Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
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16-06-2015, 09:28 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
Oxford Bible Commentary:

The majority of scholars, however, accept that the (Daniel’s) visions, at least, betray a knowledge of the time at which the 'end' is set, which can be deduced as the reign of the Seleucid (Syrian) king Antiochus IV, known as Epiphanes. Antiochus banned Jewish practices, desecrated the temple, and provoked a war of resistance under the leadership of the Maccabees which, after his death, succeeded in restoring the temple and traditional Jewish religious practices. The main reasons for assigning a Maccabean date to the book (at least in its final form) are (a) some inaccuracies that a sixth-century writer ought not to have made, (b) the presence of a genuine prediction at the end of the book which we now know to be incorrect, and © the popularity of a kind of pseudo-historical writing among Jews of the Maccabean period and later, in which figures of antiquity were made to foretell the future (e.g. Enoch, Noah, the twelve sons of Jacob).

Timothy Callahan : "Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfilment" :

1. Daniel was written in Aramaic with Greek words intermixed, showing that it must have been written after the conquest of Alexander the Great and the Hellenes (4th century BCE). This is demonstrated by certain renderings of words and names, I.e, Nebuchadnezzar (post-Greek rendering) versus, Nebuchadrezzar, (pre-Greek rendering), etc…

2. Unhistorical and errant historical aspects, i.e, Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem, misdated; Fall of Babylon attributed to ‘Darius the Mede,’ yet there was no ‘Darius the Mede,’ and as anyone with an ounce of historical knowledge on this issue knows, Babylon fell to Cyrus the Great.(3)
Confused
Tim goes on to give an excellent summary of the many historical problems with Daniel, establishing beyond any reasonable doubt that it was in fact, written much later than is asserted by Christian and Jewish apologists.

Paul. J. Achtemeier. Harper-Collins Bible Dictionary Revised Edition. Harper Collins, (1989). p. 223.
John Barton and John Muddiman. The Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford University Press. (2001). p. 564.
Tim Callahan. Bible Prophecy: Failure or Fulfilment? Millennium Press. (1997). 150-154

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-06-2015, 09:36 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
The prophecies in the Book of Daniel all end with the destruction of Antiochus Epiphanes as punishment for his atrocities and sacrileges at the beginning of the Messianic Age. It seems as though several chapters in Daniel arrive at this conclusion through several paths though. Chapter 8 emphasizes the continuity between Media and Persia, which seems to display them as Phase 1 and Phase 2 of a single empire. Chapters 2 and 7, on the other hand, emphasize the distinction between them, treating them as two separate entities.

If you look at Chapters 2 and 7 first you can review the author's motive for this take:

In these chapters, the four successive empires are Babylonia, Media, Persia, and Greece. They are represented by the golden head, silver chest, bronze loins, and iron legs in the vision of the statue in chapter 2, and by the lion, bear, leopard, and dragon in the vision of the four beasts in chapter 7. The author's take is not factual, Persia under King Cyrus conquered Media in 550 BC before conquering Babylonia in 539 BC.

The second half of Daniel consists in four visions: the vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7, the vision of the ram and the he-goat in Daniel 8, the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel 9, and the prophecy of the kings of the north and the south in Daniel 10-12. All four end with an antichrist figure who blasphemes God, overthrows the Jewish law, and persecutes righteous Jews for three and a half years. It seems is though this is Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of the main successor state of the fourth empire. The visions go on to say that God would supernaturally overthrow the king and pronounce his rule over the whole world at the appointed time of the end. The failure of this prediction demonstrates that the four purported prophecies of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt were actually written after the fact.

Daniel 2:37 says that the first empire was Babylonia. Persia is inadvertently placed as the third empire because it was conquered by the fourth, Greece, around 330/331 BC. Daniel was an official the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1,2,3,4) and his son Belshazzar (Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1); the fictitious Median King Darius, who killed Belshazzar and took over his kingdom (Daniel 5:30-31; 6; 9:1; 11:1); and the Persian King Cyrus (Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 10:1,13,20). Therefore, Daniel's second empire has to be the Median Empire. We can get to this by process of elimination.

