What Gospel Did Paul Preach? [Hint: It Wasn’t Penal Substitutionary Atonement]

What Gospel Did Paul Preach? [Hint: It Wasn’t Penal Substitutionary Atonement] October 11, 2018

What is the Gospel? Well, it depends on who you ask.

If you ask some Christians today, especially the Reformed kind, you’ll hear something that sounds like a description of the crucifixion. That’s also called Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory, or the Satisfaction Atonement Theory.

All you need to know is: That’s not the Gospel. At least, not according to the New Testament, or to Jesus. It’s also a very new doctrine that didn’t show up until about a thousand years after Christ. It’s also not the only theory about the atonement, or the oldest. It’s actually one of many theories. And, at any rate, it’s not the Gospel.

The Gospel that Jesus preached was the Good News [or Gospel] of the Kingdom.

What’s the Gospel of the Kingdom, you ask? Well, very simply, it’s the “Good News” that the Kingdom of God where He rules and reigns can be experienced today by anyone who surrenders their life to Christ as their King and begins to learn to follow Jesus in their daily life.

Jesus talks about the Gospel of the Kingdom all throughout his ministry, for example:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” – Mark 1:15 

“The kingdom of God has come upon you.”- Matthew 12:28

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14

“For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17:21

“After his suffering, he [Jesus] presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 1:3

In fact, Jesus spoke almost exclusive about the Kingdom of God. His parables almost always start with the phrase: “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is like…” and then he will tell us a parable about man who finds a treasure in a field, or a man who seeks for precious pearls, or a woman who loses a coin, or a shepherd who seeks for his sheep, etc.

But nearly everything Jesus does and says is to emphasize something about the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Believe it or not, Paul also taught the Gospel of the Kingdom. The New Testament affirms this over and over again.

For example:

“I [Paul] have gone [among you] preaching the kingdom of God” – Acts 20:25

“We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.” – Acts 14:22

“For the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 14:17

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” – 1 Cor. 4:20

“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.” – Acts 19:8

“He [Paul] witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus.” – Acts 28:23

“He [Paul] proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!” – Acts 28:31

“Now I [Paul] know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.” – Acts 29:25

So, the Gospel that Jesus preached and the Gospel that Paul preached are exactly the same.

For that matter, Philip and the other Apostles also taught the Good News of the Kingdom [because there was no other Gospel to teach]. As we read in Acts:

“But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” – Acts 8:12 

See also: Heb. 1:8; 11:33; 12:28; James 2:5; 2 Peter 1:11; Rev. 1:6; 1:9; 5:10; 11:15; 12:10

So, what’s the big deal?

Well, the problem is that many Christians want us to believe that the Gospel is not what we read from the lips of Jesus, or what we find repeated over and over again in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Instead, they want us to believe that – based on one single verse – that the Gospel was given to us by Paul [not by Jesus] and is found in 1 Corinthians [not the Gospels].

To them, this is the Gospel:

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried,that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” (1 Cor. 15:1-8)

So, there are a few problems with taking this one verse and declaring that this is the Gospel:

First, Jesus [not Paul] came to declare the Gospel [Good News] of the Kingdom.

Second, the Gospel is contained in the Gospels, not in a letter to the church in Corinth.

Third, no theologian worth a damn would ever base an entire doctrine on a single verse of scripture.

Fourth, Paul and Jesus both preached the same Gospel of the Kingdom, as evidenced by the 8 verses above – as compared to this one single verse in 1 Corinthians.

Finally, the passage in 1 Corinthians mentions “the gospel that I preached to you” and then, after that, mentions a specific emphasis on something Paul passed on to them as “of first importance”. But these two things – “the Gospel I preached to you,” and “what I passed on to you as of first importance” – are not necessarily the same thing.

What’s more, Paul is obviously not seeking to be thorough in his statements here at all. He references the Gospel without spelling it out. He explains the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as something important, but eliminates the details about Jesus appearing first to Mary Magdalene at the Tomb [skipping on to Cephas or Peter instead].

So, I believe that based on the overwhelming evidence at our disposal, we can say with complete confidence that the Gospel that Paul preached was exactly the same Gospel that Jesus preached.

Here’s what else I can affirm based on that same evidence:  The Gospel preached by Jesus and Paul was not Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory. It was very simply, and very obviously, the exact same Gospel that Jesus preached, and that was the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Even the phrase, “Jesus is Lord”, which Paul uses often in his epistles, is a statement about the Kingdom of God, because, in a kingdom you need a king, or a “lord”.

Paul affirms to both Jews and Gentiles alike that everyone who confesses that “Jesus is Lord” will be saved. [See Romans 10:9]

This means that Paul understood the “Gospel of the Kingdom” and he taught it all throughout his ministry.

The confusion comes because some Christians have lost the “Jesus-Centric” approach to scripture. They major on the teachings of Paul and wrongly ignore the things that Jesus talked about.

They also get easily confused when Paul says:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel.” [Gal. 1:6]

Some Christians even think that Paul must be saying that he taught people to “live in the grace of Christ” and that there must be another Gospel that Jesus preached. As if there were two Gospels: one preached by Jesus to the Jews and one preached by Paul to the Gentiles.

But that’s not what Paul is saying. Not at all. In fact, let’s look again at the full passage and please notice something at the end:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” [Gal. 1:6-7]

Did you catch it? Notice that right after Paul says that people are turning away from the Gospel of Grace he refers to this Gospel as “the gospel of Christ”.

Wait, what?

That’s right: Paul’s Gospel of Grace is the Gospel of Christ.

And the Gospel of Christ is what Christ preached: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Keep in mind, Paul didn’t think he was writing the Bible. He was writing letters to friends and fellow Christians in various places who were struggling to follow Jesus in their respective lands.

Because of this, Paul doesn’t spend a lot of time repeating the Gospel of the Kingdom to these people. He knows they already know it. In fact, many of them knew this Gospel long before Paul knew it. Remember, when the movement stared, Paul [Saul] was persecuting the Church.

But we do know that Paul was aware of this Gospel of the Kingdom because:

A) he preached this Gospel all through his ministry [see references above] and

B) it was the only Gospel anyone in the Christian church had ever heard up to that point.

Elsewhere, Paul says we should prepare ourselves to preach the “Gospel of Peace” [Eph. 6:15], does that mean we have a third Gospel? Is the Gospel of Peace yet another Gospel competing for space with the Gospels of the Kingdom and Grace?

Of course not. There is only one Gospel. Paul knows that. The people he is writing to know that. There is no Gospel other than the one that Jesus preached.

Is the Gospel also about Grace? Yes.
Is the Gospel also about Peace? Yes, again.

Does the Gospel involve the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ? Yes, but to reduce the Gospel to an Atonement Theory is to totally miss the actual Gospel that Jesus specifically came to proclaim.

As Jesus affirms:

“I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:43)

There is only one Gospel and that is the Gospel that Jesus preached and that Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom, as found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and also in John.

Jesus and Paul both preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

We should too.

**

Keith Giles is a former pastor who left the pulpit 11 years ago to start a church that gives away 100% of the offering to the poor in their community. 

His new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb”.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. He and his wife live in Orange, CA with their two sons.

BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

 

 

"Yeah, please try and list the rough chrono order of the NT texts, if you ..."

What Gospel Did Paul Preach? [Hint: ..."
"Right, Josephus. So, no modern, peer-reviewed historian accepts either Josephus reference completely, and the most ..."

What Gospel Did Paul Preach? [Hint: ..."
"Yes I do. I know when it was written, who wrote it and when it ..."

What Gospel Did Paul Preach? [Hint: ..."
"Yes I understand deutoronomy 6:4But also undersatand John Chapter 1 v1 and v14.Jesus Christ is ..."

What Gospel Did Paul Preach? [Hint: ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Guy Montag

    it is quite funny to hear an argument about which doctrine is actually true, the one from a fictional character in the gospels, or the one from a hallucinatory schizophrenic.

  • Aaron Ploof

    I don’t see why Jesus was fictional or Paul was hallucinatory. If you can prove either of these things without a doubt, please go ahead.

