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Re: Apostolic Interpretation

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  • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
    I see three periods of past influence on interpreting biblical prophecy that have contributed to today s diverse views. A. The pre-Christian teachings of
    Message 1 of 43 , Jan 13, 2011
      I see three periods of past influence on interpreting biblical prophecy that have contributed to today's diverse views.

      A. The pre-Christian teachings of Palestinian Jews
      B. The post-Constantine period of Christianity
      C. The post-reformation times until today

      A.
      I wrote about (A.) in the original post. Later fathers after Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, associated the future imminent break up of the Roman Empire with the appearance of Antichrist.

      B.
      In the fourth century the Roman emperor Constantine made Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire. Of course any talk about the breakup of the Roman Empire wouldn't have been taken very favorably, and the writings of the church fathers probably reflect that. Many writings that were popular with the early Christians, such as the Enoch books, Jubilees and the apostolic father Papias, become scarce in Europe. Those such as Augustine identify the abomination of desolation as the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, even as Josephus may have mentioned. However, the future persecution of the church by antichrist was still expected, and even the eventual break up of the empire. The western part of the empire fell in the fifth century and Constantinople finally fell to the Ottoman Turks in the fifteenth century.

      C.
      Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. Many Protestants believed that the pope was the antichrist, and Catholics made similar claims about the Protestants. The Protestants stressed a more historical/literal approach to scripture in their arguments with the Catholic church, and even the Catholics were inclined to follow. The grounds for modern interpretation were firmly laid.

      You may remember we discussed Papias in April. I don't think we ever came to a meeting of the minds on these things, but in fifteen years of discussions on the internet I have found that a meeting of the minds is a rare event. I do not find evidence that Papias taught a literal thousand year period of a messianic reign upon this earth. Barnabas, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian did not teach it, and none of them said Papias taught a literal reign upon this earth before the final judgment. They consistently taught the 7th millennium was on the new earth after the judgment. The thousand year periods came from 1 Enoch and Jubilees and were based on Genesis 2:17. What those early fathers understood was very close to amillennialism. Something close to modern premillennialism wasn't taught in the Christian tradition, besides the heretic Cerinthius, until Nepos of Egypt.

      After the empire took over the church there was a reaction against the earlier chiliasm because of its association with the breakup of the Roman empire. That's where the confusion about chiliasm began. I've detailed these things in a You Tube series.

      http://www.youtube.com/AlanRussellFuller

      The modern idea that chiliasm is like premillennialism is a misconception caused by the confusion after Rome took over the church and tried to suppress the idea that the Roman empire must soon breakup. This idea was a mistake caused by the influence of Jewish interpretation in the first place, and was not part of the original chiliasm. This can be proven by careful examination of quotes from the church fathers through Tertullian.

      The 144,000 are the spiritually pure and represent a number to be fulfilled. (Rev 3:4, 14:4) the church is the true people of God and descendants of Abraham (Rom 4:11-13).

      What can be accepted as truth isn't different from what was taught to the early church in the apostolic tradition.

      Thank you,

      Alan Fuller
      http://www.lulu.com/arfuller

      --- In revelation-list@yahoogroups.com, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:
      >
      > I think you'll find that what was considered to be wrong in the Jewish
      > interpretation was an emphasis upon a literal 1000 year period of a messianic
      > reign upon the earth.  It has been held that this was the reason that Papias'
      > view was not accepted although we really know very little regarding how Papias
      > may have understood the Apocalypse.  It was not other matters which were
      > rejected.
      >
      >  
      > I fail to see how you can reject Jewish understanding of the visions of the
      > Apocalypse when these visions were themselves based on Jewish understandings. 
      > If you reject the Jewish understanding then you have no basis for understanding
      > the message being given in the Apocalypse nor how it differs from the standard
      > Jewish understanding of the narratives recounted there.
      >
      > I think it is fairly obvious that one must first reject the plain implications,
      > and indeed actual statements, of the book if you intend to understand the
      > 144,000 as being anything other than actual Jews.  They are clearly
      > distinguished from the "great multitude which no man can number" which
      > constitute the Christian martyrs. 
      >
      >
      > My method of understanding Revelation is, of course, post-Reformation in that it
      > is based on a modern method of historical-linguistic-critical understanding of
      > texts.  To base one's understanding of the texts upon those of some (that is to
      > say, any) historical view of its interpretation is to abandon one's obligation
      > to deal honestly and rigorously with the texts.  One cannot completely ignore
      > what has gone on before in the Church's understanding of the texts, but even
      > more one cannot be controlled by it.
      >
      > george
      > gfsomsel
      >
      >
      > … search for truth, hear truth,
      > learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      > defend the truth till death.
      >
      >
      > - Jan Hus
      > _________
      >
    • George F Somsel
      You must also remember that this would have been read more than once so there would be opportunities to pick up further details later.  george gfsomsel …
      Message 43 of 43 , Jan 15, 2011
        You must also remember that this would have been read more than once so there
        would be opportunities to pick up further details later.

