Did Jesus Commit Suicide?

| | Comments (71) | TrackBacks (1)

[Note: I wrote this as a draft months ago intending to do some heavy revision on it before posting it. I never got around to that. Jeremy has hinted that I should just go ahead and post it, but I was reluctant because I felt like it needed more work. But I'm busy, so I'm never really going to put more work into it. And now, in light of the SCOTUS ruling yesterday (day before?), this is suddenly relevant again. So, hey--these may be only half-formed thoughts, but they are relevant half-formed thoughts, and if ever there was a place for half-formed thoughts, it's the internet, right? So here goes...]

John 10:17-18 reads: "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." (NAU).

This raises the odd question--when Jesus was crucified, did the cricifixion kill Him or not? Or, more to the point, was Jesus killed, or did He commit suicide?

By the way, "Both" does not seem to be an appropriate answer here.

Historically, on the face of it, it seems that Jesus was killed. But digging deeper raises questions. John notes that "So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs." (John 19:32-33) This indicates that the soldiers expected Him to still be alive, just like the ones he was crucified alongside. Crucifixion should have taken longer to kill Him. (And as the people in pretty much every bible study I've been in like to point out, John 19:34 indicates that Jesus died of a "broken heart".)

Theologically, there is reason to doubt that Jesus was killed as well. First of all, there is the John 10:17-18 quote which indicates that no one takes Jesus' life away, but that He lays it down of His own accord. This corraborates nicely with John 19:30 where Jesus gives up His spirit. Furthermore, Jesus is the Life; is there any force in the universe that could take His life away from the very incarnation of Life?

This indicates that Jesus committed suicide in some sense. He lay down His life--it wasn't taken from Him. While Jesus didn't actively cause physical damage to Himself, the physical damage that was done to Him doesn't seem to be what caused the end of His life. Jesus died because He lay down His life/gave up His spirit. That would have caused His death even if He had been in perfect physical condition. Conversely, His wounds wouldn't have killed Him had he chosen not to lay down His life.

Resistance to the idea that Jesus committed suicide comes maily from two ideas: First, the idea that suicide is always a moral wrong. If suicide is always a sin, and Jesus was sinless, then Jesus must not have committed suicide. However, it is not at all clear that suicide is always a sin. The act itself is not clearly prohibited. And while almost all suicides are done from wrong motives, and thus are sinful, it is certainly possible that one could do so with entirely noble intentions. If one were to sacrifice oneself to save others, that seems to me to be moral, not sinful. And, of course, this is precicely what Jesus did in His death.

The second idea that causes resistance is the idea that Jesus must have suffered the greatest possible physical suffering in His Passion. Frequently I've been told that crucifixion is the most painful suffering possible. I'm not sure how that is possible since technology now exists to make much more painful deaths possible, but even if it were true, Jesus died too early to experience all of that pain. There seems to be some (in my opinion entirely unbiblical) theological notion that Jesus' physical suffering is the payment for our sins. And thus, for Him to pay for our sins, He must suffer more physically than anyone else ever. I don't know where this idea comes from, but it seems to be there nevertheless. At any rate, people who hold this idea resist the idea that Jesus committed suicide because they feel that this somehow decreases the amount of suffering that Jesus endured (even though these two ideas in no way conflict).

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Did Jesus Commit Suicide?.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://movabletype.ektopos.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1503

Be still and know that I am God... Read More

71 Comments

Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Wink.

The question that immediately came to mind in reading it is how are we to understand Peter's statement, "this Jesus...you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men" (Acts 2:23)in light of your thesis? In Acts 3, as well, Peter charges the men of Israel with having killed the Author of life (v. 15). And Stephen, in his speech, accuses the religious leaders of having murdered Christ, keeping with the tradition of their ancestors who killed the prophets sent to them by God (7:52). According to Matthew's gospel, Jesus himself told his disciples that he had to "suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and on the third day be raised" (16:21).

All of these texts assert that Jesus's death was in some sense the effect of the actions of others. What do you think?

So much to respond to, so little time...

"First, the idea that suicide is always a moral wrong."

I think suicide is always morally wrong, and I'd base that on the statement in Genesis that human life is made in God's image, so God is the only one who has rightful authority over a life being taken.

"If one were to sacrifice oneself to save others..."

I'm not sure why you think sacrificing oneself to save others is the same thing as committing suicide. I'd argue that sacrificing oneself for others is one of the God authorized exceptions to the prohibitions on taking a life.

Another thought is that perhaps Jesus, as God, would have been the one human being with absolute authority over human life.

""Both" does not seem to be an appropriate answer here."

I'm not sure why Jesus voluntarily giving up his own life and others taking it are mutually exclusive. I'd argue that for many martyrs, both things might be true. There are things they could have done to avoid death, and in that sense some martyrs willingly give up their own life, even though they are not the active agent in their own death.

Same thing might be true for someone who steps in front of a bullet intended for someone else. They may have willingly given up their own life for someone else, and at the same time, they were killed by the person shooting the gun.

I didn't want to be the first to say it, but I have to agree that there shouldn't be any reason to rule out "both" here. This is especially so given the scriptural language to describe this event. In various places throughout the NT, we see Judas handing him over to the priests, the priests handing him over to the Romans, him handing himself over for us, and God handing him over for the sake of our salvation. These are obviously different levels of explanation, and you won't get "both" on any one level perhaps, but I don't see why we shouldn't say both that Jesus was killed by others who were morally responsible for what they did and that Jesus willingly submitted to be killed by people who were foreordained by God to put him to death.

As for the more fundamental issue, I think the dispute is semantic. What does the word 'suicide' mean in English? Does its semantic range include acts of self-sacrifice for the sake of others? If yes, then suicide is not always wrong, and Jesus did commit suicide. If not, then suicide may always be wrong, but Jesus didn't commit suicide. whichever meaning of the term in English is correct determines how we should answer the question, and which meaning is correct seems to be a matter for empirical investigation. How is the word used? Do people call it suicide when someone sacrifices themselves for others? I think we tend not to call it that, but we do call it suicide if someone does it with hopeless odds.

I'm with Jeremy on the notion of asking what "suicide" means. I think we tend to be far too easily settled on that sort of question (i.e. suicide is any intentional ending of one's own life, or something to that effect). When the Jews under Roman rule laid down in the street and bared their necks to the sword rather than accept imperial Roman standards in Jerusalem, is this "attempted suicide"? Or when the inhabitants of the various Judean cities took their own lives rather than surrender to the Romans (as recorded by Jospehus), should this be considered in the same sort of ethical category as one in our day who takes his life over the grief caused by an uncaring family (take your pick of the characters in Nick Hornby's novel A Long Way Down)?

I think a lot of ethical questions get skipped over just because they end up embedded in substantive nouns (like "suicide" or "murder") which we assume are non-problematic. Plus, it is my contention that as Christians, we only learn how to speak truthfully about these sorts of issues as our lives are being formed byu the stories of Israel and Jesus, thus it seems backwards to me to try to find some ethical yardstick by which to measure the scriptural accoutnts themselves.

