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. Dyslexic doG

    If anyone would like to study the ancient god Horus from Egypt in 3000 BC you would see striking similarities to the story of the christian jesus. The story isn't exact but it's obvious that large parts of the jesus story in the bible (written centuries after the jesus character's death) come from the much earlier story of Horus from another earlier religion and another civilization.

    March 17, 2014 at 9:59 am |
    • ausphor

      Dionysus, Jesus like but way cooler.

      March 17, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • ausphor

        or Jesus, like Dionysus but way duller.

        March 17, 2014 at 10:16 am |
    • linsea50

      Knowledge of the coming of Christ predated Horus. It is reasonable to assume that the Egyptians took that knowledge and incorporated it into their own belief system.

      March 17, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
      • kermit4jc

        that's actually true, many of the similarities came AFTER Jesus..even though Horus himself was before Jesus..things were added on later.

        March 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
  2. 1peevedbob

    This article and the OPINIONS of the writer are just that OPINIONS, that are based on his personal interpretation of the scriptures he is referring to!!!!!

    March 17, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • kudlak

      Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, the Pope and everyone else, including you, all just offer their opinions about biblical interpretation too, so what's the problem?

      The Bible really is the big book of multiple choice.

      March 17, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • boatertone

      OK Bob, so it's Fr Martin's "Opinion" (that's why it's in the "OPINION" page and it's labeled OPINION.)
      So what's your point?

      March 17, 2014 at 10:08 am |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    The doctrine of the incarnation demonstrate neatly how purely human and made up Christianity (indeed all religion) is. The idea of Jesus being a god incarnate and part of the three faceted Christian God was by no means settled in the early Christian church. Views ran the full spectrum from Jesus being just a man, to both a man and a god to a pure god, who just seemed to be a man. Adoptionism, for example, was a belief of the early Christians that Jesus was an ordinary man, born of Joseph and Mary, who became the Christ and the Son of God only at his baptism by John the Baptist. On the other hand, Docetism held that he was a god from inception and never really became human. He only appeared to be a human being, almost like a corporeal ghost.

    If you reflect on it for a moment, you can see their dilemma and the reason for the full spectrum of views. The whole idea of combining our notion of a god with a human being in the one personage meant they pretty much had to make it all up. And I mean that in the strict sense of the word. They had to develop the doctrine from scratch. They were cutting new cloth. What does it even mean for a god to “become flesh?” Just how deeply did Jesus get into his role as a human being and how much of his “godliness” did he retain? Did Jesus experience pain and a normal male puberty? Did he mastu.rbate as a teenager? Could he have fathered a child if he wished? At what point in his development as a child did he realize he was a part of the Holy Trinity? I guess modern theologians would be arguing over whether he had normal DNA and electromagnetic activity in his brain. That is the difficulty with incorporating the supernatural into any real life situation. You then have to work out exactly where the real world ends and the supernatural one starts.

    The matter was eventually settled by vote at a series of meetings of early church leaders, the most important of which was the First Council of Nicaea in 325. It was decided that Jesus would be considered both fully man and God, “begotten from, but not created by God the Father and fully man, getting his flesh and human nature from the Virgin Mary.” In other words, they simultaneously answered everything and nothing.

    Think about this for a moment. The matter of Jesus’ incarnation and his exact nature were decided by popular vote. Jesus himself never said anything about it, God never showed up at any ecu.menical council to advise on the matter and, for those who consider it relevant, the Bible is totally silent on the issue. A few dozen pre-Dark Ages theologians made it up.

    This is how all Christian theology develops and evolves. It is all made up. To the extent church theologians “research” an issue, they simply look to the writings of earlier theologians who made something up. To the extent those earlier theologians researched anything, they looked to the writings of even earlier theologians who made something up. But at some point, no matter how far back we go, no matter how many theologians we pass through and no matter how honest, intelligent, pious or well lettered the original propagator of the idea was, at some point it is simply made up. Fabricated, albeit with the best of intentions and with the complete self-confidence that the fabrication is correct.

    Yes, the incarnation of Christ shows neatly how religion is all made up. Mind candy for those too weak to face the uncertainties of life and the certainty of death.

    - Colin

    March 17, 2014 at 9:34 am |
    • colin31714

      Though I recognized it. Where you been, doG? haven't seen you in a while.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I had a nap in this cave and then someone rolled a big rock over the entrance. Three days I was in there! Sheesh! Finally someone let me out, so here I am, back again. I wonder if anyone noticed me missing from the cave? 🙂

        March 17, 2014 at 9:51 am |
        • ausphor

          I should try that. Three days just living on accu,mulated body fat, cool diet trick.

