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Quite contrary

Translation fracas shows the central problem of the curse for both sexes

Quite contrary

(Bob Jackson/KRT/Newscom)

A few columns ago I wrote about language as a gift of God: supple, powerful, and evocative. Also slippery in translation, as the laborers working on a certain construction project on the plain of Shinar (Genesis 11) quickly discovered. Mistranslations can be historic. During the Cold War, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev made a speech to Western diplomats, the key phrase remembered as “We will bury you!” What he said is more accurately translated, “We will see you buried”—a shade of meaning not quite as aggressive as Khrushchev’s attitude made it seem.

Everyday mistranslations are both charming and jaw-dropping. Lonely Planet sponsors an annual “Lost in Translation” photo contest, where travelers submit unintentionally hilarious Asian-to-English signage, such as, “Loveable but pitiful grass is under your foot.” Or, “Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy.”

Holy Scripture is not immune. When Jerome translated the Old Testament into Latin, he studied the original language rather than relying on versions of the Septuagint (Greek translation). As befitting the patron saint of future scholars-to-be-flustered-by-Hebrew, Jerome confused karan, the “radiance” that veiled Moses when he came down from the mountain, with keren, “horned,” which explains why Moses sports a pair of horns in Michelangelo’s statue.

A more recent translation kerfuffle occurs in the 2016 edition of the ESV, favored by Reformed evangelicals and this magazine. In reference to Eve’s curse, Genesis 3:16 is rendered, “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband [rather than ‘for your husband,’ as the earlier editions read], but he shall rule over you.” That phrasing has raised some scholarly hackles, in a controversy that reached The Atlantic website in November.

Eve’s desire to control her husband is not a recent gloss but a traditional understanding.

An online article called “Rewriting the Biblical ‘Curse’ on Womankind” quotes Hebrew scholars and seminary professors claiming the translation is just wrong—or at the very least, “a stumper.” That’s according to Joel Baden of Yale. Jan Joosten of Oxford agreed: “The Hebrew preposition ‘el means toward and not contrary to.” Scot McKnight of Northern Seminary called the ESV’s choice of words “not only mistaken but potentially dangerously wrong,” because it appears to cast women as perpetual antagonists to men.

I used to read Genesis 3:16 as a description of women’s plight: You will yearn for the companionship and sympathy of your husband, but he will take advantage of you. Later, encountering Reformed scholarship, I learned that the interpretation implies something deeper: Eve’s desire to control her husband is not a recent gloss but a traditional understanding, which the ESV now reflects. Later editions of the best-selling New Living Translation concur: You will desire to control. So does the NET Bible: You will want to control. This can’t be chalked up to male chauvinism; something in the original text must imply it.

According to my Hebrew lexicon, the preposition can indeed be rendered against—as well as with, into, because of, and more. Far more pertinent is desire, a Hebrew word that appears in the Old Testament only two other times. One is in the next chapter, where God warns Cain that sin “desires” to have him. The other is Song of Solomon 7:10: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.” A surface reading might see sin’s desire as negative and Solomon’s as positive—Eve’s could at least be a toss-up. Professor Baden finds “something very nice about the fact that the biblical author recognizes the inherent unfairness of this situation.”

The “biblical author” (aka God) isn’t always nice, and not primarily fair, but He’s supremely truthful. The curse on Adam and Eve affects what is central to each of them: occupation and relationship. Sin’s desire for them is possessive and unlawful, reflected in Eve’s desire for her husband. If we women are honest, we should acknowledge how easily our yearning for relationship is twisted into manipulation—just as men must realize how natural authority slides into tyranny. By submitting to sin’s desire, our first parents locked themselves in a permanent power play that won’t be solved by fairness or equal rights—only by God’s desire to save us from ourselves.

Comments

  • JeffD
    Posted: Sat, 01/07/2017 07:43 pm

    "Reformed scholarship", which is nothing more then the so-called "wisdom" of corrupt men, and the continual rewriting of the "bible" to please man sure has done a lot of damage.

    By the way, where did this "traditional understanding" that the ever changing ESV reflects come from?  The same tradition filled Roman Catholic Church the Reformed Movement came out of?

