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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54 Responses to What were Jesus’ ACTUAL final words?

  1. Derek says:

    Hey Jason, I hope you’re well! I want to clarify what you seem to be suggesting in your post. Are you saying that you expect all of the gospels to be the same, or in the very least have the same details?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Absolutely not.

      I do, however, expect the most dramatic details of the most important event to have much better consistency than is contained in the Gospels.

      If the climax of Jesus’ crucifixion can’t even be remembered decently well, how much faith can we really put into the accuracy of the rest of the Gospels?

      • Derek says:

        You use the word consistency, which is interesting. I’m still trying to understand where you’re coming from. I listed two different conclusions below that I tried to glean from your post. I’m wondering if you could pick one, or explain further on why you see this as problematic.

        1. It is impossible for all of the details to have happened because they all could not have happened. There is a contradiction.
        2.The details are different and therefore represent a departure form the actual event.

        Accuracy is important regardless of whether or not this moment in Christianity is important, but I would disagree that this moment is the most important moment in Christianity. This is tangential to what you are discussing, but I just thought I would point that out. It’s also worth mentioning that these are not Jesus’ last words.

        As far as the important details are concerned, the gospels all agree that He died, that He said some things shortly before dying, and then died. That is consistent. It seems entirely possible that he said all of the things that the gospel mentioned, perhaps more, and that different witnesses heard each statement. I’ve mentioned this before, but if all the gospels had the same quote before he died, it wouldn’t be much of a point in their favor either. In that case skeptics would just claim they were copies. It’s interesting to note what each quote references. Hyssop is a very loaded symbol in the OT, and in Mathew and Mark Jesus quotes the first line of Psalm 22. So each quote has a significant meaning.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Yes, not Jesus’ last words in entirety, but they are his last words before his death. With the importance of Jesus at the time of his crucifixion, I find it surprising that those who were there to experience it would end up relaying such different final messages from Jesus.

        It doesn’t make sense that all of these things would have been said, as they don’t fit all that well together and each Gospel claims them as his final words before death.

        I would definitely say there is contradiction, and that they are not complementary to each other.

        Them being a departure from the actual event is a realistic view, for sure.

        If all of the Gospels had a similar quote as Jesus’ final words before death, I think that would bring credibility to it. It is realistic that people would remember the sentiment of his final words but maybe not remember the precise words in each case. Completely different quote sentiments, as well as carbon-copy quotes (as seems to be the case in Matthew and Mark) raise questions.

  2. Derek says:

    It’s difficult for me to understand why these final words are in any way a contradiction. I think you are imposing two assumptions that the text doesn’t support. The first assumption is that each gospel is exhaustive, meaning that each gospel contains every detail, word, action that was perceivable to the senses. This of course is not the case in any gospel and, to my knowledge, not possible in any written work that attempts to maintain the readers attention and describe any event longer than a few minutes. In fact, John specifically says that his gospel is not exhaustive. It is understood that the gospels, like any other written account of any other real event do not claim to include every detail. The details each gospel includes are still very important as I mentioned in my last post.

    The second assumption has to do with time. I think you are imposing a play-by-play reading of Christ’s final moments onto the gospels. The gospels, like any account of practically any event, are collections of what the witness found important or were able to access. Going from Matthew 27:45-27:46 for instance (two sentences) is three hours of real time. Was nothing happening during those three hours? Of course events were transpiring during that time, but Matthew does not include them. To be clear I’m not saying there is a three hour hole in his account, I’m just illustrating that the gospel’s don’t read like that TV show Twenty-Four. If they claimed to, I could see this objection carrying a lot more weight.

    “Completely different quote sentiments, as well as carbon-copy quotes (as seems to be the case in Matthew and Mark) raise questions.”

    Can you give an example of how any quote could satisfy this dual-demand? To summarize your expectations as I understand them, it must not be a carbon-copy (exactly the same) but it must also be vary from account to account? Not trying to put words in your mouth like you’re always claiming, but that seems to be what you’re saying. Please clarify your expectation so I can understand you.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “Why have you abandoned me?” and “I trust you” basically in the same breath can not be meshed. They are a huge contradiction. Are you unable to comprehend this point of view?

      In no way do I think each Gospel is exhaustive. That is an awfully big jump to false conclusions if you think that. But I guess if you jump to conclusions so easily like that, I can understand why you defend your understanding of the Bible as you do.

      I am also not enforcing a play-by-play reading of Jesus’ final moments. Read the passages I provided. The Bible states that these each are Jesus’ final words before dying. The Bible is providing the timeline. I am not sure how you are not seeing that. It is right there in the texts, which are right there in my blog post. Please read the evidence provided!

      I am losing any hope of you understanding me, but I will try.

      I would expect the sentiment of Jesus’ final words to be at least similar, even if described or worded differently.

      Some witnesses seeing Jesus as angry and confused while others seeing Jesus as calm and at peace is a huge contrast. I would expect that people should be able to decently remember the emotion at such a crucial moment of such an important person. I wouldn’t expect people to remember the exact wording expressed.

  3. Derek says:

    “Why have you abandoned me?” and “I trust you” basically in the same breath can not be meshed. They are a huge contradiction. Are you unable to comprehend this point of view?”

    You should read Psalm 22 to understand “Why have you abandoned me.” Are you suggesting that Jesus didn’t trust God, and that to voice his lack of trust he quotes the first line of Psalm 22 which is about how good and powerful God is? That seems to “mesh” perfectly with “I trust you.”

    “In no way do I think each Gospel is exhaustive. That is an awfully big jump to false conclusions if you think that. But I guess if you jump to conclusions so easily like that, I can understand why you defend your understanding of the Bible as you do.”

    Well, you claim you don’t think it’s exhaustive, but your argument really rests on the idea that Jesus cannot have said different things before he died. This theory would make sense only if the texts were exhaustive right? Otherwise we can easily just assume that Jesus said each thing in actuality, but different accounts record only one of these things correct? So if you agree that the gospels are not exhaustive, how can these quotes be a contradiction?

    “I would expect the sentiment of Jesus’ final words to be at least similar, even if described or worded differently.”

