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Date Posted:18/05/2010 1:33 AMCopy HTML

I know we're not supposed to post big chunks of text on here, but this article is so well written and so concise that I just can't help myself.

This 'issue' was the final straw, the final nail in the coffin so to speak as to why I finally rejected and ejected faith in Christ and stopped calling myself a Christian. I have yet to hear a decent rebuttal of this issue from anyone in the Christian camp.

But I sincerely invite a response from anyone who would like to correct any misunderstandings the author below might have. In doing so, you might be indirectly saving my soul.


====================

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ken_daniels/why.html#Jesus

Jesus' failed prophecy

A final prophecy meriting closer examination is Jesus' prediction of his return during the generation in which he lived:

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:27-28).

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other ... Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:30-34).

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near ... Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Luke 21:25-33).

When we compare these three passages together in the context of the whole New Testament, in which Jesus' return was expected in the generation then living, a strong case can be made that this is really what Jesus meant (or that this is what the writers who reported Jesus' words intended to convey). The problem is so acute that C. S. Lewis, arguably the greatest Christian apologist of the twentieth century, acknowledged this is what Jesus meant, but that he in his humanity was limited in his foreknowledge, so he did not in fact return in that generation as predicted:

The facts, then, are these: that Jesus professed himself (in some sense) ignorant, and within a moment showed that he really was so. To believe in the Incarnation, to believe that he is God, makes it hard to understand how he could be ignorant; but also makes it certain that, if he said he could be ignorant, then ignorant he could really be. For a God who can be ignorant is less baffling than a God who falsely professes ignorance (Lewis 1960, 99).

Lewis' solution, which mistakes false prophecy for mere ignorance (why prophesy concerning matters about which one is ignorant?), cannot be entertained by those who hold to Jesus' authority in all he said. The following Old Testament passage shuts out this possibility:

You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him (Deut. 18:21-22).

As a believer I had often heard evangelicals making fun of Jehovah's Witnesses for their failed prophecies of Jesus' return, yet I was for many years effectively oblivious to the same problem in the New Testament.

In an alternative attempt to address the problem of Jesus' predicted early return, a significant minority of evangelicals holds to a Preterist view of prophecy, maintaining that Jesus did in fact return in the first century:

If Jesus meant what He said, said what He meant, and was an infallible Prophet, all the components of his prophecy must stand or fall together. These certainly include his coming on the clouds with power and glory. The failure of any one component to occur within that existing generation would disqualify Jesus as a prophet and call into question the truth of Scripture. If He did not return when He said He would, we have a dilemma of huge proportions (Noe 1996).

It is doubtless the lack of evidence for Jesus' return in the first century that allows most evangelicals to dismiss this view without serious consideration. But for Preterists, the lack of evidence for Jesus' past return is less of a problem than is any attempt to twist the face value of Jesus' prophecies to allow for his return in a later generation. Likewise, for Lewis it was less problematic to believe that Jesus was mistaken than to reinterpret his words in the manner that most evangelicals tend to do in order to get around the first-generation problem. This is a dilemma for which there is apparently no good solution; I cannot believe that Jesus has returned in the past or will ever return in the future.

Some have argued that Jesus' use of the word generation (genea in Greek) does not necessarily signify a generation as commonly understood, but that a secondary meaning of genea, namely, race (that is, the Jewish race), may have been intended. This suggests the unlikely possibility that all the scholars who produced the major English translations of the Bible (KJV, NIV, NASB, and others) were incompetent in their ability to discern the true meaning of the word, despite their mastery of Greek and the textual context. In addition, consider what such an interpretation would mean:

Jesus told his disciples, living in the first century, this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you [meaning his hearers, disciples of the first century] can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. "I tell you the truth, this race [that is, the Jewish race, of which you disciples are a part] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Luke 21:25-33).

The term race simply makes no sense in this context. There is no expectation anywhere in scripture that the Jewish race will ever cease to exist. Introducing such a timeframe in a prophecy clearly intended to place parameters on the timing of his return would be meaningless, on a par with, "I'm going to return before the human race ceases to exist." Would it have been of any comfort or significance to the disciples to know that their race would last until Jesus' return, not having any prior reason to think otherwise? No, this passage only means anything to its recipients if taken at face value: members of this generation, that is, Jesus' generation, not the Jewish race, and not some future generation (the Greek has a word for "that" in opposition to "this," so if Jesus meant "that generation," he could easily have made it explicit) will still be alive when Jesus returns. This is all the more evident when we consider that Jesus directs his comments to his disciples in the second person, making inescapable the conclusion that his disciples were expected to witness "these things."

Tangentially, it would seem odd for members of a particular race to refer to that race as "this race." Imagine you are a Caucasian speaking to your fellow Caucasian friends in the United States, and you have a hunch that the Caucasian race will last at least until the Boston Red Sox repeat their win of the World Series. Would you say, "This race won't come to an end before the Boston Red Sox win the World Series again," not having provided any clue as to the nature of the race? Even if there were not multiple meanings of the word race in English (for example, a one-mile race or an ethnicity), your friends would likely be confused if you meant an ethnicity. Only by adding a qualifier such as, "The Caucasion race won't come to end" would your statement communicate anything.

But let us imagine for the sake of argument that "this generation" might refer to "that [future] generation" or that generation might mean race. It is a cornerstone of Protestant hermeneutics to compare scripture with scripture when the meaning of one passage is in doubt. The intent of this approach is to enable us to grasp more clearly the meaning of the ambiguous passage (assuming it is truly ambiguous and not merely inconvenient; in the present case, "inconvenient" would be more appropriate than "ambiguous"). Do other passages give comfort to those who would interpret this passage contrary to its face value in order to excuse what appears to be a failed prophecy? No.

Let us revisit these verses:

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:27-28).

There is no ambiguity here concerning the meaning of "generation"; the terms are explicitly laid out. There is no clearer way to say "this generation will not pass away" than to say, "There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until ..." Since denying the meaning of this timeframe is not an option, the only recourse (other than admitting Jesus' fallibility à la C. S. Lewis) is to interpret the phrase "see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" as something other than Jesus' literal return. Accordingly, many apologists suggest that the story of the Transfiguration, which immediately follows Jesus' speech in the narrative, represents the fulfillment. Or perhaps it referred to some other event in Jesus' first advent—for example, the Resurrection. This may seem plausible at first, until all the details are taken into account.

First, if the Transfiguration followed on the heels of Jesus' prediction, what could have been the purpose of including the clause, "there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until ..."? Though there is wiggle room for interpreting Jesus' meaning, this is not language ordinarily used to describe an event that is to take place in short order. If Jesus knew that the transfiguration was right around the corner (or that the Resurrection was to occur within a year, this being the final year of Jesus' ministry), it seems strange for him to have placed the event merely within his disciples' lifetime rather than "soon," "within a week," or "within a year," as the case may have been.

Perhaps he knew that saying "within a week" would have deprived the future depraved Ken Daniels of an opportunity to trump up a charge of false prophecy against Jesus. He knew in advance that Ken's heart would be a heart of stone and that he would be unable to believe merely on faith, so he gave Ken some fodder to harden his heart further, much like Yahweh's hardening of Pharaoh's heart in the time of the Exodus. You may chuckle, but such a suggestion has actually been made to me when discussing this passage with a believer.

More importantly, none of the events in Jesus' subsequent ministry—certainly not the Transfiguration or the Resurrection—fulfill the terms Jesus laid out in his prophecy. In context, he states, "For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." The Transfiguration story mentions no angels, and though the Resurrection account includes angels, in no way can Jesus be said to have "come in the glory of his Father with His angels." And in neither case did he "recompense every man according to his deeds." This language, along with the mention of the Son of Man coming in his kingdom, is unmistakably apocalyptic, referring to the end of the age; to interpret it as an event occurring during the first century is to rationalize it in much the same way as Jehovah's Witnesses did when it became apparent that Jesus' expected return failed to materialize physically.

