Jesus was also a borrower who copied text from the book of II Esdras 1:30-33 and presented it as an inspired word.

“I gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But now, what shall I do to you? I will cast you out from my presence. When you offer oblations to me, I will turn my face from you, for I have rejected your festal days and new moons and circumcisions of the flesh. I sent you my servants the prophets, but you have taken and killed them and torn their bodies in pieces; I will require their blood of you, says the Lord. “Thus says the Lord Almighty: Your house is desolate.  What is your reply?


Three points:

1. Of course Jesus quoted Scripture.  As a Rabbi, he did it all the time.  I am a preacher, and one thing I do all the time is I quote Scripture.  This is not “copying” or “borrowing.”  It is called biblical preaching.

2. Jesus did not quote from II Esdras, at least not in the sense that he quoted Isaiah and Psalms and Genesis and Exodus and so many other books.  In fact the idiom “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” was then, and even now is a common expression.  Here, Jesus is not quoting Esdras (not that this would be a bad thing) but he is using a common idiom.

3. Jesus did NOT present II Esdras as inspired Scripture. What words did Jesus say which implies that he thought II Esdras was Scripture?  He did not quote from the book, and we know as a fact that the Jews did not consider it as Scripture at the time of Jesus. This is a false statement, not supported by any evidence at all.

But…  Even if Jesus did quote from II Esdras (which he did not), this does not mean the he is calling it Scripture.  Personally, I quote from other authors quite often.  I do it all the time, including in my sermons.  However, in the context, those who are Christians know when I am quoting Scripture and when I am not.  When I am quoting Scripture I give book, chapter and verse and I make it plain that I am quoting Scripture.  When I quote from other authors in order to make a point, my hearers know that I am not quoting Scripture for the very reason that they know what the Scripture includes.  If I quote from C. S. Lewis, people quite obviously know I am not quoting him as authoritative Scripture.

This claim that Jesus declared II Esdras Scripture is completely bogus.

John Oakes

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