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Source: (consider it) Thread: Unto Us a Child is Born
Gramps49
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9 [a]Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan –

2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

(Isaiah 9:1-8)

This is quite often considered a Messianic prophecy. Early Christian theologians easily thought this was referring to the Christ. How many of us have heard this in Handel's Messiah?

However, I think we should look at a more contemporary leader of Isaiah that Isaiah was putting his hope on. Hezekiah was the king during Isaiah's early ministry. Hezekiah was known as a man of righteousness. He was king when the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem was lifted. Hezekiah had fortified Jerusalem and diverted the waters of springs outside of Jerusalem into the city. He prohibited the veneration of veneration of other deities in the temple of Yahweh. The downfall of Hezekiah was that he entered into an alliance with the Babylonians

On the other hand, he may have been referring to Josiah who became the King when he was 8 years old, just as the Assyrian empire was crumbling. Josiah ruled for 31 years He is also called a righteous king. During his reign, the Hebrew Bible started to be compiled. Worship was centralized in Jerusalem and the temple at Bethel was destroyed. He also sought to wipe out pagan cults in Judah.

Of the two possible kings, I prefer Josiah, since Isaiah says "unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given."

Another key point is the titles Isaiah gave to the king. We usually read them as "Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.", four titles. Yet the Hebrew seems to allow for five titles: Wonder(ful); Counselor: Mighty God; Everlasting Father; Prince of Peace. This is in line with many of the titles the kings of neighboring countries would claim.

So, what say you? Is Isaiah referring to Hezekiah, or Josiah or some future messianic king?

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Golden Key
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Possibly all of them?

The way the Bible is put together, whether you chalk that up to dictation by God; humans trying to make sense of both life and folklore; humans seeing patterns, and wanting to make them plain, or something else, has echoes, bounces, themes and variations, calls and responses. Kind of like a very well-constructed symphony.

So a mention of Elijah could also refer to John the Baptist. A mention of a child-bearing virgin could refer to Jesus, or another faith's/culture's similar story (e.g., Osiris) that the Children of Israel picked up in their travels, or both, or neither. Etc.

I don't know the truth of it. But, personally, I don't have a problem with it being about Mary and Jesus.

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Gramps49
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While I would agree that the Isaiah passage has been picked up on at the intertestamental time and also the time when the Gospels were written--after all the Jewish people were looking for a new light to come into their dark world, I think Isaiah was looking at a specific king.

There were a couple of things that were happening at the time Isaiah spoke. First, King Ahaz was getting old. He had fathered not children. He had two brothers waiting in the wings for him to die. People were afraid that if Ahaz died Judah would be plunged into a civil war.

On top of that, the Northern Kingdom had been conquered and plundered by Assyria. Assyria was threatening Judah.

And then Ahaz fathers a child--Hezekiah which was a cause of relief and celebration.

Now Isaiah may have been speaking specifically about Hezekiah. During Hezekiah's reign the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem was suddenly lifted--the Bible says it was because an angel of the Lord went through the camp, but likely because of some rapidly spreading disease.

Note the prophet breaks out into song that the sandals of war and the bloody garments are being burned.

The problem I have with this view is that Hezekiah eventually loses favor with Isaiah.

Note the next line: unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given.

I think it could very well speak to Josiah who became king at eight years old. The Assyrian empire was crumbling and Judah was in relative peace during his reign.

I do not think Isaiah had any inkling that 600 plus years after his death a child would be born which would be called the Prince of Peace. Granted, someone saw the pattern, but it came by looking backward, not by Isaiah looking forward.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Possibly all of them?

The way the Bible is put together, whether you chalk that up to dictation by God; humans trying to make sense of both life and folklore; humans seeing patterns, and wanting to make them plain, or something else, has echoes, bounces, themes and variations, calls and responses. Kind of like a very well-constructed symphony.

So a mention of Elijah could also refer to John the Baptist. A mention of a child-bearing virgin could refer to Jesus, or another faith's/culture's similar story (e.g., Osiris) that the Children of Israel picked up in their travels, or both, or neither. Etc.

I don't know the truth of it. But, personally, I don't have a problem with it being about Mary and Jesus.

