Critique of selected portions of David Instone-Brewer’s Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible, and Divorce and Remmariage in the Church.

Critique of Writings on Divorce by David Instone-Brewer
1. Divorce and Remarriage in the Church (DRC)
2. Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context (DRB)

This appraisal of David Instone-Brewer’s two works on divorce is by no means intended to be comprehensive. I have read only parts of both volumes, but I have read enough to be seriously suspect that Brewer’s scholarship is unreliable and his exegetical and theological approach (hermeneutics) for determining the will of God regarding divorce in the NT age is not consonant with the teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF). The weaknesses appear to go a long way to explaining his counter-confessional conclusion that there are “four biblical grounds for divorce” (DRC, p 93) (the WCF recognizes only two: 24.6).

I. Evidence of poor scholarship, be it intentional or unintentional:
(a) DRB p 1:
“Marriage is called a ‘covenant’ (berith) throughout the Pentateuch and the rest of the Old Testament.”
Problem: neither in the paragraph this sentence introduces nor in the footnote attached to this sentence is there so much as a single citation of the Pentateuch, even though the paragraph discusses several later OT prophetic verses and the footnote refers readers to eight verses from elsewhere in the OT, ranging from Proverbs to Malachi. At best, this is misleading. (This is only DRB’s first page.)

(b) DRB p 10:
“There are, therefore, clear parallels between the stipulations for marriage contracts in the Pentateuch and ancient Near Eastern sources, though in both the amount of extant material is limited.”
Problem: Brewer identified not a single marriage contract (or even a marriage covenant) anywhere in the Pentateuch. The only purported “clear parallel” is not between a Pentateuchal contract and an ancient Near Eastern (ANE) one, but between the statute about female slave liberation and ANE contracts. If he considers that to constitute a Pentateuchal “marriage contract,” his rational remains opaque. (See also II.b, below.)
(c) DRB p 14:
“These documents show various parallels with the Old Testament, both in the Pentateuch and beyond.”
Problem: The only example he offers of a parallel between the Pentateuch and the three pages of treatment of ANE documents is as follows: “The phrase ‘Cut yourself off from any other man’ may find a parallel in Genesis 2:24: ‘separate from his father and mother, and cleave to his wife.’” However, it is hard to see (and Brewer makes no attempt to explain) how this could be called a parallel. The ANE wording is from a marriage contract promising that the woman marrying will stay away from other men, while the Pentateuchal language decrees that a man marrying will leave his parents home. No other Pentateuchal examples are offered. As to the significance of the Gen 2:24 wording, see II.c, below.

(d) DRB p 9:
“All of the ancient Near Eastern law codes that have rulings about adultery prescribe capital punishment. … The capital punishment was applied to the man or woman or both, depending on who was considered to be guilty. It is not certain whether this punishment was compulsory. For example, the Code of Hammurabi #129 suggests that the king could pardon a wife at the husband’s request:
If the wife of a seignior has been caught while lying with another man, they shall bind them and throw them into the water. If the husband of the woman wishes to spare his wife, then the king in turn may spare his subject. [citation from Pritchard, ANE Texts]
This does not diminish the seriousness with which adultery was regarded. The fact that the king had to pardon her suggests that adultery was considered a crime against the state, not just against the marriage partner.”
Problem: Brewer seems to have misread the Code #129. He must have ignored the phrase, “in turn.” The term, “his subject,” is best taken as the male adulterer, one of the king’s subjects. Thus, both the wife and he are to be executed unless, the husband, the (only) one considered the victim, determines that he wants to forgive her. He, as the victim, is free to do so, however, should he decide to spare her, the king may then spare his subject, also, i.e. the man who violated the husband’s wife. So long as the husband punishes his wife for the offense against himself, the king has the legal duty to punish his subject for the offense against the husband. Thus, Brewer’s interpretation is wrong, and the conclusion he draws (“adultery was considered a crime against the state, not just against the marriage partner.”) is groundless.

(e) DRB p 18:
“The Sinai treaty of God with Israel contained a long section of blessings and curses (Deuteronomy 27-28), and it was understood that God did indeed bring these curses on Israel when they disobeyed.”
Problem: According to Deuteronomy, it was a covenant made by God with Israel on the plains of Moab almost 40 years after – according to Exodus – He made the initial covenant with her at Sinai.

(f) DRB p 19:
This chapter has shown that marriage in the Pentateuch is a contract between two families and between two individuals.”
Chapter one of DRB did not even come close to supporting this conclusion. It showed marriage contracts as agreements between such parties with respect to some (other) ANE texts, but not once with respect to the Pentateuch. It simply assumed similar marriage culture for the Pentateuch, merely assuming what it hereby claims to have demonstrated.

