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View Full Version : The Biblical Argument for the Rebuilding of Babylon *Merged*



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Kknight
April 15th, 2009, 03:11 PM
The Babylon in Iraq was in ruins at the time Peter wrote this, so he clearly could not have been referring to that city.

Do you have anything to back up the claim that Babylon was in ruins at that time?

The Babylonian Talmud was written in Babylon (Babylon, not Rome) in or around the 5th Century AD...so it obviously wasn't in ruins then, yet you claim it was in ruins in the late 1st Century?

Josephus claims that many Jews lived in Babylon during his time (Book 15, Chapter 2.2):


2. But when Hyrcanus was brought into Parthia the king Phraates treated him after a very gentle manner, as having already learned of what an illustrious family he was; on which account he set him free from his bonds, and gave him a habitation at Babylon, (1) where there were Jews in great numbers. These Jews honored Hyrcanus as their high priest and king, as did all the Jewish nation that dwelt as far as Euphrates; which respect was very much to his satisfaction. But when he was informed that Herod had received the kingdom, new hopes came upon him, as having been himself still of a kind disposition towards him, and expecting that Herod would bear in mind what favor be had received from him; and when he was upon his trial, and when he was in danger that a capital sentence would be pronounced against him, he delivered him from that danger, and from all punishment. Accordingly, he talked of that matter with the Jew that came often to him with great affection; but they endeavored to retain him among them, and desired that he would stay with them, putting him in mind of the kind offices and honors they did him, and that those honors they paid him were not at all inferior to what they could pay to either their high priests or their kings; and what was a greater motive to determine him, they said, was this, that he could not have those dignities [in Judea] because of that maim in his body, which had been inflicted on him by Antigonus; and that kings do not use to requite men for those kindnesses which they received when they were private persons, the height of their fortune making usually no small changes in them.

The commentary on 1 Peter by Jamieson, Fausset & Brown claim that Peter wrote this epistle from Babylon:


The PLACE OF WRITING was doubtless Babylon on the Euphrates ( 1Pe 5:13 ). It is most improbable that in the midst of writing matter-of-fact communications and salutations in a remarkably plain Epistle, the symbolical language of prophecy (namely, "Babylon" for Rome) should be used. JOSEPHUS [Antiquities, 15.2.2; 3.1] states that there was a great multitude of Jews in the Chaldean Babylon; it is therefore likely that "the apostle of the circumcision" ( Gal 2:7, 8 ) would at some time or other visit them. Some have maintained that the Babylon meant was in Egypt because Mark preached in and around Alexandria after Peter's death, and therefore it is likely he did so along with that apostle in the same region previously. But no mention elsewhere in Scripture is made of this Egyptian Babylon, but only of the Chaldean one. And though towards the close of Caligula's reign a persecution drove the Jews thence to Seleucia, and a plague five years after still further thinned their numbers, yet this does not preclude their return and multiplication during the twenty years that elapsed between the plague and the writing of the Epistle. Moreover, the order in which the countries are enumerated, from northeast to south and west, is such as would be adopted by one writing from the Oriental Babylon on the Euphrates, not from Egypt or Rome. Indeed, COSMAS INDICOPLEUSTES, in the sixth century, understood the Babylon meant to be outside the Roman empire. Silvanus, Paul's companion, became subsequently Peter's, and was the carrier of this Epistle.

Matthew Henry also notes that it references Babylon in Assyria:


IV. He closes with salutations and a solemn benediction. Observe, 1. Peter, being at Babylon in Assyria, when he wrote this epistle (whither he travelled, as the apostle of the circumcision, to visit that church, which was the chief of the dispersion), sends the salutation of that church to the other churches to whom he wrote (v. 13), telling them that God had elected or chosen the Christians at Babylon out of the world, to be his church, and to partake of eternal salvation through Christ Jesus, together with them and all other faithful Christians, ch. 1:2.

So I ask...how is it that Peter CLEARLY couldn't be talking about the City of Babylon?

Kknight
April 15th, 2009, 03:30 PM
From the Jewish Virtual Library of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE):

The Babylonian Jewish Community
From Second Temple Times to the Fifth Century

There was a group of Jews who never left Babylonia after the Babylonian Exile in the 6th century BCE. This community more or less thrived. Living since 129 BCE under Parthian rule, a loosely knit semi-feudal state, it was able to develop its autonomous institutions with little interference from the royal government. The Parthians who always feared Roman intervention welcomed Jewish opposition to Rome, at least until the time of Hadrian.

The Parthians established a Jewish liaison between the government and the Jewish community, the exilarch, who thus became the head of Babylonian Jewry. Descended allegedly from the House of David, proud of their genealogical purity, the exilarchs wore the kamara, the sash of office of the Parthian court, and disputed precedence with high Parthian officials.

The community which they headed was both numerous (estimates of its number vary from 800,000 to 1,200,000) and well-based economically, comprising a fair number of farmers and many traders who grew rich as intermediaries in the profitable silk trade between China and the Roman Empire passing through Babylonia.

The Jews enjoyed not only freedom of worship, autonomous jurisdiction, but even the right to have their own markets and appoint market supervisors (agoranomoi).

