Jesus Never Claimed To Be The Only Way to Heaven

Jesus Never Claimed To Be The Only Way to Heaven January 3, 2019

Image: Pixabay

We hear this all the time: “Jesus is the only way to heaven” or “No one will be saved without knowing Jesus.”

But is that true? Well, not quite.

At least, that’s not what Jesus meant when he said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” (John 14:6)

Now, most of us have been told that this is what Jesus means to say in this verse, but a careful study of the entire chapter reveals something a bit different.

First of all, this statement is in response to the question asked by Thomas, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

That’s why Jesus said, “I am the way…”

The way to where? The way to where he is going.

Where is Jesus going? He’s going to the Father.

So, this entire chapter is about coming to the Father, not about going to Heaven after we die.

 

After this, Jesus goes on to explain that if you’ve seen him, you’ve also seen the Father. So, the entire point of the conversation is about knowing the Father.

 

Notice also that Jesus provides some evidence for us that the Father is in him, and that he is in the Father: His works.

Then notice that Jesus immediately pivots to emphasize that, if we trust in him we will also do the same works he has been doing.

Why is that important? Because the works that Jesus does are evidence that the Father is in him. So, the works that we do are also evidence that Jesus (and the Father) are in us.

The whole conversation is about coming to the Father, and what it means to be in Christ, and about Jesus going to “prepare a place for (us)”, so that where Jesus is, we may also be.

So, if we keep reading in this same chapter we will notice that Jesus reemphasizes this same idea over and over again:

“In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (v.20)

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (v. 16-17)

The point is: Jesus is going to the Father. This is what he’s talking about in the beginning of the chapter. The disciples get confused, so Jesus explains that he is going to the Father, and he is the way to the Father because the Father is in him, and the plan is for us to have the Father – and Jesus – living in us so that “where they are we may also be.”

So, where is Jesus? Jesus is with the Father. (v. 12; 28)

And where is the Father? He, and Jesus, have now come to make their home in you and in me. (v. 23)

Notice that Jesus says, in the previous chapter, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” (Jn. 13:36)

That’s what sets up the conversation in chapter 14 about where Jesus is going, why, and how we can also follow him to the place he is going (to be with the Father).

So, this idea of being with the Father, and abiding in Christ, (who abides in us and in the Father), is something we can all experience RIGHT NOW!

We don’t need to wait until after we die to be where Jesus and the Father are. In fact, this is the entire point of Jesus’s going away! It was to prepare a place where we can be together with him and the Father.

Note: Jesus is NOT talking about where we go after we die. Jesus is talking about how we can know him, and the Father, BEFORE we die!

That’s quite a significant difference.

Jesus is the way to know the Father. He is the truth about who the Father is, because if we’ve seen him we’ve also seen the Father. And Jesus is our source for life – right here and now – as we abide in him, and he – and the Father – abide daily in us.

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. 

Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

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” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. 

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

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • David N. Gray

    Jesus also said “this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) So knowing the Father and going to heaven seem to me to be just two aspects of the same thing.

  • Kelly Adams

    I believe your right. He really isn’t proving his point. Jesus is still the only way to God and no one can have the father but by him. I don’t care what path you take your not getting into the fold but through Christ, period.

  • Herm

    Thanks Keith!!!

  • Al Cruise

    Most evangelicals look at Jesus and salvation like the fans of an NFL team look at their star quarterback. They see Jesus as the one who will lead them to some great prize. Just like the fans of a professional football team put their faith in the quarterback to lead their team to the Super Bowl . Many of them will wear the quarterback’s jersey, they will hoot and holler support from the stands and boo the opposition. Other than the whooping and hollering, along with criticizing and booing the opposing teams, they see no other personal responsibility within the spectacle . In truth, they teach and believe that no other responsibility is required . Jesus was not about his flesh and bones you could see and touch , he was about the truth that was embodied by the Father within his flesh and bones. It’s that truth that’s the pathway. It’s our responsibility to journey on that pathway.

  • Al Cruise

    Just to add, that truth is singular and exists outside of man made theologies , and is available to all without preconditions.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    What you seem to want Jesus to be saying is that to reach the Father you have to follow Jesus, but Jesus is not saying that at all – quite the opposite. The question
    Jesus is asked by Thomas is how Thomas is to find Jesus, not how he will find the Father, and Jesus answers Thomas by saying that no-one comes to the Father except through Jesus: that is, not that no-one can come to the Father unless Jesus permits it, but rather that anyone who comes to the Father encounters Jesus in the process. Jesus also refers to himself as “the way, the truth and the light”. Jesus is making a claim of universality, not of exclusivity. He is saying that anyone who seeks the Father invariably finds Jesus, and telling Thomas that if Thomas wants to see Jesus again, all he has to is follow the way to, and seek truth and light of the Father / God, and there Jesus will inevitably be found.
    A shepherd at the door of a sheep-fold is concerned with ensuring all the sheep come in, not with restricting which sheep may enter.

  • pamela chaddock

    YES! Nicely stated !

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” – John 14:6

  • pamela chaddock

    Thank you, Keith. I like how you give us the larger perspective in your posts. Understanding some of Jesus’ statements takes a unitive mind capable of transcending the duality of either-or. I see this as part of the ‘reign of God’ consciousness we’re challenged to grow into. You evidence this in your posts, and I’m grateful.

  • Everett Kier Jr

    You are being serious?

  • jcarpenter

    Last sentence, especially.

  • Joshua Sonofnone

    I guess it is just easy to ignore the fact that the Father lives in Heaven and the place Jesus was preparing for the disciples was in Heaven. The traditional viewpoint regarding John 14:6 is correct. Dr. Giles, have you become a Universalist?

  • Carl Estabrook
  • Paul

    My personal preference for translating the Greek text has always matched and followed your reasoning, Keith, and the subsequent verses that immediately follow verse 6 totally justify the text of this verse being translated as “no one comes to know the Father except through me.”
    Looking at the whole conversation now in the Greek text, I became aware that in verse 9, John writes that Jesus specifically says to Phillip, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know/understand (ginōskō) me?” In verse 6, Jesus said, “no one comes/goes (erchomai) to me…”
    However, all is not lost. This particular conversation between Jesus and the disciples clearly highlights a primary reason for Jesus’ coming to the nation of Israel — that was to change people’s minds about the image of God. The Greek word for “change one’s mind” is metanoia, i.e., repent. There’s another possible way to translate the text if you use other viable options to translate the Greek prepositions “pros” (to, towards, in the direction of) and “dia” (through or because of) and the verbs “erchomai” (to come or go) and “eido” (to know or understand).
    5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know (eido) where you are going, how do we know (eido) the way?”
    6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one goes (erchomai) towards (pros) the Father except because of (dia) me.
    7 “If you had understood (ginōskō) me, you would have understood (ginōskō) my Father also; from now on you understand (ginōskō) Him, and have seen Him.”
    8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
    9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to understand (ginōskō) me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
    With this in mind, I have two points of reasoning. (1) John writes that Jesus is speaking to fellow Jews, and thus, “no one” might include most within the world of Judaism who had been living in fear of a violent and punishing God as promoted by their ancestors (but not by the prophets who were killed for their departure from tradition). If other “religious traditions” had a better opinion of the Creator, that’s may be why Jesus was not born into their tradition. (2) No one “goes towards” the Father simply confirms the dread of a God who asked for sacrifices of the first born sons and the best of peoples’ livestock. Who would want a relationship with that kind of God? Jesus shows us the Father. End of story.
    Sorry for the minutia.

