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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. jaareshiah

    Obviously, Mr James Martin has not done his "homework" with regard to Jesus Christ ' knowing all things'. Jesus told the Jews: "What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him who sent me.....I know him, because I am a representative from him, and that One sent me" and that "after you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me, I speak these things."(John 7:16, 29; 8:28) Jesus clearly acknowledged that he was taught by the Father, Jehovah God.

    And the apostle Paul, quoting from Isaiah 40:13, writes to the Corinthians: "For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ."(1 Cor 2:16) Jehovah, the Supreme Designer who has absolute knowledge, is shown as the One teaching Jesus, his "only-begotten Son."(John 3:16)

    And though Jesus told his apostles: "Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Sa·mar′i·tan city; but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt 10:5, 6), he felt pity for the Phoenician woman whose daughter was "cruelly demon possessed", telling her "O woman, great is your faith; let it happen to you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour on."(Matt 15:22, 28)

    March 16, 2014 at 4:56 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Obviously quoting scripture does nothing to verify your jesus or any of the stories about him.

      March 16, 2014 at 5:02 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Mexican standoff with Bibles...

        March 16, 2014 at 11:33 am |
  2. championsleaguer

    The LORD is great!

    March 16, 2014 at 2:46 am |
    • kudlak

      She's a good singer, but I'm not sure that she's great. 😉

      March 16, 2014 at 2:58 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Imaginary yes, great not so much but you'd comprehend that if you actually read the book instead of picking and choosing from it.

      March 16, 2014 at 4:44 am |
      • ryanrichards2424

        I'm guessing you didn't know about respect either, right? If you dislike Christianity, then what the point spending your time on it where you can pick up your balls and move with your life?

        March 16, 2014 at 5:27 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          This is a belief blog, not a christian blog. Christianity wouldn't be an issue if it was not portrayed as being the only true one and given that you missed the point, it bares repeating-it is used to try to dictate rights and until that stops it merits every bit of disrespect it gets.
          I'm sorry you fail to comprehend the reality of it or what freedom of speech is.
          This is the 21st century, time to grow up and leave your imaginary friends in the past wee-one or you too will get left behind.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:32 am |
        • ryanrichards2424

          I'm looking for my comment to where I said "this is a Christian blog" but I can't find where I typed that.. Also, there no such thing as "freedom of speech" so I don't know why you brought that crap up.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:35 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No such thing as freedom of speech? Are you living in Russia or a muslim country, cause otherwise you're delusional to make such an inept comment. Time to join the 21st century child!

          March 16, 2014 at 5:39 am |
        • ryanrichards2424

          LOL, you're funny.. you're funny than our president..

          March 16, 2014 at 5:41 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Better than your ignorant comment that there is no such thing as freedom of speech. 🙂 Did your Mommy tell you that you don't have freedom of speech or perhaps it was Daddy aka GrandDaddy? Grow up and keep your ridiculous belief system out of the public.
          The president is 100 x's more a man than you could wish to be...I know that must hurt your poor delusional mind but at least he's not denying freedom of speech or saying that the christian belief system is where it is at.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:45 am |
        • islamistheanswer

          @TruthPrevails1: As a Muslim, it is unfortunate to see that Muslim countries have the reputation of oppressing people and restraining their freedom of speech. It is unfortunate but it is a bitter reality. Thankfully though, none of those regimes represent Islam in anyway. You would say Saudi Arabia, I would tell you that the government there is the biggest scam in the history of Islam. The royal family there does all that is unIslamic for the same of protecting their place in ruling the country. For the record. when judging Islam, I wouldn't use Saudi Arabia as an example because in Saudia Arabia, people are oppressed, not free to speak their minds and can't object to any flaws in governance (all unislamic by the way).

          March 16, 2014 at 8:53 am |
        • observer

          ryanrichards2424,

          "you're funny than our president.. :"

          Wow. Obviously, you didn't graduate with honors from Harvard.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:55 am |
        • ryanrichards2424

          Oh, was I suppose to graduated from Harvard? Sorry, to spoil your luck.

          March 16, 2014 at 6:32 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "you didn't graduate with honors from Harvard"

          I doubt this one made it out of grade school...such an ignorant little troll he is.

          March 16, 2014 at 6:11 am |
        • ryanrichards2424

          Ah, you're using the troll tricks.. how original.

          March 16, 2014 at 6:30 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Ah and you're using denial of reality! Such a hypocrite!!

          March 16, 2014 at 6:35 am |
    • sam stone

      The lord is great?

      Go meet "him"

      Do you have tall buildings were you live?

      March 16, 2014 at 7:24 am |
      • championsleaguer

        If you are encouraging someone to commit suicide, then perhaps you should look at your own values. This comment board is full of hatred – and dominated by those opposing belief in the LORD! How fitting.

        March 16, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • myweightinwords

          The hatred and vitriol comes from both sides pretty equally, from what I've seen.

          March 16, 2014 at 11:52 am |
  3. nextvic

    I'm surprised the fact that he didn't answer to the name Jesus didn't make the list. Most people actually believe Jesus was his name or that it is an appropriate translation of his name.

    March 16, 2014 at 2:13 am |
  4. feritq

    doesn't the jesus pic in the 3rd tab look like what that lady scribbled on a painting in a church in spain?

    March 16, 2014 at 2:12 am |
  5. feritq

    that guy playing jesus looks italian. jesus was palestinian though.

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

    Name another Abrahamic religion that claims to be peaceful but is really misogynistic and often violent towards those who do not share their belief.

    islamistheanswer

    March 16, 2014 at 1:15 am |
    • islamistheanswer

      Christianity and Judaism of course. In their original form 🙂 man manipulated scripture is of course not representative of those religions!

      March 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  7. freefromtheism

    Well, here's one thing that many don't know:
    Jesus did not have superpowers.
    You're welcome

    March 16, 2014 at 12:50 am |
    • championsleaguer

      That is too bad you don't believe. Especially since you were not there as a witness to which you testify!

      March 16, 2014 at 2:15 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Nor were you. Although we can definitely show that much of the bible is one vicious lie after the next, written to fool gullible fools out of their money and make people do vicious things; written to make a working brain stop functioning and looking for answers based on actual evidence.

        March 16, 2014 at 5:08 am |
        • championsleaguer

          Actual evidence? Do you need miracles before your eyes to believe? How easy is that! But, since you need proof, prove to me that there are lies! Why do you bring up money?

          March 16, 2014 at 11:16 am |
  8. provguard

    My only question is if Jesus was a ransom, who was the ransom paid to???

    March 15, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
    • hotairace

      Huh??

