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

    Did Jesus fear dying ? No. How can this be known ? Jesus was well aware of the reason why he came to the earth, to provide a ransom for obedient mankind. He said: "Just as the Son of man came, not to be ministered to, but to minister and to give his life as a ransom in exchange for many.”(Matt 20:28)

    Jesus further told his disciples: "If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."(Matt 16:24, 25) He had just told them that "he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and on the third day be raised up."(Matt 16:21)

    Hence, Jesus was not afraid to die, but he was deeply troubled of the reproach that dying on a torture stake would bring to the Father's name, dying as a supposed criminal. He thus requested in prayer: "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”(Matt 26:39)

    Not long after this, he was arrested and though Peter impetuously took a sword and cut off the right ear of the slave Malchus, Jesus said: "Return your sword to its place.....do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father to supply me at this moment more than 12 legions of angels ? In that case, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must take place this way ?” (Matt 26:52-54)

    Jesus was fully aware of the Scriptures at Isaiah 53, in which it prophesied concerning him that "it was Jehovah’s will to crush him, and he let him become sick. If you will present his life as a guilt offering (in death, Lev 16:11), He will see his offspring, he will prolong his days, And through him the delight of Jehovah will have success."(Isa 53:10)

    Thence, Jesus had no fear of dying, for the apostle Paul wrote that "he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and became human. More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake."(Phil 2:7, 8)

    March 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Was Frodo afraid of dying? No. On page 438 of the 1983 Harper Collins edition, Frodo tells Sam: "Me? Afraid? No – I'm not fraud to die."

      All you're doing is taking quotes from a book. A book written by people.For people. Put together by people. Translated and re-translated by people.

      It's just a book.

      March 16, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
    • collecemall

      How would anyone know what the hell Jesus might have feared (assuming he lived which isn't a given)? Think about the process between the events in Jesus life and the scriptures being gathered into the form that was eventually the bible. Someone supposedly saw it, kept telling it to other people, who eventually told it to someone who wrote it down, which then got copied, which then got copied over and over, which then got edited to suit the new authors purpose, which then got copied some more, and then whammo shazzazmi you have the gospels according to Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Which is why they don't agree on who what where and when regarding those events. It's almost baffling that people can accept this stuff. Except that at church they never tell them this stuff.

      March 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Was Frodo afraid of dying? No. On page 438 of the 1983 Harper Collins edition, Frodo tells Sam: "Me? Afraid? No – I'm not afraid to die."

      All you're doing is taking quotes from a book. A book written by people.For people. Put together by people. Translated and re-translated by people.

      It's just a book.

      March 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I do not understand the point of this post. Are you just sharing your copy and paste skills with us or trying to convince us....? Wha?

      March 16, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
      • Doris

        It looks as though whippy was correcting a typo (fraud/afraid).


        If you just stop for a moment and pay attention to William Lane Craig, you would see that:

        1. There is no past-infinite universe.
        2. This universe was fine-tuned for Frodo.
        3. Jeebus in spirit form is outside of all space and time.
        4. The archeological record reflects the historicity of Jeebus.
        5. The Word of Jeebus is without flaw, and His Word was breathed into man's account of Him.
        6. Jeebus promised a perfect life after this one for all who follow Him.

        Therefore, Frodo actually wanted to die as soon as it was convenient.


        March 16, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Ah – William Lane Craig. You realize that mentioning that guy just dropped your credibility to about negative 8 gazillion.

          March 16, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • Doris

          Lol. True – probably even if I don't believe a word that comes out of the mouth of the one who sounds like Dr Phil with a sinus infection...

          March 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      seems like an awful lot of conjecture about what jesus thought.

      March 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Matthew also said many other s rose with him, and that the temple curtain was torn ... yet no one else EVER ONCE mention these remarkable claims. Mark makes no claim for "payment for sins". esus never said salvation was dependent on his dying. When the young man asked what he had to do to be saved, did Jesus say "Just wait, I'm going to die for you". No. He said "keep the commandments".

      You cherry pick the gospels. You have no clue either that esus really existed or what he thought. There is NO WAY many years later the gospels editors could have known what he was thinking.

