Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

Discussions on Christian eschatology including different views pertaining to Jesus' second coming, rapture and tribulation, the millennium, and so forth.

What side of the eschatological camp do you find yourself in?

Preterist (full and partial go here)
7
37%
Futurist (still waiting . . .)
10
53%
Other (so you tell me how it goes)
1
5%
Explica me - I am confused.
1
5%
 
Total votes: 19

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#91

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:10 pm

Jac,

I have my hands full of church history stuff right now, but I'll briefly comment on Genesis 15 and the land.

The land in Genesis 15 does belong to Abraham's seed. That seed is Christ, not some genetic race. That is the fundamental differences in hermeneutic. I'll expound more differences later, explaining why our hermeneutic is superior. To summarize, your hermeneutic is basically the Judaist error. The only difference is that you apply it to the Second Advent, whereas Judaists apply it to the First. (Not to mention that the inspired writers of the New Testament agree with our approach).

More later.
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#92

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:23 pm

So you agree that Joshua 21 has no reference to the fulfillment of Gen 15? After all, if the land promise was fulfilled in Jesus, and Jesus wasn't around in Joshua 21, it'd be pretty difficult to say that Joshua 21 was the complete fulfillment of a prophecy that wouldn't be fulfilled for another, what, 1500 years or so?

Now, I have no problem with you changing your views. We all do that as we refine our positions. I just need to know which point you are going to argue for now. Either Joshua 21 fulfilled Genesis 15, as you argued earlier, or Jesus fulfilled Genesis 15, as you are arguing now. Which one am I supposed to answer?
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#93

Post by puritan lad » Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:28 pm

Both. I'll be sure to put the full explanation on my evergrowing list...
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#94

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Jul 30, 2007 5:04 pm

Ah, well this should be fun. I was under the impression that preterists didn't like sensus plenior.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#95

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:54 pm

puritan lad wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:That is just not good enough. That does not constitute evidence that Praterism existed from the 1st century to the 17th. You need to provide examples of individuals who believed that all the key prophetic passages were fulfilled in the manner that Praeterists do. Praeterism isn't simply the believe that Daniel 9 was fulfilled in the 1st century, it's an entire methodology.
Wrong. I don't need to do that any more than you need to show that the early church fathers believed that these passages related to Goths, Huns, Popes, and Inquisitions. All I need to do is to show Preterist Teachings prior to the 17th Century (of which there are many).
You're not reading what I write. I just told you you're not required to post specific interpretations of specific prophecies. What you have to do is provide a list of people who interpreted all the key eschatological prophecies as Praeterism does. What I have to do is show that the early church fathers believed that the key eschatological prophecies occupy the time between the 1st century and the return of Christ.

You think that if someone believed Daniel 9 was fulfilled in the 1st century, they were a Praeterist. But I believe Daniel 9 was fulfilled in the 1st century, and I'm not a Praeterist. How do you explain this?
Remember, you are the one claiming that Preterism is a 17th Century Invention. If that is the case, we should not be able find it in the church before then.
And we don't. Remember what Praeterism actually is. As Jac has pointed out:
I mean, if you won't let him have his preterists in the 1st century, but the best you will let him have is belief systems compatible with preterism in the first century, then he doesn't have any room to attack dispensationalism as an 18th century invention by Darby ;) ;)
So are you going to accept that Dispensationalism was held from the 1st century onwards? Of course not. Not even Jac will do that. But you want to claim that Praeterism is not the belief that all the key eschatological prophecies were fulfilled in the 1st century. Exactly what you think Praeterism is, you have not yet revealed. You think that if someone believed that Daniel 9 was fulfilled in the 1st century but that Daniel 2 occupies the time from the Babylonian empire to the return of Christ, they were a Praeterist. This is just bizarre. You might as well call Mormons Christians because they believe in Christ.
BTW: Not all Preterist hold that all of the passages have been fulfilled, even though I do.
Yes I'm aware of that.
One thing is for sure, the Early Church Fathers did NOT agree with standard Historicists or Futurist interpretations. At best, you are in the same boat I'm in. All you can do is find teachings that are compatible with Historicism (and many that are not)
I've given you over 10 pages to the contrary, and received absolutely no response whatsoever.
I'm not the one claiming that the teachings of uninspired 2nd Century men are a problem for eschatology. If there is a logical fallacy here, it is yours for assuming that they are correct.
I have told you repeatedly that I am not assuming they are correct. As I have pointed out, I am not saying that just because they were Historicists means that Historicism is correct. I am saying that since they were Historicists, there is evidence for Historcism from an early date. You on the other hand claim that because that they were wrong about X means that they were wrong about Y. That's a logical fallacy.
That is NOT what Jerome said.
I know it's not what Jerome said. We have other sources which reveal to us the details of the 'Nero Revividus' legend. It's well documented. We have plenty of sources which show that the 'Nero is antiChrist' doctrine held that Nero (who had died in the 1st century), would come to life again in the future as the 'beast' which would persecute Christians all over again.
OK. Post me one that has scriptural arguments instead of expecting me to search through all the ones posted.
I posted you a link to three with Scriptural arguments. Why haven't you even bothered to read them?

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#96

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:29 pm

You still have to answer this:
All you're doing is what Dispensationalists do in their attempts to 'prove' that Dispensationalism was held from the 1st century onwards. They'll pick out the two Early Fathers who placed a gap between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel 9, choose a later Early Father who was premillennial, find some later Reformation theologian who said the Jews would return to their land, and then say 'See, Dispensationalism was belived for centuries before the 19th century!'. Would you accept such an argument from them? Seriously now, would you?
Let's have an answer please. I know I'm being hard on you, and you're not used to being subjected to this level of scrutiny - I'm requiring a standard higher than you're used to - but you've expressed your willingness for your beliefs to be tested, so you'll have to accept the uncomfortable consequences. You can't get away with a handful of logical fallacies and a couple of misrepresentations with me. Nor can you get away with simply repeating an argument I've already responded to, without addressing my rebuttal.

I cannot be fooled or misdirected by these cheap little tricks. I will hold you to the point, and you will be required to give proper answers. The amount of time it takes you to answer my posts, and the extent to which you're copy/pasting from other websites indicates that you've never really had to think about this for yourself before, and don't have your own personal arguments at hand. It's very easy to just accept what you've been told to believe for years without actually examining it yourself.
puritan lad wrote:Regarding your first point...
You mistakenly accuse me with an argument from silence. I have told you repeatedly that I am not making an argument from silence. I am not saying that the absence of early Praeterist interpretations means that Praeterism is wrong. I am saying that the claim Praeterists make (which is that those closest to the date that the prophecies were written and fulfilled), is not supported by the evidence since when we look at the interpretations of the 1st and 2nd centuries, we don't find Praeterism.
(Not to mention that you misrepresented the preterist position here). Preterists doesn't merely insist “that the language of these prophecies was chosen specifically with the first generation of Christians in mind”. We hold that the language of these prophecies was chosen specifically with “specific” first generation of Christians in mind, particularly those prior to 70 AD.
I don't see how I've misrepresented the Praeterist position. You've said exactly what I just said.

