Journal of Biblical Ministry, Summer 2013

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Journal of Biblical Ministry

Summer 2013

Journal of Biblical Ministry Summer, 2013

A journal to support and encourage those in ministry by providing studies in biblical texts with application for practical ministry CONTENTS Introductory Note: Dr. James Kinnebrew, Editor ………………………………….......

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Articles: Can a Person Believe in Jesus and Not be Saved? John 8:30-33a – A Test Case Hal M. Haller, Jr……………………….

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Peter’s Denials: Important Background Considerations Max Mills…………………………………………………………………………….. 24 Peter’s Denials: An Examination of the Narratives Max Mills…………………………………………………………………………….. 32 Holy Spirit Baptism

Benjamin Cocar……………………………………. 54

Riches versus Wealth: Are they Mutually Exclusive? Implications of Mark 10:17-31 Steven L. Cox……………………… 71 Anthropology and Eschatology in Luke 20:27-40: An Exegetical Study William R. Wilson…………………………………. 92

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INTRODUCTORY NOTE We are delighted to bring you the Summer 2013 edition of Luther Rice University’s Journal of Biblical Ministry. Transitions in staff assignments have resulted in unavoidable delays and distractions. Thanks for your patience! Past issues have had the expert hand of Associate Editor Marcia Bost, whose formatting skills were never learned by this editor. Thankfully, with Mrs. Bost’s move to other ministry fields, new talent has come alongside this editor in the person of Dr. Thomas Mapes, our new English professor. His proofreading expertise and valuable content suggestions have made this journal far better than it otherwise would have been. Our talented faculty writers are also to be recognized. They all live very busy lives in service to our Lord, and they could have justifiably turned down the request for more of their time, seeing their only reward for contributing to this issue is the simple satisfaction of knowing that in doing so they have been faithful stewards of the mysteries of God. Finally, to the surprise of no one who has been around Luther Rice University for any length of time, Ms. Sherri Humphrey is to be thanked for her invaluable help in turning a folder full of diverse articles into the unified journal you have before you. This journal has been a labor of love undertaken by all of the above to help fulfill the many varied ministries God has given the students of Luther Rice. We welcome your comments and constructive criticism. Our mission is to help you become the best leader and minister for Christ that you can possibly be. If you know of a way to make this journal more effective to that end, please let us know. Now turn the page, read, learn, and “teach others also” (2 Tim 2.2)!

James M. Kinnebrew, Ph.D. General Editor, Journal of Biblical Ministry

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Can a Person Believe in Jesus and Not Be Saved? John 8:30-33a – A Test Case* By Hal M. Haller, Jr., Th.M. Librarian, Assistant Professor of Bible & Theology Luther Rice University A Puzzling Passage Can a person actually believe in Jesus and not be saved? Can he exercise a temporary or spurious faith short of committed discipleship and not be born again? Some are convinced that John 8:27-32 teaches that such a thing is true: They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” As He spoke these words, many believed [Gr. Ingressive aorist active indicative, “came to believe”] in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”1 In the Gospel of John, the expression “believed in Him” typically denotes saving faith (see 3:16-18, 36; 6:47). Jesus then invites these new believers to abide in His Word and learn from Him. This would be the avenue to truth and its consequent freedom. However, there is an immediate blistering verbal attack against Jesus’ promise of freedom as a result of being His disciple: “They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” (v. 33).

*To be published in a forthcoming book, The Gospel of John: Faith Alone in Christ Alone, edited by Rick Whitmire 1

John 8:27-32, The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982).

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What follows is an attempt to slander Jesus by making baseless allegations. He is accused, for instance, of being a Samaritan and possessing a demon—both expressions of dishonor and contempt (v.48-49). Moreover, Jesus Himself identifies His enemies as unbelievers: “You are of your father the devil” (v. 44) and “You do not believe Me” (v. 45). The Problem of the Response to Jesus’ Remarks Commentators have been quick to notice the problem in verse 33. Who is being addressed? The “they” of verse 33 has as its nearest possible antecedent “those Jews who believed” (v. 31). As C. H. Dodd puts it, “A group of Jews who are described as believers are accused of attempted murder and roundly denounced as children of the devil.”2 Or as Craig Keener sees it, “Although Jesus’ listeners initially believe, they are ready to kill Him by the end of the passage (8:59; cf. Ex 4:31; 5:21).”3 Jesus throughout John 8 is in conflict with His hearers and even says, “And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?” (v. 45). From this perspective, the Jews’ “belief” in verses 30-31 is false or momentary, and unbelief trumps faith in the end. The Existence of Unbelieving Believers? The apparent dissonance of this passage has led many eminent scholars to conclude that the believers in verses 30 and 31 have nothing more than a spurious, shallow, and temporary faith. The “belief” does not continue to express itself in committed discipleship. The faith lacks quality or content of some kind. Therefore, they have a faith that will not save. Indeed, it falls short of the requirements of saving faith. Some of the following are representative comments: “It is best to think that John is speaking of people who had made an outward profession, but a profession that did not go very deep. . . . This section of the discourse is addressed to those who believe, and yet do not believe.”4 “The validity of the belief re-

2

C. H. Dodd, More New Testament Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1968), 42.

3

Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1993), see Jn 8:30. 4

Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John. Rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1995), 403.

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ferred to here seems questionable. The people’s lack of perception and shallowness of commitment are reflected in their response to Jesus’ initial counsel.” 5 “Jesus is talking to people who `believed in Him’ (v. 30) though this does not exempt Jesus from designating them `sons of the devil’ (v. 44). In other words, these so-called believers have not remained in Jesus’ word and are therefore not truly disciples—they belong to the devil.”6 For these commentators the terms of committed discipleship are essential to the terms of salvation. If one exercises true saving faith one will remain or abide in Christ and His word. Only then can one be assured of salvation. An individual who has a shallow temporary faith has a fraudulent faith. Believing Believers Distinguished from “Believing” Unbelievers? A variation on this view is that true believers are depicted in verse 30 as distinguished from the unbelieving “believers” of verse 31. The argument calls attention to the fact that there are two different Greek constructions. Since pisteuo eis (“believe in”) is the typical expression for those who exercise saving faith in John, this faith must be genuine. Here we have believing believers (v. 30). However, in verse 31 we have a different Greek construction-- pisteuo plus the dative (i.e. “believed Him”) which according to this view means that the Jews were impressed enough with Jesus’ message to give Him an outward affirmation. Here we have unbelieving believers introduced in contrast to the believing believers in verse 30. The Jews of verse 31 were persuaded of His teaching as to whom He was as far as it went, but their faith stopped short of true saving faith because of a lack of commitment. The key to saving faith is continuance in Christ’s word. Characteristic of such a view, Marvin Vincent concludes that the remarks in verse 31 are directed towards those whose “faith is rudimentary; who believed Him, but did not believe on Him.”7 5

Merrill Tenney, “The Gospel of John,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 9:94. 6

Alan P. Stanley, Did Jesus Teach Salvation by Works? (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2006), 256-57. Stanley equates the terms of salvation with that of committed discipleship. See also John Murray’s Redemption—Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1955), 152, which stresses that if a person truly believes, he will without fail continue to follow Jesus and persevere. 7

Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1906), 2:173. See also Dan Lioy’s, Jesus as Torah in John 1-12 (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2007), 154.

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Such a distinction between two kinds of belief, however, is not made clear by the text, and Jesus seems to answer them as though they are genuine believers (verses 31-32). Are the persons who “believed on Him” the same as those to whom He spoke in this verse (v. 31)? Or are there two different groups, one that savingly believes on Jesus and another which simply believes what He had just taught them about Him being the Messiah? Is there a subtle distinction being made between assent and trust? Had they really come to believe in what Jesus had already taught them? It is, of course, important to hear and understand the truths Jesus expected them to believe. He starts by telling them He is the Light of the world (v.12).8 This testimony is true since the Father bears witness with Him that such is the case (v.13-18). Jesus communicated that He knew from whence He came and that He is going where they cannot (v.14). He had identified Himself as the One who was from above (v.23) and the One who has power over life and death (v.24). Such claims to divine authority prompted the question in verse 25, “Who are you?” Jesus discloses Himself as the One sent by the Father (v.26), the Son of Man (v.28), the One who speaks the truth taught Him by His Father (v.26, 28), and the One who always pleases the Father (v.29). What was the response of some of the Jews? They “believed Him” with regard to His claim regarding His person and the terms of salvation (v. 31; see esp. v. 24 where Jesus gives them instruction on how they can escape dying in their sins, and have life). Thus this variant view dissolves into confusion unless the Jews were totally dense in the face of what they were hearing Jesus teach concerning Himself. Jesus touched on His deity and the absolute necessity of believing on Him for salvation. Who could intelligently affirm such claims by “believing” except a truly genuine believer? The Solution of True Believers Distinct from Hostile Unbelievers A third view holds that the believers of John 8:30-32 represent a genuine response of faith to the claims of Jesus. Therefore, they were truly saved, but in need of growth and development as disciples. This interpretation leaves us with the thorny question as to the identity of the “they” from verse 33. While the “they” of verse 33 seems to refer back 8

“The world is in darkness, a symbol of evil, sin, and ignorance (Isa. 9:2; Matt. 4:16; 27:45; John 3:19). ‘Light’ in the Bible is a symbol of God and His holiness (Acts 9:3; 1 John 1:5). Jesus is ‘the Light,’ not merely a light or another light among many lights. He is the only Light, ‘the true Light’ (John 1:9), for the whole world.” - Edwin A. Blum, "John", in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), Jn 8:12.

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to the believers of verses 30-31, not all commentators are so persuaded. They admit that the problem of the nearest antecedent being the Jews who believed makes this passage difficult, but they are inclined to see them as genuine believers and the “they” in verse 33 as referring to Jesus’ Jewish opponents who were stirred to greater hostility through Jesus’ remarks to these new believers.9 Augustine understood that the audience of v.31-32 was different from Jesus’ audience of verses 33f.: “In short, the Jews also so understood and ‘answered Him;’ not those who had already believed, but those in that crowd who were not yet believers.”10 This would mean that Jesus’ words in verses 31-32 are to be seen as an aside to genuine believers within the hostile crowds.11 There emerges a contest for the allegiance of these new believers which exacerbates the controversy between Jesus and the Pharisees. The object of the opponents is to justify themselves as well as to create insecurity and doubt in the face of this initial emergence of faith. They, as Jews, are offended that Jesus should imply they are not free. They believe themselves to be already free; how can Jesus promise these new believers something they already have?12

9

George R. Beasley-Murray, John, vol. 36 of Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987), states, “We should recognize that there is not a hint in vv. 30-32 that the faith of the believers is inadequate or insincere. By contrast the would-be murderers of Jesus are told in v. 37 ‘My word οὐ χωρεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν,’ which means that it has not begun to penetrate their minds (see Schnackenburg, 490 n.82).” See also Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory and Practical on the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), 3:403; R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel (Columbus, OH: Lutheran Book Concern, 1942), 626-633; Warren W. Wiersbe, "An Exposition of the New Testament Comprising the Entire 'BE' Series," in The Bible Exposition Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1989), 1:322; Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in one volume (Hendrickson: Peabody, 1991), 1969; Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 1335. 10

Augustine of Hippo, "Lectures or Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John," trans. John Gibb and James Innes In, in A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series, Volume VII: St. Augustine: Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies, ed. Philip Schaff (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 230. 11

Joseph Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings (Miami Springs, Fla: Schoettle Publishing Co., 1992), 155. 12

The Jews in verse 33 manifested a curious state of denial of their need for freedom. They had been physical slaves of such powers as Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and now Rome. Their denial of ever having been in slavery was probably an assertion that in spite of Gentile domination and the loss of their sovereign rule over the land of Israel, any deficiencies were covered by their covenant relationship with God through Abraham which in their eyes made them “sons of Kings” (cf. Matt. 8:12). See George R. Beasley-Murray, John, vol. 36 of Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987), 133-34. But Jesus was talking about slavery to sin and spiritual freedom from it (vs. 34).

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That the “they” in verse 33a are not true believers is affirmed by many others such as Bernard in his commentary on John. He senses that the rapid psychological change from a positive mindset of belief to instant defensiveness and animosity presents an insuperable difficulty to coming to such a conclusion: “Those who made the answer which follows were not the Jews who ‘believed Him’ (v. 31), but the Jewish objectors, with whom throughout this chapter Jesus is engaged in controversy. He could not have charged ‘the Jews who believed Him’ with seeking His life (vv. 37, 39).”13 In light of this long-standing scholarly controversy, this article affirms that the “they” of verse 33 refers not to the believing Jews of verses 30-31, but the unbelieving crowd at large. From this perspective, John 8:31-32 interrupts a controversy with Jesus’ opponents and is an aside to those who believe, while verse 33 resumes the dispute that had been brewing since the start of the chapter. Such an interpretation requires an examination of Greek grammar, particularly of the conventions of pronoun/antecedent usage. These conventions, in Greek writing, allow a more remote antecedent for the “they” of verse 33 than “the Jews who believed Him” of verses 30-31. In addition, the contexts of John 8 -- both the immediate context of the chapter itself and the larger context of the Gospel as a whole – also distinguish the unbelieving “they” in verse 33 from the believers of verses 30-31. Ultimately, this article maintains that the Jews who responded to Jesus in a hostile manner are not the same as the Jews who had just believed in verses 30-31. More broadly, this article asserts that John’s term for “believe” (pisteuo) consistently refers to saving faith, and argues that the distinction between initial salvation and commited discipleship is scripturally faithful and accurate. A Grammatical Understanding of John 8:27-33 The possibility of a remote antecedent permits the “they” of verse 33 to refer to unbelievers rather than false professors. Since a pronoun in English is usually linked to its nearest antecedent to identify the noun to which it refers, it seems quite natural for the English reader to take the they (autoi) as referring to “those Jews who believed Him.” However, this level of precision does not necessarily hold true in Greek. Autoi, the plural form of the Greek word, autos, is translated “they” in verse 33. The pronoun autos has a certain amount of flexibility. It may “be used inexactly in a series referring to dif-

13

J. H. Bernard, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1928), 2:306.

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ferent persons.”14 Often it “is used rather laxly, where the subject or object to which it must be referred is not expressly indicated, but must be gathered from some preceding name…or from the context.”15 An example of this can be found in Matthew 12. Verse 10 says, “And behold, there was a man (ἄνθρωπος) who had a withered hand. And they asked Him (αὐτὸν, i.e. Jesus) , saying, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’—that they might accuse Him (αὐτὸν, i.e. Jesus) .” The “Him” refers to Jesus, not to the man with a withered hand, though that is the nearest possible antecendent grammatically. In verses 13-14 it says “he stretched it forth…The Pharisees held a consultation against Him.” The first “he” is the man who had had a withered hand, the second use of autos (“Him’) refers to Jesus. In Matthew 22:15 “Him” refers to Jesus who is mentioned in Matthew 22:1—more than 220 words back in the context! A similar instance occurs in Acts 4:10-11. As in Matthew 12, Peter’s claim that “This is the stone which was rejected by you builders” logically refers to Christ, even though the nearest grammatical antecedent is the crippled man who was healed, “this man [who] stands here before you whole” from verse 10. In other words, the demonstrative pronoun οὗτός in verse 11 (i.e. Christ) finds a near antecedent grammatically in οὗτος (i.e. man who was healed), but conceptually the context forbids equating the two demonstrative pronouns. They do not refer to the same individual. In addressing the problem of the nearest antecedent, Dillow raises the question, “Should the `they’ of verse 33 refer to those in verse 32 and not the Pharisees of verses 27-29?” He then explains, “Not necessarily. The principle of the near antecedent is only suggestive and not absolute.”16 What might be the nearest antecedent grammatically might not be the nearest antecedent in the author’s mind. Applied to the case of John 8:33, Dillow’s insight suggests that the referent of the pronoun is not to be determined by the nearest possible grammatical antecedent. Since 14

Danker, Frederick William, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 153. 15

J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (New York: American Book Company, 1886), 86. 16

Joseph Dillow. Final Destiny: the Future Reign of the Servant Kings (Monument, CO: Paniym Group, 2012), 358, footnote 1230.

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verses 31-32 are an aside, the antecedent for the “they” of verse 33 must be inferred from the larger context of the passage which overshadows the conventions of grammar. A Contextual Understanding of John 8:27-33 The larger context of the Gospel of John strongly suggests the “they” of verse 33 refers to unbelievers rather than false professors. In surveying the Gospel of John, Merrill C. Tenney outlines the general development of the book along the lines of a period of consideration followed by a period of controversy, followed by a period of conflict, followed by a period of crisis that eventually culminates in a period of consummation involving the arrest, trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus.17 Comparison of Jesus’ believing disciples with unbelieving religious leaders and the divided multitudes forms a prominent theme throughout the book.18 Likewise, the immediate context of the chapter replicates in miniature the structure of the book. John 8 is a part of this general movement falling within the period of conflict. This conflict, as is often the case, moves towards a climax. For instance, after verse 33, Jesus calls His opponents slaves to sin (v. 34-36). Then He says they wish to kill Him because they do not believe His word (v. 37-40). He identifies their father as Satan since, like Satan, they cannot hear what Jesus says and they follow his murderous example (v.41-44). They do not believe on Christ (v.45). They do not belong to God (v.47). At this point Jesus’ angry unbelieving opponents accuse Him of being demonpossessed and pick up stones to stone Him (v.48). This does not sound like a group that “believed in Him” (v.30)! A remote antecedent is required to rescue the text from such dissonance. Lenski, while not calling attention to the grammatical possibility of a remote antecedent, clearly understands that the context provides strong guidance towards seeing the “they” of verse 33 as referring not to “believers” invited to begin a life of discipleship, but unrepentant unbelievers who were present from the beginning of the chapter. They are simply continuing the hostility they have shown throughout the earlier part of the chapter:

17

Merrill C. Tenney, John: the Gospel of Belief (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948).

18

See literary analysis of Roy B. Zuck in Basic Bible Interpretation (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1991), 132-133. Because of space we do not replicate it here or even expand on his analysis, but he convincingly shows that these themes are prominent in John.

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From v. 21 to the end of the chapter is one uninterrupted narration. The persons participating are the same throughout, Jesus and a crowd of Jews. At first all are hostile to Jesus [some may be neutral], but by the time we reach v.29 a goodly number are actually won to believe in him (note the statement of this as a fact by means of the aorist, ἐπίστευσαν, in v.30), not through miracles, but through words of warning coupled with grace which these men have just heard. In some way or other not indicated by John, these believers manifest their change of heart. At once Jesus has a word for them in particular. No sooner does He utter it than the hostile crowd of Jews raises further objection. They act just as they did from the start: they pick at some point to which to object (compare v. 22 and 25; also 13 and 19). John does not need to say in v. 33 who these objectors are, for we have heard them from the very start, and their objection is of the same type as before. Jesus answers them in v. 34, etc. But they go on. The clash becomes more and more intense until these Jews take up stones, and Jesus leaves them.19 Note that Lenski states that “John does not need to say who these objectors are.” This is because much of the Gospel and, of course, almost all of chapter 8 deal with Jesus’ pronouncements instigating increasing Jewish hostility (e.g. 8:3, 13, 21-22, 37, 40, 4448, 52, 59) while a remnant ends up coming to genuine faith (8:30-31). In commenting on the phrase, “They answered Him,” the Nelson NKJV Study Bible observes, “Throughout this chapter, Jesus was engaged in an exchange with His antagonists, the Pharisees (v. 13). They are also designated by the term Jews (vv. 22, 48, 52, 57) and the pronoun they (vv 19, 25, 27, 33, 39, 41, 59).”20 “Verses 30-32 are a parenthesis to those in the crowd who believed in Him as they heard what He [Jesus] said to His opponents. In v. 33 the Jewish leaders once again speak. Thus, the objection in this verse is from Christ’s antagonists, not the believers of vv 30-32.”21 C. H. Dodd correctly observes that even if a partial faith is meant, this can hardly be reconciled with a desire to kill Jesus a few lines later.22 A Lexical Understanding of John 8: 27-33 19

R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel (Columbus, OH: Lutheran Book Concern, 1942), 627-28. See also chart outlining Jesus’ words followed by the the Pharisees’ response at bottom of p. 1334 in Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1999). 20

Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 1778.

21

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 1335.

22

C. H. Dodd, 42.

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The use of pisteuo in 8:30 and 31 indicates that those who believed were genuinely saved and would hardly develop killer instincts against Jesus on the spur of the moment. The Greek word, pisteuo, is consistently used in the Gospel of John to indicate saving faith. In particular pisteuo + eis means “believe in or believe into” and occurs in verse 30 where it says “many believed in Him.” This expression is common in the Greek New Testament. It occurs over 30 times in the Gospel of John alone. It is first found in John 1:12 where it is translated “to those who believe in (pisteuo + eis) His name.” The first use sets the tone for how we are to understand this expression throughout the entire book. Believing is a matter of receiving Christ and results in the one believing becoming a child of God. In John it is a simple, unassuming, and straightforward way of saying a person genuinely believed (John 1:12; 2:11, 23; 3:16, 18, 36; 4:39; 6:29, 35, 40; 7:5, 31, 38, 39, 48; 8:30; 9:35, 36; 10:42; 11:25, 26, 45, 48; 12:36. 37, 42, 44, 46; 14:1, 12; 16:9 12:42).23 The burden of proof is on the interpreter to show that it is not used this way. The assertion that “pisteuo eis is used in a context [here] that reflects a limited faith”24 is to be rejected since we have seen that Greek grammar permits the “they” of verse 33 not to be linked with the Jews who had believed (vv 3031) and that the most natural way to read the context is to see we have a parenthetical report of and instruction to true believers within the larger context of Jesus’ conflict with His opponents. The use of pisteuo in verse 31 is slightly different in that it speaks about the Jews “believing Him” (i.e. Jesus) rather than “believing in Him.” Pisteuo + the Greek dative form of the pronoun “Him“ is used in that verse. However, to believe Jesus is to believe His word and is the functional equivalent of believing in Him. In pisteuo + eis and in pisteuo + the dative, each expression implies the other. One cannot say as some do that pisteuo + eis necessarily indicates true saving faith and pisteuo + the dative does not. John 5:24 indicates that pisteuo + the dative is used of saving faith: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me (πιστεύων τῷ πέμψαντί με) has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

23

John uses other equivalent uses of pisteuo to indicate saving faith in pisteuo + hoti (Jn. 11:27 as well as possibly 16:27, 30 and 17:8. 21) and pisteuo + en (Jn. 3:15). Note the pisteuo + hoti construction in John 8:24 that includes a negation. To not believe that Jesus is who He claims to be is to die in one’s sins (i.e. not be saved). For such a one who does so, no foundation for saving faith exists. 24

Francis J. Moloney, Signs and Shadows: Reading John 5-12 (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996),

103n.

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Certain Jews among the larger group believed Jesus, meaning they believed what Jesus had just said. Confidence in His word is an integral part of saving faith. Lack of confidence in Christ’s word has the opposite effect: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am he, you will die in your sins (Jn. 8:24).” These Jews trusted in Christ to save them, assuming that what He told them was true. One can imagine perhaps an inquisitive response on the part of these new believers when Jesus said the truth would set them free, but not such a knee jerk denial. It was indeed commendable that they had come this far given the peer pressure all around them to reject Jesus, but once the momentum had started, it is hard to explain such a sudden reversal in a bold denial (vss. 33f) of what He had just said to people who would naturally be described as genuine believers. The Nature of Faith According to the Gospel of John In scholarly commentary on John 8: 31-33, we have seen an attempt to identify those who believed on Jesus’ name as having spurious faith because they lacked a commitment to a continuous higher level of faith. This idea is sometimes buttressed by appealing to other passages in John to show that shallow faith is not true saving faith. Three such passages are John 2:23-25, John 12:42-43, and John 6:64-66.25 In each of these passages, John uses the term pisteuo; likewise, in each of these passages, the attempt to distinguish between true and spurious faith is unconvincing. John 2:23-25 In John 2:23, the Scripture says, “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.” John 2:23 echoes the words of John 1:12: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in (pisteuo + eis) His name.” To fail to believe on His name results in condemnation (3:18). The one who believes has life “through His name (20:31).” Therefore, believing in His name is what one must do to become a child of God. It would be natural to assume that these Jerusalem believers were genuinely saved.

25

Andreas J. Kostenberger, Theology of John’s Gospel and His Letters, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), 471.

