Bible Scholar Admits that the High Priest at Jesus’ Trial Was Unaware of Jesus’ Claims of Divinity Found in John’s Gospel

Joel Edmund Anderson on Twitter: "Want a Signed Copy of “Heresy of Ham” (at  a discounted price)??? https://t.co/xWybX0k1W9… "
Biblical scholar Joel Edmund Anderson

Gary: My question to you is: Even if Jesus didn’t outright claim to be God, but only inferred he was God, as he does frequently in the Gospel of John, why didn’t the high priest (in Mark’s account in Mark chapter 14) bring up this issue in front of the Sanhedrin when they were desperately looking for anything to accuse Jesus of that would warrant killing him?

All the high priest had to say was, “Jesus of Nazareth, you have said that you existed before Abraham. You have said that you and your father, Yahweh, are one. You have said that you are the “I AM”. By these statements are you inferring that you are God, Yahweh himself??”

Mark’s chief priest and the entire Sanhedrin were either complete idiots for not bringing up John’s Jesus’ many inferences to his divinity or Jesus never made any of these statements, ie, the author of John invented them. So which is it?

Joel Edmund Anderson: Fascinating. You are taking something in John’s Gospel, which was written circa AD 90, during an entirely different “post-AD 70 setting,” and you are asking why the high priest in Mark’s account of the night time trial before the Sanhedrin (written circa AD 66-70 about Jesus’ trial in AD 30) doesn’t ask Jesus about the details of John’s more creative, spiritual Gospel.

So here’s my answer to your question. The reason why the high priest in Mark didn’t ask Jesus about the details of John’s Gospel is because the high priest didn’t have a Delorean and didn’t travel to the future to read John’s Gospel in AD 90, and then (obviously) didn’t travel back to AD 30 to ask Jesus about what John wrote.

Gary: Excellent! So you agree that during his lifetime Jesus never said:

Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.

I and the Father are one.

Either Jesus said these things, but at his trial before the Sanhedrin, the chief priest and all the Jewish leaders amazingly forgot about these shocking inferences of divinity, or, Jesus did not say these things; these statements are literary/theological inventions of the author of the Gospel of John. It is one or the other, Joel. Which is it?

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Mark 14

There is no possible way that the Sanhedrin “couldn’t find any valid accusation against him” if Jesus had truly made the two statements above. If Jesus made these two statements, any Jew would instantly realize he was claiming to be God.

(Dear Reader: the gist of this discussion is that I seriously doubt that the historical Jesus ever claimed to be God. He probably did claim to be the Messiah and that is what got him killed, but there is no way he was criss-crossing Palestine for three years claiming or even inferring he was God, Yahweh himself. No way! The divinity of Jesus and the Trinity are later inventions of the Gentile Church.)

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21 thoughts on “Bible Scholar Admits that the High Priest at Jesus’ Trial Was Unaware of Jesus’ Claims of Divinity Found in John’s Gospel

  1. re: “Dear Reader: the gist of this discussion is that I seriously doubt that the historical Jesus ever claimed to be God. He probably did claim to be the Messiah and that is what got him killed, but there is no way he was criss-crossing Palestine for three years claiming or even inferring he was God, Yahweh himself. No way! The divinity of Jesus and the Trinity are later inventions of the Gentile Church.”

    This is exactly my take on it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent poignant like a razor questions Gary. Well done Sir.

    In all my 15+ years of listening to, reading, and discussions with Christian Apologists, particularly Evangy-Fundy apologists (arguably the worst kind), as well as my 11+ years in the ministry/missionary work along with 3-years of seminary… I have found ZERO Christian apologists who know anything about Yeshua’s/Jesus’ actual, plausibly verifiable background and Jewish theology regarding a/the Messiahship—as correctly understood within Second Temple Sectarian Judaism. None. Zip. Nada. It’s as if they are lobotomized to even recognize Yeshua’s/Jesus’ deeply-steeped Jewishness of the Age! 🤦‍♂️ All they care to look at, talk about, or read about is strictly the Hellenistic or Greco-Roman version of a Mithraic-Christ designed and suited for Gentiles only.

    It’s a shame they are so blinded and brainwashed by all the convoluted mess handed down to them since the Earliest Roman Church Fathers and thru two millenia until we/they reach an utterly unrecognizable Christ-myth drenched in Hellenism… not factual Second Temple Messianism and 2st-century Homeland Judaism. It is truly sad they’ve all be so badly hood-winked.

    Nevertheless, great work Gary. Keep it up! 👏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hahaha…this is funny.
    (A) I do not consider myself a “Christian apologist.” So, you are wrong there.
    (B) Like I said, John’s Gospel is dated to around 90 AD, and even the early Church Fathers readily acknowledge that it is decidedly different from the earlier Synoptics. It is more theological and creative.
    (C) Logically, it amuses me how you think you’ve scored big points by erecting a strawman and stating something logically absurd. Why didn’t the high priest in MARK’S Gospel ask Jesus about how JOHN depicted Jesus in his Gospel?

