A couple questions...

I watched the 1965 Movie, the greatest story ever told, with Charleton Heston, earlier today, it was pretty good, I had never seen it before, but a couple things struck me as odd, First, there is a part where Jesus and the disciples are in a town square and the townspeople bring out a women they say is guilty of adultery, Jesus asks her if this is true, and she does not deny it, then Jesus picks up a stone and tells the crowd “let the man throw the first stone that has no sin” of course no one picks up a stone, and the woman gets up and as she is walking away, Jesus tells her to sin no more, but according to the bible, God says anyone guilty of adultery, both the woman and man, should be put to death immediately.

Then there is the part where Jesus speaks with Lazarus, Jesus tells him about a poor woman who gives 2 pennies to the church as that is all she has, this is after Lazarus told Jesus he gives 1/3 of his money to the church (tithing), so apparently Jesus does not think that is good enough of Lazarus. Jesus also tells him for a rich man to enter Heaven is more difficult than a camel to go thru the eye of a needle.

This got me wondering why the church today seems to accept wealthy people, I know many people that go to the parish my family attends, the one I grew up in, that have alot of money, they live in nice houses, drive nice cars, nice clothes, etc. Why would the parish priest not be telling those type of people to give all they have away and follow God? I know parishes all over the world have people like this as well. and Im sure they have all heard the story of Lazarus and how hard it is for a rich man to enter Heaven…so do they just knowingly disobey this, or just refuse to trust in God fully to provide for them?

Finally, in the beginning, the old man, tells Jesus if he is truly the son of man, to jump off a cliff, as if hes truly the messiah, his angels will rush down to save him, Jesus replies by telling him to not test the Lord thy God, but in all the towns Jesus and the disciples enter, the crowds of 1000s of people are constantly asking Jesus if he is the messiah, let him heal them of whatever ails them, and in most occasions, Jesus does just that, some are even healed just by touching his robes, so how is this not also testing him?

Thanks to those who can explain this to me.

Well, I see differences in the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. In the Old Testament, people also were allowed to have two, or more wives, even Abraham did! Later, it wasn’t acceptable.

We also used to believe in “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” in the time of Moses. That was during the Old Covenant.

In the New Covenant, Jesus brought some changes. He did away with “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, and said to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves.
Those were different times, very primitive, sort of like the wild west!

In summary, I’d say the analogy Christ used about old wine skins and new wine skins seems to apply.

“People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins bursts, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)

At the risk of sounding uncharitable, why not look up these instances in the Bible and then re-ask your questions rather than basing your questions on what is in a Hollywood movie. Hollywood being Hollywood, if you had an annotated Bible, you possibly could find your answers in the Commentaries.

Wow. Please go back and read John 8:3-11 to read the whole story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus does tell her he does not condemn her and to “go and sin no more.” Read Matthew 4:1-11 for the “old man”, who was Satan tempting Jesus to be disobediant to God the Father. As far as worrying yourself that the wealthy are being given a “pass” by priests, you may want to pray for the same humilty that the story is supposed to inspire. Its about serving God in the way he leads each of us. Just because a person is wealthy doesn’t mean God can’t use him. I will keep you in my prayers and I hope after reading and praying you get some understanding.

I think that you are referring to Levitical Law which was outlining certain judicial laws for violations of moral law that was already established. There are a couple of overtones to consider. The focus was for Israel to not engage in the activities of the Canaanites and further, that the penalties would be more severe for the same violations committed by the priestly family; “for those who have more, more will be expected.” These laws were generally delivered preemptively and did not exclude circumstances. Even in the Old Testament, God is often seen forgiving repentant Israel for their sins. Also, consider the story of Susanna (Dan 13). There were other judicial processes involved there including witness. The story in John’s gospel seems to suggest a repentant sinner. God’s mercy has always shown forgiveness to the repentant.

