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To all,

Time has been restricted over this past week.  At present, it is my intention over the weekend to formulate my next "instalment" within the discussion-debate itself.  Due to the nature of the discussion-debate, this will take a bit more time than some of the "quick" postings that I am able to present in these "external" threads.

 

​Brother "Alimantado," (Is it permitted to have your given last name in order that I might refer to you in that manner?)

Actually, I have two reasons why I would contend that the "seventy weeks" phrase in Daniel 9:24 does not mean a literal seven weeks of 490 days.  I did not develop this in the discussion-debate with Brother Day because he and I are already in agreement that the "seventy weeks" phrase in Daniel 9:24 refers to 490 years, rather than 490 days.  So then, that which I presented in your quoting of me above would be the second reason, which is built upon the first reason.  The first reason that I would present would indeed appeal to the underlying Hebrew.  (Just a small corrective to you -- It would be underlying Hebrew, not underlying Greek, since this portion of Scripture is in the Old Testament.)  The Hebrew word that is translated by the English word "weeks" in Daniel 9:24 is the Hebrew word for "seven."  Thus a literal rending of the phrase would be "seventy sevens."  Now, within a context that concerns the matter of time sequence, the most natural grouping of sevens is that of the seven days which make up a week.  However, the Hebrew word itself does not require a reference to a sequence of days.  Rather, the Hebrew word simply indicates a sequence of seven "somethings."  Then, on the ground of this understanding concerning the underlying Hebrew word, I would present as my second reason that which you quoted above -- "Now, the distance of time between these events are known by historical record to be greater than a period of sixty-nine literal weeks.  Rather, we understand by the historical record that the distance of time between these events encompassed a multitude of years (indeed, 483 years).  Therefore, we are brought to understand that the 'seventy sevens' of this context are a reference unto seventy groupings of seven years each."

First, I am not fully in agreement with Brother Dave that correct grammatical analysis will automatically result in a correct understanding and conclusion of a passage.  However, I would contend that a correct grammatical analysis is necessary for a correct understanding and conclusion of a passage.

Second, Brother "Alimantado," although I am somewhat in agreement with the point that you are seeking to make above, I cannot agree that your example is accurate to your point.  In the first place, within your opening comments, you change the point that Brother Dave was making.  Brother Dave was speaking concerning when someone analyses the grammar of a sentence correctly.  However, by the end of your opening comments, you were speaking concerning when someone uses the grammar of a sentence correctly, as per your statement -- "This argument relies on a premise that grammar is like maths: it's totally unambiguous when used correctly."  You continue this change in the point when, after presenting your example, you ask the question and deliver the answer -- "Did I use grammar correctly? Yes I did. I used the most popular British way of listing items in a sentence, which is to omit the serial comma before the word 'and'."  Brother Dave's point was not about the correct usage of grammar, but about the correct analysis of the grammar that is being used by another.

Furthermore, on the ground of Brother Dave's point concerning correct grammatical analysis, your example actually makes his point --

In your sentence, as you indicated that you intended it, the grammar would be as follows:

Subject - I; Verb - wish; Infinitive - to thank; Compound direct object of the infinitive - (1) my authors, (2) Rod, and (3) Jane.

However, as per your example of Timmy's viewpoint, Timmy analyzed the grammar as follows:

Subject - I; Verb - wish; Infinitive - to thank; Direct object of the infinitive - my authors; Appositive for the noun "authors" - (1) Rod and (2) Jane.

In your example it is specifically because Timmy incorrectly analyzed the grammar of the sentence that he formulated the wrong conclusion.

On the other hand, I will certainly agree that grammar can be used in a somewhat ambiguous manner.  As such, ambiguous grammar allows for more than one possibility in the process of grammatical analysis.  Furthermore, with more than one possibility in the process of grammatical analysis, there would exist more than one possibility with the meaning of the sentence.

​Thanks for expanding on your intpretation of 70 weeks, Pastor Scott. Actually I think you did refer to both reasons and I failed to point out one of them--apologies.

"In the first place, within your opening comments, you change the point that Brother Dave was making.  Brother Dave was speaking concerning when someone analyses the grammar of a sentence correctly.  However, by the end of your opening comments, you were speaking concerning when someone uses the grammar of a sentence correctly, as per your statement -- "This argument relies on a premise that grammar is like maths: it's totally unambiguous when used correctly."  You continue this change in the point when, after presenting your example, you ask the question and deliver the answer -- "Did I use grammar correctly? Yes I did. I used the most popular British way of listing items in a sentence, which is to omit the serial comma before the word 'and'."  Brother Dave's point was not about the correct usage of grammar, but about the correct analysis of the grammar that is being used by another."

