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Robertus

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About Robertus

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    Playing the piano, football, tennis, chess and listening to clasical music.

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  1. Robertus

    The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

    Journeyman You raised the issue of ‘eternal punishment’ earlier in our exchange and I promised to pick this up later. The simple answer to your challenge is that my answer would depend on what ‘eternal’ meant in the particular context. And we know that it frequently does not mean literally ‘for ever’ Firstly, both the Hebrew and the corresponding Greek words can simply denote a long or indeterminate period of time*. For example, various Old Testament ordinances are described using this word (e.g., Exodus 27:21 and Leviticus 3:17), but these regulations clearly do not last for ever, as they were abolished with the creation of the New Covenant (Galatians 3:24,25; Colossians 2:14). Secondly, the word ‘eternal’ is frequently used, particularly by John, in a completely non-temporal sense. We learn that a believer ‘has eternal life’ in them now (John 3:36; 5:24). By contrast, we are told that ‘no murderer has eternal life abiding in him’ (1 John 3:15). ‘Eternal life’, therefore, is something that dwells within someone here and now; it is not something that will only exist at some stage in the future. In the context of our discussion, we also learn what Jesus meant when He used the phrase ‘eternal life’. In John 17:3, He said: ‘And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the one true God, and He whom you have sent, Jesus Christ.’ A similar definition of ‘eternal life’ is provided by 1 John 5:20, which says that communion with God is ‘eternal life’. In each of these passages, the word ‘eternal’ refers to the quality not the quantity of the ‘life’. This life is ‘eternal’, not because it goes on for ever and ever, but because it involves a knowledge of the ‘eternal’ God. Unlike biological life, it exists in ‘eternity’, the realm that God inhabits (Isaiah 57:15), as opposed to the ephemeral, material world. By contrast, therefore, eternal punishment involves the opposite of this, that is, ‘exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might’ (2 Thessalonians1:9). Do I believe God is going to torment most of mankind for ever and ever with no chance of redemption? No: an infinite punishment would be pointless, cruel and disproportionate to their crimes. And how could we or God be happy knowing that sin and suffering, both of which we should hate, would be going on for ever and ever, an indelible part of the universe. How does that gives us any good news to impart? No, God is much kinder than we are (Matthew 7:9, Luke 11:11), and we know what that kindness means in terms of punishment: God will not punish or be angry for ever (Psalm 103:9). Hallelujah! God bless Robert * The Analytical Greek Lexicon, 1977, H. Moulton, p11; Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1951, F Brown pp 761, 762
  2. Robertus

    The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

    Dear Journeyman Your statement that ‘Jesus is the Holy Spirit’ goes against the doctrine of the Trinity. According to this, the Son is not the Father and neither of them is the Holy Spirit, even though all three are God. The Athanasian Creed warns against ‘confounding the Persons’ of the Trinity and asserts that, ‘there is One Person of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghost’. The Persons of the Trinity can therefore act and experience independently, rather than always acting ‘in concert’, as I put. So only the Father knows ‘the hour’ (Matthew 24:36), only the Son experiences being crucified (Luke 23:46) and the Holy Spirit is ‘another Comforter’ apart from the Son and the Father (John 14:16). So I don’t accept there is any evidence at all that Jesus spoke through Noah. It is nowhere stated in Scripture and it cannot be inferred from anything that the Bible says. You say it is clear that what Peter meant in 1 Peter 4:6 was that the people in question were preached to before they died. What is this assertion based upon? Peter says that the ‘the gospel was preach to the dead’, not that it was ‘preached to the living who are now dead’. How can you exclude the possibility they were dead at the time, particularly when we are told they were ‘spirits’ at the time? In response to this last point, you say, ‘it’s really a matter of sowing and reaping. The dead aren't sowing anything anymore. They're just waiting’. I don’t understand this at all or how it answers my point. Whilst He was ‘in the spirit’, Jesus ‘proclaimed’ to imprisoned spirits. So they must have both been dead at the time, mustn’t they. How can you avoid this obvious conclusion? Robert
  3. Robertus

