Misplaced Ingenuity

From the Differentiator magazine:
Vol. 26 New Series June, 1965 No. 2

Recently a so called theologian has stated that the Jews used to pray for the dead, a custom "which was continued by the Christian Church (2. Timothy 1:18)."

This verse with vv. 16, 17. reads: "May the Lord be giving mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, seeing that many times he refreshes me and was not ashamed of my chain, but, coming to be in Rome, diligently he seeks me, and found (me). May the Lord grant to him to be finding mercy from (the) Lord in that day! And now many times in Ephesus he ministers to me, thou art getting to know quite well."

"No unbiassed mind could possibly deduce from this that Onesiphorus was any but a living breathing friend of Paul. The only; real problem is that Paul should have found it necessary to plead to the Lord for mercy for him. It may perhaps be that Onesiphorus was an unbeliever with exceptional kindness of heart and compassion, and that Paul's love for him burst out in this special plea to the Lord on his behalf.

Nevertheless, in its search for support for its pagan practise of praying for the dead the apostate church has seized on this problem with the ingenious solution that Onesiphorus was already dead when Paul wrote; but the awkward fact remains that there is not even a hint to that effect in the text. Moreover, if v. 18 is a prayer for dead Onesiphorus, then v. 16 must be a similar prayer for his household. Even that might appear plausible but for the further fact that Paul in 2. Tim. 4:18 sends greetings to the household! An even weaker argument in support of his supposed decease is that in the A.V. he is referred to in the past tense throughout, five times in all. Yet, in fact, the past tense occurs only twice: "was not ashamed" and "found." The other three are aorists; and if these were really intended to refer only to the past, the unanswerable question arises why Paul did not use the past tense for them. To the accurate mind, the narrative speaks very plainly.

That Onesiphorus was not ashamed, and that he found Paul, are facts established, at one fixed point in the past in each case. That he refreshes Paul, seeks him, ministers to him are repeated acts, as true at the moment Paul wrote as they had been all along.

Alexander Thomson

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Listing of Articles

Who is our God? Chapter 1
Who is our God? Chapter 2
Who is our God? Chapter 3
Who is our God? Chapter 4
Who is our God? Chapter 5
Who is our God? Chapter 6
Who is our God? Chapter 7
Who is our God? Chapter 8
Who is our God? Chapter 9
Who is our God? Chapter 10
Who is our God? Chapter 11
Who is our God? Chapter 12
Who is our God? Chapter 13
Who is our God? Chapter 14
Who is our God? Chapter 15
Who is our God? Chapter 16
Who is our God? Chapter 17
A Female Deity?
Acts 7:15 & 16
All Things
Amos 3:6
An Answer to the Challenge of Hell
Angels & Men One Species?
An Interesting New Version
Are You an Ambassador?
Are You a Pillar?
Are You a Witness for Jehovah?
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 1
Are You an Israelite? Chapter 2
Are You an Israelite? Chapters 3 & 4
A Special Resurrection?
Baptized for the Dead?
"Beloved" or "Loveable"?
Brotherly Love
Book Review
Colossians 1:23
Common or Unclean?
Common Sense
Did Paul Visit Spain?
Did the Lord give up His Flesh?
"Divine" Fire?
Doctoring the Holy Scriptures
Does God know Everything?
Does God will Everything?
Does your Spiritual Life seem Unreal?
Did God hate Esau?
Earth our Future Home?
Emphasis in the Scriptures
English more Archaic than Ancient Hebrew?
Ephesians 1:23
Erroneous Translations
Gleanings from A.T.
Heaven our Homeland
How is Christ God's "Word"?
How many were Crucified?
In the Christ All Shall Be Made Alive
Is Dust the Serpent's Food?
Is the Devil Impersonal?
Isaiah 26:14,19
James 4:5
Jehovah's Theocratic Organization
Jesus the Saviour
John 19:29
The Kingdom of the Hebrews
Leave it with God
Men or Mortals?
Misplaced Ingenuity
New Light on the Second Death
None Other Things
Objective Value of Prayer
Other or Different
Our Advocate
Paul's Chain
Paul the Sensitive
Paul versus James
Prevailing Prayer
Problems of Translation: I Cor. 7:21
Problems of Translation: II Cor. 3:18
Psalm 66:18
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Rogues and Rascals
Rom 9 & 10: Human Freedom & Human Choice
Romans 9:14-24
Romans 9:30 to 10:21
II Corinthians 5:16
II Peter 3:10
Seven Wicked Spirits
Shall We See God?
Sir, We would see Jesus
Should we fear God?
The Bloody Husband
The Cherubim of Glory
The Corinthian Error
The Cunning Manager
The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah
The Designation of Jesus as "God"
The Disruption Fallacy
The Disruption Fallacy #2
The Eighth of Proverbs
The Eleven "Generations" of Genesis
The Elohim
The Ends of the Eons
The Eternal Saviour-Judge
The Eternity of Hell Torments
The First Christian Convention
The Four Gospels
The Gentiles in Ephesians
The Greek Definite Article
The Hardening of Pharoah's Heart
The Hebrew Conception of Time
The Hebrews Epistle
The Hebrew Terms Rendered 'For Ever'
The Hope of Israel
The Life of Prayer
The Lord Jesus Revealing the Heart of God
The Lord's Relatives
The Lordly Supper
The Meaning of Ta Panta
The Ministry of Women Parts 1 & 2
The Ministry of Women Parts 3 & 4
The "Penalty of Sin"
The Poor in Spirit
The Primeval Laws
The Primeval Laws #2
The Problem of Evil
The Quality of Divine Love
The Rich Man and Lazarus
The Serpent of Genesis 3
The Soul and the Spirit
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 1 & 2
The Talmud of the Jews Parts 3 & 4
The Translation of Acts 28:25
The Trial of the Lord
The Truth of the Bible
The Two Seeds
The Works of Henry Clay Mabie, D.D.
"Three Days and Three Nights"
Translator's Incentive
Truthfulness and Mercy
Try the Spirits
Unto Eternity and Further
We have all been Wrong
What did Peter do?
What does Olethros mean?
What Happened to Jephthah's Daughter?
What is Destruction?
What is the Flesh?
What is the Sin unto Death?
Whence "Eternity"?
Who are the Saints?
Who is Jehovah?
Who Shall Deliver Me?
Why Pray?
Why the "Lake" of Fire?
Will God Punish?
Will the Lord Come for Us?
Will the Man of Lawlessness be Killed?


The Differentiator Revisited 2009