That which is perfect

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Navymans, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Navymans

    Navymans
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    Ok folks, me and my nephew had a little disagreement over the weekend on a verse of scripture, imagine that. Ok Paul to the Church at Cornith wrote in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 verse 10 "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away".

    Ok I say it is the Bible finished, he says it is the Lord Jesus on his 2nd coming, I feel he is very wrong on this for there is no personal pronoun used here.

    Let me hear from you guys.
     
  2. annsni

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    Reading the passage in context, I think it's pretty clear that Paul is speaking of prophecy and tongues that will be done away with. No longer will we need prophecy or tongues because Christ will be in our midst physically (after the second coming) and all truth will be here and language will no longer be a barrier.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    I'll take either side and give you a good argument.

    I do think there is room to interpret perfect as something other than without error. Complete, or mature are two ways of rendering it.

    That would allow for the view that this represents the completed Bible, or the closed canon and prophecy and the charismatic gifts such as prophecy and words of knowledge would no longer be needed.

    There is also room for the view that the perfect thing is Christ, and possibly a reference to his second coming, when all truth will be revealed. This view also argues that even with the completed canon, at best we still know only in part.

    Am I good at straddling the fence, or not?
     
  4. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Fer your sake, I shore hope it ain't a picket or barbed-wire fence!!:laugh::laugh:
     
  5. Marcia

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    I don't think that which is perfect refers to the canon or to Christ, at least not directly, but to love known in Christ.

    The passage is about love and how it will endure over prophecy, tongues, and knowledge. So the "perfect" could be knowing love perfectly or completely. When such a love is known, the others (prophecy, tongues, our human knowledge, etc.) are not needed.

    When our love is completed or made perfect (could be when Jesus comes, could be when we are with God after death), the other things are moot. This chapter is between two chapters on the gifts, so perfect love in Christ, achieved only after death or when Jesus comes, makes the gifts moot. So we should yearn most for knowing that perfect love we can only know in Christ.
     
  6. swaimj

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    Good explanation, Marcia. Do you know of a commentary in print that takes this position?
     
  7. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    People who straddle the fence on issues are known as mugwumps.

    The sit on the fence with the mug on one side and the wump on the other.

    Oh, I like Marcia's viewpoint, too. Now I have three positions on the same issue.
     
  8. swaimj

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    I like the explanation because it is rooted in the context and the flow of the argument within the book. Other explanations that I have read are dependent upon intricate grammatical explanations. For me, context trumps grammar every time.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    I like the way Phillips renders 1 Cor 13:10
    "At present we are men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror. The time will come when we shall see reality whole and face to face. At present all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me."

    I believe it has to do with relational knowledge...Now we know in part, but then we shall know in full.........

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Marcia

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    Thanks!

    No, I don't know of a commentary. I just looked at the passage and thought about it, then came up with that. I had never really considered what it meant in context before.
     
  11. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Ahh...

    I wrote an entire seminary paper on this verse. I argued for perfect love at the Eschaton.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    And that's why you CAN'T leave the BB! You're too valuable!:flower:
     
  13. Marcia

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    Wow, that makes me feel good about what I said. I honestly had not heard that view before.
     
  14. Navymans

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    I have to say I disagree with all the answers so far, Try looking in James, did he not call something the perfect law of liberty? If what you guys are saying then we would have to asume that the perfect has not came yet so then all spirtual gifts would still be enforce would they not? Riddle me this what was the purpose of spirtual gifts? And why would we not long need but the 3 we are left with?
     
  15. TCGreek

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    So you hang your answer on the word "perfect"?

    Besides, Paul mentions nothing about Law.
     
  16. Navymans

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    No I dont hang my thoughts on just the word perfect, is that the best you can come up with on this?
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    I am a stickler for the actual inspired WORD of God. The demonstrative pronoun that is translated "that" which is perfect etc must, by rule of language, be in the same gender as the noun it is replacing.

    We don't have "gender" in English, so it is really foreign to think about. Every Greek noun/pronoun/adjective has a gender - and the gender means nothing about the noun itself. So a kingdom might be feminine (but that doesn't mean a Queen must rule it!!) and a rope is neuter and a deliverer is masculine. Every noun has a gender.

    If an adjective is used to describe a noun, it must have the same gender as the noun. Same with a pronoun.

    So God inspired simply the pronoun "that" in the passage. It is neuter, so whatever noun it stands for MUST be neuter. With a change of a letter it could have been the feminine version of "that" or the masculine, but God carefully penned "that thing".

    So what is "that thing"?

    We can only surmise. But we definitely RULE OUT some (because they are masculine or feminine nouns).

    Jesus, Christ, Lord, = masculine
    Church, Second Coming, Kingdom, Revelation = feminine

    The word I choose to think best fits is the neuter word "biblion" or Bible. It is definitely a pefect "thing" that was to come and the tongues, prophecies, special knowledge would be ELIMINATED once the Bible was come.

    And it was!

    But again, let me caution, while "Bible" fits the grammar rule and makes sense in context, it is still just an educated guess.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Whatever "Teleios" is referring to it is obvious that it is referring to full knowledge.

    What we do know is prophesying has not come to and end. We are to carry the gospel to all the world. We are to preach the word to teach and reprove.

    Teleios can refer to a period of time or the action of a return. Baptists have a way of taking on the wrong battles over doctrines which cannot be supported in order to defend against other false doctrines being pushed. This has been much of the motivation of the assertion that Teleios refers to scripture over the years in order to defend against the false teachings about tongues.

    The real debate over tongues is not whether they have ended but the very nature of them.
     
  19. Navymans

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    Dr Bob I must agree with you fully, here is my line of thinking, why did Paul write to the Church at Corinth to begin with, they had problems and was misusing the spiritual gifts. What was the purpose of spiritual gifts? Jesus used miracles to prove, to convince men that he was divine and could save and forgive sin, he confirmed the word with miracles and special gifts given to his disciples. Now we had the Bible in part at the time of Jesus and after he was gone so the miracles continued but when that which was finished was here the Bible whole then there was no longer need for miracles or spiritual gifts to convince unbelievers so they pass away except the 3 we are left with, Hope, Faith and Charity, with Charity being the most important. It could not have been love cause we already had love from the beginning it could not be Jesus come back for if that was the case then spiritual gifts would still be in place, there is only one logical answer as to what that which is perfect is, and that is the perfect word of God.
     
  20. thegospelgeek

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    Dr. Bob. Thanks for the lesson on Greek. I enjoyed reading it and it makes sense. However, is it fair to assume that "biblion" would be the word? Although we use the term Bible today, would they have in that time? DO other languages refer to thescriptures as "The Bible"? Thanks in advance for your answers. This is why I started reading the Board, to learn.

    Navyman...
    I don't know if this is a valid argument. People use the exact same argument to say it is Jesus and that the gifts are still valid.

    Revmitchell...
    This is a study I would like to pursue. I tend to think that the whole spiritual language thing may be incorrect and it is simply another language such as Spanish or something. I haven't studied it in depth yet though.
     

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