Atonement? Do Jesus' Words Get Priority and Do They Demonstrate the Rest of the NT as Heresy?

For the last couple of days, a kind man named Robert Roberg has been commenting on a post on the Atonement from just after Easter. If I am understanding him correctly, he believes that only the actual words of Jesus are authoritative and that the other parts of Scripture are simply commentary. Anything that seems to contradict a statement of Jesus is not true. Therefore, several statements in Paul are false, especially if they say anything having to do with “blood” or sacrifice being required to remove sin. From this perspective Jesus speaks the words of forgiveness, and that is how one finds eternal life. Here are some quotes:

“If he never died or rose he would have still completed his mission. You are cleansed (would that be forgiven?) by the word. He sent his word and healed them. The resurrection was to increase our faith and take away our fear of death as you said it vindicated everything Jesus said and did.”

Here is another quote regarding the NT:

“Although he was wounded and lost his throne of power, Satan was not giving up, he made sure the twisted blood atonement found it’s way into the other NT books. He has succeeded in clouding and diluting the words of Jesus through mixing.”

I want to invite you to read the conversation below and give some input. How would you respond to this ‘different’ kind of approach to Jesus and the Scriptures as a whole? Do Jesus’ words demonstrate that the rest of the New Testament has several contradictions? What would you say to him about issues of atonement? Are Jesus’ words what had the power to forgive, or his defeat of the powers?

(Although you may have different views, I would ask you to treat Robert with respect in your comments)

______________________

­­Jesus told us how to restore the broken connection with the father without blood or death. He said If you love me the father will love you. (Restoration accomplished). Do you need a better connection? If you keep my sayings (commandments) the father and I will make our abode with you. No blood or death involved.

The Old boys (sages of the OT) thought blood was necessary for sin removal. Wrong! If you forgive others the father will forgive you. No blood required.

Stop readin all dem damn books and read Jesus.

Peace

Robert Roberg

Gainesville FL

___________________

(KURT)

Question for Robert: Then why did Jesus have to die and resurrect? The bible seems to think it was for the “remission of sins.”

PS – I love to read Jesus… I also love to know and experience Jesus in my daily walk with his spirit!

_______________________

Sorry Kurt,

I didn’t mean to imply you don’t read Jesus, I can see you do, but like most believers you mix his truth in with the whole Bible as if all truth is equal. Plus you were recommending a list of books.

I think we get lost in the forest of the Bible and mislead by mixing. Only the word’s of Jesus are the Light, and the bread, spirit and zoe life.

Even my words are lifeless compared to his.

The blood of Jesus is found in Proverbs 8, it is “wisdom”.

It is wisdom that teaches how to remit our sins.

Jesus spoke the words of wisdom which shows us in 5 steps how to remove sins.

1.Confess your sins,

2. make amends

3. Forgive and you will be forgiven.

4. Because she loved much, her sins though many are forgiven.

5. Make a supreme effort, like the man coming down through the roof, to reach Jesus.

None of these steps involves blood, or death.

Jesus goal was not to die but to live a sinless life. It was his sinless life that broke the power of Satan. He offered his life as a ransom in a living prisoner exchange. One sinless man sinned and one sinless man conquered sin. God doesn’t cheat. He didn’t come to the earth in a skin suit and deceive the devil.

Satan was a murderer from the beginning and so Jesus knew he would die, his final temptation was to get through the final hours without sinning and he made it. He shouted in a loud voice tetlestai (the gladiator’s cry of victory).

Although he was wounded and lost his throne of power, Satan was not giving up, he made sure the twisted blood atonement found it’s way into the other NT books. He has succeeded in clouding and diluting the words of Jesus through mixing.

The point of the resurrection was so that we might believe, and prove to us that we too will rise on the final day if we follow our master and keep on studying his undiluted Gospel and keep on doing it.

Peace

Robert

__________________________

(KURT)

Robert: Thanks for coming back and giving me more to ponder. A couple of questions:

1. Do you believe that only the recorded words of Jesus are authoritative? If so why?

2. Do you not believe that the rest of the NT books are accurate in their depiction of Jesus’ death and resurrection in regard to the issue of forgiveness? If this is your view or some version of it; on what grounds do you dismiss the writings of Paul, Peter, John, and others? Is this what you mean by “Mixing?”

3. Would you categorize your belief system with a specific name?

Finally, I agree that Jesus declared forgiveness without shedding his blood in some scenarios that you mention, but it seems that without the resurrection his words would not have been valid. Resurrection vindicated Jesus as the world’s True Lord and the only one who has ever conquered death. Any thoughts here? Just trying to understand you position a bit more.

PS – Do you have a blog? Any recommended online reading I can do to further understand your views on Jesus?

____________

Hi Kurt,

. A couple of questions:

1. Do you believe that only the recorded words of Jesus are authoritative? If so why?

Jesus said heaven and earth would pass but his words would not. So yes they are authoritative.

