Saturday, July 30, 2005

Daniel's 70 `weeks': Proof that Naturalism is false and Christianity is true!

INTRODUCTION

In my debates with anti-supernaturalists, when challenged to produce evidence for the supernatural, I have responded with Daniel's prophecy of the 70 `weeks' (Dn 9:24-27)[1] as proof[2] that Naturalism[3] is false and Christianity[4] is true!

[Above: The prophet Daniel, Michelangelo (1475-1564), Sistine Chapel]

In 605 BC Daniel was carried off to Babylon as a youth with members of the Jewish royalty and nobility (2Ki 24:1; Dn 1:1-6)[5]. Then in 586 BC the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and its temple (2Ki 24:17-25:21)[6]. The prophet Jeremiah had predicted that Jerusalem would become desolate and its people taken captive to Babylon for seventy years, after which Babylon would itself be made desolate and after the seventy years, and those carried off into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon would be brought back (Jer 25:11-12; 27:22; 29:10)[7].

After Babylon itself fell to the Medo-Persians under Cyrus (Dn 5:1-31; 6:28)[8] in 538 BC[9], it being nearly 70 years since the beginning of Jerusalem's destruction by the Babylonians in 605 BC[10], the aged Daniel prayed to God that His promise through Jeremiah "that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years," would be fulfilled (Dn 9:1-2), and in response God sent the angel Gabriel to Daniel to reveal to him the prophecy of the 70 `weeks' (Dn 9:20-23).

Liberal and other naturalistic (i.e. anti-supernaturalistic) scholars, realising that Daniel's prophecies, especially of events that transpired in the Maccabean period (167-164 BC)[11], are so accurate, and since genuine predictive prophecy is impossible (on their naturalistic premises) they must be vaticinia ex eventu (prophecies after the event)[12]. However, the linguistic[13] and archaeological[14] evidence is decisively against this. Also, the historians Josephus (c. 37-100 AD)[15], Tacitus (c. 55-120 AD)[16] and Suetonius (c. 69-130 AD) [17], recorded that the Jews were expecting the fulfillment of a prophecy of a ruler to arise in the first century AD, and Daniel's 70 `weeks' seems to be what they had in mind.[18]

The prophecy of the 70 `weeks'[19] has three main components: 1) a starting point (terminus a quo) "From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (Dn 9:25); 2) a period of 70 `weeks' comprised of 7 + 62 + 1 `weeks' that would elapse from the starting point; and 3) an ending point (terminus ad quem) after the 69th `week' when "the Anointed One [Heb. Messiah], the ruler, comes", and is then "cut off" with the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (Dn 9:26). Since the ending point 3) is a product of the starting point 1) and the time unit 2), all three components are here analysed under the three main claimed starting points.

STARTING POINT: "the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (Dn 9:25)

There are three main candidate decrees (Heb. dabar,"word")[20] which have been claimed as starting points:

1. The decree of the first year of Cyrus I in 538/537 BC (2 Chr 36:23; Ezr 1:1-4. cf. Isa 44:28; 45:13). However, that decree refers only to the rebuilding of the temple, not of the city of Jerusalem.[21] Also, if each `week' is seven years (see below), then 7 + 62 = 69 `weeks' to the coming of the Messiah is 483 years from 538/537 BC, i.e. 55/54 BC.[22] But no Messiah came then, nor was Jerusalem or the temple destroyed soon after.[23] Daniel would then have been a false prophet (Dt 18:21-22) and his book would not have been included in the Jewish Scriptures and we probably would never have heard of him. So that decree does not fit the Biblical or historical facts and therefore should be rejected. There is also the decree of the second year of Darius I Hystaspes in 520/519 BC[24] (Ezr 4:24-6:15), but this was merely a confirming of Cyrus' decree that the temple be rebuilt.[25]

2. The decree of the seventh year of Artaxerxes I Longimanus in 458/457 BC [26](Ezr 7:7-26). This decree included permission for "any of the Israelites ... including priests and Levites, who wish to go to Jerusalem with" Ezra, to go (v.14); Ezra to take with him "silver and gold" (vv.15-16) "to buy ... offerings ... and sacrifice them on the altar of the temple ... in Jerusalem" (vv.17, 21); Ezra "may then do whatever seems best with the rest of the silver and gold, in accordance with the will of ... God" (v.18. My emphasis); "articles ... for worship in the temple" (v.19); "anything else needed for the temple of ... God ... from the royal treasury" (v.20); "the treasurers of Trans-Euphrates ... have no authority to impose taxes ... on any of the priests ... or other workers at this house of God" (vv.21, 24); "Ezra ... [to] appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice ..." (v.25); with penalties up and including "death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment." (v.26). This all-embracing decree to "restore" (socially and religiously) and "rebuild" (physically) Jerusalem, included rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem: "The king had granted him [Ezra] everything he asked" (Ezr 7:6-7. My emphasis) and Nehemiah 13 years later in 445/444 BC was surprised and disappointed to hear that Jerusalem's wall and gates were still in their broken down and burned state (Neh 1:1-3).[27] So while Ezra had authority to rebuild the city, it seems he was too busy with social and religious restoration to arrange for it to be done.[28]

Also, if each `week' is seven years, then 69 `weeks' to the coming of the Messiah is 483 years from 458/457 BC, i.e. 26/27 AD.[29] This is precisely the years of Jesus' baptism in 26 AD and the commencement of His public ministry in 27 AD (Mt 3:13-4:17; Mk 1:14-15)[30]! A starting point of 457/458 BC would also fit the first seven `weeks' or 49 years to 408 BC, being the period of the rebuilding and restoring of Jerusalem covered in the books of Ezra-Nehemiah [31].

3. The decree of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes I Longimanus in 445/444 BC (Neh 2:1-4:23; 6:1-16) This decree was for permission for Nehemiah to take leave of absence and purchase a supply of timber to rebuild Jerusalem's wall and gates, not to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem itself[32]. It really is just an enlargement and renewal of Artaxerxes' original decree to Ezra[33]. The KJV's "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times" (v.25) is a mistranslation, the Heb. harus rendered "wall" by the KJV was later found to mean "trench" or "moat"[34]. So there seems to be no good reason to focus exclusively on rebuilding Jerusalem's wall as though that is the same as "to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (my emphasis).

Moreover, if each `week' is seven years, then 69 `weeks' to the coming of the Messiah is 483 years from 445/444 BC, i.e. 39/40 AD[35] which is far too late for the coming of Jesus and indeed well after Jesus' crucifixion in 30 AD.[36]. There have been two main attempts which each "involve an unusual chronological artifice"[37] to try to shorten the time units to make this later starting point fit the historical facts of Jesus' life. The first uses 360-day "prophetic years"[38], to arrive at "the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem" in 33 AD.[39] But apart from the fact that there is no evidence of the Jews ever using anything other than ordinary 365-day solar years in their calendar[40], this is three years after the most likely year of Jesus' crucifixion in 30 AD,[41] let alone His coming in 26/27 AD. Also, the first seven `weeks' following a 445/444 BC starting point does not correspond to the 49-year period of Ezra-Nehemiah 457/458 to 408 BC[42], since it starts well into that period. The second main attempt to reconcile a 445/444 BC starting point with significant events in the life of Jesus, is Robert C. Newman's Sabbath-year cycles[43]. This suffers from the same problems of the 360-day year, with an additional problem that, as Newman acknowledges, "Daniel says `after the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off,' whereas by our calculation the crucifixion occurs on the 62nd week (the 69th, adding the first seven)", that is "28-35 AD"[44].

CONCLUSION

The second starting point, that of the decree of the seventh year of the Medo-Persian king Artaxerxes I Longimanus in 457/458 BC to Ezra, fits all the facts, both Biblical and historical. It was an all-embracing general decree to "restore and rebuild Jerusalem" itself, socially, spiritually and physically. It does not resort to "an unusual chronological artifice" but uses ordinary solar years. Also, only that decree as the starting point, makes sense of the first seven `weeks', being the period of the restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem under Ezra-Nehemiah.

Moreover, only that decree of 457/458 BC matches the historical facts of: 1) Jesus' public coming in His baptism and commencement of His public ministry at the end of the 69th `week', which was 26/27 AD; 2) then His being "cut off" at His crucifixion in 30 AD; 3) His confirming a new "covenant with many" by His death (Jer 31:31; Lk 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; Heb. 8:8; 9:15; 12:24) which also 4) "put an end to [Old Testament] sacrifice and offering"; and finally 5) the consequent destruction of "the city and the sanctuary" by the Roman army led by Titus Vespasian in 70 AD.[45] The Jewish historian Josephus, who survived that destruction of Jerusalem, realised that it was a fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy (evidently of the 70 `weeks') and therefore Epicureanism (Materialism-Naturalism) was false[46]:

"And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision, and what he wrote many years before they came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. All these things did this man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him, insomuch that such as read his prophecies, and see how they have been fulfilled, would wonder at the honor wherewith God honored Daniel; and may thence discover how the Epicureans are in an error, who cast Providence out of human life, and do not believe that God takes care of the affairs of the world, nor that the universe is governed and continued in being by that blessed and immortal nature, but say that the world is carried along of its own accord, without a ruler and a curator; which, were it destitute of a guide to conduct it, as they imagine, it would be like ships without pilots, which we see drowned by the winds, or like chariots without drivers, which are overturned; so would the world be dashed to pieces by its being carried without a Providence, and so perish, and come to nought. So that, by the aforementioned predictions of Daniel, those men seem to me very much to err from the truth, who determine that God exercises no providence over human affairs; for if that were the case, that the world went on by mechanical necessity, we should not see that all things would come to pass according to his prophecy."

