ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 4

PMW 2020-101 by Kenneth L Gentry, Jr.

This is my fourth and final installment regarding my confusion about Don Preston’s confusion about the disciples’ confusion in Matthew 24:3. To add to the confusion: I am interacting with his book, Were the Disciples Confused? Now you are probably confused!

While reading this article, you should keep in mind Matthew’s opening three verses that introduce the Olivet Discourse and which are at the center of my disagreement with Preston’s argument:

1. In Matthew 24:1, as Jesus is dramatically leaving the temple, his disciples “came up to point out the temple buildings to him.” The aorist infinitive action verb epideixai (“to show, point out,” an emphatic form of deiknumi) demonstrates purpose. That is, it informs us of the reason the disciples “came up” [prosēlthōn] to him: to “point out” the temple buildings. This results from his dramatic departure from the temple which Matthew emphasizes in three ways. He states: Kai exelthon ho Iēsous apo tou hierou eporeueto. Thus, he says: (1) “Jesus came out [exelthōn],” (2) “away [apo signifies separation] from the temple,” and (3) “was going away [eporeueto].” Through prophetic theater he is dramatically re-enacting God’s abandoning of the temple in the Old Testament (Eze. 11:23).

2. In Matthew 24:2, Jesus responds to the disciples’ pointing out the temple buildings to him by prophesying their destruction: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” Jesus was well aware of the temple and its majesty (cp. Mark 13:1) and he had just come away from it. The disciples are surprised and confused about his negative words (Matt. 23:38) and actions (Matt. 24:1) against the temple. As Hagner (Matthew, 687) puts it: “the disciples must have been astounded at the response of Jesus” in rejecting the temple. Or as Davies and Allison (Matthew, 3:334) surmise: “they find it incredible.”

3. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples respond in confusion to the prophecy of the temple’s absolute destruction by asking two questions: “Tell us, [1] when will these things happen, and [2] what will be the sign of Your coming [parousia], and of the end of the age?” These questions are what my whole four-part series is about.

In this series, I am defending the widespread scholarly evangelical consensus that the disciples’ questions about Jesus’ prophecy of the temple’s destruction show their surprised confusion. For they immediately (and wrongly) associate the demise of the temple with his second coming in judgment at the end of history. That is, at his parousia (“coming”) and “the end of the age” (Matt. 24:3b). This, of course, goes against the Hyper-preterist doctrines that Jesus is not physically coming again, that there will be no physical resurrection of the dead at the end of history, and that history goes on forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and then forever ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever, so that God must always endure a fallen and rebellious universe, never finally ridding it of sin.

We should note that the disciples are extremely focused on the issue. For the text says they twice approached Jesus about his denigration of the temple! (1) In Matthew 24:1 we read that “His disciples came up to point out the temple building to Him” after he declared it “desolate” (23:38) and then dramatically departed from it (24:1a). Then (2) after he prophesies its destruction (24:2), the disciples approach him once again to ask their questions: “the disciples came to Him privately, saying” (v. 3).

In my previous article, I presented evidence of Preston’s mistaken argument. He claims the disciples are not confused at Jesus’ prophecy when they link the temple’s destruction with his parousia and “the end of the age.” In this current article I will present additional evidence of his book’s confusion in this regard. This problem undermines Preston’s entire argument in that his book is asking the question: Were the Disciples Confused? and answering that question, “No.” In other words, his confused arguments destroy the whole purpose of his book! So I will continue a little longer in my analysis by noting that this issue is for Preston:

A recurring problem

I encourage my reader to recall all of Preston’s mistakes which I pointed out in my previous article. Now in this current article I will demonstrate that those are not merely evidence of a momentary stumble by Preston. He has not simply slipped a time or two as he is briefly blinded by his rage at the arrogance (p. i, 92), and “lamentable ignorance” (p. 93) of “most commentators” (pp. 34, 35) who are “desperate” (pp. 80, 83) to “forcibly impose” their views on Scripture (p. 103).

