Authenticity of the gospel of John
My name is -------. My mother is a non-practicing Jew and my
father is a practicing atheist but I believe that Jesus is the
Messiah. I attended Baptist churches for eight years, talked to
Catholics but I still have a problem with John. I am currently in
Prestwick, Scotland, and will be relocating soon to France (but I
don't know any French, so I will not be going to churches there).
The Jews believe that Jesus pretended to be the Messiah (conman).
The Jews use the gospel John to prove that Jesus was not the
Messiah (other than the "Son of God" issue). They prove from John
that Jesus performed hoaxes and acts of intelligence and pretended
to be the Messiah. I believe that Jesus is indeed the Messiah who
did all kinds of miracles and raised the dead as in Mark and
Luke, but not from John.
Please forward my e-mail or refer me to someone you trust with whom
I can discuss the problem in 'John' and ask few questions about Paul.
P.S. I found you through yahoo under Christianity (churches, seminars).
Our team of men and women works together to help people who write us.
You may well receive a reply from more than one of us.
I certainly sympathize with your situation--and your lack of quality
support and fellowship around you at this present time.
My mentor and teacher for many years, Ray C. Stedman, has a wonderful
web site. His commentary on John is there and it is wonderfully clear
If your read through Ray's series "Adventuring Through the Bible,"
you will find one message on each book of the Bible. This ought to
help you with an overview.
There are a number of other fine sermons there as well,
Your questions are of course welcome.
God be with you,
Sincerely, for the Paraclete Forum,
I lived in Israel a number of years ago and became quite familiar with the
arguments that the dati'im like to throw out. I used to have Yeshiva
students come by just to argue (so what else is new?). I have been a
student of Judaism, the Diaspora, and so on. (I used to play guitar and
violin in various Israeli artists during my time ba-Aretz and my first born
son, Benjamin, was born in Jerusalem.)
So, other than being cryptic about the Gospel of John, do you have any
questions I might be able to help you with? The entire concept of Messiah
is completely fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Many Jews (e.g., Simeon at
the 2nd temple on the day of His brith ha-milah) were waiting simply because
they'd reasoned from the Pentateuch the where, when, how, and who. All of
the first believers were Jews, and they understood the scriptural (Tanach)
context of everything that went on. It can be said with some confidence
that the Sanhedrin and other rabbis after the debacle of the crucifixion
altered their accounts (just as it is written in the Gospels) to preserve
their authority (a k a jobs).
It is also sadly true that the Romans and eastern Gentiles gradually took
control of the first body of believers (by numerical superiority) and
co-opted the history of Israel, the Messiah, the scriptures and turned
everything into a Gentile religion. Only the Jewish perspective holds the
truth, not the Roman Catholic one with its papacy and Mary worship, not to
mention invoking so-called saints. What a mess, and what a complete
misrepresentation of the Jewishness of Jesus' family, kin, and community.
By the way, Paul's real name was transliterated as Saul, but it was probably
pronounced something like Sha-ul. In those days, many people were aware of
their ancestry (tribe of Benjamin), and he did study under Gamaliel. He may
have been the only one of the first followers of THE Messiah to really know
what the scriptures said. That's also part of the reason that he could
clearly see that the Gentiles should be allowed to believe in Him, too. The
descendants of Avraham, Itzak, and Yaacov were to be lights to the nations
(Gentiles); they weren't to make the truth of the Real and Living God, the
King of the Universe (Melech ha-olam) into some kind of ethnic thing. Read
what David ha-melech wrote in the Psalms. He knew God, and loved God, and
God loved him. That's the elohim that the Moshiach came to represent. A
small point, but remember that Jews were members of the tribe of Judah (same
as Jesus); Avraham was a called out of the nations (goyim) to learn of God,
Who would be known as the God of Israel (Yaacov). This knowledge was to go
full circle, not get caught in a niche.
Anyhow, feel free to ask questions. You can argue.
Thank you for your reply. I am talking to a local catholic pastor who
went to seminary, but he says that he never studied about it. I
talked to Jews for Jesus on the net, but they only proved to me that
Jesus was the Messiah which I have no problem with in the first
place. I will try to explain to you what I see in 'John'. Please
don't think that I am biased toward the Tanach because I do believe
Jesus when he accused them of manipulating the Torah and following
false prophets. Both Jews and Christians believe that the books of
Moses were written by Moses himself. I believe that they were written
after he died by someone else and that they might contain errors.
