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Thread: A Question For Preterist's

  1. #41
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    Originally posted by Kings Kid
    Thanks for doing all the home work!
    well i don't think i did all the homework. those are links all on the same site and are obviously biased (just like anything else). i believe the position of the site is that mt 24 et al were completely fullfilled in 70 AD but there is still a future second coming of our Lord with all its attendant events (judgment, resurrection, etc.). this is the view that i think i'm leaning toward, although i'm not sure. the only thing that i can do at this point eschatology-wise is tell you what i'm not and what i think has no or little biblical support.

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    Interesting quote from "The Language and Imagery of the Bible" by CG Caird

    Pertaining to eschatology in general [pp. 256-260]

    1. The biblical writers believed literally that the world had had a beginning in the past and would have an end in the future

    2. They regularly used end-of-the-world language metaphorically to refer to that which they well knew was not the end of the world.

    3. As with all other uses of metaphor, we have to allow for the likelihood of some literalist misinterpretation on the part of the hearer, and for the possibility of some blurring of the edges between vehicle and tenor on the part of the speaker.

    Proposition 1 is easily established for the OT. It is implied in such phrases as 'until the moon is no more' (Ps. 72:7) and in the ancient promise to Noah (Gen 8:22). In some passages it is explicitly stated (Ps 102:25-26; Isa 51:6, 54:10)...

    Our first problem arises when we try to decide whether the expressions 'the latter end of the days' (Gen 49:1; Num 24:14; Deut 4:30, 31:29; Hos 3:5; Isa 2:2; Jer 23:20, 30:24, 48:47, 49:39; Ez 38:16; Dan 2:28, 10:14) and 'the day of the Lord' (Amos 5:18, 20; Isa 2:12, 13:6, 9; Zeph 1:7, 14; Jer 46:10; Ez 13:5, 30:3; Obad 15; Zech 14:1; Mal 4:5; Joel 1:15, 2:1, 11, 31, 3:14) are eschatological in this plenary sense. For the first of these phrases the Hebrew dictionary of Brown, Driver and Briggs gives the following definition: 'a prophetic phrase denoting the final period of the history so far as the speaker's perspective reaches.' It is thus the equivalent of the English expressions 'in the end' or 'ultimately' when we use them to mean 'sooner or later' or 'in the future'; and it has precisely that vagueness which makes for the blurring of the edges mentinoed in Preposition 3. The origins of the phrase 'the day of the Lord' are as yet obscure and conjectural. When it is first used in the eighth century B.C. by Amos, it clearly has a long history behind it. His contemporaries who long for it regard it as a day of Yahweh's victory in which they will share, and Amos warns them that it will be Yahweh's victory over them. What is not in doubt is that the day came to be described in terms of cosmic disaster, as the return of primaeval chaso, and so by imaginative elision to be seen as the end of the world.

    In thirteen of the eighteen instances of its occurrence, the day of the Lord is said to be either imminent or present. It is here that Preposition 2 comes to our aid. For when we examine the contexts, we find that in one case the referent is the overthrow of Babylon, in another the annihilation of Edom, in another the ravaging of Judah by a plague of locuts...The day was his victory, when he would come decisively for salvation and judgment, and they were inviting their hearers to see that day in the current crisis. In other words they were using the term as a metaphor...

    The book of Joel provides an interesting study in what we might call prophetic camera technique. The book opens with some close-up shots of a locust swarm overrunning the countryside. Then the scene changes to the temple, where priests and elders are instructed to proclaim a national fast in recognition that the calamity is God's judgment (Joel 1:15). The prophet says that he day is 'near', because that is the traditional word to use about the day of the Lord, but whe he means by it is that it has arrived. Any possible doubt about this is rapidly dispelled (Joel 2:1-2).

    But this local manifestation of God's judgment has the power to call the nation to repentance because it is seen as an anticipation and embodiment of the universal judgment to come. So the foreground scene fades into a telephoto panorama of all nations gathered in the Valley of the Lord's Judgment (Joel 3:14).

