The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

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  • #31
    Both,

    My Knowledge
    I didn’t say that I had read an interlinear version of the Bible. I said I’d written an interlinear translation of Daniel’s prophecy of the ‘seventy sevens’.

    Spiritual Beings
    I don’t believe spiritual entities occupy space for the reasons given in Chapter 1 of my book, The Good News. In view of this, I don’t believe the chasm mentioned is a three-dimensional object any more than I think heaven is literally, ‘Abraham’s Bosom’.

    Different Words
    It is not uncommon for the Bible to use different words to describe different facets of the same thing or person. There are many different names for God, for example. I believe that the various words that describe punishment in the after-life refer to the same thing. I don’t believe they can refer to different things or places, for the simple reasons that they are not things or places to begin with. They are metaphors for a state of being that is characterised by spiritual suffering and separation from God. That may vary in intensity, but it is the same thing: hell.

    1 Peter 3:19-4:6
    However, the debate about whether word like the Abyss and Hades are separate things is academic here, as is whether or not the spirits are those of people or fallen angels. Those who don’t believe in universalism maintain that no-one can be saved from these ‘places’. That is why I mentioned this passage from 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6, in particular. This shows that the gospel was preached to spirits in precisely this predicament, with the sole purpose of securing their salvation (1 Peter 4:6).

    Isaiah 24
    In the material world, it is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘you will be put in prison and then punished after many days’. However, it makes absolutely no sense when that prison is the punishment. How could one meaningfully say to the rich man in the Lazarus parable that he would be punished after many days I can imagine his response! I don’t therefore accept your view of a purgatorial Hades.Moreover, the very text at verse 21 clearly tells us that the ‘prison’ is the punishment that is meted out to both men and angels ‘on that day’. And what days is it? It’s the Day of Judgement, and all that awaits us after that are heaven or hell.

    However, once again, I would remind you that the principle reason for my quoting this passage was simply to provide another instance of where the word ‘prison’ was used as a metaphor for hell. The above demonstrates that is the case. It also shows how wide a context I have considered in formulating this view.

    Ephesians 4:9
    I have never advanced this as a proof of universalism. I said it provided an echo of 1 Peter 3:19, as it alluded to Christ’s descent to hell.

    Acts 2:27-31
    When negative alternatives are used, ‘neither...nor’ is the correct English construction. In whatever way you translate the conjunctions, however, the fact is that two things are referred to here:

    (a) Christ’s soul being abandoned in hell; and,
    (b) his flesh seeing corruption.

    In his quotation, Peter does not use ‘neither’ in verse 27, but he uses it at verse 31 to emphasise the fact that there were two things here.

    I totally agree that ‘me’ and ‘my soul’ are synonymous, because 'I' like Christ am a spiritual being. I will therefore carry on after my flesh has been completely destroyed. You say, however, that statements (a) and (b) are also synonymous. That I cannot accept, however, because that would mean that Christ and his flesh were one and the same thing.

    Apostles’ Creed
    I am not seeking support from this Creed. I was simply making the point that you argued my reference to Acts 2, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 3 to support Christ's descent to hell proved I didn’t read the context and that I had no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew. I just made the point that if that were true, then you would have to lay the same charge the door of the authors of the Apostles’ Creed. Are you doing that?

    As regards the Creeds themselves, the NBC says at page 1,244 (3rd Edition), in relation to 1 Peter 3:19:

    This verse is taken with Acts 2:31 and Ephesians 4:9 to establish the clause in the Creeds referring to the descent into hell.

    It uses the word ‘hell’ in the Book of Common Prayer version of the Apostles’ and Athanasian Creeds. However, I see that you are now taking issue with this translation and NBC’s analysis of it. You contend that it does not refer to ‘hell’, but to Christ’s descent to the ‘lower/bottom’ . But what does this mean exactly? Christ’s body did not leave the sepulchre. Where do you believe the creeds are saying that Christ went to exactly, if not to where the wicked are punished in the after-life? It seems completely tautological to say that it means, ‘he went down to the grave’. The previous sentence tells us that, ‘He was crucified, dead, and buried’. Are you saying, that the following phrase, ‘he descended into hell’ is just a another example of parallelism?

