Thursday, September 15, 2011

The hermeneutics of Jesus and his followers V

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to interpret the scripture just as Jesus did? Wouldn’t it be helpful to use Jesus hermeneutic in all biblical interpretation? Is it possible to understand and employ Jesus hermeneutic? If Jesus had a specific hermeneutic and, if we could understand it, why wouldn’t the followers of Jesus use his hermeneutic only? The answers to all of these questions should be a resounding yes/of course. Jesus most definitely taught his followers a unique distinctive hermeneutic so I will try to uncover it.

Looking at Jesus and his followers presuppositions:
#2 The end of the age was nigh i.e, it was within the first century time frame. All of the Old Testament prophecies were about to be fulfilled in the first century time frame

Were Jesus and his first century followers expecting the end of the age to be the end of the space time continuum? Why would anyone think they were? You can lay it partially at the feet of the King James translators and partially at the use of metaphor and hyperbole.

Matt KJV 24:3  “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

The above verse from the KJV translates the Greek word aeon to be world when it should have been translated age. Aeon is an age not a world. So then, Jesus and his followers like all the Pharisees and many other Jews were expecting an imminent (within their generation) end of the age. Likewise they were looking forward to Olam Ha Ba, the age to come. It is safe to say that none of them were expecting a cataclysmic end of the world. Even though you see language like the elements burning and melting it was not meant to be literal. In Jewish prophecy it was metaphoric and hyperbole. Stars falling, coming on clouds etc. were merely prophetic figures of speech.

They were however, expecting a regeneration of the world. They were expecting God to make all things new and establish the age to come. One of the principle prophecies of the time that pointed to this was Daniel 9:24-27.  The seventy weeks put the fulfillment of the prophecy in their time frame.

Here is Daniel 9:24 in bulleted form:
Dan 9:24  "Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city,
  • to finish the transgression,
  • to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity,
  • to bring in everlasting righteousness,
  • to seal both vision and prophet,
  • and to anoint a most holy place.

This is one of the main reasons that there is so much imminent expectation in the New Testament writings. Here are a list of some of the blog posts that have dealt with the end of the age.

Check these posts out and you will see the presuppositions that Jesus and his followers brought to their understanding of scripture concerning the end of the age.

1 comment:

  1. You stated that stars falling, coming on clouds, etc were merely prophetic figures of speech. I just find it hard to believe that when Jesus comes back He will not be coming from, in, on, through the clouds. Matthew 24:26-27 tells us that He won't be out in the desert or in a room, but for as the lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. And verse 30 says, and they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    So if He is not coming in this way, how is He coming back? How will His presence be known and seen for all the world to see if He is not coming Heaven bound?


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