Category Archives: Revelation

REVELATION’S JUDAIC IMAGES

PMW 2021-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.exodus

Revelation has an extremely Judaic character. This peculiar characteristic underscores John’s theme of God’s judgment on Israel in AD 70.

John’s style is such that “the reader unfamiliar with the OT is hard pressed to make any sense of Revelation” (Beale and Carson). This is because “when reading the book of Revelation one is plunged fully into the atmosphere of the Old Testament. No book of the New Testament is as saturated with the Old as is the Apocalypse” (McKelvey). Continue reading

HISTORICISM, REVELATION, AND THE REFORMATION

Historicism and RevelationPMW 2021-041 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!

Reader’s question:

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.

My response:

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

REVELATION’S DIFFICULTY

What me worryPMW 2021-036 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Evangelical laymen love to hear about the book of Revelation. Unfortunately, they tend to approach it as if it were a child’s toy. Many of contemporary dispensationalism’s best-sellers focus on Revelation. In a childish, shallow way.

We must recognize that even the trained, diligent scholar must approach Revelation with extreme caution, humbly recognizing that he is opening a book that has perplexed the finest minds and confounded the most godly saints throughout Christian history.

Gaius of Rome (d. 296) laments that “having formed an idea of it as a composition exceeding my capacity of understanding, I regard it as containing a kind of hidden and wonderful intelligence on the several subjects which come under it. For though I cannot comprehend it, I still suspect that there is some deeper sense underlying the words. And I do not measure and judge its expressions by the standard of my own reason, but, making more allowance for faith, I have simply regarded them as too lofty for my comprehension; and I do not forthwith reject what I do not understand, but I am only the more filled with wonder at it, in that I have not been able to discern its import” (Dion., Works 1:1:3). Continue reading

REVELATION AND DOUBLE FULFILLMENT

PMW 2021-108 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.Double image

I frequently have folks respond to my presentation of the preterist argument for Revelation in an unusual way. They see the strength of the preterist analysis of Revelation. They recognize that it is difficult to get around Revelation’s opening and closely comments regarding the temporal nearness of its prophecies. After all, Revelation 1:1 states rather clearly:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place.

And Revelation 22:6 closes the book on the same note:

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.

Since these statements are so clear and compelling, some believers attempt an end-run around them. Continue reading

IS REVELATION PAST? (4)

PMW 2021-029 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am now drawing to the conclusion of my four-part series on the reasoning behind a preteristic understanding of Revelation. Many deem the great judgments and upheaval of Revelation as undermining the glorious postmillennial hope. This is mistaken in that the bulk of Revelation was fulfilled in the first century. As we have been seeing.

I am now ready for my concluding article with the: Thematic Indicators

As mentioned in previous articles, the theme of divine judgment on Israel fits perfectly with the Olivet Discourse. Virtually all commentators note the remarkable parallels between Matthew 24 and Revelation 6. These parallels are sufficient alone to suggest the same theme, but other correspondences exist.

In Matthew 23 Christ scathingly denounces Israel’s leadership as he approaches the dramatic conclusion of his earthly ministry. He notes that Israel’s present failure is not an isolated event, but the culmination of a lengthy historical pattern — as do Stephen (Ac 7) and Paul (1Th 2:14-16). He concludes his rebuke with a prophecy that Israel will “fill up” (Mt 23:32) her guilt in “this generation” (23:36) when she “persecutes” those Jesus is “sending” (23:34; cp. Ac 8:1; 1Th 2:14-16).


Before Jerusalem Fell Lecture DVD by Ken Gentry

A summary of the evidence for Revelation’s early date. Helpful, succinct introduction to Revelation’s pre-AD 70 composition.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Thereupon, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (23:37), declares her temple “desolate” (23:38), and ceremoniously departs from it (24:1a). When the disciples express confusion at his rejection of the temple (24:1b), He prophesies its utter destruction (24:2). This specific prophecy prompts the disciples’s questions about the time of this judgment (24:3). Jesus responds with his Olivet Discourse. The first portion of the discourse (24:2-34) focuses particularly on the temple (Mt 24:2) in Judea (v. 16) during that “this generation” (v. 34),1 just as John’s Revelation focuses on the Jews (1:7; 2:9; 3:9) and the temple (11:1-8) in the near future (1:1, 3; 22:6, 10). As noted above, both John and Jesus merge Zechariah 12:10 and Daniel 7:13 in this context of approaching judgment upon Israel (Mt 24:30; Rev 1:7). Both prophecies warn of A.D. 70.