    Few would hesitate to call this an eschatological vision, yet it is not the end: the effect of this judgment is not to determine the destiny of individuals in some after-life, but to 'reverse the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem' (3:1), so that afterwards 'there shall be people living in Judah forever, in Jerusalem generation after generation.' (3:21)

    Thus the nearness of the day is given both a short range and a long range application, and it is of some significance for the interpretation of Mark 1:15 that in the short range 'is near' is synonymous with 'has arrived'.(Lam 4:18) On the other hand the long range vision is introduced by two quite vague indications of time, 'a day will come' (2:28) and 'when that time comes' (3:1), so that the proclamation that the day has now arrived for the multitudes of all nations tells us nothing whatever about its date.

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    Generation in "The Language and Imagery of the Bible" by CG Caird

    [pg 265-266]
    ...that the gospel of Jesus was directed to Israel as a nation with a summons to abandon the road of aggressive nationalism and return to a true understanding of her historic role as the people of God. There is much in the Gospels to support this view, beginning with John the Baptist...Once the question has been raised, it is self-evident that what John predicted was judgment on Israel, in which its dead wood was to be cleared away and its grain separated from its chaff, in which it would be useless to claim and impeccable Jewish pedigree, since the verdict would be based on performance alone (Mt 3:7-12; Lk 3:1-9, 15-17). Israel stood at the parting of the ways and must decide whether to follow the road of national repentance or the road of national ruin. This was the atmosphere of expectancy which Jesus accepted as an inheritance from his forerunner, and it accounts for his repeated warnings that in disregarding his teaching the nation was heading for irretrievable disaster. The cities of Galilee would suffer a fate worse than that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk 10:12-15; Mt 10:15, cf. Compare the description of the long agonies of the siege of Jerusalem in Lam 4:6). Jerusalem having abandoned God in the person of his messenger, would be abandoned by him to her enemies (Mt 23:37-39; Lk 13:34-35; Before the capture of Jerusalem in 587 BC Ezekiel had a vision of God's glory leaving the temple, and so abandoning the city to its fate, Ez. 8-11). This generation would have to answer for the cumulative guilt of past ages (Lk 11:49-50).

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    Here is a link that some will find interesting reading.

    http://www.eschatology.org/articles/.../agetocome.htm

    Grace to you,

    jak

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    "The Language and Imagery of the Bible" by CG Caird

    Luke's Perspective [pg 266]
    There can be no doubt that this is how Luke understood the ministry of Jesus. His Gospel opens with a group of pious Jews waiting expectantly for 'the restoration of Israel' (2:25) and 'the liberation of Jerusalem' (2:38), and with songs which celebrate the prospect of a national deliverance. It ends with Jesus reassuring two disciples that their hope 'that he was the man to liberate Israel' had not been misplaced. In between are frequent warnings, couched in language drawn from the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, that Jerusalem is to be destroyed by Roman armies, and that this will be the judgment of God, 'because she did not recognise the moment when God was visiting her' with his final offer of peace (19:41-44; 21:20-24; 23:27-31).

  6. #46
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    "The Language and Imagery of the Bible" by CG Caird

    Mark's Perspective [pg 266]
    Mark 13 begins with Jesus predicting the destruction of the temple, and four of his disciples asking when this is to happen...Mark, instead of givingJesus' answer to this reasonable question, has tacked on an answer to a completely different question: when is the world going to end? But have we any serious justification for supposing Mark to be a fool? The natural assumption is that he regarded the discourse of Jesus as his anaswer to the question which occasioned it: the disaster to Jerusalem will come within the lifetime of the present generation, and, when it arrives, they are to see in it the coming of the Son of Man to whom God has entrusted the judgment of the nations (Dan 7:22; cf. John 5:27; 1 Co 6:2). The chapter contains a notable self-contradiction. Jesus knows that the Son of Man will come within a generation, but the day and the hour are known only to God (13:30, 32). Literalists are accustomed to explain that Jesus knows roughly the year in which the world will end, but not whether it will be a Tuesday or a Wednesday, not whether it will be at 10 a.m. or 6 p.m.; and against such bathos it is pointless to argue. The paratactical Hebrew mind did not need to be told that the two sayings were at different levels: embodied in the historical event which Jesus predicted, the day would come within a generation; in its full final, literal reality its time was known only to God.

    The proof that this is way Mark's mind worked comes in the parable of the Absent Householder with which the chapter ends (Mk 13:33-37). RH Lightfoot pointed out that Mark has used these four watches of the night to punctuate the passion narrative that follows. Evening is the time of the last supper when Judas is caught napping (14:17), midnight the hour of Gethsemane when Jesus finds his three companions asleep and repeats the command to keep awake (14:32); cock-crow is the time of Peter's denial (14:72); and dawn is the hour when Jesus is handed over to Pilate (15:1). No doubt Mark believed in a final day when God the householder would call his servants to account, but he sees that day anticipated in the critical moments of his story. Hence the servants must be vigilant at all times, because the master comes to each of them at an hour and in a manner that he least expects.

