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. 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.

      • Derek says:

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

        I actually already explained that a while back. I just copied and pasted that same response below with your original quotes are still quoted.

        “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.

        “So you think anyone who uses visualization techniques is delusional?”
        This is such a reach I can’t even indulge you. This theory makes no sense whatsoever. Are you suggesting that this man who was being tortured practiced divine visualization techniques which were then turned into a worship song? That seems to be what you’re suggesting.

        This paragraph is in response to your last two paragraphs. I’ve asked you this dozens of times and you never are able to address the actual question so here comes another the latest iteration of the exact same question. What qualifies you to decide what God should be like? I don’t think reactionary is an accurate depiction, but that’s kind of beside the point. You are always criticizing God because he doesn’t align with your expectations, but does that viewpoint itself have any inherent validity? If I think JasonJShaw has purple hair and a vendetta against all things cabbage, whom we consult for the truth? You claim you don’t know God, but you know certain things about him, how is that?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Comparing mundane day-to-day type things to a poignant event such as the death of the supposed Saviour is a poor comparison. Care to try again?

        It’s the momentousness of the event of Jesus’ death that calls your view into question. How can details of such an important event be looked at as if it were a regular day where mentioning most activities really doesn’t matter?

        Was the audience at Jesus’ crucifixion only ho-hum about his death? Was it only of moderate importance to them? Were his words not something they were paying much attention to?

        “Are you suggesting that this man who was being tortured practiced divine visualization techniques which were then turned into a worship song?”

        It’s a song that emphasizes focusing on God in impossible times. That is exactly what such a visualization would be doing.

      • Derek says:

        “Comparing mundane day-to-day type things to a poignant event such as the death of the supposed Saviour is a poor comparison. Care to try again?”

        “It’s the momentousness of the event of Jesus’ death that calls your view into question. How can details of such an important event be looked at as if it were a regular day where mentioning most activities really doesn’t matter?”

        So, what I wrote was not comparing mundane day-to-day things. The comparison, which is pretty plain to see, is between verbs and “events”. I was illustrating the possibilities that exist grammatically within those words. I’m not saying it was a regular day. I’m illustrating that the verbs do not demand the kind of finality or immediacy that you are claiming. That’s why I said: “There is no immediacy demanded or implied by “when”; it is used to explain sequence.” I’m never sure if you “misunderstand” on purpose or on accident. If it’s the latter, I’ll try to write more clearly, if it’s the former, I’m not sure what to say.

        “Was the audience at Jesus’ crucifixion only ho-hum about his death? Was it only of moderate importance to them? Were his words not something they were paying much attention to?”

        Jesus’ death was important. I at no point suggested his followers were disinterested in the last few things he said before he died, but the fact remains that he could, without any contradiction, have said all of them. Why different gospel authors included different quotes, I don’t claim to have any special insight on, but we could ask that question of the gospels in their entirety without bringing up this specific instance. The fact is that they are different, but at no point does this difference create a contradiction.

        “It’s a song that emphasizes focusing on God in impossible times. That is exactly what such a visualization would be doing.”

        I agree with the first sentence, I just don’t think you have any evidence or intelligible argument that helped you arrive at the conclusion that it’s all a “visualization”. This theory also seems to be a little too convenient as you struggle to produce a coherent case of contradiction.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Jesus’ death and what he said, based on your view of it, is clearly not important.

        For a moment that should have brought a significantly heightened awareness of the events, the differences in Gospels calls that into question. I’m not sure why you continually ignore that and write it off as if it is a minor detail.

        As for the “visualization”, it’s a realistic explanation. You seem to write it off as some fantasy while your viewpoint on it isn’t grounded in what happens in reality, it’s only grounded in the Bible.

      • Derek says:

        “Jesus’ death and what he said, based on your view of it, is clearly not important.”

        This is my quote from the previous post that your above quote is supposedly responding to:
        Jesus’ death was important. I at no point suggested his followers were disinterested in the last few things he said before he died, but the fact remains that he could, without any contradiction, have said all of them.

        So, no I’m not saying nor did I ever say Jesus death is “not important”. Please actually read my response to make some sort of coherent counterclaim rather than trying to put words in my mouth when we have a transcript of the entire conversation for me to copy and paste form.

        “For a moment that should have brought a significantly heightened awareness of the events, the differences in Gospels calls that into question. I’m not sure why you continually ignore that and write it off as if it is a minor detail.”

        I never said it was a minor detail. So we agree it’s not a contradiction like you originally said?

        As for the “visualization”, it’s a realistic explanation. You seem to write it off as some fantasy while your viewpoint on it isn’t grounded in what happens in reality, it’s only grounded in the Bible.

        Would you find a delusional victim’s blabbering to be a stirring inspiration hymn? I don’t think anyone would, and the mere thought is laughable (not realistic). My viewpoint is certainly grounded in the Bible, this is not news, but I don’t think your interpretation can earn the stamp of “what happens in reality”.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        By accepting the inconsistency of the Gospel’s versions of Jesus’ last words, you are indicating that the moments leading up to Jesus’ death were not seen as important by witnesses. If it was, they would have done a much better job relaying Jesus’ final moments.

        Delusional victim? Again, you are not listening to my points. I likened his visualization to that of an athlete. Try again.

      • Derek says:

        “By accepting the inconsistency of the Gospel’s versions of Jesus’ last words, you are indicating that the moments leading up to Jesus’ death were not seen as important by witnesses. If it was, they would have done a much better job relaying Jesus’ final moments.”

        These are not misquotes. They were all said. You have no evidence they are misquotes as I already proved that it is entirely possible within the context and grammar of the gospels that these things were all said. These were also not Christ’s final moments, even if you don’t believe that, the gospel writers did. All of Jesus’ words recorded in the gospels are important, but not everyone has the exact same quotes. Why do they have different quotes? Each gospel seems to have a particular vantage point and opinion on what to include, and that leads them to emphasize or include different things.

        “Delusional victim? Again, you are not listening to my points. I likened his visualization to that of an athlete. Try again.”

        Your athlete version is certainly the more appealing package of the two as you strain to explain how your reading would allow the psalm to be a worship song, but the person in psalm 22 is getting tortured and is calling out to a God who you don’t believe the speaker actually believes is there. If he’s not a victim of at least torture and humiliation and if he’s not delusional in your view, I don’t know what he is.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        But all of the quotes were described to have happened right before Jesus’ last breath was described.

        Your suggestion that they were all said (which you have no proof of) indicates that Jesus’ actual final words were not seen as anything of importance. I beg to differ.

        If Jesus was as important as he is made out to be, I would expect people to be extremely attentive and hold on to his very last words. The variations between the Gospels suggests that is not the case, and that is what I find very suspicious about it.

        Plus the earthquake and zombies which no one seemed to notice in three of the Gospels.

        Have you not ever heard of songs about one thing being used in another way? It happens.

        And yes, why wouldn’t someone in a stressful situation focus on positive imagery? Ever hear of the placebo effect? The power of positive thinking? It can actually be a smart thing to do. It’s not all that different from prayer.

      • Derek says:

        “But all of the quotes were described to have happened right before Jesus’ last breath was described.”

        “Right before” is not in the text. I’ve explained this so many times now and all you can do is add words that aren’t there. It doesn’t say “right before” or any other synonymous phrase. The last words of Jesus do not contradict at all, unless we add words that are not there.

        “Your suggestion that they were all said (which you have no proof of) indicates that Jesus’ actual final words were not seen as anything of importance. I beg to differ.”

