Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

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Paidion
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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Paidion » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:49 pm

Greeings Homer, you wrote:Given that all three synoptic gospels relate Jesus' response to the Sadducees in much the same way, that as Jesus spoke God was presently, actively the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (see the Greek), and it is pointedly said that He is not the God of corpses, how can it be maintained that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were "dead as a door nail" as He spoke?
If "νεκρον" means "corpse" then why does none of the 18 translations in my Online Bible Program so render it? Indeed, do you know of ANY translation that renders it as "corpse." If the Greek word translated as "the dead" DOES mean "the corpses," then what would the adjectival form of the word mean? Corpsy?

For example, would Acts 5:10 include the clause, "When the young men came in, they found her corpsy"?
It is believed that the word "νεκρον" has been derived from the word "νεκρυς" which supposedly meant "corpse." But who knows? The word "νεκρυς" does not occur anywhere in the New Testament. Nor does it occur anywhere in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament.

But even if it did say, "He is not the God of corpses" that would prove nothing. It would only affirm that those who have become corpses are not going to remain that way. They are going to be raised up in the resurrection at the last day—body and all!—so that God will not continue throughout eternity being the "God of corpses."
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Seballius
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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Seballius » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:18 pm

Paidion

I am going to summarize your understanding of soul and then ask you a question.

Soul is the complete human. Many talking about it in scripture refer to as an aspect, but it is the whole person.

When a person dies, he or she is put in a pause mode because the spirit or life has left the body. During the time period between death and the resurrection, the believer is not cognizant of the world or God. At the resurrection, believers receive a new body and awake or become cognizant of the world (really New Heaven and New Earth) and God.


If the above is not a good summary, please let me know.

Having this understanding, what do you do with the book of Revelation?

Within it, there appears to be saints, martyrs and 24 elders who are interacting with God and the second resurrection has yet to take place (it does not happen till Rev 20).

Thank you


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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Paidion » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:41 pm

When a person dies, he or she is put in a pause mode because the spirit or life has left the body. During the time period between death and the resurrection, the believer is not cognizant of the world or God. At the resurrection, believers receive a new body and awake or become cognizant of the world (really New Heaven and New Earth) and God.
That is somewhat my belief. But the way I understand it is even more "extreme" than the above. It's true, of course, that the "spirit" or "life" has left the body. You have placed "life" in apposition to "spirit." That's fine, as long as you don't think of "spirit" as something more than "life," for instance as "the real you" that can exist apart from your body.Your second sentence is also true. The believer is not cognizant of the world or God because the believer does not exist. There is no believer to be so cognizant.

I don't understand how God raises the dead, but I wouldn't put it as you did—that "believers receive a new body and awake or become cognizant of the world," for again, this suggests that the believers exist somewhere. Nor, do I believe that God "recreates" believers as some suppose is my position. Somehow, when God raises the dead, He raises the SAME persons as those who died. But don't ask me how this is possible. I don't know. But I believe it.
Within [the book of Revelatin], there appears to be saints, martyrs and 24 elders who are interacting with God and the second resurrection has yet to take place (it does not happen till Rev 20)
.

The book of Revelation was written by someone named "John" who experienced a vision, and who wrote down what he had seen in his vision. One cannot establish doctrine from this book. John has a vision of these saints, martyrs, and elders interacting with God, but that doesn't imply that such was actually taking place.

You point out the second resurrection had not yet taken place in the account. But the first had. So wouldn't the saints, martyrs, and elders, have been already raised to life? Won't the "second resurrection" be the resurrection of the unrighteous?
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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Seballius » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:13 pm

Hello Paidion

You point out the second resurrection had not yet taken place in the account. But the first had. So wouldn't the saints, martyrs, and elders, have been already raised to life? Won't the "second resurrection" be the resurrection of the unrighteous?
I have studied and studied Revelation. I find myself still totally undecided on the book. Sometimes I lean towards “partial preterist amillennial” and at other times I lean toward “historic premillennialim”.

I have often heard that the first resurrection was a type of the new birth. The second resurrection would be the actual raising of the “quick and dead”. Throughout the scripture, it appears that both the wicked and believers are resurrected in the second coming or day of the Lord.




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Seballius
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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Seballius » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:53 pm

Paidion

Thank you for your responses. I am going to continue to study on subject (being/soul).

Homer

I have looked at a couple of threads and it appears that you and Paidion have talked about this quite a lot. What is your conclusion on the matter?


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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Homer » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:31 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
If "νεκρον" means "corpse" then why does none of the 18 translations in my Online Bible Program so render it? Indeed, do you know of ANY translation that renders it as "corpse." If the Greek word translated as "the dead" DOES mean "the corpses," then what would the adjectival form of the word mean? Corpsy?
Hey, perhaps you coined a new word! Seriously, the Greek scholar Zodhoiates gives "corpse" as an alternate meaning in Mark 12:27. I think he might know a bit more Greek than we do. Given your belief in this matter, do you think "corpse" would not convey the meaning of Jesus' words?

You seem to be off on a tangent. I have no interest in a logomachy. If Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were in the condition you appear to believe, at the time Jesus spoke the words recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, how could God, at that point in time, be their God when it is plainly stated God is not the God of the dead? You are big on logic. It seems to me this is rather straight forward and easy.

