June 6th, 2014
08:28 AM ET

Does Islam really condemn converts to death?

Opinion by Abed Awad, special to CNN

(CNN) – Last month, a Sudanese court imposed a death sentence on Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old pregnant mother, because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.

Ibrahim says she was raised Christian by her mother after her Muslim father abandoned them when she was 6 years old.

But this week, a man claiming to be Ibrahim’s brother said that she was raised a Muslim and that if she does not return to the faith, she should be killed.

Both the Sudanese court and the man who claims to be Ibrahim’s brother say the Islamic faith is clear: Apostasy, renouncing the religion, is a capital crime.

But is it really?

The idea of apostasy as a crime within Islam begins with the Quran and the Sunna, the faith’s foundational texts.

The Quran is Muslims’ holy scripture, believed to be revealed by God to the Prophet Mohammed. Because Muslims believe the Quran contains God’s will, it is the most authoritative source of the law – the final word.

The Sunna is the example of Mohammed, embodied in stories about his sayings and conduct.

Two centuries after the death of Mohammed, Muslim scholars collected and sifted through hundreds of thousands of narratives (called hadith) attributed to him, accepting a few thousand as likely to be authentic.

Together, the Sunna forms the second most important source of legal guidance – but their application to modern life isn’t always clear, and at times, one lesson from Mohammed seems to contradict another.

What does the Quran say about apostasy?

The Quran warns apostates, except those who later repent, that a severe and painful punishment awaits them in the afterlife.

They shall forever be the companions of hellfire, the holy book says.

But nowhere in the Quran does God command earthly authorities to execute anyone who has converted from Islam.

That omission is key, because the Quran says, “The Lord neglects nothing, nor does he forget.”

In other words, if God wanted apostates killed, he would have said so.

Instead, the Quran’s message is: The apostate is accountable to Allah in the hereafter, not to judges on Earth.

As one passage says, “It is God who judges.”

What did Mohammed say about apostasy?

Unlike the Quran, there are conflicting stories and opinions about the prophet’s stance on apostasy.

According to several sayings attributed to him in the Sunna, Mohammed did call for apostates to be killed. “He who changes his religion, kill him,” the prophet said, according to one hadith, or story about his life.

But other stories contradict that teaching.

In the seventh century, for example, Mohammed, as leader of the growing Muslim community, brokered a truce with the Qurayshites, a competing religious tribe.

In the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, Mohammed agreed that if any Qurayshite came to join the Muslim community, he would not accept them.

On the other hand, Muslims were permitted to join the Qurayshites, no questions asked, no executions threatened.

Moreover, lots of Muslim coverts abandoned Islam during the prophet’s life, and he never sentenced one to death.

The Sahih al-Bukhari, one of the most famous collections of Sunna, contains an illustrative example.

A Bedouin man pledged allegiance to God and the prophet, only to later inform Mohammed that he wanted to cancel his pledge.

After the prophet refused three times to accept his cancellation, the Bedouin simply moved to another town.

The prophet did not order his execution despite such clear and undisputed apostasy. And there are many other examples like this in the Muslim historical literature.

The conflicting stories and lessons from Mohammed's life is one reason why the Sunna is not considered as authoritative a source of Islamic law as the Quran.

So, why is apostasy a capital crime in countries like Sudan?

Mohammed preached a message of unity and social justice, and his religious community welcomed believers regardless of tribe, color, race, ethnicity, social status or gender.

At the same time, the prophet’s growing tribe frequently battled outsiders, from competing Arabian religious tribes to Jewish groups.

That means a Muslim who decided to abandon his religion was not simply making a personal choice to follow another God. He was turning his back on his tribe at a time of almost perpetual war.

So, you can see why early Muslim jurists and leaders wanted to discourage conversions. To them, it was an act of treason against the community. It was a political crime and not a restriction upon one’s freedom of conscience.

A majority of early Muslim jurists thus concluded that male apostates should receive the death penalty. For women, the main schools of Islamic law don’t agree. Some say female apostates should be killed. Others argue that she should be imprisoned until she returns to Islam.

Still, many prominent contemporary Muslim scholars have argued that apostasy should never carry the death penalty except in cases where converts take up arms against Muslims.

That doesn’t mean that nations like Sudan have gotten the message, though. And while Meriam Ibrahim is undoubtedly the victim of harsh human judges, there are also larger cultural forces at play.

But at the end of the day, the fact remains that the Quran without a doubt supports religious freedom. Allah the most merciful and wise said it best: “There is no compulsion in religion.”

And that should be last word.

Abed Awad is an attorney, a national Islamic law expert and an adjunct law professor at Rutgers Law School and Pace Law School. The views expressed in this column belong to Awad. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Death • Foreign policy • Islam • Islamic law • Muslim • Opinion • Religious liberty • Religious violence • Sharia

soundoff (650 Responses)
  1. ravenmadnky

    It is true. The Quran does not order the death of apostates. It does say that their punishment will be in the afterlife. Compare that to the Torah/Old Testatment. Look at Deuteronomy Chapter 13. Verse 1 says that if any prophet or dreamer of dreams tells you to follow another god, kill that person. Verse 6 says if your brother, children, wife or friend tries to entice you to serve another god, kill that person. Of course most Christians would not know this because they do not read their holy book or only read the parts that serve their purpose.

    June 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
  2. lagergeld

    First of all, I knew this was going to be an Islam defending denial article before the page opened. After all, this is CNN.

    Unfortunately, yet again we have a liberal news outlet LYING about Islam to make a false claim about it's being benign.

    This article is so theologically bankrupt, one need not read beyond this sentence: "But nowhere in the Quran does God command earthly authorities to execute anyone who has converted from Islam."

    I find all too often Western liberals falsely applying Protestant Chrsitian "sola sciptura" to Islamic theology without cause. That is false. Hadith are very nearly as important in Islamic law and practice as is Quran.

    So tell us what it says. Don't dodge it.

    June 23, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
  3. tonysofla

    It's like they grasping at straws, they know Islam is oppressive and 200years behind time.
    So that is why they make it illegal to stop practicing it or converting to the more peaceful (in modern time) Christianity.

    June 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
  4. onestarman

    JESUS would never have condemned one of his Followers for returning to their previous Faith; but that did not stop the Inquisition or Puritans from Torturing and killing anyone they considered to be a 'Heretic' like the Cathars who were exterminated by Fire and Sword by the representatives of the Catholic church.

    June 23, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  5. kermit4jc

    of course! for the OTHER sons they ARE sons..right noew the issue is with Jospeh..did you look up nomizo in the Greekj dictionary? look it up in the koine greek..do some study in the word..it is a legal term..Jospeh is a SON IN LAW of Heli....you have to understand about transklations...they di dnot get it wrong....they are trying to be true to the useages of the word....but toi get the real meaning...again look it up ..and use contewxt..matthew has begotten..luke does not...huge difference....one can be a son of another but not begoitten by them Luke is showing the human side of Jesus in His Gospels....and with that, the most logical thing would be to use his human geneology...biological geneology..that of Mary

    June 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  6. jbhollen

    Not sure why we are singling out Islam. Biblically adherent christians are commanded to kill nonbelievers. Deuteronomy 17:2-5 and 13:6-10.

    June 17, 2014 at 11:45 am |
    • kermit4jc

      Not sure why we are singling out Islam. Biblically adherent christians are commanded to kill nonbelievers. Deuteronomy 17:2-5 and 13:6-10.<-actually you got it partly right....it is not UNbelievers..but those who are of the covenant who are also worshipping other gods and doing evil in the sight of the Lord...read the first 2 verses as well..and reread the passage again...same with the other passage of chapter 13 (brother also refers to fellow believers) and look at the history of Israel..they worshipped God and other gods alongside...