      March 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm |
      • islamistheanswer

        And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. (116) I said not to them except what You commanded me – to worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me up, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness. (117) If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (118) Allah will say, "This is the Day when the truthful will benefit from their truthfulness." For them are gardens [in Paradise] beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them, and they with Him. That is the great attainment. (119) To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent. (120)

        Quran Chapter 5

        And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. (46) And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient. (47) And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ. (48) And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away – then know that Allah only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] sins. And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient. (49) Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allah in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith]. (50)

        Quran Chapter 5

        March 15, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • hotairace

          The question must be "What cult is so delusional they continue to routinely murder non-believers in the 21st century?"

          March 15, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          The answer comes from the Quran. Islam and the Quran doesn't approve of killing at all. As a matter of fact, it reaffirms the ruling that Jews have in the Torah as shown in the verse below.

          Chapter 109 "The Disbelievers"

          Say, "O disbelievers, (1) I do not worship what you worship. (2) Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. (3) Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. (4) Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. (5) For you is your religion, and for me is my religion." (6)

          Also, chapter 9 of the quran in regard to rulling of killing anyone.

          Because of that (murder of Adam's son by the other son), We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors. (32)

          March 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

          http://youtu.be/gVKUKb3jd0E

          March 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • hotairace

          Too bad many of your fellow cult members don't agree with you and continue to behave like barbarians.

          March 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Not sure what you consider "many". As far as I know, the extremely few "muslims" who decide to act violently against humanity in no way represent the faith nor does it imply that the teaching of Islam instigate such behavior. It is impractical to think as such given that Muslims account to 1.8Billion across the planet.

          As a matter of fact, do you view Christianity as a violent religion? I don't. I actually cherish the loving and peaceful messages that emanate from Christianity. However, if I were to judge Christianity based on what the crusaders did in the name of the religion, I would have classified it as a violent religion.

          March 16, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • islamistheanswer

          Enlightening – Clears Misconceptions as the one raised by you.

          http://youtu.be/Ad1XQL7zAqI

          March 16, 2014 at 12:12 am |
        • tacitustalks

          1. Do you approve of the fatwas where 9 year old girls can marry?
          2. If I wanted to start a Christian Church in Saudi Arabia – and told them the Mohammed is a false Prophet and allah whom you worship is a devil and Muslims convert to Christianity-–

          WOULD THEY BE KILLED?
          Would you approve of them being killed?
          And if the answer to both of those questions is NO, then why has the SAUDI government executed Saudis for converting to Christianity?

          That does not sound like a religion of peace.

          Why is it if the Prophet Mohammed is insulted, Muslims kill. Is Allah and Mohammed so anemic where they can't DEFEND THEMSELVES, but are so weak they command MUSLIMS to KILL FOR THEM?

          The deaths at Benghazi were over a video – and Muslims said WE WILL KILL IF MOHAMMED IS INSULTED. Is that a religion of peace?

          March 16, 2014 at 4:50 am |
      • freefromtheism

        @islamistheanswer
        the real question is why should anyone even care about Islam, Christianity or any religion for that matter?
        Either way, perhaps you could clarify something for me.
        47:4 (sorry, i don't know how to properly cite the Quran) says:
        "So when you meet those who disbelieve [in battle], strike [their] necks until, when you have inflicted slaughter upon them, then secure their bonds, and either [confer] favor afterwards or ransom [them] until the war lays down its burdens. That [is the command]. And if Allah had willed, He could have taken vengeance upon them [Himself], but [He ordered armed struggle] to test some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the cause of Allah – never will He waste their deeds."
        How can one argue that Islam, then, is the religion of peace?

        March 16, 2014 at 1:14 am |
        • islamistheanswer

          @freefromtheism: Thank you for the opportunity to clarify. I have posted a video about Islam is a religion of peace and I urge you and other to see it for more clarification but to address your concern, we should be very careful when quoting and interpreting verses from the Quran or any book for that matter. When I say careful I mean by that to always look at the context in which that verse was revealed and what is meant by that! (sounds like common sense to me, don't you think?).

          The verse you quoted was revealed during the battle of Auhud (second battle the Muslims had with the disbelievers at the time (tribes in Mecca and Arabia) in which Muslims suffered HUGE loses due to some who didn't comply with the commands of the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him and All the Prophets before Him). As these loses widened during that battle , this verse was revealed to lay out the foundation of how the fighters should behave in battle field (As some of them when they say the loses retreated and gave their backs to the battle). Bear in mind that Muslims at the time were very FEW in number compared to the enemy they were fighting.

          With that in mind, one can't just read this verse and extrapolate from there that Islam instigates violence and is not a peaceful religion. The aforementioned battle and the other battles by the way were imposed on the Muslims at the time (they were always attacked and had to face off with the enemy). When the Muslims increased in number and were very strong, they went back to Mecca (the prophet's original hometown) and they opened it without a single drop of blood. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him and all the Prophets) forgave those who tortured Muslims and those who inflicted all the pain and harm to Muslims through the infancy of Islam (that is how peaceful Islam is!).

          So to summarize, I urge to look further more than just the apparent translation of the meaning of the verse (I know it is hard for a non Muslim, but after this post I hope that it becomes apparent to you and others that there is always a context in which a verse was revealed and its applicability is tied to that context – Those who read those verses out of context are only WRONGING themselves!)

          http://youtu.be/gVKUKb3jd0E

          March 16, 2014 at 8:33 am |
    • dikelmm1

      Excellent question!

      March 16, 2014 at 2:38 am |
  9. hearthetruthonline2014

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    http://HearTheTruth.imgur.com

    March 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm |
    • observer

      This website is NOT for advertising other sites.

      IF you can find anything worthwhile to say, then do it. If you can't put things in your own words, give up.

      March 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
      • hotairace

        There's actually some excellent humour there, although it is laced with delusional thinking.

        March 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
  10. hotairace

    5 Things We Don't *Know* About Some Desert Dweller Called Jesus In The Babble

    – if he actually existed

    – if he was divine

    – if he was the son of the alleged god of The Babble

    – if he was born of a virgin

    – if he married and had children

    March 15, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
    • roberthadams

      Clever post, but as I posted below, I don't think there's really much doubt that Jesus existed. I'm not looking for an online argument, but I think if you look into Flavius Josephus and are a rational person, the argument that we don't know if Jesus even existed is a pretty weak one.

      March 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
      • Akira

        Josephus also wrote about Hercules, so I guess we can safely assume he's real, too.

        March 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • dave32264

          Huh? You do know that the authors of the bible wrote in Greek, right? Translations! one language is not the same as another. If I say to you "Hello" in Spanish, it's "Hola"

          March 15, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • Akira

          Do you know who I am talking about? Josephus. Who wasn't one of the authors of the Gospels.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • dave32264

          No Josephus didn't write any of the gospels. He was an historian.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • Akira

          I know, Dave. That's why I said "Josephus also wrote about Hercules, so we may safely assume he was real." Which is why your 9:28 post to me makes zero sense.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
        • hotairace

          Josephus wrote stuff. Not all of it is accepted as being accurate. Perhaps he wrote history and fiction, and intertwined both to add authenticity to his fiction. We're not looking for more stories. We're wondering where the real evidence is.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Josephus' Testimonium is regarded as a forgery. It is not mentioned until the 4th century.

