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Does the Bible contradict itself?
Yes. 30%  30%  [ 15 ]
No. 26%  26%  [ 13 ]
Only if you take it literally. 44%  44%  [ 22 ]
Total votes : 50
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:46 am 
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DukeNuke wrote:
I heard that god sees the past, the present, and the future as one. Like we can see depth, width and height at the same time, he sees the past, present and future all at the same time. So if he's also allknowing and allmighty, why has he made the world like it is?

I know you're gonna say he gave people free will, and such, but I can't see why that would matter, seeing as he know what will happen etc.

Say you give a knife to a child, and how to hold it and why and it could hurt itself etc. You know the child will ignore what you told it and hurt itself anyway with the knife. And the child does indeed hurt itself. Sure, you didn't hurt the child. You told it how it should have done. It hurt itself, and you're tecnicly not responsible. But you gave the knife to the child, and knew that it would hurt itself, even tough you told it how to hold the knife. You're still indirectly responsible for the child being hurt.

So when god put that tree with fruit in Eden, he must have known that they would eat it. He must have known that he would tell them not to, but they would anyway, and that he would throw them out afterwards for doing so. But he still put it there. He could have chosen not to, and let them live happily there forever, but he didn't. He put it there, waited for them to eat it, and then threw them out. No matter how I look at it, I can't help but to feel god was responsible for that. In fact, I can't help but to feel that god is responsible for everything in the whole world, seeing as he's known everything that will ever happen, all along, always...


The first thing you need to realize is that we were placed here to grow. It is true that God is responsible for everything. In your example, you talked about giving a child a knife. First of all, what do typical parents want most for their children? They want them to be happy and to be like themselves, growing and learning along the way. You can tell the child that the knife could hurt him. Yes, the child might hurt itself, but you can sure bet he's not going to do it again.
It's the same way with God. We are his children, and he wants us to be happy, and to learn and grow and become like him. People need to go through trials to truly grow. Someone who loses a loved one goes through a lot of pain. Eventually, however, they grow stronger because of it.

Now, regard the whole Garden of Eden thing. Yes, God did place the tree there. Yes, he knew they would partake of it. But if Adam and Eve would've stayed the way they were, they would've never had children, or anything like that. They would've stayed in their blissful, child-like state. I consider hat they did as more of a transgression than a sin. Why be judged for something that had to be done?

So in summary, my point is, yes, God knows everything we will do. He also knows our intentions and thought and desires and wants and needs. But he's not doing this for him, he's doing this for us. We have free will so we can learn how to use it. We have free will so we can make mistakes, and grow from them. We also need to remember aGod does everything with our best interest in mind. It's not much of a test if we already have the answer sheet.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Ju Ju Master wrote:
That doesn't really disprove his argument, though. It doesn't matter if we acknowledge Earth to be flat in our everyday vocabulary - we know it is round and it would be impossible for someone to ave seen something on the four corners of Earth, because they do not exist.

It doesn't disprove his argument, but rather demonstrates that he is guilty of the very thing he is charging. You see, as I stated before, Revelation, being of the literary genre we call apocalyptic, if full of highly poetic language. As such, it is not making any particular cosmological claim, anymore than using terms like "sunrise" and "sunset" are making any particular cosmological claims.

Understanding a work's literary genre is at least as important as being able to understand the language of it. After all, if I were going to read a biography of Abraham Lincoln, I'd understand it to be very much different than if I were reading, say, The Odyssey, and as result, would gain an entirely different perspective from each. That is where I feel that DukeNuke's argument concerning that particular text entirely mistake from the beginning.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:41 am 
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Does the Bible approve abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and if the mother's health is in danger?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:38 am 
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IantheGecko wrote:
Does the Bible approve abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and if the mother's health is in danger?
I don't really think that has been talked about in the bible, per say, but rather it's up to the leader of that particular religion. Such as The Pope for Catholics. We look up to him to help us fully understand and translate then Bible.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:53 am 
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I don't think that gives the Pope absolute authority, though. After all, I can think of at least one time in history where the Pope made very poor choices in that regard, and ended up dividing the Church over his faulty interpretations. Of course, one of his own appointed doctors of theology tried to warn him of what was happening, but he didn't listen. The result: the Protestant Reformation.

