John 8:3-11

by Zico 49 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • lovelylil

    Hi Pete,

    Thanks for that example. I looked up both verses and this is what I think;

    In John 13:36, Peter does ask Jesus where he is going. Jesus response intially to his Q is "where I am going you cannot follow now", instead of telling Peter where it is he was going.

    Now, instead of Peter asking where is it that you are going that I cannot follow?, which would be repeating the Q again, he turns the conversation to a whole other topic, in verse 37 He asks "why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you". Here he is saying I am worthy to follow you anywhere so why can't I go where you are going?

    Peter was being so confident in himself and that he would die for Jesus even at that moment, when Jesus knew in fact he would not. Therefore, instead of addressing the where are you going? Q, Jesus instead responds to the assurance of Peter in laying down his life for Jesus and lets him know, he will not only NOT lay down his life, but will actually deny Jesus three times. Therefore the Q was not answered as to where Jesus is going.

    Now to the other verse in John 16. Prior to John 16:5, Jesus is telling his disciples how they will be treated when he is gone, how they will be hated on account of his name and how they will even be put out of the synagogue and even killed when he goes to his father which the time to do so will be very soon - this would have been another good opportunity to ask him "well, where are you going? But because they were upset and afraid at what Jesus told them would happen to them, none of them asked this question again. And now the time was imminent that Jesus would in fact return to the father. Thus Jesus says to them "Now, I am going to him that sent me, yet none of you asks me, where are you going? (John 16:5).

    This is different from the previous verse where this Q was asked entirely. In the John 13:36 Peter asked Jesus where he was going in reference to the statement "where I am going, you cannot follow, but you will follow later".

    In verse 16:5, since Jesus gave them information that upset them and made them afraid, they did not want to know where he was going as his leaving would make all the things he told them would happen to them come true. In John 16:5 Jesus not only states he is going to his father as he did in John 13:36 but he now states the urgency of it by stating "Now, I am going to him that sent me, yet none of you asks me, where are you going?

    In other words his Q is really "Now, at this time when my return to my father is imminent, none of you are asking (again) where I am going?"

    These two accounts should not be strung together as if they are one and we need to see what is going on around the disciples at the time each Q is asked, in other words the context of the Q's and the circumstances surrounding them. Looking at both accounts, there really is no discrepancy here at all. .

    But this is what I am seeing, everyone will have to read it and decide for themselves.

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    Hi lovelylily,

    Sorry for the tardy reply to your question. I'm agnostic and this has resulted in my having the following take on scripture. Alot of good arguments can be made that texts have been revised (not just G.John) to put forward one belief over another. Along with other kinds of variation or dependencies found in scripture, I now believe its wholely the work of people from beginning to end. However that doesn't mean to say I think its all worthless. People have come up with some powerful world chaning ideas/messages on their own. But then, whose to say that they didn't actually have some kind of spiritual interaction or experience and interpreted it and wrote it down as they did? So I try to access the value of the message. Some people are more insightful on some matters than others. I appreciate how some scripture may help us be more reflective on how we treat one another (why I love that passage from John and why I am fond of the personality of Jesus as found in the NT). Other material (alot of the OT for example) is morally inferior.


  • greendawn

    It shows the new spirit that stands in opposition to that of the Pharisees who blindly followed the letter of the law and epitomises the position of Christ as the promoter of the spirit that gives life rather than the letter that kills.

  • Leolaia

    Here is another narrative discontinuity:

    "And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside" (Mark 10:46).

