If there had been debate board in the 1st Century, what would be their HOT issue?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    I believe the biggest debate issue throughout Christendom (at least from the western perspective since Augustine) has been the debate over Calvinism/Arminianism.

    I think we could all agree that this was not the issue of debate in the 1st Century church, nor was in central in the minds of the writers of the New Testament as it is to us on this board.

    Knowing the major issues on the author's minds is important to understanding the author's intent, I know we would all agree with this.

    So, what do you all think was the number one main issue of contention among believers during the formation of 1st century church?

    Do you think that issue affects our understanding of certain texts? If so, how?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Frogman

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    Circumcision.
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    I would imagine it was the same thing that Paul and Peter had their little quarrel over. Whether to preach to the Gentiles or not.
     
  4. swaimj

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    Circumcision, food laws, and whether to preach from the original hebrew or the LXX!!!
     
  5. William C

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    Thanks, I think you all are right on target.

    The major issue was with Judiazers (Jewish believers) who didn't want to preach to the Gentiles and as a compromise some of them were willing to allow the Gentiles into the church if they first became practicing Jews by being circumcised and following the food laws.

    Paul and others address this issue throughout the epistles. I think we would all argree on that as well, (Please correct me if I'm mistaken)

    Now, how do you think this issue affects our understanding of the passages of scripture that we debate on this board? Does knowing this have any affect in our understanding of Eph. 1, 2 Thess. 2:13 or just about any verse that deals with God's chosen or elect people?

    What do you all think?
     
  6. tyndale1946

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    I think without a doubt it is the same thing it is now... The Apocalypse!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  7. William C

    William C
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    Ok, let me tell you what I think and you all let me know where you disagree or agree:

    The big issue of the day had to do with the Gentiles being chosen by God to receive entrance into the covenant. Calvinist and Arminians alike agree to this, we just disagree as to who ultimately decides which individual Gentiles will be save. (Am I right so far?)

    Ok, now if we look at the passages of scripture that talk about God's chosing or electing people couldn't be that many times these are references to God's choosing to allow Gentiles entrance, and not a reference to God's choosing some individuals as opposed to others?

    Lets look at 2 Thess. 2:13-14 as an example:

    13 But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Most Calvinist see this as a strong support text for their view that God selects certain individuals while leaving others imprisoned in their disobeidence in which He bound them through the imputation of Adam's sin.

    But, this verse doesn't support Calvinism at all. Let's look at the verses before verse 13:

    "...with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, 12 so that all will be condemned--those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness."

    "who are perishing" = those who did not accept the love of the truth (Calvinist's would say those "who are persishing" are those whom God chose not to give it too, but the text says those who chose not to accept that which God did choose to give them)

    "For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, so that all will be condemned" = Sounds like someone has been hardened. For what reason? They "DID NOT ACCEPT the love of the truth in order to be saved." AND they "did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness."

    Who is verses 10-12 talking about? Israel.

    Now let's look at verse 13 again:

    But we must always thank God for you [Gentile] brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

    Israel was hardened, but the Gentiles will listen (Acts 28:28). The church in Thessolonica was primarily Gentiles.

    The major objection of the day is that the Gentiles are not God's chosen people like the Israelites were. "They weren't CIRCUMSIZED how dare they enter covenant with our God!" To that claim Paul was saying, "You have been hardened, but we thank God for choosing the Gentiles before the foundation of the world to be saved through faith.

    And if that's not enough to convince you look at verse 14 again:

    He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    "He called you to this through" = Looky hear, what is the means by which God calls his people to salvation. Is it the secret effectual calling or is it the GOSPEL?

    "our gospel" = the testimony of the apostles (Jews chosen to carry the message)

    We must understand the major issues on the minds of the authors in order to understand their intent. Calvinists, IMO, have failed to do that in this verse and throughout the scripture.

    What do you think?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    They would debate "Since the Scriptures are all written by Hebrews - Israel - do you have to become a Jew once you are saved?".

    They would argue "Since you can no longer worship false gods - can you eat meat offerred to idols - or should you just be vegetarian to avoid the old ways connected to idols"?

    "Can someone who eats meat offerred to idols still be a Christian"?