      June 17, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • dandintac

        "If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst." (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

        It's clear that simply leaving the faith is enough. Now–there are certainly other passages that make va-gue references to "doing Evil", and it's not clear whether this evil is simply going to another religion - these and other passages all make it crystal clear that apostasy is a crime to be punished by death–and it is much more clear and specific than Islam.

        I'm no fan of Islam–but Christianity has within it everything needed to be just as bad. Christianity has been tamed in the west by secular societies and governments, concepts like "separation of church and state", notions of tolerance, freedom, civil rights and such. This has caused Christians over the last 2000 years to gradually learn to read around and rationalize away the nasty parts of the Bible.

        Don't get me wrong–I'm glad they do! But if Christianity were ever allowed to dominate our society to the extent that Islam dominates many countries like Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan–I have no doubt that the fundies would float to the top of the power pyramid, and in time we would see blasphemy made into a crime punishable by death, as well as apostasy, and so on. We would become a Christian Saudi Arabia. How do I know? All I need is look back in history when Christianity did indeed have its way.

        June 18, 2014 at 1:22 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Again you say this out of ignorance..nohere in the text does it say leaving the faith....and again history of the Israelites show they ADDED gods to the religion...thus not leaving it per se as you assume...again use context.

          June 18, 2014 at 2:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          but see..you argue also out of fear of ABUSE of Christianity..Christianity itself does NOT call for killing for apostasy.....

          June 18, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • stelladellago

          And it was done back in the Middle Ages, where a charge of heresy could get you excommunicated or executed. Look what happened to Galileo. Thank goodness the West survived that dark period but the Middle East is still is deeply entrenched in it and has been for some time. With modern technology and communication, it's only through fear and terror (i.e. ISIS) that backwards thought is able to continue to proliferate. The combination of tribal culture and a religion that feeds it is a perfect storm.

          June 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
    • ddf8

      I agree with you, the Christian faith and the Bible has some serious contradictions. A perspective that I have studied recently in one of my college classes is by J. Vernon Jensen and he looks at multiple religions and sort of picks and chooses what he feels are the best qualities/beliefs from each one and I really admired that. Jensen came up with 6 core values that he found common, "(1) tell the truth and avoid lies; (2) do not slander anyone; (3) do not blaspheme, dishonor, and profane the sacred persons symbols, or rituals central to the religion; (4) avoid communication that demeans other persons or life in general by being 'evil, shameful, foolish, clever, glib, or vain"; (5) aim habitually to embody ethical virtues in your character as preparation for ethical communication and aim to become trustworthy-to earn trust; and (6) go beyond traditional notions off communication to inform, persuade, and please in order to aim at "edifying" others, that is, showing them how close to excellence humans can become," (Johannesen, Valde, & Whedbee, 2008, pp. 86-87). These do relate to communication ethics, however there is a core value that lies within it, treat others with respect and when it comes to looking at someone who believes something differently than you, treat them the way you would want to be treated if someone were judging your beliefs. Many individuals will give their opinion on how horrible this religion is etc. etc. My reply is to think of how they feel if someone mocks something they've followed their entire life. I'm not saying condemning her to death is right by no means at all because it's not. I just want people to realize that words are permanent. Don't say something you will regret.

      Johannesen, R., Valde, K., Whedbee, K. (2008) Ethics in human communication. Waveland Press Inc.: Long Grove, IL.

      June 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm |
      • jbhollen

        So, without doing some research I can't unreservedly buy into your common tenets of religion but it doesn't sound too far off the mark. I'll make another observation. For every positive tenet your teacher cites, you don't have to dig very far to find ugly, bloody, bigoted and hateful scriptural instruction at odds with those positive attributes.

        June 19, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
  7. 19covenant19

    Great MIRACLES have been discovered in the QURAN.
    It will change the World forever!


    June 16, 2014 at 7:18 am |
    • igaftr

      No "miracles" have ever been verified. You are lying.

      June 16, 2014 at 8:37 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      I read everything I need to know about Islam on Sept 12, 2001

      June 16, 2014 at 8:58 am |
  8. jknbt

    for the inside take on muslims & islam, and their so-called tolerance, go to

    shoebat . org

    Wally Shoebat is a convert to christianity from the ranks of islamicist terrorists. Take a look and learn!

    June 12, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  9. Reality

    I am confused. Abed Awad promotes Islam as a peaceful religion but when he is taken to task about this, the comments are deleted. Why?

    June 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Why Abed is wrong:

      From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi––

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
      be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      June 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • Reality

        And no rebuttal yet from Abed or any other Muslim.

        June 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
  10. sealchan

    It is interesting to me that just as in the Bible there appears to be gaps in specification of law and contradictions in the Quran and its inspired stories. We know, for instance, that there are four gospels that tell sometimes differing stories about Jesus. So given that these religious communities must have realized the contradictions as they determined the content of their holy scriptures, it must be that they accepted the contradictions and saw value in spite of them. In spite of this, it strikes me as unfortunate, to say the least, for anyone to determine punishment based on contradictory scriptures, to be a believer and ignore the contradiction siding with one way or the other or to hold accountable those who believe in these scriptures as being stupid for accepting contradictions.

    June 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • gulliblenomore

      Seal.....I've noticed that the true believers absolve the bible of any and all contradictions. They completely ignore them and fight that they do not even exist. It is truly exasperating for the intelligent readers.

      June 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • sealchan

        Yes, this is very common. Also very unfortunate...to ignore the words someone says are holy because you decide that contradiction is not acceptable is hypocritical at the very least.

        June 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • transframer

      While I am not sure if there are contradictions in Bible (NT), the way the shd be resolved is by taking Jesus words as absolute truth. When there are contradictions about Jesus words themselves (if they really are), they shd be resolved by applying the most important principle in his teaching: love your neighbor.
      Islam does the same: they take the words of Mohammed as mark. In this case (apostasy) there is no contradiction, Mohammed is very clear: death penalty. All the other incidents related in Abed's article are insignificant details. Because Islam doesn't have the principle of "love your neighbor" other contradictions in Quran that are not dealt by Mohammed are resolved using "Allah justice on earth" principle which basically separates human beings in two parts: muslims (real human beings) and non-muslims (sub-human beings)

      June 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
  11. transframer

    While the Abed's article tries to imply that apostasy is not necessarily condoned by Quran, more authoritative sources are very firm about it . See for example this Wiki Islam article:
    Some quotes:
    "The punishment for apostasy as prescribed by Prophet Muhammad is death"
    "The punishment for apostasy in the Islamic faith is death. Though it may be argued that this is not clear through the Qur'an alone, scholars have found justification for the penalty from [see link]"
    But pay more attentions to these:
    The majority of Muslims would favor changing current laws in their countries to “allow stoning as punishment for adultery, hand amputation for theft, and death for those who convert from Islam as their religion"
    And, the conclusion:
    "... only a mere 13% of Muslims opposed killing apostates If we are to assume the position that, Muslims who espouse such views are extremists who misunderstand the teachings of Islam, then we must also concede the fact that the majority of Muslims in the world are extremists."

    June 9, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
  12. kenmargo

    Islam and christianity have the same problem. They're both full of crap. No one kills more muslims than muslims. Yet "allah" has no problems with that. What is written in the Quran is up the the interpretation of the reader (just like the bible) The quicker religion is put in it's proper place (kept to yourself) the better off society will be.