        I have the gospels which are the account of Jesus time on the cross. That’s pretty good proof. There you go on that importance thing again. Not something I ever said (for the second or third time now) all seven things Christ said before dying are very important, they are just not in contradiction with one another.

        “If Jesus was as important as he is made out to be, I would expect people to be extremely attentive and hold on to his very last words. The variations between the Gospels suggests that is not the case, and that is what I find very suspicious about it.”

        To call them variations seems to presuppose a contradiction. They are not variations so much as different quotes that were chosen. Each quote, when analyzed is very significant in its own right. It’s not a case of laziness or dishonesty on behalf of the authors. They just chose different things Jesus to include in their account.

        “Plus the earthquake and zombies which no one seemed to notice in three of the Gospels.”

        Sounds like you’re trying to change the subject. Once again the Gospels are not exhaustive. To say they didn’t notice them would require us to begin with the expectation that all Gospels are exhaustive, and therefore should all include the same details. They never claim to be exhaustive; they are individual accounts.

        “Have you not ever heard of songs about one thing being used in another way? It happens.”

        What? I can’t believe you’re still going with this theory. This psalm was written by David, so it’s not like he was actually delusional. Your theory seems to depend on inside knowledge you have about this psalm that literally no one else can see. You can’t explain how you know this psalm is a delusional victim’s invocation of “positive thinking.”

        “And yes, why wouldn’t someone in a stressful situation focus on positive imagery? Ever hear of the placebo effect? The power of positive thinking? It can actually be a smart thing to do. It’s not all that different from prayer.”

        This is kind of besides the point though. You can’t prove or even suggest with any logic or reason that this is what the psalm is about. People engage in positive thinking, but it does not follow that psalm 22 is about positive thinking.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I never said “right before” was in the text. I am referring to locations. You are really trying hard to avoid understanding my argument on this issue it seems.

        Again, you jump around what I am talking about as importance. I am talking of importance to the witnesses.

        Seriously, if you aren’t going to understand my arguments, why bother engaging with me? You aren’t going to get anywhere with me until you take a second to understand my points.

        No, the Gospels don’t need to be exhaustive. False dilemma. Extremely important events SHOULD have more overlap as they should have been remembered more readily – unless the Gospel authors are trying to skip each others’ points, but I don’t see evidence of that.

        As for the Psalm, I am offering a possibility. You can’t seem to accept that and are determined to try to trivialize it.

        Why do you keep getting on about me not proving things rather than consider my points? You can’t prove yours either!

      • Derek says:

        “I never said “right before” was in the text. I am referring to locations. You are really trying hard to avoid understanding my argument on this issue it seems.”

        I read what you write. I respond to the words you use. Your response was, “you are really trying hard to avoid understanding me… but then there’s no actual argument.

        Again, you jump around what I am talking about as importance. I am talking of importance to the witnesses.

        They thought different things should be included. None of the last words of Jesus are unimportant. They all have great significance. What exactly do you mean about importance?

        “Seriously, if you aren’t going to understand my arguments, why bother engaging with me? You aren’t going to get anywhere with me until you take a second to understand my points.”

        I try really hard to understand your points Jason. I think you need to be honest with yourself though. Am I really misunderstanding you, or are the points just not logical to begin with?

        “No, the Gospels don’t need to be exhaustive. False dilemma. Extremely important events SHOULD have more overlap as they should have been remembered more readily – unless the Gospel authors are trying to skip each others’ points, but I don’t see evidence of that.”

        Haha ok that was definitely not a false dilemma. Why are you assuming that the other authors didn’t remember it? They certainly didn’t include it, but we might ask that question of every point in the gospels that are not exactly the same.

        “As for the Psalm, I am offering a possibility. You can’t seem to accept that and are determined to try to trivialize it.”

        It’s a bad theory, what should I do with it?

        “Why do you keep getting on about me not proving things rather than consider my points? You can’t prove yours either!”

        Why would I consider something that has no basis in fact or reality? I always support my beliefs with evidence, often multiple times.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Jesus’ final message would likely have been important to ALL of the witnesses. It would likely have been relayed into the Gospels by ALL of the witnesses. It’s a climactic moment!

        You are definitely misunderstanding me. You can’t seem to clarify my points when you try. I’m pretty sure I am not presenting difficult points, I am specifically trying harder now to focus on more basic aspects, but to no avail.

        If the other authors remember important things, why didn’t they include them in their Gospels?

        If my theory is so bad, why do you focus on mischaracterizing it?

        “Why would I consider something that has no basis in fact or reality?”

        Well, you consider that the Bible is true despite the lack of reality-based evidence to support the supernatural happenings in it.

      • Derek says:

        “Jesus’ final message would likely have been important to ALL of the witnesses. It would likely have been relayed into the Gospels by ALL of the witnesses. It’s a climactic moment!”

        It’s an important moment, but it’s not, according to the very gospels it appears in, his final message. Your argument has deteriorated into “the must all say the same thing” this is simply not true though. Each other included a VERY significant quote during Jesus final moments. If you’d like, we can go through all seven and look at why it is a meaningful statement.

        “You are definitely misunderstanding me. You can’t seem to clarify my points when you try. I’m pretty sure I am not presenting difficult points, I am specifically trying harder now to focus on more basic aspects, but to no avail.”

        If I’m actually misunderstanding you (not just comprehensively defeating your latest unsubstantiated theory) then maybe you should point out exactly what I’m misunderstanding rather than lamenting my supposed inability to understand your claims. It seems to be a last ditch defense that you’ve used before. You claim I’m not seeing something, but don’t tell me what that mysterious something is (because I will then disprove that as well). If I actually didn’t understand it, it would probably be much more challenging to disprove, but that’s clearly not the case.

        “If the other authors remember important things, why didn’t they include them in their Gospels?”

        Well for one, they’re not essential to Christian doctrine. I believe that people were resurrected and went into Jerusalem, but if someone never learned about that specific miracle but believed that Christ died for their sins, they wouldn’t be less Christian than I. One could read just one gospel and understand the good news that Christ died for our sins despite not being privy to every miracle he performed. Moreover, no one currently living is aware of every miracle Christ performed, yet that is not essential to being a Christian. John says all the books of the world could have been filled with the miracles Christ performed. Each gospel writer has a unique perspective, and includes what they learned.

        “If my theory is so bad, why do you focus on mischaracterizing it?”

        Can you explain what you mean by characterizing it wrongly? This would be a little more efficient and believable if you called out the actual “mischaracterization” otherwise it just seems like an empty claim that you are inserting instead of an actual argument.

        “Well, you consider that the Bible is true despite the lack of reality-based evidence to support the supernatural happenings in it.”

        There is a mountain of evidence that supports the veracity of the Bible. If your argument is something akin to, “I have never seen a man part a sea, therefore the Bible is wrong”, that’s what philosophers would call weak induction. Just because miracles happen in the Bible doesn’t mean the bible is unreliable, it would only mean that you have started with the presupposition that miracles are not possible, a presupposition for which we have no actual evidence beyond a very weak induction.

  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.

      • Derek says:

        “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.”

        How could you ever prove or know that it wasn’t orchestrated by humans?

        “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.”

        I wrote out a response to this, but it sounded mean despite that not being my intention. If there are any lingering points that I haven’t already addressed I hope you let me know.

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

        Well, after being horribly tortured, he did rise again. A key difference to remember is that while you and I deserve the wrath that God poured out on Christ, Christ was the only human who ever lived that did NOT, but he willingly took on that punishment so that those who trust in him would not have to. It would be a miserable way for anyone to die, but sadly it would be nothing short of what we all deserve in the eyes of God. Christ was resurrected just as all of his followers will be because he conquered sin and by extension conquered death on our behalf.

