'If a little horn of the goat had ten toes that lasted
seventy weeks after a great harlot of Babylon had fallen
off a beast with eighteen heads, how long would it take for
Christ to return if Angela Merkel loses the German election?'
Please give YOUR answers in the comments below:

40 comments:

  1. It's a trick question. The answer is "Never."

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    1. Skeptic, I'm nearly sure it is a trick question for a number of reasons.
      Firstly elections are things that the irreligious get involved with, not Christadelphians.
      God has put Mrs Merkel in position (by manipulating the vote according to his plan), and has already decided when she will be retired off.
      Secondly, the question says "the" election, not "the next" election, thus assuming that sooner or later Angela will retire/lose, that is what defines the start point of the question.
      Thirdly, The name Angela means "messenger of God", so we should be paying very close attention to what she says and does.
      Fourthly, Mrs Merkel does not run the EU. Australian Christadelphians have shown that actually the Roman Catholic Church runs the EU and "signs" of that fact are everywhere to be seen on flags/money/statues etc....but I digress.
      As Christadelphians, we know that certain trends and patterns will emerge in the times before the end. Earthquakes, fears, etc, and we know these are on the increase. We have seen them on the news. The UK EU referendum has been one such earthquake, and people are concerned about it so we know we have been proved right that Britain is the Tarshish power, and all other Christadelphian nations are like Lion kittens. The trend in the UK is that the Christadelphians are declining at the rate of 50% every 30 years. Thus in 11 x 30 years (330 years) there will be 3 “Tarshish” Christadelphians left.
      This puts the date at 2346, but it will not be that year. We know from Br Jonathan Bowen’s Bible School talks that when the dead in Christ rise, that they will queue up outside the meeting room and start filing in ON A SUNDAY MORNING. Traditionally, our Ecclesias do not hold memorials when 25th December falls on a Sunday, the reason for this IS NOT so that we can have a nice steady morning, have a few drinks and open presents, followed by a big Turkey dinner, it is because of the very real risk that we could be “mistaken” for apostate Churchgoers .
      With this in mind we can be sure that the return will occur on 25th December, 2349 at 10:28 AM, and that the massive queue of the recently risen dead in Christ, filing across the city housing the last Tarshish ecclesia will be to the glory of God. Subtracting this time form when the election is lost will give the correct duration.
      If you disagree with this timeline then you have failed to do enough Bible study, or you have been using the wrong translation. Christ will have no mercy on you, and you will be the first up the wall when the meeting ends and great bloodbath of the great “thinning” commences.

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  2. Heritage College maths teacherSeptember 12, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    The answer to the problem can be solved by using the equation T=(Wx7)x1,000. T is the time it will take for Christ to return. W is the number of weeks and 7 is the number of days in a week. 1,000 can be deduced from 2 Peter 3:8 "with the Lord one day is as a thousand years."

    Therefore the correct answer is that it would take another 490,000 years before Christ would return.

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  3. Another question from the same examination paper was:

    '1 Kings 7:23-26 describes a circular bowl constructed for Solomon's temple with the following dimensions:

    "And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."

    Based on the above divinely inspired information, calculate the correct value of π (Pi)'

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    1. Pi is Greek. It wasn't available until the new covenant revealed it.

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    2. 2 options:
      1. The values are rounded.
      2. The brim is wider than the base.

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    3. If the values are rounded, or the brim is wider than the base it means that the Bible is not literally true and that the foundation clause of the BASF is not correct. If they were ignorant of the value of Pi it means that the God who is supposed to have inspired the Bible was ignorant of the value of Pi. Or he was willing to allow inaccuracies into his sacred text to allow for the ignorance of his readers in the ancient world, knowing that in the modern era we would consider it to be a mistake that could disprove the divine authorship of the Bible.

      The same goes for description of creation and much of the rest of the Bible. Maybe Jesus walked in shallow water and not ON the water? Perhaps Christ did not rise from the dead, this was a hypothesis dreamed up decades later when the gospels were written?

      Or could it be that the Bib le is merely the work of humans, there is no God and never was. Christadelphian belief is only ignorant human superstition?

