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Principles Of Time Representation In Scripture


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#21 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 02:13 AM

It is important to note that the 'day for a year' principle did not start to come under attack until a new interpretation of prophecy began to be promoted - the Futurist method of interpretation.

It was absolutely critical to the Futurist interpretation that the day for a year principle be somehow disproved, and for this reason it was made the focus of attacks:

'The futurists believed that none of the events predicted in Revelation (following the first three introductory chapters) had yet occurred and that they would not occur until the end of this dispensation.

Associated with this rejection of the historicists' harmonizing of Daniel and Revelation was the futurists' attack upon the year-day theory, so vital to the dating of the 1,260 years to 1798. At the first Powerscourt conference the announced topic for Wednesday was 'proof if 1260 days' means days or years.

The futurist position did not originate with the Plymouth Brethren. Sixteenth-century Roman Catholic commentators had countered Protestant attacks upon the papacy as the Antichrist by insisting that none of the events relating to Antichrist had yet occurred...  

As has been true so frequently in the history of religious controversy, futurism did not become a real threat to the historists and an attractive alternative prophetic position until accepted by believers.'

This was a radical departure from the position held by expositors for centuries before.  

Of course, the mere fact that the day for a year principle had been held to by expositors throughout the centuries does not make it right - it is proved correct by an appeal to Scripture - but what must be understood is that for such a well established exposition to be displaced took a considerable effort, and a massive attack not only on the day for a year principle itself, but on the entire method of interpretation on which it was built, the Continuous Historic (or 'Historicist'), method of interpretation.

It was this which was the real target, the Historicist method of interpretation.  This method had proved its worth throughout the centuries, and had been well established as the dominant method of interpretation - and with good reason, for it had proved itself correct time and time again.

Ernest R. Standeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism, British and American Millenarianism 1800-1930, pages 36-38.



#22 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 02:13 AM

The day for a year principle has been understood by the following expositors:

Rabbi Akiba (AD 130)
Tichonius (380)
Augustine (430)
Nahawendi (8-9th century)
Saadia (900)
Jehoram (10th century)
Rashi (1080)
Abraham bar Hiyya (1136)
Abraham ben Ezra (1160)
Joachim of Floris (1190)
Pseudo-Joachim (1240)
D'Olivi (1295)
Ubertino of Casale (1305)
Gersonides (1335
Wycliffe (1379)
Abravanel (1505)
Luther (1522)
Osiander (1528)
Nicholas of Cusa (c. 1542)
Melanchthon (1543)
Illyricus (1556)
Funck (1558)
Calvin (1558)
Chytraeus (1572)
Napier (1593)
James the First (1600)
Downham (1603)
Brightman (1614)
Pareus (1618)
Dutch Dordt Bible (1637)
John Cotton (1639)
Gerhard (1643)
Williams (1644)
Parker (1646)
Davenport (1653)
Increase Mather (1669)
Samuel Mather (1672)
Johan Alsted (1681)
Jureiu (1687)
Lowth (1700)
Cocceius (1701)
Fleming (1701)
Cotton Mather (1702)
Matthew Henry (1707)
Vitringa (1719)
Langdon (1723-1797)
Sir Isaac Newton (1727)
Edwards (1739)
Fletcher (1745)
Bishop Newton (1754)
Bellamy (1758)
John Gill (1758)
Petri (1768)
Hopkins (1793)
Litch (1809-1886)
Clarke (1813)
Bickersteth (1836)
Barnes (1851)
Lange (1854f)
Makrakis (1881)
Smith (1832-1903)



#23 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:35 AM

THE SECONDARY DIVINE TIME SCHEDULE


The secondary Divine time schedule, a structure based on 'half-sevens', is termed 'secondary' for two reasons. Firstly because it is applied far less frequently than the primary, and secondly because the fundamental time unit is less than that of the primary - it is precisely half, in fact.

Just as every time duration within the primary schedule is perfectly divisible by seven, so every time duration within this secondary schedule is perfectly divisible by three and a half.