Everything that harmonizes with the words of Jesus is true. He said his words are spirit and zoe life. He said ” am the truth. He is our gold standard by which we judge all truth. His words for me are only in the 4 Gospels and that’s why I call myself a Red Letter Christian (Not to be confused with Tony Camplos mixing of politics and Jesus).

I also call myself a “one viner” for I only draw my theology from the one vine of Jesus. The other writings I view as commentary, some of the commentary is in sync with Jesus but some of it is contrary. For example when Jesus says God does not want sacrifice and Paul , Hebrews and 2 Peter preach sacrifices I disregard their commentary and dismiss their comments as the thoughts of imperfect men being lead astray by adversaries.

2. Do you not believe that the rest of the NT books are accurate in their depiction of Jesus’ death and resurrection in regard to the issue of forgiveness? If this is your view or some version of it; on what grounds do you dismiss the writings of Paul, Peter, John, and others? Is this what you mean by “Mixing?”

I dismiss anything that does not harmonize with Jesus whether it is said by Moses, Pau, Mt, Mrk, Lk, or Jn,l or any apostle (they were all fallible men)

No amount of blood can remove the sins of an unrepentant sinner who does not forgive everyone.

“If you do not forgive others, father cannot forgive you.”

3. Would you categorize your belief system with a specific name?

“Berean” for I search the scriptures daily. I am not a teacher, preacher, prophet, expert scholar, but merely a serious student who has been wrong often and I do not inisist people agree with me. If you can show me scripture that harmonizes with Jesus, I am teachable.

Finally, I agree that Jesus declared forgiveness without shedding his blood in some scenarios that you mention, but it seems that without the resurrection his words would not have been valid. Resurrection vindicated Jesus as the world’s True Lord and the only one who has ever conquered death. Any thoughts here? Just trying to understand you position a bit more.

His mission was to deliver the logos. He was the sower sowing the logos (note he does not claim to be the logos, but preached the logos and told us to preach it.

The logos is the message of the Father as revealed by Jesus . The law came by Moses but truth came by Jesus. If he never died or rose he would have still completed his mission. You are cleansed (would that be forgiven?) by the word. He sent his word and healed them. The resurrection was to increase our faith and take away our fear of death as you said it vindicated everything Jesus said and did.

PS – Do you have a blog? Any recommended online reading I can do to further understand your views on Jesus?

I have a book on AmazonThe Gospel of the kingdom: Retold and it can be downloaded here free. http://robertroberg.com/writings/kingdom35.pdf

Peace

  • http://www.chaseandre.com/thedrift/ Chase

    Thank you for posting this.

    I find his view intriguing. I’ve been rolling many of these thoughts around in my mind, lately. So reading this theology by someone who has already thought it out has helped a lot.

    He has a great point with Harmonizing with Jesus. I’ve often feared that, in the past, I’ve held Paul’s words above the place of Christ’s… that’s a sin. I hadn’t done the thorough comparison he had, but have applied this mentality on a smaller scale, who do I quote more in my day to day language? Paul, or Jesus? Psalms, or the Sermon on the Mount? Who do I spend more time studying/reading? If it’s not Jesus… have I made an idol out of someone else’s words?

    I often wonder what Christianity would look like (especially in the West) had Constantine not declared it a national religion. Different, no doubt. Would there be less emphasis placed on church structure – which comes near entirely from Pauline “pastoral” epistles?

    I once heard that those in the Reformed “blood”(*snicker*)-line hold the mantra “Always Reforming” … I also never want to claim we’ve got God figured out.

    If the Bible is to help reveal to us who He is, what better place than Christ’s words?

    All that said, I would like to hear/read Mr Roberg’s view of Atonement panned out a bit more. Looking forward to reading his PDF.

    -Chase

    • http://groansfromwithin.com Kurt Willems

      Chase –
      I respect your heart in this matter but have to completely disagree with you. I have no problem focusing on the words of Jesus, as long as we do so within the context of the rest of Scripture. Jesus’ words that are recorded are in one sense his, but in another sense they are the words of Matthew or Mark etc. ALL SCRIPTURE is God breathed my friend, not just the words of Jesus. It is the Spirit of Jesus who inspired the authors of the bible, therefore what Paul said, in one real sense Jesus said also! Although I have a respectful posture towards our friend Mr. Roberg, I do not think that the majority of his view represent the historical Jesus. Unfortunately, they reflect ideas imposed on a text from a modern lens. Jesus’ own words give the Apostles authority to “be my witnesses” (as Jan points out in his comment). In other words, the Apostles are the mouthpieces of Jesus, just as the prophets were the mouthpiece of God in the Old Testament. If I were going to point you to some good reading on the “real” Jesus I would say that you should look at: The Challenge of Jesus, by N.T. Wright. Chase, (with all due respect to Mr. Roberg) I would hate to see you be led astray by teachings that are not Biblical and don’t represent the Jesus of the first century. Jesus is Lord, and on in his death and resurrection would he be able to bring redemption to the broken humanity and the broken cosmos!

