Sunday, January 29, 2012

renewing the heavens and the earth

Last May, I posted a link to this post by Tullian Tchividjian but this weekend I have been re-visiting the ideas presented there.

There are many people who believe that God will destroy this present world—all of it—and start over, creating a new world from scratch. As I’ve talked to people who believe this, most base their conclusion on 2 Peter 3, where the apostle Peter says, “The heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (verse 7). He goes on to say, “The earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed” (verse 10).

In the King James Version this verse reads, “The earth . . . and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” The same “burned up” phrase appears in some modern English versions rooted in the King James tradition. New Testament scholar Thomas Schreiner points out that, indeed, “some Greek manuscripts have this wording (Greek kataka setai),” but that “the earliest and most reliable manuscripts” have a different Greek phrase, heureth setai, carrying the idea of being “found” or “found out.” This is what’s represented in other English versions, such as these examples:

• “The earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (ESV)

• “The earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” (NIV)

These translations indicate, not the obliteration of the earth, but rather a type of purging. Notice, too, that the earthly destruction mentioned in 2 Peter 3:6 (from the flood in Noah’s day) is cleansing rather than annihilating.

I commend to you to the full reading of that article.
He must remain in heaven until the times comes for God to restore everything as He promised long ago through His holy prophets. Acts 3:21

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