Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ezekiel's Temple Part 2: Telescopic Prophecy

The Ezekiel Temple poses a challenge to all interpreters. In the last post, I examined the supposedly simple pre-millennial view and pointed out some complications. Here I'd like to propose a potential solution for post-millennial and amillennial interpreters.

The problem for the post-millenialist and amillennialist (and the pre-millennialist who accepts the above arguments) is that the language of the Ezekiel Temple appears very specific in nature and is therefore difficult to conceive of as anything but literal. This makes an allegorical interpretation seem unlikely.

A few other solutions have been proposed. One is to interpret the passage as referring to the second Temple. However, if that is the case, one would have to account for the differences. Herod's Temple didn't measure up to the dimensions of the Ezekiel Temple.

Another proposed solution would be to see this as a potential Temple that could have been built had Israel repented. Again, history seems to work counter to this interpretation. A remnant of Israel did repent, did return to the land, and did rebuild a Temple. Why wasn't it the Ezekiel Temple?

Ezekiel's Temple Part 1: A Few Problems

The temple described in Ezekiel 40-48 was always my go to for defending both a belief in the rebuilding of the Temple and a pre-millennial view (that is, a literal thousand year reign after the second coming of Messiah). Over the last several years my views have shifted, and the Ezekiel Temple has become more of a problem to solve. Before, the thousand year reign seemed a convenient place to put all those passages that didn't seem to fit either in this world or the world to come. When I began to adopt a post-millennial position (the idea that the thousand year reign is more of a spiritual reality for a non-specific long period of time that began with Messiah's first coming) because of other Scriptural evidence, I was left with a number of passages that no longer had homes in time.

I want to propose a possible solution to the Ezekiel Temple problem for the post-millennial view, but first I want to look at whether the pre-millennial view provides an adequate framework for understanding this difficult passage. Placing the Temple in the time period of the thousand year reign seems like a simple enough solution, but I would suggest there are two problems the complicate the matter.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Reading and Writing Goals

With the new year in place, I thought I'd throw my hat into the yearly reading and writing challenges. It's been a good reading year (about 16 books in Goodreads stats are a bit off) and I'd like to keep that up. After a year long hiatus from blogging, I'd also like to pick that back up again. Side note: The FBTL website goes away in January (all the wonderful contributions are backed up). That project was a fun experiment, but something I just don't think I was ready to commit to long term. We'll keep things low key and on a more personal level for a while.