PMW 2018-102 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the second in a three-part series highlighting several Hyper-preterist confusions regarding my writings. Hyper-preterists stumble here just as they do in their attempted exegesis of key passages of Scripture. You should read my first article before reading this one.
In the previous article I pointed out that my arguments for a transition in Matthew 24 between AD 70 and the Final Judgment are not my (distinctive, self-created) arguments. I picked them up from others. In this article I will point out the arguments from those other writers, my predecessors.
For instance, the following commentators see Matt. 24:36 (or its parallel Mark 13:32) as shifting the focus of the Discourse from the near-term (“this generation”) AD 70 destruction of the temple to the distant (while “delaying,” Matt. 25:5) Second Advent and Final Judgment at the end of history. This, of course, does not prove that the shift is true, but it will prove that the argument for a shift at v. 36 was not created by me. I will list a few of these scholars:
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (Critical and Explanatory Commentary on the Whole Bible; 1871).
They present the following headings in Mark 13 (the parallel to Matt. 24): “Prophecies of the Destruction of Jerusalem (v. 5–31)” and “Warnings to Prepare for the Coming of Christ Suggested by the foregoing Prophecy (v. 32–37).”
The JFB commentary notes: “It will be observed that, in the foregoing prophecy, as our Lord approaches the crisis of the day of vengeance on Jerusalem and redemption for the Church—at which stage the analogy between that and the day of final vengeance and redemption waxes more striking—His language rises and swells beyond all temporal and partial vengeance, beyond all earthly deliverances and enlargements, and ushers us resistlessly into the scenes of the final day. Accordingly, in these six concluding verses [Mark 13:31–36] it is manifest that preparation for ‘THAT DAY’ is what our Lord designs to inculcate.”
Have We Missed the Second Coming:
A Critique of the Hyper-preterist Error
by Ken Gentry
This book offers a brief introduction, summary, and critique of Hyper-preterism. Don’t let your church and Christian friends be blindfolded to this new error. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com
Charles Spurgeon (Commentary on Matthew: The Gospel of the Kingdom, 1893).
On Matthew 24:3 Spurgeon writes: “There are here two distinct questions, perhaps three. The disciples enquired first about the time of the destruction of the temple, and then about the sign of Christ’s coming, and of ‘the consummation of the age.’”
Later he writes: “The answers of Jesus contained much that was mysterious, and that could only be fully understood as that which he foretold actually occurred. He told his disciples some things which related to the siege of Jerusalem, some which concerned his Second Advent, and some which would immediately precede ‘the end of the world.'”
On Matthew 24:36 Spurgeon notes: “There is a manifest change in our Lord’s words here, which clearly indicates that they refer to his last great coming to judgment: ‘But of that day and hour knoweth no man’…. Christ, in his human nature, so voluntarily limited his own capacities that he knew not the time of his Second Advent. It is enough for us to know that he will surely come, our great concern should be to be ready for his appearing whenever he shall return.”
J. Marcellus Kik (An Eschatology of Victory, 1948, rep. 1971).
Kik observes: “The first thirty-four verses of Matthew 24, along with verse 35 in which Jesus confirms the certainty of his prophesies [sic], deal with the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. . . . Now with verse 36 Christ commences a new subject, namely, his second coming and the events preceding it. This verse may be termed the ‘transition text’ of the chapter.”
Later he writes: “It becomes apparent that in Matthew 24:36 Christ passes from the subject of the destruction of Jerusalem, or his judgment against the Jewish nation, to his second coming at the end of the age when he would judge the world.”
R. T. France (The Gospel of Matthew, 2002)
France comments: “After Jesus has answered the first part of the disciples’ question, ‘When will these things [the destruction of the temple] happen?’ he now turns to the second part of the question, ‘What will be the sign of your parousia and the end of the age?’ and that question provides the agenda for the whole of the rest of the discourse, which culminates in a majestic depiction of the final judgment in 25:31–46.” He adds: “Several features in the wording of v. 36, and of the following passage, make it clear that a new subject is taken up at this point.”
An Eschatology of Victory
by J. Marcellus Kik
This book presents a strong, succinct case for both optimistic postmillennialism and for orthodox preterism. An early proponent in the late Twentieth-century revival of postmillennialism. One of the better non-technical studies of Matt. 24. It even includes a strong argument for a division between AD 70 and the Second Advent beginning at Matt. 24:36.
For more Christian educational materials: www.KennethGentry.com
Jeffrey A. Gibbs (Jerusalem and Parousia: Jesus’ Eschatological Discourse in Matthew’s Gospel, 2000).
“MATTHEW 24:36: THE HINGE VERSE OF THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DISCOURSE. The second major section of the ED [Eschatological Discourse] begins with the hinge verse, 24:36…. In the first major section of the ED, Jesus has answered the first question of the disciples regarding the timing of the destruction of Jerusalem. Now Jesus focuses on the second question in 24:3, ‘What will be that which shows your Parousia and the consummation of the age?’”
David E. Garland (Reading Matthew, 1992).
“The key to the structure of this discourse on the Mount of Olives is the disciples’ double question in 24:3. (1) The answer to the first half of the question, ‘When will these things be’ is given in 24:4–35. ‘These things’ refer to Jesus’ announcement about God’s judgment on the temple and Jerusalem…. (2) The answer to the second half of the disciples’ question about the parousia and the end of the age is given in 24:36–25:46.”
Alistair I. Wilson (When Will These Things Happen?, 2004).
“Transitional Statement (24:36) . . . “Along with the technical term tes hemeras ekeines kai horas signals the beginning of a new subject.” Several pages later: “Jesus distinguished the events to fall upon Jerusalem from his Parousia (as I believe Matthew indicates in his narrative).”
Thus, when all is said and done: the transition at Matt. 24:35 is not “per Postmillennialist Kenneth Gentry,” as if I created this idea to save face for my commitment to orthodox doctrine. Rather, it is a view that was promoted (long before me!) by a number of scholars, as well as many contemporary ones.
I will conclude this mini-series on Hyper-preterist mistakes in my next article. See you “soon” (literally!).
JESUS, MATTHEW, AND OLIVET
I am currently researching a commentary on Matthew 21–25, the literary context of the Olivet Discourse from Matthew’s perspective. My research will demonstrate that Matthew’s presentation demands that the Olivet Discourse refer to AD 70 (Matt. 24:3–35) as an event that anticipates the Final Judgment at the Second Advent (Matt. 24:36–25:46). This will explode the myth that Jesus was a Jewish sage focusing only on Israel. The commentary will be about 250 pages in length.
If you would like to support me in my research, I invite you to consider giving a tax-deductible contribution to my research and writing ministry: GoodBirth Ministries. Your help is much appreciated!
Tagged: Hyper-preterist confusion