          March 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • ri0088

          Josephus also wasn't born during the time of alleged jesus was alive. He simply repeats stories he's heard. The same of which he did with Hercules. Which is no different than what people do today regarding this story.

          March 15, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          Josephus was patroned by Vespasian, whom he saw as the true Jewish messiah, weirdly enough. He wasn't anywhere near an objective historian. He mentions several people named "Jesus" in his writings. He absolutely hated Herod, but somehow didn't notice the slaughter of all the babies that he's supposedly ordered. Pretty much every professional historian agrees that the paragraph in his works that seems to call Jesus the Christ was at least edited to read that way by later people, and may be a complete forgery.

          March 16, 2014 at 2:23 am |
      • hotairace

        Have you read http://ffrf.org/component/k2/item/18412-debunking-the-historical-jesus or any of the other critiques of your truth sayer?

        March 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • dave32264

          My truth sayer? LOL I'm agnostic, Dude. The fact that Jesus was referenced in other texts outside of the bible and the fact that we have the high priest "Ciaphus" ossuary among other things, shows his probable existance. I make no claims whatsoever about his supposed omnipresence. Might want to read or listen to someone who actually has credentials on the matter like Bart Ehrman.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • Akira

          Dave, are you also Robert Adams? Because that's who we are replying to.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Josephus' references are totally dubious.
        1 is clearly an interpolated forgery, the second one in Chapter 20 can be interpreted most anyway. The REASON he wrote the book they appear in is to prove his sugar-daddy (the Roman Emperor Vespasin) was the actual messiah.
        Real credible.
        Not.

        March 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • bringbackche

      Actually, almost all historians of first century Palestine agree that Jesus did exist.

      Nazareth is still pretty backwater (been there, trust me)

      Jesus was no more divine than the rest of us, but that makes his whole rabble rousing thing even more important. He took it to the man and paid for it.

      He wasn't born of a virgin, in fact I think it's safe to say no one is.

      If he were alive today Jesus would tell people to stick all of the miracles, and the rising from the dead and son of god stuff into their back pockets and focus on what he told was truly important: love God, and love each other as ourselves. The rest is all hooey.

      All of the biblical embellishments aside, what Jesus did, as a human who saw injustice in the world, is far greater than anything done by anyone claiming to be "holy".

      March 15, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
      • wordsoftruth99

        Since you seem to believe that Jesus was real, why would you say 'if He lived today?' He did live and he did not say those things you think he would say today. In fact, His message was exactly what you say it wouldn't be today. He had His chance to say what He wanted and he did. It is more probable that you mean you wished he said these other things.

        As far as him being a humanitarian, Jesus did not do anything just for humanity, He did all things for God and His glory. Jesus was very clear about that. He was also clear in saying that he is the Son of God. As C.S. Lewis said, you either have to believe that Jesus was who He said he was (Son of God) or that he is a liar. There is no way he was simply a 'humanitarian.'

        It might be nice to change Jesus into something we are comfortable with, but the truth is you either believe or you don't, there is no middle ground.

        March 15, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "As C.S. Lewis said, you either have to believe that Jesus was who He said he was (Son of God) or that he is a liar."

          That is a false dicotomy...or more accurately "tricotomy".

          Legend

          March 15, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • wordsoftruth99

          I disagree. If someone makes a claim they are either telling the truth or they are not telling the truth. Jesus made a claim. If you believe it you think one way. If you do not believe it you think another way. It is not a trick or a word game.

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

          He could have also read his scriptures, seen himself reflected there, and been honestly mistaken by self-delusion.

          His mother could have indoctrinated him into believing all that stuff too, and there could be other possibilities.

          March 16, 2014 at 2:30 am |
        • kudlak

          wordsoftruth99
          CS Lewis also argued that the story of Jesus was also myth, only that it was "myth that also happened to be true"?!? The rest if Lewis' apologetics is mostly word salad that sounds real impressive, but makes very little actual sense. You might want to find a better apologist.

          March 16, 2014 at 2:37 am |
        • wordsoftruth99

          Only using that specific idea from CS Lewis, not necessarily saying he is a great apologist. Though I do think you are mistaken about him.

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

        Actually they don't. Name them, and let's see the poll.

        March 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
      • championsleaguer

        Aww, that's sad. You should believe in his divinity, for it is true.

        March 16, 2014 at 2:49 am |
      • dikelmm1

        I think (can't prove) Jesus was an apocalyptic preacher, predicting a coming of the "son of Man" which would happen within the lifetimes of some of those some of those who heard him. Read in Acts about how some early followers sold everything and lived communally. This sound much like present day cults in which people gather waiting for some miraculous event. When this did not happen, a religion developed in which he came to be seen as a divine Son of God and, by the Gospel of John as as a coequal with God the Father. Study the differences in Mark, the earliest, then Mathew and Luke, the next, and John, the one written about 100 years after Jesus's life. Also,Acts was part of Luke's Gospel, but was split off at some point. btw, No one knows who wrote the Gospels. The Gospel writers never identify themselves. Only many decades later were the names that are printed in our Bibles assigned to them. You can easily verify this.

        March 16, 2014 at 2:54 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the right hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

       4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
      7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
      8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
      (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
      by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
      10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
      Presented on March 18, 1994
      ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

      March 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
      • Reality

        11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
        wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
        12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
        faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
        13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
        mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
        13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
        14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
        15. D-iseases in the Bible:
        http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

        March 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • dikelmm1

          Thank you. Some good information, not just opinion.

          March 16, 2014 at 3:01 am |
      • ri0088

        None of the sources who mention jesus are contemporary. Meaning, none of them lived during the time jesus was said to be alive. So they're references....are useless. They themselves wouldn't know any better. There are no records of jesus. Simply people writing about stories.

        March 15, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • tacitustalks

          Tacitus was born 20 years later. The Romans were not some uncivilized and disorganized lot. They kept copious records and historians would research those records in order to write their histories. Being 20 years apart Tacitus was in the same generation as Jesus. Sane with Josephus and both could have and would have questioned contemporaries. Scholars agree that Jesus lived and consider Tacitus incontrovertible evidence. Deal with it.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:19 am |
        • Reality

          As noted previously:

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews

          That being noted, a summary of all the above references and some additional ones:

          The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

          Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
          and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
          human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

          I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
          preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
          named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
          girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

          Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
          the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

          He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
          a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
          Jerusalem.

          Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
          many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
          ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
          Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
          grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
          and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
          called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

          Amen

          March 16, 2014 at 7:50 am |
        • ri0088

          @tacitustalks "Tacitus was born 20 years later. The Romans were not some uncivilized and disorganized lot. They kept copious records and historians would research those records in order to write their histories. Being 20 years apart Tacitus was in the same generation as Jesus."