      March 16, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
  2. arrow0time

    Jesus Christ is True God and True Man

    March 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Hmmm – isn't Zeus the one True God?

      March 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
      • arrow0time

        Then you (whippstippler7) can pray to your god "Zeus"... And I'll pray to God – Supreme Goodness. And then we can see who will make the world a better place to live.

        March 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          Well, praying to Zeus will have exactly the same effect as praying to your god. Absolutely zero effect.

          March 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • primatica

      You pray to a corpse...

      March 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • jbc630

        They never found the body 🙂

        March 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          There was no body to be found. He never existed. They made it all up. The Sanhedrin never ONCE was convened on Passover weekend. Matthew says there was a zombie invasion, and the temple curtain was torn, spontaneously. If that had actually happened, the Romans would have said something, and the Jews would SURELY both have mentioned the temple curtain tear, AND tried to find him and re-arrest him. Meh. It's all a fairy tale. It doesn't pass the smell test. There is better evidence that the Salem Mass witches actually were witches, than there is for the resurrection.

          March 16, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
        • jbc630

          The empty tomb is a very well attested historical fact. The Jewish authorities of the era didn't deny it, which they certainly would have if they could.

          March 17, 2014 at 1:18 am |
        • observer

          The empty tomb proves NOTHING. it could have been a conspiracy. The guards could have fallen asleep. One book said they could have been drugged.

          March 17, 2014 at 1:24 am |
        • Doris

          ♫ "A tomb is just a tomb....
          When there's no one there who saw who left the room...
          But a tomb is not a house..
          and a house is not a home
          when there's no one there to ............. ♫

          March 17, 2014 at 1:28 am |
        • Doris

          Evidently around that time there were LOTS of tombs and grave sites in various states of repair....

          March 17, 2014 at 1:30 am |
        • ssq41

          The Jewish leaders didn't have too because the event never happened...and 1st Century Palestine was full of rebels and troublemakers claiming this and that in an attempt to undermine the Jewish Leadership and the Romans.

          "Historical 'Fact'"...let me clean up the coffee I spilt laughing so hard..."facts"? Biased single-source "evidence" (that demands a verdict...hahahahah) doesn't hold water in any legal system...and, sorry, Simon Greenleaf was wrong, too.

          March 17, 2014 at 1:34 am |
        • jbc630

          It happened. Its backed up by Roman sources.

          March 17, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • ssq41

          And if you and "wilbur" are examples of what the transformative power of the resurrected savior provides, then, as Doris said, somebody clearly went to the wrong tomb.

          Jesus is clearly a skeleton when one considers the daily lives of "Christians."

          March 17, 2014 at 1:37 am |
        • jbc630

          I am not sure you have an exhaustive knowledge of my daily life.

          March 17, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • jbc630

          I am not sure you have an exhaustive knowledge of my daily life.

          March 17, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • ssq41

          Cut and paste 'em...."Roman sources" ...this will be fun.

          3 decades as an Evangelical Christian amid several ministries...the stereotypes are justified. There are a tragic few who actually follow Jesus and live his commands...and they are too busy living that life giving their lives to others...not here posting nonsense as you are.

          March 17, 2014 at 2:15 am |
  3. unsername1

    @IslamIstheanswer guy;

    please see this gruesome TTP video before you claim Islam is the religion of peace.

    March 16, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • observer

      “Whoever does any work on a holy day - put to death”
      “anyone who blasphemes - stone him.”
      “worship other gods - stone the guilty ones to death”
      “stubborn and rebellious son - stone him to death.”
      “man is found lying with a married woman - both of them shall die”
      “virgin engaged to another man and he lies with her - stone them to death”
      “Whoever strikes his father or his mother - put to death”
      "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother - put to death.”
      “anyone who curses his father or his mother - put to death”
      “man who commits adultery with another man's wife - they shall be put to death.”
      "man or woman who is a medium or a fortune-teller - stone them to death"

      From the Quran? Nope. From the Bible

      March 16, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
      • unsername1

        saying is different than doing; Islam practice the stuff you listed.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • observer


          Good point. FORTUNATELY people back then didn't pay any attention to such nonsense from God.

