Wednesday, July 26, 2017

[BTT038] John 13:18-19 / Psalm 41:9

Previous: [BTT037]  John 12:35-41 / Isaiah 53:1-3 / Isaiah 6


John 13:18-19 / Psalm 41:9

Fulfillment

“I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

Original


All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt.
“An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.

Comparison

Here we have our second example of Jesus quoting Himself as the fulfillment of a specific prophecy. Once again, it comes from a Psalm that, in its original context, seems to be about the life of David and has no indication of being prophetic. In fact, it's about David being sick and his friends and enemies conspiring against him.

Once again, we see that Jesus considered a paraphrase to be fully adequate ("my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread" vs. "He who eats bread with Me").

So while this plēroō passage adds nothing new to our understanding of how Jesus and the apostles interpreted prophecy, it does re-confirm our five points directly from the words of Jesus.


Revised Point One: Prophecies often have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Re-Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy, or we have a different version of the Old Testament than Jesus

Point Five: A passage does not have to be explicitly prophetic to be prophecy


Next: [BTT039] John 15:25 / Psalm 69:1-4

Monday, July 24, 2017

[BTT037] John 12:35-41 / Isaiah 53:1-3 / Isaiah 6

Previous: [BTT036] Luk 4:21 / Isaiah 61:1-4


John 12:35-41 / Isaiah 53:1-3 / Isaiah 6

Fulfillment

Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:
“Lord, who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.”
These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

Original 1
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Original 2

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
“Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”
Then I said, “Lord, how long?”
And He answered:
“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man,
The land is utterly desolate,
The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
But yet a tenth will be in it,
And will return and be for consuming,
As a terebinth tree or as an oak,
Whose stump remains when it is cut down.
So the holy seed shall be its stump.”

Comparison

Our first plēroō from John is a double header, with John quoting two passages from (yet again) Isaiah.

The first quote is almost identical with the original (John adds "Lord," but that's it), which gives us some hope John will conform to our modern sensibilities. Unfortunately, the second quote differs wildly from the original. John quotes it as if the shutting hearts and closing eyes is something "He" (Jesus, according to John) is doing, whereas in the original it is a command from God to Isaiah.

So this plēroō passage provides yet another example of the original context not mattering. The passage John quotes is, as mentioned, clearly a command from God to Isaiah. The only aspect of what we would consider prophecy about the future is God's answer to the question "How long?"

It's clear that this Isaiah prophecy was already fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem under the Babylonians, and the remnant that remained at that time. It's also clear that John sees this prophecy as also applying to the ministry of Jesus (and perhaps, the destruction of Jerusalem under the Romans).

As such, I'm going to update Point One:


Revised Point One: Prophecies often have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Re-Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy, or we have a different version of the Old Testament than Jesus

Point Five: A passage does not have to be explicitly prophetic to be prophecy


Next: [BTT038] John 13:18-19 / Psalm 41:9

[BTT036] Luk 4:21 / Isaiah 61:1-4

Previous: [BTT035] Mar 15:27-28 / Isaiah 53:10-12


Luk 4:21 / Isaiah 61:1-4

Fulfillment

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

Original

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.

Comparison

With Mark's clear adherence to our expectations behind us, we enter to our only plēroō passage in Luke. This time, we also get a surprise celebrity appearance from Jesus Himself. This is the first time in Scripture where Jesus unambiguously states (according to our rules, anyway) that He is the fulfillment to a specific, quoted Scripture.

While Luke's quotation is closer to the Septuagint than the original Hebrew (accounting for discrepancies like "Lord" instead of "Lord God"), there are also discrepancies with the Septuagint. "To set at liberty those who are oppressed" is not found in the Septuagint, but it is found in the Hebrew and in Luke.

So this brings us right back to where we stood with Matthew: the exact wording does not matter or else we have a different version of Isaiah than Jesus had. Actually, let's update Point Four to reflect that.


Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Re-Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy, or we have a different version of the Old Testament than Jesus

Point Five: A passage does not have to be explicitly prophetic to be prophecy



Next: [BTT037] John 12:35-41 / Isaiah 53:1-3 / Isaiah 6

Friday, July 21, 2017

[BTT035] Mar 15:27-28 / Isaiah 53:10-12

Previous: [BTT034] Mat 27:35 / Psalm 22:16-18


Mar 15:27-28 / Isaiah 53:10-12

Fulfillment

With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.”

Original
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Comparison

This is our sole plēroō passage in Mark, and that's not the only way he's completely different from Matthew. Not only is the quote word-for-word accurate, it works perfectly well in the context of Isaiah's Suffering Servant prophecy.

I mean, Isaiah does not say "And He was crucified among two thieves, one of whom will repent and one of whom will not," but it's an accurate quote and a fairly clear fulfillment.

One wonders why Matthew isn't more like this, but the point is clear: literal, one-time fulfillments of explicit prophecies where the author cares about the exact wording of the source text are the minority so far.


Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy

Point Five: A passage does not have to be explicitly prophetic to be prophecy



Next: [BTT036] Luk 4:21 / Isaiah 61:1-4

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

[BTT034] Mat 27:35 / Psalm 22:16-18

Previous: [BTT033] Mat 27:3-9 / Jeremiah 32:1-15

Mat 27:35 / Psalm 22:16-18


Fulfillment

Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Original

For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

Comparison

Finally, at the end of Matthew, we a have a quotation of prophecy that actually lines up with the original. Both texts read exactly the same, except for the verb tense of "divided." Even looking at the wider context, things look pretty good. Surely a "congregation of the wicked" enclosed Jesus; surely they pierced His hands and feet. This is the sort of correspondence between original and fulfillment that we like to see!