I disagree that I changed Dave's point. To explain:

"...you were speaking concerning when someone uses the grammar of a sentence correctly, as per your statement -- "This argument relies on a premise that grammar is like maths: it's totally unambiguous when used correctly."

The premise talks about both using and analysing. In order for grammar to be analysed, grammar must be used. You accept that don't you? I'm saying there that the meaning will be unambiguous to the person doing the analysing (the reader), assuming the grammar has been used correctly.

All I'm doing there is laying out the premise, which includes that there is a correctly written sentence there to be analysed. Dave didn't make explicit reference to the correct usage of grammar in his syllogism because we are dealing with scripture and we can assume it. I chose to make it explicit, but that doesn't mean my main point isn't about analysis of grammar.

You continue this change in the point when, after presenting your example, you ask the question and deliver the answer -- "Did I use grammar correctly? Yes I did. I used the most popular British way of listing items in a sentence, which is to omit the serial comma before the word 'and'." 

Actually I make three points in that section: one about usage (and I'll explain why in a sec) and two about analysis. You ignore the two about analysis and focus on the one about usage. But all I'm doing by referring to usage here is ruling out the possibility of incorrect usage being a factor in the analysis. Why did I choose to do that? Because in my hypothetical example we are dealing with my (hypothetical) writings and not scripture, so I thought it better to explicitely rule out that variable. What you've just done is take that one minor point and erase everything around it, so that if we were to just read your post we would think I was talking only about usage. I was not. The example is about how someone called Timmy analyses a sentence, and my reference to usage is a minor point within that.

On to your next criticism:

"In your example it is specifically because Timmy incorrectly analyzed the grammar of the sentence that he formulated the wrong conclusion."

I think it's a shame that you make this point without referring to this bit of my argument:

"Was Timmy's 'analysis' of my grammar invalid? Nope. It's common for people to use a comma to put things in apposition. In this case, according to Timmy, the co-authors and their names. Therefore it's perfectly possible that I did mean to thank the co-authors and give their names, and Timmy's analysis isn't invalid."

And later on:

"His analysis was valid--it's correct to use a comma like that--but his conclusion was wrong because I employed the comma in an equally valid way that means something different. In other words, the grammar in the sentence is ambiguous."

My point is that there are two equally valid ways to interpret the sentence. The problem is not Timmy's analysis--he was correct to posit that a comma can be used in that way--the problem is that the grammar is ambiguous. My overall point: grammar can be used correctly, analysed in a valid way, yet even then it is possible to draw the wrong conclusion because of the possible existence of ambiguity.

I think your counter here is about semantics. You could say that the conclusion is part of the analysis, and therefore by falling foul of a hasty conclusion, Timmy has in fact analysed incorrectly. So maybe I'm using the word 'analyse' incorrectly. I don't think this harms the point I'm making, however.

"As such, ambiguous grammar allows for more than one possibility in the process of grammatical analysis."

Actually there are any number of possibilities in the process of gramatical analysis even if the grammar is unambiguous, since I could come up with 100 'analyses' that are totally wrong-headed, for example if I interpret a comma as a full-stop, or a question mark as a colon. But you were talking about correct analyses, weren't you, as in ambiguous grammar could result in a sentence having more than one valid interpretation? And that's what I meant when I said that Timmy had analysed correctly and yet drawn the wrong conclusion.

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Preterism is no worse than futurism.  They are both wrong and products of the Jesuits.

​I have never studied Preterism nor Catholicism, yet I arrived at my conclusion using a KJB for 20+ years before I started with the Bible I use now, the Geneva. I only attended one Independent Baptist Church, the one I got saved at, and my pastor never taught Partial nor full Preterism.  I understand the Bible and read it and study it, without using any mans teaching, and have 'come up' with what I now believe, what I call 'partial preterism'.

[And just to share some info - what Covenanter and I believe is almost identical with what the fellas who translated my bible wrote in the gloss of my 1560. Almost verbatim  - 455 years ago - in Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 - and Daniel 9.]

 

So what happened? Where did I go wrong.

Edited by Genevanpreacher

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​Not sure of your points in any of this post friend but thanks for quoting me anyway. The last lines of your post however were simply Markle's refute of the unverified, unreliable reliance preterism has on man's written account of history. No, he certainly does not buy into preterism in any form or fraction of it from what I can tell.

​No worries. Like I said in my post, I couldn't understand why you were apparently making most of your points in response to my post--it seemed like you were responding to someone else but had clicked the 'quote' button on mine by mistake. Clearly we are very much talking past one another. The fact that I picked up your points anyway and tried to respond to them was just me being charitable.