Next you give me a 4th century quote from Eusebius, which is allegedly a secondhand quote of the late 2nd century Hegesippus, and want to claim that this has something to do with the 1st century James. Well that's completely useless. Appealing to 4th century sources as evidence of what a 1st century Christian apparently believed but never wrote? Sorry, you'll have to do better than that. Give me a primary source that proves James said this. Oh, you don't have one? I didn't think so.

You then give me a quote from Josephus who describes how members of the 'Nazorean sect' fled Jerusalem, having been warned of its impending destruction. You quote Eusebius saying the same. This is supposed to prove that the early church was Praeterist. What it proves (at best), is that the early church believed that the Olivet prophecy warned of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. I agree! It did indeed. That was certainly fulfilled in the 1st century. Historicists agree with this wholeheartedly. Where does this get you? Nowhere.
Admittedly this is a very small amount of evidence concerning what these fathers taught, but it's more than any other school of prophecy has regarding this time period.
Nonsense. The evidence from Jospehus and Eusebius is enough to support the Historicist understanding of the Olivet prophecy also.
Does that mean that all of the Christians before 70 AD were preterists? No.
Exactly. In fact you haven't yet proved that any of them were.
But it does show that your first point is invalid. Preterists hold that these prophecies were expected to be understood as imminent events by those to whom they were written. You have no evidence to the contrary, so your first “problem” is invalid.
No that does not show my first point is invalid. You've given me only one prophecy, the fulfillment of which Historicists agree was imminent in the 1st century. But where are all the rest? Where's the understanding that Daniel 2 had already been fulfilled? Daniel 7, 11-12, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9, and Revelation 4-20?
Can you give any evidence for Historicism or Futurism from extra-canonical writings prior to 70 AD?
Sure, the same you've just given. And of course, there's the Didache (which I note you steered well away from).

Next you quote Justin Marty, allegedly to prove that 'many Christians did not believe in a literal millennium in the early church'. I have already dealt with your misuse of this quote:
You made some serious blunders with this quote from Martyr. Firstly, Martyr was writing at around 150 AD, and was certainly not speaking of 1st century Christians, none of whom he actually knew personally because they were dead and the 1st century had passed 50 years ago.

Secondly, Martyr was not saying that there were many Christians who denied a literal millennium. He was saying that there were many Christians who denied the specific details of the millennium described by Trypho:
And Trypho to this replied, "I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures. But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?"

Then I answered, "I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly, that I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.
Absolutely nothing about whether or not the millennium will take place, but what the details will be. On the millennium itself, Martyr says:
But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.
Very different to what you claimed.
I have never claimed that there was unanimity in the early church on the millennium, so that's a straw man. I have never claimed there was a consensus in the early church on the millennium, so that's a straw man. The fact that certain of the Early Fathers differed in their understanding of when the millennium would come and what the details of it would be is also a straw man - the issue at hand is whether or not they believed Christ would return before the millennium, and I've provided a long list of those who did.

You've helpfully admitted that the earliest extra-Biblical exposition of the millennium we have is premillennial, thanks. You've also helpfully demonstrated that the church began to abandon premillennialism in the 4th century (which I already knew), meaning that you've unfortunately had to acknowledge that it was held to prior to that date, and you've been unable to find any commentators prior to the 4th century who denied premillennialism.
“But it is not correct to say, as Premillenarians do, that it was generally accepted in the first three centuries. The truth of the matter is that the adherents of this doctrine were a rather limited number. There is no trace of it in Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Tatian, Athenogoras, Theophilus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Dionysius, and other important church fathers.” (Louis Berkhof)
Sorry, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The fact that they don't mention it doesn't prove they didn't believe it, though it does mean we cannot assert they did believe it.
2.) There is no reason to believe that premillennialism was ever a dominant doctrine in the early church.
You call this a 'minority in the early church'?

115 Papias

110-165 Justin Martyr

180 Irenaeus

c.163 Aviricius Marcellus

185 Tertullian

194 (b.) Clement

200 Hippolytus

280 Methodius

280 Nepos

300 Victorinus

305 Commodianus

306 Lactantius

c. 347 Cyril

c. 350 Aphrahat

315-386 Cyprian

401 Severus

407 John Chrysostom

c. 450 Theodoret

Let's see your list of amillennialists or postmillennialists during the same time span please. To date you have failed completely to provide the names of any, even though I gave you two names myself.
As I said in my original post regarding this matter, there is very little consensus on early church eschatology.
False.

Looking at the Early Church expositions of the following passages, we find significant agreement:

* Daniel 2: here and here

* Daniel 7: here, here, here, here and here

* Daniel 8: here, here, and here

* Daniel 9: here

* The Olivet Discourse: here, here, and here

* 2 Thessalonians 2: here, here, and here

* Revelation: here

Can you provide anything remotely comparable for the Praeterist perspective? No you can't, and we both know it.
I'm not sure you would want to grant them any authority over orthodox teachings in eschatology, be it preterist, historicist, or otherwise.
This is yet another straw man, which I have addressed more than once. I am not appealing to them as authorities to prove that Historicism is true. I am simply appealing to them as evidence that Historicism was believed from an early date.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#97

Post by ttoews » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:43 am

Jac3510, I'll respond to your last post in stages...otherwise you could be waiting a week or so till I get a full response completed.
Jac3510 wrote:Ok, there are two problems I see with your proposed solution. First off, the land promises of Genesis 15 included the area in which they were standing when they were talking about crossing over into the promised land. On the other hand, we have the promises given in Numbers 34 which exactly describe Joshua's conquest. Therefore, from a purely logical perspective, I don't see how God could have been talking about giving them all the land listed in Gen 15 at that time….
I can see your point….but, in my view Ex 6:8 and Acts 7:17 eliminate (as a solution) what your logic produces
Second, even if you continue to insist that the land was all the land given in Gen 15, then you also have Gen 17 which says that the land will be an everlasting possession. Therefore, you would have to believe that the land still belongs to them. Do you believe that all of Saudi Arabia currently belongs to the Jews so far as God is concerned?
I don't believe that any of the middle east belongs to the Jews as far as God is concerned and I don't see this as a problem at all. God offered the land as an everlasting possession, but that offer was eventually rejected. I believe that the parable of the tenants displays the principle that you (apparently) could not find in the analogy that I offered:

There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. "The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said. "But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."

