Could The Internet Help Debunk The Bible?

I found this BBC article pretty interesting. The oldest bible in the world, the Codex Sinaiticus, which was lost and scattered for a very long time, is now being put together for the first time, online. And starting July 2009, anyone any where can read it online, which I think is pretty cool and an unprecedented use of the Internet. Interestingly enough, the text survived in a Christian monastery at Mt. Sinai that is home to the second largest collection of texts after the Vatican, and protected largely by the surrounding Muslim Bedouins.

However, if we assume the premise that the oldest bible in the world is also likely to be the most accurate bible in the world, modern-day Christianity may have a lot to answer for when it comes to the belief that today’s bible is truly the unaltered word of God. As the article points out:

Firstly, the Codex contains two extra books in the New Testament.

One is the little-known Shepherd of Hermas, written in Rome in the 2nd Century – the other, the Epistle of Barnabas. This goes out of its way to claim that it was the Jews, not the Romans, who killed Jesus, and is full of anti-Semitic kindling ready to be lit. “His blood be upon us,” Barnabas has the Jews cry.

….The Codex – and other early manuscripts – do not mention the ascension of Jesus into heaven, and omit key references to the Resurrection, which the Archbishop of Canterbury has said is essential for Christian belief.

Other differences concern how Jesus behaved. In one passage of the Codex, Jesus is said to be “angry” as he healed a leper, whereas the modern text records him as healing with “compassion”.

Also missing is the story of the woman taken in adultery and about to be stoned – until Jesus rebuked the Pharisees (a Jewish sect), inviting anyone without sin to cast the first stone.

Nor are there words of forgiveness from the cross. Jesus does not say “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

For those fretting the inevitable debate to come, it is doubtful, in my opinion, that any of these discoveries will make the slightest impact on modern-day Christianity. Religions seem to progress only insofar that their believers become more adamant with time that the past is non-debatable. Moreover, when the Da Vinci Code came out, there was an incredible amount of talk that it would sway Christian minds, and the debate raged on until Hollywood released its movie version of it. In other words, if pop-culture, which is probably the biggest influencing force in the world today, did little by way of changing minds, let alone core beliefs, then actual history doesn’t stand a chance.

That being said, the prequel to Dan Brown’s novel, Angels & Demons, is set to come out May 2009. Suffice to say, Christianity might not have such a lovely summer next year.

In any case, my interests lie more in seeing this project come alive online. It’s history in the (virtual) making. You can check out the website and follow its developments from here till the July release date here.


  • I think the mistake in your assumption is that the impact of any of these things would be immediate. I think it’s entirely possible that the new discovery will be influential– perhaps even among a large number of Christians. But it will not be an overnight sort of change if it does.

  • lifexhistory: i think my assumption has little to do with the variable of time as much as it has to do with the power of faith and reliance of belief, elements that tend to ring true in the monotheist religions.

  • Also Nas, Christians don’t believe the Bible is the unaltered word of God. It was written and assembled after Jesus died.

  • I think some Christians believe in it as a tradition, a way of life as opposed to the absolute truth of every word in the bible.

    About the extra 2 books you mentioned, there are many more than 2. Lookup (Apocrypha +Bible). Different christian groups may consider different books an “authoritative” part of the bible meaning the church decided at one point which books to include and which to leave out. Some were left out because they have too many contradictions possibly due to the (Indian storyteller effect) meaning an account will differ just a little bit as it passes from each person to the next. Some of the accounts of Jesus were written long after his death.

    One group (Mormons) had its founder write his own book in the US long after Biblical times in effect amending the religion to suit his own whims. Still it caught on and there many Mormons in the world.

    The books of the Quran were also assembled by a human being (3uthman bin 3afan), and written based on memory “hearsay” as passed from one person to the next. (meaning they weren’t written down by Mohammad himself). Another close equivalent in Islam is how each hadith has a specific measure of how strong the evidence is for its authenticity (again since they were passed on through word of mouth) with specific muslim scholars (mostly long dead) considered more authoritative on the subject of deciding what is authentic and what isn’t!

    It kinda reminds me of the pamphlets distributed during the intifada. Everyone would decide whether a pamphlet is fake or not based on how much they liked what was written inside.

