When Robert Turkel began once more to show his ignorance of the book of Daniel, I ended Part One of my reply to his article, linked to in the title, so that readers would have a stopping point before I continued to overwhelm them again with evidence that Turkel's views on Daniel are based on an appallingly ignorant fundamentalist spin on this book, which reputable scholars like Samuel Driver, H. H. Rowley, John J. Collins, Norman Porteous, etc., etc., etc. agree was written in the second-century BC by someone pretending to be an important official in the 6th-century BC Babylonian and Persian goverments. In his comment immediately below, Turkel accused X, which is, of course, me of "pass[ing] on detailed comment on [his] Daniel article," but as readers will soon see, the opposite is true. I overwhelmed with detail after detail his assertion that Josephus had "seen" the fulfillment of Daniel's "prophecy" of the "abomination of desolation" in the Roman desecration of the temple in AD 70, but he hopped, skipped, and jumped over these rebuttals and then tried to hide his evasions beneath his usual volleys of sarcasms and insults. I will be linking readers to the exact locations of my detailed evidence that Turkel doesn't have a clue to what Daniel's "prophecies" were about. He delights in calling me a "hyperliteralist" or a "fundaliteralist," but his view that Daniel was written in the 6th century BC by a Jewish official in the Babylonian government, who prophesied of coming events in the time of Jesus and shortly afterwards, is a view held to primarily by hyperliteralists, who want to find inerrancy in the book of Daniel and prophecy fulfillments that he never intended. Those who aren't shackled with hyperliteralist views of biblical accuracy and reliability, such as the scholars named above, generally recognize that the book of Daniel, except for some earlier threads, was written in the 2nd century BC by someone, who pretended to be a 6th-century BC Babylonian official so that he could deceive his contemporaries into believing that centuries earlier, a prophet of God had predicted the eventual triumph of Judaism over efforts of Antiochus IV Epiphenes to eradicate it. In the end, we will see that Turkel is the hyperliteralist.
As always, I will reply to Turkel point by point and use Turkel and Till headers to help readers follow who is saying what. I have mentioned before that Turkel will try to hide his evasions behind volleys of sarcasms and insults, so if this is the way that he wants to conduct himself, I intend to respond in kind to show that I also have some talent for hurling insults. If he should ever want to conduct our exchanges on a higher level, all he has to do is post a "reply" from me that is straightforward and cordial. He will then find me willing to respond in kind.
X passes on detailed comment on our Daniel article, instead heaping another shameless challenge to debate on the subject (and prophecy fulfillment generally) to impress his fans.
Which challenge Turkel is not going to accept, because he says, or at least he did when we were first discussing debating, that he doesn't have "enough data" to debate prophecy. It seems, however, that prophecy isn't the only thing that he doesn't have enough data to defend, but that has never been enough to prevent his outbreaks of diarrhea of the mouth on matters that he knows nothing about, such as Daniel's abomination of desolation coming up soon.
That makes, what? 25 topics now X has thrown out challenges on?
Probably not that many, but anyway if Turkel wants to defend his absurd spins on Daniel's "prophecies," I would like to cut him down another notch or two. After I have exposed his ignorance about Daniel's "abomination of desolation," how about turning to Daniel's prophecy of the 70 weeks? That's one that biblicists enjoy distorting.
At his (ahem) tender age and given his unfortunate condition, X presumably knows that he won't be around to fulfill all of these challenge obligations he has set for himself,
I am sure I won't live much longer, but I suspect that I won't have to worry too much about fulfilling these challenges, because biblicists aren't too eager to debate prophecy with someone who knows the subject. I have issued hundreds of challenges to debate alleged biblical prophecy fulfillments, and I can count on one hand how many takers I have had.
so we would suggest that this is mere bravado to impress the gullible 150 or so pigeons he has collected.
Oh, I have collected far more than 150. I keep having to tell people like Turkel, who try to downplay what I have accomplished, that I receive routinely letters, e-mails, and some phone calls from people who want to tell me that my articles and debates helped them to see the foolishness of their belief that the Bible is "the inspired word of God." One such contact even came from a professor at a seminary. I have no doubt at all that if a thousand Bible believers and a thousand skeptics/atheists would read exchanges between Turkel and me over a period of several years, many more of the Bible believers would change to my view of the Bible than skeptics/atheists to his.
I feel no need to impress anyone, but I will admit that I present debate challenges, especially on the subject of prophecy, to show readers that Bible defenders are mainly talk and little action. I have found that this is the simplest way to show those whose minds haven't yet rusted shut that these would-be apologists have no credible defenses of the Bible to offer. When a would-be apologist comes to my internet forum, which they are now doing less and less, spouting that prophecy fulfillments prove that the Bible is the word of God, I send back a challenge to debate such specific propositions as these.
I then suggest that if these are unsatisfactory, the one bragging about prophecy fulfillments can present his alternative suggestions. That is almost always enough to end the matter. I will say to Turkel here that if he wants to debate Daniel's prophecies, I will find the time to do so. All he has to do is agree to post all of our exchanges on his website, as I will do on mine, and agree to some very reasonable guidelines, among which would be an agreement by both parties to refrain from argumentation by assertion, question begging, and special pleading, and agree to answer every point, argument, or rebuttal presented by the opposition. If he agrees to these guidelines, he could affirm that Daniel's prophecy of the abomination of desolation was intended as a prediction that the Romans would desecrate the temple in AD 70. As we will soon see, he definitely believes this proposition, so I am not asking him to debate something that he hasn't already asserted.
Will Turkel accept this proposal? I predict he won't, because I have tried to discuss prophecy-fulfillment propositions with him before, but I have found that he doesn't like even to consider any kind of guidelines that would structure the debates.
Oh, yes, there is one other thing that I should mention, which I am sure is what Turkel was referring to above when he mentioned my "unfortunate condition." I am now 72, and I have to contend with some health annoyances that restrict the amount of time that I can spend at my computer. When I resumed my replies to Turkel's preterist nonsense, I mentioned my latest problem, which was an ischemic stroke that has now been confirmed by an MRI. I have been advised to engage in daily walking and other exercises that take about five hours out of my day. Obviously, then, I can't work at my computer nearly as much as I did in the past. Turkel may find this hard to believe, but I consider recovery far more important than writing replies to his nonsense, when it is a given that he will selectively quote me and ignore most of my rebuttal arguments to try to score points with his choir members through sarcasms and insults. Turkel has shown himself to be a firm believer in the debating axiom that says when one cannot answer an opponent's arguments, all is not lost, because he can always attack the opponent personally.
He has no intention of ever fulfilling these challenges.
I make them all with the serious intention of "fulfilling" them. I don't "fulfill" them, because those whom I challenge won't accept them. I know, for example, that Turkel has no intention to accept the proposition about Daniel's "prophecy" that I proposed above, so this leaves me free to issue other challenges as the need, as explained above, arises. If I should have more acceptances than I could "fulfill," I would, of course, have to stop issuing challenges.
We note Keener's point about Josephus saying that the Daniel prophecy as [sic] fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70 and that he regarded the shedding of priestly blood in the sanctuary as the desecration or abomination that caused the 70 desolation [Keener, Matthew commentary, 576].
Turkel seems to think that if he can find a book or commentary that agrees with whatever doctrinal position he is trying to sell, anyone who doesn't immediately swoon submissively is intellectually dishonest, but, as I have said to him umpteen times by now, no religious doctrine can be so ridiculous that one cannot find books and commentators who agree with it, so quoting what a commentator says proves nothing. Regardless of what Keener and other commentators may think about what Daniel's abomination of desolation was, reputable scholars, who have no emotionally important beliefs to defend, recognize that the book of Daniel, except for some earlier threads, was written in the second century BC with the intention of giving those involved in the Maccabean conflicts confidence that a 6th-century Jewish official in the Babylonian government had predicted that the Jews would prevail against the efforts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes to suppress the Jewish religion. In support of this, I will pull a Turkel and link readers to my series of exchanges with Everette Hatcher, which began in the March/April 1998 issue of The Skeptical Review, and especially "Good History in the Book of Daniel."
As for what Daniel's "abomination of desolation" was, that can easily be established to the satisfaction of any reasonable person, because the book of 1 Maccabees, which was also written around the second century BC, recorded the Jewish persecutions of Antiochus and his attempts to abolish Judaism. During the period of 167-164 BC, he banned sacrifices in the temple and defiled the sanctuary of the temple with pagan sacrifices. These were all referred to in 1 Maccabees.
1 Maccabees 1:44-50 Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, and every one should leave his laws: so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath. For the king had sent letters by messengers unto Jerusalem and the cities of Juda that they should follow the strange laws of the land, and forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: and pollute the sanctuary and holy people: set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh, and unclean beasts: that they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation: to the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances. And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.
In December of 167 BC, the temple was defiled with pagan sacrifices and the erection of a statue of Zeus [Jupiter], which were also mentioned in the same context of 1 Maccabees.
1 Maccabees 1:54-59 Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they [Seleucid officials] set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and built idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; and burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire. And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death. Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities. Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God. At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them. Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing. Wherefore the rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: so then they died. And there was very great wrath upon Israel.