    The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

    Dear Journeyman, 2 Peter 2:5 only tells us that the ungodly were punished, not that they could never be saved. As regards Noah, I’m not clear why you believe that because his preaching was inspired by the Holy Spirit, it must also have come directly from Christ. I believe orthodoxy still teaches that the members of the Trinity do not always act in concert, the obvious example being the Son’s suffering on the Cross. Going back to 1 Peter 4:6, the Greek does not say, ‘preached to them that are dead’, perhaps implying 'those that are dead now'. It simply says, ‘preached to the dead’, indicating that they were dead at the time. This interpretation is reinforced by 1 Peter 3:19, which tells us that the persons in question were the ‘spirits’ of those who had disobeyed at the time of Noah. So they were the disembodied spirits of people who perished in the Flood. I didn't understand your response to this point. You say that, ‘those who die rejecting the gospel are spirits trapped by death’. I agree and that’s my point. The people to whom Jesus was preaching were the 'spirits' of the disobedient dead. And 1 Peter 4:6 says that the purpose of this preaching was their redemption. Robert
  4. Robertus

    The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

    Dear Journeyman, I’ll come back to your other points later if I may. I’d just like to stay with 1 Peter 3 for the time being, if that’s OK. My first problem with your reading is that the visit of Christ to those in prison follows on from His death, as indicated by the interlinear text below: [TABLE=border: 0, cellpadding: 0, cellspacing: 0, width: 661] [TR] [TD]θανατωθεὶς[/TD] [TD]μὲν[/TD] [TD]σαρκὶ ,[/TD] [TD]ζωοποιηθεὶς[/TD] [TD]δὲ[/TD] [TD]πνεύματι ;[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]having been put to death[/TD] [TD]indeed[/TD] [TD]in [the] flesh[/TD] [TD]having been made alive[/TD] [TD]however[/TD] [TD]in [the] spirit[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD] [/TD] [TD] [/TD] [TD] [/TD] [TD] [/TD] [TD] [/TD] [TD] [/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]ἐν ᾧ[/TD] [TD]καὶ[/TD] [TD]τοῖς[/TD] [TD]ἐν φυλακῇ[/TD] [TD]πνεύμασιν [/TD] [TD]πορευθεὶς ,[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]in which[/TD] [TD]also[/TD] [TD]to the[/TD] [TD]in prison[/TD] [TD]spirits[/TD] [TD] going[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] There is also no reference elsewhere in the scriptures to Christ preaching through Noah. So as well as involving ‘a harsh transference of thought and subject’ (New Bible Commentary, p 1,244), this interpretation is also only achieved by adding to God’s words (Proverbs 30:6) and going beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). The same must also be said of your reading of 1 Peter 4:6, which requires the insertion of ‘now’ into the sentence to make it: The gospel was even preached to the (now) dead. Finally, 1 Peter 3 does not say that the gospel was preached to 'people'. Instead it refers to them as ‘in-prison spirits’. They are clearly not human beings any more, but the spirits of the departed who died in the Flood. Robert
  5. Robertus

    The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

    Journeyman Thank you. My problem with your reading is that 1 Peter 4:6 tells us that the universality of God's judgement (1 Peter 4:5) is the reason why the gospel was even preached to the dead. This clearly pre-supposes there has been a previous reference to the gospel being preached to the dead, the need for which is now being explained. The only candidate here is 1 Peter 3:19, which refers to spirits who were 'pent in prison' following Noah's Flood, and whom Christ visited and 'proclaimed' after His own death, whilst He was also 'in the spirit'. Secondly, there is the word translated as 'even' in the NIV and other versions. If this is correct, as many scholars clearly believe it is, then it implies there is something remarkable in the gospel being preached 'even' to the dead. However, it would only be remarkable if they were actually dead at the time; preaching to people who are now dead, but who were alive at the time is not noteworthy at all. God bless Robert
  6. Robertus

    Romans 5:18, 19

    Origen I've attached two pages from the Bagster's RSV Interlinear Greek English New Testament, which. as you will see, is used the Nestle Greek text and includes the phrase 'the many' at Mark 6:2. As I said, I included this example of 'the many' for completeness. However, if you'd prefer to exclude it, I don't have a problem with that, as it doesn't alter my questions in any way. So what is you response to the main question here, namely who are 'the many' in Romans 5:19? Robert Mark 6.PDF
  7. Robertus

    Romans 5:18, 19

    Origen The versions that say 'the many' are listed in the textual apparatus of the Novum Testamentum Graece, page 105. I included it for completeness, as it is also the reading adopted by the Nestle Greek text. Robert
  8. Robertus

