This thread was continued/spawned from the 'Battle of the Prophecies' thread. No, you're missing my point completely. What I'm saying is that if you cannot tell what it means ahead of time, then you can make any prediction, as long as it's interpreted metaphorically, then say it's true when something comes along that it can apply to. eg. Nostradamus. That's why you have to restrict yourself to clear interpretations, long before you start trying to interpret the passages - changing them along the way, just to make the passages fit observations isn't predictions being proved true, but forcing wish fulfillment. If a person want's to fool themselves into believing a prophecy is true, then any method's fine, but if there is a shread of intellectual honesty present, some controls have to be in place to prevent self-deception. Humans are notorious for self-deception. That's why so many obstacles are put in place, in a scientific investigation - double blinds, controls, etcetera. They have made those mistakes before, so attempt to eliminate them. Unlike scientific information, that will eventually be retested and confirmed or disproven, biblical truth is much more open to debate and interpretation, so the need for preventing self-delusion is paramount. Assuming truth is the goal. I am glad the interpretations you're using is widely held (I'm assuming by quite a few well known biblical scholars). If you start from the beginning, assuming all is literal, then you are on easier ground to interpret the prophecies. When some is metaphorical (usually an interpretation that I consider having worth), the meanings of the phrases being applied to the prophecy get a lot stickier. If you want to take something as literal, fine, but IMO you're straining at gnats here. The likelihood that something was lost or added in all the translations that have occurred is too significant to be language lawyering the phrasiology for minute meanings.