New Testament Nations in Eschatology

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au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
A third recommendation for More Than Conquerors. I have enjoyed reading Revelation a lot more since I read it. I stopped looking for dates and specific historical events and started reading Revelation like an epistle.

Sent from my XT557 using Tapatalk 2
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
When critiquing Beale’s idea of “multiple fulfilments”, you state, “The true and full sense of any Scripture is not manifold but one.” Yet both Vos (see in post #18) and Hendriksen in his commentary on Matthew 24 view “the abomination of desolation” as a prophecy with more than one fulfillment. What shall we make of that, and stay in accord with the WCF 1:9?

Perhaps the meaning of the words of our Lord in the Scripture Matt 24:15 – “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)” – is that an abomination which makes the holy place desolate indeed has but one true and full sense, as exemplified initially by Antiochus Epiphanes’ desecration of the temple, and this “one true and full sense” of the Scripture will be repeated by others. The words of Jesus seem to be pointing to this very interpretation.

Here you are, Matthew, one solitary man trying to turn over the general consensus of interpretation among the Reformed Amillenarians (some of whom I have listed in this post) as though you alone carry the banner of truth and all the rest of us are astray and amuddle in our hermeneutic method. I will say you are valorous, at the least.

Matthew, you talk a good talk, but it is valid only within the sphere of your own system’s internal logic, i.e., the idealist, which is closed to historical influence (I once termed it ahistorical, and you countered, no it is all-historical), and to others who are not within that same sphere. I remain unconvinced that your view is coherent in light of Scripture. You evidently feel the same of us.

You berate us modified idealists as conceding to historicism and futurism, and deny any validity of claimed historical referents in the symbols of Revelation (or Daniel or Zechariah, and likely Ezekiel), nor things which pertain to the future in the Apocalypse, simply because your interpretive grid will not allow them. But your grid is highly questionable, despite your vigorous defense of it. And you continue insisting that redemption is already accomplished (which it is), but denying our view that it is also not yet, as though the whole creation did not groan and travail in pain – ourselves also – “waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom 8:23).

All enemies are not yet put under the King’s feet. The realm our bodies are in are the same realm our Lord’s body was in, and He obtained perfect and full victory over the devil and death and sin. He then said, before ascending to the Father, “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). We are to overcome even as He did, and fight the good fight of faith, even as He did.

I don’t relate to your sense of things, not the gestalt of it.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Here you are, Matthew, one solitary man trying to turn over the general consensus of interpretation among the Reformed Amillenarians (some of whom I have listed in this post) as though you alone carry the banner of truth and all the rest of us are astray and amuddle in our hermeneutic method. I will say you are valorous, at the least.

Matthew, you talk a good talk, but it is valid only within the sphere of your own system’s internal logic, i.e., the idealist, which is closed to historical influence (I once termed it ahistorical, and you countered, no it is all-historical), and to others who are not within that same sphere. I remain unconvinced that your view is coherent in light of Scripture. You evidently feel the same of us.
Are you just failing to be humorous again, Steve, or are you genuinely trying to be insulting? I haven't set myself up to do or to be anything. I have simply presented the facts of the case as I see them. If you disagree with the facts you are free to refute them, but I must urge you to leave off the personal reflections because they are insulting, and it is starting to look like your modus operandi.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
My view is not determined by the internal consistency of idealism but by a concern to let the text speak for itself within the flow of redemptive history. I simply aim to bring the eschatological insights of others to bear on the interpretation of Scripture.

Allow me to quote two portions from Beale's New Testament Biblical Theology relative to the abomination of desolation. The first quotation (from p. 148) establishes that Daniel was referring to the latter day.

That Jesus is developing the prophecy of Daniel’s latter-day deceiver is apparent from the saturation of other Dan. 7–12 allusions elsewhere in Matt. 24
together with its Synoptic parallels. For example Matt. 24:15, 21 quote the famous “abomination of desolation” and “great tribulation” passages from Daniel.
As every inaugurated eschatologist accepts, the last days commenced with the coming of Christ.

The second quotation (from p. 199) specifically identifies the abomination of desolation with the death of Christ:

Jesus represented and embodied the saints of Israel as the Son of Man, and his death on the cross was a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the great end-time trial in which the eschatological fiend would oppress the faithful Israelites and kill many of them (a prophecy implicitly including the individual Son of Man). In fact, the Messiah himself is likely to be included among those who would die in this latter-day persecution, since “the abomination of desolation,” directly linked in Dan. 9:26–27 with the Messiah’s death, takes place elsewhere in Daniel during the time of the final tribulation, when the evil opponent persecutes and kills the saints (Dan. 11:30–35; 12:10–11; cf. 7:25).
Is my view solitary? No. Am I trying to set myself up as the sole bearer of truth? No. I am simply reflecting on the insights of others and seeking to provide those insights for the help of others as they seek to understand the Scriptures in their own light.
 

pilgrimmum

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi all, I find the subject of 'the nations' a very interesting one. Jesus said the kingdom would be taken from the Jews and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits. God promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations. Isaiah speaks of the nations flowing into the Kingdom of God. How do we define 'a nation' would be a good place to start.The Oxford Dictionary states the word nation (a noun) is defined as

"a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory:"
Acts17:26 says God has made the nations and set their bounds. The definition of nation has changed since the 18th century to accommodate the rise of the nation state which now due to immigration and other factors is comprised of many ethnicities. It seems God will certainly judge the nations and that seems to make sense. People are responsible for themselves and their families and since nations are made up of individuals who elect rulers to govern (in non communist and fascist countries) then we would be responsible in a sense for our nation. In Revelations 20 where Satan is restrained for a symbolic time period in which the nations will NOT be deceived one would assume these nations became Christian and came out of paganism. History proves this correct. When Satan is loosed for a season at the end he goes out to 'deceive' the nations once more to come up against the camp of the saints. We only have to look at what's happening today to see the nations are most certainly being deceived on every count. The onslaught against church, family and God is unmistakeable as governments of these once Christian nations are legislating as fast as they can to get rid of all reference and standards to the God of the Bible and his standards.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
No, Matthew, I was not trying to be humorous in post #32, but to picture the dynamics of what was going on in the discussion between us. Although I did have you in the picture I do not think I was in any way insulting, though it was not flattering showing your lone stand against the consensus, though I did say of the stand it was valorous, and that you talk well, albeit unconvincingly. I have sought to stay away from reflecting on your character, but your thoughts on the issues, and the dynamics of our respective positions in this discussion I think are fair game. I have not even tried to caricature but to visualize accurately.