First Maccabees was a highly respected apocryphal work, which many church authorities believed should have been accorded canonicity. The first edition of the King James Bible, from which the quotations above were taken, in fact, contained this book. Turkel often quotes from the KJV, so only by a hair did this book miss being a part of the Bible that Turkel defends. This book, written shortly after the Maccabean wars by someone who could easily have been a contemporary of this conflict, says that the "abomination of desolation" was the pagan sacrifices that were offered on the temple altar during the attempts of Antiochus to suppress Judaism. While Antiochus was engaged in conflicts in Persia, his armies in Judea were routed, after which the temple was cleansed and daily Jewish sacrifices restored. This cleansing was referred to later in terms that again identified Daniel's abomination of desolation as the desecrating pagan sacrifices.
1 Maccabees 6:1-8 About that time [when Judas Maccabaus waged war with the descendants of Esau] king Antiochus travelling through the high countries heard say, that Elymais in the country of Persia was a city greatly renowned for riches, silver, and gold; And that there was in it a very rich temple, wherein were coverings of gold, and breastplates, and shields, which Alexander, son of Philip, the Macedonian king, who reigned first among the Grecians, had left there. Wherefore he came and sought to take the city, and to spoil it; but he was not able, because they of the city, having had warning thereof, Rose up against him in battle: so he fled, and departed thence with great heaviness, and returned to Babylon. Moreover there came one who brought him tidings into Persia, that the armies, which went against the land of Judea, were put to flight: And that Lysias, who went forth first with a great power was driven away of the Jews; and that they were made strong by the armour, and power, and store of spoils, which they had gotten of the armies, whom they had destroyed: Also that they had pulled down the abomination, which he had set up upon the altar in Jerusalem, and that they had compassed about the sanctuary with high walls, as before, and his city Bethsura. Now when the king heard these words, he was astonished and sore moved: whereupon he laid him down upon his bed, and fell sick for grief, because it had not befallen him as he looked for.
That the after-the-fact "prophecies" of Daniel were directed at the period of Jewish persecutions during the time of Antiochus can be very reasonably concluded by noticing in the passages quoted above such things as the reference to the resolution of many in Israel "not to eat any unclean thing," which Antiochus was urging them to do, so that "they might not be defiled with meats" or "profane the holy covenant." This echoes the tale in Daniel 1 of the determination of Daniel and his three friends not to defile themselves with the king's unclean delicacies (Dan. 1:8-13), for which decision Yahweh had rewarded them with better health than the other young Judeans whom the king had chosen for special instruction in the learning and language of the Chaldeans. This was "Daniel's" way of telling his contemporaries who were facing the same problem that Yahweh would also reward them if they refused to defile themselves with the unclean foods of Antiochus.
In what was quoted above from 1 Maccabees, we saw efforts of Antiochus to change the sacred laws and seasons of the Jews, which Daniel predicted after the fact would happen.
Daniel 7:25 He [the last "horn" that grew out on the fourth beast] shall speak words against the Most High, shall wear out the holy ones of the Most High, and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons and the law....
First Maccabees referred to a decree of Antiochus to abolish Jewish sacrifices in the temple and to close the sanctuary.
Daniel 8:11 Even against the prince of the host it [the "little horn" that waxed great] acted arrogantly; it took the regular burnt offering away from him and overthrew the place of his sanctuary.
First Maccabees referred to an "abomination of desolation" that was set upon the altar in the temple and the desecration of the sanctuary.
Daniel 8:13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one that spoke, "For how long is this vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled?"
Daniel 11:31 Forces sent by him [the contemptible person of v:21] shall occupy and profane the temple and fortress. They shall abolish the regular burnt offering and set up the abomination that makes desolate.
If Turkel had even one tenth as much evidence as this to support his claim that Daniel's "abomination of desolation" was a prophecy of the Roman desecration of the temple in AD 70, he would get so excited that he would wet his pants. He, his preterist cohorts, and dispensationalists alike take their positions on "the abomination of desolation" only because the New Testament attributed this reference to Jesus, so they are, in effect, saying, "Jesus said it, so that is good enough for me," but not a one of them--not a single one of them--can prove that Jesus ever said any such thing. As far as they can actually know, the reference to the abomination of desolation "spoken of through Daniel" was merely words that "Matthew" put into the mouth of Jesus as he was embellishing what he was plagiarizing from "Mark's" gospel. If Turkel wants to defend Keener's claim that the abomination of desolation was the Roman desecration of the temple, let's have a go at it. I will have no trouble at all matching his "scholars" with scholars who give the view that I have summarized above.
X of course has no respect for anyone whose education interferes with his fantasies of self-competence,
My, my, look who's talking.
so after dissing Keener a little and claiming implicitly to possess "critical thinking ability" (presumably of the sort that allows X to read such things as "pay for 90% of my website" or think he can diss a scholar of anthropology just by reading the Bible in English), we get down to some details.
At the end of this article, readers will find links to articles that I have written in reply to the two straw men (paying for 90% of his website and "dissing scholars") he just mentioned, so I will let those links serve as my reply to Turkel's attempt here to distract attention from his evasion of my arguments. Anyway, the Turkey surely is not going to say that he reads the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, so he is ridiculing me for something that he must do himself, i. e., read the Bible in English, but the longer I engage in these exchanges with Turkel, the more I wonder if he ever even reads the Bible in English. As for my critical thinking skills, I would put them considerably above a guy who finds accuracy in everything that was said in a book written in prescientific times. Simplistic would be a much better word to describe someone with no more critical thinking ability than that. Then I would say that moronic would be an appropriate word to describe someone who thinks that finding an author who agrees with his ideology proves that his ideology is right. I will say to Turkel again that if he wishes to defend Keener's view that the "abomination of desolation spoken of through Daniel" occurred in AD 70, I am here to oppose that view. What I presented above about this is only a fraction of what could be presented on the subject.
I noted, "Josephus called the Temple 'no longer a place fit for God' [War 5.1.19] and said that God was the author of its destruction." X proudly tells us he likes to check references, and quotes, even [siccing] Josephus some in his arrogance:
And now, "O most wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from they [sic] intestine hatred! For thou couldst be no longer a place fit for God, nor couldst thou longer continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulchre for the bodies of thine own people, and hadst made the holy house itself a burying place in this civil war of thine! Yet mayest thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction."
The word sic means "it is so," and it is used in quotations to mark places where errors were made, so that the readers will know that the errors were in the original material and were not inadvertently made by the quoter. I suspect that the error I identified above was made by the publisher of the version I was quoting rather than by Josephus or his translator. Does Turkel want to argue that the sic above did not correctly identify an error?
There was obviously nothing at all wrong with the sic that I inserted, but Turkel couldn't answer my rebuttal, so he was apparently desperate for something to say.
Before I go on, I should point out that the desecrations mentioned in this passage had happened during what Josephus called "this civil war," which would have been a conflict between opposing Jewish groups, and Josephus called these desecrations greater than any misery that the city had suffered from the Romans. Hence, there is no basis at all for Turkel's quibble that this passage from Josephus shows that he "saw" Roman desecrations as the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy.
X burbles forth,
See how this guy tries to discredit me by saying that I had "burbled it" rather than I had just said it or written it? Perhaps he can explain to us how something written could make a gurgling sound.
Turkel [quoting what Till had "burbled"]:
Well, gee. Isn't the Temple in Jerusalem? Hello?
"The antecedent of the second-person singular pronouns thou, thy, and thine in this passage is city, so actually Josephus was saying here that the city [of Jerusalem] was no longer a fit place for God."
Now look at who is the hyperliteralist. If someone wrote that Podunk was no longer a fit place to live, would that necessarily mean that every last building or foot of ground in the town was unfit for human habitation? Anyway, the temple was in Jerusalem, but how does that fact prove that when Josephus said that the city "was no longer a fit place for God," he meant that Daniel's "abomination of desolation" had been fulfilled by whatever had made the city unfit? Turkel's whole purpose in quoting Josephus was to claim that Josephus was on his side in claiming that this was Daniel's "abomination of desolation." Turkel has shown us the bun; now let's see if he can show us the beef.
Turkel is up to his selective quoting again, so he conveniently left out my quotation from Antiquities of the Jews, where Josephus made the same identification of Daniel's "abomination of desolation" as did 1 Macabees quoted above. I invite readers to go to this section of the third part of my "wrapping up" series to see a full and complete discussion of the quotation from Josephus. Turked said that I had "passed" on giving any details about this, but those who take the time to reread the section I just linked to will see that he played his usual smorgasbord game of picking some pieces to reply to while leaving completely untouched the parts that showed his flagrant misrepresentation of what Josephus had said about the destruction of Jerusalem. They will also see Turkel's complete avoidance of the section that I quoted from Antiquities of the Jews to show that Josephus agreed with the writer of 1 Maccabees, quoted above, who identifiied Daniel's "abomination" as the profaning of the temple with Antiochus's pagan sacrifices.
I am going to quote just a small section of that part so that I can conveniently refer back to it as I go through Turkel's evasions below point by point.
