Wednesday, November 12, 2008

God's will for all men?

1Tim 2:1-7
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,
for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Now I know Calvinists will redefine the word "all" used three times here. They will also talk about the idea that to want something is not to "will" it. However the Text is clear the word is "all" not "some out of all the world" and the word "desire" is θέλω or thelḗsō and it means "To will, i.e., to have in mind, purpose, intend, please."

What this does not say is that God has willed that all men are going to be saved. It does mean that when Christ gave Himself it was for all people, the purpose was to provide ransom for everyone.

Imagine, if you will, that if "all" didn't mean "all" here that God would in fact have been ordering Christians to lie in Mark 16:15
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Notice the content of the Gospel, declared by the Apostle Paul.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Now if we are told to preach this message to every created being on the planet, and if God didn't really die for all of our sins, then we have been told to lie which is just not possible because God cannot lie.


Jonathan Perreault said...

Hi Kev,

Great post! I think you have made a good point concerning Paul's repeated use of the word "all" in 1 Tim. 2:1-6. Christian are to pray for all men because God desires all men to be saved.

I wish Mark 16:15 were in the original manuscripts because it would be a great verse to use in this regard, as you have indicated. But the oldest Greek manuscripts do not contain Mark 16:9-20, as even the most conservative scholars admit. Wallace talked about this in his recent debate with Bart Erhman.


Kevl said...

Hi JP,

The word "all" is more easily re-defined if one proof-texts but you know I'm just a tad against that practice. :)

Of Mark 16:9-20. Here's what Darby has to say in the Full Notes version of his translation. "I do not enter on the question of teh authenticity of verses 9-20 here. I read them as scripture. Burgon has pretty well demolished the authorities against them, but he has not accounted for their peculiar character. N omits, putting at verse 8 "greek quote"; so B, ending "different greek quote"; L has it but apart with a note, and so also l. A C D X D E and all other uncials and cursives and versions have the passage. It is quoted by Irenaeus and also by Hippolytus of the second or third century: De Charism 245;E fails from the middle of verse 14 to rest being lost."

And I would agree with Darby.

I know this section gets questioned as though it's not Scripture (yet it is in every single Bible I've ever read) by many many people. I believe it is a plot from the enemy. This is the Great Commission. What better thing to attack if you want to overcome the results of the Great Commission?


Jonathan Perreault said...


You said:

"I know this section [in Mark 16:9-20] gets questioned as though it's not Scripture (yet it is in every single Bible I've ever read) by many many people."

Yes, I would agree. However, most of those Bible also include a footnote questioning the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 - just like in your Darby.

You said:

"I believe it is a plot from the enemy. This is the Great Commission. What better thing to attack if you want to overcome the results of the Great Commission?"

Many believe that this is exactly why Scribes added verses 9-20, because they were uncomfortable with the abrupt ending of Mark's gospel at verse 8.

If you have Wallace's NET Bible, he has a lengthy footnote detailing with these issues.


James Snapp, Jr. said...

Hi JP and Kev,

I think one thing that is often overlooked in discussions about Mk. 16:9-20 is that the passage does not have to have been added by Mark to be canonical and original: it just needs to have been part of the text before the Gospel of Mark began to be disseminated for church-use. Considering that only two ancient Greek MSS lack Mk. 16:9-20, and of those two one of them leaves a prolonged blank space after 16:8, and in the other one the manuscript does not have its original pages from Mk. 14:54 to Lk. 1:56, and considering that Irenaeus explicitly quoted from Mk. 16:19 in Against Heresies III:10:5-6, and Tatian used the passage in the Diatessaron, and Justin Martyr almost certainly also incorporated it into a Harmony of the Synoptics which he used in First Apology ch. 45 -- well, there are three second-century patristic references, each over a century earlier than the earliest manuscript of Mark 16, so I don't see how any well-informed individual could say that Mk. 16:9-20 is missing in more that two ancient Greek manuscripts; nor could any well-informed person state that Mk. 16:9-20 is absent from our earliest witnesses to the text of Mark.

More evidence can be found in my online presentation on the topic that begins at . You can view replicas of the pertinent pages from Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and click the link to the "Evidence" chart in the side-bar; I list about 70 pertinent pieces of evidence.

Regarding the NET: its presentation re: Mk. 16:9-20 is rather remarkably one-sided. A lot of important details are not mentioned in the NET's note. Plus, there is a clear citation-error in the NET; two parts of a single MS are listed as if they are two MSS. The NET is not always the reliable resource some folks think it is.

Yours in Christ,

James Snapp, Jr.

Kevl said...

Hi James,

Thanks for the info. I agree with you about the NET. I HAVE had people share reliable and helpful information from it's notes in the past. However, I have yet to ever find what I thought was complete information when I've gone looking in it myself.

Thank you for your comment, I'm going to check out your information on Mark's Gospel.