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Archive for the 'Apocalyptic Evangelism' Category

“When saw we Thee?”

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

[…] When it comes to Israel’s unbelief, it is amazing to see all that conspires to reinforce it. Not only centuries of “Christian” antisemitic behavior, but even how certain verses are translated, let alone interpreted, compounds the distance between church and synagogue. Take for example the Jewish translation of Zech 12:10. Compare it with most Christian translations and you will see what I mean. Of course, Christian linguists, such as Walter Kaiser in his book, “the Messiah in the Old Testament” argues the translation question with decisive evidence for the messianic interpretation. But the average believer must take considerable pains to be informed. It may be effective on some occasions, but it’s not always quite as easy as quoting Zech 12:10 as proof that the Jewish nation pierced their own Messiah. .

Or take Dan 9:25-26. Our translations stress our Christian conviction that the anointed one that is “cut off” is the Messiah by capitalizing the word for anointed and translating the passage with a definite article, “the Messiah the Prince”. This is all legitimate, but the informed Jewish position sees this as speaking only of “an anointed prince,” which they typically interpret as referring to Onias III, the officiating high priest who was murdered when Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Jewish alter in the 2nd century B.C, who, of course, became the great archetype of the Antichrist in later apocalyptic literature. [..]

Make it plain upon the tables, that all who read may run…

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

[…]

Here’s what I do:

I simply begin with people’s familiarity with the story of Bethlehem and show them the prophecy in Mic 5:2, pointing out the antiquity of the prophecy (8th century contemporary of Isaiah). I then point out the next verse (Mic 5:3), which shows the “giving up” of Israel, pointing out the causal connection between the “therefore” of verse 3 and the “giving up” of the nation to the smiting of the ruler in verse 1 – Mic 5:1 (obviously the ruler from Bethelehem of verse 2 – Mic 5:2). I make much of the fact that the “giving up” of Israel is never permanent, but only UNTIL the time of Zion’s travail, pointing out that this is OT language for the travail and subsequent birth of the nation which follows the unequaled travail of “Jacob’s trouble” (Isa 66:8; Jer 30:7; Dan 12:1). I then ask if they’ve ever heard of the “great tribulation” (many have through everything from the “Left Behind” series to the History Channel. I sometimes mention the view of many Rabbis who spoke of “the messianic woes” or “footsteps of the Messiah” in reference to this fearful time.

(After this simple foundation, the way is made for almost any point of importance. In other words, it is a convenient grid to build on, as it opens up many of the great questions and issues of the mystery of the faith in its full reach to the end of the age). […]

Apocalyptic Evangelism

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

The idea of the course was to recover the context of the apocalyptic gospel of the first century as a call to flee to Christ from the wrath to come, and thus make personal appropriation of the messianic salvation in expectation of the imminence of Jersualem’s destruction, which represented the imminent tribulation to first century Jewish expectation. Well, we are there again. We have come full circle. We stand and witness once more under the shadow of an imminent world disaster over Jerusalem. Thus the same issues that confronted first century Israel are back in the forefront.