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Source: (consider it) Thread: Unto Us a Child is Born
Kwesi
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The question I have regarding prophecy is what is it supposed to do? How do I come to identify the Suffering Servant as a prediction regarding Jesus? Does it lead me to faith, or is it faith that leads me see it as a prediction? Would I ever have an interest in OT prophecies regarding Christ without first believing in the Resurrection? Why am I not bothered by the that Jesus did not restore the throne of his father, David, an essential characteristic of the Messiah? Why do those brought up in the Jewish religious culture not find those same prophecies as demonstrating the divine provenance of Jesus? Indeed, we might conclude with Paul that these prophecies are less than helpful, a “stumbling-block”.
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Martin60
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Well put Kwesi. What did for me is prove the existence of God, from the age of 15, having been made ripe by the existential angst afforded by Hiroshima and Auschwitz which I'd encountered 5 and 3 years previously respectively. James Michener's The Source, read at 14, had softened me up for Herbert W. (which stood for... nothing at all) Armstrong's Anglo-Israelite chiliasm, by making the OT God credible. I'd still be a true believer I fear if his successor hadn't had the scales removed from his eyes in from '88-95.

Now all I have left is Jesus, which is scary! All the theism but for Him, and His theism, has gone. And His theism is partly based on Him seeing Himself in the TaNaKh, by an epistemology that 99% doesn't work for me. I wish it did. I wish it could. The Holy Spirit was at work in the first couple of circles of the church for sure. May be He was in the TaNaKh and its cultures. The messianic Psalms are still instances of the fingerpost. I dare not look too close lest they go the way of Isaiah.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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Errata, sorry. What <it> did for me ... I'd still be a true believer I fear if his successor hadn't had the scales removed from his eyes >in< from '88-95.

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Love wins

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Pooks
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
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.

Civilizing? Ha! I know full well it's more like dumbing down. But thank you for saying so anyway. [Big Grin]

With regard to what you have said above, I don't see foretelling and forth-telling as mutually exclusive because I don't think dates are the only marker for judging whether a prophecy is foretelling or not. Rather I prefer to think in terms of function and goal of a prophecy within a covenant relationship framework. To me, given there is a relationship based framework in the background, what's important about a prophecy is not so much whether all the details are right, but the goal of that prophecy. Did it achieve what it set out to achieve? - Which is different from did it come true or not. I was told that a biblical prophecy would often be based on the accumulated experiences from the past (looking back), it would speak to its immediate surrounding context and time (forth-telling), but it can also speak to future generations (foretelling). It may not be foretelling in the strictest sense that you have used, but functionally, I think there is an element of foretelling nevertheless. In a way I think prophets were theologians, so immersed in worship of God that they had a good grip on knowing how God had acted in the past, and knowing he acted in the same way consistently, so a forth telling (warning people that they were straying from the way) is also a foretelling (carry on like that and God will punish as he did in the past).

So, did Isaiah knowingly foretell with future generations in mind? Functionally, I think he did foretell as much as forth-tell because his message is still being received as being relevant today. Who was Isaiah referring to? I don't know that, but I would bet your bottom dollar that as God's mouth piece, whatever his message is, whether it's giving hope or social justice, it's all done with his understanding of the covenant prescribed behaviours between God and men in mind. I know this approach is a bit muddled, lacks nuance and details. - And - in the case of answering this OP, it is totally useless! lol But that's all I can offer. Not sure this makes any sense to you or just all nonsense, but it's my two pennies worth. Cheers!

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Kwesi wrote:
quote:
Would I ever have an interest in OT prophecies regarding Christ without first believing in the Resurrection?
That's pretty much the question of origins of the earliest church, let alone individual faith.

More generally - and again. I have to say that any enquiry is conditioned by the pre-suppositions that underlie the questions asked. What exactly do I mean by prophecy? Is my understanding the same as that of my source literature? What do I mean by resurrection? Is that what the earliest members of the Jesus-cult meant? etc. etc.

On the point of fulfilment of prophecy, two more points:

i) If you want a view of how prophecies were applied to individuals around this time, take a look at how Qumran documents refer to the "Teacher of Righteousness". He is prophetically referenced in just this sort of way - so much so that in fact early reviewers thought that Qumran was referring to Jesus.

ii) Matthew was written for a largely Jewish comminity - I don't think there is any major scholarly challenge to that assumption. If you think that Matthew's use of prophetic fulfilment is odd, then is it not worth considering that the problem may be yours and not his? What I mean is that Matthew writes in order to convince his audience. Attempting to convince your audience using an unconvincing trope would be quixotic at best, and just plain counterproductive at worst.

Putting the above two together, it seems to me we have a practical way of actually making sense of these questions about how first century Jews read prophecy. These were the communities that were the custodians of these literary artefacts. We don't have to restrict ourselves to their understanding(s), but if our understandings are not able to embrace theirs, then purely on the basis of historical enquiry we have a major problem on our hands concerning our understanding of the texts.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Jamat
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quote:
Martin 60: I used to believe all of them and more for decades. Now, how can I? I would if I could. I long to. But I can't. It's intellectually impossible.

Pride is what makes it impossible and pride is not intellect. And intellect is not inherently reasonable, it is the mere tool of moral choices. The issue of Daniel is not if he predicted..he certainly did Daniel 8:18 onwards for example. However, if you late-date him as liberals do, then you simply discount accurate predictions about world history. Similarly with Isaiah, (Is 45), he named and predicted Cyrus the great's actions many years in advance, so then the liberals have to say there was a 'late' Isaiah. They say there were in fact 3 Isaiahs. The reason? The real one, is that you can't have anything but a natural explanation for predictive prophecy.
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Gamaliel
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There are a number of problems with that, Jamat even if we aren't a prideful, sinful lib'ruls.

If the prophecies attributed to Daniel and Isaiah were indeed predictive then, glory be ...

But if the Book of Daniel addressed contemporary events and has a late date then I don't see how that invalidates it in any way.

