Re: "Perfect"?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Oct 31 1995 - 15:46:41 EST

At 1:49 PM 10/31/95, Leo Percer wrote:
>Eric, just what exactly do you mean that "when the message was *completed*,
>that which was done in part (vs.9) ceased because we no longer need
>miraculous revelation"? Are you insinuating/claiming that when Scripture
>became canon that no miracles were needed any longer? Or, are you claiming
>that once the message of the gospel was brought to its completion (whatever
>*that* may mean), miracles ceased? Now, I realize that this may not sound
>like a good question for a Greek list, but is the reference to TO TELEION
>in v. 10 really the message/prophecy (the earliest antecedent of "mature"
>or "complete")? Are there other references that could work? Could Paul
>have in mind AGAPE as that which must become perfect/complete? Or that
>Christians should be complete in practicing AGAPE? The danger of a
>cessationist argument based on this verse is that it requires some fancy
>footwork regarding what Paul had in mind. What is the referent to TO
>TELEION in 1 Corinthians? Ideas?

I, at least, believe that TO TELEION to which Paul refers is TO ESXATON. At
the end of the poem, when he says that three things MENEI, I am assuming
that he means EIS TON AIWNA, that these are three things that will endure
into the Age-to-Come, while the other things will atrophy as there will be
no function for them to perform. However, inasmuch as there are no
indications that we have yet entered into the Age-to-come, I don't see why
we should suppose that those other XARISMATA should cease. As I noted the
other day, I've never seen why we should suppose that miracles were solely
a matter of the apostolic age.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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