          March 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
      • jbc630

        You could often pay a ransom to get out of the death penalties you've listed. Look it up:)

        March 16, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
    • Akira

      Where the hell is this???

      March 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
      • unsername1


        March 16, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • Akira

          I couldn't watch very much; what was their supposed crime?

          March 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
        • unsername1

          @Akira, their only crime was they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. TTP aka Pakistani Taliban killed them to spread fear in minds of people who do not accept their version of Islam aka Wahhabism.

          March 16, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
    • islamistheanswer

      Is this your proof that Islam is not a religion of peace? Why do you look at the acts of the ignorant and try to extrapolate that to form an opinion about the religion they belong too. Islam is not associated with these acts whatsoever and it condemns such acts. If I use the same rational, Christianity would be condemned for the acts of the Crusaders and the acts of the ignorant during the recent world war (during which 25+ million people were killed) would have to be extrapolated to form an opinion about the west (that is Europe and America) not to forget the United States and its use of nuclear bombs that eradicated cities in their enteritis (supposedly a secular system).. The point I am trying to make, do look at the actions of those who claim to follow a religion as they are not infallible but rather look at the core of the teachings of that religion for it is the only way you would come out with better understanding of what it stands for.

      March 16, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
      • unsername1

        here is your proof:

        March 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • observer

          “Whoever does any work on a holy day - put to death”
          “anyone who blasphemes - stone him.”
          “worship other gods - stone the guilty ones to death”
          “stubborn and rebellious son - stone him to death.”
          “man is found lying with a married woman - both of them shall die”
          “virgin engaged to another man and he lies with her - stone them to death”
          “Whoever strikes his father or his mother - put to death”
          "Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother - put to death.”
          “anyone who curses his father or his mother - put to death”
          “man who commits adultery with another man's wife - they shall be put to death.”
          "man or woman who is a medium or a fortune-teller - stone them to death"

          From the Quran? Nope. From the Bible

          March 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
    • islamistheanswer

      I forgot to mention, what you see in the Muslim world today is the result of the deliberate acts of regimes that work tirelessly to ensure that the public stays illiterate and uneducated. Regimes that violate human rights and enslave their citizens. Regimes that cherish the power they possess and do anything for protecting their self interests. These regimes are well aligned with the west and supported by the west. The result of all of this is the ignorant population that you see over the world. It frustrates me and other Muslims to see the reactions that come from the Muslim world due to some people expressing their views that might not align or agree with theirs. This is just an example but you got to realize where this comes from..

      The unfortunate reality today is that the renaissance that the Muslim world once lived is long gone and it is not until Islam is practiced properly, justice is restored, human rights are respected, people's freedoms are protected that the Muslim world will thrive again...

      March 16, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • unsername1

        go see video two comments up and then justify what or why today's muslims are what they are.

        March 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
    • islamistheanswer

      And while we are at it and since you base your opinion about Islam through the actions of the few, I would like to share with you an Islamic perspective about women abuse and domestic violence! A friend of mine told me that he believed Muslims abused their women and stripped them off their rights.. Let me share this with you while we are at it before you come back with such an absurd claim. I tell you the more you learn about Islam, the more shocked you would be for the little you knew about this great religion!


      March 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
      • unsername1

        eh huh, 'the more you learn about Islam, the more shocked you would be for the little you knew about this great religion!'
        see the shocking video and find it out what little you know about this 'great' religion:

        March 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm |
      • Reality

        Islam gives women almost no rights and treats them like fodder for the male species as so bluntly noted by Aya-an Hi-rsi Ali in her autobiography, In-fidel.

        "Thus begins the extraordinary story of a woman born into a family of desert nomads, circu-mcised as a child, educated by radical imams in Kenya and Saudi Arabia, taught to believe that if she uncovered her hair, terrible tragedies would ensue. It's a story that, with a few different twists, really could have led to a wretched life and a lonely death, as her grandmother warned. But instead, Hi-rsi Ali escaped – and transformed herself into an internationally renowned spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women."
        ref: Washington Post book review.

        some excerpts:

        "Some of the Saudi women in our neighborhood were regularly be-aten by their husbands. You could hear them at night. Their scre-ams resounded across the courtyards. "No! Please! By Allah!"