Just as we saw the principle of multiples of seven being repeated throughout Scripture where Divinely ordained time durations were found, so we find this same principle being applied in Scripture to present time durations which are half sevens, or multiples of three and a half.

#24 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:36 AM

Three Days And A Half


This time duration is found twice in Revelation:

Revelation 11:
9And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

11And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.


Three and a half days is an obvious half of seven, and the smallest unit of the secondary Divine time schedule.

#25 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:47 AM

Forty And Two Months


This time duration is also found twice in Revelation:

Revelation 11:
2But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Revelation 13:
5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.


Forty and two months is another multple of three and a half, which places this this time duration in the secondary Divine time schedule.

#26 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:47 AM

A Thousand Two Hundred And Threescore Days


As with the two previous time durations, the phrase 'thousand two hundred and threescore days' is found twice in Revelation:

Revelation 11:
3And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 12:
6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.


Twelve hundred and sixty days is divisible perfectly by three and a half - again, this time duration is in the secondary Divine time schedule.

#27 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:49 AM

Time, Times and Half a Time


There is another time duration which is part of this secondary Divine time schedule, and it is described in a different way altogether - it is not described using numbers as with the previous three. It differs from them also in being found both in Daniel and in Revelation - twice in Daniel and once in Revelation.

It is the duration of 'time, times, and half a time':

Daniel 7:
25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Daniel 12:
7And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half

Revelation 12:
14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.



#28 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:49 AM

Despite the difference in language between this and the other time durations, we can see that this duration is also a part of the secondary Divine time schedule, for when we examine this duration, we find it to be precisely three and a half:

- A time: one

- Times: two

- Half a time: one half

When added together, we have the sum 'three and a half' - one time, plus two times, plus half a time. One plus two, plus a half, is three and a half.

This time duration is of particular interest, because it demonstrates that both Daniel and Revelation use the secondary Divine time schedule, and that our interpretation of the time durations within these books ought to be led by this understanding.

#29 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:50 AM

The following commentators identified the 'time, times and half a time' in Daniel 7:25 as 1260 years:

Rashi (1080)
Pseudo-Joachim (1240)
Jean Pierre d'Olivi (1290)
Wycliffe (1370)
Brute (1390)
Osiander(1545)
Bullinger (1557)
Chytraeus (1572)
John Napier (1593)
James 1 (1600)
Downham (1603)
Brightman (1614)
Dutch Dordt Bible (1637)
John Cotton (1639)
Roger Williams (1644)
Parker (1646)
Tillinghast (1655)
Increase Mather (1669)
Samuel Mather(1672
Pierre Jureiu (1687)
Lowth (1700)
Cocceius (1701)
Fleming (1701)
Cotton Mather (1702)
Sir Isaac Newton (1727)
Jonathan Edwards (1739)
Fletcher (1746)
Bishop Thomas Newton (1754)
Bellamy (1758)
Petri (1768)
Brown of Haddington (1792)
Samuel Hopkins (1793)
Priestly (1794)
Hales (1803)
Faber (1804)
Thomas Scott (1809)
Adam Clarke (1813)
Maitland (1813)
Cunninghame (1813)
Horne (1818)
Bickersteth (1836)
Albert Barnes (1851)
Elliott (1862)
Smith (1832-1903)



#30 Fortigurn

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Posted 06 April 2003 - 05:51 AM

What is important about the table in the previous post is not its length, not merely the fact that so many interpreters held to the same opinion (despite their various differing religious views), but the fact that a number of them made accurate predictions concerning future events, on the basis of their understanding of this time duration. If they had not been correct in understanding the time, times and half a time in the manner that they did, their predictions would not have been accurate. We shall consider these predictions later.

These two Divine time schedules having been clearly defined and proved, it is evident that any approach to the prophetic time durations found in Scripture must necessarily take them into account. When prophetic times of an ambiguous duration are given in either Daniel or Revelation, the only correct method of interpreting their meaning is to apply the duration to the principles which underly these two time schedules, and to determine by this means the significance of the time duration.

The primary and secondary Divine time schedules, therefore, are the means by which an interpretation of any of the prophetic time durations in Daniel and Revelation are to be evaluated and tested.




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