HYPERPRETERISM AND MELLO IN ACTS

PBible stack 2MW 2023-009 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Hyperpreterism is a new theological paradigm that stands against universal historic Christian orthodoxy. It holds that the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment occurred in AD 70 with the destruction of the Jewish temple. Consequently, it also holds that earth history will never end (resulting in God’s tolerating a rebellious universe for ever and ever and ever). One method hyperpreterism uses to seek to topple the 2000 year old eschatology of Scripture is to focus on the Greek word mello.

In two previous articles (PMW 2022-014 and 015) I focused on Acts 24:15, which speaks of the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. The word mello appears in this text and is interpreted by hyperpreterists to mean: “there is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.”

In those articles I noted that a study of mello showed that it has several meanings, and does not simply mean “about to,” per the hyperpreterist approach. In fact, Greek scholar Daniel B. Wallace has written an important Greek grammar titled, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (1996). On p. 536 of this work he speaks of “the ambiguity of the lexical nuance of mello (which usually means either ‘I am about to’ [immediacy] or ‘I will inevitably’ [certainty]).” An ambiguous term is not sufficient to overthrow the historic Christian faith. Continue reading

PAUL AND OUR BODILY RESURRECTION (AGAIN)

PMW 2023-013 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Spirit

The Centrality of the Resurrection
In 1 Corinthians 15 we have Paul’s lengthy argument for and defense of the bodily resurrection. He opens this lengthy teaching section by tying it all to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (vv. 1–4). He declares Jesus’ bodily resurrection to be one of the gospel matters “of first importance” (v. 3). Then he presents historical evidence for it by citing various appearances of the resurrected Christ to witnesses (vv. 5–8).

Then Paul shows how this matter is “of first importance” (1 Cor. 15:3) when he powerfully states: “if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (vv.16–19). Continue reading

ESCHATOLOGY & CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW

By Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Worldview 3

Before one actually begins considering eschatology per se, he must understand its significance for the Christian worldview. Though there are many things that could be said (and have been!), I believe we should at least reflect on three important observations regarding Christ’s second coming (which ends temporal history).

FIRST, THE SECOND COMING EXALTS CHRIST’S VICTORY IN REDEMPTION

When the Lord came to earth in the first-century, he came in a state of humility in order to suffer and die. Paul expresses this as follows: “being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8; cp. Matt 1:21; Luke 19:10).

But Scripture does not leave him suffering on the cross or lying in the tomb. Rather, it presents his ultimate glorification in heaven through three steps: resurrection, ascension, and session (being seated at the right hand of God). Ultimately his mediatorial rule over temporal history will end at his return, when he will resurrect and judge all men and establish the final order. As Paul puts it: “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9–11). Continue reading

THE INTERMEDIATE STATE

PMW 2023-007 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. Intermediate State
I have long attempted to maintain three fundamental practices in my life: (1) Never engage in a ground war in Asia. (2) Never attempt to go to Chick Fil-A at lunch time (the place is so crowded nobody goes there any more). (3) Never engage in theological debate on Facebook, for you will experientially learn the meaning of “eternity” with unending threads. Yet, I have stumbled and have been tempted above that which I am able. I allowed myself to be drawn into the FB equivalent of eternal life. Woe is me.

Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15

Last enemyPMW 2023-006 by Gregg Strawbridge

Gentry note: This paper was originally delivered to 1999 Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Boston. Its original, full title was “An Exegetical Defense of Postmillennialism from 1 Corinthians 15: The Eschatology of the Dixit Dominus.”

Overview
This paper is exegetes Paul’s allusion to the first verse of the Dixit Dominus (Psa 110:1: “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.’” / 1Co 15:25: “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”). It shows that Christ is reigning in the exact sense of this verse during the interadvental period. This study gives special attention to the chronology of the events of 1 Corinthians 15:22–26, supported by the emphatic frequency of the NT teaching that Christ ascended to the “right hand” fullfilling the Dixit Dominus. Significant reflection is given to the chronological argument that death, the last enemy, is overcome at the parousia when those alive will be “changed” (1Co 15:23, cf 15:52-54). The study concludes by noting the difficulties such an exegesis raises for preterist (full preterist), dispensational, premillennial, and pessimistic amillennial eschatologies.

