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Thread: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

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    Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Could someone(s) who holds the Partial Preterist position give me your take on the concept of Near/Far Prophecy, (i.e. Prophecy that has a fulfillment in a time-frame close to the original prophecy and then another fulfillment at a later time).

    Do Partial Preterists see this as a viable way to interpret prophecy in Scripture?

    Thanks so much!

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Can you give an example of what you mean...because I am not understanding what you are asking.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  3. #3

    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    Could someone(s) who holds the Partial Preterist position give me your take on the concept of Near/Far Prophecy, (i.e. Prophecy that has a fulfillment in a time-frame close to the original prophecy and then another fulfillment at a later time).

    Do Partial Preterists see this as a viable way to interpret prophecy in Scripture?

    Thanks so much!
    Are you talking about dual fulfillment? Than I would say no to your question.

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Robert Van Kampen along with other pre-mils use the term near/far to describe prophecies that have dual fulfilments. An example would be Isaiah 7:14.

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by christseeker View Post
    Are you talking about dual fulfillment? Than I would say no to your question.
    So could you give me your take on prophecies like Isaiah 7:14 that have multiple fulfilments? Thanks for the help.

  6. #6

    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    So could you give me your take on prophecies like Isaiah 7:14 that have multiple fulfilments? Thanks for the help.
    I see no dual fulfillment there

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Most biblical prophecy shares from a common cultural pool of themes--themes of climactic judgment and vindication, of God's people delivered and the enemies of God's people judged, of exile undone and sins forgiven, and ultimately of God coming to dwell in the midst of his people forever. Since history often repeats itself (the long history of Israel being a merry-go-round of exile and return and exile and return again) it's only natural that the prophets would use and re-use the same language when they peered through fog and saw the outcome of a coming and/or present crisis, and likewise it's only natural that they would use language larger than that crisis, language with eschatalogical excess according to the ultimate hope of judgment and vindication.

    Given the widespread commonality of motifs in regards to the language of biblical prophecy, it stands to reason that the frequent hyperbole of specific predictions reflects an ultimate eschatological expectation and that such language thereby transcends the immediate historical referent, whether that referent be the events of 586BC or 70AD or something else altogether. But the fact that there is "eschatological excess" in the language of these prophecies does not change the fact that the primary referent of that language is a near impending and/or present matrix of events. And while that excessive language does collectively paint a picture of the ultimate end, through the broad brush strokes of judgment and vindication, of tribulation and deliverance, this language should not be taken as giving photographic clarity about the end. The picture is impressionistic and evocative, not photographic.

    My view is thus distinctly different from a "dual fulfillment" or "near/far" view.

    - Hitman


    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


  8. #8

    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    Robert Van Kampen along with other pre-mils use the term near/far to describe prophecies that have dual fulfilments. An example would be Isaiah 7:14.
    Dual fulfillment? You mean someone believes that two virgins have a son called Immanuel; meaning "God with us"? This prophecy is Messianic and fulfilled in the birth of Christ.

    Mt*1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerW View Post
    Dual fulfillment? You mean someone believes that two virgins have a son called Immanuel; meaning "God with us"? This prophecy is Messianic and fulfilled in the birth of Christ.

    Mt*1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
    Let me try this another way...

    Clearly the immediate context of Isaiah 7:14 is Ahaz not being willing to ask for a sign to confirm the Lord's word to him in vs. 8, the shattering of Ephraim. Vs. 16 gives a timing indicator that squarely places the fulfilment of the sign the Lord gives, the virgin shall be with child..." in the generation of the prophecy.

    From the context of Isah 7-9, 8:3 is clearly the fulfilment of the prophecy from 7:14.

    However, it is also clear that Matthew, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares Jesus' birth to be the fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14.

    Can someone give me the picture on how this is not a dual or near/far fulfilment?

    I see how there are features that are not fulfilled literally in the birth of Isaiah's son Maher-shalal-hash-baz; his very name is a feature that does not square with the original prophecy. However, Isaiah's son's birth does square with 7:16 "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken."

    It seems to me that Isaiah 7:14 has a partial fulfillment in the generation the prophecy was given as well as a complete literal fulfillment in the generation of the incarnation.

    I am just trying to understand why/how this is not a near/far fulfillment as Van Kampen and other pre-mils suggest.

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthehitmanhart View Post
    Most biblical prophecy shares from a common cultural pool of themes--themes of climactic judgment and vindication, of God's people delivered and the enemies of God's people judged, of exile undone and sins forgiven, and ultimately of God coming to dwell in the midst of his people forever. Since history often repeats itself (the long history of Israel being a merry-go-round of exile and return and exile and return again) it's only natural that the prophets would use and re-use the same language when they peered through fog and saw the outcome of a coming and/or present crisis, and likewise it's only natural that they would use language larger than that crisis, language with eschatalogical excess according to the ultimate hope of judgment and vindication.

    Given the widespread commonality of motifs in regards to the language of biblical prophecy, it stands to reason that the frequent hyperbole of specific predictions reflects an ultimate eschatological expectation and that such language thereby transcends the immediate historical referent, whether that referent be the events of 586BC or 70AD or something else altogether. But the fact that there is "eschatological excess" in the language of these prophecies does not change the fact that the primary referent of that language is a near impending and/or present matrix of events. And while that excessive language does collectively paint a picture of the ultimate end, through the broad brush strokes of judgment and vindication, of tribulation and deliverance, this language should not be taken as giving photographic clarity about the end. The picture is impressionistic and evocative, not photographic.

    My view is thus distinctly different from a "dual fulfillment" or "near/far" view.
    So is your approach to Scripture similar to a literature major's approach to poetry?