  • Nas,

    I want to take issue of the use of the word Debunk. Webster defins the word as “to expose the sham or falseness.” How would the Muslim majority feel if a Christian Jordanian had used the same word as in “Debunk the Quran” in an article or a blog post? I think some cultural sensitivity might go a long way.

    I have no problem whatsoever with you writing about the subject and questioning certain aspects of our religion but I think the use of certain wording can help move this into an interfaith dialogue as opposed to moving us toward fighting with one another.

    As for what most Chrisians believe related to the Bible. We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. That means the apostles and prophets wrote it with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It means that we believe the content and do not hold anything within it as false. However, since there are translations, there have been a great many debates about certain subjects. An example would be the role of women in Church (both in old as well as modern times).


  • el3atal: obviously i mean no harm and no foul. the word “debunk” is not meant to be accusatory, but merely the best synonym I could honestly think of at 4 in the morning. in other words, don’t read too much into the title of a post.

    moreover, this post did not question anything in the bible. i’m merely relating what is already written in the article at hand. no more, no less. my interest is less to do with Christian doctrine and more to do with the use of Internet in bringing a bit of history together.

    logic states that if my intentions were any different or as sinister as you or anyone else would make them out to be, i would have no reason to hide them and instead declare them outright with the obvious show of force and ridicule one might come to expect from the “opposition”.


  • Hani:

    “The books of the Quran were also assembled by a human being (3uthman bin 3afan), and written based on memory “hearsay” as passed from one person to the next. (meaning they weren’t written down by Mohammad himself).

    Between assembly and writing, there has to be distinction here of human involvement. While assembly of the Quran did not take place until after the prophet pbuh’s death to produce the actual book as we now know it, the scripture it contains was all recorded word-for-word during the prophet pbuh’s time and over the span of 23 years as relayed to him, according to Islamic belief, by the angel Gabriel. In other words, the prophet was alive to play the verification role as opposed to, what i think you might be implying, having the text lost via oral transmission by the time it got to its assembly phase.

  • -Some may, but I wouldn’t call this the oldest “bible” in the world but rather the oldest collection of Christian writings. It is not even a complete collection. In the world of religious writings, there were writings that were just out there (let’s say a fatwah to kill mickey mouse for example) and other writings that were accurate. There are tons of writings that are older than the Codex Sinaiticus. This is the oldest compilation of them. Later, the Bible was canonized by comparing all of the writings by date and quantities of similarities. It was then compiled, or canonized, as the most reliable text in the 1500s at the Council of Trent.
    -As far as the Jews killing Jesus and not the Romans… that falls in line with what I have always believed from reading the Bible. While the Romans may have driven the nails it was the Jews that were pulling the strings. I have no ill will or any type of anti-Semitic thoughts in my life because of this. This was so long ago and there is none righteous, no not one. This was done by people whose very nature is sin… same as all of us.
    – There are plenty of writings that attest to the resurrection, etc. that predate Sinaiticus… including that of a Jewish scholar, Josephus (AD 93), who as far we know, never believed in Jesus.
    -I would not call the Bible unaltered at all. I believe that it is the best representation of the God-inspired word penned by men who were led by the Holy Spirit back in the day. I believe that the original penned manuscripts are without error and infallible. That said, they have been copied and passed around and copied again throughout the centuries. The men who copied them were not inspired.
    -Dan Brown is by no means a theological scholar and Christians give him too much credit. If people want to believe some fictional novelist then that is their right. I’ve read a few of his books, including the DaVinci code… it was a great thrill ride… of fiction. If Christians are scared of his writings then they need to get some therapy. His fiction doesn’t scare me at all. He graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Spanish and English. The English might help him in his writing endeavors but it doesn’t mean jack squat in any theological circles.

    good convo.


  • I agree with Tim, that is exactly what I have been thinking of while reading the BBC article, this maybe the older found collection of Christian writings, not the old bible.

    The thing that confused me is that they say that this bible was written in the time of the first Christian Emperor Constantine while I know that the 4 books in the new testament that we written by the 4 apostles and carried in the modern bible were written as early as 20 years after the death/resurrection of Jesus.

