“The devil took him [Jesus] up into an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”
– Matthew 4:8
What is being communicated here? It seems rather bizzare. How could Satan have shown Christ all of the kingdoms of the earth from a single mountin? There is simply no mountin that can carry such a task. Does Matthew make a blunder here, exposing his archaic flat-earth worldview?
How do we interpret such a passage as those who believe in inerracy?
1. The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it. There was a mountain that actually was this high and Christ could see all the kingdoms of the earth. (Ouch! Really?)
2. The devil had the supernatural power to show Christ all the kingdoms of the earth.
3. It was not really all the kingdoms of the earth, but a representation of the kingdoms (maybe one or two kingdoms).
4. Deny inerrancy.
Hagner simply says that this is not to be taken literally (Word).
Calvin says “It is asked, was he [Jesus] actually carried to this elevated spot, or was it done in a vision? … What is added, that all the kingdoms of the world were exposed to Christ’s view … in one moment … agrees better with the idea of a vision than with any other theory. In a matter that is doubtful, and where ignorance brings no risk, I choose rather to suspend my judgment than to furnish contentious people with an excuse for a debate.”
According to Leon Morris “The fact that there is no mountain from which all the world may be seen literally favors the view that the tempter brings all this before the mind of Jesus” (Pillar)
What do you do with this passage?