Harry Whittaker
Studies in the Gospels

38. Jesus Before the Rulers (John 5:17-47)

The rulers who arrested Jesus after the healing at Bethesda were out to make a capital charge against him: “Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day” (Jn.5:16). Here the words: “and sought to slay him”, are omitted by many modern versions. Actually the textual evidence pro and con is fairly evenly balanced. But in any case'the idea is clearly implied in verse 18: “the Jews sought the more to kill him.”

But they did not dare to liquidate him out of hand. So there was a formal legal enquiry. The long discourse of Jesus which takes up the rest of John 5 is to be read as his formal reply to the accusation made against him that “he was doing these things on the sabbath.” “These
things”! What a phrase to describe the Lord's remarkable miracles of healing! -- the demoniac in the synagogue (Mk. 1:23-26), the man with the withered hand (Mt. 12:10-13), and the impotent man at Bethesda (Jn. 5:8, 9). All of these were made whole on the sabbath.

Indeed, the verb tenses: “he was doing these things... he was loosing the sabbath”, strongly suggest a deliberate campaign of sabbath miracles, as though making a direct challenge to religious extremism. The way was being prepared for the startling doctrine that the New Israel would have a new and different sabbath doctrine.

“Defence” before the Rulers

The lord's first brief answer was: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (v.17). It was the Lord of the sabbath who spoke. Whatever the “rest” of the Elohim from creative activity (Gen.2:2), it was clear enough to all that the Father's beneficent work on behalf of His creatures still continued without intermission. Were not the Bethesda waters troubled on sabbaths as well as on other days? And on all days alike, sabbath included, He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust. So it behoved the Son to be like his Heavenly Father.

But, more than this, the Lord intended, of course, that his interrogators should look beyond his act of compassion to the greater redemption of a New Israel, which is “signified (cp. the use of “works” in Ps. 77:11-20; 111:2-9; 145:5, 9, 10; Jn. 4:34; 9:4; 17:4-8).

Had the premises postulated here by Jesus been acceptable, the argument could not have been gainsaid. Perhaps the astute men listening to Jesus realised this and were glad to shift the attack. But, that apart, it clearly horrified them that a very ordinary Jew should claim to be the very Son of God. Now they were all the more resolved that he should die, for he not only said that God was his Father but also (by their wilful false inference) he “made himself equal with God”(v.18).

To no Jew could a son rank as equal to his father. So here the phrase: “equal with God”, must have been used to mean “of divine nature” -in that sense equal with God, and therefore even superior to the angels, not only in status but also in the life he possessed. Scandalized at this, they were determined to demonstrate its palpable falsity by having him put to death.

Seeking to kill Him

Here is the overt commencement of one of the dominant themes of John's gospel. Earlier there had been a veiled intimation of the Lord's sacrificial work by the allusion which linked him with Jacob's altar at Bethel (1:51). And there was the more intelligible prophecy of death and resurrection: “Take down this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up again” (2:19). After the healing of the man with the withered hand in the synagogue, the Pharisees “held a council against him, how they might destroy him” (Mt. 12:14).

From now on emphasis on this calculating resolve to be rid of Jesus recurs with sickening frequency:
To these might be added from Luke's gospel:
Thus from very early in his ministry, Jesus was, humanly speaking, a doomed man.

Equal with God?

Trinitarian orthodoxy has seized on these words of v.18: “making himself equal with God”, as a declaration of Athanasian doctrine that the Son is “co-equal with the Father.” Great play is also made with verse 23: “that all men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father”. Yet this latter expression means no more than this, that men should recognize in Jesus the Father's highest representative and plenipotentiary. In the days of the British Empire a viceroy or governor-general demanded and was accorded all the respect and honour which would normally be shown to the king or queen. It is in this sense that men are to honour the Son with the Father.

Yet how can the co-equality of the Son be maintained in face of the numerous other declarations made by Jesus in the course of this very speech?
All of these expressions either explicitly or by clear implication deny that the Son is co-equal with his Father. Instead they assert his constant and complete dependence on the Father.