        "The Pakistanis were Muslims but they too had cas-tes. The Untou-chable girls, both Indian and Pakistani were darker skin. The others would not play with them because they were unt-ouchable. We thought that was funny because of course they were tou-chable: we to-uched them see? but also hor-rifying to think of yourself as un-touchable, des-picable to the human race."

        "Between October 2004 and May 2005, eleven Muslim girls were ki-lled by their families in just two regions (there are 20 regions in Holland). After that, people stopped telling me I was exa-ggerating."

        "The kind on thinking I saw in Saudi Arabia and among the Brotherhood of Kenya and Som-alia, is incompatible with human rights and liberal values. It preserves the feu-dal mind-set based on tr-ibal concepts of honor and shame. It rests on self-deception, hypro-cricy, and double standards. It relies on the technologial advances of the West while pretending to ignore their origin in Western thinking. This mind-set makes the transition to modernity very painful for all who practice Islam

        March 16, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
      • unsername1

        People have learned enough about Islam in just past 15 years than you have in your entire life. Islam is not the same religion what it used to be, and never will be the same.

        March 17, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          What do you think about Christianity today? Peaceful? Wouldn't you say according to your logic that Christianity would have never been what it is today after the dark history of the Crusaders? Apparently, far worse was done back then than what has been done the past 15 years, wouldn't you agree? come one, be objective instead of just throw arrows in the dark without any substantiated claims.

          March 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • unsername1

          If Christianity have dark history, doesn't mean Islam should match them. In just last few years, millions of "muslims" died, all because of handful of fanatics. Don't you agree?

          March 17, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • islamistheanswer

          Of course and that by means imply that Islam as a religion and faith is behind those fanatics' actions.. That was the point.

          March 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • unsername1

          I understand what you're saying, like I stated earlier, I saw islam as a religion in 60s was much different than what my kids are witnessing in 2014. For many of them, it is just a terrorist organization, where killing is so common. New generation see Islam with fear, not love and respect.

          March 18, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • observer


          The biggest problem Islam seems to have is that radical fanatics are following most of the same commands issued by God in the Bible when he originally set up all the rules that he wanted mankind to follow.

          March 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
  4. jpherling

    1) If he ever lived, his name during his own lifetime would not have been "Jesus", but Yehoshuah ben Yosef. 2) He would have been a pious, patriotic Jew who would have believed, thought, and wanted what the Jews of his time believed, thought and wanted. What they wanted most of all was a messiah to free them from the Romans so that the kingdom of God could then be established in Jerusalem. 3) Yehoshuah ben Yosef believed that he was that messiah, and that he would also be the king of the kingdom of God in Jerusalem. He convinced a lot of other Jews to believe it, too. 4) He was an excellent teacher of ethics, but a miserable failure as a revolutionary planner, and paid the price for his failure.

    March 16, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      He never said he thought he was the messiah.
      He was an apocalyptic (if he existed), who thought the end times were immanent.
      Re-establishing a kingdom at that point was irrelevant.

      March 16, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • linsea50

        Actually, he did identify himself as the Messiah on several occasions.

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

        He implied strongly to his disciples that he was the messiah, and rode an ass into Jerusalem, to the cheers of the crowd, as a symbolic way of showing that he was the messiah. To the Jews who believed in the prophecies such as those of Isaiah, the establishment of the Kingdom of God in Jerusalem was to be the purpose and culmination of end time events.

        April 18, 2014 at 12:07 am |
  5. theoriginalrock

    christianity.... one of the great scourges of our planet's history... and here's a guy with a definite agenda spouting off as if his opinion of what is true is more important or correct than anyone else's.. i agree with mr. martin that jesus didn't know everything... and still didn't at the time of his death... but, for him to claim he knows whether or not jesus was married because he's read a book that basically says NOTHING about jesus life from birth to 30, and very little from 30 to death, makes mr martin a fool..

    March 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
    • kevinite

      So, what really is Christianity anyway? Since you care to list it as one of the great scourages of this planet's history.

      March 16, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
  6. Vic

    In relation to the subject matter, the Lord Jesus Christ, I recall one of my posts from March of last year:

    "What the Lord Jesus Christ did for us"


    March 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • observer


      Thanks for your help in getting my "old" name back.

