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Old 06-08-2001, 11:22 PM   #1
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Smile atheist, skeptic, agnostic views on this?

I came across a seminar on the Daniel 9 prophecy and found it very interesting. What is your take on all this?

Summary:
Jesus’ death was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. In Luke 24:44-46 it says that all things must be fulfilled. In I Corinthians 15:3 Paul writes that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (Old Testament).
While in exile, Daniel wrote about a message (prophecy) delivered by the angel Gabriel. The date was around 600BC. The prophecy states that from the time the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks until the Messiah. The term ‘week’ (shebua) was used as a measure of seven. In the prophecy of Daniel, he referred to what we know as weeks as “weeks of days”. To just say weeks was clearly his way of saying units of seven years. This is known through background, common sense, and context. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem came from Artaxerxes in 444BC. The month is also given (Nisan) which is about the end of March.
Once the number of years (476 lunar years) is added to the date of the decree and another year is added to make up for the year “zero”, we find that the prophecy was to be fulfilled in March of 33AD. It was at that time that Jesus made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before being arrested and crucified. The prophecy was fulfilled exactly through Jesus.

While listening to the lecture and taking notes I was amazed at all the detail that came along with interpreting the prophecy. It is clear that many scholars have poured time into analyzing the prophecy and the person it clearly points to as the Messiah is Jesus Christ. There is none other that even come close.
It is always amazing to me to see how much evidence God has given to us regarding the truth of the Scriptures and the fact that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.

What is the response from the point of view of an atheist, agnostic, or a skeptic?
 
Old 06-08-2001, 11:55 PM   #2
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As an atheist and a skeptic, my response would be: move this thread into BC&A, it has nothing to do with this forum.
 
Old 06-09-2001, 04:09 AM   #3
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The best attempt I have yet seen by an atheist to dispute this prophesy was that Jesus knew about it and purposely fulfilled it. Personally, I didn't think much of this explanation. Does anyone want to tell me why I should, or try to provide a better one?
 
Old 06-09-2001, 05:37 AM   #4
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- Could I have a book/chapter/verse reference for the Daniel prophecy, please?

Firstly, based on what you've written , I'd like to dispute the seminar's claim that Daniel meant 'years'. If shebua means 'measures of seven', and elsewhere Daniel refers to a week as a 'measure of seven days', then there's no way you can know how long just a 'measure of seven' is. It could be a measure of seven years, but it could also be a measure of seven months, weeks, centuries, you name it.

But even if it is taken as read that Daniel meant years rather than weeks in his prophecy, there is still a problem with the date it predicts.

Matthew chapter 2, verse 1 states:
"In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men came from the East, asking..."

The above quote indicates that Matthew thought that Jesus was born under the reign of King Herod. Herod the Great died in March/April 4 BC.

If you accept what Matthew says, and you accept that Jesus rode into Jerusalem in his early thirties (33, by your reckoning), then Jesus could not have ridden into Jerusalem any later than 29 AD. This puts the prophecy out by 4 years.

So to start with, it looks like what Daniel has said has been misrepresented by the seminar you went to. Secondly, even after the prophecy has been messed about with, it still predicts a date several years later than Jesus' death.

[This message has been edited by Mendeh (edited June 09, 2001).]
 
Old 06-09-2001, 06:12 AM   #5
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by tallskinnyguy:
[b]I came across a seminar on the Daniel 9 prophecy and found it very interesting. What is your take on all this?

While in exile, Daniel wrote about a message (prophecy) delivered by the angel Gabriel. The date was around 600BC.

To start with, Daniel is generally considered second-century. And it is almost certainly fiction set in a historical setting.

"Daniel, extolled for his upright character, is presented as a model for the persecuted community. The unknown author may have drawn inspiration from Ugaritic and Phoenician sources that speak of a legendary figure notable for his righteousness and wisdom."

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=29171&tocid=0

The prophecy states that from the time the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks until the Messiah. The term ‘week’ (shebua) was used as a measure of seven. In the prophecy of Daniel, he referred to what we know as weeks as “weeks of days”. To just say weeks was clearly his way of saying units of seven years. This is known through background, common sense, and context. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem came from Artaxerxes in 444BC. The month is also given (Nisan) which is about the end of March.

You've got some serious problems with dates and names. From the Catholic Encyclopedia on Jerusalem:

In 536 B.C. Cyrus, King of Persia, authorized the Jews to return to Palestine and rebuild the Temple of the Lord (I Esd., i, 1-4). The first convoy, consisting of 42,000 Jews, was dispatched under the leadership of Zorobabel, a prince of Juda. They hastened to restore the altar of holocausts, and in the second year the foundations were laid for another temple, which, however, owing to the difficulties raised by the Samaritans and other neighbouring peoples, was not completed until the sixth year of the reign of Darius (514). The old men could not restrain their tears when they saw the unpretentious character of the new building. In 458, under Artaxerxes I, Esdras came to Jerusalem with 1500 Jews as governor of Judea and completed the political and religious restoration of Israel. Thirteen years later Nehemias, with the authorization of Artaxerxes, completely restored the Holy City.

See also:

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article...06&tocid=73234
http://www.britannica.com/eb/article...241&tocid=1715
http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=44556&tocid=0

In short, your claims are nonsense. The rebuilding of the Temple was authorized by Cyrus and re-authorized by Darius I, and completed under him in 515 or 514, not 444. You're off by about 70 years. But fear not! I am sure some way can be found to re-interpret the prophecy to fit anyone you want.

Once the number of years (476 lunar years) ....

I'd be curious to know how this is calculated, since a lunar year and a solar one do not coincide, a month must be inserted every 30-34 months to make up for the problem. I doubt this was done, frankly. Sounds like it wasn't.

