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Source: (consider it) Thread: All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
Martin60
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# 368

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Sorry mate, that's straining at a camel through the eye of a needle too far.

[ 03. January 2018, 21:04: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Martin60
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Sin, whatever that is, is so serious it justifies the God of prophecy drowning babies?

[ 03. January 2018, 21:08: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Sin, whatever that is, is so serious it justifies the God of prophecy drowning babies?

So at the risk of being offensive to the great killer God beam in your eye, why is it that the issue you have is not more wide spread in the church universal. Why has not the whole of humanity rejected Christ on that basis aeons ago?

Your clinging to Jesus as a life raft of faith does not answer the issue you say you have as after all, the cross is actually a terrible judgement on sin..which involved death? So you are inconsistent here.

Why is it though, that few have this problem that claim to be Christians. Is everyone else thick? morally inferior to you? ignorant or hardened to the the extent they do not realise that..hey, God is a killer? Not worthy of worship?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Aye E. Superb analogy.

Who said anything about analogy?

What if anything makes the Bible any different at all from Pi's story in your view? I'm struggling to put bible-thickness paper between "and so it goes with God" and your view of the biblical text.

Do we simply assume God prefers whichever gloss on the story we happen to like? That for all relevant purposes, whatever we make of the story is the Story? I mean, I can imagine that being argued as a thoroughly postmodern theological standpoint, although I'm far from sure the game is worth the candle. Is that what you're saying?

[ 03. January 2018, 21:51: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Sin, whatever that is, is so serious it justifies the God of prophecy drowning babies?

So at the risk of being offensive to the great killer God beam in your eye, why is it that the issue you have is not more wide spread in the church universal. Why has not the whole of humanity rejected Christ on that basis aeons ago?

Your clinging to Jesus as a life raft of faith does not answer the issue you say you have as after all, the cross is actually a terrible judgement on sin..which involved death? So you are inconsistent here.

Why is it though, that few have this problem that claim to be Christians. Is everyone else thick? morally inferior to you? ignorant or hardened to the the extent they do not realise that..hey, God is a killer? Not worthy of worship?

Dunno. But if you don't have a problem with drowning babies you need to put in a claim for a new moral compass, because yours is utterly screwed. Come on, explain. If the Flood was punishment for sin, what did those babies do that meant they deserved to drown?

It stinks. And you know it does. No wonder so many atheists are at pains to point out how evil Christianity is.

[ 03. January 2018, 22:16: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Jamat
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quote:
Karl LB: Come on, explain
Since I asked a different question and you said ‘Dunno’, and The bone of ‘killer God’ is well chewed and you reject every possibility and seem happy, the issue is not mine to answer. ‘Dunno’ isn’t very explanatory though. Maybe Martin 60 can enlarge.
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Martin60
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J. What K. said.

E. Aye. You're right. It's the only thing of worth there is. Unless you have something else better to offer? It's the greatest punchline of any story though. You can't equal let alone better it. It's The Lathe of Heaven.

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
J. What K. said.

Dunno from you too? Turn out the lights when you leave.
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
E. Aye. You're right. It's the only thing of worth there is. Unless you have something else better to offer? It's the greatest punchline of any story though. You can't equal let alone better it. It's The Lathe of Heaven.

I'm not sure what any of this means.

What is the "it" that is the only thing of worth?

What is the punchline?

I haven't read The Lathe of Heaven, I have read some similar stories by Le Guin and read the Wikipedia summary (which, ironically enough, tells me the title is a mistranslation...). In those stories as in Life of Pi, so far as I can tell reality is effectively the product of the beholder.

It's fine as fiction, but as reality it strikes me as a) being rather psychotic b) being supremely egotistical: I have the right to wrest this text to make it mean what I want it to and whatever "truth" I decree as a result "cannot be bettered". Not much "walking humbly before God" there, is there?

I can't really see what effective difference there is between this and dispensationalism, in that it subordinates the text to our ego.

Moreover, it flies in the face of the history of the Bible itself and how its custodians over the millenia approached it. I agree with Jamat that it seems rather arrogant to assume we suddenly have the inside track on what it all means compared to all those yokels in the past, especially when that insight appears to owe no small part to a worldview informed by the 1960s West Coast drugs scene and experience.

I can get my head round the idea of the OT representing a partial, culturally-bound understanding of who God is. I can also get my head round the idea of redaction and (just about) after-the-fact window-dressing of events to reflect favourably on contemporaneous protagonists (perhaps Cyrus, possibly Josiah). I can somehow get my head around editorial licence in the NT (just had cause to reread Jesus' calling of the first disciples in all four Gospels. Who did he call first, and where? How come I never noticed these contradictions all through Sunday School?).

The next step for me, however, is to want to try to understand the authors' intent and focus, and believe that I can learn something about God from what the text actually says.

Rather than pushing me into a resolutely egocentric smorgasboard approach to Scripture in which I just plunder it for the bits I like, this (in theory) should force me into a dialogue with the text and through it, with the aid of the Spirit, into a dialogue with God. The text makes me look beyond myself to others and the Other.