The last lines of my post were about Pastor Markle's explanation of his own interpretation of 70 weeks. Here's what he said:

"Now, the distance of time between these events are known by historical record to be greater than a period of sixty-nine literal weeks."

That's Pastor Scott laying out why he doesn't interpret "70 weeks" as literally 70 weeks. It's not him trying to refute anyone else. Don't believe me? Scroll up to here, where Pastor Markle expands on this explanation. Pastor Scott says that he interprets the underlying Herbrew (corrected--thanks Pastor Scott) as not referring to literally 70 weeks, and then further supports this interpretation with what the historical record shows.

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The basic premise of a literal interpretation is that we understand it literally unless there is indication in the language that it is not to be taken literally, or information that indicates it is not literal.

In the instance of the 70 weeks, when we look for relevant reference to the 70 weeks in the Bible, we find none that link with 70 literal weeks of days.

In investigating further, we find that the word used to indicate weeks in the Hebrew is very much akin to the english word "dozen" which relates to the number of things, not the things themselves.

So we look to see if any other multiple of seven timespans fits with the record.

"Months" doesn't work either.

"Years" as a timespan in multiples of seven, does work.

This can be figured out without reference to the Hebrew word, but the Hebrew supports the understanding of weeks of years, not weeks of days.

Smarter men than I have done the calculations, and indeed there were seven weeks of years from the command to the rebuilding, thereby setting the reference as weeks of years.

 

Edited by DaveW

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I understand the "weeks" are understood to be referring to years. What I don't understand is where the idea of there being a huge gap of "weeks" (years) between 69 and 70. Why are the first 69 weeks (of years) consecutive but suddenly there is an indefinite (and huge) number of "weeks" (of years) that don't count until one day the 70th week of years finally occurs?

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My point is that there are two equally valid ways to interpret the sentence. The problem is not Timmy's analysis--he was correct to posit that a comma can be used in that way--the problem is that the grammar is ambiguous. My overall point: grammar can be used correctly, analysed in a valid way, yet even then it is possible to draw the wrong conclusion because of the possible existence of ambiguity.

I think your counter here is about semantics. You could say that the conclusion is part of the analysis, and therefore by falling foul of a hasty conclusion, Timmy has in fact analysed incorrectly. So maybe I'm using the word 'analyse' incorrectly. I don't think this harms the point I'm making, however.

"As such, ambiguous grammar allows for more than one possibility in the process of grammatical analysis."

Actually there are any number of possibilities in the process of gramatical analysis even if the grammar is unambiguous, since I could come up with 100 'analyses' that are totally wrong-headed, for example if I interpret a comma as a full-stop, or a question mark as a colon. But you were talking about correct analyses, weren't you, as in ambiguous grammar could result in a sentence having more than one valid interpretation? And that's what I meant when I said that Timmy had analysed correctly and yet drawn the wrong conclusion.

​Ok, it appears that you and I were seeking to communicate the same point through different terminology, and that I misunderstood your intended usage for some of your terminology.  I do ask your forgiveness for that misunderstanding. 

Yes, if I were to seek to deliver a "counter," it would likely be on the level of "semantics."  Wherein you state -- "My point is that there are two equally valid ways to interpret the sentence," I would probably have said something like -- "My point is that there are two equally valid possibilities concerning the grammatical understanding of the sentence."  Then wherein you state -- "The problem is not Timmy's analysis--he was correct to posit that a comma can be used in that way--the problem is that the grammar is ambiguous," I would contend that the problem is with Timmy's analysis, in that he either did not recognize or did not acknowledge that there were two possible understandings concerning the grammar of the sentence. 

I present the above, not in order to engage in a further argument concerning your hypothetical with Timmy, but in order to illustrate the need in Bible study for us to consider as complete a picture of the possibilities as we are able.  If a portion of Scripture is somewhat ambiguous in its grammatical construction, then we should acknowledge the number of possibilities that are available.  Furthermore, we should then demonstrate the evidences through which we might choose (or, at least, lean toward) one of those possibilities over any others.

Concerning your overall point -- "My overall point: grammar can be used correctly, analysed in a valid way, yet even then it is possible to draw the wrong conclusion because of the possible existence of ambiguity" -- we stand in agreement.  However, I would contend that we also need, not only to analyze the grammar in a valid way, but also to analyze the grammar in as complete a manner as possible.

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There's nothing there I disagree with, Pastor Scott--thanks for following up. I would add that I haven't attempted to argue that the grammar is ambiguous in any of the passages you've discussed in your debate. I think I've been exploring a more general argument about analysing grammar.

