Tuesday, May 8, 2012

John 18

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

Jesus was with his disciples in a place that he went many times to talk to them, so Judas knew the place. Judas brought a group of soldiers from the chief priest and Pharisees. Jesus knew what was going to happen so he stepped forward and asked who they were seeking. They said Jesus and he said "I am he." They gell to the ground.

Did they fall to the ground in worship of Jesus or did they fall to the ground as in they were knocked back? Both seem consistent with the way it is written to me.

Simon Peter drew a sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant but Jesus told him to stand down. Jesus then said that he would "drink the cup the father has given me"

This story seems to match my memory of the way it was before.

Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas

Jesus was brought to Annas who was father-in-law to Caiaphas who thought someone should die for the people.

Uhh, ok

Peter Denies Jesus

Peter followed Jesus and was not initially recognized as a disciple. Then at some point someone asked him if he was a follower of Jesus and he said no.

Somehow this seemed less important than the way it was told before.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

The high priest asks Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. He says that he has spoken openly to the world in synagogues and temples, he has said nothing in secret. One of the officers struck Jesus because he didn't like the answer and Jesus said if he was lying then they should point out his lie, otherwise why are they striking him?

For the record, Jesus did lie here, he said he has never kept anything secret but he has in the past.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

While warming his hands, Peter was again asked if he knew Jesus and he said no, then the rooster crowed.

Oh, the story wasn't over before

Jesus Before Pilate

Jesus was then let to Pilate and he asked why they brought Jesus to him. They said they wouldn't have brought him unless he had performed evil. Pilate then said if they want to put him to death they should do it themselves. The Jews then said that it is not lawful for them to put anyone to death.

Is this true? Aren't there laws in the old testament about stoning people to death? What am I missing here?

My Kingdom Is Not of This World

Jesus and Pilate talk, Pilate tries to ask Jesus direct questions and Jesus is evasive. Eventually Pilate decides that in his opinion Jesus is not guilty so he asks the crowd whether he should release Jesus or Barabbas (a passover custom). The crowd tells him to release Barabbas.

I mentioned this before, but in Mark the chief priests were in the crowd helping them to choose Barabbas to be let free. Doesn't exactly make for a contradiction, but it does seem an odd detail to leave out.


  1. Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus Interesting. I never really paid attention to the guards falling back. In the other gospels, Judas ID's Jesus with a kiss, rather than him identifying himself.

    Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas In all the other gospels, he is taken to Caiaphas the high preist first, not to Annas.

    Peter Denies JesusThe story is so different in each gospel and I have covered this before, and feel like I've beaten this dead horse.

    The High Priest Questions Jesus It's the directly opposing contradictions like this one that are too numerous in the bible. This is why I could never become a Christian or go back to church. It's one thing when something can be explained away when they are compatible, like Barabbas being a murder and a thief for example. But when you get “X” and “not X” in two different places, they are just mutually incompatible. This is why it's important to read and study the bible in it's entirety. Or, as I'm sure you are feeling, the New Testament is good enough.

    Jesus Before PilateYeah. That is pretty much crap. Reading this gives me the same feeling when you see a child's face covered in chocolate and he/she denies eating any. Also, when was Jesus crucified in terms of before/after passover? In John it sounds like it was at noon on the day before passover, but in Mark, it was midmorning the day after.

    My Kingdom Is Not of This WorldHere, he makes a great speech to Pilate and everyone else there, but in Matthew and Mark he was strangely silent.

    For the most part, reading the same story over and over with the Gospels is feeling a bit like a poorly written version ofKurosawa's Rashomon. If you haven't seen it, to sum up the plot, there is an event that happens that is witnessed by some people and they each tell a different version of events. The viewer is left to decide what really happened.

  2. All of the discrepancies and contradictions really do add up. I've been thinking about it, and I think people really need to decide what level of accuracy they think the bible has. If they are willing to accept these contradictions, then they are accepting that there is a fairly low level of accuracy in this book. It is then unacceptable to to pick and choose isolated verses to pay attention to. Any other verse has the same possibility to be wrong, so it is unreasonable to base big decisions on them.

  3. You do bring up a good point. It seems to me also, like it's either divinely inspired or it's not. The former doesn't really give too much leway for contradiction or error. The later would put into question the other stuff in there. The stories that were added later, to me, puts into question all of the other stuff since we don't have any copies of the originals. Who knows what was added later on. The question of Bible being inerrant is one of those questions that when I've asked people in the past about, they never really seem to give a clear answer when you start to press the question further. I don't really see a middle ground personally. But I would be really interested in getting a Christian perspective on this.

  4. One thing I remember from when I was a Christian, some people differentiate between divinely authored and divinely inspired. Divinely authored would be that God wrote every word of it. Everything is perfect, there are no mistakes. Divinely inspired is more that men were writing the book but God was guiding them. There could be minor mistakes but the big ideas are correct. This satisfied me at the time, I think largely because I never investigated the bible myself.

  5. That's interesting.. Though God obviously didn't do a great job of inspiring if the book is so ambiguous..

    I wonder if that's where the term "ghost writer" came from..

  6. "I wonder if that's where the term "ghost writer" came from"



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