No! Rather, he continues flailing about by repeatedly and erroneously broadening the scope of the disciples’ questions to Jesus. That is, he broadens the scope of the disciples’ very specific concern by extending it beyond the temple (which is their very point, Matt. 24:1–3) to include the dismal end of the Jewish leadership and the city of Jerusalem. Of course, AD 70 does greatly impact both of these elements of Jewish society and culture. But these issues are not the concern of the disciples’ two questions.

Note the following quotes from Preston, where we see him shifting back-and-forth between a proper presentation of their questions (which focus on the temple) and his broadened presentation (which brings in the Jewish leaders and their capital city). And we must understand that Preston’s error is a sleight-of-hand that is necessary for him — if his “evidence” for his argument against the disciples’ confusion is to work.

Very early on, Preston rightly states regarding the disciples’ questions: “Matthew 24:3 stands in the cross hairs of the eschatological controversy. Jesus had just predicted the demise of the awesome Herodian Temple” (p. i ¶1). This is certainly true! And Jesus’ disciples’ response to this prophecy reads: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”


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But Preston rejects the view that: “the apostles simply could not imagine that marvelous edifice being destroyed” (p. i ¶2). He argues this even though in his We Shall Meet Him in The Air (p. 2) he himself states about the disciples’ reaction to Jesus’ prophecy: “Jesus’ response shocked the disciples.” He argues that the disciples would not have been confused about the temple’s coming destruction. Then in the next paragraph he starts inaccurately broadening the point of their questions. He writes: “Were the apostles confused. Did they wrongly connect Christ’s coming, the end of the age and the destruction of Jerusalem?” (p. i ¶3; emph. KLG). But Jerusalem’s destruction is not the issue; the temple’s destruction is. At this point Preston is as confused as Jesus’ disciples were.

A little later Preston once again recognizes the issue is the destruction of the temple: “We are concerned here about Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple” (p. 3 ¶2). And: “Jesus did predict the destruction of the temple” (p. 3 ¶ 3). But immediately after rightly noting that “Jesus foretold the destruction of the temple” (p. 6 ¶2), in the very next paragraph he wrongly asks: “upon what basis would the disciples have EVER linked the fall of Jerusalem and the temple with the end of the Christian Age?” (p. 6 ¶3).

And remarkably, several times later he correctly limits the disciples’ questions regarding the prophecy of the temple’s destruction (e.g., p. 8¶1, 30 ¶6, 35 ¶2). But then he stumbles again elsewhere: “were the disciples wrong to connect the fall of Jerusalem with the end of the age” (p. 9 ¶4)? And he speaks of “the question of whether the disciples were confused to link the destruction of Jerusalem with the end of the age” (p. 12 ¶3).

The issue before us is the disciples’ questions that they ask regarding the destruction of the temple. Not the destruction of Jerusalem. But there is more of this error in his book, for Preston even presents:

An enumerated error

On pp. 90–91 Preston presents a summary wherein he carefully numbers his evidence attempting to prove that the disciples were not confused about the coming destruction of the temple:

“So, what does all this mean?

1.) It means that we have emphatic OT prophecies of the end of the age and coming of the Lord that posit fulfillment at the time of the destruction of the Old Covenant World….

2.) We have Jesus citing one of the central OT prophecies of the end of the age resurrection which unambiguously places the consummation at the time of Israel’s national destruction (i.e., Daniel 12).

3.) Not only does Jesus cite that OT prophecy, but in three pericopes and parables prior to Matthew 24 Jesus predicted the impending destruction of Jerusalem at the coming of the Lord.

4.) When Jesus told the parable of the end of the age, and cited Daniel 12, he then asked his disciples if they understood what he had taught them, and they affirmed that they did understand.”

(He has two more observations [numbers 5 and 6] in this list, which are irrelevant to my purpose here.)

