REVELATION = THE END GAME STAGE OF THE BIBLE

January 26, 23

To get the full experience, you should have gone through the whole rest of the Old Testament in order to recognize the 500+ references thrown in.

Also helps to have completed the following DLCs – New Testament, Second Temple writings & beliefs, Ancient Near East, First Century Greek culture & religion, Septuagint.

For where I demonstrate just a snippet in Revelation 1 with main inspiration from Dr Heiser’s podcasts:

BIBLICAL REFERENCES & OCCAM’S RAZOR

January 26, 23

Occam’s Razor is (mis)used too often, but I think it has valid applications in referencing and cross-referencing Bible passages.

The reason I bring this up is directly because of Ezekiel’s vision of the cherubim – how should one interpret the strange amalgation that he describes? The route taken by someone who studies the Ancient Near Eastern context of the Old Testament is straightforward, Ezekiel was using the imagery of the surrounding Babylonian culture to convey that YHWH is the divine king who controls destiny. Ref: https://drmsh.com/ezekiels-vision-why-it-wasnt-a-flying-saucer-part-1/ and https://drmsh.com/ezekiels-vision-part-2/

Orrrrrr one could a different route I’ve seen, by running through the entirety of the rest of the Bible to find and link all the various component parts of Ezekiel’s descriptions (requiring 70+ pages of explanation). And then calling the first method eisegesis and ‘putting ANE above the Bible as authority’ because the only correct methodology is ‘Scripture interprets Scripture’.

A related example, did Paul in Romans 3:12-18 quote Psalm 14:3 as found in the Septuagint (like roughly 75% of all Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament)? Or is it more likely that he extracted portions of six different portions from the Masoretic Text?
Ref: https://theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/st-paul-quoting-the-septuagint/

TEXTUAL VARIANTS & INTERPRETATION

January 17, 23

One interesting feature of textual variants in Bible manuscripts is that they reveal a bit about how the people of the time understood the texts.

For a famous example, most manuscripts have the number of the beast in Revelation as 666. But a few have it as 616. This seems an odd occurrence until you realize that one interpretation of the number is that it is gematria of Neron Caesar in Hebrew (666) or Nero Caesar (616). Hence whatever the correct interpretation is, the gematria view was likely held by originators of the 616 variants [NB: no I am not talking about the Marvel Multiverse lol].

Or Luke 10:1 which has either 70 or 72 sent out by Jesus, depending on the variant. Again, it makes sense how this different reading arose if this passage is viewed as part of Messiah’s reversal of Babel – the table of nations in Genesis 10 is counted as either 70 or 72 names depending on the way they are divided up.

DAVID PAWSON ON THE FOUR STAGES OF BEING BORN AGAIN

January 17, 23

So on a recommendation/challenge from a friend I’ve listened through this introductory series by David Pawson and would like to know your thoughts on it.

He explains the four steps (RBBR, mnemonically recalled as rubber) to being born again that he’s known for promoting (in his very steady, properly pronounced & enunciated British schoolteacher style):

Repentance

Belief in Jesus

Baptism

Receiving the Holy Spirit

His view is that without all four steps which are taught in the New Testament (passage citations given), one doesn’t get the full benefits of being born again. Various groups will focus on one or the other (e.g. baptismal regeneration or gifts of the Spirit), but neglect the others.

NB: He’s not a Calvinist, and his reasonings in Video 4 (baptism) for why babies shouldn’t be baptised would get him called a Pelagian by the usual types we know.

DAVID PAWSON ON PREDESTINATION

January 17, 23

God has predestined something for everyone, but that doesn’t mean we cannot resist or reject His plans for us – as the potter & clay in Jeremiah teaches, what our destiny is depends on how we respond.

And what are we chosen for? Service. Who is chosen? People, not individuals.

And the truest part… So often the above views are dismissed as Arminianism, by those who have never actually read the works of Arminius!

Two Walls of the Exodus

January 17, 23

1) The destruction of Sodom which is very likely Tall el-Hammam corresponding to Genesis 19 (see the essay at My Theological Essays);

2) The destruction of Jericho corresponding to Joshua 6.

The birth of Isaac in Genesis 21 cannot come before the meteoric airburst nuked Tall el-Hammam. The birth of Jacob, his twelve sons, the Sojourn, the Exodus and the Wandering follows that. And the Conquest kicks off with the walls of Jericho falling flat (as proven by excavations).

The Exodus must come between the total destruction of those two cities. If those events can be correctly dated, any Egyptian chronology or links to contemporary culture must be subservient to that date range.

THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES & DIVINE ASEITY

January 17, 23

So I had a sudden realization followed by some thoughts which are probably running too much on a very wooden, literal reading of a passage.

Divine aseity, God is perfect in His own existence, doesn’t need anything. That is what YHWH means, “He is”.

But Phil 2:9-10 says “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” – the highest name is not YHWH, but Yeshua: “YHWH saves”.

This not only implies there is a subject for YHWH to verb upon. If it were “YHWH loves” it would not be an issue since the members of the Trinity can eternally love among one another (a capability Allah or other Unitarian views lack).

But “YHWH saves” implies an imperfect subject to be saved. Since YHWH is perfect, the imperfect subject must be something else created. This would then imply that contra aseity, it is objectively higher that YHWH does create.

(There ARE some views that do go so far to say that YHWH must necessarily create, such as Essential Kenosis, the views of Jurgen Moltmann, or the logical conclusion of Divine Simplicity.)

Thoughts?

WHAT’S YOUR HERMENEUTIC?

January 17, 23

Christianity: Take the whole Bible’s narrative where we are constantly told to choose & respond; interpret a few possibly unclear passages using that overarching paradigm.

Calvinism: Start from a handful of prooftexts interpreted using philosophical presuppositions; interpret the rest of the Bible through that lens.

ANNIHILATION & CHOOSING TO BE CREATED

January 17, 23

Oh hey, I just realised this kind of silly logical conclusion.

You know that ridiculous Calvinist conflation whereby “So you think you choose to be born again? Do you remember when you chose to be born the first time?” (basically committing the same fallacious reasoning as Nicodemus)

The similar argument goes that, since we didn’t consent to being created & existing, therefore we don’t consent to being saved either.

Well if Annihilationism is true… Then in a way, not consenting to be saved IS not consenting to continue existing!

Makes me wonder what Chris Date (Calvinist, Annihilationist) thinks of this logic.

SHEEP RECOGNISING THE SHEPHERD’S VOICE

January 17, 23

Skip to 1:00 if you want just the successful attempt after wannabes give it a try.

The key takeway I realised is this: The sheep don’t start out automatically recognising and following the shepherd’s voice. They weren’t conceived or born already knowing the shepherd. They had to LEARN his voice and learn to trust him over time.

The Jews who heard Jesus preach and us today know Jesus is our shepherd because we have learned to recignize and trust him as our Great Shepherd (John 10:14-16). To the Jews who had only the Old Testament, this was through the words of The Father (John 6:44-45).


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