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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in February 2009. The date format is dd/mm/yy.
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1/02/2009 "shabua`. A period of seven, a week, the Feast of Weeks. This term occurs twenty times in the or, always indicating a period of seven. Indeed, the word obviously comes to us from sheba' (q.v.) and could literally be translated always as `seven-period.' In Deut 16:9, shabu'a represents a period of seven days (literally `seven seven-periods you-shall-number-to-you'). The context in verses 9, 10, and 16 demands the time to be in terms of `days.' No serious expositor has ever argued for `years' here. It might be noted that in Deut 16:9 in the spelling of the plural, the central vowel letter-the waw-is omitted (shabu`ot), as it is also at times in the singular (e.g. Gen 29:27, shebua`) where in an unpointed text it would then be spelled identically to seven, sheba', in the feminine. While in Deut 16:9, discussed above, shabu'a represents a period of seven days, in Dan 9:24,25,26,27 it denotes a period of seven years in each of its appearances in these four verses. ... shabua` is also used as a technical term in Deut 16:10,16 where it denotes the Feast of Weeks (hag shabu`ot), i.e. the Feast of Seven-Periods. American Jewry often still call this feast `Shavuos,' but today's Israeli pronunciation is `Shavuot' It was so named because it was to be celebrated `on the morrow after' the seventh sabbath after the day of firstfruits (Lev 23:15-16)! Hence it was the feast of the day following the seven seven-periods, or the feast of Hamishim Yom, fifty days-'Pentecost' from the Greek. This feast marked the early wheat harvest at about the sixth of Sivan, at the end of our own month of May. Christians remember Pentecost as the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in fullness (Acts 2). As Christ was the `firstfruits' (I Cor 15:20,23), many also see in this later Feast of Weeks, shabua`, a picture of the coming resurrection of all the redeemed." (Harris, R.L.*, Archer, G.L.* & Waltke, B.K*., eds, "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1980, Twelfth Printing, 1992, Vol. II, p.899. Emphasis original). 1/02/2009 "Shabu`a n.m. Dn 9:27 period of seven (days, years), heptad, week (on format. v. Lag. BN 67);-abs. sh' Dn 9:27; cstr. shebu`a Gn 29:27-28; du. shebu`im Lev 12:5 pl. shab`(o)th Ex 34:22 + 4t. Dt. + (in term. techn.) 2 Ch 8:13; late shabu`im Dn 9:24 + 4 t. Dn; cstr. sheb`ith Je 5:24 (Ez 45:21 read shibe`ath with Vrss and all mod., v. sheba`); sf. shabu`othokem Nu 28:26; - 1. period of seven days (fr. a given time), week: Dt 16:9 Lv 12:5 (P) ; of marriage feast Gn 29:27-28 (E; cf. Ju 14:12 Tob 11:19); yamim shabu`im Dn 10:2-3 three weeks, days (three weeks long); qatsir huqoth Je 5:24 weeks of statutes (i.e. weeks appointed by) for harvest; term. techn. hag shabu`oth Ex 34:22 (J) feast of weeks (ending seven weeks of harvest), Dt 16:10,16 2 Ch 8:13, so sh' alone Nu 28:26 (P). 2. heptad or seven of years, late, Dn 9:24,25,26,27. - shebu`oth shebu`o Ez 21:28 v. [shaba`]" (Brown, F., Driver, S.R. & Briggs, C.A., "Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew English Lexicon," Hendrickson Publishers: Peabody MA, 1996, pp.988-989. Emphasis original) 1/02/2009 "Shabu`a m. (Dan. 9:27, shebu`a ze'th Gen. 29:27, should be rendered the week of this woman); const. shebu`a Gen. 29:27, 28; dual shebu`aim Levit. 12:5; pl. shabu`im m. (Dan. 9:25; 10:2, 3), .and shabu`oth const. shebu`oth with suff. shabu`othokem Nu. 28:26, a hebdomad, ebdomas septenary number (denom. from shba` seven, compare `asor a decade). (1) of days, a week, Gen. 29:27, 28. Dan. 10: 2, shelshah yamim shabu`im "through three weeks" (where yamim is not a genit., see yamim No. 2, b, page CCCXLII, A). hag shabu`oth the feast of (seven) weeks, pentecost, so called from the seven weeks which were counted from the passover to this festival, Deu. 16:9. Fully, Tob. 2:1, agia epta ebdomador. But, Eze. 45:21, hag shebu`oth yamim the feast of hebdomads of days is the passover, which was celebrated through the whole of seven days. (2) a hebdomad of years, Dan. 9:24, seqq. Compare Hebdomas annorum, Gell. N. A. iii. 10." (Tregelles, S.P.*, transl. , 1949, "Gesenius' Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Eighth printing, 1967, p.800. Emphasis original) 1/02/2009 "WEEKS thou shalt observe the feast of w Ex 34:22 7620 then she shall be unclean two w Lev 12:5 7620 the LORD, after your w be ou Num 28:28 7620 Seven w shalt thou number unto Deut 16:9 7620 seven w from such time as thou Deut 16:9 7620 Of w unto the Loan thy God with a Deut 16:10 7620 bread, and in the feast of w Deut 16:16 7620 bread, and in the feast of w 2Chr 8:13 7620 us the appointed w of the harvest Jer 5:24 7620 Seventy w are determined upon thy Dan 9:24 7620 the Prince shall be seven w Dan 9:25 7620 and threescore and two w Dan 9:25 7620 two w shall Messiah be cut off, Dan 9:26 7620 Daniel was mourning three full w Dan 10:2 7620 till three whole w were fulfilled Dan 10:3 7620 (Strong, J., "New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: King James Version," , Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, 1996, Reprinted, 2007, p.1440) 2/02/2009 "7620. ... shabuwa`, shaw-boo-ah; or ... shabua`, shaw-boo-ah; also (fem.) ... shebu`ah, sheb-oo-aw; prop. pass. part. of 7650 as a denom. of 7851; lit. sevened, i.e. a week (spec. of years):- seven, week." (Strong, J., "New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance: King James Version," , Thomas Nelson: Nashville TN, 1996, Reprinted, 2007, p.H136) 2/02/2009 "[Dan 9:24] The announcement of the seventy sevens ... Seventy sevens ... lit., sevens seventy. the word sevens-usually translated weeks-is placed first for the sake of emphasis. It constitutes the great theme of the passage. For the same reason, the numeral here follows the noun, and does not precede it, as is usually the case. The thought of the author may then be paraphrased, `Sevens--and in fact seventy