John 3:16… revisited.

63 thoughts on “John 3:16… revisited.

  1. Have you been listening to too many crazy Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    Why the repeated insistence on Jesus being “made” when John clearly states that He was uncreated? I mean, ridicule the text for what it says if you must, but surely you can do better than an obvious strawman.

    As for the bit about everlasting life….you do realize that Jesus taught that all souls would endure for eternity, right? “Everlasting life”, according to this passage, is a question of where eternity is experienced, not whether it is. God said He removed people from Eden so that they wouldn’t live eternally on a sin-cursed earth; Jesus says He came so that those who would believe would not face eternal judgment, but eternal life in Him.

    You do realize that John 3:16 isn’t random commentary, but a quote from Jesus, right?

    And the “big deal” is John 3:17-21. Read it.

    • Do you realize that the Garden of Eden myth came from the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh which had been differently modified by the tribes from North Israel (who believed in the El god) and tribes of South Israel (who believed in the Yahweh god)?

      In any case, why would the first humans have to eat fruit from a tree in order to achieve immortality when your theology insists that they were already eternal? It makes no sense. If eating from the eternal life tree meant that the humans could only live on earth and living on earth after gaining a knowledge of the difference between good and evil meant that they were forced to live on a sin-cursed world then you have to admit that your version of god has distinct limit to his power. According to the Bible the El/Yahweh god created evil, along with everything else, including the angels who later rebelled against him (without eating from the tree granting knowledge of good and evil). This would mean that he created flawed personalities that he cannot completely control. Fail. It also means that it is possible to “sin” in heaven, unless you are deprived of free will.

      According to your theology, you get to go to heaven if you believe the “right things” and don’t renounce them before you die. If heaven is now sin-free you will live there as a kind of robot. If it is not, then you can be thrown out at any time. If, on the other hand, you are given limited free will so that you can only make the “right” decisions, then why didn’t this god create humans like this in the fist place, or change them to this mode of operation after he realized he’d stuffed things up? Your version of god cannot be either perfect or all-powerful. Since he apparently did not know what his creations were going to do, then he apparently isn’t all-knowing, either. If he did know, then he is not all-loving. Whichever way you look at it, your theology does not provide a god with the characteristics that your theology insists this god must have. It is a logically impossible theology which means that this god cannot exist. If it did, the essential “you” would not be happy living with it for eternity, unless you would be happy living as a robot or the equivalent of a permanently reality impaired crack head.

      Do you realize that the “sin” that annoyed the El (or the Yahweh) god was not that the two had disobeyed his directive but that they now knew the difference between right and wrong, just like the gods. You do realize, don’t you, that they could not sin (= deliberately do something they knew was wrong) without first having a knowledge of the difference between right and wrong?

      Do you also realize that the Gospel of John was written by a Greek speaking author who did not know Aramaic and attributed words to Jesus that made no sense in Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus of Nazareth? This gospel was the last written of the gospels which were voted into the canon of the various versions of the Bible in the 4th century. It was written at least half a century after Jesus of Nazareth had died by someone who was not an eye witness and almost certainly had not collected the stories from anyone who was an eye-witness. In other words, it is not very likely that the words this gospel insists were the words of Jesus were actually his words at all. They will be personally interpreted (=distorted) versions from the impaired memory of some eye-witness who told some other person who relayed it together with their particular interpretation (distortion) – and so on through tens or hundreds of people. John’s gospel is very different from the other three gospels, and has a distinctly different theological slant : it considers Jesus to be divine whereas the first written gospel (Mark) and its clones (Mathew, Luke) do not). It is thus extremely unlikely that John 3:16 is the actual words of Jesus of Nazareth, and quite probably does not even represent his actual beliefs about himself and his powers.

      If this is all new to you then your Pastor is probably as unfamiliar as you are with the research findings of modern biblical scholars and archeologists. Try reading Professor Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” for a layman-directed flavor of this scholarship.

      • I would like to add that there is no evidence for a historical Jesus.  The only knowledge we have of his alleged existence  is in the bible, which is very unreliable. 

  2. “and the big deal is?” If you don’t get it nothing anyone can comment on your blog can enlighten you to the big deal, and that is sad.

    I will pray that someday you will get what the big deal is. Of course one day you will, I only hope that it is not on judgement day.

    • What, exactly, are you going to pray for?

      When you say “I’ll pray for you”, what I hear is “I’m better than you, and you need to conform to my interpretation of a deity”, which is very Christian and arrogant of you.

