WHAT DID JESUS WRITE?

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. Jesus actually wrote nothing at all. We trust that the words of those who companied with Him during His earthly time are faithfully passing on His words and actions, but we have no Historical way to be sure. It really comes down to Faith, and as you commented above, the biblical doctrine of His Divinity behind the Authority of All scripture.
    We believe He as God wrote the Bible thru the mechanism of Holy Men and we believe we have the Words and Work of Jesus because we have Faith that they wrote ‘faithfully’ what was true.
    All adjuring to ‘evidences’ are actually irrelevant. Especially if that evidence is from the Book or books you are trying to ‘prove’ in the first place. This would be within the classic definition of Circular Reasoning.
    We believe He wrote because We Believe He Wrote. Faith is our Evidence. That’s all. hanks for allowing my comment, brother.
    -mike

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    1. Thank you for you comment.

      What if someone says I believe the Bible just because I want to believe? My reply is simple. It is the Truth. Why would I not want to believe it?

      In my fifties, after having given up on Christianity in my teens, I started studying the Bible. I did so because my wife had raised our children as Christians, and I could see that made a difference. I did so because I enjoyed studying history, and I could see the Bible had been critical to our nation’s history. I could not ignore it any more. Without a good knowledge of history, my understanding of our nation’s history was and must be deficient. Without a good knowledge of the Bible, I could not understand my wife and children as I should.

      After I read the Bible I reached the conclusion that what it said had to be true. Unless the Bible is true, too many other things make no sense. Unless the Bible was inspired by God, it does not even make sense for men to have written and compiled such a document.

      The more I study it the more I see the supposed errors and contradictions falling away. So it is I know the Bible is true, but faith is required to act as if the Bible is true. Faith is trusting in what we know to be true.

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  2. I really like your closing paragraph, all of it.

    Faith really is a tangible thing, there is evidence of God to be known, but in order to receive the proof people desire, they must have an open heart and an open mind to receive it. That is the conundrum, they seek first the irrefutable proof and then claim they will believe.

    The problem is not even science works that way. You have to first open your mind to the possibilities, be willing to seek the evidence you desire and consider the possibility that it may be true. If you are walled off, well “I’ll believe it when I see it,” then you are left waiting for the proof to magically arrive and sitting about forming a false conclusion that such evidence doesn’t exist.

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    1. The problem is not even science works that way.

      Very few people actually understand the scientific method.

      Look back at our ancestors. Look at what they worshiped: idols, planets, the moon, the sun, and even men. What induced them to do such a thing? What induces some us to worship “science” or “reason” without trying to understand the limits of both? What induces some of us to worship the state without trying to understand how government is suppose to work? What induces us to worship sex, stuff, or even our self?

      What is there about us that makes us reject our Creator and seek for gods in things of our own creation?

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      1. Pride and desire for control, I suspect. All these things we try to pour into the abyss of our souls are designed to help us cover up the fact that there is a God above us, and compared to Him we are powerless.

        That seeking something to worship is probably related to the fact that God is within us, that we are handed a tool to finding our way through that maze you spoke of.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. God wrote the Holy Scriptures. If Jesus is God, as He claimed, then He (Jesus) wrote the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Scriptures are Jesus’ “own words.” Men had no input in the Holy Scriptures. (See Scriptural authority above. See 1 Cor. 2:13 too.) Mere men could not have written the Word of God. How could a book with one message, with no error, and with consistency — over a period of 1,500 years — be written by men? From cover to cover, the Holy Scriptures are true, pure, inerrant, infallible, and consistent. Mere men, owing their weak, limited, and feeble faculties, could not have written the Holy Scriptures. If men did write the Holy Scriptures, then we would expect errors, inconsistencies, etc., etc., and rightfully so. That was a major turning point from Atheist to reborn Christian in my life. The Holy Scriptures are akin to the creation, that is, they are axiomatic. Who wrote these Scriptures? Not men, but God Himself.