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However, it is alleged that John 2:24-25 shows such a conclusion to be false. There it says, “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for he knew what was in man.” The implication of these verses is that Jesus was continually aware or “knowing” (the imperfect tense in the Greek indicates continuous action in past time) of man’s fickle nature in spiritual matters. On the basis of verses 24 and 25 it is maintained by some that the faith exercised by the hearers was not saving faith. It was inadequate and insufficient because it was based on signs and was merely intellectual in nature.26 But John 2:24-25 does not overthrow the idea that these were genuine believers. It is more likely John was simply saying that new believers were still men with a sinful nature. Though saved they could not always be trusted with a more intimate relationship with Him. Their thoughts, words, and deeds might still in some respect work against His purposes. Therefore,He could not entrust Himself to them. They were not unbelieving “believers” who were not saved, but untrustworthy saved believers who had not yet had time to mature. However, if they were to continue in Jesus’ word as John 8:32 prescribes, they would really be His disciples, and would experience freedom from sin and, therefore, intimacy with Christ. Young believers who have still not gained victory over sinful or unstable tendencies can be a liability to the ministry. Full commitment to Jesus’ word is lacking at this point.27 At any rate, it cannot be clearly shown that the reason

26

E.g. Herschell H. Hobbs, An Exposition of the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968), 74. However, Charles C. Bing argues, “Though signs prompted this faith, faith had as its object `His name,’ not His signs. Faith prompted by signs is seen elsewhere in John (1:47-49; 2:11; 4:52-53; 10:4142; 11:42, 45; 20:26-29). Jesus even encouraged faith based on signs (1:50-51; 10:37-38; 14:11) and the apostle John expected signs to duce faith (12:37; 20:31). The ultimate miraculous sign, the resurrection, was expected to prompt faith as well.” – Charles C. Bing, “The Condition for Salvation in John’s Gospel,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 9:16 (Spring 1996): 35, available online at: www.faithalone.org/journal/1996i/Bing.html. (accessed 4/15/2013). 27

Zane C. Hodges, “Untrustworthy Believers – John 2:23-25,” Bibliotheca Sacra (April-June 1978): 139-152. In his comments on John 20:30-31 Hodges notes that it is a mistake to infer that faith founded on signs was necessarily inferior to the point of being false. He states, “So far was John from disowning a faith based on signs that he actually included them in his book to elicit belief on the part of his readership! For this reason also he found fault with those who do not believe in response to the signs: ‘But though he had done so many miracles [σημεία, 'signs'] before them, yet they believed not on him’ (12:37).” – p. 141. See also “Jesus' Omniscience: Looking into the Hearts of People in John 2-6” by Gary W. Derickson, Evangelical Theological Society Conference Papers. Theological Research Exchange Network (2003), http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/papers/ets/2003/Derickson/Derickson.pdf

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that Jesus would not commit to these who “believed on His name” was because they were still unsaved. It seems best to interpret this passage by clear statements (e.g. v. 23) rather than those that are less clear (v. 24-25). John 12:42-43 In John 12 we have a situation where Jewish rulers believe in Christ, yet it is claimed that they have a deficient faith so far as salvation is concerned:28 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (v. 42-3) Is the faith herein described weak, deficient, inadequate, and lacking in courage? The answer is, “yes.” But it is not the strength or weakness of one’s faith that saves; it is the strength of the Object of faith. A sincere faith, no matter how weak, placed in a strong Savior is adequate for salvation. An old saying that bears repeating is, “A weak faith will bring our souls to heaven, but a strong faith will bring heaven to our souls.” The expression “many believed in Him” was a typical way of expressing saving faith (e.g. John 2:11; 3:16, 18; 4:39; 6:29, 40; 7:31, 39; 11:45). If we take this expression in the plain ordinary sense, the ones who believed were truly saved. Also, it is important to see that John 12:42-43 forms a contrast with verse 37: “But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him.” But then verse 42 tells us: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him.” The natural way to take this contrast is that verse 37 is clearly referring to unbelievers while verse 42 is clearly talking about believers with no qualifiers attached! The reaction of the rulers who believed in Christ was, of course, inconsistent with their newfound belief, yet it was understandable. Nicodemus is one, for instance, who is not very open about his faith. He has trouble outwardly confessing his beliefs. He starts by coming to Jesus by night (John 3:1), gives a half-hearted defense of Jesus later (7:5051 ), but in the end, at least, helps Joseph of Arimathea (himself a “secret disciple” heretofore) with the body of Jesus (19:38-39). (accessed 1/15/2013). In footnote 1, Derickson provides a host of commentators who have jumped to the conclusion that John 2:24-25 must refer to those who came to a faith that did not qualify as saving faith. 28

D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 450-51.

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Those who had believed were silenced by fear. This is not uncommon among Christians even today who would wish to bear witness, but realize there will be a price to pay if they do. The rulers did not confess Christ. Why? “. . . lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (12:42b43). Confessing Jesus openly could have enormous consequences both socially and economically. The requirements of discipleship demand they openly share in Christ’s rejection (Luke 14:27), but at this point they chose not to do this. They were not ready. They should have stood up for Him as the disciples later on should have too, but faith needed time and experience to mature so as to produce that level of commitment.29 John 6:64-66 One other passage in John speaks of certain disciples who followed Jesus and then turned away from Him when He began telling them of the terms of His salvation, the cost in suffering He would have to pay to secure their salvation, and the heavenly origin of the One who came to secure their salvation. In this chapter Jesus identifies Himself as the Bread of Life. He provides eternal life. The one who believes in Him has that life (6:47). Jesus identifies Himself as the One from heaven who has come to meet spiritual needs, not just provide a free meal. A turning point occurs when Jesus says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you (v. 53).” Among the disciples are some who do not believe (v. 64) and hence are not saved. As a result they are offended. The outcome was that they “went back and walked with Him no more (v. 66).” If one accepts that the word, disciple, is always used of a saved person, then it means that these believers also have temporary and inadequate faith. But it is possible for a person to be a disciple and yet not to be a believer in any identifiable sense, as verse 64 shows. A disciple is a follower or learner. The spectrum of discipleship runs the gamut of spiritual response. The different levels of discipleship in the New Testament are as follows: 1) the counterfeit (Lk. 22:3 – hidden unbelief, i.e. Judas) 2) the curious 29

For a fuller discussion see Robert N. Wilkin, Confident in Christ (Irving, TX: Grace Evangelical Society, 1999), 31-36.

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(Matt. 4:25) 3) the critical (Jn. 6:26, 63f. – open unbelief 4) the convinced (Jn. 2:11-12) 5) the capitulating (Matt. 26:56) 6) the conforming (Acts 14:22) 7) the committed (Lk. 14:27, 33). The counterfeit, curious, and critical would comprise unbelievers. The rest would represent true believers. As such, “disciples may or may not be genuine believers.”30 Jesus had told these disciples clearly, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (v. 47). But they refused to believe: “But there are some of you who do not believe” (v. 64). John 6:64-66 represents shallow unsaved followers (i.e. disciples), who when informed of and tested by the truth of salvation, disclosed a critical spirit of unbelief. Their status as curious disciples changed to those who were critical. There is a fork in the road before the curious. It is labeled belief or unbelief. A choice must be made. One can be an unsaved disciple, but not an unbelieving believer who is lost. The absence of qualifiers in the Gospel of John for the word “believe” is noteworthy in establishing that there is no distinction in John between spurious faith and genuine faith. As Bing concludes, John does not condition salvation on whether one “really believes” or “truly believes.” Neither does he speak of “genuine faith,” “real faith,” or “effectual faith.” There is only one kind of faith. One either believes in something or he does not. Therefore, those who speak of “spurious faith” or “false faith” are psychologizing faith as the Scripture neither does, nor provides a basis for doing. In contrast, John does use qualifiers to distinguish the real from the fraudulent in other concepts. He speaks of the “true light” (1:9), “true bread” (6:32), “true vine” (15:1), “true worshippers” (4:23), and “true God” (17:3). When he shows that even the unsaved can be referred to as disciples (6:60-64), he later calls the saved who adhere to His word “disciples indeed” (8:31).31 Free Salvation versus Committed Discipleship

30

Thomas L. Constable. Notes on John. 2008 ed., 139. Avilable online at: http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/john.pdf (last accessed December 10, 2009). 31

Bing, 32.

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Are all believers committed disciples who will continue in their faith and practice, or is there a difference between committed disciples (the smaller group) and believers (the larger group)? Are all believers committed disciples, or may some Christians struggle in living up to their calling? The view of “believing” unbelievers or unbelieving “believers” based on John 8:31-33 means that faith is not real until it is strong enough to produce the works that committed discipleship demands. One must “really” believe in order to “really” be Christ’s disciple. Here the terms of salvation are fulfilled by the terms of committed discipleship. One’s belief, then, is evidenced by one’s adherence to Christ’s word over an unprescribed and indefinite period of time. But the truth is that eternal life begins at a point in time for one who believes. That eternal life is instantaneous appears in such passages as John 5:24: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” The one who believes is instantly translated out of the sphere of death into the sphere of life. The decision to believe results in an event—crossing a line from death to life! Furthermore, that eternal life is irreversible once received is evident from John 10:28-29. The one who has eternal life “shall never (a double negative in the Greek) perish.” When the Philippian jailor did what Paul commanded: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved,” he rejoiced in the confidence that salvation was his possession (Acts 16:31). Did he have to continue for a prolonged period by reading and obeying God’s word to discover he was saved? It does not make sense that John 8:31-32 refers to professing believers who were in reality lost because they did not continue in Jesus’ word as committed disciples, when the New Testament indicates that there is such a significant difference between committed discipleship and free salvation.32 The Bible teaches that eternal life is a free gift (Romans 6:23). Salvation is not of works; it is by grace (Eph. 2:8-9). It is not a paradox to say, “Salvation is free, but it can be very costly to the individual seeking salvation”-- it is a blatant contradiction! Either salvation is free or it is not free. To try to assert both is to

32

The salvation in view here is deliverance from the penalty of sin (death and hell), the first phase in God’s salvation program which subsequently enables deliverance from the power of sin and climaxes in deliverance from the presence of sin. This pattern is observed in the book of Romans which proceeds from a discussion of justification to sanctification to glorification.

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violate the law of non-contradiction which states that two opposite assertions cannot be true at the same time in the same way. Several contrasts can be found between salvation and discipleship. The following are contrasts between free salvation and committed discipleship which should be noted. a. Who is invited. 1) Appeals for committed discipleship are only to believers (Jn. 8:31).33 2) Appeals for a free salvation are directed only to unbelievers (Acts 16:30-31). b. Time of the invitation. The call to discipleship occurs after the call to salvation. Contrast John 1:40-42 (Peter led to Christ) with Mt. 4:18-22; Mk. 1:16-20 (Peter follows Christ as a disciple). This is important to note in that some complain about preaching a two stage gospel in which one may accept Christ by faith and later on dedicate his life to Him. c. Nature of the invitation. 1) 2)

Salvation is free (Rom. 3:24). Discipleship is costly (Lk. 14:27-28).

d. Permanency. 1) 2)

Salvation cannot be lost because it depends on God's faithfulness (Jn. 6:37, 39). Discipleship can be lost because it depends on our faithfulness (Lk. 9:61-62). 33

It may be argued that the terms of discipleship were imposed on a lost person in the case of the rich young ruler (Matt. 19, Mk. 10, Luke 18). However, the situation is unique. The terms of discipleship that Jesus imposes on him are actually in context an application of the law. The command to sell all that he has and give to the poor was an application of the commandment, "Thou shalt not covet." Jesus was telling him not to desire whatever God had seen fit to withhold from him. The command to give to the poor was an application of loving one's neighbor as oneself and the command to follow Christ was an application of the commandment to love God with all of one's being and to have no other gods before Him [coveteousness is idolatry]. On this occasion the law and the demands of discipleship were the same. His purpose was to bring this young man to a realization that he had not lived up to nor could he live up to the demands of the law. Since that was the case, he was a sinner in need of a Savior because salvation by works was impossible. To attempt this kind of discipleship would only end in despair since it was impossible for the one to whom the command was given (Matt. 19:26). See the author’s article, “Did the Rich Young Ruler Hear the Gospel According to Jesus.” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society. 13:24 (Spring 2000). http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2000ii/Haller_RichYoungRuler.pdf

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e. Benefits. 1) 2)

The benefit of salvation is eternal life (Titus 1:2). The benefit of discipleship is rewards (Mk. 10:29-30).

f. Manner of the invitation 1) The invitation to salvation is urgent in tone, encouraging immediate decision without prior calculation of cost (Lk. 14:23). 2) The invitation to discipleship is couched in words of cautious warning against a hasty decision (Lk. 14:28-32). g. Results 1) Salvation renders one free from the bondage of sin with respect to its penalty [i.e. death] (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 2:14-15). 2) Discipleship renders one free from the bondage of sin in daily living (Jn. 8:33). h. Conditions 1) Salvation comes through an act of faith in Christ’s word regarding eternal life. (Jn. 4:10; 5:24) 2) Being a disciple indeed comes through continual obedience to all of Christ’s teachings [i.e. His word] (Jn. 8:31). It is, of course, immensely important to notice that Jesus’ intention was to take those who believed on Him to the highest level of discipleship. Abiding in Christ’s word means more than just continuing in the truth of the gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. It is a call to obedience to any and all of the teachings of Christ. Abiding in His word means one is abiding in Christ and in His love. This involves keeping Christ’s word (i.e. commandments) whatever they may be (Jn. 15:1-10; I Jn. 2:36).34 To abide in Christ’s word speaks of fellowship, not salvation.35 34

Keeping Christ’s word does not always involve abiding, but believing. For instance, not seeing death is the result of keeping Christ’s word. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death” (Jn. 8:51). However, later Jesus says, “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die . . .” (Jn. 11:26). Not dying is the result of believing. The death being

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The believers in John 8:31-32 had already entered into Jesus’ word that informed them who He was and of how to enter a relationship with Him. What they needed to know now was truth in all of its multifaceted fullness, that is, the whole counsel of God. That would be a liberating experience. Christ’s message of good news had freed them already from the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23). Now, since they were saved, living out a fuller commitment to all of Jesus’ teachings would liberate them from the bondage of sin and give them a victorious, abundant life (Gal. 5:13; I Pet. 2:16). The larger unmoved audience reacted like someone reading someone else’s mail as if it were for them, but they were not ready for the freedom of which Jesus spoke.36 Jesus wanted to liberate them from sin as well through the same progression – saving faith followed by committed discipleship – but in their self-righteousness, they refused to acknowledge that they needed such liberation (Jn. 8:33). They were slaves of sin, but the same freedom was available to them (v. 34). Conclusion The Jews who “believed on Him” in verse 30 and who “believed Him” in verse 31 are the same. They are genuine believers who entered into a life of discipleship as ones who were convinced. They are faced with a choice. They can either continue in Jesus’ word as conforming disciples or chose not to and become capitulating disciples. Their salvation was instantaneous and irreversible because they believed (John 5:24; 10:2829). They could now progress over a period of time and end up as disciples indeed by continuing in Jesus’ word. This would bring them freedom from sin. The Gospel of John indicates that not all who believe have a strong enough initial faith to have intimacy with Christ and to confess Him before men. But the prospect exists that they will

spoken of here is the second death since those to whom Jesus spoke all died physically (cf. Rev. 20:6). The condition for escaping the second death is not keeping Christ’s commandments, but of obeying the gospel imperative, to believe (Jn. 8:24; cf. Rom. 1:16 and Acts 16:31). Keeping His commandments cannot save, but keeping His word by believing His word of promise regarding salvation can. 35

See Joseph C. Dillow. “Abiding is Remaining in Fellowship: Another Look at John 15:1-6.” In Vital Biblical Issues, ed. by Roy Zuck (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1994). See also Robert J. Dean. “Abiding in Christ: A Dispensational Theology of the Spiritual Life: Part 1” Chafer Theological Seminary Journal. 07:1 (Jan 2001): 25-51. 36

The Greek word ὑμεῖς is used for emphasis in the phrase, “If you abide” (v. 32) no doubt to single out “those Jews who believed” in contrast to the larger unreceptive audience who did not.

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move progressively in an experiential sense from darkness into the light just as they have positionally done so in Christ by faith (Jn. 8:12; 12:36; cf. Lk. 1:79; Acts 26:18). Although the they of verse 33 seems to point to Jesus’ believing hearers as lacking an adequate faith, the subjects of that verse are not the same group. Greek grammar permits this understanding and the context virtually requires it. These believers are singled out from a larger group that the context shows has developed increasing hostility towards Christ stemming from unbelief. Such people will die in their sins both positionally and experientially. They are of their father the devil whom they imitate in their rejection of Christ (Jn. 8:44). They will not be saved until they do as the believers did in verse 30-31—believe. This interpretation preserves the distinction between salvation truth and discipleship truth. As the late beloved Bible teacher, M. R. DeHaan, founder of Radio Bible Class, now Day of Discovery, once observed: There is a vast difference between coming to Jesus for salvation, and coming after Jesus for service. Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ makes one a disciple. All believers are not disciples. To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel; to be a disciple one obeys the challenge to a life of dedicated service and separation. Salvation comes through the sacrifice; discipleship comes only by sacrifice of self and surrender to His call for devoted service. Salvation is free, but discipleship involves paying the price of a separated walk. Salvation cannot be lost because it depends upon God's faithfulness, but discipleship can be lost because it depends upon our faithfulness.37 The main reason for rejecting the idea that the believers in verse 30-31 are not saved is in the context. Bing reasons that, The objection of verse 33 is totally out of character with the inclination of those mentioned in verses 31 and 32. . . Such an interpretation prevents Christ, who says in v 45, `you do not believe Me,’ from contradicting John in vv 30-31 who 37

M. R. DeHaan, Hebrews: Twenty-Six Simple Studies in God’s Plan for Victorious Living (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959), 117. See Fred R. Lybrand’s fine treatment, “The Distinction between Salvation and Discipleship,” in Freely By His Grace, ed. J. B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire, and Rob B. Zuck (Grace Gospel Press, 2012).

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said they both `believed in Him’ and `believed Him.’ It is certainly better than calling these people `unbelieving believers.’38 In identifying these believers as true believers, we must never lose sight of the fact that wherever God freely grants a privilege (e.g. eternal life) apart from any human merit, He also gives a corresponding responsibility. The apostle Paul spent the bulk of Romans describing the resources of grace, but in 12:1-2 he reminds us that grace is not to be squandered: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. When a person receives Christ positionally he is free (Rom. 6:7, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22). However, there is also an experiential freedom that occurs when the believer reckons himself to be dead to sin (6:7). Then he realizes that sin shall not have dominion over him (v. 14). He does not have to let sin reign in his mortal body (v. 12), but can present his members as slaves of righteousness for holiness (v. 19). Jesus said basically the same thing to those new believers who had just experienced the mercy of God. He set before them the obligation and benefit of abiding in His word. He promised liberation from the power of sin. Abiding in the truth of His word secures and maintains that freedom in their lives.

38

Bing, 36. The unbelieving believers of whom Bing speaks are not in the same category as the man in Mark 9:24. This was a believer having trouble with doubt and seeking assistance. Bing is talking about the view dealt with in this chapter of those who initially agreed Jesus was the Messiah, but who turned on Him nonetheless, switching from whatever faith they had, short of saving faith, to rapid unbelief.

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Peter’s Denials Important Background Considerations Max G. Mills PhD Adjunct Professor of Biblical Counseling

Introduction The accounts of Peter’s denials in the Gospels contain many difficulties which have been frequently cited as contradictions. Harmonization of these narratives has been a matter of debate for many years. Arthur Wright, at the close of the nineteenth century, declared, “The Gospels have so mixed up the various incidents, that their statements are often confused.”1 Such instances of supposed Scriptural contradictions are used today by those who seek to ridicule literal interpretations of the Bible. In denying the historical accuracy of the Gospels, James Barr says, “Harmonization through the production of multiple events is the most thoroughly laughable of all devices of interpretation.”2 The questions regarding a harmonization of Peter’s denials directly relate to the prophecy given by the Lord Jesus Christ regarding those denials. The predictive statements of Christ must be evaluated as all other prophets on the basis of Deut. 18:22: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”(NASV) Both the credibility of the Lord’s prophecy and the credibility of the Bible as God’s revelation are at stake. Paul Feinberg has correctly evaluated the importance of this issue when he states, “The truth of His Word will be demonstrated in the fulfillment or failure of His words . . . the prophet is accredited by the total, absolute truthfulness of his words.”3 It is therefore important to prove that in the accounts relating to Peter’s denials, while the Gospel narratives are not exhaustive in their comprehensiveness, they are without error. The purpose of this article is to reconcile the divergences of circumstances in the Gospel accounts of Peter’s denials as far as it is necessary to demonstrate the historical accuracy of the events. The elements recorded in the narratives of the four Gospels can be harmonized. It will be established from the grammatical and contextual evidence 1

Arthur Wright, “The First Trial of Jesus,” The Expository Times 6 (October 1894 - September 1895):

2

James Barr, Fundamentalism (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1977), 57.

524.

3

Paul D. Feinberg, “The Meaning of Inerrancy,” in International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, Summit Papers, Norman L. Geisler, ed. (Oakland: International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978), 15.

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that Peter’s denials are limited to three occasions, that the denials are not necessarily recorded in the same order by all four Gospels, that the three denials recorded by each Gospel are portions of three episodes containing more extended argumentation, and that there is no valid basis for the claim that the differences in the narratives constitute error. Liberal theologians, claiming that textual detail invariably supports critical instead of conservative scholarship, often fault evangelical scholars for employing a characteristically vague hermeneutic when harmonizing Scripture.4 It is true that some incorrect evaluations have been made in the attempts to harmonize these narratives. There are differing views among conservative commentators and a good deal of debate about how the denial accounts should be treated. This study gathers the defensive answers supplied by conservative commentators and a good deal of the debate about how the denial accounts should be treated. These answers are presented in proof of an inerrant history of Peter’s downfall. As Feinberg clearly evaluates, “Inconsistencies are errors of the surest kind.”5 However, inerrancy does not mean total recall of an event, nor does selective or artistic omission constitute inconsistency. Certain points were omitted by each Gospel, and the statements made by the writers of the Gospels do not present an exhaustive account of every word spoken on the night of Peter’s denials.6 Far from inconsistent, however, the Gospels are complementary, with each Gospel adding to and fleshing out editorial elisions and omissions in other Gospels. This is why harmonization is necessary, and why interpolating the Gospels provides a more full – yet consistent – understanding of the events of the night Peter denied his Lord. In a second article in this series, an evaluation of the context of each denial will be made regarding location, source and content of accusation, and nature of Peter’s response. However, preliminary attention must first be given to several important background considerations, including the definition of “deny”, the number of “cock-crowings”, and the meaning of “cock-crow”, including the textual critical problem of Mark. 14:30. The Meaning of the Term “Deny” It is essential that one understand the meaning of the term “deny” in order to evaluate the statements made by Peter in the Gospel narratives. The Greek word used in the Lord’s prophecies of Peter’s denials is ἀπαρνήεομαι, and the Greek word used in indicating the fulfillment of the prophecy is ἀρνήεομαι. Arndt and Gingrich give the following 4

Barr, Fundamentalism, 59, 60.

5

Feinberg, “The Meaning of Inerrancy,” in Geisler, 22.

6

Ibid., 32.

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meanings for ἀρνήεομαι: (1) “refuse,” “disdain;” (2) “deny;” (3) “repudiate,” disown someone or something;” (4) “deny, disregard oneself.”7 Their definition of ἀπαρνήεομαι is “to deny in full.”8 Gray says that ἀρνήεομαι, with the prefix ἀπ, means “to disown” but when the prefix is added it has the meaning, “to disown totally” or “to the fullest extent.”9 Schlier indicates that in the New Testament the compound in no sense differs from ἀρνήεομαι, whether by suggesting treachery or by giving greater intensity. By New Testament times the original intensification had been largely lost. This is suggested by (a) the interchangeability in parallel passages; (b) the alternate use within the same sentence or short sections; and (c) the textual variants.10 Schlier defines ἀρνήεομαι as “to say no,” “to deny,” in description of a negative attitude towards a question or demand. According to Schlier: The following constitutive elements may be discerned in the concept of denial. (a) It relates primarily to a person, so that properly one can speak only of denying someone and not something. Its tendency is to be linked with a person. (b) ἀρνήεομαι implies a previous relationship of obedience and fidelity. It can take place only when there has first been acknowledgement and commitment. (c) . . . a failure to meet correctly the claim of Jesus Christ for a confession of discipleship (Matt. 10:33 and par.). The recorded instance is that of Peter’s denial. This is anxiety born of doubt as to the truth of the Lord, lest the judgment of the world in which we live will be one of contempt.11 Liddell and Scott define ἀρνήεομαι as, (1) “deny,” “disown,” (2) “refuse,” “renounce a duty or office,” “cast aside,” (3) “say, no,” “decline.” They list the meaning of ἀπαρνήεομαι as “deny utterly.”12 Moulton and Milligan give the meaning for both ἀπαρνήεομαι and ἀρνήεομαι as “disown.”13 7

William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1958), 107-8. 8

Ibid., 81.