BTW, while we are considering the matter of an everlasting possession, how does that square with your eschatology? Is it their possession for 1000 years or for eternity? Do the Jews offer sacrifices in this Ezekiel temple for eternity or for a mere 1000 years?
….also, I note that the land described in Ezekiel 47 doesn't seem to be sufficient to give Abraham's heirs the entire promised lands in accordance with your understanding of what the boundaries of the promised lands must be. What's with that?
So, no, I don't qualify the claim of fulfilment. There at least two distinct set of promises that Joshua 21 could have been referring to. One is the Gen 15 land promises. The other is the Num 34 land promises. I see very good reason for it being the latter.
your “good reason” does not appeal to me b/c Exodus 6:8 has the promise to Abraham being given to the Jews too….and Acts 7:17 speaks of a fulfilment of the promise to Abraham at that time …and scripture says all promises were fulfilled.
That isn't a qualification. That's just letting Scripture interpret itself . . .
”all” is qualified to mean “all except the for the one previously made to Abraham”.

. Regardless, if you believe that verses have to be spiritualized, then the underlying argument, that Scripture becomes unintelligible, remains perfectly in tact.
Scripture may be unintelligible unless you are using the correct approach. What God meant literally is to be understood literally and what God meant figuratively is to be taken figuratively. Prior to NT there was nothing preventing the Jews from understanding Ezekiel's temple in a non-literal manner (apart from their own short-comings). Further, you appear to miss the most important aspect of the correct interpretation of any scripture. W/o the assistance of the Holy Spirit no one will be able to properly or fully understand all of scripture….bits will always be unintelligible/misunderstood. Scripture doesn't “become” unintelligible, rather it can't be fully understood by anyone w/o God's help. You keep going on about how Ezekiel “becomes unintelligible” when all that is required (in my eschatology”) is for the Holy Spirit to lead the Jews to a correct (non-literal) understanding of the temple….same as Jesus had to lead the Jews to a correct (non-literal) understanding of the prophecy that Elijah will come first. The Holy Spirit leads, but not all follow.
The analogy doesn't work …..
so you didn't like the analogy….twas too simple for you ….but you should have been able to read it and grasp the principle that if the promisee refuses to accept the thing offered in fulfilment of a promise , the promisor is still seen to have fulfilled the promise. I suspect you understand the Abrahamic covenant to be unconditional and incapable of repudiation based on your understanding of scripture….I don't think it was either, and that it my conclusion based on my understanding of scripture.
Tell me how I am supposed to politely or non-offensively tell you that I believe you don't think God is telling the truth.
with a little class….and w/o resorting to ridiculous assertions. Clearly all here (PL, Fort, you and me) believe God won't lie….but you want to assert that anyone who doesn't accept a literal interpretation of a text when you demand such an interpretation is then calling God a liar. You apply that practice inconsistently in that:
a) I suspect your don't believe that the bread is actually the body of Christ (in the eucharist) but you don't think your non-literal understanding of Christ's words in that case amounts to calling the Lord a liar.
b) When Jesus explains that John the Baptist would fulfil the requirement of Elijah first appearing, you wouldn't suggest that Jesus is calling God a liar b/c J the B isn't literally Elijah
c) …and on and on

B/c of that inconsistency and b/c it is obvious that no one here would say God is a liar, your repeated assertion takes on the appearance of self-righteous mud-slinging.
So, rather than take it personally, let's discuss the belief systems themselves. You admitted yourself you spiritualize texts. And why? Because you see apparent contradictions between your understanding of the NT and your understanding of the OT.
No, I understand certain texts in a non-literal fashion b/c to hold to literal interpretations would result in actual contradictions between various texts. For example, Malachi expressly says that Elijah will appear. Jesus expressly states that Elijah need not appear. I reconcile that apparent contradiction by understanding Malachi in a non-literal fashion as per Christ's explanation.
Therefore, the God must not have meant what He actually said in the OT - He must have meant it in another way, which He told us about in the NT.
Try instead to describe it as:
Therefore, God must not have always stated something literally in the OT — sometimes He said it in another way, and sometimes He told the Jews about the non-literal meaning in the NT (which he had to do b/c the Jews were too far from the truth to see it for themselves)
Now, I'm sorry, but I take that as not believing God told the truth. Put more forcefully, it is believing God lied. God promised Israel A, B, and C, knowing full well He was deceiving them into thinking He was promising them something that He really wasn't.
So then, by your reasoning, God promised to send Elijah first, knowing full well that He was deceiving them into thinking He was promising them something that He really wasn't. You try to avoid that inconvenient application of your reasoning to Malachi 4:5-6 by offering:
And why could this not be understood? The text says that God will send a messenger before the Messiah.
really? In my Bible the text says that “I will send you the prophet Elijah”….does your Bible read just “messenger”?....if so, you should get a new Bible. …if not, then you are avoiding a literal understanding of Malachi so that you can continue to claim that you are “still waiting on a prophecy that cannot be understood apart from NT revelation.”
That's pretty easy. And apparently, the Jews took it that way. Matt 16:14 says, "And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Notice that the OT text does NOT say that Elijah would come in his OT form.
why should it? Elijah is Elijah (in a literal interpretation). If your wife informed you that your high school English teacher was coming for dinner, would you ask if he was coming in his high school form or if he was coming in the form belonging to your university English professor?
Now, there were Jews who were looking for Elijah. They thought Jesus might be him! They clearly understood the meaning of the prophecy. What Jesus was pointing was that Elijah had come in John. What made it hard to believe was not that the text was unintelligible, but because that would mean that Jesus was the Christ Himself.
nice try, but it is the disciples asking the question in Matt 17 and they have identified Jesus as the Christ already by that time….they couldn't figure it out b/c they took the text literally.
And I'm not asking for a NT revelation that CLARIFIES an OT prophecy. I am asking for an OT prophecy that says one thing that was totally and completely incomprehensible outside the NT telling us what the text REALLY meant.
I should point out that I don't think Ezekiel was totally and completely incomprehensible with a literal understanding….those like you who interpret it literally think that, in the future, the children of God will worship him in a glorious and much improved fashion…the important idea is understood, but the details of lesser importance are not. Again, all that is required is for the Holy Spirit to CLARIFY that the text should not be interpreted literally wrt the details.
Clearly. The fact is that Ezekiel 40-48 says that there will be future sacrifices. You either have to find some fulfillment of this in history, of which there is none, or you have to spiritualize this. I don't. I take it to mean what it says. I have no problem with this verses Heb 10, because Heb 10 does not say that there will be no sacrifices in the Millennial Kingdom.
Of course it doesn't….Hebrews (like every other book of the Bible apart from Rev) doesn't mention a Millennial Kingdom b/c such a thing doesn't actually come into existence.
I don't interpret the OT in light of my eschatology. The OT CREATES my eschatology.
yes, it seems that you emphasize the OT over the NT to the point of imbalance (though the idea of a millennium can only be found in the NT….with the OT speaking of “forever”). A standard principle of interpretation is that the latter clarifies the former…..and in accordance with that principle I am inclined to see that the NT clarifies the OT even if such clarification leads to a radically different understanding. I find it odd that you would declare that the OT creates your eschatology….The Bible as a whole creates mine.
In other words, I didn't become a dispensationalist and then interpret the OT. It is BECAUSE I interpret the OT literally that I am a dispensationalist.
so then its your hermeneutic that creates your eschatology?
Quite the opposite, by your own admission, you come to your eschatology before reading the OT and the you interpret the OT in that light.
You'll have to show me this admission….I started out as a dispensationalist, but then as I read the Bible (both the OT and NT), with a greater maturity, I became convinced that amillennialism made better sense of what I read. As such, it was the whole Bible that shaped my eschatology
That is one of my major problems with your view. You interpret the Bible in light of theology.
No, I interpret the Bible in light of what else is said in the Bible…nothing as complex as matters of eschatology should be taken in isolation
Great, so you believe that Scripture is unintelligible. What else is there left to say?
Gee, I thought that when you were lost for something to say that you resorted to declaring that your opponent was calling God a liar…or some such ditty. :) All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…..but Jesus sure had to spend some time explaining the OT to the Jews before they understood it correctly.

