Present Tense in John 5 Counters Futurist Argument

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    Present Tense Counters Futurist Argument
    John 5 argues for an earlier date of writing


    "Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water." - John 5:2-3

    Did you ever notice this little description from the Apostle John? "There is in Jerusalem... a pool." "In these lay...sick people."

    In both cases John is describing a scene that exists at the time of his writing. Why is this important? It goes against the common assumption that John wrote his Gospel (along with his letters and Revelation) in the 90s. It shows Jerusalem as it was before the cataclysmic destruction brought on by the Romans.

    Likewise, when John writes in Rev. 11:1 about measuring the temple the present tense is used. The assumption is that the Temple is still standing.

    There are some who say that John in the Gospel account is merely using dramatic present to make the scene more vivid. There are two problems with this:

    1. It is an assumption without any evidence.

    2. It fails to account for John's switching to past tenses from verse 4 onward. If John used the present tense to make it more vivid why would he not want the actual healing to be especially vivid? It is inconsistent.

    No, it makes far more sense to understand that John was describing a present Jerusalem.

    What does this have to do with Futurism versus Preterism? Much. The futurists look to a future coming of Christ and future judgment on Babylon. Because they do not believe the events in Revelation to refer to 1st-century Jerusalem they must also hold to a later time of writing for John's books, seeing that he wrote of judgment still to come. As far as the date of John's writings they make much of the 4th century "evidence" of Eusebius, downplaying earlier indications for earlier writing - before AD70.
     
    #1 asterisktom, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2011
  2. JesusFan

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    MOST of the Evangelical scholars that I have read would place Gospel of John around that period of time, but DO place his Epistles and especially Revelation at later date...

    You cn use your point to palce Gospel, not other writtings though...
     
  3. asterisktom

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    I would like to know who among those scholars date John in the 60s. Almost all of the ones I have consulted place the date of John's Gospel between 85 to the late 90s, or beyond.

    And as far as the connection with John's other writings are concerned, I am going to have to differ. I do see them as earlier, because of time indications there as well. I believe that Christians have been greatly misled by the undue weight given to the mere say-so of Eusebius, who wrote with more authority than qualification.
     
    #3 asterisktom, Apr 25, 2011
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  4. preachinjesus

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    Unless John isn't measuring the earthly Temple.

    Just saying, because the use of ἔστιν isn't a convincing case for the preterist dating of Revelation.

    I'd primarily refer you to Dan Wallace's excellent article replying to this point (made often by other people): "John 5,2 and the Date of the Fourth Gospel" available here: http://bible.org/article/john-52-and-date-fourth-gospel-again

    More than likely, in terms of Johannine grammar this is the use of a present that indicates the perspective of the speaker in the narrative that shouldn't be taken beyond what is used here. I'd encourage you to look at the short article (and plumb the depth of its resources) because it thoroughly replies to your question. :)
     
  5. asterisktom

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    Thank you for this link. I had read the article and was convinced one time, even writing an article (somewhere) using that link, if I remember correctly. I am no longer convinced however. And it is not just a matter of ἔστιν. The larger evidence of whole passages are more convincing to me for that earlier date.

    I do appreciate, having read the article again, some of the points he makes with ἔστιν in John 5:2.
     
    #5 asterisktom, Apr 25, 2011
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  6. thomas15

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    Tom,

    Question: are you really serious?
     
  7. asterisktom

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    Well. That comment was both vague and dismissive. An unusual combination.

    What point in particular should I not have been serious about?
     
  8. thomas15

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    Allow me to rephrase the question.

    Question: Tom, in the OP above are you trying to make a serious theological statement?
     
  9. asterisktom

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    If it doesn't seem important to you, then, employ your talents elsewhere. Don't waste your time here, Tom, not to mention mine. I am that sincerely. Not being snide.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

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    I for one would certainly posit an early date for John's Gospel. It was written almost certainly after the other Gospels, but it could well have been before AD 70.

    That does not mean, however, that he wrote Revelation at the same time.
    What temple was still standing when Ezekiel wrote his Chapter 40? The Jerusalem Temple was a redundancy after our Lord's cricifixion (Matt 27:51; Heb 8:13). John is measuring professing Christians.

    Steve
     
  11. thomas15

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    Sir,

    Sorry if you find me annoying.

    Without looking at the ramifications of allowing the idea regarding a present tense of John ch 6 vs 2 to be a proof of preterism (I guess it all depends on what "is" is), the whole ball of wax called "covenant theology" lives and dies based on what the ECF's and Eusebius wrote as being the gospel truth. And if Covenant theology goes, where does that leave preterism?