  7. #47
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    Originally posted by Odyssey
    Here is a link that some will find interesting reading.

    http://www.eschatology.org/articles/.../agetocome.htm

    Grace to you,

    jak
    the guy uses !!!!!!!!!!!!!! waaaaaaay tooooooooo much!!!!!

    btw, i have matthew's perspective to type (from Caird's book) but the copies i made stop at page 267. i'll finish it tomorrow....sorry

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    Quotes from N.T. Wright, the eminent first-century scholar:
    Jesus and the Victory of God" (Fortress Press, 1996). Referring to the 13th chapter of Mark and the parallel Gospel accounts in Matthew and Luke, where Jesus prophesies the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, Wright observes (pp. 343-344): "One of the main reasons, I suppose, why the obvious way of reading the chapter has been ignored for so long must be the fact that in a good deal of Christian theology the fall of Jerusalem has had no theological significance. This has meant not only that Mark 13 is found puzzling, but also that all the references to the same event elsewhere in the gospels -- even where it stares one in the face, as in Luke 13:1-5 -- have been read as general warnings of hellfire in an afterlife, rather than the literal and physical divine-judgment-through-Roman-judgment that we have seen to be characteristic of Jesus' story."

    Wright goes on to note that today's scholars, preachers, and laymen tend to read Jesus' apocalyptic discourse on the Mount of Olives, where he makes his fall-of-Jerusalem prophecy (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) as an account of the end of the space-time universe and of Jesus' downward travel to earth in a cloud. But Wright rejects this view as anachronistic -- that is, as totally out of sync with the time and place of Jesus' 1st-century ministry. Wright points out (pp. 345-346): "We must...stress again: as far as the disciples, good first-century Jews as they were, were concerned, there was no reason whatever for them to be thinking about the end of the space-time universe. There was no reason, either in their own background or in a single thing that Jesus had said up to them at that point, for it even to occur to them that the true story of the world, or of Israel, or of Jesus himself, might include either the end of the space-time universe, or Jesus or anyone else floating down to earth on a cloud."

    "The disciples WERE, however, very interested in a story which ended with Jesus' coming to Jerusalem to reign as king. They WERE looking for the fulfillment of Israel's hopes, for the story told so often in Israel's scriptures to reach its appointed climax. And the 'close of the age' for which they longed was not the end of the space-time order, but the end of the present evil age...." Jesus' apocalyptic discourse on the Mount of Olives therefore has to do with his "'coming' or 'arrival' in the sense of his actual enthronment as king, consequent upon the dethronement of the present powers that were occupying the holy city."
    You can see other things that he wrote here:

    http://www.preteristarchive.com/Stud...wright-nt.html

    Grace to you,

    jak

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    "The Language and Imagery of the Bible" by CG Caird

    Matthew's Perspective [pp. 267-268]

    Matthew appears to be less amenable to such treatment. Writing long after the fall of Jerusalem, he more obviously than the other evangelists has adapted the traditional material to make it applicable to the church of his own day. He alone of the four uses the term parousia (advent) and the phrase 'the end of the world'. Parables which, as Dodd has demonstrated, had their original referent in the crisis of Jesus' ministry were universalised by being made to refer to the final judgment, and Mark's question about the destruction of the temple was recast to include this wider reference: 'When will this happen? And what will be the signal for your coming (parousia) and the end of the world?' (24:3). Yet Matthew was very far from being committed to a literalist eschatology. As we have seen above, his version of Jesus' reply to the high priest contains the words 'from now on' (26:64). It little matters whether these words are his own editorial insertion or came to him from a traditional source. He was quite capable of deleting anything that did not express his own conviction. And the conviction they unambigiously express is that the coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven would be seen not merely at the end of time but continuously or repeatedly from the moment of Jesus' death...For Matthew's emphasis on the final judgment does not arise ot of any preoccupation with the end of the world, but rather from a recognition that the final judgment is for ever pressing upon the present with both offer and demand. How could it be otherwise in a Gospel which begins wit the birth of him whose name is Immanuel, God with us, and ends with his promise, 'I am with you to the end of the world'?