In other words, we have a primary commitment to judge our own lives based on how closely we follow Jesus. I take this last point to be one of the primary arguments of the book of Philippians.

In my mind, here is the difference. Jesus did not take his own life, but allowed it to be taken. He laid His life down according to the will of the Father. His appointment was to be the required penance for my crimes... as well as everyone else who has been allowed to exist on this planet.

Suicide implies moral corruption. Jesus was incorruptible. Would one classify a father who steps into the path of a moving vehicle to push his child out of the way suicidal? No, I think one would classify him as sacrificial.
That is exactly what Christ did for us. He took the punishment for our sins, so that we can stand justified before God the Father. The penalty has been paid.

So much to respond to, so little time...

And this is why I had intended to heavily revise this before posting it. ;) Most of the issues you all have pointed out could probably have been either avoided, or else brought to more clarity if I had revised. But I didn't, so...

Based on the comments, there are several sub-topics to address here, so I'll try to get more accurately at where I was going with this post.

1) What is the definition of suicide? Part of why I posted this is to get some discussion going on this very topic. Like Jeremy and Paul, I think that the label "suicide" can cover dramitically different things depending on how it is defined. I think that the cases that Paul brings up are ones we need to think about when discussing the definition.

2) Is suicide always morally wrong? This depends of course on how we define suicide. But even if you define it very narrowly, I think that the question remains open in certain cases. I will stipulate that almost all cases of a narrowly defined suicide are wrong since they are done from wrong motives, and that alone is enough to make something morally wrong. But I think that it is at least theoretically possible for someone to intentionally end their own life with good motives. And perhaps even God's blessing (see Sampson as a potential example). Exploring this notion that suicide might not always be morally wrong is one of the main discussions I hoped this post would raise.

3) Did Jesus commit suicide? Several of you have said something along the lines that Jesus gave up his life, but that doesn't amount to suicide because Jesus allowed his life to be taken from him, but that he did not take his own life. However, John 10:17-18 doesn't use that kind of language at all. Jesus is not merely "giving up" his life, surrendering it passively for others to take; he is "laying it down"--an active thing and that laying down of his life would have ended it (so I believe) even if no one was trying to take it away from him.

So, As Keith points out, while other passages indicate that Jesus was killed or murdered, I think that it should be pointed out that from Jesus' point of view, he was actively laying down his own life, not merely allowing others to take it.

Now if Jesus really did actively lay down his own life such that he would have died even if no one was trying to take it, then that would fit almost every definition of suicide, even if suicide was defined pretty narrowly. Is this reading of John 10:17-18 reasonable? In context, and without forcing a systematic ethics on the passage, it seems to me to be reasonable. But I could be wrong.

(As for why I thought it can't be both suicide and murder...I no longer remember. This is one of the downsides to writing something and then posting it without revision six months later. But I do think that calling a single death both a suicide and a murder is kind of like assigning two final causes to an event...it doesn't seem like that really works.)

Now if Jesus' death really was a suicide in some way, then we need to seriously reevaluate the claim that suicide is always morally wrong (or else we have to make some sort of wierd exception for Jesus).

Reading back over this, it doesn't really clarify much, but maybe this particular post is doomed to unclear writing from me.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people [2] should be kept alive, as they are today." (Genesis 50:20, ESV)

Sounds like two final causes to me, in exactly the way I was saying before. Other examples:

"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know -- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it." (Acts 2:22-24, ESV)

"let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well." (Acts 4:10, ESV)

"For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur" (Acts 4:27-28, NASB)

"Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
But he does not so intend,
and his heart does not so think;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;" (Isaiah 10:6-7, ESV)

Then there's the alternating pattern in Exodus between Pharaoh hardening his own heart and God hardening Pharaoh's heart, which at the very least should count as two levels of description for the same process, with God and Pharaoh having different purposes in this hardening.

I think even the idea of God's having "abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done" (Romans 1:28, NLT) should count as different final causes. God's reason for their doing this is not their own.

Surely Satan and God's reasons for inciting David to take the census in the Samuel and Chronicles accounts of that event would not be the same reasons.

Then there's the Micaiah incident where Ahab wanted to hear lies from his prophets so that he would feel better. God obliges him. "So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you." (I Kings 22:23, NIV)

[Note: I don't think anything rests on the particular translations I've used in this comment. These are just the translations used as I was searching for key phrases to find the verses I had in mind, and I retained them in order to save time rather than convert them all to one translation.]

I guess there are, as you say wink, a few issues floating around here. I am imagining posing your question to the high schoolers at my church and I think it would probably be difficult for most of them to make all the proper distinctions to sort out a question like this. My only point I hoped to add is that it is important to think carefully about what sort of function a word like "suicide" is supposed to play in our moral vocabulary.

BTW, as a weird side note, there is a fascinating passage about a suicide "epidemic" in Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point. Much of Gladwell's book as about the idea that a few influential people can trigger a massive shift in a population. In the section I mentioned, the were a few high profile suicides on a Pacific island which triggered a huge quantity of other suicides. Some theorized that the first few signalled a sort of "permission" to go ahead with this otherwise unthinkable act.

I commend the book to you for further consideration.

I think you could make all the moral points without using the word 'suicide'. If I were talking to high school students, that's probably what I'd do anyway. Any term that can be used in a slippery enough manner that people might misunderstand is best left aside when talking with high schoolers.

Paul, are you suggesting that the word 'suicide' is supposed to play a role like 'murder', i.e. killing of yourself in a morally bad manner, parallel to killing someone in a bad manner? I think that may be right, historically (though not etymologically) speaking. It literally means, in terms of the Latin roots, killing oneself. I don't think it's been used much historically in as broad a manner as Wink is using it. We do have this exaggerated use when we say it would be suicide to do X, where X is not something that one does without intending to die. I think that's a more recent use of the term, though, and I do think it's somewhat of an exaggerated use.

Jeremy,

I don't know that I want to suggest such a use per se. I'm just thinking of the way suicide typically works in our society, i.e. as a result of depression or grief. I'm not really aware vey much of older uses of the term so I can't comment on that. I think I just want to note that the term is more ambiguous than it appears at first glance.

Case in point would be rebecca's response above. I'm not faulting her for her response, but she seems to take the term in a non- morally neutral sort of way. If I hear someone casually mention the word suicide, I tend to take it in this way as well.

Thus, it seems that we don't have, in common English usage, a distinction like that between "murder" and "homocide". Suicide seems to straddle both senses, thus making it intrinsically more problematic to discuss.

There's probably more to be said about the question of Jesus death, though, but maybe that can be for another day.

Someone has posted Wink's entire post to a bulletin board, so if you'd like you can follow another discussion thread on this there. [Is that proper netiquette? It doesn't list the author's handle but simply lists the blog name.]

Paul: There's a distinction between murder and homicide? Both seem to be to be equivalent to wrongful killing.