    June 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
  13. transframer

    I invite everybody to stay on topic, which is apostasy in Islam or the larger topic of comparing Islam with Christianity, please
    I see many discussions ending up in evolution, science and so on which are actually present in almost any other thread.They are interesting but distract from the subject of this article which is very important. I salute Reality for his efforts in this direction

    June 9, 2014 at 10:13 am |
    • gulliblenomore

      Transframer...sorry, but this is a public forum. You don't get to dictate what we all discuss.

      June 9, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • transframer

        Of course, it was just a suggestion

        June 9, 2014 at 11:26 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      that is an excellent suggestion. The dialog here is usually pretty tiresome, consisting largely of posts back and forth along the lines of:

      "atheists are fools"
      "show me your proof for God"

      Given that the requirement for a WordPress login essentially reduced the population of people who post here to people who were already regulars, I don't see this changing much.

      June 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • gulliblenomore

        It won't ever change....some of these articles are not worth even commenting on, but we all still do

        June 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Transframer's point is that, (collectively), we are not actually commenting on the article.

        We are wasting bandwidth and memory over the same tiresome arguments between the same people. Perhaps if there was someone new to hear the arguments that would be one thing, but it's the same very small group day in and day out.

        June 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          That, I agree with. But, I doubt you will ever be able to get past that

          June 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      While I stand by gullible in the fact that this is a public forum and I'm certain he'll understand the rest of what I'm saying here, I agree that we can't simply ignore discussing the issue of apostasy-a thought crime, nothing more. Our world can't hope to know peace when varying belief systems clash over who has the right god...many war have been fought over this. I'm thankful not to be part of the battle between your groups, it enables me to look at it from the outside...truly enlightening to see the damage that can be caused by such extreme beliefs, it makes it even more important for my voice to be heard-maybe if more people stood against extremism we'd stand a chance at saving our species and planet....can't let religion have control.

      June 9, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
  14. joeyy1


    June 9, 2014 at 3:07 am |
    • Doris

      Letting go of superstition

      from "50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God"

      [after discussing inevitable galactic & terrestrial destructive forces out there that want to kill us] "..none of this is a sign that there is a benevolent anything out there…" –Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, host of "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey"

      "..but to me saying that there was a designer does not help at all.." –Alan Guth, MIT professor of physics

      "..I'm not militant by nature – and if people want to believe, well then that's their business; I mean what concerns me is when belief is used to influence and corrupt education or politics. And it seems to me monstrous that Creationism or so-called intelligent design is taught next to evolution or instead of it. And I do think that it is almost as a form of madness." –Oliver Sacks, world-renowned neurologist, Columbia University

      "I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say 'there must be a purpose; you and your science can't explain it.' And typical of theologians, they don't respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God's purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that's – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?" –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry

      "M-Theory doesn't disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator." –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

      "Another thing which I think that science, of any kind, teaches us is that even the simplest things are hard to understand: the hydrogen atom, for instance. And that makes me rather suspicious of anyone who claims to have a quick and easy answer to any deep aspect of reality. I think the most we can hope for in an incomplete and metaphorical understanding. And therefore, I'm not myself someone who can accept any specific religious dogmas." –Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal

      June 9, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  15. bostontola

    Can a person know God by reading the bible?

    Books can be a very powerful medium to communicate ideas and feelings. Almost anytime a book is made into a movie, readers say the book was much better. Is that because ink on a page is a better medium than actual images on a screen? I doubt it. It could be because when we read, we fill in all the gaps with our own imagination rather than the choices of the movie director. Our own imaginations bring the stories to life. Each person creates a different story from the book, a personal version. It's fun to discuss the story with others and discover other ways of seeing the story.

    If you wrote an autobiography and someone read it, would they know you? I don't think so. They would know some things about you, they wouldn't know you even if they feel as though they did. If you can't really know a human through a book, how about a being infinitely more complex than a human.

    June 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • orilliaatheist

      "Can a person know God by reading the bible?"

      Well, first you have to establish the existence of God, or god, or gods, before you can begin to answer that question. But to the extent that there is a character referred to as God or The Lord in the Bible, then, yes, a person reading the Bible can start to know that character.

      And what would a person reading the bible learn of this character named God? That God is a petty, vindictive, genocidal, ho-mophobic character who acts like a petulant child.

      June 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      True, we can't really know God through his written word, but we can learn of him.

      June 8, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
      • orilliaatheist

        @ Robert:

        And how do we learn of God? Do people tell us? How can we verify that information?

        And isn't the Bible supposed to be the word of god? If that's the case, we learn that god isn't good at zoology – he thinks bats are birds, that insects go around on all fours, and that rabbits chew their cud. Leviticus.

        Oh, and he's also the world's worst ma-ss murderer – killing everybody but 8 people in the flood.

        June 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • transframer

          Bible is not a zoology book, among other things translation errors can distort some details. Yes, God killed all ppl but 8 but doesn't mean he is the biggest mass murderer, only the greatest judge

          June 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          no trans, he is a mass murderer. Anyone who kills all but eight people can't be defined as anything but. Making excuses for your gods work when you'd never make the excuse for a human is rather hypocritical. Doesn't matter though, science has proven that the story of Noahs Ark is fallacious, so the story is a mere fairy tale meant to instill fear as to how powerful this god is and in turn instill fear in to the gullible fools who still believe in it in the 21st century when there is no justification for doing so based on how far we have come in our knowledge of the world.

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

          TP.....I feel sorry for anyone that still believes that mythological claptrap. How can you watch Cosmos and still believe that religious bunk?

          June 9, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • observer


          How many mass-murderers left less than 8 people alive on the planet?

          Besides that, God chose to save an immoral loser like Noah.

          June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
        • orilliaatheist

          @ transfrarmer: If there are some errors in the bible, as you say, then how can you have any confidence that anything in the bible is true? How do you determine, for example, that when Leviticus says "rabbits chew their cud" that is some translation error, whereas some other statement is true? There is no yardstick, there are no rules or guidebooks to determine that.

          Yet again it's excuses to try to justify what's in the bible

          June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          We can learn of him by reading the bible. When someone says they know God, it doesn't mean they know everything about him. Instead, they are saying they are acquainted with him.

          June 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm |
        • Robert Brown


          Please share what science has proven about the flood & while you are it, you share how science has proven evolution.

          June 8, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          RB....there are myriads of scientific data and information available on the internet. Do your own research! Suffice it to say....evolutionary principles are taught in every credited University in the country as fact.

          It is difficult to debate anyone that watches 'The Flintstones' as if it were a doc-umentary.

          June 9, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • Robert Brown


          June 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
        • orilliaatheist

          @ Robert: again, if you read the bible to learn of your god, the god of the bible supports infanticide, ra-pe, murder, genocide, ho-mophobia, hatred of women. The funny thing is, that sounds strangely characteristic of the the Bronze Age men (not women) who wrote the stories that were chosen to be part of the bible. In short, the god of the bible is an immoral monster.

          Gee – makes you think that it's entirely a man-made creation.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ orillas God never supports r a pe or hatred of women.....not all that is written in the Bible is supported by the Bible..for example..when David had s e x with Bathsheba and then sends he husband off to war to kill him....that's not supported by the Bible..its merly telling what happened (much like a history book or newspapers-who record events..nto neccesarily supporting them)

          June 9, 2014 at 2:15 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Orill....it is a man-made creation.

          June 9, 2014 at 8:49 am |
        • Robert Brown


          God doesn't support those things.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          He doesn't want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to repent.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
        • orilliaatheist

          @ Robert – you say God doesn't support those things (although the bible is full of examples of your god doing those things) and then you say god wants people to repent.

