PDA

View Full Version : Titus chapter 1 question



keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 04:56 PM
NKJV says this:

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of Godís elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

I've found so far in my studies of Paul, that he has not introducted anything that can't be supported by the OT Law, writings and prophets. I also do not know Greek nuance very well, so perhaps the translation is off?

Does anyone know where this promise of God made before time began is supported in Scripture that was considered Scripture in Paul's day?

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 05:04 PM
Not a clue. The promise is "hope of eternal life"...

Don't know why it would have to be found in anything written. Job certainly believed in eternal life...."I know that my Redeemer lives, and I shall be with him on that day."

Job 19.

David certainly believed he would see his dead child again.

So the idea of eternal life promised by God is in the OT writings, but I'm not aware of anything that says anything about "before time began." THe NASB says "long ages ago" instead of "before time began." I haven't looked at the Greek.

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 05:59 PM
Yeah, it's not the eternal life issue, it's right in Psalm 23 (among other places), it's the statement 'before time began.' Maybe it's a bad translation. Paul's letters are teachings right from Scripture, so I don't think he just made it up or took it from a page of some rabbincial writing. I want to believe Paul was very careful to stick to the Word, dispite the twisting that some do to his teachings to make them conform to their lifestyle and traditions.

If it's not in the OT or out of the mouth of Jesus, then I will have to assume it's from some rabbinical writing or pharisee teaching he aquired in his earlier days at the yeshiva - if so then my trust in Paul's teachings as scriptual will diminish.

BrckBrln
Jan 5th 2011, 06:47 PM
If it's not in the OT or out of the mouth of Jesus, then I will have to assume it's from some rabbinical writing or pharisee teaching he aquired in his earlier days at the yeshiva - if so then my trust in Paul's teachings as scriptual will diminish.

What do you make of Paul mentioning the Jewish legends of the movable well and the names of Jannes and Jambres? These aren't from the OT or Jesus. Paul also quotes from the Greek poet Aratus and philoshopher Epimenides. These don't diminish Paul's writings as scripture in the least.

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 06:54 PM
Hang on...remember, on more than one ocassion, Paul made statements regarding Christian life and behavior in the NT in which he said "Hey, it's me, Paul...I'm saying this, not Jesus...." "This is what I think, not a word from the Lord."

I don't think an absence of OT authority for Paul's teaching impacts its authority in the slightest, just as none of the Gospels or the non-Pauline NT writings are necessarily dependent on OT predecessors.

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:08 PM
What do you make of Paul mentioning the Jewish legends of the movable well and the names of Jannes and Jambres? These aren't from the OT or Jesus. Paul also quotes from the Greek poet Aratus and philoshopher Epimenides. These don't diminish Paul's writings as scripture in the least.

I think that is not in the same context as Titus 1. In your verses, Paul is creating space to present his argument. This was a common method of teaching, and I recognize it as such. The difference is that in Titus 1, Paul flatly states that "God promised before the foundation...." - it is not in the same context as presenting an argument, it is a "thus says the LORD God" statement. When someone referes to a promise from God, it is a very serious matter. No one can say "Thus says the LORD God...." and then cite some philospher.

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:12 PM
Hang on...remember, on more than one ocassion, Paul made statements regarding Christian life and behavior in the NT in which he said "Hey, it's me, Paul...I'm saying this, not Jesus...." "This is what I think, not a word from the Lord."

I don't think an absence of OT authority for Paul's teaching impacts its authority in the slightest, just as none of the Gospels or the non-Pauline NT writings are necessarily dependent on OT predecessors.

Again, I do not understand. Paul is very clear to identify his opinions. Besides, Paul himself would have not have accepted a statement without God's Word as the foundation. While I have no doubt God's Spirit inspired these writings, and I highly doubt Paul would just make something up, why should I blindly accept Paul? There is no Biblical precept to do so. The same God that inspired Paul inspires you and I also, but that doesn't make our teaching authoritative to the point of not being tested, does it?

My only other thought is that it could have been something Jesus said. He's God and by default has all authority.

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 08:12 PM
But Paul himself states that (1) he personally saw the risen Christ and (2) that he learned his doctrine directly from God in the desert.

Hard to either prove or disprove, yet the church has held all of his collected writings to be Scripture for centuries.
Peter considered them the same.

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 08:13 PM
Again, I do not understand. Paul is very clear to separate his opinions from the Word.

His opinions ARE the Word. They are just as inspired as when he says "Jesus said..."