Jesus is the only claimed Jewish Messiah who went on to found a world religion[47], yet it just so `happened' that Daniel six centuries before in 538 BC accurately predicted (using the most reasonable starting point and time unit): 1) the very year of the commencement Jesus' public ministry (26/27 AD); 2) His death in the middle of the 70th week (30 AD); 3) the establishment of a new covenant (the New Testament) by it; and 4) the consequent destruction of Jerusalem and the temple soon afterwards (70 AD). This is proof, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Naturalism is false and Christianity is true!

NOTES

[1] See also my in-progress online project, "Daniel's prophecy of the seventy `weeks' (Dn 9:24-27)."[return]
[2] By "proof" I do not mean in a mathematical sense of "absolute certaintly" but in the scientific sense of "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent" (Gould S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes," [1983], Penguin: London, 1984, reprint, p.254).[return]
[3] By "Naturalism" I here mean both Materialism (matter is all there is = there is no God); and Naturalism (nature is all there is = there is no supernatural).[return]
[4] By "Christianity" I here mean, historic, orthodox, `mere' Christianity, "the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times" (Lewis, C.S., 1952, "Mere Christianity,"Fount: London, 1997, reprint, p.vi).[return]
[5] Hill, A.E. & Walton, J.H., 2000, "A Survey of the Old Testament," [1991], Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, p.455; Barker, K., ed., 1985, "The NIV Study Bible," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.1300.[return]

[6] Hill & Walton, 2000, p.455; Barker, p.1300.[return]

[7] Barker, 1985, pp.1164, 1169-1170.[return]

[8] "Darius the Mede" was either Cyrus' general Gubaru (Gobryas) who captured Babylon and governed it as Cyrus' viceroy (Archer, G.L., 1964, "A Survey of Old Testament Introduction," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1966, p.372); or it was an alternative name of Cyrus himself (Thompson, J.A., 1982, "The Bible and Archaeology," [1962], Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, Third Edition, p.200; Baldwin J.G., "Daniel: An Introduction and Commentary," Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, 1978, p.27).[return]

[9] Finegan, J., 1964, "Handbook of Biblical Chronology," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, p.212.[return]

[10] La Sor W.S., Hubbard, D.A. & Bush, F.W., 1982, "Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1987, reprint, p.671.[return]

[11] Unger, M.F., 1966, "Unger's Bible Handbook: An Essential Guide to Understanding the Bible," Moody Press: Chicago IL, p.391; Millard A.R., 1986, "Daniel," in Bruce F.F., ed., "The International Bible Commentary," [1979], Marshall Pickering/ Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Second Edition, 1994, reprint, p.865.[return]

[12] This does not help the anti-supernaturalists explain away Daniel's 70 `weeks' since its fulfillment is in the first century AD, but they cannot claim it is any later than the second century BC, because the book of Daniel is in the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which was completed during the third and second centuries BC (Unger, M.F., 1969, "Unger's Bible Dictionary," [1966], Moody Press: Chicago IL, Third edition, p.1147; Archer, 1964, p.38).[return]

[13] The language of Daniel is similar to known 5th and 6th century BC Hebrew and Aramaic (Harrison, R.K., 1969, "Introduction to the Old Testament,"Tyndale Press: London, 1970, reprint, p.1125; Hill & Walton, 2000, p.454). There are only three Greek loan words (Dn 3:5-15) and they are names of musical instruments, and there are Persian administrative loan words where their Greek counterparts would be expected if Daniel was composed in second century Palestine that had been under Greek rule since Alexander's conquest in 333 BC (Archer, 1964, p.375; Harrison, 1969, pp.1124-1126; Harris, R.L., 1957, "Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible: An Historical and Exegetical Study," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.149).[return]

[14] "The evidence of the LXX and Qumran indicates that Daniel was in existence in its full form, and had been distributed over a relatively wide area, prior to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes [167-164BC]." (La Sor, et al., 1982, pp.666-667).[return]

[15] "But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, `about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth.' The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea. However, it is not possible for men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. But these men interpreted some of these signals according to their own pleasure, and some of them they utterly despised, until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking of their city and their own destruction." (Josephus, "Jewish War," 6.5.4, in Whiston, W., 1999, "The New Complete Works of Josephus," Kregel Publications: Grand Rapids MI, Revised Edition, p.899).[return]

[16] "The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, true to the selfish ambitions of mankind, thought that this mighty destiny was reserved for them, and not even their calamities opened their eyes to the truth." (Tacitus, "The Jews," 5.13, in Wellesley, K., 1995, "Tacitus: The Histories," [1964], Penguin: London, Revised, p.288).[return]

[17]"An ancient superstition was current in the East, that out of Judaea at this time would come the rulers of the world. This prediction, as the event later proved, referred to a Roman Emperor, but the rebellious Jews, who read it as referring to themselves, murdered their Governor, routed the Governor of Syria when he came down to restore order, and captured an Eagle. To crush this uprising the Romans needed a strong army under an energetic commander, who could be trusted not to abuse his considerable powers. The choice fell on Vespasian. He had given signal proof of energy and nothing, it seemed, need be feared from a man of such modest antecedents. Two legions, with eight cavalry squadrons and ten auxiliary cohorts, were therefore dispatched to join the forces already in Judaea; and Vespasian took his elder son, Titus, to serve on his staff." (Suetonius, "Vespasian: Aftrerwards Deified," X.4, in Graves, R. & Grant, M., 2003, "Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars," [1957], Penguin: London, Revised).[return]

[18] Newman, R.C., 1988, "The Time of the Messiah," in Newman R.C., ed., "The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity," Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, Fourth Printing, 1998, p.111; Newman, R.C., 1997, "Fulfilled Prophecy as Miracle," in Geivett, R.D. & Habermas, G.R., eds., "In Defense of Miracles: A Comprehensive Case for God's Action in History," Apollos: Leicester UK, p.223; Newman, R.C., 2002, "The Time of the Messiah," [1981], IBRI Research Report #9.[return]

[19] The Heb. shebu`im here is literally "sevens." (Harris, R.L., Archer, G.L. & Waltke, B.K., eds, 1980, "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament," Moody Press: Chicago IL, 1992, Twelfth Printing, p.2:899). The Heb. here is masculine, whereas the normal gender of seven, as in a seven-day week, is feminine, thus indicating that time units other than ordinary seven-day weeks is here intended (Archer, G.L., 1982, "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.289). Clearly ordinary weeks of seven days cannot be intended, because then after 70 weeks (i.e. about a year and four months) Daniel would have been discredited as a false prophet (Archer, G.L., "Daniel," in Gaebelein F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, p.121).[return]

[20] Harris, et al., 1980, p.1:393; Archer, 1982, p.289.[return]

[21] Archer, 1982, p.290; Pusey E.B., "Daniel the Prophet. Nine Lectures, of the University of Oxford. With Copious Notes." Funk & Wagnalls: New York NY, 1885, p.189.[return]

[22] 538/537 BC-483=55/54 BC.[return]

[23] This does not fit the liberal anti-supernaturalists' preferred "Anointed One," the High Priest Onias III, who was killed over a century later in 172 BC, and their preferred desecration of the temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes which was in 167 BC (Millard, 1986, p.865; Lindsell, H., ed., 1964, "Harper Study Bible," Revised Standard Version, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, p.1313).[return]

[24] Finegan, 1964, p.212.[return]

[25] Pusey, 1885, pp.188-189.[return]

[26] Finegan, 1964, p.213.[return]

[27] Archer, 1982, p.290.[return]

[28] Archer, 1985, p.114.[return]

[29] -458/457 BC +1+483 = 26/27 AD. The +1 is to adjust for there being no year zero between 1 BC and 1 AD (Newman, 1988, p.117; Archer, 1985, p.114)[return]

[30] Finegan, 1964, p.298; Pusey, 1885, p.189; Archer, 1964, p.387; Archer, 1982, p.291.[return]

[31] Lindsell, 1964, p.1313; Davis, J.D., 1966, "A Dictionary of the Bible," [1898], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth Edition, p.163; Boice, J.M., 1989, "Daniel: An Expositional Commentary," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, p.100.[return]

[32] Archer, 1982, p.290; Archer, 1985, p.114.[return]

[33] Pusey, 1885, pp.188-189.[return]

[34] Harris, et al., 1980, p.1:326; Millard, 1986, p.864.[return]

[35] -445/444 BC +1+483 = 39/40 AD.[return]

[36] Finegan, 1964, p.300; Archer, 1985, p.114.[return]

[37] Davis, 1966, p.163.[return]

[38] Archer, 1985, p.115; Harris, 1957, p.151.[return]

[39] McDowell, J., 1988, "Evidence That Demands a Verdict," [1972], Here's Life Publishers: San Bernardino CA, Revised Edition, Twenty-Ninth printing, Vol. I, p.173.[return]

[40] Archer, 1985, pp.115, 120.[return]

[41] Archer, 1985, pp.115-116; Finegan, 1964, p.300.[return]

[42] See note 31.[return]

[43] Newman, 1988; Newman, 1997, pp.223-224; Newman, 2002.[return]

[44] Newman, 1988, p.118 (emphasis in original). Newman argues that this is "a conventional Jewish idiom in which `after' means `after the beginning of'." But if "After the sixty-two 'sevens'" could mean "after the beginning of the sixty-two 'sevens'" then it could mean anytime within the sixty-two 'sevens'. So whatever "after" may mean in Jewish idiom elsewhere, here "After the sixty-two 'sevens'" must mean after the end of the "sixty-two 'sevens'", i.e. after the 69th `week', in the 70th `week'.[return]

[45] Young, E.J., 1949, "A Commentary on Daniel," The Banner of Truth Trust: Edinburgh, 1978, reprint, pp.206-221.[return]

[46] Josephus, "Jewish Antiquities," 10.11.7, in Whiston, 1999, p.357. My emphasis.[return]

[47] Newman, 1997, p.224.[return]

Copyright © 2005, Stephen E. Jones. All rights reserved.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve does a good job of explaining the prophetic evidence in favor of Christianity. Objective appraisal of evidence by anyone willing to give divine inference a chance draws one to convincing arguments that God's fingerprints are evident in scripture.