  • Dennis

    I think Keith Giles makes some good points in this article in emphasizing the “present” aspect of Jesus’ statements and not just the “future” aspect. However, I think the title of his article “Jesus Never Claimed To Be The Only Way to Heaven” is a little misleading. I think Jesus’ claim to be “the way” meant something more than just the “idea of being with the Father, and abiding in Christ, (who abides in us and in the Father), is something we can all experience RIGHT NOW!” It meant that Jesus was the only being who could “atone” for the sins of the world. I think the better question is whether or not knowledge of Jesus is required for salvation. I investigated this topic and published my results here: https://www.academia.edu/32666177/Does_Salvation_Require_Knowledge_of_Jesus
    I hope this helps some of you who are Christians and struggle with this topic.

  • kippy1957

    I think its time to stop talking about fairy tales and start looking at reality.

  • Dr. Bill Rudd

    I greatly appreciate many of Keith’s writings. This column seems to ignore the significance of John 14:1-4.

  • Susan Steinkraus

    I’m always amused when Christians claim to know what a certain Bible passage “really means” and that others who interpret it differently are wrong and “a careful study of the entire chapter reveals” that their interpretation is correct. There are hundreds of different ways to interpret the stories in the Bible; that’s what led to the hundreds of different versions of Christianity that exist today. In addition, keep in mind that the gospels weren’t written until decades after Jesus is supposed to have died (Mark about 60 A.D., Matthew and Luke about 70 A.D. and John about 110 A.D.); so there’s no way the authors of those texts could have known what Jesus said.

  • Dan Dupree

    This passage and Romans 10:13-14 gave me the knowledge that the Christian/Jewish/Islamic God is not a loving God but a creation of men to control men and 50 yrs still, 50 yrs later, to find peace and hope in the human spirit to evolve to a more compassionate relationship with all cultures with care and worship for that human spirit and the natural world in an expanding Universe full of possibilities for spiritual evolution.

  • realist

    Well, okay. guess you can convince some guy stoned on a joint.

  • Jesus is aware of our soul and that we don’t know our true reality so he shows us the way back to God the Father. Individuals have a difficult time grasping the macrocosm because it is infinite and we are finite, but the word infinite gives us a clue, in the finite, in-finite we find the infinite. The clue is suggesting that the microcosm should look inside the finite being to find the infinite macrocosm. The image that our unit minds can grasp is another unit being who serves as a model for spiritual life as Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus is pointing the way to the macrocosmic consciousness of God, the Father and is the peripheral point between the macrocosm and the microcosm ready to guide us inward. By using Jesus as an intimate confidant, we learn to focus and see for ourselves what his teachings are about while we attain Christ consciousness with his help. It is the picture perfect consciousness for the human prototype because it encompasses all of the possibilities of the human being. It is a potential level of energy arranged in us on the material plane to become the exemplar of being for our mind. It welcomes and supports the idea that there are different upward paths to pure consciousness because the diversity in different world faiths diminishes as we approach Christ consciousness. Evolution and all spiritual paths lead to the one pure consciousness that we call God and we have the Divinity and humanity of Jesus to guide us.

  • everettkierjr gg

  • Eric Thomas

    While I agree wholeheartedly to what you are asserting in this post I think the headline doesn’t quite fit the content. Although you, rightly, denote that , indeed, “Jesus Never Said he was the only way to heaven” the post fails to offer up any “other way” to heaven. Which is fine if your intent was simply to enunciate what Jesus was actually saying. However if Jesus did not mean “He was the only way to the Father” what other ways are there???

  • This is so true. It seems the institutional church does not teach much on the fact that the Spirit lives within us. We are now one with the Father as Jesus was one. This is not a future event when we die but the Kingdom of God is within us now. Focusing on the Spirit of God living within us right now is only touched on lightly by the religious church system. Yet when you really think about it, it is the most important teaching we should be hearing. God loves us and has made his home within us. We are his dwelling place, not a church building. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

  • soter phile

    you said: “A shepherd at the door of a sheep-fold is concerned with ensuring all the sheep come in, not with restricting which sheep may enter.”

    and keeping out wolves and goats and thieves and hired hands…
    “…but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.” (Jn.10:26)

    You might want to revisit John 10 especially…
    Jesus directly contradicts your claim here.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Either you haven’t read John 10 yourself, or you can’t read. It talks of keeping out wolves and thieves and other things that might harm the sheep, not keeping out actual sheep. Goats are not mentioned at all, and hired hands only as giving poor care in contrast to how a good shepherd behaves, so you have got yourself hopelessly confused here.
    John 10:16 expressly states that Jesus will be in fact bringing in more sheep not of his fold, so all will be one herd.
    In so far as sheep do not enter the fold Jesus says it is because they flee from Jesus and will not listen to his voice and enter, not because Jesus keeps them out.
    A good shepherd would never leave a straying sheep outside unprotected, even if not of his herd. This would particularly be the case of a Jewish shepherd, who would be in breach of the law of God if he did so:
    “You shall not watch your neighbor’s ox or sheep straying away and ignore them; you shall take them back to their owner. If the owner does not reside near you or you do not know who the owner is, you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until the owner claims it; then you shall return it.” Deuteronomy 22:1-2.
    I don’t think it is me who is contradicting John.

  • soter phile

    Keith, sadly for you, John 14:6 is not the only place Jesus teaches this.
    All the exclusive parables… all the “I Am” statements… all of his megalomaniacal claims.

    And let’s not forget John’s pattern of stating a teaching both positively & then negatively to be clear.
    Case in point, John 3:16 is followed by v.17-18…
    which rather clearly says: if you are not in Christ, you stand condemned already.

    Come to think of it…
    Didn’t you just tout this idea about Jn.14:6 a few entries back as a new idea a friend mentioned to you?
    And now you’ve suddenly arrived at this conclusion after a few short weeks of looking for a way around Jn.14:6?

    Your problem here is not with the translation or the tradition.
    Your problem here is that Jesus says something you don’t like. Repeatedly.
    If Jesus can’t contradict you, who is lord of your life?

  • soter phile

    I’ve read it.
    I’m glad you noticed that SOME are kept out – which notably breaks your espoused paradigm.

    Furthermore, I’d point out that v.16 is not at odds with v.26f.
    Note well his use of “*MY* sheep”, not just any sheep.
    What is the image of “my sheep come when I call” if not that SOME do not come – as v.26 makes rather clear, when he says those who do not believe are “not my sheep.”

    You want to stretch the metaphor and invoke the notion of “good shepherd” to mean something at odds with what he says here – in THE passage in which he claims to be the “Good Shepherd” and directly contradicts your view. Only his sheep come. “I know my own and my own know me…” including other folds. The oft-invoked v.16 is not at odds with everything else he is clearly teaching here. It fits the rest of the claims. There will be one flock & one shepherd… and yet he goes on to say my sheep come when I call. After that. Why even have the pronoun “my” if your view is correct? Why even talk about all these images of weeping & gnashing of teeth, outside the party, outside the gate, the narrow door, the goats, etc.?

    Again, you want the Scriptures to say something they do not.

  • Eigner E

    ok, He is the way to the Father, what if I want to go to Mother instead? so I don’t need to follow Him 🙂

  • Herm

    Heaven is spirit only as is God who includes our Father, our brother and Lord Jesus the Christ and all children born (filled, whelmed, baptized) of, with and in the Holy Spirit on earth and in heaven today. Man and earth is physical and all will end. Spirit has no beginning and has no end.