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:28 PM
His opinions ARE the Word. They are just as inspired as when he says "Jesus said..."

Are your words ever inspired by the Holy Spirit? Does that make them Scirpture?

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 08:29 PM
Are your words ever inspired by the Holy Spirit? Does that make them Scirpture?

No, none of my words have ever been or will ever be inspired by the Holy Spirt as were the words of Paul recorded in the Epistles.

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:31 PM
But Paul himself states that (1) he personally saw the risen Christ and (2) that he learned his doctrine directly from God in the desert.



you must be speaking of (1) on the road to Damascus, but could you please show me where (2) is?

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:35 PM
No, none of my words have ever been or will ever be inspired by the Holy Spirt as were the words of Paul recorded in the Epistles.

Why? Is God not sufficient to do so? Perhaps Paul thought the same - he didn't intend for his letters to be canonized either, but....there they are.

Paul was a most excellent teacher, and used Scripture robustly, and also - as far as I have studied - had the discernment to separate human stuff from God's Word. No doubt a work of the Holy Spirit. Remember that Paul had his head stuffed with religion before Damacus, and after his encounter with Jesus - he was able to separate it from God. I suppose that's what occurred during his time away. Is that what you are alluding to regarding the desert? I yearn for that complete discernment myself.

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 08:37 PM
Then I take it that your view of inspiration in not verbal plenary but that the Scriptures CONTAIN the Word of God, correct?

No, God is no longer revealing himself through the Scripture, so I won't be publishing the Gospel according to RabbiKnife, although I'm sure it would be a best-seller and chock full of brilliance.

RabbiKnife
Jan 5th 2011, 08:39 PM
you must be speaking of (1) on the road to Damascus, but could you please show me where (2) is?

Galatians 1...............

RollTide21
Jan 5th 2011, 08:41 PM
Again, I do not understand. Paul is very clear to identify his opinions. Besides, Paul himself would have not have accepted a statement without God's Word as the foundation. While I have no doubt God's Spirit inspired these writings, and I highly doubt Paul would just make something up, why should I blindly accept Paul? There is no Biblical precept to do so. The same God that inspired Paul inspires you and I also, but that doesn't make our teaching authoritative to the point of not being tested, does it?

My only other thought is that it could have been something Jesus said. He's God and by default has all authority.Oooh. This could get juicy. :cool:

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:48 PM
Oooh. This could get juicy. :cool:

Please do not assume that I have any anti-Pauline inclinations, because I do not. The truth is that most NT writings are commentary on what was considered Scripture at that time - and it is wonderfull to sit at the feet of these teachers in that context and marvel how they'be woven Scripture into a beautiful tapestry. This statement from Paul is just a wonderful statement, think about it. I just want to explore it some more, to see it unfold.

RollTide21
Jan 5th 2011, 08:50 PM
Please do not assume that I have any anti-Pauline inclinations, because I do not. The truth is that most NT writings are commentary on what was considered Scripture at that time - and it is wonderfull to sit at the feet of these teachers in that context and marvel how they'be woven Scripture into a beautiful tapestry. This statement from Paul is just a wonderful statement, think about it. I just want to explore it some more, to see it unfold.I assure you, I don't judge your posts. I've had the same questions before. I was just kind of kidding around because I know this would be a good thread, since, I assume, most people do not question Paul in the slightest.

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 08:59 PM
I assure you, I don't judge your posts. I've had the same questions before. I was just kind of kidding around because I know this would be a good thread, since, I assume, most people do not question Paul in the slightest.

ah...yes. I'm a bit guarded because in Catholic school, they would have wacked my knuckes with a yardstick for such endulgence.

nzyr
Jan 5th 2011, 10:04 PM
Does anyone know where this promise of God made before time began is supported in Scripture that was considered Scripture in Paul's day?

Maybe it was revealed to Paul by the Spirit.

Here are a couple of study helps which address this scripture:

http://bible.cc/titus/1-2.htm

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/titus/titus-1.html

keck553
Jan 5th 2011, 10:13 PM
Maybe it was revealed to Paul by the Spirit.

Here are a couple of study helps which address this scripture:

http://bible.cc/titus/1-2.htm

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/jamieson-fausset-brown/titus/titus-1.html

Yes! That's it. Matthew 25! Thank you so much and, and may God bless you greatly for this help. It may sound silly, but this means a lot to me.

wesand24
Jan 21st 2011, 06:45 PM
It is also significant to note that the promise was made before time began, so who was the promise made to? Not us, because we were not created yet, and likely not the angels, so it has been proposed that the promise was made within the Godhead likely between the Father and the Son. It is possible this was the Father's gift or promise to the Son (a redeemed people, His bride)

keck553
Jan 21st 2011, 06:55 PM
Galatians 1...............