9

James M. Gray, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1939), p. 830. 10

Heinrich Schlier, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1964), 471. 11

Ibid., 469-70.

12

Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), 244,180.

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On the basis of the definitions listed above, it is reasonable to conclude that denial may be expressed in a number of ways and may mean a number of things, including refusal, declination, disregard, disdain, disowning, and many other expressions of a negative attitude. In New Testament times there seems to be very little difference in intensity when the prefix ἀπ is used with ἀρνήεομαι. The choice of the term ἀπαρνήεομαι by our Lord in His prophecy was therefore not to indicate a type of treachery by Peter. The term then reasonably indicates the complete series of Peter’s three denials. Lane describes Peter’s reply in Mark 14:68 (“I neither know nor understand what you are talking about”) as a denial of the charge using the form common in Rabbinical law for a formal legal denial.14 This refusal to acknowledge his relationship to Jesus may seem to the reader nothing more than a means of avoiding the issue, but in reality it constitutes the fact of denial. Peter failed to acknowledge his discipleship. The use of πάλιν (again) in 14:70a shows that Mark regards both replies by Peter as denials.15 Thus, the terms used in both the prediction of Peter’s denials and in the narrative accounts of their occurrence agree as to basic definition. This definition has a broad enough meaning to adequately include Peter’s responses on each of the three occasions.

How Many Cock-Crowings? In Mark 14:30 the prophecy of Jesus concerning Peter’s denials states that the fulfillment would come “Before a cock crows twice.“ This quote is different from the other Gospels. Matthew, Luke, and John do not record the Greek word δὶς, meaning “twice,” in their account. This term has been omitted by some important manuscripts in Mark 14:30. For that reason it has been rejected by some translators and commentators. Two other verses in Mark chapter 14 are involved in the textual problems concerning the number of cock-crowings. Doubt has been expressed concerning the phrase ἐκ δευτέρου (“a second time”) in verse 72. Also in question is the phrase καὶ ἀλέκτωρ

13

James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of The Greek New Testament, (London: Hodder and Stroughton Limited, 1930), 53, 78. 14

William Lane, The Gospel According to Mark, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 542. 15

Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Mark (London: MacMillan and Company, Ltd., 1957),

575.

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ἐφώνησεν (“and a cock crowed”) in verse 68. These words in verse 68 have been rejected by Nestle and are given a “D” rating in the United Bible Society text. Hendriksen, however, believes that the argument for retention of these terms is stronger than some seem to think. He states: Is it not possible that a scribe, thinking that a mention of a rooster crowing in Mark 14:68 was in conflict with the story as presented in Matthew, etc., started the process of omitting it? May not something similar account for the omission of “twice” from verse 30 and of “the second time” from verse 72? It is easier in these cases to explain omission from the text than interpolation into it.16 Vincent Taylor says that there is good reason to accept δὶς in Mark 14:30 on the grounds that it is necessary to Mark’s story. He further reasons, “The authorities for omission are mainly Alexandrian with partial Western support, and seem to reflect desire to cancel the Markean allusion to two cock-crowings in favor of the one mentioned in Mt., Lk., and Jn.”17 J. W. Wenham, in support of two crowings, declares that the whole Byzantine text of Mark bears consistent witness to this version of the story and records the two crowings separately, the first at verse 68 and the second ἐκ δευτέρου in verse 72.18 Metzger also remains positive about the inclusion of the phrases in all three verses in question. He believes their omission arose from scribal assimilation to the parallels in Matthew 26:34, Luke 22:34, and John 13:38.19 Wenham in 1979 strongly supported the source of confusion as being an early interpolation of καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν into Mark’s text.20 However, later during the same year he wrote that he now disbelieves his own theory of interpolation.21

16

William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark, in New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), 618. 17

Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Mark (London: MacMillan and Company, Ltd., 1957), 550-74. 18

T. W. Wenham, “How Many Cock-Crowings”? The Problem of Harmonistic Text Variants,” New Testament Studies 25 (1979): 523. 19

Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies, 1971), 114. 20 Wenham, “How Many Cock-Crowings”?, 524. 21

David Brady, “The Alarm to Peter in Mark’s Gospel,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 4 (July 1979): 43.

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These observations give good reason to conclude that Mark’s detailed account of the double cock-crowing is reliable. As Smith says, in contrast with Mark’s more specific record, “Matthew, Luke and John would thus be giving a general statement” [emphasis added].22 With the validity of Mark’s account established, it is important to understand the meaning implied when the Gospels refer to “the cock crowing”. The Meaning of “Cock-Crow” The explanations for this term fall into three general categories: (1) The reference is to a bugle call, known as “gallicinium,” which sounded the end of the third watch of the night from 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. and marked the changing of the guard. (2) The term simply is an expression which implies “before dawn.” (3) The words are to be taken literally as referring to the crowing of a rooster.23 First Explanation The first view, that the term “cock-crow” as used in the denial narratives refers to the signal known as the gallicinium, is perhaps better understood when viewed in the text of Mark 13:35.24 Listed here in the verse are the four watches of the night. According to the Roman system, each watch lasted three hours. They are recorded as follows: (1) ὀψὲ, “the evening” or “late,” which was the first watch, lasting from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., (2) μεσονύκτιον, “the middle of the night,” the second watch, from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, (3) ἀλεκτοροφωνίας, (only here in the N. T.), the third watch, was from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 a.m., and (4) πρωί, “early” or “at dawn,” the fourth watch, from 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.25 Regarding this interpretation, J. H. Bernard states his opinion in this way: “‘Before the cock shall crow’ (John 13:38) would be a vague note of time, for cocks are apt to crow at uncertain hours during the night. But ‘before the ἀλεκτοροφωνίας’ is precise; and the hour of ἀλεκτοροφωνίας was made public by a military signal.”26 Vincent Taylor also sees the statement as a reference to the gallicinium or third watch of the night, sounded out by a bugle call.27 As well, C. H. Mayo understands these words to refer in a meta-

22

Charles Smith, “How Many Cock-Crowings?,” Grace Seminary Spire (Summer 1979): 3.

23

Robert G. Bratcher and Eugene A. Nida, A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of Mark (Federal Republich of Germany: United Bible Societies, 1961). 24

Ibid., 422-23.

25

Ibid., 422-23. J. H. Bernard, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John, A. H. McNeile, ed. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1929), 2:604. 26

27

Taylor, The Gospel According to Mark, 550.

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phorical sense to the gallicinium, the signal given on the buccina for the change of the guard at the close of the third night watch.28 There are several objections to this theory on the basis of language. First it should be noted that Jesus did not speak of πρὶν ἀλεκτοροφωνίας, “before cock-crow,” but rather πρὶν ἀλέκτωρ φωνῆσαι, “before a cock crows”(Mark 14:30).29 Brady explains the significance of this objection: When I write, “I heard a wolf whistle,” we are referring to something far more remarkable than if we write, “I heard a wolf-whistle,” for the latter sense contains a noun phrase which makes it quite clear that I did not hear the literal sibilations of a canine, but something far more human, and metaphorically described.30 While the Lord is referring to a particular time, He is doing so by referring to the sound of a rooster, not the sound of a bugle. This is evident by His choice of terms. The second objection is that ἀλέκτορα is anarthrous in the Gospels. It is best rendered into English as “a rooster”. If an event was intended (such as the gallicinium), then the definite article would most likely have been used with ἀλέκτορα. Brady further explains, “The force of the undefined noun is ‘any cock at all,’ and in particular, any cock that Peter may hear to crow that day.”31 A third objection is that ἦν δὲ πρωί in John 18:28 is not taken in the technical sense as meaning the fourth watch of the night (the period technically known as πρωί). It is better to translate ἦν δὲ πρωί in the non-technical sense, meaning, “and it was early.”32 Therefore πρὶν ἀλέκτωρ φωνῆσαι should also be rendered in the non-technical sense, because both phrases are in the same context. Lane explains that the third watch of the night was named “cock-crow” because of the comparative regularity of the cock-crowing during the period between midnight and 3:00

28

C. H. May, “St. Peter’s Token of the Cock Crow,” The Journal of Theological Studies 22 (1921):

29

Brady, ”The Alarm to Peter in Mark’s Gospel,” p. 45.

30

Ibid., 45.

31

Ibid., 45.

367.

32

Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971), 760.

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a.m.33 Therefore, in evaluating this first explanation, it must be conceded that the choice of language used in the text does not favor a reference to the gallicinium. Second Explanation The second view, that the phrase “before the cock crows” is simply an expression which implies “before dawn,” is a more widely accepted interpretation. Hendriksen defines this phrase as “before dawn.”34 Burton declares that the words “before a cock crows” are equivalent to saying, “tonight, before the day breaks again.”35 Lenski believes that two crowings were distinguished as marks of time, one near midnight, the other just before dawn. He says, “In the present warning, Jesus refers to both crowings: “before a cock crows twice,” i.e., “before the day dawns.”36 Ardnt defines the phrase as simply another term for “daybreak.”37 In evaluating this second explanation, it is necessary to point out that most commentators who hold this view believe the reference to mean “just before daybreak.” Since Peter’s denials occur during the time when Jesus is being questioned at Caiaphas’s palace, such an explanation would stretch the length of the trial to much too long a span. It is also asserted that the roosters in Palestine have a habit of crowing regularly from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 a.m. This is a great time before the day breaks and would therefore place the time notation much earlier than “just before dawn.” Third Explanation Commentators and translators give greater support to explanation three, that the phrase “before the cock crows” refers to an actual crowing of a rooster, which indicates a point of time rather than a time period. Morris says, “It seems that an actual crowing is meant, as the words recording the fulfillment indicate.”38 Bratcher and Nida state that

33

William L. Lane, The Gospel According to Mark, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F Bruce (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974), 543.

34

Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark, 580.

35

Ernest Dewitt Burton, Studies in the Gospel According to Mark (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1904), 195. 36

R. C. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Mark’s and St. Luke’s Gospels (Columbus: Lutheran Book Concern, 1934), 391. 37

W. Ardnt, Does the Bible Contradict Itself? (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1955), 70.

38

Morris, The Gospel According to John, 635.

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the words are meant quite literally as the actual crowing of a rooster.39 Rawlinson concludes, “Mark took it literally and provided in the sequel for the literal crowing of a cock or cocks (vv. 68, 72).”40 Brady argues, “The literal sense seems to be the only way to do justice to the language chosen by Mark for the text. To translate the phrase ἀλέκτορα (14:30) as indicating a ‘time period’ would be making it synonymous with ἀλεκτοροφωνίας in Mark 13:35.”41 McDowell and Stewart say that when Jesus refers to the cock crowing twice, he is predicting a crowing of the cock in the middle of the night long before daybreak.42 Kosmala says that even today people keep chickens in courtyards in Jerusalem. He reports that observation over a period of twelve years has shown that the rooster crows the first time about one-half hour after midnight. It crows the second time about an hour later. The time may vary by fifteen to twenty minutes. If there is shooting or other commotion the rooster may start crowing at any time. The rooster crows the third time about an hour after the second time.43 Kosmala’s records give a better indication of the time of Jesus’s trial since they reveal the tendencies of roosters in that same country. The crowings then are recorded to occur about 12:30 a.m., 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., each lasting about three to five minutes. For this reason Kosmala evaluates that it is incorrect to say that the time of cock crowing signifies the time of transition between night and day, since this would place cock-crowing just before daybreak. In Palestine, dawn is earlier in the summer than in the winter. However, the cock-crowing can be heard at the same time between midnight and 3:00 a.m. all year round, well before dawn even in summer.44 Kosmala reports, “When people had to set out early for a journey, they got up and went at the first cock-crowing, or the second or the third.”45

39

Bratcher and Nida, A Translation Handbook on the Gospel of Mark, 353, 472.

40

A. E. Rawlinson, St. Mark (London: Matheun and Company Limited, 1925), 209.

41

Brady, “The Alarm to Peter in Mark’s Gospel,” 44.

42

Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask about the Christian Faith (San Bernardino: Here’s Life Publishers, Inc., 1980), 83. 43

Hans Kosmala, “The Time of Cock-Crow,” Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute 2 (1963):

44

Ibid., 119.

45

Ibid., 119.

118.

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Biblical idiom may be illuminated by classical writings from before the time of Christ which also refer to the second cock-crowing.46 These writings correspond to the time observed in Palestine. Aristophanes, in his comedy Ecclesiazusae, written in 391 B.C., makes a reference to the second cock-crowing. He records that when the women who were to take over the city left their homes, “the cock was crowing for the second time.”47 This time is later described as “in the darkness of the night.”48 After rising and arriving at the assembly, it is said that they “spent the whole night waiting.” 49 The view of the second crowing of the cock in classical literature seems to be that of an actual crowing of a rooster in the dead of the night. There seems to be nothing in the text which argues against this third explanation of the phrase we are examining. Classical literature and present day observations reveal a second rooster crowing which occurs in the early hours of the morning, long before day. Therefore, it is a reasonable conclusion that the phrase, “before a cock crows,” is the actual crowing of a rooster which marks a point of time approximately half-way between 12:00 midnight and 3:00 a.m. Summary In this article we have dealt with some basic considerations which should be understood before making an examination of the Gospel narratives of Peter’s denials. The definition of “deny” is shown to be one which properly fits the responses of Peter in his time of unfaithfulness. The meaning of this term is broad enough to adequately include Peter’s responses on each of the three occasions. Mark’s account of the prophecy and details is shown to be accurate in the recording of a second cock-crowing. Mark’s detailed description of the event does not contradict the more general statements of Matthew, Luke and John. Finally, it is an established conclusion that the phrase, “before a cock crows,” is the actual crowing of a rooster which marks a point of time approximately half-way between 12:00 midnight and 3:00 a.m. Now we are ready to examine the narratives.

46

Rawlinson, St. Mark, 209.

47

Aristophanes, The Eleven Comedies (1912; reprint New York: Horace Liveright, n. d.), 344.

48

Ibid., 356.

49

Ibid., 344.

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Peter’s Denials: An Examination of the Narratives Max Mills Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Counseling The Gospel accounts of Peter’s denials contain many difficulties which have been frequently cited as contradictions. Harmonization of these narratives has been a matter of debate for many years. In denying the historical accuracy of the Gospels, James Barr says, “Harmonization through the production of multiple events is the most thoroughly laughable of all devices of interpretation.”1 It is the writer’s belief that the inerrancy of the Bible must be based upon the statements of the Scriptures themselves. Inerrancy is not dependent upon any commentator’s ability to reconcile precisely every event which is recorded. Human knowledge is finite and fallible.2 It is only the Bible itself that is inerrant. Inerrancy means that when all the facts are known, the Scriptures in their autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they teach.3 It is also true that it must be known what the text means in order to determine if what it says is true.4 For this reason, some “Background Considerations” have been provided in a previous article to explain the meaning of several difficult statements within the narratives of Peter’s denials. Such matters were taken into account in order to provide a better understanding of the text. Please read that article, since an understanding of those considerations will enable the reader to determine whether or not what the narratives say is true.

1

James Barr, Fundamentalism (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1977), 57.

2

Paul D. Feinberg, “The Meaning of Inerrancy,” in International Council of Biblical Inerrancy Summit Papers¸ ed. Norman L. Geisler (Oakland, CA: International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, 1978), 26. 3

Ibid., 24.

4

Ibid., 27.

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DIFFICULTIES IN THE FIRST DENIAL NARRATIVE The Location and Circumstances The first difficulty is that, according to Luke and the other synoptic accounts, the three denials of Peter take place in the court of Caiaphas, while in the opinion of some commentators, John makes all this (Peter’s denials) occur in the house of Annas. Luke 22:53 records, “And they led Jesus away to the high priest.” Matthew 26:57 identifies Caiaphas as the high priest. The problem becomes more difficult when compared to John’s account: “the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound him, and led him to Annas first.” There is no doubt that Jesus was taken to Annas first, for John is very clear in his statement of this fact.5 However, the question of whether Jesus remained there for His first interrogation or whether He was sent immediately to Caiaphas to be first examined by him, must be determined. Although the argument is correct that Annas was the most influential high priest of his time and was influential long after he was compelled to retire, John 18:13 makes it all too clear that Caiaphas was high priest that year. He is the one who holds the office that John is speaking about. Breen explains that, St. John is very precise to determine the identity of the high priest; and then in the following verse he tells us that Jesus was brought before the high priest. By all the laws of human speech a writer is obliged to mean one and the same individual by such a sequence of statements. St. John has never told us that Annas was considered as the high priest; he has implicitly told us that he was not the high priest. He has told us with great clearness the name and character of the high priest. In all his Gospel there is but one high priest and that man is Caiaphas.6 Edersheim states, “No account is given of what passed before Annas. Peter and evidently John, followed Him into the palace of the high priest – that is, into the palace of Caiaphas, not of Annas.”7 George G. Findlay says, “The captors of Jesus take Him to 5

J. H. Bernard, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary of The Gospel According to St. John, ed. A. H. McNeile (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1929), 591. 6

A. E. Breen, A Harmonized Exposition of the Four Gospels (Rochester: John P. Smith Printing Company, 1980), 4:394. 7

th

Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus Christ the Messiah, 8 ed. (New York: Longmans, Green, & Company, 1899), 2:548.

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the father-in-law, only to find that he shifts on to the son-in-law the entire responsibility of the case.”8 Friedrich Blass evaluates this text as follows: “After having distinctly told that Caiaphas was the high priest that year, and not Annas, we read that the other disciples went in with Jesus into the place of the high priest. Whose palace, therefore? Of course that of Caiaphas.”9 The language of the text of John 18:13, “Caiaphas who was high priest that year” and John 18:19, “then the high priest questioned Jesus,” indicates that Caiaphas is the only high priest intended by John. This is in harmony with Luke and the other Gospels. A second difficulty is presented in John 18:24, which comes after the account of Peter’s denial of Christ in the courtyard of Caiaphas, and the account of the examination of Christ by Caiaphas in the same place (John 18:15). The statement, “Annas therefore sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest”(NASB) (NIV), has driven some commentators to the hypothesis that verse 19 describes an informal examination of Christ before Annas. However, this has been shown in the previous paragraphs not to be the correct understanding of the text. The difficulty is dissolved when the aorist indicative Ἀπέστειλεν, “he sent” (v. 24), is translated as a pluperfect referring to what had been done prior to verse 15. The correct translation would then be, “Now Annas had sent him . . .” (AV) (KJV). Regarding this use of the aorist, Burton says, “The Aorist Indicative is frequently used in narrative passages of a past event which precedes another past even mentioned or implied in the context.”10 Burton further explains that this is not a variation from the normal use of the Greek aorist. From the point of view of Greek grammar, this is simply an historical aorist.11 This use of the aorist is also supported by A. T. Robertson, Basil Gildersleeve, G. B. Winer, and William Goodwin.12 8

George G. Findlay, “The First Trial of Jesus,” The Expository Times 6 (October 1894-September 1895): 335. 9

Friedrich Blass, Philology of the Gospels (New York: MacMillan Company, 1898), 57.

10

nd

Ernest Dewitt Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, 2 rev. ed. (Chicago: University Press of Chicago, 1897), 22. 11

Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek, 23, 241.

12

A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament In Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), 840; Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek from Homer to Demosthenes (New York: American Book Company, 1900), 1:109; G. B. Winer, A Treatise on the

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It is grammatically correct to translate verse 24 as a belated remark. Breen explains, The writer proceeds to group events together until he arrives at a point where the clearness of the account demands the statement of some detail which had been omitted in the chronological order. Then a sentence is inserted in the account whose verb is generally in the aorist, and in sense is equivalent to the pluperfect tense. Such statements carry the mind back, and certify it on some fact which is required for full understanding of the narrative.13 Not only is such an interpretation grammatically correct and reasonable in view of the text, it is also characteristic of John’s Gospel. Other examples are found in John 6:71; 11:2, 51; 18:2b; 10b, 14, 18. Edersheim’s conclusion is, “John 18:24 is an intercalated notice, referring to what had previously been recorded in vv. 15-23.”14 This is the most logical conclusion. It is in complete agreement with Matthew 26:57, 58 which tells us that Peter followed Jesus into the court of Caiaphas. Therefore all four Gospels are in agreement that both the primary examination of Christ and the denials of Peter occurred in the courtyard of Caiaphas, the high priest. The Gospel narratives of Peter’s denials have thus far been shown to hold no incorrect records.

rd

Grammar of New Testament Greek, 3 rev. ed., trans. W. F. Moulton. (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1881), 343; William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb (1875; repr., New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1965), 18. 13

Breen, 397-8.

14

Edersheim, 2:548.

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The Specific Location To the reader, John seems to assign the first challenge to Peter and his first denial of Christ at the point of his admittance to the courtyard. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, however, place the first challenge to Peter as he warms himself at the fire, presumably well within the courtyard and after he has gained entrance to it. Luke 22:55 explains, “After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them” (NASV). John, however, does not state that the doorkeeper asked her question at the gate of the courtyard. Nevertheless, some commentators understand that to be the meaning which John intends to convey. W. D. Gardiner, who believes that Peter’s repeated denials were designed to save him from ejection from the courtyard, states, “His first denial secured him admission from the portress.”15 This cannot be the correct understanding of John’s narrative, since John himself says in verse 16, “The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the door keeper, and brought Peter in.” It was John who secured Peter’s entrance. There are several plausible explanations to this problem, none of which locate Peter at the point of entry to the courtyard. Lenski says that the synoptic Gospels (Mark 14:66) indicate that the doorkeeper left her post at the entry in charge of another maid. She then came over to Peter, fixed her eyes upon him, and declared who he really was. Lenski states, “This must have occurred sometime after she let Peter in at John’s request.”16 Hendriksen also gives a reasonable description of the scene from the composite picture presented by the Gospels. He describes the incident this way: It would seem at the very moment when Peter had entered the palace, the portress, viewing him from her nook in the vestibule, had her suspicions. The fact that she had admitted him at the request of John seemed to indicate that Peter too was a disciple of Jesus. The uneasiness that could be read on his face confirms her suspicions. So, about to be relieved by another gatekeeper, she walks toward Peter, who has already entered the open courtyard, and who, in the light 15

W. D. Gardiner, “The Denial of St. Peter,” The Expository Times 26 (October 1914-September 1915): 425. 16

R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Mark’s and St. Luke’s Gospels (Columbus: Lutheran Book Concern, 1943), 415.

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of the fire by which he is warming himself, is clearly visible (Luke 22:56). She fixes her eyes on him. Then, stepping even closer, she says to him, ‘You too were with Jesus the Nazarene.’17 Such a composite picture can be drawn because none of the statements are actually contradictory. Leon Morris offers the helpful observation that John does not always narrate events in strict sequence.18 This is also seen in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew with regard to the temptations of Christ in the wilderness. While Matthew lists the devil’s temptation on the pinnacle of the temple as the third temptation, Luke places it second in the sequence. Of course this has nothing to do with error for there is no emphasis placed on chronological order. With this precedent in mind, Breen’s explanation of the location of the first denial seems like a reasonable view. He says: If we transpose the order of the first two denials recorded by John, a more probable solution results. By this adjusting the order, the first denial takes place at the fire in all the evangelists . . . If we adopt this transposition, then, in all the writers, the second denial happens on the porch. It is called forth by the portress. This also adds to the probability for no other maid would be so apt to be in that place . . . The place of the third denial is not mentioned by any of the writers. It seems quite probable that Peter, now alarmed by the repeated charges, did not go back to the fire.19 Since inerrancy does not demand chronological precision, it is possible to understand John’s narrative as not indicating that one event followed so closely upon another. John’s first two events could then be transposed. This would provide a statement that the first denial occurred by a fire. This is also the reasonable location which both Lenski and Hendriksen defend in their explanation. However, it should be noted that a transposing of John’s narrative is not necessary in order to harmonize the first denial.

17

William Hendriksen, “Exposition of the Gospel of Mark,” in New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), 2:617. 18

Leon Morris, “The Gospel According to John,” in The New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F. F. Bruce (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Erdmans, 1971), 4:751. 19

Breen, 403.

