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Featured How to interpret the Bible

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jordan Kurecki, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    the following are some excerpts from a lesson I did on how to understand the Bible, feel free to comment on them, I will post new points as time goes by:

    2 Timothy 3:16 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    The word study in 2 Timothy 2:15 means to be diligent.

    The phrase rightly dividing in Greek has the idea of making a straight cut.

    It seems to give me the idea of precision.

    We need precision, carefulness, and diligence when interpreting the Bible because it is like no other book.

    2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

    21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    The phrase “of any private interpretation” has been somewhat debated.
    One idea is that none of the scriptures were man’s opinions and ideas, they were given by God.
    the other idea is that because the scriptures were breathed out by God, that we have no right to interpret them any way that we like, or in your own manner.

    there are a lot of people that try to make the bible say what they want it to say.

    2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    That word “wrest” has the idea of bringing something into submission, or to twist something to fit your own agenda. The idea is that there are some people who take the scriptures and wrestle and try to force them into their own ideas and agenda, and they do this to their own destruction.

    Proverbs 2:1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

    2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

    3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

    4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

    5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

    6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.



    Looking for silver and gold is something that requires a lot of diligence and definitely is not something that will be done successfully if it’s done carelessly and lazily.

    Just some simple points when looking for silver and when studying the bible

    1. It should be done systematically
    2. It should be studied minutely and carefully
    3. Tools should be used, and I will point you to some tools you can use in Bible study
    4. it should be done persistently


    I say all that to say, that we should be extra careful and diligent when interpreting the scriptures, I have cringed over the years and noticed a lot of lack of diligence in interpreting the Bible, whether it’s from articles I have read on the internet, or listening to what people are teaching in IFB churches.

    So I want to give you some principles and helps in interpreting the word of God accurately.

    1. You need to be saved

    9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

    10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

    11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

    12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

    13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    When a person gets saved, God gives them his Holy Spirit, and his Holy Spirit reveals spiritual truth and helps that person understand the word of God.

    It was amazing to me how much clearer the bible became after I got saved if you are going to really study and understand the bible you need to get saved/born again.
     
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  2. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    2. Interpret what the Bible says literally.

    The Bible was meant to be understood literally, some have said: “if the plain sense makes sense, then seek no other sense”.

    This is not to say that the bible does not use metaphors and figures of speech, but usually these are obvious and there are hint words such as “like” or “as”.

    Now don’t get me wrong, the Bible has a lot of spiritual pictures of events for us and even those we should really be careful about, The Bible will never have a spiritual picture of something that is not CLEARLY and LITERALLY stated somewhere else in the bible. but some people go to the extent that they ignore the literal meaning for a hidden spiritual meaning, or they spiritualize to the point of ignoring or even contradicting the literal meaning. I don’t believe God wants us to look for hidden, under the surface, meanings in the scriptures but to take the scriptures as they read.
     
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  3. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    John used 2 Peter 1:20-21 as a proof text for literal interpretation.

    He hasn't responded to my assertion that the context of those verses - the preceding reference to the transfiguration, & the passage in 1 Peter 1:10-12 indicate that Peter is referring to OC prophecy & that it should be interpreted as the NC writers interpret it, as referring to Christ, his Gospel for all nations & his church as being the focus of prophecy.

    That contrasts with the common literal interpretation of OC prophecy as focusing on the nation of Israel in a future dispensation.

    I presume you've seen the two threads currently dealing with private interpretation.
     
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  4. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    I don't want to chase this rabbit. You can continue your discussion of that on another thread. I disagree with your presumptions, and I still am in agreement with Pastor Scott Markle over on onlinebaptist. Over there you evidenced that you ignore grammar in favor of your own private interpretations of scripture.

    3. Context is King

    Context is so important

    a dictionary definition of context is:

    the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

    So whenever you are looking at a verse or phrase or word in the bible, here are some questions you need to ask:

    Who is the audience?

    What are the circumstances surrounding it?

    What is the setting?

    What was the author trying to communicate to his audience?

    What genre of scripture is this? Historical? Poetical? Historical? Doctrinal?

    What cultural customs are being referenced?


    (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands by Fred Wright and Manners and customs of Bible Times by Ralph Gower, also Smith’s Bible dictionary)


    What do the surrounding verses teach and say?

    “In 1551, French printer Robert Stephanus added verse numbers to the chapter divisions inserted in Scripture in the 13th century. This made navigating the text much easier, of course, but it caused a problem, too. The numbering of individual sentences (or even phrases, sometimes), tempts readers to take the text as a collection of discrete statements having meaning and application in isolation from the larger work. Ergo, “How does this verse apply to my life?”