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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Homer » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:10 am

Seballius,

You asked:
I have looked at a couple of threads and it appears that you and Paidion have talked about this quite a lot. What is your conclusion on the matter?
If you mean universalism I have sympathy with the idea but I have never seen any scripture cited in support of it that can not be understood otherwise, and most of them rather easily so. At the same time I do not find a literal fire of hell to be as convincing as a permanent separation from God and all that would entail. Darkness appears to be mentioned as frequently as fire, both do not appear to be compatible literally. I also believe annihilation has a strong case. Scriptures that point to an irreversible future judgement seem very difficult to rebut. The whole tenor of the New Testament supports a final judgement. As one commentator put it, if you took out all the threats and warnings in the NT about 2/3 of it would be missing.

I do not believe Christians have any commission to actively teach or advocate universalism. If universalism was true and that would be any help in making disciples, I think Jesus and the Apostles would have brought it up. Instead we have a "He that believes not will be damned" and I'm sure you know whose words those were.

I must add that at this moment we have a dear close relative that is at death's door. We have tried to talk about Jesus to her to no avail. She has made it plain that she does not believe in The Way. She has not been a bad person and this is heart wrenching, but she is convinced that somehow, which she does not explain, she will be OK. I'm sure of universalism was preached to her she would be more recalcitrant, reinforced in her position.All we can do is trust the God is good and merciful. We can not comfort ourselves with universalism; I'm afraid that would be coveting against God.

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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by steve » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:48 am

Hi Homer,

You wrote about universalism:
I have never seen any scripture cited in support of it that can not be understood otherwise, and most of them rather easily so.
I agree with you. My position is that the same can be said about both the traditional view and the annihilation view, as well. This is why none of the three views will ever win out against the others on the basis of proof texts alone. Every verse used to prove eternal torment can also (without much difficulty) be accommodated by the other two camps, given the respective interpretations each group applies to the verses. Likewise, all the verses that support annihilation can be interpreted in favor of (or at least not in contradiction to) the traditional view and the universalist view. And, as you said, the same weakness applies to universalism. Every verse relevant to the topic of the final end of sinners seems capable of being included within the polemics of each of the three camps, simply by applying alternative, rational interpretive systems.

This is why, instead of basing our convictions about the nature of hell solely upon the proof texts, the "nuclear option" needs to be called in to break the stalemate. That nuclear option is the revealed character of God—the norm to which all theological claims must conform, and the hub from which they all radiate. When the nature of the character of God is correctly defined, then every time an ambiguous text is presented, which is easily subject to a variety of opposite interpretations, that which conforms to God's nature and character must cast the tie-breaking vote.

Of course, this brings up the larger problem that not all Christians perceive the character of God the same way.

Some see God's default attitude toward sinners as smoldering and seething wrath, which must ultimately prevail in the judgment—except in cases where an exceptional appeasement has been effected.

Others see God's basic nature as love (1 John 4:7-8)—even toward rebellious sinners (Romans 5:8)—so that for Him to consign them to unending torment, or even to deprive them of continuous opportunities for reconciliation, would require a very exceptional culpability on their part.

Until we get these diametrically-opposed views of God squared away, any attempts to settle the hell debate will be futile.

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Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by Seballius » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:53 am

Hello Bro. Steve

It is always good to have your insight on a biblical matter.

Thomas Talbott in his book “The Inescapable Love of God” comes up with the same conclusion. The determining factor in the disposition of the sinner is the nature of God. He is an evangelical universalist, so of course, he believes the love of God wins in the end. I personally hope he is right, but like you I am not certain of which is correct.

I have seen that normally annihilationists tend to believe in “soul sleep” (e.g. SDA, JW, & some Church of God) and universalists tend to think a person is conscious or living when the body dies (modern examples: Brad Jersak, Paul Young & Peter Hiett).

I say normally because Paidion and Homer are exceptions. Paidion believes the person is not conscious between death and the resurrection, yet he believes in universalism (or his posts seem to support it). Homer believes in consciousness after bodily death and it appears (from other threads I make my observation) that he leans towards annihilation or conditionalism.

What is your belief or what do you think the scriptures say about the soul? Is it conscious after bodily death or is the soul the composite of the spirit & body union?

Thank you




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Re: Could Luke 20:38 support Universalism?

Post by steve » Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:29 pm

I believe that man is a body/soul hybrid. The body is animated by the soul (or soul/spirit) as a machine may be operated by a human operator. The death of the machine and the death of the operator need to be considered as separate questions.

Paul seems to believe (and if he does, then so do I) that "we" live inside of bodies, during this present life. The body is a venue in which we may be present, and from which we may be absent (2 Cor.5:6, 8; cf., 12:2-3; Phil.1:22-24).

Thus, "we" are identified, by Paul, as that part of our identity that is not the physical body. I don't care whether one refers to this non-physical entity as the "mind," the "heart," the "soul," the "spirit," the "soul/spirit," or the "inner man" (2 Cor.4:16; Pet.3:4).

This non-physical entity, I believe, is naturally mortal, and (probably) dies along with the physical body. The exception would be the case of those who have been joined to Christ, and have thereby obtained eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:11-12).

I agree with both Homer and Paidion on certain points of their respective positions. Like Homer, I believe that believers already have eternal life, and do not cease to have it at the point of physical death. After the death of their bodies, they remain conscious and alive in the presence of God. Like Paidion, I do not think unbelievers are conscious during the interim between their death and their resurrection. After they are resurrected, they are cast into the lake of fire. What happens to them once they are there remains a matter of dispute.

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