Difference between revisions of "ABC:Matthew 16"

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==Verse 28==
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==Verse 27, Faith or Works==
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[[Patheos]]' Bob Seidensticker claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):<ref name=patheos>Seidensticker, P. (2018, October 20). "[https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/ Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions.]" ''Patheos.''</ref>
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{{cquote|''Faith saves (or do works save?)''<br><br>''Protestant Christianity often emphasizes that faith alone (sola fide) justifies God’s forgiveness. Many verses support this.''<br><br>[[ABC:Ephesians 2|Ephesians 2:8-9]] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.<br><br>[[ABC:Romans 3|Romans 3:28]] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.<br><br>''That seems clear enough until we find the opposite claim elsewhere in the Bible. The clearest example to me is the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25, but there’s more.''<br><br>[[ABC:Proverbs 24|Proverbs 24:12]] If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?<br><br>[[ABC:James 2|James 2:14]] ¶ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?<br><br>[[ABC:Matthew 16|Matthew 16:27]] For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.<br><br>[[ABC:Revelation 20|Revelation 20:12]] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.<br><br>''For something so important as getting into heaven and avoiding hell, the New Testament is surprisingly unclear. Addendum: Or maybe it’s repentance that saves . . . or maybe baptism? What if it’s repentance?''<br><br>[[ABC:Acts 3|Acts 3:19]] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;<br><br>[[ABC:Luke 24|Luke 24:47]] And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.<br><br>''Or baptism? It was so essential a ritual that Jesus did it.''<br><br>[[ABC:Acts 2|Acts 2:38]] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.<br><br>[[ABC:Romans 6|Romans 6:4]] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.}}
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As mentioned by the Scofield Study Bible III, Ephesians 2:8-10 is the passage which brings both views together.<ref>Scofield, Cyrus I. (2003). [http://books.google.com/books?id=FCPBVjNnF2oC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA1625 The Scofield Study Bible III.] pg. 1625. ''Oxford University Press.''</ref> We are saved by faith, not works, it's God's gift not man's doing, lest anyone should boast.
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However, we are created by Jesus to do good works and it is God's will that we do them. The works themselves do not save, but are the outward evidence to others, and to ourselves, that we have indeed undergone an inward redemptive process of salvation.
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True saving faith will ultimately produce good works as the result of a changed heart and a new spirit. Thus if a person shows no interest in doing good works once becoming a Christian, and for years lives without any change, then as James points out, that faith without works is a dead faith and no faith indeed.
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Most of the verses quoted by Patheos in support of works, including Proverbs 24:12, Matthew 16:27, and Revelation 20:12 all relate to how people will be judged at the Final Judgment. Even Christians receive rewards based upon their works. However, the ultimate standard for whether one is saved is faith in Jesus Christ, no other foundation for works will be accepted. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) Works only make a difference for rewards if one first has faith in Jesus.
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John the Baptist came preaching repentance before Jesus came for a reason. (Matthew 3:2) To trust in Jesus to save us from our sins (i.e. faith) we must first accept that we are sinners, and desire to change and stop doing evil; i.e. repentance. Repentance must precede faith; one cannot trust in Jesus to save us from our sins if one does not first acknowledge one has done anything wrong. One cannot call on Jesus to save them unless they desire to change with all their heart.
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As for baptism, it is not the physical action which is involved in the salvation process, but baptism of the Holy Spirit, the cleansing of one's conscience. (Acts 1:25; 11:16) As Peter says, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 3:21) Baptism serves as a public declaration of faith in Christ, and in countries like ancient Rome which outlawed Christianity, was to take a dangerous step in openly proclaiming a belief in Jesus.
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==Verse 28, Should Jesus Have Returned? - American Atheists==
 
[[American Atheists]] claims the Bible is wrong about the passage (and makes the following comments (italicized).<ref name=americanatheists>N.a. (2019).  "[https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/biblical-contradictions/ Biblical Contradictions?] ''American Atheists.''</ref>  
 
