Was Jesus Wrong?

Chris Tilling, prompted by a comment I left on an earlier post, has tackled head-on the question of whether Jesus was wrong. This is relevant not least to the discussion of evolution among Christians, since if one is persuaded that Jesus didn’t think evolution happened, and equally persuaded that Jesus could not have been wrong about this, then there is not much left to be said!

On what Bryant thought of evolution, and why, see Ken Schenck’s recent post on the subject.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10404666980227401390 Mike Beidler

    James,I noticed on Chris’ blog that you appealed to Matthew 16:28 and Mark 13:30 as evidence that Jesus was wrong about certain things. Was that your intent, or were you just stirring the pot to see what came to the surface?Either way, I would submit to you that those events occured just as Jesus predicted. You just gotta hop on board the preterist train to realize it. ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I’m riding the preterist train, but it seems clear to me that Matthew, at the very least, understood the prediction in question to refer to the “end”, since he refers to the Son of Man carrying out the final judgment immediately before saying that some standing there will not taste death before they see the Son of Man in his kingdom.None of what I wrote above means I wasn’t “stirring the pot”, of course… :)Woooo-woooo (in case you didn’t get it, that’s the train whistle blowing).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04581876323110725024 Robert Cornwall

    I’ve always wondered how Jesus could be truly human and be omniscient. I mean, when Jesus went to the local Hebrew school (I know he probably didn’t go to school), did always ace the tests? If Jesus could be wrong about things, does that mean we should throw off our faith? Especially if he messed up on his multiplication tables or failed a geometry test.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Well how could we possibly be followers of someone who didn’t know his multiplication tables? How could we be confident that he had obeyed the commandment to “be fruitful and multiply” if he had trouble with multiplication?Trying to be more serious about a comment that I don’t think was intended to be taken that way, it is interesting to think about the implication of Jesus’ education or lack thereof. For those who are less than orthodox and treat him as a divine omniscient person merely ‘dressed up’ as a human being, he had no need to go to school anyway. For those who take his humanity seriously (whether orthodox or not quite), we must face the fact that the human Jesus might not only have been lacking our modern scientific knowledge, but even the best available knowledge in his time…As a Christian working in higher education and trying to take the current state of our knowledge about science and other subjects seriously, that kind of puts things in perspective…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04581876323110725024 Robert Cornwall

    James,Yes, I was speaking somewhat tongue in cheek — but at the same time I think we need to think about what it means for Jesus to be “in the know.” As I read the gospels it’s quite clear that he’s not omniscient and that his knowledge depends on the presence of the Spirit. Unless we take his words simply as being “for effect.” Though John sometimes makes those kinds of claims — “he said that for those listening” kind of thing.

  • Anonymous

    When it says they will see the Son of man coming in his kingdom before they died, they did:Matt 17:1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp56.htm

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Anonymous, does it seem natural to you to interpret Jesus as having meant "There are some standing here who will not taste death within the next week"? That's not much of a prediction, and not an obvious way of understanding what was said.


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