    I am not here to defend the Christian bible, I merely consider myself a christian anymore, but I have been through christian teachings and know the logic behind the christian belief and the way the bible has been written.

    The 4 books being picked to form the major part of the new testament were among many other books that were written to record the life of Jesus. It does interest me to read those other books and check out the differences. I bet one would find a lot of different perceptions, lost incidents, and maybe contradictaroy events. But reading the BBC article and what you have highlighted Nas of the differences is nothing!

    I mean, as Tim said, it is in the modern bible that the Jews said his blood should be upon us and our children. It has always been there. I read it in my childhood, and memorize it. I am confused of the claim that it has been erased! It didn’t trigger any jew-hatred (I dont like to use anti-semitic term) in my heart because of the line for the essence of Christian teaching was forgiveness and their cursifying of Jesus was upon his own will and according to his own plan.

    The same is applied on other incidents they claim not to be mentioned in cortex. Again, the books of the bible has been written by the apostles. Each wrote what he saw. If one didnt witness an incident, or missed a line Jesus said, that doesn’t discredit his account.

    I would like to find a real ‘debunk’ of the bible, I have to admit, Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons have interested me much more than this cortex discovery and the points highlighted in the article. I hope there is much more to it when the full work is assebled and published online.

  • The Gospel, or Injeel in Arabic, is of course one of the revered books of the three Abrahamic faiths. I wonder what research is currently going on to reveal the Dead Sea Scrolls as actual parts of the original Gospel/Injeel. The last I heard was that they were under lock and key (I do not want to say this but I believe they are under Israeli-owned lock and key); Does anyone know anything about this?

    I love these archaeological/historical/religious finds! Thanks for the post.

  • Nas, my problem with the word ‘debunk’ is that it is so closely aligned with ‘myth’ that the word association is automatic. That said, 4am is a tough time to think clearly, and probably not a good time to post, except that your fan-base is begging you for content :). Although you obviously intended no offense, saying “Christianity has a lot to answer for” is hardly neutral which may cause some of your readers pause. From other things you have written, I feel you respect Christianity and stand on that.

    El 3atal wasn’t saying you were pulling something sinister, he was pointing out certain words are more helpful than others. A good test is just what he said “would I want others faiths using that vocabulary with my faith?”.

    Sarah Palin would use the same word El 3atal did: “inspired”. (Sorry for putting your name in the same sentence, El 3atal :D) . Or perhaps “infalliable”. “Inerrant”, “Unaltered” are not accurate, everyone knows there are scribal errors. The truth of it’s essence is not altered by the minor errors. Christianity doesn’t clam the Bible came from heaven in perfect form, it continues the tradition of Judaism in oral and written transmission of Christ’s and the apostles words. Requirements for scribes were exacting and perfectionistic, and I am glad.

    There are many epistles to the early church I wish we could find. Books were chosen for the scriptures by early church fathers due to the number of them circulating at the time and their adherence to what had been revealed by the apostles themselves. Egypt was home to many gnostics, who wrote prolificly about many things which were in error. The end of John 8 passage about the woman caught in adultery is not in many modern translations because of it’s absence from ancient texts.

    (These last two paragraphs have nothing to do with what you wrote, Nas, but from the article. I also find it fascinating that this can be found on-line, and it will be a treasure)

    I’m glad Tim, El 3atal and Observer got here first, or I would have spent the whole morning researching. Observer, I agree with you up to the last paragraph)

  • Nas said:
    While assembly of the Quran did not take place until after the prophet pbuh’s death to produce the actual book as we now know it, the scripture it contains was all recorded word-for-word during the prophet pbuh’s time and over the span of 23 years as relayed to him, according to Islamic belief, by the angel Gabriel.

    El3atal said:
    We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. That means the apostles and prophets wrote it with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    So to sum up:
    The Quran was completed in a couple of decades, yet the bible (not just the gospel) covers several centuries worth of theological writings. Almost all Arabic Qurans are identical down to the phonetic accents on each word. The translations are widely varied based ont he translaters view. No original untranslated bible (the original manuscript el3atal speaks of) survives in its complete form. Yet, in the same sense that el-3atal believe the scribes and the oral transmissions of the biblical books were divinely inspired, you believe Mohammad recieved the divine words of God through Gabriel, transmitted it to other msulims orally, then verified each “sura” as it was written for authenticity before his death.

