CONTRADICTIONS OF THE BIBLE #4



CHRIST  continued


Coming


In humble guise

Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zechariah 9:9


With regal state

Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom.

Daniel 7:13-14


These passages refer to entirely different events. The first was fulfilled when our Savior rode into Jerusalem upon the ass; the second will be fulfilled when he shall come again, "in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory."139


Succeeds overthrow of Jerusalem

For then shall be great tribulation … Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened ... And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.

Matthew 24:21,29-30


Times of Gentiles intervene
Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.

Luke 21:24,27


This is one of Zeller's objections. He claims that the two accounts are incompatible because one seems to represent the coming of Christ as following,

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139 Compare Matthew 21:1-11 and 24:30.

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without any interval, the "tribulation"; the other, the two events as separated by the "times of the Gentiles."

The difference, however, is easily accounted for upon the hypothesis that Matthew employs here what we may term "prophetic perspective," while Luke is writing somewhat circumstantially and minutely. By this "perspective," which has a beautiful analogy in a familiar, philosophical experiment, a comparatively small event close to the speaker, appears of equal magnitude with a momentous but remote event, so that the latter seems hidden by the former, or continuous with it. As the observer looks down the vista of the ages, the small covers the Lage event, and the two seem but one.

On this point, Dr. Davidson140 says, "Intervening periods were mostly concealed from the sight of the seer." Bleek 141 says that in respect to time, "the prophecies are usually so framed that they have a perspective character, great developments and catastrophes, occurring at considerable intervals of time, appearing to be brought close together, or to be quite intermixed."

Lange:142 "According to the perspective view of the future, the successive critical events that lie behind each other, are brought near, so that the great epochs rise into light like the tops of mountains, while their times of unfolding, the periods, are concealed behind them, or are manifest only in less prominent signs.

Wordsworth: "Our Lord's prophecy has a double reference-—-to the judgment of Jerusalem, and to that of which this judgment was a type, viz. his second coming to judge the world."

Alford maintains that the destruction of Jerusalem and the final judgment are both enwrapped in the words; the former being prominent in the first part of the chapter, while, from verse 28, the lesser subject begins to be swallowed up in the greater, and our Lord's second coming to be the predominant theme.

The word "immediately," verse 29, being supposed to imply the closest consecution, is the only term involving any difficulty. Hammond and Schott Kiider the Greek term suddenly, i.e. unexpectedly. Glass says it is to be taken, according to our reckoning, but the divine, in which a thousand days are as day. Lange: "Describes the nature of the final catastrophe; that it will be at once swift, surpassingly sudden, and following upon a development seemingly slow and gradual. Thus, throughout the whole course of history, the swift

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140 Introd. to Old Testament, ii. 481 

141 Introd. to Old Testament, ii. 32. 

142 Com. on Matthew, p. 430.

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epochs follow the slow process of the periods." Owen: "May be taken in the general sense, very soon after, referring to the comparative brevity of these intervening centuries or ages, when viewed in relation to the ages of eternity, which are to follow the day of judgment, and in reference to which all time is but as a moment's duration." Alford very satisfactorily says: "All the difficulty which this word has been supposed to involve has arisen from confounding the partial fulfilment of the prophecy with the ultimate one. The important insertion in Luke 143 shows us that the 'tribulation' includes 'wrath upon this people,' which, is yet being inflicted; and the treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles still going on; and immediately after that tribulation which shall happen when the cup of Gentile iniquity is full, and when the Gospel shall have been preached in all the world fox a witness, and rejected by the Gentiles, shall the coming of the Lord himself happen."

(THEY  MAKE  A BIG  THING  OUT  OF  NOTHING.  THERE  WILL  BE  AN  END  TIME  TRIBULATION; THEN  THE  HEAVENLY  SIGNS;  THEN  THE  RETURN  OF  CHRIST.  DURING  THIS  END  TIME  TRIBULATION  JERUSALEM  WILL  FALL  INTO  THE  HANDS  OF  THE  GENTILES.  CHRIST  WILL  COME.  IT'S  CERTAIN  EVENTS  ALL  WILL  HAPPEN  AT  IN  THE  LAST  3  AND  1/2  YEARS  OF  THIS  AGE.  ALL  FULLY  EXPOUNDED  TO  YOU  ON  MY  WEBSITE  UNDER  "PROPHECY"  -  Keith Hunt)


His coming at hand

We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

The Lord is at hand.