Jeremy - when I said "kind of like assigning two final causes to an event...it doesn't seem like that really works." I probably should have clarified that though it seems like that shouldn't be able to happen, I am aware that it does. There is just something semantic about having two things being "final" that irks me even though there is no real conflict with this. Just so with calling one death both a murder and a suicide...semantically something bugs me about doing that though there doesn't seem to be areal conflict with that.

Paul - thanks for the recommendation. My brother-in-law has that book; I'll try to borrow it from him.

Jeremy - There's a distinction between murder and homicide?

All murders are homicides, not all homicides are murders. Killing in self-defence is technically classified as a homicide, but not a murder.

Paul's point here is very interesting. There are some words that, by definition, describe something morally wrong--murder for example. Murder is by definintion an illegal homicide. But there are other words that describe similar actions that are not necessarily immoral--like homicide. Other pairs include arson vs. burning; theft vs. taking. etc.

Suicide is generally seen as being morally wrong by definition. But there doesn't seem to have a broader counterpart like homicide or burning that might possibly be morally acceptable. Why is that? Shouldn't it have a broader counterpart?

I guess I've been seeing the word "suicide" as the broader counterpart, not as the narrower morally wrong by definition half of the pair.

A final cause doesn't have anything to do with ordering. That's the only way you could get a problem. All Aristotle meant by the things that came to be called final causes is that there's some purpose. But two people can have different purposes for the same event. Legislators do this all the time, agreeing on a law but for different reasons.

Isn't 'homicide' a legal term amounting to an illegal killing of a human being? The contrast seems to me to be between murder/homicide and killing, not between murder and homicide. This is why I'd prefer to contrast suicide with self-killing, with the former including only wrongful self-killings. (I think I've just given you the broader counterpart, by the way.) The important moral question would be how broad the category of permissible or morally justified self-killings is.

Wink is correct here, I'm afraid :) Homicide does not imply illegality. It's just the (legal) term for any death caused by another person. When police use the term, it does not prejudice the event towards a murder determination. Thus there is justifiable homicide, but not justifiable murder.

BTW, every time I try to post here, my first attempt fails with this message--In an effort to curb malicious comment posting by abusive users, I've enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience. The second attempt always works. FYI

I hadn't checked the OED, but it turns out that there is a legal distinction among justifiable homicide (e.g. an executioner complying with the law and killing someone), excusable homicide (e.g. in self-defense), and felonious homicide (i.e. murder). I guess I've heard the term 'justifiable homicide' now that I'm reminded of it, but it's hard to think of something as homicide that's not wrongful. I wonder if the language is changing at the popular level but not at the level of careful legal distinctions.

As for suicide, the OED seems to acknowledge the ambiguity. The first definition is "one who dies by his own hand", which is the broader sense. The second is "one who commits self-murder". So the best way to be clear is to distinguish between self-murder and self-killing, because suicide can mean either.

They also list an interesting figurative use as far back as the mid-19th century. "Those are the worst of suicides, who voluntarily and propensely stab or suffocate their fame." It's figurative in that it doesn't involve death at all, but what's interesting is that it also doesn't involve any intention of doing what's described. Does this mean that suicide can involve doing something that ensures one's death even if one doesn't intend one's death? If so, then surely Jesus, whose death was his goal, might count as a suicide. After all, we could say the same thing about some purportedly brave soul who intends to take out a whole army in order to allow his compatriots to escape. We could say "surely it amounts to suicide". In fact, it's much like the suicide bomber. The person doesn't see the death as the goal. We count it as sacrificing for (what's believed to be) a higher cause. If we call it suicide in this extended sense, then why not Jesus?

In fact, it's much like the suicide bomber. The person doesn't see the death as the goal. We count it as sacrificing for (what's believed to be) a higher cause. If we call it suicide in this extended sense, then why not Jesus?

Jesus's death wasn't like the suicide bombers in one way, at least. The suicide bomber 'dies by his own hand" usually. Jesus died willingly and purposefully, but it was at someone else's hand. "Suicide by cop" though, is a way we use the word suicide when death does actually come by someone else's hand.

I think that it's interesting that Jesus said that no one takes his life from him, he lays it down of his own initiative, because "I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."

In other words, he has the God-given right or authority to do it. In this way, his case may be different than all the other cases we try to compare it to.

What I'm wondering, though, is whether the word "suicide" being as ambiguous as it is (something these comments give evidence for), isn't a poor word to use to describe Jesus death. Why not just say that Christ laid down his life, or died willingly and purposefully, or something?

Suicide is an inappropriate term for Jesus' death and for the 'homicidal bombers' too. The latter die as a deliberate means to directly harm other people by their fatal act. This whole debate is skewed by using a term arising out of its correct context - revealed Scripture.

Jesus should be compared only with war heroes who earn posthumous military medals for a 'crazy brave' act that was intended to, or did, save many comrades, thus giving their life for others.
Homicidal bombers are not only not noble, but contravene any just war theory.

In the noble cases, they did not act to kill themselves, though they knew that would be the end result of their selfless and noble acts.
Jesus, being God in human form, cannot be compared exactly with the psychology of any other human. Moreover, He resurrected!

Jorge Luis Borges comments on this problem in his essay on Donne's "Biathanatos". In his own wonderful prose:

"Christ died a voluntary death, Donne suggests, implying that the elements and the world and the generations of men and Egypt and Rome and Babylon and Judah were drawn from nothingness to destroy Him. Perhaps iron was created for the nails, thorns for the crown of mockery, and blood and water for the wound. That baroque idea is perceived beneath the Biathanatos—the idea of a god who fabricates the universe in order to fabricate his scaffold."

Nietzsche described the Crucifiction as a "judicial suicide".

It seems to me that that view has a lot going for it.

I would add that he may have been imitating Socrates - also a "judicial suicide" -, possibly consciously.

Patrick Henry

That makes it sound as if Jesus was dying to make a point, which is certainly contrary to all the evidence we have.

I find this very interesting. I ran across this page through search engine. Because you folks are so interesting and knowledgeable I would like to ask you to read my page on SUICIDE and respectfully ask your opinion.
Thanks, John, e-mail: john@john33.com

I forgot to give you the web address - www.john33.com - Thanks

Don't you think if Jesus was the son of God another way could have been used instead of death/suicide for the sins of man? Really, this was a pretty stupid thing to do. God is all knowing ...go figure??? This is just another dumb bible "story". Think what you will, but even I could figure out of a better way!

You're smart enough to think of a better way but not smart enough to point out what it is and explain exactly how it would satisfy God's wrath while sparing people from the punishment we deserve? Allow me to remain skeptical about your exalted intelligence in the absence of such a detailed explanation of what you've supposedly figured out.

In my opinion what the bible means by Jesus laying down his life is that he chose to go through with it. Not exactly killing himself, but is considered a form of suicide (in the dictionary) not to escape if you know you are in danger. So as it may be considered that he commited suicide I think that God has a different definition than humans have come up with. i completely agree with what you said about dying for the right reasons from suicide being moralistic and not sinfull. Proven by how the bible says that there is no greater love than to die for someone else. Thus dying for everyone in the world would be considered moralistic and I believe in Gods perspective not suicide. There is also the case of martyrs, they die for the reason of christ which is very moralistic and by human perspective might be considered sinfull I still believe that God would appreciate such bravery.