[[American Atheists]] claims the Bible is wrong about the passage (and makes the following comments (italicized).<ref name=americanatheists>N.a. (2019).  "[https://www.atheists.org/activism/resources/biblical-contradictions/ Biblical Contradictions?] ''American Atheists.''</ref>  
  
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Jesus clearly told the apostles what had to happen first before His return in Matthew 24. Jesus told them there would be numerous wars, famines, earthquakes, and false prophets first. (vv. 7-11) The Gospel would first be preached throughout the entire world followed by a massive tribulation perpetrated by the antichrist against Christians. (vv. 14-22) Jesus plainly told them that the exact time of His return was not known even to Him, only to God the Father. (v. 36) Just because then apostles warned one another to be constantly ready for His return as Jesus had urged them to do (Matthew 24:36-51) does not mean they claimed a return would occur during their own lifetimes. Nor do the passages which quote them show otherwise; merely that they considered Christ's return to be nearing.
 
Jesus clearly told the apostles what had to happen first before His return in Matthew 24. Jesus told them there would be numerous wars, famines, earthquakes, and false prophets first. (vv. 7-11) The Gospel would first be preached throughout the entire world followed by a massive tribulation perpetrated by the antichrist against Christians. (vv. 14-22) Jesus plainly told them that the exact time of His return was not known even to Him, only to God the Father. (v. 36) Just because then apostles warned one another to be constantly ready for His return as Jesus had urged them to do (Matthew 24:36-51) does not mean they claimed a return would occur during their own lifetimes. Nor do the passages which quote them show otherwise; merely that they considered Christ's return to be nearing.
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==Verse 30, Should Jesus Have Returned? - Patheos==
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[[Patheos]]' Bob Seidensticker claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):<ref name=patheos>Seidensticker, P. (2018, October 20). "[https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/ Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions.]" ''Patheos.''</ref>
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{{cquote|''Jesus should've returned already.''<br><br>''Jesus promised to return within the lifetimes of those listening to him. This Apocalyptic message (Apocalypticism claims that the end times are very close) is found in the three synoptic gospels. It takes a passage in Isaiah 13 that predicts calamity for Babylon—that the sun and moon will darken and the stars will fall—and repurposes it as a prediction of the end. It also predicts:''<br><br>[[ABC:Matthew 24|Matthew 24:30-31]] 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.<br><br>''The prediction ends saying that this will all happen soon.''<br><br>[[ABC:Matthew 24|Matthew 24:34]] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.<br><br>''Let me emphasize those two points: “these things” will happen soon (within months or years, not centuries), and “these things” are obvious and world-destroyingly calamitous. The popular Christian response that this referred to the fall of the Temple won’t fly. Earlier in the same gospel, we find other references to the imminent coming of the Son of Man:''<br><br>[[ABC:Matthew 10|Matthew 10:23]] 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.<br><br>[[ABC:Matthew 16|Matthew 16:28]] Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.<br><br>''It’s been a lot longer than one generation. Jesus made a mistake.''}}
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Matthew 24, was a response to two questions: 1) when the Temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed, and 2) when Christ's coming would occur. (Luke 21:5-7; Matthew 24:1-3) The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed within one generation of Christ speaking when Nero destroyed it in 70 A.D.<ref>Religious Literacy Project (2019). "[https://rlp.hds.harvard.edu/faq/destruction-second-temple-70-ce Destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.]" ''Harvard Divinity School.''</ref> Thus the first response was definitely fulfilled within one generation. Furthermore, because John saw all that occurred as recorded in the book of Revelation, and Stephen witnessed the return of Christ ([[ABC:Acts 7|Acts 7:56]]), the second response can be considered fulfilled as well.
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Jesus clearly told the apostles what had to happen first before His return in Matthew 24. Jesus told them there would be numerous wars, famines, earthquakes, and false prophets first. (vv. 7-11) The Gospel would first be preached throughout the entire world followed by a massive tribulation perpetrated by the antichrist against Christians. (vv. 14-22) Jesus plainly told them that the exact time of His return was not known even to Him, only to God the Father. (v. 36) Just because the apostles warned one another to be constantly ready for His return as Jesus had urged them to do (Matthew 24:36-51) does not mean they claimed a return would occur during their own lifetimes.
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As for Matthew 10:23, it states that the cities of Israel won't be finished by the apostles by the time of Jesus' return, presumably referring to the Gospel being preached there. Given the upheaval in Israel over the last 2,000 years ago, there is no reason to assume that will prove untrue.
  
