April 29th, 2014
12:35 PM ET

New clues cast doubt on 'Gospel of Jesus' Wife'

Opinion by Joel S. Baden and Candida R. Moss, special to CNN

(CNN) - It seemed real; it seemed fake; it seemed real again; now we’re back to fake.

"It” is the controversial little scrap of papyrus, written in Coptic, that seems to have Jesus referring to “my wife,” in contrast to the traditional stance that affirms Jesus’ perpetual bachelorhood.

The quick backstory: In 2012, a Harvard professor, Karen King, brought this papyrus to the attention of scholars and the public.

Both the material and the script looked authentically ancient at first glance, and though the notion of Jesus having a wife was remarkable, these “lost” Christian writings, such as the Gnostic Gospels, are full of unorthodoxies.

It was good enough for King, who is widely respected in the scholarly world.

From the beginning, there were doubts, however, beyond the unlikelihood that the tiny scrap that survived the centuries would happen to be the one that contained the reference to Jesus’ wife.

The papyrus, along with a few other ancient papyri of lesser novelty, had been passed to King by an anonymous figure.

Anonymity, in the world of antiquities, is often a bad sign, compounding the inherent uncertainty when dealing with texts that are bought and sold rather than discovered in a firm archaeological setting.

Then there were aspects of the text itself that seemed suspicious.

For a fragmented scrap of papyrus, it seemed to have an awful lot of important content on it. Not only did Jesus refer to “my wife,” he also potentially described a certain Mary – perhaps Mary Magdalene? – as “worthy” and capable of being a disciple.

It is (almost) too good to be true.

At the same time, the handwriting seemed surprisingly sloppy.

Then again, other scholars noted that just because a scribe has poor handwriting and a text is informative does not make it a forgery. Perhaps we just got lucky this time.

More specific issues arose in the perceived familiarity of the document.

The text of the Jesus’ wife fragment is remarkably close to published editions, available online, of another Coptic Christian text, called the “Gospel of Thomas.”

So close, in fact, that one of the typographical errors in an online edition of the “Gospel of Thomas” is replicated, uniquely, in the Jesus’ wife fragment.

What are the chances of that?

Yet some would say that the fact that there is considerable overlap with the wording of the “Gospel of Thomas” isn’t a problem: Christian authors regularly copied word-for-word from other texts.

The canonical Gospels of Matthew and Luke, for example, reproduce much of the Gospel of Mark, with only slight alterations. And the vocabulary used in the papyrus is remarkably common.

The most compelling argument for authenticity is the flip-side (or verso) of the manuscript.

There are faint traces of ink on this side that have been worn away, suggesting that they are truly ancient.

It would be highly unusual for a modern forger to get his hands on an ancient papyrus written on only one side and equally difficult to imagine how the verso might have been made today.

Yet for all the arguments and efforts, there was no smoking gun - on either side.

And so the papyrus was submitted for testing: carbon-dating of the papyrus itself as well as chemical testing of the ink. Just last month, those test results came back.

It turns out that the papyrus is genuinely ancient. The ink has the chemical composition of ancient ink. The news spread, including here, that the papyrus was the real McCoy.

Of course, tests like those can’t really prove authenticity; they can prove only potential authenticity. And they are hardly foolproof.

Once we started carbon-dating papyrus, forgers started using authentically ancient papyrus. Once we discovered how to identify ancient ink by its chemical composition, forgers started creating precisely the same ink.

Like steroids in sports, it’s safe to assume that the best bad guys are always one step ahead of the science.

And yet, the dating of the papyrus and ink did shift the burden back on to the doubters. And just this past week, they seem to have discovered something as close to proof as we can really expect in cases like this.

Although we knew in 2012 that there were other papyri in the same group that included the “Jesus' wife” fragment – the batch the anonymous donor gave King - none of them had been seen.

That changed with the release of the test results, which used some of these other papyri for the purposes of comparison.

One of those papyri was a fragment of the canonical Gospel of John. For all the uncertainty about the Jesus’ wife papyrus, this text of John evoked no such indecision. It is a forgery.

How do we know? This Gospel of John purports to be a version in a relatively rare ancient dialect of Coptic known as Lycopolitan.

Just such a Lycopolitan version of John was published in 1924 and is now available online. And this newly revealed gospel fragment just so happens to look awfully similar to the 1924 (now-online) version of John. How similar? Here’s how similar:

Herbert Thompson's "Gospel of St John," page 7 (left); Coptic John fragment recto (right), illustrating how a forger could have copied every second line of this text.

Whoever created this new Gospel of John fragment simply copied the beginning of every other line from the online version.

Turns out that if you check the other side of the fragment against its online parallel, the same thing is true (though with the end of every line rather than the beginning, logically enough).

Add to this the fact that the carbon dating of the John papyrus puts it in the seventh to ninth centuries, but Lycopolitan died out as a language sometime before the sixth century. No one wrote anything in Lycopolitan in the period in which this text would have to be dated.

So what does it matter to the Jesus’ wife fragment that this scrap of John is forgery?

Well, it’s never a good sign for a text of doubtful authenticity to be found in the company of a sure forgery.

More directly: Multiple experts agree that the fragment of John and the Jesus’ wife papyrus are written in the same hand, using the same ink and even the same writing instrument.

Simply put: If one is a forgery, they’re both forgeries.

Although 100% certainty is never achievable in such cases, given everything we know now (lab tests included), the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” never existed — or, rather, it never existed, for all intents and purposes, before 2012.

There are no great revelations to be gleaned from this text, no astounding new information about Jesus or Mary.

What the entire episode does, rather, is remind us — scholars included — that science might not always have all the answers.

This forgery was detected not through lab analysis but through good old-fashioned humanities-based detective work. This was Sherlock Holmes, not "CSI."

There remains no substitute for deep, thorough, scholarly expertise in ancient languages and texts.

Even in a case that ended up wasting such time and energy in the academic community, that community, and its collective body of knowledge, have rarely been more valuable and necessary.

Joel S. Baden is an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. Candida Moss is a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden and Moss. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: archaeology • Bible • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (1,337 Responses)
  1. idiotusmaximus

    Add to this the fact that the carbon dating of the John papyrus puts it in the seventh to ninth centuries, but Lycopolitan died out as a language sometime before the sixth century.....

    None of this matters...it was still supposedly written 700 years after the fictional Jesus supposedly lived...it all means nothing.

    June 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
  2. christopherkwun

    Only the Vatican has the 'real' story of Jesus in their vast collection of archives. And the Vatican does NOT reveal all of its writings. In particular, no pictures exist of Pope Urban II handwritten statements. That is a NO given the immense influence he has had on Catholicism's outreach.

    June 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      The Vatican has nothing....except the records of suppression they've engaged in for the last 1900 years.

      June 21, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  3. obarryon

    In other news, I have just buried a data cd in an undisclosed location with the story of how I am the Son of God. Should be interesting what is made of it in the year 4114.

    May 27, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  4. 19covenant19

    Jesus Christ was/is not fake.
    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the BIBLE.
    See it here now.


    May 11, 2014 at 6:47 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      Of course I didn't read it....but I am curious....were the Crusades covered in there? How about slavery and how the bible affected the beliefs of slave traders and owners up to thousands of years later.....was that covered on your link?

