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Source: (consider it) Thread: Rapture?
Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
Not so. The church is the bride but OT saints are not part of the church so not part of the bride.
Er - Hmmm....
Yet Hosea, whose words Peter refers to in describing 'the church', is rather explicitly referring to Israel, the 'OT saints', as the 'bride' of God. Almost the whole of Hosea is an extended metaphor of comparing Israel to Hosea's own unfaithful - but eventually restored - wife.

OT saints - bride of God.

NT saints - also the bride of God.

The only difference is that inbetween God has revealed himself through his incarnate form Jesus and so the NT expresses 'bride of God' in terms of 'bride of Christ'. Still the same bride of the same God, though....

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Gamaliel
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The Darwin analogy is flawed. Darwin wasn't setting out to be a Christian theologian.

There's nothing 'pathetic' in holding some reservations about Darby's schema on the grounds that it appears to be a late development. What else did we see emerging in the 19th century? All sorts of Millenialist speculations that fed into the emergence of marginal or heretical groups such as the Adventists, the Mormons and the JWs.

We also saw the development of Holiness teaching from its initial 18th century Wesleyan base and the emergence in the early 1900s of the Pentecostal movement.

Whether we see all or any of that as good, bad or indifferent depends on our perspective and depends on where we stand in terms of our particular tradition or Tradition.

Darby isn't necessarily being dismissed purely because he was writing in the 1830s, he is generally held in some suspicion as something of an outlier and an innovator who set some ways of thinking in train that have had deleterious results.

Of course, some could say the same of Luther or Calvin or people like Wesley.

Or Augustine of Hippo, come to that ...

In terms of the overall consensus across the Christian world as a whole, then Darby is seen is something of a minority voice. Just because some of your favourite theologians think he's the bees knees doesn't mean that everyone else does.

The lateness of his contribution does not, in and of itself, undermine it - but I'd suggest it does cast at least an element of doubt over it. Moreover, as has repeatedly been said on this thread, whilst his schema sets out to tie up apparent loose-ends all it really ends up doing is creating extra ones ...

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
youur statement here characterises the inherent contradiction in your position.
No, it means you don't understand it. The observance of the law for them was a demonstration of faith
That's not at all what you said. You said
quote:
saved by faith as a consequence of being part of the faithful remnant of that time which demanded Mosaic observance
You cannot have faith, in the protestant understanding of justification, that “demands Mosaic observance”. If this were Paul’ s understanding, in Romans 4 he would have used circumcision as an example of precisely that. As it is, he makes it clear that circumcision ("Mosaic observance") has nothing to do with justification:
quote:
10 How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, 12 and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Circumcision is presented as tangential to “the example of faith”.
quote:
Not so. The church is the bride but OT saints are not part of the church so not part of the bride.
If, as you assert earlier,
quote:
There is one path, by grace through faith and all saints past,present or future look back or forwards to the cross as the pivot of the deal
then the “bride of Christ” is all those who belong to him from whatever age.
quote:
Any act of obedience is also an act of faith.
To clarify: Romans 4 quotes Genesis as saying “Abraham believed God, and he credited it unto him as righteousness” to provide support for the argument of justification by faith. This is placed in contrast to circumcision (see the extended quote above), not with circumcision used as an example.

To use an illustration: my children were all born in France and so had French birth certificates. However, through tradition and a sense of national identity, we registered them with the UK consulate and got them UK birth certificates.

To paraphrase Paul in Romans: "What advantage is there in having a UK birth certificate? Much in every way” - not least in being able to get one of the best passports in the world.

But this historic, traditional action, beneficial as it was, had nothing to do with the construction of their identity as citizens of a different country (for which, as it happens, they had to go before a judge and express their desire to be French in their own words).

Circumcision is like the UK birth certificate: useful and culturally significant, but not an integral part of a new, identity - in the present case, that of being part of the people of God, or as Peter puts it, a "holy nation".

quote:
contextually I think it is most likely that the scattered ones are Jewish Christians.
As I am willing to admit may be the case. But if so, they are Jewish by background, not in terms of a different dispensation of salvation. There is nothing in the epistle to suggest such.

(If you think it is directed solely at Jewish believers, then you don't need to take it as authoritative for non-Jewish believers, which is messing with the NT in a big way so far as I can see.)

quote:
Well, to me this is just an excuse not to take Jewish references in the OT seriously as it does not suit the chosen hermeneutic.
It is an uncomfortable fact for both of us that the OT and the NT perspectives on salvation do not fit together as easily as one might wish. The actual disagreement is about how to make sense of this difference.
quote:
Nothing counter to the thrust of the NT is suggested.
Arguing that Paul systematically circumcised believers in the face of his own declarations and arguing in the face of the passage quoted in Ephesians that there are separate groups in the body of Christ looks pretty counter to me.
quote:
BTW what comes first? new or Old?
If you think the NT should be interpreted in the light of the OT and not the other way around you may as well become a proselyte (convert to Judaism).
quote:
No, he deals with the circumcision question as does the church by agreeing Jewish believers keep circumcision
This is nonsense. Once circumcised, how can someone “not keep” circumcision?? The issue under debate in the NT is not how to “uncircumcise” believing Jews but how to deal with uncircumcised non-Jews who become Christians. The answer of the NT is a resounding “no need to circumcise”.
quote:
What I said was that the council distinguished Jewish from gentile believers
No you didn’t, you said, emphasis mine,
quote:
It was decided by the council of Jerusalem in Acts that gentiles need not be circumcised but the Jewish converts however were to undergo it. See Acts 15:19.
It says nothing of the sort. Nobody not already circumcised had to be circumcised. That is all.
quote:
Do you not think the 'This can't be right no one thought of it till the 19th century' argument is a bit pathetic? First, you don't really know that, it is assumed and second, doctrines should stand or fall on their merits, not on the basis of when they might have come to light or not as the case may be.
I think history shows that a healthy suspicion of innovative theology, particularly “pure” theology as opposed to applied, pastoral theology, is a good thing. As to the assumption that it is new, I think the burden of proof is quite clearly on you to prove it’s any older than it is.
quote:
I do not believe in Darwinism. Just for the record
I’m sure you don’t. My point was that the test of whether something has scientific value is an entirely different kettle of fish to the test of whether something is orthodox – in the latter, historical continuity is an important consideration.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Jamat;
quote:
Not so. The church is the bride but OT saints are not part of the church so not part of the bride.
Er - Hmmm....
Yet Hosea, whose words Peter refers to in describing 'the church', is rather explicitly referring to Israel, the 'OT saints', as the 'bride' of God. Almost the whole of Hosea is an extended metaphor of comparing Israel to Hosea's own unfaithful - but eventually restored - wife.

OT saints - bride of God.

NT saints - also the bride of God.

The only difference is that inbetween God has revealed himself through his incarnate form Jesus and so the NT expresses 'bride of God' in terms of 'bride of Christ'. Still the same bride of the same God, though....

Steve, the OT saints are consistently mentioned not as a bride but a wife. When they were in fellowship with God, the prophets refer to the nation of Israel as the wife of Jehovah whereas the church is the bride of Christ. Hosea's whole prophecy is about how Jehovah divorces his wife for unfaithfulness. As I said before Peter refers to the OT saints as the people of God and the church as the people of God but it is NOT that one is the other, just that both groups are in relationship with God and of course there are points of sameness. The way I see this, as I said upthread, is as an analogous though not continuous group.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
Darby isn't necessarily being dismissed purely because he was writing in the 1830s, he is generally held in some suspicion as something of an outlier and an innovator who set some ways of thinking in train that have had deleterious results
Gamaliel, the point is continually made on this thread that the genesis of dispensationalism is recent as though it were a knock down argument. I disagree and so do many others that it is. If you want to look at parallels look at German higher criticism..only around since Bultmann. This is NOT a knock down argument. As we are trying to do here, the ideas need to be tested against the text. Does it say this? Unfortunately we have many different rulers. And this is really a dead horse because it is one hermeneutic against another or in some cases no hermeneutic at all. It is a high stakes argument.
To say there are deleterious results is mere opinion. Not all dispensationalists are frenetic date setters or hillbilly theologians.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
You cannot have faith, in the protestant understanding of justification, that “demands Mosaic observance”. If this were Paul’ s understanding, in Romans 4 he would have used circumcision as an example of precisely that. As it is, he makes it clear that circumcision ("Mosaic observance") has nothing to do with justification:
I am not saying that Mosaic observance or circumcision are anything in themselves. I am saying that IF what God reveals as his will for those people,for that time was OBEYED, then God saw those acts of obedience as 'faith' actions. If done for other motives e.g. to show my neighbour how religious I am, then of course they are of no spriritual worth.
Circumcision is not of course something you can undo but Jewish converts were not all circumcised before conversion. When you say
quote:
Circumcision is presented as tangential to “the example of faith”.and
I agree but it is beside the point here which is about whether Jewish Christian converts were the same to the apostles as Gentile ones. Clearly the basis of salvation IS the same but a Jew did not stop being a Jew when he or she became a Christian.
quote:
then the “bride of Christ” is all those who belong to him from whatever age
This does not follow from what I said which was that the basis of salvation has always been by grace through faith. Please see my reply to Steve above. My understanding is that the Bride is the NT church and the OT believers were the 'wife' of Jehovah. They showed in their day that they believed by obeying as best they could, what Go said to do. This was faith.
quote:
arguing that Paul systematically circumcised believers in the face of his own declarations and arguing in the face of the passage quoted in Ephesians that there are separate groups in the body of Christ looks pretty counter to me
I would just be repeating myself to counter this really but I think Paul shows that he was as far as possible an observant Jew. Why else in the book of Acts would he shave his head and 'purify himself ' so as not to (unsuccessfully) cause a riot? Was he being hypocritical in Acts 21:24? I do not think so. The best way to understand his actions are to see the Jewish convert as still a Jew, but the gentile convert as free from Jewishness while acknowledging his debt to the Jewish covenants.
quote:
I think the burden of proof is quite clearly on you to prove it’s any older than it is
Well, I think that however old it is or not is beside the point of whether it is a valid way to look at scripture.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Gamaliel
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I'm not singling dispensationalism out as the only deleterious kid on the block, Jamat.