The Bible doesn't speak of abortion at all. The idea that a person would actually want to kill their unborn children is something completely foreign to the worldview of Scripture (of course, that right there ought to tell you something). Scripture, however, does teach respect for human life. Therefore, any procedure that ends human life without due cause (such as self-defense, war, or capital punishment) is considered an abomination. I do not believe that Scripture makes concession in extreme cases, because, as I said before, the idea of ending an unborn human life is entirely alien to the biblical worldview.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:59 am 
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Didymus wrote:
The Bible doesn't speak of abortion at all. The idea that a person would actually want to kill their unborn children is something completely foreign to the worldview of Scripture (of course, that right there ought to tell you something). Scripture, however, does teach respect for human life. Therefore, any procedure that ends human life without due cause (such as self-defense, war, or capital punishment) is considered an abomination. I do not believe that Scripture makes concession in extreme cases, because, as I said before, the idea of ending an unborn human life is entirely alien to the biblical worldview.
Well, it doesn't directly discuss it, but someone on Furrs fur Christ pointed out a lot of verses dealing with the value of human life in general. Would "due cause" fall under rape, incest, etc.?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:05 am 
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Well, that's just it. Answer me this: do you think an unborn child deserves to die just because his father was a rapist? Do you think an unborn child deserves to die on account of some circumstances of his/her conception that were entirely beyond his/her control? Come to think of it, since the circumstances of most conceptions are beyond the conceived child's control, wouldn't this pretty much put them all in the same boat?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:07 am 
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No, Didy. You're right; unborn children do not deserve to die.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:09 am 
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What exactly is the rapture? I think I get it... But I'm not sure.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:13 am 
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According to most Protestant sects, at the time of the Rapture, all Christians living on Earth will be simultaneously transported to Heaven to be with Jesus Christ. It's not clear when that'll happen, but scholars point to either before, during, toward the end, or after the Great Tribulation, the 7-year period before Christ's second coming.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:17 am 
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IantheGecko wrote:
According to most Protestant sects, at the time of the Rapture, all Christians living on Earth will be simultaneously transported to Heaven to be with Jesus Christ. It's not clear when, and frankly, it's not our job to know.

Thought so. I don't want to have to go through that, watching all the people go to hell.

But I wish God would make a true, undeniable sign he was real to all of the non-Christain people.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:22 am 
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Oh, He will, once the Rapture & Judgment come. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:25 am 
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IantheGecko wrote:
Oh, He will, once the Rapture & Judgment come. :)

I meant one without the death of 65%+ of the world.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:27 am 
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I guess the closest we can get before then is the LOVE that we Christians are supposed to be sharing.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:51 am 
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I have a question for Dids and the Protestants out there. Do any of the Protestant sects have a worldwide spiritual leader, such as The Pope is to Catholics. It's been something that I've been wondering about for a while.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:57 am 
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Well, evangelicals (used to) have Ted Haggard. But seriously, we consider the Bible as our authority.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:01 am 
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IantheGecko wrote:
Well, evangelicals (used to) have Ted Haggard. But seriously, we consider the Bible as our authority.
But if you rely on just the bible alone, wouldn't it be possible for each pastor to interpret it differently? With the Pope, all priest teach the same teachings. They rely on the Pope's interpretation, which we believe to in infallible.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:24 am 
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ramrod wrote:
IantheGecko wrote:
Well, evangelicals (used to) have Ted Haggard. But seriously, we consider the Bible as our authority.
But if you rely on just the bible alone, wouldn't it be possible for each pastor to interpret it differently? With the Pope, all priest teach the same teachings. They rely on the Pope's interpretation, which we believe to in infallible.


Despite the Pope's authority in the catholic church, each priest is going to interpret differently. Nobody is going to have the exact same beliefs as someone else; part of our beliefs come from our experiences. Most priests generally teach the same idea, but they're all going to be taught differently, and everyone will interpret those teachings differently as well.

God knew that the bible would be interpreted differently by different people. That's why he doesn't say that only catholics can go to heaven, or only lutherans can go to heaven. If you believe that Jesus has died for your sins, then you are saved. You can believe Jesus wore a pink hat every thursday, You can believe that you have to go to mass every sunday and pray every morning and night and be as sinless as possible. But when it comes time for you to die, if you believe Christ died for your sins and you repent, You'll be saved. Then you'll find out that he wears pink hats on wednesdays, not thursdays.

In conclusion, yes, it's possible for every pastor to interpret differently. But as long as the main message gets across some way, then it's all good. Or at least that's what I think.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:02 pm 
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ramrod wrote:
IantheGecko wrote:
Well, evangelicals (used to) have Ted Haggard. But seriously, we consider the Bible as our authority.
But if you rely on just the bible alone, wouldn't it be possible for each pastor to interpret it differently? With the Pope, all priest teach the same teachings. They rely on the Pope's interpretation, which we believe to in infallible.

Then explain to me why the Pope in Luther's day was teaching heresy and misleading the Church into apostasy and conflict. Or, for that matter, why have I not read any authoritative commentaries written by any popes? It seems to me that popes don't really spend a great deal of time working on scholarly exegetical work, or if they do, they tend not to make them available to the public.

But that's why our seminaries (I am speaking primarily of Concordia St. Louis and Concordia Ft. Wayne) teach our men to be exegetes and not "interpreters" as you use the term. As I've pointed out elsewhere on this forum, there's interpretation (exegesis - that is, drawing the meaning out of the text) and "interpretation" (eisegesis - reading meaning into the text, which, if I understand you correctly, is what you mean when you talk about "interpretation).

But even without the Pope, we still have plenty of excellent resources for properly conducting the work of exegesis. We have the original languages - Greek and Hebrew (correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Pope's official Bible Jerome's Vulgate, a fourth century Latin version?). We also have the writings of the early Church, such as Augustine, Athanasius, etc. We Lutherans also have the Small and Large Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, and the Formula of Concord, all of which are expositions of the Scriptures and the creeds of the Early Church.

On the other hand, I will concede you this: with the lack of real biblical scholarship, the anti-intellectualism that once governed this nation's religious atmosphere, I do have to admit: Protestants have tended to allow their various "interpretations" (eisegeses) to govern their theology rather than sound exegesis (I find this most prevalent in the rejection of the Sacraments - since the sacramental view of Baptism and the Eucharist are both clearly taught by Scripture, why do most evangelicals reject them?). Not only that, but in rejecting the papacy, many evangelical religions end up substituting one of their own saints in his place. Just to give a few examples: Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Jonathan Edwards, Joel Olsteen, etc. There almost NEEDS to be some central authority to keep this tendency toward deviation in check. However, in history, the papacy has proven unreliable in this regard, and so the only suggestion I can make is to strive for good biblical scholarship: I am convinced that if people would actually study the text - actually let the text shape their thinking rather than the other way around - we could maybe get back on track.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:50 pm 
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So I've done some research into the whole "manuscript" thing you brought up in another thread and have some questions.

A professor Ehrman wrote a book called The Orthodox Corruption of Scriptures: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament and makes the following statement:

Professor Bart Ehrman wrote:
What we have are copies made of the course of centuries, or more accurately, copies of the copies of the copies, some 5.366 of these in the Greek language alone, that date from the second century down to the sixteenth. Strikingly, with the exception of the smallest fragments, no two of these copies are exactly alike in all their particulars. No one knows how many differences, or variant readings, occur among the surviving witnesses, but they must number in the hundreds of thousands.


Tertullian, the first Christian Father to write in Latin, wrote about a Christian sect that followed a man named Marcion. Marcion rejected almost all Christian scripture, accepting only Paul's epistles and an edited version of Luke. He and his followers introduced dramatic elements of doctrinal error into the Church in the latter half of the second century. Terullian wrote, "[He] expressly and openly used the knife, not the pen, since he made such an excision of the Scriptures as suited his own subject matter."

This is only one example we know of where people altered the Scriptures to fit their own personal beliefs.

My main question is, how many original, hand-written epistles do we have from Paul? Do we have an original copy of the Gospel of Luke? Why are you so set on believing the manuscripts we have are 100% free of error?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:58 pm 
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From what I've gathered, this Professor Ehrman is basically a fringe scholar, whose take on the biblical manuscripts differs from the majority of scholars. I'd like to see him support his thesis with actual manuscript evidence. It seems to me, given the manuscripts we do have available, as well as their early dates and citations by early writers, we can attest to their reliability. As I've stated on numerous occasions, one only needs to study the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Grecae to have a good opportunity to examine the New Testament texts and their significant variants. In short, I really don't think one text critic with a divergent opinion is really the best source of information here.

We do not have the originals in our hands, Lahi (yet), but we have significant numbers of early copies. All of this can be found in the sites I posted in the Mormonism thread.

As for Marcion: we know Marcion altered the texts (or attempted to). We know he rejected a great number of the Christian Scriptures, as well as the entire Old Testament. But here's the thing: Marcion was a heretic - he is not representative of the Orthodox tradition at all. His approach as well as his theology are practically universally rejected by all the early Christians. In fact, I cannot think of a single church father that reported Marcion favorably.
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However, if we follow Professor Ehrman's theory, then wouldn't it have been Marcion who correctly preserved the Scriptures, and men like Irenaeus and Polycarp who were responsible for altering them?

I'm currently downloading a debate between William H. Craig and Professor Ehrman. I'm hoping it will shed some light here.

EDIT: I give up. That debate takes WAY too long to download. Stupid freakin' bandwidth!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:33 pm 
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I would like to know the common interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15: 40-42. And by common I mean non-LDS.
Just curious.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:59 pm 
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I've been watching YouTube quite a bit the last few days, and there are quite a lot of videos there about religion. I think you might want to check out this one, this one, this one, and this one. There are many more there, try searching a bit and you'll find some.

I find many of those videos very interesting, and not just the ones about religion. Like this one. It's about an hour long.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:15 pm 
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Parlod wrote:
I would like to know the common interpretation of 1 Corinthians 15: 40-42. And by common I mean non-LDS.
Just curious.


Well, I'm not a huge scholar, but from looking at that verse and the context in which it is, I think we have us Paul talking a bit about our bodies after they have been resurected. We all know what we're like now, but how we'll be after the resurection is more up in the air. While he doesn't say specifically, we do get from him that our bodies will in fact be different, comparable to the sun as is to the moon.

Actually, we can get a bit at what that will be like from Christ's body after he rose again. He was human, after all, so it's within the realm of reason that we will follow suit. Looking at what Jesus did and could do, we can take a look at and wonder at a few things, such as being able to appear in a room without necessarily coming in through doors or windows. He wasn't immediately recognizeable as himself, as shown when Mary was at the tomb and didn't see that it was him until he said her name in a familiar way, and later when he walked along with two men and spoke with them at length, and they didn't see him for who he was until he came to dinner and blessed the food as always (and once they realized, he vanished). So we can speculate a bit on the nature of resurected bodies from what we see there.