In painting this word-picture I thought to give some perspective to the discussion, and to show what is really going on thought- and position-wise. I do not think I gave a false or defamatory picture. You have as much as said my teaching is false and negates or diminishes the work of Christ, and I suppose the purport of what I say is that your stand is quixotic and in error. I do not think your erroneous view of my thinking is insulting, just wrong.

I do not like needless abstraction, but prefer the concrete. Nor do I mean to insult you, as I esteem you highly, both your character and your learning. Yet your thoughts and actions are not sacrosanct, and may be critiqued. I’m sorry you think my MO is to be insulting. I really do not mean to be.

I am glad you appreciate Beale, and have some of his materials. I would agree with the quotes of his you posted. What was at issue is your saying that his (and many others’) idea of “multiple fulfilments in terms of inauguration, continuation, and consummation is quite unnecessary and burdens the text with multiple meanings it simply cannot bear.” That was the issue, and not that you appreciate his work otherwise.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I do not think I gave a false or defamatory picture.
Your words were, "as though you alone carry the banner of truth." That is false and defamatory. It insinuates I am setting myself up to be something over and above others. If you could stick to the points in discussion and refrain from personal reflection it would be much appreciated.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I am glad you appreciate Beale, and have some of his materials. I would agree with the quotes of his you posted. What was at issue is your saying that his (and many others’) idea of “multiple fulfilments in terms of inauguration, continuation, and consummation is quite unnecessary and burdens the text with multiple meanings it simply cannot bear.” That was the issue, and not that you appreciate his work otherwise.
Once the text is explained in the terms Beale has suggested it satisfies all the criteria for "fulfilment." As we read in Matthew 11:3, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Once the fulfilment is found there is no need to look elsewhere. Only when the fulfilment is not found does it become necessary to keep looking.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Come on, Matthew, please don’t put the worst spin on it. It does not “insinuate” you are “setting myself up to be something over and above others”, but rather taking a stand for a position against the consensus of your peers; while giving off an air of certitude that says “you are all wrong” – that would be the “banner”.

You know, I find that it is really difficult to keep both the royal law of love, and the charge to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). I suppose more humility in the latter would enable me to better keep the former.

It is a very hard balance for me to keep, as the issues we are discussing are not merely academic and theological but pastoral and impact actual lives and hearts.

Against a certain rhetorical style, is satire an acceptable and godly method of refutation? If I am coming against, not only “points in discussion” but an “air of certitude”, is it permissible to lampoon such, if I see it as unwarranted?

It is very important to me, out of respect for you for one, and to be pleasing to my Lord for another, to not violate the law of love while at the same time effectively defending the faith as I see it.

You do have “rhetorical style” (for lack of a better description) which operates apart from and along side your “points in discussion”. I have been pondering this for some years now.

Words, carried by an air, may spin a spell, as it were (not speaking of the demonic here), that may be broken by humor or irony or satire. In a sense this is a warfare – swordplay among friends, though – and there are weapons of the spirit which may be utilized. If they are not ungodly I will use what I think effective in pulling down strong holds of error.

Visualizing dynamics of spiritual exchanges may be effective at times. It is important that I do not sin against you.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
swordplay among friends, though
Swordplay requires two. You are the only one engaging in it. I don't care for the rhetorical cleverness, especially in a point of disagreement. As far as I can see, a propensity to address the person rather than the argument shows a lack of confidence in one's position.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The following is from Milton S. Terry, "Biblical Hermeneutics" (1964 rpt.), p. 493:

CHAPTER XXVII.
NO DOUBLE SENSE IN PROPHECY.

The hermeneutical principles which we have now set forth necessarily exclude the doctrine that the prophecies of Scripture contain an occult or double sense. It has been alleged by some that as these oracles are heavenly and divine we should expect to find in them manifold meanings. They must needs differ from other books. Hence has arisen not only the doctrine of a double sense, but of a threefold and fourfold sense, and the rabbis went so far as to insist that there are "mountains of sense in every word of Scripture." We may readily admit that the Scriptures are capable of manifold practical applications; otherwise they would not be so useful for doctrine, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. iii, 16). But the moment we admit the principle that portions of Scripture contain an occult or double sense we introduce an element of uncertainty in the sacred volume, and unsettle all scientific interpretation. "If the Scripture has more than one meaning," says Dr. Owen, "it has no meaning at all." "I hold," says Ryle, "that the words of Scripture were intended to have one definite sense, and that our first object should be to discover that sense, and adhere rigidly to it.... To say that words do mean a thing merely because they can be tortured into meaning it is a most dishonourable and dangerous way of handling Scripture."
With reference to multiple fulfilments of prophecy the author makes the following pertinent observations (p. 495):

The precious words of promise to God's people find more or less fulfilment in every individual experience. But these facts do not sustain the theory of a double sense. The sense in every case is direct and simple; the applications and illustrations are many. Such facts give no authority for us to go into apocalyptic prophecies with the expectation of finding two or more meanings in each specific statement, and then to declare: This verse refers to an event long past, this to something yet future; this had a partial fulfilment in the ruin of Babylon, or Edom, but it awaits a grander fulfilment in the future. The judgment of Babylon, or Nineveh, or Jerusalem, may, indeed, be a type of every other similar judgment, and is a warning to all nations and ages; but this is very different from saying that the language in which that judgment was predicted was fulfilled only partially when Babylon, or Nineveh, or Jerusalem fell, and is yet awaiting its complete fulfilment.

We have already seen that the Bible has its riddles, enigmas, and dark sayings, but whenever they are given the context clearly advises us of the fact. To assume, in the absence of any hint, that we have an enigma, and in the face of explicit statements to the contrary, that any specific prophecy has a double sense, a primary and a secondary meaning, a near and a remote fulfilment, must necessarily introduce an element of uncertainty and confusion into biblical interpretation.
Interpretation and application must be kept distinct for the sake of clarity. If every application were made the interpretation of the text it would be impossible to ascertain the meaning of the text and to discern if the application is valid.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Patrick Fairbairn shows the weaknesses involved in a double sense of prophecy in his Typology of Scripture (1852), 1:128:

Gathering up what has been advanced against the double sense, we hold, 1. That it so ravels and complicates the meaning of the prophecies, to which it is applied, as to throw the greatest doubt and obscurity over the interpretation of their several parts. 2. Or supposing this to be avoided, it at least requires them to be of so general and comprehensive a nature, as in great measure to prevent their affording any decisive proof of divine foresight and interposition. 3. And finally, that in point of fact, when applied to particular examples, the theory must be practically abandoned, as the terms employed in all the more important predictions are too definite and precise to admit of more than one proper fulfilment.
 

pilgrimmum

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you most kindly for the welcome Jerusalem Blade. I am enjoying your posts and was particularly happy to find that list of Ammillennial reading material you put up the other day. It was just what I had been looking for. I'm looking forward to learning from you all and sharing my insights in a group setting. God bless you.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Brother Matthew,

Swordplay may be an apt figure for the disputations of brethren wielding the word of God – the sword of the Spirit – seeking to determine the truth of doctrines, and somewhat akin to “iron sharpeneth iron”.