    "If an Idol is nothing but stone - and I enjoy eating the meat that has been offerred to idols - should I stop eating meat whenever a Christian comes along that thinks no Christian should ever eat meat offerred to idols as in the Act 15 commands?"

    "Once you become a Christian and start reading Scriptures ALL the way from Genesis to Malachi - do you need to keep all the annual feast days listed in the Bible"?

    "There are so many prophets in the church today - and there are also some fakes mixing in - how do we know who is real and who is fake?".

    These are things that 1st century Christians might have debated as "hot topics".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. BobRyan

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    The issue of circumcision according to Eph 2 and Acts 15 was MUCH more than one ritual act - it was a way to say "you must be FULLY Jewish". It was the statement that you had to BE a Jew to be saved.

    It was not simply a question of serving the God of the Bible - the God of Abraham and Isaac. It was to BE a Jew.

    Recall - that ALL the Church leaders - church apostles were Jews.

    It was a little confusing for Gentiles to figure out that the JEWS that were evangelizing them "Paul, Peter, John etc" - were not asking them to BE Jews.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. BobRyan

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    No 2Thess 2 has nothing to do with a Jew vs Gentile debate.

    It is strictly focused on the last days - the end of the World - conditions just before the return of Christ.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. William C

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    Bob, your first two posts were right on target and I believe help to shed light on the author's intent when speaking about God's choosing. Good posts [​IMG]

    Now to your third post:

    I beg to differ. Many commentators would disagree with you at this point. But even if this is a reference to end times I think it is clear that the Gentiles being chosen are in focus in verse 13, wouldn't you agree with that?

    Let me post an excerpt from Adam Clarkes Commentaries to further explain:

    I hope this clarifies my position.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Bible-belted

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    You just love to do this don't you Bill? Take an a prori stance and then force all scriptures to fit it I mean.

    The relationship of jews and gentioles was without a doubt a major issue inthe first century, but it was far from the only one.

    The letters are occassional, and to find out what the occasion is you have to let the letters speak for themselves. Do that and yor little paradigm falls apart.

    For example, James makes NO mention of the circumcision debate. Philemon can't fit the mold either.

    Specifically thinking of 2nd Thess. here is what the notes of the NIV Stiudy Bible say under "Purpose":

    "Inasmuch as the situation in the Thessalonian church has not changed substantially, Paul's purpose in writing is very much the same as in his first letter to them. He writes (1) to encourage persecuted believers (1:4-10), (2) to exhort the Thessalonians to be steadfast and to work for a living (2:13-3:5) and (3) to correct a misunderstanding concerning the Lord's return. "

    So just like your little ploy about the apostles you are simply attempting to foist a dubious assumption on the text.

    So yes your position is clear, as in clearly wrong.
     
  13. William C

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    Oh, you mean like Calvinists have been doing for generations? :D

    Never said it was the only one. I said it was the biggest issue. It was the mystery that was being revealed. It was the reason for the Jersulam Council. It was the reason for the disagreement between Paul and Peter. It was the reason for many conflicts with the Judizers, which were believing Jews, and even Jews who were not believers. And, no doubt it was the reason for many of Paul's comments concerning the Gentiles place as a chosen people of God.

    What paradigm would that be? The one in which I said this issue was on the minds of the authors, or the straw man that you created when you implied that I believed this was the only issue they ever dealt with.

    This would be a pretty good argument if you were debating that straw man you created earlier :D

    (only could find two small books? Hmmm [​IMG] )

    Oh, well then if the NIV study bible says these purposes were the extent of the author's intent then by all means we don't need to go any further.

    Let's look at these general outline purposes for a brief second: To encourage persecuted believers, to exhort the Thessalonians to be steadfast; and to correct a misunderstanding concerning the Lord's return.

    Nope, none of those talk about God's electing certain individuals to be saved while passing over others, I guess you can't apply your interpretation of 2 Thess. 2:14 to this book either because that obviously wasn't the purpose.

    PLEASE! This passage is used all the time to support Calvinism, who bring their "prori stance" to the text and make it fit. I'm showing that the "prori stance" of the author was not Calvinism it was anti-Judiazers. You never dealt with this argument and you never dealt with the text. You can do better than that Bible-belted.