(Deuteronomy 33,1) This is the blessing which Moses, the man God
pronounced upon the Israelites before he died.
Moses was dead when this book was written. Moses did not write
Deuteronomy. The author could have included his own interpretations
The Jews hold David with great esteem and believe that he was
anointed by God as a Prophet, King and Lord. However, the book
'Samuel' says that David committed adultery and slept with his
neighbor's wife; she conceived and bore him a bastard who later dies
and still David never believed that God could raise him after death.
How could a prophet do such a thing? How could a prophet have such a
weak faith? I don't believe that the author of 'Samuel' is a genuine
prophet. I believe that the author is justifying himself by saying
that even the prophets do not obey God's commandments nor do they
believe in the power of God.
For similar reasons, I also believe that 'John' was not written by
one of the Twelve. I will try to explain why:
'John' declared his intentions of writing the gospel so that we may
believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God... But also any
fraud will also declare the same intentions otherwise the believers
would never adopt his text as a gospel (Trojan Horse). Logically,
regardless of his declared intentions, he either set out to confirm
that Jesus is the Messiah or that Jesus was a conman.
For Jesus to be the real Messiah, he should have performed genuine
miracles otherwise he would be a fraud. Many conmen have already
performed hoaxes in order to become the Messiah; so figuring out that
those were hoaxes or real miracles is a crucial criterion for the
Israelites to acknowledge anyone as the Messiah. For this 'John'
talked about only SEVEN miracles, which he called signs (of the
Messiah). From his gospel, the readers will either judge Jesus as the
real Messiah or a fraud.
What are the criteria that the Israelites will first investigate? THE MIRACLES.
Those miracles are what the Israelites will scrutinize. They will
either believe that they were genuine miracles or figure out that
they were hoaxes. Those seven miracles will determine the end game.
Look at 'Mark':
(Mark 7,56) Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might
touch only the tassel of his cloak; and as many as touched it were
From 'Mark' we can only deduce that Jesus is performing genuine
miracles. 'Mark' wants us to believe that Jesus is performing genuine
miracles so that we deduce that Jesus is the Messiah. I believe
'Mark'. I love 'Mark'. But look at 'John'. ALL NON-BELIEVERS (not
just the Jews) figure out from 'John' that Jesus performed hoaxes and
hence deduce that the miracles in the Synoptics were also hoaxes
performed by Jesus in the same manner. You have to see for yourself
how they use 'John' to prove that those were not miracles at all. I
am currently in dialogue with one website at:
They follow a typical approach to prove from 'John' that Jesus did
hoaxes and not real miracles at all. Although they are targeting
Messianic Jews, they are ready to dialogue with anyone. The
difference between me and them is that they believe that those events
in 'John' really happened and that 'John' is a valid eyewitness and
they show you why they were hoaxes, hence Jesus couldn't have been
I believe that Jesus did indeed raise the dead as in the Synoptics
but did not raise Lazarus because the story in 'John' never happened,
healed the blind but did not heal that beggar, fed the 5000 but they
did not follow him the next day, took the last supper but did not
wash their feet... To me, only the events in the Synoptics happened.
The best way for me to tell you why I believe so is to let you see
what I see. This is why I am asking you first to look at an essay at
that website so that you see how 'John' made it inevitable to figure
out that Jesus was not the Messiah (it has nothing to do with Son of
God). I am not asking you to answer them, but if you decide to,
please send me a copy because I am not able to disprove them. You can
only understand me when you see how they use 'John' to attack Jesus.
I can refer you to other websites but they also attack the Synoptics
I believe that 'John' had the intentions to make the Israelites (and
non-believers) to come to the same conclusion and ultimately denounce
I am telling the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. I am asking
you why do Christians accept 'John', and how come they don't see what
>Thank you for your reply. I am talking to a local catholic pastor
>who went to seminary, but he says that he never studied about it. I
>talked to Jews for Jesus on the net, but they only proved to me that
>Jesus was the Messiah which I have no problem with in the first
>place. I will try to explain to you what I see in 'John'. Please
>don't think that I am biased toward the Tanach because I do believe
>Jesus when he accused them of manipulating the Torah and following
>false prophets. Both Jews and Christians believe that the books of
>Moses were written by Moses himself. I believe that they were
>written after he died by someone else and that they might contain
The Five Books of Moses were surely written by Moses--Jesus said so
himself. But clearly the closing section, Deuteronomy 34, was added
posthumously, probably by Joshua.