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While the substantial truth is the presence of the apostle at the fire, it is true that Luke and Mark picture Peter as sitting with the officers, while John says that he was standing with them. (Matthew does not mention the fire.) Breen reasonably states, “It is evident that a man in such a condition would at one time be standing, and at another time be sitting.”20 Hendriksen also sees the element of time which must be considered. He reasons, “This surely need not be a contradiction. Is it not reasonable to assume that, after sitting down a little while, he had risen? . . . We may also safely assume that after the first denial he remained standing a while, looking for an avenue of escape. Then he started for the archway.21 Certainly no contradiction exists with regard to Peter’s sitting and then standing. To stand would be a reasonable response to the maid’s questioning his identity. All difficulties of this nature can be understood when compared to any chronicle of history. Paul Feinberg recognizes this when he states, Inerrancy does not demand historical or semantic precision . . . Precision is an ambiguous term. Almost any historical or linguistic sentence is capable of greater precision. Any historiography, even if one writes a chronicle, is still only an approximation. If we record an event as having transpired in 1978, we could always have said it more precisely, in the month of May, May15th, or May 15th at 10:00 p.m. and so on. The crucial point as I see it for inerrancy is this. Is the sentence as stated true? If so, then there is no problem.22 A similar difficulty is observed as Mark records Peter’s location as “below” in the courtyard (14:66), and Matthew has “outside” in the courtyard (26:69). A solution to this matter can be achieved by understanding the construction of the houses in Palestine. A number of rooms were often built around three sides of a courtyard. The larger and more comfortable ancient houses had two stories arranged around a courtyard.23 The

20

Breen, 99.

21

Hendriksen, 393-4.

22

Feinberg, 29.

23

C. J. Davey, “Architecture,” in The Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House, 1980), 104.

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palace of Caiphas had halls big enough to serve for informal meetings of the Sanhedrin.24 Since the courtyard was open (without a roof), the term “outside” would be a reasonable choice for Matthew. Mark’s use of “below” would then indicate that the interrogation of Jesus was taking place in a room above the courtyard.25 What are often thought to be contradictive accounts, are merely views of the same location from two different perspectives. The Accusers Identified Commentators Harold Lindsell, Robert Govett, John Lawrence, Robert Thomas, Stanley Gundry, and H. L. Willmington correctly evaluate that Peter’s unfaithfulness to the Lord involved more than three denials.26 Charles Smith adds further clarification when he explains that, “The easiest solution is to recognize that several interrogators may have been involved in eliciting each of the denials.”27 In other words, Christ’s prophecy of Peter’s three denials should not be construed as predicting three distinct utterances of denial. Instead the prophecy should be regarded as foretelling three episodes or three separate instances in which Peter would deny him. Each episode or instance comprised several speeches to different interlocutors. Thus, on three occasions Peter denied Jesus, but his speeches or utterances during these occasions were many and various. Accordingly, a problem may be seen in this first interrogation only if one person were asking Peter about his being a disciple. Luke and the other synoptic writers record the maid asserting that Peter is a disciple, while in John (according to the arrangement in his Gospel), she asks Peter if he is one of the disciples. 24

Hans Kroth, A Short Guide to the Model of Ancient Jerusalem (Jerusalem: The Holy Land Corporation, 1966), 4. 25

R. G.Bratcher and E. A. Nida, A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of Mark (Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies, 1961), 468. 26

Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), 175; Robert Govett, Exposition of the Gospel of John (1891; repr., Miami Springs, Florida: Conley and Schoettle, 1984), 3401; John W. Lawrence, The Six Trials of Christ (Memphis: The Open Door Bible Church, n.d.), 66-7; Robert L. Thomas and Stanley N. Gundry, A Harmony of the Gospels (Chicago: Moody Press, 1978), 299; H. L. Willmington, Willmington’s Guide to the Bible (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1981), 330. 27

Smith, “How Many Cock-Crows?” Grace Seminary Spire 3 (Summer 1979): 4.

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Although each Gospel may refer to the same servant girl on this occasion, she could have made more than one statement. One solution to this difficulty is reached by understanding that the servant girl could have first asked the question, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” (John 18:17) Then after examining him more closely in the dim glow of the charcoal fire, she would more positively assert, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.”(Mark 14:67), and turning to those standing by, continued, “This man was with Him too.” (Luke 22:56)28 Reiling and Swellengrebel offer a reasonable explanation for the assertion by the synoptic writers. They say that “gazing at him” (Luke 22:56) indicates further, more accurate observation. The aorist participle (ἀτενίσασα) “having looked intently” or “having gazed” goes more clearly with the main verb (εἶπεν) “said”. Her prolonged observation of Peter was the grounds for an assertion rather than a question.29 Robert Bratcher points out the same intensity of observation by the servant-girl in Mark 14:67.30 The prolonged scrutiny, which precedes her statement, explains her positive accusation. Lenski states, “No doubt, all cocked their ears at her words and looked searchingly at Peter.”31 Morris correctly describes human nature by judging, “When one asked whether Peter was a disciple it is almost certain that others would take the question up . . . What certainly happened was that somebody started the question and it was taken up by others.”32 Lenski’s and Morris’s statements fit very well when we take John’s account in verse 25 to refer to the first accusation. (This involves transposing John’s first and second denial accounts as mentioned earlier.) The problem of the question being asked by the maid in verse 17 is resolved. (Verse 17 could refer to denial number 2, which occurs at the gateway.) Luke 22:56 records the servant girl’s addressing those standing with Peter around the fire, saying, “This man was with Him too.” It is normal that at this time there would be a 28

Smith, “How Many Cock-Crows,” 4.

29

J. Reiling and J. L. Swellengrebel. A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of Luke (London: J. Brill, Leiden, 1971), 707. 30

Bratcher and Nida, 469.

31

Lenski, 415.

32

Morris, 759.

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reaction to her statement. The slaves and officers, referred to by John as “they” in verse 25 have heard the charge instigated by the servant girl. A mere question then is in order at this point, for they are not as certain as she. John records the question expressed as if a negative answer were expected, “You are not also one of his disciples are you?” Peter’s response is explained by Matthew as “before them all” (26:70). This public answer would reasonably show that the attention of those around the fire was directed toward Peter. Peter’s first response in this collective episode of denial was directed to the servant girl, “Woman, I do not know him” (Luke 22:57). His second was probably to the officers, “I am not” (John 18:25). Then before going out on the porch, he says to her, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about” (Mark 14:68). This final statement before leaving the fire is confirmed by Matthew. In the first episode, Peter has fulfilled one-third of Christ’s prophecy. For he has completely denied (ἀπαρνήσῃ) his Lord. He has denied with evasiveness the accusation of being with Jesus in Matthew 26:70 and Mark 14:68. He denied being one of His disciples in John 18:25. He denied the possibility of any relationship with Christ in Luke 22:57. This manifestation of unfaithfulness was public “before them all.” It fulfilled Luke’s more detailed prophecy, “You will deny that you know me” (Luke 22:34). There is no doubt that Christ’s choice of terms indicating a full denial has begun to develop in the first conversation around the fire in Caiaphas’ courtyard.33 The Rooster Crowing This first cock crowing recorded by Mark 14:68 marks the time of night in which the events of the first denials are taking place. This is approximately 12:30 a.m. Although the other Gospels mention only one crowing, evidence has been shown in the previous article, “Important Background Considerations,” which favors retaining Mark’s witness of two crowings. As John Calvin perceived, Mark says nothing that is inconsistent with the narratives of the other evangelists, but explains more fully what they pass by in silence. None of us will say that profane historians are inconsistent with each other, when some one of them relates

33

For more information concerning the meaning of “deny,” see the previous article, “Important Background Considerations.”

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what the others have not included; and therefore, though Mark’s narrative is different, still it does not contradict the others.34 Since Christ’s prediction regarding “a cock crowing” in the other Gospels is a reference to the second cock crowing of Mark 14:72, there is no contradiction on Mark’s part by his mention of the first cock crowing here in verse 68. The Time Interval According to Luke’s statement, the second denial came “a little later” (Luke 22:58). This would seem to conflict with John’s arrangement, which indicates that the examination of Christ is interposed between the first and second denials. While the phrase, “a little while,” could reasonably refer to the time covered by the examination, it is not necessary to hold strictly to that interpretation. It is more reasonable to assign this short period of time (Luke 22:58) to Peter’s retreat from the fire to the porch. The examination of the Lord can then be placed between the second and third denials where Luke records the time lapse to be about an hour (22:59). This is a more logical amount of time for the examination. DIFFICULTIES IN THE SECOND DENIAL The Location and Circumstances The difficulty of John’s placing the second denial by a fire is resolved in understanding that in a palace as large as that of Caiaphas’ house there would reasonably be more than one fire. However, the different terms used by Matthew and Mark to describe Peter’s location present a possible difficulty which needs further explanation. Matthew records in verse 71 that the second denial came when Peter had gone out to the (πυλῶνα) “gateway.” Mark 14:68 plots Peter’s position to be in the (προαύλιον) “porch.” Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker give the same basic definition for both words.35 Lange, while discussing the second denial, states, “‘into the porch,’ or, according to Matthew, the ‘entrance hall.’ It is the same idea.”36 These are two terms describing the 34

John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke, trans. William Pringle. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1949), 3:262. 35

Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other nd Early Christian Literature, 2 ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1979), 702, 729. 36

John Peter Lange, Mark, vol. 2 of Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical, ed. and trans. Philip Schaff. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, N.D.), 147.

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same location. Mark chose to describe that portion of the palace as the προαύλιον. Matthew used πυλῶνα. In the same way Lenski uses the terms “vestibule,” “forecourt,” and “entryway” and describes that place as the long, covered passage leading out from the courtyard, through the front side of the building into the street.37 Jeremias refers to this as a “gatehouse.”38 Bratcher and Nida use “porch” and “gateway.” Their description is the same: “This is the gateway that leads from the courtyard out into the street.”39 The choice of terms has not falsified the description of Peter’s new location. It is the passageway that leads from the courtyard to the street. This shift in position has not relieved Peter from confrontation. Just like before, the challenge came from several persons. The Accusers Hendriksen sets the scene of the second episode by stating, “So he gets no further than the entranceway or vestibule which via the gate leads to the outside. Several people are standing around.”40 This is an accurate evaluation since Matthew 26:71 says that the servant-girl spoke “to those who were there.” The best indication that there was more than one person interrogating Peter on this occasion is the choice of the verb tense which Mark records. The verb ἠρνεῖτο, “he was denying,” is the imperfect tense. This portrays the denial as being repeated (14:70). In that same verse the use of πάλιν, “again,” is an intimation that Peter may have given repeated answers on the first occasion of denying also. The transposing of the denials of John’s Gospel adds to the clearness of this confrontation since the “slave-girl who kept the door” is in her proper place.41 Gleason Archer says that “door keeper” is probably masculine in John 18:17.42 However, the article is feminine; therefore, the reference, is feminine. The interrogation occurring at this second denial would reasonably develop in the following sequence. Mark refers to “the (same) maid” and states that she, “once again” 37

Lenski, 416.

38

Joachin Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus: An Investigation into Economic and Social rd Conditions During the New Testament Period, 3 ed. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1962), 96. 39

Bratcher and Nida, 350.

40

Hendriksen, 619.

41

Breen, 403.

42

Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 340.

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spoke to the bystanders. This same maid who accused Peter at the fire followed him out to the porch. (The fact that she “began again to say to the bystanders,” is evidence that she had spoken to the bystanders once before.) Vincent Taylor says that Mark’s (and presumably Matthew’s) maid may have been the portress mentioned in John 18:16.43 If Mark’s and Matthew’s maid should be identified with John’s portress, the “doorkeeper’s” question in John 18:17 prompts the “maid’s” accusation in Mark 14:69 and Matthew 26:71. In John, the doorkeeper’s address is directed to Peter and stated in the form of a question, expecting a negative answer. “You are not one of the disciples of this man, too, are you?” is the force of it. The question suggests a line of escape.44 After receiving the negative reply, the doorkeeper/maid does not believe him. As Matthew reports, she then declares to those nearby, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth” (Matthew 26:71). The result is an emphatic denial by Peter, “I do not know the man.” This denial is with an oath. The attention of others has now sufficiently been drawn to Peter.45 Luke 22:58 now adds that someone else ἕτερος (masculine), saw him. Ἕτερος does not indicate that he was a servant like the others who have accused Peter, but only that he was a different person.46 He said, “You are one of them, too.” Peter’s short reply, “Man, I am not,” serves to express his annoyance.47 Lenski offers a good summary of Peter’s situation at the gateway: Luke writes ἕτερος, masculine, “another man” saw him, but there is no contradiction when one keeps the situation in mind. Peter had been exposed, and the matter was talked about. In the entryway, especially on a night like this, more than one maid would be on duty. Peter runs into two maids and a man, all three of whom are certain that he is a disciple of Jesus.48 One must conclude that there are no discrepancies in the narratives of the second denial. The imperfect ἠρνεῖτο of Mark 14:70 would indicate that the action continued for 43

Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Mark (London: MacMillan, 1952), 550.

44

Morris, 573.

45

Calvin, 262.

46

Reiling and Swellengrebel, 708. Reiling and Swellengrebel, 709.

47

48

Lenski, 416.

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some time. A full account is acquired by reviewing all the versions together. They all relate the truth. There is no conflict between the doctrine of inerrancy and the facts recorded in the second denial narratives. Peter has continued to make a complete denial of his Lord as he was confronted at the vestibule of Caiaphas’s palace. He denied being a disciple in all four Gospels. For the second time he is quoted as saying, “I do not know the man,” (a specific fulfillment of Luke 22:34). The increasing intensity of the denials is indicated by Peter’s denial being accompanied by an oath. DIFFICULTIES IN THE THIRD DENIAL The Location and Circumstances None of the Gospels state specifically the location of this last episode of Peter’s denial. We can assume it is still somewhere inside the palace of Caiaphas since Luke 22:62 states that after this occasion, Peter went outside and wept. Because of the bystanders, one could reasonably assume that he had returned to the courtyard. Morris reasons this to be the location in his analysis of the inquiry of the relative of the high priest’s servant, as recorded in John 18:26. Morris says, But the event in the garden had been done in an uncertain light, and the relative could not be absolutely sure that it was Peter he had seen. All the more would this have been the case in that he was now seeing Peter in a very dim light indeed. A charcoal fire glows red, but does not emit bright flames.49 Hendriksen views Peter at this time as one who has been refused exit, and therefore, returns to the open courtyard.50 It seems to be in this more congested area that Peter’s different manner of speaking is recognized. The location of this denial is therefore not a matter of difficulty. Perhaps the only apparent conflict regarding Peter’s final experience is that of the time of its occurring. All other matters seem to involve data which does not contradict. The Time

49

Morris, 760.

50

Hendriksen, 620.

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The difficulty involved here is that Luke 22:59 sets the time of the last denial as “after about an hour.” Matthew and Mark seem to be in conflict with their statements that the accusations began “a little later.” Lattey attempts to limit Luke’s time lapse by describing ὥρας, “and hour,” as referring to the shortest period of time known to ancients.51 This would be equivalent to “instantly.” This, however, is not the rendering given to ὥρας by the great majority of translators and commentators. The normal meaning would be a twelfth part of the day (12-hour day). The reasonable conclusion is that the phrase “a little later,” included in Matthew’s and Mark’s narrative, must also be a reference to the “about an hour” which Luke describes. There are no contradictions. Luke is only being more specific. This seems to be the only reasonable answer since all the accusations of the final episode come to Peter in a sudden and brief commotion. This flurry of accusation brings an equally short-lived advance of replies from Peter. As this sudden press of activities (similar to an outburst of trading on the stock exchange) ends, all four Gospels indicate that immediately a rooster crows. Since they all record a specific ending, then one must reason that the episode had only one period of time when the brief argument began. There is nothing in the text which necessitates a conflict in time.

51

C. Lattey, “A Note on Cock Crow,” Scripture 6.3 (July 1953): 55.

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The Accusations The other three Gospels supplement Luke’s account in identifying the questions. Their accounts readily harmonize. Gerhardsson states, “In the third episode Peter is accosted [emphasis added] by several persons . . . they express their accusation and provide a basis for it.52 This group which brings forth the outburst of charges is made up of “the bystanders,” mentioned in Matthew 26:73 and Mark 14:70; “another man,” reported by Luke 22:59; and “a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off,” identified in John 18:26. The input from all four accounts is necessary to make the scene complete. Hendriksen explains, “Some people are talking to Peter; others are talking about him. Accusations are flying in from every side. This was enough to get anyone excited.”53 The Dialect The reason for their confident identification of Peter as a Galilean (Mark 14:70; Luke 22:59) is the manner of his speech (Matthew 26:73). A.T. Robertson believes the brogue that Peter revealed is probably due to his Galilean accent of Aramaic.54 Dalman says that Peter was recognized as a Galilean on the strength of a few words. For this reason he was termed a companion of Jesus. It must therefore be inferred that Jesus was likewise recognizable by His language.55 Dalman further explains that in the use of the Galilean dialect, “there was nothing in any way inviting disparagement towards Jesus or His disciples. It is true that only certain signs of more advanced development as compared with the Judean dialect may be detected in it.”56 This information points to a more positive recognition of Peter’s relationship to Christ. It was not just an opinion regarding several guttural sounds, but rather a solid fact based on particular words spoken. Peter, no doubt, recognized the danger he was in. The great positiveness of the charge comes to a climax when John’s Gospel mentions the eyewitness to Peter’s presence in the garden with Jesus. The emphatic ἐγώ, “I with my 52

Birger Gerhardsson, “Confession and Denial Before Men: Observations on Matthew 26:57-27:2.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 13 (October 1981): 53. 53

Hendriksen, 620.

54

A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Nashville: Broadman, 1934), 28.

55

Gustaf Dalman, The Words of Jesus Considered in the Light of Post-Biblical Jewish Writings and the Aramaic Language (1902; repr., Minneapolis: Klock and Klock, 1981), 80. 56

Ibid., 81.

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own eyes . . .,” is an indication of the sureness of this man’s charge.57 This is a stronger proof. The many-sided attack of confidently spoken charges drove Peter to attempt an equally emphatic response. Peter’s Response Matthew and Mark let us know that Peter’s response of cursing and swearing was immediate and continuous (ἤρξατο, imperfect). Regarding the intensity of the response, Calvin says, “In this third denial, Peter’s unfaithfulness to his Master reached its utmost height.”58 His denial was sharpened in the second episode by an oath. The apex is reached now in this third encounter as Peter begins to curse and swear. Helmut Merkel sees Peter’s cursing as directed against Christ.59 Lane, however, correctly points out that the statement is intentionally left without an object in the Greek text. This denotes that he cursed himself if he is lying and those present if they insist on asserting that he is a disciple.60 Wuest explains, The Jews had a practice of laying themselves under a curse (Acts 23:12). Paul, in Galatians 1:8, 9 calls the divine curse (same word) down upon those who preached a different Gospel than the true one . . . The word “swear” is the same word found in Hebrews 13:11 where God is said to swear, that is to put Himself under oath.61 The term “to swear” has the meaning of a solemn protestation of the truth of his assertion.62 There is no idea of vulgarity or profanity on Peter’s part.63 Peter, having sudden57

J. H. Bernard, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1929), 603. 58

Calvin, 264.

59

Helmut Merkel, “Peter’s Curse,” in The Trial of Jesus, ed. Ernst Bammel (Naperville: Alec R. Allenson, 1970), 70. 60

William L. Lane, “The Gospel According to Mark,” in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1974), 542. 61

Kenneth S. Wuest, Mark, vol. 10 of In the Greek New Testament for English Readers (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1952), 275. 62

63

Bratcher and Nida, 471. Ibid., 471

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ly found himself in a dangerous situation, made an all-out effort to convince those with whom he is arguing. The flurry had started quickly and before Peter was able to complete his remarks, he was aware of the rooster crowing. The Cock-Crowing It appears that Peter had been able to make his quick reply to each attack, and was involved in answering the man mentioned in Luke 22:60, when the crowing of the rooster occurred. The argument ended, as quickly as it had begun. Mark more precisely records this cock-crowing as the second to have occurred that night, most likely around 1:30 a.m. But what is a time indicator for one reading the Scriptures was an aid to memory for Peter, recalling the words of Jesus predicting this very moment. In this instant, the mood completely changes. Peter’s remembrance of Jesus’s words brings repentance as quickly as the interrogators had shouted their accusations. We know more clearly what happened because each event recorded in the Gospel narratives has its proper place in the puzzle. Lenski assembles the parts this way, All the synoptists report the repentance of Peter with exceeding brevity and all of them mention his weeping. Matthew and Luke with aorist ἔκλαυσεν, which states the fact that he wept audibly, but Mark with the imperfect and thus descriptive ἔκλαιεν, which describes Peter as shedding tears. To this verb Matthew and Luke add the verb, πικρῶς, “bitterly,” referring to the bitter contrition from which the sobbing came.64 According to Luke 22:61, it was at this point that the Lord turned and looked at Peter. The logical explanation is that Jesus had come down from the room where He had been informally examined, and was passing through the courtyard.65 One must conclude that the four accounts of the third denial readily harmonize. Peter’s blatant failure is the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy. Williamson describes the completeness of the denial of the final occasion by saying, “He first pretends ignorance (‘I do not know what you are talking about’), then disclaims membership in the Christian commu-

64

Lenski, 418.

65

Bernard, 603-4.

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nity (he denies that he is “one of them”), and finally denies any relationships to Jesus (‘I do not know this man of whom you speak’).”66 There is no basis for ascribing error to any of the Gospel narratives. Luke’s more specific prophecy (“a cock shall not crow today until you have denied three times that you know me,” 22:34) has been fulfilled in each of the three episodes. These are: (1) Luke 22:57; (2) Matthew 26:72; and (3) Mark 14:71. The denials mentioned by each Gospel are excerpts from the three occasions when Peter denied Christ. Each narrative accurately records facts which harmonize with the other Gospel records. Christ’s prediction was exactly fulfilled.

SUMMARY This article has presented evidence that the Scripture record of Peter’s denials is without error. A portion of this evidence has been provided through the previous article, which was an examination of “Background Considerations”. Those background considerations were defined and clarified in order to provide a better understanding of the narratives. This understanding enables the reader to determine whether or not what the narratives say is true. The term ἀπαρνήεομαι has been shown to indicate a “denial” expressed by an individual with regard to another person. This denial can be expressed in a wide variety of negative statements. The term, used by Christ in His prophecy of the denials, is a reference to total denial, i.e., the complete series of three total denials. The terms used in both the prediction of the denials and the narrative accounts of the fulfillment agree as to basic definition. The deadline set for the denials has been proven to be before the second cock crowing. Mark’s record of the prophecy which includes δὶς, “twice,” receives sufficient support to be retained as an accurate report, and not an interpolation. The omission of this word in Matthew, Luke and John is most likely the result of scribal assimilation. The meaning of the phrase, “before the cock crows,” is identified by the language of the text; by classical use; and by present day observation to mean the literal crowing of a

66

Lamar Williamson, Interpretation: A Biblical Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Mark (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1983), 267.

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rooster. It would be more accurate to place the second crowing in the early hours of the morning, long before day. The narratives of each of the three denials have been analyzed. This has been done with the understanding that the Gospels describe three different episodes when Peter was a denier of Christ. On each occasion there are reiterated accusations and importunate denials. The grammar employed in Peter’s responses (ἠρνεῖτο, the imperfect of ἀρνήεομαι) allows one to understand that each of the denials may have been lengthy and repetitious. In these extended conversations some people spoke to Peter; others spoke about him. Regarding the occasion of the first denial, the high priest, before whom the first interrogation of Christ took place, is shown to be Caiaphas. The language of the text of John 18:13, “Caiaphas, who was high priest that year,” and John 18:19, “Then the high priest questioned Jesus,” indicates that Caiaphas was the high priest intended by John. This is in harmony with the synoptic Gospels. Therefore, the courtyard of Caiaphas is the location of the first episode of Peter’s denying Christ. John 18:24 is a belated explanation, indicating that this first examination occurred after Annas had sent Jesus to Caiaphas. The specific location of Peter’s first confrontation is at a fire in the courtyard, while he was with the officers and slaves. By transposing the first two denials recorded in John’s Gospel, it is reasonable to understand that the absence of a description in John’s account concerning the location of this denial does not indicate an immediate interrogation at the gate. John does not give information which is in conflict with the other narratives. Those who identified Peter are shown to be a servant girl and some of the bystanders near the fire. The bystanders are introduced by John’s Gospel as “they,” and by Matthew with the phrase “before them all.” The details are in harmony in this conversation around the fire, as Peter fulfills the first one-third of the prophecy. Having denied (1) being with Jesus, (2) being one of His disciples, and (3) knowing Him, Peter has accomplished a total (to the fullest extent) denial of his Lord on this first occasion. After this, Peter went out on the porch. The rooster crowing (Mark 14:68) marks the time of night in which this first denial occurs. This was probably sometime after midnight. Peter’s second denial occurs on the “porch” of Caiaphas’s palace. The same location is designated by the term “gateway.” Both words are references to the covered passage leading from the courtyard to the street. Matthew’s and Mark’s choices of terms do not falsify either narrative.