    Romans 5:18, 19

    Origen Sorry some words fell out. That should have read: You said in an earlier post that I ‘read into the text rather than reading it’. I think the opposite is true; all of the alternative readings you and William have provided have required ideas to be read in to the passage, e.g.: ‘prison’ is a symbol for the body, when it always denotes a place of spiritual punishment; the ‘spirits’ in 1 Peter 3:19 are fallen angels when it does not mention angels at all; fallen angels disobeyed at the time of Noah when the Bible only mentions human disobedience at that time; 1 Peter 3:22 means ‘fallen angels’ when it only mentions ‘angels’; and, 1 Peter 4:6 means ‘the now dead’ when it only refers to ‘the dead’. Robert
  9. Robertus

    Romans 5:18, 19

    Origen We appear to be on diminishing returns here. So I’ll move on shortly and create a string to discuss just one more passage. I just pause to comment on a couple of things. I didn’t understand your challenge to produce a Greek grammar that supports the view that καί should be translated as ‘even in 1 Peter 3:19. I’ve given you umpteen mainstream translations backed by a myriad of biblical scholars, which supports that view. I've no doubt that several of these scholars have written Greek grammars and not just read them. You said in an earlier post that ‘read into the text rather than reading it’. I think the opposite is true; all of the alternative readings have required ideas to be read in to the passage, e.g.: ‘prison’ is a symbol for the body, when it always denotes a place of spiritual punishment; the ‘spirits’ in 1 Peter 3:19 are fallen angels when it does not mention angels at all; fallen angels disobeyed at the time of Noah when the Bible only mentions human disobedience at that time; 1 Peter 3:22 means ‘fallen angels’ when it only mentions ‘angels’; and, 1 Peter 4:6 means ‘the now dead’ when it only refers to ‘the dead’. Robert
  10. Robertus

