• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.
  3. Please note there is a new rule regarding the posting of videos. It reads, "Post a summary of the videos you post . An exception can be made for music videos.". Unless you are simply sharing music, please post a summary, or the gist, of the video you wish to share.
  4. There have been some changes in the Life Stages section involving the following forums: Roaring 20s, Terrific Thirties, Fabulous Forties, and Golden Eagles. They are changed to Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Golden Eagles will have a slight change.
  5. CF Staff, Angels and Ambassadors; ask that you join us in praying for the world in this difficult time, asking our Holy Father to stop the spread of the virus, and for healing of all affected.

Featured Should the apocalyptic language style of the old testament be taken at face value or symbolic?

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by claninja, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. claninja

    claninja Well-Known Member

    +1,680
    Christian
    Married
    Why are apocalyptic OT passages like Ezekiel 38-47 and Zechariah 14, taken as literal, when God said he would speak to the prophets of Israel in visions, dreams, and riddles? Shouldn't then passages like these (ezekiel, zechariah) be understood as parabolic?

    Numbers 12:6-8 And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD.
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Lost4words

    Lost4words In reality, an old dog! Supporter

    +5,326
    United Kingdom
    Catholic
    Single
    People like to latch on to scripture and interpret it to suit their very own individual beliefs.
     
  3. summerville

    summerville Well-Known Member

    +406
    United States
    Anglican
    Single
    Apocalyptic literature was very popular from about 300 BC to 200 AD. Everyone was writing "apocalypse".. Daniel is apocalyptic.

    It can be very difficult to understand the symbolism unless one also studies the history and politics of the times.
     
  4. Tom 1

    Tom 1 Optimistic sceptic Supporter

    +8,611
    Romania
    Christian
    Married
    Presumably you interpret it all in terms of hidden bones, walkies, evil cats, sausages and the like?
     
  5. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

    +3,502
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    In the case of 'end of the world' language - stars falling from the sky, the moon turning red, etc. - I believe the answer is a definite no. There is clear precedent in both Scripture, as well as in other Jewish writing, that shows such language functions as a metaphor for socio-political change.

    Unfortunately, many of a fundamentalist temperament do not know this and jump to the wrong conclusion.

    On a closely related note, I believe the entire rapture doctrine is based on such an error - failing to understand how ancient Hebrew writers used certain expressions. Example: meeting the Lord 'in the air' was used to refer to leaving the walls of a city to greet a returning king in the open air. Such language has been misinterpreted to generate what I believe to be the unBiblical doctrine of a rapture.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    • List
  6. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    +1,757
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    But where the Prophesies describe something that can happen, or something that is explainable by other scripture or modern knowledge, we shouldn't just discount it. Remember God did send a flood in Noah's time to correct the world. Many prophesies say He will do so again, next time with fire. 2 Peter 3:7
    Prophesies like stars falling and the moon shining blood red, are events that we know can happen and are told to us in the context of a forthcoming dramatic, world changing Judgment. We HAVE been warned; it is up to every one of us to take heed or as many prefer; to remain in the dark. 1 Thessalonians 5:4
     
  7. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

    +3,502
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    I do not follow your reasoning. You appear to be arguing that just because something referred to by "apocalyptic" language can happen, we should take that language literally. But such reasoning - and perhaps I misunderstand you - is clearly incorrect: if I say "The world will come to an end if my girlfriend leaves me", I am obviously not intending to be taken literally even though it is, of course, possible, that the world could indeed come to an end if she leaves me.

    I get your point about "world-changing judgment"; however, such judgement can take other forms than "stars falling from the sky". We can talk about this further, but I politely suggest the historical evidence - and Biblical precedent - shows that such end-of-the-world language is not to be taken literally.
     
  8. icxn

    icxn Bραδύγλωσσος αἰπόλος μαθητεύων κνίζειν συκάμινα

    +695
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    And socio-political references function as a metaphor for inner-spiritual change. Christ did not come to save one nation from another or to be a political ruler, but to free us from slavery to sin and the demons and to be enthroned (if we wish) in our inner temple (hearts and minds).
     
  9. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

    +3,502
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    Maybe, but in some cases, at least, the language was clearly used to refer to socio-political change. Example: Isaiah writes:

    10For the stars of heaven and their constellations
    Will not flash forth their light;
    The sun will be dark when it rises
    And the moon will not shed its light


    What was going on? Look at the context - Babylon was being destroyed, never to be rebuilt.
     
  10. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    +1,757
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    But if something that can happen and has never yet occurred, is prophesied; then why would anyone think it will never happen?
    Remember that God is not slow according to His timing, this age is not yet over and we can all see from the current world situation that some kind of dramatic change must occur soon.

    We Bible believers have the Prophetic Word given to us. Why not believe it?
     
