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Archive for the ‘Literalism’ Category

The heavenly mount Zion, a better country

January 29, 2012 1 comment

God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Jesus said that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, will be in his kingdom. [Luke 13:28] Paul said that those who have faith in Christ are the children of Abraham. [Galatians 3:7] Do the Gentile saints also inherit the land? If Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are to inherit the land of Canaan, and they are also to be in the kingdom of God, would not this imply that those in the kingdom of God also inherit the land? Read more…

Three views on Isaiah 2:2

January 23, 2012 Comments off

Three interpretations of Isaiah 2:2, by Jean Calvin, (1509-1564) Franz Delitzsch, (1813-1890) and Ebenezer Henderson (1784-1858) are examined. Each of these men wrote commentaries on Isaiah. Calvin was French, Delitzsch was German, and Henderson was a Scot. Read more…

What is the mountain of the Lord’s house?

January 16, 2012 Comments off

Patrick Fairbairn was the author of “Prophecy Viewed in respect to its Distinctive Nature; its Special Function and Proper Interpretation,” a book which went through several editions in the nineteenth century. [1] A review of Fairbairn’s book published in The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy challenged his spiritual or figurative approach to the interpretation of prophecy.

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E. L. Martin’s doomsday predictions

January 2, 2012 Comments off

In 1993, Ernest L. Martin of The Associates for Scriptural Knowledge published an article in which he described destruction of the world because of an impact with a comet, or an asteroid. He wrote: [1] Read more…

Dean Davis on the battle of Gog and Magog

December 13, 2011 Comments off

In a recent post on Ezekiel’s Last Battle (Ezekiel 38-39), Dean Davis pointed out that Premillennialists disagree with each other about when the Gog & Magog invasion occurs. He notes that Fausset said the battle occurs at the close of the Millennium, but Gaebelein, Scofield, Walvoord, and Showers all said the battle was to occur prior to Christ’s Second Coming and the Millennium. Davis listed several reasons why the prophecy is best interpreted in terms of what he called the New Covenant Hermeneutic (NCH). Davis takes an amillennarian approach. He wrote: Read more…

Jurieu on the promises to the Jews

November 22, 2011 Comments off

The second of Pierre Jurieu‘s four “springs” of arguments in which he endeavours to prove the thousand years reign is presented below. [Pierre Jurieu. The accomplishment of the prophecies, or, the approaching deliverance of the church. 1687. 2nd Part, Ch. 17. pp. 294-311.] Read more…

Jurieu and the reign of the saints

November 21, 2011 Comments off

In his exposition on the Apocalypse, Pierre Jurieu claimed that the 1260 days of Revelation 11:3 & 12:6 represent 1260 years, which he believed would soon come to an end, and that the millennial reign of Christ on the earth would afterwards be established, and the date he calculated for this to occur was the year 1785 A.D. [Pierre Jurieu. The accomplishment of the prophecies, or, the approaching deliverance of the church. 1687. 2nd Part, Ch. 5. p. 59] Read more…

Pierre Jurieu on the 1,000 years

November 18, 2011 1 comment

Chiliasm was supported by some of the early Christian Fathers, who constructed an analogy linking man’s history spanning six thousand years, with the six days of Creation. This tradition suggested that man’s history was to be completed by a thousand year Millennial reign, just as the six days of Creation in Genesis were followed by the sabbath day in which God rested.

Pierre Jurieu (1637–1713), Huguenot professor of theology and Hebrew at Sedan in northern France, argued that the future Millennium was a type of the eternal rest promised to the saints. He dismissed the idea that the sabbath day could be a type of the eternal rest, but claimed that it was a type of the seventh period of the Church. Read more…

Lactantius & the thousand years

November 17, 2011 Comments off

Lactantius (ca. 240 – ca. 320) was a  teacher of Latin, born in Africa, who became a friend of the Emperor Constantine. He was the author of The Divine Institutes (Divinarum Institutionum) in which he pointed out the futility of pagan beliefs and sought to establish the reasonableness and truth of Christianity. Patrick Healy says of this work, “The beauty of the style, the choice and aptness of the terminology, cannot hide the author’s lack of grasp on Christian principles and his almost utter ignorance of Scripture.” Read more…

David Brown: The Blessed Hope 5

November 11, 2011 Comments off

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Below is David Brown’s fifth article in the series on The Blessed Hope.

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David Brown: The Blessed Hope 3

November 10, 2011 Comments off

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Below is the third article in the series on The Blessed Hope, by David Brown, in which he considers statements by the apostles which seem to be inconsistent with popular ideas about the millennium.