Jesus died for us because he didn't want us to go to hell! Would you die for someone? In my opinoin most people don't have the guts to! He loved us so much and still does that he died and suffered a HORRIBLE death for all of us!! Many people don't even give him the time of day! He cries out to all of us and wants us to be with him! Even after many people act like fools and go against him! Now that is what I call LOVE!!!! He is a great man! In my opinion suicide is a sin......can you tell i'm a CHRISTIAN?

Amanda, no one here is denying any of that except the definition of the word 'suicide', which is not a moral question but a matter of linguistic fact. If you give a more expansive definition of the word, it won't always be wrong. If you don't, then it might always be wrong. But what the word means is not something that you can just decide based on a moral view. You first have to figure out whether these cases can legitimately be called suicide. Then you can figure out the moral claim later.

That in no way has anything to do with suicide...and as soon as the misimformed religious communites relearn the better...The kingdom and God (Father) is your subconscious mind...The ruler...The maker....your conscious mind in the SON..Is the slave..it works by suggestion....it's a slave and master thing...if you think it consciously, your subconscious will bring it in to existence...So all you have to do is consciously ask the father...The "holy spiri" is the X factor..it's the motion that is consciously put into action by others subconscious.. that may affect you..READ THE BIBLE from that POV..I DARE YOU! .SO..Jesus..whom obviosly understood this but couldn't explain it that well meant was...By asking his subconscious mind to give him a reat from the day to day grind...and lay it all down...and he did it...but all he had to do was suggest it and BAM he could resume with the choas our conscious mind sometime feels like.
We are all our own individual GODS. I mine, you're yours...get it? Am I the only one that understands this?

He didn't die for you...he died because of you! Nobody got what he was saying....he was doing the best he could to make so we understood it...The people who killed him couldn't...To this day that same mentality exist and it is mostly Christians who practice it...Ironic huh?

Jeremey, why did my comment go under your name with a differnt date?

The comment above yours is from me on a different date. Its signature line is therefore above your comment. Yours is below your comment.

Thank you Jeremy.

Interesting question:

1) Ontologically, God cannot die a human death, even God in human flesh, therefore this should not be thought of as a suicide;
2) Epistemologically, Jesus had foreknowledge of the end and self knowledge of his nature, both of which mitigate against common notions of suicide;
3) Teleologically, Jesus not only foreknew the ultimate end but served that end as a mission of love. Suicide as an attempt at non-being, a negation of being, or and to despair bears no relationship.

1) Your premise seems to be that Jesus didn't die. I'm not sure how you're going to get this without some heresy, but I'm not sure which heresy you're assuming. Perhaps it's modalism. The orthodox view is that Christ did die in his human nature but not in his divine nature.

2) How does suicide require ignorance of the relevant sorts? This one also assumes something controversial. It does seem as if foreknowledge is at least one divine ability that Jesus did not have in a complete form, at least judging by his own descriptions of his knowledge of the end.

3) I'm not sure, but this might just be a confusing and roundabout way to say what I already said above. Whether this is suicide depends on the definition. If it's doing anything that causes your death, then this is indeed suicide, but if it requires some wrongful element then of course it's not.

The Bible doesn't seem to mix signals on right and wrong. Suicide isn't included in any example of sin. Samson was granted authority to terminate his physical being under the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul also desired to depart and be with God. As to the statements of Peter, the Greek word for slain used in Act 2 v23 is Apokteino which means to put away. The Greek word for slain which is used as the word to kill is Sphazo. (Rev 5 v6) I'm not interested in arguing social morality or modern religious teachings, only Biblical scriptures. I've seen tons of comments on this page that are not anywhere in the Bible. No doubt, learned in seminary school. Does anyone have an actual Biblical notion to negate this paper? All of the comments have been opinions and have failed to respond to the Biblical evidence introduced in the opening.

I think Judas' examples of suicide is very clearly implied to be sin. Saul's too.

The Bible doesn't mix signals on right and wrong, but it does acknowledge that the same action can be right in some circumstances and wrong in another (e.g. lying, which is almost always wrong but seems to be accepted as fine several times in the Bible, even commanded by God once; see here).
The same is even more true of killing, which is usually wrong and even usually deserving of the death penalty, and yet many people were commanded by God to kill. Saul was commanded to kill all the Amalekites and was reprimanded for not doing so.

As for your anti-intellectualism, go take it somewhere else. It isn't welcome here. If something is true, it's simply true. If it's not, it's not. Philosophical arguments can be good arguments, and if they are then we should believe their conclusions. If they aren't, then we shouldn't, but we should be prepared to explain what's wrong with the arguments. Dismissing them because they aren't in the Bible is an insult to the God who made us as thinking creatures and left us to reason through all sorts of complex moral questions that he didn't give us absolutely clear and explicit instructions about.

Meanwhile, a quick glance through the comments here reveals that they are filled with biblical examples, and the main thrust of most of them is about how to interpret the biblical statements. There's no question about what happened. The question is about what it means. Since the Bible doesn't say explicitly whether Jesus' going to his death willingly counts as suicide according to what that English word means today (which it couldn't say, since the English language didn't even exist yet), we are left figuring out what the word means so we can determine whether the agreed-upon events fit the word's meaning. That takes discussing a whole bunch of things that the Bible says nothing about.

Anti-intellectualism? Quite the opposite. I wish everyone would study to show themselves approved. As for defining the terminology, I agree. The word should be rightfully divided.

We can start with Webster's definition. Suicide: the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.

And of course Emile Durkheim's definition: the term suicide is applied to all cases of death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result.

As for the comments on your arguments, I was trying to get the discussion back on track. You can't use Australian statutes as a cause in an American suit. You have to follow the rules that apply. Is it fair for me to use "because the Bible says" in a scientific argument about creationism vs. evolution? That may very well be true, but most people would prefer to compare evidence within the scope of the argument. I apologize if I was out of line with you about mixing discussions. I was drawn to this site by the very topic and its willingness to state Biblical arguments that disagree with our current social views.

Had the argument been about science and suicide, sociology and suicide, psychology and suicide, or the law and suicide, I would not have used the Bible as support for the argument. It is somewhat difficult to have a Biblical discussion about a word that seems to have been first coined for legal purposes in England in the early 1700's. The very word itself is legal in nature and not Biblical.

I think we agree on some levels about how to approach the topic. Right and wrong often have to be determined in the situation while looking at all of the evidence. Clearly, the Bible says that some acts are ALWAYS sin. My argument is that suicide is not one of these acts expressly documented as sin in the Bible.

I'm using the term 'anti-intellectualism' not to mean an opposition to anything intellectual but to mean an opposition particularly to ways of reasoning that don't involve deriving views directly from the Bible. That was what your comment sounded like it was doing. The fact that you are using dictionary definitions now shows that you are not doing that.

