Was Jesus a Coward?

Today is Easter, and what a better day to highlight the myth about Jesus’ supposedly heroic deed of dying to save all humanity.

I originally entitled this post “Jesus was a Coward!”  But I  decided to soften it because such an opinion really depends on a Christian’s particular theology.  You see, there are lots of contrary Christian theologies explaining Jesus’ mission (see my “Atonement Theology“). But by the logic of the most common Christian story of Jesus’ mission, Jesus certainly was a coward. I will explain below.

Before we begin with the Bible story, let your mind recall some real everyday mortal heroes that you have seen or heard of — men and women who have bravely run straight into the face of danger and possible death to save other people. We all know stories of war heroes, firefighters, and even ordinary citizens during disasters like floods, plane crashes and earthquakes. These people put their lives in danger without lamenting before they save others. Yet Jesus, before his execution, was begging for it not to happen.  Read here:

Jesus at Gethsemane before his capture

And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.”
— Mark 14:33-36 (RSV)

gethsemane_angel-JesusWhy all his holy whining?  After all, Jesus was God.  He knew he was going to die to save ALL of humanity — not just a few people in a burning building or a one person washing down a river, but ALL of humanity. Heck, any of these non-god regular heroes would have gleefully, without a second thought, have thrown themselves at death to save ALL of humanity — yet they were only saving a few people at best and, unlike Jesus, they did not complain at all.  Jesus in such anguish over his coming short death that God (his Dad) sent an angel to comfort him.

Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.
— Luke 22:43-44 (note, some old texts omit this)

jesus-whinesTo top it off, according to the myth, Jesus knew he would come back from the dead. Our non-god heroes, for all they knew, would be snuffed out and never come back to life. Or if they did believe in an afterlife, these real heroes certainly did not have the god-like confidence that Jesus (God himself) would have had concerning his own salvation.  So our real heros run without complaints to save just a few people without any real hope of every living again.

Yet in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus was scared and crying.  He kept his friends close to him  because he was “greatly distressed and troubled”.  And when you think of all the terrible deaths many humans have had, crucifixion is not so terrible — well, certainly not as terrible as you might expect of a sacrificial act to redeem all of humanity.  Billions of humans have suffered much more than Jesus.

So, Jesus only suffered a little and his life was relatively a piece of cake prior to that. He was dead within a day and yet many people are tortured and suffer long deaths.  And Jesus knew he wouldn’t really die.  Jesus had a fantastic mission — to save all of humanity from eternal damnation or annihilation.  Yet he was scared and whining.  Jesus was no hero, by the common story, Jesus was a mundane coward.

Now, if the stories after his death were contrived, and Jesus was just a Rabbi who was surprised by his own execution, then he was not a coward when facing death, he was just like you and me — ordinary folks (not heroes).  If you think I have this all wrong, please let me know where my mistake lies, because it all seems obviously bizarre to me.


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

60 responses to “Was Jesus a Coward?

  1. So, Jesus only suffered a little and his life was relatively a piece of cake prior to that. He knew he wouldn’t really die. And his mission was fantastic — to save all of humanity from eternal damnation or annihilation. Yet he was scared and whining.

    Yeah, but the suffering Jesus had to endure was actually much worse than that, worse than what anyone could imagine, because he was taking on every sin ever done in the whole world throughtout history. And not only that, it separated him from God (albeit temporarily), and since he was so close to God (he was God!), that separation would be infinitely more painful than the separation would be to us. I’m just sayin’

  2. @ A_Time_to_Rend

    Good to see you back !
    Yeah, I forgot about those classic apologetic replies — I guess the apologists knew there was a problem too ! 😉
    But here is my reply:

    I personally (being in medicine) have seen people’s expression and behavior when suffering horribly. So, if God separated from Jesus (“albeit temporarily”) and he did simultaneously suffer all those sins ever done (and future ones, don’t forget) of everyone on the planet, they he should have let out a big yelp or two! You think they would have written more about the horror of the scene. But as it was, they were surprised by their rabbi’s death to and didn’t notice (for obvious reasons).