    Way Forward
    I’m extremely busy at work at the moment and I don’t want to think I’m ignoring you, so could we perhaps just focus on one thing at a time. That way, we can explore things in the kind of lexical detail that I'm sure Origen would appreciate. We won’t all agree, I suspect, but we may be able to narrow some apparent differences by clarifying misunderstandings. We will also be able to pinpoint precisely what it is we disagree about and why.

    How about this then as my opening question: what is 1 Peter 4:6 referring to when it speaks of the good news being preached to the dead?


    God bless,



    Robert



    Comment>

    • #32
      Both,

      My Knowledge
      I didn’t say that I had read an interlinear version of the Bible. I said that I’d written an interlinear translation of Daniel’s prophecy of the ‘seventy sevens’.

      Spiritual Beings
      I don’t believe spiritual entities occupy space for the reasons given in Chapter 1 of my book, The Good News. I don’t therefore believe that the chasm mentioned in Like 168 is a three-dimensional object any more than heaven is literally, ‘Abraham’s Bosom’.

      Different Words
      It is not uncommon for the Bible to use different words to describe different facets of the same thing or person. There are many different names for God, for example.
      I believe that the various words that describe punishment in the after-life also refer to the same thing. In fact, I don’t believe they could refer to different things or places, any way, for the simple reason that they are not things or places to begin with. They are metaphors for a state of being that is characterised by spiritual suffering and separation from God.

      1 Peter 3:19-4:6
      However, the debate about whether words like the Abyss and Hades are separate things is academic here, as is whether or not the spirits are those of people or fallen angels. Those who don’t believe in universalism maintain that no-one can be saved from these ‘places’. That is why I mentioned this passage in 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6. This shows that the gospel was preached to spirits in precisely this predicament, with the sole purpose of securing their salvation (1 Peter 4:6).

      Isaiah 24
      In the material world, it is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘you will be put in prison and then punished after many days’. However, it makes absolutely no sense when that prison is the punishment. How could one meaningfully say to the rich man in the Lazarus parable that he would be punished after many days? I can imagine his response! Moreover, the text at verse 21 here clearly tells us that the ‘prison’ is the punishment that is meted out to both men and angels ‘on that day’. And what days is it? It’s the Day of Judgement, and all that awaits us after that, are heaven or hell.

      However, once again, I would remind you that the principle reason for my quoting this passage was simply to provide another instance of where the word ‘prison’ is used as a metaphor for hell. The above demonstrates that is the case.

      Ephesians 4:9
      I have never advanced this as a proof of universalism. I said that it provided an echo of 1 Peter 3:19, as it alluded to Christ’s descent to hell.

      Acts 2:27-31
      When negative alternatives are used, ‘neither...nor’ is the correct English construction. I whatever way you translate the particles, however, it remains clear that two things are mentioned, namely:

      (a) Christ’s soul being abandoned in hell; and,
      (b) his body (‘flesh’) seeing corruption.

      In his quotation, Peter does not use ‘neither’ in verse 27, but for emphasis he uses it at verse 31, to emphasise the fact that the Psalmist referred to two things, Christ’s soul and His body.
      I totally agree that ‘me’ and ‘my soul’ are synonymous, because I, like Christ, am a spiritual being. I will therefore carry on after my body has been completely destroyed.
      You say, however, that statements (a) and (b) are also synonymous. That I cannot accept, because this would mean that Christ and his flesh were one and the same thing.

      Apostles’ Creed
      I am not seeking support from this creed. I was simply making the point that you argued that my reference to Acts 2, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 3 in support of Christ’s descent to hell proved that I didn’t read the context and had no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew. I just made the point that if they were not, however, then you would have to lay the same charge at the door of the authors of the Apostles’ Creed. Are you saying that?

      As regards the Creeds themselves, the NBC says at page 1,244 (3rd Edition), regarding 1 Peter 3:19:

      This verse is taken with Acts 2:31 and Ephesians 4:9 to establish the clause in the Creeds referring to the descent into hell.

      It uses the word ‘hell’ in the Book of Common Prayer version of the Apostles’ and Athanasian Creeds. However, I see that you now take issue with this translation and NBC’s analysis of it. You contend that it does not refer to ‘hell’, but to Christ’s descent to the ‘lower/bottom’ .

