Ken Maley's "New New Testament" and the Jesus Seminar Part 2
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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
June 4, 2013

Last Updated :
June 4, 2013

Ken Maley's Lying Voices, Another Jesus And Another Gospel, Scriptural Warnings Regarding Hereticks False Brethren And False Doctrines, Westar Institute And The Jesus Seminar, "A New New Testament", Apocryphal And Pseudepigraphal Books, Book Of Enoch, Jesus Seminar Erroneously Claims Gospel Of Thomas May Have More Authentic Material Than The Gospel Of John, Jesus Seminar Denies Jesus' Divinity And Claims He Never Performed Any Miracles, Jesus Seminar Claims Jesus Did Not Die For The Sins Of The World And Was Never Resurrected From The Dead, Jesus Is The Firstfruits of The Resurrection, Jesus Sightings Following His Resurrection, Jesus Seminar Claims Post-Resurrection Sightings Of Jesus Were Really Only Visionary Experiences And Not Real Physical Encounters, Jesus Seminar Claims That Only Small Percentage of Jesus' Sayings And Deeds Are Authentic, Westar Institute Claims Book Of Acts Is "Imaginative Religious Literature", Westar Institute Says Not All Pauline Epistles Were Really Written By Apostle Paul, Westar Institute Casts Doubt On God's Word And Offers Their Version Of The Truth For A Price, Deception Cloaked Under The Guise Of Serious Scholarship, Putting Darkness For Light, God Does Not Lie, Age Of Strong Delusion And Deception, Two Evil Attacks Against Our Faith From Opposite Extremes, Lies Mixed In With The Truth, A Possible Explanation For "Ye Are Gods", Definitions Of Theos And Elohim, Congregation Of The Mighty

I hope that it is apparent to you by now that Ken Maley is listening to lying, deceptive spirits of some kind. I don't know if it is the actual spirits of dead people, or if it is lying demonic spirits. Of course, there is likewise one other possibility; and that is that it is all just in his head and a product of his own imagination. Whatever the case may be, it is evident that he is preaching another Jesus and another gospel. Maley's "New New Testament" is in fact a false gospel which totally contradicts what we know to be true from the real Gospel. It is a gospel which claims that we are "God", and that we really don't need to be saved. Let me share some additional verses with you from the New Testament regarding hereticks, false brethren, and false doctrines, and how to react to them:

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."
Acts 20:28-30, KJV

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
Romans 16:17, KJV

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him . . . For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15, KJV

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
Galatians 1:6-9, KJV

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
1 Timothy 4:1-2, KJV

"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."
1 Timothy 6:3-5, KJV

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
2 Timothy 4:3, KJV

"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
Titus 3:9-11, KJV

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
2 Peter 2:1-2, KJV

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
2 John 1:9-11, KJV

While we have concentrated on Maley's "New New Testament", please note that there is another "A New New Testament" on the Barnes & Noble website as well that was published by Hal Taussig. He was a founding member of the Jesus Seminar. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Jesus Seminar was launched in 1985 as the first of a number of large-scale, collaborative research projects concerning serious questions that involve religion, by the Oregon-based Westar Institute. To date, the institute has completed six seminars involving the Bible, and is currently involved in two additional ones. Scholars who participate in the Westar Institute's research projects are referred to as fellows. According to their own website, the Jesus Seminar "was organized to discover and report a scholarly consensus on the historical authenticity of the sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus in the gospels."

Published in March of 2013, "A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Texts" contains ten gnostic or apocryphal books which are not found in the Biblical Canon, in addition to the regular New Testament Books, which consists of twenty-seven Books. These ten new books are the following:

The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)
The Thunder: Perfect Mind
The Gospel of Thomas
The Odes of Solomon
Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Acts of Paul and Thecla
The Gospel of Truth
The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
The Letter of Peter to Philip
The Secret Revelation of John

As I have mentioned before, in times past, I have personally read a number of apocryphal and pseudepigraphal writings which are not included in the Biblical Canon -- including the Gospel of Thomas -- and I did not become fully convinced that any of them are truly Divinely Inspired. Perhaps my position is due to the fact that I am simply used to reading what we refer to as the accepted Canon, but I just did not sense the same Spirit when I read these other works. They seemed both strange and confusing to me, and I was unable to connect with any of them in a spiritual sense, other than with the Book of Enoch, which I discuss in the article entitled "The Book of Enoch: Truth or Heresy?".

For those of you who may not be that familiar with the terms, apocryphal works are a growing collection of ancient writings, the authenticity of which is in doubt. These "books" consist of hundreds of different writings. In similar fashion, there is another collection of ancient writings which are referred to as pseudepigraphal works. These are spurious -- or fake -- writings, usually Jewish in origin, the authorship of which has been ascribed to various Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament era, but which are claimed to have actually been written within about two hundred years of the birth of Christ. Be advised that these writings can be both deceptive and confusing, as well as outright fictitious, which is why I never advise my friends to read them. They should not be read by Christians who are young in the faith, in my view.