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

        I would typically expect some kind of explanation preceding such a statement. I disagree with you, obviously.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I have mentioned numerous times throughout our conversations how God of the Bible shows Himself to not be loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful.

        God only offering Heaven to those who believe without reasonable evidence is vindictive. That alone demonstrates these issues.

        – Vindictiveness is obviously not loving.
        – God not being aware of what decisions people will make in their belief demonstrates Him to not be all-knowing.
        – God giving up on people after their humanly death and not being able to rehabilitate and educate them demonstrates God to either not be all-powerful or not be loving.

        Oh no! Jesus (aka God) was tortured! Seriously. If that is bad, that is another point against God being all-powerful. It’s freakin’ God! Of course He’s going to be fine after whatever He puts himself through. It’s nothing to Him! It just looks bad to humans. That’s all! That would be projecting our human feelings onto God. God was never in any danger, because He is all-mighty God!

        As for human orchestration – there are limits as to what humans can do. If an event occurs that goes way beyond any known limits, chances are it was not humanly orchestrated. A personalized message on the moon, as you had suggested, or stars dramatically moving from their places in the Universe could not be orchestrated by humans.

  23. Derek says:

    “I have mentioned numerous times throughout our conversations how God of the Bible shows Himself to not be loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful.”

    I cannot believe your bringing up all-powerful, loving, or all-knowing. That was the If Satan Punishes Evildoers post and you had no argument what so ever. “Mentioned” is certainly the strongest verb you could have used.

    “God only offering Heaven to those who believe without reasonable evidence is vindictive. That alone demonstrates these issues.”

    You seem to think that heaven is a reward that people “earn” by believing in God. While this idea pervades our culture, it is not biblical. Everyone has sinned and deserves Hell. No one deserves heaven or has earned heaven. Heaven is a gift that God provides if you turn from your sin and trust in Christ to bear the burden of your sin. God is not “getting us back” for not believing in him, He is giving people what they deserve for breaking his law.

    “– Vindictiveness is obviously not loving.
    – God not being aware of what decisions people will make in their belief demonstrates Him to not be all-knowing.
    – God giving up on people after their humanly death and not being able to rehabilitate and educate them demonstrates God to either not be all-powerful or not be loving.”

    I agree that vindictiveness is not loving, but I don’t think God is vindictive as I just explained.
    What makes you think he is not aware? He is certainly aware.
    This is interesting because it goes back to the main point, but God isn’t going to change who he is after you die. He’ll be the same God, and you still won’t want an eternity with him.

    “Oh no! Jesus (aka God) was tortured! Seriously. If that is bad, that is another point against God being all-powerful. It’s freakin’ God! Of course He’s going to be fine after whatever He puts himself through. It’s nothing to Him! It just looks bad to humans. That’s all! That would be projecting our human feelings onto God. God was never in any danger, because He is all-mighty God!”

    Jesus took the penalty we deserve Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus experienced everything you or I would experience in his situation. He was not protected by divine power or anesthesia.

    “As for human orchestration – there are limits as to what humans can do. If an event occurs that goes way beyond any known limits, chances are it was not humanly orchestrated. A personalized message on the moon, as you had suggested, or stars dramatically moving from their places in the Universe could not be orchestrated by humans.”

    I think this point has shifted for the better into your above paragraphs. This kind of goes back to Descartes and perception, but what I was really getting at is what produces belief.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “He is giving people what they deserve for breaking his law.”

      God is being a total asshat by doing this!

      God knows who is going to break it and he simply lets them and then punishes them knowing full well that it was going to happen when God has the power to do something about it.

      Come on, was Jesus not going to get through the crucifixion? Who are you trying to kid? If Jesus is God, nothing is going to go wrong.

      You don’t even seem to understand my arguments, you seem to just revert to your own flawed arguments that ignore or trivialize the points I make without actually considering them.

  24. Derek says:

    “God knows who is going to break it and he simply lets them and then punishes them knowing full well that it was going to happen when God has the power to do something about it.”

    So God is unfair because we do wicked things and he punishes us? We’ve been down this road before, but I’ll happily go down this road with you again.

    Uh, he was tortured to death. Granted, he did rise again, but I’m struggling to see how “getting through” being tortured to death as a human is no big deal. Remember, he was completely innocent, but willing to suffer God’s wrath in place of those who actually deserved it. You are right that Jesus knew what would happen, he was sweating blood before he was arrested, but that doesn’t take anything away from the excruciating experience he endured, or the years of life in as an impoverished first-century man that preceded it.

    “You don’t even seem to understand my arguments, you seem to just revert to your own flawed arguments that ignore or trivialize the points I make without actually considering them.”

    I try really really hard to understand them. I never ignore your points, often to your chagrin, and I resent the suggestion that I don’t actually consider your ideas. Responding with a reasoned answer would seem to be the pinnacle of considering your ideas.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Yes. Either God is arbitrarily punishing people or God is not loving and all-powerful. Take your pick.

      Getting through being tortured to death is no big deal for God because he is God! All-powerful, remember?

      I keep having to repeat the same things over and over again, your “reason” often overlooks my points.

  25. Derek says:

    ‘Yes. Either God is arbitrarily punishing people or God is not loving and all-powerful. Take your pick.”

    Someone wrote something about false dilemmas once. You didn’t address the fact that we willfully disobey God. There’s nothing arbitrary about punishment if you earn it. If you don’t have anything new to say on this point, anyone (yourself included) can just look at the Satan punishes evil doers post. Your argument basically is that people can’t be blamed for anything therefore God is bad for punishing people.

    “Getting through being tortured to death is no big deal for God because he is God! All-powerful, remember?”

    Jesus was fully God and fully human. I don’t think it was “no big deal” regardless of how frequently you repeat that point.

    I keep having to repeat the same things over and over again, your “reason” often overlooks my points.”

    Hm, that’s not how it looks. Especially if the point about God being unfair is developing how I suspect it will.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      God knows we are going to willfully disobey Him and does nothing about it. God should know what it takes to change everyone’s minds. So yes, it is God’s fault – or God is not all-knowing.

      For it to be a false dilemma, there needs to be other options that aren’t being considered. That one failed. Try again?

      Why wouldn’t Jesus be “no big deal”? If God is all-powerful, nothing is a big deal for Him. Jesus is just fluff, an unnecessary drama. God could change things without the Jesus spectacle if He is all-powerful.

  26. Derek says:

    “God knows we are going to willfully disobey Him and does nothing about it. God should know what it takes to change everyone’s minds. So yes, it is God’s fault – or God is not all-knowing.”

    God does know we are going to willfully disobey him, but he didn’t do nothing about it. He sent his Son to die for our sins, our willful disobedience, so that we could be justified before God. Everyone will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord during judgement. God allows people to have free will in this life, some people choose to follow him and some don’t. I don’t know how someone choosing not to follow God is God’s fault. God doesn’t change person to person, the variable is with the individual.

    “For it to be a false dilemma, there needs to be other options that aren’t being considered. That one failed. Try again?”
    “Yes. Either God is arbitrarily punishing people or God is not loving and all-powerful. Take your pick.”

    The first option you provided was “God is arbitrarily punishing people” and the second option was “God is not loving and all-powerful”. The third option you excluded, and in so doing, created a false dilemma. The third option is that God is loving and all-powerful. We can (and probably will) argue this whole point again.

    Why wouldn’t Jesus be “no big deal”? If God is all-powerful, nothing is a big deal for Him. Jesus is just fluff, an unnecessary drama. God could change things without the Jesus spectacle if He is all-powerful.