    Believe it or not, God, who you at least credit as the "biblical author" even as you cast doubt on His character, as is the tendency of "Reformed" individuals; is able to, and did, preserve and transmit His inerrant word through the ages.

    But thanks for continuing to show us the inconsistencies of the modern versions, and why they can't be trusted as they contradict even themselves from year to year.

    Jeff

  • JeffD
    Posted: Sat, 01/07/2017 04:50 am

    I guess the fact that the desire of women was for their husbands in the 2011 ESV, but are now contrary to their husbands in 2016, shows the fickleness of women.

    Or maybe it just shows the fickleness of the ESV editors who it appears may have experienced some marriage difficulties recently, and are changing their fickle "bible" in reaction.

  • AlanE
    Posted: Mon, 01/09/2017 11:11 am

    Wow, a short course in ad hominem attacks in the previous two posts? 

  • JeffD
    Posted: Mon, 01/09/2017 02:48 pm

    I'd rather be accused of ad hominem attacks than of attacking God's character and the Bible.

    I notice you are unable to argue for the specifics of this article.

    BTW:  Was the contrariness of women supposed to be a curse to women, as the Everchanging Standard Version would indicate God is saying, or to men?

    If the author claims "traditional understanding" justifies changing Scripture, which obviously neither she nor the ESV editors believe is the inerrant, preserved word of God, she should clearly state from whom and where this "traditional understanding" comes from.  Appealing to "Reformed Scholarship" means nothing to me.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 04:51 am

    ... and some extra credit guidance on how to attack what you didn't say, AlanE. 

    If there is one thing that gets me is how freely and easily we can pen words that are not helpful to discussions as we "respond" in comments sections. This is unfortunately as true here as so many places in the "social" media. Fortunately we don't see the expletives here in the World comments. But we do see unnecessary and unhelpful dialogue and attacks on the motives if not the words of the World authors. I'm reminded of a basketball game I was at when a fellow Christian near me was constantly heckling and loudly criticizing the referee. When confronted he justified his words as "holy anger." I would love to see our holy anger turned against the true enemies of our faith not against opinion or information posts in World. 

  • JeffD
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 07:01 am

    Where did I attack what she didn't say, Steve?   Or are you referring to my response to Alan's ad hominem attack on me by accusing me of ad hominem attacks without giving any specifics as to which of my comments were illegitimate or attempting to address the issues I brought up? 

    I'm not going to sit back and see God's word attacked and changed, and accusations made against His character, and not say anything for the sake of Christian "unity".  The idea that God isn't fair or nice is nothing more than the author's opinion based upon her misunderstanding of His nature due to her mistaken doctrine.

  • nevertheless
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 10:09 am

    Yea! lol

  • JeffD
    Posted: Mon, 01/09/2017 04:15 pm

    Looking at various sources, the real traditional understanding seems to be, as Barnes put it; " The woman had taken the lead in the transgression. In the fallen state, she is to be subject to the will of her husband. "

    So why would God pronounce as a new curse that the woman would continue to do what she had already done?  Things were changed after the Fall.

    Neither the wording; making the woman's contrariness primarily to be a curse to her, and not her husband, nor the facts of the matter back up the ESV's decision.

    Maybe if the author of this article could give examples of ancient Hebrew scholars (I already looked at Josephus, and didn't see where he addressed the issue specifically) or true ancient church scholars (non-RCC or so-called "Reformed" splits) who had the view that the New Improved ESV is espousing.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 05:07 am

    Thanks for this article. It is a critical one. One reason there can be so much discussion in scholarly circles as well as for the rest of us is that it deals with root issues of who we are as part of God's creation. Maleness and femaleness is certainly an issue these days!! This verse is critical to that discussion. As one who studies scripture and knows koine Greek but very little Hebrew I do know that one must be careful trying to understand translations by using a concordance that lists "possible" ways a word can be translated. This is a recipe for adding more confusion and mistranslation. It is like the Amplified Bible that lists every possible translation of many words so that the reader supposedly gets a better feel for a passage. Though that might sound like scholarship and sound helpful it is dangerous and we too easily choose a translation that fits our mood or presuppositions, not the original intent of the author or Author.