    Am I the only one who thinks both knowledge transfer processes above seem very inefficient and subject to errors (perhaps the right word is human) when you consider the knowledge is supposed to be from a perfect being ? Forgive my bluntness, but I think the word debunk is only appropriate if you apply it to all faiths equally, not just the ones that differ from your own.

  • ladies and gentlemen, I understand that the word “debunk” may have been the wrong choice of words, especially in these religiously sensitive times, but i’ve already admitted to that. so if we’re going to sit here and insist on nitpicking about semantics instead of having what could’ve been a potentially great discussion on this interesting theological discovery or even the technology aspect of this debate which is the direction i was originally aiming for, then I will just quietly recuse myself and leave you all to it.

    have fun 🙂


    Hani: well despite your lumping together of both methods, i think there is a vital difference between them. muslims believe that the quran is the literal word for God, and this belief stems from the belief that mohammad pbuh is His messenger (the shahada, which is at the heart of Islam demands this declaration above all else). insofar as we believe the mohammad pbuh is His messenger, and that God is relaying these words to him verbatim, then the conclusive belief is that these are the exact words…the prophet is merely the messenger, as was his declared job title. i would also argue that, putting belief and faith aside, there is a bit of history to the matter. the quran was written down and verified, word for word, before the prophet’s death. it’s assembly into a single book format came later.

  • I think people’s use of the Internet (and however it evolves) will some day help debunk quite a few things actually.

    I often think about what we will leave behind. Are there prophets among us today who will move entire peoples in thought and spirit one day a thousand or two years down the line? What if this person is/these people are among us now?

    If the inspiration of the prophets of once upon a time was so powerful to bring to the world these religions, isn’t it possible that new inspired people can come along and rally the support of peoples towards a whole new type of inspiration?

    What if….

  • @HaniObaid – nope, that’s not it. Scientology has way too easy the way I understand it.
    It’s a possibility that I don’t think has a name yet.

  • Nas, according to my research, Muslim tradition specifies that the words of Mohammad were written down and preserved in pieces during Mohammad’s life but never compiled into one solid unit. Some scholars have considered this unlikely, however, given the strong oral culture of seventh-century Arabia. But I haven’t found any objection to the fact that the prophet’s words were faithfully committed to memory by devoted followers. It’s even recorded in al-Bukhari (5:155) that 4 Muslims had memorized the revelations in their entirety.

    But the account in al-Bukhari (6:509), narrated by Ziad ibn Thabit, also claims that the heavy casualties during the battle of Yamama (AD 632) amongst those who knew the Quran by heart threatened the compilation of those parts that had yet to be written down. According to Zaid, “So I started looking for the Quran and collecting it from palm stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart…” This reliance on those who had memorized the text would indicate that all of the portions of the Quran were not written down and verified before the prophet’s death.

  • Dave: i’m not sure i get your point here. of course memorization took place. people memorize the quran till this day. this does not take away from the fact that it was also written down and verified by him before his passing. this is well-established in islamic doctrine.

  • I believe that it would be great if the Bible, as well as the Torah and the Quran, gets debunked one day, finally. Humanity would be better off. The evolution of the human intellect will, by default render these works of literature obsolete, sooner or later.

  • I was in Iran during the time that both Jordan and Israel went to the United Nations to settle a dispute over who really owned the Dead Sea Scrolls. I can give you some relevant information on their authenticity and a “debunking” of the ideas that other books were considered as scripture. The Church of Rome added the fables and history of the Macabees to their Latin translation whereas the small underground family churches accepted the books which the prophets had always claimed to be prophetic and the scriptures of only the apostles which were in current use at least a few years after Jesus’ death. When a goat climbed up and entered the cave which revealed the exact Hebrews scrolls (and not the expected Koran) it should have sent a signal to all of us. The books were exactly the orignal ones which Protestants or Biblical Chiurches had accepted because they went with the traditional beliefs of the early Christians. I might add that I was born in Palmyra in the USA named in memory of our dead ancestors who were killed by Mohammed and THE NAME IS MEANT TO FORGIVE OUR KILLERS. they never carried a weapon AND WERE ALMOST EXTERMINATED BY THE INQUISITION BUT NEVER FOUGHT BACK BECAUSE OF THE WORDS OF jESUS. The scscrolls were at least two hundred to three hundred years old and had to be opened in an atmosphere that prevented them from crumbling to dust. The examination of the scrolls by scans howed only one writer and no copying and no changes in the words from today and they contained the exact number of our original Evangelical Chirtians early Bible.. The material was dated by scientist as hundreds of years before Christ came and the spelling was of an early age.They showed that the prophecies including those of a resurrection which have come true were not added or changed. The scrolls were originally sold to a Catholic priest but they did not translate them rapidly but today they are on the internet along with the scans of the writing prooving their authenticiy.