    We must also say, that there are several atonement theories, and you are playing devil’s advocate for only the PST (Penal Substitutionary Theory). The Ransom theory, Moral Influence theory and others don’t demand all the pain dumped on Jesus (which we don’t read of in the execution stories of the Gospels anyway).

    Just my thoughts.

  3. Temaskian

    I thought the argument would be that he is fully God, but fully human too, so he has fears just like humans do.

    This of course contradicts with the idea that he jolly well knew he would live again.

    The contradiction is not surprising since the first idea that ‘he is fully God, but fully human too’, is bunk.

    But if you buy into the first idea, then everything else after that is ‘possible’ too.

    Great Easter message, btw!

  4. @ Temaskian

    You are right. It is far too easy, and sometimes a cheap shot to pick on a made-up story. My kids sometimes make fun of the holes in the bedtime stories I make up for them — they are getting better at it as they get older. Or in the TV series “LOST” it is fun to watch people find the contradictions.

    It is sort of like a cat playing with a mouse. It is sort of cruel, I guess. 🙂

    But seriously, even if you buy into any of the Christian theological presuppositions, we don’t see them confirmed by the stories (the Gospels) — that is my point. (But I could be wrong!)

  5. Temaskian

    This is the first time that I’ve heard anyone call Jesus a coward. I must say your idea is very fresh and original. Did you get it from somewhere else? If not, I salute you. You have made very good points for stating why you think Jesus is a coward. Totally valid, IMO.

    Perhaps in the original story, Jesus was just an ordinary human, and not God. Or maybe just a god. Then it would make more sense. Only when you factor in that he is fully God does the story make no sense.

  6. Coward? Them’s fightin’ words! 😉

    Seriously, though…I can think of several times in my life when I was both simultaneously brave and completely terrified and cowering.

    Chemo comes to mind. Knowing that it was a necessary thing, and that my life might depend upon it didn’t stop me from seriously considering foregoing it or giving up on it….especially after I’d been through one round and knew what to expect for the subsequent rounds.

    Knowing what you are facing sometimes makes it harder to be brave than when you walk into something completely unprepared and ignorant.

    Not that I expect to change your mind…..just playing devil’s advocate.

  7. @ Temaskian
    Yep, it is original. But you and I know that there is precious little new under the sun.
    But you are right, one’s Christiology matters in this issue. Just like AtimetoRend illustrated that ones Atonoment theory matters. One thing I have discovered blogging is the huge variety of Christians out there. Indeed, some Christian readers here may not be offended at all because they have a low Christology and a non-standard Atonement theory. So for them, it was OK for Jesus to be afraid and yet not be a coward.

  8. @ Terri

    Thanks for stopping in. I thought of titling the post “Is Jesus a Coward?” but a cheap journalistic momentarily possessed me (I think she is gone now). Anyway, as you can see by my reply to comments depending on one’s Christology and Atonement theory, Christians need not be offended.

    I agree that one could be brave on the outside and trembling inside. But the writers of the Gospels did not really show us that.

    Sure, if Jesus knew the sins of the whole world was going to be laid on him (which I personally believe that he did not believe at all), it would be scary for him if he would really suffer all those sins, but he showed no signs of that type of suffering. Besides, as I wrote, he knew he’d come out smiling and would have tons of people worshiping him. Our everyday heroes who are much braver get none of that.

    Come on, God could have done better !

    Besides, if you are playing the “Devil’s advocate”, that means you think Christians are devils? THAT would be a bit harsh.

  9. Temaskian

    @ Terri

    I see your argument as being a subset of the ‘Jesus is God, but he was also fully human’ theory.

    You used the words knowing and ignorant simultaneously in your argument. If Jesus was truly God, He cannot be ignorant of anything.