    So, I return to my original question. Who is Jesus? Is Jesus a mere man like you and I? Or, is Jesus God? Again, no one, including an honest Atheist, doubts the humanity and historicity of Christ — the record is indisputable. “Killing Jesus” primarily focuses on the historical Jesus, which, by the way, is not new, since many theologians and scholars have discussed the humanity and historicity of Christ before O’Reilly. Knowing Jesus as mere man does nothing for me. I want to know more. How do I do this? Rely on Jesus’ own Word, that is, the Holy Scriptures (see John 5:39-40). Before and during Jesus’ life, the Israelite was very familiar with the OT. Jesus kept pointing to His own Word about Himself (e.g., “Have not you read?” or “It is written”), yet the Israelite was mystified. What is more, Jesus used His own Word to teach the disciples, even opening their minds to understand. It is written, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. . . . Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27,45).

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  4. It is because there are inconsistencies and anomalies in Biblical texts that I personally find it more supportive of my Christian faith to regard the Bible as a man-written collection of ancient documents. Were I to do otherwise, and regard the canonical Bible as does Matthew – written from beginning to end by God Himself – I would have to attribute to God confusion and inconsistency that would make him seem more like Oz or Zeus than God. However, because man’s comprehension of God is limited (as the Bible points out repeatedly), it is of no moment to my faith that anomalies and inconsistencies exist in the Bible and I need spend little time worrying about them or explaining them away. Someone just made a mistake, that’s all. However, in Matthew’s view, even trivial scrivener’s errors would bring into question his entire premise – that because God authored every word and set man’s hand to record it, every word must be as perfect as God Himself. Of course, Matthew has a response to this – that the inconsistencies and anomalies are not inconsistencies and anomalies. The textual problems that appear in my various translations apparently don’t exist in his.

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    1. scout

      The Bible calls itself the Word of God. The Bible itself says God inspired it. How then can you reconcile any inconsistencies by making the Bible the work of man? Doesn’t that add up to an even bigger inconsistency? Don’t you make the men who wrote the Bible out to be presumptuous liars?

      As it is, we don’t have the original copies of the Bible. We have copies of copies. So the scholars who study the Bible must compare the copies we have and resolve the differences. Occasionally, we get lucky, and we find Dead Sea Scrolls, but I expect the fame of the Dead Sea comes from the rarity of such discoveries.

      Just the same, the consistency between the copies is remarkable. No other document rivals the Bible for the efforts that men have made to preserve it.

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    2. Where are the inconsistencies or contradictions, Scout? Show me one, just one. Alleged “inconsistencies” or “contradictions” have been refuted time and time again. I am surprised that a smart man as yourself follow refuted arguments. Shame. Mankind will do whatever it takes to deny or discredit his Creator’s Word. Nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9).

      Answer me this, Scout. Why would men — over a period of 1,500 years — write material that condemns them all and provides salvation from the outside? Mankind would never do such a thing. Men want to provide their own salvation, and do not want to trust some other guy’s sacrifice for all people. Finally, how is it possible for these men to conceive a man and personality like Jesus Christ, who would surpass every man that ever lived? The most gifted fiction writer could never achieve such feat.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. @Matthew
        ‘Why would man write material that condemns them….’ contrast that against the incomparable wisdom of Solomon, and how a little flower has more glory that He…

        Then there is always He whose name is Wonderful. No other revelation to man with such consistency and grandeur.

        If people are totally honest within themselves, they must agree with you that there is no other person like Christ, and perfectly demonstrated through scripture.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You flatter me, Tom. I am a person of average intelligence, but I do absorb a lot of information through reading. And I’ve lived long enough with this habit of serious reading to have accumulated a great deal of information. However, compared to the mysteries and grandeur of God, I am both a “dummy” and “stupid”, as is all of humanity.

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      2. Tom- actually, I think we probably do have pretty close to original copies of the Bible (e.g., the Codex Sinaiticus, which, if you are willing to travel, you can go have a look-see). The Bible as we know it did not come into existence until three or four centuries after Jesus at the earliest – some would say not until the mid-16thCentury, and some of the earliest extant manuscripts are pretty durn close to what we regard as parts of “the Bible”. Prior to the establishment of the canonical Bible by the early Church, the components of what would become the Bible were scattered writings that included the Pentateuch, the Septuagint, and other components of ancient Hebrew writings, as well as letters written by post-Jesus apostles, Dr. Luke’s account of the early ministry of the apostles in the Book of Acts, Revelation, and the various Gospel stories, four of which were included in the compilation of the canonical Bible. What we don’t have (and perhaps this is what you were trying to convey) are original or contemporary manuscripts or copies of the multitudinous components of what became the Bible. We also have a somewhat spotty collection of writings that at one time were considered on equal footing with elements of the canonical Bible but which, for one reason or another were cast out by church fathers. Some of these are lost, at least for now. In their day, however, some of these writings were held in high regard in the same manner as Matthew regards the Canon – as inerrant, literal factual truths.