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The use of πάλιν, “again,” and ἠρνεῖτο, “he was denying,” indicate Peter’s repeated answers. Therefore more than one person is interrogating Peter at this new location. The same maid who accused Peter at the fire is recorded by Mark as speaking “once again” to the bystanders. Matthew reports another servant girl’s involvement in the scene. This is most likely the servant girl who John says is the door keeper. The presence of a man in the group is included in Luke’s Gospel. A full account is acquired by reviewing all four narratives. The events of this second confrontation also describe a complete denial. He has denied being one of Jesus’s disciples. He has denied being with Jesus. He has denied knowing Him. (This is a fulfillment of Luke 22:34.) He has intensified the denial by the use of an oath. Peter’s actions have been accurately predicted by his Lord. There is no conflict among the details of the Scripture record of this event. The final denial is not described as to location. One must logically place the occurrence within the palace of Caiaphas, for Luke records that, after the third denial, Peter “went outside” and wept. With reference to time, Luke states that the third episode took place “after about an hour.” Matthew and Mark use the phrase, “a little later,” as an equivalent to Luke’s more specific report. There are no contradictions. The interrogators at this time converge on Peter and begin their positive identifications simultaneously. This is evident because each Gospel records that a rooster crows immediately as Peter’s denial is made. Among the flurry of confidently spoken charges are: (1) the detection of Peter’s speech variation, and (2) the identification by an eye witness. The third confrontation is a sudden and brief argument. Those involved are identified as “another man,” “the bystanders,” and “a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off.” The sharpened accusations of this last episode brought an equally intensified response from Peter. Cursing and swearing accompany his denial. Peter’s blatant failure brings the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy. This denial covers the same broad scope as the first two. The crowing of a rooster for the second time marks the end of the ordeal. This sound brought Peter’s memory back to the Lord’s prediction of the events which had happened. The Gospels provide a composite account of Peter’s grief. One must conclude that the four accounts of these events in the third denial readily harmonize. It is the conclusion of this article that: (1) every confrontation which Peter experienced involved

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statements by several persons; (2) each Gospel records three denials by narrating portions of each episode; (3) each Gospel writer selected details to report in a more specific way; (4) there is no valid basis for the claim that the difficulties of the narratives contain error.

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Holy Spirit Baptism Benjamin Cocar Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an important scriptural doctrine, but it is astonishing that such a vital teaching should be surrounded by so much confusion. The numerous writers on this subject hold widely differing opinions concerning this ministry of the Holy Spirit. The main reason for the confusion is an improper understanding of the identity and purpose of the church in this age. If one desires to understand properly the doctrine of Spirit baptism, he must define both the church and Spirit baptism according to New Testament teaching: the church is the body of Christ, and baptism is the divine operation of God's Spirit which places the believer in Christ. Another source of confusion is the identification of Spirit baptism with other ministries of the Holy Spirit, mainly with the filling ministry. That these two ministries are distinct is evident from a number of emphatic scriptural contrasts. While expounding all the different ministries of the Spirit would require a book-length study, this paper will define Spirit Baptism from a New Testament perspective to determine the time, agent, and results of Spirit baptism, as well as its place in Progressive Dispensationalism.

A DEFINITION OF SPIRIT BAPTISM Scripture presents the doctrine of Spirit baptism in sufficient passages to permit the student to arrive at an accurate definition of it. In all, there are eleven specific references to Spirit baptism in the New Testament. These are: Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, Acts 11:16-17, Romans 6:1-4, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:5, and Colossians 2:12. Different interpretations of these verses have caused many conflicting views, but the most variously construed text among them is 1 Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." 1

1

All Bible quotations are from the NASB.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 The Pentecostal/Holiness movement associates the baptism of the Spirit with a second blessing, being equivalent with the filling of the Spirit. A former professor at Oral Roberts University, Howard M. Ervin, writes: In the light of his own experience of conversion and Spirit-filling, what did Paul mean in I Cor 12:13? The answer is obvious. One needs but to recall that Paul was converted on the Damascus road in his encounter with the risen Christ, and three days later in Damascus he was filled with/baptized in the Holy Spirit when Ananias laid his hands upon him in the name of Jesus. It is apparent then, that the Spirit's activity in conversion was not terminal in Paul's experience. His personal Pentecost followed his conversion by three days.2 This conception is evidently wrong because reference to a second blessing must be read into the text and cannot be read out of it. The Pentecostal movement counts on the experiential element of Spirit baptism, and because of this they draw the conclusion that there are two spiritual baptisms. One baptism is into Christ at regeneration, and the other is into the Holy Spirit as a subsequent experience. Yet this contention contradicts Paul's declaration that there is only one spiritual baptism for this age (Eph 4:5). Merrill Unger defines Spirit baptism in this way: The Spirit baptism is that divine operation of God's Spirit which places the believer in Christ, in His mystical body, the church, and which makes them one in the life of the Son of God Himself, sharing His common salvation, hope and destiny. 3 Such a definition of Spirit baptism excludes any experiential element, seeing the baptism as operating in the life of the believer without outward manifestations. As Roland McCune writes, "The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the judicial, non-experiential placing of a true believer into the Church which is the Body of Christ."4

2

Ervin M. Howard, Spirit Baptism, A Biblical Investigation (Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Publications, 1987), 37. 3

Merril F. Unger, The Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Chicago: Moody Press, 1974), 16.

4

Rolland D. McCune, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, Vol. 2, (Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009), 312.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 THE TIME OF SPIRIT BAPTISM The time of Holy Spirit baptism has to be analyzed from two points of view, historically and personally. In order to determine the historical point in time when Spirit baptism occurred for the first time, one should take careful account of the progressive report of Scripture. The account of the Gospels presents the baptism as a future event (Matt 3:11, Mk 1:8, Luke 3:16, Jn 1:33). In Acts 1:5, the baptism is still a future event, but in Acts 11:15-18 it is presented as having already taken place. As such, the beginning of Spirit baptism must be found between Acts 1:5 and 11:15-18, most likely in the description of Pentecost in Acts 2. Roland McCune, professor of Systematic Theology at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote that Peter equates the experience at Cornelius's house with what happened at Pentecost, and equates what happened in both cases with what Jesus had promised in Acts 1:5. So Pentecost marks the fulfillment of Jesus' promise and the beginning of Spirit baptism.5 Most evangelicals agree as to this event marking the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s unique ministry in the Church era. But some hold that this event was at Pentecost only and never repeated. Merrill Unger says that this event is "as unrepeatable as the creation of the universe, the creation of man, the incarnation of Christ, His sinless life, vicarious death, glorious resurrection, or any other event of history." 6 Although he does not hold the "subsequent to salvation view," Unger does not see the events after Pentecost as being identical. Instead he calls those events the "gift of the Spirit." 7 For him this "gift of the Spirit" is a horizontal experience in contrast with Pentecost. But this view has some problems, for the account in Acts 11 tells that what happened at the house of Cornelius was identical with what happened at Pentecost, and it is hard to explain the union of the believer with Christ and with all the other believers as going back to Pentecost.8 It can be concluded that the Spirit baptism began at Pentecost, but con5

McCune, A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity, 312.

6

Unger, 62.

7

Ibid., 82.

8

McCune, 312.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 tinues into the present. Moreover, when new believers are regenerated, they join the body of Christ and become partakers of the ongoing baptism that commenced so long ago at Pentecost. Thus, the baptism of Pentecost was not only a historical occurrence, but it persists into the present and re-occurs at every believer’s regeneration. Prior to Pentecost believers did not receive the Spirit baptism, but all believers who have been saved since that time are recipients of it.9 Those who are looking for a more existential experience associated with Spirit baptism see it as an experience subsequent to salvation, a "second blessing." Due to the confusion between baptism and filling, Torrey claims that not all believers receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the time of regeneration, but subsequent to this.10 Campbell believes that are two different Spirit baptisms, on at salvation, and one "when the Spirit dwells with you and in you in an even more intimate way."11 Stanley Horton, in an attempt to clarify the Pentecostal view on sanctification writes: The Assemblies of God and most other Trinitarian Pentecostals recognize the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an experience distinct from regeneration. That is, after the Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ, we are then saturated or filled with the Spirit; the baptism in the Spirit is thus a distinct experience after conversion.12 The views stated above have no strong biblical foundation and are based upon much speculation and tradition. The Holy Spirit baptizes all believers at the moment of salvation, and that experience is not repeated. A person is placed in the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit baptism, and it is strange to believe that a person is taken out of the Body in order to be re-baptized into it.13

9

ISBE, s.v. “Baptism of the Holy Spirit,“ by Edgar Mullins, 1:400-401.

10

R. A. Torrey, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), 151. 11

Bob Campbell, Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Command or Option (Pennsylvania: Whitaker Books, 1973), 10. 12

Stanley M. Horton, “The Pentecostal Perspective,” in Five Views of Sanctification (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1987), 128-129. 13

Charles C. Ryrie, The Holy Spirit (Chicago: Moody Press, 1965), 77.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 Acts 2 and 8 seem to present a difficulty, however, and in both accounts the believers (the apostles and the Samaritans), were not baptized with the Spirit at the time of their salvation. In answer to this difficulty, J.I. Packer says that the first disciples "had to be taken through a two-stage, two-level pattern of experience [because] they became believers before Pentecost."14 But there are no reasons for believers after Pentecost -- believers who are saved in this age -- to expect a two-stage experience. Similarly, the Samaritans in Acts 8 represent a special case that should not be applied to believers in general. The reason for the subsequent-to-salvation baptism in Samaria was to emphasize the apostles’ authority over believers from among the historically schismatic Samaritan sect. Thus, the Holy Spirit came upon the Samaritan believers only after Peter and John laid hands on them. Ryrie writes: The best explanation of this delay in Samaria seems to lie in the schismatic nature of the Samaritan religion. Because the Samaritans had their own worship, which was a rival to the Jewish worship in Jerusalem, it was necessary to prove to them that their new faith was not to set up as a rival to the new faith that had taken root in Jerusalem... This delay in the giving of the Spirit saved the early church from having two mother churches -- one in Jerusalem and one in Samaria... It preserved the unity of the church in this early stage.15 No student should conclude that these two passages establish a pattern for this age, for it is clear from the writings of Paul that Spirit baptism occurs at salvation (1 Cor 12:13). If it occurred at salvation in every instance in the New Testament beside the two exceptions explained above, then "by parity of reasoning, [it] happened to all other postPentecost converts" at salvation as well.16 To be saved means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit: the two terms are coextensive. It is impossible to be saved without this work of the Holy Spirit; the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an inseparable part of salvation, and thus it cannot in any way happen subsequently to salvation but must occur simultaneously.

14

J. I. Packer, Keeping in Step with the Spirit (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming and Revell Company, 1984), 91. 15

Ryrie, 71.

16

J. I. Packer, 91.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0

THE AGENT OF SPIRIT BAPTISM There is much debate over who does the baptizing in the ministry of Spirit baptism, the Holy Spirit or Christ. The use of the Greek preposition εv has been at the center of many controversial views. Five views will be examined in this article: 1) The Restrictive Locative View, 2) The Wuest View, 3) The Double Baptism View, 4) The Holy Spirit Agency View, and 5) The Collaborative Agency View. The Restrictive Locative (εv) View This view holds that the baptizing agent is Jesus Christ, who baptizes the believer in the "sphere of the Holy Spirit." According to Leon Morris, 1 Cor 12:13 refers to the Spirit as the element "in which they are baptized; those baptized are brought within the sphere of the Spirit."17 Explaining the locative use of εv, A.T. Robertson declared: But even so one must observe that all the NT examples of can be explained from the point of view of the locative. The possibility of this point of view is the reason why εv was so used in the beginning. … To be sure, in English, we translate the resultant idea by "with," but εv in itself does not mean "with." The resultant idea can only come in the proper context.18 Robertson gives some examples from the New Testament to prove his point, as Luke 22:49, where the “smiting” can be regarded as located in the sword, or in the sphere of the sword. F. Kling, commenting 1 Corinthians 12:13 wrote, "The Spirit is here represented as the element into which the baptized have been transferred, and in which as the result of their baptism they ever live and move."19 Those who hold this view argue that if Paul wanted to communicate the idea that the Holy Spirit was the agent then he

17

Leon Morris, “The First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians,“ in TNTC, ed. R.V.S. Tasker (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1958), 174. 18

A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), 590. 19

Christian F. Kling, “The First Epistle to the Corinthians,” in Lage's Commentary of the Holy Scriptures, trans. and ed. Daniel W. Poor (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), 254.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 would have used υπo instead of εv.20 It is evident that this view rests on the grammatical expedient that the preposition εv is translated "in" in many places throughout the New Testament. A series of problems arises when examining the locative use of εv. No commentator who holds this view explains what he means by "the sphere of the Holy Spirit." Neither does Robertson clarify what smiting "in the sword" means in Luke 22:49. In refutation of this view, McCune writes that "the believer is not placed into the Holy Spirit or into the sphere of the Spirit, as such, but into the Body of Christ. Theologically, ‘in the realm of the Spirit’ has no precise meaning."21 At salvation, then, believers are placed in the Body of Christ, for the Body is not the body of the Holy Spirit, but of Christ. As McCune’s reasoning suggestions, proponents of the Restrictive Locative view bind the term εv too tightly to a single signification, one that is too narrow to account for all of its appearances in Scripture. One verse that particularly disqualifies such a restrictive use of εv is 1 Corinthians 6:2, "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by (εv) you ...." The Greek construction employed in this passage expresses believers as the instruments or the agents by which the world will be judged, not the location in which judgment will occur. For εv to be translated "in the sphere of you" would be very unclear. The Kenneth S. Wuest View This view does not allow Christ to be considered as active in Holy Spirit baptism. Wuest holds that the Holy Spirit is the only causal agent in baptism. He writes: Thus we have, "He shall baptize you in the sphere of the Spirit." Here the word "Spirit" sets a limit upon the act of the baptism, John is drawing a contrast between his baptism, and our Lord's. John's was into and by means of water, a ceremony. Our Lord's was totally with reference to the Spirit, a baptism in which the Holy Spirit is the sole agent... The Spirit baptism to which John referred is the same one which Paul mentions in 1 Cor 12:13. It is a baptism with the Spirit

20

F. W. Gresheide, “Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians,” NICNT, ed. F. F. Bruce (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1953), 293. 21

McCune, 312-313.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 in the sense that it is connected, not with water, but with the Spirit who Himself does the baptizing.22 The problem with this view is that it explains away the role of Christ in Spirit baptism by the use of grammar, especially when Wuest handles Matthew 3:11, where he does not identify Christ as the baptizer. He tries to harmonize the account of the Gospels with the Epistles, making the Holy Spirit the baptizer in both accounts, while the verse in Matthew teaches that Jesus is the One who baptizes. The Double Baptism View Those who hold this view believe that in the Scriptures are two categories of teachings concerning the Spirit baptism. One category teaches that the Holy Spirit is the agent, and the other category teaches that Jesus Christ is the agent. This view holds that "both baptisms" take place at salvation, and it is not the same view as Campbell’s subsequent to salvation. Chafer explains this view when he writes: Those Scriptures in which the Holy Spirit is related to baptism are to be classified in two divisions. In the one group, Christ is the baptizing agent, yet the Holy Spirit is the blessed influence which characterizes the baptism. In the other group of passages, the Holy Spirit is the baptizing agent and Christ as the Head of His mystical Body is the receiving element and by so much that blessed influence which characterizes the baptism.23 For Chafer the accounts in the Gospels and in Acts are to be identified as belonging to his first group, and the accounts in the Epistles are to be included in the second group. The purpose of this view is to reconcile the seemingly contradictory passages regarding Spirit baptism. Based on the preposition ξv, this view divides Spirit baptism in two, one "in" the Spirit, and one "by" the Spirit. Chafer does not have any biblical support for his view. The text in Ephesians 4:5 states that there is "one baptism," and Chafer explains that this is the second baptism. It seems that Chafer is trying to get around the clear teaching of the verse, not one of the two baptisms, but only one baptism. 22

Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest's Word Studies: Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament for the English Reader (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1942), 88-89. 23

Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), 6:141.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 Holy Spirit Agency View This view is closely associated with Wuest's view. The difference between them is that while the present view affords Jesus subordinate agency in baptism, Wuest reserves all agency for the Holy Spirit alone. The agency of the Holy Spirit is widely accepted among fundamental Christians. Walvoord states that "the thought of being brought into the sphere of the ministry of the Spirit by baptism is not excluded by making the Holy Spirit the agent of baptism."24 Ryrie fully agrees, writing that "the chief emphasis is on the Spirit as the agent of baptism who places us in the body of Christ.”25 This view does not exclude Jesus from Spirit baptism, but the main role belongs to the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus’ activity, limited as it is, almost seems more the accident of history than an integral feature of Spirit baptism itself: To harmonize the accounts in the Gospels and Acts with the ones in the Epistles, this view explains that since the Holy Spirit was not yet in the world prior the ascension of Jesus, Jesus acted as the Spirit’s proxy until Pentecost. In accord with such a view of Jesus’ subsidiary agency, Merrill Unger interprets εv in an instrumental sense (see below) to show that the true “agent of Spirit baptism is the Holy Spirit Himself."26 Although Ryrie, Unger, Walvoord, and Criswell come close to a correct understanding of the agent of baptism, they are incorrect in that they subordinate Jesus’ activity to that of the Holy Spirit. Collaborative Agency View A correct understanding of the different uses of the εv preposition can determine the agent of Spirit baptism. Although some grammarians determined that εv occurs only in the locative, this view is incorrect. Dana and Mantey place this preposition in the category of those that can be used in two cases, namely locative and instrumental.27 The instrumental case is the case most logically used with Spirit baptism because it expresses the idea of how something is accomplished. Dana and Mantey argue:

24

John F. Walvoord, The Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1954), 147.

25

Ryrie, 78.

26

Unger, 99.

27

H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (New York: Macmillan Co., 1927), 98.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 This case was likely preceded historically by the old associative case of which traces remain in the Sanskrit. The idea of association and instrumentality are really much more closely related than might appear at first thought. One is in a sense associated with the means by which he accomplished an objective, and in personal association the second person supplies the means of fellowship... The function of the instrumental case is quite distinct. Its root idea is manifestly means.28 The only problem with Dana and Mantey’s explanation is their dichotomy of personal and impersonal agents. The Holy Spirit must not be looked upon as an impersonal means, but, as McCune says, "Christ is the ultimate baptizer and the Holy Spirit is the means or the personal agent of Christ."29 By the very nature of the verses about the Spirit baptism, it is clearly seen that Christ and the Holy Spirit collaborate in baptism. The agent of baptism is Christ using the Holy Spirit to baptize the believer into the body of Christ. It is theologically correct to trace the Spirit baptism back to Christ, due to Christ's control over the all ministry of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, Peter attributed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the work of Christ (Acts 2:33).30

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF SPIRIT BAPTISM Spirit Baptism is Limited to this Age This ministry of the Holy Spirit is unique, concerning only the New Testament Church. The baptizing work of the Spirit is not found in any other dispensation; this can be proved both theologically and biblically. Theologically, the proof is based on 1 Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." According to the definition of Spirit baptism (given earlier in this paper), a person can be placed in the Body of Christ only in this age. The Church is limited to this age, and so is the baptism. Biblically, this work of Spirit baptism is never mentioned as being experienced in 28

Dana and Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 88-89.

29

McCune, 326-327.

30

McCune, 327.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 the Old Testament or in the days of Christ's earthly ministry. Even after Jesus' resurrection and just before His ascension, He declared that it was yet future.31 In debating the date of Spirit baptism, McCune writes, "the Rapture of the Church terminates Spirit baptism."32 Although the Spirit will be active in the millennial age, no specific mention of His baptizing work then is given in the Bible. According to Walvoord, salvation and Spirit baptism are co-extensive; it can be concluded that this ministry of the Holy Spirit is a ministry particular to this age. Historically, Dispensationalism as a whole endorsed the above position that Holy Spirit baptism is limited to the age of the church and is discontinuous with the Old Testament and the Millenium. Later, Progressive Dispensationalists proposed continuity of the doctrine of Spirit baptism from the Old Testament people of God through the church age into the future millennial kingdom.33 In many respects, Post-modernism brought about this change. Classic Dispensationalism turned into Revised Dispensationalism, and Revised Dispensationalism is becoming Progressive Dispensationalism. Sometimes it seems difficult to call Progressive Dispensationalism “Dispensationalism” at all. Progressive Dispensationalism does not consider Spirit Baptism as unique to the church age, or the present dispensation. They (the “champions” of Progressive Dispensationalism are Craig Blaising, Darrell Bock, and Robert Saucy) contend that what John the Baptist preached – that Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Spirit – was an Old Testament doctrine known as “the promise of the fathers.” There is no doubt that the promise was on Old Testament promise. Luke 24:49 is clearly connected with Joel 2:28-32, but this does not show a clear case of continuity of Holy Spirit Baptism from the Old Testament into the New Testament. Spirit Baptism is Universal Among all Believers of this Age The charismatic writer Robert Dalton said that Spirit baptism is not for all believers, but "only for those who are willing to pay the price."34 Campbell stated that "there are Chris31

Ryrie, 76.

32

McCune, 192.

33

Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism (Wheaton, Il: Victor Books, 1993), 207-208. 34

Robert C. Dalton, Tongues Like As of Fire (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1945), 70.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 tians who are not baptized in the Spirit."35 Is Spirit baptism for all the believers or only for an "elite" of Christians who "deserve" to be baptized by or in the Spirit? Again, 1 Corinthians 12:13 gives the answer. Paul did not say that only the "spiritual" element at Corinth has been baptized. He did not exhort them to be baptized in order to become spiritual, but he simply stated that all had been baptized with the Spirit. 36 A second text that supports that all the believers of this age are baptized by the Spirit is Ephesians 4:5, "one Lord, one faith, one baptism." McCune writes, "The one baptism is something all believers possess. It is universal among believers of this age as is the one Lord, one faith."37 It seems difficult to divide this verse in order to prove that not all the ones having one Lord and one faith are baptized. The logical conclusion of this verse supports the fact that all believers are baptized by the Spirit. Another fact that shows that this baptizing is universal among believers is the lack of commands or exhortations to be baptized in the New Testament. If the baptism were not experienced by all believers, one would expect such exhortations, but the fact that they are missing confirms the universal experience of baptism by all believers. In contrast with this lack of command, the filling of the Spirit is commanded, and the command is in the continuous present tense (Eph 5:18). It Occurs at Regeneration and It Is Not Repeated As discussed earlier (see above – “The Time of Spirit Baptism”), Spirit baptism is a unique act and cannot be repeated in the life of the believer, for the definition of the baptism does not allow for two or more placements of the believer into the Body of Christ. There is no biblical support that a person or a group of believers were ever baptized twice; all the instances indicate a unique and unrepeated experience. The Spirit Baptism is Non-Experiential The Pentecostal movement seeks for the "experience" of Spirit baptism, a manifestation of feelings and emotions associated with a heightened perception of God’s presence. But Spirit baptism is not to be sought or asked for: it is the judicial transaction by which 35

Campbell, 30.

36

Ryrie, 76.

37

McCune, 327.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 a believer is placed into the Body of Christ. Ryrie writes that Spirit baptism is "not based upon or derived from experience; it happens whether or not the believer is conscious of it."38 Spirit baptism belongs to positional truth, and is objective rather than subjective.39 It is not implied that any resultant experience flows from this ministry. Many experiences in the believer's life are the result of the baptizing work of the Spirit, but the baptism itself is not experiential. It is evident that this original act of the Spirit produced no sensation. The very nature of the baptism of the Holy Spirit forbids that it be experimental. As an act of God, it is clearly instantaneous; there is no period of transition. The believer is brought instantly from his position in Adam to his position in Christ. In the nature of any instantaneous act, there can be no experience of process. Whatever may have been felt after the baptism of the Holy Spirit was complete, the act itself did not produce any experimental phenomena.40 A proper perception of Spirit baptism as an instantaneous act of God makes evident the errors of expositors who anticipate an unusual or phenomenal experience in connection with it.