I do not see the connection. Paul's eyes were opened the way Jesus' disciples' eyes were opened....the Gospel was revealed through the Scriptures (OT exclusively in those days)- Luke 24.

percho
Jan 21st 2011, 08:56 PM
Does anyone think this promise was inclusive in the promises God made to Abraham that he died not having received? After all Paul calls him the heir of the world in Romans. Jesus also said he would be in the kingdom of God with Isaac and Jacob. Are not these three always spoken of together when the promises are talked about.

keck553
Jan 21st 2011, 09:19 PM
Does anyone think this promise was inclusive in the promises God made to Abraham that he died not having received? After all Paul calls him the heir of the world in Romans. Jesus also said he would be in the kingdom of God with Isaac and Jacob. Are not these three always spoken of together when the promises are talked about.

Israel is referred to by many "nicknames." God loves nicknames I think.

Servant89
Jan 21st 2011, 09:58 PM
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Shalom

notuptome
Jan 21st 2011, 10:02 PM
Ever before God made the heavens and the earth God knew what would happen. Before God put man in the garden He knew man would fall. God prepared the redemption plan before He ever made man. Jesus Christ received the promise that He would be the Anointed of God to redeem mankind. God knowing the end from the begining promised Himself the glory of redemptions plan.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

keck553
Jan 21st 2011, 10:06 PM
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Shalom

Was that in the "before time?"

keck553
Jan 21st 2011, 10:06 PM
Ever before God made the heavens and the earth God knew what would happen. Before God put man in the garden He knew man would fall. God prepared the redemption plan before He ever made man. Jesus Christ received the promise that He would be the Anointed of God to redeem mankind. God knowing the end from the begining promised Himself the glory of redemptions plan.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

I believe that, but Paul used Scripture to support his teachings, not conjecture.

dagar
Jan 22nd 2011, 01:37 AM
NKJV says this:

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

I've found so far in my studies of Paul, that he has not introducted anything that can't be supported by the OT Law, writings and prophets. I also do not know Greek nuance very well, so perhaps the translation is off?

Does anyone know where this promise of God made before time began is supported in Scripture that was considered Scripture in Paul's day?

Would you say this is before the times, seasons, space of time, began? I would. I would also say eternal life in insinuated here.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

percho
Jan 22nd 2011, 03:43 AM
The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.


Adam was created a living soul subject to death. There wasn't anything immortal about him. He was made from the ground and God breathed his, God's not Adam's breath of life in what was made from the ground and it became a living soul. Subject to death and upon sinning dying he would be dead forever. What does it say in Hebrews? What is man? Thou made him a little lower than the angles. Lower than the angels? But we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels for the purpose of death. The first man Adam was made to die. Yet here in Titus we have Paul saying that before the world began there was a promise made of eternal life. Who was the promise made to? Not to the angels they are already eternal beings and it is said in another place of some, neither can they die anymore for they are equal unto the angels. Who was the promise made to? How about, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If something is slain it dies, it does not have life anymore. To Abraham and his one seed Christ were the promises made. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins. If he was not raised from the dead there is no life. The promise was to the Word made flesh. It was to the one this was said about, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He was dead for a little over three days and three nights but he had the promise of eternal life. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; Hebrews 5:7-9 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death,(HOW?) and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation(THE FIRST TO RECEIVE) unto all them that obey him; We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. He inherited at his resurrection and we have the hope at his return to inherit it through resurrection/quickened. The one seed of Abraham also had the promise of the Holy Spirit from which life comes see Gal. 3 which Acts 2:33 says he received from the father. This verse is about what Jesus did and what he received. Look at it close in light of what I have written. Titus 3:5 by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; He died and cleaned us in his blood was regenerated (And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption) received the promise of the Holy Spirit see Acts 2:33. the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. The last Adam a quickening Spirit when we was raised from the dead.

Rom. 8:11 But if the Spirit of him (The Father God) that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he (The Father God) that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (Make immortal) your mortal bodies (At the resurrection/change) by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Christ in you the hope of glory.

notuptome
Jan 22nd 2011, 02:14 PM
I believe that, but Paul used Scripture to support his teachings, not conjecture.
Well if Paul speculated it was likely based on the direct revelation he received from Christ.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Samuel Owen
Jan 22nd 2011, 02:55 PM
Genesis 1:1, Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2, And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3, And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.


