3/4/23 REVELATION 1:1a, PART 12

The first quote starts a rabbit hole almost immediately:

“John calls his book an apocalypse or revelation, and this title not only describes its content, but classifies it as a recognized type of literature. During the three hundred years between the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes (167 B.C.) and the destruction of the Jewish nation by Hadrian (A.D. 135) Jewish writers produced a series of apocalypses — of which the first and greatest was the Book of Daniel — to encourage Jewish resistance to the encroachments of paganism, by showing that the national suffering was foreseen and provided for in the cosmic purpose of God and would issue in ultimate vindication.”

I have to break in here. I really hate when someone who thinks he’s a scholar writes about something that is clearly not a fact, as if it were a fact. There has been a scholarly argument about when Daniel was written since the 3rd century AD; the first question brought by someone trying to discredit both Christians and Jews. As we’ve learned more through developments in philology and archaeology, the arguments for a 6th century BC writing of Daniel have become much stronger, while the evidence for the later date has been chipped away. Yet, it is still perceived that a 2nd century BC date is the only scholarly way to view Daniel: in other words, if you disagree with the 2nd century BC date you are not a scholar.

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Good morning! We’re still here, so today we will start with Benjamin Wills Newton (1807-1899), an English evangelist. When John Nelson Darby left the Anglican Church, he didn’t start his own group, he actually joined Newton’s congregation at Plymouth Church, later to be known as the Plymouth Brethren. 

We have a short quote from his THOUGHTS ON THE APOCALYPSE published in 1853:

It seems wonderful, that any, who reverence the Scripture and know what true Christianity really is, should be able to persuade themselves, that the history of the world has been one of progress in righteousness and in the knowledge of God.” 

I love this quote because I really agree with it. Indeed, how could someone who is a Bible-believing Christian look back at history and get any idea from it that the world is “progressing in righteousness?” It is plainly not, as the next writer clearly demonstrates.

The next writer is Charles John Vaughn (1816-1897), an English scholar and Anglican churchman. This gentleman was the headmaster of an English boys school in the mid-1800’s. He resigned precipitously and no one knew why until the 1970’s. At that point a diary turned up from one of the students of that time, stating that Vaughn was having a relationship with one of his young (non-school) friends…while at the same time Vaughn was having boys flogged for homosexual behavior. The student reported the relationship to his father, and his father basically blackmailed Vaughn into resigning. Vaughn was unable to take any further position of leadership in the Church until the man blackmailing him died; the boys maintained their silence. It can be hoped that Vaughn changed his behaviors, but, the young man in question was the person who took care of Vaughn’s papers after his eventual death.

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