Acts 2:48 Apointed or Disposed

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Benefactor, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Benefactor

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    h t t p : // w w w . theologyweb . com / campus / showthread . php?t=48230

    Disposed here

    Sorry it should have been Acts 13:48
     
    #1 Benefactor, Aug 8, 2009
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  2. Rippon

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    The word "disposed" is here in the New World Translation of Acts 13:48: ... and all those who were rightly disposed for everlasting life became believers.

    FF Bruce in his commentary on the book of Acts says:We cannot agree with those who attempt to tone down the predestinarian note of this phrase by rendering "as many as were disposed to eternal life"... The idea of being enrolled in the book of life or the lkie is found in several Biblical passages (e.g. Ex. 32:32f,; Ps. 69:28; Isa. 4:3; Dan. 12:1; Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 13:8; 20:12ff.; 21:27). (page 283)

    In AW Pink's classic: The Sovereignty Of God he comments :

    Every artifice of human ingenuity has been employed to blunt the sharp edge of this scripture and to explain away the obvious meaning of these words, but it has been employed in vain, though nothing will ever be able to reconcile this and similiar passages to the mind of the natural man. "As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed." Here we lean four things; First, that believing is the consequence and not the cause of God's decree. Second, that a limited number only are "ordained to eternal life," for if all men without exception were thus ordained by God, then the words "as many as" are a meaningless qualification. Third, that this "ordination" of God is not to mere external privileges but to "eternal life," not to service but to salvation itself. Fourth, that all -- "as many as," not one less -- who are thus ordained by God to eternal life will most certainly believe.(page 63)
     
  3. Benefactor

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    Lets take this to the repost under Acts 13:48
     
  4. Rippon

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    Continuing On Page 63 And 64 Of Sovereignty Of God

    The comments of the beloved Spurgeon on the above passage are well worthy of our notice. said he, "Attempts have been made to prove that these words do not teach predestination, but these attempts so clearly do violence to language that I shall not waste time in answering them. I read:'As many as were ordained to eternal life believed', and I shall not twist the text but shall glorify the grace of God by ascribing to that grace the faith of every man. Is it not God who gives the disposition to believe? If men are disposed to have eternal life , does not He -- in every case -- dispose them? Is it wrong for God to give grace? If it be right for Him to give it, is it wrong for Him to purpose to give it? Would you have Him give it by accident? If it is right for Him to purpose to give grace today, it was right for Him to purpose it before today -- and, since He changes not -- from eternity."
     
  5. Rippon

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    Just stick to this thread.
     
  6. Benefactor

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    I notice that the nwt was cited in the website I suggest everyone visit and read. For all readers the NWT is the JW translation. I would agree with the gentlemen in the website listed in the OP that using this as an argument to discredit the use of the middle voice is no ground for a credible argument.

    I would hope that everyone that gets involved in this thread would check out the website given in the OP.

    I have a copy of the NIV interlinear and they translate in the middle voice (having been deposed).

    Here is the NIV Interlinear wording, verse 48 "And hearing the nations rejoiced and glorified the word of the Lord, and believed as many as were having been disposed to life eternal;"
     
  7. The Archangel

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    Benefactor,

    I see we have a Greek problem...again. The Middle voice in Greek denotes where the subject acts upon himself or herself.

    This passage cannot be "middle" because, contextually, no one can ordain himself--it must be from an outside source.

    Therefore, the NIV has the gist of it because it states it in the Passive. I don't think the "Disposed" word works; ordained is better. But that someone else Disposed/Ordained is properly translated as passive. It isn't can't be middle

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  8. Benefactor

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    I would direct you to the website listed in the OP. There you will find scholarly presentations from both sides. The ending of the word "menoi" lets us know that it can be either "middle or passive". The word by itself is either or and the context shapes which it is. There are good and fare opinions on both side of this issue. I as you can understand favor the middle and of course Calvinism the passive.

    Even with the passive those who are of my manner of theology would not have a problem with that because we see election according to foreknowledge, where God knows all who will believe and so elects them in Eternity. Electing on the basis of prescience recognizes what man will do and does not act because man will not do.

    Now, so that I am not miss understood God does act on man with revealing truth to him and convicting him but not by predetermining he will with the position that he would never respond to truth unless he is first regenerated, this of course a reverse of what Scripture teaches.
     
    #8 Benefactor, Aug 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2009
  9. The Archangel

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    Benefactor,

    Um....my comment was not based on a "theology" of any kind. My comment was based on your mis-statement of the Greek middle. You said "I have a copy of the NIV interlinear and they translate in the middle voice (having been deposed)." As for the web link and the arguments...I don't need them; I read Greek for myself.

    The NIV doesn't take it as middle, at least they don't translate it that way. As I said, if it were to be taken as a middle it would be translated, by anyone with a modicum of understanding, this way: having deposed themselves. Again, the Greek middle is doing something to one's self. The NIV translation you quote clearly does not do that.

