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Question About Daniel 9:24 And Luke 1-2


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I've been reading Ken Daniels' "Why I Believed: Reflections Of A Former Missionary." It's a really good book and I agree with nearly everything he says. However, there is one thing in the book that has left me scratching my head, and it's in a quotation from John Goldingay that says (dealing with Daniel 9) :

 

Ancient and modern interpreters have commonly taken vv 24-27 as designed to convey firm chronological information, which as such can be tested by chronological facts available to us. It may then be vindicated, for instance, by noting that the period from Jeremiah's prophecy (605 B.C.) to that of Cyrus's accession (556) was 49 years and the period from Jeremiah's prophecy to the death of the high priest Onias III (171) was 434 years so that the sum of these periods is 483 years, the final seven years taking events to the rededication of the temple in 164. Or it may be vindicated by noting that according to some computations the period from Nehemiah (445 or 444 B.C.) to Jesus' death at Passover in A.D. 32 or 33 was exactly 483 years, the seventieth seven being postponed. Both these understandings of the seventy sevens may be faulted on the grounds of their arbitrariness. In the case of the first, it is not obvious why two partly concurrent figures should be added together. In the case of the second, it is not obvious why the word about building a restored Jerusalem should be connected with Artaxerxes' commission of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; nor why we should separate off the seventieth seven, as the theory requires; nor why we should date Nehemiah's commission in 444 B.C. or Jesus' crucifixion in A.D. 32 -- the computation requires one or the other, but the usually preferred dates are 445 and A.D. 30 or 33.... Further, it is striking that the NT itself does not refer to the seventy sevens in this connection; Luke 1-2 applies v 24 in quite a different way (Goldingay 1989, 257).

 

That is on pages 214-215 of my copy of the book (though it's a different edition than the one in the link above).

 

Anyway, I have not been able to figure out what it is in Luke 1-2 that Goldingay is saying is an application of Daniel 9:24. Is there someone here who is familiar with what this is talking about and can shed some light? Here are the texts in question:

 

Daniel 9:24 ~ "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

 

Luke 1-2

 

Perhaps there's a typo and a different Daniel 9 verse or different Luke chapters are meant, but perhaps I'm just overlooking something. If anyone knows what this means, I would greatly appreciate it being pointed out.

 

Thanks....

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I've been reading Ken Daniels' "Why I Believed: Reflections Of A Former Missionary." It's a really good book and I agree with nearly everything he says. However, there is one thing in the book that has left me scratching my head, and it's in a quotation from John Goldingay that says (dealing with Daniel 9) :

 

Ancient and modern interpreters have commonly taken vv 24-27 as designed to convey firm chronological information, which as such can be tested by chronological facts available to us. It may then be vindicated, for instance, by noting that the period from Jeremiah's prophecy (605 B.C.) to that of Cyrus's accession (556) was 49 years and the period from Jeremiah's prophecy to the death of the high priest Onias III (171) was 434 years so that the sum of these periods is 483 years, the final seven years taking events to the rededication of the temple in 164. Or it may be vindicated by noting that according to some computations the period from Nehemiah (445 or 444 B.C.) to Jesus' death at Passover in A.D. 32 or 33 was exactly 483 years, the seventieth seven being postponed. Both these understandings of the seventy sevens may be faulted on the grounds of their arbitrariness. In the case of the first, it is not obvious why two partly concurrent figures should be added together. In the case of the second, it is not obvious why the word about building a restored Jerusalem should be connected with Artaxerxes' commission of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem; nor why we should separate off the seventieth seven, as the theory requires; nor why we should date Nehemiah's commission in 444 B.C. or Jesus' crucifixion in A.D. 32 -- the computation requires one or the other, but the usually preferred dates are 445 and A.D. 30 or 33.... Further, it is striking that the NT itself does not refer to the seventy sevens in this connection; Luke 1-2 applies v 24 in quite a different way (Goldingay 1989, 257).

 

That is on pages 214-215 of my copy of the book (though it's a different edition than the one in the link above).