    Note that this passage does not say what happened at Jericho, and inexplicably the pronoun changes from "they" to "he" over the gap. It looks like something has been deleted here, but what? It looks like this was a problem with the text very early, since the authors of Matthew and Luke seem to struggle with it: Matthew 20:29 has the episode with the blind beggar occur "as they went out of Jericho" while Luke 18:35 has it occur "as he drew near to Jericho". In both cases, the pronoun from one clause and the verb from the other has been combined, but in varying ways. So it looks whatever happened to the text had happened by the late first century. Moreover Luke, which has the blind beggar story occur as Jesus was entering Jericho, next relates a story about Zacchaeus the rich tax collector (19:1-10) that occurred "as he was passing through Jericho" (v. 1). This proves that there was a story that related what happened in Jericho. But is Luke 19:1-10 as it stands the text that was seemingly deleted from Mark? Probably not. Luke would relate the stories in reverse order, he already seems to know of the gap, the story of Zacchaeus occurs only in Luke and was not known to Matthew, and most importantly its content and phrasing reflects typical Lukan style (cf. v. 7 = 5:29-30, 7:34 15:1-2; v. 8 = 18:22; v. 10 = 15:3-10). One possibility tho was that Mark originally had an early form of the story, while Luke encountered a version of the same story in a different source and retold in his distinctive style. If the gap in Mark 10:46 is indeed due to an omission, the reason for it is unknown.

  • lovelylil


    I appreciate all your hard work in this matter. I answered peaceful petes scriptural point, I don't know if you saw it? Anyway, I think I will save the new one you gave me for another day to look at because while I am finding this interesting, I don't know what bearing this information really has on the gospel of Christ anyway.

    I asked this Q earlier but have not gotten a reply yet. I think we can spend an eternity trying to analyze every letter of scripture, like greendawn has pointed out, but for what reason is this beneficial to me? this is the question that I, as a Christian must ask myself.

    For every point someone brings out - I can probably find a counter point to show why that persons view is wrong. However, this was not my goal in getting involved in this thread and nor is it now. I have researched very thoroughly in the past many of the so-called discrepancies in the bible only to find that my faith in the bible is made even more solid based on my own personal findings.

    My faith is a living one and is based on all the scriptures in their whole context. I take the bible for what it means to me personally. I think sometimes we have to look at things, not through intellectual reasonings but thru faith which is more an emotionally and heart thing than a head thing. Am I making sense with what I am saying?

    Many people feel we Christians are foolish and act on faith alone - I disagree. I believe we act and believe on faith along with knowlege and using our thinking abilities but where we do not have a sure answer to a question - rather than believing the whole bible is untrue, we just realize some things we will not have the answers to, at least not at this time. And there is no reason to throw away all we do know about the bible to be true based on a few obscure texts that have nothing to do overall with our faith or our salvation.

    Now, I am not putting anyone down for a difference of beliefs, I am simply stating my aim in life. And it is not to find fault with the bible, for I am sure if I look hard enough I will find it - but rather to look for those proofs that will build up my faith in God, something that I have had all my life.

    but thank you to you and pete and all the others. You all keep my humble because I realize I do not know the answers to everything. I truly do love to hear your views and the views of others because our broadening our minds is a good thing. And that is good for all of us to realize that there are other ways of looking at things. In the WT we were taught that becaue they had all the "correct" answers, they were the only true religion in the world, only to find out upon leaving we did not have all the truth afterall. Some truth is subjective and is our personal truth only. I do not believe there is absolute truth in everything.

    The reason I am bowing out of this discussion is that after already looking at the first scripture that started this discussion, then another one that was added, I think I am spending now too much time on this one topic.

    Also, I received an email from a friend of mine who I am trying to build up in faith in God and this discussion is not having a good effect on that friend. It is making them more confused as to whether the bible is true or not. Since I am already grounded in faith, it does not hurt my faith to enter these discussions at all. I do try to keep an open mind but in a way, everyone's mind is already set as to what they will and will not believe. It is I guess a personal conviction. I have seen some present good arguements against bible belief but I will admit my mind is made up the other way. So while I can wiegh the evidence, I have to ultimately decide what to believe and my faith is so overwelmingly strong in a God, that the evidence would have to be equal in counter-wieght back to me in order to get me to loose my faith. So far in all my years, no one has been able to push back with as much force against my faith as I could push towards them for my faith. Not even the realization that I was in a totally false, legalistic religion for 12 years of my life was able to kill my faith in God. As, I don't blame him but my own foolishness for that. So, I truly doubt anyone or anything ever will

