Monday, April 18, 2016

Ta Panta-What It Denotes at Times

τὰ πάντα ("all things") does not signify or denote "the universe as a whole" everytime it appears, but some contexts suggest this meaning is communicated by this expression at times. For example, 1 Corinthians 15:28:

ὅταν δὲ ὑποταγῇ αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα, τότε καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ υἱὸς ὑποταγήσεται τῷ ὑποτάξαντι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα, ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν.

There's also Romans 11:36: ὅτι ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ δι' αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν τὰ πάντα· αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας· ἀμήν.

Compare 1 Corinthians 8:6.

Hebrews 1:2 does not employ ta panta, but rather, pantwn.

See Hebrews 11:3 to shed light on 1:2.

35 comments:

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Jc9e-70Ha00C&pg=PA137&lpg=PA137&dq=e+grasser+der+glaube+im+hebr%C3%A4erbrief&source=bl&ots=mvQoxuEe3Y&sig=HR2t78IsNZ7R-MAfyh9G2__seLM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjcqp63yprMAhWLK8AKHUlqDXkQ6AEIHzAA#v=onepage&q=e%20grasser%20der%20glaube%20im%20hebr%C3%A4erbrief&f=false

Duncan said...

Compare Colossians 3:8 - Defined.

"To those who think that the Greek word for all without the definite article speaks of something without limitation, I would say, take a look at Phil. 2:14, "Be doing ALL THINGS (panta) without murmurings." Also 1. Cor. 15:22, "For even as in Adam all (pantes) are dying, thus also in Christ shall all (pantes) be made alive." In this verse the all is limited to those in Adam who are dying, who go on dying, but the statement is true of such without limitation. As for Phil. 2:14, does this not mean that all that we do we should do without murmurings?"

Edgar Foster said...

Those who argue that ta panta "sometimes" means "the universe as a whole" insist that we usually must find those exact words, that is, ta panta with the definite article. Secondly, context must determine whether ta panta, at any given time, denotes the universe holistically. Occurrences of pantes or variant forms thereof, would not usually be enough to signal the meaning "universe as a whole."

Again, I emphasize that no one is saying ta panta always refers to the universe.Phil 2:14 doesn't refute the argument because it apparently does not have the definite article with panta. I'm relying on your transcription here of 2:14. Even if it does have the definite article, that does not mean it's referring to the cosmos as a whole.

Duncan said...

Since most of this discussion stems from how to understand col.1, finding it's focal point, which does not appear to be verse 15.

The firstborn of which creation?

Col 1:20 και δι΄ αυτου αποκαταλλαξαι τα παντα εις αυτονG...

What was actually in need of reconciliation? - is this the things seen and unseen in a sense that Aristotle uses?

Col 1:18 και αυτος εστιν η κεφαλη του σωματος της εκκλησιας ος εστιν αρχη πρωτοτοκος εκ των νεκρων ινα γενηται εν πασιν αυτος πρωτευων

2 Corinthians 4:17,18

Edgar Foster said...

Colossians 1:15-20 normally is read as one unit and some scholars think the verses might have formed an early hymn. Either way, why skip vs. 16, which somewhat clarifies 1:15? As for 1:20, it says that God works through Christ to reconcile all things εἴτε τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἴτε τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.

We also cannot overlook 1:17 when trying to understand 1:15.

While I tend to doubt that Aristotle had the same thing in mind as Colossians does, do you have a specific passage in mind?

Edgar Foster said...

Firstborn language appears in Philo: he calls the Logos "Firstborn." See https://books.google.com/books?id=E9YUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA417&dq=philo+logos+firstborn&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjn9L2E7JvMAhXD4SYKHVaFDCMQ6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q=philo%20logos%20firstborn&f=false

However, the main point I was trying to demonstrate this time was how ta panta could be used at times.

Duncan said...

Sorry I meant Plato - "The seen is the changing, and the unseen is the unchanging."

Far to much is hung upon Philo & for that matter Plato when dealing with a letter written in the vernacular for a mostly illiterate audience to listen too.