    Joshua you speak as though heaven is one physical place and earth is another. Jesus spoke of traditional (“if it’s good enough for grandma it’s good enough for me”) in the following quote:

    Luke 14:25-27 NIV
    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: [26] “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. [27] And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

  • Herm

    Mark 3:34-35 NIV
    Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! [35] Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I don’t intend to debate the entire Bible with you. You said my understanding of John 14 was contradicted by John 10, but it isn’t, and you now seem to have abandoned any attempt to assert this.
    You gave a completely wrong description of John 10 in the process of failing to back up your assertions, which description in turn you can no longer support.
    The best you can now do is backtrack to say that the passage you yourself picked to claim I am contradicting the Bible is not completely incompatible with at least some people permanently being separated from God. I did not say either passage we are discussing proved the case that all will be saved, only that (for the reasons given) contrary to what you and some others contend John 16 is not support for the idea that only those expressly espousing Christian can ever be saved, a point which you have completely failed to refute.

  • Angel Shining

    God /Jesus is within you, he is not in some far off distant land down yonder with a white beard and a stick……lol At least that is the goal, to awaken to that truth…..Goodluck

  • Joshua Sonofnone

    You might want to reconsider at least part of what you have written here: Your spirit and mine and every angel had a definite beginning, while God’s spirit did not. Also, the verses you cite do not mention heaven or the way to heaven. Jesus told his disciples he was preparing a PLACE for them in John 14:2, by the way.

  • Angel Shining

    You are so right!! Consider yourself awakened!!

  • Angel Shining

    those are about the only people listening and following Jesus , the rest are too pious to listen……

  • Thanks. We spent many years in traditional christianity but after leaving the system we are learning many new and exciting truths.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Re John 3, I love your use of the word “clearly” which I have heard described as a “wallpaper word”, being brought out to paper over huge gaping holes in an argument.
    Firstly (probably a little pedantically) the phrase “in Christ” does not appear in the passage: it refers to those who trust in Jesus. Secondly the passage does not say those who do not trust in Christ are “condemned” it says they are “judged” (strictly speaking “assessed”) and Jesus helpfully goes on in verses 19 onwards to say what this judgement / assessment consists of, which is that those who will not trust Jesus because their works are evil they flee from the light (I.e. Jesus). There is nothing here “clearly” or otherwise saying Jesus is condemning them, or God, or anyone else – they are left in darkness because their sins make them fear the light.
    You really need to stop firing off unsupported assertions about bits of text that don’t support your case.

  • Joshua Sonofnone

    We would agree on this. Genuine Christians have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. Please don’t mistake me for one who believes in modalism (I am a an orthodox Trinitarian), but when a human being has the Holy Spirit living inside of them it is because one has a relationship with Christ and this relationship with Christ is what allows us to relate to God the Father.

  • soter phile

    1) John 10 does equally assert an exclusive understanding of salvation (just like Jn.14:6).

    2) You claim I gave “a completely wrong description of Jn.10” – where? Which verses were wrongly cited? What statements? That’s an unsubstantiated assertion.

    3) At no point have I backtracked. I stand by what I said.
    a) Yes, Keith wants Jesus to be asserting universalism (though are you now backtracking?).
    b) that position is untenable in light of what he clearly says in Jn.10 & 14, and throughout the Gospels for that matter.
    c) you said “John 16” here, and I’m guessing you meant Jn.14:6, as we’ve not brought that up prior.
    assuming you mean Jn.14:6 – yes, it is silly to invoke v.1-5 as if they contradict v.6. It’s equally preposterous to invoke Jn.10:16 as though the surrounding passage doesn’t repeatedly make the point clear (namely, only “my sheep” come). BOTH teach an open call with an exclusive response.

    again, this a repeated theme of John (1:12-13, 3:17-18, 5:24, all the “I Am” statements, etc.). Jesus is megalomaniacal… unless he is who he claims to be. Either way, he’s clearly leaving no room for alternate pathways.

  • soter phile

    1) “clearly”: alright, then you tell me what part of this doesn’t say exactly what I claimed it said…
    …whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (Jn.3:18). Your objection is a red herring.

    2) (firstly) you are more literal than the literalists. “in Christ” does not appear in the passage, but are you claiming I’ve somehow misrepresented the content – or is this yet another red herring? only “those who trust in Jesus” are saved. this is a difference without distinction.

    3) (secondly) I used the ESV. “condemned” is their translation of the root word (krinw). Interestingly enough, someone who ‘has been judged’ (guilty) and ‘condemned’ are seen as synonymous among interpreters. Again, are you claiming that’s not the meaning of the word? Even in modern senses, isn’t this why someone says “don’t judge me” (meaning don’t ‘condemn’/pass judgment me)?

    4) darkness/light – read the rest of John. Dark & light are a theme. Darkness is one of the images of hell Jesus uses. It certainly is a consequence of sin. To claim someone ‘left in outer darkness’ is anything less than condemned… again, a difference without distinction. the point the text is making is that God didn’t have to condemn them when they had already condemned themselves to darkness. that’s what sin does – “everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (Jn.8:34). if he leaves them to their own devices, that is where they will stay.

    But again – that only highlights my original point: Jesus is the only way out of that.
    And that is abundantly CLEAR. It’s not a wallpaper word when it’s an accurate adjective.
    That’s like invoking the ‘no real Scotsman’ fallacy without realizing there are actual instances when someone is not a real Scotsman.

    As for unsupported assertions, see my response to your Jn.14 comments below.

  • Herm

    Joshua, I wrote spirit has no beginning and no end, as versus physical and flesh. The ability to relate in spirit began in mankind when they were graced the “image of God”. This appears not available to any other species of animal on earth.

    John 14:16-21 NIV
    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— [17] 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. [18] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. [19] Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. [20] On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. [21] 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.”

    The phrase “Before long”, even for God, is well within 1,950 revolutions of our puny planet around our dim sun.

    John 14:23 NIV
    Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

    Jesus and my Father have made their home in me and I in them.

    John 4:23-24 NIV
    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. [24] God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    Disciples (sibling students) of Christ worship only in the Spirit and in truth.

    I am dying as a child of Man in the flesh. I am ever learning to live eternally with and in the Spirit. My Lord has all authority for me both on earth and in heaven, by the will of our one Father.

    Heaven for any of mankind begins here and now on earth.

  • Herm

    Is it possible you ‘re ignoring the significance of the following scripture?

    John 14:15-23 NIV
    “If you love me, keep my commands. [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— [17] 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. [18] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. [19] Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. [20] On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. [21] 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.” [22] Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” [23] Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Krinw’s principle meaning is to separate out, and by extension assess something, not necessarily condemn it, and it definitely doesn’t mean to reject, punish or pass sentence. Christ doesn’t say all those “in” him (whatever that means) will be acquitted and sent to heaven, and all those not “in” him will be punished sent to hell. What he says is that those who trust in him (and by implication follow him) will not be judged at all, whilst those who will not trust him and will not come in to the light of Jesus by that very fact are judged / assessed / distinguished, because their actions demonstrate that they do not do so because fear exposure of their evil deeds. Jesus does not go on to say anything about them then being punished, or what will happen to them subsequently, nor that they will be rejected if they subsequently change their minds and come, or about whether they will indeed subsequently repent. Nothing in this passage says anything other than what I have maintained all along – those who seek God will find Jesus, and it is through him all who come to God come; whether or not everyone will eventually heed the call Jesus does not place any conditions on who may come, when they listen and choose to do so.

