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Ambiguity the product of Double Mindedness

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Feb 29, 2024.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Psalms 119:113
    I hate those who are double-minded,
    But I love Your Law.

    James 1:8
    being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

    James 4:8
    Come close to God and He will come close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

    Mistaken and thus false doctrine arises from ambiguity, of using words and phrases that might mean different things to different people. Thus a refuge of "ear ticklers." When asked what "family values" means, the politician said "whatever you think it means...

    If we rightly divide the word of truth, we will arrive at a plainly stated message from God, clear and unambiguous.
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    Re: AMBIGUITY
    In Proverbs, “individual fragments of knowledge are listed one after the other, and contradictory experiences are not reconciled, but consciously opposed to one another, in order to attain a comprehension of reality as full and extensive as possible” …
    Lofink, Christian Meaning of the OT, 138-139.​

    False doctrines arise from a number of reasons.
    Sometimes a false doctrine arises when an interpreter fails to recognize ambiguity and forces a particular passage to say something it was never meant to say.
    • Ambiguity speaks directly to the human experience, directing us to seek wisdom from above.
    • It forces us to examine a broader scope of Scripture.
    • It takes us out of our comfort zone (wanting a pure black and white answer)
    • It makes us consider other views and perspectives.
    Failure to recognize ambiguity and forcing a single perspective in Scripture can promote impregnable walls of prejudice against others with opposing views.
    • It encourages closed mindedness, conceit, selfishness.
    • It discourages compassion and empathy.
    Rob
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    God's word presents an unambiguous message. God is not double minded. Yes, when we interpret an ambiguous translation, with more than one meaning being understood by multiple scholars, we sometimes choose an inaccurate interpretation. However, almost all the ambiguity can be eliminated or minimized by better translation. For example "all things" appears in translations when "all these things" would better convey the contextual message.

    Yes, we seek the truth, and ambiguity is its enemy.

    Ambiguity does not "force" us to examine a broader scope of scripture. Rather it leads to misinterpretations.

    Yes, we want a clear and accurate understanding of scripture, and thus ambiguity causes discomfort.

    Ambiguity has promoted walls of prejudice against others holding alternate interpretations.

    It is easy to advocate a lack of understanding, it may mean this or on the other hand it may mean that, but the view is demonic. We are to study to rightly divide the word of truth, rather than teach we cannot know which.
     
  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Does anyone care to present an ambiguous verse that scholars have not decided, rightly or wrongly, means something unambiguous?

    Recently I presented an unambiguous translation of Romans 8:28. Another poster indicated I was wrong, that it meant something else. In the verse the Greek word meaning "all" (pas) is commonly translated all things rather than all these things. One translation points to context, the other away from context.
     
  5. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    I'm unsure what you are asking is to do.

    When a person begins to learn how to interpret Scripture they are often asked to read a simple story which illustrates how different perspectives can results in different results. While each is right in his own eyes, each only see a portion of the truth.

    The blind men and the elephant
    adapted by John Godfrey Saxe

    It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
    who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind),
    that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.

    The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
    against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
    "God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!"

    The second feeling of the tusk, cried: "Ho! what have we here,
    so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear,
    this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!"

    The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
    the squirming trunk within his hands, "I see," quoth he,
    the elephant is very like a snake!"

    The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
    "What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain," quoth he;
    "Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree."

    The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; "E'en the blindest man
    can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
    This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!"

    The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
    than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
    "I see," quothe he, "the elephant is very like a rope!"

    And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
    each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!

    So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
    tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
    and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!​

    Rob
     
  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Did anyone see a citation of a verse where unstudied speculation was admired and prayerful discernment was said to be unwise?

    What is our goal for presenting God's word? To present it "boldly, plainly and clearly! Ephesians 6:20, John 16:29, 1 Corinthians 14:9
     
  7. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    The opening post was not comparing "unstudied speculation" and "prayerful discernment".
    It was comparing "ambiguity" with "double-mindedness".

    AMBIGUITY : OED def. - the state of having more than one possible meaning

    Ambiguity is more than a lack of clarity; it is characterized by the presence multiple possible interpretations.

    Ambiguity in Scripture can be used for a purpose: it is not to be confused with double mindedness.

    Jesus often used parables in his teaching to confuse his opponents. Parables can be ambiguous and hard to interpret.


    Matthew 13:10–13 (NASB 2020)
    And the disciples came up and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
    And Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
    For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
    Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

    Rob


     
  8. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    First we are to speak plainly, Jesus did not teach we should speak in parables without explanation. Nor did He teach we should be double-minded, well it could mean this or it might mean that so it is ok to spread confusion. Nonsense
     
  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    How did the Pharisees make God's word to no effect?

    Matthew 15:6 (NKJV)
    ‘then he need not honor his father or mother.'Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.


    Mark 7:13 (NKJV)
    “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

    One underlying idea is that obedience to the Law could result in justification, but that "works based view" made the promise of God (everyone believing into Him) to no effect.

    There are verses where our best scholars disagree as to its meaning, but that does not mean God intended ambiguity. Yes, all the differing views could be wrong, but only one meaning is right. The idea is not that we can eliminate all ambiguity from our understanding of God's word, but that we can do a much better job of reducing translation choices that produce ambiguity.

    1) Called = invited, named, relocated.
    2) Baptized = immersed into water by people or immersed into Christ by the Spirit.
    3) Hell = Hades, Gehenna, Sheol, or Tartarus
    4) All things never refers to everything imaginable, but only the contextual items in view. Thus "All things = All these"
    5) Faith of God = God (or Christ's) faithfulness or our faith in God (or in Christ).

    I could go on, but hopefully the point is made...
     
  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    One verse where Ambiguity has created factions within the body of Christ is Hebrews 6:4:
    Hebrews 6:4 (NASB)
    For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,​

    Here believers differ as to whether "tasting of the heavenly gift" and "partaking of the Holy Spirit" refers to actual salvation or simply hearing and understanding the gospel. On one side are those suggesting born anew believers can lose their salvation, and on the other side those that claim a person cannot be saved as long as they reject the gospel for there is no other way.

    1) What does it mean to have been "once been enlightened?" Does this refer to those who have had their faith supernaturally instilled via "Irresistible Grace?" If we look at Ephesians 3:9 we see that it was Paul's job to "enlighten" or "bring to light" the mystery of the gospel. Thus the second view is viable.

    2) Thus "tasting the heavenly gift of the gospel" simply refers to hearing and understanding the invitation of the gospel.

    3) Partaking of the Holy Spirit refers to hearing and understanding the gospel, rather than being indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

    Therefore the verse would be better translated as:
    "It is impossible, having once being enlightened with an understanding of the gospel, ..."

    Once someone renounces the gospel it is impossible to restore them with another gospel. They must come to their senses and embrace the pure gospel of Christ.​
     
    #11 Van, Mar 13, 2024
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2024
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