 

Anyway, I have not been able to figure out what it is in Luke 1-2 that Goldingay is saying is an application of Daniel 9:24. Is there someone here who is familiar with what this is talking about and can shed some light? Here are the texts in question:

 

Daniel 9:24 ~ "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

 

Luke 1-2

 

Perhaps there's a typo and a different Daniel 9 verse or different Luke chapters are meant, but perhaps I'm just overlooking something. If anyone knows what this means, I would greatly appreciate it being pointed out.

 

Thanks....

I don't see the connection either.

It may be a typo of some sort.

The NASB Bible cross references Dan 9:21 to Luke 1:19,26 but I saw nothing that cross references Luke 1-2 to Dan 9:24 in any version I checked.

 

As your excerpt pointed out, the Christian application of Dan 9 to Jesus is abritrary and self serving in multiple ways.

It sets arbitrary starting dates, deliberately skews the text, splits the 70 week timeline without justification, and comes up with a death date for Jesus that conflicts with age Jesus would have been according to the birthdate of Jesus per Matthew.

It also makes assumptions of Jesus being an anointed king, which he never was during his lifetime.

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James Ussher's book "The Annals of the World" has something about this in the appendix, written by Floyd Nolen Jones. It's becoming increasingly hard for me to understand how Christianity can possibly be tied to Judaism. Their concepts of the Messiah are so different from each other. But, at any rate, here is a quote from the book.

 

Rabbis in the century immediately following Christ Jesus had a tremendous problem with so direct a prophecy as Daniel 9:24-27. This chapter speaks of Messiah's appearing 69 "weeks" (i.e. 69 sevens) or 483 years after the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. This 538 BC prophecy unmistakably points to the start of the ministry of Jesus Christ in 29 AD.

 

Such must either be acknowledged and his person accepted or completely erased from Jewish consciousness. The latter could be accomplished if the 69 (or 70) weeks of years could somehow be made to apply to the century after the life of Christ.Then it would be possible for the rabbis to point to another messiah who, as circumstances would have it, was cut off in death some 100 years after the crucifixion of our Lord.

 

The Messiah which he is referring to this prophecy applying to a century after Christ is Simon Bar Kokhba, which Mr. Jones claims that Jewish rabbis rewrote Persian history in order to make this prophecy fit Simon. I so wish I could talk to a Jewish person with knowledge of this. Did rabbis in that day give a hoot about this supposed prophecy? My hunch is that they didn't, and that it's more Christian re-writing of history.

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James Ussher's book "The Annals of the World" has something about this in the appendix, written by Floyd Nolen Jones. It's becoming increasingly hard for me to understand how Christianity can possibly be tied to Judaism. Their concepts of the Messiah are so different from each other. But, at any rate, here is a quote from the book.

 

Rabbis in the century immediately following Christ Jesus had a tremendous problem with so direct a prophecy as Daniel 9:24-27. This chapter speaks of Messiah's appearing 69 "weeks" (i.e. 69 sevens) or 483 years after the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. This 538 BC prophecy unmistakably points to the start of the ministry of Jesus Christ in 29 AD.

 

Such must either be acknowledged and his person accepted or completely erased from Jewish consciousness. The latter could be accomplished if the 69 (or 70) weeks of years could somehow be made to apply to the century after the life of Christ.Then it would be possible for the rabbis to point to another messiah who, as circumstances would have it, was cut off in death some 100 years after the crucifixion of our Lord.

The premise is flawed from the start because it's based on intentionally deceptive Christian translations.

Dan 9 speaks of two anointed ones, not one.

The ESV is one of the few Christian translations that doesn't butcher the passage.

 

Dan 9:25-26(ESV)

Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

 

The first anointed one is designated as a prince and comes after 7 weeks (49 years).

The second one is simply anointed and is cut off after 62 more weeks (or 434 years) and could be a priest or a king.