      May 11, 2014 at 8:15 am |
      • kermit4jc

        @gull..don't forget that the Bible also influenced the freeing of the slaves in American and England over 100 years ago

        May 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...well I should hope so! Seems some Christians deciphered parts of the bible differently than the ones using the bible in order to keep slaves. How could that be....I thought the bible was in-ambiguous.

          May 12, 2014 at 8:22 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Because people are people..they will abuse things to get what they want.....rather than interpret the way the authors intended..they will interpret to justify their own lusts...the writers of the Epistles (Paul, Peter, james, etc) warned against those kinds...

          May 12, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          But Kermit.....who gets to decide what the authors really meant, and what is the basis for their decision?

          May 12, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • kermit4jc

          sigh..I been saying it many times now...CONTEXT....context of JEWISH culture..of ROMAN culture...context of the political and spiritual themes of the day (we can get some of it from Bible and other parts from other historians and sources)...that's how one is supposed to read any piece of literature..or communicate in anyway....the peoblem I find (I was guilty of this in the beginning when I first studied the bible) is that people have been reading and or studying the Bible as if it were written originally in modern day English by modern day americans in a modern day culture

          May 13, 2014 at 1:52 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....context makes it open for interpretation. Either you take the book literally as it stands, or you read into what you think the authors meant and rationalize it however you want. Sorry, but I don't work that way....when Jesus said that you had to hate your mother and father to be his disciple, then that is what you have to do. No translation necessary.

          May 13, 2014 at 7:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          seems you don't undertand what context means then..as I said..read it from the JEWISh point of view..that pretty much narrows it down..meaning that it is nOT "oprn for interpretation" as you say...again what I want in there is what the AYTHORS intended...and we can be very sure of what they intended when looking into context! I mean...if that's the case..HOW in the world have you gotten THIS far in your own life doing that? we can KNOW that Jesus intended hyperbole (exaggeration) when he spoke of "hating" your own mother and father..when he showed caring for his own mother )in JOhn where he presents the disciple to Mary and mary to the disciple -here is your mother, here is your son...meaning to take care of his mother) He told us to love others...etc etc...then OBVIUSLY he is then using a hyperbole of our love for God being so great as if to hate mom and dad..Imsorry..but anyone else who interprets differently just doesnot use logic and reason at all....

          May 13, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....you don't KNOW anything of the sort. You are only supposing. You were not there and there is no way to KNOW exactly what was meant. That means, the entire book is open for interpretation. That is why so many different sects exist all using the same manuscript.

          May 13, 2014 at 9:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          we CAN know for certainty..Im sorry yo a re so pessimistic...seems you have a pessimistic view in life..I am not supposing that Jesus spoke of loving others and honoring mom and dad..its in their in the Bible

          May 13, 2014 at 9:56 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...I'll thank you to stop making inferences about me. You don't know me at all! Just because I don't agree with your version of this fairy tale doesn't mean I'm a pessimist. That would be like me saying that you are an idiot because you believe a Bronze Age Jewish carpenter was the son of god. I can certainly think that, but it would be rude to actually say it. And no, I still contend that you can only suspect what the writer meant, not know for certainty. You may even have a 99% idea, but you don't know.

          May 13, 2014 at 10:05 am |
        • kermit4jc

          even at 80- 85 % it is very certain......you said 99% that's virtually certain of whats being said..Im sorry..but the likelihood is that weknow..as for the context I gave....you know....skeptics really are pessimistic towards this...but then again..the Bible as a whoile isnot ambiguous...I mean..NOTHING would be understood whatsoever the way atheists and skeptics carry on..the writers show cohereance in ther writings and all..these were not stupid idiots who didn't know how to write

          May 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
  5. joeyy1


    May 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
  6. irieawards


    May 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
  7. idiotusmaximus

    New clues cast doubt on 'Gospel of Jesus' Wife'..............

    Discussing this is like debating whether Santa Claus really had a wife and lived at the north pole.....fantasies can go anyway you want to argue them.....and this is a form of insanity.

    May 6, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
  8. memezaa

    I'm not convinced one way or the other, but does anyone else find it funny that some people with use science to prove findings like this that challenge their religion are fake, but reject science when it proves them wrong?

    May 6, 2014 at 1:16 am |
    • i12bphil

      Or conversely...

      May 6, 2014 at 1:22 am |
      • observer


        The Bible offered ZERO new science and claimed that all the laws of science apparently are optional.

        Not good to try to use science to support nonsense in the Bible.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:26 am |
        • aepllc

          Actually there are many scientific references within the Bible. Job describes the parting of light, how the sun creates winds, how the pressures of the earth create gem stones. And what of God's depiction of himself as light? Why did God choose to describe himself as light? We now know that photons which possess properties of light and matter can act outside the bounds of every other scientific thought and process we understood, in fact if you'll look at a recent Time magazine article "The Infinity Machine" you might start to understand the truth; that we only know what we think we know, that we cannot know the truth in our state of being, it is simply beyond our ability to experience it or even comprehend it. I believe science is beginning to reveal this, but it will probably be another generation before humans start to recognize it simply because we are so slow in our response and collective thinking and saturated with mis-information through our various mostly corrupted media outlets. I think the science within the Bible is actually far more advanced than we humans tend to give it credit for. We prefer to deny the existence of a creator simply because most of us don't want to have to be accountable to one, all the while we fly in the face of our most basic science and the Bible while trying to "prove" that life came from non-life spontaneously, without a designer, which really makes no sense at all.

          May 25, 2014 at 10:48 am |
      • memezaa

        Do you have an example? I honestly can't think of one.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:22 am |
    • jbhollen

      I agree. In this instance "science" is being poked at like it came up short in verifying the authenticity of the "wife" fragment. Sciences only role was to carbon date the papyrus and analyze the ink. Which were done satisfactorily or we would have read about it. The back and forth over authenticity was between biblical scholars and dead language experts. Also note that proving the John fragment false was pivotal in proving the wife fragment false. Carbon dating was key in proving the John fragment false so "science" really did help make the day.

      May 6, 2014 at 1:40 am |
      • memezaa

        Exactly. Somebody gave the fragment to a scientist who used carbon dating, which was learned after years of research by previous scientists, to find as close to an exact measurement as possible. Too many people just ignore what they don't want to hear.

        May 6, 2014 at 2:18 am |
    • ldadvocatus

      No kidding...like the IPCC who rejected their own research when it failed to support their position and omitted it from their findings .

      May 6, 2014 at 1:59 am |
      • memezaa

        I'm sure the IPCC had a group of scientists do all the research, and I'm sure they had ownership of the findings too. This is why its hard to trust corporations that conduct in-house research. If they own it, they don't have to make it public. A sad but true story.

        May 6, 2014 at 3:06 am |
        • ldadvocatus

          The IPCC is the the International Panel on Climate Change under the the United Nations...not a corporation.

          May 6, 2014 at 9:52 am |
  9. Bryan Beus

    It's possible that "Evidence" for God will always be disputed, whether or not it exists.

    The nature of the subject arises such intense feelings in everyone of all belief systems that a vast number of people will misconstrue, dilute, and couch the facts until those facts fit the desired point of view.

    May 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • jbhollen

      Evidence of god ends the discussion.

      May 5, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
      • idiotusmaximus

        And the Laws of Physics buries it.

        May 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
  10. thefinisher1

    Looks like atheism loses yet again! Man, atheism is getting weaker and weaker! Hehee

    May 4, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • jbhollen

      Sorry to burst your bubble but check the polls. Atheism is significantly on the rise.