    So you would find misquoting Jesus more believable than him saying a few unique things in his final moments? I’m trying to get a handle on why you question the veracity of these sections of the gospel because there seems to be a lot of inconsistency with what you take issue with specifically. On the one hand, they are too different (but to you the possibility that they are in fact different statements is bizarrely out of the question) and then Matthew and Mark are too similar.

    “Some witnesses seeing Jesus as angry and confused while others seeing Jesus as calm and at peace is a huge contrast. I would expect that people should be able to decently remember the emotion at such a crucial moment of such an important person. I wouldn’t expect people to remember the exact wording expressed.”

    I think you are projecting this reading onto the text, but I think that’s because you don’t understand Psalm 22. Read Psalm 22 and let me know what you think; it’s pretty short. Your last two sentences I agree with I think.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If Jesus trusted God, he wouldn’t be asking God why God abandoned him. That’s questioning God’s ways, not trusting God’s ways.

      I never claimed Jesus could not have said other things before his death. Yet again, you are putting words into my mouth. I am looking at the FINAL things the Bible claims Jesus to have said. Each Gospel claims these as being the FINAL things Jesus said **immediately before dying**.

      Also, Jesus asking God why God has abandoned him does also contradict the idea that Jesus is God.

  4. Derek says:

    “If Jesus trusted God, he wouldn’t be asking God why God abandoned him. That’s questioning God’s ways, not trusting God’s ways.”

    I don’t know if you missed this, but it’s pretty important. Jesus is quoting Psalm 22. You should read it before you suggest Jesus is not trusting God.

    “FINAL things the Bible claims Jesus to have said. Each Gospel claims these as being the FINAL things Jesus said **immediately before dying**.”

    For such a position, the words, or even their synonyms are entirely absent from the text. The bible doesn’t specify final or immediately before dying to the degree that you are insisting. The words in Mark are “With a loud cry breathed his last.” In Matthew “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.” In Luke “When he had said this, he breathed his last.”; In John, “With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Is it possible that Jesus said, “It is finished” after his loud cry and before he died? Yes, that is one combination of details that seems entirely possible within the confines of the language and the context provided.

    If I tell someone I cooked dinner “when” I got home it’s not a contradiction if I also did some dishes after walking in the door and then cooked dinner. I did cook dinner “when” I got home. In the same way, if someone asked what I did before bed, I might say, “cooked dinner”. It’s not a contradiction even if I don’t say did dishes, played FIFA, and brushed my teeth because I did cook dinner before bed. There is no immediacy demanded or implied by “when”; it is used to explain sequence. This word choice is perhaps most notable in Mark, whose favorite word seems to be “eutheos”, meaning “right away” or “immediately after that” of course this is not the word Mark uses in Mark 15:37. “Final” is of course never stated or even implied by any of the gospel writers. We are only told what they heard. It is entirely possible Jesus said other things that are not present in any of the gospels.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You have to ignore the context of how important Jesus’ final words would be in order for your viewpoint to make sense.

      If Jesus is of any importance to his followers, they would be listening intently for his final message and there should be crossover between accounts of it. Having people only remember different parts and not have things mesh does not bode well for being an accurate account of the situation.

      I read Psalm 22. There is no trust there. It seems as the writer is trying to appease God through positive reinforcement because they feel abandoned by God. It’s a vulnerable moment where there is inner turmoil trying to comprehend the contradiction of views.

  5. Derek says:

    “I read Psalm 22. There is no trust there. It seems as the writer is trying to appease God through positive reinforcement because they feel abandoned by God. It’s a vulnerable moment where there is inner turmoil trying to comprehend the contradiction of views.”

    I don’t know what you mean by positive reinforcement. I also don’t know at what other moment in one’s life trust can manifest except for the difficult moments when you do feel you’ve been abandoned. Why would trust even cross your mind if everything is great? Your last sentence summarizes trust perfectly: I don’t understand why this is happening, but I trust in God.

    I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
    23
    You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
    24
    For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
    he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

    Can you explain how this does not epitomize trust in God? I could have chosen practically any stanza.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Yes, it’s like the writer is forcing them-self to act trusting, even though they are doubting their trust. Trusting God should not evoke feelings of abandonment.

      If I were trusting of someone, I would not think for a second that they are abandoning me. I would be confident that they would be back, and that they would have my back.

  6. Derek says:

    I don’t think they are forcing themselves to act trusting, they seem pretty confident about how powerful and good God is. Your evidence of this, like a quote or something, is also lacking. They talk about how bad things look, but they say how powerful and good God is. While the opening lines of the poem speak to feeling abandoned, he clearly trusts that God will make things right. If he didn’t, he is making a very peculiar appeal.

    Right, and you might ask them for help because you trust in their ability to assist you. If you didn’t trust them, it would be difficult to understand why you wasted your breath asking for help.

    I’m glad you brought up this point.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If they were confident, they wouldn’t be asking why God abandoned them.

      They are going over reasons to trust God, but their trust is certainly in question in the first part of the Psalm.

      You might ask people you aren’t certain you can trust for help as well. The act of asking is not an indicator of trust.

  7. Derek says:

    “If they were confident, they wouldn’t be asking why God abandoned them.”
    Because there is nothing left of your original argument, I suspect you’ll just cling to your personal definition of trust that isn’t biblical or supported by a dictionary. God gave us feelings, and, while exceptions of course abound, it’s not a sin to have them. Look at Jesus in Gethsemane if you’d like a clearer example of this. I’ve included some quotes of Psalm 22 below and a dictionary definition of trust.

    Dictionary definition:
    firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

    “I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.”

    “For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
    he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.”

    I actually agree with your last statement, to a degree, but when you ask a stranger for trust, you are trusting in the decency of people nothing in particular about the stranger other than his or her general conformity to your expectation of how a normal person would carry themselves. One could very well be wrong, and one would certainly choose someone that one actually had a reason to trust if such a person were available. Does the Psalmist have a reason to trust God? Yes.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      The Psalmists has reasons to trust God, but doesn’t fully trust God. If you have complete trust in someone, there is no doubt. The Psalmist demonstrates doubt quite clearly.

      The Psalmist demonstrates a deficiency of belief in the reliability of God. That is a lack of trust.

      That is my original argument. You have suggested references to Jesus’ word choices, but those connections support the same contradictions I am pointing out.