          March 17, 2014 at 10:00 am |
  4. colin31714

    When discussing anything about a person who has been written as a construct between a god and a human being, anything is possible. If you want to claim superhuman powers, just attribute them to his divine side and, if you want to claim human limitations, just attribute them to his human side.

    That's why Christology and indeed all Christianity in its supernatural claims, is so shallow and simple. You can just make something up, find a biblical verse that, directly or obliquely supports it and there is no way you can be definitively disproved.

    March 17, 2014 at 9:33 am |
  5. stonedwhitetrash

    "Did God create man, or did ,man create God?" ~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~

    March 17, 2014 at 9:31 am |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Jesus was just David Koresh 2000 years earlier. A sociopathic conman with a good story and lots of charisma. All this foolishness, without a shred of proof, has sprung up from there.

    utter, mind numbing nonsense.

    March 17, 2014 at 9:30 am |
  7. Theo Phileo

    People who attempt to portray Jesus as having never existed, align themselves with the same historical revisionists who say that the Confederate States of America won the War of Northern Aggression in 1865, and put themselves into the same padded room as the man who claims to be a poached egg.

    March 17, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jesus the radical Rabbi more than likely existed
      Jesus the magical demi-god – not so much.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:28 am |
      • Theo Phileo

        "Jesus the magical demi-god – not so much."
        You are welcome to your opinion of course. But that is all it is.

        March 17, 2014 at 9:35 am |
        • kudlak

          It's like how we treat Davy Crockett as a historical figure.
          Colourful congressman, yes.
          King of the Wild Frontier who "kilt him a b'ar when he was only three", not so much.

          Since supernatural powers and humans rising from the dead are not deemed factual occurrences that actually happen to human beings, actual historians have no reason to take those claims of Jesus seriously. If they did, then they would have no objective reason to discount similar claims made of other religious and political figures.

          March 17, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • seedenbetter

          I would say it's more a lack of belief for lack of evidence.

          March 17, 2014 at 10:29 am |
        • kudlak

          Is there ever a good reason to actually believe in something without evidence?

          March 17, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • colin31714

      Yes, in order of historical "looniness" the pecking order goes something like this – from craziest to most likely

      1. Jesus existed and was the offspring of a god and a Greco-Roman Jewish virgin who had supernatural powers and rose from the dead – the craziest.
      2. Jesus never even existed at all – the next craziest.
      3. Jesus existed, was an a charismatic apocalyptic Jewish prophet and died by execution. But was a simple human being. Most likely

      March 17, 2014 at 9:38 am |
    • igaftr

      You are welcome to your opinion of course, but that is all it is.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  8. hallambaker

    Archeologists have determined that the village/tourist attraction purported to be 'Nazareth' had no well during Biblical times and no other source of water. Therefore the permanent population cannot have been greater than zero.

    Also there are no historical sources for Jesus until after the death of Paul. Paul writes of Jesus from his after-death vision and from 'the scriptures' which according to what we now know were written after Paul died. So Paul isn't talking about the Jesus from Mark's gospel.

    March 17, 2014 at 9:22 am |
    • toughcool

      Wrong. There are writings from Roman emperors discussing Christianity and how people followed Jesus...all around the the time of his life. Just google it an much of the information comes up. There is almost universal agreement that he was a historical figure. It is what he did...Bible stories vs his real life...that is debated.

      March 17, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        The Romans and the other historiansthat wrote about Christianity did so long after Jesus was to have lived, and they related what Christains believed not what he did. Historians that actually did live at the time and area of Jesus never mentioned him once.

        If you would like to read a book addressing the historical claims of Jesus with citiations of sources..... read

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

        March 17, 2014 at 10:50 am |
  9. Dyslexic doG

    jesus wasn't born, he was written.

    March 17, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And that is why they call him the word....but he's not...the bird is the word.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:23 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Everybody knows that the bird is the Word.
        (pa pa oo mow mow)

        March 17, 2014 at 9:29 am |
  10. flmike

    #6 – Jesus did not look like Brad Pitt

    March 17, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • mk

      His twelve men-friends might disagree.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:10 am |
  11. primatica

    If Jesus was real he would overturn the Box Office tables over this silly "Twilight" gospel flick...

    March 17, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • ausphor

      "The Life of Brian" should be mandatory viewing in all Sunday Schools, Monty Python rules.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:23 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        he's not the messiah, he's just a very naughty boy!