>(Deuteronomy 33,1) This is the blessing which Moses, the man God
>pronounced upon the Israelites before he died.
>Moses was dead when this book was written. Moses did not write
>Deuteronomy. The author could have included his own interpretations
This is an assumption which can not be proven, for which there is no
evidence. To the contrary, computer tests at the Hebrew University
some years back covering all five books of Moses show a common author.
>The Jews hold David with great esteem and believe that he was
>anointed by God as a Prophet, King and Lord. However, the book
>'Samuel' says that David committed adultery and slept with his
>neighbor's wife; she conceived and bore him a bastard who later dies
>and still David never believed that God could raise him after death.
>How could a prophet do such a thing? How could a prophet have such a
>weak faith? I don't believe that the author of 'Samuel' is a genuine
>prophet. I believe that the author is justifying himself by saying
>that even the prophets do not obey God's commandments nor do they
>believe in the power of God.
You have to start somewhere. If the Bible can not be trusted then
what Jesus said and did is not trustworthy. See "The Authority of the
I know of no more credible, reliable, trustworthy source of truth
greater than Jesus. So a person who is unwilling to take the word of
Jesus about life and reality has no hope at all as I see it.
We can not live without trusting someone or some philosophy. I
believe one should seek out and trust the most reliable sources they
can find, and then test them in real life. Otherwise we are very
easily deceived. I don't understand why one would start with great
layers of doubt about the writers of the Bible. This document has
been researched more than any other. Many have died defending what it
says. Greater scholars than you and I, for centuries, have taken the
Bible seriously at face value without raising spurious doubts and
this or that.
>For similar reasons, I also believe that 'John' was not written by
>one of the Twelve. I will try to explain why:
>'John' declared his intentions of writing the gospel so that we may
>believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God... But also any
>fraud will also declare the same intentions otherwise the believers
>would never adopt his text as a gospel (Trojan Horse). Logically,
>regardless of his declared intentions, he either set out to confirm
>that Jesus is the Messiah or that Jesus was a conman.
The enemies of God do not set out to prove that Jesus was the
Messiah, their aims are the opposite of this.
>For Jesus to be the real Messiah, he should have performed genuine
>miracles otherwise he would be a fraud. Many conmen have already
>performed hoaxes in order to become the Messiah; so figuring out
>that those were hoaxes or real miracles is a crucial criterion for
>the Israelites to acknowledge anyone as the Messiah. For this 'John'
>talked about only SEVEN miracles, which he called signs (of the
>Messiah). From his gospel, the readers will either judge Jesus as
>the real Messiah or a fraud.
So we are free, then, to set the standards of what Jesus should or
should not have done? This means we are gods and there is no higher
authority than our own self-consensus?
I contend that the core of man's sin is our prideful desire to be our
own gods and to set our own standards.
>What are the criteria that the Israelites will first investigate?
>Those miracles are what the Israelites will scrutinize. They will
>either believe that they were genuine miracles or figure out that
>they were hoaxes. Those seven miracles will determine the end game.
>Look at 'Mark':
>(Mark 7,56) Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered,
>they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they
>might touch only the tassel of his cloak; and as many as touched it
>From 'Mark' we can only deduce that Jesus is performing genuine
>miracles. 'Mark' wants us to believe that Jesus is performing
>genuine miracles so that we deduce that Jesus is the Messiah. I
>believe 'Mark'. I love 'Mark'. But look at 'John'. ALL NON-BELIEVERS
>(not just the Jews) figure out from 'John' that Jesus performed
>hoaxes and hence deduce that the miracles in the Synoptics were also
>hoaxes performed by Jesus in the same manner. You have to see for
>yourself how they use 'John' to prove that those were not miracles
>at all. I am currently in dialogue with one website at:
>They follow a typical approach to prove from 'John' that Jesus did
>hoaxes and not real miracles at all. Although they are targeting
>Messianic Jews, they are ready to dialogue with anyone. The
>difference between me and them is that they believe that those
>events in 'John' really happened and that 'John' is a valid
>eyewitness and they show you why they were hoaxes, hence Jesus
>couldn't have been the Messiah.
