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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Updates

I have been contemplating updating my sidebar links for a while now and finally got started yesterday. The main difference - as if anyone even noticed - is that I have combined two categories into one.

I have my blogging links broken into categories and the two I personally utilized every day was "blogs I hit daily" and "blogs I track." The first group of links were blogs I pretty much hit every day, maybe more than twice depending on a comment thread I was following. The second group were those blogs I hit either daily or every other day or so. I always started the first 10 minutes of my day dropping by the blogs in those two categories to get caught up on any thing happening in the world.

For the last several months I began to think I needed to combine them all in one group because I was watching the "blogs I track" just as much as the "blogs I hit daily." So I spent yesterday afternoon combining the two groups and arranging the links alphabetically.

Regrettably, there were some blogs I deleted, simply because I haven't been by them in months. Either it wasn't updated regularly, or the subject matter was uninteresting to me, or the blog was basically abandoned. If your link got deleted, I apologize. I mean no offense. I am sure you are an awesome person and I would love to eat a Costco ice cream bar dipped in chocolate with you someday, but I only mean to maximize my sidebar efficiency. You can email me if you wish to complain bitterly.

On the flip side, I did add some blogs and I may have some more to add later when I have a moment. I will note that I have marked a few of the blogs with an asterisk *. Those are blogs where I frequently participate in the comments by adding my pithy witticisms. Most are Christian oriented. There is one that is secular with a liberal moderator and covers local issues where I live.

Also, any one who knows how to put in highlight, background color for my sidebar category titles, I would appreciate contacting me at my email linked in my profile page. I have been all over the "blogger" help page, and all I have found is how to change the background color to the entire sidebar, which is not what I am looking for. Any ideas, send them my way. By the way, before anyone suggests it, switching to Wordpress is not an option at this time.

One personal note. There have been a rash of "confessional" style blog posts in recent months where the blogger opines about whether blogging is a good use of a Christian's time, or whether it is a gateway for ungodly attitudes, or the blogger announcing he or she is quitting and then proceeds to list out 10 reasons why blogging is/was detrimental to the person's spirituality. To each their own, I guess.

I will say that blogging the last four years has been a tremendous faith building blessing for me. I can recall one of my seminary profs exhorting us students to be writing pastors after we graduate. He encouraged us to write on theology, publish theological news letters for our churches, and to write out our sermon manuscripts. I was moved by his challenge. Think about it, pretty much all of the good theology I have read are transcripts of sermons edited for book form. Pastors should know how to write, because it trains you to think coherently and communicate better.

That is exactly what I have encountered as I have been blogging. My mind has been sharpened, my faith strengthened, my knowledge of the word increased, my ability to write improved. Engaging critics and dissenters in the comments have caused me to think through the arguments of my convictions, as well as testify to others silently watching the interchange how one should defend the faith with grace and tenacity. Certainly I have had an attitude at times (sometimes warranted, other times not), but I have returned to the discussion with a renewed commitment to pursue gracious respect to the person I disagree for the sake of Christ.

So rather than viewing blogging as a drain on my spiritual health, I have found it to be just the opposite. In fact, I see no sign of slowing down any time soon. The only thing I lack is time. I wish I had the ability to write out 800 word posts every day like that Challies fellow, but such is not the case.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

One Addendum on Israel's Sojourn in Egypt

I promise this will be my last post (for a while at least) on Israel's sojourn in Egypt. I appreciate readers suffering me to take a brief break from my eschatology material, which I will return to shortly. I was personally blessed by my research with this subject, thus I wanted to share it with you all. I hope it reflects my passion for handling the text of scripture with accuracy and clarity.

At any rate...

I had a few more things to highlight on this subject.

First, Turretinfan was on Chris Arnzen's radio show last week talking about Harold Camping, Moses, and Israel's sojourn. You can down load the audio HERE. He has a lot of good stuff to say in relation to Camping's deplorable method of date setting, but I still think he is way off attempting to answer him by the use of the 215 year theory. He also has a summary of his notes HERE.

TF says he hasn't been impressed with any of my exegesis I have offered that limits Israel's sojourn to 430 years in Egypt. Especially my pointing out how the language in both Genesis 15 and Exodus 12 undeniably state they were in Egypt 430 years. A commenter by the name of "Don," who I wish was not a PNA and I hope is not a "Campingnite"- but none less - left a couple of good grammatical remarks under my first post on this subject. I thought they were worthwhile to bring to the mainpage:

You already point out the major flaw with the short sojourn view, and that is they require Israel to be stangers in two lands, and afflicted by two nations, in clear conflict with the statement of Genesis 15:13-14 (and Acts 7:6-7), where the focus is on a land (singular) and a nation (that nation, again singular). Thus, the 400 year period of affliction could not be in the lands (plural) of Canaan and Egypt, by the nations (plural) of Canaan and Egypt. In the long sojourn view it all happens in a single land by a single nation, Egypt, which is completely compatible with the above verses.

But there are a couple of other notable issues:

1) In Genesis 15:13, the KJV says they would be strangers in a land "not theirs". However "theirs" is not possessive in the Hebrew, it is literally "to them" or "for them". The idea is Israel would be strangers in a land not for them. Certainly Egypt was a land not for them, not being the promised land. But the land of Canaan cannot be in view, because it was a land for them, being the promised land. Reference

2) The KJV translates the relative pronoun "asher" of Exodus 12:40 as "who", which makes it appear to qualify "sons of Israel" (as if there might be some confusion as to which sons of Israel were being referred to). The LITV and YLT translate this pronoun "which", showing the reference is to the noun "dwelling" (a good translation of this phrase is "which they dwelt in Egypt"). So the relative phrase is highliting that the dwelling (sojouring) in view is the one in Egypt. Reference

I would add that the relative pronoun also speaks against the idea of a parenthetical comment TF raises in his argumentation. That being, The sojourn of the children of Israel (who lived in Egypt) was 430 years, implying Moses is meaning to compare the sojourning of Israel in Egypt with the previous 215 years in Canaan.

