John 7:8—Did Jesus lie to His brothers?

Problem: Jesus’ unbelieving brothers challenged Him to go up to Jerusalem and show Himself openly if He was the Messiah (7:3–4). Jesus refused, saying, “I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come” (v. 8). However, only a few verses later Jesus “went up to the feast” (v. 10).

Solution: Jesus did not go up to Jerusalem in the way in which His brothers suggested. They suggested He go and be “known openly” (7:4). But the Scripture explicitly declares that “He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret” (7:10).

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.