  8. Derek says:

    I’m really intrigued to know why you think this psalm shows a deficiency of belief. You’re going to have to provide textual evidence to make this argument comprehensible. I provided textual evidence explaining how the Psalm is about trust, none of which you were able to refute or address. In all sincerity, I don’t see any evidence of a lack of trust at all, but I’m curious to know where you’re getting that idea.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
      Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
      2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
      Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.

      11 Do not stay so far from me,
      for trouble is near,
      and no one else can help me.

      19 O Lord, do not stay far away!
      You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

      And that follows with some “I will” statements.

      It comes across to me as though the writer is not trusting God to be there for them, but they are begging for God to come. They are not confident that God is there for them. They see God as not being there, as god is “staying far” from them.

  9. Derek says:

    I completely agree with that interpretation of those lines. I think that’s pretty much exactly what we are to glean from the text regarding how the narrator is feeling. But those lines are not the entire poem. The narrator seems to feel abandoned, and even looks abandoned to the outside observer, but he does trust that only God can save him as your quotes of lines 19 and 11 illustrate.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      A last-resort trust is not much of a trust. It is a low-confidence option that seems to be the best remaining option. It is a hopelessness grasping for any sign of hope from anywhere, no matter how real or imaginary it might be.

  10. Derek says:

    Your assumption that this is a last-resort trust is not present in the text. The author claims that from his mother’s breast, You have been my God. Do you have any evidence that there were other “resorts” before this last one? Of course not. Your characterization of the trust as “hopelessness” is similarly baseless. Every time you retreat into this kind of commentary, you do so without any support from the text for the simple reason the text doesn’t support your argument. The post that spurred this dialogue said “How are we to take the rest of Christianity seriously if the foundation of the belief has such serious cracks in it like this?” I agree that cracks are problematic if they exist, but they clearly don’t. The same cannot be said of your analysis.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      No, it’s based on this part of Psalm 22:

      12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
      fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
      13 Like lions they open their jaws against me,
      roaring and tearing into their prey.
      14 My life is poured out like water,
      and all my bones are out of joint.
      My heart is like wax,
      melting within me.
      15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
      My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
      You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
      16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
      an evil gang closes in on me.
      They have pierced[a] my hands and feet.
      17 I can count all my bones.
      My enemies stare at me and gloat.
      18 They divide my garments among themselves
      and throw dice[b] for my clothing.

      It doesn’t sound like there are much in the way of any other options, or much in the way of hope.

      Do you just jump to the parts of the Psalm that are convenient for your argument-of-the-moment?

  11. Derek says:

    I need to make sure I understand your argument. If bad things are happening, one must not be trusting God? There has to be more to it than that, but that seems to be the sum of what you are saying.

    No, I use the entire context of the psalm to understand it like any other piece of writing. I don’t have arguments of the moment either. My argument has been exactly the same from the beginning.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Well you completely ignored a whole obvious section of the Psalm in considering my argument.

      My argument is that if you are questioning God, especially to the degree of asking why God has abandoned you, you are nowhere near trusting God.

  12. Derek says:

    I didn’t ignore that section or any other. I knew the whole psalm and what it says before this discussion began. The psalm can be summarized like this: things look really bad, but God will win in the end. Things look so bad in fact that the question seems to be, how could God allow such a situation? But the psalmist then goes on to say that God is powerful and good. So, does the psalmist wonder where God is? Yes, at the very least to a hyperbolic degree. Does the psalmist trust that God will win in the end? Absolutely, almost the entire second half of the psalm describes God winning. As readers, we cannot isolate parts of a text, we have to look at it in its entirety. The structure in this particular psalm is very important because it helps us to better see the message. When we look at this psalm as a whole it’s quite easy to understand.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You called my characterization of “hopelessness” baseless, when a huge section of the Psalm lays out in detail the hopelessness of the situation.

      The Psalmist is pleading to God to help him as he has no other options. That is all this Psalm is! You are projecting other information into it that is simply not there.

      The Psalmist is saying what he will do *if* God helps him. If.

  13. Derek says:

    “You called my characterization of “hopelessness” baseless, when a huge section of the Psalm lays out in detail the hopelessness of the situation.”

    I just explained this. A huge section of the psalm is saying how bad things are; we agree on that. To say that this is all the psalm is saying, however, would require us to ignore half of the text. Hopelessness is not present in the psalm on account of the fact there is hope, trust, and belief; it’s the second half of the psalm. You’ve said the psalmist is appealing to God as a last resort a few times, but you haven’t actually supported it because you can’t. God is not a last resort, but the only resort. Indeed he is the only help the psalmist calls upon during his struggle. If you’re saying that he’s only calling on God because God is the only one able to help, we are in agreement.

    What “other information” am I projecting? I don’t often say this, but as far as hypocrisy goes, you spend a lot of time accusing me of putting words in your mouth, and misconstruing your points and then accuse me of doing those same things! I make every effort to understand what you’re saying and I quote you whenever possible. On the other hand, you make completely baseless claims and accuse me of things that you’re never able to substantiate. It makes me wonder if you’re actually interested in truth or something less profound.

    “The Psalmist is saying what he will do *if* God helps him. If.”

    This is simply false. What power does the psalmist, or anyone for that matter, have to ensure that future generations will praise him and the families of all nations will bow down before him? This theory is especially mind boggling considering the speaker’s current predicament. Moreover, why would he think he’s offering God something that God could not achieve Himself? As though God thinks, “my, this praise I could have never achieved on my own does sound tempting!” Of course, that isn’t what the psalmist is saying because it would be illogical for him to believe that. Even on a grammatical level that doesn’t make sense since we have none of the components to imply that the speaker is making some sort of bargain. You wrote “if” twice, but it doesn’t appear anywhere in the psalm, nor do we have any similar conjunctions to express some sort of conditional bargain. As we might expect, this interpretation had exactly 0 pieces of textual evidence, the exact number we might expect from a theory that the text doesn’t support.

    From the original post:
    “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.”