Father and Son

Some of the phrases used here by Jesus are very arresting in another way. “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (v.19). “For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth” (v.20). The words call up an almost naive mental picture of an eager child learning his father's practical skills by seeing them in action and having them simply demonstrated--just the kind of thing which must have happened over and over again twenty years earlier in the carpenter's shop at Nazareth.

The same idea comes out in a number of places in John's gospel:
This last passage proceeds to carry on the same idea in the education of the junior members of the family, so to speak: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to my Father” (14:12).

In the foregoing passages, and especially in the italicized words, there is a distinct suggestion of intimate personal contact between Father and Son of an altogether different character from that which exists, even at the highest level of spiritual experience, between Father and son. Here, in John, is a yet more emphatic counterpart to the impressive occasions with which the synoptic gospels are dotted when Jesus retired into seclusion, often in the mountain, for prayer to his Father. With him, if John's record is to be credited, prayer was very much a two-way traffic. There are times when it is needful to stress the essential humanity of Jesus and the experiences which he had in common with his fellow men. There are also times when it is right and proper to recognize that the Virgin Birth brought to Jesus high spiritual privileges in a closeness of personal experience of the Father such as is simply not possible to others.

Tone of Authority

The reaction of the Jewish leaders to Christ's assertions is not described but may well be imagined. In some, bewilderment, as they recognized vaguely that a corner of a veil was being lifted on things far beyond even the highest that Moses had ever known. In most of them, however, there was doubtless seething indignation that this untutored son of the people should dare to make such preposterous claims -- that he was Jesus-ben-Jehovah! Was not this the limit in blasphemy?

Yet there must have been a few, at least, who were troubled. They shrewdly assessed the character of the man, they pondered this recent miracle and the multiplying reports of many another work of power, they discerned dimly that here was one who lived inside Scripture as they never could; and there was no ignoring the air and tone of authority with which he made these astonishing claims. As they listened, their trained minds at full stretch to grasp the tenor of his discourse, it dawned on them that he was no longer making his defence for sabbath-breaking, he was instructing them! His theme was the Passover they were then celebrating; but the central figure was not Moses but Jesus of Nazareth!

“Passover” Allusions

This “Passover” theme in the Lord's discourse is readily missed because the modern Gentile mind is not tuned to the ancient terminology which was part of the normal vocabulary of every Jew of those days.

“The Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel” (v.20). Right up to the present day, in fulfilment of the commandment of Exodus 13:8, 14, every Jewish family includes in its Passover celebration the Haggadah, the showing-forth: “And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him. By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

What were the “greater works” which the son was commissioned to achieve? Again, the allusion goes back to Israel's deliverance from Egypt. God's first tokens of the redemption He would bring were the changing of loathsome leprosy -- the sin-disease -- into pure wholesome holy flesh, and a change of the sin- serpent, with its sting of death, into a rod of God to act with delivering power against all the forces of evil (Ex. 4:2-7, 21). The Son's “greater works” will be the fulfilment of these superb types in reality

That day, in understanding of this heavenly Purpose, the Son had re-enacted the Passover deliverance, providing Jerusalem with a foretaste of these “greater works”. The impotent man had had no need to go through angel-troubled water, as Israel did when the angel of the Lord guided and controlled their escape through the Red Sea (Ex. 14:19, 23-27). Instead the word of Power from God's appointed Redeemer was sufficient, and as Israel went out of Egypt on the Passover Sabbath with their belongings on their backs (Ex. 12:34), so also he on his day of deliverance.

But a yet greater work of redemption was to be wrought, “that ye may marvel”. Israel have always regarded that exodus from Egypt under Moses as the mightiest wonder in their national history: “All my wonders which I will do in the midst of Egypt” (Ex. 3:20). “Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt” (Ps. 78:12). “The dukes of Edom shall be amazed) the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold of them.” “This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes” (Ps. 118:23-part of the Paschal Hallel). “Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation.. .for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee (Moses)” (Ex. 34:10)-and the Shekinah Glory of God was reflected in the face of Moses before all the people (34:29, 30).