One difficulty with dictionary definitions is that they are merely the work of someone or some group of people to figure out the very thing that we are also trying to figure out, which is how a word is used. Sometimes dictionary definitions can be out of date, and sometimes the people who made such an effort ignored a legitimate usage of the word. I've seen lots of philosophy papers that start off giving a dictionary definition of a word when the paper is supposed to be about figuring out the nature of the concept (e.g. freedom, the mind, personhood, morality). That doesn't actually help much, and it really distracts from the task at hand.

On the other hand, I do think the definitions in question show something interesting. The Webster one defines the term sufficiently vaguely that it doesn't answer the question we're looking at. It defines it as the taking of one's life. What's at stake here is whether you have taken your own life when you deliberately surrender to others who will kill you as part of a larger plan. In one sense they take your life. In another, you have taken your life by engaging in the process deliberately so that you will die.

The other definition is more clear. Jesus' death was very clearly a case of death resulting indirectly from positive and negative acts of the victim, who knew those acts would produce that result. So for Webster it's not clear whether Jesus committed suicide, and for Durkheim it's very clear that he did.

I'm not sure what you're really getting at with the rest of it. The question here is whether the English word 'suicide' correctly describes Jesus' death. That depends entirely on what that word means. I don't see how looking at biblical texts will tell you that. Once you have a definition of the word (and I think it might be ambiguous), you can then look at the texts to see if what he did counts (and I think on one definition it does and on another it doesn't). So I don't see how the linguistic discussion is irrelevant, even if you will eventually have to look back at the biblical texts to see what Jesus actually did. But I did both of those things in the discussion above. I explained the two things you might mean by the term, and I explained how Jesus' intent really was to die but by the hands of others. Maybe what you were responding to is something else, but I'm not sure what your complain is exactly against.

EVERYONE IN HERE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO QUOTE SCRIPTURE BETTER THAN I CAN. HOWEVER LET ME REMIND YOU OF ONE IMPORTANT ISSUE THE FACTS--
1 JESUS STATED THAT IF HE REQUESTED IT HIS FATHER WOULD SEND LEGIONS OF ANGELS IN HIS DEFENSE--HE ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE KILLED--PLAINLY THIS IS SUICIDE. I WONT ARGUE THE POINT THAT HE HAD THE RIGHT TO COMMIT SUICIDE BECAUSE IT IS A CIRCULAR ARGUEMENT. DID HE SUFFER THE SAME TRIALS AND RESTRICTIONS AS US, OR DID HE GET A SPECIAL BREAK? AND PLEASE DONT THINK THAT I AM IMPUNING THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST
WHOM I BELEIVE WAS/IS THE LIVING SON OF GOD AND OUR ONLY SALVATION--LET THAT STAND AS A PUBLIC PROFESSION OF FAITH!!!
BUT THE BIBLE DOES NOT SAY--"THOUGH SHALT NOT COMMIT SUICIDE." IT IMPLIES THAT JUDAS WENT TO HELL "TO THE PLACE PREPARED FOR HIM" BUT IN THE CASE OF SAMSON HE IS REGARDED AS RIGHTEOUS--HE REPENTED AND ASKED FOR THE STRENGTH TO KILL HIMSELF AND HIS ENEMIES. HE NOT ONLY KILLED HIMSELF BUT DID SO TO KILL OTHERS.--GRANTED THEY WERE THE ENEMIES OF ISREAL. BUT THE POINT IS THAT THE RIGHT OR WRONG OF SUICIDE IS NOT CLEAR IN THE BIBLE AND IS BEST LEFT TO GOD WHO KNOWS THE HEARTS OF MAN.
ALSO REMEMBER THAT JUDAS BETRAYED THE SON OF GOD AND WAS THEREFORE CONDEMNED--BUT WHAT IF HE REPENTED???--SOMEONE ANSWER THAT ONE.
I AM SURE THAT THE FATHER WOULD NOT HUG HIS NECK AND SAY THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR BETRAYNG MY SON TO DEATH! GEE YOU'RE THE NICEST LITTLE RAT I EVER KNEW. AT THE SAME TIME JESUS SAID THAT THERE WAS NOTHING THE FATHER WOULD NOT DO AT HIS REQUEST-AND THERE WAS NO SIN TO GREAT TO FORGIVE EXCEPT REFUSING THE CALL OF THE SPIRIT(BLASPHEMING THE HOLY GHOST.) AND FOR MY PENTECOSTAL FRIENDS THAT I GREW UP IN CHURCH WITH-THAT DOES NOT MEAN SAYING "SHA NA NA NA NAW NA WITH OUT THE SPIRIT MOVING YOU--BUT I DIGRESS.THE POINT IS THAT IT IS GODS CALL ALONE
NOT OURS.I DON'T BELEIVE IN COMPROMISE BUT I BELEIVE COMPLETELY IN COMPASSION. IN THE CASE OF CHEMICAL IMBALANCE OR SOME SUCH OTHER THING--I DONT BELEIVE GOD WOULD ALLOW IT AND THEN PUNISH YOU FOR ETERNITY FOR IT. BECAUSE BY DEFINITION YOU ARE NOT OF BALANCED MIND.

I'm not sure why you think you need to shout to be heard, but I think you're ignoring the crucial question. Of course Jesus voluntarily died. The question is whether voluntarily dying counts as suicide if other people are the agents of your death, and you just put yourself where you knew they would kill you. You haven't given a reason for taking the meaning of the English word 'suicide' to be what you're taking it to be, and thus none of the biblical arguments you're giving will get anywhere unless you can supplement them with a defense of that crucial premise. I don't think anyone in this whole discussion has disagreed about anything crucial in terms of biblical interpretation. The debate is over what the English word 'suicide' means, and no amount of pointing to biblical texts will answer that question.

No offense intended I generally type in the upper case because of laziness.Actually the semantic arguement means nothing to me(it seems a desperate justification--no matter what your arguement.)Let it be said that i am a man of letters and can argue the fine points with you for eternity. however I am taking the vernacular meaning of suicide in the USA 21st century.
that is to kill yourself or willingly allow yourself to be killed. Christ stated that He willingly laid down His life! therefore it was(as is commonly understood today)suicide.We miss the point of divinity--if He was truly God in the flesh(which is my belief)then He said at some point in "time" "Well I know they will kill me--but i am going anyway!" this is no different from a destitute father saying
'jumping in front of that truck will kill me but the insurance money will takecare of and feed my family("save") its plain and simple suicide in all the cases i mentioned according to the definition i gave.
i am not going to argue the circular view that Christ was divine and had the right to suicide
because it leads to fallacy. If we make the assumption then that God doesn't use my definition of suicide (and since He is omniscient thats a good bet)then our circular arguement has come to a sudden conclusion--that God doesn't condemn all suicides(self inflicted or self allowed deaths!)If its necessary to get a websters dictionary and make quotes thats fine.
but my point is that the bible is not clear on the subject of suicide.
if someone is a fundamental beleiver and refuses cancer treatment in the hopes of healing and then dies unnecessarily are they a saint or an evil suicide bound for hell?

