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Luke 6 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Luke 6 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

(6:3-4) "And they which were with him"
Was David alone when he asked for the holy bread at Nob?
David was not alone when he came to Nob, but was alone when he asked for the bread, see 1 Sam. 21:1.

4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.

9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

10 And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

(6:13-16) "He named apostles"
Luke says that Judas the brother of James was one of the apostles, but neither Matthew (10:2-4) nor Mark (3:16-19) include him in their lists. Instead they mention Thaddeus, who isn't listed in either Luke or Acts (1:13).
Who were the apostles?
On Thaddeus, see Matthew 10:3.

14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

"And they that were vexed with unclean spirits."
We see that Luke makes a careful distinction between those with diseases, verse 17. and those with unclear spirits. As a doctor, Col. 4:14, he has some credentials, wouldn't you think?

19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

(6:24-26) People who are rich, well-fed, happy, or respected are going to hell.
Is it good to be wealthy?
Is it good to be happy?
What must you do to be saved?
What the Bible says about rich people
BOM: 2 Nephi 9:30
The author of the SAB explains these verses as if people who are rich, well-fed, etc. are going to hell, because they are rich, well-fed, etc. Which would of course be completely contrary to what the Bible says: people are condemned because of their sins. On being rich in goods, see Matthew 19:23 and there as well on what you must do to be saved.
But there is also, and perhaps foremost, another meaning of rich in this verse as John Gill writes:

in their own opinion, and stand in need of nothing; who place their confidence in their own righteousness, and do not apply to Christ, in whom alone are durable riches and righteousness

25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

(6:24-26) People who are rich, well-fed, happy, or respected are going to hell.
Is it good to be wealthy?
Is it good to be happy?
What must you do to be saved?
What the Bible says about rich people
BOM: 2 Nephi 9:30
The meaning of full is not being well-fed as the author of the SAB asserts. As John Gill writes:

Not so much with the plenty and affluence of the things of this life, as of themselves, and their own righteousness, and so with conceit, vanity, and pride, and have no appetite for spiritual things, nor do they hunger and thirst after Christ, and the grace that is in him

On if it is good to be happy: not how the author of the SAB expresses it. There is a joy in salvation which is experienced by God's people, see Ps. 51:12. But happiness in the sense of carelessness, of just feeling happy without sufficient cause, of just a chemically induced state of detachment, no, that is not the happiness the Bible promotes.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

(6:27, 35) "Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you."
Well, it's a nice thought. But it seems strange coming from someone who damns his enemies to hell. (Mark 16:16)
How should enemies be treated?
How should nonbelievers be treated?
Ann Coulter: Jesus was a godless liberal
Jesus does not talk here about political theory. Nor does he address the question how states should respond to attacks, how police should respond to threats. It is how individuals as individuals should respond when they are persecuted for God's sake.
It does not mean that a judge should let criminals roam the streets freely. Or that sin should not be punished, see Mark 16:16. And Jesus tells that his enemies will be damned if they continue in this, in order that they might be saved. There is a time of salvation, and that time is now. It ends at death, then is the time of judgement.

28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

(6:29-30) "Unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other."
Invite someone that has hit you to do it again, and if someone steals from you offer them something additional. Don't turn down any borrowers (Do Christian bankers follow this one?), and when you loan something don't ask for it back.
Jesus does not give business advice here. It is how we should conduct ourselves in our lives. As John Gill explains

Christ teaches patience in bearing injuries and affronts, and not to seek private revenge; but rather, suffer more, than indulge such a temper;

We should not seek revenge for every unkindness done unto us. But we should leave the judgment of these things to God.

30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

"As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."
The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
How should nonbelievers be treated?
On the treatment of unbelievers, see Matthew 22:39.

32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.

34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

"Be ... merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
Is God merciful?
The author of the SAB likes to play God's attributes against one another. If God is merciful, he can't demand payment for sin. If he is good, he cannot be truthful when he says that who commits sin, will be punished for it. If God is kind, he cannot be the judge of his creation.
This is all of course very unsound reasoning. God will demand the punishment of sin. As we read in Gen. 2:17:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

So when mankind did eat, would God's kindness now demand him to say: oops, sorry, didn't mean that?? God's attributes don't oppose each other. God does not lie when he says or demands something.
We can see God's mercy in the sending of his son. He did not let sin go unpunished, but punished it in his own son, Rom. 8:32. Isn't that the greatest sign of mercy? All you need to do is accept this. You do not need to work, you do not need to labor, you do not need to pay, Is. 55:1-3. You only need to belief that indeed, Jesus Christ is God's son and whosoever beliefs in him will have eternal life, John 3:16. It doesn't come more free than that.
We also see God's mercy in his long suffering towards us. He does not strike us down immediately at our first sin. Or our second. He is patient, waiting to see if the tree will bear fruit, see chapter 13:7.
But God will not wait endlessly. He will also punish sin. God's attributes are not opposed, they are all in the most beautiful harmony.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged."
To judge or not to judge?
What must you do to be saved?
On both topics, see Matthew 7:1.

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

"Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
The author of the SAB likes this verse, but it is unclear if he wants to say that indeed he has a beam in his eye with regards to reading the Bible, and his brothers just a mote.

42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.