Paul

Stephen E. Jones said...

Paul

Thanks for your comment. I assume you are Paul K of my (now terminated) list CED.

PK>Steve does a good job of explaining the prophetic evidence in favor of Christianity.

Daniel's 70 `weeks' (Dn 9:24-27) is only one of *many* such prophecies that prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that Naturalism is false and Christianity is true (see tagline).

PK>Objective appraisal of evidence by anyone willing to give divine inference a chance draws one to convincing arguments that God's fingerprints are evident in scripture.

Agreed. But the problem is that if one's personal philosophy is Naturalism (i.e. nature is all that there is = there is no supernatural), then one is *not able* to give an "objective appraisal of evidence" in respect "God" and His "fingerprints [that] are evident in scripture" and in nature.

For example, when faced with the empirical evidence that Daniel in the 6th century BC, accurately predicted the exact year (27 AD) of the coming of the Messiah and Jesus , the only Messiah claimant who went on to found a world religion (Christianity), did in fact begin His public ministry in 27 AD, metaphysical naturalists either just ignore it (like the proverbial ostrich who put his head in the sand, thinking if it refuses to see danger then it does not exist!); or they fall back on the best (i.e. least worst) naturalistic alternative.

[...]

Steve

PS: One could quibble about the "mathematical probability" figure of 1/840,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000 but the probability would clearly be *astronomical* that 332 predictions in the Old Testament could all be fulfilled in one individual.


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"Canon Liddon is authority for the statement that there are in the Old Testament three hundred and thirty-two distinct predictions which were literally fulfilled in Christ. The mathematical probability that these would all be fulfilled would be represented by a fraction having one for the numerator and eighty-four followed by ninety-seven ciphers as the denominator! This fulfillment of prophecy about Christ and the fulfillment of prophecy in general is one of the strongest lines of proof that the Bible is the Word of God, and will be discussed fully in a later chapter, but at present we wish to point out the fact that these prophecies are not contradictory! Things which in the Old Testament dispensation may have seemed to be contradictory, are seen as history unfolds to be merely references to separate events. For example as the prophets looked forward into time they saw the future events without any sense of perspective, so that things which were really centuries apart in time are often mentioned in the same paragraph. The two comings of Christ were inextricably tangled in Old Testament prophecy. Only the fulfillment of the event enables us to separate the two elements of prophecy. But notice particularly that when we examine the writings of the different prophets, we do not find contradictions between them. If it were only one person composing the messages and giving them to different individuals to put into their own language there could not be greater agreement than there actually is. There is every evidence even in the wording of the prophecies themselves to say nothing of their fulfillment to indicate that there was one Master Mind which inspired the words which each prophet expresses in his own language." (Hamilton F.E., "The Basis of Christian Faith: A Modern Defense of the Christian Religion," [1927], Harper & Brothers: New York NY, Third Edition, 1946, pp.156-157)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol). http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
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Stephen E. Jones said...

AN (cc. CED blog)

Thanks for your comments. As per my long-standing policy on my list CED (now terminated), I do not get involved in private discussions on CED topics because:

"My policy is not to get involved in private discussions on creation/evolution/ID because: a) I don't have the time; and b) I regard these as topics which should be discussed *publicly*." [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/1]

So when I receive private comments on a Creation (including Christianity), Evolution or Design topic, I usually copied my response to the list, after removing any identifying information and replacing the sender's name with "AN" (ANonymous). I will do the same with my blog CED, and add a copy of my response to the comments of my latest blog post (unless it is obviously relating to an earlier post). In your case this is about my lastest blog post on "Daniel prophesy" but I have received another private post this morning that is not about any particular blog post of mine, so I will also add it to comments under my latest blog post. Feel free to respond via my blog comments (you can do so anonymously), otherwise my policy of not getting involved in private discussions on CED topics applies.

--Original Message Text---
From: […]
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 09:54:21 -0700 (PDT)

AN>Glen Miller at the Christian Thinktank also has some great detailed info on the Daniel prophesy. Very compelling stuff. Thanks for the article.
>
>http://www.christian-thinktank.com/q70weeks.html

Thanks for your feedback. Remember that my full argument on Daniel's prophecy of the 70 weeks is on my work-in-progress web page [http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/dn924-27.html].

Steve

PS: This tagline quote by Archer is a one of the best summaries of the evidence for Daniel's prophecy of the 70 `weeks' that I have come across.

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"The prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 is one of the most remarkable long-range predictions in the entire Bible. It is by all odds one of the most widely discussed by students and scholars of every persuasion within the spectrum of the Christian church. And yet when it is carefully examined in the light of all the relevant data of history and the information available from other parts of Scripture, it is quite clearly an accurate prediction of the time of Christ's coming advent and a preview of the thrilling final act of the drama of human history before that advent. Daniel 9:24 reads: `Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy city [i.e., for the nation Israel and for Jerusalem].' The word for `week' is sabuac, which is derived from seba` the word for `seven.' Its normal plural is feminine in form: sebu`ot. Only in this chapter of Daniel does it appear in the masculine plural sabu`im. (The only other occurrence is in the combination sebu`e sebu`ot ['heptads of weeks'] in Ezek. 21:28 [21:23 English text]). Therefore, it is strongly suggestive of the idea `heptad' (a series or combination of seven), rather than a `week' in the sense of a series of seven days. There is no doubt that in this case we are presented with seventy sevens of years rather than of days. This leads to a total of 490 years. At the completion of these 490 years, according to v.24b, there will be six results: (1) `to finish or bring transgression [or 'the sin of rebellion'] to an end'; (2) `to finish [or 'seal up'] sins'; (3) `to make atonement for iniquity'; (4) `to bring in everlasting righteousness'; (5) `to seal up vision and prophecy'; and (6) `to anoint the holy of holies.' ... Daniel 9:25 reads: `And you are to know and understand, from the going forth of the command [or `decree'; lit., `word'-dabar] to restore and [re] build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince [nagid] will be [or 'there are; the Hebrew omits the verb 'to be' in this case] seven heptads and sixty-two heptads.' This gives us two instalments, 49 years and 434 years, for a total of 483 years. Significantly, the seventieth heptad is held in abeyance until v.27. Therefore we are left with a total of 483 between the issuance of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the Messiah. As we examine each of the three decrees issued in regard to Jerusalem by kings subsequent to the time Daniel had this vision (538 B.C., judging from Dan. 9:1), we find that the first was that of Cyrus in 2 Chronicles 36:23: `The LORD, the God of heaven.... has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah' (NASB). This decree, issued in 538 or 537, pertained only to the rebuilding of the temple, not of the city of Jerusalem. The third decree is to be inferred from the granting of Nehemiah's request by Artaxerxes I in 446 B.C., as recorded in Nehemiah 2:5-8. His request was `Send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it.' Then we read, `So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time [for my return to his palace]' (NASB). The king also granted him a requisition of timber for the gates and walls of the city. It should be noted that when Nehemiah first heard from his brother Hanani that the walls of Jerusalem had not already been rebuilt, he was bitterly disappointed and depressed-as if he had previously supposed that they had been rebuilt (Neh. 1:1-4). This strongly suggests that there had already been a previous decree authorizing the rebuilding of those city walls. Such an earlier decree is found in connection with Ezra's group that returned to Jerusalem in 457, the seventh year of Artaxerxes I. Ezra 7:6 tells us: `This Ezra went up from Babylon,... and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the LORD his God was upon him' (NASB; notice the resemblance to Neh. 2:8, the last sentence). According to the following verse, Ezra was accompanied by a good-sized group of followers, including temple singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, and a company of laymen `some of the sons of Israel'). After arriving at Jerusalem, he busied himself first with the moral and spiritual rebuilding of his people (Ezra 7:10). But he had permission from the king to employ any unused balance of the offering funds for whatever purpose he saw fit (v. 18); and he was given authority to appoint magistrates and judges and to enforce the established laws of Israel with confiscation, banishment, or death (v.26). Thus he would appear to have had the authority to set about rebuilding the city walls, for the protection of the temple mount and the religious rights of the Jewish community. In 9:9 Ezra makes reference to this authority in his public, penitential prayer: `For we are slaves; yet in our bondage, our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins, and to give us a *wall* in Judah and *Jerusalem*' (NASB; italics mine). While this `wall' may have been partly a metaphor for `protection,' it seems to have included the possibility of restoring the mural defenses of Jerusalem itself. Unfortunately, we are given no details as to the years that intervened before 446; but it may be that an abortive attempt was made under Ezra' s leadership to replace the outer wall of the city, only to meet with frustration-perhaps from a lack of self-sacrificing zeal on the part of the Jewish returnees themselves or because of violent opposition from Judah's heathen neighbors. This would account for Nehemiah's keen disappointment (as mentioned above) when he heard that `the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire' (Neh. 1:3, NASB). If, then, the decree of 457 granted to Ezra himself is taken as the terminus a quo for the commencement of the 69 heptads, or 483 years, we come out to the precise year of the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah (or Christ): 483 minus 457 comes out to A.D. 26. But since a year is gained in passing from 1 B.C. to A.D. 1 (there being no such year as zero), it actually comes out to A.D. 27. It is generally agreed that Christ was crucified in A.D. 30, after a ministry of a little more than three years. This means His baptism and initial ministry must have taken place in A.D. 27. A most remarkable exactitude in the fulfillment of such an ancient prophecy. Only God could have predicted the coming of His Son with such amazing precision; it defies all rationalistic explanation." (Archer G.L., "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, pp.289-291)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stephen E. Jones said...