of them are decreed, etc.' The word sevens here occurs in the m.pl., whereas it generally has a f.pl. This m.pl. also appears in Dan. 10:2, 3. The reason for this m. form ... is not clear unless it was for the deliberate purpose of calling attention to the fact that the word sevens is employed in an unusual sense. The word means divided into sevens, and generally signifies the most common of such divisions, namely, the ordinary week of seven days, e.g., Gen. 29:27 f. and Dan. 10:2,3. ... In Dan. 10:2, 3 an expression of time, days, is added, so that in this passage we are to understand ordinary weeks of 7 days each, or perhaps, three full weeks. Also in Dan. 8:14, where Dan. intends a definite period of time, he adds an expression `evenings- mornings.' " (Young, E.J., "A Commentary on Daniel," , Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, British edition, 1972, Reprinted, 1978, p.195. Emphasis original) 20/02/2009 "AN UNBROKEN belief stretches from earliest Hebrew times to the present century that supernatural knowledge in the form of a fulfilled prophetic utterance, and supernatural power in the form of a miracle are indicia of a divinely given revelation. The Biblical appeal to this type of evidence is clear; the Church Fathers wrote extensively on the subject; and the witness of the fulfilled prophetic word and the accomplished miracle has been central in Christian apologetics in the subsequent Catholic and Protestant centuries. Few convictions in Christendom have such a sustained historical continuity. However, the appeal to Christian evidences has been seriously questioned in modern times. Philosophers have construed systems which have ex hypothesi excluded any supernatural events. Philosophers have also questioned the sufficiency of the grounds of Christian evidences, or the validity of the argument from evidences. Scientists are of the opinion that the supernaturalism of Christian evidences is incompatible with the naturalism of the scientific method. Religious liberals, having agreed with the scientists, added a religious objection: in that God assertedly always works from within nature, he never works on nature from the outside, i.e., supernaturally. Finally, theologians under the influence of Kierkegaard have urged that any obvious, supernatural act of God would be destructive for faith, or inconsequential to it. The result is that within and without the Church the traditional apology of the witness of prophecy and miracle receives scant attention. But if the historical revelation of God be accepted, how is the argument from prophecy and miracle to be assessed? Should this part of our apologetic be judged as outmoded? Or is the witness of the Christian centuries to the validity of this appeal to be maintained? Whatever may be the doubts of modern theologians about Christian evidences, the Biblical witness is clear: the fulfilled prophetic utterance and the accomplished miracle are the indicia of a supernatural revelation and redemption wrought by a Divine Person who is making himself known by these means." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Evidence of Prophecy and Miracle," in Henry," in C.F.H., ed., "Revelation and the Bible: Contemporary Evangelical Thought," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1958, Eighth printing, 1980, pp.253-254. Emphasis original) 20/02/2009 "Man has similarly developed an alphabet of knowledge, and much of what we have said of the alphabet of power pertains to the alphabet of knowledge. Psychologically speaking, man feels his limitations of knowledge greatest when he faces decisions which seem to require detailed knowledge of the future. If an alphabet of power be transcended, it will be most singularly transcended in the area of future events which do not exist as yet. A transcending of an alphabet of knowledge points to an Omniscient Spirit. The fulfilled prophetic word is the witness of the action of the Living God. The Biblical notion is clear with reference to the fulfilled prophetic word: The God of Israel is the Living God because he knows what shall be, and this omniscience differentiates the God of Israel from false gods, and the prophet of Israel from false prophets; and the religion of Israel from false religions." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Evidence of Prophecy and Miracle," in Henry," in C.F.H., ed., "Revelation and the Bible: Contemporary Evangelical Thought," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1958, Eighth printing, 1980, p.262) 20/02/2009 "Some generous soul might grant that the structure here presented is valid as a structure, but would doubt if there is a reality to which the structure conforms. Does Christian evidences make its case? Perhaps the exegesis behind the fulfilled prophetic word is wrong, or the document which contains the prophecy was written centuries after the events described. And might not the history of the documents which report miracles be suspect? And are there not several other possible explanations of miracles besides referring them to God? Since we have elsewhere treated these problems extensively, in our work Protestant Christian Evidences, we shall not repeat the materials here. In the previous part of this essay we noted that we do not expect evidences to make their case apart from the Holy Spirit. But the authenticity of evidences as witnesses to revelation may be suggested by the following considerations: (1) In its doctrine of God as Creator the Christian faith has the necessary prerequisite of the occurrence of supernatural events in this world. He who is Creator possesses the wisdom and the power to so act. (2) The Christian faith also has the necessary justification for such supernatural acts in its doctrines of sin, revelation, and redemption. Human sin, divine redemption, and supernatural act are of one piece, and their impressiveness is seen in their interrelationship. The divine revelation and redemption illuminate the mind with reference to the meaning of the supernatural act. Biblical miracles are not historical