    For the non-Hebrew or non-Greek reader the concordance is a nice resource but it is not helpful in passages such as these when those who know the original languages can't agree with a translation. Please be careful with that Janie. 

    If there is one other thing I wonder about that is brought out in this timely piece is why a magazine goes on record as favoring a particular English Bible translation, ESV. Or why a Christian magazine goes on record as being Reformed. It would seem to me this is going to bring division where it is not needed. We have so much division in the Church why do we need to bring these issues up where not needed? Let one's words speak for themselves. 

  • JeffD
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 05:47 am

    At least this comment is a little more substantive.  However, I would defend World's decision in letting readers know where they stand by telling what flavor of modern "bible" they favor, and where they stand in their doctrine, especially as their doctrine even distorts their world view as it places the "wisdom" of man above the Scriptures.  Just as if it was written by Jehovah's Witnesses, or some other "Christian" cult, they should say so up front.  Not that it's entirely necessary as it's fairly easy to pick a Calvinist out of the crowd even if they don't specifically state so.

    "Maleness and femaleness" has not changed since God wrote the Bible, God's word is not changing, and neither should the "bible".  I do appreciate your warnings about the misuse of concordances and appealing to the original languages in order to make oneself out to be qualified to change the Scriptures.

    Now why not let Janie give references for those examples of "traditional understanding" that she left out of the article?

    Once again, I do thank World for pointing out the dangers of the ever-changing "versions" such as the ESV, even if that wasn't their intention.

    ________________________________

    I apologize for inadvertently clicking the report button when trying to click the "EXPAND"" button,  I don't know why the expand button has to be clicked just in the right spot, or so many times, before you can click the "reply" button, but  yet apparently lets you click the report button. Anyway, I apologize.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 05:57 am

    I'm wondering who set the standards on what criteria must be met for a comment on these pages to be "substantive" and thus meriting thoughtful discussion vs superficial and thus meriting criticism. 

    I'm also wondering if the King James Bible might be the one true and authoritative English translation that we should go to for the final word and thus our guidance on practical and theological matters. Not that practical and theological are completely separate issues. Or maybe there is another? Or none?

  • JeffD
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 07:22 am

    You seem to be attempting to set the standard for what comments you believe should be acceptable, and what issues should be brought up for discussions.

    Yes, I accept the KJV as the true and authoritative English version, and it's clear to me that Christianity was much stronger when Christians actually believed the Bible, and accepted the Bible as God's preserved innerant word and used it as their authority, rather than making themselves an authority over the Bible and falling for every new wind of "scholarship".

    In fact, if I recall, the KJV was at one time the favored version of World Mag before it became popular to discredit it and to have contempt for those who still hold to it among scholarly circles.

    Which Bible do you accept as your final authority, Steve?

     

  • nevertheless
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 10:06 am

    Thank you; and excellent, btw.

  • Postmodern Redneck
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 12:59 pm

    As a person who is not an official "Biblical scholar" but a history buff, and who has studied 4 languages, including NT Greek, I would say that there is NO perfect translation of the Bible.  And one of the things I have learned over the years is that when serious Biblical scholars speak of the Bible being "inerrant" they often add the qualifying term "in the autographs"--the original manuscripts from the author or his scribe.  Inerrancy does not apply to any translation, in any language, and does not even apply to the copies in Greek and Hebrew made over the centuries.

    And no, the KJV is not even among the best translations.  The scholars who produced it had access to only a few of the Greek manuscripts that have been found in the centuries since, and they were not even the oldest or best.  They also took something like 2/3 to 3/4 of the language of the KJV from the translations of Tyndale and Coverdale, who worked roughly 75 years earlier  (the language of the KJV was "old-fashioned" even when it was first published--the English language was itself in a period of change at the time).  And even the KJV has quietly had its spelling and punctuation updated over the centuries.  If you don't believe that, there are publishers who have produced modern copies of the original KJV from 1611, with the unaltered text; pick one up and try to read it.  And yes, a lot of people rejected it when it first came out (especially the Puritans in England, because there were certain points where the KJV scholars chose readings that favored the positions of the Church of England and the King, its official Head).  It actually took nearly a century for the KJV to displace the earlier English translations.