II. Evidence of non-confessional hermeneutics
(a) DRB p 7:
“Deuteronomy 24:1-4 … is an item of case law about a man who wanted to remarry a wife whom he had divorced, and who had been married again in the meantime. The ruling states that she would now be unclean for him. The reason for this ruling has been traced by Raymond Westbrook to the financial payments and penalties involved in marriage and divorce. … Westbrook thus noted that this [remarrying the first man after an intervening marriage] would give the first husband a financial motive for remarrying his wife, because he would then have both her new dowry and her old one. The law therefore forbids the first husband from getting financial benefit in this way.”
Problem: This exegetical conclusion about the purpose of Yahweh in forbidding the man’s return to his former wife is not drawn by rigorous deduction from the text of Scripture (WCF 1.6a) nor from the historic Protestant hermeneutical principle of Scripture interprets Scripture (WCF 1.9); in fact the only reason stated in Scripture itself – and it is stated expressly! – is completely different than the one adduced by Westbrook and adopted (“Deuteronomy 24:1-4 … is an item of case law”) by Brewer, recounting none of Westbrook’s reasoning. On the other hand, we have Scripture’s explanation:
Her former husband who sent her away is not allowed to take her again to be his wife, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
(Deut 24:4 NASB)
Those with some background in OT higher critical scholarship will probably recognize in Westbrook the methodology known as form criticism, a ‘tool’ of 20th century higher critical Bible scholarship that goes back to Hermann Gunkel and his 1901 commentary on Genesis. “Using comparative material from the folklore of other peoples, [Gunkel] attempted to analyse and classify the individual stories, and to determine the situations and circumstances in which they had arisen (their Sitz im Leben or ‘life-setting) and in which they had been transmitted”(Whybray, Making of the Pentateuch, 1987, p 133). Since Gunkel, form criticism has evolved and grown, being applied to the Gospels (most famously by Bultmann), and to other purported forms; in the current example, the supposed form is ‘case law’. The notion of case law in the Bible is not in and of itself a problem, but this analysis of Deut 24:1ff is not only pure speculation; it stands contrary to the contextual presentation of the origin of the statute as it comes to us in Deuteronomy.
From an orthodox, confessional standpoint, i.e., taking the text at face value, the ‘Sitz im Leben’ this statute, like that of the other laws comprising Deuteronomy, is obvious: the entirety of the legal corpus of Deuteronomy was given by God, through Moses, on the plains of Moab, just before his death.
Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?
(Deut 4:1-2,8 NASB)

This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.
You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice.
The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments;
(Deut 26:16-18 NASB; cf. 29:1)
As Geerhardus Vos explains that in Deuteronomy, “Moses speaks here directly as God’s mouthpiece in long discourses to the people. That such is the conception of prophecy, the book states itself (xvii 15, scqq)” (The Mosaic Origin of the Pentateuchal Codes, p 169).
(c) DRB p 16:
“He [G.P. Hugenberger] suggests that there are traces of a marriage covenant formula in the Genesis formulae ‘bone of my bone,’ ‘one flesh,’ and ‘leave their family [sic], all of which indicate the formation of a family covenant.”
Problem: This, too, smacks of form criticism; it is arbitrary and speculative, and it fails to take the text – which reads fine as is – at face value. As G. Wenham opines, “This [Gen 2:24] is not a continuation of the man’s remarks in v 23, but a comment of the narrator, applying the principles of the first marriage to every marriage” (Genesis, vol. 1, WBC, 1987, p 70).

(d) DRB p 9:
“There is a clear parallel to these stipulations in Exodus 21:10-11, which records that a second wife should not be preferred over a first wife even when the first wife was a slave wife. It was generally assumed by the rabbinic interpreters that this right extended to free wives as well as slave wives.”
Problem: The text of Exodus 21:10-11 never refers to the female slave involved as a ‘wife’. Brewer simply assumes this, i.e. it is eisegesis, not exegesis. That he may be following the example of others before him in doing so does not absolve him of error in so doing. The Hebrew is very literally rendered by Young’s Literal Translation, with even the word woman (which in the right context could be rendered ‘wife’) never once appearing in Hebrew (hence Young’s italics):

“If another woman he take for him, her food, her covering, and her habitation, he doth not withdraw; and if these three he do not to her, then she hath gone out for nought, without money.” (YLT)

In fact, “another” could be construed as “another female slave”; this is probably more natural, given that the only female mentioned in the preceding context, the only plausible antecedent for ‘another’ is the (first) female slave.
The context, too, is not about wives, but about slaves, male and female, particularly their manumission (their redemption or liberation is mentioned in each of vv 2,3,4,5,7,8,11). Regarding the context, John Durham explains this part of the Book of the Covenant: “The first extended section [vv 2-11] has to do with the ownership of slaves. Vv 2–11 are a kind of miscellany under the general topic “the treatment of one’s slaves,” with guidance concerning the treatment of both male (vv 2–6) and female (vv 7–11) slaves.” (Exodus, WBC, 2002, p 320). Any relevance for the divorce of a (true) wife (Deut 24) must be proved, not assumed. The closest Brewer comes to doing so, at least in this section (and he does not refer us elsewhere in his book) is in his next sentence, which commences: “It was generally assumed by rabbinic interpreters that this right extended to free wives as well as slave wives” – not really confessionally valid exegesis.
For the church to adopt rabbinic assumptions is hardly orthodox Christian hermeneutics.