Nor do I see there being any particular problem in there being one, two or three Isaiahs.

My faith wouldn't come crashing down in pieces if it could be demonstrated that there wasn't one Isaiah who wrote the whole thing but several prophets writing at different times and addressing different issues.

Why should 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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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Martin 60: I used to believe all of them and more for decades. Now, how can I? I would if I could. I long to. But I can't. It's intellectually impossible.

Pride is what makes it impossible and pride is not intellect. And intellect is not inherently reasonable, it is the mere tool of moral choices. The issue of Daniel is not if he predicted..he certainly did Daniel 8:18 onwards for example. However, if you late-date him as liberals do, then you simply discount accurate predictions about world history. Similarly with Isaiah, (Is 45), he named and predicted Cyrus the great's actions many years in advance, so then the liberals have to say there was a 'late' Isaiah. They say there were in fact 3 Isaiahs. The reason? The real one, is that you can't have anything but a natural explanation for predictive prophecy.
Late dating has NOTHING to do with pride, it has EVERYTHING to do with truth. Post-exilic Deutero-Isaiah ADDRESSES Cyrus and refers to him in the past tense, in the Hebrew. It doesn't prophesy him by name AT ALL. Any idea to the contrary is utterly delusional, 'chosen' weirdness. And by the way Jamat, glad to see you back, I was worried about you. Why 'choose' weirdness? Irrationality? Preconception above truth?

[ 09. December 2017, 11:20: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Jamat
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Well..?

[ 09. December 2017, 16:33: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Jamat
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Sorry, link does not work. There was a complete scroll of Isaiah found among the DS scrolls. No one in the ancient word or any other Biblical writer believed in 3 Isaiahs. I think the assertion is unproven and probably based on naturalistic reasoning.
No one can predict the future
Isaiah predicts the future
Isaiah must have been written after the events he predicts.

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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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Martin60
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Where does Isaiah supernaturally predict the future? The Dead Sea scrolls are post-Exilic proving NOTHING, apart from the rational assertion that deutero-Isaiah was a contemporary of Cyrus. The intelligentsia of that period knew perfectly well who wrote the bible. They did. They re-wrote it. Redacted it. No magic can be demonstrated at all. That's the TRUTH. And I'm proud to know it.

[ 09. December 2017, 17:31: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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You'll be telling us Moses wrote the Pentateuch next and that the opening chapters of Job record an historical event ...

In fairness, at one time I'd have been a stickler for Isaiah literally predicting the future so I can sympathise with that position. These days I'm comfortable with accepting a late-ish date for some of the apocalyptic and prophetic material.

Does that indicate pride in my part or simply a willingness to listen to the scholars and weigh the evidence?

The can't see why three Isaiah's should be so outrageous. Nor how it undermines anything in terms of Christ as the Messiah etc.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Where does Isaiah supernaturally predict the future? The Dead Sea scrolls are post-Exilic proving NOTHING, apart from the rational assertion that deutero-Isaiah was a contemporary of Cyrus. The intelligentsia of that period knew perfectly well who wrote the bible. They did. They re-wrote it. Redacted it. No magic can be demonstrated at all. That's the TRUTH. And I'm proud to know it.

No, it isn't the truth. As a post modernist I'm surprised you dare to use such a dirty word as 'truth'. You seem to me once again to be demonstrating the incredible power of a closed mind.

Of course the DS scrolls are post explicit in manufacture..not of course in essence as they are copies of ancient docs and their great legacy is the confirmation of the accuracy of the OT scriptures.

Asserting something is true doesn't make it so and that is all the higher critics have done. 'Rational assertion' is the operative word in your post and proves my point. In your mind, rational assertion trumps prophetic prediction. It excuses you from seeing the Bible as authoritative.

Isaiah predicts constantly. He predicts the restoration of national Israel, He predicts the millennial kingdom, he predicts the birth and suffering of Jesus, and yes Gamaliel, I believe, as pretty well all the rabbis do, that Moses wrote the Pentacheuch apart from the bit at the end of Deuteronomy that gives the account of his death.

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Martin60
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Whatever. Our truths are different. And your epistemology is... different. Unbridgeably different. I wish you had something I wanted, needed. I wish somebody could see my game and raise it. It's not you. And that's not your fault.

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Love wins

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Whatever. Our truths are different. And your epistemology is... different. Unbridgeably different. I wish you had something I wanted, needed. I wish somebody could see my game and raise it. It's not you. And that's not your fault.

Perhaps you do not know what you need. What game you think you have is probably a result of a darkened understanding. Mr Armstrong, whose victim you were is one of the many false prophetic voices of the age. It is sad that in rejecting his idiocy, you have lost faith in the whole schema of Christian truth. I know you say you have 'Jesus' but for you it is a very selective, mentally manufactured 'Jesus' rather than the resurrected creator and saviour Jesus of the apostolic writers.

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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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Gamaliel
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Post-explicit?

If you are going to accept the Rabbis on the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, Jamat, why differ from in their interpretation of Isaiah?

Also, how does being open to the possibility of a late date for Isaiah or Daniel undermine the authority of scripture?

How does it demonstrate a closed mind?

One could equally argue that insistence on earlier dates represent a closed mind.

I'm perfectly happy to accept that the books of Daniel and Isaiah may be a lot earlier in date than some of the more radical and liberal scholars believe, but also that they may very well be later than fundamentalists insist.

I don't reduce the scriptures to some kind of join-the-dots almanac. They are a lot deeper and richer than that.

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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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Gamaliel
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I'm sure Mr Armstrong has a lot to answer for. So had Mr Schofield.

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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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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Post-explicit?

If you are going to accept the Rabbis on the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, Jamat, why differ from in their interpretation of Isaiah?

Also, how does being open to the possibility of a late date for Isaiah or Daniel undermine the authority of scripture?

How does it demonstrate a closed mind?

