does all / everyone really mean all?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Jarlaxle, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle
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    When the Bible says that the gospel had been spread to all the Earth, was that just an expression or did it literally mean that people in the America's, for example, heard the gospel?
     
  2. Brother Adam

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    please post the scripture you are refering too.

    Thankyou
     
  3. Carson Weber

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    "[A]ll the Earth" in its Scriptural context refers to the Roman Empire, which is what the authors of Scripture would have thought "all the Earth" to mean. In the literal sense of Scripture, we cannot divorce the author's intentions from the divinely inspired meaning. In the literal sense, they are one and the same.
     
  4. Jarlaxle

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    Romans 10:18
    But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

    I agree, but how do you show this concept to someone that is... well, hardheaded?
     
  5. Stephen III

    Stephen III
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    How about using the end of that same verse:..."the ends of the earth". We know now the earth is spherical, a globe and has no end. Just as a circle has no end. The writers and their listeners or readers at the time subscribed to a earth that had ends (some would argue flat), with a firmament above to hold back the rains etc. The end result and perhaps what you're looking for is that it was based on their understanding of what the earth was at their time. Important to modern scriptual exegesis, particular to ones who might argue for an even inerrant scientific reading of scripture; would be that the point that even a scientific misunderstanding (which basically is what we have here)would not have a bearing on the Gospel as a means to teach and guide in matters of faith and morals.
     
  6. Carson Weber

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    Stephen,

    I would like to point out two things for you.

    First of all, it is Catholic dogma that all of Scripture is inerrant, not only those parts pertaining to faith and morals. This dogma is explained extensively in Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Providentissimus Deus (1893) and Pope Pius XII's encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu (1943). It is also touched upon in Pope Benedict XV's encyclical Spiritus Paraclitus (1920) and Pope Pius XII's encyclical Humani Generis (1950).

    This Dogma is restated in Dei Verbum, article 11, in the Church's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Vatican II), which contains the following citations:

    (5) cf. St. Augustine, "Gen. ad Litt." 2, 9, 20:pL 34, 270-271; Epistle 82, 3: PL 33, 277: CSEL 34, 2, p. 354. St. Thomas, "On Truth," Q. 12, A. 2, C.Council of Trent, session IV, Scriptural Canons: Denzinger 783 (1501). Leo XIII, encyclical "Providentissimus Deus:" EB 121, 124, 126-127. Pius XII, encyclical "Divino Afflante Spiritu:" EB 539.

    where it says:

    "Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore "all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text)."

    Secondly, 600 years before Christ, science was able to demonstrate that the earth was a globe and over 200 years before Christ, science could discuss the earth's diameter with relative accuracy. I wholly suggest Jeffrey Burton Russell, Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians, (Westport, Conn: Praeger 1997).
     
  7. Stephen III

    Stephen III
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    Well I'm certainly not one to argue with the Church. But, I must say that the part of the quote that I think would still bolster my original thought is:
    " ... it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation

    Is it right then in this context to read that as stating that God thought it proper to utilize the Bible as a science manual and that the truth of these scientific matters were put their for the sake of our salvation?

    I consider myself a somewhat conservative Roman Catholic, and by that I mean I think the Bible is inerrant in what it was designed to relay. Science and perhaps some of the aspects of history and things like the number of years etc., it could be argued are not of a significant nature when it comes to the guidance of faith and morals. And isn't there something about a type of animal that is described as a marsupial when in fact it isn't in the OT (that one's just my recollection -it may not be real accurate)

    Yet at the same time I realize an argument can be made that if the Bible is wrong in such matters, it could possibly open it up to the interpretation that the Bible could be in error in other more topically pertinent areas.
    And consistent with that outlook I hold to the belief that the earth really is the center of the universe. All attempts to prove otherwise afterall are just mathmatical theories. I realize that must appear inconsistent on my part but that belief jives with our understanding of science. Unfortunately our understanding of science is indeed what is fickle and subject to change. It does in this case at least leave it open to beleive otherwise in other words.
    I'd need some help with the flat-earth one. Does the book you reccommend offer this help?

