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Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Don, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Don

    Don Well-Known Member
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    Looking for discussion revolving around 1 Tim 4:10. Particularly looking for the explanation of the Greek tenses, wording, etc.; and the context, in Greek, to help explain this verse.

    Thanks.
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered Robertson's Word Pictures of the NT?

    for

    10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

    (Seems like a real challenge for Calvinism to try and survive it)

    Robertson -
    To this end (ei touto). The godliness (eusebeia) of verse James 8 . See 2 Corinthians 6:10 as Paul's own commentary. We labour (kopiwmen, Colossians 1:29 ) and strive (kai agwnizomeqa, Colossians 1:29 ). Both Pauline words. Because we have set our hope (oti elpikamen). Perfect active indicative of elpizw ( Romans 15:12 ). Saviour of all men (swthr pantwn anqrwpwn). See 1 Timothy 1:1 for swthr applied to God as here. Not that all men "are saved" in the full sense, but God gives life ( 1 Timothy 6:13 ) to all ( Acts 17:28 ). Specially of them that believe (malista pistwn). Making a distinction in the kinds of salvation meant. "While God is potentially Saviour of all, He is actually Saviour of the pistoi" (White). So Jesus is termed "Saviour of the World" ( John 4:42 ). Cf. Galatians 6:10 .
     
  3. The Archangel

    The Archangel Well-Known Member

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    This excerpt is from a highly technical commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. It does not transliterate or translate the Greek; it just assumes you can read Greek. If you can't, I must apologize that I didn't have the time or the gumption to insert either transliteration or translation.

    The phrase μάλιστα πιστῶν contains the one qualification that Paul and the NT always posit for receiving God’s salvation, i.e., “trust” in God as the only Savior. Absolute πιστῶν, as used here and elsewhere in the NT, refers to those who believe in Christ, i.e., Christian believers (BAGD s.v. 2; e.g., Acts 16:1; 2 Cor. 6:15; 1 Tim. 5:16; 6:2a, b; cf. τῶν πιστῶν in 1 Tim. 4:12; thus five of the seven plural occurrences of πιστός in the PE have the meaning “believers,” i.e., 1 Tim. 4:3, 10, 12; 6:2 [2x]). μάλιστα** (NT 12x, Pl. 8x, PE 5x: Acts 20:38; 25:26; 26:3; Gal. 6:10; Phil. 4:22; 1 Tim. 4:10; 5:8, 17; Tit. 1:10; 2 Tim. 4:13; Phm. 16; 2 Pet. 2:10) has usually been rendered “especially” and regarded as in some way distinguishing that which follows it from that which goes before it. Skeat (“Especially the Parchments”) argues persuasively that μάλιστα in some cases (2 Tim. 4:13; Tit. 1:10, 11; and here) should be understood as providing a further definition or identification of that which precedes it and thus renders it by such words as “that is.” He cites several examples from papyrus letters that would seem to require this sense and that would in their particular cases rule out the otherwise legitimate alternate sense. If his proposal is correct here, which seems most likely, then the phrase μάλιστα πιστῶν should be rendered “that is, believers.” This understanding is also in line with Paul’s assertion that all sorts and conditions of people are in Christ (even at times using πάντες) and with his insistence in those contexts that all such are in Christ and have salvation by faith (cf., e.g., Gal. 3:26–28).

    George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1992), 203–204.
    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
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  4. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member

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    Not really.

    Are you a Universalist?
     
  5. Don

    Don Well-Known Member
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    Archangel - thank you. There was a lot there to absorb.

    But some of it is problematic. I make no claim to be anywhere near T.C. Skeat's level, much less the author of the commentary; and I haven't taken the time to look through other commentaries yet. So I only offer this for consideration.

    The argument that sets as foundation that 1 Tim 4:10 should be rendered as "that is" utilizes two other references that Skeat thought should be rendered the same way. Yet, the context of those verses put that claim, in my mind, in question.

    2 Tim 4:13, for example, if rendered as "that is," would mean Paul was saying "my books; that is, my parchments." Would not Timothy, trained by Paul, understand that Paul's books were parchments? Why would Paul need to believe that Timothy would be confused as to whether he meant something else by the use of "books"? Further, consider the time period: when traveling, there was only so much that could be carried, depending on how you were traveling. In that case, it would make more sense to render this as "especially"; as in, "bring the books, but [if there's not enough room for all of the writings] especially the parchments."

    The second verse offered by Skeat is Titus 1:10; as in, "that is, they of the circumcision." However, this rendition forces an assumption; namely, that those who were unruly and vain talkers and deceivers were *only* of the circumcision. Were there no other unruly and vain talkers and deceivers among the uncircumcised? While it seems obvious from other writings from Paul that he held a special "pet peeve" for those of the circumcision who kept trying to reintroduce old "requirements," wouldn't Paul include the uncircumcised in his warning, but *especially* those of the circumcision?