    I have a lot of respect for the textual scholars who produced the standardized texts used by modern Bible translators.  Over many years they sorted something like 5000 various Greek New Testaments fragments, comparing the variant readings, looking at the oldest manuscripts, identifying copyists' errors--which were often passed down as more copies were made.  They had reached the point when I was in seminary over 45 years ago that all the disputed passages of the entire NT added up to about half a page worth of text, with no major doctrines affected by them.  And they did that working with manuscripts THATWEREWRITTENLIKETHISWITHNOSPACESBETWEENWORDSANDNOPUNCTUATION

    Lower case letters started being used in the 8th century AD or thereabouts, and punctuation mostly came later.  Ancient Hebrew is even worse--the oldest Hebrew did not have vowels, and the "vowel points" now used in Hebrew OTs were added centuries after the OT was written.

    So enjoy your translation, whatever you use, and give thanks for the scholars who made them, very few of whom are known to the general public today (I studied under one man who worked on the original NIV).  Some are better for general reading, some are better for serious study if you want the closest to the original text (often the English is awkward in some of these, but that is how translation frequently works).  But remember that none of them is perfect, and none of them is itself infallible.  We ourselves are fallible human beings, and there are some things we will never understand perfectly in this life; so keep a firm grip on your own humility any time you set out to interpret the Bible--no human being is the Final Authority on what it means.

     

     

  • JeffD
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 06:47 pm

    Postmodern Redneck,

    It is your opinion that God did not preserve His word as He promised, and that He somehow was not involved in the transmission of His word through true Bible-believing Christians, and that He never led and superintended over the translation of the Bible into what would become the most used language.

    You are correct that "scholars" have made words such as "inerrant" and "preservation" to be meaningless. In doing so they attack the very character of God and His word.

    I believe that the manuscripts that God passed down through the ages and were painstakingly copied by Believers were the accurate manuscripts, not the inferior copies that survived because they were thrown away unused, and that scholars jump on as the latest and best (or oldest and best).  Of course I realize that this is an oversimplified statement, but gives the essence of what has happened.

    I have a 1611 reprint, believe it or not, it is not that hard to read; neither do the font and spelling changes represent substantive, meaningful changes to the text. Spelling and punctuation changes do not compare to the corruption (IMO) of the modern versions.

    And the "archaic" language of the KJV is more accurate than what is used today.  There was no problem with the language as long as the Bible was the base of our education, and there's really no problem learning and understanding it today, despite the disdain for it.  I don't believe that as long as our language degrades that our Bibles should degrade with it.  As I understand, even when the KJV was written, it wasn't necessarily in the "street language" of the day, but was written with the respect that the word of God deserves, and at the same time was perfectly accurate and understandable. 

    I keep seeing defenders of the modern versions referring to how few pages are changed.  I wonder if any have actually gone and listed the changes themselves?  Even if it is only half a page; when it comes to the Bible, are we more concerned with quantity or quality?  Should I be happy with a Bible that is 99 44/100% pure with "only" 54/100% leaven?  The half-page, or whatever, is enough to show that the "Bible" contains error, or at least that its contents are in doubt.  If there is only a half-page difference now, what's to keep scholars from casting doubt on the rest of the scripture with the next great discovery?

    There are other scholars who can show to a good certainty as to how faithfully the scripture was actually passed down through the years, not found in a dump in Egypt where God seems to have lost it for 2000 years.

    Unfortunately, it seems most scholars see the "science" of textual criticism as settled as the "science" of evolution.  Neither are based on faith, but on certain assumptions not necessarily true as they're made out to be, and those who don't believe in the validity of the "settled science" are considered to be ignorant, superstitious troublemakers.

    Just as our world supposedly "evolved", our "bibles" are evolving, and our scholars are evolving, they are seen as being so far superior to the ancient Neanderthals that God brought together 400 years ago.  In reality, I don't believe the entire team of  ESV translators can hold a candle to even one of the KJV translators.  Have you ever read their bios?  If anything, we, our bibles, and our Christianity are devolving, not evolving.