      Suggestion: why not summarize old comments. It's unlikely that someone will bother to go back to an old blog. Links turn off a lot of people.

      March 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • Vic

        You bet.

        I appreciate your suggestion, and I'll try to do that as much as possible. This one however is comprehensive for the purpose of it, relating to the subject matter, and I am afraid it would defeat the purpose to summarize it.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • basehitter

          Well you already defeated the purpose. I for one am going to bother reading it. If you can't get your point across in a few sentences, it's not worth reading.

          March 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      What has he done for us lately?

      March 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • pugh7755

        A lot for me. But, I feel sorry for you if you have to ask that question.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer


          March 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      he did nothing for "us" he was whacked by the romans and a cult grew up around his rotting corpse

      March 16, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        He fulfilled NONE of the things a messiah was to do. If he existed, he caused a ruckus in the temple, then asked his "father" to "remove" the cup from him (ie his will was NOT to die), and according to standing order in the Pax Romana, he was summarily executed, with no trial. 10,000 years from now, humans will laugh at those who 2000 years after his death, still followed his ancient magic cult.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
      • jbc630

        Why didn't the Jewish authorities produce his body then?

        March 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer


      !!! SALVATION of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ !!!

      Adam brought sin into the world. With sin came death and separation from God. Jesus Christ took away the sin of the world and brought us eternal life and reconciliation with God the Father.

      Romans 5:12-21
      "12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

      15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

      18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

      Jesus Christ spoke of that the Law would be binding until it is accomplished. That's why he accomplished it for us for no human can accomplish it!

      The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf, died on the Holy Cross for the remission of our sins (became sin and curse for us) descended to hell and defeated death (keys of which were held by Satan,) rose from the dead on the third day bringing us eternal life and reconciliation with God the Father, then ascended to Heaven promising us the Holy Spirit and preparing the place for us.

      1 Corinthians 15:22
      "22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

      Fulfillment of the Law

      Matthew 5:17,18
      “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished."

      John 17:4
      "4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do."

      Hebrews 9:25,26
      "25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."

      Becoming Sin

      2 Corinthians 5:21
      "21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

      Becoming Curse

      Galatians 3:13
      "13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—"

      Dying on the Cross & Deafeating Death

      John 19:30
      "Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit."

      Romans 6:9
      "9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him."

      2 Timothy 1:10
      "10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,"

      Hebrews 2:14,15
      "14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives."

      Revelation 1:18
      "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."

      Rising on the Third Day

      Matthew 12:40
      "40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

      1 Corinthians 15:4
      "4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"


      Romans 5:10,11
      "10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

      2 Corinthians 5:18
      "18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,"

      Ascension into Heaven & Preparing the Place for us

      Luke 24:50,51
      "50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven."

      John 14:3
      "3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."

      Acts 1:9
      "9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight."

      His work was Done!

      When someone finishes his/her work they sit down. After the Lord Jesus Christ finished His work, He sat down at the right hand of God the Father!

      John 17:4
      "4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do."

      John 19:30
      "Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit."

      Mark 16:19
      "So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God."

      Justification & Salvation

      Romans 3:28
      "28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."

      Romans 8:1,2
      "8 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

      Romans 10:4
      "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

      Galatians 2:16
      "16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified."

      Ephesians 1:7
      "7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace"

      Ephesians 2:8,9
      "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

      Acts 13:39
      "39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses."

      [All above Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)]

      March 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
      • The Central Scrutinizer

        That is what you are so proud of we all just need to read it again!

        March 16, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • jorudinz

          Well, maybe he just learned how to copy and paste and he's really excited and proud of himself?

          March 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • Vic

          Well, thank you.

          You did what I was afraid of being misconstrued as spamming, and for that, you are a trooper.

          March 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
      • jorudinz

        I thought bedtime stories and nursery tales were supposed to rhyme? That's very disappointing.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          Vic posted this on another article and thought his ctrl +V was so good he should share the link with us on this article. Why share the link when it is so good, we all need to read it again! Thanks Vic.

          March 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
      • basehitter

        Do you actually believe all of that ?

