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They shall call His name Emmanuel or Jesus?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Phil310, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    As Larry said, there is nothing sign-like about a girl becoming pregnant, unless there was something extraordinary about it. And why did Shearjashub accompany Isaiah?
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    I agree with Natters. I've learned from others in church and in seminary that many (not all, of course!) OT prophecies have two applications -- that they were fulfilled in the OT and also applied to events in the NT. The "almah" in Is. was not a virgin but a young woman, but Luke used this prophecy to apply to Mary. It had double application.

    I think another example of this type of prophecy is the one about Rachel's children crying, but I would have to look that up to be sure.
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    First, you need to study "circular reasoning." Second, if it applied to Mary, then it applied to no one else by default. AGain, I ask (and you haven't yet answered), who was the virgin in Isaiah's time who was pregnant? Answer: There is none. If Isaiah meant "virgin," then it can only be Mary. If Isaiah meant something other than "virgin," then it cannot mean Mary and Matthew was incorrect. I choose what Matthew said.

    The fact is that a woman can't be a virgin and non-virgin at the same time.

    Yes, 700 years later, as Matthew said.

    Based on what though?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Context.</font>[/QUOTE]
    But there's nothing in the context that indicates it was anyone at that time. In fact, everything in teh context says it wasn't. After all, there was no virgin pregnant at that time.

    Which is exactly what I said and why your position does not make sense. The "almah" that conceives didn't in the time of Ahaz.


    Because Isa 7:14 was an unfulfilled prophecy. Hos was a historical statement. Jeremiah was a fulfilled prophecy. THose are huge differences.

    Of course he didn't say "almah who was a virgin." (Neither did I). That would be redundant. In context, "almah" means "virgin.

    I read the text. It does not say that. In any of my several dozen English versions.</font>[/QUOTE]Read the Hebrew. The probably reason why the English and LXX say "will conceive" is because of this position. The English is following the LXX, and the LXX apparently agreed with me ... that the virgin "will conceive" in the future. She wasn't pregnant at the time of Ahaz. But realize the difference between prophetic present and real life. The prophet sees future things in the present. Isaiah, in Hebrew, said "pregnant virgin" (almah harah). You can get it out and look at it.

    I agree.</font>[/QUOTE]But you are going on several pages of disagreeing.

    First, this is still a bad comparison. Second, Matthew said that Mary's virgin birth fulfilled Isaiah's statement. That means that Isaiah meant Mary.

    It is analogical. (Didn't I already say this?). It wasn't even a prophecy. A modern example would be using the figure of "Waterloo" to describe someone's experience, to say, "That was so and so's Waterloo." Everyone recognizes that Waterloo was a historical event and the event in so-and-so's life bears some likeness to it. Hosea wasn't prophesying anything.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Careful now ... saying there are two applications is different than saying there are two meanings. We are talking about what Isaiah meant. He only meant one thing ... He either meant virgo intacta or not. He did not mean both "young woman who gets pregnant by natural cause" and "pregnant virgin."

    Analogical, as I mentioned above.
     
  5. Keith M

    Keith M New Member

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    But Matthew DIDN'T say "Isaiah meant Mary and Jesus", just as he didn't say "Hosea meant Mary and Jesus when Hosea said 'Out of Egypt I have called my son'." </font>[/QUOTE]Exactly! Matthew doesn't at all say that Isaiah was referring to Mary and Jesus. Matthew merely applies the Isaiah verse to Mary and Jesus!
     
  6. natters

    natters New Member

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    Unless Matthew was interpreting it in the way I am discussing.

    Again I answer, I do not believe there was a virgin birth in Ahaz's time.

    I am saying those are not the only two possibilities. When Hosea said "son", he meant Isreal. When Matthew quoted him and also said "son", he meant Jesus. Neither are incorrect.

    A "son" can't be a nation and a person at the same time. But when there are two times applicable...