  • Jän

    Kurt, if we can bypass the Apostles and interpret Jesus for ourselves, everything is up for grabs. This methodology, by the way, is literally what every heresy does. Jesus directly said to the Apostles– you shall be my witnesses.

    • WeepingBlackAngel

      Jan,
      the Apostles were to be witnesses only to what he had commanded them. “Goye nand teach all things I commanded you. They were not to teach things he did not teach. He siad God does not want sacrifice, so if they teach sacrifice they are not teaching what he taught.

  • kyle75

    OK, here goes. First, we need to recognize that we don’t have the actual words of Jesus. The gospels are theological biographies, not straight history or newspaper reporting. I am an Evangelical and I believe in the inspiration of Scripture, but in a realistic manner (that’s the goal at least). That is, I want the actual text or “phenomena” of Scripture to shape my understanding of what Scripture is, rather than imposing my view of what Scripture should be upon the text. Reading the gospels as simply historical narrative is not supported by the nature of the gospels themselves.

    While I do not deny that there is an underlying historical reality to the content of the gospels, what we have as far as specific words and teachings from Jesus are the apostolic and early church community’s testimony about both the life of Jesus (historically based) and the significance of his life, teaching, death, and resurrection (theology). The counterargument that the inspiration of Scripture preserved the exact words of Christ is not supported by what we have in Scripture: differences among gospels, evidence of developing tradition, modifications of early creedal/liturgical statement, etc.

    So my short response is that allowing Jesus’ words to “trump” those of other apostolic voices is rather artificial, since our “words of Jesus” are also apostolic testimony.

    A fascinating (to me at least) discussion on this topic can be downloaded free from iTunes. Search for Duke Divinity School, Richard Hays, Bart Ehrman, and The DaVinci Code. They don’t talk much about The DaVinci Code but rather use it is a springboard to talk about the historicity of the gospels, the canonization process, etc. Hays’ respect for the text and authenticity in allowing each author to speak his message is inspiring.

  • WeepingBlackAngel

    Kyle 75,
    Jesus said heaven and earth would pass away but his words will not so we can rest asuured that we have his actual words. for he said they are “Spirit” not just someone’s memory of what he said. He promised the Holy Spirit would call all his words to memory. No room for slippage.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

    Kurt, thanks for bringing this up, and Robert, thanks for your incisive questions.

    First of all I agree with you at least in part, that the recorded words of Jesus take precedence over all others (and Kyle, while they may not be the verbatim words, I believe we can take the apostles’ testimony regarding those words as faithful). This is in fact part of what I have proposed as a “Word of God hermaneutic” on my own blog series on scriptural inspiration.

    However, I think you are giving poor Paul in particular, short shrift when you say that “Although he was wounded and lost his throne of power, Satan was not giving up, he made sure the twisted blood atonement found it’s way into the other NT books.” It has been my observation that careful reading of the epistles reveals that they say a whole lot less about blood atonement, than theologians CLAIM they say.

    An interesting exercise in this regard, is to read Paul’s epistles–all of them–back-to-back in as little time as possible. Forget about analyzing words and verses, read the books as the letters they were. From this emerges a view of Paul that is wildly different from the one preached by Evangelical seminarians. I submit that all the stuff about blood sacrifice that Paul is talking about, is his (largely unsuccessful) attempt to demonstrate that in Jesus, whatever the old rules were, it really IS finished. Paul spent his life trying to protect the Gentiles from the legalizing effects of the Judaizers, and much if not all of his blood-atonement language makes a whole lot of sense if viewed through the lens that he’s trying to make the case that the “works of the law”– that is, circumcision, dietary restrictions, sacrifice, etc;– are no longer necessary because (1) they were ineffectual even in the old days, and (2) Jesus has fulfilled them.

    So don’t see Satan in Paul; see Satan rather in the distortions to which Paul’s teaching has been subjected.

    Peace!

    Dan

    • Kyle75

      Dan, I think we are mostly in agreement. I was wondering if you could give an example of an instance where “the recorded words of Jesus take precedence over” another NT passage? Just curious!

      • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

        No, Kyle, I can’t. I’m just acknowledging the hypothetical position that, if one can find such a conflict, the recorded words of Jesus win. As I said (and I suspect it’s one of the places you agreed), a careful reading of the apostles yields the conclusion that they aren’t in conflict with Jesus’ teachings, but rather the PRESUMED EXPOSITORS OF THE APOSTLES are in conflict with both.

        My actual statement was “the recorded words of Jesus take precedence over all others.” By this I mean not just the apostles, but other scriptural (or extrabiblical) words, including those of theologians from Augustine to Luther to Calvin to Piper to Wright. This matters, of course, in contrasting the peaceful message of Jesus with the violence of the O.T. to name just one example.

