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Thread: Why I Am Not A Preterist

  1. #1

    Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Matthehitmanhart writes:
    The primary question for the interpreter of biblical prophecy must be centered on the AUTHORIAL INTENT and the PUBLIC MEANING which the prophetic word would have carried in the period in which it was given. To put it otherwise: Our first duty with biblical prophecy, no less than with any other genre of Scripture, is to interpret it with reference to its own time. This doesn’t mean that all biblical prophecy must of necessity refer to past events, but that the language of all biblical prophecy must have been readily understandable to the people of its own time. Otherwise it could be liberally reinterpreted according to the changing paradigms of every successive generation. Thus, the true interpretation is not necessarily the one which carries the most perceived value or spiritual application in the twenty-first century, but rather the one which best explains the prophetic language as it would have been understood by its original audience. But again, if we really believe in the authority of Scripture, then we should always assume that the interpretation arrived at through the inductive process will be the one with the most Spirit-filled application for our own time, regardless of our expectations. (bold emphasis mine; ALL CAPS orig. Matt’s lower case italics)
    The problem with Matt’s view is that history doesn’t support it: specifically, Jeremiah’s 70 weeks were not “readily understandable” to its “original audience” (see http://bibleforums.org/showthread.ph...iel-s-prophecy). For harmonization of the biblical and extra-biblical records shows that the 70 “years” of Exile turned out to be nearly one year less than 70 (in fact, no longer than 69 years and about 16 days), or even a half-year less than that, depending on whether Daniel reckoned the anniversary of kings from Nisan (the 1st month) or from Tishri (the 7th month). And so the “public meaning” of what “years” meant at the time Jeremiah gave this prophecy was not understood by the people “of its own time.” Doubtless, this explains why Daniel, arguably the most learned man in Babylonian and Jewish culture, was nevertheless searching the scrolls concerning Jeremiah’s prophecy of the number of years in the Exile despite what surely must have been common knowledge that it was suppose to be 70. For history shows that Cyrus’ edict came a year or more earlier than Daniel expected. And so, Jeremiah’s contemporaries, like perhaps even Jeremiah himself, would have naturally assumed that when the prophecy was first given, these 70 years of the Exile would average to normal tropical solar years (of approximately 365.2422 days), rather than years of 360 days each (which would equal 69 years 2 days), which, as it turns out, alone fits the historical data. This suggests that God was showing the Jews in what manner they should be reckoning years in Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy, as a countdown to Messiah’s coming. Moreover, the stop gap of 7 weeks on the way to 69 weeks would have provided the Jews with seeing if the finishing of building the City took 49 years of 360 days, as a spot test to whether they had been correct to assume that the counting down to Messiah the Prince involved years of 360 days.

    This exception (the 360-day year) to Matt’s claims is important, since even opposing exegetical methods (e.g. futurist vss. preterist) can each be consistent within its own presuppositions, about what percentage of metaphor is appropriate. Therefore something more than consistency of argument is needed to prove one particular hermeneutical approach superior to the other. In fact, what has been needed has been some way to put these methods into the test tube of history. With Jeremiah’s 70 ‘years’, we have such a way.

    Yet because most theologians have assumed there is no standard of history to which exegetical methods could be tested, arguments have tended to rest along ‘exegetical’ lines—hence the great argument between preterists and futurists about what constitutes “genres” within Scripture. And so futurists claim that preterists follow Origen in trashing the normal sense of words through excessive overuse of metaphors, while preterists claim that futurists woodenly follow literalism when literalism is so frequently not the authorial intent. Thus Matt returns to futurists the compliment about Origen and adds the charge of “cognitive dissonance,” "not true faith," "doubt in disguise," and so forth.

    The problem, then, is that each group believes it is the only group properly identifying genres. Thus the partial preterist Steve Gregg on his Narrow Path ministries website, in his back-and-forth exchange with futurist Norman Geisler, says Geisler is wrong about preterists not following the historical-grammatical hermeneutic. Partial-preterists, claims Gregg, DO use the historical-grammatical hermeneutic; but because they more frequently and properly recognize the genres of hyperbole, poetry, and apocalyptic literature—when futurists do not—naturally the resulting interpretations look different. But (I say) somewhere in all this fray one wonders if either group realizes that even the German Higher critics of the mid-19th century would have claimed the same holy ground in the historical-grammatical hermeneutic argument. After all, wouldn’t they have said they ably identified the genres of myth and legend compilations of which nearly all the ‘historical’ narratives of the Old Testament and especially the Torah consisted?

