". . . Born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate . . .
The Apostles' Creed

"If you worship in one of the more liturgical Christian traditions, you probably know the opening words of the Apostles' Creed by heart:

" 'I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cruficied, died, and was buried; he descended into hell . . .'

"But have you ever noticed the huge leap the creed makes between 'born of the Virgin Mary' and 'suffered under Pontius Pilate'? A single comma connects the two statements, and falling into that yawning gap, as if it were a mere detail, is everything Jesus said and did between his birth and his death! Called the 'Great Comma,' this gap certainly invites some serious questions. Did all the things Jesus said and did in those years not count for much? Were they nothing to 'believe' in? Was it only his birth and death that mattered? Does the gap in some way explain Christianity's often dismal record of imitating Jesus's actual life and teaching?"