Category Archives: New Testament

THE GATES OF HELL IN MATT 16:18

PMW 2020-041 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.gates of hell

In Matthew 16:18 our Lord spoke these famous words to his leading disciple:

“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

This passage has generated significant debate because of grammatical difficulties within it. Some scholars even emend the text to “straighten out the problem.” There is an awkwardness in having stationary gates actively attempting to prevail or conquer the church. How can gates attack?

Another problem is determining what Jesus means by hades. This Greek word is the common translation for the Hebrew word sheol in the OT. Sheol (and therefore, its Greek translation hades) can refer to the place of the dead, signifying either the place of rest for God’s people or the place of torment for the sinner (hell). Or it may simply mean “the grave,” without any other connotation one way or the other (it represents death irrespective of reward or punishment). The NT uses each of these meanings in various places. Continue reading

PRIMER ON POSTMILLENNIALISM (5)

feetPMT 2017-008 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I have been presenting the postmillennial understanding of the millennial hope in this five-part series. Hopefully this series will be useful as an introduction to postmillennialism for those unfamiliar with it or, as yet, unpersuaded by its argument.

In this article we will very briefly consider one of the key texts in Paul’s writing, from the vitally important fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. Continue reading

WARFIELD ON 1 JOHN 2:2 (3)

Cross and world“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (3)
PMT 2015-0144 by Benjamin B. Warfield

[Gentry note: This is part 3 of an excellent article by renowned postmillennial Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield.]

The Meaning of “Propitiation”

The expedient made use of by many commentators in their endeavor to escape from this maze of contradictions is to distinguish between Christ as our “Advocate” and Christ as our “Propitiation,” and to connect actual salvation with him only in the former function. Thus Richard Rothe tells us that “the propitiation in Christ concerns the whole world,” but “only those in Christ have an advocate in Christ,” with the intimation that it is Christ’s advocacy which “makes the efficacy of his propitiation effective before God.” In this view the propitiation is conceived as merely laying a basis for actual forgiveness of sins, and is spoken of therefore rather as “sufficient” than efficacious—becoming efficacious only through the act of faith on the part of the believer by which he secures Christ as his Advocate. This is the view presented by B. F. Westcott also, according to whom Christ is advocate exclusively for Christians, while he is a propitiation for the whole world. His propitiatory death on earth was for all men; his advocacy in heaven is for those only who believe in him. Here, there is a universal atonement taught, with a limited application, contingent on actual faith: “the efficacy of his work for the individual depends upon fellowship with him.” Continue reading

WARFIELD ON 1 JOHN 2:2 (2)

Savior of world“Jesus Christ the Propitiation for the Whole World” (2)
PMT 2015-0143 by Benjamin B. Warfield

[Gentry note: This is part 2 of an excellent article by renowned postmillennial Princeton scholar, B. B. Warfield.]

“And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”
(1 John 2:2)

The Problem of “the World”

The search for John’s meaning naturally begins with an attempt to ascertain what he intends by “the world.” He sets it in contrast with an “our” by which primarily his readers and himself are designated: “And he is himself a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world.” John’s readers apparently are immediately certain Christian communities in Asia Minor; and it is possible to confine the “our” strictly to them. In that case it is not impossible to interpret “the whole world,” which is brought into contrast with the Christians specifically of Asia Minor, as referring to the whole body of Christians extended throughout the world. Continue reading

NT SUMMARY OF POSTMILLENNIALISM

New Testament postmillPMT 2015-141 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

As we enter the New Testament record Christ’s birth immediately confronts us. The birth of “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Mt 1:1) gloriously echoes the Old Testament victory theme, showing that his first coming begins the fruition of the promises (Lk 1:46–55, 68–79). The fullness of time comes in the first century through Christ’s incarnation (Gal 4:4; Eph 1:10; Tit 1:2–3).

Christ’s covenanted kingdom comes near in his early ministry because the “time was fulfilled” for it to come (Mk 1:14–15; Mt 3:2). Thus, John Baptist is something of a marker separating the fading Old Testament era from the dawning kingdom era (Mt 11:11–14; Mk 1:14–15; Jn 3:26–30). Continue reading

ISAIAH, JESUS, AND GRADUAL VICTORY

PMT 2015-123 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Mustard seedIn this article I am continuing a response to a reader who wonders if the NT teaches a gradualistic development of Christ’s kingdom to victory. He was especially curious since Rom 8 appears to speak of the fulfillment of Isa 11, with Rom 8 speaking of the consummation rather than history. I recommend reading my previous article to get his particular question before you. Continue reading

DOES THE NT TEACH GRADUAL VICTORY?

Trickle waterPMT 2015-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A reader has sent me a very perceptive email that well deserves my attention. And I think answering it will prove valuable to you in your postmillennial study as I engage the question it presents. He writes:

“Reflecting on Isaiah 11 —— ‘The Peaceable Kingdom.’ If we take that to be a portrait of the ‘post-millennial’ millennium, then I would find its New Testament counterpart in Romans 8 (redemption of all creation).

But — here’s the question — apart from 1 Corinthians 15 (‘and he must reign…’) and The Parable of the Mustard Seed and leaven in the lump, I see very little in the New Testament itself which seems to envision the slow growth of the kingdom resulting in a victorious display within an historic millennium. Continue reading