THE RESULTS OF SPIRIT BAPTISM Some controversies have developed due to misinterpretations of passages such as Acts 1:8. Torrey and Moody claim that baptism of the Holy Spirit is an endowment of power for the purpose of service.41 They both understood Spirit baptism as an experiential event subsequent to regeneration that gives one victory over sin and power for service. Of the holiness movement, McCune explains, Holiness people identify Spirit baptism with a crisis experience subsequent to regeneration in which the carnal nature is rooted out (Wesleyan eradicationism) or

38

Ryrie, 77.

39

McCune, 325-327.

40

Walvoord, 147-148.

41

R.A. Torrey, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1910), 153.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 the Holy Spirit so controls the believer that the old nature is counteracted by the new nature, producing a state of spiritual equilibrium (Keswickianism). 42

According to Thomas Edgar, who wrote about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, "the Pentecostals believe that Spirit baptism is a postconversion act, and it is manifested by speaking in tongues.”43 But neither of these claims is correct. Spirit baptism is not experimental but judicial in nature, and is not a crisis subsequent to regeneration. An examination of the nature of Spirit baptism reveals a number of abiding results which may be numbered among the blessed facts of the Christian's salvation, but it must be understood that these results are not the product of an experiential or emotional event, but of being placed positionally in the Body of Christ. Furthermore, the results are common for all believers -- not only for a few select people who manifest special abilities -- and they derive from gifts disbursed generally in God’s economy. Membership in the Body of Christ The primary result of being baptized by the Spirit is membership in the body of Christ. According to 1 Corinthians 12:13, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body..." The Lord Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, completes a spiritual transaction whereby the believer is placed into the Body of Christ and reckoned by God thereafter as a part of this body of saints, having judicial union with Christ and with every church saint.44 According to Romans 6:4, it means that the believer is resurrected to a newness of life; and that he should exercise his gifts to keep the body functioning properly. 45 The Christian baptized by the Spirit is joined to the body of Christ as a living member sharing its common life. As an act of God, this relationship between believer and Body can never be nullified, a factor Walvoord saw as a "sound argument for the eternal security of the saint.”46 42

McCune, 325.

43

Edgar R. Thomas, Miraculous Gifts: Are they for Today? (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1983),

44

McCune, 325.

45

Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology (Wheaten: Scripture Press Publications, 1986), 364.

46

Walvoord, 149.

108.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 Union with Christ D.A. Carson, (a non-dispensationalist), commenting 1Corinthians 12-14 said, “so much attention has been centered on the preposition that we have neglected Paul's repetition of the adjective one.�47 The Christian by the Spirit baptism is not only united with the Body of Christ, but he is joined to Christ Himself in a union of eternal life. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:27, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." The new position of the believer in Christ means that he is associated with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection, and this is the basis for the crucifixion of the believer's sin nature and his victory over sin.48 McCune states, "Union with Christ is a permanent spiritual bond between the believer and Jesus Christ that results from Spirit baptism."49 Being placed in Christ and united with Him, the believer receives the right to a new inheritance, a new nearness and access to God. The union with Christ makes possible a fullness of ministry of the Holy Spirit in this age which had never been possible before. The new position of the Christian is a challenge and incentive to godly living and the ground of victory over sin.50 Union with Other Christians Membership in the Body of Christ and union with Christ are vertical relationships resulting from Spirit baptism; union with other believers is a horizontal relationship which likewise results from Spirit baptism. The fact that unites Christians forever is the Spirit baptism; this is a "judicial, spiritual bond between all the members of the Body of Christ."51 Romans 12:4-5 states, "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." Although all members of the body of Christ are diversified in the aspect of gifts, a definite unity exists among them because of their com47

D. A. Carson, Showing the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 47.

48

Ryrie, The Holy Spirit, 78.

49

McCune, 325.

50

Walvoord, 149.

51

McCune, 326.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry 0 mon bond in Christ. This unity occurs at the moment that Jesus Christ baptizes them into the Body of Christ. The believer is no more associated with the world, but with the body of believers in a unity that Satan cannot destroy. Satan and demonic powers have always been arrayed in deadly opposition to Christ and His body, the church. Satan tries to divide the body of believers, and he stirs up all manner of differences that may preclude organizational unity in some cases, but the Church is "an organic whole regardless of racial and religion connection (Jews or Greeks) or social standing (slaves or freemen). It has been united by the One Spirit."52

CONCLUSION Holy Spirit baptism is that unique ministry of the Spirit for the dispensation of grace, more specifically, for the Church age. From the passages examined it is clear that the agent of Spirit baptism is Jesus Christ, and that He does this work of baptizing by the means or personal agency of the Holy Spirit. This activity began at Pentecost, not in the Old Testament, and has been repeated since then at every conversion. It is not an experiential event but a judicial act by which the believer is united with the Body of Christ, the “body� that represents the believers of this dispensation. The believer is united with Christ Himself, and with all believers. Although the Spirit baptism is not an endowment of power, it brings the believer in a position in Christ which enables him to receive power to serve God and other believers.

52

Harold W. Mare, "1 Corinthians," in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 264.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry

Riches versus Wealth: Are They Mutually Exclusive? Implications of Mark 10:17-31 Steven L. Cox, Ph.D. Research Professor of New Testament and Greek

Christians commonly refer to Mark 10:17-31 as the story of the “rich young ruler.” Actually, the designation “rich young ruler” is a composite of the accounts beginning in Matthew 19:20, Mark 10:17, and Luke 18:18. These passages pose issues that are often overlooked by exegetes, issues that rest not only in culture, tradition, and interpretation, but also in the text (textual variants) of these passages.1 One can be lured into glossing over these texts and accepting what is stated in the pulpit, classroom, professional papers, or publications. The problem with accepting uncritically what one reads or hears is that speakers and writers are at times inconsistent in their exegeses of difficult passages of Scripture. One must be mindful that the position an author takes in print form may not be the same as the position he takes when preaching to a congregation on Sunday morning. When preaching, speakers may suppress or minimalize contextual detail, and consequently adjust their exegesis to their mode of presentation. Likewise, sermonic minimization of textual criticism may cause similar problems (i.e., Mark 10:25; 16:9-20; and John 7:53b-8:11). Yet exegetes and preachers should be mindful that the reader of a text or the audience of a sermon is aware – or has the potential to be made aware – of these textual and contextual issues. Select editions of the KJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, HCSB, and other versions of the Bible have footnotes concerning manuscript discrepancies. This article concentrates on three major sections. The first section considers the question of the rich man concerning eternal life. This section also discusses Jesus’ response

1

Note that editions of the KJV, NA3, NA4, UBS 3, UBS 4, HCSB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, RSV, and the NIV end this pericope with verse 31.

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to the rich man’s question in Mark 10:18, “Why do you call me good?”2 The second section discusses the commandments and eternal life (19-22). Did Jesus view keeping the commandments as a means of attaining salvation (Mark 10:19-22) or do these verses mark the life walk of a true disciple of Jesus? The third section focuses on obstacles to salvation. The act of giving up wealth may be a mark of a disciple of Christ; however, is wealth an automatic hindrance to salvation? Can other things serve as obstacles to salvation? (Mark 10:23-27) The final section of this paper addresses the latter verses of the pericope, namely Mark 10:28-31. This section considers the cost of discipleship and one’s responsibility to family, friends, and community.

No One Is Good but God Alone (vv. 17-18) Mark 10:17-18 begins this section by reminding the reader that Jesus was starting on a journey, that is, to Jerusalem, the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection. According to J. F. Springer: “Jesus [had left] the house in which He and His disciples were in verse [10:]10. At 10:17, there is a time indication.”3 A man of wealth ran up to Jesus and knelt before Him and asked an urgent question. This man may have been a Pharisee, based on his obedience to the Law; however, the text does not say. Darrell Bock held, This man is probably not a synagogue ruler, who would be an older man, since Matt. 19:20, 22 tells us that he is young.... He is probably an influential wealthy man or civic leader who may have been known for his piety. If so, Jesus is confronted not by a religious leader but by one of the leading men of society, a respected layperson.4

The rich man’s haste suggests that he felt this to be his only opportunity to receive an answer to his question concerning eternal life. There is debate whether or not he was 2

All English translations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated. The author’s translations are italicized. 3

J. F. Springer, “Matthew, A Chronological Narrative,” Bibliotheca Sacra 80 (1923): 128.

4

Darrell L. Bock, Luke 9:51-24:53, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 1476.

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testing Jesus in referring to him as “Good.” Pertaining to Jesus’ response, Darrell Bock lists the following positions: 1. Jesus purposefully declares his sinfulness (Volkmar 1870: 489), a view fully refuted by Warfield (1914). If this had been Jesus’ intent, the church would not have declared him sinless, since this remark would explicitly deny such a claim (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15). 2. Jesus presses the implications of such a remark, in effect saying, “Realize that if you call me good, you are calling me God” (Ambrose, De Fide 2.1; Geldenhuys 1951: 458; also Basil, Cyril, and Jerome). If this was Jesus’ intention, it is certainly a veiled proclamation. In fact, Jesus saw his role as pointing people to God through him, rather than drawing exclusive attention to himself. There are more probable explanations than that it is a subtle rebuke. 3. Jesus rejects the ruler’s attempt at flattery (Danker 1988: 299; Arndt 1956: 383 [who also holds view 2]). This is partially correct in that Jesus does intend to shock the ruler into considering his words. 4. Jesus wants the ruler to focus on God and his will so that he will be genuinely responsive to God (Fitzmyer 1985: 1199; Warfield 1914: 211 [repr. p. 139]). This explanation is the most contextually satisfying, since [Lk.] 18:20 goes on to cite God’s commandments. If the ruler desires to truly follow God, then he should respond to the one who brings his teaching. The point is to shock the ruler. He has attempted to honor Jesus, but he needs to recognize that “good” is a relative term except when applied to God. If the teacher is good, then one should follow the teacher’s instruction. Also, being good is not sufficient for attaining eternal life, God must supply it. Flattering God’s teacher does not bring commendation; response to God does.5 Though there are various theories concerning why the man called Jesus “Good Teacher,” this writer maintains that the context of the wealthy man’s question defines his approach as a respectful inquiry about how to inherit eternal life (v. 17). The man’s address to Jesus as “Good Teacher” reveals his incomplete knowledge concerning the identity of Jesus.

5

Bock, Luke 9:51-24:53, 1477-78.

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Responding to the address “Good Teacher,” Jesus countered, “No one is good—except God alone.” Unspecified designations such as “Good Teacher” are not unusual in Mark. Werner Kelber suggested that the phrase “Good Teacher” is one of many “Synoptic oral traditions [that] precede[d] the gospel, bypass[ed] the gospel, and continue[d] long after its composition. The gospel itself is to be located in relation to oral culture neither at the summit of oral drives, nor at the point of oral exhaustion, but in the midst of oral life.”6 This suggestion is a farce in that the Holy Spirit moved on the Gospel-writers as well as the writers of the other books of the Bible (1 Pet. 1:21) and God preserved His Scriptures. Any informed Jew knew that only God was to be thought of as absolutely good. With His response, Jesus implied the question, “Are you then ready to confess me as God and Savior?” Therefore, it was not that the word ἀγαθέ (good) did not apply to Jesus, for it did! Jesus challenged this seeker to ponder whether he was willing to move its meaning beyond the relative (a good man) to the absolute (God). The phrase “No one is good—except God alone” appears to contradict the christological view that Jesus is the Messiah and the second part of the Trinity. (See also Matt. 19:17 and Luke 18:19.) Jesus’ response must have been perplexing to the wealthy young man. Paul Henebury correctly assumed: The Lord was not saying, “You do not really know what “good” is, for you only know it by analogy.” No, He meant that the young man had the right idea of goodness as far as it went, but he did not understand that Jesus’ understanding of “good” was so exhaustive as to call forth Jesus’ answer that only God is actually good.7 Craig Evans affirmed, “Jesus’ purpose is not to draw attention to himself, though his person and ministry are of such an extraordinary nature that very thing happens; his purpose is to draw attention to the God who saves and heals, forgives and restores, and

6

Werner Kelber, “Mark and Oral Tradition,” Semeia, edited by Norman R. Petersen et al., 16 (Missoula, MT: Society of Biblical Literature, 1979), 39. 7

Paul Henebury, “Robert Reymond’s Systematic Theology: A Dispensational Appraisal” Conservative Theological Journal 8 (2004): 252-253.

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gives eternal life.”8 This concept occurs with God’s actions: “Surely God is good to Israel” (Ps. 73:1); “For everything God created is good” (1 Tim. 4:4). Close parallels to Mark 10:19 are: “… there is no one who does good” (Ps. 14:1); “… there is no one who does good, not even one” (Ps. 14:3); “… there is no one who does good, not even one” (Ps. 53:3); “there is no one righteous, not even one;” (Rom. 3:10); and “… there is no one who does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:12). James Edwards recognized, “Rabbis welcomed any number of titles (e.g., 12:38), but only rarely was a rabbi addressed as ‘good teacher,’ for fear of blasphemy against God, who alone is good.”9 Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall referred to Hilary of Poitiers’ observation, “He (the rabbi) was not aware that Jesus had come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and that the law could not save except through justifying faith.”10 The young man had no concept of Jesus as Messiah. He probably meant “Good Teacher” as a sincere tribute to the impression Jesus had made on him, much like that of a rabbi. The question “What must I do to inherit eternal life” was highly unusual. The Torah teaches what is required for eternal life: keep the whole Law. Keeping the Law simply as works alone does not suffice. Furthermore, note the wording: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” The man may have inherited some degree of wealth (v. 22); therefore, it was natural for him to conceive of eternal life as an inheritance since health and wealth were considered as blessings on people who had a right standing with God. He may have sensed that something more than keeping the Law was needed and as a result he asked, “What must I do?” Eternal life literally means life of the age. It is a phrase commonly used by John but found only six times in Matthew, Luke, and Mark combined. Note that eternal life (v. 17)

8

Craig A. Evans, Mark 8:27-16:20, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 34B (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001), 96. 9

James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, in The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; Leicester, England: Apollos, 2002), 310. 10

Hilary of Poitiers, “The False Premise of the Question,” Mark 2, in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture NT, edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall (Chicago, London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1995), 139.

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is used interchangeably with the concepts of “salvation” and “Kingdom of God” (vv. 24, 25). Werner Foerster expanded these interchangeable concepts: Mk. 10:26 being saved is equivalent to entering the kingdom or entering or inheriting life. Mk. 13:13 and parallels speak of deliverance from messianic tribulation. Lk. 13:23 equates salvation with entering the kingdom. In Lk. 19:10 saving and finding take place in the present (cf. 19:9-10). sōtēría, then, has both a present reference as finding and a future reference as entering the kingdom.11 Jesus demonstrated that the Law was a minimal standard for eternal life (Mark 10:19, 21. See also Gal. 3:19-26.). Thus one must move from the Law to faith in Christ if he would realize this kind of life. The Commandments and Eternal Life (19-22) Jesus did not wish to argue about goodness as far as humans tend to observe, so He quickly turned the conversation to the people’s search for eternal life. He cited the Second Table of the Ten Commandments, which deals with relationships of people to each other. According to Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, “Our Lord purposely confines Himself to the second table, which He would consider easy to keep, enumerating them all—for in Mark (Mk 10:19), ‘Defraud not’ [μὴ ἀποστερήσῃς] stands for the tenth (else the eighth is twice repeated).”12 The UBS4 editors graded the reading that stands in the text as [A]; whereas, the UBS3 editors graded this same reading as [C].13 The raising of the grade of individual readings two levels is not unusual with the 11

Werner Foerster, “sōzō, sōtēría” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged in One Volume, edited by Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985), 1135. 12

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970 rpt.), 1016. 13

See Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren, The rd Greek New Testament, 3 ed. (Stuttgart, Germany: United Bible Societies, 1983 rpt.), 165. See also Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger, The Greek th New Testament, 4 ed. (Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994), 160. Johann Jakob Griesbach graded the readings of the Greek text in his apparatus a forerunner of the {A}, {B}, {C}, {D} notations found in the UBS. The UBS editors followed his scheme: {A} means that the reading is very certain, {B} indicates there is some degree of doubt concerning the reading, {C} means there is considerable amount of doubt concerning the reading, and {D} signifies there is a very high degree of doubt concerning the reading.

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UBS4 editors. According to Bruce Metzger, “Since the command, [μὴ ἀποστερήσῃς] “Do not defraud,” (a reminiscence of Ex 20:17 or Dt 24:14 [Septuagint mss A F] or Sir 4:1), may have seemed to be inappropriate in a list of several of the Ten Commandments, many copyists—as well as Matthew (19:18) and Luke (18:20)—omitted it.”14 Robert Stein observed: “Because the command not to covet is missing from Jesus’ list of commands, some have suggested that ‘do not defraud’ is the equivalent of ‘do not covet.’ It is more likely, however, that it should be understood as a variant of ‘do not steal.’”15 In essence “do not defraud” covers both of these commandments in the sense that “covet” is an uncontrollable desire to the point that a plot to gain something is conceived; whereas, stealing is putting the plot into action. No doubt Jesus referred to this section because obeying it provided evidence of obedience to the First Table, the one dealing with people’s relationship to God (1 John 4:7-12). To summarize, in recalling the requirements of one’s duty to others, the Lord wished to produce a sense of inadequacy in the rich man. Edwards noted, “[Do not defraud] may have been added because of its relevance to the rich man, since wealth is often gained at the expense of the poor.”16 If the rich man had not kept the commandments concerning human relations (5-10), certainly he would not have kept the commandments concerning a relationship with God (1-4). It was as if Jesus said, “What can you do? Do!--If that is the way, then you must do all the Law as a minimum!” The apostle Paul learned the emptiness of seeking lawbased righteousness. His testimony in Philippians 3:4-9 offers an eloquent expression of that truth: 4

though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

14

Bruce Manning Metzger, et, al. ed., A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Secth. ond Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, 4 rev. ed. (New York: American Bible Society; Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft and United German Sociend.. ties, 1994, 2 ed.), 89. 15

Robert H. Stein, Mark, in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 469. 16

Edwards, Mark, 310-11.

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If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 8

This rich man was sincere in his claim of keeping the law from his youth (Bar Mitzvah) for he had fulfilled the Second Table. Evans observed, “The man’s testimony, therefore, would have been taken very seriously and would have been understood as an affirmation of his faithfulness—as he understood it—in keeping the covenant.”17 Jesus did not challenge his claim. James Brooks confirmed, “… the “one thing” this man lacked was not understanding of the requirements of the law but a radical trust in God, who alone is good, that would allow him to abandon all his property and follow Jesus.” 18 Scripture does not reveal why Jesus was so moved with love for him. Evans assessed, “The comment (by Mark only) that Jesus ἠγάπησεν αὐτόν [loved him] eliminates any suggestion that the man’s profession is insincere and that Jesus has been engaged in unmasking hypocrisy.”19 William Hendriksen concurred, “Because Mark used a particular Greek verb [ἀγαπάω] and not another [φιλέω], the love [ἀγαπάω] here indicated is of the highest kind, “far beyond mere affection.”20

17

Evans, Mark 8:27-16:20, 97.

18

James A. Brooks, Mark, The New American Commentary, vol. 23, edited by David Dockery (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1991), 163. 19

R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapid: Eerdmans; Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2002), 403. 20

William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Exposition of the Gospel According to Mark, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1975), 395.

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Based on context this man lacked a “... devotion to God, as demonstrated by compassion for the needy. Had this man truly trusted in the goodness of God (v. 18), he would have welcomed Jesus’ command as God’s best for him.”21 Why did Jesus command the rich man to sell everything he had? Joachim Jeremias recognized: “No one should underestimate the part played by the kind of generosity to be found in Jesus’ preaching. ‘Sell that you have and give alms’ (Luke 12:33). ‘So therefore, whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, cannot be my disciple’ (Luke 14.33).”22 David Garland was correct in his assessment: “Few followed through on this ideal, and the later rabbis specifically forbade giving away all of one’s resources. They limited the maximum that one could give away to 20 percent so that one would not become penniless and a burden to others.”23 Although later rabbis frowned upon giving all possessions away, there are examples of this act in Jewish writings. The Community Rule scrolls made reference to such actions: 1QS11-14 All those who freely devote themselves to His truth shall bring all their knowledge, powers[,] and possessions into the community of God, that they may purify their knowledge in truth of God’s precepts and order their powers according to His ways of perfection and all their possessions according to His righteous counsel.24

4QS And they shall separate from the congregation of the men of injustice and shall unite with respect to doctrine and property, and they shall be under the authority of the Congregation concerning all matters of doctrine and property. 25

21

Brooks, Mark, 163.

22

Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus: An Investigation into Economic and Social Conditions During the New Testament Period (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979, 1987 rpt.), 127. 23

David E. Garland, Mark, in The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996),

397. 24

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, translated by Geza Vermes (London and New York: Penguin Books, 1961, rev. ed. 2004), 99. 25 The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 118.

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Likewise, Josephus added, νόμος γὰρ τοὺς εἰς τὴν αἵρεσιν εἰσιόντας δημεύειν τῷ τάγματι τὴν οὐσίαν ὥστε, ἐν ἅπασιν μήτε πενίας ταπεινότητα φαίνεσθαι μήθ᾽ ὑπεροχὴν πλούτου, τῶν δ᾽ ἑκάστου κτημάτων ἀναμεμιγμένων μίαν ὥσπερ ἀδελφοῖς ἅπασιν οὐσίαν εἶναι.26 The act of giving away one’s possessions has never been a requirement that merits salvation; therefore, one should not assume that a person is saved or lost based on their wealth or their poverty. Rich, renowned, and learned as this man was, Jesus had to expose his misunderstanding about securing eternal life. No amount of devotion to the Law will secure eternal life for it is through faith in Christ alone. Eternal life consists in an attachment to Jesus who is “the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4). France observed, “Jesus is asking not only for renunciation of possessions but also for a total change in his lifestyle: he is to join the itinerant group of Jesus’ closest disciples, with their communal resources and dependence on the material support of others. ”27 The requirement for this man was to fall out of love with his wealth and to fall in love with Jesus: “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Mark 10:21). This is the same call that Jesus issued to the twelve (Mark 2:14; 8:34). This is the same call that Jesus issued to you and me. This man valued his wealth so much that he would forfeit eternal life to retain it. Larry McSwain correctly stated, “[He] had made mammon his priority; hence, responsiveness to a kingdom demand was more than he could make (Mt. 19:16–30; Mk. 10:17–31; Lk. 26

Josephus, The Jewish War, in The Loeb Classical Library, volume 2, translated by H. St. J. Thackery (London: William Heinemann, Ltd.; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927, rpt. 1961): 2.8.3 § 122. The best translation of this text is, “[For t]hey have a law that new members on admission to the sect shall confiscate their property to the ruler, with the result that you will nowhere see abject poverty or inordinate wealth; the individual’s possessions join the common stock and all, like brothers, enjoy a single patrimony.” 27

France, Mark, 403.

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18:18–30).”28 This rich man is the only person that the New Testament refers to as going away from the presence of Jesus grieved. The word στυγνάσας (being sad, face fell) denotes the sadness or gloominess of the face over bad news. Henry Barclay Swete correctly assessed: “The answer did not exasperate, but it gave him pain which was visible on his countenance.... His hopes were dashed; the one thing he yet wanted was beyond his reach; the price was too great to pay even for eternal life. For the time the love of the world prevailed.”29 One must not assume that Jesus’ specific command to this man to sell his possessions is a universal requirement for salvation. Larry Thornton warned: “This man’s distraction that kept him from God was his love of money. Another individual may have another type of sin in his life that is keeping him from the Lord.”30 The demand was appropriate for this particular situation. Being reduced to poverty would dramatize the man’s helplessness in the quest for eternal life. The principle, however, is universal: the most desirable kind of life--eternal life-- is given only by an uncluttered personal attachment to Jesus.

28

Larry L. McSwain, “Christian Ethics and the Business Ethos,” Review and Expositor, vol. 81.2 (Spring, 1984): 200. 29

Henry Barclay Swete, The Gospel According to St. Mark: The Greek Text With Introduction, Notes, and Indices (London; New York: MacMillan, 1898), 227. 30

Larry Thornton, “Direct Teaching of Christ on Economics,” Central Bible Quarterly, 13.2 (1970):

11-12.