    Yes, 700 years later, as Matthew said. </font>[/QUOTE]I agree. But I also believe a sign was prophesied (and fulfilled) for the nation of Judah in Ahaz's day.

    I agree there was no virgin pregnant at that time.

    Which is exactly what I said and why your position does not make sense. The "almah" that conceives didn't in the time of Ahaz.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Unless there was an "almah" then that did, fulfilling the prophecy, and then Matthew used the event to find "fulfillment" in Christ, like he did with Matt 2:15.

    Because Isa 7:14 was an unfulfilled prophecy.</font>[/QUOTE]Well, that's where we disagree, isn't it? [​IMG]

    Yet all three are applied to Christ. Matthew specifically uses the word "fulfilled" for each. Same language, same application.

    Of course he didn't say "almah who was a virgin." (Neither did I). That would be redundant. In context, "almah" means "virgin.
    </font>[/QUOTE]You said "It refers to one woman (singular) who is a virgin". I say it refers to an "almah" (young woman), without specifying virginity. In context, the sign was for Judah at that time.

    I cannot read Hebrew. Are you saying you are correct, and every English Bible (and all other languages, as far as I know) got it wrong and you got it right?

    I don't know enough about Hebrew tenses to verify your claim. However, I do know that "almah" is not necessarily "virgin".

    I agree.</font>[/QUOTE]But you are going on several pages of disagreeing.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Not with that claim. See, you still do not understand what I am saying. I am not disagreeing that Matthew said Mary was a virgin, I am disagreeing that the "fulfillment" was the primary fulfillment of Isa 7:14, but is rather the type of fulfillment he uses in 2:15 and 2:18.

    First, this is still a bad comparison. Second, Matthew said that Mary's virgin birth fulfilled Isaiah's statement. That means that Isaiah meant Mary. </font>[/QUOTE]It is NOT a bad comparision. Both are "fulfillments" in Christ of OT scripture. Both are prefaced with the words "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,"

    It is analogical. (Didn't I already say this?).
    </font>[/QUOTE]So why is it "analogical" here, but when I see the same thing a few verses prior, you say that means Matthew was not making sense or that he "misused" OT scripture, or that the Holy Spirit lied. Seems like a double standard to me.

    And yet Matthew said "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,"
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    If he did, he violated the very basic principles of hermeneutics.

    Then the text cannot have been fulfilled at that time.

    Then give us a third that doesn't make mincemeat of the text. If you do, you will be the first.

    And this is still not a like example. Repeating it won't make it the same thing.

    Yes, 700 years later, as Matthew said. </font>[/QUOTE]I agree. But I also believe a sign was prophesied (and fulfilled) for the nation of Judah in Ahaz's day.</font>[/QUOTE]How? I keep asking and you don't offer anything. HOw was the sign fulfilled in Ahaz's day?

    Unless there was an "almah" then that did, fulfilling the prophecy, and then Matthew used the event to find "fulfillment" in Christ, like he did with Matt 2:15.</font>[/QUOTE]You just said above that you agreed that there was no pregnant virgin in Ahaz's time; now you say there may have been. You can't ride both sides of the fence. Isaiah said "almah" and that means "virgin" according to the Holy Spirit in Matthew. Why look for something else?

    But in different ways.

    But Matthew says you are incorrect. He said it referred to a virgin.

    Nope, I just explained that.

    Some very good cases have been made that "almah" means virgin. I happen to disagree. But in Isa 7:14, it clearly means virgin because the HOly Spirit said so in Matthew.

    I understand exactly what you are saying. I have read every major work on this topic, and many minor ones. I spent a year of my life on this topic. I konw what you are saying, and I know why it is incorrect.

    It isn't; it can't be because of the language of Isaiah and the language of Matthew, combined with the historical context of Ahaz.

    But they are not the same kind of fulfillment. Pleroo has a range of meaning.

    You don't "see the same thing" a few verses prior. That is what I keep pointing out. It isn't the same. And it is analogical here because of the OT text. It was a historical text. It wasn't a prophecy that needed fulfillment as you are thinking.

