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Matthew 16 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Matthew 16 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

2 He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

3 And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

(16:3-4) The ever-so-kind Jesus calls the Pharisees "hypocrites, wicked, and adulterous."
And Jesus rightly called them so. It wasn't slander, it wasn't' without reason. The Son of God who once shall judge the nations called them by their true name.

4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

"There shall no sign be given unto it."
Did Jesus perform many signs and wonders

5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.

8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?

12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

"Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?"
Opinions were divided regarding the identity of Jesus, but many thought that he was the risen John the Baptist. The fact that people could be so easily fooled regarding the Baptist's "resurrection" casts doubt on the resurrection of Jesus.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

(16:23) "Get thee behind me, Satan."
When Peter expressed his dismay about Jesus' coming death, Jesus said to him "Get thee behind me, Satan" -- a fine way to address his holiness, the first pope!
(16:25) "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
If you want to stay alive, you must lose your life (kill yourself?) for Jesus' sake.
(16:27) "He shall reward every man according to his works."
Is salvation by faith alone?
What must you do to be saved?
(16:28) "There be some standing here"
Jesus mistakenly tells his followers that he will return and establish his kingdom within their lifetime.
What the Bible says about the end of the world

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Nothing is so offensive to Jesus as when people try to turn him away from doing the work he came to do on this earth.
It seems Satan took advantage of Peter's stubbornness and ignorance on this point. Still most of his disciples believed in an earthly kingdom instead of a heavenly one.
And on the pope: someone who makes himself Christ on earth is worth of rebuke and I believe Jesus words here are prophetic.

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

John Gill comments that good works are not the cause of salvation, but the proof of it:

for though good works are not the cause of salvation, nor for which men will be rewarded; though they may be brought into judgment, as proofs and evidences of true faith, in the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ, by which good men will be acquitted and discharged; yet evil works will be the cause of condemnation, and the rule of judgment; and the reason of adjudging to temporal punishment here, and eternal destruction hereafter.

28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

The author of the SAB reads this verse as if Jesus were talking about his return on the Judgment Day to judge the nations. But if we read this verse carefully we read that Jesus talks about the Son of man coming, the continuous form, into his kingdom. This coming started with the pouring out of the holy Spirit and continued with the Word being preached all over the Roman Empire. And that kingdom is still coming when God's Word has almost reached the ends of the earth. So some will not die till they see the beginning of these things. Jesus doesn't mean to say some will not die till they have seen the end of these things.