Now go and read The Pathways of Desire.

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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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J.
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Sin, whatever that is, is so serious it justifies the God of prophecy drowning babies?

So at the risk of being offensive to the great killer God beam in your eye, why is it that the issue you have is not more wide spread in the church universal. Why has not the whole of humanity rejected Christ on that basis aeons ago?

If you hadn't noticed, they very mainly have. In Christendom.
quote:

Your clinging to Jesus as a life raft of faith does not answer the issue you say you have as after all, the cross is actually a terrible judgement on sin..which involved death? So you are inconsistent here.

So, as I must believe in prophecy that isn't there because I believe in the Incarnation, because Jesus was crucified God can drown babies?

What K. said.
quote:

Why is it though, that few have this problem that claim to be Christians. Is everyone else thick? morally inferior to you? ignorant or hardened to the the extent they do not realise that..hey, God is a killer? Not worthy of worship?

The few, the very few that claim to be Christian beyond nominal, cultural in Christendom often believe that God is Killer and are paralysed with fear which is why they sing PSA hymns with such fervour.

M.

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Jamat
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quote:
Martin 60: If you hadn't noticed, they very mainly have. In Christendom
Actually, I think most people who are believers, do grapple with issues of God’s justice, but few allow it to undermine their faith as you have.

Regarding prophecy that ‘isn’t there’, you are deluded. The Bible is about 30% prophecy most of which is already fulfilled. This thread has mentioned a few of these prophecies only. You do not find prophecy in the writings of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism either. The Bible is different and when you read it seriously and consistently you find truth in so many places it’s staggering.

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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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You do find prophecy in the writings of other religions. Islam has plenty of prophecies for instance.

You are restricting the 'prophetic' to its predictive sense.

Also, plenty of people have lost their faith over the issues Martin60 mentions.

Is Martin losing his faith? Or is he simply modifying it?

Just because his faith differs to yours does that mean he's losing it?

On the issue of 'God the Killer', I've tended to avoid discussions about that so far but my take would be that we are dealing with 'progressive revelation' and there are plenty of hints and foretastes in the OT that God is a God of love and not some kind of cranky, offended Deity who goes around flooding the world or commanding genocide.

But then, I don't see the need to take the flood story as literally as you do, nor the accounts of the conquest of Canaan - although I do believe they are based on actual events.

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Martin60
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E.

Back to "And so it goes with God". Aye, it does. The unpalatable 'real' story isn't real. It never existed. The 'inspired' story. The 'prophesied' story. Of the OT. And the real NT story predicated on it in the faithful, divinely natured, fully human, enculturated, sublimely ignorant mind of Jesus.

Analogy: Life of Pi is an analogy because it doesn't quite work as they don't. The biblical text isn't reality. The inspiration isn't real. The prophecy isn't real. Whereas Pi's real story (in the story...) is real horror.

Gloss: I can't imagine that God prefers one that isn't on the arc of the moral universe, which is worth the candle surely? Especially as it goes to transcendent justice.

It: The story gloss of the trajectory on the arc of the moral universe to transcendent justice regardless of the horror of physical reality, i.e. the punchline you quoted.

My psychotic egotism: Admitting that the text is the product of egotism, that its claims to be totally supernaturally inspired and prophetic are human invention is terrifyingly humbling. It subordinates the text to reality and transcendence, dispensationalism doesn't.

The inside track: I don't see how the millennia of intellectual progress since, continuing from the millennia of intellectual progress during the Bible's compilation has anything to do with LSD taken at Berkeley – that gave us the charismatic movement after all – or reflects with arrogance on the unknown giants of their ages who compiled it.

Getting your head round it: your pathos lags behind your logos. It does with us all. Because what we feel is loss. We're being pruned. It hurts.

Auctorial intent: it was no less than ours surely? To know the mind of God. I too believe that I can learn something about God from what the text actually says: The astounding, transcendent contrast of the God of the text compared with contemporary texts, for a start. Before we get to the metanarrative.

Pick and mix: I couldn't agree more, twisting the text to an agenda isn't postmodern at all, it's anachronistic and ignores the evolutionary struggle.

The Pathways of Desire. I'll Kindle that for a dollar! A fiver actually.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The Pathways of Desire. I'll Kindle that for a dollar! A fiver actually.

Hat tip to Huia who sent me the whole collection The Compass Rose, of which that story is part, as a gift quite a few years ago now.

I'll need a while to digest the rest of the above.

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Martin60
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J:

Most Protestant true believers, like Muslim, don't grapple with issues of “God's justice” as portrayed in the text. They submit in barely repressed terror, yearning without hope for their damned loved ones. Their own children. Although Muslims do a much better job of transmitting true belief to their children.

30% eh? 9,000 verses. It's 8,352 actually. 27% About 30% true. 1,817 prophecies. Most fulfilled. What 51%? 80%? At least a thousand? Wow. None on this thread pass faithful scrutiny. You got any that do? You know, that would convince a reasonable person? Not a deluded one. The Noble Quran is full of prophecy. They overlap with Christianity's. Your ignorance is staggering. The Bible is different to what? I do read it seriously and consistently and find truth in so many places it’s staggering too.