I have not ignored any of the verses & the ta panta is clearly defined - whether thrones, whether lordships, whether sovereignties, whether authorities; the whole through him and in him have been created.

Note- "the whole" - the combination of the plan and its reality.

"It is important to recognize that Paul is talking about the creation of things never mentioned in the Genesis account. You won't find an account of creating thrones or rulers or authorities or dominions or powers in the Genesis account. Moreover, Paul is not talking about the creation of heaven and earth but the creation of things IN the heaven and UPON the earth. It is also important to recognize that the Greek word ktisis (creation) was used by the ancient Greeks to refer to the founding of governing bodies or authority structures which is precisely what Paul is talking about in this passage."

The Creation of Authority Structure

So as far as I can tell, ta panta or panta means whatever the context defines it to mean as the totality of the category or categories.

http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/vox/vol15/hymn_balchin.pdf

If the scholars in question are pro trinitarian then there are no surprise as to why they would call this a hymn - to remove it from it's surrounding context, which is not so unusual.

Duncan said...

A newer study but not very compelling regarding "context" :-

http://ir.stthomas.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=sod_mat

The awkwardness of the wording could well be due to the implications of being found in the roman empire with a letter or document referring to new societal structures, so it would be given in the terms not easily understood by a roman but straight forward to a Jew. His remarks as to the state of Colossae at this time fall in with a low literacy level & no reasons to increase the average for this location.

Also, see on pg.1 footnote 3 - this being unbalanced as he gives no reference to any scholarship that does not support his ideas. The 'Hymn' is assumption on assumption.

Edgar Foster said...

Just to be clear, I never insisted that Colossians 1:15-20 is a hymn. The comment was simply made in passing that others regard it as a possible hymn.

As for Plato's language, by "unseen," he usually means abstract objects and visible things are sensible or concrete for him. On Philo, his use of firstborn could have some bearing on Colossians 1:15 or not.

Ketisis must be understood per context, and the "on the earth and in the heavens" idiom is another way of referring to the cosmos. See Revelation 5:13f2f.

Edgar Foster said...

There can also be heavenly thrones and authorities as Colossians clearly shows in 1:15-16. See Ephesians 6:12.

Duncan said...

At Revelation 5:13 the "cosmos" of "creatures" is defined (comprehensively) with some similarity, but by no means parallel.


Ephesians 6:2 - compare Galatians 5:16ff, 6:16. - doesn't all of this boil down to being guided by ten of the words?

Edgar Foster said...

Revelation 5:13 is not necessarily a parallel, but it illustrates how a first century Christian writer might have communicated the idea of cosmos. Similarly, Colossians could be conveying the same concept with different words. Ephesians 6:12 is not parallel with Galatians 5 & 6, right? If so, how?

I'm not sure what you mean by ten words

Duncan said...

Where are the ancient examples of such structures in heavwn? Where you are using this to project backward it can just as easily project forward in time "who is the beginning, the first born from the dead that he should be in all things preminent."

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan,

What about Eph 6:11-12? Don't we have an example of governmental language applied to heavenly structures there? Col. 1:15-16 also explictly applies the language about governments, thrones, etc, not just to things on earth, but to things in the heavens. I don't know how you understand those verses, which seem to indicate something about heavenly structures.

My original post had nothing to do with Christ as the beginning or the firstborn of all creation. I was only discussing ta panta and that's all. But it seems that the use of firstborn in 1:15 is not synonymous with the occurrence of the same term in 1:18. While I believe the verses are related, and that it's possible to read 1:15 in the light of the new creation, other features of the text remind one of Gen 1:26-27. I also don't see how we can leap over 1:16-17 when trying to understand 1:15.

Edgar Foster said...

Here are some links that might be useful:

https://books.google.com/books?id=1YoUBBVGBGEC&pg=PA176&dq=thrones+and+lordships+angels+colossians+1:16&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3ubij-J7MAhWD7SYKHSRcCEUQ6AEIITAB#v=onepage&q=thrones%20and%20lordships%20angels%20colossians%201%3A16&f=false

https://core.ac.uk/download/files/95/9045092.pdf

Edgar Foster said...

