Defining "Perfect"

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Dr. Bob

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    Hard to have valid discussion on which English translation or which Greek text is "perfect" if we don't agree on a definition of "perfect".

    Let's work together on this one, otay?
     
  2. Pastor_Bob

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    I think we would have to agree that the biblical use of the word in the following passages best defines "perfect" as it relates to the Word of God.

    Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (KJV)

    perfect = tayiym = entire, without blemish, complete, full, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright(-ly), whole.

    James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (KJV)

    perfect = τελειοσ (teleios)= complete, of full age.
     
  3. Phillip

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    Do you mean a REAL definition or the KJVo definition? :confused: :rolleyes:
     
  4. James_Newman

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    This sounds reasonable, but you just defined it with a dictionary. What makes something complete? If I gave you a birthday cake - a very lovely birthday cake with your favorite type of cake and icing - how would you determine if it was complete? Must I spell your name correctly? Have the right number of candles? What if I substituted ingredients? Can it be considered complete if I only used half the box of cake mix?

    Perfect would have to be defined in context, and by context. I think perfect is a concept that has degrees, with absolute perfection being wholly foreign to our thoughts. Nevertheless, we are asked to define what perfect means in the context of the discussion of a 'perfect' bible. In other words, what would be characteristic of a perfect bible. Psalm 19 is a good place to start. Lets look at some more characteristics of God's word as related in this chapter.

    Ps 19:7
    ¶ The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

    The word of God contains all these things: The law of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, the statutes of the Lord, the commandment of the Lord, the judgments of the Lord, and dare I say it should convey the fear of the Lord... A perfect bible (in any language) should convey all these things. To the degree that all these were accurately represented in a bible version, this might be an indication of the degree of perfection found in that version? I am sure that most would agree any bible that omitted laws or commandments would not be considered perfect. These characteristics should be just about uniform in any bible that would claim to be the word of God.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    A real definition, Phillip. In order to weasel around the matter, many try to redefine the word.

    Go for it.
     
  6. stevec

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    Just a reminder, we would want a Biblical definition, not a 21st century definition.

    There's my 2¢, do with it what you will.
     
  7. Debby in Philly

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    As a adjective, "Without blemish and without spot."

    As a verb, completed, finished.
     
  8. Johnv

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    Either way, scripture doesn't claim to be perfect. It claims to be divinely inspired and without error in regards to truth. Big difference.
     
  9. James_Newman

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    What does that mean?
     
  10. LRL71

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    That's cool..... how did you get the Greek on here anyway???

    An interesting point about 'teleios'.... I have been battling the so-called 'Charismatic Baptists' on the Fundamental Baptist board, and they have not been able to reprove my posts about the usage of 'teleion' in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. The very Word of God is mentioned here as being 'perfect, complete', thus replacing the imperfect revelatory gifts (tongues, prophecy, and knowledge) with the complete written Word of God. Thus, 'perfect' would also include the completed revelation of the written Word of God at the end of the book of Revelation when John penned 'AMEN'. The modern-day heresies of Charismatics & Pentecostalists cannot stand as being 'from God' if the written Word of God is complete, perfect, and "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (ESV)
     
  11. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Would the Southern Baptist statement of "...truth, without any mixture of error" work?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  12. James_Newman

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    We would have to go a step further and define truth and error. Some people seem to think that the bible only contains spiritual truth, and that it may not be factually true in all respects, and that an account that is not literally true may be considered spiritually true and that is the intent of the Lord's revelation to us. To impart spiritual 'truth' without regard to literal truth or fact.

    Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

    If the testimony of the Lord is sure, should we be unsure of the things which the Lord has testified? If we get nothing else out of the old testament, we should certainly get the idea that when the Lord says something, He means it.
     
  13. Johnv

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    We need to go by what scripture says. Scripture makes no claim of being factually perfect in all respects, as you say. Scripture makes the claim that it is divinely inspired and without error in regards to truth. The only way to require a 100% factually perfect belief in scripture is to add to scripture. Then again, KJVO's add false doctrine to scripture already, so the addition of something else to scripture is not surprising.
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    I've read two blatant attacks on KJVO in just one page. I was always led to believe that it was the KJVO who hijacked the threads? I guess that's just not the case.


    BTW Johnv, the Scripture does make claims of perfection - many times.
     
  15. aefting

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    The originals were breathed out by God perfectly, without any error. There are no translations or extant Greek manuscripts which are perfect. All extant manuscripts differ from each other and are therefore not perfect copies of the autographs.

    All translation work has been done by error prone men and it is obvious, therefore, that no translation is perfect.

    Andy
     
  16. mcgyver

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    Just my 2 cents (after taxes, my net pay).
    As I posted in another thread.......
    Do we mean:
    A. an exact/word for word/thought for thought/frame of reference/ type of perfect?
    Or:
    B. do we mean Inerrant (without error in regards to doctrine/revealed word of God)?

    Seems to me; that this is the big question.
     
  17. HankD

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    Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.


    HankD
     
  18. mcgyver

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    Hi Hank,
    Once again, we need to define "perfect". i.e. Do we mean whole, righteous, without flaw, mistake free, sinless (in our humanity without the shed blood of Christ as a covering),etc.
    Although I see what you mean, The thrust of this thread is one of definition.
    In Christ, your brother John.
     
  19. LRL71

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    If the Scriptures make claims of 'perfection', please do tell us where.... :rolleyes:

    Secondly, as pertaining to Dr. Bob's question, what should we define as being 'perfect' in relation to the written Word?

    Dodge, deflect, hide, obfuscate..... :confused:
     
  20. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Andy...I'll remind you that even though God definitely and without question INSPIRED the originals,He used "error-prone"imperfect men to PEN the very WORDS He wanted written and recorded....and DIVINELY PROTECTED them as they did it.He is a SUPERNATURAL,PERFECT God.He can(and I believe DID)insure that those very WORDS are not only transmitted down through the ages in perfect form...but ALSO see to it that they are translated into the various languages that developed over time....IN EQUALLY PERFECT FORM.Why is that so hard for anyone that claims to believe in our PERFECT God to accept???...unless maybe man in his own pride wants to have the final say on what IS and what ISN'T TRUTH.God is PERFECT....and He uses IMPERFECT MEN to accomplish His PERFECT work....and insures and protects the end result to HIS OWN GLORY!He does NO LESS when it comes to His Perfect WORD.....WHICH...He "magnifies" above His own name.Your own statement above is absolutely CONTRADICTORY.Sorry brother but I don't buy that.

    Greg Sr. [​IMG]
     

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