But again notice: not one of his numbered issues mentions the destruction of the temple. And that is the issue confusing the disciples. According to the “consensus among commentators” (p. 33), their questions to Jesus in Matthew 24:3 assume the temple will last until the end of time (i.e., until the parousia which brings about “the end of the age”). [2]

So now I will consider a few additional problems with Preston’s argument, by exposing:

Three unfounded surmises

Regarding three key surmises stated elsewhere by Preston, I would note that his line of reasoning runs into several dozen problems. Due to space and time limitations, however, I will cite just three issues that he raises, then present a few of the problems I have with his arguments.

Issue #1: The disciples’ knowledge of OT prophecies of God’s judgment.

Preston holds that the disciples would have had “knowledge of the Old Testament prophets which foretold the destruction of Jerusalem at the coming of the Lord” (p. 91). Thus, they should not have been confused at Jesus’ prophecy. (I will overlook his missing the point one more time when he refers to Jerusalem and not the temple.)

Issue #2: The disciples’ knowledge of rabbinic predictions of the temple’s destruction.

On the next page Preston writes: “We can safely assume that the apostles were well aware of the rabbinic predictions of the coming destruction” (p. 92).

Issue #3: The disciples’ prophetic training in the synagogues and temple.

Preston asks: “if the ancient rabbis believed — and taught — that the OT, and very specifically Daniel 9, foretold the AD 70 destruction, are we to suppose that the apostles were blithely ignorant of that? Had they never heard that in the synagogues or the temple?” (p. 163).

My several responses

First, regarding Issue 1 and the disciples’ knowledge of the prophets:

This is a weak argument. Did not the disciples miss the prophets’ teaching on the death and resurrection of Christ? We read in the New Testament that his death, burial, and resurrection were “according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3, 4), which “written of Him” (Matt. 26:64), and were spoken of him by “the prophets” (Luke 24:25–27). What happened to their “knowledge of the Old Testament prophets”?

Besides could not dispensationalists argue that they have much knowledge of the prophets? Knowledge of the prophets and holding a proper understanding of the prophets are two different issues.

Second, regarding Issue 1 and the disciples’ knowledge of the prophets:

The disciples even had stronger teaching regarding Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection than offered in the prophets. This is due to Jesus himself personally and directly teaching this several times during his three and a half year ministry to them (Matt. 16:21; 20:17–18; 28:6a; Mark 16:10–11). Yet his teaching on this point was lost on the disciples — for the disciples did not believe he would be resurrected from the dead (Mark 16:7–13; John 20:8–9)!

Third, regarding Issue 1 and the disciples’ knowledge of the prophets:

Preston himself informs us “that the OT prophets did not fully understand either the time or the nature of what they predicted” (p. 56). If the prophets did not fully understand what they themselves predicted, is it not possible that the disciples just might not have fully understood these things — especially prior to the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost?

This is especially a strong possibility since we see the disciples misunderstanding Jesus himself so many different times (see examples in PMW 2019-002). Preston is certainly aware that the disciples were often confused, for he states “I have demonstrated that in virtually all other occasions, the only way that we know the disciples were mistaken is because the Gospel writers tell us so” (p. 80). His mention of “virtually all other occasions” shows that he is aware that there are a good number of them.

Fourth, regarding Issue 1 and the disciples’ knowledge of the prophets:

Preston is well aware that Jews back in the first century did not have their own personal copies of Scripture (handwritten copies were very expensive to produce and therefore very rare). The disciples simply did not carry around their personal “Prophecy Knowledge Study Scrolls” in which they could look up Bible prophecies for themselves. And they certainly would not have had biblical scrolls with penciled-in corrections by Hyper-preterists.


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Fifth, regarding Issue 2 and the disciples’ awareness of rabbinic teaching:

Why does he think that we may “safely assume” the disciples were aware of what some rabbis taught about the destruction of the temple? The rabbis certainly did not all teach the same thing or always in agreement with one another. In fact, much of the Mishnah and the Talmud records debates between the various rabbis regarding many issues. Were these fishermen rabbinic scholars? Were they up on all the debates of the many rabbis?

