Understanding 2 Thessalonians 2:13

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Archangel, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    John (and also Van, but mostly John)

    Let me address of few of the issues you mentioned—starting from the end of your last post.

    Please understand I was not disparaging your scholarship at translating Greek in to Japanese. I think that you can speak/read/understand Japanese is enough for me to recommend you for the Medal of Honor.

    The point that I was trying to make—perhaps feebly so—is that I’m surprised you didn’t agree with Schreiner and Mounce. It is the nature of these two particular scholars that made your disagreement surprising. Of course I know that many well-known and world-renowned scholars do disagree. But, Schreiner and Mounce are not “Fred the Barber” and “Jimmy the Plumber.” As you know, these two are generally regarded in the top 1% of the top 1% in their field.

    So, that I have come to the same conclusion that two world-class scholars have come to doesn’t make me a scholar (world-class or otherwise). However, it does encourage me in my studies. Perhaps my surprise at your non-agreement with them was largely subjective, and not objective.

    Now, on to the matters at hand:

    The use of use of εἰς

    The use of εἰς in this passage occurs in the phrase εἵλατο ὑμᾶς ὁ θεὸς ἀπαρχὴν εἰς σωτηρίαν (God chose you all as the first fruits [or from the beginning] to be saved through sanctification by the spirit and belief in the truth) ESV.

    Where εἰς appears is of considerable importance to the discussion. First, we know the preposition εἰς is always used with the accusative. Also, we know that εἰς itself implies—at least in some manner—motion. The object of εἰς is the accusative noun σωτηρίαν (salvation). Again, according to Mounce, the noun salvation itself implies—at least in some manner—motion of some kind.
    “Salvation” is one of those nouns that contains a verbal idea, and so the prepositional phrase is externally modifying a noun, but in terms of its meaning it could be functioning adverbially relative to the verbal idea in the noun. (source)
    Having cited Mounce, let me say the following: Just because εἰς σωτηρίαν can express a verbal concept does not mean that it is a verb. I think there is a huge difference between the grammar of the accusative noun and the implied verbal concept. Having an implied verbal concept does not necessarily mean that εἰς σωτηρίαν is to be understood as a verb. So, the verbal concept of εἰς σωτηρίαν is not, I think, in and of itself conclusive that the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας should or should not considered as adjectival or adverbial. More will be said about this later.

    Now, the accusative noun is joined by two other accusative elements: ὑμᾶς and ἀπαρχὴν. Leaving the discussion alone about whether ἀπαρχὴν should be translated as “first fruits” or “from the beginning,” let us point out that what is going on here, grammatically, is a double accusative.

    Wallace describes this construction as the "Double Accusative of Object-Compliment." [1]

    All of the required elements of the Double Accusative of Object-Compliment are present—we have an accusative, σωτηρίαν, as the direct object of the verb εἵλατο and we have a pronoun, ὑμᾶς, which is the object. The other accusative, ἀπαρχὴν, is either a noun or a prepositional phrase (depending on what reading you accept). Either way, it is complimenting the pronoun ὑμᾶς. The Double Accusative of Object Compliment we see here fits the common usage of object first and compliment second, moving from the definite to the qualitative. [2]

    As for the treatment of εἰς and the verbal nuance in translation, Wallace says:
    Occasionally, the construction is marked by the presence of εἰς...before the compliment... Although such elements are usually lacking, one should normally translate the construction with “as,” “to be,” or “namely” between the two accusatives. [3]
    This supplying of “to be,” seeming to turn the prepositional phrase εἰς σωτηρίαν into a verbal idea should be accepted as normative. Also, we see that Wallace says “The direct objective usually combines with the verb to form a new verbal idea that has another accusative (the compliment) as its object.” [4]

    So, you remarked:

    It would seem that translating the concept—the intent of Paul—as a verb is within, well within, then norms of translating and exegeteing the concept that Paul is driving at.

    So, what the idea contained in the phrase ὑμᾶς ὁ θεὸς ἀπαρχὴν εἰς σωτηρίαν seems to indicate that Paul here is driving home what God did for (or to)—He chose them to be saved.

    Continued....

    1. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996) 183.

    2. Ibid., 185.

    3. Ibid., 184.

    4. Ibid., 183.
     
    #1 The Archangel, Apr 14, 2011
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  2. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    ...Continued

    The use of use of ἐν


    The use of ἐν is only slightly more complicated, considering the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας is the sticking point.