As far as the rich, it is not sinful to have money but to worship it before care of neighbor. The chastisement comes to those who live in their comfortably with their wealth and tithe a portion of their surplus. This doesn’t demonstrate a love of neighbor as self but rather a love of self first. We shouldn’t judge what we perceive of other’s wealth or intentions. Things can look different behind the scenes of life than they look on the surface at times.

First of all there are biblical passages missing from the earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11 which includes the popular passage of Jesus excusing the woman who was caught in adultery. Many Christians are unaware of this despite being footnoted in their bibles and still assert the infallibility of God’s word. So rule that passage out however, Matthew 15:4 Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for traditional hand washing and not obeying the stoning of unruly children.
I think the point about rich people having difficulty getting into heaven is they are more probably consumed with money and materialistic things rather than making God above all things. Which personally I have a problem with as Jesus says to hate and leave your family for Him as well as sell your possessions and give the money to the poor… Since I can not commit to that, I am not worthy to be a Christian. I love my family and need to hold onto my possessions to pass on to the next generation, ie inheritance. Also, in biblical times a tithe was a tax for the church, today Christians are now double taxed by their government and church.

Lastly, Except for extremists like the Westboro Baptist Church, most Christians believe Jesus Christ gave us a new covenant and the old law was abolished. One of the main reasons I became a non-believer was because in reading the bible there are too many passages endorsing the Old Testament moral laws and not abolishing it or even the fact these horrific laws were created is disturbing in itself. God could have come up with better justifiable moral laws on how to deal with sin before Jesus entered the world so we doubters wouldn’t conclude this was written by ancient men of their time and used a more powerful, threatening and invisible source as endorsement. Even if ALL Old Testament law was abolished then it was “moral” at one point in history by God’s standards which made worship, let alone belief, difficult for me. Pastor Tim Keller describes “these moral laws outline God’s character-his integrity, love and faithfulness”. How these commands or threats can be interpreted as love or any virtuous qualities escapes me. I think there is confusion between a covenant and the law. A covenant is an agreement and NOT the law. The old covenant was an agreement between God and the Jews. God would help annihilate Israel’s enemies but required sole worship and if you broke the agreement an animal, sometimes human, sacrifice followed or other instructions were given by the Law. Of course there were social, food, purity, priesthood, feast and sacrificial laws. Unfortunately because of the Jews’ persistent sinful nature and God’s inability to accept animal sacrifice to abolish sin, a new covenant was created in which the one, Jew or Gentile, who believes in Him, God “agrees” to save you. This says nothing about NOT following the Law, specifically the moral laws. In fact, it gives an excuse to continue not following the Law by repenting and calling upon a savior. Matthew 5:17-20: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 7:21 states “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." Is not the will of the Father depicted in the Old Testament or is it what was written years later in John 6:40: “for everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him to have eternal life…”?