  • Herm

    Penal Substitutionary Atonement” by the will of our Father in heaven would be like my sending my son to die for the ignorant trespasses of my “terrible-twos” great-great-great-grandchildren. How much should I expect two year old children to get it all right without ever stepping on a toe or two? It would be much better news to find out that their great-great-great-grandfather was aware and able to watch out for them, than to have their great-great-grandfather die to pay their childish debts back to me, don’t ya think?

  • Herm

    … now that is unsubstantiated news, and not all that funny unless, of course, that you are the God of love, peace and joy that we’re seeking here. What credentials do you have that support such judgment?

  • Herman Veenendaal

    Then what did Jesus mean when he said in Matthew 26, v28 ” This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” That statement implies substitutionary atonement. Interestingly he only says this in Matthew, not in the other gospels which recount the same event.

  • Atheists are funny. Since they don’t believe in God why do they waste their time telling us that His son Jesus was fictional. This is irrational behavior as time is precious.

  • Jesus meant what he said. Without His sinless life and death we would not be reconciled to God and could not ever be part of the Kingdom. If grace were the answer then why were Adam and Eve not the first example of that miracle?

  • Herman Veenendaal

    I was pointing out to the author that Corinthians 1 is not the only reference to substitutionary atonement. It is also mentioned in Matthew so I believe the author needs to do some more reading. Nevertheless I still have to ask why the statement I referenced from Matthew 26 is not found in the stories of the last supper in Luke, Mark and John.

  • jekylldoc

    One of the reasons penal substitutiary atonement did not develop for 1000 years is that it is not clear what is meant. We read into it the doctrine we have been taught, but it really isn’t stated clearly. Nor need it be – the first thing to get about atonement is that it is not a piece of spiritual magic occurring offstage. Its actual effect on hearts and society is probably the effect that Paul had in mind, and probably the one that Matthew refers to. Outside of Hebrews there is no “mechanical” theory of atonement put forward, and Hebrews doesn’t go so far as to declare it a substitution.

    The second thing to get is that sacrifice for propitiation is symbolic language and the OT doesn’t even use it much. So the set of concepts Jesus and Paul were working with were every bit as poetic as “with his stripes we are healed.” Sacrifice is often a matter of making a covenant “sacred”, by sharing a meal offered to God. At that point it would not be like an ordinary agreement to provide barley at the next harvest, etc., but would be a solemn undertaking by both sides. The most vivid pronouncement about sacrifice in the OT is “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,” which Jesus quoted as a key passage for understanding our relationship to God.

    The third thing to get is that Jesus did not explain a mechanical, transactional role for his crucifixion. If he had wanted us to understand penal substitutiary atonement, if our salvation had depended on that understanding, it would be clearly explained. So what is going on with the Matthew pronouncement? One possibility is that it was written in by the next generation to explain why a Passover meal had turned into sharing the body and blood. Another possibility is that the symbolism of our forgiveness depending on Jesus’ sacrifice was something Jesus wanted us to think about, not so much because our salvation depends on it as because it invites us as the Body of Christ to continue pouring out our lives for others.

  • jekylldoc

    You look remarkably like Ben Bernanke.

  • Herman Veenendaal

    Thank you, well stated.

  • jekylldoc

    I appreciate your unpacking of the Kingdom vs. Atonement tension, which I agree is a modern invention. I don’t think I agree with everything you said in your unpacking of the I Cor passage, though I think it makes some crucial points that bear emphasizing: the overall good news was probably preached month in and month out and would not need to be spelled out again; and the gospel of the Kingdom is not separate from or subsidiary to grace and atonement. They are interlinked.

    I first recognized that Substitutiary Atonement was too mechanical when I realized that the early Gospel proclamations, in which I will include Paul’s I Cor passage, have resurrection as the point and culmination, not some straggling denouement. Substitutiary Atonement doesn’t deny any importance to the Resurrection, but it does put it in a subsidiary, could-have-been-omitted position. Rather I think the early church had a looser concept of “dying for our sins” that combines the ransom language found in many of Paul’s writings (and also found in the Synoptics and the OT) with a sense that the sinfulness of the world is concentrated in the military regimes then ruling the world. Jesus’ death rescued us from sinfulness because we now inherit the promise of resurrection and need not be afraid of “those who can put to death our body.” To the early church Resurrection was central to the good news of the Kingdom, and the astonishing counterpart to the Suffering Servant role that Jesus enacted. Resurrection is the seal of God’s fulfillment when we take up our cross, participating in the destiny of Jesus and the on-going salvation of the world.

  • Herm

    Bob, who were Adam and Eve?

  • The OT points to the birth of Christ and the reasons for His birth. The NT reveals Jesus and God’s purpose. For example:
    Hebrews 2:9
    9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
    Not everything is duplicated in each gospel. That does not diminish the verse.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    According to the lexicon, the Greek word “aphesis” translated “forgiveness” properly means “release” or “freedom” – the passage should therefore more accurately read: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the deliverance from sins…” there is no implication in the passage that God requires Jesus’s death in order for him to forgive sins.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    “Outside of Hebrews there is no “mechanical” theory”? “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 NIV

  • jekylldoc

    I can’t even tell what you are saying here. You will have to explain. When I read Romans 2:13 it appears to me to be saying we need to obey the law. Does this somehow constitute a mechanical theory of atonement?

  • Theodore A. Jones

    The soteriological paradigm I’ve quoted was written by the apostle Paul. If an individual has the faith to obey that law Paul has referenced the result of obeying only that law has the outcome of being declared righteous by God for any individual who has the faith to obey it.

  • jekylldoc

    There’s a reasonable investigation of Paul’s intention going on which concludes that he was setting up (i.e. with a series of what we now call verses) an argument that the law was the way God provided for salvation of the Jews and the martyrdom and resurrection of Jesus was the alternative path which had become available “in the last days” for the Gentiles. Regardless of whether you buy that interpretation, I think it is a mistake to read that passage from Paul as a mechanical statement about magical results of obeying the law. If you obey the law you are a better person for it, and participate in the salvation process.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    There is only a singular gate. God not being a respecter of persons there are not gates.

  • Herman Veenendaal

    Thank you. I have long wondered if the modern translations from the Greek, including the King James, were slanted toward a doctrine which engenders guilt in believers. The idea of substitutionary atonement would create guilt. I have attended various churches services of different denominations, all follow a similar pattern of creating guilt and then offering redemption. I recently read an interesting article which compared a passage from Romans as written in the original Greek with a more modern translation, which translation would clearly achieve the guilt many churches seem to desire in their followers. Here’s a quote from the article.

    Romans 3:21-26

    New Revised Standard Version

    “But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed,
    and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God
    through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

    For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
    they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption
    that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of
    atonement by his blood, effective through faith.

    He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed
    over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time
    that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith
    in Jesus.”

    Authentic Letters of Paul

    “Only now has God’s reliability been made clear, independent of the tradition
    from the law, although the whole of scripture offers evidence of it.

    God’s reliability has now been made clear through the unconditional
    confidence in God of Jesus, God’s anointed, for the benefit of all who
    come to have such confidence – no exceptions!

    After all, everyone has messed up and failed to reflect the image of God.

    At the same time, we are all accepted by God freely as a gift through the
    liberation that comes when we identify with the Anointed Jesus, whom God
    presented publicly as the one who conciliates through his unconditional
    confidence in God at the cost of his life, in order to show God’s
    reliability by overlooking, by divine restraint, how we messed up.

    This shows God’s reliability at this decisive time, namely that God is
    reliable and approves the one who lives on the basis of Jesus’
    unconditional confidence in God.”

    There is a considerable difference in meaning in these two translations, the first one clearly suited to church doctrine. I have to wonder how much of the NT was translated in this fashion. Preaching sin/guilt/redemption would keep the pews filled.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I’d be interested in a link to the article. There is a lot of theological assumptions overlaid in the Greek in most translations, so I understand, although I had heard that the NRSV was one of the better ones. I have to say the translation you give really doesn’t sound like a literal translation either, but reads more like yet another interpretation (albeit differently slanted) of what someone thinks the text “really means”.

  • jekylldoc

    I don’t think it is a question of gates, but of ways by which the peaceable kingdom comes to people’s lives.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    There is only the Way.