  10. CRL

    It’s always struck me as odd that Jesus, in his death, crucifixion, etc, was considered to be making a great sacrifice when he knew with utter certainty that his death would not be final. Aside from the pain of the crucifixion itself, which horrible as it must have been, only lasted 3 hours or so, he didn’t have to go through any of the horrors that the human martyrs that followed and preceded him experienced. When death was not an option, what did he have to fear?

    The only way that Jesus’ fear preceding crucifixion makes sense (within the Christian narrative) is if he had doubts. If he wasn’t positive that he was the son of God, and had days where he thought himself insane, then it would make perfect sense that he would fear death like every other human being.

  11. I totally agree CRL. I wonder how many Christians want to think of Jesus as forgetting his Godhood and doubting. Since God could not doubt, and Jesus was suppose to be 100% God. But there are many different Christologies out there — as others have pointed out.

  12. @ Boz
    Yep, Myers is good and contains much of what I said. Doesn’t surprise me — it seems pretty obvious. As I predicted to Temaskian, “Nothing new under the sun.” (Eccles. 1:9)

    But I posted 4 hours prior to Myers — do you think he reads me? 🙂
    Did ya like my story Boz?

  13. You used the words knowing and ignorant simultaneously in your argument. If Jesus was truly God, He cannot be ignorant of anything.

    uh…this is out of context. I contrasted being brave while being ignorant of what’s coming and being cowardly because of knowing what’s coming.

    As far as Jesus being God and human simultaneously, and the presuppositions that you are arguing against….I won’t really enter into that conversation because the argument is only relevant in discussions assuming a very specific type of Christianity and belief about Jesus….some aspects of which I don’t really fit into.

  14. societyvs

    I read your point on this in another comment somewhere (Luke’s blog?)…and I must say – it is a great point!

    Another thing that will help your case, Jesus was supposed to suffer and be tempted like all human beings…aren’t we all cowards at one time or another?

    However, I like your points about the fact Jesus would have known the price he was paying was easily worth the sacrifice – to save billions of people so to speak. Yet, in these stories we see a serious ‘struggle’.

    I tried to convince other Christians about this being a ‘weakness’ in Jesus – but they were not going to be having that…Jesus could not be seen as ‘weak’. I personally don’t mind the weakness, make him human, makes him relateable.

  15. Earnest

    @ Societyvs: Agree Jesus’ weakness in a time of trial makes him seem more like someone I could actually be like.

    @ Terri, Temaskian, CRL: yes! (see below)

    @ Sabio: I think we are losing sight of the whole King of the Jews thing overlaid on the voluntary death concept. I think even fairly basic christology attributes supernatural powers to Jesus. In the wilderness, the Devil tempted him with having power over all the earth, but when I read that I feel the Devil wasn’t really offering him anything Jesus didn’t supposedly have already as far as the power to dominate others by force of will. Jesus could have used his existing powers, at any time, and raised a huge magical army to sweep the globe and usher in Pax Judaica.

    So it’s not only the death, it’s how much he gave up to be dead. For me, the “why have you forsaken me” passage reads “I am such a freaking idiot, what the *&^* am I doing, what if I was sold a bill of goods by the guy upstairs, this sucks worse than I thought it would! I could have run the whole show and done everything the way I thought it should be done, but no, I’m here asking these puny humans to kill me! This has got to be the dumbest idea I’ve ever had!”

    How did he know he would not actually stay dead? Sure, he could raise Lazarus, but how would he go about getting the job done if he was the one who was dead instead? Did he remember having ever been dead before? What if something went wrong and he didn’t wake up?

    So no, I don’t actually think of the conventional Jesus as a coward. If you go with a somewhat amplified version of his supernatural powers, to walk on water, heal the sick, etc, etc, how tough would it be to transmutate the nails, hop down from the cross, hypnotize the guards and take off for Crete to live with some babes in an apartment somewhere? Throughout the entire Crucifixion up to the instant of his death the whole thing was reversable. It took a titanic amount of willpower to actually allow himself to be killed.

