christians, but the historical FACT of the Septuagint's translation.

          a) yes, it was changed by Jewish scholars AFTER Christ. but that simply begs the question...

          b) the argument of your link that "almah couldn't mean virgin because virgins don't get pregnant" again is question begging.

          March 17, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
      • likklehero

        I see that some will still argue that Mary was a virgin, but given what we know about DNA, how can anyone argue that a true virgin birth would result in anything but a female baby? Was Mary actually a hermaphrodite? Did she impregnate herself? Is that technically still being a virgin?

        March 17, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          WEEEEELLLL>.If it were a virgin birth.it was most likely a miracle..from God..right? thus GOD is in control of it all..He is not limited to biology

          March 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • likklehero

          I guess you don't see the paradox. If he was male then he had to have a human genetic father – if god created just the DNA of the father, then god wasn't the father, but a god created human male that never got to live. And who were the parents of said father? You could argue that it was King David himself. You might as well say that a stork delivered the baby Jesus to the manger. It's just a good thing they didn't have genetic testing back in the day, or for that matter Jerry Springer.

          March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • jpherling

      He believed what all the Jews of his time believed. That didn't make him a lunatic or a liar.

      March 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
  13. Việt Ngữ Tin Lành

    I assume Rev. James Martin is a clergy. How can he be a clergy if he doesn't believe what the Bible says. I agree with the first 4 points he said, but the 5th point saying that "Jesus didn't want to die" is completely wrong. The New Testament recorded many times the Lord Jesus talked about his own death and about him giving his life to be a ransom (Matthew 12:40, Matthew 17:9, Matthew 17:22,23; Matthew 20:18; Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:1; Mark 8:31; Mark 9:9; mark 9:31; Mark 10:33; mark 10:45; Luke 18:31-33; Luke 24:6-7). Are these verses enough to prove that the Lord Jesus knew all along that he was going to die and to be a ransom for mankind? How can Rev. James Martin say that Jesus didn't want to die? It is true that the Lord Jesus asked the Father to remove the cup, but certainly he was not asking the Father to spare him from death. We human being are so sinful that we don't understand the depth of the suffering of the Lord Jesus. We have to remember that after the Lord Jesus died, he went to Hades (1Peter 3:19-20) before he was raised to life. To be in Hades is to be separated from the Father, that's a kind of spiritual suffering that we sinful men don't comprehend. Maybe the Lord Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, was asking the Father to spare him from Hades.

    March 17, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
    • auntiekale

      Hades? Maybe he just didn't have a gold coin for Charon the Boatman?

      March 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • xyx25

      According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus' parents lived in Nazareth but traveled to Bethlehem for the census of AD 6, and Jesus was born there before the family returned to Nazareth.
      Mic 5:2 2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
      Matt 2:4 And when he [Herod] had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
      5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
      6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

      March 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
    • xyx25

      Jesus didn't fear the physical death. He feared the eternal death. He went through second death for you and me.
      Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
      5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him [God], which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

      March 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
    • xyx25

      Jesus was the God-Man.
      Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
      9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

      and He is "the Word of God". As a man born into this world he has to learn, eat, drink and go through all temptations as we are and yet with out sin and yet with full of God's Wisdom.

      John 1:
      John Chapter 1: The Baptism of Jesus
      The Baptism of Jesus
      John 1
      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      2 The same was in the beginning with God.
      3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      March 17, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    long hair, great tan, six-pack abs, hung out with 12 dudes, never got with a woman...

    pretty sure jesus would be very pro-g.ay marriage.

    March 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
    • rshultz210

      Can you not argue in a logical civilized way? MUST you be uncivilized, irreverent, and insulting? You DO know that professional psychologists consider this a symptom of severe personality disorder don't you?

      March 17, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
  15. willisan

    Reblogged this on turn the corner and commented:
    Very thought provoking!

    March 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
  16. johnnyprc

    First, I am sure Jesus didn't want to have to be in that situation to begin with – so in that case its true to say "Jesus didn't want to die". It is however untrue to state or suggestion Jesus wanted to avoid his destiny. In John's account of the Passover, Jesus is quoted as saying to Judas: "what you are going to do, do it more quickly". The prayer in Gethsemane showed Jesus understood the death he was about to receive (one of torture then death), and he never seriously sought to avoid this death by his own statement concerning God's will to be done.

    March 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
    • magicpanties

      My invisible pink unicorn was best buds with Jesus.
      She says they partied all night with the fallen women; that water into wine thing was such a good party trick.

      March 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
  17. hughwahl

    1 John 2:
    21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

    22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

    23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

    24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

    25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

    26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

    27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

    March 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Don't argue with the words in the bible... because it says those words are true. Some people would call that a self-licking ice cream cone.