>I believe that Jesus did indeed raise the dead as in the Synoptics
>but did not raise Lazarus because the story in 'John' never
>happened, healed the blind but did not heal that beggar, fed the
>5000 but they did not follow him the next day, took the last supper
>but did not wash their feet... To me, only the events in the
>Synoptics happened. The best way for me to tell you why I believe so
>is to let you see what I see. This is why I am asking you first to
>look at an essay at that website so that you see how 'John' made it
>inevitable to figure out that Jesus was not the Messiah (it has
>nothing to do with Son of God). I am not asking you to answer them,
>but if you decide to, please send me a copy because I am not able to
>disprove them. You can only understand me when you see how they use
>'John' to attack Jesus. I can refer you to other websites but they
>also attack the Synoptics (attacking me).
>I believe that 'John' had the intentions to make the Israelites (and
>non-believers) to come to the same conclusion and ultimately
>I am telling the Jews that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. I am asking
>you why do Christians accept 'John', and how come they don't see
>what we see?
John was one of Jesus' own disciples--an eye witness to all that
Jesus did. What advantage would there be to him or anyone else to lie
about his authorship or what he saw? What gain would there be in that
for a religion where truth is everything and integrity matters?
I believe Jesus is my Lord and Master and I have agreed of my own
free will to take my orders from Him and to be obedient to what He
tells me. Yes, I am free to ask questions, but I do so under the
Forgive me if I don't answer your questions directly this time. I will try
to address these things in a general way.
You are talking about several things at once. The Tanach is accepted by
true believers as the inspired Word of God. It forms the basis for the
Biblical Worldview. If we start out with "In the beginning, God created the
heavens and the earth...", we have no problem understanding the rest of it.
There is a Creator Whose power is beyond our imaginations. We can't even
think of something that He cannot do.
So, can He reveal Himself in scripture? Of course He can. Can He protect
and preserve that revelation? Yes, again. The particular problem with the
Torah is easily resolved. No man is going to write about his own funeral.
The Genesis account ends some 300 years before Moses' birth. So, the only
logical conclusion is that God inspired the authorship through Moses and at
least one other person who came after. The Torah is no less the Books of
Moses as a result. Most importantly, Jesus Himself refers to Mosaic
authorship (Matthew 8:4; Mark 12:26; Luke 16:29), as does the Talmud and the
Roman (Jew) historian Josephus. The real point is revelation and the
purpose of revelation. God wants us to know Him; He wants us to know what
He's like and how we are made.
The documents have been handled with extreme care by the scribes. Their
religious attitude towards precise copying is legendary. When compared,
various manuscripts reflect amazing consistency, one reason for so much
interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Even today, the Tanach stands the test.
I think you should also take note that the Pentateuch and/or Masoretic text
are accepted by both Jews and Christians in their various denominations and
so forth. Can you imagine that, agreeing on something so fundamental?
Another issue you deal with is accuracy of the Biblical accounts. If the
content of one account is "proven" false, then we have no basis to trust the
whole Bible. This is a very serious issue. Once again, my God, Y-H-V-H, is
big enough to preserve His Word. Not only is He omnipotent, He is
omniscient and omnipresent as well. There is no problem at all for Him to
understand what goes on in the minds of men. People have tried to find
errors for millennia. In the past several centuries, many have tried
through textual criticism to find errors.
Believe me, there are websites out there full of anti-Christian diatribes
and claims of mistakes and errors. The trap I believe is that they can zing
you and get into your head. When you run down scholarly answers to these
attacks on the Bible, you find that that is exactly what they are--attacks.
People don't want to believe it because it commands a response. If there
really is a Personal, Living God Who controls Time and Space, a Creator,
Designer, and Architect of the Universe, we'd better listen up. We'd better
turn to Him with all of our hearts and minds.
What He has revealed about Himself is very contrary to our intuitions. If I
had the power of a god, I'd be a holy terror. But, the real God is not
waiting for us to screw up so that He can send a lightning bolt to fry our
measly little bodies. He Loves us! He loves us so much that He seeks us
out! He sent His Son to redeem us. He revealed Himself through Moses and
the Prophets very very painstakingly so that we could not miss it! The
central person in the history of mankind is a poor, young Jewish man born in
Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. I've been both places and they ain't the
Ritz-Carlton. This poor carpenter rises above Einstein and Marx as the
greatest Jew who ever lived--no contest. He has affected more lives than
any living person by far.