Anticipating potential questions and comments from readers, I reviewed Doug Petrovich's article on the exodus pharaoh over the weekend. He has a section outlining the means by which historians can pin-point historical dates for the pharaonic reigns leading up to the events of the exodus. This is my mind thoroughly defeats the 215 year theory and relegates it to merely being interesting conjecture among Puritan era commentators:

3. Egyptian Chronology: Precisely Dating the Pharaonic Reigns of the 15th Century BC. The final step before determining whether Amenhotep II is a viable candidate for the exodus-pharaoh is to synchronize the date of the exodus with Egyptian history. While inspiration does not extend to extra-Biblical literature or ancient inscriptions, many extant writings do possess a high degree of trustworthiness.

a. The Astronomical Date in the Ebers Papyrus. The Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian MS that dates the heliacal rising of Sothis to Year 9, Month 3, Season 3, Day 9 (ca. 15 May) of Amenhotep I’s reign (ca. 1550–1529 BC), records this astronomical event that fixes its composition to an identifiable time in the 18th Dynasty. Since astronomers can pinpoint this event by charting the positions of stars in antiquity, the papyrus can be dated to ca. 1541 BC, making his initial regnal year ca. 1550 BC. This dating, accepted by numerous Egyptological scholars, is based on the ancient capital of Memphis as the point of observation, despite the Theban provenance of the papyrus. A Theban point of observation, which is accepted by other Egyptologists, dates the papyrus to ca. 1523 BC. While the Egyptians never stated from where they observed the Sothic rising, Olympiodorus noted in AD 6 that it was celebrated at Alexandria, after having been observed at Memphis. Therefore, Memphis is taken to be the correct point of observation for the rising recorded in the Ebers Papyrus.

b. The Reliability of the Dating of the 18th Dynasty. Even without depending on astronomical dating, the chronology of Egypt in the mid-1400’s BC remains sure. Ward notes that “New Kingdom chronology can be fairly well established on the basis of the monuments and synchronisms, without recourse to the astronomical material.” As for the 18th Dynasty, he adds that the 25-year gap separating current theories on its starting date narrows to a scant three or four years by the middle of the dynasty, meaning that most mainstream Egyptologists consider the dating of Egypt’s exodus-era history to be fixed and reliable.

c. The Regnal Dates of the 18th-Dynasty Pharaohs from the Time of the Ebers Papyrus to the Exodus. With firm regnal dates for Amenhotep I, the reigns of the subsequent 18th-Dynasty pharaohs down to Amenhotep II are fixed with relative certainty: Thutmose I (ca. 1529–1516 BC), Thutmose II (ca. 1516–1506 BC), Queen Hatshepsut (ca. 1504–1484 BC), Thutmose III (ca. 1506–1452 BC), and Amenhotep II (ca. 1455–1418 BC). With these reigns chronologically ordered, the evaluation of Amenhotep II’s candidacy for the exodus-pharaoh may proceed.

I also appreciate Dr. Robert McCabe, professor of the OT at Detroit Theological Seminary for offering his support by linking to my discussions with TF.

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Q&A on GTY Ministries

Tim Challies posts a Q&A with Phil Johnson on the ministries of Grace to You.

Meet the Ministries: Grace to You


In case anyone is interested in what goes on around here...

I am especially warmed of heart to read how Phil numbers me among the "supremely gifted" staff.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Returning to Egypt [III]

Part 1 and Part 2 can be reviewed for background.

Archaeological Evidence

I believe the specific texts of Genesis 15:13-16 and Exodus 12:40, 41 firmly refute the notion of Israel's stay in Egypt being only 215 years, and instead clearly establish that they lived in the land of Egypt for 430 years. Passages like the abbreviated genealogical lists in Exodus 6 and Paul's comments in Galatians 3:16-18 that seem to affirm a shortened stay in Egypt can easily be explained in a different fashion that doesn't do violence to the passages themselves or the clearer texts of Genesis 15 and Exodus 12.

However, with that stated, I believe archaeological evidence is an area that soundly refutes the 215 year theory and solidifies the 430 year sojourn in Egypt. It is also an area where I found little comment among the proponents of the 215 year theory except to make mention of the dubious archaeological revisionism by researcher, David Rohl.

Israel lived in the historical matrix of the ancient near east. They were a real, historical people who crossed paths with many real, historical nations surrounding them. Even though archaeology often involves drawing interpretive conclusions that may or may not be exact, there is enough available historical data that researchers can be certain of many facts that help piece together the history of the time frame in which Israel lived. This is certainly true regarding the 18th Egyptian dynasty where much of the early chapters of Exodus, as well as the exodus itself, takes place. Thus, when we study the historical background and culture of this time in Egypt's history, the research we glean can enlighten our understanding of the biblical record of Israel's sojourn and exodus.

The first place to begin in examining the historical data is fixing a date for the exodus. If we can establish a date for the exodus, then we can synchronize the history of Israel as it relates to the Egyptian history around the time of the exodus. There are two debated periods scholars claim Israel left Egypt. The late date favored by liberal scholars and critics is 1280 B.C., and the early date favored by most evangelical, Bible believing scholars of 1445/46 B.C. I don't have the time to trace the debate between the two perspectives, but suffice it to say for my purposes, I take the early date for very good reason. When we examine the biblical chronologies and then look at the history of the pharaohs during this time, there are specific, historical individuals we can identify with the biblical record and the date of 1446 best explains all the biblical data as it crosses the historical data.

The proponents of the 215 year theory seem to me to favor the date 1491 B.C. as established by Bishop James Ussher's chronology outlined in his book, The Annals of the World. It also seems to be the chronology older commentators like Matthew Henry and John Gill favor as well when they attempt to argue for the 215 year theory. Ussher's date for the exodus assumes the 215 year theory is true, which is problematic in my mind, because it wrecks havoc of what we know to be true of Egyptian history that has been uncovered since Ussher, Henry, and Gill wrote their commentaries. As much as I praise God for James Ussher and the contribution he left with his Annals of the World, I believe the archaeological evidence helps to sharpen the biblical chronologies and betters their accuracy than what Bishop Ussher concluded.