    I have respect for your view, but disagree, if you accept the ESV, or whatever version you use, as the word of God and as your final authority.  But why should I trust you if you base your beliefs on something that even you believe contains errors?  And as long as it has errors, and you depend on the scholars to correct them, then the scholars are your final authority.

  • VSKluth's picture
    VSKluth
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 07:09 pm

    @Postmodern Redneck:  There are many errors in your bold assertions, which is a fairly succinct statement of most seminarians who have studied under the Westscott-Hort new Greek text.  I'll only address the oft-quoted error; namely, that no major doctrines are impacted by the textual variants. 

    That's hogwash.  There are several major doctrines undermined by the critical text (CT). 

    For starters, by accepting the new Greek text (i.e. the CT), one must categorically reject the doctrine of verbal plenary preservation, since the CT is based on the premise that God was unable to preserve His Word over time (vice 1Peter 1:25, "the word of the Lord endures forever", Matt 5:18, Isa 59:21, Ps 12:6). We have no direct proof that Jesus rose on Sunday, since Mark 16:9 is discounted.  Westminster shorter catechism question #107, "what does the conclusion of the Lord's prayer teach?" is totally tanked by the removal of Matt 6:13, along with Heidelberg Catechism (HC) questions 119 and 128.  HC Q#25 offers 1John 5:7 as the primary passage for "proof of the trinity"; history notes that Jerome complained the lack of 1John 5:7 in some manuscripts was due to "unfaithful interpreters".  Belgic Confession Q# XVIII points out that "Christ took on Him the seed of Abraham", which is gutted when Heb 2:16 is modified by the CT.  And so on -- in fact, I've identified 18 doctrines (and counting) directly impacted by the CT. 

    Think about it: Could you actually remove 15% of the New Testament text (which is the sum total of impacts by the CT, adding up to the total words of 1st and 2nd Peter), and claim "no impact"?  Try that with your mortgage loan agreement, and see what your banker says ... especially if the word removed is "not".

  • Hawkdriver
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 12:10 am

    Very informative.  Thank you for posting.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 03:11 am

    VSKluth, so you are saying you do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture? You stand on thin ice if you don't believe this important doctrine?  So who do you say wrote the Bible?

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Fri, 01/13/2017 03:56 am

    VSKluth, you claim we have no direct proof that Jesus rose on Sunday if we discount Mark 16:9.  But we do have John 20:19, so how does the Mark text significantly impact the critical text?  

    You say, "Westminster shorter catechism question #107, 'what does the conclusion of the Lord's prayer teach?' is totally tanked by the removal of Matt 6:13, along with Heidelberg Catechism (HC) questions 119 and 128."  But again, other verses support this doxology to the Lords Prayer and was probably added due to verbal tradition.  This does not significantly impact the doctrine since many other texts support this teaching which is given in the Shorter Catechism as well as the Heidelberg Catechism.  

    You also say, "HC Q#25 offers 1John 5:7 as the primary passage for 'proof of the trinity'; history notes that Jerome complained the lack of 1John 5:7 in some manuscripts was due to 'unfaithful interpreters'." Again, you act as if this text is the only text that supports the trinity. All through the Bible we see the teaching of the Trinity and even with the removed text, we see the teaching of the trinity (see R.C. Sproul's study Bible NSV).

    Furthermore, you say the "Belgic Confession Q# XVIII points out that 'Christ took on Him the seed of David', which is gutted when Heb 2:16 is modified by the CT." How exactly is this being gutted when the writer is referencing Is 41:8,9? 

    VSKluth, your arguments don't hold any water so don't attempt to refute the inerrancy of scripture for God will hold you accountable (Rev. 22:18,19).

  •  Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 06:44 pm

    Looks like the "desire to control" is not limited to wives.  The specific curses of Genesis have sort of spread out to all of us.  "God is The Authority" easily morphs to "I am The Authority" in our sin nature's desire to control how others think and behave.

  • Hawkdriver
    Posted: Tue, 01/10/2017 11:53 pm

    I have wondered whether or not Eve was just as physically strong as Adam before sin.  Part of the curse would be then to make the man stronger.  I have no Biblical basis for this except speculation.  Any thoughts or info out there? 

  • JeffD
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 12:28 am

    Thought-provoking question!