  • Nas, perhaps more of Zaid’s narration from al-Bukhari would help establish my point. “Casualties were heavy among the Qurra’ (i.e., those who knew the Quran by heart) of the Quran on the day of the Battle of Yamama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra’ on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Quran may be lost.” It appears by Ziad’s account that the memorized portions consisted of a “large part” of the entire text.

    Yet even after Zaid’s final compilation (commissioned by Abu Bakr) was “completed” for years, four other major recensions of the Quran, each based on the memory of highly respected member of the Qurra’, gained popularity in other regions of the world. Al-Bukhari (6:510) records that there were significant numbers of whole collections of fragmentary manuscripts of the Quran in existence during the time when Zaid’s compilation was hidden for years. Yet these others contained differences in the written text that led Caliph Uthman in Medina to issue a decree to standardize one version (and have the others burned) in order to keep the Islamic world united under the rule of the caliphate. In other words, the Quran did not exist as an undisputed, uniform text from the beginning, but achieved that status only after Uthman’s decree was carried out to destroy all competing texts and copy instead the a newly reformed text (according to the Hadith) of Zaid ibn Thabit.

    If the texts had been approved and authorized by the prophet before his death, why would there be differing texts after the fact? And why would Zaid’s text need ammending? It appears that there was no unanimity among the Qurra’ over the complete text of the Quran. Otherwise all Zaid would have had to do was to record the recitations of one memorizer (of which, as the Hadith claims, there were four) rather an gather and sift those of many.

  • Nas,

    In reading your posts for a while I have come to expect a great deal of you. You tackle every subject with research and a healthy amount of curiousity. It is because of this that I was pointing out that the use of the word debunk was not the most appropriate use. Your acknowledging that it was not the best choice of words is good enough for me. I didn’t presume sinister intent at all.


  • “Bible,both the old and new testament,Koran are fairy tails that has nothing to do with truth and empirical finding,get over it people.”
    why don’t you keep the advice to yourself and just get over us not wanting to get over it, dude!

  • I read this as well on the BBC website & thought it very interesting. What was even more interesting is the comments section. None of the Christians commenting seemed too phased by what the article said will be ‘revealed’. In fact, a few pointed out stories that were already in the later versions of the bible though the article said they weren’t.
    Anyway, I think that whatever the findings are, it’s good to inspire an informative debate like this one (until Alurdunialhurr spoiled it that is 🙁
    And Dave, can I ask how come you can quote Albukhari? You’ve actually got the book?? This a serious question by the way.

  • I like how that you almost always emphasise that there will be yet another avalanche of typical commentary, yet never did the readers of this blog fail to meet the expectations you express usually in similar posts! Amazing… especially coming from the regulars *gesturing across the room to certain individuals*

  • Nas, I am atheist born Muslim, so I am not sensitive to your post in anyway. Yet when I read your post I felt that not only you are attacking Christianity, you were also trying to say that “See, Islam got it right. Jesus was not resurrected..etc.”

    Also, I think if it sounds a lot like the Christianity Muslims believe in, maybe it is the one that influenced Islam.

  • I think @lifexhistory is correct when they write:
    I think the mistake in your assumption is that the impact of any of these things would be immediate.

    Since the turn of the 19th century, “higher criticisms” such as the one re-hashed in the cited BBC article, have only served to fire-up resolve with in the silent but very active Christian archeology community … as one will see wondering about various historic sites in Jordan.

