ABC:John 5

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Verse 16, Should We Keep the Sabbath?[edit | hide | hide all]

Dan Barker of FFRF claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

The FFRF want to focus on the Sabbath rules under the Old Covenant, not the New Covenant which Christians are under (Jeremiah 31:31); ignoring the context of the Sabbath for which it was given, as the Israelite Pharisees did. In doing so, they ignore the principles emphasized in the New Testament by Jesus about the Sabbath, that it was intended primarily for the good of people, not as a burden. (Mk. 2:27) What matters is that the Sabbath be used to do good for others. (Mt. 12:12)

The Sabbath was intended to protect the poor from overwork, not create onerous regulations that govern what everyone can do on a certain day of the week (as the Pharisees viewed it). The Old Testament Covenant, including its rules on the Sabbath, was not kept properly by the Israelites for thousands of years, which is why Jesus brought in the New Covenant which emphasizes the underlying spiritual principles the Sabbath was intended for; protecting and helping mankind while focusing on God.


Verses 28-29 (American Atheists)[edit | hide]

American Atheists claims the Bible is wrong about the passage (and makes the following comments (italicized).[2]

Job is referring to the dead coming back to this present world and the life they knew, as evident from the next verse. "He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more." The dead have no more part in this life; although there are exceptions, as with Jesus' resurrection of Lazarus, His own resurrection, or the resurrections of saints in Jerusalem when He was crucified. (John 11:43-44; Luke 24:39; Matthew 27:52-53) Even before Christ's coming, Elijah resurrected a child. (1 Kings 17:23) Nonetheless, aside from such rare exceptions, it is appointed for man once to die, and then the Judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

Furthermore, Job himself later refers to the ultimate resurrection of the dead for the Final Judgment, stating that in the last days His Redeemer will stand upon the Earth, and that then Job will physically see Him in the flesh, even after worms have destroyed his original body. (Job 19:25-27) Thus, when reading the book of Job in context, it is apparent that Job in Job 7:9 is referring initially to resurrection in this life, not to the resurrection of the Final Judgment mentioned in John 5:28-29; which Job himself bears witness to in Job 19:25-27.

Furthermore, that Job to some degree spoke ignorantly of things he lacked knowledge of is evident from how God rebuked him. (Job 38:2; 40:2) Job himself acknowledged that he had spoken incorrectly about things he did not understand. (Job 42:3-6; 40:3-5) Job's primary error lay in justifying himself rather than God, and accusing God of punishing him without just grounds. (Job 32:2; 33:9-13; 34:5,9; 35:2-3; 40:8)

Verse 37[edit | hide]

Infidels.org includes on its "List of Biblical Contradictions" the question, "God be seen?" while making the following comments (italicized).[3] TheThinkingAtheist.com also makes a similar criticism in the section "Who has seen God?"[4] The EvilBible also claims a contradiction exists here.[5]

Meritt claims Exodus 33 contradicts itself by saying God spoke to Moses face to face (v. 11) but that Moses was unable to see God's face since none can see God's face and live. (vv. 20,23) It should first be pointed out that John 5:37 referred to the disciples having seen God the Father specifically, and to infer it as referring to everyone at all times would be a stretch.

Jesus Was God[edit | hide]

The answer to this is really pretty simple, and contained in John 1:18 - none have seen God the Father, but God the Father has declared His Son, the Word, to be God as well. This answer is also provided by Jesus. Jesus claimed to have existed with God the Father before the world itself and to have shared His Father's glory. This is repeated elsewhere as well in the Bible. (Proverbs 8:22-31; Colossians 1:17; 1 John 1:1-3) Jesus in Revelation 1:7-8 is called "the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Isaiah 9:6 prophesied that His name would be "Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Christophanies[edit | hide]

A number of times in the Old Testament it appears another, more tangible form of God appears, God the Son, and this is called a 'Christophany.'[6] Jesus after all said He Himself was the original God of Israel.

The book of John presents this as the God of Israel coming to His own and being rejected. Jesus spoke with sorrow of His past relationship with Israel.

The Pharisees refused to consider the eternal nature of Jesus as God's Son, and thus were puzzled by Jesus' riddle showing David's prophesies of the Messiah evidenced an eternal Creator coming to Earth as the Messiah in human form.

Jesus, Angel of the Lord[edit | hide]

What many people don't realize is that when God spoke to Moses originally in the burning bush, to Abraham even earlier, and to Jacob, it was not God the Father speaking, but the 'Angel of the Lord' who spoke.

Other cases of apparent Christophanies in the Bible, including places where the Angel of the Lord is called God, include:

As seen above, the Angel of the Lord was referred to as God a number of times. Some of the KJV translators may have recognized this as several times they capitalized the word 'Angel.' (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 23:20,23,34; 32:34) However, whenever angels or people were called God, they said God alone should be worshiped. Therefore, it is clear from the Bible that the Angel of the Lord was no mere angel, for if so it should have denied the worship it received.

Conclusion[edit | hide]

It appears thus that the first half of Exodus 33 refers to Jesus appearing as the Angel of the Lord and speaking to Moses, just as He did throughout the Old Testament to many of the patriarchs, and was called God frequently when doing so. The last half of the chapter refers to God the Father Himself speaking and saying none can see His face. Genesis 32:30 refers to Jesus, the Angel of the Lord, as God, as do many other places in the Old Testament. Thus Jesus could be seen face to face, yet be considered God, while God the Father could not be seen face to face as something in God the Father's glorious nature meant those who looked on His face would die.

Sources[edit | hide]

  1. Barker, D. (2019). "Bible Contradictions." FFRF.
  2. N.a. (2019). "Biblical Contradictions? American Atheists.
  3. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html.
  4. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  5. Thiefe, Chris. Biblical Contradictions. EvilBible.com.
  6. GotQuestions.org. What is a theophany? What is a Christophany? Got Questions Ministries.