In the above comment I wrote:

"I have received another private post this morning that is not about any particular blog post of mine, so I will also add it to comments under my latest blog post."

I have now decided I will respond to that other private post copy to my very first blog post, "Introduction to CED", since that covers (albeit indirectly) the topics "Do you believe in a young or old earth?" and "What about the supposed transitions between ape and men?" raised in it.

A factor in my decision to now comment under an earlier blog, is that I have just received a comment under my "Universe 'too queer' to grasp: Dawkins" of 17 July, so it seems that having comments on earlier blogs is not unusual.

A problem is that it is hard for lurkers who are not registered users to realise that there are comments being made on earlier posts, because they won't receive email notification of them.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Paul

Thanks for your comment. I assume you are Paul K of my (now terminated) list CED.

PK: You're right. Steve managed an active internet discussion group before starting this blog.

PK>Steve does a good job of explaining the prophetic evidence in favor of Christianity.

Daniel's 70 `weeks' (Dn 9:24-27) is only one of *many* such prophecies that prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that Naturalism is false and Christianity is true (see tagline).

PK: Daniel is an important source of prophecy but only one of many. Secular historians provide confirmation of biblical predictions made in advance of historic events. The predictions are so specific in many cases that readers are forced to choose between two rational explanations. Either the predictions are divine revelations or the work of charlatans. The best scholarly evidence supports the former option. God can confirm what reason points to in the hearts and minds of those open to the truth.

PK>Objective appraisal of evidence by anyone willing to give divine inference a chance draws one to convincing arguments that God's fingerprints are evident in scripture.

Agreed. But the problem is that if one's personal philosophy is Naturalism (i.e. nature is all that there is = there is no supernatural), then one is *not able* to give an "objective appraisal of evidence" in respect "God" and His "fingerprints [that] are evident in scripture" and in nature.

For example, when faced with the empirical evidence that Daniel in the 6th century BC, accurately predicted the exact year (27 AD) of the coming of the Messiah and Jesus , the only Messiah claimant who went on to found a world religion (Christianity), did in fact begin His public ministry in 27 AD, metaphysical naturalists either just ignore it (like the proverbial ostrich who put his head in the sand, thinking if it refuses to see danger then it does not exist!); or they fall back on the best (i.e. least worst) naturalistic alternative.

[...]

Steve

PK: Not a very daring approach for those submitting to this straightjacketed reasoning. Abiogenesis (the belief that life can be traced to inorganic chemical origins) is a "least worst naturalistic alternative."

Paul

Stephen E. Jones said...

Paul

[…]

>SJ>Thanks for your comment. I assume you are Paul K of my (now terminated) list CED.

PK>You're right. Steve managed an active internet discussion group before starting this blog.

Welcome `back' to CED!

>>PK>Steve does a good job of explaining the prophetic evidence in favor of Christianity.

>SJ>Daniel's 70 `weeks' (Dn 9:24-27) is only one of *many* such prophecies that prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that Naturalism is false and Christianity is true […]

PK>Daniel is an important source of prophecy but only one of many. Secular historians provide confirmation of biblical predictions made in advance of historic events. The predictions are so specific in many cases that readers are forced to choose between two rational explanations. Either the predictions are divine revelations or the work of charlatans. The best scholarly evidence supports the former option. God can confirm what reason points to in the hearts and minds of those open to the truth.

Agreed. The very fact that anti-supernaturalists had to claim the book of Daniel was a second century `prophecy after the event' is because it "speaks so accurately about the times of Antiochus" (177-174 BC). (see tagline). But in fact the evidence is *overwhelming* that the book of Daniel dates from the 6th century. This alone means that Naturalism (i.e. there is no supernatural) is false. And if Naturalism is false, then evolution's main supporting metaphysical pillar is unavailable. Evolution would then have to stand or fall *solely* on the evidence.

>>PK>Objective appraisal of evidence by anyone willing to give divine inference a chance draws one to convincing arguments that God's fingerprints are evident in scripture.

>SJ>Agreed. But the problem is that if one's personal philosophy is Naturalism (i.e. nature is all that there is = there is no supernatural), then one is *not able* to give an "objective appraisal of evidence" in respect "God" and His "fingerprints [that] are evident in scripture" and in nature.
>>
>>For example, when faced with the empirical evidence that Daniel in the 6th century BC, accurately predicted the exact year (27 AD) of the coming of the Messiah and Jesus , the only Messiah claimant who went on to found a world religion (Christianity), did in fact begin His public ministry in 27 AD, metaphysical naturalists either just ignore it (like the proverbial ostrich who put his head in the sand, thinking if it refuses to see danger then it does not exist!); or they fall back on the best (i.e. least worst) naturalistic alternative.

[...]

PK>Not a very daring approach for those submitting to this straightjacketed reasoning. Abiogenesis (the belief that life can be traced to inorganic chemical origins) is a "least worst naturalistic alternative."

Agreed. See my two "Minimal Cell" posts:

http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/2005/07/minimal-cell-problem-of-evolution-12.html
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/2005/07/minimal-cell-problem-of-evolution-22.html

which no philosophical naturalist has yet been brave (or foolish) enough to comment on!

[…]

Steve

---------------------------------------------
"One of the first critics to deny that Daniel wrote the book bearing his name was Porphyry, a neo-Platonic philosopher of the third century A.D. On a visit to Sicily Porphyry, then about forty years of age, wrote a work in fifteen books entitled Against the Christians. This work is completely lost, but parts of the twelfth book in which Porphyry attacked Daniel have been preserved in Jerome's commentary on Daniel. Porphyry denied that Daniel in the sixth century B.C. was the author of his book, and asserted that it was written by someone who lived in Judaea during the times of Antiochus Epiphanes. The reason which led Porphyry to this conclusion was that the book of Daniel speaks so accurately about the times of Antiochus. Hence, it must be history, not prophecy, since, according to Porphyry, predictive prophecy is impossible (si quid autem ultra opinatus sit, quia futura nescient, esse mentitum) . The author of Daniel lied (mentitum) for the sake of reviving the hope of the Jews of his time. Porphyry's criticism of Daniel, therefore, was based upon his anti--theistic philosophical presuppositions. He thought that predictive prophecy was impossible, hence he denied that Daniel could have uttered such prophecy." (Young E.J., "An Introduction to the Old Testament," [1949], Tyndale Press: London, 1958, reprint, pp.382-383)
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/
---------------------------------------------

Anonymous said...

What about the prophecies in other religions that require less of a convoluted numerology?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>What about the prophecies in other religions that require less of a convoluted numerology?

1. What "prophecies" *exactly*?

2. What "other religions" *exactly*?

It is my understanding that *no* "other religions" have "prophecies" of events that took place hundreds of years later, as Christianity has. So I would appreciate you posting a follow-up comment providing me with details and checkable references to those claimed
"prophecies in other religions" that are comparable to the prophecies of Christianity (e.g. predicting over 500 years in advance (~538BC - 26/27AD) the very *year* the coming of its Messiah, as Daniel in Dan 9:24-27 did).

3. If any one of those "other religions" made accurate supernatural "prophecies" then Naturalism (i.e. nature is all there is = there is no supernatural) would be false.

4. If you believed those "other religions" to be true, then you would be an adherent of at least one of them. If you are not, then why should I accept as true, something that you don't?

5. What "convoluted numerology"? Even if it *was* "convoluted", that would not mean it is false. Some mathematics theorems require hundreds of pages of convoluted reasoning to prove them, but that does not thereby make them false.

But the interpretation of Dan 9:24-27 that yields the *exact year* of the commencement of Jesus' public ministry (26/27AD) is the *simplest*. It comprises only three components:

1) A starting point being the decree of Artaxerxes I in 458/457BC for Ezra to "restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (the only decree that covered that);

2) Time units of normal solar years: 7+62 "sevens" = 69 x 7 = 483 years;

3) An ending point of 483 years -458/457BC + 1 (no year 0) = 26/27AD, the *very year* of the commencement of Jesus' public ministry.