    If either of these provide adequate doubt upon rendering "that is", then it seems necessary to accept the common rendering of "especially." And if that is true, then that leaves 1 Tim 3:10 alone in its proposed rendering of "that is"; which necessarily casts doubt upon that, and asks us to consider the law of first mention (which I admit is not necessarily 100% true; but when faced with every other rendering being the same, puts this law in a stronger regard for this particular case).

    Again, I acknowledge I'm not schooled to this level, and only providing an untrained layman's analysis; so any additional information that corrects my thought process is welcome.
     
  6. Rob_BW

    Rob_BW Well-Known Member
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    Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1-2 Timothy, Titus & Hebrews

    4:10 work hard. The Greek kopiaō [TG2872, ZG3159] is a word Paul uses to convey the strenuous and fatiguing nature of missionary labors (cf. Phil 2:16).

    continue to struggle. The Greek word agōnizometha [TG75, ZG76] is descriptive of training for an athletic contest. Some ancient manuscripts have oneidizometha, “continue to suffer reproach” (א2 1739 D Byzpart Old Latin, syr cop Origen). Paul does not use the Greek term elsewhere of himself or his ministry, whereas the athletic metaphor is a favorite of Paul’s (1 Cor 9:25; Phil 1:30; Col 1:29; 2:1; 4:12; 1 Thess 2:2) and appears elsewhere in this letter (1 Tim 6:12) and the next (2 Tim 4:7). The Alexandrian copyist’s correction of א* is a bit puzzling. The copyist may have considered “struggle” to be redundant coming after “we work hard” (Fee 1988:110). But the Alexandrian copyists were known for their care. They did correct obvious accidents (e.g., the o/ō sound confusion in Rom 5:1)—which is not the case here. The original hand of א*, contextual fit, and Paul’s pairing of “hard work” and “struggle” elsewhere (Col 1:29; cf. 1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 3:8) favor agōnizometha.

    our hope. Lit., “we have placed [perfect tense] our hope upon” (epi [TG1909, ZG2093] + the dative). The perfect tense denotes an ongoing past action that results in a present state of “hope” rather than a single act. “Hope” in Paul’s writings is not wishful thinking but anticipation of God’s saving activity.

    the living God. This is Paul’s usual way to distinguish Yahweh from nonliving pagan idols. Turning “from idols to serve the living and true God” (see 1 Thess 1:9) is the way Paul typically describes Gentile conversion.

    who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. pantōn [TG3956, ZG4246] without the article conveys the idea “each and every person.” The genitive is likely objective: “He is savior for each and every person.” Though God provides salvation for all, only those who believe will receive it (NLT, “particularly of all believers”).
     
  7. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered Robertson's Word Pictures of the NT?

    for

    10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

    (Seems like a real challenge for Calvinism to try and survive it)

    Robertson -
    To this end (ei touto). The godliness (eusebeia) of verse James 8 . See 2 Corinthians 6:10 as Paul's own commentary. We labour (kopiwmen, Colossians 1:29 ) and strive (kai agwnizomeqa, Colossians 1:29 ). Both Pauline words. Because we have set our hope (oti elpikamen). Perfect active indicative of elpizw ( Romans 15:12 ). Saviour of all men (swthr pantwn anqrwpwn). See 1 Timothy 1:1 for swthr applied to God as here. Not that all men "are saved" in the full sense, but God gives life ( 1 Timothy 6:13 ) to all ( Acts 17:28 ). Specially of them that believe (malista pistwn). Making a distinction in the kinds of salvation meant. "While God is potentially Saviour of all, He is actually Saviour of the pistoi" (White). So Jesus is termed "Saviour of the World" ( John 4:42 ). Cf. Galatians 6:10 .

    No I am not a Universalist

    And no I do not swallow the false choices Calvinism hands out.
     
  8. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    10 For to this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe. 1 Tim 4

    I think it was Donald Barnhouse's commentary on Romans that connected this passage with:

    18 So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life. Ro 5

    ...and with:

    9 And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; Ro 7

    ...meaning that Christ's atonement did away with Adam's transgression passing down upon all men and all men are now born innocent and eventually become guilty of their own accord.

    Not saying I agree with this, but it is an interesting thought.
     
    #8 kyredneck, Feb 4, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  9. The Archangel

    The Archangel Well-Known Member

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    You're quite welcome. I'm not ready to sign-off on the above interpretation. Schreiner cites several people who seem to cast doubt on Skeat's argument. In fact, you may want to review the entire document by Dr. Schreiner. You can find it here: “Problematic Texts” for Definite Atonement in the Pastoral and General Epistles by Thomas R. Schreiner

    The point I was seeking to make by citing the commentary is that there are deeper things at play here--certainly more than the English translations bring out at times. Greek and Hebrew can make many things more clear.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  10. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member

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    You said this:

    If "all people" means without exception, and that's the way that you've presented it, then you are a Universalist.

    Since I understand that some people will be saved and others not, which is a very clear idea across many passages, I don't throw that out of the window by a misreading of the above text.
     
  11. Don

    Don Well-Known Member
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    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.
     
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