      But what does this mean? Christ’s body did not leave the sepulchre. Where do you believe the creeds are saying that Christ went to exactly, if not to where the wicked are punished in the after-life? It also seems completely tautological to say that it means, ‘he went down to the grave’. The previous sentence tells us that, ‘He was crucified, dead, and buried’. Are you saying, that the following phrase, ‘he descended into hell’ is just a another example of parallelism?

      Way Forward
      I’m extremely busy at work at the moment and don’t want you to think that I’m ignoring you, so could we perhaps just focus on one thing at a time. That way, we could explore things in the kind of lexical details that Origen would no doubt appreciate.

      We won’t all agree, but we may be able to narrow the apparent differences by clarifying misunderstandings. We will also have a clearer understanding of what we disagree about and why.
      How about this then as my opening question: what is 1 Peter 4:6 referring to when it speaks of the good news being preached to the dead?


      God bless


      Robert



      Comment>

      • #33
        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Both,

        My Knowledge
        I didn’t say that I had read an interlinear version of the Bible. I said I’d written an interlinear translation of Daniel’s prophecy of the ‘seventy sevens’.
        Since you clearly don't know Hebrew that does not mean anything.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Spiritual Beings
        I don’t believe spiritual entities occupy space for the reasons given in Chapter 1 of my book, The Good News. In view of this, I don’t believe the chasm mentioned is a three-dimensional object any more than I think heaven is literally, ‘Abraham’s Bosom’.
        I only care about the text and what the text says or in your case what it does not says. Your metaphysical musings are irrelevant to that.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Different Words
        It is not uncommon for the Bible to use different words to describe different facets of the same thing or person. I believe that the various words that describe punishment in the after-life refer to the same thing. I don’t believe they can refer to different things or places, for the simple reasons that they are not things or places to begin with. They are metaphors for a state of being that is characterised by spiritual suffering and separation from God. That may vary in intensity, but it is the same thing: hell.
        You may believe anything you wish but that is not evidence. Since the text does not support your claim, and no scholarly lexicons agree with your view, it is up to you to prove your case. The fact that you lump them all together means that you do not understand the cultural and theological settings. The different words are used contextually for a reason. They do not all refer to the same thing and the ancient reader\listener knew that.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        1 Peter 3:19-4:6However, the debate about whether word like the Abyss and Hades are separate things is academic here as is whether or not the spirits are those of people or fallen angels.
        That is not correct. There are good reasons why a writer would choose one word over another, context. As I said above, the different words used are used contextually for a reason. They do not all refer to the same thing and the ancient reader\listener knew that.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Those who don’t believe in universalism maintain that no-one can be saved from these ‘places’. That is why I mentioned this passage from 1 Peter 3:19 and 4:6, in particular. This shows that the gospel was preached to spirits in precisely this predicament, with the sole purpose of securing their salvation (1 Peter 4:6).
        They don't. As I have shown in post 20, 1 Peter 3:19 has nothing to do with human beings. You have not addressed that post or the evidence therein.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Isaiah 24
        In the material world, it is perfectly reasonable to say, ‘you will be put in prison and then punished after many days’. However, it makes absolutely no sense when that prison is the punishment. How could one meaningfully say to the rich man in the Lazarus parable that he would be punished after many days I can imagine his response! I don’t therefore accept your view of a purgatorial Hades.Moreover, the very text at verse 21 clearly tells us that the ‘prison’ is the punishment that is meted out to both men and angels ‘on that day’. And what days is it? It’s the Day of Judgement, and all that awaits us after that are heaven or hell.
        I have already addressed this passage in post 29 (and there is more to come). But you have not addressed the counter arguments and evidence.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        However, once again, I would remind you that the principle reason for my quoting this passage was simply to provide another instance of where the word ‘prison’ was used as a metaphor for hell. The above demonstrates that is the case. It also shows how wide a context I have considered in formulating this view.
        I understand. The problem is they don't.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Ephesians 4:9
        I have never advanced this as a proof of universalism.
        I never said you did.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Acts 2:27-31
        When negative alternatives are used, ‘neither...nor’ is the correct English construction. In whatever way you translate the conjunctions, however, the fact is that two things are referred to here:

        (a) Christ’s soul being abandoned in hell; and,
        (b) his flesh seeing corruption.

