By Jason DeRusha

By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

— Thursday, was the Last Supper. Good Friday, Jesus was crucified. Sunday, he rose from the dead. It’s a timeline that’s puzzled scholars for years, and has people asking: Should we take the Bible literally?

A Gallup public opinion poll found that 28 percent of Americans do consider the Bible to be the literal word of God. Forty-nine percent think of it as the inspired Word, that not entirely literal. Nineteen percent think it’s an ancient book of fables, legends and history.

“I don’t take scripture literally, but I take it seriously,” said Rev. Tim Hart-Andersen, Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.

He said, for example, the Bible has two stories about how God created man.

“So which do you believe? If you take them literally, you’ve got a problem,” said Hart-Andersen.

Many have pointed out various passages that are problematic if they’re taken literally. For example, in TV’s The West Wing, President Bartlett said, “My chief of staff insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be killed. Do I have to do that or is OK to call the police.”

“It’s a question that comes up a lot especially this time of year,” said Dr. Jim Beilby, a theology professor at Bethel University in Arden Hills. “People want to know — that stuff in the bible, can you take that seriously can you take that literally?” he said.

It’s complex and Beilby says the Bible has poetry, metaphor and literal history.

“Can we take anything literally? Absolutely we can. Is all of it to be taken literally? To that I would say – no,” said Beilby. “These are genuinely complex questions, but that doesn’t mean the basic message of scripture isn’t pretty clear, and isn’t pretty simple.”

On Twitter, Joey Selzler wrote: “The Bible is God’s instruction manual for life. Would we trust our auto mechanic if he didn’t take his manual literally?”

“There are passages in the Bible that can be taken figuratively,” said Terry Lange, a WCCO viewer. “There are also passages in the bible that are taken literally.”

Ian Schwartz suggests the ancient Bible could reflect today’s archeology and history. “I definitely think that the Bible needs to be updated for a more current time if people are going to follow it so blindly,” he said.

“You have to realize there are different genres, different kinds of literature within that book,” said pastor Matt Hedrick, of Bethany Church in Bloomington. “There is some that’s poetry, that shouldn’t be taken literally,” he said.

“But in the history books, Gospels, Book of Acts, you take quite literally. Real events that actually happened. Archeology has supported much of that,” he said.

The key issue, according to Bielby, is how you analyze a text that is so old to try and prove various details.

“Do you approach the biblical text with a perspective of innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent?” he said.

“That’s the hard work,” agreed Hedrick, who’s church’s website talks about the Bible as being “the only inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God, inerrant in its original manuscripts.”

“The purpose of scripture is to reveal who God is,” said Hedrick. “There may be minor difference within the telling of a story.”

Jason DeRusha

Comments (83)
  1. peddiebill says:

    The post lays out some of the main issues yet I fear there are still other complications. The Bible history probably starts in the mists of what is recorded
    in that there are antecedents for some of the early stories. Moses being found in the bulrushes well after Sargon was found in the bulrushes, earlier versions of the story of the ark etc. There are 76 parallels between Zororoaster and Jesus including being born of a virgin. Then we have the changing canon of the Old and New testaments, and the subsequent addition of verses eg the end of the gospel of Mark to satisfy changing theologies. We have the cultural aspects of Judaism built into the Bible (cf the acane rules in Leviticus) with traces of racism, as the Jews tried to establish themselves as a viable tribe in a hostile environment. Then we have developing theological concepts eg an eye for an eye morphs into forgive your enemy seventy times seven. And this is only the start. As your post points out that despite these complications (or perhaps because these complications are only known at a superficial level) 28% in the US still insist on every word in the Bible seen as inspired and all literally true. This means that Christianity then becomes inaccessible to those with a modern scientific education. eg a six thousand year old world – from following through a literal reading including 6 days of creation, hardly matches the findings of modern geology etc and therefore if insisted on, force the modern educated student to reject the Bible which is a great shame. At the same time when I put alternative views on my site I have noticed that it really upsets the Bible literalists who adopt a non-negotiable position.

    1. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

      @peddiebill. Please change your screen name to scarecrow because I wounder what you would do if you had a brain. You say the Bible people adopt a non-negotiable position and yet you censor the comments left?