      May 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      • i12bphil

        Truth is not dependent on polls, in either direction.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • jbhollen

          Check the polls, do the research, pray on it or check your magic 8 ball. Free thinking is on the rise and faith is sliding. It's been going that way for years.

          May 6, 2014 at 1:28 am |
        • Doris

          "Clean-up on aisle 4! Someone attempted bulk purchase of 'truth' and the skid just fell on top of them and made a huge mess."

          May 6, 2014 at 1:29 am |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Sorry thefinisher....you're wrong.....but I'm not really sorry....most people like you do hold on tho your fantasies so you can get to that heaven that no one knows how to locate or where it's at....where is it....?

      May 5, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • niccage2014

      Thank it's adherents for turning it into a full-blown religion, complete with saviors, creation-theory, gospel, and self-stimulation opportunities.

      May 5, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  11. hearthetruthonline2014

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


    May 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • igaftr

      First, there is no thruth on your site, just smoke and mirrors...second, stealing advertisement is a sin.

      May 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  12. ldadvocatus

    What did Jesus ever do to harm anyone? Yet, nobody dares attack or attempt to discredit Mahatma Ghandi or Buddha and other enlightened people or that which was written by or about them? Especially, Harvard Professors standing on their credentials to promote heresy against Jesus and his Church. Why is that?

    May 4, 2014 at 11:50 am |
    • igaftr

      Heresy is simply the same as saying that someone disagrees. Since you do not know if ANY of the stories of jesus, or any of the words allegedly spoken by him are in fact what happened, you do not know if it is heresy, or is my questioning the validity of the stories also heresy?

      Heresy...a wod the christians took from the greeks and changed the meaning to mean anything ever said that opposes the bible...except that much of the bible is heresy, since it contradicts itself.

      May 4, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • ldadvocatus

        The comments are non-responsive to a simple question designed to reveal the point that there is no rational purpose behind the antagonist conversation. This response is an excellent example of how people would rather attack another's position than advance the merits of their own position.

        May 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • otoh2


          It seems as if you have no qualms about attacking the "Harvard Professors", though.

          May 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • igaftr

          I did not attack anything. Simply pointed out that heresy means that someone disagrees...it is a word that the meaning was changed by the christins to mean something more than disagreeing. Since the bible itself disagrees with the bible, then some of the bible must be heresy.

          May 4, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • jbhollen


          May 4, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • jbhollen

          I think my response holds water just fine.

          May 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
    • otoh2

      "Why is that?"

      Two word answer: "his" churches.

      May 4, 2014 at 11:59 am |
      • ldadvocatus

        In much sincerity, who else is there? Jesus started "his" church through Saint Peter who was the first Pope. What other "churches" were there before Jesus? There were Jewish Synagogues, but it was the Jewish people who acknowledged the monotheistic God and idea for a place to worship one God that follower's of Jesus advanced as "his" church.

        May 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • igaftr

          Christianity is polytheistic. They only worship one god, but even their god tells them there are other gods...why else would he have told them to not worship the other gods if there were no other gods to worship. He didn't allegedly say not to worship false of non-existant gods, he said not to worship the OTHER gods.

          May 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          and here we go with the ignorance and folly of a fool who has NO clue what the Bible says..the BIble has God saying he is the ONLY TRuE God......meaning that other gdos do not "exist" yes..money can be a god......poseesions can be a god..that doe snot make Christainity polytheistic......the false gods don't really exist..it is what ever people make themout to be

          May 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • otoh2


          There are over 40,000 "Christian" "churches", each saying that **they** have the correct interpretation of "Jesus's" (whoever he was) ideas, and that the others are preaching heresy.

          May 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that is a total lie..you say each has their own correct interpretation of Jeus...sorry dude..but that is totally out of ignorance ..nto all churches are separated by interpretations of Jesus...I know..I been there....MOST Churches agree Jesus is God..MOST churches agree that salvation is thru Jesus alone and not by works....THOSE are the most important things that UNITE the churches........typical atheists who really never visit a whole lot of churches would say otherwise....

          May 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • otoh2


          A little humor to illustrate:

          "Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

          He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

          He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

          Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over." - Emo Philips

          May 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • ldadvocatus

          I get your points about Christian "churches"...which really are "denominations" of Christianity. Christianity cannot choose who decides to call themselves "Christian" no more than any other group...but, calling oneself a Christian does not make it so.

          This is not an advertisement for the Catholic Church...merely an explanation of the term as the original idea. The Greek meaning of Catholic is "universal." And, that was the idea Jesus had in mind...everyone belonging and coming together in a universal church...in community. After almost 1,600 years of a universal church, Martin Luther (not a debate about his reasoning, just the fact) chose a different direction for his version of Christianity leading to all other Christian denominations, some without any relation to the original Christian ideas. So, a single human being who didn't get his way, rejected Jesus' notion of a universal church in favor of separatism.

          please, the scope of this commentary is limited only to the many denominations and no more.

          May 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      no one is claiming that ghandi or buddha did supernatural things

      no one is trying to get the words of buddha or ghandi written into our secular law

      May 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
      • ldadvocatus

        Factual History – The real people who started this country left England to escape the tyranny and religious persecution of a King who imposed his state religion on his subjects to control them. The First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion..." Understanding that behind every law lies "legislative intent" it's easy to see the framer's intent behind the Establishment Clause was to keep the government out of religion...not religion out of government.

        What specific law are you referring to? Fundamentally, law can be traced to morality and ethical behavior. Law is the minimally acceptable conduct from the governed. It constrains what people "can get away with" but not what is right and just which is a much higher standard for societies. It may be legal to burn Bibles in this country, in this country, but is it the right thing to do? The answer to that question depends on whether you believe it is right to burn a Koran? The idea that anyone is "trying" to get Jesus into a "secular" jurisprudence system is simply not factual and without merit. Was there any lesson Jesus taught that you would disagree with, i.e., love your neighbor as yourself? How can anyone violate any law if they subscribe to that as a philosophy whether you agree or not? And, that pretty much drives the legislatures.

        By the way, Ghandi was all about changing the law in India and for humanity. Natural law is a body of law that precedes and lays a foundation for all other laws.

        May 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • igaftr

          God was not mentioned in the Const!tution for a reason. Look up the treaty of tripoli. America is not now, nor has it ever been a christian nation.
          Also, you actually quote from the Buddha with "love your neighbor as yourself", since Buddha was teaching that for over 400 years BEFORE the christian god was written. Where did you think the idea for Jesus came from? It came right down the Slik Road.

          May 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Idad....there are many laws that are based on religious requirements, too many to really list, but this site has a good listing of those laws, both at the federal and state levels: http://www.religioustolerance.org/lawmenu.htm. One law currently in Oklahoma is probably going to the Supreme Court. Oklahoma has a law allowing religious statues to be erected on state property as long as it was paid for by private funds. Subsequently, a statue of the ten commandments was put on the courthouse property. Naturally, when the atheists wanted to erect their own statue, they had a fight on their hands. I'm surprised you hadn't heard about that one.....it's been in all the headline news lately.

          May 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Get it right. Satanists want to erect a statue not Atheists. Regarding your religious laws I agree they exist and it is a travesty.