      March 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        When I was a 10 year old kid programming in BASIC on a Commodore 64, I constantly used IF THEN statements.
        This is the scientific mindset – if A is true, then B must follow. Scientists then meticulously lay out every step of their logic in getting from A to B so that other scientists can replicate the process and either verify the IF THEN statements validity, or prove it wrong and send the hypothesizer back to the drawing board.

        For example:
        If 1 apple plus 1 apple equals 2 apples, 1 million apples plus 1 millions apples must equal 2 million apples.
        It is not necessary to have a room full of millions of apples and count each one – all that is needed is to follow the chain of logic. 1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 and so on.

        The scientific method allows us to make predictions based on this IF THEN logic.
        IF life evolved in a graduating scale of complexity, THEN we should find fossils arranged in geological strata in a linear way (Ie: the deeper the strata, the simpler the life forms). This prediction turned out to be true.

        Just like in those childhood programs I wrote, IF the logic applied is sound, THEN the program will run continuously and without error. If the chain of logic is faulty, the program will fail.

        The standard Christian chain of logic, translated into BASIC 2.0, is:
        10 PRINT "THE BIBLE IS TRUE BECAUSE..."
        20 GOTO 10

        March 17, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • believerfred

          Your problem is not related to the associative properties of addition but the additional properties of association. Thus you have an error in your root directory. The parable of the seeds makes it clear that the root directory assures proper fruit is produced from the proper trees and in their "kind" none the less.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • believerfred

          The entire Bible is based upon the Word of God and from that flows creation that is evident in the tree of life not the tree of knowledge limited by mans lack of understanding good and evil. If then statement? If you eat of the fruit you will surly die and this is a true statement. You need go no further than the atheists on this site who are locked in the cycle of death.
          Now, if you eat from the tree of life you have life, life eternal in Christ (God) this is also a true statement for those in Christ.
          All of this is very different from a circular argument other than one being a circle of death and the other being an eternal circle of life in Christ.
          You cannot argue lack of proof as the existence of an atheists is marked in death which they gladly admit, while those in Christ died to self before physical death and are already in Christ eternal and this they gladly admit.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • professoreugene

          Thanks for this, Doc. Please forgive me for numbering the stements in your post; it's just for clarity.

          Frankly, Scarlett, I thought this was brilliant, until I reached item 5, which is a logical conclusion to draw for people who do not believe.

          The logic here is virtually flawless. But why do evolutionists not follow the same pattern as you have beautifully explained. Surely the correct way to proceed, using Charles D. as an example, would be to outline a theory as to how life might have originated, through evolution and by way of the "survival of the fittest," which would then be established as a theory, one person's suggestion as to how life came about.

          Now, with the manuscript available to anyone in the scientific community, individual researchers would be able to experiment with his ideas, perform their own tests to see whether or not they could replicate CD's hypothetical results.

          We're about 150 years after CD, and yet we see nothing of this, yet nowadays evolution is taught as fact. Neil DeGrasse Tyson in his TV series "Cosmos" just acknowledged that "Nobody knows how life got started." Why would he say that if research has proven otherwise.

          I believe sincerely that the world's evolutionists need to go back to their laboratories and take another look. Take a billion dollar laboratory for a year or so and make me ONE blade of grass.

          =====

          1. When I was a 10 year old kid programming in BASIC on a Commodore 64, I constantly used IF THEN statements.
          This is the scientific mindset – if A is true, then B must follow. Scientists then meticulously lay out every step of their logic in getting from A to B so that other scientists can replicate the process and either verify the IF THEN statements validity, or prove it wrong and send the hypothesizer back to the drawing board.

          2. For example:
          If 1 apple plus 1 apple equals 2 apples, 1 million apples plus 1 millions apples must equal 2 million apples.
          It is not necessary to have a room full of millions of apples and count each one – all that is needed is to follow the chain of logic. 1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 and so on.

          3. The scientific method allows us to make predictions based on this IF THEN logic.
          IF life evolved in a graduating scale of complexity, THEN we should find fossils arranged in geological strata in a linear way (Ie: the deeper the strata, the simpler the life forms). This prediction turned out to be true.

          4. Just like in those childhood programs I wrote, IF the logic applied is sound, THEN the program will run continuously and without error. If the chain of logic is faulty, the program will fail.

