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July 8th, 2014
01:01 PM ET

Eye for an eye: The Bible's role in revenge attacks

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - This past Sunday, six Israelis were arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy. Israeli officials admitted the likelihood—already acknowledged by many—that this killing was carried out in revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Both sides have stepped up their aggression in the past few days, with rocket launches from Gaza into Israel and Israeli airstrikes against Gaza.

It’s a familiar cycle: attack for attack, murder for murder. Such patterns are familiar from conflicts across the world, but they have a special resonance in the Holy Land.

After all, it was from Israel, nearly 3,000 years ago, that this famous concept spread.

The Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible says, “The penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

The Book of Deuteronomy uses even stronger language: “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

And the Book of Leviticus says again, “Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The injury he inflicted on another shall be inflicted on him.”

Few biblical laws are repeated three times; this is one of those few. It is known as the lex talionis, or “law of retaliation,” and it would seem to be central to the biblical worldview.

Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?

This law is often brought as evidence that the Bible cannot be a reliable guide for modern morality: Who today would truly advocate for this kind of retributive justice?

It seems barbaric that the penalty for arson, for example, would be burning the arsonist to death—this sounds like something out of the Middle Ages, not out of the 21st century.

Though famously biblical, lex talionis isn’t a biblical creation at all.

It was already present in the famous Code of Hammurabi, from the 18th century BCE: “If an upper-class man should blind the eye of another upper-class man, they shall blind his eye,” and so on through breaking bones, knocking out teeth, etc.

Earlier Mesopotamian law codes, two generations before Hammurabi, take what we would consider a more civilized approach to the matter:

“If a man bites the nose of another man and thus cuts it off” —don’t ask— “he shall weigh and deliver sixty shekels of silver; an eye, sixty shekels; a tooth, thirty shekels …”

It turns out that the oldest codes in the Near Eastern legal tradition, Sumerian laws from the 21st century BCE, also have payment in place of retaliation.

The concept of “eye for an eye” isn’t really representative of some primitive state of humanity—it’s actually a development from an earlier system of monetary compensation.

Yet it was not a permanent shift; some of the earliest interpreters of the Bible read the lex talionis as advocating for monetary compensation: the value of an eye for an eye.

This remains a very common interpretation even today—quite likely as an attempt to make the biblical custom seem less harsh in comparison to contemporary cultural and legal norms.

Has the Middle East crisis reached a tipping point?

In the Talmud, the fundamental Jewish legal text, there is an extended discussion about the phrase “eye for an eye,” with multiple rabbis arguing, and the text concluding, that the phrase means nothing other than financial compensation.

Eventually, in Judaism the literal reading of lex talionis came to be associated with heresy.

There is another important aspect of “eye for an eye” that is often overlooked: in the Bible, the law prescribes that the punishment be leveled against the offending individual by the state.

It is not permitted for the victim himself to turn around and inflict the same injury on the aggressor. On this the Bible and modern law agree.

But another biblical legal tradition provides the exception to this rule, and it too has enjoyed a long life down to the present: the idea that in the case of premeditated murder, someone from the family of the victim is appointed the “blood-avenger.”

The notion of putting a murderer to death is common enough even today (see: death penalty). But not so the idea that it is the obligation of the victim’s family, rather than of a central government.

This biblical passage enshrines in law the retaliatory instinct of anyone whose close relative has been injured. And it is this instinct that we see playing itself out in the Middle East today.

The problem, both between the two nations and for the rest of the world, is defining which side is playing which role. Both Israel and Gaza believe themselves to be the blood-avenger, and the other to be the murderer.

Yet even in the case of blood vengeance, biblical law at least keeps the system under the watchful eye of the elders, who arbitrate the claims of the respective parties, just as in the more direct cases of lex talionis.

Nowhere in the world is the Bible more alive and its traditions more present than in Israel and Palestine, the lands from which the holy book emerged.

Was teen's death a revenge killing?

As the conflict between the two parties worsens, yet again, comparisons with the kinds of retaliation and blood vengeance found in the Bible grow more and more apt.

And so, therefore, does the need for a third party to play the part of arbitrator: to settle the price of monetary compensation, to declare the terms of retaliation, and to put a stop to the cycle of blood vengeance.

That's a role the Bible calls for someone to fill - and we're all still waiting.

Joel S. Baden is the author of “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” and professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Ethics • Foreign policy • Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism • Opinion • Palestinians • Religious violence • Violence

soundoff (3,582 Responses)
  1. Dyslexic doG

    Let us pray: Dear Lord, thank you for the hundreds of murders today and all of the many murders yet to come in the days ahead. Thank you too for the millions of children dying of starvation and disease and neglect. Your lack of compassion for human life inspires us all to ponder your ineffectiveness. Heavenly Father, we gather in the shadow of your careless disregard for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

    – Concert in an Egg

    July 9, 2014 at 9:25 am |
    • observer

      Maybe he's just been very busy peeping into the bedroom windows of consenting adults to verify that the couple engaging in sodomy are Christian heteros.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • evidencenot

        Or to stopping by Costco to smite all the sinners working on sunday

        July 10, 2014 at 11:40 am |
  2. itisalsowrittenthat

    The authors ignorance is overwhelming! He is referring to the whole Bible, yet he is only quoting the Old Testament. As it is written:

    Matthew [5:38] Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: [5:39] But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

    When Jesus was asked if an adulterer should be stoned, He said:

    John [8:7] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

    If you are judging the Jews, you should quote their Scripture as the Bible is NOT their Scripture (according to the Jews).

    July 9, 2014 at 12:53 am |
    • Salero21

      Very well said!! And I agree a 100%,

      I think it's not the first time this CNN contributor does that. However is typical all over the Media spectrum, not only in CNN. What they do all the time could be funny if it wasn't such a phony. Not only is a display of their ignorance of Scriptures but of a certain malice toward either Israel or the church. It also shows IMVHO disregard for Truth, for accuracy in reporting and worst yet is dishonest reporting. Which of course fuels the extreme hypocrisy and compulsive lying of atheists/evolutionists/idolaters et al.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:31 am |
      • Dyslexic doG

        yes, we must be very afraid of any media outside your cult bubble. They might spread information with logic and facts in it. Oh no! Where will religion be then?!?!

        July 9, 2014 at 9:48 am |
        • Salero21

          Your concept and idea of Logic seem to be extreme hypocrisy and compulsive lying. Therefore yours is the stuff of what Charlatans are made of. That's why you're unable to discern anything beyond the sight of your nose. The malice in the article is there to be seen by anyone with an ounce of common sense and understanding. Only a Charlatan like you can't, won't, will refuse to understand.

          July 9, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      I was also surprised that the author used the word "Bible" rather than "Torah". Only 2 % of Israelis are Christian. That being said, Jesus said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill." Anyway you look at it, both of the books are bad.

      July 9, 2014 at 4:19 am |
      • thesamyaza

        realy 2% of Israelis,. and yet its 10% christian in Palestine, remind me gain why Conservative Christians support Israel because clearly Israel holds them in low regard to go so far as attack Marry's decedents.

        Bethlehem is in Palestine always has been
        Nazareth is in Palestine always has been

        July 9, 2014 at 5:46 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Bethlehem is in Palestine always has been
          Nazareth is in Palestine always has been
          ----------------
          In God's covenant to Abraham in Genesis 15:18-21 and in Genesis 17:8, it is an everlasting covenant made to Abraham and his spiritual descendants, and includes several things... Among them are a seed, land, a nation, and divine blessing and protection.

          The land given to Abraham and his spiritual descendants includes all of the land from the Wadi Al Arish as far as the river Euphrates, all the land of Canaan.

          God renewed the covenant through Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5), and again through Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17). The covenant was never made with Ishmael, therefore the land does not belong to his descendants.

          1 Chronicles 16:15-18 – Remember His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, "to you I will give the land of Canaan, as the portion of your inheritance."

          July 9, 2014 at 7:31 am |
        • Reality

          But Abraham was a mythical character so your point is moot. Details previously presented.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:34 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          But Abraham was a mythical character so your point is moot. Details previously presented.
          ------------
          It has been shown that computers can converse convincingly imitating humans. For all I know, you are a mythical character created by a computer nerd in some lab in Chicago. So everything you say is moot.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:45 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "For all I know, you are a mythical character created by a computer nerd in some lab in Chicago. So everything you say is moot."

          The same can be said about you. Think about responses before speaking them or you just make a bigger fool of yourself.

          July 9, 2014 at 8:38 am |
        • Reality

          As requested:

          origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

          New Torah For Modern Minds

          “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
          Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

          The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

          Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

          The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

          The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

          July 9, 2014 at 9:04 am |
        • ausphor

          Good try Reality but you are dealing with....
          Phileoism (also known as Topherism), the ability of a person to reject all knowledge that does not agree with that persons a priori beliefs.
          Theo is the font of all biblical knowledge and it is true because he says it is.

