Election: Romans 9 – 11, Introduction

The Bible teaches election. It’s just all over the Bible. That’s not the question. The question is just what does the Bible mean by election. Is the Calvinistic sense of the word right? Is the Arminian sense right? Or is something else right?

As of this typing, I’ve not quite made up my mind. Rather than me thinking I have the answer and then trying to teach the answer, these posts will be my investigation into the question. I may contradict my earlier writings and wind up agreeing with the Calvinists. Or I may decide it’s too hard to figure out. I don’t know. But I’m going to poke around the scriptures to see if I can figure out just what they say.

And it seems that the natural place to begin is Romans 9 – 11. This contains several central proof texts of Calvinist theology. But these chapters also contain some of the central proof texts for Church of Christ theology. That’s got to be interesting, right?

Now, the purpose of these posts is not to beat on Calvinism. The goal here is to demonstrate a better approach to hermeneutics and to see what we can learn from the scriptures. And it’s to try to do some serious exegesis at this blog.

For years, nearly all my Bible class teaching was verse-by-verse, but lately, I’ve gone a different direction. And my posts show it. There are very few verse-by-verse studies. And yet for most of my adult life, that’s been my bread and butter!

The only way I know to teach how to study the Bible is verse-by-verse, that is, the way it was written. So I figure it’s time to see if I still remember how — and demonstrate the approach.

And one of the toughest passages in all the Bible is Romans 9 – 11. I’ve always wanted to take the time to figure it out. Surely, God meant to be understood! And if we see it as hard, we must be asking the wrong questions or else using the wrong methods. Or maybe some of both.

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2 Responses

  1. Jay,

    you said:

    “The only way I know to teach how to study the Bible is verse-by-verse, that is, the way it was written. ”

    The Bible was not written in verse by verse format (except for parts of the Psalms); verse and chapter divisions were added over a thousand years later by mere men.

    Let me quote a source:

    “Common opinion concerning chapter divisions attributes them to Cardinal Hugo of Saint Cher for use in his concordance to the Latin Vulgate (c. 1240, first printed, with modification, at Bologna, 1479).

    “The present New Testament verses were introduced by Robert Stephens in his Greco-Latin Testament of 1551 (see above, II, 2, § 2). ”

    From The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1908-1912), volume 2, pages 113-14.

    Having come across this information, I now study chapter by chapter (unless context indicated an overlap, then it is section by section).

    for complete article goto:
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/chapter-verse.html

  2. Paul, please be less picky. Jay could have said word by word for the meaning is from the details.

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