          -and guess what? There is NO roman records of jesus or any such events regarding his life.....in the historical record AT ALL. That means Tacitus...who's birth puts him well after the alledged time of jesus life.....is merely repeating hearsay accounts from stories that were already in circulation. He gives no source for his material. He gives a brief mention of a "Christus" in his Annals. The Annals was not written until around 109 C.E. ...DURING the formation of Christianity. Same with Josephus Antiquities, not written until around 93 C.E. That means some of the gospels were already written by then and he was taking information from them and citing them in his works. No different than people who cite characters from biblical passages today. And BOTH Tacitus and Josephus mention Hercules in the VERY SAME works. One of them mention Hercules more times than Jesus. So no.....none are incontrovertible evidence unless you're willing to concede Hercules was a real historical figure in the same way jesus is purported to be. I'm dealing with reality. It"s time you do the same. Pull it together.

          March 18, 2014 at 2:26 am |
    • mbsmith91

      – if he actually existed: He did.

      – if he was divine: Was and is.

      – if he was the son of the alleged god of The Babble: He was and is the Son of God.

      – if he was born of a virgin: He was.

      – if he married and had children: He didn't and obviously no.

      March 15, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
      • hotairace

        Based on what actual evidence?

        March 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm |
        • collecemall

          Says it clearly in the Bible. Everyone knows the Bible is true.

          March 16, 2014 at 12:57 am |
        • conceptvbs

          Logic, fact finding and scientific proof are ideas that are missing from the vocabulary of religions.

          When people repeat that the sky is green, some will believe it. Multiply that by millions of others over millenia's, and the next thing you know is the sky is green.

          March 16, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • tacitustalks

          Personal experience – what is your evidence that none of it is true. You can't say because you can't prove a negative.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:21 am |
        • tacitustalks

          Conceptvbs – your logic is flawed. The color of the sky is a physical law, frankly the color is an optical illusion of light passing through the atmospher, so what you SEE is not really true. It is perception. Regardless, you are talking nature and physical – religion transcends the physical. Lets make it easy – you are trying to prove a negative. You don't believe in God because you have not experienced Him.

          Do you know everything there is to know in the Universe? Let's be generous and say you know 1/2 of everything in the Universe. Can you categorically SAY THAT GOD IS NOT IN THE 1/2 that you do not know.? The only thing you can Honestly say is – YOU DON'T KNOW. And you can't dismiss my assertion because my proof is spiritual and experienced by ME. You can't dismiss it as a psychological delusion, because any psychologist that did would be a quack because HE HAS NO EVIDENCE TO REFUTE MY EVIDENCE.You ask: "Why would not God talk to me". Probably because your are not listening and you are not looking. IF HE WERE GOD, He is SUPERIOR TO YOU. YOU DON"T Deal with someone superior to you on YOUR TERMS, but on theirs. Think about that.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:32 am |
        • islamistheanswer

          I couldn't agree more. I would however add to that an Islamic perspective on experiencing God. Science has shown today that universes of up to 11 dimensions DO exist (at least mathematically thus far). In a dimension that is befitting of His Majesty (God), he is in no way, shape or form similar or even close to what our 3 dimensional mind (4 dimensions if you include time) could comprehend and encompass. We know from the Quran that God tells us )[He is] Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you from yourselves, mates, and among the cattle, mates; He multiplies you thereby. There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (42:11)). Actually when you look at the exact Arabic usage of the word the translation is "There is nothing LIKE the LIKE of HIM." Hence nothing we imagine or experience is LIKE the LIKE of HIM.

          With that in mind, we know God through HIS actions in our Universe. His Actions do VEIL his Attributes and Characteristics and those in turn VEIL HIS being from us (that which is beyond our dimensional limitations and normal comprehension)..

          God knows best! Hope this helps.

          March 16, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • ri0088

          @tacitustalks

          "Do you know everything there is to know in the Universe?"

          -we can know what we discover based on evidence...data. Science never claims to know EVERYTHING about the universe. In fact it says the opposite. That's the point of science. To discover. Funny how you suddenly "know" everything about this supposed deity that started the universe...yet not know much about the universe itself. Even the big bang doesn't claim to know anything beyond the point of the expansion.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:16 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Does pone have to know much of the universe in order to know about the deity who created it?

          March 18, 2014 at 3:20 am |
        • ri0088

          @tacitustalks

          "Lets make it easy – you are trying to prove a negative. You don't believe in God because you have not experienced Him."

          – No, we reject your ASSERTION claiming to KNOW one exist. There's no reason for me to think one does so I never bring the subject up as a reality. My position is backed thus far by non-existent evidence. It's what I would expect for non-existence just as I would expect the same with a host of other claimed imaginary things. Your claim is baseless. "Experience" is subjective. That doesn't prove a claim factual. People claim to experience past lives....or time travel....or animal transformation....or a whole host of things. So what? You have to show how something isn't only contained in your own mind, but relevant OUTSIDE your mind.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:19 am |
        • kermit4jc

          weeeeel..if it outside his own mind....then it can show itself.namely in this case God..so why does This pern have to show it when God can show it??? WHos word you wanna take..thispersons word..or the one who reveals himself to you? I rather go with the one who is in quesiotn who does show himself...rather than base it simply on what the person says...even if he could show it...it would be dishonest to take his word for it

          March 18, 2014 at 3:23 am |
        • ri0088

          @kermit4jc

          "weeeeel..if it outside his own mind....then it can show itself.namely in this case God..so why does This pern have to show it when God can show it??? WHos word you wanna take..thispersons word..or the one who reveals himself to you?"

          -No different than accepting claims of a schizophrenic. Their experiences in their mind seem "real" to them. It is also a willingness to be gullible, because anyone can then claim any manner of things without having to prove it. It's one easy way to get people to accept lies. Things outside your mind can be verified by others. Other people can observe the sun or feel the effects of gravity. ...so we know it's something not contained only in our mind or an invention of our mind such as delusions.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:34 am |
        • kermit4jc

          which is WHY I say to YOU....find out YOURSELF ..don't need to rely on Someone else!!!!

          March 18, 2014 at 9:21 am |
        • ri0088

          @tacitustalks

          "Can you categorically SAY THAT GOD IS NOT IN THE 1/2 that you do not know.?"

          -for some reason you only seem to think a very specific single deity would fall in such a "category". Yet, using your logic, we would have to assume ALL possible claimed deities exist. There's no reason, then, to think only one exist. There could be many generations of gods, which are in fact written about in the same types of ancient literature you likely use to prop up your specific type of god. There no reason to automatically assume it moral...or sympathetic. They could be indifferent or capricious-factors that are common in such literature of different gods. At this point it becomes nonsensical using your type of logic only for your position. Think on that.