 

A Jewish response to Christian claims about Dan 9 follows:

http://www.word-gems...re.gs.dan9.html

 

"Our objections to various Christian missionary interpretations of Daniel 9:24-27 are based on the missionaries subscribing in whole or in part to the following incorrect suppositions (the King James Version of the Bible will be used as the main example since it contains the grossest errors, which are, in whole or in part, duplicated by other Christian versions of the Bible):

 

1. The King James Version puts a definite article before "Messiah the Prince" (9:25).

a. The original Hebrew text does not read "the Messiah the Prince," but, having no article, it is to be rendered "a mashiach ("anointed one," "messiah"), a prince," i.e., Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1, 13; Ezra 1:1-2).

 

b. The word mashiach is nowhere used in Scripture as a proper name, but as a title of authority of a king or high priest.

 

c. Therefore, a correct rendering of the original Hebrew should be: "an anointed one, a prince."

 

2. The King James Version disregards the Hebrew punctuation:

a. The punctuation mark 'atnah functions as the main pause within a sentence. The 'atnah is the approximate equivalent of the semicolon in the modern system of punctuation. It thus has the effect of separating the seven weeks from the sixty-two weeks: ". . . until an anointed one, a prince, shall be seven weeks; then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again. . ." (9:25).

b. By creating a sixty-nine week period which is not divided into two separate periods of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks respectively, Christian missionaries reach an incorrect conclusion, i. e., that the Messiah will come 483 years after the destruction of the First Temple.

 

3. The King James Version omits the definite article in Daniel 9:26, which should read: "And after the threescore and two weeks. . ." By treating the sixty-two weeks as a distinct period, this verse, in the original Hebrew, shows that the sixty-two weeks mentioned in verse 25 are correctly separated from the seven weeks by the 'atnah.

 

Hence, two anointed ones are spoken of in this chapter, one of whom comes after seven weeks, and the other after a further period of sixty-two weeks."

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I don't see the connection either.

It may be a typo of some sort.

The NASB Bible cross references Dan 9:21 to Luke 1:19,26 but I saw nothing that cross references Luke 1-2 to Dan 9:24 in any version I checked.

 

As your excerpt pointed out, the Christian application of Dan 9 to Jesus is abritrary and self serving in multiple ways.

It sets arbitrary starting dates, deliberately skews the text, splits the 70 week timeline without justification, and comes up with a death date for Jesus that conflicts with age Jesus would have been according to the birthdate of Jesus per Matthew.

It also makes assumptions of Jesus being an anointed king, which he never was during his lifetime.

 

Thanks for replying.

 

Looking at Dan 9:21 and Luke 1:19,26, I still don't see how the latter is an application of the former. Sure, the name Gabriel appears in both, but Luke is not quoting Daniel and I don't see any thematic connection. The NASB cross-reference is probably just intended to show another mention of Gabriel.

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Anyway, I have not been able to figure out what it is in Luke 1-2 that Goldingay is saying is an application of Daniel 9:24. Is there someone here who is familiar with what this is talking about and can shed some light? Here are the texts in question:

 

Daniel 9:24 ~ "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

 

Luke 1-2

 

Perhaps there's a typo and a different Daniel 9 verse or different Luke chapters are meant, but perhaps I'm just overlooking something. If anyone knows what this means, I would greatly appreciate it being pointed out.

 

Thanks....

Instead of a firm, literal, chronology (as most tended to try to apply Daniel), the author of G.Luke applied it in a different way (not explained in the quote you posted). But likely a metaphorical or allegorical fashion (ie. the birth narrative). So a literal seventy weeks need not apply under G.Luke's system.

 

mwc

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Anyway, I have not been able to figure out what it is in Luke 1-2 that Goldingay is saying is an application of Daniel 9:24. Is there someone here who is familiar with what this is talking about and can shed some light? Here are the texts in question:

 

Daniel 9:24 ~ "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

 

Luke 1-2

 

Perhaps there's a typo and a different Daniel 9 verse or different Luke chapters are meant, but perhaps I'm just overlooking something. If anyone knows what this means, I would greatly appreciate it being pointed out.

 

Thanks....

Instead of a firm, literal, chronology (as most tended to try to apply Daniel), the author of G.Luke applied it in a different way (not explained in the quote you posted). But likely a metaphorical or allegorical fashion (ie. the birth narrative). So a literal seventy weeks need not apply under G.Luke's system.