          May 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
        • otoh2


          I think you need to do some reading about those Puritan pilgrims... and what they believed, and who **they** persecuted. Many left England because the King (or others in power) would not make the Church as harsh and strict as they wanted.
          We should be so glad that wiser heads prevailed in establishing the laws of this country!

          "Their isolation in the New World, their introversion, the harshness and dangers of their new existence, their sense that they were a new Chosen People of God destined to found a New Jerusalem – a New City of God in the midst of the wilderness – insured that American Puritanism would remain more severe (and, frequently, more intellectually subtle and rigorous) than that which they had left behind. The American Puritan tended to interpret the Bible, which had supreme literary value because it was the perfect word of God, even more literally than did his British counterparts. Though many of the original American Puritans – many of whom were both preachers and authors – had attended English Universities, they tended to form religious oligarchies and sought to establish a purified church – which meant the frequently harsh imposition of religious uniformity upon an unwilling populace.
          It was to escape Puritan religious persecution that Roger Williams, a minister from Salem, established his colony in Rhode Island in 1636. The overt remnants of Puritanism did not die out in New England until well into the nineteenth century, and it echoes in American society today." http://www.victorianweb.org/religion/puritan2.html


          "...and the Puritans believed Quakers were heretics. In fact, anyone who was not an Anglican was a heretic, including Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists, Antinomians, Quakers, Ranters… in short, anyone who was not Anglican. When Quakers showed up in Boston in the 1650s, it’s no surprise they were persecuted. Puritan Congregationalism was the official—and only—religion of New England. Like every other state they knew of in Europe, the Puritans enforced a state religion that it was treason to oppose." http://thehistoricpresent.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/why-the-puritans-persecuted-quakers/

          May 4, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • ldadvocatus

          Thank you to all for sharing comments that obviously matter to you and I honor all of them. Please notice that there is not a single response to my original question or even an attempt to resolve the syllogism presented.

          When seeking to be understood, try first to understand. What does that say about respect for others?

          May 4, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          idad....actually, I believe the answer to your question was given several times. You really asked 3 different questions in your original post. I believe that one answer that was given to you was his churches as a reason why people tend to attack jesus. Another answered that the entire belief of jesus is in question, so that was what the attack was meant for. I answered a follow up question, but would be happy to provide an answer to your original question.

          As an atheist, I am not attacking Jesus as a man at all. Whether he truly existed or was simply an amalgam of several gods is unimportant to me. However, the idea that he was the son of god is truly what I object to. There simply is no proof. Because of this, approx. 30% of the worlds population are believers, yet close their minds to the consistently growing revelations of science. They do this because they do not want to have their faith questioned. I see it in my own family and with politicians, and with too many other citizens of this country. Lack of scientific acceptance is a growing fear to most of the intelligent community, as it puts us farther and farther behind the progressive countries that are not adopting religion as their scientific dogma.

          Is this an acceptable answer to your question?

          May 4, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • jbhollen

          What unadulterated bullsh1t. You have to be gullible enough to buy into religious dogma to buy into your garbage.

          May 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • jbhollen


      May 4, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
    • Képtelenség

      I'll attempt to answer.

      What did Jesus ever do to harm anyone? According to Christian doctrine, nothing.
      Yet, nobody dares attack or attempt to discredit Mahatma Ghandi or Buddha and other enlightened people or that which was written by or about them?This a story primarily about Jesus. Naturally he would be the topic of comments in this comments section. There have been plenty of articles trying to discredit Ghandi. Google them.
      Especially, Harvard Professors standing on their credentials to promote heresy against Jesus and his Church. I don't see that here. Care to elucidate?
      Why is that?
      See previous answer.

      May 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • ldadvocatus

        subject in the article where these comments began...also, Harvard Theological Review withdrew Ms. King's article about the subject.

        May 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • Képtelenség

          Which means what? You asked, I answered.

          May 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
    • jbhollen

      Ghandi is not shoved down my throat at every turn. He don't threaten burning in hell for all eternity if I don't buy into ridiculous stories and violent and bloody scripture and perhaps most importantly I have proof that he existed.

      May 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • Képtelenség

        I'm not quite sure what this person desires for an answer...perhaps 'syllogism' was in his word of the day and he needed to work it into a conversation. His OP wasn't syllogism, either, so he got that wrong...

        May 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • ldadvocatus

          Ghandi's opponents were primarily its own Congress and the Brits who were stakeholders in defeating his ideas. Those stakeholders had everything to gain in their frontline battle.

          How are you a stakeholder in defeating Jesus? What do you have to gain at the expense of others? How did you get so angry as to attack the writer here?

          May 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • jbhollen

          I was pretty incensed that you would try to compare a fiction such as a devine jesus to Ghandi who's life and accomplishments are a matter of record. It's like comparing spongebob to Jacques Cousteau.

          May 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Képtelenség

          I am not angry, least of all at an anonymous poster There is no anger in stating the fact that you used a word incorrectly.

          The rest of your post is presupposition. And I regret answering you, as it appears you are not particularly interested in conversation.

          May 4, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • ldadvocatus

          and...your idea of conversation is pointing out what you believe to be a mistake vs arguing the merits of your view. You want me to believe that you understand logic and argument...what is that they call a response criticizing the person instead of arguing the merits of one's position? If you know logic, why did you fall into the fallacy trap?

          How did you engage in the conversation? All you do is criticize the writer...that's really productive.

          May 4, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Idadcocatus – I agree with the premise of your post. I admit I have to consciously try (and sometimes fail) to not take a cheap shot when frustrated with someone who will not reply to points or counterpoints made, but instead retreat to sweeping euphemisms, personal attacks or sometimes just plain nonsense. It's a test of character I don't always pass. I will point out that there are times on this blog when the behavior you point out is the only behavior demonstrated.

          May 4, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
      • ldadvocatus

        Can you provide a cite for any statement Jesus made condemning anyone to "hell?" Or, was it actually someone else? It is obvious to anyone reading this blog that most don't have any idea about facts, and instead rely on their experience. How's that working out for you?

        May 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • otoh2


          Can you provide a verified cite for *any* statement that "Jesus" made... period? Or, were they *all* made by someone else, saying what they said that he said?

          May 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • jbhollen

          I did not spend a lot of time looking but here is one:

          Matthew 25:41
          Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels

          I assume you are trying to split hairs. So let me ask, who judges those worthy of hell? God. Are God and Jesus the same person/spirit? Yes. Then closing the circle, Jesus judges all who go to hell.

          I feel like I am having a discussion with my kid as to why Smurfs are blue.

          May 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
      • ldadvocatus

        in review, I haven't indicated that I believe in Jesus personally, and nobody is trying to convert anyone. The only thing that has emerged here is tremendous hate...the very thing you all profess to be against.

        My comments are merely an exercise in rhetoric where I've proven precisely what Plato wrote about in the Phaedrus..."nobody cares a rap for the truth of these matters...but only about what is plausible." And, serving self-interest.

        Thank you for participating.

        May 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • evolveddna

          ldadvocatus..why do you feel that those that disagree with you "hate" The responses I read are quite measured.. If anything you appear to be irritated that folks can answer your questions. As an atheist I ask, we all ask, only for proof of the wondrous events you claim for the deities you tell us exist. If simply asking for proof is hate then i guess I am guilty..

          May 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
        • ldadvocatus

          What was my question...and, what were the answers you see?
          What "wonderous events" did I mention?
          What deities did I mention existing?