James Dunn's commentary on Colossians: https://books.google.com/books?id=liqNBAAAQBAJ&pg=PR4&dq=james+dunn+colossians+commentary&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwja68m6_57MAhVMLSYKHZogCfUQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=james%20dunn%20colossians%20commentary&f=false

See his remarks and references for Col 1:16.

Duncan said...

As for Ephesians 6:11-12 - while it does indicate the devils hand at work in the situation it does say προς τους κοσμοκρατορας του σκοτους του αιωνος τουτου and this can be read as the world rulers of the >>darkness<< *of this age*.

You already know about the DSS war scroll - a spiritual warfare against an physical empire (including dark & light) - kittim (Rome).

This is all about governmental systems (1 john 5:19).

As for heavenly structures - what ancient Hebrew evidence's can support this?

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=LjzBLCdAGbMC&pg=PA119&lpg=PA119&dq=ktisis+authority+structure&source=bl&ots=Z7KZI9t6Ly&sig=AJvq_SlIg7MrvTMNqEI252ALq_8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQkNCtwZ_MAhULKMAKHeHMA8oQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=ktisis%20authority%20structure&f=false

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=c9cAb3WhVpgC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=ktisis+authority+structure&source=bl&ots=TmrClAFPhw&sig=uvmWGI0QCQiEpRm4YsqMzVi3rvg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQkNCtwZ_MAhULKMAKHeHMA8oQ6AEIOTAG#v=onepage&q=ktisis%20authority%20structure&f=false

Duncan said...

I do not think that there is any getting away from the tradition and understanding of angels in relation to earthly structures of government:-

Deut 32:8 - NET Bible
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided up humankind, he set the boundaries of the peoples, according to the number of the heavenly assembly.

So individuals may well be seen as flesh and blood (although this is a term that relates to sacrifices) but ALL governments were colored by a heavenly element in Hebraic thinking.

Edgar Foster said...

Even if we read Eph 6:11-12 as you suggest, he still writes that the struggle is not against flesh and blood. Flesh and blood is synecdoche for "humanity." See 1 Cor 15:50. The wicked spiritual forces mentioned in Ephesians are not human (not flesh and blood). 1 John 5:19 actually backs the idea for spiritual rules of this age. The "wicked one" is Satan. As for the evidence, please see the commentary I posted, like the one from Dunn.

Edgar Foster said...

In response to one of your links, I never said that ktisis can't be used for earthly/human political structures. However, I don't think it's limited to that application as other texts illustrate.

Duncan said...

1 Corinthians 15:50 is framed in the future not past as "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom" - the Christ - the NEW creation. 1 Corinthians 12:26,27. This is not flesh and blood this is the action (spirit) of a collective. If you move this to a heavenly perspective they are still not a hierarchy of angels.

Edgar Foster said...

I cited Corinthians to show how the flesh and blood language could be used as synecdoche to signify humanity. It's also used in Matthew 16, where Jesus tells Peter that flesh and blood did not reveal the Son of Man to him (past). In both cases, flesh and blood seem to mean the same thing.

My comments had nothing to do with proving that the new creation is a hierarchy of angels. The point is that flesh and blood represents the human sphere in Ephesians 6 and elsewhere.

For the new creation, see 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Edgar Foster said...

Dare I ask for proof that all governments were colored by a heavenly element in hebraic thinking? I'm wondering what that means.

Duncan said...

https://books.google.ca/books?id=KphVAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=ktisis+governing+founding&source=bl&ots=hxP2JG8naY&sig=j6Qr6MoNvaYtZVEc7Sqdvf518C8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1-7_BjaDMAhUOw2MKHZdMDP0Q6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=ktisis%20governing%20founding&f=false

Interesting that there is some level of relationship with satrap.