      1. Pot, meet Kettle says:

        Doesn’t the Bible say do not judge, lest ye be judged?? Peddiebill is entitled to their opinion, just as you are entitled to yours–as we all know, since you tell us yours over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Are you the only one who gets to have an opinion on the CCO blog?

      2. Enjoyed the quiet while it lasted says:

        @Mark from MN Tax Cr_P–have you been on vacation? It’s been so nice not to have to see your mindless drivel the last few weeks. A big Unwelcome Back!

        1. Michael says:

          @Enjoyed the quiet
          Haha! I was thinking the same thing “Mark must be on vacation or something”. Looks like his back to his grueling schedule of posting inane drivel all over WCCO.

      3. peddiebill says:

        I have no objection to your being as rude as you feel you should be on your own site. The only reason why I restrict unpleasant comments on my site is that I prefer not to offend other visitors to my site unnecessarily. I understand that you may not necessarily see any need for politeness although I am somewhat puzzled why you feel a need to make comments about my brain when you know nothing about me. Maybe that is how folk in your part of the world are perhaps.

        1. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

          I am truly sorry if I hurt your feelings. Would you like a tissue?

          1. Mark, why are you such a hypocrite? says:

            The next time you are sitting in the front row of your church, probably tomorrow as you celebrate the resurrection of your Savior, please ask God why you feel the need to be such a pompous jackhole and insult everyone who disagrees with you. Ask him why he put the heavy burden on you of being so perfect in an such imperfect world. Then when you’re done, ask his forgiveness for exactly the same thing.

            1. Michael B. says:

              Haha! Awesome. Well said.

  2. vitamin-m says:

    I don’t want to sail on this ship of fools.

    1. Ok says:

      Then jump off

  3. Believer says:

    The greatest joy for many followers of Christianity is the study of the Bible. If we took it literally, there would be no debate of it’s content.

    1. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

      @Beleiver well said

  4. Feels like I've been born again says:

    First of all I find it a little pathetic that anyone would ask this question or a reporter employed by a liberal media outlet (see any of Don Shelby’s anti-God stories).

    2nd I feel sorry for the 19%, as they will never experience the kindom of God.

    peddiebill, your post name concerns me greatly. I do not understand your post, you appear to explain that the Bible and Christianity as a whole is a myth, yet you claim to know that the modern educated student is forced to reject the Bible, “which is a great shame”. By your rambling post you are attempting to convince us you are extrememly intelligent, but I would have to guess you are just someone that lacks attention. Please post a link to “your site” so we can see for ourselves.

    Whether the Bible is leteral or open to interpretation is in my opinion up to the person that is reading it.

    Your 6,000 year old world is based on what, carbon dating? An eye for an eye does not “morf” in to anything, 70X7 is based on the situation at hand. A day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day.

    I find it interesting that the athiests will pick the parts of the Bible they think should be taken literally and trash them.

    vitamin-m, if your post means what I think it does I don’t want to be on your ship.

    1. peddiebill says:

      Oh dear, everytime I try to open up a new set of possibilities I get abuse.
      However assuming you are genuine you might try going to my site where I suggest you have a look at a post I call “Biblical literalism: the Shaping of God”
      where you can have fun pointing out all my errors.(try not to be too rude in your comments or I will censor them!)
      Write the title in your search engine along with billpeddie and you should find it. If you want to look at all the posts you will find them at

    2. Ben says:

      @Born Again

      Atheists don’t take any part of the bible literally. Average Christians decide which parts they should take literally, while establishing no particular criteria for their choices (although I suspect it has to do with whichever part suits them, or is convenient). See the post above, by “Believer”. You’d think that an all-powerful creator would make it a little less ambiguous.

      If you want to know why atheists don’t believe in the bible, ask yourself why you don’t believe in the Bhagavad Gita or the Koran.

  5. Mike says:

    How in the name of goodness can you have a conversation with an donkey, talk to a burning bush, crush babies heads against rocks, or consider doing any of those things in the name of religion, propose it literally and not be completely insane?

