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"Jesus was a good moral teacher"

To those who believe that Jesus was a good moral teacher and nothing more (or less), what do you have to say about his quote here:

Luke 14:26-27, 33:

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. . . . So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:16 PM on Jun. 15, 2011 in Religious Debate

Answers (36)
  • That's a translation and interpretation of somebody quoting something else. Jesus didn't say those words. My guess is that if we were able to read and understand what those words were in the language they were originally spoken we would have a completely different sentence.

    I'd go with something closer to "You have to be fully committed to this or it isn't going to work out".


    Answer by UpSheRises at 2:22 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • untranslated version?

    What is this?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:29 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • In line with this comment, Skeptics will stress the meaning of the word "hate" and insist that the word must be read literally, and that Jesus is truly preaching hate. But in fact, the "softening" is correct to do -- and is perfectly in line with the context of the ancient world, and the Jewish culture in particular. For a background on the use of extreme and hyperbolic language in the Bible, I direct the reader first to my foundational essay on this subject. Abraham Rihbany (The Syrian Christ, 98f) points to the use of "hate" in the Bible as an example of linguistic extreme in an Eastern culture. There is no word, he notes, for "like" in the Arabic tongue. "...[T]o us Orientals the only word which can express any cordial inclination of approval is 'love'." http://www.tektonics.org/gk/jesussayshate.html


    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 2:36 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • I believe Jesus to be Divine--the Son of God. If I thought he was nothing more than a good, moral teacher, I'd throw my Bible in the trash. That said, are you implying that Jesus taught hatred? That's not what he was doing at all. He was contrasting love with hate for emphasis' sake. Jesus told us that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, sould, and mind. As much as we treasure our family, there should be no one whom we love and value more than God. To place love for another (including ourself) above God is idolatry.

    Answer by popzaroo at 2:37 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • This was Jesus talking to the disciples the part you left out was Jesus explaining it would be better to not follow him then to start the job only to not finish it by returning home. Be very careful talking one, two or even three verses out of the Bible.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:38 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • First of all, I'm not completely convinced that there was an historical Jesus or that the sayings of Jesus come from only one person. I do believe it's possible that some of these sayings are from more than one teacher or prophet. Secondly, I don't take much of the stories literally. I consider much of it to be allegory & intended to convey a deeper meaning. I think there are also meanings you can understand on one level, but sometimes there's a deeper message that people often miss. In some Gnostic traditions, I believe this statement would be more likely related to concepts & the idea of the self separate from God, but I'd have to review some things I've read to be sure that's the way it's interpreted for some. Just like in Buddhism, there's a saying that if you meet the Buddha on the road--kill him! It's not literal by any means; it's about killing CONCEPTS. I think this is similar about letting go of ideas like me & mine.

    Answer by pam19 at 2:42 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • I will try to explain better....but for now...this is why you must STUDY the Bible and not just read it...you'll miss alot of true meanings without studying along with reading the Bible and it takes alot of work and effort. I am no expert by any means and will be learning for the rest of my life.

    If I may....I get SO tired of people looking for the "faults" in Jesus, in the Bible etc etc.......I think it is the most picked apart book in the entire world. That's my own personal feeling though. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way. If Jesus said something...it was to teach us. He spoke in their language of ancient times ....and also parables etc. There IS a message there and I do not believe it is hatred.

    Answer by KellyGirl_TX at 2:46 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • Just going to give everyone the full chapter:

    The Cost of Being a Disciple

     25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Answer by vntNyll at 2:47 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

    31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.


    Answer by vntNyll at 2:47 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

  • 34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

    “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”


    Answer by vntNyll at 2:48 PM on Jun. 15, 2011

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