Philippians 4:5

We which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:15

But the end of all things is at hand.

1 Peter 4:7


It was far off

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means.

2 Thessalonians 2:2-3


Even De Wette 144 says, "It is no contradiction of the first Epistle that Paul after exhorting them to steadfastly await the second coming of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15), felt himself bound to moderate their too excited expectations; and 2 Thessalonians 2:1, etc., is completely in the spirit of primitive Christianity." Similarly, Dr. Davidson, 145 on 1 Corinthians 15:52: "The expression we means such Christians as shall then be alive; all believers then living are grouped together."

On 1 Thessalonians 4:15,17, he says, "Hence we which are alive and remain, etc., can only mean 'such Christians as live and remain.' Paul employs himself and the early Christians as the representatives of those succeeding Christians who should be alive at the Redeemer's second advent. Thus in Deuteronomy 30:1, the

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143 Chap. 21:23-24.

144 Introd. to New Testament, p. 247.

145 Introd. to New Testament, ii. 458, 465-66.

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generation addressed is the representative of a succeeding one: and in John 6:32, a succeeding generation is employed to represent a past one."

Andrew Fuller:146 "Everything with respect to degrees is what it is by comparison. Taking into consideration the whole of time, the coming of Christ was 'at hand.' There is reason to believe from this, and many other passages of the New Testament, that the sacred writers considered themselves as having passed the meridian of time, and entered into the afternoon of the world, as we may say. Such appears to be the import of the following among other passages, 'God hath in these last days spoken,' etc. … But taking into consideration only a single generation, the day of Christ was not at hand. The Thessalonians, though a very amiable people, were by some means mistaken on this subject, so as to expect that the end of the world would take place in their lifetime, or within a very few rears. To correct this error, which might have been productive of very serious evils, was a principal design of the second Epistle to that people."

It is thus clear that this "discrepancy" of which Baur makes so much, really amounts to nothing.

(SOME  FEW  VERSES  IT  WOULD  SEEM  THE  APOSTLES  DID  THINK  CHRIST  WOULD  RETURN  SOON,  OR  WITHIN  THEIR  LIFE  TIME.  AS  TIME  WENT  ON  IT  WAS  REVEALED  TO  PAUL  CERTAIN  EVENTS  HAD  TO  TAKE  PLACE  BEFORE  CHRIST  WOULD  RETURN.  A  PROGRESS  INTO  MORE  TRUTH  REVEALED  WITH  TIME,  AND  AS  GOD  REVEALED.  BY  THE  TIME  THE  APOSTLE  JOHN  WAS  NEAR  DEATH,  HE  WAS  GIVEN  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  THAT  ADDED  EVEN  MORE  DEPTH  AND  EXPOUNDING,  CONCERNING  EVENTS  TO  THE  COMING  OF  CHRIST  -  Keith Hunt)


Before missionary journey completed

But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Matthew 10:23


Not till the world evangelized

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Matthew 24:14

And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Mark 13:10


Strauss 147 works hard to make out a contradiction here. He remarks: "On one occasion Jesus says to his disciples that the Son of man will return before they shall have completed their Messianic preaching in all the cities of Israel; another time he says that the second advent will not occur until the Gospel has been preached in the whole world among all peoples." The difficulty is obviated by the following interpretations, any one of which may be adopted.

Barnes, on Matthew 10:23: "That is, in fleeing from persecutors, from one city to another, you shall not have gone to every city in Judea, till the destruction at Jerusalem, and the end of the Jewish economy."

Wordsworth: "In a primary sense, you will not have completed your missionary work in Judea before I come to judge Jerusalem. In a secondary and larger

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146Works, i. 682.

147 See New Life of Jesus, i. 325.

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sense—the missionary work of the church for the spiritual Israel will not cease till the second coming of Christ. There is a successive series of 'comings of Christ,' all preparatory to, and consummated in, the great coming."