After all, we cannot even “safely assume” that the learned Jewish philosopher Philo, who wrote large, studied volumes on Scripture, was aware of this prophetic interpretation promoted by some of the rabbis. Apparently, on Preston’s analysis, this noted, first-century biblical scholar himself was “blithely ignorant” (p. 163) of this position among some rabbis, for he speaks of the eternal nature of the temple:

“The temple has for its revenues not only portions of land, but also other possessions of much greater extent and importance, which will never be destroyed or diminished; for as long as the race of mankind shall last, the revenues likewise of the temple will always be preserved, being coeval in their duration with the universal world” (Spec. Laws 1:76).

And does not the writer of book 5 of the Sibylline Oracles mention the pre-AD 70 Jewish belief that the temple was indestructible? There we read:

“When I saw the second Temple cast headlong, / soaked in fire by an impious hand, the ever-flourishing, watchful Temple of God / made by holy people and hoped / by their soul and body to be always imperishable” (Sib. Or. 5:399–402).

Thus, Jewish scholar Gedaliah Alon (The Jews in their Land in the Talmudic Age, 49) points out that “there was a strong belief among the people that the Temple was eternal, as indestructible as the nation itself.”

Sixth, regarding Issue 3 and the disciples’ instruction in the synagogues and the temple:

Preston asks: may we believe that the disciples were “blithely ignorant” of what had been taught in the synagogues and the temple? Well, … yes! Again, we must recall that the disciples were “blithely ignorant” of what Jesus directly and specifically taught them about the most important part of his earthly mission, his death, burial, and resurrection (see Second comment above). Why would it be surprising if they were confused about the prophetic statements, which we know to be sometimes difficult (e.g., Acts 8:26–31; 1 Pet. 1:10–11; cp. Isa. 6:11; Dan. 7:15–16)? Daniel shows his difficulty in understanding Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding the Babylonian captivity (cp. Dan. 9:1–3, 22–23; Jer. 25:11–14)

After all, did not all the first century Jewish religious leadership miss the appearing of the Messiah and even condemn him to death (Luke 23:13–21; 24:19–20; John 11:47–50)? And this despite his death, burial, and resurrection were “according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3, 4), “written of Him” (Matt. 26:64) and spoken of him by “the prophets” (Luke 24:25–27). These temple and synagogue teachers were supposedly “experts” in God’s word and had access to copies of it (unlike the fishermen disciples), but badly misunderstood it. And they certainly wrongly taught it.

Do we not see constant debates between Jesus and the Pharisees regarding the proper interpretation of various portions of Scripture (e.g., Matt. 12:2, 5; 19:3) leading Jesus to warn the disciples about these religious authorities (Matt. 16:6, 11)? Jesus even calls the Pharisees “blind guides” (Matt. 23:16, 17, 19, 24, 26) who “tie up heavy burdens” on men’s shoulders (v. 4), “shut off the kingdom of heaven from people” (v. 13), whose converts are “twice as much a son of hell” as they themselves are (v. 15). He also warns his disciples regarding “the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt. 16:12). How much accurate instruction would the disciples have received in the temple and the synagogue from such men?

A difficulty I will deal with later

On pp. 199ff of We Shall Meet Him in The Air Preston makes an enormous gaffe that absolutely undermines his entire argument. He is attempting to argue that Matt. 24:36 does not preclude our knowing the nearness of Christ’s coming. Thus, he is arguing against orthodox Christianity’s view that this verse states that we cannot know when Christ’s Second Coming is near, because Jesus says that only the Father knows this. Preston thinks he is scoring big against this view when he writes on p. 199:

“An appeal to Matthew 24:36, to mitigate the apostolic statements of the nearness of Christ’s coming is an implicit denial of the inspiration of the apostles. It was the Father — who knew the day and hour — who sent the Spirit to the apostles, to show you things to come.’ Thus, all apostolic declarations of the nearness of the end were, in fact, statements from the Father!”

