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Plain Sense Syllogisms from Acts 2

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Tim, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Tim

    Tim New Member

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    Y'all,

    A think a more general study of New Testament fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy is in order to demonstrate that Peter meant to declare fulfillment by his citation of Joel's prophecy. I'll plan to introduce such a thread sometime in the next few days.

    But a final thought--if only the first part of Joel's prophecy was fulfilled by Pentecost and subsequent events, why did Peter quote so much of it? He could easily have quoted only the part you say was obviously fulfilled. Did he think it would all be soon fulfilled, but was mistaken because God changed His plans after the Jews rejected their Messiah? If so, apparently prophecy can be very unpredictable.
     
  2. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Pastor Larry,

    But of course Pastor Larry cannot post a single scripture to prove that the possibilities that I suggested were not, in fact, suggestive of what really occurred. One thing for certain is that Larry’s interpretation is contrary to the actual wording of Scripture. It does not take a Petrine scholar to see that, though of course Petrine scholars do see that VERY clearly. The disparity between the writings of Joel and Peter is real and obvious to everyone who has the courage to take their head out of the sand and open their eyes. If being honest with the Bible makes me a liberal, I am a liberal.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    We could start with something like 2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:19-21. Those pesky verses about the inspiration of Scripture seem clear enough to me to rule out that Peter was speaking excitedly and without understanding. The Bible expresssly attributes his speech in Acts 2 to the ministry of the Spirit.

    You are not being honest with the Bible.
     
  4. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert New Member

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    Can I offer a few thoughts from what I hope is a somewhat unbiased position (I am neither seddled on the preterist or dispensational intrepretation here). Either way you have it, we have a problem here. On the one hand, Peter seems to clearly say this is what Joel had prophesized about, and while you can find another intrepretation that is valid it seems me the more natural reading is indeed the preterist one. But to accept this is to admit that the prophecy was somewhat literal, somewhat figurative, and that makes us all uncomfterable. But if we accept the dispensational reading, we have to intrepret Peter's statement away from its more natural reading.

    While I was still fully sold on dispensationalism, but before I knew enough about the Bible or history to see I was being inconsistent, I never read this any other way then that this was the fullfillment of Joel's prophecy. That is just what Peter says. When I finnally realized the inconsistency, I raced to find my Ryrie Study Bible to see how this was reconciled, and about fell out of my chair when I read Ryrie's explanation. He basically says that Peter means "this is like" which was wholly unconvincing to me given the text . I would venture to say, given no background to prophecy or dispensational thought, if you asked 10 non-christians on the street what the english says they would all agree that is says exactly that, that this is the very prophecy of Joel. But on the other hand, we do have a background in prophetic thought and it is just as wholly unconvincing to me that God would lay such specific prophecies about events and that they in turn would only be figurative when God in his power could make them real. Of course, this is not the only instance of this in the Bible. There are plenty of OT prophecies that NT writers declare fullfillment of that in turn are not literal. How about John the Baptist himself! So I find this a theological problem on many levels and even if I were to finnally choose a side, I will always admit that some passage or another had to be contorded from its more plain reading to fit all the others.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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  6. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert New Member

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    Well Pastor Larry, what can I say. All Presbyterians, Episcopals, Lurtherans, etc must not be able to understand English (nor have 400 years of intreperters understood Greek starting with Martin Luther who obvious must have had a good laugh at his 50 years of misunderstanding the plainly obvious.) Or John Calvin. Or John Edwards. I wonder if they could even read. It was so laughably obvious!

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Well it was only a matter of time. There are few theoglical debates where one or the other side (usually both) does assert "If it doesn't mean what I think it obvious, then words have no meaning!"

    I have read that now from Calvinists, Arminians, Roman Catholics, KJVO, cessanists, non-cessanitst, preterists, covenant theologians, Reformed Baptists ...
     
  7. Pete Richert

    Pete Richert New Member

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    I want to qualify myself here. I am not implying some sort of proof by authority, that since these vast groups believe it or John Calvin believes it that it must be true. I have no bigger pet peeve then that. And obviously, being baptist, there is a great deal I disagree with Luther, Calvin, and Edwards, great in the faith as they were. In addition, I introduced this by saying that I am not settled on it. But what I will not accept that is it is so obvious that any reasonable person would conclude likewise. I think Martin Luther and John Calvin were very reasonable and honest. In addition, I will grant them that they studied and tremendous amount more then me or anyone else on this board. They may and probably are indeed wrong, but they are not fools.
     
  8. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Thank you for being honest with yourself and the actual texts of the Bible and the theological problems that they present to the careful and honest reader.

    • Some people are conservative in their view of the Bible because they don’t know any better.

    • Some people are conservative in their view of the Bible because they automatically toss out any thoughts that have a liberal ring to them.