          July 9, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          ausphor: Kermi is the same. All of these dolts figure that word-of-mouth counts for something and should be convincing.

          July 9, 2014 at 9:47 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          “Only those things which can be objectively and empirically verified are true.”
          Note: This statement cannot be objectively or empirically verified as being true…

          July 9, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • ausphor

          TP1
          Totally agree. I have often pointed out to that bunch that they should look into how unreliable eye witness testimony can be, even current testimony let alone forty year old memories; yet this lot believe it is gospel, go figure. Phileoism, Topherism and will add kermitism, the standard is getting lower and lower.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          ausphor,

          “The evidence indicates that the written sources of our Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are not later than c. AD 60; some of them have even been traced back to notes taken of our Lord’s teaching while His words were actually being uttered… We have then in the Synoptic Gospels, the latest of which was complete between 40-50 years after the death of Christ, material which took shape at a still earlier time, some of it even before His death, and which, besides being for the most part 1st hand evidence, was transmitted along independent and trustworthy lines.”

          F.F. Bruce, “The New Testament Doc.uments: Are they Reliable?,” (Sixth edition, 1981, pp. 42-43)

          July 9, 2014 at 10:12 am |
        • Doris

          Theo[quoting "F.F. Bruce"]: "some of them have even been traced back to notes taken of our Lord’s teaching while His words were actually being uttered…"

          Ah ha... What would be an example of said notes, Theo?

          July 9, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          How impressive. F. F. Bruce a hero of the evangelical movement, a non biased author if ever there was one (sarcasm). Now if you really want to see something Universal Studios have opened up a replica of Diagon Alley or don't you worship Harry Potter as much as your fictional character.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          What is diagon alley?

          July 9, 2014 at 10:28 am |
        • Doris

          So Theo – do you have examples of those notes F.F. Bruce mentioned?

          July 9, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          What would be an example of said notes, Theo?
          -----------------–
          Internal evidences based on the Synoptics read in parallel...

          “It requires no very detailed study to discover that these three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) have a considerable amount of material in common. For instance, the substance of 606 out of the 661 verses of Mark appears in Matthew, and that some 350 of Mark's verses reappear with little material change in Luke. To put it another way, out of the 1,068 verses of Matthew, about 500 contain material also found in Mark; of the 1,149 verses of Luke, about 350 are paralleled in Mark.

          Altogether, there are only 31 verses in Mark which have no parallel in either Matthew or Luke.

          When we compare Matthew and Luke by themselves, we find that these two have about 250 verses containing common material not paralleled in Mark. This material is cast in language which is sometimes practically identical in Matthew and Luke, and sometimes shows considerable divergence. We are then left with some 300 verses in Matthew containing narratives and discourses peculiar to that gospel, and about 550 verses in Luke containing matter not found in the other gospels.

          F.F. Bruce, “The New Testament Docu.ments: Are they Reliable?”

          It may serve well for you to youtube Dr. James White's lecture on "The Reliability of the New Testament Text."

          July 9, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          JK Rowling would be astonished, heretic.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "some of them have even been traced back to notes taken of our Lord’s teaching while His words were actually being uttered…"

          I would say what you wrote about the notes originally (posted above) would indicate that you were speaking of notes external to the Synoptic Gospels dated much later than "taken..while His words were actually being uttered". So do you know of any such external notes or not, Theo?

          July 9, 2014 at 10:47 am |
        • Reality

          As requested:

          Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only 5-30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

          The 5-30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

          earlychristianwritings.com/

          For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

          Current RCC problems:

          Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

          Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

          Current problems:
          Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

          July 9, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          So do you know of any such external notes or not, Theo?
          ---------------
          The way that Bruce, White, and Kenyon have explained it before is that when many wish to date a gospel, they do so by applying a date to the finished work, as if it was 40 or so years from the actual event before anything was written at all. The internal evidences of the Synoptics say otherwise. Given the consistency in teaching between the gospels, and indeed finding many exact, word for word passages between the books evidences a common docu.ment between them. This is not a new concept. Parallel examinations as well as the type and use of specific forms of language are strong indicators of a common original source, such as notations taken during the lectures themselves.

          Where variants occur between the texts and we find a divergence from those "word for word" passages, this is where the author reveals details from his own experience, or he is revealing that which was the personal experience of another, such as in Luke's gospel.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • LaBella

          Theo Philio,

          Is that just a very wordy way of saying "no, I know of no notes that exist of His words being taken down as they were uttered?"

          July 9, 2014 at 11:02 am |
        • Doris

          I see, Theo. So we don't seem to have any record of any physical "notes", only a suspi.cion that there might have been notes based on similarities between accounts, mostly of uknown authorship, that attempt to tell the same story.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:05 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Is that just a very wordy way of saying "no, I know of no notes that exist of His words being taken down as they were uttered?"
          ------------–
          There are no extant original manuscripts of the text today, and you want to see someone's notes? Praise God that we don't have them. There are so many today who fall into the trap of venerating relics, that if we had them today, assuredly they would be worshipped...

          July 9, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Doris

          (unknown authorship)

          July 9, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          The authorship of the books of the Bible are only unknown to those who refuse to study. You would do well to take a course in Textual Criticism instead of listening to apostates such as Ehrman. Or even youtube Dr. James White's lecture on "The New Testament Text." It would be a good start anyway.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:09 am |
        • LaBella

          Theo Philio,

          It was a question trying to cut to the chase. So your answer is "no".

          July 9, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo another definition of...
          Philioism (also known as Toperism and kermitism) accepting all knowledge as absolute fact if your a priori beliefs agree with that knowledge no matter how dubious the source.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Philioism (also known as Toperism and kermitism) accepting all knowledge as absolute fact if your a priori beliefs agree with that knowledge no matter how dubious the source.
          -----------------------–
          Naturalistic materialism rules the day in academia. That is, anything that does not presuppose an uncreated universe that can be explained solely on the basis of naturalism is rejected a-priori, and any Christian claims are relegated to the arena of “myth.” This is because most people today rely completely on science to determine truth. That is, truth is determined only by what can be empirically observed…

          “Only those things which can be objectively and empirically verified are true.”
          NOTE: This statement cannot be objectively or empirically verified as being true…

          July 9, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo

          "There are no extant original manuscripts of the text today, and you want to see someone's notes? Praise God that we don't have them"

          Do you really think anyone is buying that nonsense? Of course Christians would be THRILLED to have some physical proof of Jesus.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Of course Christians would be THRILLED to have some physical proof of Jesus.
          -------------
          Ummm, we DO have proof of Jesus. Only the red-headed step children of the outliers of the minority even propose the idea that Jesus possibly might not have existed. But that's OK, we know they're crazy.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Reality

          Once again some required reading about the historical Jesus. Get back to us when you are finished.

          o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication and a discussion of each with supporting references:

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2
          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/
          17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/
          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/
          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:
          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory
          20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html
          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          July 9, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          Where is the physical PROOF of:

          Jesus
          The Garden of Eden
          Adam
          Eve
          The Ten Commandments that Moses had

          And yet Christians reject fossils.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          And yet Christians reject fossils.
          ---------------
          Huh??? What do you mean by that remark? We don't reject fossils...

          July 9, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          Where is the physical PROOF of:
          Jesus
          ------------------
          Not sure if this will do it for you, or even if it stands as proof at all, but interesting nontheless...
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexamenos_graffito

          July 9, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You simply reverted to...
          Philioism (also known as Topherism and kermitism) a person has the ability to reject all knowledge that does not agree with that persons a priori beliefs.
          This is much like the argument for the Christian Trinity, it is true because god says so in the bible and the bible is true because god says so. BTW all your apologist revelations are just circular arguments, your lot chasing your tails/tale.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          They reject fossils that are part-ape and part-human.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • observer

          Theo Phileo,

          It's sad when the first attempt you can make to offer PHYSICAL proof of Jesus is a drawing of the crucifixion of a DONKEY.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • SeaVik

          "Ummm, we DO have proof of Jesus."

          Theo, please let me know what proof we have that Jesus existed. You have claimed many times that we can not prove the age of the earth, despite extensive scientific evidence, because we were not there millions of years ago to directly observe it. We were also not there to directly observe Jesus, if he existed.

          The evidence we have that the earth is millions of years old is way closer to what anyone could consider "proof" than evidence to suggest Jesus existed.