        March 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
      • basehitter


        March 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I have no reason to read any further until you justify this statement

        "Adam brought sin into the world"

        March 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • jbc630

          It was Adam's free will choice to bring sin into the world.

          March 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        There is not a shred of evidence that humans changed in any way with a "fall". There was no "Adam", (as DNA demonstrates). The entire cult is all built on a preposterous pile of nothing.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • jbc630

          around 2 million years ago our ancestors lost the ability to have painless childbirth as the pelvis narrowed to allow walking.

          March 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        Wow! You can cut and paste from a book. Big friggin' deal.

        March 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
      • primatica

        poorly translated goat herder scribbles..

        March 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • theoriginalrock

      ewwwww..... just the phrase "lord jesus christ" sounds like the kind of verbage i would expect from a non-thinking automoton..

      March 16, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
  7. vfxjex

    The reasons why most people do not believe in the bible now a days because of this priests who have shallow thoughts...
    Why was this posted in CNN? this is a degrading thing for them...

    March 16, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
    • observer


      Many people don't believe in the Bible because of the errors, contradictions, nonsense and hypocrisy in it. The priests had little if anything to do with it.

      March 16, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      The reasons why most people do not believe in the bible now a days because religion cannot contol the flow of information the way it once did...


      March 16, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
    • jorudinz

      Actually, a little simple math, common sense, an understanding of averages, and the knowledge that for 3/4's of the bibles existence, it had to be copied by hand whenever another copy was wanted to needed, and it's pretty easy to figure out that the bible that was around 2,000 years ago has absolutely nothing in common with the bible people are reading today. They are two completely different sets of books, which many times (if, say, you trusted one from 700 AD vs one from today) COMPLETELY contradicted each other. One passage will say "thou shalt not so and so" and the other will literally say "thou shall so and so" in regards to the exact same thing. So, there's a very real chance most "modern" christians are doing many things that are the exact opposite of what god wanted them to do. (of course, this is assuming it all wasn't bull hockey to begin with, but even giving every benefit of the doubt, there's very little chance even one word of the original bible survived)

      March 16, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol. Everyone's a critic, and of course no one is ever more qualified to interpret the Bible than...you, correct?

      March 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
  8. vfxjex

    Priest are really ignorant about Bible...

    March 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Just like their flocks.

      March 16, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  9. rm115

    Jesus is just all right...Jesus is just all right... Doobie Brothers. Thank you

    March 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
    • Vic

      I love that song.


      March 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • sam stone


        March 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
      • The Central Scrutinizer

        The best lyric the song is, "I don't care what they may know"

        Perfect Christian logic.

        March 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • sam stone

          From the Prine song,,,,,,"Jesus was a good guy, he didn't need this sh1t"

          March 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
  10. hearthetruthonline2014

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


    March 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • observer

      Spammed advertising in violation of CNN rules that you SUPPOSEDLY agreed to. Good job, Christian.

      March 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer


      You agree not to upload, post, e-mail or otherwise transmit any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation;

      March 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
  11. olasnah

    I think most people probably don't know that he wasn't likely a real singular individual, and that everything we know about him is complete conjecture.

    March 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      They are Christians, and that means they just believe.

      March 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • atheismisfree

      Just one of many deluded self proclaimed messiah's of that time .... many before ....many more after ... some followed .....all preposterous nods

      March 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
    • jbc630

      an overwhelming majority of "unbelieving" scholars attest that he was an actual historical figure.

      March 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
  12. The Central Scrutinizer

    Death is just a fading dream you don’t wake up from or remember. With death comes the end of all time and reality. Embrace the mercy that comes with death. Heaven and hell are erroneous.

    March 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
  13. Tobi Akiode

    Things will change, for good, for you; hold firm on to God's unchanging hands. Be Encouraged @ http://www.tobiakiode.com/radio http://bit.ly/PGqnKT

    March 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      God has hands?

      March 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
  14. urnotathinkerareu

    Jesus is only a copycat story...educate yourselves outside the bible


    March 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
    • atheismisfree

      I've seen all the video's by ATWELL. Very intriguing ...

      March 16, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
  15. pmuluha

    Layman theology masquerading as expert knowledge

    March 16, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
    • Akira

      "Opinion by the Rev. James Martin, special to CNN"

      Hardly a layman. That would be....you.