M.

[ 04. January 2018, 17:39: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Jamat
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quote:
27% About 30% true. 1,817 prophecies. Most fulfilled. What 51%? 80%? At least a thousand? Wow. None on this thread pass faithful scrutiny. You got any that do? You know, that would convince a reasonable person
Did God warn Israel that they would be expelled from their homeland and wander the earth if they were unfaithful? Deut 33:64.

Were they expelled in the Babylonian captivity? Did Jesus state to Israel “Your house is left unto you desolate” in Matt 23:38. Did he say in Luke 21:24 they would be led captive into all the nations. Has this not occurred since AD132? Today are they not the most resisted and hated people on the planet? Witness the holocaust and now the ridiculous vendetta in the UN. Does this not fulfil Matt 24:9?

Is not a regathering of Israel prophesied in many places? One is Jeremiah 32:37. Sir Robert Anderson in the 19th century called this possibility politically impossible yet predicted on the basis of prophetic scripture that it must happen..it has.
He writes:
“What is to become of Palestine? It’s annexation by any one European star is in the highest degree improbable. The interests of several of the first rate powers forbid it. The way will thus be kept open to the Jews whenever their inclinations or their destinies lead them back to the land of their fathers” The Coming Prince P 168.

He wrote this in 1894, before WW1 and collapse of the Ottoman Empire which he could not foresee...before Allenby and the British occupation and before Balfour and the League of Nations and the UN. He predicted the rise of a Jewish state on the basis of PROPHECY!.. check it out.

Reasonable person? All I can say is that there is none so blind as those who refuse to see. The Jesus, you confess, stated “Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.” John 3:19.

Regarding justice, we have only human justice to compare. God has said, however, that the wages of sin are death. Rom 6:23. Fortunately, as you say, we have the word of Jesus from the cross..tetellestai..paid in full. We would be advised to heed it.

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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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Nothing then. Absolutely nothing.

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Jamat
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Reminds me of Blind Man’s Buff. Excuse me for not joining in.
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Martin60
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As I said.

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Love wins

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Louise
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hosting
OK, this has gone too far. There has been a fair bit of pigtail-pulling on this thread but insults as to who is deluded or whose ignorance is staggering are straight out C3 breaches and carrying on such personal conflicts breaches C4. Martin and Jamat, please either take it to Hell or stop all sniping at each other on this thread.
Thanks
Louise
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hosting off

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Golden Key
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Jamat--

quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
You do not find prophecy in the writings of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism either. The Bible is different and when you read it seriously and consistently you find truth in so many places it’s staggering.

Actually, there's prophecy all over the place, in other religions and outside religion. I haven't yet found a really good article, but the Wikipedia article "Prophecy" is a place to start. You can also just do a web search on "(religion name) prophecy".

All the religions you mentioned have prophecies--often of a coming prophet, teacher, etc.; or a coming time of trouble and how to get through it.

There are loads of Native American prophecies. The Hopi ones might be the best known to outsiders. In searching, I found a hit for a Christian site that compared them with biblical end times prophecies, and found common ground. From Aboriginals to Zoroastrians, there are prophecies. And don't forget the Delphic oracle.

Putting aside all consideration of whose prophecies are (more) true, the Bible isn't alone in having them. Nor in people finding "staggering truth" in scriptures and teachings.

FWIW.

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Ricardus
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Scrolling back a bit ...
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
So while we're waiting for Martin's reply, Gamaliel, what's your take on the dating arguments.

Specifically, to what extent are they driven by assumptions one way or the other about predictive prophecy, and to what extent are they informed by purely textual, lingustic elements?

Speaking personally, I do have issues with predictive prophecy, which I outlined in this post, but I'd like to think they are properly Bible-based(TM) and not just liberal prejudice.

That said, even a non-specialist should be able to distinguish between Anglo-Saxon and Chaucerian English, and between Chaucerian and Shakespearean English. So if Hebrew scholars claim to be able to date a text on the basis of the stage of development of the language, I don't see a reason to doubt that it's possible.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Ricardus
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Also, there seems to be a bit of an assumption that if Daniel was actually written after all the stuff about the Kings of the North and the South took place, then it must be fraudulent.

But it's only fraudulent if the author claimed it was some ancient text he'd just dug up. If there was no pretence to that effect, then it's just some kind of historical fiction.

Example: the Aeneid has a much-imitated passage where Aeneas goes into the Underworld and receives a vision of the future (from his perspective) rulers of Rome, all the way up to the Emperor Augustus. This is clearly intended as a compliment to Virgil's imperial patron. But if Virgil had claimed he had found the Aeneid as an ancient text in an amphora, and that it was a contemporary account of Aeneas' vision, then it would be fraudulent.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
even a non-specialist should be able to distinguish between Anglo-Saxon and Chaucerian English, and between Chaucerian and Shakespearean English. So if Hebrew scholars claim to be able to date a text on the basis of the stage of development of the language, I don't see a reason to doubt that it's possible.