The antecedent of the second-person singular pronouns thou, thy, and thine in this passage is city, so actually Josephus was saying here that the city [of Jerusalem] was no longer a fit place for God. Just where did this passage or any passage in Josephus see the destruction of the temple in AD 70 as fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy about the abomination of desolation? To show how Turkel will distort references he cites to make them fit into whatever mold he is trying to sell, I will quote where Josephus did refer to the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy about the abomination of desolation. It wasn't in Wars of the Jews; it was in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, Chapter 7, Section 6. It is long, but I am going to quote the entire section so that Turkel can't accuse me of quoting out of context. Key words will be emphasized in bold print.When therefore the generals of Antiochus's armies had been beaten so often, Judas assembled the people together, and told them, that after these many victories which God had given them, they ought to go up to Jerusalem, and purify the temple, and offer the appointed sacrifices. But as soon as he, with the whole multitude, was come to Jerusalem, and found the temple deserted, and its gates burnt down, and plants growing in the temple of their own accord, on account of its desertion, he and those that were with him began to lament, and were quite confounded at the sight of the temple; so he chose out some of his soldiers, and gave them order to fight against those guards that were in the citadel, until he should have purified the temple. When therefore he had carefully purged it, and had brought in new vessels, the candlestick, the table [of shew-bread], and the altar [of incense], which were made of gold, he hung up the veils at the gates, and added doors to them. He also took down the altar [of burnt-offering], and built a new one of stones that he gathered together, and not of such as were hewn with iron tools. So on the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, which the Macedonians call Apeliens, they lighted the lamps that were on the candlestick, and offered incense upon the altar [of incense], and laid the loaves upon the table [of shew-bread], and offered burnt-offerings upon the new altar [of burnt-offering]. Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years' time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apeliens, and on the hundred fifty and third olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apeliens, on the hundred and forty-eighth year, and on the hundred and fifty-fourth olympiad. And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time].
As the broader context of Book 12, Chapter 7, of Antiquities of the Jews will show, Josephus was referring here to incidents that had occurred during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes during the Maccabean conflicts of the second century BC, and the final sentence quoted above shows that Josephus believed that Daniel's prophecy referred to desecrations that would be done by the Macedonians of that era. The Maccabean writers recorded attempts to suppress the observance of Jewish customs, laws, and religion during the reign of Antiochus.
We have the main part of my rebuttal of Turkel's Josephus "argument" before us now for future reference, so let's go and look at how he tried to wiggle his way out of my evidence that Josephus had said (as quoted above) that the fulfillment of Daniel's "prophecy" about the abomination of desolation had been fulfilled in Maccabean times. Turkel's task will be to give us a plausible explanation for why Josephus said that Daniel's prophecy of the abomination of desolation was fulfilled during the reign of Antiochus but later "saw" the Roman desecration of the temple as the fulfillment of the same prophecy.
So even if I am wrong (pfft) I am right,
Well, obviously, Turkel is wrong, so now he needs to explain to us how he is right in saying that Josephus "saw" the Roman desecration of the temple as Daniel's "prophecy" when J had previously said that this prophecy had been fulfilled over two centuries earlier when the temple was defiled by Antiochus.
See Bobby run. See Bobby dance. See Bobby bob and weave. See Bobby duck and dodge.
but as it happens, X needs to quote a ways back -- where Josephus in sections 17-18 speaks of persons who came to offer sacrifices, and of bodies of priests mixed with those of profane persons -- this takes place, where? Joe says, in the sentence just before where X quotes, "in the holy courts themselves." Oh, dear, the Temple.
There are no sections 17-18 in Book 5 of Wars of the Jews. Each book in this work is divided into chapters, and all of the chapters together [with a book] are divided into verses. Turkel would greatly help his readers locate the references that he cites [but rarely quotes] if he would give correct citations, such as, in this case, Book 5, Chapter 1, Verses 17-18, but doing that might take a little time, which would eat into the amount of hackwork that he can crank out. Here is the entire "section" that Turkel cited.
(F)or those darts that were thrown by the engines came with that force, that they went over all the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices; insomuch that many persons who came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth, to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all men, both Greeks and Barbarians, with their own blood; till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.
Where in this text did Josephus say that the killing of all these people "in the holy courts" fulfilled Daniel's prophecy of "the abomination of desolation"? I seem to have missed it, so maybe Turkel can point it out to me.
Maybe he will also read what Jesus actually said about Daniel's "abomination of desolation.
Matthew 24:15 When therefore you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that reads understand), then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains
Now what was that again? When you see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains. It seems to me, then, Jesus didn't think that seeing dead bodies lying in the "holy courts" would be Daniel's abomination of desolation but rather something that they would see lying in the holy place. The "holy place" could easily have been that part of the temple interior known as the "Holy Place," which was the outer section of the interior. This chamber or compartment was separated by a veil from the "Most Holy Place," which only the high priest could enter (Ex. 26:33; Heb. 9:3-4), so we cannot discount the possibility that Jesus thought that the "abomination of desolation" was something that would be seen "standing" in the outer chamber of the tabernacle known as the "Holy Place." We have already seen that 1 Macabees 1:54 referred to "the abomination of desolation" as something that was "set upon the altar of the Lord," and 2 Macabees 6:1-2 tells of the king's [Antiochus's] orders "to pollute the temple in Jerusalem and to call it the temple of Olympian Zeus," and we know from other historical sources that when these orders were carried out, a statue of the pagan god Zeus was set up in the Most Holy Place, and swine were sacrificed on the temple altar. The website Amazing Bible Discoveries is just one of many sources that refer to these acts of desecration.
The Judas Maccabees managed to regain control of Jerusalem from the hands of Antiochus, and he cleansed the Temple in 164 BC after Antiochus had completely defiled it with a pagan statue of Zeus in the Holy of Holies, and sacrifice of swine on the altar.
An article entitled "Judah Maccabee" tells the shock experienced by Judah and his father Mattathias when they visited Jerusalem and saw how the temple had been desecrated.
The gold leaves, that had once adorned the facade, had been stripped away. The beautiful fabrics, that once hung within the Temple doors, had been torn off and sold. Even the holy vessels had been used and thrown around, and there, on the altar, stood a likeness of the god Zeus.
These were examples of when faithful Jews literally saw "the abomination of desolation" standing in the Holy Place, so the evidence of a second-century BC fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy is far more convincing than Turkel's, which requires him to lean over backwards and see things that are not really in his proof texts.
Am I giving you enough details, Turkel? Well, more are coming, but, first, it is question time again, so are the following statements true or false?
I will even add a question for good measure: Did Josephus say anywhere in Wars of the Jews that he considered the Roman desecration of the temple the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of "the abomination of desolation"?
The Turkey seems to be arguing that if the temple was profaned by the Romans in the time of Josephus, that must have been the "abomination of desolation" that Daniel had prophesied, but Turkel is completely ignoring the quotation repeated above from Antiquities of the Jews, where Josephus plainly said that the desecration of the temple by Antiochus was the desolation that Daniel had referred to. I suppose that Turkel will now resort to that old "double-application" quibble that fundamentalists use after they have been caught misapplying an Old Testament prophecy.
As I have shown above, Josephus clearly said that the desecration of the temple by Antiochus was the abomination of desolation that Daniel had spoken of. Turkel's assertion, which he has appropriated from Keener, is clearly wrong, but, of course, he would never admit to being wrong.
Also, in Jewish thought, where did God actually reside? Jerusalem? Narrow it down. Ah. The Temple.
Yes, that is what they superstitiously believed, and I have to wonder why Turkel cannot see the utter absurdity of a religion that taught that the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent creator of the universe lived above the "mercy seat" in a temple located on just an infinitesimal speck of the total universe. At any rate, the Jews believed that their god lived in the temple, but how does this prove that Josephus said that Daniel's "abomination of desolation" was the Roman desecration of the temple in AD 70? The "details" that I have given above will show to the satisfaction of any reasonable person--which excludes Turkel--that Josephus said no such thing but really thought that Daniel's prophecy was fulfilled by the desecrations of Antiochus IV Ephiphanes over two centuries before AD 70.
Where did Josephus say in the passage that Turkel quoted that Daniel's abomination of desolation happened when the Romans desecrated the temple? Did Josephus ever identify what he thought was Daniel's abomination of desolation? Ah, yes, he did, didn't he? He identified it in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 12, Chapter 7, Section 6. I'll just run it by the Turkey again.
Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years' time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apeliens, and on the hundred fifty and third olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apeliens, on the hundred and forty-eighth year, and on the hundred and fifty-fourth olympiad. And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time].
And even as X quotes, the "holy house" is the focus -- so what's that? No, not McHolyburgers Restaurant. The Temple. Thank you. X was so busy barfing over a technical matter of reference that he didn't even notice he had lost his pants.
See how Turkel tries to hide his evasions behind sarcasms and insults? All the sarcasms and insults in the world, however, cannot remove two stubborn facts: (1) Josephus did not say in the passage that Turkel quoted [Wars of the Jews, 5:1.19] that the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation" happened when the Romans desecrated the temple. (2) Josephus did identify what he thought was the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation," and that identification occurred in Antiquities of the Jews, 12:7.6, where Josephus told of the desecrations committed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Don't look now but Turkel just lost his shirt, along with any vestige of personal integrity that he may have had left.
X next asks, "Just where did this passage or any passage in Josephus see the destruction of the temple in AD 70 as fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy about the abomination of desolation?" X bubbles into some part of Antiquities having to do with the Maccabees,
Did everyone see how Turkel hopped, skipped, and jumped right over that passage in "some part of Antiquities," which I requoted above for everyone to see?
It's question time for the Turkey again. Are the statements below true or false?
Here is Turkel's assertion again that Josephus "saw" the Roman desecration of the temple in 70 AD as the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy.
First, it is worth noting that the [sic] Josephus, not at all having the Olivet Discourse in mind, saw the Daniel prophecy as fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70....
So just where did Josephus say that he "saw" Daniel's prophecy in this way?