oddities nor indigestible entities nor mythological tales; they are `lighted' from within by the meaning derived from the doctrines of revelation and redemption. ... On the other hand, the supernatural act is an arrow, a witness, a signal which arrests our minds and stirs our hearts from their spiritual stupor. It is a necessary and dramatic means of calling attention to the redemptive drama, and without this dramatic witness we might let the redemptive drama go unnoticed. And while calling such dramatic attention to such an occurring redemption it also indicates its divine character. (3) By careful exegesis of the Scripture text the divine fulfillment of the divine promise may be shown. Not even the radical redating of the Old Testament books destroys the force of the argument since numerous prophecies fall on the other side of these critical dates. By a study of the text and their contents the weight of evidence can be shown to lean towards the historicity of the miracles of Jesus Christ, and particularly to his resurrection. The life and writings of Paul are decisive at this point. Most critics accept the basic Pauline writings as authentic, and they give us an early and reliable witness to the resurrection. The fulfilled promise of a prophetic word, the miraculous act of an apostle, are part of the divine indicia which inform the believing heart that the religion he holds within his heart by reason of the witness of the Spirit in the Word exists also in the world (prior to his personal experience) by the supernatural acts of the Living God." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Evidence of Prophecy and Miracle," in Henry," in C.F.H., ed., "Revelation and the Bible: Contemporary Evangelical Thought," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1958, Eighth printing, 1980, pp.262-263. Emphasis original) 20/02/2009 "Attempts to Avoid Miraculous Fulfillment In churches that follow critical scholarship, the idea that God would send prophets to make successful predictions is treated as a quaint and outmoded concept that modern persons cannot accept. Such miracles simply do not happen. In these circles, therefore, the Bible is radically reinterpreted in order to explain away the need for literal fulfillment. Various techniques are used for this purpose. First, radical critics often redate large portions of the Old Testament prophetic literature so as to have them written after the events they predict rather than before (as the Bible itself claims). or instance, parts of Isaiah (especially chapters 40-66) are ascribed to later authors to avoid both predicting the Babylonian exile and naming the king who would allow the Jews to return from it. Daniel's prophecy of events leading up to the Maccabean revolt is so detailed that the whole book is removed from the traditional time of the prophet (sixth century B.C.) to the revolt some four centuries later. Prophetic allusions to a siege against Tyre fulfilled in the time of Alexander (c. 330 B.C.) must mean that Zechariah 9-14 was written centuries later than Zechariah's time. Conservative responses to such claims' are typically dismissed as special pleading, even though the conservative view matches the Bible's own representation of the matter. It also makes better sense of why anyone at the time would think these prophets were actually messengers from God, and it avoids having to charge half the writers (or editors) of the Old Testament with fraud or fiction." (Newman, R.C.*, "Fulfilled Prophecy as Miracle," in Geivett, R.D. & Habermas, G.R., eds., "In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History," Apollos: Leicester UK, 1997, pp.214-215. Emphasis original) 20/02/2009 "Second, critical scholars frequently argue that the Hebrew prophets never meant for any elements of their preaching to refer to events beyond their own horizon.' Thus anything mentioned by a prophet that appears to be fulfilled centuries later was probably something the prophet expected to happen in his own day. The event predicted may have happened earlier, but we do not know enough about the prophet's time to identify the event. Or perhaps the prophet was mistaken in thinking it would happen then. But again, this critical technique ignores the Bible's own claim that God knows the future and communicates some such information to his prophets." (Newman, R.C.*, "Fulfilled Prophecy as Miracle," in Geivett, R.D. & Habermas, G.R., eds., "In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History," Apollos: Leicester UK, 1997, p.215) 20/02/2009 "Other techniques are occasionally used to deny the literal fulfillment of prophecy-a later writer invented the fulfillment for an earlier prophecy, someone staged the fulfillment of an earlier prediction, or "fulfillment" is also common in pagan prophecy. When all else fails, one can claim the prophetic utterance was vague or the fulfillment a mere coincidence. But suppose we really want to know whether or not miracles occur. Fulfilled predictions are one type of miracle that can be tested centuries after the event took place. All we need is good evidence (1) that the text clearly envisions the sort of event alleged to be the fulfillment, (2) that the prophecy was made well in advance of the event predicted, (3) that the prediction actually came true and (4) that the event predicted could not have been staged by anyone but God. The strength of this evidence is greatly enhanced if (5) the event itself is so unusual that the apparent fulfillment cannot be plausibly explained as a good guess." (Newman, R.C.