    This is one of your better questions. God is just. If God is just, he can’t overlook the evil in the world. God is also more merciful than you or I could possibly comprehend. He can’t exonerate people for the evil they have committed; that would be unjust. Someone must pay the penalty for the wrong that is in the world because of you and me. That is why God sent his son to die for us. It is certainly not fluff; it is the legal transaction that justifies those who put their trust in Christ. I think you’re asking why can’t God just wave his hands and make it everything good without sacrificing Jesus. That wouldn’t be just, however, and would then contradict God’s character. Remember from that now infamous discussion God cannot be ungodly.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Even after everything God does, He should know how people are going to connect with these things and he should know that his approach is flawed when it comes to connecting with people.

      How can people be to blame when God is the one not able to anticipate the problems of his own supposed solutions?

      God being loving and all-powerful is not a third option. If it was, God wouldn’t be so judgemental of those who he knowingly set up to fail.

      There is no penalty necessary! It’s all a big silly game that God put together. He can do anything about it He wants, and He choses to not leave decent evidence and then punishes people for not believing.

      God made it all, but then people get to take the fall for God’s shortcomings and short-sightedness? That’s not just.

  27. Derek says:

    “Even after everything God does, He should know how people are going to connect with these things and he should know that his approach is flawed when it comes to connecting with people.”

    He does know exactly who will choose him and who won’t. He has, according to himself, given enough evidence and reason to believe in him. He is also under no illusions that everyone will choose him. God does not want to force people to follow him, he wants people to choose him. God is not, to my knowledge, interested in pandering to people. He has already provided the best he has in his son Jesus Christ. Those who reject the Son reject the father.

    “How can people be to blame when God is the one not able to anticipate the problems of his own supposed solutions?”

    He knows people will reject him, but the people are the ones doing the rejecting not God. If you are suggesting that God sets up a system where everyone wins no matter what, that wouldn’t be justice. God does not want to see anyone perish, but he also will not coerce anyone into following him.

    “God being loving and all-powerful is not a third option. If it was, God wouldn’t be so judgemental of those who he knowingly set up to fail.”

    There’s enough evidence to believe in God and that Christ died for sins. That’s why I believe it, and countless others. If you or anyone else doesn’t, that’s their own choice. The choice to reject God is not on God’s decision, it is the person who makes that choice’s decision. You can try to explain to the all-knowing creator of the universe that your finite conscience did not believe there was enough evidence, but if God already said that there is enough evidence, I don’t think that excuse will hold up.

    “There is no penalty necessary! It’s all a big silly game that God put together. He can do anything about it He wants, and He choses to not leave decent evidence and then punishes people for not believing.”

    I think we’re back to a fundamental issue. At one point you said there’s no such thing as right and wrong. God disagrees. God says there are right things to do and wrong things to do. Justice is people getting what they deserve for the wrong they do. God says that everyone deserves Hell, and no one deserves to be reunited with him because everyone has committed evil. That’s you and that’s me. In his mercy, God sent Jesus to suffer the punishment we deserve so that putting your trust in him you will not die twice (physical and spiritual) but will be given everlasting life with God, the giver of life.

    “God made it all, but then people get to take the fall for God’s shortcomings and short-sightedness? That’s not just.”

    Should I copy and paste the exact same responses from the other post where you lost this debate? I’ll keep it fresh. God created everything, but God did not create sin. Sin is the antithesis of God. God did create free will, or in short, the ability to choose God, or to not choose God (sin). Mankind chose, and continues to choose, sin rather than God. God did not want to create people that were essentially robots with no ability to actually desire God because they would have had no other “setting”. God holds people accountable for what they do. What people choose to do on their own is ultimately what they will have to account for.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Where I “lost the debate”? Nice to see you making up your own fictional events to support your defence of your interpretation of the Bible. I guess it goes with the territory.

      All you seem to do is talk around most of my points without actually taking them into consideration. If that’s what it takes to be a winner, then congratulations.

  28. Derek says:

    Hey Jason, I hope you’re doing well!

    “Where I “lost the debate”? Nice to see you making up your own fictional events to support your defence of your interpretation of the Bible. I guess it goes with the territory.”

    I’m sorry because I feel like the post that inspired your response came out too harsh. What I meant was, you did not have a response after I explained the reality of sin and God. As you are well aware, I don’t ever make up fictional events, but I’m sorry that my response was lacking in gentleness or respect.

    “All you seem to do is talk around most of my points without actually taking them into consideration. If that’s what it takes to be a winner, then congratulations.”

    You’ve said I talk around your points a few times now. Can you please identify a point I’ve avoided (I think that’s what “talk around” means) so I can address it? Secondly, if I could somehow “lose” every discussion we ever had, but be guaranteed that you would know God, I would. This is not, and never has been, about me winning personally. I respond to your blog because I care about the truth and more specifically you. I’m very sorry that my responses have not reflected that as clearly as they should have.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      The reality of sin and God is exactly the sort of thing I am speaking of. You seem to absolve God of the responsibility of creating sin.

      The way I see it, if God creates free will and sin is the result of that, then God created sin just as well.

      I’d liken it to a factory creating goods. If God is not responsible for sin, that’s like saying the factory owners aren’t responsible for the resulting pollution of their processes.

      It’s the problem of whether God is almighty and all-knowing or not. If God is, then the responsibility of everything should fall upon Him.

  29. Derek says:

    “You seem to absolve God of the responsibility of creating sin. ”
    Because, like I’ve said a few times, he did not create it. Sin is turning from God’s will. God cannot turn from his own will, obviously, and therefore cannot create sin or sin.

    “The way I see it, if God creates free will and sin is the result of that, then God created sin just as well.”

    He certainly allows people to sin, but people are the ones who choose to sin, it’s not God’s preference.

    The factory analogy doesn’t mirror with God’s interaction with sin. Sin is not an inherent byproduct of creation, it’s a choice that people make.

    “It’s the problem of whether God is almighty and all-knowing or not. If God is, then the responsibility of everything should fall upon Him.”

    If someone has freewill, how are they absolved from responsibility?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Sin is a byproduct of freewill, is it not? God created it. God created the opportunity to turn from God’s will. The responsibility for sin absolutely rests in God’s hands, unless sin is something beyond God’s creation which would mean that God is not all-powerful.

  30. Derek says:

    “Sin is a byproduct of freewill, is it not?”
    No, sin is not an inevitable byproduct of freewill. One (the party who is choosing to sin or not) could choose (through freewill) not to sin.

    “God created it. God created the opportunity to turn from God’s will.”
    I agree with this 100%, but to be completely clear the opportunity is NOT the same as the thing itself.

    “The responsibility for sin absolutely rests in God’s hands, unless sin is something beyond God’s creation which would mean that God is not all-powerful.”

    Why does the sinner (the one who does the sinning) not have responsibility for their choice to commit sin? I’ve asked that quite a few times, and I’m really curious to hear your answer. God allows sin to exist, but he doesn’t sin himself or create sin. God cannot create sin because he is just and good (God’s character is literally the opposite of sin) but he is sovereign (he has the power) over sin. As one important illustration of God’s power over sin, he allowed people to sin against Jesus so that we could be justified before him despite our sin. Through faith in Christ our sin is as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). Or as second Corinthians says: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” So to summarize, God gave man freewill (the ability to choose God or not), sin was brought into the world when man did not do what God wanted, God is completely sovereign over sin to the point where he conquers sin on our behalf despite our depravity and is able to overlook our sin through the perfection of Jesus.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      No, you’re talking around my question again. Let me ask again a little more thoroughly.

