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What Does Scripture Mean By You?

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  • What Does Scripture Mean By You?

    How do "you" interpret you?

    -------------

    Is there a problem with our language? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    What does Scripture mean by you? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    One of the great weaknesses of English can be our limited vocabulary. Consider that we have only oneword for love. A man can say he loves Jesus, his wife, his best friend, football, and pizza. He can be true in saying all of this and still mean something vastly different for each.

    Another example is the word “you.” Here in the South, we have tried to correct this with the term, “Y’all.” (English was invented overseas, but we perfected it in the South.) Whatever you think of that term, it does clarify if you mean one person or a group of people.

    So consider a passage like Philippians 1:6. In this, we read that He that began a good work in you will carry it to completion jn Christ Jesus. Readers who are more Calvinistic can see this as a statement on soteriology.

    “See? When God begins His work in a man, He will bring it to completion. You are eternally secure.” Even those who hold to eternal security without going the way of Calvinism will use this to emphasize that.

    However, that’s not what’s going on. This is about the church. The you refers not to an individual, but to the church as a whole. This doesn’t mean Calvinism and/or eternal security are false. It just means that this isn’t the right usage of the passage.

    Now let’s go to the other side. In Philippians 2:12-13, we are told to work out your salvation in fear and trembling for it is God that works in you. At this, Arminians think they have a point.

    “See? Your salvation isn’t secure. You have to work it all out.”

    Unfortunately for them, it’s not the case again. This is the church needing to work out its own salvation. It’s not about individuals. This doesn’t mean Arminianism is true or false. It just means this isn’t the verse.

    The problem is our culture is individualistic. We read the text as speaking to us as individuals, and sometimes it does, but we don’t need to assume that for a text. It requires work, but it’s worth it. It’s only looking at the word in the original language and/or careful study of the passage that can help us know what is meant.

    Notice also that in all of this, no one viewpoint on soteriology was held to be true or false. I have my own opinions on that debate, but I choose to not enter into it. If anything, I chose this passage because that way I can’t be seen as going after one side and supporting another. I hold that both of them who use these passages use bad argumentation.

    Next time you see you in the text, and I mean that individually now, check and see how it is used. Misread the text and you miss what God has for you in it and hold a false view instead.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth.)
    Is there a problem with our language? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. What does Scripture mean by you? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. One of the great weaknesses of English can be our limited vocabulary. Consider that we have only oneword for love. A man can say … Continue reading What Does Scripture Mean By You?

  • #2
    I remember reading oone of the OT prophet books as a child and momentarily being scared until realizing that it was the ancient Israelites being refered to and not me. There's plenty of verses where I'm glad I'm not the "you" being referred to! Maybe we need a southern american english translation? Then we can use y'all where appropriate.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    • #3
      Here in Pennsyltucky -- but really, more so closer to Da Burgh -- the term is "yinz" or "yunz" (contraction of "you ones"). Habitual speakers of Pittsburghese are often called "yinzers."

      More closely pertinent to the point of the post -- the recognition that we have individual, "personal" relationships with God was a vital and IMO long-neglected insight. But here in the Modern Western world, it has become over-emphasized. Many are blind to the "collective" nature of many or most NT passages. Too many "Lone Ranger" and "church-hopper" Christians.
      Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

      Beige Federalist.

      Nationalist Christian.

      "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

      Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

      Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

      Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

      Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

      Justice for Matthew Perna!

      Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
        Here in Pennsyltucky -- but really, more so closer to Da Burgh -- the term is "yinz" or "yunz" (contraction of "you ones"). Habitual speakers of Pittsburghese are often called "yinzers."

        More closely pertinent to the point of the post -- the recognition that we have individual, "personal" relationships with God was a vital and IMO long-neglected insight. But here in the Modern Western world, it has become over-emphasized. Many are blind to the "collective" nature of many or most NT passages. Too many "Lone Ranger" and "church-hopper" Christians.
        I agree that the personal aspect got over emphasized, but now the pendulum is starting to swing the other way with God being portrayed as an impersonal unapproachable being.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
          Here in Pennsyltucky -- but really, more so closer to Da Burgh -- the term is "yinz" or "yunz" (contraction of "you ones"). Habitual speakers of Pittsburghese are often called "yinzers."

          More closely pertinent to the point of the post -- the recognition that we have individual, "personal" relationships with God was a vital and IMO long-neglected insight. But here in the Modern Western world, it has become over-emphasized. Many are blind to the "collective" nature of many or most NT passages. Too many "Lone Ranger" and "church-hopper" Christians.