          Ummm – not to sound disrespectful, but have you actually read the bible? Do you know what's in it? And yes, the Old Testament is a part of the Bible, just like the New Testament. And yes, Jesus, in the New Testament, said that he came not to change the Law but to uphold the law, and not a letter of the law would be changed (Matthew 5:18).

          As for your god wanting people to repent, how does that square with the Noah story – where your god killed everyone on earth except for 8 people. What chance did god give them to repent? What about the infants, the babies – the innocents? Your god killed them all. What about the people in North America or South America, or Australia – who would have never heard about the god of the bible. They were all killed by your god.

          When you actually read the bible, and think about it, I simply don't understand how anyone could turn a blind eye to the horrible things your god does.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @v orillas Noah story – where your god killed everyone on earth except for 8 people. What chance did god give them to repent<–have YOU read the Bible? God gave them 150 years to repent!! During the rtime that Noahbuilt tha Ark..people had that time to repent! it was nOT an all of the sudden event!

          June 9, 2014 at 2:17 am |
        • observer

          Robert Brown,

          God made the horrendous command that r@pe victims MARRY their rapist and cannot divorce.

          The Bible is LOADED with discriminations.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
        • observer

          Robert Brown,

          God has apparently sent BILLIONS of people to hell BECAUSE they never heard of him. Get real.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
        • observer


          God gave ZERO TIME to repent to:

          millions of people who had never heard of him

          And then God saved an immoral loser like Noah.

          June 9, 2014 at 2:40 am |
        • kermit4jc

          fetuses<-they don't sin...they are in heaven..youthinking that life on earth is better than eternity in heaven? wow
          And then God saved an immoral loser like Noah.<-ALL people are swinners..Noah had FAITH in God...it wasn't his good deeds that savd him

          June 9, 2014 at 3:03 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @observer you really think they married their rap st? seems you haven't a clue about the culture...first of all..do you seriously think a rap ist would care to provide for the womans EVERY need including physical, emotional, spiritual, financial? (If you think they cared..then you really ought to look into the mind of those kind of people) anyhow..the person who did the ra p e was OBLIGATED to care for every single need of the woman....this was basically a deterrent....the ra p I st would be FORCED to marry...so even if the man ra p ed the woman..most likely he did not marry her (after all..he cared for no one but himself, AND he is a criminal anyways..breaking another law)

          June 9, 2014 at 3:08 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          RB: This is rather explanatory and based on fact:
          Logistical Problems
          Fitting the Animals Aboard. An ark of the size specified in the Bible would not be large enough to carry a cargo of animals and food sufficient to repopulate the earth, especially if animals that are now extinct were required to be aboard.

          Special diets. How did Noah determine and provide for all those special diets?

          Fresh foods. Many animals require their food to be fresh. How did Noah keep all these food supplies fresh?

          Sanitation. How did such a small crew dispose of so much waste?

          Exercise/Animal handling. How were several thousand diverse kinds of animals exercised regularly?

          The Water Problem
          Where did that much water come from? Where did it go? Whilst one could appeal to miracles (God can do anything, after all) the Genesis story itself presents the flood as the result of God acting through natural processes – the bursting of the fountains of the deep and the opening of the floodgates of the sky.

          Lack of Evidence for a Global Flood Where we Would Expect it.
          A global flood would have produce evidence contrary to the evidence we see.

          Why is there no evidence of a flood in ice core series? Ice cores from Greenland have been dated back more than 40,000 years by counting annual layers. Why doesn't evidence for the flood show up?

          Why did the Flood not leave traces on the sea floors? A year long flood should be recognizable in sea bottom cores. Why do none of these show up?

          Why is there no evidence of a flood in tree ring dating? Tree ring records go back more than 10,000 years, with no evidence of a catastrophe during that time.

          How are the polar ice caps even possible? Such a ma.ss of water as the Flood would have provided sufficient buoyancy to float the polar caps off their beds and break them up. They wouldn't regrow quickly.

          Evidence supports the uninterrupted human occupation of the Americas (over 12,000 years) and Australasia (about 30,000-40,000 years) from long before the time that the flood could have happened.


          June 9, 2014 at 4:35 am |
        • observer


          "@observer you really think they married their rap st?"

          Not likely. Few people would even consider following such a HEARTLESS and BARBARIC command from God.

          June 9, 2014 at 9:55 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        Evolution...really?? Only an uneducated fool doesn't accept that evolution is real and trades it for the incest story of the bible! Regardless of what you may think, your bible doesn't change fact.
        Here is a link, if you don't accept this than there truly is no hope for you and you are truly wasting this existence...stop being stupid (in the case of denying evolution, stupid fits rather well):

        June 9, 2014 at 4:40 am |
      • TruthPrevails1

        gullible: Have you been keeping up on the creationists temper tantrums over COSMOS? I find it rather humorous that they're being so infantile about it but then again to accept what it stated in COSMOS would mean they'd have to admit that the bible is fallacious and the fear of being wrong (insert pascals wager) and the fear of non-existence, keeps them denying facts. Sad pathetic world they reside in.

        June 9, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          TP....I have seen their idiotic rants in the news. I think it is deplorable to ignore such easily understood examples of scientific principles. But, to admit they were wrong would require them to further admit that they had wasted their lives. I understand that, but simply can't condone it. It is maddening to actually try to communicate with some of the delusional people. I'm not even sure why I bother.

          June 9, 2014 at 9:15 am |
  16. MidwestKen

    "I don tattempt..I do talk with God..He speaks back..as I said..I know God personally..we have spoken"

    Wow, that's quite a claim. What exactly did God say to you?

    (reposted from page 1)

    June 8, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • bostontola

      whats so arrogant about knowing God personally?

      June 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Reply

      I would think that even within the paradigm of the Christian God it would not be possible for a mentally impoverished human to know an infinite God. Acquaintance perhaps.

      Why does a person need to believe in God for God to communicate with it? Kermit believes God directly communicates with him. There wouldn't be one atheist if God communicated with them. According to kermit, God does communicate directly with humans. Yet God won't communicate with just those humans who need it most. That is a pretty coy way for an all powerful God to gain followers. Then, because god chose to not communicate with those humans! God will consign them to an eternity of pain. I'm sure some Christians will say, you have to choose God. That is not a moral deal that purported God has proposed. It is under the maximum duress possible. If God has demonstrated it will communicate with some humans, and doesn't with others, that intensifies the immorality. So if it is a moral God, I can only conclude that kermit is mistaken, God has not communicated with him.

      June 8, 2014 at 11:59 am |
      • kermit4jc

        Yet God won’t communicate with just those humans who need it most.<–blame game..always blame the other person..youre perfect..youd always know if it were God......riiiiiiight...I don't buy that

        June 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          When a person avoids the issue posed and goes after the one posing the issue, what does that mean?

          June 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          I didnto avoid the issue..thereis no issue...as I said..simply put...its the blame game..people always blame God..yet not themselves

          June 9, 2014 at 1:56 am |
      • transframer

        Yes God communicates with all ppl, not only the ones who believe in him. But what kermit meant is that only ppl who believe understand this communication and know God talked back to them

        June 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • bostontola

          Why did God create so many people that can't understand his communication?

          June 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          God created all who have a MIBD to make decisions...they decide not to actually study in his word...they decide to ignore context..etc etc.....

          June 9, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          oh, is that what kermi meant??? You're so certain of this how?? Or are you one of his other personalities (that is the only true way, you'd know what kermi meant)?