      Sin is a byproduct of freewill, is it not? Without freewill, there cannot be sin, correct? When freewill is created, sin is also created as a byproduct, right?

      Let’s get this down first before we go any farther as your explanations are not addressing this.

  31. Derek says:

    My explanations have addressed this several times on multiple posts. Freewill is the ability to choose between good and evil. When I think of byproduct, I think of inherent, unavoidable products of a reaction or process. Byproducts are not options that you can choose or not choose, they are the natural results that are produced. As a human I exhale Carbon-dioxide. It’s not something I can choose to not create; it’s the result of a chemical process where CO2 is the natural result. Is sin a byproduct in the same way? No, absolutely not. Sin was never an obligatory product of freewill or an inevitable result. We don’t know how long Adam and Eve were in the garden as sinless before the fall. Adam and Eve could have chosen not to sin for all eternity, but of course they didn’t. Sin is possible through freewill, but it is not something God desires much less creates.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Ok, so let’s stick to basic logic here. Did sin exist without free will, or does it exist because free will exists?

      This is foundational stuff to all of your arguments. If there is no logic in the foundation, everything else is going to continue to have a difficult time standing up.

      • Derek says:

        Sin exists because people choose to sin. How do they have the ability to choose? Free will. Just because sin is only possible through free will, which God created, doesn’t mean that God is responsible for human’s sinning. If your argument is as facile as, “If God never created free will, then sin would never have had the potential to exist” I agree. I’ve never argued anything to the contrary, but that’s on par with saying if someone never built a particular bank, it never would have been robbed. I’m simply pointing out that humans choose to commit sins, and are therefore the ones responsible for them. Sin, which I repeatedly define as defying what God wants you to do, is not possible unless you have the ability to choose to do something other than what God wants. Is free will, in and of itself, sin? No. Does free will allow for people to sin? yes. Did God create sin? No. Did God give us free will? Yes.

        I completely agree with your second statement. I wonder, if by induction one might come to the conclusion that on account of “my arguments” standing up, they must be built on a foundation of logic?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        “Did God create sin? No.”

        This statement of yours is the problem that you are not offering any solutions to. If sin wasn’t created by way of God’s decisions, how was it created? Who created it?

        This is a gaping hole in the foundation of the things you are telling me.

  32. Derek says:

    I guess my rhetorical question that you quoted is confusing. God did not create sin. God did allow sin to exist. Remember sin is not a thing, but an absence of a thing. Specifically, it’s the absence of acting within God’s will. God allows us to choose to do what he wants or to choose to do what we want (sin) through free will.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Who was responsible for the absence? What caused the absence to occur? Was it not something done by God that allowed the absence to show up? Was there an absence before free will was created?

  33. Derek says:

    Great questions!
    “Who was responsible for the absence?”
    Who is capable of sinning (not doing God’s will)? I’m assuming we agree that God cannot act outside of his own will, or in other words do something he doesn’t want to do. The answer of course is humans.

    Your other two questions are built on the argument that if God didn’t allow us to have a free will, we never would have sinned. This argument has the same problem as the analogy I brought up earlier. We don’t blame those who build banks if the bank is robbed; we blame the bank robbers. Your argument is peculiarly eager to exonerate the ones committing the crime for reasons you’ve never been able to substantiate.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Banks do not have the power to control bank robbers. God does have the power to control humans. Poor analogy, please try again.

      Humans are responsible for creating sin? You are saying that humans have powers beyond that of God. In turn, you are implying that God is not all-powerful.

      The foundation to your beliefs is flawed and you can’t seem to get around it.

  34. Derek says:

    “Banks do not have the power to control bank robbers. God does have the power to control humans. Poor analogy, please try again.”

    You didn’t actually explain what’s wrong with the analogy in the context it existed in. Changing the context, you suggested God must take away free will to prevent those who are willfully disobeying him from doing so. I don’t understand why this is a logical counterargument on your part, especially considering that the original analogy implicates humans.

    “Humans are responsible for creating sin? You are saying that humans have powers beyond that of God. In turn, you are implying that God is not all-powerful.”

    No, that’s clearly not what I’m saying. I’m saying humans are the ones that chose to rebel against God.

    “The foundation to your beliefs is flawed and you can’t seem to get around it.”

    I am so confused on where you think you made a point that refuted anything I said.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      What’s wrong with your analogy is that a bank didn’t create robbers. Of course you can’t blame the bank. Then again, if there is not decent security at the bank, we would blame the bank for not adequately protecting the money.

      Let’s look at a more relevant analogy.

      If someone creates artificial intelligence and gives it the ability to act freely and that intelligence decides to weak havoc on cities, you would not blame the person/entity who allowed this to happen? Even if the person/entity who created the artificial intelligence knew this was likely to happen, they are not to be blamed?

      That is what you are saying by absolving God of any blame for creating humanity and giving free will.

      And how can humans truly rebel against God? Again, is God not all-powerful or all-knowing that humans have power over Him? Did God not prepare for this to happen? Did this catch God by surprise? Was God not the one who allowed this to happen?

  35. Derek says:

    “What’s wrong with your analogy is that a bank didn’t create robbers. Of course you can’t blame the bank. Then again, if there is not decent security at the bank, we would blame the bank for not adequately protecting the money.”

    That’s not really the point of the analogy. Your argument is, “If God never gave humans free will, they never would have sinned.” This is true, but it does not follow that because God gave humans free will, he is responsible for their conscious choice to rebel against him by not doing what he told them to do. The bank analogy is relevant because the builder of the bank, through building it, make the bank vulnerable to robbery; however, we never hold bank builders accountable, and for good reason. It makes just as little sense to blame God for the willful choices of humans as it does to blame bank builders for the willful choices of robbers.

    “If someone creates artificial intelligence…”

    The key problem with your analogy is that the intelligence is artificial. It is not sentient or accountable like a human is. If a self-driving car kills someone, we blame the designer and not the car because the car was never able to decide or prioritize “its” actions. Humans, indeed, can make choices about right and wrong behavior and God holds us justly accountable for the deliberate decisions we make on account of the fact they are our decisions, not the decisions he has programed us to carry out.

    To rebel means to not do what God wants. God gives us free will, the ability to choose him or not. It’s not a slight to his power. It’s not like God locks the door and turns off the lights as an angry “rebellious” mob assails his house and overpowers him. As I’ve said dozens of other times, our decision to sin did not catch God by surprise. He knew it would happen, but used our fall to glorify himself, to act out his incomprehensible mercy and justice.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      How is God not responsible if God set up every single facet of the situation?

      Banks didn’t set up every single facet, banks didn’t create the intention of robbers to rob things. It’s a poor analogy.

      How is artificial intelligence any different from human intelligence? Both were created, both have limitations.

      The car can and likely is designed to prioritize its actions based on its inputs, the same as us – just less complex. And you are right, if a self-driving car kills someone we likely blame the designer. We should do the same if God’s creation does wrong, if we want to be consistent in our views.

      Okay, to summarize your final paragraph, God set us up to fail to serve his own ego. And you see that as a good thing??

  36. Derek says:

    “How is God not responsible if God set up every single facet of the situation?”

    Because he leaves the decision ultimately up to humans. If free will exists, and it certainly seems to, that is a facet that God does not dictate. The choice is left up to humans, not God.

    “Banks didn’t set up every single facet, banks didn’t create the intention of robbers to rob things. It’s a poor analogy.”

    Yes, if we take the analogy that addressed the structure of your argument out of context, it becomes a poor analogy. We might also make it a poor analogy by pointing out that banks charge interest rates and God doesn’t. The point is your blame of God for sin is a non-sequitor argument argument. Just because A creates B which allows for C does not mean that A is responsible for C.