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On literal vs. allegorical interpretation

November 3, 2011 2 comments

In an article on Is Revelation literal? Tim McHyde says:

The Book of Revelation indeed is full of symbolic descriptions. However, we should be very careful before we discount the literal fulfillment of those symbols, and choose to focus on a purely allegorical interpretation.

In what way is an allegorical interpretation different from a symbolic one? The meaning of allegory seems to be quite similar to the meaning of symbol; the main difference seems to be that the idea of an allegory seems to involve a story, that has  a meaning other than the literal one. Another related word is metaphor. Their definitions, from dictionary.com, are provided in the table below. Read more…

The feast for the birds, and the Israeli-West Bank Barrier

November 2, 2011 Comments off

In Ezekiel 39, the destruction of the hordes of Gog and Magog, and their burial for seven months, is followed by the great feast for the birds. Another similar prophecy in  Revelation 19 describes a similar feast where birds feed on the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses, all men, bond and free, small and great. But in Revelation 19, the feast is described before Gog and Magog are described in chapter 20. The order of the events seems to be reversed.

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The two wings of a great eagle

November 1, 2011 Comments off

In Revelation 12, the woman, who represents the Church, is described fleeing to the wilderness in verse 6, and again in verse 14, she flies to the wilderness with eagle’s wings. A question arises, what is her destination? The Israelites, who escaped from Egypt, looked forward to dwelling in the land promised to their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. After 40 years wandering in the wilderness, the people crossed the river Jordan and took possession of the territory of the Canaanites, one city at a time.

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The land of unwalled villages

October 30, 2011 Comments off

In The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, dispensationalist author Arnold Fruchtenbaum argued for a literal approach to the interpretation of prophecy. Ezekiel 39:4 describes the judgment of the invading armies of Gog and Magog upon the mountains of Israel, which Fruchtenbaum considers can be nothing other than literal hills and mountains in Palestine. He wrote: [1]

When the prophet refers to “the mountains of Israel,” he refers to the central mountain range that makes up the backbone of the country. In the Old Testament, these mountains were known as the hill country of Ephraim and the hill country of Judah… Read more…

John Eaton on literal and spiritual knowledge

October 28, 2011 Comments off

John Eaton (1575-1641), M.A. at Trinity College, Oxford, preached against the apostasy which he believed prevailed in the church in his day. He was the author of ‘The Honey-Combe of Free Justification by Christ alone.’ None of Eaton’s writings were permitted to be published in his lifetime. He was for 15 years a minister, but he was removed as vicar at Wickham Market, Suffolk in April 1619, allegedly for being ‘an incorrigible divulger of errors and false opinions,’ for which he suffered imprisonment numerous times, and yet he was seen as ‘a pattern of faith, holiness, and cheerfulness, in his sufferings.’ In the following quotation, Eaton discusses six ways in which literal and spiritual kinds of knowledge may be distinguished. [John Eaton. The honey-combe of free justification by Christ alone. Edited by Robert Lancaster. London. 1642. pp. 213 ff.]
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Pierre Jurieu on the 1,260 days

October 20, 2011 Comments off

Pierre Jurieu (1637–1713) was professor of theology and Hebrew in the Huguenot academy of Sedan in northern France, which was closed down in 1681 by Louis XIV. Jurieu took refuge in Rotterdam, where he became a pastor in the Flemish Walloon Church. While in Rotterdam Jurieu wrote a book in which he applied the prophecies of Revelation to the troubles of the French Protestants.

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Why is prophecy obscure?

October 19, 2011 Comments off

This question is similar to the question the disciples asked Jesus: “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” [Matthew 13:10] Jesus explained that it is not given to everyone to understand the message of the gospel, and about his kingdom. “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” He cited a prophecy of Isaiah:
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Charles H. H. Wright on “The Antichrist”

October 5, 2011 Comments off

Charles H. H. Wright (1836-1909) wrote commentaries on Daniel, and on Zechariah, in which he opposed both the views of critical scholars, and the extreme claims of the futurists. He stated:

“The sober-minded theologian who compares Scripture with Scripture will find many a gap in Scripture revelation which he will not venture to fill up dogmatically from his own reasonings. If desirous to speculate on the subject he will modestly advance his opinions as speculations, and nothing more.” Dr. C. H. H. Wright. [1]

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Earth movements at Jerusalem

September 20, 2011 Comments off

In Bible prophecy, Jerusalem and its surroundings are prominent subjects. Several prophecies speak of dramatic changes in the land at Jerusalem, including vertical and lateral displacements.

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