Category Archives: Revelation

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR PRETERISM

PMW 2021-050 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Evangelical preterism is virtually the opposite of dispensational futurism. Because of this, dispensationalists are alarmed at the spread of orthodox preterism among some of its claimants. One means by which they try to dissuade their followers from adopting preterism is by charging that it was a late creation by a Jesuit priest named Luis Alcázar around 1600. Continue reading

THE DEAD JUDGED AT THE 7TH TRUMPET (2)

PMW 2021-046 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 2021-045 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

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