What's Turkel's problem here? Well, he writes a lot about Daniel, but I am willing to bet that he cited the passage in Wars of the Jews, which actually said nothing about Daniel's prophecy, without knowing that Josephus has plainly said in Antiquities of the Jews that this prophecy had been fulfilled when Antiochus profaned the temple. Whenever Turkel is caught with his pants down, however, he just can't admit that he is wrong. He will go to the ends of the earth to avoid doing that.
and some endnote having to do with Cestius,
To see what I said about the endnote concerning Cestius, go to this section of my Part Three, which Turkel is supposed to be answering here. I show how the endnote, which was inserted by an editor and not Josephus himself, was added to try to put a spin on the passage quoted by Turkel that would make the Roman desecration of the temple the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, but I have shown above that Daniel's prophecy was referring to events that had happened over two centuries earlier and that Josephus had earlier recognized this in Antiquities of the Jews. Turkel skipped this part of my rebuttal too, because--well, because he habitually skips that which is detrimental to whatever doctrine he is trying to defend, hoping no doubt that his readers won't bother to check what he has skipped.
but he is wasting time and filling space putting arguments in our mouth we didn't make, as usual.
Turkel, of course, didn't say what argument I was putting into his mouth. I just quoted above where he plainly said that it was "worth noting" that Josephus "saw the Daniel prophecy as fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in 70," so just how am I putting arguments into his mouth when I am doing nothing but quoting exactly what he said? Well, you see, he has to say something like this to make his gullible choir members think that he is kicking butt, but I am going to ask him the same questions again. Are the statements below true or false?
Keener is accused of incompetence as well, which is a fine thing from the mouth of one who is unworthy to spit-polish Keener's boots.
Well, if Keener really does believe that the Roman desecration of the temple in AD 70 fulfilled Daniel's "prophecy" of the "abomination of desolation," he really does need to do a bit of research into the subject, because I have overwhelmed Turkel with evidence that this "prophecy" pertained to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus.
I have another question for Turkel to evade: Does Turkel agree with everything that Keener said in his commentary, including his dating of the gospel of Matthew after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70?
If Turkel answers this, of course, he will say that he doesn't have to agree with everything that an author of a book says in order to quote some of it in support of his views, but Turkel is so adamant in claiming that Matthew was written prior to AD 70 that one would think that he would have little confidence in any commentator who would make an error so egregious as the misdating of a book that had to have been written prior to AD 70 in order for the so-called Olivet "prophecies" to be legitimate prophecies. In saying this, I assume that Turkel has the common sense to agree that a "prediction" said or written after the fact cannot be considered a legitimate prophecy, so I find it rather ironic that Turkel would quote from a commentary in support of preterism when the author's dating of the gospel of Matthew invalidates every Olivet prophecy that preterists claim was fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. If, however, Turkel is entitled to reject some things that the apparently error-prone Keener said, why am I not also entitled to reject some of the things he said? When Turkel says that he doesn't agree with Keener's dating of Matthew, is he accusing him of incompetence? Does he become unworthy to spit-polish Keener's boots when Turkel rejects Keener's dating of the book of Matthew? If not, then why am I accusing Keener of incompetence and declared unworthy to spit-polish Keener's boots when I say that I don't agree with his opinion of the fulfillment of Daniel's "prophecy" of the abomination of desolation?
Gee, this is hard for a reader,
I agree. It must be hard for the Turkey's choir members to see him stumbling all over himself to try to extricate himself from a gaffe like his claim that Josephus "saw" the Roman desecration of the temple as the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy. The evidence clearly contradicts this claim, but the Turkey stumbles on.
but let's spell it out in more detail, shall we? The shedding of blood is called "abominations" in War 4.163. In fact it indicates that there are lots of 'em, as the priest Ananus says, "Certainly it had been good for me to die before I had seen the house of God full of so many abominations," as in, sacred places trod on at random by "blood-shedding villians."
So Ananus thought that he had seen abominations in "the house of God"? Jews would have considered many things to be abominations if they were in the temple, but the fact that Ananus saw things in the temple that he considered abominations does not prove that Josephus "saw" the Roman desecrations as the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, and nothing in the passage in Wars of the Jews that Turkel just cited says that Ananus considered these abominations the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy.
I guess it is question time again, so are the following statements true or false?
Then, in 5.17-19, Josephus says that these actions of shedding blood was the cause of destruction -- in other words, "desolation."
In 5:17-19? I assume that Turkel meant 5:1.17-19. If so, this is how it reads.
For notwithstanding these men were mad with all sorts of impiety, yet did they still admit those that desired to offer their sacrifices, although they took care to search the people of their own country beforehand, and both suspected and watched them; while they were not so much afraid of strangers, who, although they had gotten leave of them, how cruel soever they were, to come into that court, were yet often destroyed by this sedition; for those darts that were thrown by the engines came with that force, that they went over all the buildings, and reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices; insomuch that many persons who came thither with great zeal from the ends of the earth, to offer sacrifices at this celebrated place, which was esteemed holy by all mankind, fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar which was venerable among all men, both Greeks and Barbarians, with their own blood; till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.
I really can't see that this passage is saying what Turkel claims. Certainly, it says nothing that would indicate Josephus's belief that this shedding of blood--which, according to Turkel, was "the cause of destruction," which, also according to Turkel meant abomination--was the abomination of desolation that Daniel had prophesied. That is a conclusion that Turkel is reading into the text. which should give readers an idea of how far backwards he is willing to lean over to try to prove an emotionally important belief.
The Greek words apolia, suntrimma, olethros, and kathairesis are all translated destruction in the KJV, but the word used for Daniel's abomination was bdelugma, so Turkel is leaning way over backwards when he asserts that Josephus's use of the word destroy in a context that mentioned the shedding of blood meant that he was saying that this shedding of blood was Daniel's "abomination of desolation." The "details" that I have given above show that this is a big stretch of imagination, because, as I noted above, Jesus said that this abomination was something that would be seen standing in the Holy Place. To borrow one of Turkel's expressions, dead bodies lying in the "holy courts" would hardly fill the bill here.
Those who really want to know what Daniel's "abomination of desolation" meant can find it in The Jewish Encyclopedia.
The context of these passages [Daniel 11:31 and Daniel 12:11] leaves no room for doubt as to what was intended by this somewhat odd expression; namely, the transformation, by Antiochus Epiphanes, of the sacred Temple at Jerusalem into a heathen one. In both Biblical and rabbinical Hebrew abomination is a familiar term for an idol (I Kings, xi. 5; II Kings, xxiii. 13; Sifra, K.edoshim, beginning, and Mekilta, Mishpatim, xx. ed.Weiss, 107), and therefore may well have the same application in Daniel, which should accordingly be rendered, in agreement with Ezra, ix. 3, 4, "motionless abomination" or, also, "appalling abomination." The suggestion of many scholars--Hoffmann, Nestle, Bevan, and others—that shiqqûwy shmâyim, as a designation for Jupiter is simply an intentional perversion of his usual appellation "Baal Shamem" (ba‘al shmâyim, "lord of heaven") is quite plausible....
The encyclopedia quoted used Hebrew characters in its definition, which are not reproducible with my fonts, so I have transliterated them. The article contained some comments on Christian perceptions of Daniel's "abomination of desolation," but concluded with what Jews consider the rabbinical consensus.
The rabbis as a whole consider that the expression shiqqûwy shmâyim refers to the desecration of the Temple by the erection of a Zeus statue in its sacred precincts by Antiochus Epiphanes.
The scholarly consensus, including Jewish scholars, who should know better than a would-be biblical apologist in Ocoee, Florida, what their scriptures meant, is that Daniel's "abomination of desolation" was a reference to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, when he erected a statue of Zeus (Jupiter) in the Holy Place in 167 BC and offered pagan sacrifices, including even abominable swine on the altar. Turkel wanted details, and I have given them, so now let him tell us where Josephus identified what events he thought had fulfilled Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation." Josephus did make such an identification, but where was that, Turk?
Let me give him a little help. He made this identification in 1 Maccabees 1:54ff, where he associated this with Antiochus's desecration of the temple.
It is question time again, Turk. Are the statements below true or false?
Hello? How many crayons does X need to connect the dots here?
Hmm, that's a good question for the Turkey. I'll just add it to the questions I have repeated above. How many crayons does Turkel need to connect the dots here?
The specific use of the words "abominations" with reference to Jerusalem's desolation is a clear allusion to Daniel's prophecy.
Abomination [bdelusso] was simply a word that meant something disgusting or detestable. The fact that Josephus used this word in reference to things that would have been disgusting would not at all mean that he was saying that these "abominations" were Daniel's "abomination of desolation," any more than finding the word declaration in a document would mean that the author was referring to The Declaration of Independence. What Turkel needs to do is find a place where Josephus specifically identified what he thought was Daniel's abomination of desolation. Such a passage exists, and I will give Turkel a hint on where to find it. Try looking in Antiquities of the Jews, 12:7.6.
Here is a bit of advice for Turkel's choir members: always check what Turkel asserts without supporting it with evidence, because he isn't above outright lying. He didn't give a specific reference for where Josephus had used the word abominations and probably omitted the reference to lessen the chance that his readers would check on the usage of this word and see that Josephus in no way indicated that these "abominations" were Daniel's abomination of desolation.
No, where? Where did Josephus say that the Roman desecration of Jerusalem was the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation"?
X needs Joe to say, "this fulfilled Daniel" to get the point?
