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The following is the second part of an article by Anthony Buzzard. It first appeared in Journal from the Radical Reformation, Vol. 2, No. 4.  The first part can be seen here, and the entire article can be viewed on his web site.

Hebrews

The Book of Hebrews expounds the drama of Abraham’s faith in the great promises of God making a future resurrection the only solution to the mystery of Abraham’s failure as yet ever to own the land.

“By faith Abraham when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance…” (Heb. 8:11).

So the story begins. Abraham’s inheritance, we observe, is to be the “place to which he was called,” i.e., the land of Canaan. This is exactly what the Genesis account describes. That very land Abraham was destined to receive “later,” but how much later we are not yet told. The writer continues: “By faith Abraham made his home in the land of the promise like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents as did Isaac and Jacob who were heirs with him of the same promise” (Heb. 11:8, 9). Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and other heroes of faith “died in faith not having received the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance and admitted that they were aliens and strangers in the land (v. 13). Note that the wrong idea is suggested by our versions when they translate “in the land” as “on the earth,” giving the impression that the Patriarchs were expecting to go to heaven! However, the point is that people who say they are aliens in the land “show that they are looking for a country of their own” (Heb. 11:13, 14), i.e., the same land renewed under the promised government of the Messiah.

The important truth about the land promise has been rescued by George Wesley Buchanan:

“This promise-rest-inheritance was inextricably tied to the land of Canaan, which is the place where the Patriarchs wandered as sojourners (11:13). It was called the land of the promise (11:9) and the heavenly country (11:16)…. This does not mean that it is not on earth any more than the sharers in the heavenly calling (3:1) who had tasted the heavenly gift (6:4) were not those who lived on earth. Indeed, it was the very land on which the patriarchs dwelt as ‘strangers and wanderers’ (11:13). [‘Heavenly’] means that it is a divine land which God himself has promised.”[14]

“Heaven” will be on earth

It is important to note the evasion by popular Christianity of the implications of Heb. 11:8, 9. In order to preserve the tradition that heaven is the reward of the faithful, it is argued that the geographical land of Canaan is a type of “heaven” to be gained at death. However, this New Testament passage specifically says that Abraham actually lived in the place designated as his future inheritance. “He made his home in the promised land” (Heb. 11:9, NIV) and this was on the earth! “Heaven,” therefore, in the Bible is to be a place on this planet-our own earth renewed and restored.[15]  The promised land in this New Testament comment on the Old is still the geographical Canaan and it is precisely that territory which Abraham died without receiving. Resurrection in the future is the only path by which the Patriarch can achieve his goal and possess the land which he has never owned. Indeed, as Hebrews emphasizes, none of the distinguished faithful “received what had been promised”-the inheritance of the promised land (Heb. 11:13, 39). They died in faith fully expecting later to receive their promised possession of the land. This is a very far cry from the idea, which so many have accepted under the pressure of post-biblical tradition, that the Patriarchs have already gone to their reward in heaven. Such a theory invites the rebuke of Paul who complained that some had “wandered away from the truth” by saying that “the resurrection has taken place already” (II Tim. 2:18). The loss of faith in the future resurrection destroys the fabric of biblical faith.

Paul and Abraham

Paul treats the story of Abraham as the model of Christian faith with no hint that Abraham’s inheritance is different from that of every Christian believer. In fact, the very opposite is true: Abraham is “the father of all who believe” (Rom. 4:11) Abraham demonstrated Christian faith by believing in God’s plan to grant him land, progeny and blessing for ever. Abraham’s faith was demonstrated in his willingness to respond to the divine initiative; to believe God’s declaration of His plan to give Abraham and his descendants the land for ever. This is the essence of biblical faith. Justification means believing like Abraham in what God has promised to do (Rom. 4:3, 13). This entails more than the death and resurrection of Jesus. Apostolic faith requires belief in the ongoing divine plan in history, including the divinely revealed future. Grasping what God is doing in world history enables a man to attune his life to God in Christ. A Christian according to Paul is one who “follows in the footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham” (Rom. 3:12). Abraham’s faith “was characterized by (or based on) a hope which was determined solely by the promise of God…. Abraham’s faith was firm confidence in God as the one who determines the future according to what he has promised.”[16]  So Jesus summons us to faith, first of all, in the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14, 15; cp. Acts 8:12) which is to be nothing less than the final fulfillment of the covenant made with Abraham and his (spiritual) offspring. Paul defines the promise. It was that Abraham should be “heir of the world” (Rom. 4:13). As James Dunn says:

“The idea of ‘inheritance’ was a fundamental part of Jewish understanding of their covenant relationship with God, above all, indeed almost exclusively, in connection with the land-the land of Canaan theirs by right of inheritance as promised to Abraham…. [This is] one of the most emotive themes in Jewish national self-identity…. Central to Jewish self-understanding was the conviction that Israel was the Lord’s inheritance…. Integral to the national faith was the conviction that God had given Israel the inheritance of Palestine, the promised land. It is this axiom, which Paul evokes and refers to the new Christian movement as a whole, Gentiles as well as Jews. They are the heirs of God. Israel’s special relationship with God has been extended to all in Christ. And the promise of the land has been transformed into the promise of the Kingdom…. That inheritance of the Kingdom, full citizenship under the rule of God alone, is something still awaited by believers. [17]

Paul links the Christian faith directly to the promise made to Abraham. As Dunn says:

“The degree to which Paul’s argument is determined by the current self-understanding of his own people is clearly indicated by his careful wording which picks up four key elements in that self-understanding: the covenant promise to Abraham and his seed, the inheritance of the land as its central element…. It had become almost a commonplace of Jewish teaching that the covenant promised that Abraham’s seed would inherit the earth…. The promise thus interpreted was fundamental to Israel’s self-consciousness as God’s covenant people: It was the reason why God had chosen them in the first place from among all the nations of the earth, the justification for holding themselves distinct from other nations, and the comforting hope that made their current national humiliation endurable….”[18]

Dunn goes on:

“…Paul’s case…reveals the strong continuity he saw between his faith and the fundamental promise of his people’s Scriptures…. Paul had no doubt that the Gospel he proclaimed was a continuation and fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. But he was equally clear that the heirs of Abraham’s promise were no longer to be identified in terms of the law. For Gen. 15:6 showed with sufficient clarity that the promise was given and accepted through faith, quite apart from the law in whole or in part.”[19] The point to be grasped is that Paul does not question the content of the promise. How could he without overthrowing the whole revelation given by the Bible? The territorial promise was clearly and repeatedly spelled out in the Genesis account and was his people’s most cherished national treasure: To faithful Israel, represented first by Abraham, God had given assurance that they would inherit the land. Paul introduces a revolutionary new fact- that this grand promise is open to all who believe in the Messiah as the seed of Abraham. For it was to Messiah, as Abraham’s seed, that the promises were made, as well as to Abraham himself. But Gentile Christians, if they believe the promise in Christ, may claim full share in the same promised inheritance. Paul reaches a triumphant moment in his argument when he declares that to his Gentile readers that “if you are a Christian then you count as Abraham’s descendants and are heirs [of the world, Rom. 4:13] according to the promise [made to Abraham]” (Gal. 3:29).

The promises, however, are certain only, as Paul says, to “those who are of the faith of Abraham” (Rom. 4:16), i.e., those whose faith is of the same type as his, resting on the same promises. Hence Paul speaks of the need for Christians to be “sons of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7), “seed of Abraham” (Gal. 3:29, Rom. 4:16), and to reckon Abraham as their father (Rom. 4:11), to walk in his steps (Rom. 4:12) and consider him the model of Christian faith (Gal. 3:9), because the Gospel had been preached to him in advance (Gal. 3:8). But how much do we now hear about the Christian Gospel as defined by the promises made to Abraham? The “blessing given to Abraham” (Gal. 3:14) which is now available to both Jews and Gentiles in Christ is described by Gen. 28:4. It is to “take possession of the land, where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham.” Speaking to Gentile Christians, Paul states that “the blessing given to Abraham” (exactly the phrase found in Gen. 28:4) has now come to the believers in Christ (Gal. 3:14).

It is essential that we do not add alien material to Paul’s exposition of God’s salvation plan. The promise to Abraham and to his offspring is that he and they are to be “heir of the world” (Rom. 4:13). Paul has not abandoned the account in Genesis from which he quotes explicitly (Rom. 4:3, Gal. 3:6 from Gen. 15:9). Since the promised land of Canaan would be the center of the Messianic government it was obvious that inheritance of the land implied inheritance of the world. But the promise remains geographical and territorial corresponding exactly with Jesus’ promise to the meek that they would “inherit the land/earth” (Mat. 5:5), His belief that Jerusalem would be the city of the Great King (Mat. 5:35), and that believers would administer a New World Order with Him (Mat. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; Rev. 2:26, 3:21, 5:10, 20:1-6). In short the promise of the land, which is fundamental to the Christian Gospel, is now the promise of the Kingdom of God-the renewed “inhabited earth of he future” (Heb. 2:5), which is not be subject to angels but to the Messiah and the saints, the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16) who are heirs of the covenant. Such a hope corresponds exactly with the hope of the Hebrew prophets. J. Skinner[20] observes that “the main point [of Jeremiah’s hope for the future] is that in some sense a restoration of the Israelite nationality was the form in which he conceived the Kingdom of God.” Paul in Romans 11:25, 26 expected a collective conversion of the nation of Israel at the Second Coming. The Church, however, in Paul’s thinking, would be leaders in the Messianic Kingdom (I Cor. 6:2, II Tim. 2:12). In this way the Abrahamic Covenant guarantees a part in the Messianic Kingdom for all who now believe the Gospel and it assures us that there will be a collective return to the Messiah on the part of a remnant of the nation of Israel (Rom. 11:25-27). This hope is seen clearly in Acts 1:6, where the Apostles (who had not had the benefit of a Calvinist training!) asked when the promised restoration of Israel might be expected. Since they were hoping to be kings in the Kingdom, and the holy spirit (v.5) was the special endowment of kings, they naturally expected an immediate advent of the Kingdom. In His mercy God has extended the period of repentance.