          To be clear, I don't dispute that a guy named Jesus probably lived at some point. I just think your logic is mind-blowingly flawed to suggest that we have proof that he existed but can't prove the earth is millions of years old.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          They reject fossils that are part-ape and part-human.
          -------------–
          What, like Lucy, where nearly all experts agree was just a 3 foot tall chimpanzee? Or Heidelberg Man which was built from a jawbone that was conceded by many to be human? Or what about Nebraska Man that was "scientifically" built up from a tooth that was later revealed to be that of a pig... Or what about Piltdown Man? His jawbone turned out to belong to a modern ape. Peking Man? He was supposedly 500,000 years old, but all evidence of him has disappeared... What about Neanderthal Man? Well, at the International Congress of Zoology in 1958, Dr. A.J.E. Cave said that his examination showed that it was an old man who suffered from arthritus. Or New Guinea Man? Yeah, he dates WAY back to 1970, and they've been found in the region just north of Australia. Cromagnon Man? One of the earlisest and best established fossils is at least equal in physique and brain capacity to modern man... So? What's the difference??? Modern Man – This genius thinks we came from apes...

          Romans 1:22 – professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...

          July 9, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Back in your bubble. You seem to forget that 5 billion people do not give a good god damn if your jesus ever existed one way or the other. Red headed step children of outliers indeed and certainly not a minority, don't de so presumptuous.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "Huh??? What do you mean by that remark? We don't reject fossils..."

          But then you don't speak for all Christians, Theo....

          July 9, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          SeaVik,
          Here's a start.
          http://www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-exist.html

          July 9, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Doris

          Theo: "The authorship of the books of the Bible are only unknown to those who refuse to study. "

          It's quite unsurprising that whenever you ask someone in a club about something that could be damaging to the club, you frequently get a different answer than you get from an independent review of the situation...

          July 9, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Theo Phileo

          ausphor,
          Do not take the name of God and use it in place of a 4-letter filth word to express disgust. God will not hold him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Therefore you do so to your own detriment. But you have been warned.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Doris

          "But you have been warned."

          Goodness. I wonder if Theo lathered his TV with garlic whenever "Charmed" came on.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • SeaVik

          Theo, you are ignoring the Grand Canyon-sized hole in your position. You claim that we should dismiss all the evidence that suggests our earth is millions of years old because we weren't there. But for some reason, you want us to accept evidence that Jesus existed, even though we weren't there for that either?

          Can you please explain why we should follow your rules to dismiss the age of the earth, but ignore your rules to allow for a proof of Jesus' existence?

          July 9, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          Your position on fossils is another example of Philioism the rejection of knowledge kind. As to your veiled threats, I could give a good god damn about them and who the hell are you to judge me, is that not up to your mythical god? You really are a hoot.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
        • G to the T

          " The internal evidences of the Synoptics say otherwise. Given the consistency in teaching between the gospels, and indeed finding many exact, word for word passages between the books evidences a common docu.ment between them. "

          Yes – this has been known for centuries, but it doesn't indicate what you and your source seem to be indicating. Matthew and Luke share a lot of the matieral from Mark because they were based on early versions of Mark. This does not necessarily indicate an earlier source, if anything it lessens the credibility that these other 2 were "eye-witness" accounts of any kind.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          "Do not take the name of God and use it in place of a 4-letter filth word to express disgust. God will not hold him unpunished who takes His name in vain. Therefore you do so to your own detriment. But you have been warned."

          Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Marduk. is a murderous hateful peace of shit fucking a doughnut.

          yep no divine wrath, oh yeah I'm not under his covenant, his law means shit to me.

          July 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        "It has been shown that computers can converse convincingly imitating humans."

        To my knowledge, no computer has yet passed the Turing test.

        July 9, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • Reality

      As noted previously:

      John's gospel is historically nil.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      July 9, 2014 at 7:38 am |
      • awanderingscot

        so you can quote a few heretics, proves nothing at all. the manuscript tradition was God's perfect way of preserving His word early on amongst imperfect men. the various codex thereafter are also a testament of His love for us. Christians aren't fooled by heretics.

        July 9, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • G to the T

          Then how do you account for the textual variants we find throughout the earliest manuscripts?

          You aren't a part of the "KJV Only" crowd by any chance?

          July 9, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          cognitive dissonance.

          July 9, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • awanderingscot

          90% of textual variants are insignificant in nature. in most cases there is no way to translate, ie no closely comparable word.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:12 am |
        • awanderingscot

          and besides this, textual variance is actually a good thing as it provides conclusive evidence that no central authority existed to mandate content, style, flow, etc.. thus the manuscript tradition represents state of the art historical recording at that time. the Bible is the most reliable historically preserved collection of books in history. if not the Bible, than VIRTUALLY NO RECORD OF HISTORY FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE is to be trusted.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          Some of the history may be accurate, but there is no way to confirm any of the supernatural claims.
          There is no evidence that any "gods" had anything to do with it.
          Men wrote it, for men.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • analogismos

      i thimk it's pretty clear that the author was not referring to the Christian Bible with the New testament, but to the Hebrew Bible AKA TaNaKh

      July 9, 2014 at 8:40 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I wish I had a dollar for every time a Christian in this forum had disavowed the Old Testament when it is used to show your religion's infantile foolishness.. Why have it in your book then? Why tell us about your god creating the world when that story is in a book that you disavow? Or are you just picking and choosing to suit yourselves?

      July 9, 2014 at 9:31 am |
      • G to the T

        What you are describing is pretty close to the views of the "heretic" Marcion of Sinope. He (with Paul as is avowed inspiration) believed that the Jewish god and Christian God couldn't be same god and so removed OT from his version of canon.

        July 9, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • awanderingscot

        no Christian has ever disavowed the OT, you're lying.

        July 9, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • observer

          awanderingscot

          The basic response for many Christians trying to make EXCUSES for what the OT says is that they follow Jesus now so, in effect, the nonsense in the OT doesn't really count anymore.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • G to the T

          Was that supposed to be in response to me scott? If so, that would depend on your definition of "christian". In the early days there was quite a bit of variety to the beliefs of Christians. As Paul's church was seated in the richest, most powerful cultural center of the time (i.e. Rome) is it really so surprising that his version of christianity is the one the won out (in the West anyways)?

          July 9, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
    • LaBella

      There is no Christian Bible without the OT.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  3. readerpan

    "Nowhere in the world is the Bible more alive and its traditions more present than in Israel and Palestine, the lands from which the holy book emerged."
    That should be enough to end all respect for the bible or the koran.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:47 am |
    • Salero21

      Funny how you seem to lack respect for yourself.

      July 9, 2014 at 1:33 am |
      • realbuckyball

        Actually what is funny is how Aunt Sally pulls things from out her behind that have no relationship to anything in her "Christian" (cough) attempts to make her lame Church Lady insults.

        July 9, 2014 at 5:40 am |
  4. tahitiandancer

    It is ironic that anyone would refer to the bible to explain the cause of the violence in the middle east. It is the teaching of the
    quran, the the bible and other religious treatise that is the cause of all the violence. All religious dogma should be scrapped and replaced by the golden rule.- treat others as you would like to be treated.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:34 am |
    • thesamyaza

      sweet good time to be a masochist.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:38 am |
  5. thesamyaza

    eww, humans are disgusting.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:13 am |
  6. kevinite

    27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 KJV).

    July 9, 2014 at 12:02 am |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Translated to: I'm not capable of thinking for myself, so I refer to a 2000 year old outdated, debunked book to think for me!

      July 9, 2014 at 6:59 am |
      • kevinite

        Translated I'm not capable of reading ancient manuscripts and take something out of it, so I automatically dismiss it because of its age.

        July 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          I can read it but it has no pertinence in the 2st century and you're a fool if you think it does.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • kevinite

          Translation, it has no pertinence to you in the 21st century since you can't read it and actually take something out of it. Let narrow thinking prevail.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          It has no pertinence outside of your home or church. I can read it just as well as you can and just like you take away a meaning from it and the meaning you take from it is more than likely not the same meaning that other Christians take from it or the same meaning some other person may take from it.
          Do you feel special needing this book to guide you?? Does it make you feel superior to others?? It's not your belief that makes you a better person, it's how you treat people and right about now, I'd say you're quite the ass!

          July 9, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
        • kevinite

          No, I am open minded enough to read it and take something out of it. You don't necessarily have to belong to a church in order to get something out of reading a scripture. You're dissing it simply because it is old scripture that is your choice, which is why it is of no pertinence to you. It is also a narrow way of thinking which is also your choice. Those who are dogmatic in their religious beliefs are criticized for being narrow minded, and ironically you are of similar mind.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          No no no, I'm very open to the possibility that there is some external force. What I refuse to do is accept some external force based on the mere stories of man, especially when those men a) never met b) lived in a time when stories were largely passed verbally and c) those stories have been shown to be wrong by studies that have been peer-reviewed.
          You have closed your mind to all possibilities outside of your god. That is the very definition of narrow-minded (defined as: 1) having or showing a prejudiced mind, as persons or opinions; biased. 2) not receptive to new ideas; having a closed mind.).

          I happen to care that what I believe is backed with hard-core evidence. You believe largely on faith, which is the exact opposite.

          Science is questions that may never be answered, Religion is answers that may never be questioned.

          There's no getting through to you because your arrogance stops you from looking outside the box. If you could drop the arrogance and look outside the box, you'd be considered open-minded.