(e) DRB p 10:
“A stipulation about cleanliness in Deuteronomy 24:1 does not have any parallel in the ancient Near East. The teaching of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 has traditionally been understood to mean that one could divorce a wife for adultery. However, it is very unlikely that this passage originally referred to adultery because the punishment for adultery was death.”
Problem: Although in view of Brewer’s admission of the incompleteness of our materials from the ANE (see I.b, above) it would seem prudent for him to have qualified his blanket denial, “does not have any parallel,” his reading of the original meaning of the much debated (now and in antiquity) term, ‘ervat davar, is in agreement with John Murray and at least some modern commentaries. No problem so far.
However, even while acknowledging that as it stands in the OT canon, the term does not (“very unlikely”) signify ‘adultery’ on the part of the wife, elsewhere Brewer claims that Jesus, in agreement with the Shammaite rabbis, acknowledges sexual immorality (= adultery) as the (one and only) ground for divorce recognized in 24:1.
“The Gospels imply that he [Jesus] meant adultery was the only valid ground that is found in Deuteronomy 24:1. …
Jesus gives [the Pharisees] their answer, and it is one that they recognize immediately because it was the same as that of the Shammaite Pharisees, who said that here is no valid divorce in Deuteronomy 24:1 ‘except for sexual immorality.’”
(DRC pp 96-97)
In short, Brewer does not believe that in Deut 24:1, by the term, ‘ervat davar, God (and Moses) meant adultery but does believe that 1500 years later the Son of God declared that that is what it means.
Brewer has pitted God (and his OT prophet) over against the Son of God (and the Shammaite Pharisees in the NT), with the two sides disagreeing as to the meaning of the Word of God at one point. The former (God) meant one thing by it, while the latter (the Son) contradicts or corrects him. Clearly from an orthodox perspective, this approach to Scripture is not only unacceptable, it is blasphemous. ASIDE: When we get here should we tear our clothes, or just rip some pages out of Brewer’s books?
Jesting aside, the problem here is not a trivial one. A close look at the framework of Brewer’s argument finding broader grounds for divorces (than adultery/porneia and desertion) shows how critical this piece of impiety is to his sophistry. As normally translated, Jesus’ teaching in Matthew, both chapters 5 and 19, comes across not as taking sides in a rabbinic debate over the import of one verse, but as declaring the will of God, as progressive revelation of the ethics of his new kingdom, not only over against the rabbis of his day, but over against even Moses himself (“Moses permitted, … but”). In 19:6, based on a creation ordinance, the one greater than Moses lays down a firm and clear (3rd person sing.) imperative, “what God has joined together, man must not separate,” against which prohibition He allows but one exception, “except for the cause of sexual immorality.” By reframing the passage so as to have Jesus taking sides in an argument about the right reading for Deut 24:1, Brewer reduces the blast of Jesus’ prohibition from a shotgun pattern that takes out everything save extramarital sexual acts to a rifle shot that eliminates almost nothing from the grounds for divorce that were (according to Brewer) fairly widely practiced by Jews, and sometimes Jewess as well.
The reality is, however, that, as Brewer and others recognize, Deut 24:1 cannot be translated adultery or even sexual immorality, for the Pentateuchal remedy for such sin was indeed death, but in order to construct his argument that Jesus is only rejecting a particular interpretation of 24:1, “for any matter,” Brewer has the audacity to portray Jesus as misinterpreting 24:1 and siding with the mistaken Shammaite reading thereof.
Amazingly, but probably not coincidentally, without explanation Brewer (eventually) translates Jesus’ supposed citation of 24:1 (“sexual immorality” [ adultery]) quite differently in another passage (DRB p 134), subtly helping to bolster his case to limit Jesus’ teaching to one side in an argument about the term in Deut 24:1.
“The main differences between the accounts in Mark and Matthew, as marked in bold throughout this chapter, are the inclusion of the phrases ‘for any matter’ and ‘except for (a matter of ) indecency’ in Matthew.”
(NOTE: I do not have time to prove this, but one key hermeneutical problem here is due in large part to the late 20th century interpretive method known as ‘Reader Response’ (RR) theory of meaning. I.e., the meaning of a text lies in how its readers or hearers understand it rather than ‘Authorial Intent’, how the writer or speaker intended it. [E.g., see the last paragraph of DRC p 60.] There can be some validity to RR theory with regard to purely human words, but when God [the Father, the Son, or the Spirit] speaks, directly or through prophets or apostles, clearly His intent alone must be determinate of true meaning.)