Thus, as judgment over the people had been fully committed to Moses in the wilderness (Ex. 18:15; Dt. 4:5, 14; 5:31), so now- Jesus declared - “The father hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should recognize glory in the Son, even as they recognize glory in the Father. He that glorifieth not the Son glorifieth not the Father which sent him”(v. 22, 23).

Here again is emphasis on the Moses pattern: “And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto (his) tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked
after Moses... And all the people saw the pillar of cloud stand at the tabernacle door; and all the people rose up and worshipped” (Ex. 33:8, 10).

Men like Korah and his fellow-rebels had flouted the authority of Moses, only to hear as reply to their challenge: “Hereby ye shall know that the Lord sent me to do all these works; for (they are) not from myself” (Num.16:28 LXX). Jesus now echoed these words, but his claim went unheeded.

The word “sent” (v. 23) became a key word in the Lord's exposition. Four times (v. 23, 30, 36, 37) he emphasized his divine commission to bring a deliverance greater than that of Moses. The men before him, knowing their Torah by heart, would see the point of the repetition, for in the early chapters of Exodus this word was used eight times of Moses' mission to Israel in bondage: “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh” (Ex. 3:10-15; 4:28; 5:22; 7:16).

Even the theme of resurrection to which Jesus gave great prominence in this discourse was appropriate to Israel's Passover deliverance. The land of bondage was a grave which held God's people, dead to freedom and the service of Jehovah (cp. the symbolism of Ezekiel's valley of dry bones: “I will bring you up out of your graves;” Ez. 37:12). “The Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them”, said Jesus. Did his hearers ask themselves: “When, in all our national history, has God done that?” And the only answer within their reach would be “Literally, never. But the call of Israel out of Egypt was a national resurrection, truly, and all of it God's work by the hand of Moses.”

“Even so”, continued Jesus, “the Son quickeneth whom he will (note the present tense there). . . the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” (v.21, 25). That very day he had demonstrated this truth in a miracle by which a helpless man rose up and “passed from (a living) death to life” (v.24).

Moses and Jesus

But this deliverance and this new life were possible only for those who “hear the voice of the Son of God.” Reluctant Moses had pitied himself in the assigned task: “But behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken to my voice”, even though the divine assurance had been: “They shall hearken to thy voice” (Ex. 3:18;4:1). Now a greater than Moses stood before them, with signs surpassing those of Moses, and n hearken they must, for only “those who hear o shall live.”

At Sinai the people had refused the voice of ' God. Everything about that experience was too t overpowering. “Speak thou with us, Moses, “ and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, 91 lest we die” (Ex. 20:19). Now (but what a* remarkable dramatic irony!) here was Jesus, *' claiming to be the promised Prophet like unto Moses (Dt. 18:14, 15, 19), claiming to be the Son of God speaking to them with the voice of God and emphatically declaring that hearing (and obeying) his voice will bring life, not death.

From every point of view the message was difficult for them to receive. They had to admit themselves fast in a bondage they could not shake off. They were called to believe in a man they preferred to despise. And they, who laid down a Law for the nation, and found intense satisfaction in that role, were now required humbly to accept the guidance and instruction of a “blasphemer”.

There was an astonishing blend of authority and humility in the man they sought to condemn. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me”(v.30). Moses was still the prototype.

Jesus proceeded to expound the fulfilment of the Exodus type twice over. As Israel got their national resurrection from the land of graves by accepting Moses as a leader, so now a better resurrection was being offered: “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead (you Pharisees!) shall hear (and obey) the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”

Also there is a future day when figurative resurrection will become literal: “All that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth.” The Greek word, meaning “walk forth, journey forth”, comes in oddly here, but how well it recalls Israel's journey out of Egypt. There will be resurrection to life and resurrection to death. And the criterion: that a man has either “done good” or has “practised that which is useless or trivial” (s.w. Num.15:31 LXX: “because he has treated the Word of the Lord as trivial”).