          You claim you are simply asking for proof...proof of what? You don't even know what I wrote. That's a pretty good example of hate....attacking something you made up and pinning it to someone else.

          May 5, 2014 at 12:19 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Idad.....your questions were answered several times with absolutely no follow up from you. And, they were answered quite civilly, I might add. When you kept asking for an answer, even though they had already been answered, you got defensive. If you won't like the answer to a question, then don't ask it.

          May 5, 2014 at 8:43 am |
        • ldadvocatus

          if you removed your blinders long enough to read, I mean comprehend, the penultimate response, you would see that it spoke only to "Evolved's" post. By the way, the original question was never answered...please point to the cite (cut and paste)...make your case pal!

          how can you call yourself "gulliblenomore" when you apparently fell off the deep end into the gullibility of deceptive information. Do you really believe you know better than almost 6,000 years of God and 2,000 years of Jesus the Christ? How arrogant is that thinking?

          It doesn't matter to anyone but you what you choose to believe. I started this thread with a simple question that revealed very predictable responses. Instead of respectfully answering my question and allowing the conversation to flow from that topic, it became all about you (and others) and what mattered to them.

          I have studied humanity dating back to first language and migration out of Mesopotamia. I have studied every belief system man conceived of including all religions...its not rocket science...just requires an intense desire for facts whether the best evidence is inference or actual, still seek the best evidence possible to make good decisions.

          Why is humanity even here? So people can work to buy things they can't afford as conditioned by the social machine where corporations and government manipulate your every predictable move? Then, keep feeding the machine by passing that experience on to every other generation? Really?

          The great philosopher (and mathematician) Renee Decartes postulated "I think, therefore I am." And, people bought in to it because it was clever...they were "gullible." All anyone has to do to change their experience is change their view "I am, therefore I think."

          don't be so gullible.

          May 5, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Idad....I'm sorry....I didn't realize I was dealing with a condescending azzhole. I thought you were genuinely interested in an adult conversation and actual answers to your questions (which were answered many times).

          I will not waste any more time on you, as your only interest here seems to be to promote your belief system, which of course, has absolutely no proof whatsoever. You need to take a good hard look at your responses and this time, try to see it from an impartial point of view. Your answer to me was not only condescending, but boorish and self serving. Typical Christian.....

          May 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • jbhollen

          You mentioned your study of "all religions" but you only reference a starting point of 4,000 years BCE. Since you have studied all religions, I'm surprised you aren't aware that what appear to be the first cerimonial burials which assumes some kind of religious belief date back before 200,000 BCE. The first solid evidence of organized religion dates to almost 10,000 BCE. A sphinx was discovered that dates to 9,000 BCE and the foundations of Stonehenge are about 8,500 BCE. I am curious why your intense study of all religions is focused on such an abbreviated time scale?

          May 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Akira

      It would appear this was some sort of game or test, where the rules were known only to the gamemaker.


      May 4, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
    • idiotusmaximus

      Because Idadvicatus....Jesus NEVER EXISTED.

      May 5, 2014 at 10:36 am |
      • hotairace

        Some desert dweller, or a few of them, named jesus probably did exist, but there is no rational reason to believe in a divine jesus.

        May 5, 2014 at 10:43 am |
        • jbhollen

          Actually when the books of the bible were first selected at the council of Nicea in 325CE there were a lot of disagreements. The biggest one was over the divinity of Jesus. A sizable contingent of Bishops did not think Jesus was devine. It was a major schism. The pagan (newly Christian) emperor Constantine actually paid the bishops to get it done and make a decision. Not sure if it was actually voted on or just purchased, but at the end of the day is was determined by men (with a few more coins in their pockets) that Jesus was divine. Not exactly a popular mandate.

          May 5, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "What did Jesus ever do to harm anyone?"
      Christ Himself did nothing to harm other (unless you count slandering/discrediting the Pharisees and Saduccees), but His followers certainly have for nearly 2,000 years.

      "Yet, nobody dares attack or attempt to discredit Mahatma Ghandi or Buddha"
      Those folk aren't worshipped as God incarnate – but regardless, Ghandi was not without blemishes.
      He was an admirer of Mussolini and even presided over a Black Shirt parade.
      He was also a terrible racist, referring to native South Africans as "“raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

      As for Buddhism, in Ja/pan, there is a branch called "Critical Buddhism" that calls out many of the traditional Zen Buddhist tenets.

      May 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
      • ldadvocatus

        Finally....someone who answered the question....thank you to "idiotusmaximus", "hotairace" and "doc vestibule." You actually stepped up and boldly articulated your point of view.

        There is probably one fact we can all agree on without any proof...NOBODY KNOWS if GOD exists! I'm not aware of anyone reporting from the front lines of death. Otherwise, FAITH would be unnecessary. And, this game would be over.

        If anyone knows otherwise, please share.

        May 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • jbhollen

          The question was "What did Jesus ever do to harm anyone?" and the answer is "Nobody knows if God exists?

          May 5, 2014 at 11:42 pm |
        • ldadvocatus


          How can you not be embarrassed when you post a response that has nothing to do with the conversation in the thread?

          Do you really want the readers to know you are so eager to find a flaw in what I write, that you ignore that which is said?

          Try again....step up like the 3 I thanked and risk an actual point of view on the subject at hand vs chasing me around and nipping at my feet like a little chihuahua.

          May 6, 2014 at 12:30 am |
        • jbhollen

          I responded to your question a day or so ago. I also responded to your post where you said you studied "all" religions intensely and I posed a question to you. I also responded to your post were you asked for a cite where Jesus condemned someone to hell.

          You did not reply to any of the above, which is OK because watching your posts it appears you are condescending. You praise the three that answered your first question like you are passing out gold stars. You are not someone I want to have a discussion with so let's just leave it there. I should not have made that last post as it served no purpose. No excuse.

          May 6, 2014 at 1:19 am |
        • kermit4jc

          actually.nothing in the bible talks of faith in Gods existence...but knowledge of it..so where is faith then? if ou read the Bible.faith has to do with Gods Promises..read Hebrews 11 it defines faith and gives examples of people with faith...none of which were mentioned to have faith in Gods existence...but all to do with having faith in Gods Promises..I have no faith God exists..I have kno3wwledge of it and I have faith in His Promises

          May 6, 2014 at 1:57 am |
        • ldadvocatus

          Kermit – good stuff...no challenge at all to your comments and I admire your conviction. If I may clarify my idea in the context of my post above....

          "Faiths is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen." Heb. 11:1

          I don't know how airplanes get from point a to b (even though the science can be proven, I don't have the time to invest in the effort) and so I have faith in the people who do know that all will be ok. For example, atheists have faith that there is no God, because they can't prove it. Monotheists have faith in one God because they can't prove it. Nobody can prove conclusively that God is or isn't. There is no tangible evidence for the skeptics to wrap their senses around. Clearly, it's not an issue for you...consider the challenge to others for a moment.

          It is necessary that God can't be proven or disproven. Because the uncertainty requires a free-will decision from everyone aware of the possibility. Not deciding is the agnostic approach, but still a default rejection...no fence sitting. There is an absolute answer....some people will win the bet, and others will not. Of course in betting, one increases the odds of winning by knowing the options, risk of not winning, stakes of the game, I.e., what can be afforded to lose or gain.

          There is no certainty in games, life or beyond....except that there will be winners and losers.