(f) DRB p 133 (and the rest of the chapter 6):
“The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ teaching on divorce are portrayed in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 as a debate with the Pharisees. The concluding statement on the matter is found in Matthew 5:32 and Luke 16:18. The highly abbreviated form of these accounts requires considerable unpacking, which is only possible by knowing what could be omitted because it was ‘obvious’ to a first-century Jew. Fortunately the same subjects are debated in rabbinic literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which use very similar methods of abbreviation.”
Problem: The term “considerable unpacking,” here, is close to a euphemism. For as is suggested by his next line’s “what could be omitted because it was ‘obvious’,” Brewer is going to do a lot more ‘in-packing’ than unpacking. Having reduced the import of the Lord’s imperative from its natural grammatical import – a nearly comprehensive ban on divorce – to an endorsement of certain Pharisee’s interpretation of one verse, he is now going to assume that what he claims are the other allowable grounds for “normal rabbinic divorces,” such as neglect and infertility, were “omitted because it was ‘obvious’ to a first-century Jew.” This is, obviously, only possible to argue because of the reductionistic interpretation of Jesus’ imperative that he has made, since otherwise only one exception is allowed. There are a number of other serious problems that arise, here.
Confessionally speaking, the whole counsel of God is to be discerned first from that which is expressly set down, then from that which may be rigorously deduced from what is set down in Scripture. What is expressly set down is “absolutely no divorce, except for sexual immorality.” Brewer attempts to justify ‘in-packing’ other exceptions by claiming that first century Jews would have naturally assumed other exceptions traditionally improvised, such as from the slave-woman passage in Exodus 21. This, of course, is another reader response hermeneutical argument – a very significant portion of the meaning of the passage is made to come not from what Jesus said, but from what his original audience already thought on the topic, and that even though what Brewer claims must be ‘in-packed’ is on its face contrary to what Jesus actually did express, ‘no divorce, except for the cause of sexual immorality’. This hermeneutic is simply not consonant with the WCF 1.6: it is “[n]either expressly set down in Scripture” nor can it “by good and necessary consequence … be deduced from Scripture.”
However, even laying aside our confessional hermeneutic, the argument, absolutely key to Brewer’s over all position, is untenable. Even from a standpoint friendly to this RR theory of interpretation, by all accounts Mark and Luke were prepared primarily with a Gentile audience in mind. Thus, what “was ‘obvious’ to a first-century Jew” is hardly relevant to rightly reading their accounts. Machen reminds us that “unlike Matthew, Mark was evidently intended primarily, not for Jewish, but for Gentile readers.” As for Luke, similarly Carson and Moo write, “While addressed to a single individual, it is almost certain that Luke had a wider reading public in view. … the wider public Luke addresses probably shared with him a Gentile background. Luke implies such an audience in many ways…” Yet, since the Markan and Lukan accounts of Jesus’ divorce instruction are less detailed than Matthew’s (excluding the porneia exception, which they could assume to be known since Matthew was already long in circulation), in order to interpret Jesus in the accounts of Mark and Luke similarly, Brewer must assume that their authors, too, would have expected their (Gentile) readers and hearers to likewise ‘in-pack’ the divorce ethics of first century Jewish society. This seems utterly unrealistic. The average Gentile reading Jesus’ instructions on divorce in any of the three Gospels would never be able to do “the considerable unpacking” Brewer himself says is necessary since it “is only possible by knowing what could be omitted because it was ‘obvious’ to a first-century Jew.” Even if it were possible for the average Jewish Christian reading Matthew–and I am not prepared to concede that – there is no way Mark could expect his primarily intended readers to even know something had been omitted, much less figure out what that was.
In my opinion exegetical theories that expect even Jewish readers to presuppose the knowledge of deferential respect for Judaistic traditions are highly suspect. Theories that require the similar expectations for Gentile readers are utterly unrealistic, bordering on fantasy. Mark, Luke and 1 Corinthians were primarily written for just such Gentile readers. What the Apostles expected the Gentiles to honor from Judaism was settled in the Acts 15 council. Jewish divorce law was not included. In any event, Brewer fails to show by the standards of WCF 1.6 that his interpretation of Jesus’ words comes by rigorous deduction from the text, even when other passages are considered as well.
In closing, the kind of exegetical approach to the Gospels that Brewer contends their authors (and Paul in 1 Cor, though I didn’t deal with that, above) presuppose their intended readers – all together including all sorts of Jews and Gentiles who have converted – will intuitively perform violates the rule of 1 Corinthians 4:6b. While it was coined (probably not by Paul but by the Jerusalem Apostles) regarding Matthew, it would have, over time, applied also to newly published apostolic Gospels as well. Paul had delivered it to the Corinthians (c. AD 50) and presumably other churches at that time, along with a copy of Matthew. “Nothing beyond what stands written,” meaning: “Teach nothing of the gospel beyond what is written in the scroll provided by the Apostles.” ‘In packing’ various Jewish divorce traditions into ones reading of that scroll, even if they supposedly were derived from Exodus 21, clearly takes one ‘beyond that which is written’. It still does, today.


Posted in Gospels, Gospels and Paul | 1 Comment

博士論文の日本語の要約。Japanese Language Summary of University of Wales Dissertation


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Abstract from Dissertation at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David / Wales Evangelical School of Theology



The identity of the document referenced by the saying quoted in 1 Corinthians 4:6, ‘Nothing beyond what stands written’, has been a source of intense scholarly debate over many years. An excerpt from Origen’s commentary on 1 Corinthians, preserved in a Catena, shows he likely understood the writing that ‘stands written’ to be a Gospel, and the saying to be a canon-like rule binding the churches to rely upon it alone as a source of teaching about Christ.

The flow of Paul’s rhetoric in 1 Corinthians 1:10 through 4:6, and especially the parenæsis of the metaphors in 3:5-17 (climaxing in the warning in vv 16-17), to which Paul refers in 4:6a, ‘I have applied these things figuratively to myself and Apollos in order that you may learn to keep the rule’, show Paul to be concerned to protect the gospel foundation of the church from human wisdom being promulgated by the factions (1:10ff). For the warning to protect that foundation to serve effectively to promote keeping of a rule holding the church’s teachers to a document, that document must itself be equivalent to the foundational preaching of the Apostle. Of all of the writings that have been proposed down through the years and are still seriously considered possibilities, only Origen’s apparent exegesis, that ‘what stands written’ was a Gospel, fits the context surrounding 4:6b.

Evidence in 1 Corinthians 5 that Paul presumes the Corinthians already know the Lord’s instructions on church discipline in Matthew 18 and in 1 Corinthians 7 that Paul is correcting the Corinthians’ misconstruction of the Lord’s teaching on divorce and celibacy in Matthew 19:1-12 suggest the most likely identity of the Gospel, ‘what stands written’, is what is now known as the Gospel According to Matthew.