For those of you who may be interested, I discuss the Gospel of Thomas more at length in my article entitled "The Gospel of Thomas: Introspection or Heaven-Spection?". In contrast to my own position, the Jesus Seminar asserts -- erroneously so, in my view -- that the Gospel of Thomas may contain even more authentic material than the Gospel of John. Quite frankly, worldly scholarship or not, I find this notion to be rather ludicrous.

I urge all of my Christian friends to beware of the Jesus Seminar and the Westar Institute because they are dangerous. As I briefly mention in my 2006 article entitled "Beware of Wolves, False Brethren and Antichrists!", in spite of their deceptive name, members of the Jesus Seminar soundly reject the belief that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and the true Son of God. During their early years, the Jesus Seminar did not even believe that Jesus existed as a historical figure. If memory serves me correctly, I recall watching a video or two years ago where this false belief was clearly vocalized.

Apparently, in more recent years, the fellows of the Jesus Seminar have changed their views concerning Jesus to some degree. However, while they now appear to accept Jesus' existence as a historical figure -- at least that is my impression -- they continue to believe that He was just a regular man who was born to two human parents, just like the rest of us. Not only that, but the Jesus Seminar does not believe that Jesus ever performed any actual miracles, or that He died on the Cross for the sins of the world, as the Bible indicates. As a result, neither do they believe that He was truly resurrected from the dead, thus becoming the Firstfruits of the Resurrection, the First Begotten of the dead, and the Firstborn of many brethren, as we clearly see by the following verses:

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body . . . For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he [Jesus] might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Romans 8:22-23, 29, KJV

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."
1 Corinthians 15:19-23, KJV

"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature . . . And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:15, 18, KJV

"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,"
Hebrews 12:23, KJV

"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood . . . I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Revelation 1:5, 18, KJV

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"
John 11:25, KJV

Because members of the Jesus Seminar don't believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead following His Crucifixion, they also reject the belief that He was physically encountered by His followers after His Resurrection, even though we have the testimonies of Mary, of the Apostles, of the Apostle Paul and of over five hundred other of the Lord's Disciples. Not only did they speak to the Lord, but some of them also touched Him and ate with Him. In addition to Jesus' multiple appearances which are recorded in the Gospel of John chapters twenty and twenty-one, consider the following additional verses which reveal the resurrected Christ:

"The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me . . . And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."
Acts 1:1-4, 9, KJV

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
1 Corinthians 15:3-8, KJV

So exactly how do members of the Jesus Seminar endeavor to explain these clear sightings of Jesus? In their spiritual blindness and hard-heartedness, they propose that any New Testament accounts of the Lord being sighted following His Resurrection weren't really physical encounters, but simply "visionary experiences" by some of His followers. On their Westar Institute website, the fellows of the Jesus Seminar specifically state the following:

----- Begin Quote -----

"The Fellows concluded that the Jesus of history is very different from the icon of traditional Christianity: Jesus did not walk on water, feed the multitude, change water into wine, or raise Lazarus from the dead. He was executed as a public nuisance, not for claiming to be the son of God. And in the view of the Seminar, he did not rise bodily from the dead; the resurrection is based instead on visionary experiences of Peter, Paul, and Mary."

----- End Quote -----

As I noted a moment ago, the purpose behind the institute initiating the Jesus Seminar research project was, in their words, "to discover and report a scholarly consensus on the historical authenticity of the sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus in the gospels." No doubt, you are probably asking yourself what conclusions the Westar Institute arrived at upon completion of the Jesus Seminar. Not surprisingly, they came out very much against the belief that the majority of the teachings and acts which are attributed to Jesus in the Gospels are authentic. Their website notes the following:

----- Begin Quote -----

"In the judgment of the Jesus Seminar, 18 percent of the sayings and 16 percent of the deeds are authentic."

----- End Quote -----

If this is their conclusion regarding the sayings and deeds which have been attributed to Jesus Christ, you can probably imagine what their conclusions are concerning the remainder of the Biblical research projects -- or seminars -- which they have undertaken over the years. If you still doubt that the true intentions of the Westar Institute is to weaken and destroy our faith in God's Word, then consider what they have to say on their "Acts of the Apostles" seminar page. Once again they clearly attempt to cast doubt on God's Word:

----- Begin Quote -----

"Today we are convinced that Acts is a work of imaginative religious literature exhibiting the characteristics of other such literature of its day. When critically examined, it is unable to support the high level of trust that Christian interpreters have traditionally placed in the accuracy of its story."

----- End Quote -----

Aren't you just pleased to know that the Book of Acts is just "imaginative religious literature"? Are you beginning to get the picture that under the guise of so-called "scholarship", the real purpose of the Westar Institute is to slice and dice God's holy Word? As a result of their seminar concerning the Apostle Paul, the Westar Institute again arrived at negative and damaging conclusions which cast serious doubt on Paul's authorship of the various Epistles which have been ascribed to him. Consider the following:

----- Begin Quote -----

"The letters of Paul delivered a distinct voice and universal vision to the first-century Mediterranean world. Unfortunately the distinctive sound of Paul's letters have been distorted by the cacophony of later voices that have attempted to speak in his name."