Myself also, I do not like rhetorical styles, if it not be genuine speech from the heart, especially in preaching. Though I have found that men sometimes are unaware of rhetorical “voices” they speak in, having become somewhat second nature to them.

I had not previously read Fairbairn’s chapter 5, “Prophetical types, or the combination of type with prophecy—Alleged double sense of prophecy”, and the four headings under the former section; most interesting – and I will be getting back to you on this.

It is often an education, contending with you!
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
This will be sort of a long post, seeing as it deals with complex stuff involved in the interpretation of prophecy. I think Patrick Fairbairn (quoted by Rev Winzer) introduces some helpful language in his book, Typology of Scripture, distinguishing between types and prophecy, as well their intermingling. On page 106, opening Chapter 5, he says,

A TYPE, as already explained and understood, necessarily possesses something of a prophetical character, and differs in form rather than in nature from what is usually designated prophecy. The one images or prefigures, while the other foretells, coming realities. In the one case representative acts or symbols, in the other verbal delineations, serve the purpose of indicating beforehand what God was designed to accomplish for His people in the approaching future. The difference is not such as to affect the essential nature of the two subjects, as alike connecting together the Old and the New in God’s dispensations. In distinctness and precision, however, simple prophecy has greatly the advantage over informations conveyed by type. For prophecy, however it may differ in its general characteristics from history, as it naturally possesses something of the directness, so it may also descend to something of the definiteness, of historical description. But types having a significance or moral import of their own, apart from anything prospective, must, in their prophetical aspect, be somewhat less transparent, and possess more of a complicated character. Still the relation between type and antitype, when pursued through all its ramifications, may produce as deep a conviction of design and preordained connection, as can be derived from simple prophecy and its fulfilment, though, from the nature of things, the evidence in the latter case must always be more obvious and palpable than in the former.​

It is good to make this distinction for the sake of precision, and not run afoul the WCF 1:9 – “the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one)” – when talking of “multiple fulfillments” of prophecy, which, technically, are multiple manifestations of types with an antitype, although there may be a mingling of type and prophecy.

Earlier in the thread when speaking of things such as Antiochus Epiphanes, “abomination of desolation” (AOD), and multiple fulfillment of prophecy, which elicited the objection that Scripture has only one and true sense, I think may be resolved by the type / prophecy distinction Fairbairn elaborates on.

For example, when Daniel prophesies what most commentators see as Antiochus Epiphanes in Dan 11:31, “the abomination that maketh desolate”, there is also the passage in Dan 9:27, “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate” this is likely the LORD bringing desolation upon Jerusalem and its worship for the worst-ever abomination of rejecting and killing their Messiah – their God. So there is a complex of meanings in that phrase.

Daniel, I believe, did see Antiochus IV coming – this was a distinct prophecy. The passage of 9:27 is also a distinct prophecy. When the Lord Jesus in Matthew 24:15 speaks of the AOD, He may be speaking of the banners of the Roman army approaching, or defilement in the Temple by the rampaging Zealots in Jerusalem – whatever He was referring to (there are differing views) it is likely He was thinking of the Maccabean era defilement as a type of invasion of the sanctuary as a punishment for the idolatry of the Jewish people generally at that time, which Maccabean AOD was at the same time a fulfilled prophecy. So this prophesied event the Lord then used as a type to illustrate His own prophecy of the coming destructions of both temple and Jerusalem.

Then there is the further matter of the defilement spoken of in 2 Thess 2:3-4, when “that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God”. It is alleged by some – with cause – to see this as the antitype of the earlier AOD types, although this time not, I think, as vengeance for idolatry on the part of God’s people, but as that which will cause the chaff to be blown away and the grain to be manifest. Though I may be wrong in denying “vengeance for idolatry” as much of the Church nowadays (and who knows what will be the case in time to come) is idolatrous and in some sectors debauched.

I think it had a manifestation in Reformation times when the pope rose up as God / Vicar of Christ, and occasioned the 1647 Westminster Confession 25.6 to declare him “that Antichrist, and that man of sin”, though the American version of the WCF (held in the OPC and PCA) omits this and allows for another manifestation, a final one, the antitype.

Did Jesus have this in mind in the Olivet Discourse? Some responsible commentators and theologians think so, as seen in the comments by William Hendriksen and (link to) Kim Riddlebarger (who enlists Herman Ridderbos, Geerhardus Vos, and Anthony Hoekema in his camp) below.

But to return to Fairbairn, quoting from his, Typology of Scripture, (pp 126-127 Kregel hardcopy edition, two volumes in one) :

IV. But we have still to notice another conceivable combination of type with prophecy. It is possible, we said, that the typical transactions might themselves be still future; and might, in a prophetic word, be partly described, partly presupposed, as a ground for the delineation of other things still more distant, in respect to which they were to hold a typical relation. The difference between this and the last supposition is quite immaterial, in so far as any principle is involved. It makes no essential change in the nature of the relation, that the typical transactions forming the groundwork of the prophetical delineation should have been contemplated as future, and not as past or present. It is true that the prophet was God’s messenger, in an especial sense, to the men of his own age; and as such usually delivered messages, which were called forth by what had actually occurred, and bore its peculiar impress. But he was not necessarily tied to that. As from the present he could anticipate the still undeveloped future, so there was nothing to hinder—if the circumstances of the Church might require it—that he should also at times realize as present a nearer future, and from that anticipate another more remote. In doing so he would naturally transport himself into the position of those who were to witness that nearer future, which would then be contemplated as holding much the same relation typically to the higher things in prospect, as in the case last considered: that is, the matter-of-fact prophecy involved in the typical transactions viewed as already present, would furnish to the prophet’s eye the form and aspect under which he would exhibit the corresponding events yet to be expected.