The Dixit Dominus in the NT
The importance of the Dixit Dominus (Psa 110) and particularly the first two verses are paramount. The first verse of Psalm 110 is directly quoted or referred to at least 21 times in the New Testament—more than any other Hebrew Scripture verse. Including references to the later verses of the Psalm in Hebrews (Heb 5:6, 7:17, 7:21, 5:10, 6:20, 7:11, 7:15), the Psalm is referred to some 28 times in the New Testament. It is quite an understatement, then, to say that this passage is highly significant for a theology of Messiah and His kingdom.

The Dixit Dominus in Paul’s Resurrection Defense
One of the most significant theological expositions of Psalm 110:1 is found in 1 Corinthians 15:25 and the context.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1Co 15:22–26).

Context and Purpose of 1 Corinthians 15:25–26
The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 is directed to the question of the validity of bodily resurrection, as indicated in 15:12, “some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead.” In fact, the words for “resurrection” are used 22 times in the passage (15:4–52). In developing his answer Paul provides sequential language, moving from Christ’s resurrection to the “end” (telos). Why does Paul’s defense of resurrection include an explanation involving the kingdom and reign of Christ? Because resurrection regards death, and death is a kingdom enemy. So, Paul must discuss the reign of Christ and invoke kingdom concepts.


The Harrowing of Hell (by Jay Rogers)
This postmillennial book examines the power of the Gospel, not only to overcome all opposition, but to rise far above the powers of hell. The term “Harrowing of Hell” refers to idea that Christ descended into Hell, as stated in the Apostles’ Creed.

For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com


The specific context of 15:25–26 is the origin of death (“for as in Adam all die”), the Messianic deliverance from death (“so also in Christ all shall be made alive”), and the sequence of this deliverance: “But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.” The term “order” is from the root tagma. The tagma (“proper order”) proceeds in the following manner: Christ was resurrected, “after that” (epeita) the resurrection of “those who are Christ’s at His coming” (parousia) (v. 23), “then comes the end.” Paul is giving a chronological sequence of events in using adverbs epeita and eita which are for “marking the sequence of one thing after another.”

The Telos
The phrase epeita to telos (“then comes the end”) is elucidated by Paul. Contextually, the “end” (telos) is “when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power” (15:24). Thus, the telos is “when” the kingdom is consummated. The “end” is not when the kingdom is initiated, but rather when it is finalized. The idea that the telos is an end period is not warranted by Paul’s grammar, contextual discussion, nor his use of the term. Neither does the syntax support the “end period” concept. Continue reading

IRREFUTABLE REFUTATION OF HYPER-PRETERISM

PMW 2023-005 by Jason L. BradfieldWhat if

Gentry note: Jason once adopted Hyper-preterism as his theological commitment. He has since left the movement to become part of mainstream Reformed evangelical thought. This is an excellent article by a former insider.

INTRODUCTION

For starters, let’s define some terms. By “hyper-preterism,” I include any belief system that argues for the past fulfillment of all prophecy, which necessarily includes the general resurrection of the dead. Whether a system is labeled “full-preterism,” “pantelism,” or “covenant eschatology,” it makes no difference to this refutation. I can not care less what any of these systems positively state regarding the general resurrection. At one time, I counted at least six different views among them. They can hash out their heretical opinions amongst themselves. But what they all have in common is that an “all-is-fulfilled eschatology” must of necessity deny a general, self-same, bodily resurrection.

The purpose of this post is to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that this same denial existed among a few at the church in Corinth, and in I Corinthians 15, esp. verses 12-18, Paul destroys their false belief. Paul affirms belief in the bodily resurrection, and since this has not occurred, it remains a prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Continue reading

UP AND OUT OF HYPER-PRETERISM

PMW 2023-004 by Zachary J. EastonHelp me

Gentry note: Zach has contacted me regarding his disaffection with Hyper-preterism/Full Preterism. He sent me his testimony which I appreciated and was encouraged by. I invite others who have been converted out of Hyper/Full Preterism to send me their testimonies.

Testimony of Zach Easton:

During my childhood, the doctrine that was most emphasized was the rapture. Growing up, I feared being left behind. Anytime there was silence for too long I would wonder to myself: “Did I miss it?” “Were the planes going to start falling from the sky?” “Were the cars on the road going to start piling up?” “Was I going have to survive hell on planet earth for seven years while the antichrist hunts me down?” I was terrified! Then I would go outside just to find that my mom was pulling weeds and that all was well. But to be on the watch, I would stay up to date constantly to see what was happening in the Middle East so I would be “rapture ready.” Continue reading