  • billwald

    No man cometh to Jesus unless the Holy Spirit is in the process of regenerating him.

  • realist

    Brilliant insight.

  • 747

    Another possibility is that Jesus contradicts you, repeatedly, and it doesn’t fit your “keep them out” theology.

  • Dr. Bill Rudd

    Obviously the full context is very important. But, the immediate context of and introduction to verse 6 is verses 1-5. In those verses, Jesus seems to be talking about His own physical presence and our physical presence with Him in the “Father’s house” (“I am going there…I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”). The later verses in the chapter, speaking of the spiritual presence of the Father and Son with us, do not cancel the earlier references related to the “place” where Jesus was going and from which He would return. Am I missing something?

  • Herm

    Dr. Rudd, there are three scriptures references where Jesus is quoted to have spoken of “my Father’s house” [John 2:16, 14:2 and Luke 2:46-50].

    Jesus is quoted to have said to a Samaritan woman,

    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)

    What must we do, no more or less, to “inherit” eternal life? [Luke 10:25-37] Please note all that we love the Lord our God with for that is all each of us is as spirit, the “image of God” graced mankind and apparently no other animal species on earth.

    Now, read John’s concept in John 1:9-13 considering that the “true light” is he who makes clear all truth as we can bear is the one appearing as a dove at the baptism by water of the Messiah (worth considering in all four Gospels for four different perspectives).

    All four Gospels are testimony to all truth that Christ could share as each witness could bear. Jesus is quoted, so as not to leave children of God orphaned, to have made clear from whom the “true light” shines for eternity.

    “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.

    John 16:12-13 (NIV2011)

    The same Spirit of truth referenced in John 14:15-23.

    How much more can you bear to learn of all truth 1,950 years since?

    All of God is spirit, very much including all children of God, and is not flesh. Spirit can be in all places at one time while simultaneously sitting in its entirety on top a pimple of any one single quark. Since my Father, with and in my Lord and brother Jesus, have made their home in me (me as heart, soul, mind of spirit), and I in them (they as heart, soul, mind of spirit) we have been one as my Father and Lord are one forever bound together in all love. Of what I can bear to comprehend, though much more than Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, James, Peter and Paul, compared to Jesus and my Father, I am barely an infant of God.

    What I do know is that in spirit all rooms in my Father’s house are open to one another without pause and without end. That is what changed for me at age 50 after I thought that I had everything down pat and told God he could use me in any way he chose … just after then I lost everything that I thought I had earned. Where I once could call on the Holy Spirit to come to my aid at my choosing, and I did often, when I in complete humility asked to be whelmed/filled/baptized by the Holy Spirit the contract was to never be separated from the influence and awareness of the Spirit of truth living with and in me forever without pause. That was 24 years ago and now I know, what I had no concept of before, is that I am a room in my Father’s house.

    You asked, “Am I missing something?” You are missing nothing when you can bear to see and accept the Spirit of truth to live with and in you without pause, without end. The word of God is not found to live in a near 2,000 year old document of sincere testimony though within does point to where all truth can be found today. The word of God, apropos to what we can bear to understand, can only be spoken today when filled with the Holy Spirit, as it was 1,950 years ago.

  • Dr. Bill Rudd

    Thanks friend. Apart from many important considerations about the nature of the Scriptures, etc., I’m just trying to get at what the text actually says. John 14:6 is in the immediate and connected context of Jesus, on the eve of His death, telling His disciples He was going to His “Father’s House” where He would “prepare a place [topos]” for them and would later return and take them there to be with Him. I get what He said later in the chapter, but what do you think He was talking about in THOSE verses? What is the “place” to which He would go, prepare a place for His disciples, and later return to take them there?

  • Herm

    Perhaps, John 17 might help your focus.

  • Ocelot Aardvark

    True, true my friend. Father, Son, Holy Spirit …

    “No man cometh unto the me unless the Father draw him.” – John 6:44

  • Tom Reddington

    “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
    Jesus could clear this up for all of us, so none of us would have to suffer hell, but he can’t or he won’t. Free yourself from scriptural bondage.

  • mdx9668

    Wow! So many scriptural experts in one place!! And which to believe?!?! I’ll bank on Jesus the the only begotten Son, being the ONLY way to the FATHER who resides in HIS HEAVEN. As well as Him being omnipotent and omnipresent. Try splitting hairs on this simple precept and you’re playing with Fire, no pun intended.

  • mdx9668

    Left the system? Exactly what is ‘the system?’

  • Kanawah

    As there i no heaven, there is no way to heaven.
    Jesus is a myth.
    Never existed.

  • Dr. Bill Rudd

    Thank you but you didn’t address my question.

  • christine gomez

    The Word of God is the pathway to the Kingdom of God. Genesis to Revelation teaches us about God’s rule over creation and what is expected from those who claim to be Covenant people. It is sad to see so many false interpretations of scripture and this has led many astray from the truth – the end result is division, corruption, conflict,etc. It is time to gather the descendants of Abraham to focus on God’s Covenant with His people. There are over 4 billion people in this world who claim to be people of the Covenant or people of the Book but unfortunately no one takes the initiative to make God’s Covenant known to His people. I can only pray that the monotheistic religions will unite with God’s word in Jerusalem for the benefit of the entire human race.

  • I was meaning the religious system, the institutional church. The system of mixing the law of the old covenant and grace of the new covenant. Thanks for asking.

  • Herm

    Dr. Rudd, we can bear, today, to know that the physical universe is 13.8 billion revolutions of our puny earth around our relatively dim sun. Not one witness who quoted Jesus could bear to comprehend that the earth was not flat nor that all the heavens did not revolve around mankind.

    Jesus knew.

    Jesus flatly stated that all of God is spirit, not physical.

    As a child of God born of God, inheriting eternal life, why would a physical room be a consideration?

    God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) had, has and will have spirit awareness and influence before, during and after all physical awareness and influence (life) of our universe.

  • This is why you’re not Christian. You should be honest and call yourself what you really are – sentimental atheists.

  • John Purssey

    The authors are collectors of stories, and arrangers and recotextualisers of them to create theologies that they perceive to be valuable messages for their Christian communities. We can do the same. The faith communities that grew from the influence of Jesus were never monolithic, neither were the Jewish traditions which they inherited. Different metaphors suited Johannine, Markan, Lukan, and Matthean communities (as well the the many other Gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas which the later church did not include in their canons.).. The metaphors and narratives were ways of a community trying to express their spiritual/religious experience and understanding. The hellenic (left brain) mind wants to reduce this into propositional theology and creeds become the starting point and definitive axioms of faith, rather than the summary for a like-minded community.

  • John Purssey

    The first false/mistaken interpretation is that the Word of God, which inspired scriptures, is identified with a particular (protestant) canon of the Bible.
    Nor is there one timeless covenant, but a succession of them reflecting people’s changing understanding of their relationship with God, which can be understood as a dynamic relationship, rather than a static one.

  • John Purssey

    Father is a metaphor. What metaphors do you expect from a patriarchal society? But there are feminine metaphors and the divine can be thought of as Mother. My minister alternates between Mother and Father. Interesting that we are more comfortable with the idea of Godmother and Godfather than with God as Mother and God as Father.