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I would add that I haven't attempted to argue that the grammar is ambiguous in any of the passages you've discussed in your debate. I think I've been exploring a more general argument about analysing grammar.

​Brother,

I fully understood this.  On my own part, I am not aware of anything ambiguous with the grammar in either of the two verses (Daniel 9:24-25) that I have handled thus far.  If someone were able to reveal something, I would certainly be willing to consider it.

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I understand the "weeks" are understood to be referring to years. What I don't understand is where the idea of there being a huge gap of "weeks" (years) between 69 and 70. Why are the first 69 weeks (of years) consecutive but suddenly there is an indefinite (and huge) number of "weeks" (of years) that don't count until one day the 70th week of years finally occurs?

​Brother John,

This is indeed what I thought that you had intended in your earlier comment.  Obviously, since this "huge gap" idea is a part of my position, it will be my responsibility to demonstrate within the discussion-debate the reasons and evidences for which I take this position.  I will attempt to do so as the discussion-debate moves to Daniel 9:26-27.  I did not begin with this point of disagreement, although I acknowledge that it is one of the greatest points of disagreement, because I believe that the truths of each verse in the passage build upon the truths of the previous verse(s).

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Preterism is no worse than futurism.  They are both wrong and products of the Jesuits.

Rubbish. Our beliefs are justified by Scripture, certainly NOT by Jesuit writings. I've never read any Jesuit writings, and I doubt if anyone on the forum has. 

RC's are not 100% wrong in their basic doctrine, so teaching partial Preterism does not make that doctrine wrong. Likewise futurism, baptism of converts, the Trinity, virgin birth, heaven, etc. 

Doctrines must be tested by Scripture, NOT by who taught them. 

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Rubbish. Our beliefs are justified by Scripture, certainly NOT by Jesuit writings. I've never read any Jesuit writings, and I doubt if anyone on the forum has. 

RC's are not 100% wrong in their basic doctrine, so teaching partial Preterism does not make that doctrine wrong. Likewise futurism, baptism of converts, the Trinity, virgin birth, heaven, etc. 

Doctrines must be tested by Scripture, NOT by who taught them. 

Amen Ian.

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Doctrines must be tested by Scripture, NOT by who taught them. 

​Brother Day and I are strongly in agreement on this point.  If indeed a doctrine, as tested by Scripture, is found to be Biblically true, then its origin is in the Lord our God Himself, not in any individual or group who may have taught or popularized that particular doctrine.

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​I have never studied Preterism nor Catholicism, yet I arrived at my conclusion using a KJB for 20+ years before I started with the Bible I use now, the Geneva. I only attended one Independent Baptist Church, the one I got saved at, and my pastor never taught Partial nor full Preterism.  I understand the Bible and read it and study it, without using any mans teaching, and have 'come up' with what I now believe, what I call 'partial preterism'.

[And just to share some info - what Covenanter and I believe is almost identical with what the fellas who translated my bible wrote in the gloss of my 1560. Almost verbatim  - 455 years ago - in Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 - and Daniel 9.]

 

So what happened? Where did I go wrong.

​I agree with Covenanter on Dan 9, Matt 24, ark 13, and Luke 21 but I am not a preterist.  

The KJV translators believed that the pope is the Antichrist, I believe the Geneva translators also did.  Certainly the earlier English translators also did, as did the early French and German translators.

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​I agree with Covenanter on Dan 9, Matt 24, ark 13, and Luke 21 but I am not a preterist.  

The KJV translators believed that the pope is the Antichrist, I believe the Geneva translators also did.  Certainly the earlier English translators also did, as did the early French and German translators.

​And I am not a Preterist also. Just a born again Baptist brother.

As for the anti-christ being in the view of the translators the Pope, yes there are notes that say that. But he was anti-christ, as John even said back then, there are many anti-christs. 

The Pope is still anti-christ.

Edited by Genevanpreacher

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​Brother Day and I are strongly in agreement on this point.  If indeed a doctrine, as tested by Scripture, is found to be Biblically true, then its origin is in the Lord our God Himself, not in any individual or group who may have taught or popularized that particular doctrine.

​The trouble is people have a doctrine and then try to find scriptures to agree with it.

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The basic premise of a literal interpretation is that we understand it literally unless there is indication in the language that it is not to be taken literally, or information that indicates it is not literal.

In the instance of the 70 weeks, when we look for relevant reference to the 70 weeks in the Bible, we find none that link with 70 literal weeks of days.