Stephen E. Jones

Guillermo said...

Stephen Jones, you wrote in your article: "But apart from the fact that there is no evidence of the Jews ever using anything other than ordinary 365-day solar years in their calendar...".

It is absurd for you to try to determine what happened almost 2,500 years ago, when you ignore the basic reality that Jewish people have been using a LUNAR calendar for 5,768 years, to the present day. I suggest you read Judaism 101 and the use of the Hebrew calendar before you waste more time.

Moreover, you should understand that the prophecy was for the Jewish people and Jerusalem - "thy people and thy holy city". Not about what Christ would accomplish.

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy".

Are you implying that killing their Messiah fulfilled any of the points stated in the prophecy? On the contrary. Now they have "one week" to reverse their position before God; and that is to accept Christ.

Thank you.

Guillermo

Stephen E. Jones said...

Guillermo

Thanks for your comment.

>... you wrote in your article: "But apart from the fact that there is no evidence of the Jews ever using anything other than ordinary 365-day solar years in their calendar...".

Yes. The reference was "[40] Archer, 1985, pp.115, 120" which state:

"The third possibility for the terminus a quo of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem is the commission granted by the same King Artaxerxes to his cupbearer Nehemiah, in the twentieth year of his reign, i.e., in 446 B.C. The text of decree is found in Nehemiah 2:5-8, which gives the tenor of Nehemiah's request the king. The main object in view is the rebuilding of Jerusalem, with timber to supplied from the royal forest, both for the gates of the fortress and for the walls general. But the problem with this 445 date is that 483 solar years would come to A.D. 38 or 39, which is wrong for the ministry and death of Jesus Christ. But proponents of this view urge that lunar years rather than solar years are intended in :his particular passage. Robert Anderson ([Anderson, R., "The Coming Prince," Hodder & Stoughton: London, 1895,] pp. 67-75) calculated what he called `prophetic years' as consisting of 360 days each. The 360-day year was known, to be sure, in Egypt, Greece, Assyria, and Babylon, all of which made some use of a system of twelve months having 30 days each. All of them, however, used some sort of intercalary month in order to make an approximation to the 365 days of the solar year-whether 5 days added after the twelfth month or an additional month every six or seven years ... It remains completely unsubstantiated that any of Israel's ancient neighbors ever used 360-day years in complete disregard for the solar cycle. Nor did they ever use long series of 360-day years without some form of intercalation. If, then, the Hebrews did this, they would be the only nation in world history ever to do so. … . Certainly in their numerous chronological statements in Kings and Chronicles, the OT authors used nothing but true solar years." (Archer, G.L., "Daniel," in Gaebelein, F.E., ed., "The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel and the Minor Prophets," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1985, Vol. 7, pp.114-115).

and:

"[Dn 9:]*26* As for the Hebrews themselves, it is quite certain from the references to regularity of seasons throughout the OT books that they followed a solar year. If they had followed a 360-day year, with a loss of 5 1/4 days each successive year, it would not have taken very long for the seasons to shift all around the calendar. Thus it would have come about that within every eighteen years the whole season of fall would have shifted to winter (because of the deviation of ninety days that would have accumulated by then). Correspondingly, winter would have shifted to spring, and spring would sizzle with the heat of summer. There is no trace of this in the OT record, but the twelve months of the year fit into the same seasonal rhythm year after year throughout the recorded history of Israel. In Egypt, as we have just seen, that very thing did take place, though over a much slower cycle 1,460 years. That resulted from their using a year of 365 days, ignoring a portion of the additional time (approximately six hours) required by the sun to reach exactly the same position as it had occupied a year before." (Archer, 1985, p.120).

>It is absurd for you to try to determine what happened almost 2,500 years ago,

See above that: 1) pure lunar calendars don't work unless intercalary, i.e. leap, days are inserted to reconcile lunar months of 28 days with a 365 1/4 day solar year; 2) "*If*, then, the Hebrews did this" i.e. there is no evidence that they did "they would be the only nation in world history ever to do so"; and 3) "in their numerous chronological statements in Kings and Chronicles, the OT authors used nothing but true solar years."

>when you ignore the basic reality that Jewish people have been using a LUNAR calendar for 5,768 years, to the present day. I suggest you read Judaism 101 and the use of the Hebrew calendar before you waste more time.

See above.

>Moreover, you should understand that the prophecy was for the Jewish people and Jerusalem - "thy people and thy holy city". Not about what Christ would accomplish.

It does not say that the seventy weeks were "*for* the Jewish people and Jerusalem" but "Seventy weeks are determined *upon*" "the Jewish people and Jerusalem." That is, the prophecy is *about* "the Jewish people and Jerusalem," but it is not necessarily *for* them, in the sense that they would *benefit* (at least in a direct, simplistic sense) from it.

The two are not mutually exclusive. It is about what Messiah (Gk. Christos) would accomplish *in respect* of "the Jewish people and Jerusalem."

>"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy".

Agreed. My post above states: "Daniel 9:24 reads: `Seventy weeks have been determined for your people and your holy city [i.e., for the nation Israel and for Jerusalem]."

>Are you implying that killing their Messiah fulfilled any of the points stated in the prophecy?

Not *only* by "killing their Messiah."

Space does not permit me quoting his arguments and evidence, but I agree with the late Old Testament theologian Edward J. Young, that following Jesus' death, resurrection, ascension and then His sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, "there remained not one of the six items of Daniel 9:24 that was not *fully* accomplished":

"The six items presented in this vs. [Dn 9:24] are all Messianic. This fact settles the terminus ad quem of the prophecy. The termination of the 70 sevens coincides then, not with the times of Antiochus, nor with the end of the present age, the 2nd Advent of our Lord, but with His 1st Advent. `For when our Lord ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit descended, there remained not one of the six items of Daniel 9:24 that was not *fully* accomplished' (Mauro)." (Young, E.J., "A Commentary on Daniel," [1949], Banner of Truth: Edinburgh, 1972, Reprinted, 1978, p.201).

>On the contrary. Now they have "one week" to reverse their position before God; and that is to accept Christ.

The prophecy says nothing about the Jewish people as a whole "revers[ing] their position before God" and "accept[ing] Christ" in that "one week," i.e. the 70th week from AD26/27-33/34. On the contrary, it says "the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing" i.e. He will not have "all which should properly belong to the Messiah" (Young, p.207) and then "The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary," which indicates that the Jewish people as a whole would *not* "reverse their position before God; and … accept Christ".

That Jesus Christ did "confirm a covenant," i.e. the New Covenant (Jer 31:31; Lk 22:20; 1Cor 11:25; 2Cor 3:6; Heb 8:8; 9:15; 12:24) "with *many*" i.e. not all "for one 'seven'" i.e. in the 70th week AD26/27-33/34 and then "In the middle of the 'seven'" i.e. AD30 "he … put an end to sacrifice and offering" by His death, is a fact of Christian history.

I don't know what your position is, but Messianic Jew Michael L. Brown makes the ultimate point that since "the Messiah had to come before the Second Temple was destroyed" which happened in "70 C.E." so either Jesus is the Messiah, "or … there will *never* be a Messiah" (my emphasis):

"The Tanakh [Old Testament] gives clear indications that the Messiah had to come before the Second Temple was destroyed, since the prophets predicted that the Lord himself would visit that Temple [Mal 3:1-5], that its glory would be greater than the glory of the First Temple (Solomon's Temple) .[Hag 2:6-9], and that final atonement would be made before the Second Temple's destruction [Dn 9:24-27] ... But that Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., meaning that either the Messiah came right on schedule, almost two thousand years ago, setting in motion the plan of redemption and deliverance for Israel and the nations, or that there will never be a Messiah, since he failed to come at the appointed, prophesied time. I choose to believe the former." (Brown, M.L., "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Messianic Prophecy Objections," Vol. 3, Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, p.159).

Stephen E. Jones

Guillermo said...

Mr. Jones, thank you for the response to my comments.

I still don't agree with Edward Young's position, and that of millions of other people, regarding the fulfillment of the six items of Daniel 9:24 by taking Jesus Christ's actions as the fulfillment of the prophecies. By simple logic and common sense, why would God punish the Jewish people and scatter them throughout the world for almost two thousand years if they had just accomplished such honorable, transcendent feats? In other words, in this historical case, the actions of Christ and those of the Jewish people ARE mutually exlusive.

Daniel had just prayed to God regarding their captivity in Babylon and their return to Israel; that's when Daniel received the message from the angel. Specifically, it stated that seventy sevens were determined upon the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem TO perform the six items of Daniel 9:24 - they did not perform even one item at the time of Christ. That is precisely why God has brought them back to their land, as was foretold by Daniel and other prophets, at the time of the end. Because of the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish people, Christ said they would not see His face again until they acknowledge his Divinity.

Furthermore, the Diaspora is linked to the time specified by God through Ezequiel and other prophets regarding the rebellion of the people of Israel. Have they finished the transgression, and made an end of sins, or made reconciliation for iniquity? Have they brought in everlasting righteousness or sealed up the vision and prophecy? If they had annointed the Most Holy as their King, they wouldn't have crucified Him; don't you agree? Remember a covenant usually enters two parties into account. Once again, just as in ancient times with the Old Covenant, God has done His part of the covenant; but not the people of Israel. The six items that God/Jesus perfomed, cannot be allocated to the Jewish people. The Jewish people will have to do their part soon; and, may I add, through a lot of suffering.

