Response to Paul Williams on the Gospel according to Matthew

Muslims have to spend their energy trying to make the New Testament contradict within itself and use liberal scholarship like Bart Ehrman, James D. G. Dunn, Dale Martin, John Dominic Crossan, Christopher Tuckett, etc. – who are mostly warmed over classic liberalism of German higher criticism of the Tubingen school and classical liberals of the last 3 centuries – like F. C. Bauer, Walter Bauer, Schleiermacher, Rudolph Bultmann, Reimeus, Martin Kahler, etc.

Ehrman has a very shallow understanding of the Gospel according to Matthew.

In order to do the good works of Matthew 25, one has to first become a true sheep / a true disciple.

The whole book is about discipleship (Make disciples of all the nations (ta ethna / τα εθνη = all ethnic linguistic people groups – Matthew 28:19, which is a literary inclusio harkening back to 4:17-19 – repent, follow Me) and who are true disciples / sheep, who follow the true Shepherd Jesus.

The Magi (more than three, Gentiles, non-Jews, wise men out of the east – the Persian Empire at that time – probably some from Persians and other ethnic groups within Persian Empire – Arabs, Babylonians, Medes (Kurdish people of today come from the Medes), Assyrians, etc.), came to worship Jesus as the Messiah, the king of the Jews, the virgin born Messiah and Savior from sins (1:21 – you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins”) and Immanuel, “God with us” (1:18-25) the true shepherd (2:1-12; see 2:6 – where Micah 5:2 is quoted that the Messiah is the Shepherd). Gentiles are being included as sheep. (The theme of Gentiles / non -Jews being included into the kingdom of God is a great theme of Matthew:  2:1-12; 4:13-15; 8:10-12; 10:18; 11:25-30; 12:15-21; 15:17-28 (opens the way for Gentile Canaanites (because she realized her sin and cried out for mercy and did not play self-pity, “I am a victim” games; rather she accepted Jesus as the Son of David, Lord (Kurios), the fulfillment of OT as Messiah-King), and also that they do not have to become Jews or obey Kosher food laws – harmonious with Mark 7:19-23; Galatians, Acts 15, etc.) ; 21:43; 24:14; 28:19)

To become a true sheep, there must be repentance and acceptance of Jesus for all He is. (Matthew 4:17-19; 11:25-30)

This includes His worthiness of worship (2:1-12; 14:33; 28:16) and His ransom / atonement (20:28 “ransom for many”, same as Mark 10:45); Matthew 26:28 “this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”; Matthew 26:31 – the quote from Zechariah 13:7 (“strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered” in 26:31 shows that Jesus the Messiah is the fulfillment of that and the striking is the death blow of the crucifixion – the atonement –

so Matthew is fully harmonious with the apostle Paul writings and the gospel according to John and Hebrews and there is no contradiction whatsoever.

All who are burdened and heavy laden from all nations, are welcome to come to Jesus Al Masih.

Matthew 11:25-30

Jesus reveals His truth to people from all nations, who are humble and confess their sins and weaknesses, and come to Him for help and salvation and learning in discipleship.

Matthew 11:27 is a deep verse about the Father and the Son – which points to the doctrine of the Trinity, as does Matthew 28:19.

“Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest . . . ”

“Take My yoke upon you . . . ” – be willing to start the discipleship process and be yoked / connected to Me from now on in a relationship of following Me.”

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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7 Responses to Response to Paul Williams on the Gospel according to Matthew

  1. Tobias Bellhouse says:

    Dear Mr Temple
    I am sorry to bother you with my rambling expositions. May I say that I admire you very much for your contributions to ‘Blogging Theology’, even though some of the comments of your adversaries are enough to make ones skin crawl. We may come from different Christian traditions, in my case from Holy Orthodoxy of the Western rite and you from the Geneva tradition, but we may admire and respect our arguments to the greater glory of the Lord.
    One particular comment caught my attention, from one of our Muslim sparing partners: “Both Jews and Muslims claim that their respective Scriptures are God’s revelation not eyewitnesses accounts.

    Jews never claim that anyone witnessed Moses when he was given the tablets by God. Jews never claim that anyone witnessed Daniel when he met the Angel Gabriel and became terrified. Jews never claim that an eyewitness is required to witness an angel that visited any prophet.

    Only Christians made the claim that their Scriptures (NT Gospels) are eyewitnesses accounts. But evidences from the same Gospels proved this claim false.

    So, attacking what Muslims never claim is just a straw man argument not a solution to the evidences that proved that the NT Gospels are not eyewitnesses accounts.”
    How would you respond to this theory ?

    Yours in Christ


    • Ken Temple says:

      Thanks Tobias for your kind and encouraging comments. Praise God for you and the truths we both agree on about God, The Deity of Christ, the Incarnation, the Trinity, the cross, atonement, resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; the power of the Holy Spirit!

      I hope that many others see the truth of Scripture in my responses and that God will have mercy upon any mistakes or bad reactions that I have had to those guys. I feel sorry for them, for they have no peace or forgiveness or life or salvation without the gospel and reality of the NT truth.

      I did not see that argument.

      I guess Jews would say it is eyewitnessed by the recording of the actual events – that when Moses and Daniel wrote down the events, then that written revelation proves the reality of the historical event.

      I don’t really understand the Muslim argument – are you saying they don’t have eyewitnesses, just the book of revelation (ie, the Qur’an) ?

  2. Tobias Bellhouse says:

    Dear Mr Temple
    Thank you very much for your kind reply to my rambling message. I must confess that there are times, particularly during this lock down, when one does feel rather lonely and helpless in the face of the seemingly mounting attacks upon our Lord and His Church from all sides, conversations such as these are very helpful. In times such as these we must keep the words of St John Climacus, of holy memory “Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience. For thus he who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” We must have patience, hope and give glory to the Lord. In the words of St Isaac the Syrian, of holy memory, “When patience greatly increases in our soul, it is a sign that we have secretly received the grace of consolation. The power of patience is stronger than the joyful thoughts that descend into the heart.”

    As I said before, even a cursory glance at the comment section of “Blogging Theology” reveals a selection of very angry people who do not seem to wish to give ear to the words of their Prophet that name calling and rudeness in debate are not correct, and that only beautiful words are to be used. Speaking for myself, I have no personal view of Mohammed, although I try to keep the words of St Gregory Palamas,of holy memory, who spent several year as a prisoner of the Ottomans, in mind “It is true that Mohammed started from the east and came to the west, as the sun travels from the east unto the west. Nevertheless, he came with war, knives, pillaging, forced enslavement, murders, and acts that are not from the good God, but instigated by the chief manslayer, the devil.” In the face of their words and insults we must try to be living Icons of Our Lord, bringing the hope and eternity of the Christian message to even the most hateful; “Conquer men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of justice to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.”. I am rambling again, I apologise.

    God and the Prayers of Our Lady St Mary Theotokos and of St Michael the Taxiarch be with you.

    Yours In Christ Jesus our Lord


    P.S Please excuse this further intrusion upon your time, and forgive me for my silly blaberings. You are clearly a person focused upon God, and while we are divided by schism, may I please ask you for your prayers ? I have struggled with crippling depression and anxiety for a great many years, and at the moment my life is rapidly becoming increasingly complicated for reason with which I shall not bore you with. Please pray for me a poor sinner.

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