The above passages are not isolated suggestions that Jesus would return in the lifetime of his disciples; that expectation is expressed repeatedly throughout the New Testament. An extensive list of these passages is available from Edward Babinski's article, "The Lowdown on God's Showdown" (Babinski 2006); I will mention only a small subset here. (Comments in brackets in the following sets of verses are Babinski's.)

The world and its desires pass away ["This world, as it is now, will not last much longer" - Today's English Version], but the man who does the will of God lives forever. Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour (1 John 2:17-18).

By what legitimate hermeneutic can "the last hour" be transmuted to two millennia? Such a stretch renders language meaningless, as does the statement in 2 Peter 3:8 that "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day," used to excuse Jesus' failure to return up to the point of its writing. It goes without saying that the writer of 1 John did not mean "the last 60 minutes," but it is clear that a sense of urgency is being expressed to individuals who lived in his day, not to those who have lived in the subsequent nineteen centuries.

Paul certainly expected to be counted among those still living at the end of the age (comments again are Babinski's):

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).

The time has been shortened so that from now on both those who have wives should be as though they had none [i.e., Paul preached that the time was so "short" that married Christian couples "from now on" ought to abstain from having sex!]; and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it [i.e., there was no time for marriage or buying or selling—only in a state of holy celibacy could the Elect remain pure while awaiting the soon return of Christ]; for the form of this world is passing away ["This world, as it is now, will not last much longer"—Today's English Version] ... These things were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come ... Proclaim the Lord's death until he comes [i.e., Paul did not say, "Proclaim the Lord's death until the day you die," but rather, "until he comes," which means that he considered Christ's coming to be nearer than the time when the believers he was writing to would all be dead] (1 Corinthians 7:29-31; 10:11; 11:26).

The New Testament repeatedly warns its first-century readers that their time is short and that they are to conduct themselves with the knowledge of his imminent return. Yet dozens of generations have come and gone since the time of Jesus, so we are confronted in this generation with the question, Are we more likely to meet God through the return of Jesus or through death? For generation after generation the answer has been death. If this is the case, then it would have made far more sense for the New Testament writers to have been more concerned with their readers' readiness for death than with their readiness for Jesus' return.

It is ironic that some who most ardently defend the authority of scripture and object to loose interpretations that justify homosexuality, for example, tend to reverse course when presented with passages that clearly teach the return of Jesus in the first century. If it is a matter of defending the moral high ground against sexual impurity, the Bible must be taken at face value, but if it comes to defending the authority of the Bible itself, reinterpreting what it appears to say is not only permissible but mandatory and laudable.[57] Apologists who present alternate interpretations to get the Bible off the hook are placed on a pedestal of high honor, having vindicated the Bible against the infidels who dare to bring against the Exalted Savior the charge of false prophecy. But infidels who insist on taking these passages at face value are demonized, branded as polemicists, or castigated for refusing to accept the creative thinking of apologists, who, after all, are every bit as human and subject to error as infidels. And if apologists are subject to error, then so were the New Testament authors, who were no less human themselves than the rest of us.

It was painful during my deconversion process to admit this level playing field, but I came to recognize that my instinct for placing the redeemed—including apologists, the New Testament authors, and Jesus himself—in a special untouchable category was a fatal impediment to an honest search for the truth. Only after this realization could I come to terms what should otherwise have been plain: Jesus did not return when he promised he would.

A skeptic could hardly ask for a more objective falsification of any religion: the religion's leader prophesies a globally identifiable series of events within a specified time period, but the events do not take place within that time period. Yet Christianity did not fail after the first generation; there were already too many believers with too much at stake, and when the fuzzy boundary of one generation was passed, reason was not going to stand in the way of the movement, since reason was not the primary impetus for Christians to believe in the first place. Instead, various explanations arose to account for what appeared on the surface to be a failed set of prophecies, just as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses later came up with explanations for their failed prophecies.

Those who expect Jesus to return and take them to glory appear to be resting in a false hope. It is very unlikely to happen. We should expect no judgment day before Jesus for those who deny the promise of his return, any more than we should expect a judgment day before Allah for those who deny the teachings of Muhammad.

Some may respond with anger to what they perceive as an overly confident and strident analysis of these passages. This is understandable for those who are resolved under no circumstances to abandon their faith. But instead of directing their anger at me, the messenger, why should believers not consider the simple possibility that they have been led down the wrong path? After all, considering the wide range of intransigently held erroneous beliefs in the world today, is it not possible or even probable that Christians are mistaken, despite their very good intentions? Why not do the right thing and show the world that it is in fact possible to change one's mind in the face of evidence that invalidates one's position? Why continue striving to excuse a faith that is, by all appearances, demonstrably false? Why delay coming to terms with reason one for more generation, only to have the same battles fought in the next? While Muslim extremists sow terror in the name of their faith around the world, we in the West must show by example that maintaining our ideologies at all costs against the best available evidence is not the way forward. How can we call on Muslims to abandon their unsupported faith if we are unwilling to give up our own?




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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:03/07/2010 1:02 PMCopy HTML

When will you start to educate yourself? Listen to your teachers at school instead of your ignorant pastors. This is not how it all works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

 

My education is not the subject of this post.
Please read links that you send - at least the first sentence, and try to understand them before sending them. They are theories. This is also what I learned at school.

English may be my third language but I think I know the difference between facts and theories.

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:03/07/2010 1:12 PMCopy HTML

Reply to vjesnik

 
I think I know the difference between facts and theories.

So, speaking from a scientific point of view, what is the difference between a theory and a fact?



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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:03/07/2010 2:14 PMCopy HTML


It seems this thread is getting slightly off-topic, so can I just add here that if anyone wants to investigate the matter of Jesus' failed prophecies concerning his return, you can do so by reading the following:

1. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ken_daniels/why.html#Jesus

2. http://secweb.infidels.org/?kiosk=articles&id=86

3.
Paperback Apocalypse: How the Christian Church Was Left Behind by Robert Price

4. At Best Jesus was a Failed Apocalyptic Prophet, Chapter 12 of The Christian Delusion: Why faith fails, John W. Loftus (Ed.), pp. 316- 343.


5.
Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart D. Ehrman

6. http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2010/05/answering-two-objections-that-jesus-was.html

7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterism
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:04/07/2010 2:48 AMCopy HTML

As someone with some training in university level biochemistry, might I point out that ribonucleotides are *monomers*. As such the wiredscience article points to nothing significantly different from Miller's experiments in the 1950's (with results replicated ad nauseum since) which synthesised amino acids, and under highly artificial conditions simple polypeptides.

PS Worried Mum, why didn't you use the material in the article to try to refute the "intelligence is needed" argument? Didn't you understand the article? ;-P
The evidence for Mann-made global warming is unequivocal.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:04/07/2010 1:40 PMCopy HTML

Reply to MothandRust

And I even like the preterism thing, if someone could answer some questions about it with some credibility.

Both full and partial Preterism are after-market theologies that have been put forward to try to explain away the failed prophecies of Jesus and beliefs of the early Church that his return was gonna happen lickety-split.

Preterism is very fashionable now largely due to the writings of the most esteemed Evangelical champion, N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham. (Some of my Bible college friends who left Pentecostalism but stayed on in Evangelicalism are right into him now and often recommend his books to me.)