 

mwc

 

I can see how some could read Daniel 9:24 themes into the birth narrative, since Jesus was supposedly the one to bring about reconciliation for iniquity, but I see nothing that gives any indication at all that the author of Luke 1-2 was actually applying Daniel 9:24 to his narrative. If the themes being read into the story is what you're referring to, then you may be right that that's what Goldingay meant, but it seems like quite a stretch to actually call that an application of the verse. (Of course, a lot of what is called biblical hermeneutics involves stretching.)

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I rethought my answer. G.Luke uses Daniel in the births of John and Jesus. You have nine months for John and Jesus is six months behind him for a total of roughly 15 to16 months (depending on how you do the math...inclusively or exclusively). This would be 450 or 480 days (at 15 x 30 or 16 x 30 days depending). 490 divided by 30 is 16 months and change. So depending on how the math was done (again, inclusive or exclusive...which could, possibly, add our extra month for 480 days instead of 450) you're looking at it coming out right.

 

I'm pretty confident this is the correct answer.

 

mwc

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I rethought my answer. G.Luke uses Daniel in the births of John and Jesus. You have nine months for John and Jesus is six months behind him for a total of roughly 15 to16 months (depending on how you do the math...inclusively or exclusively). This would be 450 or 480 days (at 15 x 30 or 16 x 30 days depending). 490 divided by 30 is 16 months and change. So depending on how the math was done (again, inclusive or exclusive...which could, possibly, add our extra month for 480 days instead of 450) you're looking at it coming out right.

 

I'm pretty confident this is the correct answer.

 

mwc

 

Thanks for your replies, mwc. I guess that what you mentioned there could be what Godlingay was referring to:

 

480 / 7 = 68.57 (not far off from 70 weeks)

 

That probably has a better chance of being what Goldingay was implying (it would have been nice if it was specified what he meant). At any rate, even if that is what he meant, the author of Luke doesn't quote Daniel to reveal that he intended for that to be an application of the 70 weeks. \

 

Of course, using the 70 weeks that way isn't really supported by the context of what is being said in Daniel 9. To be fair, though, that would not have mattered to the NT authors, since the NT is overflowing with OT texts being taken out of context. However, since the NT didn't specify this meaning of the 70 weeks, conservative Christians would not be swayed the slightest bit with this argument if it was presented to them in an attempt to discredit their belief that Daniel 9 was an iron-clad prophecy that revealed the timing of when Jesus was to be here. Indeed, though the author of Luke could have drawn inspiration from Daniel for that, it is equally possible that it's merely a coincidental similarity.

 

 

As a side note, I just came across this interesting Muslim take on the prophet Daniel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk792_TwJXQ&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

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Thanks for your replies, mwc. I guess that what you mentioned there could be what Godlingay was referring to:

 

480 / 7 = 68.57 (not far off from 70 weeks)

 

That probably has a better chance of being what Goldingay was implying (it would have been nice if it was specified what he meant). At any rate, even if that is what he meant, the author of Luke doesn't quote Daniel to reveal that he intended for that to be an application of the 70 weeks. \

He may have said more in his own book but I can't find anyone who quotes it so maybe not?

 

Of course, using the 70 weeks that way isn't really supported by the context of what is being said in Daniel 9. To be fair, though, that would not have mattered to the NT authors, since the NT is overflowing with OT texts being taken out of context. However, since the NT didn't specify this meaning of the 70 weeks, conservative Christians would not be swayed the slightest bit with this argument if it was presented to them in an attempt to discredit their belief that Daniel 9 was an iron-clad prophecy that revealed the timing of when Jesus was to be here. Indeed, though the author of Luke could have drawn inspiration from Daniel for that, it is equally possible that it's merely a coincidental similarity.

Why would a mention have to go out that this was Daniel? Shouldn't the author of G.Luke know that? Shouldn't this be something that is passed along to those entrusted with a copy of the text? A "mystery" as Paul might be inclined to say (if not specifically dealing with a mystery religion). It's not for the person that happens upon a copy left on a park bench...as we are. It's for those who make it into the group. So where is the problem that it isn't specifically spelled out? And the same with all the "out of context" uses? That's only because you're an outsider not having the context properly explained so the references only appear incorrect to you. Once inside G.Luke's group these things certainly must have had explanations according to G.Luke's group (and likewise for G.Matthew and G.Mark and so on down the line).

