The importance of our sin nature in the gospel message is denied by Michael Heiser pt 2.
Heiser denies certain essentials of the faith as they have been understood for millennia.
Now that we understand where Heiser stands on the deity of Christ in the salvation message (pt.1), let’s look further on his explanation of the actual death Jesus died and what he thinks of sin as important core doctrines of the faith which are being distorted, misrepresented by Dr. Heiser.
Heiser refers to a fellow scholar (not named) that says Jesus did not die on a cross . (this portioned out because of the length) Heiser says of those who commented on his fellow academic statement “ a good example of sophistry or yet another reason to keep journalists as far away from biblical and ancient studies as possible.”
What I want to point out is what he says next on how Christ died.
“quotation above has Jesus being “suspended” on a cross and then dying – which is exactly what the gospels say. Jesus was put on a cross after a horrific beating. He was alive on the cross for some time before he died (Matt. 27:27-31; 27:40; Mark 15:24-32). In crucifixion, as many experts have noted, the cause of death is asphyxiation .” Underline mine
“Whether believes Jesus was nailed to the cross or merely “suspended,” he’s still saying (at least to my eyes) that Jesus died on a cross. And the cause of death would be the same: asphyxiation. So who cares?” drmsh.com/now-jesus-didnt-die-on-a-cross-or-did-he/
You should care, because Heiser is completely wrong on this. Jesus did not die of asphyxiation. He dismissed his own spirit choosing the time of death, he went there willing y, not tricked by Satan and he chose the moment of his death restoring his relationship to the Father before entering the realm of Hades.
John 10:18 “ No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father .”
And taking it up again is when he was dead, shows who he really is; God. he has power over death, even His own
Jesus shows the time of his death Matt 27:50 “ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”
John 19:30 “ So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last.”
Jesus completed his mission pronouncing “it is finished.” He determined the exact moment to dismiss his own Spirit. No mere man can have control of His Spirit and time of His own death by speaking “It is finished” dismissed His own spirit and then died. Only God has this ability. Thus his death was like his incarnation, supernatural
Maybe we should keep bad academics far away from biblical studies, along with journalists .
The core doctrine of sin passed on from Adam is denied by Heiser. This is a core doctrine that is part of the acknowledging the gospel.
“My question, to start the ball rolling, is simple: If ALL humans since Adam inherited Adam’s guilt (however that happens), then why does Jesus get off the hook? He is 100% human in biblical theology. His genealogy goes straight back to Adam (see Luke 3:23-38; esp. v. 38). Now, I know what the standard answers are. “Oh, Jesus was God, so he didn’t have original sin.” This avoids the question; it doesn’t answer it: he’s was also 100% human. To deny that is deny the incarnation It wouldn’t be a real or actual incarnation then). How about “He was virgin born, and we all know that sin is transmitted through the male-after all, Jesus is compared to Adam in Romans 5, not Eve.” Also evasive and poorly thought-through. I would hope it’s clear that all women are also sinners and have original sin . Mary was a woman, and she was the mother of Jesus. There is also no verse in the Bible that says sin is transmitted through only males. Another problem – so, if we cloned a woman and implanted that clone in another woman, would it be sinless since there was no male father? Of course not – to be human is to be under the curse of Adam. But this is a modern illustration of the same logic as theologians use to get Jesus off the hook (i.e., to stiff arm Romans 5:12 when it comes to Jesus) .
How is Jesus not a sinner according to Heiser? Since he too is human he should have guilt. Heiser does not accept the biblical answer, he gives us alternative nonsensical argument s to circumvent the word. Because he’s missing the main point, Jesus was God, he was spirit, then he was incarnated, he became man. Heiser says using these scriptures is poorly thought through! Making the point that women are sinners too. Really, do not both male and females come from the woman in birth? It seems he is always on the other side of theologians and biblical Christians who know the Word siding with critical academics.
“There is also no verse in the Bible that says sin is transmitted through only males ”
Heiser shows how little he knows of Scripture, for the Hebrews, the lineage is ALWAYS after the man, not the woman, women are not included in determining genealogy. This is why there was a virgin conception.
Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
The birth of this then future person is described as a sign, an unusual event regarding his conception. He is to be born of a virgin; no human male is involved, thus the phrase ‘Seed of the Woman’ explains a supernatural conception . Can a Christian not believe the virgin conception ?
