bibleMuch is made of the “fact” that Jesus did not write any part of the Bible. That observation arose here, JESUS NEVER GAVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED — PART 4, when  Matthew made this comment.

Matthew says:

The historicity and humanity of Jesus Christ is well settled, even a rabid atheist knows that fact. However, if I wish to know the theological understanding, or let us say the divinity, of Jesus, I shall rely on His own words and deeds, not mere feeble minds of men. Go to the actual source, Jesus Himself. Jesus’ words and deeds speak for Himself. As Jesus told His skeptics then, and His words are telling skeptics today (there is nothing new under the sun [Eccl. 1:9]), “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life” (see John 5:30-47).

“I shall rely on His own words and deeds, not mere feeble minds of men.” We really do have that choice. We can rely upon God’s Word, or we can rely upon the mere feeble minds of men.

By way of further explanation,  added this.

Matthew says:

Crafty one, I see. Study ipsissima verba Iesus and ex ore Christi. Additionally, study Rom. 15:4, 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21.

What does ipsissima verba mean? Is the phrase appropriate? Because Jesus spoke a different language, Aramaic, there is a bit of controversy here.

Ipsissima verba literally means “exact words,” whereas ipsissima vox means “exact voice” or the presence of Jesus’ teaching summarized. It should be noted that since Jesus, more than likely, spoke Aramaic, closing the gap between ipsissima verba and ipisissima vox is considerably more difficult. However, language translation does not seriously impugn trustworthy historiography. (from here, and here is another source)

Because it means “out of the mouth of” (see here), the phrase ex ore Christi raises the same issue as ipsissima verba Iesus.

The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God, and Jesus claimed to be God. If we believe Jesus is God, then because Jesus affirmed scripture, the Bible contains the words He inspired men to write.

Here, using the words of scripture,   provides further explanation.

Matthew says:

As kcchief points out, Jesus himself left us nothing written and we know his words only through the writings of mortal humans.

Jesus, who is God, left us a written record of His own words. Do we actually need a personal epistle titled, “Book of Jesus,” and opening statement, “I, Jesus, true living God, write this . . .?” No, we do not. I countered Chief with Scriptural authority and theological doctrine, see above. God used man as an agent to write His Word. So, who actually wrote the Word of God? Mere mortal and feeble minds of men? Or, God Himself through men? This is a theological conundrum, which is highly debated among liberal and conservative theologians and scholars.

I subscribe to the conservative view. The Word of God tells us the following:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).

“. . .[K]nowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pete 1:20-21).

“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me; His Word is on my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2).

“. . .as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old. . .” (Luke 1:70).

“Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus” (Acts 1:16).

“But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled” (Acts 3:18).

Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him” (Prov. 30:5).

The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times” (Ps. 12:6).

“This God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 18:30).

The Holy Scriptures, both Old and New, are God’s own words, as He claims. Either God is right, or He is wrong. Do you, Scout, venture to call God a liar? They (the Scriptures) are Jesus’ own words. We do not need a personal letter from Jesus Himself to be His “own words.” The Word of God, the Bible, is Jesus’ own words (John 1:1). This is why orthodox theology is critical.

Do we know why God provided us His Word this way, over a 1500 year period, finally to be assembled as ancient tomes of wisdom? Is what God has done with His Creation the way any of us would have done it? Can any of us even imagine how we would make a universe or something as small as a mouse — from nothing?

In the vastness of what God has created, we are insignificant. We can dispute which religion is true, whether God even exists, but we do not understand even our self.

We arrived here ignorant, lost except to those who loved us. Upon exploration we discovered more questions than answers. We perceive in wonder and fear a growing maze. To some the Bible provides the key to the maze — an escape, the way home. To others the maze is home, and for some there is no home. There is only the eventuality of oblivion. Who is right? Who can provide proof that satisfies another? What we do know from experience is that we can make the maze more unpleasant for each other, or we can be patient with one another.

34 thoughts on “WHAT DID JESUS WRITE?

  1. Remember the point of our conversation, Matthew. Neither you nor I is attacking Scripture. I am, however, contesting your position that the Scriptures are God-uttered, and thus inerrant and devoid of man’s influence. I say that they have Man’s fingerprints all over them and that the anomalies, inconsistencies, errors, are the work of Man, not God. You apparently say that they are the work of God, but, to protect God against your efforts to hang Man’s fallible handiwork on His shoulders, simply wish away these textual problems, big and small, by saying that they do not exist.


  2. What Scout proposes is not new. So-called inconsistencies, contradictions, or anomalies are old arguments, all of which have been refuted ad infinitum, and the debate becomes ad nauseam. The Holy Scriptures alone discredit said arguments. (Scripture interprets Scripture, and Scripture validates Scripture.) Worldly scholarship, especially theological scholarship, invalidate said arguments. Errors in original language, in manuscripts, or with translations have been addressed and disproved as well. The debate never ends — same old arguments that will never go away. Likewise, old heresies never go away. Orthodox theology and sound hermeneutics are essential, and both dispel attacks against the Holy Scriptures.