      - That is my conviction.

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    4. Any document or record by humans is likely to contain some rounding, and that's OK. Do you really expect a narrative to talk about 31.415 cubits? That wouldn't just be inhumanly precise: it would also sound very weird.

      As you mention, there are bigger fish to fry: creation from nothing, walking on water, resurrection. Even with rounding there's a more troubling story in Numbers 3, where gold changes hands as a result of what appears to be comparison between a rounded number and an unrounded number. Ken Daniels specifically mentions these verse causing him to doubt.

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    5. Fed Up With ReligionNovember 23, 2016 at 1:08 PM

      While we’re in Numbers and talking numbers, here’s one you may or may not of had your attention drawn to:

      Numbers 2:3 And on the east side “toward the rising sun” shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch

      Numbers 2:9 All that were numbered in the camp of Judah were an hundred thousand and four-score thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall set forth.

      The Tribe of Judah= 186,400

      “The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometres per second)”

      http://www.space.com/15830-light-speed.html

      “Light travels at a constant, finite speed of 186,000 mi/sec.”

      https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/Numbers/Math/Mathematical_Thinking/how_fast_is_the_speed.htm

      An interesting coincidence? Within a margin of error for the time, or another reference subjected to rounding?

      Phi, Pi and the Great Pyramid of Egypt at Giza.

      “A pyramid based on Phi varies by only 0.025% from the Great Pyramid’s estimated dimensions.”

      “A pyramid based on Pi varies by only 0.1% from the Great Pyramid’s estimated dimensions.”

      ”Its near perfect alignment to due north shows that little was left to chance.”

      http://www.goldennumber.net/phi-pi-great-pyramid-egypt/

      “The fact that The Great Pyramid is the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north with only 3/60th of a degree of error is something mind-boggling.”

      http://www.ancient-code.com/15-facts-that-prove-the-great-pyramid-of-giza-was-built-by-an-extremely-advanced-ancient-civilization/

      Coincidence? Within a margin of error due to movement/settlement over the millennia? They couldn’t build the Great Pyramid now...Or allot of the other ancient monuments and artefacts for that matter.

      Did they have the knowledge at the time? In my view they did, and many others. But If so, how? Where did they get it from?

      Questions remain... (This is not my argument in a case for “God” or “Divine Inspiration” by the way :)

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    6. JJ: I was not aware of the Ken Daniels book 'Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary.' I bought a Kindle copy today and it was most interesting. It only costs about $1.24 at Amazon. Thanks for that info.

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    7. FUWR: The Great Pyramid of Gezer has been moved out of true North alignment by continental drift.

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    8. FUWR, when I was studying physics, one of the rules drummed into us was that a number has absolutely no meaning without units. So I have no hesitation writing off the first one as a coincidence. Not only is a conversion from population to miles / second arbitrary, but I don't even think there was a "mile" measure fixed to 1,760 yards when the book was written.

      I would consider it most likely that a majority of the fifteen points you link to on the pyramid are coincidences. Some of the number manipulation reminds me of attempts to draw coded meanings out of the Bible: it is very easy to look for patterns and cherry-pick the ones that you see (probably with a little bit of manipulation). I would probably give north alignment slightly more credence than most of the claims, but don't count me a convert to the cult of the great pyramid just yet.

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    9. Fed Up With ReligionNovember 24, 2016 at 11:58 AM

      It's an interesting subject none the less, thanks for your thoughts JJ & John.

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    10. FUWR: I agree with JJ. You have to be careful of making the same apopheneic mistake as the Christadelphians, seeing patterns where there are only random events or numbers. A false positive is not proof of anything.

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    11. This might offer something to think about...

      There is a 1 in 90 chance that any pyramid happened to point in any specific direction within 1 degree accuracy. That's because they're square, so a rotation of 90 degrees would look exactly the same.

      There are at least 118 pyramids that have been identified.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_pyramids

      Now it doesn't seem so unlikely that one of them would point true north...

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    12. That's a good point, Steve.
      Of course, if there were 20 significant things that distinguished the great pyramid from other pyramids that argument wouldn't apply. But I'm happy to dismiss much of the rest of the list as coincidences / questionable number manipulation.