  • Eigner E

    yes, ofcourse it is a metaphor. He addressed it to the divine. Jesus said Father because the intimate relation He can bulid with the divine, and Im more interesting in that intimate relation. Yes, the idea God as Father is interesting, but it compress the divinity of God.

  • Eigner E

    then?

  • Eigner E

    but we can learn something from myth

  • Eigner E

    nice point of view

  • Eigner E

    sometimes we need some imagination to cheer up the reality

  • Eigner E

    crktakthakhd kereketep joss

  • Eigner E

    are you Romans citizen that paul addressed to?

  • Eigner E

    yes, and Javanese culture has that teaching too, so me as a Javanese person, more easy to understand that bible part.

  • Eigner E

    our life is a death, the real life begin after we all conquer death. the body is the cage of spirit, but the spirit can collaborate with the body, as our mind traind our body to be ready to be the server of the spirit.

  • Eigner E

    God is within us, God within Jesus, but Jesus dont within us. Jesus one of the first man knowing the awakening, so Jesus teaching are showing the way to God can be within us.

  • Herm

    Eternal divine family…

  • Herm

    Each body of flesh is the conduit through which we assimilate our awareness and apply our influence as of the physical species mankind.

    Each child and father of God, as each an aware and influential heart, soul, mind, unite as one family bound in all love as one adventuring with and in the spirit conduit, “the Holy Spirit”, without end.

  • Susan Steinkraus

    Yes, they were “collectors of stories” (oral traditions, myths). Yes, they sought to put across messages they perceived as valuable. Yes, they were creating theologies to suit themselves. The faith communities that grew from the influence of the myths of Jesus’ life, death and supposed resurrection were diverse and in conflict with each other. The efforts of the authors of all the various gospels had nothing to do with discerning actual truth. (For example, did Jesus claim to be the only way to heaven or not? Christians disagree, as this article demonstrates. Which interpretation, if any, is really true? How could we tell? What is necessary for “salvation”, faith or works? Or both? Which “summary for a like minded community”, if any, is really true? How could we tell?) The authors of the gospels were just weaving theologies that appealed to them, using myths about a man named Jesus as their starting point. The process had nothing to do with actual Truth. I suppose “we can do the same”, but why would we want to? If we want to put across valuable messages about Truth, Love and Morality then we can just do so; we don’t need to include stories about someone being born of a virgin and withering fig trees.

    And the “metaphors and narratives” were more than just “ways of a community trying to express their spiritual/religious experience and understanding”. They were the basis for groups of Christians killing each other over accusations of heresy. Hellenic-left-brain-mind or not.

  • R/R 2016

    Goodness. You sure assume the worst of such a broad label. If evangelicals shrug off responsibility so flippantly, why are they statistically one of the most (research I’m seeing says *the* most) charitable and time-giving demographic (Sources: Barna Group, The Almanac of American Philanthropy)?

  • Al Cruise

    “charitable and time-giving demographic ” Many secular groups do same and often more. Where were the evangelicals when it came to the Charlottesville white supremacist attacks against jews and people of color ? And I mean not just a few token individuals , I mean on mass in the hundreds of thousands. God demands his followers practice and seek justice above all things. Where is the evangelical support for racial justice for African Americans. Evangelicals should standing in the street in numbers of millions in support of justice for African Americans? It’s easy to give a few cans of soup to a food bank. To stand up for justice as God demands us to do, then it becomes time to spin scripture in ways to cover up for cowardice.

  • R/R 2016

    “Many secular groups do same and often more.”

    But the sources I’ve posted contradict your claim. I won’t let you move the goalposts yet. You said evangelicals believe and teach that no other responsibility is required. And yet, statistically, they are more charitable. Why is that?

  • Al Cruise

    Whats your definition of charitable? Share with us the average amount of money given by an individual evangelical to the “poor” not organizations that say they help the poor and in reality most goes to overhead. Giving to a Church to pay for expensive overhead costs is not giving to a charitable organization by definition in Scripture. That is a government definition so you can receive a tax credit.

  • R/R 2016

    Well, the statistics from the Almanac of American Philanthropy itemize “what fraction of…annual resources residents are giving away to philanthropic causes.” Of this data pool, they’ve concluded: “…people living in states that are more rural, conservative, religious, and moderate in income are our most generous givers.”

    Is that good enough? Or are the facts still too inconvenient?

  • soter phile

    Only if by “Jesus” one means something other than the Jesus found in the earliest, most well-attested manuscripts.

    One might as well tell the oncologist: “no! leave the cancer where it is. I’m an inclusivist.”

  • John Purssey

    It’s anachronistic to read back the later conflicts of Christianity into the purposes of the narratives and redaction of the gospel writers. The diversity reflects the different needs of different audiences and the changing political situations from the diversity of Jewish religious groups and parties at the time of Jesus through the destruction of the second temple and the ascendancy of the Pharisees as the preferred group by the Romans. It was in the Constantine era that the major conflicts emerged and political power developed the anti-Semitic interpretations, perhaps as a response to this.

  • soter phile

    you said: “Christ doesn’t say all those “in” him (whatever that means) will be acquitted and sent to heaven, and all those not “in” him will be punished sent to hell.”
    I’d invite you to re-read John 15. He directly contradicts what you’ve said here – especially in regard to union with Christ (“in Him”, main idea of the vine & branches image he develops there). Or do you claim the “fire” there is something other than judgment/hell/exclusion from his grace?

    As for “separate out” instead of “judge/condemn/etc.”… do you not concede that is functionally yet another distinction without difference?

    As for “not be judged at all” versus judgment… he clearly expects that all other will be judged and (as is obvious throughout his teaching) will fail. You seem to think some will be saved by their actions, when Christ makes it rather clear there is no such hope (again, Jn.3:17f, but also Jn.15:5 & the like, even calling his own disciples “evil” (Mt.7:11). Jesus – like the rest of Scripture – has an exceedingly low view of human ability apart from God (Ps.130:3; Isa.64:4; Rom.3:10-23; etc.).

    You said: “Jesus does not go on to say anything about them then being punished…”
    No one in Scripture talks about Hell more than Jesus. This is an untenable claim – whether solely for Jesus in John or in all the Synoptics. Outer darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, the fire, etc. As Jesus said: “apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (Jn.15:5-6)

    Similarly, the rest of John also clarifies your claim about subsequent repentance – which in and of itself is something that will only come through God’s initiative (Jn.6:44). In and of ourselves, we stand condemned already (Jn.3:17), we are slaves to sin (Jn.8:34) – and only in Christ do we find freedom (Jn.8:32) or deliverance from our own condemnation (Jn.3:16). Jesus even rather bluntly states the problem to the crippled man in Jn.5: “do you want to be healed?” The question is ludicrous and insulting if taken shallowly – but poignant and piercing to the core of the human condition if understood in light of all he teaches about the insidiousness of sin… something which simply cannot be overcome apart from Him.

  • Al Cruise

    Answer my questions. Giving to a Church in which 90% goes to pay overhead is not giving to the poor and is not charitable giving. Your reports are mostly about this type of giving. Standing up for justice for the oppressed is first and foremost to please and honor God. Your charitable giving is actually offense to God if you are not standing up visibly in support of the oppressed. I can give you scripture verses if you want.

  • R/R 2016

    I answered your question. Again: “what fraction of…annual resources residents are giving away to philanthropic causes.” The Almanac also doesn’t say anything about church donations and paying overhead.