  • WeepingBlackAngel

    Kyle,
    Jesus-God does not want sacrifce
    Paul- Christ our Passover sacrifice 1Cor. 5:7

    Jesus said he was a shepherd, but John the Baptist and Paul and the Revelator say he is a lamb.

    Jesus- said “although her sins were many they are forgive for she loved much. No blood required.
    Hebrews without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness.
    Mt.18:21 God is a merciful king who forgives unpayable debts.
    Paul-God is wrathful Rom 5:9 and must be propitiated with the blood of an innocent man.

    Kyle there are many more if you’d like to see them.

  • WeepingBlackAngel

    Dan,
    you wrote: It has been my observation that careful reading of the epistles reveals that they say a whole lot less about blood atonement, than theologians CLAIM they say”.
    Dan if they only say it once they are leading people astray. Jesus said twice that God does not weant sacrifice. Psul, 1 JOhn 2nd Peter and Hebrews and Acts make it a drum roll a major motif. Wiothout Blood there is no remission of sins.

    How unlike Yahshuah who said if you forgive others father will forgive you.”

    I sat down and read Paul non-stop and I head him talk a lot about love.

    But later when I realized God did not want sacrifice I reread Paul and read about blood, propitiating an angry God of wrath.

  • kyle75

    I thought it best to break up my comments. Now on to the atonement…

    I didn’t read the other atonement posts on the blog, so I am not sure what the general take is or where the discussion has gone. But in the context of this post I would question the interpretation of “ransom.” At the very least, Robert seems to be reading a lot into Jesus use of Ransom. In my estimation there is little evidence that Satan has any “rights” over sinners or that he inflicts death because of sin. The concept of ransom is better taken in the sense of rescue or redemption, deliverance from bondage. The Biblical ransom is not a payment in the sense of a transaction, not like a ransom paid to a kidnapper. The Bible does not address to whom this ransom would be paid. I believe that is because that question is irrelevant and inconsistent with the biblical usage. But early church fathers speculated nonetheless. Some thought the ransom was paid to God, others to Satan. Most modern theologians realize that this is in improper question.

    By the way, I also reject the penal substitution view of the atonement. Not because Jesus’ words trump the rest of the Bible, but because I do not find it biblical or consistent. Robert’s view is in the general Christus Victor sphere, which I see valid to some extent. But not as a ransom payment to Satan.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

      But not as a ransom payment to Satan.

      No, not that. God didn’t “owe” Satan anything, and though Jesus’ death certainly redeemed (an alternative word for “ransom” in the “buy back” sense) humanity, it was not a negotiated settlement by any means. What he did was subvert Satan’s/the Powers’ claim of death to all of us, by submitting to that death and then defeating it. I toy with the intersection of Christus Victor and the “Warfare World View” in this post, which may add fodder for the discussion.

      You commented that ‘there is little evidence that Satan has any “rights” over sinners or that he inflicts death because of sin’ and in one sense I agree with you. But on the other hand, death and the fear of death are the principal weapon by which Satan exerts control in the world. The defeat of that weapon, therefore, in Jesus’ resurrection is key to the enabling, as well as the inauguration, of the renewed Kingdom of God.

      This, then, would be the principal disagreement I would offer contra Robert’s claim that “If he never died or rose he would have still completed his mission.” Jesus didn’t have to die to forgive sins, but his death and resurrection were still necessary. While I grant the clearest evidence of this statement is Paul’s (1 Corinthians 15:17), I think it’s also borne out in Jesus’ own words in John 12:31-33 and elsewhere.

  • kyle75

    Finally :) if the OT is so distorted, Jesus didn’t do a very good job in making that clear. It was pretty clear that the early church and Jesus himself saw his life, death, and resurrection in continuity with the God of Israel, sacrificial system and all.

    • weepingBlackAngel

      Kyle ,
      sure he made it clear the OT was distorted. He said search the scriptures (OT) but you will not find zoe life in them. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. He never said believe the Bible. He said “My words are spirit and Zoe life, and he sent his followers not to teach the whole Bible bit all things he taught them -No other vines-one vine.

      Jesus didn’t even have much use for John the Baptist’s words describing him as lower than the lowest Christian.

      • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

        WBL, you’re distorting Jesus’ words pretty badly for one who claims his are the only words you’ll believe. Jesus did NOT say “search the scriptures (OT) but you will not find zoe life in them.” I presume you’re referring to John 5:39-40, which reads (Jesus is here speaking to the Pharisees who did not believe him):

        “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life (zoe); and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

        Jesus is not saying that there’s no life in those Scriptures and he certainly is not repudiating them. Rather, he’s criticizing the “authorities” for failing to see that those very scriptures pointed to the one who was standing in front of them, offering them life.