    But God did not give the Bible as a collection of aphorisms—short, pithy, helpful statements—to be applied piecemeal to our lives.4 He gave historical accounts, descriptions of events, biographies, poems, sermons, letters, and the like. The meaning of the parts of a passage is connected to the meaning of the whole.

    Meaning flows from the larger unit to the smaller unit. The sentence helps us understand the meaning of an individual word in the sentence. The paragraph helps us understand what the sentence means. The chapter helps us understand the paragraph’s role in the larger narrative. And the genre and historical context help us understand the book.

    Proper understanding of the whole, therefore, is key to understanding the meaning of—and the proper application of—the parts. We cannot simply isolate a sentence or two and ask, “How can I stick this line into my life?” Instead, we have to follow the flow of thought to know how the broader passage speaks to the particulars of our individual experience.”
     
  5. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I believe context is severely underestimated concerning how to understand and interpret Scripture (as well as how to apply).
     
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  6. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    Agreed.
     
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  7. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    These are the 'safe rules' of interpretation.
    Oddly enough, the authors of the NT did not always follow these rules!

    Rob
     
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  8. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    That is your assertion. Prove it.
     
  9. utilyan

    utilyan Well-Known Member
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    John 20

    31but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

    Someone should have given John the memo that his writings were for folks who are already saved believers.
     
  10. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    That is no rabbit trail - It is at the heart of a right understanding of Scripture.

    And Scott Markle used his grammar to destroy the straightforward meaning of the prophecy - referring to the saving work of the LORD Jesus Christ - making 490 years into well over 2,000 years.

    Do you think 70 'weeks' doesn't mean a literal 70 'weeks.'
     
  11. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    He used grammar to show that YOUR private interpretation was just that, private.

    And yes I believe the 70 weeks are literal 7 year periods.

    The scripture itself has gaps in prophecy.

    “Scattered throughout the Scriptures are prophecies that contain references to both the first and second coming of the Lord in what appears to be a single thought. These dual reference prophecies could only be identified as such after the first coming had already taken place. That’s because they were written in such a way that it was impossible to tell beforehand that the Lord’s first coming would only partially fulfill them. Often the writers switch from the first coming to the second coming in the middle of a sentence without so much as a punctuation mark to alert the reader.”

    See examples of Gaps here:

    Why The Gaps In Prophecy? – Grace thru faith
     
    #11 Jordan Kurecki, Sep 6, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
  12. 1689Dave

    1689Dave Well-Known Member

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    The Constraints set by scripture form the basis for my interpretation for the rest of scripture. An example would be Jesus announcing the Kingdom being present in his day. And telling us it is spiritual and not of this world. This forces limits on Revelation 20 and how we interpret the 1000 years. Another example of major importance is the Restoration of Israel. Jesus teaches this happens on the last day AKA the resurrection of the believers (biblical Israel) followed by the rapture into the New Heavens and earth. Using this constraint we can divide all prophecy and assign it its proper place in God's plan. Just as Grace forms a constraint for understanding salvation passages, and Total Depravity forms a constraint for understanding sin.
     
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  13. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    Peter discusses & dismisses the "gap theory" in 2 Peter 3. The same passage is a rejection of private interpretations of a future millennium age. The thousand years/day ends with the encouragement - 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

    The 70th week gap theory is a blatant rejection of the words of Scripture, & of the clear force of the prophecy, beginning as it does with the fulfilment of the 70 years prophecy of the exile. Jesus himself showed that his death was the confirmation of the New Covenant, & that the city & sanctuary would be destroyed, & sacrifice & offering ended. There was no gap in those years, only time allowed for repentance.

    Vast numbers of Israelis, Jews, did indeed accept Jesus as Messiah, LORD, & Saviour. They responded to the preaching of John, who directed his followers to follow Jesus; they welcomed him into Jerusalem; and responded to the Apostolic preaching from Pentecost onwards. There may be a touch of hyperbole in this observation -
    The Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’ John 12:19

    The fact that some influential Jewish leaders rejected Christ, & persecuted Christians, in no way invalidates prophecy. Their rejection, & the resultant destruction was according to prophecy. I'll give Peter the last word -
    Acts 3:22 For Moses said, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.”
    24 ‘Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, “Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.” 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.’
     
    #13 Covenanter, Sep 6, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  14. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I would say it had a dual purpose-- 1. As an apologetic of sorts to get a better understanding of Christology (to know the Lord, Draw close to the Lord, etc. as well). Also, to use it to be evangelistic, to specifically the Jewish communities, although Gentiles obviously would benefit from it as well. 2. Secondly, it was used to (as previously stated) show unbelievers that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that believing, they would have life in His name.
     
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  15. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    4. Grammar is important

    Yes English grammar is important!

    Grammar: the whole system and structure of a language

    We could say Grammar is the “science” of the way a language communicates.

