Jesus has something to say about the Bible

jesus and the bible cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
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Of course this is true.

Just because something isn’t factually or historically true, it doesn’t mean it isn’t truthfully true.


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  • Angelo Gulina

    The problem is we cannot know for sure neither the one nor the other.
    We should give a little critical trust to the (at least) four people who have written something about him.

    We could make the same affirmation for what Plato has written about Socrates. Nevertheless Socrates has to be listened and studied.

    Am I wrong?

  • Adam Julians

    Interesting. Yes, been having similar conversations about what some view as the inerrancy of the bible, literally “the word of God”. And others saying that being written by humans there is error in there.

    Yes it is true that lots of what Jesus said is not in scriture, that is obvious.

    Has what Jesus said been mis-reported. That’s interesting. Could it be that for whatever reason the words recorded were no the actual words Jesus siad? Not forgetting that meaning can be lost in translation, and even some mesnings in some words in the same langauge change over time.

    Where I come fomr on this is, being that scripture ss God breathed and written by humans, is being open to there being error and therefore for the need of the Spirit in discrning meaning form textx and their application. And I’m OK with that.

    I’m suspicious of those that claim that the words as recorded of Jesus in scripture are literally “the word of God”. I think that always requires to be wieghed and tested.

  • Aviatrix

    I wish those who insist that the writings about Jesus which are included in the biblical canon must be literally, historically accurate would pause and think about it a little differently.

    None of Jesus’ parables were “factually true” or descriptions of actual events – but that doesn’t make them any less valuable or make their inclusion in scripture questionable. A narrative does not have to be historically accurate to be of spiritual value or convey philosophical truth.

    I know (all too well) the vigorous (sometimes vicious) arguments that weave a complex scaffold of doctrine and interpretation in which anything other than a literal reading brings the whole thing crashing down, like a teetering Jenga tower when one slim block is moved.

    Isn’t the message, its value, its truth, stronger and broader than a narrow reliance on the reconciliation of contradictory “historic” events which are essentially unverifiable? If not, why cling to it? What if much of the gospel is itself a parable? What if much of the Bible narrative is allegory? Contrary to common opinion (at least in the evangelical/charismatic circles I was immersed in) I don’t see that as a fatal weakness but a strength, removing the message from the brittle confines of times and places and cultures long gone and into the realm of resilient timelessness.

  • It was never meant to be a blow by blow account anyway.

    But to recalibrate the preached Word…His gospel for sinners.

    This explains it very well:

    Look at the authors of the books of the Bible as you would painters. Each with a different perspective on their subject.

  • Pat68

    I agree, but the only part I’m stuck on is “a lot of what I didn’t say is”. Do you have an example of this? I know we tend to ascribe a lot of things to Jesus that He didn’t say, but what kinds of things are actually in the scripture that Jesus didn’t say?

  • I was mainly referring to everything that Jesus doesn’t say in the bible… like outside of the red letters. But even the red letters are in dispute. The Jesus Seminar believes that only about 7 or 8 sayings of Jesus recorded in the gospels are slightly reliable.

  • Pat68

    Thanks, David.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Sorry, I have never understood how the Jesus seminar could have any credibility picking and choosing what Jesus said or maybe said or did not say just from their own opinions. Everyone nowadays is trying to show up other people’s biases, or maybe even detect their own, but choose Jesus sayings by consensus and personal opinions… this makes one shake one’s head.

  • I’m not saying I agree with the Jesus seminar, but that there is a lot of debate out there on what Jesus actually said and did. that’s all. i’m pretty sure we can all agree that not everything he said or did is in the bible. even john admits that (John 21:25). plus Paul said Jesus said “It is better to give than to receive” but it is not in the gospels. but i suggest that not everything jesus is said to have said are his. certainly the synoptics exemplify that.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    How so?

  • stuart.edser

    Hi David, your cartoon is really interesting. It speaks to the notion that everything Jesus ever said is recorded for us. But that simply cannot be. He walked, taught, mealed and healed with people for around three years; all the while talking with them. For the most part it would appear, we have the main stuff and the gist of is teachings. The earliest Gospel account, Mark, is dated around 40 years after Jesus’ earthly ministry and long enough for the ‘Chinese whisper’ effect to take place. Even differing Gospel accounts of the same episode have Jesus using different words, having different foci, and using different orderings of events. So why we get so hung up on exact Biblical texts and lexis is beyond me. Not to mention the writers of the various texts also having their own focus or agenda, which is why each of the Gospels feels different. At the end of the day and with reference to your cartoon, the passage below in John reporting the Last Supper has Jesus actually say that there are things he knows that he hadn’t then told them, that he wanted to but held back, and saying that the Holy Spirit would teach us these things when the Spirit is sent. So, any idea that the revelation of Jesus is complete as it stands in the Bible does not take into account what Jesus himself believed. Love your work btw. Bless.

    12“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16)

  • thanks stuart. nice to meet you.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Of course, not everything Jesus said could be in the Bible. But, since you made this cartoon and it was shared several hundred times, how do you say that not everything Jesus is said to have said is not his. And how is it exemplified by the synoptics? (without being overly picky).

  • klhayes

    People do not understand that the Bible is a compilation of books with all kinds of literary style.

  • Aviatrix

    Yep – you’ve got that right!

  • Nick Gotts

    Yes, you’re wrong. We don’t even know who wrote any of the gospels, none of them were written less than decades after the events they purport to describe, and they contradict each other in numerous places.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    The gospels are not poetry.

  • Aviatrix

    What do you mean by “The gospels are not poetry”? Of course they are prose, not poetry, but I assume that’s not your contention. They are a narrative. But if you mean they have no philosophical content or meaning beyond the prosaic surface, you’ve limited yourself far too much. If there is no meaning beyond the surface, the story is very limited and small indeed.