It's generally understood from the verses above that God planned, and accomplished all his works before creation. He left nothing undone, or to happenstance.

BroRog
Jan 22nd 2011, 11:53 PM
NKJV says this:

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of Godís elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

I've found so far in my studies of Paul, that he has not introducted anything that can't be supported by the OT Law, writings and prophets. I also do not know Greek nuance very well, so perhaps the translation is off?

Does anyone know where this promise of God made before time began is supported in Scripture that was considered Scripture in Paul's day?I don't think Paul meant to say "before time began", which implies that God made a promise to someone before a someone even existed. The Greek rendered literally is "before ages of times", which is an idiom for "a long, long time ago." It refers to a time far into the past, but not to a time before time existed or before the world began or before the foundation of the world. I like the NASB translation which has, "promised long ages ago" which is more likely Paul's meaning in my opinion. In fact, I believe the hope of eternal life was promised to Abraham, who lived long ages ago, which was ages before David and many ages before Jesus. The wonder of Paul's statement is the fact that a promise God made thousands of years ago has been manifested at the precise moment God intended to manifest it, not a moment sooner and not a moment later. This is intended as an encouragement to ALL believers, who often need to hear that what seems like a delay in God's promises is not a promise that will come later than planned, scheduled or required, even if it seems like it.

percho
Jan 23rd 2011, 03:51 AM
I don't think Paul meant to say "before time began", which implies that God made a promise to someone before a someone even existed. The Greek rendered literally is "before ages of times", which is an idiom for "a long, long time ago." It refers to a time far into the past, but not to a time before time existed or before the world began or before the foundation of the world. I like the NASB translation which has, "promised long ages ago" which is more likely Paul's meaning in my opinion. In fact, I believe the hope of eternal life was promised to Abraham, who lived long ages ago, which was ages before David and many ages before Jesus. The wonder of Paul's statement is the fact that a promise God made thousands of years ago has been manifested at the precise moment God intended to manifest it, not a moment sooner and not a moment later. This is intended as an encouragement to ALL believers, who often need to hear that what seems like a delay in God's promises is not a promise that will come later than planned, scheduled or required, even if it seems like it.

Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; And the Word was made flesh, This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Promises made) I am the root and the offspring of David, This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made(When?) that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.(The anointed one) Being made so much better than the angels,When, rebember this? But we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels.) as he hath by inheritance (When) obtained a more excellent name than they. (This is when) For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (This is also said in 1 Cor. 15 concerning inheriting the kingdom of God) neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (Jesus was without sin. But the only thing I can find in the word of God that might not be perfect it would be this.) God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh: (How? By dying) And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son,(*) yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect,(BY resurrection from the dead, born again(*)) he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

(*) Though he were a son: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
(*) born again
(*) Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. And declared the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: the firstborn from the dead; that in all he might have the preeminence.

BroRog
Jan 23rd 2011, 04:56 PM
Heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; And the Word was made flesh, This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Promises made) I am the root and the offspring of David, This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made(When?) that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.(The anointed one) Being made so much better than the angels,When, rebember this? But we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels.) as he hath by inheritance (When) obtained a more excellent name than they. (This is when) For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. (This is also said in 1 Cor. 15 concerning inheriting the kingdom of God) neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (Jesus was without sin. But the only thing I can find in the word of God that might not be perfect it would be this.) God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh: (How? By dying) And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son,(*) yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect,(BY resurrection from the dead, born again(*)) he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

(*) Though he were a son: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
(*) born again
(*) Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. And declared the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: the firstborn from the dead; that in all he might have the preeminence.Percho, I haven't a clue how your post is a direct response to what I said.

percho
Jan 23rd 2011, 09:28 PM
Percho, I haven't a clue how your post is a direct response to what I said.

The kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom that requires eternal life as angels have in order to inherit it, yet it was prepared from the foundation of the world (Before the world began). The first man Adam was made a little lower than the angels. If the promise was made before the world began it would have to been made to someone that was there but that some point in time would need the promise of eternal life. From my limited knowledge the only ones there with maybe the exception of some angels were what is stated in John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So the promise of eternal life would have to been made to one of these and that one would have been the Word was made flesh.