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/47-flesh-and-blood-did-not-reveal-it

Even if "flesh and blood" indicates humanity. What it is contrasted with is just as important.

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan, for Deut 32:8 (NET), read the footnote that explains why NET renders the verse that way. Part of one note states:

The phrase is also attested in Ugaritic, where it refers to the high god El's divine assembly. According to the latter view, which is reflected in the translation, the Lord delegated jurisdiction over the nations to his angelic host (cf. Dan. 10:13-21), while reserving for himself Israel, over whom he rules directly. For a defense of the view taken here, see M. S. Heiser, “Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God,” BSac 158 (2001): 52-74.

The translation apparently is not teaching that human rulers possess some celestial aspect.

Edgar Foster said...

The context of Eph 6:11-12 strongly indicates that the rulers involved in the combat are spirits--not humans. Besides saying we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, vs. 11 also mentions the wiles or machinations of the Devil. So a contrast is made between humanity and Satan/his demons. Arming oneself with the panoply of God only makes sense if wicked spiritual forces are being discussed. See Gal 1:16.

Edgar Foster said...

According to BAGD [now BDAG], the expression SARX KAI hAIMA denotes: "a man of flesh and blood . . . a human being in contrast to God and other supernatural beings Mt. 16:17; Gal. 1:16; Eph. 6:12 . . . because they are the opposites of the divine nature SARX KAI HAIMA BASILEIAN THEOU KLERONOMESAI OU DUNATAI 1 Cor. 15:50" (JoachJeremias, NTS 2, '56, 151-159 [See BAGD, p. 743]).

Duncan said...

Reading between the lines of your argument. You are basically saying that Jehovah assigned demons to rule over each nation (civis). I know heisers work. I was already considdering sending you a link of his but in reality his arguments are all to support the idea of a trinity extant in the OT.

Galatians 1:16 is followed by 17. Flesh and blood NOR going to the other apostles in Jerusalem ? Are they flesh and blood - why differentiate?

Edgar Foster said...

I'm surprised that you would think I believe Jehovah assigned demons to be world rulers. That was not my point. I was addressing your quote from the NET Bible, and trying to explain why that translation is not saying that humans bear some heavenly/celestial aspect. Rather, NET is trying to communicate the idea that God assigned the angels over various dominions. My comments pertained to NET reasons for translation, not my personal beliefs.

Regard Gal 1:16-17. 1:17 can be viewed as a claimax of 1:16. In other words, he did not consult with any frail human, not even with those men in Jerusalem. Compare Gal 1:1.

He's emphasizing that he did not even gain confirmation from divinely appointed men or "flesh and blood."

Duncan said...

I am not attempting to point out beleifs but only the collection of evidence you have put forward and what conclusion it points too.

If NET is trying to communicate the idea that God assigned the angels over various dominions then this has to be reconciled with Matthew 4:8,9. Also our previous discussion about Michael and the princes of Greece and Persia.

Gal 1:17 may be viewed the way you have stated.

Edgar Foster said...

I don't want to misconstrue what you wrote, but I was attempting to explain why NET rendered Deut 32:8 a certain way, and it just appeared that a view was then imputed which I most certainly do not hold. At best, you might infer that NET is basically saying Jehovah appointed demons over various geopolitical regions; however, my views (implicit or otherwise) were never part of the dialogue on this particular matter.

NET says their idea is defended in Heiser's article. I'm familiar with his work, but I disagree with many of his assertions. But I'm personally not arguing for any special reading of Deut 32:8 at this point. It's possible that holy angels are being discussed there, but I wouldn't be dogmatic about the issue.

Duncan said...

Well we can agree on this since many near eastern nations used the term sons of God for tribal rulers like it is used for Solomon so even if it is the original wording as much new scholarship on the subject when comparing lxx & DSS seems to assert, it still does not have to imply anything angelic.

Duncan said...

I have found this a worthwhile read especially when comparing term for rulership and the relasionship to respective deities.

https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_History_of_Government_from_the_Earli.html?id=GmTuAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y