So how do we get 1446 B.C. for the exodus?

Beginning with scripture, if we turn to 1 Kings 6:1, we read that Solomon began to build the temple after the 4th year of his reign. The record of Kings states at that point it was 480 years since the exodus. We know from secular sources like Chaldean solar records that the date for Solomon's 4th year was approximately 966 B.C. Add 480 years to that date and we get 1446. Additionally, in Judges 11:26, Jephthah speaks of Israel possessing the land by his time for 300 years. Subtracting 40 (for the wilderness wanderings) from 1445 (assuming a year or so before the wilderness wanderings began) and then 300 in light of Jephthah's comment, we get 1105 B.C. Tallying up the reigns of the judges, and the kings Saul and David following Jephthah up to Solomon, is roughly 140 years give or take as we calculate for round numbers. So here we have two chronological markers in the biblical text that help us to establish the date of 1446 B.C. for the exodus.

Now, we can attempt to synchronize the biblical events as recorded in the book of Exodus with what we know of the 18th dynasty of the Egyptian empire. There are four key Egyptian individuals important to the Exodus account we can identify with a great measure of certainty: The pharaoh who didn't know Joseph (Exod. 1:8), pharaoh's daughter who rescued Moses (Exod. 2:5), the pharaoh who died, allowing Moses to return to Egypt (Exod. 2:23) and then the exodus Pharaoh himself (Exod. 5ff.).

The king who didn't know Joseph. The most possible candidate for the pharaoh who didn't know Joseph is the Hyksos rulers. The Hyksos were a non-native Semitic people who managed to gain control of Egypt's ruling class. They displaced the native Egyptians for nearly a century and a half. Eventually, Ahmose and his brother, led a rebellion against them and regained control of the government. Ahmose became the first pharaoh of the 18th dynasty.

There are three good reasons we identify the Hyksos as the king who did not know Joseph. First of all they were not Egyptians, so they would not have known of how Joesph served Egypt as one of the highest officials in pharaoh's court. They didn't know him because they weren't from Egypt. Next, the Egyptian cities of Pithom and Raamses were built by enslaved Hebrew labor. According to all available evidence, those cities were built before the 18th dynasty. In fact, Ahmose destroyed the city of Raamses after he became pharaoh and it wasn't occupied until a couple of hundred years later. Third, the king feared the Israelites would join the Egyptians and rebel against them (Exod. 1:9, 10). If the Israelites were originally on friendly terms with the native Egyptians, and the Egyptians ("our enemies") had been displaced out of the territory, it is easy to see why the Hyskos would fear them as a potential military threat.

Pharaoh's daughter who rescued Moses. Hatshepsut was more than likely the Pharaoh's daughter who rescued Moses out of the river (even though some evangelical scholars cautiously use the word "possibly"). She was the only surviving daughter of Thutmose I, and thus the only daughter who could have found Moses in the brush. Modern day feminist laud Hatshepsut because she was a strong willed woman and dressed like a man (see photo above). She took over the throne of Egypt upon her husband's death (Thutmose II) and reigned 22 years. Thutmose III took her place upon her death and reigned 32 years alone, which is important as I will note shortly.

It is more than likely that Hatshepsut adopted Moses as a potential heir to the throne. Hence the reason Hebrews 11:24 states how Moses chose not to be called "the son of Pharaoh's daughter." He chose his role as Israel's deliverer over the riches and power of being ruler over Egypt. Even if we grant that it was a daughter of a lesser wife who found Moses rather than Hatshepsut, all biblical indications suggest Moses was certainly being groomed to be an heir.

The pharaoh who died. Thutmose III was co-regent with his mother, Hatshepsut, for about 22 years. Upon her death he was the sole ruler for 32 years. His reign as co-regent and as sole ruler was over 50 years. In fact, he is the only Egyptian monarch of this period who had this length of a reign. Exodus 2:11ff. records how Moses murdered an Egyptian and then fled to the land of Midian because pharaoh sought to kill him (2:15). Moses was in the desert for 40 years, but returned to Egypt upon hearing of the death of pharaoh (2:23). Thutmose III would have been threatened by Moses as an heir to his throne and Moses' murder of the Egyptian would had been all the reason he needed to eliminate him once and for all. His long reign as pharaoh and his motivation for seeking the life of Moses makes him the best choice for the pharaoh who died. His death was just 4 to 5 years before date of 1446 B.C.

The exodus Pharaoh. Thutmose III was succeeded by his son Amenhotep II who was a brilliant military commander. The evidence identifying him as the exodus pharaoh is extensive and is too much to get into with this post. I will link a detailed article outlining the evidence at the end. Suffice it to say, the son who succeeded him, Thutmose IV, was not the heir apparent, but obtained that position due to the death of the eldest son. That is a curious fact, seeing that the pharaoh's son was included in the pronouncement against the first born in the 10th plague (Exod. 11).

Now, how does identifying all these individuals confirm the 430 years for Israel's sojourn in Egypt? Adding 430 years to 1446 we get approximately 1876 B.C. as the date Jacob and his family went down into Egypt to live. Joseph was around 39 when Jacob arrived (Gen. 41:46, 53, 54; 45:6) and lived to be 110 (Gen. 50:22). Thus he died 71 years after his father's arrival in Egypt in 1805. The Hyksos came to power around 1730 B.C., so there was about 75 years of relative peace for Israel until they were enslaved. The Hyksos ruled Egypt for about 150 years until they were driven out around 1584 B.C. and so began the 18th dynasty. Moses was around 80 when the exodus took place. Added to 1446 puts his birth around 1526. The reigns of the relevant individuals, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, and Amenhotep II, took place with in this 80 year period. Synchronizing the fixed biblical chronologies with the known Egyptian chronologies demonstrates the validity of a 430 year sojourn and creates unworkable problems for the 215 year theory.