          July 10, 2014 at 7:40 am |
        • kevinite

          First of all what makes you so sure that I haven't looked around or haven't delved into various beliefs?

          Second, to just dismiss stories as not having any pertinence merely because they are old stories without providing proof that they are actually false, is a sign of being narrow minded. A lack of evidence isn't evidence in of itself.

          And third, just what solid evidence do you have that irrefutably proves that there is no such God who does not want to be made known in the first place but would rather have us develop our own faith in said God?

          Wether you like it or not there are some things out there that can only be made known through first-hand experience such as knowing what salt tastes like. When it comes to believing in whether or not there is a God who does not want to be made known in the first place but would rather have us develop our faith in said deity that it can only take first-hand experience and taking that leap of faith.

          July 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • idiotusmaximus

          Translated I’m not capable of reading ancient manuscripts....................

          This is a distorted translation....lots of good information comes from ancient books...it's just that the bible is fictional and any useful information can be found anywhere else since the bible plagiarized any real useful information that's in it......like do unto others as you wish them to do to you...is just ancient common sense and has nothing to do with what any fantasy gods might have said....the bible is a waste of time for the stupids.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:36 am |
        • kevinite

          Actually I'm of the mind set that truth is truth no matter where it comes from. To me it's fine to see those same truths in other ancient and modern faiths.

          However, not all beliefs and morals are shared alike, hence the reason to eventually turn to one belief over another. And to say that Biblical teachings are invalid because there are other similar beliefs that have older known written sources invalidates the Biblical teachings also should take into consideration that for certain Biblical believers that all those truths whether they are known to have been placed in the Bible first or known thus far to have been placed elsewhere that they believe that they all come via deity who at the beginning of human history on this world dispensed those truths to humanity and that to those who believe in the biblical teachings believe that through time they are more complete than those of other ancient beliefs due to God restoring those truths through revelations given to later prophets like say Moses and other later Old and New Testament prophets and apostles. Of course that is a matter of faith.

          July 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
        • evidencenot

          I can take away a meaning from it just like I can take a meaning away from a Superman comic, but at the end of the day, both are just fiction.

          July 10, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • kevinite

          Actually it's your opinion that both are fiction. Unlike Superman whose creation can actually be traced back to a couple of young Jewish men in 1938 for the purpose of providing a sellable fictional story line to Detective Comics, there is no such evidence in regards to religious belief; especially since in this case being that this is about a God who does not want to be made known but who would rather have us develop our faith.

          It is interesting though that the creators of Superman did put in religious aspects to the Superman story line. The whole supreme being originating from another world whose purpose and even self sacrifice is to benefit a race of inferior humans along with names such as "Kal-el" and "Jor-el".

          July 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So if this god doesn't want to be known, why the hell be gullible enough to accept the stories of it?
          The burden of proof for anything lies on the one making the claim. You claim this god exists, prove it!
          Noahs Ark has been proven false; virgin birth has been proven false; the creation story; the age of the earth...oh so many things and for you to deny the ACTUAL evidence is simply you being a narrow-minded, intellectually dishonest person.
          If you can't live without religion, you lack empathy and for that I feel sorry for you...such a miserable, weak existence. I tend not to asssociate with low life like you...you're harmful to this world. Enjoy your delusions...

          July 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • kevinite

          Actually my claim is a claim of belief. So since you want me to provide proof of my claim to believe, well here it is. I believe.

          How does the lack of evidence with Noah's Ark, the birth of Christ, the creation story and so forth actually prove that there is no God who wants us to rely on faith instead of assured knowledge.

          The whole deal with miracles is that by nature they cannot be proven because miracles defy the laws of nature or at least what we understand to be the laws of nature. Also, what makes you think that I don't believe in evolution or that I truly believe that the age of this planet is for certain not that in which geologists say it is. I believe that ultimately creation did happen through divinity, but I do not know how that was done nor even how long it took for it all to happen since it's not really firmly established that the six days meant six modern Earth days of roughly 24 hour periods.

          So face it, you really don't have any irrefutable proof. In the end all you are doing is just relying on your own belief because even though there is no proof that that there actually is no deity who does not want to be made known but would rather have us develop our faith in said deity, since there is thus far no irrefutable proof that there is such a deity, that you then come to a conclusion that there is no such deity, all you are doing is just relying on belief just like I'm relying on belief and that what it really boils down to is just that it is all a matter of belief.

          July 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • kudlak

          kevinite
          Superman actually feels guilt whenever he proves unable to save people however. That's also a pretty big difference between the two.

          You also have to ask where the justice is in a God who does not want to be made known, but will also punish those who happen not to notice him. This seems almost predatory to me, like God is some hunter who's hiding in a blind, admiring the deer who aren't fooled while taking the heads of the rest as trophies.

          July 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • kevinite

          Kudalk,

          It doesn't make me wonder about the justice in a God who does not want to be made known when the invitation to open up and take the leap of faith is given.

          For those who never get the invitation in life they will get that invitation after mortality and no longer be in that spiritual prison state that was described in 1 Peter chapter 3:18-21 regarding where Jesus was between his death and resurrection teaching to those spirits in prison.

          Those so called "lost spirits" from the days of Noah and the flood thus showing that for many a lost soul turned out to be not so lost after all. For many a lost soul having been given an "eternal punishment" that "eternal" actually means "Eternal" or that it refers to one of the names for God like Alpha and Omega, and it does not necessarily mean duration. That for many a lost soul hell would eventually have an end at least if the offense was no too serious in nature like say for murder.

          July 11, 2014 at 1:41 am |
    • Reality

      Again, John's gospel is historically nil i.e. John 14:27 are the words of John not those of Jesus.

      For added discussion, see Professor Gerd Ludemann's studies and conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 535-540 [(Johh 14: 1-31, Fairwell (fictional) discourse with the disciples ]

      July 9, 2014 at 11:43 am |
      • kevinite

        Of course, when you have one opinion added to your own opinion automatically equals truth. The law of establishing truth through popular consensus.

        July 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • Reality

          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          Once again plus some added information:

          John's gospel is historically nil.

          To wit:

          From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

          "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

          From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship (over 100 references to the studies about the Gospel of John and its historical issues)

          "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

          "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

          And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

          "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

          See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

          "The differences between the Synoptics and John were acknowledged in the early Church.[94] Around AD 200, Clement of Alexandria noted that John's gospel was a "spiritual gospel", distinct from the Synoptics.[95] However, there is some degree of debate regarding Clement's exact meaning of "spiritual gospel"; care must be taken not to ascribe to his phrase modern prejudices or expectations. Critical scholarship in the 19th century distinguished between the "biographical" approach of the synoptics and the "theological" approach of John, and began to disregard John as a historical source. Current scholarship, however, emphasizes that all four gospels are both biographical and theological.[96]

          According to the majority viewpoint for most of the 20th century, Jesus' teaching in John is largely irreconcilable with that found in the synoptics, and perhaps most scholars consider the Synoptic Gospels to be more accurate representations of the teaching of the historical Jesus.

          There are notable exceptions to this perception, e.g. the story of the calling of the first disciples. In the Synoptic Gospels the account of Jesus' calling of his first disciples from among Galilean fishermen belongs to the paranormal or unexplained. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, by contrast, John the Baptist personally pointed those first apostles to Jesus. Furthermore, the Synoptic Gospels contradict each other about the number of times that Jesus visited Jerusalem, and so should not be given instant precedence in comparison with the Gospel of John which maintains that Jesus visited Jerusalem multiple times.[97]

          The teachings of Jesus in John are distinct from those found in the synoptic gospels.[26] Thus, since the 19th century many Jesus scholars have argued that only one of the two traditions could be authentic.[98] J. D. G. Dunn comments on historical Jesus scholarship, "Few scholars would regard John as a source for information regarding Jesus' life and ministry in any degree comparable to the synoptics."[99][100] E. P. Sanders concludes that the Gospel of John contains an "advanced theological development, in which meditations on the person and work of Christ are presented in the first person, as if Jesus said them."[101] Sanders points out that the author would regard the gospel as theologically true as revealed spiritually even if its content is not historically accurate[101] and argues that even historically plausible elements in John can hardly be taken as historical evidence, as they may well represent the author's intuition rather than historical recollection.[101] The scholars of the Jesus Seminar identify the historical inferiority of John as foundational to their work.[102] Geza Vermes discounts all the teaching in John when reconstructing his view of "the authentic gospel of Jesus."[103]

          July 9, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • kevinite

          It really doesn't matter who you pick within your own favorite sources, those sources are just opinions and you are still only trying to promote establishing truth through popular concensus of mere opinions and that comes only from your own personal biased sources.

          July 10, 2014 at 1:54 am |
        • Reality

          Biased sources? These sources are some of the top contemporary NT scholars. Please provide your review of the historic reliability of John's gospel as a rebuttal.