How the men of the Sanhedrin must have stared at Jesus as he explicitly claimed for himself the authority to exercise this judgment “because he is the Son of man” (v.27). The usual reading of this passage stresses Christ's sharing of weak human nature as a proper qualification for being Judge of all.

This is a mistake. The allusion, as in so many other places (Mt.24:30; 26:64; Rev.1:7, 13: 14:14; Acts.7:56), is to the “Son of man” prophecy in Dan.7:12, 13. Jesus claimed to be the one to whom is given “glory and dominion and a kingdom.” Therefore to him also is given the right to say who shall be in that kingdom.

There is an important parallelism (with significant differences) between these two enunciations of resurrection doctrine:

Verse 25
Verses 28, 29
The hour is coming,
The hour is coming
and now is when
all that are in the
the dead shall
graves shall hear
hear the voice of
his voice (the voice
the Son of God
of the Son of man)
they that hear
and shall come
shall live

the resurrection of life...

the resurrection of


Why did not these rulers impeach Jesus without delay for making these astonishing Messianic claims? Because of the undeniable and awe-inspiring witness now made to the truth of every word he spoke.

Moses, rejected by the nation once, was accepted at his second coming to them because of the witness by which his mission was validated. He could tell of his experience at the burning bush. He had Aaron his brother to vouch for him. Before them all he demonstrated signs which were not to be gainsaid. And, for witness to succeeding generations, he had left behind him the testimony of five inspired books.


Jesus proceeded to cite his five witnesses to vindicate his own claims:
Apart from his own account of himself (which should have been sufficient, because they were able to judge what kind of man he was), there was the supporting witness of John the Baptist, whom they all knew in their hearts to be a true prophet of the Lord. “Ye sent unto John' -- it was a reminder of the formal deputation which had investigated John's claims -- and he had bidden them prepare for the manifestation of one greater than himself (Jn. 1:23, 26). But now, after giving him respect for a season, they had turned away from John's instruction, and so found excuse for not heeding his still valid witness to Jesus and to the truth about him.

John's pointing to Jesus was not really a human witness, for -- as they well knew -- there was a divine authority about John's message. It was like the troubling of the water, “that they (like the stricken folk at Bethesda) might be saved.” But even after the miracle they were still too full of prejudice to admit that John's directive must lead them to Jesus.

John himself was not the true Light but only a burning and shining lamp to help the people that walked in darkness. He was like the candlestick in the Holy Place made quite unnecessary when the Shekinah Glory of God shone forth in the Holy of Holies. He was like the pillar of fire guiding Israel out of the darkness of Egypt to the waters of baptism into Moses and on to a fulness of Glory at the Mount of God. Alas, Jesus had to say “he (John) was” this, for although still alive he was now shut up in Herod's dungeon.

These men of Jerusalem had been willing “for an hour” but only for that kind of short while, to “rejoice in John's light”, mistaking the lamp for the Light. But it was the kind of rejoicing which a twentieth-century believer has when he “enjoys the word of exhortation” instead of cringing under it.

“But I have greater witness than that of John (10:41): for the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me” (v. 36).

Moses had had his witness, so like, yet so different: “Hereby shall ye know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works...If these men die the common death of all men...then the Lord hath not sent me” (Num. 16:28, 29).

Jesus, too, had witness enough borne him, by miracles just as mighty but so much more gracious. Had not the fact been forced on their attention that very day? Nor were these just random healings or self-glorifying sensationalism. Each was a sign, a parable, a witness to the redeeming work of one greater than Moses. Why could they not read these signs of the times? (10:25, 32, 38; 14:11, 12; 15:24; Mt. 9:2-8; 11:20-24; Lk.7:22).

The Father's witness -- How?

