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 peaceable kingdom or the sword?

Isaiah 11: 6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Matt 10:34 "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.


The little child is, of course, Jesus, the "Prince of Peace." The metaphorical implication of Isaiah is that the world will come to learn peaceful ways through following after Christ. In Matt. Jesus seems to be saying the opposite, that he came to divide the flock from the wolves. Both are prophetic statements, but they are in conflict.

What are we to make of this?

Jake

 2004/2/13 5:56
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: peaceable kingdom or the sword?

Only if you force them to synchronise in a single point of time. If you force them together in the same period you have a timetable clash, if you put them in different periods you have a schedule. The conflict is in the interpreter not the prophecies.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/2/16 2:47Profile
shazbot
Member



Joined: 2004/2/11
Posts: 60
USA

 Re: peaceable kingdom or the sword?

Ever wonder why the disciples were always asking Jesus about when he was going to set up his kingdom? It's because, in all the OT prophecies, it was never implied that there would be any length of time between Jesus' death and resurrection, and His millenial reign. This is known as the "mystery of the church age." Nobody knew the church age was coming. But it did. So by interpreting the prophecies the way you have, so that it shows contradiction, is incorrect. It was the way the disciples would have interpreted it, and that's why they were always a little confused.

When Messiah came the first time, it was to die for the sins of mankind and bring peace. When He comes the second time, he brings war. Your prophecies refer to two different time periods.

And if you think that God is being deliberately confusing in these passages, remember: God created time, so God is outside of time; whereas we see things happening in a specific order, God sees no order to things in this way. It would be flawed to say that God saw everything happening "at once", though, because the phrase "at once" again implies time. This concept is impossible for our finite minds to grasp entirely, but I hope I have explained it enough that you understand what I am trying to say.

As far as scriptural basis for what I just said, look at Ecclesiastes 3:11. It says

Quote:
He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.


That's RSV, by the way. What this is saying is that we, having finite minds, can not understand eternity, and yet we have this concept of it in our minds because [i]God put it there especially.[/i]

Neat stuff, but now I've wandered quite off topic. I'll stop now.

 2004/2/16 6:52Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Thanks 'Mork' :-D

Quote:
It would be flawed to say that God saw everything happening "at once", though, because the phrase "at once" again implies time. This concept is impossible for our finite minds to grasp entirely



Well said, we could copy and paste this statement and that scripture refrenece to a broad number of topics.

Na Nu, Na Nu


_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/2/16 6:58Profile









 Re: peaceable kingdom


Shazbot, Clutch and Philologos:

I thought about the time reference possiblity, but it doesn't work. Isaiah is refering to the first earthly visit of Jesus, and so is Matt.

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

In Matt., Jesus is talking to his disciples about how He will be received, and the effect of His teachings on believers and unbelievers. So, both verses refer to the life of Jesus on earth, and not the second coming. Both refer to how He will affect humans, but one says He will lead us into peace, and the other, into division.

If you have another interpretation, I'd like to hear it.

Jake

 2004/2/17 5:44









 Re: conflict in the Bible

Philologos wrote:

"The conflict is in the interpreter not the prophecies."

I expected you to say this. When your presumption is that the Bible is inerrent, then it is a foregone conclusion that any apparent contradictions are due to conflict in the reader's interpretation.

This is a tautology, not a belief system.

Jake

 2004/2/17 5:54
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

I expected you to say this. When your presumption is that the Bible is inerrent, then it is a foregone conclusion that any apparent contradictions are due to conflict in the reader's interpretation.

This is a tautology, not a belief system.

Hi Jake
I'm not sure how you are using tautology here; it is a grammatical terms meaning saying the same thing twice.

However, you are right when you say that I presume the Bible is inerrent. However, I wasn't born with that attitude; I acquired it. I acquired it by examining things which were capable of examination. I began to read the Bible 45 years ago. I have found no proven contradictions. Things which I thought were contradictions, on greater examination, I found to be perfectly compatible when I changed my viewpoint.

I don't know how neo-quakers regard early church history; it is a mixed bag to be sure. Fox had little knowledge of it; Barclays was a mine of information with his classical education. The reason I mention this is that you are not the first person to notice this apparent anomaly. It is a testimony to the honesty of the early copiers that they did not 'reconcile' these kinds of statements by snipping and trimming. They knew that viewed from a certain perspective these things would be apparent anomalies, but they knew that the Spirit of God who inspired these writings could only be consistent with Himself and with the witness in their hearts that they were handling the word of God. They always gave God, the benefit of any doubt. Where they could not 'reconcile' Bible truths they doubted themselves rather than the scripture itself.

We are not wiser in our day, although we have more information than they. Knowledge however is not wisdom. I position myself with these great saints of yesteryear. When a cannot stomach my interpretation of scripture I add a little seasoning called humility, it makes the whole dish delightfully edible. WKIP we know it part.

Your own presuppositions, I presume, are for gradualism. In every way and by every day we are getting better and better. Or if not better, at least 'progressing' towards the idyllic scenes of Isaiah. Evangelical Christians have many different perspectives on the Second Coming, but I think we can presume that they all expect His Coming to be physical and personal in fulfillment of the angel's words that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come again in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." In like manner would include physical and personal.

So Evangelicals, generally, do not expect a gradual progression toward a golden age, but catastrophic interventions from heaven. It was the universal testimony of the earliest Christians that such intervenions included judgment and consequent punishment and reward. A resurrection of the just and of the unjust. War and peace. Heaven and hell. I am speaking in the most general of terms here.

The Lord constantly tried to manage the expectations of his disciples. He was not a military messiah intent on armed conflict with Rome. He reign would be a reign of peace. This peace would not be a gradual development but a heavenly imposition. The new creation would come forth through 'birth pains'.

There is no contradiction here, just a continual sharpening of the focus for future events. You are saying it is a contradiction to predict birth pains and a new baby; not at all.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/2/17 7:00Profile









 Re: Peaceable Kingdom or the sword


So, one interpretation of these two prophesies, taken together, could be that Jesus divides humanity, as noted in Matt., but that eventually He leads mankind into peace and a 1000 year reign, according to Isaiah. There well may be "birth pains" in this process, as you say. Note that Jesus' second coming does not have to be literal from this perspective, but it could be that Jesus' spirit comes to be prevalent in all of mankind (at least what is left of it after the tribulations.)

Jake

 2004/2/17 7:24









 Re: tautology

In logic a tautology is a statement composed of simpler statements in a fashion that makes it logically true whether the simpler statements are factually true or false.

So, saying that, Since the Bible is inerrent, any and all perceived contradictions are the result of error made by the interpreter, is a tautology.

Jake

 2004/2/17 7:38









 Re:


Philologos wrote:

"the Spirit of God who inspired these writings could only be consistent with Himself and with the witness in their hearts that they were handling the word of God."

Question: How did those inspired by God to record the Bible know that the Words were truly from God and not of themselves?

I have been asked this question alot when I mention continuing revelation and the role of the Holy Spirit in Quakerism. I don't have a good answer other than to say something like, I know it when it happens.

Jake

 2004/2/17 8:08





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