    At this point we are going back and forth moving nowhere.

    Perhaps the bigger question in all of this is to try to figure out what your particular hangup is? Why insist on your position? What do you think is at stake here?

    From my position here is what is at stake:
    1. The sensibility of language. If "almah" can mean both virgin and non-virgin at the same time, we have serious communication problems. Words, int eh same context, cannot mean different things. IF they did, no one could communicate.

    2. The integrity of the OT and NT text. Matthew, under the inspiration of the Spirit said that Isaiah meant virgo intacta who was Mary. If Matthew was wrong about Isaiah, then we have seroius problems for inspiration.

    Other issues:
    1. Having a near term application (vv. 15-17) is no problem. It was there and needed no birht.

    2. Seeing a normal pregnancy and birth in the time of Isaiah does not make for a "sign." That would be a meaningless sign.

    3. It also leads to no terminus ad quem, no ending date. Who's to say that my pregnant wife, due in March, is not an almah with a sign? If you open it to two occurrences, why not three? And if almah can mean two different things, why not a horse, or a dog? What's the limit once you start admitting multiple meanings in the same context?

    You introduce a whole host of unnecessary problems when you take the road you have. I don't find it reasonable or necessary. It makes perfect sense as it stands.
     
  8. natters

    natters New Member

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    Larry, I'm not sure why you don't understand what I am saying, yet feel able to argue against in anyway. I'm not going to get into a 20-page repeat-a-thon, so I'll just bow out here. However, I do want to clarify one thing:

    I have not been inconsistent. I have been very careful about when I said "virgin" and when I said "almah". Just because they are synonyms in your mind does not mean they are in mine. I have never said there may have been a pregnant "virgin" in Ahaz's time - I said the "almah" may have been pregnant when the prophecy was given, or she may have gotten pregnant after.

    The better understanding of scripture.

    I thought I made it clear I do not believe the two passages are "the same context". Like 2:15.

    As for the rest of your questions/comments, I think I've already addressed them. I don't expect you to agree with my statements, but I still hope that maybe you'll at least understand them one day.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    As I said, Natters, I understand exactly what you are saying and am wording my responses carefully, though quickly. Trust me, I have read your defense in published works. You are not saying anything new.

    I have not been inconsistent. I have been very careful about when I said "virgin" and when I said "almah". Just because they are synonyms in your mind does not mean they are in mine. I have never said there may have been a pregnant "virgin" in Ahaz's time - I said the "almah" may have been pregnant when the prophecy was given, or she may have gotten pregnant after.</font>[/QUOTE]But again, I point out, that is not an option. You say that they aren't synonyms in your mind. But is there room for your position? I say no, which means that your understanding is inadequate. Your mind needs to change, to put it bluntly, not hopefully not offensively. I am using your words to make the point. When our minds think incorrectly, the doctrine doesn't need to change; our minds need to change.

    Isaiah said "pregnant virgin." Even in the future tense (virgin will conceive), the remarkable fact that is the "sign" is that she is a virgin and pregnant at the same time. Nothing can get around that. Therefore, if the prophecy was fulfilled in Ahaz's day, there had to be a virgin that was pregnant. ANd you say that there was no virgin pregnancy. I agree.

    I recognize you don't think "almah" and "virgin" are the same. But they are. Matthew said so. And again, I just question why that isn't good enough? What else do we need?

    [/qb}I agree, and that is precisely why I reject your position. It clouds Scripture. In fact, it clouds communication in general.

    I thought I made it clear I do not believe the two passages are "the same context". Like 2:15.</font>[/QUOTE]
    Isaiah 7:14 is the only context for Isaiah 7:14. YOu say Isaiah had one meaning for the context of 7:14 and Matthew had another meaning for the context of 7:14. I am saying what's the limit?

    Whatever Isaiah intended in the only meaning there is. If he intended virgo intacta, then that is all that it can mean.

    I say both Matthew meant what Isaiah meant.