I would encourage readers to consult a few additional works that go into much more detail on these historical matters than what I can here. Leon Wood's classic study A Survey of Israel's History has an extensive discussion on these matters and it is from where I pulled a lot of my information for this post. Also Eugene Merrill's history of Israel, Kingdom of Priests, as well as John J. Davis's commentary on Exodus, Moses and the Gods of Egypt are further sources to consider. All of them have additional footnotes to even more research. For immediate access to readers, a fabulous on-line paper by a Master's Seminary grad, Doug Petrovich, who is establishing himself as a world class expert on the matters of the exodus, goes into considerable detail on the reign of Amenhotep II as the exodus pharaoh. It can be downloaded here:

Amenhotep II and the Historicity of the Exodus Pharaoh


Now, just to summarize all the data I outlined:

Genesis 15:13-16 specifically states Israel will be oppressed for 400 years in a land not theirs. The text states it is a specific nation, "that nation," and it is distinguished from the land of Canaan by the use of "the Amorites" the description of the inhabitants in Abram's day.

Exodus 12:40, 41 specifically states the people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. The language is clear and unambiguous. There are no parenthetical indicators in the Hebrew suggesting this text can be read any other way. This is why all modern translations translate the Hebrew to indicate the time of Israel living in Egypt up to that time as being 430 years. Moreover, a few of the LXX translations that add the phrase, "and in the land of Canaan" are spurious additions and are attempts by later translators to make sense of what appears to be discrepancies among genealogical lists.

In Galatians 3:16-18, Paul is contrasting two periods of time: The period of promise which entailed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with a period of law, that began at the giving of the law on Sinai. He notes only Abraham, not to provide a chronological marker for 430 years, but as the first and main recipient that began the period of the promise.

Exodus 6:16-20 is an abbreviated genealogical list. It is not meant to trace one biological descendant to the next, but merely to record the key individuals in the line. Jochebed was not the direct birth daughter of Levi, but a possible direct descendant, perhaps a granddaughter or great-granddaughter. The language of Exodus 2:1 notes this, as the phrase "daughter of Levi" is better translated as it is rendered in the ESV, "took as his wife a Levite woman." Numbers 26:59 reads in the exact same way as Exodus 2:1. Additionally we come to the conclusion this list in Exodus is abbreviated due in part to the fact contemporary individuals with Moses and Aaron, according to lists in Chronicles and Numbers, have up to 10 generations from the point of Jacob's entrance to the exodus, implying there was much greater time in Egypt than just 215 years.

And then last of all, when we consider the archaeological evidence for the history of Egypt around the time of the Exodus, the chronologies of scripture synchronized with those known from Egyptian history support a 430 year for Israel in Egypt.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's called providence

It would have been a miracle if the car levitated in the air over the girl. The use of natural means demonstrates God's use of providence. Just a little theology lesson.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It All Comes Back Around to Origins

Tremper Longman, OT Hebrew professor at Westmont College, articulates a common view that is regrettably taught in many Christian colleges and seminaries:

The Historicity of Adam

Not sure what his view of the historicity of Jesus is. If Adam was just a symbol, what was Paul point in Roman's five of contrasting an historical person, Jesus Christ, with a symbolic picture of "all mankind?" The first symbolic Adam - the second historical Adam? The first commenter left a stellar remark: "Yep, I have a sin nature because of what some guy did in a story."

Could not have stated it better myself.

I do think it is interesting that what drives his appeal to a non-historical Adam is the evolution of man. He mentions it at least twice in the minute and a half video. But I guess if I am going to accept the typical opinion of most people when we talk about what we are to believe about Genesis, it's really just a secondary issue, right? That age of the earth stuff and 24 hour days is just too divisive.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Returning to Egypt [II]

See part 1 for the background...

There are two specific passages that lend support for the 215 year theory, Galatians 3:16-18 and Exodus 6:16-20. TF does a tremendous job of exhausting these two passages, especially Exodus 6, in defense of his position. However, there are other exegetical points I believe he has overlooked that don't easily allow these two passages to be an airtight affirmation for the 215 year theory. I will consider them in turn.

Galatians 3:16-18

The passage in Galatians reads,

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

The argument put forth by proponents of the 215 year theory is that the 430 years in which Abram's seed will be a stranger and oppressed began at the promise of the covenant God made with him in Genesis 15. Paul, then, traces the 430 years from Genesis 15 all the way to the Exodus and the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. Hence, 215 years of time passed with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and when Jacob and his family went to Egypt, another 215 years passed until the Exodus. For TF's position, Paul's words couldn't be more clear and the conclusion of a 215 year stay for the Children of Israel in Egypt is the correct understanding of all the chronological data.

But as I have already noted in the previous sections dealing with Genesis 15 and more importantly, Exodus 12, there are undeniable textual factors that contradict the 215 year theory as TF argues for it. So, I believe Paul's words have to be understood much differently than him saying the 430 years began in Genesis 15 and run through to Exodus 12. That being, the 430 years began with Jacob going into Egypt in Genesis 46. TF states that it is straining the text of Genesis 46 to say Jacob was given the terms of the promise made to Abraham, especially when there is no mention of "seed" or of "being made a nation" in Genesis 46. But that response too readily dismisses some important biblical elements.

The first problem I think the supporters of the 215 year theory make is to separate Abraham from his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. They are quite insistent that Paul only has in mind Abraham and is not at all including Isaac and Jacob with his words here. But it is mistaken to make such a separation when all three patriarchs are always listed together in Scripture as recipients of God's promise He made with Abraham in Genesis 15. William Hendricksen writes in his commentary on Galatians:

The covenant which God made with Abraham was repeated and confirmed in identical language in the promise addressed to Isaac and to Jacob. ... The reasonable character of this explanation is evident from the fact that Scripture itself definitely points in this direction, for again and again it mentions Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in one breath. Not only this, but in nearly every case when this occurs it is in connection with the divine promise that the three patriarchs are grouped together as if they were one (Gen. 28:13; 32:9; 48:16; 50:24; Exod. 3:16; 6:3; 32:13; Deut. 1:8; 9:5, 27; 29:13; 30:20; I Chron. 29:18; Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:26; Acts 3:13; 7:32) [emphasis in original].

Additionally, Hebrews 11:8, 9 connects Isaac and Jacob as heirs to the promise where the text states, By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise... That last phrase in verse 9 is especially worth noting, because it links Isaac and Jacob directly to the original promise God gave to Abraham.