          June 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          transframer.....yeah....so what should we do with all those people that claim that god told them to kill their kids, their parents, their siblings, etc? Since god is the ultimate judge, should these people just get to go free?

          June 8, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ gulli..clearly those people did not talk to God..God would NOT ask them to kill their own children here...I know..you will try to use Bible verses...but those children did nothing..those people were only trying to get their children into heaven quickler.....that's not what God asks...and thus they were socially unacceptable..and delusional

          June 9, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit....how exactly do you go about differentiating which people that claim they talk with god are delusional and those that or sane?

          June 9, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • kermit4jc

          anti social behavior...ie killing thei children merely cause God says so...in order their children go to heaven much quickler...nowhere in the Bible is that found.....plus...rhese adults thathave killed their children had other issues of mental problems....as PSYCHOLOGISTS and Psychiatrists they do NOT make a diagnosis based on ONE symptom alone.....

          June 9, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • transframer

          Everybody can believe, so everybody can understand. The fact they don't doesn't mean they can't

          June 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          trans, How difficult would it be for an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent being who is supposedly monitoring all people on earth 24/7 to communicate to all those people to clearly identify itself and clearly state what it expects? Not the hundreds of religions with thousands of sects worshipping thousands of gods which gives the impression that religion evolved regionally.

          June 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        • transframer

          It's very unlikely God told anyone to kill their children or such. If they say so they are most likely insane. Anyway, even if God told them so, they must face human justice first, God, as you said, is the ultimate judge

          June 8, 2014 at 10:14 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Transframer.....if people that say they heard god tell them to kill their children are insane, how do I distinguish between them and anybody else that says they hear from god?

          June 9, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • transframer

          Santa: I don't know the answer but I guess it's something like math: most ppl can't see spaces with more than 3 dimensions but some ppl who know math can understand or at least deal with them through complicated math formulas

          June 8, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      I'm curious as to how he knows it is god and how he fails to comprehend why people think he is delusional when he does make such claims. I imagine if one of his clients claimed to be hearing voices, he'd be having them medicated and treated for mental illness..so him saying it is god and giving the voice an identity makes the voices in his head okay. People like him are truly frightening...they leave you wondering what he would be capable of if this so-called god ever told them to harm another.

      June 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
      • igaftr

        kermit could not answer one simple question that should prove to him that he does not know, but rather continues to show his self delusion.

        The question is this: How do you know it is YOUR god, and not Satan tricking you? ( you can subst!tute any of the gods or other mythical names in place of Satan and the question will still be impossible to answer) He should not be able to answer the question, which should leave doubt, which should mean he does not know. He will not admit that simple thing, so clearly is self deluded, but cannot recognize it.

        Fortunately, he is at best a counselor, not a psychologist, and certainly not a psychiatrist so cannot prescribe medications. He has shown countless times a lack of understanding of basic psychology, and one who believes that he speaks with god and god answers, should not be working with patients or counsel clients.

        June 8, 2014 at 3:36 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ iga kermit could not answer one simple question that should prove to him that he does not know, but rather continues to show his self delusion. I HAVE pr4ovided it several times..yu omay have missed it..don't be so arrogant and smug.....and He has shown countless times a lack of understanding of basic psychology<-OI never shown such....no one has pointed it out..they attepted to..but as I said in a post a few lines ago that they lack basic psychology..NO psychologist takes ONE "symptom" and makes a diagnosis of it...I see you guys doing it all the time in here....the mind and psychology og the human is complex..to make such easy "diagnosis" as I seen the wannabes in here would be totally unethical in the psychology field...shame on you pretenders

          June 8, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: The definition and one does not need to be a psychologist to figure this out:

          in psychology, a rigid system of beliefs with which a person is preoccupied and to which the person firmly holds, despite the logical absurdity of the beliefs and a lack of supporting evidence. Delusions are symptomatic of such mental disorders as paranoia, schizophrenia, and major depression and of such physiological conditions as senile psychosis and delirium. They vary in intensity, extent, and coherence and may represent pathological exaggeration of normal tendencies to rationalization, wishful thinking, and the like. Among the most common are delusions of persecution and grandeur; others include delusions of bodily functioning, guilt, love, and control"

          You hearing this voice of god (as you wish to call it) is evidence of the above.
          You keep refusing to answer the questions put forth...wish to be an adult and try to answer as to how you know it is god and not satan or odin or or or???

          June 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
        • igaftr

          Once again showing you do not understand psychology. I identified a common delusion within you. If you understood psychology, you would know that is NOT a diagnosis, rather an identification of a symptom.

          ALso, you have NOT answered the question...claiming you just know is not a sufficient answer.

          How do you know that what you think is god, is not actually Satan or some other mythical name just tricking you, or simply a product of your own imagination?

          You should not be able to answer that question, and that should show you that you are in fact a vicitm of your own

          June 9, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Once again showing you do not understand psychology. I identified a common delusion within you. If you understood psychology, you would know that is NOT a diagnosis, rather an identification of a symptom.<–READ my post again..i DID say it was a SYMPTOM!!!!!! sheesh.get somne reading lessons

          June 9, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • kermit4jc

          How do you know that what you think is god, is not actually Satan or some other mythical name just tricking you, or simply a product of your own imagination?<-liars are not consistent.....after time they get holes in their arguments..things don't work out..etc etc....I get to know God more and more..I find he is who He is....

          June 9, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • igaftr

          "liars are not consistent"

          That's it? You don't think Satan can lie consitantly?
          Thank you for proving that you really have no idea.

          June 9, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • igaftr

          "NO psychologist takes ONE "symptom" and makes a diagnosis of it...I see you guys doing it all the time in here"

          So you accuse us of making diagnosese, and then try to claim you didn't say that. Symptom should not be in quotes as your delusion has been verified countless times when you claim to "know" god, and then you claim that god talks to you.

          June 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          see..this shows you are the one who doesn't know abou tpsychology and the basics....I made it clear....they do not make a diagnosis with ONE symptom....again the mind, the brain..the human psychology is complex...y oumake it said like its easy and such dto do it from the basements at your parents house....

          June 10, 2014 at 1:59 am |
        • gulliblenomore

          Kermit.... The mind and brain are quite complex. Many times, they can convince people that they hear god talking to them, when in reality, it is their own subconscious.

          June 10, 2014 at 7:49 am |
  17. alakhtal

    Dumbdown girls!
    Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag ain't Christian nor got Christian alias. If she is then it ain't courts predicament. Its church's dilemma. She uses Christian ticket to lure media to her plight. Now that she's on aljazeera she's a homerun.
    Pardon my French.
    In Islam: should you check-in, they chop off the foreskin of your phallus and if you check-out they chop off your head.

    June 8, 2014 at 4:24 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      English is your second language-right?
      She is Christian whether or not you agree....born and raised by a Christian mother-belief is taught, you are not born with knowledge of it.

      June 8, 2014 at 4:50 am |
  18. Vic

    It is very disheartening that an innocent life is at stake here and some people are concerned with unrelated matters —mind you ones that enhance the image and further the cause of the barbaric creed of the oppressors— and finding a way to blame Christianity.

    The situation of Merriam Ibrahim reminds me of the betrayal of Judas Iscariot and the condemning Jesus Christ to the cross by the mob.

    May the Lord Jesus be with Merriam Ibrahim and save her from the traitors and perpetrators.

    June 7, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • Vic


      June 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Well then it's a done deal right ? If anything happens, do you agree UP FRONT your prayers will have failed ?

