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Twinky

Idiom of Permission

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Outside of Waydom and mini-me Waydom (splinter groups), has anybody ever heard of the "idiom of permission"? If yes - in the sense promoted by VPW? Bullinger has an article on it which VPW has picked up on (plagiarized from someone else's work), of course, but apart from that?

Anybody out there who has a degree in English Lit or is a grammar teacher who can shed any light?

I got into a discussion with my church's "vicar theologian" (a highly educated man, with real research papers to his name) - suggested something could be this "idiom of permission" - he gave me that pained, patient "what planet are you from?" look that Wayfers become all too familiar with when speaking with "church" people.

So just wondering...

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I've tried to use google to search this out. What I've found is that all roads lead back to PFAL or Bullinger. You can tell they are ex-Way people by the phrases they use and the (misrepresented) scriptures they use to make their case. In addition, one must subscribe to the PFAL variety of dispensationalism/*spirit in* vs. *spirit on* concept to make any sense of it.

Edited by waysider

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Outside of Waydom and mini-me Waydom (splinter groups), has anybody ever heard of the "idiom of permission"?

The project has been given a "green light". "Feel free." "Knock yourself out" . I wish I could think of more, but I can't. We use idioms to imply permission all the time.

I wouldn't use Bullinger's "idiom of permission" to defend a theology and I wouldn't read the OT in light of it either....but yeah, it is a real thing.

Edited by geisha779

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Substituting the passive tense with an active tense is what it is, and in this SPECIFIC case,

it means turning PERMISSION into INITIATION.

The average person who understands the figure would never recognize it as

"idiom of permission."

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Yes, Waysider, I tried a Google search. Wayferdom rules the roost.

And googling any combination with "grammar" and "idiom" brings up kiddie stuff for learners of English.

Penworks? Anybody else?

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Outside of Waydom and mini-me Waydom (splinter groups), has anybody ever heard of the "idiom of permission"?

What waysider said.

Also, I've posted the topic in two other bible discussion forums and nobody ever heard of it.

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Yes, Waysider, I tried a Google search. Wayferdom rules the roost.

And googling any combination with "grammar" and "idiom" brings up kiddie stuff for learners of English.

Penworks? Anybody else?

"Idiom of permission" as we learned it in TWI comes from Bullinger. Do you have a Companion bible? Why is that even confusing?

If you do a search for idioms used in the English language that is what you will find. If you search "Idiom of permission' you are going to find either Bullinger, ex-twi or possibly Lamsa. What are you expecting to find?

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Geisha, not only do I have TWO Companion Bibles, I also have Bullinger's Figures of Speech used in the Bible.

What I want to know is: does anybody else recognize this figure of speech - idiom of permission? Or was it Bullinger's invention, and glorified by VPW?

Maybe it is a figure of speech in Hebrew or Aramaic or Latin or some other language - but not in English?

@ Naten: it's when the Bible says God did something, brought on some catastrophe. As God is good always, he clearly doesn't bring on catastrophes. Therefore, it is a figure of speech to say that God allowed (gave permission) for that catastrophe.

EG: Gen 7:4 - "every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth." The "will I destroy" is this FoS - God allowed it to happen. (By the by - but this is NOT the idiom of permission - God, of course, intervened so that Noah, his family, various animals, etc survived. And the earth was not destroyed).

Bullinger says (under section Idioma (i)(4), on page 823: "Active verbs were used by the Hebrews to express, not the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do."

This link might work: Companion Bible pages

(Bet you wish you'd never asked, huh?)

Waydom made such a big deal of this FoS. Looking at it again in Bullinger's books, it's such a small section you'd wonder how VPW found it -- the Companion Bible doesn't mention it.

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What I want to know is: does anybody else recognize this figure of speech - idiom of permission? Or was it Bullinger's invention, and glorified by VPW?

Twinky, I "think" what they are trying to communicate, correct me if I'm wrong, but that while there is an idiom or multiple idioms relating to permission, such verbiage and terminology is not mainstream. It is Bullinger that uniquely relates to it using those distinct words, whereas it may be called something completely different to most everyone else, yet the idiom does exist. (

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Twinky, I "think" what they are trying to communicate, correct me if I'm wrong, but that while there is an idiom or multiple idioms relating to permission, such verbiage and terminology is not mainstream. It is Bullinger that uniquely relates to it using those distinct words, whereas it may be called something completely different to most everyone else, yet the idiom does exist. (

Bingo!

Twinky,

Bullinger is not really highly regarded or recognized by most bible scholars as the go to person for FOS used in scripture. We learned Bullinger's take on FOS as the gospel authority. In reality, it is pretty esoteric information, apparently much of which has been debunked. I am not dissing Bullinger......I am not trained in FOS...but, he was a hyper-dispensationalist.