And on what basis did they reject Jesus? …..But to go back to what I was saying with reference to this part of the conversation, if your eschatology is right, it was not possible for the Jews to see their Messiah coming. Why? Because Scripture was, to them, unintelligible! They didn't even know what to look for! God had them believing that the Messiah was going to bring with Him an actual, earthly kingdom.
that does indeed seem to be how they interpreted scripture and specifically, it does seem to be the way the disciples interpreted scripture, but as we see that interpretation wasn't an insurmountable obstacle which prevented the disciples from seeing Jesus as the Christ….so even though they were looking for the wrong thing, by simply leaning on God's wisdom (as opposed to their own) it was possible for any Jew to see that their messiah had come….and for a much more important ministry than setting up a earthly kingdom.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#98

Post by puritan lad » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:14 am

What you have to do is provide a list of people who interpreted all the key eschatological prophecies as Praeterism does. What I have to do is show that the early church fathers believed that the key eschatological prophecies occupy the time between the 1st century and the return of Christ.
Nice try, but we are not playing this game according to your rules. The fact is that the eschatological views of most church fathers tat you quoted are incompatible with any modern view, including historicism. I will show this in my completed work. What you have to do to support your version of historicism is to show a list of church fathers who believed that the Roman Empire would collapse before the Advent of Christ. You also may want to try and show a list of church fathers who thought that the return of Christ was a distant future event. If you fail to do this, then you cannot claim any authority from patristics to support your view. They did not agree with your version of historicism.
I've given you over 10 pages to the contrary, and received absolutely no response whatsoever.
See above. (And I'm not going to read your 10 pages worth. Please post specific arguments here.)
I have told you repeatedly that I am not assuming they are correct. As I have pointed out, I am not saying that just because they were Historicists means that Historicism is correct. I am saying that since they were Historicists, there is evidence for Historcism from an early date. You on the other hand claim that because that they were wrong about X means that they were wrong about Y. That's a logical fallacy.
So you are admitting that the teachings of church fathers are not a “problem” for preterism. Are you ready to retract your original statement?
I posted you a link to three with Scriptural arguments. Why haven't you even bothered to read them?
Only a few. Let me repeat this one more time. I am not interested on digging through a ton of your links. Post your arguments here, Fortigurn. I don't want to read your 10 pages plus websites. Do you understand that yet? I want you to post your scriptural arguments here, or at least one link that has them. (Assuming that you have any.)
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#99

Post by puritan lad » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:27 am

Sorry, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The fact that they don't mention it doesn't prove they didn't believe it, though it does mean we cannot assert they did believe it.
Yes it does. These men wrote many works on eschatology. The fact that they did not mention a literal 1,000 year earthly reign by Christ shows that either they didn't believe it (which Justin Martyr has already affirmed), or else it skipped their minds (highly unlikely). You decide.

Regarding your list, it must be pointed out that, even in the heights of chiliasm in the third century, there wasn't enough consensus to included it in the Nicene Creed. During the Apostolic age, chiliasm was definitely a minority.
We have other sources which reveal to us the details of the 'Nero Revividus' legend. It's well documented. We have plenty of sources which show that the 'Nero is antiChrist' doctrine held that Nero (who had died in the 1st century), would come to life again in the future as the 'beast' which would persecute Christians all over again.
I thought that you said they were historicists. Furthermore, you stated that historicists hold that antichrist was a first century entity (which many church fathers did not, especially those in your list), and that it was “unlikely” that any historicist would hold this view. Which is it? Were they historicists or not?

Besides, let's take a closer look at Jerome's statement (Emphasis mine).

"And so there are many of our viewpoint who think that Domitius Nero WAS the Antichrist because of his outstanding savagery and depravity."

WAS, not WILL BE. Preterism Fortigurn. (Past Fulfillment). No evidnece of a 'Nero Revividus' myth here.

BTW, I clicked on the first three links you provided. I have yet to see any exposition of Scripture, just lists that you made. Please post scriptural arguments here. If you don't have any, then say so, and we'll continue dow the patristics path.
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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#100

Post by Fortigurn » Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:12 pm

So, no answers yet, and more of the same.

Here are the issues again:

* What you have to do is provide a list of people who interpreted all the key eschatological prophecies as Praeterism does. That is Praetersm. What I have to do is show that the early church fathers believed that the key eschatological prophecies occupy the time between the 1st century and the return of Christ. That is Historicism.

* I have provided a list of premillennial Early Fathers. Here it is again:

115 Papias
110-165 Justin Martyr
180 Irenaeus
c.163 Aviricius Marcellus
185 Tertullian
194 (b.) Clement
200 Hippolytus
280 Methodius
280 Nepos
300 Victorinus
305 Commodianus
306 Lactantius
c. 347 Cyril
c. 350 Aphrahat
315-386 Cyprian
401 Severus
407 John Chrysostom
c. 450 Theodoret

Let's see your list of amillennialists or postmillennialists during the same time span please. To date you have failed completely to provide the names of any, even though I gave you two names myself. You have twice misrepresented Martyr as saying that many Christians didn't believe in the millennial reign of Christ on earth, even though as I have pointed out (twice), he said no such thing (what he said was that many Christians did not believe in certain details of what the millennium would be like).