The virgin conception/birth became the means to bring the sinless Son of God into humanity. If not for this process he would have the same sin as everyone else.
It’s not just guilt passed on but the very nature of sin, and no, it’s not a metaphor but real. Because we die from sin. When one sins the guilt that surfaces is the result of their conscience being alive.
The seed does come from the male (this is why the male lineage is listed in the begots). Thus proving what is said in Romans 5 about Adam being the source. But Heiser can ‘t grasp this doctrine. Proving that without overall Biblical knowledge with faith you can’t grasp the simple doctrines that are taught in Scripture.
His non -sequiter argument of a cloned woman implanted into another woman is a meaningless argument divorced from reality. Since it was God who orchestrated this one time event to take place. His argument comes under the category of ‘if’. This man is not a scholar of the Bible but a critic? He fights against the words of Scripture replacing it with human reasoning to explain Gods miraculous power to bring life to Mary’s womb.
Jesus was conceived, and born without sin. That is why he is called the savior who will save us from our sin. As Simeon stated when he brought to him at 8 days old. Luke 2:30 “For my eyes have seen Your salvation.”
Speaking of David, Peter says “ From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior --Jesus-- Acts 13:23). In other words Mary is in the lineage of Messiah fulfilling Genesis 3.
Heb. 4:15 “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Tempted in every area humanly possible and still having no sin his whole life.
John 8:42 " If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” Here Jesus speaks of his origin not coming from man but God . V.46 Jesus said “ Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me.”
Heiser states : “The problem is straightforward: we either assume the full humanity of Jesus or we don’t. The full humanity of Jesus–laid out so clearly and repeatedly in the New Testament–isn’t what’s causing the original sin problem with him; it’s the way we understand original sin and misuse Romans 5:12.
I could add that, isn’t it curious how NOWHERE ELSE in the Old Testament do we see any writer looking back to Genesis 3 as an explanation for the transmission of sin to all humankind? Kind of curious, to say the least.”
Misuse! There is no misuse by us, you misuse it. The New Testament makes clear what the Old Testament does not. According to this religious academic, all have sinned would include Jesus, not exclude him. Jesus has no original sin problem, we do.
Gn. 4:4 “The LORD respected Abel and his offering” (see Heb.11:4). Why? Because it was a living blood sacrifice of Abel that made it acceptable for sin. Cain’s was rejected because it was the work of his hands. Heb. 12:24 ‘ Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Jesus’ blood forgives sins once and for all. Why? Because he is God in the flesh, who is without sin. Otherwise He could not do this for those in the past or the future.
Must we look at Genesis 3 to have an acceptable explanation? Heiser insists, saying this to convolute one in not getting an answer. This is like saying prove Jesus came from heaven in Mt.2 when he was born in Bethlehem. You can’t from this scripture reference but you can from elsewhere. However God said to Adam in Gn.2:17 The day you eat of this fruit (disobey) you will die (and we see this affecting the generations after). Sin brings death. Why is this so hard to understand?
King David a prophet, says in Psalm 51:5 , “ Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me .” This is why we All die, even in the womb, because we all have sin (Rom.3:23) within, even before our birth.
Jeremiah says, “the human heart is desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9 see Gn. 8:21), meaning the seat of emotions our spirit. Jesus reaffirmed this stating , “ For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Mk.7:21)
Job 15:14 asks “ What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous ?” Job 25:4 “ How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?” This is answered by ‘the seed of the woman.’ The only one who was conceived this way is without sin.
What is not fully expressed in the Old Testament is fully explained in the New.
Paul describes in Rom. 7:17 “it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” V.18 “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing."’ Sin is not just something we do, it is within us even when we are not actively sinning. We act on it, because it is our human nature.
Here is what Heiser claims is misused. Rom. 5:12-13 “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” It could not be said any clearer than what Paul explains here. But Heiser does not understand it. v.14 “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam.”
Adam willfully sinned when he ate the fruit given from Eve. Paul explains even those who did not willfully sin like Adam received death because of they inherited sin as their nature. “ For the wages of sin is death.”
1 Cor. 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive .” As Adam spread sin to all, everyone who lived died, however they will also experience a resurrection, but the there is one caveat; only those ‘in Christ ‘will the spend eternity with God, others will be separated without him for eternity.
The hard to understand Scriptures are always to be understood by the plain and clear ones.
