Written Debates

B22 (Dobbs-V-Preston) 11th Negative By Buster Dobbs

B22 (Dobbs-V-Preston) 11th Negative By Buster Dobbs

Cleaning-up hanging matters:

*    Preston seems oblivious to the fact that we are discussing what the sacred scriptures teach B and not whether Preston (or Dobbs) is consistent. I agree that Don Preston is inconsistent, but that alone does not disprove his proposition.

*    In my response to his first question at the outset of this discussion, I pointed out that the Old Testament says nothing about the ultimate return of Jesus to the planet earth. If Preston can find an exception to that, let him do it.

*    In my 10th response to Preston=s 10th affirmative, I pointed out that Old Testament prophets foretell the initial (first) coming of Jesus, but not the ultimate (second) coming. Preston confuses the two statements and, based on his misunderstanding, recklessly accuses me of inconsistency.  

New heavens and earth

Isaiah and Peter wrote of new heavens and earth (Isa 65:17-19, 66:22; 2 Pet 3:13). My opponent leaps headlong to the conclusion that they refer to the same event. He does not bother to try to prove his assumption, but declares it true — Preston=s ipse dixit.

Isaiah

The fact is Isaiah was referring to the restoration of Israel to Canaan following the Babylonian captivity. He says the return of the people to their former home would be like creating a new heavens and earth, by which he merely means they would come back and be blessed (See Isa 65:17 to 66:24).

Jehovah would make "Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy" and the change would be as great as the creation of new heavens and earth (65:18)

The "voice of weeping Y and crying" would be heard in her no more (65:19).
Infants would not die in a few days, nor an elderly person too soon B both would die, but not prematurely (65:20).

They would not build houses and another live in those dwellings (65:21)

They would eat the fruit of the vineyards they had planted rather than have an enemy take away their produce (65:22)

The restored Jews would be the people of God (65:23)

Jehovah would answer their prayers (65:24)

 
Predators would not hurt nor destroy in all God=s holy mountain (65:25)

They would build a house (temple) (66:1)

The humble who tremble at the word of God would be accepted (66:2)

The acts of the wicked would be an abomination (66:3)

Some of them would be evil (66:4), others would tremble at God=s word (66:5)

Enemies would be punished (66:6)

The new heavens and new earth mentioned by Isaiah refers to restoring the city of Jerusalem to it former grandeur (see Isa 65:18-19). It would be a place of rejoicing — not weeping.

Peter

Peter, on the other hand, is referring to a time when the present heavens and earth will be "dissolved in fervent" heat and the earth and its works be "burned up" (see 2 Pet 3:10-11) — two very different circumstances, but both called new heavens and earth.

Peter is talking about a time when fire would consume, melt, dissolve, and burn up the earth and its works. Peter=s new heavens and earth refer to a wholly spiritual realm where material things no longer exist. Peter is referencing the same new realm mentioned by John (Rev 21:1).

The best way to avoid making the mistake of supposing that two events are identical simply because they use the same imagery is to study the context of each statement. If the contexts refer to different things, then the writer must be speaking of different things.

I remind the reader that similarity is not identity.

There is about the same connection between new the heavens and earth of Isaiah, and Peter as there is between the North Pole and a goose nest.

Example

An illustration of this usage is the unexpectedness of the flood that may express conditions just before the fall of Jerusalem and may also express conditions at the time of the ultimate coming of Jesus, but obviously does not mean the situations are the same. The events are not identical, but both come suddenly and, to many, unexpectedly (see Luke 17:26-27 and Matt 24:37-38) B this is another example of using the same metaphor to reference radically different incidents.

 
Were we to take the "realized eschatology" position (that Jesus made his ultimate return to earth in A. D. 70 when the Romans sacked Jerusalem), we would be in a muddle B witness my respondent=s childish lack of clarity in this discussion.

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