Worldwide Inheritance

It was common to Jewish thinking and Paul, as well as to the whole New Testament that the whole world was involved in the promise made to Abraham that he would inherit “the land of the promise.” This is seen from biblical and extra-biblical texts:

Psalm 2:6 “I have installed my King on Zion…. Ask of Me [God] and I will make the nations your [Messiah’s] inheritance and the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule then with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery” (See Rev. 12:5 and 2:26, 27-the latter passage includes the Christians in the same promise).

Jubilees 22:14: “May [God] strengthen you, and may you inherit all the earth.”
Jubilees 32:19: “And there will be kings from you [Jacob]. They will rule everywhere that the tracks of mankind have been trod. And I will give your seed all the land under heaven and they will rule in all nations as they have desired.”
I Enoch 5:7: “But to the elect there shall be light, joy, and peace, and they shall inherit the earth.”
4 Ezra 6:59: “If the world has indeed been created for us, why do we not possess our world as an inheritance. How long will this be so?
II Baruch 14:12, 13: “The righteous…are confident of the world which you have promised to them with an expectation full of joy.”
II Baruch 51:3: “[The righteous] will receive the world which is promised to them.”

Paul’s definition of the promise to Abraham that he “would be heir to the world” (Rom. 4:13) fits naturally into texts such as these and is implied by the covenant made with Abraham. Henry Alford comments on the connection between Paul’s view of the future and Jewish hopes:

“The Rabbis already had seen, and Paul who had been brought up in their learning, held fast to the truth,- that much more was intended in the words ‘in thee, or in they seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed,’ than the mere possession of Canaan. They distinctly trace the gift of the world to this promise. The inheritance of the world…is that ultimate lordship over the whole world which Abraham, as the father of the faithful in all peoples, and Christ, as the Seed of promise, shall possess….”[21] H.A.W. Meyer notes that to be “seed of Abraham” meant that one was destined to have “dominion over the world,” based on Gen. 22:17ff: “Your descendants shall gain possession of the gates [i.e., towns] of their enemies.”[22] With this promise in mind, Jesus envisages the faithful assuming authority over urban populations (Luke 19:17, 19).

The International Critical Commentary on Rom. 4:13[23] speaks of the promise that Abraham’s seed [in Christ] should “enjoy worldwide dominion,” “the right to universal dominion which will belong to the Messiah and His people,” and “the promise made to Abraham and his descendants of worldwide Messianic rule.” Something of the fervor of Israel for the land may be seen in the 14th and 18th Benedictions repeated in the Synagogue since AD 70:

“Be merciful, O Lord our God, in Thy great mercy towards Israel Thy people and towards Jerusalem, and towards Zion the abiding place of Thy glory, and towards Thy temple and Thy habitation, and towards the kingdom of the house of David, thy righteous anointed one. Blessed art Thou, O lord God of David, the builder of Jerusalem Thy city.” “Bestow Thy peace upon Israel Thy people and upon Thy city and upon Thine inheritance, and bless us, all of us together. Blessed art Thou, O lord, who makest peace.”

Even where the land is not mentioned directly, the land is implied in the city and the Temple which became the quintessence of the hope for salvation.[24] Exactly the same hope is reflected in the New Testament:

“The Lord God will give [Jesus] the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His Kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32)

“[God] has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as He said to our fathers” (Luke 1:55).

“[God] has raised up a horn [political dominion] in the house of his servant David…to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath He swore to our father Abraham” (Luke 1:69, 72, 73).

“[Simeon] was waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25).

“[Anna] gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).

“Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David” (Mark 11:10).

“Joseph of Arimathea [a disciple of Jesus-i.e., a Christian, Mat. 27:57], a prominent member of the Council…, was himself waiting for the Kingdom of God” (Mark 15:43).

“We [disciples of Jesus, i.e. Christians] had hoped that [Jesus] was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21).

The Apostles asked: “Is this the time that you are going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6.)

“It is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night” (Acts 26:6. 7).

The Bible does not for a moment abandon or replace these hopes based on the great covenant made with Abraham. The disciples closest to Jesus, who were the products of His careful tuition over several years and for six weeks after the resurrection (Acts 1:3), obviously look forward the “restoration of the Kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). It had not entered their heads to abandon the territorial hopes of the prophets. Paul insists that he is on trial “because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers. This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night” (Acts 26:6). The nature of this hope is expressed in a Rabbinical saying of the third century reflecting the ancient expectation of life in the land held in common with the New Testament:

“Why did the patriarchs long for burial in the land of Israel?. Because the dead of the land of Israel will be the first to be resurrected in the days of Messiah and to enjoy the years of Messiah” (Gen. Rabbah, 96:5)

Paul’s statement in Acts 26:6, 7 (above) expressly defines the Apostolic Christian hope as the same as the hope held by the ancient synagogue — the prospect of worldwide dominion for the faithful in the Messiah’s kingdom. New Testament Christianity confirms this interest in the unfulfilled promises to the patriarchs with its expectation of a restoration of the Kingdom to Israel. Jesus promises the land to the meek (Mat. 5:5) and locates the Kingdom of the future “on the earth” or perhaps “in the land” (Rev. 5:10). It makes little difference whether we render “epi tes gys” “in the land” or “on the earth,” because the Kingdom is destined to extend to the “uttermost parts of the earth” (Ps. 2:8). The promise to Abraham is to be fulfilled in the Messiah when the latter is invited to “Ask of me [God] and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession” (Ps. 2:7, 8 ). All these blessings are contained in Paul’s phrase “inheritance of the world” (Rom. 4:13) which he sees as the essence of the promise made to Abraham-the promise to which Gentile believers should cling since in Christ they are equally entitled to it:

“If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29).

“Heaven”

References in the New Testament to “heaven” are limited to contexts in which the future reward of believers is said to be preserved now as treasure with God in heaven. “Heaven” as a place removed from the earth is, however, never the destination of the believer in the Bible-neither at death nor at the resurrection. Christians must now identify with their reward, at present stored up in heaven for them, so that they may receive it when Jesus brings it to the earth at His Second Coming (Col. 1:5, I Pet. 1;4, 5). That reward was made known to the converts when the Christian Gospel of the Kingdom of God was preached to them (Mat. 1:14, 15; Luke 4:43; Acts 8:12, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 31). Belief in the Gospel in Apostolic times was not confined to belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus, but included the whole invitation to prepare for a place in Messiah’s worldwide dominion to be realized on earth. The situation is very different today when little or nothing is preached about inheriting the earth with Jesus. There is an urgent need for believers to heed Paul’s warning not to be “moved away from the hope held out in the Gospel” (Col. 1:23). The loss of the Kingdom in the Gospel is symptomatic of the loss the roots of Christianity in the Old Testament.

Faith in God’s World Plan

Nonsense is made of the New Testament scheme, and God’s plan in world history, when it is proposed that the Christian destiny is to be enjoyed in a location removed from the earth. This destroys at a blow the promises made to Abraham and his descendants (i.e., Christ and the faithful) that that they are to inherit the land and the world. The substitution of “heaven” at death for the reward of inheriting the earth nullifies the covenant made with Abraham. That covenant is the foundation of New Testament faith. The repeated offer of “heaven” in popular preaching renders meaningless the whole hope of the prophets (based on the Abrahamic promise) that the world is going to enjoy an unparalleled era of blessing and peace under the just rule of the Messiah and the resurrected faithful-those who believe in “the Kingdom of God and the name [i.e., the Messiahship and all that this entails] of Jesus,” and who are baptized in response to that early creed in Acts 8:12:

“When they believed Philip as he proclaimed the Gospel about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized both men and women.”

This text remains a model for evangelism and calls the contemporary church back to its roots in the Covenant made with “the father of the faithful” which can be fulfilled only in Messiah Jesus. For the fulfillment of that plan we are to pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” and strive to conduct ourselves “worthy of God who is calling us into His Kingdom and glory” (I Thess. 2:12). The truth about our Christian destiny will be reinstated when we return to the biblical language about “entering the Kingdom,” “inheriting the earth” (Mat. 5:5), and ruling on earth (Rev. 5:10) and abandon our cherished hopes for “heaven.” The way will then be open for us to understand that Christianity is a call to Kingship and that a Saint is one appointed to rule on the earth in the coming Kingdom of the Messiah (Dan. 7:18, 22, 27).

“The general tenor of prophecy and the analogy of the divine dealings point unmistakably to this earth, purified and renewed, and not to the heavens in any ordinary sense of the term, as the eternal habitation of the blessed.”[25]

“May God give you the blessing of Abraham my father, to you and to your seed with you-the inheritance of the land in which you now reside as a foreigner, the land which God gave to Abraham” (Jacob).
“The blessing of Abraham [will come] to the Gentiles in Christ.” (Paul)[26]

____________________________

Footnotes:

14Anchor Bible, Commentary to the Hebrews, Doubleday and Co. 1972, pp. 192, 194.

15Cp. J.A.T. Robinson’s observation that “‘heaven’ is never in fact used in the Bible for the destination of the dying…. The reading of I Cor. 15 at funerals reinforces the impression that this chapter is about the moment of death: in fact it revolves around two points, ‘the third day’ and ‘the last day'” (In the End God, Collins, 1968, pp. 104, 105).

16Dunn, p. 219.