    I don't guess we can know for sure, but my thought is no, she wasn't as strong, because my thought is that the Bible says she was taken out of man, and that when something is taken out of something else it seems as if it generally wouldn't be as strong as the original.  And she was made for man (Gen 2:18).

    Obviously, that's just a thought, and God taking woman out of man is nothing like taking a toothpick out of a 2x4, and God isn't limited by physics in what He can do with a rib.

    Even if the woman was created physically weaker, man wouldn't have taken advantage of her relative weakness, and treated her as an unequal partner or abused her, until after the Fall.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 02:11 am

    Let me come to Janie's defense. She says that God isn't always "nice" which is a fair statement.  She has explained in some older articles that being nice where we use language not to offend is not necessarily a biblical value, where we should bring the gospel that says "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." In other words, loving words are not always nice words for love requires honesty, though tempered with gentleness. When she says that God is "not primarily fair" she is using a precise definition of fair: not to discriminate or show favoritism. God does descriminate for he chose his people before the foundation of the world. Even if you are an Arminian, you must believe that God has a standard to allow people into heaven, so even then, God does discriminate!  She does not mean that God is not just, for that would be to misunderstand her. Also, she is not saying that this is a new way to look at scripture, where women want power through manipulation and men abuse their God given authority, but it was the original meaning!  Looking at the challenges of godly families over the years, I would say that these problem traits stand out.

    Also, "Reformed Scholarship" is biblical scholarship if someone will take the time to learn it.  Essentially, we let God be God and recognize his complete role in bringing us to salvation.

    I have read Janie over the years and I know she is one smart cookie. You had better study up if you dare to challenge her!

  • JeffD
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 05:25 am

    No, Reformed theology is not Biblical theology!  It explains away dozens upon dozens of "problem" verses while misinterpreting a few "proof" verses by using all kinds of mental gymnastics and convoluted reasonings that only great Reformed "scholars" are able to come up with.

    "Problem" verses, such as "God is not willing that any should perish" are made out to be. at best, meaningless, and at worst, lies.  And to say that God willingly and randomly chooses to send the majority of people to Hell through no choice of their own does attack the very nature of God, it does make God out to be an unfair and unjust God.

    Calvinism is pagan fatalism warmed over with a Christian flavor.

    Believe it or not, true Christianity existed before the RCC and the "Reformation" and before Calvin.

    Janie may be "one smart cookie", but how often do you see the wisdom and scholarship of men praised in the Bible?  Yet Calvinism is all about the wisdom and scholarship of men as it ignores the clear readings of Scripture.

    How is offering all individuals the same opportunity and chance called discrimination?  But, as I already said, Calvinists don't believe God when He says He freely offers salvation to everyone, so you do make God out to be unfair, as well as a liar.

    Once again; if the New Improved ESV is giving the original meaning, then back it up with references!  Where have any ancient Christians outside the RCC or the "Reformation" professed that view?  Actually, no one has even shown anyone from the RCC or its Calvinist sect traditionally holding that view yet.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 03:35 am

    Anon, my friend, how do you explain away Rom. 9? Or how about John 17:6-26? Reformed teaching unifies scripture because this is what the Bible teaches.

  • JeffD
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 04:43 am

    Cyborg3,

     

    Short answer for tonight:

    For one thing, you need to be able to discriminate temporal blessings from the offer of salvation.  Yes, Jacob received different temporal blessings than Esau, no one questions that.

    Israel had a different purpose from the Gentiles.  Israel was to be a light to the other nations. Israel had a special blessing and was to be a blessing and light to the other nations.  Gentiles also had opportunity to seek the Lord and be saved.

    The disciples that Christ kept in John aren't the only ones that salvation was offered to or who received salvation either.  The Lord kept them, and He keeps the others who come to Him.

    We all have different offices and gifts, yet God's blessings are available to all and and God desires that we accept His universal offer of salvation and use the gifts that He gives us and that we were created for.