    I mean come on. Jesus didn’t go around saying, “HEY, I’m YHWH!” This is nothing new. Scholars know this.

    As for Ark, I’m just a mirror, dude! 😉

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    1. Why do you continue to obfuscate, Dr. Anderson?

      Do you believe that the historical Jesus ever made the following public statements, yes or no”

      Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.

      I and the Father are one.

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        1. I then asked you multiple times if you believe that Jesus openly inferred that he was Yahweh, specifically, did Jesus say:

          Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.

          I and the Father are one.

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          1. Not surprised. No answer from Anderson. I have come to the conclusion after several conversations with Joel Anderson that he is a gaslighter. He attempts to convince his interlocuter that he or she is incapable of communicating in the English language. This is his tactic to avoid being boxed into a corner on an issue. Dr. Anderson doesn’t want to admit that there is no way Jesus ever inferred he was God, if the account of his trial before the Sanhedrin recorded in the Gospel of Mark is historical.

            To any open-minded person, the obvious truth is: either “Mark” or “John” (or both) had his/their facts wrong.

            The Gospels are NOT reliable sources of historical information, folks!

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    1. I apologize, Joel. I didn’t realize that. I will change the post to reflect your correct status.

      From Dr. Anderson’s website:

      I am an author, blogger, as well as an adjunct Old Testament instructor at the University of North Alabama. I hope to use this blog as a “hub” for all my writing projects. If you subscribe and follow my blog, you will soon find out that I like to write on a wide range of topics, from Biblical Studies, Church History, Theology, Cultural and Social Issues, as well as things like Literature and Poetry. This should not be surprising if you know me. I graduated college with a B.S. Ed. in English Literature from Northwest Missouri State University, and then went on to graduate school and eventually got an M.A. in Theological Studies from Regent College, another M.A. in Old Testament from Trinity Western University, and eventually a PhD in Old Testament from the University of Pretoria.

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      1. Wouldn’t an M.A. in Theological Studies imply, if not a theologian, at least a familiarity with theological issues and hopefully an aptitude for discussing them?

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        1. I think Dr. Anderson is implying that a scholar is “higher up” on the religious totem pole than a mere theologian.

          However, whether he is a mere theologian or a scholar, his inability, or more likely, his unwillingness, to answer my simple question is disappointing. Never once did I state that Jesus was walking around Palestine preaching “I am Yahweh”, but our good scholar continues to insist that is what I said.

          I propose that if Jesus so much as hinted that he was God (Yahweh) or even that he was equal to God (Yahweh), the Sanhedrin would not have allowed him to schlep around Judea and Galilee for three years. They would have stoned him on the spot the first time he did it. The excuses that Christians make for why the Sanhedrin would not kill Jesus for inferring he was God do not pass muster. According to the Christian holy book, Stephen was stoned on the spot for charging the Sanhedrin with Jesus’ death, yet we are to believe the Jews would have refrained from stoning someone when that someone was claiming to be God?? Nonsense! Fear of the crowds?? Nonsense.

          More Christian spin to prop up their ridiculous tall tale.

          Dr. Anderson does not want to address this simple logic, therefore he engages in obfuscation and disingenuous statements of feigned bewilderment at my inability to comprehend his non-answer.

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          1. It seems like the implications of his argument is that John is not a document that can be trusted to be historically accurate about Jesus said and did, but is rather a theological document, written to create or develop theology about Jesus regardless of whether the events described in order to create or develop that theology occurred or not.

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            1. I agree.

              But then that still leaves the question: Did Jesus ever infer that he was God (Yahweh)? Why didn’t the chief priest bring up this issue at Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin if the Jewish authorities knew that Jesus was criss-crossing Palestine feigning (in their view) to be God forgiving sins?

              That fact that the chief priest says not one word about Jesus making inferences of being God tells me that either Mark’s account is not historically reliable or Jesus never made any such (or similar) statement.

              The Gospels are not historically reliable sources of information!

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              1. Yes, I wish Dr. Anderson would address whether he thinks all four gospels are reliable sources of factual information or not (he seems to think John is not), and how he would reconcile your question with that idea.
                One reason people like Licona and Rauser have dismissed The Book of Mormon quickly and easily is because they read it like a “fundamentalist” – a flat, non nuanced reading sees theological and textual conflicts and contradictions as evidence of a non inspired book.

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  4. I don’t have any problem saying that I don’t think Jesus ever implied that he was YHWH.

    I’ll go even further: I don’t think Jesus ever even said “before Abraham was, I am”.

    The Gospel of John is a theological document, wrapped exceedingly loosely around some historical events. So loosely, in fact, that in many places, there’s no real point of contact at all between the theological and the historical.

    Furthermore, I think the Gospel of John shows all the earmarks of a theology that was developing in a manner that was almost totally disconnected from Judaism, or that had some very strongly “esoteric”, Merkabah-esque leanings mixed with Plato (or, something along those lines)…

    Is it an historical text? I’d say “not at all”. Sure, there are probably some historic facts presented in the Gospel that actually happened, of course. But, those things are just the minimal framework around which a lot of theological stuff is attached….

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