Saturday, 5 January 2013


One of the first things that Fundamentalist Christians talk to you about is authority.
The authority of Jesus and the Bible.

This is very enlightening.

Jesus himself never spoke about authority.

Others spoke of his authority -
"for he taught them as one having authority"  Matthew 7:29a (NRSV)
"'A new teaching - with authority.'"  Mark 1:27b (NRSV)
"They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority."  Luke 4:32 (NRSV)

It is "the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders" Mark 11:27b (NRSV) who ask Jesus by what authority he is teaching and healing.
In response to which Jesus refuses to tell them - "'Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.'"  Mark 11:33b (NRSV)

(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.)


  1. Again interesting point. I have thought about this as I try to remove the indoctrination from the fundamentalist teaching I was taught..thank you for this. Would love to hear further thoughts on why you believe he didn't talk about authority?

  2. Dear Joy,
    Apart from the fact that it is the Pharisees who talk about authority rather than Jesus there is not a lot of hard evidence on this subject.
    The Bible talks about Jesus having authority over unclean spirits (which don't exist) and over the elements during a storm. But these words do not come from Jesus himself rather they are once again comments about him by others.
    My understanding is more intuitive.
    In my experience people who speak about authority want to have authority over you. The person whose thoughts go quickly to authority is the one who wants power and position. Jesus was not this kind of person. He gave away the credit for his miracles saying "Your faith ahs cured you". He didn't want credit or power for himself.
    So I am always wary of people who talk about authority. They want power over me.
    Michael E. East