Of course, most of the anti-Preterist sites online are written and run by
other Evangelicals who think Preterism is untenable and they, by the way, make some very good Biblical and historical arguments against it (see here
). This presents a major challenge to those who try to play the, "you heathens don't see it because you're just not as enlightened as believers are" card (e.g. post 26#). The fact that other enlightened believers are the most vocal opponents of Preterism seems to slip past their supposedly enlightened vigilance. Silly duffers.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 5:01 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Te Luo Yi

Facts remain the same and theories often change.  Let me quote someone who has degrees in physics, math and astronomy: “They are not always easy to differentiate, and even scientists forget to do it. And the people who write science textbooks nearly always forget to do it.”

God bless!

 

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 5:32 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Te Luo Yi

I want to point out that almost every book, if not every book can be twisted to some degree, and be interpreted to say what we want to.

I have to admit that I didn’t read all links that you sent but just running over them noticed few problems with them. First is choosing mostly texts that fit into their explanations, second interpreting some very clear texts the way they wanted to and third, I don’t want to offend anyone but I think I have to point out this, authors are ignoring important texts on this matter or lacking of knowledge about them.

 

So here’s text that shows Jesus knew his coming will not happen in the first century and will happen further in the future - Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” This is happening in these times. Some are trying to twist even this simple text but whole world and all nations mean exactly what they say.

 

There is also Daniels Nebuchadnezzar dream interpretation revealed to him by God.

Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a big statue. This statue had a head made of fine gold, a chest and arms of silver, a belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet made partly of iron and partly of clay.

Then a stone, cut out without the use of hands, enters the dream. It strikes the statue on its feet of iron and clay, smashing the entire statue into dust. As the wind blows the dust away, the stone becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth.

Different parts of the statue are representing different kingdoms.

Head of gold - Nebuchadnezzar; Babylon

Chest and arms of silver – Medo-Persia

Belly of brass – Greece

Legs of iron – Rome

Feet made partly of iron and partly of clay – Europe

StoneJesus

Great Mountain – His Kingdom over all world

 

We clearly see from this prophecy that last parts are something what is yet to happen, not something that should happened in first century but it didn’t like some suggest. Kingdoms followed as it was prophesied and I’m sure that rest of the prophecy will follow and that Jesus will come as He said.

 

God bless

 

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 7:46 AMCopy HTML

Reply to vjesnik

You need to read my links properly. Those challenges are answered there.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 10:40 AMCopy HTML

The Statue

On some points, Vjesnik, you are quite right. In verses 32-33 that the statue has a head of pure gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. The gold represents Nebuchadnezzar, and the other three metals symbolize a sequence of three kingdoms that follow, that the kingdom of iron will “crush and break all the others” and that the clay in the feet indicate that the fourth kingdom will become a divided kingdom “whose people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay” (NIV, v.43).
Historical fact: the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar had placed great emphasis upon gold;  the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great had enjoyed a particularly close association with silver; Greece had an association with bronze that extended into the post-Alexander Hellenic Age, and Rome had improved the technology of iron usage and greatly expanded the use of that metal.

The Clay

I once thought, the clay belonged to our future. After some study, however, I came to realize that it is foolish to look to the future for the completion of the fourth kingdom’s time on Earth, and that brought me to the conclusion that the clay in the feet and toes corresponds historically to the Jews, whose homeland was  integrated into the Roman Empire some  time after Rome became dominant in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Already present in the main Greek-speaking areas of the empire, Jews moved north-west after the incorporation of Judea into the empire and grew in numbers. As I came to understand the idea of first-century AD fulfillment for Daniel’s end-time prophecies, I had to that it was the Jewish people who gave the empire the divided character indicated by the mixture of iron and clay.

The Rock

The 'Rock' has already done its job. It struck the statue on its feet symbolizing the arrival of the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven, which took place first in Romanized Judea. The statue is destroyed by the rock, but is not vaporized. It is instead broken into pieces and blown away over time by the wind like chaff from the threshing floor. We know from Daniel 7:11-12 that the fourth kingdom is evidently destroyed (spiritually) first and that the other "beasts" are allowed to live for a time. 

Believing Dan. 2 and 7 to be consistent with each other we can understand that all the parts of the statue are not destroyed at the same time. In my calculations, the Roman sequence runs from 603 BC to AD 30, the latter being the date that I assign to the Resurrection, which I regard as being equivalent to the striking of the statue by the rock in Daniel 2:34 
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 11:01 AMCopy HTML

One more point in regard to "whole world and all nations mean exactly what they say"

I recommend you adding the information from the following website in your studies. You need to understand context to understand the who, how and why.

http://www.eschatology.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=346:what-is-preterism&catid

AFK
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 1:23 PMCopy HTML

Every eye

"every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him:" This element plays a key role in determining whether this passage has a global or local intent. The first part of this element ("every eye will see Him") does not appear in the Old Testament reference. The other element, "even those who pierced Him," is the part from Zechariah. It is clear that those who pierced Him in Zechariah are a reference to the Jewish people. This, both preterist and futurist would agree. The debate arises over whether "every eye" is a reference to just the Jewish nation (the preterist contention) or to the people of the whole earth (the futurist understanding). The way to resolve who is intended in the scope of the reference is to compare it to the subset "even those who pierced Him." If the larger group of "every eye" refers to the Jewish nation, then it does not make sense that the smaller group "even those who pierced Him," would be a reference to the same exact people, as Preterists contend. Their reading of the passage would be as follows: "every eye (Israel) will see Him, event those who pierced Him (Israel)." There would be no need of have a sub-group if both mean the same thing. If "every eye" refers to all the peoples of the world as the larger group, then the qualifying phrase "even those who pierced Him" would be emphasizing the Jewish element as the smaller sub-group. Thus, it is not surprising that virtually everyone, other than Preterists, take this element of this passage in a global sense. It appears that bias, not the clear meaning of the text, is the only reason the preterist takes this part of the passage in a restricted manner.
http://ldolphin.org/preterism-ice.html
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 1:59 PMCopy HTML


Guys, I support your right and freedom to believe whatever you want. I truly do.

But it's just so silly. He said he was coming back, didn't show and now you have to make all these post hoc rationalisations. If we were discussing Islam or Mormons or JWs, you'd be laughing at this.

Get over it. He ain't coming back.

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 2:09 PMCopy HTML

 Well, thank you for your support. I'm not sure it's needed.

In my opinion, your beliefs are silly.

Also, in my opinion, Jesus did return and did set up the new covenant age we're living in, so I don't  have to make up anything. The way I read the bible, I don't find the glaring contradictions you do.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:07/07/2010 11:55 PMCopy HTML

Reply to Guest

 Well, thank you for your support. I'm not sure it's needed.

Correct, it's not needed because your right to believe is protected by our non-religious, tolerant secular state.

In my opinion, your beliefs are silly.

Again, you right. Are you prepared to defend my right to believe in silly things too? :P


Also, in my opinion, Jesus did return and did set up the new covenant age we're living in,

Yes...invisibly...the fact that no one saw this or recorded it is by the by right?   LOL!





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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 12:07 AMCopy HTML

TLY,
Yes...invisibly...the fact that no one saw this or recorded it is by the by right?   LOL!

for sure there is someone I know that HASN'T seen it! ;)

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 4:08 AMCopy HTML


Again, you right. Are you prepared to defend my right to believe in silly things too? :P


I'll do what I can.

Also, in my opinion, Jesus did return and did set up the new covenant age we're living in, 

Yes...invisibly...the fact that no one saw this or recorded it is by the by right?   LOL!

See a previous entry for information on 'seeing'. If you're waiting for a physical event where six billion people will look up to the sky and say "oooh, it's Jesus!" then I believe you're on the wrong track. The event was well recorded, in fact it was well pre-recorded. The New Covenant age is a spiritual concept and life is as it is. There won't be any Supermen coming down from the clouds, shaking hands with Julia Gillard, and setting up giant shiny castles. 

