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Old 12-05-2011, 07:00 AM
 
Location: New York City
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One item that some Christians point to to prove the bible's prophetic accuracy, is the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. They point to a myriad of biblical prophecies that speak of the Jews returning from captivity/exile (in modern times) as solid, concrete proof that the bible is the perfect word of god. I once touted such a position and believed it was irrefutable proof.

It was not until just a few years ago, about 5 years into my de-conversion, did it hit me that ALL of the so-called prophecies are found ONLY in the Old Testament. Not one New Testament writer utters a mention of any Jewish return to their homeland in some distant future. I then realized that the Old Testament writings concerning a Jewish return to their homeland concerned their return from their exile in Babylon and other places where they were scattered in THAT ancient world. By the New Testament time when the nation was pretty much re-established primarily as Judea and Galilee, there was no reason to predict anything. The fulfillment prophecies of the OT regarding a Jewish return to their ancient land had already taken place and was history.

Added to this was the idea that AFTER the Jewish return, it appears that some believed that it was now time for god to punish Israel's enemies for beating up on them which led to a lot of apocalyptic language culminating in the New Testament apocalyptic diatribes such as those found in the book of Revelation.

What say ye?
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
One item that some Christians point to to prove the bible's prophetic accuracy, is the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. They point to a myriad of biblical prophecies that speak of the Jews returning from captivity/exile (in modern times) as solid, concrete proof that the bible is the perfect word of god. I once touted such a position and believed it was irrefutable proof.

It was not until just a few years ago, about 5 years into my de-conversion, did it hit me that ALL of the so-called prophecies are found ONLY in the Old Testament. Not one New Testament writer utters a mention of any Jewish return to their homeland in some distant future. I then realized that the Old Testament writings concerning a Jewish return to their homeland concerned their return from their exile in Babylon and other places where they were scattered in THAT ancient world. By the New Testament time when the nation was pretty much re-established primarily as Judea and Galilee, there was no reason to predict anything. The fulfillment prophecies of the OT regarding a Jewish return to their ancient land had already taken place and was history.

Added to this was the idea that AFTER the Jewish return, it appears that some believed that it was now time for god to punish Israel's enemies for beating up on them which led to a lot of apocalyptic language culminating in the New Testament apocalyptic diatribes such as those found in the book of Revelation.

What say ye?
When the NT was written the Jewish people were still in their homeland and living under Roman occupation. The temple still stood.

Most of the Hebrew scriptures speaking of a return are speaking about the exiles of the time, not a future return.
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
One item that some Christians point to to prove the bible's prophetic accuracy, is the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. They point to a myriad of biblical prophecies that speak of the Jews returning from captivity/exile (in modern times) as solid, concrete proof that the bible is the perfect word of god. I once touted such a position and believed it was irrefutable proof.

It was not until just a few years ago, about 5 years into my de-conversion, did it hit me that ALL of the so-called prophecies are found ONLY in the Old Testament. Not one New Testament writer utters a mention of any Jewish return to their homeland in some distant future. I then realized that the Old Testament writings concerning a Jewish return to their homeland concerned their return from their exile in Babylon and other places where they were scattered in THAT ancient world. By the New Testament time when the nation was pretty much re-established primarily as Judea and Galilee, there was no reason to predict anything. The fulfillment prophecies of the OT regarding a Jewish return to their ancient land had already taken place and was history.

Added to this was the idea that AFTER the Jewish return, it appears that some believed that it was now time for god to punish Israel's enemies for beating up on them which led to a lot of apocalyptic language culminating in the New Testament apocalyptic diatribes such as those found in the book of Revelation.

What say ye?
I have to say that the late C34 had one of his best arguments from fulfilled return prophecy.

As Jazzy says in her excellent post, this really refers to return from Babylonian exile and only got applied to a return from what was effectively exile by the Romans after Hadrian (or was it Trajan?..No Hadrian built Aelia capitolina on top of Jerusalem) really flattened Jerusalem and built a Roman city on top.

The desire to return is in Jewish prayer and thus there is a case for self - fulfilling prophecy. While there were those who saw the need for a Jewish homeland and tended to see it as being back in Palestine (I can already hear Muslim hackles rising.... ) in the Balfour declaration. I heard a suggestion that a belief in Bible prophecy might have had a part in trying to make that come about - not sure how true that is.

Campbell 34 (gone but not forgotten) made a better case with Newton's working out of Daniel (yep, I hadn't forgotten the thread ) to 2007 or something which was quite a coincidence - if it was. But then one has to ask what was the connection between Daniel and the return? Daniel is datable to the start of the Maccabean war and goes prophetically very vague after that. It is not really related to a return to Judea but a restoration of the Jewish laws, which the seleucids had tried to abolish.

While this can be related to the situation today, it is feasibly rather coincidental and also self - fulfilling. It could have happened in the late 19th centuries or the early 2oth with rich american Jews leading the movement. It was (understandably) a concerted attempt to eradicate Judaism in the mid 20th that did it.

C 34 asked me (sarcastically) whether I though that the jews invented Hitler to self - fulfill their desire to return. Of course not. Who would? But is a an event that provided the catalyst.

Prophecy coming out or random historical event tweaked with a long felt aim?

