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Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by Von, Nov 7, 2018.
Probably Cotton Mather. His views on witches were pretty systematic.
Sure. All that logically proves is that those men didn't see it.
As to the Irenaeus quote, Gibbon hated all things Christianity. Warfield's argument is basically, "No one else said anything about it, so therefore it didn't happen." That doesn't logically follow.
And I would hold off on accusing Irenaeus of being naive. His learning was legendary and encyclopedic. His views on cosmology, space, and time (along with Athanasius and John Philopinus) anticipated James Clerk Maxwell.
Gibbon is mentioned as a contrast of sorts. Iraneus is viewed as trustworthy in the exchange I linked to. As it explains, the point of Warfield’s commentary is that the passage, when analyzed, does not have Iraneus referring to the raising of the dead as a recent (in his time) event. From the article I linked to: “So why, then, does Irenaeus say this? Kydd defends Irenaeus as a scholar, citing the vindication of his writings on Gnosticism following the discovery of the Gnostic Nag Hammadi documents in the 1940s. And based on their analysis of the passage, Kydd and Warfield hold that Irenaeus is actually refering to the apostolic-era raisings of the dead, not ones happening in his own day. Warfield writes:
‘Irenaeus throws the raisings from the dead well into the past. This is made evident not only from the past tenses employed, which are markedly contrasted with the present tenses used in the rest of the passage, but also from the statement that those who were thus raised had lived after their resuscitation a considerable number of years, which shows that recent resuscitations are not in view.’”
Warfield is desperate on this point. He wants to take the phrase where the actions are in the past tense, and then read that past tense backwards into the time of the apostles. He is formally committing the fallacy of affirming the consequent.
Assuming that the divine healing dried up with the last pen stroke when John wrote Revelation, that would put the limit at 96 AD. Irenaeus probably wrote around 190 AD, maybe a few years later. This means the last possible healing/raising from the dead happened 100 years earlier. Does that fit the timeline? Perhaps.
What's the point in my raising this? I am just showing conjecture. That's what Warfield is doing. Irenaeus's past tense language could refer to 50 years earlier, in which case Warfield's reconstruction is refuted. Or it could be 100 years earlier, which makes Warfield's argument theoretically possible.
I went past the link and read the passage in Eusebius. His actual words were "and remained with us for many years." On the surface level this seems to be current activity. That explains Warfield's lexical hoops.