One could equally argue that insistence on earlier dates represent a closed mind.

I'm perfectly happy to accept that the books of Daniel and Isaiah may be a lot earlier in date than some of the more radical and liberal scholars believe, but also that they may very well be later than fundamentalists insist.

I don't reduce the scriptures to some kind of join-the-dots almanac. They are a lot deeper and richer than that.

Post predictive text..I typed exilic

How can you say you accept both a late and and early date?

I mainly accept what the rabbis would say on most of their scriptures but with the obvious caveat that Christ is their rejected messiah.

A closed mind is a different issue entirely. It is a symptom of something else..probably fear that we will once again be taken for a ride.

Joining the dots is necessary in dealing with any non linear text.

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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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Martin60
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The latter informed the former.

Jamat, owt yer say mate.

When you've got something to say apart from resoundingly empty meaningless rhetoric, I'll be here; if you can trump reasoned truth, be my guest.

Oh and talking of idiocy, how old is the universe again?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
No magic can be demonstrated at all.

There's that word again [Disappointed]

What you seem to mean by it here is "no agency at work beyond that which can be explained by rational, non-supernatural means."

No magic can be demonstrated? I don't think you are in fact looking for "magic". I think it's now your starting assumption that there is no "magic" (as defined above) to be found, anywhere.

If Jamat appears to you to seize on the "magical" interpretation too instinctively, you appear to me to seize on the "rational" interpretation too instinctively. It's not much wonder the two of you can't agree (and Gamaliel, as ever, is sitting on the fence!).

Applied to parts of the Bible like Isaiah and Daniel this means you can only - instinctively - accept the apparent explicit foretelling as being after-the-fact, and I wouldn't be surprised if, as Jamat suggests, this is a post-traumatic reaction on your part rather than the pure fruit of intellectual wrestling unaffected by your life trajectory.

As far as you're concerned, there are no "more things in heaven and earth... than are dreamt of in your philosophy", and while I have every sympathy for why I think you think that, I agree with Jamat that the danger of this view is intellectual pride.

I'm sympathetic to Anglican Brat's musings about prophecy above, but I'm not convinced all "foretelling" in Scripture can be explained away at no expense to the historic faith.

If (per the definition I offer above), there is no such thing as "magic", then I don't think there's any such thing as viable Christianity.

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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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I'm sure you're right, but that doesn't change the fact that the oldest possible date for Isaiah is not even 400 BCE, therefore there is no reason, and that's the... magic word, to believe that the mention of Cyrus, in the past tense, born over 200 years before can in any sense be prophetic.

There's no half way with that. Or with anything else in the work of the Isaiah school. Forensic, historical, rational scholarship does the same for the school of Daniel, the final redaction of, by which was finished in 164 BCE and was not even included in the prophets before 200 or referred to as a prophet before 180.

If we cannot be intellectually honest, we have NOTHING to be so very 'umble about. We dilute 'faith' to insanely homeopathic proportions, making it necessary to twist reality. And no, I will never do that again. Armstrongism was not distinctive in the slightest in denying and distorting reality to preconceived superstitious dogma.

[ 10. December 2017, 10:33: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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If I'm sitting on a fence it's because there's one to sit on.

Do I believe in divine supernatural agency - such as predictive prophecy?

Yes, I do. I'm not sitting on a fence there.

If God is God he can do what he likes.

But I'm not an OT scholar. Neither is Jamat.

If someone comes along and says, 'Look, there is a rational basis for believing that the later dates for Isaiah and Daniel are correct,' then I'd be pretty stupid not to give that some consideration.

I am doing that.

That's not sitting on the fence. That's accepting that there are other possibilities out there than the purely literal and conservative interpretation of such things.

If it could be proven beyond any shadow of doubt that the early dates are right and that there is a supernaturally predictive element in the references to Cyrus and so on then we'd have no option but to accept that.

But there isn't any such incontrovertible proof.

Therefore a position of open-mindedness is required.

My main point, of course, is that the whole Judeo-Christian infrastructure doesn't come crashing to the ground if parts of Isaiah were written contemporaneously with Cyrus or after the event.

Equally, I'd suggest that the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah aren't at all undermined if we believe them to have applications to the times in which they were written but which subsequent early Jewish Christians saw as carrying Messianic significance and fulfilment in the person and work of Christ.

In that sense there is both a predictive element and a contemporaneous one. The predictive element, as is the nature of such things, is necessarily open to interpretation.

We're talking hermeneutics here, we're talking interpretation.

We are not talking a join-the-dots easy-peasy lemon squeezy thing.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Eutychus wrote:
quote:
I'm sympathetic to Anglican Brat's musings about prophecy above, but I'm not convinced all "foretelling" in Scripture can be explained away at no expense to the historic faith.

If (per the definition I offer above), there is no such thing as "magic", then I don't think there's any such thing as viable Christianity.

Did you mean me by any chance, Eutychus? I don't recall A_B posting on this thread, and we share an avatar.

But anyway, even if not, I'm happy to agree with you. My musings were more oriented towards getting people to think about what the prophets were actually about. Foretelling future events doesn't describe the half of it. But for clarity let me affirm that it does indeed include that at various points.

And following on from that, if you restrict the understanding of prophecy to foretelling future events (or consequences), then your discussions will revolve around that. That's not being faithful to the biblical record, whatever your church tradition may be telling you. It's something imported by you. (Generic you throughout of course). The biblical record shows prophets spending much of their time castigating Israel for its wayward ways, explaining the significance of current and past events, and - like Moses - being a direct spokesman for God.

Also - I do think it unfair to accuse Jamat of promoting "magic". Magic is something entirely different. The magician is someone who by force of their will can start to bend matters their way. I really don't think you can accuse Jamat of promoting that.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Martin60 wrote:
quote:
.../but that doesn't change the fact that the oldest possible date for Isaiah is not even 400 BCE...
Can you explain your reasoning for this assertion please?