Guillermo

Stephen E. Jones said...

Guillermo

>By simple logic and common sense, why would God punish the Jewish people and scatter them throughout the world for almost two thousand years if they had just accomplished such honorable, transcendent feats?

Again, the prophecy does not say that "the Jewish people" would accomplish those feats (see below).

>Specifically, it stated that seventy sevens were determined upon the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem TO perform the six items of Daniel 9:24 ...

No, the Hebrew literally reads in my Interlinear Bible": "Seventy weeks are decreed AS TO your people and AS TO your holy city ..."

>they did not perform even one item at the time of Christ ...

Which only shows that it was not "they" who performed those items, but "Christ".

So the answer to your question "why would God punish the Jewish people and scatter them throughout the world for almost two thousand years?" is the message of the New Testament: that YHWH Himself took upon human flesh and came to the Jewish people as their promised Messiah in the Person of Jesus, but as the prophets foretold, they not only rejected Him, but *killed* Him.

Read the Apostle Peter's address to his fellow Jews in Jerusalem in Acts 2:22-41 explaining what they had done, but that they could still repent, and accept Jesus as their crucified but risen and ascended Messiah.

Which thousands of Jews did then, and many more hundreds of thousands of Jews have done down through the centuries, and are still doing, in increasing numbers, today.

Stephen E. Jones

Guillermo said...

Mr. Jones,

you wrote previously: "It does not say that the seventy weeks were "*for* the Jewish people and Jerusalem" but "Seventy weeks are determined *upon* "the Jewish people and Jerusalem." That is, the prophecy is *about* the Jewish people and Jerusalem...".

Now you say "AS TO". Which one is it?

On the other hand,with respect to Daniel 9:24, you state that "the prophecy does not say that "the Jewish people" would accomplish those feats". Where does it say that Christ would?

Remember also that in Hebrew, the scriptures refer to Messiah THE KING, and later, they talk about a prince who is to come. That prince was mentioned by Christ Himself. He told the Jewish people that there would be one coming in his own name; and he said the Jewish people would accept (as King).

Guillermo

Stephen E. Jones said...

Guillermo

As per my Policies above: "Since I no longer debate ... any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under that post, and then I will let him/her have the last word."

Any further responses by me would be debating, so you have had the last word.

Thanks again for your comments.

Stephen E. Jones

Anonymous said...

The prophetic years are always 360 days not 365. This is why the decree that God mentions is actually the third of his 3. The 483 years starts at 445 bc and goes to 32/33 ad. It is 7 years less becuase of the 360 day calendar. We see this again in the book of revelation.
The 3 1/2 year period that the antichrist has control is also equated to 42 months or 1260 days. This 1260 which is equated with the half the 7 year period would be 360 day years for this to work out. Shout out to all the believers.
Brian.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Brian

Thanks for your comment.

>The prophetic years are always 360 days not 365.

The term "prophetic years" means 360-day years, but there is no evidence that when a prophecy says "years" it "always" (or even usually meant years of "360 days not 365". And in particular there is no evidence in this prophecy of Daniel (Dn 9:24-27) that by "sevens," seven 360-day "prophetic years" are meant.

>This is why the decree that God mentions is actually the third of his 3.

This is forcing onto Scripture a preconceived view of what it must mean. There is no evidence in the prophecy itself that "prophetic years" of "360 days" are meant.

>The 483 years starts at 445 bc and goes to 32/33 ad. It is 7 years less becuase of the 360 day calendar.

The starting point of the 7+62+1 "sevens" was "the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (Dn 9:25). But the decree of Artaxerxes I in 445/444 BC was only to rebuild Jerusalem's "wall"(Neh 2:1-4:23; 6:1-16). Dn 9:24-27 does not even mention "wall." That was a mistranslation by the KJV of Dn 9:25 "the street shall be built again and the wall ..." But the Heb. charuwts rendered "wall" by the KJV actually means "trench" (as in NIV), i.e. a moat. A "moat" presumably is the final stage of fortification of an ancient city after its wall was built, so, together with rechob "width" (i.e. the temple plaza or main street), it evidently refers to "the complete restoration of the city" (Young, E.J., "Daniel," 1949, p.206).

Also, "32/33 AD" overshoots when "the Anointed One [Messiah]... comes" which was at the end of the "seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens'" (Dn 9:25), i.e. the 69th seven. Then the Messiah was to be "cut off" "After the sixty-two 'sevens,'" i.e. after the 7+62 = 69 sevens, i.e. in the 70th seven.

Verse 27 says that "In the middle of the 'seven'" i.e. the 70th seven, "he will put an end to sacrifice and offering." If that is Jesus' ending of the Jewish sacrificial system by His death on the cross (Jn 19:30; Heb 7:27; 9:26,28; 10:1,10), then it would be 32/33 + 3 = 35/36 AD. But because of the Passover (which is dependent on the full moon) beginning on a Friday only in AD 30 or 33 in that decade, Jesus had to have crucified in either of those years (see "Can you date the crucifixion of Jesus Christ using astronomy?"), with AD 30 being the most likely.

>We see this again in the book of revelation.
The 3 1/2 year period that the antichrist has control is also equated to 42 months or 1260 days. This 1260 which is equated with the half the 7 year period would be 360 day years for this to work out. [...]

While the period of "a time, times and half a time", "1,260 days" and "42 months" (Rev 11:2-3, 12:6,14) appear to be the same period: i.e. "times" = 2 years + time = 1 year and "half a time" = 1/2 year, i.e. 3 years 6 months = 42 months and 1260/3.5 = 360; and the term "a time, times and half a time" is probably based on Dn 7:25; 12:7, there is no evidence this has anything to do with the "sevens" time unit in Dn 9:24-27.

As pointed out in the blog post above, the starting point of the decree of Artaxerxes I in 458/457 BC (Ezr 7:7-26) and "sevens" time unit of ordinary years, fits all the facts, including the beginning of Jesus' public ministry in AD 26/27AD and His crucifixion in AD 30.

>Shout out to all the believers.
Brian.

Amen!

Stephen E. Jones

NJK Project said...

The following Biblical exposition on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel may be of interest here.

http://njkproject.blogspot.com/2008/07/biblical-interpretation-of-daniels-70.html

God Bless!

Stephen E. Jones said...

NJK Project

>The following Biblical exposition on the Seventy Weeks of Daniel may be of interest here.
>Daniel's 70 Weeks (Dan. 9:1-27)

Thanks for this, which I was not aware of.

I agree with most, but not all, of the points as summarised. We agree that it was the decree of Artaxerxes I in 457BC (Ezr 7:7-26) that was the starting point of the 70 weeks.

But I disagree that Jesus was crucified in AD31, since astronomical calculations show that the Passover was on a Friday only in AD30 and 33 of that period.

My interpretation therefore is that the calculation is: (7+62)x 7 = 483 - 457/458 +1 (no year 0) = 27/26 AD being the end of the 69 weeks and the year of Jesus' baptism/start of His public ministry.

The 70th week would therefore be from 28/27 - 34/33 AD and so Jesus' being cut off in the middle of the 70th week (Dn 9:26-27) would therefore be in 31/30 AD, with 30AD being my interpretation based on all the evidence, Biblical, historical and scientific.

I have ordered Brempong Owusu-Antwi's book, "The Chronology of Daniel 9:24-47" so that I can better understand his evidence and arguments.

Thanks again for this information.

Stephen E. Jones

NJK Project said...

Hello Stephen Jones,

I just noticed your response to my post today.

Your welcome for the book reference. As you can probably now see for yourself from Dr. Owusu-Antwi work, it is quite a valuable exegetical resource on the 70 Week Prophecy.

In regards to trying to determine the year of the crucifixion based upon astronomical recalculations, as Owusu-Antwi points out on pp. 320-321, this method is not conclusive because of the very likely discrepancy that may exist between a scientific recalculation today and the practical observations back then, involving the visual observation of the new moon, as, mainly, weather permitted. That is why I have solely relied upon the internal evidence mentioned in the Bible/Gospels to determine Christ’s crucifixion, as mentioned on my blog post.

Thanks,
NJK Project

Stephen E. Jones said...

NJK Project

>Dr. Owusu-Antwi work, it is quite a valuable exegetical resource on the 70 Week Prophecy.

Agreed, although I have only dipped into it.

>... trying to determine the year of the crucifixion based upon astronomical recalculations ... is not conclusive because of the ... discrepancy ... between a scientific recalculation today and the practical observations back then, involving the visual observation of the new moon ...

This is a flaw in his and your argument that Jesus was crucified in AD 31, being based on an Argument from Ignorance, that the Jewish astronomers must have missed the first appearance of the New Moon for the expected Passover month in the year that Jesus was crucified.

But the science of determining when was the earliest visible New Moon would already have been thousands of years old in the first century, and therefore the Jewish astronomers would know when the New Moon would have appeared, 29.5 days after the last New Moon appearance, if they themslves were unable to see it because of cloud, etc. And they would have had multiple back up observation points (see below), as well as the next days' sundown(s) to confirm it.

