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Re: Question for Annette

On 28 Jan 1997, Jeffrey Bolden wrote:

> Here is where I disagree.  I think what Jeremiah thought he was writing
> about is vital.  The fact that Isaiah believed in a glorious return FROM
> BABYLON means that he is simply a false prophet.  Its also rather
> distressing since this is where all this messiac stuff comes from.

This is absolutely critical. You're right on target. The former prophets
predicted a glorious return from the one and only exile they foresaw. The
return panned out to be not nearly so glorious. You have, thereafter, two
separate strains in the Bible - the strain that seeks to accomodate itself
to the historical return as sufficient fulfillment (e.g. Ezra) and the
strain that could not accept the historical fulfillment and seeks a
trans-historical fulfillment (Daniel, Zechariah). The "Messiah" is the
projected fulfiller of the all those prophecies which were unfulfilled as
the original author had hoped - for restoration of kingship, victory of
Israel, etc.

The supposed "unbelieveable accuracy" of the prophets is a phantom. The
key to this is the case of Jeremiah and Hananiah. Just before the
Babylonian exile, there were two prophets of the Lord, enjoying about
equal public stature, one of whom predicted exile, and one of whom
predicted a miraculous deliverance. Had events turned out the other way,
Hananiah would be canonized and Jeremiah in the trash-heap. As it is,
Jeremiah is "unbelieveably accurate" and Hananiah is in the trash-heap.
For every major issue no doubt there were always alternate opinions. The
ones who *turned out* to be right are, after-the-fact, "unbelieveably

Occasionally there are prophets like Ezekiel whose stature was so great,
and whose moral/religious content so sublime, that their utter failure as
predictors did not manage to exclude them from the canon. Ezekiel's
specific failure regarding the destruction of Tyre is simply glossed over.
And his chapters and chapters about the restoration of Temple, Kingdom,

[223 lines left ... full text available at <url:http://www.reference.com/cgi-bin/pn/go?choice=message&table=04_1997&mid=3678745&hilit=CULTURE+FUTURE> ]

Article-ID: 04_1997&3721587
Score: 80
Subject: [CPN] HF Report - March, 1997