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Thread: Did God Predestine Judas to Betray Christ?

  1. #61
    In the case of "predestination," I don't think Paul had in mind that God predestined specific individuals to something but that God predestined a certain class of people to something, namely, that the class of people composed of those who believed on Christ would be saved.
    You're not actually defining the term, but assuming a definition. The second half of the sentence starts to get close to the biblical concept.

    The reason I asked this was because many people believe that "predestination" means something like: " it has been decreed and decided in advance and there is nothing a person can do to alter that. What has been decided MUST happen." Yet, that is not the sense of the Greek term. It is more along the line of "God has a wonderful plan for your life and IF you receive Christ, then what God has planned for you will begin."

    It's really not as controversial as many make it be. You could go up to any lost sinner and truthfully say "Jesus has a wonderful plan for your future." However, if that plan happens, and how much of that plan happens, is up to the person.

    Additionally, even though all Christians will to a certain degree experience what God has planned for them in advance by initial salvation, it is also true that most Christians do not experience the fullness of what God wanted for them in their earthly walk. Even many full time ministers only experience a part of what God has called them unto. Yes, God has a plan for a person's ministry, yet if that plan and how much of that plan happens is up to the person. God being omnipresent, not just in space, but in time, knows which choices will be made. Omnipresence in time is a little harder to wrap our heads around than omnipresence in space. Or even presence outside of time and space.

    The OP with Judas, used the term in a deterministic sense, which is not the sense in which Paul uses it. Consequently it's a somewhat misleading question.

    But let's say we go with a mistaken sense of predestination, just to respond.
    The answer would be no.
    Because Judas sinned against Christ and God does not decree sin.

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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDoles View Post
    Not apo but pro. Apo would mean more like "from" times eternal.

    "Before times eternal" is a legitimate way to translate it. Young's has it as "before times of ages." Wuest, "before eternal times." CEV has "Then they will have the hope of eternal life that God promised long ago." Lamsa has, "ages ago." Barnes, in his Bible commentary, understands it as before the secular times, not before time itself. Adam Clarke, in his commentary, understands it as before the foundation of the world, which he takes to mean the Jewish economy, the time before the law. Marvin Vincent, in his word studies, understands it, not as before time, but as "before time began to be reckoned by aeons." Robertson's Word Pictures takes it as "long ages ago."

    The point is not that there once was no time at all, and God made a promise in that state of timelessness. But, rather, that God made a promise a very long time ago.

    God made a promise about eternal life -- but to whom did he make it? Keener locates the recipient of the promise as the prophets from the beginning (IVP Bible Background Commentary). It was to human beings, within time, that the promise was made. That being so, then the point when the promise was made was not a point within some timeless state, which human beings do not inhabit, but a point within time. So pro chronos aionion would more naturally be understood within the context of verse 2 as a long time ago. A long time ago, God made a promise concerning eternal life to human beings -- within the realm of time.
    Which is ontological prior to which ? Is God ontologically prior to time ? Is Time ontologically prior to God ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GodismyJudge View Post
    Interesting. Thanks!

    Honest question (for you or for the Colonel)

    Is there a simpler way to say "a long time ago" in Greek than pro chronos aionion?

    Or is that meaning you are going with kinda "squeezed" out of it?
    There is a similar expression used elsewhere in scripture that does not employ the word "before". The use of that word is specific.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDoles View Post
    There are other ways of indicating "a long time ago." I don't know that there are ways that are necessarily simpler for Greek readers of speakers. Perhaps some idiomatic ways. In English, we have some idiomatic ways of saying things are simple for us to recognize but that might not seem very simple to people translating them into another language.

    In my post above, I have offered several reputable sources that take pro chronos eionion in the way I have suggested and which fits the context. No "squeezing" about it.
    Young's literal translation is one of the very few translations that translate aionios in general as age-enduring or similar. Which is the translation that theological Universalists insist on. The others are interpretative translations that attempt to simplify things for the reader.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDoles View Post
    If the meaning is essentially the same whether the author says it one way or another, I don't think the Holy Spirit necessarily has a preference. I don't subscribe to the "dictation" theory of Scripture, where the Holy Spirit dictates each and ever word and the author is merely a scribe who writes it down verbatim. I believe the Holy Spirit superintends the work so that it conveys the meaning the Spirit intends to convey, yet the voice, personality and inflection of the author show through.

    What makes you think that pro chronos aionion is not, in Greek, a simple way to convey the meaning, "a long time ago"? Do you suppose that if you take the Greek word for "long," the word for "time" and the word for "ago" (if there is one) and stick them all together then you would end up with a simple Greek phrase that translates as "a long time ago"? Translating from one language to another does not really work like that, not dependably. There are some Greek words that do not have a simple equivocal English word but may take a phrase of several English words to convey even just a partial sense. Then there are idiomatic expressions which, if translated word for word into another language, would sound unintelligible, but are perfectly and easily understood in their home language and culture.
    Open Theists will typically focus on other passages than Titus 1:2 because they contain a wording in Greek that is less clear and don't use the word "before".

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  11. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by GodismyJudge View Post
    No, I don't suppose anything.

    What I want to know is that if Paul used an uncommon phrasing, then just maybe he had something else in mind than just a simple "long time ago".
    I don't know how common a phrasing it was. But the context also has much to do with the meaning of a word or phrase in a sentence. Words do really have a meaning by themselves, they have a semantic range -- possible meanings and usages. Words have meaning in sentences, where they interact with other words in a context.

    In Titus 1:2, Paul talks about a promise God made pro chronos eionion. If it was a promise he made to someone within the realm of time, then pro chronos eionion is not a reference to some state of timelessness but to something a long time ago.

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  13. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    Which is ontological prior to which ? Is God ontologically prior to time ? Is Time ontologically prior to God ?
    How one answers that would depend on what they conceive time to be. If one conceives of time as part of the time/space continuum, then time was created along with space and matter and therefore is ontologically distinct from God.

    I don't think the Hebrew and Greek writers of the Bible thought about time as a thing or as having a distinct ontology. They had was of talking about lengths or durations of time, indefinite periods of time, even periods of time without end . Time without end would be everlasting. But they had no sense of eternity or everlastingness as timelessness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDoles View Post
    I don't know how common a phrasing it was. But the context also has much to do with the meaning of a word or phrase in a sentence. Words do really have a meaning by themselves, they have a semantic range -- possible meanings and usages. Words have meaning in sentences, where they interact with other words in a context.

    In Titus 1:2, Paul talks about a promise God made pro chronos aionion. If it was a promise he made to someone within the realm of time, then pro chronos aionion is not a reference to some state of timelessness but to something a long time ago.
    That may be argued in relation to the verses that do not use the term "before". Your interpretative translation of Titus 1:2 ignores the very specific use of that term in that verse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffDoles View Post
    How one answers that would depend on what they conceive time to be. If one conceives of time as part of the time/space continuum, then time was created along with space and matter and therefore is ontologically distinct from God.

    I don't think the Hebrew and Greek writers of the Bible thought about time as a thing or as having a distinct ontology. They had was of talking about lengths or durations of time, indefinite periods of time, even periods of time without end . Time without end would be everlasting. But they had no sense of eternity or everlastingness as timelessness.
    Now you really sound like you are influenced by godless students of the Bible. Scripture itself rejects your claim that the Bible authors had no concept of eternity (at both ends, as a matter of fact) :

    Heb 7:3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

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    A better way of viewing God vs time is perhaps to ask if God causes time to exist, along with the rest of the Universe, or if time is uncaused. That brings us away from the notion that time was at one point not created and then "later" it was created, which doesn't make sense.

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