        March 17, 2014 at 9:37 am |
        • jorudinz

          Which means, by Jesus's own beliefs, Mary and Joseph should have killed him as a child for not conforming, as I'm sure they asked him to....hypocrites

          March 17, 2014 at 9:48 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        Hear Hear!

        March 17, 2014 at 10:42 am |
    • kudlak

      That would be Dracula who would be so offended by Twilight, wouldn't it? 😉

      What does Jesus care whether vampires are unholy monsters who don't cast reflections, or sparkly-skinned heartthrobs?

      March 17, 2014 at 11:20 am |
  12. bvaudt

    I am somewhat amused by the amount of time and energy some folks invest in railing against something that doesn't exist.

    March 17, 2014 at 8:47 am |
    • igaftr

      I am constantly amused by the number of buildings and the amount of time and money people waste on something that no one can verify the existance of.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:11 am |
    • olasnah

      Stop involving yourself in politics and other people's lives and then saying some imaginary thing is motivating you to do it. That's pretty much why I rail against religion....

      March 17, 2014 at 9:11 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I think it's funny Christians wants everyone to pay attention to their religion, they want it included in laws and gov't and public school, they put up billboards and have TV channels dedicated to it. And then when atheists pay attention they say "you shouldn't even care, why not just ignore us".

      March 17, 2014 at 9:26 am |
      • ausphor

        Have you not heard the god news, ad nauseam.

        March 17, 2014 at 9:46 am |
  13. hatenapa

    Talketh like the Bible I wish I could, but behold, the coffee I seek will be in the break room, then the new day will dawn.

    March 17, 2014 at 8:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      For lo! There did cometh upon the hearts of men the desire for caffeinated beverages with the rising of the sun.
      And yea in the kitchen of the house of Azarkaban, son of Schlamiel the quant.ity surveyor who begat Adromil the cistern cleanser, there arose the invigorating aroma of God's bean percolating.
      And the men of the house of Azarkaban did quest for non-dairy creamer. Through the pantry they searched, imploring God that they might not have to use the expired cream in the fridge or, to their dismay, drink it black.
      And the LORD of Israel sent the angel Timhorton with tiding of great joy and Timbits.
      Yea did the good men of the house of Azarkaban sip the nectar of God's bean and eateth they the bits of Tim in preparation for a hard day of guilt and repentance.

      March 17, 2014 at 8:37 am |
      • mk

        I do love your religion, doc.

        March 17, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • Vic

      On another note, no green beer for me, just golden.

      Happy St. Patrick's Day where everybody is Irish today.

      March 17, 2014 at 8:59 am |
      • igaftr

        Except for St Patrick himself, since he was not irish in the first place.

        March 17, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • Vic

          No kidding.

          I always tell about the irony that St. Patrick himself was a Scottish who fled to Ireland.

          March 17, 2014 at 9:33 am |
        • midwest rail

          Was he a true Scotsman ?

          March 17, 2014 at 9:34 am |
        • Vic

          Well, he was a Scot.

          LOL, I get your drift.

          March 17, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  14. top8305

    In the Scripture about the The Syrophoenician Woman's Faith (Mk 7:24-30), Rev. Fr. Martin misquotes what the text actually convey; by his translation:

    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.”

    The a more accurate translation conveys that our Lord Jesus said that the the Gentiles should be fed only AFTER feeding God's Chosen People, His Firstborn, the Greek does not "refuse" but delays feeding the Gentiles.

    NRSV: daughter. [27] He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.”
    NABRE: [27] He said to her, "Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs."
    KJV: [27] But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
    Same with ASV, NAB, NIV, NLT, WEB, YLT translations.

    There is also the possibility that Jesus said this with full knowledge, saying what he did and knowing the Woman's response (as with His Knowing what others were thinking elsewhere in Scripture) as a teaching lesson for the Apostles and Disciples. Christ probably didn't really consider the Gentiles "dogs" but many, if not most Jews did...

    March 17, 2014 at 7:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And therein lies the inherent difficulty with religion – it is necessarily sectarian, creating an "us and them" mentality.
      The Jewish people's disdain for outsiders is understandable given how much the Old Testament drives home that they are The Chosen People. When God Himself tells you that foreigners are slaves to be treated as chattel, it's hard to keep a level head.
      (Lev. 25:44)
      While Christ tried to spread The Word to the Gentiles, His legacy has been a 1900 year long night of persecution against the Jews, largely at the hands of His own followers. Spreading "The Word" became a game of "cognite intrare", compelling the heathen to enter by any means necessary, including conquest and torture.
      Sociological evolution is leading us away from religion, not because Christianity, Islam, Hinduism etc are negative in and of themselves, but becuase they are necessarily divisive.
      While humanity needs a common goal to unite us, I don't think the source can ever be something supernatural.
      Any proposition that relies on faith can and will be twisted by unscrupulous individuals for their own gain. Its just far too easy to manipulate those who are willing to suspend critical thinking and accept something without evidence.
      If only Cochrane would hurry up and invent Warp Drive so the Vulcans can make First Contact! Then we can do away with money, hunger and racism. And also get it on with green skinned women in go-go boots.

