13 Jan 2013

Peter’s Mistakes Were Connected

Religious 32 Comments

My pastors are covering the gospel of Luke. In Lk 22: 39-51 we read:

The Prayer in the Garden

39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[a]

45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

(From elsewhere we know it was actually Peter who cut off the slave’s ear.)

I’ve read and heard many things in relation to the above events, but my pastor said something new to my ears: Peter’s two mistakes here are related. Precisely because he was dozing, rather than meditating on the upcoming confrontation, he was startled and rash when the mob came. In contrast, Jesus was calm and collected.

My pastor went on to point out that in this scene, when the armed mob is expecting a fight and Peter just cuts off one of their guy’s ears, things were probably pretty dicey. And yet Jesus just instantly defused the whole situation. When He said to back down, everybody listened, not just His immediate disciples.

Even in the midst of His arrest in the darkness of night, as He was enduring the worst betrayal in human history, Jesus was in complete command.

32 Responses to “Peter’s Mistakes Were Connected”

  1. konst says:

    You should see Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of The Christ”. It portrays this scene near the begging of the movie. The servant of the high priest whose ear was cut off was Malchus.

    On a totally off-topic unrelated note, I think the term interventionists to describe Keynesian-type advocates and officials is technically accurate but I don’t think it’s a good term to use anymore especially in these depression like times. After all helping the poor by donating to charity or donating time and resources can be described as interventionist.
    I think we need a term for Keynesian interventionists that they are control freak types which is the actual underlining reasons for many of the types of policies they advocate.
    This applies to government officials only who use force to implement them and thereby repress or deprive people from making a choice. i.e. using their free will to decide their own futures.

    And on an more unrelated note, since you have experience with the economics of energy, why are electricity prices to consumers 2 to 3 times higher than in the rest of the US?

    • konst says:

      I meant electricity prices in New York.

  2. Ken B says:

    What day, relative to Passover, did this happen on? Since you cite Luke and John, I mean the question to apply to both. You will find different days. This goes to the credibility and coherence of your conflated account, which is the support for your conclusion. It’s not really possible to do this in any simple way. There are many, many inconsistencies between John and the synoptics. Your cherry picking harmonization is unjustified.

    I suggest The Passion by Geza Vermes as an excellent short discussion.

    • konst says:

      Would you post one or two examples of what you think are inconsistencies?

      • Ken B says:

        @konst: I did that on some old threads. As for the trial of Jesus, last supper part of it. here are just a few off the top of my head
        – what day relative to passover was trial?
        – who did Jesus appear before in what order
        – details about cocks crowing

        B D Ehrman has a good book on these kinds of inconsistencies too.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      “You will find different days.”

      I don’t find different days. I can find nothing in between the Last Supper and the confrontation in the Garden, in either account, to indicate a definite amount of passage of time between the two events. As far as I can tell, the account in John just happens to be longer, with more of the discussion and teaching of that night included in the text.

      Your cherry picking disharmonization is unjustified.

      • Ken B says:

        Relative to the passover Matt.

        And that you don’t find something? Poor argument that it doesn’t exist.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          Yes, relative to the Passover. See, they had this Passover dinner referred to as the Last Supper, and then they had some discussion and teaching, stuff about how Peter would betray Jesus, and then went out to the Garden, followed by the confrontation and arrest.

          Now, if you can point out where there is actually a different day referenced, or any passage of time indicated differently, then by all means, do so. Until then, I will – based on my own reading – ignore you as an ignoramus.

          “And that you don’t find something? Poor argument that it doesn’t exist.”

          I’m not arguing it doesn’t exist. I’m saying that, based on my reading of the text, there is no indication of this disparity. The burden of proof is on you to show it, as you brought it up. I’ll wait. Please, show me where these two accounts mention different days for the events.

          • Ken B says:

            “See, they had this Passover dinner referred to as the Last Supper,”
            Exactly the point of difference Matt, and you are unaware of the discrepancy.

            • Matt Tanous says:

              Luke makes it clear that the Last Supper is the Passover. But John ALSO makes this clear, saying that before the feast, Jesus knew his time was basically up, and THEN DURING SUPPER….

              I think you are imagining a discrepancy that doesn’t exist. I am doubly sure if you think that one of the accounts has the Last Supper on a different date than the Passover.

              • Ken B says:

                So, you are indeed completely unaware of the issue and the evidence. Because people only have supper on passover.

                And it’s not ‘my’ imagining Matt. You can choose to be ignorant of the critical scholarship, but you should at least not pretend I imagined it.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                “So, you are indeed completely unaware of the issue and the evidence. Because people only have supper on passover.”

                I guess if I told you about what I thought before going out on New Year’s, then discussed the events at a bar directly after, you would simply assume that these were different days, then.

                John clearly references the Passover Feast directly before using the term “supper”. Luke indicates directly this supper is the Passover Feast. There is no reason to read in a difference in the stories unless you want there to be one.

                “You can choose to be ignorant of the critical scholarship”

                I contend that it is not “scholarship”, but anti-religious garbage. (Your only reference is to a “scholar” that asserted, out of thin air, that watching Mel Gibson’s movie about the crucifixion would make people hate Jews.) And you asserted this distinction. If you can’t cite the distinction in the text, or even link to someone who does without me having to read an entire book filled with spurious accusations such as this, then you don’t really have a case.

                What you are doing is basically the equivalent of a creationist declaring Darwin’s theory to be nonsense, without even an attempt at showing the perceived errors. I see no reason why I should give you any more credence then they.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                That should say anti-Christian, not anti-religious.