Paul meant exactly what was written. before times of ages. The promise was made to the Word that would be made flesh, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, no longer composed of the life giving Spirit of God, but of corruptible flesh and blood that cannot inherit the kingdom of God. By resurrection the Word made flesh Jesus would receive the promise of eternal life (see John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; ) being the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

BroRog
Jan 23rd 2011, 10:43 PM
The kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom that requires eternal life as angels have in order to inherit it, yet it was prepared from the foundation of the world (Before the world began). The first man Adam was made a little lower than the angels. If the promise was made before the world began it would have to been made to someone that was there but that some point in time would need the promise of eternal life. From my limited knowledge the only ones there with maybe the exception of some angels were what is stated in John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So the promise of eternal life would have to been made to one of these and that one would have been the Word was made flesh.

Paul meant exactly what was written. before times of ages. The promise was made to the Word that would be made flesh, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, no longer composed of the life giving Spirit of God, but of corruptible flesh and blood that cannot inherit the kingdom of God. By resurrection the Word made flesh Jesus would receive the promise of eternal life (see John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; ) being the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.I don't understand this point of view. Paul is saying that God made a promise to himself to give himself eternal life?

Scruffy Kid
Jan 24th 2011, 01:42 AM
Thanks, keck, for raising this interesting and illuminating inquiry, and for the thread it has generated!

NKJV says this:

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; I've found so far in my studies of Paul, that he has not introducted anything that can't be supported by the OT Law, writings and prophets. I also do not know Greek nuance very well, so perhaps the translation is off?

Does anyone know where this promise of God made before time began is supported in Scripture that was considered Scripture in Paul's day?

My knowledge of the Greek is limited, too, but I do have a few thoughts on the passage.


Immediate Context

This verse from Titus is in Paul's greeting to Titus:

[1] Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ,
.....for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,
[2] in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, announced before the times eternal
[3] and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching
.....with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;

[4] To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
.....Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. [ESV] Paul's intent in opening greetings verses may be related to his themes in the rest of the letter, but I have not had time to look into that.


Greek text

Even for those whose Greek is very thin to non-existent, it can help to look at the Greek text, which -- we give thanks! -- is available with tools for the unlearned in these days. The central verse that you are interested in is verse 2, although understanding its meaning is also affected no doubt by vv. 1 and 3, as well as by the rest of the letter. That verse reads, in Greek,
.....ἐπ᾽ ἐλπίδι ζωῆς αἰωνίου ἣν ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων
transliterated:
.....ep elpidi zōēs aiōniōu ēn epēggeilato ho apseudēs theos pro chronōn aiōniōn
We can give a very literal translation word-by-word translation as follows (with "αἰωνίων", "eternal", left in transliterated Greek as "aiōniōn").
.....ἐπ᾽ ... ἐλπίδι ......ζωῆς αἰωνίου ἣν ....ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ .....ἀψευδὴς .θεὸς ...πρὸ ...χρόνων .αἰωνίων
.....ep ... elpidi .......zōēs aiōniōu .ēn ....epēggeilato ho ....apseudēs theos .pro ....chronōn .aiōniōn
.....1909 1680 ........2222 166 ......3739 .1861 .........3588 .893 .......2316 ..4253 ..5550 .....166
.....in .... hope-(of) .life ...aiōnion which announced .the ...not-false .God ...before time .....aiōnion
The second line gives the transliteration, the third line the Strong's concordance numbers, the fourth line a rough English equivalent word by word.


Reflections

(1) In addition to examining the context of vv. 1 and 3, and the letter to Titus as a whole, the following three points might seem worth bearing in mind:

One could consider the sense in which epēggeilato (ἐπηγγείλατο) is used, here translated "promise", but which could also, I think, be translated as more like "stated", "announced" or "purposed".

(2) One could consider the sense in which aiōniōn (αἰωνίων), "eternal", also rendered in the NKJV as "before time began", is used.

(3) And one could consider more broadly the kinds of statements made, and phrases used, in Scripture concerning the eternal nature of God and His purposes, and, in particular, His work in Christ Jesus. These seem to me interrelated considerations.


Trying to think these things out a bit further

(1) epēggeilato (ἐπηγγείλατο) is a compound from epi and angelato (spelled aggelato) from angelos, meaning messenger (or angel), and related to all the message words, like news, gospel, evangelize, to bring tidings, and so on. But it is used, also, in a quite prosaic way, in Greek, I think. Strong's lexicon (at Blue Letter Bible, which I have used throughout) defines the word epēggeilato (ἐπηγγείλατο) as follows:
.....1) to announce that one is about to do or furnish something
..........a) to promise (of one's own accord) to engage voluntarily
.....2) to profess
..........a) an art, to profess one's skill in something
The word is often translated as to "promise" but it seems to me that in this context it might just as well mean to "declare", "announce", or "purpose". The English phrase "who cannot lie" translates ἀψευδὴς (a-pseudes), which means "without lie" or "truthful" which could even in this context, it seems to me, mean "reliable" and "sure", "God who is utterly truthful and reliable" or "God who does just what He declares". Thus there is a possibility, perhaps, that the phrase "ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ ἀψευδὴς θεὸς", "promised, or proclaimed, by the undeceiving God" could equally mean "declared by the God of truth" or by "God who is utterly reliable" and "from the very beginning."