Desperate justification? Of what? Wink wasn't trying to justify anything, and neither was I. We were just noticing that if you take suicide to be one thing, Jesus did commit suicide. That doesn't mean the typical case of suicide is ok, so I'm not sure why you're pretending anyone is trying to justify anything to begin with, never mind doing so desperately.

however I am taking the vernacular meaning of suicide in the USA 21st century.

Isn't that what's up for discussion here? If the word 'suicide' means one thing, Jesus committed suicide, but you need to distinguish between suicide that is a sacrifice for others or for some other purpose and suicide that is selfish. If 'suicide' means another thing, then Jesus didn't commit suicide. The semantic argument is absolutely crucial to the question, and you can't just assume one of the meanings is correct and not the other one, not without some sort of support. I could just contradict you without argument. As I see the word used, suicide does not include self-sacrifice most of the time but only by extension. But the ethical question you're raising is not at all what's at issue in this discussion, since no one here thinks Jesus did anything immoral in willingly going to his death, and whether other instances of suicide are wrong is completely a different topic.

He said at some point in "time" "Well I know they will kill me--but i am going anyway!" this is no different from a destitute father saying
'jumping in front of that truck will kill me but the insurance money will takecare of and feed my family("save")

I don't think you've taken into account some of the ways these situations are very different that might be morally relevant. First is the fact that suicides invalidate insurance, but even if he could ensure that no one would classify it as a suicide he'd be abandoning his family and giving them money instead, which I think is immoral in most cases, even cases when they desperately need the money. Also, he's making the innocent truck driver into a manslaughterer, whereas Jesus was allowing himself to be killed by people who were willingly doing evil. Then there's the fact that Jesus foreknew the consequences of his death (or at the very least if he didn't have full foreknowledge he knew the Father did and could trust him), whereas the other guy doesn't know how things will turn out. Also, with Jesus eternal life was at stake. With this father, it's just material needs, which God said to trust him for rather than being anxious, and it seems to me a desperate attempt to get insurance money counts as being anxious and not trusting God. I'm fairly sure there are at least several other morally important differences between these cases, but I've had way too many comments to respond to this evening to want to keep going with this.

if someone is a fundamental beleiver and refuses cancer treatment in the hopes of healing and then dies unnecessarily are they a saint or an evil suicide bound for hell?

That's a strange disjunction. Assuming you mean 'saint' the way the Bible uses it, it's a proper disjunction, since only saints will be in heaven, and everyone else will be headed for hell, but this doesn't say anything about which one the person is. That doesn't mean it's morally ok to do it, because lots of immoral things, in fact every immoral thing besides rejecting God, is irrelevant to salvation.

I happened to be discussing this very question with a friend yesterday at lunch.

I submit that Christ was praying in the Garden for another way than living for years to come as the messiah/slave to humanity.

In other words, Christ wanted to quit being the messiah. He couldn't take it any more and chose to take a short cut by committing suicide. He didn't take action to stop the conviction process and became the quintessential victim of society.

Remember when he cried out to God - Why have you forsken me? Perhaps God the creator of the universe didn't agree with Christ's decision to allow himself to be crucified.

Moreover, what if Christ was sent back not as proof of divinity but because he left unfinished business just like any other ghost or spirit that haunts this world after physical death.

Once he finished his obligations on earth, he ascended into heaven in high dramatic style e.g. Deus Ex Machina. It makes me believe that Christ led an exemplary like and decided to go out in a blaze of glory rather than spending the rest of his normal life suffering the mortal coil like the rest of us.

Only the Good die young - and Jesus was definitely a good guy. But maybe he would have been even better if he had stuck it out.


In other words, I believe that Christ was a revolutionary human being. But I'm not convinced that his trial on the cross was God's choice - it makes more sense to me that he wanted to quit being messiah and this was the only way that he thought he could accomplish his messianic mission and minimize the pain and suffering by hastening his death.

What do you think?

Your view is at odds with everything the gospels say. Before Jesus went to Gethsemane, he predicted that he would be put to death hand rise from the dead. This is in all four canonical gospels. It's also very clear, especially in John, that this is all the plan of God. God isn't going to disapprove of him fulfilling the very purpose he was sent to fulfill, and the whole rest of the NT insists that Jesus was glorified by God as a result of his obedience to God in dying this way. See I Corinthians 15 and Philippians 2 for two very clear places, but there are plenty of others.

And this is not the question we were discussing here. The question we were discussing here was whether, on the view presented in the gospels that I just outlined, Jesus' death counts as a suicide.

Your question is pretty stupid. If you actually read the bible it really doesn't sound like it. Ofcourse you are intitled to your opinion just like everyone else. But I suggest you go back and read the bible all over again. Also you should try watching that movie called The Passion Of Christ. It might change your mind.

Nicole, Wink has probably spent more time in the Bible than you have. He's currently in seminary working on a theology degree.

As I've said over and over in this discussion thread, the issue is not whether Jesus physically killed himself, which is probably what you're thinking. The issue is over what counts as suicide, and on one meaning of that word (one that does get some play in ordinary English) Jesus did at least come close to suicide by deliberately putting himself in a situation where he knew he would be put to death. He basically did his part to contribute toward the overall plan of God under which he would submit himself to death.

Reading the Bible only tells you what happened. It doesn't tell you whether that counts as suicide, because for that you need to understand what the English word means, and that means doing linguistic investigation to see what how the word is used.

would you then explain: if god wants to take a life, how is he gonna do it? if god only has authority over a life to be taken. a life taken by someone else is a murder. god will take a life by ordering the person to commit suicide. suicide is divine.

God can take a life in any manner. God can simply have someone killed with lightning or some other natural force, or God can have someone killed by a direct act of a human being (who will be committing a sin, but God very clearly uses people's sin for other purposes; see Genesis 50 and Isaiah 10). So if God takes a life via that person committing suicide, it says nothing about whether that act is good anymore than God's taking a life via murder makes that act good.

King James Version is better.

I wanted to let you know, that your words were used earlier in another forum in an active debate. The debator however took full and complete credit for your work. I think you are an elequent writer and I would hate to see that continue. If you would like further information to have your words removed let me know. Although the group owner booted me out for calling her on her theft, I have screenshots and the link to the "higher ups" over her.

M, I'm not a member of that forum, so I can't even see it. This isn't the first time someone has done that with this post of Wink's, but it's really only possible for someone in the forum to deal with it, since non-members can't even see it. I find that many cases of online plagiarism (as is true of cases of academic plagiarism) are simply when someone doesn't know the rules of citing and linking. I'd want to make sure that isn't what happened first, but if you got thrown off the forum that's a bad sign. I do know that lots of people are clicking on a link from the forum to get to this post, so enough people have seen the original post to know that it's plagiarized.

no, just no.