  • jekylldoc

    I must tell you this sounds like an effort to exclude. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, though, since I am sure you understand that Jesus is the only gatekeeper.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    The murder of Jesus Christ by crucifixion only increased sin.

  • Herman Veenendaal
  • Iain Lovejoy

    They have a cheek. Their translation bears little resemblance to the original Greek, as far as I can tell, and far less than the NRSV.
    They translate “dikaiosyne” as “reliability” which it simply doesn’t mean: while “righteousness” might sometimes possibly a bit off, the alternative would be “justice”, not anything like “reliability “. What they translate as “the tradition from the law” is just the one word “law”, which could either refer to any law generally or specifically the Jewish law but definitely doesn’t have anything to do with extra-Biblical traditions. They paraphrase the actual Greek’s “law and the prophets” as “scripture” for no good reason. They “translate” as “the unconditional confidence in God of Jesus” the Greek which says literally either “faith in Jesus” or (possibly) “the faith / faithfulness of Jesus” and in which the word “God” does not even appear. “No exceptions!” purportedly translates Greek which says “because there is no difference”. They have simply rewritten the Greek “hysterountai”, which means ” fallen short” as “failed to reflect” and “doxa”, which means “glory”, as “image” with no justification at all. The Greek “dikaioumenou”, “declared righteous / innocent” becomes “accepted”. “That comes when we identify with” is simply made up where the Greek just has “in”. The literal Greek “through faith by his blood” somehow becomes “through his unconditional confidence in God at the cost of his life”. They add a nonexistent “decisive” to the Greek “at this time”. In the last phrase “the one who lives on the basis of Jesus’s unconditional faith in God” bears no resemblance to the Greek, which just says literally “the one who has faith in Jesus” (or conceivably “the one who has the faith of Jesus”).
    The purpose of the “translation” seems to be to have Paul say npt what he did say but what they think Paul ought to have said if Paul believed what they think he ought to have believed.

  • I experienced Christ as the consciousness of the Sun. I wrote an ebook about my experiences which is available to download in pdf form and is also available on blogger, links are below

    link to my free ebook, “Messages from the Sun God, Jesus Christ”
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/riox16d87g86626/Messages_10.pdf/file

    link to the ebook on blogger: https://messagesftsg.blogspot.com/

    blog http://www.jesuschristsungod.com

  • Summers-lad

    Galatians 1:6-7 has bothered me for some time, as my conviction has grown that the gospel commonly preached (whether expressed as penal substitutionary atonement or more broadly as depending on Jesus to save us from hell which is otherwise our destiny) is not the gospel that Jesus, or Paul, or any of the other apostles preached. Paul goes on to say “let him be accursed” (v8) of anyone who preaches a different gospel. But what does that mean in practice? A traditional view would be to say that anyone who preaches a different gospel is going to hell (which is pretty much what the Good News Bible says for v8). Therefore it would be wrong to take any part in a church which teaches that doctrine, and those who believe it are not Christians.
    I think – but haven’t fully worked out – that the gospel of the Kingdom leads us in a different direction. The condemnation to hell of believers in a different gospel is part of the “different gospel” package that we are familiar with. But can I have fellowship with believers in Christ who have been brought up with, and hold to, penal substitutionary atonement? I can, and I do. But am I downplaying Paul’s teaching on a “different gospel”? I think I am. Help!!
    One other point. While I agree with what you wrote, I find in Acts that a consistent theme of the Apostles’ preaching is that Christ is risen! The resurrection, as much as the Kingdom, is at the core of the gospel. Otherwise the king is dead.

  • Herman Veenendaal

    Thanks Iain. The only Greek I know is ‘Souvlaki’.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Strictly speaking, I don’t know any Greek either: I’m mostly muddling along with an on-line dictionary. It’s relatively easy to work out what the passage doesn’t say – I’d be struggling more to work out for definite what it does.

  • Widuran

    Paul preached Christ crucified ie penal substitution. Read Hebrews.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    I concur with your judgement that the soteriological belief preached by today’s churches ls not the gospel that Jesus, or Paul, or any of the other apostles preach. Jesus specifically states that it is the Holy Spirit’s objective to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin. Jn. 16:8 I suspect that if any contemporary church does that an accident has occurred.

  • David Cohen

    Hebrews was written anonymously. I doubt there is any historical scholar today who believes the myth that it was written by Paul.

  • Guy Montag

    Well, of course, I am sure you know that it is impossible to prove a negative (i.e. that Jesus did not exist). That said, the complete lack of historical evidence and a logical reading of the NT texts combined gives us a much, much higher probability that Jesus did not exist. Paul literally tells us he has hallucinations of Jesus, in fact, he tells us that his hallucinations and “scripture” are the only ways that he knows anything about the celestial Jesus. Paul also suffered from significant paranoia based on his writings, so when combined with his hallucinations, that’s a mental disorder, most likely schizophrenia.

  • Guy Montag

    Because believing in fairy tales as adults isn’t really great for society in general.

  • Guy Montag

    Or the myth that it is referring to a historical Jesus.

  • Guy Montag

    I can read…the bible?

  • Guy Montag

    Take your meds. I just wish Paul had had access to some meds, then maybe we wouldn’t even be in this mess.

  • Herm

    Well heh Guy, so then you know it is written that so could Caiaphas, the Pharisee Saul, all the Pharisees and all the teachers of the law read the “bible”. It was their intellectual credentials that crucified the Son of God, and thousands of his followers (most who could not read the Bible), in the name and authority of God.

  • Widuran

    Paul wrote Hebrews.

  • David Cohen

    And why should anyone believe that?

  • Herm

    Believing that you know enough to judge what came before the “Big Bang”, or after the “Big Collapse”, “isn’t really great for society in general“. Passing yourself as what you are not to criticize what you do not know “isn’t really great for society in general“. Tell us Guy, what is the makeup of a quark and prove to us that it exists, please.

  • Widuran

    History says so and I believe the truth

  • Guy Montag

    Ummm, what? Your kind of missing the point. “Their intellectual credentials” didn’t crucify a fictional character, except in the fictional, third-person omniscient written fairy tale. And who the heck is Saul, anyway? Another fictional character of the gospels?

  • David Cohen

    So…you believe whatever agrees with your suppositions then, regardless of contradictory evidence.

  • Guy Montag

    Wow, you’ve got me there. Did I say I knew what existed before the Big Bang of after the Big Collapse (whatever that is) or what the sub-particles of quarks are? No. And even if I did, are there any immoral and disgusting dogmas that negatively affect society associated with any of those currently only theoretical claims? No. However, we have more than enough hard historical, scientific and textual evidence that the bible is primarily fairy tales and that the absolute best case scenario for Jesus is of some wandering, deluded self-proclaimed Messiah (one of many during this period mind you), that was many decades later exaggerated and deified in the myths of the gospels. However, Paul appears to know of no historical Jesus, so even this Jesus most likely never existed.

  • Guy Montag

    “History” says so? What history?

  • Widuran

    True history

  • Herm

    NO Guy, you’re missing the point. Is it just the New Testament that you have determined is a “fairy tale” or the entire Bible? Are you a fundamentalist Jew still looking for the Messiah? Do you only accept only tangible physical facts as truth you can live with?

    No, Saul was not, “ Another fictional character of the gospels“. Paul was Saul before being filled with the Spirit of truth. This is written of outside the four Gospels. Apparently you didn’t get past Matthew, Mark, Luke and John reading the Bible. So, bad mouthing the apostle Paul must be on hear say alone. Others have testified in the Bible and here, much more convincingly than you, that they knew and know the Spirit and the Messiah personally.

    What are your credentials to critically judge another, out of ignorance, who knows differently than you?

  • Widuran

    There is not contradictory evidence

  • David Cohen

    So ancient hearsay is proved infallible by arguments of assertion.

  • Guy Montag

    Based on your views of reality and truth, there is an 83% chance you are a Trump supporter…

  • Herm
  • Guy Montag

    You should probably tell Paul he is Saul, ’cause he has no clue. You apparently are the one who has not read the bible very closely.

  • Widuran

    Wikipedia? LOLOL

  • Guy Montag

    Again, my credentials are, and the only one anyone needs to see the fiction in the bible, is that I can actually READ.