But the only positive aspect of it, as far as I can see, is that it can promote respect for the Jewish roots of Christianity and serve as an antidote to the anti-Semitism that has marred the Christian attitude to the Jews over the centuries.

But there are other ways of doing it, without engaging in the hermeneutical gymnastics that are involved in the dispensationalist schema.

I really don't see how dispensationalism 'helps us in any way whatsoever, nor that it is a credible way of approaching scripture.

To be honest, I'm surprised anyone takes it seriously.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I am not saying that Mosaic observance or circumcision are anything in themselves. I am saying that IF what God reveals as his will for those people,for that time was OBEYED, then God saw those acts of obedience as 'faith' actions.

And I am saying that in doing so, you are arguing the opposite way to Paul in Romans 4.

The key question is, as John Piper correctly spotted in Daniel Fuller's class at seminary, as described in the introduction to Gospel & Law: Contrast or Continuum, is whether when the OT says of the Law "the man who does these things shall live by them" it means that obedience to the Mosaic law was a means of justification, or not.

Paul's whole argument, in Romans, Galatians, and elsewhere, is that however good it might be to obey the OT Law, it is neither necessary not sufficient to be justified.
quote:
the point here which is about whether Jewish Christian converts were the same to the apostles as Gentile ones. Clearly the basis of salvation IS the same but a Jew did not stop being a Jew when he or she became a Christian.
If the basis of salvation is the same, then obedience to the Law is a question of tradition and identity and not of justification.

As I said before, while ethnic Jews, converts to Judaism and Gentiles were clearly different in terms of cultural and religious background, and this issue was one the NT church grappled with, the overwhelming conclusion of the NT in general and the book of Acts in particular, especially the council of Jerusalem, is that the basis of salvation was the same for both groups and that any provisions such as refraining from eating strangled sausage were not because they belonged to two different dispensations of salvation but in order not to cause unnecessary offence, just as you would not (hopefully) wander into a Muslim household and fry up some bacon.

quote:
This does not follow from what I said which was that the basis of salvation has always been by grace through faith.
You keep saying that, but at the same time you keep saying things like "ah yes, but the Jewish believers were special, a separate group, and had (have?) to complete "faith actions" like circumcision, and Paul and the council of Jerusalem demonstrate this". They don't.
quote:
My understanding is that the Bride is the NT church and the OT believers were the 'wife' of Jehovah.
Wait, Jehovah has a 'wife' AND Christ has a 'bride' and these are not the same groups of people? [Paranoid]

quote:
think Paul shows that he was as far as possible an observant Jew. Why else in the book of Acts would he shave his head and 'purify himself ' so as not to (unsuccessfully) cause a riot? Was he being hypocritical in Acts 21:24? I do not think so. The best way to understand his actions are to see the Jewish convert as still a Jew, but the gentile convert as free from Jewishness while acknowledging his debt to the Jewish covenants.
I don't disagree with any of the actual words there, but that is a very long way from saying Paul prescribed circumcision for Jews in order for them to perform a "faith action" required of them to be saved since they belonged to the dispensation of salvation for the Jews, which is what you seemed to be saying earler.

In terms of salvation, both the means and the inheritance, the NT sees Jew and Greek as "all one in Christ Jesus" with "one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph 4:4-5).

Paul unequivocally distances himself from circumcision in regard to salvation be it for Jew, proselyte or Gentile. You cannot answer Galatians 5:11
quote:
But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offence of the cross has been removed.
quote:
I think that however old it is or not is beside the point of whether it is a valid way to look at scripture.
And that is a major point on which we differ. I am not part of a historic church but I have come to the conclusion that any "new" theological discovery deserves to be treated with extreme caution.

I hope for at least some people reading the pitfalls of dispensationalism have been made plain.

[ 08. January 2017, 22:04: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Jamat
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I
quote:

But there are other ways of doing it, without engaging in the hermeneutical gymnastics

Well OK, the accusation is continually that I 'impose' a hermeneutic, the lens of dispensationalism. If that is an imposition ON the text rather than an inference FROM the text then show me how and also how any other hermeneutic isn't equally guilty. e.g. The OT saints are really part of the NT church requires quite a degree of gymnastical interpretation. The other question I have is whether the dispensational view is really understood or perhaps is just unacceptable for cultural reasons. So far the questions posed betray superficial knowledge and the general dismissive comments such as 'I'm surprised anyone believes it' are really suggesting,' If you weren't such an ignoramus 'etc. You'd see it our way.
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Gamaliel
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Thing is, Jamat, as I keep saying, however we interpret the scriptures we do so in the context of a particular tradition and through the lenses that tradition uses.

Therefore, I'm not inclined to see an interpretation such as that deployed by Eutychus here as convoluted in any way. Why not? Because I've essentially bought into a similar hermeneutic as he had and rejected the one you are using.

By the same token, the hermeneutic I'm using looks convoluted to you because you've bought into yours too and now see it as a more 'natural' way of reading scripture.

I'm suggesting that there's nothing 'natural' about either. Both of us are wearing spectacles. The only choice we have are what lenses we decide to have fitted into the frames.

I'm sorry if I patronised you, though. I don't think dispensationalists are 'ignoramuses' but I do see dispensationalism as an outlier in terms of the broad thrust of the 'grand tradition' which encompasses all the historic Churches and those in the newer or less historic churches who aren't as influenced by Darby or Schofield.

Sure, it is easy to portray dispensationalists as hill-billies. The ones I've known certainly haven't been stupid, but I do think they are overly literal in their approach as well as overly inclined to fillet things into neat, cut and dried packages.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gamaliel
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Also, I don't think anyone has claimed that the OT saints are part of the NT church so much as the Church consists of all believers past, present and future - and that from the perspective of eternity all the redeemed are one in Christ Jesus.

In temporal terms you have the Old and New Covenants but Paul's argument in Romans is that it's always been by grace through faith - from Abraham onwards.

Of course, Paul in a sense had to argue along those lines in order to explain what was happening with the Gentiles coming to faith as well as the original Jewish believers in Christ.

However we cut it, there is no longer any particular categories/distinction along ethnic or any other grounds when it comes to soteriology.

That's the point.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
Steve, the OT saints are consistently mentioned not as a bride but a wife.
Sorta true; but bride and wife are in many ways interchangeable and I'm rather with Eutychus in thinking that for Jesus to have a bride and Jehovah to have a wife but for them to be different groups of people is getting a bit weird.

Also note Rev 21; 9 where an angel comes to John and says
quote:
"I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife"
And as if to emphasise how symbolic Revelation's images are, what he shows is not a woman but "Jerusalem the holy city"!

And we're back to Darby and Co; I'm not sure I'd regard them as outright 'heretics', but mistaken about something quite important and affecting an enormous amount of Scripture interpretation, yes.

And the thing is, much of 'dispensationalism' and particularly this 'need' to distinguish 'Israel' from 'the Church' depends on that key idea about history going on for years between the Rapture and Jesus' supposed further return 'with the Church' to kickstart the Millennium. If Darby got that wrong - which in turn means if Irving previously made a mistake in interpreting how we are supposed to be expectant about the Second Coming - then all that elaborate scheme becomes simply irrelevant.

And I can't find the Irving/Darby scheme in Scripture as such, and quite a bit that questions it; while I can find the quite well recorded history of how their interpretative scheme developed, which seems to clearly show a mistake made then, and previously unheard of in all of church history.

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Gamaliel
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D'you know what? Steve Langton has expressed this far better than I could have done.

I'm in complete agreement with him on all the points he's raised in his latest post.

I don't regard Darby & Co as outright 'heretics' either, simply misguided in the way they applied and interpreted certain passages of scripture.

I don't find the Darby/Schofield schema in scripture either. I can see how scripture could be interpreted that way, but only if you start to introduce artificial divisions and take an overly literal approach to Revelation and other Apocalyptic writings.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Maybe somebody can help me out here. What on earth is "circumcizing Jewish converts" supposed to mean? If they were Jewish and male, they were already circumcized.

I've been wondering about this also.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.

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Steve Langton
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I am guessing a bit here but suspect that the idea would be that the children of Jewish converts might continue to be circumcised, while neither adult nor child Gentile converts would be.