The only addition which the view now suggested makes to the one generally held, is, that we suppose the prophet, while he spake as from the midst of circumstances future, though not distant, recognised in these something of a typical nature; and on the basis of that as the type, unfolded the greater and more distant antitype. There is plainly nothing incredible or even improbable in such a supposition, especially if the nearer future already lay within the vision of the Church. The circumstances, however, giving rise to prophecies of this description were not likely to be of very frequent occurrence. They could only be expected in those more peculiar emergencies when it became needful for the Church’s warning or consolation to over shoot, as it were, the things more immediately in prospect, and fix the eye on others more remote in point of time, though in nature most closely connected with them.​

If I am not mistaken, this category of type and antitype, and prophecy most closely resembles the foretelling seen with regard to Daniel’s AOD per Hendriksen and Riddlebarger. Still, it is important to see that what Daniel foretold as prophecy concerning Antiochus IV, Jesus used as a type that would be repeated. This in no way violates the WCF 1:9 – “the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one)”, as types may repeat and foretell moral / historical dynamics while not giving more than one sense of the Scripture. Granted, some of these writers talk of multiple fulfillment of prophecy, but they are speaking generally of prophecy to include types and antitype, as well as prophecy strictly speaking.

It complicates – one might also say enriches – things that there are four AOD references in Daniel:

Dan 8:13 How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Dan 11:31 and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Dan 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

It appears that all these but Dan 9:27 have to do with Antiochus, though E.J. Young sees more than just him; on 12:11 he says,

The 1290 days, however, have reference not to the entire period of persecution, but only to the most severe phase of this period, namely, the persecution under Antiochus and its antitype, that under the Antichrist . . .

That the persecution under Antiochus is here regarded as typical of the later and more severe persecution under Antichrist is evident from the fact that the typical relationship of these two periods has been so clearly set forth in ch. 11. The wars between Antiochus and Egypt and the description of his persecution of God’s people leads easily and naturally into the account of the wars of the future king of the North. The description of the work of Antiochus “shows in a figure how the Antichrist at the time of the end shall take away the worship of the true God, renounce the God of his fathers, and make war his god, and thereby bring affliction upon the church of God, of which the oppression which Antiochus brought upon the theocracy furnished a historical pattern” (Keil). And may we remember that as the persecution under Antiochus was cut short (3 years and 10 days—not fully 3½ years) so also will the final period, for the sake of God’s elect, be shortened. (Geneva Series Commentary: Daniel, by Edward J. Young; pp 263, 264)​

So when these commentators talk of multiple fulfillments of prophecy, they are looking at types and antitypes under their general designations as prophetic, or prophecy. That said, let’s look at Hendriksen on Matthew 24.

With regard to the structure of the Lord’s Olivet discourse, understanding the phenomenon of prophetic foreshortening, also referred to as double or multiple fulfillment of prophecy, helps to make clearer sense of the passage:

By the process of prophetic foreshortening, by means of which before one’s eyes the widely separated mountain peaks of historic events merge and are seen as one, as has been explained in connection with 10:23 and 16:28, two momentous events are here intertwined, namely, a. the judgment upon Jerusalem (its fall in the year A.D. 70), and b. the final judgment at the close of the world’s history. Our Lord predicts the city’s approaching catastrophe as a type of the tribulation at the end of the dispensation. Or, putting it differently, in describing the brief period of great tribulation at the close of history, ending with the final judgment, Jesus is painting in colors borrowed from the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. (William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Matthew, pp. 846-7

From what immediately follows [Matt 24:21, 22] it is evident once again that for Jesus the transition from the second to the third application of Daniel’s prediction was as easy as that from the first (the tribulation experienced by God’s people during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes) to the second (the distress in connection with the fall of Jerusalem . . . [see vv. 21 and 22] . . . As to the “great tribulation” to which Jesus here refers, care should be exercised. Rev. 7:14 also speaks about a “great tribulation.” Are these two the same? The answer is: they are not. As the context in Revelation 7 indicates, the word is used there in a far more general sense. Because of his faith every genuine child of God experiences tribulation during his life on earth. See John 16:33; cf. Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim 3:12. But Jesus is here speaking about a tribulation that will characterize “those days,” a tribulation that has never been and never again shall be, a very brief period of dire distress that shall occur immediately before his return (see verses 29-31). It is the period mentioned also in Rev. 11:7-9; 20:3b, 7-9a. For the sake of God’s chosen ones... in order that not all might have to die a violent death, the days of the final tribulation shall be cut short. Herein, too, the love of God is made manifest. It should hardly be necessary to add that justice is not done to the concept of this tribulation, which immediately precedes “the end” of the world’s history and which surpasses any other distress in its intensity, if it is referred solely to the sorrows experienced during the fall of Jerusalem. (Hendriksen, ibid, pp. 859, 860)​

I will only give a link to a Riddlebarger quote from an earlier post so as not to bulk up this thread. His purpose in the book, The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist, is to tie the various threads, OT and New, together so as to discern the composite depicted in Scripture. In the post linked to below he looks at the Olivet Discourse and how it relates to the OT, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the last days.

Kim Riddlebarger on Prophetic Perspective and the Abomination of Desolation


Getting back to E.J. Young for a moment – commenting on Isaiah 19:19:23-25, he says,

That spirit which at one time animated Assyria and Babylonia and continues to oppose the people of God and the Church of Christ will continue until it is destroyed by the coming of the Lord. In so far as that power manifested itself in Assyria and Babylonia there could be no deliverance for these nations. In other words, in Isaiah’s day, the Mesopotamian power as such was the spirit of Antichrist, the forerunner of the Man of Sin. As such there could be no hope for it. Hence, Isaiah can represent the destruction of the king of Babylon in the strong terms that appear in chapter fourteen (cf. comments on that chapter). On the other hand, for the nations as such when considered apart from their being used by the spirit of Antichrist, there would be hope . . . . When then the prophet speaks of Egypt and Assyria as serving the Lord he is teaching that God has mercy even upon countries that have sinned as grievously as did these two. (The Book of Isaiah: A Commentary, Vol. 2, pp 44, 45)​

Having gone on so long, I’m going to finish this post. I hope it can be seen that those who posit the idea of multiple fulfillment of prophecies are referring to the prophetic aspect of types, which may be repeated, unlike prophecy strictly speaking, which can have only one fulfillment. Though when prophecy and type are combined things are not so cut and dry. Folks with differing eschatological views may not agree with what I have written, but I hope the issue of repeated appearances of types is clarified.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is good to make this distinction for the sake of precision, and not run afoul the WCF 1:9 – “the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one)” – when talking of “multiple fulfillments” of prophecy, which, technically, are multiple manifestations of types with an antitype, although there may be a mingling of type and prophecy.