    Romans 5:18, 19

    Romans 5:18:19 This is a hard passage to read as meaning anything other than universal salvation. I’d therefore be interested in your thoughts on how it might be read otherwise. I’ve included some thoughts of my own below. Roman includes a comparison between the effect of Adam’s sin with that of Christ’s sacrificial death, which is summarised in verses 18 and 19 below: So therefore, just as through one offence condemnation came to all men, so also through one righteous act justification of life comes to all men. For as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one righteous man the many will be made righteous. The deliberate and powerful parallelism of these phrases seems to clear teach that all men will be saved. Just as sin led to condemnation and death for all humanity, so Christ’s sacrifice will lead to justification and life for the whole of mankind. It might be argued that ‘all men’ does not literally mean ‘all men’ here, but refers to ‘all believers’. Alternatively, it might be contended that Christ’s sacrifice only leads to the possibility of life. Although the offer of life ‘comes’ to all men, it is not accepted by all, so not all are saved. To this, it might be added that verse 19 only says that ‘many’ will be made righteous; it does not say that ‘all men’ will be. It might also be pointed out that whilst there is clear parallelism here, there are also some obvious contrasts; hence, Paul’s statement that ‘the free gift is not like the effect of one man’s sin’ (verse 16), something which clearly indicates that the parallels can only be taken so far. However, there are a number of flaws with these arguments. To begin with, Paul explains the contrasts in verse 16. In the case of Adam, one trespass led to condemnation; whereas the free gift occurred after many trespasses and brings justification. This says nothing, therefore, to justify interpreting ‘all men’ to mean anything other than literally ‘all men’. The second argument falls down when the two verses above are read together. From this it is clear that verse 19 follows on logically from the previous verse, as it starts with the word, ‘for’. So verse 19 only tells us what follows from verse 18, and it does this by using different language to describe the message and implications of verse 18. Taken together, the two verses clearly indicate that ‘all men’ in verse 18 are synonymous with ‘the many’ in verse 19. It is worth noting that verse 19 does not say that ‘many will be made righteous’; it says ‘the many will be made righteous’. Although the subtle nuances of the definite article in New Testament Greek are not universally agreed, one clear function is to refer back to a previous, indefinite noun. In this case, verse 19 refers back to the at ‘all men’ means the whole of mankind here, as the Bible clearly teaches that all human beings are affected by Adam’s sin. It could be argued that ‘all men’ meant different things in the first and second parts of verse 18. However, this would obviously destroy the clearly intended parallels of the verse. It is also completely untenable to argue that an identical phrase has quite different meanings in the very same sentence, unless there is compelling evidence to justify this. Here, there is no such evidence. As the interpretation of verse 19 hinges on the use of a particular phrase (‘the many’), however, it is essential to carefully examine how this phrase is used throughout the New Testament. The Greek word for ‘many’ is used as a noun about 80 times in the New Testament. However, in only 10% or so of these cases is the phrase, ‘the many’ used. Where passages do contain this phrase, it appears as the subject and the object of the sentence in roughly equal proportions. The phrase, ‘the many’ can also be found in one of the gospels and two of the epistles. This clearly indicates that the Greek word for ‘many’ is not always accompanied by the definite article. It also indicates that the phrase, ‘the many’ is not an individual stylistic issue, as it appears in different books that were written by different authors for different readers at different times. We need therefore to consider in what circumstances the phrase, ‘the many’ is used. And to do this, we need to examine all of the passages in which this phrase appears. The first example can be found in Mark 6:2, which says: And when the sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many hearing were astonished... Here, ‘the many’ clearly refers to the group of people who heard Jesus on this occasion. They were not just ‘many’ people generally; they were ‘the many’ people who were gathered in the synagogue at that time. So the word ‘the’ has clearly been used, because the passage had a specific group of ‘many’ people in mind. The next passage is Mark 9:25, 26 which says: And when Jesus saw a crowd running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, ‘Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you come out of him and never enter him again. And after crying out and much convulsion, it came out. And he was like a corpse, so that the many said that he had died. As in Mark 6:2, ‘the many’ is used here as a pronominal phrase, to refer back to the indefinite group of people (‘a crowd’) in the previous verse, i.e. ‘a crowd ran together’ and ‘the many (i.e. the crowd) said that [the man] had died’. The definite article appears to have been used once again, therefore, because the verse is not talking about any vague or indefinite group of many people. Instead, it is referring to a specific collection of people, who were mentioned in an earlier sentence. Thus, the Greek follows the convention in many languages, that when something is introduced indefinitely, the definite article is always used to refer back to that particular object, e.g. ‘he saw a bus arriving, and he got on the bus’. The next example comes from Romans 5:12 to 16, which says: Therefore as sin entered the world through one man and, through sin, death, so also death passed to all men inasmuch as all men sinned. For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not counted when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those whose sinning was unlike that of Adam’s transgression, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offence, for if the many died through the one offence, much more have abounded to the many the grace of God and the free gift... Once again, the phrase ‘the many’ refers back to the large group of people introduced in the first part of this passage, namely ‘all men’. So just as sin led to the death of ‘all men’, the free gift and God’s grace also abounds to ‘all men’. Later on in this epistle Paul again uses the phrase ‘the many’ when he is talking about the body of Christ (Romans 12:3-5). ... I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith God has apportioned. For as we have many members in one body, but not all of the members have the same action, so we, the many, are one body in Christ, and each a member of one another. As with the passages mentioned above, the phrase ‘the many’ here refers to a specific group of many people, who are clearly identified earlier in the passage. In this case, ‘the many’ comprises all of the members of the body of Christ. The next two examples are both from 1 Corinthians 10, namely verses 17 and 33, which say: Because there is one bread, we, the many, are one body, as we all share the one bread. ...I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own advantage, but that of the many, in order that they may be saved. As in the previous passages, the phrase, ‘the many’ clearly has a specific group of many people in mind. Here, these are ‘all Christians’ and ‘all men’ respectively. Once again, therefore, ‘the many’ is not used to simply denote ‘many’ in the sense of any indeterminate or large number of people; the noun preceded by the definite article refers to a definite group of many people. Finally, in 2 Corinthians 2:17 Paul says: For we are not like the many who hawk the word of God, but as men of sincerity... Here, the phrase, ‘the many’ also has a specific group of people in mind, namely the large number of people who in those times were peddling the word of God like salesmen. The use of the definite article, therefore, turns a general term (‘many’) into a phrase which identifies a specific group of people with whom the passage is directly concerned. We can now turn back to Romans 5:18,19 and re-examine the passage in the light of this evidence: So therefore, just as through one offence condemnation came to all men[1], so also through one righteous act justification of life comes to all men[2]. For as through the disobedience of one man the many[1] were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one righteous man the many[2] will be made righteous. As mentioned altready, the reasoning of both sentences is directly linked, as indicated by the word ‘for’ at the beginning of verse 19. In addition, the use of the phrase, ‘the many’ as opposed to ‘many’ in verse 19 supports the view that there are in fact only two groups of people in these verses: those who were affected by Adam’s sin and those who will benefit from Christ’s sacrifice. The first group of ‘the many’ [1] is ‘all men’, as this is the corresponding phrase to which it is linked in the first sentence. We also know that the phrase, ‘all men’ in that sentence must mean literally every single human being on the planet, because of the Bible’s clear teaching regarding the universality of sin. For the same reasons, the second group that is described as ‘the many’ [2] must also refer back to the ‘all men’ in the previous verse. Unless we can show that this does not literally mean ‘all men’ as in the first clause, then the normal rules of exegesis require us to interpret this phrase in exactly the same way. We would otherwise have to conclude that ‘all men’ had two completely different meanings in the very same sentence, even though there was absolutely no evidence that this was the case. It is also perhaps worth mentioning here that no textual variants of ‘the many’ in verse 19 are mentioned the Novum Testamentum Graece. As far as I can establish, therefore, the phrase ‘the many’ would have appeared in the original text, and was not the result of a later scribal error. The only fair conclusion that we can draw from all of this, therefore, is that verse 19 is telling us in a very direct way that in the end ‘all men will be made righteous’. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that ‘the righteous’ are God’s sheep, and that they receive eternal life and will never perish (John 10:28). The reason for this is that nothing now or in the future can separate them from the love of God (Roman’s 8:39). This must, then, be the joyful fate of ‘all men’, as all of us will eventually be ‘made righteous’. God bless Robert
  11. Robertus