As the Biblical chronologist Jerome Johnson pointed out, all that was required was for "two creditable witnesses" among "hundreds of thousands of observers" and "Judea was a desert":

"... to establish the beginning of a new month only two creditable witnesses were required, and there would have probably been hundreds of thousands of observers since the entire population of Judea would have been interested in the establishment of the beginning of the new month. ... Also, much of the area of Judea was a desert with practically no air or light pollution." (Johnson, J.R., "At the Right Time: Dating the Events of the New Testament," Bathkol Books: Havre de Grace MD, 1999, p.434)

Also, the Jewish rationalists, the Sadducees, were effectively in charge of the Temple, and they would not have let a failure to observe the New Moon because of cloud, etc, wreck their control over proceedings on one of the most important days of the Jewish calendar.

It would throw their entire calendar out of synchronization for that year if the Passover was moved unexpectedly (i.e. with only two week's notice) to the next month (and what if it was then missed again?).

There were a lot of things relying on the Passover being held at the expected time, not least the tens of thousands of pilgrims, some of whom would have had to leave their homes weeks before, and the Roman Government's planning, e.g. the Roman Governor Pilate lived in Caesarea and he would have had to plan ahead for himself and extra Roman troops to be in Jerusalem for the Passover.

>That is why I have solely relied upon the internal evidence mentioned in the Bible/Gospels to determine Christ’s crucifixion, as mentioned on my blog post.

This is a weakness, not a strength. The stronger position is that in which both the Biblical and scientific evidence agree.

Stephen

NJK Project said...

Stephen Jones,

Interesting comments however, as, probably, also with Dr. Owusu-Antwi, based upon his cited references, my conclusion here is based on the historically substantiated study of Roger T. Beckwith, among others scholars who have shown that the Jews actually did not use Scientifically reckoned calender until sometime between the 4th to 7th centuries A.D. (See Beckwith, Cautionary Notes on the Use of Calenders and Astronomy to Determine the Chronology of the Passion, in Chronos, Kairos and Christos, p. 183ff) [readable online in Google books]. That study addresses all of the counter arguments you have made above with the actual historical Jewish practices and developments. There is also the issue of intercalary months which was similarly based upon tangible observations and not scientific reckonings.

When all chronological points are considered together, the internal data mentioned in the Gospel is both (1) the most reliable source of dating information and (2) the information that best fits into the precise chronology of the Seventy Weeks.

NJK Project

Stephen E. Jones said...

NJK Project

>the Jews actually did not use Scientifically reckoned calender until sometime between the 4th to 7th centuries A.D. ...

Thanks for that reference. I have long intended to buy that book but it is too expensive. I did not realise it is online at Google books.

I have noted key assumptions in both Owusu-Antwis' and Beckwith's arguments, that are in my opinion flawed and invalidate that part of their arguments.

My position remains that the theory which best fits all the facts, Biblical, historical and scientific, is that Jesus was born in late 5BC, baptised at age 30 in late AD26, began His public ministry in early AD27, and was crucified in AD30.

The latter being one of the two years (AD30 and 33) that astronomers have worked out that the Passover would fall on a Sabbath (sundown Friday).

This agrees with the overall theory which I argue for, that the starting point of Daniel's 70 weeks was the decree in the 7th year of Artaxerxes I in 457BC, for Ezra to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Ezr 7:7-26).

Therefore:

* the first 7 weeks (457-409BC), included Artaxerxes I's decree (457BC) and the restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem (Dn 9:25) by Ezra and Nehemiah;

* the next 62 weeks (408BC-26AD) (Dn 9:25-26), included the birth of the Messiah Jesus in late 5BC, His baptism at about age 30 (Lk 3:23) in late AD26, and;

* the next and last 1 week, the 70th (AD27-33), included the beginning of Jesus' public ministry proper in early AD27 (Lk 4:14-20), His crucifixion in the middle of the 70th week (Dn 9:26-27) in AD30, thus establishing a New Covenant (Jer 31:31; Lk 22:20; 1Cor 11:25; 2Cor 3:6; Heb 8:8; 9:15; 12:24), the stoning of Stephen and persecution of Christians (Acts 7-8:3), toward the end of the 70th week (AD33).

This final rejection by Judaism of Messiah in His followers (Acts 9:4; 22:7; 26:14) in and after the 70th week set in train Messiah's destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple through the Romans in AD70 (Dn 9:26-27).

But, as I state in my Policies section in the front page of each of my three blogs, I have a long-standing policy of not debating at length points on the Internet because I have found it to be an almost complete waste of time.

If I ever write a book on Daniel's 70 weeks, I will point out what seem to me those flaws in Owusu-Antwis' and Beckwith's arguments, amongst others. I will leave it up to my readers to make up their own minds whether I am right or wrong. "Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." (Rom 14:5 KJV)!

Stephen

NJK Project said...

Hello Stephen Jones,

I can understand your policy of limiting the online discussions, as it has necessitated me over 600+ book pages to fully and documentedly bring out the Biblical Interpretation of Daniel’s 70 Weeks. It has also been my experience that, as not all arguments can be fully made online, it indeed can be a waste of time.

Interestingly enough, I agree with virtually most of the Biblical/Historical events that you have seen fulfill the 70 Weeks of Daniel, however in many of the dates you give for these events they are in my researched view off by a year. I recommend, if you have not done so already, that you also take into full chronological consideration e.g., the “Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Ceasar”, the date of the first Passover in Christ’s Ministry, the chronology of Pauls’ Ministry, among other pertinently datable events.

Also my studies have led me to see that using the year of Christ’s birth for the chronology of his ministry is not possible. According to these studies Jesus was probably born in ca. 8 B.C.

See: The Actual Year of Christ’s Birth

In regards to Beckwith position, while he does qualify his conclusion with “It seems...”, in my opinion, it is this conclusion that is best corroborated by the historical data available.

Indeed everyone must decide for themselves based upon the supporting facts presented.

NJK Project

Stephen E. Jones said...

NPK Project

>It has also been my experience that, as not all arguments can be fully made online, it indeed can be a waste of time.

Agreed. That is why the above is your last word on this topic. Any further responses by you won't appear.

>many of the dates you give for these events they are in my researched view off by a year.

Thanks for your view. I will bear it in mind.

But because your view leads to major problems, e.g. the date of Jesus' crucifixion is not 30 or 33 BC, the only two years that astronomers have calculated the Passover and Sabbath coincided, in the time-frame that Jesus could have been crucified according to other Biblical data, I prefer to stick with my view outlined above, which is largely (but not entirely) based on Finegan's chronology and also on the views of historians like F.F. Bruce.

>you also take into full chronological consideration e.g., the “Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Ceasar”, the date of the first Passover in Christ’s Ministry, the chronology of Pauls’ Ministry, among other pertinently datable events.

I have already done that. But I cannot down here in comments state what they are: a) because of space; and b) because that would lead to a further response by you disputing those points, which I would then feel obliged to counter-respond to, ...

>According to these studies Jesus was probably born in ca. 8 B.C.

This causes problems with other Biblical data. I prefer to stick with 5BC.

>Beckwith ... does qualify his conclusion with “It seems...” in my opinion ...

This shows that chronology is not an exact science but involves the reconciliation of often conflicting data into a reconstructed plausible whole. Which in turn requires value judgments about which of those data are the most significant and accurate.

>Indeed everyone must decide for themselves based upon the supporting facts presented.

Agreed. Thanks again for your comments which I will certainly bear in mind if and when I write a book on Daniel's 70 weeks.

Stephen

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask your views as to whether the phrase "seventy sevens" in Daniel could mean "seventy blocks of years ending in the number seven" or "seventy groups of multiple weeks" as opposed to "seventy blocks of seven years'? Thank you.

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>I would like to ask your views as to whether the phrase "seventy sevens" in Daniel could mean

The Hebrew in Dn 9:24 is "sevens seventy," i.e. seventy sevens.

>"seventy blocks of years ending in the number seven"

Definitely not. The Heb. does not say anything about "ending in the number seven." See above.

>or "seventy groups of multiple weeks"

No. "Seventy groups of" sevens. Not "weeks" in the normal sense of seven days because the word "sevens" here is masculine, whereas in a week of seven days it is feminine.

Therefore something other than weeks of seven days is intended, e.g. weeks of years. See my post above.

>as opposed to "seventy blocks of seven years'? Thank you.

The text does not actually say "years" but "Seventy blocks of seven" (to use your words).

But see above that sevens of years are interpreted since ordinary weeks of seven days have a different gender.

Also seventy weeks of days is only about a year and a quarter and Jerusalem clearly was not restored and rebuilt in that short time, and Daniel would have been a false prophet. See my post above.

As explained in my post above, the time period of "sevens" that fits all the facts are `weeks' of ordinary solar 365 day years, plus leap years (which the Jews did in their own way to keep their lunar calendar adjusted to the Sun), i.e. 70 x 7 = 490 years.

Stephen E. Jones

Christian Gedge said...

Thank you for this article and for the precision. It has been a muddled subject in the past because of a poorly defined crucifixion date. Have you ever seen evidence for the date, 7th April AD30?

Stephen E. Jones said...

Christian Gedge

>Thank you for this article and for the precision.

Thanks for your comment.

>It has been a muddled subject in the past because of a poorly defined crucifixion date.