    • And others are conservative in their view of the Bible because they have both read and listened with an honest and open mind and heart, and have fairly and reasonable concluded that, at this particular time in their life, they believe that, overall, a conservative view of the Bible makes better sense than a liberal view of the Bible, but they are still reading and listening with an honest and open mind and heart.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. JackRUS

    JackRUS New Member

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    One thing that many seem to have missed is that Peter used a singular term in using "that", and not "those things" that the prophet Joel spoke of. It could be that Peter was speaking of the beginning of the "last days" that he quotes first from Joel...

    "And it shall come to pass in the last days,...

    ...because none of the other things that Peter mentioned, the:

    1)...pour(ing) out of my Spirit upon all flesh: 2)and your sons and your daughters shall
    prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
    And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
    3)And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:
    The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood,"

    ...were happening that day now were they? So then, if this was the "that" and includes the whole prophesy, then Peter was lying. But Peter wanted to quote the whole prophesy, of course not knowing the "times or the seasons" as Jesus had told him earlier in Acts 1:7. (see also verse 8 which lends itself to the Holy Spirit interpretation).

    So then, Peter after just hearing that he and the other disciples were not to know the time of His coming would hardly have come down from the upper room a short time later and declare that this is the time folks without first seeing Him coming in the clouds.

    And even a preterist view would have to then have been a futurist view to think that some 40 years later the last part of the prophesy would come to pass after his "this is that" pronouncement.

    Pentecost marked the beginning of the last days, and they continue at this time and up to His glorious appearing.

    "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby
    we know that it is the last time." 1 John 2:18

    "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.
    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.
    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.
    Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    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?
    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens
    and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Pete. 3:8-13

    I would have to say that any honest preterist has to admit that the last part of this prophesy hasn't come to pass yet. At least I hope so.
     
  10. R. Charles Blair

    R. Charles Blair New Member

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    Anybody on this thread familiar with Paul Lee Tan's excellent work, "The Interpretation of Prophecy"? Tan is (or was) from Grace Seminary, Winona Lake (BMH Books), pre-mil, but says that the two worst possible words to describe the two basic views of fulfilled prophecy are "literal" and
    "spiritual." This book is from the 1960's or
    '70's, well worth buying. Alva J. McClain wrote:
    "Perhaps it would help to clear the air if we could get rid of all the adjectives (literal, spiritual, etc.) and simply use the term 'interpretation' alone in its first and original sense, 'to give the meaning of'. We could then go on from there and talk about other things, such as types and applications. . . ."
    (In "The Greatness of the Kingdom," Zondervan, same basic time frame).

    One quick note: Ed Edwards has an excellent post above, "IMHO". Hadn't seen his name on anything for a while - I've been off line on some other things, just recently back on "board." Best - Charles -Ro. 8:28

    (BTW - What "great light" did "the land of Zabulon and the land of Napthalim, ... Galilee of the Gentiles" see (Mt. 4:13-16, quoting Isaiah?)
     
  11. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Active Member
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    Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Boy, here is a preterist who prays that it has been fulfilled.
     
  12. Tim

    Tim New Member

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    Pete,

    A good point and reasonable analysis of prophetic difficulties. But I think that today we are so influenced by prophecy "teachers" and the so-called "golden rule" (literalism) of interpretation, that it's hard for us as Americans to get into the eastern mindset--the context in which the Bible was written.

    As you mentioned, a great number of OT prophesies are declared to be fulfilled by NT writers in a non-literal way. In fact, I think we could say the majority of them are (here come those words) figurative or spiritual in their fulfillment.

    I think the problem with Acts 2 is that the sermon has gigantic repercussions whichever way you look at it, so defenses automatically go up. At stake are the defintion of the term "last days" with all its ripple effect through the NT, and when you get to the end of the sermon, views about the reign of Christ are at stake. Without a doubt, it's a defining-moment sermon.

    So when Peter answered the crowd with (Greek literal equivalent) "For not as ye imagine . . . but this is the thing having been spoken through the prophet Joel:" not only did it cause a stir then--it's STILL causing a stir.
     
  13. JackRUS

    JackRUS New Member

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    Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Boy, here is a preterist who prays that it has been fulfilled.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I was talking about 2 Pet. 3:8-13. Not Acts 2.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Again, I simply ask, is anyone confused when you hold up a picture of your family and say "This is my family"? I doubt. They all understand that you are not meaning an identity, but a picture or illustration. Wouldn't you laugh if someone misunderstood something so simple? You would hope not to to save them embarrassment, but it would be hard to refrain.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Well it was only a matter of time. There are few theoglical debates where one or the other side (usually both) does assert "If it doesn't mean what I think it obvious, then words have no meaning!"</font>[/QUOTE]
    Put that in context of the statement I made. Joel prophesied certain things that clearly did not happen. If they "happened," then the words Joel mean obviously don't mean what we would expect the words Joel used to mean. Who then determines meaning? Whoever gets a notion. That is why this is so important. It has nothin to do with agreeing with "what I think is obvious." It has everything to do with communication. The words used have meaning in their context. We shouldn't change that in order to support a particular position. We should arrange our position around the meaning of the words.
     
  15. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards <img src=/Ed.gif>

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    Thank you, Brother R. Charles Blair.