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Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Does Paul allow hymn singing, or only (exclusive) Psalm singing — a Response to the RPCNA tract

By Writing “Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs,” Did Paul Really Mean, “Psalms, Psalms and Psalms?”Attached is a tract I wrote in reply to the tract published by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, ‘Diagram Defense of Psalmody: What Did Paul Mean by “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs”?’ (available from Crown and Covenant Publishing).

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OPC日本宣教師 ステューワート・E・ラウワ














考察のために直接関係のある聖書の箇所を選ぶに際して、ユダヤ人たちに伝道する、まして「神を畏れる」異邦人たちと呼ばれる人たちに伝道する――ペテロがコルネリオを指導したように(使徒10章)――使徒たちの例にわたしたちの関心があるわけでは、ありません。そのような説教は、キリスト教的かもしかするとキリスト教後の社会に語りかけることに、似ているでしょう。「キリストについて聞いたことがない人たちに福音を知らせることと、同じ福音を両親や祖父の代が教会の真正の会員であったような人たちに説教することの間には、大変な差異があります」 。ここで私たちの興味を引くのはむしろ、腐敗した異教徒たち、つまり――最近の先祖たち同様――福音を一度も聞いたことのない人たちへの、使徒的宣教者たちのアプローチなのです。






11 パウロのしたことを見た群衆は、声を張り上げ、ルカオニヤ語で、「神々が人間の姿をとって、私たちのところにお下りになったのだ。」と言った。
12 そして、バルナバをゼウスと呼び、パウロがおもに話す人であったので、パウロをヘルメスと呼んだ。
13 すると、町の門の前にあるゼウス神殿の祭司は、雄牛数頭と花飾りを門の前に携えて来て、群衆といっしょに、いけにえをささげようとした。


14 これを聞いた使徒たち、バルナバとパウロは、衣を裂いて、群衆の中に駆け込み、叫びながら、
15 言った。「皆さん。どうしてこんなことをするのですか。私たちも皆さんと同じ人間です。そして、あなたがたがこのようなむなしいことを捨てて、天と地と海とその中にあるすべてのものをお造りになった生ける神に立ち返るように、福音を宣べ伝えている者たちです。
16 過ぎ去った時代には、神はあらゆる国の人々がそれぞれ自分の道を歩むことを許しておられました。
17 とはいえ、ご自身のことをあかししないでおられたのではありません。すなわち、恵みをもって、天から雨を降らせ、実りの季節を与え、食物と喜びとで、あなたがたの心を満たしてくださったのです。」

第二に、彼らは歴史を遡って、まことの生ける神が国々の異教的なやり方に長い間忍耐しておられた事実、つまり御神からの異邦人の継続してなされた背信、「このようなむなしいこと」つまり偽りの神々へ離れていったことを忍耐しておられた事実に、言及するのです。別の言葉で言えば、生ける御神はこれまで、彼らの偶像崇拝と他の神々への礼拝を我慢してこられたということです。アテネではパウロは、異邦人の国々の偶像崇拝と多神教への堕落から異邦人へのキリスト教の宣教の開始に至るまでの時代を呼んで、「(まことの生ける神についての、長い)無知の時代(トゥース・・・フロヌース・テース・アグノイアス)」(使徒17:30)と言っています 。しかしパウロはどちらの箇所でも、異邦人の時間が終わってしまったということを暗示する言葉で、その忍耐の時間に言及しているのです。17章30-31節とは違って、ここではその点は明確にはされていませんが、その忍耐の時は今や終わりに達したのです 。
この箇所について、「(神様が)ご自身のことをあかししないでおられたのではありません」という使徒の訴えを、何か自然の光のようなものに帰すことが、よくあります(WCF1.6,10.4,30.4,21.1;WLC2.60,121,151参照)。例えば、I.H.マーシャルは17節の「あかし」を自然神学的に解説して言います。「自然界はこのように、人々が創造者の存在と力と善良さを認識するように導いてきたはずだ」と。同じくカルヴァンは、パウロが「神の確実で明白な顕現があるような自然の秩序に」訴えていると、考えます 。神学界の高等批評の立場からは、C.K.バレットが賛成します。「自然の豊饒さの中には、神の存在と性質両方への証言があった」(2004I,682)と 。それでパウロは一般的に言って、自然の秩序に基づいた神学、つまりある種の自然神学に訴えていると理解されています 。
さらにパウロが使徒14:17で描写する神聖な神様の自己についての証言の内容、すなわち「恵みをもって、天から雨を降らせ、実りの季節を与え、食物と喜びとで、あなたがたの心を満たしてくださったのです」とは、確かにノアの契約の約束を引用はしていませんが、暗黙の言及としてぴったりと当てはまるのです。――パウロの聞き手たちにとってではないとしても、ルカの読者たちにとっては――創世記8:22の文言への言及なのです。すなわち「地の続くかぎり、種蒔きと刈り入れ、寒さと暑さ、夏と冬、昼と夜とは、やむことはない」 。このようにして神様は約束なさるのです、人間の生まれながらの邪悪さにもかかわらず、呪われた、不毛の土地のかわりに(8:21;また3:17、4:12参照)、大地はそれ以降定期的に実り豊な季節を迎える、と(8:22)。「人間の心がどんなに定まらないものであったとしても(8:21b)、神様の世界とその周期には一定なるものがあるだろう」(ハミルトン、1991I,310)。使徒14:17のパウロとバルナバの心の中では、彼らの聞き手たちの先祖たちに大洪水のすぐ後で神様がお与えになった約束を、神様が成就してくださっているということを、彼らは描写しているのだ、ということは少なくともありそうなことです。「聞け、ああ異教徒たちよ、唯一のまことの神、あなたたちの創造主が、あなたたちの先祖たちが反抗して神から離れ去ったずっと後ですら、何世代にも渡ってあなた方諸民族と契約を守られたのだ。」まず間違いなく、パウロとバルナバは暗黙のうちに、ノアの契約に遡って訴えているのです。