Earlier in the thread when speaking of things such as Antiochus Epiphanes, “abomination of desolation” (AOD), and multiple fulfillment of prophecy, which elicited the objection that Scripture has only one and true sense, I think may be resolved by the type / prophecy distinction Fairbairn elaborates on.
Now that we are clear that there are not multiple fulfilments of prophecy, and what appears as multiple fulfilments are nothing more than the typical element being progressively revealed in the manifestation of the Antitype, we can resume where we left off. Antiochus Epiphanes is no part of redemptive history. Hence he has no part in the progressive manifestation of the Antitype. To say that our Lord used him in a "typical" sense is to canonise an apocryphal book.

The quotations from Beale clearly show the nature and function of the abomination of desolation in the Olivet discourse. There is no need to look for another fulfilment.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
swordplay among friends, though
Swordplay requires two. You are the only one engaging in it. I don't care for the rhetorical cleverness, especially in a point of disagreement. As far as I can see, a propensity to address the person rather than the argument shows a lack of confidence in one's position.
You 2 at it again, rather than swords shall I bring the dueling pistols & shall we say ten paces gentlemen ? :rofl:
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Robert,

Some take eschatological matters quite seriously, as do Rev Winzer and I. Some things are worth seriously contending for, and I know you are of the same mind in other areas. Whatever pertains to godly sorting error from truth is no laughing matter, especially end times we are in and go through. Perhaps you are of a suasion where it is a matter of no great concern?

-----

Matthew, I am glad to return “where we left off”! With regard to your saying in post #47,

“Antiochus Epiphanes is no part of redemptive history. Hence he has no part in the progressive manifestation of the Antitype. To say that our Lord used him in a ‘typical’ sense is to canonise an apocryphal book.”​

And earlier you had sought to establish this idea using Geerhardus Vos:

Post #17: “Act-revelation requires word-revelation to interpret it, as Vos helpfully shows in the introductory material to his Biblical Theology. Your view of Antiochus and redemptive history would require the canonisation of an apocryphal book.”​

Yet I had shown you use Vos wrongly, as he himself says the same as I; in my post #18 I quoted Vos:

“The Daniel-context refers proximately to a desecration of the sanctuary in Jerusalem expected, it seems, from the sacrilegious hand of Antiochus Epiphanes. That Jesus shaped the matter in his mind after the same fashion is plain; only he projects the horrible event from the past in which it had once taken place into a future beyond his own point of speaking.” (p 95, The Pauline Eschatology)​

Your quote in post #19 from Vos’ essay, Eschatology of the New Testament, has nothing in it I disagree with; the section you quoted from is where he is distinguishing between the Jewish sorts of eschatology and the New Testament’s teaching. I note that in the article (also found in hardcopy in the old ISBE Vol 2, p 979 ff.) Vos takes the amil view of modified idealism.

That concerning Antiochus Epiphanes has existence apart from the Maccabean record. And how does it follow that if the Lord refers to it 1 Maccabees must needs be made canonical? And are you saying that although Vos speaks truth he just does not observe it himself?

When Paul quotes the Greek poet Aratus’ Phaenomena, line 5, “For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28), this obviously does not require the canonization of Phaenomena; and he quotes other Greek poets as well, but this should suffice to make my point.

Matthew, you have made this claim, “My view is not determined by the internal consistency of idealism but by a concern to let the text speak for itself within the flow of redemptive history.” But my perception is that “consistent idealism” is the presupposed paradigm by which you interpret all things eschatological. You could say the same for me, though; I have come to my interpretive paradigm through what I perceive the text to be saying. Now that I am settled in my understanding my paradigm is part of my thinking, though I do keep an ear open to cogent differing views. It is probably the same with you.


In post #34 you say, “Allow me to quote two portions from Beale's New Testament Biblical Theology relative to the abomination of desolation. The first quotation (from p. 148) establishes that Daniel was referring to the latter day.” And then you quote Beale to this effect:

“That Jesus is developing the prophecy of Daniel’s latter-day deceiver is apparent from the saturation of other Dan. 7–12 allusions elsewhere in Matt. 24 together with its Synoptic parallels. For example Matt. 24:15, 21 quote the famous ‘abomination of desolation’ and ‘great tribulation’ passages from Daniel.” (NTBT, p 148)​

Just previous to this Beale says (p 147), “Both Jesus’s and Paul’s prophecies go back to Daniel’s prophecy of the end-time opponent who will attempt to deceive God’s people.” And he goes on to list Dan 7:25, 8:12, 8:23-25, and 11:30-34.

My analysis: Beale is simply showing the use of Daniel in Jesus’, John’s, and Paul’s prophetic statements about an end-time person. That he does not relegate the “abomination of desolation” type only to the ‘latter day” – i.e., the end of the last days – can be seen in this statement of his:

“The focus on the tribulation in Daniel is on the attack on the temple (so 9:27 and 12:11, which specify the more vague references in 7:25 and 12:7; cf. 8:11-13). The initial fulfillment of the ‘abomination of desolation’ in the temple occurred during Antiochus Epiphanes’ oppression from 167 to 164 B.C. . . .” (G.K. Beale, New International Greek Testament Commentary: Revelation, p 566)​

In post #34 you quote Beale again and comment, “The second quotation (from p. 199) specifically identifies the abomination of desolation with the death of Christ”. I do not at all disagree with this. As I have said earlier, I concur with your statement from post #6, “To the Messianic community the true desecration was the treading under foot of the Son of God, Israel's Messiah. This was nothing less than an abomination of desolation.” Dan 9:27 certainly alludes to this, as Christ was the temple of God, and they disdained Him, even unto slaughter.

But let us look carefully at the passage of Beale’s you quote, to see if it bears the singular meaning you seek to make it carry, viz., that it only refers to the death of Christ:

“Jesus represented and embodied the saints of Israel as the Son of Man, and his death on the cross was a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the great end-time trial in which the eschatological fiend would oppress the faithful Israelites and kill many of them (a prophecy implicitly including the individual Son of Man). In fact, the Messiah himself is likely to be included among those who would die in this latter-day persecution, since ‘the abomination of desolation,’ directly linked in Dan. 9:26–27 with the Messiah’s death, takes place elsewhere in Daniel during the time of the final tribulation, when the evil opponent persecutes and kills the saints (Dan. 11:30–35; 12:10–11; cf. 7:25).” (NTBT, p 199)​

I think it is clear Beale is saying – and that twice – Messiah, the Son of Man, is included with “the faithful Israelites” – “those who would die in this latter-day persecution”. In other words, not only Jesus, who is Himself the true Israel, but also those who are the faithful in Him would be persecuted and killed in the “great end-time trial”, which Beale sees as beginning with Jesus and continuing all through the age, finishing in a terrific intensification right before His return.