There is one slight issue. There is no indication in Psalm 22 that this passage is a prophecy. Rather, it appears to be taken directly from the life of David, describing his metaphorical torments at the hands of his enemies. Of course, Matthew being Matthew, the only prophecy he can quote correctly isn't from a book of prophecy, but from a song.

While Matthew is clearly saying that this Psalm should be considered prophetic, we should also recognize that there is no indication in the original context. Are all Psalms prophetic? Matthew indicates that at least some of them were.

At any rate, this seems as good a point as any to add a new point:


Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy

Point Five: A passage does not have to be explicitly prophetic to be prophecy

Otherwise, Matthew is completely off base and the New Testament is suspect.

Next: [BTT035] Mar 15:27-28 / Isaiah 53:10-12

Monday, July 17, 2017

[BTT033] Mat 27:3-9 / Jeremiah 32:1-15

Previous: [BTT032] Mat 21: 1-5 / Zechariah 9:1-10


Mat 27:3-9 / Jeremiah 32:1-15

Fulfillment

Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”
Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
 Original

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, “Why do you prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; and Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape from the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face, and see him eye to eye; then he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall be until I visit him,” says the Lord; “though you fight with the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed”’?”
And Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, “Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.”’ Then Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. So I bought the field from Hanamel, the son of my uncle who was in Anathoth, and weighed out to him the money—seventeen shekels of silver. And I signed the deed and sealed it, took witnesses, and weighed the money on the scales. So I took the purchase deed, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open; and I gave the purchase deed to Baruch the son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses who signed the purchase deed, before all the Jews who sat in the court of the prison.
“Then I charged Baruch before them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Take these deeds, both this purchase deed which is sealed and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.”’

Comparison

This passage may be the apex of Matthew's radical re-interpretation. He claims that Jeremiah is talking about someone buying a field with 30 pieces of silver, which they received as the price of a man's life. But that's completely at odds with the original context and the original text.

The passage in Jeremiah starts with the king of Judah complaining about Jeremiah prophesying that Babylon will defeat Judah. Jeremiah responds that he made a real estate deal (bought a field with silver). Why? Because even after Babylon inevitably curb-stomps Judah, there is still hope in the future. The children of God might be going away for a while, but they'll be coming back.

That's all well and good, but it bears no relation to what Matthew is talking about:

1). There is no mention in Jeremiah that the field is a potter's field.
2). The price paid for the field is seventeen shekels of silver, not thirty pieces of silver.[1]
3). There is no indication in Jeremiah that seventeen shekels is anything other than the worth of the field - it is not mentioned as "the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced."
Again, we are faced with two possibilities: first, that Matthew had access to a version of Jeremiah that we do not; second, Matthew is doing whatever he wants with text. Matthew also cares nothing about the original context, or that the prophecy has already been fulfilled by the return of the Jews to Israel under Cyrus. He just does not give one iota of a crap about the principles we moderns use to interpret Scripture.


Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy
Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy
Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy
Next: [BTT034] Mat 27:35 / Psalm 22:16-18

[1]Arguably, the thirty pieces of silver could possibly weigh seventeen shekels. Even if this is the case, the prophecy specifies a weight of silver, not a number of coins.

Friday, July 14, 2017

[BTT032] Mat 21: 1-5 / Zechariah 9:1-10

Previous [BTT031] Mat 12:14-21 / Isaiah 42:1–4



Mat 21: 1-5 / Zechariah 9:1-10


Fulfillment

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

Original


The burden of the word of the Lord
Against the land of Hadrach,
And Damascus its resting place
(For the eyes of men
And all the tribes of Israel
Are on the Lord);
Also against Hamath, which borders on it,
And against Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
For Tyre built herself a tower,
Heaped up silver like the dust,
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, the Lord will cast her out;
He will destroy her power in the sea,
And she will be devoured by fire.
Ashkelon shall see it and fear;
Gaza also shall be very sorrowful;
And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation.
The king shall perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
“A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod,
And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
I will take away the blood from his mouth,
And the abominations from between his teeth.
But he who remains, even he shall be for our God,
And shall be like a leader in Judah,
And Ekron like a Jebusite.
I will camp around My house
Because of the army,
Because of him who passes by and him who returns.
No more shall an oppressor pass through them,
For now I have seen with My eyes.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’

Comparison

Again, Matthew loves to paraphrase (or else has a version of Isaiah we don't). Compare:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
With:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.

This is actually pretty close by Matthew's standards – he's just added some extra rejoicing. So far we've seen him delete material ("And afterward more heavily oppressed her" from #4), add material ("Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem" from this one) and change things entirely ("And in His name Gentiles will trust" from #6)

But we've already covered Matthew's citation errors. Let's talk about context.

The larger context of Zechariah 9 is that God is going to utterly destroy Tyre, the Philistines, and all the others on His laundry list of enemies. God will dwell among His people, and the Messiah will come as a King of Peace who rules the world and destroys all weapons of war.

Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey certainly seems to fulfill part of this prophecy. But again, looking at the larger context of the original complicates Matthew's interpretation. I don't know if Israel's military still uses horses, but they definitely don't have peace there, let alone "to the Ends of the Earth."

It's going to take all of our Points to explain this. This prophecy must have multiple fulfillments (the destruction of Tyre, Jesus riding on a donkey, the future end of war), or else it completely falls apart. The original context of Tyre is completely misleading in Matthew's interpretation. Past, Present, and Future must be compressed if Isaiah and Matthew are to be compatible. And clearly, Matthew is completely willing to play with the exact words of Scripture.

In fact, we're upgrading Point Four from provisional status. It's now a full-fledged point:

Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Revised Point Four: The exact wording does not matter in prophecy


Next: [BTT033] Mat 27:3-9 / Jeremiah 32:1-15