    Quoting a psalm about God winning and people praising him even though things look pretty bad fits perfectly with the other accounts and the Bible overall. It’s funny to me that you didn’t even realize Jesus was quoting a psalm, and when you found out, you remained so stubborn to the point that you’d rather pretend like you can’t follow a basic poetic arc than admit this is in no way a contradiction. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the power of this psalm and how it validates the gospels rather than contradicts them, but my hope is that you’ll at least concede that this is not contradictory.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If God is not the last resort, tell me, what other possibilities might the Psalmist have in his situation? He is cornered and sees no way out. He is begging God to save him, hoping that laying the praise on thick will convince God to show up.

      He is not saying he will do all of this *when* God shows up, as he is asking why God has abandoned him. He does not trust God to show up. He hopes God will show up upon offering what he will do *if* God shows up. You can’t just ignore his lack of confidence in God in the opening line.

      You are projecting a trust of God onto the Psalmist which does not fit with the situation as described in the Psalm.

      I fail to see where you are making an effort to understand my viewpoint. All I see is you trying to back up your viewpoint without first understanding mine.

      It does make sense for the Psalmist to think that God might respond to his offers in the situation the Psalmist is in. He’s cornered and facing an almost certain death! He’ll grasp at any straw he might see in such a situation, regardless of the actual logic behind it.

      Where do you get the idea that the Psalm is about God winning? All it is is one man’s thoughts in his time of desperation. The situation is not resolved within this Psalm. This all occurs while the Psalmist is facing his likely demise.

      Of course I’m being stubborn – the view you are trying to persuade me of is not supported by the text. Why should I accept unsupported arguments?

  14. Derek says:

    “You can’t just ignore his lack of confidence in God in the opening line.”

    Right, but you have to read more than the first line to understand a text. What is the entire psalm about? “He has done it!” is how it ends. How do we get from “My God, My God…” to there?

    “Where do you get the idea that the Psalm is about God winning? All it is is one man’s thoughts in his time of desperation. The situation is not resolved within this Psalm. This all occurs while the Psalmist is facing his likely demise.”

    These lines are what explain that this is about God winning.

    “7 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
    and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
    28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.

    29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
    30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
    31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!”

    As a final note, you understand that this psalm is a worship song and not a diary entry right? That context alone shatters your argument. If you look at the top it will say something like, “for the director of music….” and then explain what song to accompany it with and who it’s by. This psalm also happens to be by David.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      How does it shatter my argument? Just because it is sung and lacks continuity doesn’t erase the meaning in the words describing the distrust.

      • Derek says:

        Just so I understand you, you think that the Jewish people sang this as a worship song despite it “lacking continuity” and the fact it described distrust? And you don’t see anything illogical about that? Even if God is something man made up, this argument doesn’t make sense. Who would right a song where someone distrusts God as a form of worship? That seems highly unlikely even without getting into the text.

        “He is not saying he will do all of this *when* God shows up, as he is asking why God has abandoned him. He does not trust God to show up. He hopes God will show up upon offering what he will do *if* God shows up. You can’t just ignore his lack of confidence in God in the opening line.”

        That quote above is from two posts ago (I think) but you still can’t support this idea. He never says “When” or “if” like I pointed out a few posts ago, but you just repeated the idea that the text doesn’t support or even hint at. If we added those words in, it would certainly change the psalm (or any other text that was subject to our personal fancies) but they’re simply not there.

        Here is a play by play summary of psalm 22.
        Lines 1-2 Things are bad and God isn’t making things better
        Lines 3-5 Reflecting on what God did in general terms for Israel
        Lines 6-8 More specific details on why things are bad (more on this later)
        Lines 9-10 Narrator remembers how “you made me trust in you” reflects on God in his life form a young age.
        Lines 11-21 Shifts between metaphorical and literal descriptions of danger and trouble
        Lines 11-31 Praising God (generally speaking) and talking about how people will praise God in the future.

        If we only read lines 1-2, I could see your argument, but that’s simply not the whole psalm. The psalm can be summed up in these sentences: Things are bad. God has been faithful in the past. Things are really bad. I’ve trusted you since I was young. Things are getting so bad! God is so powerful everyone will worship him and be taken care of by him. I don’t think it’s reasonable to think that trust means enjoying torture or pretending like the physical and emotional harm isn’t painful. I wonder if that’s where you’re drawing the idea of distrust from.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        The distrust is clear in the requests for God to not stay so far away.

        I don’t see why a worship song can’t be sung if it lacks continuity and describing distrust. It could depict moving from distrust to trust. It could be a contrast of distrust vs trust. Both would make sense in a worship context.

        The problem is Jesus expressing distrust.

        If the Psalm is viewed with continuity, then the “if” is implied when the situation and feeling of abandonment are taken into account.

  15. Derek says:

    “I don’t see why a worship song can’t be sung if it lacks continuity and describing distrust. It could depict moving from distrust to trust. It could be a contrast of distrust vs trust. Both would make sense in a worship context.”

    We almost agree. To say “it lacks continuity,” however, is to have such a rigid expectation of expression that cannot fit any full human feeling, story, poem, or experience. With such a perspective we would lament winning the lottery because we had to pay for a ticket. We would find every heroic tale a tragedy because there was someone at some point doing evil, and no surgery could ever cure enough ill to justify the incision and stitches that followed. It’s not like the psalm talks about trust, and then talks about what you call “distrust” arbitrarily. I can’t spoon feed psalm 22 anymore than I already have, so I’ll just pose this question: what is the psalm’s point about things looking bad (you categorize it as distrust) and trusting God? Which one does the psalm say we should do?

    “The problem is Jesus expressing distrust.”

    Through a worship song about trusting God in dire circumstances? Part of the issue might be your assumption about how God defines trust. I think underlying your argument is perhaps the idea that trust is equivalent what the Greeks would have called stoicism, but that is not Biblical. Maybe read Luke 22, Mark 14, and Matthew 26 for a more complete picture.

    “If the Psalm is viewed with continuity, then the “if” is implied when the situation and feeling of abandonment are taken into account.”

    It seems pretty brazen to add words that are simply not there and pretend like you have a case. Beyond that, there is a logical issue with this argument that you still haven’t responded to: most of what I presume to be your interpretation of a bribe includes things far beyond the narrator’s control, people in the distant future worshiping God, people in other countries worshiping God, and the poor being fed. Finally, I’m certainly not a Hebrew expert, but from what I do understand, conditional sentences have a structure that has far less capacity for subtly compared with the English it was translated into, meaning if there was some sort of implied divine appeal of quid pro quo it would have gone over the heads of both the author and the audience.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      The lottery is an awesome comparison!
      People in seemingly hopeless situations turn to the lottery for hope, just as the Psalmist turns to God. Would you describe people playing the lottery as having trust in the lottery?

