Does / can God lie?

Your false dichotomy is the problem.

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Could you elaborate?

There is only one revelation at most until we get to Jesus. And even then. The material. Of which ancient literature is part from the material of our meaning craving minds. Positing God as the ground of being, transcendent and immanent, as I do, with the only possible warrant being Jesus, I still can’t see how He’s involved with revelation through Scripture at all directly. If the Spirit was at work in the inspiration of six centuries of Scriptural redaction, it is ineffably so. If we (rationally) infer God’s nature from nature, He’s nothing like the God of Scripture. But one can posit the remote, indirect, latent intent of Him yearning back, as in His fingers all but touching Adam’s in Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. God is a human construct whether He grounds being or not. So is all Scripture. The only possible exception is Jesus. Not Genesis, even tho’ the C6th BCE God of it is more humane than any contemporary; hinting a synergy of yearnings, at best.

So long as you withold the word “only”, as in … God is only a human construct … While rejecting that latter modification as any viable possibility, I guess you could make something of a case for how you actually did state it there.

Until Jesus, at best, that’s all He is.

Reality is a human construct…

…in response to sensory data from our environment.

Naturalists believe there is nothing out there to provide any sensory data other than the physical governed by the natural laws we discover with scientific methods.

Others believe there is also a spiritual aspect to existence outside of ourselves which can also provide data even though it is highly subjective and not amenable to the methods of science for objective determinations.

And I would classify with the naturalists any process theologians and others who only believe in alien-gods subject/enslaved to laws of nature.

I agree with you, and of course that leads us to the idea of divine accommodation in God’s revelation of scripture. Churches I have been in all accept accommodation on some level, as we often say that “God meets us on our level” or “God communicates in ways we can understand” butlack of the humility you state we should have often arises and we we pridefully think we have understanding that is simply not there. I think Job had God tell him something about that.

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And in the end, mankind has absolutely no clue where he is from, how he got here, what purpose is there to life, where will he go when he disappears from this planet without God. The biggest questions he supresses with all he can muster. The most important questions are ignored or set aside for a better time. His raison d’être is a mystery. Death is something never discussed. Our bodies forever confined to a little casket sealed shut. What great plans we had. Out of nowhere, your waiter hands you your bill, and you spin in slipstream.

It is sometimes appropriate and righteous to lie.

If home invaders ask you if anyone else is home, and you say “no” with knowledge that your daughter is hiding in a closet upstairs, you did not sin!

Here is John 7:
2 Now the Jewish festival of Booths was near.

3 So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing;

4 for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world."

5 (For not even his brothers believed in him.)

6 Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.

7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil.

8 Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come."

9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone to the festival, then he also went, not publicly but as it were in secret.

Many would consider this a lie.


God is holy and unable to sin. Although God suggested to Samuel to trick or fool some people when he went to find a better king in the house of Jesse. Anyways, God’s nature doesn’t change.

Appearance of being old is a Creationism argument.
I guess for you to be satisfied, you would need to look at how geologists dates rock layers the theory behind it, techniques, and how far back they can go and what methods are used for that.

Your next question is does the Bible eg Genesis really give dates

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Russell…really good thoughts…and no, if it looks old —well, OK, some folks like to “antique” their furniture. But if we are to suppose that God “antiqued” the Universe --that is a bit of a stretch. There are probably a TON of things we still do not know about the Universe, as well as about biology, physics, …why ducks quack and more…but it does say somewhere in the OT “I the Lord am not a man that I should lie” --will have to look it up. I am more inclined to think we are all misunderstanding a ton of things — both about the nature of the Universe and also about God and biblical history. I brought up the “young earth” issue with a pair of national/state park employees while I was exploring a national park filled with fossil sites earlier this summer. One of the women I spoke with later came to me on the trail and said (with a smile) “Some day we’ ll know”…Best we can do!

and others would not, Cobra

What is your opinion on the topic, Robin.

He told his brothers, “I am not going to the festival” and then he went, after the brothers left.

Could you give your opinion on it?

8 b NE, WH, BYZ, and TR I am not yet

There probably are – “unknown unknowns” – but those things we are wrong about aren’t going to change the fact that the Universe is very old, any more than they change the fact that the Earth orbits the Sun or that the Earth is not flat, that there is no firmament with waters above it, etc.

Yes, some scribes were uncomfortable with the lie and added a “yet,” but sound textual criticism shows the “yet” found in some manuscripts is not the better reading.

The Codex Sinaiticus has it right, as does the New Revised Standard Version.

Metzger certainly is an expert.


Okay. Jesus lied. Or maybe there was a cultural inflection or nod of the head that indicated “you go first” or such like.

A lie to protect an innocent person or persons is no sin.

If Jesus had told his brothers he was going to Jerusalem, the rascals who hated Jesus may have done great harm.

Telling a lie for a noble cause is not a sin.

Telling a truth that will harm innocents is a sin.

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True, Russell. And I am not insisting on a flat earth, or even a young one. It just means we have a lot to learn. So did earlier generations of humans who attempted to figure out how God did what He did…But that does not change the reality that the universe came into existence at God’s command. And it does not mean He lied.

If that’s what happened.

And mercy trumps law.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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