    “How is artificial intelligence any different from human intelligence? Both were created, both have limitations.”

    Artificial intelligence is not sentient. It’s not actually intelligent; it’s a predictable and programmable process. Humans are not robots. They can reason and choose freely. “Both were created, both have limitations” are the qualities that begin and end the similarities between computerized A.I. and actual human intelligence, as you surely know.

    A car cannot actually choose what it does. It can only follow the protocol it was designed to follow. A car cannot actually make a choice anymore than a train can leave its tracks. Maybe you don’t actually understand how computers work. Even on the most complex level, they’re just following directions. Humans, on the other hand, are accountable if they choose to rape or murder. They weren’t just doing what they were programmed to do. A human has free will, and can choose to do right or wrong, unlike a computer which can only do exactly what it is told.

    Yes!!! God is the source of all goodness, the creator of the universe, pure love, and has generosity and kindness that we can’t even begin to comprehend. If he isn’t worthy of praise, worship, adoration, and love what is?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Except that God IS responsible for the choices humans make. You seem to selectively forget that God created humans too. That means God created their ability to sin and the circumstances that allow them to sin. That means that God is fully responsible.

      As for free will even existing, that is debatable. We make choices based on our knowledge and experience.

      God programmed humans. How are we any different than programmed machines (aside from who programmed them)?

      A car can choose what it does. It looks at the inputs and makes a decision based on the input it is receiving. That’s the same as what you and I do, just on a much simpler level.

      I fail to see why we should praise an ego-maniac of a God that sets us up to fail.

  37. Derek says:

    “Except that God IS responsible for the choices humans make. You seem to selectively forget that God created humans too. That means God created their ability to sin and the circumstances that allow them to sin. That means that God is fully responsible.”

    No, God is not. We’ve been through this. God gave them the ability to make a choice between good and evil.

    “As for free will even existing, that is debatable. We make choices based on our knowledge and experience.”

    The person who got shot in front of my house would probably disagree with you. Was his murderer just going through the motions?

    “A car can choose what it does. It looks at the inputs and makes a decision based on the input it is receiving. That’s the same as what you and I do, just on a much simpler level.”

    Jason, this is getting comedic. A car cannot choose obviously! It will only do what it has been programmed to do. If you are saying that its choice is based on programmed information, sure, but that’s the same as being programmed ultimately. You might just as well program it to do make the opposite decision (driving on red lights rather than green). The car cannot choose.

    “I fail to see why we should praise an ego-maniac of a God that sets us up to fail.”
    What’s wrong with ego-mania? Well ultimately every human ego-maniac is seeking praise beyond what he or she deserves. You can call God an ego-maniac, but it’s an illogical criticism. Assuming God is real, why wouldn’t he deserve praise as the creator of the entire universe? We’re not set up to fail. We achieve victory through Christ because of God’s mercy.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You fail to tell how evil was programmed, if it wasn’t God that was responsible for its existence.

      A dramatic event such as murder doesn’t change the nature of decision-making.

      If a car is programmed to choose, then it can choose. It’s not that difficult! God programmed humans to choose, so we can choose too. Same deal.

      God doesn’t deserve praise because he programmed us in a way that we are prone to fail and we are the ones punished for his poor programming.

  38. Derek says:

    Evil is not doing what God says we should do. I don’t know its fabric, weight, color or smell. I just know it exists. God gives us the choice between good (God) and evil. I don’t know how this immaterial division was brought into existence or how it was fashioned, but that doesn’t change anything.

    “A dramatic event such as murder doesn’t change the nature of decision-making.”

    So the person who pulled the trigger seven times while aiming a gun at a man walking down the sidewalk was not able to do anything but unload a pistol into another human? This is where your morality leads us? Yikes.

    “If a car is programmed to choose, then it can choose. It’s not that difficult! God programmed humans to choose, so we can choose too. Same deal.”

    No, it’s the same at all. A car chooses based on what it is told to do. It cannot consciously choose. It can follow immutable directions based on data. They are not choosing anymore than a calculator chooses to give you the answer to a sum. Humans are sentient and have a conscience. They are not riding the rails of a program, obviously.

    “God doesn’t deserve praise because he programmed us in a way that we are prone to fail and we are the ones punished for his poor programming.”

    Is that a moral absolute you are charging God with, or is it just your personal opinion that God should be fair? We are completely aware of our decisions and we are rightly held accountable for them.

  39. jasonjshaw says:

    Okay, now we are getting somewhere! So evil came to be from some unknown source! Thank you. We have now clearly established that God is certainly not all-powerful, as evil is a power beyond God.

    My morality? No. That is where human thinking leads us.

    A car can choose based on its programming. Its choices and ability to learn are far more limited, yes, but it still chooses based on what it knows to do in a situation. We humans do the same. Our conscience is no different. It functions based on what we know and perceive. You might notice that people have wildly different consciences.

    If you feel God deserves praise for programming us poorly and blaming us for His shortcomings in creating us, that is up to you. I fail to see the “goodness” that you suggest God possesses in that.

  40. Derek says:

    “Okay, now we are getting somewhere! So evil came to be from some unknown source! Thank you. We have now clearly established that God is certainly not all-powerful, as evil is a power beyond God.”

    I wonder why you didn’t feel compelled to include any quotes? Is it because that is so clearly not what I said? I said, “I don’t know its fabric, weight, color or smell. I just know it exists.” What does that have to do with evil coming from an unknown source? I was explaining that I have no knowledge of how a non-material thing is formed. I could have made the same observation of logic or morality. I don’t have any insight into their construction, only their existence and power. We are given the ability to commit evil through free will. God gives us free will. That’s not news. For probably not the last time, God is sovereign over evil. He uses evil to glorify himself. He used evil to reconcile us to himself. He overlooks our evil through his own perfection and mercy. God is all-powerful and he is certainly more powerful than evil.

    “My morality? No. That is where human thinking leads us. ”
    I need to make sure I understand you. The murderer had no choice but to be a murderer?

    “A car can choose based on its programming. Its choices and ability to learn are far more limited, yes, but it still chooses based on what it knows to do in a situation. We humans do the same. Our conscience is no different. It functions based on what we know and perceive. You might notice that people have wildly different consciences.”

    A car can only do what the programmer tells it to do based on situations. I have to credit it you with sticking to your beliefs to the point of absurdity. I wonder how much of this is what you actually believe, and how much is your pride manning the wheel as the ship plunges. If you seriously contend that people are only going through the motions why punish anyone. It would be as logical to punish someone for having red hair or blue eyes. Is this what you believe? People’s response to their conscience might vary, but I don’t think consciences themselves truly do.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You know evil exists, you know God can only make good … therefore you don’t know where evil came from. If it didn’t come from God, it is a power beyond God, which renders God as not all-powerful.

      Do you follow?

      The murderer acted based on what they thought was best in the moment. If you could replay that moment a million times with the exact same circumstances, I highly doubt you would see anything different happen.

      Ship is just fine. People are basically going through the motions, and surely there are some who think different coloured features need to be punished – but the vast majority don’t. There is essentially no merit in doing such a thing – it would be more likely to affect ones ability to survive and thrive if they choose to enact such punishments as there would be a big backlash.

  41. Derek says:

    “You know evil exists, you know God can only make good … therefore you don’t know where evil came from. If it didn’t come from God, it is a power beyond God, which renders God as not all-powerful.”

    Evil comes from people not choosing God… like I’ve said over and over again. I also just explained how God is sovereign over evil, and you had nothing to say.