        Matthew – I guess I would quibble a bit (and, in the scheme of things, it is a quibble) over your estimate of the span of the authorship of the canonical Bible. I would put it at around 1,000 years, with Genesis dating from around 800-700 B.C. and the most recent of the books of the NT being no later than early 200s A.D.. But the difference of 500 years in our perception of that range isn’t particularly important to what we are discussing. I have no inclination to either “deny” or “discredit” any element of the Bible. It is an inspiring work, and I am continually amazed that, as ancient as some of these writings are, they continue to be widely read, widely applicable to millions of lives around the world.

        As for your direct question, it an almost universal human instinct to attribute supernatural powers to outside, non-visible forces, particularly to explain things not readily understood through the limitations of human intelligence. Contrary to one of the premises of your question, I think humanity does tend to look for external forces to provide for “salvation” and reward for conditions in earthly existence. And, to your second question, the reason men could “conceive a man and personality like Jesus Christ” is that there was a historical Jesus, who was seen and heard by many people in his part of the world and about whom stories were passed from person-to-person and recorded in the Gospels. In addition, apostles, most notably Saul of Tarsus (Paul) knew these stories (although Paul did not have access to the written Gospels in the form we know them, as they post-dated him) and spread the Good News of the life of Jesus beyond the limited geography of Jesus’s earthly ministry.

        Finally, Matthew, you use the word “contradictions”. I cited inconsistencies and anomalies. I guess another word would be “discrepancies”. “Contradiction” sounds a bit too grand for my tastes. I like prefer my terms to yours. Examples are numerous and, fortunately for Tom’s space here, I am not a Biblical scholar or I would rattle off scores. However, because I find these conversations interesting, what I will do over the next couple of days, however, is select two examples of these kinds of anomalies – one from the Hebrew Bible (i.e., the Old Testament) and one from the New Testament that we can discuss. I’ll try to pick interesting ones. Of course, such things trouble me little, believing as I do that the Bible was written by men – albeit religious men, most of whom were no doubt devout adherents of God – but mortal men nonetheless. I do not think it significant that there are inconsistencies and anomalies in the texts. People screw things up at times. That human tendency can be particularly apparent in a collection or works that were written over a span of centuries by many different fallible men, and then transcribed and translated multiple times through many languages before reaching us in our time. So I expect to find such things and they have no impact on my faith. I understand, however, that you have an expectation that every jot and tittle be from God’s mouth and that even a misplaced comma might, in your view, indicate that God is fallible or capricious in ways that our common religious beliefs do not accept. (By the way, if anyone reading thinks that the positioning of a comma could not be a matter of theological moment, consider the division between the Eastern and Western churches over the Johanine comma controversy.

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        1. And for a more recent example, the placement of commas in the US Constitution’s Second Amendment has led some people to believe that its purpose was only to give the country the right to equip its own defensive forces with weapons. As if such a thing would need to be said, or included in a list of enumerated individual rights.

          It is my understanding that the rather colorful story told by John of Patmos did not make it into some versions of the Bible. Considering the literary and cinematic fortunes that have been derived from that story, it is perhaps fortunate for those retellers (and retailers) of the story that it is in the most common (King James) Bible.

          I am a member of a Mensa Linked-In group. It is members-only, so a link probably would not help. However, one of the recent discussions carries the title “Is the Bible historically accurate?” There are currently 228 comments. I’ve not followed this, but a glance just now showed this link posted to the thread, on the value of pi, represented as exactly 3 in 1 Kings 7:23.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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        2. What is interesting about the First Council of Nicaea, where some people think the canonized the Bible, is that the attendees did no such thing. Instead, they prepared to have skilled calligraphers transcribe fifty copies of the Holy Scriptures. that suggests there was much debate about what should be included.
          => http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2/NPNF2-03/Npnf2-03-10.htm#P1223_279388

          As odd as it may seem, I don’t think anyone decided what should be included within the Bible until after it had already been decided. Then scholars “decided” what should be included using “rules” that custom had already determined appropriate, and they made it “official.”

