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Why prophecy can't be taken literally

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  • Why prophecy can't be taken literally

    Num 12:5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
    6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
    7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
    8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
    The prophets of Israel were communicated to in visions and dreams. Moses was spoken to plainly. That means the dreams and visions have to be interpreted, they are not literal, plain speech. There is no indication that dreams and visions are different in the NT. They cannot be taken literally. That's why systems that claim to take the Bible, or at least prophecy, literally are wrong.

    Moses explained how to interpret symbols in his psalm, Psalm 90. He compares creation symbolism to human life.
    666 And The Name

    http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

    https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

  • #2
    Originally posted by eschaton View Post
    The prophets of Israel were communicated to in visions and dreams. Moses was spoken to plainly. That means the dreams and visions have to be interpreted, they are not literal, plain speech. There is no indication that dreams and visions are different in the NT. They cannot be taken literally. That's why systems that claim to take the Bible, or at least prophecy, literally are wrong.

    Moses explained how to interpret symbols in his psalm, Psalm 90. He compares creation symbolism to human life.
    I don't have a clue how you come to that conclusion. By that criteria, there is no such thing as prophecy in scripture, including about the Messiah. Most prophecy comes by way of visions.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by seanD View Post
      I don't have a clue how you come to that conclusion. By that criteria, there is no such thing as prophecy in scripture, including about the Messiah. Most prophecy comes by way of visions.
      1. Prophecy is given by vision or dream to the prophet.
      2. Moses is not communicated to by symbolic visions or dreams like the prophets (Hosea 12:10). Not by riddles or similitudes, "dark speeches."
      3. That's the difference between literal and spiritual language.
      4. Prophets aren't given a literal account of future events. They are given a symbolic narrative that has to be interpreted. They are not literal.
      5. Therefore, systems that depend on literal interpretation are incorrect.
      666 And The Name

      http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

      https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by eschaton View Post
        1. Prophecy is given by vision or dream to the prophet.
        2. Moses is not communicated to by symbolic visions or dreams like the prophets (Hosea 12:10). Not by riddles or similitudes, "dark speeches."
        3. That's the difference between literal and spiritual language.
        4. Prophets aren't given a literal account of future events. They are given a symbolic narrative that has to be interpreted. They are not literal.
        5. Therefore, systems that depend on literal interpretation are incorrect.
        Sorry, but that makes no sense.
        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

        Comment


        • #5
          What part do you not understand? Can you be specific?

          1. Prophecy is not given to the prophets in a literal way.
          2. Moses is communicated to literally in a way simply understood.
          3. Prophecy is given to prophets spiritually, which is metaphoric like dark sayings (KJV). The communication given to Moses was plainly understood, not metaphoric.
          4. The prophets aren't told literally what is going to happen.
          5. Premillennialism depends on literalism, even though prophecy is not literal. That includes the thousand years. Therefore premillennialism is errant.
          Last edited by eschaton; 05-10-2020, 01:03 AM. Reason: clarity
          666 And The Name

          http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

          https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by eschaton View Post
            What part do you not understand? Can you be specific?

            1. Prophecy is not given to the prophets in a literal way.
            2. Moses is communicated to literally in a way simply understood.
            3. Prophecy is given to prophets spiritually, which is metaphoric like dark sayings (KJV). The communication given to Moses was plainly understood, not metaphoric.
            4. The prophets aren't told literally what is going to happen.
            5. Premillennialism depends on literalism, even though prophecy is not literal. That includes the thousand years. Therefore premillennialism is errant.
            Where is your evidence supporting any of those claims you're making? How do you know Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc., didn't communicate with God the way God communicated with Moses? The prophets don't always tell us how they communicated with God or how got their information. How do you explain the apostles pointing out LITERAL fulfillment from the prophets in Jesus? There's so much assertion you're making, I don't know where to even begin. How about some evidence to back any of the claims in 1-5. How about that?
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by seanD View Post
              Where is your evidence supporting any of those claims you're making? How do you know Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc., didn't communicate with God the way God communicated with Moses? The prophets don't always tell us how they communicated with God or how got their information. How do you explain the apostles pointing out LITERAL fulfillment from the prophets in Jesus? There's so much assertion you're making, I don't know where to even begin. How about some evidence to back any of the claims in 1-5. How about that?
              Don't you believe God? You should read my original post where I give the scriptures. You believe the scriptures, don't you?

              Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
              He said that to the Hebrews. There's no evidence He ever changed His mind. That's confirmed by Hosea 12:10.

              Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
              The people assumed the prophets didn't speak literally. (Eze 20:49) I think exceptions were rare.

              Eze 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord God! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
              Here is a link that explains better why premillennialism is wrong.

              https://www.the-highway.com/premil4_Venema.html

              Give some biblical examples of what you're talking about.
              666 And The Name

              http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

              https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay. Well, good luck with that.
                "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by seanD View Post
                  Okay. Well, good luck with that.
                  It's not just me who reads the Bible that way. Even some Jewish scholars who read the Bible in Hebrew agree.

                  According to Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed the prophets used metaphors and analogies and, except for Moses, their words are not to be taken literally. Wikipedia on Bible Prophecy
                  Some people try to change the meaning of words to support their theology. Here is an actual definition of "literal."

                  lit·er·al
                  /ˈlidərəl,ˈlitrəl/
                  adjective
                  1.
                  taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.
                  "dreadful in its literal sense, full of dread"
                  2.
                  (of a translation) representing the exact words of the original text.
                  666 And The Name

                  http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                  https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eschaton View Post
                    It's not just me who reads the Bible that way. Even some Jewish scholars who read the Bible in Hebrew agree.



                    Some people try to change the meaning of words to support their theology. Here is an actual definition of "literal."
                    Nope, that's pretty much how I interpret the word.

                    I think you may be confused about it though. An example of NOT literal scripture would be the two whoring sisters in Ezekiel. We know there weren't really two sisters like that, but that they represented the houses of Samaria and Jerusalem.

                    In direct contrast to that, you have the Man of Sorrows in Isaiah that was literally fulfilled in Christ, down to its precise detail. Or the prophecy in the Jeremiah of the rebuilding of Jerusalem and second temple literally fulfilled, down to the exact days. Or the prophecy about Tyre in Isaiah literally fulfilled exactly the way it was prophesied. In fact, a lot of the prophecies were so accurately fulfilled you have some skeptics that try to argue they were written after the fact.
                    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      Nope, that's pretty much how I interpret the word.

                      I think you may be confused about it though. An example of NOT literal scripture would be the two whoring sisters in Ezekiel. We know there weren't really two sisters like that, but that they represented the houses of Samaria and Jerusalem.

                      In direct contrast to that, you have the Man of Sorrows in Isaiah that was literally fulfilled in Christ, down to its precise detail. Or the prophecy in the Jeremiah of the rebuilding of Jerusalem and second temple literally fulfilled, down to the exact days. Or the prophecy about Tyre in Isaiah literally fulfilled exactly the way it was prophesied. In fact, a lot of the prophecies were so accurately fulfilled you have some skeptics that try to argue they were written after the fact.
                      Literal means taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.
                      Maimonides' said the prophets used metaphors and analogies and, except for Moses, their words are not to be taken literally. Num 12:6 says prophets will be spoken to in dreams and visions, not literally as Moses is spoken to (12:8). Prophets are not given literal messages, so Bible prophecies are not literal.

                      You should give Bible verse references.

                      Isa 53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
                      2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
                      3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
                      4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
                      Did Jesus spring up out of the dry ground? That would be literal if He did. Did God come down and show an arm? Did Jesus have no form? That is metaphoric language. Who hid their faces? That is at least poetic. Did God literally smite Him? If that is literal then there really is no such thing as metaphoric.

                      Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
                      12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.
                      Pulpit Commentary
                      Verse 11. - Shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Widely different opinions are held as to the meaning of this prophecy. The most probable view is that "seventy" is an indefinite or round number (as in Isaiah 23:17), equivalent to "a very long time." This is supported by the analogy of Jeremiah 27:7, where the captivity is announced as lasting through the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar, his son, and his grandson - a statement evidently vague and indefinite (see ad loc.), and in any case not answering to a period of seventy years. Besides, we find the "seventy years" again in Jeremiah 29:10, a passage written probably eleven years later. Others think the number is to be taken literally, and it is certainly true that from B.C. 606, the fourth year of Jehoiakim, to the fall of Babylon, B.C. 539, sixty-seven years elapsed. But is it desirable to press this against the internal evidence that Jeremiah himself took the number indefinitely?

