Category Archives: Interpretation

THE BIBLE IS NOT ALWAYS NORMATIVE

PMW 2018-099 by Larry E. Ball

The entire Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God. The Bible is authoritative and fully trustworthy in everything it says.

In my book on the Revelation of John[1], I make the statement that the Bible was written “for us but not to us.” The New Testament (as well as the Old) must always be interpreted in terms of a particular historical context. No, this does not make me a liberal theologian!

As a simple example of the importance of historical context, Paul wrote, “When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments (2 Tim 4:13).” This text was written to Timothy and not to me – not to Larry Ball – although it was written for me. Continue reading

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I AM NOT A PRETERIST!

PMW 2018-092 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I often have people ask me if I am a preterist. In fact, just a few minutes ago I received an email to this effect through this website. This email sparked me to write this article.

This will surprise some of my readers, but I would like to state categorically and unequivocally: I am NOT a preterist. To believe that I am a preterist is sorely mistaken. Continue reading

ANCIENT NEAR EAST APPROACHES TO GENESIS?

PMW 2018-083 by Paul J. Barth (Aquila Report)

Gentry note:
The Genesis Creation Account is not only foundational to a biblical worldview, but to the Bible itself. Too many evangelicals waffle when it comes to Moses declaring that God created in six days. I could only wish they had the same problem as Augustine: Why did it take so long? But they don’t. They are trying to maintain academic respectability before the secular, God-denying world. And that is tragic. This is a helpful article for a (postmillennial) worldview.

Now let us hear Paul J. Barth on the matter.

False Assumptions of Ancient Near East Literary Approaches to Genesis

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” 1 Timothy 1:4

Dr. Richard Belcher Jr. summarizes Dr. C. John Collins’ theory from his book Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? about how ancient Near East literature and cosmology should influence our interpretation of Genesis: Continue reading

MATTHEW 24:28 “EAGLES” OR “VULTURES”?

PMW 2018-073 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In the opening section of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24–25), Jesus deals initially and significantly with the approaching AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem by Roman imperial forces (vv. 4–34). We may easily surmise this from the local context. After all, the Discourse is introduced by Jesus’ prophesying the destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), then linking his prophecy to the temple locale (“the holy place,” v. 15), warning the local residents to flee from the area (Jerusalem is in Judea, v. 16), and informing them generally when it will occur (in “this generation,” v. 34). [1]

The Roman eagle

Matt. 24:28 is an interesting verse embedded in this context. But its frequent mistranslation dulls the cutting edge of Jesus’ warning about the Roman invasion. Continue reading

MATTHEW ENDS AS HE BEGINS

PMW 2018-067 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am currently working on a new commentary. This one will be on Matthew 21–25, the immediate context for the Olivet Discourse. This is a discrete literary unit set off from the rest of the Gospel.

Structural unity

In Matthew 21:1 Jesus heads toward Jerusalem, where he will be finally and fully rejected by the Jewish nation. Just after the conclusion to this discrete unit, we read Matthew’s note that Jesus has ended his formal, public teaching and is now ready to be killed by Israel:

Matt. 26:1–3: “When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, ‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.’ Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.”

Continue reading

INTERPRETING MESSIANIC PSALMS

PMT 2018-057 R. T. France

As I am doing research on my commentary on Matthew 21–24, I am reading R. T. France’s excellent work, Jesus and the Old Testament. He has much that is helpful for the postmillennialist and the (orthodox) preterist. Below I will quote three paragraphs that ought to be an encouragement to my readers. These present to us a helpful hermeneutic approach to many Old Testament passages.

I am sure France did not intend them as postmillennial observations, but they do help us in understanding the postmillennial hope nonetheless. Continue reading

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS AND DEUTERONOMY

PMT 2018-026 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A casual reading of Deuteronomy after Deut. 5 appears to present a random collection of laws. Yet a general scholarly consensus discerns a basic organizing principle: these laws follow the order of the ten commandments.

In this, the largest section of Deuteronomy, Moses provides the commandments’ broader implications by offering practical applications (cf. Deut. 1:5). Though the outline is not overtly presented by Moses, given Moses’s orderly mind and compositional skills, along with the outline’s general fit, it is strongly suggested. Continue reading