Monday, March 27, 2017

What does panta denote?

Freewill theists need to be more flexible about universal quantifiers ("all"). They seize on pas/panta to prooftext universal atonement, yet that's frequently employed as a hyperbolic or idiomatic generality. To take some Johannine examples:

"Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them" (Jn 8:2).

Does this mean every human being came to the temple that morning to hear Jesus? 

How about: "All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them" (Jn 10:8).

Is Jesus saying all the OT prophets were thieves and robbers? Hardly. 

Or this: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35).

Does every human being know that? What about people who don't know any Christians? 

Or this: "Jesus answered him, 'I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret'" (Jn 18:20).

Did that include Jews living in the Diaspora (e.g. Rome, Alexandria)? 

What about: "And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him'" (Jn 3:26).

Or this: "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" (Jn 4:29).

Or this: "So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast" (Jn 4:45).

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