As you stated most fundies explain away the nonfulfillment of Daniel's predictions by stating that his four empires are Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. They assume the symbolism of the statue and the beasts fit this interpretation more naturally and straightforwardly than the critical interpretation. Actually, Daniel would still be a false prophet even if the evangelical interpretation were correct. Under this theory, the Roman Empire was to be the last world empire before Jesus' second coming, and all four were important because they controlled Judah and Jerusalem. In real history, however, the Islamic and Ottoman Empires falsified Daniel's prophecy because they succeeded Rome and likewise occupied Judah and Jerusalem. In fact, they were much larger and lasted far longer than the Babylonian Empire of his prophecy. (Sandoval, Failure of Daniel's Prophesies, 2007)

Now, If you dig a little further into the culture of Hellenistic times the literature shows that critical interpretation pictures the symbolism more straightforward. The four empires actually fall into a simpler pattern which is being listed in order of decreasing size/prevalence and increasing strength which could symbolize moral degradation from one to another. Lion, bear, leopard, and dragon. The noble lion has the wings of a noble eagle, whereas the leopard has merely the wings of an ordinary bird. The dragon is stronger and more destructive than any of the preceding beasts. Since God's eternal kingdom is of more value than any of the four earthly empires, it is fittingly enough symbolized by a human being with no unusual physical attributes (Daniel 7:13-14), and it was supposed to supplant the four empires and rule the Earth forever (Daniel 2:34-35,44-45; 7:17-18,22,26-27). The lion, bear, leopard, wolf, and jackal were the only large predators in Palestine, and the only ones mentioned in the Bible. The lion, bear, and leopard, the most dangerous of the lot, were the only beasts mentioned by the prophet Hosea in his poetic accounts of attacks by wild animals (Hosea 13:7-8--cf. 1 Samuel 17:34-37; Proverbs 28:15; Isaiah 11:7; Jeremiah 5:6; Lamentations 3:10; Amos 5:19); these are the same beasts that appear in Daniel's vision. (Sandoval, 2007)

Sandoval has another article on the secular web that continues this conversation:
The Greek Four-Empire Scheme
The Origin of "Darius the Mede"
Was "Darius" an Alias?
Mixed Messages
The Brutality of the Fourth Empire
The Diadochi
The Maccabean War
The Traditional Christian Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks
The Dispensationalist Christian Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks
The Unfulfilled Predictions
Religious Forgeries
Evangelical Damage Control

Here is the link: The failure of Danie's Prophesies

**Crickets** -- God
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16-06-2015, 09:37 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 09:08 AM)Learner Wrote:  ADMINS: could you please delete this thread?

We don't do that here.

Surely you've been here long enough to realise that.

Nor is removal of the content of an OP appreciated.

Please don't do that.

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16-06-2015, 09:44 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 09:37 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(16-06-2015 09:08 AM)Learner Wrote:  ADMINS: could you please delete this thread?

We don't do that here.

Surely you've been here long enough to realise that.

Nor is removal of the content of an OP appreciated.

Please don't do that.

DLJ,

I apologize, I did not realize threads could not be deleted. I have restored the original content of the OP. The only reason I deleted the content was I thought the deletion of the thread would be following shortly thereafter. I will not have this approach in the future. On some other forums I've been on, it's been ok to delete a thread if needed. I've really not spent a lot of time on this forum, so I apologize for not learning this yet.
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16-06-2015, 09:46 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 09:36 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  The prophecies in the Book of Daniel all end with the destruction of Antiochus Epiphanes as punishment for his atrocities and sacrileges at the beginning of the Messianic Age. It seems as though several chapters in Daniel arrive at this conclusion through several paths though. Chapter 8 emphasizes the continuity between Media and Persia, which seems to display them as Phase 1 and Phase 2 of a single empire. Chapters 2 and 7, on the other hand, emphasize the distinction between them, treating them as two separate entities.