17Ibid., pp. 213, 463.

18Ibid., p. 233, emphasis added.

19Ibid., p. 234. emphasis added.

20Prophecy and Religion, Cambridge, 1922, p. 308.

21Commentary on the Greek Testament, Vol. II, p. 350.

22Commentary on John, Funk and Wagnalls, 1884, p. 277.

23Sanday and Headlam, Epistle to the Romans, T & T Clark, 1905, pp. 109, 111.

24Davies, p. 54.

25Henry Alford, Commentary on the Greek Testament, Vol. 1, pp. 35, 36.

26Gen. 28:4; Gal. 3:14.

53 Responses to “The Christian Hope: Life in the Land of the Promise Made to Abraham (Part 2)”

  1. on 24 Nov 2010 at 10:06 pmChristian

    I have found few that see the promised land as I do, life in the spirit. When we receive the spirit of God, we have received the promise of the father. Living the Christian life today has many challenges. Those who refuse to walk after sin in these days face much persecution. However, God has already brought us into the promised land and for that we can rejoice.

  2. on 24 Nov 2010 at 11:22 pmMark C.

    Christian,

    Actually there are many who see it that way, unfortunately.  But that is not what the Bible speaks of. The promise to Abraham specifically included LAND, and the many OT prophecies of God’s Kingdom refer to a man, Messiah, ruling the earth on God’s behalf. Jesus preached the same gospel as well: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” I invite you to peruse the resources on this site (see the link to “Kingdom of God” under Resources at the top of this page), as well as my own (http://www.godskingdomfirst.org) and Anthony Buzzard’s (http://www.focusonthekingdom.org) for starters.

  3. on 24 Nov 2010 at 11:24 pmDoubting Thomas

    Christian,
    I agree with what you said. I don’t remember seeing you post here before. If you are new, I’d like to welcome you to KR. I hope you enjoy your visit here, and may the peace and wisdom of God be with you and with all of us…

  4. on 24 Nov 2010 at 11:36 pmDoubting Thomas

    Mark C,
    I also agree with what you said about the coming kingdom. I thought Christian was referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit that has already been sent down to guide each and every one of us to grow in love toward God and each other. That’s what I thought he meant when he said, “God has already brought us into the promised land and for that we can rejoice.”

    There is of course going to be a coming kingdom where the Messiah/Christ, Yeshua, will rule as our just and loving King. Like the Lord’s prayer says, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s kingdom is definately going to be future event…

  5. on 25 Nov 2010 at 2:15 amMark C.

    Thomas,

    Yes, the gift of the Holy Spirit is called a token or foretaste of the coming kingdom. But many Christians believe that living by the spirit and living the Christian life is the promised land, being a “spiritual fulfillment” of the OT promises, in place of the literal promises. This is a very common misunderstanding in the Christian Church.

  6. on 25 Nov 2010 at 5:35 amWolfgang

    Hi everybody

    is Abraham oonsidered one of the forefathers of the Israelites? IF so, the following passage from Joshua 21 is rather interesting in connection with theologies that are waiting that what was promised to Abraham in terms of “land” has not yet been fulfilled

    Joshua 21:43 (NIV)
    So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there.

    Joshua 21:43 (NASB)
    So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it.

    Could the writer of the book of Joshua be mistaken when he writes that already ALL THE LAND which God had promised and even sworn by oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel’s forefathers) had been given to Israel at the time of Joshua?

    Why does the text in Joshua not read something like “PART of the land …” or “SOME of the land …” or “A TOKEN PORTION of the land …” which it should if those theological claims that the land promise to the forefathers have even now not yet been fulfilled?

    While the article “sounds very good”, it quite obviously ignores the above rather simple and basic passage about the land promise to Abraham and the other forefathers … and therefore either (a) the theology and study in the article is incorrect in its conclusions, or (b) the writer of Joshua is incorrect in stating that already then ALL the land that had been promised and even sworn to the forefathers had been given to Israel.

    Furthermore, it’s rather strange to me that folks sort of “expand” the land promised and sworn to Abraham and the other forefathers of Israel to eventually be the whole planet earth (the whole world) … was that what God promised and confirmed with an oath to Abraham? I don’t read such anywhere in the Scriptures … just find it in more modern day theologians’ works …

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  7. on 25 Nov 2010 at 7:14 amMark C.

    Wolfgang,

    The above article is presenting an overview, and thus cannot address every single passage of Scripture. But in other resources, the quote from Joshua is not ignored, but dealt with.

    As for the expansion of the Abrahamic promise to include the whole world, the article mentions a few references.  It wasn’t in the original promise but in the further unfolding elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures. Have you read any of the articles on my web site?

  8. on 25 Nov 2010 at 1:57 pmrobert

    “Could the writer of the book of Joshua be mistaken when he writes that already ALL THE LAND which God had promised and even sworn by oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel’s forefathers) had been given to Israel at the time of Joshua?”

    Joshua 21:43 (NASB)
    So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it.

    Wolfgang
    I might agree with you if the historical context would allow it, but we know at the time this was written Israel was not in possession of all the land. The fact is they never were.

    Since the context of the history of Israel wont support this translation we must now translate within the historical context.

    The word translated “gave” could easily be translated “offered” and this could very well render the rest to read
    “all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers to possess and lived in it”
    Besides Abraham was promised possession personally, as was Isaac and Jacob which means this fulfillment can only be after their resurrection.

  9. on 25 Nov 2010 at 4:46 pmMark C.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to retranslate words to make it fit. Examining the context pretty well explains it. The following is from my website:

    If you read the context of Joshua’s address in chapter 23, you see that he was saying that God had kept His promises regarding the land and the blessings, but if the people turned back and worshipped the gods of the people who were in the land, then God would also keep His promises about His punishment of wickedness.

    The people did, in fact, turn to idolatry and wickedness, and although God patiently warned them over and over, eventually (nearly 1000 years later) He removed them from their land (Ezekiel 33:23-29; II Chronicles 36:15-21). When the children of Israel lived in that land for a time, it was not the complete fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, for it did not last, even though God said He would give the land to his descendants forever. It was a temporary, conditional fulfillment designed as a foreshadowing of the ultimate fulfillment that is still to come. Hebrews 11:39-40 tells us that they did not receive the promise, “God having provided some better thing for us.”

  10. on 26 Nov 2010 at 12:25 amrobert

    “I don’t think it’s necessary to retranslate words to make it fit. Examining the context pretty well explains it.”

    Mark
    we should always translate to fit historical context, plus the MT really doesnt support this translation.
    Your explanation really doesnt seem to make sense( at least to me) considering what we(I) know about Israel.

  11. on 26 Nov 2010 at 3:35 amMark C.

    Joshua 21:
    41 So the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which He swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
    42 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that He swore unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all their enemies against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
    43 There failed not aught of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

    -From A Hebrew – English Bible According to the Masoretic Text and the JPS 1917 Edition (http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0621.htm)

  12. on 26 Nov 2010 at 9:05 amWolfgang

    Hi

    I’ve heard all the talk about “not complete fulfillment”, only “partial fulfillment”, or “just a preliminary fulfillment” etc etc …

    The very simple truth is: All those interpretations disregard and flat out contradict what is stated in Joshua 21:43 regarding ALL THE LAND that God had promised to the forefathers … !!!

    All ideas, all more or less fancy interpretive ideas which contradict such plain truth as stated in Joshua won’t help a thing to arrive at a true understanding of the Scriptures relating to the topic.

    Isn’t it sort of strange that folks quickly recognize when people do fancy interpretations to make the Scriptures supposedly teach a “trinity” as “Godhead” and thereby contradict simple statements in Scripture which declare that Jesus was a man, but then do the very same fancy interpretive thing thereby contradicting the above simple truth in Joshua 21:43 …. ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  13. on 26 Nov 2010 at 11:17 amFrank D

    Gen 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

    Did, from the time in Joshua 21:43, the seed of Abraham posses all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession?

    Is this prophesy fulfilled?

  14. on 26 Nov 2010 at 1:10 pmrobert

    “Did, from the time in Joshua 21:43, the seed of Abraham posses all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession?”

    Frank
    Why would you use chapter 17 when this verse in chapter 15 identifies the location.
    Now did Israel EVER possess the land that was unconditionally promised to Abraham and his seed.
    Below is that promise and below that is a very bold statement in Joshua 24 that Esau was given a portion of the land promised to Abraham which is spoken of after Joshua 21:43.
    So therefore there is no way that Israel could possess all of the land without Abraham the father of THIS promise being present.

    Genesis 15
    18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
    Joshua 24
    3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. 4 And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

  15. on 26 Nov 2010 at 4:22 pmMark C.

    Wolfgang,

    If Joshua 21:43 means that God fulfilled his promise to Abraham at that time, then you have two major problems. One, there is no point to the many references to God’s promise to Abraham throughout the Old Testament, nor the gospel news that we can now be heirs to those promises. And two, God becomes a liar, because the ancient kingdom of Israel in fact did NOT fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, since He promised to give the land to Abraham and his descendants forever. Add to that the promise to David that a descendant of his would rule the world and have no end to his kingdom, plus the many, many specific prophecies in the Prophets regarding the coming Messiah and his Kingdom.  As I have said, in order to embrace the views you hold, one would have to ignore the many clear Scriptures that unfold God’s plan of establishing His kingdom on earth.

  16. on 26 Nov 2010 at 5:02 pmrobert

    “One, there is no point to the many references to God’s promise to Abraham throughout the Old Testament, nor the gospel news that we can now be heirs to those promises.”

