Bravo Beit Berl (legitimacy of prophecy)

Dan Wagner Dan.Wagner at
Thu Feb 8 21:03:26 EST 2001

----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Gardner [mailto:b.gardner at]
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2001 09:17
To: Biblical Hebrew
Subject: Bravo Beit Berl

Just writing to support Jonathan Safen on his history of messianic writing.
It seems to me laity's exaltation. The concept of the (Son of) Man reflects
an exalted (Greek-influenced) position on human ingenuity grafted onto an
ancient and (post-Zerubbabel) usually safely-defunct kingship.


None of this is meant to denigrate the objective truth, in spiritual terms,
of Christian reference. but perhaps we may find common ground in the dignity
of humanity issue. In any case, I think what Jonathan says is true of
redaction in the Pentateuch - it went through 'corrective updates' which
were intended not to reflect literal, historic Past but a clarifying eternal
Plan for believers.

That way, you can ally redactional history to progressive revelation, if you
like, and get away from Greek-annalistic notions that things written in the
Bible must be historically 'true'. 

I think this post relates more to the issue of the legitimacy of of
neo-orthodox theology than to Hebrew, but Paul (1 Cor. 15:14-19) certainly
didn't agree with you concerning the NT portion of the Christian Bible. 
In any case, the whole tenor of prophecy in the OT was that it needed to be
searched out and verified if it were true or not. Jeremiah is constantly
emphasizing this (Jer. 14:14ff; 23:30ff; many more; cf. Ezk. 22:28; Mic.
2:11; etc....). The primary tests of a false prophet were whether his signs
were fulfilled (Dt. 18:20-22) and if his message agreed with the antecedent
revelation of Yahweh (Dt. 13:1-5). So everybody had to be on their guard
against the false ones.
The fact that some prophecies and/or signs *were* valid established the
prophet as one qualified to also make statements that were eschatological
and not yet fulfilled in the lifetime of the prophet/audience.
Dan Wagner

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