Would or could?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gerad, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Gerad

    Gerad
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    All agree that the New Testament teaches imminency. The question is, how do we define imminency. Basically, there are two perspectives:


    1. The perspective of Dr. Thomas Ice, who says that imminency means that Jesus "could" come at any time, and anytime is relative to no specific generation of people.

    2. The Preterist view, which says that the New Testament writers wrote the imminency statements to a specific original audience, and, therefore, those statements, like "the time is short" (I Cor.7:29) and "the coming of the Lord draws near" (James 5:8) meant EXACTLY THAT to the original audience, or that first century generation of early saints. This view is in perfect harmony with what Jesus declared, namely, that he would come again before "this generation" had passed. Original audience relevance is the most basic and critical of interpretive rules. For instance, Paul would not have said to the Corinthians that the time was "short" if the time was actually long. The word "short" was relative to their generational timeframe.

    Those who hold to a futuristic view of the Lord's coming have necessarily make the time statements fuzzy so that they have no real meaning. They have to flat out ALLEGORIZE them, thereby making them a COMPLETE MYSTERY. After all, it takes one whale of an allegory to make words like "shortly", "near", "soon", "at hand", and "this generation" to cover 2000 years and running! And then they accuse preterists of allegorizing! Wow!

    So how do ya all think about imminency? WOULD - meaning imminent relative to the original audience. Or COULD - meaning anytime in the next 10,000 years.

    Note: Once the critical original audience factor is thrown out it's anything goes after that. Think about it.
     
  2. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith
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    Here's something that will help you: do a word study of the original greek words. Get a good lexicon or greek reference, not just a high-level one like strongs, or an english-language bible dictionary. You'll discover some perfectly legimate alternate uses of the words. Sometimes we build doctrines around the english translations, which do not always pull out the full meaning.
     
  3. HankD

    HankD
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    The traditional proof text answer:

    2 Peter 3
    8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
    9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;
    but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    The reason for the delay:

    Matthew 24
    43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
    45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
    46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
    47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
    48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
    49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
    50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
    51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    HankD
     
  4. Keith M

    Keith M
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    In perspective to eternity, "soon" could encompass what we consider a vast amount of time. If the preterist view was correct, then that would mean that Jesus already returned many years ago. Now if that were the case, it seems there would be some record of His return, whether from Christian or from non-Christian writers. To the best of my knowledge, there is no such record of Christ's return to be found anywhere. If we are to take the Bible literally, then the preterist view cannot be true...

    Jesus' return is a future event, and we should pray for His return...
     
  5. Tim

    Tim
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    Gerad,

    Preterists and partial-preterists (which I consider myself) try to deal more literally with those time-indicating words spread throughout the New Testament. I can only speak for the partials, in that I believe that Jesus did return to judge Israel within the generation, just as He clearly predicted, and the apostles verified in scripture. Yet I don't believe that was the complete fulfillment of His return--yet future --to judge the whole world. We are still awaiting that glorious event.

    Tim

    P.S. We cannot simply dismiss the statements' historical context. "Soon" does not fit 2000 years. For instance, Daniel was told to seal up his prophecy because it would not be fulfilled for a while, while John was told not to seal his because it would be fulfilled soon. Daniel's was fulfilled in about 500 years. 2000 years then could not be considered "soon", prophetically speaking.
     
  6. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Mat 24:34 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Uerely I say vnto you, this generation shall not passe,
    till all these things be fulfilled.


    Mar 13:30 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Uerely I say vnto you, that this generation shall not passe,
    till all these things be done.


    Luk 21:32 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Uerily I say vnto you, this generation shall not passe away,
    till all be fulfilled.


    About 'generation' Strong's says:
    G1074
    γενεά
    genea
    ghen-eh-ah'
    From (a presumed derivative of) G1085;
    a generation; by implication an age
    (the period or the persons): - age,
    generation, nation, time.


    Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
     
  7. Tim

    Tim
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    But we must also examine the word "this", as it defines the generation Jesus is speaking of.

    Strong's definition of "this":

    tauth taute tow'-tay tauten tow'-tane, and tautes tow'-tace
    dative case, accusative case and genitive case respectively of
    the feminine singular of 3778; (towards or of) this:--her, + hereof,
    it, that, + thereby, the (same), this (same).

    So Jesus says it is "the same" or "this same" generation. Plug that into His statements, those listed above as well as others, such as Mark 8:38, and the context says that Jesus was predicting His coming in judgment upon His own generation.

    Mark 8:38-9:1 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
     
  8. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    Quoted scripture above:
    //That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.//

    This was fulfilled when all the hearers save
    Judas were filled with the Holy Spirt at
    the Day of Pentacost.
     
  9. Tim

    Tim
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    Ed,

    I think that's one possible interpretation--it sure beats the idea that the kingdom of God came with power when Jesus was transfigured on the mount--I don't see any basis for that common interpretation. But I think the context of the previous verse points toward power as it relates to judgement here.

    Tim
     

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