By Afshin Ziafat (DesiringGod.org)
Robert Bruce, a Scottish missionary to Iranian Muslims in the late nineteenth century, wrote home to his supporters, “I am not reaping the harvest; I scarcely claim to be sowing the seed; I am hardly ploughing the soil; but I am gathering out the stones. That, too, is missionary work; let it be supported by loving sympathy and fervent prayer.”
For many years, Iran was one of the most difficult regions of the world to reach with the gospel. A significant development occurred in 1979, however, with the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The ruling monarch, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown, and in his place an Islamic Republic was birthed, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Sharia law became the law of the land, and Muslim clerics became the heads of state. Continue reading
PMW 2020-005 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is my final installment on the issue of “the kings of the earth” in Revelation. Hopefully, this rather thorough study has been helpful.
In the NT we discover the apostolic church engaging in the pesher method of interpretation of OT passages. So not only does the contemporary Qumran community engage in such, but also the apostolic community of Christianity. I will focus on one particularly important OT passage whose contemporizing interpretation will be relevant to our current study. Continue reading
PMW 2020-004 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
We have been through eight installments of a study on “the kings of the earth” as found in Revelation, particularly in Rev. 17:18, which is a stumbling block for some who are considering preterism. We are now ready to consider:
Not surprisingly, basileus is a common word in the NT occurring 115 times (thirty-eight of these apply to Christ). We discover eighteen of those appearances in Rev (1:5; 6:15; 9:11; 10:11; 15:3; 16:12, 14; 17:2, 9, 12, 14, 18; 18:3, 9; 19:16, 18, 19; 21:24). Within Rev it appears in the phrase “kings of the earth” ten times. In the NT our full phrase occurs only two times outside of Rev: Mt 17:25 and Ac 4:26. The word basileuō (“to reign”) occurs twenty-one times, with six of those in Rev (5:10; 11:15, 17; 19:6; 20:4, 6; 22:5). Continue reading
PMW 2020-003 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I am continuing a brief study-within-a-study. I am focusing on the little word with a big mean: the word “land” or gē in Greek.
The use of Gē in the NT
In a number of places in the NT this word speaks either of the Promised Land as a whole, or some portion of it. We may find some of the more obvious uses in such phrases as “the land of Judah” (Mt 2:6), “the land of Judea” (Jn 3:22), “the land of Israel” (Mt 2:20, 21), “the land of Zebulun” (Mt 4:15), “the land of Naphtali” (Mt 4:15), and “the land of the Jews” (Ac 10:39). Thus, upon purely lexical considerations, the term can be understood as designating the Promised Land so that tēs gēs becomes “a Semitism translating hā’ āre (= Palestine)” (Van De Water 255). Continue reading
PMW 2020-002 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As I open this phase of my study of Revelation’s “kings of the earth,” I will give note that to this point I have not proven that Rev in fact employs “kings of the earth” to refer to the religious leaders of Israel. Yet I have paved the road that travels in that direction. Of course, the true test of this thesis will come only through a careful consideration of Rev’s argumentative flow and contextual exegesis. But this is not the entire argument; let us move a little further in our consideration.
Let us now consider a key term: the Greek word gē.
To understand the identity of these “kings” we need to reflect on the two key components in their designation: they are “kings” who operate over “the earth.” In the first place I will note that John presents them: as kings of the earth. Then I will focus on their title as “kings.” The phrase “the ruler of the kings of the earth” is: ho archōn tōn basileōn tēs gēs. The two words meriting our attention are: basileōn (“kings”) and gēs (“earth”). Continue reading
PMW 2020-001 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is my sixth installment of a study on the phrase “the kings of the earth’ in Revelation. This important designation needs to be understood properly in order to grasp the meaning of Revelation’s judgments. In this study I will consider John’sInterpretive Method.
I have already pointed out the broad scholarly consensus that John draws very largely from the OT as his primary source. Now I would like to briefly focus on how he employs his OT sources. This will be abundantly illustrated in the commentary, but here I will summarize two particular literary methods he uses. These are important for identifying the “kings of the earth.” The two methods upon which I will focus are: scriptural re-application and rhetorical irony. Continue reading
PMW 2019-106 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As I open the fifth study of my analysis of “the kings of the earth” in Revelation, I now turn to John’s:
I will also note in my commentary’s Introduction the widely-known fact of John’s distinctive, quite Hebraic grammar and syntax. This feature of Rev is so striking that some commentators even develop a special grammar in their introductions (Charles 1:cvii–clix; Aune clx-ccxi), while other scholars have written whole works on the subject (Mussies 1971; S. Thompson 1985).
What is more, John appears to do this for dramatic effect. Beale and Carson (2007:1087) note that his Hebraic grammar ‘howlers’ are “deliberate attempts to express Semitisms and septuagintalisms in his Greek, the closest analogy being that of the LXX translations.” Thus, the whole original experience in reading and hearing Rev is strongly Judaic. Continue reading