It certainly looks as though it isn't written out plain and square and has to be teased out, as it were from apparently unrelated material in the light of hindsight. That alone should give some doubt that it really is prophecy, just the old business of fitting events to roughly fit the expectations one has in mind.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 12-05-2011 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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All good posts.
Don't forget that the Prophet Jeremiah counselled the exiles to pray for their new land, to get married, get homes, etc. - to accept the fact that they were now living in exile, their temple was destroyed, and to just deal with it. That prayer is still, to this today, uttered in services wherever Jews are living in a foreign land.
That experience of losing one's homeland, and resigning oneself to a new land - were crucical components in transforming the religion of the Israelites into the religion we know as Judaism. No longer strictly Temple-based, it sprouted forth various institutions such as the Synagogue, the Rabbi, further oral tradition, the Babyloninan Talmud, etc. What once had been a big problem (how can one worship God at the Temple when the Temple is destroyed and the people are in a foreign land?) now became the vitalizing force behind a new religion, or a new way of worshipping God.

This created a dichotomy between those Jews who wished to remain where they were, mostly prosperous economically and socially, and those who wished to once-again return "home". This "home", according to some, was no longer in existence, so it was useless to attempt to return "there". The debate still occurs today - with the "returnees" being labelled as Zionists. Not everyone has packed up and left for "home", by the way. But this has been the way for over 2000 years now. Many people assume that all Jews are trying to get "home", and this will usher in the Day of Yahweh. This forgets that some of the Prophets spoke that the Jews, themselves, should not be waiting for the Day of Yahweh - for it would no longer be a simple vindication of the Jews against their enemies, but might include them...

In other words - even within the Bible itself, we find different views and opinions on how to live, how to worship, and what to expect - if anything.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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First of all, when you talk about a Jewish return to the homeland, are you talking about all Jews, or just some? I, for example, am Jewish--but also American. I recognize the importance of Israel for both religious and historical reasons...but I consider the United States to be my homeland. And as a direct result of that, I don't think of myself as 'returning' anywhere; I'm already here!
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
First of all, when you talk about a Jewish return to the homeland, are you talking about all Jews, or just some? I, for example, am Jewish--but also American. I recognize the importance of Israel for both religious and historical reasons...but I consider the United States to be my homeland. And as a direct result of that, I don't think of myself as 'returning' anywhere; I'm already here!

Yes, this is exactly what I point out in my above post: not all Jewish people consider Israel their "home" anymore. They are perfectly fine living in a "diaspora" - if that term is even applicable anymore, since it's been the primary way of life for them for thousands of years now.

Personally, how do you feel about Zionism (if you don't mind answering)?

Zionism (by the way, for those other people who are not aware of the actual meaning, besides conspiracy theories) is basically an approach to "Jewishness" that has a Nationalistic goal: the establishment of a homeland, a Nation.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:50 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
First of all, when you talk about a Jewish return to the homeland, are you talking about all Jews, or just some? I, for example, am Jewish--but also American. I recognize the importance of Israel for both religious and historical reasons...but I consider the United States to be my homeland. And as a direct result of that, I don't think of myself as 'returning' anywhere; I'm already here!
I was working with the Christian idea (well, those who are dispensationalists) that the Jews (all or most) have to return to their homeland in order to fulfill the bible and usher in the final age before Jesus comes back.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
I was working with the Christian idea (well, those who are dispensationalists) that the Jews (all or most) have to return to their homeland in order to fulfill the bible and usher in the final age before Jesus comes back.
Out of curiosity, I wonder how many Christian groups were focusing on these aspects of certain prophecies during, say, the various periods of medieval programs carried out against the Jews. How recent are these particular ones? Since Scofield and his Bible?
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:25 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Out of curiosity, I wonder how many Christian groups were focusing on these aspects of certain prophecies during, say, the various periods of medieval programs carried out against the Jews. How recent are these particular ones? Since Scofield and his Bible?
As far as I know, the modern movement amongst Christians in regards to Jews returning to their homeland as fulfillment of bible prophecy started with Darby and his dispenationalist ideas. He came from England to this country and it was picked up by folks like Scoffield and Moody and became part of popular Christian culture in places like Dallas Theological Seminary and so on..
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InsaneInDaMembrane View Post
As far as I know, the modern movement amongst Christians in regards to Jews returning to their homeland as fulfillment of bible prophecy started with Darby and his dispenationalist ideas. He came from England to this country and it was picked up by folks like Scoffield and Moody and became part of popular Christian culture in places like Dallas Theological Seminary and so on..

Thanks for the references!

I guess that's a good enough warrant to dismiss their ideas, in my opinion. I'm always wary of Christians who suddenly discover "new" applications of "prophecy" that have long ago been either "fulfilled" during the context of the original writing down of the prophecies, or been "un-fulfilled" because they just plain didn't come to pass. The Book of Daniel is a very late book that actively inserts prophecies into a pseudo-historical setting that "predicts" events that the author already knew had happened. Since the Prophet Daniel had been a supposedly historical figure, this late authorship seems to have done what it was intended to do: give the work an air of authority by using a known historical Prophet.

And this isn't even mentioning the correlation with Daniel and Dan'el of Ugaritic fame. Daniel (or Dan'el as some translate today) is listed along Job and Noah (if I remember correctly) as being famous historical figures with stories and myths associated with them prior to their inclusion in the Hebrew Bible. Later writers probably chose Job (and the folktales surrounding the middle section) as his subject for the Book of Job, just as the later author of the Book of Daniel seems to have chosen Dan'el and placed him in a late exilic setting.

But, I think the Dispensationlists have a strange way of looking at things. I remember my first Bible was a Scofield Reference Bible, and even at my early age I found myself disagreeing with many of his claims. It sure gave fuel to the fire of all those people screaming that Russia was the Great Bear of the North in Revelations lol. Not so "Great", anymore....
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