      March 16, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
  16. The Central Scrutinizer

    All of the heaven and hell nonsense is a primitive human response to the fear of death. One could probably state with confidence that a major component of believing in superstitions like Christianity is the fear of the unknown, particularly death.

    I don't understand why. Was there anything scary before you were born? No, you don't have a memory of no existence. It will most likely be that way when you die too. Nothing. Certainly that is less scary than the religious beliefs.

    March 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • arrow0time

      You betray yourself with "It will most likely be that way when you die..."

      March 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • The Central Scrutinizer

        Gee I am sorry, how would you have said it?

        March 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • collecemall

          I believe he would have said Bahhhhh! Bahhhhhh! BAHHHHHHHHHHH!

          March 16, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer


          March 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • arrow0time

          You've shown (betrayed yourself) that you really have no idea what it will be like when you die... you're not sure at all that the Christians are wrong.

          March 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          I am just stating my opinion. I don't know anything for sure. Do you?

          March 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
        • collecemall

          I'm willing to bet my soul on it. But considering there is no soul I don't feel to bad about losing it.

          March 16, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
  17. eurekadog

    "the cup" contained the wrath of God. It would be poured out upon Jesus. It wasn't the death by itself when he was praying about "the cup".

    March 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
    • PAllen

      Okay, help me here. God, by definition, is love; yet you talk about the wrath of God!

      March 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
      • eurekadog

        God is love, but He is also many other things. Above all, He is holy. People do not like to think of God as being anything other than love, but the thought (that "God is love" tells the whole story) is a lie. People who believe that "God is ((only) love" fail to believe what God said about himself in the Holy Bible. Read The Bible from cover to cover to see how God describes Himself.

        March 17, 2014 at 2:03 am |
    • rm115

      Where did you get that from. I’ve never heard that before.

      March 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Christians like to make up stuff about their religion.

        March 16, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
      • eurekadog

        Well, I could type it out here, but here's a link instead: http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/what-was-cup-jesus-drank-from-so-that-sins-are-forgiven.html

        March 17, 2014 at 2:04 am |
  18. ausphor

    Read the bible, watch cosmos, read the bible, watch cosmos, read the, watch cosmos, watch cosmos, screw the bible.

    March 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Cosmos is a much better choice. Loved the original, love the new. I think every child should see the series.

      March 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
      • basehitter

        Far more inspiring than the bible mumbo jumbo.

        March 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • ilikestealingducks

          And unlike the bible, Cosmos is based on truth.

          March 16, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
  19. CFB

    Reblogged this on lit! and commented:
    "In the end, as theologians like to say, Jesus is not so much a problem to be solved as a mystery to be pondered," writes Rev. James Martin. That reminds me of a Gabriel Marcel quote. (Also interesting in this short piece: The literary evidence of Jesus growing in wisdom, in a natural, normal sense, rather than just knowing all from the beginning.)

    March 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
  20. The Central Scrutinizer

    I love this quote.

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
    ― Mark Twain

    March 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • observer


      The cure for bigotry is education.

      March 16, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • hoeech

        Sadly, too many people refuse to vaccinate themselves.

        March 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • Aquarian Treasures

        The cure for Bigotry is simply not being a conservative republican.

        March 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • eurekadog

          Bigotry exists in every human. It may be masked, well-hidden, etc. but I've NEVER met a single person that didn't harbor bigotry on numerous levels.

          March 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
        • The Central Scrutinizer

          eurekadog, I disagree. I am not a bigot on any level. Give me an example of what/why you think I have levels of bigotry. I say I don't.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • observer


          It is the level of bigotry that is significant. Many Christian hypocrites use the Bible as an excuse to pick on gays while ignoring the much greater number of Christian adulterers.

          March 16, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • ihavetopushthepramalot

      Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST

      March 16, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • hoeech

        Watch out where the huskies go, and don't you eat that yellow snow.

        March 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
      • igaftr

        "Time is mone
        "I thought you said that opium was money"
        "Money is money"
        "Then what is time again?"

        March 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • tallulah131

        "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay."

        March 16, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
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About this blog

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