What were Jesus’ ACTUAL final words?

It’s interesting.  Jesus’ death and resurrection are the cornerstone of Christianity.  For an event so important, you would think the Gospel accounts would connect with each other really well around these events.

You would think that Jesus’ final words would have been remembered clearly enough that the Gospels would be in agreement as to what they were, or at least close to agreement.

And yet, they aren’t.

Let’s take a look.

Matthew 27 (NLT)
46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.

Mark 15 (NLT)
34 
Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last.

Okay, looks good so far!  This is what should be expected.

Luke 23 (NLT)
46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

Hmmmm.  Okay.  Maybe this is what Jesus shouted that the passages in Matthew and Mark referred to as Jesus’ final shout/loud cry?

It does seem a bit contradictory though.  Jesus is speaking of God abandoning him in Matthew and Mark, but is trusting “Father” God in Luke.

Okay.  Maybe John can clarify things for us.

John 19 (NLT)
28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Wait.  What?

Jesus was thirsty so he could fulfil scripture?  That doesn’t fit with the other Gospel accounts at all!

This is the most important event in Christianity and the Gospels are all over the place about this.

How are we to take the rest of Christianity seriously if the foundation of the belief has such serious cracks in it like this?

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141 Responses to What were Jesus’ ACTUAL final words?

  1. jasonjshaw says:

    The hole is that sin and evil is just magically there, you have no source for its creation. How did not choosing God come to be an option if it weren’t for something that God did? Nothing you have put forward makes any sense in regards to this, which is why I am trying to ask in every possible way I can think of in order to either get a logical answer out of you or for you to realize that there is something missing. Unfortunately I am getting neither – and this is the foundation of all of your beliefs, so I can’t just let it slide.

    You’re projecting your morality onto me rather than making an effort to understand my point of view. I think that is the problem, you keep trying to fit my viewpoints into your worldview. It’s like you’re trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole.

    Ok, so it seems I am not good at communicating my point of view with you. I did a little search and came up with this video which will hopefully get you on the right path to understanding it:

  2. Derek says:

    Hey Jason! Work got super crazy. I hope you’re doing well.

    In response to your first paragraph: Like I said several times before, I don’t understand the precise mechanics that allowed sin to exist or continue to allow sin to exist. Freewill plays a part to be sure. To call this a “hole” in my beliefs seems going to far. Scientists don’t know the mechanics of everything, but I don’t think the entire scientific process is a farce as a result. There are plenty more things theologically speaking that I don’t understand, but an absence of comprehensive understanding is to be expected in certain areas when we’re discussing the infinite, living God.

    I’m not projecting my morality on to you. Respectfully, I don’t think you don’t understand the problem of secular humanism.

    After watching your video, the same problem appears quite clearly. According to the video, “Humanists do not look to any God for a special set of rules.” the video also states that “some people” believe that some things are always right and some things are always wrong; I think suggesting that this is in fact not true. Interesting. Then the video does an about face and claims, “This means we ought to be empathetic and think about the effect of our choices on others.” Why should we “always” be empathetic? Why is empathy valued instead of selfishness? What absolute standard is empathy valued by? The rest of the video relies on heavily on choosing carefully only what every human knows to be good behavior, claiming that this is what is naturally inside of us. Moreover, the idea that morality is somehow shaped through human evolution is at once terrifying and self-defeating in it’s fullest form. A: Morality that evolved through time and chance is no morality at all. Stealing and rape might have just as well turned out as moral as generosity and kindness. B: If morality is the process of blind chance, we have as much obligation to it as we do rolling dice to decide our life choices. What authority does the arbitrary nature of the way the cards have fallen have over any individual who is uninterested in living up to morals, that are, according to secular humanism, the product of random chance? I’m really curious how you make meaning of a universe that you claim has no meaning.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “I’m really curious how you make meaning of a universe that you claim has no meaning.”

      Back with more straw-men and putting words into my mouth that I never spoke, how wonderful.

      “Morality that evolved through time and chance is no morality at all. Stealing and rape might have just as well turned out as moral as generosity and kindness.”

      Except it isn’t chance, it is based on survival and thriving. If everyone is stealing and raping, how do you think there would possibly be enough social order for humans to continue doing well?

      Yet again, you make me wonder if you even read or consider a single thing I write. You still have no grasp of my viewpoint despite me pointing out the same sort of problems in your arguments again and again.