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    13. There was a one in two chance that the Jews would return to the land of Israel. They either would or they would not. The fact that they did return is very ambiguous evidence that Bible prophecy has any relevance in our time.

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    14. Hmm, I'm not convinced that the return to the land can be reduced to a 50-50 probability. I think the probabilities of either option are impossible to work out, but we can at least now say that the probablity of return was 100% (as we can say for every event that has already occurred).

      However, there is much better evidence to suggest that the 1948 return is not as significant as Christadelphians make out.

      Jews returned to Jerusalem during the 4th century under the reign of Emperor Julian.

      And again in 438, under the Empress Eudocia - with the declaration that "the end of the exile of our people has come".

      The Jews returned to Jerusalem in 614 and gained autonomy there until 617.

      Jews were permitted to resettle in the land under Umar (somewhere around the 640's).

      The Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible was written by Jewish scribes living in Jerusalem.

      In the 12th century in the crusades, Jews were again persecuted and scattered. The Crusaders were defeated in 1187 and a decree was issued for Jews to resettle in Jerusalem, which they did. There were even comparisons made to Cyrus' decree mentioned in the Bible.

      From around 1266 onwards, Jews faced new difficulties, including bans on entering various places in Hebron and Mount Zion. Only a small population of Jews remained in Jerusalem until about the 15th and 16th centuries.

      In the 16th century, mass immigration of Jews to the land again took place, after the Turks conquered the region in 1517.

      Basically, there have been several waves of Jewish returns to the land, and many, many attempts to again set up Jewish worship in the temple etc.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_and_Judaism_in_the_Land_of_Israel

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    15. But Christadelphians will object and say that it isn't the "return" of the Jews but the re-establishment of the Jewish state (well, the Bible actually talks about the re-establishment of the old Kingdom, but meh, facts - who needs those?).

      For what it's worth, Ezekiel 37 is often used as the go-to prophecy, but a careful reading of Ezekiel 37 will reveal that it's actually talking about the regathering of the northern 10 and southern 2 tribes. We now know the 10 tribes assimilated into surrounding nations more than 2000 years ago and no longer exist. Sorry.

      But there had already been many attempts to re-establish Jewish sacrifices and other practices in the temple. It's just that they failed. With so many attempts to restore Israel as a Jewish state, it was only a matter of time before one of them would succeed. If they had failed in 1948, chances are they would have succeeded in more recent times, or even in the future. And then future Christadelphians would still be saying it's a miracle.

      I had originally been led to believe that the Jews had been scattered in AD70, and then never returned until after 1948. This is completely false. The goalposts can be shifted as much as they like, but in the end I think the claim that 1948 was somehow miraculous (while every other attempt was not?) is simply special pleading.

      This is an interesting quote:
      "Persecution of Jews played a key role in preserving Jewish identity and keeping Jewish communities transient, it would later provide a key role in inspiring Zionists to reject European forms of identity."
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Zionism#Persecution_of_the_Jews

      As for John Thomas' magical "prediction" that the Jews would return. All we need to do is look at all of the other predictions he made (including the return of Jesus in 1866), and conclude that he was extrapolating from events that were already taking place, and he got lucky just once. It's similar to Joseph Smith predicting the American civil war.

      Everyone remembers the one he got right, and forgets all the ones he got wrong. It's called Confirmation Bias, folks.

      "Ideas of the restoration of the Jews in the Land of Israel entered British public discourse in the early 19th century, at about the same time as the British Protestant Revival."
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Zionism#Early_British_and_American_support_for_Jewish_return

      http://www.mideastweb.org/britzion.htm

      Don't get me wrong - I think the events of the establishment of the state of Israel are significant in the effects it had on the region and the world, but I don't think we need to resort to the miraculous to explain them. And I don't think they're any more significant than other world events. The events occurred because many people made them happen. The burden of proof is on anyone who would claim otherwise.

      Besides, the prophecy claim is really just an argument from personal incredulity (I can't explain how it happened naturally, therefore it didn't?).

