CONTRADICTIONS OF THE BIBLE #4
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
139 Compare Matthew 21:1-11 and 24:30.
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
140 Introd. to Old Testament, ii. 481
141 Introd. to Old Testament, ii. 32.
142 Com. on Matthew, p. 430.
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.
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
143 Chap. 21:23-24.
144 Introd. to New Testament, p. 247.
145 Introd. to New Testament, ii. 458, 465-66.
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.
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.
And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
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
146Works, i. 682.
147 See New Life of Jesus, i. 325.
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)
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.
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.
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.
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.
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
148 Sacred Hermeneutics, p. 571.
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)
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.
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.
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.
TO BE CONTINUED