Well, "Joe" did say that. In Antiquities of the Jews, 12:7.6, after relating Antiochus's desecration of the temple, Josephus said, "(T)his desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel," so if "Joe" could say it here, why couldn't he have said it in Turkel's "proof text"? Could it be that "Joe" didn't say in Wars of the Jews that the Roman desecration of the temple had fulfilled Daniel's prophecy because he had already identified the fulfillment with Antiochus's desecration over two centuries earlier? Josephus probably wasn't like Turkel, who will say one thing in an article and then later say something in another article that contradicts it.
So take the crayons, Turkel, connect the dots, and tell us where Josephus ever said that the Roman desecration of the temple had fulfilled Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation."
Okay. Try Antiquities 10.276: "...Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them." And what did Joe say above was the cause of this, back in the other passage, that was the cause of Rome coming to purify the place? Ah.
Well, let's just take a gander at this passage. I will emphasize in bold print the part from which Turkel lifted his truncated quotation.
Daniel wrote that he saw these visions in the Plain of Susa; and he hath informed us that God interpreted the appearance of this vision after the following manner: He said that the ram signified the kingdoms of the Medes and Persians, and the horns those kings that were to reign in them; and that the last horn signified the last king, and that he should exceed all the kings in riches and glory: that the he-goat signified that one should come and reign from the Greeks, who should twice fight with the Persian, and overcome him in battle, and should receive his entire dominion: that by the great horn which sprang out of the forehead of the he-goat was meant the first king; and that the springing up of four horns upon its falling off, and the conversion of every one of them to the four quarters of the earth, signified the successors that should arise after the death of the first king, and the partition of the kingdom among them, and that they should be neither his children, nor of his kindred, that should reign over the habitable earth for many years; and that from among them there should arise a certain king that should overcome our nation and their laws, and should take away their political government, and should spoil the temple, and forbid the sacrifices to be offered for three years' time. And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision, and what he wrote many years before they came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. All these things did this man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him, insomuch that such as read his prophecies, and see how they have been fulfilled, would wonder at the honor wherewith God honored Daniel....
Josephus did a pretty good job of interpreting Daniel's visions of the ram and he-goat. On this part of the vision, his interpretation was essentially the same as mine in "Good History in the Book of Daniel," which was published in the September/October 1998 issue of The Skeptical Review.
In chapter 8, for example, Daniel saw a "vision" of a male goat that came from the west, "coming across the face of the whole earth without touching the ground" (v:5). This goat had a great horn between its eyes, which it used to destroy a ram with two horns that had been described in Daniel's vision just before the appearance of the goat. After trampling into the ground the ram with two horns, the male goat "grew exceedingly great" (vs:7-8), but at the "height of its power, the great horn was broken, and in its place there came up four prominent horns toward the four winds of heaven." Admittedly, the language in this vision is typically figurative, but scholars agree that it is an accurate description of Alexander the Great's conquest of the territory that once belonged to the kings of Media and Persia and of the breakup of Alexander's Grecian empire when he died at the height of his power. Upon Alexander's death, his empire was divided into four smaller kingdoms by his generals, who came to be known as the "Diadochi" (successors), so these would have been the four prominent horns that came up when the great horn was broken. Macedonia and Greece were allotted to Cassander, Pergamum and Asia Minor to Lysimachus, Syria and Babylon to Antigonus, and Egypt and Palestine to Ptolemy.
That this was the probable meaning that the writer of Daniel intended in this vision is supported by verses 20 and 21, where Daniel identified the horns on the ram as the "kings of Media and Persia" and the male goat as the "king of Greece." The great horn between the eyes of the goat was identified as "the first king" of Greece (v:21), and the four horns that arose when the great horn was broken were identified as "four kingdoms [that] shall arise from his nation, but not with his power" (v:22). In chapter 11, Daniel again referred to the breakup of Alexander's kingdom. After "predicting" that "three more kings" would arise in Persia, he said that the last one (who would be the fourth) would "stir up all against the kingdom of Greece" (v:2) and that this would cause a "warrior king" to arise, "who shall rule with great dominion and take action as he pleases" (v:3), but, once again, Daniel noted that "while still rising in power, the dominion of this "warrior king" would be "broken and divided toward the four winds of heaven, but not to his posterity," because the kingdom would be "uprooted and go to others besides these" (v:4). The historical facts about Alexander's conquests and the subsequent breakup of his empire fit the symbols in these "visions" too perfectly to suppose that they could have been referring to anything else. Upon the death of Alexander, three of his relatives wanted to take control of his kingdom (his sons Alexander and Herakles, and his half-brother Philip Arrhidaeus), but none of them had the influence and power to do so; hence, when Alexander died, his kingdom was "uprooted" and did not go to his "posterity." Hatcher expects us to believe that someone who didn't even know who ruled in the Babylonian and Persian empires of his time could nevertheless look through time and make an amazingly accurate prediction about who would rule over these same territories two centuries later and what the ultimate fate of this future empire would be. That is also a pill too large to swallow. An easier pill to take would be the more likely premise that the writer of Daniel knew more about the Grecian empire than the Babylonian and Persian, because he lived much closer to the time of the former.
In the rest of the article, I did some verse-by-verse analyses to show that Daniel's prophecies showed primary interest in the fourth kingdom [Alexander's] and its break up, which had brought the Seleucid kings to power, who were causing the Jewish persecutions that the second-century BC author of Daniel wanted his contemporaries to think would not succeed. There is nothing in Daniel's prophecies that can be reasonably construed as references to the Roman Empire. Such an interpretation would have required a fifth kingdom or empire, which was nowhere indicated in Daniel's prophecies. In his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the great image made of four different metals, Daniel said that Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold and that the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, and the legs of iron were three kingdoms that would come after Nebuchadnezzar's (Dan. 2:31-40). H. H. Rowley's Darius the Mede and the Four World Empires in the Book of Daniel would be a good source to confirm that the four kingdoms central to Daniel's visions were Babylonia, Media, Persia, and Alexander the Great's Grecian kingdom, but I also presented evidence to support this view in "Good History in the Book of Daniel," just quoted from above, and in "What Medo-Persian Empire?" There was no fifth kingdom in Daniel's visions, beyond the fragmented kingdoms that arose from the breakup of Alexander's empire, so there were no prophecies of the Roman Empire in those visions.
If readers will scroll up to the quotation from Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, they will see that he explicated in detail the parts of Daniel's visions that showed he was "prophesying" of the coming suffering of the Jews under Antiochus Epiphanes, but then he stopped explicating and simply asserted that "Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them." Josephus gave his readers no explications that would support this claim, because there were no references to kingdoms beyond those that would form after the breakup of the fourth empire of Alexander. Like Christians have done ever since, Josephus simply read into Daniel's vision what he wanted to see, i. e., references to the Roman Empire.
X may send apologies, and his head on a platter, to PO Box 112, Clarcona FL 32710-0112.
As readers can easily see from the "details" above, I have no apologies to make, but if I did, I would send them to Robert Turkel, 2609 Greywall Avenue, Ocoee, FL 34761. Meanwhile, Turkel can send his head on a platter to me at P. O. Box 717, Canton, IL 61520-0717, which is the address I have used ever since I moved here in 1965. If he prefers to send it by UPS, he can address it to 1045 South Main in the same town.
Some people just don't feel any compulsion to hide behind phony names and post office addresses maintained only to hide where they live.
He may send it with plenty of egg on the face, and one or both feet stuck in his mouth.
The egg just isn't on Turkel's face; it is dripping off his chin, around the feet shoved all the way down his throat. This Turkey has been plucked clean, so now it is time to cook him.
X next fumes that he can find no place where Luke says anything about the abomination. Apparently that Luke's passage is parallel to those in Matthew and Mark is not enough;
Keep this comment in mind, because I will soon be beating Turkel over the head with it.
no, if X doesn't see the word "ABOMINATION" in blinking red neon, Luke can't possibly be talking about it.
So Turkel is arguing that if Matthew and/or Mark said X in a passage, Luke was also saying X in his parallel account, even if Luke didn't actually say X. Keep this in mind, because it will soon blow up in his face.
So there, too. (That the word "desolation" IS there [21:20] apparently does not disturb him or make him see an allusion to Daniel, nor a parallel to Matt and Mark.
No, it doesn't, any more than seeing desolation in Luke 11:17, which says that "every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation," would make me think that Luke meant that a divided kingdom was the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation."
Now what is that Turkel always calls me? Oh, yes, hyperliteralist. I wonder if he has ever heard the adage about the pot calling the kettle black.
Instead X fusses about how it is no big deal to predict that Jerusalem will be destroyed, which leads us to ask 1) why he thinks the warning was meant to impress him, or anyone, anyway;
Turkel doesn't think that prophecies were meant to impress? If not, then why does he make such a big deal over what he thinks he sees as prophecy fulfillments in the Olivet discourse? If he isn't trying to impress his gullible readers into thinking that these alleged prophecy fulfillments prove that the hand of God was involved in the fulfillments, then why did he rave so much about how the destruction of the temple would "vindicate" Jesus? As readers can see at the beginning of Part 8 of my "wrap up" replies to Turkel's "Come Again" article, he emphasized that vindication of Jesus depended on the fulfillment of his prophecy that the temple would be destroyed.
"As a prophet, Jesus staked his reputation on his prediction of the Temple’s fall within a generation; if and when it fell, he would thereby be vindicated."
Further along, he repeated the importance of the alleged fulfillment of this prophecy.
But if the Temple did indeed fall, he would be vindicated--
Then the Turkey said later...
