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Doctrines of Demons

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  • Doctrines of Demons

    Hi Folks,

    I am requesting two things:

    1) That this not turn into a debate thread

    2) That this thread be confined to citations from scholars only, on the following verses:

    But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (1Tim.4:1-5).

    Thank-you kindly.

  • #2
    The NET Bible has as footnote
    tn Grk “teachings of demons” (speaking of the source of these doctrines).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
      Hi Folks,

      I am requesting two things:

      1) That this not turn into a debate thread

      2) That this thread be confined to citations from scholars only, on the following verses:

      But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (1Tim.4:1-5).

      Thank-you kindly.
      Scrawly, what specifically are you interested in in this passage? There's a lot written about it, and it can get pretty involved.

      A quick breakdown from Ben Witherington, for instance, will highlight that Paul probably thought he was living in the last days, and that this prophecy extends from him to the coming of Christ. That the Spirit referenced is the Holy Spirit, and that this is a prophetic message. That the deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons contrasts the truth offered through the Holy Spirit. That having one's conscience branded refers to a cauterization and implies that these false doctrines are not said out of ignorance, but come from those who once knew the truth and rejected it. That we need to be careful about reading later gnostic ideas into the forbidding of marriage and abstaining from foods, and, "...that the opponents are clearly enough offering up some combination of Jewish and ascetical ideas, and the former rules out their being gnostics. The resemblance here may be more to the Therapeutae in Egypt or the Essenes."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Adrift View Post
        Scrawly, what specifically are you interested in in this passage? There's a lot written about it, and it can get pretty involved.

        A quick breakdown from Ben Witherington, for instance, will highlight that Paul probably thought he was living in the last days, and that this prophecy extends from him to the coming of Christ. That the Spirit referenced is the Holy Spirit, and that this is a prophetic message. That the deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons contrasts the truth offered through the Holy Spirit. That having one's conscience branded refers to a cauterization and implies that these false doctrines are not said out of ignorance, but come from those who once knew the truth and rejected it. That we need to be careful about reading later gnostic ideas into the forbidding of marriage and abstaining from foods, and, "...that the opponents are clearly enough offering up some combination of Jewish and ascetical ideas, and the former rules out their being gnostics. The resemblance here may be more to the Therapeutae in Egypt or the Essenes."
        Great, thanks Adrift. If you could provide more citations on the bolded, that would be wonderful, of course when you have the time.

        Thanks again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
          Great, thanks Adrift. If you could provide more citations on the bolded, that would be wonderful, of course when you have the time.

          Thanks again.
          Ok. For the first part Witherington writes:

          Source: Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians, Volume 1: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on Titus, 1-2 Timothy and 1-3 John by Ben Witherington, InterVarsity Press, 2006

          The false teaching is identified here as the instructions of demons, which is about as direct a polemic as one could imagine, on top of which these teachers are directly called liars and deceivers or hypocrites. The teachers themselves are not said to be possessed, but their teaching comes from a nefarious source.

          © Copyright Original Source



          Robert Gundry in his commentary writes:

          Source: Commentary on First and Second Timothy, Titus by Robert H. Gundry, Baker Academic, 2011

          The designation "demons" identifies the "deceitful spirits" in opposition to "the Spirit," who speaks expressly and, as can be seen, truthfully about them. The deceitfulness of these demonic spirits falsifies their "teachings," so that "paying attention" to the spirits and their teachings leads to disaster and thus contrasts with the eternal benefit of confessing "the truth" contained in the great secret of piety (3:15-16) taught by Paul (2:7).

          © Copyright Original Source



          Thomas Lea and Hayne Griffin write:

          Source: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus by Thomas D. Lea, Hayne P. Griffin, B&H Publishing Group, 1992

          The "deceiving spirits" may be supernatural evil spirits who work through individuals, but against this view is the fact that Paul later described these false teachers in Ephesus as "deceiving and being deceived" (2 Tim 3:13). It is best to view the term "deceiving spirits" as a reference to the false teachers themselves. Deception was a leading trait of the errorists.