        And you say “Jesus … didn’t have much use for John the Baptist … ??” How then to you read Matt. 11:11? “among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist…”

        Be careful of the claims you make. Jesus wasn’t as harsh as you’re being …

        • weepingBlackAngel

          Dan,
          Have you ever wondered why John the B. didn’t follow Jesus? Yes Jesus said he was the greatest man born of a woman but he pales to the least true follower. John was stuck in the OT and thought Jesus was the sacrifical lamb. He missed the boat. He thought Jeus was going to set him free from prison and kill all the Gentiles and rule the world just like the Book of the Rev. teaches, but John was stuck in the Old wine and ended his days in doubt. Unfortuantely Christians view John as a Great prophet and follow his foolish wet ritual, even tho Jesus taught spirit baptism and not water baptism.

          We have been suffering Bibliolatry so long that we can’t read it. IWe think every word is God breathed, f there is something flat out wrong, we think the fault lies with us.

          When Paul writes something so horrndous as you guys if you are sex fiends go marry some innocent girl for it is better to marry than burn, we don’t evne blink. When we read in the Revelation that women are defiling and only men undefiled can be part of the 144,000 we say Amen.

          Sorry if I am ranting I’ve been under the weather and it may be affecting me.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

    WBA, read your gospels again. Jesus and his disciples baptized too, see John 3:22-4:1. Don’t forget that the Greek word “baptizo” was actually a generic term for getting wet–really underwater wet–even a sinking ship got “baptized.” You’re on a tangent here.

    You are correct that there’s a lot of bibliolatry in the church, and has been for a long time. The answer isn’t to go on a wild rant dismissing everybody who wrote N.T. works other than the evangelists (and it’s pretty clear Luke & Acts were written by the same author, BTW). It’s to take the faithful witness of faithful people who tried to leave us a legacy of the words and teachings of our Lord, and get about following them.

    Once you get off the ridiculous notion that Paul’s letters are God’s word, and let him be a faithful believer who taught a lot of good stuff but was neither infallible nor impeccable, then it’s possible to gain a great deal of valuable insight from his letters without getting hung up on the minutiae as you are doing. Dismissing Paul, or Peter, or James out of hand is no more helpful than the Evangelical position of teaching systematic theology from Paul while failing to read the Gospels.

    Take a chill pill, man! Then take a deep breath, calm down, and read the N.T. for what it says, instead of what people say about it. It’s way simpler than most Christians make it.

  • http://jaaigner.blogspot.com/ Jaigner

    The words of Christ are not more authoritative than the rest of Scripture. The personalities and purposes of the gospel writers are shown throughout their works. They are truthful in what they say, but it’s a mistake to take the words of Christ as direct quotations. That’s why I find red letter editions of the Bible to be awkward.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

      But if they are truthful in what they say (and I agree they are faithful witnesses), then don’t you think it mattered (to them) and should matter (to us) when they bothered to outline part of what they wrote with the indication that it was Jesus talking? I would submit they were doing their level best to transmit to their readers the actual words of Jesus…because THEY thought that was important. Oughtn’t we?

      Same way with the OT prophets, BTW, when they said “thus saith the LORD.” Whether or not they got the quotations precisely right, these are still the closest thing we have to the direct sayings of God. They certainly deserve more credibility and study than (for instance) historical narrative, I should think.

  • http://groansfromwithin.com Kurt Willems

    Dan, I echo your comments here about the words of Jesus. Whether ‘word for word’ or essence of intent, the words of Jesus are trustworthy.

    • http://jaaigner.blogspot.com jaigner

      Yes, absolutely they are trustworthy. I just don’t know if they are more trustworthy than any other part of Scripture.

      • weepingBlackAngel

        Jaiger,
        when you say all the words of scripture do you mean the 80 books used by 1 billion Catholics? Do you mean the trucated 66 books used by Jews and Protestants? Do you mean the Gnostic Gospels? Do you mean the Lost books? Do you mean the KJV? Which version there are 11?

        Moses taught and eye for an eye and Jesus refuted that. Are they both correct?
        LikeReport

      • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

        No, not “more trustworthy than any other part of Scripture.” Rather, if they are trustworthy in their representation of what Jesus said, and if we believe that Jesus was/is the Son of God and the Word of God incarnate, then HIS WORDS are to be believed/followed/given preeminence over anybody else’s words, including other words in Scripture, for the simple reason that the same trustworthy witnesses we believe elsewhere, are here bearing witness to Jesus’ own words.

        In other words, I take issue with your statement above:
        The words of Christ are not more authoritative than the rest of Scripture. The personalities and purposes of the gospel writers are shown throughout their works. They are truthful in what they say, but it’s a mistake to take the words of Christ as direct quotations.

        I take issue with it because if the apostles are truthful and to be trusted, then they are most to be trusted to have taken particular care in relating the words of Jesus (as regards content, if not necessarily as direct quotes). If this is true, and if Jesus really is our Lord, then clearly his sayings must have preeminence, as he must have in all things (Col 1:15-18).