      If it is brazen to think the Psalmist is trying to provide God an offering in hopes of being helped, then what is going on? Is he bi-polar – jumping from complete despair to complete trust arbitrarily?

      How does he jump from one extreme of the spectrum to the other? A desperation offering or a personality disorder are the only possibilities I am seeing that would work logically.

      Stoicism … no, that’s not quite it. Complaining about the situation and wondering why God is allowing it to happen would be reasonable to me. The Psalmist is assuming God is not there though. I don’t see that as the same thing. That’s a distrust, a lack of faith that God is present.

      “what is the psalm’s point about things looking bad (you categorize it as distrust) and trusting God? Which one does the psalm say we should do?”

      First, it is distrust based on what the Psalmist says about God not being there. The Psalm’s point is maybe that focusing on trusting God puts you in a better frame of mind, I guess? Without any indication of how the situation the Psalmist describes concludes, it comes across to me as depicting a contrast in ways of thinking in a bad situation.

  16. Derek says:

    “The lottery is an awesome comparison!
    People in seemingly hopeless situations turn to the lottery for hope, just as the Psalmist turns to God. Would you describe people playing the lottery as having trust in the lottery?”

    Ok, so I know we’ve struggled with analogies in the past, but I’m going to hold you to this one. Can an experience have good parts and bad parts without being contradictory?

    “Is he bi-polar – jumping from complete despair to complete trust arbitrarily?”

    No he’s not bipolar. He’s contrasting two things in a pretty simple way like I’ve been saying this whole time.

    “How does he jump from one extreme of the spectrum to the other? A desperation offering or a personality disorder are the only possibilities I am seeing that would work logically.”

    You should read more I guess; jumping between “extremes” is ubiquitous in literature. Some people call it juxtaposition; it’s the same stuff. Even structurally there are protagonists and antagonists, conflicts and resolutions, and so on and that’s before even getting to any themes, symbols, or motifs in which “extremes” abound. Any Shakespearean sonnet will “jump between extremes”. “summer’s lease hath all too short a date…” “But thy eternal summer will not fade…” I’ve never heard Shakespeare’s sanity questioned.

    “That’s a distrust, a lack of faith that God is present.”

    Who is he talking to throughout the psalm? You didn’t really have an argument other than, “oh well he’s just crazy!” earlier, but it doesn’t make sense that he doesn’t trust God, yet trusts him enough to believe he’s the only one who can change his predicament. You’ll say “who else did he have!” and I don’t disagree with you, but trust isn’t necessarily predicated on choosing something or someone above a myriad of other options. It just means you have faith in the strength or reliability of something or someone.

    “Without any indication of how the situation the Psalmist describes concludes, it comes across to me as depicting a contrast in ways of thinking in a bad situation.”

    We don’t have any indication of a comparison between two otherwise identical situations. In fact, we have evidence that it’s the same event throughout. You interestingly claimed that there is no indication how the psalmist concludes, and I think you meant how it works out for him, but the psalm itself concludes “He has done it!”. He being God, it certainly sounds like he has firm belief in God’s strength.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      It seems your are projecting your views into the Psalm. It does not end “He has done it!”. You are ignoring the context of the final line. In the NLT version, the final line is “They will hear about everything he has done.” **will**. It still fits the context that the situation the Psalmist describes has not been resolved. Any other version I click on includes the word “will”, which indicates a look to the future.

      There is no indication that the situation described earlier in the Psalm has been resolved.

      Of course you can have good parts and bad parts without being contradictory. That has nothing to do with the contradiction of the Psalm as the good parts and bad parts are contradictory within it.

      Juxtaposition and contradiction are not the same thing. In your Shakespeare example, the comparison is with the actual length of summer with the strength of memory of the summer.

      In the Psalm we are talking about trust in God which is absent and then is suddenly there.

  17. Derek says:

    “It seems your are projecting your views into the Psalm. It does not end “He has done it!”. You are ignoring the context of the final line. In the NLT version, the final line is “They will hear about everything he has done.” **will**. It still fits the context that the situation the Psalmist describes has not been resolved. Any other version I click on includes the word “will”, which indicates a look to the future. ”

    I am not projecting my views onto the psalm. I always explain why my reading makes sense with the text. Your defense is often a loose paraphrasing of what’s not really there. This psalm is frankly not even abstruse enough to lend itself to much interpretation. The NIV is, “They will proclaim his righteousness,/ declaring to a people yet unborn:/ He has done it!” So the “He has done it” is what people in the future will say. Yes different translations of Hebrew will be translated differently, otherwise they would not be justified in the translator’s eyes, but in this case I don’t think the translations really differ a whole lot on those lines. I’m still totally lost at how the psalmist’s confidence in God’s power supports your argument rather than refutes it. Saying God will do something is faith manifested, and if that isn’t, I don’t know what is.

    “There is no indication that the situation described earlier in the Psalm has been resolved.”

    I suppose that rests on what you understand the situation to be. If the situation is Jesus on the cross, the last third of the psalm explains what happens in more general terms after the situation has been “resolved.”

    “Of course you can have good parts and bad parts without being contradictory. That has nothing to do with the contradiction of the Psalm as the good parts and bad parts are contradictory within it.”

    Why are they contradictory in this case? This is exactly what your distorted reading can’t support. Please focus on this point. Is saying that I don’t see any evidence of your influence of your power in this situation the same as saying I don’t believe in your power or trust in your goodness? Absolutely not.

    “Juxtaposition and contradiction are not the same thing. In your Shakespeare example, the comparison is with the actual length of summer with the strength of memory of the summer.”

    I agree with your first sentence 100%, but a juxtaposition will look like a contradiction if we read a text myopically, as you appear to have done. The Shakespeare example, while ancillary to the psalm we’re discussing, is talking about literal summer compared with the memory of a person who has been immortalized through that sonnet. We might say, after a cursory reading, “is summer long or short? The sonnet says that summer is too short, but then it says it’s eternal! This sonnet is contradictory!” Of course that reading would not be supportable, and for that matter, wouldn’t be a correct reading.