          5. The standard Christian chain of logic, translated into BASIC 2.0, is:
          10 PRINT "THE BIBLE IS TRUE BECAUSE..."
          20 GOTO 10

          March 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Prof
          The theory of evolution is not concerned with abiogenesis.
          The 5 laws of evolution explain how biological life has developed, not it's origin.
          But anyways – there are a number of hypotheses regarding abiogenesis as well as some theories that are gaining ground.
          The seeds of terrestrial life may have come from space.
          Ja.panese scientists sealed up Bacillus subtilis spores and other various organisms in a vacuum chamber and simulated the conditions of space exposure over a period of 250 years. In the end. half the sample survived.
          So maybe the Star Trek "founder" theory is correct!
          J. Craig Venter, the geneticist who decoded the human genome, has been absorbed in the study of virii for a number of years. He has discovered millions of new viruses – but perhaps the most interesting is the Mimi virus which mimics certain bacterial life. Mimivirus is so much more genetically complex than all previously known viruses, not to mention a number of bacteria, that it throwing our whole conception of the branching "tree of life" into disarray.
          It has proven that some viruses have an ancestor that was much more complex than they are now. The Mimi virus is at least as old as the other branches of life, which strongly suggests that viruses were involved very early on in the evolutionary emergence of life.
          It is a kind of "missing link" in the study of life's emergence, demonstrating how nucleated cells first appeared.

          In the mid 20th century, Dr. Sidney Fox synthesized amino acids, the basic building blocks of organic life, from inorganic compounds and thermal energy. What he made have been dubbed "protobionts". Protobionts exhibit some of the properties associated with life, including simple reproduction, metabolism, and excitability, as well as the maintenance of an internal chemical environment different from that of their surroundings.

          Furthermore, there is an absolute dearth of peer reviewed scientific literature pertaining to evolutionary hypotheses and experiments. This is all too often ignored by creationists. For example, when Professor Behe, the originator of "irreducible complexity" apologetics, was confronted with multiple tomes outlining the evolution of the human immune system, he dismissed all the evidence out of hand stating that it wasn't "good enough".

          As we discover more and more about the natural processes involved in the development of biological life, the less feasible the Creator god hyopthesis becomes – most especially the anthropocentric Abrahamic God.

          March 18, 2014 at 8:08 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So the Bible is right because the Bible says it is right.

      "Cult Logic"

      March 17, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
      • believerfred

        The Bible is the Word of God. The Word of God never failed Abraham, Moses, Jesus and right on down to John in Pathos. The Word of God has not failed me since the moment I asked Jesus into my life. I have no reason to believe it is not true. No one, not even you on this site have managed to show me one promise that has not been true. Some are yet to become true yet even the atheist does not know the future.

        March 17, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • ausphor

          Freddie
          And the return of the Messiah is only about 2000 years late, please, prophecies are just what apologists deem they are. To rational people they are simply fantasy. You try and convince people in your belief system, I think you are getting a failing grade.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • believerfred

          You are correct only in that most apologetics account for the return of Christ in 4 basic understandings. The choice of correct understanding does not matter as we are to be ready at any moment for the return. In other words we are to live as if this is our last moment. Christ gave no date certain for his return even though most atheist soundbytes pic up on verses that were part of the transfiguration, Pentecost or indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the 40 days Christ did appear after his resurrection.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
        • ksocreative

          actually christ said he would return before the end of the disciple's generation. derrrrrp.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          what KIND of generation? the word generation has many applications...the generation of believers is STILL applied today....not INDIviDual believers...but a generation of believing people....thus all down through history since time of Christ has been ONE generation...you are trying to use the word as if used by western soceity

          March 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
        • ausphor

          Fredie
          Using your reasoning....In 2001 I told my buddies the the Seattle Seahawks were going to win the super bowl. So when they finally do in 2014 am I supposed to take credit for what I predicted 13 years ago. That is exactly how apologetics works, see I told you it would come to pass, ridiculous.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
        • believerfred

          ksocreative
          "actually christ said he would return before the end of the disciple's generation. derrrrrp."
          => I assume you are speaking about "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." (Matthew 16:28; Mark 9:1; and Luke 9:27). This happened 6 days later at the transfiguration of Jesus when some of the disciples saw the glory of God in Christ and fell on their faces.
          =>I am not aware of any theologians that disagree with this. That verse is out of a scroll where the next line is the transfiguration. They saw him as King in the kingdom in full radiance.

          March 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        • believerfred

          ausphor
          What verse are you referring? In one they had a taste of Seahawks victory which is not the same as being at the last Superbowl
          =>In general a believe does not taste death as the moment he/she accepts Christ they have moved from a position of death to eternal life.

          March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The Bible is the Word of God."

          fred,

          I don't believe you.

          You know how a Christian like I used to be becomes a non-Christian now atheist? By being lied to over and over about "the word of god".

          It starts as a child when the Sunday school teacher says "Jesus said ....." Then you find out it was other people reporting what he said. BUT you are told they were his friends and they wrote it down. Then you find out the people who actually wrote it down didn't know Jesus. BUT you are told these were stories passed down to the people who wrote them down. It is at this point you realize you have been lied to and religious "authorities" are not to be trusted. So keep it up fred...you will create more atheists.