          March 18, 2014 at 3:41 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I don't need to know 100% of what there is to know to know that so far none of what we know can 100% empirically prove there is anything supernatural or spiritual in any way shape or measurable form. Therefore any speculation on the supernatural or spiritual is just that, pure conjecture and fanciful opinion.

          March 18, 2014 at 4:06 am |
    • islamistheanswer

      Below are the Quranic/Islamic response to those Questions you Posed

      – if he actually existed (of course he did, the messenger who was blessed and chosen by God to deliver what became to be known as Christianity today)

      – if he was divine (No, Quran chapter 3 (Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was. (59) The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters. (60) Then whoever argues with you about it after [this] knowledge has come to you – say, "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then supplicate earnestly [together] and invoke the curse of Allah upon the liars [among us]." (61))

      – if he was the son of the alleged god of The Babble (No)

      – if he was born of a virgin (Quran Chapter 3 – [And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah]. (45) He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous." (46) She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is. (47) And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel (48) And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. (49) And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me. (50) Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path." (51) But when Jesus felt [persistence in] disbelief from them, he said, "Who are my supporters for [the cause of] Allah?" The disciples said, "We are supporters for Allah. We have believed in Allah and testify that we are Muslims [submitting to Him]. (52))

      – if he married and had children (No – Muslims and Christians believe he didn't marry. We both believe that he will be returned to this earth to defeat the anti-Christ and will then marry and DIE like every other human being as Muslims believe that he was neither crucified nor killed and was raised to heaven)

      March 16, 2014 at 12:32 am |
  11. jaareshiah

    Was Nazareth a "crummy backwater town", as Mr James Martin stipulates ? The Bible says that both Joseph and Mary were residents of Nazareth before they were married.(Luke 1:26; 2:4) Though Nazareth was a rather insignificant city, God looked, not at the smallness of it, but of two people who were righteous that lived there and would fulfill Isaiah 7:14 and 8:8, 10.

    Too, most do not recognize that the city of Nazareth means "Sprout". Thus, Matthew wrote that Joseph "came and settled in a city named Naz′a·reth, in order to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He will be called a Naz·a·rene′.” (Matt 2:23) The city of Nazareth is not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, yet Matthew used the expression "what was spoken through the prophets" that Jesus would be "called a Nazarene". Why ?

    The key to understanding, apparently, lies in equating Nazarene with ne´tser, mentioned above as meaning sprout. Hence, it is evident that Matthew was referring to what Isaiah (11:1) had said concerning Messiah: “There must go forth a twig out of the stump of Jesse; and out of his roots a sprout [we·ne´tser] will be fruitful.”

    Another Hebrew word, tse´mach, also means sprout and was used by other prophets when referring to the Messiah. Matthew used the plural, saying that “prophets” had mentioned this coming “Sprout.” For example, Jeremiah wrote about the “righteous sprout” as an offshoot of David. (Jer 23:5; 33:15) Zechariah describes a king-priest “whose name is Sprout,” a prophecy that could apply only to Jesus the Nazarene, the great spiritual Temple-builder.(Zech 3:8; 6:12, 13)

    (source of much of the information, Insight on the Scriptures, Vol 2, pg 476, published by Jehovah's Witnesses)

    March 15, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
    • tallulah131

      So basically, Nazareth was a crummy backwater town and you are simply making up stuff to make is sound better.

      March 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • hotairace

        Nothing like claiming a deity to enhance a town's reputation. Look how well that worked for Waco and Jonestown.

        March 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
    • Akira

      Its Reverand James Martin, and a village of 200-400 people can hardly be termed a booming metropolis, and he gave an opinion on it, but 'stipulates' nothing.

      March 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Nope. The role of a prophet was to speak truth to the people of their own day. Divination was forbidden. They did not predict the future. The "Nazorites" were an ancient sect of Jewish ascetics, which fits in with what we know from the Dead Sea Scrolls. "Matthew" wrote nothing. All the names LATER slapped onto the gospels were made up. Originally they had NO author attribution attached. ANyway, it doesn't matter what they say. They are faith docu'ments to be proclaimed in liturgical services to remind believers what they already believed. In no way, are they "historical". "Luke" got a LOT of details wrong. Nazareth is the least of them.

      March 15, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
    • kudlak

      Is anyone actually arguing that people from backwater little towns can't grow up to be significant? There are lots of famous people who came from small towns.

      March 16, 2014 at 2:46 am |
  12. dave32264

    @lngtrmthnkr
    Christ or cristo was Greek not Latin (which was what the Romans spoke).

    @Akira
    Remember we are translating the name. In Greek it would have been Iēsous, Hebrew: Yeshua. So I guess who you were speaking to.

    March 15, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
    • dave32264

      Christo. Sorry for the error.

      March 15, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • Akira

      So, basically, the Greek interpreters messed up Jesus's name and it got lost in translation. Right?
      Because I know that Jesus being born of Hebrew parents were unlikely to be given a Greek name, devout as they were.
      And Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Joshua.

      March 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • kudlak

      A better point can be made between the way Jews used the term "son of God" and the way Greek and Roman people used it. King David was called the son of God, for example, but gentiles thought of demigods whenever they heard of the son of a god. Maybe that simple misinterpretation led to Jesus being thought of as divine by Paul's gentile Christians?

      March 16, 2014 at 2:52 am |
  13. rhwise

    Death was not a problem for Jesus, it was that along with his death he had to take the sin of all men upon himself which therefore required him to be separated from the father. His agony and plea in the garden was him not wanting to be away from Abba Father even for a second.

    March 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm |
    • tallulah131

      It's cool how you can read the mind of a man who has been dead for 2000 years like that.

      March 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
  14. hotairace

    It's always nice when additional background is supplied for fictional characters. It makes the delusions seem real.

    March 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
    • The Roar of The Lions

      That is an unintelligent statement. You can choose to believe that he was not godlike but to ignore the logic and facts that there was a man named Jesus who lived at that place and in that time is just stupid.

      March 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • hotairace

        Why? What actual (factual, verifiable, objective, independent, not hearsay) evidence do you have to prove the desert dweller called jesus in The Babble actually existed?

        March 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • bluetail75

          It doesn't matter, even if we present you with the evidence, you will not believe. The Bible speaks of people like you that will still not want to follow Him even when He returns back on this earth. I hope though that your heart will change and unfortunately, if you are right, nobody will ever know but if the Bible is right and you die in your hatred of God, you will regret it eternally.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • sam stone

          bluetail.....empty proxy threats are sooo funny

          March 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Pascal's wager is such a terrible fallacious argument.

          Proxy threats are not good reasons to believe anything. In fact I find the intellectual dishonesty of people that make this argument disgusting.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • hotairace

          Come on, you should be able to do better than a thinly veiled reference to Pascal's Thoroughly Refuted Wager.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • charlesjames2013

          The Jewish Talmud makes an unfavourable reference to Jesus as an actual person. It is compelling that the Jesus movement of the first and second century, with its known tension within the Jewish community, nobody in that community asserted that Jesus never existed, this never became an option to discredit Jesus' existence, that he was some sort of false legend.