      Please, don’t let my comment stop you. By all means, pray. Since, according to you, prayer is considered a form of communication to your god, it’s reasonable to assume that you’re asking your god to do something magical, that would make me find your arguments more agreeable. But since your god won’t listen, you’ll be proven wrong.

      On the other hand, praying in this way means that you’re making an honest effort to override my intellectual autonomy because I disagree with you.

      You here imply that I am missing something, that I’m either blind to something that you see, or that my facilities for discovering truth from falsehood have not done a good enough job, and I find it disrespectful.

      • Monicks:

        While I don’t entirely agree with mcoville, you should probably read 2 Corinthians 4:1-5, because if you’re going to react against something, you should react against it in its most straightforward form.

      • I have read Corinthians, in fact I have read the whole bible, cover to cover, David. My favorite book is Leviticus.

        I am reacting against the “I’ll pray for you” bit. Since we are on the subject of the bible, in the New Testament, Jesus himself gave this instruction of prayer, but yet many choose to ignore it.

        Matthew 6:5-6

        5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

        6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

        So apparently mcoville’s “I’ll pray for you” is a transgression of a direct disposition of the one that he and you follow.

      • I usually don’t tell people in your situation “I’ll pray for you”, since it can very easily come across as arrogant and overbearing. That’s why I mentioned 2 Corinthians 4:1-5. It’s better to let Scripture make assertions that are potentially offensive….

        I don’t see why you think that mcoville is “transgressing” Jesus’ instructions. How is telling someone “I will pray for you” praying in public? Informing you of her intent to do something (whether you are offended by it or not) isn’t the same as doing it.

        My favorite book is Song of Songs….

        Okay, that’s my second-favorite book. My favorite book is whatever one I happen to be reading at the time.

      • Telling someone you are going to pray for them is bragging. To Monicks’ point, if he were to pray in private without announcing the intention to do so in a public place (the internet) for all to see his righteousness, he would be more genuine and more in line with Jesus’ instruction.

      • Yes, it can be taken as bragging….that’s why I generally don’t do it unless I’m sure people won’t take it the wrong way.

        Lots of times, Christians don’t realize how arrogant it sounds.

        But while you might think it to be more in line with Jesus’ instruction to pray in private without mentioning it in public, it isn’t exactly a “transgression” or something.

      • David.
        In the opinion of Paul or Tarsus and whoever wrote the gospel of John, god plays favorites and is responsible for deciding who gets to believe the gospel and who does not. According the these passages, god makes sure people who don’t believe the story also cannot believe the story. Huh? One author claims that they don’t believe it because they are sinful and love darkness. It is an ad hominem attack and just as fallacious when presented in the bible as it is when presented elsewhere. If “god” wrote these passages then he is not rational.

        God is shown to play favorites (Jacob and Esau) and to prevent people he does not like from believing the “right” things. God hardened Pharoahs heart so that he would not let the people of Israel go. He then used Pharoah’s god-directed behavior as an excuse for punishing the nation, killing children and slaughtering livestock. In this morally advanced society that kind of behavior is considered to be criminal, unjust and just plain disgusting.

      • By the way; I apologize for my “Read it!” challenge-riposte in that first comment. Didn’t mean to come across like that. Text doesn’t communicate emotion very well.


        “And the ‘big deal’ is what comes immediately afterwards: John 3:17-21. It’s a fascinating read.”

      • I have read it, David. I have read the whole story. It is not fascinating at all.

        It is a sad display of a whimsical deity, supposedly all-knowing, unnecessarily torturing and wiping out this Jesus character for ridiculous reasons.

        Assuming this did happen, the almighty god you believe in did not need this sacrifice of his own son, in order to forgive these horrible humans he had created and appease his own wrath.

        It is nonsensical.

      • Sorry, but that’s foolish.

        Faith does not require that we believe nonsense. Faith requires that we accept the possibility of a Wisdom higher than our own, with the expectation that He will make things clear as we grow to know Him more.

      • “Faith does not require that we believe nonsense. Faith requires that we accept the possibility of a Wisdom higher than our own, with the expectation that He will make things clear as we grow to know Him more.”

        Sorry but which part of that is supposed to NOT be nonsense? And don’t you see the HUGE leap you take from “the *possibility* of a wisdom higher than our own” to “He will make things clear as we grow to know Him more”? Like the part where that wisdom has a penis?

      • I’m merely pointing out that the all-too-common “faith is believing something for which there is no evidence, simply for the sake of belief” idea is hogwash. That’s not faith; that’s foolishness and wishful thinking.

        And yes, that might be a leap for you….but you have not yet met Him, so I wouldn’t expect you to see it any differently.