      March 17, 2014 at 8:12 am |
      • kudlak

        I'm sure that there are many, Christians and Muslims especially, who feel that the sectarian problem would resolve itself once those other fools all come to their senses and join their sect. For, of course, only they have the real truth. 🙂

        March 17, 2014 at 8:29 am |
    • Reality

      On the other hand, the said passages were probably not said by the historical Jesus.

      To wit:

      Professor John P. Meier of the University of Notre Dame:

      Meier deals with this miracle in Marginal Jew II,659-61. On this particular story he concludes:

      "Weighing all the pros and cons, it seems to me that the story of the Syrophoenician woman is so shot through with Christian missionary theology and concerns that creation by first-generation Christians is the more likely conclusion. (p. 660f)"

      See also: http://www.jesusdatabase.org/index.php?ti-tle=237_Distant_Girl_Cured

      March 17, 2014 at 8:21 am |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I don't get how anyone can claim Jesus said anything with any accuracy whatsoever...

        March 17, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • Reality

          Every pa-ssage of the NT has been rig-o-rously ev-aluated for historic authenticity by many contemporary NT scholars. The result? Only about 30 % p-a-ss the tests of the required atte-stations, p-u-blication time pe-riod and archeology. .

          March 17, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Reality

          For example, see http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann's studies in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years.

          March 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
      • Reality

        Also, "google" Crossan Inventory.

        March 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • juli333

      That was pretty much what I said above. Needless to say, I agree ; )

      March 17, 2014 at 9:40 am |
  15. lewcypher

    The difference between me and your god is if I saw a baby being ra.ped I would try to stop it.

    March 17, 2014 at 7:35 am |
    • kudlak

      And the difference between Superman and their God is that Superman would save even his worse enemy, and has, many times. 🙂

      March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am |
    • seedenbetter

      But God works in mysterious ways, free will, etc, etc. so he's off the hook. Although, odd that only the aggressor/rapist is the only one with free will and the victim has none.

      March 17, 2014 at 8:37 am |
    • kevinite

      If you were God would there be any point in creating this world having us living in this world in the first place?

      March 17, 2014 at 8:40 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        So your god is not so powerful after all....now there's a shock!

        March 17, 2014 at 9:10 am |
  16. worknman24hours

    Rev.Martin, thank you for 'keeping it real'.

    One of the best ever articles on Jesus in any media anywhere.

    March 17, 2014 at 7:10 am |
  17. Najla Alshami

    Jesus didn't die people God has taken him up to heaven and the man who died was in the image of jesus but actually was one of the " Apostles ".
    Jesus is not the son of God because God is not a creature or has any human – like Characteristics .. Because is the creator of everything in the universe.
    Jesus wasn't divine but he was miraculous for he spoke to people when he was a baby right after he was born and then he could predict things and cures diseases thanks to God help.
    Jesus will return to earth from heaven to rule human being for 40 years before the " Doom Day "

    March 17, 2014 at 6:35 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Such a cute fallacious story written to fool the gullible minds. No evidence for heaven; no evidence for god; no evidence for jesus or any of that. One must give up reason and logic to fall for such a horrific story.

      March 17, 2014 at 7:01 am |
      • Najla Alshami

        Do you see electricity? no but you can sense it's existence !! and therefore you can't say for sure that the things you can't see or touch are not real 🙂
        Believe me I have more logic than you can ever imagine .. I studied Political science and economy and I occupy an important position .. anyway you have you're believes and I have mine .. not an issue to argue about

        March 17, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I can test for electricity but I can't test for your god or any other god. If you call believing on faith logic then I'm afraid your idea of what logic is is very flawed! I happen to care that my beliefs are based on evidence, apparently you don't!

          March 17, 2014 at 8:25 am |
    • jerryshor

      Pleas, stop using drugs. and read more books beside bible. thank you 🙂

      March 17, 2014 at 7:31 am |
      • xthehatterx

        None of what he said is actually in the Bible, so I doubt he ever read it.