ブルースは「ルカは・・・使徒書の中で福音を純粋に異教の聴衆に説教する例を・・・二つ出している」と述べています。14:15-17に加えて「別のより中身の多い例は、アテネのアレオパゴスの前でパウロによってなされた演説である」と(17:22以下)(1986, 292)。同様にマンクは「(14:15以下と)同じトピックが17章におけるアレオパゴスの演説で、同じように扱われている」と認めています(1973, 132)。パウロの異教の(17:16)聴衆は、そこでは、哲学者をも含んでいます(17:18) 。彼のこれらのアテネの異教徒たちへのメッセージは、以下のようです。

22 そこでパウロは、アレオパゴスの真中に立って言った。「アテネの人たち。あらゆる点から見て、私はあなたがたを宗教心にあつい方々だと見ております。
23 私が道を通りながら、あなたがたの拝むものをよく見ているうちに、『知られない神に。』と刻まれた祭壇があるのを見つけました。そこで、あなたがたが知らずに拝んでいるものを、教えましょう。
24 この世界とその中にあるすべてのものをお造りになった神は、天地の主ですから、手でこしらえた宮などにはお住みになりません。
25 また、何かに不自由なことでもあるかのように、人の手によって仕えられる必要はありません。神は、すべての人に、いのちと息と万物とをお与えになった方だからです。
26 神は、ひとりの人からすべての国の人々を造り出して、地の全面に住まわせ、それぞれに決められた時代と、その住まいの境界とをお定めになりました 。
27 これは、神を求めさせるためであって、もし探り求めることでもあるなら、神を見いだすこともあるのです。確かに、神は、私たちひとりひとりから遠く離れてはおられません。
28 私たちは、神の中に生き、動き、また存在しているのです。あなたがたのある詩人たちも、『私たちもまたその子孫である。』と言ったとおりです。
29 そのように私たちは神の子孫ですから、神を、人間の技術や工夫で造った金や銀や石などの像と同じものと考えてはいけません。
30 神は、そのような無知の時代を見過ごしておられましたが、今は、どこででもすべての人に悔い改めを命じておられます。
31 なぜなら、神は、お立てになったひとりの人により義をもってこの世界をさばくため、日を決めておられるからです。そして、その方を死者の中からよみがえらせることによって、このことの確証をすべての人にお与えになったのです。」