    Anyway, I hope I made some sense - exuse me if I am rambling. I enjoyed this little discussion but will end it here on my side for like I said I do not want to have a negative effect on anyone's faith. And what I am writing here is also for that friend who I hope is reading this also and understanding where I am coming from. Peace to all of you. Lilly

  • peacefulpete

    Well while I understand your not wanting to hurt anyone, this material is not a secret. If in fact your freind is using a translation with footnotes they are likely to encounter some of this. Here's the footnote in the New American Standard (online):

    3 [5] Not one of you asks me: the difficulty of reconciling this with Simon Peter's question in John 13:36 and Thomas' words in John 14:5 strengthens the supposition that the last discourse has been made up of several collections of Johannine material.

    Are you trying to spare someone the shock of disillusion or trying to shelter someone with low intelligence or fragile constitution who is unable to process this? The latter is understandable, the former is misguided.

  • lovelylil


    you are proving what I said that for every proof you can give for an arguement, I can give one against. In my bible translation and several others, that footnote is not in there.You have to realize that each bible translation could have minor differences according to the bias of its writer.

    Your reference that someone may not be intelligent for believing in the bible and what it says, I personally find offensive to myself as I am a bible believer. And I also believe I am a fairly well educated and intelligent person. As a matter of fact, can you show me one thing I said that showed otherwise? But, as I said, belief in the bible is also based on faith and not intellect alone. I for one am happy to have both faith and intelligence.

    I have given you a chance to argue your points without insinuating that you are not intelligent. I even listened to you when you made some book recomendations for me the other day and ordered one of them. Just to let you know - I do have an opened mind.

    I was very honest with my views and did not put you down in any way by saying you are not using your intellect now did I? I also find the assumption that I am shielding someone from the truth as being offensive to me also.

    My first responsibilty though if someone comes to me as a Christian to learn about my faith is to teach them the basics of Christianity, especially when they feel they are being called to become a Christian themselves. Why would I want to give them first off - information that is to disprove Christianity? Would this make any sense to you? My goal is to upbuild others in the faith, not to stumble them. But, I do let them know that many will come with intellectual arguements against their beliefs and one day when they are on solid ground, they should listen to them also. As everyone has a right to believe what they do. But, ultimately it is up to them to decide what to beleive.

    Let me ask you this: Say you are new to the medical field of study. While you are in your brand new beginning stage of this area, do you think it would be appropriate for me to go against you with information that says what you are learning is just a crackpot science and is not based on any truth? Should I bring out all the mistakes that have been made in this field to prove it? How would you be able to defend this when you are still in the beginning stage of your learning? You would not yet know what truth your field is based on and you will not be able to defend it and you may even be discouraged from going further in learning about it

    I find this happens many times with new Christians, that they get side tracked trying to prove their faith when they do not yet have the tools or knowledge to do so. They are still babes in Christ and cannot defend themselves yet without proper knowledge of what their faith is based on.

    Just becuase they are new - does not mean they will not grow and mature.

    My personal statement of what I beleive was not to put anyone down it was to show why I was in this discussion to begin with. I have no problem debating issues but eventually someone has to say enough and go on. That is simply what I am doing. After looking at two such scriptural discrepancies that were brought to my attention, since I am seeing these in another way and it does not have any affect on my faith anyway, I am merely choosing to go onto another topic. As we could debate for weeks on this, I keep giving my opinions and you keep giving me more scriptures to look at. And many times when you leave out all the information in between the two verses, you cannot get the proper understanding anyway. Therefore, I have been sitting here reading all the missing information and it is very time comsuming.

    And, I have a personal responsbility to any new Christians that I am helping. Some of which are on this site and seek out my posts to see what I am saying. Therefore, it is not in their best interest to confuse them any further. That is all I was saying.

    I am not so close minded to think that only those who believe what I believe are intelligent people. That would be ludicrous to ever think so. So I don't know why you and some others think that way.

    If you think all Christians are not intelligent, I would love to know what your scale is that you are using to judge this as there has been many great thinkers in this world who were professing Christians. Many of which we could not hold a candle to intellectually.