*, "Fulfilled Prophecy as Miracle," in Geivett, R.D. & Habermas, G.R., eds., "In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History," Apollos: Leicester UK, 1997, p.215) 21/02/2009 "Fulfilled Prophecy as Evidence Among the evidences put forth by the Bible for the truth of biblical Christianity, fulfilled predictions are especially important. ... God began to send prophets early in Israel's history so that his people might know what he required and how they were doing. God's instructions for this class of spokesmen-prophets are detailed in the 18th chapter of Deuteronomy. ... prediction was important to verify a prophet's credentials. The prophet's authority was in principle enormous; the Israelites were to obey whatever he said. `I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account' (Deut 18:18-19). Naturally, such authority provided a strong temptation for charlatans to claim prophetic gifts. To counter this temptation, God provided a strong deterrent: conviction for false prophecy bore the death penalty. `But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say ... must be put to death' (Deut 18:20). One of the main tests for false prophecy was inaccuracy of prediction. If a prophet erred in only one prediction, he was a false prophet! `You may say to yourselves. `How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?' If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him' (Deut 18:21-22)." (Newman, R.C.*, ed., "The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity," Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, 1988, Fourth printing, 1998, pp.5-6. Emphasis original) 21/02/2009 "The mechanism behind this test is quite simple. God controls the future: he supports his own prophets while defeating false ones. `I am the LORD, who has made all things ... who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners ... who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers' (Isa 44:25-26). As best we can tell, the written predictions of biblical prophets were made by those who passed this test." (Newman, R.C.*, ed., "The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity," Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, 1988, Fourth printing, 1998, pp.6-7) 21/02/2009 "Alternative Explanations At this point, someone might object that the accuracy of biblical prediction is just a result of selection: only those predictions were preserved which were actually fulfilled. To this we respond: we have no way of knowing what was done centuries ago unless it was recorded. Of course, we can fantasize any reconstruction of history to avoid problems for our own worldview, but if we really want to know what happened, this is dangerous business. There is no evidence in Scripture that editors removed or refused to record disfulfillments. In fact, many predictions of the Bible were not fulfilled until centuries after the Bible was written, and it is these we will concentrate on in the course of this book." (Newman, R.C.*, ed., "The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity," Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, 1988, Fourth printing, 1998, p.7. Emphasis original) 21/02/2009 "Perhaps one might prefer the explanation that some people just naturally have an extrasensory prophetic gift. The Hebrews were merely unusual in developing a selection mechanism to locate such individuals. I would respond that this is not the Bible's explanation. It is usually safer to accept an explanation for a given ability from one who has the ability than from one who doesn't. In any case, this explanation does not handle other evidences for the truth of biblical Christianity. From a scientific perspective, man has a limited ability to predict the future which rapidly erodes as the prediction becomes more detailed or applies to more distant times." (Newman, R.C.*, ed., "The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity," Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, 1988, Fourth printing, 1998, p.7) 21/02/2009 "In a word, then, is the Bible merely a human, secular book? Or is it the Word of God? By what accredited method can we decide the issue? One of the several methods open to us is the one which Yahweh, the God of Israel, offered in Isaiah's time: the test of prophecy. Addressing the Israelites enslaved by the Babylonians and exiled alongside the Chebar Canal on the Euphrates around 550 B.C., Yahweh contended that the God who can predict the future is the true God. More specifically, He contended that the God who through His prophets can predict immediate prophecies whose fulfillment is subject to verification, and more remote prophecies as well, is the true God. He threw out the challenge with these words: `Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.' To this the people add: `Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. Tell us what is to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; do good, or do harm, that we may be dismayed and terrified' (Is. 41:21-23, RSV). Most reasonable minds will concur that such a challenge is fair. Who can predict the future even for a year or for a month or for a day? I can tell you how you can immediately become a multimillionaire if you can predict the future for just thirty minutes. Buy on the New York Stock Exchange a few minutes before a stock goes up, sell a few minutes before a stock goes down, and you will make profits that could soar into fantastic millions. But who can know the future except God? If God can predict the future, then He must control the course of events; He must be sovereign. Moreover, the human agent who transmits the message of that future has the word of God in his mouth." (Criswell, W.A.*, "The Bible and Prophecy," in C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, pp.18-19) 21/02/2009 "It is a sober historical fact that no god but the God of the Bible has accepted this challenge to produce a series of specific predictions about the future. The gods and their prophets of Isaiah's time were dumb. Therefore Yahweh rightly concluded: `Behold, you are nothing, and your work is nought; an abomination is he who chooses you' (Is. 41:24, RSV). Again He commented: `But when I look there is no one; among these there is no counselor who, when I ask, gives an answer. Behold, they are all a delusion; their works are nothing; their molten images are empty wind' (Is. 41:28-29, RSV). Notice that the God of the Bible is not saying that other religions do not have their prophets. For example, in Isaiah 44:25 (RSV), God describes Himself as one `who frustrates the omens of liars, and makes fools of diviners; who turns wise men back, and makes their knowledge foolish.' ...Yahweh is not challenging the false gods to set forth a prophecy; this any god can do. Rather, He is challenging the religions of the world to set forth before they occur, a series of precise, humanly unforeseeable prophecies that in time are fully confirmed by history. No other religion has met this challenge. ... The failure on the part of other religions to give a precise series of prophecies demonstrates their human origin. ... Because man cannot control the course of events, he therefore cannot accurately predict the future. Any religion that fails to predict accurately the program of the future is merely human. But the Bible contains many predictions foretold before the events." (Criswell, W.A.