Agreed. The primary problem for the determining the chronology of the life of Jesus appears to be Luke's statement that John the Baptist's ministry began in "In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar":

Lk 3:1-3. 3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Since Augustus died in AD 14, the fifteenth year of his successor Tiberias would normally be AD 29. That would support Jesus' death to have been in AD 33.

But apart from that creating a problem with Dn 9:24-27, it also creates problems with the rest of New Testament history, e.g. the conversion of Paul.

Tiberias actually began his reign as co-regent with Augustus in AD 11:

"[Lk 3:1] Luke begins with an elaborate dating: set, not at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, but at the beginning of that of John ... As Augustus died on 19 August AD 14, the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar was August AD 28 - August AD 29. Some argue that the starting-point-should be that of Tiberius's co-regentship with Augustus, AD 11-12; but no example appears to be cited of anyone ever dating from this point ... Others hold that Luke is using the Syrian method whereby the year began on 1 October. The period 19 August-30 September would be counted as the first year of the reign, with the second beginning on 1 October. This brings us to the year beginning 1 October AD 27. If he followed a similar Jewish system the year would be that beginning Nisan 1 (March-April) AD 28. It does not seem as though we can get closer than about AD 27-29." (Morris, L.L., "The Gospel According to Luke," Tyndale, 1986, p.93).

From the point of view of his provincial subjects, Tiberias' fifteenth year as their king was AD 26.

As Morris indicates above, another possibility is that Luke (who was probably a Syrian Gentile - Col 4:10-14) is referrring the Syrian method of reckoning regnal years, which Bruce favours:

"The crucifixion of Christ took place, it is generally agreed, about AD 30. According to Luke iii. 1, the activity of John the Baptist, which immediately preceded the commencement of our Lord's public ministry, is dated in `the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar'. Now, Tiberius became emperor in August, AD 14, and according to the method of computation current in Syria, which Luke would have followed, his fifteenth year commenced in September or October, AD 27 [The method in Syria, retained from the days of the Seleucid kings, was to reckon the start of a new regnal year in September-October. As Tiberius became emperor in August, AD 14, his second regnal year would thus be regarded as beginning in September-October of the same year. The Passover of Jn. ii. 13 ff. accordingly was that of March, AD 28, and this agrees with the chronological indication of ii. 20, for Herod's temple was commenced in 20-19 BC, and 46 years from that brings us to AD 27-28]. The fourth Gospel mentions three Passovers after this time; [Jn. ii. 13, vi. 4, xi. 55 ff.] the third Passover from that date would be the Passover of AD 30, at which it is probable on other grounds that the crucifixion took place. At this time, too, we know from other sources that Pilate was Roman governor of Judaea, Herod Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee, and Caiaphas was Jewish high priest. " (Bruce, F.F., "The New Testament Documents. Are They Reliable?," 1990, pp.11-12).

[continued]

Stephen E. Jones said...

[continued]

>Have you ever seen evidence for the date, 7th April AD30?

Yes. Jesus' crucifixion on "Friday Apr 7, A.D. 30" is the date favoured by the leading Bible chronologist Jack Finegan:

"According to all four Gospels the sequence of events at the end of the life of Jesus appears to have been as follows in terms of days of the week: Thursday evening, the last supper; Friday, the crucifixion; Saturday, the day of rest; Sunday, the resurrection. According to the Johannine representation, with which we think the Synoptic is reconcilable, the last meal of Jesus and the disciples took place on the evening before the evening of the passover meal as celebrated by official Judaism, and the death of Jesus took place on the same day as the slaying of the passover lambs in official Jerusalem practice, namely on the fourteenth day of Nisan, a calendar date which in that year fell on a Friday. Given these two facts, that the crucifixion was on Nisan 14 and on a Friday, it is possible by astronomical and calendrical calculation to determine the years, within the probable range of years in question, in which the Jewish calendar date of Nisan 14 would fall on the day of the week which we call Friday. The result of this investigation ... is that the two dates which are possible, astronomically and calendrically, for the crucifixion are: Friday Apr 7, A.D. 30, and Friday Apr 3, A.D. 33.... The data summarized in the preceding paragraphs are capable of being incorporated in three different chronological schemes of the life of Jesus ... Of the three the first makes it possible to take Lk 3:23 in the most exact sense of the words `about thirty' and to take Jn 2:20 in what may be the most natural sense of these words as counting forty-six years from the time when Herod began the rebuilding of the Temple in 19/18 B.C. ... All together it appears that some preference may be given to the first chronological scheme of the life of Jesus." (Finegan, J., "Handbook of Biblical Chronology," 1964, pp.299-300).

Stephen E. Jones
-----------------------------------
Comments are moderated. Those I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. Each individual will usually be allowed only one comment under each post. Since I no longer debate, any response by me will usually be only once to each individual under each post.

Anonymous said...

Would you accept that this 'proof' relies on the assumption that the bible is true? what I mean is that if someone does not believe in God, then they also will disregard the divine inspiration of the prophecy, or the divinity of jesus. ie one ancient folk tale connects to another, big deal. It is only proof if you believe all that is written. these aren't necessarily my views, just curious. thanks

Stephen E. Jones said...

Anonymous

>Would you accept that this 'proof' relies on the assumption that the bible is true?

Only in the sense that any ancient historical writing which purports to give an accurate record of something that happened is true.

>what I mean is that if someone does not believe in God, then they also will disregard the divine inspiration of the prophecy, or the divinity of jesus.

Agreed that if someone does not WANT to accept the evidence: 1) that there is a God; 2) that the Bible contains fulfilled prophecy; and 3) that Jesus is God, who took upon a human nature to save from their sins all those who put their trust in Him (Jn 1:1; 14; 3:16); then they will not accept the proof from the precise fulfilment to the very year of the prophecy of Daniel's 70 `weeks'; that Christianity is true and Naturalism is false.

But then they are, like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, DELUDING themselves, and when they appear before the judgement seat of Jesus (2Cor 5:10; Mt 25:31-32; Rom 14:10; Acts 10:42), as we all will, their punishment will be greater than it otherwise would have been (Mt 11:20-24; Lk 12:48; Jn 9:41).

>ie one ancient folk tale connects to another, big deal. It is only proof if you believe all that is written.

See above.

>these aren't necessarily my views, just curious. Thanks

I don't believe you.

Stephen E. Jones
-------------------------------
Policies Those comments I consider off-topic, offensive or sub-standard will not appear. As this blog is now inactive (see "my last post to this blog"), I am not debating comments under posts on it. So each individual will be allowed only one comment under each post and any response by me will be only once to that individual under that post. Further comments under that post by that individual (or if anonymous who I assume is that individual) simply won't appear.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Stephen,
(my name's Ben, forgot to say in last post)

as for not believing that those weren't my beliefs, let me assure you I was simply playing devil's advocate I.e. these are the kind of viewpoints I've heard and I wondered how would you respond to them.this prophecy is new to me and it was genuine curiosity that lead me to comment.

thanks again

Stephen E. Jones said...

Ben

>as for not believing that those weren't my beliefs, let me assure you I was simply playing devil's advocate

When you PLAY the devil's advocate, without stating upfront that is what you are doing, you ARE being the devil's advocate!

>I.e. these are the kind of viewpoints I've heard and I wondered how would you respond to them.

You should have stated that UPFRONT, and not misled me.

>this prophecy is new to me and it was genuine curiosity that lead me to comment.

OK.

Read my post above again. In summary:

1. Daniel's prophecy of the "seventy weeks" (Dn 9:24-27) is in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, which was completed by the second century BC. So it cannot be dismissed as a `prophecy after the event'.

2. Taking the objectively best starting point, the decree of the seventh year of the Persian King Artaxerxes I (465-424 BC) in 458/457 BC, to allow Ezra the Scribe (480–440 BC), to take with him a large group of exiles "to restore and rebuild Jerusalem" (Dn 9:25);

3. Using `weeks' of ordinary years;

4. Both 2. and 3. are confirmed by the latter being the first "seven weeks" (Dn 9:25), i.e. 7 x 7 = 49 years, when Jerusalem was restored and rebuilt up to the beginning of the Intertestamental Period ~ 409 BC; and

5. It `just happens' to work out to the very year that Jesus began His public ministry (end of AD 26/beginning of AD 27): -458/457 + (69 x 7 = 483) +1 (no year 0) = 26/27.

6. And Jesus, "the Messiah" (Heb "anointed one" = Gk. Christ) `just happened' to be "cut off" (Dn 9:26) in the in the midst of the 70th week (Dn 9:26), i.e. AD 27-34, i.e. AD 30;

7. And Jerusalem `just happened' to be destroyed in 70 AD, only 40 years after that.

It is only anti-Christian/anti-supernatural (i.e. naturalistic) prejudice which prevents Daniel's 70 `weeks' being accepted for what it actually is: a genuine predictive prophecy which PROVES beyond reasonable doubt that: 1) Naturalism (the denial of the supernatural) is false; and 2) Christianity is true!

As I said, this can be ignored and/or denied, but only in the same way that the proverbial ostrich can deny the reality it doesn't want to face up to. But the reality is still there, irrespective of whether the ostriches refuse to see it, and that reality, Jesus: God the Son, whose coming was predicted to the very year over 500 years in advance, by the prophet Daniel, will inevitably catch up with them.

Stephen E. Jones