    1. Mark says:

      A voice in my head told me to do it. It’s only crazy if you use that explanation today, if someone from a thousand years ago says it they are special, but only if it’s the people in my book. The special people in your book are actually just crazy. The bible is a book of man, dead words, think higher, seek something grander than pen and paper. Do you think Jesus calling for you to accept him into your heart just meant say he’s your savoir, eat crackers and wine? It means way more, if that’s where you stopped then you’ve barely scratched the surface. Do you really think that the many world religions are distinct? We have all painted our own images upon the great pillar we all turn to. We have all painted imperfect depictions as we are all human. Seek the source, not the ancient relics of those who came before. Did the source stop talking to us, or did we abandon the source for our static texts?

      1. Mike says:

        The ‘source’ started with a voice that emanated between the ears of a fellow human. It’s a story that takes a leap of faith to prosper. The holy book was written by men, to control or appease, that is the point of reference. It is the word of god, only if you buy into the proposition that it is.
        Pick up Vincent Bugliosi’s new book, Unreasonable Doubt is a worthwhile read.

        1. jon says:

          I’LL LEAVE YOU WITH THIS QUOTE , The intuitive mind is a sacred gift .The rational mind is a faithful servant . We have created a society that honor’s the servant ,and has forgotten the gift .

          1. Ben says:

            …or has created a society that realizes the “gift” or “intuitive mind” (non-rational mind) was/is responsible for atrocities such as, but not limited to: The Inquisition, the Crusades, human sacrifice, the Salem Witch Trials, Islamic Jihads (including the September 11th terror attacks), the 30 years’ war, antisemitism, sharia law.

            I’d say that it isn’t a question of US honoring the servant, but forgetting the gift; more likely it is YOU looking only at Dr. Jekyll and ignoring Mr. Hyde.

  6. Proud to Believe says:

    Wow, as I read some of these posts I am….ill! There is more proof, then not, that the Bible is true. And many verses stating that the intent is not to interpret each and every sentence of the Bible to decide if we are to take it literally; it is not about us. Every person who studies the Bible receives the messages they are to…I suppose if you are not a believer, you will not understand that. We are not to judge others, love one another, enjoy peace knowing that there is someone that loved all mankind enough that he gave his life for us. If we all treated each other how the Bible asks us to, wouldn’t this world be a better place to live in? Is that a bad thing? As for taking it literally? We are to “believe” like a little child and live a life doing good deeds and taking care of one another. Again, I still don’t understand how that can be a bad thing? Now to be called insane because I believe documented history? That was not necessary! Why do non-believers have to trash us believers? I’m not a bible banger, just a person who believes and is trying to live a life being a good person to all. Maybe some of you should try the same. Please know I’m not writing against all the posts written.

  7. Mike Hunt says:

    God does have a sense of humor & this life is a divine comedy. Be careful what you take literally or the joke may be on you…

  8. EasyBoy says:

    A story of partial-history and partial-truth and lots of opinions. Take any history book written over 50 years ago and you will find the same. In fact take any history book written 2 years ago and you will find the same.

  9. Courteney says:

    God is a hoax. Sorry to disappoint you but it really is a hoax. I feel bad for the people who spend so much time believing in it and won’t even be able to realize how wrong they were because when they die they will just be dead. However, I have no actual problem with whatever people want to believe. If people find comfort in being disillusioned, I don’t really care. Just as long as they don’t put their beliefs on other people and keep their religion out of our government.

    1. Sasha says:

      Courteney, I feel sorry for you. You are a fool

      1. Calvin says:

        Real Christian of you Sasha

      2. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

        When do children stop believing in Santa, the Easter bunny, or the boogey man in closet? Everyone that posts here (I would assume) has stopped believing in them as they are made up and used as entertainment or used as incentive for children. What believers fail to realize is that atheists just take it 1 step farther and do not believe in ANY made up character. Until you can prove it stop “feeling sorry” for us as we do not extend the same generosity. We do not feel sorry that you have faith, just question the mentality that makes you except it. There is no hatred from atheists on believers but it does not seem the same when you turn that around. Mighty Christian of you all to do so.