          March 16, 2014 at 12:07 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Would you care to relate your reference to Jesus in the Talmud because from information I have read there is question as to whether the Talmud was actually talking about Jesus Christ.

          March 16, 2014 at 1:25 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        The only accounts of Jesus are from the Bible...and that does nothing to confirm that Jesus was a real person. There is no historical records of Jesus...so why would it be stupid to question whether Jesus ever actually existed?

        March 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • bluetail75

          Actually that is not true.....some non-religious historians of Jesus' time speak of Jesus.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Name one and cite the passage.

          First there are NO writings from the time he lived, no contemporary writings at all. Even the writings in the bible are from after he supposedly lived.

          Second the people who wrote about Christianity that mentioned Jesus were talking about what CHristians at the time BELIEVED about Jesus....they were not relating the beliefs as historical facts. So you are wrong.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • wesleygjames

          A famous Jewish historian in the 1st century named Josephus (known for his "Jewish Antiquities" wrote 2 separate passages that mention Jesus, a passage about Jesus' brother James, and a passage about John the Baptist.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Josephus was not a contemporary of Jesus.

          The specific passage that references Jesus is a known Christian forgery.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • ri0088

          @bluetail75

          Those non-religious historians.....didn't live during jesus alleged lifetime. They later cite of jesus based on the already circulating stories of the gospels. So the gospels are the only earliest sources to give any accounts on any details of jesus life. Yet the gospels.....aren't contemporary either. And they weren't written by first hand eyewitnesses. They were written by skilled Greek writers trained in Greek composition. There are no sources or tangible artifacts for jesus in the historical record dated DURING the time jesus was said to have lived. No one mentions him. No evidence he actually existed. Only people who lived later mention him based off already written stories circulating around.

          March 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm |
      • readerpan

        I'm pretty sure lots of Joshuas lived during that time and a few of them probably were slightly notorious. So what?

        March 15, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
    • fynalexander

      You are so right .LOL

      March 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm |
      • nycsteve123

        did u know that the books written about Jesus was about 30 years from His death? Yet, the stories of Alexander the Great was written 200 years after the fact. The Bible is a historical book. It explains why there are so much issue in the Middle East and our World. Did you know that the Muslims who is from Mohammed is a descendant of Ishmael, who is the son of Abraham & Hagar the Egyptian? And the Israelite are from Isaac, the son of Abraham & Sarah. Jesus is from the linage of King David who is from the lineage of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac. Abraham asked Hagar & Ishmael to leave their camp because of Sarah. "He shall be a wild man;His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Keep reading if you want to know more about current event, learn what happen in the past, in the Bible

        March 15, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "The Bible is a historical book."

          Then why does it get so much history wrong?

          March 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • hotairace

          Funny, the Smithsonian doesn't think The Babble is a historical docu.ment. And what do any of the other myths, persons and events you mention prove about your man jesus? You're not trying to deflect attention away from your total lack of evidence for your claims, are you?

          March 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Actually, there is an account of Alexander the Great written by his enemies at the time he defeated them at the battle of Gaugamela.

          http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander_t40.html

          So that's one for Alexander, still none for Jesus.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • readerpan

          Is there any kind of BS you won't believe?

          March 15, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • ri0088

          There is no evidence for Abraham or any of the people mentioned in Genesis in the historical record. Israeli archeology exposed this clearly. The book of Genesis itself wasn't written until around the time of the Babylonian exile during 6th century BCE. The bible isn't a historiography. It's a book of literature.

          March 15, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
        • ri0088

          @nycsteve123 – "did u know that the books written about Jesus was about 30 years from His death?

          -according to....the books. There's no evidence he actually lived at all. No one was there...during the time....writing about it. Writings attributed to Paul are said to be around 30yrs afterward. The gospels were written far later. Yet Paul in the story never claimed to have witnesses a physical jesus. The story says jesus was already crucified by then. Paul simply claimed to have seen a "vision". But many ancient people claimed to see visions too. That doesn't validate their claim. The writings of Paul also never claimed to know details regarding jesus life. Only the gospels, yet the gospels were written far later so they weren't based on first hand accounts and the gospels were also written in the third person. So there's no reason not to think that the writers simply fabricated a story.

          March 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm |
        • ri0088

          @nycsteve123 "Yet, the stories of Alexander the Great was written 200 years after the fact."

          -for the historicity of contemporary sources they have a few inscriptions and fragments from those that weren't lost. We also have tangible artifacts- coins and name inscriptions from his reign.

          March 16, 2014 at 12:14 am |
  15. mickinmd

    Nazareth is still a tiny town tuck up the hills on the West side the Sea of Galilee. Our tour guide pointed out there a six "Churches of the Nativity" in town, each one claiming to be the location where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Our guide said that if a single woman, 2000 years ago in Nazareth, saw a strange man alone in a room with her she'd run out shrieking. The one place a strange man could talk to her was at the town well. Fortunately, Nazareth is so small there was only one town well, so he picked for us the Church of the Nativity built over it.

    March 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      All these tours over in the "holy land" are just taking advantage of all the gullible sheep Christians. It's easy pickins. They laugh at Christians even as they perform frauds, that are obvious to everyone else, upon them. I think there are at least 100 churches that claim to have Jesus' foreskin....lol.

      March 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
  16. katielynn1974

    As usual a mix of fact and fiction according to the author's religion. Anyone can find the 'original translation' in these times. Read them ......Jesus was not insensitive to the feelings of disgrace that accompanied his execution. Possible dishonor to his Father resulting from Jesus’ being condemned for blasphemy was a matter of concern to him as God's son. Jesus asked his heavenly father to spare him such indignity .... "and remove this cup from me". It was not that he did not want to die nor did he look forward to what he knew would be a painful experience. He was a free moral agent and could have easily went off to lead a quiet life-had he wanted to .... and had he not been determined to fulfill his reason for being sent to earth ...as a sacrifice to redeem mankind. Why can't the so called "experts" ever get it right????? Too busy formulating their own beliefs instead of reading the scriptures for themselves!

    March 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • Bob

      katielynn, the Christian storyline is mainly fiction. As for the Jesus-sacrifice story, it's just a steaming pile of bull-do. How is it that an omnipotent being, a "god", couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 15, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
      • lngtrmthnkr

        are you an amputee Bob?

        March 15, 2014 at 8:22 pm |
        • seedenbetter

          Why would you ask him such a question. Do you know why God refuses to re-grow a limb but can mysteriously heal some hidden unseen ailment?