It is a shame that, as is the case with so much eschatological thinking about the last days – which is the whole NT period, including the very end – it is clouded and confused with all sorts of extraneous ideas and objections and schemas, when in fact it is simple and easy to understand with the right hermeneutical keys.

I am committed to teaching these things as I see the times approaching when we shall have to have close walks with God in Christ to maintain our hearts and lives.

Matthew, I am ready to wrap this up when you are. I appreciate your patience with me.

I want to get to work on a new topic, The Fate of Babylon.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Steve, I am happy to acknowledge, in the process of drawing insights from numerous authors, that I depart from specific interpretations of those authors. This is not unique. Every intepreter who seeks for a systematic understanding of Scripture is bound to do this to a greater of lesser degree.

The point of quoting Vos was to show what his overall biblico-theological method required. So far as eschatology is concerned, it is clear to me that Vos was moving away from the "literal fulfilment" idea which was prevalent at that time and was making suggestions towards what we now call the idealist approach. An author must be understood in his context, and Vos was a pioneer in the appropriation of the discipline of biblical theology to reformed interpretation. Many times he made observations which were intended to cast doubt on schemes which were dominating the field.

Vos' qualification, "it seems," like the earlier statement relative to the "typical" direction, was a fairly common way of speaking for Vos, by means of which he took claims at face value and sought to show that there was something deeper at work which the exegete should investigate.

The apostle Paul's quotation of an heathen poet does not require us to understand anything that poet has said in terms of the development of redemptive history. A "type," on the other hand, requires divine appointment and redemptive historical resemblance. By calling Antiochus a type you are drawing him into the flow of redemptive history. Redemptive action requires a redemptive word to interpret it. The only book which seeks to provide such an interpretation of Antiochus is apocryphal.

Our exchange in this thread began when I identified the abomination of desolation with the death of Christ. I am happy to see you accept this interpretation, though it leaves me wondering why you questioned my original identification.

Concerning this identification, it is impossible to make room for multiple fulfilments without breaking up the ground on which the system of inaugurated eschatology stands. According to the NT, the OT "end times" begins with the coming of the kingdom in the person of Jesus. This is basic to inaugurated eschatology. The Danielic figure is an anti-Messiah, and requires the manifestation of the Messiah and the emergence of the kingdom of God with His coming. Since Beale specifically places Daniel's figure in the "end times," there is nowhere for Antiochus to fit without connecting the kingdom of God with an earlier Messiah. As I noted previously, multiple fulfilments will lead to multiple Messiahs.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Matthew, I much enjoy studying in this field, and your objections to the standard Amil understanding prompt me to continually dig deeper, pray, and search out the various issues.

My questioning your originally bringing up the “abomination of desolation” was to say that it did not only refer to the death of Christ. I agreed with your post #6 where you said this was “an abomination of desolation” [emphasis added].

I simply do not find your argumentation concerning “anti-Messiah”, “multiple fulfillments” and “multiple Messiahs” cogent, despite your being well-spoken. Even an older commentator (to which I do not usually refer in matters eschatological), John Calvin, remarks,

“. . . it is certain that the angel does not there speak of the final destruction which Christ now mentions, but of the temporary dispersion which was brought about by the tyranny of Antiochus.” (Calvin on Matt 24:15)​

The consensus of commentators who oppose your view is so overwhelming that I will simply say you are valiant to stick to your guns and argue your case. I have made my case above fairly well, and followers of the thread can decide for themselves. I would post Amil stalwart Anthony Hoekema’s views (from his The Bible and the Future) on Antiochus, the man of sin, and the Antichrist (pp 154-156), but I don’t want to drag this out. He is worth reading, however – for those looking on.

No doubt we shall meet again on this field. Thank you for the interaction.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
If one follows Calvin through it will be seen that he held there were two different "abominations," and that the abomination to which our Lord referred was NOT that of Antiochus, but one immediately preceding the final abrogation of the sacrifices.

Steve's appeal to the consensus of commentators is yet another rhetorical smokescreen as there is no consensus on this point. If anything, the preterists find the strongest support in traditional reformed interpretation, and my view maintains much the same as the preterist, but the reference point is in the abrogation of the national covenant and its privileges rather than an AD 70 event. As Calvin comments, "the angel predicts what is called the final abrogation of the services of the Law, which was to take place at the coming of Christ."
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Come on Matthew, "rhetorical smokescreen"? Need I really have specified Amil commentators – for what have I to do with preterists, or the other schools, for that matter? Among the contemporary Amil scholars there is indeed consensus. I figured you would know what commentators I meant, as I have repeatedly referred to them and their consensus. Calvin continues on Matt 24:15,

"
I am aware that this passage is tortured in a variety of ways on account of its obscurity; but I consider the natural meaning of it to be, that the angel declares that, after the temple has been once purified from the pollutions and idols of Antiochus, another period will arrive when it will be exposed to a new profanation, and when all its sacredness and majesty will be for ever lost."

This dovetails with your additional Calvin quote, and supports what I first said. It's easy enough to check the
commentary to see Calvin's meaning.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
How many times has the service of the Law been abrogated by the coming of Christ? Once. There is only one new covenant and it was ratified by the blood of Christ. As expounded in Hebrews 8, "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."

Daniel prophesied of the "end times" of the Jewish people and our Lord applied it in light of the covenantal woes of Matt. 23. The preterist interpretation coincides with the amillennial on this point. Reformed interpretation generally follows the preterist view of applying it to the abrogation of the covenant and the destruction of the temple.

If there is an amillennial consensus on this point it is the one which sees the coming kingdom in Daniel's vision realised in the person and work of the Son of Man. Apart from this amillennial authors have a variety of interpretations and explanations, none of which have attained to the standard of numeric ascendancy.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Calvin on Daniel 12:11: "In consequence of the obscurity of this passage it has been twisted in a variety of ways. At the end of the ninth chapter I have shown the impossibility of its referring to the profanation of the Temple which occurred under the tyranny of Antiochus; on this occasion the angel bears witness to such a complete destruction of the Temple, as to leave no room for the hope of its repair and restoration. Then the circumstances of the time convinces us of this. For he then said, Christ shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and shall cause the sacrifices and oblation to cease. Afterwards, the abomination that stupifieth shall be added, and desolation or stupor, and then death will distill, says he, upon the astonished or stupefied one. The angel, therefore, there treats of the perpetual devastation of the Temple. So in this passage, without doubt, he treats of the period after the destruction of the Temple; there could be no hope of restoration, as the law with all its ceremonies would then arrive at its termination. With this view Christ quotes this passage in Matthew 24, while he admonishes his hearers diligently to attend to it. Let him who reads, understand, says he."
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Sinclair Ferguson's Daniel Commentary in the Mastering the Old Testament series demonstrates the variety of interpretations on Daniel 9:24-27, and helpfully breaks them down into three main schools (pp. 200-201):

"The interpretation of this passage has been described as a dismal swamp by J. A. Montgomery. Like the earlier prophetic passages in Daniel, it has given rise to (or been interpreted in the light of) several schools of thought: (1) as applying to the period of Antiochus; (2) as pointing forward first to the coming of Christ and then to the events of the end; and (3) as referring to the coming of Christ, the completion of His sacrificial work, and the destruction of Jerusalem that followed His rejection. The view adopted in this exposition is the last."