    So in comparison to the “local hero” type of sacrifice, truly these are great acts, the ultimate sacrifice. But the Christ figure is invested with this awesome game-changing power to reverse any and all human events at will. The local hero does not have this, they only have their lives to give in one last desperate act to help their buddy/loved one/offspring/etc. So within my christology the Christ sacrifice is thought to be much larger than the local hero-type sacrifice and truly worthy of respect.

    I admit that I have worked with a very specific spectrum of christology here. The sacrifice seems trivial, as Sabio suggests, if he has absolute knowledge of future events.

    Sorry Sabio I need to work on my sins of verbosity!

  16. @ Society
    Yes, voicing it to Luke is when I got the idea. You are right, your Christology is low and allows for a scared Jesus without him being cowardly.

    — your comment was to Boz. It would help if you label who you are addressing like “@Boz”.
    I hope you recognize that my writing is pointing out that the cowardice of Jesus depends on one’s theology.

    @ Earnest
    You are right, verbosity is hard to respond to with my short mornings. Smile

  17. Earnest

    @ Sabio:

    How about this: the higher the christology the lower the sacrifice?

  18. @ Earnest
    How about this:

    The higher the Christology, the greater the cowardice !
    — Sabio

  19. Interesting,

    I never thought of Jesus as a coward. Of recent, I’ve been thinking of him as inconsistent, almost bipolar and perhaps schizophrenic.

    In one verse he loves the world, and in another he’s telling a foreigner to eat left overs that fall from the table. He is kind to a prostitute and chases the merchants from the temple. He says he’s god but he knows nothing. He says to be humble and gentle, but he is nasty and judgmental.

    What’s told about Jesus is so incongruent that it makes it abundantly clear that the stories are all made up.

  20. societyvs

    “What’s told about Jesus is so incongruent that it makes it abundantly clear that the stories are all made up.” (Lorena)

    I don’t know about that. If someone told the stories of our lives they might see quite a diverse mix of a person.

    For example, the other day I gave someone asking for change more than they asked for. On another day I was angry enough to break my remote control. On another day I happily spent the day with people at a birthday party – just having fun and laughing. The other day I skipped Easter because ‘I just didnt feel like going’.

    There is nothing absolutely congruent about that picture – yet it all came from the same person. Humanity is not really all that clean.

  21. @ Lorena:
    You are 100% correct: the stories about Jesus are inconsistent and incongruent — much of the stories are made up. But even Christian scholars admit this. But the degree to how much they are made up varies. We can ignore fundie literalists — you and and I both have not time for them.

    But Society is right. The stories may not be ALL made up – though the mythicists thing they are. The stories of Abraham Lincoln and FDR (American Presidents) are hugely different depending on what point the “historians” are trying to make. The same happened with Jesus’ story. But it does not mean it is all false.

    The question is, which parts are right about Lincoln, Krishna, Jesus and such?

  22. @ Lorena
    One of the things I try to do on this site is recognize the various types of Christianities. I have been rightfully chastized my non-fundamentalists for using solely fundamentalist assumptions to criticize the Bible. But that is the Strawman Argument — something we should avoid. Even arguing with fundamentalists, maybe the most productive thing is to help them become better Christians (see: My favorite type of Christians).

    Does that make sense? But I can understand how you have been greatly limited and harmed in the past by the Christianity that surrounded you, so you may not wish to look at things in that way.

  23. Temaskian

    The inconsistencies make sense if he was merely human. What stumped me, as an ex-fundamentalist, was the way Jesus was so inconsistent despite being reputedly divine.

    Again, it has to do with the level of Christology.