Agreed. This is particularly true of Isaiah's messianic prophesies, which I prefer to refer to as "foreshadowing" rather than prophesy (although that has something to do with our extra-biblical cultural connotations to the word "prophesy")

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Another key point is the titles Isaiah gave to the king. We usually read them as "Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.", four titles. Yet the Hebrew seems to allow for five titles: Wonder(ful); Counselor: Mighty God; Everlasting Father; Prince of Peace. This is in line with many of the titles the kings of neighboring countries would claim.

"We usually read the" - speak for yourself! I think many of us would read them as 5 distinct titles. The good Mr Handel seems to have done so, as the phrase is broken into 5 distinct sections. As so often, Handel shows just how well he knew his Bible.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Martin60
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It was ignorantly, innocently arrogated by the NT writers. How could it not be? There is no prophecy, no foreshadowing except by chance as in any other long cultural narrative.

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Love wins

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It was ignorantly, innocently arrogated by the NT writers. How could it not be? There is no prophecy, no foreshadowing except by chance as in any other long cultural narrative.

What definition of "prophecy" are you using here, Martin?

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Martin60
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The one where God reveals the future. That one.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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I like Handel's version of this very much. I sing it to myself regularly.

Re the prophecy part, do we really need it? Or is this merely a reflection of a need to show an ancient pedigree for a new religion because Romans liked such things.

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\_(ツ)_/

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The one where God reveals the future. That one.

OK Martin - I suspected that might be the case.

A person who does that is a seer, not a prophet. Which is not to discount the role of being a seer from prophecy entirely, though it does make it a very different sort of thing. (Which may also be a partial response to NP)

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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BroJames
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I would say (subject to a clear exception being identified) that every prophecy will first and foremost be relevant to its own time and location. So the primary meaning of the prophecy outlined in the OP must be to events and circumstances in its own time.

Subsequently in the light of the coming of Christ, New Testament writers looked back and saw a greater fulfilment of the prophecy in the cosmically significant event of the incarnation.

That greater fulfilment was not (or at least not necessarily) seen by the original person who made the prophesy. Some have argued that it was a meaning intended by God to be seen in the light of the events of the incarnation.

Some interpreters are happy to make a distinction between what did Isaiah mean by this, and what greater meaning can we now see in these same words - a meaning intended by God.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The one where God reveals the future. That one.

OK Martin - I suspected that might be the case.

A person who does that is a seer, not a prophet. Which is not to discount the role of being a seer from prophecy entirely, though it does make it a very different sort of thing. (Which may also be a partial response to NP)

OK Honest Ron, that's a singular understanding that nobody else has. Unless you have a reference?

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
I would say (subject to a clear exception being identified) that every prophecy will first and foremost be relevant to its own time and location. So the primary meaning of the prophecy outlined in the OP must be to events and circumstances in its own time.

Subsequently in the light of the coming of Christ, New Testament writers looked back and saw a greater fulfilment of the prophecy in the cosmically significant event of the incarnation.

That greater fulfilment was not (or at least not necessarily) seen by the original person who made the prophesy. Some have argued that it was a meaning intended by God to be seen in the light of the events of the incarnation.

Some interpreters are happy to make a distinction between what did Isaiah mean by this, and what greater meaning can we now see in these same words - a meaning intended by God.

It's a meaning we interpolate. We make up. Including the meaning that God had an intended meaning.

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Love wins

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
<snip>It's a meaning we interpolate. We make up. Including the meaning that God had an intended meaning.

…which is as much an unprovable statement as its opposite.
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Martin60
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Not at all. The onus on the one making a fantastical claim.

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Martin60
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Prophecy:

'Understood in its strict sense, it means the foreknowledge of future events' Catholic Encyclopedia

'Prophecy involves a process in which one or more messages are allegedly communicated by a god. Such messages typically involve inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of divine will concerning the prophet's social world and events to come' Wiki

'prediction of the future under the influence of divine guidance' Collins

'A prediction of what will happen in the future.' Oxford

'a statement that says what is going to happen in the future' Cambridge

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Not at all. The onus on the one making a fantastical claim.