          March 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • ausphor

          Fredie
          I was going to save this for Vic but he seems to be off the grid. So you Christians seem to believe you are vile, disgusting, desp!cable sinners that require repentance and salvation, who am I to argue with that, you probably are. I, on the other hand, obey the laws of the land and require absolutely zero need for a supernatural saviour or to be hustled by some scammer selling me a bill of BS.

          March 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed be the Cheesemaker
          "It starts as a child when the Sunday school teacher says "Jesus said ....." Then you find out it was other people reporting what he said."
          =>You would still be in third grade if every teacher had to stop and clarify the exact source for every statement made by a figure of antiquity. Exactly where should the teacher stop in her footnote to the class? There are 20,000 manuscripts from various authors.

          "you are told they were his friends and they wrote it down."
          =>Not sure of the age level of the child but was Mother Goose a goose were there a gaggle of geese that wrote it etc.

          "Then you find out the people who actually wrote it down didn't know Jesus."
          =>The author of John was the disciple who was his friend. Do you have evidence of another author, I am sure scholars would love to hear from you.

          "BUT you are told these were stories passed down to the people who wrote them down."
          =>who told you this ? I that fact like when the age of the universe was 25 million years old less than 70 years ago?

          "It is at this point you realize you have been lied to and religious "authorities" are not to be trusted."
          =>tell me something new, Jesus himself said do not trust these religious authorities but only Scripture. OR should I say some unknown guy who wanted to get burned on a steak in Nero's front yard made it all up because he likes torture as did anyone who would acknowledge this imaginary Jesus sky fairy and support this made up story because they and their family would gain nothing but risk the same fate. Perhaps they were all suicidal and thought being eaten by a lion was the only way to see a show in the Coliseum ?

          March 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • believerfred

          Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The Bible is the Word of God." fred, I don't believe you.

          =>Well you should not believe me. Your failure of hearing the Word of God is not on my part as it requires that secret decoder ring you threw away I did not take it. You don't believe me and I don't believe your 1st grade teacher took away your decoder ring. Rejecting Christ takes more than a godless google search something else is going on. I cannot get into your life to find out but, if you are truly interested you and God could actually figure it out. Once you really understand why you reject God you will find why God is calling you and not Colin or Lucifers evil twin.

          =>As I said please tell me one thing that Jesus said (through a friend of a friend of a friend who had his writing hand held by unknown co conspirator).

          March 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>You would still be in third grade if every teacher had to stop and clarify the exact source for every statement made by a figure of antiquity. Exactly where should the teacher stop in her footnote to the class? There are 20,000 manuscripts from various authors.

          Maybe instead of indictrinating children with unsubstatiated garbage they should wait until an age that they can understand the claim. But that just wouldn't due. There are 20.000 copies of various authors. They are not individual manuascripts as you are trying to dishonestly portray

          =>Not sure of the age level of the child but was Mother Goose a goose were there a gaggle of geese that wrote it etc.

          Mother Goose is not claimed to be writing of god. It is the :god" claim that makes the Biblical authors an issue. Now if you want to say the writings of the Bible are as significant as Mother Goose as to their origins I will agree with you...but that is not what you are saying.

          =>The author of John was the disciple who was his friend. Do you have evidence of another author, I am sure scholars would love to hear from you.

          From what I have read modern scholars in general do not agree with you.

          "Although ancient traditions attributed to the Apostle John the Fourth Gospel, the Book of Revelation, and the three Epistles of John, modern scholars believe that he wrote none of them." Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible (Palo Alto: Mayfield, 1985) p. 355

          I have a hard time believing a person as educated as yourself was not aware of at least a controversy of your claim regarding "John" ...fred. So that leads me to think you are stating something as "fact" that is not accepted as fact. I find that more than a little dishonest.

          =>who told you this ? I that fact like when the age of the universe was 25 million years old less than 70 years ago?

          Are you disputing that the gospels are generally regarded as oral tradition that were later written down?

          =>tell me something new, Jesus himself said do not trust these religious authorities but only Scripture.

          I have no reason to think Jesus said this for the reasons I have already addresses. Jesus says trust scripture and the scripture says what Jesus said. It is a circular argument. I don't trust scripture...I have to reason to do so.

          "OR should I say some unknown guy who wanted to get burned on a steak in Nero's front yard made it all up because he likes torture as did anyone who would acknowledge this imaginary Jesus sky fairy and support this made up story because they and their family would gain nothing but risk the same fate. Perhaps they were all suicidal and thought being eaten by a lion was the only way to see a show in the Coliseum ?"