Most likely any such practice would die away as Jewish and Gentile Christians increasingly integrated, unless as in the one recorded case in Acts, it was convenient in missionary terms. But over time I think even that would be less necessary, as the implications sunk in that "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile".

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Maybe somebody can help me out here. What on earth is "circumcizing Jewish converts" supposed to mean? If they were Jewish and male, they were already circumcized.

I've been wondering about this also.

Moo

Possibly, circumcision was neglected. E.g. When Canaan conquered, Joshua had a mass circumcision. I do not know but guess that not all Jewish converts to Christianity were circumcised before they were converted.
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Jamat
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quote:
..only if you start to introduce artificial divisions and take an overly literal approach to Revelation and other Apocalyptic writings.
So, what would you call an artificial division? One principle is this one brought up by Steve of parentheses or seeing a verse like Luke 4:18 where Jesus quotes a verse but incompletely.

The spirit of the Lord is upon me
Because he has anointed me
To preach good news to the captive
And recovery of sight to the blind
To free those who are downtrodden
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord

Jesus then sits down without completing the last line from Is 61:1

And the day of vengeance of our God.

As a dispensationalist, I infer that this is deliberate and that there is a hiatus between the part that he fulfilled in his first coming and the part he will fulfill in his second. Jesus did not come in judgement..yet.

The whole church era lies between the first part and the last part of that verse. In that sense, the church is a parenthesis.

[ 09. January 2017, 17:49: Message edited by: Jamat ]

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Eutychus
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In that example the hiatus is very clearly and deliberately introduced by Jesus.

That is very different from using an extra-biblical hermeneutic to decide that part of a verse or passage applies to such and such a dispensation and another part applies to another. As a rule of thumb, the fewer external divisions applied to a text, the better, in terms of respecting the actual text itself. Even some of the chapter and verse divisions are unhelpful.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I
quote:

But there are other ways of doing it, without engaging in the hermeneutical gymnastics

Well OK, the accusation is continually that I 'impose' a hermeneutic, the lens of dispensationalism. If that is an imposition ON the text rather than an inference FROM the text then show me how and also how any other hermeneutic isn't equally guilty. e.g. The OT saints are really part of the NT church requires quite a degree of gymnastical interpretation. The other question I have is whether the dispensational view is really understood or perhaps is just unacceptable for cultural reasons. So far the questions posed betray superficial knowledge and the general dismissive comments such as 'I'm surprised anyone believes it' are really suggesting,' If you weren't such an ignoramus 'etc. You'd see it our way.
Jamat

The onus is on you.

It is obvious that textS spanning 700 years of culture alone in forensic, historical documents reflect the massive cultural changes over that period and vast area. The attested documents actually cover a greater documentary period covering at least 1100 years, easily 1300. The oral traditions and archaeological sources (stelae, clay tablets) cover 2000 years. Actually, add another zero to that for the oral. In an area as large and diverse - far more so - as Europe since the time of Christ.

To read the mind of God from two millennia of culture over millions of square miles with empires rising and falling, whole peoples arising and disappearing or migrating or being invaded, conquered, uprooted, absorbed, influenced is the reading of entrails.

[ 09. January 2017, 17:54: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Steve Langton
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Yes, Jamat.

Now is a time of mercy offered, yet with eventual judgement. What is not remotely proved by either the Isaiah text or its use in Luke is that at the end of the 'Church Age/Dispensation' there will be this strange hiatus of a 'Rapture of the Church' followed by several further years of history in Tribulation etc before that day of judgement. And if the Second Coming, when the Church is 'caught up/raptured' to meet Jesus is also the end, the occasion of the day of judgement as well, then that 'Church Age' is not a mere 'parenthesis' in something else, but the main story, culminating in that Day.

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Yes, Jamat.

Now is a time of mercy offered, yet with eventual judgement. What is not remotely proved by either the Isaiah text or its use in Luke is that at the end of the 'Church Age/Dispensation' there will be this strange hiatus of a 'Rapture of the Church' followed by several further years of history in Tribulation etc before that day of judgement. And if the Second Coming, when the Church is 'caught up/raptured' to meet Jesus is also the end, the occasion of the day of judgement as well, then that 'Church Age' is not a mere 'parenthesis' in something else, but the main story, culminating in that Day.

I was illustrating that the parenthesis idea can be inferred but returning to the pre trib rapture, it is not divorced from a pretty complete systematic theology. Darby' first principle was to eliminate replacement theology. IOW where Israel is referred to, the HS meant Israel, NOT the church. Thus in Dan 9, the 70 weeks is determined for Daniel's people, obviously the Jews, to bring current history to an end and bring in the kingdom age. Now if as someone, I forget who, has suggested, the 70 sevens are continuous from the time of the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus that the city of Jerusalem should be rebuilt, which happened in Nehemiah's time, then the prophecy is false for where is the kingdom?

Steve, you stated above you see no division of subject between 1 Thes 4:15-17 and 1 Thes 5 1-4 despite the clear Peri de contrastive. Please explain how you can ignore this obvious division, and then say airily that you do not see it in the scripture when AFAICS it is staring you in the face. You see, I see the rapture clearly divided from the Day of the Lord here,which as I said above, always signifies the day of wrath which is th Day of vengeance indicated in Is 61 and partially quoted by Jesus in Luke 4.

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Gamaliel
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To be frank, I think you have already given some examples of the sort of thing I mean, Jamat - such as distinguishing between the 'wife of Jehovah' in the OT, as it were, and the 'Bride of Christ' in the NT.

If nothing else, this appears to be introducing unnecessary distinctions and complications.

I'm sure you are right that not all dispensationalists are hill-billy pop-eschatologists, but I can't really see the point of dispensationalism other than, as I've said, to develop a more positive attitude towards the Jews than Christians have had down the centuries ...

And as we can develop that without necessarily being dispensationalists, then even that aspect seems redundant.

All dispensationalism seems to do, as far as I can make out, is lead to endless speculation and poring over Apocalyptic texts in an effort to apply them to whatever seems to be happening at the time - and if there's no immediate 'fit' then it's all consigned to the dim and distant.

It also leads to overly literal interpretations of the variety that used to make me roll my eyes even as a very young believer whenever I visited the Gospel Hall.

I'm not saying that I was smarter than they were as a 19 and 20 year old, but even I could see they were applying some kind of preset schema they'd picked up somewhere and were using a theological shoe-horn to get it all to 'fit'.

The Ugly Sisters and Cinderella's glass slipper springs to mind ...

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Jamat
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quote:
the reading of entrails
Sorry Martin, as I do not share your view of the scripture as merely cultural, and taking what it says seriously is to me decidedly not the reading of entrails, then there is no way we can connect on this topic. Hope 2017 is kind to you and yours.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
using an extra-biblical hermeneutic
Eutychus, this accusation is false. You and others have thus far stated few ideas to support it. You have said dispensationalism began in the 19 century. Well yes, but the scriptures are vastly older and we are focusing on what they say. You have said that the way it connects scripture to scripture is forced because in your view, one should connect the easily understood parts to the more difficult parts..your opinion only and what parts are in fact easy to understand?You and Steve have said distinctions such as bride/wife do not count though you do not deny they are in the text. You have also indicated that apocalyptic writings are to be put in a category of their own which is tantamount to dismissing them for practical purposes. You appear to deny distinctions that are clearly in the scripture between ethnic Israel and the church though You may confirm or deny this. Steve and possibly yourself conflates all aspects of the second coming as one event when in several scriptures from OT and NT, there are contradictions in the accounts that you dismiss but dispensationalism answers, particularly in Matt 24 where there is a Peri de in verse 36, after which the description of the days of Noah contrast markedly with the coming described up to that point where obviously there is turmoil on the earth. The days of Noah, though are much more like our own. We marry,do business and ignore the warnings. I deny any false hermeneutic.
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Gamaliel
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So what's the big distinction between 'bride' and 'wife' and what's the point of blowing such a minor distinction - which is purely a semantic one - out of all proportion?

Also, why insist on interpreting apocalyptic literature in a literal and linear way when it's pretty clear that this isn't how that kind of writing works?

I'm not suggesting that John didn't have visions, but it's pretty obvious he's using tropes and symbols familiar to an audience steeped in the OT scriptures?

Why interpret the Letters to the Seven Churches as seasons or epochs in church history when there is nothing, I repeat nothing, NADA, zilch in the text to suggest that we are to understand them in that way.

Sure, we all make hermeneutical leaps at times but as far as hermeneutical leaps go, the latter is pretty far-fetched, to say nothing of introducing all manner of distinctions and false dichotomy es in order to shoe-horn the scriptures into some kind of articial and unnecessary framework.

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Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
Steve, you stated above you see no division of subject between 1 Thes 4:15-17 and 1 Thes 5 1-4 despite the clear Peri de contrastive.
Yes, 'peri de' is a contrastive, a 'but...'; a change of subject - but what is it contrasting, how much of a change of subject is it?

Paul spends the end of I Thess 4 discussing a point that has been concerning the Thessalonians, that is "When Jesus returns, what about those who have already died? Will they 'miss out', be disadvantaged compared to those still alive at that time?"