  3. Derek says:

    “Back with more straw-men and putting words into my mouth that I never spoke, how wonderful.”

    I’m sorry; I’m not trying to put words in your mouth at all. I just don’t understand how time and chance acting on matter (evolution). can produce meaning. Meaning would seem to be, in my opinion, the antithesis of time and chance and acting on matter.

    “Except it isn’t chance, it is based on survival and thriving. If everyone is stealing and raping, how do you think there would possibly be enough social order for humans to continue doing well?”

    Isn’t the idea that humans should “do well” based on chance? If evolution is all there is, (not sure if you believe this or not) then chance is indeed everything.

    “Yet again, you make me wonder if you even read or consider a single thing I write. You still have no grasp of my viewpoint despite me pointing out the same sort of problems in your arguments again and again.”

    I always read and reread what you write. As I’ve said before, it is far more efficient and effective to actually point out “problems in arguments” than to simply claim you have. Besides false, it’s confusing and unproductive.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      That would be a leap of faith to think that evolution is all there is. We don’t know how evolution began or where it might be leading.

      Evolution is based on processes. Things don’t magically change at random, they change due to how things interact. It seems quite flawed to chalk it up to chance.

  4. Derek says:

    “That would be a leap of faith to think that evolution is all there is. We don’t know how evolution began or where it might be leading.”

    I’m curious about your epistemology (how we know what we know). You seem very open to something beyond evolution, but are on the other hand very adverse to the God of the Bible. If you admit you don’t know everything, why are you so staunchly opposed to God? I’m having trouble reconciling your willingness to believe in something beyond evolution with my suspicion that it’s a trap door so that you won’t have to be held to the untenable position that evolution can support meaning.

    “Evolution is based on processes. Things don’t magically change at random, they change due to how things interact. It seems quite flawed to chalk it up to chance.”

    You’ll have to elaborate on what you mean “how things interact” to explain how it’s not just a more vague yet synonymous phrase of “time and chance.” Also, your view of evolution, if it’s not just chance, departs pretty radically from literally every evolutionary biologists’ viewpoints.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Of course I am open to there being something more beyond evolution. We don’t know what’s out there, it would be silly to assume.

      God of the Bible, on the other hand, seems very much to be a human creation. Humans have been creating belief systems as far back as we can see, and real-life stories being embellished/misunderstood and re-told is not anything out of the ordinary. Sure, it’s an amazing collection of literature, but there is nothing in it that is truly inexplicable as to how humans could have come up with it.

      And we don’t know how evolution began. It is a leap of faith to suggest that it can have no meaning.

      “Time and chance” suggests that anything could happen. Biology is not random as far as anything I am aware. Everything works within its context. Adaptations that need to happen and can reasonably happen, will likely happen. I would expect the element of chance to be quite limited in the greater scheme of things.

  5. Derek says:

    “God of the Bible, on the other hand, seems very much to be a human creation…”

    “Humans could have come up with it” is a generous cover. That would encompass literally everything. Is the God of the Bible the kind of god a human would create? I would say no. He’s different from the Greek, Roman, and Norse gods as he’s morally superior. The gods of the aforementioned cultures were essentially immortal humans with superpowers, yet they remained very human in their moral flaws and essence of character. God’s perfection creates a problem that I’ll get to later. God is different from Allah and the god of contemporary Judaism because he actually means what he says about right and wrong; he won’t be impressed by rituals or religiosity. In short, the gods humans create are projections of ourselves or our cultures. God, however, is apart from all humans and creation. The Bible says holy, holy, holy is the lord, or asks, “who is like the Lord?” The short and simple answer is no one and nothing. If we apply that same question to the deities to any other religion, we can easily come up with an answer: the culture that created it. Peculiarly, a main theme of the Old Testament is that the Jewish people are nothing like God, and this creates a ton of problems. God is perfect. We know we are not. If we are apart from God, and he is perfect, and we are not, what can we possibly do on our own to be reunited with him? The answer is nothing. But God, who is rich in mercy, sent his son to die for our sins, that vast difference between people and God, and in doing so reconciles us to God. I can see neither the purpose of such a fabrication nor can I see hints of a disingenuous design.

    “‘Time and chance’ suggests that anything could happen. Biology is not random as far as anything I am aware.”