    Mark
    There is only ONE promise to Abraham that was opened to ALL nations which is the promise of Grace which allows for mankind to have a shot at salvation without the Law.
    All other promises pertain to Abraham , his offspring and those joined by the Mosaic covenant and the renewed covenant promised ALL Israel in Jeremiah.
    Me and you and the unfaithful of Israel are just going to have to wait our turn because we never took hold of the covenant or were not ever promised the land because we are not his offspring that sought to obey God’s every command like Abraham and the faithful of Israel.

  17. on 26 Nov 2010 at 5:29 pmWolfgang

    Mark C, and others

    you can try as hard as you want and with whatever argument you want and whatever interpretation of other scriptures, etc etc …

    Joshua 21:43 still says that the LORD fulfilled what He had sworn to the forefathers in terms of the land by having given Israel ALL THE LAND which He had sworn to their forefathers.

    So then, either Joshua 21:43 is true, or it is a false statement … IF it is a false statement, then one ought to find the exact problem, for example, whether the mistake is only in our modern day translations, or in the Hebrew text, etc. …

    IF you can’t find the fault with how that passage reads in any and all Bibles, then you ought to accept it to be true … and perhaps your interpretations of all the other passages which according to you supposedly tell a different story from what Joshua 21:43 says.

    Wolfgang

  18. on 26 Nov 2010 at 5:34 pmWolfgang

    oops … in revising my last sentence of the previous post, I did not correctly finish my statement …. it should have read:

    IF you can’t find the fault with how that passage reads in any and all Bibles, then you ought to accept it to be true … and you should re-examine your interpretations of all the other passages which according to you supposedly tell a different story from what Joshua 21:43 says to find out where they are faulty.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  19. on 26 Nov 2010 at 6:04 pmrobert

    “So then, either Joshua 21:43 is true, or it is a false statement … IF it is a false statement, then one ought to find the exact problem, for example, whether the mistake is only in our modern day translations, or in the Hebrew text, etc. …”

    Wolfgang
    this is exactly what I did showing that the english translation did NOT fit the historical evidence that Israel never received all the land as promise to Abraham in Gen 15. Esua was only one of the many offsprings that received portions of Abraham’ promise from God. But One promise went through Judah which wasnt the promise of land, it was the promise of the SEED that would bring forth Grace to ALL nations. Joseph received the promise of the Land of the Nation called Israel not Judah.

  20. on 26 Nov 2010 at 9:27 pmMark C.

    God’s promises to Abraham were established with his son Isaac…

    Gen. 26:
    1 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines.
    2 The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you.
    3 “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham.

    …and later with Isaac’s son Jacob (rather than Esau, who sold his birthright).

    Gen. 28:
    1 So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.
    2 “Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.
    3 “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.
    4 “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”

    12 He [Jacob] had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
    13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.
    14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

    Gen. 35:
    9 Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
    10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name.” Thus He called him Israel.
    11 God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you.
    12 “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you.

    Moses prayed to God…

    Exod. 32:13 “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’”

    God spoke through Moses…

    Lev. 23:
    9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
    10 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.

    Lev. 25:2 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD.

    Num. 13:2 “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them.”

    Deut. 1:8 ‘See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them.’

    Moses prayed when in the land…

    Deut. 6:3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

    Deut. 26:15 ‘Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers.’

    God spoke through Joshua:

    Josh. 1:2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

    I don’t think there can be any doubt that the land which the nation of Israel possessed was the land which God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Then we come to Josh. 21:
    43 So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it.
    44 And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand.
    45 Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.

    So, was this in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham? Yes. Was it the FINAL fulfillment? No. In his address to the people in chapter 23, Joshua says…

    Josh. 23:
    11 “So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God.
    12 “For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,
    13 know with certainty that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you.

    God promised David that a descendant of his would rule on his throne forever…

    II Sam. 7:
    9 “I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name, like the names of the great men who are on the earth.
    10 “I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly,
    11 even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you.
    12 “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.
    13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
    14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,
    15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.
    16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’”

    Notice God said that He would appoint a place for His people and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed. Even though they were in the land promised to Abraham, they were often disturbed by enemies, especially when they were disobedient to God. God also spoke to David’s son Solomon…

    I Kings 9:
    1 Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do,
    2 that the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon.
    3 The LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
    4 “As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances,
    5 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
    6 “But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them,
    7 then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
    8 “And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’
    9 “And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the LORD has brought all this adversity on them.’”

    This is in fact what did happen because of Israel’s disobedience and idolatry. But God had promised the land to Abraham and his descendants forever, as well as a descendant of David having a never-ending reign. The scattering of Israel would seem to contradict this, but God had other plans, which he outlined in great detail throughout the writings of the Prophets. Rather than copy and paste all of the references, I direct you to my article about the Kingdom “In the Prophets.”

  21. on 26 Nov 2010 at 9:47 pmrobert

    “I don’t think there can be any doubt that the land which the nation of Israel possessed was the land which God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel), and the twelve tribes of Israel.”

    Mark
    I agree that the land was a PART of the land promised to Abraham which was way beyond what Israel lived in.
    Deal with Gen 15 first in which Not even all of that was possessed by Abrahams offsprings. They may have been Noahs Offsprings that possessed this this vast amount of land.

    Gen 15 totally makes your explanations void unless you can prove Israel possessed from the river in Egypt to the Euphrates.
    when you can prove that then you will have my ear

  22. on 27 Nov 2010 at 2:15 amWolfgang

    Mark C.,

    so then, are we reading about “PART of the land” (as you say)? or are we reading about “ALL of the land”? Did God fulfill PART of what He had promised to the forefathers regarding the land or did He fulfill ALL of what He had promised and sworn to the forefathers …??

    Mixing in all kinds of other scriptures which are not necessarily even relating to the promise and oath about the land does only help to confuse the matter instead of leading to a correct understanding …

    If one wants to take into consideration an important point from the overall scope of Scripture, one ought to consider that what is written in the Law (5 books of Moses) and the other OT scriptures possessed a shadow of the NT good things and realities which were to come (cp Heb 10:1).

  23. on 27 Nov 2010 at 5:16 amMark C.

    Wolfgang,

    so then, are we reading about “PART of the land” (as you say)? or are we reading about “ALL of the land”? Did God fulfill PART of what He had promised to the forefathers regarding the land or did He fulfill ALL of what He had promised and sworn to the forefathers …??

    I never said “part of the land” or “all of the land.” Please don’t put words in my mouth. The Scriptures I cited are quite straightforward. Where do you see “mixing in all kinds of other scriptures which are not necessarily even relating to the promise and oath about the land”? God said repeatedly to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that the land in which they dwelt He had given to them, and would give to their descendants as well. (I even went back and highlighted it for easier reference.)

    The land in which the nation of Israel settled was the land God had promised. But God gave a condition. If they disobeyed Him and turned to idolatry they would be cut off from the land. We know that this is what happened, and yet He had promised it to Abraham and his descendants forever, as well as promising David that a king would sit on his throne forever. How God brought about His plan in spite of Israel’s disobedience is a marvelous testimony to His grace, which is unfolded in the Prophets and elaborated on in the New Testament. (Again, see my web site for the Scripture references.)

    As for the shadows of good things in the NT, Paul describes in no uncertain terms what those shadows were, and what they were replaced with. But nowhere does he describe a change from a promised literal kingdom on earth to a figurative or spiritual one. We’ve been over this. That’s why I agree with Steve Taylor’s article that I posted, which says that a good starting point is to examine how Jesus defined the Kingdom of God.

  24. on 27 Nov 2010 at 7:26 amWolfgang

    Mark C.,

    how did Jesus define the kingdom or reign of God? as a political kingdom (a political nation/state with a king reigning over it) ?

    Or did Jesus describe throughout his teaching and preaching that God’s reign had actually nothing whatever to do with an earthly political kingdom with Jesus residing at an earthly Jerusalem and exercising a political reign from there (be it for either exactly 1000 — rather than only 999 or perhaps even 1001 — years or forever) ?

    What does God’s promise about the Messiah’s reign have to do with the God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants about the land ?

    You yourself mention that the promise regarding the land (even though it had been that they would have the land forever) was CONDITIONAL on their obedience … since they disobeyed, they indeed did later on forfeit what God indeed already had brought to pass and given them (namely ALL the land, He had sworn to the forefathers). Why is it that you now sort of “take back” the condition and take off on the word “forever” and make of it that they — despite their disobedience and despite having broken the condition — somehow will nevertheless still in a future time will be given the land again?

  25. on 27 Nov 2010 at 9:14 amMark C.

    Wolfgang,

    how did Jesus define the kingdom or reign of God? as a political kingdom (a political nation/state with a king reigning over it) ?

    Or did Jesus describe throughout his teaching and preaching that God’s reign had actually nothing whatever to do with an earthly political kingdom with Jesus residing at an earthly Jerusalem and exercising a political reign from there (be it for either exactly 1000 — rather than only 999 or perhaps even 1001 — years or forever) ?

    Yes, that is the question. I believe the Bible teaches the former, and have presented Scriptural evidence. You seem to believe the latter but have presented no evidence.

    What does God’s promise about the Messiah’s reign have to do with the God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants about the land ?

    Seriously? So you’re not even familiar with the position against which you are arguing?

    You yourself mention that the promise regarding the land (even though it had been that they would have the land forever) was CONDITIONAL on their obedience … since they disobeyed, they indeed did later on forfeit what God indeed already had brought to pass and given them (namely ALL the land, He had sworn to the forefathers). Why is it that you now sort of “take back” the condition and take off on the word “forever” and make of it that they — despite their disobedience and despite having broken the condition — somehow will nevertheless still in a future time will be given the land again?