          July 10, 2014 at 6:50 am |
        • idiotusmaximus

          Please provide your review of the historic reliability of John’s gospel as a rebuttal.....

          NOT POSSIBLE.....Luke, John, Mark and Matthew have never been empirically proven to have existed...They come for the bible that that was put together in the 4th century and any mention of all these fantasy people come from that fictional bible.

          July 10, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • kevinite

          All I have to do to show what you presented does not establish truth but only opinion is quote three words from your last comment "...some of the..."

          July 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
  7. skidancer

    The number of erroneous statements made by the author would be merely risible were it not for the fact that he claims to be a Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School. Let's start at the very beginning which is to explain that I am an Orthodox Jew who has grown up learning the Bible in Hebrew, as well as the Oral Code of Law (essentially the Mishnah and the Talmud), and who has studied in multiple Yeshivot (Jewish Seminaries). So those are my credentials.

    As every Jewish child knows, the dictum of Eye for an Eye refers to monetary compensation – it is not literal. There are a number of reasons for that. One of the most basic is that the actual phrase is עין תחת עין – the etymology of the word "tahat" comes from "in place of" . Now taking someone else's eye doesn't replace anything. Of course there's also the fact that the Oral Law given to Moses to explain the Written Law also explains this. The one place where the word "tahat" isn't used in in the 2nd case which deals with a witness who gives false testimony. Giving testimony in court before G-d is quite strict, for a number of reasons, one of which is that a judge places himself in the place of G-d, literally standing in for Him. Attempting to pervert the facts, which is only possible because a human being is not omniscient is like attempting to pervert creation.

    So we see that in the case of standard justice, this phrase is a rule of construction and not destruction as befits the them of justice in pursuit of healing the world. Not to mention that taking revenge is strictly prohibited by the Torah (the Bible).

    However that doesn't apply in the following very strange case, which the author also mentioned, but quite incorrectly, and that is the case of the Redeemer of Blood. This only occurs in the case of an accidental homicide.The author neglects to mention that for this case, the Cities of Refuge were built. These provided safety for the accidental murderer who would stay in one of them safely until the current High Priest were to die, and then he would be free to go anywhere and could not be touched. It is a deep concept. And although a discussion would occupy tomes and time, the overarching them is that although the person has taken a life accidentally, he has indeed taken a life, for which he is liable. However, he has an opportunity to live. I.e., simply because the homicide was not premeditated, a life was taken, and that loss is not treated lightly.

    Regarding the author's attempt to apply the concept of Biblical retaliation to the current situation, the author should not place himself in the position where he is known to be a fool by opening his mouth. Every single living Torah sage has publicly condemned the revenge killing as being utterly at odds with the Torah. I will repeat that: Every single Torah sage. Additionally, the families of the three murdered Jewish teenagers have spoken eloquently and with great dignity and passion in saying that there should never be thoughts of revenge. And this was immediately after the bodies were found. After the Arab child was murdered they cried out in shared sorrow, grief, and pain against this horror, as did the Israeli Prime Minister and other government officials of note and eminence.

    The author should know full well not to attribute the acts of individual madmen to an entire community. But yet, he does.

    If revenge is the 600 lb gorilla in the room, then point the finger where it belongs, and that is the Arab community where vengeance has long been the foundation and currency of tribal life.

    Were he up for tenure, and were he to appear before me, I would not approve someone of such shoddy scholarship, and muddled and arrogant thinking.

    July 9, 2014 at 12:00 am |
    • evolveddna

      Skidancer .you may have studied but you have still studied a book that is not proven to be of any divine origin, as any of the so called holy books are. You have offered a convoluted and intricate interpretation of a book that was supposed written for all of mankind not a few privileged interpreters. Until we all understand that we are just human beings ..not jews, Muslims. Catholics..Christians, Mormons etc there is no hope for peace...

      July 9, 2014 at 12:59 am |
      • thesamyaza

        peace? their is no hope for peace until every one is dead, peace uh what is it good for, it is absolutist nothing.

        the can never be peace because their never was any to have, the universe in its self is Chaos, borne from Chaos. we need to stop chasing the impossible.

        July 9, 2014 at 1:07 am |
        • evolveddna

          Sam.. may be so, but the addition of a superior god, which all religions believe they have, is a complete and impenetrable barrier to any hope.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:32 am |
        • Salero21

          Is. 48:22 "There is no peace for the wicked," says the Lord.

          Is. 57:21 "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

          It's very pretentious on the part of the wicked to have or want peace. His wickedness just doesn't allows it for himself neither for others.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:46 am |
        • thesamyaza

          yo selero that word is rest not peace, and frankly your god is Evil.

          July 9, 2014 at 5:35 am |
        • thesamyaza

          נ֫וּחַ nuach ≠ peace

          it does mean rest, free, lay, appease, resides, wait , forsake, camped, idle, and settled

          the word peace never appears in the bible, except for bad translations.

          July 9, 2014 at 6:12 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "It's very pretentious on the part of the wicked to have or want peace. His wickedness just doesn't allows it for himself neither for others."

          What is pretentious is that you think that because you have a book to guide you that you are the entitled one. Not only is it pretentious, it is arrogant and selfish. Everyone deserves peace but as long as there are people like you who cause great divide and show great hate we will never know peace. Peace will come when all human's are treated equally regardless of belief/disbelief, gender, sexual orientation, or color, etc. As long as religion cause divide peace can't be known.

          July 9, 2014 at 7:12 am |
        • awanderingscot

          samyas
          punched anyone in the face for stealing your hot-dogs lately hatetheist?

          July 9, 2014 at 10:20 am |
        • awanderingscot

          put down the crack pipe and comic book.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • thesamyaza

          i don't smoke crack, and i'm not an Hatethiest, i'm a polytheistic, and animist.

          i believe in all gods even your, who coincidentally i believe is the god of hate(holy ghost), lies(son) and destruction(Father).

          July 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • evidencenot

          Bible = old comic book

          July 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • evolveddna

        solaro 21 .. did you major in gibberish ?

        July 9, 2014 at 2:10 am |
      • awanderingscot

        rubbish .. your way is a return to barbarism.

        July 9, 2014 at 10:18 am |
      • Reality

        The solution is easy. Now we just have to convince five billion sufferers of various forms of the Three B Syndrome (Bred, Born and Brainwashed in their religions). Once again, the solution:

        Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

        • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

        • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

        • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

        • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

        • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

        • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

        • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

        • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

        ADDED details available upon written request.

        A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

        e.g. Taoism

        "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

        Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

        July 9, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • awanderingscot

          you copy and paste the same illogical drivel over and over again.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Dyslexic doG

          while you worship the same illogical drivel over and over again.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • Reality

          Please read the previous references regarding the historical Jesus and then make your own logical conclusions.

          July 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • skidancer

        Dear evolvedDNA,

        My comments weren't meant to prove the divinity of the Torah (Bible), merely to respond to the author who makes utterly erroneous claims on what it says. I also don't think that explaining a statement that commands replacement of an injured body part does not mean inflicting equivalent damage to another (i.e. pay the bad forward) is a convoluted concept. That's all. The author, who is a Professor of Divinity at Yale, is sorely lacking in basic understanding of text and religion. End of story.

        You have every right to believe that the Torah is not divine and I honor you for your independent mind. But chew on the following concept: Logically, your statement that the Torah is not a divine, is a belief as well.

        July 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      "If revenge is the 600 lb gorilla in the room, then point the finger where it belongs, and that is the Arab community where vengeance has long been the foundation and currency of tribal life."

      yes vile swine you should submit to Israels oppressive regime so we beat you for no reason and slaughter you like the swine you are, because you are less then human and your land belongs to your foreign oppressor.

      who are these Hebrews that come into are land of Canaan and take from us all we have.

      look i under stand you were nomads and you want a home but that place will never be a home to you ever, the Israelis have been trying to take it for years unsuccessfully. its a curse you should have though about it after what you did to the Midianites Yahweh is an evil war god bent only on destruction he thought he could get away with attacking Asherah and Baal, then steal the land on which their bound to. the land will never except the Israelis.

      July 9, 2014 at 6:04 am |
      • awanderingscot

        i guess you don't read the news, or read anything for that matter. 90% of the land there DOES belong to Israel.

        July 9, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering, 90% of what is Israel's? West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip do not belong to Israel.

          July 9, 2014 at 10:32 am |
        • igaftr

          scot
          just because Isreal declares it to be theirs does not make it so. There is a great deal that was not theirs that they took over illegally, then built homes, then needed a buffer to protect those homes, so expanded further.

          The Isreali's are the agressors.
          For every Isreali killed, 6 Paelestinians die.
          For the 28,000 Palestinians homes that were destroyed, zero Isreali homes destroyed. The have been stealing land since they came into existance.

