1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

John 15 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on John 15 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

(15:6) "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
Those who do not believe in Jesus will be cast into a fire to be burned.
What the Bible says about burning people to death
What does the author of the SAB think would be suitable punishment for sin? And for sin against the most holy God?

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

(15:7, 16) "Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
Christians get whatever they ask for in prayer.
Christians don't get what they will, but they get what their Father in heaven wills, because they should not ask what they will, but they pray “Thy will be done in earth (Matthew 6:10)”
James also discusses this subject and says that Christians won't receive if they will misuse what they ask for (James 4:3).

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

(15:12, 17) "This is my commandment, That ye love one another."
If this is what it takes to be a Christian, then count me in. Unfortunately, Christians often take Jesus' commandment to mean that Christians should love other, like minded, Christians, and to hell with everybody else.
(15:15) "All things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."
Yet in Jn.16:12 he says that there are many things that he has not told them.
Did Jesus tell his disciples everything?
The author of the SAB cannot hide himself behind what others do. God's word comes to all, and that some misuse it is something they will have to give account of. But the author of the SAB doesn't give any references. And I wouldn't know a single Christian denomination that holds as their creed that they should only love themselves and not others, in direct contradiction with Luke 10:36-37.
But let's inject some facts into the debate. In the book Who really cares? Arthur C. Brooks shows that:

Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street.

So what the author claims about Christians is just another lie. He gives the thumb up to this text, but does he walk the walk?

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

With “all things” Jesus does not mean everything he knew as God, but all the things he was commissioned to tell them as the mediator between God and men up to this point. See chapter 16:12 on the meaning of that verse.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

(15:18-19) "The world hateth you."
Jehovah's Witnesses, like Jesus, are hated by the world and are not of the world. Thus they don't vote or take part in any human organizations outside the Watchtower Society.
One of Ann Coulter's favorite Bible verses
The meaning of “not of this world” is that Christians should not act like the world and not live like the world. Not act like the world in for example trying to revenge every injustice, but rather turn the other cheek as there is a judge in heaven. And not live like the world in cheering on television shows that advocate immorality, divorcing your spouse or killing your unborn.
It does not mean that Christians should not eat or not vote. They are in the world, but not of the world. They should not act like this world is the only one they will ever live in and the only one they can expect. They can vote, but should not vote for parties that want to build a utopia here and now.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

(15:22) "But now they have no cloak for their sin."
Now that Jesus has come, non-believers have no excuse for not believing in him.
(15:23) "He that hateth me hateth my Father also."
Oh, that's a good one. If you don't like Jesus, then you don't like God. (You're a damned God hater.)
Martin Luther used this verse to justify the mistreatment of the Jews. On the Jews and Their Lies (Part 12)
They have not indeed. And they are proud of it.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

"When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you"
Who sent the Holy Ghost?

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.