Are we not to follow Old Testament moral law due to the New Covenant or was the New Covenant given to All because the old one could not get rid of sin due to man’s constant sinfulness nature? Pastor Keller admits the moral law is still binding on us and that Christ changed how to worship God, not how we live. He then says if the New Testament reaffirms a commandment, like homosexuality, then it is still in force for us today. Does this include homosexuals being worthy of death (Romans 1:27, 32), stoning unruly children (Matthew 15:4) or beating slaves (Luke 12:47-48) as well? Following these laws is just too difficult, and Jesus makes it impossible to not sin by adding thought crimes like lust and anger. Isn’t the passing of the present heaven and earth as well as waiting for everything to take place describing Jesus’ second coming, which apparently was to happen within a generation? Matthew 24:34-35, Luke 21:32-33: “I tell you the truth; this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” This passage to me is like saying on a beautiful sunny and cloudless day, “the sky is blue” and then contemporary apologists try to come up with explanations as why it is not blue. There is nothing taken out of context, parable or allegorical here. It says, what it says literally. Even the great apologist, CS Lewis admits this is what Jesus meant but His knowledge was limited due to His humanity. However this creates a conundrum as noted in Deuteronomy 18:21-22 “You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him." Liquid Church pastor Tim Lucas makes an attempt to explain the word “generation” as not an age group but rather a type of person, that is a wicked and adulterous generation which will be a part of the world until the second coming. How does a Christian “filled with the spirit” decipher who to trust?
Now, was the Old Covenant a “bad covenant”? To put the matter more bluntly, “Did God mess up by giving men a flawed covenant?” We know from Romans 7 that the problem is not entirely with the law, for it is “holy and righteous and good” (Romans 7:12). As the argument develops in Romans 7, we find that while the law is good, and its requirements are righteous, the problem is with sin and with the weakness of our flesh. Thus, we agree with the law in what it requires, but we nevertheless fail to obey its commands. We agree with what the Law forbids, but we do these things anyway like working on the Sabbath, using God’s name in vain, loving your spouse and family more than the Lord, not stoning unruly kids, adulterers, blasphemers…And so we find that the fault lies with sinful men on the one hand, and with a covenant that cannot overcome or permanently remove sin and its consequences on the other. Thus, the fault of the Old Covenant is to be found in the sinfulness of men and in the Old Covenant’s inability to remove sin. Thus Jesus Christ is the New Covenant but He did not come to abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17) but rather to abolish sin. Instead of sacrificing animals for your sins as part of the Old Covenant and Mosaic Law, Jesus is the ultimate perfect sacrifice that can remove all sin. If He abolished any law(s), it was the sacrificial laws. With the New Covenant, all you have to do is repent and have faith Jesus is your savior to abolish your sins instead of killing animals. Romans 3:31 says “Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law”. Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect and preserves one’s life. The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced". Isaiah 40:8 and 1 Peter 1:24-25 both state the word of God stands forever. However, one must contemplate why an omniscient being, knowing the Old Covenant would fail, not just start with the new one. God did create a perfect being in Job 1:1 "whose name was Job; and that man was perfect…and eschewed evil”. Or even better, create Jesus-like beings with free will and without the ability to sin then there will be no need for a covenant. Is Jesus not a more accurate image of God than us? If God is perfect and due to sin we are not, then we are a “distorted” image of Him. Creating Jesus-like beings would accomplish His purpose of having a loving relationship without the need for sin and everything attached to it to be forgiven through a human/divine bloody sacrifice.

You really want an explanation based on a movie??
Read the relevant parts in the Bible and if you still have questions that is the time to ask in the forum.

Clearwater , has once again given a clear ,short,easy to understand answer to what can seem to be complex Questions, thank you for that…

The question you had about the “old man” was answered in an earlier post above – that wasn’t an “old man”, that was Satan, who tempted Jesus in the desert. As to the adulteress, note that they (Pharisees) brought her to Jesus INSIDE the city. First of all, stoning could only be done OUTSIDE the city walls. Secondly, they told Jesus she was taken “in the act of adultery”. Apparently, they told the man to just go home and keep quiet! He was also guilty! Since there was no husband there, very likely the woman was with a married man – HE was guilty of adultery, she was guilty of having sex without marriage, not adultery per se. Jesus was making the point that those who wish to kill one partner, and not even accuse the other, were hypocrites. So, He told them that “he who is without sin, shall cast the first stone” – which indicates only men brought her to Jesus, not a crowd of men and women! Look up the stories for each of these in a Bible, and you’ll understand them better. Jesus told her that He also did not CONDEMN her, but to go and SIN NO MORE. Obviously, some of those Pharisees, and/or those in the crowd were also guilty of adultery or other very serious sins. None could say “I am without sin” without saying “I am God”. Only Jesus in this scene was without sin! And He forgave her as He forgives us – Thank God!