I’m not sure which statement is more fantastical: that individual humans can apprehend the divine will and announce it to others (which is more or less what “prophecy” means in the OT/Jewish understanding), or that individual humans cannot apprehend the divine will and announce it to others.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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How frightfully Wildean.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Martin60 wrote:
quote:
OK Honest Ron, that's a singular understanding that nobody else has. Unless you have a reference?
Hardly. The underlying word is "navi" which means spokesman. Spokesman for God that is, though there are other prophets such as Aaron. Prophets frequently address issues of social justice on which Israel has fallen far short, such as the introduction to Isaiah. The future component is frequently of the nature of "carry on this way and there will be trouble - details to follow".

Prophecy also involves examining the way God's purposes are unfolding, and extending the implications of that to the future. Look for example at Psalm 72. It's about Solomon, but is strongly messianic and looks forward to the age to come, which is seen through the lens of what is prayed will be Solomon's qualities.

The point is that prophecy is not some sort of holy fortune-telling act. Prophecy is rooted in an understanding of God's purposes. From that point it can move forward, and future consequences may well start to figure at this point.

Yes, of course the dictionary will record the sort of Gypsy Rose Lee understanding. That's not the point. Anyway, here's some reading for you (since you asked) from Prof. Felix Just S.J.
What is biblical prophecy?

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
How frightfully Wildean.

An observation that does nothing to relieve you of the onus of backing up your pronouncements.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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Nice one Honest Ron. Very clever how you segued from prophecy to prophet and therefore seer. Which all blur as the excellent article said.

Couldn't agree more.

The OP is predicated on the fact that Isaiah 9:1-8 was not a prophecy in any sense, except propaganda that turned out right in the case of Josiah (winners write history, or 'fulfilled prophecy') that was later arrogated by Jesus according to 'Matthew'.

And Nick, I don't have to back up a pronouncement of logic do I? That would be a tautology. Rationality is rationality. The rest is faith. In between is something else.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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The thing is, Martin, you haven’t made a pronouncement of logic. You’ve made a pronouncement of irrefutable opinion.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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How? Where? It's not a matter of even minimally informed opinion that any supernatural agency is required. Nothing in Isaiah or Matthew. Show me.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:
Yes, of course the dictionary will record the sort of Gypsy Rose Lee understanding.

Somehow this didn't sink in when I read it yesterday. I assume you've never seen "Gypsy." Gypsy Rose Lee was a striptease artist, not a fortune teller. [Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
How? Where? It's not a matter of even minimally informed opinion that any supernatural agency is required. Nothing in Isaiah or Matthew. Show me.

Who said anything about supernatural agency being required? No one did, as far as I can tell, including you.

Your statements were:
quote:
It was ignorantly, innocently arrogated by the NT writers. How could it not be? There is no prophecy, no foreshadowing except by chance as in any other long cultural narrative.
quote:
It's a meaning we interpolate. We make up. Including the meaning that God had an intended meaning.
You didn't say supernatural agency is not required. You said any idea that God had an intended meaning in the writings of the prophets is a human, made-up, false construct. That's an opinion which so far has not been supported.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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Nick. Thanks. I mean it. We'll get there. It doesn't have to be supported. The implicit claim does. There is NOTHING in the text, the historical artefacts, documents, that indicates anything other than human social evolution. One can invoke that the Holy Spirit is yearning away, pulling us ineffably, undemonstrably in that direction. The OT is full of spine-tingling resonance of that for me. As I said elsewhere yesterday I'm now deist except for in, for Jesus. And even He made stuff up. As a man would.

In all of our unexamined meta-narratives we make stuff up. We interpolate and extrapolate meaning that otherwise does not exist. All the time. We are a rhetorical (only a third logical on a good day) species looking for meaning (ethos in the pathos to the logos) when there isn't any. Which is fine.

