Biblical Prophecy: Two Kinds: “Intentional vs Coincidental” – “Telic vs Ecbatic” & Why Judas’s betray was not predicted.
It was well known in the 1800’s here in America that there were two kinds of fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy practiced within the pages of Scripture. The Apostles and Jesus can be seen to differentiate between prophecy that comes to pass *because* God said He would make it happen (to further His Redemptive Plan) and that which merely corresponds to well known Biblical events of the past. Most assume that there is only one kind and that is the former. The problems that have arisen because influential theologians either could not or would not grasp the difference has been irreparable and ongoing.
Moses Stewart in a book entitled “Hints On The Interpretation of Prophecy” (1842), made this new interpretive method known with great learning and thoroughness. The two categories are: Telic vs Ecbatic fulfillment of prophecy. Greek Grammar was shown to reflect this mode in the use of the conjunction “hina” ( ἵνα ) in purpose or final clauses. (see Dana & Mantey section 220). And often the difference is decided by context of its occurrence.
An example of first kind or the “Telic” ( or purpose ) fulfillment of prophecy is:
“This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.” (Mat 12:17-21)
(v 17 ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος·)
An example of the second kind or Ecbatic ( so that ) fulfillment of prophecy is:
“And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Mat 2:15 )
( ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου )
Which refers to this Old Testament passage:
“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. (Hos 11:1 )
It can be readily seen that Hos 11:1 is not a predictive statement of prophecy. Rather the New Testament (hence the Holy Spirit’s inspiration) calls it forward and shows the kind of similarity of “Ecbatic” fulfillment. This occurred Mat. 1:15 and is very much like Hos 11:1.
If you get nothing else out of this post, please get that for Jesus’ sake.
In the last century Wallhausen advocated applying the method of Historical Critical Analysis to the Bible, the result of which we know as Historical Biblical Criticism. Many others from the Tübingen School which built a curriculum based on the worldview of Spinoza’s Monism denied that there was anything outside the realm of what could be seen or touched. The anti-supernaturalistic assumption ruled out miracles and the Bible being suffused with the miraculous was regarded as the cultic myth of the Jews. By the turn of the century Schweitzer’s “Quest of the Historical Jesus” served up the best that Germany had to offer by way of critical biblical skepticism.
Not comprehending the dual interpretive lense of fulfilled prophecy either they exulted in what they considered “errors in the Bible”. American University curriculums were drastically affect by this stream of criticism from Germany and soon began the codification of the ethos of an “errant” Bible which has increased in influence while many “conservative” schools continued in a one eyed interpretive practice and the chasm between both schools only increased.
If the dual mode of fulfilled prophecy hermeneutic in America had been heeded early on the present schism between those who hold a “critical” view of Scripture and a “high-view” might have met on a more balance ground.
Additional links to scholarship of the last century that show that this distinction between telco and ecbatic sense of fulfillment.