    And for a topical relevance to this thread, when you said:
    "[A]ll the Earth" in its Scriptural context refers to the Roman Empire, which is what the authors of Scripture would have thought "all the Earth" to mean. In the literal sense of Scripture, we cannot divorce the author's intentions from the divinely inspired meaning. In the literal sense, they are one and the same.
    combined with your second point:
    Secondly, 600 years before Christ, science was able to demonstrate that the earth was a globe and over 200 years before Christ, science could discuss the earth's diameter with relative accuracy.

    In this it seems that you're saying the writer didn't know what the whole of the world consisted of. (namely he thought perhaps of the Roman Empire as being representative of the whole world)
    Is he not then in error in his assuming the world is less than what it was? This contrary to even some scientific thought of the day (garnered from your evidence). Granted he did not intentionally misstate the facts. But should we even venture to introduce intentions into the equation? Especially when considering the Devinely inspired meaning. Afterall where would we draw the line, as I'm quite sure none of the Biblical authors intended to misstate scientific facts.

    I am very interested in your thoughts on these topics and I would like to offer a heartfelt and sincere thankyou for your genuine, informed and zealous defense of Christ's Church. Keep it up!

    God Bless,
    Steve
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Does it mean "the Gospel has spread to all the elect - but not to the non-elect"?

    Does it mean - there were "no elect" in any other country on earth?

    When the Bible says "God so loved the WORLD" - did He "really" or was He just grandstanding "as IF" He so loved the World to make us "think" that He just might be that "big"?

    The Arminian view is
    "God so loved the World....Yes Really!"

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Carson Weber

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    Hi Stephen,

    The reason that I provided the extensive footnotes from the original text of Dei Verbum is that they demonstrate - without a doubt - that the phrase "for the sake of our salvation" is a purpose, not a restrictive clause.

    For an intensive analysis of the text, I suggest Fr. Brian Harrison:

    http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt59.html

    In this it seems that you're saying the writer didn't know what the whole of the world consisted of ... Is he not then in error in his assuming the world is less than what it was?

    I would say that the author of Scripture, in this instance, is not affirming a scientific truth, but is rather using a phenomenological expression or idiom to denote "all of the earth" as when the weather forcaster says "when the sun goes down..", he isn't affirming Geocentrism.
    I would like to refer you to a couple of resources instead of duplicating their work here (which would be a waste of my time, to be honest):

    http://www.salvationhistory.com/library/scripture/wordOfGod/interpissues.cfm
     
  10. Rakka Rage

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  11. Carson Weber

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    What's your point Rakka?

    The oldest and best manuscripts of Acts omit this verse (Acts 8:37), and so it is not a part of Scripture, but, rather, a later Western addition. Remember, verse divisions were put into the Bible by a man - Robert Estienne (Lat. Stephanus) (a parisian printer) in 1551. They aren't a part of Scripture, but, rather, a tool to use Scripture. Estienne's copy of the Scriptures included this later addition, which accounts for his inclusion of Acts 8:37.
     
  12. Yelsew

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    Then why, when attempting to prove a point, do people insist that the whole thought is contained within the verse separators? Yes, Carson you do that too!
     
  13. Carson Weber

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    Yelsew,

    You asked, "Then why, when attempting to prove a point, do people insist that the whole thought is contained within the verse separators?

    My response above has absolutely nothing to do with the usefulness of dividing Scripture into verse.
     
  14. Yelsew

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    My comment has EVERYTHING to do with wrongly dividing the word of Truth...Which happens when people take a single verse out of its context for the sake of proving their theology.
     
  15. Carson Weber

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    Hi Yelsew,

    You wrote, "My comment has EVERYTHING to do with wrongly dividing the word of Truth...Which happens when people take a single verse out of its context for the sake of proving their theology."

    I agree with you. [​IMG]
     

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