There are many FOS used in scripture, and bible scholars are not ignorant of this......but, "Idiom of permission" is uniquely Bullinger as T&O points out. The acceptance of "idiom of permission" as being correctly discerned by Bullinger actually shapes some important theology.

So, great question and discussion topic.

Edited by geisha779

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That's exactly what I am trying to ascertain.

Waydom put a lot on this figure. Actually Bullinger says very little about it. Very little.

But VPW said very much.

I am not saying that either is right or wrong.

It comes down to a question of balance, I suppose.

VPW was no expert on a good many things, grammar being one of them. In fact, his grammar and understanding of the most basic of parts of speech was appalling. I learned more than he spouted off in primary school at age - what? 8?? And much more when at secondary school (age 11) where study of English language (parsing, structure of sentences, parts of speech) was a requirement. So whenever he spouted off on some supposed explanation of English my brain would go "uh-uh."

I think VPW calls this FoS "permissio." Sounds good...Bullinger never calls it that!

God is good always. I don't think He brings about disasters, to anyone - after all His desire is for all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Everything that goes wrong, an earthquake say, is not "God's will." Though by Him all things cohere, including presumably the very rocks that suffered an earthquake.

A grammatician's take on this would be interesting. There are two universities in the city I live in, but neither of them is strong on the study of languages. Otherwise I would enquire there.

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That's exactly what I am trying to ascertain.

Waydom put a lot on this figure. Actually Bullinger says very little about it. Very little.

But VPW said very much.

I am not saying that either is right or wrong.

It comes down to a question of balance, I suppose.

VPW was no expert on a good many things, grammar being one of them. In fact, his grammar and understanding of the most basic of parts of speech was appalling. I learned more than he spouted off in primary school at age - what? 8?? And much more when at secondary school (age 11) where study of English language (parsing, structure of sentences, parts of speech) was a requirement. So whenever he spouted off on some supposed explanation of English my brain would go "uh-uh."

I think VPW calls this FoS "permissio." Sounds good...Bullinger never calls it that!

God is good always. I don't think He brings about disasters, to anyone - after all His desire is for all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Everything that goes wrong, an earthquake say, is not "God's will." Though by Him all things cohere, including presumably the very rocks that suffered an earthquake.

A grammatician's take on this would be interesting. There are two universities in the city I live in, but neither of them is strong on the study of languages. Otherwise I would enquire there.

I never heard of it..... nor do I agree with it.

It is interpreting scripture through that view that God is good. This definition of Good is their definition not allowing it to come out of scripture.

So I say the logic goes like this for them (I speaking for that view)

When God did the plagues of egypt to killing of anania and safira (sorry for misspelling) to God wiping people off the face of the earth at the end of time.

He said he did it in many times for himself for his own glory....

Even though it says it literally in context....

Since I believe God is good (to my definition) something else happened even though God explicitly repeatedly said He did it.... He didn't

That just makes no since

To my best of knowledge it never expressly says that God is good in scripture. Just searched it in the ESV.

In any case it dose not change other statements...

It does say that God is Love,Mercy,Just,Righteous,Holy,Judge

Good can mean many things....

In John chapter 9 Jesus heals a blind man from birth...

prior to the healing the apostles asked why this man was blind as they asked whose sin it was that caused it.

Jesus replied “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." (9:3)

So Jesus said that this man was blind so that God may display a miracle....

Kinda mean if you ask me.. but He is God.

Could it be possible that tragedies happen so God can work and show himself to us?

Thats what happened to the blind man...

I gave that answer to a man from a splinter group who was telling me God doesn't "cause" bad things to happen and after I shared that verse he got close to me and asked me do I really think that God would cause (or allow) someone to be blind most of his life to glorify Himself (God).

I simply replied... That is what it says...

To say someone held God back or something opposing to what Jesus is saying is to say Jesus is in error... statement is not true... ect..

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has anybody ever heard of the "idiom of permission"?

I will say this: it's a very convenient explanation for God's various demonstrations of wrath as described in the OT. When I started reading the bible a couple of years ago I was shocked at many of the stories. But at the time (and this was key) a bible study class somebody sent me on CD informed me that the plagues etc. weren't God's doing. The instructors from CES/STFI assured me that God is all light and love. He never could have perpetrated destruction and genocide on his creation.

And I was very relieved -- for a short while. Then I realized that many (most?) believing Christians accept the stories literally...i.e. (for example) that the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE could have commanded the summary execution of a Sabbath day wood-gatherer (see Numbers).

And so that became a huge problem for me.

Edited by soul searcher

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(snip)

To my best of knowledge it never expressly says that God is good in scripture. Just searched it in the ESV.

In any case it dose not change other statements...

It does say that God is Love,Mercy,Just,Righteous,Holy,Judge

Good can mean many things....

(snip)

You might want to expand your search parameters.

This was just off the top of my head.

KJV

Matthew 19:17

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Mark 10:18

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

And those same verses in the CEV?