      3. J.R. says:

        You should never call someone a fool for not siding with your beleifs. Y ou should help her to understand them . She may have had a problem with her faith at some point , and finds it hard to grasp the concept of faith in God . Taking the time to show someone how your faith works would be more helpful

  10. Realist says:

    A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

    Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

    With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

  11. Realist says:

    I am not a true every Sunday follower of religion but please God, grant me the serenity to deal with these idiots thumping their black books and the ability to hold off nailing them all to a cross.

    Thanks be to God.

  12. Alan says:

    I would have less trouble with some of the people posting here if not for three facts
    1. Although they claim to be Cristian, the negative nasty comments they post under their name or a fictitious one. Who was meant to be judge? Sorry.
    2. The undisputed acts of Jesus were the healing powers, yet the negativity towards getting health care for all.
    3. Jesus view towards the people of money and the people’s posting about it.

    1. KellBell says:

      I’m reading these comments and don’t find them nasty at all. Infact I find those from the non-believers to be very critical of christians as a people. No one on here was callng someone names or attacking them. You’re turning this into politics which has nothing to do with religion. Christian’s love God and are only defending him, his son, and his word. I think at the end of the day, that is what he would want us to do. There is a difference between judgement and defense; you should learn to recognize that. You may not like what some have to say but that doesn’t mean they’re nasty.

  13. Iconoclast says:

    Only Children lay their burden on a “parent ” in the sky. To really grow up is to accept that we cannot really know what lays beyond our understanding. To be an adult you have to deal with the fact that you are alone and embrace the unknown depths of your soul and it’s connection to everything else in this world. Only an adult will look past the primitive god mask that Christianity is and bare the difficult meeting with true divinity. The bible and those who take it literally are two of the most destructive things to the true growth of spirituality that I can think of. I urge anyone caught in that comfortable trap to challenge themselves to experience something far more difficult and rewarding.

  14. Tonka says:

    You can’t really have a discussion when one side, based on nothing, just says this is the way it is…period. And what the heck does the easter bunny have to do with rock pushing day?

  15. help says:

    The bible is pure fiction, only believed by the weak

    1. Taxpayer says:


  16. Pat says:

    This debate is timeless and goes back to Genesis 3:1 when Satan, appearing as a serpent to Eve asks, “Has God indeed said…? Throughout history we have all been saked the same question, “Did God really say this?” or “Is the Bible the Word of God?” I have found that the veracity of the Bible can be tested through prophecy and the accuracy by which it is fulfilled. Because God exists outside of time, He can tell us the beginning from the end – Isaiah 46:9-11. No other book can do that with 100% accuracy.

    1. Michael says:


      Examples? With extra-biblical evidence?

      Didn’t think so.

      1. Pat says:

        What extra-biblical references would be sufficient to prove my point, that through prophecy, the veracity of God’s Word can be verified? through extra-biblical historians?
        While the historian does not necessarily have direct access to the past, the residue of the past, the things that have really existed is directly accessible to him – such as archeological data.
        Lets look at a prophecy that is observable today – the return of the Jewish people from all the nations of the earth, where God had scattered them.

        Back in Deuteronomy 4:27, the Bible said that, “the Lord would scatter you,
        (the Jewish people) among the peoples, and will be left few in number among
        the nations of the earth where God has scattered them.”

        Ezekiel 36:17-19 gives reason for why God had scattered the Jewish people.
        (God scattered them after the Jewish uprising in 70 A.D. when the Romans laid seige to Jerusalem and burned the Temple of God.)

        Ezekiel 36:24 states that God would regather the Jews back into their own land.

        Ezekiel 37:21-22 confirms that God would bring the Jews back into their land, and make them into one nation.

        Archeological evidence is overwhelming that the Jewish people had once occupied the land now referred to as Palestine. What event took place in
        Israel on May 15, 1948 that fulfilled one of the prophecies of the Bible?

        Faith does not necessarily mean a leap into the dark, believing against evidences and against reason. It does mean believing in the light of historical facts consistant with the evidence we have.

        1. D.N.F says:

          What about Ezekial 29:9-15?? Still waiting on that 40 years where nobody steps foot into Egypt??

    2. Ben says:

      Aren’t there several end-times prophesies that haven’t materialized? Did you forget to include those in your “100% accuracy” statement?