Rom 8:3 “God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” He looked like any other person that had sin, but He had none . Only one without sin could condemn sin, he is in the likeness of flesh minus one thing we all have in common - sin.
Heiser:“And there’s yet another problem. How is it that we get hard nosed about ALL humans being infected by the sin of the first Adam, but we want to qualify the effect of the sacrifice of the second Adam? You know why – we want to avoid universalism (see this article for a recent treatment of this – not my view, but there is some overlap; and he lays out the universalism problem nicely).
Heiser goes on to say, “And to compound the problem, does Paul contradict himself in the very next verse: 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Many? I thought ALL were made sinners by the one man, Adam – huh?)”
Does not Paul write in Rom 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:12 “ they have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good , no, not one." In Matt 19:16-17 Jesus responds to being called good "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God .” In other words Jesus is asking, do you recognize me as God. None are good means t hey are sinful.
Now I want us to understand what Heiser did, he left out a few of the clarifying Scriptures prior to this verse in Romans 5. He sees problems... his myopic focus in his pursuit to show a flaw in Paul’s writings in Scripture has stumbled him from understanding the Word.
Lets look at the Scripture in context
Rom. 5:18-19 “Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men , resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.”
The many are qualified by the judgment that came to “all men’. Paul is making a specific correlation to those who are made righteous by Christ. The free gift from Christ is to all who will receive it. Those who believe and follow Christ are the many who were sinners who are made righteous; this is not a general phrase for all made sinners will be made righteous. In contrast, this second portion Paul is explaining of those who received the free gift, those are the many who are made righteous.
Again the unclear scriptures are always understood by the clear Scriptures.
Again, what is so hard to understand? What Christ did does lead to justification for all men ‘who believe;’ all of them! This is said as the qualification in so many other places. There is no universalism for salvation, but there is for being sinful.
In the same way Paul states “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. ” (1 Cor. 15:22) Here is another scripture supporting all having sin. This Scripture is another comparative statement, it tells us everyone who was born has the sentence of death (because of sin), but everyone ‘in Christ’ will be made alive (In fact in a general sense all will be made alive and then judged where they will spend their eternity.)
Again for one to be in Christ to have this transfer of righteousness they must believe in the gospel, which has the God/ man dying for our sins. (Rom.5:1; 1Cor.15:22, 5:17; Gal.2:16;3:26; Eph.1:12,2:7-8,3:6; Col.2:5-6). Which Heiser states is not necessary to believe.
Whether Heiser is intentionally confusing the doctrines of the Bible or has a darkened understanding (because of a lack of faith being an academic), he is handed over to his own misperceptions, as he seems to be more perplexed on the core teachings than many I have come across that teach incorrectly.
Mr. Heiser does not understand fully or correctly the Bible on sin. This teaching of his is a denial of Scripture. When it says only Jesus was without sin, it was required by God only one without sin could die for sin. He being the lamb of God.
This is why he came by a virgin conception to bypass the sin nature being transmitted to him as a human. So we find Mr. Heiser has his own intellectualism interfering with understanding the Bible, and he is making others question this as well.
If sin is not passed on then how did we get to be sinners? Do we just decide one day to disobey? That it has nothing to do with our nature, because the Bible says over and over it does.
To conclude, Mr. Heiser says,
“You may not have reflected on it before, but these problems stem from the traditional view of Romans 5:12 articulated by Erickson (and countless others). My view is that it’s a transmitted tradition, mostly due to the influence of Catholicism (taken up by Protestantism) and people have not thought about it for centuries, being content with “answers” to the problems that really aren’t answers.
I have a solution to this issue (not original to me, but I’ve nuanced it a bit), but it involves a completely different take (one that is distinctly ancient Near Eastern in approach – there I go again, contextualizing the Old Testament!).”
He has a completely different take on nearly everything. Wrong again, the traditional view has been with the Church since its inception, before Roman Catholicism developed. It’s Heiser who has no Bible answers, just complaints and alternative opinions that are not conducive to the Bibles doctrine; because he can’t deal with the plain words of Scripture.
Mr. Heiser seems to have a better grasp on the Ugarit mythology than Bible doctrine on these subjects.
2 Peter 3:15-16 “our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”
1 Tim 3:16: “God was manifested in the flesh”
2 John 7-11 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” v.9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.”This doctrine of Christ involves who he is and being sinless to be Gods sacrifice for mankind's sin.