    It does say this, however:

    “Finer-grain numbers from the PSID show that the faithful don’t just give to religious causes; they are also much more likely to give to secular causes than the non-religious.”

    So, uh, you know where you said my sources were “mostly about” giving to churches to pay overhead, etc.? Yeah, you made that up.

  • Al Cruise

    I did not make that up. I was a member of a rural conservative white evangelical Church for many years , and I know where the money went. I attended many Church conferences and seen with my own eyes. Evangelicals are mostly cowards when it comes to justice for the oppressed .

  • Thanks Eigner E

  • R/R 2016

    You said this: “Your reports are mostly about this type of giving.” Which they weren’t. Yes, you made it up. And now you think anecdotal evidence from a random someone on the internet is sufficient to convince me against statistical analysis results, from a DC-based philanthropic strategy research group, about who donates, how much, and to what causes. That’s a bold strategy.

    You have a right to your own dumb conclusions, but while you’re ranting about justice, be sure to check out the verses where God calls us to honest standards and measures. Those might serve you well.

  • Al Cruise

    What the reports you are citing that say is charitable giving, is not what God calls charitable giving. I will rephrase my original statement. I did use to broad a label. I am referring to white evangelical conservative protestants . Not other groups that may call themselves evangelical such as African American groups and others.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You fire out Bible references like machine gun bullets, but when I actually read what is written in the passages you cite, they simply don’t say what you want them to say. You read the Bible as if it were a random collection of verses to be trawled through to find half a dozen words linked together that sound vaguely like whatever it is you want it to say. Some of the passages you quote above you are simply repeating from your earlier posts.
    The fact remains that the original passage the original blog was talking about doesn’t say what you want it to say. I have no intention if playing scriptural whack-a-mole with you where you throw out one set of verses, they say nothing like you want them to say, and you just ignore that and throw up another random set instead.

  • R/R 2016

    Hold up. Before you start backpedaling and smudging semantics, can you at least infer from the evidence that evangelicals act upon some social responsibility and give out of their own resources?

  • Susan Steinkraus

    Okay, so of what importance are these conflicting gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and death? If the gospels were developed to suit the different needs of different audiences, then why should we believe any of them? I view them as the superstitious myths of ignorant, credulous Bronze Age people, nothing more. Why would it be important to try to figure out what Jesus said and what he meant by it? Do these writings matter any more than stories about Poseidon and what he said and did? Or Zeus, Brahma or Shiva? If so, why?

  • My thoughts on this are rather complicated, but one specific thing that I’d like to point out is that it’s completely possible for A)Christ to advocate for a lone status as savior of humanity and B)for Christ to have a view of humanity and goodness that’s unconditional, so one can be (and, eventually, everybody is) reconciled with Christ either before or after death no matter what life had happened to deal to a person.

    There’s a number of versus in both the Old and New Testaments that appear to function along this lens, such as “As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ” (First Corinthians) and “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love” (Lamentations).

  • Was there a point to that comment?

  • It should be stressed that believing that Jesus functions as the only savior doesn’t necessarily mean that nobody who isn’t a Christian must be going to hell. He could be the ultimate savior to everyone, period, including those who believed in life but not exclusively limited to them.

  • r.e. time distance

    Writing a text about Jesus during the 70AD period means a gap of about forty years to when Jesus died. That’s not necessarily.limiting the possibility of finding first-hand accounts using direct interviews about direct experiences. There’s also stories about certain sayings and/or events that would become local knowledge, circulated among the two generations. It would be like, right now, writing a book about the beginning of the Reagan administration. Gathering information wouldn’t be difficult.

    Saying this as somebody who’s far from a traditional Christian, not that I’m comfortable calling myself a Christian at all.

  • Susan Steinkraus

    Claims of virgin birth are made frequently in ancient history. That claim is made about Hatshepsut, the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. She was supposedly fathered by the god Amun who impregnated Queen Ahmose. Pharaoh Amenhotep III also claimed to be fathered by the god Amun. A couple of Roman caesars also claimed to be the products of virgin births. It’s not difficult to find first-hand accounts using direct interviews of people who claim to be witnesses to all sorts of things. Stories about Jesus’ virgin birth may have been considered local “knowledge” and may have been handed down for a few generations, but they are not likely to be true; at least, no more likely than the virgin births claimed by others. My point is: writings about things Jesus may or may not have said are not credible; at least no more credible than stories about Poseidon and what he said and did. Or Zeus, Brahma or Shiva. And the claim by Mr. Giles or anyone else to know what Jesus said and what he meant are not supportable.

  • Jesus told us that God lives in us. And that he and the Father would make their home in us. He said this in the exact same chapter as the rest of these statements above.

  • Jesus’s statements here that are in view in this article have NOTHING to do with the Atonement. If you think this is what Jesus is talking about here, you are importing that into the text. It is not there.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    So why bother with churches, then?
    If you’re going to be with god anyway, what’s the point?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Or having to listen to clergy.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Churches are pointless.

  • Herm

    Assemblies are never pointless.

  • Dennis

    I’m not saying that Jesus is discussing the atonement in John 14. I’m saying it is assumed when Jesus says that no one comes to the Father except through him (v. 6). What makes Jesus the only way to get to the Father? It is the atonement via his crucifixion and resurrection. I agree with you that part of the “way” to the Father involves activity in this life and not just life after death. But you are denying a claim to Jesus’ deity and uniqueness if you interpret John 14:6 your way.

  • Brian Arbuckle

    I guess he can’t. 🙂

  • Paul

    Christian teaching about the “afterlife” does not appear to believe Genesis 1:6-8 which clearly identifies the location of heaven. It is an assumption (based in theologies cemented in stone centuries later by one group who took power and who allowed no one to dispute them) to say that when Jesus said, “I am the way…to the Father” that he meant he was the way to “heaven.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Clearly you’ve never worked at any job requiring meetings.

  • Herm

    Averaged over 3 meetings for a career over 40 years. Not one was pointless, even those few seeming to be boring. Of course, that could be because I listened and watched others during each assembly.

  • TS (unami)

    He’s been saying that tithing and giving to a church where most of those funds go to maintaining the church and paying clergy with little actually going to charity, is hardly a metric to use in this discussion about giving to *charity*.

  • R/R 2016

    Yes, and it’s a tired line. Especially since I’m quoting statistics from the Almanac. Of American. Philanthropy. Specifically from their page “Who Gives Most to Charity.” Would you like the link?

    Also, his original point was that evangelicals absolve themselves of responsibility. This documented propensity to give, whether to church or charity, suggests otherwise. Thanks for dropping in.

  • soter phile

    Ever read a commentary? They “fire out Bible references like machine gun bullets…”
    Never mind how often Christ quoted the OT. Was that whack-a-mole?

    Yes, I cited verses. You claim they don’t say what I’m intimating… notably without a single example of how I’m mistaken. That’s a conveniently generic & unsubstantiated critique.

    But more directly, you claimed “krinw” did not primarily connote judgment. I rebutted that – giving multiple examples. Now you want to claim those examples are irrelevant without addressing any of them, but choosing instead to mock my methodology. You’ve moved the goalposts.

    Do you still deny that “krinw” connotes judgment, esp. in Jn.3:17? That was the reason for my many references, but you’ve conveniently left that primary question unaddressed. In light of that, it’s hard not to see your response as purposefully obfuscating.