I certainly don't put great weight on my attempts to understand the Greek, but I'm also not sure how much the sense here is that of God making a specific promise, to break which would be to lie, say, and how much the emphasis is simply on God's declaration of His eternal counsels from the beginning, or from the very purposing of the act of Creation.


(2) The term αἰωνίων (aiōniōn) is an adjective formed from αἰων (aiōn), age. It is used twice in this verse, in the phrase "life eternal" (or "eternal life") -- ζωῆς αἰωνίου (zōēs aiōniou) and again in the phrase "before the times eternal" which the NKJV translates rather freely as "before time began". That phrase is πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, literally, "before time aiōniōn" which might be translated "before the ages" or "before times eternal" or "before eternal ages" or even "long ages ago", I guess.

I think it is possible that, in conjunction with the phrase "life eternal" the latter phrase could even mean "before the times of eternal life" -- that is, in a time (χρόνως, chronōs) before eternal life had arrived for us, as it now has, in Christ our Savior, with the sense of something like "long before the coming of Christ" -- a reading which might fit well with where Paul goes in verse 3. However, I'd have to check with someone who knows more Greek and more exegesis before I went with that.


(3) The foregoing thoughts bear on what seems to me perhaps the most important line of inquiry in trying to understand just how to take Paul's phrase here, namely, how the idea of God's eternal purposes and promises is developed in Scripture. Certainly that includes the kinds of things that have come up in the direction of the thread thus far -- searching for particular verses concerning eternal life in other parts of the Scripture (the Tonach, or OT, and the known sayings of Jesus), but it does not seem to me that inquiry in understanding the idea of the age-old promise of eternal life should be limited to that.

However, that's a very large subject which can't really be developed in this post, which is already on the long side.

Scruffy Kid
Jan 24th 2011, 04:01 AM
In this post, following up on lines sketched in the previous post, I aim to develop the thought that the promise of eternal life was made from eternity, and spoken to humanity from the beginning. I do not put this forward as an airtight argument, but as a line of thinking for possible development.

I cannot here survey the OT broadly: the discussion is mainly developed from the NT discussion of God's salvific acts, and Rest, and Glory, and Fellowship, and acts of Creation, "before the foundation of the world" as discussed in the NT. However, at the end I argue also that this promise is at least implicit in the Genesis 1 account, and the parallel Genesis 2 account.


The Work of God done "before the foundation of the world"

NT Scriptures refer repeatedly to "the foundation of the world" -- meaning the Creation, as I take it -- and to things done "before the foundation of the world".

The word "foundation" here, Strong's G2602, καταβολή -- from καταβάλλω, literally "throw down", meaning to cast down (or to throw to the ground, prostrate) or to put in a lower place (or to lay down a foundation) -- is said to mean either" (1) a throwing or laying down" (including "the injection or depositing of the virile semen in the womb", or "of the seed of plants and animals") or (2) "a founding" ("laying down a foundation". It's this word that is always used for "the foundation of the world" in the NT -- as distinct from Strong's G2310 θεμέλιος (themelios) meaning "laid down as a foundation, the foundation (of a building, wall, city)" although also applied metaphysically to "the foundations, beginnings, first principals (as of an institution or system of truth)". The NT refers to the "foundation of the world" in Matt 13:35, 25:34, Luke 11:50, John 17:24, Eph. 1:4, Heb 4:3 and 9:26, I Peter 1:20, Rev. 13:8 and 17:8. There is also a reference to "the foundation of the earth and the heavens" (using G2310 here) in Hebrews 1:10. ("World" in the other verses is G2889, κόσμος (kosmos), but "earth" in Heb 1:10 is γῆ (ge).)