  24. @ Temaskian
    Agreed ! As I said to Earnest:

    The higher the Christology,
    the greater the cowardice !
    — Sabio

  25. I am happy to be reading this when I am after all that has been said. Your initial reading was fundamentalist, which I grow tired of as that seems to be the trap that we all seem to fall into as much as we denounce it. why? Because it’s easy and fun to blog about. it’s fast and no logic is really needed. we are indeed poking holes in a bedtime story.

    yet i like the “The higher the Christology, the greater the cowardice !
    – Sabio” that’s tight and a great insight.

    i’m with SVS here. Borg’s new book may be worth a read, it’s right where I am Christologically speaking. He states that reading the bible literally or even with a doctrinal lens is cheating. we’re reading factually of a culture that didn’t care all that much about facts. we have all the facts and dates and such about Augustus, not so with Jesus, yet we have the myths about both. the myths won out in both groups who followed both. the convictions of the writers were trying to put down their continuing experience of the presence of the subject (Ceasar or Christ) as their worship and devotion and thus used language that would portray this.

    i have written too much, but here’s some further reading from a prof of mine that might be helpful if you’re confused.

  26. If only more people would read this!

  27. Wendy

    I know that this is an old post but I thought I might throw my two cents worth in…

    Sabio & Lorena, I am not sure if you’re non-Christians that are wanting to know more about Jesus or if you are Christians who likes to argue. May I ask if either of you is a Christian?

    Lorena, societyvs is right about the inconsistency of our human nature so that’s how we might perceive Christ as well. However, I think that Christ was consistently just. There are also different types of personalities, of which Christ knows exactly which one each person has. In knowing this, I believe that He relates to us in that manner. For example, Moses had faith but he also had a bunch of questions. God answered each of them as he asked them when He could have just breathed and Moses would’ve instantly died for questioning Him.
    With Saul(later named Paul), God had to knock him off of his horse, shine light in his face, and say, “FOLLOW ME!”. Have you ever known anyone that wants you to just get to the point? Someone who says, “Don’t sugar-coat it! Just tell me!” Well, if Christ knew each person like that and responded to it accordingly then it might seem “nasty” or “judgmental” but I think it’s just Christ doing what needed to be done/how it needed to be said at that time.

    Thanks for letting me add my thoughts! I’m eager to hear back from you if you’re still interested in blogging with me.


  28. @ Wendy
    If you read a little, you’d realize that Lorena and I know a lot about Jesus. I even had a personal relationship with him. If you are still interesting in commenting, it will help you to read more of my posts — see my “For Christians” section in the sidebar. I probably already know your theological world pretty well but most likely you haven’t been exposed too much to mine. Just a guess.

  29. DaCheese

    Well, since it’s already bumped…

    Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman points out in his books that the book of Luke paints a very different picture of Jesus’ behavior at the time of the crucifixion. All references to Jesus weeping, bargaining, etc. are scrubbed in favor of a much more calm, stoic Jesus. Of course he posits that this was a deliberate change, meant to make Jesus’ behavior more consistent with the “Son of God” interpretation that Ehrman believes arose well after his death.

  30. @ DaCheese
    I totally agree. I think the title of this post will draw in a few more Christian readers who will try to evangelize us — no you are on the list with me and Lorena !

  31. Temaskian

    I’m having second thoughts about this. Since Jesus was fully human, it’s only logical that he would take on the fears of mortal men, i.e. the fear of dying, not so much death itself. If I knew I was about to be nailed to a cross through the palms of my hand, I might weep for myself too, even if I know I’m thereby providing salvation for billions.

    The problem is that Jesus was also fully God, so he should have risen above it all.

    In any case, the fully God, fully man argument is self-contradictory, and untenable. Christians tend to focus more on the ‘fully man’ part of the argument as it helps bring Jesus closer to their hearts.

    Interesting observation there by Bart Ehrman.

  32. @ Temaskian
    Second, Third and Fourth thoughts are welcome ! Yeah, there are lots of ways to spin it. But it always seems like it is spinning. 🙂

  33. Temaskian


  34. Nate

    All men are a triune beings: Soul, Spirit and Flesh. When Jesus was on Earth these three were one in Him, but in Gethsemane the Spirit (Which is the Father, who is invisble), separated from the other two, leaving Jesus to die as a man. If this had not happened Jesus Christ would not have died on the cross, because you can’t kill God.