Afford maintains that our Lord's prophecies respecting his coming have an immediate, literal and a distant, foreshadowed fulfillment. Hence he regards "the vengeance on Jerusalem, which historically put an end to the old dispensation, and was, in its place with reference to that order of things, the coming of the Son of man, as a type of the final coming of the Lord." He calls attention to the "wide import of scripture prophecy, which speaks very generally, not so much of events themselves, points of time, as of processions of events, all ranging under one great description," and adds, "It is important to keep in mind the great, prophetic parallels which run through our Lord's discourses, and are sometimes separately, sometimes simultaneously, presented to us by him."

On "Till the Son of man be come," Baumgarten-Crusius says, "Until the victory of the cause of Christ"; Michaelis, "To the destruction of Jerusalem"; Calvin, "To the outpouring of the Holy Spirit;" Norton, "That is, before my religion is established and its truth fully confirmed"; Heubner and Lange, "Till the Son of man shall overtake you," adding, "It points forward to the second coming of Christ; including at the same time the idea that their apostolic labors in Judea would be cut short." Lightfoot: "Ye shall not have travelled over the cities of Israel, preaching the gospel, before the Son of man is revealed by his resurrection."

These interpretations, almost any of which may be adopted without an arbitrary exegesis, serve to show how slight is the foundation for the objection urged by Strauss.

(ALL  ARE  WRONG  IN  THEIR  UNDERSTANDING.  NONE  KNEW  WHO  "ISRAEL"  REALLY  WAS;  NOT  JUST  JUDAH,  BUT  ALL  13 TRIBES,  WHO  WOULD  EVENTUALLY  MAKE  UP  THE  NATIONS  OF  NORTH-WEST  EUROPE,  THE  BRITISH  COMMONWEALTH,  AND  THE  UNITED  STATES  OF  AMERICA.  THE  GOSPEL  WOULD  NOT  HAVE  REACHED  EVERY  TOWN  AND  CITY,  IN  A  PERSONAL  WAY,  BEFORE  CHRIST  WOULD  RETURN. AN  EVER  EVANGELISTIC  GOSPEL  TO  ALL  ISRAEL.  THE  GOSPEL  BEING  PREACHED  TO  ALL  THE  WORLD  WAS  FURTHER  GIVEN  TO  US  IN  THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  WHICH  CAME  VIA  JOHN  AT  THE  END  OF  THE  FIRST  CENTURY….. REV. 14:6.  IT  IS  DURING  THE  VERY  LAST  YEAR  OF  THIS  AGE  WHEN  THAT  PROPHECY  WILL  BE  FULFILLED -  THEN  SHORTLY  AFTER  JESUS  WILL  RETURN  -  Keith Hunt)


Kingdom


Not of this world

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

John 6:15

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight. John 18:36


Within the Pharisees

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17:20-21


Ancient interpreters take the expression "within you," as pointing out the fact that the kingdom is an inward, spiritual one, having its seat in the heart. Modern critics say that the kingdom had already been set up among the Pharisees by John the Baptist and the Messiah, the former introducing it, the latter embodying and representing it. Schoettgen: "It does not imply, in your hearts, but in your land and region." Alford: "The kingdom of God was begun among them, and continues thus making its way in the world, without observation of men."

(THE  PHARISEES  WERE  OBSESSED  WITH  THE  PROPHECIES  OF  THE  LITERAL  KINGDOM  ON  EARTH,  SPOKEN  ABOUT  BY  THE  PROPHETS  OF  OLD.  JESUS  TRIES  TO  RE-DIRECT  THEIR  MINDS   TO  THE  PRESENT  REALITY,  THAT  HE  WAS  PREACHING  THE  KINGDOM  OF  GOD  NOW.  AND  PEOPLE  NEEDED  TO  GET  THEMSELVES  INTO  THE  KINGDOM  OF  GOD  NOW,  IN  A  PERSONAL  SPIRITUAL  WAY.  THE  KINGDOM  OF  GOD  IS  BOTH  NOW - SPIRITUALLY - CAN  BE  IN  YOU;  AND  ALSO  IN  THE  FUTURE,  LITERALLY  -  Keith Hunt)


It has no end

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:14

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Luke 1:33

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.