      • Some people won’t meet Him until they die.

        I suppose it depends on your perspective. I’ve met God in the same way that a man whose heart has stopped “meets” the surgeon who performs emergency open-heart surgery. Even though one party wasn’t consciously aware of the other’s presence when they met, the evidence of their encounter is unmistakeable.

        So, yes: I’ve met God. And I know Him, too.

      • Perhaps it is common because it is true.

        Faith is centered on belief. Belief is only present in the absence of knowledge. That which we know to be true we do not need faith in or to believe in. Therefore, faith is belief in that which is not known to be true.


      • Angie,

        I think your definition of “belief” is a little strained.

        I believe in general relativity, quantum field theory, particle-wave duality of light, and Apple’s ability to market anything to anyone. I don’t know any of those things for certain, but I believe them because they’re consistent with what I observe.

        Faith is not belief in the absence of evidence; it is believing something that can’t be directly observed because God has given you understanding of it.

        I can’t see air, but I can watch what wind does to trees. I can’t see God (at least, not on a daily basis), but I can watch what His Word and His Spirit do to the human heart.

        Faith in something that hasn’t given any evidence of its veracity is foolishness. Faith in something reliable is wisdom.

      • David, Very well done. You’ve applied two distinct meanings of the same weird “belief” in order to muddy the waters and pretend like faith is in any way comparable to accepting observable reality as presented by the scientific community of peer-reviewed experts. Well done indeed.

        However, you have not succeeded as I am neither a nincompoop nor a novice.

        Try harder next time.

      • That’s offensive.

        There’s no need to sexualize God.

        Any time we make an assertion about our origins, we are putting our faith in something.

        Some have faith that we are products of naturally-selected random mutations.

        Some have faith that we are purposely designed creations of an Intelligent Being.

        Faith is believing in the unseen…and that doesn’t mean we can’t use reason.

        “God” is the name we give to the Eternal One we believe is the source of all life and goodness.

        It’s kind of like “gravity” being the name we give to the unseen force that keeps us from floating into space. We can only measure its effects. We know that just about anything can be a source of gravity, but we don’t really know why or how that came to be.

        The laws of physics are without a scientifically known source. Some people believe the laws of physics are a product of design. Some people believe they simply have existed eternally.

        Either way, it still takes faith unless you are simply content with “I don’t know.”

        But at that point, ruling out God as a possible source for your origins is simply obtuse.

      • It is not obtuse, it is basic observation.
        The universe is a stable constant with no examples of things just magically coming into existence in the entirety of realities existence. The laws of nature simply dont change. It isn’t a matter of power or magic to force a beings will onto reality.
        A god actually goes against everything that we know to be true about nature.
        Logically, every single question that is raised about our origins is made MORE complex by pretending a god answer.
        Since there is NO evidence for a god, and ALL evidence against such a claim, we can easily exclude god from all origin discussions.


      • Of course it is asking you to believe in nonsense.

        If you accept the existence of something with no supporting evidence then it can be dismissed as believing in nonsense.

        Can you even show evidence for the existence of a god, and then evidence that your bible (as opposed to any other divine artificer myth) is a true representation of him, and finally evidence that you know his mind enough to say that you have a “relationship” with him??


        What you say is I believe because I believe and as I go along I learn more about the nature of the thing that I believe in.

        That makes no sense…..


      • Monicks,

        Since you say you’ve read it….

        What, within your understanding of what it says (taking into account the theological expositions littered throughout the epistles), doesn’t make sense to you?

      • Wow, I’m late to the party… by a year.

        But I feel compelled to thank you, @davidstarlingm, for your levelheaded arguments. I can’t say I agree with most of your ideas, but the fact that you gave your points in a non-assuming, gallant fashion in the face of such stubborn closed-mindedness makes you a winner in my book. As an atheist, that’s typically what I get to experience, so it’s good to see people on the other side of the debate who try to argue in a civilized manner as well. Thanks.

        Oh, and double thanks for making sure the passage we quoted was taken in context. Allah forbid we actually have to read the quotation we’re attempting to lampoon!

      • “On the other hand, praying in this way means that you’re making an honest effort to override my intellectual autonomy because I disagree with you.”

        Beautiful, brilliant, and stolen for my youtube comments section 🙂

      • “I’ll pray for you” is Christian for “F*ck You!” They just don’t have the balls to say it.

  3. @mcoville
    If you don’t believe it you won’t receive it, eh? How convenient for you.

    Why are you bringing Terminator 2 into religion? Leave James Cameron’s brilliant action movies movies out of this!