  • Herm

    … and your source for non-contradictory evidence for true history is???

  • Widuran

    Hello Thorn

    Traditional church history. The fact you disagree must mean Paul wrote Hebrews

  • Herm

    The Epistle to the Hebrews of the Christian Bible is one of the New Testament books whose canonicity was disputed. Traditionally, Paul the Apostle was thought to be the author. However, since the third century this has been questioned, and the consensus among most modern scholars is that the author is unknown.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorship_of_the_Epistle_to_the_Hebrews

    Thistle, read the verified discussion relative to the “Authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews” to break your addiction to tradition.

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    Thistle, read what Jesus says relative to learning from tradition rather than from the one Instructor, the Messiah.

    You know not what you speak!

  • Herm

    Well Guy, it is clear that you blame the Bible for human abuses. The Old Testament tells the bad news of humans abusing humans right from the metaphoric beginning, before the Torah, and continues through today with or without the Bible. The New Testament tells of the only good news possible to remedy our continued plight of humans abusing humans.

    Every story, fact or fiction, documented on this earth, has the potential of being used for subjugation of others by the self centered judgment applied by those of mankind who exalt themselves as superior, entitled, deserving attention, most perfect, controlling, intolerant, blameless, guiltless, having no defined boundaries, no need of empathy, and no need of emotional reasoning.

    It is historically documented, that for over three hundred years after Christ, the Messiah’s followers did not use a sword to intimidate, manipulate, coerce, or subjugate another person on earth, while thousands of them were murdered for their passive beliefs. After Constantine usurped the humanitarian message in the New Testament, summed up in everything do first to others, including your enemy, as you would have others do to you, the Bible became something people swore by (which Christ said we should never do) and inspiration for picking up the sword to kill enemies in the name of God (the opposite of what was spelled out in the New Testament).

    No Guy, you have not read the Bible for yourself or you would understand that it is not the source for religious, dogmatic, or theological abuse of mankind.

    I don’t expect you to understand a Spirit of truth living with and in you forever to teach you all truth as you can bear. I do expect you to be able to understand the benefit to realizing that the greatest among us will be our servants (because they have the most to offer). I do expect you to understand the value in that those who exalt them selves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    If you sought to fulfill your awareness and influence to your spiritual self, I would expect you to desire an intervening spirit who is an aware and influential entity, God/Allah/Deity, who is not a wrathful, vindictive tyrant seeking her/his/their vanity to be fed by their created pets. The Old Testament speaks to that kind of God. The New Testament speaks to this God:

    “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 5:33-48 (NIV2011)

    You wrote, “And even if I did, are there any immoral and disgusting dogmas that negatively affect society associated with any of those currently only theoretical claims?

    Is it the Bible you hate, or is the “immoral and disgusting dogmas” and “theoretical claims” you despise? If it is the latter then we hate the same source for destructive behavior of mankind against mankind, and so does the entire message found in the New Testament.

    There actually is a Spirit of truth of whom I can only testify, as scientists can only do the same for the quark, to as truly living with and in me, my spirit self heart, soul, strength, mind. I don’t expect you to accept that truth as any more than another delusion, hallucination, or mental disorder like schizophrenia. I don’t need, in anyway, the Bible today beyond intellectualizing spiritual truth with those of my species who do not see to accept the Spirit of truth to live with and in them forever. I do not belong to any organized religion on earth dependent on a study of God (theology) for their survival. I do not hold any allegiance to any except that which my love (empathy, tolerance, forgiveness, …) for all my fellows of mankind and of God demands. I read and share with all of Man and of God without ever blaming any document (fact, fiction, metaphoric, religious, fairy tale, mythological, …) for the evil (destructive spirit) we both witness to in mankind’s applied subjugation, intimidation, coercion, manipulation, propaganda, dogma, fabrication, and theology to rule over another by politics, religion or simply by the bully on the playground.

    I am 74 years of age. I have degrees, accreditation and applied experience in social, spiritual and physical sciences and have never blamed a book for the fall of mankind. Every document I have had to learn from I have had to apply discernment to separate fact from fiction. I learned many facts from the collected “fairy tales” presented by the brothers Grimm. I absolutely hated the spirit behind the book Mein Kampf but I certainly learned truth from antithetical discernment.

    Guy, you are criticizing a book as though it is your enemy, or that the proponents of that book are. If you do so for the former reason then the only final solution would be that the Bible was forever banned and struck from any other person ever being able to read it. If you do so for the latter reason then the only constructive solution possible is to first discern what is destructive and what is constructive, no matter whether fact of fiction, to mankind. Then, and only then, you can qualify the value of the book based the consequences if each part were applied.

    Just as a point of biblical fact, the applied spirit of Jesus (fact, fiction, myth, or fairy tale) was not in any way the cause of the crusades, but the spirit of Constantine definitely was a contributor. Perhaps, if you honestly wish to contribute to the increased welfare of mankind we would be better served if you focused on, in everything, doing to all others first as you would have all others do to you, including to your enemy. I love my merciful enemy no less than I love myself. I carry my cross supported by that sense of empathy, compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness that I would want my neighbor to have for me.

    Good luck! You are loved!

  • Guy Montag

    I appreciate the sermon, I really do. I do know the bible, the doctrines and the dogmas firsthand over many decades. I grew up in the church and in a very religious family and extended family. I don’t blame the bible or Christianity for ALL of human shortcomings over the last 2,000 years, there are many other bad religions, bad ideas, and bad books to go around. The golden rule predates Jesus by millennia, and the Jesus character seems like a decent guy, but he isn’t perfectly moral or perfectly reasonable by any stretch, Marcus Aurelius has him beat by miles, even without the whole son of god baggage. However, I really do get a bit bent out of shape when supposed believers can’t even get their own bullshit straight, either historically, textually, or doctrinally. You seem to have the type of benign and harmless golden rule type of religion that I do wish all Christians did, so you have that going for you.

  • Steven Smith

    So the true Gospel really has nothing to do with punishment for sin, but everything to do with divinity within us all. “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This is the same mystery the Upanishads speak of. Also all of the ancient Mystery Religions.

  • David Cohen

    So you admit there is no reason to think that Paul write Hebrews aside from ancient hearsay then.

  • Widuran

    From Got questions

    Question: “Who wrote the Book of Hebrews? Who was the author of Hebrews?”

    Answer: Theologically speaking, scholars generally regard the book of Hebrews to be second in importance only to Paul’s letter to the Romans in the New Testament. No other book so eloquently defines Christ as high priest of Christianity, superior to the Aaronic priesthood, and the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. This book presents Christ as the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). However, both the authorship and audience are in question.

    The title, “To the Hebrews,” which appears in the earliest known copy of the epistle is not a part of the original manuscript. There is no salutation, the letter simply begins with the assertion that Jesus, the Son of God, has appeared, atoned for our sins, and is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven (Hebrews 1:1-4).

    The letter closes with the words “Grace be with you all” (Hebrews 13:25), which is the same closing found in each of Paul’s known letters (see Romans 16:20; 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:24; Philippians 4:23; Colossians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15; and Philemon 25). However, it should be noted that Peter (1 Peter 5:14; 2 Peter 3:18) used similar—though not identical—closings. Possibly that it was simply customary to close letters like this with the words “Grace be with you all” during this time period.

    Church tradition teaches that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, and until the 1800s, that issue was closed. However, though a vast majority of Christians—both and scholars and the laity—still believe Paul wrote the book, there are some tempting reasons to think otherwise.

    First and foremost is the lack of a salutation. Some sort of personal salutation from Paul appears in all of his letters. So it would seem that writing anonymously is not his usual method; therefore, the reasoning goes, Hebrews cannot be one of his letters. Second, the overall composition and style is of a person who is a very sophisticated writer. Even though he was certainly a sophisticated communicator, Paul stated that he purposely did not speak with a commanding vocabulary (1 Corinthians 1:17; 2:1; 2 Corinthians 11:6).

    The book of Hebrews quotes extensively from the Old Testament. Paul, as a Pharisee, would have been familiar with the Scripture in its original Hebrew language. In other letters, Paul either quotes the Masoretic Text (the original Hebrew) or paraphrases it. However, all of the quotes in this epistle are taken out of the Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament), which is inconsistent with Paul’s usage. Finally, Paul was an apostle who claimed to receive his revelations directly from the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:23; Galatians 1:12). The writer of Hebrews specifically says that he was taught by an apostle (Hebrews 2:3).

