INTERPRETING MESSIANIC PSALMS

PMT 2018-057 R. T. France

As I am doing research on my commentary on Matthew 21–24, I am reading R. T. France’s excellent work, Jesus and the Old Testament. He has much that is helpful for the postmillennialist and the (orthodox) preterist. Below I will quote three paragraphs that ought to be an encouragement to my readers. These present to us a helpful hermeneutic approach to many Old Testament passages.

I am sure France did not intend them as postmillennial observations, but they do help us in understanding the postmillennial hope nonetheless. Continue reading

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THE BOOK OF THE “STRONG ANGEL”

PMW 2018-056 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last blog article I argued that the strong angel in Rev 10 is Christ. He appears several times in Revelation by means of angelomorphism. In this article I will focus on the open book in his hand.

The strong angel (Christ) of Rev. 10 comes down out of heaven holding a little book which was open: “He had in his hand a little book which was open” (Rev 10:2a). Commentators have long debated the identity of this “little book” (biblaridion) and its relationship to the “book” (biblion) of chapter 5. Though many scholars distinguish the two, a significant number hold that the little book in Revelation 10 the scroll taken by the Lamb in Rev. 5. Continue reading

REVELATION’S “STRONG ANGEL”

PMW 2018-055 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Rev. 10:1 John records the appearance of a strong angel:

“And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.”

This appears to be Christ himself.

All commentators agree that Christ appears under a variety of symbols in Revelation, including gigantic Christophany (1:13-16), redeeming lamb (5:6; 14:1), glorious Son of Man (14:14-15), and conquering warrior (19:11-16). This opens the possibility that he could also appear in angelic form and that John is reporting what he sees without interpreting it. Continue reading

CHALLENGING REVELATION’S NEAR-TERM EXPECTATION

PMW 2018-054 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The “near” statements in Revelation befuddle many Christians who only read those sections of Revelation that are exciting, such as those dealing with the beast, Armageddon, the millennium, and so forth. However, those texts occur in a prophetic work that is book-ended with declarations that the events within are near in John’s own day.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John. (Rev. 1:1)

And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. (Rev. 22:6)

But sometimes a thinking Christian (may their tribe increase) will ask a penetrating question in challenging the preterist position on Revelation. One such correspondent asked:

“If Revelation was written in AD 65-66 about events in AD 70, how could John have expected it to be widely circulated in so short a period of time? It seems the book’s grandiose vision would be largely wasted because of the time frame involved. It couldn’t do much good, especially since the bulk of its actions (on your view) occur in Palestine.”

Continue reading

UPDATING EARLY DATING

PMW 2018-053 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This year is the twentieth anniversary of my last edition of Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation. In that work I listed eight full pages of notable advocates for the early dating of Revelation, i.e., a date prior to AD 70. Before too long I hope to update the book altogether. But for now I would like to list some additional early date advocates beyond those found in the book.

More often than not, when a preterist mentions the early date of Revelation he is dismissed with the wave of a hand and the utterance: “the early date of Revelation is held only by a minority of scholars.” That may be true today, but the tide is slowly shifting. Thus, I thought it might be good to put some more scholars’ names in the mix. Of course, counting noses is not the answer to the problem. But it will be helpful in countering a common objection that attempts to cut discussion short. Continue reading

THE DEAD JUDGED AT THE 7TH TRUMPET (2)

PMW 2018-052 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part study of the debated phrase in Rev. 11:18b, which reads: “and the time came for the dead to be judged.” In my last article I argued that it refers to the vindication of the first-century saints who were being severely persecuted by Israel and Rome alike. In this article I will respond to objections to the interpretation presented by the leading evangelical commentator on Revelation today, G. K. Beale.

Regarding kirthēnai which I translate “vindicated,” Beale (617–18) presents an extended argument against the preterist view which, he believes, “stumbles” here. He argues that “without doubt . . . this passage is a description of the last judgment” (615). I will summarize his argument first, then reply to it point-by-point. Continue reading

THE DEAD JUDGED AT THE 7TH TRUMPET (1)

PMW 2018-051 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The seventh trumpet in Revelation marks a dramatic moment in the flow of visions. And it makes a fascinating point (as often in Revelation) by means of heavenly praise. This portion of Revelation reads (in part):

The phrase’s phrasing

“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:15–18).

Of particular concern when approaching Revelation from the preterist perspective is the phrase: “Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged.” Continue reading