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    16. Perhaps the strongest response to prophecy claims about Israel's return though, is simply that there's no good reason to think that someone writing in the 6th century BCE would make a prediction about events 2500 years later, rather than events in their own near future or their children's future. And in every case with Bible prophecy, the latter interpretation always seems more likely.

      This is why Christadelphians resort to claims of a "dual-fulfilment", but there's no good reason to think the writer intended that either.

      Christadelphians also claim that the prophecy was divinely inspired, and thus God was the real author, and the prophecy was written for all later generations. But wasn't prophecy the foundation for believing in divine inspiration in the first place? This is what's known as "pulling yourself up by your shoelaces". Hey look, I'm flying! Ouch!

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    17. Yes, there are two possible options. That does not make them equally probable.

      Imagine rather than two options we have three: settle in Uganda, return to Israel, or remain scattered throughout the lands. There are three options there: have I just reduced the probability of the Jews returning to Israel from 1/2 to 1/3?

      If you assume all outcomes are equally probable, you are in fact assuming they are all equally improbable, since I can produce billions of possible options.

      However, Steve's argument makes sense from a probability point of view. If you assume a 1/90 chance of a pyramid facing north, and 118 pyramids, the probability of at least one facing north is ~75%. A large number of low probability trials almost guarantees some surprising results somewhere. As it is said, improbable things happen every day.

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    18. As for Steve's points, I was unaware of all the history of partial returns, but I think it is important to note that having their own religion and religious text was an important driver both in keeping the Jews a separate race, and in making them want to return to their land. Any prophecy that is self-fulfilling, even in part, is likely to have a higher probability than the average observer would guess.

      I have also made the "Ezekiel 37 is referring to the first exile, not the second exile" point to friends. You may be interested in one response I got: that Zechariah 10:6 - 11 is written after the return from first exile and prophecies a second regathering, and that in Matthew 17:10 - 13 Jesus gives warrant to the idea that a prophecy can have multiple fulfillments. Looking at those passages again, I would say that Zechariah was predicting a full regathering in his time, not just the remnant that returned under Cyrus, and that Jesus / Matthew asserting multiple fulfilment isn't very credible given the number of questionable interpretations of prophecy made in the rest of Matthew. However, it's nice to understand the more nuanced version of an argument before rejecting it...

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    19. Fed Up With ReligionNovember 26, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      Totally, agree. All view points are valid.

      And then also...There are normally many viewpoints on a subject, a “belief” in information and consideration of information are two very different things. Please don’t think I mistake one for the other.

      That’s not the only article or research on the subject mind you. Don’t be too quick to dismiss, the jury is not out for me, further due diligence and evidence required.

      There is much we don’t know about Egypt (or are not being told). Even allot of the so called experts speculate their theories, and yet we listen. Especially on the Great Pyramid.

      For example:

      They deny existence of subterranean tunnels and chambers under the pyramids; even the head of antiquities: Herodotus, Crantor, Pliny and others wrote about them centuries ago:

      As Emile Baraize's massive 11-year sand and seashell clearing project neared completion in 1935, remarkable stories started to emerge about discoveries made during the clearing project. A magazine article, written and published in 1935 by Hamilton M. Wright, dealt with an extraordinary discovery under the sands of Giza that is today denied. The article was accompanied by original photographs provided by Dr Selim Hassan, the leader of the scientific investigative team from the University of Cairo who made the discovery. It said:

      “We have discovered a subway used by the ancient Egyptians of 5000 years ago. It passes beneath the causeway leading between the second Pyramid and the Sphinx. It provides a means of passing under the causeway from the Cheops Pyramid to the Pyramid of Chephren [Khephren]. From this subway, we have unearthed a series of shafts leading down more than 125 feet, with roomy courts and side chambers.”