    I have said several times that the unfolding of God’s plan, especially in light of what you ask, is outlined in the Prophets, and that the Scripture references are in the articles on my website, especially “The Kingdom in the Prophets” (which was reprinted on this site, as seen here.) I asked if you’ve read them. Clearly you have not. If you really want answers, at least deal with what’s been presented. If you just want to argue, I won’t waste my time repeating myself.

  26. on 27 Nov 2010 at 11:29 amrobert

    The adherents of Normative Judaism and those of traditional Christianity believe that Yahweh swore to Abraham that He would greatly multiply his descendants and that He would give the land of Canaan to them:

    “I will assign this land [of Canaan] to your offspring” [Genesis 12:7]. “I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God” [Genesis 17:8].

    “On that day Yahweh made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites” [Genesis 15:18-21].

    In Genesis 26:3-5 we are told that Yahweh also appeared to Isaac and confirmed his unconditional promise, telling him that his descendants will inherit the whole land of Canaan:

    “Sojourn in this land [Canaan], and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I GIVE ALL THESE LANDS, AND I WILL PERFORM THE OATH WHICH I SWORE TO ABRAHAM YOUR FATHER. And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I WILL GIVE TO YOUR DESCENDANTS ALL THESE LANDS; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; BECAUSE ABRAHAM OBEYED MY VOICE AND KEPT MY CHARGE, MY COMMANDMENTS, MY STATUTES, AND MY LAWS.”

    Yahweh allegedly swore to Abraham an unconditional oath that he would give the whole land of Canaan to his descendants. The oath was sworn after Abraham was allegedly prepared to sacrifice his own son Isaac to Yahweh. Because of Abraham’s unrestrained devotion and obedience, it is said that Yahweh swore the unconditional oath [Genesis 22:18-19]. In Genesis 28:13-14 this unconditional promise was also repeated to Jacob:

    “And behold, Yahweh stood above it [ladder] and said: I am Yahweh God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; THE LAND ON WHICH YOU LIE I WILL GIVE TO YOU AND YOUR DESCENDANTS. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; YOU SHALL SPREAD ABROAD TO THE WEST AND TO THE EAST, TO THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

    That Yahweh allegedly swore an unconditional oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is repeated in Deuteronomy 7:6-8: “

    For you [Israelites] are a holy people to Yahweh your God; Yahweh your God has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. YAHWEH DID NOT SET HIS LOVE ON YOU NOR CHOOSE YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE MORE IN NUMBER THAN ANY OTHER PEOPLE, for you were the least of all peoples; BUT BECAUSE YAHWEH LOVES YOU, AND BECAUSE HE WOULD KEEP THE OATH WHICH HE SWORE TO YOUR FATHERS, YAHWEH HAS BROUGHT YOU OUT WITH A MIGHTY HAND, AND REDEEMED YOU FROM THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Therefore KNOW THAT YAHWEH YOUR GOD, HE IS GOD, THE FAITHFUL GOD WHO KEEPS COVENANT AND MERCY FOR A THOUSAND GENERATIONS.”

    Clearly the alleged oath to the Patriarchs had nothing to do with the obedience of the Israelites. It was UNCONDITIONAL and Yahweh was going to GIVE THEM THE WHOLE LAND OF CANAAN even though they did not deserve it because of their repeated rebellion. This fact is expressly stated by Moses in Deuteronomy 9:1-6:

    “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over Jordan today, and GO IN TO DISPOSSESS NATIONS GREATER AND MIGHTIER THAN YOURSELF, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, Who can stand before the descendants of Anak? Therefore understand today that Yahweh your God is he WHO GOES OVER BEFORE YOU AS A CONSUMING FIRE. HE WILL DESTROY THEM AND BRING THEM DOWN BEFORE YOU; SO YOU SHALL DRIVE THEM OUT AND DESTROY THEM QUICKLY, AS YAHWEH HAS SAID TO YOU. DO NOT THINK IN YOUR HEART, AFTER YAHWEH YOUR GOD HAS CAST THEM OUT BEFORE YOU, SAYING, BECAUSE OF MY RIGHTEOUSNESS YAHWEH HAS BROUGHT ME IN TO POSSESS THIS LAND; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh is driving them out from before you. IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS OR THE UPRIGHTNESS OF YOUR HEART THAT YOU GO IN TO POSSESS THEIR LAND, but because of the wickedness of these nations that Yahweh your God drives them out from before you, AND THAT HE MAY FULFIL THE WORD WHICH YAHWEH SWORE TO YOUR FATHERS, TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB. Therefore understand that Yahweh your God IS NOT GIVING YOU THIS GOOD LAND TO POSSESS BECAUSE OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS , FOR YOU ARE A STIFF-NECKED PEOPLE.”

    Moses goes on to remind the Israelites of their repeated rebellion and disobedience in the desert. The text therefore explicitly and irrefutably says that the OATH given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was UNCONDITIONAL and that Yahweh was going to CONQUER THE WHOLE LAND OF CANAAN so that his oath and promise to the Patriarchs could be fulfilled. In Deuteronomy 4:37-38 these words are ascribed to the lips of Moses:

    “And because he [Yahweh] LOVED YOUR FATHERS [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], THEREFORE HE CHOSE THEIR DESCENDANTS AFTER THEM; and he brought you out of Egypt with his Presence, with his mighty power, DRIVING OUT FROM BEFORE YOU NATIONS GREATER AND MIGHTIER THAN YOU, TO BRING YOU IN, TO GIVE YOU THEIR LAND AS AN INHERITANCE, AS IT IS THIS DAY.”

    Yahweh pledged to give the whole land of Canaan to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob even though they were rebellious and wicked. Even after the incident and the worship of the golden calf, Yahweh still pledged to lead the people to the land of Canaan – because of his oath to the Patriarchs. In Exodus 32:34 and 33:1-2 Yahweh commanded Moses:

    “Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Behold, my Angel will go before you…Then Yahweh said to Moses, Depart and go up from here [Sinai] THOU AND THE PEOPLE WHOM YOU HAVE BROUGHT OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT, TO THE LAND OF WHICH I SWORE TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB, SAYING, TO YOUR DESCENDANTS I WILL GIVE IT. AND I WILL SEND MY ANGEL BEFORE YOU, AND I WILL DRIVE OUT THE CANAANITE AND THE AMORITE AND THE HITTITE AND THE PERIZZITE AND THE HIVITE AND THE JEBUSITE.”

    When Moses grew old and was 120 years of age, he appointed Joshua as the leader of Israel and charged him to go and lead the people to the land of Canaan. Moses solemnly promised that Yahweh would conquer the land for his people because of the OATH he gave to the Patriarchs. Deuteronomy 31:1-8 explicitly says:

    “Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also Yahweh has said to me, you shall not cross over this Jordan. YAHWEH YOUR GOD HIMSELF CROSSES OVER BEFORE YOU, HE WILL DESTROY THESE NATIONS FROM BEFORE YOU, JUST AS YAHWEH HAS SAID. And Yahweh will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites and their land, when he destroyed them. YAHWEH WILL GIVE THEM OVER TO YOU, THAT YOU MAY DO TO THEM ACCORDING TO EVERY COMMANDMENT WHICH I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; FOR YAHWEH YOUR GOD, HE IS THE ONE WHO GOES WITH YOU. HE WILL NOT LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU. Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people TO THE LAND WHICH YAHWEH HAS SWORN TO THEIR FATHERS TO GIVE THEM, AND YOU SHALL CAUSE THEM TO INHERIT IT. And Yahweh, HE IS THE ONE WHO GOES BEFORE YOU. HE WILL BE WITH YOU, HE WILL NOT LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU; DO NOT FEAR NOR BE DISMAYED.”

    In Deuteronomy 31:16, 19-21 we are told that Yahweh knew that the Israelites were going to forsake him and serve the hinder gods – once they inherit the land of Canaan. Nevertheless, Yahweh still promised to lead them to that land because of the OATH he gave to the Patriarchs:

    “And Yahweh said to Moses: Behold you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the prostitute with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake me and break my covenant which I have made with them…Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. WHEN I HAVE BROUGHT THEM TO THE LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY, OF WHICH I SWORE TO THEIR FATHERS, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke me and break my covenant. Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify against them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, FOR I KNOW THE INCLINATION OF THEIR BEHAVIOUR TODAY, EVEN BEFORE I HAVE BROUGHT THEM TO THE LAND OF WHICH I SWORE TO GIVE THEM.”

    Even though Yahweh was aware that the Israelites were going to desert him and serve the hinder gods – the very gods of Canaan – he still purposed to deliver them to the land of Canaan and give them the WHOLE LAND just as HE SWORE BOTH TO THEM AND THEIR FATHERS. After the death of Moses, Yahweh told Joshua to go ahead and lead the people to the land of Canaan. He told him to take possession of the whole land and not to be afraid since no man would be able to withstand him:

    “After the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, it came to pass that Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore, ARISE, GO OVER THIS JORDAN, YOU AND ALL THISPEOPLE – TO THE LAND WHICH I AM GIVING THEM – THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. EVERY PLACE THAT THE SOLE OF YOUR FOOT WILL TREAD UPON I HAVE GIVEN YOU, AS I SAID TO MOSES. FROM THE WILDERNESS AND THIS LEBANON AS FAR AS THE GREAT RIVER, THE RIVER EUPHRATES, ALL THE LAND OF THE HITTITES, AND TO THE GREAT SEA TOWARDS THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, SHALL BE YOUR TERRITORY. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, FOR TO THIS PEOPLE YOU SHALL DIVIDE AS AN INHERITANCE THE LAND WHICH I SWORE TO THEIR FATHERS TO GIVE THEM” [Joshua 1:1-6].