問い(1)について、ルステラの説教の三つの要素は間違いなく、全て、少なくとも間接的な言及によって、異なった文言に表されているのではありますが、アテネにも見られます。14章と同じくパウロは、まずまことの神、聖書の神を創造主として同定します。「世界とその中のもの全てをお造りになった神」。神様が「何かに不自由なことでもあるかのように、人の手によって仕えられる必要はありません。・・・神を、人間の技術や工夫で造った金や銀や石などの像と同じものと考えてはいけません」と強く主張した後で、パウロは「神は、そのような無知の時代を見過ごしておられましたが、今は、どこででもすべての人に悔い改めを命じておられます」と奨めています。第二に、パウロは異邦人たちの偶像崇拝的なやり方に対しての、神様の忍耐の長い時代へ、さらに十分に言及します。最後に、(再び)創世記8:22の約束へのほのめかしの可能性のあるものが、25節に有ります。「神は、すべての人に、いのちと息と万物とをお与えになった方だからです。」この最後にある神の備え、「万物」([カイ]タ・パンタ)は、一般的に「彼らの全ての必要」への言及ととられています。これは正しいのでしょうか。これは何から来ているのでしょうか。ヘンチョン(1971, 522)は確かに、25節と24節のほとんどにおいて、パウロがイザヤ42:5をほのめかしているとしているのは正しいのですが、しかし最後の項目「万物」([カイ]タ・パンタ)には、旧約聖書には根拠がないのです。他方、創世記8章での国々への神様の約束は、その少なくとももっともらしい根拠を提示します。というのも、「いのちと息」という生物学的に不可欠な物を表す語と同じ文脈で、いのちを支える食物の備えは、自然と心に浮かぶからです。ここでも、暗黙の言及がありえます――もしパウロの聞き手たちのためではないとしても、ルカの読者のための――創世記8:22の文言「地のある限り、種まきの時も、刈入れの時も、・・・やむことはないであろう」への言及です。全体として、ここでは同じトピックが(使徒14:17と同じように)扱われているとマンクとともに言い、また17章はより内容の多い扱いをしていると、ブルースとともに言うことは、公平だと思われるのであります。
さらに、パウロの洪水後の物語への間接的な言及は、ルステラでの彼の説教に類似したこれらの三つの点を越えて、さらに進んでゆきます。26節では、創世記8章―9章への(もう少し明白ですが)間接的な言及を、もう一つ加えます。「神は、ひとりの人(血)からすべての国の人々([ハイマトス ・]パン・エスノス・アンスローポーン)を造り出して、地の全面に住まわせ、それぞれに決められた時代と、その住まいの境界とをお定めになりました。」注解者達が普通、26節の「ひとりの人から・・・作り出し」をアダムにおける人類の起源への言及と解釈するのに対して、ノアへの言及ととらえるほうが、26節全体と、また最後の部分を詩篇74:17の反響ととらえることとも、ずっとよく一致するのです。
26節の文脈で問題は具体的には、国々(パン・エスノス)の創造で、その形作られるさまは創世記1章―5章ではなくて、10章―11章に記録されていて、そこでは国々がその人から形作られたひとりの人とは、ノアなのです。創世記8章―10章は、まさにどのようにノアというひとりの人の子孫が国々を形作り、広がって地の表を被うようになったのかを、描写します。創世記10:32によれば、「以上が、その国々にいる、ノアの子孫の諸氏族の家系である。大洪水の後にこれらから、諸国の民が地上に分かれ出たのであった」のです。この受動態の構文の動作主は、次のペリコペの終わりで明らかに示されます。「すなわち、主が人々(国々)をそこから地の全面に散らしたからである」(創世記11:9b;七十人訳「エピ・プロソーポン・パセース・テース・ゲース」)。従って、もしパウロの「ひとりの人」がノアを意味するとすれば、この使徒には「神は、ひとりの人(血)からすべての国の人々を(エクス・ヘノス・[ハイマトス・]パン・エスノス・アンスローポーン)造り出して、地の全面に(エピ・パントス・プロソープー・テース・ゲース)住まわせ」たと宣言する確固とした根拠が、洪水後の物語にあるのです 。
そのうえ、ヘンチェンは確かに正しく言っています、「全体のよく議論されてきた表現の背景には、詩篇74(73):17がある」と(1971, 523)。その箇所は「あなたは地のすべての境を定め、夏と冬とを造られました。」で、ルカ(パウロ)はこの詩篇の「地の境」を様々な国々がバベルの後で定住した境界と、理解しています。これは、使徒17:26の「(使徒)14:17との並行関係は、『カイロス』が一年の季節を指すことを暗示している、なぜならそれらも詩篇の箇所(『夏と冬とを造られました』)で言及されているからだ」というバレットの提案(2004II, 843)を支持します。しかも、詩篇74:17自体が間違いなくノア物語への意図的な間接的な言及であって、そこでは神様が地の表に国々を確立し、また「夏と冬・・・は、やむことはない」と制定することの、両方をなさったのでした 。要約すると、問い(1)の答えは肯定であり、マンクとブルースは、使徒17章のここと使徒14章で「同じトピックが同じように扱われている」とし、またこれがその「より内容の多い」書き方であるとして、正しいのです。
問い(2)については、再び答えは然り、です。ここでも、パウロはノアの契約か少なくとも、創世記8章―11章の国々の形成と反抗についての拡張された洪水後の物語を、暗にほのめかしていると思われます。パウロは再び神を、以前には「そのような無知の時代を見過ごしておられました」(が、もはやそうはなされない)と描写するだけではなくて――無知とは偶像崇拝で、(必然的に)ノアとアブラハムの時代の間に始まったはずなのですが――、パウロは演説の中で、異邦人たちが生きるために必要とする「すべてのもの」を神様が備えて下さることに言及したすぐ後で、 神様が「ひとりの人からすべての国の人々を造り出して、地の全面に住まわせ、それぞれに決められた時代と、その住まいの境界とをお定めにな」ったことを思い出し、詩篇74:17の助けを借りて、創世記10章―11章に間接的な言及をするのです。



1. 神様の自己啓示の記録としての聖書の短い紹介
2. 創造からバベルまで、第一義的に創世記1章から12章までから、救済史をたどる。次を含む――
a. 創造
i. 無からの創造、神の似姿としての人間;創造の善良さ
ii. 創造の命令
iii. 命の / 業の契約
iv. 創造の終末論的目的
1. 命の木の固有の(良き;1:31)役割
2. 知識の木の固有の(良き;1:31)役割
b. 堕落
i. 蛇の起源と役割
ii. 堕落の結果
c. 呪いと約束(3:14-19)
i. 敬虔な人たちと邪悪な人たちの間の敵意(女の種 / 蛇の種)
ii. 原福音(創世記3:15)
d. 敬虔な種アベルの死(創世記4:1-15)
e. 邪悪な種カナン人の堕罪(創世記4:16-24)
f. 敬虔な種の交代、セツ(創世記4:25-26)
g. 敬虔な種を汚すことと約束の家系に対する脅威(創世記6:1以下)
h. ノアを通した敬虔な種(セツ人)の保存、来るべき救世主の予型;世界と人間にとっての新しい始まり(創世記6:8以下)
i. 第二のアダム、ノアの堕落(創世記9:20以下)
j. 呪いと約束の新しい家系の啓示(創世記9:24-27)
k. 約束の家系への脅威(11:1以下、偶像崇拝の誕生、ヨシュア24参照)
l. アブラハムを通した敬虔な種の保存(創世記12:1以下、18:17-19)
m. アブラハムの種を通して国々を救い出すと言う約束(創世記22:15-18)