Rather Jesus is saying, "You will see me vindicated; you will see my predictions come true."
So it would certainly seem that Turkel thinks that prophecies were meant to impress.
2) how he can then use such predictions as evidence of a post-70 date, especially as he takes that tack after all. So if it's before 70, it's "no big deal"; if it's after 70, it's a con game.
Is Turkel so simple-minded that he just can't see that written references to events known to have happened on certain dates is a recognized reliable means of dating the document after the date of the events referred to? Bruce Wildish discussed this historiological dating method in a reply to Everette Hatcher's attempts to find amazing prophecies in the book of Daniel. The fact that "Daniel" so accurately "predicted" events that happened before and during the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes is exactly why biblical scholars more interested in truth than the defense of a discredited inerrancy view fix the time of Antiochus as the earliest date that this book could have been written. The accuracy with which "Daniel" referred to these events is very reasonable evidence to conclude that these "prophecies" were written after the fact. In the same way, the fact that the synoptic gospels so accurately reported the destruction of Jerusalem is one of the main reasons why so many biblical scholars, like Craig Keener, have dated these books after AD 70. Hence, there would be no "big deal" in a prophecy of something that was going to happen if that "prophecy" were written after the fact.
Is Turkel so dense that he just can't see this?
The "big deal" that Turkel is trying to make over the Olivet "prophecies" raises another question for him to evade. In Part One of my current replies to him, I quoted where Turkel said that "the ancients" thought that inspiration meant the same as "the sort of inspiration we get from a work of art," but if that was all that inspiration meant, Turkel should know that the so-called "prophets" of biblical times could not have predicted what the future held, because one simply cannot get that kind of foresight from "the sort of inspiration we get from a work of art."
Did Turkel say something about my having my feet in my mouth?
The Gospels can't win for losing in X's eyes, and he'll spin out whatever eventuality he can.)
Yes, the gospels "lose" so much to those who read them critically that they cannot win any reasonable person over to believing that they are parts of "the inspired word of God," especially when Turkel tells us that we should view their "inspiration" in the same way that we would consider "a work of art" to be inspired. If that's the only way they were "inspired," they aren't worth a pint of cold spit.
X hauls up his old demand that ge unless accompanied by a qualifier over 18 must mean the whole danged planet,
I didn't just "haul" it up; I presented a "detailed" examination of how the word was used in the New Testament, which showed that ge when used to mean just land was either qualified with prepositional phrases like "of Israel" or "of Egypt" or "of Judea" or some other contextual modifier that indicated its limited meaning. I will link readers to specific sections where these rebuttals were presented, but first let's look at Turkel's flagrant evasion below.
and reiterates his self-centered-universe demand for a qualifier to make what is obvious to everyone else, clear to him.
Everyone else? Everyone else! Does Turkel really have the gall to say that everyone else thinks that ge meant just the land of Israel in the passage that said "all the tribes of the earth" would see the son of man coming on the clouds? This view that he is trying to sell is a decidedly minority view in the Christian community, and he knows it. Most Christians believe that when Jesus said that "all the tribes of the earth [ge]" would see the coming of Jesus and mourn over him, he was using the word ge [earth] to mean "the whole danged planet." I assume that everyone noticed that Turkel didn't even try to show that ge in the disputed texts had the limited meaning that he claims is "obvious to everyone else." He didn't because he knew that if he tried it, he would look even sillier than he already does.
We have already addressed this and are still waiting for X to get back to it,
Did everyone notice that Turkel made no attempt to rebut what I said? He didn't even give us a "here link," which he will often do to tell readers that he has answered thus and so here and then leave it to readers to wade through entire articles to try to find what he considered to be the "answer." I realize that the Turkey and I have exchanged hundreds of thousands of words by now, but if he has "already addressed" my rebuttal argument that ge when used in a limited sense always contained contextual qualifications to indicate the limited meaning, I missed it. Readers who want to see where I overwhelmed Turkel with evidence to support this point can go to this section of my first reply to Turkel's preterist views, and then they can go here and here. These links will take readers to the sections of articles where this particular point was discussed and not just to an entire article that would require readers to search the entire articles to find what I was referring to.
To see just how much that Turkel hopped, skipped, and jumped over my analysis of Luke 21, which showed clear evidence that this gospel had been written after the events of AD 70, readers can go to this section of my rebuttal article. It is "detailed," which should please Turkel, who has claimed that I "pass" on giving details, and the final paragraph quoted below summarized the problem that Turkel is ducking and dodging.
I will remind readers that verse 34 [of Luke 21] warned readers to take heed to themselves lest "that Day" come upon them unexpectedly, and the next verse said that it [that Day] would come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth." Turkel and his preterist cohorts assert--without proof--that the latter statement meant only that "that Day" would come upon all those who dwell on the face of the whole land of Judea, but this is an interpretation so obviously strained that no reasonable person can believe it. If the statement meant that, then why didn't Luke just say so? Wouldn't clarity in his meaning have been worth the extra effort it would have taken for Luke to add "of Judea" after "the face of the whole earth [tes ges]"? This restrictive phrase--just one word in Greek--would have told readers that Luke was using the word ge in its limited sense of just a regional land area, but no such limitation was stated. The absence of such restriction or any other contextual indicators is sufficient to tell any reasonable person that Luke was using this word in its strictest sense, i. e., the entire earth.
Common sense should tell a reader who wants to know the actual meaning of a text, instead of to find a way to strain it into fitting some doctrinal mold, that Luke would not have used the expression "on the face of the whole earth [ge]" if he had meant only the "whole land" of a tiny country like Israel. This phrase was epi prosopon pastes tes ges, and the same expression used elsewhere in the New Testament shows that it meant the face of the entire planet.
Acts 17:26 And [God[ hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth [epi pan to prosopon tes ges].
Obviously, the apostle Paul meant here that God had made of one blood all nations of men who dwell on all the face of the entire planet and not just men who dwell in one country or region. The Greek expression in the passage just quoted is the same as the one in Luke 21:35 except for spellings necessitated by case usage.
When Turkel "replies" to an opponent's articles, he skips so much that I think I am going to call him "Skippy" from now on. Yes, I think that is a good idea that will counter his "Skeptic X" designation for me. Fair play would also demand that I substitute [Skippy] for every place where I had previously referred to him as Turkel [his real name that he seems to be ashamed of], but he isn't worth the time it would take to do that.
in maybe 2034. Paging Alexander Hartigan!
The impediments to my work schedule have already been referred to about three or four times now, so I don't need to rehash them again. Perhaps, however, we could get Alexander Hartigan to take Skippy far enough into the future to see that Christianity will end up like all religions: they arise, thrive [usually for long periods], and then they die.
X then whines that I "gave no references" for the note that "Ananus himself used the word abominations." Tough cookies. X has to get out of his La-Z-Boy and do all the work.
Yep, that's Skippy's attitude, all right. Make the readers do all the work. In this case, I was glad to do the work so that readers could see that Ananus never said anywhere that the "abominations" committed by the zealots was Daniel's "abomination of desolation."
He does find it, but doesn't see anything special.
I certainly didn't see anything special about it. Readers can go to this section of my article that Hopalong--er--Skippy is supposed to be answering to see Ananus's quotation in its full context so that they can see for themselves that Ananus never said at any time that the "abominations" he was witnessing were the fulfillment of Daniel's "prophecy." That is something that Skippy is reading into the quotation.
He could stand again to look at what Josephus says:
"Never mind that Jews considered (as I showed above) the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes two hundred years earlier to have been the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy..."
Uh, Josephus didn't say this; I did (as readers can see by clicking the link immediately above).
Um, yeah -- that's fine, but that doesn't say that Anty exhausted Dan's prophecies.
Everyone keep this comment in mind along with what he said above about my thinking that unless abomination was in "blinking red neon," Luke couldn't "possibly have been talking about it," because I am going to dump all of this back into his hypocritical lap.
Meanwhile, I will ask Skippy to give us a plausible explanation for why Josephus had identified the desecrations of Antiochus as the fulfillment of Daniel's "prophecy" but said nothing at all about the events of AD 70 being fulfillments. It would have been so easy for him to have tacked on just a little reference to how the desecrations of the Romans had also fulfilled Daniel's prophecy.
Oh, wait! Wait! I know! I know! Josephus was dealing with a paper shortage, so he had to leave out any direct comments about fulfillments of Daniel's prophecy in the events of AD 70. No doubt he knew that Skippy would come along someday to tell everyone what he meant.
Oops. X also says of the Ananus quote...
"Never mind that the text quoted above is found in Book 4, Chapter 3, of Wars of the Jews, and that the siege of Jerusalem didn't begin until Book 5, Chapter 3. How could the seizure of the temple by the Zealots before the Roman siege of Jerusalem had even begun have been the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy about the 'abomination of desolation,' if that abomination, according to preterists, was the Roman desecration of the temple?"
No, X, pay attention: Rome's actions were the cause of the desolation; their coming was a signal (for Luke) of the abominations forthcoming; and excuse me, but the class of behavior which Anauas called "abominations" didn't stop after his mouth opened.
As usual, Skippy's writing is ambiguous. One would naturally think that the antecedent of the pronoun their in "their coming was a signal" would be Rome's, but he apparently meant that Rome's actions were the cause of the desolation, but the coming of the zealots [to occupy the temple] was a signal for Luke that the abominations were forthcoming. First of all, we are not interested in whatever abominations were forthcoming; our interest is in whether Josephus thought that events of AD 70 in any way fulfilled Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation." We have seen detail after detail above that shows that he didn't think this. Anyway, Skippy's quibble now is that Luke thought that the coming of the zealots was a signal for Luke that the "abominations" were forthcoming. Let's see if this quibble will hold water. Here is the text on which Skippy is basing this quibble.