    Similarly, you threw aside “in Christ/him” with a “whatever that means” – as if union with Christ were not demonstrably one of the primary themes of the NT (e.g., Paul says “in Him” at least 164x). That’s not my fabrication. It’s a long-substantiated fact in biblical scholarship.

    Then you claimed that Jesus never said those “in Him” were saved and those outside him were not – as if that wasn’t the very point of the image given in the Vine & the branches of Jn.15.

    If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

    No, you (and this article’s author) are the ones with the more serious burden. Judgment is a major theme throughout the Scriptures and certainly on Jesus’ lips. No one talks of Hell more than Jesus. And no one is more megalomaniacal in his unique claim to answer that problem.

    You clearly don’t like that.
    But that’s not a problem with my methodology, verse citations, etc.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    As I said, I dealt with all your previous random verses, but no longer see any reason to keep on doing the same thing with each new set you throw up: it’s just a waste of time and effort.
    The only reason for bothering to reply again is because you are now not only misrepresenting the Bible but also me. To quote me:
    “Krinw’s principle meaning is to separate out, and by extension assess something, not necessarily condemn it, and it definitely doesn’t mean to reject, punish or pass sentence.”
    It certainly can mean “judge” in the sense of assessing something or passing a verdict on it, and does indeed mean that in the John passage, as I said in my own post.
    (You mention commentaries, and I can tell BTW that you read a lot of them, because you certainly are more familiar with them than the actual Bible, and by the looks of it they are the kind of commentary that read the Bible in the exact same proof-texting cut and paste never mind the context or narrative way that you do.)

  • soter phile

    you said: “To quote me…”
    this appears to be the primary authority that matters to you.

    so let’s quote you: “Jesus does not go on to say anything about them then being punished, or what will happen to them subsequently…”
    this is patently false. yes, later repentance is possible – but Jesus repeatedly does say that a refusal of him entails punishment/condemnation/etc… as I cited repeatedly.

    you said: “…because you certainly are more familiar with [commentaries] than the actual Bible…”
    This is a very interesting claim for someone who refused to engage the actual biblical content I cited – meanwhile claiming those citations are “random.”

    You have jumped to quite a few conclusions about me. Case in point: “they are the kind of commentary that read the Bible in the exact same proof-texting cut and paste never mind the context or narrative way that you do.”

    Funny how the term “proof-texting” is only invoked when someone doesn’t like what the verse says. And yet it becomes purposeful obfuscation when claiming the verse in question is taken “out of context” – without demonstrating how precisely that context gives a different meaning.

    So what commentaries or authorities do you accept? Shall I quote Schleiermacher instead? Bultmann? Tillich? Gutierrez? Will you hear only from the progressive echo chamber rather than Scripture? I personally think Karl Barth unravels their existentialist frameworks from within – but hey, I couldn’t have their higher-critical works on my shelf because my books are limited to my narrow views, right?

    Ironically, I was trained at the very sort of institutions you appear to hold in high regard – but I took professors from both sides of the debate. I do not come to these conclusions because they are convenient for my pre-existing paradigm, but because it’s what the Scriptures say – including and especially when I find it personally challenging.

    Jesus changes lives. He is the hope of our existence.
    But dodging repeated themes of Scripture is refusing to listen to him.
    After years in the academy, at least one thing is clear to me:
    All of this higher-critical maneuvering rarely results in much more than dodging Jesus.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You keep telling everyone they are going “contrary to the Bible” yet never seem to be able to find a bit of the Bible they are actually contrary to. When someone says that a particular passage doesn’t say what you say it says, you simply switch to another passage instead, and when that doesn’t either you either resort to yet another bit, or a vague “other places”. I have to the limit of my patience dealt specifically with the verses you have cited, but you just keep adding new ones and I feel no obligation to keep doing this indefinitely.
    If you disagree with someone over something the Bible says then fine, but don’t go telling them they are “dodging Jesus” and “contradicting the Bible” when what they are in fact contradicting is you, and your particular take in what it says, particularly when it appears what you say the Bible says is often far removed from the actual text you are quoting.
    Also, do people the courtesy of reading what they say. If I say that Jesus does not talk about punishment in the particular passage we are talking about, don’t then say this is “patently false” because of what you say Jesus says about punishment somewhere completely different.

  • rationalobservations?

    Religion? It’s all fictional nonsense as we all really know.
    Even the invention of the tribes of the “Israelite nation” are a fiction.

    In his History of the Jews, the Jewish scholar and theologian Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 A.D.), wrote that the Greek philosopher Aristotle had said: “…These Jews are derived from the Indian philosophers; they are named by the Indians Calani.” (Book I:22.)

    Clearchus of Soli wrote, “The Jews descend from the philosophers of India. The philosophers are called in India Calanians and in Syria Jews. The name of their capital is very difficult to pronounce. It is called ‘Jerusalem.'”

    “Megasthenes, who was sent to India by Seleucus Nicator, about three hundred years before Christ, and whose accounts from new inquiries are every day acquiring additional credit, says that the Jews ‘were an Indian tribe or sect called Kalani…'” (Anacalypsis, by Godfrey Higgins, Vol. I; p. 400.)

    Martin Haug, Ph.D., wrote in The Sacred Language, Writings, and Religions of the Parsis, “The Magi are said to have called their religion Kesh-î-Ibrahim.They traced their religious books to Abraham, who was believed to have brought them from heaven.” (p. 16.)

    There are certain striking similarities between the Hindu god Brahma and his consort Saraisvati, and the Jewish Abraham and Sarai, that are more than mere coincidences. Although in all of India there is only one temple dedicated to Brahma, this cult is the third largest Hindu sect.

    Voltaire was of the opinion that Abraham descended from some of the numerous Brahman priests who left India to spread their teachings throughout the world; and in support of his thesis he presented the following elements: the similarity of names and the fact that the city of Ur, land of the patriarchs, was near the border of Persia, the road to India, where that Brahman had been born.

    The name of Brahma was highly respected in India, and his influence spread throughout Persia as far as the lands bathed by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The Persians adopted Brahma and made him their own. Later they would say that the God arrived from Bactria, a mountainous region situated midway on the road to India. (pp. 46-47.)

    Bactria (a region of ancient Afghanistan) was the locality of a prototypical Jewish nation called Juhuda or Jaguda, also called Ur-Jaguda. Ur meant “place or town.” Therefore, the bible was correct in stating that Abraham came from “Ur of the Chaldeans.” “Chaldean,” more correctly Kaul-Deva (Holy Kauls), was not the name of a specific ethnicity but the title of an ancient Hindu Brahmanical priestly caste who lived in what are now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Indian state of Kashmir.

    “The tribe of Ioud or the Brahmin Abraham, was expelled from or left the Maturea of the kingdom of Oude in India and, settling in Goshen, or the house of the Sun or Heliopolis in Egypt, gave it the name of the place which they had left in India, Maturea.” (Anacalypsis; Vol. I, p. 405.)

    “He was of the religion or sect of Persia, and of Melchizedek.”(Vol. I, p. 364.)

    “The Persians also claim Ibrahim, i.e. Abraham, for their founder, as well as the Jews. Thus we see that according to all ancient history the Persians, the Jews, and the Arabians are descendants of Abraham.(p.85) …We are told that Terah, the father of Abraham, originally came from an Eastern country called Ur, of the Chaldees or Culdees, to dwell in a district called Mesopotamia. Some time after he had dwelt there, Abraham, or Abram, or Brahma, and his wife Sara or Sarai, or Sara-iswati, left their father’s family and came into Canaan. The identity of Abraham and Sara with Brahma and Saraiswati was first pointed out by the Jesuit missionaries.”(Vol. I; p. 387.)