    Which ploy are you refering to? The one where I point out that the Apostles are chosen out from all the other disciples to carry out a special task. Or the straw man that you all have created that says I believe the Apostles are saved differently than the rest of the Saints. I believe the apostles are saved by grace provided by the atoning work of Christ on the cross, just like you and me. I just believe that God chose them from admist a harden nation to accomplish a specific and unique task. And I believe that some Calvinist overstep the bounds of the text by appling passages that have to do with their unique calling unto apostleship to the soteriology of all mankind.

    Please deal with my arguments and not the straw men.
    Thanks.

    Not so clear since you have yet to deal with my position. Hey, but thanks for trying. [​IMG]
     
  14. Bible-belted

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    No you did not say it was the only one. You just went on to act as though all you had to do was asssume that issue was the background against which the epistles should be read and presto, a correct interpretation. That is the position I argued successfully against. The "straw man" is the one you created of my response.

    It is a good argument anyway. It shows that you can't just appraoch a given epiostle and assume that the relationship of Jew and Gentile is the interpretive key to the passage. It proves that you have to actually prove that the issue irs relevant to the passage by appealing to the passage's context.

    You don't know what my interpretation is. Besides, oh person seeking to change the topic, the point is you can't fit YOUR intrerpretation in because your interpretive grid doesn't apply.

    Oh, and by all means be dismissive the scholarship of Leon Morris whose commetns I quoted. It merely serves to show how baseless your argument is.

    Already done, your failure to grasp it notwithstanding.
     
  15. William C

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    BB, still having trouble dealing with the text?

    You've attacked my arguments by saying my premise doesn't apply, yet you have yet to provide your premise.

    If Paul wasn't talking about his thankfulness that the Gentiles were chosen, then the correct way to debate the text is to present your reasons why that is not true and present your views and reasons that your views are true.

    Instead, all you have done is virtually said, "Your wrong so na na boo boo." I could get more substance from debating 10 year olds. ;)
     
  16. Frogman

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    I know you are, but what am I? [​IMG]
     
  17. tyndale1946

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    Okay we will have none of that... Moderator... Moderator... He's picking on ME!... Na na boo boo?... Youbrethrenarecrackingmeup [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] ... Brother Glen :D & Sister Charlotte [​IMG]
     
  18. William C

    William C
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    I know you are, but what am I? [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]I'm rubber and your glue, it bounces off of me and sticks to you! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  19. Frogman

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    That's just like irresistable Grace :D

    Just had to throw that in there; I have heard of people fearing they would become their fathers in later life, but I never imagined I had to worry about becoming my children. This is sometimes how I feel on here though, I am just thankful God is long-suffering and mercyful, if these eternal questions were left up to our merits or even that of others we each would have cast ourselves into the pit right along with our opponents long ago.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  20. BobRyan

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    2Thess 2:1 sets the context as the coming of Christ and declares in vs 2 the context is explicit "the Day of the Lord" and it is future "IT will COME after the falling away" that Paul has previously predicted.

    Clearly it is a discussion of events future to Paul's day, dealing with the rapture of the church "our gathering together to him" at the "Day of the Lord".

    The Lord slays the man of sin at His appearance (Vs 8)

    2Thess 2:13 does not specifically isolate the Gentile believers from the Hebrew believers.

    "God has chosen you from the beginning bretheren" can certainly be understood to include all believers - gentile believers etc but it does not detract from the day that "will come" in the future at the "appearing" of Christ at His coming which is the explicit context of 2Thess 2:1-12.


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adam Clarkes Commentaries
    Verse 8. Whom the Lord shall consume] He shall blast him so, that he shall wither and die away; and this shall be done by the spirit of his mouth - the words of eternal life, the true doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus; this shall be the instrument used to destroy this man of sin: therefore it is evident his death will not be a sudden but a gradual one; because it is by the preaching of the truth that he is to be exposed, overthrown, and finally destroyed.

    The brightness of his coming] This may refer to that full manifestation of the truth which had been obscured and kept under by the exaltation of this man of sin.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am more inclined to accept that "His coming" means His real "coming". His "appearing" means His real appearing. And the future day spoken of - as a real day future to the day of Paul.

    Satan as really being Satan.

    Destruction as being literal destruction of the wicked.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     

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