In investigating further, we find that the word used to indicate weeks in the Hebrew is very much akin to the english word "dozen" which relates to the number of things, not the things themselves.

So we look to see if any other multiple of seven timespans fits with the record.

"Months" doesn't work either.

"Years" as a timespan in multiples of seven, does work.

This can be figured out without reference to the Hebrew word, but the Hebrew supports the understanding of weeks of years, not weeks of days.

Smarter men than I have done the calculations, and indeed there were seven weeks of years from the command to the rebuilding, thereby setting the reference as weeks of years.

 

​The trouble with this teaching is that it leaves whether a passage is literal or not to the vagaries of human imagination.

 

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​The trouble with this teaching is that it leaves whether a passage is literal or not to the vagaries of human imagination.

 

No it doesn't - it is literal unless it tells you it isn't.

There is no guesswork.

When Jesus says "I am the vine, ye are the branches" there is no guessing whether it is literal or illustration.

The Bible is clear on this point - in the example of the 70 weeks it is obvious that it is not 70 weeks of days as the Biblical record simply doesn't work with 70 weeks of days.

If you investigate the Biblical record you find that 70 weeks of years fit perfectly. No guesswork.

To interpret the Bible any way other than literally unless it indicates otherwise is to leave it to guesswork.

The Bible tells you when it is not literal.

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No it doesn't - it is literal unless it tells you it isn't.

There is no guesswork.

When Jesus says "I am the vine, ye are the branches" there is no guessing whether it is literal or illustration.

The Bible is clear on this point - in the example of the 70 weeks it is obvious that it is not 70 weeks of days as the Biblical record simply doesn't work with 70 weeks of days.

If you investigate the Biblical record you find that 70 weeks of years fit perfectly. No guesswork.

To interpret the Bible any way other than literally unless it indicates otherwise is to leave it to guesswork.

The Bible tells you when it is not  literal.

​I wasn't disagreeing with the interpretation of the 70 weeks.  Just the general idea.  There are, of course, some who say that all prophecy is literal.  You don't interpret prophecy, you just read it.  one such group is SGAT, They say that the 70th week is still future, which of coursed is an interpretation, not literal.  

Edited by Invicta

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I've got no idea what SGAT is but I certainly believe that every part of the Bible it taken literally unless there is clear biblical indication otherwise.

It is not enough just think "well that's impossible so it must imagery".

It is not possible for a man to rise from the dead, but Jesus raised from the dead in a literal, physical body.

The text must in some way indicate it is a picture, illustration, or likeness, or it is to be taken literally.

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SGAT  =  Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony.  They follow B W Newton and a man called Tregelles. 

Sovereign grace?

No chance of me being Aligned with that false doctrine.

Advent?

No chance of me being aligned with that false mob (assuming it indicates some form of SDA rubbish).

But just because a group such as these preaches it does not make it wrong.

Plainly, the only reasonable way to view the Bible is literally unless it plainly indicates otherwise.

Any other way just means that you make up a meaning you like.

The Bible means what it says and says what it means - including telling us by various mechanisms when it is using pictures or illustrations.

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​The trouble with this teaching is that it leaves whether a passage is literal or not to the vagaries of human imagination.

​I wasn't disagreeing with the interpretation of the 70 weeks.  Just the general idea.

​Whether or not its sound, Dave's obviously presenting a systematic method, not some 'vagary'. Or if you insist the method/teaching is that, why not show how it is? Or was that just another fly-by assertion, Invicta?

See you in a few weeks when you drop in with three or four more unexplained and unhelpful one-liners...

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I've got no idea what SGAT is but I certainly believe that every part of the Bible it taken literally unless there is clear biblical indication otherwise.

It is not enough just think "well that's impossible so it must imagery".

It is not possible for a man to rise from the dead, but Jesus raised from the dead in a literal, physical body.

The text must in some way indicate it is a picture, illustration, or likeness, or it is to be taken literally.

I did encounter SGAT 50 years ago when I joined a church where a group had moved from a Baptist church that joined the ecumenical movement. They were very much into newspaper fulfilment of prophecy. 

As for figurative interpretation, we should be guided by the NT writers who sometimes use clear literal accounts in a surprising way. Gal. 4:21-31  1 Cor. 10:1-12. 

Some promises to Israel are applied to the church Exo. 19:5-6. 1 Peter 2:9 Is that application or fulfilment? Is Peter allegorising? Is that "replacement theology" or are God's promises fulfilled in Christ to all believers?

 

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OK, perhaps you could tell me which of the parables of Jesus were figurative and which were not?

​Tell you what, if you express clearly what that question has to do with your points or my points, then I'll try to answer that. 

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