    If Paul didn’t write the letter, who did? The most plausible suggestion is that this was actually a sermon Paul gave and it was transcribed later by Luke, a person who would have had the command of the Greek language which the writer shows. Barnabas is another likely prospect, since he was a Levite and would have been speaking on a subject that he knew much about. Martin Luther suggested Apollos, since he would have had the education the writer of this letter must have had. Priscilla and Clemet of Rome have been suggested by other scholars.

    However, there is still much evidence that Paul wrote the letter. The most compelling comes from Scripture itself. Remember that Peter wrote to the Hebrews (that is, the Jews; see Galatians 2:7, 9 and 1 Peter 1:1). Peter wrote: “…just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him [emphasis added]” (2 Peter 3:15). In that last verse, Peter is confirming that Paul had also written a letter to the Hebrews!

    The theology presented in Hebrews is consistent with Paul’s. Paul was a proponent of salvation by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8, 9), and that message is strongly communicated in this epistle (Hebrews 4:2, 6:12, 10:19-22, 10:37-39, and 11:1-40). Either Paul wrote the epistle, or the writer was trained by Paul. Although it is a small detail, this epistle makes mention of Timothy (Hebrews 13:23), and Paul is the only apostle known to have ever done that in any letter.

    So, who actually wrote Hebrews? The letter fills a needed space in Scripture and both outlines our faith and defines faith itself in the same way that Romans defines the tenets of Christian living. It closes the chapters of faith alone and serves as a prelude to the chapters on good works built on a foundation of faith in God. In short, this book belongs in the Bible. Therefore, its human author is unimportant. What is important is to treat the book as inspired Scripture as defined in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Holy Spirit was the divine author of Hebrews, and of all Scripture, even though we don’t know who put the physical pen to the physical paper and traced the words.

    History suggests Paul or Luke

  • Widuran

    Thorn It is Luke or Paul who wrote Hebrews most definitely

  • Obscurely

    Pastor Brian Zahnd has been a passionate and biblically articulate critic of penal substitutionary atonement. Here’s a link to the key critic of his famous “Monster God” debate with Michael Brown. Must viewing for Christians troubled with the concept of a violent God. (You can google “monster god debate” for the complete debate.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGYFjKa5n0Y&feature=youtu.be

  • David Cohen

    The article you cut and pasted says that the most compelling evidence is that two other letters mention a letter to the Hebrews. There is, however, on reason to think that the Biblical book of Hebrews was that letter. If that is the most compelling evidence then, again, all you have to support your case is hearsay.

    The fact that Hebrews reflects an orthodox view of faith hardly proves that Paul wrote it. It is just as likely that ancient scholars were so impressed by the books orthodox lessons that they invented a connection to Paul in order to get more people to read it. Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that the Timothy mentioned in Hebrews was the same Timothy to whom someone forged two letters in the name of Paul.

    The author of the article states that the human author of Hebrews is unimportant. That assertion implies that anyone could write something and it could have canonical authority. The Christians who assembled the canon were not so casual, hence the need to invent a connection between Hebrews and an apostle.

  • Obscurely

    I’ve always admired the humility of C. S. Lewis on divisive faith topics like atonement. I’ll briefly synopsize the view of atonement Lewis expresses in his book Mere Christianity.

    Lewis first states his larger project in the Preface — “to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.” In the chapter “The Perfect Penitent” Lewis begins by including the general efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice in this common creed, but excluding specific theories of atonement — “What I came to see later on was that neither this theory [penal substitutionary atonement] nor any other is Christianity. The central Christian belief is that Christ’s death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start.”

    Lewis then goes on to liken the atonement to getting nourishment from a meal without knowing how digestion works on a biological level. He also compares the atonement to something like subatomic particles, whose reality can only be expressed with a mathematical formula that we can only understand through analogies and mental pictures (theologies of atonement) that are not the reality themselves. Lewis poses the obvious question, what good can the atonement do us if we can’t understand it. His reply suggests the proof of the pudding is in the eating — “A man can eat his dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him. A man can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it.”

  • Widuran

    I disagree with your analysis but I get the impression no matter what evidence is brought forward you will not believe.

  • David Cohen

    You have not provided any evidence. You have only provided assertions and one cut and pasted article which you apparently did not put any thought into.

  • Widuran

    I have but you do not like it.

  • David Cohen

    So you are incapable of seeing that simply making assertions is not the same as providing evidence then.

    That explains a lot.

  • Widuran

    No you do not liked reasoned evidence where it is proven the writer was either Paul or Luke. But you hate the evidence as it counters your biased opinions

  • Herm

    About 500 years before Christ’s teaching Confucius taught:

    “Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.”

    Analects 15:23

    It is amazing to me how long “the golden rule” has been considered philosophically obvious, as though simply just good commonsense ethics, while so few of a proud reasoning and feeling mankind apply it.

    As far as Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor, beating Jesus, the carpenter Messiah, “by miles”(???):

    He ruled the Roman empire from 161 to 180. He was a student of, and contributor to, the “Stoic” philosophy

    From his written 12 book Meditations I quickly have taken two excerpts and contrasted them to two excerpts taken from the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

    Soon you’ll be ashes or bones. A mere name at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, trivial.

    Meditations Book 5:33

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:25-28 (NIV2011)

    Does the light of a lamp shine and keep its glow until its fuel is spent? Why shouldn’t your truth, justice, and self-control shine until you are extinguished?

    Meditations Book 12:15

    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:9-13 (NIV2011)

    Even if taken by only commonsense idealism I would be more drawn to the hope from the New Testament than what feels to me as the hopelessness found in Meditations. I know answer to more than my commonsense idealism now that I know life in the flesh as versus life in the Spirit, so I’m biased here.

    Just to refresh my failing memory I looked this up and couldn’t consolidate it better than presented:

    During his reign, the Roman Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East; Marcus Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the Parthian capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Marcus Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic peoples began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. Persecution of Christians is said to have increased during his reign.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius

    Honestly, I do not see conquests, subjugation, and persecuting as solutions to mankind’s proclivity for abusing itself, that Marcus was primarily responsible to, as beating by a mile, Jesus’ demand that his followers put down their swords and carry their cross.

    For your information I am not a membered Christian. I am a student of the Messiah, taught by the Teacher living with and in me, promised forever, without pause. I would elect to be a student of Confucius before I would subscribe to the scattered, competitive and differing Christian (even Judeo/Islamic) religious dogma, theology, creeds, ritual, interpretation, surmising, and conjecture without any direct relationship with God. Confucius taught more correctly to humbly and honestly look within oneself first to find God.

    I do empathize with your concerns but find criticizing a book, or even a person’s philosophy, without offering considered constructive alternatives is self-exalting while touting a presumed superiority that benefits none.

    As far as getting their bullshit straight, either historically or doctrinally, is concerned, you give each member of the species mankind too much credit. Most adults are still trying to survive the tribal traditions instilled in them as a child. As a little child of God, my Father is in me, and I in him, as is true of all who are of God and God in them, so there is no scattered tribalism, only unity bound together as one in all love. As an individual child/adult of Man, I make every effort to break down the barriers of tribalism to unite all of Man to the cause of each of Man, for the welfare of the whole of Man. Again, I don’t expect you to accept such testimony beyond what you can bear today, as a child/adult of Man. Please, don’t mistake my shared testimony of relationship with and in God as benign and harmless. I do wield a sword from my mouth, and from my writing, that is meant to separate the truth benefiting each of Man, together with the whole of mankind, from the fragmenting, ever evolving, and self-centered traditional tribal teaching of Man. I certainly do not consider your writing as benign and harmless or I would not have responded.

  • David Cohen

    If you are referring to the article you did not bother to put any thought into, I explained what the problems with it were. You simply disagreed with my analysis without explanation. As for the rest of what you said, allow me to quote you:

    “Paul wrote Hebrews.”
    “History says so and I believe the truth”
    “There is not contradictory evidence”

    You might imagine that you were giving reasoned evidence, but you were, in fact, just making assertions.