There is no smoking gun of Jesus in the OT. To interpolate, make up, God intending meaning to, coded in, our meanderings is apophenia. Finding patterns that aren't there. Confirmation bias. It's human. That's why Jesus did it. And He was RIGHT. He happened to be right. Regardless.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Nick Tamen wrote:
quote:
Somehow this didn't sink in when I read it yesterday. I assume you've never seen "Gypsy." Gypsy Rose Lee was a striptease artist, not a fortune teller. [Big Grin]

Oops! A mildly entertaining mistake there! I meant Fairground Gypsy Fortune Teller of course.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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BroJames
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Nonetheless, Martin60, in understanding the writers of the New Testament, it is important to recognise that they show every sign of being theists rather than deists. The idea that Isaiah’s words might have a meaning going beyond what he himself understood is well within the compass of their worldview. We can argue about whether their worldview was right or not, but that doesn’t help us much in undrstanding their intentions, only in considering how we respond to their writings.
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Martin60
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Aye BroJames, they couldn't be anything else. Which explains why they made stuff up the way they did. In good faith. Their intentions; they seem clear.

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Nick Tamen

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But still, Martin, your assertion that they “made it all up” is just as much an assertion of belief or faith as an assertion that they correctly perceived the will or word of God in the writings of the prophets. Both depend on assumptions about the nature of the divine and about divine revelation, and neither can be proven.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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So God inspired them to see things in thousand year old writings, give or take, that aren't there? Why and how would He do that? We just don't know I'm sure... But it's 50:50 that He did? Because it can be proposed in a binary combination?

Like all of us, they believed first and twisted all random reality through that lens. Are we saying that Shakespeare or Lewis Carroll are prophets because we use their expressions all the time when they seem apposite or they've become part of the language?

God inspired their belief by incontrovertibly walking about in front of them doing miracles and interpreting their holy writ in a way that isn't true for the rationally enculturated.

Don't worry, I know you can't possibly change your epistemology and magical thinking and are quite capable of defending it rhetorically here till Hell warms up.

It's necessary for you, but it isn't transferable, it isn't evangelical here. He is for sure. But all the derivative upon derivative stuff, stories, doctrines in and around Him isn't. None of it.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Don't worry, I know you can't possibly change your epistemology and magical thinking and are quite capable of defending it rhetorically here till Hell warms up.

[brick wall]

You have no idea whether I can change my epistemology or my “magical thinking” because you don’t know what my epistemology or my thinking are. All I have said is that the position you’re putting forward is as unprovable as the position you’re rejecting. You’re arguing against your own assumptions.

That my simple assertion prompts such assumptions on your part suggests to me that your response has more to do with your own biases and your own wrestling with what you were once taught and less to do with what I or others have actually said.

quote:
It's necessary for you, but it isn't transferable, it isn't evangelical here. He is for sure. But all the derivative upon derivative stuff, stories, doctrines in and around Him isn't. None of it.
I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. But to be honest, I don’t much care anymore. Sorry.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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Nick, I don't have to disprove magical thinking, the fallacious attribution of causal relationships between actions and events. I don't have to disprove cognitive bias referring to the systematic pattern of deviation from the norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. That's what's going on where a claim is being made that there is anything prophesied in the OT which came to pass. Anything. Anything that can be validated by rational means.

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Love wins

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Nick, I don't have to disprove magical thinking, the fallacious attribution of causal relationships between actions and events. I don't have to disprove cognitive bias referring to the systematic pattern of deviation from the norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. That's what's going on where a claim is being made that there is anything prophesied in the OT which came to pass. Anything. Anything that can be validated by rational means.

But you beg the question. You appear to have assumed and certainly not demonstrated that the attribution of causation in this case is fallacious; you appear to have assumed rather than demonstrated that cognitive bias in this case is the determining factor; and your antepenultimate sentence asserts rather than demonstrates an opinion about the nature of Old Testament prophecy as well as, in my view, a misunderstanding about the way the NT sees it being fulfilled in Christ.

Then you simply assert that your interlocutors are indulging in “magical thinking” without being clear either about which of the two distinct usages you are intending or advancing a shred of evidence for the usage. It thus amounts to little more than a bare dismissal of their views without having to attempt rational argument. Finally you dismiss rational argument as a means of moving towards truth, which seems to me to leave no means of engaging with your posts, since it suggests that you are not engaging in rational argument.

