Category Archives: Olivet Discourse

GATHERING THE ELECT (2)

PMW 2018-065 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I introduced a “problem” that arises in some Christians’ minds regarding the first-century fulfillment of the opening section of the Olivet Discourse. One problem that confuses many is Matt. 24:31, which reads:

“And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

We must note that just three verses later Jesus unequivocally declares: “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). This clearly demands that the statement before us must come to pass in the first century. And as we shall see, so it does! Continue reading

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GATHERING THE ELECT (1)

PMW 2018-054 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Olivet Discourse is a fascinating eschatological discourse given by the Lord to his disciples. It is the largest discourse of Christ recorded in Matthew (Matt. 24:4–25:46), the only one given over to issues beyond the temporal boundaries of Matthew’s storyline (which ends shortly after Christ’s resurrection, Matt. 28:1–7), and is his last (therefore, climactic) discourse in Matthew (Matt. 26:1). Hence, for Matthew it is clearly significant for his theological point (which I will be discussing in a new book I am working on, see note at the end of this article).

The key to understanding the first portion of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:4–35) is to recognize its local, first-century focus. We see this from several angles: (1) The Discourse is prompted by Jesus’s declaration of the approaching destruction of the temple (Matt. 24:2), which we know happened in AD 70. (2) It is clearly a local event, for the tribulation surrounding it can be escaped by fleeing from Judea (Matt. 24:16). And (3) it will happen to the first-century generation of Jesus and his disciples (Matt. 24:34), the same generation in which the Pharisees resisted Christ’s earthly ministry (Matt. 23:36; cf. vv. 29–35). I have dealt abundantly with the Olivet Discourse in other blog articles.

However, some Christians become confused because of Matthew 24:31. Continue reading

OLIVET’S TRANSITION VERSE RE-VISITED

PMW 2018-059 by R. T. France

Gentry introductory note:
As I am researching my commentary on Matthew 21–25 (the contextual unit in which the Olivet Discourse appears in Matthew), I have stumbled across a helpful older work by R. T. France: Jesus and the Old Testament. (By the way, I literally stumbled over this work: I already owned, it was in my library, and it fell out when I reached for another book.)

In the Appendix to his study, he gives a brief exegesis of Mark 13, which argues for a transition from AD 70 to the Final Judgment (just as I argue in my work on Matt. 24

He puts the matter well, so I will share it with my readers.

So now, let us hear R. T. France on Mark 13 and the transition from Jesus’ prophecy regarding AD 70 to his prophecy of the Final Judgment. The following is taken from Jesus and the Old Testament  (p. 232): Continue reading

OLIVET REVISITED

PMW 2018-058 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Olivet Discourse is a key eschatological passage in the New Testament (which appears in Matthew, Mark, and Luke). In Matthew, it is not only Jesus’ last discourse, but the largest (Matt. 24:3–25:46). Matthew, therefore, sets it as the climax of Jesus’ teaching, which underscores its significance.

I have a special interest in Olivet. This can be seen in that I have written several works dealing with Olivet: Continue reading

GENTRY COMMENTARIES

PMW 2018-033 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Gentry Commentary on Revelation

I have just received notice from the publisher that my commentary on Revelation will be released this Summer. It’s title is: The Divorce of Israel: A Redemptive-Historical Interpretation of Revelation. It will be around 1800 pages in two volumes.

I am excited that the long wait for it may be over. A day waiting for one’s book to be published is like a 1000 years. Only more so. I never thought I would interpret a 1000 years so literally!

But what does a used Revelation commentator do in his spare time, such as it is? He gets started on Revelation’s best friend, the Olivet Discourse. After all, Revelation opens with “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1), and has four key passages from Christ that greatly impact its drama, each one taken from the Olivet Discourse. Continue reading

THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN (2)

sign-of-son-of-man-2PMT 2016-085 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my preceding article I began answering a reader regarding my interpretation of Matt. 24:30. I believe that the events of AD 70 are the sign of Jesus’s enthronement in heaven. That article should be read before entering into this one. Now I continue my defense of my interpretation (which is not mine, but one that is held by a number of scholars).

Hagner (“Matthew” in Word Biblical Commentary 2:714) points out the LXX backdrop to Matt. 24:30 which is found in Zech. 12:10–14. He notes that in Zech. 12:10–14 “the phrase pansai hai phulai, “all the tribes,” as well as he ge, here meant as ‘the land [of Israel].’” But then he argues that “in keeping with Matthew’s universal perspective, the tribes of the earth, which in the OT originally meant the tribes of Israel, are to be understood all the nations of the earth.” Nolland (“Matthew,” New Intl. Greek Comm., 984) agrees. How can this be said in light of the context? Continue reading

THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN (1)

sign-of-son-of-man-1PMT 2016-084 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Reader’s question

I have been challenged on my view of Matt. 24:29-30 by someone who knows the Greek well. He stated that the passage does not mean what the preterist claims. He went as far as to say that the people I read and trust on this subject are wrong. Can you offer a Greek study/explanation as to why verse 30 can be read with the meaning being that “then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven?” Continue reading