    Not to mention, contextually, it is impossible to depose/ordain/appointed one's self. Even in English this is an impossibility because being appointed, by definition, requires someone else doing the action.

    In fact, because this is a participle--a perfect passive participle--it should be translated something like "the ones having been appointed to eternal life."

    Now, just to review, the Greek perfect states something that happened in the past with implications that reach into the present. That being the case, it is counter-intuitive to take this as a Middle, because no one would be able to appoint themselves in the past (presumably before they were born). So, there really is only one option--the Passive.

    Now, I'm sure I'll get another diatribe from you about how my theology is all screwed-up. But notice, this is not a theological discussion at the present time; this is a Greek discussion. You are, of course, free to take this participle as a middle--against all contextual considerations. After all, it is, technically, a possibility.

    What I am correcting you on is your statement that the NIV translates it as a Middle. Again, your Greek attempts, while admirable, are truly lacking.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  10. Rippon

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    Ben, do you have any comment about A.W.Pink's and C.H. Spurgeon's remarks on the passage?
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    I am neither a Greek scholar nor a theologian, so I'm free to ask dumb questions like this:

    Why did the King James scholars of the 17th century, mostly Arminians, choose to use "ordain" instead of "disposed?"
     
  12. HankD

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    Obviously it didn't matter to them and "ordain" did not mean "unconditional election".

    Also, news travelled slowly in 1611, perhaps there minds were not cluttered by the scent of the TULIP.


    HankD
     
  13. The Archangel

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    Tom,

    I think the answer lies in the 17th Century usage. Look here for the etymology. Basically, it means the same thing as appoint.

    It is certainly possible that translators didn't have the information (the body of biblical and extra-biblical textual evidence) we have today. For example, the KJV translates John 3:16 using "Only Begotten." The better translation of that word would be "unique."

    Blessings,

    Tim
     
  14. Benefactor

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    Let me jump in here for a minute:

    If you take any large work you will find errors and dislikes based on ones theology that could be one or the other. We all champion context and we should, but sometimes we force context to mean what it does not say and I think all sides are guilty of this. This does not mean that we don't press on and continue to study.

    If we use the middle instead of the passive does it work or does it violate the text in context. Both sides will argue their view and say their use of the participle passive or middle supports their conclusion and agrees with the context as they frame it.

    Because of the sharp divide between the two on this issue I don't see a compromise, which I see as impossible. To compromise is to see ones theology tumble, so we work toward undergirding our foundation regardless of what goes against it by finding ways of reason by which we frame as logical, to defend our view and defeat the other. This is not going to stop, but we still study and work at our version of the truth.

    Basically most of us are set in our ways and are not going to change regardless of what the other says.

    What we do gain from these theological battles is the ability to understand how each side thinks. We become sharply aware of the other and our view. Those coming into the arena of this debate wonder if these people are real Christians and before long they are picking which side they believe is correct.

    Well that is enough of that rambling, back to the middle and passive use of this interesting word. Is it an appointment by God - passive or is the individual having disposed themselves toward belief which I believe is the correct view. They believed because they themselves were disposed, not appointed.
     
  15. The Archangel

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    Again, the perfect, passive participle cannot be taken as a "middle." If it had not been in the perfect, perhaps it could. But the perfect completely eliminates that possibility.

    The following will mostly be a restatement of this.

    So, this is not at this point a theological discussion. This is a Greek discussion. It is interesting that you charge those of us who take this as a passive as twisting the context to suit our own theological pre-commitments. Because the Greek is crystal clear, you have now gone into a pot-kettle-black situation.

    It is not possible, linguistically or otherwise, to suggest that a person can "appoint" one's self at sometime in the past (as the Greek perfect requires). Therefore, this cannot be seen, contextually, as a middle and must be taken as a passive.

    Sadly, your limited knowledge of Greek is like that of a man who fancies himself a mechanic--he knows what an alternator is, he knows what a fuel pump is, he knows what a spark plug is, yet he does not know how to put the individual parts together to making a working motor.

    I certainly wish you all the best in your studies of Greek, for that will really help you in your biblical studies.--regardless of whether you are a Calvinist or Arminian.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  16. Benefactor

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    In the middle it is translated disposed not appoint
    In the passive it is translated appoint not disposed

    If we translate it appoint then the agent of appointment is an outside source
    If we translate it disposed the agent thin is oneself

    The spelling of the word is either passive or middle.

    The middle better fits the context and the larger teaching of Scripture.

    .
     
  17. The Archangel

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    I am growing increasingly tired of your inane persistence in reading something contrary to the written text. Not to be opprobrious, but this will likely be my final posting to you on this topic.