As far as John goes, I will try to deal with that later, but suffice it to
say that we have the basic same set of problems and objections. The early
believers, who were led by the Spirit of God, accepted him and his report.
He has a different perspective, partly because he apparently spent more time
with the Master than did the others. He really tried to emphasize the fact
that Yeshua ha-Meshiach is the Son of the Living God. No normal human could
do the things He did, nor say the things He said, nor be the kind of person
Jesus was while He walked among us. John was also chosen to live to see the
Revelation--all given to him in clear symbols consistent with the kinds of
imagery written in the Tanach. His pictures are like those of Ezekiel.
There is no question that the writings of John are inspired.
The entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is more than a miracle itself.
It is God's Word to us. I have based my entire life on it, and it has never
let me down once. My own mind has failed me--my own heart has failed me.
I, like Paul, do things that I don't want to do. I sin, even though I've
met the Master, the King of the Universe. Nevertheless, He forgives me. He
knows what I'm made of (He made me), and I have no trouble understanding
that. The trouble I have is understanding why I continue to rebel.
Finally, it is not blind faith or blind acceptance of the Bible that I'm
trying to convey to you. Not at all. It is accepting His will and
understanding how much He really cares for His creation. He is not hiding
from us, and He never will. He wants to have fellowship with you, and me,
and all those who will come to Him. But, we don't come to Him on our terms.
We are finite and limited. The only way we can know an infinite God is to
accept His revelation of Himself. The amazing thing about it is that, at
every point, it is true. In it, we read of the Bread of life and the Living
water that nourish our souls. There is so much wisdom in that Book that
each and every one of us can spend out entire lives reading it, putting it
together, asking the Spirit to reveal its contents. It challenges the
greatest minds, and yet, the message it communicates is so elegant and
simple that even young children can grasp its meanings and all its
implications: God loves us. He wants us to know Him.
God also chose David--a miserable sinner. No one should make him more than
that. Yes, he was a man after God's heart. God blessed him immeasurably.
But, he was a man like you and I, and that shows us more of the character of
God. David was not one of the Prophets as were Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
and Daniel. But, he did speak forth God's word, as the Psalms clearly
attest. He really knew God, and like me, he failed again and again, only to
find God's mercy was there no matter where he went. No Prophet, Moses
included, wrote so beautifully of God's grace. "I will sing of the mercies
of the Lord forever." Same God, same Creator, same Messiah.
The is a tremendous body of believers on earth today. We are not in one
denomination or church building. We are part of a living organism. You will
have to learn to trust someone or you will eat yourself alive with you doubts
and questions. Trust God first, and His Word. Trust His Messiah and His
messengers. Learn to sit at the Master's feet, as did John. I doubt that
you'll find a very big payoff in coming up with another Passover Plot.
Maybe you got me wrong. I do believe in God who created the heavens and the
earth. I am not a skeptic. And I also believe that Jesus is the Messiah who
performed all kinds of miracles and raised the dead. I don't accept John
not because raising Lazarus is not in the Synoptics. It is very difficult
for me to explain. But it would be much easier for me to explain if you are
familiar with how they use 'John' to prove that Jesus did not do any
miracles at all. It sounds strange since raising Lazarus is an obvious
miracle. I am asking you to read one article only about the
miracles. You will figure out by yourself what my questions will be.
I took a look at the web site. It starts out Logic vs. Faith, which already
is a faulty premise. Then it says that Jesus is not the Messiah, which can
only be assumed based on the idea that Faith is somehow antithetical to
From the first days I was a believer, I knew that the Bible and a biblical
worldview had to make sense or I was not going to be able to believe. How
can anyone believe something that is illogical? This was over thirty years
ago. Our team, some who have also communicated with you a very similar
message (as my last one), is of one mind--and we haven't sat down to
discuss some sort of plot or reasoning to convince you of anything. The
mind has to match the heart or they will be going in two directions: a
house divided cannot stand.
As a bit of a preface, one of us is a retired physicist, as I'm sure you
know. He held (what I consider) a prestigious job for many years at SRI
International. I'm a linguist, having received my PhD from the University
of Southern California in 1998 (my profs were two Cambridge docs who are
extremely logical and thorough in their approach to language and the brain).
