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Featured Ambiguous Word create confusion.

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

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  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Here are five words frequently found in our New Testaments, translating Greek words with more than one meaning.

    1) Baptism - does this refer to our water baptism in obedience to Christ, or our spiritual baptism into Christ?
    2) Sanctification - does this refer to being set apart spiritually into Christ, or being progressively conformed to the image of Christ?
    3) Called - does this refer to being invited to put our trust in Christ, or being spiritually transferred into Christ by God?
    4) Hell - does this refer to Hades or to Gehenna or to Tartarus?
    5) Things - does this refer to all things or some of the things?

    We all should know that some Christians believe these words mean one thing in a verse, while other Christians believe something else is meant. And this divide leads to squabbles and factions and other hindrances to the ministry of Christ.

    It would seem possible to remove or minimize the confusion in our translations by addressing the specific meaning the translators believe is the intended meaning. For example, rather than saying baptize say either water baptize or spiritually baptize. Say positional sanctification or progressive sanctification. Remove "hell" and use either Hades, Gehenna or Tartarus as indicated by the text.
    Address the specific things in view, or if unknown translate using "these thing" to suggest the reader to consider the contextual meaning.
     
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  2. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    If the word is ambiguous in the original text shouldn’t the translation carry a similar ambiguity?

    Rob
     
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  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Your premise is false! God provides His word so that we can correctly understand it. God is not a god of confusion.

    So the actual premise would be what if we are not sure which of the historical meanings was intended. Here we should put what we believe is the most probable meaning in the main text and footnote the alternate meaning held by some.

    1. Yes, some people think water baptism is in view when others think our spiritual baptism into Christ is in view. The probable main text, footnoted alternate solution would be better.

    2. Ditto for sanctification, called, and things. There is absolutely no ambiguity in God's message concerning Hades, Gehenna and Tartarus.

    3. Several verses refer to the baptism of John. Obviously, with no ambiguity, the water baptism of John would better present the idea.

    4. The Greek verb translated baptize appears about 9 times and in most cases immersion in water is in view, with one exception where Jesus immerses people in the Holy Spirit.
     
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  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Let us consider 1 Peter 3:21:
    Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,​

    The two sides would be (1) our spiritual baptism into Christ saves us, and (2) our water baptism saves us. The most probable is our spiritual baptism into Christ saves us for we arise in Christ a new creation. I do not think many modern translations would publish that water baptism saves people.

    Prior to God immersing us into Christ spiritually, He credits our faith as righteousness, thus we were earnestly seeking a conscience reconciled to God.
     
    #4 Van, Jan 29, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2024
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Absolutely, yes. God has put ambiguous words and passages in Scripture to make us think. He wants us to be thinking believers, not automatons or robots.
     
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  6. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Water bapism is explicitly meant by the context. Also from the context bapismal regeneration is not meant. Now the issue that one needs to answer, how was Noah and his family saved by the water of the flood? ". . . not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, ) . . ."
     
  7. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    The Holy Spirit immerses believers into the Body of Christ, which is the Church.

    Context and Scripture cross-reference clarifies the meanings of “baptism” and “hell”.
     
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Active Member

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    Sounds like you want to "translate" the bible to support your theology. Wasn't this what the Roman Catholics did?
     
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  9. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The term "baptism" unqualified, with what, to be water.

    The KJV "hell" the OT Sheol. The NT the word so translated needs to be known.
     
  10. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    The Greek word was used to indicate the dying of garments, I believe. We would call it “immersion”, so context and Scripture comparisons would determine if water was involved at all. 1 Corinthians 12:13 has no water. Neither does the new birth in John 3.
     
  11. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I believe most of the confusion comes from folks with a very minimum understanding of the biblical Greek and they simply are unable to understand the use of the word in context (which always determines specific meaning).

    These folks bring bias to the text and look for a meaning for the word that supports their bias but which is simply not supported by the context.

    That seems to happen on a regular basis around here.

    peace to you
     
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  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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  13. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    I understand it fine with my KJB.
     
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  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The Greek word was used for much more that "the dying of garments." In fact, that "dying garments" is bapto (βάπτω), not baptizo (βαπτίζω).

    Also, the two passages you mention are metaphorical usages of baptizo.
     
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  15. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    The premise God used ambiguous words and passages because He wanted us to be "thinking believers" has no basis in scripture. Rather, the argument has been concocted to defend sloppy, unstudied translation choices, which actually hinder the ministry of Christ. See Mark 8:31-33.

    Yes, Jesus taught in parables to preclude understanding at that time, but also spoke plainly to pass on His gospel to His disciples, and through them to the whole world.
     
  16. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    1) Spiritual immersion into the Spirit of Christ is explicitly meant, i.e. baptized into Christ.
    2) We agree, water immersion does not have anything to do with spiritual regeneration.
    3) Which verse says or suggests Noah and his family were "saved by the water of the flood?" Many think Noah and family were saved by the Ark of God, prefiguring the Ark of Christ.
    4) If anyone is "in" Christ, the person is a new creation.
     
  17. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    1) The wheat in our local churches are indeed part of the "one" body of Christ, but the tares are not. So the "universal church" comprised of all born anew believers, is the body of Christ with Christ as the head.
    2) Yes, by study translators can with confidence translate "baptism" and "Hell" with accuracy and clarity.
     
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  18. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    1 Peter 3:20, . . . when the patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, this is: eight souls were saved through water; . . . ."
     
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Hi Mikey, why address me and my suggested ulterior motives rather than the topic?
     
  20. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    1 Peter 3:20 NASB,who once were disobedient when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

    Once again the ambiguous "saved through or by water" when translated plainly does not say nor suggest water was instrumental in our spiritual salvation.
     
    #20 Van, Jan 30, 2024
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2024
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