Re: Ephesians 4:11?

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Wed Oct 08 1997 - 02:39:04 EDT

On Tue 7 Oct 97 (16:36:58), wrote:
> This is simply a "targum" on the text. There is absolutely NO evidence
> that the text was originally written in Hebrew (which few if any of
> Pauls readers would have understood). Nor is there any reason to think
> that Paul was thinking in Hebrew and writing in Greek.
> The importation of a Hebrew verb is here unnecessary and quite out of
> place.

 Dear Jim,

 Thank you for your comments. I didn't say Paul thought it in Hebrew and wrote
 it in Greek. I implied that Saul the Rabbi could well have had a wider
 connotation of DIDWMI in his mind than Hellenists. I'm glad you allow Paul
 as the writer. He was martyred in about 63 AD; so that makes for a date
 in the region of 60 AD for Ephesians, not "around 70 - 80 AD" as you proposed
 to Anton. Or are we talking about "Pseudo-Paul" here?

> Are you implying that the early Church viewed the rolling of the dice as a
> chance game? Surely not; for they viewed such a role as inspired by the
> Spirit as well.

 I'm not specifying the method of casting lots. It could have been a secret
 ballot, or even a show of hands. But it could not have been a Scriptural
 "Urim and Thummim" procedure, and it was BEFORE the Church was initiated
 on the Day of Pentecost, BEFORE the Holy Spirit was given. So IMHO they were
 "jumping the gun", and were overruled by the Holy Spirit in Acts 13:2.
 Whatever became of Matthias, anyway?

> But a "prophet" is nothing more than a "proclaimer" or a preacher; not a
> fortune teller in the Jean Dixon mode. The word itself derives from a
> compound word meaning "to speak forth; to speak to". To suggest that the
> order of "preachers" has declined is historical nonsense.

 The KHRUGMA was proclaimed by the Evangelists, not the Prophets. The prophets
 have the duty to proclaim (KHRUSSW); but their trademark was FOREtelling
 (PROFHTEUW) rather than merely FORTHtelling. To reduce Prophecy to mere
 preaching is to cut out its major definitive element. Beware Reductionism.

> Not one of the 12 wrote a book; and not one of the OT prophets wrote a book
> either. This view is utterly impossible in light of the literature itself.
> See any introduction to the NT and the OT for the essentials.

 No: see the TEXT of the OT and the NT for the essentials.
 It amazes me that some people approach the Bible as the Word of God, and
 expound it is God's Truth, EXCEPT in its statements concerning authorship.
 The NT canonical books were only accepted as such because they had the
 authority of the eye-witnesses of the Resurrection. Admittedly Hebrews was
 only accepted because it was thought Pauline; but I'm glad it was. They took
 a long time deciding about Revelation; but finally accepted it as Johannine.

 "This view is utterly impossible" only to people who have made an /a priori/
 decision that (1) Miracles are against Science and therefore impossible, so
 they are nothing but fictitious hero-stories invented in the early 2nd
 century; and (2) Future Prophecy is impossible, and therefore all alleged
 prophecies are /vaticinia ex eventu/, history fraudulently backdated.
 This was the view put forth in /Essays and Reviews/, 1860, and is the driving
 principle behind "Redaction Criticism" today. How right CH Spurgeon was in his
 "Downgrade" criticism of his own denominational church leadership.

 We sit UNDER Scripture in obedience; not OVER it in judgment. It reminds me
 of CH Dodds' statement in the introduction to his commentary on /Romans/:
 "Sometimes I feel that St Paul is wrong; and where he is wrong, I say so".
 What arrogance!

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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