    Instead rendering such as “The Da Vinci Code” and or “the Jesus Project” have only inspired a good number of Christians to study harder and understand more the differences between those Scriptures that were canonized and those that are not.

    Personally, I believe it is God’s way of combating the ill effects of the “anti intellectualism” that so terribly afflicted the Church in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th – which is quietly exemplified in the multitude of individuals engaged in home studies, Wednesday night Bible studies, Sunday Morning classes and various seminars – that while not receiving much press, are packed with individuals eager to understand more about what they believe and why.

  • ADP, it’s not surprising since Christianity derives from Judaism, and Islam derives from both, and all 3 derives from various historically documented myths. Noah’s ark is one example. The garden of eden is another. Hey at least the religions have evolved beyond worshipping cows and sacrificing vestial virgins.

  • Dave: aside from the fact that there are over a dozen hadiths by the Prophet pbuh that state the Quran, as a text, was complete and “left behind” before his death, the compilation is a different story, which you allude to here. Zaid was appointed as the official scribe by the Prophet pbuh and overlooked the writing. the idea of compilation in the form of one standardized book as we know it today, came with Uthman and was derived from the fact that some of the memorizers had died in battle and texts by non-arab converts to islam were emerging, reflecting their poor arabic skills. add to that the merging arab texts with differing dialects. hence the idea of a unified mushaf taking in to account all these factors and eliminating any chance for deviations.

    a different perspective: lol with all due respect, if that’s what you got from the post then surely you need a different perspective. if i didn’t know better i’d say you were trying to stir the pot. for the sake of a healthier debate, i certainly hope not.

    Hani, Markus, Urduni: I understand that you guys may be areligious, agnostic or athiest when it comes to religion, but I ask that you respect those that are religious. in the context of a post where the word “debunk” has been harshly criticized, I would ask that you avoid referring to religion as a “trick” or a “fairytale”. There’s no reason for the malice as it gets us no where, and this is not the blog for that.

  • Nas there’s a difference between disrespecting the idea/belief and the person. I respect people of all or no religion and their right to freely practice their respective religions, but the religion itself is a system of ideas like any other that needs no protection from criticism or ridicule. If the idea is worthy, its popularity will be all the protection it needs. I’m hoping that religions will one day lose that popularity, but as it is the world isn’t heading in that direction.

  • Forgot to address your reference to the word trick in my earlier comment. There’s no word I found more appropriate to describe scientology. I mean it speaks of Xenu the alien ruler of the galactic confederacy. Yet it is considered a religion by law with over 10 million believers (the most famous being Tom cruise) paying good money to their “churches”.

    I’ve seen some good Muslims criticize how silly Scientolgy’s references to aliens are, and yet isn’t the muslim/biblical God the ultimate Alien ? Why is it silly only when another religious group does it ?

  • “I’ve seen some good Muslims criticize how silly Scientolgy’s references to aliens are, and yet isn’t the muslim/biblical God the ultimate Alien ?”
    Well, Scientology in its totality is a religion created by a “man” who happened to be a science fiction junkie. This guy from nowhere except his own imagination, which is not scientific in term of methodology, comes up with the theory that our bodies are basically inhabited by aliens (his choice of word) who are trapped on the planet earth. the alien thing about the aliens inhabiting our bodies is that when the “real” person dies, the soul is no longer there, so why don’t the aliens take over and become our reincarnation?? what happens to those aliens?? the story isn’t complete!
    Anyway, Scientology is totally lacking, especially in terms of creation narrative, whereas monolithic religions have complete stories where you find a beginning,a middle, and an end. It becomes your choice whether to believe it or not.. but it’s there. And from the start, monolithic religions make it clear that God is a divine, supernatural entity, yet Scientology lacks a God all together, except if the founder is considered to be “god,” but then that means that his (imaginary?) aliens and their galaxy existed way before he did!

  • Interesting but I agree, Nas. we have debated religion for hundreds of years. no point in rehashing the old charged disagreements. personally. i could care less about who is right and who is wrong. who cares. many prefer a world full of mother Teressas and Hassan Nasrallahs — people who fight for the underdogs — over a world filled with filthy rich Sunni corrupt sultans who pray 10 times a day while their people are starving and oppressed. We should simply judge people by their contributions to fellow human beings. As for faith, isn’t it God’s job in the first place to judge our faith. So let’s stop playing God.