 
==Sources==
 
==Sources==
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[[Category:AmericanAtheists]]
 
[[Category:AmericanAtheists]]
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[[Category:Patheos]]

Latest revision as of 12:39, 14 September 2019

Verse 27, Faith or Works[edit]

Patheos' Bob Seidensticker claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

Faith saves (or do works save?)

Protestant Christianity often emphasizes that faith alone (sola fide) justifies God’s forgiveness. Many verses support this.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

That seems clear enough until we find the opposite claim elsewhere in the Bible. The clearest example to me is the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew 25, but there’s more.

Proverbs 24:12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

James 2:14 ¶ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

For something so important as getting into heaven and avoiding hell, the New Testament is surprisingly unclear. Addendum: Or maybe it’s repentance that saves . . . or maybe baptism? What if it’s repentance?

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Or baptism? It was so essential a ritual that Jesus did it.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

As mentioned by the Scofield Study Bible III, Ephesians 2:8-10 is the passage which brings both views together.[2] We are saved by faith, not works, it's God's gift not man's doing, lest anyone should boast.

However, we are created by Jesus to do good works and it is God's will that we do them. The works themselves do not save, but are the outward evidence to others, and to ourselves, that we have indeed undergone an inward redemptive process of salvation.

True saving faith will ultimately produce good works as the result of a changed heart and a new spirit. Thus if a person shows no interest in doing good works once becoming a Christian, and for years lives without any change, then as James points out, that faith without works is a dead faith and no faith indeed.

Most of the verses quoted by Patheos in support of works, including Proverbs 24:12, Matthew 16:27, and Revelation 20:12 all relate to how people will be judged at the Final Judgment. Even Christians receive rewards based upon their works. However, the ultimate standard for whether one is saved is faith in Jesus Christ, no other foundation for works will be accepted. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15) Works only make a difference for rewards if one first has faith in Jesus.

John the Baptist came preaching repentance before Jesus came for a reason. (Matthew 3:2) To trust in Jesus to save us from our sins (i.e. faith) we must first accept that we are sinners, and desire to change and stop doing evil; i.e. repentance. Repentance must precede faith; one cannot trust in Jesus to save us from our sins if one does not first acknowledge one has done anything wrong. One cannot call on Jesus to save them unless they desire to change with all their heart.

As for baptism, it is not the physical action which is involved in the salvation process, but baptism of the Holy Spirit, the cleansing of one's conscience. (Acts 1:25; 11:16) As Peter says, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 3:21) Baptism serves as a public declaration of faith in Christ, and in countries like ancient Rome which outlawed Christianity, was to take a dangerous step in openly proclaiming a belief in Jesus.

Verse 28, Should Jesus Have Returned? - American Atheists[edit]

American Atheists claims the Bible is wrong about the passage (and makes the following comments (italicized).[3]

The End of the World

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Luke 21:32-33 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Romans 13:11-12 ¶ And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

1 Peter 4:7 ¶ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

These words were written between 1800 and 1900 years ago and were meant to warn and prepare the first Christians for the immediate end of the world. Some words are those supposedly straight out of the mouth of the “Son of God.” The world did not end 1800 or 1900 years ago. All that generation passed away without any of the things foretold coming to pass. No amount of prayer brought it about; nor ever so much patience and belief and sober living. The world went on, as usual, indifferent to the spoutings of yet another batch of doomsday prophets with visions of messiahs dancing in their deluded brains. The world, by surviving, makes the above passages contradictions.

