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Featured Did Jesus commit suicide?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by iam1me, Feb 27, 2020.

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  1. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Legitimate question here, and an interesting one for Catholics in particular to address (since they deem it an unforgivable sin).

    First I'll post a common definition of suicide for arguments sake:

    noun
    1 the intentional taking of one's own life.
    2 destruction of one's own interests or prospects: Buying that house was financial suicide.
    3 a person who intentionally takes his or her own life.
    verb (used without object), su·i·cid·ed, su·i·cid·ing.
    1 to commit suicide.
    verb (used with object), su·i·cid·ed, su·i·cid·ing.
    1 to kill (oneself).
    Definition of suicide | Dictionary.com

    Next I'll cite some scripture where Jesus claims that no one is taking his life from him - he lays it down himself.

    John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

    So then, Jesus intentionally ended his own life - laying it down of his own accord. This would seem to fit the standard definition of suicide to me, but perhaps I am missing something.

    Thoughts? I'd especially love to hear the Catholic opinion on this.
     
  2. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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  3. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Jesus allowed himself to be killed.
    He did nothing to stop it.
    That is passive suicide.
     
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  4. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    This is under the Biblical Debates section, so we are debating this from a primarily scriptural perspective.
     
  5. Good-Ole-Rebel

    Good-Ole-Rebel Well-Known Member

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    I would say in the technical sense, yes it was suicide as the bottom line is, He took His own life.

    In the practical sense, we never attribute suicide to one who gives up his life for another.

    So, there is a time when suicide can be a sin, and a time when it is not. Just like there is a time when killing is a sin, and a time when it is not.

    Thus the Roman Catholic question is solved as with Jesus, it was no sin.

    Good-Ole-Rebel
     
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  6. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    According to the definition, no.

    When one is in a war and he throws himself on a grenade to save the life of others... he didn't commit suicide (didn't take his own life - it was the grenade; didn't destroy his own interests but rather had the interest of others)

    Jesus didn't kill himself -- others killed him and it was in the interest of humanity that he "gave his life".
     
  7. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    Jesus said that it was commanded of him by his Father to lay down his life and to take it up again..John 10:17-18

    Even though he died, he yet lives, because he died.

    If he had not laid down his life he would have been in disobedience to God's command to do so.
     
  8. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Excepting he werent actually dead, as such.
    Or so they say.

    Sometime During Eternity . . .
    BY LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI
    Sometime during eternity
    some guys show up
    and one of them
    who shows up real late
    is a kind of carpenter
    from some square-type place
    like Galilee
    and he starts wailing
    and claiming he is hip
    to who made heaven
    and earth
    and that the cat
    who really laid it on us
    is his Dad

    And moreover
    he adds
    It’s all writ down
    on some scroll-type parchments
    which some henchmen
    leave lying around the Dead Sea somewheres
    a long time ago
    and which you won’t even find
    for a coupla thousand years or so
    or at least for
    nineteen hundred and fortyseven
    of them
    to be exact
    and even then
    nobody really believes them
    or me
    for that matter
    You’re hot
    they tell him
    And they cool him

    They stretch him on the Tree to cool

    And everybody after that
    is always making models
    of this Tree
    with Him hung up
    and always crooning His name
    and calling Him to come down
    and sit in
    on their combo
    as if he is the king cat
    who’s got to blow
    or they can’t quite make it

    Only he don’t come down
    from His Tree
    Him just hang there
    on His Tree
    looking real Petered out
    and real cool
    and also
    according to a roundup
    of late world news
    from the usual unreliable sources
    real dead
     
  9. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    If I was to create a more modern term with it, I would call it death by cop.
     
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  10. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    While I think that @Nowhere Man nailed it in post #10, there is also this.

    If Jesus believed He was dying for a greater cause then that isn't a suicide so much as a sacrifice. It's rare, but people do choose to put themselves in harm's way sometimes because they believe in something greater than themselves. That isn't the same as choosing to die because you don't want to deal with your own situation. That's what I mean by suicide.
    Tom
     
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  11. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    service to all as self is the laying down of one's life for the greater cause - love. altruism



    To be sure, he said.
    And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

    No question, he said.
    This entire allegory, I said, you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.



     
  12. amatuerscholar

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    No. Laying down one's life is not suicide. It's a sacrifice. He knew he would be killed, but he went forward with his mission anyway, regardless of the danger. While his actions resulted in his death, and he allowed it to happen, that isn't technically suicide. It's a sacrifice.
     
  13. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    I certainly agree that what Jesus did was a sacrifice made out of love. However, that doesn't exclude it from also being a suicide as per the definition.
     
  14. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Same thing here: while I certainly agree that what Jesus did was a sacrifice done out of love to save us, that doesn't disqualify it from matching the definition of a suicide
     
  15. Good-Ole-Rebel

    Good-Ole-Rebel Well-Known Member

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    What matters is how does God the Father define it?

    Good-Ole-Rebel
     
  16. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    Again... how is falling on a grenade to save your fellow soldiers defined as suicide?
     
  17. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    The one falling on the grenade killed himself to save others.

    What is it you do not understand about the "killed himself" part?
     
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  18. amatuerscholar

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    Not the same thing though. In order for it to be suicide, one has to intentionally and purposefully take their own life. You can kind of get around this through assisted suicide, where you purposefully and intentionally have someone take your life, but neither of those apply here. First, looking through all the Gospels, we see the Romans taking the life of Jesus. He was crucified, and it was crucifixion that ended his life. He didn't crucify himself, so we can rule out suicide there.

    What we are left with is possibly some form of assisted suicide. In John, we do have Jesus saying that no one can take his life, but he lays it down himself. But lets look at John 10 as a whole. This is unique to John, as it doesn't appear in any of the other Gospels. Matthew 11:27 does relate a bit with Jesus saying that "all things have been delivered to me by my Father: and no one knows the son except the Father...." But that really doesn't match up to the part you quoted. If we look at what the Jesus Seminar has to say about this passage, it's most likely not from Jesus. It most probably is theology being developed by the community that composed the Gospel of John.

    John is most likely taking cues from the Old Testament. In a variety of places in the Hebrew Scriptures, we see the talk of a good shepherd as being a model for the ideal leader. John develops this in verses 1-5, and then interprets in verses 7-18. So the portion you quoted is coming from the end of the interpretation section, that is dealing with the beginning of the chapter. John is really relating an allegory here. If we take this all in context, Jesus is saying he is a good shepherd, but that comes with dangers. At times, you will be in danger as you try to protect your sheep. You will have to get in between danger and your flock. You may get in between a predator and your flock, and have to lay your life down in order to protect them, but that's part of being a good shepherd. And in that sense, you give up your life, no one takes it from you. That's not suicide, it's sacrifice.

    The intention, and purpose is not to die. It's to protect others. Death may come, but that isn't the intention.
     
  19. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    the one who is giving doesn't see a sacrifice, they see a cessation of suffering for other as self, i am that i am.
     
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