If you look at Chapters 2 and 7 first you can review the author's motive for this take:

In these chapters, the four successive empires are Babylonia, Media, Persia, and Greece. They are represented by the golden head, silver chest, bronze loins, and iron legs in the vision of the statue in chapter 2, and by the lion, bear, leopard, and dragon in the vision of the four beasts in chapter 7. The author's take is not factual, Persia under King Cyrus conquered Media in 550 BC before conquering Babylonia in 539 BC.

The second half of Daniel consists in four visions: the vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7, the vision of the ram and the he-goat in Daniel 8, the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel 9, and the prophecy of the kings of the north and the south in Daniel 10-12. All four end with an antichrist figure who blasphemes God, overthrows the Jewish law, and persecutes righteous Jews for three and a half years. It seems is though this is Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of the main successor state of the fourth empire. The visions go on to say that God would supernaturally overthrow the king and pronounce his rule over the whole world at the appointed time of the end. The failure of this prediction demonstrates that the four purported prophecies of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt were actually written after the fact.

Daniel 2:37 says that the first empire was Babylonia. Persia is inadvertently placed as the third empire because it was conquered by the fourth, Greece, around 330/331 BC. Daniel was an official the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1,2,3,4) and his son Belshazzar (Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1); the fictitious Median King Darius, who killed Belshazzar and took over his kingdom (Daniel 5:30-31; 6; 9:1; 11:1); and the Persian King Cyrus (Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 10:1,13,20). Therefore, Daniel's second empire has to be the Median Empire. We can get to this by process of elimination.

As you stated most fundies explain away the nonfulfillment of Daniel's predictions by stating that his four empires are Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. They assume the symbolism of the statue and the beasts fit this interpretation more naturally and straightforwardly than the critical interpretation. Actually, Daniel would still be a false prophet even if the evangelical interpretation were correct. Under this theory, the Roman Empire was to be the last world empire before Jesus' second coming, and all four were important because they controlled Judah and Jerusalem. In real history, however, the Islamic and Ottoman Empires falsified Daniel's prophecy because they succeeded Rome and likewise occupied Judah and Jerusalem. In fact, they were much larger and lasted far longer than the Babylonian Empire of his prophecy. (Sandoval, Failure of Daniel's Prophesies, 2007)

Now, If you dig a little further into the culture of Hellenistic times the literature shows that critical interpretation pictures the symbolism more straightforward. The four empires actually fall into a simpler pattern which is being listed in order of decreasing size/prevalence and increasing strength which could symbolize moral degradation from one to another. Lion, bear, leopard, and dragon. The noble lion has the wings of a noble eagle, whereas the leopard has merely the wings of an ordinary bird. The dragon is stronger and more destructive than any of the preceding beasts. Since God's eternal kingdom is of more value than any of the four earthly empires, it is fittingly enough symbolized by a human being with no unusual physical attributes (Daniel 7:13-14), and it was supposed to supplant the four empires and rule the Earth forever (Daniel 2:34-35,44-45; 7:17-18,22,26-27). The lion, bear, leopard, wolf, and jackal were the only large predators in Palestine, and the only ones mentioned in the Bible. The lion, bear, and leopard, the most dangerous of the lot, were the only beasts mentioned by the prophet Hosea in his poetic accounts of attacks by wild animals (Hosea 13:7-8--cf. 1 Samuel 17:34-37; Proverbs 28:15; Isaiah 11:7; Jeremiah 5:6; Lamentations 3:10; Amos 5:19); these are the same beasts that appear in Daniel's vision. (Sandoval, 2007)

Sandoval has another article on the secular web that continues this conversation:
The Greek Four-Empire Scheme
The Origin of "Darius the Mede"
Was "Darius" an Alias?
Mixed Messages
The Brutality of the Fourth Empire
The Diadochi
The Maccabean War
The Traditional Christian Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks
The Dispensationalist Christian Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks
The Unfulfilled Predictions
Religious Forgeries
Evangelical Damage Control