This discussion here seems to have deteriorated, and I blame myself as much as anyone else. Anyone who is interested in looking into this subject further can find a wealth of information at http://tinyurl.com/2aowref

Hereon in, AFK 
(Permanently Away From Keyboard)
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 7:57 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Guest

TLY,
Yes...invisibly...the fact that no one saw this or recorded it is by the by right?   LOL!

for sure there is someone I know that HASN'T seen it! ;)

To be clear, you don't know anyone or even know of any one who has seen it. smiley9



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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 8:04 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Guest

I'll do what I can.

Ta.

See a previous entry for information on 'seeing'. If you're waiting for a physical event where six billion people will look up to the sky and say "oooh, it's Jesus!" then I believe you're on the wrong track. The event was well recorded, in fact it was well pre-recorded. The New Covenant age is a spiritual concept and life is as it is. There won't be any Supermen coming down from the clouds, shaking hands with Julia Gillard, and setting up giant shiny castles.

Yes, I did understand that. But, the problem is no-one saw it, let alone 6 billion. Not a one. And no one recorded the fulfilment, even Biblically. You can claim prophetic this and that, but in the end, even the Biblical record is silent and you refuse to answer this challenge.

This discussion here seems to have deteriorated, and I blame myself as much as anyone else. Anyone who is interested in looking into this subject further can find a wealth of information at http://tinyurl.com/2aowref

Believe it or not, I am genuinely interested in getting to the bottom of this issue, but am simply not 'seeing' what you claim is 'so clearly there'. It is convoluted, contrived and honestly lacking credibility.





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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 8:47 AMCopy HTML

 Hmmm

I was always of the opinion that the 'signs' of Jesus' return that we believed we were seeing 'all around us' for the last 30 to 50 years were mirrored to the signs that Jesus gave as warning concerning the sacking of Jerusalem. I find it funny that a very Revivalist 'Pyramidology' text had 1957 pinned as a possible final year - ha. Christian doomsdayers have been proclaiming all these 'signs' for hundreds of years.

I'm thinking that with so many references to 'soon' and things happening during the lifetimes of those who the letters were written to, that it's more convoluted to go with the futurist beliefs.

I'm going to humour preterism. 
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 9:46 AMCopy HTML

2Ti 2:16 But shun profane, vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat like a gangrene; among whom are Hymeneus and Philetus,

2Ti 2:18 who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past, and who overthrow the faith of some.

Back in Pauls days there were those that said Jesus has come and gone,nothing new here.

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 9:47 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Te Luo Yi




Get over it. He ain't coming back.


Well I know He is coming back 'cause He told me so Himself when I got caught up in an out of body experience when the power of the Holy Ghost hit me suddenly and sucked me up out of my body into Heaven. And Jesus stood before me in indescribable light and He shouted so loudly in a very loud voice: "I'm coming back" !! it was so loud that if every electronic amplifier were turned up loud it would not match the decibel output that came from the mouth of Jesus... But what a supernatural vision I had and what a glorious encounter with the Holy Spirit. Then I was back in my body suddenly and it felt like I had been in a trance. True story and I am not lying.. And since then I have been to Israel and I have stood myself on Tel Megiddo overlooking the Jezreel Valley and what a terrible bloody day the Day of Judgement is going to be. Even went up to the Golan Heights that is today filled with mines and listening devices. Even the Israelis aren't stupid because they know that this is where an invading army can easily come into Israel easily through.. Yep the Day of the Lord is going to be one awful bloody day and to see the Valley of Jezreel for myself between Tel Megiddo and Mt Carmal is quite vast indeed and ready for a big big fight. Israel is surrounded by enemies and is getting ready for it... saw the burnt out tanks up in Golan too. When the Israelis want to clear a minefield, they go in with the electronic surveillance and then turn it into a cow paddock so the cows catch the mines that electronics miss. The whole  Jordan river is sealed off with mines and listening devices right along the length from the Dead Sea right up to the Sea of Galilee. The only exception  is the Touristy spots but when you are in the West Bank and you see the Israeli Jests flying regularly over it all day every day, on the hour you know there is trouble to come.. And the Israelis know it only too well.

 


"And  they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."

Even now there is much talk among the Israelis to blow up the Islamic Dome of the Rock upon the Temple Mount. And if they did do just that, there would be one heck of a bad war capable of sucking in the involvement of every nation upon this earth today


 
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 9:51 AMCopy HTML

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Reply to Te Luo Yi




Get over it. He ain't coming back.





 

The Dome of the Rock:

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 10:01 AMCopy HTML

Reply to MothandRust

I'm thinking that with so many references to 'soon' and things happening during the lifetimes of those who the letters were written to, that it's more convoluted to go with the futurist beliefs.

I'm going to humour preterism. 

Right. I agree. In that sense, Preterism is the most honest attempt as it doesn't side-step the obvious belief of both Jesus and his followers, that he would return in their lifetimes.

But then Preterism is faced with the 'no-show' factor and asks us all to believe he came back, but, at worst, no one saw it, or at best, no one is telling.


Both the Futurist and Preterist views have their irreconcilable problems. But if we apply Ockham's Razor to it and suggest a 3rd possibility, that fallible human beings made silly claims (in a superstitious apocalyptic climate) that simply never came to pass, then the problem is solved on the spot and ever so simply and realistically.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 10:04 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Spangler

2Ti 2:16 But shun profane, vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2Ti 2:17 And their word will eat like a gangrene; among whom are Hymeneus and Philetus,

2Ti 2:18 who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past, and who overthrow the faith of some.

Back in Pauls days there were those that said Jesus has come and gone,nothing new here.


And there is one of the legitimate Futurist objections to Preterism. And if you believe the dating of the 2 Timothy being post-AD70 then you have even more 'ammunition'.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 10:09 AMCopy HTML

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Well I know He is coming back 'cause He told me so Himself when I got caught up in an out of body experience when the power of the Holy Ghost hit me suddenly and sucked me up out of my body into Heaven. And Jesus stood before me in indescribable light and He shouted so loudly in a very loud voice: "I'm coming back" !!

I have absolutely no way of disproving this event. And I won't even try. When I was on LSD once, I saw a demon inside one of my friends. He looked like an elf. I kid you not, I saw that...while tripping.

However, until Jesus tells me the same thing and speaks to me in the same way as he did to you, I am gonna have to let that one go to the keeper.

But you are lucky. Truly. To have that kind of certainty must be nice..

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 10:18 AMCopy HTML

 
Meh, reality is boring. Screw Ockham.

My closest friend (aside from you Troy buddy-o) swears to seeing Santa on his sleigh flying through the sky. A very rational guy who doesn't believe it, but can't explain it.

He was young, not on drugs, and wasn't dreaming at the time.

Whether the supernatural exists or not, for people to have genuinely believed they saw Santa, ghosts, UFOs, Mary, Elves, or a 'screaming Jesus', our brains and their ability to see 'reality' in so many far out ways is enigmatic enough.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 10:58 AMCopy HTML

lol, I don't have time for this, and if I get caught at the computer looking up 'religious' stuff again, I'm gonna be maimed... nevertheless... I've got it all worked out now.

Regarding 2Timothy... I think it's interesting that they were able to overthrow the faith of some so easily by claiming Jesus had returned... How did people fall for that? Maybe Paul didn't teach the churches to believe in a physical resurrection... and most seem to believe 2 Timothy was likely written between 62 and 66 A.D. shortly before Paul's death. Hell and high water was about to come down on Jerusalem, and the animal alter sacrificing was about to end. Bring on the 'new age'. Cool.

As for the statue prophesy... If there is a two thousand year gap between the 4th kingdom and the made up "5th kingdom" it'd be a unusual 'gap' that's not mentioned or alluded to at all. Jesus came back 'figuratively and spiritually?' and was 'seen' figuratively by Israel. Fine, I can live with that. Poetic licence with the 'every eye' bit. I'm easy.

