Prepare to have your eschatological world view challenged by Ryan Speakman’s new book These Final Days. This is one of those books which will definitely take you out of your comfort zone and compel you to take another look at what you know and what you think you know about the final days before Jesus returns.
Are you waiting for the Rapture? Can you give a reasonable Biblical basis for your view? With a straight forward approach Mr. Speakman takes you on a Biblical journey thought the events leading up to the return of Christ. Like me, you man not agree with everything he has to say but I often find it helpful to see complex subjects like this through other believers eyes.
Some of Mr. Speakman’s insights I appreciated:
1. His exploration of the timing of the Rapture was, well… timely. This is a subject I have been giving a lot of thought and study to lately.
2. I found his view of the seals in Revelation intriguing.
3. His thoughts on the Four Horsemen were equally intriguing, not sure I agree but I definitely will be giving it further thought.
4. I though his chronological approach to the book of Revelation was well done and offered a reasonable systematic way of looking at the subject.
Thought I enjoyed this book I did not agree with all of Mr. Speakman’s conclusions. Several times a poetic or symbolic interpretation was used when a more literal made more sense to me. Nevertheless his explanations made me think outside conventional boundaries and that is something I personally appreciate.
In a more direct but respectful disagreement I found Mr. Speakman’s explanation regarding Daniel 9 and 70 Weeks to be lacking in several area’s.
1. A 360 day “prophetic year” is not found in the Scripture. The Bible’s calendar is lunar/solar and is based upon a certain number lunar cycles. (12 or 13) If a 360 “prophetic year” was used at some point pre Noah it would still have to be intercalated with the solar year of 365.25 days. The reason months and days (not years) are used in the books of Revelation and Daniel to refer to the shorter time frame events is because the Biblical calendar varies in length. When precision is required years are not used.
2. Ezra and Nehemiah were not contemporaries of the Persian king Longimanus. All Biblical chronological evidence shows Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Darius “the Great” Artaxerxes. (as exemplified by Ezra’s age, the lists of Neh. 10 & 12, Ezra 6 etc.)
3. Contextually the only commandment to “restore and build Jerusalem” the Jewish people would have acknowledged was the one issued by YHWH, witnessed by Haggai and Zachariah and recorded by Ezra.
In summary, though I have substantive disagreements with Mr. Speakman’s perspective I think this book has many valuable insights which any Berean would be well served by investigating further.
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