      June 7, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • Vic

        It is according to God's Sovereign Divine Will, Wisdom and Command what to do with my prayer.

        June 7, 2014 at 10:12 pm |
        • James XCIX

          VIc – Supposedly, your god already has an unalterable plan for everything, so how could your prayers possibly have any effect on the outcome of anything?

          June 8, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Vic

          I don't know if my prayers have effects or not, what I do know is that are taught by the Lord Jesus Christ to pray, so we do it; however, we don't know how that works.

          I myself believe that "intercessory prayers" —not to the so-called Saints but to God— do work but that doesn't mean I know how.

          June 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
    • Vic

      "The situation of Merriam Ibrahim reminds me of the betrayal by Judas Iscariot and condemning the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross by the mob."

      June 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        There was no trial. If he existed, then as the gospels may have intimated, he may have caused a ruckus in the temple. The entire economy of ancient Jerusalem was temple/festival based. If he overturned the money-changers tables, that was enough to warrant execution. Any trouble-maker was simply executed in the Pax Romana by standing order. No Galilean peasant was ever "tried" in front of Roman aristocrats. The Jewish Sanhedrin was never once in all of history called into session on Passover weekend. The gospels can't even agree what time of day, or what day of the week he died. They made it all up, "ex nihilo".

        June 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          The gospels can’t even agree what time of day, or what day of the week he died. They made it all up, “ex nihilo”.<-there is no contradiction as to time of day or what day..the Bible is very clear of it..You MAY be referring to the time whether he was crucified at the third hour or the sixth....this is where CONTEXT coms to play...in ROMAN time...the day ran from midnight to midnight whereas the JEWISH 24 hour time started at 6 in the evening..Jon followed thr roman time while Mark used the Jewish time...if one reads the Gospoels they can see this...for example..one doe snot go preaching at 4 in the morning...where 10 in the morning would be more likel;y..etc etc (Don't takwe my word for it..look it up)

          June 8, 2014 at 2:18 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: The stories in the gospels are unreliable given that the authors are not known and the book has been shown to be fallacious. Stop defending your wretched god, if it was so in control it would do a better job of not ordering the mass slaughter of so many and no good parent would allow their child to be killed. The fact is that outside of your book and your own delusions, you have no evidence for your god but in a need to be arrogant, you will make up whatever it takes to make your vindictive god seem good and an open-mind sees it very differently.
          I feel for you, it must be horrible not being able to live a decent life without some invisible deity instructing you...that's simply weak minded.

          June 8, 2014 at 4:59 am |
        • hotairace

          Kermy, please explain in detail how a 6 hour offset in the start of day explains a 3 hour difference. I don't think the math works, as in there is no case where 3 in one system equals 6 in the other, but I might be wrong, so please educate.

          June 8, 2014 at 7:06 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Because both of them are not talking of the crucifixion itself..one is where Jesus is still in court....the other is when Jesus is crucified

          June 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • transframer

          Please present facts or don't talk about things you have no idea of. Of course there was a trial by Romans. For example here is a description from a Law School professor:http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/pontiuspilate/a/041511-CW-Trial-of-Jesus.htm
          Here is a quote:
          History Confirms Existence of High Priest and Roman Prefect

          June 8, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit, The gospels disagree on which time in Jesus' ministry. John has it at the beginning the others at the end.

          June 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          @ santa kermit, The gospels disagree on which time in Jesus’ ministry. John has it at the beginning the others at the end.<-I think your missing some words...the timing of Jesus ministry as to when he started to preach? huh? please clarify what you are referring to..thanks

          June 8, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          From your link
          Linder notes that including Jesus' trial is an unusual choice because it involves determining how much of the gospel accounts can be found factually accurate.

          I don't know if there was a trial but I don't see anything in that link that confirms that there was a trial – only that Caiaphas and Pilate existed. Anyone writing these stories in the decades and centuries following the crucifixion would likely have known that and could have been added for authenticity.

          June 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Vic

          Tom'ay'to, tom'ah'to, it doesn't make a difference, it is still one and the same fruit that exists, regardless of how inaccurate we refer to it—pronounce/enunciate it.

          Whether the Synoptic Gospels agree on the timing and details or not, it is still one and the same that existed and took place, that is the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, born, crucified and resurrected.

          Here is a testimony:

          "There is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history."

          Dr. Simon Greenleaf
          Former Professor of Law at Harvard University

          Dr. Greenleaf used the laws of legal evidence to arrive at the above conclusion.

          Quick Reference:

          June 8, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • igaftr

          There continues to be no way to verify that Jesus was dead, or if there was any resurrection. This guy you site has absolutely no evidence of either event, no verification of the "evidence".

          All it shows is that you can twist things to mean whatever you want them to mean, so he has no proof at all, and still manages to make a conclusion. Completely pointless, and there continues to be no evidence whatsoever of anyone ever being resurrected.

          June 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
        • transframer

          The trial itself is not questioned in that article, it is not a matter of debate. The questions and the quote you gave are only about the circ-umstances, events and actors involved, and has the answer for the specific question: if high ranked Romans were involved (the answer is yes). More details can be found in the specific webpage from Linder here:
          Again, the trial itself is not debated, only the circ-umstances

          June 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          kermit.I meant the event the temple moneychangers incident which led to his arrest.

          June 8, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          There is actually a plausible answer that there were two tiomes that Jesus went to the Temple..matthew records both almosty seenlingly as one incdenct while Mark gives more details....you have to remember..the writers were not concerned with chronology so much as with the gist of the events...

          June 9, 2014 at 2:08 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          As we don't know who the writers were, how do you know chronology was not important.
          It seems to me if it the event that leads immediately to his death, chronology is important.

          June 9, 2014 at 10:14 am |
        • kermit4jc

          P<G by reading the Gospels..they do NOT show chronological order in all things....one does not have to know the writers..... to see that...sheesh..the fact is...Mattthew pretty much implies two trips t the synogague..of which the second trip Jesus clears the Temple...

          June 10, 2014 at 1:56 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          My point is – they show the event at different stages of his life. As it is the event that led to his death sentence, anyone placing at the beginning of his ministry is, at least inconsistent, and adds to the unreliability of the bible as history.

          June 10, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • kermit4jc

          The events from the last week was not the start of events that led to his death....it started even when he began his ministry 3 years prior..the Jewish priests did not like Jesus and had already been consirping to kill him......so thus the clearing of the Temple was not something that led to his death..it was one of the chain of events (in ths middle) that led to it..and again chornology does not matter....it does not matter as to WHEn it happened..since it is ONE of the events leading to his death..ONE event...nto ONLY

          June 10, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          So that justifies inaccuracy?

          June 10, 2014 at 10:13 am |
        • kermit4jc

          NO inncacuracy..unless there is claim to BE in chronological order in first place....which it does not claim

          June 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          vic. Did you read the whole article. Hearsay accepted as evidence by a christian apologist 150 years ago. Hmmm.

          June 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
        • hotairace

          kermy, you said two different time systems could explain the difference. Now you are claiming something else. Why do you lie!

          June 10, 2014 at 3:43 am |
        • kermit4jc

          I think you got something mxed up...I said two different time systems and I did not say anything different from that...check the posts again? The two time reckonings still stand

          June 10, 2014 at 9:41 am |
        • hotairace

          kermy, you mentioned the third hour or the sixth, you mentioned two time systems, more than suggesting that would explain the discrepancy. You are that one that is confused. Or The Babble is bullsh!t. I'm going with you are both fvcked.

          June 10, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • kermit4jc

          ar yousaying the two time systems is BS and didn't happen?