        In his quotation, Peter does not use ‘neither’ in verse 27, but he uses it at verse 31 to emphasise the fact that there were two things here.
        This is not correct.

        (1) While the word οὐδέ may at times be translated as "neither" that does not prove it ought to be translated that way here nor is it the only possibility. You need to prove it grammatically from the Greek text. Even if something is at least possible that does not mean it is the best choice.

        (2) Greek has a construction for the "neither\nor" correlation, a double οὐδέ ... οὐδέ. That construction is not used in this passage. What you don't know is that Greek syntax is important for the use and meaning of words within the text. While anyone can look up the meaning of Greek word in a dictionary, that by itself cannot help you understand how it is being used according to syntax. That requires a knowledge of Greek grammar.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        You say, however, that statements (a) and (b) are also synonymous. That I cannot accept, however, because that would mean that Christ and his flesh were one and the same thing.
        That is because you have not understood my point. In synonymous parallelism the two line are synonymous in meaning. The variations have to do with how it is expressed.

        I have already shown that the word hades can refer to the grave.

        I have already shown the the sheol can refer to the grave.

        I have already shown that when Peter's refers to Christ flesh he is speaking of Christ's body (i.e. not decaying).

        I have already shown the Hebrew noun שַׁחַת refers to the grave. The noun comes from the same root and means "to decay, to rot."

        Simply by putting all the elements together it is not hard to understand. The two lines are essentially saying the same thing, not two different things as you have claimed. That is the nature of synonymous parallelism. That is the way it is done. In order to accept your claim about it being two prediction a person would have to reject the structure of Hebrew poetry that is well known, well studied, and well defined.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Apostles’ Creed
        I am not seeking support from this Creed. I was simply making the point that you argued my reference to Acts 2, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 3 to support Christ's descent to hell proved I didn’t read the context and that I had no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew. I just made the point that if that were true, then you would have to lay the same charge the door of the authors of the Apostles’ Creed. Are you doing that?
        Yes I am. I explained what the options are according to the source you cite and how it agrees with my view. Moreover the creed does not support your claim but fit with the context of what I have said and with which your source agrees.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        As regards the Creeds themselves, the NBC says at page 1,244 (3rd Edition), in relation to 1 Peter 3:19:

        This verse is taken with Acts 2:31 and Ephesians 4:9 to establish the clause in the Creeds referring to the descent into hell.
        I know what it says I even quoted it in post 28 at length.

        Some take the verse to refer to the chronological sequel to Jesus’ death, when his spirit passed into the realms of the departed. Then, with Acts 2:31 and Eph. 4:9, this verse establishes the clause in the Creeds about Jesus’ descent to the dead. In that case he must have preached to all the dead in one of three ways: to offer them a second chance of salvation; to proclaim his victory over death and triumph over the power of evil and so confirm the sentence on unbelievers and announce deliverance for believers; to proclaim release from purgatory to those who had repented just before they perished in the flood (a popular interpretation among Roman Catholic writers).

        Neither the first nor the last of these can be supported from Scripture, but the second has been held by many commentators as fitting in with the NT evidence above. E.G. Selwyn (The First Epistle of Peter [Macmillan, 1949]), and others see the spirits in prison as the fallen angels of Gn. 6:1-8 referred to in 2 Pet. 2:4-10 and Jude 6 as well as in the apocryphal 1 Enoch. Peter’s aim in this context is to demonstrate that God’s purpose is being worked out even in times of suffering. So it would seem best to understand the preaching as a declaration of Christ’s triumph, in order to assert (22) that all angels, authorities and powers [are] in submission to him. Grudem (TNTC) in an appendix summarizes the views and claims that the spirits were Noah’s contemporaries who rejected the [p. 1380] preaching of the Spirit of Christ through Noah (see 2 Pet. 2:5) and are now in the prison of the abode of the dead.
        The question is which of the three options is most probable.

        Again, as I pointed out in post 28 note the NBC states: "neither the first nor the last of these can be supported from Scripture," which mean that your view has been rejected because there is no evidence to support it.

        And that leaves only option 2 (i.e. "to proclaim his victory over death and triumph over the power of evil and so confirm the sentence on unbelievers and announce deliverance for believers").