              • Ken B says:

                As I have repeatedly said Matt, I gave a lot of detail on earlier threads. So your notion that I gave only one citation is bizarre. And since I gave two just on this thread it’s false on its face.

                “I contend that it is not “scholarship”, but anti-[christian] garbage.”
                You are ignorant and wallow in it. It’s the wallowing that’s bad.

              • Bob Murphy says:

                For what it’s worth Ken, I didn’t see even the hint of an example on your part. You merely pointed out that Matt hadn’t definitively ruled out contradictory accounts. I am not denying that you may have given better examples before, but in this discussion I can’t even go look and see what you are talking about, because you are just asserting they contradict and then saying “supper isn’t the same thing as passover, necessarily” as your evidence. (And you cite outside books, of course. But I’m talking about, I can’t go check the gospel accounts to verify your claim, because you haven’t even shown us what to look at.)

  3. Ken B says:

    No examples Bob? Didn’t I cite what tribunals/persons/bodies Jesus was hauled before? Or do you mean textual citations from John establishing the the Last Supper in John was not a passover seder? I concede that I haven’t done that, though I suspect I did long long ago. I will have to research. I can’t cite any numbers on the Krebs cycle either, but I know if you look at the Gibbs free energy of each stage the reaction is possible. The Krebs cycle works. In other words, these are details from long ago, but the conclusion is quite solid, and all I really remember right now.

    And there are other discrepancies in the Passion stories (sticking just to them). In Luke the event which a good Rothbardian might object to as an assault on the property rights of money-changes happens just before Jesus’s arrest, part of the passion story, but in John it is 2 or 3 years earlier.

    The point is not that the contradictions disprove the whole thing, but they show you cannot just pick and choose event A from gospel M and event B from gospel J and construct a harmonization to fit your taste.

    • Ken B says:

      Oh yes, a simple example Matthew has Jesus arrive on Palm Sunday on two animals, John on one. (There is a good explanation for Matthew’s bizarre account).

      • Matt Tanous says:

        John does not give an account of the entry in Jerusalem. And the specific number of animals is hardly a relevant point – such a disparity exists in current real-life accounts by eyewitnesses all the time.

        • Ken B says:

          “John does not give an account of the entry in Jerusalem”

          So what is going on in John 12:12 ff?

          • Matt Tanous says:

            An entirely different entry event. As would be noted by the juxtaposition – John’s account describes the entry to Jerusalem prior to the Last Supper, whereas Luke’s account (and Mark’s) is describing the event before the clearing of the temple.

            There is no reason to assume that the entry would not be similar the next year (or a few years later, whenever it happened).

          • Matt Tanous says:

            Mark’s account actually requires Jesus to have left, as he says in the portion after the temple clearing, “[t]hey arrived again in Jerusalem”.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      ” In Luke the event which a good Rothbardian might object to as an assault on the property rights of money-changes happens just before Jesus’s arrest, part of the passion story, but in John it is 2 or 3 years earlier.”

      You keep making these claims, and they may or may not be true. But when the text is easily available online, you could at least point out how John’s account differs from Luke’s (and Matthew’s), such that it indicates the event takes place years earlier.

      Like I said, if I were to claim a contradiction in Darwin’s theory without any citation except the name of a book someone wrote, you would dismiss me as a nut. You can actually cite the very text you say contradicts itself, and refuse to do so. At this point, I think you are just hiding something and trying to bluster your way through.

      • Ken B says:

        You didn’t read my longer comment did you? Look in John. It says 2 or 3 passovers happened between the temple incident and the crucifiction. No I don’t remember the chapter.

        You gonna deny Matthew says two animals, and John one? Seriously.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “You gonna deny Matthew says two animals, and John one? ”

          Well, since Matthew says two, Luke says one, and John just says “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.”…

          “Look in John. It says 2 or 3 passovers happened between the temple incident and the crucifiction.”

          And if Luke or the others did not mention those Passovers, then clearly they didn’t happen, right? (John’s account, by the way, only mentions these Passovers as a side note to events the others describe without the note about the Passover.) You have to make a lot of assumptions about the passage of time in stories that do not explicitly tell you how much time has passed to note these differences.

  4. Ken B says:

    There are several places in John where you can see the Last Supper was not a passover meal. Some apostles think Judas leaves to buy stuff for ‘the feast’, which can only mean passover: you don’t feast on the next day after passover. But one of the clearest is John 18:28.

    Now Tanous has alluded to comments on Gibson’s movie from Geza Vermes. I have read some of Vermes’s comments on that and I believe Matt is misrepresenting. I ask that he provide a working kink to the comments. He hasn’t provided anything.
    Not only that of course, but Matt’s ‘argument’ here is just a pretext to avoid dealing with Vermes or other scholars’s arguments.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      OK Ken B. now we’re talking. I’ll ask my friend about Jn 18:28, because you’re right, prima facie that looks hard to reconcile with the other accounts.

      • Philip R says:

        Here is one discussion of a possible way to reconcile the synoptic gospel accounts with that in John:


        (The discussion is a little way down the page).

        • Ken B says:

          Matt’s solution is simpler. There were two last suppers.

        • Ken B says:

          I looked at that section beginning with this
          “Let us now turn to John’s chronology. John goes to great lengths to indicate that the Last Supper was not a Passover meal. ”
          Funny, I thought I was arguing just that point!
          Anyway, except for some dispute about whether it was a thursday or friday, as the year really is a bit uncertain, the section ( from that sentence up to but not including Jaubert) is correct by my understanding, and consistent with what I am saying.
          Thanks for the link.

  5. Ken B says:

    John 19:14

  6. Lucille B. Glenn says:

    “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things†(Mark 6:34).

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