    As I said, I understand perfectly. I have read far and wide on this subject and have seen your position argued at length in journals and commentaries. I know what you are saying. But I wonder if you have ever actually been challenged on this. It seems that a lot of your responses are just repetitions without understanding of the issues involved. It seems that you don't understand the other side. I don't think the answers you gave don't address the issues at hand. And that is the problem for me. I would simply encourage you to think through the issue some more.

    But I have enjoyed the interchange. Have a great one.
     
  10. natters

    natters New Member

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    Given the rest of your comments/questions in this post, I would disagree with you about that as well. ;)

    I do. I used to defend it, vigorously. Then one day, even though I had previously "read" this view in many commentaries and heard it from others, the little light bulb turned on and I finally understood, really understood, what the view was saying. I understand both views, and have no real problem with your view. I just happen to think the less-common view is a more correct understanding.

    Likewise, and same to you. [​IMG]
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    It would be hard to imagine any legitimate basis for that. In fact, I could probably defend your position better than you could.

    I agree with this statement, but actually my view is the less commonly held view at least in academia. In fact, there are very few commentators who actually hold it, and especially not modern ones. Young vigorously defended it, as did Alexander. But no other names jump out at me from memory as to those who defended it. So many have accepted sensus plenior that it is hard to even have a conversation with them ... kind of like here ... :D ... But hey ... life goes on.
     
  12. natters

    natters New Member

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    I hope that is humor. Many of your questions and comments showed me you did not understand what I was saying - if you understood, you wouldn't have said some of the things you did. ;)
     
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Then perhaps you could point these out. I have read your position in numerous works, in which it was defended at a published and peer reviewed level, not some internet bulletin board. It is pretty standard stuff, as I said. Perhaps you are reading your words like you read Isaiah's, using the same words to mean several different things. In which case, you prove my point.

    So tell me, what exactly do you think I don't understand.
     
  14. natters

    natters New Member

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    Your comment proves my point about you not understanding. The same words CAN mean different things if they appear in different contexts. I believe the context in which the prophecy was originally given (an almah giving birth to a son and naming him "Immanuel" as a sign for Judah about the downfall of current enemy kings), and the context in which Matthew found fulfillment of it (the birth of Christ by the virgin Mary, literally God with us), are two different contexts. Just like Hos 11:1 and Matt's "fulfillment" in Matt 2:15 are two different contexts. If you had understood that about my view, you wouldn't make such statements about multiple meanings of words.

    You kept asking "who was the virgin in Isaiah's time who was pregnant?" despite me repeatedly saying there wasn't a pregnant virgin in Isaiah's time. My view does not have one.

    You said "If Isaiah meant "virgin," then it can only be Mary. If Isaiah meant something other than "virgin," then it cannot mean Mary and Matthew was incorrect". My view holds to a third possibility.

    You kept commenting on the timing of the pregnancy if it was in Isaiah's time, whether the almah was pregnant before or after the prophecy was given. ("will conceived" versus "conceived"), and using as some sort of argument against my view. In my view, it is completely irrelevant.

    You thought I was disagreeing that Mary was a virgin. If you understood my view, you would not have made that comment.

    You kept arguing as though I didn't understand that Matthew used the Greek word for "virgin" when quoting the passage from Isaiah. I do understand it, and if you understood my view you would realize why that's not a problem in my view.

    You kept referring to the "sign" in my view as a pregnant almah (and thus a pregnant non-virgin is not really that big of sign). That is part of the sign in my view, but only a part of it.

    You said I was being inconsistent, saying that there was no pregnant virgin in Ahaz's time, and then saying there was. If you had understood what I was saying, you would have not claimed I was being inconsistent.

    You said Matthew says I am incorrect. Yet if you understood my view, you would see that if it is true, it is still entirely in agreement with what Matthew said, and Matthew is still entirely correct. You do not understand that still. Similarly, you said that the integrity of the OT and NT text is at stake over this issue. Again, if you really understood my position, you would see that is completely false.