University teaching is a second career for me (music was my first).
In short, neither of us are in to "pie in the sky", nor do we feel
in any way that there is a dichotomy between the sacred (religious concepts
requiring some sort of vague concept of faith) and the profane (everything
else of an earthly nature). This is precisely what the Roman Catholic
church would like you to think, and, as a consequence, to accept blindly
doctrines of Mary, the Saints, the authority of the Pope (and priests), and
all sorts of things like that.
Orthodox Judaism is not far behind in this. I can't tell you how many times
I've talked with yeshiva students who not only did not believe that there
was a God, they had extreme trouble in grasping the concept of a loving
Messiah. They were studying "the religion of their people" and they were
fanatics. They dovened all day long, touching mazzuzot. They were stuck
somewhere in Poland in their heads while living in a hot desert land. They
would take up stones to people driving their cars on Shabbat, but they did
not know God. They were never dealing with moral absolutes or any sort of
absolute statement such as "In the beginning, God..." Faith is faith, and
reason is reason. I could believe in Messiah Jesus, but they did not have
to. This is akin to saying that my believing makes it true to me somehow.
Maybe I could believe that I won the lottery.
We (all the members of this forum) categorically deny that
basic premise. I can believe the moon is made of green cheese (or the earth
is flat and the sun revolves around the earth) but that will not make it so.
Jesus is the Messiah or He is not the Messiah. He cannot be the Gentile
Messiah and not the Jewish One. Going back to the original premise of a
creator, architect, and designer, we also encounter the Lawgiver. He
created physical, biological, and moral laws. No question: My God did
that. He also created the entire universe as a system of interlocking
systems. There is order to the universe because God made it that way--no
random mutations, not random occurrences of anything. We have the hope of
reason just because of that. This is the foundational logic behind all of
modern science and Western concepts of logic. X cannot not be X and non-X
simultaneously. Therefore, Jesus cannot be the Messiah promised in the
Tanach and non-Messiah at the same time.
So, going back to the web site, there is no dichotomy between logic and
faith. I don't have to read everything that every person has ever read to
understand where that argument is going to take me. I can't tell you how
many things that are out there of that nature. Millions of millions of
people believe in that kind of thinking, but it does not mean that it is
real. Islam is based on it, and almost every religion of the world is, as
well. The God of the Bible created one universe, and all of it is under His
authority. Every thought is brought into captivity.
I'm hoping that you can understand the big point (the general guiding
principle of the biblical worldview) before we go onto the little ones (the
specific attacks it has to deal with on a moment-by-moment basis). If you
do indeed hold to this basic worldview, then you cannot possibly argue that
the miracles of John are different in kind (number or quality) from the
miracles of Elijah, or of Elisha. John's words are no different from those
of Isaiah, or of King David, the Psalmist. They speak of the same Y-H-V-H.
He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He creates out of nothing that
which we see and touch. He knows all facts and how they relate one to the
other. His knowledge is true knowledge because His Word matches His
He is faith-ful. As we have written, He has never let us down. So, our
faith is not in some sort of religion, and it is not even in our ability to
think things through. Our faith is based in the character of God, the Giver
of Life. His Word feeds our souls and nourishes our hearts. It is
absolutely logical, and all of its implications are true. I believe it
because it is true. My belief is a response, not a cause. He has
demonstrated time and time again that His Word, the Bible (and every book,
chapter, verse, and word) is true, and I can count on it.
I lived in Israel for nearly two years, and it is absolutely true what
we wrote about archeology. People read a verse in the Tanach, pace off
areas, start digging, and they find what they were looking for. It is
axiomatic. But, that is not where it stops. God promised to bring Israel
back together as a nation. Many think that the existence of modern-day
Israel is absolute proof that there is a God. I can step out anywhere on
His Word and it will keep me from falling.
As I wrote before, we don't come to Him on our terms. So, we cannot pick
what parts of scripture we think are true and only follow what we want to.
That makes me, the individual created human being, the interpreter of facts.
The biblical worldview says that God is the Final Interpreter of Facts. He
tells me what to "believe." Parenthetically, this makes it both simple and
difficult. I have to understand that my own concept of reason is suspect,
because my brain is part of this fallen world.