No, says Paul, when the Lord returns first those dead will be raised, then we still alive (which in the event did not mean any of those Thessalonian readers) will be caught up together with them to meet the Lord. So comfort yourselves - about the fate of those already dead - with these words....

'Peri de' doesn't introduce a "But now about a different event several years later (which if raptured you won't be on earth to await)...."

It is simply "Having cleared up that concern, what about the issue of 'When will this happen?'" And you already know the key fact about that, he says - it will come 'like a thief in the night', that is unexpectedly (it certainly won't be secret when it comes!!). The world will be shocked and surprised by it - but you won't be, if you 'keep awake and be sober'.

In some ways, for what you're discussing the key verse is v4

quote:
"But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief".
It could hardly be clearer that Paul is talking about an event that his readers possibly may, and those believers alive at the time - perhaps us - will see. If this "day of the Lord" occurs during the lifetime of the Thessalonian readers, they will see it - as people still living on earth - and not be surprised by the event like the pagan neighbours. They will not have been raptured before 'the day of the Lord', they'll still be around....

That, I submit, is the natural reading - to think otherwise you need to have concluded for other reasons that it is talking about two separate contrasted events. On the natural reading of the passage, Paul's 'BUT concerning' is contrasting "Here's the answer to your query about 'those who are asleep/dead' when Jesus returns" with a different issue about the same event "But as for the time this will happen...."

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
the reading of entrails
Sorry Martin, as I do not share your view of the scripture as merely cultural, and taking what it says seriously is to me decidedly not the reading of entrails, then there is no way we can connect on this topic. Hope 2017 is kind to you and yours.
Thanks Jamat and may you and yours receive what you wish for others.

One can seriously read entrails. But it's utterly subjective. My use of entrails is allegorical for the pre-rational allegorical and anagogical methods that you use. I could never doubt your seriousness just as you couldn't mine.

Scripture can't be anything else other than cultural, an artefact of our yearning to the light that yearns back, that we cannot see or feel.

What else can scripture be? Distilled from I don't know how many cultures from four million square miles and far beyond for one thousand, two thousand, six thousand, eleven thousand, eighteen thousand, forty thousand, four hundred thousand years?

[ 09. January 2017, 23:39: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Jamat
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[/QUOTE] ?.That, I submit, is the natural reading - to think otherwise you need to have concluded for other reasons that it is talking about two separate contrasted events. On the natural reading of the passage, Paul's 'BUT concerning' is contrasting "Here's the answer to your query about 'those who are asleep/dead' when Jesus returns" with a different issue about the same event "But as for the time this will happen [QUOTE]

Sorry Steve, but I don't agree with your assumption that the events under discussion have not changed is the natural reading. Admittedly, the distinction is not clear in English but Fruchtenbaum who does know Greek, expounds the view I have indicated. I.e. That the question of fear of death is dealt with in 1 Thes 4: 15-17 and then the quite separate issue of times and seasons,) not the same issue at all as to how the dead in Christ will rise first,) is separately discussed in 1 Thes 5.
Thank you for your PM. Fair comment and duly noted.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
using an extra-biblical hermeneutic
Eutychus, this accusation is false.
If in Luke Jesus quotes the "Spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me" section of Isaiah and stops half way through the passage, that break in the quotation is undeniably biblical; it's in the text. You don't have to "infer" it, or decide that some Greek link phrase means a complete change of subject and time; it's there.

(Granted, we have all inferred something about why it's there, but there is no dispute about its being there.)

By contrast, choosing to assign different bits of a single passage to different historical events or dispensations when there is no internal indication in the text for the need to do so is to impose an extra-biblical hermeneutic rather than attempt to allow the text to speak for itself as much as possible.

We all agree 'peri de' in 1 Thes 5 marks a change of subject, but there is nothing but a preconceived hermeneutic to suggest that this change of subject introduces a different time or a different dispensation.

Similarly, even if several aspects suggest Peter might have written his first epistle with Jewish believers in mind (just as the Gospels appear to target different audiences), there is nothing in the text to suggest their Jewishness made a difference to his theological message.

To suggest its content can be discounted because it applies only to Jewish believers is to make a hermeneutic assumption that is imposed on the text rather than emerging from it.

You accuse me of wanting to discount Revelation (which I don't) but you appear to be ready to discount the entire theological content of 1 Peter on the assumption it is directed solely at Jewish believers (assuming you are not one).

quote:
the scriptures are vastly older and we are focusing on what they say.
You are not focusing on what they say when you assert that the council of Jerusalem ordered Jewish believers to be circumcised, or when you assert that Paul routinely circumcised Jewish believers.

You have neither acknowledged what I have quoted from Scripture in regard to these two points, nor provided any alternative explanation, nor withdrawn your demonstrably unfounded assertions.

To that extent I think the charge of "extra-biblical" is warranted.

quote:
You have said that the way it connects scripture to scripture is forced because in your view, one should connect the easily understood parts to the more difficult parts.
No, I said that attempting to understand the harder parts in the light of the easier parts made more sense than the other way around.

Granted this approach is "extra-biblical" since it is grounded in common sense rather than a Bible verse, but I freely admit and acknowledge that, instead of trying to assign my hermeneutic the moral high ground by pretending it's "clearly biblical" at points when it's not.

You (or perhaps more tellingly the dispensational theologians you read) don't appear to admit to any extra-biblical hermeneutic at all, and that is precisely what is dangerous and potentially self-deceptive in your approach.

Of course we may differ as to what exactly is "easy" and "hard" but I think there is a broad consensus that it's easier to understand precisely what is going on in, say, the Gospels and the Epistles than in Revelation or the Prophets, in much the same way as understanding the news is more straightforward than understanding an indie movie.
quote:
You and Steve have said distinctions such as bride/wife do not count
Nobody's said they don't "count". What we have done is cast doubts on the plausibility of a hermeneutic that supposes Christ has a bride consisting of one group of believers, Jehovah has a wife consisting of another group of believers, and still more believers belong to some unspecified third category (the guests?) in view of, amongst other things, the repeated, easy-to-understand, addressed-to-Jew-and-Gentile repetitions of "one" ("one faith, one body", etc.) to be found in Ephesians.

(Again, you have chosen simply to ignore the extensive quotes from this "one-body-Jew-and-Gentile" epistle.)
quote:
You have also indicated that apocalyptic writings are to be put in a category of their own which is tantamount to dismissing them for practical purposes.
No, I've indicated that it makes sense to read the text in view of the style it's written in. I love watching indie movies full of allegory and uncertain interpretations and I frequently find them to be highly instructive for practical purposes in terms of understanding, say, human relations; but I don't mistake them for watching the news.
quote:
You appear to deny distinctions that are clearly in the scripture between ethnic Israel and the church though You may confirm or deny this.
No, I've repeatedly said and admitted that there is a clear tension (or at the least, lack of perfect clarity) between the Bible's understanding of salvation in the OT and the NT, and about the relationship between ethnic Israel, OT believers both Jewish and non-Jewish, and the NT church.

Despite innumerable objections to and inconsistencies in your argument raised on this thread, you contend this is all perfectly straightforward to understand and "goes to bed nicely"; you won't admit to any areas of doubt or uncertaintly.

Essentially, the question boils down to whether the basis of salvation and the Gospel is 1) a continuum, with at the end of the day a single body of believers, the "bride"/"city" we see in Revelation, or 2) divided into different dispensations.

If there's a seamless way of resolving this tension, I haven't found it, but I find the disadvantages of 2) far outweigh any merits it has, and that the advantages of 1) far outweigh the difficulties it presents.