          March 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          you seem to be very bitter about amputees.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
      • nycsteve123

        really Bob, how do u know its a fiction? You were there, and there was no prove of Jesus? Why did history and our calendar change? BC & AD, how can one fictional character change history where Christmas & Easter is highly recognize. Dont get me wrong I was an Atheist up until my Senior year in College. Before that, I was all about Evolution. Then I studied the book they so called the Bible, or a fairy tale at that time to me. I even wrote a paper about the religious fraud of Christianity. My goal was to prove it false. After one year, I went down to my knees an prayed with a heavy heart and in tears, asking Him to showed me the way, light & truth. He not only acknowledge my prayers but did miraculous things in my life. He is the One and the Way. You can find out living in this world or the next. But every knee shall bow to our almighty God! Hope u will seek and do the same too. Read Lee Strobel "Case for Christ" or even CS Lewis, 2 intelligent gents who didn t believe either, but later came to realization.

        March 15, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • hotairace

          Do you have any real evidence for your claims, or are you just blathering on and pretending to know things you do not?

          March 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • doobzz

          You went to college? Wow.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • nycsteve123

          I found what I need to find. Have you done your HW? No one is here to convince you, just to let you know that there is a God that love you. But you need to seek Him. No One can convince you. If Moses displays the awesome power of God, you would think Pharaoh would start shivering with fear BUT no, his heart hardens and seeks more revenge. So, no one can convince u, if your heart is set. You need to go out and search yourself, we're just here to tell u the good news, u need to go and find out.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • hotairace

          My heart is not set – it's merely pumping blood as intended. My mind is open to actual evidence but all I see is "ya gotta believe to believe" and a bunch of people pretending to know things they do not.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          "BUT no, his heart hardens and seeks more revenge."

          And why did his heart harden? Because god himself hardened it according to your fable. WHich then allowed god to kill all first born children....great god you have there.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • Akira

          God hardened Pharoah's heart.

          Good grief.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
        • nycsteve123

          ha ha, why is grief good? Charlie Brown? I saw Akira, the anime movie numerous times.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • Akira

          Yes, it's from Charlie Brown. And it's an expression of exasperation at how much you got wrong with your Moses analogy.

          My username is after a clothing store I'm affiliated with.

          And God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • nycsteve123

          tell me your analogy of the Exodus

          March 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • Akira

          For what? Thought you knew, except for the part where you got Pharoah's heart hardening wrong.

          March 15, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
    • reldra

      When we have more than 10-15 people that can properly translate original writings about him, that is when we can know. Or know more. He lived, he preached. He often preached to people that were deemed untouchable. He P*ssed a lot of people off. These things we know from history. Probably the most fascinating man to ever live. Even without perfect translations, we should all have a sense of 'what would Jesus do'. -A Wiccan, and someone close to Jesus.

      March 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
      • readerpan

        My condolences.

        March 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Katilynn, the Bible is meant to be interpreted in the way that makes the most sense to the reader...which you just proved by giving your own interpretation and being busy forming your own beliefs.

      March 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
      • nycsteve123

        when you create a belief around your life of sin, then yes, it is your belief. When you conform to the Word of God, then it is believing in someone who will never leave you alone. Seek and you Shall find the truth.

        March 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • Akira

          Now remind katilynn at that since she has the problem with the way the author into rents the Bible. Which is what I was talking about; the Bible. Not real sure what you were talking about.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • Akira

          *interprets the Bible.

          March 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
  17. tony34343434

    The one thing that Non-Christians always say is annoying about Christians is that they try to convert, prove their ideas are correct. I find the opposite, atheists and Non-christians take more time and effort trying to prove Jesus was not the Christ. If you didn't believe in something why would you spend so much time and effort trying to disprove someone else's belief. If i do not believe in something i avoid. I do not spend hours finding out more about it.

    March 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      It's everywhere. Religion is a pounding drum that has gone mostly unanswered for a long, long time. And religion is not satisfied with merely existing quietly in the homes and hearts of the faithful. Its very nature compels the believer to proselytize, preach, promote, convince, convert and prevail. If you play on the team of the religious, your game plan is to stay, always, on offense.
      Throughout our history, those who raise a simple hand of protest against these advances have been portrayed as the real problem. Religion has attempted to marginalize and defeat legitimate questions and concerns by indignantly portraying any resistors as misguided, immoral, rudderless, angry, miserable, lost and alone.
      And when skepticism challenges wildly improbable (or impossible) stories found in the bible, the Qur'an and other holy books, the religious wail, "Why can't you just leave us alone?"
      The irony is thick.

      March 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • hotairace

        Yes! Religious activities should be confined to a cult's clubhouse and cult members' homes, preferably involving only consenting adults and kept away from children.

        March 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • seedenbetter

      No one is trying to disprove that this Jesus was the offspring of some deity. It's Christians who must prove that he is. It's their/your claim. When skeptics demand proof from Christians who are constantly trying to use government to enforce their absurd beliefs onto the rest of us then Christians tend to claim persecution. It gets very tiring after a while.

      March 15, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
    • nycsteve123

      no one can convince you to the Kingdom of God. If they can, someone else can convince you out. You have to search yourself and prove it to yourself. Not just by sitting there and giving your opinion. But truly search for Him. Seek and you shall find!

      March 15, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • ri0088

        @nycsteve123 – "no one can convince you to the Kingdom of God." "You have to search yourself and prove it to yourself. Not just by sitting there and giving your opinion. But truly search for Him. Seek and you shall find!"

        -You won't find anything for an assertion that is based on faith rather than evidence. If there was evidence for it.....faith would not be required. Yet faith is needed for any number of imaginary things. That's the problem with religious belief. It's indistinguishable from other forms of imagination. All religions rely on faith, so that proves nothing. Faith will allow a person to believe whatever they choose to believe because.....there's no evidence to validate any one claim. Which is why there can be so many different beliefs. People who have faith that leprechauns truly exist....aren't validated just because of their willingness to believe anything. Belief does not equate fact. Facts are verified by evidence. That is the only way you can affirm whether something is true. Faith based claims are meaningless....only relevant to those who believe them. But useless outside those who don't accept baseless assertions.

        March 16, 2014 at 12:30 am |
      • kudlak

        nyc
        Do, take a leap of faith and believe in God, then you'll see that God is in everything, eh?

        Wouldn't that work with any other god, or reincarnation, or magic, or vampires, or any other other conspiracy theory subject?

        March 16, 2014 at 3:10 am |
    • readerpan

      Atheists are not trying to prove anything about jesus except that there is no proof of the existence of jesus.

      March 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • kudlak

      tony34343434
      Nobody had to (or could) prove that Thor or any of the other defunct gods weren't actually real. People just realized that the claims that they were wasn't justified, and that's what most atheists feel about claims about God.

      March 16, 2014 at 3:18 am |
  18. idiotusmaximus

    Five things you didn't know about Jesus.....

    Opinion by the Rev. James Martin.....

