Welcome to my digest of Christian comment.
For Biblical commentary, use the Bible Study Notes menu above, and for topical comments, use the categories list on the right.
Romans 10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God on behalf of my fellow Israelites is for their salvation. 10:2 For I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. 10:3 For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.…
From Genesis to Revelation – and especially during the earthly life of Jesus – the Bible witnesses to the reality of evil supernatural beings who oppose God and seek the harm of his good creation.
In addition to this plain witness of Scripture, a number of other factors should be considered.
Clinton E. Arnold writes:
This event is rightly unsettling. Christopher Wright offers some points to help us evaluate it ethically:
Mt 8:21 ‘[One] of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 8:22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”’
Lk 9:59 ‘Jesus said to another, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 9:60 But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”’…
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Richard Dawkins, after expressing approval for some of Jesus’ moral teaching, then objects, ‘Jesus’ family values were not such as one might wish to focus on. He was short, to the point of brusqueness, with his own mother, and he encouraged his disciples to abandon their families to follow him.…
The more I read the Gospels, the more I’m struck by the vivid and provocative teaching style of Jesus. He never merely imparts information: he makes people think.
This certainly gives the lie to ‘gentle Jesus, meek and mild’ (as commonly understood) and to the picture of our Lord as the ‘pale Galilean’.
But it also catches the unwary, or the careless, reader. Or, indeed, the reader who is simply looking for trouble. (Just as there were listeners like that in Jesus’ day, so there are readers like that today).…
Matthew 10:34 – “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.”
Looking no deeper than the literal meaning of the words used here, some sceptics see in this verse evidence that Jesus was a warmonger.
In a public debate with John Lennox, held in Edinburgh in August 2008, noted atheist Christopher Hitchens declared that there was ‘every evidence’ that Jesus and his disciples meant this saying to be taken literally. …
Mt 10:28 – “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
The question to be explored here is whether the word ‘destroy’ implies a doctrine of everlasting punishment or of annihilation of the wicked.
For those with a traditionalist view, the word ‘destroy’ signifies, not extinction, but ruin; not loss of being, but loss of well-being. …
Matthew 12:30 – “Whoever is not with me is against me.” (Also Luke 11:23)
Mark 9:40 – “Whoever is not against us is for us.”
Bart Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted) asks: ‘Did [Jesus] say both things? Could he mean both things? How can both be true at once? Or is it possible that one of the Gospel writers got things switched around?’
Ehrman has failed to notice that these are not two versions of the same saying, but rather two distinct sayings uttered in different circumstances and for different purposes. …
Mt 16:27f – “The Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Mk 8:38-9:1 – “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. …