Bible Discussion Thread

  • BMW on Romans 2
    This is probably a very stupid question, being 72 yrs. old my memory is not what it use to be, nevertheless I ask anyway.

    Q. Before Jesus came to earth and died for us on Calvary, the Jewish people lived under the law and did sacrifices and offerings and thus was looking to the Cross: what did the Gentiles do. If i remember correctly, Paul brought the message of Salvation to the Gentiles, but before this how were Gentiles Saved
  • Charles Robert Northup - in Reply on Romans 2
    No one was saved before Jesus, Paul Talks about the gentiles in Romans how they were not of the circumcision but do those things of it. Plus the Jews had no clue Jesus would die on the cross they thought Jesus would set up a world government that would defeat all other kingdoms. One thing, death on this side is not final the second death is, you can still be saved after you die but during the wrath of God that's its whole point and how every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess, we are saved from the wrath of God to be made to repent. You can believe and still not have eternal life. Matt&:21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
  • Grae - in Reply on Romans 2
    With respect and affection . I believe that I was a bit neglectful when I at first replied to this question and that I should have backed up my answer with some scripture references . I believe that these scriptures show that there is a difference between people who r saved and who r not , also that God Himself puts a difference between them and that He expects the saved not to b as the rest of humanity . I could give very very many references but I hope these few will b helpful to u . James Ch 2 V 23 ,Gen Ch 21 V 1-12 , Levi Ch 15 V 31 , Ex Ch 15 V 26 , Ex Ch 7 V 5 , Ex Ch 8 V 22+23 , Ex Ch 9 V 3-6 , Ex Ch 9 V 19-21 , Deut Ch 25 V 5-10 , Deut Ch 28 , Josh Ch 1 V 18 , 2nd Kings Ch 17 , Nehemiah Ch 9 , Psalm 145 V 17-20 , Psalm 149 , Luke Ch 13 V 1-5 + V 23-29 , all of Jude , Rev Ch 9 V 15-21 , Rev Ch 11 V 18 , Rev Ch 21 V 7+8 , Rev Ch 22 11+14+15 and finally Romans Ch 9 . I'm sorry I wasn't clearer with my first answer , I'm new at this so I hope u will forgive me and cut me a bit of slack . Thanks .
  • Tomas - in Reply on Romans 2
    The gentiles worshiped Roman Empire Gods. The Roman Empire was primarily a polytheistic civilization, which meant that people recognized and worshiped multiple gods and goddesses. The main god and goddesses in Roman culture were Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva
  • Grae - in Reply on Romans 2
    I don't believe that gentiles were saved before Christ accomplished God's plan of salvation by going to the cross . Before Christ gentiles could convert to Judaism . There is only one way to God now and that is through Christ . If u r not in Christ u r dead in your sins .
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2
    Hi Grae.

    I fully agree with GiGi.

    Jesus came to take on the penalty of sin.

    Romans 5:12-19. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

    And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

    For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

    Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

    For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

    God bless.
  • Gigi - in Reply on Romans 2
    Hi Grae

    My nderstanding is that the work of Christ on the cross. Stretches. Forward to the end of time and backwards to creation, not just for the people of His days on earth. So, I believe "Gentiles" prior to Christ are saved by His work and grace including Adam, Seth, Noah, Shem, Japheth, and man of their descendants who live before there were Israelites, and even between Abraham and Jesus' time. It is up to God to judge all of this who lived from creation to the end of time, no us. He alone knows the hearts of all people and is the only righteous Judge
  • Grae - in Reply on Romans 2
    I hope u don't mind but I don't really wish to get into discussions with any other posters . I have seen on this site how things can degenerate quite quickly so I hope to b able to keep myself to myself . I like to come on , read through the questions and top posts and if I feel I can answer anything , I do . I don't mind what u or anyone thinks of my answers and I'm not interested to know . U may comment on my answers all u wish , I really don't mind , I would appreciate it if u didn't address your comments to me as I don't want to b drawn into lengthy discussions and I don't usually read anyone elses " replies " . I hope I haven't offended u as that's not my intention at all , I like to b honest so I've told u how I feel . Thanks to u and everyone else reading this , God bless u all .
  • Gigi - in Reply on Romans 2
    Dear Grae

    I understand your point of view about posts and responses.

    Yet, keep in mind that this is a discussion forum, therefore there is nothing wrong with someone responding to posts.

    Oftentimes responses help clarify ideas, give additional information, and offer a different viewpoint, and bring correction to what one may think is misinformation.