    Notice, then, the predictable path 19th-century error took. First, the biblical critic attacked the historicity of places and persons in the Old Testament, based on the silence of a then spotty archaeological record. Later, when the archaeological record became considerably more complete by the beginning of the next century and proved the critics’ original assumption wrong, the Higher Critics forsook the historical test tube in favor of the more appealing “genre” argument. And so, the Julius Wellhausen et al crowd by the end of the 19th century fell back on the next unfalsafiable strategy that came to mind—the literary-rather than literal method. The result today is that some genuine Christians are naively caught up in this very old approach of those critics whose motive was to discredit the supernatural element of Scripture. Granted, preterists may not embrace all the conclusions of the old German School, but they seem more eager to explore metaphoric possibilities than to examine if predictive prophecy of the kind that required hundreds of years to fulfill was proven with pinpoint accuracy. Here, of course, I am referring to the 69 weeks (173,880 days, if the 69 “weeks” (483 years) years were of 360 days each) that Daniel stated would take place from the commandment/word that went forth to restore and build Jerusalem, to an Anointed Prince [Jesus]. In fact, history shows that Daniel’s prophecy can be reasonably shown proven, and that the interval of the 69 weeks ran from (Julian) April 6, 444 BC to April 27, 33 AD (Day of ‘Triumphal’ Entry).

    The really aggravating thing here is that, except for the phrase in Daniel 12:1 foretelling an unprecedented time of international distress, the O.T. phrases claimed by preterists to be “poetic hyperbole” are hardly more linguistically 'exaggerative' than those disasters Moses predicted and described before Pharaoh. And so, considering preterist principles, the question arises why the entire Exodus narrative shouldn’t also be supposed one large effort of poetic epic, invented by Moses, who, after all, was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, and therefore certainly literate enough to have been a poet. Indeed, don’t we already have the Mosaic poetry of Psalm 90? Well, admittedly, no preterists I know of have yet taken that step. Perhaps, instead, they merely feel that when Moses predicted that water would turn to blood it came to pass the next day, not hundreds or thousands of years later. But, then, I ask, must John’s predictions in Revelation of waters turning to blood be assumed hyperbole or befitting an “apocalyptic genre” that cannot be literally true, simply because its fulfillment might remain in the future? Indeed, I can only wonder why preterists haven’t also (1) labeled the Daniel 12:2 term “everlasting life” hyperbole, since it occurs nowhere else in the O.T., and (2) regarded its use an error by N.T. figures unattuned to the genre of poetic exaggeration. Perhaps that step will be taken by the next generation of disciples who are made twice the preterist children of today.

    Inevitably, it seems to usually come down to two issues: preterist insistence about what “this generation” must mean in Matthew 24:34, and also what the Revelation word “quickly” and the phrase “at hand” imply.

    Regarding the first of these issues I continue to be amazed that “this generation” cannot simply mean that generation which follows that time which is “not yet the end” (vs. 6), mainly meaning the generation that witnesses Daniel’s 70th week, the latter portion of which is so destructive that, as Mark tells us, unless those days were shortened, no flesh should survive. To me that is the natural meaning, i.e., that “this generation” will justifiably feel so threatened with its possible extinction, having lost 50+% of its world population in less than 3.5 years, that the Bible confirms that no flesh would survive were not those days shortened.

    Moving on, re: the Greek word rendered “shortly” by the KJV (see 1:1; 22:6) or “soon” and “quickly” in the NASB, note that the same word occurs when the angel strikes Peter in the side and tells him to arise “quickly.” But this is a far cry from suggesting the angel said “Arise shortly!” Rather, the angel was telling Peter to arise speedily, i.e., how to rise, not when to rise, the when being obvious in the circumstance in which Peter was scheduled to be executed the next day. In fact, Revelation sometimes uses a different word to express “a short time” (12:12) and “a short space” (17:10). And so, even IF it were true that the Greek word translated “soon” (NASB) in Rev. 1:1 were a legitimate meaning, other occurrences show that the word answers how, not when, the action should take place, and that therefore this particular argument could go either way and is therefore neutral. But IMO the word shows a consistent meaning of “speedily.” For just because “soon” makes sense in certain verses in which the Greek word appears, is no real argument that it therefore IS the meaning.

    Finally, as for the phrase “for the time is at hand,” the lexical use does indicate a meaning of “near.” And so, since in Revelation 22:10 John’s fellow servant tells John not to seal up “the sayings of the prophecies of this book: for the time is at hand,” i.e., ALL the sayings, it seems we have one of three choices of interpretation. Either we must concede (1) that ALL of Revelation has been fulfilled and is now in the past, including any and all resurrections, rewards to the saints, destruction of the wicked, etc.; OR (2), that the Bible has failed in its predictions, with preterists making silly metaphoric excuses while futurists await the prophecy’s fulfillment in a Never Never land; OR (3) that the time that is “at hand” (lit. near) is uttered from the divine perspective, in which a thousand years seem to him as yesterday, when they are past. I see no logical middle ground here between any of these. But IMO with numerous evidences favoring the futurist view, in which all of them but one point in the same direction, I refuse to allow the tail to wag the dog. In other words, to me it is more reasonable to assume that “at hand” means “near” but from the divine perspective, rather than to have no answer for why Jeremiah’s 70 years were not 70 years in the normal sense, yet how this fact leads to the pinpoint accuracy of Daniel’s prediction of when an Anointed Prince would appear. Indeed, to assume the divine perspective on this point about "near" would only be in keeping with the fact that, while words in the Bible normally ARE meant to be understood in the normal sense, the 70 “years” of Jeremiah is the exception that proves the rule. And so, arguably the “near” could be one more exception. In short, the point is rogue.