"A comparative analysis revealed that not all the letters are from the same hand. By focusing on the vocabulary, phrases, social situation, Christology and ecclesial understanding of the letters, scholars can detect earlier and later voices. From this analysis the Pastoral Letters (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) prove to be not Pauline. 2 Thessalonians also shows indications of another hand."

----- End Quote -----

Aside from their goal to cast doubt on the authenticity and Divine Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, it also becomes evident that another goal of the Westar Institute is to bring in a little extra cash on the side. As we have seen, "A New New Testament" was published by one of the founding members of the Jesus Seminar. In the case of the Apostle Paul, once they convince the reader that all of the Epistles were not really written by Paul, they offer their own solution in the form of a new translation from the original Greek which they call "The Authentic Letters of Paul". Of course, if you want to read it, you have to purchase it first.

In conclusion, we need to strip away the deceptive cloak of scholarship and realize that the Westar Institute is not to be trusted. Those people are deceivers and serpents in the grass. They are in fact antichrists, because they publicly deny Jesus' Divinity and Messiahship, and they cast serious doubt upon the Divine Inspiration of God's Word. Don't let the name "Jesus Seminar" fool you, because they are not what they may at first appear to be. To reiterate, their goal is obviously not to support God's Word. Rather, it is to tear it down, piece by piece, and to fill Christians' minds with one doubt after the other, while cloaking their vicious lies in the guise of so-called "serious scholarship".

The Westar Institute only offers spiritual darkness instead of true light. They are actually false angels of light who use their seminars and worldly scholarship as sharp tools to accuse God of being a liar, and His Word of being a lie, so please don't be deceived by them! They are basically pitting their own word against God's Word. They want you to believe them, instead of believing what the Bible tells us. Please consider the warning that is found in the following verses as well. If someone is lying, it certainly is not God:

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
Isaiah 5:20, KJV

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV

"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
1 John 2:22, KJV

"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
1 John 5:10, KJV

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
1 John 1:10, KJV

As I have warned for almost two decades now by way of my many articles and series, truly, we are living in an age in which strong delusion and deception prevail. It is everywhere, and most certainly can be found in many churches as well. In this article we have now examined two different extremes; both of which attack our faith in devilish but very different ways.

In the first case, it is claimed that the New Testament has lost its spiritual punch over the centuries due to religious and political manipulation; and that as a result of that, we have failed to realize that we are "God". This statement is so typical of how Satan chooses to operate. I have shared with my readers many times before how the Devil will always mix in a little bit of truth with his lies and deceptions, so that we will naively swallow his poisonous goop. Thus, while I can certainly agree that the Bible has been manipulated by religionists and politicians over the centuries -- please refer to such series as "Is the KJV Bible the Inerrant Word of God?" -- I most certainly cannot embrace Maley's ultimate position that we are "God", which he bases on John 10:34 and Psalm 82:6.

I will be quite honest with you. I really do not know with absolute certainty what Jesus meant when He quoted from Psalm 82 in the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John. I can offer one idea regarding what I think it may possibly mean, but it is definitely not what Ken Maley proposes. Following are the verses from both the Gospel of John, along with the entirety of Psalm 82 for your consideration:

"The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him."
John 10:33-38, KJV

"[A Psalm of Asaph.] God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations."
Psalms 82:1-8, KJV

In the Gospel of John, the word "gods" is translated from the Greek word "theos". Many of you will no doubt recognize this word as the root of such English words as "theologian" and "theology". According to Thayer's Greek English Lexicon, this Greek word refers to a god or goddess or to deities and divinities in general. In Psalm 82, according to the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon, the word "gods" is derived from the Hebrew word "elohim", which will also be familiar to some of you. "Elohim" is really the plural form of "elowahh", or simply "el". In fact, in Psalm 82 above, the word "God" is translated from "el". More often than not, the word "elohim" is translated as "God" in the Old Testament, even though it is actually the plural form of the word.

So there are two questions that we need to try to answer. The first one is who is the "them" to whom Jesus is referring in the phrase "If he called them gods"? The second question is who are these gods that Asaph mentions in his psalm? Based on what Jesus says in the previous verses, my inclination is to believe that Asaph is not referring to human beings. Rather, he may be referring to the spiritual sons of God -- that is, the Angelic Host and other Divine Beings -- who were present from the beginning of time when God first made the physical heavens and the Earth. Stated another way, they were present when God the Father spoke the Word through His Son Jesus, and brought the physical realm into existence. Thus Jesus states "unto whom the word of God came".

Furthermore, Jesus may likewise be suggesting that before He came to Earth, He stood amongst His spiritual brethren "in the congregation of the mighty" of which Asaph writes in his psalm. It certainly makes a lot more sense to me that when he writes that "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty", Asaph would be referring to this great spiritual congregation in the Heavenly Realm. In fact, in that first verse in Psalm 82, the word "gods" seems to be reflecting back to the phrase "congregation of the mighty". In other words, when Asaph says "the congregation of the mighty", he's actually talking about these gods. Thus, because Jesus likewise stood amongst His spiritual brethren "in the congregation of the mighty" as a fellow son of God in His pre-human existence, He was telling His critics that He had the full right to be called the Son of God on Earth.

Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.

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