    Even if you do not read or respond back to a response to your post, some of us will still respond for the sake of ALL who read through the posts on this discussion forum. So this is the reason I have responded back to you, but I certainly do not want to bother you.

    God bless you, Grae
  • Grae - in Reply on Romans 2
    The names u mentioned r not the names of gentiles . Gentiles r any one who is not Jewish .
  • Gigi - in Reply on Romans 2
    Dear Grae

    Jews are the descendants of Judah, so there were no Jews before Judah. Israelites are descendants of Jacob, so there were no Israelites before Jacob

    Hebrews are the descendants of Eber, of which Abraham is one descendant. Ever is a descendant of Shem, so there were no Hebrews before Eber.

    God had not separated out the chosen nation yet in the times of the people I mentioned. So everyone was gentile (commoners).
  • Suze - in Reply on Romans 2
    Excuse my ignorance , what exactly do you mean by the use of the word "commoners" to describe people ?
  • Gigi - in Reply on Romans 2
    Hi Suze

    The Jews viewed everyone who was not a Jew as a Gentile, which is often interpreted to mean "common" or "unclean" and not fit to touch not interact with.

    That is all I meant. When speaking of the difference between Jew and Gentile, I was referring to how a Gentile is viewed by Jews in ancient times.
  • Suze - in Reply on Romans 2
    Ok , thanks , I get it now . As we know from Acts Ch 10 especially V 15 and 34+35 it's not for us to call anyone common or "unclean" if you like , but I get what you mean . Thanks again .
  • Gigi - in Reply on Romans 2
    Yes Suze

    We are all equal, so we actually are all common folks.

    The Hews of the time of Jesus thought themselves to be a superior race and all Gentile inferior or common, even less

    human than Jews. How this thought pattern has been repeated in many people groups and societies over the centuries. But it is wrong in every account.

    I was just expessing what was the thought concerning Gentiles at that time from the Jewish perspective.
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2
    Hi BMW.

    Part 7 of 7.

    (3) Gentiles were not required, but had the privilege of, joining the Hebrew family via the proselytization process (cf. Acts 2:10; 13:16). Additionally, there were many instructions in Moses' law designed to benefit the "strangers" (Gentiles) who came among Israelite people ( Leviticus 19:33ff).

    (4) The Lord sent Jonah to the Gentiles of Nineveh ( Jonah 3:1). Archer said that the theme of the book of Jonah "is that God's mercy and compassion extend even to the heathen nations on condition of their repentance" (1964, 295). Jonah is sometimes called "the first apostle to the Gentiles."

    (5) Four Gentile women were woven into the genealogical fabric of the Messiah-Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba-in both legal and biological senses ( Matthew 1:5-6; Luke 3:31-32).

    (6) In addition, the prophets clearly revealed Jehovah's redemptive concern for the Gentiles, who were to be grafted into the New Testament church on an equal basis with the Jews ( Genesis 17:4; 22:18; Psalms 2:8; Isaiah 42:1, 6; 49:6; cf. Romans 11:1ff; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:11ff).


    There always has been a way for honest people to be right with their Creator-if they seek after him and choose to please him ( Acts 17:27ff). God so loved the entire world and gave his Son as a potential redeeming sacrifice for all who avail themselves of his gift ( John 3:16). He is the loving benefactor to everyone who submits to his will in faithful obedience ( 1 Timothy 2:4; Hebrews 5:8-9; cf. 2 Peter 3:9).

    Article by Wayne Jackson.

    I share this information for one to go over. I haven't had the time to do no more than glance over the beginning being I'm out town on business again.

    Hopefully some others can share on this great question you asked.

    God bless.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 2
    Thank you brother S. Spencer for that excellent article by W. Jackson. It clearly shows God's Love & Concern for all people, even making every provision for those appointed to receive His Grace, to then receive His Gospel.

    I remember hearing many, many years ago of missionaries going out to a people groups, both distant & isolated from any society - they had never seen any other faces apart from their own tribe & maybe a warring tribe. Though many of God's servants who go out to such unknown places are rarely received well & may soon lose their lives as being intruders or bringing forth 'another god'.

    But we did hear of a couple of instances when those particular tribes, when they saw these 'white men', believing them to be gods, heard the Gospel & received it with joy & thanksgiving. No doubt great efforts to communicate were made prior to sharing Christ. Apparently, God had been preparing their hearts for this time (as He prepared His servants to be challenged to go out to the tribes), & these tribes had declared that for a very long time, they sensed that they were doing evil & had no knowledge or method of getting forgiveness & help, and as well, that they believed that someone would come one day to guide them. One could only envisage the joy on both the hearts of the hearers & the proclaimers, & the wonderful change wrought in each heart there with the assurance of being accepted by the Lord. These tribal folk knew absolutely nothing about God or the Gospel, but when hearing the Message, everything fell into place & they glorified the God of all flesh.