      The existence of chambers under the Sphinx is well known. Egyptian authorities confirmed another discovery in 1994; its unearthing was announced in a newspaper report that was carried under the headline, "Mystery Tunnel in Sphinx": Workers repairing the ailing Sphinx have discovered an ancient passage leading deep into the body of the mysterious monument.
      The Giza Antiquities chief, Mr Zahi Hawass, said there was no dispute the tunnel was very old. However, what is puzzling is: who built the passage? Why? And where does it lead...? Mr Hawass said he had no plans to remove the stones blocking the entrance. The secret tunnel burrows into the northern side of the Sphinx, about halfway between the Sphinx's outstretched paws and its tail.

      My views will always remain open. I will consider many possibilities on many things, as we all do. I don’t allow topic, subject matter, political correctness or whatever to get in my way or discourage liberal free thinking and due consideration of different viewpoints or information. Never have, never will. Open discussion should be encouraged, on all topics. I’ll look left, right, up, down, under, over, and then for the lump under the rug. Served me pretty well so far.

      We are all subject to cognitive dissonance to one degree or another, what we will and won’t take on, or even look at for that matter, based on what we already think we know. Something I for one try to remain consciously aware of when reviewing any information. You just don’t know what you don’t know.

      Egypt is a fascinating topic. Make a good Myth Busters series. Thanks for your input.

      "In any case, the argument against the persecution of opinion does not depend upon what the excuse for persecution may be. The argument is that we none of us know all truth, that the discovery of new truth is promoted by free discussion and rendered very difficult by suppression, and that, in the long run, human welfare is increased by the discovery of truth and hindered by action based on error."

      Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science (New York: Oxford University Press), p. 250.

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    20. JJ, the clincher in Zech 10 is in verse 10:
      "I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to the lands of Gilead and Lebanon, for there will not be enough room for them in their own land."

      Both Egypt and Assyria are locations where Israel was scattered in the (first) exile. Or perhaps "Egypt" is a reference to the earlier (mostly fictional) captivity? Either way, neither seems to refer to any predicted future event.

      Meanwhile, verse 11 mentions that "the domination of Egypt will be no more". Remember that Ezekiel chapter 29 also prophesied the end of Egyptian dominance, and that was during the Babylonian exile. Zechariah borrows many themes from Ezekiel, which I suspect is what is happening here. The problem is, Ezekiel's predictions about Egypt didn't exactly work out. There's only so many times you can predict the end of Egypt...

      For added amusement, consider the end of Ezekiel 30 where it talks about the king of Babylon being strengthened and Pharaoh being weakened. I'm assuming that was before the battle in 567BCE in which the Egyptian army overthrew the Babylonian army. Ezekiel 30:25-26 pretty clearly says the king of Babylon would attack Egypt and that Egypt would be scattered among the nations. Meanwhile Babylon is gone and Egypt is still where it always was. Oops.

      (There is an interesting way to salvage some of the verses here, in that Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great, was once called "king of Babylon", and later ended up defeating the Egyptian Pharaoh Psamtik III. But then Cambyses II apparently adopted the title and dress of the Pharaohs, which makes it rather confusing in the context of the prophecy)

      And again we see the phrase "Then they will know that I am the Lord when I ..." . I'm going to assume apologists will insist this is not intended to be taken literally. God was supposedly showing his power to the nations around, and they were supposedly going to be aware of it. But given the available evidence and hindsight, it reads a bit like empty rhetoric. Like bragging before a fight that you're going to be famous after the win, and then losing the fight. But worse than that, barely anyone even remembers the fight, much less the bragging. People just gloss over it. Surely that in itself is paradoxical.

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    21. Matthew 17:10-13 isn't evidence of dual fulfilment. Matthew (or Jesus, as recorded by Matthew) is simply claiming that this was the fulfilment. There's no suggestion in those verses that there was to be another one, unless my reading is incorrect.

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    22. The book of Zechariah ends at the conclusion of chapter eight and everything afterwards is in the style of Jeremiah, who according to Matthew 27:9 was the author of that section of Zechariah. Matthew was quoting from Zechariah 11:12-13 but he stated that Jeremiah was the author, NOT Zechariah.

