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Prophecy: The difficulties of interpretation.

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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:40 PM
Prophecy: The difficulties of interpretation.

For the majority of this thread I will use examples from two primary sources, The Bible and Nostradamus. These are just examples to show what difficulties there are and should not be taken as an indication of belief or something that you have to denounce! This is a work to show how difficult the field is to work in, not a thread to discuss the prophecies themselves. If you want to do otherwise, start your own thread. Thank you kindly!

For most Prophecy, the first hurdle to overcome is one of translation and it is most difficult. Even people who dedicate part of their lives to task, who are scholars in this field, often can not agree.

Nostradamus wrote in Quatrains. These are a form of poetry and as such have to rhyme. They were written in 16th Century French and thus had to rhyme in 16th Century French. Nostradamus often used both Ancient Greek and Latin words just to keep things interesting. He also used anagrams based on strict rules applicable to his era.

To be able to work with these Prophecies one has to translate from Provincial 16th Century French to Modern French to English. The word Provincial means the use of a language used in a province. That is to say that the use of a language in this time period varied from place to place even within a country. There were no Dictionaries or Thesauruses. Therefore you now need to know French as Nostradamus knew the language and to do that you need writings from others near his locale as source of knowledge. Google translate is not your friend here.

The RC Bible is even worse. The original Old Testament is written in an ancient Hebrew Language that is many Thousands of years old. This was translated to 4th century Greek, then to Latin and then to English. The propensity for errors to creep in enormous just in the translation process. The King James Bible is a lot better having been translated directly from ancient Hebrew to English and for this reason alone is thought of as a much better Bible.

Now we have the problem of the perception of the people doing the translation and what they want to achieve. This is really evident with the Bible and one example should suffice.

Issac Asimov (1920-1992) was both a science fiction and a non fiction scholar. Wiki has a good spread on his life’s work. One of his less celebrated works was “Asimov’s guide to the bible.” Google the title and you can find sources for the out of print PDFs. They are as enlightening as they are controversial. In fact, Religious people have been known to burst into flames at the mere mention of his ground breaking work.  I present an extract from his opening words.

“The Hebrew word, translated here as God, is "Elohim" and that is a plural form which would ordinarily (if tradition were defied) –be translated "gods." It is possible that in the very earliest traditions on which the Bible is based, the creation was- indeed the work of a plurality of gods.

The firmly monotheistic Biblical writes would carefully have eliminated such polytheism, but could not perhaps do anything with the firmly ingrained term "Elohim." It was too familiar to change.

Some hints of polytheism seem t o have survived the editing* Thus, after the first created man disobeys God's injunction not to pick of the tree of knowledge, God is quoted as saying:

Genesis 3:22. . . . Behold, the man' is become as one of us, to know 'good and evil.. .

Then, too, still later, when God is concerned over mankind's arrogance in attempting to build a tower that would reach to heaven, He is quoted as saying:

Genesis 11:7. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language . . .”

You can see why the Religious from three mainstay religions go up in flames, let alone all of the offshoots of the three. The remainder of Asimov’s work on the subject is just as pyrotechnic!

When we get to Nostradamus we have very similar problems. In Quatrain 1.64

At night they will think they have seen the sun
When they see the half pig half man
Noise screams battles seen fought in the skies
The brute beasts will be heard to speak.

Universally this is taken as either WW1 or WW2 air warfare. However, if you talk to the British they will tell you that it describes the Battle of Briton, The Russians will tell you it was obviously the Eastern front and the Americans will ascribe it to the Pacific Theater.

Everyone interprets to their own advantage or will force it to fit whatever they want. Since Nostradamus clearly stated his works were concerned primarily with France, Europe and the Middle East the Americans are clearly wrong but they won’t let that get in the way of a good story. American authors continue to allege that this passage or that passage is about the civil war, the war of independence or the assassination of JFK while ignoring completely the clearly written words of Nostradamus.

In WW2 everyone was dropping pamphlets on the enemy alleging this, that or the other all dealing with Nostradamus. It was quite the thing to do and was all as bogus as most propaganda is.

posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 11:41 PM
So how does a Prophet ‘do’ Prophecy.

Well there are commonalities amongst all such descriptions. Whether you look at a fire, a bowl of water, a crystal or go into a sleepy trance the trance state is the one common denominator.

Now some interesting questions!

Do they see? From what perspective? Can they zoom in and out or is it a set focal point? Could their point of viewing be close enough so a 55” TV looks like reality and if so what would they make of a light sabre duel?

Do they hear? From what distance? How much can they hear and can they zoom in on specific conversations? Otherwise good luck in a night club!

Do they feel such things as heat and cold or is it just like a TV, restricted to sight and sound? Careful here, your own normal reality will hinder clear thinking
Can they get a sense of emotions? Are the visions Empathic or Telepathic?

The most important question is this. Do they understand the significance of what they see? If they don’t, then Prophecy can be about mundane matters as well. One of Nostradamus’ quatrains speaks of a foul murder near a river. What if he wrote what he saw but the murder was just a murder, not worthy of historical significance, yet Authors and pundits are claiming it is about this or that, never realizing the true insignificance of the passage.

