Thank you for this helpful explanation of a passage Steve Brown described in a tape I received last week as entirely confusing. See my study of 3:18 to the end of the chapter. To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient, Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament, The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Was the Gospel preached also to them that are dead -, Was the gospel preached also to them that are dead -, That they might be judged according to men in the flesh -, kata anthrōpousor in respect to the treatment which they received from people in the flesh, they were judged and condemned; in respect to God, and the treatment which they received from him, (, kata Theonthey would live in spirit. This verse is one of the most challenging verses in the Bible to interpret. Peter’s use of the present tense and subjunctive mood shows the certainty of this coming to pass. They are eternally out of fellowship with God (Romans 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13). Steve, it appears that you do not follow your own “rules” of the hermeneutics of which you yourself assert. In the United States, the American Dream is often proclaimed as if it were gospel: anyone who works hard and makes good choices can be happy and successful. —A true, spiritual, and holy life in this world, and a life of glory in heaven, even such a life as he requires and gives to all who obey his gospel. Jesus went and preached the gospel during His 3 days before resurrection in the heart of the earth to those who were disobedient in Noah's day. The plain meaning is, that, , just as it would be perfectly correct to say that it was preached to saints in glory, or to souls that are in perdition; meaning, that it was preached to them when here on the earth. I see that you know what you are doing and you are honest gentleman. 1 Peter 4:12. Judged according to men in the flesh. Yet, on the other hand, it was a warning to the Christians. All would run smoothly, indeed, if we could follow Augustine in taking the ‘dead’ here in the sense of the spiritually dead. Peter, like Paul (1 Thessalonians 4:15), argues that those found living at Christ's coming shall have no advantage above the dead who shall then be raised, since the latter live unto, or according to,' God, already in His purpose. What is the difference between the “dead” of verse five and verse six? ‘For to this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.’. We reject the view of Alford and others that the reference is to a preaching of the gospel to men after death, which is nowhere taught in Scripture, and contradicts its whole tenor. Just my 2 cents. That verse also proclaims that Christ is God Himself. The two first interpret it as signifying the same as dying to sin and living to God, a meaning which the former part of the clause can hardly bear: but the view of Scott is, that the gospel had been preached to those at that time dead, that they might be condemned by carnal men, or in the flesh, as evildoers, but live to God through the Holy Spirit. It fits in with the idea of the previous verse and the counsels of the whole section. Even Christians, who have died spiritually and ethically (Romans 8:10), can only hope wistfully to escape it (2 Corinthians 5:2 ff.). Not the fact that Christ was now ready for judgment; for although He will certainly not come until the dead as well as the quick are in a position to be judged, yet we should then have expected something more like, “The reason why the dead were preached to was that the judgment might no longer be put off;” instead of which, the whole point, of the verse is the particular destiny in reserve for those dead, which destiny was the intention and result of Christ’s preaching the gospel to them. Then you launch into a non-sequitur which has no relevance to this passage. The revelation then was incomplete, but nevertheless powerful to save if accepted in faith. We think, moreover, that judged, in both verses, must refer to the same judge and the same judgment-day. The rules of interpretation that we should keep in mind is that we interpret unclear verses with the clear verses and the minority of texts with the majority of texts. “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). It will be noted in fact that these ‘dead’ are following in the footsteps of Christ Himself. The two things have something like this relation to each other—‘in order that, though once judged indeed, as other men are, as regards the flesh, they might, as regards the spirit, have an enduring life such as God lives.’ The terms ‘in the flesh,’ ‘in the spirit,’ are used here as in 1 Peter 3:19. This sweeps away a whole class of expositions. For the whole statement then takes this form—‘Christ is ready to judge quick and dead; and with justice shall the dead, no less than the living, be judged by Him; for His Gospel is preached to all,—in the other world, if not in this.’ This interpretation, nevertheless, is burdened with very serious difficulties.
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