    First, a conceptual argument. The clause we are discussing, ὅτι εἵλατο ὑμᾶς ὁ θεὸς ἀπαρχὴν εἰς σωτηρίαν ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας, is itself a compliment to the primary phrase Ἡμεῖς δὲ ὀφείλομεν εὐχαριστεῖν τῷ θεῷ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοὶ ἠγαπημένοι ὑπὸ κυρίου, (But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord). ESV

    Paul’s over-arching point in this phrase is the necessity (ὀφείλομεν) of giving thanks to God (using the infinitive form εὐχαριστεῖν) for the brothers in the Thessalonian church. He even goes so far as to describe them as “beloved by the Lord.”

    If we accept the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας as an adverbial phrase (which it could be, but does not have to be) and if we say it is answering the question “how?” in relation to the main verb of the clause, εἵλατο, (which the construction can answer but does not have to) does it make any sense, then, that Paul is saying we must thank God because the Thessalonian believers, in effect, chose themselves? No. That is a non-sequitur thought. It makes much more sense if we understand what Paul is saying: We must give thanks to God for the Thessalonian believers. Why? Because God chose them to be saved.

    Now, some grammatical arguments. ἐν + dative can be adverbial, this is true. However, when we want to answer the specific question of “how?” in relating the prepositional phrase to the main verb, we would really need to have this be a Dative of Manner (or Adverbial Dative) which specifically answers “how?”[5] Wallace explains the key for identifying this as a Dative of Manner:
    Supply with or in before the dative noun. Also, if the dative can be converted into an adverb (e.g., “with thanksgiving” becomes “thankfully”), it is most likely a dative of manner. [6]
    Now, of course, Wallace does say that it not always easy to convert this dative into an adverb. [7] It is not logically sound to suggest that God chose us “sanctificationally” or “beliefially.”

    Secondly, and this is not an exhaustive argument, it would seem that most of the uses of the dative as an adverb answering “how” are without the preposition. Though, doubtless, there are examples, I have yet to find one.

    Third, in his book It’s Still Greek to Me , David Alan Black makes an assertion about prepositional phrases. He writes:
    A preposition can form a prepositional phrase with a following noun phrase… When a prepositional phrase is used to modify a noun, it forms a new, larger, noun phrase with the noun…Prepositional phrases that modify nouns are often equivalent to longer relative clauses with the verb be …[8]
    So, it would seem that Black is making the case that the longer the phrase following the preposition, the more likely it might be that it is modifying a noun and not a verb. This usage is what we see in the prepositional phrase in question.

    What is more, Black points out that the prepositional phrase containing ἐν can express instrumentality, accompaniment, and causality. [9] If we are to accept the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας as adverbial, it does not have to answer “how?” It can answer instrumentality.

    If we insist on the prepositional phrase being adverbial, the instrumentality seems to be what is in view. But, this becomes particularly defeating to the argument that “God has chosen the Thessalonians believers because of their faith.” Why? Because if the people in the Thessalonian church were, in fact, chosen because of something they themselves did—believing or being sanctified—that would, in effect, make them the causal agent of their having been chosen. This is highly improbably because of the verb εἵλατο being in the middle voice.

    Though it is a rare usage, the Greek preferring the passive, the middle can express agency as well. [10] The use of the middle form of the verb shows that God is the agent acting and He is acting on and for His own behalf. If the prepositional phrase is taken as an adverbial phrase it only is showing something further that God is doing—He Himself is sanctifying the Thessalonians; He Himself is causing to them to believe in the truth. So, the idea of “how?” is not in view, even if we take this as an adverbial phrase.

    Since, as Wallace states, the noun in the dative (ἁγιασμῷ and πίστει) is conceived of as impersonal and there is an implied agent who is using the dative noun as his instrument [11], it is clear to see that the Thessalonian believers are most definitely NOT seen as causing their own choosing.

    In this passage, it is God who chooses. But, as the grammar shows, God is not simply “choosing.” God is choosing for Himself the Thessalonian believers and He is choosing them to be saved. Again, the idea of the noun “salvation” is so inextricably linked to the verb because of the use of the double accusative (see discussion above). The force of the entire phrase, though, does show that God is the agent in bringing about sanctification (which is of the Spirit, and is not claimable by the Thessalonian believers as something they did for themselves) and belief in the truth (which, because of the absence of a second ἐν and the presence of the conjunction καὶ, are seen—sanctification and belief—as two sides of the same coin, showing that God is the agent in both).