  • Herm

    Present evidence for your certainty, please! Your exalted authority alone is too highly suspect for any us to take your word for biblical authorship at face value.

  • Guy Montag

    Oh, I am definitely not writing to be benign or harmless, I am pointing out people’s inconsistencies with reality, either historic, scientific, or literal. My point wasn’t that Aurelius was perfect, he was a product of his age and place, but he was real, which again, I am a bit prone to taking on the wisdom of someone who actually lived what they preached, than never existed.

  • Guy Montag

    The Jesus in Hebrews is a celestial/mystical being who dies in a lower heaven, not on earth. The OT “points” to many things about Jesus in the NT, because the NT texts were written to confirm these “points”. Pretty obvious stuff, really.

  • Widuran

    Well considering all your dodgy heresies your exalted authority is as far from Christ as you can get

  • Widuran

    The only one making assertions is you. The evidence is clear it was either Paul or Luke. You are making unsubstantiated claims. You deny the evidence as it does not meet your biased expectations.

  • David Cohen

    See folks, this is what religious fanaticism does to your thinking

    Sad, isn’t it?

  • Widuran

    My thinking. It is you who denies evidence when it is presented

  • Herm

    There you go again, trying to bait with conjecture. I know that the carpenter from Nazareth lived and taught on earth for three years. I know that he is the prophesied Christ with all authority in heaven and on earth today for all those of God in the Spirit, on earth and in heaven.

    I don’t expect you to know what I know, for you clearly do not have a like relationship. I do not enter your sanctuary to impress my relationship as superior, in any way, to yours, for I do not pretend to know yours. I am not responsible to your relationships. I do to you as I would have you do to me.

    You wrote, “Well, of course, I am sure you know that it is impossible to prove a negative (i.e. that Jesus did not exist).

    The fact is, however, that this supposed “law of logic” is no such thing. As Steven D. Hales points in his paper “You Can Prove a Negative,” “You can’t prove a negative” is a principle of folk logic, not actual logic.

    Notice, for a start, that “You cannot prove a negative” is itself a negative. So, if it were true, it would itself be unprovable. Notice that any claim can be transformed into a negative by a little rephrasing—most obviously, by negating the claim and then negating it again. “I exist” is logically equivalent to “I do not not exist,” which is a negative. Yet here is a negative it seems I might perhaps be able to prove (in the style of Descartes—I think, therefore I do not not exist!)

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/believing-bull/201109/you-can-prove-negative

    Marcus Aurelius knew of the followers of Christ and acted to persecute them when they were not carrying any weapons but the sword from their mouth.

    There is, at minimum, no matter how offended you are by its results, substantiation for over the last 1,900 years that some spirit existed to maintain an overwhelming influence from what you call a fairy tale, myth and schizophrenia inspiring what is written in the Christian Bible. Some would even say that that spirit has a life of its own. Just because the good of that spirit, which sustained its worth for all these many years for so many, many good and intelligent people, has been usurped to benefit modern day Pharisees and teachers of the law (who did exist historically even outside the Bible), who coveted God’s authority over all, to further the evil of tribalism for their profit is offensive to you, does not prove that the Messiah did not exist. Because you have not matured into a personal awareness of the image of God, gifted all of mankind, does not prove it does not exist. Just because you cannot prove anything existed before our physical cosmos does not prove there was nothing before.

    When I mentioned discernment earlier it was insinuated to expect responsible discussion and self honesty.

    During my young adulthood, the next realization I came to after acknowledging infinity and eternity as reality was how little I knew of what there is yet left to know. That awareness was quantified statically and since then I have realized that if we add the dynamic of relationships, carnal and spirit, we would have to exceed eternity before we would have the time necessary to know all as certain truth.

    If you insist on belittling others founded purely on your absolute certainty that something, or someone, just couldn’t have existed when the book chronicling that existence, in its present form, has lasted for over 1,500 years to influence many discerning scholars, then have at it. I will not respond to your unsubstantiated attacks any longer.

    Have a good one!

  • David Cohen

    Spurious evidence should be identified as such.

  • Herm

    … in your humble opinion? Based on what?

  • If you knew anything about the bible you would realize how silly that comment is. But you don’t and you won’t. If you get desperate enough someday you will cry out to God despite your denials now.

  • Guy Montag

    Why does Jesus ride in on TWO donkeys in Matthew? Because Matthew is writing stories to confirm prophecy, not recording history. The other gospel writers have ONE donkey, because they, although all Greek educated and Greek writers, understand the Hebrew text and style where the prophecy is taken better than Matthew, who takes it literally. Stupid shit like this happens throughout the gospels and Acts because they are all adding to and inventing there own Jesus for their specific audience. Then read Paul’s authentic epistles, Hebrews and James, and find one unambiguous reference to a historical Jesus man who lived on earth. You won’t find one.

  • Guy Montag

    Right, thank you, as this was getting very tedious. You “know” Jesus existed, that he was a carpenter. that he was from Nazareth and that Nazareth even existed in the 1st century, even though you have no actual evidence outside the bible of any of this, which is itself a ridiculously historically unreliable set of texts. You “know” these things? You realize that is delusional thinking, right?

    And the semantic games that you insist on playing only prove the utter weakness of your position. Yes, technically, the broad statement of “you cannot prove a negative” is logically falsifiable, however, the basic meaning and use of it is rational and practical in most situations. So, to be more specific for you, it is, in all practicality, impossible to prove that a specific human being did not exist in history.

    It all comes down to this. There is ZERO evidence of a holy spirit, god, satan, heaven, hell, miracles, sin, good, evil, souls, free will, angels, demons, or anything super natural, and to try and fill the gaps in human understanding and knowledge with any of those is just intellectually lazy, infantile and, back to my original point, not generally good for society.

  • Widuran

    History Thorn

  • Widuran

    Gotquestions

    The word penal means “related to punishment for offenses,” and substitution means “the act of a person taking the place of another.” So, penal substitution is the act of a person taking the punishment for someone else’s offenses. In Christian theology, Jesus Christ is the Substitute, and the punishment He took (at the cross) was ours, based on our sin (1 Peter 2:24).

    According to the doctrine of penal substitution, God’s perfect justice demands some form of atonement for sin. Humanity is depraved, to such an extent that we are spiritually dead and incapable of atoning for sin in any way (Ephesians 2:1). Penal substitution means Jesus’ death on the cross propitiated, or satisfied, God’s requirement for justice. God’s mercy allows Jesus to take the punishment we deserve for our sins. As a result, Jesus’ sacrifice serves as a substitute for anyone who accepts it. In a very direct sense, Jesus is exchanged for us as the recipient of sin’s penalty.

    Penal substitution is clearly taught by the Bible. In fact, much of what God did prior to Jesus’ ministry was to foreshadow this concept and present it as the purpose of the Messiah. In Genesis 3:21, God uses animal skins to cover the naked Adam and Eve. This is the first reference to a death (in this case, an animal’s) being used to cover (atone for) sin. In Exodus 12:13, God’s Spirit “passes over” the homes that are covered (atoned) by the blood of the sacrifice. God requires blood for atonement in Exodus 29:41–42. The description of Messiah in Isaiah 53:4–6 says His suffering is meant to heal our wounds. The fact that the Messiah was to be “crushed for our iniquities” (verse 5) is a direct reference to penal substitution.

    During and after Jesus’ ministry, penal substitution is further clarified. Jesus claims to be the “good shepherd” who lays down His life for the sheep in John 10:10. Paul, in Romans 3:25–26, explains that we have the righteousness of Christ because of the sacrifice of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, he says that the sinless Christ took on our sins. Hebrews 9:26 says that our sins were removed by the sacrifice of Christ. First Peter 3:18 plainly teaches that the righteous was substituted for the unrighteous.

    There are quite a few different theories about how, exactly, Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the penalty of sin. Penal substitution is the most logically and biblically sound view.

  • Herm

    You are a child, I’ll give you that. History actually goes both ways, with the most prevalent thoughts among studious scholars of the Christian church certain that the apostle Paul did not author the book of Hebrews. In all reality, it does not matter who wrote Hebrews if it leads you to the one Teacher for all students of the Messiah.