  • http://groansfromwithin.com Kurt Willems

    I agree with this wholeheartedly as long as the words of Jesus are not seen as in conflict with other New Testament texts as Robert suggested in his comments (I know that you dont share his view). All Scripture is useful and none of it is influenced by Satan… it is not in conflict with Jesus, it reveals Jesus (when read in its proper context within the narrative of the whole of the bible)!!!!

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

      I agree, Kurt. I would perhaps add one qualifier…and that is that Jesus IS the context. So, for example, we all see the conflict between the peaceful Jesus and the violence of the early Israelite texts. On top of this, Robert proposes the conflict between blood atonement in the O.T. and Jesus’ forgiveness in the N.T.

      But if we recognize that Jesus is, to quote somebody I can’t remember, “the full and final revelation of God,” then anything that appears to be a conflict needs to be resolved with Jesus in the preeminent role…that is, we interpret the rest THROUGH THE REVEALED CHRIST, not the other way around.

      But again, as we both have said, the New Testament texts are not at all in conflict with Jesus when read properly. I say again, the problem with Paul isn’t Paul, it’s theologians prooftexting out of Paul…

      • http://groansfromwithin.com Kurt Willems

        AMEN and AMEN! No disagreement here. As Greg Boyd often says, “What does the God of the OT look like… He looks like Jesus dying on Calvary for his enemies!”
        OK… so now i must get back to actually writing my sermon! ha ha

        • weepingBlackAngel

          One of the largest movement right after the death of Christ which was vying with the leadership of the Roman Christian in Rome was led by Marcion who said the Father of Jesus was not the God of the OT. The father of Jesus loves all mankind and is a peacemaker. The God of the OT loved only Israel and was involved in moany genocides.

          The OT even sayd he gave them bad laws.
          “‘I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances by which they could not have life.’ Ezek 20:25

  • weepingBlackAngel

    Kurt and Dan,
    I would like to suggest some teaching that are in conflict with each other.

    IN Nazaret Jeuss said :I have come to set the slave free.
    Paul prolonged slavery.

    Jesus said Go and teach all nations everything I taught you.
    Paul only quoted 2 things Jesus taught and misquoted him both times.
    Jesus said eternal zoe life comes from continuing in his word and doing what he said to do.
    Paul said by grace we are saved. Jesus never once used the word grace.
    Jesus said God does not want sacrifice, Paul taught that he was the passover sacrifice.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg, I can give you more unless you think I am a whacko.

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

      “Paul prolonged slavery?” Go read Philemon again. Paul tells Philemon to welcome Onesimus back “no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a beloved brother…” (v. 16)

      Yes, he told other slaves not to rebel against their masters, but to serve them “as unto the LORD.” And yes, I wish he would have had more to say to masters about releasing their slaves. But to say “Paul prolonged slavery” is a reach.

      While Paul may not have quoted Jesus directly to the extent you might wish, I still say that if you read Paul’s writing in context, what he’s teaching is fully in accord with, and not against, the teachings of Jesus. Paul spends a large amount of his epistles trying to make the case that Gentiles (and, for that matter, Christian Jews) don’t have to be tied down by pre-Jesus Jewish law any more. . .precisely because Jesus fulfilled those things. That’s hardly preaching a gospel in opposition to Jesus.

      I don’t think you’re “a whacko” but I do think in your hostility to the apostles, you’re missing out on a lot of good stuff. The church royally screwed up two or three hundred years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and one of the ways they screwed up was to MIS-interpret Paul and create a complex and heretical theology of sacrifice and blood and atonement and (perhaps most significantly) ecclesiastical power. There’s a lot that needs to be cleaned up. But you do that cleanup process no favors by setting up strawman fights between your perception of Jesus and the first-century apostles. I’m pretty sure that a careful read of history — and of the scriptures — would demonstrate the conflict came later than that.

      • weepingBlackAngel

        Hin Dan,
        I am not hostile to any of the Apostles except Paul and whoever wrote 2nd Peter, Acts and Revelation and the letters of John. Having said that there are some things they taught that are in sync with Jesus Gospel and I take what is gold and spit out the straw.

        Does that make me the arbiter of what is right and wrong. Yes. I like to think I am rightly dividing the word, but just as you learn to spot counterfeit bills by studying the true ones I have spent my life studying Jesus’s words and can show where they contradict him.

        The question I always ask is if we only had the 4 gospels would that be enough?

        Granted Paul has been misinderstood but it is because he is so obtuse. He flip flops on Univesal salvation and say all will be saved but later only believers will be saved. He disparages the law and then sings its praises. He says it’s by faith but says we must obey the Law of Christ. Jesus forbade hierarchies and titles but Paul ordained elders and set up ecclesiatical powers.

        He is a self styled Apostle with no witnesses until a 3rd Century copy of 2nd Peter appeared. He claims to be the greatest Apostle and the chief of sinners.
        He says be kind to slaves but sends Onesimus back to be a slave. I live in the south and they loved Paul and hated any Christians who suggested slavery was wrong. They had the Paul on their side.

