Now, this matter of time references in the N.T. are...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Daniel David, Feb 16, 2003.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    no doubt debated among many sincere people. However, we all know that sincerity means nothing in the realm of truth.

    I know people who sincerely believe that the Florida Gators are a good football team. They are totally wrong though.

    Okay, all joking aside, I would like to engage a discussion on the time references.

    There are different schools of interpretation on this matter. I will try to list the ones that I know of. I might leave one off. If so, please include it. The following list will be divided up into two groups: view of time references and the view of prophecy (i.e., literal/figurative).

    1. Literal / Figurative
    This view accepts time references as being literal in that the prophecies by Christ and the apostles would be fulfilled within the current generation (i.e., destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70).

    The interpretation of most of the prophetic passages would be interpreted as being figurative/spiritual (i.e., 1,000 year reign).

    This view would be embraced by preterists (of all sorts), amills, historicists, and postmills.

    2. Figurative / Figurative
    This view understands time references to be figurative that depend on other matters for fulfillment.

    This view also believes that prophetic passages are to be understood figuratively (i.e., 144,000 saints; 1,000 years).

    This view would be embraced by some amills and postmills.

    3. Figurative / Literal
    This view says that time references are figurative. Time references are to be understood in light of prophetic passages.

    This view also says that Christ will literally reign for 1,000 years because that is the plain meaning of the Revelation 20 passage.

    This would be embraced by many premillenialists.

    4. Literal / Literal
    This view says that the time references are to be taken literally. The interpretation of the time reference is what is different from the 1st view.

    For example: in Revelation 1, Christ's return will be done quickly. To the preterist, this means within a very short chronological time frame. Thus, they say he "returned" in AD 70 in judgment.

    Others say that the nature of his return is what is quick. In other words, it isn't chronological, it is a reference to the "kind" or "quality" of his return. So when he does come back, it is something that is accomplished in a relatively quick manner.

    Also, this view understands passages to be taken in the most plain manner possible (1,000 years really means 1,000 years and not just a time frame).

    ___


    My personal view is no. 4. I have never encountered a passage that presents a problem for such a view.

    By all means though, jump in, the water is fine and I don't serve Kool-Aid.
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I know you said N. T., but does the seventy weeks fit into the literal/literal intepretation?
     
  3. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Yes. In Daniel 9, it says that after the 69 weeks, the people of the prince to come will come and desecrate the city.

    Well, the end of the 69 weeks occurred when Christ rode in on a donkey.

    The Daniel passage gives no hint of a gap between that and the destruction of the city. We know from history that it wasn't until about another 40 years later. So, there is a time gap already between the 69 weeks and the 70th week without even getting into N.T. prophetic passages.

    I believe the Literal / Literal view is the only one equipped to handle the Daniel 9 passage. You are right though, I did say N.T.
     
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Preach the word... You know what my belief is and where I stand... My question is this... Why does Daniel state there is no gap but because there is a span of forty years until the destruction of Jerusalem you insert one!... Is not that included in the prophecy of Daniel... Because the sacrifice and oblation could not cease until Jerusalem and the Jewish economy and law worship was destroyed. Don't look only to Christ but look to the Apostles who carried on his work!... The gap theory does not work... It doesn't work in Genesis or Eschatology!... That is how I see it!... Brother Glen the Partial Preterist Amil Primitive Baptist
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    So do you apply a different standard to O. T. time prophecies? I'm just wondering why you limited it to N. T.?
     
  6. David A Bayliss

    David A Bayliss
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    Well, you've managed to confuse me completely. I would have said I was literal/literal although I think you would make me figurative/literal.

    I'll try the socratic method.

    The '69 weeks': I believe that is 483 years, do you make it 1.3 years?

    In an expression such as 'behold I come quickly' doesn't quickly -have- to be taken subjectively at 'quickly' is -not- a quantitative measure. (Just ask any guy that is married whether or not everyone interprets 'being ready to go soon' the same way!)

    DAB

     
  7. tyndale1946

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    From The Works Of Josephus with a side note... Wars Of The Jews... Book 6... Chapter 2

    1. AND now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and make him a ready passage for his army to come up; while he himself had Josephus brought to him, (for he had been informed that on that very day, which was the seventeenth day (5) of Panemus, [Tamuz,] the sacrifice called "the Daily Sacrifice" had failed, and had not been offered to God, for want of men to offer it, and that the people were grievously troubled at it,)

    In reference to (5)... This was a remarkable day indeed, the seventeenth of Panemus. [Tamuz,] A.D. 70, when, according to Daniel's prediction, six hundred and six years before, the Romans "in half a week caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease," Daniel 9:27. For from the month of February, A.D. 66, about which time Vespasian entered on this war, to this very time, was just three years and a half. See Bishop Lloyd's Tables of Chronology, published by Mr. Marshall, on this year. Nor is it to be omitted, what year nearly confirms this duration of the war, that four years before the war begun was somewhat above seven years five months before the destruction of Jerusalem, ch. 5. sect. 3... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ February 17, 2003, 10:49 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  8. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    This is the view I would favour. I am in discussions with a preterist post miller on another site, and they come from the Gentry/DeMar circle, who make their case for post mill by a preterist exegesis that puts most of the expected events back to 70ad, including the Antichrist; though not the Second Coming, Resurrection, and judgement. They go beyond the two ages view, and interpose a third: the church age. The end of the age spoken about is the end of the Jewish administration, and all the NT texts look to the end of that age.
    As an amiller, that is not a road I am prepared to go down at the moment, so I have drawn back from the kind of preterist interpretation that sees Matt 24 and most of Revelation (with the repsective passages in Thess etc) fulfilled at 70ad. Carson's interpretation of Matt 24 seems more accurate to my mind.