Also, Paul seems to be contrasting two periods, or eras, in Galatians 3. The period of promise, which ended with Jacob going into Egypt with his family, and then the period of the law, which began 430 years later with the giving of the 10 commandments on Mt. Sinai.

Exodus 6:16-20

The passage in question reads,

16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. 19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. 20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years.

The genealogical lists in Exodus 6 also seem to lend strong support to the 215 year theory. The argument goes like this: Levi was the father of Kohath, who in turn was the father of Amram. Amram took his father's sister, Jochebed as a wife (vs. 20). Amram and Jochebed are the parents of Moses and Aaron. If Jochebed is Kohath's sister, then that makes her Levi's daughter. If she is Levi's daughter and there were 430 years between the entrance of Levi with Jacob into Egypt, that means Jochebed was over 200 years old when Moses was born.

As strong as this passage appears to be in favor of the 215 year theory, it is fraught with a few problems that unravel it.

First is the biblical genealogical lists. Biblical genealogies can be a bit tricky to interpret. The primary reason is that the lists may not always be complete and gaps can exist in them. Now, just to be clear: I am personally of the opinion that most of the genealogical lists found in the Bible are fairly tight. So where as I think gaps do exist in various instances, they are not huge, multiple year gaps that make tracking biblical chronologies impossible. None the less, genealogies can and do contain some gaps and in some cases, these genealogical lists are stylized, or lists that are abbreviated for specific purposes. This is typical of many lists not only in the Bible (for example Matthew 1:1-18), but also in ANE historical documentation.

I believe Exodus 6:16ff. happens to be one of those stylized lists. It is not meant to be chronological at all. In fact, every Hebrew and OT scholar I consulted both in published works and through email correspondence believes the list is abbreviated and stylized for a purpose, and is not at all meant to convey chronology in this instance.

TF presents his case for his position with the assumption that Exodus 6:16-20 is chronological where as what the list probably represents is marking off key men in a family line. Old Testament scholar, K. A. Kitchen, suggests the list is not successive generations, but instead represents tribe (Levi), clan (Kohath), family (Amram) and individuals (Aaron and Moses). Moreover, Genesis 15:16 states that in the 4th generation they shall come out. If we understand "generation" to mean a lifetime, and a "generation" at that period in human history was over a 100 years of age, seeing that Levi lived 137 years, Kohath 133, Amram 137 and then Moses 120 years (Deut. 34:7), then Israel came out of Egypt in the "4th generation," which is established by the age of the key men in Exodus 6.

An additional reason this list in Exodus 6 is believed to be stylized is that other OT genealogies list individuals contemporary with Moses and Aaron at the exodus who have several generations in between them and their parental ancestors arriving in Egypt with Jacob. For example, Eugene Merrill notes that Bezalel, one of the artisans who oversaw the construction of the Tabernacle (Exod. 31:2-5), was a contemporary with Moses, but was the 7th generation from Jacob (1 Chron. 2:1-20). Elishama, who was the leader of the tribe of Ephraim when Israel journeyed through Sinai, was the 9th generation from Jacob according to 1 Chron. 7:22-26, and Joshua, the military assistant to Moses was in the 10th generation from Jacob (1 Chron. 7:27).

Then two final mathematical problems that add to the understanding the genealogies are stylized and not chronological: According to Exodus 6, Kohath has four children, Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. Amram is the father of Moses and Aaron. Numbers 3:27, 28 lists the total number of all the males between these 4 sons as being 8,600. Those are just the males. Dividing up the number between 4 brothers would mean roughly 2150 with each individual. If we take the chronological view of the Exodus 6 genealogies, that means Moses had over 2100 brothers.

Then there is the problem of getting 1.5 to 2 million people who left Egypt at the exodus out of 75 in just 215 years. TF believes it is because the Israelites had big, 20 plus kid families like the Duggars in Arkansas. That could be a possibility, due to the fact God blessed the Israelites and the land of Egypt was filled with them (Exod. 1:7), but there are a lot of assumptions to be accepted in order to believe it. TF suggests the average Hebrew family had 50 kids, and that would include (I guess) instances of polygamy. But that is a large leap to jump, seeing that the biblical text doesn't state the average number of children by one couple. The more reasonable assumption is around 20 or less entailing births by one or two women. But even if we assume 20 children per couple (along with polygamy surrogates), who all survive to adulthood and then in turn have 20 children of their own, 215 years is still not enough time to create a nation of 1.5 to 2 million people. The only reasonable conclusion is that there was an interval of 430 years between the promise God made to Abraham and his son and grandson and when and the people of Israel left Egypt at the exodus.

....to be concluded next post

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Cool Picture of the Day

The Ultraviolet Image of the Andromeda Galaxy

Move your cursor over the picture and you can see it change...

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Returning to Egypt [I]

A little bit more on Israel's Sojourn in Egypt

So. Turretinfan (TF) and I have a bit of a friendly back and forth debate on the length of Israel's sojourning in Genesis and Exodus. Basically the disagreement hinges on when the period of 430 years of sojourning began for Israel.

Did it begin in Genesis 15 when God cut His covenant with Abram and His promise to make him a great nation, or did it begin at the entrance of Jacob into Egypt in Genesis 46?

If Israel's sojourn began in Genesis 15, then the 430 years can be broken into two portions: the 215 years Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were in Canaan, and then 215 years the people of Israel were in Egypt until the time of the Exodus. On the other hand, if Israel's sojourn began when Jacob and his family came to Egypt, then the 430 years only entails the time the people of Israel lived in Egypt.

TF wrote a post attempting to defend the theory that Israel was in Egypt for 215 years instead of 430. His main point with originally writing the post was to demonstrate the problems with Harold Camping's loopy chronologies that lead him to set the date of Christ's return for May of 2011 (hopefully the film version of the Hobbit will be released by then). In turn, I wrote a brief post explaining why I think TF's argument does not hold up under scrutiny. There are several exegetical and historical factors that do not allow the 215 year theory to be workable as I will show here shortly. In response, TF posted even another lengthy article defending his 215 year theory that answered some of my challenges to his position.