quote:
Peri de
I can't do any better than Steve in trying to explain to you why your argument is inadequate in this respect.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Jamat
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@Eutychus
quote:
By contrast, choosing to assign different bits of a single passage to different historical events or dispensations when there is no internal indication in the text for the need to do so is to impose an extra-biblical hermeneutic
I do not know what you mean here by imposing so maybe you could give an eg of how you see dispensationalists doing this?
quote:
you are not focusing on what they say when you assert that the council of Jerusalem ordered Jewish believers to be circumcised
This is not what I recall saying. The point as I recall was that two separate groups of Christians were distinguished by the apostles. I do think it is pretty clear over a variety of texts, that being one, that Jewish believers in Christ were still seen as Jews and of course circumcision was the dividing line. It was the sign of the Abrahamic covenant.
quote:
you appear to be ready to discount the entire theological content of 1 Peter on the assumption it is directed solely at Jews
No, I did NOT say solely, I said primarily.
quote:
you (or perhaps more tellingly the dispensational theologians you read) don't appear to admit to any extra-biblical hermeneutic at all, and that is precisely what is dangerous and potentially self-deceptive in your approach
Again, not the case at all. We all have a back story. Perhaps it would be interesting for you to research the topic more fully rather than pre judge it so completely. I think the only claim they would make would be that they begin with the scripture rather than the back story and of course they are pretty well all inerrantists and literal readers.
quote:
but I think there is a broad consensus that it's easier to understand precisely what is going on in, say, the Gospels and the Epistles than in Revelation or the Prophets
A broad consensus of who exactly? Remember that the epistles are partly distillations derived from the prophets etc by the great theologian Paul. I do not know your background of course but there are lots and lots of groups whose consensus would not be my particular bag.
quote:
what we have done is cast doubts on the plausibility of a hermeneutic that supposes Christ has a bride consisting of one group of believers, Jehovah has a wife consisting of another group of believers, and still more believers belong to some unspecified third category (the guests?) in view of, amongst other things, the repeated, easy-to-understand, addressed-to-Jew-and-Gentile repetitions of "one" ("one faith, one body", etc.) to be found in Ephesians
It is ironic that the accusation of an unbiblical hermeneutic is made while all of these things are quite evident in the scripture and my suspicion is you just want to minimise what you do not wish to deal with by calling it minor. Ask any wife if she is a bride or vice versa. And in Ephesians, the middle wall of partition simply includes gentiles, it doesn't eliminate Jews. Certainly, one faith,one body refers to the church but it does not follow to say Jewish and gentile believers are the same in every respect more logical to agree with the apostles at the council of Jerusalem I would have thought.
quote:
I've repeatedly said and admitted that there is a clear tension (or at the least, lack of perfect clarity) between the Bible's understanding of salvation in the OT and the NT, and about the relationship between ethnic Israel, OT believers both Jewish and non-Jewish, and the NT church
Well then, let's consider Hebrews for a moment. God was not well pleased with the wilderness generation because in them the word was not mixed with faith. ISTM that it is pretty clear that they, like us required faith to be justified i.e. The basis of salvation was essentially the same. e.g. Heb 3:19 they did not enter because of unbelief.
quote:
in spite of innumerable objections to and inconsistencies in your argument raised on this thread, you contend this is all perfectly straightforward to understand and "goes to bed nicely"; you won't admit to any areas of doubt or uncertaintly
This is gross exaggeration. You are perhaps implying here that your superior thinking should have convinced an intelligent person by now? Perhaps you are correct and the rapture will never come. I'm betting it does and hope Neither of us around to find out. In any case I have certainly appreciated the discussion but it seems to be at a natural end.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Martin60
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The bride is the wife is the church is the body of Christ is the household, family, house, temple, kingdom, Israel, field, olive tree, flock, vine, vineyard of God.

[ 10. January 2017, 09:00: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I do not know what you mean here by imposing so maybe you could give an eg of how you see dispensationalists doing this?

An example of you doing it is when you insist that the "peri de" in 1 Thes 5:1 must refer to a temporally different occasion post-rapture when all it means lingustically is a change in the subject.
quote:
quote:
you assert that the council of Jerusalem ordered Jewish believers to be circumcised
This is not what I recall saying.
Let me refresh your memory:
quote:
It was decided by the council of Jerusalem in Acts that gentiles need not be circumcised but the Jewish converts however were to undergo it.
Either supply chapter and verse for that ridiculous statement or retract it. Don't pretend you never made it.
quote:
The point as I recall was that two separate groups of Christians were distinguished by the apostles
There is no question about that, as witnessed to by the dispute in Acts 6 over the distribution of food to Jews and Gentiles.

But it is a huge leap from recognising that there were two ethnic groups with the resulting tensions one can imagine to alleging that the apostles distinguished between them in terms of their salvation or inheritance of faith.
quote:
I do think it is pretty clear over a variety of texts, that being one, that Jewish believers in Christ were still seen as Jews and of course circumcision was the dividing line. It was the sign of the Abrahamic covenant.
Being a Jew ethnically and in terms of identity was marked by circumcision (for the men...), yes, and yes circumcision was a covenant instituted by God with Abraham, but nowhere in the NT is there any suggestion that this covenant has any value with regard to salvation, including as a matter of "faith obedience" reserved for Jewish believers, as you contend.

It simply isn't there, and what is there argues to the contrary - for instance Romans 4:10-12, as noted here (Romans 4 is another passage you have strenuously avoided commenting on).
quote:
you appear to be ready to discount the entire theological content of 1 Peter on the assumption it is directed solely at Jews
quote:
No, I did NOT say solely, I said primarily.
I concede you used the word "primarly", but that use is rather qualified or even contradicted by statements such as
quote:
the epistle of Peter is specifically directed those who reside as aliens throughout Pontus, Capadocia,Asia, Galatia and Bithynia. IOW to Jewish Christians not gentile church members.
and that when Peter addresses his general greeting in 1 P 1 to the "elect" you assert that
quote:
elect is used here to distinguish believing from unbelieving Jews.
all with the purpose of arguing that the notions of "chosen priesthood" and "holy nation" evoked in 1 Peter explicitly do not apply to the Church but to believing Jews.

All of the above are further blatant examples of imposing the hermeneutic on the text.
quote:
I think the only claim they would make would be that they begin with the scripture rather than the back story and of course they are pretty well all inerrantists and literal readers.
This is what is so disingenuous. Of course people claim to begin with the Scripture, but I have put explicit Bible verses under your nose that completely contradict what you claim the Bible says, and you cannot explain them.

I think a lot of people who pride themselves on being inerrantists and literal readers actually don't read what the Bible actually says, and that this is self-deception.

I don't criticise their aspiration to have a high view of Scripture, since I have such a view, but their intellectual dishonesty when they don't actually interact with it and pretend otherwise.
quote:
quote:
but I think there is a broad consensus that it's easier to understand precisely what is going on in, say, the Gospels and the Epistles than in Revelation or the Prophets
A broad consensus of who exactly? Remember that the epistles are partly distillations derived from the prophets etc by the great theologian Paul. I do not know your background of course but there are lots and lots of groups whose consensus would not be my particular bag.
Are you seriously suggesting that you find Revelation easier to understand than the Gospels or Acts? Yes or no?
quote:
It is ironic that the accusation of an unbiblical hermeneutic is made while all of these things are quite evident in the scripture
I have learned to distrust any hermeneutic containing words like "quite evident" and "clearly".

I have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the council of Jerusalem did not enjoin circumcision on anyone and that Paul did not systematically circumcise any believers, despite which you implicitly continue to hold the opposite view.

quote:
and my suspicion is you just want to minimise what you do not wish to deal with by calling it minor.
Of course I do, at least to some extent! That's what we're all doing here!

The question is how honestly and on what grounds.

In interpreting Scripture we all make value judgements about what is major and what is minor. Hermeneutical debate involves discussing the validity of those choices.

Again, what concerns me is your apparent inability to see that you are engaged in precisely the same process (albeit with different conclusions). Thinking your hermeneutic is definitive is in my view a sure-fire way to go astray.

"Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." Or perhaps you think that's of minor importance, or just applies to Corinthians? [Biased]

quote:
Ask any wife if she is a bride or vice versa.
I just did and she says she was a bride on her wedding day. "Bride" refers to an occasion, "wife" to a social position. There is absolutely no reason why the two descriptors should not apply to one and the same person.

quote:
And in Ephesians, the middle wall of partition simply includes gentiles, it doesn't eliminate Jews. Certainly, one faith,one body refers to the church but it does not follow to say Jewish and gentile believers are the same in every respect
Once again, conceding they are not the same in terms of background is very different from asserting that they have a different inheritance or belong to a different body of believers.
quote:
more logical to agree with the apostles at the council of Jerusalem I would have thought.
I do. The council of Jerusalem says precisely nothing about different inheritances or people being parts of different categories of believer.

It sets out accommodations, at this early stage of the conversion of Gentiles, to enable those with differing cultural expectations not to offend each other. That is all.
quote:
quote:
you contend this is all perfectly straightforward to understand and "goes to bed nicely"; you won't admit to any areas of doubt or uncertaintly
This is gross exaggeration.
I have exaggerated to the extent that I missed out the word "quite" from your statement here, which incidentally gives the flavour of how convoluted your explanations are:
quote:
Why then is to juxtapose say 1Thes 1,2 with Matt 24 so bad when discussing eschatology? I have seen Matt 24 seen in the light of Dan 9 and Revelation when discussing the tribulation where the 4th beast of Daniel is linked to the Antichrist power who puts the Abomination of Desolation in the Holy place. That beast is seen as the same antiChrist power who is seen in Revelation. It all goes to bed quite nicely.
quote:
You are perhaps implying here that your superior thinking should have convinced an intelligent person by now? Perhaps you are correct and the rapture will never come.
I have never said "the rapture will never come". What I am disputing is a two-stage parousia.

[ 10. January 2017, 09:16: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Gamaliel
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Inerrantists or literalists no more start with the scriptures rather than a back-story than anyone else does.

How can they?

It's physically impossible.

That'd be like saying that if I go into a shop this afternoon I can do so without being consciously or subconsciously cognisant of all previous occasions when I've entered a shop. I know what's expected of the shop staff and of myself in such a setting. I can't pick up a packet of sweeties and walk out with it without paying and claim ignorance of the retail protocols ...

Ok, daft example, but it's the same when we approach the scriptures. An inerrantist or literal approach is just a set of lenses as any other.

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Martin60
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A hermeneutic that does not use Occam's razor, that uses ignorance to create arbitrary complexity, is intellectually inferior. All conservatism does this, let alone fundamentalism.

