Category Archives: AD 70

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: Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 3

PMW 2020-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this article I am continuing a brief, four-part analysis of Hyper-preterist Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? In my last two articles I noted some general frustrations with Preston’s attitude in presenting his material. In this one I will focus on a key problem with his argument. I will be (mostly) considering his book’s third chapter, titled “Jesus’ Earlier Predictions of The Destruction of Jerusalem.” And especially his interaction with my thoughts. (All parenthetical page references are to this book unless otherwise noted.)

In this chapter Preston is arguing against the view that the disciples were confused in their questions (Matt. 24:3) about Jesus’ prophecy of the temple’s destruction (v. 2). Yet I and many scholars [1] believe they were in fact confused when they asked: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (v. 3). We believe that in this question they erroneously associate the destruction of the temple historically with both the Second Coming and the “end of the age” (i.e., the second coming which brings about the end of history). Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 2

PMW 2020-099 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last blog article I began a four-part response to Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? In this (and my first article) I am pointing out his attitudinal problem that turns off so many of his potential readers. You will need to read the preceding article (PMW 2020-098) before engaging this one. For in this one, I am concluding my concerns regarding Preston’s attitude.

My two major points in the preceding article were that Preston has “A new theology complete with arrogance.” Then my second one dealt with his “False charges based on erroneous understanding.” I am now ready to finish this line of thought with my concern that Preston has engaged in:

A careless misreading of my argument

On p. 40 (¶2) Preston writes: “Gentry claims that Jesus had not mentioned his coming or the end of the age prior to Matthew 24:2.” This is a serious (though not at all surprising) misreading of my argument for two reasons:

Continue reading

ANOTHER CONFUSED DISCIPLE (Matt 24:3) Part 1

PMW 2020-098 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of my readers who thought I was not busy enough sent me a copy of Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? (At least I think that is the title. The front cover of the book is itself very confusing in this regard. The largest typefont on the cover reads: “Watching for the Parousia.” The spine even has: “Watching for the Parousia: Were Jesus’ Apostles Confused?” It is not until you get to the title page that you find what perhaps is the official title: Were the Disciples Confused?)

As I read through the book I thought that Preston must have left the Church of Christ and joined the Disciples of Christ denomination. For while claiming to be a disciple, he himself is confused. Now having read the book, I too am confused!

Perhaps some day — if I ever finish my several current contractual obligations! — I may find time to engage Preston’s arguments presented in this book. Despite Preston’s insistence that I spend more of my time dealing with him, for now I want simply to show how that in especially one particular chapter (ch. 3) Preston thinks he has accomplished something that he has not. In fact, as he challenges me, he misses my point. Entirely. His third chapter is titled “Jesus’ Earlier Predictions of The Destruction of Jerusalem.” (Besides my many time-dominating obligations, this is another reason I do not set aside my life and deal with him: it is too frustrating to clean up after a bull in a china shop.) Continue reading

HAVE WE MISCONSTRUED MATTHEW 24:34?

PMW 2020-096 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A reader recently wrote me with the following observations, for which he wondered how I would reply:

My reader:

I recently read your book, The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. I thought it was very good.

What is your view of the following?

1. “Take place” in Mt. 24:34 does not require completion but only inception. Compare with Luke 1:20. “ginomai” in the aorist subjective indicates coming into existence without speaking at all regarding completion.

2. The reason Jesus gave to flee Jerusalem when surrounded by armies was that the end is not yet. The end would be the Jews defeating Rome and ending the age of the Jews being without a king.

3. The tribulation of which Jesus spoke began prior to 70 A.D., but continues until the bodily return of Jesus to earth.

Thank you.

R.W. Continue reading

SUBTLE PRETERIST ANALYSIS IN LUKE

PMW 2020-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

God judged Israel in the first century because of her rejection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The preterist analysis of the Gospels highlights indisputable evidence of Jewish rejection in numerous places, as do most evangelical readings of Scripture. However, preterism goes a step further by also pointing out several more subtle indicators of Israel’s rejection of Christ — even where such are not expected. A case in point in Luke 4:22–30.

As I will show, reading this passage surprises us. However, a Narrative Critical reading can highlight important subtleties that are both helpful for interpretation and significant for a preterist analysis. The point of Narrative Criticism i(NC) s to read a passage in its full context, i.e., here the whole Gospel of Luke. In Luke, for instance, NC recognizes that Luke is telling a full, unfolding story of Jesus and his earthly ministry. Thus, NC presses us to notice what is going on in the whole Gospel in order to better understand its various pericopes. These are not random collections of stories that are loosely strung together. Rather they are developing parts of the whole unfolding narrative.

Let’s see how a Narrative Critical reading impacts our preterist understanding of Luke 4. Continue reading

AD 70 IN THEOLOGY AND PRACTICE

PMW 2020-068 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Many evangelicals express surprise, dismay, and alarm when the preterist focuses so much attention on the destruction of the temple in AD 70. They are not aware of this catastrophe’s enormous redemptive-historical significance. In this posting I will provide a summary statement of its significance for evangelical theology and practice. I will not be highlighting all that could be said, but these few observations should help show why AD 70 is so significant for Christian theology and practice. Continue reading