And on top of his two articles, in the comment section under TF's first post, a guy named Lambsfury has also come to the defense of the 215 year theory for Israel's sojourn. Being from Arkansas, I have seen some furious lambs in my day, especially in the local church Easter plays, but he suggest my position is false teaching which is patently absurd seeing that it is the main position held by every orthodox Hebrew and OT scholar I have read and I know, and in fact have personally contacted to solicit their opinion.

With my response then, I will hit on the main talking points TF raises objecting to my view and explain why they are unsustainable for a 215 year theory for Israel's sojourning in Egypt. The broad areas I wish to cover include: Genesis 15:13-16, Exodus 12:40, 41, Galatians 3:15-17, the subject of genealogies, and then some historical data concerning the chronology of Egypt as it crosses with Israel's history. Because my discussion with the material is long, I will break up my response into two or three manageable posts.

With that, let me turn to the first two points in defense of a 430 year sojourn in Egypt.

Genesis 15:13-16

I'll begin with God's specific prophecy to Abram in Genesis 15:13-16 in which God says Abram's descendants will be oppressed in a land not their own for 400 years.

The relevant text reads:

13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

This is the first prophetic mention of the length of Israel's sojourning in Egypt. The 215 year theory separates 215 years for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's "sojourning" in the land of Canaan and 215 years for the nation of Israel sojourning in Egypt. However, just a brief, exegetical review of the four verses severely refutes the division of 430 into two parts.

1) Abram's seed, or his descendants, will be "a stranger in a land that is not theirs." Proponents of the 215 year theory suggest Abram's seed are strangers in the land of Canaan as well as Egypt, because Israel had not possessed the land and did not do so until after the Exodus under Joshua's leadership. For example, Genesis 37:1 states that Jacob was a stranger (literally, a "sojourner") in the land of Canaan. But, if one considers the terms of the covenant God made with Abram in Genesis 17:8, He specifically states the land is as good as his already. It is considered an everlasting, or eternal, possession. So even though Abraham had not taken official possession of his land, it was in fact his land. (Ironically, TF's discussion in his post on the land of Canaan is a good treatment defending premillennialism. I say "ironically" because I would imagine his devotion is to a non-premillennial eschatology. I digress...)

Now, before anyone charges I am arguing Clintonian style semantics, the text of Genesis 15:13-16 further specifies the land where Abram's descendants will sojourn as we will see as I move along here in the text. The point being is that the land that is not theirs is not the yet-to-be fulfilled possession of Canaan itself. Israel sojourns in a land outside of Canaan.

2) Abram's descendants will serve and be afflicted by one specific nation. The reader will note God mentions a few times that Abram's descendants will not only sojourn in a land not theirs, but also serve the nation in whose land they sojourn, and that nation will in turn afflict them.

The 215 year theory suggests Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (including Joseph), were afflicted in Canaan, so the prophecy of service and affliction entails the life of those three men before Jacob went into Egypt. For instance, in Genesis 26 we read of Isaac going to dwell with the Philistines due to a famine in his area. God tells Isaac to stay and He would take care of him, but Isaac leaves anyways. When God prospers him in spite of his lack of trust in God's promise to bless him regardless of the famine, Isaac comes into conflict with the Philistines who envied him and stopped up his wells (Gen. 26:14-16; see also 26:19, 20). This is understood as being afflicted. Other squabbles the three patriarchs had with local Canaanite tribal groups are cited as examples of the Children of Israel being afflicted and serving other nations.

But these personal run-ins with various tribal clans and city-state chieftains does not come close to fulfilling the terms of God's prophesy in Genesis 15. The most obvious is verse 14 where God says, the nation whom they serve. The word "the nation" is a singular noun. It is one particular nation in view, not a series of individual families, tribes, and clans. There is only one nation in the Pentateuch that would fulfill the terms of this prophesy: Egypt. Israel is said they will serve that nation for 400 years, until the fourth generation.

Moreover, two further clarifying points ruins the 215 year theory. First, God says "that nation" will be judged." No other group of people during the time before Jacob experienced the level of judgment Egypt did. There can be no doubt as to which nation God had in mind here. Then secondly, God states that after that nation is judged, Abram's descendants will come out with great possessions. We see this fulfilled in Exodus 12:35, 36 when the Egyptians gave the people of Israel many articles of clothing, along with gold and silver. The text states that they plundered the Egyptians. When did this event take place? After the 430 years the Children of Israel lived in Egypt (Exodus 12:40).

3) The Amorites are separated from "the nation" which oppresses Israel. If the affliction of Abram's seed also happened in Canaan before Jacob went into Egypt, there would be no need to distinguish "the Amorites" mentioned here from "that nation" which will oppress Israel. The term "Amorites" is a basic description of the people inhabiting the land of Canaan at that time. In other words, the Canaanites of the conquest. God declares that their iniquity was not yet full, meaning His judgment against their paganism was delayed until after the 430 years were complete. That judgment by God happened under Joshua and the conquest after the Exodus.

Exodus 12:40, 41

Now, let me move my attention to Exodus 12:40, 41. The text reads:

40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:40, 41 is probably the most devastating passage against the 215 year theory. It states quite clearly that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt 430 years. After the end of the 430 years, they went out from the land of Egypt. Yet in spite of this clear, unambiguous passage as to the length of Israel's sojourn in Egypt, TF believes there can be other ways to understand the passage. He writes:

With this reading, the sojourning is 430 years and the "dwelt in Egypt" modifies the children of Israel, though not necessarily their stay in Egypt. Thus, the text of the KJV is ambiguous as to whether the sojourning all took place in Egypt or not. Some (perhaps all!) the other versions phrase the verse such that all the 430 years are in Egypt. Mr. Butler is quite insistent that the only way to read this verse is as saying that the entire time of the sojourning was in Egypt, but when I've questioned him on the issue of translation of the text (i.e. whether the KJV's translation is a reasonable translation) he does not seem to have any answer. ...