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Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
This is not what I recall saying. The point as I recall was that two separate groups of Christians were distinguished by the apostles. I do think it is pretty clear over a variety of texts, that being one, that Jewish believers in Christ were still seen as Jews and of course circumcision was the dividing line. It was the sign of the Abrahamic covenant.
As ever, context is everything....

The 'Council of Jerusalem' was the Apostles dealing with the tensions created by admitting Gentiles to the Church. It doesn't necessarily represent a ruling forever, but a period of transition. Some Jewish Christians were saying in effect that to become a Christian you had first to become a Jew, be circumcised and accept all the 'kosher' dietary and similar laws. On the Gentile side total disregard of such rules was creating discomfort for Jewish Christians.

The Council ruling is that Gentiles need not be circumcised to belong to Christ's body/people. But that Gentiles at least for the time being should respect some minimal parts of the Jewish rules in the interests of getting along together. The council is not suggesting that in any ultimate sense Jewish and Gentile Christians are different before God. "In Christ" there is no Jew and Gentile.

This is not particularly relevant to the case of those who are continuing to be Jewish, having rejected Jesus as Messiah. As far as I can tell, the position there is that such Jews, being disobedient to God, have effectively put themselves outside the Abrahamic covenant until such time as they return to obedience by accepting Jesus as King/Messiah.

An understanding God is being as generous as possible with such faithless Jews, not as covenant obligation upon God but as undeserved grace.

Ultimately it does appear that near 'the end' there will highly probably be a situation where at least the vast majority of the Jews are converted to faith in Jesus. Our different prophetic schemes deal with this in different ways.

In the scheme I broadly follow, if we've understood rightly and that event is prophesied, it will happen before Jesus returns. And it joins the appearing of 'the man of lawlessness' as a reason to think that the end is not yet - though no reason for complacency.

In the scheme derived from Irving and Darby, it is considered that we 'must' expect the Second Coming/Rapture on an 'any minute now' basis, in which case of course there is not time for the prophecy to be fulfilled first, and it's necessary to somehow find a 'future history' in which there is time for it.

In order to create that space for that fulfilment to happen after the Rapture, Darby and his followers came up with this idea of a 'split' or 'two-stage' return of Jesus with some years - 'the Tribulation' - intervening between the 'Rapture' removing the Church and a later 'Day of the Lord' when Jesus returns with the Church to deal with everybody else.

I've yet to find any trace in Church history of such a belief before the early 19th Century, and I conclude that it is an innovation by the Irving/Darby school; I also find when examining Scripture that it appears to be an unwarranted innovation based on a misunderstanding of what it means to be expectant of the Second Coming.

Once that misunderstanding has been made, and elaborated over a century or so, it becomes hard to unravel especially for those brought up in circles where it is strongly believed and 'taken for granted'.

by Jamat;
quote:
Perhaps you are correct and the rapture will never come.
I think, and I suspect Eutychus will confirm it, that those of us who are opposing you do not believe that "the rapture will never come". On the contrary, I think we are also expecting that moment when, if still living we are 'caught up' to meet Christ. or if we have 'fallen asleep' first we are raised to join him.

Our argument is with a particular interpretation of where that event fits in and in particular whether it is 'the end' of regular earthly history or whether there is this strange period when the church has been removed but 'life goes on' for everyone else for several years more. We find the Scripture fairly clear that the Second Coming is a single event and is the end.

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Martin60
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Jamat's inability to keep it simple like the rest of us stupids is compounded by the complexity of the hypnagogic state of Revelation using the dream tropes of Daniel and Ezekiel in particular, all the major prophets in fact and the minor prophets like Zechariah in conflict with rationality. Throw in Jesus', the gospel writers' and Paul's contributions and it's messy to start with let alone if it all has to be all literally all true. In Jamat's narrative the dream state has the upper hand as it does as one loses rationality to sleep or hypnopompically at the beginning of waking. How many resurrections are described in Revelation? How many deaths? How many events are there in the end times? How many end times are there? Can an end of times last thousands of years?

It is easy to read a time series in to the seven churches of Asia minor. The Waldensians did it a over eight hundred years ago. They identified themselves as Thyatira. They still do. This stuff is immensely beguiling and very hard to let go of. Believe me.

How literal is any of it and how unfulfilled? When will Jesus stand on the Mount of Olives for it to split in two and cascade with vast rivers of water?

Which conservatives, not just complete wooden literalists, don't believe this?

Like God in reality - in which there is no trace apart from the theoretical, binary possibility that infinite reality from eternity is tracelessly in God, dependent on Him thinking it - none of this apocalyptic necessarily has to be realised for Jesus to save.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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That's interesting, I didn't know that about the Waldensians.

Everyone I've come across who has identified 'epochs' in the Seven Letters to the Churches tend to assume that we are in the Laodicean 'age' for reasons best known to themselves. At least identifying oneself with Thyatira shows some originality ...

I disagree that the text of the Seven Letters 'invite' themselves to be read and interpreted that way. It never occurred to me to see them as some kind of sequential break-down of impending ages of church history until I came across people who interpreted that way. There's nothing in the text that suggests that they should be interpreted that way.

If we are going to lay claim to taking a plain and literal approach to the interpretation of scripture we'd better be consistent about it ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Steve Langton
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Just for information the broadly 'parallelist' interpretation I favour would not see the 'Letters to the Seven Churches' as representing consecutive ages of Church history, but rather as typical of states different churches can be in simultaneously throughout that history.
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Everyone I've come across who has identified 'epochs' in the Seven Letters to the Churches tend to assume that we are in the Laodicean 'age' for reasons best known to themselves.

I always heard the Brethren assembly where I grew up referred to as Philadelphia, because (caricaturing only very very slightly here)

a) "Philadelphia" means "city of brothery [i.e. brethrenly] love", QED.

b) While all other churches are corrupt (Laodicea) we are the faithful remnant

c) As faithful Philadelphians we, exceptionally among the seven churches have nothing to be criticised about by the Lord

d) Since everyone else is Laodicean this means Jesus will be coming back for his faithful remnant ANY TIME NOW (and quite possibly before the end of this meeting, tremble tremble)

e) This is an adequate reason for not having guitars or the far too advanced Sounds of Living Waters or anything else contemporary, because it is ipso facto Laodicean.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
That's interesting, I didn't know that about the Waldensians.

Everyone I've come across who has identified 'epochs' in the Seven Letters to the Churches tend to assume that we are in the Laodicean 'age' for reasons best known to themselves. At least identifying oneself with Thyatira shows some originality ...

My cult was all of them, in time sequence and at the time we imploded we were Philadelphia. I'm obviously now lukewarm Laodicean.
quote:

I disagree that the text of the Seven Letters 'invite' themselves to be read and interpreted that way. It never occurred to me to see them as some kind of sequential break-down of impending ages of church history until I came across people who interpreted that way. There's nothing in the text that suggests that they should be interpreted that way.

Ohhhhhh yes they do! It took TIME to write them in that sequence, it takes TIME to read them in that sequence and OBVIOUSLY those specific, literal churches had the type characteristics that the eras would have.
quote:

If we are going to lay claim to taking a plain and literal approach to the interpretation of scripture we'd better be consistent about it ...

Consistently plainly literally allegorical!

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Love wins

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Jamat
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quote:
An example of you doing it is when you insist that the "peri de" in 1 Thes 5:1 must refer to a temporally different occasion post-rapture when all it means lingustically is a change in the subject
Nothing imposed in the text here. It IS a change of subject.ie the rapture was discussed and now..NOW..the 'Day of the Lord' ie judgement day is discussed. It is a new subject. Peri de is also used in 1Cor7:1,8:1,12,1 and vitally,Matt 24:36. Please stop denying the bleeding obvious.
quote:
supply chapter and verse for that ridiculous statement or retract it. Don't pretend you never made it.i
This is about circumcision. Fruchtenbaum states in his book 'Israelology, the missing link in systematic theology'
"..Paul, who taught the gentiles not to circumcise,did not do so with the Jews. This is clear from Acts 21:17-26 and Acts16:1-3 when he had Timothy circumcised. It was not circumcision per se that was ruled out but rather circumcision on the basis of mosaic law. Since Jewish believers still fall under the physical and spiritual provisions of the Abrahamic covenant, they also fall under the rule of circumcision as a sign and seal of the same covenant." P641.

Incidentally Eutychus, you may disagree with him of course but you need to curb the rhetoric as it is dishonest. There is scriptural support of the view I expressed and I reiterate that in the previous post my point was that there were separate categories of Christian under discussion by the Apostles,Jew and Gentile.
quote:
..it sets out accommodations, at this early stage of the conversion of Gentiles, to enable those with differing cultural expectations not to offend each other. That is all
Well it is NOT all. As you can see above, there is a contrary view that others hold.
quote:
Thinking your hermeneutic is definitive is in my view a sure-fire way to go astray.
Well, everyone thinks this. You do and so do all the scholars of various stripes; Par for the course I would have thought.
quote:
Once again, conceding they are not the same in terms of background is very different from asserting that they have a different inheritance or belong to a different body of believers
And once again you exaggerate probably because you don't understand that the issue is not so much a different body of believers but a separate category within the SAME body of believers.
quote:
.. how convoluted your explanations are
At least this statement acknowledges there is an attempt to explain rather than the contemptuous dismissal of 'you have ignored my innumerable persuasive arguments' which frankly, Mate is bullshit. But really, it's not just me who has a literal hermeneutic. It is the nature of the dispensational beast.
quote:
...but I have put explicit Bible verses under your nose that completely contradict what you claim the Bible says, and you cannot explain them
No you have not. You simply do not agree with the explanations. If you are referring to Ephesians, I think you misunderstand the middle wall of partition. You think that it implies there are now no differences at all between Jew and ggentile believers. It does not.
quote:
What I am disputing is a two-stage parousia
And I think you are wrong. Perhaps that is a good stopping point.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Martin60
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Not all thinking is equal.