Like 21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
Luke said that the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies, plural, would be the signal that Jerusalem's desolation was near, but the zealots didn't surround Jerusalem with armies. In fact, they had no armies. They took over the temple by mob action as Josephus described in the earlier sections of chapter three in book 4 of Wars of the Jews. In 4:3.4 138), he referred to them as "robbers," who had come in out of the country. They did not have "armies" that surrounded the city.
My question for Skippy was perfectly legitimate, so now maybe he will tell us how the seizure of the temple by the zealots could have been the "desolation" caused by the Romans if the zealots' seizure of the temple had preceded the surrounding of Jerusalem by the Roman armies.
This loss to the Romans was but light, there being no more than a few slain out of an immense army;
What "loss to the Romans"? This section of Wars of the Jews that Skippy is alluding to described a civil conflict between Jews, the zealots in one group and the people who had become fed up with their mob actions. What "immense army"? The zealots were described as a "multitude," but I can't find where Josephus at any time referred to them as an "immense army." Skippy seems to think that he can say just anything and get away with it. That may work with his gullible choir members, but it won't work with me.
but still it appeared to be a prelude to the Jews' own destruction,
But Luke said that the people in Jerusalem would know that their desolation was near when they saw the city surrounded by armies. That didn't happen in the zealot take-over of the temple.
while men made public lamentation when they saw that such occasions were afforded for a war as were incurable;
This is so clumsily written that it makes no sense. If Skippy would slow down and put a little more emphasis on quality than quantity, we might understand what the hell he is trying to say, or it may be just an example of what I saw many times when I was teaching college writing: when a person didn't know what to say but knew that he had to say something, he would often dash off something incoherent to those who read it. That appears to be what Skippy was doing here, as his continued incoherence indicates.
that the city was all over polluted with such abominations, from which it was but reasonable to expect some vengeance, even though they should escape revenge from the Romans; so that the city was filled with sadness, and every one of the moderate men in it were under great disturbance, as likely themselves to undergo punishment for the wickedness of the seditious; for indeed it so happened that this murder was perpetrated on the sabbath day, on which day the Jews have a respite from their works on account of Divine worship.
This was so clumsily written that I thought maybe Skippy was quoting Josephus, because his prose is often awkward too, but an on-line electronic search of Wars turned up no hits of key words like polluted, vengeance, seditious, or perpetrated. If, however, we assume the accuracy of Skippy's description of conditions in Jerusalem at this time, how would that prove that Josephus "saw" those conditions as the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the abomination of desolation? It looks as if it is question time again. Are the statements below true or false?
Nor do we claim there were no "abominations" beforehand as X seems to think -- in fact we have no problem with all sorts of teensy-weensy abominations before the Big Fat Abomination that was the straw that broke the camel's back. As if X thinks in war, we think "abominations" only come packaged one at a time.
What "Big Fat Abomination"? Notice that Skippy didn't even try to identify this "Big Fat Abomination." When was this "Big Fat Abomination" seen standing in the Holy Place, as Jesus said would happen? Was this "Big Fat Abomination" bigger and fatter than the one that was seen when Antiochus erected a statue of Zeus in the temple? Was it bigger and fatter than the abomination of sacrificing swine on the temple altar? It is question time for Skippy again. Are the statements below true or false?
Josephus flatly said in the passage in Antiquities that Daniel's prophecy was fulfilled when Antiochus profaned the temple. He made no such claim about any "abominations" that were committed by the Romans during the destruction of the temple, so Skippy's claim that Josephus "saw" fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy in those events is all in his preterist imagination.
X tells us further that, "Luke went on to indicate that the destruction of the city was just one event in a series of others that would precede the final end." He quotes:
Luke 21:20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
Then it is pontificated,
Luke said only that the siege of Jerusalem would signal that its desolation was near, but the full context of this statement indicates Luke's belief that a series of events would follow the fall of Jerusalem, which would be signs that the end was near. The inhabitants would be led away captive into all nations, and something called the "times of the Gentiles" would be fulfilled. That sounds suspiciously like something that would continue after the actual destruction of Jerusalem.
Duh ah, yes, we agree.
Good, Skippy agrees, so now it is time to whack off the Turkey's head that he has laid on the chopping block.
Unfortunately for him, what Skippy called a "dischronologized narrative" is from the book of Luke, who claimed in the introduction to his gospel that he going to write it in chronological order. If Skippy could ever rise above his dependence on the KJV, he might learn some things that so far seem to have eluded him. Here is the introduction to Luke as it is in the KJV.
Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
Most people reading this will think that Luke was saying that he was going to write his gospel in order that or so that Theophilus might know the certainty of the things wherein he had been instructed, but that wasn't at all what he meant. He was saying that he was going to write in chronological order about "all things from the very first." The word translated in order in the KJV was kathexes, which meant consecutively. Arndt & Gingrich defined this word to mean "in order, one after the other of sequence in time space or logic" (A greek Lexicon of the New Testament, 1952, p. 389). They listed Luke 1:3 as an example of where the word was used to mean to "write someth[ing] for someone in correct chronological order." They also listed Acts 11:4 as an example of where the word was used to mean to "explain to someone point by point." This text related the beginning of Peter's speech after he had been called onto the carpet by the other apostles for having preached to Gentiles at the household of Cornelius: "But Peter began and expounded the matter to them in order." In other words, Peter started at the beginning and related to the apostles in chronological order the events concerned with his visit to the home of Cornelius.
The meaning of kathexes in Luke 1:3 is made much clearer in other translations.
In consecutive order! Well, well, what do you know about that? But let's keep going.
Well, why continue this? Even the NKJV clarified the meaning by having Luke tell Theophilus that he was going to write an orderly account. Segond's French translation uses "d'une manière suivie" to translate how Luke said he was going to write, and this expression meant "in a following or consecutive order." It seems then that Skippy has claimed "dischronologized narrative" one time to many to try to quibble his way out of a corner he found himself backed into. Would someone in the Orlando area go by Ocoee and bandage the gunshot wound in his foot?
Here now is what I said about the passage in Luke, which Skippy, contrary to what Luke himself said, claimed was "dischronologized."
Furthermore, Luke went on to say that after the events described above, "there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, etc., etc., etc."
"After"? Sorry, I don't see an "after" anywhere here:
Okay, let's bring Skippy's chickens home to roost now. When I pointed out that Luke did not use the word abomination in his account of the so-called "Olivet discourse," Skippy made this derogatory statement.
No, if X doesn't see the word "ABOMINATION" in blinking red neon, Luke can't possibly be talking about it.
Turn about is fair play, so let him tell us now if after had to be explicitly stated in Luke's narrative before intelligent readers could understand that it was there by necessary implication. (I'm sorry to use a commonly known hermeneutic and literary principle, but maybe by the time I have shoved his foot further down his throat, Skippy will have figured out what it means.) How do I know that the after was necessarily implied in Luke's account of the Olivet discourse? Well, I will first remind readers of what I just proved above, i. e., Luke wrote his gospel in a consecutive or chronological sequence. With that in mind, let's notice the entire quotation from Luke 21 that Skippy, in typical fashion, truncated as he picked and chose what he would answer and what he would skip.
Here is the part that Skippy jumped over.
Luke 21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
I then made the statement that Luke went on to say that after the events described in the verses quoted above, signs in the sun, moon, and stars would be seen along with "distress among the nations." Then I quoted the next verses where Luke described the signs that would come afterwards.
Luke 21:25 And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.
This sent Skippy into a screaming dither.
"After"? Sorry, I don't see an "after" anywhere here. There is no "after" in v. 25. That's an "and". Same as starts v. 24.
Well, gee, Skippy, do you have to see the word after in to know it was there? Let me explain to you why we can know that the after was there by necessary implication. First, there is the literary principle that says that events in a narrative should be understood to be in chronological order unless some literary devices are in the text to indicate otherwise, but illustrating this to Skippy would be a waste of time, since he would never admit to being wrong. Besides there is a simpler way to prove that Luke meant for his readers to understand that the signs in the heavens would appear after the events related in verses 20-24. This is evidence that Skippy can't reject without saying that his own arguments above were fallacious. Now try to read this very slowly, Skippy, and maybe you will be able to see it. As we noted above, Luke said that he was going to write his narrative in consecutive order; hence, he meant for his readers to understand that what he narrated in verses 20-24 would happen before the events that began with verse 25, and so what he narrated beginning with verse 25 would happen after what he had narrated before this.
Are these enough details, Skippy? No, well, here are some more. When I said that Luke did not use the word abomination in his Olivet narrative, this was Skippy's reaction.
X next fumes that he can find no place where Luke says anything about the abomination. Apparently that Luke's passage is parallel to those in Matthew and Mark is not enough....
So Skippy's argument is that if Matthew and Mark used the word abomination, then the word would have to be understood in Luke's parallel account. Okay, let's apply this argument to Skippy's claim that he didn't see any after in the part of Luke's narrative quoted above, so that he can see that if Matthew used the word after in his narrative, the word after would be understood in Luke's parallel account.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken.
