PMW 2022-062 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
I am completing a brief study on the Jewish temple’s failure through abuse, showing the necessity of its destruction under God’s wrath in AD 70. My previous article should be consulted for context.
Interestingly, on several occasions before Christ’s coming, the temple undergoes cleansings because of profanations by Ahaz (2Ch 29:12ff), Mannaseh (2Ch 34:3ff), Tobiah (New 13:4-19), and Antiochus (1Mac 4:36ff; 2Mac 10:1ff). The temple of Christ’s day is also corrupt, for Christ himself symbolically cleanses it when he opens his ministry (Jo 2:13-17) and as he closes it (Mt 21:12-13) — even though it is under the direct, daily, fully-functioning administration of the high priesthood. Continue reading →
PMW 2022-061 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
AD 70 is an important date in redemptive-history. In that year the ancient temple of Israel was destroyed, never to be rebuilt. This catastrophe is anticipated in the OT. Over and over again the temple cult is disparaged by the OT prophets when Israel falls into sin: Isa 1:10-17; 29:13; 43:23-24; Jer 6:20; 7:1-6, 21-22; 11:15; Eze 20:25; Hos 6:5-6; Am 4:4-5; 5:21-25; 9:1; Mic 6:1-8; Mal 1:10. Jeremiah even presents God as dramatically denying he ever directed Israel to sacrifice: “For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you’ “ (Jer 7:22-23). Continue reading →
PMW 2018-042 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
As John writes the Book of Revelation, Israel has been a part of the Roman regime for almost a century. As such she enjoyed special leagues of “friendship and mutual alliance” which began with Julius Caesar (Jos. Ant. 14:10:1 §185). Her love for Caesar was so great that after he was murdered, Jews wept for many nights at the site of his cremation (Suetonius, Jul. 84:5). Josephus, a priestly member of the Jewish aristocracy, praises Julius and records many of the treaties with the Jews which were established by Caesar and later Roman authorities (Ant. 14:10:2-25 §190-267). He then declares: “there are many such decrees of the senate and imperators of the Romans and those different from these before us” (Ant. 14:10:26).
Israel engages these alignments despite her OT prophets condemning unholy alliances as harlotry (e.g., Hos 7:11). As we read in Rev 13, the exercise of the Land beast’s authority is “in his [the Roman emperor’s] presence” (13:1a). Later in Rev 17 we see Israel’s alliance symbolized by a harlot engaged in a drunken sexual orgy with the sea beast. Continue reading →
PMW 2021-074 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In Rev 11:2 we find an important clue to the meaning of the message of Revelation. In this passage we learn that the outer court of the temple is to be cast out. The external court represents the external husk of ancient Judaism, as viewed over against the true essence of Israel. John is here reflecting on Christ’s words in Luke 21:24.
In my last blog article I began a consideration of the significance of the word “cast out” as it applies to the temple’s rejection in AD 70. This is the second installment, highlighting another concept lying behind the image. Continue reading →
PMW 2021-052 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Revelation is an important book in eschatological discussions. The most vigorous Revelation debate in ecclesiastical circles today revolves around the dispute between preterism and futurism. Preterism holds that Revelation was largely fulfilled not long after John wrote it. Futurism holds that it deals largely with events yet to come.
Because of this debate, the identity of the temple in Rev 11 arises as a serious matter. In Revelation 11:1, 2 we read:
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
Here we find a Temple standing in a city called “the holy city.” Continue reading →
PMW 2020-100 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In this article I am continuing a brief, four-part analysis of Hyper-preterist Don Preston’s book Were the Disciples Confused? In my last two articles I noted some general frustrations with Preston’s attitude in presenting his material. In this one I will focus on a key problem with his argument. I will be (mostly) considering his book’s third chapter, titled “Jesus’ Earlier Predictions of The Destruction of Jerusalem.” And especially his interaction with my thoughts. (All parenthetical page references are to this book unless otherwise noted.)
In this chapter Preston is arguing against the view that the disciples were confused in their questions (Matt. 24:3) about Jesus’ prophecy of the temple’s destruction (v. 2). Yet I and many scholars  believe they were in fact confused when they asked: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (v. 3). We believe that in this question they erroneously associate the destruction of the temple historically with both the Second Coming and the “end of the age” (i.e., the second coming which brings about the end of history). Continue reading →
PMW 2020-084 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
In this eighth entry in an 8-part series I am concluding my argument that the Jewish Temple in the first-century effectively functioned as tool of emperor worship, in that it was under the control of Roman-controlled priests. I recommend reading the previous articles first, and in order.
We must recall that Jesus called first century Israel under its unbelieving authorities an “adulterous generation” (Mt 12:39//; 16:4//). That charge harkens back to OT Israel’s unfaithfulness through idolatry. Thus, the first century temple system about which John is writing, is controlled by a corrupt, Messiah-denying high priesthood and has now become an idol linked with and likened to emperor worship. For this reason, Christ begins moving his people away from the temple because with his coming it no longer serves any God-approved purpose. As Wright (Jesus and the Victory of God, 182) observes: Jesus “prophesies that God will destroy the temple . . , not only because it was becoming obsolete but because of its flawed use and Israel’s rejection of Jesus.” Continue reading →