No indeed. As a linguist, that's my thinking. I just despair of finding commentators who can provide the right combination of expertise in the relevant languages and an absence of theological bias to suit my proclivities in this respect.

In fact I think one of the problems here is that we all come to this question with differing backgrounds, well beyond simply theological differences.

Sometimes I think I'm actually not that far away from Martin's spot on the mountain, simply expressing it in very different terms because the analysis I bring, the things that bug me, and the practical outcomes are all very different for each of us. Certainly I get the feeling there's a lot of talking past each other for several of us here.

I'd like to get back to Martin's post above but I've run out of time to do it justice (i.e. fathom out what it might mean) for the moment.

[ 05. January 2018, 08:11: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
Also, there seems to be a bit of an assumption that if Daniel was actually written after all the stuff about the Kings of the North and the South took place, then it must be fraudulent.

But it's only fraudulent if the author claimed it was some ancient text he'd just dug up. If there was no pretence to that effect, then it's just some kind of historical fiction.

Yes again. I'm quite open to that from a literary perspective, and your example from Virgil is instructive.

But I'd like to be sure that this wasn't just a convenient way of avoiding predictive prophecy, not on literary or linguistic grounds, but on theological grounds.

One of the places I part company with Martin is that he often seems to be starting with: 1) "there can't be any predictive prophecy because that means God must be micro-managing history, be a Killer, etc." and going on 2) to read the text in that light, whereas ideally, I'd much prefer the other way round:

starting by 1) looking at the literary aspects of the text and 2) possibly concluding from that analysis "hmm, what looks like predictive prophecy at first glance might be a literary convention" (or a bad translation, see Isaiah 7:14...) and 3) drawing some conclusions about divine sovreignty and so forth from that. I'd like my theology to be more informed by the actual text than Martin's seems to be.

I don't know if this makes sense. I tried to say something like this before but nobody picked up on it [Waterworks]

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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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Ricardus
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I suppose the problem for me is that there will always be something a bit a priori about deciding whether a text is more likely to be predictive prophecy than anything else.

That is, if one looks at the options and think predictive prophecy is a more (or less) likely explanation than fraud, literary convention, etc, then that presupposes not only that I know prevalent fraud or literary conventions were at the time, but also that I already have some idea of how likely predictive prophecy is.

But I can't have got that idea from the text, because it's what I'm using to evaluate the text.

(So if I say something like, hm, 2% of forgery, 3% chance of literary convention, therefore prophecy is the most probable option, that implies I'm approaching the text with an a priori view that prophecy has a greater than 3% chance of being present. My reasons for that view may be entirely rational, but they are still something I am bringing to the text rather than taking from the text.)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I suppose the problem for me is that there will always be something a bit a priori about deciding whether a text is more likely to be predictive prophecy than anything else.

Yeah, I get that. But I like to dream one could be objective about it, or at least a bit more so.

Caricaturing again, the "higher criticism" view seems to start by practically ruling out the involvement of God at all, thus saying "well we know predictive prophecy is impossible" and explaining away bits of, say, Daniel by pointing out they mimic contemporaneous, extra-biblical texts cast as prophecy that aren't.

At the other end of the scale, confronted by this, Joyce Baldwin in my IVP commentary on Daniel grudgingly admits the existence of other, similar texts and goes on to say something along the lines of "so of course the Biblical prophecies have to be extra-specially accurately predictive to prove they are inspired and not like all the other, fake ones they resemble" [brick wall]

I can't help thinking there must be a way between these two extremes if predicitive prophecy is not allowed to take on the role of shibboleth - which it seems to do for both Jamat and Martin.

I'd prefer to start with something like "this looks predictive; is it really? Is there any doubt either way? If so, let's make this a secondary, not a primary consideration in our theology".

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Gamaliel
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I've been pondering that self-same point, Eutychus but can't avoid the conclusion that it makes little difference to my faith and the way I work it out and apply it if:

- The apparently predictive elements in Daniel and Isaiah aren't.

- The apparently predictive elements in Daniel and Isaiah are certainly predictive in the way Jamat claims.

What possible difference does it make?

I still believe that Jesus is the Messiah. I still believe the historic Creeds.

And if there are future, 'unfulfilled' elements then they'll become apparent in the fullness of time.

I don't see why there's so much fuss made over the whole thing when there are a lot more pressing issues to be concerned about.

It's pretty inevitable that liberals are going to opt for late dates for some of this material and conservatives will argue for early dates. There's no such thing as objectivity here. The sooner we acknowledge that the better.

Then we can do as I do and try to steer between the Scylla of scepticism and Charybdis of inflexible certainty.

Come on. We know it makes sense ...

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Martin60
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My apologies to you as host Louise and to yourself Jamat for sniping.

