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Volume 16 - Page 7 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
reference is clearly to the same thing. There, in Eph. 1: 12, 13, "the word of truth, the
gospel of your salvation" is essentially associated with the peculiar word translated "first
trusted", and which is literally "fore hoped", marking off this hope from that of the Acts
period. "As I wrote before" (Eph. 3: 3) evidently refers no further back than to that
crowning revelation of the mystery of Christ revealed in Eph. 1: 20-23. "As ye heard
before", need not refer back further than to that special ministry given "for the perfecting
of the saints" that followed the making known of the mystery, of whom Epaphras appears
to be one (Col. 1: 7). Taking all things together the truth revealed in Ephesians
concerning the unique calling and hope of the church of the mystery remains unaltered by
the use of the wider term, or the reference back, of Col. 1: 5.
"Secondly, Paul explains (in Col. 1: 27) `the hope of the glory' as being
CHRIST. He was of course the hope of all dispensations."
We hardly feel that this is sufficiently close to what Paul actually says in Col. 1: 27 to
leave it without comparing. What he says is:--
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery
among the Gentiles, which is Christ among you, the hope of the glory."
It is not simply "Christ", but "Christ among you", the "you" of course being Gentiles.
As the A.V. translates en followed by a plural "among" in one part of the verse, we are at
liberty to repeat the translation in the corresponding part of the verse:--
The riches of the glory of this mystery.
| Among the Gentiles.
| Christ among you.
The hope of the glory.
The fact that now, independently of Israel or promises made unto the fathers, Christ
was preached "among the Gentiles" was sure proof both of the riches of the glory of the
mystery, and the hope of that glory. There is no word in this verse that can in any way
bring over any part of the hope of Israel, or fuse the two revelations together.
We have not dealt with other features of your letter, as they only arise if what we have
set forth should be proved unscriptural. We count it both a privilege and a responsibility
to consider all possible objections to the position we have sought to maintain for the last
seventeen years. So far we have but added proof and confirmation to the one great fact in
the interpretation of the N.T., namely, that Acts 28: is the dispensational boundary,
and that the prison epistles contain a unique revelation never before made known, and
exactly suited to the present time, and known as "the dispensation of the mystery"
(Eph. 3: 9, R.V.).