So now we all go to heaven after some period of hell or 'punishment' is metered out ala Universalism (unless you're already living a 'godly' life). Dandy.

It seems to me that Jesus' second coming was like most movie sequels... never as notable. We can stop waiting for armageddon now, Whew. We better start bloody looking after the planet though and tell BP to plug up their hole so we can get on with it.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 11:24 AMCopy HTML

Reply to MothandRust

most seem to believe 2 Timothy was likely written between 62 and 66 A.D. shortly before Paul's death. Hell and high water was about to come down on Jerusalem, and the animal alter sacrificing was about to end. Bring on the 'new age'. Cool.


Speaking of 1 Timothy, ye olde Wikipedia says...

Date

The dating of 1 Timothy depends very much on the question of authorship. Those who accept the epistle's authenticity believe it was most likely written toward the end of Paul's ministry, c.62-67 AD. Other historians generally place its composition some time in the late first century or first half of the second century AD, with a wide margin of uncertainty. The text seems to be contending against nascent Gnosticism(1 Tim 1:4, 1 Tim 4:3)[24](see Encratism), which would suggest a later date due to Gnosticism developing primarily in the latter 1st century. The term Gnosis("knowledge") itself occurs in 1 Timothy 6:20.[25] If the parallels between 1 Timothy and Polycarp's epistle are understood as a literary dependence by the latter on the former, as is generally accepted[4], this would constitute a terminus ante quem of 130-155 AD. However, Irenaeus (writing c. 180 AD) is the earliest author to clearly and unequivocally describe the Pastorals.


The challenge to Pauline authorship

The modern challenge to Pauline authorship began with the work of German theologians F.D.E. Schleiermacher in 1807 and J.G Eichorn in 1812. (Eichorn extended Schleirmacher's critique of 1 Timothy to all three Pastoral letters.) This was argued in further detail by F.C. Baur in 1835.[11]. Following these arguments, a large number of modern scholars continue to reject Pauline authorship, citing various and serious problems in associating it therewith. For example, Norman Perrin analyzed the Greek used by the author or authors of the Pastoral Epistles, finding that over 1/3 of their vocabulary is not used anywhere else in the Pauline epistles; more than 1/5 is not used anywhere else in the New Testament, while 2/3 of the non-Pauline vocabulary are used by second century Christian writers[12]. Richard Heard, in 1950, had this to say: "The evidence of teaching as of style and vocabulary is strongly against Paul’s authorship, nor are these arguments seriously weakened by any supposition that the epistles were written late in Paul’s lifetime and to meet a new type of situation. The three epistles show such a unity of thought and expression that they must be the work of one man, but for the author we must look rather to one of Paul’s admirers than to Paul himself."[13]Polycarp's Epistles and suggested he might be the author[14]. Robert Grant noted the afore-mentioned parallels to

If “… the author of the Pastorals is seen as a separate individual, and not as a depleted or altered Paul, he assumes a new position of importance in the New Testament and in the history of the ancient church. The New Testament thereby becomes enriched with an important type of personality distinct and different from any of the other great figures delineated therein, a type without which the origin of the catholic church is inexplicable.” TIB 1955 XI pp. 363-364


The defence of Pauline authorship

Scholars who hold to the position of Pauline authenticity of the epistle include Wallace,[15] Knight[8], Fee[16], Witherington III[17], Johnson[18], Stott[9] and Towner[19]. Wallace, for example, writes that, "although the evidence against the authenticity of the pastorals is as strong as any evidence against the authenticity of any NT book (save 2 Peter), it still cannot overthrow the traditional view"[15].

In addition, a number of computer studies, though they must be treated with caution[20], have indicated that the seven universally-accepted Pauline letters and 1-2 Timothy have a closer "affinity" than is often assumed. Thus:

  • Alivar has shown that the 'Timothy's' have greater 'affinity' to Romans, Ephesians and Colossians than do Romans, Ephesians and Colossians to other Pauline epistles e.g. 1 Corinthians or Galatians[21].
  • Smith[22] corrected Morton, and showed that on his criteria 'the most likely interpretation is that St. Paul wrote all the Epistles'.
  • Barr [23] writes 'In view of the distinctive patterns found in these corpora it cannot be held, ... that the Pastorals are pseudonymous writings ...'.




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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 12:51 PMCopy HTML

Reply to Guest

 

Well I know He is coming back 'cause He told me so Himself when I got caught up in an out of body experience when the power of the Holy Ghost hit me suddenly and sucked me up out of my body into Heaven. And Jesus stood before me in indescribable light and He shouted so loudly in a very loud voice: "I'm coming back" !! it was so loud that if every electronic amplifier were turned up loud it would not match the decibel output that came from the mouth of Jesus... But what a supernatural vision I had and what a glorious encounter with the Holy Spirit. Then I was back in my body suddenly and it felt like I had been in a trance. True story and I am not lying.. And since then I have been to Israel and I have stood myself on Tel Megiddo overlooking the Jezreel Valley and what a terrible bloody day the Day of Judgement is going to be. Even went up to the Golan Heights that is today filled with mines and listening devices. Even the Israelis aren't stupid because they know that this is where an invading army can easily come into Israel easily through.. Yep the Day of the Lord is going to be one awful bloody day and to see the Valley of Jezreel for myself between Tel Megiddo and Mt Carmal is quite vast indeed and ready for a big big fight. Israel is surrounded by enemies and is getting ready for it... saw the burnt out tanks up in Golan too. When the Israelis want to clear a minefield, they go in with the electronic surveillance and then turn it into a cow paddock so the cows catch the mines that electronics miss. The whole  Jordan river is sealed off with mines and listening devices right along the length from the Dead Sea right up to the Sea of Galilee. The only exception  is the Touristy spots but when you are in the West Bank and you see the Israeli Jests flying regularly over it all day every day, on the hour you know there is trouble to come.. And the Israelis know it only too well.

 


"

 

OK, if you saw Jesus, I believe you, but can you please describe what he looked like? I am really interested to hear that, I have never met before a person who claimed to see Jesus.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:08/07/2010 3:08 PMCopy HTML

Hello all,

If you do not mind, I would like to weigh into this discussion. I am sure this is a topic that Ian, Epi or Talmid could handle far more succinctly than myself as I have no training on the subject.

Firstly Te Luo Yi, I have to correct you on one point; Wright is not a Preterist. In fact, is probably one of the loudest Theological voices today imploring Christians to bring the future resurrected world into our own.

Amongst the Christians in this thread there seems a well intentioned but rather haphazard approaches to the scripture, arguing that there are still some people wandering the Earth from Jesus time is a remarkably long bow to draw just to keep an unworkable Theology!

What Wright and a growing number of Evangelical Theologians actually argue is that Matthew 24 is not a Preterist declaration that the Kingdom of God is already here in its fullness or entirely concerned with an event in our future; rather they propose that Matthew 24 is primarily dedicated to foretelling the destruction of the temple in 70AD.

In this chapter, up to verse 28 we have a literal and historically accurate of what happened in the lead up to the fall of Jerusalem.

Following this, verses 29-31 read:

 29"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

This is apocalyptic language to be sure, but is it literal language? Is it the apocalypse of the Earth or of Jerusalem? If we look at similar accounts in the Old Testament predicting cataclysmic events, we find the same language peppered throughout prophesy:.

Ezekiel 32
7 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens
   and make their stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
   and the moon shall not give its light.


People took such language to speak of God's righteous judgement and action rather than expecting a literal great darkness to fall on Egypt. There are many more examples where prophets evoke such powerful symbolism to describe God working on Earth.