But the real question is Jesus has the power to remove himself from the cross, he could just walk right off and free the guards from sin of killing son of God. Why didn't he do that?
You are only convicted as a murderer when you kill somebody. If Jesus free himself, the guards would not be blamed for killing son of God.

But Jesus also said that those who in their hearts intend to kill are as guilty as those who carry it out. Stopping someone just to prevent them from being a murderer doesn't prevent them from being a sinner. The reason to stop a murderer is to prevent the death of the victim. When you're deliberately going to your death, you're not about to do that.

This thread is an interesting demonstration of how suicide evokes a gut-level reaction that in this case completely overshadowed what looks to be a legitimate (and interesting) question.



For me, the broad issue hinges on these points: 1) Does the definition of 'suicide' entail its wrongness (as murder does)? 2) Is suicide an encompassing term for any act that causes one's own death, and is there good reason to think that this applies to active as well as passive acts? In the context of this debate, I would refrain from taking a stance on #1 until the latter question is answered. As for the latter point, I think that we clearly do not use suicide to describe all acts that result in one's death. One horrible example would be a boy from my hometown who practiced autoerotic asphyxiation via simulated hanging and in fact did succeed in hanging himself to death. It was originally thought a suicide until it was determined that the act was not done with the intent of taking his own life, at which point it was deemed an accidental death. The fact that suicide and "accidental death" by oneself can be separated indicates to me that we separate at least some passive, indirect causes from constituting suicide. Moreover, I think a lot of examples of direct action that could be used are hyperbolic; we might consider it "suicide" to run into a burning building to save a child, but that really just denotes a severe risk in the action, possibly with risk of death as a result. (In the same vein, self-immolation might probably be a fairly obvious case of suicide.) Some might not be; playing Russian roulette might rightfully be considered suicidal.



One interesting added point that is relevant is the idea that willful non-action that results in one's own death could be considered suicide (but perhaps lesser, just as negligent homicide is sometimes considered a little less immoral than homicide performed by intentional action). I don't know about this point, either, since it might be largely contextual. If I stand on train tracks when a train is coming and do not move, that should be considered suicide; but there might be situations where non-action is considered justified as an act itself of noncompliance to an unjust power. Regardless, I think there are nuances to the whole issue that deserve consideration.

Jesus killed himself. He had a choice. He knew people were going to betray him ahead of time. He could have ran, hid, stop being a public figure, anything. He obeyed God though. He was displaying the ultimate form of faith in absolute truth. God is love and God is the only thing that lasts forever. He knew this and obeyed God to take away other's sin, that they may have hope in him. Love (God) is the only thing that can be extended forever and Jesus was aware of this. It would do him no good (and the world no good) to claim to be the Son of God and live out the rest of his life just preaching and healing through faith acts. I believe Jesus was a suicide, but a suicide that glorified God. He feared God and obeyed God's command for his life. I'm also unsure if Jesus was the "Son of God" so to speak as a God being a real Spirit. I do not believe in all that. I just believe Jesus was a teacher that was very aware of life and I believe he was a suicide by nature and what he believed in. How many times do we see traits of a suicide represented in Jesus? How many times does his mood swing to, "You brood of vipers!?" How many times do Jesus go off "to a lonely place?" How many times does he appear against himself? He leaves a town telling everybody to have no mention of him. I think he was very smart in his healings with faith and I also think he understood that people felt seperated from God and weren't obeying the commands any longer because the world had changed so much. Jesus humanized Christianity, the one thing Christianity was lacking. People could then relate to God, understand his nature of commanding love over all else, and relate to the suffering. I have no doubt in my mind he was a suicide. It's my opinion and I know many will disagree, but being a 28 year old suicidal, manic depressive and having read the full Bible three times over with notes on every single page, it's very easy for me to draw parallels to understanding what Jesus was really about and the over all truth from a mortal perspective.

I think the gospels are pretty clear why Jesus went to a lonely place. He wanted to get away from the crowds so he could pray in peace and not have people trying to make him king prematurely. If he had been suicidal in the sense I think you mean, then why was he so anxious about the coming crucifixion? I do think he willingly and deliberately went to his death, but I don't see how you could fit the biblical explanation of that to anything remotely like being suicidal in the normal sense of that term.

This death could have been avoided had Jesus changed his actions. He knew what was going to happen, he made certain it would by being right where the soldiers could find him easily. It is comparable to "suicide by cop".

It's causally comparable to suicide by cop. But if you factor in the motivation, it's not morally comparable. It's more like suicide by cop as a sacrifice for the sake of others. That's not remotely like suicide by cop when you evaluate it morally.

Jesus was sinless so he could not have committed suicide

Assuming suicide is a sin, which you could only assume if you ignored the entire conversation above. If suicide just means initiating the events that cause one's own death, he obviously did do that. But that's obviously not a sin.

The problem isn't how "suicide" is defined but how the words "death" and "life" are defined. Jesus clearly "killed himself" in earth terms but did so to become completely immortal in Heaven.

Thus it's better to say Jesus seperated from his physical body to break out of his mortal state. He died to earth to gain true life.

The Gospel of Thomas says "The dead are not alive, and the living will not die."

and

Matthew 8:22 says "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me, & let the dead, bury their dead."

As you can see the from the passages above the word "dead" has various meanings depending on context. It is even used twice in the same sentence with two different meanings. The passage above refers to the dead as "mortals" and as "dead" in earthly terms. Dead in earthly terms is not actually dead but again it is a state of spiritual seperation from the body. This is the state of existence that we all imagine a soul goes to as it waits to be judged.

Thus, the passage above can be interpreted as "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me, & let the mortals [whom are destined to be spiritually seperated from their bodies by virtue of their unbelief] bury their dead [those whom are now seperated]."

As you can see mortal human beings are not actually alive but in a state of decay, old age, sin, and death. Humans are not fully alive neither are they fully dead. They are the "undead".

In the same way the word "dead" has a double meaning in the bible so does the word "life". For instance, the word "life" in the following passage refers to mortality and the last instance of the word "it" refers to immortality in heaven:

Matthew 16:25 says: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

So this passage can actually be interpreted as:

"For whosoever will save his mortal existence [of death and decay] will lose it: and whosever will lose [let go of] his 'life' [which is actually a state of mortal existence and death] for my sake shall find it [a new state of existence and true immortality]"

So did Jesus kill himself or was it murder? Basically Jesus "killed himself" to seperate from this realm and in order to pass into another realm of existence. He did this to save himself and to teach his disciples how to do the same. This process of intentionally seperation from the body is a true "rebirth".

John 3:3: "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

The bible actually states that *no one* can enter the Kingdom of Heaven without following the *exact* path of Jesus and seperating from their flesh body (in other words, you must "die to this world" by your own *free will* to prove you want to go to the kingdom above as opposed to staying in this negative kingdom). You must give up your own life voluntarily or DIE (seperate from this mortal life) in service to the Kingdom above. Consider the following verses:

1 Corinthians 15:50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..."

Luke 14:26 "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (we must despise this life, even our own flesh)

And again, Matthew 16:25 says: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."