    Hey Jason, I’m not trying to be mean here, but I don’t think you understand basic evolutionary theory. What is the force that causes a gene to randomly mutate if not time and chance acting on matter? Adaptions that “need to happen” cannot be willed into existence; moreover, the perception of that need is an adaptation itself according to evolution. I think you’re beginning to see the problem here. Read up on what evolution actually means philosophically and literally, otherwise you seem to be proclaiming some sort of sentient evolution, which no scientist believes. If you are contending that sentient evolution is what you subscribe to, then we’re actually closer, not farther apart in our cosmogonies.

  6. jasonjshaw says:

    “What is the force that causes a gene to randomly mutate”

    Again, you are jumping to the conclusion that it happens randomly. Just because we don’t know how something functions doesn’t mean that it doesn’t function naturally. It more likely means we don’t yet understand how it functions.

    So long story short, you think people can’t give made-up gods the ability to be merciful? Really? You also can’t see the purpose of doing so in order to differentiate from other beliefs in order to convince others to join in the belief? It’s easily human-thought.

  7. Derek says:

    “Again, you are jumping to the conclusion that it happens randomly. Just because we don’t know how something functions doesn’t mean that it doesn’t function naturally. It more likely means we don’t yet understand how it functions.”

    I think this problem will inherently go back to cosmogony, but I’m a little unsure of where the line between the material universe and the unknown is according to your worldview. It seems like where the rubber meets the road in the theory of evolution, you see the philosophical problem, but you shrink back into agnosticism. As far as evolution is concerned, I’m not the one jumping to any conclusions; I’m just repeating what evolutionary biologists believe. It’s interesting that you think pushing back the problem of gene mutation to a natural function actually solves the problem. That would still demand that basic matter is sentient and for some reason has a predilection for life. You have a lot of faith that the unknown will uphold rather than upend this belief.

    “So long story short, you think people can’t give made-up gods the ability to be merciful? Really? You also can’t see the purpose of doing so in order to differentiate from other beliefs in order to convince others to join in the belief? It’s easily human-thought.”

    I could probably write a book about this question, but I’m going to focus on one angle and limit my thoughts to a long paragraph. The question is not so much could people make up Christianity, but would people make up a religion like Christianity. Humans natural bent is away from God. Even in their most “religious” states, humans want to “earn” their way to heaven. They don’t want to rely on God. That is why every religion past present and future besides Biblical Christianity is built on a series of works. The ten commandments, the 8 fold path of Buddhism, the 5 pillars of Islam, etc. It’s all the same game of making yourself worthy, righteous, good enough: Do X and you will be like God. Bilbical Christianity’s problem says that this kind of thinking created the problem. Eve and then Adam were tempted because that is exactly what Satan said humans COULD do. “Eat this fruit and you will be like God…” There is nothing attractive to the human heart in Christianity because it is the literal opposite of what our broken, dark hearts want. We want to be like gods, so we design gods like us. The God of the Bible is nothing like us, and there is nothing we can do to be good enough for him because he has precisely none of the flaws we have. It is entirely out of his love and mercy that he condescends to us, not because we deserve to be saved or because we could ever earn it, but because God is rich in mercy. Great questions!

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If someone spurred on the idea of God coming and saving people through being human, why wouldn’t people run with that idea? It is a much fresher marketing angle than the old works-related religions. You just have to believe and then you’re saved and you go from there! It’s a great concept to draw people in who are tired of all the rules of other religion styles.

      Again, there is nothing in the Bible that can’t be attributed to humans.

      I “shrink back into agnosticism”?? I have never left agnosticism. I prefer not to believe in conclusions that are only backed by speculation.

      Gene mutation being a natural function resolves your claim of randomness. I’m not sure where your matter needing to be sentient argument comes in, it sounds like it’s part of the no-meaning-random-universe straw man.

      The unknown won’t uphold or upend anything until it becomes known. I’d rather not lean on sketchy beliefs that could very well be upended. I’d rather accept the unknown for what it is.

  8. Derek says:

    “If someone spurred on the idea of God coming and saving people through being human, why wouldn’t people run with that idea? It is a much fresher marketing angle than the old works-related religions. You just have to believe and then you’re saved and you go from there! It’s a great concept to draw people in who are tired of all the rules of other religion styles.”