  • Leolaia

    Lilly....First of all, I have also appreciated and enjoyed your sweet, "lovely" manner, so I hope no feelings have been hurt. PP and I have been discussing literary and textual issues about these pericopes while your interest is primarily on what can be learned from the stories, what lessons they have, how they can strengthen my faith, how can I use their lessons to better myself before God. In order words, to use the terminology of biblical scholar JD Crossan, PP and I are discussing the mode of the stories while you are primarily interested in the meaning of the stories. Both are perfectly valid questions and Crossan notes that meaning should not be overlooked:

    "Even a perfectly valid discussion about mode cannot negate an equally or even more valid discussion about meaning. But, first, an argument over mode often unconsciously precludes or consciously avoids the challenge of meaning. And, second, focusing exclusively or even primarily on mode often ends by hardening actual disagreement on that issue rather than exploring beyond it into potential agreement on meaning" (The Resurrection of Jesus, 2006, p. 173)

    In this case, while you and I may disagree on the literary origins of John 8, we both may agree on the value and power and beauty of the story, on the important lessons it provides on how to treat other people and how these lessons may be applied in our lives. Although it has a semi-canonical status due to its uncertain textual background, we both agree that the Watchtower Society with its many "judicial committees" would be better served by heeding the lessons in this simple story. In any case, I hope an open and honest discussion of mode is not misread as an attempt to disregard the meaning of the stories or cause stumbling on their value. I personally feel that a faith that depends on a mode that turns out to be untenable (such that the NT as we have it today is exactly as it was originally written) can lead to disappointment when the evidence is impartially examined, while a faith that does not depend on "things beheld" or need to be "proven true" (cf. Hebrews 11:1) can accommodate questions about mode while meditating on the religious meaning and truth of the story...regardless of whether it is factually or historically or textually accurate. For example, Jesus told parables that themselves were fictional stories but which were vehicles of transmitting truth, i.e. meaning rather than mode. There did not have to be a real-life man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho who fell victim to robbers and who experienced all the things narrated in Luke 10:30-35 for the Good Samaritan story to be "valid" as a lesson about morality. Similarly, a story about Jesus demonstrating God's love or showing how we ought to treat one another through his deeds has just as much value regardless of whether it is historical or not, whether the story has a secure place in the manuscript tradition, whether it is told in different versions that emphasize different points, etc. Indeed, mode can affect meaning inasmuch as the form impacts how the story is told...but for me, I see that as a bonus, getting more meaning for the price of one. Anyway, this is just my own opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs, and I wish you the best on your own spiritual journey.

  • lovelylil


    Well said! You make great points that there are different ways to look at something. That is why a seemingly contradiction does not squash my whole faith and why would it anyway?

    By the way, you did not offend me in any way. I always enjoy your posts as unlike others, you give honest answers based on your own beliefs without resorting to name calling or trying to make yourself seem superior to others who view things slightly differently.

    Anyway, you did answer all my questions and gave me another way to look at things so thanks for your input. Lilly

  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate
    I read this scripture during the meeting last night (I now spend the meetings just reading my bible)

    That is what happened to me. I started reading entire chapters for every one Scripture referenced in Watchtower literature. I started to see a world I had never seen before. I found an awesome being named Jesus who was nothing like the Governing Body.

    This Jesus taught unconditional love, he met people where they were at, he did not insist they change and then come to seek him. The only ones who Jesus got angry with were religious people.

    Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

    Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

    Matthew 5:41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

    Matthew 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and don't turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

    Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,

    The kind of love Jesus taught is love in action. It is more than a word or discription.

    Matthew 22:39 A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

    This love is agape love and is a moral love. Neighbor means all fellow men. There is no teaching of Christ's that can be translated to say JW shunning and disfellowshipping practices are godly.

    Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.

    John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another.

    WTBTS love in action; not one charity, food pantry, orphaned childrens home, widows fund, homeless shelter..nothing. Watchtower love in conditional love, not the love of Jesus.

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