                      Isa 23:14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.
                      15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.
                      16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.
                      17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

                      Pulpit Commentary
                      Verses 15-18. - TYRE'S RESTORATION TO PROSPERITY AND CONVERSION TO JEHOVAH. After an interval, expressed by the symbolic number of" seventy years," Tyre is to rise from her ashes, and become once more a prosperous state, resuming her former occupation of a "merchant city," and once more making great gains, which she will devote to the service of Jehovah. St. Jerome thought that this prophecy had not been accomplished in his day. If so, it cannot be said to have been accomplished yet; unless, indeed, Tyre may be regarded as representing the commercial spirit, which. under Christianity, is not necessarily alien from religion, but shows itself sometimes altogether friendly to the Church, supplying ways and means for ten thousand philanthropic and praiseworthy enterprises (ver. 18). Verse 15. - Tyro shall be forgotten; i.e. "shall cease to occupy men's thoughts, as a factor in politics - shall pass out of their calculations, and count for nothing." Seventy years. "Forty years" and "seventy years" are the chief representatives in Scripture of an indefinite time. The week of creation seems to have given to seven its quasi-sacred character, which passed from the primary number to the corresponding decimal one...
                      I've never heard a ship howl.
                      666 And The Name

                      http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                      https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eschaton View Post
                        Literal means taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory.
                        Maimonides' said the prophets used metaphors and analogies and, except for Moses, their words are not to be taken literally. Num 12:6 says prophets will be spoken to in dreams and visions, not literally as Moses is spoken to (12:8). Prophets are not given literal messages, so Bible prophecies are not literal.

                        You should give Bible verse references.



                        Did Jesus spring up out of the dry ground? That would be literal if He did. Did God come down and show an arm? Did Jesus have no form? That is metaphoric language. Who hid their faces? That is at least poetic. Did God literally smite Him? If that is literal then there really is no such thing as metaphoric.









                        I've never heard a ship howl.
                        I think you're confusing allegory or parables (things that didn't actually happen) with just the colorful way they spoke about real events. Those are two different issues. Like if we were watching a track race and I said that the winner "ran like the wind," that doesn't mean we didn't literally just watch track race. Ezekiel describing a story of two whores didn't literally happen, but that's different than Isaiah's prophecy about the Man of Sorrows. Yes, Isaiah is using colorful language to describe something literal, but that doesn't mean the WHOLE thing is allegory like Ezekiel's story about the two sisters.
                        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seanD View Post
                          I think you're confusing allegory or parables (things that didn't actually happen) with just the colorful way they spoke about real events. Those are two different issues. Like if we were watching a track race and I said that the winner "ran like the wind," that doesn't mean we didn't literally just watch track race. Ezekiel describing a story of two whores didn't literally happen, but that's different than Isaiah's prophecy about the Man of Sorrows. Yes, Isaiah is using colorful language to describe something literal, but that doesn't mean the WHOLE thing is allegory like Ezekiel's story about the two sisters.
                          Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
                          23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
                          24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
                          So are you saying the above is a fictional story just because it represents an allegory?

                          Some Reformers provided a model for incorporating figurative language and prophecy within the literal sense. This led to the literal sense alone, eschewing any spiritual sense of Scripture. Types were part of allegory before being redefined in the 18th century. Remember what I said about the definition of words being changed to match theology?

                          Crucifixion was a real, literal, earthly event. Atonement is a spiritual reality, not an earthly event.
                          666 And The Name

                          http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                          https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eschaton View Post
                            So are you saying the above is a fictional story just because it represents an allegory?

                            Some Reformers provided a model for incorporating figurative language and prophecy within the literal sense. This led to the literal sense alone, eschewing any spiritual sense of Scripture. Types were part of allegory before being redefined in the 18th century. Remember what I said about the definition of words being changed to match theology?

                            Crucifixion was a real, literal, earthly event. Atonement is a spiritual reality, not an earthly event.
                            Obviously we know what Paul is describing was an historical event. I think what Paul meant was that that event was a type of representation of a future event. It was a representation of living by the law vs. the grace of God through Christ -- the former being the earthly child; the latter being the heavenly child. Like when Moses struck the rock and water came from it. It was a literal historical event, but it was also allegorical in the sense that it represented a type of Christ (the rock getting struck was Christ crucified, from which came the living water -- 1 Cor 10:4). Same with the manna from heaven -- real event, but also allegorical or representative of Christ -- "I am the bread of life." It seems you're arguing that it has to be either or. It could be purely allegorical/fictional, like Ezekiel's two sisters. Or it could be a real event that is also allegorical in the sense that it represents a future event. I think you're making it more difficult than is necessary.
                            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sean,
                              You said:
                              I think you're confusing allegory or parables (things that didn't actually happen)
                              That's why I brought it up. Now it seems you're saying something else.
                              666 And The Name

                              http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                              https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

                              Comment

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