    I don’t know where to start. If you knew anything about early Christianity, I don’t think you would have gone down this path. According to tradition, practically all of the apostles were killed after being persecuted during their entire lives. Nero fed Christians to animals according to history. Christians were brutally persecuted throughout the Roman Empire, so it was not a sexy marketing campaign that won new converts, or a new angle.

    ” I have never left agnosticism. I prefer not to believe in conclusions that are only backed by speculation.”

    My point is you pick and choose when you “know things” until it becomes problematic to your argument, at which point you say “I don’t know everything” and allow the unknown to fill any gaps in your beliefs.

    “Gene mutation being a natural function resolves your claim of randomness. I’m not sure where your matter needing to be sentient argument comes in, it sounds like it’s part of the no-meaning-random-universe straw man”

    Why do genes mutate?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      How was it not a sexy marketing angle? Those early Christians who died believed to the point of not fearing death. It’s similar to the mindset of religious suicide bombers in that they believe their death is worthwhile and will be rewarded. The Christians just did so without aggression, which would be a powerful statement to those who saw such actions. It for sure would be a new angle to capture peoples’ attention.

      Uh, did you not know that what is known about existence is limited? We don’t know everything, and it would be foolish to claim that we do. I don’t and can’t know things that aren’t known. The unknown doesn’t fill gaps – the unknown is the gap!

      The best I can come up with is that genes mutate due to environmental factors. I guess science still has a ways to go in understanding how mutations function, but it doesn’t sound like it is determined by a roll of the dice.

  9. Derek says:

    “How was it not a sexy marketing angle?”

    I don’t even know how to explain this to you. Death, torture, misery, and being ostracized are not appealing. Why were they willing to die? No one will die for what they know to be a lie.

    You either didn’t understand me or just evaded the question so here it is again. How do you draw the line between what you claim you know and what you don’t know?

    “The best I can come up with is that genes mutate due to environmental factors. I guess science still has a ways to go in understanding how mutations function, but it doesn’t sound like it is determined by a roll of the dice.”

    Well, according to scientists mutations are caused by a roll of the dice. Either exposure to radiation, or a mistake when DNA is being copied. Either one is random i.e. without intent or reason.
    https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_20

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Are you kidding me? They didn’t know it wasn’t true. They believed it was true and died because they thought there was value in doing as they did. People fall for ‘sexy marketing angles’ all the time.

      Results from scientific study are what essentially draws the line between knowledge and unknowing.

      Uh, you just debunked your own argument with your link about mutations.

      “Mutations happen for several reasons.” is the first line on the page. “Reasons” being the key word.

  10. Derek says:

    “Are you kidding me? They didn’t know it wasn’t true. They believed it was true and died because they thought there was value in doing as they did. People fall for ‘sexy marketing angles’ all the time.”

    I’m sorry this argument just doesn’t make any sense. Why would people die for something they know to be true after living a life of suffering and hardship on account of the very belief they knew was a lie. This is on the level of your Psalm 22 analysis.

    “Results from scientific study are what essentially draws the line between knowledge and unknowing.”

    I promise I’m not trying to be annoying. How do you know that?

    “Uh, you just debunked your own argument with your link about mutations.”

    “‘Mutations happen for several reasons.’ is the first line on the page. ‘Reasons’ being the key word.”

    I don’t think you understand. Radiation and chemical exposure are not “reasons” they are causes. They don’t explain why these changes happen, they explain how they happen. A fish can’t expose itself to the sun in the hopes it will mutate its DNA so that in several million years its ancestors will walk on land.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      People will die for something they believe is true, even if it isn’t true. All that matters is that they believe they are making the right choice.

      Scientific study does a pretty good job of testing and confirming that test results are consistent. It for the most part gives us a solid foundation of understanding things.

      Whether radiation and chemical exposure are “reasons” or “causes”, they still aren’t random. Cause and effect are not random.

  11. Derek says:

    “People will die for something they believe is true, even if it isn’t true. All that matters is that they believe they are making the right choice.”

    Yes! People will die for something they believe is true, but no one will die for a lie.

    “Scientific study does a pretty good job of testing and confirming that test results are consistent. It for the most part gives us a solid foundation of understanding things.”

    It’s a tough question, so I’m going to ask it again rephrased slightly. How do you know that the scientific process [sic] “does a good job”?

    “Whether radiation and chemical exposure are “reasons” or “causes”, they still aren’t random. Cause and effect are not random.”