Mr. Butler's third argument relates to a counter-argument that I have not presented above. Very briefly, the counter-argument is that the LXX reading of Exodus 12:40-41 includes the phrase "and in the land of Canaan" into the middle of "who dwelt in Egypt." This reading suggests at least the possibility that the original reading included the time in Canaan as well as that of Egypt. Alternatively, the reading suggests that there was an ancient marginal note that confirmed that the expression "in Egypt" shouldn't be understood in the exhaustive sense that Mr. Butler contends. Thus, some ancient commentator likewise confirms the 215 year thesis.

Basically his response is three-fold as I read it. He says the idea of "dwelt in Egypt" is vague and doesn't necessarily refer to Israel's stay only in Egypt; the translation of the KJV suggests we can read "dwelt" as supportive of the 215 year theory; and he also favors a textual variant reading found in a few editions of the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the OT, which add the phrase and in the land of Canaan to verse 40.

Let me respond to each in turn:

First, the word "dwelt" cannot be understood to mean anything else than what it says: Israel dwelt, lived, had residence in, Egypt for 430 years. Contrary to TF's claim, the word does mean their stay only in Egypt, especially as it reads here in Exodus 12:40.

Second, TF points out how other versions besides the KJV (try every major modern translation!) phrase the verse in such a way as to say Israel was in Egypt the entire 430 years. Well. There is reason for this: That's because that's what the passage is saying! His argument comes suspiciously close to how Dave Hunt claims Acts 13:48 should be translated "all who disposed themselves to eternal life, believed" contrary to all the rules of Greek grammar and the fact every English translation is against him, except the NWT. Besides, the KJV is not wrong with their translation; I have never argued as such. The English word "dwelt" can mean to reside in or be a resident, which is what the Hebrew means here in Exodus 12:40.

And then third, the addition to a few copies of the LXX of the phrase and in the land of Canaan seems to have gone past TF. If not, I don't really see him interacting with this important variant. The addition is the main thing many of the older commentators like Gill appeal to in order to defend the 215 year theory. The point I made, and still make, is that this phrase is not found in any Hebrew manuscript. We can't merely look past this as if the phrase is an important marginal note to the Hebrew text. It isn't. The addition is only found in some translations of the Hebrew, like the LXX. This means the phrase was added to the various translations for one reason or another. The most obvious reason is because the translators saw what they thought was a difficulty reconciling the individual passages where the length of Israel's sojourn is discussed, so they thought they were helping to clarify the text. The one thing I would add is TF's appeal to the LXX reading of Exodus 12:40 comes dangerously close to the polemics of KJV-onlyists who attempt to argue that because 1 John 5:7,8 is found in some early Latin translations of 1 John, it was original to John's epistle and should be added to the Greek text in spite of the fact no Greek text of reputation have the disputed verses.

With that, I'll pick up my response in the next post...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From the "Google" reader

Got this little item sent to my mailbox alerting me to any mention of "Fred Butler" on the internet.

Utah miners can keep chewing tobacco

I am glad to see that Fred Butler is a wise, common sense type of union arbitrator.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Moved




















It took about 20 folks and two trips back and forth, but we finally moved into the new place over the weekend. My wife and I give a big shout of thanks to all the dear saintly friends who gave up their Saturday morning to huff up and down stairs, take apart beds, and risk their lives to move giant pieces of furniture down narrow, steep stairs. There were even a number of guys who don't really know us, but volunteered their time at the request of a mutual friend. We are extremely grateful for their generous service.

All that is left now is unpacking everything, especially my library.

Regular blogging should start up soon.

By the way, has any one seen our Wii?

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Friday, September 11, 2009

This is where I am at right now
















The family is moving into a new house. Much more room to walk around toys and babies.

Blogging will be sparse this week and maybe into the next...

(Check the posts below this one. I have been blogging just a tad).

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You Mr. Archimedes

When you have to move heavy pieces of furniture, if you don't have a levitation device that can produce anti-gravitational fields, this is probably the next best thing.

The Shoulder Dolly

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Creation Compromises

CMI has a run down of many excellent articles that address the various compromise positions with Genesis and the age of the earth by individuals considered orthodox, evangelical Christians.

Creation Compromises - Questions and Answers

Several of them look like they would be good reading on this subject.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When Bush the First Gave a Speech

Back when Daddy Bush gave a speech to school children...

Demos held hearings to investigate

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Response to Moi

TurretinFan defends his 215 year theory for the sojourn of Israel in Egypt by offering a response to my contention that Israel's sojourn started with Jacob and his family going into Egypt in Genesis 46 and lasting 430 years.

If anyone is interested...

430 Years from the Promise: A Response to Fred Butler

I already had some additional material on this subject in the works, but I am currently moving into a new house, so you all know how that can occupy a person. I'll have a response up a while later.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

The Environmentalist's Weeping Mary

Preparing for the First Day of School

A helpful article outlining goals and strategies of being a biblical creationist in the public school class room.

A Creationist in the Classroom

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Studies in Eschatology [12]

Apocalypticism and the book of Revelation

One final area I need to discuss before moving into Revelation chapter 20 is the genre of the book of Revelation.

The English title of the book, the Revelation, is translated from the Greek word apokalypsis and it simply means "to unveil," "to disclose," or "to reveal."

But there is a large group of evangelical interpreters who have poured new meaning into the word apokalypsis and equate the book of Revelation, along with the OT books of Ezekiel, Daniel, and even Zechariah, with a class of non-canonical books that flourished during the inter-testament period [Woods, 1]. These non-canonical books are called apocalyptic literature and they began to circulate during the 2nd century B.C. as a response to persecution and oppression the Jews were experiencing, [Carson-Moo-Morris, 478], and they include books like Enoch, Jubilees, The Assumption of Moses, The Testament of the 12 Patriarchs, and The Sibylline Oracles.

They are called "apocalyptic" because they share many characteristics of a similar theme concerning the end of the world and the final judgment of all mankind. Such things as: The use of extensive symbolism, angelic guides, the activity of angels and demons, urgent expectations of the end of the earth in the immediate future, cosmic catastrophe, and the final showdown between good and evil, [Ladd, 621; Woods, 1].