    Jesus Christ’s true death happened in Gethsemane, not on the cross. If you look up the word death it actually means separation, therefore the soul of Christ suffered separation from the Spirit of God in Gethsemane, which interestingly enough means Oil Press (oil represents the Spirit of God in the Bible). The blood He sweated was the Father coming out of the Son.

    It was this death that he had trouble with, not His death at the Cross. Men so often have no idea what death is, but life does not stop at the death of the flesh. There is life after that for all men. Separation from God is the second death, and there is no life after that.

    Not here to convert, just to speak the truth. What you do with the truth is totally up to you.

  35. @ Nate

    You said:
    1. All men are triune beings: Soul, Spirit and Flesh
    2. Jesus lost his “Spirit” “separated from the other two” [Soul and Flesh]
    3. “Leaving Jesus to die a man”

    Seems a logical mistake. If all men have 3 and just lost 1, he did not die a man.

  36. Nate

    @ Sabio

    I don’t get your drift.

  37. @ Nate
    For Jesus’ death to mean anything, he has to die as a man, no?
    But he has his spirit taken away and so, he doesn’t have a spirit, like all men, so when he dies, he is not a man?

    BTW, please tell us what denomination of Christianity that you subscribe to.

  38. Nate

    I’m just a Christian.

    He did die a man, for he was a man. If the spirit is removed from you you are still a man, for the flesh is a man and so is the soul a man. While we’re on this point God is a man also. The Tirunity of the three in one is by no means the definition of what a man is, but that just happens to be what all men are, Triune Beings. But Christ was made lower than us that he could suffer death.

  39. @ Nate
    Yeah, I didn’t think you’d tell us your denomination.
    Lots of Christians don’t like to admit that there are lots of different theologies.
    They want to think there is just one — thus, “just Christian”.
    You are a certain kind of Christian, but you ain’t sharing.
    See my post here: “Christian, Share Thyself

    Nate, may I suggest you read a little more on this site so you understand who you are talking with. Otherwise, we might just be wasting time. You have to decide, “Why am I dialoging on that site.” It is always important to know why we are talking. Your first note said, “not here to convert” but of course you are — spreading the “truth” — or at least your denomination’s version of it.

  40. Nate

    Thank you for the offer to read your post. When I say I don’t belong to a denomination, I mean I don’t belong to a denomination. However I would never say that there weren’t a great deal of different theologies within “Christianity”, I’d be the first to willingly admit that.

    However, the fact that there are so many theologies which exist prove that there is a Truth somewhere. Denominations are impersonations of Christianity, and the bogus dollar exists because there is a genuine dollar.

    The reason I came to dialog on this site is because Gethsemane means a very great deal to me, and to see people discussing the event which took place without having the truth presented among them seemed unfair. It doesn’t matter to me what you think of it, only that it had a fair representation by someone to whom it means a very great deal.

    Otherwise, I normally wouldn’t have even bothered commenting as I sort of stumbled over this site in the first place. To me, as a Christian, a very great victory was won in Gethsemane.

    Thank you for the conversation.

  41. Nate:
    OK, you won’t share you type of theology. But thanks for sharing some of your thoughts:
    1) Both Jesus and God are men (sounds Mormon)
    2) Jesus sweat out the spirit in the form of blood (love that one)
    3) Jesus wasn’t a God when he died (way outside the Nicene Creed — not that I care)
    4) Jesus died twice — once in Gethsemane and once on the cross

    Not labeling the type of theology you embrace speaks miles to us.

  42. Nate

    I belong to the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. I believe in a living God, who I speak to and he speaks back. Who leads me today just as he lead Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible is the written word made living in every age, that God is it’s interpreter, and that he interprets it by bringing it to pass.

