Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Does "all" Always Mean "all" in the Bible?

The question is, does ALL always mean ALL in the bible or is it qualified by the context? Does ALL always mean every single person without exception, or is what it covers defined by the Bible's context and references? The truth is that the word "ALL" is usually qualified in the scriptures. For example:

Mark 1:5   "And there went out to him ALL the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem and were ALL baptized in the river Jordan"
{Certainly not every single man, woman, and child (bar none) in the Land of Judea went to get baptized that day, correct? The "ALL" there is qualified.}

John 8:2   "And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and ALL the people came unto him; and he sat down and taught them."
{Again, the "ALL" is qualified. Even though it says "ALL" it doesn't mean that every single person on earth came to listen to Jesus.}

Romans 5:17-18   For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
{The first underlined "all men" in verse 18 does mean every individual, because there is no qualifier in the context. The second underlined "all men" in verse 18 is qualified by the phrase "those who receive" in verse 17. The second ALL here clearly means "all of a group" rather than "every individual".}
Acts 22:15   "For thou (Paul) shalt be a witness unto ALL men of what thou hast seen or heard."
Matthew 10:22   "And ye shall be hated of ALL men for my name's sake."
John 3:26   "And they came unto John and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and ALL men came to him."
{In these verses we see clearly that the word "ALL" does not in these instances mean every person without exception, but, rather, it means "all types of men". To say "ALL" always means all or should be understood to mean every individual in scripture is a misnomer. The context should always to be checked out for a qualifier.}

If there are some of you who are still not convinced, here's one "all" you'll have to deal with:

Luke 23:18-19   And they all cried out at once, saying, "Away with this [Man], and release to us Barabbas" (19) who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
Luke 23:24-25   So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. (25) And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
{This "all" shows man's will rejecting God and choosing Barabbas (sin). They ALL rejected Christ.}

Also, the word "world" does not necessarily mean every individual on the planet:
John 12:19   The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!"
{If "world" meant every individual, then that would include the Pharisees who are complaining in this verse.}

The following verses illustrate that the meaning of "world" can mean certain individuals from the entirety of the world:
John 17:9   "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
Revelation 5:9   And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Acts 10:34-35   Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. (35) But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

This is a reposting of: http://scripturetruths5.tripod.com/all.html

For further reading by the author of the above, link to:   http://www.reformationstudycenter.com/AllAlwaysMeansAllRight.html