          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

            I agree that the personal aspect got over emphasized, but now the pendulum is starting to swing the other way with God being portrayed as an impersonal unapproachable being.
            Who would you say are the most prominent proponents of this?
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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            • #7
              I have detected a tendency among biblically literate Christians to go too far with the notion of insisting that keeping things in their context means they only apply to the original audience. Using that consistently, we would be able to learn very little from the New Testament as the epistles were generally occasional letters, written for specific reasons. For example, when we see Paul write to Philemon to not-so-subtly hint that he should let Onesimus go, it would be wholly appropriate to draw the idea that Paul did not like the idea of Christians owning slaves. It would not do to take it simply as Paul's personal advice to Philemon in that case.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                Who would you say are the most prominent proponents of this?
                Ed Feser, and J.P Holding* are some of the more well known on this board I can think of. Most Thomist's, and most of the Honor/Shame proponents I've read fall into this too, although I would say some don't realize just how aloof they portray God as being.

                *He doesn't always do this, but he often leans heavily in this direction.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                  Ed Feser, and J.P Holding* are some of the more well known on this board I can think of. Most Thomist's, and most of the Honor/Shame proponents I've read fall into this too, although I would say some don't realize just how aloof they portray God as being.

                  *He doesn't always do this, but he often leans heavily in this direction.
                  Details of the New Testament point in the direction of patronage, not friendship as envisioned in modern culture. Assuming that is the correct biblical view (which I do), Holding's view is closer to it than the general popular level "what a friend we have in Jesus" view. So I'd have to see more details about what you have in mind about God being impersonal or unapproachable.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                    Details of the New Testament point in the direction of patronage, not friendship as envisioned in modern culture. Assuming that is the correct biblical view (which I do), Holding's view is closer to it than the general popular level "what a friend we have in Jesus" view. So I'd have to see more details about what you have in mind about God being impersonal or unapproachable.
                    The options you give in your post are the very extremes I'm talking about. The modern idea of a "patron/client" relationship in apologetics is not at all what ancient patron client relationships were like. It's presented as this cold, sterile, and purely contractual interaction with no level of humanity in it. This model is also usually accompanied by the doctrine of "impassibility", and mired in the very flawed honor/shame paradigm. Many modern ideas of friendship are extremely flawed in and of themselves for reasons I wouldn't think I would have to list here. However, even on that issue those who argue for the patron client paradigm don't even get some basic things right. Like that there are different levels of friendship. In most societies people were allowed to have friends who were not equals with them in social status. That patrons could be legitimate friends with their clients seems to escape their notice. They also seem to not notice that patron client relationships are still a thing, but I guess to acknowledge that would break down the argument given to how such relationships work.

                    Now, I'm not saying that Jesus didn't use patron/client imagery to make a point, but that to go all in with the modern model used in apologetics today is just the opposite side of the coin to the "buddy Jesus" idea. One of the problems with the modern idea of a patron client relationship is that is portrayed as completely one sided, which is not how patron client relationships worked in history. The patrons of the past were only superior in social status(sometimes based on religious status), but that required very, very specific things to be provided by the patrons to clients, or they lost their patron status at best, or in some cases overthrown and killed. Most of the very people arguing for the patron client understanding also argue that God has no obligations to humanity at all*, even Christians. This doesn't work for numerous reasons. One being the mentioned necessity of both sides meeting obligations, and another being patron client relationships were often tiered. Slaves at the bottom, peasants above them, merchants** and craftsmen above them, and so on. Kings and emperors were at the pinnacle of the hierarchy among mortals. All mortals were considered slaves to the gods, with priests often being the intermediary that enacted patronage on their behalf. However, the emperors had obligations to the slaves, even without a direct patron client relationship. God would be therefor obligated to do certain things for humans in general, and much more so for the direct clients i.e. Christians.

                    You can't have a proper patron client relationship in the ancient understanding of what they were without obligations being met by all parties involved, even if they were several levels down and not directly connected. Heck, patron client relationships still exist today. A big example would be politicians and voters in the US. While only Republican voters can be considered direct clients of Republican politicians, there are still certain things that are expected to be provided to all citizens under their jurisdiction, and the same goes for Democrat voters and politicians.