  • Secretea said:”monolithic religions have complete stories where you find a beginning,a middle, and an end”

    I disagree, the “beginning” is totally lacking. If the world can’t just exist and must have been created by God, then the same logic must be carried on to God itself to infinity.

    Regarding scientology, the difference is that the people who invented the mainstream religions are all dead thousands of years ago so you can’t point them out. All that survives is the book, writings and what amounts to rumors passed across centuries of time. I didn’t mean that Scientology is serious, just that even a religion invented by “a single man” a science fiction writer as you said managed to fool millions. Did you know that when that man L Ron Hubbard died, the church of Scientology immediately declared that he left his physical body and is still alive on a planet a galaxy away. This sounds a lot like the resurrection of christ. This is to be expected, new religions borrow the most effective ideas from older ones to ensure their survival (in case of the Scientology church protected itself, and the large amounts of money its members give it).

    I gave a second example a little older than Scientology Mormonism. It was also invented by one man (Joseph Smith born 1805) who claimed at age 14 he had a visit from God himself! (the lucky guy). When he became a little older, he claimed an angel visited him and told him where to find an ancient book inscribed on golden tablets buried underground! I won’t bore you with the rest, but suffice it to say 200 years later, there are now over 14 million mormons in the world (almost as many as the jews). So Joseph smith found a book on tablets underground. Mohammad went to a cave and spoke to an Angel, Jesus was no less than the son of God!

    The idea is that people are predisposed to believing in these things with little proof more than an ancient book, and what society tells them simply because as it stands it’s the path of least resistance.

  • I should give the most recent example about the path of least resistance. Did you know Sen. Obama’s father was an atheist born to Kenyan Muslim family, and his mother was also an atheist born to a Kansas Christian family. Obama called himself a skeptic until after he finished college when he found God in a church in Chicago shortly before he started his political career! Coincidentally survey’s showed most Americans (republicans much more than democrats) insisted it is important for a presidential candidate to be christian.

  • well to tell u the truth ur blog is one of my fav. jordanian blogs that i read on daily basis !! still is btw

    bt today i couldnt help bt to notice the title of this article!! i dont want to open another discussion about it bt the title is everything and u as a writer should know that very well i read couple of lines of this article didnt like it or interest me that much !! too controversial with too many opinions bla bal bla!!

    then i looked at the comments as usual!! and i stopped at el3atal post ili jad fashili 3`oli !! and then i stopped reading the whole thing!

    i know u mean no harm or whatever bt i couldnt help bt to let u know that titles are everything its the first thing that a reader sees !and with such a very sensitive subject to many people (religion !!) u should know better!

    Apparently this turned out to be a religion debate after all no need to read it !!
    kol wa7ad be3raf dino o there is God who will judge our faith 🙂

  • read Bart Ehrman’s book on the history of bible. This Codex has been known and studied by scholars for a long time. It doesn’t change a thing. The anti-jewish books were popular around 4th century, and they have been discredited long time ago.

    really, the oldest Gospel is that of Mark, which is in every bible. It goes back to about 40 or 60 AD. Most books after that are interpretations – including the Epistle of Barnabas mentioned above.

    By the way, do you know about the Sana’a Manuscript of the Quran: this is supposed to be an older copy of the quran than the Othmanic ones we have… will that debunk islam?

  • These are interesting texts for scholars and historians, but the impact on Christianity will be negligible. The discovery of the Gospel of Thomas in Egypt in 1945 didn’t change anything and there are plenty of other ancient Jewish and Christian writings with novel ideas that have yet to alter the religion.

    Someday, the Quran is going to receive the sort of rigorous scholarly attention that the Bible has been given in the last century, but I don’t imagine Muslims will radically modify their religion in response to the claims of non-believing scholars. There is already one German researcher who believes that the classical Arabic of the Quran has a significant Aramaic component and that understanding this discounts many traditional interpretations of Quranic verses. Still, I have yet to see many Muslims seriously debate, let alone embrace, his findings.

    Once a religion is “fixed,” it takes on a life of its own.

Your Two Piasters: