The Word of the LORD (2002)
The Word of the LORD
Psalm 19:7-9 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (KJV)
Individuals condemned for the actions of others
Genesis 9:18-26 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. (KJV) NOTE: Ham sins, but it is his son (Canaan) who is cursed by God.
Exodus 20:5 . . . for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (KJV)
Numbers 31:1-2, 15-18 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. . . And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``little ones'' = infant children. NOTE: This is a very interesting example of God's morality: kill all the men, children, and wives, but keep the virgins for yourself (for what other purpose but to have sex with them?).
Deuteronomy 20:10-18 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it: And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``tributaries'' = slaves; ``little ones'' = infant children.
1 Samuel 15:2-3, 32-33 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. . . Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal. (KJV) NOTE: This revenge upon the nation of Amalek came about 380 years after their ambush of Israel, long after the perpetrators had died (see Exodus 17:8). One cannot say that the Amalekite genocide was justified by any contemporary sin of theirs, because verse 2 specifically sets forth the charge against this nation warranting their utter destruction, and the charge is their ambush of Israel 380 years prior.
2 Samuel 12:13-14 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. (KJV)
2 Samuel 21:1-14 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you. And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel, let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them. But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa: And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged. And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``was intreated'' = began to answer prayer. NOTE: God curses Israel with a three-year famine, because of Saul's slaughter of the Gibeonites. Saul, it should be noted, is no longer alive. To set things right, David has seven of Saul's sons hanged until dead. Only after this is done, and the bones of Saul, Jonathan, and his hanged sons are relocated to the country of Benjamin, does God end the famine.
1 Kings 21:20-29 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house. (KJV) TRANSLATION: the phrase ``him that pisseth against the wall'' denotes Ahab's descendents. NOTE: Ahab sins, then Ahab repents of his sins. Nevertheless, according to divine logic someone must be punished for those sins (it doesn't seem to matter who), so Ahab's sons will be the ones to suffer.
2 Kings 22:13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. (KJV) NOTE: Why would God vent his anger at people because their parents failed to heed his commands, especially if they themselves were ignorant of God's commands because the book had been lost?
2 Kings 23:25-27 And like unto [Josiah] was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there. (KJV) NOTE: The Lord's wrath was brought upon Israel by the sins of Manasseh, who was king of Israel before Amon, who was king of Israel before Josiah. Manasseh died before Josiah became king, and had repented of his sins prior to his death in both word and deed (2 Chronicles 33:12-17).
2 Chronicles 36:17 Therefore [God] brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. (KJV)
Psalm 137:8-9 O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``dasheth little ones against stones'' = to kill infant children by smashing them against rocks.
Isaiah 13:9,16 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it . . . Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``ravished'' = raped.
Isaiah 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. (KJV)
Jeremiah 2:7-9 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``I will plead with'' = I will judge against. NOTE: Here, children are cursed for the sins of their grandparents.
Amos 7:16-17 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not [thy word] against the house of Isaac. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land. (KJV) NOTE: For the rebellion of Amaziah the priest against Amos' prophesy, the priest's wife will be forced into prostitution and the priest's children killed by the Babylonian soldiers that God will send against Israel.
Hosea 4:6b . . . because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)
Hosea 13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``women with child'' = pregnant mothers. NOTE: This verse should be of particular interest because it condones a form of abortion as well as infanticide.
Nahum 3:9-10 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains. (KJV)
Luke 19:41-44 And when [Jesus] was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. (KJV) TRANSLATION: to ``lay thee even with the ground'' = to kill. NOTE: Jesus sentences even the children of Israel to death, because their parents did not recognize him as the Messiah.
Romans 5:18-19 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (KJV) NOTE: By the disobedience of Adam in the Garden of Eden, all mankind fell under the condemnation of God. This is known as the doctrine of Original Sin.
Promises that innocent and repentant individuals will not be punished
Genesis 18:20-26, 32 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. . . And [Abraham] said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And [the LORD] said, I will not destroy it for ten's sake. (KJV)
Jeremiah 18:7-8 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. (KJV)
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. (KJV)
NOTE: What makes the Ezekiel passage even more revealing is that it illustrates the absence of generational guilt by example. Read these three successive passages from the same chapter:
Ezekiel 18: 4-9 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, [And] hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, And hath not oppressed any, [but] hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; He [that] hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, [that] hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he [is] just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
Ezekiel 18:10-13 If he beget a son [that is] a robber, a shedder of blood, and [that] doeth the like to [any] one of these [things], And that doeth not any of those [duties], but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife, Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. (KJV)
Ezekiel 18:14-19 Now, lo, [if] he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, [That] hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife, Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, [but] hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, [That] hath taken off his hand from the poor, [that] hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. [As for] his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did [that] which [is] not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, [and] hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. (KJV)
NOTE: The moral of this story is as simple as it is undeniable: God only punishes the guilty, and does not inflict punishment on the innocent descendents of the guilty.
Jonah 4:11 And should not I [the Lord] spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? (KJV)
Persons condemned by divine predestination
John 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``son of perdition'' = a man doomed to destruction.
Romans 9:11-16 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 23:3-8 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee. Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation. (KJV)
Ezra 9:1-2, 10:2-3, 10:10-11 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass . . . And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law . . . And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. (KJV)
Nehemiah 13:1-3 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing. Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``separated . . . the mixed multitude'' = excluded all of foreign descent.
Mark 7:26-27 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. (KJV)
. . . or no racism?
Ruth 4:9-14 And Boaz said unto the elders, and [unto] all the people, Ye [are] witnesses this day, that I have bought all that [was] Elimelech's, and all that [was] Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye [are] witnesses this day. And all the people that [were] in the gate, and the elders, said, [We are] witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed [be] the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. (KJV)
Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (KJV)
Sabbath laws never to be broken
Exodus 31:13-17 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (KJV)
Numbers 15:32-36 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. (KJV)
Sabbath laws overturned
Mark 2:27 And [Jesus] said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: (KJV)
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill [Jesus], because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (KJV)
Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (KJV)
Exodus 21:20-21 If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. (NIV)
Ephesians 6:5-8 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. (KJV)
Titus 2:9-10 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``servants'' = slaves.
Leviticus 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 22:9-11 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. (KJV) NOTE: the practice of planting a field with more than one kind of seed is called "intercropping," and modern agricultural science recognizes it as beneficial, providing increased resistance against pests and disease. Why would God advise against sound agricultural practice?
1 Corinthians 11:14-16 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. (KJV) NOTE: Paul clearly states this as a universal and timeless standard, not an injunction peculiar to a particular time or particular congregation.
God never changes his mind
Numbers 23:19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (KJV)
1 Samuel 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent. (KJV)
God changes his mind
Exodus 32:9-14 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it [is] a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit [it] for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (KJV) NOTE: not only does God change his mind regarding the destruction of the Hebrews, but he does so without any repentance on the part of the people. All Moses does here is point out how silly it would make God look if he destroyed all the people he liberated from Egypt, and then Moses reminds God of the former promise to make a nation out of the descendents of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In case you were wondering, yes: the word used for "repent" and "repented" in the Exodus passage is the exact same Hebrew word used in Numbers 23:19 and and Samuel 15:29, "naham."
God never tempts people to sin
James 1:13-14 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (KJV)
God tempts people to sin
1 Samuel 16:14-16,23 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, [which are] before thee, to seek out a man, [who is] a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. . . And it came to pass, when the [evil] spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (KJV)
1 Samuel 18:10-11 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and [there was] a javelin in Saul's hand. And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall [with it]. And David avoided out of his presence twice. (KJV)
1 Samuel 19:9-10 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with [his] hand. And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. (KJV)
2 Samuel 24:1,10-15 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. . . And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three [things]; choose thee one of them, that I may [do it] unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies [are] great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. (KJV) NOTE: Not only was David's sin motivated by God, but God then punishes the entire nation of Israel, killing 70,000 men, for that which he incited David to do! And, if the nation of Israel deserved to be punished anyway, then what was the point of tempting David to commit another sin? If the purpose of causing David to sin was to initiate punishment against the nation, they why did God offer to David the option of personal punishment (to be pursued by his enemies) as an alternative to national punishment?
Judges 9:23-25 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: That the cruelty [done] to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren. And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech. (KJV)
Subjugation of women
Numbers 5:11-31 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar: And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``lay hold on her'' = rapes her; ``put her away'' = divorce her. NOTE: If a virgin is raped, she is forced to marry her rapist, and there is no possibility of divorce!
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``secrets'' = genitals. NOTE: If a woman fights "dirty" to help her husband (the only way she can fight someone stronger than her), she must have her hand cut off.
1 Corinthians 14:34-38 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (KJV)
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (KJV) NOTE: This is the second time Paul instructs women to be silent in church, and his declarations are universal rather than directed exclusively at any one congregation or for any particular situation. Paul's reason for this stems from the original sin in the Garden of Eden, where the woman sins before the man. There is hope for women, though, so long as they live holy lives and bear children.
Psalm 37:25-26 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. (KJV)
Proverbs 12:21 There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief. (KJV)
Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (KJV)
Mark 11:22-24 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (KJV)
James 5:14-18 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``save the sick'' = physically heal the sick.
All the world has heard the gospel
Romans 10:13-18 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (KJV) NOTE: In the year 57 A.D., when Romans was most likely written, the entire world had heard about Jesus?!
Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; (KJV) NOTE: Again, are we to believe that the entire world had heard about Jesus at this time (about 60 A.D.)?!
When is it okay to lie?
Mark 5:35-43 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's [house certain] which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was [of the age] of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. (KJV) NOTE: How were the girl's parents supposed to keep the truth hidden without lying, in light of the fact that the girl's death was publicly known?
John 7:2-10 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. [Jesus'] brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. (KJV)
NOTE: The word "yet" does not appear in some early manuscripts, as reflected in certain Bible translations such as the New American Standard version. However, even with the word "yet" in place, Jesus still lies about the reason for his delay. He claimed he would not go because "[his] time had not yet come." Are we to believe that his time suddenly "came" as soon as his brothers left for the feast? Jesus' statements of his time not being "yet come" is cast in terms of the world hating him and his message. But as we read later on, people still hated him as much then as they did before--hardly indicative of a change.
Pay particular close attention to the wording of verse 10: "But when his brethren were gone up . . . [he went] as it were in secret." Why would the word "but" be included in this sentence if not to indicate a disparity between Jesus' words and his actions? If Jesus' secretive departure were consistent with his explanation to his brothers, there would be no need for the word "but." Try removing that word from the last sentence and see how it reads. Its presence, along with the explicit description of secrecy, indicates that Jesus didn't want anyone to know if or when he was going to the feast, and that the reply to his brothers' questioning was intentionally deceiving. Whether you interpret this behavior as an outright lie or merely a guarding of the facts, it is hardly becoming of one who calls himself "the Truth" (John 14:6).
Unbelief equated with evil
John 3:17-21 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (KJV)
Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (KJV) TRANSLATION: ``hold the truth'' = suppress the truth. NOTE: Because the nature of God is (according to Paul), clearly evident in nature, everyone is responsible for believing in God. According to Paul, if a person does not believe in God, it is because they are willfully rebellious, not ignorant.
Romans 1:28-32 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (KJV) NOTE: According to Paul, God's standards of morality are also self-evident to all people: everyone implicitly knows that pride, boasting, gossip, disobedience to parents, and other like actions are worthy of death. (How many cultures do you know of regard pride and gossip as capital crimes?) Again, according to Paul, those who fail to acknowledge these moral standards willfully suppress their innate knowledge of God.
Matthew 13:1-3, 10-15 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables . . . And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (KJV) NOTE: Jesus purposely speaks to the crowds using vague language so that they will not understand, and this because they ostensibly are not willing to hear. (Note that even Jesus' disciples, who were most interested in understanding his message, didn't comprehend the parables! And when they expressed their confusion to him, he had to explain the parables to them using plain words, proving conclusively that his original words were vague. Yet those who did not understand were condemned for not understanding!)
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (KJV)
Slower than the second coming
Matthew 10:22-23 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (KJV)
NOTE: This is perhaps the most damning statement in the whole Bible with regard to Jesus' accuracy as a prophet. The "cities of Israel" have been thoroughly evangelized through the centuries, yet Jesus has never returned. It is not as though there are some cities in the nation of Israel which have "not [been] gone over" yet.
Matthew 24:30-31,34 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. . . Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (KJV)
Luke 21:27-28,32 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. . . Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. (KJV)
NOTE: A common explanation for "this generation shall not pass away" is that the Greek word "genea" (generation) can also mean "race" or "nation," so what Jesus was actually saying here is that the Jews will not pass away before all these things are fulfilled. However, many of the things Jesus said would "be fulfilled" specifically regard the Jews: the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies (Luke 21:20), the continuation of Sabbath days (Matthew 24:20), the desecration of the Temple (Matthew 24:15), etc. Thus, to say that the race of the Jews will not pass away before all these things happen to the Jews is ridiculously obvious, and devoid of any substantive meaning. By defining "genea" as "race" or "nation," one problem is merely exchanged for another: Jesus is made to look as an idiot instead of a false prophet.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (KJV)
Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (KJV)
Revelation 3:10-11 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (KJV)
Revelation 22:6-7,12,20 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. . . And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. . . He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (KJV)
Other failed prophecies
Damascus to be uninhabited
Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. (KJV) NOTE: Here, the Lord says that the ancient city of Damascus will be destroyed, being reduced to a heap of rubble. The NIV translation renders Damascus' fate as, "will no longer be a city . . ." However, Damascus was never destroyed. It was conquered by Tiglath-Pileser III in 732 B.C., but it was never turned into a "ruinous heap." In fact, it stands today as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The destruction of Tyre
Ezekiel 26: 1-21 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken [that was] the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, [now] she is laid waste: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be [a place for] the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which [are] in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be [a place] to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken [it], saith the Lord GOD. Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at [every] moment, and be astonished at thee. And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, [that wast] inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror [to be] on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that [are] in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; I will make thee a terror, and thou [shalt be] no [more]: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)
NOTE: Oddly enough, this prophecy of Ezekiel against Tyre is cited by many Bible believers as a successful one. In verses 7-14, the prophet speaks specifically of a Babylonian siege against the city of Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar would "plunder [its] wealth and loot [its] merchandise" (Ezekiel 26:12; NIV) as a result of his attack. However, Nebuchadnezzar did not succeed according to Ezekiel's prophecy, and even Ezekiel later admits to this! Ezekiel 29:17-20 tells us that God recognized Nebuchadnezzar's campaign against Tyre had failed: "Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre," (Ezekiel 29:18b; NIV) saying instead that He (God) would give Egypt to the Babylonians, as a "reward" for their efforts against Tyre (Ezekiel 29:19-20).
Isaiah 23:1-18 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them. Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, [is] her revenue; and she is a mart of nations. Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, [even] the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, [nor] bring up virgins. As at the report concerning Egypt, [so] shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle. [Is] this your joyous [city], whose antiquity [is] of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning [city], whose merchants [are] princes, whose traffickers [are] the honourable of the earth? The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, [and] to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: [there is] no more strength. He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant [city], to destroy the strong holds thereof. And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest. Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, [till] the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; [and] he brought it to ruin. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste. And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing. (KJV)
Furthermore, the prophet Isaiah contradicts Ezekiel when he says that Tyre will be rebuilt 70 years after its destruction (Isaiah 23:15-17), the inhabitants of the restored city "plying their trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth" (NIV). The profits gained from such commerce is said to be devoted for the Lord, for the purposes of purchasing abundant food and fine clothes. The contradiction even extends to the fine points of the opposing prophesies: according to Ezekiel 26:13, the Babylonian siege would put an end to Tyre's "noisy songs" and harp music. However, Isaiah 23:16 tells us that (after the destruction of Babylon by the Assyrians; Isaiah 23:13) harp music will again be played in Tyre so that it will be remembered.
While the area of Tyre is indeed presently being used as a place to dry nets (Ezekiel 26:14), as it probably has been for centuries, it has been rebuilt repeatedly by the conquering nations, including the building of a cathedral there in A.D. 316 by Eusebius of Caesarea. According to Collier's Encyclopedia, the population of the city of Tyre in 1957 was 12,000. In 1991, its population had grown to about 70,000 (Source: http://www.xrefer.com; the Macmillan Encyclopedia 2001). How can this qualify as never having been rebuilt? Additionally, Ezekiel says that Tyre would sink under the sea, another detail never fulfilled.
Egypt desolate for 40 years
Ezekiel 29:1-16 In the tenth year, in the tenth [month], in the twelfth [day] of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt: Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river [is] mine own, and I have made [it] for myself. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. And I will leave thee [thrown] into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I [am] the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD: because he hath said, The river [is] mine, and I have made [it]. Behold, therefore I [am] against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste [and] desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries [that are] desolate, and her cities among the cities [that are] laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return [into] the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth [their] iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD. (KJV) NOTE: Although Ezekiel goes on to say that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar went on to fulfill this prophecy by vanquishing Egypt, there was never a time where the entire area of Egypt was completely devoid of all forms of life for forty years!
I'm right because I'm right
John 7:16-18 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. (KJV) NOTE: Thus, if anyone claims to be a messenger of God, they cannot be wrong.
John 8:13-19 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, [yet] my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. (KJV) NOTE: Jesus needs no validation from other witnesses because his message is true. He does have validation, though, from his invisible Father. Anyone who dares to question this fact is clearly wrong. Reminds me of the Emperor's new clothes!
John 8:42-47 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell [you] the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God. (KJV) NOTE: Those who question the identity of Jesus are of the devil and not of God--that is why they cannot apprehend Jesus' truth.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (KJV) NOTE: According to Paul, Christians are given God's Holy Spirit, to have the ``mind of Christ'' and be able to discern the great truths of God. Christians know the truth because they have God's Spirit residing inside them. And, they know they have God's Spirit residing inside them because they are Christian. Non-Christians lack this supernatural discernment, and thus cannot criticize this circle of reasoning.
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. (KJV)
1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (KJV) NOTE: How simple: we can tell truth from error by observing who believes John. The circularity of thinking here is quite clear: those who claim to be messengers of God (John et. al.) cannot be wrong because they are God's messengers, and God cannot be wrong.
- Questions to ask: (note the superscript references to relevant passages)
- (1) For what purpose were the women visiting the tomb?
- (2) How did the women expect to open the tomb?
- (3) Where, exactly, did the women meet the angel(s)?
- (4) What did the angel(s) tell the women?
- (5) Who first saw the risen Jesus? When and where was this?
- (6) What did the women tell the disciples after fleeing the tomb?
- (7) When and where did Jesus meet with his disciples?
- (8) What was Mary Magdalene's explanation for the empty tomb?
NOTE: It is all too easy to dismiss differences in the resurrection accounts by merely comparing the passages. To gain an appreciation of just how divergent the accounts are, try to compose a single account of resurrection Sunday, being sure to include all details found in the biblical accounts, without omitting anything contained therein. This would make an excellent Bible study group exercise!
Matthew 28:1-10; 28:16-20 (KJV)
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre(1).
Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it(3).
Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
Matthew 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
Matthew 28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you(4).
Matthew 28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them(5), saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him(8).
Matthew 28:10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me(6).
Matthew 28:11-15 Omitted due to lack of relevance
Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them(6)(7).
Matthew 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mark 16:1-8 (KJV)
Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him(1).
Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre(2)?
Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side(3), clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him(4), as he said unto you.
Mark 16:8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man(6); for they were afraid.
Luke 24:1-53 (KJV)
Luke 24:1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared(1), and certain others with them.
Luke 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
Luke 24:3 And they entered in(3), and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them(3) in shining garments:
Luke 24:5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
Luke 24:7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again(4).
Luke 24:8 And they remembered his words,
Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things(6)(8) unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene(8), and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles(6)(8).
Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
Luke 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
Luke 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
Luke 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
Luke 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Luke 24:16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
Luke 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luke 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luke 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luke 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Luke 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
Luke 24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive(6)(8).
Luke 24:24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
Luke 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Luke 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luke 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Luke 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
Luke 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Luke 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
Luke 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them [his] hands and [his] feet.
Luke 24:41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
Luke 24:42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
Luke 24:43 And he took [it], and did eat before them.
Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.
Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
Luke 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
Luke 24:52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
Luke 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
John 20:1-29; 21:1-2,14 (KJV)
John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
John 20:2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, they have taken away the lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him(6)(8).
John 20:3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
John 20:4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
John 20:5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
John 20:6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
John 20:7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
John 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
John 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
John 20:10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
John 20:11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre(3),
John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
John 20:13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou(4)? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him(8).
John 20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing(5), and knew not that it was Jesus.
John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away(8).
John 20:16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst(7), and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
John 20:20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.
John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst(7), and said, Peace be unto you.
John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.
John 21:1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again(7) to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias [Galilee]; and on this wise shewed he himself.
John 21:2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the [sons] of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
John 21:3-13 Omitted due to lack of relevance
John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
Acts 1:1-12 (KJV)
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Acts 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.
Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (KJV)
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1 Corinthians 15:5 And that he was seen(7) of Cephas [Simon Peter], then of the twelve:
1 Corinthians 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1 Corinthians 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
A composite of the Resurrection accounts
Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:10, John 20:1), Mary the mother of James (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:10), Salome (Mark 16:1), Joanna (Luke 24:10), and at least one more person (Luke 24:10) traveled to the tomb. They came to look at the tomb (Matthew 28:1), but also to anoint Jesus' body with spices they had purchased (Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1), even though they did not know who might open the sealed tomb for them (Mark 16:3).
Upon arrival at the tomb, an angel appeared, rolling away the stone sealing the tomb and sitting on it, outside the tomb's entrance (Matthew 28:2). NOTE: the text does not explicitly say the angel was outside the tomb, but we know this from the construction of the tomb. The stone, quite obviously, had to have been located outside the tomb so that it could be rolled over the entrance hole. When rolled away, anyone sitting on the stone would have been situated outside the tomb, not inside. The angel tells the women that Jesus has risen from the dead (Matthew 28:6), and that they must quickly tell the disciples of his resurrection (Matthew 28:7), and that he will meet them in Galilee (Matthew 28:7). He suggests the women see the empty tomb for themselves (Matthew 28:6).
Upon entering the tomb, the women did not see Jesus' body, and they were perplexed (Luke 24:4). (Neither Luke nor John mention an angel outside the tomb, but merely say that the stone has been found rolled away; Luke 24:2 and John 20:1.) Suddenly two men (later identified as angels, Luke 24:23) appeared, standing by the women, dressed in shining garments (Luke 24:4), and a man (an angel?) was found sitting on the right side of the entrance, inside the tomb (Mark 16:5). The two angels ask the women why they seek the living Jesus in the tomb (Luke 24:5), despite the suggestion from the angel outside the tomb for the women to see the empty tomb for themselves (Matthew 28:6). They tell the women that Jesus earlier predicted his own resurrection (Luke 24:6-7). The man on the right tells the women that Jesus has risen from the dead, and repeats the first angel's suggestion that they should observe the place where the body used to be (Mark 16:6). He tells them to go tell the disciples of Jesus' resurrection, and that Jesus will meet them all in Galilee (Mark 16:7).
NOTE: why would the women be perplexed at the sight of the empty tomb, if the angel outside had just informed them it was empty? And, why would they suddenly be afraid of the two angels inside the tomb ("behold, two men stood by them"--Luke 24:4) if they had just passed the angel outside, who was frightening enough to paralyze two Roman guards (Matthew 28:4)? Luke makes it sound as though there was no angel outside the tomb, and that the sudden appearance of the two inside the tomb was the first angelic appearance the women had seen.
Additionally, the angels' conflicting advice about the women inspecting the tomb is rather comical. The angel outside tells the women to inspect the tomb for themselves, to see that Jesus was not there. However, Luke's angels ask the women why they are seeking the living among the dead, as though the women had not been told to go inside the tomb to see for themselves. I suppose angels just don't coordinate their efforts very well!
The women run in fear, not telling anything to anyone (Mark 16:8). Then, they run with a mixture of fear and joy to tell the disciples (Matthew 28:8). On the way, the women encounter Jesus (Matthew 28:9) and they worship him, holding him by his feet. Jesus instructs them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee (Matthew 28:10), on a mountain where he had appointed them (Matthew 28:16) (Mount Tabor???).
NOTE: from here on, I do not cite the gospel of Mark, due to the unreliability of the text after chapter 16, verse 8. Besides, there is nothing in Mark 16:9-20 that clarifies the other accounts. If anything, it would only create further discrepancies.
When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna, and the others (Luke 24:10) reach the disciples, they collectively report all the things the two (standing) angels said: that Jesus has risen from the dead just as he predicted (Luke 24:10,23). Strangely enough, Mary Magdalene also advances her own contradicting hypothesis that Jesus's body was stolen, and includes the group in her belief by saying that "we know not where they have laid him" (John 20:2). Nothing is reported about their having met the risen Jesus, or about the command for the disciples to go to Galilee to meet with Jesus.
NOTE: Neither Matthew nor Mark record the womens' visit to the disciples after seeing the tomb. Only Luke and John do, and their accounts are quite different. Some apologists suggest that the women actually did report having met Jesus personally to the disciples, but that Luke simply failed to record this. However, this is far too conspicuous an omission for an "historian of the first rank" (as Luke is regarded by biblical scholars) to commit. Why would anyone, let alone someone famous for their faithful recording of details, record the womens' transmission of the angels' message, but not of their personal contact with Jesus, if the women had indeed reported that encounter to the disciples? And, if the women had really met with Jesus on the way back from the tomb, is it really plausible that they failed to tell the disciples of it, but only told them of the encounter with the angels? The latter possibility is especially unlikely, as the group of women Luke mentions included Mary the mother of James, Jesus' own mother (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3)! How could a mother fail to mention the appearance of her own son, raised from the dead?
Also, Matthew and Mark are the only gospel authors who mention anything about the angels' command for the disciples to go to Galilee. Not only is this evident by conspicuous omission of the command in Luke and John, but also by the disciples' actions in those accounts following the women's report. According to John, the first three visits of Jesus to the disciples occurred in places other than Galilee (John 20:19-23; John 20:26-29; John 21:1-22), and in those three visitations, nothing is said about a meeting in Galilee. This is very strange, considering the urgent tone of the angels (and of Jesus himself!) in giving the command to the women.
Upon hearing the report of the empty tomb, Peter (Luke 24:12) and John (John 20:3-4) run to the tomb to see for themselves. John believes in the resurrection (John 20:8), but Peter is unsure of what happened (Luke 24:12). Mary Magdalene follows Peter and John to the tomb (John 20:11). She looks inside the tomb and sees two angels sitting where Jesus' body was placed (John 20:12). The angels ask why Mary is crying, and she again states her hypothesis that Jesus' body must have been stolen (John 20:13). Jesus now appears behind Mary, but she does not recognize him (John 20:14). When he asks Mary why she is crying, Mary again reveals her belief that Jesus' dead body was stolen when she asks him if he knew where the body had been taken (John 20:15).
Jesus calls Mary by name, and she then recognizes him (John 20:16). He instructs her not to touch him because he had "not yet ascended to his Father" (John 20:17--compare with Matthew 28:9). Jesus then instructs Mary to tell the disciples of his resurrection from the dead (John 20:17). Mary then goes to the disciples, and tells them of her encounter with Jesus (John 20:18).
As Peter and Cleopas were walking later that day, Jesus appears to them and explains how the Christ must rise from the dead (Luke 24:25-26), and how the scriptures foretold these events (Luke 24:27). He stays and eats with the two disciples in a village, and there they recognize him as Jesus (Luke 24:30-31). Then, he vanishes from their sight (Luke 24:31).
Peter and Cleopas return to Jerusalem and tell the disciples that Jesus met them (Luke 24:34-35). This was on Sunday evening, behind locked doors (John 20:19). As they reported their encounter, Jesus appeared with all of them (Luke 24:36), but they were afraid and thought it might be a ghost (Luke 24:37). Jesus confirms his physical existence by showing them his hands and feet, and asking them to hold him (Luke 24:39). Then they were glad, after realizing it was him (John 20:20). Jesus also confirmed his existence by eating with them (Luke 24:43). Thomas (called Didymus) was not present at this meeting (John 20:24). The other disciples, who believed in Jesus' resurrection, tell Thomas about the encounter (John 20:25), but Thomas doubts.
He instructs the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they have been "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49, referring to the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost), even though he and the angels had previously told the women to tell the disciples to meet him on the mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:7, Matthew 28:10, Mark 16:7). He led them out as far as Bethany, and there ascended into heaven (Luke 24:50-51). The disciples then returned to Jerusalem, remaining there in the temple praising God (Luke 24:53).
NOTE: although this account appears as a seamless continuation of the first appearance that Sunday evening in Luke 24:36-53, Luke's later book of Acts says that Jesus appeared to his disciples for 40 days before giving the command to stay in Jerusalem.
Jesus meets with his disciples for a second time, eight days later (John 20:26-29), where Thomas sees and believes.
After that, Jesus meets with his disciples for a third time at the sea of Tiberias (about 70 miles north of Jerusalem) after an unproductive night of fishing (John 21:1-4). Jesus instructs the men to cast their nets on the right side of the ship, where they could not draw the net in for all the fish it caught (153 fish, as recorded in John 21:11). John recognizes Jesus for who he is, and Peter jumps into the water to meet Jesus (John 21:7). The disciples all knew that the man they were with was Jesus (John 21:12). (Details of the rest of the encounter not relevant to the comparison between accounts.)
The disciples go to Galilee and meet Jesus on the mountain there (Matthew 28:16) (Mount Tabor???). Some worship him, but others doubt (Matthew 28:17). There, he gives them the Great Commission, commanded them to go and teach all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).
NOTE: In order to conserve the accuracy of John's count of the first three appearances of Jesus, we must consider the appearance of Jesus on the mountain in Galilee as happening after the three appearances recorded in John. Again, this is strange not only because of the urgency of the angels' message to the women for the disciples to go to Galilee to see Jesus (Matthew 28:7, Mark 16:), of Jesus' own message to the same effect (Matthew 28:10), and the fact that this command is not mentioned at all in any of Jesus' appearances as recorded in Luke and John, but also because Matthew says the disciples still had their doubts about Jesus (Matthew 28:17) even though every one of them that saw him believed at the closing of the first appearance, and immediately during the second and third appearances as recorded by John. Why would the command for the disciples to meet Jesus on a mountain in Galilee be so important in Matthew and Mark, but so unimportant as to not even be mentioned, much less acted upon, in either Luke or John? Why would all the disciples who saw Jesus believe in him during the first three consecutive appearances, then some of them doubt in a subsequent appearance?