*, "The Bible and Prophecy," in C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, p.19) 21/02/2009 "But many will not accept [that] ... conclusion from the evidence ... because they have no guarantee that the prediction was actually made before the event. After all, they ask, do not the earliest manuscripts date after the event? And if that be so, they continue, how can one know that the prophecy was not formulated to fit the event after it occurred? The question is a legitimate one. In the dedication to his book on prophecy, Bishop Newton refers to some conversations he had with Marshal Wade. The latter, it seems, laughed at the alleged proof of Christianity from the fulfillment of prophecy, and set aside the whole argument with the observation that the predictions may have been written after the events occurred. The bishop replied that several prophecies were not fulfilled until recent times, and several others were beyond doubt written centuries before the events took place. Marshal Wade was startled `and said he must acknowledge that, if this point could be proved to satisfaction, there would be no argument against such plain matter of fact; it would certainly convince him, and he believed, would be the readiest way to convince every reasonable man of the truth of revelation.' [Urquhart, J., ""The Wonders of Prophecy or What are We to Believe?," Christian Alliance Publishing Co: New York, n.d., p.18]" (Criswell, W.A.*, "The Bible and Prophecy," in C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, pp.23-24) 22/02/2009 "International conditions approximate the prerequisites of the coming of Christ. In Luke 21:29-34 Jesus gave the sign of the fig tree and other trees. In Scripture the fig tree has represented Israel (Lk. 13:6-9), and the other trees represent other nations; these other trees are not primarily in mind, however, in the signs given by Jesus. He spoke of the fig tree putting forth shoots, a warning that summer is nigh. If the fig tree represents Israel, as we believe it does, then the return of Israel to Palestine, in fulfillment of many passages of Scripture, is the putting forth of shoots by the fig tree. God has promised to bring Israel back (Jer. 3:16-18; Amos 9:11-12; Eze. 36:24, 34; 37:21-22, 25). In Israel we have the birth of an independent nation which now is flourishing. On May 14, 1948, Israel became an independent state by action of the United Nations. There were many precursors of this development in the long struggle from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century of individual groups of Jews returning to Palestine. The great leap forward came with Britain's Balfour Declaration which espoused the establishment of a national home for the Jews in Palestine as official policy. Britain later revoked this in the White Paper of 1939 and, by repudiating her pledge, condemned tens of thousands of Jews to the ovens of Hitler in World War II. The question may well be raised as to whether the decline of Britain is not connected with her perfidy in reference to Israel. Now for the first time in. history Jerusalem has been restored to Israel. Ever since 586 B.C., Jerusalem has been trodden down by the Gentiles, first by the Chaldeans, then in turn by the Medes, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs; the Crusaders, the Saracens, and the Turks. Then, until 1967, the British had control of Jerusalem. Now the city is restored to Israel. Jesus said, `Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (Lk. 21:24)." (Ockenga, H.J.*, "Fulfilled and Unfulfilled Prophecy," in Henry, C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, pp.308-309) 22/02/2009 "In Leviticus 26, which foretells God's judgments upon a disobedient Israel, the time element is mentioned on three occasions as `seven times' (vv. 18, 24, 28). Taking Numbers 14:34, Ezekiel 4:6-7, Daniel 8:26 and Revelation 11:1-3 as a unit, we seem justified in concluding that the prime key to the prophetic time measurement lies in substituting year for day, that is, each day represents a year. This is very clear from Numbers 14. In keeping with the Mosaic law and ritual, Leviticus 26:24 prophesied a great Levitical week of years, that is, a year of days of years. This great sheva, or seven, day-years comes to a total of 2556.6954 years (365.2422 x 7). When this cipher of Leviticus 26 is applied to the end date of June 6-7, 1967, when the Jews took over Jerusalem from the Arabs, then the date arrived at is Match 7, 588 B.C. This is derived as follows: 2556.6954 -1966.4333 (A.D.) = 590.2621 (B.C.) In other words, seven day-years make a total of 2556.6954; from this figure the time period of the Christian calendar up to June 6, 1967, is subtracted, giving us the B.C. date. By correcting the error of the Christian calendar to compensate for the `0' B.C. - A.D: fiction, our answer becomes March 7, 588 B.C., the beginning date of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. This is indeed a remarkable manifestation of the fulfillment of God's Word through Moses concerning the punishments that should come upon Israel for transgressing His law and willfully rejecting His invitations to repentance." (Ockenga, H.J.