    Now, how do you explain away these verses:

    Eze 18:21-24
    Eze 33:11-19
    Mat 5:29-30
    Mat 6:14-15
    Mat 7:15-20
    Mat 7:21
    Mat 10:22
    Mat 10:32-33
    Mat 12:31-32
    Mat 13:11-15 
    Mat 13:18-23
    Mat 18:8-9
    Mat 18:14
    Mat 18:35
    Mat 24:13
    Mar 1:4
    Mar 2:5
    Mar 3:28-29
    Mar 4:11-12
    Mar 4:14-20
    Mar 11:25-26
    Mar 13:13
    Mar 16:16
    Luk 3:3
    Luk 3:9
    Luk 5:20
    Luk 6:43-45
    Luk 7:48,50
    Luk 8:11-15
    Luk 12:8-9
    Luk 12:10
    Luk 15:24
    Luk 18:42
    Luk 19:9-10
    Joh 1:7
    Joh 1:9
    Joh 1:12
    Joh 1:29
    Joh 3:15
    Joh 3:16
    Joh 3:17
    Joh 3:18
    Joh 3:36
    Joh 4:10
    Joh 4:42
    Joh 5:24
    Joh 5:34
    Joh 5:40
    Joh 6:40
    Joh 6:47
    Joh 6:50-58
    Joh 7:37-39
    Joh 10:9
    Joh 11:25-26
    Joh 12:32
    Joh 12:36
    Joh 12:46
    Joh 15:1-8
    Joh 20:31
    Act 2:38
    Act 3:19
    Act 10:43
    Act 11:14
    Act 11:18
    Act 13:39
    Act 15:9
    Act 16:30-31
    Act 17:30
    Act 22:16
    Act 26:18
    Rom 1:16-17
    Rom 3:21-31
    Rom 4:3,5,9,22,24
    Rom 4:13,16
    Rom 5:1-2
    Rom 5:15,18-19
    Rom 9:30-33
    Rom 10:4
    Rom 10:6
    Rom 10:9-10
    Rom 10:13
    Rom 11:14,15,20-23,32
    1Co 1:18
    1Co 1:21
    1Co 9:22
    1Co 10:33
    1Co 15:2
    1Co 15:22
    2Co 5:14-15
    2Co 5:19-20
    2Co 13:5
    Gal 2:16
    Gal 3:2
    Gal 3:6
    Gal 3:8
    Gal 3:14
    Gal 3:22
    Gal 3:24
    Gal 3:26
    Gal 5:4
    Eph 1:13
    Eph 2:8
    Eph 4:24
    Phi 1:19
    Phi 2:12
    Phi 3:9
    Col 1:21-23
    1Th 1:4-5
    1Th 2:16
    2Th 1:7-9
    2Th 2:10-12
    2Th 2:13-14
    1Ti 1:16
    1Ti 2:4-6
    1Ti 4:10
    2Ti 2:10
    2Ti 2:12
    2Ti 3:15
    Tit 2:11-12
    Heb 2:1-3
    Heb 2:9
    Heb 3:6,14
    Heb 3:17-19
    Heb 4:1-11
    Heb 5:9
    Heb 6:4-6
    Heb 7:25
    Heb 10:10
    Heb 10:26-38
    Heb 12:14-17
    Jam 1:12
    Jam 1:18
    Jam 1:21
    Jam 2:14-26
    Jam 5:19-20
    1Pe 1:5
    1Pe 1:9
    1Pe 1:22
    1Pe 1:23
    1Pe 3:21
    1Pe 4:6
    2Pe 1:10-11
    2Pe 2:1-3
    2Pe 2:20-22
    2Pe 3:9
    1Jo 1:9
    1Jo 2:2
    1Jo 4:14
    1Jo 5:11-12
    Rev 2:7
    Rev 2:11
    Rev 2:17
    Rev 2:26
    Rev 3:5
    Rev 3:12
    Rev 3:20-21
    Rev 21:6-7
    Rev 22:14
    Rev 22:17
    Rev 22:19

    ?

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Cyborg3
    Posted: Mon, 01/16/2017 01:52 am

    JeffD, I am not retired or unemployed so I don't have all the time in the world to respond. But I will say this, in scripture we see God speaking from either a human perspective or God's perspective, which is different. The call of salvation is given to all but not everyone will respond - just God's elect will be saved (Rom. 9: 13-18,21).  Do we as God's elect know who God will save? No, so the call is given to all and we see passages like Ez. 18:19-32 where the request is made to "turn and live", but when we look at the details of salvation we see that "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world... (Eph. 1:4,5)".  God chooses us and we are saved. He works in our hearts so we respond to God's call.  What a blessing is being part of the elect!