  11. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

    +3,502
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    That kind of reasoning would cause almost everything to be taken literally - it would rob writers of Scripture of all sorts of metaphors that they might otherwise wish to use. Here is what scholar NT Wright has to say about this (I added the bolding):

    In common with many other scholars, I use the word [28] “apocalyptic” itself to refer first and foremost to a way of writing, what you might call a literary convention. Some writers chose consciously to evoke the cosmic or theological meaning of events in the space-time world by means of a sometimes complex system of metaphors. “The stars will not give their light”, wrote Isaiah, “the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light” (Isaiah 13.10). What was going on? Babylon was being destroyed, never to be rebuilt. In the prophet’s world, that was like saying that London or New York would sink into the sea, never to rise. What language will you borrow to do justice to such an event? That of cosmic collapse, of chaos come again. The whole point is, of course, that the world has not actually collapsed; if it had, there wouldn’t be anybody around to be shocked and awed at the fate of Babylon.
     
  12. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    +1,757
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    The prophecy made in Isaiah 13:9-13 is a plain statement of a future event.
    Typical of many prophecies, Isaiah 13 tells of a near and a far fulfilments. Ancient Babylon was destroyed by the Medes as Isaiah 13:17-22 vividly says.
    But now; we know Babylon is a reference to any ungodly nation. Revelation 18:1-24

    I see people who like to make the prophesies virtually meaningless by allegorizing them, or worse, wrongly asserting they are already fulfilled; as people who cannot abide the idea that they might personally have to face terrible events and hard trials.
    Know this: my friends and do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has [will] come to try you.... 1 Peter 4:12

    Matthew 11:25 applies to NT Wright.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  13. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,435
    Non-Denom
    There are three Scriptural references to the moon and blood:

    Joel 2:31
    The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
    Acts 2:20
    The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
    Revelation 6:12
    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

    Not one refers to the moon shining blood red. They refer to the moon becoming blood, or becoming as blood.

    For those who insist on being literal, let's be literal.
     
  14. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    +1,757
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    But let's not be ridiculous about it!
    The moon will became as blood, meaning it will look like blood; bright red. NOT become a ball of liquid blood.
    Proved by Isaiah 30:26, where it says the moon will become as bright as the sun....

    This effect will be caused by the sun shining seven times brighter.....so the moons reflection will be correspondingly brighter.
    We know what it is that makes the sun suddenly shine extremely brightly; an explosion of its surface, a blast of superheated hydrogen plasma, a coronal mass ejection.
    Most CME's blast out every which way, but we have in the past been affected by them.

    The CME instigated by the Lord on His Day of fiery wrath, will be earth directed and of unprecedented magnitude and will literally fulfill all the graphic prophesies about that terrible Day. Deuteronomy 32:34-43, plus 100 other prophesies.

    Also, with the moon; when it is struck by that mass of superhot Hydrogen plasma, there will be a thermoluminescent reaction - bright red, with the result of the moon oxide dust being turned into base elements and water.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  15. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,435
    Non-Denom
    A literalist declares that literal is ridiculous.

    Literally impossible, as the moon is merely a reflector of no more than 12% of the sun's light.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  16. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    +1,757
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    To make obvious allegories into literal things, is what is ridiculous.
    However; allegories and metaphors in the Bible, do have a meaning. Which is often explained elsewhere, or by our benefit of hindsight, or from modern knowledge.

    I showed 2 ways how the moon shining 7 times brighter, could happen.
    You are either not interested in logical explanations, or are incapable of understanding Bible truths.
     
  17. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,435
    Non-Denom
    Joel 2
    31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

    You claim that turning the moon into blood is an allegory.

    Is turning the sun into darkness also an allegory?

    You cited Isaiah 30:26, which declares that the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun.

    Literally, that is an impossibility.

    Allegorically, it is a reality.
     
  18. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

    +1,757
    New Zealand
    Pentecostal
    Married
    The moon does not turn into actual blood. It will just look a bright fiery red, which will be quite frightening enough.
    No, that is another effect of this CME; the approaching mass will obscure the sun.
    Why do you have such difficulty in understanding how the moon can and will, suddenly shine as bright as the sun?
    The Prophet Isaiah says it will, in a clear and simple statement. Does your opinion negate what Isaiah said?

    I have come against this intransigent attitude of yours many times. It comes from people who have already made up their minds about what they want God to do and how they refuse to consider they themselves; might have to face dramatic and world changing events.
    Tough!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  19. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

    +3,435
    Non-Denom
    Why not go to the inspired interpreter for the answer?

    Peter at Pentecost.

    Acts 2
    16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
    ...
    20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:


    Forget the bright fiery red and the CME and the approaching mass.

    This is that.

    All fulfilled.

    Allegorically and metaphorically.

    Then and there.

    At the birth of the New Covenant Church.
     
  20. expos4ever

    expos4ever Well-Known Member

    +3,502
    Canada
    Christian
    Private
    This cosmic language is not to be taken literally. If one studies other contemporary Jewish writing, this becomes clear. As my time allows, I hope to make this case.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
Loading...