As for Lazarus giving 1/3 of all he owned to the poor, he also had to provide for his family, and leave something for his children or widowed women in his family. Should he have given everything away, put his children or widowed sister, or mother on the street to beg? Many wealthy people give a lot of their income to the Church, but must also provide for their families. Those who gave up all to follow Christ, such as the Apostles, are the exception. Just as Priests give up the joys of family life and children to serve Him. This is not a command to everyone. I have only Social Security and a house with a large mortgage. Should I give away my Social Security, walk away from my house and sleep on the streets for love of God? I give a tithe (which, by the way, means a tenth of income) to the Church, and often have very small meals after paying bills and mortgage. I serve at my Church as much as I am able, give a tithe, (and often more). That is acceptable to the Lord, as it is my “two pennies” as a widow without much income. If I were wealthy, I would give a lot more, and many wealthy do so. Some do this without taking the “tax break” to which they are legally entitled. I usually do the same, taking only the minimum “tax break” for charity. I also support a child in South America so she can have an education, medical care and food. If I were on the street, giving up what I have for the Lord, I could not help her. The warning is to those wealthy who love their money more than they love God!

Again, read the Bible. I also love such movies, but also know the Scriptures upon which such scenes are based, so I can make a rational judgment as to what was intended when Jesus said or did these things. He also forgave the woman of “ill repute” (probably a prostitute) who washed his feet with her tears and anointed them with oils. Why? Because she was not only repentant, but because she “loved much”, meaning she was not only repentant, but loved God very much and wanted to change her life. That is the meaning of forgiveness. Jesus fulfilled the Law, that is, the Law of God, not the laws of Kosher foods, or of separation from the Gentiles, most of which were written by Moses to keep the Israelites more faithful to God, and were not God’s Laws, but disciplines to keep them a separate people so they would not forget the God who brought them out of slavery in Egypt. God never asked for human sacrifice. The animals sacrificed were “sin offerings”, but could not provide conversion of heart and salvation. They were a prefigurement of the sacrifice of Christ, who gave Himself, willingly, as a sacrifice for mankind. Hope this makes some sense to you and clarifies some of your questions.

Jesus fulfills the Law thus such Law, stoning of the adulterer, is no more.

We are not judge to a sinner as judgment is God’s and God’s alone.

Again, based on the principle that it is between the person and God - the Church is not a tax collector or personal accountant to the rich parishioners. We do not know the amount of his riches nor we know whether he give everything for the sake of the Lord. The church can only teach the gospel but the individuals make the decision in their lives.

In theory, a seemingly rich people need not necessarily must also have big surplus. One can have a million dollars income but then can spend the same amount on operating expenses.

Anyway, not all riches are based on money but rather the three Ts – talent, time and treasure.

The Devil tested Jesus without any other reason but just for the sake of it.

Jesus healed because he has the power to do so but it is out of compassion as well. He did it not to prove that he is a Messiah.

It is how a lay person explains it. Just me.:yeah_me: So you have to take it with a good amount of grain of salt.:o

Just a thought – remember that this is a Hollywood movie, not the actual scenes, and leaves a lot out of the teachings of Jesus. If you read the stories in the Gospels, you’ll find there is a lot more in there than in the movies. I enjoy those movies too, but mainly because I already know the story “behind the scenes”. If you have a DVD, you might try renting or buying the film “Jesus of Nazareth”. Takes about 2 evenings (originally was on tv for 3 nights) to watch, or you can spend a Saturday and watch the whole thing through the afternoon and early evening. It follows the Gospels a bit closer. My favorite parable in that one is when Jesus is walking about at a dinner telling the story of the “Prodigal Son”. I thought it was excellently done!!

By the way, you’ll never see the actor playing Jesus in this film blink! It was done in short scenes and deliberately. Makes his eyes compelling in the film. Only thing I didn’t like was the Nordic blue eyes. Majority of Jews in the first Century had brown or black eyes, unless they had intermarried a LOT with other peoples from the north or from Northern Greece or Spain, where blond or light colored hair and blue or green eyes were more common.:wave:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.