          July 9, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • awanderingscot

          Do you ever look at maps? Canaan is alot bigger than than those 3 regions! get a clue dude.

          July 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • LaBella

          Wasn't Cannan stolen in the first place?

          July 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          wandering, If that is directed to me, I was asking you to clarify what you're saying. Canaan is not Israel – that's why it has a different name. Modern-day Israel does not really include those three occupied territories. Are you saying that because an ancient tribe lived in a particular area that they are entitled to live there forever?

          July 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Snta
          it was Canaan long before it was Palestine and it is now Israel.

          July 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • awanderingscot

          Labella
          you do know that Canaan was Hams' son right? Noah's grandson?

          July 9, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • thesamyaza

          no it was Canaan before Noah ever existed, fictional or otherwise

          July 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • evidencenot

          "The have been stealing land since they came into existance."

          Like what happened to native Americans?

          July 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • LaBella

          awanderingscot, you do know I was talking about the land and not the man, right? That's kind of what we're talking about. Conquering lands and all.

          July 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • Alias

          Scot
          Do you know when it was actually 'Palestine'?

          July 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
    • analogismos

      This is an excellent and very relevant post.

      July 9, 2014 at 8:44 am |
  8. LaBella

    Testing...

    July 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
    • seiworldpress

      Hey CNN!!
      How about writing an article about the quran's role in bigotry against Jews and Christians (and other so called infidels).
      You could mention jihad, taqquilla, fatwa, for starters.

      July 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        And the Satanic Verses

        July 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm |
      • Alias

        If you search, you will find the reason CNN does not say bad things about Israel.
        It isn't hard to find.

        July 9, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
  9. hal 9001

    It's good to see you again, Dave.

    July 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      "Intelligent Design" is actually an argument against the gods. A real god could make life happen whether the organism was "intelligently designed" or not. Anyone who has spent even a part a day in a Children's Genetics Clinic knows the horrible things that happen to perfectly innocent babies and families, and how all this "intelligent design" goes WAY bad. He shows (mostly fake) babies. Why does he not show Bonobo Ape babies. or dolphin babies ? They look the same. We in fact know how evolution can take, in about 40 generations, cells from being sensitive to light, to being rudimentary eyes. There are examples of rudimentary eyes in many creatures. Yes it's amazing what Evolution produced. No divinities needed.

      July 8, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
  10. Vic

    This is a test.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
    • kenmargo

      You fail!

      July 8, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
    • Vic

      This is an html test 2

      July 9, 2014 at 7:30 am |
    • Vic

      This is html test 3 Test 3

      July 9, 2014 at 7:37 am |
  11. awanderingscot

    Divine intelligence unmatched.

    July 8, 2014 at 9:50 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Amazing what Evolution has done. Now play alongside it a video of any primate, or reptile. See what you see there.
      BTW, define (in very precise terms), "conception".

      July 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      And BTW, explain please how a timeless being is "intelligent" and how "thoughts" work, if there is no time.
      take your time.

      July 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      did you bother watching the video?

      July 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        I did. It was funny really. I see you know very little science.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
      • observer

        ZERO PROOF in the video that this wasn't due to Zeus.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
    • awanderingscot

      was anything presented not the truth?

      July 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        It's amazing and complex. So are all life forms. We know (see Dr Jack Szostack's videos – Harvard) how life could have or probably began, and how evolution formed the amazing things we see. None of it leads to the gods.
        It's an amazingly prejudiced and emotion laced video. It's not a "baby" when it's two cells. It's a POTENTIAL BABY. Saying a clump of cells with no brain, and no neural tube is a "baby" betrays his prejudice, and is a flat out fallacy.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
      • MidwestKen

        @awanderingscot,
        Much of what he said was opinion and speculation, i.e. not truth in any objective or scientific sense.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Midwest Ken
        oh so you're a scientist who knows better than this very real scientist? c'mon quit clownin.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "(see Dr Jack Szostack's videos – Harvard) how life could have or probably began"

        – "could have" or "maybe" or "probably" .. it's always hyperbole or speculation with the junk science you adore.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • Reality

        Again, the point at hand is valuing human life in all its forms, from the zygote to our coffins, whether you are atheist or a theist. Without said valuing, we come quickly to the Brutal Effects of Stupidity where we are now followed potentially by the slippery slope of genocide. The Brutal Effects of Stupidity have been previously presented.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm |
      • LaBella

        Although I didn't see the video, going by the ti.tle, Alexander Tsiaras isn't a scientist; he's a photographer and journalist...

        July 8, 2014 at 11:31 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        A clump of cells is no more a "baby" than it is an "old lady".

        July 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
      • Reality

        As with all mammals, we go through different stages of growth. That is the essence of human life here on Earth.

        July 9, 2014 at 7:48 am |
      • QuestionsEverything

        Midwest Ken
        oh so you're a scientist who knows better than this very real scientist? c'mon quit clownin.

        -----

        Do you think that the word "scientist" is synonymous with, "American photographer, painter, and journalist who made 120 covers for various magazines ", because that is all Alexander Tsiaras is?

        July 9, 2014 at 9:30 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Along with being an artist and journalist, he taught himself mathematics and physics and developed his own lenses, including one for a microscope that was used to photograph the first images of human eggs in an in vitro fertilization program. Another lens was used for the endoscope that can photograph the fetus from outside the amniotic sack. The images resulting from this became cover stories for Life Magazine. In 1989 Mr. Tsiaras realized the potential of computer generated imaging and learned UNIX, then C and C++ to write his own programs transferring his knowledge of light moving through physical space to light moving through tissue in virtual space. He was offered an adjunct professorship at both Brown and Yale University Medical schools. Working with Yale he received funding from NASA to write algorithms for virtual surgery, so that astronauts could be cut in robotics pods for deep space flights.

        July 9, 2014 at 10:29 am |
      • awanderingscot

        i would say that makes him more of a scientist than you hatetheist idiots.

        July 9, 2014 at 10:32 am |
      • LaBella

        So people who point out to you that AT isn't a scientist are hateful atheists?
        Wow. You really don't like being questioned on your sources, do you, aws?

        July 9, 2014 at 10:41 am |
      • awanderingscot

        Labella
        don't mind at all and i'll say it again, he's more of a scientist than the hatetheists on this blog.

        July 9, 2014 at 11:10 am |
    • hal 9001

      awandergingscot, if you believe "Divine intelligence" is involved, why the need to say it is "unmatched"? Do you fear that some lesser gods make try to take credit?

      July 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        no, only foolish science worshipping men.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        foolish science worshipping men who believe in evolution.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm |
      • hal 9001

        Science-worhipping men are lesser gods?

        Perhaps you are concerned that there is a god that is greater than the God of Abraham. Perhaps that god did his best to make the God of Abraham in his own image. It could be the tip of the iceberg of the causal evolutionary chain of gods.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Did you know for example that bioluminescence in fireflies is nearly 100% efficient, meaning that little energy is wasted to produce their light. By contrast, an incandescent light bulb is only 10% efficient - 90% of the energy is lost as heat: science does not even come close to matching divine intelligence.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        No one "believes" in Evolution. It is THE one theory the ENTIRE science establishment agrees (THE VERY SAME science establishment YOU use and would use for YOUR heath care ... YOU would not *pray* if you had chest pain YOU would call 911 and avail yourself of ALL science has to offer), is the best explanation we have for what is observed. NOT ONE major academic insti'tution in the world teaches it is false. Not one. It's a settled matter. Fundie believers such as you who NEED to continue to argue the matter only display you ignorance. It's NOT a matter for debate any longer. If ONE scientist could prove it false, it would be INSTANT fame, fortune, and a Nobel Prize.

        July 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
      • hal 9001

        Why are you comparing science to divine intelligence as a cause or responsible party for something, awanderingscot? How does that make sense?

        July 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Fireflies ? Really ? Hahaha. So let me get this straight. ANYTHING "unusual" you use as proof of your god ? (Of course it's YOUR god). Not Allah ? Not Baal ? Must be weird being so ignorant that anything you have no other explanation for, you plug in "oh Jebus done it".

        July 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
      • observer

        Did you know that the Bible says that the ratio PI is equal to 3.0?

        (I Kings 7:23) “And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circ-umference.”

        Can you imagine what the space program would be like if science ACCEPTED the Bible's word on it?

        July 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        not at all. i studied Gnosticism and found it to be foolish and contradictory

        July 8, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        "It is THE one theory the ENTIRE science establishment agrees"

        false – this is what all evolutionists want everyone to believe.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        Did you know that the Bible says that the ratio PI is equal to 3.0?

        wrong – it's impossible to translate ancient Hebrew measurement correctly

        July 8, 2014 at 11:10 pm |
      • observer

        awanderingscot,

        lol. So integers don't translate.