Furthermore, several other NT passages warn of the Jerusalem’s judgment in A.D. 70:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power” (Mk 9:1).

“The Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost” (1Th 2:15-16).

“Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near” (Heb 10:25).

“You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (Jas 5:8-9).

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” (1Pe 4:7).

Keys to Book of Revelation 2

This all fits well with an AD 70 focus. This all supports the preterist analysis of Revelation.


Keys to the Book of Revelation (DVDs by Ken Gentry)

Provides the necessary keys for opening Revelation to a deeper and clearer understanding.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


IS REVELATION PAST? (2)

PMW 2021-027 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I introduced the first of four arguments for approaching Revelation from the preterist perspective. The first article focused on the temporal indicators that John places in Revelation. Lexically, it is clear that he expected the events to “soon” take place (Rev 1:1) because “the time is near” (Rev 1:3).

But after placing that argument as the foundation stone for the preterist house, we need to notice that there are other indications as well. In this installment I will consider Audience Indicators. Revelation did not fall down out of heaven as book of concepts. It was given in a real, historical context. It is what scholars call, “occasional literature.” That is, it was written regarding a certain occasion, which I believe to be the fall of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70.

Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.

Navigating the Book of Revelation: Special Studies on Important Issues

Navigating the Book of Revelation (by Ken Gentry)

Technical studies on key issues in Revelation, including the seven-sealed scroll, the cast out temple, Jewish persecution of Christianity, the Babylonian Harlot, and more.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com



First, John writes to seven historical churches. Immediately after twice declaring the nearness of the events (1:1, 3) we read: “John to the seven churches that are in Asia” (1:4a). In 1:11 and 2:1–3:22 he specifically names the churches. John informs these first century churches of events ‘soon’ (1:1) to come to pass because “the time is near” (1:3). How could they have understood John to really mean that either 2,000 years would elapse before the events broke out or that they would drag on and repeat themselves for 2000 years?

Second, studies by William Ramsey and Colin Hermer show how intimately Revelation addresses those specific churches regarding their histories, settings, and struggles. The seven letters are occasional letters designed specifically for their concerns.

Third, within these letters we also find temporal qualifiers suggesting those churches would experience the shock waves from the events of Revelation (2:5; 2:16; 3:11; 22:12, 20). One of them was “about to” be tried by Satan (2:10; cp. 1:19 Gk.). To another Christ is “coming quickly” in judgment (2:16; cp. 1:1). To still another He promises: “I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world [oikumene]” (3:10; cp. 1:19 Gk.). Indeed, a church must “hold fast” for awhile in that Christ’s judgment-coming will trans transpire “quickly” (3:11; cp. 1:1).


Perilous Times: A Study in Eschatological Evil (by Ken Gentry)

Technical studies on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks, the great tribulation, Paul’s Man of Sin, and John’s Revelation.

See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com


Fourth, John wrote Revelation while these churches were enduring stressful times: “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus” (1:9a). Revelation promises quickly to vindicate the martyrs who cry: “How long?” (6:9). The were told “they should rest for a little while longer” (6:10-11; cp. Lk 18:7-8). In fact, later in Revelation, we learn “there shall be delay no longer” (10:6). Yet, on the non-preterist interpretation, their vindication was not after “a little while,” and the events await an enormous delay.

And there is more! But you will have to wait for the next article in this series.

EDITING MILTON TERRY’S COMMENTARY

PMW 2021-024 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my previous three postings I have been noting the significance of Milton Terry’s commentary as I plan to bring it back into print. Thankfully, Biblical Apocalyptics has remained in print over the years and has included “The Apocalypse of John” as a major portion of it. But the published versions have been created by merely scanning the original text, then printing it “as is.” No attempt at resetting the type was engaged. Thus, the quality of reproduction was quite low.

Though we are not changing any of Terry’s positions, we are editing it for a modern readership. In our newly typeset version of Terry’s The Apocalypse of John the reader will find the following improvements. Continue reading