@Jamat, as you know, my provenance for 30 years is Armstrongism; Anglo-Israelism as the key to Holy Spirit inspired and preserved prophecy by the prophets, as stated and dated, starting with Moses. For 30 years I would have made your argument above in deeply researched encyclopaedic detail. I majored in the minors second to none. We could not differentiate between the old and the new covenants except by progressive case law. That which wasn't permitted, repealed, rationalized by our apostle, was forbidden.

Anglo-Israelism is a delusion. I wept for its loss on the toilet in '95. It took another 15 years at least for God the Killer to finally die. I was wrestling with postmodernism just 5 years ago.

What disturbs me most about myself as always is “So knowledge isn’t the be-all, end-all here; love is.” from this this morning.

I am found wanting in love. Again. And again. And... Let me count the ways!

@Ricardus. I like 'that post'. And the point about the evolution of English – which Eutychus despairs of in the Hebrew (and Greek?) - and the historical fiction of 'Daniel' as in Virgil. I don't know if you think me guilty of liberal prejudice. If you do, please say. I'd say 'not guilty', even though in what follows you'd all find me guilty as charged I'm sure.

@Eutychus. I'm sorry to make it difficult for you, but you're doing fine despite that, overcoming my severe limitations. You make sense.

I don't want to avoid, cannot avoid predictive prophecy on theological grounds over scientific grounds, to which literary and linguistic grounds are entirely subordinate. For decades I reified predictive prophecy using every literary and linguistic ground I could find, distorted science itself through that lens. It should be childishly simple to demonstrate from history, i.e. the scientific analysis of documents, if prophecy has been fulfilled, IF the documents can be scientifically traced back to Isaiah son of Amoz and the Daniel of the scriptural Daniels or another alone. They can't be. And there is nothing internal to the documents themselves that can possibly, falsifiably, literarily or linguistically prove that they are foretellingly prophetic. The text does not validate itself internally.

That is not liberal prejudice.

In no other field of enquiry would we abandon the principles of science, of forensics, of history in favour of a miraculous explanation that isn't warranted. And I am COMPLETELY open to the miraculous as I accept the Incarnation AND the independently warranted, reasonable posit of God as ground of being. AND more! I see Him in the texts. Despite them. I see Him in contrast to the gods and their requirement in contemporaneous, concurrent religious texts. Staggeringly so. Profoundly, beautifully, movingly, inspiringly and inspiredly so. Progressively through a glass darkly still. He changes not.

I submit that due to the science, the theology follows. Not the other way around. No cart of theology can drive the horse of science. No matter how much I want existential, postmodern, neo-orthodox, liberal theology to be true (not Spongiform liberal theology, which is neither), all it would take is ONE fulfilled prophecy demonstrating 'redemptive' violence and I'd have to bow the knee and shake my head. But there isn't even a single Jewish messianic prophecy that isn't only – 20% numerically - vaguely fulfilled in Jesus. Most aren't at all. 'Yet'. Christians add more from seven Psalms, two of which Jesus used as He was dying. I haven't done a proper comparison of Jewish with Christian messianic claims, but they certainly overlap.

If because I accept the Incarnation-Resurrection I must accept the fulfilment of messianic longing and 'prophecy' does that mean I must accept God the Killer, PSA and a Wednesday universe? Only the last have I never believed. Whilst believing in Adam and Eve, the Flood and other mything the point as fact. Now NONE are warranted. Predictive prophecy IS possible. There isn't any. Certainly none predicated on God's 'sovereignly' violently micromanaging the future.

(@Gamaliel) This isn't scepticism. And it is objective.

And yes I want the Church to go forward on an unsensibly broad, inclusive front.

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Gamaliel
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I wasn't accusing you of 'scepticism', Martin60. I actually find your accounts of your explorations quite moving - when I can follow the gist ...

[Biased]

What I'd say in response is to reiterate a point made earlier and somewhere or other ( [Biased] ) by Eutychus I think, that prophecy needn't be 'commutative' ...

So I'd suggest that any of us who go round try to match every single detail and whip-stitch of an OT prophecy (whether we see it as predictive or otherwise) to its NT fulfilment or some kind of future fulfilment, are barking up the wrong tree.

Take Peter's Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:

'This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel ...'

http://biblehub.com/acts/2-16.htm

Well yes, and if we were to tick the boxes we'd find people prophesying, dreaming dreams, seeing visions ...

But where on the Day of Pentecost do we see, 'blood and fire and billows of smoke ...' the moon turning to blood and so on?

Ah, the Futurists say, that's not talking about the Day of Pentecost, that's a foretelling of a future event, 'before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord' (Acts 2:20 NIV).

So why mention it then? Why does Peter include it in his sermon?

Sure, he sees it as the inauguration of a new era, the start of the age which is to come - with concommitant signs, wonders and auguries.

Other than the general point about signs and wonders, there is nothing in Joel's prophecy that describes the events of Pentecost in detail. No specific mention of 'speaking in other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance,' for instance.

No, it's the general principle that Peter applies.