          The world is full of people willing to risk their lives for things they may themselves believe...but turn out to be false beliefs. That is a horrible "apologist" argument.

          March 17, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          =>Well you should not believe me. Your failure of hearing the Word of God is not on my part as it requires that secret decoder ring you threw away I did not take it.

          ^^Cult Logic^^

          "You don't believe me and I don't believe your 1st grade teacher took away your decoder ring. Rejecting Christ takes more than a godless google search something else is going on."

          "Beliefs" are not "choices"....one is either convinced or is not convinced. Only cults want to propose the idea of "beliefs" being a choice.

          =>As I said please tell me one thing that Jesus said (through a friend of a friend of a friend who had his writing hand held by unknown co conspirator).

          Please tell me on thing Jesus said...that was written down and reported by by the person who heard him say it.

          March 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
  18. obiekanobie

    I've got the only five facts you need to know about Jesus.

    1. He didn't exist.
    2. He didn't exist.
    3. He didn't exist.
    4. He didn't exist.
    5. He didn't exist.

    March 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • rshultz210

      You are on the fringe of even the heathens. Even most atheists don't claim that Jesus didn't exist. You're completely out in left field. You DO know don't you that the VAST majority of world scholars accept the existence of Jesus as proven historical fact? I think your need to argue that He did not exist is because you have no life to speak of, and a giant inferiority complex. You should at least pick something to argue about that you stand SOME chance of proving. I can think of at least ONE Roman historian who cites Roman GOVERNMENT RECORDS that mention Jesus as having been crucified by Pontius Pilatus. Why would he be mentioned in ROMAN RECORDS if he did not exist? There are MANY more instances of other ancient historians mentioning Jesus and referring to him as being executed by the Romans, so there can be no doubt of them specifically referring to Jesus of Nazareth. You can't prove He did not exist and it's hopeless to even try.

      March 17, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        LET's Religiosity Law #1 – “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

        March 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        Most historians accept that he probably existed, but there isn't much evidence and absolutely none that he was the son a god.

        March 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I'm sure he meant theology scholars... which is the same thing as saying 'no one credible'

          March 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • nojinx

          Actually, most historians believe he did not exist. The total lack of historical record of his existence is often pointed to.

          March 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        #6 thing to know about Jesus – He does a pretty good job with keeping the rose bushes in the front of my house trimmed, but not so good of a job when it comes to edging my driveway....

        March 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • divergenceofd

        There is NO recorded credible evidence that a "Jesus" existed. He is a fictional literary character. You should do some research, there is NO historical Roman record of a Jesus from the time that the myth is set it. There is no recorded historical record that substantiates any of the claims at the times of the Jesus myth, there is not even credible geographic records that conform to your Jesus mythology. Using the level of proof that is excepted by Jesus myth followers would substantiate the existence of Zeus.

        March 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • rshultz210

          WRONG! There IS recorded evidence from the "Annals" of Tacitus. He plainly states that Jesus, leader of the Christians, was executed by Pontius Pilatus. This plainly refers to Jesus of Nazareth and pins down the time of his death.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          A quick search on Tacitus reveals that he was born approx 56AD, so had no first hand historical knowledge of Jesus' supposed existence... There are several more disputes as to Tacitus' credibility in regards to the Jesus myth.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • nojinx

        Not only do most atheists, but most Biblical scholars and many Christians themselves do not believe in a historical Jesus, just a mythical one of allegory. The search for evidence of the historical Jesus has been going on for nearly 1,600 years, maybe more, with no results yet supporting his existence.

        Feel free to offer some if you have any.

        March 17, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  19. scottsinnock

    Jesus also, it seems to me, said forget about good and evil, God's kingdom is not divided. Judge not therefore, neither good nor evil.

    March 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      how can you possibly speak about "what jesus said"?!?!

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

      Seriously?! Claiming that jesus said certain phrases is utter mind numbing nonsense!

      March 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Wow... You really haven't studied textual criticism at all have you?

        March 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • doobzz

          Are you going to provide evidence that he's wrong or are you just going to act superior?

          March 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Doobzz,
          Any cursory understanding of textual criticism proves that he's wrong. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that Dyslexic Dog KNOWS he's wrong on what he said. Those kinds of malicious comments come from people who read Dan Brown and think that it's true.

          If you really want to know the truth, stay out of atheist's websites and do the reading for yourself. For me to type the entire story of the birth of the KJV would take too long. Suffice it to say, start with Erasmus and go from there.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          Theo uses the same tired 'textual criticism' argument whenever he can't dispute what you say... I doubt he even knows what 'textual criticism' is. or that it is a debunked process that primarily only apologists use: "Since the canons of criticism are highly susceptible to interpretation, and at times even contradict each other, they may be employed to justify a result that fits the textual critic's aesthetic or theological agenda."

