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John 7 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on John 7 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

"He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."
The icon the author of the SAB displays next to his comment, is the icon of intolerance. Next time some suicide bombers board a plane, you should go aboard as well, it would be intolerant to shun those that want to murder you.

2 Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand.

3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.

5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

"For neither did his brethren believe in him."
Even Jesus' family didn't believe in him.
The question here is of course who his brethren are. Family, that's right. But Jesus had also family who believed him, such as James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas, names we might recognize as being his disciples, see Matthew 13:55. So who were these brethren? As John Gill comments:

They therefore are to be understood of some distant relations of Mary or Joseph, that dwelt at Nazareth, or Capernaum, or in some of those parts; and the feast of tabernacles being at hand, they put him upon going up to it, being willing to be rid of him

Nice family. So the statement the author of the SAB actually should make is: some of Jesus' family believed in him, and some did not. Which doesn't lead to a convenient conclusion.

6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

(7:8-10) "I go not up yet unto this feast."
Jesus tells his family that he wasn't going to the feast, but later goes "in secret."
I'm somewhat confused to what point the author of the SAB wants to make here. Jesus says that he does not yet want to go. He does not say he does not go.
But reading John Gill, it seems the author of the SAB has copied this comment from another great enemy of Christianity, Porphyry, without understanding that Porphyry referred to a few copies where indeed the phrase is “I do not go up”. But the phrase “not yet” is in almost any other copy.

9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

"No man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews."
No one could speak openly about Jesus "for fear of the Jews."
The author of the SAB displays the icon of intolerance. Not sure who he calls the intolerant party here. Probably the party that had no free speech...

14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

(7:19-20) Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?"
Jesus accuses people of trying to kill him. But they say to him, "Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?"
The author of the SAB laughs at Jesus' words when he says that some try to kill him. He was killed, wasn't he? And the Romans weren't very interested in Jesus. It were the religious Jews who saw him as a danger.

20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
(I thought Jesus said (Mt.7:1, Lk.6:37) we shouldn't judge at all.)
To judge or not to judge?
The author of the SAB first claims that Jesus says that we shouldn't judge at all, something Jesus has never said, see Matthew 7:1. Next the author of the SAB claims a contradiction by quoting this verse. That's a bit rich isn't it? If one of the premises isn't right, the conclusion doesn't follow, Elementary logic.

25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?

26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.

34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

"Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
Jesus says that those who believe in him will, as the scripture says, have living waters flowing out of their bellies. Well that sounds like fun, but there is no such scripture in the Bible.
Jesus does not quote a particular verse here. By saying Scripture (or Scriptures as some copies have), he means to say that this is a summary, a figurative summary of things found in scripture, see for example Is. 41:17-18. John Gill even quotes a Jewish saying, quite similar to this:

The Jews ought not to find fault with Christ's using such expressions, mystically understood, since they, comparing Moses and the Messiah together, say: “as the first Redeemer caused a well to spring up, so the last Redeemer shall cause waters to spring up, according to Joel 3:18.”

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

"For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified."
Luke claims that Elizabeth, Zechariah, and Simeon were all filled with the Holy Ghost (Lk.1:41, 67, 2:25-26). But they couldn't have been, since the Holy Ghost was not given until after Jesus' ascension.
When was the Holy Ghost given?
The giving of the Holy Ghost in Acts 2:4 was to the Church as a whole. That does not mean that the Holy Ghost did not dwell in individuals before. See also Mark 12:36.

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

(7:53 - 8:11) The woman taken in adultery
This is one of the best-known and most-loved of all Bible stories, but it shouldn't be in the Bible. For although some manuscripts put it here, others after John 7:36 or 21:35, or Luke 21:38,  it is not found anywhere in the oldest and best manuscripts.1

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

53 And every man went unto his own house.