    You asked what's the limit in adding multiple meanings to the same context. If you understood my view, you would realize my view does not hold them as the same context, as I explained at the beginning of this post.

    You said that "Whatever Isaiah intended in the only meaning there is" but don't seem to understand that my view can allow a dual meaning, just like both our views allow for Hosea and his words of "Out of Egypt I have called my son" (likewise, two contexts). If you understood my view, you would would discuss its understanding of multiple contexts, instead of tripping over "one context" when that's not what my view holds.

    Those are just the ones I found after a quick scan. I'm sure that like the rest of this thread, you'll disagree with me about these things as well. [​IMG] If you do disagree, maybe I'll hold you to your earlier claim that you could defend my position better than I could. I would like to see that, as it would demonstrate most efficiently if you understood my position in the first place or not. [​IMG]

    Off to bed. [​IMG]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Thanks, Now let's take a look at them. I will answer quickly, so it may not be as clear as it could be.

    Ah Hah ... It is not me who doesn't understand. It is you. When we talk about words meaning things, we are talking literary context, not historical context. The words of Isa 7:14 can mean only one thing: virgin or non-virgin. They can't mean two different things in literary context. You are trying to talk about historical context: Isaiah's vs. Matthew's. That is not the discussion about words having meaning in a context.

    I assumed too much about you. I assumed you would be familiar with the basic axioms of hermeneutics and that is my fault for assuming that.

    I realize quite well that you are talking about two different historical contexts. You are claiming that Matthew found some meaning in Isaiah's words that fits Matthew's context, but not Isaiah's context, or at least not exclusively Isaiah's context. But that is a different issue that hermeneutical context.

    Exactly, but here is the issue you must face. You say that Matthew saw the meaning as "virgin" and applied it to Mary. If Matthew said that "almah" means virgin (and he does), then there must have been a pregnant virgin in Ahaz's time or you have the hermeneutical problem or one word meaning two different things in the same context. I understand your point and I was pointing out the fallacy of it. You have one word (almah) in one context (Isa 7:14) having two meanings (non-virgin and virgin). That is illegitimate hermeneutics.

    I understand that as well. But the point is that there is no third possibility without denying the basics of communication.

    If you remember what I said, I said you must understand prophetic vision. Sometimes, in prophetic vision, the prophet sees the future as now. That is why "pregnant" (charah) is an adjective describing almah, not an imperfect tense (which would be future). In other words, the pregnant virgin (700 years later) was "now" to Isaiah. This was not necessarily an argument against your view per se. It was a statement about the nature of the prophecy and the nature of prophetic vision. It was an explanation of the Hebrew grammar.

    No I didn't. I never thought you denied the virgin birth. Not sure where you got that from.

    I never thought that either. I don't know where you came up with that.

    And so what's the problem here? How did I misunderstand this? I knew exactly what you were saying. The sign, in your view, is more, but it certainly isn't less than a pregnant almah. But again, how is a pregnant non-virgin a sign? It happened everyday.

    Again, I understood. I was pointing out the hermeneutical problem you faced. I was using the words of Scripture (almah) to illustrate that you have two different kinds of "almah" and that is illegitimate. In Isa 7:14, "almah" is a kind of woman and only one kind. She is either a virgin, or she is not. YOu say she is both. That is illegitimate hermeneutics. But again, I knew exactly what you were saying.

    No, again, actually I understand that perfectly. But the "if" isn't. I agree with you that "if your view is right, Matthew is fine." But your view isn't right because of Matthew's wording and the nature of language.

    Nope, I understand your position. {erhaps you don't understand your position. If you say a word, in this case almah, can mean two opposed things, then what else do we have? Can we say that "holy" can also mean "sinful"? Can we say that "right" sometimes mean "wrong"? If we start assigning multiple meanings to the same word in a single context, where does it stop? In fact, I already brought this point up. The integrity of the text is blown all to pieces if people can just start adding meaning. As I pointed out, given your view, why isn't my pregnant wife a fulfillment? Can you offer any explanation as to why you limit it?