All of the passages simply show that the time of Christ's return is drawing near, with the exception of Matthew 16:28 where Jesus states that some of those standing with Him will see Him coming in His kingdom, which was fulfilled by John's visions of the end recorded in Revelation, and Luke 21:32-33, which says the generation wouldn't pass away until everything was fulfilled. However, Luke 21, like Matthew 24, was a response to two questions: 1) when the Temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed, and 2) when Christ's coming would occur. (Luke 21:5-7; Matthew 24:1-3) The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed within one generation of Christ speaking when Nero destroyed it in 70 A.D.[4] Thus the first response was definitely fulfilled within one generation. Furthermore, because John saw all that occurred as recorded in the book of Revelation, the second response can be considered fulfilled as well.

Jesus clearly told the apostles what had to happen first before His return in Matthew 24. Jesus told them there would be numerous wars, famines, earthquakes, and false prophets first. (vv. 7-11) The Gospel would first be preached throughout the entire world followed by a massive tribulation perpetrated by the antichrist against Christians. (vv. 14-22) Jesus plainly told them that the exact time of His return was not known even to Him, only to God the Father. (v. 36) Just because then apostles warned one another to be constantly ready for His return as Jesus had urged them to do (Matthew 24:36-51) does not mean they claimed a return would occur during their own lifetimes. Nor do the passages which quote them show otherwise; merely that they considered Christ's return to be nearing.

Verse 30, Should Jesus Have Returned? - Patheos[edit]

Patheos' Bob Seidensticker claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

Jesus should've returned already.

Jesus promised to return within the lifetimes of those listening to him. This Apocalyptic message (Apocalypticism claims that the end times are very close) is found in the three synoptic gospels. It takes a passage in Isaiah 13 that predicts calamity for Babylon—that the sun and moon will darken and the stars will fall—and repurposes it as a prediction of the end. It also predicts:

Matthew 24:30-31 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.

The prediction ends saying that this will all happen soon.

Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Let me emphasize those two points: “these things” will happen soon (within months or years, not centuries), and “these things” are obvious and world-destroyingly calamitous. The popular Christian response that this referred to the fall of the Temple won’t fly. Earlier in the same gospel, we find other references to the imminent coming of the Son of Man:

Matthew 10:23 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.

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

It’s been a lot longer than one generation. Jesus made a mistake.

Matthew 24, was a response to two questions: 1) when the Temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed, and 2) when Christ's coming would occur. (Luke 21:5-7; Matthew 24:1-3) The Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed within one generation of Christ speaking when Nero destroyed it in 70 A.D.[5] Thus the first response was definitely fulfilled within one generation. Furthermore, because John saw all that occurred as recorded in the book of Revelation, and Stephen witnessed the return of Christ (Acts 7:56), the second response can be considered fulfilled as well.

Jesus clearly told the apostles what had to happen first before His return in Matthew 24. Jesus told them there would be numerous wars, famines, earthquakes, and false prophets first. (vv. 7-11) The Gospel would first be preached throughout the entire world followed by a massive tribulation perpetrated by the antichrist against Christians. (vv. 14-22) Jesus plainly told them that the exact time of His return was not known even to Him, only to God the Father. (v. 36) Just because the apostles warned one another to be constantly ready for His return as Jesus had urged them to do (Matthew 24:36-51) does not mean they claimed a return would occur during their own lifetimes.

As for Matthew 10:23, it states that the cities of Israel won't be finished by the apostles by the time of Jesus' return, presumably referring to the Gospel being preached there. Given the upheaval in Israel over the last 2,000 years ago, there is no reason to assume that will prove untrue.

Sources[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Seidensticker, P. (2018, October 20). "Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions." Patheos.
  2. Scofield, Cyrus I. (2003). The Scofield Study Bible III. pg. 1625. Oxford University Press.
  3. N.a. (2019). "Biblical Contradictions? American Atheists.
  4. Religious Literacy Project (2019). "Destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE." Harvard Divinity School.
  5. Religious Literacy Project (2019). "Destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE." Harvard Divinity School.