I find it hard to see how that is a useful contribution to a discussion on a boards whose premise is a recognition
quote:
that God reveals His truth in the Bible…
or a positive contribution to
quote:
invigorating discussion of Biblical passages
I don’t dismiss the questions you raise, but I don’t think it helps either a discussion of those questions to raise them here in the way you have, nor (IMO) does it make a contribution to a discussion of the questions raised in the OP here.
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Martin60
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Happy to rewind BroJames.

My position is deist plus Jesus. That in and around Jesus, God was definitely theist. He intervened. If and where and how else He did I haven't the faintest idea. Neither has anyone else. Apart from in yearning at us. I don't subscribe at all to '...God reveals His truth in the Bible…' except in Jesus. How could I? That's an open question. On what basis could I? Should I?

If one looks for proof of any prophecy being an accurate foretelling of the future, one finds absolutely none. None can be dated prior to the events which they accurately if colourfully describe. The 'prophecies' of Daniel for example. So they aren't prophecies except in the sense of telling forth, not foretelling, in the genre form of apocalyptic mainly. I'd love them to be, they even purport to be, claim to be internally. I used to believe all of them and more for decades. Now, how can I? I would if I could. I long too. But I can't. It's intellectually impossible.

It is claimed above, I believe, that even though Isaiah 9 is entirely explicable by proto-Isaiah's historical context that God intended it to be used by Jesus and His followers to validate Him. Is that correct? Even if that were so, and we have no way of knowing God's intent in that regard and if and how He intervened to bring it about in Isaiah, it cannot validate Him for me. He does. He validates Himself. Nothing else comes within a country mile.

Do I need to rewind again?

Tell me what I need to address. Which first point.

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Love wins

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BroJames
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FWIW I agree that we no longer have the information to tell whether the biblical text records a genuine foretelling (on those occasions when it appears to claim to do that) or whether it is simply a vaticinium ex eventu (prophecy out of [sc. after] the event). Sometimes we don't even know if the event happened, let alone when the prophecy was made or recorded. Those who are inclined to believe that prophecy didn't happen tend to notice the points which tell against it being a true foretelling, and those who believe it did tend to notice the reverse - confirmation bias tends to operate with a vengeance.

Even so on a purely factual level, without asking when the prophecy came into being, it is fair enough to ask the question Gramps49 does in the OP, to whom does it refer? We know these prophecies pre-date Jesus, so the primary referent (most commentators of most persuasions agree) should be a person within the time frame in which the prophecy is set, or within which it is believed to have been written: Josiah, Hezekiah are likely candidates though it's hard to see how anyone can be too definite about that.

From the earliest days Christians have seen Jesus as a greater fulfilment of what they found in their scriptures - i.e. the Hebrew scriptures. This is clear from the epistles as well as the Gospels and Acts. If Luke's account of the Emmaus road or of Stephen's testimony, or of Paul's preaching are anything to go by it was in the very earliest kerygmatic DNA of the Church.

We can argue about whether they were right or not, but even putting that question on one side there remains a separate question about what sort of fulfilment they thought they were seeing and/or saying. Many have noted that a number of the texts had not previously been regarded as messianic at all, what was the rhetorical advantage of arguing for a connection between those texts and Jesus?

The argument about sensus plenior is about a strictly rear window view of events. It is not that knowing the texts, the events can be predicted, but rather that knowing the events one can find pre-echoes or resonances of them in the texts. As one scholar puts it, it is
quote:
to realize that there is the possibility of more significance to an Old Testament passage than was consciously apparent to the original author, and more than can be gained by strict grammatico-historical exegesis.
(Donald A. Hagner, “The Old Testament in the New Testament,” Samuel J. Schultz & Morris A. Inch, eds., Interpreting the Word of God. Festschift in Honor of Steven Barabas. Chicago: Moody Press, 1976. Hbk. p.92 PDF)

Without (again) addressing the question of the validity of sensus plenior the existence of it as a hermeneutical strategy explains why as the OP puts it
quote:
This is quite often considered a Messianic prophecy. Early Christian theologians easily thought this was referring to the Christ.
Whether the idea of sensus plenior is valid or not, its existence as a hermeneutical strategy explains why writer who might perfectly well know that a prophecy of Isaiah probably referred to Hezekiah or Josiah, or whoever, could also see it as referring to Jesus who they saw as the consummation of all God's purposes and promises
quote:
For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’
(2 Cor 1.20)
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Martin60
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Thank you very much BroJames. I shall try and give measure for measure. But I don't have your education, temperament, manners, breeding, intelligence.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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My first, thuggish, take, is that it's all about what we bring to the party. Disposition. You delineate the rhetorical case for sensus plenoir beautifully BroJames. And I realise poor Nick was coming from that neighbourhood. I'm from a rougher one.

