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April 10th, 2014
10:04 AM ET

Study: 'Jesus' wife' fragment not a fake

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - A team of scientists has concluded that a controversial scrap of papyrus that purportedly quotes Jesus referring to "my wife," is not a fake, according to the Harvard Theological Review.

"A wide range of scientific testing indicates that a papyrus fragment containing the words, 'Jesus said to them, my wife' is an ancient document, dating between the sixth to ninth centuries CE," Harvard Divinity School said in a statement.

Scientists tested the papyrus and the carbon ink, and analyzed the handwriting and grammar, according to Harvard.

Radiocarbon tests conducted at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced an origination date for the papyrus of 659-859 CE, according to Harvard. MIT also studied the chemical composition of the papyrus and patterns of oxidation.

Other scholars studied the carbon character of the ink and found that it matched samples of papyri from the first to eight century CE, according to Harvard.

"None of the testing has produced any evidence that the fragment is a modern fabrication or forgery," the divinity school said.

At least one scholar sharply disagrees, however, calling the papyrus scrap "patently fake."

Unveiled by Karen King, a Harvard Divinity School historian, in 2012, the scrap has sparked a heated debate over Christian history, archaeological accuracy and the role of women in the church.

The fragment, which is about the size of a business card, contains just 33 words, including: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …" and "she will be able to be my disciple." 

Though she dubbed the fragment, "The Gospel of Jesus' Wife," King said that the papyrus does not prove that Jesus was actually married - just that ancient Christians discussed the possibility.

"This gospel fragment provides a reason to reconsider what we thought we knew by asking what the role claims of Jesus's marital status played historically in early Christian controversies over marriage, celibacy, and family," King said.

Other Christians have suggested that Jesus may have been speaking metaphorically in the sentence fragments quoted in the papyrus. Some New Testament writers refer to the church as "the bride of Christ."

King and other scholars said they are equally intrigued by Jesus' mention of a female disciple.

"The main topic of the fragment is to affirm that women who are mothers and wives can be disciples of Jesus—a topic that was hotly debated in early Christianity as celibate virginity increasingly became highly valued," King said.

5 questions and answers about Jesus' 'wife'

The Harvard Theological Review also published on Thursday a sharp-worded rebuttal to King's hypothesis by Leo Depuydt, a professor of Egyptology at Brown University.

"I personally—and I am not sure whether I share this feeling with anyone—experience a certain incredulity pertaining to how something that is at first sight so patently fake could be so totally blown out of proportion," Depuydt writes.

Depuydt's criticism centers on the fact that the papyrus scrap contains a grammatical error in Coptic - one that mirrors a similar miscue in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas.

The chances that two ancient works would have the same mistake are minuscule, the scholar said, strongly suggesting that the author of the"Jesus' wife" scrap copied from the Gospel of Thomas.

“As a forgery, it is bad to the point of being farcical or fobbish," Depuydt told the Boston Globe. "I don’t buy the argument that this is sophisticated. I think it could be done in an afternoon by an undergraduate student.”

The Vatican's newspaper has also called the papyrus fragment a fake. “Substantial reasons would lead us to conclude that the papyrus is actually a clumsy counterfeit," L'Osservatore Romano, said in an editorial in 2012. 

Vatican newspaper calls fragment referring to Jesus' wife 'a fake'

King and Harvard acknowledge that "nothing is known about the discovery of the fragment." King has said it was given to her by an unnamed donor. 

"All the known data about its origin and circulation need to be publicly disclosed and thus made available for scholarly discussionas is the norm in the handling of manuscripts. Is there some reason we cannot just be told?" Depuydt said.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • History • Jesus

soundoff (2,539 Responses)
  1. Concert in an Egg

    Consider the smallest particle known to mankind and then imagine that was god. The principle building block in all things would not be “alive” as we think of things. It would be the catalyst that makes all things possible. God is everywhere and nowhere.

    April 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Pretty much "no where". A deity that relates to spacetime of necessity, cannot be its creator.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        You can only relate to the problem based on your human and personal bias.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
  2. skyrider7

    The most unbelievable aspect of it all: That in the year 2014, people still believe the stories from the book called The Bible. Let's move forward using our own thinking and philosophy of our time. The people who wrote The Bible lived their lives, let's live ours. Who today in modern society would follow the thinking of people who believed that the Earth was flat? Open your eyes and discover the world around you, while fast-forwarding your watches several hundred years!

    April 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
    • kevinite

      It's amazing in this day and age that there are still people who believe that civilization development means that it can only effectively happen a certain way in order to be "progressive" such as in unilinear cultural evolution. So skyrider7, how is it like to live in the late nineteenth century? If you want get to 2014, maybe you can get hold of HG Wells and borrow his time machine. If that doesn't happen, you could also search for an English blue police box that seems to be out of place.

      April 11, 2014 at 2:12 am |
  3. Concert in an Egg

    Nature loves pairs. If there is one god, you can bet there is at least one more. Perhaps even an opposite which would explain a lot. We got stuck with the "evil" god.

    April 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
    • truthfollower01

      Evil in what way?

      April 10, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Perhaps you haven't noticed but we don't live in fairy-tale land. Our opposites are in paradise while we are searching for black boxes.

        April 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
  4. Doris

    That's how big this fragment is?? Actually, that looks like that would be good with a little goat cheese on it.

    April 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Christian apologists often call something this size a "manuscript"....

      April 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
  5. homebuydallas

    If you are not a Christian, washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb, you know nothing at all about being suffused by the Holy Spirit. So who cares what anyone who is not a Christian thinks about Jesus? I certainly don't, but I'll pray for you.

    April 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
    • Akira

      That is the best proselytizing I've ever heard! You, my friend, will no doubt convert many with deeply felt faith.

      April 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
      • ssq41

        And should that prayer even be remembered to be spoken, it will go sumpin' like this:

        "Now I lay me down to sleep...blah, blah, blah...and, oh, btw, those f-ing atheists on CNN Belief Blog, I pray for their souls but look forward to (and prefer) Your throwing them in the Lake of Fire. In Jesus Name, amen."

        April 10, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
    • Madtown

      "Who is Jesus? Never heard of him."

      – signed, your human brother who God placed in a region of the world where christianity doesn't exist

      April 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
    • kudlak

      If you are not a Communist, freed by the teaching of Marx, you know nothing at all about how wonderful the Dear Leader is. So who cares what anyone who is not a Communist thinks about Kim Jong-un?

      April 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
    • MidwestKen

      The analysis of the properties of this fragment are not dependent on one's level of "suffusion" or one's experience of bathing in animal blood.

      April 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
      • Doris

        I was going to say, is homie talking about making tea or is he trying to recreate some scene from Psycho?

        April 10, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "If you are not a Christian, washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb"

      That's pretty sick....

      April 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Of course you don't. Delusional humans will do anything to maintain their delusions.
      The fact is, if Jebus was a Rabbi, he would have been THE only one in all of Jewish history NOT to be married.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, another condescending christian troll. How fvcking charming

      April 11, 2014 at 2:26 am |
    • revbro

      I was washed in the blood of the lamb... I preached it for 15 years... then I opened my eyes to reality and found out the Holy Spirit was nothing more than a stomach cramp that made me feel awful most days. The New Testament church became the Church of Paul, using some side notes from a man named Jesus.. but in the end the Church decided that Paul's more hateful words, and constant condemnation of any and all who didn't agree with him, were the new gospel. Upon further investigation I came to the conclusion that this self proclaimed apostle was nothing but a snake oil salesman.. much like Joseph Smith. I have no doubt you want to believe just like I have no doubt a 4 year old believes there really is a Santa Claus.. but it still doesn't make it real.

      April 11, 2014 at 11:58 am |
  6. munsif1961

    Recommend that those wanting to know more about the historical Jesus read Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only did Jesus have a wife it is believed that he had a mortal father as well. And, it is believed that there were female disciples.

    April 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • tiglathpileser1

      Yea, because someone who majors in creative writing (the author of your book recomendation) is always a good source of authenticity...

      April 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
      • Akira

        He's much more than that, but you know that.

        April 10, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
      • Madtown

        He's likely forgotten more about world religions than you'll ever know.

        April 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
      • tiglathpileser1

        "likely forgotten more about", unlikely as it was my major and not his. If you actually read his book with an open mind (yes, I have) you will find it is hardly an authoritative grasp on much from the first century.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
        • Madtown

          I'll gladly read your book, if you tell us the ti.tle?

          April 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm |
        • Akira

          Aslan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in religions from Santa Clara University.
          Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School.
          Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop.

          I'll assume it is the last one you have such contempt for, while ignoring the other two.
          By my count, that's three majors. Yours is in what? What school? Since you keep bringing it up, and all.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          Actually I do not "keep bringing it up", I have mentioned it once in response to this comment "He's likely forgotten more about world religions than you'll ever know" and my comment was that "world Religions" was my major. I have zero interest in comparing penises (or schools) and do not have 'contempt' for him or any of his degrees, simply stating that I would not accept someone whose specialty is creative writing as an authority on anything but creative writing.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
        • Doris

          Ah – creative writing -well and let's not forget creative oral tradition. We all know what that begets – over 41,000 sects of insanity....

          April 11, 2014 at 12:05 am |
        • tiglathpileser1

          @doris
          Well, the differnence is that 'creative writing' is a profession, 'creative oral' traition is spin you are attempting to create

          April 11, 2014 at 1:13 am |
        • mocasea

          You almost dodged the question of where your major is from. I'm not trying to compare who has a better school, I'm trying to identify whether or not your individual credentials give you credence or not. So please... You say your major is in World Religions... Please provide your credentials on that assertion.

          April 11, 2014 at 5:37 am |
        • tiglathpileser1

          @mocasea
          "You almost dodged the question of where your major is from."
          "almost' did nothing, I refused to answer it in this type of forum. Your query is a good example as to why, you had nothing to do with this thread until the issue of my degree was brought into it. This forum is silly at best, hardly the place to discuss who has creditials for what. I can assure you that as soon as I mentioned where I went to school there would be other lurkers jumping to disparage it...I have no interest in that type of silliness. The present discussion is enough for me at the moment.

          April 11, 2014 at 6:06 am |
      • Akira

        I suspect it has less to do with his years of research and more to do with the fact that you simply disagree with him.
        But, whatever. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
    • kudlak

      Well, besides for his mother, the women who went to anoint Jesus' body would have been disciples of his, right?

      April 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
    • dikelmm1

      I recommend How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman.

      April 10, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
    • Akira

      Reza Aslan's book?

      April 10, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
    • CatholicReligionTeacher

      Give me a break. Zealot is another cherry-picking job that doesn't hold a lick of water. See for yourself:

      http://youtu.be/YtvXbEMkiCY

      April 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
      • Akira

        You must be joking. Catholics cherry-pick with the best of them.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        You can't possibly be serious. Barron is one of THE biggest idiots out there.

        April 10, 2014 at 11:38 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      I have a little news for you. IF he existed, he DID have a mortal father.