Hebrews 1:8


Will terminate

Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.... And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:24-25, 28


Neander: "Inasmuch as the work of Christ, founded upon his redemptive acts, proceeds toward a definite goal, it must needs come to a termination when this goal is reached." Dr. Hodge: "When he has subdued all his enemies, then he will no longer reign over the universe as Mediator, but only as God, while his headship over his people is to continue forever."

Dr. Davidson148 holds that Christ's kingdom has two departments or branches—one relating to his saints, the other to his enemies. When the purposes of the latter department are fulfilled, he will deliver it up to the Father; the former he will retain forever.

Andrew Fuller:149 "The end of which Paul speaks does not mean the end of Christ's kingdom, but of the world, and the things thereof. The 'delivering up of the kingdom to the Father' will not put an end to it, but eternally establish it in a new and more glorious form. Christ shall not cease to reign, though the mode of his administration be different."

Alford; "The kingdom of Christ over this world, in its beginning, its furtherance, and its completion, has one great end—the glorification of the Father

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148 Sacred Hermeneutics, p. 571. 

149 Works,i.678.

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by the Son. Therefore, when it shall be fully established, every enemy overcome, everything subjected to him, he will—not reign over it and abide its king, but deliver it up to the Father."

Even on this interpretation, the kingdom of the Son will continue. For it is clear that the subjects, laws, and policy of that kingdom will remain unchanged; only the dominion of Christ will "be absorbed in the all-pervading majesty of him for whose glory it was from first to last carried onward." Bengel tersely and admirably expresses the truth, "omnia erunt subordinata Filio, Filius Patri"; All things will be subordinate to the Son, the Son to the Father.

(I  LIKE  ANDREW  FULLER'S  COMMENT,  AS  WELL  AS  THE  LAST   PARAGRAPH  ABOVE. CHRIST  WILL  EVER  REIGN  OVER  THE  ISRAELITES  NOW  IMMORTAL  IN  THE  KINGDOM.  HIS  THRONE  AND  POWER  WILL  NOT  DIMINISH  PER  SE,  BUT  WILL  UNITE  WITH  THE  FATHER,  AS  THE  FATHER  COMES  TO  EARTH,  AS  FORETOLD  IN  REVELATION  21, 22.  CHRIST  WILL  HAND  OVER  TO  THE  SUPREME  AUTHORITY,  THE  FATHER,  THE  KINGDOM  ON  EARTH.  BUT  WITH  THE  FATHER  STILL  RULE  OVER  THE  KINGDOM  OF  GOD  AND  THE  IMMORTAL  ISRAELITES,  FOR  EVER  -  Keith  Hunt)


Name


He bears the Divine Name

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.

Jeremiah 23:6


A city bears it

In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.

Jeremiah 33:16


Naegelsbach, in Lange, maintains that the word "he," in the expression, "this is his name whereby he shall be called," can refer only to Jerusalem. "Jehovah our Righteousness" is not, then, the name of the scion of David, but of the nation—the idea being that Israel will be a nation, that will have no other righteousness than Jehovah's. If neither text refers to the Messiah, there is, of course, no discrepancy. Even if otherwise, we see nothing improbable in the supposition that the redeemed nation should be called after the name of its Redeemer and King.

(INDEED  IT  IS  QUITE  WITHIN  TRUTH  THAT  BOTH  HE  AND  THE  CITY  THE  SON  OF  GOD  DWELLS  IN,  ARE  CALLED  "THE  LORD  OUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS."  CERTAINLY  THE  LORD  IN  LANGUAGE  CAN  BE, "THE  LORD  OUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS  IS  IN  JERUSALEM…"  AND  ALSO  IN  LANGUAGE  IT  COULD  BE  STATED,  "JERUSALEM,  THE  LORD  OUR  RIGHTEOUSNESS  CITY,  IS  BEAUTIFUL  NOW  HE  IS  THERE."


Note.—The foregoing are-—not indeed all the cases adduced by infidel writers—but all which seem worthy of notice, and to come properly under this head. A considerable number of apparent contradictions pertaining to various events in the life of Christ, are referable to the "historical" department, and will be discussed in a subsequent part of this volume.

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TO  BE  CONTINUED