My disposition is that logos preempts pathos in all matters apart from ethos. In which pathos triumphs. There's no ethos involved here for me. No moral reason to believe that God intended anything. So there's certainly no logical reason to believe it.

But... I feel it too. Wonder. A thug like me. How did God, could God, externally, transpersonally influence Jewish history, culture, minds apart from in His provision, to tilt Jesus' milieu in some necessary way? Did He? Use... magic. My thuggish term. I believe in the specific acts of the Holy Spirit as described but this unseen hand... is distressingly unnecessary for my disposition.

It used to be... fundamental.

Yet for me no real harm is done. Jesus, the intent of God, remains.

[ 04. December 2017, 22:03: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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BroJames
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Yes, absolutely, all of us bring our existing predisposition and preconceptions to the question (to any question).

As far as modes of persuasion are concerned, for me logos above all is the one that is likely to convince me since in the end logos enables me to see for myself. Ethos, where someone says 'trust me because…', or 'trust so-and-so because…' comes second, and is influenced both by a personal assessment of the person I am being asked to trust, and an assessment about whether I lack and they have the necessary skill, knowledge or experience for me to trust. I am someone who is moved by pathos, but I am also quite likely to say 'yes, but…' where the appeal is mainly to my emotions.

I don't feel I have even attempted to make the case for or against the validity of sensus plenior, merely how a belief in it is present in New Testament writings, and how that affects our understanding of what the writers are trying to say. Whether it is valid or not is a different matter involving the whole question of what we believe about 'providence' and the troubling issues of 'theodicy'.

While I think the Bible has something to say on those subjects, I am wary of arguments which seem to expect it to pull itself up by its own bootstraps - which seem to me to end up saying we know the Bible is true because it says it is true. This is partly because it so obviously begs the question, and partly because IMO different parts of the Bible are true in different ways. Genesis 1-3 is true in a very different way, IMHO, from, say, John 20.

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Moo

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Host hat on

quote:
Originally posted by Martin
And I realise poor Nick was coming from that neighbourhood.

Martin, referring to Nick as 'poor' is a personal attack--a C3 violation. Don't do it again.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Martin60
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May I direct you to Styx Moo?

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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BroJames. Thanks again. I feel we're walking together. I find myself nonplussed. I thought I'd felt all the implications of postmodernism, for want of another word, but this thread has made me realise I haven't. Until this afternoon. And therefore I still haven't. Never will. I'd done the logos cumulatively and each step has involved a loop of cognitive dissonance. This has been a long delayed action one. I'd done sensus plenoir, without knowing the term, for 30 years. Then came 20 of deconstruction. Often chronicled here. We visited the same verses above here earlier this year with Jamat. I felt the then astounding truth of postmodernism. That these verses are entirely accidents of history and nothing to do with Jesus. This time I felt, feel, loss.

I sat and wept on the toilet 20 years ago for the loss of Anglo-Israelism. This is at the beginning of that spectrum.

I fully accept that Jesus and his followers, from His time until now, saw the intent of God in the OT. I did. Now I can't. Should I? Am I missing something?

I remain intrigued, to say the least, by how much more, if at all, God intervened, had to intervene, beyond incarnating. Does the Incarnation require prior intervention?

I've lost the plot. Does there have to be one? If not, the astounding thing is that Jesus saw Himself in the OT. And He wasn't there.

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Love wins

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Pooks
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Martin 60, what's the link between your last post and the OP? I don't get what you are trying to do here. Please enlighten me. Many thanks.
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Martin60
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Sorry Pooks. The OP demonstrates that Isaiah 9 was fulfilled at the time. Had nothing to do with Christ apart from resonating with Jewish Messianic longing. What applies to chapter nine applies to all others in Isaiah, especially the two preceding. And if Isaiah, then the Psalms.