It seems to me that hard-line Futurists and ultra-conservative evangelicals like Jamat (I'm avoiding the fundamentalist tag as he doesn't like it) expect the scriptures to 'behave' in ways that they don't actually conform to ie. exact equivalences in 100% of cases 100% of the time.

I don't see that in the text.

So, to my mind, it's a complete red-herring to say '20% of prophecies accurately refer to this' or '47.92% of them do that ...'

It smacks of a mid-19th century obsession with numerology - literal 1,000 year millenia, 'seventy weeks of years' and 'times, time and half a time' and so on ...

As if the scriptures are some kind of Rubik's cube puzzle or pocket calculator.

This is why I keep banging on about genre and why I find the kind of eschatological speculations engaged in by Jamat's favourite authors to be such a waste of time.

They are missing the point. By a country mile. Or by 'times, time and half a time' or however many 'weeks' of years you want it to be.

They think that they are defending the integrity of the scriptures by doing so but in reality they are making the scriptures behave in a way that don't appear to have done at any time.

'This is that ...' this is like ...

'It is as if ...'

'It reminds me of ...'

'Surely it is a case of ...'

Etc ...

You don't have to be a dyed in the wool liberal to see that. Heck, I've read Watchman Nee and he makes the same observation about Acts 2 as I just did. That's where I got it from.

Ultimately, if Josiah's reign was prophesied 300 years in advance, then glory be ...

If it wasn't and we are dealing with a contemporary account of some kind then glory be also - it doesn't detract from the broad thrust and aim of the account unless we insist on scripture behaving in ways that it doesn't ever appear to have done - other than in the minds of mid-19th century Protestants reacting against Higher Criticism or going off on post-Darby flights of eschatological fancy.*


* Although I'd certainly accept that eschatological speculation pre-dates that and you find it the Fathers, in medieval writing and in the speculations of the 18th century Jesuit, Manuel Lacunza. But you get my point ...

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Martin60
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Ah go on G. Accuse away if yer want. But you don't. Which is damn nice of you. Whip-stitch! You really are the most agreeable of men even though I want to disagree!

: if Josiah's reign was prophesied 300 years in advance, then God is VERY other indeed. Reality, God is BEYOND Haldane's '...not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. I'd add 'more pragmatic' to 'queerer'.

I used to regard Him as such for decades. It would take a scientifically demonstrable prophecy to make me go back to that from as I see Him in Christ now.

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Eutychus
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I'm beginning to suspect that Ursula Le Guin is the key to your mind, Martin:

quote:
How can you tell fact from legend, truth from truth?
- Semley's Necklace

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
But there isn't even a single Jewish messianic prophecy that isn't only – 20% numerically - vaguely fulfilled in Jesus.

Funny you should say that.

I'm contemplating preaching on the Wise Men on Sunday (so what am I doing here? Good question). And what do I find (I swear I didn't go looking for this and had forgotten it was in that passage)?

In Matthew 2:6 the Scribes quote Micah 5:2 in answer to Herod's question about where the Christ was to be born.

So whatever the author of Micah thought, as Matthew has it the Jewish authorities, not those favourable to Jesus it would seem, were already interpeting that prophecy as Messianic before Jesus even emerged onto the scene - and it was accurate.

So is this after-the-fact flower arranging à la Josiah (and if it is, why believe any aspect of the accounts of the Incarnation at all?) or is it at the very least God deigning to fulfil at least some prophetic expectations of his people, even if (as so often) he subverts them in the very fulfilment thereof? Or one of my quantum nodes? Or what?

[ 05. January 2018, 18:42: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Gamaliel
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Good questions.

However we cut it, I get the impression that there was a heightened sense of Messianic expectations from the revolt of The Maccabees onwards.

You've got the Essenes and so on hiving off into the desert ...

You've got all manner of midrashic speculations and so on.

So it's hardly surprising if there was fervent speculation going on in terms of interpretation of prophetic and apocalyptic texts.

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Eutychus
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They got that one right, though, apparently.

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Jamat
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quote:
Martin :60 I used to regard Him as such for decades. It would take a scientifically demonstrable prophecy to make me go back to that from as I see Him in Christ now.

Oh really? And preferably something peer reviewed and repeatable?

Here is Robert Anderson’s summation of Dan 9 24-27.

