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Bible Teaching Advice Needed


Gabriel888
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Dear forum friends,

 

I need to ask a question concerning prophesy and Bible interpretation?

 

Until recently, I have been studying the bible on my own for quite some time and found it to be a mixture of allegory and fact. It is not an easy book to interpret.

 

I ask this question of you because I have been guided towards certain interpretations by my Jehovah's Witness friend, who I have been seeing on a weekly basis for the past few months.

 

The thing is, that I consider myself to be a level headed person who can contemplate the meanings contained in the bible, although not easily.

 

My Teacher, never gives me direct interpretations, but gently guides me toward making my own mind up as to the meaning of the text. If I don't at first fully understand what the text means, he always refers me to other parts, chapters and verses in the bible, which always seems to substantiate and make the meaning clearer to me.

 

What is really starting to worry me, is that the evidence that I am seeing concerning prophesy is absolutely startling. I have never believed that prophesy was possible, and yet, the evidence that I have been shown, go's against this belief that I have held.

 

My teacher is a really nice guy and is not at all like I have been led to believe Jehovah's witnesses were like. My concern is that I don't like the idea that prophesy's were made, not as in Nostradamus fashion, but specifically, and by people centuries beforehand. These prophesy's even told how the fall of Babylon would be achieved. It kinda goes against my grain if you know what I mean.

 

Recently, we have been looking at revelation in conjunction with Daniel and other prophets. we have been examining the meaning of the beast, the seven heads and diadems, the ten horns, the woman dressed in scarlet etc. This has led to the 7 heads representing empires, the horns representing kings or emperors, etc, etc.

 

What concerns me is that it all fits together nicely. Now, I know from experience that things can be manipulated to fit, although my mind cannot seem to work out how it can all be made to fit so well.

 

I don't want to be brainwashed, so I would be interested and appreciative if anybody could give me their advice on the above?

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Many parts of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, were written after the fact, and give the appearance of predicting the future when they are actually referring to past events. As I recall (but others can probably tell us more accurately than I) the books of Daniel and Ezekiel fall into this category.

Edited by grampawombat
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Many parts of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, were written after the fact, and give the appearance of predicting the future when they are actually referring to past events. As I recall (but others can probably tell us more accurately than I) the books of Daniel and Ezekiel fall into this category.

 

Thanks for the info, it makes a lot of sense. Whew!

 

I would like to know when they were written if anybody knows?

Edited by Gabriel888
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Gabriel, I'm no expert of the prophecies, either of those that speak of things that have happened, or of those that seek to predict what is to come. When I consider the "prophets", I would rather consider the thunder of the likes of Jeremiah, Amos, and Isaiah..........where they speak of social justice, of human hypocrisy - where they indulge in a wonderful and enlightening self judgement of themselves and their nation, rather than chucking the dirt at others. Refreshing! Much better than obscure verses telling us when such and such will happen, if we can decipher various obscure numerical conundrums, work out who the "beast" may or may not be, what the 666 refers to etc etc etc. Anyway, thats just my own leanings.....

 

I try to dredge up what I DID learn all those years ago when I trod a more fundamentalist path. I remember those who spoke of the 9 countries of the ECC representing something to do with the "end days"..........quite what has now come of that particular "prophecy" now we have over 20 countries as members I don't know. No doubt the answer is in there somewhere..... :D And I remember the "end time" stuff, which all pointed to what was around us THEN, just as it has always done to others who looked around them, throughout history. And when it never happens, there's always the "a thousands years is but a day to the Lord" to fall back on, before setting the next projected date, based upon the latest scan of the data provided.

 

I must admit to be sceptical, but only for the reason that after quite a number of years ploghing a more "eastern" path, and a more "impersonal" understanding of the divine, I must say I find it difficalt to truly take seriously a "personal" diety who indulges "himself" writing a book containing virtually esoteric hints at various things and events. Why on earth dosuch a thing, given that 24000 children die each day, needlessly, because of our selfishness and ignorance. What "prophecy" can cure that. What is the point of it?

 

Yes, I suppose your JW friend is a nice guy. I don't doubt it. I'm quite a nice guy too, and I've got involved with some rubbish in my time. No doubt its all very interesting to him. But what would it prove, even if legitimate?

 

A bit of self advertising, but really, I would have thought time could be much better spent considering the beatitudes.

 

All the best

Derek

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Gabriel, I'm no expert of the prophecies, either of those that speak of things that have happened, or of those that seek to predict what is to come. When I consider the "prophets", I would rather consider the thunder of the likes of Jeremiah, Amos, and Isaiah..........where they speak of social justice, of human hypocrisy - where they indulge in a wonderful and enlightening self judgement of themselves and their nation, rather than chucking the dirt at others. Refreshing! Much better than obscure verses telling us when such and such will happen, if we can decipher various obscure numerical conundrums, work out who the "beast" may or may not be, what the 666 refers to etc etc etc. Anyway, thats just my own leanings.....

 

I try to dredge up what I DID learn all those years ago when I trod a more fundamentalist path. I remember those who spoke of the 9 countries of the ECC representing something to do with the "end days"..........quite what has now come of that particular "prophecy" now we have over 20 countries as members I don't know. No doubt the answer is in there somewhere..... :D And I remember the "end time" stuff, which all pointed to what was around us THEN, just as it has always done to others who looked around them, throughout history. And when it never happens, there's always the "a thousands years is but a day to the Lord" to fall back on, before setting the next projected date, based upon the latest scan of the data provided.