  • JeffD
    Posted: Thu, 01/12/2017 06:10 am

    Cyborg3,

    Yes, God chose us.  He chooses and desires for all to be saved, but not all answer that call.  That He sent His Son for the world, and that He desires that none should perish is the clear reading of the Bible over and over again.  His desire and plan for all mankind is that they would be blameless and holy, but man has freewill, and some will accept that plan and some won't.  Man has been predestinated and preordained to please God, just because most refuse doesn't mean that they weren't called.  The elect is basically those who respond to the call.  I believe the tendency is to read too much into things, or too narrowly, in order to fit our beliefs. Maybe there's a difference in unifying the Scriptures and rightly dividing them.

    In any case it is clear over and over again that God does not desire to send anyone to Hell, it is their choice, not His, and to say otherwise attacks the very character of God.  Do you really believe that God predestinates the non-elect to be unholy and full of blame because He desires to send them to Hell?  That He didn't have a plan for their lives, even as He has for our lives?  God created man for His pleasure, being unholy doesn't please Him, and as Ezek 33:11 says, God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  He has no pleasure in sending people to Hell.

    [John 3:16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

    The world means world.  Whosoever means whosoever.  It more than distorts the verse and meaning to say that it means that God only loves some and will give eternal life only to those He makes believe in Him.

    Likewise, this verse also says what it means:

    [2Pet 3:9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

    To say that God is willing that any should perish, and doesn't want all to come to repentance, is to turn God's word into a lie.  No amount of scholarly reasoning can change that.

    [1John 2:2] And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 

    Calvinists may say that the "world" in 1John 2:2 refers to the elect in the world, or something like that.  Clearly no one would ever get that meaning from a clear reading of the verse, nor is that the way John's immediate readers would have understood it when it was written.  Especially as John goes on and uses the same word for world in verse 15 through 17 of that very same chapter.  I'm sure you don't believe that John is calling the elect the "world" and then going on and telling them not to love the elect, but that is what some scholars would have us believe.

    Of course, you may argue that if Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the world, then all would be saved.  But Christ did in fact die for the sins of the world, Christ paid for everyone's sin and desires that all would be saved, unfortunately, few will accept the Free Gift.  That's not God's fault, it's the sin and freewill of men, they were called, they didn't respond.  Just because they didn't accept the free gift doesn't mean that the price wasn't paid for it, nor does it mean that God's offer of the Gift was insincere.

    I could go on and on, but I'll leave it here.

    Thanks for your time.

  •  Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 12:29 pm

    It is interesting that an "anonymous" writer expects others to take their scholarship seriously.
    Seems to me that serious writers are willing to own what they claim to believe. 

  • JeffD
    Posted: Wed, 01/11/2017 03:34 pm

    Neil Evans,

    I have signed here as Jeff and JeffD.  I don't know how to have a permanent name applied to my posts and haven't been consistent in signing. Sorry about that, but I don't see a place here or on my account to have my name added. Maybe that's a sign of my stupidity.

    Now you can make ad hominen attacks against my scholarship and of me not giving my full name, address and social security number, or whatever.  Or you can address the substance of the posts, regardless of who's names are on them..

    How many people here give their real full names?

    Thank you for your scholarly response.

    Edit: I did find it under my account settings.  Thank you for prompting me to take another look.

  • Pontier Ralph A.
    Posted: Wed, 01/18/2017 12:23 pm

    The idea expressed by the 2016 ESV translation of Genesis 3:16, “your desire shall be contrary to your husband” was suggested already in 1980 in a book by Susan T. Foh, Woman and the Word of God – A Response to Biblical Feminism, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing.  On pages 68-69 she also proposed that the translation should read “but he must/should rule over you” (not “shall”) following the parallel grammatical construction and accepted translation of the last phrase of Genesis 4:7.

     

    Rev. Ralph A. Pontier

    Neerlandia, Alberta