PMW 2018-058 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The Olivet Discourse is a key eschatological passage in the New Testament (which appears in Matthew, Mark, and Luke). In Matthew, it is not only Jesus’ last discourse, but the largest (Matt. 24:3–25:46). Matthew, therefore, sets it as the climax of Jesus’ teaching, which underscores its significance.
I have a special interest in Olivet. This can be seen in that I have written several works dealing with Olivet:
• Perilous Times (has two chapters on the Discourse)
• The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? (my debate book with Thomas Ice focuses on Olivet, which covers 224 pages — half of which are my thoughts)
• The Olivet Discourse Made Easy (has nine chapters, 142 pages)
• The Divorce of Israel (my commentary on Revelation due out in late Summer, wherein I emphasize that John’s Revelation is a visionary expansion of Olivet
Olivet Discourse Made Easy (by Ken Gentry)
Verse-by-verse analysis of Christ’s teaching on Jerusalem’s destruction in Matt 24. Show the great tribulation is past, having occurred in AD 70.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
Olivet and Revelation
In Revelation we find three logia of Jesus clearly taken from the Olivet Discourse and its context. These are embedded at crucial places within Revelation:
Rev. 1:7 = Matt. 24:30
Rev. 11:2 = Luke 21:24 (Luke’s version of Olivet)
Rev. 18:24 = Matt. 23:35
Not only so, but both Olivet and Revelation are specifically anchored in first-century events (Matt. 24:2, 16, 34; Rev. 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10). My commentary (due out by late Summer/early Fall, 2018) will point out other allusions to Olivet.
These correspondences have led numerous scholars to recognize Olivet’s influence on Revelation. For example, Milton S. Terry, F. W. Farrar, J. M. Kik, Cornelis Vanderwaal, Adela Y. Collins, J. M. Ford, Robert L. Thomas, David Chilton, G. K. Beale, and Paul T. Penley, to name but a few. Friederich Düsterdieck even speaks of “the undoubted relationship between the Apoc. and the eschatological discourses of our Lord, especially Matt. xxiv., and the analogy of N. T. prophecy in general.”
My current research in Olivet
I am currently deeply engaged in the research necessary to produce a commentary on Matt. 21–25. This is the literary context of the Olivet Discourse, which is necessary to understand in order to flesh out the full meaning of Jesus’ prophecy. Olivet functions as the Lord’s Farewell Discourse, which demonstrates its importance for Jesus’ disciples, and us today.
My commentary will be focusing on Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse, which is much longer than either Mark’s or Luke’s. I will be arguing that Matthew’s version intentionally gives us a fuller record of Jesus’ words.
In doing this Matthew is keeping with his distinctive angle on Jesus’ ministry. For instance, his is the only Gospel to record Jesus’s statements limiting his earthly ministry to Jews in Israel (Matt. 10:5–6; 15:24). And his Gospel ends with the Great Commission to all the nations, without any reference to the ascension that follows it (e.g., Luke 24:50–53). This shows a change in Jesus’ mission and a great interest in the Gentiles, as he looks to the future and the unfolding of his kingdom among the nations.
The extended portion of Matthew’s version of the Olivet Discourse involves not only an important focus on the destruction of the temple in AD 70, as he judges Israel, causing the old covenant to conclude. But also a clear reference to his Second Coming to judge the nations (Matt. 24:36–25:46). By this (and other means), Matthew will be showing that Jesus is the Lord of the nations — not just the Lord of Israel.
Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Ken Gentry)
Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
AD 70 and the Final Judgment
Matthew offers a distinctive, fuller report of the disciples’ question regarding the temple’s destruction (Matt. 24:3 cp. Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7). He will also give Christ’s fuller answer that corrects their confusion, which they believe must bring about the end of history. In the full record of the Discourse (which is twice as long in Matthew), Jesus will intentionally establish a link between the destruction of the temple as a local, Jewish event and the Final Judgment as a universal, all-nations event. But that linkage is theological, not historical; it involves similarity, not identity.
The AD 70 event that ended biblical Judaism (Heb. 8:13) is a microcosm of the Final Judgment that ends human history. AD 70 is a display of the gravity of God’s judgment within history, which anticipates the enormity of God’s judgment that ends history. The AD 70 event is another of the several “day of the Lord” events in Scripture, each of which anticipates and leads to the consummate day of the Lord event at the end of temporal history. Matthew wants to make it clear: just as Israel could not escape the judgment of God, neither will the nations. Their day will come!
In presenting my argument I will demonstrate Matthew’s priority, rather than the commonly accepted Marcan priority. That is, I will build the case that Matthew was the first Gospel written rather than Mark. Matthew presents the fuller report of the Discourse, whereas Mark gives a a more summarized report, in keeping with his own approach to Jesus’ ministry.
I will avoid the errors both of Form Criticism and of Redaction Criticism. Form Criticism attempts to take the Gospels apart and trace back the “original” of the “sayings” of Jesus that are compiled therein. This is done to discover their true historical context and original meaning. Form Criticism seeks to distinguish what Jesus actually said from what the church claims he said as the church began to develop its theological outlook.
Much of Redaction Criticism (especially as promoted by liberal critics) assumes that the differences between the Gospels involve real contradictions. These are traceable to the fabrication by the different authors who are attempting to press their own theological agendas. Though there are good principles within some of Redaction Criticism, they must be used with care.
I will be working more along the lines of Composition Criticism, a subset of Narrative Criticism. Composition Criticism does not deal with the question of the origins of the various statements by Christ. It accepts the validity of the Gospels as we have them, with a predisposition to accept them as they stand. Then it treats each Gospel as an intelligible whole, from which we may discern the reason why each writer chose the material and presented it as he did.
As I present Matthew’s distinctive, overall structure and focus on the immediate local context in his entering Jerusalem (Matt. 21–25), I will show that the Olivet Discourse does in fact deal with both AD 70 and the Final Judgment. As such, I will demonstrate the orthodoxy of biblical preterism, as well as its significance for understanding the destruction of the temple.
Funding my research
If you are interested in helping me to do the research, I invite you to support me by tax-deductible giving to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Those who give will receive occasional updates on my progress, and brief studies of the issues that are being engaged. I would also appreciate your prayers as I diligently engage the tedious research necessary to explaining Olivet properly.
P.O. Box 285
Chesnee, SC 29323
The Beast of Revelation (246pp); Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (409pp); Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues (211pp).
In the Logos edition, these volumes by Ken Gentry are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
For more study materials, go to: KennethGentry.com