I do NOT want to throw out THE baby with the bathwater. And the more I dwell on it the more ... confused I am. Isaiah 9 was said to be about Hezekiah. But he was 9 at the time. Others say Josiah, three overall short generations later. Isaiah 8 alludes to the looming threat of the Assyrians already encroaching on Galilee - Naphtali. Isaiah 7 problematically to Hezekiah's mother. Problematic in Hezekiah being 9 already.

All of this was and more was used by Jesus and his followers, particularly Matthew. With what validity? Apart from the fact that Jesus WAS, is, the Messiah.

In all the chaotic turbulence of 'Isaiah', can we see the intent of God? It's possible. I can see, do see, that Jesus saw Himself clearly there and elsewhere to say the least; the Psalms.

That's good enough for me. Did God foresee all of this? Certainly, but not because it had already happened from outside time. Did God foresee that His incarnate nature would function according to ancient Jewish enculturation? Of course. Including His appallingly faithful, essential self sacrifice.

Hence our modern sense of ambiguity, of grasping at straws, of creating chimeras, of the Cheshire cat God smile.

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Love wins

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Maybe the concept of "messianic longing" is something of a retrojection on our part. What the first century Jews longed for was the ushering in of The Age to Come. "Messiah" just means the anointed one. Many people were anointed, so there were many messiahs. So what we are really talking about is capital-t The Messiah - the one who will be anointed of God to herald in the age to come. It is that longing we see increasingly in the prophets, and in many of the passages spoken of in this context.

Does that help?

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Pooks
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Thank you martin 60 for your kind reply and explanation. Still, it seems to me that your discussion here is mostly about the 'nature' of prophecy, not what the question asked by the op: "So, what say you? Is Isaiah referring to Hezekiah, or Josiah or some future messianic king?" Although I do understand that words can carry different connotations to different people, which is important to made clear before a discussion can progress meaningfully. In this thread, however, the question in the OP seems to have been largely ignored. Hence my question to you.

Having said the above, I won't even try to pretend that I know enough theology or philosophy to even try to answer the OP myself. So I will take my leave now and thank you and the hosts for your kind tolerance.
(*Slinks away.*)

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Martin60
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Dear me Pooks! Don't go! You're a civilizing influence on me!

Isaiah seems to be very much a prophet in the sense of telling forth rather than foretelling. He seems remarkably timeless in pursuit of true righteousness; social justice, from the first chapter. His grasp of governance and international relations is peerless. When I say his... proto-Isaiah for a start.

Sooo, I now find it very hard to believe that he was foretelling anything at all. Even though we don't know now who he was talking about, Hezekiah or Josiah, it was one of them! Who else?! Who else was he writing for?

Surely? Unless... as Jesus appeared to believe, Isaiah was at least unknowingly foretelling, or even knowingly, the Messiah and not just Cyrus.

I dunno.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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We already sort of discussed this back here and you quite liked my answer then, apparently.

Many of us come from backgrounds which had a very "two-dimensional" reading of prophecy. I continue to believe in the inspiration of Scripture, but what I now also believe, as per that thread, is that a degree of reinterpretation is not only legitimate but also necessary, and indeed is a process that can already be seen to be at work within Scripture itself, as in this example.

Reinterpretation does not grant a licence for Scripture-twisting; it must be done in fear and trembling before God. But it must be done.

Did Isaiah have an inkling that there was more to his words than the immediate context? I like to think he did, just as I like to think Abraham caught a glimpse of a deeper meaning in "God will provide the lamb" on the hilltop with Isaac.

And I certainly strive to respect those who the Spirit consoles through Scripture on the basis of that conviction.

But it is enough for me to know that the NT writers felt it legitimate to reinterpret the texts as they did, and that through the ages the Church as the Body of Christ has preserved and upheld their writings as authoritative for us.

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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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# 368

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Yep. You reign in my postmodernism a tad again. But we have to let rip with it... as per my sig.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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Or rather that quote you used to have as yours!

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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...rein

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Love wins

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