Here is the link: The failure of Danie's Prophesies

Tonechaser77, awesome - thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for.
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16-06-2015, 09:47 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyath...adictions/

https://xenlogic.wordpress.com/2010/11/2...-prophecy/

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-06-2015, 09:54 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2015 10:07 AM by Learner.)
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 09:14 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Obviously HE takes "prophecy" very seriously.
The POINT is the 4th beast .... ("oh you beast") could be ANYTHING. They invented it so that could "postdictum" whatever they chose later to say it was. The entire book of Daniel was PRE-dated to make it look like what was written POST, was a PRE-diction. Arguing with Fundies is a worthless enterprise.

"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference".

Bucky Ball,

Well, I do take "prophecy" seriously...in a sense...not that it's possible to see the future, but I "take prophecy seriously" in the sense that my friends and family members who are still Christians take it seriously, and so I take it seriously from a historical-critical point of view to show errors in prophecy, contradictions in the Bible, etc, etc. So far in discussions with my friends, I've had a lot more useful and non-offensive discussion when discussing some points from historical-criticism with them rather than just saying, "Ah, Bible prophecy is just a bunch of bullshitting." Some atheists blow off the Bible because it's a man-made book like anything else, but I continue to find the Bible interesting to read and better understand it as a prejudiced, contradictory, fallible human book...and find it freeing and refreshing coming out of Christianity as I see it more in this light, especially coming out of fundamentalist Christianity.
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16-06-2015, 10:10 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 09:36 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  The prophecies in the Book of Daniel all end with the destruction of Antiochus Epiphanes as punishment for his atrocities and sacrileges at the beginning of the Messianic Age. It seems as though several chapters in Daniel arrive at this conclusion through several paths though. Chapter 8 emphasizes the continuity between Media and Persia, which seems to display them as Phase 1 and Phase 2 of a single empire. Chapters 2 and 7, on the other hand, emphasize the distinction between them, treating them as two separate entities.

If you look at Chapters 2 and 7 first you can review the author's motive for this take:

In these chapters, the four successive empires are Babylonia, Media, Persia, and Greece. They are represented by the golden head, silver chest, bronze loins, and iron legs in the vision of the statue in chapter 2, and by the lion, bear, leopard, and dragon in the vision of the four beasts in chapter 7. The author's take is not factual, Persia under King Cyrus conquered Media in 550 BC before conquering Babylonia in 539 BC.

The second half of Daniel consists in four visions: the vision of the four beasts in Daniel 7, the vision of the ram and the he-goat in Daniel 8, the seventy weeks prophecy in Daniel 9, and the prophecy of the kings of the north and the south in Daniel 10-12. All four end with an antichrist figure who blasphemes God, overthrows the Jewish law, and persecutes righteous Jews for three and a half years. It seems is though this is Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of the main successor state of the fourth empire. The visions go on to say that God would supernaturally overthrow the king and pronounce his rule over the whole world at the appointed time of the end. The failure of this prediction demonstrates that the four purported prophecies of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Maccabean revolt were actually written after the fact.

Daniel 2:37 says that the first empire was Babylonia. Persia is inadvertently placed as the third empire because it was conquered by the fourth, Greece, around 330/331 BC. Daniel was an official the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1,2,3,4) and his son Belshazzar (Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1); the fictitious Median King Darius, who killed Belshazzar and took over his kingdom (Daniel 5:30-31; 6; 9:1; 11:1); and the Persian King Cyrus (Daniel 1:21; 6:28; 10:1,13,20). Therefore, Daniel's second empire has to be the Median Empire. We can get to this by process of elimination.

