Category Archives: Interpretation

WHY THE NUMBER 144,000?

PMW 2019-064 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

144 000Some readers of Revelation are perplexed as to why 12 squared times 1000 is significant to the original readers in the 144,000? What is at about that number that would lead the original readers to think, ‘Oh that’s a number signifying a perfect amount of Jewish converts?’”

1. The Nature of Revelation

In the first place, no one would suggest Revelation is an easy book whose images leap out at you. John himself is left wondering about things within it from time to time (Rev 7:13, 14; 17:6-7). Continue reading

A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE IN ESCHATOLOGY

PMW 2019-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Since Hal Lindsey originally burst on the scene in 1970, biblical prophecy has become a fun game that the whole family can play. Biblical prophecy has thus become a toy and has led many game winners (who have sold in excess of 100 million books to qualify) to be excitedly declared “Prophecy Experts.” But as for me and my house, once I hear the term “prophecy expert,” I turn the channel. Even if I do not have the TV on. I don’t take chances.

When I was first converted in 1966, I got caught up in prophecy rage, especially when The Late Great Planet Earth was published in 1970. I longed to watch new Olympic sports events, such as “Pin the Horns on the Antichrist” or “Guess the Date of Rapture.” Or even to see a new TV game show: “I’ve Got a Secret (Rapture). Eventually I even received a B.S. degree in Biblical Studies from a college committed to such dispensational activities. “Those were the days, my friend, / I thought they’d never end.” But fortunately I grew up and walked away from such. And have not looked back (though, admittedly, I like salt).

One of the most important principles for understanding biblical prophecy is known as the “Now but Not Yet Principle,” also known as the “Already/Not Yet Principle” (it is never called the “See You Later Alligator Principle” or “Take It Easy Greasy Principle”). If Christians would take this interpretive principle to heart (or better: to mind), a lot of embarrassment from failed prophetic expectations could be avoided. And a lot of money saved on books that give the latest Rapture predictions. Continue reading

IMPORTANT REBUTTAL TO HYPER-PRETERISM

PMW 2019-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am a preterist and a postmillennialist. The fact that I am a postmillennialist proves that I am not a Hyper-preterist, for postmillennialism has a number of prophecies that remain to fulfilled. I am, thus, an Orthodox Preterist, sometimes called a “Partial Preterist” by those who have made off with a perfectly good hermeneutic label and mutated it into a whole new unorthodox theology.

Though Hyper-preterism is a very small Internet movement, it has caused debates in no small number of local churches. Thus, I have published several brief critiques/rebuttals to this theological system, such as my chapter in Keith Mathison’s When Shall These Things Be? and my small book Have We Missed the Second Coming? Of course, more needs to be said. And I hope to write more on the topic in the future, when I have completed several current and projected projects. Continue reading

THE BEST COMMENTARIES ON MATTHEW

PMW 2019-006 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am working on a commentary on Matt. 21:1–25:46, tentatively titled The Olivet Discourse in Context. As I engage the research, I am investigating a number of commentaries on Matthew (I do not fly by the seat of my pants as some preterist enthusiasts do!). I have found help in many of them, even when they do not hold to a preterist understanding of Olivet. Yet, several commentaries have become absolutely essential in my investigation. And I highly recommend them to my reader.

In this brief article I will recommend some good commentaries for you. If you are interested in the Olivet Discourse in particular (which is also found in Mark and Luke) or the Gospel of Matthew in general, you really need to get hold of these (legally, of course). Continue reading

THE DISCIPLES’ CONFUSION AT OLIVET (1)

PMW 2019-002 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Olivet Discourse is a popular and important text in eschatological discussions. Indeed, it is Jesus’ largest recorded eschatological instruction.

Unfortunately, verses can be yanked from their context and be used in a seemingly compelling construct that goes against what Christ is actually teaching. This passage in particular requires careful investigation and thoughtful deliberation. For as D. A. Carson notes (Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 8:488): “Few chapters of the Bible have called forth more disagreement among interpreters.” Sentiments such as Carson’s could be multiplied to distraction. (In fact, I am distracted just now, and will go get a Krispy Kreme doughnut. But I will return.) Continue reading

HYPER-PRETERIST CONFUSIONS (3)

PMW 2018-102 Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the third and concluding article in a three-part series highlighting a few samples of Hyper-preterist confusion regarding my writings. Their stumblings here illustrate how they can stumble elsewhere. And how they can confuse their followers so easily: they themselves are confused! Their poor followers are making the mistake that Jesus warned about: “If a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matt. 15:14). You should read the first two articles before reading this one.

Continue reading

HYPER-PRETERIST CONFUSIONS (2)

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: Continue reading