These comments indicate that there is no "consensus." It also shows that the rejection of the Antiochus-fulfilment view is not novel. Further, that the prophecy is fulfilled in the person and work of Christ is so far from being singular that it is described as a school of interpretation. Finally, a popular commentary on the book and a reputed reformed author adopts this view.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
If we assume the Antiochus-fulfilment view for the sake of the argument, a glaring contradiction meets us at the outset. Daniel 11:31 states, "they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate," referring to those who forsook the holy covenant. It is not Antiochus himself who is identified but the apostates among the covenant people. Moreover, 1 Macc. 1:54 identifies the apostates as the ones who set up the abomination of desolation: "they erected a desolating sacrilege upon the altar of burnt offering" (RSV). So, even granting what is contended for in the identification of Antiochus as a "typical" fulfilment, and even granting an apocryphal book the ability to inform our faith relative to "types," neither Daniel nor Maccabees presents Antiochus himself as the agent of the action. It is the apostate covenant people who are the focus.

This accords with the emphasis in the book of Acts upon the tradition of apostacy in the covenant people as a vindication of God's judgment upon them. It also fits the criteria of the Olivet discourse which places the desolation in Judea in that generation. Additionally, this provides the theological rationale for the apostolic dispersion. Finally, it means the flow of redemptive history is not interrupted by a foreign "type" which has nothing to do with the divine purpose for the covenant people, and there is no need to posit multiple fulfilments. The apostacy of the Jews which led to their exile is regarded as culminating in the rejection of the Anointed and the destruction of the covenant nation in the removal of her sacred privileges. This will also provide the key to the apostacy and man of sin passage.

When Antiochus is removed from the picture the redemptive-historical development becomes apparent and the New Testament eschatological emphases are given full scope.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello Robert,

Some take eschatological matters quite seriously, as do Rev Winzer and I. Some things are worth seriously contending for, and I know you are of the same mind in other areas. Whatever pertains to godly sorting error from truth is no laughing matter, especially end times we are in and go through. Perhaps you are of a suasion where it is a matter of no great concern?
Hello Steve,
I totally agree with you, I was not making light of the post, theology is always important,I may wade in myself
at a later time,I apologise if it came across that way, it was more the tension between the 2 of you that I found humorous & hope I may have helped to diffuse a situation, though the 2 of you generally are quite gentlemanly toward each other.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Matthew (and friends),

Excuse me, please, for my brief absence from the discussion – I have been familiarizing myself with Calvin’s view of Daniel and his prophesies, and considering the various issues both you and I have brought up.

Where to begin? This will no doubt be slightly long, as you have said a lot, and I want to respond, though I will try to be as concise as I can.

First, you have thought (in post #55) to counter with an apparently irrefutable statement of Calvin’s my statements in posts #51 and #53 where he says of the “abomination of desolation” in Matt 24:15,

“. . . it is certain that the angel does not there speak of the final destruction which Christ now mentions, but of the temporary dispersion which was brought about by the tyranny of Antiochus.” (Calvin on Matt 24:15)​

and,

“I am aware that this passage is tortured in a variety of ways on account of its obscurity; but I consider the natural meaning of it to be, that the angel declares that, after the temple has been once purified from the pollutions and idols of Antiochus, another period will arrive when it will be exposed to a new profanation, and when all its sacredness and majesty will be for ever lost.”​

What he says there is very clear. To see if I have quoted correctly and in context check the full comment – if you have not the hardcopy, here is the link to the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] volume of Calvin’s Harmony of the (synoptic) Gospels, just open the Commentary link in the left sidebar and click to Matt 24:15-28.

Yet I do affirm that Rev Winzer’s quote in post #55 does contradict what I have posted of Calvin above. So what gives? Clearly Calvin contradicts himself.

As posted above, there are four references to the “abomination of desolation” (AOD) in Daniel:

Dan 8:13 How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

Dan 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Dan 11:31 and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Dan 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Commenting on Dan 8:13 and 11:31 Calvin is clear that these pertain to Antiochus Epiphanes (AE), who was brought in by the LORD because of the wicked abominations of the Jews, and yet the further defilement of the temple by AE was, per Calvin, what is generally considered the AOD.

Calvin is also clear in his comments on Dan 9:27, saying of it and 12:11, that “these two passages refer to the same abomination”; and on the next page saying of 9:27, “Without the slightest doubt, this prophecy was fulfilled when the city was captured and overthrown, and the temple utterly destroyed by Titus the son of Vespasian.” (These two quotes are from Vol XIII of the Baker 1999 reprint of Calvin’s Commentaries – the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] Vol of Daniel – pages 228 and 229 respectively.)

In Dan 12:11 he says this reference to the AOD cannot be what occurred under AE, but rather the final destruction of the Jewish temple and the Jewish state.

So Matthew, it were better to discern that Calvin errs somewhere, than to imply that I misquote and misuse him!

-----

You bring in Sinclair Ferguson’s commentary on Daniel; a couple of remarks on that: first, the consensus of understanding among current amil commentators I spoke of was not restricted to Calvin’s view of things (as he is far from contemporary), but to the issue of multiple fulfillment of types prophetically used. (In the NT, in Matt 24:15, Calvin is in line with the contemporary amils in that AOD-specific reference, while in his OT commentaries he contradicts himself, and thus is really useless to either of us in this instance.)

Second, you do not reflect Pastor Ferguson’s views on Daniel in their entirety.

