9/5/22 FROM THE INTRODUCTIONS OF THE 18TH CENTURY BOOKS ON REVELATION, PART 3

Good morning! Today we’ll start with Johann David Michaelis’ INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT, first published in 1750. Michaelis was Prussian by some accounts, and German by others; he was also a Lutheran, and a very well-known scholar of his time. He was specifically a scholar in Hebrew and Arabic, and through the study of these languages and the customs of the people who spoke them, he attempted to throw some additional light on interpreting Scripture. Also, he is claimed as a Preterist by preteristarchive.org .

I have quite a bit of his material I want to share. It comes from chapter 33 of the fourth volume:

“…The various questions, which here present themselves for examination, whether they relate to the style of the Apocalypse, or the year in which it was published, or the qualifications, which every man must necessarily possess, who attempts to expound it, depend entirely on the main question, whether it is a genuine work of St. John the Evangelist, or not.  And on the main question I candidly confess, that I have not been able to obtain that certainty, which I have obtained in respect to other books of the New Testament…

“Irenaeus undoubtedly received the Apocalypse as a genuine work of St. John the Apostle; and like wise asserted, at least according to the common interpretation of his words, that the visions were seen by St. John, in the reign of Domitian. This last assertion would in my opinion, extremely weaken the testimony of Irenaeus, the Apocalypse can hardly be a canonical work, if it was written so late, as the reign of Domitian…”

I don’t really understand his logic here regarding “the weakness” of Irenaeus’ argument, and while he goes on to talk about someone else’s refutation of this problem, he doesn’t give any details of what those refutations are. More than that, Irenaeus is a very respected source, so it’s odd that the only reason Michaelis gave for doubting him involved his own preterist leanings and no other, more scholarly debate.

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9/2/22 FROM THE INTRODUCTIONS OF 18TH CENTURY BOOKS, PART 2

Good morning!  We’re returning to the quotes from Sir Isaac Newton’s OBSERVATIONS UPON THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL, AND THE APOCALYPSE OF JOHN from 1733:

“With the opinion of the first Commentators agrees the tradition of the Churches of Syria, preserved to this day in the title of the Syriac Version of the Apocalypse, which title is this: THE REVELATION WHICH WAS MADE TO JOHN THE EVANGELIST BY GOD IN THE ISLAND PATMOS, INTO WHICH HE WAS BANISHED BY NERO THE CAESAR…This opinion is further supported by the allusions in the Apocalypse to the Temple and Altar, and holy City, as then standing;” 

I need to remind us here that John was on Patmos, visiting heaven when the Temple and Altar were mentioned, and not in Jerusalem, so to say that this reference indicated that the Temple still stood because John was to literally measure it, is not valid.  It disturbs me that Newton didn’t figure this out. 

“…and to the Gentiles, who were soon after to tread under foot the holy City and outward Court.”

The treading referred to went on for centuries…up to this minute, despite the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem. And it will no doubt continue for the time being.

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