          March 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Evil Twin,
          I've got about 10 typed pages of notes that deal with the canon of scripture, how we got the Bible, including the Geneva Bible, the Tyndale Bible, the KJV, and others, as well as who and when the OT was compiled... Do you REALLY want to play this game?

          March 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          I actually don't really care... but you seem to believe that your usage of the term makes you more enlightened then everyone else and you use it as a tool for condescension... which is ridiculous, since the bible is pure fabrication in the first place.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "you seem to believe that your usage of the term makes you more enlightened then everyone else and you use it as a tool for condescension..."
          ----------
          No, I am using the term in its proper sense. It is a scientific field of study that systemmatically examines manuscripts to determine authenticity. One cannot simply look at something they disagree with and immediately dismiss it as obscene – it requires internal and external evidences to determine validity. There are rules for doing this, and it is not a study to take lightly. When someone seems to, they need to be informed of the importance of getting it right and not treating it flippantly.

          "...since the bible is pure fabrication in the first place."
          ---------
          Anyone who makes a statement like this has clearly not read, nor have they studied. You have no evidence to prove the manuscripts that we have available to us are flase. If you think you do, lay out your case.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Akira

          LET:
          Shades of Live4, I'm telling ya. Someone's got a Doppelgänger.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
        • igaftr

          "It is a scientific field of study "

          FALSE. It is a technique. Not scientific at all. You simply re-interpret what has already been interpretted and identify the things YOU think are errors in OTHERS translations. It is NOT science in the slightest.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Theo. We don't have the original texts. The texts that we do have show transcription and translation errors as the text was copied and translated by hand over the centuries. That is why there have been several attempts at "standard" bibles. The text that we have has hundreds of inconsistencies and includes incorrect or unverifiable information. The important stuff like the creation story is proven incorrect. In the same way that Joseph Smith manufactured a text, early christians did the same – the only difference is that there are more people willing to accept that Smith was a charlatan.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course the details of understanding the language for these stories doesn't do much for verifying events as described when the evidence is lacking. Outside of some hearsay historians what is there? People don't agree on writings attributed to Peter, so that's pretty wobbly. Of course people point to Paul's inside man Luke, but that would be like Joseph Smith's claims based on his family and close friends as "witnesses". Oh maybe the names and writings of the alleged "500"? What you say, no names or writings attributed to them – oh well that's not going to help.....

          Maybe Justin Maryr could help – he's one of those early apologists.. He and several other of his contemporaries certainly quelled those notions about the gospels appearing like other stories. Yep – they had the perfect answer to that saying that Satan had performed plagiarism backward in time.... LOL

          March 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "We don't have the original texts."
          -------
          I know, and thank God we don't. People make idols of supposed religious relics as it is. Who knows what kind of blasphemies would be made if we had the original manuscripts.

          "The texts that we do have show transcription and translation errors as the text was copied and translated by hand over the centuries."
          ----------
          It is important to remember that the few verses in question (scribal additions – about 20 sentences in all of the Bible) are of minor significance. None of them change in any way the crucial themes of the Bible, nor do they have any impact on the Bible’s doctrines—Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, Christ as the only the way of salvation, heaven and hell, sin and redemption, and the nature and character of God.

          "The text that we have has hundreds of inconsistencies and includes incorrect or unverifiable information."
          ---------–
          The inconsistencies you refer to are phrases like "Jesus Christ" verses "Jesus the Christ." As to incorrect information, that's just wrong. What specifics are you referring to?

          "The important stuff like the creation story is proven incorrect."
          ------------
          Not true at all. Both theists and anti-theists all have the same data – the same rocks, the same stars, the same fossils – the difference is in how that data is interpreted, and whether you are a secular humanist scientist, or a creation scientist, EVERYONE works from a paradigm, and your belief about the origins of the universe dictate your paradigm. Ergo, since there IS NO PROOF one way or the other as to HOW to describe the origins of the universe, whatever your opinion, it must be taken on faith.

          "In the same way that Joseph Smith manufactured a text, early christians did the same"
          ---------
          Really? Which of the canon was a manufactured text?

          March 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • otoh2

          Theo,
          ""We don't have the original texts."
          ---
          I know, and thank God we don't. People make idols of supposed religious relics as it is. Who knows what kind of blasphemies would be made if we had the original manuscripts."

          - What a slippery, sleazy rationalization! (Supposedly why no grave for Moses too, and no Ark of the Covenant). I hope you have seat belts on your chair there - to keep you from sliding right out of it onto the floor!

          March 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo, not only authorship is still debated, but how many and when. And then, as I noted above, the lack of decent evidence surrounding the key stories. Of course if you instill fear in people, it makes it much easier to get them to sign on....