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Martin60
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If having an open mind is sitting on the fence, then that's where I am. I'm completely open to a documentary find of the book of Isaiah predating Cyrus complete with chapter 45 referring to him.

If a freshly printed document with no previously unknown content were found now, referring to events in the Napoleonic war, but implying that it was written at the time of the Gunpowder Plot, what rational conclusions would we reach? Assuming that NO deception was involved. Giving it the benefit of the doubt?

As for the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, only chapters 53 and 61 (the one Jesus fulfilled in His first preaching) come close, the former the closest, but not 100%; the suffering servant motif being used seven times in five of the preceding twelve chapters.

The fact is that Jesus' epistemology and that of His followers is not, cannot be, ours. He was still right despite it. That's all we've got. Him. In whom there is "...agency at work beyond that which can be explained by rational, non-supernatural means.".

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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Honest Ron, my apologies, I did mean you and not A_B. Once again I agree broadly with what you say.

Martin, the key point for me is whether you have reached the conclusions you seem to have about the dating of Isaiah and Daniel after carefully looking at the historical and textual arguments or whether you have simply been catapaulted into that position as an assumption, in reaction to your previous belief system.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The fact is that Jesus (...) was still right... That's all we've got. In whom there is "...agency at work beyond that which can be explained by rational, non-supernatural means.".

From a textual point of view, I don't understand how you can be so affirming in respect of the gospel narrative and so dismissive of the OT narrative.

If all biblical literature is simply after-the-fact reinterpretation to suit human ends, in what meaningful way can Jesus be said to be "right"?

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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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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Isn't that a bit binary, Eutychus?

I'm no expert on any of this but it strikes me as entirely feasible to understand OT prophecy in a largely non-predictive way.

It doesn't have to be predictive in the literal sense for Jesus to have been 'right'. Again, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that it's fairly obvious that the Gospel writers were 'Christianising' what we'd call OT texts that other Jews could and did understand differently.

That doesn't mean they were 'wrong' to do so. I believe they were right to do so.

However, I don't see the relationship between OT prophecy and its NT interpretation and application as a simple or straight-forward predictive thing. Yes, I do believe that 'the New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.'

How that works out in practice is pretty mysterious.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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The problem is with the "largely".

While I agree the predictive element is not the most important aspect of much prophecy, there are I think some predictive elements. I find several bits of Daniel problematic. As I understand it there are more problems with consigning all the bothersome predictive bits to a later date than Martin is letting on. And within the NT there are predictive aspects too.

If the starting-point for one's hermeneutic is that there's nothing in the Bible that can't be explained by human agency alone, then I can't find much left in it of value.

I personally can't get round the resurrection of Christ in some bodily form as a keystone of everything else. If that is a metaphor or merely a culturally-limited way of describing something that's humanly explicable, I'm struggling. If it isn't, then it opens the door to other humanly inexplicable things. Much may be explicable, but I don't think all is.

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Martin60
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# 368

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We bin 'ere before, in essence.

As to the first question, what do you think? I mean, really. The historical and textual arguments are not that abstruse are they? Are you aware of great tomes discussing finely balanced minutiae of dating?

As for 'From a textual point of view, I don't understand how you can be so affirming in respect of the gospel narrative and so dismissive of the OT narrative.', I'm not dismissive of the latter in the slightest. Not one jot or tittle. I don't accept anyone's post-hoc interpretation of apocalyptic genre yearning, including Jesus' (of whom I am completely affirming. I don't see the comparison, it's a totally false dichotomy and I'm sure we've been here before you know) which brings us to,

'If all biblical literature is simply after-the-fact reinterpretation to suit human ends, in what meaningful way can Jesus be said to be "right"?'. He's right because He is the Messiah, He is the Christ, the chosen one, the Holy One of Israel, Immanuel, the Incarnation, the light, the hope of the world.

If God intervened to layer dualities of meaning in the minds of deutero-Isaiah (once or twice) and David and other psalmists (a handful of times), by the Spirit, fine. There is no way of knowing that He had to or chose to. It doesn't matter if He didn't. It doesn't invalidate Jesus, the fully human vessel of the divine.

I cannot see how using ones mind, all of it (such is it pathetically is), is not loving God, is not sound, is not faithful.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
As to the first question, what do you think? I mean, really.

I don't really know. I haven't looked at big tomes at all and smaller ones not for a while. I have an IVP commentary on Daniel that used to strike me as quite liberal until it got to discussing the predictive parts, at which point it seemed to engage in rather crashing gear changes. It doesn't bother me on day-to-day level so I haven't really reexamined it - not least because it's never really bothered me. By your own account it used to "bother" you.

quote:
The historical and textual arguments are not that abstruse are they? Are you aware of great tomes discussing finely balanced minutiae of dating?
Well in a vague sort of way yes, but these tomes didn't drop from heaven any more than the Bible did. Commentators bring with them their own background, their own pressupositions, their own academic scores to settle.

I keep thinking of a former pastor friend of mine who went from being a fully-signed-up fundamentalist reformed Calvinist to a fully-signed-up atheist Dawkinsite scarcely without missing a beat. His favourite phrase was always "I've read a book lately...". His 180° "conversion" suggested to me that he hadn't really thought through either of his positions.

quote:
I'm not dismissive of the latter in the slightest. Not one jot or tittle.
Dismissive was the wrong word. I mean that you reject as, pejoratively for you, "magic" the idea that there could be any predictive or supernatural aspects at all.
quote:
He's right because He is the Messiah, He is the Christ, the chosen one, the Holy One of Israel, Immanuel, the Incarnation, the light, the hope of the world.
What I don't get is why you think these affirmations have value if they are only after-the-fact interpretations by chroniclers.
quote:
It doesn't invalidate Jesus, the fully human vessel of the divine.
Again, I don't understand how you take as read that he is that when all you have to go on, so to speak, is some ramblings by a bloke called Paul.