    Yes, but if you read the first part of this post, you will see that you misunderstand the hermeneutical issue at hand with the discussion of context. Isa 7:14 is the context in view, not the historical context of time.

    I understand your view allows for dual meaning. In fact, I addressed that issue at length elsewhere, and addressed it more briefly here. Dual meaning is an illegitimate hermeneutic. A word can only have one meaning in one and the same context (to quote Terry).

    My view doesn't allow for dual meaning here. My view allows for dual application, but all views do. Are you familiar with the distinction between meaning and application? That might be another place where I assumed too much.

    See above where this was already answered.

    Yes indeed. In fact, in all of these cases with one exception, I understand perfectly what you are trying to say. The one exception is the "context" issue where I was using "context" in the normal literary use of it, and you were using it differently.

    Perhaps tomorrow I will explain your view and see what you think. [​IMG]
     
  16. ituttut

    ituttut New Member

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    An interesting debate is taking place, and I hope you don’t mind if I put a different understanding on the subject, perhaps helping to bring the two names together, as one.

    The Bible explains itself, and most of the time we must really dig deep to remove what we believe to be contradictions. But your above has the answer you seek.

    But before we clear this up, we should ask if there was a possibility of any man knowing by what name they must believe in to be saved until the Word became flesh. This could not happen (His earthly name) until the angel told Mary to name her issue “Jesus” (Luke 1:31). And until Jesus Christ shed His blood, no one could be cleansed of sin, and until a year after Pentecost, plus a few more years, the (me) heathen could not be in the Temple. Only after Damascus Road could God begin His reconciliation of the world.

    Acts 4:10, ”Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” There were no heathens addressed as to salvation (Jesus never preached salvation to a heathen, and neither did His Apostles, until Peter was forced as shown in Acts 10).

    This being so, then how are we (me) saved by the Grace of God through faith? It begins at Damascus Road. It is only after Christ revealed to Paul his gospel that we find the Body of Christ, and the heathen are not only included, by as Peter says, they (Israel) can now be saved just as we Gentiles.

    In Acts we see the changing of the guard from a nation to the individual. Acts 2:36-39, ”Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall ]we do? 38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are *afar off*, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” The * are all of Israel that is afar off. Peter was forced by Christ in heaven to witness to one Gentile and his house in Acts 10, and that was it, and God would not allow Peter to go beyond the name of Jesus with the Gentiles. Peter later shook hands with Paul in Jerusalem to not preach to a heathen, for he didn’t have the authority to do so after the stoning of Steven. From heaven, Christ Jesus gave Paul the authority to go to the Gentile, and also the Jew for the “kingdom gospel of Israel” is not to be preached again (after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem) until we today in the Body of Christ are caught up to Christ Jesus in the air.

    What is the gospel message today? The Cross – ”But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house”,Acts 28:31. Cornelius is saved, and his house (servants and all) if they believe.

    We see here two different gospels, one for the Nation Israel and one for the whole world (individuals). But both gospels have a common denominator, and no preaching before these were able to save. Each gospel says salvation can only be obtained by evoking the name of Jesus Christ. The Jew in their religion “must” repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. Those that teach the “great commission” are saying they are Israel. We know the “religions” that teach salvation comes by repentance and “water” baptism, and I hope no Baptist believes baptism saves them.

    To your question. The only way I can see to reconcile the two names is by “scripture”. And the Word (EmmanuEL - God) became Flesh (and God the man) is named Jesus. Deity and humanity to me is Christ Jesus for there is no other name under heaven that can save.
     
  17. Keith M

    Keith M New Member

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    Sorry! Let me try that again! Maybe my USP won't disconnect me this time just as the comments are being posted!
     
  18. Keith M

    Keith M New Member

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    Then the text cannot have been fulfilled at that time.</font>[/QUOTE]Larry, you are applying a very narrow definition of almah. In your mind the word can only mean virgin. In Hebrew, the word had a broader definition and did not necessarily mean virgin every time it was used.