    And so, all things considered I’m dismayed to see many people falling prey to preterist arguments. But, of course, in one sense it’s understandable. The book of Revelation is certainly the hardest book in the Bible to understand, with what appears to be a vision in which scenes of future historical footage feature persons and objects sometimes mixed with surrealist-like imagery, or in which the persons or objects seem to shapeshift or are metaphoric, in a timeline featuring flashbacks and flashforwards. But besides all this, certainly no one here, least of all me, would advocate that when in the gospel Jesus says “I am the door” He really meant he was a door. But I think Christian theologians would be better advised to take the literal path whenever the narrative appears historical. And though I admit this path isn’t as clearly marked as I might prefer for ideal navigation, I think it will land us in a safer place than to where preterists wish to take us.

    [author's note: I'm less likely to respond to 'slice 'n dice' type responses than those formatted in simple paragraph or essay form.]

  2. #2
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    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely
    And so, all things considered I’m dismayed to see many people falling prey to preterist arguments.
    There seems to be a major shift at this time to partial (and full) Preterism. It is an overreaction, IMO, to pre-mill abuses, who in turn were overreacting against excesses in earlier eschatological systems.

    When doctrine bounces between polar extremes the loser is often little 'revelations' that one extreme rubbishes for no other reason than the other extreme found it first. Such an insight is the 360-day year which you mention. I hope the part-Prets on this board take the trouble to examine Jeremiahs 70-year prophecy because you are quite right. History proves it lasted 69 years when measured on our solar calendar. However, the prophecy was painstakingly explicit about it lasting "seventy" years. And yes, when we measure it on the underlying 360-day calendar it becomes seventy indeed.

    However, it has been dispensational futurists themselves who have given the 360-day calendar a bad name. Sir Robert Anderson first bought it to our attention in his book, 'The Coming Prince' (published 1895) However, his application of the calendar contained wrong basic assumptions, wrong dates, and was misapplied in his treatment of Daniel. So, what should have been helpful, (the prophetic calender) has been chucked out by Prets and others. A pity.
    "Your name and renown
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  3. #3

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Matthehitmanhart writes:

    The primary question for the interpreter of biblical prophecy must be centered on the AUTHORIAL INTENT and the PUBLIC MEANING which the prophetic word would have carried in the period in which it was given. To put it otherwise: Our first duty with biblical prophecy, no less than with any other genre of Scripture, is to interpret it with reference to its own time. This doesn’t mean that all biblical prophecy must of necessity refer to past events, but that the language of all biblical prophecy must have been readily understandable to the people of its own time. Otherwise it could be liberally reinterpreted according to the changing paradigms of every successive generation. Thus, the true interpretation is not necessarily the one which carries the most perceived value or spiritual application in the twenty-first century, but rather the one which best explains the prophetic language as it would have been understood by its original audience. But again, if we really believe in the authority of Scripture, then we should always assume that the interpretation arrived at through the inductive process will be the one with the most Spirit-filled application for our own time, regardless of our expectations. (bold emphasis mine; ALL CAPS orig. Matt’s lower case italics)
    Yet many prophecies were not written for their own time, nor were they meant to be understood in their own time. Case in point...

    Dan 12:6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
    Dan 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
    Dan 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
    Dan 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

    Daniel was not let in on the understanding of the prophecy he had just received.

  4. #4

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Cyberseekeer and John 8:32,

    I read both of your thoughtful posts. And Cyberseeker, thank you for suggesting I start a new thread. I had mulled over your suggestion quite a while before acting. I think you are right about Anderson. John 8:32, I hadn’t thought about Daniel seeking understanding. Don’t know how I missed this very relevant point.

    Since John 8:32 quotes Daniel 12 about a time, times, and half a time, I’m going to throw out a rather bizarre idea that occurred to me last week, after discussing with my brother how many resurrections seemed to be taught in the Bible. I haven’t yet shared the following online, so I’ve had no feedback about it from Bible forums.

    The hypothesis: It seems to me there may be room to understand Daniel 12:2 as a general, simultaneous resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous that occurs somewhere near the beginning of the Great Tribulation, with the righteous going into the presence of the Lord, and the unrighteous to the surface of the earth. (BTW I think one could still hold to a Rapture resurrection of the dead that precedes Daniel’s 70th week.)

    I realize Daniel 12:2 is generally thought (by some dispensationalists) to refer to the resurrection at the beginning of the millennium reign of (1) the beheaded; and (2) of others who did not receive the mark of the beast, and that, much later, the rest of the dead were resurrected after the thousand years were over. Although I haven’t yet fully explored this idea of a general resurrection at about the beginning of the Great Tribulation, I have looked a bit at the Hebrew ‘tenses’ and think the traditional idea of a split resurrection may also be one of the passage's meanings. In other words, I think the passage may be understood polyvalently, so that there are two resurrections, the first being a general, simulatneous resurrection of the righteous and unrighteous, and the second resurrection being split. But if it only teaches one resurrection, then I would lean toward a general, simultaneous resurrection at about the beginning of the Great Tribulation, since 12:2 comes after the statement in verse 1 about an unprecedented time of nation distress, yet before verse 7 in which one of the two persons conversing gives the statement that all these wonders will be completed in a time, times, and half a time. (Hearkening back a bit, therefore if Daniel 12:2 is also teaching a split resurrection, the “perfect” tense in the Hebrew describing the unprecedented Trouble would have to be seen as a parenthetical and subsequent event, lying past the 3.5 years.)