 

mwc

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Christians go through great mental gymnastics to find comparisons between NT text and OT text. They believe such comparisons legitimize their religious doctrines of prophecy concerning Jesus.

Luke 1

1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

This portion of text tells me the writer was not familiar with the writings or the existence of Paul, the self-proclaimed apostle, or false apostle on whose teachings Christianity was based upon. Paul appointed himself an apostle. An apostle of Jesus was one who knew him while he was alive, a witness to the cruci-fiction, and had seen him risen from the grave. Paul was not familiar with Jesus, as a disciple. Paul based his claim on a vision he could not tell the same way twice, out of telling it three times in the Book of Acts. What has this to do with anything? Christians invent and distort what doesn't fit their doctrines until their brains contort to keep up with the doctrine. If the NT were so clear cut and an inspired offspring of the OT, then wouldn't Jews themselves be able to interpret and explain the idiocies of the NT in comparison with the OT writings? The NT is not an offspring and Christianity is the bastard offspring of Judaism, who really has no idea how Christianity manages to exist. Both are Babylonian mystery religions. No one really knows how they started or for what purpose other than to enslave humanity and force it to bend to its will. Much like Islam.

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mwc, did you get religion on us? ;)

 

Of course, using the 70 weeks that way isn't really supported by the context of what is being said in Daniel 9. To be fair, though, that would not have mattered to the NT authors, since the NT is overflowing with OT texts being taken out of context. However, since the NT didn't specify this meaning of the 70 weeks, conservative Christians would not be swayed the slightest bit with this argument if it was presented to them in an attempt to discredit their belief that Daniel 9 was an iron-clad prophecy that revealed the timing of when Jesus was to be here. Indeed, though the author of Luke could have drawn inspiration from Daniel for that, it is equally possible that it's merely a coincidental similarity.

Why would a mention have to go out that this was Daniel? Shouldn't the author of G.Luke know that? Shouldn't this be something that is passed along to those entrusted with a copy of the text? A "mystery" as Paul might be inclined to say (if not specifically dealing with a mystery religion). It's not for the person that happens upon a copy left on a park bench...as we are. It's for those who make it into the group. So where is the problem that it isn't specifically spelled out?

 

Who said that there would have to be such a mention? Not I. I specifically said that it's entirely possible that the author of Luke could have drawn his inspiration from Daniel. Of course he would not have to specify such if he did.

 

However, in order for us to know that that was his inspiration, we would need some sort of evidence of such. A clear reference in the text of Luke would be a very good indicator. Without that or some other solid evidence, all we have is speculation. That speculation may be correct, but it's still just speculation.

 

And the same with all the "out of context" uses? That's only because you're an outsider not having the context properly explained so the references only appear incorrect to you.

 

Uh, no. There are quite a few NT texts that take OT texts completely out of context, and that's simply a fact. It is overwhelmingly so in cases where it is claimed that prophecies were fulfilled. It matters not that we are outsiders, because all one has to do is read the original texts in context to see the problem. For example, consider the statement, "Out of Egypt I called my son." In the OT that is a clear reference to the Israelites' exodus, and it says absolutely nothing about the future. In Matthew, on the other hand, it is claimed that the statement was a prophecy of Jesus. There is no logical way around the fact that the NT usage takes the OT statement out of context. It simply did not originally mean what Matthew uses it as meaning, plain and simple.

 

Beyond that, if you want to play the "outsider" card, then you need to acknowledge that the NT authors were outsiders to the OT authors. Not as far removed as we are, of course, but still off by hundreds of years and having other influences. ;)

 

Once inside G.Luke's group these things certainly must have had explanations according to G.Luke's group (and likewise for G.Matthew and G.Mark and so on down the line).