    So, it is likely better to see the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας as modifying the noun σωτηρίαν and having more of an adjectival, rather than an adverbial, force. Having said that, however, if the adjectival use is insisted upon, it must be understood that the noun σωτηρίαν is included in the verbal idea. So, it is not a pure adverbial understanding, which is to say the prepositional phrase does not relate to the verb only.

    The adjectival understanding of the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας is seen by many. One of the most compelling cases for the understanding of the phrase to be adjectival is given by Mounce who argues that the context—the proximity of the phrase to the noun—favors the understanding that the prepositional phrase is, indeed, modifying the noun.[12]


    5. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996) 161.

    6. Ibid.

    7. Ibid.

    8. David Alan Black, It’s Still Greek To Me: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Intermediate Greek (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1998) 83.

    9. Ibid., 86.

    10. Wallace, Greek Grammar, 432.

    11. Ibid., 434-435

    12. William Mounce, “What do Prepositions Modify?” <http://www.koinoniablog.net/2010/05/what-do-prepositions-modify-monday-with-mounce-70.html> accessed 14 April 2011.
     
    #2 The Archangel, Apr 14, 2011
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  3. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    Continued...

    Here are some confirming thoughts by various people, starting with Charles Wanamaker:
    The nature of the divine salvation for which the Thessalonians were chosen by God is not specified in this verse. Paul is generally reticent on this subject, though he does allude to one dimension of it in the next verse. The two phrases ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος (“sanctification of the Spirit”) and πίστειἀληθείας (“faith in the truth”) are governed by the preposition ἐν (“in”) and describe the means by which salvation comes about. [13]
    Here is what Gene L. Green says:
    The purpose of God’s election was that they might be saved (see 1 Thess. 5.8–9 and comments), and this through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. In 1 Thessalonians Paul exhorted the believers again and again to dedicate themselves to sanctification (1 Thess. 4.3, 4, 7), reminding them that sanctification was God’s will for them and that God called them to the same. But he also assured the Thessalonians that sanctification was a work of God (1 Thess. 5.23) that he effects through the agency of the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 4.8). The process of sanctification began at their conversion (1 Pet. 1.2) and is being worked out throughout their lives so that the believers might be blameless before the Lord at his coming (1 Thess. 5.23; and see Rom. 15.16; 1 Cor. 6.11; 1 Pet. 1.2). Far from its being auxiliary to their salvation, the apostle understands the sanctifying work as the action of the Spirit of God that brings about salvation. It may be possible to understand Spirit as the human “spirit,” the object of sanctification as in 1 Thessalonians 5.23, but the focus of this verse is rather the powerful divine operation in their lives by means of the Holy Spirit and the truth. These Christians entered into the realm of salvation through belief in the truth, that is, through their faith in the gospel that was proclaimed to them (see vv. 10, 12). Although the divine decision and activity in bringing about salvation are the primary focus, the apostle does not lose sight of human responsibility in this process, which is indicated by the word belief. [14]
    It should be noted with the following citation from D. Michael Martin, that Martin does not stick to a “reformed” party line. He goes so far as to say “Salvation is always the result of the active grace of God. No one earns it on the basis of works or beliefs. Salvation is the result of God’s choice to make salvation available. Yet the fact that God chooses is not presented as an act that limits the availability of salvation. There is no direct statement in the New Testament to the effect that the option of salvation is unavailable to certain persons or that God has chosen some for damnation. But sadly, the passage overall gives ample evidence that some people will choose not to avail themselves of God’s salvation.” [15] Yet, even after saying that, he still argues that the prepositional phrase modifies the noun σωτηρίαν. He says:
    God’s selection of the Thessalonian believers “to be saved” (or more lit., “for salvation,” NASB) is modified by two phrases that express the means of salvation. The preposition “through” (ev) occurs only once in the Greek text of v. 13 and has as its objects both “sanctification by the Spirit” and “faith in the truth” (NASB). “Spirit” may refer to the spirit of the believer (cf. 1 Thess 5:23), but with a singular noun and in the absence of a possessive pronoun it seems unlikely that Paul meant “sanctification of your spirits.” Elsewhere Paul (using the same preposition, en) described sanctification as the work of God’s Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 15:16; 1 Cor 6:11), and he probably intended the same here. [16]
    In the following citation, Paul Ellingworth and Eugene Albert Nida take the idea of the prepositional phrase to be related to “salvation” not “choosing.”
    Note that in the event of salvation the primary agent is God but there are two secondary agents, the Holy Spirit and the person who believes. This relation must be expressed in some languages as cause, for example, “to be saved because of how the Spirit made you God’s holy people, and because of how you have put your confidence in the truth,” or “… in the true message.” [17]
    Finally, here are the thoughts of Jacob Elias:
    Specifically God has chosen them for salvation. In the only previous references to salvation within the letters to Thessalonica, Paul and his colleagues allude to the hope of salvation (1 Thess. 5:8) and also its source: salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us (5:9–10). In these texts, salvation clearly has a futuristic connotation, as most likely also here in 2 Thessalonians 2:13. However, the community of believers experiences the present in light of the glorious future, and lives already as a saved people (“Salvation” in TBC below).

