John 3:16- revisited
Christians so often quote John 3:16 to prove how Jesus is the son of God and how he died for our sins. Basically this verse sums up the entire Christian faith. The purpose of this piece is to refute such a verse and prove that there is no reason for God to make any form of sacrifice in order to pay for the sins of humankind.
1-First, let’s look at it from a logical stance: If God is all about love, how could He sacrifice His only son? This makes us wonder about the definition of love according to the Biblical God…
Moreover, this verse makes us question the fairness of the biblical God. Is it fair to kill someone innocent for sins he didn’t commit? How can the biblical God be so loving if He is unfair? Furthermore, if Jesus died for the sins of every criminal and rapist, why would they stop spreading their evil? The whole idea of retribution and punishment disappears with such a way of salvation.
2-John 3:16 also makes us ask the following: is God unable to forgive sins without killing His own son?
If it is proven that God had no problem at all in forgiving sins without blood sacrifices then why did he have to crucify His only “begotten” son Jesus” and declare to the whole world that from then onwards the only way to forgiveness is through Jesus’ death? Why would He radically change His nature when it’s stated in Malachi 3:6,”For I am the Lord, I DO NOT CHANGE“?
Let’s read the following verses to understand more :
“As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” (Ezekiel 33:11)
The word “turn” here in Hebrew is shuvu which is similar with the word teshuvah which carries the same meaning as tawbah in Arabic i.e. return/repent.
“And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.” (Ezekiel 33:14-16)
“The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done.” (Ezekiel 18: 20-22)
In the verses quoted above one can clearly see that the idea of inherited sin is totally debunked. Repentance is taught as a means for salvation and that if repentance is sought and one adheres to that which is lawful, All one’s past sins will be forgotten. This amazing show of mercy from God is again free of any blood sacrifice.
The same message is repeated again in the same chapter :
“And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die.” (Ezekiel 18: 27-28)
“Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you!”(Ezekiel 18:30)
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. ” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“Perhaps the people of Judah will repent when they hear again all the terrible things I have planned for them. Then I will be able to forgive their sins and wrongdoings.” (Jeremiah 36:3)
“Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” (Isaiah 55:7)
“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6)
God is not required to kill anyone for atonement of your sins!
3-What is true sacrifice in God’s eyes?
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart” (Psalm 51:17)
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (I Samuel 15:22)
Christians as taught by Paul always say that obedience and works are worthless. Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and you will be saved! Just believe ! Faith comes first, then works will ensue. Yet, in 1 Samuel 15:22 we see a different idea. The Christian point of view is apparently in reverse to that of God’s as portrayed in 1 Samuel 15:22 ! If God said once that obedience is better than sacrifice, how can He again radically change that and reverse the idea?
4- The biblical God has sons by tons. Jesus is not the only son of God and he is not even the only begotten son as well !
“…Adam, which was the son of God.” (Luke 3:38)
“That the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair….” (Genesis 6:2)
“…Israel is my son, even my firstborn”. (Exodus 4:22)
“…the LORD hath said unto me, ‘Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.’” ( Psalms 2: 7)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
You may say all these are metaphorical verses but Jesus is the only begotten son of God. However, Jesus is not the only begotten son of God David is also described as the begotten son of God
The verse which prove David was the begotten son of God : “…the LORD hath said unto me, ‘Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.’” ( Psalms 2: 7)
5-The Bible sates that Jesus was sent only to Israel So how can He forgive the sins of mankind ?
He (Jesus) answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)
I would like to conclude with the following biblical verse ;
“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21:3)
You either have to accept that no one has to die for your sins or accept that the Bible is contradictory. Either way Christian missionaries should reconsider John 3:16 before trying to trick people with it.