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Love wins

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Not all thinking is equal.

Very true. BTW hypnagogic? I am in awe.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat
It is ironic that the accusation of an unbiblical hermeneutic is made while all of these things are quite evident in the scripture and my suspicion is you just want to minimise what you do not wish to deal with by calling it minor.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus
This is what is so disingenuous. Of course people claim to begin with the Scripture, but I have put explicit Bible verses under your nose that completely contradict what you claim the Bible says, and you cannot explain them.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin 60
A hermeneutic that does not use Occam's razor, that uses ignorance to create arbitrary complexity, is intellectually inferior. All conservatism does this, let alone fundamentalism.

quote:
Originally posted by Jamat
And I think you are wrong. Perhaps that is a good stopping point.

Host hat on

These posts are close to being C3 or C5 violations. They are not quite over the line, but they're close.

I am not closing this thread, but I agree with Jamat that this is a good stopping point.

Host hat off

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Eutychus
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[I started composing this long post before Moo had posted]

quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Nothing imposed in the text here. It IS a change of subject (...) It is a new subject (...)Please stop denying the bleeding obvious.

quote:
Originally posted by me, immediately prior:
all it means lingustically is a change in the subject


I don't think I'm getting my point across [Roll Eyes]

It is indeed "bleeding obvious" that peri de introduces a change of subject.

What is by no means "bleeding obvious" is that it introduces a change of time. It means "now then", not "next", in the chronological sense of something happening subsequently.

(If you ask me about, say, a cassowary, I may go on for some time about its height, plumage, crest, why the French army officers of St Cyr wear a cassowary feather on their dress uniforms, and so on, and then continue "now, Jamat, about [peri de] their beaks...".

That does not mean the beak arrives some time after what I was talking about immediately beforehand. It marks a change of immediate subject, but not a chronological next step).

That is what you are imposing on the text.

quote:
Also originally posted by me:
please supply chapter and verse for that ridiculous statement or retract it. Don't pretend you never made it.

To refresh your memory, again, the statement was, emphasis mine:
quote:
It was decided by the council of Jerusalem in Acts that gentiles need not be circumcised but the Jewish converts however were to undergo it.
That contradicts what the account of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts to the point of being, well, thoroughly extra-biblical I would suggest.

Instead of retracting or suppling chapter and verse, you go on to give a long quote from Fruchtenbaum that doesn't even refer to that passage.

This to my mind is a prime example of placing one's hermeneutic before the biblical text. You answer a direct challenge about a biblical text with a quote from your favourite author!

quote:
in the previous post my point was that there were separate categories of Christian under discussion by the Apostles,Jew and Gentile.
The term "category" is too ambiguous to be of any use in resolving this difference.

My position is that there were separate categories in terms of background and culture, but that you have failed to offer any convincing proof that there are separate categories of Jew and Gentile as far as different outworkings of faith, the need to obey various different covenants, and different inheritances at the eschaton are concerned - all of which you have previously alleged.

This in the face of statements such as that made by Peter of the Gentiles, at the Council of Jerusalem no less, in Acts 15:9
quote:
in cleansing their hearts by faith [God] has made no distinction between them and us
quote:
quote:
Once again, conceding they are not the same in terms of background is very different from asserting that they have a different inheritance or belong to a different body of believers
And once again you exaggerate probably because you don't understand that the issue is not so much a different body of believers but a separate category within the SAME body of believers.
Where is the exaggeration on my part, here? You deny Jewish believers, post-rapture believers and OT saints are part of the bride of Christ / the city of God*. By asserting different categories of believer exist (in terms of covenant requirements and inheritance) you are in direct contradiction to what Peter says in Acts 15 as quoted.

The Council of Jerusalem was a major step towards removing categories, not in upholding them. If you want to argue otherwise you are going to have to do so verse by verse, not by quoting your favourite authors.
quote:
it's not just me who has a literal hermeneutic.
How can you claim to have a literal hermeneutic when you answer challenges about specific Bible passages with quotes from authors that don't even mention the passage, instead of responding to what the text actually says?
quote:
quote:
...but I have put explicit Bible verses under your nose that completely contradict what you claim the Bible says, and you cannot explain them
No you have not. You simply do not agree with the explanations.
Show me where you have explained Galatians 5:11
quote:
why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offence of the cross has been removed.
in the light of your assertion that Paul seemed for instance to circumcise Jewish converts as though Timothy, exceptional enough to be mentioned, was a typical example of his practice.

==

*Further to our discussion of images of the body of Christ, it has been pointed out to me that Revelation 1:6 says Christ
quote:
made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father
I presume you don't think this is referring only to believing Jews?

[ 10. January 2017, 22:15: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:

Ultimately it does appear that near 'the end' there will highly probably be a situation where at least the vast majority of the Jews are converted to faith in Jesus. Our different prophetic schemes deal with this in different ways.

In the scheme I broadly follow, if we've understood rightly and that event is prophesied, it will happen before Jesus returns. And it joins the appearing of 'the man of lawlessness' as a reason to think that the end is not yet - though no reason for complacency.

In the scheme derived from Irving and Darby, it is considered that we 'must' expect the Second Coming/Rapture on an 'any minute now' basis, in which case of course there is not time for the prophecy to be fulfilled first, and it's necessary to somehow find a 'future history' in which there is time for it.

In order to create that space for that fulfilment to happen after the Rapture, Darby and his followers came up with this idea of a 'split' or 'two-stage' return of Jesus with some years - 'the Tribulation' - intervening between the 'Rapture' removing the Church and a later 'Day of the Lord' when Jesus returns with the Church to deal with everybody else.

I've yet to find any trace in Church history of such a belief before the early 19th Century, and I conclude that it is an innovation by the Irving/Darby school; I also find when examining Scripture that it appears to be an unwarranted innovation based on a misunderstanding of what it means to be expectant of the Second Coming.

Yes I think your summation is fair Steve. But why did they split the rapture from the second coming proper? We have pretty explicit reasons to live in expectancy of the Lord's coming. If we have to expect the antichrist first, that confuses things. We are not exactly motivated by that. As I keep saying here if you look at a panoply of the scriptures in the NT that refer to his coming,you see some contradictory scenarios. If you link these with the prophetic kingdom promises, and consider these in the light of Jesus and Paul's pronouncements, then if you are both an inerrantist and a literalist then you can't dismiss any of it so you start trying to make the jigsaw fit and this is what I think they did.

Regarding history, Theological thinking is dominated by Origen and Augustine and later Jerome who tended to spiritualise things, and given the dominance and grip of the Catholics in the medieval world then all theology was pretty well locked up by them for centuries. Luther had other fish to fry and eschatology was not, as I understand it, on the radar of most of the reformers. Consequently, it is not surprising that we see little attempt to deal with these ideas. History shows us Science took off in the 17th Century so why not theology in the 19th?

If you look at Acts 2, Matt 24,1Cor 15, 1thes 4,5, John 14, Luke 21, and of course, Revelation and look at them against the background of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Joel etc, you see quite a few ideas about a future resolution of earthly affairs brought together in a Kingdom reign.

Regarding the point at issue here, we have a lot of issues with conflating rapture and second coming. Obviously we do not know the timing and are told very specifically that we cannot predict the day or hour.

But of what?

Zech12:10 suggests he will come when the Jewish remnant repent en masse on behalf of their nation for their national rejection of messiah at his first coming. This suggests we can predict this coming and Armageddon.

Therefore, why the injunction vs date setting?

