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Marlorate and Musculus: The Reformed Doctrine of Unlimited Atonement, Revisited

December 12, 2008

Marlorate and Musculus revisited.

Last month I posted this snippet from Marlorate:

M. [Musculus] Moreover it is the office of a Mediator not only to pray but also to offer. And he offered himself upon the Cross for all men. For (as says Paul) Christ died for all men. Finally Saint John says that he is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. How then says he that he prays not for the world seeing he died for all men, and was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world?

I noted that for 1 John 2:2, we already know that Musculus understood “world” in 1 Jn 2:2 as all mankind from the beginning of the world to the end of the world.

Now, however, I have confirmation on Musculus’ understanding of 2 Cor 5:14. A friend of mine has access to Musculus’ commentary on 2 Corinthians and has kindly translated the Latin.

1)

“if one died for all therefore all were dead.”

Certainly none no-one has great love, which gives its life for its friends. Truly, Christ died not for his friends only, but also [his] enemies, nor for certain people only, but for all people. This is the immeasurable greatness of divine love…

To be sure, we understand not that Christ died for all so that its efficacy reaches commonly to all [people]. Accordingly, it [Christ’s death] is not received by reprobates, unbelievers, and impenitents, although in itself it is sufficient for redeeming the whole human race. Salvation is proposed, which from it, is for all and sufficient for all, and presently may be received by all, “God loved the whole world that he gave his only begotten son, that all who believe in him, may not perish, but have eternal life” John 3. Thus he died for all (because all were dead) that all who believe in him might be brought back to life and be saved.

Wolfgang Musculus, In ambas apostoli Pauli ad Corinthios epistolas commentarii. (Basel: Per Haeredes Ioannis Hervagii, 1566), 174 and 175.

We can also see the reference to John 3:16, of which we know he also takes as all mankind.

To wrap this up, we now have another the silver-bullet. Musculus, the Bern Reformer, held that while Christ died for all, he does not pray for all. And so my conclusions in my previous post are even more solid.

David

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