        March 17, 2014 at 7:51 am |
      • Najla Alshami

        I'm Muslim .. That's written in our Holy Quran
        We strongly believe in Jesus and all the prophets God sent beside ours.
        I never read Bible because it was distorted and the current version is false .. The original doesn't exist..
        Anyway.. thanx fo the advice even if it was for mocking .. you have you're believes and I have mine and it's how life works ..

        March 17, 2014 at 7:56 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          The stories in your holy book are no more valid. None of you can show a god exists without using your holy book and in reality land, imaginary friends are illogical.

          March 17, 2014 at 8:27 am |
        • Najla Alshami

          As long as were happy and satisfied as I said you're free to believe in what you want and the same applies on me and every other human as long as were all happy and satisfied .. I like the way you think and how evidence are important but if you may allow me I think some believes in a superior power and existance is a necessary to balance ..
          thank you very much for this good negotiation

          March 17, 2014 at 8:33 am |
  18. chewie402

    I'm not sure if the issue is that Jesus didn't want to die, or more that he didn't want to die in the way he knew he had to. Even though he knew the ultimate outcome of his death, the pain and torment leading up to it were was causing him despair. It's not just that he knew he was going to die, but that he knew he was going to be tortured and crucified (which, even then, was among the most painful and barbaric ways to die).

    March 17, 2014 at 5:26 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Yet if he died then the whole resurrection story falls apart...no-one in recorded history has ever returned from the dead and no decent loving parent would sacrifice their own child for the mistakes of those who don't even exist. Such silly scare-tactic stories to make you feel less of a person and yet so many have been fooled. Christians worship a god that if he were real would be in jail for his crimes against humanity...not a good character to follow-no morals; a murderous ass is all!

      March 17, 2014 at 6:09 am |
      • linsea50

        Jesus was the first to be resurrected. And you are overlooking a very critical aspect–Jesus chose to make that sacrifice. It was his own decision. He did not have to do it, but did it anyway to save others.

        March 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
  19. Samuel

    I Don't Quite Agree with the fifth point, I Dont believe and agree tha Jesus was afraid to die, if you read the old testament, CUP sometimes refeeered to the wrath of a king, i Believe it was the wrath of the father that he wanted to pass over, C,mon he told Peter get thee behind me, you dont savour the things of God, are we saying at the garden Jesus didn,t

    March 17, 2014 at 4:07 am |
    • ssq41

      It's okay, honey. It was just a bad dream. Go back to sleep...

      March 17, 2014 at 4:25 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      The good old OT...what would our world be like if fools didn't follow that? Slaves would probably never have been owned; innocent children/women never forced to marry their rapist...yep the OT is what all people should follow or NOT!! Even the 10 commandments are immoral...mere thought crimes, not much more and demanding of idolatry. Such a great god you fools worship or NOT!

      March 17, 2014 at 5:09 am |
  20. justin8101

    Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lust, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beggining of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that they by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men.

    March 17, 2014 at 3:03 am |
    • ssq41

      OH, Justin...you are even more of a meany than Jonah....just can't wait for God to burn all those evil sinners.

      March 17, 2014 at 4:06 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Was that the bed time story your Mommy told you?? Cute but morbid little fairy tale it is!

      March 17, 2014 at 4:22 am |
      • ssq41

        Such a scoffer you are, TP1.

        March 17, 2014 at 4:24 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Childish fairy tales that teach a person they are not good enough and are damaged deserve scoffing.

          March 17, 2014 at 4:26 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Again..more ignorance of the Bible...nowhere does it teach we are never good enough.....our value is nOT in our deeds..but that we are Created by God..and God so loved the world that he gave His only son....plus in Romans 5 it says God showed us His love in this while we were still sinners, Christ died for us..if we had no value..God owuldnt have done such for us....we DO have value...

          March 17, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          What???? Did you imaginary friend jesus not die for the sins of all??? That alone says we're not good enough. Reality has it that this is a vicious horror story made up to scare innocent minds to think that in order to be good enough they must follow your god and that's simply not true...no good decent parent would sacrifice their own child for future generations of people not yet born...the story is simply bat shit crazy and so are you if you believe it.

          March 17, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • sam stone

      Anonymous empty proxy threats written by iron age sheep molesters are not that frightening, Justin. That being said, your god is a vindictive, petty pr1ck and you are a snivelling sycophant.

      March 17, 2014 at 5:53 am |
    • mk

      Your all-loving god drowns and burns his own people, his own creation? That doesn't sound like a god that any rational person would honor.

      March 17, 2014 at 9:15 am |
    • kudlak

      What are you talking about, "End Times"? There were always people who saw through the nonsense of Christian claims.

      but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
      1 Corinthians 1:23

      March 17, 2014 at 10:12 am |
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About this blog

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