* Yes, I have said that Historicists understand antiChrist as a prophecy which was being fulfilled in the 1st century. This doesn't change the fact that a number of Historicists have also understood persons subsequent to the 1st century as being the continuation of that prophecy. Since the Historicist position is 'contiuationist', this isn't a problem for us.

* I did not say that it was unlikely that a Historicist would consider the 'antiChrist' prophecy of John to be fulfilled in the 1st century. I said it was unlikely that a Historicist would consider Nero to be the fulfillment of the 'antiChrist' prophecy of John.

* You quote selectively from Jerome:
And so there are many of our viewpoint who think that Domitius Nero was the Antichrist because of his outstanding savagery and depravity.
You place emphasis on the word 'was', without actually addressing what Jerome wrote just before this. Jerome says here that there are 'many of our viewpoint who think that Domitius Nero was the Antichrist'. What is 'our viewpoint' of which Jerome speaks? As I have said previously, it is the viewpoint that antiChrist is yet future. Jerome makes this clear in the very paragraph from which you selectively lifted this sentence. Here's the full context:
As for the Antichrist, there is no question but what he IS GOING TO fight against the holy covenant, and that WHEN HE FIRST MAKES WAR against the king of Egypt, he shall straightway be frightened off by the assistance of the Romans. But these events were typically prefigured under Antiochus Epiphanes, so that this abominable king who persecuted God's people foreshadows the Antichrist, WHO IS TO PERSECUTE THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

And so THERE ARE MANY OF OUR VIEWPOINT [the viewpoint he has just described] who think that Domitius Nero was the Antichrist because of his outstanding savagery and depravity.
As I said previously, Jerome is speaking here of those who are of 'our viewpoint' (that antiChrist is still future in Jerome's day), whilst believing that Nero was the antiChrist. This is the Nero Revividus theory, that Nero was the antiChrist, and would be in the future also. It is recorded by a number of the Fathers (most of whom rejected it), so there's no doubt about this.

* I don't actually have to show a list of church Fathers who believed that the Roman empire would collapse before the advent of Christ, because that's not a defining feature of Historicism. I am not seeking in this discussion to demonstrate that my particular Historicist view has overwhelming Patristic support (although the links I've provided have already proven this to be true), but to demonstrate that the earliest Fathers were Historicists. But since you asked for a list of Early Fathers who believed that the Roman empire would collapse before the advent of Christ, here it is:

150 Justin Martyr
185 Irenaeus
190 Tertullian
c. 194 Clement
c.235 Hippolytus
c. 230 Origen
280 Methodius
300 Victorinus
306 Lactantius
c. 347 Cyril
c. 350 Aphrahat
401 Severus
407 John Chrysostom
340-420 Jerome
c. 450 Theodoret
354-430 Augustine
450 Isidore of Pelusium

* You will find certain specific Scriptural arguments of mine against Praeterism here in a discussion you and I had previously. The important page is here, where you back out of the conversation leaving my arguments unanswered. They are still waiting for you there. One of the links I provided you with (at least three times), contained my Scriptural hermeneutic for Revelation, which I have posted on the forum here. You claimed I hadn't provided you with any links containing Scriptural exposition or arguments, only 'lists' of Early Church Fathers, but I provided you with this material in a single link several times.

* I have not admitted that the teachings of the ECFs are a problem for Praeterists. They are a problem for Praeterists. The Praeterist claims that those closest to 70 AD would have the best understanding of the prophecies, but when we go back further and further we find fewer and fewer views which are even remotely compatible with Praeterism.

* You claim that if any of the Early Fathers 'did not mention a literal 1,000 year earthly reign by Christ shows that either they didn't believe it (which Justin Martyr has already affirmed), or else it skipped their minds (highly unlikely)', which is a logical fallacy (a non-sequitur). You might just as well say that if they did not mention Praterism they didn't believe it.

* Although pre-millennialism wasn't included in the Nicene Creed, neither was post-millennialism or amillennialism, so that means nothing. Far more important is the Didache, which I note you have fled from (and for good reason). Let's look at the eschatological exposition of the Didache:
Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time.

For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself.

And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not of all, but as it is said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
That is clearly not Praeterist. The 'last days' are still future. The 'world-deceiver' is still future. The return of Christ as described in the Olivet prophecy is still future. The Christians who wrote this didn't believe that Nero was the 'man of sin' of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9. When would you date the Didache? It doesn't really matter when you date it, because whenever you date it, this document is still going to remain a problem for Praeterism.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#101

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:22 pm

ttoews wrote:Jac3510, I'll respond to your last post in stages...otherwise you could be waiting a week or so till I get a full response completed.
You talked about finishing this in stages, so I don't know if you have anything else to add? It looks like you covered everything, so I'll go ahead and get this now.
I can see your point….but, in my view Ex 6:8 and Acts 7:17 eliminate (as a solution) what your logic produces
For convenience, the verses listed here are:
  • And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD. (Ex 6:8)

    As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt greatly increased (Acts 7:17)
Allow me to point you to Genesis 13:14-17, which reads as follows:
  • "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you."
Now, where was Abraham standing when God made this promise to him? In Bethel. Here is a map for those who don't know the area off the top of their heads:

Image

You can see that Abraham is right in the middle of what would later be the land promised in Numbers 34. Here is a map of THAT track of land:

Image

Now, my short answer to your concern is that the promised land in Gen. 15 certainly includes, but is much greater than, the promised land in Gen. 13 and Num. 34. I believe that we have to be very careful when we say that God's promise to Abraham was fulfilled, because there were multiple aspects of it. One aspect, for instance, was the Messiah's coming. Clearly, that was not fulfilled in Josh 21 and Stephen could not have been talking about that in Acts 7. Second, since there are clearly two different set of land boundaries given in Gen 13 and Gen 15, the promise of God in Ex 6 cannot refer to both unless it refers to the larger. I have, however, pointed out that you can't cross into a land you are already in, and therefore, I don't see how we can see God's promise to Moses to be with reference to Gen 15.