          June 10, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          right..and one account says Jesus was at his trial..the other account says when he died on the cross...there is the offset of the time between the trial and the time he died on the cross...

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

          kermie: "The gospels can’t even agree what time of day, or what day of the week he died."

          You are correct – they can't even agree on that.

          June 12, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • kermit4jc

          @ doris..there is no discrepancy to those issues..they all agree...as I pointed out for example the times....John uses Roman time reckoning which goes from 12 midnight to 12 midmight..while the Jewish time used by others are 6 PM to 6 AM.... almost something like our differences in military time vs the time you and I usually use

          June 12, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • weaslebrau

        Ummm wasn't getting crucified on the cross the plan from the beginning. You should be thanking Judas.

        June 8, 2014 at 3:09 am |
        • tallulah131

          Thank you for pointing that out. It's always bothered me that Judas is being treated like a villain for following "god's plan". Yet another reason the christian god is a jerk: he set up Judas to be the bad guy of the story.

          June 8, 2014 at 3:49 am |
        • kermit4jc

          Go ddi dnot set up Judas to do so..Judas had an evil heart...his intentions were from himself..not God...thus he showed his true nature..he was greedy for mooney...God used that..sure..but Judas still made hs OWN decision to do what he did...therefore God is not the jerk

          June 8, 2014 at 4:15 am |
        • dandintac

          Tallulah, every good story needs a villain.

          June 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • kermit4jc

          Judas IS the bad guy..he was evil..his INTENT was evil...doesntmatter the outcome..He is evil..period

          June 8, 2014 at 4:16 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          kermi: Claiming to know what is meant by those stories proves how very gullible and arrogant you are. Your interpretation is very biased based on your refusal to look outside the book for answers (religion stops an otherwise normal functioning brain from thinking clearly). Your interpretation is merely yours alone. You can scream that you studied the bible for 25 years but that proves nothing, least of all that your god exists...the words of man and no evidence to say otherwise (outside of the claims in the book and a rational mind would expect the book to defend the main character).

          June 8, 2014 at 5:42 am |
        • hotairace

          Judas merely played his part in some alleged but never proven god's plan. But as most likely said god doesn't exist, discussing Judas and The Babble is no more significant than the discussions of your local book club.

          June 8, 2014 at 6:37 am |
        • transframer

          If you allow me, here is a slightly different version of what happened with Judas. I think Judas is judged too harshly for his role Judas did sell Jesus for a few pennies but not out of evilness but more out of the foolish desire to be the smart guy. So he did it because, knowing Jesus very well and sure he was what he pretended to be, God, he was convinced that nothing wrong can happen to him.

          June 8, 2014 at 10:52 am |
        • hal 9001

          I am sorry, "transframer", but your request to be allowed has been declined. Your application to be allowed includes too many presuppositions.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • transframer

          You need an upgrade, your generation is no longer supported

          June 8, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          "knowing Jesus very well and sure he was what he pretended to be, God, he was convinced that nothing wrong can happen to him."


          The idea that Judas KNEW Jesus was God but sold him out anyway is hilarious, but then again the entire tale is very likely no more than historical fiction.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • transframer

          That's the point: from Judas' point of view, God can't be sold so he didn't consider his action as selling God, just a quick way to make some bucks, what can go wrong?

          June 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • G to the T

          OR... Jesus privately told Judas to go to the priests because he knew it had to happen that way. As the others weren't aware of this conversation, it never made it into their narratives. They assumed he must have been evil because of what he did, that doesn't mean he was in god's eyes.

          June 8, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
        • weaslebrau

          So if no one would of stepped forward to turn him in Jesus would of lived a happy normal life and Gods plan would of been foiled. So someone had to make the sacrifice of themselves so that God's sacrifice to himself could be fulfilled. Seems Judas' sacrifice was actually much more of a sacrifice. His good name was smeared, he died a painful death and for all we know is languishing in hell.

          June 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm |
  19. bostontola

    Does Islam really condemn converts to death?

    I'm a bit confused. I would think Christian might be happy for this woman. What could be better than getting to be with Jesus. You can't get there by suicide, but these people are doing it for her. Wouldn't other Christians be envious of this woman?

    According to many Christians, there are fates much worse than death, an eternity in hell fire.

    June 7, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Only God is allowed to think in such terms. We as human beings are required to keep the life of any innocent man or woman including our own life. A Christian should not wish to die, but try to live a life of love and righteousness every day. Every additional day gives us opportunity to repent, and to believe again. Every new day is a present and a treasure.

      This lady from Sudan is innocent, and if the Muslims execute her, they shed innocent blood. That is against God's will who has ordered only the execution of certain criminals. These Muslims are murderers like there silly prophet Muhammad.

      June 7, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • Reality

        And RB has returned for another weekend of "talking to his god". RB please forward her, his or its phone number or email address.

        June 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • transframer

          You already have it

          June 8, 2014 at 9:16 am |
        • Reality

          No I do not. Please forward to the group.

          June 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • transframer

          You don't have to email, post or something. Just call him, loud or in your mind, alone or with others, in your home or in a church, wherever you are, however you are

          June 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
        • gulliblenomore

          Transframer....that is complete BS.

          June 9, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • Reality

          Your advice will never work, because your god does not exist. But maybe you have some proof of his existence as in an address?

          In case you missed the newest Apostles Creed:

          The Apostles' Creed 2014: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

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

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

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

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

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

          (references used are available upon request)

          June 9, 2014 at 6:52 am |
        • transframer

          –Your advice will never work
          How about try it for yourself?

          June 9, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • Reality

          I did for sixty years and it failed miserably just as it failed for the following:

          Number of your god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases:

          1. 300,000,000 approx.

          2. 200,000,000 ?

          3. 100,000,000 approx.
          Black Death

          4. 80,000,000–250,000,000

          5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
          Spanish Flu

          6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Plague of Justinian

          7. 40,000,000–100,000,000

          8. 30,000,000[13]
          AIDS pandemic

          9. 12,000,000 ?
          Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

          10. 5,000,000
          Antonine Plague

          11. 4,000,000
          Asian Flu

          12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

          June 10, 2014 at 7:28 am |
      • Doris

        "Every additional day gives us opportunity to repent"

        Rainy have you invited awanderingscot over for a little mutual flagellation? If not, why? I would think doubling down on self-deprecation like that would get you both in first class seats to the big "dungeon in the sky".

        June 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Rainy are you as obnoxiously patronizing IRL as you are here ? Who died and told you YOU have some sort of authority to get all preachy-weachy ?

        June 7, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
      • bostontola

        "Only God is allowed to think in such terms. "

        I thought man had free will.

        June 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • transframer

          I think he meant only God can think, man may but can't

          June 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • G to the T

        "is against God's will who has ordered only the execution of certain criminals."

        Citation please or are you adding your own spin to theology?

        June 9, 2014 at 10:11 am |
  20. Rainer Helmut Braendlein

    I would like to consider another aspect.

    If somebody adheres to the genuine Christian faith, he is not allowed to recognize Muhammad as legitimate divine prophet, but has to confess the historical (!) truth that Muhammad shed very much innocent blood, and therefore could not have been a divine prophet. Any divine prophet must be an adherent of righteousness, and righteousness forbids the shedding of innocent blood.

    Let us assume there would be no command in the Koran which would require the execution of people renouncing Islam, and Muslim states would tolerate (not punish) the renouncing of Islam according to the Koran. However, certainly no Muslim state would ever tolerate any insult of the "Prophet of God", or Messenger of God, or Apostle of God (allegedly Muhammad). The Muslims appreciate Muhammad like the Christians adore Jesus, the Son of God or God incarnate.