    Perhaps this subject ought to be its own thread, but in a way it ties in with this discussion insofar as addressing difficult passages that preterists have rightly pointed out are problematic from a literalist standpoint. For example, what of Caiaphas being told by Christ that he [Caiaphas] would see Christ coming in the clouds? And what of those verses near the close of Revelation, which state that whoever adds to the words of this book, God shall add to him the plagues of this book? But these verses and others could be resolved from a literalist standpoint if the unrighteous dead were resurrected to suffer first a 3.5 year period of judgment on earth during the Great Tribulation, before being cast into the Lake of Fire. Thus certain other verses may also be taken literally, such as when it is stated that it is a just act of God that those who spilled the blood of saints should themselves now be made to drink blood. For in this way persons actually responsible for the past murdering of saints are subject to this judgment. Also, although I believe in a millennium reign, it appears to me that the Lord is actually declared in heaven to finally begin his reign over the earth once the two witnesses are resurrected, just after the mid-point of the 70th week, and therefore at the threshold of the Great Tribulation. (Rev. 11) And it specifically states that the Lord is now beginning his judgment.

    BTW my guess is that the resurrected unbelievers would have indestructible, not “glorified”, bodies, since God maintains the resurrected in their state, who would probably not be subject to a second physical death. For even in hell people cannot kill themselves. (I’m not an annihilationist.)

    The evidence for a general simultaneous resurrection of the dead would also solve the objection that the Scriptures seem to teach a resurrection that isn’t split, like John’s in Revelation.

    The evidence for this theory is mainly in the fact that it would solve numerous verses from a literal standpoint. Other evidence is rather oblique, yet not entirely absent. For example, while the dispensationalist teaches that the antichrist is on earth during the entire 70th week, indicating he is not a resurrected dead person, no such similar statements are given about the false prophet. And, interestingly enough, the false prophet is described as coming up from (or out of) the earth. Perhaps, then, the false prophet is a resurrected unbeliever with a body which God maintains in its indestructibleness. Assuming the resurrected do not die another physical death, it is likewise interesting that he (along with the beast) is taken alive and cast into the Lake of Fire. But, of course, the beast is also so taken, which implies not everyone who is cast into the Lake of Fire must first physically die. Anyway, I grant that John does not baldly state that all the unbelieving dead are resurrected along with the false prophet. Yet perhaps this argument from silence may be overcome in the somewhat oblique, yet arguably implicit, statements mentioned above.

    I guess there's room to explore here, though I already imagine the satiric label opponents are likely to give this resurrection: “Dispensational Zombieism”. There; I’ve said it.

  5. #5

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Let me give you some information concerning resurrections. There is only one place in the scripture in which all three resurrections are spoken of and in their time frame, that is Rev 20. Let's look at each of the three...

    Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

    Time frame, at the return of Christ. Satan is bound for 1000 yrs adn not allowed to influence people. There are people at this time, humans who have survived the 3-1/2 year period known as the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. It is not my intent to demonstrate all fo these events through scripture. It would require a book, but just to let you know who these are...

    Zec 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

    Notice in Rev 6:8 that 1/4 of everyone dies. Rev 8:11, many die. Rev 9:15 1/3 of those left are killed. Etc. You can study this yourself, but what you will find is that there is not a large population that lives over into the Millenium.

    At the Seventh Trump (1 Ths 4:16-17) is the First Resurrection These are Christ's at His coming (1 Cor 15:23)

    Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
    Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

    The First Resurrection lives and reigns with Christ for 1000 years, but notice that the rest of the dead di not live again until the Millenium is finished.

    Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    At the end of the Millenium, Satan is released again for a very short time. He is the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2) and the deceiver (Rev 12:9). He very quickly leads a group astray…

    Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
    Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
    Rev 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
    Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
    This is not the battle of Ezek 38 & 39, that occurs during the beginning of the Millenium, just before Satan is locked up in Rev 20:3.

    Now here we are, the Millenium is past, Satan has been removed and we have…

    Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

    Who are these rest of the dead? These are those who have never had a chance. Chinese from 3000 years ago, the nations that God instructed Israel to wipe out. Those who have never heard the name that salvation comes by…

    Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    What about young children that have not reached the age of responsibility? They are now resurrected and given the same chance that every other human being is given, to either become part of the family of God, or Mat 10:28.

    What of those that God blinded?

    Joh 12:38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
    Joh 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

    Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
    Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day.
    Rom 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
    Rom 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
    Rom 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

    Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

    Not in the sense of universal salvation, but in the sense of everyone receiving a fair and equitable chance for salvation. This is the Second Resurrection.

    Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
    Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    Which books are opened? All 66 of ‘em. This is what John 6:44,65 and Luke 24:45 are about. Those who are blinded to the truth will now see. The Bible will be open to them and they will understand it. Also, the book of life is opened and then they are judged according to their works based on having the understanding of the scriptures now that they never had.

    That is the Second Resurrection, God’s fair and equitable way of dealing with those who have never had a chance at accepting Christ as in Acts 4:12.

    Now we come to the Third Resurrection. We shall see that God does not teach nor practice universal salvation…

    Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
    Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

    Notice in verse 13 the sea, those lost at sea, drowned in the great lakes, lost in a flood, etc. The word for hell here is hades and it simply means the grave, but what about death? These are those who died without being buried, or in water, perhaps eaten by animals. So we see that this is everyone.

    Notice the books, plural, are not opened. These are those who have already had their opportunity and for whatever reason have turned it down. This is the resurrection spoken of by Daniel in Dan 12:2, the resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt. John 5:29, the resurrection to damnation.

    They are burned up, this is where Mat 10:28 comes in.

    So we see that there are three resurrections, the first being those that are Christ’s at His coming, the second being all that have lived and never had a chance and the third is a resurrection to the lake of fire.

  6. #6

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Hi John 8:32,

    Thanks for sharing your post. It seems that at least some of your views are as esoteric as my own, though, of course, we differ from each other considerably on certain points.

    In terms of what John means by the first resurrection, I think his numbering of them is merely his contrast of the two under immediate discussion.

    As for what really is the very first resurrection, I suppose we would have to reach back into the Old Testament, where I think two individuals were raised. And then in the New Testament there are those whom Christ raised, including Himself. And in terms of a multitude, it would be those who were resurrected at the time of the Lord’s own resurrection. So I don’t think that when John uses the term “first resurrection,” he can really mean the first resurrection whatsoever, or even the first resurrection of a multitude.

    It seems to me there still remains quite a few reasons to embrace the idea of a general, simultaneous resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous dead at the threshold of the Great Tribulation. But these reasons I have already given in my last post, such as the need to explain how Caiaphas could see the Lord coming in the clouds, the need for those who added words to “this book” to be present on earth to receive the plagues of the book [of Revelation], and the need for justice in the matter of those who spilled the blood of the saints, that they themselves should be made to drink the waters turned to blood. Other reasons, such as the false prophet coming out of the earth, textual considerations in Daniel, etc., are also mentioned in my last post. But perhaps already I am repeating too much.

  7. #7
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    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely View Post
    . . . though I already imagine the satiric label opponents are likely to give this resurrection: “Dispensational Zombieism”. There; I’ve said it.
    LOL

    What is that?

    ( . . in bold above)

    Grace and peace,

    Billy-brown 2


    I Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely
    ... For harmonization of the biblical and extra-biblical records shows that the 70 “years” of Exile turned out to be nearly one year less than 70 ...
    What dates do you measure Jeremiahs 70-year (69-year) period between? I say 17 December 589 BC to 18 December 520 BC. The scripture references are Jeremiah 52:1-4 and Haggai 2:18-19. Is that how you identify it?

    Yes, it comes to 25200 days. ( 70*360=25200 )
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  9. #9

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Hi Cyberseeker,

    I'll try to write more tomorrow, since it's about midnight here. But I was curious how you arrived at your years, esp. the 520 BC. Since Daniel 9:1ff (and I think the closing verses in 2 Chronicles) associate Cyrus' 1st year with the end of the Exile, it seems the Exile should end somewhere around then. Cyrus' 1st year after his ascension was 538/537 BC (from the perspective of the Exilic or post-Exilic authors of Kings and Chronicles). We're told the number of Jews that returned, and that they offered up their 1st sacrifice on the 1st day of Cyrus' 2nd year. I think that's probably when the Exile officially ended. If someone argued that it ended upon Cyrus' command, then that would be some months earlier. But for reasons I'll try to explain tomorrow, I doubt that is the case. On the other end, I think the year was 606 BC when Daniel entered captivity. I'll admit it seems like more of the nation should have been Exiled to really qualify it as an Exile, but the NASB does refer to the captivity which included Daniel as an "exile," and any later date for the Exile than that year in which we are told in great detail the number of returning Jews, along with the info that they sacrificed, seems like the 1st day of Cyrus' 2nd year is the very latest the Exile should be considered ended. But, again, I would be curious to hear your reasons for the dates of 589 and 520. Sorry, a little foggy right now. Will try to explain myself better tomorrow.
    Last edited by Daniel Gracely; May 29th 2012 at 03:27 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Jeremiahs prophecy is double-barreled so to speak. He allocates 70 years to the empire of Babylon and he gives 70 years to the exiles of Judah but these two aspects of his prophecy are offset from each other. The Babylonian empire was exactly 70 years and lasted from 609 BC to 539 BC when it was taken by the Medes and Persians. Cyrus made his decree shortly after that - 538 BC.