  4. @mcoville
    If you don’t believe it you won’t receive it, eh? How convenient for you.

    Why are you bringing Terminator 2 into religion? Leave James Cameron’s brilliant action movies movies out of this!

  5. You sound kind of ticked off at a God you don’t believe in and a book/story you find nonsensical. If you’re so above it, why mock it? Is it because Christians are easy targets? Quote the Koran, mock it and see what kind of comments you get.

    • Why mock it? Because it is harmful and useless dogmatic thinking.

      She clearly is not ticked off at god, that is like saying that she is ticked off at batman. You can’t have emotional reations directed towards fictional beings.

      I have written more than a few pieces mocking/examining the Quran….the comments I get in return are far less threatening than those I get from Christians.

      Pretty sure that Monicks feels that the Islamic god and his book are nonsense too, so your threat/warning falls on unconcerned ears.

      As Angie said… miss the point.

  6. Mmmm Chris has got a point, but you need to look inot your own heart and see if you are really any better than other people. It seem sto be that you think you are. Christians who are christians indeed know they are lost without Christ.

  7. I actually appreciate this post becuase it helps strengthen my faith and calling. I’m not sure why the message effects some differently than others (thats is tosay why God would open the eyes of some but not others, His perogative not mine), but Jesus said it would be this way. He also told us to pray for those who persecute us. Paul told the early church the message would be foolishness to those perishing. So really nothing new here but your critique/critism is creative. I guess the challenge for me is that I really would like those who don’t have the peace that comes from faith in Jesus to have it. Obviously, you think its all false to point where you want to dog it out, so I am probably wasting my time commenting, but it seems we all blog becuase we want to express ourselves and dialog with others. So thanks for the post. Hit my blog too. I’m like to be read also!

    Best Regards,


    • Sounds like you have made your mind up about her willingness to talk about it.

      While you seem like a nice guy your post comes off as incredibly arrogant.

      “pray for those who persecute us”

      First you are the worlds majority, you have no right to claim the title of persecuted.

      Try criticized.

      Second, praying for someone is an passive aggressive way of saying that you are better than I am and that you hope an all powerful being overpowers my reason with his control in order that I “see the light” and join your self righteous club of those who you feel are lost. Not because of our actions but because of our words. If we don’t share your beliefs, then we must be lost and doomed. Sad, arrogant, and misinformed.

      Third, if you have evidence to assist in your “dogging it out” please don’t hesitate to present it.
      You would be the first.

      and last of all, if he would create us all and then only “open the eyes of some but not others”, then he is a jackass who is planning for us to fail arbitrarily and without reason.

      Any god who would do that is immoral, and evil.

      You can have him




  8. I think you’re trying to say that if this is true (because of course you don’t think it is), then the fact that Jesus died because he loves us is completely superfluous. And if Jesus was just a man, then it would be superfluous. But Jesus was God, not just a man, and there’s only one God.

    I don’t fully understand the crucifixion myself. I do know that if, instead of the gospels, Scripture simply said “God loves you,” then we couldn’t possibly understand how our sin and brokenness hurts God. The message in the gospels is that God, rather than being a distant, impersonal uncaused-cause, wants a relationship with us. Because we reject him and rebel against him, his heart is broken, and I think that’s the message of the cross.

  9. Hi Monica,

    You do us Christians a favour when you mock our God. Its great to know The Cross and Christ still offends so many.

    Where would we be without the mocking voices? They were present at the foot of the cross, “He saved others, himself he cannot save”.

    Historians tell us that there really was a man called Jesus, there really was a crucifixion.

    Yes, I congratulate you on reading the whole of The Bible, and Leviticus is a great choice as favourite. I wish more Christians would read the whole of scripture. Its great to be challenged!

    Bless you


    • What a ridiculous thing to say. You are glad that you worship a god that offends people? That would make you immoral.

      Were would you be without mocking voices? Perhaps you would have beliefs that weren’t so harmful or unthinking, and even immoral at times.

      If the ideas of your god are offensive, then maybe you should rethink the morality of such a god.

      He IS offensive, and immoral and I for one see immorality in those who revel in his offensiveness.

      As far as your assertion that he really lived and was executed, you are simply misinformed. He MAY have lived (although the evidence is VERY shaky on that) and there is no evidence of a crucifiction during that time or of Jesus being one of the so tortured.

      I too have read the whole bible, and found it to be a murderous, inaccurate, evil, immoral, misogynistic, and yes, offensive guide for living.

      But you would be proud of that…

  10. God could do all sorts of things.

    But that would take away the idea that humans choose Him over their own desires.

