Re: Understanding Prophecy (was Re: Daniel)

From: Allen Roy (
Date: Mon Jul 08 2002 - 02:44:24 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "ID article"

    First, I want to apologize for the curtness of my previous response which
    was due to exasperation.

    I'd like to make some short, and therefore condensed comments on the
    prophecies of Daniel and their fulfillment.

    1st, there are basically 4 different methods of interpreting the prophecies
    of Daniel -- Historisticalism, Preterism, Futurism and Dispensationalism.

    Historisticalism is the oldest method and is based on the premise that the
    prophecies started in the day of Daniel and proceed to spell out what would
    become the history of a consecutive series of civilizations/governments
    ending with "the kingdom of God." The historistical method can be traced as
    far back as some Jewish expositors before and after Christ.

    Both the Preterist and Futurist methods were developed by the Jesuit order
    (about 1500 AD) because the Church did not like the historistical
    interpretations of the Protestants that identified papal Rome as an
    uncomplimentary part of the prophecies. The Preterist and Futurist methods
    happen to be mutually exclusive.

    The Preterist method basically interprets all the prophecies of Daniel as
    finding their fulfillment before Jesus and so, also, before the Catholic
    church. Antiochus Epiphanies plays an important role in the fulfillment.
    This method was basically adopted by the "Higher Criticism" scholars because
    it fits with their concept that there really is no prophecy, but rather
    historical pieces written in "apocalyptic" form.

    Futurism is the opposite, it basically states that all the prophecies of
    Daniel have yet to find fulfillment at some indefinable time in the future.
    When or how the prophecies might begin to be fulfilled is hard to determine.
    But, again, the Church could not possibly be a part of the fulfillment of
    the prophecies.

    Both Preterism and Futurism, though mutually exclusive, became foundational
    in the Catholic counter-reformation movement.

    Dispensationalism (only a couple centuries old), promoted by Hal Lindsey and
    Tim LaHay, is a curious, pick and choose mixture of Preterism and Futurism.
    It would take quite some time to show what part comes from which
    counter-reformation alternative.

    I personally prefer the Historistical methodology. It is logical and
    consistent and has an impressive pedigree. The prophecies are grounded in
    history and one can quite easily find correlations between the prophetical
    descriptions and historical events in sequence from the time of Daniel to
    the present day.

    I'll discuss some other points in the next letter on the topic. This is a
    topic upon which one could propound nearly indefinitely, but I will be


    > Allen, after reading your thoughtful, reasoned, and well stated =
    > exposition of a position similar to "position C" on biblical inerrancy, =
    > I must confess I am astonished at the rhetorical flourishes and ad =
    > hominem pronouncements in your subsequent statement on Daniel.
    > Grace and peace,
    > Bob Schneider

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