    Other than this my friend I can’t give you a name to a theology, because I don’t believe in theology. I can’t give you a name of a Church, because I don’t have a Church.

    God said it best when He said, I am that I am.

  43. Nate

    That’s right, i stumbled over this page whilst looking for a copy of Hoffman’s Christ in Gethsemane. Go figure.

  44. Nate, I looked around and found that Mormons not only believe God is a human but also they believe your version of Gethsemane.
    Come on, tell us, are you Mormon? Or are you a break off from some Mormon group? Stealth Mormon? Can you point us to any websites that preach your flavor of Christianity?

    BTW, you said, “I don’t believe in theology” but you don’t have to “believe in theology” to have your very own.

  45. elcie

    Jesus was NOT a coward. You say: “Jesus was God. He knew he was going to die to save ALL of humanity.” He did not ‘know he was God, nor did he specifically know how his ‘leaving’ would manifest. (I know the trinity has confused me); “according to the ‘myth’, Jesus knew he would come back from the dead.” Not sure that’s accurate either without a passage noted. This PERSON was born to live the human experience…we do not know what will happen to us, neither would he have…he only had total faith in his Father that what he was there to do was ultimately necessary. He had glimpses and some prophetic abilities that supported and carried him in his path. In the culmination of his existence and the light he shone on our potential to exist beyond this life is tantamount. In dissecting the last few years of his life without respecting his previous 25 years as a child of loving parents with possibly some siblings to share and cavort through the life is short sighted. His was a WHOLE existence and he did not thoroughly know what was on the other side and I think any HUMAN would be freaking out to be brutally killed by mobs.

    What were Jesus’ last words on the cross?
    Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
    Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
    Luke 23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
    John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

    I had a reaction to your essay, concerned many may flippantly use your outline and perspective… I would question your spiritual experience and if you have ever had any epiphanies, is your relationship with your faith strong, and even if it should waiver do you dedicate time to improve and sustain it. We all have a personal relationship with our God and many routes to arrive at acceptance and wonder. Let Go and Let God.


  46. elcie

    Have to add that I had googled for the previous bible quotes I used, quickly, I do not know or endorse the site, I just credited it as I used its’ content.
    I have a broad based spirituality that continues to grow, but my search and sustenance originated with my relationship to Jesus so I had to respond the the blog.

  47. @ elcie
    You are so much more spiritual than the rest of us slobs. I don’t even know where to begin responding to your deep insight into reality and the scriptures. [sarcasm, btw] — Seriously, your style of writing does not invite a reply. I can’t imagine dialogue would be useful.

    I am glad you “do not endorse this site” — indeed, this site is meant to help people who embrace your thinking.

  48. Nate

    Hi Sabio,

    It’s been a while, but I was thinking about this site recently so I thought I would check in and see how you were doing. Looking back over the posts I feel somewhat silly for not explaining my background in a manner beneficial to you. So I thought I would take the time to do so now, and hope that you could forgive my previous ineptitude.

    I fellowship with a small group of people and we listen to recorded tape messages of William Marrion Branham. If you would like more information you can visit http://www.branham.org.

    We believe that He was God’s prophet and that his message is the fulfillment of bible prophecy.

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of this man, but there are many opinions about him out there, most of them aren’t very good. I suppose that each person chooses to place their faith in something, or someone, but I stand by the fact that my faith is grounded in scripture, and it is through the scriptures that I acknowledge this man’s message to be God’s promise to me.

    It no longer matters to me what others think, but I thought I would share that with you since you asked.

    See you around.

  49. Thanks Nate. Indeed, it seems the founder of your flavor of Christianity also insisted that his followers (now run by his sons), were not a denomination. But the spirit of my question about denomination is, as a previous post mentioned, is a request to be open about the many varieties of Christianity and what your particular set of doctrines are.