    The word here is opinion by......this is like saying the five things you didn't know about Santa Claus....or the secret life of Harry Potter.....nothing ever matters in fiction....which these characters are.....that's what's great about fantasy you can say and make anything happen by ignoring the LAWS OF PHYSICS WHICH DEFINES REALITY IN THIS UNIVERSE.

    March 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
  19. Vic

    Christian Truth about Jesus Christ

    Prophecy of and the Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh

    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."

    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?”"

    Galatians 4:4,5
    "4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

    Hebrews 4:15,16
    "15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

    The Deity of Jesus Christ & Incarnation in the Flesh

    John 1:1-3
    "1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being."

    John 1:14-18
    "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."

    Luke 2:11
    "11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

    Jesus Christ Always Is

    John 17:5
    "5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."

    Revelation 1:17,18
    "7 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades."

    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-2963529

    March 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      None of them were referring to Jesus. He did not accomplish even ONE thing the messiah was supposed to do.
      If the later texts were created to make it look like what they were writing was "fulfillment", then it's all just "post-diction".
      The role of a prophet was not to tell the future. Sooth-saying was forbidden. So your entire enterprise is flawed.
      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Failed_biblical_prophecies

      March 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
      • idiotusmaximus

        Flawed because first and foremost the character of Jesus never existed.....Jesus is not even a name used in the middle east.

        March 15, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
        • dave32264

          Actually, he probably did, though not as a messiah. He is mentioned (though briefly) in other texts outside of the bible Also, the fact that we have Ciaphus' osuarry would indicate his probable existance. And by the way, the name "Jesus" is an english translation (remember he spoke Aramaic).It is the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous), a rendition of the Hebrew Yeshua

          March 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
        • Akira

          I wonder why His name isn't Joshua, since that's the literal translation of Yeshua...

          March 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Idiot, no you are right, he was called Yeshua ,it was translated to Jesus by the Romans who also added the word Christo,or Christ .

          March 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • Vic

          Jesus (Savior God/Yahweh) Christ (Messiah/Anointed)

          March 15, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • nycsteve123

          Christ is interpreted as Messiah

          March 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • kudlak

          dave32264
          He could have been a messiah. No problem with that. Lots of people are called messiahs in the OT. Even Cyrus the Great was called a messiah. He was not the expected messiah, however. He didn't bring world peace, reunite all the Hebrew tribes, have children or live a long life like the expected messiah is supposed to do. Verses in Isaiah 53 that many Christians like to point to are actually talking about the nation of Israel, not any one person.

          March 16, 2014 at 3:05 am |
      • new-man

        Thank God our battle is not physical, but rather it is against spiritual forces that veil the understanding in the minds of men.

        Take heed that no man deceive you (speaking in general for all with ears to hear)

        March 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • kudlak

          What makes you think that you're not the one who is deceived?

          March 16, 2014 at 3:07 am |
    • Bob

      Vic, while you are busily dumping bible bile on us from your hateful Christian book of nasty, you might want to pay more attention to the other actions that your vicious, murderous god demands of you in that horrid book. Some fine examples are below, just a few of many:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • nycsteve123

        Bob, you cant take these text out of context. Please read the whole chapter. And the ten commandments, the first 4 is our relationship with God, and then next 6 are our relationship with each other. The 10 commandments sums up like this "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

        March 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
      • areyouforseriousmyboy

        Oh Bob. Take your propaganda elsewhere. You don't have to believe. But I do. And billions of people do as well.

        March 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
      • championsleaguer

        Peace is not in your heart. You are clearly upset with the tragedies of your own life! With each of those verses you copy and pasted, you left out the entire stories and events that were happening during violence. The LORD gave up his own to Nebuchadnezzar , admittedly turning away from his chosen people the Israelites. And, they paid greatly and violently for their transgressions in worshipping other gods, to the point of even sacrificing their own children, throwing them into the fire to worship Molech! So please, believe, and read the bible in its entirety, from the first word to last.

        March 16, 2014 at 2:25 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Wow aren't you the judgmental one?? Intolerance of the vindictive god of the bible is a GOOD thing. You speak against us while doing the same stuff you accuse us of, how very hypocritical. When you provide evidence for the claims the bible makes without using a theist based web site or the bible to do so, you might have a point but until that evidence exists, there is no justification (outside of denying or caring about actual evidence) to accept the stories.
          You can call us hateful all you wish and you'd be seriously flawed in saying so. We simply have no tolerance for a belief system that wishes to deny basic human rights; that teaches hate and bigotry; that teaches that owning slaves is okay; that teaches to punish the victim not the rapist; that teaches that innocent children must be harmed for disobedience; that teaches that women should be quiet. Did you know this stuff exists or do you gloss over it and only pay attention to the warm squishy parts that make you think you're better than us? Imaginary friends are great for children and schizophrenics...which category do you fall in to? (See, how make assumptions work??)

          March 16, 2014 at 4:58 am |
        • championsleaguer

          I don't judge. Luckily I've been able to remove that from my character, but seriously only through faith in the LORD. We are so used to judging! I will absolutely confess that I have judged before. But, I have improved as a person. I continually try to improve, and be a good man. I have read the bible in its entirety twice, and certain books a few times more. I hope you are well, and that your heart is capable of warmth!

          March 16, 2014 at 11:21 am |
      • championsleaguer

        God does not need to heal amputees. We, however, need to conform to righteousness, love the LORD with all our heart and treat others as we would like to be treated. Do you remember when Elijah, Moses and Jesus are talking on the mountaintop? The amputee who loves the LORD and does not harbor ill-will towards him despite his affliction will find strength and peace and suffer the ailment no more. It must be a terrible thing to live with, but faith sees through the ailments of this life.

        March 16, 2014 at 3:02 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Now you're just sounding delusional!! Your imaginary friend has no power and thus the reason it can't heal amputees or prevent it from happening or perhaps your imaginary friend simply doesn't care!!
          Time to grow up little boy and reside in the 21st century. The greatest day we will see is when the christian belief system is shelved and no longer paid attention to, then and only then can we hope to see peace in this world.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:01 am |
        • championsleaguer

          Your anger pours out through your words. I am not mad at you. I am sad for you, and perhaps I should pray that your heart warms and that you are forgiven for your vile comments. I am not a little boy, but how awesome would that be! For then I would still be righteous, blameless and deserving of blessing! One thing you need to understand. The pain of a lost limb will be removed once in the company of the LORD. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, that you and your family are healthy, and that you might not burn any brighter with hate.

          March 16, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          champion: Stop judging! Calling it as it is seen is not angry. I feel for you that you think you need a god to be a good person, what a sad life that in giving this imaginary being credit you take away from your own. You devalue this life by believing there is something after it...that is sad. You devalue humans by crediting your god...that is sad. As an adult you should have outgrown god or perhaps the education system has failed one again!

          March 16, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Vic

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

      March 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
  20. rickapolis

    I knew all of those things.

    March 15, 2014 at 6:21 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.