    “In the Psalm we are talking about trust in God which is absent and then is suddenly there.”

    Excellent! I would ask to what degree is it “absent”, and to what degree does it “suddenly there”? I was kind of hoping you would stumble across this on your own, but the entire psalm is a prophecy about Jesus. Jesus gave up his perfect fellowship with God as he took on God’s wrath for my sins and yours. That is why nations will bow down before him, the poor will be fed, and the nations will praise him.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Your views seem far more like loose paraphrasing. Mine use what is there, and what the text leaves as possible options.

      Trust is absent to a very significant degree as the Psalmist clearly believes God is not with him, that God is far from him. It is then suddenly there in that the Psalmist is speaking of a future if/assuming God comes to help – which is, again, not described if it occurs or not. It would be a jump to conclusions to suggest that the situation is resolved. All of the God-positive ranting is in future tense. It must be an imagined future or a plea to God.

      That includes the final line, even in the version you are using. It is all in future tense.

      The Shakespeare example is comparing two different things. The Psalm example is not. The Shakespeare example compares the length of time of the summer with the length of memory of the summer. The Psalm compares lack of trust in God with trust in God.

      So, when will “nations will bow down before him, the poor will be fed, and the nations will praise him”? If it’s prophesy, it needs to come true doesn’t it?

      The Psalmist is not confident in God’s power! Again, you are ignoring the part of the Psalm speaking of God being far away. You can’t have trust in God while wondering why God isn’t there. It’s a contradiction.

      • Derek says:

        “Your views seem far more like loose paraphrasing. Mine use what is there, and what the text leaves as possible options.”

        I’m not going to degrade the conversation by going back and forth with those kinds of claims. The evidence is there for yourself and any third party to decide that for themselves. If you ever find a specific claim lacking in evidence, or think I’ve misquoted please make it known.

        “Trust is absent to a very significant degree as the Psalmist clearly believes God is not with him, that God is far from him.”

        Yes this much is true. But he ASKS for God to be closer to him. I CALL the police because I trust them. I TAKE medicine because I have faith it will cure me. I’m trying to grasp what is lacking in faith about this. I’m guessing that you think true faith would be trusting God so much that you don’t even ask for him to be there. That’s not what God wants or asks of us.

        “That includes the final line, even in the version you are using. It is all in future tense.”

        What power does the speaker who “cannot even save himself” have to make these far more challenging things come true? The answer is no power at all. They are clearly predictions and reminders of the goodness and power of God.

        “So, when will “nations will bow down before him, the poor will be fed, and the nations will praise him”? If it’s prophesy, it needs to come true doesn’t it?”

        Yes. Are there Christians all over the world? Yes. Are people spiritually satisfied through Christ? Yes. The nations will praise him and bowing down before him could also refer to “…every knee will bow before Me”. So depending on how you read them some have already happened, but all will happen eventually.

        “The Psalmist is not confident in God’s power! Again, you are ignoring the part of the Psalm speaking of God being far away. You can’t have trust in God while wondering why God isn’t there. It’s a contradiction.”

        I read the entire psalm. The beginning line is not even “reconciled” it fits perfectly with my (and most others’) reading of this pretty simplistic psalm. You absolutely can have faith in God and wonder where he is. In fact, you can’t wonder where he is unless you have faith in God. An atheist would never ask that question. If I trust that God is good and will execute justice, it seems quite reasonable to ask where he is when I feel things are not going how they should. The number one reason most people cite as why they don’t have faith is the injustice in the world. When I see or experience such injustices, I personally don’t smile and laugh and praise God on account of the fact He’ll win in the end, true as that may be. I pray and cry and ask for God to do something if it’s His will. If I didn’t trust in the goodness of God or the power of God, I wouldn’t waist my breath, and neither would the psalmist, yet he does because he is certain of both.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        God is like a police officer or medicine? That directly opposes the idea that God is all-knowing and all-powerful.

        Predictions? I would suspect more likely that it is fantastical thinking, like a glorious daydream. That would be more realistic.

        I’m a non-believer and I wonder where your God is a lot!

        If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, how is He ever absent? Why would you ask God to do something if it’s in His will? If it’s in His will, won’t He do it anyways?

        This is not trust that you are describing.

      • Derek says:

        Hope this is going to the right place; I hate when this happens… my fault.

        “God is like a police officer or medicine? That directly opposes the idea that God is all-knowing and all-powerful.”

        One of these days I will learn my lesson with giving you analogies, but today is not that day. I call the police because I trust that they can do something, that they have power to solve a given problem. Is a police officer as powerful as God? No, that’s obviously not what I’m saying. I take medicine because I believe it will cure whatever ill it’s prescribed to cure. Is God a pill? No, that is obviously not what I meant. God does provide solutions to problems (even though his presence may seem as inconspicuous as a tablet when we have little faith). Invoking something because you believe it WILL act in no way is a faithless act, it is always a faithful act.

        “Predictions? I would suspect more likely that it is fantastical thinking, like a glorious daydream. That would be more realistic.”

        I’m not sue what you’re referring to exactly. The psalm is prophetic. It contains things that have happened and will happen like I said. I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say here.

        “I’m a non-believer and I wonder where your God is a lot!”

        You wonder where a God you don’t believe exists, exists? This is what I think you are trying to say, but that can’t be what you mean.

        “If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, how is He ever absent? Why would you ask God to do something if it’s in His will? If it’s in His will, won’t He do it anyways?”

        Well in truth he’s never absent, but presence is not the same as willful effect. Your second question is a really good one! God isn’t waiting on my direction to do what wants to do, and pragmatically, God knows what I’m going to pray for before I even pray, so what is the point? Prayer, or calling to God, is an act of faith. When I (or any Christian) pray I am acknowledging who has the power and who knows best in the given situation.

        “This is not trust that you are describing.”

        Is there more to this point? I am obviously still of the opinion that this is trust based on all of the reasoning I provided.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Doubt and trust are opposites. If there is any sort of doubt or questioning, then it is not a full trust.