..is added to the date of the decree and another year is added to make up for the year “zero”, we find that the prophecy was to be fulfilled in March of 33AD. It was at that time that Jesus made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before being arrested and crucified. The prophecy was fulfilled exactly through Jesus.

Nope. If you want further discussion of this, you can look up the discussions in the Skeptical Review, which has been focusing on Daniel for the last two years.

While listening to the lecture and taking notes I was amazed at all the detail that came along with interpreting the prophecy.

Yes, I too am amazed at what believers will say.


Michael
 
Old 06-09-2001, 06:24 AM   #6
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Which may explain why Judaism thinks the Old T prophesies were not fulfilled. Might also explain why they are still waiting for the Messiah.

-T

[This message has been edited by Thomas (edited June 09, 2001).]
 
Old 06-09-2001, 06:44 AM   #7
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by tallskinnyguy:
I came across a seminar on the Daniel 9 prophecy and found it very interesting. What is your take on all this?

Who gave the seminar? Was it a critical historian or a Christian apologist? Non-theists are not interested in the opinions of the latter.

tall: Summary:
Jesus’ death was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.


Any impartial person who reads the Hebrew Scriptures can plainly see that there is no mention of Jesus in any verse, chapter, or book.

tall: In Luke 24:44-46 it says that all things must be fulfilled. In I Corinthians 15:3 Paul writes that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (Old Testament).

I presume you have read the Hebrew and Christian literature. Please point out where in the Hebrew Scriptures that a writer says a single word about Jesus.

While in exile, Daniel wrote about a message (prophecy) delivered by the angel Gabriel. The date was around 600BC.

1. The writer of the book known as "Daniel" is unknown, but whoever he was, he wrote around 164 BCE, not 600 BCE. The New Oxford Annotated Bible speaks for the vast majority of critical scholars: "This book appears under the name of Daniel, or Dan'el, a worthy twice referred to in Ezekiel (Ezek.14.14;28.3), and whose name appears also in the North Canaanite tablet texts found at Ras Shamra. The author was a pious Jew living under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, 167-164 B.C."
2. The character Gabriel appears in the Hebrew Scriptures twice--both times in the book "Daniel." (He has a more prominent role as a heavenly messenger in Jewish Pseudepigrapha written about the same time as "Daniel.") According to the book, the main character sees a vision and during the vision Gabriel is summoned by another celestial being to explain what the vision means. Gabriel states, "Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end." (8:17) Clearly, the message given to Daniel refers to what is to happen at the End of times, or the Day of Yahweh--not the death of Jesus.
The second time Gabriel appears in the book occurs while Daniel is praying to Yahweh: "while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice." (9:21)

tall: The prophecy states that from the time the decree is given to rebuild Jerusalem there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks until the Messiah. The term ‘week’ (shebua) was used as a measure of seven. In the prophecy of Daniel, he referred to what we know as weeks as “weeks of days”. To just say weeks was clearly his way of saying units of seven years. This is known through background, common sense, and context. The decree to rebuild Jerusalem came from Artaxerxes in 444BC. The month is also given (Nisan) which is about the end of March.
Once the number of years (476 lunar years) is added to the date of the decree and another year is added to make up for the year “zero”, we find that the prophecy was to be fulfilled in March of 33AD. It was at that time that Jesus made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before being arrested and crucified. The prophecy was fulfilled exactly through Jesus.


The following is what Gabriel ACTUALLY says to Daniel in the Hebrew Scriptures:

"Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the world to restore and build Jerusalem to the the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, and anointed one shall be cut-off [disappear and vanish], and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator."

I challenge anyone to find Jesus anywhere in the above passage.

tall: While listening to the lecture and taking notes I was amazed at all the detail that came along with interpreting the prophecy. It is clear that many scholars have poured time into analyzing the prophecy and the person it clearly points to as the Messiah is Jesus Christ. There is none other that even come close.

Again, I challenge anyone to find the character Jesus in what the character Gabriel said to the character Daniel.

tall: It is always amazing to me to see how much evidence God has given to us regarding the truth of the Scriptures and the fact that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God.

The "evidence" is not in the Hebrew Scriptures, tall, it is in your head.

rodahi




[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited June 09, 2001).]
 
Old 06-09-2001, 07:32 AM   #8
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It will be interesting to see whether TSG actually reappears to answer these objections, or whether this is just a "tip'n'run" raid on Infidels.

Michael
 
Old 06-09-2001, 08:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tercel: The best attempt I have yet seen by an atheist to dispute this prophesy was that Jesus knew about it and purposely fulfilled it. Personally, I didn't think much of this explanation. Does anyone want to tell me why I should, or try to provide a better one? </font>
There have been a great many people who have wanted things; how many messiahs?

If Jesus was an actual single person (not an amalgamation or a totally fictitious character), I think it is quite possible that since HE was a Jew, he started looking closely at the prophecies and going, "Hey, wait a minute; that sounds like me!" Would explain why he got so interested in it, wouldn't it? And why he was so disappointed?
 
Old 06-09-2001, 09:37 AM   #10
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In the Alt.bible.errancy newsgroup, I've seen Farrell Till, editor of the Skeptical Review, go head to head with inerrantists over this very prophecy. I believe he also has some articles in his magazine that analyze this prophecy from a skeptical viewpoint.

TallSkinnyGuy, if you're interested and have some time to spare (the posts are many!)check out

www.dejanews.com
and then search the back posts of alt.bible.errancy for posts on "Daniel" and "prophecy"

The Skeptical Review is also here at II in the magazines section and you can search it for "Daniel" and "Prophecy" as well
 
 

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