      Therefore the latter day prophecies of that last section of Zechariah were written BEFORE the return from exile, not post exile. That cuts the ground from under Christadelphians who claim that Zechariah chapter 10 can only apply to the return of the Jews in modern times because it was written post exilic. No, it was not. It was a failed prophecy written by Jeremiah BEFORE the exile predicting a return from Babylon and subsequent events that never happened at the time of the return from exile. But a section of Jewish thought in the first century AD must have known that Jeremiah was the author, otherwise Matthew would not have attributed Zechariah's words to Jeremiah. All of Zechariah chapters 12 - 14 are just one big failed prophecy by Jeremiah of things that did not happen following the return from exile. To disguise the failed prophecy Jewish scribes of the time must have tacked the Jeremiah prophecy onto the end of Zechariah to pretend that they were post exilic. But writers like Matthew knew the truth.

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    23. Steve, good point on the Egypt/Assyria reference. I noticed it, but didn't pay attention to the implications.

      As for Matthew 17, though I can see your reading, I would read it as future tense in verse 10, and past tense in verse 12. Hence dual fulfilment. And I guess I'm not alone in that...

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    24. So, in verse 10 the disciples assumed future tense, because in their mind it hadn't happened yet.

      Jesus used past tense, because in his mind it had already happened. He then used this as an analogy, saying that just as they didn't recognise "Elijah", they also didn't/wouldn't recognise him (as the Messiah).

      Or did you mean Jesus is using future tense in verse 11? That could be the case. And yes that would suggest that at least someone in the NT (and/or the author) thought that this particular prophecy might have two fulfilments. But they were in the same position we are (attempting to interpret an earlier prophecy)- and the suggestion of two fulfilments is likewise dubious.

      We could even question whether the conversation even happened, or whether it was inserted as a way for the author to answer the hypothetical question "how could Jesus be the Messiah if Elijah hadn't come first?"...

      Thoughts?

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    25. You're right, I did mean verse 11 looked like it was using future tense.

      As for making it up, given it comes directly after the Transfiguration I don't have to strain my credulity too far to believe it was made up. It is also in Mark 9:9 - 13, which is typically assumed to be a key source for Matthew. Interestingly, though, the version in Mark doesn't seem to have that future tense I commented on. So maybe that's why Matthew gets quoted rather than Mark?

      As to whether Elijah is required to come before the Christ, I just checked Malachi again, and I would say all it prophesies is that Elijah comes before the future judgement. Yes, the sun of righteousness would be typically assumed to be Christ, but in Christian thought that would be Jesus' second return. Maybe it adds some nice symmetry if there is an "Elijah" to prepare for both Jesus' first coming and his second coming? (though that still raises questions: is the future Elijah figure to reach out to the entire world, or just the Jews? And is the reference in Malachi 4 to remembering the law of Moses something that is binding on Jews coming to Christ? Or on Christians generally? I thought the NT largely got rid of ("fulfilled") the law).

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    26. I think early christian thought held that Jesus's return would be just around the corner. It seems that Paul at one point thought it would be during his lifetime. The author of revelation also clearly thought it would be very soon. Jesus also repeatedly warned people that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand".

      Even if Jesus or the author of the gospel of Matthew thought there would be a future return of Elijah, the evidence suggests they thought it would be in their near future.

      Anyway, getting back to dual fulfilment aspect, there is no prophecy in the bible where the author specifically says there would be two (or more) fulfilments, as far as I'm aware. If we're being asked to assume that Jesus or Matthew's interpretation of an OT text was correct, I'd have to ask on what basis. If we have to assume it's inspired before we set off, then why bother with prophecy?

      Your comment about the law is interesting. I've heard christadelphians also insisting that animal sacrifices would be reinstated in the future temple. I wonder if they would endorse the slavery laws too. It all starts to look pretty bizarre.

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    27. Steve, you're quite correct about animal sacrifice in the kingdom. Brilliant reasoning like "animal sacrifice is to point back to Christ's sacrifice in the same way as it pointed forward to it". Ezekiel's temple is a key part of the reasoning, but not the only place that talks about it. Suffice it to say that Ezekiel's temple can reasonably be interpreted as instructions to the Jews on return from exile (instructions that as far as we know were not followed) and has difficulties applying it to the kingdom. I'm not aware of the NT saying anything about animal sacrifice in the kingdom, though to be fair the reason Christadelphians get most of their kingdom visions from the OT prophets is that the NT doesn't say much about what will happen in the kingdom.