    The English language (and every other language) follows patterns and rules

    You need to know these rules and understand how English grammar works if you are going to properly understand the bible. I am not saying you have to be able to explain and label and define each concept and part of English grammar, but you need to be aware of the rules of grammar and have a practical understanding of it.

    Maybe you say well I’m not just not good at grammar, well you know what? you need to be because grammar is all about communication and God wants to communicate with you. So if you are not good at English grammar, then you need to brush up and learn. If you want to be simple and ignorant that’s your choice, or if your too lazy to learn grammar than that’s fine too, but God gave you a book to read to communicate with you to better your life, and you are the one who will be missing out if you make that choice.

    an excellent resource for English grammar is the book “our mother tongue, a guide to English grammar” by Nancy Wilson, it’s written from a Christian perspective.

    Now, in grammar, we need to take note of things like:

    -Pronouns, who are the pronouns referring to? What is the antecedent? Go to 2 Timothy 2:21, who is the "these" in "purge himself from these”?

    -Tense of verbs, are they past? present? future? what tense do you see here?: he that believeth on me HATH (present tense) everlasting life.

    -Are nouns singular or plural? thee and thou are singular, ye and you are plurals

    -Commas, sometimes commas introduce a word or phrase that is modifying the word or phrase before it, commas are often a hint of a modifying clause but not always

    Romans 8:28-29 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    Notice the phrase “that love God” that is modifying “them” and it is telling us who all things work together good for. also notice the phrase “he also did predestinate” this phrase is modifying and commenting on “whom he did foreknow”. God’s predestination is based on foreknowledge, and this will help keep you from falling into the errors of Calvinism.

    -Colons signify that the two thoughts are related and connected.

    Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

    the book of proverbs and in other places in the bible, they use something called “parallelism" where they use two statements to either complement and explain each other, or to contrast with each other.


    There are two problems with the way most people preach this passage and understand it:

    1. they ignore the Hebrew parallel that is hinted at by the English usage of the comma.
    2. they assume they understand the word “vision” and are looking at it from our modern English understanding and connotations of the word
     
  16. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Your entire premise is based upon just using the words of Jesus for end times and the Kingdom, and yet we MUST use all of the NT books, as were they not all equal to what he said, both inspired?
     
  17. Covenanter

    Covenanter Well-Known Member
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    No. He misused grammar to reject a simple numerical statement to force his own private interpretation on a passage that is clear in meaning.

    Can you fault MY grammar? FYO I went to a grammar school & university, my employment included technical reports intended for non-technical managers, instruction manuals, patent drafting where wording is critical, computer programming long before all the modern program writing software was written, etc.

    And you reject the words of Jesus & his Apostles referring to the fulfilment of prophecy in & by Jesus & the Gospel, & the perfect fulfilment in the NH&NE. You go back to the OC prophets to look for a fulfilment apart from Jesus & the Gospel. Study this Scripture -

    1 Peter 1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
     
  18. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    And I am a Baptist Bible Translators Institute graduate with extensive training in linguistics. But so what.
    Nobody denies that Jesus Christ is the total fulfillment of scripture, may I remind you that all the prophecies in the OT about Israel will be fulfilled literally in Christ, especially when Christ as king rules over Israel. But go ahead and keep beating down your straw man and accusing us dispensationalists of ignoring the fulfillement of the OC prophecies in Christ. What a bunch of nonsense.

    the fact of the matter is you can't follow simple grammar in Daniel 9, the "he" who confirms the covenant and causes the sacrifices to cease is not Jesus Christ.

    26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he (the prince in vs 26)shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    I refer again to Pastor Scott Markle's words:

    "Herein you appear to reveal another premise against which I will have significant contention and opposition. It is the premise that grammatical analysis of a passage is not really a help, but is actually a hindrance in Bible study, especially in relation to prophetic utterance. In opposition to this premise, I would contend that grammatical analysis is the arithmetic of communication. By definition, grammar deals with the meaning of individual words, the meaning of grouped words by phrases and sentences, and the meaning of contextual statements within paragraphs. Grammar is the very means by which words, phrases, and sentences have precise meaning in communication.

    For example, can we discern any real meaning from the following set of words –

    “world whosoever Son life him he God the only his everlasting begotten should perish loved have gave believeth that that so not for but in”

    On the other hand, can we discern real meaning from the following set and structuring of words –

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    No, in the first presentation for this set of words, we cannot discern any real meaning. On the other hand, in the second presentation for this set of words, we can indeed discern real meaning, and that a very precise meaning. The reason that we can do this in the second presentation is specifically due to the grammatical structuring by which the words are presented. Grammar is the very means by which word structuring provides meaning. To deny grammatical analysis is to deny the precise meaning of any given statement.