Rebirth is *not* a mere conversion as modern Christianity interprets it. To be "born again" is a literal rebirth into the "Next Realm", the true Kingdom of God. Jesus didn't come to earth to teach us how to be good citizens on earth - This *is* the realm of Satan! He came to teach us how to leave earth completely behind and go to heaven. This requires HATING this life and loving and desiring a life in the realm above. During this process one who "dies" (seperates from his body) on earth will be placed into a brand new body. The new body will not be made of flesh but a material suitable for the next realm.

According to the gnostic gospels this Aeon is a mirror image of the one above it. The Kingdom "above" this one is a positive polarity, based on light, love, and service, and it is the true Kingdom of God. We are in a negative polarity Aeon filled with dense matter and it is the current Kingdom of Lucifer. Lucifer wants to make this kingdom also based on service to himself (again, mirroring the one above, but exhalting himself to God status).

This means anyone who wants to *really* go to heaven CAN but he must voluntarily seperate himself from his life while still alive (mortal existence) on earth. This includes understanding that you will leave behind all posessions and voluntarily "kill yourself" through a process of seperation. Remember, flesh is not actually alive so you will not truly die. This is the *only way* to make it to the "Next Level" Kingdom.

Once you begin the process of seperation from this earth, Jesus stresses that you MUST finish it:

Luke 14:28-30 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish."

Luke 14:33-35 "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

The verse above suggest that if you being the process of seperation from this realm you must complete it or you may find yourself punsihed in some way - not fit for the dunghill.

Don't want to go to Heaven? If you grow old and die or die of any other reason then you also risk condemnation:

John 5:24 "...He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

You must believe in Jesus with complete faith and trust until death and in the moment of death you will be transformed:

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

Otherwise, in the end times, this Aeon (reality) AND the one above it will be completely destroyed:

Written in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away..." which suggesting that this universe, also called an Aeon, is just one of many levels or degrees of reality.

At least two levels of reality, i.e. heavens, are going to be completely destroyed because of Satan's rebellion. Anyone nuetral in this conflict risks condemnation by God, and to willfully join the "darkside" is a guaranteed one way ticket to complete destruction.

This is the secret of the illuminati. Their job is to trap and decieve mortal humans into serving Satan as God.

Consider that everyone born into this realm MUST escape or risk true spiritual death. This means even the most faithful church goers are servings Satan's will, especially if you are "being fruitful and multiplying". All you "family guys" out there having lots of children are actually potentially condemning those children by virtue of the fact that they are born at all. Satan encourages sexual reproduction and sin because he also harvests souls from them -- it gives him and his evil spirits a vehicle to try and possess! It's time to stop growing families and focus on saving ourselves and our neighbors before it's too late.

To enter Heaven it is clear that one must completely give up the flesh and be transformed from a physical being to a spiritual being. In other words, death isn't death at all but a stepping stone to the next life for those who complete the process. The only beings who truly die (the "second death") are followers of Satan, possibly some of those who don't even try to go to Heaven, or perhaps those who try and go to heaven and fail to complete the transition.

It's going to sound harsh but the reality is that Earth is a prison and Satan wants you afraid of death on earth to trap you here and use your body to do his will. *Death is the only way out*.

ALL MUST GO TO HEAVEN OR RISK COMPLETE DESTRUCTION AT THE END OF THIS AGE.

and yes i realize I just replied to a 6 year old conversation

The idea that Jesus died in order to separate himself from this physical realm is a Gnostic idea foreign to scripture. He died to save us from our sins. He voluntarily chose incarnation in a fallen world in order to save us.

Why does the Bible say that Jesus giving up himself to die (on the cross), when the one on the cross was shouting "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" according to Matthew 27:45 and Mark 15:33?
It was clear he had been forced on the cross to die.

Jesus said to God, "Not my will, but yours." He very clearly consented to what was being done to him, even though at the very same moment he was dreading it. It was indeed part of the plan he and the Father had from the beginning, as numerous statements of his throughout the gospel and as numerous statements throughout the rest of the New Testament affirm. Being separated from someone who from eternity past you were intimately connected with has got to be worse than anything any mere human ever experienced. That's why it brought forth such an emotional outburst. That doesn't mean God was forcing him against his will.

Jeremy, that's it!
Jesus said to God, "Not my will..." meaning, not his plan.
"...but yours" meaning the Father or God of the Bible who plans Jesus's assassination whether he like it or not. Any father on earth wouldn't want to kill his son unless he is out of his mind or he is a cruel being, what more for God of the Bible to be a murderer to his own son, worst still planning that it should be the most tragic one. Again, is it ok for the Father to plan and watch the torture before left him to die despite his last minute pleas..."My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"?
Human's law will sure to convict a murderer to his own son no matter what reason he has, but here we have those who justify a so-called devine father killing his holy son?


The Bible doesn't allow for looking at it in that way, though. Hebrews says Jesus did it for the joy that was set before him at what he would accomplish on the cross, which is the restoration of fallen humanity to God. Philippians 2 says Jesus emptied himself and humbled himself, not that it was some passive thing God was doing to him against his will. The only talk of any sense of a will in the other direction is at Gethsemane, and the implication there is that Jesus willed for the Father's plan to be accomplished, wishing there was some other way, but willingly going along with the plan they had agreed upon from eternity because it really was the only way to reconcile humanity with God, and he saw that goal as worth a temporary separation from the Father, along with the reversible death and the short period of pain that pales in comparison with the eternal consequences for humanity. And you can't act as if Christian theology would hold that the Father was doing this to someone else, given the doctrine of the Trinity. Christian theology holds that God was doing this to himself.

And please don't submit eight copies of your comment like you've been doing. You'll be lucky if your comments don't go straight to the spam filter from now on, because the comment submission system is going to think anything coming from you is spam.

Jesus did commit suicide in our modern day terminology He set up the perfect situations that He knew would get Him nailed to the cross.
Mt 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Mt 16:25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Everything that I have read leads me to believe that after we have seriously searched for and found God and learned all we can, or all that He will allow us to know, The we are to take our life for Christ. This does not mean to take your life because things in your world aren't going your way and your all disappointed and depressed.

A father has a son who is dying from a bad heart and needs a transplant the father feeling completely devastated by this opts to lay down his life so that his child can live...we are assuming that he is completely compatible donor for his son, now whether he slits his own neck or somehow has the ability to just mentally end his life would this be morally acceptable? would it be suicide??? would it be any different then what Jesus did for us ??

It is different in two respects. First, this father directly causes his own death, whereas Jesus just knowingly allowed himself to fall into the hands of others, who caused his death. Second, Jesus knew that in his case it wouldn't be permanent.

Leave a comment

Contact

    The Parablemen are: , , and .

    Twitter: @TheParableMan

Archives

Archives

Fiction I've Finished Recently

Non-Fiction I've Finished Recently

Books I've Been Referring To