As you stated most fundies explain away the nonfulfillment of Daniel's predictions by stating that his four empires are Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. They assume the symbolism of the statue and the beasts fit this interpretation more naturally and straightforwardly than the critical interpretation. Actually, Daniel would still be a false prophet even if the evangelical interpretation were correct. Under this theory, the Roman Empire was to be the last world empire before Jesus' second coming, and all four were important because they controlled Judah and Jerusalem. In real history, however, the Islamic and Ottoman Empires falsified Daniel's prophecy because they succeeded Rome and likewise occupied Judah and Jerusalem. In fact, they were much larger and lasted far longer than the Babylonian Empire of his prophecy. (Sandoval, Failure of Daniel's Prophesies, 2007)

Now, If you dig a little further into the culture of Hellenistic times the literature shows that critical interpretation pictures the symbolism more straightforward. The four empires actually fall into a simpler pattern which is being listed in order of decreasing size/prevalence and increasing strength which could symbolize moral degradation from one to another. Lion, bear, leopard, and dragon. The noble lion has the wings of a noble eagle, whereas the leopard has merely the wings of an ordinary bird. The dragon is stronger and more destructive than any of the preceding beasts. Since God's eternal kingdom is of more value than any of the four earthly empires, it is fittingly enough symbolized by a human being with no unusual physical attributes (Daniel 7:13-14), and it was supposed to supplant the four empires and rule the Earth forever (Daniel 2:34-35,44-45; 7:17-18,22,26-27). The lion, bear, leopard, wolf, and jackal were the only large predators in Palestine, and the only ones mentioned in the Bible. The lion, bear, and leopard, the most dangerous of the lot, were the only beasts mentioned by the prophet Hosea in his poetic accounts of attacks by wild animals (Hosea 13:7-8--cf. 1 Samuel 17:34-37; Proverbs 28:15; Isaiah 11:7; Jeremiah 5:6; Lamentations 3:10; Amos 5:19); these are the same beasts that appear in Daniel's vision. (Sandoval, 2007)

Sandoval has another article on the secular web that continues this conversation:
The Greek Four-Empire Scheme
The Origin of "Darius the Mede"
Was "Darius" an Alias?
Mixed Messages
The Brutality of the Fourth Empire
The Diadochi
The Maccabean War
The Traditional Christian Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks
The Dispensationalist Christian Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks
The Unfulfilled Predictions
Religious Forgeries
Evangelical Damage Control

Here is the link: The failure of Danie's Prophesies

Tonechaser77, how do you understand the four heads of the leopard and the ten horns of the dragon? When I was a Christian and fundamentalist, I was told the four heads were the four generals who divided Alexander's empire after his death (Greece) and the ten horns were the ten divisions of the Roman empire. So how would the four relate to Persia...and the ten relate to Greece?
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16-06-2015, 10:51 AM (This post was last modified: 16-06-2015 10:55 AM by Tonechaser77.)
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 10:10 AM)Learner Wrote:  Tonechaser77, how do you understand the four heads of the leopard and the ten horns of the dragon? When I was a Christian and fundamentalist, I was told the four heads were the four generals who divided Alexander's empire after his death (Greece) and the ten horns were the ten divisions of the Roman empire. So how would the four relate to Persia...and the ten relate to Greece?


I don't have any information readily available considering the four heads of the leopard unfortunately.

The ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 are probably the ten Greek kings of the Fourth Empire and its primary successor state from Alexander the Great to Antiochus Epiphanes and the end of the world. Now scholars have proposed several different theories for identifying the ten kings, but in all probability, the seven successive kings are Alexander the Great, Seleucus I Nicator, Antiochus I Soter, Antiochus II Theos, Seleucus II Callinicus, Seleucus III Soter Ceraunus, and Antiochus III the Great. The little horn that uproots three other horns is Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The three supplanted horns are three individuals who had more right to the throne than Antiochus did, and stood in his way: King Seleucus IV Philopator and his two sons, the crown prince Demetrius and the infant Antiochus. (Knight, "The Book of Daniel," p. 445, commentary on Daniel 7:7-8; Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, "The Book of Daniel: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections" in New Interpreter's Bible, ed. Leander E. Keck, David L. Peterson, and Thomas G. Long, 12 vols. (Nashville: Abingdon, 1995-2002), 7: 17-152 (1996), pp. 102-103, commentary on Daniel 7:7-8.)