      April 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
  7. shehar39

    so it could have been written almost 1000 years after Jesus'... hmm.. sounds authentic to me

    April 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
    • kudlak

      It could be authentic, just not anything like contemporary.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
  8. kudlak

    In fairness, all this proves is that somebody a long time ago may have believed that Jesus had a wife.

    This really shouldn't be any more scandalous than the second century Infancy Gospel of Thomas which had the child Jesus breathing life into clay birds, and actually killing some kid who bumped into him. If anything, it's a testament to just how diverse belief in Jesus was, even from the very beginning.

    April 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
    • mbaron1949

      Talk about misinterpretation! The "f" was really an "n," so the phrase should read, "My wine."

      April 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm |
      • kudlak

        Well, nobody can argue that Jesus didn't like wine.

        As they say, the important thing about his first miracle isn't that he made water into wine, but that me made MORE wine for a bunch of wedding goers who must have already been drunk, as they ran had run out.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • Starshine

      Obviously that wouldn't square with the ideology that Jesus without sin. So, bye-bye.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
      • kudlak

        That's how the Church determined which books ought to be included in a canon of Christian scripture: They took their developed theology at the time and ruled out all books that did't agree with it, and this wasn't yet decided after the First Council of Nicaea in 325.

        So, instead of a Bible that determines theology, a theology determined the Bible.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
  9. anniemee

    Why are they making a big deal out of this? It was written hundreds of years AFTER Christ, and obviously not by the original apostles who knew him. It's most likely a fragment of Gnostic writings; a well known cult with weird ideas who especially liked Mary Magdalene and even composed a "gospel" that was supposedly written by her. One of the primary purposes for the Nicene Creed was to eliminate confusion caused by the Gnostics' fantasy gospels.

    There's NO mystery here!! This "fragment" is absolutely nothing, other than being really old. The paper is worth more than what's written on it.

    April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
    • kudlak

      The Gnostics are only "weird" from the viewpoint of the variety of Christianity that raised to ultimate dominance, thanks to the support of the later Emperors of Rome. Had the Gnostics been the popular variety in and around Rome in the 300s you'd most likely be a Gnostic Christian today justifying the rooting out of such heretical books as Paul's letters and the Gospel of Luke.

      You'd still have the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation, however. Those were so popular with the Gnostics they almost didn't make it into the Canon.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
      • ssq41

        Funny how that game works, eh?

        April 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
      • Akira

        I find it absolutely hilarious that she is calling the Gnostics a cult, when they are yet another denomination of Christianity.
        Since the argument will be that of longevity, the Gnostics have been around just as long...so there is that.

        April 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • kudlak

          In the Christian taxonomy, the Gnostics represent more of a different class or phylum of beliefs about Jesus, while almost all present sects are families, genus and individual species of the Pauline branch, right?

          April 11, 2014 at 8:08 am |
    • bobthebobthex2

      whats your point? ALL of the new testament was written at least 50 to 100 years after the death of christ and the earliest fragments that remain are no less than 125 years after his death with most dating 3-400 years after his death. if you can accept the writings included in the bible despite their age, there is no ground to reject this fragment on that basis.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
      • kudlak

        Also knowing that at least some of those books were edited, added to, and even forged before they were made canon.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
      • tiglathpileser1

        umm, well.."the difference' is that in the 50 to 100 year range those people could have actually been there or known someone who was. Similar to people I know today knowing people who died before I was born (Im 52), when I speak to people who knew my grandfather (he died before I was born) I have much more trust in what they tell me about him than those who did not know him...much less talk about him some 600+ years later.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • bobthebobthex2

          you have no idea when this fragment's source was originally witnessed. for all you know the original copy could have been written down verbatim as jesus spoke. and yet you find writings that happened no earlier 45 years after the death of christ, despite the fact that the earliest COPY of those writings we have is 300 years after the death of christ (the earliest fragments we have of the gospel of john are 150 years after the death of christ, but were originally written 90 years after the death of christ) as credible?

          thats what you call cognitive dissonance.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • kudlak

          tiglathpileser1
          Then again, they were telling tall tales about Elvis and Davy Crockett while they were still alive, right?

          April 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          actually bob I have no discomefort therefore not cognitive dissonance but you keep up that passive agresive action, Im sure it works well for you in real life.
          I also did not state that I believed either, any or all of the texts in any case, simply described the difference.
          You are correct, we do not know the source of this text, at this point it is a lone scrap, I guess we could also assume that aliens dropped it here after it was scribed by some intelligent being in another dimesion and it is laughing at us while we discuss it...I chose to run with the facts at hand. It is from the 7 century+. The others have many, many, many scraps from the 2nd century + agreeing with their message. Im not going to put much stock in a lone scrap until it has some more backing.
          That is called logic.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
        • bobthebobthex2

          multiple copies of the same thing 300 years after the fact is NOT 'backing'...

          April 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
  10. shehar39

    it's from that time period, but that does NOT prove it is not a fake

    April 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
    • jensgessner

      .....true. I trust that you view all other religious texts from that time period with the same, healthy scepticism.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
      • shehar39

        the books in the Bible are backed by hundreds of witnesses and accepted as true.. who backed this book again? aww that's right.. no one

        April 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
        • bobthebobthex2

          the oldest fragments we have of the new testament date to 125 years after the death of christ, most date to 3-400 years after his death. what witness verified the accounts when they were 400 years old?

          April 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • Starshine

          I see this a lot. Where is the list of witness names?

          April 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • kudlak

          And those "witnesses" are only recorded in the very books they supposedly are witness to.

          Isn't that rather "convenient"?

          April 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          I suspect the 'witness' he/she is referring to is the thousands of fragments of text that agree with each other over against this one, isolated one.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
        • kudlak

          tiglathpileser1
          There was a reason why they buried non-canoncal books in the desert, right?

          Things that didn't agree with the Church tended to get burned, and that wasn't limited to just books.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          There is usually a 'reason' for most things, as a rule they are seldom as nefarious as conspiracy theorists would have us believe. Something you may also want to give some thought to is that most things that are wrong, don't work or are useless are also disposed of...has nothing to do with wether they agree with the church or not. We have toilets because we dont want our crap to build up around us.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • Akira

          Is it hundreds of witnesses or thousands of fragments? Because they are two very different things.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • kudlak

          tiglathpileser1
          Ah, but why were these other books "wrong"? They seem to have been pretty "right" for several rival Christian groups. They were all happy with the theology they got from them.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          @kudlak
          I dislike broad brush approaches but would be happy to discuss the detail of specific 'books' although this is not a good forum for it. I will say this though, I do not believe for a minute that 'they were all happy', if so it would be the first group in history to be and would have succeeded on that simple fact. Almost any failed human effort in history would fit into your question. Why was Charles Manson 'wrong', why was (you fill in the space) wrong? There are various and sundry reasons for the succus or not for most things, without getting into the details of each one it is impossible to discuss let alone understand, and even then many people will take opposite sides, regardless of the 'truth' or not.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
        • Doris

          I was just browsing Bible.org the other day and came across this:

          "The history of the acceptance of 2 Peter into the New Testament canon has all the grace of a college hazing event. This epistle was examined, prayed over, considered, and debated more than any other New Testament book—including Revelation."

          Obviously the "Paul" lobby won out. But we know better today – most NT scholars agree that Peter didn't author Peter 2, where Peter allegedly deems Paul's writing as divine scripture. and outside of Peter, what else is there to back of the extraordinary claims of the Joseph Smith of the NT? And handful of hearsay "historians"??

          April 11, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • kudlak

          tiglathpileser1
          Maybe it's more a question of why the Pauline Jesus theology became the most popular? It beat out the Gnostics and the Jewish Christian movement, which can easily be argued was the actual movement started by Jesus. Maybe the "wrong" variety ultimately won out precisely because it was more universally inclusive, and what Jesus intended died soon after he did? We may never know.

          April 11, 2014 at 8:16 am |
    • somersetcace1

      One criteria for that which you happen to believe and another criteria for anything that contradicts it. How convenient.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
  11. amisc1970

    Why is it that they can assert (or hope?) that Jesus may have been speaking metaphorically about a wife whereas they take every other word literally? I guess the things they don't like to be true are metaphorical, whereas the things they want to believe are literal. But it is really hypocritical to be inconsistent like that.

    April 10, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • davcramerdavcramer

      Only a small percentage of Christians belong to Fundamentalist denominations that believe every word of the Bible is literally true. The Catholic Church would tell you that neither of the two creation stories are literally true, though we do believe that God created the "heavens and the earth". The Book of Revelations most likely refers to something that already occurred (the persecutions under Emperor Nero) rather than predicting the future end of the earth. Some books in the Bible are meant to be historical, while others such as The Book of Job, and Jonah, are literature, not actual events at all. In any case this fragment isn't part of the Bible, so no one has to take it literally. It's a fact, there are many, many writings about Jesus that aren't accepted as being parts of the Bible because they a) don't make sense, or b) don't match well with the four Gospels we already have.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
      • tiglathpileser1

        Had me until you added the 's' to revelation...one of my pet peeves.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
        • Akira

          I am amazed at the number of people, preachers and ministers included, who call it a Revelations.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm |
        • Akira

          Ignore the stray 'a' before Revelations.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          Yea, it seems to me it is a statement on the level of familiarity with the text versus Google.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
      • kudlak

        The four canonical gospels happened to match the theology of the variety of Christianity that came to power in Rome. If the Gnostics, or one of the other "heresies", were more popular in the Roman military and aristocracy, you'd still have John in your Bible today, but probably not Matthew, Mark, and Luke. John was almost not included because it was so Gnostic.

        April 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
  12. totallysirius

    It was written in the 6th to 9th century AD.

    So what, he died 600-900 years earlier, this proves only the age of the papyrus and the writing, not the authenticity of what is written on it.

    So does that mean that 600 to 900 years from now Star Wars is a Real true story?

    April 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • bobthebobthex2

      the earliest known fragments of the books in the new testament date to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th century. what makes them true when you think this one isnt?

      April 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
      • tiglathpileser1

        not that I care if this one is true or not but the difference is that there are thousands of texts agreeing to the present canon...so far there is simply this one on this subject.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • bobthebobthex2

          and there are thousands of texts that arent considered cannon. the only difference is a bunch of men in pointy hats voted on what ones to include in the bible 500 years after the fact.

          the only evidence you have is the fact that multiple copies of the same thing that happened 300 years before any of the copies were written.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • tiglathpileser1

      Uh huh. well if you actually did a little real research instead of Google you would find that most of the the 'copies' are not 'copies' but independant texts that agree with each other. Also, the first ones are within 150 years, not 300. Further, there are actually billions of texts that are not canon, the ones that are accepted as conon are for reasons and not simply because of a vote. The idea of canon came about long before when the Marcion heresay came about (I'll let you Google it). The problem we have is that today, anyone can sit and accept what ever they want with little thought or justification and we assume that is what happens with everything else...

      April 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm |
      • Doris

        Uhh –I keep hearing about massive amounts of independent data and yet none of it makes it to the news. I only hear it from those who make broad claims yet provide no sources. What we do know for the few sources we hear about is that there is little agreement over authorship.

