Acts 13:48: Two Non-Calvinist Views

Below are links to two articles dealing with the claims of Calvinism regarding Acts 13:48.  The first is an excerpt from a larger article by Brian Abasciano on Corporate Election.  In that article Abasciano briefly tackles the Greek and shows how the Calvinist interpretation is not demanded by the Greek and is contrary to the context.  He takes the view that the verb often translated “ordained” is most likely passive and shows why this is not a problem for the Arminian interpretation.

The second link goes to a brief article by Jack Cottrell.  He takes the view that the verb should be translated in the middle voice and gives contextual reasons that make better sense of the text than the Calvinist view.

Both views are reasonable and give solid alternatives to the Calvinist view which holds up this passage as a main prooftext for unconditional election.

Abasciano’s Treatment

Cottrell’s Treatment

4 thoughts on “Acts 13:48: Two Non-Calvinist Views

  1. F.F.Bruce wrote, “Acts 13:48 “all, in fact, who had been enrolled for eternal life in the records of heaven.” (for this appears to be the sense of the words here used)
    There is no good reason for weakening the predestinarian note here, as (e.g.) H. Alford does by rendering “as many were disposed to eternal.” The Greek participle is εταγμένοι “τεταγμένος” from tasso, and there is papyrus evidence for the use of this verb in the sense of “inscribe” or “enroll” (“thou hast signed a decree” in Theodotion’s version of Dan 6:12). The idea of being enrolled in the book of life or the like is found in several biblical contexts (e.g., Ex 32:32-33; Ps 69 [LXX]”

  2. The idea of being “enrolled…in the record of heaven” really needs to be read into the passage. The context nowhere supports such an idea, while it does support the Arminian view as both of these articles point out. To say there is “no reason to weaken the predestinarian note” is question begging. It assumes that there is a predestinarian note to “weaken.” Rather, there is no good reason to assume that there is a predestinarian note at all.

    God Bless,

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