        Just another ERROR in the Bible and another PITIFUL attempt at an excuse.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
      • awanderingscot

        your more ignorant than i supposed if you think evolution produced nearly 100% efficiency of bioluminescence in fireflies. LOL .. oh foolish man.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
      • observer

        awanderingscot,

        Speaking of ignorant, do you use the Bible's version of PI or the REAL value?

        July 8, 2014 at 11:16 pm |
      • LaBella

        I don't know of any scientist that has ever denied evolution. Can you name one, awanderingscot?

        July 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm |
      • hal 9001

        awanderingscot, please explain when a cubit is something other than a cubit when referenced as such in the Bible.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        "It is THE one theory the ENTIRE science establishment agrees"
        false – this is what all evolutionists want everyone to believe.

        All the creationists have to do is prove it isn't true, and they get a Nobel Prize.
        You really need to stop reading the Creationist web sites. Name ONE major university that says there is a question about it. Actually the very same medical system YOU use, proves, (evolved antibiotic resistance) evolution to be true. Give us ONE proof it is not true.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Answers in Genesis seems to know how long a cubit was.
        https://answersingenesis.org/noahs-ark/how-long-was-the-original-cubit/
        The length of ONE cubit is irrelevant. It's the RELATIONSHIP of the measurements, (whatever they were) to the circu'mference. Whatever they measured it in, they said it was 3/1. It's not. The Babble is wrong.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
      • hal 9001

        awanderingscot, why do you think the nearly 100% efficiency of bioluminescence in fireflies cannot be the result of evolution?

        July 8, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        not at all. i studied Gnosticism and found it to be foolish and contradictory

        -- Thats funny. The writer of the Gospel of John was a Gnostic. Surprise. (All that "word" stuff). Oh that's right, You never took Biblical Studies.

        July 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm |
      • igaftr

        scot
        Are you seriously suggesting that a natural bioprocess being efficient is evidence of a "divine intelligence"?

        By all means, show where the correlation is. Then show the causation.

        ...and you call others foolish...

        July 9, 2014 at 8:13 am |
      • awanderingscot

        fakebucky
        "The writer of the Gospel of John was a Gnostic."
        LOL .. you are the biggest liar on this blog

        July 9, 2014 at 10:50 am |
      • awanderingscot

        fakebucky
        "It's the RELATIONSHIP of the measurements"
        look it up dork, you'll find "about" equal with 'this' or 'that' on all ancient Hebrew conversions. duh

        July 9, 2014 at 10:55 am |
      • LaBella

        Were there any apes on the Ark?

        July 9, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • Reality

        Since John's gospel is historically nil, the Gnostic aspects are therefore also nil.

        But there is this for those who believe in fiction:

        "Though not commonly understood as Gnostic, many scholars, perhaps most notably Rudolf Bultmann, have forcefully argued that the Gospel of John has elements in common with Gnosticism.[63] "

        July 9, 2014 at 11:06 am |
    • hal 9001

      *may try*

      July 8, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
    • redzoa

      "Divine intelligence unmatched"

      Right . . .

      "Around half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15-20%. Most miscarriages occur during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy. The rate of miscarriage drops after the baby's heart beat is detected."

      From: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001488.htm

      July 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  12. Quentin

    That's a role the Bible calls for someone to fill – and we're all still waiting.

    –That role is through Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace.

    Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me."

    July 8, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
    • kenmargo

      zzzzzz more garbage zzzzzzz total nonsense zzzzzzzz

      July 8, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Well actually all we know is that his followers many many years later placed those words in his mouth, (a literary device). In an age with no recording devices, no newspapers, no videos, you don't really think 75-200 years after the fact anyone actually knew what he said, (that is if he even really existed). The MOST you can say, is that was *said* to have said that. A "gospel" is not accurate history. It's a belief text. Written by believers for believers to remind themselves what they already believe. They were used in liturgical services. No one sat around "reading" gospels. They were used as "proclamations" in liturgies. The literacy rate was 5 % at most. No set of gospel authors EVER expected someday they would be lined up in concordances, and compared. They are vastly different.

      July 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        It was also an age of "pious fraud". The Fathers of the Church admitted to, and actually taught the use of deception.

        July 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
    • Quentin

      Looks like some folks here have troubled hearts!

      Heed to the words and be free from whatever is causing you anxiety.

      July 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • Quentin

        /troubled minds!

        July 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
      • kenmargo

        I'm fine. I have a job, healthcare, wife, kids, home and a 401k that's growing. guess what? I haven't paid god any attention and don't plan to.

        Why don't you take your non anxiety having azz to the middle east. quote the same garbage that you write here. Please let us know what happens. (If you can)

        July 8, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • tallulah131

        Only a fool looks at this world and is not troubled. It's a troubling world. Only a child or a fool pretends that their imaginary friend will make everything okay.

        July 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
      • Quentin

        Proverbs 29:11

        July 8, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • kenmargo

          Verb 9:00 Go jump in a lake!

          July 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • evolveddna

        Qunitin..have you ever wondered why there are no pictures of jesus? not a cave drawing a charcoal sketch nothing..maybe because he did not exist as the person he claimed to be perhaps.? Even our cave dwelling ancestors managed to pass along a record of some of the critters in their lives...

        July 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
  13. Quentin

    Hope peace prevails in the hearts and minds of all people. May the God of peace have mercy on His people. May there be peace in the region.

    May, "The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ Numbers 6:26

    July 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
    • kenmargo

      If turning the lords face towards you bring peace. Then his azz must be facing the middle east!

      July 8, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
    • tallulah131

      Depending on religion to create peace in the Middle East is rather like using gasoline to put out a fire.

      July 8, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
    • thesamyaza

      Jesus did not come to bring peace he came to bring a sword that would divide families

      July 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
    • Quentin

      Peace is on the side of the followers of Jesus, the sword is on the side of the detractors! So, Jesus came to bring peace and that peace comes from knowing and accepting Him!

      July 8, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • kenmargo

        When the priests were mo'lesting those boys. Did they have peace on the side? Or we're the the priests getting a piece on the side?

        July 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
      • tallulah131

        I suspect that either you are a troll Quentin, or that you have a very simple mind indeed.

        July 8, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Seriously. You people REALLY ought to study the Babble.
        Matthew 10:34
        "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."

        July 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        And yet according to your own book of mythology Jesus said he did NOT come to bring peace.

        July 9, 2014 at 12:17 am |
    • Quentin

      Matthew 26:52

      July 8, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
      • evidencenot

        God orders Abraham to kill Isaac as a burnt offering. Abraham shows his love for God by his willingness to murder his son. But finally, just before Isaac's throat is slit, God provides a goat to kill instead. 22:2-13

        July 9, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
      • evidencenot

        "And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him." What did Er do to elicit God's wrath? The Bible doesn't say. Maybe he picked up some sticks on Saturday. 38:7

        July 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
    • evolveddna

      Quentin.."May the God of peace have mercy on His people. May there be peace in the region." how come the god of peace need to have mercy. why would he do anything if he is peaceful to cause him to have mercy any way. I think it would be better for these folks to come to the realization that they are fighting over myths.. what a total waste of life, resources and opportunities. I am sorry that you are so bound up in bible verses that the real truth evades you. How you can view the current disaster in the Middle east and truly think that an invisible alien is going to solve these issues is beyond belief.

      July 9, 2014 at 12:06 am |
  14. His Panic

    OMG and while all of this was happening Brasil lost to Germany 7-1. They must be in a State of Shock down there. Germans fans had to be escorted out of the stadium by army troops, police in riot gear and mounted police on horses.

    All of that is because people DO NOT Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son. Like I said before many times. People who DO NOT Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son can easily fall into anxiety, mass hysteria and Panic. This in turn can lead again and again as it has, to brawls, stampedes, revolts, revolutions and riots.

    Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son and you WILL NOT Panic, all others indeed WILL Panic.

    July 8, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
    • kenmargo

      Yeah god's heart all aflutter because of a soccer game. Shows how god keeps priorites in order! Oooooh That's a guy I'll worship everytime!

      July 8, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
    • Madtown

      Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son
      ----
      I've always found it curious how the creator of the universe could only have 1 son? I have 2 myself! I know I'm not more powerful than God. Curious.

      July 8, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        Actually the term "son of god" was a general honorific ti'tle in ancient Israel. It in NO WAY meant what Christians turned it into. It meant the man was "righteous". It was given to many : generals, politicians, heroes of various sorts. During the Council of Nicaea (the proceedings of which you can read for yourself), cooked up the "divinity" of Jebus, as we know it today. It was/is called the "filioque procedit" debate. They argued about how exactly "the son proceeds" from the Father, and then VOTED on it. The vote was not unanimous. The divinity (as anyone who has taken NT 101 knows), is DIFFERENT in each gospel. Of course Jebus never claimed he was divine, and the idea that a Jew would claim equal status with Yahweh is preposterous. (See Bart Ehrman's new book).

        July 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • Madtown

          Great stuff, thanks!

