January 23, 2021

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

This is a sequel to my previous article:


Chris Harris shows a major flaw in the position of Leighton Flowers and John Cranman’s interpretation of Romans 9. They believe Calvinists interpretations of Romans 9 require Paul to eisegete the Old Testament. Chris Harris shows that their method of argumentation is hypocritical given the fact they state and apply the same method Calvinist do and then denounce the method when used by a Calvinist. In Romans 9:25, Paul begins quoting the OT and this starts with a quotation from Hosea 2:23 and 1:10. Hosea is writing about the restoration of Israel. New Testament writers understand it to be speaking of the inclusion of the Gentiles(Ro 9: 25– 26; 1Pe 2: 10). The point is that if Leighton and John wish to denounce a typological interpretation, then passages like Romans 9:25 and Matthew 2:15 will become nearly impossible to interpret without concluding the absurd or simply the NT writer misquoted the OT. This is how Dr. Douglas Moo put the issue:

But a potentially more serious instance of what seems to be arbitrary hermeneutics on Paul’s part is his application of these Hosea texts to the calling of Gentiles. For the prophet Hosea is predicting a renewal of God’s mercy toward the rebellious northern tribes of Israel: those whom God rejected and named lō-ruhamah, “not pitied,” and lō-ami, “not my people” (the symbolic names given to Hosea’s children [1: 6– 9]) are again shown mercy and adopted again as God’s people. The problem disappears if Hosea is including the Gentiles in his prophecy; 10 but this is unlikely. Others avoid the difficulty by arguing that Paul applies these passages to the calling of the Jews rather than the Gentiles. 11 But the explicit reference to Israel in the introduction to the Isaiah quotations in v. 27 suggests that Paul views the Hosea quotations as related to the calling of the Gentiles. Others think that Paul may imply an analogy: God’s calling of Gentiles operates on the same principle as God’s promised renewal of the ten northern tribes. 12 But Paul requires more than an analogy to establish from Scripture justification for God’s calling of Gentiles to be his people. Therefore we must conclude that this text reflects a hermeneutical supposition for which we find evidence elsewhere in Paul and in the NT: that OT predictions of a renewed Israel find their fulfillment in the church. 13 Moreover, Paul’s use of these texts may further his effort to break down the boundaries between the Jews and other peoples that were so basic to Jewish thinking. The geographical references in Paul’s quotation of Hos. 1: 10—“ in the place where  …  ,” “there”— are puzzling. In Hosea, these probably refer to the land of Israel’s exile: “in the place” where God said to the exiled Jews, “You are not my people” he will intervene to take them to himself once again. 14 If Paul finds any particular meaning in the language (rather than simply preserving it as part of the text he quotes15), he probably intends a similar application but this time with reference to the Gentiles: it is in the land of exile, the dispersion, that God will call out a people for himself.

Moo, Douglas J.. The Epistle to the Romans (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) (pp. 613-614). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. Kindle Edition.

The fulfillment is found in the fact that the Christian gentiles and Christian Jews are eschatological Israel.

Chris Harris:

Who are the people according to Hosea? They aren’t Gentiles like us…… can’t lose that part of the original context…… Paul must have a different way he uses “Gentile”….

Bottom line is if you take John Cranman and Leighton’s view, and I thought you did, then consistently apply it to the Hosea quote, you come away with Paul’s use of “Gentile” actually means a scattered Jew…. but you switched the hermeneutic there, and complain when we remain cons

Nathan Hellrung:

You guys use his OT references a way that he never does or clarifies in the context. That is a huge difference than how we are using them.

Chris Harris:

Let me try to simplify. In Hosea, the people who are not My people are not Gentiles, they are Israelites who are scattered among the Gentiles. They can even be called “Gentile” but they are Jews. Why would that be left out according to your hermeneutic of earlier interpretation?

John Cranman:

Chris, you are misunderstanding our hermeneutic then. Even in the video I did with Flowers I explain that Paul can, and does, use OT passages beyond just their original context for prophecy, allegory, etc.

The key difference is that there is some indicator in the text that Paul is doing that, unlike Romans 9. Just because Paul mentions God’s “sovereign choice” (we both agree it’s mentioned) this isn’t a sufficient indicator that the “choice” is unto unconditional election.

Chris Harris:

Why leave out the context of Hosea?

Nathan Hellrung:

I’ll answer ONE last time. Because Paul clarifies his use of it. Ignore Paul’s obvious summary, clarification, etc. if you want.

Chris Harris:

How does he clarify it? By using the term “Gentile”? I’ve already told you that according to the context of Hosea that refers to a scattered Israelite…. why can’t Paul mean that. Your answer is insufficient.