So . . . both Stephen and Moses were referring to the smaller land boundaries promised in Gen 13. Why should we not interpret the text that way, given all of the above?
I don't believe that any of the middle east belongs to the Jews as far as God is concerned and I don't see this as a problem at all. God offered the land as an everlasting possession, but that offer was eventually rejected. I believe that the parable of the tenants displays the principle that you (apparently) could not find in the analogy that I offered:

There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. "The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said. "But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end," they replied, "and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time."
I did not catch your reference to the parable of the landowner. Regardless, I think you have the wrong understanding of this parable, as I'm sure you think I have. Jesus finishes this parable by applying it Himself in Matt 21:43, "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” Notice two things: first, the Kingdom is “taken away” from the Jews to whom Jesus is speaking. He doesn't rebuke them for misunderstanding what “the Kingdom” was. Secondly, He says that it will be given to another people. What will be given? The Kingdom. Again, notice that Jesus does not say a spiritual form of the Kingdom will be given to another people. It says the Kingdom itself will be given to another people.

In other words, there is absolutely no hint of any kind in Jesus' words that He is talking about the Gentiles receiving a spiritual form of the Kingdom, and everything to tell us that Jesus was talking about the same, literal Kingdom that the Jews were expecting. And who are the people who will receive it? A future generation of Israelites who will produce the repentance necessary for its reception.
BTW, while we are considering the matter of an everlasting possession, how does that square with your eschatology? Is it their possession for 1000 years or for eternity? Do the Jews offer sacrifices in this Ezekiel temple for eternity or for a mere 1000 years?
The eternal state is divided into two parts. First is the 1000 year reign, which will include a mix of glorified and non-glorified people. That is, there will be immortals and mortals living during that time. There will be a restitution of the Temple system then as well. After the 1000 years, Satan is released and the world will rebel against Jesus' Kingdom, which is known as the final war of Gog and Magog. Dispensational scholars are divided over whether or not there are two separate wars known by that name or if both prophecies refer to the same event. I lean to the former. After that, God will create the New Heavens and the New Earth, which will not be a brand new creation but rather a redemption and restoration of this one. The Jews will maintain their land for all of eternity. The Temple will no longer exist, and at that time, the sacrificial system will be put aside forever.
….also, I note that the land described in Ezekiel 47 doesn't seem to be sufficient to give Abraham's heirs the entire promised lands in accordance with your understanding of what the boundaries of the promised lands must be. What's with that?
Many commentators have noted that the land boundaries in Ez 47 are roughly the same as those in Num 34. Again, consider the following maps:

Ezekiel's Land
Image

Joshua's Land
Image

Now, Ryrie comments on the difference in the Gen 15 and Ez 47 allotment saying, “This particular area will be allotted to the Israelites for the residences, though apparently they will control all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates.” The idea seems fairly simple to me, and it takes both texts at face value. Further, the Ez 47 passage clearly promises to the Israelites land that, even to this day, they have never fully possessed, even though it is very similar to the land given during Joshua's lifetime. This passage, along with several others, serve to remind us that the Promised Land is still promised to Israel. God will be faithful.
your “good reason” does not appeal to me b/c Exodus 6:8 has the promise to Abraham being given to the Jews too….and Acts 7:17 speaks of a fulfilment of the promise to Abraham at that time …and scripture says all promises were fulfilled.
I've already commented on these passages above.
”all” is qualified to mean “all except the for the one previously made to Abraham”.
Of course not. It is exactly what it says. ALL the promises made to their forefathers were fulfilled. So we ask the question, “Which forefathers?” You simply assume it includes Abraham. I see no textual reason it must be so, and I've offered a good bit of evidence why it cannot be so, especially in light of the fact that there were promises made to forefathers that had been fulfilled, that is, those during the time of Num 34.
Scripture may be unintelligible unless you are using the correct approach. What God meant literally is to be understood literally and what God meant figuratively is to be taken figuratively.
Yes, and what you are telling me is that there are passages that were meant to be taken figuratively that require NT revelation to let you know they were supposed to be literal. If the land promises or Ezekiel's temple were to be understood figuratively, why not take all the Messianic prophecies figuratively? Why not take prophecies concerning war or famine figuratively? And what about you and me and the NT? Maybe Jesus' Second Coming is figurative? How do we know that isn't the case?
Prior to NT there was nothing preventing the Jews from understanding Ezekiel's temple in a non-literal manner (apart from their own short-comings).
Other than the text itself. Ezekiel is told to take pains to record the exact dimensions of the Temple. There is simply no indication that the text is figurative.
Further, you appear to miss the most important aspect of the correct interpretation of any scripture. W/o the assistance of the Holy Spirit no one will be able to properly or fully understand all of scripture….bits will always be unintelligible/misunderstood. Scripture doesn't “become” unintelligible, rather it can't be fully understood by anyone w/o God's help. You keep going on about how Ezekiel “becomes unintelligible” when all that is required (in my eschatology”) is for the Holy Spirit to lead the Jews to a correct (non-literal) understanding of the temple….same as Jesus had to lead the Jews to a correct (non-literal) understanding of the prophecy that Elijah will come first. The Holy Spirit leads, but not all follow.
It certainly sounds nice and spiritual to talk about the Holy Spirit guiding us in understanding Scripture, but it has no concrete meaning. The problem with your hermeneutic is not that Ezekiel—in fact, the entire OT—becomes unintelligible. It is that it IS unintelligible. The simple fact is that God said there would be a temple, sacrifices, certain boundaries, etc. You want the Jew to look at God and say, “Now, you don't really mean that.”

Secondly, I've already pointed out that the fulfillment of Elijah's coming was not non-literal. Elijah came. The Jews understood that. What the Jews would not have understood was a “Temple” that was represented by the Gentile body (!).
so you didn't like the analogy….twas too simple for you ….but you should have been able to read it and grasp the principle that if the promisee refuses to accept the thing offered in fulfilment of a promise , the promisor is still seen to have fulfilled the promise. I suspect you understand the Abrahamic covenant to be unconditional and incapable of repudiation based on your understanding of scripture….I don't think it was either, and that it my conclusion based on my understanding of scripture.
Yes, I believe the Abrahamic Covenant is unconditional. I see repeated “I will” statements by God and never once an “if you will.” Abraham could have turned his back on God, and that would not have changed the fact that God made the promise. And remember than in Gen 15, it was not Abraham that went through the cut pieces, but it was God alone.
with a little class….and w/o resorting to ridiculous assertions. Clearly all here (PL, Fort, you and me) believe God won't lie….but you want to assert that anyone who doesn't accept a literal interpretation of a text when you demand such an interpretation is then calling God a liar.
Non-believers can use biblical language. Put differently, I can mask a heresy using Bible words. You say you don't believe God will lie, and in your understanding of things, that's fine. But Catholics claim to believe that salvation is through faith alone. Do they believe that? Of course not.

In the end, you don't believe God will do what He said He would do. To “protect” His honor, you put words in His mouth He never uttered. You change the meaning of His promises so that you can say He will fulfill different promise than those He actually made.