    1 Peter 4:6

    William, Origen Many thanks. The Gospel I mentioned Luke 16:16, as William appeared to suggest that 1 Peter 4:6 was referring to the gospel being preached to people who died in the Flood, perhaps through the agency of Noah. I was just pointing out that there was no evidence of the gospel being preached before Christ, and this verse says that it had been preached ‘since’ John. Angels There is no reason to believe the spirits in verse 19 are fallen angels. Verse 19 refers to the spirits of those who disobeyed at the time of Noah’s Flood. There’s no reference to an angelic rebellion at this time; the only disobedience we are told about involves human beings. There is also nothing to connect verse 22 with Origen's view of verse 19. There is no reference to ‘fallen angels’ in verse 22, just ‘angels’. And only obedient angels are truly ‘subject’ to Christ; disobedient ones remain defiant in hell. By contrast, ‘authorities’ and ‘powers’ on earth are subject to His will, as explained by Romans 13 . ‘Even’ The Greek word for, like its Hebrew counterpart, has a wider meaning than the simple additive conjunction, ‘and’. It can also mean ‘but’ and ‘even’, for example. Instances of the meaning ‘even’ include Matthew 10.30 and 1 Corinthians 2.10 ( Bagster’s Analytical Greek Lexicon , page 208). As regards 1 Peter 4:6, it is translated as ‘even’ by many versions of the Bible including the - New International Version International Standard Version Revised Standard Version English Standard Version English Revised Version American Standard Version New American Standard Bible In any event if the gospel was ‘also’ preached to the ‘dead’, (and William this means ‘literally dead’ only 5 words earlier), then who are the others, but the ‘living? Peter’s readers were familiar with the gospel being preached to the living, but they would have been surprised to learn of it being preached to the dead as well. Hence, the translation ‘even’ to emphasise the unexpected nature of this revelation. Peter had just said that God would judge the living and the dead and that is why the gospel was preached to the dead as well as the living. They have to judged by the same yardsticks, so the dead can be judged ‘like men in the flesh’. They were not ‘in the flesh’ when they heard the gospel, as Peter is clearly referring back to the ‘spirits’ he mentioned in Peter 3:19. This is the only example of preaching to the dead in the whole Bible, so it is this that 1 Peter 4:6 must be referring back to here. ‘Proclaim’ I don’t accept that the use of different words means that 1 Peter 3:19 and 1 Peter 4:6 must be referring to different things. Different words are frequently used to refer to the same thing or person, e.g. God's names, to bring out different facets of the same thing, event o person. Here, ‘proclaim’ captures the open nature of the declaration; ‘preach’ brings out the important point that the declaration involved good news, i.e. the gospel. The word ‘proclaim’ is frequently used to describe the preaching of the gospel, e.g. Matthew 24:14 and Mark 13.10. Moreover, we know that 1 Peter 3:19 and 1 Peter 4:6 refer to the same event, because of the strong thematic and causal connections in the language throughout1 Peter 3:18 to 4:6, as set out once more below: 1 Peter 3 18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh on the one hand, but on the other was made alive in the spirit; 19in which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20to those who disobeyed when God waited patiently in the days of Noah’s while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water. 21And this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from your flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him. 1 Peter 4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his flesh, arm yourself also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his flesh is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to render an account to the One who is ready to judge the living and dead. 6For this is why the gospel was even preached to the dead, so that on the one hand they might be judged like men in the flesh, but on the other might live like God in the spirit. God bless Robert
  12. Robertus