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Obstacles to Eternal Life (vv. 23-27)

Typical of the Master Teacher, Jesus seized every opportunity to illustrate spiritual truth. According to Peter Rhea Jones, Jesus believed that a life centered in personal wealth and closed to compassion would result in spiritual disaster (Lk. 16:19–31) because it was a self-defeating, inauthentic existence. Jesus was concerned for and had compassion for the rich and wished to free them in their attitude and use of wealth. He wished to free them for another concern, allegiance to the kingdom (Mk. 10:23–27), a revision of values.31

Jesus περιβλεψάμενος (looked around) and cautioned his disciples about the inherent danger of riches. (Note that He did not say that riches are evil for the Bible does not make that assertion.) Paul pointed out in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” This apostle agreed with Jesus in that riches are a temptation; they too easily impede and divert the soul. Too often earnestness turns to sadness when the demands of the kingdom are realized and the soul turns away. Mark describes the difficulty of the rich to be saved. He counters the common belief that wealth indicated God’s favor and, by extension, salvation. Verse 23 has a significant textual variant based on the verb in the phrase Πῶς δυσκόλως οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελεύσονται, (how difficult for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God). Metzger scrutinized the diversity in the ordering of verses 23-26 in various texts: The Western text (D ita, b, d, ff2) has moved ver. 25 so as to follow εἰσελεύσονται (reading verses 23, 25, 24, 26). The transposition appears to be the work of the Western redactor who sought to improve the sense by making a more gradual sequence (first, it is difficult for rich people to enter the kingdom; then, it is difficult 31

Peter Rhea Jones, “The Liberating and Liberated Lord: A Biblical Essay on Freedom,” Review and Expositor, 73.3 (Summer 1976): 290.

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for those who trust in riches.... [T]he too-logical order of the Western text that renders it suspect as a secondary modification of the more primitive text. The minuscule 235 includes ver. 25 twice (reading verses 23, 25, 24, 25, 26). 32

Larry Thornton recognized, “Jesus does not demand actual poverty, but poverty of spirit—that inward detachment from the world and the things of the world which enables one to possess the things of the world as a trust from God.”33 While following Jesus and listening to His teaching, did the disciples not understand Jesus’ positive attitude toward humiliation and poverty? Brooks noted, “The Psalms sometimes picture the poor as the righteous who rely on God for aid (Pss. 37:14, 16; 69:32–33; 86:1–2). The Psalms frequently portray God as the special help of the poor.”34 Verse 24 expresses that the disciples were stunned at Jesus’ words concerning how difficult it is for the rich to be saved. Garland was correct in his assertion: “Judaism reflected some ambivalence toward wealth…. [S]ome traditions equated prosperity with divine blessing (see Deut. 28:1-14; Job 1:10; 42:10; Ps. 128[:1-2]; Prov. 10:22[; Isa. 3:10]. The disciples’ amazement over Jesus’ words presumably stems from this perspective.”35 The verb ἐθαμβοῦντο suggests “amazed, startled, and surprised.” According to Alan Stanley, “When the disciples expressed amazement, Jesus repeated His assertion but without mentioning riches: ‘How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God’(Mark 10:24).”36 Several versions of the Bible (NASB, NIV, and RSV) omit the phrase “for them that trust in riches” in verse 24; however, the KJV has this reading. The textual problem concerning the presence or absence of the phrase “πῶς δύσκολόν 32

Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 2nd. ed. (New York: American Bible Society; Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994), 89-90. 33

Larry Thornton, “The Parabolic Teaching of Christ on Economics,” Central Bible Quarterly 13.3 (1970): 21. 34

Brooks, Mark, 164.

35

Garland, Mark, 398.

36

Alan P. Stanley, “The Rich Young Ruler and Salvation,” Bibliotheca Sacra 163 (2006): 49, n. 18. The reference inside of Stanley’s quote is from v. 23b.

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ἐστιν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν" (how difficult [it] is for those who trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God) poses an important exegetical question, but not a major difficulty. The United Bible Society editors, who favor the Alexandrian readings over the Byzantine or any other readings, chose to reject this phrase. The editors of the UBS4 raised the reading in verse 24 from [C] to [B]. Metzger held, The rigor of Jesus’ saying was softened by the insertion of one or another qualification that limited its generality and brought it into closer connection with the context. Thus, A C D Θ f 1 f 13 all read ἐστιν τοὺς πεποιθότας ἐπὶ χρήμασιν (“for those who trust in riches”); W and itc insert πλούσιον (“a rich man”); and 1241 reads οἱ τὰ χρήματα ἔχοντες (“those who have possessions”).37

The inclusion of this phrase might seem redundant; however, its inclusion might serve as an important point of emphasis, based on Jewish thought concerning the rich. John W. Burgon held, “… the New Testament is a ‘Divinely inspired and providentially preserved Book.”38 The omission of this phrase results in a simple unqualified phrase, “How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God.” Garland re-emphasized: “Wealth is not something neutral but is toxic to the soul. The best thing to do with money is to invest it in heavenly futures by feeding the destitute.”39 It is difficult for most people to receive eternal life because the values of the kingdom are so radically different from those which they naturally hold. Wealth simply compounds the difficulty. Edwards confirmed: “… To be sure, wealth is a potential danger to faith. Wealth is not categorically condemned by Jesus. Neither the unnamed woman of [Mark] 14:3–9 nor Joseph of Arimathea (15:43; Matt 27:57) is either questioned or condemned in Mark, although both are wealthy.”40

37

Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 2nd. ed., 90.

38

John W. Burgon, The Traditional Texts of the Holy Gospels, ed. E. Miller (London: George Bell & Sons, 1896), 21. 39

Garland, Mark, 398.

40

Edwards, Mark, 314.

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Jesus makes concrete what certainly for the disciples seemed abstract. Jesus paints the imagery of the largest domestic animal in his world trying to squeeze through the smallest of openings. He does not say that a rich person cannot be saved (v. 25); however, Jesus warns that it is more difficult for a person of wealth to be saved because he does not sense his need as acutely as a poor person does. The editors of the UBS3 and the UBS4 do not list a graded reading concerning the substitution of κάμιλον “rope” for κάμηλον “camel” in Mk. 10:25; Matt. 19:24; and Luke 18:25, which in essence testifies to the absurdity of this exchange. Metzger, however, offers limited discussion on Luke 18:25: In an attempt to soften the rigor of the statement, the word κάμιλον (“rope” or “a ship’s hawser”) was substituted for κάμηλον [“camel”] in several of the later witnesses (S 13 59 124 130 437 472 543 arm geo). The change was facilitated by the circumstance that ι and η came to be pronounced alike in later Greek (both words were pronounced kah mee-lon).41 Metzger is correct about these two words having identical pronunciation; however, the phenomenon of identical pronunciation for certain Greek letters goes back before the era of the Christ event, based on textual variants in the LXX, NT, and secular sources. 42 Another controversy, or rather popular misconception, involves the nature of the needle. Evans observed, “In the parallel Luke uses the word βελόνη, which is a classical Attic word and may mean a surgeon’s needle.”43 Yet a story attributed to Theophylact (11th century) alleges that a certain gate in Jerusalem was called “the eye of the needle.” This myth is popular among some preachers and some Israeli tour guides who 41

Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament: A Companion Volume rd to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, 3 ed. (Stuttgart, Germany: United Bible Societies, 1971), 169. Metzger used Luke 18:25 as the verse that he commented on concerning the κάμηλον and κάμιλον readings. He used Matt. 19:24 as the point of discussion the κάμηλον and κάμιλον readings in the second edition of the Textual Commentary: however, he made only a cursory remark in the second edition. See Metzger, A Textual Commentary, 2nd. ed., 40. 42

This writer is currently writing a monograph entitled, “Developing a Methodology Concerning First Century Pronunciation of the Greek Language in Light of the Septuagint, New Testament, and Secular Literature.” 43

Evans, Mark 8:27-16:20, 101.

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sensationalize the text by referring to the “eye of the needle” as a narrow wady or gate (ῥαφίς) that was so narrow that a camel had difficulty going through it. This fanciful interpretation of ῥαφίς is unwarranted for three reasons: (1) The astonishment of the disciples in v. 26 implies that Jesus’ expression was impossible, not just difficult; (2) There is no evidence to point to such an alleged gate: and (3) This absurd theory weakens Jesus’ hyperbole. The disciples were περισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο “exceedingly astonished” and their response reflected it. The word καὶ, translated “then” or “and” in this passage, almost defies translation. The shock cannot be missed, “Who then can be saved?” This phrase implies exasperation-- not the first time that Jesus drew this kind of response from his impetuous disciples. Note a similar emotion swelling up in the disciples when he put them on the spot to feed the multitudes: Ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν; “Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and feed them?” (Mk. 6:37). Intensity reaches its peak here when Mark points out Jesus’ ἐμβλέψας αὐτοῖς, “looking upon them.” The statement in this verse is the key to understanding the whole dialogue; therefore, Jesus did not want the disciples to miss the point. Salvation is completely beyond the sphere of human possibility. Walter Wessel correctly observed, “Humanly speaking, no one can be saved by his own efforts; but what we can never do for ourselves, God does for us.”44 Any attempt to inherit eternal life on the basis of merit or wealth is futile. But there remains hope, for with God all things are possible, including salvation! These disciples knew the wonder of God working in human affairs. They understood that God created all things from nothing; they could recite His marvels during the exodus; they believed that He provided water and manna in the wilderness. Salvation is the same for it requires the intervention of God. The disciples witnessed a plethora of miracles, yet based on the context of verses 26-27, it appears that the disciples did not completely understand who can have eternal life.

A Cursory Remark on Mark 10:28-31 44

Walter W. Wessel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, volume 8, edited by Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 717.

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Though some readings of Mark 10:28-31 do not apply to the aims of this article, it is prudent to offer a brief sketch of several prior to the conclusion. When Peter expressed that the disciples had sacrificially followed Jesus, Jesus affirmed that God would recompense them for all of their sacrifice (along with persecution), and that God would exchange the rank of people in the future (vv. 28-31). Grant Osborne correctly stated, “It seems most likely that the disciples did leave their businesses to follow Christ, but kept the tools of their trade and returned to them when necessary (Jn 21; Paul in Acts).” 45 Nor is there any conflict between history and Scripture in that the disciples did not completely abandon their families: That Jesus’ followers included some who had dependents … and had left them to follow him is plain…. Who, for example, looked after Peter’s family when he took to the road as a disciple of Jesus? We are not told. Clearly his wife survived the experience, and her affections apparently survived it also, for twenty-five years later [possibly earlier] Peter was accustomed to take her along with him on his missionary journeys (1 Cor 9:5).46

Jesus summarized his message to the disciples in that those who are first now will be last, and those who are last now, will be first (cf. Mark 9:35) (v. 31). A. D. Verhey made a significant observation: In Jesus’ ethic the “great reversal” of God’s rule is condensed into axioms like “Many that are first will be last, and the last first” (Mk. 10:31; Lk. 13:30; Mt. 19:30; 20:8), and “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Mt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11; 18:14; cf. Mt. 18:4); thus it is clear that both the apocalyptic seer who dreamed of vengeance and the rabbi who insisted on the first seat in the synagogue (Lk. 11:43; Mk. 12:38–40 par[allel]) belonged to the present evil age.47 45

Grant R. Osborne, “Peter, The Apostle,” in Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, edited by Walter A. Elwell and Philip W. Comfort (Grand Rapids: Baker 1988), 1660.

46

Walt C. Kaiser, Hard Sayings of the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 476.

47

A. D. Verhey, “The Ethic of Jesus,” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised, vol. 2, edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 170.

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Edwards stated it well, “The call to follow Jesus does not constitute an additional obligation in life, but rather judges, replaces, and subordinates all obligations and allegiances to the one who says, ‘Follow me.’”48

Conclusion The call to discipleship is a hallmark of God’s activity with humanity. Too often we hear people talk about giving up a lucrative career, a relationship, or fame and fortune in order to serve God. For many of us who have accepted Jesus’ call, we must admit that we have not given up anything. Yet reflecting on Philippians 3:8, we must also admit with Paul, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (KJV). The KJV offers the best translation of σκύβαλα as “dung.” The NIV and the HCSB translate this word as “garbage”: whereas the NASB translates σκύβαλα as “rubbish.” Friedrich Lang confirmed the KJV’s translation of σκύβαλα: “To the degree that the Law is used in self-justification, it serves the flesh and is not just worthless but noxious and even abhorrent. The two elements in σκύβαλον, namely, worthlessness and filth, are best expressed by a term like ‘dung.’”49 The act of discipleship should compel each one of us to conform to the image of Christ (Rom 8:29). The life of a disciple is that of one who forsakes the world for Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer recognized, “… the call of Jesus made short work of all … barriers, and created obedience. That call was the Word of God himself, and all that it required was single-minded obedience.”50 (Although Bonhoeffer was theologically persuaded by Barthian theology, which I reject, I do respect his political view against the Third Reich and the so-called “Jewish Question.”) Robert P. Ericksen compared Bonhoeffer’s activi-

48

Edwards, Mark, 309.

49

Friedrich Lang, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 7, by Gerhard Kittel et al. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964-), 445. 50

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: McMillan, 1961, rpt.), 69.

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ties to those of the pro-Hitler German theologians Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus, and Emanuel Hirsch: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) is widely known for his participation in the plot to kill Hitler and his subsequent martyrdom in 1945. He was a theologian, but his participation in the church struggle [against Hitler and anti-Semitism] during the Nazi years led him deeply into political conflict. 51

The rich man may have misplaced priorities, but one cannot make assumptions based solely on his culture. Garland summed the cost of discipleship well, “Giving oneself completely over to God seems impossible, but Jesus did not need to die on a cross for something that everyone finds easy.�52

51

Robert P. Ericksen, Theologians Under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus, and Emanuel Hirsch (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1985), 24. 52

Garland, Mark, 404.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry Anthropology and Eschatology in Luke 20:27-40: An Exegetical Study

William Renay Wilson Assistant Professor of New Testament and Greek

Adherence to a theological maxim in one category ultimately sends tidal waves of implication throughout all the rest. In the end, the hope is for systemic unity and biblical veracity. The following exegetical treatment of Luke 20:27-40 is an attempt at both goals in two categories: anthropology and eschatology. The paper is divided into two sections. The first and much longer section takes an exegetical look at the reality of resurrection found in Luke 20:27-40. Section two will briefly address theological implications relevant to the exegetical study. The Reality of Resurrection in Luke 20:27-40 Luke 20:27-40 is a triple tradition pericope1 that comes as the second of four temple "debates" involving Jesus and various curious or antagonistic inquirers.2 In this scene, the Sadducees arrive for their first and last attempt at exposing some flaw in Jesus' teaching. The text naturally falls into the following divisions: I. Narrative introduction (v. 27) II. Sadducean opposition (vv. 28-33) a. Proof text (v. 28) b. Illustrative dilemma (vv. 29-32) c. "Vexing" question (v. 33) 1

Cf. Matt 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27.

2

E. Earle Ellis, "Jesus, the Sadducees and Qumran," New Testament Studies 10, no. 2 (January 1964): 274.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry III. Jesus' defense (vv. 34-38) a. Qualitative difference (vv. 34-36) b. Biblical support (v. 37) c. Present application (v. 38) IV. Narrative Conclusion (vv. 39-40)

I. Narrative Introduction (v. 27) Luke introduces the pericope in much the same way as his synoptic parallels. After identifying the Sadducees by name, each of the Synoptics appends an explanatory note anticipating the primary focus of the passage: the Sadducees are those who deny the reality of resurrection.3 According to Josephus (A.D. 37-95), the Sadducees, essentially chief priests, elders, and lay nobility,4 rejected (ἀναιρέω) any ideas of punishment (τιμωρία), reward (τιμή), or existence for the soul (ψυχή) after death.5 Joachim Jeremias notes, "They held strictly to the literal interpretation of the Torah, in particular to the precepts on the cultus and the priesthood, and thus found themselves in direct opposition to the Pharisees and their oral halaka which declared that the rules of purity for priests

3

James Hope Moulton and Nigel Turner, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. III, Syntax (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1963), 316, note here the specific appositional relationship between the Sadducees and what they say about the resurrection. The Nestle-Aland 27th includes the prefix to their denial in brackets: [ἀντι]λέγοντες. Moulton and Turner, vol. III, 285-6, observe that, for emphasis, a redundant μὴ, as in the Aland printed text, sometimes appears with negative primary verbal ideas. Later copyists may have simply deleted the negative prefix in an effort to "smooth out" the syntax. 4

Joachim Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1969), 229-30.

5

Josephus The Jewish War 2.165. Note in particular Josephus' statement, "But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this: That souls (ψυχὰς) die with the bodies (σώμασι)" (Jewish Antiquities 18.16, The Loeb Classical Library, translated by Louis H. Feldman [London: William Heinemann, 1965]). See also Rudolf Meyer s.v. Σαδδουκαῖος, in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 7, ed. Gerhard Friedrich, translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 46-7. Eugene LaVerdiere, "Taxes to Caesar, Resurrection of the Dead," Emmanuel 101, no. 2 (April 1995): 150, assumes that the concept of resurrection is "innovative" during the time of Jesus. The Sadducees, attempting to uphold the status quo, rejected such "new" developments in theology. Cf. Marcel Simon, Jewish Sects at the Time of Jesus, translated by James H. Farley (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), 26-7.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry were binding on the pious laity too."6 If Sadducean interpretation of the Law did not substantiate a doctrine such as resurrection, they rejected it all together.7 Based on this understanding of their presuppositions, it becomes clear from the outset that the Sadducees did not approach Jesus with a legitimate question regarding resurrection life. They merely planned a "snare" (Falles) as a polemic against Jesus' teaching on resurrection,8 designed primarily to "expose the absurdity" of the entire idea.9 II. Sadducean opposition (vv. 28-33) a. Proof text (v. 28) In v. 28 the Sadducees begin their confrontation with an appeal to a Pentateuchal text: Deut 25:5-10 and levirate marriage. According to the levirate statute, if a married man dies without producing an heir, his brother must marry the widow in order to produce a son for the dead. This first-born from the new union must "assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel" (Deut 25:6).10 The Sadducees' citation of this text, as recorded in Luke, however, is more a paraphrase than a

6

Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, 231.

7

Josephus Jewish Antiquities 13.297-98, in The Loeb Classical Library, translated by Ralph Marcus (London: William Heinemann, 1957). 8

Gerhard Schneider, Das Evangelium nach Lukas: Kapitel 11-24 (Würzberg: Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 1977), 405; Jean le Moyne, Les Sadducéens, Études Bibliques (Paris: Librairie Lecoffre, 1972), 125; According to David Daube, The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism (London: Athlone Press, 1956), 159-60, the question about the seven husbands feigned no level of sincerity, but was asked only in an attitude of "rude mockery." Their question represents a particular form of Rabbinic interrogation called boruth, or "vulgarity." Such questions were designed to ridicule a rabbis' belief in the resurrection specifically. As one example of such resurrection riddles, in Niddah 70b, The Babylonian Talmud: Seder Tohoroth, translated by I. Epstein (London: The Soncino Press, 1948), a group of Alexandrians ask Rabbi Joshua b. Hananiah, "Will the dead in the hereafter require to be sprinkled upon on the third and the seventh or will they not require it" since corpses convey uncleanness? 9

J. Gerald Janzen, "Resurrection and Hermeneutics: On Exodus 3:6 in Mark 12:26," Journal for the Study of the New Testament 23 (February 1985): 43. 10

Scripture quotations are from the NASB.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry direct quotation of either the Greek or Hebrew sources.11 Their interpretive paraphrase suits their purpose well, creating a play on words between "raising" (ἐξανίστημι12) seed in the levirate text and their objection to "resurrection" (ἀνάστασις) in v. 33.13 For the Sadducees, the levirate code spelled out the method by which a man's name, his lineage, and therefore his immortality could be preserved if he should die before producing a male heir.14 Their typical Hebrew anthropology conceived of the individual, "not in some analytical fashion as 'soul' and 'body,' but synthetically as a psychical whole," a living nepe .15 In contrast to a view that the soul can exist without the body, Sadducees held that when a man died, he died holistically. 16 Nevertheless, man as nepe represented for them a "unified manifestation of vital power" which extended beyond the individual's body, capable of residing in his "name."17 Thus, when the individual died, he might continue to live on by extension through a posterity bearing his name. The Sadducees, therefore, considered the elimination of one's name the "greatest dis11

Janzen, "Resurrection and Hermeneutics,” 43, conjectures that the Sadducees have perhaps spliced together the Deuteronomic code with the Genesis 38 account of Judah, Tamar, and Onan. Cf. the LXX's version of Gen 38:8: εἶπεν δὲ Ιουδας τῷ Αυναν Εἴσελθε πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου καὶ γάμβρευσαι αὐτὴν καὶ ἀνάστησον σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ σου. 12

The closely related term ἐξανάστασις is used in Phil 3:11 for the resurrection.

13

Janzen, "Resurrection and Hermeneutics," 47.

14

J. G. Mudíso Mbâ Mundla, Jesus und die Fürhrer Israels: Studien zu den sog. Jerusalemer Streitgesprächen, Neutestamentliche Abhandlungen, Neue Folge, Band 17 (Münster: Aschendorff, 1984), 86-7. See also Philip Carrington, According to Mark: A Running Commentary on the Oldest Gospel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960), 261. 15

Aubrey R. Johnson, The One and the Many in the Israelite Conception of God (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1961), 2; J. Pedersen, Israel: Its Life and Culture, vols. 1-2 (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), 99, remarks, "It is not said that man was supplied with a nephesh, and so the relation between body and soul is quite different from what it is to us. Such as he is, man, in his total essence, is a soul." According to Rudolf Bultmann, Theology of the New Testament vol. 1, translated by Kendrick Grobel (London: SCM Press, 1952), 209, "Man does not consist of two parts, much less of three," but he is a "living unity." Cf. Shabbath 13a, 13b, vol. 1, The Babylonian Talmud: Seder Mo'ed, translated by I. Epstein (London: The Soncino Press, 1938). 16

Josef Ernst, Das Evangelium nach Lukas, Regenburger Neues Testament (Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet, 1993), 414; E. Earle Ellis, The Gospel of Luke, The New Century Bible Commentary, ed. Matthew Black (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 234. 17

Johnson, The One and the Many, 2.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry aster which can befall a man" and placed their hope for victory over death in procreation (raising up seed), not resurrection (raising the dead).18 b. Illustrative dilemma (vv. 29-32) Beginning in v. 29, the Sadducees propose an illustrative story designed to demonstrate from their proof-text the absurdity of bodily resurrection.19 One of seven brothers died, leaving behind a childless wife. Each of the remaining six brothers in turn performed their levirate duty, and each died without leaving an heir to continue either the original husband's or their own name. Finally, v. 32, the wife herself died, and no child was ever produced.20 c. "Vexing" question (v. 33) Following their paraphrase of the Law and this illustration, they conclude in v. 33 with a question which, rather than trapping Jesus, betrays their fundamental presupposition. The surface level question seems obvious enough: Jesus must decide from among the seven which brother will be the wife’s husband in the resurrection. The Sadducees in this way display a view of resurrection which assumes a simple continuity between the current age and the proposed coming age, including the aspects of monogamy and procreation.21 The Sadducees of course did not anticipate an age to come, so their question was based on their interpretation of resurrection concepts found within their own culture.

18

H. Wheeler Robinson, "Hebrew Psychology," in The People and the Book, ed. Arthur S. Peake (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925), 379. 19

LaVerdiere, "Taxes to Caesar, Resurrection of the Dead," 150.

