All Right, THIS Time for Sure!

It’s weird when people insist that we’re living in the End Times because of evidence in the Bible, when I think reading the Bible is a good indication that this is a false alarm. Biblical prophets have been predicting that the end of the world has been coming soon at least since the Babylonian exile. Parts of Isaiah that most likely weren’t actually written by Isaiah himself predict the destruction of Babylon and its allies, the return of the northern tribes that were conquered by the Assyrians, and that the other nations would recognize the God of Israel. While Babylon was eventually conquered and the exiled Jews allowed to return home, the process was not as eschatological as all that. In the time when Judea was under Greek rule, the predictions that the overthrow of that empire would coincide with the end of the world only increased. And in the time of Jesus, it was commonly thought that the Messiah would free Judea from the Romans. And every time, the sages who made such predictions reinterpreted bits from earlier apocalypses, insisting that their words were correct but they’d misunderstood them. Jeremiah’s seventy years became seventy “weeks of years” in Daniel. In turn, Daniel’s “abomination of desolation,” which probably referred to Antiochus IV converting the Temple in Jerusalem to a temple of Zeus, became a reference to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in the New Testament.

Revelation tied bits and pieces from earlier books in with symbolism that pertained to the current situation under Roman rule. All those empires are long gone, but the world is still here. And people are still trying to insist that the seven-headed beast from the sea, probably originally intended as a composite of Roman Emperors, actually represents the Pope, or Ronald Reagan, or Mikhail Gobachev, or Barack Obama.

Because the authors of these apocalyptic works weren’t writing about their own times, but about what would happen a few thousand years in the future. Small comfort to the people in ancient Judea, huh? Anyway, there’s one thing all of the prophecies have in common. They were all dead wrong! So if people have been wrong about this issue since the sixth century BC, why would they just happen to get it right now? It seems like the common answer is how depraved society is in our era, but you know what? That’s what people have thought in EVERY era of history! The world has never not sucked. Besides, if you think Jesus was the ultimate expert on everything, why ignore the fact that he thought the Day of the Lord was coming before all the apostles had died? How many original apostles are still around today, huh? No, I think the Bible has cried wolf so many times that, even if the end really IS coming soon, not too many people are going to believe it.

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3 Responses to All Right, THIS Time for Sure!

  1. “The world has never not sucked.”
    Wise words, my friend.

  2. ozaline says:

    To qoute Hesiod:

    Thereafter, would that I were not among the men of the fifth generation, but either had died before or been born afterwards. For now truly is a race of iron, and men never rest from labour and sorrow by day, and from perishing by night; and the gods shall lay sore trouble upon them. But, notwithstanding, even these shall have some good mingled with their evils. And Zeus will destroy this race of mortal men also when they come to have grey hair on the temples at their birth (6). The father will not agree with his children, nor the children with their father, nor guest with his host, nor comrade with comrade; nor will brother be dear to brother as aforetime. Men will dishonour their parents as they grow quickly old, and will carp at them, chiding them with bitter words, hard-hearted they, not knowing the fear of the gods. They will not repay their aged parents the cost their nurture, for might shall be their right: and one man will sack another’s city. There will be no favour for the man who keeps his oath or for the just or for the good; but rather men will praise the evil-doer and his violent dealing. Strength will be right and reverence will cease to be; and the wicked will hurt the worthy man, speaking false words against him, and will swear an oath upon them. Envy, foul-mouthed, delighting in evil, with scowling face, will go along with wretched men one and all. And then Aidos and Nemesis (7), with their sweet forms wrapped in white robes, will go from the wide-pathed earth and forsake mankind to join the company of the deathless gods: and bitter sorrows will be left for mortal men, and there will be no help against evil.

    Yeah, you’re right, depravity of society is old hat, and actually violent crime has decreased per person… society has gotten better not worse.

    150 years ago we had slaves
    100 years ago women could not vote
    50 years ago the races were segregated
    25 years ago gay and trans people were hated and feared.

    Today our society protects the rights of women, of racial minorities, and of people of alternative sexualities… Oh we have truly become an unfeeling godless society… the end times are deffinitly upon us.

    • Nathan says:

      Society has definitely improved in many ways, although in others it’s stayed pretty much the same. The idea that there was a Golden Age when everything was perfect, however, is quite far-fetched.

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