 

Oh, I'm sure that each group of believers had their rationalizations for things. That doesn't change the fact that the NT takes OT texts completely out of context quite a number of times.

 

That's not to say that they were intentionally trying to be deceptive. Perhaps they were, but it's also possible that they were using a "midrash" approach. Who knows?

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mwc, did you get religion on us? wink.png

It would make things easier. :)

 

Who said that there would have to be such a mention? Not I. I specifically said that it's entirely possible that the author of Luke could have drawn his inspiration from Daniel. Of course he would not have to specify such if he did.

 

However, in order for us to know that that was his inspiration, we would need some sort of evidence of such. A clear reference in the text of Luke would be a very good indicator. Without that or some other solid evidence, all we have is speculation. That speculation may be correct, but it's still just speculation.

That's the rub. It's not for us to know. It wasn't written for us. It would be nice if it said "And according to Daniel there was these seventy weeks and coincidently enough this is exactly the same number as these here babies. Now let me explain this even further down to the most excruciatingly minute detail." But that would seem oddly convenient, and out of place, I think.

 

 

Uh, no. There are quite a few NT texts that take OT texts completely out of context, and that's simply a fact. It is overwhelmingly so in cases where it is claimed that prophecies were fulfilled. It matters not that we are outsiders, because all one has to do is read the original texts in context to see the problem. For example, consider the statement, "Out of Egypt I called my son." In the OT that is a clear reference to the Israelites' exodus, and it says absolutely nothing about the future. In Matthew, on the other hand, it is claimed that the statement was a prophecy of Jesus. There is no logical way around the fact that the NT usage takes the OT statement out of context. It simply did not originally mean what Matthew uses it as meaning, plain and simple.

That's only out of context if you're not a part of G.Matthew's community and allow that the Jewish perspective has priority. If you're in G.Matthew's community then *their* reading has priority over the Jewish one. It is their community that would establish that embedded within the Jewish texts are "encoded" (for lack of a better word) bits and pieces that tell of their particular savior. In this case they are not using the context but taking the "true" meaning of the passage, the "encoded" message, away from the passage that the Jews failed to see. There is no failure of context. It is what is supposed to have been read from there all along. Each time you see what you assert above you are reading a corruption. You are misreading the text. You must extract the actual meaning. The one hidden there. This is exactly what G.Matthew and the like did. A type of textual divination.

 

Beyond that, if you want to play the "outsider" card, then you need to acknowledge that the NT authors were outsiders to the OT authors. Not as far removed as we are, of course, but still off by hundreds of years and having other influences. wink.png

They used the Holy Spirit to assist them in their process (or so they believed which is all the same). It would be akin to the creation of the LXX. A group of 72 people (supposedly) all created identical Greek copies of the Torah using divine aid. A similar process, this divine assistance, allowed these others to find the "hidden" messages that were encoded (or placed) within the LXX (not the MT since xians tended to use Greek texts).

 

Oh, I'm sure that each group of believers had their rationalizations for things. That doesn't change the fact that the NT takes OT texts completely out of context quite a number of times.

 

That's not to say that they were intentionally trying to be deceptive. Perhaps they were, but it's also possible that they were using a "midrash" approach. Who knows?

It's not really a midrash. They're not trying to interpret it in that fashion. They're doing essentially what Paul taught about tongues. You have a speaker and a listener. One talks and the other interprets. It's the Holy Spirit that does all the work. An oracle of sorts. Only here we're talking about texts. Look through the texts for the information and the Holy Spirit will tell the reader how to properly interpret it. You don't want or need entire passages, like a midrash, for this to happen. You might only want, or need, a line or two. That's all that applies to your particular bit at the time. So the Holy Spirit moves you to "understand" that text in that certain way. That's why it matters what your local community believes because this generally seems to have some influence over how the "spirit" behaves.

 

mwc

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Like I said, they could easily rationalize their position, even when taking things out of context. That doesn't change the fact that the statements ARE out of context (the contexts of original statements are NOT dependent upon later reinterpretations of those isolated statements, no matter what the views are of the later communities). Most who take things out of context in order to support their own position would not tolerate someone taking things out of context to support a counter-position.

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