You can call that whatever you like. I call it a lie. I am sorry if that offends you. It isn't meant to. I'm simply saying that if you lead a person to believe something, knowing full well that you mean something else, then you have engaged in deceit. Again, you can put whatever word over that you like and say “God doesn't lie!” and I'll just point you to the Pope's pronouncement that Catholics believe in salvation by “faith alone.”
You apply that practice inconsistently in that:
a) I suspect your don't believe that the bread is actually the body of Christ (in the eucharist) but you don't think your non-literal understanding of Christ's words in that case amounts to calling the Lord a liar.
There is a difference in figurative language and changing the meaning of a promise. You know what a metaphor is. Absolutely no advocate of the literal hermeneutic insists that metaphors and other figures of speech are not understood as such.
b) When Jesus explains that John the Baptist would fulfil the requirement of Elijah first appearing, you wouldn't suggest that Jesus is calling God a liar b/c J the B isn't literally Elijah
I've already covered this. The Jews recognized the clearly figurative language in the statement. That is NOT to say that the spiritualized the prophecy. Look, when you have 1st century Jews asking if a particular person is Elijah come to announce the Messiah's advent, then it is clear they understood exactly what God was saying to them.
c) …and on and on
I'll need some more on's, 'cause I don't see any inconsistent applications of the literal hermeneutic so far.
B/c of that inconsistency and b/c it is obvious that no one here would say God is a liar, your repeated assertion takes on the appearance of self-righteous mud-slinging.
You may choose to take it that way, but it simply isn't the case. You, by your own admission, believe certain OT prophecies are to be spiritualized and were incapable of being understood until Jesus came along to explain them. I don't believe that is true. I believe we should take prophecies at their face value. Promises to Israel are promises to Israel. Temples are temples, land is land, and rivers are rivers, unless the text itself gives us reason to assign them another meaning by the usage of figurative language.
No, I understand certain texts in a non-literal fashion b/c to hold to literal interpretations would result in actual contradictions between various texts. For example, Malachi expressly says that Elijah will appear. Jesus expressly states that Elijah need not appear. I reconcile that apparent contradiction by understanding Malachi in a non-literal fashion as per Christ's explanation.
Is this the only argument you have—that Elijah was not John the Baptist? In light of the fact that the Jews recognized the figurative language? The prophecy was fulfilled literally, exactly as it was written.
Try instead to describe it as:
Therefore, God must not have always stated something literally in the OT — sometimes He said it in another way, and sometimes He told the Jews about the non-literal meaning in the NT (which he had to do b/c the Jews were too far from the truth to see it for themselves)
Which is what I said — so God said one thing but actually meant another. He allowed them to think that they were actually going to receive a Kingdom within certain physical boundaries. He let them think their Temple would be rebuilt. He let them think they would rule over the world. Of course, God knew the whole time that those ideas were wrong. He knew the whole time that they got those ideas because they just believed what God said at face value. They didn't know He didn't really mean it that way. Then, when He pulls a fast one on them and sends Jesus to say, “Hey, surprise! All those promise in the OT . . . yeah, I didn't really mean it like that!”

Ok.
ttoews wrote: So then, by your reasoning, God promised to send Elijah first, knowing full well that He was deceiving them into thinking He was promising them something that He really wasn't. You try to avoid that inconvenient application of your reasoning to Malachi 4:5-6 by offering:
Jac3510 wrote:And why could this not be understood? The text says that God will send a messenger before the Messiah.
really? In my Bible the text says that “I will send you the prophet Elijah”….does your Bible read just “messenger”?....if so, you should get a new Bible. …if not, then you are avoiding a literal understanding of Malachi so that you can continue to claim that you are “still waiting on a prophecy that cannot be understood apart from NT revelation.”
He promised to send them Elijah. He sent them Elijah. I mean, seriously, is this all you have? Have you even read Malachi 4? It talks about the Day “burning like a furnace”; the evildoer is “stubble”; they will be “set on fire”; they are described by the terms “branch” and “root.” God says the wicked will be “ashes” under the Israelites feet. Then God says Elijah will come first. I mean, seriously ttoews . . . do you REALLY think that any Jew of average intelligence would read that and not immediately recognize what God was saying? As I've already pointed out in Matt 16:14, Jews were already taking it that way. Sheesh.
why should it? Elijah is Elijah (in a literal interpretation). If your wife informed you that your high school English teacher was coming for dinner, would you ask if he was coming in his high school form or if he was coming in the form belonging to your university English professor?
No, Elijah is not Elijah “in a literal interpretation.” You might wish it was, but there is simply no reason to take it as such. It is in the middle of a highly descriptive Messianic prophecy. Do you think the Day of the Lord will actually “burn”? Do you think that the wicked will literally be “ashes”?
nice try, but it is the disciples asking the question in Matt 17 and they have identified Jesus as the Christ already by that time….they couldn't figure it out b/c they took the text literally.
Wrong. They didn't identify John the Baptist as Elijah until Jesus pointed it out to them. In the same way, Jesus explained Scripture to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Haven't you ever been in church and the preacher or Sunday school teacher or whatever said something and an idea clicked? You had a light-bulb moment? I'm sure you have. Does that mean Scripture was unintelligible before that? No. It just means you didn't make the connection. Jesus made it explicit, and THEY could accept it because they accepted that Jesus was the Christ.

Now, this still proves my original point. The disciples didn't say that THEY thought Jesus was Elijah. They said that SOME PEOPLE thought that Jesus was Elijah. You know what that means, ttoews? That means they had understood the prophecy correctly. They had just identified the wrong person as Elijah.

You'll really have to do a LOT better than Elijah<>John if you want to accuse me of not taking the Bible literally.
I should point out that I don't think Ezekiel was totally and completely incomprehensible with a literal understanding….those like you who interpret it literally think that, in the future, the children of God will worship him in a glorious and much improved fashion…the important idea is understood, but the details of lesser importance are not. Again, all that is required is for the Holy Spirit to CLARIFY that the text should not be interpreted literally wrt the details.
You didn't answer my question. Show me ONE prophecy that is totally incapable of being understood without NT revelation. As far as you saying that details aren't important in Ez 40-48, then you have a problem with the fact that the entire unit is all about details. Ezekiel is told to make a big deal of the details and to tell the Jews of “everything” he sees.