      Your point about slavery is interesting. Are we expecting slavery in the kingdom? Well, I hiadn't thought about it, but I think we can reasonably view the "mortal population" as second class citizens. What's more, they will be required to come to Jerusalem and worship the Lord, on threat of punishment (Zech 14). This has a tie-in with sacrifices, too: Zech 14 talks about having people coming to Jerusalem to sacrifice.

      As for explicit slavery, the one list I found on Google had most of the verses quoted not seeming to apply to the kingdom. Isa 14:1 - 2 could be either return from first exile or kingdom, and talks explicitly about Israel being in the Lord's land, and taking those of the other nations around as slaves (particularly those who had oppressed them in the past). That then led me to Isa 60 - 61, and this is much more pronounced: I think both chapters would be generally taken as applying to the kingdom. Isaiah 60 makes it very clear that Israel is Top Nation, and can rightly expect the wealth of the other nations to flow to them, as well as the foreigners to serve them and build up their city. Among other things, that wealth will include flocks for the nation of Israel, some of which are to be offered to God. Isa 61 carries on talking about this (including verses the gospels say Jesus applied to himself). They are to have strangers and foreigners tending their flocks and herds, while they are to be the favoured priests of God in the hierarchy (now there's an important Christadelphian role). They are to be eating the wealth of the nations, etc. Then, just to add interest, verse 8 comes in: God declares that he loves justice, and hates robbery and wrong. So God is clearly pronouncing that he sees nothing wrong with this scheme of making Israel top nation. No exploitation here, just God being faithful in paying Israel their due and fulfilling his everlasting covenant with them.

      So yes, just based on those verses there seems to be some support for the concept of slavery and exploitation in the kingdom, and that this is closely tied to the institution of sacrifice, the authority of the priesthood, and the nation of Israel. Very interesting. Not what I expected to find.

      Now why is it so fun amassing a list of verses like this? ;)

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    28. Actually, thinking further about it, it is interesting how much store Christadelphians put in the descriptions of the kingdom by OT prophets, given how much they are based on the idea of a Jewish nation-state. I guess they say "We are for the Jews" and "it's all about the hope of Israel" - all the while ignoring or rejecting Paul's teaching of replacement theology (which would justify it).

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  4. I plead ignorance. If it was good enough for Christ, it's good enough for me.

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  5. How does one become an Ex-Christadelphian? Do I just resign from fellowship at my ecclesia? Or do I also have to register with you to join and become an Ex-Christadelphian? How does this work?

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    1. My advice: ignore the label completely. If you feel like resigning is the right thing to do based on your current beliefs or lack thereof, do it. What you're called afterwards is kind of irrelevant.

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    2. You don't even have to resign from fellowship to become an Ex-Christadelphian. Many people have relatives and spouses etc. in the religion who will coerce, or even shun them if they resign. The critical thing is that you come to realise that Christadelphian teaching is nonsense and you stop believing it while you fool your family that you are still a Christadelphian. After that you can keep attending the meetings and even partake of the emblems every Sunday morning for all we care. Once you come to your senses and lose your faith and gain your reason it's all over, you have become an Ex-Christadelphian. Thousands of Christadelphians don't believe a word of the religion and they are actually Ex-Christadelphians. They just remain in the religion to keep the peace with their family.

      But if you do resign you will feel much better inside your head. You will feel that you have made a protest against Christadelphian error.

      Delete
  6. def Christ(little_goat_horn_toes, toes_duration_weeks,
            num_beast_heads,
            angela_merkel_loses_german_election):
        while(True):
            pass

        return

    Christ(10, 70, 18, False)

    ----------

    Hmm, still waiting. I'm sure Christ() will return real soon though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So your real question is "Can God solve the halting problem?"

      Delete
    2. Don't you mean "the hanging problem" ?

      You'll notice Christ() never factored in the Romans...

      Delete
    3. Off topic, but I think "Entscheidungsproblem" sounds more impressive.

      Delete

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