Matthew 19:17

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

17Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments."

Mark 10:18

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

18Jesus replied, "Why do you call me good? Only God is good.

Edited by WordWolf

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The Way used a variation of "the idiom of permission" to explain why bad things happen to those who leave "the one true household". Yep, walk outside of the "hedge of protection" and .....the boogie man will gitcha! And, they blamed you for giving the devil permission to assault you by virtue of your being out of fellowship and lacking in your believing. In that sense, the "idiom of permission" is common fare in cult groups.

Edited by waysider

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@ WordWolf - would you care to take the discussion whether God is good off onto another thread. It could be quite an interesting topic - but not here, please.

@ Waysider - Yes, you walked outside the hedge of protection. So it's all your fault that you allowed access. Blame the victim. But that's not quite the idiom of permission in the grammatical sense. Just a giving of permission.

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"Blame the victim."

That's the connection. It was "our fault" for not believing. It was "the fault" of the O.T. people for being disobedient.

But, the idiom has an added element in that it attempts to explain why God didn't intervene for a positive outcome. Here, you have to rely quite heavily on the idea that people in the O.T. could not understand spiritual matters and therefore, had to be given examples they could understand by their five senses.

I don't see any way to draw from this concept without first accepting 1.) dispensationalism/to whom it's written, 2.) Spiritual understanding, in light of the difference between *spirit in* and *spirit on*, 3.) accepting that believing equals receiving, and 4.) The consequences of disobedience.

Putting all four of these together at the same time is something that seems to be unique to The Way and its derivatives.

Edited by waysider

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I enjoyed spending considerable time studying this last year, following our discussion on the thread titled The King's English.

I recall reading about it outside of Bullinger and TWI, but can't lay my hands on where or what it was. I'll attempt to retrace my steps and hopefully find it for you. It generally tracked with Bullinger, and had some vivid examples which helped my understanding. The vast majority of what I found was Bullinger and TWI.

Bishop Pillai spoke of Oriental thought on the subject of Satan and permission that I think relates to the understanding of the idiom of permission. While teaching from Luke 22:31-32, Pillai said Oriental people believe the devil has no power over you unless he gets the power from God; that the devil has to go to God to get permission to attack one of God's children.

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You might want to expand your search parameters.

This was just off the top of my head.

KJV

Matthew 19:17

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Mark 10:18

And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

And those same verses in the CEV?

Matthew 19:17

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

17Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments."

Mark 10:18

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

18Jesus replied, "Why do you call me good? Only God is good.

Thanks WW..... I thought it did.... It just didn't come to my mind.

FYI.... Not to get into the discussion.... I do believe God is good.

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I enjoyed spending considerable time studying this last year, following our discussion on the thread titled The King's English.

I recall reading about it outside of Bullinger and TWI, but can't lay my hands on where or what it was. I'll attempt to retrace my steps and hopefully find it for you. It generally tracked with Bullinger, and had some vivid examples which helped my understanding. The vast majority of what I found was Bullinger and TWI.

Bishop Pillai spoke of Oriental thought on the subject of Satan and permission that I think relates to the understanding of the idiom of permission. While teaching from Luke 22:31-32, Pillai said Oriental people believe the devil has no power over you unless he gets the power from God; that the devil has to go to God to get permission to attack one of God's children.

Wouldn't God still be the cause even if the devil caused it?

The way I look at it God is so powerful he could stop the devil from doing his little evil deeds... So it is no different than God doing it.

I have heard that belief in other Christian circles that the Bishop said.... I go back and forth on it.... I guess I am still developing my own theology on it.

Edited by Naten00

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@ WordWolf - would you care to take the discussion whether God is good off onto another thread. It could be quite an interesting topic - but not here, please.

(snip)

Naten brought it up. He seems to think- and correctly, IMHO- that the Goodness of God is tied up with His conduct,

and that this relates directly to whether or not an explanation is needed or warranted to account

for what Bullinger and others explained this way.

However, I'll spin it off or revive an old topic, whichever works. (If we discussed this ever.)

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Bishop Pillai spoke of Oriental thought on the subject of Satan and permission that I think relates to the understanding of the idiom of permission. While teaching from Luke 22:31-32, Pillai said Oriental people believe the devil has no power over you unless he gets the power from God; that the devil has to go to God to get permission to attack one of God's children.

Bishop Pillai's perspective was thought of as valuable mainly because it brought up the Oriental point of view on an Oriental book. The idea that anyone would discount the idea of an idiom of permission because it doesn't make sense - doesn't make sense. Of course it wouldn't make sense to the Western mind if it is an Eastern idiom.

It didn't make sense to me for years. I can't put it into words any more than has been done here, but after soaking my head in the book for enough time, it just started to make complete sense as part of the thinking of the Eastern mind - it was part of the fabric of the thing - couldn't get away from it.

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