    How is salvation actualized in human experience? The authors point first to what God does through the Holy Spirit. Salvation is effected throughsanctification by the Spirit. The sanctifying work of the Spirit in the life of the community is also featured in the earlier letter (1 Thess. 3:13; 4:7–8; 5:23). However, the ministry of the Spirit does not unilaterally bring salvation. A response is required from the human side: and belief in the truth. As noted in our discussion of 2:10, 12, the truth means the gospel, which invites belief. And belief implies more than mental assent. The community of faith manifests belief in the truth when they respond in gratitude, trust, and obedience to God’s love and call as supremely made known in Christ. [18]
    I could go on and on. All of these commentaries—from well-known scholars and obscure commentators—seem to have one thing in common: The prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας is understood to modify salvation.

    So, in conclusion, several things are plain:

    1. The phrase εἵλατο ὑμᾶς ὁ θεὸς ἀπαρχὴν εἰς σωτηρίαν contains one idea: God chooses people for Himself and He chooses to save them.

    2. The prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας is not answering the question of “how?” in relation to the verb εἵλατο.

    3. If the understanding of ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας is, indeed, adverbial, it is showing God Himself to be the means of sanctification and belief in the lives of the Thessalonian believers.

    4. It is possible, and probably preferred, to understand ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας as being an adjectival prepositional phrase modifying the noun σωτηρίαν.

    In any event, to say that the Thessalonian believers were chosen in the present on the basis of their sanctification and belief is far, far outside the scope of possibility. There is no understanding of causality, which is to say, the “action” in the prepositional phrase ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος καὶ πίστει ἀληθείας does not and cannot cause the action of the verb εἵλατο.

    Therefore, it seems best to understand this clause as saying that God chooses persons for salvation (in this case the Thessalonian believers) and He accomplishes that salvation through the means of sanctification and belief—both of which we participate in to some extent. So, we are not passive recipients of God’s sanctifying work. Rather, we are active recipients, seeking to become more Christ-like even as God Himself is making us more Christ-like.

    13. Charles A. Wanamaker, The Epistles to the Thessalonians : A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, 1990), 266.

    14. Gene L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians, The Pillar New Testament commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans Pub.; Apollos, 2002), 326-27.

    15. D. Michael Martin, vol. 33, 1, 2 Thessalonians, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 253.

    16. Ibid.

    17. Paul Ellingworth and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on Paul's Letters to the Thessalonians, UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 184.

    18. Jacob W. Elias, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Believers church Bible commentary (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1995), 299-300.
     
    #3 The Archangel, Apr 14, 2011
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  4. Gabriel Elijah

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    As usual---very good work! I love to debate anyone & everyone when it comes to theology---but man am I glad we’re on the same team! ;)
     
  5. Van

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    Did the Thessalonians cause their own choosing? No, it was God who credited their faith as righteousness who caused their choosing.

    How is "eis" translated? The NASB translates it as "for" meaning for the benefit of. It is forward looking, chosen for salvation, not backward looking chosen because of salvation. For salvation provides the purpose of the choosing, not the result. The verbal idea is being chosen for the purpose of salvation, not the process of salvation.

    We need not guess at how Dr. Wallace would translate 2 Thess. 2:13, because we have the NET translation which reads "for salvation." He is the senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible.

    The prepositional phrase through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth does answer the question "how!" It makes sense, because the Thessalonians are not choosing themselves, that makes no sense, but God is choosing them through faith in the truth because He is the one crediting that worthless faith as righteousness.

    To summarize the three posts of Archangel, (1) a misrepresentation of 2 Thessalonians 2:13, (2)an assertion as to how Dr. Wallace would translate the verse at odds with how the NET translates it, and Dr. Wallace is the senior editor, and (3) an argument from authority - his view must be right because many scholars agree with his view. This of course is a logical fallacy.