Many modern evangelical interpreters claim the book of Revelation, as well as Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah, shares several of these characteristics with that collection of non-canonical apocalyptic literature. They claim this particularly for the book of Revelation which was written roughly around the same time frame the apocalyptic books were composed. Because Revelation contains many of the thematic elements as apocalyptic literature, most notably the symbolic aspect, it is argued the book falls into an entirely different genre than most of the other books in the Bible. Hence, it must be interpreted according to a strict symbolic hermeneutic, with a literal approach either being modified to favor symbolism, or laid aside almost completely.

The use of this symbolic principle of interpretation is especially true of the evangelical Reformed believers who employ a non-literal hermeneutic to prophecy and typology in general. In fact, when one surveys their writings addressing eschatology, a repeated mantra is that the Revelation is heavily symbolic and must be interpreted in a non-literal fashion.

Examples of this principle of a non-literal hermeneutic abound. Kim Riddlebarger attempts to make the case for a symbolic interpretation of Revelation all throughout his main book defending amillennialism, as does Keith Mathison who also appeals to symbolism in his book advocating postmillennialism. Gary Demar of American Vision is one of the more strident non-literalists who insists in his various publications and on his radio program that a literal interpretation of Revelation only serves to ruin our understanding of the book. Popular Christian radio personality, Hank Hanegraaf and host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast, outlines in his book The Apocalypse Code* how the Bible, specifically the book of Revelation, is filled with a lot of symbolism and should be interpreted with the proper use of "types" and "allegory."

These men represent just a smattering of biblical interpreters who insist the symbolism of Revelation defines its genre and over rides the basic historical-grammatical hermeneutic used to study Scripture.

Two points need to be considered in response to this view of Revelation:

1) Revelation is better understood as prophecy, not apocalyptic literature.

Though it is true the book of Revelation shares many eschatological characteristics as found in apocalyptic literature, the book is prophetic in nature, and does not belong with the non-canonical apocalyptic literature. The most noticeable proof Revelation is prophecy is the fact John calls his book a prophecy (Rev. 1:3; 22:7, 10, 18). Moreover, Dr. Robert Thomas argues that the number of dissimilarities with apocalyptic literature out weighs the similarities, so much so the book cannot right be called "apocalyptic,"[Thomas, Evangelical Hermeneutics, 338].

For instance, apocalyptic literature is pseudonymous, where as Revelation is not. Apocalyptic literature is never epistolary, where as the opening 3 chapters of Revelation are epistolary, addressing seven real churches. Apocalyptic literature tends to be extremely limited with its admonitions to the readers for their moral compliance to God's commands. Revelation by contrast has repeated admonitions to John's readers for moral compliance to God's commands. Then lastly, Revelation is heavily dependent upon Ezekiel and Daniel, and to some extent, Zechariah. Those prophets wrote some 400 years before apocalyptic literature circulated among the Jewish people. There are several other dissimilarities as well [see Woods], which removes Revelation from the classification of "apocalyptic literature."

2) The symbolism in Revelation does not nullify the use of a literal hermeneutic.

If Revelation is rightfully understood as a prophecy of further revelation from God and is not to be associated with non-canonical apocalyptic literature, then that will change entirely how one is to interpret the book. The symbolic aspects of the book will be understood in the normal way symbolism is used in the rest of the Bible, especially prophetic portions.

The idea of "literalism" when interpreting Revelation, as well as prophecy in general, is regrettably ridiculed by reformed believers. In some ways I can understand their reactive tone. There are bizarre instances of literalism being abused. Hal Lindsey's understanding of the locust in Revelation 9 as Apache helicopters spraying chemical weapons, or perhaps my favorite: the scene out of one of those dreadful Thief in the Night films in which a gal hears a noise outside her front door, opens it to see what the racket is, and then a big, rubber foam scorpion tail appears and stings her. But examples of absurd symbolism also exist. The interpretation by various preterist commentators that the 100 pound hailstones mentioned in Revelation 16:21 were the stones catapulted by the Romans when they laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 AD, for instance.

Because Revelation is prophecy, it will be interpreted just like other prophetic sections of the Bible. Certainly there is attention to symbolic language, but there is no need to read into those symbols speculative interpretations that exist outside of the prophecy itself which is connected to a class of non-canonical writings. Again, Revelation is dependent upon Ezekiel and Daniel's prophecies. The best rule of thumb is to consider those canonical books to help provide clarity for understanding Revelation.

Additionally, symbolism in prophecy always points to some real, historic referent. Consider Daniel 7, where Daniel sees four spectacular beasts in a night vision. Though the beasts are amazing symbolism, we learn later from the angel interpreting the vision that they represent real, historic kingdoms: the Babylonian empire, the Medo-Persian empire, the Greek empire, and finally the Roman empire. If the beasts symbolize four real kingdoms, then other symbols in the vision must also refer to real, historical objects and people. The same would also be with numbers. The number of years in Daniel's 70 week vision in chapter 9 correspond to real, chronological years. In fact, the vision is so accurate we can date the Triumphal Entry of Christ to Jerusalem the very week He was crucified.

If symbolic images and numbers represent real things in OT prophecy, why would it be any different when we come to Revelation? This is not "wooden literalism" or an "overly active imagination," but interpreting the biblical text in the manner in which it was meant to be understood. Appealing to non-canonical apocalyptic literature as a starting point merely muddies the whole process of Bible study.

* See a review of The Apocalypse Code HERE.

*******
Sources:


D.A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo, and Leon Morris,
An Introduction to the NewTestament. (Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1992).

Martin Erdmann, The Millennial Controversy in the Early Church. (Wipf & Stock: Eugene OR, 2005).

George Ladd,
A Theology of the New Testament. (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1974).

Robert L. Thomas,
Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old. (Kregel: Grand Rapids MI, 2002).

__________, Revelation 1 - 7: An Exegetical Commentary. (Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1992).

Andy Woods,
Apocalypticism, on-line paper.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The View from our Backyard

Time lapped video of the station fire

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