    A Muslim converting to Christianity in a Muslim country, and publically confessing that Jesus is the Son of God, and that Muhammad was a false prophet, certainly had no chance to survive there.

    At least a faithful Christian is condemned to death in a Muslim country. And if he or she compromises, he or she will lose the soul's health.

    June 7, 2014 at 11:37 am |
    • Akira

      Of course Christians don't believe Mohammed was a divine prophet.
      There is nothing wrong, however, with acknowledging that there is a whole faith that does; that does not detract from a Christian's belief one iota.

      That being said, nobody should die for their belief in God, whatever God they believe in.

      June 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

        I would never harm a Muslim workmate, classmate, next-door neighbour, etc. according to my Christian faith which commands love of neighbour.

        It is only that we today too much consider Christianity and Islam, as if they would be equivalent. An objective investigation of both beliefs shows that Christianity is absolutely trustworthy because it is interwoven with the history of mankind and of God's chosen people Israel since the beginning of the world. Jesus, the Messiah, was predicted by the Old Testament Prophets, confirmed by John the Baptist, and he wrought plenty of miracles. Jesus was "expected" by history. He was the conclusion of a historical development.

        In contrast Islam has no historical roots. Muhammad simply made-up some crazy stories. Muhammad burst in history like a demon, caused a lot of confusion and bloodshed. Has Islam caused any real progress since it exists? No, it caused only doom and destruction. It is a subversive religion, inspired by the devil and his demons.

        June 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
        • Akira

          You're still alive, aren't you? Obviously your Muslim neighbors and Muslim workmates don't think you're enough of a threat to their faith to warrant any action against you.
          I do not see why you think they are a threat to yours.

          June 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Muslims are still a minority in Germany, but their impact grows.

          Hang on to your hat: At my workplace there are plenty of Muslims, maybe they have the majority there. Yet, all in all my workmates have different beliefs. However, the Muslims dare to use the greeting " salam alaikum" (religious term), but not only amongst each other but for all my workmates. That is a scandal, because by that greeting they disregard the different beliefs of their other workmates, and they disregard German tradition, they country giving them work and bread.

          True colors of Islam shining through!

          As soon as they have the majority somewhere they try to rule, and to suppress the people of different believe.

          Actually in Germany we say "Guten Tag" or "Guten Morgen" or "Hallo". All this terms are not religious but neutral. Everybody of any religion could use them. I have yet told one of my Muslim workmates that he should not use "salam alaikum" but "Guten Tag" when he greets me, or simply "hallo" (hello).

          A Christian should never tolerate "salam aleikum", because through that he or she recognizes Islam as legal faith.

          June 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Doris

          Rainy: "Christianity is absolutely trustworthy because it is [blah blah hearsay blah blah conjecture blah blah hearsay blah blah conjecture blah blah blah]"

          June 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • Akira

          Your xenophobia aside, what does salam alaikum mean? Google translate didn't recognize the term.

          June 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          It is enough when you know that this greeting should be used only amongst Muslims. It is very religious.

          June 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • MidwestKen

          While traditionally Muslim, isn't it simply 'peace be unto you' in Arabic?


          June 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
        • Akira

          From MWKen's link:

          As-salamu alaykum (السلام عليكم) is an Arabic greeting often used by Muslims around the world and is widely used in the Muslim world even by non-Muslims. It nearly translates to "peace be upon you", but is often considered the equivalent to "hello", "hi" or "good day" in English.

          Oh, I cannot think of a worse thing that to be greeted with that instead of the standard salutations. I mean, I might catch the a Muslim cooties.

          Absolutely absurd.
          There is no religious connotation to "peace be upon you".

          June 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • observer

          Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          "That is a scandal, because by that greeting they disregard the different beliefs of their other workmates, and they disregard German tradition, they country giving them work and bread."

          More HYPOCRISY from possibly the biggest HYPOCRITE and bigot on these blogs. Well done.

          June 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Akira

          Rainier, a simple yes or no question.
          Does your place of employment require that one be a Christian before obtaining a job?

          June 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Akira

          Observer, it would appear that Rainier is targeting this man for special persecution.

          June 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • Reality

          "In contrast Islam, has no historical roots." Sure it does just as does Christianity. Tis the theology of both that are non-existent.

          June 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          So Christians should be equally offended by an Israeli saying "Shalom"?

          June 26, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

      Anyway, what was Muhammad's basic concept?

      Muhammad assumed he would be the chosen one of God who had to restore the genuine faith of Abraham (Islam in Muhammad's eyes). According to the Koran Muhammad thought that Christianity and Jewry would be distortions of the genuine faith of Abraham. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Jesus and the Apostles had been faithful teachers of the genuine faith (Islam in Muhammad's eyes), but their pupils had been disobedient to the genuine message, forged it, and became Jews and Christians. Muhammad believed that the belief system of Christianity or Jewry would be false. Indeed, in the beginning of the 7th century Christianity experienced a deep crisis. Muhammad assumed that the belief system of the Christians would be false, but the reason for the misbehavior of the Christians during Muhammad's time was their disobedience against the genuine doctrine of Jesus and the Apostles which was not Islam but Christianity. If the contemporary Christians of Muhammad had simply kept the good old Christian doctrine, they had been nearly perfect and holy people.

      Let us return to the good old doctrine, that Jesus died and rose for us. He has borne our sins on the cross, and resurrected for our justification. If we repent, believe, and get sacramentally baptized, we will become able to live a life of love and righteousness. God will bless us, and we will come through at Judgement Day. God is righteous.

      Through sacramental baptism we get connected with the releasing power of Jesus death and resurrection. We die for the sin, and enter Christ. Dead for the sin and in Christ we are able to overcome the selfishness of our old nature, our old ego.

      Through baptism our old life as sinners gets declared dead, and Jesus becomes our new life (we die and resurrect together with Jesus through baptism). Our personality gets neither destroyed nor violated, but day by day we can voluntarily submit our will to the will of Christ in us. Thus our life step by step becomes a divine life.

      June 7, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • Akira

        And Muslims think Christianity is the false religion. Stalemate.

        June 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Genuine Christianity does not support the shedding of innocent blood. Jesus did never command any kind of holy war. On the contrary, Jesus cured plenty of people (sinners who actually had not deserved it).

          In contrast, Muhammad commands "holy war or Jihad" for the sake of Islam (spreading Islam).

          Conclusion: True Christianity was ever spread by true love of neighbor and God. Islam was ever spread by the SWORD.

          Ain't that an outrageous difference.

          Forget Islam. Islam represents evil and war.

          June 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Akira

          As I said, other faiths think Christianity are the false faiths.
          And yet another reason organized religion is divisive.

          June 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • Doris

          Rainy: "Jesus cured plenty of people"

          There is no evidence of that. Only hearsay written years after his death.

          June 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • Reality

        But Abraham and Moses were myths. Now what?

        June 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Rainer Helmut Braendlein

          Why are there so many trustworthy docu-ments confirming their existence, and their good deeds?

          June 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • Doris

          "trustworthy docu-ments "

          LOL. My spam folder has more trustworthy docu-ments on a slow day than what resulted via word of mouth into Gullible's Travels.

          June 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Reality

          Yes indeed RB, please provide references to these "trustworthy" doc-uments. And the OT is hardly trustworthy considering all the tall tales in said book.

          June 7, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Wrong again Rainy. You really need a course in Comparative Religion, and while you're at it, try some History.

        June 7, 2014 at 6:42 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.