In his mind, this allows that we can know the nearness of Christ’s coming, the day and the hour, after the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost (around AD 30). And of course for Preston that “coming” is not the historic Christian view of the future, bodily Second Coming but is the Lord’s (metaphorical) judgment-coming against the temple in AD 70.

I will not show how three rather clear observations destroy his argument, causing him to shoot himself in the foot. He stumbles badly here, but I will demonstrate this in a future Olivet Discourse book, which I am currently working on. Stay tuned. But for now, I will just simply state that this is a self-destructive argument for Preston. I will leave my reader with a challenge: Think it through. Perhaps you will see his error, since once you notice it, it sticks out like a black fly on a white wedding cake. But for now, I must close. Prior obligations are calling.

Conclusion

So, Preston’s arguments simply do not hold water. His arguments about the disciples’ confusion are themselves confused. He certainly has a fertile imagination. But sometimes I worry about what he fertilizes it with.


Addendum

This Addendum was added several days after this final article in this four-part series posted. I originally uploaded it as a free-standing article. But I have decided to put it here as an Addendum. I wrote:

I am getting a good number of emails outside of the regular channels of my PostmillennialWorldview blogsite tools. I thank everyone for reading and interacting (some of you publicly; some of you privately).

Ironically, I was reading through Milton Terry today and stumbled on a statement that he makes about the disciples and others being confused. I thought my readers might like to see this. (Though Terry does not see the disciples as confused in Matthew 24:3, as I and a majority of commentators do).

On pp. 477-78 of his Biblical Apocalyptics, Terry writes:

“The manner in which the disciples and contemporaries of Jesus understood and repeated his eschatological sayings is, therefore, no conclusive determination of their real meaning. The most favored of the disciples “questioned among themselves what the rising again from the dead should mean” (Mark 9:10). Our Lord did not take pains to correct all the misapprehensions of those who heard him speak. He spoke in parables, “because seeing they see not and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand” (Matt. 12:13). On one occasion, when he said, “He that hath no purse, let him sell his cloke and buy a sword” (Luke 22:36), his disciples in blind misapprehension observed, “Lord, behold, here are two swords;” but Jesus did not stop to correct their error, but, as Meyer observes, “gently turned aside further discussion with a touch of sorrowful irony.” All his words of parable and prophecy could be safely left to find their true interpretation in the progress of his Gospel and kingdom in the world. Inasmuch as he took no pains to correct the mischievous allegorical exegesis of his day we cannot reasonably presume that he would accompany his use of the language of Old Testament prophets with public or private instruction on principles of literary composition and interpretation.”


Notes

1. As I noted in my opening article, I am not entirely sure of the title to Preston’s book. The front cover of the book is itself very confusing in this regard. The larger type font reads: “Watching for the Parousia.” Though just below it is a much smaller font stating: “Were Jesus’ Apostles Confused?” But the spine has: “Watching for the Parousia: Were Jesus’ Apostles Confused?” It is not until you get to the title page and back-of-title page that you find the apparent official title that he would have submitted for its ISBN: Were the Disciples Confused?

What is more, Preston’s larger (450-page) work, We Shall Meet Him in The Air, is laid out in quite a bizarre way. The first page you see when you open the book contains the material that is invariably put on the back of the book’s title page (publishing information, copyright, etc.). Then the next thing you read is the Table of Contents. Then after the Table of Contents comes the Foreword. And then comes the title page! I have never seen such a strange layout. Plus, I don’t know why the definite article “The” in the title is capitalized. Perhaps his untraditional layout is an acted parable about his untraditional theology.

2. I am aware of the views of the Hyper-preterist regarding the parousia and “the end of the age.” But I will deal with their errors on these issues in another context.

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 4

  1. Joshua November 23, 2020 at 10:56 am

    I don’t get the motive of the hyper-preterists. I for one would feel deeply uncomfortable going against fundamental doctrines the church has taught for 2000 years. If you depart from a confession as basic as The Apostle’s Creed (“I believe… He will come again to judge the living and the dead… the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”), can you still be called a Christian?