*The 70 weeks = 70 times 7 prophetic years of 360 days
* The weeks begin with the edict of Artaxerxes Longimanus’ 20th year noted in Nehemiah.
* Luke states that the Lord’s public ministry began in the 15 Th year of Tiberius Caesar..between August AD 28 and April AD 29
*the Passover of the crucifixion was therefore in AD 32 when Christ was betrayed on the night of the paschal supper, and put to death on the day of the Paschal feast.
* The period between Artaxerxes edict and the passion should be expected to be 483 years.
* The edict was issued in Jewish month of Nisan. Jews compute from 1st of the month so the 70 weeks begin 1st Nisan BC 445.
* In BC 445, the new moon by which the Passover was regulated was 13 March, 7hr,9 m am so 1st Nisan was March 14.
* An era of 69 weeks ore 483 prophetic years reckoned from 14 March 445 BC should accord with some event to satisfy the words, ‘unto Messiah the prince.’
* This could not be the nativity as this would be 33 years before Messiah’s death.
* Jesus final visit to Jerusalem was the crisis of his ministry. He accepted the acclamation of the crowd in contrast to previous admonition to disciples not to make him known. Luke 19:39,40. This was the point of irrevocable choice.
*Zechariah signalled that day “Rejoice greatly daughter of Zion” Zech 9:9. This was a day that satisfies the angel’s words in Daniel.. “unto Messiah the prince.”
* this date is ascertainable. Jesus went up to Jerusalem on 8Nisan, 6 days before Passover.
* in that year, 14 Nisan was on a Thursday so the 8 of Nisan was the preceding Friday. He spent the sabbath at Mary and Martha’s house and entered Jerusalem as recorded in the gospels on 10 Nisan.
* The Julian date of that 10 Nisan was Sunday, April 6 AD32.
* what then was the length of the period between the issuing of the decree to to rebuild Jerusalem and ‘Messiah the prince’?
Ie between 14 March BC 445 and 6 April AD 32?
* This interval contained exactly and to the very day, 173880 days or, 7 times 69 prophetic years of 360 days, in other words
The first 69 ‘weeks’ of Gabriel’s prophecy.

Seem forensic enough for you Martin60?

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Gamaliel
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Oh come on, Jamat. Evangelical commentaries such as those published by IVP acknowledge that whilst some commentators claim to be able to make the 70 weeks fit with the dating of Christ's ministry, the issue is far from resolved.

You are doing the precise thing I find so unconvincing about this approach.

@Eutychus, in terms of them 'getting it right' apparently, well yes - but there are anomalies that don't fit. 'He shall be called a Nazarene' for instance.

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Eutychus
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The interesting thing about the Bethlehem one for the purposes of this discussion is not only is it accurate, but it is also reported by Matthew as being the answer the scribes gave to Herod.

In other words, it's not just Matthew breaking off the narrative with an aside saying "and this fulfilled (sort of) this prophecy"; it's part of the narrative itself.

I'd like to know from Martin whether in his view this is simply a plot device by Matthew, putting the words of that prophecy in the mouths of the scribes to make the whole thing more exciting.

If it is only that, then I think we can pretty much kiss Bethlehem and probably the Nativity goodbye too in terms of relying on the Gospels, or at least Matthew's, to tell us what happened.

If it isn't that, what is it?

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Martin60
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Aye. It looks like Jesus. So it's God.

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Gamaliel
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I'm sorry, Jamat, but that approach exemplifies what I consider to be the weaknesses rather than the strength of your kind of approach.

It treats the Bible in an almost talismanic fashion where every details has to fit together in some remarkably dove-tailed way - even down to the day or hour.

By starting at any fixed point you choose we could pretty much make the 70 weeks fit with any scheme we wish. There are a whole load of arbitrary assumptions and leaps in the example you cite. It is far from scientific and water-tight and any of us here could drive a steam-roller or coach and horses through it if we wished.

It's this whole thing of treating the Bible like some kind of coded almanac.

It's just wrong on so many levels.

If anything the apparent discrepancies and anomalies in scripture make it more convincing to me than if it really did all neatly dove-tail together in the way ultra-conservative commentators seem to expect and demand.

You talk about 'reading the Bible seriously.' The example you've given sounds to me like not reading it seriously enough. It's about layering verses in such a way as to make them fit.

'Let's see, if we start our 70 weeks here then that takes us to ...'

I really despair when I read stuff like that. It doesn't help my faith. It does the opposite.

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Gamaliel
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Cross-posted with Eutychus:

Could be. The thing is though, that it appears the NT writers aren't averse to trying to find prophetic justification for things even though the examples they draw on may not appear to fit the bill.

'He shall be called a Nazarene,' is a case in point. Attempts to explain that one strike me as somewhat contrived.

The Bethlehem reference is interesting and yes, it is telling that Matthew makes it part of the narrative. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were a scribal tradition that was expecting the Messiah to come from Bethlehem based on interpretations of scriptural hints indications.

So yes, Matthew could certainly be recording general beliefs and expectations among the scribes at Herod's court.

Where I might part company with you, though is on it being a clear-cut choice between kicking the whole thing into touch or taking all the details at face value.

That might sound a bit wriggly on my part but I'm being open with you all.

The 'He shall be called a Nazarene' thing, whatever else it tells us, surely indicates that there was a propensity to mine even the most obscure references - and there isn't even a reference in that particular case - and apply them to Christ.

That doesn't mean the early Christians were wrong to apply types, foreshadowings and prophecies to Christ. It simply shows that the process didn't follow the kind of neat Meccano set models that Jamat seems to suggest with his 70 weeks application.

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Jamat
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quote:
Gamaliel: starting at any fixed point you choose we could pretty much make the 70 weeks fit with any scheme we wish. There are a whole load of arbitrary assumptions and leaps in the example you cite. It is far from scientific and water-tight and any of us here could drive a steam-roller or coach and horses through it if we wished
I just did that because Martin60 demanded detailed verifiable and definite example. It is such and a challenge to his complacent atheism. Let him show it is incorrect. Let him seriously look at the claim.