Another important aspect to verses 29-31 is that it does not use the word always associated in scripture when discussing Jesus second coming; “Parousia”. It is speaking rather about the his  resurrection and his “coming or going” in glory. Isn't it likely that when the Israelites saw the Temple burn and Jerusalem fall, that they would have reflected on these prophecies of Jesus and see it as a manifestation of his power and glory as a sign of his resurrection?

The disciples question that provoked this whole chapter was: “"Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" “
It's actually two separate questions:
“Tell us, when will these things be” (The fall of Jerusalem)
and “what will be the sign of your coming (Parousia) and of the close of the age?”

The disciples like a lot of Christians today, mistakenly assumed that the answer to these questions was the same one event. You simply cannot take that to be the case from Jesus answer. In the verses I already mentioned, Jesus goes at great lengths to describe all the signs that will come before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.

This is not the end of Jesus answer though, he moves on to the second part of their question in verse 36: “"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.“ and later on in verse 44; “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “ So it is simply not possible for the return of Jesus (The Parousia) to be sign posted by the fall of Jerusalem predicted in the earlier verses, how could that represent a “thief in the night”?

I cannot see how anyone could possibly argue from Matthew 24 the idea that the destruction of the temple and the return of Jesus were simultaneous occurrences, based on the fact that Jesus describes two separate events, one sign posted (The parable of the fig tree) and the other not possibly knowable, in direct answer to the disciples questions. I also believe that early Christians read this scripture in the way I outlined it here. After all, if the agnostics and atheists are correct and the bible has been edited over its life to fit the facts, surely someone would have modified the verse post 70AD? Why leave this verse in if it disproved Jesus as the Messiah?

I cannot bring myself to agree with Preterism based on Matthew 24, we are certainly waiting for Jesus return to the Earth, but similarly we are not waiting for him to fulfil the apocalyptic event described in the first portion of the chapter. We live in the middle.

I trust that my points are easily understood, I also meant no disrespect to anyone posting in this thread.

Shoes
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:09/07/2010 11:21 AMCopy HTML

I found the following piece re: Matthew 24 (I've paraphrased it). 
Still seems plausible to me IF we believe the bible is divinely inspired and not contradictory.

This day and That day


Mathew 24 Jesus refers to "those days." However, in verse 36 we have a direct contrast when Jesus says, "But of 'that day' and hour knoweth no man. There seems to be an intended contrast between that which is near (in verse 34) and that which is far (in verse 36): this generation vs. that day.

I think "that" all of "this" is much ado about nothing. "This generation" refers to the present generation Jesus was addressing. "This" is therefore the appropriate word for something present while "that" is the most appropriate word for something future (to them). Some don't believe "that day" can be a reference to the fall of Jerusalem, arguing that the singular, "that day" can only refer to a future (from our perspective) coming of Christ. It is easy to refute this theory by comparing Scripture with Scripture.

   Luke 17:31 (NKJV) "In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back.

Here Jesus uses the singular expression, "That day" which is clearly referring to the same situation that is spoken of in Matthew 24:17, which those who divide Matthew 24 say is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem.

   Matthew 24:17 (NKJV) "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.

You cannot say "that day" of Luke 17:31 refers to a past event to us, and "that day" of Matthew 24:36 refers to a future event to us. They are clearly speaking of the same event! So when Jesus uses the expression, "But of that day," in verse 36, He is still talking about the same subject. Doesn't it make sense that "those days" would culminate in "that day?" "Those days" led to the passing away of the heavens and earth which is "that day" referred to in verse 36.

One of the reasons a distinction between "those days" and "that day" is seen by many commentators is because of a pre-conceived idea that the disciples had asked questions about two subjects, the destruction of Jerusalem and end of time. With this presupposition, the interpreter then sees Jesus changing the subject in verse 36.

Where is the evidence that the disciples had any other coming in mind than the coming just mentioned by Jesus... his coming to destroy Jerusalem in that generation? It is pure eisegesis to read another coming into this context. 
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 12:56 AMCopy HTML

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Reply to Shoes

Firstly Te Luo Yi, I have to correct you on one point; Wright is not a Preterist. In fact, is probably one of the loudest Theological voices today imploring Christians to bring the future resurrected world into our own.

Well, there are a few different kinds of Preterists and from what I see online, Wright is one kind of Preterist, even if he doesn't quite fit into how some would define it. And I also found that more than one anti-Preterist and pro-Preterist sites define him as a Preterist (using Google). I think it might be a matter of semantics and how one defines a full-Preterist and the varying kinds of partial-Preterists, but either way, Wright's stance on Pretersim doesn't effect either of our views on Preterism, so let's move on.  :)

What Wright and a growing number of Evangelical Theologians actually argue is that Matthew 24 is not a Preterist declaration that the Kingdom of God is already here in its fullness or entirely concerned with an event in our future; rather they propose that Matthew 24 is primarily dedicated to foretelling the destruction of the temple in 70AD.

In this chapter, up to verse 28 we have a literal and historically accurate of what happened in the lead up to the fall of
Jerusalem.

As you pointed out, verse 3 sets the context with the disciples questions:

As he was sitting on the
Mount of Olives:3 the disciples approached him privately and said, "Tell us, when will this happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the age?"

You advocate that there are two distinct and separate questions that are given two distinct and separate answers. So according to this idea, we must weave through Jesus words and separate where he speaks of the destruction of the temple and where he speaks of his literal return. 

So, before we go on, let me ask you, which verses relate to the destruction of the temple and which verses relate to his return?   Perhaps you could just list them by number, don’t cut and paste entire verses. 

I need to be clear which verses you believe relate to what event so I don't misrepresent you. Once you’ve done that for me then we can go on.  :)

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 1:17 AMCopy HTML

I think we will all agree that no matter how many arguments for, one side give, there will be at least that many arguments from other side. Also between groups of unbelievers and groups of believers there are divisions inside the same groups and different view of this topic, and probably many individuals from these groups also have slightly different view.

 

So I will try to give slightly different prospective on this. First I want to apologise, I’m just trying to defend my belief in past posts and give arguments for by using my English which is not the best. So I hope nobody understood it wrong and got offended by it, if yes again my apologies.

 

Like the Guest who had a supernatural encounter with Jesus there are many people who had different supernatural experiences with the God and I was blessed to have them too.

It is interesting thing that all people that I know of, or heard that they had them, believe that Jesus is jet to come.  Also many good people are having dreams or visions that Jesus will come, especially in Muslim countries, and are accepting Jesus as their saviour. Taking in consideration that in many countries they risk persecution and they’re still accepting Jesus says enough.

 

There is one big question arising from all this. Bible is saying that God so loved the World that He didn’t spare even His own Son. Son through whom God created the World came to Earth, lived sinless life, suffered, was humiliated and died for us. He took our sins on his self so we could live. Creator died for creation, so creation could live, every one who believes in God and His Son Lord Jesus who died, was risen and will come.

So let put it this way, if this didn’t happen and God doesn’t exist believers will lose nothing. It will be same to all after we die.

On the other hand if He does exist and his word is true we risk eternity. Eternity in which human mind can’t even imagine what He prepared for us, no sadness and tears, no pain, no sin…

So question is if odds are let’s say 50:50, who is willing to risk it?

 

Although in this thread we are “fighting”, I believe that every life is precious and would like one day to have big meeting in heaven with all of you.

God bless.

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 9:25 AMCopy HTML

Thank you for your reply Te Luo Yi,

I appreciate you taking the time to rewrite your post, it's much easier to engage with someone when they clearly outline their position rather than referencing an entire chapter of a book that I do not own! Thank you.

 For the record, this is Shoes, I do not believe we have conversed on the forum proper before, I have been checking in on the forum from time to time but not posting.

