PMT 2015-120 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
My computer is getting lighter as I remove more of the questions that have been sent to me by readers. Today’s question regarding the Book of Revelation, one of my favorite pastimes!
You are committed to the Reformed faith, yet you don’t take the historicist approach to eschatology which was widely held among the Reformers. Why do you not follow the Reformers in this part of their theology.
Thank you for your inquiry. You are correct that I am committed to Reformed theology. However, I differ from the Reformers in that I take a preterist approach to Revelation rather than an historicist approach. I do so for the following reasons: Continue reading
PMW 2020-022 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
A reader recently responded to an aside comment that I made in an article on the Olivet Discourse. Though the issue is not a major one, it is an interesting one nevertheless. And it is at least potentially helpful for better understanding the matter before us.
THE INTERPRETIVE CONCERN
The reader writes:
“I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25: 31 & 32 is not a parable. Sheep and goats are metaphors which is exactly what makes a parable a parable.”
Thanks for reading my posts, and taking the time to interact. Much appreciated!
However, I believe you are mistaken in assuming that because “sheep and goats are metaphors” that this is what “makes a parable a parable.” Just a quick observation regarding your statement about metaphors and parables: we speak in metaphors all the time today without anyone claiming we are speaking in parables. You are apparently working with an inadequate definition of a parable.
Your comment indicates that you have not done any extensive work in dealing with parables. Defining a “parable” is a lot more complex than you suppose. I have a dozen books on the parables of Jesus in my library. They invariably have to wrestle with the definition of a “parable.” Defining “parable” is a widely debated issue in New Testament interpretation.
But now regarding your basic concern, which is found in your statement: “I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25:31 32 is not a parable.”
I would admit that there are, in fact, many scholars who believe that the Sheep and Goats Discourse is a parable. However, I do not believe they are correct; and I am not alone in this. I will be presenting numerous observations on Matthew 25:31–46 by leading scholars that deny that the passage is a parable. No one should respond to these men by complaining: “I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25: 31 & 32 is not a parable.” Continue reading
PMW 2019-064 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Some 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
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