Some time between the first meeting with the disciples and the last meeting where he ascends to heaven, Jesus appears to over 500 believers (1 Corinthians 15:6).
After 40 days of appearances with the disciples (Acts 1:3), Jesus meets with them on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem (Acts 1:12). There, he tells them to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is to come in a few days (Acts 1:4-5), and how after this (compare with Matthew 28:19) they are to preach the gospel throughout the world (Acts 1:8). He then ascends into heaven, and two angels declare that Jesus will some day return in a like manner (Acts 1:10-11).
I used to be a Bible-believing Christian for about 6 years. During that time, I diligently studied the Scriptures in an effort to learn about and commune with God. But during my studies, I kept reading passages such as these. Now, I wasn't looking for faults in the Bible--to the contrary, I desired to believe in it fully. However, I could not ignore the things I had read.
At first, I tried to dismiss these disturbing passages as misunderstandings on my part. Somehow, my sinful nature must have distorted my interpretation (rule #1 for fundamentalists: when in doubt, blame yourself!). I sought different interpretations for the texts, both to draw some sort of coherent message from them, and also to appease my own conscience. In some cases, I was able to find alternative interpretations. In other cases, I was not, but after time I found myself able to forget about the difficulties.
The breaking point for me was 1 Samuel 15:1-3, where we read of God's command to kill all the Amalekites down to the last man, woman, and child. While this passage had always disturbed me, it proved too much for my conscience when I learned that this genocide was justified by God on the basis of the Amalekites' ambush of the Israelites some 380 years prior. It was here that the obvious finally dawned on my reluctant mind: the God of the Bible holds people culpable for circumstances beyond their control. This is no isolated doctrine; rather, its appears repeatedly in Bible (as does the contradicting doctrine of God judging people strictly for their own sins), and no measure of appeasing could ease the pain of my seared conscience.
Why was I willing to believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God for so long, in spite of knowing such things about it? The answer was simple, but difficult to admit: religious belief gave me sense of security, and I was willing to suspend judgment solely for the sake of satisfying this desire. (Remember Hebrews 11:1--"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV).) It wasn't until my sense of security had been eroded to almost nothing by the "avoid-embarrassment-at-all-costs" method of hermeneutics that I realized this. The "alternative interpretations" I sought merely substituted obscurity for error (how else can we read 1 Samuel 15:1-3 to mean anything other than heartless revenge on individuals long deceased, or interpret promises of Christ's "immediate" return to include 2,000 years of delay, without stretching the definitions of words so far that they mean nothing?). The cost of such interpretation is the evisceration of objective meaning. If God actually inspired the authors to write so obscurely, then how can we ever be sure of what it says? We are left with two possibilities: either the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, or else it is, but we can never be completely confident of its meaning. In either case, there is no textual basis for the absolute security I craved.
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, was the fact that God had never shown himself to be anything more than an imaginary friend. Over these 6 years, I prayed continually in an effort to communicate with God. Not once did I ever receive any sort of discernible response. My first reaction was to blame myself (remember rule #1?), but then I began to observe other believers and their responses to prayer. What I discovered was shocking: the responses Christians "received" in prayer rarely deviated from convictions previously held, and responses received by different Christians often contradicted each other on important issues. If prayer is really two-way communication with God, such things should not happen. Even more interesting was the fact that religious believers of non-Christian traditions also claimed to communicate with God, and their "responses from God" were just as creed-bound as with Christians of different denominations. Even if we suppose that a very limited number of people are actually communicating with God and the others aren't, one thing remains clear: the vast majority of religious believers are very mistaken!
In the end, I was faced with two undeniable conclusions: that the human imagination is active enough to manufacture a God of one's own liking, and that the desire for security is strong enough to sustain not only this illusion, but also the consistent denial of any facts threatening to it. Realizing this, I resolved to live a life based on fact rather than hope. For me, it was a process of maturing--to give up childish desires, admitting that life is inherently uncertain--that faith had inhibited. It meant the end of many friendships, even to the point of people very close to me accusing me of being "demon-possessed" for abandoning faith. But ultimately, I could not ignore the facts.