    Indeed, to do deny grammatical analysis for a statement of God’s Holy Word is to deny the precise meaning of that statement as inspired by God the Holy Spirit in God’s Holy Word. The Lord our God chose to communicate His truth and wisdom unto us by means of the words of His Holy Word and the grammatical structuring of those words, as inspired by God the Holy Spirit. Thus God’s Holy Word is not simply inspired by God the Holy Spirit word-by-word, but also grammatical construction-by-grammatical construction. Therefore, to deny the grammatical construction of any statement in God’s Holy Word is to deny the inspired meaning and communication of God the Holy Spirit with that statement.

    Furthermore, grammar is not only the very means by which word structuring provides meaning, but is also the very means by which statements are narrowed in their application. For example –

    If I simply employ the word “ball,” then the application is quite broad (although the definition of the word, which is also a point of grammar, does narrow the intention from not including such things as birds, cars, pinwheels, etc.).

    On the hand, if I employ the grammatical phrase, “the ball,” then the application is now more narrow, not referring to any ball in general, but to one specific ball. (In fact, this use of a the definite article “the” is the very grammatical construction by which you yourself argue that the “covenant” of Daniel 9:27 cannot be just any covenant, but must be some definitely specific covenant. Even so, I would challenge you that if you do not wish to focus upon grammar as a means to Biblical understanding, then you need to quit pushing this point.)

    Now, if I employ the grammatical phrase, “the ball in the car,” then the application is now even more narrow, not referring to the ball in the house, or in the field, or under the car, or beside the car, but to the ball that is to be found in the car. Grammatically, each modifying phrase narrows the application for the meaning of any given statement. So then, to deny a modifying phrase that God the Holy Spirit inspired for any given statement is to deny the correct understanding and application that God the Holy Spirit intended for that statement.

    Grammatical analysis is not a hindrance to understanding God’s Holy Word correctly, for grammar is the means by which the Lord our God communicated to us in His Holy Word by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit. Indeed, grammatical analysis is the means by which we can correctly understand that which the Lord our God has communicated unto us through His Holy Word by the inspiration of His Holy Spirit."
     
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  19. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    Quote

    You said to Pastor Markle: "We should judge prophecy both by its faithfulness to the Word, & by its fulfilment, not by grammatical analysis. There is a danger of being Pharisaical. Also, we have the mind of Christ - 1 Cor. 2:16 - so we can look at prophecy with an new covenant, spiritual, Spirit-aided understanding. "

    He responded with: "Yes, we should indeed judge prophet utterances by their faithfulness to God’s Word and by the precision of their fulfillment. However, we cannot determine their faithfulness or their precise fulfillment without considering a grammatical analysis; for it is directly by grammatical analysis that we are able to determine the precise meaning of a given prophetic statement. Furthermore, there is no danger “of being Pharisaical.” There is only a danger of being precisely correct. Finally, I would agree that we now possess “the mind of Christ” through the indwelling Holy Spirit, whereby the indwelling Holy Spirit is present to guide and aid our understanding of the very Word of God that He Himself inspired. Yet God the Holy Spirit will only ever guide us and aid us to understand the Word that He Himself inspired in perfect union with the very words and grammar that He Himself inspired. On the other hand, if our understanding departs from the very words and grammar that God the Holy Spirit inspired, then we can be certain that we are not actually following the guidance and aid of God the Holy Spirit for that understanding."
     
  20. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki Well-Known Member
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    Pastor Markle again responded well to you with
    "What does it mean that this “he” will “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”?

    The second independent statement (clause) of Daniel 9:27 states, “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This statement clearly indicates that this event will occur “in the midst of the week,” that is – at the 3.5 year point of the 7 years for which “the covenant” had originally been confirmed. What then will this “he” do at this time? He personally “shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” He will cause the sacrificial system of the temple in Jerusalem to cease being engaged. He will no longer permit sacrifices and oblations to continue. Now, if it is correct that the confirming of “the covenant” would be an agreement to permit the engagement of the sacrificial system in the temple, then this act would be a direct violation of the agreement of that confirming of “the covenant.”

    To this I would add that grammatically the infinitive “to cease” does not possess any modifiers. This phrase means just what it says – At the prophesied time, the sacrifice and the oblations will be made to stop, to cease happening, to cease existing. To add a modifier such as “to cease being effective or acceptable in God’s sight” is to add unto that which God the Holy Spirit inspired. Even to add such a phrase as “to create the cause whereby the sacrifice and oblation would eventually cease” is to add unto that which God the Holy Spirit inspired. (By the way, such also changes the action verb “cause” to a noun, and thereby changes the grammatical meaning of that which God the Holy Spirit inspired.)"
     
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