20

The story itself reflects popular parallels. In the apocryphal book Tobit, young Tobiah on a journey with the angel Azariah encountered a girl to whom he had levirate rights. In Tob 6:14, quoted in Carey A. Moore, Tobit: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, The Anchor Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1996), Tobiah laments, "I have heard that she has already been given in marriage seven times, and each man has died in the bridal chamber. On the night they entered it they dropped dead. Besides, I've heard people say that a demon kills them. So I, too, am afraid . . . I am my father's only child. Were I to die, then I would bring my father and mother to their grave with grief over me. Besides, they have no other son to bury them." 21

Janzen, "Resurrection and Hermeneutics," 49.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry For many, post-resurrection existence amounted to little more than the best of this age extended into eternity.22 In a midrash on Psalm 73, Rabbi Simon (ca. 210) reflects this mentality when he declares: In this world a person goes on the Sabbath to gather figs, and the fig tree says nothing; however in the future l'tyd a person goes to pick a fig on the Sabbath, and it calls to him, "It is the Sabbath!" In this world if a man goes to sleep with his menstruating wife, his bed does not stop him; however in the future if a man wants to sleep with his wife while she is menstruating, a stone [in the wall] will call to him, "She is menstruating!" The Scripture provides evidence for this in Hab 2:11: "Surely the stone will cry out from the wall . . ."23 Similarly, for members of the Qumran community, the future age would involve "healing, plentiful peace in a long life, fruitful offspring with all everlasting blessings, eternal enjoyment with endless life, and a crown of glory with majestic raiment in eternal light" (1QS 4.6-8).24 It is on this traditional view of resurrection that the Sadducees build their caricature of the afterlife. Given the monistic anthropology the Sadducees shared with their Jewish contemporaries, what was demanded of the whole man in this age (levirate marriage and monogamy) must be expected of him in the next.25 How then will the woman produce children by one man in the age to come when she was legally the wife of seven in the age that will pass? This scenario, the Sadducees assumed, would certainly produce a knot that Jesus could not untangle, leaving him and the Pharisees looking foolish.26 22

Ellis, "Jesus, the Sadducees and Qumran," 274.

23

Quoted in Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck, Das Evangelium nach Matthäus Erläutert aus Talmud und Midrasch, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch, Band 1 (München: C. H. Beck'sche, 1922), 889. According to Ibid., 888, there were some Rabbis who concluded there would be no eating, drinking, or procreating in the afterlife. 24

See Florentino García Martínez, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English, translated by Wilfred G. E. Watson (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994). 25

John J. Kilgallen, "The Sadducees and Resurrection from the Dead: Luke 20:27-40," Biblica 67, no. 4 (1986): 483. 26

John Nolland, Luke 18-24:53, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 35c (Dallas: Word Books, 1993), 965.

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III. Jesus' defense (vv. 34-38) a. Qualitative difference (vv. 34-36) In Luke's transition from the Sadducean question to Jesus' response,27 the twofold condemnation of their hermeneutic and theology found in both Matthew and Mark is missing.28 Instead of focusing on the personal confrontational aspects of the episode, Luke highlights in Jesus' teaching the fundamental difference between life in this age and life in the age to come.29 By acknowledging that men and women in this age continue to marry and are sometimes, as in the levirate code, obligated to marry, Jesus isolates the fundamental flaw in the Sadducean argument.30 Their anthropology, shared by their contemporaries who did anticipate a resurrection, was radically monistic. The Sadducees' question was based on a false anthropological premise: because the individual is a unified whole, that unity 27

There is some discrepancy regarding the nature of Jesus' argumentative technique. D. M. Cohn-Sherbok, "Jesus' Defense of the Resurrection of the Dead," Journal for the Study of the New Testament 11, (1981): 64, contends that Jesus' defense of resurrection does not follow a strictly Rabbinic pattern of argument, "the hermeneutical rules laid down by Tannaitic exegetes." E. Earle Ellis, The Old Testament in Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991), 131-2, however, associates vv. 37, 38 with Hillel's third rule, "a general principle inferred from the teaching contained in one verse." Cf. also Mundla, 82-3. 28

Both Matt 22:29 πλανᾶσθε μὴ ειδότες τὰς γραφὰς μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ θεοῦ; and Mark 12:24 οὐ διὰ τοῦτο πλανᾶσθε μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ θεοῦ; record Jesus' denunciation of (1) their ignorance of the correct interpretation of Scripture and (2) their failure to understand God's power in relation to resurrection. 29

I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, The New International Greek Testament Commentary, ed. I. Howard Marshall and W. Ward Gasque (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 740. According to Alfred Plummer, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Luke, 5th ed., The International Critical Commentary, ed. Alfred Plummer, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1922), 469, τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου is an unusual construction found nowhere else in the NT. James Hope Moulton, and Wilbert Francis Howard, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. II, Accidence and Word-Formation (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1956), 441, have identified its Semitic foundation, perhaps reflecting the Hebrew construct 'ovlam he ba' (the coming age). 30

Ibid., 383, interpret γαμίσκω here in a causative sense corresponding to γαμίζω in v. 36. People in this life marry and do so repeatedly; sometimes circumstances, like those posed by the Sadducees, demand marriage. See also Kilgallen, "The Sadducees and Resurrection," 484, especially n. 16.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry will be preserved identically in the future life. The reality of resurrection, Jesus' key concern, was only secondary for the Sadducee. Whether there was or was not a resurrection, their absolutist anthropology dictated only one hope for immortality: procreation. 31 Jesus therefore bypasses their basic premise by propounding in vv. 35-36 a qualitative anthropological difference between life in this age and life in the coming kingdom.32 Marriage and procreation with a view to cheating the finality of death will be obsolete. 33 In the coming age, men will be individually immortal. This immortality, however, is not for everyone. Only those considered worthy (οἱ καταξιωθέντες34) can hope in the resurrection. God sovereignly bestows this great reward on those who satisfy his criteria (unspecified in this context);35 only they can hope to attain the coming age and the joyous resurrection that accompanies it.36 Resurrection hope in Jesus' teaching is not a racial right resulting from a fruitful marriage. The immortal are those made sons by their Heavenly Father's power rather than fathers living on through the lineage of earthly sons. Jesus' specification of worthiness and Luke's unique terminology for the kingdom

31

Ellis, Luke, 236.

32

Cf. 1 Cor 15:36-58 where Paul argues that the post-resurrection state is qualitatively different from present existence. 33

Maurice Wiles, "Studies in Texts: Luke 20:34-36," Theology 60, no. 450 (December 1957): 502, offers an exaggerated exposition of Jesus' assertion that the future life will not involve marriage: "the real significance of the saying is not that in heaven we shall be married to nobody but rather that in heaven we shall be married to everybody." 34

Cf. Luke's identical use of terminology in Acts 5:41, "Therefore they left the council rejoicing because they were counted worthy (κατηξιώθησαν) to be insulted for the name." 35

Nolland, 965; Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke (X-XXIV), The Anchor Bible, ed. W. F. Albright and D. N. Freedman, vol. 28a (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1985), 1305. 36

Darrell L. Bock, Luke 9:51-24:53, Baker Exegetical Commentary, ed. Moisés Silva (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 1623.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry (τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου) may imply a subtle warning to his listeners.37 Only the righteous from among the dead will be raised to bliss.38 Unique to his gospel, Luke in v. 36 includes an explanatory γὰρ clause specifying Jesus' rationale for asserting that marriage will no longer exist. The resurrected righteous will no longer be able to die. Marriage and procreation will, therefore, cease to exist as necessary solutions to the problem of death. Death itself will disappear. Another explanatory γὰρ clause, this one with triple tradition parallels, serves to defend Jesus' declaration. The righteous cannot die because they will be just like the angelic sons of God who themselves cannot die.39 The fact that the righteous resurrected are considered "sons of God" presents still more formidable evidence for their immortality, even beyond their identity with angels. For those who partake of the resurrection, "divine Fatherhood replaces human parentage."40 Life after death is not achieved by extension through procreation; it is a real experiential mercy gift from God.41 "The reason for this life without death," states Kilgallen, "is that one is recognized as a child of God; being raised from the dead is the public revelation of this intimate relationship with God."42

37

Werner Foerster, s.v. ᾿Αξιόω, καταξιόω, in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, ed. Gerhard Kittel, translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 380, notes that the "exclusive use of the compound . . . expresses unworthiness of the divine gift of grace," which results in an implied admonition. 38

Plummer, 469.

39

Ellis, Luke, 236; Burton Scott Easton, The Gospel According to St. Luke (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926), 300. F. Blass, and A. Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, translated by Robert W. Funk (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), 64, remark that the prefix ἰσο in ἰσάγγελοι functions like a participle resulting in the sense of "being equal to." Cf. however, Fitzmyer, 1305, who interprets angelic equality in terms of "disembodied spirits who do not marry." Similarly Schneider, 406, draws the point of comparison, not between resurrected/angelic immortality but celibacy. Bernhard Weiss, Die Evangelien des Markus und Lukas, Kritischexegetischer Kommentar über das Neue Testament (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1901), 6089, concludes that Luke has purposefully overlooked Mark's emphasis on the androgyny of angels, emphasizing instead their immortality. 40

Marshall, 742.

41

Schneider, 406.

42

Kilgallen, "Sadducees and Resurrection," 486.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry b. Biblical support (v. 37) After dissecting and negating the levirate puzzle posed by the Sadducees, beginning in v. 37 Jesus appeals to the Torah, their own narrow source of authority, for still more evidence validating the reality of resurrection.43 Jesus turns to Exod 3:6,44 the defining context for all Jewish hope and identity. The syntax of Luke's quotation is somewhat fragmented, lacking a necessary copula explicit in the parallel accounts. Jesus argument hangs on the implied present tense, so it must be supplied: God claims to be and not simply to have been the God of the patriarchs.45 The text therefore states that Yahweh46 is currently the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus' selection of the "bush passage"47 demonstrates how resurrection is "linked in depth to the central aspect of the revelation of the OT: the covenant, and how the salvation promised by God to the Patriarchs and to their descendants by virtue of the covenant, implicitly contains the doctrine of the resurrection."48 The triune patriarchal formula is used, not to focus attention on the ancestors, but on the life-giving covenant-keeping God to whom they are related. 43

Appeal to the Pentateuch for validation of the resurrection is not without Rabbinic precedent. Sanhedrin 90b, vol. 2, The Babylonian Talmud: Seder Nezikin, translated by H. Freedman (London: The Soncino Press, 1935), records the following discourse: "How is resurrection derived from the Torah? - As it is written, 'And ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest.' But would Aaron live forever; he did not even enter Palestine, that terumah should be given him? But it teaches that he would be resurrected, and Israel will give him terumah." Further "proofs" for resurrection from the Law continue on for several more folios. 44

There is some discrepancy regarding the exact textual citation. Luke's inclusion of κύριον has more affinities with Exod 3:15. Both Septuagintal texts record the name of God in the nominative (θεὸς) rather than Luke's accusative (θεὸν). 45

Robert Horton Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament in St. Matthew's Gospel: With Special Reference to the Messianic Hope, Supplements to Novum Testamentum, vol. 18 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1967), 21. 46

Κύριος here functions as the equivalent of the Hebrew 'hvh.

47

Blass and Debrunner, 122-3, point out that ἐπί with the genitive τῆς βάτου functions as an answer to the question "where?" or may also denote "on the occasion of. . . ." Biblical chapter and verse divisions emerged much later. Jesus therefore identifies the location of the text by referring to its major narrative detail (Bock, 1624). 48

F. Dreyfus, "L' Argument scripturaire de Jésus en faveur de la résurrection des morts: Marc 12:26-27," Revue Biblique 66, no. 2 (April 1959): 224.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry In Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-6, 17 and 28:11-15, God promised the patriarchs a special covenant relationship which would include not only procreative success but ultimate redemption. In the history of the nation, God illustrated his promises of protection and salvation by delivering them from slavery in Egypt. Thus appear in the patriarchal covenant and its historical fulfillment (Genesis 12-50) the "basic facts of the beginning of redemptive history: God has freely chosen one man and his descendants through whom 'all the families of the earth shall find blessing.'"49 The "bush passage" reaffirmed this covenant with the patriarchs and with the nation God raised up through them. Through the self-designated title τὸν θεὸν Ἀβραὰμ καὶ θεὸν Ἰσαὰκ καὶ θεὸν Ἰακώβ, God identified himself as the God of promise, protection, and redemption.50 God remains in a covenant relationship with the patriarchs even death cannot break.51 "The point is," reasons Bock, "the patriarchs are not dead - and neither are God's promises to them. For the promises to the patriarchs to come to pass and for God to still be their God, resurrection must be a reality." 52 c. Present application (v. 38) The adversatives δὲ (v. 38a) and ἀλλὰ (v. 38b) signal an interpretive correction to the Sadducean denial of resurrection and an expositional clarification of Pentateuchal doctrine.53 Jesus declares that, since God's principal work in the lives of the patriarchs was characterized by acts of promise, protection, and deliverance, he is not the "protector, the savior of the dead, but of the living."54 "Only living people," reasons Marshall, "can have a God, and therefore God's promise to the patriarchs that he is/will be their God requires that he maintain them in life."55 Jesus logically concludes that since God is not 49

William Sanford LaSor, D. A. Hubbard and F. W. Bush, Old Testament Survey: The Message Form, and Background of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), 116. 50

Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament, 21.

51

Marshall, 738; Cf. E. Earle Ellis, "Soma in First Corinthians," Interpretation 44, no. 2 (April 1990): 142, n. 60. 52

Bock, 1625.

53

Ellis, OT in Early Christianity, 84-5.

54

Dreyfus, "L' Argument scripturaire de Jésus," 221.

55

Marshall, 743.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry the God of the dead, and he is the God of the patriarchs, the patriarchs must, therefore, be alive in some sense.56 The anthropological monist might, however, contend that the patriarchs live only through corporate identity with God, and are thus still dead individually.57 Nevertheless, the monists' qualification seems to invalidate Jesus' point. If the patriarchs, though alive corporately, are dead individually, they are dead just the same. God would therefore remain the God of dead individuals whether they are alive corporately or not. Evidence in support of the patriarchs' current individual existence follows in the concluding γάρ clause. Luke appends this final (v. 38c) text intensive58 interpretation in order to "demonstrate both the authority and the relevance of the scriptural passage" in a present context.59 He translates the "words of God into life, thus making them relevant for people in their own particular situations."60 His particular method, a midrash pesher, employs "eschatological exegesis," where this specific OT passage finds fulfillment in the immediate historical circumstances.61 Indeed, even in death, not only the patriarchs

56

Cohn-Sherbok, "Jesus' Defence of the Resurrection," 65.

57

Ellis, Luke, 235-6, 237. Ironically, such a complete separation between individual and corporate existence resembles the dualist emphasis on distinctives. Where the Platonic dualist envisions a sharp body/soul division, absolute monism demands a complete break in individual and corporate solidarity at death. 58

The typically Jewish interpretive model employed here was, according to M.P. Miller, "Targum, Midrash and the Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament," Journal for the Study of Judaism 2 (1970): 38, "fixed first and foremost to the words of Scripture." 59

James L. Bailey, and Lyle D. Vander Broek, Literary Forms in the New Testament: A Handbook (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992), 156-157; Cf. E. Earle Ellis, Prophecy and Hermeneutic in Early Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), 151; Miller, 29-82. 60

David S. Dockery, Biblical Interpretation Then and Now: Contemporary Hermeneutics in the Light of the Early Church (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), 27; Bailey, 157-58. 61

Ellis, Prophecy and Hermeneutic, 160; Craig A. Evans, "The Function of the Old Testament in the New," in Introducing New Testament Interpretation, Guides to New Testament Exegesis, ed. Scot McKnight (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989), 167. Unfortunately, definitions for midrash, pesher and other Jewish exegetical terms seem to be as divergent as the individuals who use them. See Jacob Neusner's discussion and bibliography on "Defining Midrash" in his Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, The Anchor Bible Reference Library (New York: Doubleday, 1994), 223-5.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry but all (πάντες) who are sons of God, counted worthy of his kingdom, are "alive to God" (αὐτῷ ζῶσιν).62 4 Macc 7:18-19 contains an illuminating verbal parallel perhaps alluded to in Luke's somewhat ambiguous text: Those who have wholeheartedly concentrated on godliness are "those who believe they do not die to God (θεῷ); for in the same way as [their] forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they live to God (ζῶσι τῷ θεῷ)."63 In this apocryphal context, the godly, though dead from an earthly perspective, are alive in relation to God, just as the patriarchs.64 For Luke, all who live to God are not merely alive in principle or "in the prospect of a sure resurrection,"65 but "live in the present."66 The righteous dead enter into the "hidden life with the Lord, and resurrection is the revelation of this hidden life, revealing itself through transformation into a new form."67 Asserting a conscious individual existence beyond death strengthens the continuity of Jesus' argument for resurrection. His logic might be summarized as follows: If the bodiless patriarchs are alive to God now, and only bodily existence is ultimately alive to God, then the patriarchs must receive a bodily resurrection. The patriarchs are alive to God now,

62

Marshall, 743.

63

Cf. 4 Macc 16:25. Marshall, 743.

64

65

Ellis, Luke, 237.

66

Walter Grundmann, Das Evangelium nach Lukas, Theologischer Handkommentar zum Neuen Testament (Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1961), 375; Donald Guthrie, New Testament Theology (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1981), 836-7. Ernst, 415, may have taken this conclusion a step too far, asserting that full communion with Christ (volle Christusgemeinschaft) occurs at the point of death and not at the parousia. The connotation of absolute completeness does negate the consummate importance of bodily resurrection. 67

Grundmann, 375. Certain that Paul in Phi 1:23 anticipated an immediate union with Christ after his own death, Bultmann, 346, contends that Paul is actually in contradiction with his own resurrection teaching.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry so they must receive the reality of resurrection. Given the current existence of the patriarchs established by the Exodus text, what life they do experience in the interim between bodily death and bodily resurrection remains in some sense incomplete.68 Living to God is not ultimate or complete without bodily resurrection.69 Such an assertion would make perfect sense to a Sadducean Jew who viewed human existence only in holistic terms; if the patriarchs are alive now, a body must be on the way. If God is the God of anyone who will live in ultimate fulfilled relationship with him, there must be a resurrection, a unification of his holistic being. All those considered worthy of the kingdom before death are alive to God after death and can anticipate ultimate fulfillment. IV. Narrative Conclusion (vv. 39-40) By introducing (v. 28) and concluding (v. 39) the pericope's direct discourse narrative with the same vocative case catchword, Διδάσκαλε (Teacher), Luke signals more than a literary conclusion to the episode. All verbal challenges to Jesus' doctrine were refuted conclusively. Following Jesus' response, the scribes and other listeners signaled their affirmation (v. 39) and amazement (Matt 22:33). For the scribes who shared with both Jesus and the Pharisees a basic belief in the resurrection, Jesus' answer to the Sadducees' "impossible" question was worthy of applause. The opposition could only respond to Jesus with silence. The weight of his evidence and the clarity of his interpretation discouraged any lingering antagonistic ambitions; no one, particularly the Sadducees, would dare challenge the Διδάσκαλος par excellence to another doctrinal riddle.

Theological Implications Though it has been charged that the monistic view of man's mortality is in modern theology "hardly unified and explicit enough to be called a theory,"70 its fundamental con68

Gundry, The Use of the Old Testament, 22.

69

Robert Horton Gundry, Soma in Biblical Theology: With emphasis on Pauline Anthropology (Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1987), 152; Charles H. Talbert, "The Place of the Resurrection in the Theology of Luke," Interpretation 46, no. 1 (January 1992): 23. 70

James Leo Garrett, Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 448. Some of this ambiguity emerges in relation to Luke 20:38b. Ellis, "Jesus,

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Journal of Biblical Ministry tention requires no rebuttal. When God created man as a complete spiritual and physical unity, he declared unequivocally that it was very good (Gen 1:31). There can be, therefore, no room in Christian thought for an anthropology asserting the intrinsic evil of matter. Lexical studies of various biblical texts have produced some general conclusions regarding the often synonymous character of words such as σάρξ, σῶμα, ψυχή, and πνεῦμα. J. Pedersen notes, for example, that the Nazarite was forbidden in Num 6:6 to come into contact with a dead body where the word for "body" in the Septuagint is ψυχή.71 The material condition of Christ's resurrected state as the first fruits of Christian hope (1 Cor 15:20) accurately supports the monistic insistence on unified composition of man. Man is unitary, "flesh-animated-by-soul, the whole conceived as a psychophysical unity."72 In their pronounced rejection of dualist anthropology, however, those demanding an absolute monism have perhaps, not unlike the Sadducees, reacted against caricatures. Are all dualist emphases necessarily filtered through "lenses ground in Athens?"73 Is there really one philosophical or theological Greek "monolithic mentality"74 under which all efforts at clear anthropological distinction must be subsumed? Assuming that all dualist emphases are Platonic categorical absolutes is just as faulty as assuming that all monists adhere to a central-state materialism where all mental and spiritual activities are explained bio-chemically.75 Certainly the classical Platonic conclusion that matter and time are in opposition to spirit and eternity has no biblical precedent.76 Such abso-

the Sadducees, and Qumran," 276, affirms Grundmann's position that "in death the Christian enters the hidden life with the Lord." Ellis, Luke, 237, later contends, however, that the Christian does not enter hidden life with Christ at death. Christian life remains hidden in a corporate relationship with Christ despite individual death. 71

Pedersen, 180.

72

John A. T. Robinson, The Body (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1952), 14.

73

Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 2 (Reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), 46.

74

Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), 528.

75

See Brian P. McLaughlin, "Philosophy of Mind," in The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, ed. Robert Audi (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 600. 76

John W. Cooper, Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the MonismDualism Debate (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 41.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry lute body/spirit antitheses are not, however, demanded in a view attempting to appreciate physical and spiritual distinctives. It is, in fact, these distinctives or "aspects" that absolute monism seems to have neglected. J. A. T. Robinson concluded that, since the Hebrews had only one word for flesh (basar) where the Greeks had two (σῶμα and σάρξ), any use of the two in Pauline anthropology must necessarily reflect the unitary essence of the Hebrew original.77 Based on this lexical observation, Robinson draws an excessively general conclusion regarding Hebrew and Greek thought forms: "It is possible to account for the difference in vocabulary we have noted only on the presupposition that the Hebrews never posed, like the Greeks, certain questions, the answer to which would have forced them to differentiate the 'body from the 'flesh.'"78 Supposedly, because Greeks naturally differentiated between body/flesh, form/matter, and body/soul, their dualistic thought patterns demanded separate words. Hebrew thought, on the other hand, never asked such questions nor saw such distinctions, and therefore produced only one word to express an absolute monistic anthropology.79 The end result of conclusions like Robinson's was the functional canonization of a theoretical Hebrew world view which could identify no distinctions within the individual's essential composition.80 James Barr's critique of this approach has, however, exposed a crucial methodological flaw. Using one word to express differing realities does not necessarily render those realities absolutely indivisible.81 In support of his contention Barr offers the example of the English verb "know." Englishspeaking people have no problem understanding the sharp distinction between "knowing" facts and "knowing" people. Conceptually the difference is undeniable though the language provides only one word. More clearly relevant for anthropological issues, Barr cites the work of linguist R. E. Longacre. Longacre proposes that in English there are three distinct words, "key," "wrench," and "faucet," which have only one equivalent in 77

J. A. T. Robinson, 12.

78

Ibid., 13. J. A. T. Robinson, 13-4.

79

80

Erickson, 529; Brevard Childs, Biblical Theology in Crisis (Philadelphia: Westminster Press,

1970), 72. 81

James Barr, The Semantics of Biblical Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961), 36.

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Journal of Biblical Ministry Mexican Spanish, "llave." He then asks the question, "May it not be . . . that there is for all practical purposes as good a distinction of the various sorts of objects in Mexican Spanish as in English?"82 It stands to reason, therefore, that, though Hebrews may have been limited in their actual terminology, their understanding of human ontology was not necessarily deprived of all subtlety and complexity.83 In light of such considerations, perhaps the model best representative of biblical anthropology is neither a thorough going Platonic dualism nor an absolute monism. Perhaps the biblical record can support something in between, a "holistic dualism"84 or a contingent monism.85 The biblical anthropological question might better be framed in terms of both/and rather than either/or. Conclusion In his resurrection debate with the Sadducees, Jesus presupposes the ideal constitution of man: life is holistic - bodily - material - unified. Yet death, man's relentless foe, alienates, not simply from the community of other men, but man from himself, separating in man what rightly belongs together.86 Yet the righteous dead, the patriarchs and those counted worthy, can enjoy the bliss of communion with God while anticipating resurrection ultimacy.87 Intermediate life, in whatever substantive form it may take, need not deemphasize the grand expectation. Intermediate life and the resurrection of the body are rather composite parts of a single supreme hope.88

82

Cited by Ibid., 37-8.

83

Erickson, 529.

84

Cooper, 40.

85

Erickson, 536-9. Gundry, Soma in Biblical Theology, 159.

86

87

Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible and the Future (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), 107-8.

88

G. C. Berkouwer, The Return of Christ, Studies in Dogmatics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972),

63-4.

105