    If Isaiah had the narrower definition in mind when he wrote this passage, then you are absolutely correct in saying that the prophecy could not have been fulfilled in those days. However, if Isaiah had the broader definition in mind when he wrote this passage, then the prophecy could have been fulfilled in those days. Since Isaiah has been dead for a few years now [​IMG] it is impossible for any of us to ask him what he had in mind when he wrote this passage.

    When Matthew applied this verse to the birth of Christ, it is almost certain that he had the narrower definition in mind. The narrower definition perfectly fit the virgin birth of Christ.

    Matthew does not attempt to tell us what was in Isaiah's mind when he wrote the passage. Matthew merely applied the already-written passage to the situation. Now correct me if I am wrong, but I assume that at some time during your pastorate you have applied a quote to illustrate or to make a point in one of your sermons. When the original speaker made that stamement he or she may not have been talking about the same thing you were talking about, but you applied the quote as an illustration or to make your point. Such could have been the case when Matthew quoted Isaiah.

    Since there is no way that any of us can know absolutely and without a doubt just what Isaiah had in mind when he wrote this passage, then all that we can do is put forth our best theories. That is all that you can do. That is all that Natters can do. That is all that I can do.

    Personally I think that Isaiah probably had virgin in mind when he wrote this passage, and if that is the case then the virgin birth of Christ is the only fulfillment of this prophecy. On the other hand I admit that, taking into account the usage of almah in Isaiah's day, there is a possibility that Isaiah had the broader definition of the word in mind when he wrote the passage. Since we won't know for certain until we can ask him ourselves, then we must not say absolutely and without a doubt that someone else is wrong. Let's ask Isaiah and Matthew what they had in mind when we all get to heaven, okay?
     
  19. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    I already addressed this. In Hebrew, there is only one occurrence where it definitely means something other than virgin (and it is a derivative); there are a few where it can be. As I said a few pages ago, I am of the opinion that almah could have been used for a non-virgin. Many conservative scholars disagree with me.

    But the question is not "What can it mean?" It is "What does it mean?" A word may have a large semantic range, but in any given use, it only means one thing. In this context (7:14), almah only means one thing. It either means "virgin" or "non-virgin." It can't mean both.

    But since we have the context, we can make good assumptions about what Isaiah meant, because had he meant something else, he would have used different words. Then along comes Matthew who clarifies beyond all doubt what Isaiah meant.

    This idea goes down a road of hermeneutics that is ultimately postmodern. It puts meaning in the realm of the reader (a kind of reader reconstruction theory) and removes meaning from the author. Now, notice I said you are going down that road. That doesn't mean you are there. But your argument can lead to that position.

    But Matthew did tell us what was in Isaiah's mind.

    No, this is the case of Hosea and JEremiah, as we talked about earlier. The language of Matthew combined with the nature of Isaiah's prophecy shows this was an inspired statement about Isaiah's meaning.

    I disagree. I think we can with almost complete assurance what Isaiah meant. Matthew, under the inspiration of the Spirit told us, and as I have said, I see no reason to depart from that for another idea.
     
  20. Keith M

    Keith M New Member

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    Larry, it seems to me you need to come down off your soap box. No matter what you may feel about these passages, there is no way for you to know absolutely and without a doubt what either writer had in mind when they wrote these passages.

    With this I will leave you to your own thoughts on the subject. Go ahead if you want and keep refusing to accept that almah had a broader definition than what you will admit. That doesn't make your assertions absolutely correct. Your narrow definition of almah could have been exactly what Isaiah had in mind when he wrote this passage, but I'll repeat, there is no way for us to know absolutely and without a doubt what he was thinking when he wrote this passage.

    Your error here seems not to be in what you believe about this passage so much as in claiming that only your viewpoint can be correct.

    [ December 11, 2005, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: Keith M ]
     
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