Posted On January 26, 2016

In Proposition 22, George Peters states:

“John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples, employed the phrases “Kingdom of heaven,” “Kingdom of God,” etc., in accordance with the usage of the Jews.”

Peters continues to build on the necessary foundation of how we are to understand the usage and application of the doctrine of the kingdom. In this proposition, he presents an important point, namely that in order to understand the phrases used by the biblical authors regarding the kingdom, we have to understand that the manner in which they were employed was in relation to what was understood by the Jewish people of that day. John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples were not creating an entirely new doctrine as some have been want to propose. Conversely, they were declaring the promise made to the people of God long ago by God through the prophets and throughout the Old Testament. The New Testament is not a collection of books that outlines a completely different understanding of this doctrine. While certainly there was clarification and correction taking place regarding the misunderstanding some had, Scripture is consistent throughout in its presentation of this doctrine and thus to understand this doctrine we must understand it from the proper framework – a Hebraic framework that affirms the Messiah re-establishing his throne.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 22 is the following:

“Here at the very fountain head, in the presence and under the sanction of the Master Himself, there must be no discrepancy. The fond hopes and the ardent anticipations, aroused by the speech of the prophets, are too dear to be trifled with, or to be confirmed by a mere spirit of accommodation. It would, if the Jews were in error on so fundamental a point, be simply cruel to adopt their expressive language and thus confirm them in an alleged blunder, a vital mistake.”

This is too important of a doctrine to simply take a phrase and run with it. If the phrases in question were not correct at least at the overarching level of understanding and application, it goes without saying that due to their importance, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples, let alone the prophets, would have most definitely refrained from the use of such phrases and would have in turn implemented more correct phraseology. Since we do not see that taking place, we can affirm the validity of such phrases.

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