Quote of the day 3/29/19 in Logos 1 Cor 1:17 (Quote of the day quoted wrong)

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CharlesJ | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Mar 29 2019 4:42 PM

"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void." 

What is an Ellipsis?? 

An ellipsis is a “figure of speech” by which the Bible teaches that which it doesn’t say. 

Understanding how to interpret an ellipsis is extremely important for three reasons.

  1. It will help us understand hundreds of verses more accurately and more rapidly.
  2. It will help us answer a lot of false Bible arguments.
  3. It will help us put more emphasis in the right places than where we might put it otherwise. 

This figure of speech is all about placing the emphasis where God really wants it to be.  

“Ellipsis” means “words left out.”   If I tell my son, “mow the yard…”  This command is an ellipsis.  I left out the words,

  1. “go get the lawn mower,
  2. fill it with gas,
  3. mow the back yard and the front yard.”  

He not ONLY goes out and gets the mower, but ALSO makes sure it has gas etc.  He understands “what I left out” and goes and mows the front and back yards.  (BTW, the three dots “…” is an ellipsis, words left out) 

An ellipsis is a way that the Bible teaches, not by words, but by a figure of speech where the writer wants the reader to supply certain words.  The Bible contains many different kinds of ellipsis, but I want to focus on a particular type of ellipsis.

This particular type of ellipsis is identified by a “not” and a “but” in the initial words in dependent clauses that modify a common verb. 

 

Here is an example of an ellipsis with the “not and “but.” 

1Pe3:3-4  “Whose adorning let it NOT be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  BUT let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 

Here in 1 Peter 3:3,4 you have some words “left out.”  You have two clauses, one with a “not” and the other with a “but” and they modify the same verb.

When you see this, what is left out is “only” and “also.”  You must supply these.  

Leaving out the understood words has created some false doctrine.  I will supply the words “only and also.” 

Let’s fill in the ellipsis. 1 Pe 3: 3-4  “Whose adorning let it not (ONLY) be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But (ALSO) let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 

Now see how this makes more sense? 

Let’s try another one: 

John 6:27 Labor  NOT for the meat which perisheth,  BUT for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed 

Now supply the missing words, only and also: 

27 Labour not (ONLY) for the meat which perisheth, but (ALSO) for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed

 

Suppose a husband gets up in the morning and tells his wife, “You know, I am not going to work today because Jesus said, “…Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal”  Jn 6:27 

His wife and children will probably say something about that because he is making an absolute prohibition out of something Jesus never intended.

We know this because it would contradict other teaching in the Bible.  In Eph 4:28 Paul says, “ Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Eph 4:28) (Also see 1 Tim 5:8) 

An ellipsis in Paul’s writings, in 1 Cor 1:11-17, is misused a lot.  Understanding it will help us put the emphasis where it ought to be.  After some Christians came to Paul and told him about all the division in the church at Corinth, Paul addressed them” 

“For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe's people, that there are quarrels among you.  Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ. Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, that no man should say you were baptized in my name.  Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did NOT send me to baptize, BUT to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void.” 1 Cor. 1:11-17 

Look at these verses a little closer.  “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.”   That’s an ellipsis.  The not and but both modify the same verb “sent.”

Therefore, it should read, “…Christ did NOT ONLY send me to baptize, BUT ALSO to preach the gospel…”   (By the way, the three periods “…” is also an ellipsis, unspoken words.) 

Some other places where there is an ellipsis:

1Cor 7:4

1Cor 7:10,11

1Cor 14:22

Romans 6:14

1Peter 1:10-12

2 Corinthians 3:6 

Hebrews 10:24-25 IS NOT an Ellipsis.  This is a familiar passage, but isn’t an ellipsis.  Calling passages an ellipsis that aren’t can get us into as much trouble as failing to recognize an ellipsis.

 

“…let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, NOT forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, BUT encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” Hebrews 10:24-25

 

The “not, but” clauses do NOT modify the same verb so it violates the rule.

NOTICE THE QUOTE OF THE DAY FROM LOGOS BELOW.   Whoever did this did not understand what an "ellipsis" is.  

 

HAVE FUN FINDING OTHER ELLIPSES.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 29 2019 5:21 PM

👍😁👌 Crystal clear!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 29 2019 5:44 PM

FYI: my go to for definitions and classifications of Figures of Speech is Silva Rhetoricae which includes ellipisis.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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