And what is "the fully human vessel of the divine" if not "magic" (which I'm beginning to think might deserve separate thread*)? Do you have some space in your worldview for some form of "magic" or not?

quote:
I cannot see how using ones mind, all of it (such is it pathetically is), is not loving God, is not sound, is not faithful.
No disagreement there.

==

*Or failing that, simply consider classic Kendrick: Bad Friday Blues, especially the last lines. That song really resonates for me - all of it, including the end.

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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This is where I find the Orthodox idea of 'synergy' helpful.

We are looking at human and divine agency working in tandem.

I'm not surprised your mate went from fundamentalist Calvinism to outright Dawkinsism. Both are forms of fundamentalism.

Both are blind alleys. All your friend was doing was swapping one blind alley for another.

There's a brittleness n fundamentalism that causes it to snap rather than bend when the wind blows.

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Martin60: the oldest possible date for Isaiah is not even 400 BCE, therefore there is no reason, and that's the... magic word, to believe that the mention of Cyrus, in the past tense, born over 200 years before can in any sense be prophetic.
You play fast and loose with the word fact here as if the textual critics had the last word. My suspicion is that you blindly accept the opinion of so called experts who are merely liberal theologians with their obvious agenda without having done any real digging.

My view is there was one Isaiah. He did dictate to scribes, notably one, Baruch but he probably ad several over his 40 or so years of prophetic activity.

Personally, I am aware that textual variation is not any kind of basis to ascribe authorship since any kind of literate person is capable of it. Shakespeare wrote sonnets and plays. He wrote both. So can many people.

There are phrases used consistently in Isaiah across all of the so called divisions the critics like to draw. One of these is a unique reference Is uses to refer to God as:
" The Holy one of Israel"
This textual comment would be evidence against the higher critics using their own assumptions.

There is also though, the NT confirmations of Isaiah, for instance in John 12:37-41 where Isaiah is quoted across the so called divisions, demonstrating that John considered him a single voice. V38 is from Is 53, v40 is from Is 6 but in v39, the two passages are linked .."Isaiah said AGAIN.."

It seems to me one must resist the hearing of scholarly voices that confirm one's prejudices while ignoring those that do not.

Your track record here is that you are completely closed to any kind of supernatural intervention in history and consequently dismiss out of hand, without proper investigation any word such as the reference to Cyrus in Is 45, as a priori lacking credibility.

[ 11. December 2017, 00:20: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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Jamat wrote:
quote:
My view is there was one Isaiah. He did dictate to scribes, notably one, Baruch but he probably ad several over his 40 or so years of prophetic activity.
Are you thinking of Jeremiah here, Jamat?

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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So the writer of John's Gospel thought of Isaiah as a single voice. How does that prove that there was only one Isaiah?

I'm aware that conservative critics draw attention to the linguistic and grammatical consistencies across the writings that bear Isaiah's name in order to argue for a single authorial voice.

Just as liberal or 'higher critics' argue otherwise.

I'm not expert but it would seem to me that whilst the early Higher Critics over-reacted in one particular direction, the corresponding backlash from the Fundamentalists (using the term in its original and non-perjorative sense) veered too far in the opposite direction.

I really don't see how having more than one Isaiah undermines the integrity of the Gospel nor Christian claims for Jesus as the Messiah.

This sort of thing only becomes an issue if you insist on using the scriptures as some kind of almanac blue-print prediction for whatever your particular eschatological bug-bear happens to be.

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Martin60
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# 368

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Honest Ron Bacardi

The (Great) Isaiah Scroll, 1Qlsaa , one of the seven Dead Sea Scrolls, containing the entire Book of Isaiah, is carbon dated at the oldest to 356 BCE, hence '...but that doesn't change the fact that the oldest possible date for Isaiah is not even 400 BCE...'. Which is fiercely simplistic if I'm saying it leapt fully formed from the head of the Essenes. But I'm not. That just gives us the end of the last editorial window. But forensically, I'm right.

If Trito-Isaiah is a real entity, [a (late editor]s), they are early post-Exilic, 520-515 BCE, if not then Deutero-Isaiah certainly is real up to 520 BCE, 20 years earlier at most, eighty years after Cyrus was born. I assume that 'Isaiah the son of Amoz...in the days of Uzziah...' was real and started the eponymous book after 750 BCE. See, I am conservative. He knew nothing of Cyrus. Nobody did. Not even God. How could He? By what magic? Is my reasonable, faithful premiss.

The Book of Isaiah was written from 745-520 BCE, over a period of at least 225 years, the oldest copy we have being 160 years younger. I'm happy to assume no redaction in that period, to give the text the benefit of the doubt, without invoking any magic.

Gamaliel

We're walking closely in parallel to say the least here. We appear to agree. Good cop, bad cop admittedly.

Apart from shouldn't it be 'the Old is in the New concealed, the New is in the Old revealed.'?

Eutychus.

Well played. Thank you. We're picking up from where we petered out months ago.

To your penultimate post above which I cross-posted after:

Largely: can we quantify this? That's rhetorical because of course we can. But that's dependent on our dating epistemology. I can only accept forensic, historical, scientific dating of anonymously redacted texts – to which I give EVERY benefit of the doubt - by centuries long schools of priest-caste editors. So, despite this very probably being written by an Exilic or post-Exilic editor at least two to, extremely, four hundred years later, and almost certainly not by Isaiah, I accept it: 'Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.' (KJV).

Daniel: Aye, Daniel. It beguiles me too. It's wonderful in so many ways. I wish it were all true as I do Jonah, I hope it is. I want it to be. But he didn't even make the Nevi'im. Only Christians (and Muslims) made him a prophet. None of it faithfully has to be true. Can we discuss your problematic bits? My prostate...

NT: There certainly are predictive aspects, but none require tomorrow to have happened and be known by omniscience or other magic by God in defiance of rationality. The way the chess game was going to go from a rational transcendent and immanent perspective would have been pretty obvious even if there were no redaction. Sorry, 'was'.