        Then I go on to mention in that post what I had all already said in post 17:

        But let's assume that Peter does mean the abode of the dead when he refers to "hades" and not the grave in spite of the contrast he makes. That brings us to Ephesian 4:8-9. There is nothing in the text that suggest Jesus lead everyone in "hades" to heaven. At best it means that Jesus lead those O.T. believers\saints who had died before his atonement into heaven. There is nothing in that passage that suggests universalism.
        Either you are not reading my comments or you are ignoring them. Anyway you only quote one sentence from the NBC giving no context. When the whole of the contenx is examined it show the NBC does not agree with you and that your quote is misleading on that level.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        It uses the word ‘hell’ in the Book of Common Prayer version of the Apostles’ and Athanasian Creeds.
        I care about the Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        However, I see that you are now taking issue with this translation and NBC’s analysis of it.
        Far from it because it agree with me. I believe you have misrepresented the NBC on this point by quoting only one sentence out of context. As I pointed out above and in post 28, the NBC gives three options:

        (1) "to offer them a second chance of salvation"

        (2) "to proclaim his victory over death and triumph over the power of evil and so confirm the sentence on unbelievers and announce deliverance for believers"

        (3) "to proclaim release from purgatory to those who had repented just before they perished in the flood (a popular interpretation among Roman Catholic writers"

        In the first sentence of next paragraph it states: "Neither the first nor the last of these can be supported from Scripture..." Thus your claim has been rejected because there is no evidence to support it. So whatever the Creed might mean, it certainly does not support your view according to the NBC.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        You contend that it does not refer to ‘hell’, but to Christ’s descent to the ‘lower/bottom.’ But what does this mean exactly? Christ’s body did not leave the sepulchre. Where do you believe the creeds are saying that Christ went to exactly, if not to where the wicked are punished in the after-life?
        That is what the Greek states, τὰ κατώτατα. Lets take what we already know and apply it.

        In Greek mythology, the name Τάρταρος (prob. not a native Gk. term, but found already in Homer Il. 8.13, 481) orig. denoted a deep abyss, far beneath Hades (ibid. 8.16). It was surrounded by a brazen wall and encircled by impenetrable darkness. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis p. 458.
        Tartarus, thought of by the Greeks as a subterranean place lower than Hades where divine punishment was meted out, and so regarded in Israelite apocalyptic as well... A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian, 3rd Edition, p. 991.
        Note that Tartarus is "a subterranean place lower than Hades." Note that Tartarus is a "deep abyss" and thus links to "the pit" in the N.T. Given that information and the word (i.e. ‘lower/bottom) in the Creed that would be a very likely link it to 1 Peter 3:19 and 2 Peter 2:4 and the fallen angels.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        It seems completely tautological to say that it means, ‘he went down to the grave’. The previous sentence tells us that, ‘He was crucified, dead, and buried’. Are you saying, that the following phrase, ‘he descended into hell’ is just a another example of parallelism?
        It does not matter that you think it is a tautology. Synonymous parallelism is part of the structure of Hebrew poetry. It is a fact. I know you have The New Bible Commentary. Just before the book of Job there is a section titled Poetry in the Bible. There is a brief discussing about parallelism there. The Hebrew poets wrote accounting to their style, their customs, their structure, their literary techniques.

        Originally posted by Robertus View Post
        Way Forward
        I’m extremely busy at work at the moment and I don’t want to think I’m ignoring you, so could we perhaps just focus on one thing at a time. That way, we can explore things in the kind of lexical detail that I'm sure Origen would appreciate. We won’t all agree, I suspect, but we may be able to narrow some apparent differences by clarifying misunderstandings. We will also be able to pinpoint precisely what it is we disagree about and why.

        How about this then as my opening question: what is 1 Peter 4:6 referring to when it speaks of the good news being preached to the dead?
        Go for it. State a new thread concerning 1 Peter 4:6. Give your evidence for your view on this verse.

        However I have already addressed this verse in posts 17, 20, 22, and 28. I have discussed the semantic range of certain words (and thus the meaning of the those key words), the links between this verse and others verses based upon the Greek text and context, and the cultural and religious background of the period. And I have cited scholarly sources to back up my points.
        Last edited by Origen; 06-02-2017, 05:09 AM.
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