    However, the Jewish exile is usually measured from the day Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. (Dec 17, 589BC) It ends precisely 69 years later (70 years per 360-day calendar reckoning) The terminal date in 520 BC is stated with scrupulous care by the prophet Haggai as the day from which their blessing would recommence. Here is Haggai's terminal date:

    Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. (Dec 18, 520BC) Since the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid, consider: Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on (Dec 18, 520BC) I will bless you.
    (Haggai 2:18-19)
    Haggai was referring to Judahs time of punishment ending and their blessing recommencing - ie. Jeremiahs prophecy ending.
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  11. #11

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Hi again, Cyber,

    I just now saw your response; all of the following paragraphs except this one I wrote before realizing you had commented. I’ll look over your response and try to comment, though it may not be until tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll go ahead and post what I wrote. One side note. Although 2 Chronicles says that Cyrus, in the first year of his reign, in order that the word of the Lord as spoken through Jermeiah might be fulfilled, etc., is often taken to mean that the decree spoken by Cyrus in his 1st year marked the end of the Exile. But since this would mean an Exile of about 68.5 years, I think we are suppose to assume the exile didn't end until a substantial number of Jews (see Ezra 2) came back into the land. For otherwise 68.5 years is not enough time to account for 70 years, whether of normal years or of 360-day years. BTW, if incidentally, I’ve been reading some compelling evidence in Immanuel Velikovsky’s book, Worlds in Collision, in which he gives ample evidence of international calendars being 360 days up until about the middle of the 8th century or so. While I don't agree with some other things Velikovsky says, he gives plent of documnetary evidence on this one point. And so perhaps the 360 day year (if one accepts that length) was more of a quid pro quo to rest the Land than I had ever imagined it, since I assumed (when writing my book) that ALL of the Sabbath years which the Jews had failed to observe occurred during ‘normal’ 7-year periods. It has me thinking, anyway. I have no answer thus far about Jewish disobedience between the middle of the 8th century to the end of the 7th century, since these years appear to have been “normal’ in the sense we grant (i.e. 365,25 days). Anyway, the rest of this comment below is what I wrote before reading you last comment. I think it will still be germane:



    In determining what are Jeremiah’s 70 weeks, I think it’s important to first address the seeming contradiction between what year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign Jehoiachin surrendered, and what year he was deported, and whether these are the same year. Jeremiah puts it in Nebuchadnezzar’s 7th year, but 2 Kings in his 8th, thus:

    Jer. 52:28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty:

    2 Kings 24:11ff And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

    The problem is compounded because the surrender happened in Nebuchadnezzar’s 8th year, and the deportation in his 7th. For had it been the other way around, one might simply assume the turn of the year had occurred between the surrender and the deportation, especially since the Babylonian record of Nebuchadnezzar's early years puts the surrender at the 2nd or Addaru (March 16), just prior to the turn of the year.

    The solution seems to be the difference in perspective of the writers of Kings and Chronicles compared to Jeremiah. Like the book of Nehemiah, Kings and Chronicles apparently reckoned a king’s reigning years from Tishri to Tishri, whereas Jeremiah reckoned from Nisan to Nisan. For like Nehemiah, Kings and Chronicles appear to have been written either during or after the Exile, since they both record events well into or after the Exile. Also, Nehemiah refers to the 9th month Chislev, and a sussequent event in 1st month (Nisan) ALSO in Artaxerxes’ 20th year. The implication therefore is that the year ran from Tishri to Tishri. However, Jeremiah in chapter 28 predicts that Hananiah, who predicted falsely that Jeconiah and the nobles of Judah would return within 2 years, would die in the same year he uttered the false prophecy. And we are told that Hananiah uttered his false prophecy in the 5th month, and that he died in the 7th month (Tishri). Therefore Tishri was not the beginning of a new year of the reign of the king, according to Jeremiah's reckoning.

    Moving on, Jeremiah 27:20, along with Jeremiah chapters 28 and 29 show that Judah had begun its Exile when Jeconiah, King Jehoiakim’s son (presumably the eldest son), went into exile along with many of the Judean nobles. There is also mention in 2 Chronicles that Judah was to serve Nebuchadnezzar, his son, and grandson. And so, although Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim’s (elder?) brother, had been exiled by Pharaoh to Riblah in Hammath after a 3 month reign, and from there was apparently carried into Egypt, this does not seem to be what biblical writers hand in mind as the beginning of the Exile. Moreover, Jehoahaz never serves the king of Babylon or his sons, since we are told he died in Egypt. And so the Exile seems to have begun when Jeconiah, Daniel, and other nobles were exiled in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim (see Dan. 1:1).

    As for what year this was, Jeremiah 25:1 tells us that Jehoiakim was in his 4th year when Nebuchadnezzar was in his 1st. In comparing some other data, it can be shown that both Jehoiakim and Nebuchadnezzar ascended between Nisan and Tishri, so that their ascension year was fairly short, and that each began his reign in the month of Tishri (that is, as reckoned by the post-Exilic authors).( I can’t copy a portion of my book right now pertaining to this because of a problem I had with my computer. But as soon as I get MS Publisher put back on, I can probably give you that info, if you want.)