    What has struck me is that while some would say that eschatology is not an important doctrine, given this kind of leverage from the preterist/post mill camp, it very difintely is, because it changes our understanding of the Kingdom, the Church, and the future. It also leads to reconstructionism.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    1. Literal / Figurative
    This view accepts time references as being literal in that the prophecies by Christ and the apostles would be fulfilled within the current generation (i.e., destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70).

    The interpretation of most of the prophetic passages would be interpreted as being figurative/spiritual (i.e., 1,000 year reign).

    This view would be embraced by preterists (of all sorts), amills, historicists, and postmills.

    This would be my view and as I understand it... It only adds to the understanding of the kingdom the church and the subjects of the King!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    I'm with PreachtheWord on this one as a 4.Literal/literal. Have not seen a problem with it.

    And the question was raised about dividing the prophecy of Daniel 69-70 weeks when there was no division in the text. Well, that is often the case with prophecy - part of the passage is fulfilled and a second part might be decades or millennia in completion.

    A famous example is the Isaiah 61 prophecy
    Jesus came and even read this passage but STOPPED (seemingly arbitrarily) and made an artificial division within it.
    Someday the entire Isaiah passage will be fulfilled (literally) but not yet.
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I would not commit to any particular scheme, but try to interpret literally or figuratively according to what the context appears to dictate. I may be misunderstanding you, but it seems that the Bible should dictate the method we follow, rather than precommitting to a figurative or literal interpretation of some type and fitting the Bible into that.
     
  12. Tim

    Tim
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    "I would not commit to any particular scheme, but try to interpret literally or figuratively according to what the context appears to dictate. I may be misunderstanding you, but it seems that the Bible should dictate the method we follow, rather than precommitting to a figurative or literal interpretation of some type and fitting the Bible into that. "
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This comment is right on the money! Let the Scripture interpret the scripture, not our preconceived notions of how it should be understood.

    It strikes me that the Jews of Jesus day had a fixation on literal interpretation of O.T. Scriptures and that contributed to their rejection of Jesus' teaching. They wanted a visble kingdom on earth (i.e. they were premil.), Jesus proclaimed a spiritual kingdom that was already developing in their midst (Luke 17:21 -sounds amil. to me)). The Jews and Samaritans were squabbling over which place was the legitimate temple of worship (like the dispensationalist's hoopla over a rebuilt temple), Jesus explained that we were progressing past that concern as He looked forward to the spiritual temple (His people).

    And Preach, I don't think you're really facing up to the N.T. time indicating passages. It's a serious problem if all the N.T writers declare a "soon" coming and it didn't happen (as we chronicled in another thread--it undermines inspiration.)

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  13. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    1. Were there any specifically in mind that I might apply differently? I am not sure what you mean.

    2. Someone else (I believe Tim) brought up some N.T. passages that referenced timing. That is why I started the new thread.
     
  14. Daniel David

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    I am shortening Glen's quote just so everyone knows why I say this:

    Josephus was a lost Jew who was hired by Rome to record history. It is not inspired and is not necessarily all true. How do we know some of his "stories" weren't exagerated? We don't. Suffice it to say that it might be an interesting read, I never recommend commentaries from lost people.
     
  15. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    1. Daniel did see a gap between the 69th and the 70th week. I did not insert it. It is there for all to see.

    2. The gap, yes.

    3. It is not a theory.

    4. I believe in a literal 6day/24hour creation. I also do not force my views upon the Daniel text. I did not create the gap there, God did since he is the author.
     
  16. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    This post is directed specifically toward the first option I listed on my original post.

    Matthew 24:34
    Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

    The interpretation of this text does not lack from study. The preterist view rises and falls with several points. This passage being one of them.

    The preterist approaches this verse by saying that every other usage of the phrase "this generation" was directed at specifically that generation that Christ was living in. It would be reasonable to say that this passage is for the same thing, they say.

    The problem with that is: it doesn't fit the context.

    Here is the preceding verse included:
    Matthew 24:33-34
    So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

    Ah, there it is. Jesus said that "this generation" is the generation that sees "all these things". That is huge. Now, this is where preterism is thrown for a loop. They have to take the entire passage as being figurative. Jesus was merely using imagery to teach at this point, they say.

    So, they adopt the literal time frame view with a figurative discription of events view. Does it hold water? No.

    Jesus described this time frame as the worst the world has ever known. He even mentioned Noah in this discourse. So, this time frame that is supposed to be the worst humanity would ever know is actually worse than the world-wide, cataclismic destruction that the flood induced?