        April 11, 2014 at 8:51 am |
  13. whippstippler7

    So the study appears to find that the fragment is not a "fake" meaning that it is of a certain age. Okay. But that says nothing at all about the origin or authorship of the words not he fragment, and of course does nothing to prove the truth of what was written.

    Bottom line: the experts say it is old. That's all.

    April 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Edit – "of the fragment".

      Stupid keyboard

      April 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
    • steelontarget

      The same thing can be said of the Bible itself of course.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
  14. cathearted

    In the world of Jewish antiquity, in which Jesus found himself, no self respecting Jew would have listened, much less followed a man that didn't obey the Torah by getting married. Of course he was married.

    April 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
    • endgamearchitecture

      Exactly. Christians have a habit of following parts of scripture that only help their agenda. Bible is all or none folks...at least, that's what I've read.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
    • transframer

      And Jews didn't actually follow him. They are still waiting

      April 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • kudlak

        His close followers were all Jews. You have to go to Paul's version of Jesus' teaching decades later before it really catches on with gentiles.

        April 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
        • transframer

          Yes, but I was talking about the big mass of Israel people. Those who followed him were usually not well respected citizens.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          I'm starting to suspect that you have a rather old, stereotypical, anti-Semitic definition for "The Jews".

          April 10, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • transframer

          kudlak
          You are wrong.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • Doris

          Of course Paul was as trustworthy as they come – even got Peter's stamp of approval for his ministry of the Word in Peter 2. Oh wait, most NT scholars say that Peter didn't author Peter 2. Oh well, never mind.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          Who rate you calling "The Jews" then?

          April 11, 2014 at 8:17 am |
        • kudlak

          transframer
          Who are you calling "The Jews" then?

          April 11, 2014 at 8:18 am |
      • psychwardwatchman

        So since Christianity did not com to be for several centuries, what religion did you think his Disciples were? What religion do you think Jesus was?

        April 10, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • totallysirius

      Many Jewish prophet were not married, Elijah, Jeremiah, Daniel

      April 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
    • davcramerdavcramer

      If you read the Bible, any many ways Jesus wasn't "a self-respecting Jew", that's why they killed him. He associated with Samaritans and healed the servant of a Roman Centurion. He healed on the Sabbath. He and his followers gathered grain on the Sabbath. He blasphemed for calling himself the Son of God. He associated with sinners and tax collectors. Women followed him everywhere he went, women who weren't his wife or mother. He told his followers that they had to drink his blood and eat his flesh (many left him because they thought he was speaking of cannibalism). He let his followers call him "the King of the Jews".

      With all this, you think he had to bow to social pressure and get married? Please....

      April 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
  15. goss4jc1

    Probably fake, definetly not authenticated as scripture but even so, it is well known that Jesus refered to the church as the bride of Christ.

    April 10, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • nisroc00

      Why would it be false? If Jesus referred to the church as the bride of Christ it does not mean he himself would not get married to a woman. It could me he is just married (turely believes in them) to the ideas behind the church. This is what i hate about religion when science does prove something the religious people claim false, mix it up, twist it up and claim what they say is true. BUT if in face to face with the pope you would not say a thing because he'd hang ya for it.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • ri0088

      Authenticated as scripture is simply what people choose to authenticate as scripture. That's how the new testament was put together. Include one....disregard another.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
    • kudlak

      goss4jc1
      "Fake" just because it doesn't match your preconceptions?

      Gee, no tests had to be done on it at all for you to come to that conclusion.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • psychwardwatchman

      You do realize that the Bible was non existent until about the fifth century after Christ lived? The letters that were translated were much older. But the Bible as we know it did not come into being for several hundred years. If this artifact was from a later time it could have been written about the same time the Bible was.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
    • grumpy0ldman

      So it's only "scripture" if it says something you agree with? Typical Christian.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
      • tiglathpileser1

        actually no, its 'only scripture' if it meets many tests. Unlike the vast majority who deny Christ there is more to it than 'what ever I think'. One of the basic tenants of the Christian faith that runs opposite to todays secular culture is that we are well aware that we are not gods.

        April 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm |
        • Madtown

          Tests constructed and administered by human beings, sure.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • Doris

          What kind of tests? Hope you're not talking about any of Paul's stuff. Most NT scholars say that Peter didn't author Peter 2, so OOPS – there goes that solid stamp of approval of Paul's works as divinely-inspired "scripture"...

          April 10, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          Correct, tests constructed and adminisitered by human beings...as opposed to ? apes? Regardless, it is not the willy-nilly process that some here are making it out to be. As for "what tests", I dont have the time or inclination to type them out here, one of the very few things that the internet is good for is finding things like that though, feel free to look the process up.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • Doris

          cop out.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          @doris
          You may label my posts what ever you like, I simply have more to do than spend my time typing things that are readily availble to the interested masses. Im also glad to see that you are comfortable speaking for 'most NT scholars', Im sure they would be thrilled. If your 'browsing' of random internet sites is all the effort you put into your efforts in trolling the 2 Peter issues you may want to find something else to do.

          April 11, 2014 at 1:21 am |
        • Doris

          Since you seem to have time to take issue with most NT scholars over Peter 2, so I suggest you put something behind the hot air.

          April 11, 2014 at 1:45 am |
        • tiglathpileser1

          @doris
          Ah, internet trolls, good for entertainment but not much else.
          1 – I have not mentioned my position on 2 Peter, you were the first to bring it up.
          2 – I do not believe you have the authority to speak for 'most NT Scholars'
          As for 'more than hot air', it is clearly all you are offering so why would I do any different. Random internet sites and silly statements like 'most NT Scholars' is hardly anything but hot air.

          April 11, 2014 at 1:51 am |
        • Doris

          Oh, OK. Well since you have nothing further to contribute on the subject, I'll leave a little something for other readers to consider. They may consider it random sites or not. I'm willing to let them decide.

          ============

          Raymond E Brown and Bart Ehrman, among others, state that most biblical scholars have concluded Peter is not the author, and consider the epistle pseudepigraphical.[3] [4] Reasons for this include its linguistic differences from 1 Peter, its apparent use of Jude, possible allusions to 2nd-century gnosticism, encouragement in the wake of a delayed parousia, and weak external support.[5]

          3. Brown, Raymond E., Introduction to the New Testament, Anchor Bible, 1997, ISBN 0-385-24767-2. p. 767 "the pseudonymity of II Pet is more certain than that of any other NT work."
          4. Erhman, Bart (2005). Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Harper Collins. p. 31 "Evidence comes in the final book of the New Testament to be written, 2 Peter, a book that most critical scholars believe was not actually written by Peter but by one of his followers, pseudonymously.". ISBN 978-0-06-182514-9.
          5. Grant, Robert M. A Historical Introduction To The New Testament, chap. 14.

          =====

          from Bible.org:

          "Most conservative evangelicals hold to the traditional view that Peter was the author, but historical and literary critics have almost unanimously concluded that to be impossible.

          The rejection of Peter as the writer of 2 Peter is by far the most common opinion today. In fact, the view of the pseudonymity of the epistle is almost universal.

          =====

          Michael J. Kruger, “The Authenticity of 2 Peter, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 42.4 (1999):

          "J. N. D. Kelly in his commentary on 2 Peter confesses that 'scarcely anyone nowadays
          doubts that 2 Peter is pseudonymous.' [1] Indeed, from the very start this epistle has had a difficult journey. It was received into the New Testament canon with hesitation, considered second-class Scripture by Luther, reluctantly accepted by Calvin, rejected by Erasmus, and now is repudiated as pseudonymous by modern scholarship. Joseph B. Mayor agrees with the current consensus when he declares that 2 Peter “was not written by the author of 1 Peter, whom we have every reason to believe to have been the Apostle St. Peter himself .... We conclude, therefore, that the second Epistle is not authentic.” [2]

          "The argument against the authenticity of 2 Peter turns on three main problems: (1) problem of external attestation in the early church; (2) stylistic and literary problems with 1 Peter and Jude; and (3) historical and doctrinal problems that seem to indicate internal inconsistency and a late date. Undoubtedly, 2 Peter has a plethora of problems. Most scholars believe its path towards canonical status was littered with pitfalls and detours for good reason."

          1. J. N. D. Kelly,
          A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and of Jude
          (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1969) 235.
          2. Joseph B. Mayor,
          The Epistles of Jude and II Peter
          (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979) cxxiv.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:03 am |
        • tiglathpileser1

          Pst...Paul didn't write Hebrews either but that's no secret to anyone who actually studies.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • kermit4jc

          uhh..if one actually studies...they do NOT find conclusive evidence Paul did not write Hebrews....

          April 11, 2014 at 2:27 am |
        • tiglathpileser1

          Seeing as it is anonymos there is no 'conclusive' evidence that Moses didnt write it either but, responding to Doris' suposed point, todays popular opinion is that Paul did not write Hebrews.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:41 am |
        • kevinite

          Also apparently, the scholars who actually studied the epistle to the Hebrews like those who studied 2 Peter do not all come to the same consensus noting both inconsistencies as well as consistencies with other known authored writings, not to mention, that among those who do question the authorship doesn't necessarily mean that they are absolutely certain that the generally assumed authorship of those epistles is incorrect. I also find it amusing that those who cite "majority" of scholars opinions cite them as though they are considered to be completely established fact.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:49 am |
        • tiglathpileser1

          "I also find it amusing that those who cite "majority" of scholars opinions cite them as though they are considered to be completely established fact."
          Agree 100% but I find that tends to be a very tedious arguement to try to get across in this type of forum. Most here have their minds made up and are only interested in either trolling or forcing their opinions.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:56 am |
        • Doris

          Then there are those who troll and paint with a broad brush without even attempting to back up their generalizations.

          I think you'll find I don't claim much as an absolute fact. But it is quite telling that there is so much agreement on the Petrine authorship.

          @kevinite – I find it amusing that you have added nothing more on the issue of authorship than your own opinion

          April 11, 2014 at 9:04 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Nature loves pairs. If there is one god, you can bet there is at least one more. Perhaps even an opposite which would explain a lot. We got stuck with "evil" god.

      April 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
  16. ausphor

    Not directed to anyone in particular. If there is some god waiting for you in heaven, why not strap your wife and kiddies in the car and drive into the nearest river or lake? It has been done before, I would suggest you call or tweet Jesus before you do it, if you don't get an answer on the phone, not voices in your head, forget about it.

    April 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Sadly, many people do that to one degree or another.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • goss4jc1

      You mock what you do not understand. Are you wise enought to question God? God has a plan. Some of us are here to help the lost, like yourself, to find their way. In the end, no man will have excuse for failing to seek the Lord. I know if you humble yourself and seek Him, He will reveal Himself to you. I know because it happened to me and millions of others.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @goss4jc1,
        "Are you wise enought to question God?"

        You are begging the question. If your God does not exist then yes I'm wise enough.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Religitards are hilarious

        April 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • Madtown

        Are you wise enought to question God?
        --–
        Are you wise enough to understand God? You must believe you are, you claim to know so much about him, "God has a plan", etc.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
      • ri0088

        You have to show a god is actually there and can be measured to know it's wise. Why assume a god is automatically wise? There were many asserted unwise incompetent gods throughout human history.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm |
      • endgamearchitecture

        But which lord my friend? Because if I'm not mistaken..you're an atheist as well. You deny thousands of other "gods" that are vigorously worshipped throughout the planet and with historical background.

        Alas, I simply deny one more than you...

        April 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
      • kudlak

        goss4jc1
        I've honestly looked for God, but didn't find him. People have showed me things that they said was evidence of God, but they weren't. If God want to be found, he shouldn't hide.

        April 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
      • grumpy0ldman

        I am wise enough to question the existence of God. Believing something without a shred of evidence to support it does not make you wise.

        April 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
      • sam stone

        what makes you think you are any less lost than other people, goss?

        April 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
    • guidedans

      If God exists, then He made you for a purpose, and killing yourself and your wife and kids is not it.

      I could ask the same thing about Atheists. If God doesn't exist, then you have nothing to gain or lose by driving your car into the nearest lake. It would have the same absolute moral value as if you cured cancer instead.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        How do you know that was not his purpose? I thought everything was according to plan?

        April 10, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
        • guidedans

          Sun,

          You are incorrect to think that everything is part of God's plan. Yes, God knows everything that will ever occur on the Earth, but that does not equate to Him planning it out to occur in the way that evil beings have decided. God's plan was for us to be in perfect fellowship with Him, but we blew it.

          The Bible says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

          This is not saying that everything that happens is good, or that God plans all the evil things. It is saying specifically that, even in evil, God will work for the good of those who love Him.

          God can use evil things to turn out good in the end, but that does not mean that He wants evil things to occur. Murdering your wife and kids to get to Heaven sooner is evil and clearly demonstrates an absence of the Holy Spirit in your life. God could use that action to work toward the good of His children, but that would not be His purpose for you.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "You are incorrect to think that everything is part of God's plan."

          I hear all the time: "It's all part of God's plan" or "God's will be done". Who should I listen to?

          April 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • sam stone

          guidedans: if god knows everything that will ever happen, there is no free will

          thanks for playing

          April 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • guidedans

          Sun,

          Saying "God's will be done" is a prayer. It is something you say because you want God's will to take place over man's will.

          Saying "It's all a part of God's plan" is not a Biblical viewpoint. I am not denying people say it, but there are plenty of things that God doesn't plan. Like Adam's fall from grace for instance.

          You can believe whomever you want to on this subject, but the Bible is pretty clear that there are evil things that occur that God is not the author of.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "Saying "God's will be done" is a prayer."

          God, I want you to save the life of my chid, but more than that, I want you to take his life if that is your will. If that is your will, wow, that's really great.

          "You can believe whomever you want to on this subject"

          Then I will believe those who say that everything that happens is according to god's plan, even the evil stuff.

          I am playing devil's advocate, of course. It's as clear to other people with opposing (Christian) viewpoints as it is as clear to you with yours.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
      • kudlak

        Believing that you have but one life to live, why would an atheist ever want to shorten it?

        I don't live life like it's a video game, and I have two lives to play with.

        April 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • ri0088

        "If God exists, then He made you for a purpose, and killing yourself and your wife and kids is not it."

        – Simply existing doesn't show a purpose. Nearly 99% of all organism that every lived on the planet went extinct. Incredibly wasteful. What point was their existence when they went extinct anyway? Why have them exist for no reason? That only suggest a capriciousness and incompetence. Purpose isn't required for the universe to exist.

        April 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
      • ri0088

        "I could ask the same thing about Atheists. If God doesn't exist, then you have nothing to gain or lose by driving your car into the nearest lake. It would have the same absolute moral value as if you cured cancer instead."

        -the existence of a god doesn't show morality originates from it. Many asserted gods are immoral or capricious. Morality isn't dependent on absolutism since absolutism demolishes context. Morality also doesn't hing on assertions since belief isn't justified, lacking evidence. Asserting a god exist doesn't prove any of it's claimed moral concepts are moral since there is no evidence to verify that the god is actually real. You are just dealing with another form of subjective morality. Morality grounded in real world objective facts....causal facts, psychosocial facts, physical facts...that are all universal...can offer a better objective view of right and wrong than merely an unsupported belief claim.

        April 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
      • sam stone

        killing ourselves would end the one life we have

        if you are sure of going to heaven, wny not suck a 12 gauge and be there right away?

        April 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
    • psychwardwatchman

      Because committing suicide and murder are not going to get you into heaven. Living a purposeful, loving, devoted life is going to do that.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
  17. Concert in an Egg

    Quark up, Quark down, Electron and Neutrino. If you HAVE to have gods then try these four out.

    April 10, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
  18. gatorfan008

    Love one another... I believe that accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is a one-way ticket to an everlasting life... Those that believe differently have every right to do so... Some people believe in what they can see... Some people believe in nothing... The God that I serve is a just and fair God... He doesn't force himself on people, he gives them the option... I don't think Jesus would have been able to accomplish the great things he did if he had a wife... Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen... Love on another...

    April 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      faith is gulibility

      April 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • gatorfan008

        My faith doesn't waiver... Perhaps yours does...

        April 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • ri0088

          That simply means you're unwavering in your gullibility. You have not shown anything that proves what you have faith in is....in fact... true. People can have faith in many false things. All religions are faith based.

          April 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • guidedans

          All belief is faith based.

          To believe in science, you have to have faith that your experiences are legitimate.

          Nothing is proven. Everything requires faith.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          guidedans....you don't need to have faith to believe in a fact. A fact is a fact, and by definition, requires no faith to agree with it. You either believe a fact, or you ignore it, but if you are ignoring actual facts, you are showing your lack of intelligence.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • ssq41

          "My faith doesn't waiver"...LOL!

          Then I would question if you are a human being.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • ri0088

          @guidedans

          "To believe in science, you have to have faith that your experiences are legitimate. Nothing is proven. Everything requires faith."

          -science require testable data. Facts are pieces of observable data. The scientific method uses techniques to investigate and acquire new knowledge. That's how we learn. Belief does not rely on confirmable data since it excludes evidence. Therefore the two are not the same. Belief is no different than imagination. Both rely on no evidence and both can be false as a result.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • ssq41

          "Belief, as I use the term here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would "lief" or wish it to be. The believer will open his mind to the truth on condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes.

          Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be. Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown." - Alan Watts

          Thank you, Mr. Watts.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
        • sam stone

          okay, gator, so you are very gullible. congrats

          April 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • tantagel

        It is a myth that people with faith in God are "gullible" or blindly follow what other people tell them. That myth seems to (incorrectly) assume that people having faith in God did not ever struggle with doubt, or do any kind of due diligence in their search for the meaning of their existence. It is possible to arrive at this conclusion using your very own intellect. In fact, from where I stand, it takes more faith to believe in the non-existence of God than is His existence. For example, let's start with the concept of a Creator – even assuming the universe spontaneously combusted into being, did you place your own self on this Earth?

        April 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          That is a silly argument. I can't explain exactly where we came from....I just don't have all the information. But, just because I don't know the answer doesn't mean I get to proclaim from the mountaintop that some god waved a magic wand and put us here. You don't really know yourself...you just want to believe that. You know how I know you don't know exactly? Because I don't know....and you don't have any more cognitive reasoning than I have.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
        • tantagel

          I'm sure we have the same cognitive reasoning. But come on, think about it. You are you, but why? Someone, or some thing put you here. You didn't just sprout up from nothing (or via the womb, as it were) for no reason whatsoever and persistently stick with your body for its entire life span. It may be a silly argument, but even a child can wonder about that.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I do wonder....but, with absolutely no proof whatsoever, I just can't logically go with the sky wizard with the magic wand. I would be disingenuous were I to believe just to believe in something. Give me proof....and not the bible because I don't believe everything I read that is not backed up with facts. I have seen what this silly belief does to people, and personally, I want no part of it. I'm just not crazy or hopeless enough yet to need a god.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        • tantagel

          He's not a sky wizard with a magic wand, or a flying spaghetti monster or whatever else people want to make up. He is who he says he is, having communicated that through dozens of totally different people throughout human history and in a wide variety of ways. It all forms a consistent narrative and has included miracles and all sorts of crazy, supernatural things along the way. Besides my own prayers to him being answered as I mentioned elsewhere, that's the only proof I've got. But, frankly, that's a lot of material. I think he's given us enough to point us in the right direction, to want to seek him and try to communicate with him through prayer and the promise that he'll reveal himself to you as you work at it.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          The biggest problem I can see with your logic here is that if a persons prayers are not answered as yours have been, then there is no reason to believe.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
        • tantagel

          I can definitely see why someone would think that, and it's natural. From my own experience, if they're not answered, one should keep trying – even Jesus had to pray multiple times to get a response from God (aka himself in Heaven – weird, right?) But he was persistent and we can be too. He promised: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Sounds good to me.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
        • ri0088

          "in their search for the meaning of their existence."

          -There's the 1st problem in your quest. You seem to assume there should be meaning to existence...as if existence require meaning. Yet many things observed in the universe present problems when meaning or purpose is interjected onto it.

          "In fact, from where I stand, it takes more faith to believe in the non-existence of God than is His existence."

          -So it equally take less faith to believe that Medusa, or Zeus, or leprechauns, or any other imaginary being not dependent on evidence exist....than to reject unproven asserted claims. That make no logical sense. Faith isn't required for rejecting non-existing things so.....no one has to "believe in" the non-existence of god.

          "let's start with the concept of a Creator – even assuming the universe spontaneously combusted into being, did you place your own self on this Earth?"

          -no magical or supernatural explanation is needed to explain how the human species arose on the planet. But magic seems to be required for a religious belief.

          "But come on, think about it. You are you, but why? Someone, or some thing put you here. You didn't just sprout up from nothing"

          -Science never claimed that. It never even says the big bang came from nothing (no such thing as "nothing" in physics). That's exactly what religious belief claim- that the universe came out of nothing by a god and that humans were formed separately, fully whole adults (without any growth from infancy)...contradicting genetic & molecular evidence that show humans emerged from earlier populations of biological common ancestors over time. You are making this harder than it appear to be.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • tantagel

          Just answer me why you think you're you. Why aren't you somewhere else, or nowhere at all? Because the being that created you put you here for some purpose. Even if there was some objective universe where life forms and "people" existed, that wouldn't necessarily dictate that you had to be among them. Well, why are you, then? What are you doing here? You didn't even have a say in it, did you?

          April 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • ri0088

          "Just answer me why you think you're you. Why aren't you somewhere else, or nowhere at all?"

          – It's as if you don't know what a human is. Look into biology (cough *mammals* cough). Humans develop their own unique persona as a result of their interactions with their surroundings that form who they are. Many people are where they are as a result of....where they're born. The human species itself was limited to a specific area of the earth at a certain point in time before spreading out. We aren't immune to extinction. Genetic evidence suggest earlier lines of ancient early human-like ancestors that lead to us almost went extinct nearly one million years ago, down to a few thousand. We can still go extinct any time now. Other species of humans HAVE gone extinct already. Humans existing on this planet is no more special than other species of biological organisms, many already extinct.

          -There's no evidence for a "being" putting anything anywhere, nor that there's a purpose. That's an unsupported assertion. It's the equivalent of you making up a statement and wanting people to believe it.

          "Even if there was some objective universe where life forms and "people" existed, that wouldn't necessarily dictate that you had to be among them. Well, why are you, then? What are you doing here? You didn't even have a say in it, did you?"

          -I exist due to gene replication stemming from....molecules. I'm still here because I'm surviving in my environment....like every other living organism on this planet. We all exist as a result of biochemistry. That's nothing unusual given that stars natural produce them and spew them out. There are planets that don't have to exist as they do...with nothing on them...yet they exist as a result of...star formation. So what? Why did a fetus take the time to develop and grow only to be still born or die minutes after birth? No human species had to exist for the earth to function nor is the universe dependent on human existence. Several mass extinctions attest to the fact that life on the planet is dependent on the planet. Galaxies collide diminishing any meaning for their formation to begin with. And our OWN galaxy is set for a DIRECT head on collision with Andromeda. There's no reason then for our galaxy to have existed in the first place. This present no problem in a universe that show no meaning.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:18 am |
    • Madtown

      accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is a one-way ticket to an everlasting life
      ---–
      That's unfortunate news for the many humans that God creates every day in regions of this world where christianity doesn't exist. They'll go their entire lives never hearing the name Jesus.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      gatorfan....you are certainly welcome to believe whatever you would like. But your assertion that belief in Jesus is a one-way ticket to an everlasting life is a bit unfounded. First, you have no proof in either a god or an afterlife, and secondly, I know many faithful that live a pretty lousy life. It is the hopeless that tend to turn towards a savior because their lives suck so bad that they have nothing else. Again, you may believe whatever you want, but with absolutely no proof whatsoever, please excuse the rest of us for ignoring the invisibility factor of your supposed god.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
      • truthfollower01

        Gullible,

        An honest question. Without God, is there any hope?

        April 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF.....for me there is. I enjoy my life here on earth and cherish it greatly, as I am convinced that this is all random and the only chance I get for life. I enjoy time with my wife and family, vacations, even work. I actually feel sorry for those people that have lousy lives now in the vane hope that a better life exists for them somewhere else. But, those that believe in reincarnation are probably the most happy, as they believe they are coming back to earth as something greater once they die. Doesn't make it so, but they believe it and it makes them happy. Ignorance is bliss.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible, enjoying life and cherishing it isn't the same as having hope. Without God, I can't see any reason for hope.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF.....I don't need hope. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. Hope for what? Everything is random and when you die you are worm food. I am not going to believe in a fairy tale just so I can walk around having hope for something greater when I die. That minimalizes my time here on earth.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          If I may ask you a few questions.
          1. How many lies would you say you’ve told in your life?
          2. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its value?
          3. Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? (called blasphemy)
          4.have you ever looked at a woman/man lustfully?(if so, Jesus said you have committed adultery with that person in your heart.)
          If you’re like me, you are a self professed lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterer at heart or some form thereof. A holy God must punish wickedness, otherwise He wouldn’t be just. Given your confession, will you be guilty or innocent? If you’re like me and everyone else on this board, you are guilty. However, God provided a way for salvation through the blood of His innocent Son who took the punishment on the cross, that we might be declared innocent. Think of it like this. You’re in a court room. you’re guilty as you’ve professed. Someone walks in and pays your fine for you. Now the judge can legally dismiss your case and let you go. This is the gospel message. What you must do is repent (turn from your sins) and follow Jesus as Lord. This following is enabled by God when He gives you new desires and a heart that wants to please God instead of the flesh.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          TF....my intelligence level will simply not allow me to believe in an invisible sky wizard when there is absolutely no proof whatsoever of it's existence. I just can't commit my life to anything unproven. That is way to crazy for me to deal with. In answer to your questions, absolutely I have done all those things. The difference is.....I don't care. I don't have to answer to anybody in any afterlife. However, I haven't purposely hurt anybody, not because I believe in any sort of god, but because I am generally a nice person. Now....I have a question for you. If I told you I was the second coming of Jesus Christ, would you automatically believe me, or would you demand some sort of proof? Why do you accept the first coming of Jesus as the son of god without any proof. Seems rather odd to me.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
        • tantagel

          gulliblenomore – "Why do you accept the first coming of Jesus as the son of god without any proof. Seems rather odd to me"

          The "proof" is in the miracles he performed while on this very Earth, plus ya know, the whole resurrection thing. You might say, well that's only according to the Bible, a book, but I would counter and say that the Bible is a collection of books, letters and other writings taken from different authors that were pretty much in agreement with each other on the topic. Of course, there's no instagram pics or live feeds from Twitter surrounding the events because of the timing, but for some, it's a leap of faith worth taking.

          April 10, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I understand why you believe what you believe, but there still is no proof. The bible is really not proof. Every religion has their bible. Do you believe the Quran just because the muslims believe it to be the absolute truth? Do you believe the holy books of the Indians or the Chinese? No? Why not? They have just as much proof as your bible does, but you believe your manuscript over all others because that one appeals to you the most, not because it is true. You just have faith it is right, not proof.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
        • tantagel

          My own personal proof is in the form of prayers being consistently answered throughout my life, often amazing me in their timeliness or in how they were answered in ways I didn't expect but still answered. I'm not rich or powerful or anything like that, so it's not like I've had prayers to win the lottery answered (sadly), but it's always been in times of need and it's never once let me down. Of course there's the chance that I'm just praying to nothing, or there's a whole lot of coincidence involved, but either way, time and time again they've been answered. That's why I believe I'm praying to the right God.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          I'm happy that you have had your prayers answered, but I don't believe you can overlook coincidence. For as many times as you have had your prayers answered, there have been thousands more that did not. The unfairness of that is enough to convince me that it was just coincidence...and nothing more. But, you may continue to believe all you want, obviously. However, if one time your prayer is not answered, will you lose your faith? I only ask since you are basing your belief system on these previously answered prayers and not much else.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • tantagel

          Sure, there are tons of times my prayers didn't get answered, or at least not that I noticed. Other times, though, they were answered, or in a different way than I asked for - those are the ones that make me step back and laugh, and see that my way ultimately wasn't the best idea in the first place. Sometimes I've asked for things in a stupid or selfish fashion, and a much, MUCH better outcome occurred than I had even thought about. It's blown my mind some times. I'm talking in generalities here and it might sound crazy or baseless to someone else, but I suppose it's kind of hard to explain. Obviously, I made the choice to attribute those events to a higher being, the one I'm praying to, but it's always worked out for me. Not everyone would make that choice.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Gullible,

          Creation itself is evidence of a Creator. The existence of objective morality is evidence for God. The historical data surrounding the events following the crucifixion of Jesus also bear witness to the fact of His resurrection. The changed lives of those whom God has truly saved testify to the supernatural power of God to save the sinner.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Creation itself is evidence of something, but we just don't know yet....you can believe it is a creator, but there is absolutely no proof at all. We just don't have all the information. And, for the record, I have seen many people claim that they were absolutely transported aboard an alien spacecraft and probed. Guess what....I don't believe them either. You are certainly ent-itled to believe any fairy tale you want, but if you honestly looked at it (without the rose colored glasses), you would know you are following the words a few people wrote down and retranslated thousands of times. I will wait for proof before I throw my life away following an invisible being.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • ssq41

          tf01!! Hope you slept well last night....

          So, do something for us you've never done before...define your terms. Start with "hope."

          Thank you in advance.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "Creation itself is evidence of a Creator."

          The Argument from Design may have seemed impressive to those living in the 17th century. We know better now.

          "The existence of objective morality is evidence for God."

          So you keep saying, despite unanswerable arguments to the contrary (such as from redzoa, who you never responded to).

          "The historical data surrounding the events following the crucifixion of Jesus also bear witness to the fact of His resurrection."

          It's impossible to take all of the resurrection stories from the gospels and come up with a coherent story. The resurrection is a myth.

          "The changed lives of those whom God has truly saved testify to the supernatural power of God to save the sinner."

          It absolutely does no such thing. Lives may have been changed, but that has no bearing on the truth value of the beliefs.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm |
        • skytag

          @truthfollower01: "Gullible, enjoying life and cherishing it isn't the same as having hope. Without God, I can't see any reason for hope."

          God gives you an excuse to hope that the harsh realities of life aren't real. Realities such as the permanence of death, of never seeing a loved one again, of injustices that are never make right and so on. I understand wishing those things aren't what they are, but wanting them to not be real doesn't make God real so he can make them go away.

          gulliblenomore's point is the he enjoys life now, for what it is, with having to rely on baseless expectations that some future life will be wonderful. Your hope is a crutch. Atheists don't need that crutch. We deal with the world as it is, not as we hope some imaginary being is going to make it someday.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • skytag

          "Without God, is there any hope?"

          Depends on what you're hoping for. Buy a lottery ticket and hope you win.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
        • ssq41

          So, skytag, let me ask you an honest question, one no one has ever asked you before:

          On atheism, was Hitler right for having the crepe instead of the croissant after he left the armistice carriage on 22 June, 1940?

          April 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • skytag

          @truthfollower01: "Creation itself is evidence of a Creator."

          Wrong. You choose to believe there must have been a creator because you want something to explain how we got here and no one else has a better explanation yet. Choosing to believe something is not evidence it is true.

          "The existence of objective morality is evidence for God."

          Wrong again. This is a circular argument. To have "objective" morality you have to assume there is some kind of ultimate authority such as God deciding what is and isn't moral. So the concept of objective morality is a consequence of a God, not evidence for a God.

          All morality is subjective. The basis for morality in a society is what that society deems is good for the society, nothing more.

          "The historical data surrounding the events following the crucifixion of Jesus also bear witness to the fact of His resurrection."

          Good luck supporting this with objective evidence.

          "The changed lives of those whom God has truly saved testify to the supernatural power of God to save the sinner."

          Sorry, but those changes are a product of their belief. God doesn't have to be real for their beliefs to motivate them to be different.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          "The Argument from Design"

          I'm not arguing for design at this time. I was arguing that creation requires a Creator.

          “(such as from redzoa, who you never responded to)."

          What objection are you referring to?

          You may have missed my post from the past pertaining to the resurrection.

          Three facts pertaining to Jesus's fate and what occurred afterward that nearly 100% of all scholars today studying this subject accept. This includes Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists.

          1. Jesus' death by crucifixion.

          "One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate." – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

          2. Appearances to the Disciples

          This is short for saying that shortly after Jesus's death, a number of Jesus's followers had experiences both individually and in group settings that they perceived were of the risen Jesus who appeared to them.

          "Why, then, did some of the disciples claim to see Jesus alive after his resurrection? I don't doubt at all that some disciples claimed this. We don't have any of their written testimony, but Paul, writing about twenty-five years later, indicates that this is what they claimed, and I don't think he is making it up. And he knew at least a couple of them, whom he met just three years after the event Galatians 1:18-19)." – from Bart Ehrman's book, Jesus Interrupted

          3. Appearance to Paul

          Short for saying that Paul had an experience that he perceived was of the risen Jesus appearing to him.

          ""there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."
          – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

          "It absolutely does no such thing. Lives may have been changed, but that has no bearing on the truth value of the beliefs."

          I respectfully disagree.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Skytag,
          "Wrong. You choose to believe there must have been a creator because you want something to explain how we got here and no one else has a better explanation yet. Choosing to believe something is not evidence it is true."

          This is basic science. Do you believe nothing can become something?

          "All morality is subjective. The basis for morality in a society is what that society deems is good for the society, nothing more."

          So in an ancient society where they thought it morally good to sacrifice their children, you would say they were right and that it was morally good for them?

          "Good luck supporting this with objective evidence."

          See some of the evidence in my post to Sungrazer.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "You may have missed my post from the past pertaining to the resurrection."

          I have seen this tired post. You quote Ehrman but you don't quote Carrier, et al. I challenge you to write a story of the resurrection that incorporates all of the gospel stories and that is internally consistent. it cannot be done.

          "What objection are you referring to?"

          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/22/good-news-about-the-spiritual-but-not-religious/comment-page-9/#comments

          "I respectfully disagree".

          You can disagree, but you are wrong. Placebos have beneficial effects, but that doesn't mean they have medicinal value.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "So in an ancient society where they thought it morally good to sacrifice their children, you would say they were right and that it was morally good for them?"

          I know this is for Skytag, but I answered this without response in another article:

          What would you say about an ancient society who thought it good to sacrifice their children to their false god?"

          Like when Abraham intended to sacrifice Isaac to the false god Yahweh? I would call that society ancient and supersti.tious. I would say that we have made moral progress since then.

          "Would you say this was a morally good act? If not, why?"

          No. Because it inflicted unnecessary suffering on Abraham and Isaac. Do you consider god's commandment to be a morally good act?

          April 10, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          You surely don't put the scholarly standing of Richard Carrier on par with Bart Ehrman do you? Have you ever watched the debate between Richard Carrier and William Lane Craig on the resurrection? You should.

          Concerning redzoa's comments, are you referring to: "I’ve already pointed to the golden rule as a functional moral framework which does not require a true objective/absolute standard. I can point to this as grounds for accusing the biblical deity of immoral behavior, e.g. I would not unnecessarily harm another person’s other wise innocent children because I would not want anyone (mortal or deity) to unnecessarily harm my own children."?

          April 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          " I would call that society ancient and supersti.tious. I would say that we have made moral progress since then."

          But were they wrong? If so, why?

          “Would you say this was a morally good act? If not, why?”

          "No. Because it inflicted unnecessary suffering on Abraham and Isaac. Do you consider god’s commandment to be a morally good act?"

          I'm not sure I'm following your response. Was this in response to an earlier post?

          April 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "You surely don't put the scholarly standing of Richard Carrier on par with Bart Ehrman do you?"

          I have no idea, actually. I haven't read either. My point is that you are fond of quoting agnostics / atheists / skeptics when you think it serves your own points. Ehrman has a lot to say that I'm sure you would object to – "Forged", "Jesus, Interrupted", "Misquoting Jesus", "How Jesus Became God"..

          "But were they wrong? If so, why?"
          “Would you say this was a morally good act? If not, why?"
          "I'm not sure I'm following your response. Was this in response to an earlier post?"

          Read the post that you quoted. It has all the answers.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Sungrazer,

          "Ehrman has a lot to say that I’m sure you would object to"

          Of course. Even Ehrman, as an agnostic comes to a different conclusion than I do regarding the three statements I listed. The question is, what best explains the agreed upon data?

          “I’ve already pointed to the golden rule as a functional moral framework which does not require a true objective/absolute standard."

          But if someone chooses NOT to abide by the golden rule, they're not really doing anything morally wrong. If morality is subjective, then it's just a matter of personal taste. You say one thing is morally evil. Someone else says the exact same thing is morally good. Neither is really right or wrong. It's personal taste on a subjective view.

          "I can point to this as grounds for accusing the biblical deity of immoral behavior,"

          This is just Redzoa's opinion based on a framework (the golden rule) that he/she particularly chooses. Redzoa's opinion carries no more authority than anyone else's opinion using any other worldly moral framework.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:20 pm |
        • Doris

          truthf: "If morality is subjective, then it's just a matter of personal taste. You say one thing is morally evil. Someone else says the exact same thing is morally good. Neither is really right or wrong. It's personal taste on a subjective view. "

          Note how truthf slips in "right" and "wrong" at the end of the next to the last sentence appealing for agreement without specifying what's he's really after...

          Let's review:

          truthf wants his audience to commit to a value for a non-specific "good/bad/correct/incorrect/evil", etc. without making it clear which is being agreed to. When honestly discussing objective versus subjective morality all values for "good" "bad", etc. should be specified.

          Of course truthf is not interested in a subjective answer but only to get the responder to commit to a value that he can then attempt to claim as objective. This is why he asks – "is it wrong?" with no qualification that should be present for such an argument. If he explicitly asks qualifying with "objective", then he will have exposed himself as using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an alleged "truth" about objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). He has to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

          @truthf

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity enter the picture? We wouldn't want subjectivity tainting your demonstration of your direct connection to your god.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          Let me clarify,

          “If morality is subjective, then it’s just a matter of personal taste. You say one thing is subjectively morally evil. Someone else says the exact same thing is subjectively morally good. Neither is really right or wrong. It’s personal taste on a subjective view. ”

          April 10, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • Doris

          truthf: "If morality is subjective, then it’s just a matter of personal taste. "

          I think it's more than personal taste, but imho, it is subjective. People of all beliefs or not don't live in a vacuum when they consider moral issues – they frequently think collectively. Still subjective, but I think describing the process as "personal taste" much too simplistic. Since you have not proven your god, I can just as easily say that your belief in such a god along with its attributes including moral "truths" is also a matter of taste.

          Let's review:

          truthf wants his audience to commit to a value for a non-specific "good/bad/correct/incorrect/evil", etc. without making it clear which is being agreed to. When honestly discussing objective versus subjective morality all values for "good" "bad", etc. should be specified.

          Of course truthf is not interested in a subjective answer but only to get the responder to commit to a value that he can then attempt to claim as objective. This is why he asks – "is it wrong?" with no qualification that should be present for such an argument. If he explicitly asks qualifying with "objective", then he will have exposed himself as using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an alleged "truth" about objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). He has to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

          @truthf

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity enter the picture? We wouldn't want subjectivity tainting your demonstration of your direct connection to your god.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • Doris

          And let's see, truthf – some say there are over 41,000 different sects of "personal taste" for Christian belief...

          April 10, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          As scary as it sounds, it's really not more than personal taste. It's whatever you want it to be. Think about that. It's whatever you want it to be.

          On your subjective view, is anyone ever really (objectively) wrong or right? Is one person’s view, say, Hitlers as equally valid as the next, say, yours?

          On your subjective view of morality, can you ever be wrong or mistaken about what is morally good or evil?

          April 11, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          1. As scary as it sounds, it’s really not more than personal taste. It’s whatever you want it to be. Think about that. It’s whatever you want it to be.

          2. On your subjective view of morality, can you ever be wrong or mistaken about what is morally good or evil?

          April 11, 2014 at 12:15 am |
        • Doris

          truthf: "On your subjective view of morality, can you ever be wrong or mistaken about what is morally good or evil?"

          you need to qualify: "wrong, good and evil" here – subjective or objective?

          As I said people do have opinions, but also use them collectively. I believe you do the same.

          Let's review:

          truthf wants his audience to commit to a value for a non-specific "good/bad/correct/incorrect/evil", etc. without making it clear which is being agreed to. When honestly discussing objective versus subjective morality all values for "good" "bad", etc. should be specified.

          Of course truthf is not interested in a subjective answer but only to get the responder to commit to a value that he can then attempt to claim as objective. This is why he asks – "is it wrong?" with no qualification that should be present for such an argument. If he explicitly asks qualifying with "objective", then he will have exposed himself as using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an alleged "truth" about objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). He has to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

          @truthf

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity enter the picture? We wouldn't want subjectivity tainting your demonstration of your direct connection to your god.

          April 11, 2014 at 12:17 am |
        • truthfollower01

          On your subjective view of morality, can you ever mistaken about what what you think is subjectively morally good or evil? Are you always subjectively right, regardless of what you think?

          April 11, 2014 at 12:22 am |
        • Doris

          truthf: "Are you always subjectively right, regardless of what you think?"

          Of course not. People frequently have to face their transgressions against society when they break the law, which represents the collective, subjective opinion.

          April 11, 2014 at 12:28 am |
        • truthfollower01

          So your subjective opinion is based on what the law of your society says?

          April 11, 2014 at 12:36 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris, not that you do but if you did decide to base your subjective opinion on the laws of Nazi Germany, you wouldn't be subjectively morally wrong. Subjective morality is whatever you want it to be and that is a scary thing.

          April 11, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • Doris

          truthf: "So your subjective opinion is based on what the law of your society says?"

          In part. Remember there is representation, participation. The contribution can go in either direction.

          truthf: "Doris, not that you do but if you did decide to base your subjective opinion on the laws of Nazi Germany, you wouldn't be subjectively morally wrong. Subjective morality is whatever you want it to be and that is a scary thing."

          I think it's always a scary thing when one realizes that we are ultimately responsible for ourselves. If I lived and behaved today as if the behavior of Nazi's was a good thing, I'm pretty sure my views would (and hope I would) stick out against society. And trying to survive and be content in society with such a view would not be an easy thing. That's what you keep forgetting, that our personal opinions will be judged by various societal groups. What we hope is that we learned things from history and that our collective societal morality is better for that learning.

          Now – Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means.

          April 11, 2014 at 12:56 am |
        • Sungrazer

          "This is just Redzoa's opinion based on a framework (the golden rule) that he/she particularly chooses. Redzoa's opinion carries no more authority than anyone else's opinion using any other worldly moral framework."

          I would say god's opinion carries no more authority than anyone else's. If he created the universe, it does not follow that it makes him the highest moral authority. If god is setting himself up as such, then so much the worse for god.

          I also find it interesting that you are finding fault with a moral framework that Jesus himself espoused.

          April 11, 2014 at 1:31 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Doris,

          truthfollower01 thinks reasonable people coming together to work out a moral framework as best they can are on the same footing as Hitler and the Nazis. He talks about "as scary as it sounds", but he is the one who is scared that humans can act morally on their own; he is the one who wouldn't know what was moral or immoral unless he was told.

          April 11, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        • ri0088

          @truthfollower01

          "A holy God must punish wickedness, otherwise He wouldn’t be just. Given your confession, will you be guilty or innocent?"

          -It's like the pointless phrase "how many bad things does it take to be a bad person and how many good things does it take to be a good person). It also diminishes rationality and contextualism. Actions affect different values in different contexts. Ethics is meaningless without context. The act of lying could cause hurt in one context, yet save someones life in another context. That's when we learn morality is not absolutism.

          "However, God provided a way for salvation through the blood of His innocent Son who took the punishment on the cross"

          -why would a morally just or good god use the grotesque practice of human sacrifice ( something common to many ancient religious cultures) as a way of redemption if it could have easily decided to just forgive without any need of killing?

          "Think of it like this. You’re in a court room. you’re guilty as you’ve professed. Someone walks in and pays your fine for you."

          -that just excuses responsibility. You're no longer dealing with morality...you've dismissed it. You're making morality irrelevant. If people are only excused by having a belief (and submitting themselves to religious slavery)...then you've placed that belief over morality. At that point it wouldn't matter how moral or immoral an individual is. That's merely scapegoating.

          April 11, 2014 at 4:41 am |
        • kermit4jc

          the arguments don't work...justice means the penalty is paid for...we still acknowledge we did the crime....however..God did this out of love for us....second...who are you ti judge how God dishes out the punishment? Yes it seems grotesque..but that doesn't make it immoral..second..lying may save someones life? that's not true in Christian sense..we TRUST God to keep the person alive even when we say truth..PLUS...this world is temporary...we all die....you wanna keep them ehere for eternity? I see where your values are...on the here and now and temporary...

          April 11, 2014 at 4:46 am |
        • kermit4jc

          poh..and God cant just "decide" to forgive..He is a JUST God..not cause he feels that way..it is His very nature and he cannot change that....

          April 11, 2014 at 4:47 am |
        • ri0088

          @kermit4jc

          "ok..first of all..Paul did not see a vision..visions are not shared by others...yes..the travelers with Paul did not see Jesus...but they saw a light..and they heard some type of sound"

          -so the writer of the story claimed. Yet none of this testifies to historical reliability.

          "also..sources need not be mention ed...that's a modern day thing"

          -contemporary sources for any of the events claimed in the story. Sources that date to the time he was supposedly alive. Ancient historians were living DURING the time....in that area. Such claims like miracles, thousands hearing about him & flocking to him...the resurrections of hundreds in Jerusalem....would have been mentioned by someone living at the time. The only sources are believers who accepted stories.

          April 11, 2014 at 6:22 am |
        • kermit4jc

          there were other sources of writers..no..they didn't mention Pauls miracles (ie seeing Jesus)..they themselves saw miracles (Matthew John) and recorded them..the writers of the NT all wrote nearly the same time..within 5-10 years of each other

          April 11, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • ri0088

          @kermit4jc

          "also the gospels were nOT much later...in fact evidence now points to the Gospels written before 68 AD..and you assume they did not witness these things themselves....Matthew and JOhn were eyewitnesses"

          -the gospels were found anonymous. Matthew and john are claimed as eyewitnesses.....by the writers of the story. The writers can write whatever they want. We know they were written by Greek speaking believers since they are written in well skilled highly literate Greek dialect. The date for the earliest gospel being Mark is between 66-70 CE during Nero's reign or the Jewish revolt. That still doesn't make it contemporary and still isn't earlier than certain letters attributed to Paul. The early dates themselves are merely guesses made from textual analysis of the far later manuscript copies. As for Mark, from its own words, one can deduce that the author of Mark had neither heard Jesus nor served as his personal follower. Whoever wrote Mark simply accepted the story of Jesus without question and wrote a crude account of the popular story at the time.

          We know the average life expectancy during 1st century Rome from historical sources was around 20-30yrs. It's thought that only 4% of the population at any given time was over 50 years old, usually wealthy people (aristocrats, politicians, so on). The Gospel stories suggest that the followers of Jesus lived poorly, and this would further reduce the chances for a long life span. The Gospels were also written after or during two very devastating events, also greatly reducing life expectancy. The chances of the gospels originating from eyewitnesses are nill.

          April 11, 2014 at 6:23 am |
        • kermit4jc

          and those are your GUESSES..the thing is Mark was the traveling companion of Paul...and who says anything about accepting without questioning? sorry..but that's a presupposition that has no evidence

          April 11, 2014 at 9:39 am |
        • ri0088

          @kermit4jc

          "the arguments don't work...justice means the penalty is paid for...we still acknowledge we did the crime....however..God did this out of love for us"

          – Acknowledging you did the crime is not justice. Justice is accepting responsibility & the consequences of your actions....not being bought off.

          "who are you ti judge how God dishes out the punishment?"

          – Who are you....making baseless assertions? I'm rejecting unsupported CLAIMS made of a god.

          "second..lying may save someones life? that's not true in Christian sense..we TRUST God to keep the person alive even when we say truth"

          – People have used that same "trust" which proved pointless.

          "PLUS...this world is temporary...we all die....you wanna keep them ehere for eternity?"

          -We all experience the present. There's no denying that. Make the most of it.

          "and God cant just "decide" to forgive..He is a JUST God..not cause he feels that way..it is His very nature and he cannot change that"

          -how can you claim this? Other than you making a statement? The difference here is a person's actions are.....observable.

          April 11, 2014 at 7:45 am |
        • kermit4jc

          That is not justice according to YOUR earthly brand of justice....you are not God and your brand applies to temporary lifetime

          April 11, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          "If I lived and behaved today as if the behavior of Nazi’s was a good thing, I’m pretty sure my views would (and hope I would) stick out against society."

          On atheism, what's the problem with this? It may be taboo, but certainly not morally wrong.

          "And trying to survive and be content in society with such a view would not be an easy thing."

          The question is are you doing anything subjectively or morally wrong?

          "That’s what you keep forgetting, that our personal opinions will be judged by various societal groups."

          Their opinion is just as valid as yours.

          April 11, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • truthfollower01

          Ri,

          ""there is no doubt that [Paul] believed that he saw Jesus' real but glorified body raised from the dead."
          – Bart Ehrman quote shown in his debate with Michael Liconia ("Ehrman vs. Licona (2009)") on YouTube.

          April 11, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Doris

          Doris: "If I lived and behaved today as if the behavior of Nazi’s was a good thing, I’m pretty sure my views would (and hope I would) stick out against society."

          truthf: "On atheism, what's the problem with this? It may be taboo, but certainly not morally wrong."

          "Wrong" is subjective in my opinion. Is this what you meant by "morally wrong" at the end of that sentence? Then there is no problem – morals are assessed subjectively. If you mean objectively "wrong", then you have to prove such a thing exists on its own first. You haven't done that yet, have you.....

          Doris: "And trying to survive and be content in society with such a view would not be an easy thing."

          truthf: "The question is are you doing anything subjectively or morally wrong?"

          Oh so now your going to qualify something as "subjectively" OR "morally" wrong. What exactly are you asking – qualify "wrong" and don't be so sneaky about it – be clear.

          Doris: "That’s what you keep forgetting, that our personal opinions will be judged by various societal groups."

          truthf: "Their opinion is just as valid as yours."

          Well, I wouldn't say necessarily valid – I would hope it reflects my opinion, but as we see in society, our representation does not always meet our expectations. Now if you mean "valid" as a value against some objective "truth", well then we're back to square one, aren't we, truthf?

          Let's review:

          truthf wants his audience to commit to a value for a non-specific "good/bad/correct/incorrect/evil", etc., often without making it clear which is being agreed to. When honestly discussing objective versus subjective morality all values for "good" "bad", etc. should be specified.

          Of course truthf is not interested in a subjective answer but only to get the responder to commit to a value that he can then attempt to claim as objective. This is why he asks – "is it wrong?" with no qualification that should be present for such an argument. If he explicitly asks qualifying with "objective", then he will have exposed himself as using objectivity in trying to demonstrate an alleged "truth" about objectivity (which would look circularly foolish). He has to be disingenuous in trying to put the cart before the horse; to put an alleged divine "truth" in front of proving the source for it.

          @truthf

          Prove that you do not just have a similar opinion that you have derived in the same subjective manner as atheists, only from something that only represents a claimed unsubstantiated source.

          Prove that objective morality exists without resorting to subjective means. Can you do that? You know – demonstrate either your God or your direct connection to his "truths" without letting subjectivity enter the picture? We wouldn't want subjectivity tainting your demonstration of your direct connection to your god.

          April 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • truthfollower01

          Doris,

          "Oh so now your going to qualify something as “subjectively” OR “morally” wrong. What exactly are you asking – qualify “wrong” and don’t be so sneaky about it – be clear."

          This was my error. I meant to type "subjectively or objectively".

          I'm starting a new thread at the top.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • ri0088

          @kermit4jc

          "there were other sources of writers..no..they didn't mention Pauls miracles (ie seeing Jesus)..they themselves saw miracles (Matthew John) and recorded them"

          -the gospels aren't sources because the writers weren't witnesses. They were Greek believers. The gospels originate from people who were already believers. They are not 1st hand eyewitness accounts. We know through literary criticism that some of the gospels used the other as a source for their account, and one gospel admitted upfront it is not an eye witness account, but rather a summary based on other hearsay. The writers didn't writer at the same time.

          April 13, 2014 at 5:01 am |
        • kermit4jc

          uhh.Matthew and John were eyewitnesses..youneed to get more lessons..as for Luke..its not hearsay.....that's a modern thing..and historians don't accept assumptions like yours

          April 13, 2014 at 5:45 am |
        • ri0088

          @kermit4jc

          "and those are your GUESSES..the thing is Mark was the traveling companion of Paul"

          -Which is based on....a story you read. The fact that none of these people are even mentioned in the historical record outside the story itself says enough. There is no evidence for them outside the bible. You are entirely going off of what the writer wanted to write. If we simply went by that logic...then all manner of magical creatures and events from other "written sources in other cultures" are taken at face value, such as Hercules....who too is mentioned in the same works of ancient historians that mention Jesus.

          April 13, 2014 at 5:11 am |
        • kermit4jc

          terrible logic..historians donty go by your thinking..and second...youre comparing apples to oranges with the Hercules thing.....the Gospels were written very soon after Jesus..unlike Hercules....by eyewitnesses Matthew and John...and by careful study and investigation by Luke and Mark..sorry....bad logic on your part'

          April 13, 2014 at 5:48 am |
    • whippstippler7

      Hang on. Gator very fairly states that this is simply his belief, and that others are free to believe what they want. It's not being stated as an absolute truth – just s a belief.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • kudlak

      gatorfan008
      Do you believe in everything that can't be detected? Leprechauns, Atlantis, magic, ... ?

      "Faith is the substance of things hoped for"
      Is there a law that everything we hope for must come true?

      "and the evidence of things not seen"
      What kind of "evidence" can you have of something undetectable?

      April 10, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
    • skytag

      The god you serve is imaginary. If you have objective evidence to the contrary, please share.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
    • skytag

      "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen"

      There are two kinds of faith. Yours is believing is something with objective reason whatsoever to believe in it. It would be like me having faith that the woman of my dreams is just going to show up on my doorstep out of the blue one day.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
      • skytag

        Sorry, that should be "Yours is believing in something with no objective reason..."

        April 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
  19. potterg89

    Relevant points made 1 1/2 years ago when its authenticity was still undetermined: http://danielbwallace.com/2012/09/21/reality-check-the-jesus-wife-coptic-fragment/

    April 10, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
  20. ddeevviinn

    And here we are , centuries later and this historical figure is still at the center of ridicule, mockery and hatred on a visceral level. But it's not His mention of loving your enemies, blessing those who curse you or loving your neighbor as yourself that has been the cause of such ire, it's this little word sin that is the culprit. Jesus quantified and clarified the human condition and He was despised for doing so it. Fast forward to 2014, nothings changed.

    April 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      no, ddeevviinn, it's the pompous jerkovs that purport to be his followers

      April 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        " pompous jerkovs"

        Sam, are you familiar with the old adage " The pot calling the kettle black" ?. As someone who, with regularity, encourages human beings to " swallow a 12 gauge" or put an end to their lives by various other means, you may want to choose your words more wisely. Just a thought.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
        • sam stone

          i may very wel may be rude, but it is in response to the pompousness of those who feel they have the authority to preach to others. if you don't like it, too damn bad.

          April 11, 2014 at 2:44 am |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Exactly ddeevviinn! Nothing has changed. Jesus has done nothing. God nothing. The Jesus/God thing, nothing. They are not real so they can't change anything!!!

      April 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Obviously we disagree.

        I will say, yours is one of the most peculiar, and yet cool, usernames I've come across.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          The name comes from a Bosch painting.

          April 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          I see. Thanks.

          April 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • Starshine

          I must say, Hieronymous Bosch is one of the most....imaginative painters of Christian art...

          April 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • ssq41

          Oh...could have sworn that was Thomas Kinkade...

          April 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
    • Starshine

      I see no evidence of mockery in this article.

      April 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        You misunderstand, it is the replies to the article to which I am referring.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • Starshine

          I see. It would probably be wise to mention that in your post if you do not wish to be misunderstood.

          April 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Fair enough.

          April 10, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • Dinah

      Some of the most unrepentant "sinners" I've ever come across profess to be devout, 'saved' Christians.

      They certainly do not practice what they preach.

      If they cannot get their own act together, they should really be quiet about what anyone else does.

      April 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        While in part this may be true, it never the less is irrelevant to sin and the human condition of what Jesus spoke.

        April 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • sam stone

          "what jesus spoke"

          translated, edited hearsay?

          April 11, 2014 at 2:46 am |
    • ri0088

      "And here we are , centuries later and this historical figure...."

      -Historical tale...you mean. There is no record that shows he was a real figure. No different than Hercules. Stories and people mentioning a character don't prove the character is actually real.

      "But it's not His mention of loving your enemies, blessing those who curse you or loving your neighbor as yourself "

      -Maybe it's the contradictory opposite verses where a violent jesus will kill (instead of love) his enemies depicting him as a militaristic leader in charge of an army waging violent warfare. Not unlike violent crusading Quranic verses.

      "Jesus quantified and clarified the human condition.."

      -a religion's declaration of something wrong doesn't show how it's wrong. Ethics require rationality and context...not absolutism. Ethics also isn't dependent on faith. Faith offers no justification for a position since faith present no evidence to back its assertion.

      April 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • tantagel

        "Historical tale...you mean. There is no record that shows he was a real figure. No different than Hercules. Stories and people mentioning a character don't prove the character is actually real."

        There are at least four separate books (Gospels) written by four different authors that made their way down through the centuries to us after having been compiled at some point into "the New Testament" since they factually agreed with one another. That's the record.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
        • ri0088

          @tantagel

          "There are at least four separate books (Gospels) written by four different authors"

          -the gospels are not contemporary and they were not written by eyewitnesses. Even one gospel clearly states upfront it is a formulation of other circulating accounts. The authors were Greek speaking believers and no contemporary accounts were written of jesus while he was supposedly alive. No one during the time seem to know such a man existed. jesus only appear to be a character from a story that people circulated. But the gospels are the only sources making the claim...and they aren't contemporary. No reason not to think these are a formulation of the writers.

          "since they factually agreed with one another."

          -the gospels can't even agree with each other on specific details of the same events. "factually agreed"? Please. Clearly some gospels were written using another as a source.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
        • tantagel

          "No reason not to think these are a formulation of the writers."

          I've considered that too, of course, as I have the same doubting human mind that you do, but what would be the point? To elevate themselves? To extend and continue the Jewish Torah in some weird way? Yes, eventually they each decided it'd be worth writing the stuff down, but it wasn't THAT long after Jesus was around. They lived during his era.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm |
        • Madtown

          compiled at some point into "the New Testament" since they factually agreed with one another. That's the record
          -----
          The gospels aren't even consistent when it comes to some details about Jesus' life.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • tantagel

          OK, I see my use of the word factual has been a sticking point. Even if you replace it with "largely," what you have is four separate dudes independently writing largely the same narrative about Jesus, each with some slight differences or perspectives. Plus, they were obviously human. That doesn't make it any less likely that he existed and the claims were true.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • tiglathpileser1

          Regardless of your opinion there is no scholarly debate on the existance of the biblical Jesus, he did exist. You may debate the actual events but no educated person believes he did not exist.

          April 10, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • ri0088

          "I've considered that too, of course, as I have the same doubting human mind that you do, but what would be the point? To elevate themselves? To extend and continue the Jewish Torah in some weird way"

          -Why do you think religions form in the first place? They compete ideological positions. At the time Semitics were under Roman occupation looking elsewhere for philosophical guidance. Jews already felt their culture and religion were under threat. There were already diverse and widespread movements going on to reignite forms of Judaism, the Essene movement and Gnosticism being a few of them. Even the new testament writings have so many Greek philosophical influences to them...not surprising coming from Greek writers.

          "but it wasn't THAT long after Jesus was around. They lived during his era."

          -yet historical and archeological evidence show none of the events within the story has any historical verification. We know the writers lived around the time but that says nothing about the story itself being a truthful historical account. Keep in mind the earliest writings of jesus weren't the gospels....but rather the epistles attributed to Paul. Yet Paul, in the writings, never claimed to have seen a physical Jesus nor know any details of his life. It was simply based on a vision he had. Then enter the gospels...written much later...in the third person.....just like a story.....by unknown Greek writers.....who all of sudden know so many details of Jesus which no other sources mention.....with the gospel writers themselves never having witness such events. Not that hard to be skeptical of the historical reliability of such accounts.

          April 11, 2014 at 3:15 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ok..first of all..Paul did not see a vision..visions are not shared by others...yes..the travelers with Paul did not see Jesus...but they saw a light..and they heard some type of sound..if it were a vision..others would not be experiencing something as well..

          April 11, 2014 at 3:18 am |
        • kermit4jc

          also..sources need not be mention ed...that's a modern day thing...also the gospels were nOT much later...in fact evidence now points to the Gospels written before 68 AD..and you assume they did not witness these things themselves....Matthew and JOhn were eyewitnesses

          April 11, 2014 at 3:20 am |
      • mercfan

        Even Jews and Muslims acknowledge the existence of Jesus. They just didn't believe he was the Son of God.
        '

        April 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm |
        • ssq41

          "Even Jews and Muslims acknowledge the existence..."

          Even Bart Ehrman acknowledges it, but a group, no matter how numerous or scholarly, doesn't make it so.

          April 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • ri0088

          They probably acknowledge the character of the story. But that's not based on any historical or archeological evidence from the person of jesus himself.

          April 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
      • posttenebrasluxmaranatha

        Ah – some things never change, do they? LOL

        Jews look for miraculous signs and 'Greeks' look for wisdom.

        But, we preach Christ crucified – a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Gentiles. For the message of the Cross is foolishness....

        ... for those who are perishing.

        But to us who are being saved, it is the Power of God.

        (1 Corinthians)

        You hard-hearted, deaf and blind atheists can opine until you have used every last electron on earth – but you will NEVER sway a sinner (like me and the countless number of my brothers and sisters) who has experienced the Living Jesus for him- or herself that we are less than what we are. Which is, pathetic sinners, deserving eternal destruction, but by the Grace of God are being transformed into the likeness of our Lord, with ever-increasing glory – and destined to inherit the earth, yea the universe, and the entire Kingdom of God.

        So, ye sons of your father – keep lying and blaspheming if you think that is the way of wisdom – but remember, each man's life is but a breath – a few brief days and then it's over - to face judgment or eternal glory.

        You can't say you haven't been told.

        Maranatha!

        April 10, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
    • skytag

      "Jesus quantified and clarified the human condition and He was despised for doing so it. Fast forward to 2014, nothings changed."

      Rubbish. I have no feelings about Jesus whatsoever. I despise the arrogant behavior of people who profess to believe in him, so sure their beliefs are right and everyone else's are wrong even Christians have no more objective evidence to support what they believe than anyone else.

      April 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
      • ssq41

        Actually, I prefer the Buddha's quantification and clarification of the human condition via the 4 noble truths.

        Far more succinct and far more accurate.

        April 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm |
      • posttenebrasluxmaranatha

        Were you to speak truthfully, there is actually NO amount of evidence that will ever convince you – it's impossible for a person who has hardened his heart against the Holy Spirit to believe upon Him (Jesus Himself said that).

        Before ANYONE believes, God must enable him to do so. And for the dead hearts of a skeptic like you – one with no fear of God whatsoever – the door will remain shut.

        Your only hope would be to permit the idea – even the smallest idea – that the Spirit of God might actually talk to you. But, that is anathema to those who have arrogantly (and quite stupidly and foolishly) put their own puny 'wisdom' ahead of God Almighty's.

        There is no hope for you – (except God Himself might take pity on you – to prove His glory – and to humble you).

        So, we don't really post our replies here to try to convince such as you. But, you do supply a foil for many others who might read these posts – whose hearts have not been so hardened – and perhaps just consider that God just might show Himself to them.

        - As He has for so many of us.

        I pity you – but, then again, you have been warned and told. You will have no excuse on the Day.

        Maranatha!

        April 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm |
        • ssq41

          You know, skytag, I have to laugh at the typical knee-jerk reaction of the Christian exemplified by this first paragraph using the "no evidence will ever work for you 'cause you hate the holy spirit" apology. It testifies to their deeply recessed anger and tenuous faith that Maranath harbors.

          So sad that Christians can't exercise even a modicu.m of humility and actually find out why a person like skytag feels the way he feels. Nope! the only answer is to vomit the "Pharaoh's heart was hardened" excuse.

          And that last paragraph...how you're going to get an all-expense paid Princess cruise on the Lake of Fire just after the Great White Throne of Judgement response with all that self-righteouss anger and then that lovely closing salutation:

          Maranatha! (Come Lord jesus!!!)

          How do we birth such phony human beings?...

          April 10, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • ssq41

          Oh! and this second paragraph:

          "Before ANYONE believes, God must enable him to do so. And for the dead hearts of a skeptic like you – one with no fear of God whatsoever – the door will remain shut."

          This is just priceless! I can't believe how ignorant Christians like this are of their own theology and philosopy, particularly when it comes to their belief in "free will."

          And, of course, how their God can't even adhere to his own scripture such as 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

          What an evil God you serve, Maranatha.

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

          i need no excuse. judgement is a hoax, and only fools the gullible

          April 11, 2014 at 2:47 am |
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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.