          March 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "FALSE. It is a technique. Not scientific at all. You simply re-interpret what has already been interpretted and identify the things YOU think are errors in OTHERS translations. It is NOT science in the slightest."
          -----------
          It is a science. It is a branch of study dealing with a body of facts, systemmatically arranged, and uses the operation of general laws that govern its study. The science of textual criticism shows us that the Bible is the most historically accurate and authentic book in all of antiquity based on the manuscripts that we have, the date of the writing of those manuscripts, and the sheer number of those manuscripts.

          To compare with Homer’s Iliad for example, it was supposed to have been written somewhere between 850-710 BC, and we only have about 500 copies of the earliest of the manuscripts for this story, and they were written some 600 years after it was originally penned.

          With Demosthenes, there was a 1,400 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 200 copies that exist.

          With Tacitus, there was a 1,000 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 20 copies that exist.

          Docu.ments concerning Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars were written in the first century BC, but the earliest copy of those docu.ments that we have is dated from 900 AD – that’s a 1,000 year span, and there are only 10 copies of that doc.ument.

          With Herodotus, there was a 1,400 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 8 copies that exist.

          Plato lived between 427-347 BC, and although we don’t know precisely when in that time his “Tetralogies” were written (and modern scholarship doubts the authenticity of at least some of these), the earliest copies that we have are from 900 AD – that’s a 1,200 year time span, and there are only 7 copies that exist.

          With Pliny, there was a 750 year gap between when the original was supposedly penned and the earliest surviving copy that we have, and there are only 7 copies that exist.

          Aristotle’s “Poetics” was written in the fourth century BC. The earliest textual evidence we have was copied 1,400 years after the original, and there are only 5 manuscripts in existence.

          The New Testament was written between 40-100 AD, and the earliest copies that we have are from as early as 100-125 AD – that’s a span of just 25 years. It has more than 5,800 Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts, and 9,300 manuscripts written in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic, and Armenian.

          There are many more writings of the Church Fathers quoting sections of Scripture; we could actually reconstruct the entire New Testament from their writings alone. There were millions of man-hours spent in cross-checking the manuscripts, and today, there remains only 1 percent of all New Testament words about which translation questions still exist; but of those, no questionable passage contradicts any Bible teaching.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Theo, The trouble is there is so much interconnected evidence showing how flimsy the case is for a god that it is impossible to cover it all in these posts.
          Some inconsistencies are probably insignificant as are some transcription errors but there are major problems with both – the one that comes to mind is the difference between the gospel accounts of when Jesus challenged the money changers.

          As to the origin of the universe – we don't know what, if anything, was pre-Big Bang but we do know that the creation myths of all religions are refuted by our knowledge – so no religion describes the origin of the universe accurately and therefore no personal god as described in those religious texts was involved. No reason to believe that such creatures exist.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Doris

          "There are many more writings of the Church Fathers quoting sections of Scripture; ............... snore....."

          Yes we hear these grandiose claims all the time. But what does it add to the evidence? What does it say any more about the "500"? If scholars still disagree on Peter's authorship, so what? With the criticism that Christianity has faced over the millennia, don't you think we would hear more frequently and more specifically how Paul's claims could be corroborated with specific writings? Or are said writings merely hearsay – echoes of what someone else wrote? I say bring it on – put 'em out here.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The existence of God is proven in many ways by using logic and reason. One of the ways is by taking the Law of Causality and applying that to the Argument from Contingency. We've been through all of this before, but you would rather put faith into illogical explanations of the origins of the universe such as the universe existing before it existed in order to create itself out of nothing – for that is what you are forced into if you believe that our physical universe was created by some physical process. Only the supernatural can explain the existence of the natural. Period.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • igaftr

          The law of causality is a false argument, because you would then need a cause for god. It is an invalid argument, no matter how many times you try to hash it through. Try again.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, your posts are so illogical, I feel the need to chime in. One of your most egregious errors is the following statement:

          "..since there IS NO PROOF one way or the other as to HOW to describe the origins of the universe, whatever your opinion, it must be taken on faith."

          First, admitting that we don't know the answer to a question has nothing to do with faith. Faith is defined as believing in something for which there is no evidence. By that definition, I have no faith in anything. I think believing things based on faith is very, very stupid.

          Second, we absolutely do have proof that the bible's creationism story is untrue. We know the earth is billions of years old, not thousands. We can directly observe the evidence resulting from the evolution of species – we know they weren't created as is, as described in the bible.