 大洪水の前のそのような偽りの、偶像崇拝的な宗教の存在を証明するものは、聖書の中には一切ない。
 そのような偽りの宗教の最初の証拠は、アブラハムの時代のものだ。その時までに広まっていた、ひょっとしたら普遍的なものにさえなっていたと、思われる。
 アブラハムは、ノアが創世記5章の終わりにそうであるように、創世記11章の家系図の終わりに位置づけられるが、初期の場合に世界の残りの部分を覆い包んだ罪は暴力であったのに、後期の場合では(暗に)多神教の偶像崇拝である。
 まことの神についての知識の喪失と偽りの礼拝の進化を説明するための、手に入る記録の中に見られる唯一の出来事は、バベルの事件である。創世記はそれを、ノアの契約にある命令への反抗として描いている(9:1-2)。
 ノアから下って数世代後に、故意の不服従によるかあるいは、契約についての知識の過失による喪失であるかどちらにしても、ユダヤ人の離散の時代までには、離散した民は明らかに、まことの神のぼんやりした知識だけを頭の中に持って、外国に散らされた。彼らはこのようにして悪魔によって鼓舞された偶像崇拝に対して、無防備であった(コリント一、10:19-20;申命記32:17)。この偶像崇拝は、バベルの後かなり早く国々を圧倒したらしい。
o 異教徒たちが聖書の歴史を、少なくともバベルまでの歴史を、自分たちの歴史として見、また自分たちの無知にもかかわらず、我々はノアの契約を通して与えられた恩寵の継続的な享受者であると理解することは、そうでなければ聖書的な宗教を完全に外来異質のものであると捉えるであろう異教的社会との、聖書的な接触点を提供する。最後のステップは勿論、キリストがアブラハムへの約束、一つの種が唯一のまことの神の祝福を国々に再びもたらす――すると国々は主によって腹のための滋養によって満たされるだけではなくて、国々が自分たちを造った神様を再び知り、礼拝するようになる――という約束の成就であることを示すことだ。




1. バレット――Barrett, C.K. 2004. The Acts of the Apostles: In Two Volumes. ICC. London: T&T Clark.
2. バヴィンク――Bavinck, J.H. 1960. An Introduction to the Science of Missions. Transl. D.H.
Freeman. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed.
3. ブルース――Bruce, F.F. 1986. Commentary on the Book of the Acts. NICNT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
4. フライバーグ――Friberg, Timothy and Barbara; Neva F. Miller. 2000. Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker.
5. ハミルトン――Hamilton, Victor. 1991. The Book of Genesis Chapters 1—17. NICOT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
6. ヘンチェン――Haenchen, Ernst. 1971. The Acts of the Apostles: A Commentary. Philadelphia: Westminster.
7. ISBE. 1997. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1914, 1st Edition, from Dr. Stanley Morris, IBT. Original unabridged edition. James Orr, M.A., D.D. General Editor. John L. Nuelsen, D.D., LL.D. Edgar Y. Mullins, D.D., LL.D. Assistant Editors. Morris O. Evans, D.D., PhD. Managing Editor. (Melvin Grove Kyle, D.D., JJ.D. Revising Editor. Revision published in 1939 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
8. マーシャル――Marshall, I.H. 1980. Acts: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
9. マンク――Munck, Johannes. 1973 (1967). The Acts of the Apostles. Anchor Bible. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company.
10. パーヴォー――Pervo, Richard I. 2009. Acts: A Commentary. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

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This paper, entitled, “Strategies for Reformed Witness in a Pluralistic Society,” was presented to the November, 2011, Asian area conference of the ICRC (International Conference of Reformed Churches — that was held at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Dehra Dun, India.  It makes a new proposal as to the nature of Paul’s approach to pagan Gentiles at Lystra (Acts 14) and at the Areopagus in Athens (Acts 17).

PDF — Strategies of Reformed Witness in a Pluralist Society

I welcome feedback.

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Let the Word of Christ Richly Dwell Within You: A Case for the Patient Pursuit of Corporate Sanctification To Handle the Thorny Problem of the OPC’s Lack of Conformity to Her Confession’s “Within the Space of Six Days”

Let the Word of Christ Richly DwellThe OPC professes to believe, the “true and full sense of any Scripture … is not manifold, but one” (Westminster Confession 1:9).  Further, it confesses that, “God did in the beginning … make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days” (Westminster Larger Catechism 15), paraphrasing Exodus 20:11’s “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11 KJV).  The Oxford English Dictionary (s.v. ‘space’) includes this entry: “With the (that, etc.): a. The amount or extent of time comprised or contained in a specified period. Construed with of, or with preceding genetive,” meaning that the text of the confession itself has paraphrased Exodus so as to make it rigorously clear that “six days” defines a specific amount or extent of time.  In other words, the OPC’s confession is clear that the one true sense of the six days referred to in Genesis one and in Exodus twenty define the length of time it took for God to create all things.  Nevertheless, the OPC has, since its birth, fully tolerated many in its eldership who openly deny one must believe that and even some who reject such an interpretation.  The attached file suggests a peaceful path for dealing with this confessional contradiction which has often led to strife in the church.

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