Here we continue examining some Biblical prophecies (Index) – comments.
A couple of people commented on one of these series posts, and I thought I’d take a moment to address some of it.
One of the facets of prophecy is that it operates on many levels. In other words, it relates not only to the main incident in the immediate present, or recent past, but also to the future still to come.
Wouldn’t that make it more difficult to justify and validate the claims? If it’s broad enough to “operate on many levels”, doesn’t that just obfuscate matters more?
By what process do we determine whether a passage is attempting to predict future events too? And which?
By the way, the same Roman army was relaxing in Pompeii at the time Vesuvius erupted in 78AD. The more you look into Biblical prophecy, the more complex and layered it becomes.
So do conspiracy theories. That’s what you can do with postdiction. You can search through a rich, complex history, and pluck out bits of information, and weave them together to fit a preconceived narrative.
Though, I wouldn’t mind a citation on the “same Roman army” being caught in Pompeii by Mr. Volcano.
No other document contains as many accurate and detailed predictions. Just read Daniel if you doubt this.
That’s kind of my point… there are no “accurate and detailed” predictions… at least none in the prophecies themselves. They’re all invented post hoc by believers, that only exist if one stares at the text and imagines real hard that there’s something extra.
The entire history of the world laid out plainly, well in advance of the events.
… which isn’t difficult to do when it’s done “symbolically”. Sure, if I interpret “30 pieces of silver” to mean “the Koch brother’s money” and “the potter’s field” to mean “the U.S. 2012 presidential election“, then okay… that prophecy absolutely nailed the future. What is my justification for thinking this interpretation represents the author’s intent?
Moving onto another commenter…
This is a cop-out.
Much of the prophetic language is symbolic, and this is clearly explained in Daniel. Tales are toid numerous times, referring to the same event or aspects of the same event. It is designed to require wisdom to appreciate, and to appear foolish to the worldly wise. Unless you invest the time to find the message, it will be missed.
It’d be like saying that the reason people don’t accept the Theory of Evolution is because they’re just too dumb (don’t do that), and it’s been designed to seem foolish to creationists. If they were more intelligent, like us “evolutionists”, they’d accept that it’s factual reality too. If one looks into evolutionary theory and don’t agree with the conclusion… “Well, you’re not smart enough. You should brush up on that.” I would be chewing out scientists who were trying to make evolution to be purposefully foolish-looking to creationists. After all, if I wanted them to be on my side, why would I make it *more* difficult?
To say “It is designed to require wisdom to appreciate, and to appear foolish to the worldly wise“, is just facepalm-worthy. It’d be like saying that I have a superhero power to turn invisible… but only when nobody is looking. It’s totally – unsuspiciously – convenient.
I have an admission to make. I’ve constructed a torture chamber that all of you are going to be sent, by default, when you die. Your only way out is to get the correct answer from the below “Magic Eye”:
I spent an ungodly amount of time trying to make my own, and ultimately just stole the example one from here.
Oh? You can’t see it? Sucks to be you. Get smarter. Visually impaired? I guess God just wanted you tortured. (In case you’re wondering why I set up this Magic-eye torture system, the answer is simple: Justice)
Unlike Biblical Prophecy, I can fundamentally explain and instruct on how to see the final images, in a way that actually makes sense. I don’t have to leave it at “you’re just not wise enough”, without further elaboration. If you examine the magic eye, you should see an impression of Saturn (the planet), but if I insist that it’s a truck, wouldn’t you be asking me how I arrived at that conclusion?
Biblical Prophecy being “symbolic” is a primary defeater for its value. The predictions largely become the Rorschach test for whoever happens to be reading it… like trying to decipher Morse code, when the pattern key is arbitrarily defined by the person listening.
If you are a Christian apologist, and you’re going to cite a “symbolic” prophecy, be prepared to provide all background information about how you came to that understanding of symbolism, so we can check your work. Otherwise, you’re most likely to be dismissed as all bluster, and no substance… whether you think we’re “wise” enough, or not.