          Paul's concluding statement of v. 1 located the source of the deceitful teachings in demonic influence. Satan's ability to enlist Judas to do his will shows his competence to influence belief and behavior (Luke 22:3).

          4:2 Paul described the false teachers who practiced misleading the Ephesians. It was these false teachers whom the demons were using to carry out their bidding. First, Paul pictured their treachery by denouncing them as hypocrites. They presented themselves as pious followers of Christ, but they were in reality glib tools of the devil . . . Paul may also have been suggesting that their consciences carried the brand of Satan. By teaching what was actually false, they had been branded by Satan as his possession and therefore did his will. This shade of meaning emphasizes that the false teachers were willing tools of Satan. Since the context had already emphasized demonic involvement in spreading error, this likely was Paul's chief emphasis.

          © Copyright Original Source



          For more on the second part (aside from what I already quoted Witherington saying):

          Source: Commentary on First and Second Timothy, Titus by Robert H. Gundry, Baker Academic, 2011

          Apparently their "forbidding [people] to marry" grew out of their teaching the Law "abberantly" with reference to "myths and endless genealogies . . . though not understanding either the things that they're saying or [the things] about which they're speaking confidently" (1:3-7). More clearly, their teaching people "to abstain from foods" stems from a failure to recognize that Mosaic kosher laws are no longer in effect (see Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8-10; Colossians 2:16-23; Mark 7:19c). Paul counters this teaching with an appeal to God's having created "foods . . . to be partaken [according to Genesis 9:3] with thanksgiving by believers [as opposed to Law-keepers]-that is, those who've come to know the truth [of the Law-free gospel (compare Mark 7:18-19)]-because every creation of God [is] good [according to Genesis 1:31]; and if being taken with thanksgiving [to God for having created all foods to be eaten (compare Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:30)], not one [kind of food] is to be thrown away [as ritually unclean and therefore unfit to be eaten]. For it's being consecrated [= set aside for consumption] through God's word [the passages in Genesis alluded to above] and an invocation [which describes the aforementioned 'thanksgiving' in terms of a prayer said over the food (compare Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 30)]."

          © Copyright Original Source



          All parentheticals in the original.

          Source: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus by Thomas D. Lea, Hayne P. Griffin, B&H Publishing Group, 1992

          4:3 Paul called attention to two features that characterized the teaching of the heretics. First, some false teachers forbade marriage. Paul's warning in 1 Tim 5:11-15 indicates that younger widows in Ephesus may have been influenced by these prohibitions. The heretics who supported these views probably felt that abstinence from marriage was the means to a higher degree of holiness. They placed the celibate life on a higher spiritual level than the married life. (see note 1)

          Second, the false teachers demanded abstinence from certain foods.This error likely reflected the Mosaic distinction between clean and unclean foods. This same error is also apparent in Col 2:16, 21-23. To Paul the proper response to the question of eating foods was to eat after having expressed thanksgiving through prayer. (see note 2)

          Note 1:
          In 1 Cor 7:1-9 Paul had encountered Greeks who questioned and opposed marriage. Their opposition to marriage was probably based on a Greek concept which emphasized that the human body was evil and that marriage and sex were discouraged. This later became an emphasis of Gnosticism.

          Although the false teachers in Ephesus discouraged marriage, they were probably not as negative in their emphasis as those whom Paul encountered in Corinth. The heresy Paul encountered in Ephesus had a Jewish emphasis, and Judaism had no inherent opposition to marriage and sex. We think that the Essenes disparaged marriage, but Judaism did not generally have this emphasis. The error about marriage in Ephesus was not a fully developed Gnostic view but a tendency in that direction likely caused by converted Jews who were living in a pluralistic religious setting (see Kelly, Pastoral Epistles, 95 for further discussion).

          Note 2:
          Jesus' statements in Mark 7:14-19 abolish the Jewish distinction between clean and unclean foods. It is likely that such statements as these influenced Paul's opposition to an enforced asceticism.

          © Copyright Original Source

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