"Dissolving" in 2 Peter 3 & Isa. 34 - crucial cross-reference for understanding

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. asterisktom

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    I gave up on waiting for an answer from Eagle or others on the previous thread, so I repeat the post here in its own thread, adding other details as well. Any takers?

    The purpose of this thread is to show that New testament prophetical passages should not be studied in isolation, but should be compared carefully with any Old Testament cross-references, if there are any. And, in the case of the passage below, there certainly is.

    2 Peter 3:11 - 12 is a favorite passage of futurists:

    "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?"

    For the sake of brevity we will just focus on the word "dissolve". The futurist view is that the actual physical world, the universe, will be loosened, destroyed. But the one who is familiar with the Old Testament -
     
    #1 asterisktom, Aug 24, 2010
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  2. HankD

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    "dissolved" - luo


    Strong's 3089
    luo
    Meaning: 1) to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened 1a) bandages of the feet, the shoes, 1b) of a husband and wife joined together by the bond of matrimony 1c) of a single man, whether he has already had a wife or has not yet married 2) to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free 2a) of one bound up (swathed in bandages) 2b) bound with chains (a prisoner), discharge from prison, let go 3) to loosen, undo, dissolve, anything bound, tied, or compacted together 3a) an assembly, i.e. to dismiss, break up 3b) laws, as having a binding force, are likened to bonds 3c) to annul, subvert 3d) to do away with, to deprive of authority, whether by precept or act 3e) to declare unlawful 3f) to loose what is compacted or built together, to break up, demolish, destroy 3g) to dissolve something coherent into parts, to destroy 3h) metaph., to overthrow, to do away with ​


    The word is a generic word and obviously has a plethora of meanings but underlying it all within the context is the idea of the end of the material universe and the beginning of a new heavens and a new earth.

    In the 21st century it sounds quite a bit like a loosening of the sub atomic particles binding the components of the nucleii - its called thermo-nuclear fussion.​

    And with all due respect brother , "no" to the statement, "for the sake of brevity" which is IMO is a way to disregard the context of the passage from verse 10 through 13.​

    Within the context of this passage which we are asked to ignore for the sake of brevity the very real idea of the cataclysmic end of the material universe as we know it?​

    2 Peter

    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.​



    HankD​
     
  3. asterisktom

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    "Dissolving" in 2 Peter 3 & Isa. 34 - complete OP

    Well, this is a first. I had posted this during a storm here in Texas. I thought that the post had gone through, but only the first part did. I lost connection, but didn't know it until I signed on again just now.

    Let me post this OP once more and we will go from there.

    The purpose of this thread is to show that New testament prophetical passages should not be studied in isolation, but should be compared carefully with any Old Testament cross-references, if there are any. And, in the case of the passage below, there certainly is.

    2 Peter 3:11 - 12 is a favorite passage of futurists:

    "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?"

    For the sake of brevity we will just focus on the word "dissolve". The futurist view is that the actual physical world, the universe, will be loosened, destroyed. But the one who is familiar with the Old Testament - not just saying that Peter's prophecy is based on the OT, but actually is familiar with this big chunk of inspired Scripture - will recognize that this phrase is very familiar. Isaiah 34:4:

    All the host of heaven shall be dissolved,
    And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll;
    All their host shall fall down
    As the leaf falls from the vine,
    And as fruit falling from a fig tree.


    This is called the "Day of the LORD", one of several in the Old testament.

    There are five images here that are repeated several places in the New Testament, but the one that is noteworthy right now for my purpose is that first one, underlined.

    The "All the host of heaven shall be dissolved" of Isaiah 34
    matches up to the "all these things will be dissolved" of 2 Peter.

    But - and here is the clincher - Isaiah was prophesying about God's judgment against Idumea and Bozrah. These are nation-states that no longer exist. The judgment already happened. All that "dissolving" in the Old Testament is done with. It was, in fact, apocalyptical language, biblical hyperbole.

    The same is the case with 2 Peter 3. There will be no physical dissolving, only the dissolving that has to do with the 1st-century Jew's Day of the Lord.

    Studying the Old Testament with purpose and diligence will clear these obscurities up.
    Merely calling them "obscure" and "vague" will just keep you in the dark about these prophecies.
     
  4. asterisktom

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    Hank, I hope that by now you had read my new original post - and the reason why it was necessary.

    The "brevity" I wanted was for me to first show the connection of terms with the passage in Isaiah, a very close connection. Once we are done with that I am more than willing to go over this whole Petrine feast, this whole passage, to your heart's content. I am not asking for anyone to "ignore" anything; I just wanted to do the other thing first. It was my very purpose in starting this thread.

    Take care.
     
  5. HankD

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    I have re-read it Tom and Isaiah 34 in my view has the far reaching component of the Day of the Lord as do most of the other prophets.

    In other words Isaiah was speaking of the world cataclysm of 2 Peter.

