Copy of Personal Letter.

Comment on the meaning of various Greek words with reference to House of Israel,  Greeks,  Gentiles.

hellEnistes     hellEnas     pas oikos IsraEl      ethnos


Dear T,

I was most pleased to hear again from you, as I had to suppose 1 had upset; you by my previous reprimand. 1 do not regret or withdraw those remarks as they needed to be said in view of your irrational and emotive expressions about 'British Israel' teaching, which 1 neither advocate nor denounce - as God is not just now recovering Ephraim or Judah whose tribes are equally lost. I hope you kept that letter as it had some biographical details of interest; 1 have just been re-reading my copy as well as your letter of 19th December 1985.

It you have not already obtained them you should certainly get the early issues of This I Believe in which Elleby dealt with Hebrew/Greek/Jew etc, or what follows will not be well understood. If you see the magazine 'Search' I would refer you to a letter in No.25 from Elden Dieter (onetime Canadian agent for the Berean Expositor on the Greek identity, and also in a later 1988 issue one from Daniel Andersen wbich shows he has given up Elleby's view. Andersen 1 know does not accept a future restoration of a physical Israel: on both points 1 disagree.

l have the impression that you actually know more of my position and beliefs than your present letter implies. I know that you have been to a few of  L. G's. recent conferences along with M.P., with whom I maintain contacts and who is well informed on my views, and Leah who has recently been in touch with me.

As you had the original one I arn enclosing for you a revised copy of my 'God's Purpose To-Day'. The enclosed commentary relates to a letter from Mike Penny to Wing Commander Young, who had sought unsuccessfully to interest him in Elleby's teaching; the quotes by me which are not Scriptures are taken from tbe letter of M.P. the Open Bible Trust spokesman. The subject bears on your query.

When you say 'the full implications of the meaning attached to the Greek believers in the N.T., I am not able to sense your meaning, Most believers in the N.T. would be more or less Greek speakers. Those Jews who had no Hebrew were called Hellenists (Grecians in AV) they have to be distinguished from the Greeks in N.T. usage, which is not identical with either classical or modern usage. This is a point where I differ from Otis Sellers who claims to see no difference between the two terms.

In Acts 11.19. the post Stephen dispersion spoke only to Jews, whether they were Hebrews or Hellenists, But at Antioch Simeon Niger {cf. ch. 13:1, 15:14) and his associates spoke for the first time "to the Grceks". The reading here of the AV of hellEnistes is based on Codex Vaticanus, occurs in the Texts of Stephens, Scrivenor and W & H, and also is found in the Versions of Young and Rotherham 3rd Edn. The reading hellEnas  is based on Codices Alexanddrinus Beza, occurs in the Texts of Griesbach, Tregelles, Lechman, Tischendorf, Alford, Wordsworth, Nestle and UBS, anr1 is in the Versions of Bowes, Cunnington, Diag't, CV, JND, Rotherham 2nd Edn.,Moffatt, NIV, Jerusalem NT, Rheims, RV, RSV, Sharp, Schonfield and Weymouth. The majority are correct; the reading Greek is vital.

Although true Jews[Herod was not one] were/are Israelites the terms are not synonymous, I think you are clear about this, but most dispensationalists are not; so they talk abunt Israel being set aside at Acts 28:28, whereas the House of Israel has been made Lo-ammi some hundreds of years before. So all through NT times the House of Israel did not exist.; Ephraim, the younger son was lost and dead. So you say, what about Acts 2:36 ?

The Greek phrase is pas oikos IsraEl and there are no articles.  I quote from Samuel Green's "Handbook to the Grammar of The Greek New Testament" p 192. "The adjective pas -- in the singular, without the Article, signifies 'every'; with the Aticle it means 'the whole of' the object it qualifies . This usage of the two forms is exemplified both in Rom 3:10 and Eph 3:16. I have elsewhere (MM pp 11 & 16, GPT p.6) discussed this and Cunnington's rendering: it means 'let every Isaelite household know', the CV sublinear having "every home of Israel".

So then it should not be surprising that tbe term "the who1e House of Israel" is absent from the NT. In fact it appears only four times in the OT (with Strong word 3605) of which three are in Ezekiel. The occurrence in Jer.l3:11 shows that it does not necessarily imiply all twelve tribes.

The opening comment of the Epistle of James is sometimes used to suggest tbat tbe twelve tribes had become re-united, But they were not even a ten-tribe unity but were all dispersed. All that is conveyed is that in NT times Jews in general knew where the descendants of the onetime House of Israel were. 

These people were not the House of Israel, now non-existent, but they were "lost sheep" from that defunct bouse. So the comissioned pairs of what thus became apostles of Mat.10., Mark.6:7-13 and Luke.9:1-6. knew where to go. The relevence of Mat.11:1 is often missed, which says, "when Jesus had made an end of commanding His twelve disciples (now constituted apostles), He departed thence to teach and to preach in tbeir cities"; these were cities the twelve had left, not those to which they were sent. I suggest that the later commission of the seventy was to do with this more local ministry. Lk.10.1.

The first indication that these dispersed Israelitish people were called Greeks is found in John 7:35. RV, RSV, NIV. The results of the twelve's preaching is evidenced by the appearing of Greeks at Jerusalem John 12:20, and their attendance at tbe synagogues as reported in Acts.

Many dispensationalists, including Ellerby, boldly assert that Mat. 15:24 means Christ was limited to Jewish people, as if it was a proclamation made at Jerusalem. This overlooks the significant; fact that it was said at Sidon, or rather Zarepta, in territory allocated to tbe tribe of Dan. This statemant by Jesus was an answer not to the woman but to the disciples who asked for her to be dismissed; and He in effect says 'I have no commission if it not be for tbe sheep, the lost ones of Israel's house'. It was not a limiting of His mission but an expansion of it. In fact Jesus Himself only ministered among the Jews and fulfilled his commission to the lost sheep of the House of Israel by delegating the twelve.

It needs to be appreciated that during the Acts Period the gospel was not presented to ordinary Gentiles at large, though there were a few cases, as tbe main thrust was 'to the Jew first and also to tbe Greek'. The people of Tbessalonica were such as "turned back to God from idols" CV as tbey were mainly Greeks. Of the Corinthians Paul could write, "our fathers all were under tbe cloud and all came through the sea", a statement only true of such as had Israelite lineage, "whetber Jews or Greeks" 1 Cor.10:1, 12:13, no other kinds of individual were envisaged.

The situation has changed in Ephesians, and the first two chapters are setting out the new situation; and Paul is using circumlocutions to avoid even mentioning the now redundant terms of Jew and. Greek. You should try to get to see the Berean Expositor 1957 Vol. XXXIX where CHW criticises Elleby's TIB No.4 on pp96/97. He says, "It is impossible, therefore, to believe that the achnowledgm of Acts 11.18. 'then hath God also to the Gentiles grantsd repentance unto life' can refer to Gentiles as such, and that a similar testimony in. Acts 14:27 may not". Well, difficult it may be, but not impossible, for such is the case. ethnos in Acts 11:18 refers to Romans but in Acts 14:27. it refers to those otherwise called Greeks, and the "nations" of v.27 included those at Iconium called nations in v.2 and Greeks in v.l. The meaning; of ethnos is very dependent upon its context.

All these may call for much rethinking on your part. But I hope it will help you to sort out some problems.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,   Maurice Lloyd 12th May 1991

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