(4) An interpretation which has fallen on hard times in this modern ecumenical age, but which was strongly defended by scholars of the Reformation heritage (e.g., Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes), is the concept that Daniel’s little horn symbolized the papal dynasty. A few conservative scholars defend this position even yet (Leupold 1969, 323).
This was also the leading view of the Restoration leaders. When Alexander Campbell met John Purcell in debate (1837), he affirmed that the Roman Catholic Church “is the Babylon of John, the Man of Sin of Paul, and the Empire of the Youngest Horn of Daniel’s Sea Monster” (1914, 281ff).
Consider the following arguments which lend support to this proposition:
(a) However, near the middle of that century [the 8th century A.D.], the Roman pontiff began to acquire political territories, thus transforming the Church into a politico-ecclesiastical organism. …
(b) …The blasphemous arrogance of the popes is well-known to students of church history. …
(c) The Roman church, under the authority of its popes, has been a vicious persecutor of those who oppose its apostate doctrines. …
(d) …History is replete with examples of the papacy instituting holy seasons or days, and changing various elements of the law of Christ (e.g., celibacy, adoration of images, saint worship, transubstantiation). …
(e) The saints were to be under the oppressive power of the little horn for “a time, times, and half a time.” [ie. 1260 years] …
In conclusion, we believe that, taking all factors into consideration, there is no entity in history that so fits the description of the little horn of Daniel 7 as that of the papal dynasty of the Roman Catholic Church.
Here are some Rome and Rome-related headlines that caught my eye this past month:
The Pope is “His holiness” for Obama: ‘The inscription on the chest read: “Presented to His Holiness Pope Francis by Barack Obama President of the United States of America, March 27, 2014.”’
A final gleaning from Hanserd Knollys commentary on Revelation:
I conclude with an invitation to all the people of God to come out of BABYLON.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins; and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Re 18:4) This call is the call of God our Saviour unto all his people in mystical Babylon (Papal Rome) to come out of HER. Come out of her my people: which call of Christ was given by an audible voice, And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, etc. And this call from heaven is urged and enforced upon the people of God by two cogent arguments or reasons,
1. That ye be not partakers of HER sins.
2. That ye receive not of her plagues.
Two things in this call need explanation,
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The glory and happiness of the church of God on earth prophesied by Isa 60:1-22 I the LORD will hasten it in his time; (in Christ’s time) is here revealed to John in this vision of the new heaven and the new earth, which he saw, whereby is signified the world to come, (Heb 2:5) in contradistinction to this world. (Mt 12:32 Eph 1:21) God promised the primitive saints, that he would create new heavens, and a new earth, (Isa 65:17-18 66:22) and therefore the latter day saints do, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, (2Pe 3:13)
For the first heavens and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
So the apostle St. Peter testified, (2Pe 3:13) Nevertheless we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness…
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This is the angel that poured forth the fifth vial upon the seat or throne of the beast. (Re 16:10) The school men tell us, there are three degrees of the holy angels. The first hierarchy are seraphims, cherubims, and thrones; the second hath dominions, virtues, and powers; the third hath principalities, arch angels and angels. But certainly there are orders and degrees among the holy angels, for the Holy Scripture mentioneth arch angels and angels. (1Th 4:16 Jude 9 Eze 10:1-8) Also cherubims and seraphims. (Isa 6:2-6) Likewise principalities, thrones, and dominions, (Col 1:16 Eph 1:21 Eph 3:10) so that there are degrees of angels. This angel, as he is great in power, so he excels in glory.
saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. This declaration of Rome’s destruction, is borrowed from Isa 13:19-22 34:13-15, (Jer 51:37 and Re 18:21). Rome material and…
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The earth in this verse, doth metonymically signify the inhabiters of the Popish earth, the earthly state of the Roman papal kingdom; that is, those inhabiters of the earth against whom the third woe is pronounced, (Re 8:13) especially those that rejoiced at the killing of Christ’s two prophetical witnesses. (Re 11:10) By the noisome and grievous sore that fell upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image, we may understand (by some allusion which this plague fore beareth to that upon the Egyptians, Ex 9:10-11) such a plague as causeth very great pain, and is so noisome and pestilentious, that it maketh those men that are lovers and friends to Babylon, to stand a far off for fear of the torment, Re 18:10-17 which are the proper effects of such noisome and grievous sores. Ps 38:11 77:2
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“It is rank folly and a dereliction of duty to accommodate any desire to modify the gospel message, or the means by which God has appointed for its presentation to men, by dressing it up to appeal to the worldly minded. Any pressure to do so must be seen for what it really is: a worldly minded, carnal and devilish assault upon the truth of God. No matter where such pressure for change arises from this is what it is and it cannot be accommodated—but must be fiercely resisted—by any who would remain faithful to God and be an instrument of His power in the lives of men.”
I know this is not a popular position to take, but my research keeps leading me to the same conclusion, and that is this:
“I have a copy of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 27th edition right here in front of me. It is the same Greek text as the UBS (United Bible Society) 4th edition. These are the Greek readings and texts that are followed by such modern versions as the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard AND the new Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985.
If you have a copy of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, open the book and read what they tell us in their own words on page 45 of the Introduction. Here these critical Greek text editors tell us about how the Greek New Testament (GNT, now known as the UBS) and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece grew together and shared the same basic text. In the last paragraph on page 45 we read these words:
“The text shared by these two editions was adopted internationally by Bible Societies, and FOLLOWING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES IT HAS SERVED AS THE BASIS FOR NEW TRANSLATIONS AND FOR REVISIONS MADE UNDER THEIR SUPERVISION. THIS MARKS A SIGNIFICANT STIP WITH REGARD TO INTERCONFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. It should naturally be understood that this text is a working text: it is not to be considered as definitive, but as a stimulus to further efforts toward defining and verifying the text of the New Testament.”
There it is folks, in their own words. They openly admit that this text is the result of an agreement between the Vatican and the UBS and that the text itself is not “definitive” – it can change, as it already has and will do so in the future, and is not the infallible words of God but merely “a stimulus to further efforts”.”