Thanks for your response Fred. As in any debate, the most enjoyable ones are between those who are conscientious about what they write, are not dogmatic but open to a sense of reasoning that continually evaluates new arguments, and therefore have not totally welded their minds towards one stance or another.
Someone who has firmly decided that their doctrine "really makes sense" to them usually has great difficulty budging from their position, because what they have invested
in reaching that position becomes valuable
I have not reached that point. This subject is new to me, and although I am an obstinate person (as everyone is who indulges in forum debates), I am not beyond being shown the error of my convictions. But I do require a certain number of strong evidences indicating that what I believe is wrong, and that what my opponent believes is right. So far, I find the arguments for dual-gospels lack strength for several reasons - not only scripturally, but also in reasonability, given what we understand about works, the law, and righteousness. You will undoubtedly believe the same from you POV so there is no need for you to point that out. I understand.
All we can do is provide the reasons for our beliefs and hope that they are weighty enough to tip the scales one way or the other.
No problem. Your position is that Gal 2:7 is not referring to two distinct gospels. My position is that those who are experts in the Greek beg to differ.
The question here is what the expert in question differs about, and what he bases his opinions apon. Since I have never made any claim about which preposition should or shouldn't be used, I don't see how any expert opinion about it can be used to refute anything I have said.
Not many of us here are willing to subscribe to evolution simply on the basis of what "experts" believe. And even in this field, I don't simply swallow an experts opinions or conclusions simply because he is an expert in the there original Greek language. I require more than expert opinion. There are many experts, just as there are many opinions, and many conclusions extrapolated from expert opinions.
My point is that sometimes we use a different set of words to distinguish between differences, but what is a "difference", and what is a "dividing line"? I will cover that shortly.
No one here has yet provided a counter argument from an expert in Greek to show why we can view this verse as referring to the same gospel.
Fred, how is anyone supposed to use Greek to determine what we should consider to be "the same" as opposed to "different" gospels? You cannot claim that this is a strong argument since it's strenght is practically impossible
to measure because we don't have a measuring-stick to evaluate its strength by.
What is one gospel?
What are two gospels?
The difficulty in determining where one gospel stops and the other starts is similar to the difficulty in defining the difference between "micro" and "macro"-evolution. what IS the dividing line
that separates one from the other?
As far as I can tell there seems to be two factors that you and Teejay submit as evidence that there are two, rather that one gospel:1. Separate requirements indicate separate gospels.
I.e, one gospel requiring circumcision cannot possibly be the same as another that does not require circumcision.
Without trying to be cheeky here, I think that you might as well claim that one gospel requires that you chop your arms off whereas the other doesn't.
The gospel, as far as I understand it, is the very reason we don't have to chop our arms off.
Why? Because of the grace that comes through faith. That is the gospel - good news for the sinners who understand that they cannot keep the law and bad news for the "righteous" who do not understand this.
I had always believed that the gospel originated during the lifetime of Jesus, but scripture teaches us that it existed long before that. Concerning the "rebellious nation" we can read in Hebrews 4:"we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
In other words the gospel has existed in one form or the other ever since the ability to combine it with faith has been an option. The author talks about "we" and "them" but talks about the same gospel
. And since this gospel is tied up with the concept of faith, then I would venture to claim that the gospel originated at least
during the time of Abraham, since he was the father of faith.
That was before
the law of circumcision came to be, because circumcision was established after
Abraham passed the test of faith that was attributed to him Hebrews. And even though Isaac was later circumcised it does not nullify the fact that faith was established earlier than that.
After Abraham established the covenant of faith there has been an enormous number of requirements made on the "children of Abraham". How many different gospels would that indicate?2. The division has to do with nationality.
I don't think I need to go into too much detail about this. All of us seem to agree that when "in Christ" there is no longer a dividing line between Jew and gentile. In fact there IS NO Jew or gentile.
But Paul does do this, not just in a rather lengthy discourse in Galatians, but also in the OT, 2 Cor 3, Hebrews 8:13, Acts 15, Acts 21, etc.
Paul acknowledges two covenants, not two gospels. A covenant is not synonymous with a gospel. The old covenant was not eternal, it was "fading" just as you pointed out. However "the gospel" is eternal:"Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth" Rev 14:6.
The new covenant is not the gospel, it is the binding contract that one agrees to in order to gain access to the gospel.
So what would you say is the difference between these two covenants, as far as salvation is concerned? Your answer below to my question goes a long way in showing why you should realize there is a different standard for salvation
A covenant is an agreement. One of these coventants was eternal, the other was established as a "temporary schoolmaster" to turn people everywhere back to the original, eternal covenant. The original covenant, as far as I can see, is, and always has been, based on the gospel.
In other words, if you want to call the legalistic demands layed out in the OT a "gospel", then be my guest, but that is not the way I see it being described in scripture.
Wrong, Ishmael! I do pray this creates an opening of why we are defending, a separate, distinct (but fading) dispensation to the Jews! You have to ask yourself why your first reaction was "Isaac", could it be because you are conditioned against this idea of works-grace salvation before the gospel of grace?
I had the feeling that this would be a tricky, baited question, and quite honestly I haven't really given this much thought at all. I just answered from the top of my head since I know that Isaac was circumcised. On the other hand, my first reaction wasn't "Isaac" becuase of any "conditioning" and I kind of resent the implication coming from you Fred, because it runs along the same lines as Teejays completely false "worldview" insinuation.
You know very little about me Fred. As I said, this question is new to me, and as far as conditioning is concerned you picked the wrong person to try to pin that on. From the very begining I was strongly opposed to Christianity but converted primarily as a result of God speaking directly
to me through his word rather than giving way to human arguments. Since I started out that way I have actually tried my best to aviod letting others influence my beliefs. This of course is practically impossible, but at least I have made an effort. Unless there is a particular reason for it, I do not read Christian literature. I don't even read Bible commentaries.
I have also tried to make an effort to avoid letting things cement too quickly in my mind. I consider different arguments for different stances and basically leave it at that and see what eventually results. I am undecided on many issues because of this. I am more than willing to wait things out rather than dig my heels in. So I find it a little irritating when someone tells me that I have a worldview or have been preconditioned to believe in something simply because I disagree.
Fred, if you want to argue the existence of two covenants, two dispensations, or anything else like that then you will get any counter-arguments from me. There is both Jew and gentile. There is both slave and free, the "bondwoman" and the "freewoman", male and female. However, in Christ, which is where the gospel is, these things do not exist.
Why do you think that Paul acknowledges both Jew and gentile in Romans:There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
Only to say later on in Romans that there is not Jew or gentile:"For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile"
It is because outside of Christ there IS Jew and gentile, whereas "in Christ" there is NO Jew or Gentile. And it is "in Christ" that this discussion is based apon. If you think there is a gospel that is not "in Christ" then let me know.
Finally, I want you to answer the following questions:
1. What happens to a "Christian" jew who fails to get circumcised? According to the doctrine of the "gospel of the circumcised"?
2. Why, if a Jew is born again
and is therefore a new creation
, does he have to carry a yoke around his neck?
Paul compares trying to follow the law to the bearing of a yoke:"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
(Notice also that he says "burdened again" which I think is interesting!)
Again, why do you think that God would pay the ultimate price for freedom
, and yet decide to keep the born-again Jews in captivity