I realise whether Wright is or isn't a Preterist, doesn't speak directly to either of our positions, but I do believe it fleshes out the true position of what Preterism is.
There is of course a marked difference in the range of views that sit beneath the heading of Preterism, essentially though with full and partial Preterists, there is common ideal. This commonality is that the destruction of Jerusalem is the “Second Coming” foretold in Matthew 24. Partial Preterists believe that he will return again as he did in 70AD, Full Preterists believe that all of the End-times are now passed.

Wright's position does not fit into any definition of Preterism as he does not believe that 70AD is in anyway concerned with the “Parousia”, (i.e. Second Coming). This is the position I hold after careful consideration and reflection.

In response to your question, I will outline exactly how I see the discourse of Matthew 24 addressing the disciples questions:

Matthew 24
1-2: The Disciples mention the Temple and Jesus prophecies its destruction.
3: The disciples ask the question “When will this destruction happen?”, “What will the sign of your coming be”
4-14: Jesus speaks of the days leading up to the Fall of Jerusalem, the failed messiahs and troubles. These are the beginning of the pain
15-28 This describes the beginning of the fall of Jerusalem. Jesus then warns the disciples not to believe anyone that says that Jesus has returned, for his “Parousia” will be visible to everyone.

28-31: Then “immediately” following the events described in the previous verses, the judgement of God against Jerusalem will begin. At the risk of stumbling into subjects I am not trained in, several sources I have researched, make the distinction that the language here of “Jesus coming on clouds” uses the Greek word “erchomai” which can refer to either coming or going, it is is speaking of Jesus receiving glory and being recognised as his prophecy comes to pass.

It's probably easier to quote Wright than paraphrase him:

Here the "coming" of the Son of Man in v. 30 is an allusion to Daniel 7:13-14 which speaks not of a "coming to earth" from heaven but of a "coming to God" in heaven to receive vindication and authority. This "coming" refers to an event "whereby the authority of Jesus is vindicated over the Jewish establishment which has rejected him" (344).

32-35: Jesus again re-enforces that like a fig tree spreading out its branches is a sign that summer is approaching. Jesus is clearly stating that all the verses previous coming to pass are a sure sign that Jesus is with the Father. Though its not clearly outlined in these verses, it does tie in completely with a non-preterist position that Jesus resurrected and being with the Father is a sign that the covenant of the New Testament is in place and now the Old Covenant of sacrifice is ended.

36-51: Here we have Jesus clearly discussing his second coming or “Parousia” this word is used in verses 37 & 39. “so will be the coming of the Son of Man”. Where the destruction of Jerusalem is predicted to be preceded of all sorts of signs the “Parousia” second coming of Jesus was to come like a thief in the night.

So the Non-Preterist position that I hold is that Jesus foretold that the Temple would be destroyed and when in 70AD Jerusalem fell, it was a sign that Jesus was come to Glory.
It seems a fairly concise position to me that doesn't require any back flips or twisting of the scripture  to understand what it is that Jesus was saying. To me, the key is that the entire chapter is begun with the Temple and the disciples questions concerning its destructions and Jesus return (Parousia), nowhere does it say that these are one event.

Blessings.

Shoes

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 11:31 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Shoes

Thanks for the clarification re: Wright.

Matthew 24
4-14: Jesus speaks of the days leading up to the Fall of Jerusalem, the failed messiahs and troubles. These are the beginning of the pain

And yet, verses 13 and 14 say:
13
But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
14
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.
Do you expect us to believe he was only referring to the end of Jerusalem? That's certainly quite a stretch don't you think? And one only has to persevere until the end of Jerusalem to be saved? And then what? And what about the preaching to the nations? I don't know if the Gospel had even reached the edges of the Roman Empire (if that's what was meant by 'all nations') by that stage. No man, I think Jesus is already talking about his return and we're only at verse 13.

15-28 This describes the beginning of the fall of Jerusalem. Jesus then warns the disciples not to believe anyone that says that Jesus has returned, for his “Parousia” will be visible to everyone.

But verse 21 says,

21
  for at that time there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be.
Now I realise we're talking apocalyptic literature here. That is something you spoke of before and I plan to address that in detail later in this post. But do you really think that the fall of Jerusalem fits that description, even metaphorically? I mean, was the fall of Jerusalem the worst that the Jews have seen. Hello? WW2? Final Solution? 6 million dead? I dunno man, if I was the 2nd person of the Trinity, I'd be thinking AD70 wasn't the worst for the Jews...let alone the world...not by a long shot.

28-31: Then “immediately” following the events described in the previous verses, the judgement of God against Jerusalem will begin. At the risk of stumbling into subjects I am not trained in, several sources I have researched, make the distinction that the language here of “Jesus coming on clouds” uses the Greek word “erchomai” which can refer to either coming or going, it is is speaking of Jesus receiving glory and being recognised as his prophecy comes to pass.

I'll have to take your word for that. But I would ask you to look and see if “erchomai” is ever used unambiguously to refer to the (final) return of Christ. Or if 'parousia' is used in the parallel verses about Jerusalem in Mark. Let me know what you find.  :)

To me, the key is that the entire chapter is begun with the Temple and the disciples questions concerning its destructions and Jesus return (Parousia), nowhere does it say that these are one event.

But nowhere does it say these are two events either. On the face of it your case has merit to be sure. But as I showed above (and hope to show further below), it seems that your supposed two events are a little more intertwined in this passage than you might have noticed.

In your earlier post you wrote:


This is apocalyptic language to be sure, but is it literal language? Is it the apocalypse of the Earth or of Jerusalem?

So what then is the 'apocalypse'? Surely it refers to the end of the age? While one might say 'there was destruction of apocalyptic proportions' we do not refer to every traumatic event as the apocalypse. To a 1st century Jewish hearer, to talk of the apocalypse was to talk to the end of one age and the ushering in of the new age ruled by God (see here...and the footnotes). It just seems a bit convenient to argue that the passage is apocalyptic literature but then argue it doesn't refer to the apocalypse.

If we look at similar accounts in the Old Testament predicting cataclysmic events, we find the same language peppered throughout prophesy:.

Ezekiel 32
7 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens
   and make their stars dark;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
   and the moon shall not give its light.

People took such language to speak of God's righteous judgement and action rather than expecting a literal great darkness to fall on Egypt. There are many more examples where prophets evoke such powerful symbolism to describe God working on Earth.

Ah, but did they? Or is this just how Christian apologists have reinterpreted failed prophecies? It seems to me that if a Biblical prophecy failed or doen't meet all the criteria of the actual prediction, then it must be interpreted symbolically and we are told it's best not to take it all too literally.  Of course, when the liberal scholars suggest we do that with the resurrection the Evangelicals get most upset. Apparently the Evangelicals think they're the only ones who get to decide what's literal and what's symbolic in the Bible.

Again, your argument here smells like a very convenient post hoc rationalisation.
Daniels agrees,

An appeal to an as yet future fulfillment of certain line items in a multifaceted prophecy is a tacit acknowledgment that the prophecy was not fulfilled in its entirety, i.e., that it failed. Note that it is always after the failure of the prophetic package as a whole that proponents of a multifaceted prophecy posit that the remaining line items are to be fulfilled at a later date. This is in fact what we should expect to hear from such partisans if it is not possible naturalistically for detailed, multiple-faceted prophecies to be fulfilled all at once. One can almost always slice up prophecies finely enough so that their constituent pieces can be applied to various events throughout history. A fulfilled prophecy is impressive only when it contains multiple components, all of which are clearly fulfilled together as a package.

The disciples like a lot of Christians today, mistakenly assumed that the answer to these questions was the same one event.

Yes, how silly of them to take the verses at face value. Luckily we have scholars and apologists to set us straight.  ;)


You simply cannot take that to be the case from Jesus answer.