  17. Is the Bible a Myth says:

    Take a listen to another reporter’s study on the question “Is the Bible a Myth?” posted just yesterday at:

    1. Ben says:

      @Is the Bible a Myth
      Are you really expecting that any thinking person is going to believe something that comes from “Focus on the Family”? (An organization dedicated to spreading misinformation and bigotry in the name of God). The only thing “Focus on the Family” is good at is lying to people.

      1. Is the Bible a myth says:

        So glad that God gave each of us our own brain. 🙂 You are not forced to check it out, but if someone really wants to investigate the question, then research. That’s all.

      2. john says:

        You have to think in order for you to understand it ,or whats the point Open yourself up a litle more ,and I am sure answers to questions will become manifest .

  18. Jim says:

    The bible makes a lot of sense if you don’t think about it.

  19. To each their own says:

    If everyone here who says the Bible and God are fake, then I guess I tried to live my life as a Christian person for nothing. I don’t go to Church much, but I still try and live a “good” life. I guess it’s nobody’s business but mine. If anyone lives their life as a good person and treats everyone nicely, then they have won–no matter if they are Christian or not. If I am right, I hope I see you all in Heaven, even the non-believers, because it will be worth it. If I’m wrong, I’m still happy. I hope the same for all of you.

  20. Jason DeRusha says:

    First we’d have to do a story on what is in the Koran, because maybe 1% of our audience is familiar with it. I think the same arguments laid out in this story apply to the Koran, and every religious text.

    1. Deb says:

      This story is full of words, and yet says nothing.
      If the Bible seems to contradict itself, then go back to the original Hebrew and Greek texts and study them. This clears up a lot of confusion.

      ps- In regards to the article comment that the Bible has two stories about how God created man, I’ve been a Christian for 40 years, I have yet to come across two stories of this. God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. See Genesis.

    2. M.Div Student says:

      I do agree with you point that by providing each religion with the same question, those who follow one teaching, or Holy book will believe that their’s is accurate. I give you credit for doing such a controversial story. One can also see that you can’t see the air, but yet we are able to breath. We cannot physically see the wind moving (other than the trees, or debris blowing around) but we can feel it against our face. Even though we cannot prove these things, they exsist because we were taught that they do. It is all about what one has been indoctrinated with as a child. Granted the easter bunny is not real, but who has the heart to tell a young child that there is no easter bunny, or that Santa is really their parents? There is a reason that the imagination of a child is priceless. The same is true with the Bible, Torah, and Koran. To each of these religions, it is a manual for how to live ones life accordingly. There are the extremists who believe that roadside bombings are what A’la (sp?) commanded them to do. But of the German soldiers who committed horrible acts against humanity, was it that they followed Hitler blindly, or was it that Hitler was very persuasive with his speeches that they believed he was correct in his ideas?
      The events that the world has undergone all play into the fact that what does someone take literally? It has to do with the way they were brought up. There is no correct answer for is the Bible accurate, is there a God, is there an eternity? But what I believe people find comfort in is the hope that there is something more than this life on Earth. Regardless of what religion one practices, the common thread is that there is an afterlife, or eternity. That practice goes back to the times of the Egyptians. The world today is full of disasters, wars, famines, genocide, and cruelty. If that is really all there is to life, why would anyone want to live here? The fact that there is hope for something greater is the reason many continue to believe in the good of their religion. Just a thought?

    3. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

      Nice spin Jason, way to be a PC person, rather a nice way of backing down. Or as I would say “Being a coward”

  21. Greg Laden says:

    Living a “good life” has nothing to do with the Bible or one’s belief in God. No serious scholar of the subject takes the Bible as literal, and it is trivially easy to find internal conflicts and inconstancies that only go away if yo redefine what you call “The Bible.” The average bit of advice given in the text that is said to be the word of god is very, very bad advice. The only way to lead a “good life” is to either studiously ignore the Bible as a source of morality, or to be very picky about what you take from it. If you do the latter, you are treating the Bible not as the word of God but as a diverse and often interesting piece of literature. Which is what it is.