          May 6, 2014 at 3:24 am |
        • jbhollen

          I said that I chose not converse with you but since no one else responded to this I chose to.

          You said that atheists rely on faith that there are no gods, insinuating that atheists are on the same footing as theists who rely on faith to embrace a god. In the purest sense the former is true because a negative can't be proven. The latter is untrue and I will discuss below. I have faith there is no god just as I have faith that I will not spontaneously combust before finishing this post, or that when I get home my dog will have not replicated by mitosis. Theists rely heavily on not being able to prove a negative, which has resulted in the advent of the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" and Bertrand Russell's "Celestial Teapot", both of which share the same validity of any god when using proof as the metric. There are an infinite number of things that can't be disproven. But rationally, a person does not accept these things without some evidence and or facts. Further, just because two opposing viewpoints such as ours cannot be proven, it does not mean they share the same likelihood of being true. We cannot prove today that there is not a secret alien spaceport buried in the ice of Pluto nor can we prove that a tree makes any sound when falling in a forest if there is no one present to hear it. Although neither can be disproved, they are not equally likely. I submit the same holds true for the existence or nonexistence of a supernatural omniscient and omnipotent being. I make a comparison below between the likelihood of the nonexistence of a supernatural being (A) versus the likelihood of the existence of a supernatural being (B).

          Position A –
          The universe exists and is governed by laws that we have discovered over time and proven to be true. New laws and properties may be discovered and proved in the future. If new data proves a contradiction in or to an existing law, that law would be invalidated or modified. There is no evidence supporting the existence of an invisible, unobservable, untestable, omniscient and omnipotent force. Such a force is not believed to exist.

          Position B –
          In violation of most or perhaps all physical laws there exists an omnipotent and omniscient being. This being although omnipotent and omniscient and capable of absolutely anything chooses to hide all proof of its existence. The proper path forward is to discard all physical laws, discard the logic that omniscience and omnipotence can’t logically coexist in one being and to worship this being.

          In weighing the likelihood of each position I submit that a world that exists within the boundaries of known and proven physical laws absent of any invisible, unobservable and untestable force in violation of those laws (A), is overwhelmingly more likely than a world that exists at the whim of an invisible, unobservable and untestable force who by it’s very omniscient and omnipotent existence violates all physical laws. And further, by its nature, the force never manifests itself in any way showing that it exists in violation of physical laws.

          In your last paragraph you state that there is an absolute answer to the question we are discussing to which I agree. You also state that in betting, one increases the odds of winning by, among other things, understanding the games stakes to which I disagree. This logic is flawed. If I need to draw a spade to make a flush, the odds are the same regardless if the stakes are one dollar or one million dollars. I am going to venture into conjecture here. I suspect that the subliminal point you are making is that regardless of the insurmountable odds against, or lack of logic supporting the existence of god you are still going to lean in that direction because the ‘what if” scenario is in your head, and you can’t risk the possible outcome of eternal damnation. In short, you believe because you are hedging your bet. Again, I am not saying I know this for sure, but rather that it is a possibility, given your assertion that the stakes of a bet influence the odds.

          May 7, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • ldadvocatus

          dude...you are making a case against yourself for intellectual dishonesty...you set up arguments that aren't there, much less persuasive, just so you can beat yourself. and you challenge irrelevant stuff with false premises and baseless opinion, and riddled with fallacy...I'm not "insinuating" anything...its a fact that you can't prove there is no God. no sane person would "rely" on not proving a negative...think you meant "disprove a negative." The Bertand Russell stuff you quote has nothing to do with my propositions.

          teapot fallacy
          Premise – There is a God
          Proof – prove me wrong, and since you can't
          Conclusion – God exists.

          where did I try to prove God exists?

          You disagree with facts – "stakes don't influence odds" when that's just not true...

          "A line moves because the book is trying to balance out the money being laid on either side. If the public favors one team too much, the line moves to attract support to the other team." Source: a professional sports book.

          the only point you should have taken away from my post is that somebody will be correct, or maybe not, and somebody will not be correct. there is absolutely nothing a rational person could argue for or against in that proposition.

          unless you were trying to discredit the writer...which is impossible for you to do or attempting to demonstrate your logical prowess? you would fail in my class...you don't get the material and instead of sticking to the subject, you digress into some logical fantasyland?

          good luck...keep practicing.

          May 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
        • jbhollen

          The entire first paragraph of your response is a rambling diatribe that doesn't constructively make any supported point until the end where you feel you have to point out what is obviously a typo on my part – a simple mistake. I am responding using your own words taken from your post of May 4 @ 6:54pm:

          "and...your idea of conversation is pointing out what you believe to be a mistake vs. arguing the merits of your view?"

          I was on the fence as to whether your intellectual dishonesty was not intentional due to indoctrination into a strong belief system or if it is intentional knowing it is necessary to make arguments for the unsupportable. I am leaning toward the latter.

          Point-by-point response to the rest of your post:
          => I was not responding to any perceived claim of "proof of god". I went back and reread my post and I have no idea where you came up with that. I very clearly stated in the fist sentence of my post that I was responding to your comment that atheists relied on faith. I am not going to restate it all again. Go back and read it one more time, hopefully this time with comprehension, and tell me where I accused you of claiming you had proof of god.
          => You also completely scrambled the celestial teapot analogy. The premise is that believers insist that god(s) exists in the absence of all proof because they cannot be proven wrong. Bertrand Russell then posited that there is a celestial teapot orbiting the sun somewhere between the Earth and Mars using the same premise. Somehow you twist this into my assertion that you possess proof of god?
          => I generally understand odds as used and determined in bookmaking. If we were having this discussion relative to a dynamic topic that was being updated real-time with facts (analogous to bets), I would accept your point. However, just the opposite is true. The topic relative to the discussion I am trying to have has had few or no provable new facts for millennia. For this stagnant and age-old argument straight odds are applicable. The odds of drawing a spade to complete a flush remain constant regardless of stakes.

          In your last paragraph you take some personal shots at me. In response I reply again with your own words, from your May 4 post @ 6:54pm. This time you are alluding to Ad Hominem:

          "...what is that they call a response criticizing the person instead of arguing the merits of ones position?"

          Your last comments speak volumes about you. You said that I “don’t get the material” even though it was you who completely missed the point and did not comment once on that point which made up 80% of my post. You said “I don’t stay on subject” when it was you who somehow jumped from the point being presented (which you did not get) to some tangential question “where did I (you) try to prove god exists?” And in the process completely scramble the celestial teapot analogy. But, I saved the best for last. The comments you made above were in the context of you being a teacher and I am failing your class. In a previous post I said that you appeared to be condescending. I was wrong, you are a narcissist of the first stripe. Or maybe I wasn’t wrong and you are both.

          May 11, 2014 at 12:56 am |
    • memezaa

      I agree. People need to just let people believe what they believe. Its attacked a lot because its something nearly everyone has in common, they believe in something. I'm an Atheist, and if somebody wants to know why I am, I explain why instead of firing back and asking them the same question and then go on to prove their reasons why wrong. Its not affecting me.

      May 6, 2014 at 3:16 am |
  13. lookatuniverse

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “Do you say that Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs were Jewish or Christian? Say, "Do you know better than God? Who is more evil than one who conceals a testimony he has learned from God? God is never unaware of anything you do." [2:140]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.” Quran [17:70]

    “O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” Quran [7:35]

    “O children of Adam, do not let the devil dupe you as he did when he caused the eviction of your parents from Paradise, and the removal of their garments to expose their bodies. He and his tribe see you, while you do not see them. We appoint the devils as companions of those who do not believe.” Quran [7:27]

    “Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]

    ‘Say, "We believe in God, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters." [2:136]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    May 4, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Span.k Your Imam

      Lookie, do not be spamming us thusly with your website and the Coo-ran-ran so verbosely and pastedly. Here it is now said. Hearken:

      For such overt and voluminous spamming, you must nakedly assume the to-be-spanked position, and so receive. Lean forward now, with hands grasped tightly on ankles. For you it will be quite cerebral as such.

      You must receive high frequency applications at significant vigorousness and amplitude to cause bright blushness. Imams present should receive such spanking thusly in triplicate. Sitting difficulties will proceed but temporarily if Allah is willing and healing of reddishness is granted.

      Do not be embarrassed as such with red post-spank posteriority. We have experienced vestal goats close quartered in Tehran if you need to be resanctified.

      Of this year, shall no imams be spanked without above goats. No more. The Coo-ran-ran. The Coo-ran-ran.

      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.
      Here it is written and must be so.
      The Coo-ran-ran. The Coo-ran-ran. The Coo-ran-ran.
      Said thricely. Hear well. You have been spanken.

      Tehran there.

      May 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  14. Proverbs


    May 3, 2014 at 12:07 am |
  15. markjamesdesign

    "What the entire episode does, rather, is remind us — scholars included — that science might not always have all the answers.

    This forgery was detected not through lab analysis but through good old-fashioned humanities-based detective work. This was Sherlock Holmes, not "CSI." "

    finally at least partly something I agree with Baden on. But the important thing to remember is they all got it wrong at first and they believed they were right. This is the pattern of science and scholars. Its just a mater of time before their failures are revealed.

    May 2, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
    • Catholic Calligrapher

      There is a belief that we know is right. The bible, gods word, tells us the way and that must be right.

      May 3, 2014 at 11:36 pm |
      • sam stone

        the bible, man's word......

        May 4, 2014 at 5:47 am |
      • igaftr

        Cat Call
        you do not know you are right. The only way to know, is to exclude all other possibilities. How exactly did you exclude all other possibilities?

        May 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
  16. hearthetruthonline2014



    May 2, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • Doris

      Letting go of superstition


      Speakers in order of appearance:

      1. Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist
      2. Robert Coleman Richardson, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      3. Richard Feynman, World-Renowned Physicist, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      4. Simon Blackburn, Cambridge Professor of Philosophy
      5. Colin Blakemore, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Neuroscience
      6. Steven Pinker, World-Renowned Harvard Professor of Psychology
      7. Alan Guth, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Physics
      8. Noam Chomsky, World-Renowned MIT Professor of Linguistics
      9. Nicolaas Bloembergen, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      10. Peter Atkins, World-Renowned Oxford Professor of Chemistry
      11. Oliver Sacks, World-Renowned Neurologist, Columbia University
      12. Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
      13. Sir John Gurdon, Pioneering Developmental Biologist, Cambridge
      14. Sir Bertrand Russell, World-Renowned Philosopher, Nobel Laureate
      15. Stephen Hawking, World-Renowned Cambridge Theoretical Physicist
      16. Riccardo Giacconi, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      17. Ned Block, NYU Professor of Philosophy
      18. Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      19. Marcus du Sautoy, Oxford Professor of Mathematics
      20. James Watson, Co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate
      21. Colin McGinn, Professor of Philosophy, Miami University
      22. Sir Patrick Bateson, Cambridge Professor of Ethology
      23. Sir David Attenborough, World-Renowned Broadcaster and Naturalist
      24. Martinus Veltman, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      25. Pascal Boyer, Professor of Anthropology
      26. Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge Professor of Economics
      27. AC Grayling, Birkbeck Professor of Philosophy
      28. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      29. John Searle, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
      30. Brian Cox, Particle Physicist (Large Hadron Collider, CERN)
      31. Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      32. Rebecca Goldstein, Professor of Philosophy
      33. Michael Tooley, Professor of Philosophy, Colorado
      34. Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
      35. Leonard Susskind, Stanford Professor of Theoretical Physics
      36. Quentin Skinner, Professor of History (Cambridge)
      37. Theodor W. Hänsch, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      38. Mark Balaguer, CSU Professor of Philosophy
      39. Richard Ernst, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
      40. Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge Professor of Anthropology
      41. Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson, Princeton Research Scientist
      42. Douglas Osheroff, Nobel Laureate in Physics
      43. Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley Professor of Philosophy
      44. Lord Colin Renfrew, World-Renowned Archaeologist, Cambridge
      45. Carl Sagan, World-Renowned Astronomer
      46. Peter Singer, World-Renowned Bioethicist, Princeton
      47. Rudolph Marcus, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
      48. Robert Foley, Cambridge Professor of Human Evolution
      49. Daniel Dennett, Tufts Professor of Philosophy
      50. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics


      Mozart – Requiem Mass In D Minor K 626 – 1. Introitus 00:03
      Massive Attack – Two Rocks And A Cup Of Water 02:28, 19:14
      Max Richter – Embers 05:13
      Ludovico Einaudi – Andare 09:27, 24:30, 26:31
      Ludovico Einaudi – Nuvole Bianche 13:13
      Max Richter – Vladimir's Blues 29:21
      Ludovico Einaudi – Eni 30 Percento (The Earth Prelude) 33:16
      – –

      May 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
  17. jbhollen

    It's called coevolution. It was figured out long ago. No magic required. The link below with take you to dozens if not hundreds of scientific papers on coevolution written by evolutionary biologists.


    As a sidebar – I assume since your english skills and writing style improved dramatically in this post that you plagiarized the content from an apologist website. If you would take a couple of minutes to read what you are plagiarizing and then spend two more minutes verifying the content you would come off a lot more credible than you do. Given as constructive criticism.

    May 2, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
  18. Brad

    The best source of information about God and what God conveys to mankind is NOT the Bible, look for scholars, especially those that graduated from Yale and Harvard, they know a thing or two more than what God intended to communicate using the Bible.

    May 2, 2014 at 10:15 am |
    • Brad

      Following "scholarly" work rather than the Bible is a safe way to ensure oneself who is on the path to perdition.

      May 2, 2014 at 10:20 am |
      • Doris

        True Brad. The absolute best way is to park yourself on an island with the Bible and keep to yourself as much as possible. And take some good drugs. The perfect recipe for even hearing some new words by God–and you could write down these revelations..... (huge eyeroll)

        May 2, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • memezaa

          I'm not convinced one way or the other, but does anyone else find it funny that some people with use science to prove findings like this that challenge their religion are fake, but reject science when it proves them wrong?

          May 6, 2014 at 1:14 am |
        • memezaa

          sorry, mispost

          May 6, 2014 at 1:15 am |
      • memezaa

        But why do you interpret the bible the way you do? You most likely follow one of the christian religions, so at some point a "scholar" convinced enough people that his view of the bible was the right one. Give someone who has no preconceived notions of religion a bible and I'm sure they'll have their own unique version. Though I doubt you could find such a person.

        May 6, 2014 at 1:10 am |
  19. Reality

    Again, it is another Mormon con:

    Added info on the "Book" of Abraham:

    "Using illustrations and the original text of the Book of Abraham it was found the doc-uments are in fact funerary texts that describe events in the afterlife of deceased Egyptians that is consistent with other historical and archaeological evidence. Today we can prove that Joseph Smith incorrectly translated the papyrus.

    Independent scholars, Egyptologists, are in agreement about the nature of the docu-ments. Only church sanctioned Mormon Universities still try to claim the translation is still correct. Mormon scholars currently do not discuss the translation since it's not open to debate, the doc-uments are clearly funerary in origin.-"

    Once again, evidence that Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult !!

    May 1, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
  20. fintronics

    More contradictions from that book of mythology known as the bible, or as I like to call it, the book of "this means that"

    Is it folly to be wise or not?

    PRO 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    ECC 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

    1CO 1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the pru*dent."


    The sins of the father

    ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cit *ies.

    DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.


    May 1, 2014 at 11:47 am |
    • kermit4jc

      WOW>..GREAT job on taking those out of context...God calls VAIN wisdom a bad thing..not genrral wisdom and knowledge....try using context in those passage s next time...IM in the mind of su0ppossing you never actually read the bible..but get those from a silly website....as for the sins of the fathers...in Isiaah..you should have read ALL of chapter 14...both the sons AND father sin......as I said./.try reading things in context and don't go to the silly webistes..they show they don't know what they are talking of

      May 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
      • fintronics

        Ahhh I see! those directly quoted contradictory statements from the bible don't stand on their own, they need to be converted to what you think they mean. The word of god indeed. So exactly in what context would they not be contradictory? Keep twisting the words... this doesn't mean what is stated... very entertaining, and since god is nothing but mythology, I really don't give a rats azz what your imagination tells you about supposed "vain wisdom."


        May 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so I am assuming you believe context is a crock...that you don't need context toi communicate...sir..the VERYU basics of communication is knowing the context! Its very basic...how have you ever come so far without using context in your everyday communication with others? YOu should rethink the importance of context,,by the way...the passages don't stand alone cause they are a part of a bigger picture..those passages were not the only thing in the Bible....hellooooooooo

          May 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          BY the way....its YOu who is using their imagination of what things means....as I showed you..you disregard context...the vian wisdom is talked about in the passages surrounding those you posted.....if you don't give a rats butt about it..then clearly you care nothing for context..I wish you well in your endevour to communicate well with other people

          May 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • otoh2


          Nobody has to put the laws of gravity "in context". This "God" character of yours (and primitive Middle Eastern Hebrew men) cannot communicate in a clear fashion, understandable by *everyone* without tricky "interpretation".

          May 1, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          And....Otoh...that context is not completely discernible. That's why there are so many sects reading the exact se book. They should all just talk to Kermit, as apparently, he has it all correct!

          May 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          that is so toally ignorant statement...you think ALL sects are different cause of that? cause of theological differences in the bIble qand such? so totally said out of ignorance...not all churches are separated by theology......youshold look into them

          May 1, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...everybody on this site...including those on your side, know you are a jerk. You need to rethink your comments. My statement is not ignorant, but based on truth. Your context of the bible is quite different than my sisters. She believes in your god, but believes Noah's story was a metaphor. Context is not exacting....you dolt!

          May 1, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          your sister has NO context at al.... and so what SOME think IM a jerk,,sone think you are one too..so what? not allon "my side" think I am a jerk....I didn't see a poll or such.....so don't make such pithy statements

          May 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermie....we all had a meeting and you were not invited. In a consensus vote, you are a jerk....sorry. Oh....one other thing. You can't spell. And you have no idea if your context is the right context.

          May 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          OH really? you mean I couldn't check and cross reference and all to see of the context..MOST of the context is right in the text..

          May 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit...since it is your definition of what is context and what is literal, then you aren't guaranteed to be correct every time, which is what we have been trying to tell the bible thumpers. You have no idea what is a parabolic meaning and what is context. Literal is even harder to establish.

          May 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          so far no one has proven me wrong..youre right..I am not perfect...but as I said..no one has established that my context wasnccorect.....in fact. hardly anyone showed context on their part. as for literalness..its not that hard to come by...Jesus spoke of the oT stories as facts..not as if they were metaphors, The Jews saw them as facts..not metaphors, scholars who know Jewish literature can see what are deemed as writtento be facts as opposed to metaphors

          May 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • jbhollen

          Ignore him. I delete everything he posts without reading it.

          May 1, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not talking about gravity..it is very clear...again I assume you don't need context for anything......that's fine....I wonder how you get along then?

          May 1, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • kevinite

          19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

          20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

          21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

          22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

          23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

          24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

          25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

          26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

          27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
          (1 Corinthians 1:19-27 KJV)

          May 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • otoh2


          I'll bet you think that you are **wise** to believe that, huh?

          May 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • halfdime1

          Here is my impression of Kermit. Context, Context, blah blah blah Context.

          May 2, 2014 at 2:02 am |
        • sam stone

          kermy.....jeebus is waiting for you. he is fully engorged and anticipating your silky mouth. do you have tall buildings where you live?

          May 2, 2014 at 6:23 am |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        Much like "beer-goggles" the ever popular "christian-goggles" allow you to read between the lines of the bible using "context" to reject anything it contains that you disagree with while retaining anything you do agree with as the unchangeable "absolute word of God". The goggles come with a warning however that reads "Will cause reality blindness in land mammals".

        May 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ neverbeenhappier so I am assuming you dont believe in context either huh? nice......I wonder how you ever survived this far without using context in yoru day to day communication with others.....

          May 1, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
        • fintronics

          @kermi Do you require an explanation of context every time someone makes a plain direct statement to you? I wonder how you get along.

          May 1, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          not at all..but the "so called plain statements" were PARTS of a statement that's been posted here.......goodness...I show you a picture of a man running...do you assume he is running a race, running to get exercise, running from something? running after something? until you see the whole picture..you wont know what hes running for....this is what You people do..you show the man running, but you fail to show the other part of the picture that is is running to get away from danger.....so context ISimportant when using PARTS of statements as you all been doing

          May 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
        • fintronics

          I don't need to read an entire book just to understand a direct to the point sentence. There's no need to force ambiguity into those quotes unless you're doing the "this means that" personal interpretation.

          May 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I didn't say youhad to read the entire book......but as I said...most of the "statements" posted here to show "contradictions" were PARTIAL statements..

          May 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • fintronics

          Yet to fail to give one example of exactly why these quotes are taken out of context..
          All you say is read the entire, blah blah blah..... ....

          May 1, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Akira

          I had a very lazy 7th Grade teacher who used to do the same thing; tell us to just read the lesson instead of explaining what the lesson said. When we asked a specific question, he would tell us to...read the lesson.

          It was by far the easiest way to "teach" and I am reminded of that here.

          May 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
      • otoh2

        Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

        If a Bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally.

        If a Bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical or metaphorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

        May 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          RULE OF THUMB...use context in AL instances..Im sorry you assume to use a double stadard

          May 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • fintronics

          otoh2 = exactly!

          May 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Madtown

          Christian definition of context: "whatever aligns with the beliefs I hold"

          May 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
    • Akira

      I am reminded of a Hamsta running around and around while the word "context" is being flashed on a screen in front of him.
      Rather like Alex DeLarge, without the stylish bowler.

      May 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
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About this blog

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