    We know from secular records that Nebuchadnezzar ascended Sept. 7, 605 BC, just weeks before Tishri. And so, Tishri to Tishri 605/604 BC was Nebuchadnezzar’s 1st year, and therefore Jehoiakim’s 4th year (Jer. 25:1). This means Jehoiakim began reigning (from the post-Exilic perspective) on Tishri, 608 BC, making his 3rd year 606/605 BC. Since Daniel states that he went into captivity in Jehoiakim’s 3rd year, this would seem to mean 606/605 BC. And so the earliest this could mean would be 606.

    Now, on the other end of the Exile we have Cyrus' governor conquering Babylon on Oct. 29, 539 BC. This occurred AFTER Tishri of that year, and so Cyrus’ 1st year would have begun on the following Tishri, in 538 BC. This means his 1st year was 538/537 BC. And so, when Ezra indicates that the Jews offered their first post-Exilic sacrifice on the 1st day of Cyrus’ 2nd year, this would mean the 1st of Tishri, 537 BC.

    And so, the longest it appears the Exile could have lasted was from Tishri, 606 BC to Tishri, 537. Checking the new moons and estimating when Nisan may have fallen, I think the longest it works out to is 69 years and about 16 days. I believe the dates are somewhere around (Julian) October 7, 606 BC to October 4, 537 BC. Admittedly, I’m assuming the exile was 69 years and 2 days (70 years of 360 days each), and so have calculated backwards from when the 1st of Tishri in Cyrus' 2nd year would approximately have been. But at any rate, I don’t think it could have been longer than 69 years and about 16 days.

    The date in Haggai you mention is interesting. It’s amazing how much detail the Bible gives us about certain things. But I personally feel that the laying of the foundation of the Temple should not be when the Exile is considered ended, since the Jews had returned many years before Darius the Great reigned. But that is just my opinion. Also, the date of 589 BC does not seem to line up with any of the deportations Jeremiah mentions in either chapters 28 or 52.

    (Phew!) Feel free to differ and send along any comments. But right now, 606 BC to 537 BC strike me as the most likely dates for Jeremiah’s 70 weeks.

  12. #12

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberseeker View Post
    Jeremiahs prophecy is double-barreled so to speak. He allocates 70 years to the empire of Babylon and he gives 70 years to the exiles of Judah but these two aspects of his prophecy are offset from each other. The Babylonian empire was exactly 70 years and lasted from 609 BC to 539 BC when it was taken by the Medes and Persians. Cyrus made his decree shortly after that - 538 BC.

    However, the Jewish exile is usually measured from the day Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. (Dec 17, 589BC) It ends precisely 69 years later (70 years per 360-day calendar reckoning) The terminal date in 520 BC is stated with scrupulous care by the prophet Haggai as the day from which their blessing would recommence. Here is Haggai's terminal date:



    Haggai was referring to Judahs time of punishment ending and their blessing recommencing - ie. Jeremiahs prophecy ending.

    I don't always trust Wikpedia, but they do give Darius' reign as beginning Sept. 522 BC, meaning the 9th month of Darius' 2nd year (when the foundation of the post-Exilic Jewish Temple was laid) would have been toward the end of 521 BC, not 520 BC. Do you feel this is in error, since you seem to have settled on 520 BC?

    Also, I'm hesitant about agreeing that Judah should be considered exiled on the date Nebuchadnezzar lays seige to Jerusalem, rather than when the City is actually taken and people are led away into de facto exile.

    I also have some qualms with the idea that the Exile should only be considered ended once the Lord's reinstitutes His blessing, rather than upon the actual return of the Jews to the Land, which would seem to be the more natural understanding of when an Exile would be considered over.

    Just my opinion.

  13. #13
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    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely
    (Phew!) Feel free to differ and send along any comments. But right now, 606 BC to 537 BC strike me as the most likely dates for Jeremiah’s 70 weeks.
    OK, I can follow your reasoning but ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely
    I personally feel that the laying of the foundation of the Temple should not be when the Exile is considered ended, since the Jews had returned many years before Darius the Great reigned. But that is just my opinion.
    Have you noticed Zechariah 7:4 "for the past seventy years" where he seems to be suggesting the period of seventy expired during Darius' reign.
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

  14. #14

    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberseeker View Post
    OK, I can follow your reasoning but ... Have you noticed Zechariah 7:4 "for the past seventy years" where he seems to be suggesting the period of seventy expired during Darius' reign.

    Not recently, though I think I did look at this passage some months ago. I had indeed forgotten about it. Here, then, is Zech. 7:4ff:
    7:4Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, 7:5Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? 7:6And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? 7:7Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?
    I think you’re right that it refers to the Exile. But it doesn’t seem to me that it means the 70 years immediately preceding this message given to Zechariah in Darius’ 4th year, two reigning years after the laying of the foundation of the Temple. Additionally, if my math is correct, if we take the day Nebuchadnezzar began his seige against Jeruslaem in Zedekiah's time, i.e., 10th day of the 10th month of Zedekiah’s 11th year (the 11th year beginning Spring, 589 BC) this would mean the seige began approx. Jan 2, 588 BC). If we add 25,200 days, we come to Dec. 31, 520, which appears to be Darius’ 3rd year (assuming his first began in Tishri, 522 BC), in the 9th month, ca. 24th day of the month.

