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Thread: Failed prophecy.

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    Didn't the first generation of Christians take it literally, a literal objective return of Jesus come to usher in the Kingdom of God on Earth?
    Of course. Presuming our portrait of the lot is accurate in any way. But they didn't keep written records at all as near as anyone can tell. This all began as oral tradition. Not unusual for a Roman mystery cult.

    By the early 3nd century, there were a lot of books going around, many "holy forgeries", no direct witnesses to anything, and no modern standards of documentary evidence. I doubt the inconsistency would have bothered anyone, if they thought about it at all.
    In that sense, it was indeed arguably not actually very odd, that it only seems so to us, in hindsight, and that it is readily explicable in terms of its ancient zeitgeist, which may have involved a comparative level of general ignorance (I use the word non-pejoratively) and superstition amongst other things.

    What might be arguably described as more odd is how more educated and knowledgable people today reconcile the issue of the failed prophecy for themselves, when they can look back and see that it was indeed there at the outset, but that it morphed into something else.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-13-2019 at 11:58 AM.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    In that sense, it was indeed arguably not actually very odd, that it only seems so to us, in hindsight, and that it is readily explicable in terms of its ancient zeitgeist, which may have involved a comparative level of general ignorance (I use the word non-pejoratively) and superstition amongst other things.

    What might be arguably described as more odd is how more educated and knowledgable people today reconcile the issue of the failed prophecy for themselves, when they can look back and see that it was indeed there at the outset, but that it morphed into something else.
    Well, we're still the same old humanity. You don't need to look back to the ancient world for examples of people rationalizing away the seemingly obvious, or even specifically rationalizing away failed predictions of the return of Christ. We are not a stupid species, but our gloriously complex brains can be just as easily put to the task of supporting and insulating delusions, as to eliminating them. Reason is a lovely lady, but she'll sleep with anyone.

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    In the mass, we haven't graduated pre-school. So strange to see today's high tech (i.e. websites) devoted to knavish legends from the Bronze Age. The brain cloggage of religion calls out for mental floss.

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    They certainly seemed to think thr end was imminent.

    From the Dead Sea Scrolls some make a connection between Essenes and their apocalyptic cult and Jesus. A great battle between good and evil.

    I watched one of those Christian shows that week by week twist scripture to fit current events into a fulfillment of pophesy.]

    Contrary to some believers, Jesus is definitely not coming this year, but in around 3 years. The bible says so.

    I have heard the gospels described as promotiomal literature to attract converts. Then as today create fear and provide an answer to the created fear, Jesus.

    In American Evangelicals the end time is just around the corer, for the last 100 years.

  5. Top | #15
    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    In that sense, it was indeed arguably not actually very odd, that it only seems so to us, in hindsight, and that it is readily explicable in terms of its ancient zeitgeist, which may have involved a comparative level of general ignorance (I use the word non-pejoratively) and superstition amongst other things.

    What might be arguably described as more odd is how more educated and knowledgable people today reconcile the issue of the failed prophecy for themselves, when they can look back and see that it was indeed there at the outset, but that it morphed into something else.
    Well, we're still the same old humanity. You don't need to look back to the ancient world for examples of people rationalizing away the seemingly obvious, or even specifically rationalizing away failed predictions of the return of Christ. We are not a stupid species, but our gloriously complex brains can be just as easily put to the task of supporting and insulating delusions, as to eliminating them. Reason is a lovely lady, but she'll sleep with anyone.

    That appears likely. There are people who are rationalizing the failure of these prophesies in this day and age, so I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that the first generation of Christians did it, or the councils that followed.
    Last edited by DBT; 04-14-2019 at 06:25 AM.

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    I've heard some years ago when there were questions (and probably still are) in debates where Christians were asked: " How would Jesus or the two witnesses be SEEN all over the world at the same time in the second coming?"

    Would it be because that the earth is flat? Some say mockingly. I was watching a vid of a sermon where one preacher said " We can see any event live anywhere in the world , via satelite which would be the possibility to see the "two witnesses" preaching and who would then be killed ,"seen by everyone!" Almost everyone today is linked by their hi-techie hi-speed gadgets. Sounds reasonable an explanation to me in this regard.

    (The two witnesses , the anti-christ comes before Christ's return BTW.)
    Last edited by Learner; 04-16-2019 at 09:26 AM.

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    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Post Hoc, perhaps? The prophesy failed as predicted, now we need to find reasons why it failed in order to keep it alive and relevant?

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    How did you (in general) determine the date /period that the prophesy should be fullfilled by?

    Interestingly (and used by some to argue the prophesy failures) I have seen various claims by some religious sects (I think on one or two threads) where it has been claimed to have sort of happened already IIRC.

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    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    How did you determine the date /period that the prophesy should be fullfilled by?
    There are verses that specify the people who were standing there listening to the words - ''this generation'' - ''Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.“ (Matthew 24:34)

    ''Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.“ (Matthew 16:28)

  10. Top | #20
    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    How did you (in general) determine the date /period that the prophesy should be fullfilled by?
    It arguably doesn't matter. As best we can tell, from what appear to be the earliest writings (most notably but not only the Pauline epistles), the earliest Christians expected it imminently, during their lifetimes. They were wrong. The prophecy was wrong. And they were the earliest christians, so whatever beliefs came later, they were (and are) apparently non-original to Christianity. Allowing that there may also have been subsections of earliest Christianity (ie during the lifetime of those who lived while Jesus was alive) which did not have this belief, though these it seems, if they existed (and I don't believe there is much if any clear evidence for them) did not survive. At least we could say that the Christianity that exists today is based on a failed prophecy, because it is still in the texts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Interestingly (and used by some to argue the prophesy failures) I have seen various claims by some religious sects (I think on one or two threads) where it has been claimed to have sort of happened already IIRC.
    Some people will believe almost anything. The question is whether anyone has any good reason to lend this or that belief any credibility. I'm going to assume you don't lend that one much if any.

    Christianity is, it seems, founded on, in terms of one of its core primary beliefs, a failed prophecy. This should, imo, give intelligent, educated Christians today some serious pause for thought and skepticism regarding the integrity and likely truth and accuracy of Christianity generally. That it doesn't is odd, imo. I'm not saying it's inexplicable. It's explicable, in terms of the dogged persistence of faith and personal beliefs in the human brain (which to some extent is an integral part of the human condition, and affects everyone).

    A caveat: imo, part of the reason that Christians today are not imo as skeptical as they arguably should be (about the supposed truths of Christianity generally) is because what appears to be the fact that a central and important prophecy actually did fail has been obfuscated or fudged (I'm not necessarily suggesting this involved deliberate dishonesty or ill-intent) over the millennia, to the point that it seems to me that many Christians do not actually realise, or accept, that it failed. Indeed, you asking your first question (above) may be an indication that you, unlike Politesse for example, are one of those Christians. How Poli accommodates it into his beliefs might be another matter.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 04-16-2019 at 10:30 AM.

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