Part 2 of IO debunked
In my previous work in debunking Israel Only paradigm several things were well established.
1. The meaning of “Gentiles” as used in the Latin Vulgate and then carried over into our translation is used to indicate nations other than Israel or descendants of Abraham.
2. It was established Gentiles have no law given to them. They are the “uncircumcised” as they are deliberately called by “Jews” in an attempt to differentiate them from descendants of Abraham. Paul makes the distinction of two groups; “Jews” and “Greeks”, if Greeks are descendants of Abraham then they still are “Jews” and not of another “common or unclean” nation.
- All descendants of Abraham were given the law. They are the Circumcised.
- All non-descendants of Abraham (Gen 10) were never given the Law of Moses.
- In Acts 10, Salvation has come to these “other nations”.
The IO advocate continues to create arguments based on assumption and possibilities with no concrete reasoning employed. One invents arguments such as …
Paul plainly said that those who were “without the Law” also had “the law written on the heart.” Thus, the sense in which some of the Israelites were “without the Law” pertained to circumcision and not genealogy.
In reality that is exactly what those without the law means, they are of a different Genealogy and were never given the Law of Moses. Only Israelites were given the law and circumcision with in that law, all other nations were not. Now let’s look at the verse he is responding to.
Romans 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
The verse clearly states, “gentiles’ do not have the law, Yet River’s claims, “an “Israelite” is a biological descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Only Israelites were given the Law of Moses. This verse tells us specifically that “gentiles” were never given the law of Moses. Yet he goes on to say, “There was going to be “uncircumcised” descendants of Jacob from the beginning (Genesis 17:14) in order to justify a position that says the “uncircumcised” could also be “Israelites” which is simply untrue and not supported by any test of scriptures. When you look at the verse in question, what does it say,
“Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
He wants us to assume that some people chose to not be circumcised and that was somehow okay. Anyone who was cut off did not have access to the Temple (Eze 44: “Thus says the Lord GOD: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary.”) NO one who was uncircumcised was allowed to worship and offer sacrifices in the temple. With no access they had no salvation so to assume there were some who were not circumcised is foolishness.
Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Isaiah calls these uncircumcised, “unclean”. That is why Peter stated in Acts 10, “And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation (foreigner), but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Clearly any other person of another nation, who is not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, is considered unclean by the law of Moses. Rivers argument is proven a joke.
Now after listening and reading the debate between “Bradley” and “Miano” it was a sad case between both since neither one of them demonstrated any sound logic, consistency, or coherence. Neither one explained anything with any sound theology. After listening to William Bell and Jason DeCosta going back and forth it is the same thing, neither one of them demonstrated any sound logic, consistency, or coherence. Yet William touched on a couple of key point that went completely over the head of DeCosta. Jenn’s response to the debate was not any better since she herself has no sound theology. Daniels Rogers also made some keys points but failed to see how the IO circumvented the standard meaning of a words.
The basis for rejecting IO is this simple:
A. Descendants of Abraham were given the law.
B. Gentiles, Heathens, Pagans, and other nations, (Ethnos) were not given the law of Moses. They are not under the Law (Romans 2:14)
C; Therefore, Gentiles etc. are not descendants of Abraham.
End of Story BUT Rivers goes on to argue…
Paul explained in Romans 3:1-2 that the circumcised Jew had the advantage of being entrusted with the Law. However, the Greeks were also “under the Law” along with the Jews and part of “the whole world” that was accountable to the Law (Romans 3:9, 19-20).
In this comment from Romans 3:9 he wants to make the case that since all are judged as “sinners” and talks about them all being under sin, therefore the only way for the “Greeks’ to also be under the Law who are not descendants of Abraham, is an argument from “all being sinners” therefore they must all be under the Law of Moses in order to have sin imputed to them, since where there is no law, sin cannot be accounted to them. That argument was also debunked since even Sodom and Gomorrah was judged before any Law of Moses came into being and the inhabitant of Sodom were Canaanites, according to Genesis 10 were not from the same line as Abraham’s origins. His argument also means that every nation then is under the Law of Moses but clearly Romans 2 is distinct, Gentiles were never given the Law of Moses.
From what we have seen so far from Bradley, Rivers, DeCosta is an inability to actually do exegesis. What they call exegesis is akin to word association. For example;
Why are Fire engines red?
There are twelve inches in a foot.
A foot equal a ruler.
Queen Elizabeth is a ruler of England.
England is next to the sea.
The sea has fish, fish have fines.
Fins live in Finland, and Finland is nest to Russia.
Russians are red.
Therefore fire trucks rush hear and there so they are red.
The “sin” of Preterist hermeneutics is association of words without regards to their context. Fins of a fish verses Fins from Finland, they ignore the context of how a word is used in one verse and try to carry the same definition over to another verse with a completely different context. Especially when the context demands a literal understanding that contradicts the Preterist or IO paradigm.
When you seek to apply a spiritual meaning over a literal text, you can invent any “spiritual” interpretation you desire, hence why preterist argue so much, each has his own “spiritual” interpretation which has nothing to do with the intent of the author or the literal meaning of the words used.
For example, in 2 Peter 3:5-6, “that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.” Is literally heaven and earth. BUT when they come to verse 7, “But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
Heaven and Earth turns into the Temple. The wording “Existed long ago, and now exist”, demands they are of the same meaning, the literal heaven and earth since there was a literal flood that literally killed every person but the seven on the Ark, and the world of the ungodly was killed by water, so in the same way, that world that existed then was destroyed by water, by the same command of Judgment , the world that now exist is being stored up for fire. To change the meaning in the second mention of Heaven and Earth is a considered a spiritual interpretation and is inconsistent with the context, in incoherent with the subject or content.
As I said before, all the way through Romans Paul is talking to two different groups of people who are not the same in any regard; “Jews and Hellenist”, based on the structure of the comparison being made. IF Gentiles he is talking about are of the diaspora, they are still to be addressed as “Jews”. Living in a different nation does not take away their ethnicity or as Rivers states, “their genealogy”, they are still Israelites.
In Ephesians 2:11, 12 we have this spelled out for us who Paul is talking to, who is his audience.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
“uncircumcision”, “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise” is all language used of “other nations” who are not descendants of Abraham. The Jews called other nations, “uncircumcised” since the Uncircumcised were “cut off”, which automatically makes them excluded from the promises of the commonwealth of Israel, and the Covenants. He starts this off by saying, “You Gentiles” in the flesh, which means they were not of the circumcised. Paul’s audience, the “You” is a Christian church made up of “Gentiles”.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
IN fact Paul is saying the dividing wall between the two is the Law, which Christ abolished by his fulfilling of the law so that now BOTH groups can be made into one group. There is no more “Jew and Gentiles” there are now only “Christians”. It’s what I would call “CO”, Christian’s Only.
Eph 3:6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Why would it be a mystery that the “diaspora” are fellow heirs if they are descendants of Abraham”?
Any theology or doctrine must demonstrate sound logic and reasoning, consistency, and coherence. It is impossible for IO to maintain any of these things. Gentiles can not be, whole or in part. “other types of descendants of Abraham who are without the law of Moses.” Under the IO definition of Gentiles, they would be “heirs to the promise” – and yet try to claim all nations are in part under the law of Moses – is inconsistent.
Christ is making of the two, one new man in Christ. Gentiles and Jews, uncircumcised and circumcised, heathen and Jews, Greek and Jews, however in the many ways Paul uses the words, it is two separate groups coming together, that were formally not one. The mystery of the Gospel is that now, “other nations that are not Israel” – Gentiles, are now brought into one group through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Stephen Whitsett MDiv.