    Perhaps someone could explain to me how the destruction of a building and some of the city (which has happened thousands of times) is worse than a flood that destroyed the whold world.

    You see, it doesn't make sense. It reads in Matt. 24:34 by forcing the meaning on the verse without considering the previous verse.

    IMHO, I don't know how any believer can hold this position with a straight face. You almost expect them to drop the other shoe. No offense intended. [​IMG]
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    None specifically, was just curious if you are setting up the whole literal/literal standard or school of interpretation for the New Testament only, or if you would apply it consistently throughout the Bible. But your next comment explains by revealing that a previous thread sparked the particular subject.
     
  18. Tim

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    Quote 1:"Jesus said that "this generation" is the generation that sees "all these things". That is huge. Now, this is where preterism is thrown for a loop. They have to take the entire passage as being figurative. Jesus was merely using imagery to teach at this point, they say."

    --Let me address this one point at a time. Your quote above would have us to believe that Jesus usually spoke in clear, easy to understand terms. But he was always using imagery, symbolism and parables in His teaching. In fact, you probably recall that at one point the disciples were releived that Jesus was speaking plainly for a change. For Jesus to use imagery to teach truth was very consistent with His general way. Additionally, the prophets of the O.T. also spoke in this grandiose way when warning of judgment (ex. in Isaiah 13), so there is Scriptural precedent for it.

    Quote 2:"So, they adopt the literal time frame view with a figurative discription of events view. Does it hold water? No.

    Jesus described this time frame as the worst the world has ever known. He even mentioned Noah in this discourse. So, this time frame that is supposed to be the worst humanity would ever know is actually worse than the world-wide, cataclismic destruction that the flood induced?"

    --Jesus cites the flood here because the circumstances preceding it and Jerusalem's destruction were similar. There was an arrogant sense of invulnerability amongst the unbelievers. The Jews of Jesus' day had complete faith that God would preserve them because they were His chosen people, they had the Law, they had the temple. Why worry? The fact that they killed Jesus and persecuted His Church--no big deal!

    Quote 3:"Perhaps someone could explain to me how the destruction of a building and some of the city (which has happened thousands of times) is worse than a flood that destroyed the whold world."

    --The building was the Temple and the city was Jerusalem! The Jews thought that these physical things (actually types) were the permanent home of God. It was the end of the Jewish world as they knew it. This was a big deal if you were a Jew!

    I think another reason the flood is referenced is that it was a destruction of the unbelieving old world and a new start with a believing remnant, just like the destruction of the physical Jewish world with the associated O.T. system and the clear establishment of the new order--the Church and the New Covenant

    Quote4:"You see, it doesn't make sense. It reads in Matt. 24:34 by forcing the meaning on the verse without considering the previous verse."

    --It is completely contextual, the timetables all fit historically, and the figurative language is supported by clearer doctrinal teaching elsewhere in the N.T.-the same way we understand a lot of Jesus' difficult teaching.

    Quote5:"IMHO, I don't know how any believer can hold this position with a straight face. You almost expect them to drop the other shoe. No offense intended"

    --Believe me, I understand your feelings. I was raised as a dispensational preacher's kid. I've read all their best authors. But now, when I see the presuppositions that dispensationalists approach the scripture with, their circular arguments, and the cavalier way they treat prophetic timetables, inserting gaps of thousands of years at their whim, I've just got to shake my head and chuckle just a bit myself.
    No offense intended.
     
  19. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    1. All people have presuppositions. The issue is whether or not some of them are valid.

    2. This can be said of anyone (as you well know).

    3. Not cavalier at all. Prophecy has been fulfilled literally in the past. It is very reasonable to believe the same will happen.

    4. I presented two of my own studies on this issue on the BaptistBoard. One of them is Daniel 9 and the other is 1 Cor. 15. Both passages have an unspecified time gap in them. We say thousands of years because, well, it has been thousands of years.

    If I can find them, I will post the links.

    5. It is kind of funny how that is for each side isn't it?
     
  20. Tim

    Tim
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    Preach,

    Now I know you can take it as well as dish it out. I appreciate that spirit.

    The problem with dispensationalists' predispositions is that they state and defend them before they study the subject and gather biblical data. In other words, it is not inductive.

    Here's the way Van Impe, (or was it LaHaye?-sorry, I can't read the name on the quote) put it:
    "Warning: As a general rule, whenever you hear someone preach prophecy, be sure he uses the two essential keys to understanding Scripture:
    1--Take the Bible literally if you can (even prophetic passages of Scripture); and 2--ask, Does he draw a distinction between Israel and the church?"

    In other words, don't pay any attention to other points of view. Are people really supposed to trust these guys when they said for years that Jesus was coming within a generation of 1948? Oh, that's right, now we're starting at 1967. Or if its Lindsey, he fudges on "generation" and says it could be as long as 100 years.

    I think the time has come to listen to some other points of view with an open mind. I believe that if the Lord delays His coming for another generation, dispensationalism will unravel. I hope the disillusioned will listen to our viewpoint then.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     

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