Category Archives: Second Coming

IS MATTHEW 25:31-46 A PARABLE?

PMW 2020-022 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

A reader recently responded to an aside comment that I made in an article on the Olivet Discourse. Though the issue is not a major one, it is an interesting one nevertheless. And it is at least potentially helpful for better understanding the matter before us.

THE INTERPRETIVE CONCERN

The reader writes:

“I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25: 31 & 32 is not a parable. Sheep and goats are metaphors which is exactly what makes a parable a parable.”

My response:

Thanks for reading my posts, and taking the time to interact. Much appreciated!

However, I believe you are mistaken in assuming that because “sheep and goats are metaphors” that this is what “makes a parable a parable.” Just a quick observation regarding your statement about metaphors and parables: we speak in metaphors all the time today without anyone claiming we are speaking in parables. You are apparently working with an inadequate definition of a parable.

Your comment indicates that you have not done any extensive work in dealing with parables. Defining a “parable” is a lot more complex than you suppose. I have a dozen books on the parables of Jesus in my library. They invariably have to wrestle with the definition of a “parable.” Defining “parable” is a widely debated issue in New Testament interpretation.

But now regarding your basic concern, which is found in your statement: “I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25:31 32 is not a parable.”

I would admit that there are, in fact, many scholars who believe that the Sheep and Goats Discourse is a parable. However, I do not believe they are correct; and I am not alone in this. I will be presenting numerous observations on Matthew 25:31–46 by leading scholars that deny that the passage is a parable. No one should respond to these men by complaining: “I can’t imagine why you would think that Mt 25: 31 & 32 is not a parable.” Continue reading

LUKE 17 VS. MATTHEW 24?

PMW 2020-017 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In this blog I have previously investigated the apparent problem involved when comparing Matthew 24 and Luke 17. See: “Orthodox Preterism and Luke 17.”

There I note that Matthew separates the local judgment-coming prophecies regarding AD 70 from the global ultimate-coming prophecies of the Second Coming and the Final Judgment. Many prominent evangelical preterist scholars recognize Matthew’s clear structure. Scholars such as:

J. M. Kik, An Eschatology of Victory (originally published as an article in 1948)

• R. V. G. Tasker, Matthew (Tyndale Bible Commentary) (1961)

• David E. Garland, Reading Matthew: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the First Gospel (1993)

Alistair I. Wilson, When Will These Things Happen: A Study of Jesus as Judge in Matthew 21–25 (2004)

R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew (New International Commentary on the New Testament) (2007)

R. C. Sproul, Matthew: An Expositional Commentary (2013)

Jeannine K. Brown, Matthew (Teach the Text Commentary Series) (2015)

• Jeffrey A. Gibbs, Matthew 21:1–28:20 (vol. 3 of the Concordia Commentary on Matthew) (2018)

See my blog article: Best Matthew Commentaries. Thus, this view is not “Ken Gentry’s view,” as I frequently hear from Hyper-preterists. I got it from others. It is a well-known, highly-regarded view published by a number of reputable scholars.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, this clean separation is quite evident in Matthew 24:34–36. There Matthew’s peri de (“but concerning”) narrative transition-formula shifts his attention away from the known time of his local (metaphorical) judgment-coming against the Temple (Matt. 24:2) in Judea (Matt. 24:16), which was to be in “this generation” (Matt. 24:34). He shifts his attention to “that day and hour,” which timing neither he nor the angels know (Matt. 24:36, 50; 25:13). [1] Continue reading

FOCUSING ON HIS COMING

Few doctrines of the Bible receive more attention among evangelicals today than the Second Coming of Christ. And since his Return is a foundational doctrine of the historic Christian faith, it well deserves our notice.

Unfortunately though, the Second Advent is more deeply loved and firmly believed than biblically understood. We tend to have a “zeal without knowledge” in approaching this doctrine. This is tragic in that properly comprehending it is vitally important for framing in a Christian worldview. After all, it exalts the consummate glory of his redemptive victory, completes the sovereign plan of God for history, and balances a full-orbed theology of Scripture. Continue reading

MATT. 16:27-28: AD 70 AND FINAL JUDGMENT (2)

PMW 2018-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my preceding article I began a brief study of Matthew 16:27 and 28. I am providing evidence that Jesus speaks of the “coming of the Son of Man” as applying to his Second Coming at the Final Judgment to end history. Upon declaring this, he adds a note about his near-term coming, which demonstrates his authority at the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. This article will conclude the argument by providing my fourth point, following upon the preceding three.

So now we must note not only the wording of the passage, but its flow, setting, and purpose.

In v. 28 Jesus inserts the “truly I say to you” formula (v. 28), which he often uses. He always uses this formula as a bold underscoring of something he has said. So? How does it function here? This will explain his rationale in the setting of his current instruction. Continue reading

MATT. 16:27-28: AD 70 AND FINAL JUDGMENT (1)

PMW 2018-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the more remarkable brief aside statements by Jesus, which impacts eschatology, is found in Matthew 16:27–28. Jesus’ declaration reads:

[v. 27] For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. [v. 28] Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

As an orthodox preterist, I hold that this passage brings together the AD 70 judgment and the Final Judgment. [1] As orthodox preterists argue (following most conservative, evangelical theologians in general), the AD 70 destruction of the temple is a dramatic judgment of God in itself. But it is also a typological foretaste of the universal Final Judgment, which it pictures through the local judgment on Israel. [2] (This is much like the Israel’s Old Testament exodus event being an important act in itself, while serving as a type of coming redemption through Christ.) 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

WHERE DO WE GO AT DEATH?

New earth

PMT 2015-094 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Partick W. writes:

“One thing I’m a little confused about is the ultimate end of history. Does man remain on earth when Christ returns? After Christ has put all enemies under his feet and handed over the kingdom to the Father, does heaven and hell “merge” and man remains on earth for a lack of better words while Christ is present physically (assuming also still in some sense everywhere present because he’s God). I’m so confused as I feel like I always hear by and large from Christians is to just go to heaven and it seems many believe the present earth to be destroyed. Or is there something else beyond earth/heaven?”

Ken Gentry responds:

Basically, I believe that when we die now (in history) we go to heaven — as did the disciples, the thief on the cross, and Paul the apostle: Continue reading