    These two wiki articles have helped: (1) William Branham (2) Branhamism (this second article tells about his non-trinitarian view, for instance). Your group’s (“denomination”) view seems close to the early heresy of modalism rejected by the Nicene Creed — of course I have no dog in that race. And thus I kind of see why you might feel your sect’s teachings might make Jesus less of a coward. Thanks for sharing.

    It was fun catching up on that part of the history of American Christianity.

    Thanks for visiting again 6 months later.

  50. This topic was one of the first ones I had posted on (“John Gets It Right“), before I decided to start blogging the Gospels chronologically, but I didn’t quite get to calling Jesus a coward. Rather, I contrasted John’s take on it with the Synoptic viewpoint. This is one point where John is superior, because it gives Jesus that divine knowledge and associated acceptance of the coming fate and ultimate result.

  51. Thanks TWF, I read your post — very nicely done. It shows that John makes the synoptic gospel writers into liars (or the other way around).

  52. Jesus was the redeemer of mankind on the spiritual level. No man can understand every little detail of the why’s who’s how’s, or the theological details. One of the other points is that we were to be able to relate to Jesus in order to understand God as God understands us. Had He been the stereotype superman hero, how could we have understood without that human understanding. He was meant to be an example to us, of how to live in a passing world. None of us have that kryptonite. LOL. And do you think after roughly 2000 years superman will be remembered? Not to mention the unselfishness that Jesus carried, even in fear distress or sorrow. And what hero doesn’t have that slight fear before the fight. Does everyone think the hero can only be the stereotype we’ve created for ourselves?

  53. @ Joseph Slusher,
    Yes, I am familiar with your view point.

  54. truck norris

    if you had to get your tooth pulled in order to not have it rott to the rest of the adjecent teeth. thus saving the rest of the teeth but you were told you had to have it done without freezing. you know in the end you will be fine after a healing process and everything would go back to normal. would you not still dread the moments in your near future that will give you great pain and suffering? if you didn’t have to have it removed, if there were any other way .. you’d plead too wouldn’t you? and thats just your tooth.

  55. Lee

    This scripture is not translated properly. Jesus was asking if his Father was taking the cup from him because he thought he was going to die in the garden. He was sick to near death and amazed by this. Jesus knew the plan of God and was more than willing to carry it out but this sudden Satanic attack caused Jesus to inquire of his Father if he was going to die then or on the stake. Young’s and Green’s literal translations of Isaiah 53 and the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke on this episode paint a different picture of what happened. This study is a long one but the result is that it will cause agreement of scripture and make sense of the state of mind of Jesus before and during the events leading to his death. These errors in translation were adopted by modern scholars as fact and the error appears in almost all bibles. This causes conflict over the character of Jesus as some think of him as a coward.

  56. Lee: so, do you believe:
    1. Jesus was fully God
    2. Jesus was deceived/confused by Satan

    Lee: what sect(s) of Christianity do you follow closest too?

  57. @ Truck
    Like I said, the guy was suppose to be a god, suppose to know he’d like forever, but normal folks with far less knowledge and no guarantee of coming back to life jump in to save others with no pitiful signs of fear.
    Sure, I’d fear pulling the tooth, but knowing it would save my life (or hell, the life of the whole world) would not hesitate and ask to stop. And if Jesus is God then he should know that apparently there is no other way –which itself is ridiculous, of course.

  58. Shahul

    Wonderful thought. I am perplexed with not only the atonement theory but the fundamentals of Christianity regardless of sect. Jesus’ divinity, Sin atonement, Trinity and stuff. Who taught all these? Seriously Jesus did not. There is nothing explicit and yet these are the core beliefs. How is it even possible? In our real life if we teach a concept don’t we reiterate it over and over again to reinforce understanding? Did Jesus teach why sin atonement was necessary? Over and over again? Did he claim to be equal with God explicity? Over and over again? Did he ever teach about Trinity? I wonder what was he doing during his ministry when the core beliefs was never ever taught over whelmingly and yet this became central to Christianity.

  59. Yes. I agree, Shahul. Very strange. Thanks for stopping in.

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