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    First of all, I don't agree with his assesment of Matthew being written 'long after the fall of Jerusalem'. Most scholars attest to a pre-70 dating of this book (not only this one, but most or all of the NT books).

    Secondly, I don't agree with his statements regarding Matthew's changing of the eschatological aspects of the Olivet Discource to include some 'end of the world' understanding and meaning. Just by reading the passage alone, one will see that this was the furthest thing from the mind of Jesus and the disciples.

    As we have seen from the last few posts, poetic language (metaphor) was used by Jesus and the apostles. The problem is that most people look at that language and expect it to be fulfilled in a wooden literal sense.

    Some believe that the apostles wrote and preached about the end of the 'world', i.e., the space-time universe, but they used the same type of language to describe both events--the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the space-time universe. I think that what needs to be proven is which passages refer to the supposed end of the space-time universe and which refer to the destruction of Jerusalem.

    Grace to you,

    jak

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    Re: A Question For Preterist's

    Originally posted by Kings Kid
    While we were perusing the book shelves, I came across a book that taught basic Biblical Greek. As I began to leaf through the pages, I became more and more convinced that learning Biblical Greek was something that I should seriously consider. So I made some strong hints to my wife that this would be a great Christmas gift and left it at that.

    Well, on Christmas morning, I received that book! It's called "Basic Biblical Greek" by William D. Mounce. As I began to look through the book, I noticed that each chapter began with a short "Exegetical Insight". I found them so interesting, that I started to read all the exegetical insights from all the chapters. But there was one "Exegetical Insight" in particular that caught my attention. I found myself wondering how a preterist would respond to it. Since there are many Preterist's on 5 Solas, I'm going to type out the "Exegetical Insight" and then ask my question.

    Okay, here's the "Exegetical Insight" of Chapter 22 from the book "Basic Biblical Greek" by William D. Mounce:


    "The aorist (aoristos) is the indefinite tense that states only the fact of the action without specifying its duration. When the aorist describes an action as a unit event it may accentuate one of three posibilities, as, imagine, a ball that has been thrown: 1) let fly (inceptive or ingressive); 2) flew (constative or durative); 3) hit (culminative or telic).

    These aspects of the indefinite aorist may shed some light on a perplexing saying of Jesus in his Olivet discourse (Mark 13:30 and parallels). "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things 'genetai'." The difficulty lies in the fact that Jesus has already described the end of the world in vv. 24f. in vivid terms of the sun and moon not giving their light, the stars falling from the sky, and the heavenly bodies being shaken. Unless the expression "this generation" (he genea haute) is stretched to include the entire age from Jesus' first to his second coming (a less likely option), the aorist 'genetai' must provide the clue. If we view the verb as an ingressive aorist and translate it from the perspective of initiated action, the saying may be rendered, "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things BEGIN to come to pass."

    This nuance of the same aorist form may also be seen in the angel Gabriel's words to Zechariah (Luke 1:20): "And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day 'genetai tauta'." Not only the birth but the adult ministry of John the Baptist is prophesied by Gabriel in vv. 13-17, yet Zechariah recovers his speech as soon as he writes the name of his infant son John on a tablet (vv.62-64). Accordingly, v. 20 should be translated, "And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day these things BEGIN to happen."

    The student is well advised, then, to pay careful attention to the contextual meaning of the larger sense unit and interpret the aorist as the pericope or paragraph would suggest."
    just to preface this post, i cannot recommend this grammar more. it is the best first year grammar i have ever seen to date and i'm teaching through it right now at church. it makes learning Greek fun and much simpler than any other grammars. nevertheless, here was a comment on the exegetical insights section on the B-Greek email list that i subscribe to:

    "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu> wrote:
    Although less than 24 hours have elapsed since Bert's message was distributed, I thought there might be some comment from another list-member regarding Mounce's "exegetical insights" in general or this one in particular. I know that to some, perhaps to many users of Mounce's primer these are one of the most attractive features of a good textbook; for my part, on the couple occasions when I used the textbook for teaching, I found them annoying and distracting, often tendentious, occasionally even making extraordinary claims on the basis of rather dubious grammatical distinctions. And such is the case with this one in particular, where Professor Mounce argues that the aorist subjunctive GENHTAI in Mt 24:34 -- and also in Lk 1:20 -- should be understood as an "inceptive or ingressive" aorist.