    “The murderer acted based on what they thought was best in the moment. If you could replay that moment a million times with the exact same circumstances, I highly doubt you would see anything different happen.”

    What does that have to do with the rightness or wrongness of the murder or the murderers ability to choose the right thing by not murdering? The murderer was wrong. Do you believe he was wrong and do you believe he should be held accountable for the choice he made to murder?

    “Ship is just fine. People are basically going through the motions, and surely there are some who think different coloured features need to be punished – but the vast majority don’t. There is essentially no merit in doing such a thing – it would be more likely to affect ones ability to survive and thrive if they choose to enact such punishments as there would be a big backlash.”

    Jason. The ship is far from fine. You cannot morally justify saving Jews during the holocaust or hold murders accountable. What a horrific worldview. Your view of justice is determined by what would or wouldn’t incite “backlash.” Good thing you weren’t an abolitionist, or a civil rights leader.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You say God can’t create evil. Not all-powerful! How many different ways do I need to describe it until you clue in that God is not all-powerful?

      As for the murderer, AGAIN it comes down to societal decisions about morality. It depends on the circumstances and the society and all that, but if it was a senseless rage-induced murder, it would be wise for the society to react negatively to such actions.

      As I’m sure I’ve told you before, it is not about “right” and “wrong” – it is about actions and consequences and how they connect to surviving and thriving. If you let people just murder anyone they like, how do you expect that society to survive?

      You know, it would be nice if you lived up to your claim that you don’t use straw-man arguments. If you are going to continue to make unsubstantiated claims against me like that, I may have to show you the door. You seem to be becoming more interested in personal attacks on my character than actually exploring the issues at hand.

  42. Derek says:

    “You say God can’t create evil. Not all-powerful! How many different ways do I need to describe it until you clue in that God is not all-powerful?”

    We’ve been through this remember? Can you create a logical contradiction?

    “As for the murderer, AGAIN it comes down to societal decisions about morality. It depends on the circumstances and the society and all that, but if it was a senseless rage-induced murder, it would be wise for the society to react negatively to such actions”

    So your morality is entirely dependent society, and thus only exists in the context of society? This has problems too remember. How can one society every police another? They all have the exact same qualification to exact what they believe to be justice.

    “As I’m sure I’ve told you before, it is not about “right” and “wrong” – it is about actions and consequences and how they connect to surviving and thriving. If you let people just murder anyone they like, how do you expect that society to survive?”

    Your begging the question (assuming) that all societies should survive. Which societies should survive and which ones should not? How do we decide?

    “You know, it would be nice if you lived up to your claim that you don’t use straw-man arguments. If you are going to continue to make unsubstantiated claims against me like that, I may have to show you the door. You seem to be becoming more interested in personal attacks on my character than actually exploring the issues at hand.”

    I’m responding to your inability to call the holocaust or murder wrong. That’s messed up! It’s not a personal attack; it’s what you’re openly espousing.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Maybe if I speak slower for you …. God can’t create evil therefore not all-powerful.

      Are you for real right now? Of course there will be clashes between societies. There is not one clear-cut set of guidelines that work for everyone. Every society faces different challenges and experiences different things. You really can’t wrap your head around this concept can you?

      Why would all societies survive? That makes no sense. The ones that survive are the ones that survive. It is not a decision! It’s a relatively fluid situation. Are you not able to understand how non-rigid rules can come about? Baseball didn’t just magically appear with a full rule book. It developed over time based on problems that arose, much like how societal morality develops.

      You are trying to personally attack me rather than engage in what the conversation is about. Just goes to show how weak your arguments are if you need to resort to ad-hominym attacks rather than make an effort to understand my viewpoint.

  43. Derek says:

    “Maybe if I speak slower for you …. God can’t create evil therefore not all-powerful.”

    I wonder if this tone a product a product of your morality. Nothing can be all-powerful according to your definition, remember when we talked about this? God is all-powerful meaning that all things submit to him. There are surely things God cannot do but it does not mean he is lacking in power.

    “Are you for real right now? Of course there will be clashes between societies. There is not one clear-cut set of guidelines that work for everyone. Every society faces different challenges and experiences different things. You really can’t wrap your head around this concept can you?”

    How can one society that subscribes to your worldview call another society bad? All societies just come up with t heir own rules from within their society. Do you understand? They are all equally valid. No society has a better idea than another, according to your worldview, so it doesn’t make sense for one society to encroach on another. It would be utterly self-righteous. Why would a society that believes in persecuting Jews be better or worse than a society that believes in treating them as equal citizens if both ideas originated from within society?

    “Why would all societies survive? That makes no sense. The ones that survive are the ones that survive. It is not a decision! It’s a relatively fluid situation. Are you not able to understand how non-rigid rules can come about? Baseball didn’t just magically appear with a full rule book. It developed over time based on problems that arose, much like how societal morality develops.”

    So the ones that survive are best? If a society believed in starving its people to acquire nuclear weapons, and that society is still around it’s legit on account of the fact that it’s “surviving”?

    “You are trying to personally attack me rather than engage in what the conversation is about. Just goes to show how weak your arguments are if you need to resort to ad-hominym attacks rather than make an effort to understand my viewpoint.”

    It’s not an ad hominem it’s what you believe. Ad hominem means personally attacking the person. That would include comments like “Maybe if I speak slower for you …” or “Are you for real right now?” or “You really can’t wrap your head around this concept can you?” because those attacks are on intellect. My comments were paraphrases of statements you made, so it’s not an ad hominem.

  44. jasonjshaw says:

    I am running out of ways to help you understand my points. I know speaking slower is ridiculous, but so is your inability to understand.

    Nothing can be all-powerful according to my definition? No, a God that takes responsibility for creating everything and has the ability to control everything would be all-powerful. Your God does not have the power to create evil, therefore not all-powerful.

    Ok you were starting on the right track about societies … but I’m not sure where you come up with the idea that societies encroaching on one another doesn’t make sense. Societies are groups of people everywhere in all sorts of different sizes. If societies each lived on their own little island, then there wouldn’t even be an issue of persecuting another society.

    Are there societies that focused on starving everyone that are ancient precursors to the societies we have today? Are there societies today that are becoming superpowers in the world utilizing such strategies? There may be degrees in which it works, but if all the people die of starvation, how much of a society do you expect there to be surviving?

    No, it is not what I believe. It is what you believe that I believe. You can’t even understand my viewpoint so how can you possibly determine what I believe?

  45. Derek says:

    “Nothing can be all-powerful according to my definition? No, a God that takes responsibility for creating everything and has the ability to control everything would be all-powerful. Your God does not have the power to create evil, therefore not all-powerful.”

    You brought this point up in the last discussion we had on this topic. Your god, who can create evil, is not all powerful because he cannot be good therefore he is not all-powerful either.

    “Ok you were starting on the right track about societies …”

    If morality comes from society, how can one society accuse another society of lacking morality? Both of their moralities have precisely the same credibility: they originated from a society. Therefore, for allied powers to intervene in Nazi Germany would seem hypocritical. Didn’t the Germans have just as much sense in designing an anti-semetic society as the allies had in designing a less anti-semetic one? Who were they to tell the Germans they were wrong if morality springs from societal ideas? Weren’t the German’s values precisely as valid?

    “Are there societies that focused on starving everyone that are ancient precursors to the societies we have today?”

    I don’t know why a historical societal lineage matters. Rome had a democracy and it didn’t last, is democracy a bad idea? North Korea is the answer to all of those questions. Appeasement would have certainly resulted in far less death for Britain and France during World War II specifically. They could have easily submitted to the Nazis and avoided the mass casualties of war. Would that have been the right thing to do?

