A New Perspective on 1 Tim 2:4

Steven R. Lo Vullo doulos at appleisp.net
Sun Sep 23 14:29:51 EDT 2001

on 9/23/01 10:38 AM, Moon-Ryul Jung at moon at sogang.ac.kr wrote:

> God our Savior, who desires ALL MEN to be saved and to come to
> the knowledge of the truth. For there is ONE GOD, and there is
> ONE MEDIATOR  between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who
> gave himself as a ransom for ALL, .... For this I was appointed
> a preacher and apostle, a teacher of the GENTILES in faith and truth.
> The theme of ONE GOD is the same as in Rom 3:28-30. Here the theme
> of ONE MEDIATOR is introduced as well. ONE GOD and ONE MEDIATOR!
> What is the point of this empasis of oneness? Do not these expressions
> emphasize that the Gentiles have the same God and the same mediator
> as the Jews? Doesn't the "ransom for ALL" imply the ransom for
> the Gentiles as well as the Jews? In this perspective, Paul's
> mention that he was appointed a teacher of the GENTILES makes a good
> sense here, and is quite relevant to the context. In other readings,
> it is hard to see why Paul mentions his mission to the Gentiles.
> So, I suggest the strong connection between "all men" and
> "the Gentiles", both of which occur in the passage of 1 Tim 2: 4-7.
> For Paul, who had the mission to the Gentiles, and who had to fight
> against those Jews who required the Gentiles to become Jews by
> practicing the Law, in particular, circumcision, the "all"
> could quite easily mean "all" not just the Jews.

Yes, I brought up the connection between "all men" and "the Gentiles" in one
of my posts also. Your observation on "one God" and "one Mediator" is very
cogent as well. Another text that exhibits this same parallel between "all
men" and "the Gentiles" is Acts 22:15, 21. It is clear that Paul did not
witness to all people in the world without exception, for that would not be
possible. But when "all men" is understood as "not Jews only, but Gentiles
as well" it becomes understandable. There is a similar parallel between
KOSMOS and TA EQNH in Rom 11:11-15, where neither term is all-inclusive.

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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