    Even the “City of Nazareth” is an invention of the late 3rd or early 4th century. The time when the Roman religion thewy called “christianity” was first cobbled together from mostly “pagan” components and mythologies and exclusively pagan feast days and festivals.
    It’s also worth noting that the oldest/first prototype bibles were cobbled together in the late 4th century and they differ from each other and are almost entirely different from later versions and those we know today.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHD-FaKUwAAhH7S.jpg

  • Joshua Sonofnone

    Surely you, of all people, understand that Jesus meant this for those who would place their faith in Him and in Him alone? God does not live in everyone and the Bible never indicates that God lives in everyone.

  • soter phile

    Again you move the goalposts.

    1) the use of krinw & the theme of judgment in the Gospel accounts…
    Jesus leaves no doubt on this question – whether the article’s author is attempting to create uncertainty or you are attempting to defend his desire for uncertainty (where there is virtually none).

    Jn.3 & Jn.15 are germane for a discussion of Jn.14. But apparently you think that’s ‘far removed’ or something utterly distinct. No, that’s not “switching to another passage”, it’s giving context – for the book in question as well as the passage in question (e.g., Upper Room discourse, including Jn.15).

    Even now you are apparently holding two opposite conclusions – that krinw “does indeed mean [judgment] in the John passage” but it “doesn’t say what [I] say it says”, despite the fact that from the outset that is the very point upon which I’ve been insisting. It was the entire impetus for our discussion. Well, that & whether or not I could say “clearly.”

    2) you raised the question of which commentaries I read. you made several, significant assumptions and claims about me. I refuted them directly – but you conveniently want to overlook that part of our last exchange… and now you basically want to re-assert the same sort of presumptuous claims about me without addressing any of that. No, I am not the one operating in an echo chamber here. It’s not just “[my] particular take” – but I think you know that. This is a red herring: make the discussion about me instead of the content of the passage.

    3) I have not told “everyone they are going contrary to the Bible.” As far as this discussion is concerned, I guess by “everyone” you mean yourself and the article’s author. Ironically, if it’s a matter of “everyone”, the classically orthodox position on John 14:6 has a much larger following among Christians. I’m not invoking the fallacy of the majority – but the fact that my position is held by the majority of Christians directly undermines what you are intimating (namely, that I think “everyone” else is wrong, and by extension only my opinion matters).

    4) you said: “Also, do people the courtesy of reading what they say.”
    I’ve read every word you’ve said. Sometimes multiple times. I can’t help but wonder – especially by your selective responses – if you’ve actually extended the same courtesy you’re demanding.

  • Dhammarato

    Jesus Never Claimed To Be The Only Way to Heaven
    Please kindly take these changes as a way to see that JC and big buddh were onto the same thing. The Buddha called it Dhamma (Dharma), Lao Tsu call it Doa. Jesus called it Abba (giving the word “above” and “about” and not quite “father” when translation from the Greek. In all cases it has the quality of “BE HERE NOW”. So please allow the change from “father” to Dharma (Buddhas word for it”) to get a better understanding that they all taught the same things and we suffer from translation errors as well as stupidity.
    We hear this all the time: “Jesus is the only way to heaven” or “No one will be saved without knowing Jesus.”
    But is that true? Well, not quite.
    At least, that’s not what Jesus meant when he said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Dharma except through me…” (John 14:6)
    Now, most of us have been told that this is what Jesus means to say in this verse, but a careful study of the entire chapter reveals something a bit different.
    First of all, this statement is in response to the question asked by Thomas, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
    That’s why Jesus said, “I am the way…”
    The way to where? The way to where he is going.
    Where is Jesus going? He’s going to the Dharma.
    So, this entire chapter is about coming to the Dharma, not about going to Heaven after we die.

    After this, Jesus goes on to explain that if you’ve seen him, you’ve also seen the Dharma. So, the entire point of the conversation is about knowing the Dharma.

    Notice also that Jesus provides some evidence for us that the Dharma is in him, and that he is in the Dharma: His works.
    Then notice that Jesus immediately pivots to emphasize that, if we trust in him we will also do the same works he has been doing.
    Why is that important? Because the works that Jesus does are evidence that the Dharma is in him. So, the works that we do are also evidence that Jesus (and the Dharma) are in us.
    The whole conversation is about coming to the Dharma, and what it means to be in Christ, and about Jesus going to “prepare a place for (us)”, so that where Jesus is, we may also be.
    So, if we keep reading in this same chapter we will notice that Jesus reemphasizes this same idea over and over again:
    “In that day you will know that I am in my Dharma, and you in me, and I in you.” (v.20)
    “And I will ask the Dharma, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (v. 16-17)
    The point is: Jesus is going to the Dharma. This is what he’s talking about in the beginning of the chapter. The disciples get confused, so Jesus explains that he is going to the Dharma, and he is the way to the Dharma because the Dharma is in him, and the plan is for us to have the Dharma – and Jesus – living in us so that “where they are we may also be.”
    So, where is Jesus? Jesus is with the Dharma. (v. 12; 28)
    And where is the Dharma? He, and Jesus, have now come to make their home in you and in me. (v. 23)
    Notice that Jesus says, in the previous chapter, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” (Jn. 13:36)
    That’s what sets up the conversation in chapter 14 about where Jesus is going, why, and how we can also follow him to the place he is going (to be with the Dharma).
    So, this idea of being with the Dharma, and abiding in Christ, (who abides in us and in the Dharma), is something we can all experience RIGHT NOW!
    We don’t need to wait until after we die to be where Jesus and the Dharma are. In fact, this is the entire point of Jesus’s going away! It was to prepare a place where we can be together with him and the Dharma.
    Note: Jesus is NOT talking about where we go after we die. Jesus is talking about how we can know him, and the Dharma, BEFORE we die!
    That’s quite a significant difference.
    Jesus is the way to know the Dharma. He is the truth about what (not who) the Dharma is, because if we’ve seen him we’ve also seen the Dharma. And Jesus (etc) is our source for life – right here and now – as we abide in him (“IT” is better, him is too personified), and he – and the Dharma – abide daily in us.

  • Sophotroph

    Wow! So many scriptural experts in one place!!

    Look, another one!

  • Moe

    I’m no theologian but my understanding of heaven is God’s people under Gods rule… so then Jesus was teaching us that when we abide in him he abide in us. We can only abide in Jesus when we accept Jesus in our life and we baptized. Genesis shows how Adam and Eve lived with God under God’s rule but they had freewill and well we know how that panned out. Jesus teaches us how to live and keep choosing to serve God and live under Gods rule but we need to do it as his people like God always intended. Once we as God people live together under Gods rule like Jesus showed us then there will be no poverty and suffering etc. From reading my bible I believe that when Jesus comes again we will live on a new earth …. How and where I do not know but all that hears Jesus voice will follow Jesus because they his people and they choose to be and Jesus’ people all believe that Jesus is the only way therefore they not following any one else voice or path….I dont for one moment think Jesus would make that statement if it was not so. Why say he is the way? By saying that Jesus claims that there is no other….

  • Ari Huizenga

    Such a great example.