    Perchance this is what i said:

    The opposite of 'physical' is 'spiritual'.
    The opposite of 'literal' is 'figurative'.
    Sadly, hardly anybody ever studies Literary figures
    of speach. I understand most folks who go to
    seminary have to get and Bachalor's degree?
    Many get a degree in Education, few a degree in
    Literature. Most preachers know little about
    retorical methods or literary figures of speach.

    But we depend on these guys to tell us
    what the Bible means?
     
  16. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Active Member
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    No, they don’t mean what “we” would expect, but they did to 1st century Hebrew mind.

    Don’t you understand, to some of us changing the phrase “this is” to “this is like that” is exactly what you say. To us you are re-wording inspired text to support your position.
     
  17. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Active Member
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    Well, the great Puritan Baptist John Owen disagrees with you as does John Lightfoot:

    John Owen (1721)
    'It is evident, then, that in the prophetical idiom and manner of speech, by heavens and earth, the civil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and the men of them, were often understood. So were the heavens and earth that world which then was destroyed by the flood.
    ' 4. On this foundation I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state
    'First, There is the foundation of the apostle's inference and exhortation, seeing that all these things, however precious they seem, or what value soever any put upon them, shall be dissolved, that is, destroyed; and that in that dreadful and fearful manner before mentioned, in a day of judgment, wrath, and vengeance, by fire and sword; let others mock at the threats of Christ's coming: He will come- He will not tarry; and then the heavens and earth that God Himself planted, -the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, -the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinancy against the Lord Christ, shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed: this we know shall be the end of these things, and that shortly." (Sermon on 2 Peter iii. 11, Works, folio, 1721.).

    Li2 Peter 3:13: 'We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth.' The heaven and the earth of the Jewish church and commonwealth must be all on fire, and the Mosaic elements burnt up; but we, according to the promise made to us by Isaiah the prophet, when all these are consumed, look for the new creation of the evangelical state" (vol. 3, p.453)

    Lightfoot:

    "That the destruction of Jerusalem and the whole Jewish state is described as if the whole frame of the world were to be dissolved. Nor is it strange, when God destroyed his habitation and city, places once so dear to him, with so direful and sad an overthrow; his own people, whom he accounted of as much or more than the whole world beside, by so dreadful and amazing plagues. Matt. 24:29,30, 'The sun shall be darkened &c. Then shall appear the 'sign of the Son of man,' &c; which yet are said to fall out within that generation, ver. 34. 2 Pet. 3:10, 'The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,' &c. Compare with this Deut. 32:22, Heb. 12:26: and observe that by elements are understood the Mosaic elements, Gal 4:9, Coloss. 2:20: and you will not doubt that St. Peter speaks only of the conflagration of Jerusalem, the destruction of the nation, and the abolishing the dispensation of Moses" (vol. 3, p. 452).
     
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    That is awful convenient ... blame on the mind of someone who isn't here to correct you. Why not just accept that the words mean what they say? Is that really so bad?

    I understand your objection, and I have poitned out the fallacy of it. When Christ says, "This is my body," we understand it wasn't "literally" his body, but "This represents," or "is like" my body. And I have shown from normal modern use the same thing ("This is my family"). You see, we understand this perfectly well when we aren't trying to defend a theological position. The problem is that some would rather hold to their theological position.

    Here are the options:
    1) Peter was flat out wrong.
    2) Joel was flat out wrong.
    3) Peter meant "This is like."

    What other option is there that doesn't involve denying the meaning of the words?
     
  19. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    God had not revealed all to the Apostles. John 14:26 informs the comforter will teach and bring to mind what Jesus had said while He was on earth. They learned and came to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ after many years. By the time John wrote His books we see sayings of Jesus that were not understood until years later, and they were not for “publication” until the Spirit had John pen His gospel, and Epistles.

    The “kingdom that is at hand” is on hold until we in the Body of Christ church are caught up. Joel’s prophecy will come to pass.
    Christian faith, ituttut
     
  20. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    I believe we are all “dispensationalist”, only some or more so, just as some are more “Baptist” than other’s. I agree with you on your point of Ryrie's explanation, which only brings confusion.

    When Peter says, “this is that” we know he knew exactly what was going on. The Apostles had “come to knowledge” of the Old Testament scripture’s, and they believed the “kingdom at hand” was at the point of beginning and knew God’s program was working toward that “kingdom to come”. These were the “last days” of that “gospel” that they had been taught, which was the “kingdom is at hand”.

    We are taught we are in the “last days” before the Rapture to Christ Jesus, and then that other “gospel” will begin bringing Joel’s prophecy to fruition. Our problem is we know more than did Peter. If we could take away the knowledge we now have of Christ from heaven, we could better understand that Peter knew “this is that” for that was all that was known when he spoke those words.

    The Words that we have from Christ in heaven, plus those He spoke by way of John on earth and not revealed until 30 or so years after the death of Paul, give us the ability to know Peter knew “this is that” (as well John and the others), and that would have happened had Israel accepted their King instead of refusing the Holy Ghost. Christian faith, ituttut
     
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