    “No, it is not what I believe. It is what you believe that I believe. You can’t even understand my viewpoint so how can you possibly determine what I believe?”

    I asked you if you thought murders should be held responsible and if hiding Jews was good or bad during the holocaust, and you gave your answers. What on earth am I supposed to think you believe if I can’t trust your own comments on the issues? I seriously don’t understand how you can complain about me “misrepresenting you” when I repeat what you’ve said.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      No, an all-powerful God would range everywhere from good to evil. Power is not a good-only trait.

      Again, you don’t seem to get how societies come to be in their functions and interactions with each other. I’m not sure where you are getting the hypocrisy from, all societies tend to work towards the same goal. They are bound to butt heads at times. Of course a smaller society banking on a narrow-scope supremacy is going to meet a larger counter-force of those who feel threatened.

      If you’re just going to cherry pick all day long rather than look at the bigger picture, there is no sense continuing this conversation with you.

      I mentioned something along the lines of that it was wise that murderers be dealt with and I never said that hiding Jews during the holocaust was bad. You pulled a straw-man out of your ass as you seem to enjoy doing.

      Again, you have issues with listening. You seem hell-bent on making yourself seem right without understanding my points. I am starting to suspect that you are not interested in discussing these things with me, but that you are more interested in trying to undermine my credibility in the blog.

  46. Derek says:

    “No, an all-powerful God would range everywhere from good to evil. Power is not a good-only trait.”

    But that god can’t meet your definition of all-powerful. He can’t be holy (perfectly good). He’s as messed up as the rest of us. So that god is not all-powerful because he can’t “do everything” (your definition of all-powerful), specifically be holy. In fact, he is far less powerful because he is subject to evil and does not have power over it.

    “Again, you don’t seem to get how societies come to be in their functions and interactions with each other…”

    I’m not saying societies don’t interact, I’m asking, how can one society call another society wrong if all morality comes from society?

    “If you’re just going to cherry pick all day long rather than look at the bigger picture, there is no sense continuing this conversation with you.”

    If you can’t answer specific, basic questions about your worldview I think I agree.

    “I mentioned something along the lines of that it was wise that murderers be dealt with and I never said that hiding Jews during the holocaust was bad. You pulled a straw-man out of your ass as you seem to enjoy doing.”

    “As for the murderer, AGAIN it comes down to societal decisions about morality.”

    “For some families it may have been their best option to not hide jewish families, while other families it may have been better to hide jewish families. What would I do? I have no idea. ”

    These are the quotes I pulled out of your comments (not the location you were suggesting) that lead me to paraphrase in the last comment.

    “Again, you have issues with listening. You seem hell-bent on making yourself seem right without understanding my points. I am starting to suspect that you are not interested in discussing these things with me, but that you are more interested in trying to undermine my credibility in the blog.”

    I am listening. I am almost always quote you specifically. I don’t find your views to be logical. I am all about discussing these things with you, but you take criticism in a discussion so personally, like it’s my fault your views are irrational.

  47. jasonjshaw says:

    I guess an all-powerful God wouldn’t have the problem of good and evil. A God that has power over evil but allows it can’t be “perfectly good”.

    Why are societies calling other societies wrong? You’re the one that is all about calling things “right” and “wrong”, not me.

    Cherry picking everywhere! You must have many baskets full of them.

    You quote specifically and twist the context. That’s called cherry picking. You seem to refuse to understand my point of view and instead prefer to select only what best suits your narrative.

    If you aren’t going to try to understand, please be on your way. Your constant straw-man representations of my views is frustrating. Instead of working to understand my views first, all you do is work to try to undermine them without first understanding them.

  48. Derek says:

    “I guess an all-powerful God wouldn’t have the problem of good and evil. A God that has power over evil but allows it can’t be “perfectly good”.”

    It’s amazing how this argument is precisely the same as it was the first time. Some religions believe there is no good and evil, that everything is god. Their version of god is no more powerful than the living God because he has no knowledge of evil. God cannot sin because sin is literally his antithesis. Sin is what God is not. He in his mercy triumphs over evil through Christ’s death on the cross. It’s important to remember that evil is something humans have brought to the relationship, not God. Despite this, God in his mercy condescends to deliver us from our own mess to be with him through Christ’s atonement.

    “Why are societies calling other societies wrong? You’re the one that is all about calling things “right” and “wrong”, not me.”

    I’ll probably get accused of cherry picking again, but that’s fine. If anyone else is reading this blog I’m sure they can decide for themselves. I’m genuinely not trying to misrepresent you or your ideas, I just get so confused on what your stance is because it’s seemingly under constant revision. If I dare to quote you, you freak out and claim I took what you said out of context. Was the holocaust wrong or not?

    “If you aren’t going to try to understand, please be on your way. Your constant straw-man representations of my views is frustrating. Instead of working to understand my views first, all you do is work to try to undermine them without first understanding them.”

    You don’t make it easy to understand. When I draw out your beliefs into real world contexts, that’s not a straw man, I’m sorry. It’s an application. When you accuse God of emotional abuse, that’s a straw man. Or when you say that Christians believe that Satan punishes evil doers, that’s a straw man. Or when you say that the gospels contradict because they must be exhaustive, that’s a straw man. I genuinely try to understand you, but your views are always shifting or are suspiciously abstract and unclear.

  49. jasonjshaw says:

    Where did humans get their capacity for evil if not from God? You can’t seem to close the hole in your stance here. You are using arbitrary claims that are not based on any logic.

    You get confused by my stances but then rather than trying to find some understanding, you try to paint me as a Nazi-sympathizer and try to back me into a false binary. You’re full of crap, I must say.

    What the hell! Stop straw-manning me. Once again you are misrepresenting my views. I never claimed the Gospels were exhaustive, AGAIN that is something you falsely claimed that I claim. Oversimplifying my beliefs is straw-manning, it is not “drawing them out into real world contexts”.

    Yes, my views are not clear to you, that much is clear. You can’t handle nuanced views, as you prove again and again.

  50. Derek says:

    “Where did humans get their capacity for evil if not from God? You can’t seem to close the hole in your stance here. You are using arbitrary claims that are not based on any logic.”

    God gave them the ability to choose God or not choose God. Not choosing God is evil.
    On argument: it’s more productive to explain why I’m wrong than claiming THAT I am wrong. Your two sentences after your first question don’t make any sense because they are totally unsubstantiated, meaning you claim there are holes but don’t mention any. You’ve basically asked the exact same question 19 times now, but you have no specific issue that is actually unaddressed or unanswered.

    “You get confused by my stances but then rather than trying to find some understanding, you try to paint me as a Nazi-sympathizer and try to back me into a false binary. You’re full of crap, I must say.”

    I don’t try to paint you as anything. You’re the one who said that the holocaust was only “wrong” in quotation marks, you’re the one who said you weren’t sure if you would take in a Jewish family, and that murder wasn’t a choice. I didn’t tell you to say those things. I’m not sure why I’m getting blamed for the fact you have unconventional views, and then I’m the one who’s full of it? Interesting.

    “What the hell! Stop straw-manning me. Once again you are misrepresenting my views. I never claimed the Gospels were exhaustive, AGAIN that is something you falsely claimed that I claim. Oversimplifying my beliefs is straw-manning, it is not “drawing them out into real world contexts”.”

    How am I oversimplifying them?

    “Yes, my views are not clear to you, that much is clear. You can’t handle nuanced views, as you prove again and again.”

    I don’t think it’s the nuance that creates the issue.

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