Category Archives: Revelation

GENTRY COMMENTARY UPDATES

THE DIVORCE OF ISRAEL
Thanks for your interest in my forthcoming Revelation commentary titled: The Divorce of Israel: A Redemptive-Historical Interpretation of Revelation. I completed its research and writing in early 2016. It will be a two-volume set of around 1700 pages.

The publisher is Tolle Lege Publishers. They are currently working on a second proofing. Due to the size and complexity of the work (deeply exegetical; voluminously footnoted), it is taking them longer than anticipated to complete. In fact, in the Spring of 2018 they brought on another proofer to assist them.

They are currently estimating that they should be through the proofing by the end of January, 2019. This will lead to laying out the pages for printing, which may take about a month. After that it should only be a couple of months before it is available in print — Lord willing.

Though I am disappointed at the delay in its completion, I am thankful for the meticulous care (and expense!) that Tolle Lege is putting into the commentary’s final preparation. They want it to be right — just as I do. I hope that it may be available in Spring of 2019. It will be released first in hardcopy, then eventually in digital format. Thanks again for your interest.

In the meantime, you might appreciate two introductory works to Revelation that I have written: The Book of Revelation Made Easy, which hits the high points of Revelation, explaining the fundamentals of its preterist interpretation. Navigating the Book of Revelation, which focuses on several key issues of debate in the preterist interpretation of Revelation. They are available at my website: KennethGentry.com.


OLIVET DISCOURSE RE-VISITED

I am working on a commentary on Matthew 21–25, a distinct unit in Matthew’s Gospel. This is the narrative setting of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus’ climactic discourse of the five around which Matthew’s Gospel is constructed.

This literary unit is clearly marked off by Christ’s important movements (along with other editorial markers which I will present in my study): It opens with his coming (Gk.: erchomai, Matt. 21:1, 9) into Jerusalem (recorded for the only time in Matthew) to declare the judgment of the nation of Israel (Matt. 23:37–24:34). It closes with his coming (Gk.: erchomai, Matt. 25:31) to the world (in his Second Advent) to execute the judgment of all the nations (Matt. 25:31–46).

Thus, this distinct section in Matthew opens with prophecies about the conclusion of Israel’s special role in the history of the world (as the old covenant typological work ends). And it closes with the conclusion of world history itself (as the new covenant redemptive work is completed). All that is in between in Matthew 21–25 is designed to affirm his authority to do so — both over the nation of Israel and the nations of the world.

Consequently, as Matthew presents these crucial scenes: Jesus comes into Jerusalem in the presence of the Jewish crowds (Matt. 21:9) as the Messiah who will be rejected. Then at the end of this section, he comes to the world and gathers all nations before him, as the Lord who will judge all men, saving the elect and judging the non-elect. In this section, the transition from the AD 70 judgment of Israel to that which it pictures, the Second Advent at history’s end, occurs in Matt. 24:34-36.

This is a significant concern of Matthew since he is the only Gospel writing who provides Jesus’ Missionary Discourse, which limits the Disciples ministry to Israel. It is also significant in that Matt. 21-25 greatly emphasizes Jesus’ authority — an authority over Israel and the nations. This section is important to getting to Matthew’s conclusion: the Great Commission over all nations. Interestingly, Matthew intentionally ends his Gospel on an open note, with Christ on the earth giving his promise that he will be with his church “all the days” (literally). Unlike Luke, he does not mention his Ascension into heaven where he leaves the Disciples behind.

As one important feature of my commentary on Matthew 21–25, I will more fully draw out the transition occurring in Matthew 24:34–36 than in my The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. This is crucial for showing that Jesus is not simply a Jewish sage, interested only in the destiny of Israel and functioning as another John the Baptist, as it were. Rather, he is the universal Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18–19), determining the destiny of all men while functioning as the Lord of lords and king of kings.

The commentary will not be as large as the Revelation commentary. Nor will it be as small as The Olivet Discourse Made Easy. It will be “just right” — you might say, if you are a Goldilocks fan (as I am sure all of you are). I am aiming at somewhere around 250 or so pages. It will be semi-technical, but quite accessible.


Due to how long I worked on my Revelation commentary, and how long it is taking to get into print, I know you think this about me, so I created a shirt that I must wear around, called “I See Slow People.”

Advertisements

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

THE BOOK OF THE “STRONG ANGEL”

PMW 2018-056 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last blog article I argued that the strong angel in Rev 10 is Christ. He appears several times in Revelation by means of angelomorphism. In this article I will focus on the open book in his hand.

The strong angel (Christ) of Rev. 10 comes down out of heaven holding a little book which was open: “He had in his hand a little book which was open” (Rev 10:2a). Commentators have long debated the identity of this “little book” (biblaridion) and its relationship to the “book” (biblion) of chapter 5. Though many scholars distinguish the two, a significant number hold that the little book in Revelation 10 the scroll taken by the Lamb in Rev. 5. Continue reading

REVELATION’S “STRONG ANGEL”

PMW 2018-055 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In Rev. 10:1 John records the appearance of a strong angel:

“And I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.”

This appears to be Christ himself.

All commentators agree that Christ appears under a variety of symbols in Revelation, including gigantic Christophany (1:13-16), redeeming lamb (5:6; 14:1), glorious Son of Man (14:14-15), and conquering warrior (19:11-16). This opens the possibility that he could also appear in angelic form and that John is reporting what he sees without interpreting it. Continue reading

CHALLENGING REVELATION’S NEAR-TERM EXPECTATION

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

The “near” statements in Revelation befuddle many Christians who only read those sections of Revelation that are exciting, such as those dealing with the beast, Armageddon, the millennium, and so forth. However, those texts occur in a prophetic work that is book-ended with declarations that the events within are near in John’s own day.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John. (Rev. 1:1)

And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. (Rev. 22:6)

But sometimes a thinking Christian (may their tribe increase) will ask a penetrating question in challenging the preterist position on Revelation. One such correspondent asked:

“If Revelation was written in AD 65-66 about events in AD 70, how could John have expected it to be widely circulated in so short a period of time? It seems the book’s grandiose vision would be largely wasted because of the time frame involved. It couldn’t do much good, especially since the bulk of its actions (on your view) occur in Palestine.”

Continue reading

THE DEAD JUDGED AT THE 7TH TRUMPET (2)

PMW 2018-052 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part study of the debated phrase in Rev. 11:18b, which reads: “and the time came for the dead to be judged.” In my last article I argued that it refers to the vindication of the first-century saints who were being severely persecuted by Israel and Rome alike. In this article I will respond to objections to the interpretation presented by the leading evangelical commentator on Revelation today, G. K. Beale.

Regarding kirthēnai which I translate “vindicated,” Beale (617–18) presents an extended argument against the preterist view which, he believes, “stumbles” here. He argues that “without doubt . . . this passage is a description of the last judgment” (615). I will summarize his argument first, then reply to it point-by-point. Continue reading

THE DEAD JUDGED AT THE 7TH TRUMPET (1)

PMW 2018-051 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The seventh trumpet in Revelation marks a dramatic moment in the flow of visions. And it makes a fascinating point (as often in Revelation) by means of heavenly praise. This portion of Revelation reads (in part):

The phrase’s phrasing

“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever. And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:15–18).

Of particular concern when approaching Revelation from the preterist perspective is the phrase: “Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged.” Continue reading