    It's in the heart of every person to yearn for such Truth & help to live according to righteous standards. But many have turned to false gods & self-flagellation, or tried to deaden their evil consciences by good works or filling their lives with substitutes, so that even the liberating healing power of the Gospel becomes a Message for derision & hatred. Man will stand without excuse in that Day.
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2
    Amen Brother Chris.

    The Lord can meet you right where you are and present Christ.

    God bless.
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2
    Hi BMW.

    Part 6.


    (1) The practice of offering sacrifices as atonement, typically foreshadowing the coming of Jesus, apparently was a human requirement from the very commencement of history. Abel, son of Adam and Eve, brought the "firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof" ( Genesis 4:4). The offering must have been killed, otherwise he could not have presented the fat, which was the best part. Moreover, we are told that "righteous Abel" (so designated by Jesus [ Matthew 23:35]) offered his sacrifice "by faith" ( Hebrews 11:4), which, in the overall context of this chapter, clearly is an objective faith grounded in revelation, and not that which was subjectively whimsical.

    When Noah departed from the ark after the waters of the flood subsided, he built an altar and offered sacrifices of every clean animal and bird, and Jehovah was pleased with his offering ( Genesis 8:20-21). What compelled him to do such?

    Melchizedek, whom Abraham encountered on his return from the rescue of his nephew, was designated by Moses as a "priest of God Most High" ( Genesis 14:18). A priest is an appointed servant who officiates in the offering of sacrifices to atone for sin. The modernistic notion that Melchizedek was merely the "high god" priest of the Canaanites (e.g., Baal), worshipped in pre-Israelite Jerusalem, is absurd (Hicks 1962, 343). God would hardly have chosen a Baal-worshipper to be a type, prophetically previewing his Son ( Hebrews 7:3). See also Leupold (1942, 463).

    (2) The entire world population was one in kind prior to the call of Abraham. He was the first to be designated a Hebrew ( Genesis 14:13). The Hebrews were not set apart as a distinct people until the giving of the law of Moses ( Exodus 19:5-6; cf. Ephesians 2:14). It is wholly unrealistic not to recognize that God's love for the Gentiles was a part of the ancient world.

    See Part 7 of 7!
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2

    Part 5.

    Incidentally, Hume conceded that there is no rational excuse for the worship of many gods.

    Were men led into the apprehension of invisible intelligent power by contemplation of Nature, they could never possibly entertain any conception but of one single Being, who bestowed existence and order on this vast machine and adjusted all its parts to one regular system (quoted by Monser 1961, 494).

    This speaks to the issue of the Gentile idolatry described in the context of Romans 1:20ff.

    Professor Alan Johnson, a respected biblical scholar, tells of a missionary in northern Brazil who once observed a native enter his village. He was extremely nervous and fidgety, and his brow was covered with sweat. He seemed quite uneasy, even in the presence of his friends. Later, it was discovered that he had just killed a man from another tribe-although it was not considered wrong to kill a member of some other tribe, and he would not have been condemned by his peers. The man obviously was under the internal pressure of a guilty conscience (1976, 44; emphasis added).

    The conscience is a part of the human package, and it demonstrates a moral chasm between men and women and other biological creatures of our planet ( Genesis 1:26-27).


    Though the Old Testament story is mainly the story of the Hebrews' role in God's wonderful plan for human redemption, there are numerous glimpses in the sacred literature of the early history of divine interest in, and provisions for, Gentile salvation.

    See Part 6.
  • S Spencer - in Reply
    Hi BMW.

    Part 4.

    All rational human beings do have an intrinsic sense (a conscious awareness) that there is right and wrong. It is not perfectly defined in nature; that requires revelation. Nevertheless it is there, and it is universal. C. S. Lewis, one-time professor at Cambridge, wrote:

    If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own (1960, 19; emphasis added).

    Even more significant perhaps was the testimony of David Hume, the notoriously skeptical Scottish philosopher who was so militant against Christianity. In his volume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (published in 1749), he stated: It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions; the same events follow from the same causes. Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit; these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed through society, have been, from the beginning of the world, and still are, the source of all the actions and enterprises which have ever been observed among mankind. Would you know the sentiments, inclinations, and course of life of the Greeks and Romans? Study well the temper and actions of the French and English; you cannot be much mistaken in transferring to the former most of the observations which you have made with regard to the latter. Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature (1910, 37.VIII.I).