The starting point of my hermeneutic is that Jesus, Incarnate God, can't be explained by human agency alone. Everything else can be. Which is a point I've been transmitting for at least a year, badly, due to low signal to noise, as you don't appear to have received it?

I wouldn't dream of questioning the announcement, conception, life, sayings, acts, death and resurrection of Jesus as writ. Even though the announcement for one is problematic: it was by an archangel in one gospel. A WHAT?!

To your ultimate post above:

If by “bother” you mean I had a fundamentalist, unquestioning, 'faithful' view that the Holy Spirit was in full control of the Book of Daniel as full on foretelling prophecy right up to specifically now and beyond revealed through one, real Daniel in the times stated; its origination and preservation in every way, then yes.

Commentaries: Aye, commentary by the pound, £ for lb, doesn't sell me. Half a millennium of distilled 'higher' biblical criticism culminating in a Wikipedia back of a fag packet will do. Erasmus, Spinoza, Astruc, Locke, Bacon, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Schleiermacher for a start.

180° conversion: My flip-flop has taken over twenty years, here a little, there a little, because I'm so thick luckily. I've only just started staring in to the abyss proper in the past year. I recall engaging in intense magical thinking only five years before.

Magic: There is no faith requirement of any predictive or supernatural aspect apart from in Jesus.

I said, He's right because He is the Messiah, He is the Christ, the chosen one, the Holy One of Israel, Immanuel, the Incarnation, the light, the hope of the world.

And you said, What I don't get is why you think these affirmations have value if they are only after-the-fact interpretations by chroniclers.

To which I say that I must put down that understanding to my failure to communicate. The 'pre hoc', a priori, 'prophetic' affirmations, the titles that we correctly clothe Jesus in, which come from Persia and Rome as much as from the Jews, were His for the taking regardless of their not being about Him. I don't know how many ways I can say it. He is the King of Kings, the Son of God, pagan, heathen titles. Great. Matthew Christianized Jewish texts as Gamaliel said. The Church Christianized the Brumalia. If Jesus had been incarnate in India He'd have rightly arrogated the Bhagavad Gita with a modernly inadequate epistemology.

I said, It doesn't invalidate Jesus, the fully human vessel of the divine.

You said, Again, I don't understand how you take as read that he is that when all you have to go on, so to speak, is some ramblings by a bloke called Paul.

I say, I don't care who, what the medium was. He's the message.

You said, And what is "the fully human vessel of the divine" if not "magic" (which I'm beginning to think might deserve separate thread [AGREED!])? Do you have some space in your worldview for some form of "magic" or not?

I say, yes, starting with the “magic” of Jesus. A horse that needs no cart.

Me: I cannot see how using ones mind, all of it (such is it pathetically is), is not loving God, is not sound, is not faithful.

You: No disagreement there.

Me: Bugger me!

Jamat. Good for you mate.

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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# 38

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Martin60 - thank you. I am aware, generally speaking, of the issues around dating Isaiah. I was responding to your "oldest passible date for Isaiah" line. However, now you have clarified it I understand your point to have been somewhat different to what I understood you to mean.

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I can only accept forensic, historical, scientific dating of anonymously redacted texts – to which I give EVERY benefit of the doubt - by centuries long schools of priest-caste editors. So, despite this very probably being written by an Exilic or post-Exilic editor at least two to, extremely, four hundred years later, and almost certainly not by Isaiah, I accept it: 'Isaiah 1:1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.' (KJV).

Yes, ok, I could live with that too should it prove to be true, and I probably wouldn't advance anything more from the pulpit.

Where I'm more cautious is in thinking that your commentators have definitely had the last word.

quote:
Can we discuss your problematic bits? My prostate...
Let's not mix topics, eh?

The vision of the statue in Daniel 2 seems, and I think is widely accepted (?) as portraying history from the time of Daniel through to the time of the Roman empire when the "stone not made by human hands", understood as the Kingdom of God, emerges.

The 69 weeks of Daniel in chapter 9 also appear, roughly speaking, and taken as years, to add up to the time between the reconstruction of the temple and the death of Christ. This seems to make some sort of sense, and is the line Baldwin takes in the IVP commentary I mentioned, but I find this lurch into something rather kabbalistic bothersome.

quote:
NT: There certainly are predictive aspects, but none require tomorrow to have happened and be known by omniscience or other magic by God in defiance of rationality.
Agabus' prophecy of famine in Acts 11?

quote:
The starting point of my hermeneutic is that Jesus, Incarnate God, can't be explained by human agency alone. Everything else can be. Which is a point I've been transmitting for at least a year, badly, due to low signal to noise, as you don't appear to have received it?
Well, you said it... but despite the s/n ratio, yes, I do understand you're saying that.

What I don't understand is why you appear to be so convinced about the reliability of that compared to any not-by-human-agency-alone stuff in the OT.

Are all those theophanies just so many culturally-bound images? And if they are, how can you be so sure the testimony to Jesus is more than that in the NT?

quote:
Even though the announcement for one is problematic: it was by an archangel in one gospel. A WHAT?!
Well, that's sort of my "largely" point. Not forgetting Zecharaiah or Joseph either. It only takes one "not-by-human-agency" example outside Christ to put a hole in your argument.

quote:
I've only just started staring in to the abyss proper in the past year. I recall engaging in intense magical thinking only five years before.
Sure. My question, which might be hard to answer but which it's worth asking oneself, I think, is whether you're thinking things through yourself and finding confirmation in stuff other people have written, or whether you think you've had an epiphany after merely taking on someone else's argument.

(I realise it's never all one or the other but I hope you see what I mean).

quote:
I say, yes, starting with the “magic” of Jesus. A horse that needs no cart.
Does it rule out a cart? It sometimes sounds that way from your perspective.

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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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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Hmmm ...

I don't want to get into a Process Theology tangent but if God is God then surely he 'knows the end from the beginning.'