                    [cite=[URL="https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/culture-magazines/patron-client-systems"]Encyclopedia.com[/URL]]Patron–client systems are organized by people of power, both men and women, who build and keep the loyalty of people of more humble position. Both patrons and clients regard the link between them as a personal attachment similar to the bond of affection holding members of a family or kin group together. However, unlike families, where the linkage is regarded as permanent and often is taken for granted, a patron–client relationship must be renewed constantly and renegotiated continuously. Throughout history, clients have provided the work, income, popular acclaim, votes, political allegiance, and military support that patrons need to maintain power and position. For their part, clients have gained protection, access to resources or information, group identity, and opportunities for advancement. Although no modern government would claim to operate according to the principles of patron–clientage, many nations throughout the world are guided by the logic of patron–client transactions. No government escapes the influence of patron–client considerations.[/quote]

                    Both the modern patron client relationship model proponents and the honor shame paradigm proponents have managed to convince themselves and their followers that those models are some kind secret code that unlocks the otherwise mysterious aspects of the Bible. They don't do anything like that, if anything they obscure things that should be obvious. Like the honor shame model and the inherent dehumanization it places both purported types of cultures. Both models misunderstand human nature on a fundamental level, and what their models would mean if they truly applied in the way they think they do.

                    *ApologiaPhoenix has argued this numerous times, yet also argues for the client patron relationship. The two do not mesh as they are mutually exclusive.

                    **Sometimes the order was a little different. Like how in Japan the merchants were considered the lowest class.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                      I have detected a tendency among biblically literate Christians to go too far with the notion of insisting that keeping things in their context means they only apply to the original audience. Using that consistently, we would be able to learn very little from the New Testament as the epistles were generally occasional letters, written for specific reasons. For example, when we see Paul write to Philemon to not-so-subtly hint that he should let Onesimus go, it would be wholly appropriate to draw the idea that Paul did not like the idea of Christians owning slaves. It would not do to take it simply as Paul's personal advice to Philemon in that case.
                      Which is why I wrote this.

                      -------------

                      How do we apply passages to a community to us today? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

                      One of my friends read my blog on Friday and asked about how some matters apply. If something only applies to the audience at the time, how do we work it out in our own lives? This is a good question and one that relies on our hermeneutic.

                      In John 13, Jesus says that since He washed the feet of His disciples, they ought to wash one another's feet. However, when I arrived at church yesterday, I found no one there to wash my feet. Not only that, it never occurred to me that I should. Today, a visitor at a church would find it bizarre if he was told to take off his shoes and socks so someone could wash his feet.

                      In the days of Jesus, this made sense since people walked on dusty roads and didn't have socks and their feet would get dirty. For us, it's different. What could we do instead? We can supply people with a breakfast meal waiting for them at the church. If we want to get as close as possible, maybe even set up a car washing place for them or give first time visitors a coupon to a local car wash. The idea at root is hospitality.

                      A few places in the New Testament encourage us to greet one another with a holy kiss, a passage which many a teenage boy would like to take literally. Not just them. I used to remind my wife of that passage in greeting time at church when it took place. Never worked. However, the message is again to greet and this time, it is done more often with a handshake. Of course, there are cultures where a kiss is acceptable and that can take place.

                      Let's consider the passages discussed last time. What about Philippians 1:6. He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion? That means the church should take confidence that God is at work in them and He will see through to the end what He desires. The church can take comfort in knowing God doesn't just start something and then change His mind.

                      This can then relate to 2:12-13. Why do you work our salvation with fear and trembling? Because God is at work in you. This means the church should be actively involved not just in the salvation of the lost, but that of their own church members. This can be done with accountability programs and other such ideas. As a Protestant, I do think our Catholic and Orthodox friends are right with the idea of having a priest to confess your sins to, not because the priest can forgive you of your sins as God does that, but because that helps build up accountability. Are you going to be more prone to do XYZ if you know you have to face a real human being who you hopefully respect and tell them about it?

                      Let's finally consider one that is really misused. How many graduation cards have Jeremiah 29:11 on them? God knows the plans He has for you after all. He wants to make you prosper. Most people ignore that that's said to Israel in the Babylonian exile and the majority of them would die in Babylon.

                      Does that mean it's useless to us today? Not at all. We can say "God was faithful to the covenant He made with Israel even when Israel sinned, therefore, we can be sure God will be faithful to us in the covenant He made with us." Not only do we get a good usage out of the passage, the passage rightfully then returns its emphasis not to the recipients, but rather to the person of God who is behind it.

                      Ultimately, in each passage, find the principle that is being taught. The principle is what needs to be followed. The method might be different in fulfilling it, but the heart should be the same.

                      In Christ,
                      Nick Peters
                      (And I affirm the virgin birth)
                      How do we apply passages to a community to us today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. One of my friends read my blog on Friday and asked about how some matters apply. If something only applies to the audience at the time, how do we work it out in our own … Continue reading Applying Communal Passages Today

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