Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Apocalyptic Genre

The problem with relegating the entirety of Zechariah's Prophecies to the future like that, is the Apostles didn't do that, neither did Jesus.

In fact, they said some of Zechariah's statements were already fulfilled, in their own eyesight.

Other parts of Zechariah's prophecies applied more directly to Zechariah's own time.

And some parts of it quite likely do refer to the future. But not all of it. 

That was the nature of the apocalyptic genre of writing!

Zechariah wasn't writing in straight prose, like Moses always had. God had spoken to Zechariah in visions, unlike Moses who was spoken to in plain language by God, face to face, like a man speaks to his friend.

So Moses' instructions could all be taken literally, and they were. But the Jews themselves knew that vision required a certain amount of interpretation.

And the prophets themselves didn't always understand how their own prophecies would look in fulfilment. Peter said that. 

The only way to rightly divide such prophecies (into past, present or future) is in the light of New Testament teaching. Because New Testament teaching came from Jesus Himself, and He knew!

The sermons in Acts; the plain teaching in the Epistles; based on things Jesus said and did; the way they quoted and applied the Old Testament.

Two things are as clear as day in the New Testament: Jesus is Messiah; and there's to be no return to Levitical-style worship now that the real thing has come: not even by Jews.

That means that any parts of Old Testament prophecies such as Zechariah's which mentioned Levitical style worship, must have been fulfilled while the Old Covenant still stood - because God isn't into returning to the shadow.

If we relegate such verses to the future, then Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah - because the Messianic prophecies occur in the same context as the descriptions of Levitical worship.

That's the Orthodox Jewish take on Prophecy - but it wasn't the Apostles'.

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