So it sounds way off kilter to me to suggest that God couldn't have known of Cyrus (or anyone else) in advance.

As omniscient he surely knows what might have been as well as what has been and what will be or what might be ...

I get told off for speculating as to what other Shipmates might mean or what might motivate them, but I submit that what may be hacking people off from time to time is the way you use the M word - 'magic' - in a way that can sound a tad smug.

'You haven't caught up with me yet,' type of thing.

I do think that you and I are close and running on somewhat parallel tramlines, though.

However, where we differ is on the possibility of supernatural intervention and agency.

I agree wholeheartedly with Eutychus's comments on IVP commentaries and the like. They seem quite scholarly and to take into account modern discoveries and textual criticism etc etc - but then they suddenly seem to switch a gear when it comes to sacred-cows such as the predictive aspects of OT prophecy.

These days I tend to be comfortable with late dates for Isaiah and Daniel with the various Christological elements being things that the early Church 'discerned' or interpreted in a Christological way - if you like.

I don't see how that undermines the Church's claims, although if I were Jewish I'd obviously have a bone to pick ...

On the apparently future predictive elements such as are found in the whole Dispensationalist schema and the tendency to map these across to contemporary events, I gave up on all that a long time ago ...

How the Parousia will pan out is beyond my pay-grade as they say.

People poring over Bible passages and attempting to work out some kind of time-frame or schema strikes me as a complete and utter waste of time. It's like reading tea leaves.

'To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster.
Describe the horoscope, huruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers ...'

etc etc

'Men's curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint --'

From 'The Dry Salvages' in 'Four Quartets' by T S Eliot.

I hope I haven't broken any copyright rules there.

But Eliot's right.

People speculate about these things especially 'When there is distress of nations and perplexity/Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road.'

Once we've said that, there's not much more to say.

But to take up the 'occupation for the saint'.

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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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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Martin 60: I can only accept forensic, historical, scientific dating of anonymously redacted texts – to which I give EVERY benefit of the doubt
Forensic analysis is a bit of a misnomer here because the docs are older than the oldest MS s which are obviously copies?

Redaction? This is an assumption of the higher critics. The first verse of Isaiah states clearly he prophesied through the reigns of Ahaz to Hezekiah. Martin 60, you can believe what you choose but the academic-speak is smoke and mirrors.

Gamaliel: The fact that John saw Isaiah as a single voice means a lot because John was an apostle..one of the voices of absolute authority.

Honest Ron Bacardi: apologies.. you are correct..I confused Isaiah and Jeremiah. Baruch was Jeremiah's scribe. One suspects, as a matter of practicality, Isaiah used a secretary or two as well.

[ 11. December 2017, 17:36: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I agree wholeheartedly with Eutychus's comments on IVP commentaries and the like. They seem quite scholarly and to take into account modern discoveries and textual criticism etc etc - but then they suddenly seem to switch a gear when it comes to sacred-cows such as the predictive aspects of OT prophecy.

I've dug out my copy of Baldwin on Daniel and skim-read a few bits.

(I must say I find it hard going and perhaps more so because it is a French translation of the English and I get the impression not always a good one).

I discover I have maligned Baldwin in that she doesn't subscribe to literalistic numbering for the weeks of Daniel - I can't find where I got that from. She does however doggedly cling to an early date for Daniel. Her biggest argument in favour seems to be that if the later date is the correct one, the book entered the canon incredibly quickly.

But I do however get the feeling that the underlying reason is the need for the events of chapter 11 dealing with Antiochus etc. to be kept as predictive, perhaps to satisfy some constituency or other; or perhaps I'm being unfair.

In any case I think if there's a controversy over the extent to which presuppositions about predictive prophecy inform commentators' dating of when books were written then Daniel 11 is probably the key focus of debate.

[ 11. December 2017, 17:45: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Yes, Jamat, John was an apostle and therefore his writings are authorative.

He lived in the 1st century, of course, and would have held to the historiography and cosmology etc that would have been customary in his time.

But your schema can't allow for that because the whole thing had to be neat, inerrant and cut and dried in a very black and white way.

So there can only be one author for Isaiah because the Apostle John believed there to have been.

I once had a good fundy friend try to convince me that Jesus must have known that there were smaller seeds elsewhere in the world than mustard seeds because he referred to them as 'the smallest of YOUR seeds.'

That had to be the case otherwise Jesus wrong and therefore the whole edifice would come crashing down.

He obviously had not heard of kenosis.

Your argument here is similar to that and holds about as much water.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Gamaliel: your argument here is similar to that and holds about as much water.

Well I do not know about mustard seeds but you seem to want to argue that John, inspired by the Holy Spirit and chosen and schooled by Christ, could make a fundamental error of fact over a major prophet's identity? I find that rather unusual for someone with your claims to faith.

[ 12. December 2017, 02:18: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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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)

Posts: 3228 | From: New Zealand | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
Shipmate
# 812

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You only find it unusual because you appear to expect things to run along nice, neat tramlines and because you are steeped in a particular strand of fundamentalist evangelicalism.

John's Gospel doesn't lose anything in terms of its authority, truth and power if its author wasn't aware of things that later generations were to discover through earnest enquiry, discussion and debate.

The Apostle John wouldn't have been aware of the North American continent nor the existence of what is now called New Zealand. Does that undermine the authority of his Gospel?

What the Apostle John was doing was drawing on images, ideas and prophetic material from his particular heritage and tradition and applying them to Christ - and yes, instructed by Christ himself and through the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit.

That would be the case had there been one, two,three, five or 26 Isaiah's.

My position is only 'strange' if regarded from the perspective of a particular form of 19th/early 20th century reaction against Modernism and Higher Criticism.

It is perfectly compatible with a belief in historic creedal Christianity and with a high Christology, a belief in the supernatural and a high view of scripture.

What it isn't compatible with is the kind of approach promulgated by some of the more reductionist forms of conservative evangelicalism.

