| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 23 - Page 148 of 207 Index | Zoom | |
Following the quotation with which this article opens, are words that, if we would
preserve the truth, need most careful treatment. We first of all quote from the A.V.:--
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world
hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of
Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Cor. 4: 3, 4).
It is somewhat difficult to analyze this passage as given by the A.V. That the god of
this world blinds the minds of them that believe not, of this we are certain, and that he
uses such further to hinder the spread of truth is equally certain; but precisely what is
meant by the words: "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them
which believe not"?
The preposition en often has the meaning "by". If the A.V. had translated en "in" in
every instance, we should have, in Matt. 5: 34, 35: "sware not . . . . . neither in heaven
. . . . . nor in earth." To limit ourselves to II Corinthians, we point out that en is used in
1: 12, where it is translated, "with fleshly wisdom" and "by the grace of God", and in
6: 4-7 it occurs nineteen times, and is translated eight times "by" instead of "in".
There can be no question that in II Cor. 10: 12 en is rightly translated "by"--there is
no sense in saying "measuring themselves in themselves". Verse 15 is another example
against which there is a marginal note in the A.V. Now we believe en in II Cor. 4: 4
should be translated "by":--
"By whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not."
We must now look back to verse 3. The word "hid" is the verbal form of the word
"veil", which figures so largely in chapter 3: So far as the apostle was concerned, he
had used great plainness of speech, and by manifestation of the truth had done the very
opposite of emulating Moses. Yet he had to admit that the glorious truth of the gospel
did appear to be veiled from some. What caused the veil? Who made it, and with what
In speaking in II Cor. 3: of the fact that the Old Covenant was obsolete and finished,
the apostle used strong terms. Not only did he speak of this Covenant as "the letter that
killeth", as "the ministration of death", and as "the ministration of condemnation", but he
also said that it had no glory when placed beside the excelling glory of the New
Covenant, and that it was to be "done away" and "abolished". The word thus rendered is
elsewhere used to speak of the "destruction" of the Devil (Heb. 2: 14) and of death
(II Tim. 1: 10), and of the breaking down of the middle wall of partition (Eph. 2: 15). Our
last article of this series closed with the words of Paul in Gal. 5: 1-4, where the words,
"Christ is become of no effect", translate this same strong term.
With this in mind, we return to II Cor. 4: 3 and once more look at the phrase: "it is
hid to them that are lost." If we are correct in opening verse 4 with the words "by
whom", it is possible that the words of verse 3 refer to the perishing and abrogated law,
rather than to lost sinners, and this is what we understand the apostle to be teaching here.