I will enter some quotes from his book (pardon the lack of page numbers, as I retrieved these from an online Google sampling of the commentary, though the verses he is commenting on are noted). Ferguson, commenting on the latter part of chapter 8, says,

It may well be that there is some significance in the common designation of a little horn for Antiochus Epiphanes and the antichrist. The final antiChrist will not appear on the scene of world history without predecessors. Its personal characteristics have long been shared by others who may be seen as the “many little antiChrists” who have already appeared (cf. 1 John 2:18). Later in Daniel reference is made to the “abomination of desolation” (11:31, cf. 9:27). This refers in the first instance to an activity of Antiochus Epiphanes, but that activity is the embryonic form of an evil that all antiChrists perpetrate in one form or another. Hence Jesus uses the expression in Mark 13:14, and further allusions to it appear in the New Testament’s teachings on the last things. . . .

[On 9:24-27]: Even the reference to “the abomination of desolation” in Mark 13:14 is from Daniel 11:31 and 12:11 and not strictly from 9:27. . . .

[On 11:31 ff.]: Clearly the concluding phrases of verse 35 are ambiguous. If we read only to the end of the verse, the phrases the “time of the end” and “the appointed time” appear to signify the end of the period of persecution. The description of the king’s blasphemy, however, follows, suggesting that these phrases may refer to the final consummation of God’s purposes in history. Thus the “then” of verse 36 points to some period between the days of Antiochus and the last day of history. During that time there will be apostasies and refinings among the visible people of God.

Such a view is certainly consistent with the way in which the New Testament views history and the experience of the church in particular (Mark 13:8-13). It is also consistent with the way in which Jesus seems to have seen the description of Antiochus’s activity as foreshadowing the future. Jesus speaks of an “abomination of desolation” (v. 31) that was yet to come (Mark 13:14).

The question, therefore, is: To whom do these verses refer if not to Antiochus? Numerous answers have been proposed ranging from the Roman Empire (as John Calvin believed) to Herod, to Mohammed, to the papacy (as many Protestants held in the early years of the Reformation), to the view that is held by many of today’s interpreters, that the reference is the final AntiChrist. There is good reason to adopt this view. The king in view clearly transcends in wickedness any figure in history. Then the time in view, “that time” (Dan. 12:1), appears to be related to the final resurrection (Dan. 12:2).

Two important principles will enlarge our appreciation of this section. The first is that Daniel himself did not fully understand the vision he received. Later he confessed, “Although I heard, I did not understand” (Dan. 12:8). Yet it was intended that he share the consolation implicit in its teaching. The same can be true for us even when we cannot fully understand the details of these verses. It ought to be added that a confession of ignorance about the precise significance of some of the statements is nothing of which to be ashamed. Adding a dogmatic assurance to one’s interpretation of a passage of Scripture is no guarantee that the interpretation is correct.

The second principle is equally important. If indeed these verses do refer ultimately to the personification of enmity against God in the figure of the AntiChrist, then there will inevitably be many foreshadowings of his character. Those who are united to Christ through faith before His coming bore many of His gracious characteristics. In a nontechnical sense, they were types of Christ. The same is true of the AntiChrist. History is frequently punctuated by those who share his kingdom and whose lifestyles resemble what his will be. No wonder that the precursors of the antiChrist have been taken to be the final AntiChrist (cf. 1 John 2:18).​

This is certainly not the cut-and-dry view of Ferguson you indicated. And if you seek to narrow what I said of “consensus” against you to merely the AOD (and Calvin) this misrepresents my view, as there are four references to an abomination of desolation so of course there will be varying views on which refers to which, yet that the abomination of desolation – including Antiochus Epiphanes – are typical and will be repeated even your supposed witness, Pastor Ferguson, supports.

At issue between us is whether these types from the OT speak of NT-age repetitions, and final antitypical fulfillment. Of course the commentators will differ in some particulars, while in the main they agree. I am really surprised that you quote a number of these men in support of your views – you say because they recognize basic idealist principles – who explicitly deny your intended use of them, namely Vos, Hendriksen, Fairbairn, Beale, and lastly Ferguson, all of whom allow of multiple fulfillments.

Indeed, you have belittled these latter in their type form saying, “and what appears as multiple fulfilments are nothing more than the typical element being progressively revealed in the manifestation of the Antitype”. It remains that Fairbairn has given more weight to such than you do, per the quote from his book in my post #46:

A type, as already explained and understood, necessarily possesses something of a prophetical character, and differs in form rather than in nature from what is usually designated prophecy. . . . Still the relation between type and antitype, when pursued through all its ramifications, may produce as deep a conviction of design and preordained connection, as can be derived from simple prophecy and its fulfilment, though, from the nature of things, the evidence in the latter case must always be more obvious and palpable than in the former.​

I don’t wonder you oppose me, as your view (expressed elsewhere) on Daniel – and apocalyptic visions generally – stands against almost all modern scholarship, that I am aware of.

I will continue this, but later, as it’s getting late and I need to sleep. I do want to say that in my studying Calvin the last few days I have a new appreciation for his genius, and I have much to glean from him and his eschatological insights, though with limits. I also appreciate his historical astuteness as shown in the Daniel commentary; to him Antiochus Epiphanes was a significant instrument of the LORD’s in His severe dealings with the apostatizing majority in Israel, similar to Babylon, yet Calvin treasures the LORD’s tender care of His people’s faith in supplying them with prophetic warning of approaching tumult and unthinkable disaster so that their divine anchor would hold whatever waves were to break against them.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
So Matthew, it were better to discern that Calvin errs somewhere, than to imply that I misquote and misuse him!
Calvin does not contradict himself. He allows for different abominations. In the Commentary on Matthew 24 he identifies the abomination spoken by Daniel as the one which was connected with the abolition of the service of the law. Given Steve's insistence on synchronising variations into a "consensus view," it is far more likely that he is misusing Calvin than that Calvin has contradicted himself.

As for Steve's consensus view, by his own admission he wants nothing to do with preterism, yet the translator of Calvin's Commentary on Daniel not only recognised Calvin as a preterist, but the primitive church and early reformers as a whole:

xxxvi.: The scheme proposed for interpreting these Visions may be classed generally under this threefold division, viz., the Praeterist, the Anti-Papal, and the Futurist Views. The first view is that usually adopted, with some slight modifications, by the Primitive Church and the Earlier Reformers.

xxxix.: Calvin, then, was, on the whole, a Praeterite.
The later Protestant tradition brought confusion first with historicism and then with futurism. To attempt to bring the various ideas into a cohesive view there has been a tendency to allow for multiple fulfilments. But anyone who pays attention to the important themes of redemptive history and their fulfilment in Christ will see that multiple fulfilments are not possible because, in the words of Hebrews 9:26, "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

As for the variety of explanations as offered by Steve in relation to both Calvin and Ferguson, these suffice to show that an interpreter will follow the text as it leads him in a different direction, and not as it accords with the figment of "consensus."
 
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