  11. #11

    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    Somehow, I feel like your answer here is a bit patronizing, or perhaps just disingenuous.
    Oh no, not at all! That's the trouble with this type communication, words on a screen didn't show you my bewildered facial expression. And BTW I neglected to say welcome to the community!

    Clearly the immediate context of the verse in Isaiah 7 is Ahaz not being willing to ask for a sign to confirm the Lord's word to him in vs. 8, the shattering of Ephraim. Vs. 16 gives a timing indicator that squarely places the fulfilment of the sign the Lord gives, the virgin shall be with child..." in the generation of the prophecy.

    From the context of Isah 7-9, 8:3 is clearly the fulfilment of the prophecy from 7:14.

    However, it is also clear that Matthew, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares Jesus' birth to be the fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14.

    Can someone give me the picture on how this is not a dual or near/far fulfilment?

    I see how there are features that are not fulfilled literally in the birth of Isaiah's son Maher-shalal-hash-baz; his very name is a feature that does not square with the original prophecy. However, Isaiah's son's birth does square with 7:16 "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken."

    It seems to me that Isaiah 7:14 has a partial fulfillment in the generation the prophecy was given as well as a complete literal fulfillment in the generation of the incarnation.
    I don't see as clearly as you that this is dual prophecy. I see the prophecy regarding the virgin's Son, Immanuel repeated by Isaiah in chapter 9, only here without any doubt Who it speaks of. This too speaks as though fulfillment would come in the generation of the prophecy. However we know it would be fulfilled with the birth of Emmanuel, God with us, "his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

    Isa*9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
    Isa*9:3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
    Isa*9:4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
    Isa*9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
    Isa*9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
    Isa*9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    So is your approach to Scripture similar to a literature major's approach to poetry?
    I'm not sure what you mean...

    - Hitman


    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    Let me try this another way...

    Clearly the immediate context of Isaiah 7:14 is Ahaz not being willing to ask for a sign to confirm the Lord's word to him in vs. 8, the shattering of Ephraim. Vs. 16 gives a timing indicator that squarely places the fulfilment of the sign the Lord gives, the virgin shall be with child..." in the generation of the prophecy.

    From the context of Isah 7-9, 8:3 is clearly the fulfilment of the prophecy from 7:14.

    However, it is also clear that Matthew, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, declares Jesus' birth to be the fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14.

    Can someone give me the picture on how this is not a dual or near/far fulfilment?

    I see how there are features that are not fulfilled literally in the birth of Isaiah's son Maher-shalal-hash-baz; his very name is a feature that does not square with the original prophecy. However, Isaiah's son's birth does square with 7:16 "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken."

    It seems to me that Isaiah 7:14 has a partial fulfillment in the generation the prophecy was given as well as a complete literal fulfillment in the generation of the incarnation.

    I am just trying to understand why/how this is not a near/far fulfillment as Van Kampen and other pre-mils suggest.
    Well, for starters, I think the literalist understanding of "fulfillment" is much more narrow than the way Matthew (for instance) intended it. You've been talking about Matthew's use of Isaiah 7:14, but what about his use of Hosea 11:1? He quotes that passage and applies it to Jesus' return from Egypt after the death of Herod, using his common formula "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet". The problem, though, is that Hosea 11:1 isn't even a prophecy, and it most certainly isn't about Jesus. In that passage the Lord is remembering Israel's adolescence as a nation, when he drew them out of slavery in Egypt, and before they gave themselves over to idolatry. There is simply no way that anyone could find Jesus in this text by grammatical-historical means. But then, why do we think that Matthew intended us to?

    The word for "fulfill" (pleroo) has a much broader range of meaning than simple one-for-one realization of predictions. It's ground-level meaning is "to fill up". It would make perfect sense for Matthew, seeing Jesus' early life following the pattern of Israel's wanderings, to understand this pattern through the lens of Jesus' messiahship as a representative pattern, in other words as a point of identification between Jesus as Israel's king and the nation's long checkered history. This theme continues, of course, with the baptism in the next chapter, where Jesus' symbolic actions echo the Exodus, and then in the chapter after that with the sermon on the mount evoking Sinai. The point is, though, that Matthew's intention is less to say that Jesus' leaving Egypt was the "fulfillment" of Hosea 11:1 in the sense of "completion" or "realization" as much as it is to say that Jesus has given Israel's history a new depth of meaning, he has "filled it up", through his identification with them as their Messiah. In other words, Matthew's characteristic use of pleroo reflects his keen eye for scriptural typology, as he wants to connect the story of Jesus as deeply as possible to the story of Israel.

    - Hitman


    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - Advice from the Apostle Paul


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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Quote Originally Posted by AtlGatekeeper View Post
    Could someone(s) who holds the Partial Preterist position give me your take on the concept of Near/Far Prophecy, (i.e. Prophecy that has a fulfillment in a time-frame close to the original prophecy and then another fulfillment at a later time).

    Do Partial Preterists see this as a viable way to interpret prophecy in Scripture?

    Thanks so much!
    Im not a Preterist but I think I would be right in saying that they do not like the concept. This is because their interpretation of the Olivet discourse is myopic focussing only on the AD70 period.

    I see plenty examples of near/far prophecy not the least of which is the abomination of desolation. If you want to hear from a top scholar on this subject, have a look at Dr. Kim Riddlebarger's latest book, "The Man of Sin."

    Cyber
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    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

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    Re: Question for Partial Preterists Re: Near/Far Prophecy

    Well I am Partial Preterist, but I don't understand this conversation...sorry.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

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