John Lilburne's journal about Archbishop Hart's statement on the Pharisees.



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My journal of 28 October





1852 L Tue 6 Nov 2001

Today has been wet in Melbourne, which is particularly unfortunate with it being a holiday for the Melbourne Cup, when lots of people get dressed up to go to this horse race.

Yesterday I looked at Archbishop Hart's homily of 28 October 2001. He included the statement: "We should remember that the only group that Jesus ever condemned was the Pharisees." It did not sound right to me when I heard him say it, but there it is in writing.

Today I read through the whole of Mark's Gospel, taking note of who was condemned by Jesus. I think the following are particularly relevant:

3:22 It is the scribes (not Pharisees) who accuse Jesus of having an unclean spirit, receiving the response from Jesus: "... whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" -- for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

9:19 Jesus says "You faithless generation". Those present are the disciples, scribes and a crowd, there is no mention of Pharisees.

14:21 Jesus about his betrayer, Judas: "Better for that man if he had never been born!"

16:16 Jesus after his resurrection: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Certainly no attempt by Jesus to single out the Pharisees here.

Of course Jesus also condemned the Pharisees. But it is simple not consistent with the Gospel of Mark to say they were the only group he condemned.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 6 November 2001.


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Archbishop Hart's homilies