        “You wonder where a God you don’t believe exists, exists?”

        Yes!! If there is a God out there, it would be great to have some sort of connection with Him. So many people seem so sure that there is one. I’m curious to make the connection, but no matter where I turn – nothing. No God. No clear evidence of any God. All God belief appears to be the creation of humans. I’d love to believe if there was something believable.

        As for the glorious daydream of the Psalm, it’s like when an inventor comes up with an idea and they daydream about all of the successes and joy and happiness that they hope will come of it. The Psalmist is projecting his hopes forward in the same sort of way about what will happen should God get him out of his predicament.

        I fail to see how that Psalm is prophetic. It seems far too vague to be able to really get any substantial prophesy out of it.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Ah, I get it now. The crucifixion is supposed to be seen as a re-creation of Psalm 22 in those two Gospels that mention it. That is why Jesus is said to have said the line about being abandoned by God.

      It seems to be a good choice for dramatic effect, whether it was actually said or if it was written in because it sounded good.

      It doesn’t fit Jesus’ character well though if he is portraying himself as God, as he would be accusing himself of abandoning himself. This leads me to suspect it was more likely written in.

      It also still clashes with the other Jesus final words accounts.

  18. Derek says:

    “It doesn’t fit Jesus’ character well though if he is portraying himself as God, as he would be accusing himself of abandoning himself. This leads me to suspect it was more likely written in.”

    I think you are talking about modalism here. That’s not what the bible teachers. It’s an important distinction, but I understand how one could make the mistake. Jesus is equal to God, but Jesus is not God. They are distinct.

    “It seems to be a good choice for dramatic effect, whether it was actually said or if it was written in because it sounded good.”

    Because if something is dramatic or “sounds good”, it must be false?

    “It also still clashes with the other Jesus final words accounts.”

    No it doesn’t at all if you read the entire thing and understand it.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “Jesus is equal to God, but Jesus is not God.”

      How does that make any sense? Jesus looks to the Father God as if Father God is a greater being. If Jesus and God are equal, that makes Christianity polytheistic. I have never heard of it considered in that way.

      Dramatic things can actually happen, sure, but I am not speaking of other things. An all-mighty God dabbling in song-based dramatics seems a bit ridiculous.

      I read all of Jesus’ final words that were claimed to be his very last words. It clashes, and especially because each is claimed to be his very last words.

  19. Derek says:

    “How does that make any sense? Jesus looks to the Father God as if Father God is a greater being. If Jesus and God are equal, that makes Christianity polytheistic. I have never heard of it considered in that way.”

    This is basic Christian theology that all sects of Christianity (unless you count Mormons and Jehova’s Witness) believe, but I don’t think it’s easy to understand necessarily. There is one God, so Christianity is not polytheistic, but God is manifested in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    “An all-mighty God dabbling in song-based dramatics seems a bit ridiculous.”

    That’s an interesting opinion, but it has no reasonable bearing on whether or not the gospel is true. Why should God conform to how you want him to be or think he should be?

    “I read all of Jesus’ final words that were claimed to be his very last words.”

    Where does it say these were his last and only words? That’s not in any of the gospels. I also quoted this already and showed you that it DOESN’T say “these were his very last words” remember? I can do it again, but you should really look again for yourself.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Look at the quotes in the blog post. Every single one strongly suggests that each one is Jesus’ very last words before dying on the cross. There is immediacy in the way they are written. How do you not see that?

      Yes, the Holy Trinity. But if each part of the Trinity is seen as equal to all of the others, then the whole concept of the Trinity is unnecessary as one part can serve all of the purposes without the others.

      An all-powerful God needing to appeal to human dramatics does make the God described seem more like a human creation.

      • Derek says:

        Hey Jason, Quick note: I’m responding to your two posts down here because that back and forth gives me a headache with the sub-threads. Yes, I know I’m a baby.

        “Look at the quotes in the blog post. Every single one strongly suggests that each one is Jesus’ very last words before dying on the cross. There is immediacy in the way they are written. How do you not see that?”

        We’ve been through this, but I guess we’re going through it again. It doesn’t say, as you suggested earlier “very last.” The gospels, or any other part of the Bible or piece of literature is not exhaustive. These might have been the last words witnesses heard, but that doesn’t mean they were the last words said. I can and will repeat all of this information I already gave you again, but I’m really hoping you don’t just repeat your argument that you can’t support, only recycle.

        “Yes, the Holy Trinity. But if each part of the Trinity is seen as equal to all of the others, then the whole concept of the Trinity is unnecessary as one part can serve all of the purposes without the others.”

        I’m not sure what you mean. Each Person of the Trinity is distinct. They are all God, but they are not the same. The Son is not the Father and Spirit is not the Son, etc.

        “An all-powerful God needing to appeal to human dramatics does make the God described seem more like a human creation.”

        Because the other all-powerful gods you know would never stoop to the level of “dramatics”? You claim you don’t know God, but know enough about him to know what he would and wouldn’t do. Does this seem logical?

  20. Derek says:

    “Doubt and trust are opposites. If there is any sort of doubt or questioning, then it is not a full trust.”

    Well, yes and no. Jesus was taking on the sins of the world. The wrath of God was poured out on Him so that we could be reconciled with God, have the perfect relationship that Jesus had had with God up to that point. Jesus is on the cross accepting that punishment but also praising God for his goodness and mercy. That’s what the psalm is about and that fits perfectly with everything else Christ did before during and after the cross.

    “Yes!! If there is a God out there, it would be great to have some sort of connection with Him. So many people seem so sure that there is one. I’m curious to make the connection, but no matter where I turn – nothing. No God. No clear evidence of any God. All God belief appears to be the creation of humans. I’d love to believe if there was something believable.”

    Romans 1:19-21
    19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    “As for the glorious daydream of the Psalm, it’s like when an inventor comes up with an idea and they daydream about all of the successes and joy and happiness that they hope will come of it. The Psalmist is projecting his hopes forward in the same sort of way about what will happen should God get him out of his predicament.”

    It’s not a convincing argument to say that the author was just crazy, and because he was so crazy what he said is incoherent, and they turned it into a worship song.

    “I fail to see how that Psalm is prophetic. It seems far too vague to be able to really get any substantial prophesy out of it.”