    Please note the boundaries of the land they were to possess. Their empire was to stretch as far as the river Euphrates and in fact any land on which they stepped with their feet was to be their. Joshua 10:40-43 expressly says that Joshua did everything Yahweh told him to do and that in one campaign Joshua conquered the WHOLE LAND:

    “So Joshua smote ALL the land, the hill-country, and the South, and the lowland, and the slopes, and all their kings: he left none remaining, BUT HE UTTERLY DESTROYED ALL THAT BREATHED, AS YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, COMMANDED. And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. AND ALL THESE KINGS AND THEIR LAND DID JOSHUA TAKE AT ONE TIME, BECAUSE YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, FOUGHT FOR ISRAEL. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.”

    This claim is repeatedly stated in the book of Joshua. Please carefully note Joshua 11:6-15:

    “And Yahweh said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them [the armies of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Hivites poised for battle against the Israelites], for tomorrow at this time will I deliver them up ALL slain before Israel: thou shalt hock their horses, and burn their chariots with fire. So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly, and fell upon them. And Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Israel, and they smote them, and chased them unto great Sidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, UNTIL THEY LEFT THEM NONE REMAINING. And Joshua did unto them as Yahweh bade him: he hocked their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire. And Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor before time was the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; THERE WERE NONE LEFT THAT BREATHED: and he burnt Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and he smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded. But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn. And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, NEITHER LEFT THEY ANY THAT BREATHED. As Yahweh commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua: and so did Joshua; HE LEFT NOTHING UNDONE OF ALL THAT YAHWEH COMMANDED MOSES.”

    Now please note Joshua 11:23:

    “So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that Yahweh spake unto Moses; and Joshua GAVE IT FOR AN INHERITANCE UNTO ISRAEL ACCORDING TO THEIR DIVISIONS BY THEIR TRIBES. AND THE LAND HAD REST FROM WAR.” Joshua 21:43-45 says: “SO YAHWEH GAVE UNTO ISRAEL ALL THE LAND WHICH HE SWARE TO GIVE UNTO THEIR FATHERS; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. AND YAHWEH GAVE THEM REST ROUND ABOUT, ACCORDING TO ALL THAT HE SWARE UNTO THEIR FATHERS: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; YAHWEH DELIVERED ALL THEIR ENEMIES INTO THEIR HAND. THERE FAILED NOT AUGHT OF ANY GOOD THING WHICH YAHWEH HAD SPOKEN UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. ALL CAME TO PASS.”

    If this is not clear and plain then I guess nothing in the Bible is clear. The texts plainly say that Yahweh through Joshua CONQUERED THE ENTIRE REGION and the WHOLE LAND – THE LAND WHICH HE SWORE TO GIVE THEM. Joshua left NOTHING UNDONE. The Israelites settled in the land and the entire population was wiped out. After conquering the entire region the Israelites finally lived in safety and rested from war. Time and time again, the conquered peoples were named in the land prophecies: the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Jebusites, and the Perizzites. But as always, the authors of the Bible disagree among themselves and the redactors played a role in the final revision of the Bible. This author [s] present a completely different scenario, claiming that in fact most of the land Yahweh swore to give the Israelites was in fact UNCONQUERED as long as JOSHUA WAS ALIVE and in fact REMAINED UNCONQUERED.

    These alternative passages clearly and unblushingly state that the Israelites in fact were unable to conquer the Canaanites because they had IRON CHARIOTS. This author either was unaware that Yahweh was going to fight the battles himself or else he did not think Yahweh was able to conquer these mighty nations. This author/redactor unreservedly says that Joshua in fact did not conquer the land nor did he accomplish everything just as Moses said he would. Please note the text of Joshua 13:1-6:

    “Now Joshua was old and well stricken in years; and Yahweh said unto him, Thou art old and well stricken in years, AND THERE REMAINETH YET VERY MUCH LAND TO BE POSSESSED. This is the land that yet remaineth: all the regions of the Philistines, and all the Geshurites; from the Shihor, which is before Egypt, even unto the border of Ekron northward, which is reckoned to the Canaanites; the five lords of the Philistines; the Gazites, and the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avvim, on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongeth to the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the border of the Amorites; and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entrance of Hamath; all the inhabitants of the hill-country from Lebanon unto Misrephothmaim, even all the Sidonians; them will I drive out from before the children of Israel: only allot thou it unto Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded thee.”

    This passage directly contradicts the claim in Joshua 11:23 that Joshua

    “took the whole land, according to all that Yahweh spake unto Moses”

    so that the land had rest from war. All of the territorial regions specified in this text as land that remained unconquered in fact lay within the boundaries that were laid out in Joshua 1:1-6. So if Joshua had indeed taken “the WHOLE land, according to all that Yahweh spake unto Moses,” as stated in Joshua 11:23, how could it be said later that “very much land” remained to be possessed? We have seen previously that both Moses and Yahweh promised the Israelites that they would easily conquer the whole land since Yahweh would go ahead of them as a “consuming fire.” The promise was repeated to Joshua and the previous passages clearly show that Joshua and the Israelites conquered the WHOLE LAND and then RESTED FROM WAR. But another hand in Joshua 15:63 plainly says that the Israelites could not drive out the Jebusites nor could they actually take JERUSALEM – a city which was supposedly to be their one and only place of worship:

    “And as for the JEBUSITES, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” Why could not the tribe of Judah defeat the Jebusites when they were one of the nations “greater and mightier than you” of which both Moses and Yahweh said that they would be destroyed on behalf of the Israelites? Joshua 16:10 says: “And they [Ephraim and Manasseh] drove not out the CANAANITES that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell in the midst of Ephraim unto this day, and are become servants to do taskwork.”

    The Canaanites however were specifically listed as one of the seven nations that would be completely destroyed and they were to be completely destroyed and in fact were according to other source of Joshua. In Joshua 17:12-13 we are explicitly told that Manasseh could not defeat the Canaanites because the Canaanites were determined to live in their homeland. How could this be when elsewhere we are told that Joshua conquered the WHOLE LAND and that nothing was left UNDONE? There are other places where it is said that the Israelites could not drive out the inhabitants of the promised land. Yet both Moses and Yahweh promised that they will defeat all those nations and drive them out “without fail.”

    IF “Yahweh gave unto Israel ALL the land which he sware to give unto their fathers” [Joshua 21:43-45] and IF “they possessed it and dwelt therein” [same verses] and IF Yahweh “gave them rest round about, according to ALL that he sware unto their fathers” [same verses] and IF “there stood not a man of ALL their enemies before them” [same verses] and IF “Yahweh delivered all their enemies into their hand” [same verses] and IF “there failed not AUGHT of any good thing which Yahweh had spoken unto the house of Israel” [same verses] and IF “ALL came to pass” [same verses], how then could another source say that that when Joshua grew old there was STILL VERY MUCH LAND TO BE CONQUERED? Those who believe that the Bible is infallible and inerrant have much to explain. If the alternative passages in Joshua present problems and serious discrepancies, the texts in the book of Judges cause even more serious problems.

    In Judges 1;1-4 we are told that Judah was to start his campaign against the Canaanites and Perizzites only after the DEATH OF JOSHUA. In fact, the same text also says that Simeon had not as yet received his inheritance and Judah promised to help him in his campaign if he would help Judah defeat the Canaanites and Perizzites. In the same chapter, verses 10-15 a great blunder is made. Here we are told that Judah conquered HEBRON formerly called KIRJATH ARBA actually AFTER THE DEATH OF JOSHUA and that the three sons of Anak were then killed. But in Joshua 14:6-15 says that it was in fact Joshua himself who gave Caleb the city Hebron and in 15:14-15 we read:

    “Now to Caleb the son of Jephunneh he [Joshua] gave a portion among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of Yahweh to Joshua, namely Kirjath Arba, which is Hebron [Arba was the father of Anak]. CALEB DROVE OUT the three sons of Anak from there.”

    After Caleb took possession of Hebron it is said [verse 15] that the LAND HAD REST FROM WAR – since the WHOLE LAND was then conquered. The two texts are therefore in variance. But there is even a greater blunder yet to be discovered when we deal with Caleb and his inheritance. In Joshua 15:15-19 we read how Caleb also conquered the city of Kirjath Sepher, that is, Debir. This of course took place while Joshua was still alive. The same account – almost word for word – is recorded in Judges 1:11-15 only here is claimed that this conquest did not take place while Joshua was alive but in fact after his death. Please note the two texts as they are found in the New King James Bible:

    “Then he [Caleb] went from there [Hebron] to the inhabitants of Debir [formerly the name of Debir was Kirjath Sepher]. And Caleb said, He who attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to him I will give Achsah my daughter as wife. So Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. Now it was so, when she came to him, that she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, What do you wish? She answered, Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water. So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs” [Joshua 15:15-19].“From there [Hebron] they went against the inhabitants of Debir. [The name of Debir was formerly Kirjath Sepher]. Then Caleb said, He who attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Acsah as wife. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so he gave him his daughter Achsah as wife. Now it was so, when she came to him, that she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, What do you wish? So she said to him, Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water. Then Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs” [Judges 1:11-15].

    Identical event and the same account but with two major contradictions. The Joshua’s account makes it plain that the incident took place BEFORE THE DEATH OF JOSHUA and that after this conquest the Israelites RESTED FROM WAR – since the WHOLE LAND OF CANAAN WAS CONQUERED BY THEN. The Judges account however makes it very clear that the incident took place AFTER THE DEATH OF JOSHUA and that this was THE VERY BEGINNING OF CONQUEST and that THE PROMISED LAND WAS NOT AS YET CONQUERED. An amazing thing is stated in Judges 1:19. It is said that Yahweh was with the warriors of Judah and that they were able to conquer much land but that although Yahweh was with them THEY COULD NOT DEFEAT THE CANAANITES IN THE VALLEY BECAUSE THEY POSSESSED THE CHARIOTS OF IRON and were therefore too strong for the warriors of Judah:

    “Also Judah took Gaza with its territory, Ashkelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. So YAHWEH WAS WITH JUDAH. And they drove out the inhabitants of the MOUNTAINS, BUT THEY COULD NOT DRIVE OUT THE INHABITANTS OF THE LOWLAND, BECAUSE THEY HAD CHARIOTS OF IRON.”