Besides all these, there was direct witness from the Father: “The Father himself hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape” (v. 37). Again, the allusion was unmistakably to Moses who received from God in Sinai the laws and commandments for Israel. “Let not God speak with us, lest we die”, they had pleaded (Ex. 20:19). So Moses received the Law, hearing God's voice in the mount, and even seeing a limited manifestation of His Glory - “but my face shall not be seen”, God said (33:22, 23).

Surpassing all this was the intimacy with the Father which Jesus had already declared to them. But had they only his word to go on regarding this? The truth of Moses' communion with God had been demonstrated to the people in dramatic fashion. “Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone; while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him” (34:29, 30). This was certainly the experience of Jesus also on at least one occasion (the Transfiguration; Lk. 9:29: Mk. 9:15; and see also Lk. 22:43; Jn.18:6). Do not his words to the council on the present occasion require some similar display of glory? What alternative witness from the Father might there have been?

On the other hand, an open display of heavenly Glory in the face of Jesus would explain immediately how it came about that what had begun as a preliminary trial with Jesus as the accused could end with Jesus as the Judge and themselves as the condemned: “Ye have not the Father's word abiding in you (like Israel who refused to hear God's voice speaking directly to them)...Search the Scriptures; for ye are confident ye have eternal life by them: and these are they which bear witness of ME” (v. 38, 39). And what they testified was that there is life in Christ, and only in him.

Here was the fifth, and surely the most persuasive, witness. Without assiduous attention to the Scriptures they had little hope of life. Of this they were sure. Nor were they in error regarding this, if only the spirit of their searching had been right. Already he had tried to show them that the main purpose of all Law and Prophets was to bear witness concerning himself. Moses they knew, and thought they understood. Then why were they so blind as not to see in Jesus the prophet like Moses whom Moses had foretold?

The Accused accuses

Their massive built-in prejudices were sharply exposed: “You do not want to come to me, that you might have life” (v. 40); and one big reason for this was that Jesus was not the grand majestic person whom they looked for as Messiah. “I receive not glory from men” (v. 41). What an understatement this was! Had they been able to browbeat and cow him that day, his appeal to the nation would have been tragically ended forthwith. Truly he did not seek glory from men. His purpose was to lead his nation to obedience and the love of God. What hope of success in this, when these, the respected religious leaders, had no real love of God in them (v. 42), but instead were intent only on helping one another to corner all the superficial human glory that was going: “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the glory that cometh from God only” (v. 44).

As the Lord's commination intensified these men of authority and reputation cowered before him. “Do not think (some of them did!) that I will accuse you to the Father”, he said. Moses, faced with the provocations of a wayward, murmuring, unbelieving people, had taken their part, offering himself in expiation of their sins: “Blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written” (Ex. 32:32). And the prophet like unto Moses, whose indignation against the stubbornness of these priests and scribes now climbed to a climax, stood ready to do the same for them--if only they would hear his word and believe on Him who sent him (v. 24). No need that he continue his exposure of their evil attitude. It was already done more than adequately by this Moses whose name was ever on their lips in tones of awe. These five books of Torah teemed with prophecies concerning himself -- from the hope of reconciliation to God through the Seed of the woman, to the replacement of Moses himself by a man called Jesus-Joshua (v. 46). If their minds were so completely shut to the teaching of Moses as to miss its shouting relevance now, what hope that they might muster faith in one whom they despised and envied?

Angry, sickened, imperious, he strode from their presence. And no man sought to lay hands on him.

Notes: John 5:17-47

Broken the Sabbath. Not only their ruling of what sabbath-observance meant! The complete list of these sabbath collisions: Jn. 5:16, 18;Lk. 6:1-5 and parallels 6:6-11 and parallels; 13:11-17; 14:1-6; Jn. 9:14ff.
The Son... the Father. Cp. v. 30; 8:28; 9:4; 12:49; 14:10; and note the close resemblances between v. 19-24 and 3:34-36.
Loveth the Son. Moses needed rebuke at first: Ex. 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10-14, 24. But later: Ex. 33:11. Cp. “Abraham my beloved”; ls. 41:8; 2 Chr. 20:7

Greater works. So also Moses; Ex. 34:10. Does the future tense here point to the crucifixion or the second coming? “Works” is one of the usual words for Christ's miracles, because they (so to speak) came naturally to him.
Whom he wlll. And he wills to quicken those who believe; v. 24.
Believeth on him that sent me, by accepting His witness to His Son; cp. Moses: Ex. 4:31; 14:31.