*, "Fulfilled and Unfulfilled Prophecy," in Henry, C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, pp.308-309) 22/02/2009 "The termination of the times of the Gentiles is that period when the generation then living shall not pass away until all of the prophecies concerning the second coming of our Lord shall have been fulfilled (Lk. 21:23)." (Ockenga, H.J.*, "Fulfilled and Unfulfilled Prophecy," in Henry, C.F.H., ed., "Prophecy in the Making: The Jerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy," Creation House: Carol Stream IL, 1971, pp.309-310) 23/02/2009 "The argument from prophecy is essentially the argument from omniscience. Limited human beings know the future only if it is told them by an omniscient Being. Thus, in predictive prophecy God informs the prophet of the future." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.81-82) 23/02/2009 "In a remarkably clear definition M'Ilvaine defines prophecy as `a declaration of future events, such as no human wisdom or forecast is sufficient to make-depending on a knowledge of the innumerable contingencies of human affairs, which belongs exclusively to the omniscience of God; so that from its very nature prophecy must be divine revelation.' [M'Ilvaine, E.P., "The Evidences of Christianity," American Tract Society: New York, 1832, p.238] First of all, the prophecy must be more than a good guess or a conjecture. It must possess sufficient precision so as to be capable of verification by means of the fulfillment. Furthermore, prophecy deals with contingencies, i.e., those events that `just happen' not with events in a causal order. That is, prophecy deals with human affairs which are to human mentality contingent and therefore unpredictable. Predictions in science deal with a causal order and are therefore not genuine prophetic predictions. Prophecy is thus by its nature a manifestation of the supernatural light of God. The reason for this is derived from an inspection of the powers of the human mind. We can probe into the past by the means of the science of historiography. We can probe into space by virtue of the telescope and the ancilliary sciences developed around astronomy, e.g., photography and spectroscopy.: But we have no mental faculty of prescience. We may occasionally predict a trend in business or a movement in politics, but there is no knowledge of the future that compares in certainty and accuracy with our knowledge of past time and outer space." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.82-83) 23/02/2009 "Scientific predictions are not of the same order as prophecy. Predictions of eclipses or the appearances of comets are judgments with a causal, not a contingent, system. The prediction is in reality a judgment of confidence in the continued orderly routine of nature. Predictions within a causal nexus as in chemistry, physics, or biology are therefore not prophecies. Nor are vague generalizations prophecy, such as `it will rain next year,' or `airplanes will fly faster,' or `politics will move more toward paternalism.' These are either statements about a causal state of affairs, e.g., weather predictions, or are assumptions from an already known and detectable trend, such as predictions about political conditions. Further, they are characterized by great generality. Therefore, these general assumptions are not of the prophetic order." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.83) 23/02/2009 "There is a wealth of material on prophecy in the Bible, but there are two very significant passages which deal with the evidential value of prophecy which illustrate the contention that fulfilled prophecy is not the invention of the apologist, but in itself is a Biblical claim. First, in Deuteronomy 18 God warns Israel not to contaminate himself with the religious rites and theologies of the peoples in the Promised Land. Rather, Israel was to await the Great Prophet which God Himself shall raise up (vv. 9-19). But there is the danger that someone shall claim to be a prophet when he is not. `But the prophet, that shall speak a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die' (v. 20, A.R.V.). `And if thou say in thy heart, How shall we know the word which Jehovah hath not spoken? when a prophet speaketh in the name of Jehovah, i f the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Jehovah hath not spoken: the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him' (vv. 21, 22, A.R.V.). This passage is unmistakably clear in showing that fulfilled prediction was the means of determining what God said. Fulfilled prophecy is thus denoted by God Himself as His means of indicating to us that He is speaking." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.83-84. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "The same truth is contained in Isaiah 41:22, 23 in which God challenges the pagan gods. How is the true God distinguished from the false gods? Let these pagan gods `bring forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods.' It is by the principle of omniscience manifested by a knowledge of the contingent future which proves Jehovah to be true, and other gods to be false." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.84) 23/02/2009 "In order to fully understand the argument from fulfilled prophecy, a more comprehensive understanding of its nature is essential. A. Real prophecy is peculiar to the Bible. This does not mean that other religions do not have prophetic elements. But whereas prophecy is an occasional phenomenon of non-Christian religions, it is part and parcel of Biblical religion Prophecy is not part of the very fiber of non-Christian religions, and is believed because the system is already believed. But Biblical prophecy is not only deeply buried in the very tissues of the Old Testament religion; it was a means of establishing it. Israel constantly declined from the original revelation of the law and covenant through Moses, and was recalled by the prophetic ministry. It was the prophetic ministry that called people out of idolatry and sin, back to the true God. And, part of the prophetic ward was the predictive word, for it was by the predictive word that people could differentiate between the false prophet and the true prophet. Fulfilled prophecy then was part of the means of establishing Old Testament religion." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.84-85. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "B. Prophecy pervades the entire Bible. It is not an isolated phenomenon, but prophetic material is found in the historical books, in the poetical and wisdom books, and in the prophets. It is found in the Gospels and Epistles, and the Bible concludes with a rather large prophetic volume. Here again it is to be noted that prophecy has deeply and vitally penetrated into the very heart of Biblical religion." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.85) 23/02/2009 "C. Prophecy in many cases is very minute in its specifications. It is not, as shall be dealt with later, a matter of vague generalization or happy guesses. People are named before birth; kingdoms are outlined before their historical existence; battles are described before occurring, and personal destinies are delineated before the persons themselves are born." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.85) 23/02/2009 "D. Prophecy frequently deals with the very remote in time and with people or kingdoms that do not as yet exist. Certainly, if the traditional date of Daniel be accepted, and if Rome is the fourth kingdom of Daniel, the prescience of the Book is incontrovertible. It is again true if Isaiah be given its traditional dating that specific detailed predictions have amazing fulfillments. However, the actual examples of fulfilled prophecy that we shall give below will supply many cases in which even the latest dating of the books do not damage the argument from fulfilled prediction." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.85) 23/02/2009 "E. The fulfillment of the prophecy is clear; in other words, fulfillment is not equivocal or ambiguous. This does not mean that this is so in every case. That would be certainly overstating the argument; but it is true that in many cases the fulfillment is unequivocal and unambiguous. Prediction itself is not proof of supernaturally known information. It is the fulfillment that indicates the presence of the supernatural, and the fulfillment of prophecy is `evidence before our eyes addressed to our senses.' [M'Ilvaine, E.P., `The Evidences of Christianity,' American Tract Society: New York, 1832, p.242. Italics his]" (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.85-86. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "F. One real case of fulfilled prophecy would establish a supernatural act. But if our interpretation of the prophetic passages be correct, there are great numbers of them. One unequivocal miracle, one indubitable fulfilled prophecy would show the fallacy of naturalism, for the causal web of the universe would be ruptured at that point through which the supernatural is intruded. Therefore, radical doubt must be certain it has silenced the testimony of all prophecies, whereas the Christian asserts that rather than resting the case on one prophecy, we have dozens at our beck and call." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.86) 23/02/2009 "G. Prophecy is occasionally of a nature as to be in exact opposition as to what unguided human intelligence would predict. This is especially true of great cities or civilizations whose doom is predicted while the power of the city or state had no signs of waning. Relevant to this are the predictions about the destruction of Jerusalem, the downfall of Nineveh, the capture of Babylon, and the rout of the Assyrians." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.86) 23/02/2009 "Now the success of the Bible in reference to prophecy is an amazing thing because man has not been lacking in a desire to know the future. In fact, he has exerted a great deal of energy in that very direction. A knowledge of the future is of unmeasured value to most of us, e.g., our financial ventures, our physical welfare in occasion of possible war, or the outcome of a marriage for weal or woe. Yet for all mankind's efforts the future still hangs as a heavy, black impenetrable curtain. In the pages of Holy Scripture alone is there a shaft of light that can dart ahead of the human race and illuminate the future so that we may know things that shall come to pass." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.86) 23/02/2009 "ARGUMENTS AGAINST PROPHECY A. The language is vague. The first objection affirms that prophetic utterances are vague of nature so that fulfillment is not difficult to find. If the greens of a golf course were funnel-shaped, the holes-in-one and par scores would be greatly increased. A shot with a general measure of accuracy by reason of the shape of the greens takes on the appearance of a highly accurate shat. So, it is argued, vague predictions appear to be very sharp when we locate their fulfillment; but because of the vagueness of the prophecy any number of possible fulfillments could be latched onto. For example, if one were to utter in the year 1900 A.D. that `a great power shall rise up and do much harm,' the prophet could simply wait for the next great war and say, `This is it,' and he would certainly have a great selection to choose from in the twentieth century. Now it is to be granted that not all prophecy is sharp. Some predictions do partake of a generality of language, e.g., Genesis 3:15 does not in itself indicate the precise nature of the details of its fulfillment. Students of the Old Testament are not amiss when they affirm that history is the best interpreter of prophecy. However, two observations are in order. 1. Predictions are sharpened by fulfillments. There is a measure of detail in a prophecy that is not apparent at the time of its utterance which is sharpened by fulfillment. Further, several such examples would indicate that more than human factors are at work. The calculus of probability starts to pile up in advantage for the Christian. 