    You can’t have a relationship with a puppet.

    • If I’d had the choice as a good Christian puppet child, I’d have picked for “child rape” not to be an option on the Free Will dial you think god gave us. But hey, that’s just because god didn’t give two shits about MY freewill while it was being violated. (I was 7.)

  11. Y’all gonna burn in hell for this. “Ooh, look at us, all making sense and being logical and shit.” Well, The Lord don’t know no logic, but he’ll sure know how to whoop your asses! Pwnt, atheists, checkmate!

  12. I could never get my head around the idea that a supposed “loving” god would (1) condemn people to some kind of burning pit (2) for being born “into sin” (3) and require a human sacrifice (Jesus’ death on a cross) to pay for their “sins.”  This is one of the most bizarre, crazy and out-right lunatic approach to reality that people have created.

  13. Belief in a god that is the source of goodness + life? Wont find that in the bible or bible spin offs. the christian god is an evil killer.(no not one who kills evil) He had his chosen people killing women and children all the time. He gave us satan, after all. (and he hates women.)
    Look we all are scared of death and hate to see our loved ones just end when they die, but there has to be a better way than swallowing all the superstitious BS. The arc for example. one guy says that historians proved there was a sacrificed jesus. Yeah, christian hitorians. NOT real ones. Regular people give their lives for other people all the time. So a god does it. (not really) He suffers (or can he turn off pain) for a brief instant in the grand design. And then he’s walking around again in a day and a 1/2. BIG F’n DEAL. And by the way the bible says other dead people were seen walking around at the same time. So how is the reserection a big deal. It’s not a sacrifice if you dont really give something up.
    We are the way he made us, so whats he got to complain about. Dont like it god, fix us. FREE WILL FREE WIll !!! F that, he killed us all by drowning once, remember?(and that, all knowing god got you where/what?) I’ll take a little subtle free will manipulation over watery destruction of everyone and thing that I love.
    jesus said that if you have the faith equal to a mustard seed you can move a mountain. lets see the leader of your particular christian sect do that. Yes jesus says that you can test god under those cercumstances. like drinking poison ect. move a mountain or heal one amputee OR STFU.

  14. Wow, look at all the Christians getting butthurt about this. Personally I think it’s cute because a lot of them claim that their faith is strong, but they’re sitting here defending it on the Internet and giving hidden “fuck you’s” behind the classic “I’ll pray for you” bit. 

    If someone’s faith is really that strong, why would they let things like this eat at them? Anyone that’s confident in themselves and their beliefs can handle jokes and take criticism. So…why can’t you guys? Really, it’s one image on the Internet (and not even the most offensive I’ve ever seen). Calm down.

  15. Why is it that some many theists ignore the fact the the Judeo-Christian bible, god, etc. are simply an amalgamation of countless religions and superstitions that preceded it?
    The same it true for nearly any religion that is popular today, with exception of scientology (which is at least entertaining).
    The knowledge that the “hero” Jesus (who’s very existence is debatable) is simply a Frankenstein-like creation of numerous prior deities should make it clear that this is just another man-made attempt at keeping a bunch of illiterate farmers in line.
    You might as well worship Horus from the ancient Egyptian texts, same story, different day.
    I prefer to worship tangible things, like well made beer. Craft brew truly is worthy of praise and devotion. Not to mention that beer never committed atrocities.

    • Here, here, JayJay!
      They ignore that because they just DONT KNOW. There are so many Christians out there who actually think that there was nothing before the Bible. As in, the world didnt exist. In fact the black woman on The view recently said that to Whoopi Goldberg. So much ignorance..
      And no, a beer never created atrocities, but maybe a few brewers have! As in, Anheuser-Busch…Old Milwaukee…etc.

  16. Job 1:6-7
    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
    And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

    This verse says god had sons, so how is it that Jebus was his only son?
    Unless begotton means he had sex with some creature and he just made the others?
    You will also notice that Satan has legs to walk with.
    This proves all the new testament writers wrong about Satan being the serpent in the garden of eden.

  17. John 3:16…and the big deal is?
    That phrase could be applied to any randomly selected verse in the Bible.
    It more than frustrates me that time has to be wasted debating the veracity of a book scrawled by Bronze age desert tribesman, years after events took place, reliant purely on hearsay.

  18. you guys all are so dumb. god isnt real you are just worshipping some fake little shit. shit just happens the way it does and coincidence just simply happens. just stop thinking something is controlling the world, the beauty of life is the unexpected, and the chain of events that can happen because of everyones decisions together.

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