Is the Old Testament Calvinistic?
Tumblar House | 15.VIII.2017
- Starting with a dialogue, before my own comments:
- Nick J
- After each of the first five plagues in Egypt it simply reads, "And Pharao's heart was hardened, and he did not let the people go."
But it is specified after the second plague came to an end, the plague of frogs, that "Pharao seeing that rest was given, hardened his own heart, and did not hear them, as the Lord had commanded" (Ex 8:15).
It is not until the sixth plague, the plague of boils, that it tells us, "And the Lord hardened Pharao's heart, and he hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses" (Ex 9:12). That was also the first time his magicians were powerless to compete.
So he had at least five chances, after having already brutally oppressed the Israelites and had all their newborn males killed, before God then confirmed Pharao's choice for him.
- Throne and Altar
- When it says that God hardened Pharaoh's heart it isn't being literal. God simply allowed Pharaoh to have his way. I'll try to find the sources but other passages in the OT refer to Pharaoh hardening his own heart.
1 Sam 6:6 - Why do you harden your hearts, as Egypt and Pharao hardened their hearts? did not he, after he was struck, then let them go, and they departed?
We can think of God hardening Pharaoh's heart in a passive way. If I say, "you're making me hungry", are you literally creating hunger within me?
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- @Throne and Altar "it isn't being literal."
It is, as for activity.
"God simply allowed Pharaoh to have his way."
"other passages in the OT refer to Pharaoh hardening his own heart."
So did previous passages in Exodus, about first five plagues, as Nick J noted.
I had totally forgotten that aspect.
"before God then confirmed Pharao's choice for him."
Exactly so. Thank you, @Nick J
- for my own comments. So far without dialogue (except with video / Charles A. Coulombe).
- "In a way that wasn't possible in the old testament."
No where in the OT does it say "no one except God can forgive sin".
However, neither is anyone given a hint someone else can either. The kohanim couldn't, what prefigured confession was distinguishing leprosy from non leprosy. That was a hygienic, not a moral issue. Meaning one could draw a kind of empiric conclusion, kind of inductive reasoning that no one except God could.
Which conclusion in the NT we gather that the Pharisees had reasoned, and we read they were considering God in the Flesh a blasphemer because of this.
Hence the Calvinist attack on confession, and of absolution being a "name of blasphemy" never mind Our Lord instituted it in John 20:21-23.
They will say "no one except God" and miss Our Lord cured the lame to prove "the Son of Man can forgive Sin". The power did not just belong to Him as God, it also belonged to Him as Man. And He was free to hand it on, esp. when we consider "as the Father has sent me, I send you". [John 20:21, so in the passage where absolution is instituted]
And yes, Calvinism very much mirrors post-Temple Judaism, in being a religion of Scripture, Exegesis and Morals, but with nearly no cult beyond bans, beyond being forbidden to do some things.
This is also (in a diluted way or identic or exaggerated way) true of other Protestants.
Note however, post-Temple or Rabbinic Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament.
- 5:31 "that reinforced the resemblance between Calvinism and the Old Testament"
Between Calvinism and post-Temple Judaism, which is as little the religion of OT as Calvinism is that of NT.
- 5:59 God meant He was withdrawing from Pharao the graces of conversion.
Before that, God might have given to Pharao some grace of conversion (which is actual graces, not sanctifying grace) which he rejected, then God decided, no more grace for that heart = it is hard, set on what it had decided without God.
I did not see Nick J had noted exactly same thing in better supported detail.