    For my part, I haven't seen any convincing instance of the "inceptive or ingressive aorist" outside of the indicative mood (I don't question the legitimacy of this category). I shall not cite but simply list the references that anyone who wishes to do so may check: BDF 331; Wallace GGBB, pp. 558-9; AT Robertson GGNT p. 834; Smyth 1924. Smyth even categorizes and offers a list of verbs subject to such usage, and Wallace cites several NT passages (not including either of these texts in question). I persist in my view of Mt 24:34 that hEWS AN PANTA TAUTA GENHTAI does indeed mean "until all these things have come to pass." Moreover I think that in Lk 1:20 there's no particular FOCUS upon the inception of the sequence of events of John's ministry.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

  12. #52
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    here was a response to that post:

    I agree with Carl. The aorist subjuctive with hEWS AN in Mt. 24:34 (and elsewhere) means no more or less than the comparable English phrase with the aoristic present, "until all this happens." It is no more complex than the other phrases with the aorist subjunctive that immediately preceed it in this passage and occur times without number in the NT.

    There is a distict danger when doing exegesis to become so involved in the "issues" of interpretation that one loses sight of the Greek text as an ordinary human language, and thus to blow supposed grammatical nuances way out of proportion, doing violence to the linguistic integrity of the utterance. In my opinion, this is what is happening here.

    Let's face it. When a speaker (or writer) wants to introduce a semantic element (such as the inception of an action) to his hearers, he selects a lexical or morphological element in his language that conventionally functions to convey that semantic element. He makes use of the semantic distictions that are "programmed" into the structure of the language. The non-indicative mood forms of the aorist in Greek are simply not programmed to carry the distiction that Mounce is trying to load them with in this passage. If the author had intended to bring an inceptive element to bear here, he would have chosen a form of speech that carried that element, such as the verb ARCOMAI.

    The best remedy for these misguided grammatical conjectures is a sound grasp (as far as it is attainable) of NT Greek as a living language. It is helpful to compare features of Greek syntax with similar features in contempory languages. For example, Modern Greek still preserves the distiction between the present and aorist subjunctives, and represents it as action viewed as simply occuring vs. action viewed as extended. It is greatly edifying to see the same division of duties between the two subjunctives in a contemporary Greek newspaper article as one observes in the NT, especially since it is a feature foreign to native speakers of English. A NT writer didn't have to think twice about using phrases like hEWS AN GENHTAI or hOTAN GENHTAI: they were the forms that naturally sprang to his mind with the ideas "until it happens" or "when it happens."

    The goal for us students of the Greek NT should be to get an intuitive feel for the resources (and limits) of the language, so that if we cannot actually become fluent speakers of the language we can at least see the text, in so far as possible, from the point of view of a speaker. Then we will be able to see many of the problems of understanding the NT text as analogous to what they would be if it had been written in Spanish or German. Too often, NT Greek is treated as a kind of superhuman exegetical code. While beginners may be forgiven this, it is regrettable that textbook authors like Mounce should further the notion by linguisically unwarranted exegetical digressions like the one cited.

    In the end, then, I would agree with Carl that the burden in this verse (Mt 24:34) lies on how we are to understand the words hH GENEA hAUTH. I am hardly qualified to make a pronouncement on this, but I would observe that the Greek word is not limited to the way we use our English word "generation" today, as in "Generation X".
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

  13. #53
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    Are you stating that the book my Mounce is the book you recommend?

    Grace to you,

    jak
    'Unless I am convinced by scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other.'~~Martin Luther, 1521

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    Originally posted by Odyssey
    Are you stating that the book my Mounce is the book you recommend?

    Grace to you,

    jak
    well originally king's kid was talking about how he purchased it and mentioned that exegetical insight. the book is awesome! it is the best grammar that i have ever seen. he makes learning first year greek simple. however, i concur with the reviewer above that the exegetical insights at the beginning of each chapter are a waste, make huge leaps, and are therefore somewhat distracting. also mounce doesn't take enough time in his grammar going into depth of what the nuances are for the various tenses, moods, voice, case, etc. perhaps that's because it is a first year grammar and that should probably be left for second year grammars to fill in. but i do think he could have spent a little more time on this than he did. other than that, i highly recommend mounce's book for a first year grammar.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

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