        Paul did not teach the Gosple that Jesus said his disciples were to teach-namely everything that Jesus commanded. Oh he bumped into the Gospel a few times but what Talmid does not quote his Rabbi extensively. He was more concered with his own Gospel and that we follow him for he made up what was lacking in Christ.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

    WeepingBlackAngel, I challenge you to look at the context of those places where Paul’s talking about blood sacrifice. Look carefully. To some extent he’s validating the OLD paradigm in which blood was required, but his message is that, to whatever extent that paradigm existed, Jesus fulfilled it. In other words, if your starting point is Jesus, blood is unnecessary. But if your starting point is blood (which was true, not only for Jews, but for many non-Christian Gentile religions of the time), then Jesus’ blood has fulfilled those demands.

    In other words, Paul’s words about blood CONSISTENTLY tell us that Jesus’ blood was the LAST such sacrifice that would ever be made.

    Although, if you read my other writings, you will see that I am an uncompromising opponent of Penal-Substitutionary Atonement as a gospel paradigm, I must correct your notion that Jesus never mentioned his blood as somehow vital to us. After all, what was his comment about “my blood of the new covenant, poured out for many” doing, if not somehow stating that his blood being spilled mattered?

    I don’t believe it was a sacrifice for sin. I do believe that Jesus gave his life to defeat the powers of death, and I do believe that his blood was intended to put to rest, once for all, the powers’ demand for blood.

    I also believe that modern Christians’ obsession with blood is wrong, misguided, and a blatant misinterpretation of both the Evangelists and Paul.

    But I also think your implication that, in following the words of Jesus, we have to paint the writers of the Epistles as influenced by Satan, is going too far–and frankly, taking liberties with the plain truth of what they wrote

    • WeepingBlackAngel

      Dan,
      I am happy that you see through the modern obseesion with blood heresy.
      We differ you and Paul say Jesus blood was necessary and was the final. I say God never wanted blood from the start, not when he took them out of Egypt and not ever.

      Look closely at the wording at the last supper (Not Paul’s twisted version) Jesus speaks of wine being poured out and compares it to blood.

      Then think of Proverbs where wine and bread are served. What do they represent? What is this New Covenant in which we eat and drink his blood? Remeber he said “the flesh profits nothing.”

      Was he establishing a covenant based on rituals based on blood and cannibalism?

      No in Proverbs the bread and the wine refer to wisdom. The bread of the Pharisees is their “teaching”. Jesus words are our bread.

      At the widom meal Jesus is lifting us to the realm of spiritual worship where his teaching is his bread (we eat it daily) and his wisdom is the wine that inebirates us when we put the teaching into practice. Without obedience there is no covenant.

      He sent his logos and saved us.
      ” If you continue in my logos you are my disciples indeed and will never see death”.

      A preacher goes out a sows the logos (the words of Jesus) not the words of Moses, David, Paul and Peter. They are prologue commenators and epilogue commenators and quite frankly often off the mark.

      I like you idea that the powers (archons) were hungry for blood, but they are like wolves who can never have enough. Jesus did not slake their thirst. Their power was broken because they always operated within the law. The soul that sins must die. But they were defeated by the law that says who ever takes a payment (ransom) and then kills the innocent are cursed.” It was his life of innocence that defeated them.

      BTW Dan I do not claim to right about everything, in fact I quake and hope that what I am writing is true.

      • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

        I think we’re talking past each other a bit, so let me clarify. Jesus death/blood was necessary to defeat the powers, but NOT BECAUSE GOD DEMANDED BLOOD. So I think we’re closer than you suspect on that point. For more, see my blog series on atonement. http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/search/label/atonement

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

    My concern is that you not give Paul quite the short shrift you’re doing. “Pauline theology” as represented by most modern Christians is something Paul himself would totally repudiate, and a careful reading of his epistles demonstrates that what’s taught ABOUT Paul’s teaching, he (Paul himself) did not teach.

    • weepingBlackAngel

      Dan,
      he heart of my question is did Paul teach the sacrifice of Jesus and the shedding of his blood is what cleanses us from sin and imputes righteousness to us, and it was predtermined before the foundation of the world?

      If this is incorrect what is his true plan of Salvation?

      To me Jesus’ plan is whoever hears and keeps on hearing and does and keeps on doing is in the KIngdom now and has zoe life and will have Zoe Life in the world to come.

      You can call me Robert, I have a minor in Theology from a Jesusit Unversity, attended Rosedale Bible Colege in Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Seminary in VA.

  • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

    Hey Robert,

    Eastern Mennonite, eh? I’m a Goshen grad myself but have lots of friends at EMU…

    No, Paul taught that Jesus’ death fulfilled all those sacrifices demanded of Judaism, hence clearing the way for Jews and Gentiles alike to live a life of obedience to Jesus without further concern about sacrificial demands. To the extent he went into sacrificial theology, he did so to demonstrate to his adversaries, the Christian judaizers, that their theology had been fulfilled in Jesus and their rituals therefore had been supersceded.