    There are numerous texts where both Moses and Yahweh encouraged the people not to fear the nations of Canaan because they would defeat them all WITHOUT FAIL. The spies were condemned because they said that the Israelites could not defeat the fortified cities and because there were even ANAKIM WARRIORS who were of gigantic statue and who were the descendants of ancient Nephilim. How then could it be said that Judah could not drive out the Canaanites from the valleys because of their IRON CHARIOTS even though YAHWEH WAS WITH HIM? Moreover, why was there a need for Judah to fight for his territory when, as we have already seen, the WHOLE LAND WAS CONQUERED and Judah in fact already inherited the whole allotment while Joshua was still alive? Joshua 14:1-5 explicitly says that the CONQUERED LAND was divided among the TRIBES OF ISRAEL in accordance with the INSTRUCTIONS OF MOSES. Chapter 15 describes in detail the land Judah inherited while Joshua was still alive.

    Judges 1:27-28 also shows that Manasseh could not drive out the Canaanites from the valleys – as was the case with Judah. The Canaanites were determined to preserve their land. What about the promise that they would take possession of the whole land WITHOUT FAIL? The same chapter goes on to say that also Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali also failed to drive out the natives out of their territories. Verse 34 says that the Amorites were too powerful for the tribe of Dan and that they forced them to the mountains – since they were determined to hold onto their homeland. In Judges 3:1-5 the redactor inserted a gloss in order to explain the failure of the tribes to drive out and defeat the enemies in the land of Canaan. The redactor claimed that it was Yahweh himself who left all these nations in the land so that the Israelites who were untrained warriors could learn to fight and that Yahweh could also test the Israelites through these nations:

    “Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, that he might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan [this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it], namely, five lords of the Philistines, ALL the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivvites who dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. And they were left, that he might test Israel by them, to know whether they would obey the commandments of Yahweh, which he had commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. SO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DWELT AMONG THE CANAANITES, THE HITTITES, THE AMORITES, THE PERIZZITES, THE HIVITES, AND THE JEBUSITES.”

    Here we find the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites very much alive and in fact very powerful – possessing iron chariots and great strength – so much so that in Judges 1 we are told that their survival had nothing to do with later warfare training but rather that the Israelites SIMPLY COULD NOT DEFEAT THEM. But both texts are forgeries. Neither Judges 1 nor Judges 3:1-5 could be true if the previous texts of Joshua are true. In Joshua 11:3 we read of the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Preizzites, Jebusites, and the Hivites – exactly the same six nations named in Judges 3:5 – mustering their armies against Joshua and the Israelites. Yahweh told Joshua not to be afraid but to go and fight these nations since they would all be delivered into their hands. Verses 6-12 describe in detail how the Israelites defeated these six nations and how they destroyed their cities and killed EVERYTHING THAT BREATHED IN THOSE CITITES. Verse 15 says that Joshua did to these six nations everything that Moses commanded him to do. He left nothing undone.

    These passages of Joshua clearly show that the WHOLE LAND WAS CONQUERED and that ALL THESE NATIONS WERE COMPLETELY DESTROYED and that the Israelites and the WHOLE LAND HAD REST FROM WAR. Judges and the books of Samuel clearly show that the Israelites never had rest from war but that until the days of King David they were continually mistreated by the very nations which Joshua allegedly completely destroyed and wiped out. The Israelites were weak and continually served the native people of the promised land. Judges 18:1 shows that the tribe of Dan was basically without territory and that even at that time they still did not inherit bulk of the territories which belonged to them – despite of the fact that in Joshua it was said that all the tribes received their inheritance in the days of Joshua and rested from war. It follows then that the burden of explaining rests on those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and not those who believe that the Bible is fallible and that many passages were corrupted and written by the “lying pen of the scribes” [Jeremiah 8:8]. Yahweh swore to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants and Joshua allegedly did everything Moses told him to do and completely wiped out the nations of Canaan but these nations were very much alive after the death of Joshua and were a force to be reckoned with. Someone obviously got his story wrong.

  27. on 27 Nov 2010 at 12:29 pmrobert

    Plus if Israel was giving All the land and lived in it and Rested like the contradictory statements in Joshua state then what Hebrews 4 states makes no sense. Israel was never to possess this land fully until God’s 1000 Year rest which means this promise was never fulfilled as of yet

    Hebrews 4
    8 For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.

  28. on 27 Nov 2010 at 3:26 pmMark C.

    Robert,

    Where is this from? Please provide references.

  29. on 28 Nov 2010 at 11:21 amDoubting Thomas

    Robert,
    Your article says, “It follows then that the burden of explaining rests on those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and not those who believe that the Bible is fallible and that many passages were corrupted and written by the “lying pen of the scribes” [Jeremiah 8:8].

    Jeremiah 8:8 (English Standard Version)

    8(A) “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
    and the law of the LORD is with us’?
    But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
    has made it into a lie.

    I found the article very interesting (I only have a very limited knowledge of the O.T.). I’m just wondering which books in the O.T. you think were corrupted and written by the “lying pen of the scribes”…

  30. on 28 Nov 2010 at 11:57 amrobert

    “Where is this from?”

    Mark
    Of what difference does it make who wrote it.

    “Please provide references.”

    Mark
    The whole article was packed with references.

  31. on 28 Nov 2010 at 12:16 pmrobert

    “I found the article very interesting (I only have a very limited knowledge of the O.T.). I’m just wondering which books in the O.T. you think were corrupted and written by the “lying pen of the scribes”… ”

    Thomas
    I have no idea so everything I believe must be proved and reproved making sure that it is translated correctly,it fits all historical evidence and makes common sense with the whole context of the bible.

  32. on 28 Nov 2010 at 2:04 pmMark C.

    Of what difference does it make who wrote it.

    When you quote an entire article, it is standard practice to include a reference to your source. These are obviously not your words, so why would you not want to say whose words they are?

    Mark
    The whole article was packed with references.

    I was referring to references to the source of the article.

  33. on 28 Nov 2010 at 2:28 pmrobert

    “When you quote an entire article, it is standard practice to include a reference to your source. These are obviously not your words, so why would you not want to say whose words they are?”

    Mark
    Of what profit to you is knowing the author, besides if I did write this it would read the same.
    Do you find fault in the article?
    or is you dont ?
    State the purpose for knowing the author.

  34. on 28 Nov 2010 at 3:59 pmMark C.

    Of what profit to you is knowing the author, besides if I did write this it would read the same.

    That’s called plagiarism.

    Do you find fault in the article?

    Yes, I find great fault with the suggestion that we can’t trust the Scriptures.

    or is you dont ?

    Sorry, what?

    State the purpose for knowing the author.

    I stated the purpose, i.e. it’s standard practice. State the purpose for not wanting to reveal your source.

  35. on 28 Nov 2010 at 4:21 pmrobert

    “Yes, I find great fault with the suggestion that we can’t trust the Scriptures.”

    Mark
    Jeremiah states that it has been corrupted at his time, do you not trust his words.

    “I stated the purpose, i.e. it’s standard practice. State the purpose for not wanting to reveal your source.”

    Mark
    The article stands on it own because ALL references are written in OUR BIBLE.
    Is the reason you want to know who wrote it because the only defence you have is to discredit the author somehow because of one his other beliefs. Maybe you think he is a trinitarian,muslum,athesis or believes in UFO’s and that changes the facts presented in this article.
    Prove this article false by the facts not by the author.

  36. on 28 Nov 2010 at 5:01 pmMark C.

    Prove this article false by the facts not by the author.

    I find it amazing that you would say that after rejecting solid evidence concerning the Hebrew language based on your claim of “bias in all lexicons.” If you don’t want to reveal your source, that’s your choice, but it weakens any credibility of the words in it.

    I have to wonder, if Jaco, Wolfgang, or Doubting Thomas had asked where that article came from, would you be as obstinate? It seems like just another round of your “We are oil and water and cannot get along” stance. But have it your way.

  37. on 28 Nov 2010 at 5:29 pmrobert

    “If you don’t want to reveal your source, that’s your choice, but it weakens any credibility of the words in it.”

    Mark
    As i said “The article stands on it own because ALL references are written in OUR BIBLE.”
    Just how could it weaken the credibilty of it?????

    “I have to wonder, if Jaco, Wolfgang, or Doubting Thomas had asked where that article came from, would you be as obstinate?”

    Mark
    If Thomas was to ask it would be given without question because there is no one I trust more here to judge by the facts only.
    As far as Jaco goes it would take a good reason why it matters , the same I am requiring of You or Wolfgang

  38. on 28 Nov 2010 at 5:34 pmMark C.

    Robert,

    Thank you for being so honest. You have once again reduced a potential exchange of ideas to a personality conflict. I will not be a part of it. Have a nice day.

  39. on 28 Nov 2010 at 5:52 pmrobert

    “You have once again reduced a potential exchange of ideas to a personality conflict.”

    Mark
    Trust is something that is earned which Thomas has done over and over.
    I have an enormous amount of respect for Jaco in which I lumped you in with. Just how have I made this a personality conflict.
    I just cant figure out why knowing who the Author is of this article is of any profit to a discussion on this article. I have been left with presumning your motives but never accussing you of them.
    To deny this article requires denying the verses stated in it.