This pretty well settles it, doesn't it? We have Skippy's own infallible rule of interpretation that if a specific word was used by one writer, then the same word must be understood in any parallel account. Matthew had described sufferings and tribulations that would be experienced and then said that immediately the suffering of those days, signs would be seen in the heavens, so when Luke described sufferings in his parallel account and said that signs would be seen in the heavens, he had to mean that the signs would be seen after the sufferings.
Don't forget the address where you can send me your head on a platter, Skippy.
Which means that this is a case of Jesus finishing up a description of Jerusalem's fate, then returning BACK to what's going on at the same time the [sic] start of the previous "and" in v. 24.
So sorry, Skippy, but your own rules of interpretation won't let this quibble stand, because Matthew's use of the word after in his narrative requires us to understand that the same word was meant in Luke's parallel account. Besides this, you have the problem of explaining how there could be a "dischronologized" passage in a book that the author said that he was going to write in chronological order.
No "after" or "then" until v. 27.
Skippy made the interpretation rules, so if after was in Matthew's account, it had to be understood in Luke's parallel account too. Skippy loses. Will somebody in the Orlando area drop by and pull his foot out of his mouth?
As the final coup de grace to this, let's juxtapose the two parallel accounts with the ands that are used to show chronological sequence emphasized in bold print.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
I am going to give Skippy a lesson in Remedial Literary Interpretation 010. As I noted above, there is a literary principle that says that events in a narrative should be understood to be in chronological order unless some literary devices are in the text to indicate otherwise. In biblical narratives the conjunction and was commonly used to connect events in their chrological order, but even in the more sophisticated modern styles of writing, and is used as a device to signal the order of events being narrated. Consider, for example, a short narrative that I will compose off the top of my head.
Tom Smith left his house and got into his car. He adjusted the rearview mirror and turned on the ignition. He started the car and backed out of the driveway and drove toward town. He stopped at the intersection and continued on without looking. A car came around the curve and plowed into him.
No reasonable person reading this would have any difficulty recognizing that the events were related in chronological sequence: (1) Smith left his house. (2) Smith got into his car. (3) Smith adjusted the rearview mirror. (4) Smith turned on the ignition. (5) Smith started the car. (6) Smith backed out of the driveway. (7) Smith drove toward town. (8) Smith stopped at the intersection. (9) Smith continued on without looking. (10) A car came around the curve. (11) The car plowed into Smith's car.
No one reading this would think that the narrative was "dischronologized" and that Smith got into his car before he left his house and that he started the car before he turned on the ignition, and so on. Even when the conjunction and was not used at the beginning of sentences, we know that the action in those sentences came after the actions in the preceding sentence. Smith, for example, got into his car before he adjusted the rearview mirror, and he drove toward town before he stopped at the intersection. The same common sense interpretations can be applied to biblical narrations, which used and as a chronological device even more so than we use it today. Consider this passage from Acts 16.
Acts 16:11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; 12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
Common sense will tell reasonable readers that the ands in this narrative connect the events in chronological sequence. Paul and his company came to Samothracia before they came to Neapolis and to Neapolis before they came to Philippi. They were certainly not in the city certain days until they had come to the city. They didn't sit down by the river until they had gone to the river, and so on. In a typical narrative, the order in which the events are related will most often signal their chronological sequence, and the conjunction and is one of the easiest way to tie the events together in their chronological order. There is nothing complex or mysterious about this age-old method of narration, and only when someone has a pet belief to defend will he try to distort a straightforward sequential narrative into "dischronologized" narration.
When we apply common-sense interpretation to the passage quoted above from Luke, we can see that this is the order of the events: (1) People would fall by the edge of the sword. (2) People would be led away captive to all nations. (3) Jerusalem would be trodden down. (4) There would be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. (5) There would be distress of nations on the earth. (6) Men's hearts would fail them from fear. (7) They would see the son of man coming in the clouds with power and glory.
The after? Well, it is there to signal that the signs in the heavens and the coming of the son of man will happen after people fall by the edge of the sword and are taken captive to other nations and so on, because the after is in Matthew's narrative, and we have it from no better authority than Skippy himself that if a word is in Matthew's account, we have to understand that it is also in Luke's parallel account.
Somebody in the Orlando area go by Skippy's house in Ocoee and stick a fork into him. He's done.
Too bad. X is reading chronology into consecutive reporting.
Well, duh, consecutive reporting would be chronological reporting. I suggest that Skippy consult a dictionary to see what consecutive means.
As for anxiety of nations, it happened all through the period from 30-70 with all those wars, quakes, and other nasty stuff we've been talking about.
Yes it did, but the consecutive order in which Luke wrote his narrative requires us to understand that the "distress of nations" happened in the chronological sequence explicated above. So this "distress of nations" was not that which happened "all through the period from 30-70" but after the people of Jerusalem had fallen by the edge of the swoard and after they had been taken captive to other nations and so on as shown in my chronological analysis above.
I guess it is question time for Skippy again: If Luke wrote his gospel in chronological or consecutive sequence as he said he would do in Luke 1:3 and if Luke put the "distress of nations" after the falling of the people at the edge of the sword and their captivity in other nations and after the appearance of the signs in heaven, then how could the "distress of the nations" have been a reference to something that had happened among the nations before these heavenly signs had appeared? And if Matthew said that the signs would appear immediately after the suffering and tribulation described in preceding verses, why wouldn't Luke's parallel account have to be understood to mean that the signs in the heavens would appear after the suffering and distress described in the preceding verses?
Yes, it is, and it slammed shut right in Skippy's face. He has had his head handed to him on a platter. Will someone in the Orlando area go by Ocoee, pick it up, and mail it to my address given above.
And with that, we leave Part Three of "As the Fundaliteralist Turns", having added to the Big Haha board yet another goofy mistake by X (the missing of the Josephus quote above)
As everyone has seen, the so-called "missing Josephus quot[ation]" has been shown to be just a straw man that Skippy set up to kick around in a desperate attempt to distract attention from his inability to show us where Josephus "saw" events in AD 70 as the fulfillment of Daniel's "prophecy" about "the abomination of desolation." Josephus never indicated that he "saw" any such thing, and Skippy's hide had been ripped off and nailed to the wall in this matter.
which we can throw at him over and over and over along with the famous "90% of my website" quote and the "people in the ancient world did too have guilt!" routine, and countless others. See you next round.
Skippy always manages to throw in these two issues, which have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of preterism and were dragged in only to distract attention from his miserable failures to prove his preterist opinion if I should undertake to discuss these straw men here. I will instead refer readers to the beginning of "Where Are the Links?" which explains that the 90% matter originated as a result of the typically sloppy writing in an article on Skippy's website, which he has since removed as he usually does when something proves embarrassing to him. I also addressed the 90% issue in this section of my reply to Skippy's attempt to defend his claim that "commentators of all stripes" agree with a peculiar spin that he has tried to put onto Hosea 1:4, so there is no need to waste time here on a straw man that has nothing to do with the doctrine of preterism. As for the "guilt" straw man, which Skippy also likes to use to distract attention from his inability to defend his positions, readers who are interested in the subject can access "No Guilt in Biblical Times?" which I have taken the time to write so that I can just link readers to it whenever Skippy finds himself in a bind and brings up this other straw man to hide his inability to defend whatever doctrinal belief he is trying to sell at the time.
For now, then, I will simply say that people in biblical times did experience guilt regardless of what Skippy's "scholars" may think, as if people living in modern times could know that people who lived thousands of years ago did not experience guilt. That is a position almost too absurd to deserve comment. Anyone who reads the following quotations from the Old Testament can see that feelings of guilt existed back then.
1 Samuel 24:4 And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which Yahweh said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. 5 And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.
2 Samuel 24:9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 10 And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto Yahweh, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Yahweh, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
These and various other examples that I quoted in the article linked to above clearly show that people in biblical times experienced feelings of remorse or guilt. "To smite the heart" was obviously an idiom that meant "conscience-stricken," and some translations, such as the NIV, NASV, GNB, and others rendered this idiom as "conscience-stricken" or "conscience bothered" or "conscience hurt." Skippy read a book by Bruce Malina and Richard Rohrbaugh entitled Social Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, in which they stated that guilt did not exist in the "collectivist" societies of biblical times, and Skippy lapped this up as if it had been etched in stone by the finger of God himself. In the article linked to above, I show that Malina and Rohrbaugh were unquestionably wrong--or else the Bible is not inerrant--and absurdly foolish for thinking that they could make such a determination as this two to three thousand years after biblical times. My article is available to read, so there is no need for me to say any more here about this straw man.
The above links to the 90% matter show that my misunderstanding of something that Skippy said about demanding that I pay 90% of the cost of any articles of mine that he put on his website--and to pay this amount seven years in advance--was due to the typically clumsy way that he writes when he is going tappity, tappity, tap, tap to try to finish another article so that he can boast of how many he has written. We have seen above that Skippy's writing will many times leave readers scratching their heads, wondering what in hell he was trying to say. In the articles linked to above, I show that this was the problem in the way that Skippy hacked together the message that brought up the 90% matter. I also said that I would be happy to pay 100% of the cost of putting onto Skippy's website some of my articles that he only selectively quoted when he "replied" to them. Needless to say, I don't expect him to accept this offer.
At any rate, both of the straw men with
which Skippy ended his "reply" to
Part Three have been picked
apart in the articles linked to above. From now on, when Skippy sets
these straw men
up again to evade answering some of my real arguments, I can just pull
a Turkel and say,
"Go here and here and