Anyway, I hope that helps out Parlord :)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:21 pm 
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If you look in verse 44 of that chapter, I do tend to disagree with the typical translation of "natural body" vs. "spiritual body". The terms used are psuchikon (soul, from which we get the word psychology) and pneumatikon (spirit or breath, usually referring to the Holy Spirit). Most interpreters go with a "physical" vs. "spiritual", but I disagree. From my understanding, this is essentially a body which is governed by animal life (such as we have in this life) and a body governed and enlivened by the Holy Spirit. The distinction is not so much physical/spiritual as it is temporary/eternal, mortal/immortal, corrupted/perfect. In essence, in the Resurrection, we will still have our physical bodies, but those bodies will be transformed in such a way as to transcend physical life as we know it now.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:23 am 
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What were the last words of Jesus? The very last thing he says before he dies, what was it? And, specifically, how did you come about that conclusion?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:13 pm 
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HippityHomsar wrote:
What were the last words of Jesus? The very last thing he says before he dies, what was it? And, specifically, how did you come about that conclusion?

Wasn't it something along the lines of "It is finished!" (John 19:30)

Unless you're talking about his last words before he ascended to heaven, in which case, I'm not really sure. I could probably look it up, though.

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We are not certain of the precise order, but he said two things before he died: "It is finished," and "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

After some study, I conclude that the above order is correct: the Greek words for spirit (pneuma) and breathe out (exepneusen) are etymologically related. It would be highly appropriate if Jesus' very last breath (pneuma) was the word "spirit" (pneuma).

Here it also helps to know a little Greek grammar. In John's account, the language there indicates that Jesus says, "Tetelesthai!" then afterward, bows his head and gives over his spirit. This "giving over" very likely refers to the words in Luke, in which Jesus does in fact give over (commend) his spirit to his Father.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Didymus wrote:
We are not certain of the precise order, but he said two things before he died: "It is finished," and "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."

After some study, I conclude that the above order is correct: the Greek words for spirit (pneuma) and breathe out (exepneusen) are etymologically related. It would be highly appropriate if Jesus' very last breath (pneuma) was the word "spirit" (pneuma).

Here it also helps to know a little Greek grammar. In John's account, the language there indicates that Jesus says, "Tetelesthai!" then afterward, bows his head and gives over his spirit. This "giving over" very likely refers to the words in Luke, in which Jesus does in fact give over (commend) his spirit to his Father.


Don't forget "Eli, Eli, lemi sabachthani?", or "My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?"

Matthew, Luke, and John each say completely different things and there's little to no indication what order they go in as none of them reference each other (though Matthew does have him "cry out" between "eli, eli" and dying, in which place one COULD argue something else was said).

Strikes me as peculiar that something as important as his last words would be disagreed upon by all the gospel writers. Granted, Matthew and Mark agree, but Matthew was pretty much a fleshed out version of Mark.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:20 pm 
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Actually, Matthew and Mark don't tell us what Jesus' last words are. They only say that he said, "Eloi Eloi." They record that he cried out, but not what he cried out.

There's actually a very simple reason for that:

Of all the disciples, we only know for certain that John was at the cross. Mark, whom most scholars believe based his gospel on accounts from Peter, and Matthew were not there. Luke very likely got his information from Mary and others who were there. Furthermore, "Eloi" is a direct quote of Psalm 22, which, if compared with the crucifixion accounts, is remarkably similar. By quoting that Psalm, Jesus is essentially saying, "What David described, you are now seeing." So I'm pretty sure that his quote of the Psalm would have been common knowledge among those who were there.

But here's the thing: From what we understand, John's Gospel was the last to be written, and it often tells information that was not contained in the others. This is why Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often called the "Synoptics": for the most part, they contain the same information with only slight differences in the details included. John, however, being Jesus' closest friend, would certainly have known more intimate details of Jesus' life.

As for the significance of the different accounts, my own personal thoughts are that they're pretty easy to understand and don't exactly present a crisis of faith. Again, I think Matthew and Mark are referring to the rather well-known quoting of Psalm 22, and for whatever reason, John wants to make sure we know about "Tetelesthai!"

And I just had a thought: what if by saying, "I give over my spirit (breath)," he was deliberately doing just that? Laying down his life in those very words? You have given me much to think about, HH.

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