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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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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Sorry to double-post, but my point, of course is that as the Second Person of the Trinity, Very-God of Very-God, Jesus would have been well aware that there smaller seeds worldwide than the mustard seeds 1st century Jews were familiar with.

But as a carpenter and itinerant preacher the Word made Flesh would have adopted/been familiar with the thought patterns and tropes of that time.

Equally, of course, God the Holy Spirit would have been perfectly aware whether the Book we call Isaiah was written by one person or several, over the course of one lifetime or several.

John the Apostle may not have done.

What was the Holy Spirit supposed to do? Give John a crash-course in archaeology and textual criticism?

The ancients were used to the accumulation of texts that would then be attributed to a single author. That idea wouldn't have fazed them.

So if John was aware of several 'Isaiah's' it wouldn't have necessarily prevented him from applying a single name to it.

After all, if we quote Wisden,the cricketing almanac,we don't expect to be understood to refer to texts all written by one Mr Wisden.

Of course, it could be that Isaiah was all written by one single prophet but even if it wasn't, even if the book is a collection of writings from several prophets over a lengthy period, how does that in any way diminish its message, its status as Holy Writ or its use by NT authors in reference to Christ as the Messiah?

That'd be like saying that Jesus was wrong about mustard seeds so the whole point of that allusion is undermined.

There's a flawed logic behind your assumptions.

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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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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
After all, if we quote Wisden,the cricketing almanac,we don't expect to be understood to refer to texts all written by one Mr Wisden.

Is Outrage! You'll next be saying that Mr. Bradshaw didn't compile all those railway timetables, or that Mr. Hansard doesn't report on Parliament personally. [Devil] Yet all are authoritative, it's a good point you make.
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Eutychus
From the edge
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I had thought of Hansard before Gamaliel posted. Although I agree with his overall point, I don't think the comparison quite works. Nobody refers to Hansard or Wisden as "he" rather than "it".

Besides, if one's interpretation of Scripture is "flat" - as Jamat's is - to the extent that "Moses" must always mean "the individual called Moses", "144,000" must mean 144,000 and not 143,999 or 144,001, and that the new Jerusalem will literally have "city dwellers, visitors, and there are still nations with kings on the earth" then I don't think this argument is going to wash with them anyway.

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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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Gamaliel
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One can but try, Eutychus.

Mind you, reading some of Jamat's posts I do wonder whether he's actually ever listened to a single word anyone has ever said on these boards ...

[Biased] [Razz]

But he wouldn't be the only Shipmate to which that applies, nor is his tradition the only one where it applies either.

I agree that Wisden, Hansard and Bradshaw aren't directly analogous, but you get my drift.

I don't read anywhere near as much scripture as I used to but I have to say my reading of it feels a lot richer now I tend to read it less 'flatly' than I used to ...

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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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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Gamaliel: (my view).. is perfectly compatible with a belief in historic creedal Christianity and with a high Christology, a belief in the supernatural and a high view of scripture
One does wonder if a belief in the supernatural and a high view of scripture would include the function of omniscience in matters of simple fact..

[ 12. December 2017, 14:07: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Gamaliel
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[Help]

[brick wall]

You don't get it do you?

Your approach to the scriptures reminds me of Gradgrind's approach to education in Dickens's Hard Times.

'Facts ... these are Facts ...'

If it were all about hard facts then our Lord might have said, 'Listen, you think that the mustard seed is the smallest of seeds but actually the smallest seeds in the world come from certain varieties of epiphytic orchids which grow in tropical rainforests ... which are in far away countries that you haven't discovered yet.'

The Apostle John referred to Isaiah in terms that implied a single authorship presumably because:

- That was the convention at the time.

- He may have believed that Isaiah was written by a single author.

- He may have been aware that there were several authors involved but simply adopted the convention of the times which was to exercise different views on authorship and historiography than those which apply today.

- There was one single author of the Book of Isaiah and he lived several hundred years before Cyrus as fundamentalists believe.

You seem to think that the Book of Isaiah HAS to have had a single author simply because the Apostle John appears to treat it as if it did.

What was supposed to happen?

As John sat down to write his Gospel, then the Holy Spirit would nudge him and say, 'Hey, you do know that there were actually two or three Isaiah's don't you?'

Or else, 'There was one single author because Isaiah names himself in the opening chapter ...'

I repeat, how does it possibly undermine the authority of John's Gospel if the writings of several prophets, writing at different times, had been put together in a single volume that bore the name of one of them?

It's this 'flat' view of scripture that Eutychus is referring to.

I would add the epithet 'wooden'.

Flat, wooden, overly literal.

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

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

Posts: 15997 | From: Cheshire, UK | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
One does wonder if a belief in the supernatural and a high view of scripture would include the function of omniscience in matters of simple fact..

Even if God is omniscient, it does not necessarily follow that the best explanation for all apparently predictive prophecy in Scripture is that he shared special insights from this omniscience with its authors.

One of the problems with this view is that it begs the question of why the ensuing predictive revelation is not even clearer than it is. This is one of the problems re: the passage in the OP, and it's also AIUI one of the problems with Daniel 11 - it's super-detailed and most of it fits with what we know from historical accounts, but (again AIUI) it's out in a couple of key details.

That calls for some critical thinking about the text either way - whether you think Daniel 11 was written before the fact and divinely predictive (in which case why does God get it a bit wrong) or late and after the fact (in which case how did it get into the canon so fast and again, why is it "wrong" in some aspects)?

Some people don't notice these discrepancies and that's fine. But if once confronted with such details we simply batten down the hatches and refuse to think about the implications, I think we are actually taking a low view of Scripture, because we're afraid it won't stand up to our honest and God-fearing scrutiny.

My experience is that I have more respect for Scripture after allowing myself to look at it critically and, as Martin said, seek to love God with all my mind as well as everything else. It comes out greater, not diminished.

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

Posts: 17944 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged



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