    In addition Isaiah is not simply addressing Idumea (Edom - the descendants of Esau, Mount Seir) but the goyim and the world (tebel) The LXX uses oikomene here for world in verse 1.

    Isaiah 34:1 Come near, ye nations (goyim), to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world (tebel), and all things that come forth of it.
    2 For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations (el_kol_goyim), and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.
    3 Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
    4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
    5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
    6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
    7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
    8 For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.
    9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof. ​

    So if you see the Isaiah 34 conection to 2 Peter do you also see the connection to "all nations" and "the world"?​

    Edom (though not part of Judah but south of it - Mt Seir) was also carried off to Babylon and the Northern Empire Caucus Mountains by Nebuchadnezzar, south of what is now known as modern Russia.​

    Much of Russia may very well be the descendants of Edom (Esau).​

    Also known as Gog and Magog who are present at the final conflagration of Revelation 20.​


    HankD​
     
  6. RAdam

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    Look, instead of trying to figure out what dissolve means, how about looking at what world Peter is speaking of. This is where the preterist view of this text falls to pieces. In the context (the most important factor in understanding biblical passages) Peter speaks of the world in this fashion. First he tells of scoffers who would come and deny the Second Coming of Christ saying that all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. Peter then references God creating the world, the physical world. Then he speaks of the flood when the world was overflowed with water. Then he states that by the same word that created the world, the world (again the physical world) was being reserved unto fire at day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. Then he states that the world will be destroyed, the very elements being dissolved by fervent heat, when the Lord returns as a thief in the night. Throughout Peter speaks of the same world. He is not using figurative language. World here does not mean a religious system. It does not change meaning. It is constant throughout the context. Peter is speaking of the literal, physical world.
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    The same language was used by John describing the fall of Jerusalem in 70ad
     
  8. RAdam

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    And you cannot prove that John was talking about Jerusalem. You cannot even prove that was written prior to 70 AD.

    Again, nobody can overthrow the fact that the context shows that what Peter was referring to by "world" was the physical world. You can go to other passages in scripture with figurative language and make of them what you want, but you cannot overthrow the simple fact that the context proves that Peter is speaking literally of the physical world.
     
  9. asterisktom

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    Uh oh! I better pick up the pieces. Let's follow through here at the daunting evidence and see what you have...

    Check.
    I'll grant this for the sake of argument.
    Oops! Our first glitch. There is a subtle mistake here. Please note Peter's actual words in verse 6:

    "the world (KOSMOS) that then existed perished (APWLETO), being flooded with water."

    If I would give my students that sentence to diagram it would boil down to "World | perished" Peter actually said that the world before the flood "perished". This becomes important later on when compare this judgment with the later one.

    Of course, the world itself did not perish. Peter was speaking metaphorically of the world of humanity. The world was inundated, yes - all but that mountaintop that became the landing site for the ark.
    No, we have shown now that this "world" was not the physical world, but the "world of humanity"
    Not so fast. Peter states that the "heavens and the earth are ... reserved for fire." This means something different than you think it does.

    First of all, God will never destroy the physical world. It will always be here. He himself promised this:

    "...like the earth which He hath established forever." Psa. 78:69

    "[God] laid the foundation of the earth, that it shall not be removed forever," Psa. 104:5

    "...the earth abideth forever." Ecc. 1:4

    I typed these out quickly so I didn't quote as much as I wanted. But check out the whole contexts if you want.

    Also in Genesis 8:21 we find that God will never again destroy the world - whether it be the physical world, or even just the "world of humanity".

    21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
    Hopefully you can now see that this is just not the case.
    Ditto
    There is more than needs to be said, but I need to get to other posts as well. Hopefully this provides some grits for your meal.

    I mean "gist for the mill" :thumbs:
     
  10. RAdam

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    And that, my friends, is a great example of how preterists twist the scriptures.

    The world was overflowed with water. What world? You say it is the world of humanity. Really? Are you going to be so dishonest with scripture?

    Peter begins by telling us what the scoffers would say. Their argument is, "since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." Who in their right mind argues that the "world of humanity" has continued as it was since the beginning of creation? Obviously, it has changed a great deal. Peter's response to their argument is, "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and earth that are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men."

    Alright. Peter references what? The creation of man or "the world of humanity?" No. He references Genesis 1:9, 10. He references the creation of the physical world, when God separated the land and the water and the land (or earth as it is called there) stood out of the water and in the water. So world is not the "world of humanity" unless we are to believe that Peter would use language that would ultimately mislead us. Then Peter tells us that this water the land stood out of and in is the mechanism by which it was overflowed and perished. Again, we are speaking literally of the physical earth, and Peter is referencing the Genesis account of the flood in the days of Noah. You say that world didn't perish. Really? So this current world is exactly like the old world? Well, you are saying the same the scoffers are, that everything is going just like it always did. Peter's point is, no it isn't. God brought about an event that forever changed the earth. The old world perished. We know absolutely nothing of the world before the flood. Many have wondered at the differences, but we have no concrete way of knowing. This current world is much different. This world, by the same word used in creation, is held in store against a future destruction.
     