I did not expect it to convince you but I defy you to dismiss it with the usual airy hand wave. You have not demonstrated anything but generalised vagueness, ever, when it comes to such matters. Be my guest and prove Anderson wrong. Drive your horse through the holes at full gallop.

The beginning point is far from arbitrary. Daniel 9 speaks of the 70 weeks beginning from a decree to rebuild the city. Such a decree is found in Nehemiah and is datable. The only premise you need to assume is that where it touches history, scripture is reliable.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I just did that because Martin60 demanded detailed verifiable and definite example. It is such and a challenge to his complacent atheism.

Martin is an atheist? Where's your evidence? Do you just mean he doesn't share your understanding of Christianity? I guess that would make me an atheist too.

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Gamaliel
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Or any of us who don't take the kind of approach Anderson does.

It'd be easy to drive a coach and four through Anderson's formula. I need to sleep but in the morning I'll pull one of the Jenga pillars out. Anyone could.

It is risible and does a disservice to scripture. What does Anderson say about, 'He shall be called a Nazarene?'

I expect he comes out with an equally far-fetched and convoluted explanation for that one.

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Gamaliel
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Example, 'This could not be the Nativity because that would be 33 years before Christ's death.'

Oh, right, so let's find another date to hang it on then in order to make it fit.

I've read loads of stuff like this. It doesn't convince. My faith persists despite of efforts like this, not because of them.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I just did that because Martin60 demanded detailed verifiable and definite example. It is such and a challenge to his complacent atheism.

Martin is an atheist? Where's your evidence? Do you just mean he doesn't share your understanding of Christianity? I guess that would make me an atheist too.
I fear it would make the majority of Christians throughout history atheists.

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Jamat
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quote:
I've read loads of stuff like this. It doesn't convince. My faith persists despite of efforts like this, not because of them.

Really? You give no evidence of having such familiarity.
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Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Gamaliel: What does Anderson say about, 'He shall be called a Nazarene?'
Nothing. My reference to Robert Anderson was from his 1894 exposition of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy from his book ‘The Coming Prince’ which is out of print. If you see a copy anywhere it is worth a read.

Regarding: ‘as it is written,he shall be called a Nazarene’ , it is true that there is no specific prophecy in the OT that corresponds to this statement in Matt 2:23. It seems to be a prophetic summation of how the Messiah is treated. The word prophets, plural, is used in Matt 2 suggesting a ‘summation’ of what the prophets wrote in reference to the messiah, ie that he would be despised and rejected.

This view is reinforced by a mention in Acts 24:5 of the term Nazarene that suggests it was a derogatory name for followers of Christ when they were regarded as a Jewish sect. In the first century, (see Jn1:46,) the term apparently referred to a despised, rejected individual.

Another eg when prophets, plural, is referred to is in Luke 18:31-33 where no one prophet stated what Jesus said would happen to him, but collectively they did. It seems that the term ‘nazarene’ in Matt 2:23, is satisfactorily explained as a prophetic summation of how Messiah would be treated.

The word could derive from Is11:1where Messiah is referred to as ‘netzer’ or branch.

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

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Yes, I know about 'netzer' but it's use is problematic. The word-play in the Hebrew doesn't translate so well into the Greek.

I don't have a particular problem with the general application of the 'Nazarene' reference, but my point is that if it is a prophetic fulfilment then it's not a 'commutative' one in the sense that all the details fit neatly and incontrovertible . If that reference didn't exist and someone suggested it in a theological essay at any reputable seminary, they wouldn't get very good marks for doing so.

My point is that the NT writers can appear to act in a somewhat cavalier way with these references. It's the overall sweep and thrust they are concerned with, not whether a particular aspect of an OT prophecy was fulfilled to the letter at 3.35pm on a Thursday or whatever - which is the somewhat contrived way that Anderson and people like him operate.

You act as if I have never read any of this stuff. I have. I find it unconvincing.

I have also been to church meetings where preachers have come out with similar stuff and Bible studies etc. Again, I found that whole emphasis contrived.

As far as I'm aware - and I'm happy to be corrected - none of the Gospel writers specifically apply Daniel's 'weeks' to working out what was going on in Christ's ministry. Yes, there are references and echoes of it all in Revelation, but again, in the context of an apocalyptic genre and with John referring back to the collective depository of inherited images and tropes from OT prophecy and apocalyptic writings.

Anderson makes some pretty broad assumptions in order to find a hook on which to hang his overly elaborate and overly literal interpretation.

Besides, whoever made him an authority on anything? He's simply another of these somewhat geeky guys who appear to want to tie up all apparent loose-ends and resolve every feature or aspect of scripture as if it's some kind of giant jigsaw puzzle.

It is wrong-headed and unnecessary.

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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 Martin60:
Aye. It looks like Jesus. So it's God.

I don't understand this answer.

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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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