 

I must admit to be sceptical, but only for the reason that after quite a number of years ploghing a more "eastern" path, and a more "impersonal" understanding of the divine, I must say I find it difficalt to truly take seriously a "personal" diety who indulges "himself" writing a book containing virtually esoteric hints at various things and events. Why on earth dosuch a thing, given that 24000 children die each day, needlessly, because of our selfishness and ignorance. What "prophecy" can cure that. What is the point of it?

 

Yes, I suppose your JW friend is a nice guy. I don't doubt it. I'm quite a nice guy too, and I've got involved with some rubbish in my time. No doubt its all very interesting to him. But what would it prove, even if legitimate?

 

A bit of self advertising, but really, I would have thought time could be much better spent considering the beatitudes.

 

All the best

Derek

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to get back Derek.

 

You are correct, what is the point of giving prophesy value.

 

Just for your information. The United Nations are supposed to be the last empire that springs forth from the 7 headed dragon. Apparently it is a mirror image of the beast and is the 8th head. It is also supposed to herald the end of days. Also 1914 was supposed to be the beginning of the battle between Gods army and Satan's army. Yes Derek, it does my head in too.

 

I think that I will ask my friend to move away from prophesy and on to something else.

 

Thanks again Derek, Regards.

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Dear forum friends,

 

I need to ask a question concerning prophesy and Bible interpretation?

 

Until recently, I have been studying the bible on my own for quite some time and found it to be a mixture of allegory and fact. It is not an easy book to interpret.

 

I ask this question of you because I have been guided towards certain interpretations by my Jehovah's Witness friend, who I have been seeing on a weekly basis for the past few months.

 

The thing is, that I consider myself to be a level headed person who can contemplate the meanings contained in the bible, although not easily.

 

My Teacher, never gives me direct interpretations, but gently guides me toward making my own mind up as to the meaning of the text. If I don't at first fully understand what the text means, he always refers me to other parts, chapters and verses in the bible, which always seems to substantiate and make the meaning clearer to me.

 

What is really starting to worry me, is that the evidence that I am seeing concerning prophesy is absolutely startling. I have never believed that prophesy was possible, and yet, the evidence that I have been shown, go's against this belief that I have held.

 

My teacher is a really nice guy and is not at all like I have been led to believe Jehovah's witnesses were like. My concern is that I don't like the idea that prophesy's were made, not as in Nostradamus fashion, but specifically, and by people centuries beforehand. These prophesy's even told how the fall of Babylon would be achieved. It kinda goes against my grain if you know what I mean.

 

Recently, we have been looking at revelation in conjunction with Daniel and other prophets. we have been examining the meaning of the beast, the seven heads and diadems, the ten horns, the woman dressed in scarlet etc. This has led to the 7 heads representing empires, the horns representing kings or emperors, etc, etc.

 

What concerns me is that it all fits together nicely. Now, I know from experience that things can be manipulated to fit, although my mind cannot seem to work out how it can all be made to fit so well.

 

I don't want to be brainwashed, so I would be interested and appreciative if anybody could give me their advice on the above?

I would be very wary of Jehovah Witness folks. They rarely study the Bible, rather they study their approved texts within the Bible. I would encourage your friend to help you study an entire book, or at least a significant section of a book of the Bible. They are all followers of CT Russell, who had a commitment to fraud [he was indicted and found guilty of fraud in Canada]. I think CT decided he could make more money as a religious person than as a seller of what he called 'miracle wheat' [the USDA said it was not even above average wheat].

As far as I know there is no significant external or objective evidence of anything in Daniel being written after about 500 BCE. Many critics, who presuppose that prophecy cannot exist, place the writing of Daniel at about 200 BCE, but that seems purely based on their presuppositions. The various visions of Daniel do seem to speak about the same basic empires throughout as I read it. Some of the prophetic statements are so accurate that critics will never admit that it was written prior to the actual events, no matter how lacking the evidence for their views.

blessings,

hp

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I would be very wary of Jehovah Witness folks. They rarely study the Bible, rather they study their approved texts within the Bible. I would encourage your friend to help you study an entire book, or at least a significant section of a book of the Bible. They are all followers of CT Russell, who had a commitment to fraud [he was indicted and found guilty of fraud in Canada]. I think CT decided he could make more money as a religious person than as a seller of what he called 'miracle wheat' [the USDA said it was not even above average wheat].

As far as I know there is no significant external or objective evidence of anything in Daniel being written after about 500 BCE. Many critics, who presuppose that prophecy cannot exist, place the writing of Daniel at about 200 BCE, but that seems purely based on their presuppositions. The various visions of Daniel do seem to speak about the same basic empires throughout as I read it. Some of the prophetic statements are so accurate that critics will never admit that it was written prior to the actual events, no matter how lacking the evidence for their views.

blessings,

hp

 

Thanks HP

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Some of the prophecies in the NT are also based on mistranslations of the OT. For example, the entire virgin birth myth is based on a mistranslation of the Isaiah prophecy. The Hebrew word for the Isaiah prophecy actually means "young woman" in English but Matthew based his virgin birth mythology on a Greek mistranslation of the word which translated to virgin. If the biblical prophecies are divinely inspired predictions of the future, surely God could have inspired Matthew to check his lexicon before he created his virgin birth myth?

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