Now we come to the problems of historical and modern disinformation agents.

A set of prophecies widely quoted are by Mother Shipton. It is proven that Charles Hindley thought it would be a great thing to embellish her works and added greatly to them including the famous “The world will end in 1881.”

Of course Mother Shipton said no such thing and yet to this day, in spite of information to the contrary available on Wiki, this is sited as yet another failed prophecy.

As it stands now, there is so much utter crap on the internet dealing with all known works of prophecy, that the entire Prophetic realm is all but useless except to those that have studied very deeply indeed.

So, why the mystique, why are many Prophecies bound in words nearly impossible to decipher. I have always known the answer to this one. Prophecy in the clear is generally useless. Either it can be prevented or it can be believed and being believed, become self fulfilling. It is much the same as the argument against time travel. If you go back in time and shoot your father then you would never had been born and thus could not go back and shoot your father who therefore has a son and now you can go back and shoot him and around we go again as many times as we want to. Like time travel, Prophecy is paradoxical in nature.
Other than that, prophecy could be one of the greatest con jobs in history, perpetuated on the gullible, generation after generation. Then you come across obvious hits like the above mentioned half pig / half man Quatrain and have to do some rethinking.

Remember always, Prophets only describe their visions and they describe them relative to their knowledge base. It helps if you can get a feel for what life was like in their era otherwise it is very difficult indeed. Damn, more research for you. Oh, hell, why not just take the easy approach and do what everyone else does, make it up as you go, no one's going to check it after all.


edit on 3/12/2012 by pheonix358 because: Major edit for setting out.

edit on 3/12/2012 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

edit on 3/12/2012 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 12:52 AM
Wonderfully written PheonixS&F

I would like to share this, in homage to the late great Nostradamus.

Perhaps give it a listen while you read

artist: Al Stewart album: Past, Present, Future


posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by Spike Spiegle

Thank you. Glad you liked it.

I really do get annoyed when posters take anything they see attributed to Nosty and just use it without checking. On the other hand, it is difficult to check on Prophets, such is the nature of Prophecy.

Nice video.


edit on 4/12/2012 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 02:53 AM
I've been thinking about the difficulties of prophetic interpretation a lot lately. You know how us Christian are always thinking we know everything! Trouble is, we all "know" too many different interpretations! We can't all be right. Could be none of us are right? I can accept that. Time will tell.

I've been from one end of the spectrum to the other in terms of "the end-times". If it's meant to be, then it's meant to be. There's still the day-to-day living to contend with, and that's sometimes more than enough. Faith helps. I still believe in a God who judges our hearts and is triumphant over evil in the end. No harm in that.

However, one of the most divisive Bible scriptures I see today is over Daniel 9:27

"He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing [of the temple] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."

Some have historically believed that to mean a new covenant established by Jesus's death on the cross putting an end to sacrifice.
Others read it to say it is a "peace treaty in the last seven years involving Israel".

Another is Genesis 12:3

"I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

Some say this was fulfilled by Jesus Himself being a blessing to the world, and others take it to mean we have to bless the current state of Israel or be cursed!
(I think we can see who might stand to gain from certain versions!)

Not to derail your thread, I was just pointing out the differences I have seen from my point of view.

I think your thread is a good reminder of how little any of us can really truly know.
Thanks for writing it!

(But if anyone is curious about what I meant concerning who may benefit from one version over another, this looks like a fine example of a conspiracy in religion and how one might go about causing confusion. )

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 03:24 AM
reply to post by On the Edge

Yes, it is difficult, masses of different interpretations, all of them different, some very so and some subtly so.

Yet, from the point of hind sight, many are obvious.


posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 03:26 AM
reply to post by pheonix358

Yes, I think I'll wait for the benefit of hindsight myself!

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 05:06 PM
"About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the Prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamor and opposition."

~Sir Issac Newton 1642-1727

There sure is an overwhelming interest in them! From all angles.

Thought I'd mention that, however obvious, and to give this thread a Bump!

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 05:09 PM
Thanks, it needs a bump! I thought it was a great topic, oh well, seems not many are interested.


posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 05:13 PM
reply to post by On the Edge

In fact Nostradamus' Prophetic work can be worked out. I believe that there is an embedded code that will sort them into chronological order, I don't have the computer algorithm / programing skills to find it the fast way and I don't have the time or inclination to find it the other way. It could take several lifetimes!


edit on 4/12/2012 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 06:00 PM
I think it is a great thread, too. As much emphasis as people put on the prophecies themselves, it would seem analyzing the overall subject would be a plus.

I wish I had more to offer on the subject! It is because I have become frustrated with the subject that I was anxious to read more posts on this here.

As it stands, I will keep looking into them in one way or another.

Maybe this thread would find a bigger audience in the off topic side of ATS?

Anyway, thanks for your efforts and for an interesting topic!

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 06:33 PM
reply to post by On the Edge

It helps if you can flag the thread, the more flags, the more the system keeps it in the eyes of the ATS collective.

Thanks for your post.


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