    Whether it was predetermined before the foundation of the world is another question entirely. I tend toward an open view of God and suspect that, while God saw the possibility of a fall and the consequent need for redemption, it was not a foregone conclusion, and God was highly disappointed when he had to take that path.

    The blog series I previously pointed you to will elaborate more fully. I do think the classic Christian notions of sin and salvation get things pretty royally scrambled. I don’t think, however, that swinging the scythe madly through the rest of the New Testament is necessarily the most helpful antidote. . .

    Again, grace & peace!

    • weepingBlackAngel

      Hi Dan,
      I like your description
      “swinging the scythe madly through the rest of the New Testament.”

      I preached one day in Goshen many moons ago. I had a friend named Riegsekker (SP)

      This is a 40 year pruning job. I began studying Greek in Greece in 1969 and Hebrew in Israel in 1970 and have not let up.

      It’s more like every tree that bears evil fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

      I see Jesus as calling us completely away from the Caesar but find Paul telling us the Caesar’s are God’s ministers and hey have a right to wage war and as good citizens we must obey or be damned.

      I see Jesus calling us to upset the status quo but Paul calling us to be the stillem in die landem.

  • weepingBlackAngel

    Dan,
    for 2,000 years people have argued and fought over baptism. To suggest to an Anabaptist that water profits nothing borders on blasphemy since so many anabaptists died for water baptism. That’s like saying your ancestors were wrong. Guess what they were wrong.

    John and a few of the early disciples of Jesus water baptized altho neither he nor Paul did.
    There are 3 baptism
    water -John
    fire -for the wicked
    Spirit from Jesus -when you are spirit born .

    Water never made anything holy or anyone and all rituals and ceremonies were absolved when we were told to worship in spirit. That means like good quakers with no holy objects, rituals or days.

    John I plan to take a break when I see you using adjectives like ridiculous
    wild rant,
    Take a chill pill

    Different perspectives if presented as alternatives are to be welcomed unless they are demanding that you must believe them. I do not ask you to believe anything I say.
    I am glad to see that you don’t think Paul is infallible, you are probably looked on with suspicion in the Land of Goshen.
    Peace to you until another time.
    Robert Roberg

    BTW they drove me out of EMU (I didn’t fit the mold).

    • http://nailtothedoor.blogspot.com/ Dan Martin

      Jesus didn’t baptize but his disciples did in his presence. Paul did, in fact baptize as well 1 Cor 1:16. When Jesus commanded his followers to baptize in the name of father, son, and spirit (Matt 28) nothing in that command sounds like it’s just a “spirit” thing to me. In fact there’s clear evidence in Acts (which I know you have already dismissed) that sometimes Spirit baptism preceded water, sometimes the other way around. Either way, they are not the same thing, or (necessarily) contemporaneous. Neither, however, is it just a “foolish wet ritual.”

      Nevertheless, this and the other specifics don’t bother me at all. What bothers me is the harshness with which you appear to brand those who don’t see things your way, from Paul on. I agree with you that modern Christianity has distorted a great deal of Jesus’ teaching–although I disagree with you that the distortions started all the way back with Paul.

      But what I DON’T do, and I hear you doing, is painting with a satanic brush, everyone from Paul on who has got it different from you. There’s where I ask basically two things from you:

      1) Show a little more grace toward the many who don’t see the same things you do. You may be right on some things, they may be right on some things, but it’s not worth the rage you are projecting.

      2) I still think if you look at the bigger picture of the message many of the writers you blast, actually said, you’ll find they’re not as far afield as you claim. Parsing every word they wrote is invalid once you accept, as you and I both do, that their words aren’t God’s words.

      With that, peace!

  • http://groansfromwithin.com Kurt Willems

    wow… what a crazy dialogue this was. Robert, I fully disagree with your perspective but still would pray that the peace of Christ consume your soul… Dan, thanks for your well thought out responses..

  • http://jeremiahscall.wordpress.com Jacob Zarris

    I don’t understand why people disagree with what Paul said in 1 Cor. 5:7,”Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” Really, do we take into context, or consideration the Old Testament that YHWH-God himself set up? God himself set up the sacrificial system, and the practice of the passover lamb. God not only set up the system but moreover was going to have his servant and or messiah die for the sins of many–what the passover lame was for–and for that we look at the Prophet Isaiah 53:10,11. To the idea that Jesus had no intention to die, Mt 16:21;17:22,23;20:18;Mk 8:31… Jesus not only thought he would die he knew that was part of the will of the Father. I will add more later but its late were I am, but one final remark if Jesus death was not our way of forgiveness then we would still be under the law for Jesus himself said, “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.” So if you believe that we are still only on the words of Christ then I hope you read the Torah and practice it to perfection.


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