From death unto life. Used with the idiomatic meaning commonplace in this gospel; cp. 1 Jn. 3:14. Cp. the force of “and now is” (v. 25). Other examples: Lk. 9:60; 15:24, 32; Rom. 6:11; Eph. 2:5; 5:14; Col. 2:13.
Given to the Son. If this Greek aorist does not look-back to Dan. 7:14 it is difficult to explain its use here.
Re-punctuated the Greek text could read: Marvel not at this, that he is the Son of man. This seems to make better sense.

All that are in the graves. Here is an example of the not uncommon use of “all” in the sense of “all without distinction, all kinds of people”, and not “all without exception, everybody;” cp. 1:9; 3:26; Rom. 10:13; 1 Tim. 2:1, 2; 4: 15; 5:20; 6:17.
Damnation. The word normally means “judgment”, but here “condemnation”, in antithesis to “life”. Such drastic statements as v.24- 29 doubtless invited the rejoinder: 'In this also thou blasphemes!, making thyself equal with God.' So the next paragraph, about “witness”, vindicates the Lord's claims.
If I (i.e. I only) bear witness of myself, my witness is not true, that is from your point of view; 8:13, 14.
Another. The Greek means another of the same sort. So also in v. 43, where the implication is: one after your own heart.
Bare witness. Greek perfect tense implies: What John said earlier still stands; 10:41.

Witness unto the truth, meaning : the truth about me; or how I fulfil God's covenants of promise (the “truth”).
RV: a lamp that burneth and shineth. Allusion to Ps. 132:17 (and see previous note). The Apocrypha uses similar language about Elijah.
Sent me. Unlike v. 23, this word implies “sent, yet accompanied by”.

Heard his voice. Dt. 18:18?

Nor seen his shape. Dt. 4:12; Ex. 33:22, 23; 24:10, 17; 4:1. The Moses allusions are to be looked for in almost every phrase.
Search the scriptures. The Lord's phrase probably alluded also to the Midrash, the loaded and soulless commentaries of the rabbis. The Greek verb is ambiguous -- either imperative, or indicative: 'You keep on searching...’ If the former, then: “in them ye think ye have eternal life” (and you are right) because they testify of Christ. If the latter, the meaning is: You search, but you search in vain, simply because your minds are not open to see everywhere the Old Testament message about me. Hoskyns, generally one of the more wholesome commentators, has this pathetic comment:

“The Evangelist (no, it's Jesus!) does not mean a merely superficial capacity of foretelling the future.” The reference is not “to some selection of so-called messianic passages”. So foretelling the work of Christ centuries beforehand is “superficial” is it? Hoskyns isn't usually quite so feeble. “

Ye think ye have eternal life. The verb is stronger than this: You are confident.

Testify of me. Failing to see Christ in the Old Testament they missed “eternal life”. And today those who read the gospels without faith in Christ waste their time.
/ receive not honour from men. A recognition already that his mission was being a failure?
I know you. This aorist (past tense) surely refers back to v. 10, 12, 16, 18.

Not the love of God. In Dt. the context of this phrase seems to be always inheritance (with Joshua-Jesus) of the Promised land; 6:5; 10:12; 11:13; 30:16, 20.
In his own name. It has been estimated that in the century before A.D.70 there were no less than 64 false Messiahs.
Accuse you to the Father. How could Jesus say this and get away with it unless there were some sign that he would have such authority? But Moses did not do this (Ex.32:32), so how could Jesus? contrast 12:48.
There is a double contrast here: If ye do not go on believing his writings, how can ye (with present prejudice) believe my spoken words for an instant? Dt.18:18 has both: Moses, Christ, writings, spoken words.

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