    After Jesus’ ascension, the angels very clearly told the apostles that Jesus would come again in the same manner in which he ascended (physically and bodily – Acts 1:11). Preston’s underlying assumption seems to be that the disciples weren’t confused about Jesus’ teachings, but (as you pointed out), they were often confused, sometimes about very basic things:

    “And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.” (Mark 9:9-10)

    I often wondered why the disciples couldn’t understand what Jesus was telling them, but I think that their dullness or blindness was simply God the Father’s doing, so that they wouldn’t abandon Jesus prematurely out of fear.

    Preston’s assertions seem like a classic example of a confirmation bias or simply eisegeting the text.

  2. Kenneth Gentry November 23, 2020 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for the note. I am glad you reminded me of the Mark 9:9-10 reference. I was so focused on Matthew that I overlooked this more telling statement in Mark. I have now inserted this in my article. Thanks again!

  3. Jeremy Mattson November 24, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Wow! This was a devastating series. Thanks for posting it. I have shared it with a friend who had been tempted with hyperpreterism. When they miss the point which they often do, they miss it badly. Keep up the good work.

  4. Lawrence Stevens November 24, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Loved this study! Give us more! You are fun to read mostly due to your solid scriptural exposition. But also for your humor. It is funny how you say 7.2 Billion people have not read Preston. Ha! I might take your writing course. I like the way you often start off with humor, as when you used all the “confused” words at the beginning of a study on confusion.

  5. Arthur Davis November 24, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    I can’t wait to see what his error is on Matthew 24:36. It seems so clear to me. And his argument doesn’t make much sense. But I imagine you have a real zinger on his approach. I am sharing your postings with several of my friends at church. They have thought that since you and Demar are preterists, that you must go to the extreme like they hypers do. But you clearly show that the reason they go hyper is because they misread the texts! Thanks much.

  6. Dominique November 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    As always I greatly appreciated your study series. You put things together so biblically and clearly. I have used this series to warn a friend who has been toying with hyperpreterism. He was taken aback at the mistakes Preston makes. Traditional preterism is making progress in my circles. I am glad you give a warning that though it is a good system it can be abused and misused. Keep it up. And thanks!

  7. Martin November 24, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks, Dr. Gentry. I like reading your stuff. Always a lot of helpful insights. The Lord pulled me out of full preterism (that you call hyperpreterism) by your writings and those of Sam Frost. I got so far into it that I looked at EVERYTHING through that lens. This made it impossible for me to “see straight.” But now I see straight through full preterism. I have made amends with several of my friends who I offended. Thanks again.

  8. Gary Grant November 24, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Loved it. Loved it! LOVED it! Excellent analysis. It is sad that a good system can become so confused and abused. This is not the first time, though. The Pharisees loved God’s law, but abused it.

  9. Mississippi Bob November 24, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Bad attitudes coupled with bad doctrine are real turn offs. Thanks for pointing out both in the HP movement (may their tribe decrease). I think you are correct. They have blinders on and can’t see to the left or right to get their proper footing.

  10. John Calvin Destin November 24, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    I love your work. You have saved me a lot of grief. You brought me out of dispensationalism (along with Chilton and Demar). And you helped me back out of full preterism, which I was sliding into. I hope you keep up this site for many years to come.

  11. P. Gaston November 24, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for standing on a rock rather than sinking into shifting sands. Your work is helpful to me better undersanding the Bible and avoiding error. I really liked the four-part study you just gave on hyperpretirsm. Thanks again.

  12. Joe November 25, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for this series. I would like to see you give some more on this topic. I have an interesting testimony. Back in the late 1990s I drifted into preterism and eventually became a “full preterist.” But about five years ago, I drifted out. And the reason I drifted out was because of the writings of Don Preston. I saw how far away from orthodoxy he was getting. I got out while the getting was good. Thanks again.

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