  11. asterisktom

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    OK, I guess RAdam isn't really interested in discussing the text. I took him more seriously than was warranted.

    I still intend to "twist" the 2 Peter 3 passage a little later on, as I have time. "Time" is the operative word, since just doing the little bit I did above took more time than I thought it would.

    I look forward to discussion with others on this, those who have the maturity to disagree without being disagreeable.
     
    #11 asterisktom, Aug 25, 2010
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  12. asterisktom

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    This short comment is for the benefit of others. Please note the actual Scripture on this:

    "the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water."

    This, as I pointed out, can be shortened down to "the world ... perished". That is the subject and verb. Everything else is dependent on this.

    I believe this proves several things:
    1. The "world" here cannot be a physical world, since we know that the physical world did not perish in Genesis 6 - 9.
    2. Peter was speaking metaphorically here.
    3. He was referring to the "world of humanity" (all except the 8 in the ark), since they are the ones that perished.
    4. This sets up an important comparison with the next judgment that Peter writes of.

    Feel free, any of the rest of you, to dispute any of these points with me.

    But please, do it with Scripture and courtesy - the same courtesy I will try to extend to you. Don't tell me I am dishonestly twisting Scripture and I won't tell you that. Fair enough?
     
    #12 asterisktom, Aug 25, 2010
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  13. RAdam

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    I did quote the scripture in its entirety and you'd have seen it if you actually read my post. This is from the body of my post:

    "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and earth that are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men."

    That is not only the text you quoted but the entire response of Peter to the scoffers who said all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. This is what is called the context. By the context we see that Peter is talking about the physical world. Any other definition of "world" and "heavens and earth" here do not fit and are only offered by those who have an agenda in changing the clear and simple meaning of the text. I repeat again, people can try to monkey around with a word of two and they can go to numerous figurative passages in the bible, but nobody can overthrow the fact that the context here controls the meaning and proves that Peter is talking about the literal, physical world.
     
  14. RAdam

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    By the way, you got your feelings hurt because I charged you with twisting scripture. My response is, quit doing it and I will quit charging you with it. This isn't a difficult passage. The context clearly shows what Peter means. However, because you hold to a view that will not allow you to take the clear meaning of the passage, you wrest the scripture from its clear meaning and totally ignore the context of the passage. That is being dishonest with the word of God.
     
  15. asterisktom

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    I am beginning to see this tactic more and more, trivializing opposition as mere "feelings" being "hurt". It is easier to do this than actually deal with the textual issues raised.
     
  16. RAdam

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    I did deal with the issues raised. I dealt with it by looking at the entire context of the passage. On the other hand, you've yet to deal with the context. All you've done so far is attempt to force a meaning on the word "world" which will not fit the context.
     
  17. HankD

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    Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.​

    By a flood of water...

    Genesis 9
    12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
    13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
    14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
    15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

    Psalm 78:69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.​

    Just as you and I will exist forever though our bodies be destroyed in the grave, we shall be resurrected and glorified with "new" bodies, so also shall the "new" earth stand forever.​

    Currently the material universe, just as you and I, is subject to the bondage of corruption, modernly called "entropy" in which matter itself is "dying", If left alone without the intervention of God the material universe will eventually die.​

    Romans 8
    21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
    23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

    First, the material universe must pass through the conflagration of fire of which Peter speaks.​

    2 Peter 3
    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    This "new" earth emerging from this fire is the earth whose foundation has been established to endure forever.​

    Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.​

    Also you should address my response RE: Isaiah 34 in which God speaks of the destruction of all the gentile nations and not just Idumea.​

    HankD​
     
  18. asterisktom

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    You missed the whole point on Idumea and Bozrah.

    School has started up, Hank, and I am finding I have less time for this now. I will still get back to this, but I owe Eagle a response first.
     
  19. Paul33

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    Excellent post, same with Hank's.

    I also read Isaiah 34. I also saw that Isaiah had in mind the nations of the world. I also read 2 Peter. I also saw that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised?"

    In fact, tiring of waiting, they might even say that it has already come, say 70 A.D. perhaps?

    But as it has been pointed out, Peter makes his argument by addressing the physical world. Context, context, context!!!!
     
  20. Paul33

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    The same language was used by John describing the fall of Jerusalem in 70ad
    Quote:
    12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

    13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

    14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

    15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

    16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

    17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

    ------------------------
    What is described here is so much more than what occurred in 70 A.D., as significant and horrific as that was. The context of 2 Peter is crystal clear. Prophecy in the OT almost always had a near fulfillment and a far fulfillment. But if this last sentence is disputable, forget I wrote it. What is clear is the context of 2 Peter.

    It does not appear that you or Tom are willing to let the context of a passage govern the interpretation. As was stated by another poster, context is THE most important criteria for interpreting anything, especially Scripture.

    I think we would all agree that we can make the Bible say whatever we want it to say if we divorce it from its context.

    Blessings!
     

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