Again, I take this prophecy to mean what it says. Don't get offended if, when you look at me and say, “Now Jac . . . God didn't really mean that!” my first thought is that you are accusing God of lying. It is intentional deceit, ttoews.
Of course it doesn't….Hebrews (like every other book of the Bible apart from Rev) doesn't mention a Millennial Kingdom b/c such a thing doesn't actually come into existence.
You are dodging. Again, Ezekiel 40-48 explicitly says that there will be sacrifices in the Temple during Israel's future kingdom. Now, I take that literally. I'm not the one who has to spiritualize this text. I think God said exactly what He meant here.
yes, it seems that you emphasize the OT over the NT to the point of imbalance (though the idea of a millennium can only be found in the NT….with the OT speaking of “forever”). A standard principle of interpretation is that the latter clarifies the former…..and in accordance with that principle I am inclined to see that the NT clarifies the OT even if such clarification leads to a radically different understanding. I find it odd that you would declare that the OT creates your eschatology….The Bible as a whole creates mine.
Yes, the latter clarifies the former. The latter does not change the meaning of the former. The OT sets controls on NT interpretation. God said in Ez 40-48 that there will be sacrifices for the atonement of sin in the future kingdom. Your interpretation of the NT says that there will be no more sacrifices. You are the one creating the contradiction, not me. You are the one that, in light of that contradiction, feels the need to change the clear statements of the OT.

Look at it this way, ttoews. The OT was written by . . . Jewish people. The NT was written by . . . Jewish people. And the NT Jewish authors, well they were using words and concepts they got from the OT. That means that THEIR writings came through a filter: the filter of the OT. And what filter did the OT writings come from? None. Notice, ttoews, that Malachi does not contradict or change the meaning of anything in Genesis. And yet, you want me to believe that the NT changes the meaning of OT revelation?

Now, against this, you have a double filter you are interpreting through, which actually creates something of a circular approach to interpretation. The NT was written using OT ideas, but it redefined those ideas so that the OT ideas have to be reinterpreted in the NT light. But that means the OT ideas that were the foundation for the NT no longer mean what they meant in order to convey this supposedly newer, better meaning. You've cut out your own support from beneath you.

Against that, you can just believe that God meant exactly what He said when He spoke through the OT prophets.
so then its your hermeneutic that creates your eschatology?
Of course. Everyone's hermeneutic creates their eschatology. Even Oswald T. Allis recognizes that :P
You'll have to show me this admission….I started out as a dispensationalist, but then as I read the Bible (both the OT and NT), with a greater maturity, I became convinced that amillennialism made better sense of what I read. As such, it was the whole Bible that shaped my eschatology
I'm not referring to your history but to your methodology. You say things like, “Again and again the words of the NT bring a proper understanding to the words found in the OT”; “that their knowledge wasn't to extend that far until the further revelation of the NT”; “unless God explained to them that they would not be offering sacrifices for their atonement for all of eternity at a Temple, then that is likely what they would have understood the book to be saying”

That should get the point across. Are you going to tell me that you don't believe we interpret the OT in light of the NT? Of course you won't, because that is exactly what you believe, yes? That is what amill is all about. You spiritualize texts that are otherwise contradictory with your understanding of the NT.

My point is simple. Rather than spiritualizing the OT, just understand the NT in a way that is consistent with clearly stated OT promises.
No, I interpret the Bible in light of what else is said in the Bible…nothing as complex as matters of eschatology should be taken in isolation
Which is interpreting the Bible based on your theology. You have a preset view of things like the millennium and sacrifices. So you come to a passage like Ezekiel 40-48. It contradicts your theology, so instead of changing your theology, you change the meaning of the text.

Scripture informs theology, ttoews. Not vice versa.
Gee, I thought that when you were lost for something to say that you resorted to declaring that your opponent was calling God a liar…or some such ditty. :) All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…..but Jesus sure had to spend some time explaining the OT to the Jews before they understood it correctly.
Either God meant literal land, temples, sacrifices, and cities or He didn't, ttoews. If He did NOT mean those things literally, then the Jews had no way of knowing WHAT He meant until He decided to give them further revelation. You say that further revelation came with Jesus. So you are telling me that Scripture was unintelligible. That isn't my problem. It's yours.

It goes back to what I said above. ttoews — the Jews did not have your amillennial theology. Why? Because they didn't have the NT. You CAN'T get amillennialism out of the OT alone. So if you have to interpret the OT in light of amillennialism, and amillennialism hasn't been revealed, then you can't understand the OT.
that does indeed seem to be how they interpreted scripture and specifically, it does seem to be the way the disciples interpreted scripture, but as we see that interpretation wasn't an insurmountable obstacle which prevented the disciples from seeing Jesus as the Christ….so even though they were looking for the wrong thing, by simply leaning on God's wisdom (as opposed to their own) it was possible for any Jew to see that their messiah had come….and for a much more important ministry than setting up a earthly kingdom.
I don't see anywhere that the disciples interpreted the OT in an amillennial light. They interpreted the OT in the plain, normal sense. So did the rest of the Jews. Again, they didn't miss their Messiah because of their eschatology. Jesus never rebuked them for thinking the Kingdom was a literal Kingdom. They rejected Him because they did not want Him to rule over them (Luke 19:27).

Now, again, if your interpretation of eschatology is right, then the Jews would have had no way at all to know who the Messiah was. There was no way to know what was literal and what was figurative. We say that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that He was from the line of David, etc. We point to all sorts of fulfilled prophecies. But maybe those prophecies weren't literal. Maybe they were all figurative? Maybe the Messiah Himself was a figure—a spiritual truth?

There was just no way to know.

All this comes down to a very simple point: you either believe that God will do what He said He would do and how He said He would do it in the OT, or you believe that God intentionally deceived the Jews. Either the OT cannot be understood until the all important key that is amillennialism is revealed, or amillennialism is wrong.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#102

Post by ttoews » Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:18 am

Jac3510 wrote:You talked about finishing this in stages, so I don't know if you have anything else to add? It looks like you covered everything, so I'll go ahead and get this now.
I still have to comment on the last 1/3 or so of your previous post and now I've got this last one to comment on as well....however, I am very stretched for time these days so it will take awhile....but should be done well in advance of the second coming (which would simply prove me right and settle the matter :lol: )

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#103

Post by bizzt » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:46 pm

ttoews wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:but should be done well in advance of the second coming (which would simply prove me right and settle the matter :lol: )
:lol:

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#104

Post by puritan lad » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:56 pm

FYI: I'm nearly finished, but some things have come up.

Just letting you know that I haven't forgotten. I'm still here. :)
"To suppose that whatever God requireth of us that we have power of ourselves to do, is to make the cross and grace of Jesus Christ of none effect." - JOHN OWEN

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Re: Eschatology: Survey says . . . !!!

#105

Post by Fortigurn » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:56 am

I hope I'm going to get that list of amillennialists or postmillenialists between the 1st and the 4th century. And it had better be longer than three names. I'm also expecting my latest thread in this forum to be addressed, and the outstanding questions I had here in a discussion you and I had previously. The important page is here.

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