    1. To each their own says:

      Your comments help prove my point. You can believe whatever you want. In the end, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to try and convince me of your beliefs and I don’t have to try and convince you of mine. I hope only the best for you. What “the best” is, is completely up to you. Have a great day!

      1. kellbell says:

        We do a have an obligation to try to convince you; that iis how christianity has made it through all these years. I hope for your soul, that people don’t ever stop trying. I hope for our world that people don’t stop trying. You and many on this page are either overlooking or are ignorant of all of the wonderfu things christians around this world have done and continue to do for others. We don’t need our government and their money wasting staff to step in, we can help eachother with our ownhearts, bodies, minds, and pockebooks.

        1. To each their own says:

          @kellbell Please read my first post–I am a Christian. I try my best to be non-judgemental of others. I am happy with the way I am. You don’t have to convince me of anything. You rushed to a judgement without getting all the facts–i.e. reading all the previous information before my last post. That may be the problem some other people are having with your beliefs. Peace, and make it a great day!

          1. Greg Laden says:

            I’m not sure who has an obligation to convince whom, but it is not OK to bring evangelical activities (of any religion) into public schools. Just sayin’.

            One extra thought for some to consider; If a public act assumes that everyone in hearing distance or sight is either a) of a particular religion or b) religious (of any religion) then that’s a bit offensive to those who are not. Recent examples:

            A public gathering with people of various faiths and agnostics and atheists, and someone gets up and explains how ONLY by accepting Jesus (etc. etc.) will you not be damned forever to hell.

            A somewhat more intimate but still diverse gathering (of extended family) and everyone is expected to engage (head bowed, say amen at the end, etc.) in a prayer that starts out “We are all of different faiths and religions but at least we all accept God and that’s what’s important” etc. etc.

            I don’t mind the prayer, but don’t tell my teenage daughter who is standing right there that she’s damned to hell because she happens (at the moment) to follow her parents way of thinking rather than uncle bob’s. Not acceptable.

            And another thing as long as we’re on the topic of the Bible: I’ve yet to meet anyone who claims that the bible is to be taken literally who has read it. Of course, I avoid certain company, but still….

        2. If everybody's right, is anybody wrong? says:

          @kellbell. I’m interested in thie obligation you have to convince others. If you are Lutheran, do you have an obligation to convince Catholics, Methodists and Presbyterians that they are wrong? Are they wrong? They’re Christian after all. If you are Catholic, do you have an obligation to convince the Lutherans they are wrong? What about all the different types of Lutherans? Is the Wisconsin Synod right and the Missouri Synod wrong? What about the ELCA Lutherans? What about the non-denominational Christians? Are they wrong? A lot of Christian I know, including me, do not go to church reguarly. Are we wrong? Who gets to decide this. You? Are you self-appointed or did God tell you to decide? What is this obligation you have taken upon yourself? Didn’t the Bible tell you not to judge others? If I am a Christian, but you don’t like which kind of Christian I am, and you try to convince me I’m wrong, how is that “defending” and not “judging”? Please explain. Thank you.

        3. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

          Please spare us all your soapbox rant on being more righteous than all. You have the audacity to call non believers ignorant? I would love to say exactly what I believe about organized religion but that would not get through to you as you seem to not understand that in the book you believe in it even states that there will be non believers and nowhere have I ever read that god would have you label them as ignorant or label them at all. I went to a private Christian school for 9 years (K-8th grade) and now am out on time served. Nowhere else have I ever found a group of such self absorbed and “righteous” people such as yourself. I am not saying that all religious people are this way, but I am saying that a good number have this persona and that is what turns others off of the religion. I do also find it funny that your 1st post has “No one on here was calling someone names or attacking them.” And then you call people ignorant. Does turn the other cheek mean that while you turn it you forget what you were just talking about? Not hypocritical at all huh?

          1. Ben says:

            Agreed! The number 1 reason people stay away from Christianity (besides the fact that it is unintelligible and obsolete) is CHRISTIANS.

  22. Jason DeRusha says:

    The easiest way to look at this is to say: The Bible is the inerrant word of God and it’s 100% literally true. OR: The Bible is a fraud and it’s just a book of stories, like Shakespeare.

    1. john r jones says:

      But do you have Faith in Shakespeare , or Jehovah ? That is really the question .