    1 Peter 4:6

    William That's fine. I think I understand your interpretation. Jesus's spirit preached via Noah to those who disobeyed God when the ark was being built. The word 'even' in 1 Peter 4:6 is there, because people would not have realised that the gospel had been preached to people that long ago. The reason this happened, however, was so that they could be judged 'like men in the flesh', i..e. men who are living. All Does anyone have any other views, as Luke 16:16 appears to say that the gospel was not preached before the time of John? Origen felt very strongly that 1 Peter 3:19 was about fallen angels, but I wasn't clear why you would 'proclaim' to a being that was beyond redemption, and Origen didn't say who the 'dead' were in 1 Peter 4:6. Robert.
  13. Robertus

    1 Peter 4:6

    William I believe that good men of old, Noah included, were saved by their faith, as Hebrews 11 tells us. I believe that the righteous go to heaven after death and the wicked go to hell, as Luke 16 indicates. I'm afraid I didn't quite understand your point about Abraham's Bosom and the resurrection. Please amplify a little. Going back to 1 Peter 4:6, though, the 'this is why' opener clearly means that it's explaining something earlier in the text. I can't see any candidates other than the reference to Christ 'proclaiming' to the spirits pent in prison in 1 Peter 3:19. The other problem with saying that 1 Peter 4:6 means spiritually dead, is that all of the other references to 'dead' in this passage, including the one in the immediately preceding verse, are to people who are literally dead. I think this is why the NIV goes for the view that it means people who are 'dead now'. In doing so, however, it has to insert the word 'now', which is not in the Greek text. It also doesn't explain why Peter would use the word 'even', as if this was something surprising. His readers no doubt knew of people to whom Jesus had preached in person, but who were now dead. Why would that be surprising in any way? God bless Robert
  14. Robertus

    1 Peter 4:6

    William Thank you. That's a thought provoking insight. My main problem with it is the 'even' in 1 Pet 4.6. What I was just going to write before you pipped me to the post was the following, which covers the spiritually 'dead' point towards the end. Please let me know what you think. All It might help if I reproduced the text, so this is below, with some words I’ve underlined and others I've placed in bold for the reasons explained later on. 1 Peter 3 18For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh on the one hand, but on the other was made alive in the spirit; 19in which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20to those who disobeyed when God waited patiently in the days of Noah’s while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water. 21And this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from your flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him. 1 Peter 4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his flesh, arm yourself also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his flesh is done with sin. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to render an account to the One who is ready to judge the living and dead. 6For this is why the gospel was even preached to the dead, so that on the one hand they might be judged like men in the flesh, but on the other might live like God in the spirit. The first thing to note are the obvious thematic links throughout, particularly between 1 Peter 3:18 and 1 Peter 4:6, shown in the words that I’ve underlined. Next, there are the causal connections in bold, which link all of the thought processes together. The first ‘therefore’ tells us that the conclusions of 1 Peter 4:1 follow on from what has been said before. The words that follow in 1 Peter 4:1 are also illuminating, as they refer back to Christ’s suffering in the body, which was only mentioned previously in this passage at 1 Peter 3:18. The verses of 1 Peter 4:2 to 4 amplify of the kind of sins, which Christians should have been ‘done with’. And once again, this thought progression flows directly on from 1 Peter 4:1, as evidenced by the words, ‘as a result’. Finally, there is 1 Peter 4:6. There some telling words here. The first is ‘for this is why’. This clearly indicates that this conclusion is linked to and is explaining something earlier in the passage. That must be 1 Peter 3:19, as this is the only reference to anyone talking to someone who was not ‘in the ‘flesh’. It’s also the only candidate in the Bible I know of that could be advanced as a potential example of the gospel being preached to the dead. The word ‘even’ is also revealing here. Peter was clearly saying something that would be unexpected to his listeners. So it could not mean people who were just dead now, but were alive at the time they heard the gospel. There’s nothing unusual about that. By the same token, it could not mean that they were ‘dead’ in the spiritual sense, as the gospel’s targeted at the people who need salvation. We try to avoid ‘preaching to the converted’, after all. So again the word 'even' doesn't appear to make sense. Robert
  15. Robertus

    1 Peter 4:6

    All I've probably taken up more of Origen's time with this than I should, but I would really value your input. I'm genuinely open to persuasion, and I still have a few unanswered questions, namely: 1. why did Jesus preach to spirits in 1 Peter 3:19 if they had no chance of redemption? 2. who are the dead who were preached to in 1 Peter 4:6, who undertook this preaching and why? Many thanks Robert
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