          It would be so much easier for you to understand reality if you wouldn't waste your time trying to jump through hoops using some pseudo-science (to put it nicely) to convince yourself of things that are blatently false.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "The existence of God is proven in many ways by using logic and reason" LOL... well this conversation is over then... you have proven yourself to be a one-trick pony idiot... so no further discussion with you is necessary.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • Doris

          Theo translator: [essentially] "what we know is natural; anything outside of what we know must be spooky"

          March 17, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • SeaVik

          "The existence of God is proven in many ways by using logic and reason. One of the ways is by taking the Law of Causality and applying that to the Argument from Contingency."

          Pretty convenient that you ignore the obvious fact that using the same logic that you've used to conclude there must be a creator, we can also conclude that said creator also required a creator and so. It is so easy to point out the flaws in your logic...the thing that keeps me entertained is that I find it so interesting that you can't see how ridiculous the things you write are. Surely, you'll wake up at some point.

          March 17, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Doris

          Also, Theo –this might help regarding "a beginning" verus "the beginning". Something I had posted just the other day.

          The BGV Theorem is saying is not "the universe had a beginning", but that inflationary models cannot go infinitely into the past, and require physics other than inflationary models to describe the boundary condition. This paper is a direct response to physicists who attempt to use inflationary models to describe an eternal universe. In case that's not completely clear, the authors elaborate in the paper itself:

          "What can lie beyond this boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event. The boundary is then a closed spacelike hypersurface which can be determined from the appropriate instanton.

          Whatever the possibilities for the boundary, it is clear that unless the averaged expansion condition can somehow be avoided for all past-directed geodesics, inflation alone is not sufficient to provide a complete description of the Universe, and some new physics is necessary in order to determine the correct conditions at the boundary. This is the chief result of our paper. "

          How has Craig made the leap from "inflation alone is not sufficient to provide a complete description of the universe" to suggesting that the BGV Theorem has proved "the universe began to exist"? Even Borde, Guth and Vilenkin clearly suggest that a "beginning" is merely one possibility that might correspond to the boundary condition.

          In Many Worlds in One, Vilenkin talks a bit about a quantum tunneling model that constitutes these "new physics". He compares and contrasts his approach with that of Stephen Hawking, known as the Hartle-Hawking No Boundary Proposal. There are many other options, and I believe Sean Carroll makes a valid point by stating:

          [" The definition of “singularity in the past” is not really the same as “had a beginning” — it means that some geodesics must eventually come to an end. (Others might not.) Most importantly, I don’t think that any result dealing with classical spacetimes can teach us anything definitive about the beginning of the universe. The moment of the Big Bang is, if anything is, a place where quantum gravity is supremely important. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin results are simply not about quantum gravity. "]

          March 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • igaftr

          theo
          Just checked 10 different sources for textual criticism. None of them are ignorant enough to call it science.
          It is a method, a technique, a field of study, but NOT science.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
      • rpc0609

        The reason that the bible is the word of God, is that the Old Testament, written for the nation of Israel, pointed to Christ. All throughout the Psalms, you can see Christ revealed. The New Testament writers and apostles, quoted from the Old Testament. In fact, Jesus even stated that my own people would not accept me. Christ fulfilled 300 prophecies, proving that he was the messiah. My question to you is the following, "an all-knowing, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresence God wants to reveal himself to mankind." What better way than the word of God. Your notion about original texts, etc., if you read the bible and understand it, that is where the proof is. You realize no man could have written this! I hope you find the truth someday and am praying for you!

        March 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          "You realize no man could have written this" Only if you are Christian. Everyone else is not that gullible.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
        • otoh2

          rpc,
          "The New Testament writers and apostles, quoted from the Old Testament."
          - No duh! So they read it and knew it well. So? How simple to incorporate those things into their writings about their hero...

          ------------------------------

          "Christ fulfilled 300 prophecies, proving that he was the messiah."
          - Nope. See above ^. Plus, Jesus does not even fit all of the requirements for the Hebrew Messiah.

          -------------------------------------

          "My question to you is the following, "an all-knowing, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresence God wants to reveal himself to mankind." What better way than the word of God."
          - I can easily think of many better ways to solidly get a message of fact across. This ambiguous, mistranslated, misinterpreted, misunderstood and unverified message is the best that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent "God" can do?!

          -------------------------------

          "Your notion about original texts, etc., if you read the bible and understand it, that is where the proof is. You realize no man could have written this!"
          - That's exactly what the Muslim's say about their book; and the Mormons say it about their book too (and we even have the originals of that one).

          March 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          According to some other guys account 20 years after the events supposedly took place "Christ fulfilled 300 prophecies, proving that he was the messiah."

          Also, Joseph Smith fulfilled prophecy and wrote new prophecy that came true, at least according to him...

          So why is it you believe them again? Or do you just believe one but not the other? If so, why?

          March 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
  20. seattlejew

    Reblogged this on The Ave.

    March 17, 2014 at 1:20 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.