    2. Johnson says:

      It’s the inerrant word of God.

    3. Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste says:

      Jason where is your story on the Koran?

  23. John R. JONES says:

    The bible explains itself without question . 2 TIim. 3:16,17 . All scripture is inspired of God , and benefical for teaching , for reproving , for setting things straight. For disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully compotent ,and completly equipped for every good work .

  24. Ken says:

    Seek one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, they have the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set you free.

  25. A M.Div student says:

    If the Bible should be taken literally, one needs to look at few things. In the Old Testament, the Levitical Law, or the Law of Moses was to be followed in order to recieve salvation. However, in the New Testament, a new covenant was created between believers and Christ. Instead of having to follow a strict law, one is allowed to be human, thus allowed to make many mistakes, yet still be made perfect. One stated that the Bible shouldn’t be taken literally. Yet many of our civil laws are based on the 10 commandments: steal, murder, adultry.. ect all also punishable by the court system. Someone made the commit that they could stone their neighbor, because it is in the Bible. Even though we can not stone people anymore, America do have the death penalty.
    I personally believe that if one should take the Bible literally or not is a matter of their heart/belief system. I was raised that the Bible is the divinely inspired work of God. However, I could read a Torah (translated in English) and to me that would just be words on a page. The same would apply to the Qu’ran. I was not raised in those faith, so the literal interpretion lies in the heart of the believer.

    But I guess the safest answer would be: when we die, if one believes in the Bible, after life, or eternity one can ask God, or whoever they pray to, if there is any merit the Bible, Torah, or Qu’ran. Just a thought

  26. David J. Conklin says:

    >the Bible has two stories about how God created man.
    That was disproven by K. A. Kitchen back in 1966. Some people need to catch up on their reading.

  27. Eye Roller says:

    I am a Christian and am just as annoyed at the nasty ” Christians” as you atheists. What I find interesting is you don’t believe in Hell yet you get mad when the crazies tell you you’re going. Just find it amusing… My two cents on the Bible is this – it’s been translated through many years and many languages – just like the game telephone things get misinterpreted. Virgin means girl in one language and person who hasn’t had sex in another. Bottom line is who cares if Mary was or not? Bible should be taken as lessons and a guide – not a manual or literal step by step directions.

  28. den says:

    It comes down to just beliving “Christ is God who went to the cross and died and of course belive in the resurrection.

    Still don’t Understand why the unbeliver even cares.

    God is Awesome

  29. Get Real says:

    Just as you are probably not the “original” Mark from MN Tax Waste, the person posting as “Jason DeRusha” is probably not the real Jason De Rusha. Talk about being a coward, having to steal someone else’s screen name just to be a complete jerk

    1. Get Real says:

      So weird, this was a “replly”to a post at the bottom of the screen to “Mark from Minnesota Tax Waste” and it got posted way up here. For this comment to make sense, please keep reading… 😉

  30. Steve Erickson says:

    I am not sure how this works. My comments are for Jason. Generally I enjoy your segment on good question. However, in this case I think you bit of too big of a chew. The question of how to read and interpret the Bible is not one to deal with in a two or three minute report on the news. While I appreciate the effort to give a fair and balanced view on the subject, you cannot do this subject justice in such a brief summary.
    However, the ending piece was particularly disappointing. You brought up the debate over what the word “virgin” means in the Bible to cast dispersions on the virgin birth of Christ. The Bible is completely clear on this subject, When the angel informs Mary that she is going to give birth to the messiah Mary asks how this could be true because “I know not a man”. This is a perfectly clear statement that Mary herself is saying that she had not been with a man sexually. So the principle that Scripture interprets scripture and that the more clear passages (the one cited here) lead us to make sense out of the less clear passages (what the word virgin actually means). So someone might argue about the veracity of Mary’s statement or whether the author of the Gospel is embellishing the story, one cannot argue that the Bible is unclear about the virgin birth.
    Jason, I hope your other “good questions” have answers that are more accurate. The impression one was left with at the end of the story was not one about whether the Bible is true or not. Rather the impression that the end of the story left is that the Bible itself does not teach the virgin birth.

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