    I do thank Archangel for working so hard to stand firm in his belief in the truth. But, my assertion remains solid, nothing in the Greek Grammar of 2 Thessalonians 2:13 precludes my understanding of the verse. My view does not violate the syntax, so based on grammar alone, my view is better supported. But as I have said, grammar only points to a valid understanding, and more than one valid understanding based on grammar is possible.

    God Bless
     
  6. jbh28

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    Best thing I've ever heard you say. :)
     
  7. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    1. You charge that I misrepresent 2 Thessalonians 2:13, yet you are unable to articulate why--only saying your understanding of the grammar supports your interpretation when, by your own admission, you do not understand Greek grammar.

    2. I am not asserting how Wallace would translate the text. I am referencing his Magnum Opus on Greek grammar. In his book Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Wallace makes no firm or definitive statement as to how this particular passage should be translated. On the other hand, he does present the principles of grammar, syntax, exegesis, and translation that you might do well to learn.

    3. It is not an appeal to authority--although, since you cannot interact with the text on a technical level, I understand why you would try to appeal to this to dismiss my argument in toto. The REALLY funny thing (and quite sad too) is that you do the very thing you accuse me of doing (which, by the way, I didn't do) when you write:

    Again, you really need to learn what the appeal to authority fallacy is all about. The "Argument from Authority is:

    1. Source A says that p is true.
    2. Source A is authoritative.
    3. Therefore, p is true.
    See here for a good discussion that should help your understanding.

    I have not stated that I am right because a recognized scholar says what I am saying. No, and this is a subtle difference, I have done my work and made my arguments based on the text itself. It just so happens that several noted and well-known scholars happen to agree with me. Again, that encourages me, but it doesn't make me right. My exegesis of the text does that.

    Again we have no "this is why I am right," no "your understanding of the [insert aspect of Greek grammar here] is wrong because...," and no engagement with the technical arguments based in the Greek text whatsoever.

    In short, your response is tantamount to saying "whatever...I'm not listening." Which is, frankly, what I expected of you, not having any facility with the Greek.

    The Archangel
     
  8. percho

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    Just to get my hat in the ring. I actually posted this somewhere else.
    Remember I know no Greek. Ain't real good at English. This is I believe relative.

    Re: Saved By Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone, In Christ Alone There was a poll. True or False
    I am going to say false. This I will buy. We are saved by grace through faith.
    To me, "In Christ alone" implies I have to do something like say believe. Would that not require some mental work on my part? Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
    Do sheep choose their owners? If you are one of his sheep you will believe for Jesus also said this, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you."

    That should cause the question. Through faith?

    Faith is what Jesus had and would receive. Literally we are saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the faith Jesus had in his blood, dying and receiving life again from the Father is how the saved are saved. Lets tie some scripture together. Luke 22:42,44 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Hebrews 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of the faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Notice Hebrews 12:2 says author and finisher of the faith. Our is not in the Greek and the article the is. What is this the faith? Found twice in scripture, Obedience of Faith. Correct translation from Young's Literal Romans 1:5 Jesus Christ our Lord; through whom we did receive grace and apostleship, for obedience of faith among all the nations, in behalf of his name; Romans 16:26 and now having been made manifest, also, through prophetic writings, according to a command of the age-during God, having been made known to all the nations for obedience of faith -- By the faith of Christ unto obedience unto death.

    The shedding of his blood would not be enough without him being given life to give us as Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:16,17,18 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. That is why when you read How one is saved in Eph. 2:8 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. That same statement of our are saved reads in Titus 3:5 he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

    It was the regeneration of Christ that made the washing is his blood effective.
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    Hi Archangel,

    The reason I said you misrepresent 2 Thessalonians 2:13 is you use the mistranslation of the ESV, rather than the one that does not violate the syntax.

    I did not make a case based on Dr. Wallace views, you did. I simply pointed out your conclusions were at least suspect since the NET does not say "to be saved" which was the point you tried to support from Dr. Wallace.


    Final point, I do not need to be an expert or even a neophyte to read and base my responses to your assertions on commonly available commentary. I have done so.
     
  10. Winman

    Winman
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    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi Archangel.

    I just saw this. I appreciate the tremendous amount of hard work you've put into it, and I'm sure you were blessed and learned a lot. But I don't see how I can possibly interact with all of this. There is too much, and my time is too limited. It would take me several hours to do justice to what you've written, time I don't have. It's the weekend, I go to the church all day tomorrow to prepare for Sunday. And we have a visitor from the States here for a whole week.

    God bless.

    John
     
    #11 John of Japan, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2011

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