Well, argue Darby, Chafer, Walvoord, Fruchtenbaum,Missler,Ironside, Anderson et al, what we cannot predict and what is imminent in the sense that God alone can do it when he chooses, is the RAPTURE. If you look at the NT references like John 14. 1Cor15:51, IThes 4, and the second part of Matt 24, then they are consistent with Christ coming for the elect separate from his coming in judgement to sort out the antichrist.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
it marks a change of immediate subject, but not a chronological next
Well perhaps but perhaps not, the content of what is being contrasted is not dictated by the contrastive is it. The subject is time here because Paul specifically mentions times and epochs.
quote:
contradicts what the account of the Council of Jerusalem in Acts to the point of being, well, thoroughly extra-biblical I would suggest.

well as stated before not all would say so. Regarding the council of Jerusalem, I think that their verdict was to accept the gentiles without imposing Jewish rules but not,to free Jewish converts from these. Fruchtenbaum sees it that way.
quote:
The Council of Jerusalem was a major step towards removing categories, not in upholding them. If you want to argue otherwise you are going to have to do so verse by verse, not by quoting your favourite authors
I agree but the council did both AFAICS. (Remove in terms of salvation and barriers to fellowship but uphold in terms of ethnicity.) I am not sure why this is such an issue for you. For some reason you seem set on removing all markers of difference when scripture actually uses them..bride,wife,wedding guest Jew, gentile. FWIW I have no issue at all with the overall unity of the church. However, you can not establish that OT saints were part of a church that did not exist till Acts 2.
quote:
Show me where you have explained Galatians 5:11
you are correct. I did not comment on this. It is pretty obvious though that the circumcision here is to do Paul refuting the Judaizers who wanted to start circumcising gentiles. It has no relevance to our discussion as we both agree Paul did not see gentiles as needing to keep this OR other aspects of the Mosaic law.
quote:
Rev 1:6?
No, certainly not just Jews as the obvious context here is the churches who are probably pretty multi-ethnic by the time John wrote this.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat
It is ironic that the accusation of an unbiblical hermeneutic is made while all of these things are quite evident in the scripture and my suspicion is you just want to minimise what you do not wish to deal with by calling it minor.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus
This is what is so disingenuous. Of course people claim to begin with the Scripture, but I have put explicit Bible verses under your nose that completely contradict what you claim the Bible says, and you cannot explain them.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin 60
A hermeneutic that does not use Occam's razor, that uses ignorance to create arbitrary complexity, is intellectually inferior. All conservatism does this, let alone fundamentalism.

quote:
Originally posted by Jamat
And I think you are wrong. Perhaps that is a good stopping point.

Host hat on

These posts are close to being C3 or C5 violations. They are not quite over the line, but they're close.

I am not closing this thread, but I agree with Jamat that this is a good stopping point.

Host hat off

Moo

Fair comment and noted.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
The subject is time here because Paul specifically mentions times and epochs.

Yes but as you concede, that does not mean that those times and epochs have to happen after what has gone before. That is a hermeneutical choice that is not dictated by the text itself.
quote:
well as stated before not all would say so. Regarding the council of Jerusalem, I think that their verdict was to accept the gentiles without imposing Jewish rules but not,to free Jewish converts from these.
It does not take a position either way on freeing Jewish converts from Jewish rules, I would suggest for the following two reasons:

1. The presenting issue in the Council of Jerusalem, and the one that recurs throughout the epistles, is circumcision (Acts 15:1):
quote:
Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.’
Quite simply, "freeing" anyone from circumcision once performed was not an option, so it's hardly surprising it wasn't discussed.

2. The matter which the Council of Jerusalem attempted to settle was the extent to which uncircumcised Gentiles should be required to obey Jewish law, not whether Jews were required to continue to obey it. It is quite simply silent on the latter.
quote:
the council did both AFAICS. (Remove in terms of salvation and barriers to fellowship but uphold in terms of ethnicity.)
Where do you see the council upholding ethnic barriers? Do you think these should still be upheld?
quote:
I am not sure why this is such an issue for you.
Firstly, because it suggests God is interested in upholding ethnic barriers and that by extension, so should we be.

As I see it this runs counter to the arguments put forward at the Council of Jerusalem, the emphasis on the oneness of the people of God developed in the epistles, and the end-time vision of a people of "every nation tribe and tongue" all worshipping the Lamb together and on the same basis.

Secondly, because for you this barrier is materialised by different inheritances (you believe the inheritance of the Jews is a physical Land) and different outworkings of justification by faith (with Jews required to obey the Mosaic covenant by virtue of being Jewish). You similarly see different inheritances and outworkings of justification by faith for those saved (in your scheme of things) after the return of Christ.

These to me seem to be so far removed from orthodoxy as to be worth being bothered about.

quote:
For some reason you seem set on removing all markers of difference when scripture actually uses them..bride,wife,wedding guest Jew, gentile.
All but the last two are images, not literal descriptors. If I say your glasses are cool that does not mean they have to be at a low temperature, and if I also say they look sweet that does not mean I am referring to a different pair of glasses just because I have changed the descriptor.

As to Jew and Gentile, Galatians 3 says, in the context of faith, its inheritance and its outcomes:
quote:
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith (...) 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
Obviously all of those "categories" are distinct and still exist, but the idea that they or any other category are today distinct from any theological or eschatalogical point of view runs counter to what the NT says.

quote:
FWIW I have no issue at all with the overall unity of the church. However, you can not establish that OT saints were part of a church that did not exist till Acts 2.
Of course people who died before Pentecost were not the members of any body of believers meeting thereafter, with the benefit of the full revelation of the person and work of Christ, the outpouring of the Spirit, and the apostles' ensuing attempts to organise their gatherings in the light of this new knowledge and experience.

But when the NT talks about the Church in the universal sense it is talking about the body of believers from all time, variously referred to as a "bride", a "city", a "kingdom" and a "priesthood" (as you now admit, if not from 1 Peter then at least from Revelation), and it seems to me that this body is made up of all believers of all time.

That is where the story ends up in Revelation, with praise from one crowd from every nation tribe and tongue and one city coming down out of Heaven in triumph after Babylon, with all its confusion, division (cf Babel), oppression, injustice, and exploitation, has fallen.

Would you have an eschatology without that prospect? By preserving different categories of believer, that is what dispensationalism offers.

Hebrews 12:22-24 says:
quote:
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly* of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
I admit to not looking right now, but I'm willing to bet that asterisked "assembly" is the Greek ekklesia - church.
quote:
quote:
Show me where you have explained Galatians 5:11
you are correct. I did not comment on this. It is pretty obvious though that the circumcision here is to do Paul refuting the Judaizers who wanted to start circumcising gentiles. It has no relevance to our discussion as we both agree Paul did not see gentiles as needing to keep this OR other aspects of the Mosaic law.
It's relevant in that 1) you implied heavily that Paul routinely continued to circumcise Jewish believers, 2) you said, and continue to imply, that the Council of Jerusalem ordered the same thing.

This is vital to your contention that Jew and Gentile should remain ethnically separate, because dispensationalism maintains they are separate categories of believer, but your assertion is not borne out by these passages.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Steve Langton
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# 17601

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Back, I fear, to I Thessalonians....

The subject at the end of chapter 4 is not 'the rapture' as distinct from a separate event which Paul then goes on to discuss in chapter 5.

The subject at the end of chapter 4 is a particular issue about the rapture, which presumably had arisen in the Thessalonian context, namely
quote:
"What about people who have died before the rapture? Will they miss out?"
Presumably some of the Thessalonian Christians had died and this had rendered the issue urgent to them, bearing in mind that at that stage they likely wouldn't have had as full knowledge as we with the whole NT available. Paul, remember, had been forced to leave Thessalonica somewhat precipitately, probably leaving many things not fully explained.

Having dealt with that issue about the rapture, Paul then goes on to say "But as to the times and seasons....", that is, "But as to when the rapture will happen...."

Yes, he now refers to the event as 'the day of the Lord' - but there is NO reason in the text to think that is a different event to the rapture he has talked of in the previous chapter. He doesn't actually name the event in chapter 4 at all; he doesn't need to.

What is rather clear is that Paul expects the Thessalonians will see 'the Day of the Lord' - that is particularly clear in 5; 4

quote:
But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief
If the 'Rapture followed by seven years Tribulation' idea were true, Paul wouldn't be speaking in such terms, because in that scheme by the time 'the Day of the Lord' happens, the Thessalonians will not be surprised for a different reason, because they will already have been raptured and on the day of the Lord they will see it as those returning with Jesus.

And Paul, AFAICT from the rest of his writings, is not the kind of person to fail to explain that. If he meant "You won't be surprised because you will have been raptured to be with the Lord years earlier", he would have said so.

"But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you", only makes sense if the Thessalonians would not have been raptured earlier, they will (if it happens in their time) still be on earth to see it and potentially be surprised by it.

V10 supplies further indirect confirmation

quote:
"(Jesus) died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him"
The reference to "whether we wake or sleep" refers back to chapter 4 with its concern about those who fall asleep/die before Jesus returns, and thus ties ch4 together with ch5 as talking about the same event. The contrastive 'peri de' is not about a separate event, but simply about different aspects of the same event.

And note that if ch4 and ch5 are about the same event, it takes more than a bit of stretching to then insert that seven years of tribulation after 'the day of the Lord', because 5;3 says
quote:
then sudden destruction will come upon them, ... and there will be no escape"
There is no 'after' this 'Day of the Lord' for the unbelieving; and if as I Thess actually says that is the same event as the day that Christians are 'caught up/raptured' to be with the Lord, there can be no period of 'Tribulation' etc.

And if no period of Tribulation after the rapture/day of the Lord, then the church which is raptured is a united church in which there is no Jew and Gentile, and all this discussion as if there are separate destinies is simply irrelevant.

There won't be Jews on earth after the Rapture to be somehow separately converted in a separate 'dispensation' or according to a separate covenant, because there won't be that period for that to happen. Nor will there be 'Tribulation believers' as depicted in the 'Left Behind' books; because they won't be 'left behind' for years - as unbelievers, the same day that sees believers 'raptured' also sees unbelievers face 'sudden destruction' with 'no escape'.

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