In actual history, Seleucus Philopator became king in 187 BC after the murder of his father, Antiochus the Great. In the aftermath of the battle of Magnesia, Antiochus Epiphanes, the younger brother of Seleucus, was sent to Rome as a political hostage in 187 BC. In 175 BC, Demetrius, the first horn, was sent to Rome to replace Antiochus as official hostage. (Incidentally, Demetrius I Soter eventually became king in 162 BC, after the Book of Daniel was written--1 Maccabees 7:1-4; 2 Maccabees 14:1-2.) Seleucus Philopator, the second horn, was assassinated at the order of Prime Minister Heliodorus, who then proceeded to take control of the Seleucid Empire as regent in the name of the dead king's infant son Antiochus. As soon as Antiochus Epiphanes arrived at Antioch from Rome, he had Heliodorus killed and became regent for the infant prince. The infant Antiochus, the third horn, was finally murdered by one Andronicus, who in turn was executed under orders from Antiochus Epiphanes. With his three royal relatives out of the way, Antiochus, the little horn, became king (Daniel 11:21)

Evangelicals insist that since the horns of the fourth beast appear simultaneously in the vision, they must represent kingdoms that exist concurrently rather than consecutively, namely ten states that formed out of the dissolution of the Roman Empire. This assertion is refuted by the dreams of the chief butler, the chief baker, and Pharaoh himself in Genesis 40-41. Here items that appeared concurrently in the dream symbolized events that were to occur consecutively in the real world. In particular, the seven fat and seven lean cows appear concurrently in Pharaoh's dream, but they symbolize fourteen consecutive years of plenty and famine. The four metals that symbolize four consecutive empires likewise appear concurrently in the vision of the statue in Daniel 2. The other problem with the evangelical interpretation is that the ten horns of Daniel do not plausibly correlate with ten successor states of the Roman Empire. (Henry H. Halley, Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary, 24th ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1965), p. 346; King James Bible Commentary, 970-971, comment on Daniel 7:22-24.)

This all falls under the Maccabean Thesis.
You may find more info on the Medo-Persian Empire here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_Empire

**Crickets** -- God
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16-06-2015, 10:58 AM
RE: Daniel's vision of four beasts (Daniel 7)
(16-06-2015 09:54 AM)Learner Wrote:  
(16-06-2015 09:14 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Obviously HE takes "prophecy" very seriously.
The POINT is the 4th beast .... ("oh you beast") could be ANYTHING. They invented it so that could "postdictum" whatever they chose later to say it was. The entire book of Daniel was PRE-dated to make it look like what was written POST, was a PRE-diction. Arguing with Fundies is a worthless enterprise.

"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference".

Bucky Ball,

Well, I do take "prophecy" seriously...in a sense...not that it's possible to see the future, but I "take prophecy seriously" in the sense that my friends and family members who are still Christians take it seriously, and so I take it seriously from a historical-critical point of view to show errors in prophecy, contradictions in the Bible, etc, etc. So far in discussions with my friends, I've had a lot more useful and non-offensive discussion when discussing some points from historical-criticism with them rather than just saying, "Ah, Bible prophecy is just a bunch of bullshitting." Some atheists blow off the Bible because it's a man-made book like anything else, but I continue to find the Bible interesting to read and better understand it as a prejudiced, contradictory, fallible human book...and find it freeing and refreshing coming out of Christianity as I see it more in this light, especially coming out of fundamentalist Christianity.

But actually there is good reason to school them on the subject. Academics do not take it seriously "as prediction".

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid257278

They should be told that omen-reading was forbidden in Hebrew culture, .... until it wasn't, very late in their history. The role of a prophet was not to predict the future. At least they should get that "prediction" is a distortion, and serious Biblical scholars do not accept that it was ever intended as "prediction". Only some Fundies do, and it's essentially a (modern) misunderstanding of what prophecy was supposed to be.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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