2. If the critic is to make his case he must show that all fulfilled prophecies are vague of nature. Showing that three or four or ten or twenty are vague is not sufficient. As long as there is the possibility of one or more cases unresolved by this method the antisupernatural position stands in jeopardy. However, when we give specific examples we hope to indicate how many cases there are that are far too specific to be explained away as being vague predictions." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.87-88. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "B. The prophecies are artificially fulfilled. No doubt some of the statements of the prophets could be fulfilled by the might and will of some man. A man could go to Bethlehem for the birth of his child and claim fulfillment of Micah 5:2. In reply to this it must again be stated that it cannot be considered adequate to show that some or many prophecies were or could be artificially fulfilled. The enemy of Christianity must silence all of our guns: we need to fire only one of them. Therefore, all the potentially fulfilled prophecies must be explained away on this basis or the objection is futile. Many prophecies are beyond the contrivance of man to artificially fulfill. 1. How could one man arrange the events for the Babylonian captivity? 2. How could one man artificially fulfill the prophecies of the return from Babylon? 3. How could the predictions of the great nations and their destinies be controlled by one man? The concrete evidence of fulfilled prophecy veritably crushes the life out of this objection." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.88. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "C. The prophecies were written after the events. This is a very frequent device used to break the back of lucidly clear predictions and fulfillments, e.g., those about the return from the captivities in Isaiah 40-66, those of the book of Daniel, and those of the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24, 25). As a result, critics date these prophecies after the events. 1. It must be observed that a reversal in higher criticism at this point would rupture the entire antisupernatural fabric of the critic's philosophy. ... 2. We shall endeavor to show that even if the prophecies are dated by the critics they still fall outside the possibility of being explained as prophecies after the event. ... 3. Here again it must be demonstrated that such a hypothesis must account for all the prophecies. Every gun must be spiked. This we do not think the evidence will permit." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.8889. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "D. It is a matter of misinterpretation. It is argued on the one hand that some prophecies are a mere coincidence of language such as "out of Egypt I have called my son" (Hosea 11:1 with Matthew 2:15); and on the other hand, that it is a case of misinterpretation, e.g., interpreting Isaiah 53 as Messianic. 1. It is freely admitted that not all of the Old Testament verses quoted in the New Testament are quoted as fulfilled predictions. Sometimes the Old Testament is quoted because of coincidence of language or thought, and students of this problem usually refer to Romans 10:5-8 as an example." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.8990. Emphasis original) 23/02/2009 "2. It cannot be questioned that both radical Protestant scholars and Jewish exegetes resort to every conceivable type of exegetical maneuvering to break the back of Messianic passages. Very evidently, if Isaiah 53 is taken in the way the New Testament takes it, it is Messianic and it is fulfilled in Christ. The antisupernatural bias of the liberal is so great that absolutely every predictive prophecy must be leveled to the ground. We directly claim that this is not fair and honest exegesis, giving due and impartial respect to the facts, but a spirit of exegesis that knows its conclusions before it commences its inductions. 3. It must be demonstrated that all so-called fulfilled Scriptures are matters of misinterpretation. This we do not think possible. The case for divine verification through fulfilled prophecy remains even when some most amazing concessions (for sake of argument) are granted the radical critic." (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, p.90) 23/02/2009 "E. The same phenomenon occurs in other religions. To answer this objection we summon to court R. S. Foster and M'Ilvaine. Foster writes: `No well-accredited prophecy is found in any other book or even oral tradition now extant, or that has ever been extant in the world. The oracles of heathenism are not to be classed as exceptions. There is not a single one of them that meets the tests required to prove supernatural agency, which every Scripture prophecy evinces. So far as we have been able to find there is not exception to this sweeping remark.' [Foster, R.S., "The Supernatural Book," Eaton & Mains: New York, 1889, p.111] M'Ilvaine observes that `The history of pagan nations indeed abounds with stories of auguries and oracles and detached predictions .... But an immeasurable distance separates all the pretended oracles of paganism from the dignity of the prophecies of the Bible. The avowed end of the former was to satisfy some tribal curiosity, or aid the designs of some military or political leader.... Who could think of comparing such pitiful mockeries of divine omniscience with the dignified and sublime and holy prophecies which are spread out so openly and widely in the Scriptures?' [M'Ilvaine, E.P., `The Evidences of Christianity,' American Tract Society: New York, 1832, pp. 246-247]" (Ramm, B.L.*, "Protestant Christian Evidences," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1953, Tenth printing, 1967, pp.9091. Emphasis original)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of
an asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
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Created: 29 December, 2008. Updated: 15 March, 2009.