    For your information, futurism can live fine with either an early or late date for the writing of Revelation, makes no difference. But in the case of preterism, Revelation must have an early date. I think you would make more hay with the traditional arguement that since the early creeds don't address eschatology in specific detail, preterism and or the a-mill position must be correct.
     
  12. asterisktom

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    Insisting that Preterism must have an early date reminds me of that lame joke where the boy said, "I'm glad you named me Billy, Mom and Dad, because that is what everybody calls me". It mistakes cause and effect.

    I did not become Preterist and then find out "Curses. There's that late date I have to work around". For about five years I was AMill and a year or so partial pret, partly because of the assumed strong evidence for the later date. But when I finally looked into that very issue - impartially, I had no dogs in that race - I had to (at first grudgingly) admit that the evidence for an earlier date was much stronger.

    And when a person begins to work from this viewpoint several other things come into view. But there is no point into getting into that now. But, yes, the timing of Rev. and John's Gospel have importance, more than is at first apparent.
     
  13. HankD

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    Many structures survived the sack of Jerusalem. The most likely
    candidate for The Pool of Bethesda is a pool of water in the muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, on the path of the Beth Zeta Valley.

    If it is so that it survived or even was repaired and/or rebuilt after the sack but before the writing of John's Gospel then John could mention it in the present tense after AD70.

    HankD
     
  14. ituttut

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    Very interesting. All indications point to John being banished to the Isle of Patmos in about 95. We know John preached in Ephesus. It all fits together. Patmos, this small Island is not far from Ephesus. Revelation address' the churches shown close by in Asia.

    John was evidently allowed to tarry in order to receive the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and to close out scripture. Closure could not come before it was time to close the Book.

    I believe all things had to be settled, and understood by the Apostle. It was very difficult for those that will judge their people, of the earth, to fully come to the knowledge of the Gospel given to the Gentile. Salvation was changing from the law, prophets, and the ordinances required of Israel, to justification and Salvation that now comes By the Grace of God, through faith. John came to understand the Gospel that Christ Jesus had revealed to Paul. So much harder for the wife of God, than ones never being of the Covenant.

    As to Revelation 11 the Temple is future of Israel, and the world, but not for those of the Body of Christ. Revelation is back to Israel, and back to Prophecy.

    John wrote all of his books in his last days. Peter wrote his books while Paul still lived, telling Israel they had better come to understand the wisdom that had been given Paul. John could not have written any of his books before, or during the life of Paul. John had not been given authority from God to write before the death of Paul, and not before the destruction of the Temple. The Temple was the place where God met His People, and the proselytes (verse 2). After the stoning of Stephen, Israel was cut-off. Temple worship was no longer (until prophecy pick-up again) recognized by God, for His people refused God the Father, God the Son, and then the Holy Ghost. Three strikes and you are out.

    Probably for another time, and discussion, but something, which should be, be of interest to one that delves into past, present, and future. Can you determine when you live in God's choosing?
     
  15. John of Japan

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    Forgive me, but seldom have I seen a statement with less evidence behind it on the BB. Where in the world did you get this???
     
  16. John of Japan

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    And that pretty much settles the argument for me.
     
  17. revmwc

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    Revelation 1: 9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

    10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

    Since John was on the isle of Patmos when reveltion was written that helps date it as we know he was not exiled there until after the destruction of Jerusalem.

    Revelation 4: 1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

    This settles the issue of Revelation 11:1 it is yet a future temple. Everything from Revelation 4:1 to the close of the book was yet future for John. With John on the isle of Patmos whne he wrote being in exile this would date the writing to at least 80 to 90 A.D. well after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Since the events following Revelation 4:1 have yet to happen then they are still yet future events.
     
  18. asterisktom

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    This has several things wrong with it. I hardly know where to begin.

    "We". Who? It is only a tradition - as even Macarthur and Lindsay admit - that John was exiled at extreme old age. Yes, he was at Patmos, that much we are sure of since the Bible tells us this. But the question is when. If he really was an extremely old man when he was exiled there then he had a lot of mileage in him still, because the Bible tells us that he was still to go to "many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings". Revelation 10:11.

    Notice that this is part of the context of your Rev. 11:1. Think about it. Study the connection.
     
  19. HankD

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    Revelation 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.​

    This is in the context of a "little book".

    Might that "little book" be the Book of Revelation which John was presently writing which would be his recorded legacy for generations to come?​

    Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

    Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.​

    HankD​
     
    #19 HankD, Apr 26, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  20. asterisktom

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    Well, that is interesting. Hmm. I will have to digest that. Could very well be. At any rate, thanks for some food for thought. (No pun intended.)
     

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