In 226 CC the Sassanids conquered the Parthians. They were devout Zoroastrians, and there was some tension between the new political leadership and the Jewish community. However, after a period of troubles and disagreement at the beginning of the reign of Shapur I (241272), better relations were gradually established with the king.

Apart from their political and economic status, the main interest of Babylonian Jewry was its relations with the rabbinic centers in Judea and its religious/political development, leading up to the creation of the Babylonian Gemara. So long as there was a Temple, Jerusalem was the religious center for the Jewish people. With the Temple's destruction in 70 CE, the relations of the Babylonian Diaspora with Israel were characterized by ambivalence.

There were attempts to make Babylonian rabbinic courts independent of Israel's as early as 100 CE. These attempts failed. The people and therefore the Babylonian Jewish leadership acknowledged the authority of the Israel Jewish courts.

More at link: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/babylonian1.html

Kknight
April 15th, 2009, 03:34 PM
From Jewish Pathways - A Crash Course in Jewish History - Part 43 of 68:

Jews in Babylon


...

Some 65 years later, when the Babylonians fell to the Persians and the Jews were permitted to return, only a small number did. Of what was probably a million Jews living in the Persian Empire, only 42,000 went back, meaning that the vast majority stayed in Babylon under Persian domination. During the Second Temple period, up until its destruction in 70 CE, the Jewish community in Babylon - far from the eye of the storm that raged in the Land of Israel - continued to flourish.

Indeed, this is where the center of Jewish rabbinic authority came to rest after the Roman Empire shut down the Sanhedrin. The head of the Jewish community of Babylon - who was officially recognized by the Persian authorities - was called Reish Galusa in Aramaic ("Head of the Diaspora" in English).

The Reish Galusa was a person who was a direct descendant of the House of King David. Even though he was not a king in the Land of Israel, he was recognized as not only being the representative of the Jewish community in Babylon but as also having noble status. Over 1,500 year history of the Jewish community in Babylon approximately 40 people held that title, all tracing their ancestry back to King David. This was a noble line that was always preserved in Jewish history.

Part of the reason for the stability of the Jewish community in Babylon was that the area was held by the Persian Sassanian dynasty from the 3rd century CE forward. The Sassanians managed to keep out of their kingdom first the Romans and then the Byzantines. In this way the Jews of Babylon were protected from harm that the Byzantine Christians inflicted elsewhere.

...

http://www.jewishpathways.com/jewish-history/jews-babylon

Kknight
April 15th, 2009, 03:37 PM
Seems to me that the claim that "Babylon was in ruins at the time that Peter penned his first epistle and therefore Peter clearly couldn't have been referring to Babylon" doesn't fit with the facts.

ReadytoGoNow
April 15th, 2009, 06:18 PM
:bump.. wow. :shocked

:shocked......Yeah!

TwinklingOfanEye
April 15th, 2009, 07:08 PM
:bump.. wow. :shocked
That was exactly my reaction too.:lol2

Tres Wright
April 15th, 2009, 10:01 PM
Yeah, there was a thread on this a while back. Note the sum of money being allocated- 700k. That is paltry, they can do little more then set up a foundation for an amount as small as that. Also note that the objective of this movement is to "develop a master plan for its conservation, study, and tourism." IE, there are no plans to rebuild it, only conserve it as a historical site.

PrinceSomeday
April 15th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Yeah, there was a thread on this a while back. Note the sum of money being allocated- 700k. That is paltry, they can do little more then set up a foundation for an amount as small as that. Also note that the objective of this movement is to "develop a master plan for its conservation, study, and tourism." IE, there are no plans to rebuild it, only conserve it as a historical site.

Exactly my observation as well.

I'm really curious why does just the mention of anything going on there get some folks so excited?:idunno (Wishful thinking doesn't change facts.)

As I have said before, there is nothing going on there to turn it into a functioning city and nothing in this article indicates any change, in fact it points to a long term status of exactly the opposite of what many hope will happen.

Either Babylon will literally become the AC's capital, in which case we have a LONG wait ahead

Or-

There is some other way this will be fulfilled.

Here's hoping we are all wrong about the literal Babylon becoming a world capital before the rapture (or just afterwords).:candle

random dude
April 16th, 2009, 02:22 AM
we don't have to be that literal. Babylon was used by the early church as a symbolic reference to Rome :). Revelation is not only to be taken literally. Is the beast a literal creature? obviously not. neither does mystery babylon need to be literal. and there's a reason it's called mystery babylon. it won't just be the regular city of babylon.

Kknight
April 16th, 2009, 08:44 AM
we don't have to be that literal. Babylon was used by the early church as a symbolic reference to Rome :). Revelation is not only to be taken literally. Is the beast a literal creature? obviously not. neither does mystery babylon need to be literal. and there's a reason it's called mystery babylon. it won't just be the regular city of babylon.

Hi post-trib-dude...welcome to the board. :)

With all due respect, did you bother to read through the thread before posting? You can't focus solely on Revelation while ignoring Isaiah and Jeremiah. You also need to distinguish between Babylon and "Mystery Babylon." All this has been covered in the thread up 'til this point.