Jesus says he will reveal to the apostles "things secret from the foundation of the world", that a kingdom was prepared for the righteous "from the foundation of the world", and that the Father "has loved" Him, Jesus, "from before the foundation of the world". He also refers to the blood of prophets shed "from the foundation of the world" which, in this case, clearly seems to mean from earliest human times." Paul (Eph. 1:4) says that God has chosen us in Christ "before the foundation of the world" that "we should be holy and blameless before Him in love." The author of Hebrews say that "we who have believed enter into rest" yet notes that God's works (in this regard, specifically) "were finished from the foundation of the world" just as "God rested on the 7th day from all His works" Peter refers to "the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you." Revelations speaks of "the book of life of the lamb which was slain before the foundation of the world". (Verse references above.)


The Eternal Work of Christ, Fraught with His Eternal Life

However, these are not the only NT references to God's -- and Christ's -- life before this world came to be. Thus John 1 says the Word -- Christ Jesus -- was in the beginning with God, and that all things were made by Him, with nothing of all that was made made without Him. Col. 1:16-17 states of Christ that "For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." At Luke 10:18 Jesus says that He saw Satan fall from heaven -- though this is not technically before the foundation of the world -- and in saying "Before Abaham was, I am" Jesus claims eternal being with God, before all things (IMO). At John 17:5 He speaks to the Father of "the glory I had with You before the world was."

Many of these references indicate that God's salvific purposes -- to save us from our sins, and that we should "be holy and blameless before Him", for instance -- were purposes which existed from before the foundation of the world. Indeed, as Christ was "slain before the foundation of the world" the act of God whereby Christ shouldered all the sin and wrong of the world, out of love for us, seems to have been part of the very act of creation. We were "chosen in Him", before the world's foundation, also, and thus, presumably, chosen for eternal life. This is the more compelling, because eternal life is not something apart from the presence of God, but rather "this is eternal life: to know God, and Jesus Christ Whom" God has sent.

Thus, the gift of eternal life was part of the original intent of God, in making all things.


Referring this back to Genesis

When Hebrews speaks of God's work as finished from the foundation of the world, specifically with respect to "entering into His rest" and the existence of that rest, the text refers specifically to the Genesis 1 Creation account. This also suggests that the Creation account in Genesis gives hope, promise, of God's eternal life and eternal rest. Taking off from that verse reference, we might ask where was the promise to humanity of eternal life, at the very start of the world, and also, where was the promise "before the foundation of the world"?

I would argue that the Creation of humanity -- in Genesis 1 in particular -- contains that promise and intention. God says "Let us make humanity in our own image" and thus makes humanity, male and female, in the image of God, and immediately speaks to them. In so doing, God does two things, as I see it.

First the declaration, the word, which precedes the formation of humanity "Let us make humanity in our own image" is a word that human beings are made for fellowship with God. This is declared before the making of humanity -- and is the only place in Genesis 1 where we are told of God's saying "Let's do this" before speaking His Creative fiat, His Creative Word "Let ... be". Thus, I see it as an intention declared before the founding of the world. This, I think, goes together with the fact that we are created "in Christ", and to dwell in Christ (and He in us) Who is eternal, and in facg Who is Eternal Life.

Second, in addressing humanity -- the humans male and femaie whom He has just created -- God admits them (in a preliminary way) into His fellowship (and thus, by implication, into Eternal life). With no other part of Creation does God speak, notably in Genesis 1: He speaks to things, calling them into being, or perhaps commanding them thereafter to be ordered according to His will; but He speaks only with human beings. And indeed the whole OT is the remarkable record of God deigning to dialogue with human beings -- even fallen human beings -- and (as notably in Genesis 22 and Exodus 33, among other places) hear our point of view, and respond. This taking of man, of human beings, into fellowship with Himself is, I would argue, a promise of knowing Him, which is, as such, a promise of eternal life.

Finally, the Genesis 2 account of Creation, and specifically the Creation of humanity, likewise indicates in many ways that God has made man for fellowship with Himself. God walks with the man and woman in the cool of the day; and they are used to being seen by Him, and, presumably, seeing Him. (Of course, all this is figurative language, conveying with perfection God's truth, since God is not visible, or local.) He gives to the man the naming of the animals and, as in Genesis 1, rule over all the Creation under God. Likewise, as others have noted in the thread, the Tree of Life is there, and man is not -- before the Fall -- forbidden to eat of it. In all these ways, Genesis 2 concurs with Genesis 1, I think, in showing the eternal promise of eternal life, and God's conveying of that promise to humanity from the very start of our human life.

percho
Jan 24th 2011, 04:37 AM
[QUOTE=BroRog;2605407]I don't understand this point of view. Paul is saying that God made a promise to himself to give himself eternal life?[/QUO

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

This one line from a prayer says a lot. O Father. Who is this? glorify; What is included in this word? thou me; Who is this? with thine own self; Who is this? with the glory; What do you thing this word includes? which I had; Praying for it and speaking as if he presently dosen't have it. What all is it? I might add just a little later from this prayer he is praying again in fear unto sweat drops of blood. with thee; Who once again? before the world was. When was this?