  3. This is a great read Citizen. Thanks for the share. I love how the writer to the Hebrews puts it, God, ” Hast in these last days spoken to us by His Son.” Heb. 1:2
    Perhaps Jesus never wrote a book but He lived and His life and death spoke volumes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @ Matthew: to make good on my earlier commitment (at least partially), I pulled up a couple of NT examples of what strike me as anomalies. The problem is that there are so many, that it is hard to choose. I tried to take examples that were not particularly controversial in themselves and that have no real theological significance so that we can discuss them without heat. I appreciate, however, that, for you and people who share your view, that “Men had no input in the Holy Scripture” and that “God wrote the Holy Scripture”, any small discrepancy is a direct reflection on the infallibility of God as you perceive him. Even small issues call into your position that “from cover to cover, the Holy Scriptures are true, pure, inerrant, infallible and consistent.”

    I don’t have that view, and, for me, anomalous scriptural passages just establish that the men who wrote the scriptures made mistakes, were confused, misunderstood something that they heard, etc., and that inconsistencies or discrepancies in these passages are of no particular moment for the underlying spiritual message.

    Two NT examples that I thought might be good talking points are:

    1) Why does God tell us (I’m adopting for purposes of discussion your position that Scripture is solely the work of God and the men don’t enter into it) that Jesus was descended from 42 generations going back to Abraham (Matthew 1:2-17), and then tell us a bit later in the Canon (Luke 3:23-38) that His descent from Abraham was through more than 50 generations, many of whom are not the same people that God refers to in Matthew. Which geneology is correct, if either. Of course both geneologies are through Joseph, who was not a blood relation of Jesus, but that’s not the central point.

    2) Why does God tell us in Matthew that Judas felt remorse after his betrayal, returned the 30 pieces of silver and hanged himself, while at the same time telling us (in the Book of Acts) that Judas used the money to buy a plot of land called “Blood Acre” after which he fell forward and “burst open”.

    Of course, there are many other NT examples (e.g., why the Gospel of Mark indicates that Jesus was crucified on one day, and other Gospels another). But I didn’t want to just inundate Tom’s site with these. The overall point can be pursued through examples. The Old Testament, being older and a more diverse collection of writings, is even more laden with these kinds of discrepancies. I offered to provide examples from there, and will do so if the group finds this a worthwhile undertaking, but, for now, I thought I could kick it off with the two examples, and thus respond to your challenge to show you “any inconsistencies, just one”. (Matthew’s 28 March comment at 1945 hours)

    Remember, I am a professing Christian and my point here is not to “debunk” Scripture. I find the Bible to be an opening to a rich and valuable spiritual world. But I am contesting (respectfully) Matthew’s view that the Bible is the direct, perfect speech of God, “inerrant, infallible, and consistent” with “no input” from Man.

    I hope everyone who is a member of the Christian Community is having a fulfilling Holy Week.


    1. Hopefully, Matthew sees this. Since you did not reply directly to him, I am not certain he will. Meanwhile, here are some links for you to chew upon

      For Number 1:


      For Number 2:


      Just one further observation. Matthew and Luke wrote for different reasons. In fact, each book in the Bible exists to serve a distinct purpose. Consider that there is a reason we have four Gospels, not just one. The Gospel of Matthew describes Jesus as King. Mark describes Jesus as the greatest servant. Luke proclaims Jesus as the Savior, even to the Gentiles. And so that we might finally repent in shame, John describes the love the Son of God has for us, even though we are ungrateful and sinful souls.

      Hence, when we read each book in the Bible, we should expect differences that arise from both differing point-of-views and differing purposes.

      Why must the geneologies differ? Matthew describes Jesus as the rightful King. Hearkening back to the savior born of a woman back in Genesis, Luke describes the promised savior.


      1. Actually, I did reply absolutely directly to Matthew. He posed a question on this site and I addressed it.

        Of course the Gospel authors wrote for different reasons and purposes, Tom My point precisely. No one giving the Gospels even superficial attention could doubt it. Our commenter, Matthew (as opposed to the author of the Bible book that invokes that name), however, believes that men didn’t write the Gospels, but that God himself did and that humans were not in the loop. This is the issue we are discussing. But, there are anomalies even within a given book. For example, why does Dr. Luke (or God) say in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus was born both during the reign of Herod and during the governorship of Quirinius? These dates are mutually exclusive. And, either Jesus descended as Matthew describes, as Luke describes, or through some other chain of descent. He didn’t descend through both gospel accounts.

        I do not doubt that contemporary apologists can dream up ways to reconcile contradictions (e.g., Judas both hanged himself, deteriorated in the sun and wind and subsequently fell forward and burst open, and both returned the money to the Jewish priests in remorse, but also used the money to buy the plot on which he burst open). But that’s not giving the Bible accounts literal homage, that’s dreaming up ways to smooth over problems in the text. My discussion here is that my view, that humans wrote the Bible, thus imparting to the accounts some degree of understandable human imprecision to ancient accounts passed orally for some time before being recorded, is more plausible than is the idea that an omniscient, inerrant, infallible God wrote the accounts and they thus are truly and completely correct in all details and that it is left to humans to iron out the anomalies.


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