    The verb of which the perfect passive participle is built is "tasso." This word has the meaning of "to arrange, to appoint, to order." In classical Greek, such as Aristotle, officials are said to be "appointed to something"

    In the New Testament, the meaning of tasso is generally the same--to appoint.

    Now, to review the principles of Greek, there are three voices in Greek: Active, Middle, and Passive.

    The Active voice is like this: "I wash." As in "I am actively washing my car."

    The Middle voice is like this: "I am washing myself." As in "I am taking a shower and washing myself."

    The Passive voice is like this: "I was washed." As in "I am somehow incapacitated and someone else has to give me a bath."

    Now, the Perfect in Greek means something was done in the past (in the case of tasso, an appointment was made in the past) and it has lasting consequences into the present.

    So, we have some people being appointed in the past. (That's the "perfect" part of this word).

    Now, either they appointed themselves...in the past (which considering that the text is speaking about Gentiles is both unlikely and downright impossible) or they were appointed by someone in the past.

    The ending of the Perfect Passive Participle can be confused as a middle, since the ending is the same, but only by someone who doesn't know Greek.

    A.T. Robertson, again, a Greek scholar of the first order, shows that this is a passive participle. I doubt you'd argue with him.

    The common scope of usage of this word, by definition, does not allow of a "middle" understanding. For how can one appoint himself or herself to anything. By definition, tasso generally falls into to categories: "I appoint" or "I was appointed (by someone else)."

    Now, you have repeatedly shown that, while you may dabble in Greek, you really have no idea what is going on with Greek.

    The post, quoted above, makes this quite plain. Generally, a word does not change its definition when going from passive to middle. Instead, in a wooden translation, helping words appear. Instead of "I appointed myself" (the middle) you would have "I was appointed" (the passive).

    This very same participle (except in the feminine) is used in Romans 13:1 referring to governing authorities. Paul states that government has been appointed (instituted) by God--the perfect passive participle.

    Your insistence on this being a "middle" is like that of a man who still thinks the moon is made of green cheese. There are countless pounds of moon rock in our collective possession, yet despite all the evidence to the moon being made of rock (and perhaps you yourself even touching a sample of the rock), you still persist in your determination to be wrong.

    It is almost as if we are discussing Shakespeare's Hamlet and you are insisting on understanding Hamlet's soliloquy of "to be or not to be" as a discussion on which apartment he lived in.

    You are insisting on an interpretation (the middle) that is absolutely contrary to fact. It is that plain. It is that simple.

    Here ends the Greek lesson. May you take it to heart.

    The Archangel
     
    #17 The Archangel, Aug 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2009
  18. Darrenss1

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    I'm just wondering, that say for conditional election, God electing on the basis of His foreknowing those whom would believe, why is it thought of as man's own self appointment? I don't see how that has to be the case.

    Of course my own view is of individual conditional election with a corporate overtone.

    Darren
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    Conditional election is God's imposing a condition on his election of an individual. The condition is imposed on the individual. It is faith. In the foreseen faith view, Good sees that the individual will exercise saving fath, and elects him because of it. In the view, election requires something from the potential electee. His election hinges on it. Once that person completes the requirement, God responds. It's like, you picked God so God picked you. That's why some will say you elected yourself.

    Since this process happens in eternity, the outcome is fixed. There is no possibility that you will not exercise faith. And the number is fixed. No one else will have a chance to be saved.

    Of course, I hold the other view.
     
  20. The Archangel

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    Darren,

    The Biblical model is that God is always is the Initiator and man is the responder.

    1. God called Abraham (Abram) when he was an idol worshiper:

    Abraham had not "repented" first; God took Abraham first and Abraham then responded.

    2. In the Exodus, God never approached Moses to say "Here's my Law. Tell those Israelites to clean-up their acts and then, maybe when I see enough faith, I'll save them." No, God first saves/delivers the Israelites from their slavery and then gives them the Law to which the Israelites respond.

    3. In John 3:3 Nicodemus was told he must be Born Again. To be Born Again is something God does, especially because that is in the Passive voice."

    Two things run concurrent in Scripture--God's absolute sovereignty and man's necessity to respond to God in repentance and faith. These are not at odds. Since the Bible tells us that man is "dead" in trespasses and sins, it must be the case that God acts to remove the deadness. That's what we call regeneration.

    4. The so-called Golden Chain of salvation in Romans 8 clearly shows that Salvation is God's doing from start to end, yet from other passages we see that man is still called to repent and believe. The regenerated ones respond favorably to God's command to repent and believe; the unregenerate ones do not. But, Romans 8 is clear--God, ultimately, chooses.

    There are strains of both corporate election and individual election. However, we do know that Israel was "God's Elect" nation, yet not all Israel was truly Israel. So, even in a group, the individuals are called to individual faith. This can be seen clearly in the Old Testament sacrificial system too.

    The conditional election model is contrary to the Biblical model because God responds to man.

    In a nutshell, that's why.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     

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