    See Part 5.
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2

    Part 3.

    (3) There is a fundamental fact of human history. Humanity was created in the image of God ( Genesis 1:26-27). This does not have reference to the physical features of humankind, for God is not physical ( Matthew 16:17; John 4:24; Luke 24:39); rather, as noted above, it alludes to intangible qualities that were created resident in the spirit of the person. This aspect of human personality is what Paul called conscience. The English word derives from the Greek term, syneidesis, a compound term signifying "to know together." It reflects a common knowledge that human beings share with one another of a sense of religious and moral culpability.

    As one scholar noted: "According to Romans 2:14-15 conscience is innate and universal. It is not the product of environment, training, habit, race impression, or education, though it is influenced by all these factors" (Rehwinkel 1999, 136). The ancient Gentiles, therefore, were not judged by the same rule as the Jews, but they were not void of law and culpability. Elsewhere the matterhas been described in this way:

    [T]he threefold workings of the law, in that the guidance of their heart predisposes them to know the right, the testimony of their conscience bears witness with their heart that the right is preferable, and lastly, after the deed is done, their thoughts or inward reasonings accuse or excuse them according as their act has been wrong or right. These well-known psychological phenomena, observable among the Gentiles, are proof conclusive that they are not without law, with its power and privilege of justification (McGarvey and Pendleton n.d., 313).

    See part 4.
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2

    Part 2.

    The Inward Law

    The ancient Gentiles were not judged by the same rule as the Jews due to the fact that the Hebrews had a written revelation from God (the law of Moses, and eventually the completed body of the Old Testament Scriptures), while the other nations did not; the Gentiles, therefore, were evaluated by a more general standard than the Jews. Paul wrote:

    Romans 2:14-16.

    From this text, as well as supplementary data, the following facts can be deduced:

    (1) While the Gentiles did not have a written law (e.g., the law of Moses) certainly on occasions they had communications from Jehovah (cf. Genesis 3:9; 4:6; 6:13ff; 12:1ff, etc.), and divine traditions surely were echoed across the centuries.

    (2) There is something "written within the heart," i.e., in the human psyche, that "by nature" (physis) urges one to do what he perceives to be right and refrain from what he feels to be wrong. It has been defined as the "natural sense of what is right and wrong" (Thayer 1958, 661). This moral sense cannot minutely define right and wrong, but it can initiate some broad and strong inclinations.

    This certainly is evidenced by the fact that Adam and Eve felt guilt after having eaten the forbidden fruit, even before confronted by God ( Genesis 3:7-10). "Condemned by their own consciences, they were ashamed and afraid to meet their benefactor and friend-an inevitable consequence of sin" (Campbell 1958, 32).

    "There is no witness so terrible-no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us" (Sophocles). "Man's conscience is the oracle of God" (Lord Byron).

    See Part 3.
  • S Spencer - in Reply on Romans 2
    Hi BMW.

    That is a great question!!

    Here's a portion of an article from Wayne Jackson.

    Part 1 of ?

    Gentile Accountability

    That the ancient Gentile world was religiously and morally culpable before the Creator is most obvious from the testimony of both Old and New Testaments. In literature of the Old Testament, the idolatry of the pagans is condemned repeatedly, and judgments from God were visited upon these peoples.

    (1) Gentile idolatry is condemned as sin by the prophets of God (see Exodus 20:3-5; 32:35; Numbers 25:1-9; Deuteronomy 5:7-9; 6:4, etc.). The captivity of the southern kingdom of Judah was attributed directly to the worship of the false gods of the Gentiles ( 2 Kings 22:17). For an extensive array of information on this theme, see Helmbold 2003, 697-708.

    (2) Gentile immorality was exposed and rebuked by the Old Testament writers. For example, in Amos 1:3 - 2:3, the prophet denounced Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, and Edom for their brutality toward their neighbors. The Ammonites "ripped open pregnant women" in their vicious conquests, etc. See also the extensive material presentation of judgments against the heathen nations contemporary with the prophet Jeremiah (chapters 46-51).

    (3) In his epistle to the Christians in Rome, Paul describes the religious-moral conditions of the Roman world.

    Romans 1:24-27.

    From these facts, therefore, one may conclude: (1) Sin is a transgression of divine law ( 1 John 3:4); conversely, where there is no law, there is no sin ( Romans 4:15). (2) But the Gentiles were indicted as sinners. (3) Consequently, they were amenable to a law, and they had violated that law. That their actions were designated as sin likewise implies that they were under divine law.

    See part 2.

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