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

From Gal. 4:4,5 Do you think the decision to do this was after the first man Adam sinned or before he was created?

BroRog
Jan 24th 2011, 03:32 PM
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

This one line from a prayer says a lot. O Father. Who is this? glorify; What is included in this word? thou me; Who is this? with thine own self; Who is this? with the glory; What do you thing this word includes? which I had; Praying for it and speaking as if he presently dosen't have it. What all is it? I might add just a little later from this prayer he is praying again in fear unto sweat drops of blood. with thee; Who once again? before the world was. When was this?

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

From Gal. 4:4,5 Do you think the decision to do this was after the first man Adam sinned or before he was created?How does any of this pertain to Titus chapter one?

keck553
Jan 24th 2011, 06:30 PM
Well if Paul speculated it was likely based on the direct revelation he received from Christ.

For the cause of Christ
Roger

Now with John I can agree with you. I wouldn't assume anything about Paul though. Other than his stated expertise in Judaism, we don't know if he was any better equipped than we are in terms of the Holy Spirit, from Whom we also receive sight, but not new revelation that adds to Holy Writ. Paul never claimed his letters were prophecy, let alone directly from the Voice of God, such as Moses received. Nowhere did Paul make any such statement. Even with the Apostles, the only thing that is recorded is Jesus opened their minds to the OT Scripture, and Peter had a revelation Jesus was the Annointed One.

percho
Jan 24th 2011, 11:45 PM
How does any of this pertain to Titus chapter one?

Who do we get eternal life from? Jesus. Do we get it from him because he died for us? Only in that sin had to be paid for and the only acceptable payment was death. If we pay for it we are going to be dead forever. Someone worthy of the sum total of all would die. But God is an eternal being that can not die, so how is the payment going to be made? The Word who was God and was with God would be made flesh for the purpose of death, he would empty himself of Spirit life and be born a human baby. The one who created all things would die with the promise of new eternal life from the one he was with from the beginning. Now if the one that the Word made flesh Jesus called the Father had not raised Jesus from the dead then we would not have eternal life because he would still be dead in the grave and we would be dead in tresspass and sins.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised (To the Word made flesh) before the world began; (The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world) the seed of Abraham to whom the promise was made.

Jesus has the preeminence of being the first born from the dead to eternal life by the Spirit of God. This is the same Spirit that when he was the Word went forth from him and him but when he was made flesh he had to receive it from the Father and be renewed with it. See Acts 2:33 and Titus 3:5.

Think about it. Promised before the world began, at that moment the only one present that would ever die was the Word.

BroRog
Jan 25th 2011, 12:48 AM
Who do we get eternal life from? Jesus. Do we get it from him because he died for us? Only in that sin had to be paid for and the only acceptable payment was death. If we pay for it we are going to be dead forever. Someone worthy of the sum total of all would die. But God is an eternal being that can not die, so how is the payment going to be made? The Word who was God and was with God would be made flesh for the purpose of death, he would empty himself of Spirit life and be born a human baby. The one who created all things would die with the promise of new eternal life from the one he was with from the beginning. Now if the one that the Word made flesh Jesus called the Father had not raised Jesus from the dead then we would not have eternal life because he would still be dead in the grave and we would be dead in tresspass and sins.

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised (To the Word made flesh) before the world began; (The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world) the seed of Abraham to whom the promise was made.

Jesus has the preeminence of being the first born from the dead to eternal life by the Spirit of God. This is the same Spirit that when he was the Word went forth from him and him but when he was made flesh he had to receive it from the Father and be renewed with it. See Acts 2:33 and Titus 3:5.

Think about it. Promised before the world began, at that moment the only one present that would ever die was the Word.But Paul didn't say "promised before the world began."

percho
Jan 26th 2011, 03:14 AM
But Paul didn't say "promised before the world began."

Just when/what is before times of ages. How do you want to translate the Greek. I know no Greek. I assume before time, is in the original. Paul probably considered time to be days months years and so forth, whether he thought the earth was flat or not I don't know but we now know the rotation of the earth, sun, moon and stars create time and I do believe that was done in the first six days of creation.