    Just take note, during your exhaustive study of the Bible, that it was absolute certainty developed from Sadducee and Pharisee historical traditions that authorized the murder of the Son of God in the name of God. What keeps you from crucifying children of God today in God’s name, church tradition or the Spirit of truth living with and in you this moment? You can’t have both.

  • Widuran

    I am a Child of God this is correct.

    Most scholars and historians say it was either Paul or Luke,

    After studying the scriptures it is clear Jesus Christ is God and was man.

    Hebrews makes it clear penal substitution was needed. Jesus sacrificed himself once and for all so we can all be saved by the shedding of his blood.

    What do you mean – What keeps you from crucifying children of God today in God’s name, church tradition or the Spirit of truth living with and in you this moment? You can’t have both.

  • Herm

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    Matthew 10:37-39 (NIV2011)

    Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

    John 12:23-26 (NIV2011)

    You are not a child of God because you study your scripture and have been sprinkled and/or immersed. You must be fully filled (whelmed), which is what baptized means, by the Holy Spirit, as Jesus was by he who appeared as a dove to lead Jesus into the wilderness, before you are a child of God, led into all truth as you can bear. Baptized means that your heart, soul, strength, mind of spirit (the image of God gifted all of our species on earth) must die to all influence of flesh and be born, with no room within for influences of the flesh remaining, filled by the Spirit of truth, as are my brother Jesus, my heavenly Father, and all other children of God. The Son of Man, our Father, the mother, and all children of God, throughout all time to heavenly date, are of one God, who is spirit, bound together in one Spirit by all love. You cannot be led by any earthly church tradition, or study, and be filled by the Spirit of truth at the same time. There simply is no room for both. You can serve one or the other only.

    Penal substitution depends on the doctrine conceived by the study of God, sans relationship with and in God, of the Trinity. There is no such relationship in God mentioned by the Messiah in scripture. If Christ suffered the death, punishment and curse due to fallen humanity as the penalty for our sin why does he insist that I carry my cross today in love for my merciful enemy, and by the will of my Father for the love of the world?

    Humanity developed over a minimum of 200,000 revolutions of the earth around our sun, possibly considered from the origin of earth 4.5 billion years ago, or the universe 13.8 billion years ago. The species mankind, gifted the image of God at some time in their development, was not curse by some fall into sin (transgression against a law they were ignorant of). Our species of flesh was never separated from the grace of God, who is spirit.

    There are thousands of mankind’s religious studies, throughout this world, and documented for only a short time relative to the age of mankind. Each of those pursuits study a spirit awareness that no other species of animal or plant on earth show any interest in. The only separation “Christianity” has from the other theologies is the possibility that we can actually become one in relationship with God, who is spirit, through our own image of God, which is spirit. Not accepting that possibility, to rely solely on our own fleshly wits, makes us no different than any other religious pursuit by Man on earth. Jews, Christians, Muslims (to name the children of Abraham by order), Buddhists, and Hindus have all had a history of fundamentalist atrocities that they did in the name of God (by any name). Only due to Christ’s ministry on earth can mankind find salvation from those atrocities. What penalty must Christians pay for the atrocities they committed in the name of Christ against Muslims in the crusades, or against native Americans (North, Central, South)?

    You don’t believe me, led this moment by the Spirit of truth? Come down from your exalted high horse and humbly ask God for yourself, he is right there with you if you could only open your heart and mind of spirit to see him.

  • Herm

    There are quite a few different theories about how, exactly, Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the penalty of sin. Penal substitution is the most logically and biblically sound view.

    Without the Spirit of truth to lead us into all truth, as we can each bear, whose “most logically and biblically sound view” of the “quite a few different theories” do we know for sure to accept as God’s truth?

    Statement of Faith

    Section 1: The Bible
    We believe the Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired, infallible, and authoritative Word of God (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). In faith we hold the Bible to be inerrant in the original writings, God-breathed, and the complete and final authority for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While still using the individual writing styles of the human authors, the Holy Spirit perfectly guided them to ensure they wrote precisely what He wanted written, without error or omission (2 Peter 1:21).

    https://www.gotquestions.org/faith.html

    GotQuestions.org is a ministry of dedicated and trained servants who have a desire to assist others in their understanding of God, Scripture, salvation, and other spiritual topics. We are Christian, Protestant, evangelical, theologically conservative, and non-denominational. We view ourselves as a para-church ministry, coming alongside the church to help people find answers to their spiritually related questions.

    We will do our best to prayerfully and thoroughly research your question and answer it in a biblically based manner. It is not our purpose to make you agree with us, but rather to point you to what the Bible says concerning your question. You can be assured that your question will be answered by a trained and dedicated Christian who loves the Lord and desires to assist you in your walk with Him. Our writing staff includes pastors, youth pastors, missionaries, biblical counselors, Bible/Christian college students, seminary students, and lay students of God’s Word.

    All of our answers are reviewed for biblical and theological accuracy by our staff. Our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann, is ultimately accountable for our content, and therefore maintains an active role in the review process. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Calvary University and a Master’s degree in Christian Theology from Calvary Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO).

    https://www.gotquestions.org/about.html

    Not one place within GotQuestions.org do they mention that you must die to the flesh (especially influenced by Pharisaical teaching) and be born again in the Spirit, to be led into all truth by him, the one, and only, Teacher for all disciples of the Messiah. Thistle, your dependence upon “Christian, Protestant, evangelical, theologically conservative, and” self declared “non-denominational” teachers tells us all who leads you, and it certainly isn’t the Spirit of truth.

  • Widuran

    Hello Thorn

    Oh dear you have resorted to deception tactics and personal attacks. Calling me a Pharisee how underhand of you and insulting other Christians who know more than you.

    Hebrews 9

    The Blood of Christ
    11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining[b] eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

    15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

    16 In the case of a will,[d] it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”[e] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

    i.e. Penal Substituition

  • madalyn baumstark

    Finally! One can see a debunking of the sacrificial atonement thesis in print, by a Christian thinker, outside Richard Rohr and the Franciscan tradition. Perhaps a way to teach the notion would be to reboot the Prodigal Son parable for literary emphasis: When the returning son is being celebrated, he asks about the faithful son and brother who is notably absent from the fete. His father responds, “Oh, he’s hanging on the cross by the side of the road to Jerusalem. I had to execute him because of your actions”…. Might raise a few eyebrows, but would drive home the point.

    And we should add to the mix Nadia Boltz-Weber’s observation that the parable should be called The Prodigal Father, as it is the father’s excess, abundance of, and over the top largess that is on display.

    THAT ‘s the good news.

  • Theodore A. Jones

    The soteriological assumption of substitutionary atonementpenal substitutionary atonement was ruled to be a soteriological falsehood by Jesus himself prior to the sin of murdering him by crucifixion. “When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin” AFTER! the sin of murdering him by crucifixion. Jn. 16:8a NIV For it to be true that just the sin of murdering Jesus by crucifixion has resolved all of your outstanding issues with sin Jesus’ stated opinion prior to to murdering him by crucifixion does not substantiate the soteriological assumption you have faith in. The issue of guilt relative to sin cannot remain as an unresolved issue post of the murder of Jesus by crucifixion, but according to him it indeed does.

  • You are so disingenuous. Many on this site say Matthew was an illiterate fisherman and his gospel was written four hundred years later. So these unidentified “Christians” four hundred years in the future decided to craft the Gospels in accord with the OT. Preposterous.

    Stupid shit is the basis of your argument. Your points have bee unsuccessfully raised by others. Because you say there is no reference to an historical Jesus does not make it so. What you mean is that there is no historical reference that you will accept. That is why you have to invent discrepancies that don’t exist.

    If two billion people on earth today call themselves Christian and since the bible is the most published book in the history of the world you bear the offer of proof on your assumptions about God and the Word and you are clearly not up to the challenge.

  • Herm

    Calling me a Pharisee how underhand of you and insulting other Christians who know more than you.

    I am not a Christian, anymore than Jesus is a Jew. I am a sibling disciple of Christ led into all truth by the one, and only, Spirit of truth.