    On the other hand, if we work backwards from Darius’ 4th year ( beginning Tishri, 519 BC), 9th month, 4th day (based on Zech 7:1), which, depending on whether one takes Mar 27 or Apr 25 as the beginning of Nisan (I think either is possible), then the 9th month 4th day works out to about Nov. 22 or Dec. 22, 519 BC. Going back 25,200 days looks like either Nov. 24, 588 BC or Dec. 24, 588 BC, respectively. So it would approx. be either Nov. 24, 588 BC to Nov. 22, 519 BC, or else Dec. 24, 588 BC to Dec. 22, 519. Since the latter interval includes a Dec. 24, 588 BC date, this would be very close to when the siege would have begun. It looks to be just one week early.

    BTW I would double-check my math on all this. For I find it confusing to work numbers in BC, since as I calculate backward in time I’m used to the numbers getting smaller (like in AD dates), whereas in BC the year numbers become ‘greater’. To this problem is added the fact that the NASA moon phase chart inserts a year zero between 1 AD and 1 BC, which they explain is a substitute for 1 BC, meaning e.g., that year 600 BC is 599 BC on the NASA chart, and so forth. The Julian Day number calculator I use doesn’t insert a year zero, so no adjustment has to be made. The first of Nisan usually fell between about March 26 and Apr 24 in the 5th century, though I think a week or so on either side of this might be an acceptable range, since Passover today has about a 6 week range of dates. Also, remember that by year 500 BC, or so, the Julian dates shown on the NASA charts are “seasonally” ahead by about a week. In other words, a “March 16” date would mean about March 9 or 10 date, according to the proleptic Gregorian Calendar. And so, although some dates in the NASA chart might appear 'warm' enough to have begun the first month, by today’s standard they would have been too cold for Nisan to have begun. I suppose that’s why the 14 instances in the Elephantine Calendar seem rather late to us (within a day, March 26 to Apr 24, inclusive).

    Welcome to all this confusion and challenge of numbers.

    Having said all the above, and noting the rather remarkable closeness to 25,200 days between Nebuchadnezzar’s siege in Zedekiah’s time to Zechariah’s message in Darius’ 4th year, ninth month, fourth day, I still think there’s a problem with the idea of a “double-barrel” approach to Jeremiah, since, if both intervals of 70 years are assumed, this would mean the Land rested considerably longer than the 70 years God said it would. For taking both intervals into account, we would go from fall of 606 BC (Jehoiakim's 3rd year) to late 520 BC, or (very roughly) about 84 ‘normal years.’ Also, it would be hard to understand how the Jews would still be considered in Exile, when they had returned to their land approx. 17 years (or so) before, and had begun to build their own houses at the expense of focusing on the Lord. I guess one would have to assume a ‘spiritual’ Exile from the blessing of the Lord. And yet it seems such a ‘spiritual’ Exile didn’t really begin with Nebuchadnezzar’s siege in the time of Zedekiah, but also with Jehoiachin eleven years before, and I suppose even 8 years or so before that in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim. I haven’t doublechecked, but it seems to me that either in the biblical or Babylonian record Nebuchadnezzar’s siege in Zedekiah’s time was not the first of his seige’s against Jerusalem.

    Entirely on a side note, here, I think it’s possible that the absence of Temple sacrifice may have coincided with the Exile. While I wouldn’t use the absence of Temple sacrifice as a criterion to establish either end of the Exile, it’s rather interesting to speculate whether Jehoiakim may have caused the Temple sacrifice to cease when his son, Jeconiah, went into captivity, out of resentment against God, a cessation of sacrifice that didn’t resume until the 1st day of Cyrus’ 2nd year, when the Jews had returned to the Land. But again, this idea that Jehoiakim may have so acted is purely speculative. Nevertheless, I throw it out there.

  15. #15
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    Re: Why I Am Not A Preterist

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely
    I don't always trust Wikpedia, but they do give Darius' reign as beginning Sept. 522 BC, meaning the 9th month of Darius' 2nd year (when the foundation of the post-Exilic Jewish Temple was laid) would have been toward the end of 521 BC, not 520 BC. Do you feel this is in error, since you seem to have settled on 520 BC?
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Gracely
    ... If we add 25,200 days, we come to Dec. 31, 520, which appears to be Darius’ 3rd year (assuming his first began in Tishri, 522 BC), in the 9th month, ca. 24th day of the month.
    Dec. 18 520 BC Julian calendar. (Check your lunation for Kislev 24 520 BC)

    In answer to your question concerning my calculation that Darius' 2nd year was 520BC, I agree that he came to the throne Sept. 522 BC. But that became his accession year.


    • Sept. 522 BC to Nisan 521 = Accession year
    • Nisan 521 BC to Nisan 520 = First year
    • Nisan 520 BC to Nisan 519 = Second year


    So, the ninth month (Kislev 24) fell into Darius' 2nd year.
    "Your name and renown
    is the desire of our hearts."
    (Isaiah 26:8)

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