One thought on “Watch “Bible Prophecy Proves Jesus NOT Crucified” on YouTube

  1. mr.heathcliff

    Theophilus Josiah Yes, the verb can mean to be made well in some general sense, but it is typically not used to refer to being saved from spiritual death as Ellingworth states. You can look at any lexicon you want but that would not negate what Ellingworth has stated. The article does not negate Paul’s statement, but it provides historical basis for the view that Paul’s allegation concerning resurrection was met with strong opposition by those of his contemporaries, therefore, to suggest resurrection was the original creed of the disciples becomes questionable.

    Earlier today on Zoom, this text came up in the discussion. What follows are my thoughts on it that I felt should be typed out into an article for later reference.
    Hebrews 5:7 suggests Jesus did not die on the cross

    by Ibn Anwar
    This verse was put to Christian scholar Dr. Michael Licona in 2004 in his debate with Dr. Shabir Ally on the Resurrection. And in Dr. Licona’s attempt to give a response he admitted that the text was too perplexing for him to the point that he did not know what to make of it. The following is a transcription of his response:

    “I think it is a good question. I’m not certain what the cup was, to be honest with you, brutally honest. That’s not something that I’ve studied, so I can’t answer what Jesus’ actual request was when he said, “if it’s your will may this cup pass from me.” Was he referring to the sins of the world being dumped on him or the brutal torture treatment that he was going to experience? I just don’t know. I know when I was in college, in Bible school, this question came up even without this reference in Hebrews [5:7] and it was just something I don’t know, so I can’t answer that. But I have to take issue with Mr. Ally’s interpretation of the verse and say that this supports rescue theory because elsewhere in Hebrews, it talks about how Christ died for our sins once for all. And since Hebrews is very clear in saying Christ died, then, therefore, to say, “Well, maybe the author of Hebrews here is saying we gotta be open to rescue theory,” that doesn’t make sense to me. So I would just have to say I don’t understand what it was Jesus was praying. I am sure that some of the others do like some of the professors here this evening, but I am certain that it does not back up rescue theory.” [1]

    Notwithstanding Licona’s faith in the professors’ ability to provide some valid interpretation for Hebrews 5:7, it is clear from the great difficulty that he experienced as he tried to cobble together a response that the text is, in fact, a great and real challenge to Christians that believe in Jesus’ death by crucifixion. As for his confidence that Hebrews elsewhere informs explicitly its readers that Jesus died (by crucifixion), in that he would be mistaken. In fact, the word “crucify” occurs only a single time in the whole letter which would be Hebrews 6:6. And in this singular occurrence, it does not say that Jesus’ death resulted from the crucifixion.
    Let’s have a look at the verse that troubled Dr. Licona so much:
    “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” (Hebrews 5:7)

    In order to avoid the plain reading of the text which really does seem to strongly support the typical Muslim claim concerning Jesus, Christian apologists would suggest that instead of “save him from death,” the verse could also be rendered as “save him out of death,” i.e., from the realm of death after having experienced death. Out of 30 translations of the Bible that I consulted, only one, namely the Weymouth New Testament actually attests to that reading, which tells me rather clearly that “out of” for the Greek preposition ἐκ in the verse is an extremely irregular alternative. In fact, Christian commentators have stated that such a forced reading of the text is unnecessary as we shall see.

    Commenting on the verse, Dr. Paul Ellingworth in his commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews writes:

    “σωζω here has the literal meaning of preservation or rescue from physical death (cf. Σωτηρία in 11:7), not the extended meaning of preservation from eternal death, as in 7:25… σῴζειν αὐτὸν ἐκ θανάτου may mean either “prevent him from being killed” (cf. Pr. 15:24; Jas. 5:20; 2 Clem. 16:4) or “rescue him by raising him out of death” (cf. Wis. 14:4; Jn. 12:27; absolutely, Lk. 8:50; more generally, of rescue from the threat of death, Ps. 107:20 [LXX 106:19]; Ho. 13:14; Sir. 51:12). If the reference is specifically to Gethsemane, the first alternative is more likely…” [2]
    Reading the above, two important points can be discerned from Ellingworth, namely that the verb ‘sozo’ (σωζω) used in the verse literally means preserving or saving someone from physical death and secondly, if the reference in the Hebrews text points to Gethsemane, then “prevent him from being killed” is the more likely understanding that one should consider. Is the text in question referring to the Gethsemane incident? Many Christian commentaries seem to think so, including F. F. Bruce who certainly seems to think so as he says in his commentary the following:
    “…restricted as we are to the Gospel narratives, “Gethsemane seems to offer the most telling illustration” of these words.” [3]

    Besides agreeing that Hebrews 5:7 refers to the Gethsemane scene (Matthew 26:39), biblical scholars M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock both agree that the plain reading of the text should be opted by readers and by that Jesus is, in fact, petitioning God to save him from physical death:

    “5:7…Prayers and supplications: The image of Jesus in fervent prayer, with loud cries and tears appealing to the one able to save him from death, brings to mind Jesus in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42; Matt. 26:36-46; Luke 22:40-46). The language of v. 7 carries echoes of Pss. 22:40-46); 116; Isa. 65; Job 40, but clearly fits the context. For example, Jesus offered up prayers, a term used to describe the sacrificial activity of a priest (5:1,3). That Jesus’ prayers were heard and yet he still suffered locates Jesus more firmly among his brothers and sisters whose experiences are precisely the same. Though “from” death can be translated “out of” death, making his prayer a petition for resurrection, there is no reason not to take it in its plainest sense; like the rest of us, he cries out to God in the face of the immediate prospect of death.” [4]

    According to Boring and Craddock, verse 7 of Hebrews alludes to Psalm 22 and if that is taken to be correct, then verses 19 to 21 of that Psalm are very instructive:
    “But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
    O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
    Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!
    Save me from the mouth of the lion!
    You have RESCUED me from the horns of the wild oxen!” (English Standard Version) [emphasis added]
    The passage above shows that the one petitioning God for immediate relief from his troubles does in fact get rescued by God from the enemies that try to kill him. If it is applicable to Jesus and Christians usually do see Psalm 22 as a Messianic Psalm typically applied to Jesus, then they must concede that Jesus’ prayer to be saved was indeed heard by God and this is evidently attested by Hebrews 5:7 and due to that, we can safely conclude that Jesus did not actually die upon the cross.
    Notes:
    [1] Mike Licona. (2014, March 4). DEBATE: Shabir Ally vs. Mike Licona (Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? 2004). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoiScvG3Emo
    [2] Ellingworth, P. (1993). The Epistle to the Hebrews, A Commentary on the Greek Text . Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 78
    [3] Bruce, F. F. (1990). The Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 127
    [4] Boring, M. E., & Craddock, F. B. (2010). The People’s New Testament Commentary. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 693

    Theophilus Josiah Yes, the verb can mean to be made well in some general sense, but it is typically not used to refer to being saved from spiritual death as Ellingworth states. You can look at any lexicon you want but that would not negate what Ellingworth has stated. The article does not negate Paul’s statement, but it provides historical basis for the view that Paul’s allegation concerning resurrection was met with strong opposition by those of his contemporaries, therefore, to suggest resurrection was the original creed of the disciples becomes questionable.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s