    I did not exalt you to the status of Pharisee for your studies of scripture pale to theirs. You, by your fruit are dependent upon the leadership of modern day Pharisees, no more in the truth than the crowd yelling, “crucify him”. Those you claim know more than me don’t claim one Teacher and don’t teach others to become disciples of the one Instructor, the Messiah. They have as much relationship with and in God as any diligent mankind student of scripture, sans relationship with and in the Holy Spirit, as were the Sadducee, Pharisees and teachers of the law who led others, like yourself, to insist that the only begotten Son of God be crucified in the name of God for his sin of blaspheme.

    But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

    Hebrews 9:11-28 (NIV2011)

    Let’s go over a few real lessons, taught me by the one Teacher:

    For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

    The new covenant forever between God and mankind is Jesus having all authority in heaven and on earth, that no child of God born of the Spirit will be left orphaned, that all children of God will inherit eternal life by loving the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength, with all their mind (their spirit self they are responsible to), and like that they each love their merciful neighbor, enemy or not, first and no less than they would have others love them.

    The first covenant that mankind has now been set free from by Jesus, if they choose, was the authority vested by God in Moses’ seat [Matthew 23:2]. When the curtain before the Most Holy was torn from top to bottom, when Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross, the authority of the Moses’ seat ceased, the covenant broken. The greatest trespass, sin, “committed under the the first covenant” was the murder of God in the name and authority of God. Under the present eternal covenant this cannot happen by any when filled with the Spirit of truth, who was by the first covenant available only to the high priest behind the curtain of the Most Holy. That trespass continues today perpetrated against children of God, carrying their own cross, by those today who emulate the divine relationship free Pharisees, Sadducee high priest, and teachers of the law usurping the authority of the Messiah, who will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:10 (NIV2011)

    For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:20 (NIV2011)

    For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

    Romans 14:17-18 (NIV2011)

    Read to comprehend, inviting the Holy Spirit to counsel you, all of Romans 6.

    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

    But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

    Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    Romans 8:1-17 (NIV2011)

    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

    Romans 8:1-2 (NIV2011)

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    The word penal means “related to punishment for offenses,” and substitution means “the act of a person taking the place of another.”

    Why, do you think, that I as a child of God, sibling of Jesus, carry my cross? Whose punishment for offenses am I prepared to take the place of?

    There truly is nothing in Hebrews, or the entire Bible, that supports the dogmatic conjecture labeled penal substitution. If the Spirit of truth is with and in you forever you are set free from the sin of the law of flesh. If the Spirit of truth is not with or in you then you remain subject to the law of flesh. If you insist on being led by carnal church studies of God then you remain subject to the law of flesh, as were those voting to, “crucify him”.

  • Widuran

    Jesus was a Jew

    If you claim you are not s Christian then you need to be saved

  • Widuran

    You are wrong I cannot see your falsehood in scripture

  • Theodore A. Jones

    “I cannot see your falsehood in scripture”. I do not publish soteriological falsehood which is why you do not see any.

  • Herm

    So, is Jesus subject to the Jewish faith, the old covenant?

    I was once a sprinkled, immersed and ordained authority, administering the sacraments while subject to the laws defined by each of my differing Christian churches. I died to all that when I was born of the Spirit, filling all of me, to be a child of God forever.

    I am saved from any allegiance to the confused and scattered studies of God on earth and am subject only to Jesus’, who I know in me and he knows me in him, authority and instructions in heaven and on earth. I am baptized with and in the Spirit of truth as my one, and only, Teacher. I love the Lord my God, who I know one in One, with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, with all my mind, and, like that, I love my neighbor as myself. I abide in everything doing to all others first as I would have any other do to me.

    Would you agree that righteous Christians trust in, imitate, and obey Jesus only? That Christian I would claim to be.

    I claim no affiliation with any organized church on earth united under any dogma, theology and hierarchy of authority that is not Christ’s. I am not a card carrying member of the carnal religious Christian movement on earth and I don’t need to be to be saved to inherit eternal life as a child of God, born of the Spirit.

    I only worship God, my Father, in the Spirit and in truth.

    Your judgment of my condition in the Spirit reeks of the chronicled relationship Caiaphas had with God, when Jesus was before him, in his court. He didn’t see to accept God in his midst, either. Good luck with that! I really do wish you well!

  • Herm

    The Advocate came and is here! Read fully the scripture, in context, for yourself, inviting the Advocate to counsel you in the truth. Please, throw off your dependence upon traditional teachings from theology, to accept he who can lead you into all truth forever.

  • Guy Montag

    OMG, what ARE you talking about? Four hundred years later? Who says that? The gospels were written late 1st century, early 2nd, decades, not centuries after the Jesus character supposedly lived and Paul wrote his epistles. Do you actually know the historicity of the bible itself? Do you even have a vague understanding of the chrono order and historical and religious context the books were written in?

    There is no contemporary non-biblical reference to Jesus, period. There are only non-biblical references to Christians repeating the gospels in the late 1st century and after, period. A plain reading of the NT texts in order and in context shows a celestial Jesus in the epistles turned into an inconsistent, prophecy-fulfilling, fictional, earthly Jesus in the gospels.

    And by your logic, since there are 1.5 billion Muslims, Islam must be at least 75% as true as Christianity. Slavery has been nearly ubiquitous throughout human history, so it must be correct and moral. Popularity doesn’t make things true or moral. That’s just dumb.

  • Triggerman1976

    Should have been titled, “Let me show that I don’t understand the necessity of the atonement that makes the gospel good news” it would have saved a lot of unnecessary reading.

  • Triggerman1976

    You don’t understand the parable of the prodigal sons.

  • Widuran

    I trust traditional teachings over you any day

  • Widuran

    Yes you do

  • Widuran

    Jesus was a Jew simple as

    I wonder if you even go to a church or do you follow Christ in your own image

  • Widuran

    Yes

  • Herm

    You are a snarky one, aren’t you?

    Which sect of the Jewish religion was Jesus affiliated with the Pharisees, Essene, Ebionites, Scribes, Priests, Sadducee, Herodians, Zealots, Sicarii, Proselytes, or the Common People? Is Jesus a Jew today?

    I am in church right this moment, thank you!

  • Herm

    So did Caiaphas trust traditional teachings over Jesus’ teaching. Why do you refuse to accept the one Teacher only?

  • Widuran

    I accept God as my teacher and he spoke through the prophets and church fathers.

  • Widuran

    Jesus was and is a Jew always.

  • Herm

    You cannot seem to read scripture for your self:

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    There are no such thing as “church fathers” in Jesus’ church.

    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

    Matthew 16:15-20 (NIV2011)

    The rock Jesus has secured his church on is what our Father in heaven reveals to us through the Advocate.

    “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    John 14:25-26 (NIV2011)

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    God speaks through the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, to disciples of the Messiah.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    To those who are not disciples, yet, from all nations are taught by disciples today how to accept the Spirit of God as their only teacher.

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV2011)

    You are not a disciple of the Messiah, yet.

  • Herm

    Jesus’ church, that he built and administrates as high priest forever, is not Jewish. You truly do not understand born again.

  • Widuran

    Jesus as a man was Jewish. To belong to Christs body the church is for everyone whatever nationality.

    I fully understand being born again. Praise our Lord Saviour and God Jesus Christ who will judge the living and the dead!

  • Widuran

    Yes I understand deutoronomy 6:4

    But also undersatand John Chapter 1 v1 and v14.

    Jesus Christ is God! Praise our Lord Saviour and God Jesus Christ

  • Yes I do. I know when it was written, who wrote it and when it was canonized. But you do not. And neither do most people on this site.

    Josephus references Jesus whether on not you accept it.

    My reference to the bibles popularity and the number of it’s adherents is simply to provide some context to criticize your bias.

  • Guy Montag

    Right, Josephus. So, no modern, peer-reviewed historian accepts either Josephus reference completely, and the most current peer-reviewed studies outright agree both are whole interpolations.

    Regardless, even if both references were both 100% authentic, they are just one Jewish historian’s confirmation of what is written in the gospels many decades after Jesus supposedly lived. Josephus was not a witness of Jesus and used no first-hand sources of Jesus.

    But, hey, peer-reviewed historical studies and reading the texts logically is just my bias.

  • Guy Montag

    Yeah, please try and list the rough chrono order of the NT texts, if you can.