What that means is not that I blindly accept the Bible. On the contrary,
with eyes wide open I accept it. As a social scientist, I have read many
arguments that follow a linear kind of reasoning, and yet they are proved
false. Logical fallacies are part and parcel of any logical approach to
anything. The best example is the "either-or" fallacy. I have seen many of
my colleagues fall into the logical trap of accepting a particular theory or
hypothesis, very carefully presented with all the proper documentation
(appeals to authority, reason, and so on), only to have their careers come
down around their ears. The work of Noam Chomsky is a wonderful example of
reasoning without empirical basis; the theory continually evolves trying to
account for all the counter evidence. It has become more and more general
as a logical consequence, out of necessity.
This is the same with the Logic versus Faith argument. It is as general as
a theory can be. If I say that we have to accept the Bible in faith and
deny our logic, it sounds like I'm saying that the Bible cannot be accepted
by a logical mind. We can start out with Noah and Jonah, and call them
myths or legends that don't have to be accepted literally. We can accept
them for what they are--matters of faith. This is NOT what our team is
talking about. There was a physical flood and their is a ton of evidence.
People have been swallowed by fish and lived to tell about it. Nothing in the
Bible is unbelievable; problems happen when we expect it to conform to our own
lives, experience, and "logic".
God's plan is not man's plan. His logic is not my logic. His thoughts are
higher than my thoughts--and quite literally that means that He really does
know ALL facts and how they inter-relate because He created them according
to His Design. So, I can look at the miracles of John and say, "Look at
that! John noticed some things that the other guys didn't. I sure wish I
could have sat next to Him and asked Him questions." John brings his own
personal insight into the picture, equally inspired by the Holy Spirit as it
hit the pages. Not one miracle or word in that Gospel contradicts another
or the words of the Synoptic Gospels--that is, if we take God's perspective.
His logic puts together facts that seem to be excluded from linear
Human logic (based only on empirical evidence laid end to end) can and does
lead to logical fallacies. Either Jesus said X, or He said Y. However,
from God's perspective, He may have said both X and Y. If it is in the
scripture, He said it, so we cannot say "neither X nor Y".
Finally, I'm not afraid to look at specious arguments. It's a matter of
time. I think it is much more profitable for us to learn what God really
wants to tell us. And, after these thirty years, I know that there is one
book I can truly trust. I also know that I will never know that book like
the Author does. I can know the Author, though. He gives me knowledge
(when I ask for it). He still amazes me with His grace. If you really
analyze the characters of the Bible, David, Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Paul,
Peter, and the others, they are people just like you and me. He took
miserable lumps of clay to reveal His character--He is loving and kind and
merciful. We can trust Him to communicate His Truth to us, in spite of
Blessings and Grace,
I knew that you would get me wrong. I don't have a problem with
Jesus at all. I believe that Jesus is indeed the Messiah who
performed all kinds of miracles and raised the dead. My problem is
only accepting the gospel 'John'. And it has nothing to do with
anti-Semitism. My best way to explain myself is to let you
experience first hand how they use 'John' to prove that Jesus did
not do any miracles. This will sound strange since at least Jesus
raised Lazarus in 'John' so how could they say the opposite. This is
why I asked you to read an article. If you have time please read one
article at that website about the miracles. You will then figure out
by yourself what my questions will be.
I realize that you are a believer. But the web site you referenced is
the work of an outspoken enemy of the gospel--he is a true apostate.
Having heard and rejected the gospel this man is now immune to the
In my experience there is no point in dialoguing with this breed of
false teacher. It is most always the equivalent of casting pearls
before swine. However when you read his junk it can strengthen your
own position which is what I hoped to do. On the other hand, this
man's writing is virulent poison and one must not let any of it seep
into one's spirit.
This poor man is very lost and not likely to ever change.
But I expect others on our team will have wise ands helpful things things to
"Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know
that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be
quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing,
correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that
they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from
the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will."
(2 Timothy 2:23-26)
My situation is like being bitten by a very poisonous snake. But you
can't give me the antidote without knowing what type of snake bit me.
I am already bitten and the poison is in my brain. It will not go
away by itself. The damage is already done. And who says that I am
the only victim? And just imagine that the atheists or the Moslems
pickup that venom. Wouldn't it be better if you prepare the antidote?
Now, there's a cryptic remark if I ever saw one. Sounds like mermaids
singing from a rock.
And, re the Judea thing, I think it may apply to people who are in Judea.
But, that's only a wild guess.