    “Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
    17
    All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
    18
    They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”

    That’s the crucifixion.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Alright, let’s get back to a single response.

      The Gospels don’t explicitly say the words “very last” but they do strongly imply that his final words that are mentioned are followed by his final breath. The two that are the same are the only ones to suggest that something else might have been said. You seem to really be glossing over this.

      “Each Person of the Trinity is distinct.”
      Exactly my point. They are not equals as you previously stated.

      It’s funny that it takes stories of human dramatics and toying with humanity to bring belief of a God, when an actual all-powerful God would simply just have to make changes as He goes without any need to appeal to human drama – unless we are his play things.

      Again, doubt and trust are opposites. Just because things fit the Biblical narrative doesn’t get around this. Doubt and trust are still opposites.

      Not sure what you’re getting at with your Romans quote. Just because it says God’s qualities have been seen doesn’t mean it’s true. I could use the same sort of evidence to support belief in Bigfoot and aliens. It’s not reliable evidence, especially when God in His infinite wisdom could have easily left reliable evidence.

      Having a daydream isn’t the same as being crazy. It’s like how some athletes visualize what they hope to do before they do it, for example.

      Immobilizing someone’s hands and feet is pretty standard practice for torture I would suspect. Sharp implements I would suspect would be very common in such practices as well. Add those together and that is a weak example of prophesy. Very vague.

  21. Derek says:

    I’m not glossing over anything. I’ve already explained how the gospels don’t even imply that those were the very last words Jesus said. They are the last words the gospels record from their perspective, but they it is never indicated to any degree that they were the very last words Jesus said, or that he didn’t say other things before the quotes contained in those accounts. We would have to go beyond what the text supports to accept the plausibility of your supposed contradiction.

    To clarify the trinity is equally divine, yet consists of distinct persons. If by not equals you mean not identical, yes that’s true.

    God loves us, He’s not toying with us, but this argument is built on a non-existent foundation. Either explicitly or implicitly you are saying that you know for a fact what God would or wouldn’t do with absolutely no way to account for how you know this information.

    In response to your response about Romans 1, my point is that God says there is plenty of evidence about him, and that disbelief is not a product of a shortage of evidence. Instead, disbelief is a product of the heart. This blog is pretty much a case in point.

    Yes athletes do that. I just don’t see any evidence that he is delusional. It seems like a quite convenient trap door to provide an escape out of out of saying he has faith in a dire circumstance.

    Follow up to your last paragraph coming up soon…

    • jasonjshaw says:

      This is getting ridiculous. You are totally glossing over this.

      “Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last.”
      “Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.”
      These imply that the words spoken before the loud cry were his last ones before dying.

      “And with those words he breathed his last.”
      This can’t be any more clear about the previous words spoken being Jesus’ last words.

      “When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
      Again, it is clearly suggesting those words to be Jesus’ very last words.

      How do you come up with your argument that these are not indicated as being Jesus’ final words? They absolutely are indicated that way!

      So you think anyone who uses visualization techniques is delusional?

      God is toying with us if the Bible is accurate. An all-knowing, all-powerful God wouldn’t need to be reactionary as Biblical God is. A God that knows what is going to happen would be much more pro-active if He actually cares.

      That’s nice that God says there is plenty of evidence of Him, but what would actually be useful if there actually was decent evidence of God that we could use to test if it is true. God could have easily made that possible. A description of evolution or the big bang or anything that humans wouldn’t have the ability to know at that time would have been great evidence. I guess God doesn’t have much foresight there.

  22. Derek says:

    “Immobilizing someone’s hands and feet is pretty standard practice for torture I would suspect. Sharp implements I would suspect would be very common in such practices as well. Add those together and that is a weak example of prophesy. Very vague.”

    This point at first made me laugh because it was so typical of you, but then it made me, frankly, sad. It reveals a truth that one cannot intellectually open someone’s eyes to God. It would not matter if God wrote “Jason I am real” on the moon, and the next day with the stars. You would still not believe. Why is that? Because belief is not an intellectual process. Let me be clear, this is not to say that Christianity is illogical, quite to the contrary. On this blog, I’ve easily defended against all of your critiques, but my point is what good does that do? The issue is not actually the given supposed contradiction of the day because even when explained, disproved, or clarified you are no closer to believing in the God who died for you. Arguably the people who saw the most miracles in the Bible were not the ones who also believed the most. God called them a stiff-necked people, and Jesus called them a hard-hearted generation. The very soldiers who were guarding Christ’s tomb and saw the resurrected Christ didn’t even believe! So while I can, with general ease, defend your attacks and critiques, what does it matter?

    I’m sure I’ve explained this before, but this is the most important thing I can ever say. This is the good news (that’s what gospel means) You have broken God’s laws. If you’ve ever lied, or stolen, or thought about having sex with a person you weren’t married to, or become angry with someone, you have fallen short of the perfection God requires. There is nothing you can do to undo this. You cannot earn your way back to his good graces, and because you have broken the law and God is just, you deserve punishment. The punishment for breaking God’s law and cutting yourself off from him is eternal separation from him, a separation from the giver of life and the source of all goodness. How can any of this be good news? God, in his mercy and love for you, sent Christ to die a brutal death on the cross so that he could take the penalty you earned, and in the process restore your relationship to God. If you accept this gift that has been provided for you by God, you will not stand condemned before God, but will be blameless.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “It would not matter if God wrote “Jason I am real” on the moon, and the next day with the stars. You would still not believe.”

      Wrong. If God did something that clearly couldn’t have been orchestrated by nature or humans, that would be a strong indication that there is something else out there. You don’t seem to understand how evidence-based views work.

      “On this blog, I’ve easily defended against all of your critiques”

      I have easily identified flaws in all of your defences. Your biggest problem is how you twist definitions of words like “trust” and “love” and ignore that your views compromise the possibility of God being all-knowing and all-powerful.

      Why would I want to spend an eternity worshipping a selfish, manipulative, judgemental, short-sighted God for eternity? How would being stuck in that situation ever be “good news”?

      How can I be impressed by Jesus’ death when Jesus was alive afterwards anyways? That’s no sacrifice, he still lived on!

      If there is a loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God, it is not the God of the Bible.

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