         george
        gfsomsel


        … search for truth, hear truth,
        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
        defend the truth till death.


        - Jan Hus
        _________




        ________________________________
        From: Jon Newton <jonknewton@...>
        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sat, January 15, 2011 4:05:32 PM
        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Apostolic Interpretation

         
        Thanks for those comments George

        I fully agree about the intended audience which is clearly stated in Rev.1

        I also fully agree about the centrality of Jesus is the text, which seemed to be
        Alan's key thought too.

        Not sure about your comments about the details and speed reading. While I'm sure
        each detail is by no means random, the original audience would have been
        hearing, not reading, the text. This helps explain the sevens and other
        structural features in Revelation. But it makes it unlikely they could
        concentrate on the intricate detail of each stage of the revelation.

        Jon

        (Pastor) Jon Newton

        --- On Sun, 16/1/11, George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...> wrote:

        From: George F Somsel <gfsomsel@...>
        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Apostolic Interpretation
        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com
        Received: Sunday, 16 January, 2011, 3:31 AM

         

        I really don't know why we should discuss either Constantine or Justinian or any


        other figure subsequent to the penning of the Apocalypse.  It was not written

        primarily for a later age.  It was written for those to whom the book was

        delivered by the author's courier in his circuit around the loop which

        constituted the diocese of the author of the Apocalypse.  It was meant to be

        understood by them -- one must accept that it would have been compreshensible to


        them with their knowledge of the OT and the apocalyptic literature as well as

        the intimate knowledge they would have of their own age.  This was not something


        which would only become clear years and centuries or even millenia thereafter. 

        It was a message to the bishop's parishoners.  It is only a message to us today

        in the sense that they still convey the same vital message which was set to

        "paper" when it was written just as Paul's letters were primarily letters to

        living and breathing people of the time in which he lived.  They are still

        meaningful and even vitally significant to us today, but we understand them much


        less easily than the original recipients would have.

         george

        gfsomsel

        … search for truth, hear truth,

        learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,

        defend the truth till death.

        - Jan Hus

        _________

        ________________________________

        From: asteresplanetai <asteresplanetai@...>

        To: revelation-list@yahoogroups.com

        Sent: Sat, January 15, 2011 6:27:46 AM

        Subject: Re: [revelation-list] Apostolic Interpretation

         

        +++

        > Posted by: "e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n" rocsy@... e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n

        > In the fourth century the Roman emperor Constantine made

        > Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire.

        Just a minor correction, although it may color the way one sees some

        things: Constantine did *not* make Christianity the religion of the

        Roman Empire. Constantine made Christianity *legal*-- that is, he

        stopped the persecutions-- by the Edict of Milan, and he certainly

        encouraged it-- but it was Justinian who made it officially 'the

        religion of the Roman Empire', about 2 centuries later.

        And as usual, it's good to keep in mind that 200 years back then were

        the same as 200 years today. From Constantine to Justinian would be

        the same length of time as between, say, Thomas Jefferson and Barack

        Obama.

        kind regards,

        John burnett.

        Help Uganda high school students graduate!

        http://jbburnett.com/africa/uganda%20kids%2020090111.pdf

        My South Africa education mission:

        http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=johnbburnett

        Contribute through Paypal at

        http://jbburnett.com/blogs/blogafrica.html

        or send checks to---

        St Nicholas African Education Fund

        102 Ross Avenue, San Anselmo, CA 94960

        Tel 415 454 0982

        Thanx!

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