          July 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          So Bucky, what do you think Jesus was trying to say when he said he was the son of God? Or, when he said he and the father are one?

          July 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Why did the Pharisees want to kill him?

          July 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Those words were "placed in his mouth" The gospels are statements of faith BY BELIEVERS, not history. They reflected the BELIEFS of the followers, (much later) who wrote them. There is no indication he thought of himself as divine. In fact in the garden he said "Not MY will, but THINE be done". That is NO single willed deity. Two different wills. He also could have meant he thought he and the Father "were of one mind". In Hebrew culture, being "divine" did not mean "equivalent to Yahweh". There were all sort of divine beings in the "heavenly host", and there are countless examples of that.
          Here's a professor at LIBERTY University. And he agrees. http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1276&context=lts_fac_pubs

          July 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          The Pharisees were threatened by him. The fact is IF he existed, he was an Apocalyptic preacher. That fits in perfectly with what we know about the period of the late Second Temple, and the invasions of the various powers. No one can understand the period without reading the speeches of Hannah's seven sons, who were acclaimed as heros in the VERY same way Paul later thought Jebus was "annointed" and "exalted") mistranslated as "raised up", (or resurrected). See Dr Bernard Brandon Scott (Tulsa Seminary Professor of New Testament) "The Trouble with Resurrection".

          July 8, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Bucky,

          Do you ever read stuff about the bible written by people who believe?

          July 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • Robert Brown

          Sir William Ramsay
          Norval Geldenhuys
          William Hendriksen
          H. A. Ironside
          William Kelly
          J. Vernon McGee

          July 8, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
        • observer

          Robert Brown,

          Christians like Fred don't believe Jesus was the son of God.

          July 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
      • kenmargo

        Maybe god had a vasectomy because even he realized how expensive kids are.

        July 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
  15. bostontola

    This Israeli-Arab conflict seems more like a 1400 year family feud than a result of eye for an eye philosophy. Judaism and Islam come from the same (conceptual) seed, Abraham. Groups always seem to splinter.

    Right now, Muslims are at war with other sects of Muslims and are killing with just as much zeal as when they fight with Jews. When multiple groups have complete righteous certainty, there is fuel for a conflagration. When you add in the stakes of eternal life, that seems to be the spark.

    It doesn't seem like this is being driven by an ancient justice system as much as typical group dynamics amplified by religion.

    July 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • kenmargo

      In other words, this is destined to go on forever! We need to accept the fact that they don't like each other! They will never agree so let them fight ot the finish.

      We always get su'cked into this garbage. It's not worth it. Americans are tired of the middle east. Tired of wars. The best solution would be for them to stay over there and we'll stay over here.

      July 8, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • bostontola

        I think it will get more interesting in the next 25 years. The US is on the way to energy independence. We will no longer have to go to war to protect the oil over there. The driver will be our allies in Europe. It will be interesting to see how that affects our war policies in the ME.

        July 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • kenmargo

          The repubs will reverse everything Obama has achieved to "keep gov't out of our lives" We'll be as dependent on them as ever.

          The greatest day will be the day the oil runs out. (It'll take a hundred years) Nobody will care about the middle east. It will become a economic waste land since the only thing they export besides oil is terror. No oil to support terrorism means peace to the world.

          July 8, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The repubs are less popular than President Obama right now.

          July 8, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
        • kenmargo

          @tall..................The same people that whine and complain about repubs will either vote them back into office or not vote at all allowing them to stay in office. We deserve the congress we have, and deserve the results we're getting!

          July 8, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I agree. I just don't think that they can undermine what President Obama has done as long as the status quo remains.

          July 8, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Sorry guys, but unless the RNC really trips up by choosing a monumentally stupid candidate*, even with Democratic numbers in terms of women and Latinos, a Republican will almost certainly be elected in 2016.

          They will hold the '16 convention in Cleveland to make sure of Ohio this time. The voting rights act has been eviscerated and we'll see lots more 'voter fraud' laws soon and the likes of Citizens United and dark money PACs will flood the electorate with muck-raking the like of which we have never seen.

          * I could even imagine Rick Perry being electable with two more years of the Fox machine's anti-Obama rhetoric.

          July 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
        • kenmargo

          @ gop.......I noticed you didn't name a candidate!

          "even with Democratic numbers in terms of women and Latinos"

          I guess Obama winning with the same groups didn't impress you.

          Money didn't help Eric Cantor!

          July 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "I noticed you didn't name a candidate!"
          -------------------–
          They do have several monumentally stupid options to choose from but candidates from the Rubio/J. Bush space will run very well.

          Excepting being so out of touch with the average American which is terminal for a presidential candidate, Romney could have been a formidable candidate if the RNC had let him run on his record as a moderate Governor of Massachusetts instead of being pushed to the far right by the primary process.

          I'm not sure why you feel the women and Latino vote didn't "impress" me but the Dems can't count on it as a given. I think Hillary is unelectable as President. Despite being female the Fox machine will push women in the middle away from her when things get truly nasty. The 'double standard' card for female candidates has been played already.

          July 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm |
        • kenmargo

          You think Hilary is unelectable! She beats the repubs in every poll!

          Marco "sips" Rubio. You don't even hear his name anymore. Is he still alive?
          Trust me, a woman's BUSH has a better chance of being president than Jeb!

          You give fox news way tooo much power. That power didn't help McCain or Romney.

          July 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "It doesn't seem like this is being driven by an ancient justice system as much as typical group dynamics amplified by religion."
      ------------------
      I totally agree. Religion is used to rationalize and justify the continued feud.

      I'd take this back even further than 1,400 years. *Someone* has been fighting someone for this inhospitable stretch of semi-desert for many thousands of years. Mostly this is an accident of geography. The religions have evolved to justify the conflict.

      July 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
  16. Alias

    Since I cannot comment on the pope accountability story, I want to combine the two.
    I say we hand out 12 inch 'toys' to the abuse victims and allow them to extract the same punishment on the priests who hurt them. Biblical and fair, right?

    July 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
  17. Vic

    Note to the Editors:

    The underlying hyperlink for "Flare-up in Israeli-Palestinian violence: Why now?" in the Blog post is mistaken for
    "http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/04/politics/supreme-court-women/index.html"

    Also, I wonder if the "(See:Death Penalty)" supposed to have a hyperlink.

    July 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
  18. kenmargo

    These people would argue over the time of day. This could be solved within a year.

    Make the palestinians pick ONE leader Hamas or PLO.
    Have one leader from the Israelis and one from Palestinians go to an isolated island and negotiate. Give them six months.
    Whatever they agree on becomes law.
    Whatever they don't agree on, the U.S. will decide. Case closed.
    If the Israelis and Palenstinians want to continue to fight. Fine, Let them fight to the finish, winner take all and move on.

    This area has been the armpit of world for over a century. It's time to call it a day.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The Jews already have stories of their champions selected to resolve things for the nation, with the Philistines at any rate.

      July 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • kenmargo

        Let me be clear. I'd tell the Israelis not to expect the U.S. to sweeten the deal on their side. The U.S. should try to pi'ss off both sides. Ex. Split Jerusalem down the middle. West to Israel. East to Palestinians.

        July 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Alias

          You need to get out more.
          This is stupidly past naive.

          July 8, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
        • kenmargo

          Yeah Alias, keep the status quo. It's been working perfectly. Things couldn't be better out there. Why don't you go to the Gaza strip for a quick vacation. Please take your family so you can enjoy the slums together!

          July 8, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
        • Alias

          I'll just send a quick tweet that the high and mighty KENMARGO says to play nice. I'm sure they will all see the brilliance in your plan.

          July 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • kenmargo

          I'm not asking them to play nice. I couldn't care less. Unlike you I'm tired of the conflict. Other "plans for peace" have been blown to pieces. Do YOU have a plan? You don't like mine. Lets read yours!

          July 8, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • tallulah131

          The only solution for the rest of the world is to make oil obsolete. Once the money dries up, the Middle East becomes a moot point for those who don't care about religion, and we can just back off and let them continue to destroy each other to their little hearts' content. There will not be peace in the Middle East as long there are even two people willing to hate each other. They've traded ration thought for religion.

          July 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Let me be clear. I was responding to this:

        "Make the palestinians pick ONE leader Hamas or PLO.
        ---------------------
        You mean like the Israelites and Philistines picked David and Goliath? /pun

        July 8, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
    • rogerthat2014

      Or...have both leaders appear as guests on the Jerry Springer show.

      July 8, 2014 at 6:58 pm |
      • Alias

        That would only work if they had the same girlfriend.
        Or if one of them was cheating on the other.

        July 8, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
  19. Alias

    Let us not forget that this is actually intended to limit the retaliation.
    One eye for One eye, One tooth for One tooth.

    July 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  20. neverbeenhappieratheist

    “The penalty shall be life for life, an aye for aye!! Arghhh!" The Pirate Code...

    July 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.