    Yes they are. By random I mean they are unpredictable, not meditated, purposeless, inarticulate. There’s no purpose there; it’s utterly random. I’m not saying, and never suggested, that mutations were without cause. (That would be impossible.) I have always said and continue to say their causes and results are aimless processes; not calculated, well designed sequences.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      People will die for a lie, if they believe it is true.

      The scientific process does a good job because results from scientists are tested by other independent scientists and further studies look comprehensively at all similar studies that are done on something. Attempts at collusion that are made will typically get weeded out by the process of others repeating tests.

      How do you know mutations are purposeless, in the sense that you are speaking of? How do you know they weren’t set in motion to function exactly as they do?

  12. Derek says:

    “People will die for a lie, if they believe it is true.”

    Haha this is the slowest dialogue ever for not that complicated of an idea. My point is that the first followers of Christ would have known if it was a lie or if it was true. They suffered and died.

    “The scientific process does a good job because results from scientists are tested by other independent scientists and further studies look comprehensively at all similar studies that are done on something. Attempts at collusion that are made will typically get weeded out by the process of others repeating tests.”

    So in short you believe in the scientific method because it is confirmed by the scientific method?

    “How do you know mutations are purposeless, in the sense that you are speaking of? How do you know they weren’t set in motion to function exactly as they do?”

    Because they are random and purposeless set off by causes that could have never been predicted or anticipated if we grant that matter is not sentient, which all credible biologists certainly agree on. Is that what you are arguing for? Amino acids do not have opinions, hopes, desires, dreams. They are amino acids.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “My point is that the first followers of Christ would have known if it was a lie or if it was true.”

      No, if it was a lie and they believed it, they wouldn’t have known.

      The scientific method is confirmed by the consistency of results in repeated tests. If that consistency of results wasn’t there, there would be no scientific method.

      Okay, so you aren’t going to break from your strawman argument very easily are you?

      How do you know that God isn’t behind your amino acids developing into more complex life, eventually becoming what we know of existence today? How do you know this wasn’t all a part of God’s plan? Stop assuming meaninglessness, because WE DON’T KNOW!!! Stop using your strawman, okay?

  13. Derek says:

    “No, if it was a lie and they believed it, they wouldn’t have known.”
    Who told Peter the lie? What about Steven? Or Mark? Luke? John? James? They would have known the truth and all of them, with the exception of Mark, I don’t know if anyone knows what happened to him, were killed. Why would they die proclaiming the risen Christ if they knew firsthand that it was all made up?

    “The scientific method…”
    You can admit the scientific method is why you believe the scientific method. Rephrasing it just confirms it.

    “How do you know that God isn’t behind your amino acids developing into more complex life, eventually becoming what we know of existence today? How do you know this wasn’t all a part of God’s plan? Stop assuming meaninglessness, because WE DON’T KNOW!!! Stop using your strawman, okay?”

    Every time you don’t have an adequate response is not an invitation to claim straw man. On the other hand, I’m really intrigued by your newfound strategy of claiming you don’t know. Of course this is a shallow act, because you somehow manage to know that “assuming meaninglessness” is wrong. But “you don’t know” right? At least your patient with me when I get confused about what you claim to know as you vacillate between knowing everything and knowing nothing. If you think that God is behind amino acids developing into more complex life, that’s very close to what I believe, but once we reach that point, do we really need the amino acids developing through God’s careful arrangement of solar rays and chemicals? He is the all-powerful, eternal being who designs and instructs all matter, so orchestrating life through macro-evolution, seems very unlikely. I only have two major problems with macro-evolution: it doesn’t have good evidence, and it doesn’t align with a reasonable worldview.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Because they believed it and didn’t know it wasn’t true. Keep in mind how well Jesus retained knowledge at such a young age. It’s not unreasonable for him to have found a way to orchestrate his “death” and “resurrection”.

      So, you don’t believe existence is consistent and testable? Is that what you are getting at? I’m not sure what your point there was other than word games trying to make me sound unreasonable.

      I claim strawman when you start arguing against unreasonable beliefs that I do not hold.

      Newfound strategy of claiming I don’t know? I never claimed to know things that aren’t yet knowable. You seem to be mistaking my position for your strawman again.

      Knowing everything and then knowing nothing? Not everything is a binary. Do we have to go over that again too? Do you have no capability to decipher nuance?

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