  40. on 28 Nov 2010 at 8:31 pmDoubting Thomas

    Robert,
    Thank you for the kind words. I agree with Mark that it is good to exchange ideas, but I also agree with you that the source of an article should not take away from the facts contained there-in. I’ve seen Christians quote Jewish or other non christian sources. I’ve seen Unitarians quote Trinitarian sources. I’ve even seen atheists quote Christian sources.

    The way I see it information can come from any source. In my opinion the most reliable source is the word of God. Of course everybody here knows I have my doubts about the accuracy of some books and letters. But I can understand why Mark (and many others) believe the bible is infallible. This has been the standard Christian teaching for many centuries.

    I was once watching a show about a theology Professor in the late 1800’s who gave a lecture saying he doubted that Moses actually wrote the first 5 books of the bible. (One of the reasons was that one of these books talks about the death of Moses). The church held a huge public (show) trial and found him guilty and kicked him out of the church and took away his pastoral accreditations.

    This action by the church (I think it was the baptist church) actually caused his ideas to spread faster and farther then they probably otherwise would have. Many similar thinking groups of people emerged. I guess what I am trying to say is you can’t stop ideas from spreading. Any attempt usually ends up backfiring.

    I respect Mark and the many other people out there that believe in the infallibility of the bible. I just don’t personally agree with them and think we should look at each book and letter on an individual basis. I do thank God for providing a site like this where people of differing views can exchange their ideas freely and openly…

  41. on 29 Nov 2010 at 11:40 pmKarl

    Robert wrote:

    State the purpose for knowing the author.

    Now you guys got me curious too.

    Robert, do you know who wrote that article? If so, who was it and/or where did you get it from?

  42. on 30 Nov 2010 at 10:40 amrobert

    Karl
    I received this via email from a reader of this blog who because has had bad experiences with blogs and forums will not post on them. I first received an email from this person supporting me when Mark banned me last year.
    He said that he had posted this on other blogs , but was deleted and then some very hateful emails followed and on one the owner deleted it but then posted it later as his own and banned him when he pointed it out.
    I know very little about this person but had no problem posting this after I fact checked it which is all I care about.
    Why is it important to you to know who this author is?

  43. on 30 Nov 2010 at 7:38 pmMark C.

    Robert,

    Just curious…

    1. What kind of “fact checking” did you do, and how?

    2. In your fact checking, did you happen to find anything about the definition and boundaries of the Land of Canaan, which is not the same as the land from the Nile to the Euphrates? Nobody ever said that under Joshua they conquered the entire land from Nile to Euphrates.

    (P.S. – I’ve started looking into this matter in more detail, and will present a study in the near future.  But this question, which seems to be at the crux of the author’s argument, struck me right away.)

  44. on 30 Nov 2010 at 8:54 pmrobert

    “1. What kind of “fact checking” did you do, and how?”

    Mark
    The only fact checking needed was the verses quoted which told the WHOLE History

    “2. In your fact checking, did you happen to find anything about the definition and boundaries of the Land of Canaan, which is not the same as the land from the Nile to the Euphrates? Nobody ever said that under Joshua they conquered the entire land from Nile to Euphrates.”

    Mark
    The land on Canaan in Abrahams time was from the Nile to Euphrates. The promise to Abraham is what defines whether the Israelites ever possessed the Land which defines fulfillment.
    The fact is the Israelites never really possessed any land because they never removed all the inhabitants.
    This is still a future fulfillment to those of the Mosaic covenant

    “(P.S. – I’ve started looking into this matter in more detail, and will present a study in the near future. But this question, which seems to be at the crux of the author’s argument, struck me right away.) ”

    Mark
    I look forward to it

  45. on 30 Nov 2010 at 10:05 pmMark C.

    The only fact checking needed was the verses quoted which told the WHOLE History

    That’s not “fact” checking. Of course the verses he quoted are in the Bible. But how he interprets them and what he says about them are what is in question.

    The land on Canaan in Abrahams time was from the Nile to Euphrates.

    I’m sorry, but this is simply not true. Look it up in any reference book. And this is part of the problem with his premise.

    The fact is the Israelites never really possessed any land because they never removed all the inhabitants.
    This is still a future fulfillment to those of the Mosaic covenant

    I agree that they did not completely fulfill the promises to Abraham, and that the fulfillment is yet future. So we are in agreement about that, which was the point that Wolfgang was questioning. This little snippet from Part 1 of Anthony’s article does in fact address what Joshua says.

    The promise to the nation of Israel received a primary fulfillment under Joshua’s leadership (Josh. 21:45). Long after the death of the patriarchs, both the Law and the writings of the prophets of Israel express the conviction that Israel’s settlement of the land under Joshua was only an incomplete fulfillment of the covenant made with Abraham. It was clear that the patriarchs had never gained possession of the land. A further and final fulfillment was to be expected. The point is a simple one with momentous implications for New Testament Christians who become heirs to the Abrahamic covenant.

    What you and I disagree on is how to explain the apparent discrepancy of the verses in Joshua. I believe there is a possible explanation other than corruption of Scripture. I’ll write more on that as I study it further.

  46. on 30 Nov 2010 at 10:25 pmrobert

    “That’s not “fact” checking. Of course the verses he quoted are in the Bible. But how he interprets them and what he says about them are what is in question.”

    Mark
    the verses are so clear why would they need interpretation

    “I’m sorry, but this is simply not true. Look it up in any reference book. And this is part of the problem with his premise.”

    Mark
    Most the nations mention in Joshua didnt even exist at the time of Abraham. I am very certain that much of that land was still flooded at the time of Abraham because there is no outlet. The shore of the dead sea in present day is 1000+ ft BELOW sea level with a large area around also below sea level. Have you ever wondered why the dead sea has so much salt. It is because when the Sea spilled into that area during the flood only the water evaporated concentrating the salt which took several hundred years

    “What you and I disagree on is how to explain the apparent discrepancy of the verses in Joshua. I’ll write more on that as I study it further. ”

    Mark
    They dont need explanations because they are clear and History backs them completely. even the writings of the prophets show that Joshua was altered to show that Israel fulfilled the Promise. The one Wolfgang used is just a mistranslation because of the lies of the lexicons.

  47. on 30 Nov 2010 at 11:19 pmMark C.

    the verses are so clear why would they need interpretation

    But he does in fact offer interpretation and draw conclusions that are not warranted by what is written. This is what I disagree with.

    As for Canaan, the nations mentioned in Joshua and the amount of water that may or may not have been still present on the land have nothing to do with it. The Land of Canaan is defined as being a small part of the entire land from Euphrates to Nile.

    They dont need explanations because they are clear and History backs them completely. even the writings of the prophets show that Joshua was altered to show that Israel fulfilled the Promise.

    What needs explanation is the fact that some of the verses in Joshua seem to say that they inherited all of the land. That understanding is not backed up by history, as you know. There are two possible explanations. Either we misunderstand what the verses are saying, or the the book of Joshua (as we have it) is just wrong.

    The Prophets do not say that Joshua was corrupted. The verse you mentioned in an earlier post (Jer. 8:8), first of all does not mention Joshua specifically, so you can’t claim that it proves the book of Joshua was corrupted. Secondly, it’s talking about lying scribes who have twisted the Law and made lies out of it. But this is certainly not saying that the sacred Scriptures that were copied and preserved are what was corrupted. There is no proof of any such corruption – in fact textual evidence and especially the Dead Sea Scrolls indicate an even higher degree of integrity than was previously thought.

    I believe the answer lies in understanding the difference between what God intended for Abraham’s descendants (the land from the Euphrates to the Nile) and what they actually got (a much smaller portion, and not free of problems). Yet the Prophets speak at length about God’s plan to restore Israel to the land and completely fulfill His promises to Abraham.

  48. on 30 Nov 2010 at 11:21 pmrobert

    “The point is a simple one with momentous implications for New Testament Christians who become heirs to the Abrahamic covenant.”

    Mark
    there is nowhere in the NT that states the promise of land was what christian became heirs to.
    The Christians became joint heirs in the Promise of Grace ONLY.
    This is where Anthony is just forcing his way into the promise of the Mosaic Covenant without the requirements attached to the promise.
    But then again Jesus stated there was those in His time that were doing it!!!

  49. on 30 Nov 2010 at 11:31 pmMark C.

    Robert,

    Have you read any of the resource material on this website, on mine, or on Anthony’s? Once again, contradiction is not argument. Do you have any specific points with which you take issue?

  50. on 01 Dec 2010 at 12:15 amrobert

    “Have you read any of the resource material on this website, on mine, or on Anthony’s? Once again, contradiction is not argument.”

    Mark
    Yes I have read all of it and that is what I based my opinions on.
    I find very little that I agree with between you and Anthony because I have took the time to research. All I find is weak EXPLANATIONS that make no sense according to the whole context of the bible.
    It takes more than big words to impress me!

  51. on 01 Dec 2010 at 12:26 amMark C.

    Robert,

    It takes more than contradictions to impress me. If you have a specific point to discuss, do so. Otherwise what you’re doing is called trolling for arguments.

  52. on 01 Dec 2010 at 2:04 amKarl

    Hello Robert,

    You wrote:

    Why is it important to you to know who this author is?

    It doesn’t really matter to me who the author was. I only became interested because you wouldn’t tell Mark who it was.

  53. on 01 Dec 2010 at 11:37 amrobert

    Mark
    Until you present facts that prove this article false this discussion is worthless. From the beginning you have tried to make this a personal conflict by first insulting me by saying that I was not capable of writting that article and then tried to make an issue of who authored it.
    Unfortunely I was sucked into this ploy and struck back in a personal way in which I now apologize for.
    I look forward to your study and will deal with the facts when you present your study.

  

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