          Here are some other references.
          => http://www.gotquestions.org/canon-Bible.html
          => http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/who-decided-what-went-into-the-bible.html
          => http://www.biblica.com/en-us/bible/bible-faqs/how-were-the-books-of-the-bible-chosen/
          => http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Christian_biblical_canon
          =>https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2012/03/who-decided-which-books-should-be-included-in-the-bible

          When we stop to think about it, the process of officializing the Bible could not have occurred any other way except by custom. Until the time of Constantine, Christians faced a great deal of persecution. Therefore, no well organized church structure existed that could approve anything.

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  5. You’re quite right, Keith. There are several books in the Canonical Bible that almost didn’t make the cut. The Revelation of John of Patmos was one of them. Second Peter another. Similarly, there were some that were well-regarded at one time, but that fell into disfavor and were later discarded by the Church. There were also passages that were considered dubious within books that were accepted as otherwise worthy of being considered canonical. Many translations of Marc advise the reader that verses 9 through 20 of the last Chapter (16) are suspect. My recollection is that the version of the Bible used by the Roman Catholic Church contains such a caution. Again, I attach little significance to these things other than that they naturally reflect the man-written, fallible nature of these writings. However, for purposes of discussion in this thread, for those who regard the Bible as a direct-voice-of-an-inerrant-God phenomenon, small anomalies become very important and very threatening to the perception that there can be no fault, however minuscule because God Himself could not err.

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    1. I think Keith is joshing you. 1 Kings 7:23 is perfectly okay. With only one significant digit, pi = 3. Hence all we have is nothing more than a round-off “error.” 2 x 5 x 3 = 30. With a number like pi (an irrational number), we cannot avoid a round-off error.

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  6. Whether joshing or not (and perhaps an inherent good-natured jest enhanced my enjoyment of the link), the article Keith refers us to is a great read. Your explanation, Tom, is similar to that of Maimonedes. You have the advantage the great thinker did not have, however, in knowing that pi is an irrational number. The explanation attributed to Maimonedes seems an anachronism.

    I hope no serious engineering or construction projects depended on knowing the value of pi in Biblical times.

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  7. I wouldn’t think of “slap[ping] Keith around.” He showed me an interesting article and I appreciate it.

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  8. Keith and Tom: with regard to the apparent anomaly in the value of pi in First Kings Chapter 7, maybe this is an issue of translation. If the English translators had simply said that the vessel was “roundish” instead of “round all about”, we would not have had that interesting discussion that Keith linked. I suspect that the “- ish” suffix wasn’t in common usage in the early days. I’ll look forward to a new translation that smoothes that anomaly out.

    Keith – perhaps your Mensa friends can figure this out (it certainly is beyond my math-challenged capabilities): what would a vessel like the one referred to in First Kings have looked like if the ratio of diameter to the circumference were 3 instead of 3.14 etc? I’ve been trying to imagine, but it makes my head hurt.

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  9. @ 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.

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    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:
      https://carm.org/bible-difficulties/matthew-mark/why-are-there-different-genealogies-jesus-matthew-1-and-luke-3

      http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/jesusgenealogy.htm

      For Number 2:
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Judas-die.html

      https://answersingenesis.org/contradictions-in-the-bible/how-did-judas-die/

      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.

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      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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  10. 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

  11. 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.

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  12. 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.

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A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Derecho

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

Twenty First Summer

Thoughtful. Positive. Relevant.

Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Christian College Professor

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy

I Refuse To Follow Your Blog

Stop being a follower!!!

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

PUMABydesign001's Blog

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” Ronald Reagan.

nebraskaenergyobserver

The view from the Anglosphere

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

altruistico

People Healing People

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

Silence of Mind

Where God Speaks and Creation Listens

My Daily Musing

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample our enemies. Psalms 109:13

atimetoshare.me

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Nickel Boy Graphics

Comic Strips (Some Funny, Some Serious)

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

cookiecrumbstoliveby

Life through the eyes of "cookie"

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture." ColorStorm

Deo Vindice

The Great Commission, The Great Experiment, Virginia and my musings

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