Actually you can, and as you just said, a lot do...until they are faced with the problems of unfulfilled prophecy and then the apologists swoop in to slice it up and save the day.

And then, just when the apologists have us all feeling confident that Jesus is now referring to his return and not the fall of Jerusalem, Jesus makes it all confusing again by going on about the fall of Jerusalem again...

32
"Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.
33
In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates.

And then Jesus goes on to confuse the matter further by saying this...

34
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.

ALL these things? ALL what things? Some of ALL these things? Which of all these things?  How do we slice this one?

In the verses I already mentioned, Jesus goes at great lengths to describe all the signs that will come before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.

Yes, and the two events are intertwined so much so that I (and the Preterists) can't buy your slice and dice interpretation here. Perhaps more of us would 'buy' your interpretation if you threw in some steak knives. :)

This is not the end of Jesus answer though, he moves on to the second part of their question in verse 36:

Right!!! So, according to your view, Jesus frustratingly jumps back into talking about his return again in v36. Is he trying to confuse us on purpose? Is this a test of our faith that I have failed but you have passed? 

“"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.“ and later on in verse 44; “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. “ So it is simply not possible for the return of Jesus (The Parousia) to be sign posted by the fall of Jerusalem predicted in the earlier verses, how could that represent a “thief in the night”?

Well, that can make sense if the fall of Jerusalem was the beginning of the whole shebang. Jesus didn't say it would happen in AD70. We have that bit of knowledge in hindsight.

I cannot see how anyone could possibly argue from Matthew 24 the idea that the destruction of the temple and the return of Jesus were simultaneous occurrences,

Unless that was exactly what Jesus meant and he was a failed apocalyptic prophet.

based on the fact that Jesus describes two separate events, one sign posted (The parable of the fig tree) and the other not possibly knowable, in direct answer to the disciples questions.

Direct answer?  Hardly.

I also believe that early Christians read this scripture in the way I outlined it here.

The ones after the disciples all died out surely did I agree. Someone had to come up with an explanation after all the Apostles kicked the bucket.

After all, if the agnostics and atheists are correct and the bible has been edited over its life to fit the facts, surely someone would have modified the verse post 70AD? Why leave this verse in if it disproved Jesus as the Messiah?

No straw men please. Not many informed skeptics believe there was a conspiracy a la The Davinci Code. The reason those verses were left in was because the majority of scribes held the words of Jesus in very high regard and wouldn't dare change them.  (I said 'majority' by the way.) It would be interesting to know if any manuscripts did change those verses, even if the majority didn't.


I cannot bring myself to agree with Preterism based on Matthew 24,

On that we are as one.  :)

we are certainly waiting for Jesus return to the Earth, but similarly we are not waiting for him to fulfil the apocalyptic event described in the first portion of the chapter.

Um, you mean 'the apocalyptic event (that wasn't actually an apocalypse) described in the first portion (and second portion) of the chapter. '


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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 12:27 PMCopy HTML


Ed Babinski makes a compelling case that the earliest writers in the New Testament also believed Jesus would return in their lifetimes in his article,

The Lowdown on God's Showdown


I suggest anyone interested in this topic read the above article (including the footnotes as the devil really is in the details).

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 2:12 PMCopy HTML

I just had a vision! Jesus said he's not coming back because he already came back and set up his spiritual kingdom. He was really loud, as if he had his amplifier turned up to 11! He had really blue eyes, and his beard was neatly trimmed. Class act all the way.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:10/07/2010 3:11 PMCopy HTML

Reply to MothandRust

...as if he had his amplifier turned up to 11!

Man, I am literally LOL!  You're still the funniest Moth I know.
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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:11/07/2010 3:03 PMCopy HTML

2 Peter 3; 3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

 10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

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Re:Jesus is coming back! Quick, look busy!

Date Posted:12/07/2010 2:09 AMCopy HTML

Reply to vjesnik

Well, it's always nice to be called names and threatened with Hell. I have had these things thrown at me by Mormons, the (then) Young Peoples leader of the GRC and...now you.

You're in good company.


But I am glad you brought these verses up. They actually further my argument as they show that even in the early church, people were asking, "Where the heck is Jesus?" adding to the argument that the early believers expected Jesus in their lifetimes. These verses in 2 Peter are one of the very earliest apologetics we have for Jesus' no-show.


Babinski answers your challenge with the following:


Speaking of feeble attempts to explain Jesus' delay, one often cited is found in 2nd Peter. That such an attempt was made at all in a late-dated letter that someone chose to compose in the name of an apostle, demonstrates to what lengths the church felt it had to resort in order to save face. But before examining the excuse for Jesus' delay in 2nd Peter it is important to point out the unequivocal words predicting the nearness of the end found in the previous letter, 1st Peter: 


...The glory that is soon [mello] to be revealed... [5:1]

He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times [or last days, or end of times]... [1:20]

The end of all things is at hand. [4:7]

Then in 2nd Peter 3:8 a feeble attempt is made to explain Jesus' delay by stating:

With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Such a late attempt to make excuses for Jesus' delay is an obvious failure. It makes a mockery of all the clear predictions made by earlier authors in the New Testament. Indeed, it is like saying that when God "inspired" the biblical authors to say they were living in the "last hour," or in the "last days," or when He inspired the author of Hebrews to write that it was only a "very little while" before the "Son of Man" would "come," God really meant "hours" and "days" and "very little whiles" that were "thousands" of years long. In other words, it implies that God was unable to put words into the minds of his earlier prophets that meant what He fundamentally intended them to mean, and had to cover His tracks at a later date (i.e., in a late-dated letter) by redefining a host of words. The excuse offered by the author of 2nd Peter even contradicted the predictions in 1st Peter that "the glory is soon to be revealed," and the "end of all things is at hand." Moreover, even the author of 2nd Peter did not suspect that the end was very far off, certainly he did not imagine it to be as far as 2000 years in the future, for he also wrote:

God is not slack concerning his promise, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night: what manner of persons ought you [the second century Christians he was addressing] to be...looking for, and hastening the coming of God...we are looking for new heavens, and a new earth. [2 Pet 3:9-13]

And he added:

...In the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." [2 Pet 3:3-4]

Note that this applied to "mockers" who were disturbing the faithful at the time 2nd Peter was written, circa 130 A.D.! "For when they [note the use of the present tense] maintain this, it escapes their notice..." [2 Pet 3:5]. Obviously these "mockers" were asking, "Where is the promise of his coming," because the earliest Christians like Paul and James and the authors of the Johannine letters, and the author of Hebrews, and the author of Revelation all predicted the very soon return of Jesus in final judgment of the whole world. By the time 2nd Peter was written, these "fathers" had all "fallen asleep," including, one might add, Peter himself, the alleged author of this very late letter. So somebody in the church took it upon themselves to write (or should I say, felt inspired by God to make up excuses) a pseudonymous letter attributed to Peter and supposedly written before his death, as a last ditch effort to counter such "mockery." But it is this letter and the false predictions found in the New Testament which mock themselves. The author of the letter of Jude (a letter composed even later than the pseudonymous 2nd Peter) reproduced the above passage from 2 Peter to illustrate that the end could not be far off, since "mockers" were plaguing the church in his day with this very same question!

Certain persons have [present tense, i.e., in Jude's day] crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for condemnation...these men revile the things they do not understand...about these Enoch prophesied saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment."

...But you, beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, "In the last times there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." [Jude 4, 10, 14-15, 17-18]

Thus, the authors of both Jude and 2nd Peter agreed that they were addressing mockers then plaguing the church. The "last times" for the authors of 2 Peter and Jude were their own - in the second century A.D.

Can I also suggest you read the Wikipedia articles (very good summaries) on 2 Peter and the authorship/date debates.



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